Tag Archives: Baking

#WEverb12: CREATE

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16. replicate [CREATE]: What were you inspired to create/make this year based on something else? (i.e. a pin from pinterest, recipe from a friend, etc.)

Well, I am a hardcore Pinterest ADDICT!  I try to actually make a lot of the things I pin.  The one craft idea I tried so far didn’t work out so well (a DIY cut-away workout shirt) but a lot of the recipes I’ve made have been great.  I made this whole board called “It’s Good!  Make it Again!” based on my Pinterest successes.

Physical Challenge Life List

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As our time here is winding down, I’m overwhelmed with mixed emotions.  Partly happiness about going home to friends, family, grocery stores and farmers markets, microbrews, and a kitchen!  But a big part of me is very very sad to be saying goodbye (for now) to all the adventures, the constantly-changing scenery, the daily challenges of travel, the cheap street food, and the gorgeous hiking.

Feeling victorious after climbing the highest peak in El Salvador!

I do feel like I’ve matured a lot on this journey, and one of the ways I’ve matured is in regards to my outlook on health.  I used to say that I wanted to die before I get old.  I don’t want that anymore, but I do want to be a super healthy, on-the-go old person.  I think it makes sense to say that accomplishing that goal depends a lot on the investments I make towards it now.  I’ve preached about the organic, vegetarian diet on here before, so I don’t need to go into that again.  And yes, I will always have a sweet tooth and a baking addiction, but moderation is the key.

I’ve kind of gotten over drinking on this trip.  I think an occasional, special-occasion, in-moderation drinker is what I would like to be.  I’m just getting too old for the college-type shenanigans!  The less I drink, the healthier, happier, and more alert I feel.  I’m sure this is a normal transition that most people go through, otherwise there would be a lot more 40-year-old running around doing kegstands.  But still I read what I’ve written and think, “Oh my gosh I’m becoming a lame old lady!”  C’est la vie.

Also, all the hiking, pack-carrying, and occasional surfing we’ve done here has gotten me into better shape than I’ve ever been in.  I’ve still got a spare tire but I am stronger than I’ve ever been in my life.  And it feels great!  What sucks is that with our return to Ohio looming, I’m already missing all the awesome hikes, mountains, beaches, and activities available here.  I really want to maintain, and hopefully improve, my fitness level once we get home.  It’s going to be hard in Ohio, because I’m not a big fan of running, and gym workouts are just so boring compared to mountain climbing!  Our time in Ohio will be brief, however, and I’m committed to finding ways to stay moving somehow.  Once we head west again, fitness can become a lot more fun.

Because I love lists so much, I came up with a new goal list of all the “physical challenge”-type activities I would like to accomplish in my life.  This will probably get added to a lot as I think of new things.  Not all of them are super-physical, some are just outdoorsy activities.  Hopefully I can check one or two within a year of getting home.  These are the things that get me excited and motivate me to work out hard (well, other than wearing a wedding dress next summer)!

Physical Challenge Life List
1. Master surfing

2. Master rock-climbing

3. Master snow-boarding

4. Climb Cotopaxi (Ecuador)

5. Climb Mt. Whitney (California)

6. Climb Kilimanjaro (Tanzania)

7. Hike the Grand Canyon, to the river and back

8. Bungee jump at Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe/Zambia)

9. Ride in a hot air balloon

10. Really give yoga a try

11. Learn to swing dance

What do you think of my list?  Way too ambitious or do-able?  Has anyone else ever made a list like this?

Operation Bikini: Update 2

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Everyone falls off the wagon sometimes, right???

Right????

‘Cause I definitely did.  Gulp.

Despite my best intentions, I have kind of sucked at my eating recently.  Our trip to Mexico, having lots of couchurfers, and actually doing stuff with friends recently has led to me not following my rules and eating/drinking way too much bad stuff recently.

But, I’m back, because I am not a quitter!!!  However, it is time to seriously get my butt in gear.  I’m hoping that the time ticking down to our road-trip departure will serve as good motivation for me.  If I get serious now, I can still lose 14 pounds by the time we leave on August 22 and be almost done by then!!!  My goal is to lose 20-24 pounds total.  So, in drastic measures, I’ve decided to eliminate the flex days.  I knew I would abuse them, and I certainly did.  Achieving this goal is about sacrifice, and I just need to get my mind around that.  Of course if it’s a truly special occasion or something I will still let myself go a day without counting.  But by allowing myself 2 flex days a week I was just waiting for those days and then stuffing my face to the max.  Not good for learning moderation.

So this is it: 1000 calories per day, exercise every day.  I can totally be at my goal weight by the time we get back to Ohio!!!!!

Now let me celebrate some small victories:

-I have been doing consistently pretty well on my exercise.  Climbing, hiking, biking, gymming it up.  I finally bought new running shoes that actually provide support so I’m not hurting my feet anymore.  Now I’ll be able to keep running outside once we’re on our trip and I don’t have gym access.

-Last night I had a couple glasses of wine with girlfriends but kept within my 1000-cal limit!  I just had a light snack instead of a meal when I got home, then went to bed.

-Today I got a 6-mile bike ride and a bunch of crunches/push-ups in all despite the heat and before 11am.  Getting exercise done early is a great way for me to make sure I get it done!

-I baked something that DIDN’T INVOLVE CHOCOLATE!  Shocker, I know.  Tomato Rosemary Scones.  We’ll see what Zach thinks of them.  I am getting better at baking for him but not indulging myself.  Not having chocolate-filled goodies definitely helps though.

-I’m making these Chipotle Squash Fritters for dinner tonight.  I love trying new, inventive recipes; plus this sounds delicious and super-healthy!  I have been doing a good job making dishes that are heavy on the veggies and light on the cheese and dairy lately.

Must make myself update more on this un-fun topic.  I think I have to get back on the scale too.  That’ll happen sometime next week, after I continue my good habits for the rest of this one.  Then I’ll post another update.  I CAN do this.  Positive thinking, yeeehaw!!!

Yay for a productive day off!  Of course I wish I was working since we desperately need $$, but I’ve used today to bike, bake, blog, (hahaha alliteration!) and now I’ll be studying some Spanish and reading my awesome book about the Colombian drug trade.

Whoopie! Pies!

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Today is a much-needed day off after a couple weeks of being stressed out.  I have not left the house or changed out of my PJs.  It’s necessary sometimes, don’t judge me.

I did engage in a baking adventure, one of my favorite things to do in my free time.  I found this Whoopie Pie recipe on Bakerella.  As soon as I saw the chocolate and peanut butter combo I was sold!  I also took the opportunity to practice my food photography, although I still have a long way to go.  Our kitchen is not super cute and my creations never look that beautiful. (I’m not patient enough!)  They taste delicious though!

1. Mix the batter. 2. Mix the filling. Make sure to enjoy the excess on those beaters!! Baker's privileges! 3. Bake. 4. Assemble the yummiest sandwiches ever!

Hopefully Zach will be happy to see these when he gets home from his first day at his new job today.  It would happen that he finally got called with a job on my first day off in forever.  To make up for all this butter and chocolate, I’m planning to try this Lemon-Scented Quinoa Salad for dinner.  But for now, I think it’s time to curl up with a book.  I can already feel this rest day rejuvenating me!

Ming Makes Cupcakes

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I have a new obsession:  Cupcake Baking.

It’s all thanks to stumbling upon this site one day at my old job where I surfed the Internet all day.

Ming Makes Cupcakes

Go there.  I dare you.  There is a never-ending list of amazing cupcake recipes.  All so creative and unique.  I think my new personal mission in life is to try all of them.

So far, I’ve made three different recipes: Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting and Ganache, and Coffee Chocolate Cupcakes with Bailey’s Irish Cream Frosting.  As you can tell, I’m now a big fan of baking with booze.  If it’s in the frosting it still gets you tipsy too!!! Yay!!!

Here is my picture of the Coffee Chocolate Cupcakes with Bailey’s Irish Cream Frosting that I just made today:

I'm not very good at taking pictures of my food yet...I'm trying to get better!

Cupcakes are amazing!!!!!!!  Does this website make you want to get baking as much as it makes me?

Disclaimer:  I do not know who Ming is and this post is in no way sponsored by her.  I just love love love her cupcake ideas and wanted to share them with the world!!!!!