Crazytown

Hey Friends!

I can’t believe how long its been since my last post – holy moly I’m behind! In my defense everything happened all at once, just like it always does, and the first thing to fall off was my blogging – don’t hate me!

ANYWAY…

I got a new job…yep, thats right, no more wedding industry for this girl! I can’t believe it but after nearly 5 years I am saying goodbye to my AWG family and moving onto a great opportunity with a software company. I know what you’re thinking, from weddings to software…what gives?!?! I will be working in a sales development role for Workzone, a project management software company…I can’t wait! I am just a few days into the new role, since I was in Alaska (yep, I’ll get to that), but I can already tell I’m going to love it. IMG_4182

Like I mentioned, I went to Alaska with my family and toured the inner passage. We made stops in Ketchikan, Icy Strait/Hoonah, Juneau, Skagway, Hubbard Glacier, Seward and flew home from Anchorage. Included in our heavily active outdoor activities was a walk-about on a glacier…totally out of this world! While the whole experience was beyond amazing, I did spend a fare amount of time sick. Thats right, I learned something new about myself this vacation…I get motion sickness, BAD! IMG_4212

Sickness aside, I have never seen anything like some of the sites in Alaska and I can’t wait to go back! Now its time to focus on yoga…just 32 days until I fly to Tulum for the first week of what will be a life changing adventure!!! YAY Yoga Medicine! IMG_4245

‘Til next time, keep smiling :-)

Everybody does it…

Happy Monday Friends! In honor of finding ways to make it through the day, I wanted to share this funny but insightful article on poop…yes poop! 

PooFeatureIf you click the photo, or here, you will be taken to Greatist.com (one of my favorite websites) & their article article on what stool says about your body’s ability to process food. I know MANY MANY people who suffer from ‘tummy troubles’ and this article offers some interesting insight on what may be causing all that discomfort. 

I hope you all find this as entertaining & interesting as I did! 

‘Til next time, keep smiling! 

Foodie Friday

Happy Friday Family! It was so nice spending time with my magnificent friend Michelle and her handsome beau Mike – I love when friends come to visit!!! I was afraid my early start to the weekend would make the work day drag on today but things are flying – WOOHOO!

ANYWAY, onto the good stuff! As promised, today’s Foodie Friday is all about ice cream! I love my ice cream maker and have been playing around with this concoction for awhile now – I’m thrilled to finally share my cherry chunk ice cream with all of you! Be forewarned, there is nothing healthy about this delicious indulgence but its worth every caloric filled spoonful – TRUST ME!icecream

Cherry Chunk Ice Cream

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean (or vanilla extract)
  • 4-6 oz. dark chocolate
  • 1/3 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/4 lb. cherries (pitted and halved)

*make sure to prep an ice bath with separate glass bowl before you start*

Mix 4 egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar in a sauce pan and whisk in whole milk over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook for 7-10 minutes until custard begins to thicken and it stays on the back on your spoon. Add vanilla bean, strain custard into ice bath bowl and mix in heavy cream. Transfer mixture to the fridge to cool and start to work on your cherry syrup. Combine cherries and remaining 1/2 cup sugar into sauce pan over medium heat & cook for 10 minutes until syrup begins to thicken and the cherries have been cooked through. Separate the cherries from the syrup and put both in the fridge to cool. Once base for ice cream has cooled completely, transfer to ice cream maker and follow instructions for your particular machine. While the ice cream is churning, chunk your chocolate and once the ice cream base thickens (anywhere from 15-30 minutes) mix in cherry syrup (only if completely cooled), cherries, chocolate and walnuts. Allow everything to become well incorporated then transfer to container to freeze. 

While ice cream can be tricky, I’ve gotten this and a few other recipes down to a science so it really doesn’t take as long as you’d think…plus how awesome is it to have homemade ice cream to offer your friends or indulge in yourself during these dog days of summer?!?!?!!?! 

Its FRIDAY – let your hair down, have fun & ’til next time, keep smiling! :-)

Thursday Already?

Hey there friends! How on earth did it get to be Thursday already?!?! Even though there’s still one more day until it’s official, I already feel like the weekend is here! My college bestie Michelle is in town with her beau Mike and I am so excited to start the weekend early! 

I was able to sneak a little cardio in yesterday after work (awesome 22 minute routine that totally kicks butt – break down below). and am hoping for a little yoga today…1posethere are only 58 days until I leave for my Yoga Medicine teacher training & with the craziness of the last 6 weeks I have not been as diligent about my practice nor my supplemental exercise as I’d like to be! :-( I don’t know about anyone else but I am totally a routine freak! I feel best when I am organized, regimented and sticking with a daily routine. I can’t decide if that’s good or bad…does it mean I’m unable to healthfully adapt to life’s changes?! OR is it a product of juggling family, school, sports & a social life since before I can remember?!?

I often wonder if the things we crave in life – routine, food, vacation spots, etc. – are simply a product of our childhoods or expressions of something deeper within ourselves. This is yet another thing I meditate about…finding the ability to express my deepest, truest self & honoring me first…not easy for someone who has allowed decades of external influences define my inward and outward ‘self.’

ANYWAY, I still have that bulu review I promised last week (maybe today will be a double post kind of day), & I’m excited to share my version of cherry chunk ice cream with walnuts and dark chocolate for Foodie Friday tomorrow – trust me, Ben and Jerry have got NOTHING on this girl!! 

‘Til next time, keep smiling! :-)

 

22 minute circuit 

  • 60 sec. down dog push ups
  • 10 sec. rest
  • 45 sec. burpees
  • 10 sec. rest
  • 90 sec. front & back lunges (45 sec. each side)
  • 10 sec. rest
  • 45 sec. mountain climbers
  • 10 sec. rest
  • 30 sec. forearm plank 
  • 20 sec. rest

* 4 times through ( 5 min. 30 sec. each round) *

 

Foodie Friday

Its the freaking weekend folks! Time to celebrate with some sweet treats from a jar! This weeks Foodie Friday is all about preserving summer & the class Phil & I took at Sur la Tablejam (2)

We made spicy plum chutney, peach & rosemary jam, blueberry ginger preserves & pickled watermelon rind…SOOO yummy! With the exception of the preserves, which has a shelf life of about a year, the delightful summer treats will stay fresh for 1-1 1/2 months in the refrigerator.

While I would love to share all the recipes we learned, the pickled watermelon rind was definitely the most interesting, so here goes…!

Pickled Watermelon Rind

  • 4lb watermelon quartered
  • 8 cups water
  • 2  heavy tbsp coarse salt 
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 8 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 teaspoon pickling spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 jalapenos (seeded and sliced)

Start by putting 8 cups of water & salt in a large pot onto stove to boil. Prep watermelon by removing pulp from rind (try to keep a small light pink layer on the rind) & cutting off the green skin. Cut into 2 in pieces, add to boiling water & cook for about 5 minutes (until tender). Remove from heat and transfer to metal bowl. Combine second set of ingredients into a sauce pan and bring to a boil (stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved). Pour pickling liquid over rind pieces and cover. Allow to cool in the fridge & enjoy! 

*Best if allowed 8 hours in pickling liquid*

Especially in the summer, pickled watermelon rind is a nice addition to cheese plates and bbq dishes!

 

‘Til next time, keep smiling! 

Pray for patience…

Its another glorious day to be alive and I am ashamed to say I did not start the day off well…I’ve still got time to turn it around though! ;-) I didn’t mention this yesterday but in the midst of all this excitement over the last month I’ve moved, twice – SOOOO FUN!

waterfallpushI’m not a fan of moving, though I haven’t met anyone who is excited by the prospect of hauling boxes, carrying awkwardly shaped items & fitting furniture through doorways that are too small, so I think its fair to say I’m not alone! The endless array of frustrations are enough to drive anyone mad, but when you’re already a little nutty, its enough to push you over the edge (I thought it would be funny to include this shot of me pretending to push my wonderful fiance over the edge, haha!).

Its times like this when I used to pray for patience. That was, of course, until my Aunt quite aptly pointed out that the more you pray for patience the more opportunities God gives you to practice…rather genius but never the less not helping my cause!

I thought about it, and instead of praying for patience when I am frustrated, I am just going to laugh – laugh at myself, laugh at the situation, laugh at the way life throws you curve balls you can never expect but you’ve got to roll with anyway…just laugh! My hope is the laughter will activate the ventromedial prefrontal cortex that produces endorphins and I will go from frustrated to happy….we shall see! 

‘Til next time, keep smiling! 

I’m back…

Hello Friends! Did you miss me?!?! I definitely missed you guys but I needed a few weeks to get some things together…I am so pumped to share it all with you guys! 

First, Phil and I have set a date for our wedding, picked our venue and booked our band! We’ll be tying the knot 10-10-15 in Philadelphia. While we’ll be having the ceremony at my family church, the reception will be at the newly opened Union Trust. This old bank was converted into a restaurant in early 2009 ( I actually was a part of it all back in my restaurant days) but sadly closed shortly there after. Since the space was just too unique to sit unoccupied, one of Philadelphia’s best, Finley Catering, scooped up the spot and will host their first wedding this fall! 

On a more selfish note, I am really trying to focus on daily yoga practice with YogaGlo as I prepare for my Yoga Medicine training starting October 12. I am so excited but incredibly nervous…what if I’m not ready? What if I am the worst in my class? What if I hate it? Terrible right?!?!?!?! goaldiggerLearning to let go of my insecurities and just live is a big part of what I hope to gain through my meditative practice. Its only when we let go that we can really fly…I heard someone say that once and it totally resonated with me. Maybe it is a little lofty but holding onto the what if’s is the only way to ensure I don’t succeed…so here’s to trying to let go!!!

I am excited to share my final bulu review with all of you this week as well as start my newest box subscription, conscious box, this month! I also have a very exciting pickling/preserving post planned for Foodie Friday so stay tuned!

‘Til next time, keep smiling friends!