Plated Perfection

We’re just 48 hours from our flight back east and both our stomachs’ are in knots! I still can’t believe the wedding is almost here…it doesn’t feel real! Knowing these last days leading up to our departure would be chaotic, I decided to give one of those meal delivery services a try. My choice was based solely on the fact I’d been seeing their banner ads pop up…I picked Plated…it also didn’t hurt the special was 3 dinners for 2 at just $48 with shipping.photoThe process was simple: signed up, picked the meals (fish, meat and veggie options), and the box showed up on my doorstep. I mildly obsessed over the tracking/delivery & worrying about the perishable items staying fresh BUT that was completely unnecessary because everything was safely stored and labeled in an insulated refrigeration bag, complete with ice packs. Realistically, that box could’ve sat there until I got home from a normal work day and things would have been perfectly fresh!photoEach meal was very easy to make, came with clear instructions, and was absolutely delicious! Aside from the fact this made dinner a snap, Plated introduced Phil and I to new food! photo (1)Granted, I’ve made a version of the braised pollock we received but I had never made dukkah spiced flatbread with creamy feta sauce, nor had I attempted a thai chili and tofu soup before….both of which I will be making again soon! Plated is also very low commitment which is great! You pay for the weeks you want, and you can skip/cancel anytime…we just got the first box as mentioned, and wont be getting another until the week we get back from our honeymoon – talk about convenient! I am certainly going to give other meal delivery services a try to see how they compare but Plated has set the bar high and is worth a try for anyone considering this sort of service!

’til next time, keep smiling! ūüôā


Myofascial Monday

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekends as much as I did! We had the nicest day in Napa Saturday and spent Sunday teaching yoga, watching football, and cooking for our last few days in San Francisco. I can not believe we’re leaving on Friday…its SOOO soon!¬†wineWith all the excitement of the wedding I almost forgot about my plan¬†to share more myofascial release with you guys…BUT as I was working out some tension in my neck and shoulders, I must have released something that triggered my memory, haha!trapOne of the places so many of us hold tension is in the trapezius or upper back/neck/shoulders area. Since the traps cover such a vast amount of your upper neck/back/shoulders, it often feels like the tension is all over. My teacher, Tiffany Cruikshank, literally wrote the book on myofascial release, so I thought it only fitting a share a shot from one of her workshops…she is showing¬†placement on the front of the shoulder to release in the pectoral muscles (which is also really nice to throw in with your trap work).

Click the image to read the Yoga Journal article from her conference workshop
Click the image to read the Yoga Journal article from her conference workshop

To get into the traps it’s good¬†to lay down or use a wall. The upper traps are an easy & accessible place to begin¬†and below are two images to show placement more clearly. I almost always prefer¬†to lay down since it allows for better relaxation of the tissues BUT there are always times I need to stand and use the wall because I can’t get a specific spot I want to release.shoulderhqdefault


Start here and move¬†laterally to work along the upper traps…once you work your way close to the spine, move down (reference first image of the upper back) to release the middle traps. Remember, its always important to avoid bone, swollen tissues, or anything that creates shooting pain/numbness. While it may not seem like much, taking 15 minutes to work in your trapezius will make a world of difference during your work day or your next work out…feel free to share your MFR tips or questions in the comments below!

’til next time, keep smiling! ūüôā

Wedding Planning Revelations

Hey there friends!

We are leaving for the east coast in less than 10 days and I am itching with anticipation. All the last minute wedding details are coming together little by little and we’re doing our best to stay distracted…there is only so much more we can do from San Francisco, the rest will be waiting for us when we get home. This weekend we’re keeping ourselves busy¬†with a trip to wine country Saturday and a Sunday full of teaching yoga and watching football!¬†sfThis week we’re tackling a few things like getting motion sickness medication for our honeymoon, finalizing menu choices for the rehearsal dinner, confirming travel arrangements, etc… but it’s really important to have a non-wedding planning weekend. Especially with last week’s confession Phil and I both really wanted to shift our perspective…leave the worrying to everyone else, this is our day!!!UTAdmittedly, I kind of feel¬†like a kid playing hooky from school skipping out on all this¬†potential wedding planning time but lets get real, what is the point if you’re not enjoying it…am I right?!?!? We’re entering the home stretch and there is no way we’re gonna do anything but enjoy our wedding day!

’til next time, keep smiling! ūüôā

Foodie Friday

Welcome to the weekend my friends!!!

I am a little tired from what ended up being a late night last night but looking forward to a weekend full of teaching, practicing, farmer’s markets, friends and fun! I don’t know if I mentioned it but I recently started working part-time¬†for Conservacion Patagonica. Last night we had an event at the Patagonia store in SF to promote the ‘Mile for Mile’ documentary which highlights three Patagonia run ambassador’s and their 106 mile journey through Patagonia Park to bring awareness to this 11 year restoration project. We had an amazing turn out, raised a ton of money, and enjoyed the company of passionate, like minded people – it was awesome! PLEASE check out the amazing work being done in South America, read about Doug & Kris Tompkins, and donate (if you’re so inclined) to this incredible cause!¬†mile_for_mile_headerMoving right along…since its football season, I thought for today’s Foodie Friday it would be fun to share a vegetarian twist on a game day favorite, taco dip! I made this for Monday’s Eagles game and let’s just say it saved the night (since the Eagle’s kinda tanked…sorry guys!). Obviously you can make this with ground turkey, beef, bison, chicken…but its delicious meatless as well!!photo (2)Taco Dip

  • 1 pkg vegetarian ground round or soy ‘chorizo’ (from TJ’s)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can beer (lager)
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese
  • 3/4¬†cup sour cream
  • diced roasted red bell peppers (or salsa)
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning OR home blend (paprika, chile powder, cayenne, cumin, garlic…)
  • 1 bag whole wheat tortilla chips

Put¬†can of black beans (slightly drained) into a pot, add 1/2 can beer, and put on medium/low heat. While beans cook down, shred 1/3 head of the iceberg lettuce, grate the cheddar cheese, and preheat the oven to 375. Add seasoning to the ground round with the remaining beer and put under low heat in a sauce pan. Once the beans have cooked down (about 20-30 minutes – the liquid should be thick and nearly gone and the beans are super soft), its time to assemble: start with the ‘meat’ layer, then the beans, peppers, sour cream, and finally the cheese to bake for 15-20 minutes. Once the cheese is all melty and bubbly pull it out of the oven to sit for a few minutes, top with the shredded lettuce and dig in!!¬†Enjoy this with some whole wheat tortilla chips or just a fork…it’s that good!!¬†photo (1)

’til next time, keep smiling! ūüôā

Wednesday Wedding Confessions

Happy Hump Day Friends!

I hope everyone is making it through the week with a smile on their face! Phil and I sat down to dinner last night and started talking about our favorite topic, the wedding. During the talk of payments, confirmations, timelines, etc.. we both looked at each other without saying a word, we knew what the other was thinking: neither of us are particularly looking forward to our wedding at this point.

Young woman experiencing headache with man on the sofa behind her

While that might sound terrible to put in writing or say out loud, I believe honesty is the best policy, so I’m not taking it back. Look, the reality is our wedding day will be amazing, and we’re both genuinely looking forward to being man and wife but this whole ‘event’ is just A LOT and we’re drained! There are less than 25 days left until we say ‘I do’ and we still have welcome bags to arrange, seating charts to do, finalizing the gifts for everyone, making sure the timeline for the day of is properly arranged, a marriage license to procure, and at least a dozen other things to get done.¬†w2

We agreed we were not going to allow the wedding to stress us out anymore but now its not even stressful its just exhausting….which I guess is why we feel the way we do. We keep hoping/praying we’re¬†not going to let a trivial detail ruin the day. We are¬†terrified that all this time, money and energy from so many people will somehow/someway get ruined, so instead of being excited for what will be the happiest day of our life, we’re just dreading it.¬†w1

In our heart we know things will work out but we can’t help but feel the way we do! I know there is no way we’re the only couple who’ve felt this way during the wedding planning process, so I wanted to put it out there for anyone who might be feeling the same!

’til next time, keep smiling! ūüôā

Myofascial Monday

Hello Friends!

I hope everyone had a marvelous weekend! I don’t know if it was riding bikes with Phil, teaching multiple classes, stress from the wedding, or a combination of everything, but I am¬†all sorts of tight in my glutes after this weekend. To help, I have¬†a myofascial release session¬†planned during the Eagles game tonight…GO BIRDS!!!!675153_1280x720

I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with myofascial release but just in case, MFR is a soft tissue therapy used to relieve pain and immobility in the muscles. The goal is to release tension in the musculature and allow better circulation by loading the tissue with direct force until the muscular contraction releases. There are a ton of different options for the ‘application of direct force’ but I use a tennis ball or something similar. The idea is to find a specific part of the body that is sore, locate the trigger point (or super sore spot) and settle in to see if you can relieve some tension.¬†gluteus_medius_trigger_pointsToday’s focus is on glut med which presents as pain in the outer hip, top of your butt, or as centralized back pain. Above is an image of some of the common pain stops and trigger points associated tension in¬†these muscles.

SO, what do to….

rest your foot on the floor and your arm where ever is comfortable when you're on your side...I'm sort of moving into position here.
Rest your foot on the floor and arm where it’s comfortable on your side…I’m moving into position here ūüėȬ†

Take a few minutes in each position, allow the tennis ball to sink into the muscles, and try to soften/relax (it helps to breath deeply). Once you feel a release there, roll the ball a little up and down or side to side, find another trigger point, and repeat!

I should warn anyone who hasn’t tried this before, it can be uncomfortable! However, you should not experience any shooting pain, numbness, tingling, etc… if you do, back off¬†and find a new spot, haha, you’re likely on a nerve – no need to be alarmed, you’ll be fine, the body is very resilient!

My goal is to share more myofascial release tips each Monday leading up to the wedding, so any questions, requests, etc.., please leave them in the comments section!

’til next time, keep smiling! ūüôā

Thursday Thoughts

Today¬†officially begins the one month countdown until Phil and I say ‘I Do’ and we’re both so excited! We got a lot of the little details decided over the weekend and we’re moving full steam ahead! We did manage some leisure time too – I love spending casual time with friends, enjoying the outdoors, and sharing delicious food/wine. We had such a great time at Vie playing bocce and tasting the new vintages, rooftop grilling in SOMA with friends, and enjoying the sunshine that we almost didn’t fit in our ride over the Golden Gate Bridge…but I wasn’t going to let that happen!!photoSharing some private time, just Phil and I, that didn’t¬†revolve around work, the wedding, our finances, the future etc.. was¬†so special!! We were able¬†to take in the majesty of the mountains and the sweeping views of San Francisco, which was nothing short of magical…plus, feeling the wind blowing against my face¬†and getting some great cardio didn’t hurt either!SanFran200605-201While it may seem trivial to some, time together is invaluable for us – both as individuals and as a couple. Inner peace¬†is¬†a¬†difficult thing to achieve when you exist in this fast paced world of ours but often its the most important thing we need. Having time to decompress from life’s obligations, and do so with your partner, is one of the best ways I inch closer to that internal state of peace. Maybe for others it’s time alone with a good book, a stroll in the woods, sharing a meal, etc… the possibilities are endless and around every corner, you just have to find yours.

’til next time, keep smiling! ūüôā

Decisions, Decisions

Happy Labor Day Weekend Friends!

Beautiful Happy Labor Day Weekend Pictures

We’re looking forward to some holiday weekend festivities: wine tasting, biking, art festival, bbq, etc… BUT first, we need to make wedding decisions, since ya know, its happening in about a month!!!

I don’t know if it’s just me but I feel as though we’ve had a wedding planning lull for the last few months and now all of the sudden a million decisions need to be made, like yesterday! God bless my mother and sister! Since I am all the way across the country these two (with the help of some of my aunts and the bridesmaids – THANK YOU LADIES!) have taken the reigns and are tackling¬†so many of the important details!¬†Even with the amazingly generous help from my family, there is still a lot Phil and I need to decide on – favors, welcome bag items, readings, hymns, uplighting colors, linen choices, etc… the list goes on!! There are a few things I am excited about deciding and those are¬†the gifts we’re giving to people involved in the wedding –¬†any fun ideas are welcome..please leave suggestions in the comments! The¬†Wedding-Couple-Angr-Woman-man-300x200one thing we’ve decided for certain is that from here on out we’re not going to let anything about the wedding stress us out or take away from the importance of the day. With all the superficial things, like uplighting, linens, etc… that can go into a wedding, it’s easy to forget the day is about Phil and I creating our own family unit and beginning our life as husband and wife! Whether the flowers are right, or the music is on point, or the bakery delivers the cake on time, we still get to spend the rest of our lives together!

’til next time, keep smiling! ūüôā

Foodie Friday

Happy Friday Friends!

Its been awhile but I’m finally posting a new installment of Foodie Friday and it feels GREAT!! rocco-227x300I have been wanting to share some of the delicious bites for a bit and today’s the day! Inspired by Rocco Dispirito’s Now Eat This! I have made my own mildly healthy version of Jalapeno poppers. While I do love a good healthy alternative, I try to steer clear of some non-fat or low fat versions of things because the process of removing the fat adds more harmful chemicals than its worth in calorie savings…..ANYWAY!!!! Below is my recipe, with a lot of help from Rocco, for Jalapeno poppers – perfect for Labor Day Weekend! Also, check out all the other amazing recipe’s he shares in his book – there are some great tips!!

Jalapeno Poppers

  • 6 Jalapenos – halved and seeded
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1 small bunch green onions finely diced
  • 1-2 cups whole wheat panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 whole egg + 3 whites
  • Spray Oil – from your own spritzer or from grocery story
  • Salt and Pepper

  Allow cream cheese to soften by sitting out for a bit before beginning the recipe. Preheat the oven to 475 and begin to prep the jalapenos. Once halved and seeded, place peppers on a metal rack on a sheet pan in the oven for 3-4 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. In a bowl mix cheddar cheese, cream cheese, green onions, and salt/pepper to taste. Spoon mixture into the jalapeno halves and prepare your eggs, panko, and flour for breading. Carefully dip each jalapeno (with filling) into the flour, then egg, then panko, before resting on the rack to go back in the oven. Once all 12 are complete, spray with cooking oil and bake for 15-20 minutes.

While they’re not super healthy, they’re a lot better for you than their fried friends on most pub menus and perfect for a bit of guilt-less indulgence.

Until next time, keep smiling! ūüôā

Wedding Rings and Yoga Things

Happy Hump Day!

Phil and I went wedding band shopping the other day…totally crazy! I know our wedding is like a month away so it shouldn’t be so surprising¬†BUT there was suddenly this feeling of “WOW, this is really happening!” There was something about¬†putting that band on that made things feel REAL…I can’t wait to be Colleen April! imageAnyway, we’re working towards the wedding day by day and last week I shared our skin prep secret – Lush face masks, so totally amazing! This week I’m sharing a little about how we’re working towards our wedding ready bods! Coupled with regular yoga (duh!) I am keeping things interesting with¬†different forms of cardio – cycling, interval training, light jogging, and today I’m jumping into The November Project. I am not sure what to expect but I’m looking forward to the adventure!imageIn other news, I have been enjoying teaching yoga in¬†San Francisco and can’t wait to teach more and more. I get so nervous each time I teach – questioning my flows, beating myself up if I stumble over my words, worrying if people hate it – but the more I put myself out there the less I question, beat myself up and worry. Tonight I am teaching my first corporate yoga class and I hope it’s the first of many! I know if I keep putting myself out¬†there and takings steps forward, good things will continue to unfold!imageAs a fun little yogi motivation this month, I’m doing an Instachallenge! Chicago Yoga Lab’s September Splits Bits Info Challenge to be exact…day 1 is in the books and I would love it if you’d follow along this month on my Instagram!!

’till next time, keep smiling!! ūüôā