A Beautiful Day In My Neighborhood

Apr 24, 2015


We got married in that park! I love (insert every place featured) place! Today, Tower Grove was featured on Fox 2 morning news and, man, I could not be prouder of the neighborhood we call home. 


One better, Kevin and Margie joined the 6:30a Buti Yoga class (via Class Pass ) at Flex Studio. Color me shocked and surprised, yours truly was actually lucid this am, which was key because, get your life together Marcia, its live TV.







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Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird Cake via Bakerella



After I made Hummingbird Muffins from the Runners World cookbook I was hooked.  Naturally I had to bake this beauty.



Full disclosure: my first attempt (see above) resulted in a crumbly mess. Delicious, crumbly mess, but mess nonetheless.  I blame my in ability to leave things alone for my cake collapsing onto the plate.  Had I let it cool, instead of standing over it salivating it probably would have kept its shape.  

Lesson, learned.



Despite the collapse, the cake was moist, rich and -- drool. For those counting, there are three, decadent layers of cake, separated by home made cream cheese frosting. Yes, it tastes as heavenly as it sounds. And more. 



Frosting the sides conceals the madness.  No one will ever know.


Lucky enough, my family loved it so much, my uncle wanted one for his birthday as well.


This time, I cut parchment paper for the bottoms of the cake pans and sprayed them (with coconut oil), just to be sure. 


Viola. 


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Class Pass: the review

Apr 22, 2015

Variety, its the spice of life. 

If you'd told me three months ago I'd be arranging my day around 5a sweat sessions (without protest!) would be my new normal I'd -- roll over and hit the snooze button. Twice.

 Thank heavens for Class Pass.


Twenty nine days, nineteen classes.

In case you are wondering, that is in addition to working full time, running a household, training for a half marathon and life. Say it with me -- prioritize + organization. The times where I'd find myself horizontal on the couch were traded for fitness, and to date, nary a regret. Let's face it, I can watch TV whilst on the treadmill and utilize my waking hours more efficiently. Since I prefer am sweat sessions, evenings hold a bit more structure -- household chores are broken into small tasks each day to allow time to enjoy quality time with my family, prepare my bags for the next day, get in my training runs and going to bed at a reasonable time. Its far from perfect or easy, but it works. 

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A snapshot of my "day" looks like this:

4:30a alarm
5:30a class (I only chose studios with showers for work days)
7:30a work
4:30p drive home/errands
5:30p prepare/eat dinner, make food bag for next day (breakfast, snacks x2, lunch)
7p household chores, family time, pack bags for the next day
9p bedtime (TV/read before bed)
10p lights out

Obviously, the times adjust if class is at 6a, but with a 5:30/6a class (for me) it allows for enough sleep and I can get to work early/on time.  5a classes are out of the question, I tried.  That extra thirty minutes of slumber is priceless.

Food bag -- since I go straight to work from class, I pack breakfast, along with lunch and plenty of snacks for the day. I meal prep on Sundays (my rest day) to ease the burden.

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Class Pass proves, over and over again to stand the test of the particular and streamlines the process so well it literally takes the tap of a button. Once a class is scheduled, you get an email reminder (and the option to add it to your calendar) denoting location, time, when to arrive, and what to wear. Class cancelled due? Fear not, shoot them an email (and/or chat with the studio) and they fix it before you click "send".

Praise? I cannot sing enough.

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My (first) month with Class Pass:

2/2 Rest
2/3 Shred 415 (counting the 2.5 miles as my speed work) + Candlelight Vinyasa Yoga
2/4 Long and Lean + (Zumba cancelled due to inclement weather) + Tempo run (5 mi.)
2/5 Hot Yoga + Long run (9 mi.)
2/6-2/11 Honeymoon (one 2.6 mi. run and quick HIIT session in the hotel gym)
2/12 Y6 Sculpt + Belly Dancing + Easy Run (5 mi.)
2/13 Hybrid TRX + Easy Run (2 mi.)
2/14 Hot Yoga (w/ my valentine) + Long Run (8 mi.)
2/15 Rest
2/16 (Barre cancelled due to inclement weather) + Easy Run (2 mi.)
2/17 Shred 415 ( 2.44 miles)
2/18 The Dailey Method + Pilates
2/19 Surfset + Long Run (10 mi.)
2/20 Rest
2/21 Day of Dance (w/ mom) + Tempo Run (5 mi.)
2/22 Shred 415 (w/ Mark  -- 2.45 mi.)
2/23 The Dailey Method
2/24 Shred 415 (1.93 mi.)
2/25 Rest (tweaked my quad a bit, so took two full days off)
2/26 Rest
2/27 Hybrid TRX
2/28 Run (8 mi.) + Yoga (not class pass, with a friend)
3/1 Rest
3/2 Hybrid Athlete
3/3 Hot Yoga
3/4 Dailey Method

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It didn't take long to find favorites (Shred415, Dailey Method, Hot Yoga), and each studio has been nothing short of welcoming and warm. I've even began meeting fellow class pass(ers) which brings the studio exploring level closer to home, where you recognize a kind face, and lament over burpees. 

Price: $79/month -- I won't lie, there was sticker shock.  Till I took one class that has a $30 fee (per class) and realized what a fantastic deal it is for unlimited classes! Granted, my Starbucks budget took a slight backseat, but feeling strong, confident and taking those extra glances in the mirror admiring your progress is worth it. 



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Chicken Lasagna Roll Ups

Apr 17, 2015

Best laid plans. Wanted to test out this White Chicken Lasagna and failed to read said recipe prior to embarking.  

Oh the games I play.



Mentally committed, I "rolled" with it.



My adaptation (serves four) goes a little something like this:

Cook (nine) lasagna noodles according to package.

Saute garlic (1 clove), onions (one) and mushrooms (one cup) in butter (tbsp), adding parsley (tbsp), oregano (tsp), basil (tsp), fresh cracked pepper (1/2 tsp) and salt (tsp). Once cooked, set aside to cool.

Chop up chicken (leftover rotisserie, 2-3 cups) and add to bowl, along with Ricotta (half of a large container, 8 oz , but 16 oz would be even better) and spinach (10 oz, thawed and  moisture removed).Add cooled sauteed veggies and combine. 

Meanwhile, pour a bit of maraina (I used jarred, but home made is awesome too) in the bottom of your pan so your rolls don't stick.

Using one noodle at a time, spoon a portion of filling into the end of the noodle, and roll up (semi tightly), like so. 

Repeat.



Place rolls in pan, seam side down. Top with marinara, and sprinkle with fresh grated parmesan. 

Bake at 350 for 350-40 minutes. 

Bon Appetit!





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Everyday, Ordinaire

Apr 15, 2015

This, is what March looked like.


Mark's birthday dinner. 

Lasagna, Salad, Garlic Bread and Gumbo. 


Tales of getting dressed at the gym -- there was a stain on the front of my turtleneck, so I wore it backwards. Amid stares. No, it was anything but comfortable.  My life.  


Burn 1000. Similar to my beloved Shred 415.


Going away party replete with pinatas and tiny sombreros -- viva la Mexico!


Mini Chicken Parmesans. So good they made me dance. 





Banana Breakfast Cookies.  LEGIT. 


Dear Jennifer, send more laaaaava cake.


Chicken Lasagna Rolls Ups. Now that, was using my refrigerator contents like a champ.


Flu is not to be played with.  The fancy paper outfit, however, warrants a selfie. Pay nary a mnid to my hair, having two family members concurrently ill is no joke and the struggle was REAL. 


Bright lights. 


Froyo Game.



Inaugural use of my Christmas gift. It was everything I'd dreamt of, and more.  So much so I had to call the gift giver and thank them again profusely. As if my audible screams and jumping for glee on Christmas weren't enough.


Post long run = collapse on nearest surface. 

One day, we'll complete the master bedroom. Perhaps I could cut the tag of the doorstep and put the linens on the bed as a first step. Maybe. 


Day drinking. 


Fame. 

Ginger and I will be taking autographs, anytime. I really need to write them and inquire if we were their inspiration and where our royalties are. 

And if royalties count as free shots, we'll take those as well. 


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