Monday, January 14, 2013

Sore Today, Strong Tomorrow

I recently started to work out at a local gym. Before this, I've never enjoyed working out or anything even remotely in that spectrum. Ask my PE teachers. ha. My dad is a recent diabetic and diabetes runs on both sides of my family which equals an 80% chance of developing it myself. I'm 24 and while I am skinny, I'm not fit and I needed a change. 

I started with Yoga and Pilates and decided that I wanted something more so my goal for this year is to run a 5k! I plan to run a local race and to also do the Color Run with some friends! 

Seriously?!?! How fun does this look?!?! I'm super excited for this!

While I loved going to Yoga and Pilates classes, my schedule doesn't really allow me to attend them anymore so I've been doing my workout at home. I stumbled across a blogger, Cassey Ho, who has workout videos on YouTube. I used two of her videos for my workout today. She has a super energetic, upbeat personality that makes working out fun!

Here are the two I did today:

Call Me Maybe Squat Challenge

Want You Back Arms

After I did these two workouts I spent a half hour on the elliptical at the gym.

I always feel so good after I work out and I aim to make this a lifestyle. I'm just starting out and I really have to push myself and sometimes want to give up but a lot of times, I look around me and see people who are pushing themselves that really have challenges. Today there was a lady in her 70's who used a walker to get around and she was working out. I've seen so many people that inspire me and make me push beyond wanting to quit!

Have you recently started working out? What are your fitness goals for this year? 

Monday, September 3, 2012

It all started in 6th grade...

“Over the course of the average lifetime you meet a lot of people. Some of them stick with you through thick and thin. Some weave their way through your life and disappear forever. But once in a while someone comes along who earns a permanent place in your heart”.

((Dani & I - 6th grade. hahaha))

As I write this blog, my best friend since 6th grade is driving down to Florida to take a job. I feel so emotional over this and I'm not sure why. Perhaps it is due to the fact that we recently lost a classmate from high school, a boy that my best friend dated for a bit. We attended his funeral and as I sat next to her, I listened to all these people talk about how much Zack meant to them and how much they loved him. It occurred to me that a lot of times, we wait until someone is gone to verbally express our feelings - we just assume that they know.

Dani & I - January 2012

Throughout life, you come into contact with people and an instant connection is made. When I first met Dani in 6th grade, it was one of those moments. I was new to the area and didn't have many friends. I met this girl in math class. She was short, had on black stretch pants, ruffled socks and was rocking some pretty cool bangs. We instantly became friends and now I can say that she's more than a friend, she's part of my family, another sister. :) 

I love you Dani, nothing makes me happier than seeing you have such great, new opportunities in life. Go out and find your place in this great, big world! There are some lucky 6th graders in Florida!!! We may be far apart in miles, but I will always be here for you! (Side note to Michael: Take good care of my friend!!) 

Monday, January 16, 2012

LuLu & Peeps

Introducing LuLu & Peeps! :) Actually, I started LuLu & Peeps about a year ago but am just now getting more serious with it. I love, love, LOVE to sew and create! I think every outfit needs a little "fun" added to it. I started off making headbands and am now making dresses and onesies. I am going into boys' vest and bow ties too. 

I have an Etsy account, but am still in the process of stocking that shop. I currently sell stuff in Ambrosia Vae Baby Boutique in Three Rivers. Hollie and Amber are two of the sweetest people ever!! :) :) They recently had some photographs taken with a model from Tanzey Models. They are going to use those photographs to make advertisement postcards to send out to the community. I was asked to make a dress and headband for their photo shoot! I was SO excited and VERY honored! How appropriate that the model was "Lulu Belle" and was modeling "LuLu & Peeps. :)

Here are some of the pictures! Enjoy! :)

You can check out LuLu & Peeps on Facebook!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Key Lime Heaven


Celebrate summer with some yummy key lime cupcakes!
I made these cupcakes a couple weeks ago and they disappeared in no time! I didn't get to try one but everyone said they were delicious! I've had a couple people ask me for the recipe, so here you go! Let me know if you make them! Here we go...

You will need:

~1 box (4 serving size) vanilla instant pudding mix
~1 1/2 c. whipping cream
~1/4 c. key lime juice (or regular lime juice will work if you can't find key limes)
~4 drops green food color
~1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

~cupcake liners
~1 box yellow cake mix
~ Oil, water, eggs as called for to prepare cake mix

~1 container fluffy white frosting
~1 tbsp. key lime or regular lime juice
~1/2 tsp. grated lime peel

Step 1.
In a large bowl, beat the pudding mix and the whipping cream with a wire whisk for about 2 minutes. Let stand for 3 minutes. Beat in 1/4 c. lime juice and the food color. Stir in the powdered sugar. Cover and refrigerate.

Step 2.
Heat your oven to 375*F. Add the cupcake liners to your pans. Prepare your cake batter as directed on the back of the box. Spoon the cake mix into the liners. Bake as directed. Remove the cupcakes from the pans and let cool completely.

Step 3.
Now you will need the topping that we prepared in step 1. I didn't happen to have any frosting bags when I made these cupcakes so I transferred the frosting into a gallon size ziploc bag and snipped off a bottom corner. Squeeze the topping onto the top of each of your cooled cupcakes. 

Step 4.
Stir frosting in the container about 20 times or so. Gently stir in 1 tablespoon lime juice and the lime peel. Once again, I transferred the frosting to a gallon bag and cut off a bottom corner. Squeeze the frosting from the bag on top of the topping. If desired, you can garnish these cupcakes with lime wedges. I would recommend storing these cupcakes in the fridge until ready to serve!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dump Cake

I recently discovered dump cake. yum. yum. YUM! I don't know how I've never heard of dump cake! I love to bake and dump cake is so easy! You can literally just dump all the ingredients in the pan and then just bake it!

I've been experimenting with a couple different fruit and cake mixes. For Fourth of July, I used strawberry pie filling and crushed pineapple, sprinkled some strawberry jello mix on top and used a white cake.

I found some cinnamon swirl cake and apple pie filling in my pantry and have been wanting to make an apple-cinnamon dump cake...sort of like apple pie!
I made the cake last night and took it to work today and everyone LOVED it! I didn't even get a piece! I gave out the recipe to a couple people and decided to share it with you all!

I wanted to do cinnamon and apple but as you will see in the recipe, I added pears and peaches! I only had one can of apple pie filling and it didn't cover the bottom of the pan. I didn't feel like running to the store so I used what I had on hand. 

Some of the ingredients are optional - the cake will turn out fine without them. I just added them to experiment a bit and it came out delicious!

You will need:
1 box of cinnamon swirl cake mix
1 can of apple pie filling
1 15 oz. can peaches (do not drain!)
1 15 oz. can pears (I drained the pears about half way)
2 sticks of butter
1 small box vanilla pudding, optional - to taste
Cinnamon, optional - to taste
Brown sugar, optional - to taste

Dump the apple pie filling, pears and peaches into the bottom of a 13x9 pan. I sort of mixed the fruit together while it was in the pan, it saved me from getting another bowl dirty. :) I decided to add a bit of cinnamon and brown sugar on top of the fruit layer. This is totally optional. I also decided to sprinkle some vanilla pudding mix on top of the fruit layer. I didn't use the whole package. I sprinkled it around till I thought it was enough, use as much or as little as you like! Then, you can dump the cake mix on top of the fruit layer. (If you're using cinnamon swirl cake, you might have to use another bowl to mix the cinnamon sugar mixture into the cake mix.) Spread the cake mix around until the fruit layer is totally covered. You will then need to slice the two sticks of butter. Spread the slices on top of the cake mix. 

Preheat the oven to 350*F and bake for an hour. For my first cake, I forgot it was in the oven and it baked longer than an hour. The cake was a bit more crispy but still good. I baked my second cake for exactly an hour and later wished I had baked it a bit longer. Again, it's all up to you!

Enjoy warm with vanilla ice cream! :)

Be creative and come up with your own "dump cake"! 
Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas = cookies.

One of my favorite things to do is bake. Christmas time rolls around and I find myself stocking up on baking supplies and digging through my recipes. I love making all sorts of yummy treats and sending/giving them to my favorites. :) Alfonso always got excited when I sent him a box of cookies and would hide them in his room. LOL!! 

Anyways, Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without some amazing, beautiful, delicious soft sugar cookies. I love the lofthouse cookies that are just soooooo soft & simply a little piece of Heaven on earth. Ok, ok, ok. Maybe just a bit of exaggeration there. :D I really wanted to find a recipe that would turn out like the Lofthouse cookies and this is the closest I have found. Everytime I make these cookies, I always have people ask me for the recipe.

Hope you all enjoy it!! If you have any suggestions/changes/comments, please feel free to share!! 

Sugar Cookie Recipe


1 c. butter
1 c. white sugar
3 beaten eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c. flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground nutmeg (I always leave this out for some reason)

1. Preheat your oven to 425*F. 

2. Mix 1 c. butter and 1 c. sugar. Once that is mixed well, add your 3 eggs and 1 tsp. of vanilla. 

3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine all your dry ingredients. (3 c. flour, 2 tsp. cream of tartar, 1 tsp. baking soda and 1 tsp. ground nutmeg).

4. Once all of your dry ingredients are mixed well, you will slowly add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture, stirring as you go. 

5. Once you have your dough, you can roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and use your favorite cookie cutters. This dough is really soft and you can roll this out about 1/2" thick if desired. Try to not add too much flour to keep your dough soft. 

6. Bake for 10 minutes or till slightly golden. 

I love these cookies, they've always turned out soft for me! Once cooled, top with your favorite icing and decorate! 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

COOL treats for HOT weather!

It has been SO hot here in Michigan. My AC is broken and it can make for a pretty miserable day sometimes. It's too hot to cook. It's too hot to bake. (bummer) It's too hot to sew. It's too hot/humid to even move. 
To make these days a little easier, I found some yummy cool treats and thought I would share!

First up, Oreo and Fudge Ice Cream Cake

1/2 c. hot fudge ice cream topping, warmed
1 (8 oz) tub cool whip, thawed and divided
1 box (4 serving size) chocolate flavor pudding and pie filling
8 Oreo sandwich cookies, chopped
12 vanilla ice cream sandwiches, unwrapped :)

1. Pour the fudge topping into a medium bowl. Add 1 cup of the whipped topping and stir with a wire whisk until well blended. Add dry pudding mix; stir until well blended. Gently stir in chopped cookies; set aside. 

2. Arrange 4 of the ice cream sandwiches, side-by-side, on a 24 inch long piece of foil. Top with half of the whipped topping mix. Repeat layers. Top with the remaining 4 ice cream sandwiches. Frost top and sides with the remaining whipped topping. Bring up foil sides. Double fold top and sides to loosely cover and seal the packet. 

3. Freeze for at least 4 hours. 

Easy AND delicious! I'm thinking maybe you could add some sort of strawberry filling for a different twist on this recipe!

Rocky Road Freeze

1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese, softened
1 c. cold milk
1 (3.9 oz) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 (8 oz) tub whipped topping, thawed and divided
3/4 c. mini marshmallows
1/3 c. chopped peanuts
1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
25 Nilla Wafers, coarsely chopped

1. Line a 9-in. round pan with plastic wrap; set aside. Beat cream cheese in a large bowl with mixer until creamy. Gradually beat in milk. Add dry pudding mix; beat until blended. 

2. Stir in 2 c. whipped topping and all remaining ingredients EXCEPT the Nilla Wafers. 

3. Spoon into pan. Top with wafers; press lightly into cream cheese mixture.

4. Freeze 4 hours or until firm. Remove the dessert from the freezer and let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Un-mold onto a serving plate. Serve with whipped topping, if desired! 

ENJOY! Hopefully you all find something to help beat the heat and stay cool!