Marvelous in My Random Monday

Warning: This post is totally random.

 

Making it reflective of the thoughts that run through my head.

I’m really loving the idea of focusing on why life is good on my (former) least favorite day of the week.  Katie’s Marvelous in My Monday link up is a great reminder to keep the good weekend-vibes up!

Marvelous Monday

There was a lot of awesome this weekend.  Most of it is completely unrelated… if you aren’t a fan of unfocused posts this will drive you nuts. #sorryimnotsorry ;)

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At the end of last week I was inspired by a FitFluential twitter chat to make my own standing desk at work.  I’ve long been a fan of sitting on a stability ball at work, but I still dislike sitting ALL day.  In a big company it’s hard to get approval for a fancy standing desk, so I did a little improv:

Homemade standing desk

Much better use of those Girls Scout cookies, no?

Side note: I made it through cookie season only having eaten 1/2 of a Samoa.  I would have eaten a Tagalong, but never did find a box of those lying around.  No one wanted to share the best flavor ever?!

 

Saturday morning called for pancakes.  I finally got around to trying out the Strange But Good pancake recipe Alina shared a couple of weeks ago.  Her Chocolate Chip Cookie Pancakes were inspired by my Oatmeal Cookie Shake!  I loved the creativity.  Please overlook my inability to make brown food look appetizing.  These were amazing.

(Shameless plug: Go back and check out last Friday’s link up – it was the biggest one yet!!!)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pancakes

My only modifications were to replace the 2 T of banana with more pumpkin puree and to use carob chips instead of chocolate chips.  The nutritional yeast in these (and the shake) may sound strange, but it makes the recipe!

I topped them with sugar-free syrup, but they honestly didn’t need it.  Next time I’m eating them plain like a cookie.

 

After my workout, I did a little shopping.  I don’t know what happened, but over the past couple of years I have totally lost interested in clothes shopping.  I’d rather buy workout clothes and fun groceries!  Saturday’s goal was to buy new clothes for work, but instead I found a jacket and some lip plump.

This jacket was on sale and then an addition 40% off at Banana Republic – $180 jacket for $90.  Score.

Banana jacket

Photo from bananarepublic.com

 

And the lip plump… that was an impulse buy at Sephora.  It added a little more pout to lips, but it tingled more than anything!

Soap & Glory lip plump

I’m pretty sure I bought this for the name alone.

 

Saturday night I had a date with my best friend for the first time in MONTHS.  I really missed her!  We had a fabulous meal at Miller Union.  One of my favorite ways to eat is to order a bunch of small plates and a single entrée to share.  I have to try everything!

This is round 1 of the small plates.  A kale salad with pecans, fenneland orange and grapefruit segments, massaged with creme fraiche dressing.  In the middle is a feta cheese dip with fresh veggies.  And wine.

Miller Union kale salad

 

Sunday was going to be a rest day… but I got restless.  And I had some wine to sweat out.

I popped in my old DVD standby – P90X Plyo.  After all that bouncing I had to get a calf shot.  My trainer has had me doing weighted calf raises 3x a week to elongate my calves… but I never really believed it was possible.  Now I think it actually worked!

P90X burn and Carrot Cake Smoothie Bowl

I refueling with an old favorite: my Carrot Cake Protein Smoothie.  Xanthan Gum is one I’ve used for a long time to thicken smoothies up, but after this Butternut Banana Shake post I took several of your suggestions and bought Guar Gum to use too.  What resulted was a creamy concoction so thick I ate it from a bowl with a spoon.

Xanthan was great for getting smoothie thick, but that Guar really amped up the creaminess.  Definitely worth a try if you don’t already use it!

 

After my workout I heard a massive thud.  I wasn’t sure what it was, but I live in a city.  I have become accustomed to tuning out noise.  I’d totally forgotten about it until I left for the farmer’s market.  That noise was this happening:

Tree down in Midtown Atlanta

After days of rain storms, this huge old tree split at the base.  The marvelous part?  That building is abandoned and no one was hurt!

 

Finally, one of my favorite activities.  Kombucha brewing!  I love kombucha, but it does get pricey.  Months ago I purchased a Brooklyn Kombucha home-brew kit on Open Sky and I brew my own stash every week.  It’s unbelievably easy.  Click here to head over to Open Sky if you’re interested in starting!

Kombucha home brew

Recycled ACV bottles are perfect to store it in!

This week’s flavors:

  • Blood orange with cinnamon and ginger
  • Rosemary with cinnamon and ginger
  • Chili pepper and ginger

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One more marvelous: today is leg day with my trainer. #hurtssogood  

Does sitting at a desk drive you nuts?  How do you stay active at your job?

Do you like kombucha?  What flavor would you like to brew?

 

Gift Guide for Food and Fitness Lovers + Giveaway

Gift giving is a big part of the holiday fun.

 

Almost as fun as gift-getting.

It is December 3rd whether the weather got the memo or not.  I went on a jog yesterday in shorts and a tank top and was sweating while passing houses decked out for Christmas.   Bizarre.  My iPhone said it was 66 degrees, but I think it cleared 70.

 

Since it is the month of giving, I wanted to share some of my favorite things (aside from whiskers on kittens – that goes without saying).  These are tried-and-true items – I already own most of them!

Whether you are brainstorming something for your favorite food-lover or for someone whose idea of fun is working out, I hope this will give you some ideas.

 

2012 Holiday Gift Guide

 

1. Shun Knife

This is my favorite knife.  It’s a fantastic tool, but what makes it even better is that they make a left-handed version!  Santa brought me one last year and it’s basically the only knife I use.  Speaking of… I need to get mine sharpened for Christmas!

2. Magic Bullet

I used this thing religiously before I got my Vitamix.  It can take some abuse, and you can blend smoothies right in the cup for a quick breakfast or post-workout refuel.  I still use mine for small tasks like whipping cottage cheese for Apple Cupcakes or single-serving dips.  But if you really loved the giftee… you’d buy them the $450 Vitamix.

3. FitBit

My FitBit inspires me to walk 10,000 steps and 20 flights of stairs a day, something I need since I am a cube monkey.  I don’t use all the features, but it also can track sleep and calories (though it’s not entirely accurate as it can’t tell when you’re lifting weights or at a standing desk).  Warning: If you are a little OCD, this may not be the best thing for you.

4. Handful

Greatest sports bra ever… if you’re a member of the itty bitty titty committee.  It’s not a super-support bra, but if your pecs are biggest part of your chest (like mine) it’s perfect.  There’s even a little layer of padding so you don’t like like a flat-chested 12-year old when you’re at the gym.  AND they are having a $12 closeout sale on the size large.

5. Peanut Flour

I talk about it all the time.  If I were to find peanut flour in my stocking, I’d be one happy girl.  Better yet, if I could just get a year’s supply… Mom, are you reading this?  If you order through iHerb.com, use discount code USO924 for $5-10 off your order!

6. Grow Your Own Wheatgrass Kit

Wheatgrass is awesome stuff.  It’s full of amino acids, chlorophyll, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.  It’s also expensive.  I want to grow my own!  You don’t even need a juicer to use it if you have a Vitamix!  It will blend up the grass like a champ.  The Wheatgrass Kit can be found on OpenSky at Robin McGraw‘s new Insider page (yes, it’s Dr. Phil’s wife).

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Here’s the giveaway part….

To celebrate Robin’s new healthy living collection, OpenSky has offered to give one reader a $25 credit to use anywhere on the site!

 

OpenSky is a “social shopping site that helps people discover, buy and share unique goods that match their individual taste. Users can connect to friends and industry insiders in Food, Style, Beauty, Healthy Living, Electronics and Home Décor for exclusive information, advice and insider product recommendations.”

I’ve been a member for over a year now and have found lots of great products.  They will often have sales on my favorite vegan protein powder (Sun Warrior), and its where I found my Kombucha homebrew kit (I’m on batch 8!).   My favorite Insiders include: Robin McGraw, Bobby Flay, Dorie Greenspan, Tracy Anderson and Jackie Warner.

 

 Receive up to 4 entries by:

  1. Join OpenSky
  2. Tweet: You could say something like: I entered to win a $25 @OpenSky gift certificate in the @sprint2thetable #giveaway http://wp.me/p16jDn-1OI
  3. Be Social: Pinterest Follow Me and/or Pin Something of MineInstagram Follow Me, Follow Me and Open Sky on Twitter
  4. Comment: What is on your wishlist this year?

 

Please leave a *separate comment* for each entry!

Contest ends at 11:59pm EST on Thursday, December 6th.  The winner will be announced on Friday, December 7th.

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I quit posting a workout recap on Mondays… it seems like it was getting too repetitive/boring to read.  If anyone has thoughts on that… feel free to share.  For now I’m going to do away with it. 

Is it still warm where you live?

Have you ever tried any of the things on my gift guide?