Black Swan

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I saw this movie.  I  Loved it.  I do not want to do a full review.  But, I do want to say that it made me incredibly itchy to do ballet! As I mentioned, I have been having a bit of of workout-rut and this might do the trick of un-rutting (is that a word?) me!  I am going to go to Koresh Dance studio in PHiladelphia. I’m going to try to go this Sunday.  They offer beginning, intermediate and advanced classes and ballet shoes are required.  I am definitely going with the beginner class for now and happen to own a new pair of slippers that I bought  a while back when I wanted to take a class but didn;t follow through.  Well anyway, I’m following through now.  Full review to come!   Have you ever taken a ballet class?!?!  How about Xtend Barre?  Here is an article from Philadelphia Magazine about it. It seems to be ballet on barre…

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UPDATE!

Looks like I ALWAYS liked to dance LOL!

AND be a ham!

Take it easy…

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A la Eagles…

“Take it easy…  Take it easy…  Don’t let the sound of your own wheels make you crazy.”

THAT, my friends, is my motto this week. I have decided.  I have really been beating up on myself for not being in a real workout groove this week. I am on break until Monday, the 3rd, and while I have been doing a bit of running (in New York) and some great Yoga too, I just don’t really feel “in the groove.”  And you know what, that is OK. I always promise myself that whenever working out (running mostly) becomes too much of a “chore” (like REAALLLYYY not fun, b/c I recognize a bit of self-coaxing is obviously needed at times) I need to pull back. So today, I am pulling back.  And I’m ok with that.  Tomorrow, a NEW YEAR (yes really) and I will check in with my body then to see if it is “up to it.”  But until then, “take it easy…”

Do you let yourself “take it easy???”

As you can see, Oscar has NO problem taking it easy!

PS:  Check out this amazing egg sammie I have been making myself for every meal a ton lately.   Instead of round sandwich thins (which I LOVE for making french toast a la Tina) I have been buying these easier-to-stuff rectangular sandwich thins…

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Up close and personal….mmmmmmm :)

Oh and PPS:  STILL OBSESSED!

Oh this darn Keurig wakes me up with lovely thoughts hours before I need to be awake!

HTP Shout Out and Sushi Buffet!

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Right…I know, interesting title.  Quick explanation:  So excited Caitlin twitted?!?! tweeted about my “Psychology of Eating” post!  I really admire Caitlin, her blog and Operation Beautiful so I was really excited that she twitted tweeted me!  OK, anyway, Hoy Sushi Buffet!  Check this out; my friend kept saying “this place is a raw fish-lover’s heaven!:  LOL…oh and it was!  We went to a place called Minado in Plymouth Meeting, PA.

(PS): I am SO NOT a raw fish lover.  Regrading “Sushi” I like fried temporah sweet potato rolls along with a shitake and spinach roll.  OH and seaweed salad on the side.  This, folks, was all that (well actually, they didn’t specifically have that) and a barrel of…oysters?!?! Yup.

Ok, so don’t ask me to label them, because the honest truth is that I don’t know what half of it is! ;)  There were yards of food!  Anyway, give it a try if that’s your thing.  Speaking of, is that your thing?  Do you prefer a LARGE array of items, or a small array or none at all?  I myself am not actually a buffet person at all.  Are you????

The Psychology of Eating

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I get a lot of emails/questions about “the psychology of eating” (eating disorders, body image, etc.) and was especially interested in writing a post about it since the Marie Claire article (click HERE to read it) controversy in the blog world (involving two of my favorite bloggers Caitlin and Tina).  Right, so beyond the fact that I entirely disagree with this article and find it insane that Marie Claire lists “grains, yogurt and breakfast cereals” as foods that are “fat traps” (ARE THEY FOR REAL?!?!?) I wanted to just voice my opinion about the psychology of eating with the assistance of a manual I received from a National Eating Disorder Clinic, The Renfrew Center. Before I begin, I would like to say that if you feel you might have issues with food or anything I am about to say is triggering, please get help.  You are worth SO MUCH more than a number on a scale (a la Operation Beautiful:)) and have so much more to live for than the desire to achieve thinness.  Renfrew’s website is http://www.renfrewcenter.com and they have treatment facilities across the US. You can also call NEDA’s (National Eating Disorder Association) hotline at 1-800-931-2237.  They are available from 8:30am to 4:30pm (Pacific Time).

(Above is the NEDA symbol)

Here are some important points I wanted to make in this post…According to the Renfrew Center:

-Food is often a source of conflict within an individual.  Three of many key ways this plays out in disordered eating are:

1.  Eating VS.  Deprivation

2.  Guilt VS.  Pleasure

3.  Self-Trust VS. Self- Control

-ORDERED EATING VS. DISORDERED EATING…Ordered eating IS….

1.  Intentional

2.  Conscious

3.  Exploratory

4.  Nourishing

5.  Connected

6.  Spontaneous

7.  Liberating, Enjoyable and Fun!

*This really speaks to Marie Claire’s assertions that the food bloggers mentioned in the article have disordered eating.  Clearly NOT the case.

A Diet-Paradigm VS. A NON-Diet Approach…

-With HUNGER; a diet-paradigm attempts to suppress or ignore hunger and transgressions are associated with lack of will power or :giving in,” whereas with the non-diet approach, hunger seen as physical cues sent out by the body, valued and relied upon

-With FOOD; a diet-paradigm categorizes food as good/bad or illegal/legal, whereas the non-diet approach sees all food as acceptable and neutralized.  Quantity, quality and frequency are all determined by hunger and fullness cues, sense of well-being, taste, and are self-regulated, non-restrained and internally-cued.

ENJOYING brie baguette sammies in France

I thought this was an important informative post to write and I hope you enjoyed it.  What are your thoughts on this topic?  I know it is a quite controversial yet very crucial one.  Love yourself, love your body.  It has done you well and so you should do it well.  You only have one.

Chocolate Covered Rods

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A la Sabrina, I decided to make these treats for family and friends this holiday season.  I always see fantastic pictures of these babies on Sabrina’s blog and decided I had to join the bandwagon fun myself!

So, I decided to make three flavor combinations (white chocolate with red sugar sprinkles as seen above, dark chocolate with crushed candy cane and plain milk chocolate) and bag them up all pretty in clear plastic with a ribbon and a festive label.  The process is really easy and you should visit Sabrina’s blog for the details, because she is VERY good at explaining these sorts of things, and my way of doing such crafts/kitchen tasks is MUCH less scientific ;)  BUT, I thought I’d show you some pictures of the process.

So I used starlite mints. The store was out of candy canes! Yup, you read that right: OUT of candy canes!

OK, so the annoying part about using the mints vs. the candy canes is the ridiculous amount of unwrapping I needed to do! Oscar wouldn't even help! Imagine that!

Lazy Oskie perched under the tree, unwilling to help! It's ok- he makes up or his laziness with cuteness

Annnyyyyyway, then I had to crush all of the mints to prepare them to coat the rods.  I had to use a hammer, and yes, it was pretty awesome ;)

I used a shallow breading pan that my Dad got me from Williams Sonoma to hold the crushed mints

PRETTY!!!!

I used a large deep microwaveable mug to melt each type of chocolate separately; I did one flavor at a time

And....the beautiful (and tasty) results!

The white chocolate ones were my personal faves ;)

So, I strongly recommend you try to make these babies for yourself.  Listen, if a kitchen klutz like me can do it, so can you!  You can also customize the “toppings” to match the occasion (think crushed oreos and orange sprinkles for Halloween)!

PS:  I am PRETTY sure the blasting of my favorite Christmas album (Rejoyce by Jessica Simpson) contributed highly to this kitchen success!  :)

Scenes from “the Ridge”

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As you might know, Husband’s family is from Pound Ridge, NY.  We frequent this GORGEOUS suburb of New York (Westchester County) quite often and LOVE the break from city life that this respite brings.  One of our FAVORITE things to do when we are in “the Ridge” is hiking in the Pound Ridge Preserve.  I thought I’d do a post on this amazing little retreat as the scenery is beautiful and the doggies love it SO much (almost as much as this human!).  But as I looked for words to describe it, I realized it can only be done in pictures.  So, enjoy!

Is there a special place you go to “get back to your nature-roots?”

Amazing b4d

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As you might know I loooove b4d (breakfast for dinner).  Yum
This one was holy yum!  Pancakes with butter and brown sugar layered between.   Yup still Ginger ale. But how yummy!

And here is another one of my favorites (this might trump as king of b4d)…

HOLY YUM! French bread french toast (aka pain perdue!)

 

So, the key to “b4d” is your main carb (pancakes as shown above, french toast, or even waffles-I’m working on that one), and then your potato.  Husb and I prefer shredded hashbrowns.  They are sooo easy and delish!  We buy the kind in the green package- Simply Potatoes.

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Just heat about two tablespoons of oil in a pan until VERY hot, dump the bag of potatoes in the pan and pat down until flat.  Let cook for 6-7 minutes.  THEN, drizzle oil (I add sea salt as well) and flip. Cook for another 7 minutes.  SO yum.

Do u like b4d?  What is your specialty?!?!  I want suggestions!

Who IS this Person!?!?

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So, in an attempt to keep my running fitness levels where they were post (1st) half marathon, I signed up for the Disney Princess Half Marathon, taking place the weekend of February 25-27, 2011.

While I am trying to maintain a reasonable training schedule, unfortunately my illness really threw me off track so now I feel a bit behind.  I also have not yet booked a hotel or flight.  SO, basically my participation in this amazing race is somewhat pending as of right now, but I will keep you posted.

NOW, for MORE race news….WHO IIIIIIIIIIS THIS PERSON!?!?  I saw that many of the bloggers I look up to and follow (think Caitlin, Tina, etc.) are registering for the National Half Marathon in Washington, DC on  March 26, 2011.

SunTrust National Marathon

YUP, you guessed it.  I signed up.  For one, I really was looking for another halfie to fall back on in case my Disney Dreams cannot come true this year.  Also, I truly enjoyed last year’s Broad Street run (what I consider to be my first MAJOR race) and this race is put on my Blue Cross as well. 

And finally, the truth is that I have been bitten by the running bug…badly!  I LOVE new challenges and looking forward to exciting races and PRs!  Woot woot!  The final truth?!?! I WANT TO BEAT MY TIME!  I KNOW I can do a sub 2-hour halfie.  I JUST KNOW I CAN.  Based on my time of 2:02:25 which included a bathroom break and several hugging fans breaks, I really want to try for this.  Plus, I can imagine how intesely amazing the Expo for this baby will be!  I am dreaming of my purchases already!  LOL!  Anyway, here is my question:  Do you sign up for races impulsively (like me-actually, I tend to do everything impulsively :)) or do you plan ahead and think thoroughly through?  I guess my thought is that I can always not run it, but if it closes then I will be MAD!  I ran into this situation for Broad Street and ended up running for a charity (Students Run Philly Style) which was great but it could have been a bad situation if I was barred from running due to closed registration.  What are your thoughts?!

Happy HaLEEdays!

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I, as you know, am a HUUUUUUUGE Phillies PHAN!  Eagles?!?  Eh, not so much…you KNOW I dig the G-men

 

 

But the PHILLIES, they are my TRUE love!

So, YES, I am VERY excited that we have acquired Cliff Lee!  And with that, I bring to you…

Wootwoot!  LOVE it!  Are there any Phillies fans out there!? Are you JUST as excited as me about their new acquisition?  I have to admit, it still doesn’t make up for the Werth bummer (losing him).  Oh well!

SO Unbelievably THANKFUL!

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Listen, after you come off an illness like the one I just experienced, you learn to love and appreciate life in an entirely new way.

At the gym yesterday- back at 'em! First run in a week! 4 lovely miles!

I am SOOOOOO thankful for SOOOO many things, the main one being my health, with my family and friends at a close second ;)  Really and truly, so thankful to be feeling better and able to enjoy this beautiful and wonderous holiday season.