Friday, January 31, 2014

Spinning, my new addiction!

So, during the fall of 2013 I had been looking for a new cardio workout as I was completely bored with the treadmill and eliptical.  I had so many friends tell me about the benefits of spinning but the two classes I took, I wasn't really thrilled about. The room was dark, I had no idea how to adjust the seat, what is it with all the "gears" up and down? 

Fast forward to November when my guest from Italy arrives on the scene and tries to coerce me into going to a spinning class at LAFitness.  Reluctantly, I said ok and on a Sunday morning no less! 

I love my Sunday mornings for peaceful, creative time , but I went anyway.

And now, it's January 2014 and I am totally hooked!  In fact, I am at the point where I want my weight training sessions to work around my spin classes! Uh-oh! that's not cool, because I looove my trainer and I rarely miss a session unless I am really sick!

Why do I love it? 

1.) The cardio workout is amazing with the Right and a Good Instructor!
         You really get your heart rate up and before you know it, you have biked 5 miles!  By the end of the class, you have biked almost 20!, without being afraid that you are going to get hit by a car or bitten by some bug!

2.) It is a definitive time frame in which I can get a maximum cardio benefit and I can crank to the awesome music with 20 other people!  It's almost like choreography.  And,  I am not running for miles on end, just waiting for the time to end, getting bored out of my skull, telling myself, just run one more mile!  I truly have zero desire to run a marathon!  I would rather be in a nice, modern gym, wearing the newest workout trends, jamming to Usher than looking at buildings, wondering where the bathroom is and how on earth am I going to go to the bathroom without losing time!

3.) It is easier on the knees, but definitely a bit tougher on the behind! Those seats take some getting used to but the knees will love you much more than running on a treadmill.

4.) You can lose yourself in so many thoughts and not trip over a pothole! You can punch out your exboyfriend or work out that project in your head that just seems to need some extra effort, or better yet, dream of the beach and cocktails that await you!

5.) Weight loss for sure! I have definitely seen that first hand. It has helped to take off those crazy few pounds that menopause has seemed to want to bless me with and of which I refuse to accept!

6.)  It's just good for your body to MOVE! Many of us have such sedentary jobs now, sitting in the land of cubes!  It's a great way to keep our bodies moving, which helps with arthritis, cardiovascular health, lung 

7.) Its a great way to exercise with your boyfriend and you don't have to be embarrassed because you dropped the dumbbells!  We all have learned how to ride a bike right? 

8.) Anyone, at any age can do it!  You set your own pace and progres at your own pace!  

9.)  It feels great to sweat that much!

10.) Lastly and my most favorite reason! I can eat my favorite plate of PASTA on a tough spinning day and not feel guilty!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Finally, Chocolate Walnut Balls!

So, I posted a comment on my facebook page on January 23rd about these delectable little delights and finally figured out how to post the picture of them on here for everyone!  The picture on facebook turned out much too small and you wouldn't see the glaze that covered the cookie, so I posted the pic here!

The cookie is not an italian cookie and has no anise in it.  It is a family recipe handed down from my parents and is perfect paired with a cup of Espresso, or a glass of hearty red wine. Try some for breakfast! yes breakfast! One of my guests who visited from Italy loved cookies for breakfast, certainly a man after my own heart! 

And here is a little story to go along with these little, pop in your mouth after you freeze them , lucious delights!

Every Christmas my Mom would make several batches of different types of cookies.  These being one of them.  She would start her cookie baking right after Thanksgiving and would be in the kitchen for weeks! How she did it with four kids, I will never know!  

She would freeze them all so that there would be plenty serve during Christmas.  One year I decided that my cookie/chocolate craving was just too much to bear and I decided that I would sneak into the pantry and grab a few out of the freezer.  My mother would never know as she was off doing laundry or something, I don't quite remember what anymore.  Well, my best laid plans of being in cognito came to a screaching halt when I gingerly opened the the freezer door, put my hand into the plastic cookie container and the freezer started to tip right on top of me! I saw it coming and I screamed for my mother as the freezer hit the wall behind me! The pantry wasn't that big thankfully for me and the wall held the freezer upright.  My mother came running and I was caught red-handed!  This story makes me laugh to this day and it is truly a fond memory whenever I whip up a batch of these cookies.

By the way, I no longer make these cookies just for Christmas as they are a favorite of my family, friends and AirBnB guests. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The New Colors for Spring! BOLD

I am loving the BOLD new colors of Spring. When it's below zero outside and the Pottery Barn and West Elm catalogs arrive in the mailbox, I close my eyes and dream of all the new home projects that could be created! And all the new clothes that remind us of sun and warmth and of all good things to come!

Orange! Check this out!  I love orange! It reminds me of warmth and energy and sun! and I love how its paired with beige. A neutral and a bold color and notice how West Elm gives you some ideas to accessorize with those little pink carnations and that hint of grey stripe!

And then there's Pottery Barn's Indigo!  Not being a big fan of blue, I have learned to love it's various shades. This shade of blue reminds me of my favorite piece of clothing - my jeans!

The Power of Color to our senses is so strong.  It speaks to us.  It  uplifts us. Check out this new green at The Limited.  This is a color you see showing up everywhere in stores like Banana Republic, Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren, paired with navy.  It reminds me of my days in high school.  I was never a fan, but the look has certainly "grown up."

Pick up your courage and order a new piece of clothing for spring! Give yourself something to look forward to during these cold winter days. Or perhaps, buy some new pillows for your couch and change up that look that you have had in your living room for the last few years!



Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Trust that the New Year will Unfold...

And so a New Year begins today. This day, January 1, 2014.

What will it hold for you personally? for your friends and family? for our Global Community? for our Mother Earth?

I know what I am destined to do this year and what life holds for some things this year but not everything. As that is up to the Universe to show us.

So many of our traditional ways ask us to create goals, resolutions and plans.  I believe that all of those hold value for us, however, what I have learned over time is to mix those with the allowance of a gentle unfolding of life.

The flower knows what it is destined to become.  It has an inner knowing.  All it needs is water, sunshine and the nutrients from the soil and it will show it's beauty to the world.

I am reminded of this miracle of nature as I grew my favorite Christmas flower this year, the Amaryllis.  I love these flowers as they are a ray of sunshine in what oftentimes is a very, cold and dark time of year.

Happy New Year to all my Readers.  May you have a year full of love, laughter and unfolded dreams.