Tuesday, July 14, 2015

My Golf Addiction

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My last blog confessed my Pure Barre addiction, so here is my second addiction.  This one is bad, because unlike my 55 minute Pure Barre class, golf takes a good 4 hours for 18 holes.  A few weeks ago, I may have played 99 holes...5 rounds and a round of 9 holes.  Basically 22 hours.  Goodness knows how many balls I lost, how many times I said the "f" word and how many times I may have slammed my club into the ground! But I am getting better...

I have blogged before about meeting Mr. Preppy at a PGA golf tournament.  I knew that this sport would always factor into our married life.  Even our first date was at the driving range.  Every year, our club hosts the Fedex St. Jude Classic.  This year I made golf cookies for a PGA golfer who was kind enough to get us a few extra tickets.  I will leave his name out so no one asks him favors on my behalf!  They are the header cookies with the green sanding sugar.  A shoutout to Callye also known as Sweet Sugarbelle.    She ran a little tutorial on golf cookies, and I totally was inspired!  She is one creative and very kind gal.

Its so beautiful, who wouldn't want to spend 4 hours a day here???

I made these for an outing, fondant golf balls.  Yuck.

Again, fondant.  Just not a fan!!!

My first Ace!

My family would be shocked if I wrote a blog about golf and didn't mention my hole in one.  It happened fall of 2014, and I was as shocked as anyone.  Mr. Preppy doesn't have one yet, so I remind him every few weeks that I do!  And this summer, when the golf tournament rolled into town, I volunteered as a scorer.  What a fun job that was.  For 4 days I got to score a group of golfers.  They are very focused individuals, although a few will chat a little.  But at the end, they give the scorers a signed ball.  How cool is that!?  One golfer didn't sign me a ball, and he didn't make the cut.  Let's just say he isn't going to make my fantasy golf roster anytime soon!  My collection is below. From left to right...
Seung-Yul Noh, Camilo Villegas, Ryan Palmer, Oscar Fraustro, Matt Jones, Zack Sucher, Harris English, and Jonathan Randolph.  I am excited for the tournament next year, and my fellow scorekeeper friend and I have threatened to go on the road with the tour and scorekeep...how fun would that be?!  So, back to the kitchen, the course or the barre.  What are you waiting for?

Friday, July 10, 2015

Pure Barre Addiction

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 I have 2 things in my life that I am addicted to.  Neither of which are edible.  One is Pure Barre.  If you aren't familiar with the barre, let me enlighten you.  This is a 55 minute workout that will leave you shaking, if you do it right that is! LTB, Lift, Tuck and Burn!

It begins with about 6 minutes of warm up, a little floor Pilates type moves, some light weights, push ups, tricep dips and my favorite...plank.  If you don't think 90 seconds is a long time, try planking for the duration, everyday.  It will make you strong from the inside out.  Then we move on to leg work at the barre, and no, you do not put your leg up there.  You do tip toe a lot however, and the mantra is, The Higher the Heels, the Thinner the Thighs.  Ha!  I'm not too sure how that is working out for me, but I have muscles like never before.  On to the other areas like glutes, abs, stretches etc.  The movements are small, but mighty, and the more classes you take, the harder it gets. You can push yourself everyday.  It never becomes easy or boring.  The class has subtle changes everyday and bigger changes about 4 times a year.

It is fast paced, but no impact.  It will make you quiver and sweat but the music and the friendships keep you focused.  I feel amazing when it's over and look forward to the next day!  I am about 300 classes into it, and honestly can't imagine not having it in my life.  And most of the women I work out with every day feel the same way.

It isn't cheap and it isn't easy.  It's not a quick fix, but I honestly believe it makes so many other things better.  I am more flexible, I have a stronger core, I have endurance, and I have self confidence.  I don't do this to get skinny, that is unlikely to happen.  I do this so I can get out of bed and be active into my old age.

Recently I was asked by a gal from a another class to make cookies to celebrate Margaret and her 500th class.  Pretty awesome wouldn't you say?  What can most people say they have committed to for 500 times?  I am hoping that's me this year.

Check out the Pure Barre website and see if there is a studio near you.  They usually offer an introductory class or package.  You can't go once and expect to love it.  Give it 5 classes, it could seriously change your life!  All over the Web, there are tips and lists of what to expect and what to do.  Here's some advice from someone who has been there a few years.

1. Go early, meet the teacher and maybe meet a few other clients.  Those of us that are regulars are happy to tell you the best place in the studio, and who to watch for good technique.  Also, many regulars go to the same spot every day...they can be sort of territorial.  You'll understand.
2. Leave your shoes in the entry.  If you walk across the studio floor in your shoes, you may be face down in that spot in the next hour.  Especially when it rains, be considerate. No one will steal your Hunters.
3. Leggings and a tank.  No bootie shorts, no exposed bellies, no bare feet.  You can buy sticky socks there, or at just about any place that sells yoga stuff.  There are some Lulu model types, but there are plenty of us that aren't made up or matchy matchy.
4. Do not apply perfume before you go.  Please.  You can figure out why.
5. Watch others. You may be able to lift that leg over your head, but when they say an inch, they mean an inch.  It will work the muscle they are after.  Trust the process.
6. Breathe hard.  When we do abs, they tell you they want to hear you breathe, and I can tell you, if you breathe right, your abs contract, your heart rate climbs.
7. Last 10 best 10.  No matter how hard the sequence is, when she says last 10, make it your best.  You will feel a sense of accomplishment.
8. Close your eyes. If you listen, you know where you should feel the exercise.  Close your eyes and focus.  This 55 minutes is all about you.  Make your grocery list when you leave.
9. Leave your phone in your purse.  I get it, we worry about the kids.  This is your time. If there is a tragedy, you can certainly deal with it better if you have all those endorphins working.  When that Bed Bath and Beyond text glows in the middle of legs, you and I will both be distracted.
10. Smile.  This workout is hard.  Give yourself a round of applause, every day, you earned it.

 What are you waiting for?  Get in there and Tuck!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Hoo Doo Granola

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HooDoos in Bryce Canyon

I have just returned from a 7 day hiking adventure in Utah.  #7days7hikes   #hikethehoodoos It was a fantastic week in Park City, Deer Valley, Sundance and Bryce Canyon.  We put some miles on our weary feet and had one awesome meal (and a beer, mojito, bloody mary or something along those lines) every day at the end of the hike.  So breakfast every morning was a lighter affair, after all, who could hike with Sunday Brunch in their bellies? 

Bryce Canyon on the Navajo Trail
I made a batch of this granola for the trip, and we all devoured it.  It is high in fiber, high in flavor, and yes, there is sugar.  But if you have ever spent a day hiking a canyon in the sweltering sun, you come to appreciate a rounded out diet.  Your body needs it all to perform.  It's named for our favorite rock formation, the hoo doo.  Rhymes with lot of funny things, (hiking can make you semi delirious!) and makes you sing Paul Simon in your head and out loud for, well, hours!

The original recipe is found here on epicurious, and I have shared it with many.  Below is my version, and of course it is like a blank slate just begging for your own variations.  Dried fruit?  Different nuts?  Another grain?  Whatever you like.  Just add a little Greek yogurt (unsweetened 2% for me) and a little fresh fruit and breakfast is served.  I also like it warm with a little almond milk in the winter!  So, what are you waiting for?  Go take a hike!!

HooDoo Granola

4 cups Bob's extra thick rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup roasted sunflower seeds (this is all I can find here)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix these ingredients in a large bowl so there are no brown sugar chunks.
In a small saucepan, combine the following...

1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1 Tablespoon sugar

Bring to a simmer and take off heat.  When it is no longer bubbling, add

2 Tablespoons vanilla paste

Stir well, until all the oats and nuts are coated.  Then spread onto a sheet pan that has been sprayed or coated with oil.  And bake for 20-30 minutes at 300ยบ.  Remember if using convection, it will be hotter and cook faster.  It will harden as it cools and can then be broken up.  Grab a spoon while it's hot though and give it a taste...Delicious!!!