Friday, April 27, 2007
Fun- Not only do you tone your body and develop a slender physique but you also develop your spiritual side. I remember my very first yoga class we did a posture called “Mountain Pose.” My instructor said, “Stand like a mountain. Standing completely still, unmoved by whatever may cross in front of you; always strong, always observing.” I thought this was such a cool way to calm myself, as well as see nature and myself as one in the same. Whenever things bother me now I think, “Be like the mountain.”
Interesting- As a novice yogi I thought, “it’s just a bunch a stretching.” Wrong! The trick to Yoga is the ability to calm your body. When you are calm your metabolism speeds up and your breath is deep. Keeping you slim and trim. The stretching and pulling allow blood to circulate to the organs in your body which are ignored.
Tip- My favorite Yoga teacher is Patrick of Freeman Yoga in
Fun-This is ab-mazing! Not only do my abs burn for three days after my workout I don’t break a sweat the entire time! There is also one instructor leading you at all times so it’s like having a personal trainer the entire time.
Interesting- The thing about Pilates is the slow and controlled situps, curls, leg work and arm work done on the machines. The slow pace of 10 sit-ups is equal equals the work of 100 situps. The pilates machine not only uses weights but uses your whole body as resistance training. Which is so good that Lance Armstrong does it!
Tip-My favorite Pilates instructor is Bristin from Escape Pilates in
Fun-I have self diagnosed myself ADHD. I don’t take drugs to calm my hyper activity that starts at and ends with crashing into my bedroom set at Instead I go jogging. However I’m way to hyper to be confined to a treadmill in the gym. Born and raised a California Girl I am a “Sunshine Junkie.” I love being outside and petting all the dogs that are being walked before their owners go to work and checking out the hot business men buying their $4 lattes.
Interesting- The sun outside gives you Vitamin D which supports the healthy functioning of neurotransmitters in your body which keep your good morning smile very bright.
Tip- My favorite place to jog is at the beach and my favorite running shoes are New Balances.
Fun- You don’t have to bribe me with gourmet cooking to make me be in the sunshine, look at beautiful flowers, furry animals and talk to my friends. I consider hiking to be a “vaca-day” disguised as exercise. It works for me!
Interesting- “They say” (My dad always asks me, “who the heck is “They”? Does he have a last name?) that walking has the same health benefits for your body as jogging.
Tip- My favorite place to hike- Take PCH to Corona del Mar. Park on
Fun-Did somebody say, “Sunday Fun day?” The opportunity to ride my fire cracker red beach cruiser with my friends will have me jumping off of my living room furniture faster than you can say, “ A round of Pina Coladas, please.”
Interesting- Laughing and relaxing are as good for your health. Research (and this is “They” talking again) proves that laughter plays a key role in a healthy human life. A good laugh loosens muscles, lowers blood pressure, and may lower levels of hormones that create stress and weaken immunity. When laughing your body moves blood to your heart and lungs, boosting your energy level and making you feel better instantly. It also aids communication and creates a sense of closeness between you and the people you are with. en
Tip- Don’t hold up the party! Check out your bike tires before you take it out for the day.
What do you think? How do you exercise and keep it fun and entertaining? Do you think I would like it? I’d love to know your thoughts. Please let me know at
I would like to thank FurnitureFromHome.com for kindly sponsoring today’s blog.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
My mom makes this amazing Baked Brie hors d'oeuvres. It’s so good that I couldn’t even tell you how many times I have been cornered against living room furniture being asked how exactly it’s made. Having said that, you should know it’s darn good! However even masterpieces have room for improvements. The problem I have found with it is that you have to cut away the surrounding rind of the brie and cover it with brown sugar and chopped pecans around it. Then you bake it. During the baking process the brie melts quite a bit causing the entire piece to flatten. It’s still delicious, but it’s not very aesthetically pleasing (to me anyway.) Plus since the sugar surrounds the brie you always get a little more cheese than sugar when you slice. Being the busy auntie I am when I am at a family gathering I need to get the right amount of everything on my cracker and get back to my game of monopoly on the leather sofa. So check out my changes to this simple recipe:
1 Triangle of Brie
1 bag of candied pecans
1 cup of brown sugar
1 package of whole wheat crackers
1.) What were going to do is make individual hors d’oeuvres instead of the big triangle. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take the crackers and spread them out on a cookie sheet.
2.) Remove the rind from the brie. Cutting the brie into long strips and then into 2x1 inch squares. Place the squares on top of the crackers
3.) Take a measuring spoon out and place ¼ teaspoon of brown sugar on top of the brie. *I found that packing the sugar into the teaspoon keeps the sugar from making a mess
4.) Place a whole candied pecan on top
5.) Bake these for about 15 minutes and serve them hot. Placing these babies out on your dining room furniture and watch them disappear into your guests raving mouths!
*These still taste as yummy as the original
*They are less messy
*They are aesthetically more pleasing
*Next time, I would probably up the brown sugar amount to 1 teaspoon each
What do you think? Have you ever reinvented a recipe? I’d love to know!
Please let me know at
I would like to thank FurnitureFromHome.com for kindly sponsoring today’s blog.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Now that I think about it, it was probably my creative mind (and an affection for scissors) that probably kept me off drugs as a teenager. My hands were always covered in acrylic paint, fabric fuzz and glue was always stuck in between my fingers, a spatula full of cake batter always found its way to my fist long before it hit the kitchen sink and I was always reaching to save a broken dish from the garbage (my family still doesn’t understand that broken glass is art in the egg stage.) So, basically there just wasn’t a finger available to hold a cigarette. It was simply a matter of unavailable space. Well, if like me you don’t like being bored then you might like these ideas to keep it away. On the other hand if being bored is your thing and you would rather sit on your bedroom furniture and make your teeth yellow then you might want to check out www.FurnitureFromHome.com. You might as well rot your body in style. For the rest of you, check out these simple recipes for curing the boredom blues (their cheap too!)
*Baking *Boy friendly
Who makes the best cookies in the cookie jar?
Irvina make the best cookies in the cookie jar!
Have a cookie baking contest! Winners in four different categories: Craziest Cookie Creation, Sweetest Cookie Creation, Healthiest Cookie Creation and Prettiest Cookie Creation. What you gotta do is gather your friends, sisters, brothers, cousins, neighbors; my motto is “more is always merrier.” Get a recipe for cookie dough (I like chocolate chip cookie dough, minus the chocolate chips.) Provide an assortment of ingredients to add like: White chocolate chips, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, m&m’s, Butterfinger bars, snicker bars, rainbow sprinkles, chocolate sprinkles, marshmallows, peanuts, walnuts, pecans, almonds, macadamia nuts, dried fruit, brown sugar, fresh apples, fresh bananas, powdered sugar, brown sugar… (You get the gist) Give everyone a big glob of dough and they can add their own ingredients. Have a large assortment of things to add and be ready to taste some of the yummiest creations!
*Have everyone make ½ teaspoon size cookies so you can taste lots of cookies without getting full too fast
*Have plenty of milk in the fridge so you can clean your cookie tasting palette
*Have everyone name their cookies something fun like: “Princess Food” or “Choco-lotta-nuts”
Add in ingredients
*Art *Boy friendly
A piece of art made by you!
You are going to be making a piece of art for your room. What you do is gather any old sports balls lying around the house. A thick canvas about 11x14. Get about three different colors of paint ready. Dip the ball into the paint and either pitch, volley or serve the ball onto the canvas. Makes an original design (parents have been knows to display it with their living room furniture too.)
*Use baseballs, golf balls, volleyballs, tennis balls. Hold off on the bowling balls Picasso
*Pick up to three colors of paint. It will add a variety to the piece
*Stabilize the canvas by placing it up against a wall in your backyard
11x14 Canvases: $7
1 pint of paint: $ 6
Balls: FREE you’re a kid you should have plenty of these laying around
BUT if you don’t go to the Salvation Army and pick some up for 50 cent
*Cooking *Boy friendly
Everyone has to eat right? Spare the Rice a Roni and spoil your family with an original dinner made by you. First pick a type of food. Let’s say, Chinese. Your menu will be green tea to drink, soy beans for an appetizer, chicken and beef teriyaki for the main course, white rice on the side and Apple wontons for dessert. Your family may have beautiful dining room furniture but, ambiance is everything! Have fun with it, pretend to be the waiter/waitress. Wear all red if you can (red is a lucky color in Chinese culture), ask that everyone remove their shoes before they enter the restaurant (Chinese culture says to remove your shoes at the door of someone home in order to leave any bad spirits outside the home.) Take sheets and hang them around the room to change the feel of the room. Place silverware and plates on the table with flowers and candles. Dim the lights to make it feel like a real restaurant. My little sister and I used to do this all the time as kids. Our family still asks us when our “café” will be taking reservations again.
Chicken and Beef Teriyaki- Chicken, beef, red and green bell peppers, white onions, teriyaki sauce
Name your café and make a sign with markers for the door
Make menus (be sure to only put the things you are making for dinner)
Have waters already on the table
Speak in an accent of the country of food you are making.
No Lookie Portraits
*Art *Boy Friendly
Peek a boo!
Where the heck are you?
This is so fun! What you do is try to draw your sister, brother, friend or parent without looking at them. Not even once. From start to finish you just stare at the person and let your hand do the drawing without peeking at the paper. You start with the head, then the eyes, hair. Try everything you see. What comes out is something totally hilarious. When your done try and water color over it. An even more impressive piece of art. I like this one because you can do it in the car, at your grandma’s house, in your backyard or on the leather sofas in your living room and with anyone. All you need is a pen and paper.
Jas and Bots
Jelly and Wine got me painting all the time!
Who the heck knew that the jar of peach raspberry jam was just as useful as the actual preserves inside? I did! Yes, I take credit for rescuing jelly jars and bottles of wine from the trash. I take them and paint flowers, vines, trees, sunsets and whatever else I am in the mood to paint on them. I always make sure the jar or bottle is really clean. That all the old stickers are all peeled off completely. I first use pencil to draw what I am going to paint. Then I use acrylic paint for my painting. Then I use a glossy sealer to seal it all up. This is so fun and it totally beats just sitting on the sofas and watching reruns.
Paint the wine bottles with Easter eggs and you have a flower vase for Easter dinner!
Paint names of jelly on the jars and actually make homemade jelly and give it as a gift.
That’s all folks!
What did you think? Do you think that these ideas could cure boredom? Do you have something better to suggest? Would you do these? Let me know at Irvina@furniturefromhome.com
I would like to thank
For sponsoring today’s blog and paying for my craft supplies with my paycheck!