Healthy Living Summit Countdown!

Well ladies, we are just three days away from the Healthy Living Summit! By the looks of all the tweets, I can see you are all just as excited as I am! HLS is going to be a jam-packed weekend of learning, networking, and fun – plus loads of girl chatter (sorry Learn Fitness!)

HLS Swag (aka Presents!)

It’s also going to be a weekend full of swag – oooh, and who doesn’t love swag! I’m also bringing a few presents of my own – he he! I’ll be giving away 50 little goodies to my fellow HLS bloggies. Wait until you see what’s inside! Please stop and see me for one while you’re there. Don’t be shy either – I love talking to new people and I honestly want to talk to everyone! I think conferences are more fun that way, don’t you?

HLS To-Do’s

For the rest of the week, I am on a mission to:

  • Buy a cute HLS dress
  • Do laundry for HLS
  • Pack for HLS
  • Get my hair cut for HLS
  • Buy wine for HLS (BTW, anyone interested in a Friday night preparty before the OpenSky event?)
  • Get some sleep before HLS, because Lord knows I won’t be sleeping much with all of fun we are having!

So as you can see, the conference hasn’t even started yet I’m devoting most of my time to a blogging conference – oh how times have changed since I was in college!

In order to check off one thing from my HLS to-do list, I headed out to the local sporting goods store to pick up a pair of Merrell Mary Jane slides – so cute and just what I need for the Frito Lay tour! As I was paying, who did I run into? My BOSS!!! He’s on vacation all week and just happened to be in the exact same store at the exact same time. How ironic and awkward at the same time. Luckily, I had Scott and the kids there as a buffer.

Time to head to bed…so much to do, so little time – but now, I must sleep..zzz…zz…z

Healthy Living Summit Goodies!

Morning everyone! I just came back from my awesome 5.5 mile run! We’ve finally had a reprieve from the heat so it’s been much cooler in the mornings, which makes for much easier running.

This cooler weather reminds me that summer is quickly coming to an end, sniff…But that also means that Autumn will be here very soon. For those of you who have been following me all the while, you know that Fall is my favorite time of year. Aside from the cooler weather, I love all of the Fall activities – apple picking, pumpkin picking, hay rides, corn mazes, etc. I’m trying not to wish for Fall too hard, because it also means that my BIG business meeting will be here soon, and I’m so NOT ready for that.

Healthy Living Summit Update

  • Business Cards – I mentioned last week that I had ordered business cards for the Healthy Living Summit – well, they arrived yesterday, 4 days early! I am extremely happy with the service and the results – they turned out perfect! If you haven’t already ordered business cards for your blog, I highly recommend ordering them from Moo Cards. They are a British company (which I love!) that specializes in design-your-own paper products, like business cards, holiday cards, etc. The Moo Card system is very easy to use and you can either choose from one of their many designs or you can upload your own images to put on the cards. I decided to go with one of the premade designs and add my own graphic on one side. I can’t wait to show them off at HLS!
  • HLS Giveaway – Also, for all of you bloggers going to HLS, I will be bringing a few goodies to give away! I will only have about 50, so find me early and you may be one of the lucky ones who gets a giveaway! I’m going to try posting a picture of it later so stay tuned!
  • Cocktail Dress Search – I’ve been out shopping twice this weekend to find a cute cocktail dress and I’ve had NO luck! I waited too long as usual so all of the cute summer dresses are picked over or gone completely. Blah! I hate when I procrastinate buying clothes that I need. It puts me in a desperate situation where I’ll end up buying things I don’t really like for too much money.
  • Frito Lay Tour – I’m also a little unsure about what I’m going to wear on the Frito Lay Tour. We are not permitted to wear shorts, jeans, or open-toed shoes. However, long capris are fine. I’m just not sure how capris look with close-toed shoes??? Some of you have mentioned wearing yoga pants, which I may decide to do – thank goodness Lucy always has cute yoga pants in stock!

Gotta run, my in-laws are coming over and I’ve got to get crackin’ on the cleaning 🙂

And The Winner Is…

(Photo source)

And the winner of 27 Things to Know About Yoga is….Carrie from Simply Fitting Into My Life And My Old Jeans! And, what’s even better is that Carrie is a Mamavation mom, just like me! I swear it was not fixed. But seriously, all moms deserve something free and I think this yoga book will be great for her. Congratulations Carrie! I’ll be emailing you for your address so I can send you the book!

Thanks so much everyone for leaving comments to enter the giveaway. Look for more giveaways in the coming weeks!

I’m off to watch Psych on Hulu!

Eat, Pray, Love: My Culinary Journey

Happy Tuesday everyone! Over the last few days, I’ve really been getting into Eat, Pray, Love. Unfortunately, because I read before bed/in bed, I can only get through 5-6 pages at the most each night. But, I’ve finally made it through the “Eat” part. Of course, after reading this section, I now want to move to Italy and eat pasta and gelato all day long.

Inspired by the book, tonight I attempted to make an authentic Italian pasta dish. What that translates into is Jennifer going to Fresh Market and spending $17 on two blocks of fresh cheese in hopes that they will make her dish more “Italian”. Ok, I have never spent $17 on two (very small) blocks of cheese in my life! I can already tell that eating my way through Eat, Pray, Love (ie. eating the food from the countries mentioned in the book) will not be cheap. But then again, Indian food is basically rice and curry, so how expensive could that be?

Anyway, in the book, Liz talks about eating the traditional Italian pasta with cheese and pepper. The way she described it in the book sounded so simple but absolutely amazing! So, I combined pasta with a little olive oil and mixed in pecorino, parmesan, and asiago cheeses, along with roma tomatoes, peas, and tons of pepper. Oh yeah, and bacon. Sorry Italians, I did not have prosciutto in the house, so bacon it was. But we all know bacon makes everything taste better. It was probably not as close to traditional Italian pasta as I would have liked. It was more like a pomodoro sauce, light on the sauce and heavy on the tomatoes- but it tasted awesome!

Aside from wanting to eat pasta and gelato at every meal, I also want to go to Italy now more than ever. Actually, this is not really a good time to go considering every Eat, Pray, Love groupie will be traveling there in the next two years, similar to what happened with Under the Tuscan Sun. I wonder if India and Bali will see an influx of American visitors this year as well??

OK, must start my book travels to India. I am considering lighting a candle and reading it while sitting on a yoga mat. Is that too much?

Speaking of yoga….only one more day to enter my Yoga Giveaway! By leaving a comment on Sunday’s yoga post, you could win your very own copy of 27 Things to Know About Yoga. And quite honestly, who wouldn’t want to know that?

Have a great night everyone!

My New Ride….

Hey all! Like my new bike? It’s a tricycle for adults – how cool is that!!! Well, it’s not really mine, it’s my mother-in-law’s and she bought it at a garage sale for $25 – what a steal! I was over her house for dinner yesterday and just had to take it for a test run. Although, I didn’t go very far because I was blocked in by the cars – he he! All I need is a little basket and a bell and I will be all set for my next ride! Maybe I should convince MIL to pull a big seat behind her and start her own rickshaw business in downtown Chicago 🙂

On another note….I just ordered my Moo Cards (business cards) for the Healthy Living Summit. They are so cool! Because I write for two blogs, RWC and Bistro Chic, I tried to combine the two. I guess we’ll see how they turn out next week!

Speaking of the Healthy Living Summit, I just received more details today about the Frito Lay tour in Beloit, WI. I’m so excited that there are 30 people going! It’s going to be so much fun! But, I am sooo not thrilled about wearing a hairnet. I don’t recall ever wearing a hairnet, so this will be my first time. They kind of freak me out a little, reminding me of the old lunch ladies at my elementary school. Anyone else have hairnet-a-phobia? Aside from that, the rest of the tour sounds very interesting. Although, they did tell us we are limited on taking photos – that is NOT something you want to tell picture happy health/fitness/food bloggers! But wait, they said there will be snacks on the bus – ok, you had me at snacks!

Before I sign off for tonight, I want to give a shout to to Leah at Bookieboo. She was featured on Yahoo today (via Woman’s Day) for her amazing weight loss story and all of her work on Bookieboo (which I am very proud to write a running column for!) and Mamavation. Congrats Leah!

Remember, only two more days to enter my Yoga Book Giveaway!!

Ok, peeps, have a great night!

Yoga Book Giveaway!

Oh yoga, how I missed you! I finally made it to yoga after missing class for two weeks straight. I absolutely love the yoga instructor at my studio. I know I’ve said that before, but she is one of the reasons I get up so early on Saturday mornings, just to get there 30 minutes before class so I can reserve a space. Yes, she is THAT good! I happened to see her at Target last week (after I missed her class). I ducked into another aisle – I didn’t want her to remember I missed her class. Plus, Ms. M and Mr. C were not being very Zen-like. But, yesterday’s class was amazing as usual. We did quite a few hip openers, which I really needed since I did a bunch of lunges on Thursday morning and was still feeling it two days later.

And Speaking of  Yoga

Have you ever been in a yoga class and not understood what the instructor says? This happens to me more often than I like to admit. I usually just watch someone else in the class, hoping that I’ll catch on. I’ve also been in a situation where my instructor says something in yoga-ese (aka Sanskrit) and I’m just clueless. I find that nodding and looking very serious only goes so far. Well, if these things have ever happened to you, you’re in luck!

Last month, I received an awesome little book – 27 Things to Know About Yoga. Or, as I like to call it, everything you wanted to know about yoga but were afraid to ask, book. The book was sent to me for review, which I am totally grateful! I learned quite a bit from this book, despite it being only 176 pages. But that’s one of the real pluses of the book, it’s short, very easy to read, and provides just enough detail to make you feel smarter about yoga.

It’s All Sanskrit To Me

For instance, I finally learned what yoga mudra is! It’s a symbolic physical gesture usually made with the hands, ie. Hands together at heart center.  So yesterday, when my yogini said, “brings your hands into yoga mudra”, I nodded reassuringly and felt much better that I was not the clueless one in the room. I imagine a conversation with the lady next to me….Excuse me, do you speak Sanskrit? Why yes, I do.

Other Things I learned About Yoga

  • The types of yoga – It really is great for a quick review and follow-up reference, but not if you want to go really in-depth in one area.
  • Yoga Manners – For the most part, I follow good manners for yoga, according to what is spelled out in the book. Although, I have been guilty of leaving before the end of savasana – no one is perfect.
  • The teacher makes the student – I could have written this chapter!!! Although I totally know this from experience, the book really reinforced this principle.

Now, For the Yoga Book Giveaway!

If you want to brush up on your Sanskrit or want to learn about the limbs of yoga, you have the opportunity to do just that! I’m giving away one copy of 27 Things to Know About Yoga to one reader. How to enter the Yoga book giveaway – just leave a comment on this post, or retweet this post and voila….you’re entered! You have until Wednesday, August 4, at 10 PM Eastern to enter. Come on Healthy Living Summit attendees, show me some love!

Good night all and Namaste

Surely You Jest?

Yesterday, Scott and I took the kids to the Renaissance Faire at the local library. I have to say – my local library is awesome!!! When I was growing up, we had a terrible library – or at least a terrible kids’ section. But my local library now is very modern and has all kinds of activities for adults and children. This summer, they’ve even been lucky enough to host the Harry Potter traveling exhibit – the only library in the area to do this! So yesterday, we drove 5 minutes to the library to be transported into Harry Potter’s World and to experience a little Medieval living.

The Harry Potter Exhibit had more than I thought it would have. From life-size cut-outs of the characters, to interactive and hands-on activities for kids (and me). As you can see from the photos, I was not shy about being sorted into my Hogwarts’ House – Gryffindor of course! Ms. M put the hat on and it completely engulfed her head – she was not crazy about that. After the exhibit, we headed outside to see a little Medieval fighting. Of course, Mr. C loved the fighting and the costumes. What’s crazy is that grown men actually do this as a hobby, going from exhibit to exhibit. What’s even crazier is that I like it!

OK, have to get running! I’m still not feeling the greatest today. But I’m going to take some Tylenol and hedge my bets. Have a great day all!