Loving this song by French Soul Party-actually loving this band.
Loving this song by French Soul Party-actually loving this band.
Hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend. My weekend started off with a killer spin class on Friday night, Core Fusion class Saturday morning and a sweaty insanity session Saturday afternoon. Thankfully I front-loaded the workouts at the beginning of the weekend because Sunday and Monday were spent relaxing and indulging.
For Ryan’s Korean BBQ on Sunday I took the opportunity to make this Gratineed Pineapple that I’ve been drooling over the last few weeks.
On Monday a few classmates and I got together for a last minute BBQ.
I was feeling quite ambitious, so at the last minute I decided to make a healthy broccoli slaw (shaved broccoli and carrots with 6 tbsp plain greek yogurt, 2 tbsp manoassise, and 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard)
and more importantly cupcakes!
Chocolate Cupcakes with Blueberry Buttercream Icing to be precise. This was the first time that I did my own thing and it was delicious, so proud 🙂
Chocolate Cupcake-heat over to 350*
1 1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tbsp butter at room temperature
1 1/2 sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup coconut almond milk (any milk will do but I like added flavor this kind gives)
Shift together the first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. In another large bowl blend butter and sugar together until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla and blend. In small batches alternate between adding the flour mixture and milk to the butter/sugar mixture. Make sure everything is completely mixed.
Either add cupcake liners to the pan or grease very well. Add batter mixture until cups are 2/3 full. Bake at 350* for about 17 minutes or until tooth pick comes out dry.
For the icing
1/2 cup (stick) butter at room temperature
1/2 cup of blueberry jam
1 cup powder sugar
Blend the butter until nice and creamy. Add jam and blend until well incorporated. Slowly add in powder sugar.
Once cupcakes are cooled completely, frost and enjoy!
Has anyone seen this video of the best proposal ever? It brought tears to my eyes, so sweet. I’ve never been the girl to really dream about my wedding day, I don’t know how elaborate of a wedding I really ever want, but want a great proposal. To be loved so much that someone would go through that much effort to be with me forever, and make all my loved ones part of the moment, ah he would be the one.
Off to enjoy another beautiful day!
Workouts for the week
Sunday-Active rest-walk downtown
Saturday-Core fusion and/or insanity, weights-chest
After mentioning my new obsession with barre style classes from time to time over the last few weeks, I figured it was time to devote a post to these workouts.
In New York City Bar Method, Physique 57, and Core Fusion at Exhale Spa, are the major studios offering this style of workout which includes a combination of strength, yoga, pilates, and ballet barre stretching. Of the 3 studios in the city I’ve visited Physique and Core Fusion, in part because they have multiple locations, with at least one within walking distance from my apartment. I did however visit a Bar Method studio in Boston last month.
Classes at all 3 studios follow a very similar routine with constant movement with brief stretching. Generally there is a brief warmup, followed by planks and pushups, arms with light weights, then it’s to the bar for thigh and butt action -ie lots of toe raised squats and leg lifts (this is the killer for me each time), and then finished off with additional core work.
Physique 57 breaks these movements up a bit with some dance-like moves, and I think overall the Physique classes move a bit faster, but that might be because I’ve only taken their mixed level classes. I assume their beginner classes move slower with more assistance or focus on proper form.
As for the studios, Core Fusion’s Central Park South is the winner hands down!! First off, any excuse to walk by Central Park and I’m there, but I also love the huge skylight in the room and in general its a large space.
I’ve only been to Physique’s location on 57th street in the penthouse on the 8th floor, and unfortunately due to water damage only their small studio has been available, so I shouldn’t judge them too harshly. I can however say that I was disappointed by their locker rooms. Given that Physique has a higher price tag I was expecting better amenities, including locks for the locker room, lavender soaps and lotions, etc. All of these items I’ve come to love at Core Fusion. Plus it makes me a bit more willing to pay for a class, I find it a full pampering experience, something that I can’t get at Crunch (though I do love Crunch and will miss it when I eventually move from New York).
In the end I think Physique’s routine might be slightly better and I enjoy the fun dance aspects, but for the price and location I’ll like keep barre classes to Core Fusion (they have a student discount as well!).
Now time to shower and rest my achy muscles,
I tend to eat a lot of random things, combinations of foods that taste good to me but either don’t look appealing or might just gross out readers.
Last night’s after workout meal was one of those combinations, but it was too good not to share.
I started out with a breakfast cookie dough based off of this recipe.I used only 1/3 a cup of oats, 1/2 a scoop of vanilla protein powder, and 1 tablespoon of vanilla dreams pb.
Meanwhile I had a small sweet potato cooking up in the microwave. Once cooked and cooled I scooped out the inside and mashed it with a banana until creamy/smooth.
I added half of this mixture to the oats along with 2/3 cup of almond coconut milk.
Let sit for a minute, add some cinnamon, and yum!
In other news, today is the start of another challenge. I actually have a few in mind for the coming months, but one at a time 😉
Today’s the start of the Global Corporate Challenge. I’m a part of my school’s team and within this larger group, I’m the captain of my lab’s 7 person team. The goal-to get the world moving with at least 10,000 steps a day. In general this isn’t too much of a problem for me, I love to walk! The only real difference I foresee in this 16 week challenge (that’s a long time!) will be in my active rest days, or rather my rest days will actually be active rest days. Just as I’m getting back into the habit of posting my workout schedule for the week, I’ll also post my steps at the end of each week. I’m not sure what my goal for my active days will be. My workouts right now consist of spin, insanity, and pilates type of workouts, which I think will have less movement than my last go around at such a challenge when I was training for a half marathon. After seeing my numbers after a few active days I’ll set goals for the remaining weeks. But we’ll see…for other reasons I see some running creeping back into my future, but that’s for another post, for now, happy walking 🙂
Last night I was ready to call it a night and cuddle with the pup, do some reading, and catch up on sleep with a 9:00 pm bed time. Then I got a text from one of the students I tutor asking if I could come over at 9 for last minute review. Given that the school year is coming to an end and thus this source of income, I agreed to meet up. The stroll to her house gave me a bit of energy and when I got home I ended up squeezing in a short workout. Unfortunately during this time the dog decided to go through the trash and drink the water she had ignored all day which resulted in me cleaning up an accident first thing in the morning.
While I was less than excited about getting up an hour earlier than planned, the surprise forced me to do some laundry and giver her a bath, 2 task that I’ve been putting off for about a week.
I spent the rest of the morning setting up flights and housing for a workshop and conference I’ll be attending next month. Around 12 the sun came out and I got to enjoy it a little with a walk to lunch with a friend I hadn’t seen in quite some time. We went to Le Pain Quotidien where I originally wanted to order the vegetarian quiche but found out that it included tomatoes, so I went with the vegetable quiche instead. Still good and I was excited to see the cantaloupe, but I really wanted the other, stupid allergy.
Okay, off to workout so I can get to bed early tonight, I would really like to get in 7 hours tonight.
This week’s workouts
Monday-Insanity and weights (bicep/triceps)
Tuesday-Insanity and bodyrock
Wednesday-Insanity or spin, weights (back)
Thursday-Physique 57 if I get off the waitlist if not try for barre assets in PM, weights (chest)
Friday-Spin or Insanity, weights (legs)
Saturday-Core fusion and Insanity
Last post on Costa Rica 😦
Our last few days in Costa Rica were just as great as the first few but with a little less scheduled activity. On Thursday we went on a tour of the National Park by way of river. On the drive to the dock our guides were kind enough to point out local vegetation including a cashew fruit. I didn’t even know such things existed!!
Once on our river boat we kept our eyes open for wildlife. There were lots of iguanas, and birds, but we got really excited over the monkeys :). During my first few days in Costa Rica we came across mostly Howler monkeys, those things are loud! I actually thought they were just barking dogs the first time I heard them, but was soon told differently. However, on the river tour we came across White Faced monkeys.
One friendly group of monkeys even made there way onto our boat, though I wasn’t having that and stayed at the opposite end of the boat. I mean hello germs, eww.
I did however, have fun feeding a huge crocodile. Not sure why I had no fear about the crocodile. I mean he could have decided that my arm would be tastier and more filling than the little chicken leg I had to offer, but I took my chances all the same.
We laid out, ordered a few fruity beverages, played cards, and swam in the waters beyond the sunset. It was a great night!
On Friday, our last full day, we rented a golf cart and made our way to another beach,Hermosa, that was about 8 miles away. Ryan and Sherika snorkeled in this area and had much better luck than at Coco beach.
Friday night Ryan, Valerie, and I went to Lizard Lounge back in Coco for a night of dancing. A fun and sweaty way to the end a great vacation!
After a fun but sleepless weekend my head was a bit fuzzy this Monday morning, and the dreary weather isn’t helping a bit!! Thankfully coffee is helping! And as yucky as the weather may be, I’m glad it’s during the week and didn’t spoil a beautiful weekend and, knock on wood, looks like it won’t spoil the weekend to come 🙂
and lots of dancing! Friday night I headed to Brooklyn to meet up with my friend Susan to catch up and eat dinner at her place. We then walked over to the Bell House for 90’s night, which was a blast to say the least. I mean drunken hipsters singing along to the Spice Girls, who could ask for more?
What are some of your favorites from the 90s? I’m wishing I requested some LFO “Summertime girls,” or Will Smith, or Heavy D, oh so many! I’m going back next month with my list ready. The funny thing is what I remember the most from the 90s was definitely late 90s, so it’s easy to start blending in early 2000s.
Len-Steal My Sunshine, favorite memory of this video is the pregnant lady dancing around with her exposed baby bump.
No Doubt-Spider Webs
After a late night in Brooklyn I somehow made it to an 8am Physique 57 class, and without caffeine! I made it through the class but afterwards I seemed off so I basically ran over to Argo’s tea and inaudibly ordered a vanilla chai tea, thankfully they understood enough and quickly made my drink. As I sipped on my tea and began to recover, I headed over to Whole Foods to get groceries for the week.
Then it was home to shower, walk the pup, and back out to meet Ena, who was in town for a few days, and Crissy for brunch at Fig and Olive.
After brunch Crissy and I said our goodbyes to Ena, and then we headed downtown for the 6th annual Dance Parade where we met up with another NYU friend. The parade was a celebration of dance as an expression of art and included 65 different forms of dance.
After the parade we wandered through NYU territory down to SoHo, and then eventually made our way back to Tompkins Sq park where the parade ended and various groups put on performances on the main stage.
As the temperature began to drop we headed to dinner at Yuca Bar. I ordered the guacamole with crab (going through avocado withdraw after having some nearly everyday in Costa Rica) with a side of grilled vegetables.
Then, because we didn’t have our fill of dancing for the day we headed to Meat Packing and danced the night away, well for me that was until my feet couldn’t take the heels I was wearing 🙂
Catch ya later,
Actually one more 90s song, need a little R&B love because that’s really what I grew up with 🙂
Aaliyah-“Are you that somebody” I loved this song and remember spending a summer trying to master the video’s choreography. My sister who was just a baby when the song came out would get the biggest smile on her face when the song played in the car, thanks to the baby laughter in the background of the song.
Taking a break from vacation recap, gotta drag it out a bit more, further, I think I’ve gone too long without mention of my beloved Monkeys!!
Let’s also take a moment to talk about this week’s workouts, so far…
Sunday-insanity and bodyrock
Tuesday-insanity, weight rest
Wednesday- cardio recovery, back/shoulders-weights
Thursday-core fusion barre class, insanity and biceps/triceps-weights
Saturday-Physique 57 and some form of cardio
After taking last week basically off from my normal level of activity and slacking on weights the week prior my muscles were burning during my strength sessions. I had no problem getting back into the cardio, my endurance is pretty solid at this point (talking anything up to an hour, more than that I would need to train) but strength, wow am I taking a beating. Thankfully I’m there mentally and have been able to push through, but it’s not easy. Here’s to pushing harder because I love a good challenge 🙂
I love these recap post and everyone slowly adding their trip photos onto facebook, I feel like I’m reliving last week all over again, at least for a few moments. Then I go to analyze data and remember that I’m back to lab, sigh.
Originally when planning the trip to Costa Rica, traveling to Nicaragaua never crossed my mind, but when the opportunity presented itself it seemed like the perfect idea. Originally I thought the tour of the country would involve a bit more physical activity, hike up to a volcano, exploration of money island. But once a bunch of 60/70 year olds from Texas climbed onto the bus I knew it was going to be more of a bus tour. And while the trip wasn’t what I had expected it was still an enjoyable day.
After an interesting breakfast which included some odd looking bright yellow butter, and a bus change after lots of complaints on the size of the first bus by the older tourist, we were on our way to the Nicaraguan border.
Border crossing took about an hour. Apparently there is only one place to cross from Costa Rica to Nicaragua. We were further delayed by a switch in shift of the border control officers, they work 3 days in a row and then switch shifts, crazy!
Once safely in Nicaragua we stopped into a local grocery store for a bathroom break and to pick up snacks, the toilet at the border charged, we headed to a lagoon which formed years after a volcano became in active.
We then headed to Masaya for lunch, I ordered the grill chicken which came out on a hot stone. The chicken was pretty good and I was also able to get a nice steam facial.
We stayed in the area for about an hour to shop and explore. The market sold a lot of handicrafts, many similar to those I found in Peru last year, so apart from some coffee we ditched the shops and did a little exploring. To be honest I didn’t feel completely safe in the area so we stayed in a 5 block radius of the market place.
We then headed to Granada, the oldest city in the America’s, founded in 1524. Just a 10 minute or so drive from Masaya, but a completely different vibe. The area was much further developed and targeted to the American tourist, with nearly everything in English first, Spanish second, there was even a Hotel America. While Masaya was clearly poverty ridden, Granada didn’t seem too commercialized, and while we were only there for a short day I had trouble finding a Nicaraguan identity. Maybe due to a relatively recent political unrest? or the multiethic population? Or maybe I needed to visit the capital city were a 1/4 of the population lives. I mean I think you can clearly sum up Costa Ricans by the saying “Pura Vida”-meaning “This is living” or “cool” or “awesome.” Their people are incredibly nice and very laid back. But I don’t know about the Nicaraguans.
Perhaps Nicaragua will be on my list to visit again if I find myself in Honduras, but for now I’m going to have to do some reading on the country. I find their history quite interesting and know that at one point they were quite prosperous, I just want to know in further detail how they fell so far. The tour guide probably went over a lot of this-like Nicaragua was suppose to be the site of the canal but after possible volcanic activity the project was moved to Panama, but beyond this fact I was only able to catch a few words here and there. To be honest he was quite monotone, which suited for sleeping more than listening. 😦
We ended the day with a boat tour of Lake Nicaragua and Monkey Island. The lake was pretty cool with about 365 islands throughout the lake. Most of the islands are developed with housing properties ranging from 175,000 to 3 million dollars. How cool would it be to own a house and island for only 175,000 dollars?!?
Monkey island was kind of a sad story. Monkeys which were at one time pets were let go on this tiny little island in the middle of the lake. They survive by eating some plants grown on the island but for the most part have to depend on local fisherman and such for most sustenance.
Anyhow, lots more pictures, many thanks again to Ryan’s awesome photography so rather than another long post I put them into a slideshow, enjoy!