Wednesday, December 31, 2014


"Keep Moving Forward"

Yoga at Lululemon FOR FREE!

Lululemon, the athletic clothing store, on Halsted in Chicago provides FREE yoga classes every Sunday at 10:00 am.  Yes!  For free!!

I'm not sure if it's the same teacher every Sunday, but it's well worth the time to go.  I love the class and the teacher I had was excellent.  It was a lot of lunges and planks.  So it was the best of challenges for me since those are what I need work on. 

I haven't gone the last couple weeks because of the holiday and being busy.  I plan on starting to go again this Sunday.  

I'm not sure if any other location offers yoga, but it doesn't hurt to call and ask.  This just happens to be a location near me.  Take advantage of what's free in your neighborhood.

"Keep Moving Forward"

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Broccoli and Cheese Casserole

On Christmas Eve my mom and I made this recipe from Veg Kitchen called Quinoa, Broccoli and Vegan Cheese Casserole.  It was really easy to make and didn't take long either.  It's the perfect dish to make when you want something quick for dinner.  It's also a great dish to freeze. So if you'd like an easy dish to make once a month to freeze for future dinner towards the end of the month or on days you're in a bind, I recommend this one.  Next week I'll be featuring a chili recipe I made Christmas day that's also quick to make and excellent to freeze.

Since I'm attempting to be even more frugal and save money, I will be featuring more cost effective recipes along with freezer friendly ones.

I forgot to take step by step pictures, but this is what it looks like plated.

So delicious!

So what will you need?

1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed in a fine sieve

3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or 3 cups water with
2 vegetable bouillon cubes

2 teaspoons salt-free seasoning blend (like Frontier or Mrs. Dash)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced

2 large broccoli crowns, cut into bite-sized pieces

1/3 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 to 1 1/2 cups grated vegan cheddar-style cheese

(use your favorite brand; I like Daiya cheddar-style shredded cheese in this dish)

2 large or 3 medium tomatoes, sliced
Preheat the oven to 400º F.
Combine the quinoa, broth, and seasoning in a saucepan. Bring to a slow boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer gently until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and sauté until golden. Add the broccoli and enough water to keep the skillet moist. Cover and steam until the broccoli is tender-crisp, about 5 to 7 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked quinoa with the broccoli mixture, dried tomatoes or olives, and half of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper and stir well.
Transfer the mixture to a lightly oiled, shallow two-quart casserole. Arrange the tomato slices over the top. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining cheese. Bake until the top is golden and crisp, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let the casserole stand for 5 minutes, and serve.

I absolutely love this dish!  I hope you do too!

"Keep Moving Forward"

Monday, December 29, 2014


Do what makes you happy.  Get your happy on!

"Keep Moving Forward"

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Week Gratefulness

I am a day late on this post.  My parents were visiting all week and I stayed with them at their hotel. I was able to complete all four of my other posts in advance, but I didn't have my computer yesterday to post this one on time.

I am so grateful that I had a whole week with my parents for the holiday.  I missed seeing the rest of my family, but hopefully I can go visit sooner than next Christmas.

I am grateful for...

Dec 21 - I am grateful that I had time with my guy for a short time this morning.  I am grateful that my parents are here!  I am grateful for us to continue the tradition of going to Christkindlmarket. What a lovely day to kick off Christmas week.

Dec 25 - I am grateful for a wonderful Christmas.  I am grateful for wonderful presents that I didn't even expect to receive.  I already got an amazing gift from my parents.  I was surprised to get anything.  I'm grateful for a relaxing Christmas with good food, mimosas, and movies.

Dec 27 - I am grateful for my guy.  He came out to breakfast with me and my parents.  Him and my mom even talked more.  I am grateful for a day with my parents that included the TV museum, shopping, and art.  Relaxing and fun.

Be grateful for what you have in your life. Be present and live in the moment.

"Keep Moving Forward"

Friday, December 26, 2014

Early Christmas with My Guy

Last week on Tuesday, my guy and I had our own Christmas.  We knew we wouldn't be together on the day, so we wanted to have a special day all to ourselves.  Our schedules are kind of opposite at the moment.  We don't get as much time as we have during the warmer months.  So having a night together full of festivities, fun and love is wonderful.

As I mentioned in my post earlier this week, we watched Black Sheep, had hard apple ciders, and had a yummy Italian spaghetti squash dinner.  After dinner and a movie, we put in A Charlie Brown Christmas to put us in a festive mood and exchanged gifts.

He put my gift under the tree.  =)

Santa came early!!  I gave him a stocking.

With a stocking stuffer inside!  A nutcracker ornament!

Santa (my dad) got him a gift!  Star Wars signs for the wall.

He kept getting distracted by the movie!  haha!

I got him one of his favorite movies...Sandlot!

I also got him a Star Wars poster that he told me he loved!  I love his reactions.  He was so happy!

I love the tradition of the pickle ornament.  A pickle ornament is hidden in the Christmas tree.  The finder receives a token or good fortune in the following year.

My guy got me a pickle ornament!  And it's from my favorite store that might be going out of business.  We were passing by the week before and I mentioned that I hope they just get a new owner and the store doesn't close.  I never got to buy anything from them.  So he got me something that I really wanted!  <3

My card!  It's so cute!

After gifts we had dessert.

I got a vegan peppermint chocolate cupcake.  It was so yummy!

My guy got a chocolate cookie cake.  I love how they made it festive!

We were both extremely silly that night.  We were laughing all night and had such a good time.  It was such a special night and I cannot imagine a better one.  I am so grateful that he is in my life.


"Keep Moving Forward"

Thursday, December 25, 2014


I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!  I miss everyone that I cannot be with on this wonderful day!  I am enjoying this day with my parents.  I feel so grateful for my life, my friends, my family, and for my guy.  It's such a wonderful time of the year!

"Keep Moving Forward"

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Yoga Poses for Desk Dwellers

Since I started working a desk job versus working in food service where I'm standing all day, I get sore and stiff often.  I keep looking for easy exercises and stretches that I can do everyday to ease the pain.  I came across an article on Popsugar called Postwork Yoga Sequence Designed for Desk Dwellers.  I love this.  Poses I will attempt to do daily to reduce all the aches.

Crescent Moon Pose or Reverse Warrior

Double Pigeon Pose

Happy Baby Pose

Lizard Pose

One-Legged Seated Spinal Twist

Plow Pose

Wide-legged Forward Bend

I look forward to adding this to my daily routine.

"Keep Moving Forward"

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Spaghetti Squash

Last Tuesday, my boyfriend and I decided to celebrate Christmas early since we would not be together on the actual holiday.  We watched Black Sheep, which is one of my favorite "horror" movies.  I got it late from my Halloween list.  I knew my guy would enjoy it (he did!) so I waited until we could watch it together.

We got alcoholic ciders.

I was sick the day before so I look super tired.

I made spaghetti squash with a homemade tomato sauce with a faux Mexican chipotle sausage.  The sauce was made with a can of Italian spice diced tomatoes mixed with a second can of jalapeno and cilantro diced tomatoes.  I added a bit of mixed spices and it came out delicious.  To make the squash I cut it in half, lengthwise (actually my guy did it) and took the seeds out.  Then put the meat down on the cookie sheet in the oven at 350.  I'm not sure how long it was in the oven.  I just did it until all the meat of the squash came off like spaghetti.

This is a definite repeat meal.

Pictures of our Christmas celebration are to come!

"Keep Moving Forward"

Monday, December 22, 2014

Be Good to Yourself

It has taken me a long time for this to sink in.  I've always taken care of others first and put my personal care on the back burner while I do so.  It wasn't until last year that I started to focus on myself first before I do anything for anyone else.  Taking care of my needs first has actually lead to better opportunities and for me to be there for the people I love. 

Have you been good to yourself today?

"Keep Moving Forward"

Saturday, December 20, 2014

I am Grateful

This week I have been grateful for...

Dec 15 - I am grateful that I work for a company who doesn't make me feel guilty for being sick.

(This one is a big one.  I worked in food for years and they would always guilt trip you for missing work.  They would always say, "Are you SURE you can't come in?" and I would respond, "No...I barely am leaving the bathroom.  I'm throwing up."  I never call out unless I am physically sick.  I've been forced to come in with a bad stomach and it takes everything I have not to throw up on anything.  I'm glad I no longer have to worry about that.)

Dec 16 - I am grateful for a wonderful night with Sebastian [my boyfriend] celebrating our Christmas since we won't be together on the actual holiday.  He got me a pickle ornament!  He is so thoughtful and loving.  I love him so much.

Dec 20 - I am grateful for working a full day, making a new friend and for my Christmas wreath [that smells amazing].

"Keep Moving Forward"

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Quick Arm Workout

Last week, I posted about a six minute before the shower workout.  This arm workout would be a great addition to that workout.  That's 9 minutes of a quick workout before you get in the shower.

I would use both as an extra workout on top of your regular workout.

"Keep Moving Forward"

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Roasted Chickpeas

I've always been a fan of chickpeas or garbanzo beans.  I've only ever had them in salads or as hummus.  In order to get creative with my meals and lessen the amount of tofu I eat, I decided to try roasting chickpeas.  They are now my new favorite staple.

I use a variety of ingredients and play with flavors.  My favorite recipe that I've used so far is soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.  It was simple and delicious.  I loved the heat from the cayenne.  It added a nice flavor to the rest of the plate.  If I make roasted chickpeas, I'll usually do all vegetables or do majority vegetables with a grain (couscous, rice, quinoa, pasta, etc).

Have you cooked a food or made a recipe a different way than you're used to?

"Keep Moving Forward"

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Visit to Lush

After yoga last Sunday, I went to Lush to browse around.  I ended up making my first purchase!!

I got the Stepping Stone.  I love how it looks like a foot!  I broke it up into a million pieces.  It doesn't take a lot to cover your foot.  It makes your skin so soft.

I also got the Sugar Scrub.  This also makes your skin soft. 

I finally got my Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter.  I love this product!  It's the only one that works wonders on my gross dancer's feet.  It softens my calluses and softens the skin.  It also does wonders for the hands.  I've been told it also helps prevent wind burn on your face, softens the lips, and can smooth down fly-aways in your hair.

I got samples of two face cleansers: Herbalism and Angels on Bareskin.  I love Herbalism.  I had never tried Angels on Bareskin before.  It's wonderful.  I love it.  I do like the smell of Herbalism better but both do wonders on the skin.  I love both.

My bag is so festive!

I absolutely love Lush.  It has to be my favorite store.  I could have easily bought more but I didn't want to get too much.  I decided to focus on my feet since that's what needs improvement the most.

"Keep Moving Forward"