Friday, November 5, 2010

Fitness Friday – Commit to the Burn!













Just because Fitness Friday has been on hiatus, doesn’t mean my fitness has been on hiatus!  I just do the same things over and over again, so I had nothing new to report on.   Until now. 


Okay, so I have professed my love for barre workouts a few times on here.  They are THE BEST.  They work quickly.  They give you visible results in a very short amount of time.  They challenge you mentally and physically and did I mention the results?  Seriously, inches melt off at an insanely fast rate.  I really have NO idea why there is not a barre studio in Minneapolis yet (I see that there is one, but its not one of the major barre “players” so I won’t mention it).  If Minneapolis ever gets a Bar Method (which is what today’s Fitness Friday post features) I will soooooo be there as much as I can.  And while I’m being hasty, how about someone open one in Brainerd for me?  I’d do it myself, but well, lets be honest – I think Minneapolis has to have one first and even then – Brainerd is probably too small for the big gun of the barre industry – Bar Method.  Sigh.

Anyway, back on topic.  Bar Method recently released 3 new DVD’s.  The Beginner’s Workout, Pregnancy Workout and Dancer’s Body – the Advanced Workout. 

I recommend that if you are new to barre, that you DEFINITELY check out the Beginner Workout first.  Form is VERY important in barre and this DVD will teach you that.  Once you have mastered that, you can move onto more advanced work such as Dancer’s Body.  And if you are with child, obviously, you’ll want to look into the Pregnancy Workout. 

I only ordered Dancer’s Body, as I already have their previous 2 DVD’s that also give amazing workouts AND great instruction on form.  Bar Method’s DVD’s really are the BEST for learning barre form.  Burr Leonard, the company’s founder, is in her 60’s and looks WAAAAAY younger than that.  And its because of this method of working out that she looks this way.  It really does WORK.  She and her instructors are the best at teaching this method to newbies, so definitely check out the DVD’s if you want to dip your toe into the world of barre.

And if you are lucky enough to live near a studio – please do yourself a favor and GO! 

For those already considering themselves “barre-istas,” definitely check out Dancer’s Body.  I took 2 classes in May at the Bar Method Portland and this DVD definitely resembles a live class.  My legs shook SO violently (for the newbies who weren’t scared off already - this is common with barre work, don’t be scared!) in class and while they didn’t shake AS crazy with this DVD (though, they could if I really pushed myself more like I did in class) I can definitely tell that this DVD is one I am going to LOVE for a long time.  The upper body work is awesome and challenging – lots of pushups and planks, which I happen to love!  The lower body work is just crazy – especially because of Marnie Alton’s form tips throughout the workout.  Her tips make it easy to really go deep and feel the burn.  At one point, she yells out “commit to the burn!” which really stuck with me.  They need that on tshirts!  The ab work is awesome and the stretches are ahhhhhhhhmazing.  There really is nothing I don’t love about this DVD.  I couldn’t be happier with it!  And lucky for me – they have 2 more advanced workouts set to come out in early 2011, so yay! 

So what are you waiting for?  Give it a try!  You’ll thank me later for your awesome new butt, leaned out thighs and flat abs!  I’m totally serious too.  Look into Bar Method – you won’t be sorry! 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Super Seeing Powers

  Look what I got today!  Look like Ugg Slippers, FEEL like Ugg slippers, totally NOT Ugg slippers!  I got them at Target!  They are SO comfy and they are dead ringers for my old pair of Ugg slippers (who wants to pay $100+ for a pair of SLIPPERS?! Ok, besides a college student riding on the gravy train! LOL). 
DSC_2177Here’s the side view.  These are the Chandra Scuff Slippers, by the way.   DSC_2178Inside – nice and cozy!  Be jelly!  I’m not takin’ these off all winter long! DSC_2179Avery woke up a little cranky from her nap today.  I was doing my best to try and cheer her up.  She wanted nothing to do with this photoshoot. DSC_2182She did, however, want to see herself in the picture after each picture was taken.  A little something she picked up from her brother.  She’d say her name and point to herself each time. DSC_2183 DSC_2184

So angry!   DSC_2185

I will NOT smile.   DSC_2187 DSC_2188I invited Dylan to come join us.  Thought maybe he held the key to Avery’s smile.  Apparently not.  She had just finished screaming at him for sitting next to her on the couch.  I should have known she was still “in a mood.”   DSC_2189

Things perked up (for me, anyway!) around dinner when this tasty dish came out of the oven.  Gotta hand it to Miss OSG Angela for another wonderful dish!  This is the Cinnamon Sweet Potato Chickpea Salad.   DSC_2191

It was DELISH.  We had an extra yam (yam, sweet potato – same diff!) from earlier in the week so I was quite pleased to come across this recipe today.  Love that it was only a few ingredients! DSC_2192

Notice the little hand coming into the frame.  Someone was ready to “eat, eat, eat.” DSC_2193

Her brother, on the other hand, was not.  He took one look at it and said he wasn’t eating it.  So off we went on another discussion about why he needs vegetables in his diet.  “Well, what does a sweet potato do anyway?”  “It helps your eyes to see better.”  This worked because then he was convinced that his eyes were getting bigger and better with each piece he ate.  Soon, he declared himself a SuperHero with Super Seeing Powers.  Whatever works, kid.  Only problem is that now he thinks that sweet potatoes can make people with bad eyes see better.  He decided that on Monday, he’s going to tell his friend Evan at school (Evan wears glasses) that all he has to do is eat a sweet potato and he’s good to go.  Thinking


Well, that’s it from us!  What are YOU up to tonight?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Crockpot Oatmeal

Not much happened today that could compete with breakfast! It was the BEST BREAKFAST EVER!  I urge you to all go out immediately and purchase some steel cut oats!  Go now.  I’ll wait.   DSC_2169

Back now?  Ok, here is what you do (got this from Weelicious, by the way):  Put 1 cup of steel cut oats in your crockpot.  Add 2 cups of water, 2 1/2 cups milk of your choice and one tsp of cinnamon.  Set it on low for 8-9 hours.  Word of caution tho – if you think you may have a turbo crockpot (like mine) that roasts the crap out of things even when its on LOW then may I suggest putting in on the “keep warm” setting.  Then, a half hour before you want to eat it, crank up the heat.  If it weren’t for my sweet little Dylan waking me up at 1 AM to tell me he had to pee (ok, so I wasn’t thinking he was so sweet at the time!), then our poor oats would have burned up.  I came back downstairs to tuck him in and smelled the most GLORIOUS SMELL!!  OH they smelled awesome! And it kinda made me want to dig in right then and there, but I was able to practice self control.  Made it hard to go back to sleep though because I was SUPER excited to eat them!  Anyway, I turned the heat down and all was good.  You can top them with whatever you like.  I did honey because that is my sweetener of choice.  But you could do maple syrup, jelly, bananas, nuts, etc.  I read that putting chopped up apples in the mix at night is especially tasty, so I might try that next.  Or maybe pumpkin.  Muahahahahahaha!  Anyway, enjoy your breakfasts tomorrow.  I’m quite sure you are taking my advice and going right out for those oats, aren’t you???DSC_2173

And, what would a Why Cough blog post be without a pic of the little Wikoff’s from today.  Dylan said at dinnertime, “it was pajama day today, wasn’t it Mom?”  Yep.  Yep it was. Open-mouthed  DSC_2175


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pumpkin Bread

Hey!  It’s November and pumpkin season is FAAAAAR from over!  So deal with it!  Today’s indulgence was Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate AND Peanut Butter chips.  I used this recipe, but cut out one of the cups of sugar (totally didn’t miss it – in fact, next time I might even cut more out) and did 1 cup of regular chocolate chips and 1 cup of peanut butter chips.  DSC_2128Wow – this is GOOD. 

  DSC_2133 DSC_2134 DSC_2139 Kids loved it too, obviously!  Dylan said, “Mom! This is the best thing EVER!”  (Notice a trend with him?)  And Avery stood next to Dylan while he was eating and kept saying, “Yummy! Yummy!  Yummy!”  over and over again.  That’s what she says when she wants a bite of something she thinks is yummy.  Smile DSC_2151 DSC_2154

They were enjoying each other’s company once again today.  Avery was laughing out loud on more than one occasion.  I don’t get it, but whatever!  Wink DSC_2159

Their snow boots arrived today, so we immediately had a fashion show.  Avery was already dressed up in the skirt she just got.  Boots seemed like the likely next addition to her already fabulous outfit.  I think they might have to go back for a smaller size though.  She seemed to be having troubles. DSC_2162


Dinner this evening was Crispy Chickpea Bites from OSG.  I actually made these while Dylan and Eric were up in Crookston, but never got a chance to post about them.  They are awesomely good!  Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside.  And the flavor is amazing!  Avery thinks they are cookies (yummies) and Dylan said they tasted like chicken nuggets.  Sarcastic  So, I win?


That is all for now!  Bedtime in t minus 1 HOUR!  Wooohooo!

Better Together

  It’s finally happening – they are playing TOGETHER.  And they seem to LIKE it.  Avery’s constant need to hold her brother’s hand while trick or treating the other night made it clear that they are on their way to becoming best buddies.  Yesterday, they were playing in the playroom for quite awhile with no tears, no screaming, no one’s head getting bashed into something.  I just heard happy sounds.  FINALLY!  They were playing school when I came in to see why in the world it was so quiet in there (never a good sign, am I right?).  Avery was the student sitting in the desk and Dylan was teaching her the ABC’s.  Of course, once I came in with the camera, they had to pose for me and school was out for the day.  Oh well, got some cute pictures out of the deal.  DSC_2116

Personal fav!  Lately, Avery has been dressing herself up while they are playing.  She puts on a bib, a hat, a string of beads and sometimes my shoes.  Maybe she IS becoming a girl?!  Please God, let this be true!!!DSC_2117

Could they BE any CUTER?!?! DSC_2118

Does she look like me here?  With her Dad’s jaw line, of course. DSC_2119

Whacky brother and sister! DSC_2120

Dinner last night was fab.  As usual.  Tongue out  I picked up some yams at the Co-op because they are one of the only veggies Avery will willingly eat without some form of trickery.  These are baked for almost an hour in little disc shapes (1/4 inch thick) – flipped a few times.  They are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside – DELICIOUS. DSC_2122

And then I melted coconut butter and drizzled it on top.  OH BABY.  A delicious combo, they were!    DSC_2123We also

  had that chicken from Cooking Light that I made not too long ago.  


Very satisfying dinner, I must say.  Avery, as predicted, only ate her yams and avoided the meat.  Dylan was refusing to eat ANYTHING at ALL until I broke out the “timer” threat.  This was a means to get my brother and I to eat when we were kids.  My mom would set the timer for a certain amount of time and if we didn’t eat our food before the timer went off, then we wouldn’t get cereal before bed.  LOL!  Yeah, that was a BIG threat for us.  I don’t know how we got into the habit of having cereal for bed - but I think I know who was to blame, DAD!  Anyway, I told Dylan that he had 5 minutes to eat his food or he would have to go to bed.  I set the timer and 5 minutes later – he only had a few bites left so he got an extension of 3 minutes.  He thought it was hilarious to try to beat the clock!  Woohoo!  I WIN!  He ate ALL of this food!  Awesome. 


Well, speaking of Dylan, he should be up any second so I better wrap this up.  Later!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!



The boys got back from Crookston around noon today and we immediately got to work on putting things away outside.  There had to be one last dip in the hot tub though before it had to be drained for the year. 
DSCN1292I decided not to go in….didn’t want to have to blow dry my hair twice in day.  Once is enough for me!

DSCN1287Then it was time for Eric to dispose of the muskrat mound that appeared while he was gone.  This thing seriously went up in less than 12 hours.  Cuz it wasn’t there when I went to bed Friday night!  DSC_2007 Eric walks on water, you know.  That or he’s crazy lake boy.  Super frigid water is no match for lake boy!  DSC_2008 Just roll up your pants and walk right in!  Yes, our dock is submerged.  Hoping that the water goes down before the lake freezes or the dock might REALLY be toast.  We leave it in because its not exactly moveable at this point.  We took it out our first year here and it nearly tore it apart.  Lesson learned.  Dock must stay in lake.  DSC_2010 Then it was time for more leaf disposal.  Dead plants also had to be removed.  Sigh.DSC_2022 Tiny helper!DSC_2024 And finally, it was trick or treat time!  Woohoo!!!!  The shark and butterfly hit the streets of Brainerd.DSC_2026 People LOVED Avery’s costume (Dylan’s too).  She was SO cute and actually wore the hood!  Woohoo!  Mommy wins!DSC_2029 She was a natural trick or treater right from the start.  She grabbed her bucket and she was off!DSC_2030 It took a few houses before Dylan would say “trick or treat.”  He’s usually pretty shy at first in most situations – this situation was no different.DSC_2041 Not Avery though – she elbowed her way to the front! Give me candy!  We ate pizza at a pizza place in Brainerd before we went out trick or treating and Avery scored a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup there.  They kids don’t normally eat a lot of candy – especially Avery since she’s still so little.  Anyway, she LOVED the peanut butter cup – so her eyes would light up whenever a peanut butter cup would get tossed into her pumpkin.  DSC_2042 She was movin’ so fast from house to house.  She couldn’t wait to walk up and say “TREEEEEEEEAT!”  DSC_2045DSC_2050 Charlie Brown himself was missing this year!  I don’t know if someone ripped it off or what!  I drove by this house last week and they didn’t have the display up yet.  Perhaps there are some bad folk in the Brainerd that would mess with Chuck Brown?  Thats just WRONG!  Kids wouldn’t cooperate for a pic in front of it.  Deal with it.DSC_2059 There were LOTS of houses decked out like this.DSC_2065 Avery was always in a trance when we’d come upon a house like this.

DSC_2066DSC_2075DSC_2079DSC_2082 After it got dark, Avery INSISTED on holding Dylan’s hand.  They were SO cute!  DSC_2087DSC_2089 Seriously – SO CUTE!!!DSC_2100 This was our final block before we went back home.  Avery was STILL wanting to run to each house.  She was just so excited!DSC_2102DSC_2103DSC_2105 This house had a scary, noisy skeleton thing that Dylan wasn’t a fan of.  Avery thought it was pretty neat though!DSC_2109DSC_2110DSC_2111DSC_2112 I love how she’s reaching for his hand here!  Don’t let go of my hand, brother!DSC_2113 And, ladies and gentlemen, the final house of the evening.DSC_2115 Well, it was a super fun Halloween!  What on EARTH are we going to do with all this candy, though?  We had to make several dumps in the car in between neighborhoods because their buckets were getting too full.  Seriously – can we donate it?  LOL!  G’night!