Archive | Balance RSS feed for this section

I’ve Moved…

26 Feb

Come on over to my new digs at BalancingB.com!

XO-

BB

Aside

Step Out of Your Box

22 Feb

Happy Friday.

I have to say, it is kind of odd to think of today as the day of the week I would look forward to, countdown and then jump for joy when it arrived. Now that I have ditched the 9-5, my days are less structured and a lot happier. No more moaning and groaning, no more dread, no more stress, anxiety and panic attacks. (Yes, it was quite ugly at the end.)

Now, please do not get the idea that I sleep until noon and then eat grapes on the couch followed by an afternoon at the spa. That is quite far from reality.

I’ve been plugging away and working like a mad woman.

What I am loving most about my new routine is the way I feel. In a word, happy. I am no longer the crazy road-rage lady who has a short temper and feels the world is against her. I laugh more. I sleep better. I let myself relax. These are huge steps from where I was at just a few weeks ago. I also feel I am on a path that I want to be on, not just checking the box on another day.

Change is scary. But sometimes allowing our life to go on in an unhappy, negative space is even scarier.

What is your favorite part of the day?

XO-

BB

Aside

Happiness

19 Feb

puppy

I hope you’re having a good one!

XO-

BB

Aside

Healthy Homemade Biscotti

16 Feb

You can do this, I promise. These little crunchy sticks of goodness are so easy and healthy, you’d be a fool to pass.

The other great thing? They are versatile. Change up the ingredients to your taste or just to shake it up based on your mood (suggestions below).

biscotti

Healthy Cranberry and Pistachio Biscotti

  • 1 1/2 C whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 almond flour
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 whole egg
  • 3 T light butter (or Earth Balance)
  • 1/2 C dried cranberries
  • 1/2 C slivered almonds
  • 1/3 C shelled pistachios
  • zest of one lemon

Directions

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • mix all dry ingredients together well (sift if you like)
  • in a mixer, add in one egg at a time followed by the butter until the mixture is well combined but not over worked
  • chop up mix ins (cranberries, nuts and zest) and fold into batter until evenly distributed
  • form dough into a flat, football shape and place on a lined baking sheet
  • bake for 25 minutes (dough should be cooked all of the way through with the edges a bit golden)
  • remove and let stand and cool for 10-15 minutes
  • slice dough into long strips about 1/4 inch thick
  • lay strips back onto baking sheet and put back into the oven for 12 minutes ( I like to flip them half-way through)

Nutrition

These bad boys clock in around 75 calories (as made per recipe above, with 24 pieces). Nutrition stats will change based on mix-ins and size of biscotti, but overall you can keep these well below a coffee joint.

Notes 

You can totally shake this recipe up in so many ways; change the flour (any kind will do as long as you end up with 2C in the end), mix-ins and flavoring.

  • Mix ins: chocolate chips, white chocolate, dried fruit of any kind, any nut, cocoa powder.
  • Zest: change it up with other fruits or even make these savory and add in herbs. I love to add rosemary!  

Enjoy!

Aside

Yes, Friday!

15 Feb

Yo, Friday. I like where you’re head is at.

This week has been pretty darn stellar, I’m not going to lie. Maybe my stress is gone and I can see past the haze of crazy. Or maybe the saying that when you put good things out in the world, good things come in return. It’s hard to say. Either way, cheers.

XO-

BB

Aside

Like a Kid Again

13 Feb

Last weekend, my brother came down to stay with us. He was in town for a conference and we were lucky enough to have him visit for a few days. Although Shane had to attend his conference on Friday and Saturday, we were able to spend a good amount of time visiting, chatting, and just relaxing.

On Thursday, we whipped up some of my becoming-famous Mexi-burgers (recipe to come). The boys gave them two thumbs up, which is a wild success considering they are lean turkey burgers.

I also won them over with my Sweet Chocolate Secret Cupcakes (SCSCs). Another recipe for another day…and yes, these were healthy too! Shaner even ate one as part of his breakfast on Saturday.

shane

It was so awesome to have him come and hang out. I adore my siblings and love every minute I get to spend with them.

Shane got on the road Sunday afternoon to head back home to his wifey (they just celebrated their one month anniversary. Yay!).

Phil didn’t have any homework so we were trying to decide what to do with our day when I got a wicked-good idea; office makeover time! We’ve been planning away and last week I selected the paint color and furniture. So, we decided to tackle the project.

office2 office1

Hot mess…..

I went and picked up the paint while Phil cleaned and emptied out the room. He started painting and I headed out to run errands. Two hours later, I finally was home with a big haul. groceries

And the room was done! I’m in love.

office3

Since I was feeling nostalgic, I made some homemade chicken fingers and roasted asparagus for dinner that we enjoyed during the Grammys.veggies chicken fingers

It was a great weekend with lots of fun, relaxing and exciting projects!

Aside

A Thought for Tuesday

12 Feb

adler-quote

Aside

Day Dreamer

11 Feb

20130211-135543.jpg

Busy as a Bee

9 Feb

Happy Saturday!

I hope you aren’t buried under heaps of snow! We had a good amount of accumulation Thursday night and continued through the day Friday. Winter is showing it’s head, finally.

Yesterday was quite busy. In fact, the entire week has been busy. For someone who just removed 60 hours of work from her life, you certainly wouldn’t know it.

Monday – drive back home from up-north trip, unload car at 9pm. Say hi to my boys. Crash and burn.

Tuesday – unpack, laundry, dig myself out of email jail, chats with friends and dinner and drinks with the girls.

Wednesday – more laundry (how is this possible), dug through stack of mail, grocery store, Target run (aka time suck), lots of organizing throughout the house, gym, long walk with Henry Winston, dinner date with the boy.

Thursday – gymin’ x2, blog design call, meet with the financial planner followed by a long meeting at Starbucks with the boy, work meeting, and then visitors!

Friday – Lots of blog work (good things are coming in the next few weeks!), gym, meeting, lunch date and then hanging with the visitor. My brother has a coaching conference in the area, so he is staying with us through the weekend. We have spent lots of time chatting and hanging out – he is one of my favs so I am soaking in all that I can.

I have been all over God’s green earth this week and I am spent. But, I feel as though there is so much to do. Between house projects, some personal projects, house upkeep, daily gym dates, and Henry, my head is swirling. Bah. Time for a game plan.

I may be overwhelmed, but thankfully some other people have their acts together when it comes to workout plans, which has helped me keep my exercise on point. I integrated a few new routines into my workouts.

First, I finally tried out Physique 57. The company just launched online workouts that you can watch on your computer – awesome! I’ve debated investing in their dvd, but wasn’t sure where it would fall on my love scale, so this was a great option!

I went for the 30 min cardio session and it did not disappoint! My heart rate was up, I toned, tightened and strengthened in no time.

p57

 

I have also been following Gina’s Winter Shape Up program. I adore her blog and was really motivated to give her program a whirl. And I must say – I am loving it! On Thursday, I did some toning moves and her stairmaster routine. It was a killer in a good way. I would totally recommend her Shape Up program to anyone. She focuses on short, intense bursts of energy to get the most bang for your buck in the shortest amount of time. Love it.

stairmaster-300x193

Hope you are having a great Saturday. Stay warm!

XO-

BB

 

Aside

Girls Wine Tour Weekend – Part 1

7 Feb

Well hello, reality. I’m back home after a wonderful {and much needed} long weekend away. On Thursday I said adios to my job, crashed on the couch at 8:30pm and closed that chapter of my life.

Friday morning, I got my gym on and then high-tailed it to Traverse City to meet my sister at the airport. Linds flew in from Chicago for our wine tour weekend.

My fabulous book club {more to come on that} decided that we should change it up in February and return to our hometown for a girls weekend. I am from up north Michigan where the wineries are as popular as Starbucks downstate and Feb 2 & 3 is the Taste the Passion Wine Tour. Done and done.

We rented a crazy awesome house at the Homestead and when we arrived, ran around like the crazy a**s on The Real World. Our digs for the weekend was right on the water; three stories with a master suite, two other bedrooms, full kitchen, fireplaces, etc. All you would need and more.

521994_4805129638708_1332097705_n 539809_4805131598757_21511672_n

After a drive through crazy, white-out snow, we arrived and met up with the rest of our crew. The night was spent drinking lots of wine, laughing and playing Cards Against Humanity.

girlsweekend

Saturday

Linds and Claire whipped up some quiche before our driver arrived at 10:30 to tout us around to the wineries. Twenty wineries participated, however, the event went from 11am – 5pm, so we laid out a plan to hit up our favorite spots. First up, Brengman Bros.

Since this was our first stop, we were given a run-down of the program, our wine glass for the day and a punch ticket. Taste the Passion Wine Tour asks wineries to participate by selecting one wine and creating an appetizer to pair it with. When you get to each winery, they hand you the food and you have your glass filled with the accompanying wine.

IMG_9472

Now, you don’t have to stop there! You can continue on into the winery for standard wine tasting. Which, of course we did. At each winery. Lord.

At Brengmans, they served truffles with their Reiseling. So good. They were both sweet, but the chocolate had some red wine and was mellow compared to the tart of the white wine. 25950_4805135918865_2062481115_n IMG_9471

Next is our favorite, L.Mawby. This winery is a bit different because their wines are all ….. They served Jadore with chocolate from Grocer’s Daughter Chocolates.

481089_4805136438878_1817707605_n 532041_4805137278899_1319419882_n

IMG_9481

Our next stop was a standing favorite in my household, Leelanau Cellars. They paired a creamy Brie and Mushroom Risotto with their 2009 Reserve Chardonnay. No cheese for this girl. Luckily this place rocks and had chips and hummus on stand-by.

535933_4805140998992_1594522103_n

IMG_9489

IMG_9482 IMG_9485

Tandem Ciders is a bit of an odd-ball in the land of wine, but holds its own. They served Chicken Mole in a Cornmeal Crepe paired with Sweetheart Cider. We all voted the mole as not so good but the cider the clear winner of all of their offerings.IMG_9491 IMG_9492 IMG_9497

Forty-Five North was a new-to-me winery that I have enjoyed at home but never been. 45 served White Chocolate Brie phyllo shells topped with orange marmalade paired with 45 gold, an apricot dessert wine aged in Bourbon barrels and fortified with spirits.

I passed on the phyllo shell as my stomach was filled with sugar so I had to start being selective with my eats. No need to crash and burn during this fun.

IMG_9499 IMG_9500 IMG_9504 IMG_9508

549382_4805169119695_1207364570_n

We also had Blustone on our tour. A new winery, this place has a great open room with views for miles. It was a modern winery with a solid selection. Bluestone served a heart-shaped chocolate-cherry brownie paired with their 2010 Pinot Noir. Umm, this brownie was a little piece of heaven. And the wine was one of my top picks of the day. Very impressed with Bluestone.

IMG_9511 IMG_9512 IMG_9514Verterra Winery is located in downtown Leland and just opened two years ago. Despite being a newer winery, they have made their mark. We enjoyed a Leelanau Apple Tart w/Maple Mousse and Caramel paired with their Chaos White Cuvee. The wine was one of my favorites of the day, even as a red girl, fresh, crisp and full-bodied.

IMG_9517 IMG_9518

Our second to last stop took us to Chateau Fontaine, a small winery that paired their Big Paw red with Cincinnati Chili dogs. Odd, but the solid food was much needed. I did not participate, no thank you. IMG_9529 IMG_9530

Bel Lago served a Decadent Triple Chocolate Cake drizzled with Chef Hamar’s Balaton Cherry Sauce paired with Bouquet, a “delightful blend of Pinot Noir and Cherry wines”.

Part two will be coming up soon. Until then, enjoy the contact buzz from this post.

IMG_9540

XO-

BB