Another week, another roundup of my favorite links😏
Happy Friday, my friends! I’m so happy the weekend is here – I have my good friend Kelsey from The Mindful Chef here and we have lots of fun things planned! I’m looking forward to some super fun workout classes, good eats and hopefully some relaxing, too. Maybe I’ll make another vlog…I did get a microphone this week so I promise the sound will be muuuuch better moving forward😊
As per usj, here are some of my favorite links from around the web this week:
Healthy Lunch Recipes to Take to Work – I always say the #1 way to save money is to stop buying lunch out during the workday! Jeanine’s recipes are always so beautiful, I’m eyeing those quinoa taco bowls and hummus wraps!!
MAN this week was a long one! I’m super looking forward to having some me-time this weekend…anyone else?! I’ve been seeing people taking baths with those gorgeous and colorful Lush bath bombs a lot lately, which may be good motivation to clean my tub and then hop in there! I’ve never tried using one, but they seem glorious.
I don’t know why, but this week not only felt long, but kind of hard to get through, and not even because work has been overly stressful or anything. I think after the holidays I have a bit of a slump, just because the excitement of Christmas is obviously gone and there’s not much on the horizon. I kid you not, I literally looked up last-minute tickets for a Hawaii getaway at the end of the month randomly during my lunch on Tuesday…who knows if I’ll actually pull the trigger but it sounded SO lovely in the moment!
Anyway, back to the usj! Here’s what I’ve been reading this week:
How to Get Healthy on a Budget – Allllll about these tips. And that discount activewear business is REAL. I was just talking to my mom about this yesterday but there is NO need to spend $100 on great workout pants anymore. Save your money for something else!
Pistachio Coconut Oatmeal – I’ve been having so many smoothies that leave me utterly freezing after I down them, so I’m thinking of adding warm oats to the rotation! These flavors sound incredible, which is no surprise since literally everything Jessica makes is unreal!
How’s everyone’s week going? Does it feel like it should be Friday to anyone else? I think I got used to short weeks over the holidays that it just feels like we should continue to have those😂 I’ve actually been using my workouts as something to look forward to throughout the week since I just signed up for ClassPass (yaaaasssss!!!!) and have been trying some new studios. I’m ordinarily someone who is way too timid to try classes alone, but I’ve tried 2 new ones in the past week and I’m honestly really proud of myself. I’m hoping to try at least one more this weekend. If you’re in the LA area, please let me know which classes you love and maybe we can take one together!!
I also intersperse my classes with home workouts since we are so lucky to have a fitness room in our new apartment building. It’s not huge, but it has a treadmill, elliptical and a bunch of weights, pluuuuus there’s cable so I get to watch HGTV…THE. BEST. That alone is worth working out!! And I got a few pieces of new workout equipment for Christmas (booty bands and ab sliders!) so I’ve been using those, too. Y’all know I loooove my workout videos on YouTube, so I’ve just been trying some new stuff. Let me know if you want links and I’ll get those up really soon!
Here’s what the past week looked like for me in terms of workouts – I’m getting back into a groove and it feels pretty good, but I definitely haven’t pushed myself too hard. I used to work out 6-7 days when I was a dancer, but I’m pretty happy with 5 days of real workouts and walks other days! You’ll see what I mean😊
Wednesday:40 minute walk at lunch, PopFit Dance Cardio Class at Shine Studio(50 minutes)
If you guys are in the South Bay area, I highly recommend Shine! They have such an awesome variety of classes at a really great price point and I’m obsessed with the teachers. Come take class with me – you can actually get 10% off a class pack with the code DANCINGFORDONUTS10😊
Thursday:30 minute walk at lunch, 10 minutesglute activation with resistance bands, 30 minutes elliptical/gazelle thing-y (resistance at 5)
I recently got resistance bands and have been trying to use them a little before every workout! I’ll do a post soon on some awesome exercises to do with them because they’re SO handy, inexpensive, and easy to pack for travel!
Friday:30 minute walk at lunch, 1 hour Cardio DanceHall at LA Dance Fit
I fell in LOVE with this class. I honestly probably wouldn’t recommend it to anyone without dance training, just because you might feel uncomfortable, but it was soooo much fun. They kept the room really dark and the teacher was insanely talented. It was like hip hop/twerking/club dancing and the hour flew by so fast!
Saturday:2 hour walk in Santa Monica
This is my faaaavorite kind of friend date because you get to spend time with someone you love while being active. I went shopping for a little with gift cards from Christmas and then went to try a new-to-me donut place…I know, the donut kind of cancels out the workout but hey, life’s short😉
Sunday:1 hour Bar Method class
This was my first time taking a barre class at this studio and I could not have been more pleased. Honestly that was what, 3 days ago? And I’m STILL sore, I kid you not. The teachers were super attentive and helpful, unlike some other barre classes I’ve tried, and I felt like even though I wasn’t sweating like crazy, I got an incredible workout. I used to be a cardio bunny, but I think I’m moving more towards workouts like these!
Monday: 20 minute walk at lunch, 40 minute walk on the treadmill at highest incline (15) and 3.5 speed, 5-minute ab workout
I probably could’ve given a little more effort on this day, but I honestly just didn’t feel up to it. I was super sore from class on Monday and I had to get some work done, so I opted for something easy. I listened to my audiobook while walking on the treadmill, and that felt pretty good to me!
Tuesday:20 minutes on the elliptical/gazelle thing-y (resistance at 5), 40 standing lunges (each side), 40 rock-the-boats (each side), 40 sumo squats with 10 pound dumbbell, 40 clamshells (each side), 20 laying-down side leg lifts (each side), 20 reverse crunches
This workout wasn’t exactly the hardest thing either, but it’s better than nothing! I’m trying to motivate myself to work my abs a little everyday, so I’m proud that I at least did that and some other fine-toning. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve felt kind of in a funk, just mentally, the last few days so instead of killing myself over a workout, I did this quick one and then baked a new recipe, did a face mask, and watched some YouTube videos. It is what it is!
What workouts have you been loving lately? Are you more of a class person, or a gym person?
Thank goodness this week is a short one – with all the post-holiday catching up to do at work and in life, I’m ready for another break! We also haven’t done a Friday Finds in awhile, so I think it’s about time.
There’s been a looooot of advice floating around this internet this week in terms of health, fitness, resolutions, and really just motivation in general. It’s been great for sure, since who doesn’t need more of that, but I’m ready to take all of these tips and put them into action! I think we sometimes spend too much time planning or making lists (I am the MOST guilty of this!) instead of making it happen. The whole point of to-do lists is to check them off, right?
Okay, tangent over…not sure where that came from but I suppose my point is to tell you to just do it. Whatever it is. Take the plunge and DO IT. Like Nike…
7 Steps for Planning the Perfect Week – I actually love this breakdown on how to optimize your week for balance. It’s hard to fit work and having a life and being healthy and happy into just 7 days, but this outline is a good start!
8 Best Podcasts to Motivate Your Work Week – I already listen to a couple of these, but the rest I neeeeed to download! I don’t know about you, but I have a podcast queue longer than most people’s Netflix queues😅
Loaded Kale Salad – ‘Cause I’m hoppin’ back on that salad-a-day train this month (as best as I can, of course) and this one is definitely getting added to the mix!
14 Healthy Dinner Recipes to Help You Reset – These all sound delicious. Coming back from the holidays and having to plan meals/cook again hasn’t been the easiest thing in the world, so some inspiration is always welcome!
Alright my loves, have a fab weekend!! And also – if you wouldn’t mind sharing with me some of your favorite blogs as of late, I would looooove to check them out. I feel like I’m always seeing and sharing the same things!
Happy New Year, my sweet friends!! I’m a couple of days late, but getting back into the swing of things after break hasn’t been easy, as I’m sure you all know! I so badly wish I could be transported back to a week ago when I was still on vacation with my family on the east coast, but you know what? It’s okay because I’m actually looking forward to getting my sh*t together this month. I’ve just signed up for ClassPass and am super excited to start a new fitness plan, have started to work on some really exciting business opportunities, and will be finishing up decorating our apartment. Lots of good stuff in the works!!
As you probably all could’ve guessed, I’m not really one of those people that waits until January 1st to make resolutions. I tend to make them all year round, writing out my goals and plans monthly, weekly and even daily most of the time, so when I thought about how I wanted to approach 2018, I felt like writing down a list of new year’s resolutions wasn’t going to work for me. Instead, I thought I’d choose a focus word or two, something easy to remember, and truly aligned with my goals for this year. So, without further ado, here they are!😊
It took me a long time to decide if this one was too cheesy or not, but the more I thought about it, the more I knew that it was the perfect fit for this year. First of all, I want to make sure that I’m showing my love for those around me on a regular basis. I live across the country from my family and many of my friends, and don’t even get to see the ones in my city nearly enough either. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, a little distance can’t come between a strong friendship and nothing is more important than that.
I know a little goes a long way – a letter, phone call, or even text will do if that’s all I can manage. I want to take this year to strengthen the relationships I have, and also take time to cultivate new ones. At the end of the day, it’s who you surround yourself with, and I think it’s so important to express love and gratitude for those people I’m lucky enough to have in my life. I want to lift them up, motivate them, encourage them, and make sure I’m there when they need me.
I also want to take this year to love myself. I’m not necessarily a self-conscious person, but I’m certainly not the most confident, either. Hearing “no” a gazillion times in your professional life can really take a toll on ya😅 (helloooo entertainment industry, I’m lookin’ at you). But seriously, in this era of social media, it’s pretty much the easiest thing in the world to find someone else who looks like they live a way better, more perfect life than you. So how can we not feel inadequate sometimes?
I know that these comparison traps exist, but I want to let them go in 2018. Like BAI, see ya never because if looking at it and thinking about it doesn’t bring me joy or inspire me, I want it GONE. I want to let go of self-doubt, lack of self-esteem, and the things that don’t serve me. I want to take the time to treat myself, even if it’s to something as silly as that iced latté I’ve been craving for a week, or a haircut that’ll make me feel like a million bucks. It’s not about money, but really just taking the time to do what makes me happy because that is the start of self-love. Of living a life I’m proud of, and being the best I can be so I can help others do the same.
Yep, another cheesy one (because what can I say, I love all things Pinterest and inspirational quotes). I literally could not decide between this word and the one above because this one is so freakin’ important to me, too. I’ve said this before, but about 8 years ago, I decided to move across the country to a place where I knew no one and had no job, no nothing, because what I did have was the dream of becoming a professional dancer. I had this crazy drive in me to just say f*ck it, and drop everything (in a well-thought out, very calculated manner of course😂) because I wanted to make it happen. And guess what? I did.
In the last couple of years, I’ve found myself doing so many wonderful things like meeting new people and traveling and starting a new career, which is great, don’t get me wrong, but I feel like I haven’t been doing much daydreaming lately. Does that make sense? Like I’ve been super focused on getting through the day to day and just being a girl with a life and resumé I’m proud of and honestly just watching a crap ton of YouTube videos when I have down time because I LOVE them. But I miss the dreaming part of life. The part where you have these insane ideas and imagine yourself just GOING FOR IT.
I’ve been asking myself lately, if I could do anything right now, like absolutely anything, what would it be? Would I go to Bali? Would I write a book? Would I go for a walk in my neighborhood and find a new restaurant? Who knows! But the possibilities are kind of endless. And I don’t have to stop my life or do something drastic to think this way, I just need to be present and find what fills my cup.
If I had to describe myself in one word, I’d probably say that I’m a hustler. I kid you not, I could be working a job that pays me a six figure salary and I’m 99% sure that I will still say yes to babysitting on a Saturday night because why not? I figure I get to hang out with some super cute kiddos and then get a boat load of work done once they’re asleep. I have a looooot I want to accomplish this year, and sitting on my tucas isn’t going to get me there. I want to take this year to focus on what I really want out of this life, and then go grab it by the ball$. I want to have crazy daydreams and then make them reality.
So yeah. Those are my focus words and I’m SO excited to wake up every morning and choose to love, to dream. I hope I keep doing those things well after 2018, but hey, it’s a start😊
But enough about me – what about you?! Did you make any resolutions this year or choose a focus word? I’d love to hear because chances are, I’ll be adding more to my list as time goes on!
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! I obviously wanted to take some time this week to just soak up as much time with my family as possible, so I did take a mini blog-break. As I sit on the train down to D.C., I’m feeling so unbelievably grateful for having the opportunity to travel home for the holidays and to work remotely. I hope you all were able to, as well!
This year has been pretty nuts in so many ways, particularly for the world (and this country) in general, but personally I experienced a ton of personal growth, adventuring, and figuring out where I want to be in life. I expanded my skillset professionally, started growing my blog, strengthened new and old friendships, moved into a new apartment with my boyfriend, and traveled to so many new places. It’s been quite the year!
I just want to thank you all so much for reading my blog, you have no idea how fulfilling it has been to create content and have this creative outlet. Reading your comments and hearing your feedback makes me so happy, and I’m honored to be able to share this bit of my life with you. With that, I wanted to take a quick moment to wrap up the year with my top 10 posts of 2017! I’m looking forward to spending even more time in the kitchen and on DFD in the upcoming year, so please let me know in the comments if there’s anything you’d like to see more or less of, or even something different entirely!
I’m actually writing to you from my parent’s house in New York (is it weird for me to still call it MY house? Because it’s totally going to be home for me always). I feel so freakin’ lucky to have been able to come home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, since that hasn’t actually happened in 7 years! It feels so unbelievably good to be here, even if I have to work a bit remotely. Thank goodness for the digital age, #amiright?
Before I leave you for the holiday weekend, I just wanted to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas (if you celebrate) and even if you don’t, I hope you have time to relax, eat some delicious food, and be with friends and/or family. Is it just me or is this time of year the BEST because it reminds you of all the things you’re grateful for?
I’ll be spending most of this weekend baking cookies, sitting by a fire, and catching up with loved ones! I hope you get to do a version of the same😊 And now, back to our usual weekly roundup. They are some awesome last minute gift ideas in here!
5 Things to Get Rid of Before 2018 – Literally all of these, but especially #5. That was actually one of my New Year’s resolutions for this year! I did okay, but not great.
10 Genius Ideas for a Healthier Holiday – These tips are sooooo realistic, unlike so many others I see floating around during this time. Just eat the dang dessert and stop talking about your diet. Please. The kale will be there tomorrow!
GUYS. We are 5 DAYS from Christmas. I repeat: 5. Days.
To say I am excited would be the understatement of the century. I’m literally counting down the minutes until I get to see family and friends, bake a crap ton of cookies with my mom, and spend my first holiday ever with my boyfriend. PUMPED.
Okay now that I’ve exploded with holiday cheer, let’s move on to more pressing matters: these COOKIES. Let me express to you just how good they are – I’m rationing them so that I don’t run out before I go home for the holidays. Like instead of shoveling them all in my mouth at once, I’m actually savoring them bite by bite and THAT is saying a lot. And before you go thinking I’m all full of myself and stuff because I made a recipe that is full on inspiring me to possibly open up a bakery someday, I just want you to know that I legitimately set out to make these as an experiment and thought they might turn out terrible and crumbly and dry like lots of healthy desserts are…but! Thank cookies could not be more opposite of that.
I don’t even know how these have zero dairy in them…it’s kind of mind-blowing. And they 110% do NOT crumble. Isn’t that nuts?! That’s like my biggest pet peeve with some shortbread recipes. I think the best thing about these guys, aside from them being vegan friendly, is that they’re just the riiiiight amount of sweetness. Apparently there are people in this world that don’t love desserts and sugary things (WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE AND WHERE ARE YOU FROM), but these are the perfect cookies for those people.
And I know these are super Christmas-y or seasonal or what have you, but I think that’s what makes them perfect for the holidays. I think we all tend to OD on the rich stuff, the peppermint and chocolate and pecan and all that, so to have something a bit lighter as an option is nice! I know lavender isn’t something people always have on hand, but this recipe coupled with my lavender almond milk latté should give you enough reason to stock up now😉
Vegan Maple Lavender Shortbread Cookies
1/2 cup coconut oil (cooled & hard – pop it in the freezer for a sec if you need to!)
1/3 cup natural powdered sugar (*check this list for vegan sugar brands!)
1. Preheat the oven 350 degrees fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (ideal, but if you don’t have any just use lots of coconut oil!).
2. In a large bowl combine the coconut oil, powdered sugar and sea salt with a fork until all the sugar is combined and light & fluffy (might take a minute or so depending on your arm!).
3. Add the lavender flowers, then the flour 1/3 cup at a time and use your hands or the fork to combine. Don’t use an electric mixer for this one!
4. Finally, add the non-dairy milk and the maple syrup one tablespoon at a time and be careful not to not overmix! The dough may seem dry but try not to add any extra liquid here as it will mess with the consistency of the cookies.
5. Lightly dust a cutting board or clean surface with flour. Form the dough into a ball and then roll it out until it’s about 1/4 inch thick. Use a cookie cutter, mason jar, or glass to form the cookies into shapes.
6. Place the cookies on the parchment paper and bake for 10-12 minutes. *Check on them at 10 minutes just in case! You’ll want to take them out when they’re juuuuust starting to brown on the edges. They overbake quickly!
7. Let cool completely before noshing – I promise they’ll taste better this way! Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
So that’s it for today my loves! Thanks for stopping by – I so appreciate every single one of you and I know I don’t say it enough.
Hello my friends!!! We made it to another Friday, and not just ANY Friday, but really the last Friday before the holiday break😍
And while I’m definitely counting down the days until I go home, my friend Susie made a really good point – rushing to get to Christmas doesn’t totally make sense since the festivities and fun really all happen BEFORE the actual holiday and then when it’s over, it’s over…SO, at the risk of sounding depressing, my message to you (and me) is to enjoy THIS moment and make the most of it😊
That being said, I will be spending this weekend catching up with friends, doing holiday things and hopefully whipping up a fun winter-y recipe! Some of the ones below have seriously caught my eye. Here’s what I’ve been reading this week:
How is everyone doing?! Counting down to the holidays like me? This season tends to be extra crazy at work what with prepping content ahead of time to accommodate everyone’s vacation schedules (I work in social media marketing), so a vacation will be much needed when we finally get to it! I’m not gonna lie though, I always love the weeks leading up to Christmas (and Hanukkah!) because they’re so fun and festive. We went to our first holiday party last weekend and have another this weekend and I don’t think anything beats mulled wine and Christmas cookies.
That being said, I am trying to make sure I’m taking care of my health before things really ramp up, much like I was before Thanksgiving, because I tend to crave only sweets around this time and unfortunately that just ain’t gonna cut it, sister. I’ve been adding extra greens to my smoothies, extra veggies to my lunch, and trying to get my sweat on in some capacity every single day. Since we all know I’m a big snacker, especially when I need to fuel myself through a workout, ideally I like to combine my sweet tooth with my commitment to my health. And can I tell you? It’s actually reallyyyyy easy to make super delicious “treats” that are full of nourishing ingredients. Just ask my boyfriend – I told him these brownie bites were healthy and his mind was blown. He literally said, “but they don’t taste healthy.” MISSION. ACCOMPLISHED.
I know “healthy” is a relative term, but if chia seeds, rolled oats and nut butter aren’t good for you, I’m not sure what is. These are gluten-free (as long as your oats are) and packed with an insane amount of protein. They also take about 6 minutes from start to finish which is kind of outrageous. My absolute favorite part of them, though? The collagen.
I’ve started incorporating Further Food collagen into my diet (as I mentioned in my November favorites!) and this stuff continues to blow my mind. Dairy free, gluten free, non-GMO, sugar free and organic, collagen helps improve gut health, bone strength, and hair/skin/nails. Apparently in our 20’s we start producing less collagen than before, which can lend itself to saggy, wrinkly skin, weak bones, and achey joints. Nooooo thank you. By adding collagen into our diets through supplementation, we can help prevent and reverse this process. AND! And. It has protein, which helps keep you full and can prevent overeating. Yes. Please.
I’ve been loving Further Food because it has absolutely no taste and dissolves completely. This means I can put it in my coffee, smoothie, oatmeal, yogurt, hot cocoa, fancy golden milk latté, or even WATER without even noticing. Now that’s something you definitely cannot do with protein powder. If you want to try this stuff, and I promise you won’t be disappointed, you can use my code DANCINGFORDONUTS for 10% off! If you don’t, which is totally cool, I would just swap at the collagen in the recipe below for another tbsp of the chocolate protein powder. You won’t get all the awesome extra benefits, though😉
Anywayssssss, these little babies are basically winter goodness in a ball, and they are perfect for when you’re craving something slightly sweet! They’re kind of like how dark chocolate is – a bit sweet but not too much so. If you like things on the sweeter side, I might add a touch more honey. Up to you, though!
Peppermint Brownie Protein Bites
1/2 cup oat flour (just pulse oats in a food processor!)
1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and stir until wet are completely mixed with dry. Use your fingers if you’ve got to, and if it feels too dry after about 30 seconds of mixing, add a touch more almond milk. You shouldn’t need any, though 🙂
2. Shape into 1 inch balls and let harden in the fridge for at least one hour (or freeze ’em for 30 minutes!). Will keep in the fridge for up to one week in an airtight container.
That’s all for today, beauties. Hope you’re having a great week!!