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Ho Ho Ho…ly Hell it’s only a week until Christmas!

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Kahlua Peppermint mocha! Delicious!

Panic parents, panic! It’s only a week until Christmas! Get ready for the chaos that is the holidays. Family dinners, travel, the gifts, it’s all coming in a week! Personally I finished my Christmas shopping for my little one last week. I didn’t get her nearly as much as I got her last year; I realized that the more toys she has doesn’t make her happier, she was just as happy to play with the boxes. So I went with this rule I saw on Facebook for gift giving to your kids.

  1. One thing they want
  2. One thing they need
  3. One thing they wear
  4. One thing they read

I think those are pretty decent rules to live by. Plus you know they always get at least one present from Santa as well. A tradition I like to do with my daughter is the toy donation that happens in my city every year, not only does it teach her the gift of giving, but it also teaches her that not everything we buy is for her, and even though it may be a toy she wants, there’s someone else out there not as fortunate as we are and who would appreciate it a lot more.

This year I’ve been able to use Santa as a threat, and it’s been wonderful. It’s the first year my daughter has really understood who Santa was. So when she’s acting up, which happens often because she is the spawn of me, I just tell her “Santa’s watching!” and it quickly becomes “I’ll be happy mommy!” It’s fantastic and I plan to milk this all I can during this one month just as my parents did to me!

On a slightly sadder note, I don’t know how to say this, I get all choked up. Pole class goes on break for 2 weeks! I know I’m so sad!  They take a Christmas break so that means no pole until the week of January 6th. It’s tragic really. But everyone deserves their Christmas break so I’m not mad, just sad. But I hope to see my pole girls during the break because I can’t go 2 weeks without seeing them!

Tonight is also dress-up night so prepare for some Christmas themed pole pictures tomorrow; I’m wearing a cute two piece green Santa dress. I’m thinking I might bring my good DSLR camera to get some good quality not camera phone pics; although these days camera phones are very impressive.

Since I haven’t done it in a while, here’s a recipe for today, a healthy delicious holiday treat!

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Photo from eatingwell.com

LUSCIOUSLY NUTTY HOLIDAY LOGS

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup plus 5 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 8 sheets phyllo dough, (9-by-14-inch), thawed
  • Canola oil cooking spray

TOPPING

  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.
  2. To prepare logs: Combine nuts, 1/3 cup sugar, orange zest, cinnamon and cloves in a small bowl.
  3. Place one sheet of phyllo dough on a clean, dry surface. Coat thoroughly with cooking spray. Top with another sheet of phyllo and coat with cooking spray. Sprinkle one-quarter of the walnut mixture (about 1/3 cup) evenly over the phyllo.
  4. Using a sharp knife, cut the large phyllo rectangle lengthwise into 3 strips then in half crosswise to form 6 smaller rectangular strips.
  5. Beginning at the short ends, loosely roll each strip into a neat log. Repeat with the remaining phyllo and walnut mixture.
  6. Place the logs about 1/2 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Spray tops lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with the remaining 5 teaspoons sugar.
  7. Bake the logs, in batches, until golden, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely.
  8. To prepare topping: Place chocolate chips in a small microwave-safe dish. Microwave on High for 30 seconds. Stir. Continue to microwave for 20-second intervals until melted, stirring after each interval. Transfer the chocolate to a plastic sandwich bag. Snip off one corner, being careful not to make the opening too large. Squeeze the melted chocolate decoratively across the top of each cooled log. Let stand at room temperature until the chocolate is completely set.

TIPS & NOTES

  • Make Ahead Tip: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or freeze without the chocolate drizzle (Step 8) for up to 1 month. Defrost at room temperature before decorating with the chocolate drizzle.

NUTRITION

Per cookie: 76 calories; 4 g fat ( 1 g sat , 1 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 9 g carbohydrates; 1 g protein; 1 gfiber; 31 mg sodium; 36 mg potassium.

Recipe from http://www.eatingwell.com

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Dear Mother of Pole my muscles hurt!

Good morning! Although I’d really like to just head back to bed. Last night was my pole class and today I am dying, I did not take it easy and the palms of my hands are suffering because of it. While I love my studio, I’m having mixed feelings about brass poles. While super sticky is fantastic for upside down holds, it’s killer on my hands when we practice our routine (which is to Tear Away by Drowning Pool)

Ouchy!

Ouchy!

See this is what happens, I don’t know if you can see that well but on the palms of my hands I have two nice blisters from the brass pole. I’ll wear them like medals for now though, because I got them from working my ass off on the pole! Didn’t learn anything new last night, although we did practice our Scorpios, Gemini, thigh hold.

OH but I did do my first cross ankle release (but didn’t get a picture of it) with some help from my teacher. It’s another move that really does require some good ol’ lady balls. Not to  mention some sticky thighs and a tight butt! If someone reading this doesn’t know I’m talking about pole fitness this would sound extremely and unnecessarily dirty.

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Alice doing The Tree

So this morning is gymnastics time for my little one! She’s quite excited. I really am hoping that when she’s a little older she will get into pole fitness. I see those young girls from Europe and Russia doing it and it’s like an art, it’s really like ballet/gymnastics and I think it’s beautiful. Hopefully by the time Alice is that age it’ll be more mainstream in Canada and she’ll be able to do competitions. I’ll just teach her until then.

At the moment she has gymnastics once a week, if she likes it maybe she’ll continue it and do it more. But next winter she will also be signed up for hockey and then soccer this summer.

I come from a very athletic family, my mom was like ‘the sport girl’ when she was in high school (which I wasn’t in anyway, I was super competitive in gym though, but I was more of a trouble maker in high school). My little sister played hockey for a long time, my brother did as well and now just plays casually. I was big into soccer and basketball, as well as swimming when I was young enough that my parents could force me into it, don’t get me wrong I enjoyed it, but my interests shifted as I got older. Pole is the first physical activity that has really peaked my interest in years, which in turn lead to me loving Pilates, and HIIT (High intensity interval training.) I even tried out running this summer, but found it really hurt my shins, I don’t think I know how to run right to be honest, which was something that I never thought was possible. I though… you just run…right? WRONG… there’s actually a certain way to run so you don’t injure yourself.

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The Extended Spiderman (Aka the extended butterfly)

One of my favorite things about pole is dress up week, which is coming up in only a month. It will obviously be Christmas themed and if I have the money by then I have the perfect outfit to wear. But it’s like 65$ so I don’t think it’s worth it.

But don’t fret! I have a back up outfit, I’m just hoping to slim down a little more before wearing it. Also December 1st I’ll be starting a 12 week shift your diet to healthy eating. I’m hoping since it’s 12 weeks I’ll be able to stick to it afterwards and it’ll become more natural and it’ll be something I can carry on long term, because lets face it, I’m addicted to sweets. The only “eating out” I do is sushi, which really isn’t that bad for you, you just have to be picky and stay away from the deep fried deliciousness. But I love raw salmon, especially spicy salmon so it’s not so bad.

Well I have to leave soon to take her to gymnastics so I’m going to leave you guys with a delicious frozen treat that’s not unhealthy but should still be consumed in moderation! A recipe from one of my favorite sites, http://www.paleomg.com Go check it out, from breakfast to dinner, to delicious desserts, it’s by far one of my favorite websites for recipes!

Chewy Pecan Brittle 

Pecan Pie Brittle

Image from Paleomg.com

Ingredients

Instructions
  1. Place a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add a tablespoon of coconut oil then add your pecans to the pan. Toss around to coat in the oil and keep moving to help roast your pecans without burning them.
  3. When your pecans begin to become fragrant and browned a bit, add your honey and maple syrup. Mix well.
  4. Once your sugar begins to thicken just a little, add your coconut oil and coconut cream concentrate. Keep mixing with a rubber spatula to make sure your coconut cream concentrate doesn’t burn.
  5. Then add your cinnamon, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.
  6. When everything is well combined, turn burner on low and let simmer for about 3-4 minutes to thicken just a bit. (it won’t get super thick, so don’t expect that)
  7. While your mixture is thickening, line a 8×8 glass baking dish with parchment paper, pressing the paper down into the sides of the dish.
  8. Then pour your mixture into the parchment-lined baking dish and use a spoon to spread out the pecans throughout the mixture.
  9. Place in the freezer and let freeze for an hour or more. When you pull it from the freezer, it should be completely hardened but still have a chewiness to it.
  10. Use a knife to break it into pieces.
  11. Store in the freezer until serving!

I’d just like to say how thankful I am that wordpress periodically saves your posts because my laptop decided it was a good time to shut down everything without asking me so it could do an update…. SO THAT GOT TURNED OFF!!! *RAGE* Until tomorrow, ciao!