Working It + Getting Lofty + Winning!

Good times were had by all (if we do say so ourselves) at this past Sundays Super Circuit + Feng Shui event!

We kicked-off the morning at Core Fitness getting warmed up and then hitting a 4-station circuit lead by personal trainers Mac Dodds, Terry Hummel, Cathy Selway, and our very own Tina Dodds. After over 30-minutes of total body conditioning…and a lot of smilin’ and sweatin’…we were ready to settle into the comfy and cute space just a stones throw from Core Fitness, named “The Loft“. It was here that we sat in what felt like our best friends living room, complete with overstuffed couches, cute decorative details, and the scent of something that had us melting into our seats and feeling overwhelmed with calm. It was an added touch that we had delicious nourishment baked by one of our own FFF ladies, Jennifer Maco (a nutritionist). SCORE!!!

While we gnoshed on healthy baked goods and bananas, we listened to the insightful and delightful Nanci Dadami, Feng Shui expert. She shared with us ways to improve flow in our living/working spaces. As she put it, “when you change one thing, you change everything”. By altering our physical environment, we can’t help but to alter our internal environment as well. We are pretty sure that many left and got right to work de-cluttering a space or two!

Our event came to a close with the announcement of our Sunday “Points Submission” and “Super Circuit Raffle Winners”. And the winners are…

For Points Submission – Esma, “Bath Relaxation Kit”

For Super Circuit Raffle – Anneke & Julia, “Personal Training Package”

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Congratulations ladies!

We can’t wait to see you next weekend for Activ8 Bootcamp + Fabulous Finances. Make sure you RSVP HERE!

Stay Fierce,

T&T

Dance Boogie & Understanding Dudes

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This morning’s meeting was extremely cool!

We literally kicked off by learning some incredible dance moves from Cara at Funkmode Dance Company. Cara’s energy was infectious and her dance moves were unreal. I’m certain we only saw a teensy weensy bit of her capabilities, but from what I saw, she’s…err, well she’s my DANCER CRUSH!

In addition to a super fun warmup, Cara also took us through a mini routine choreographed to Izzy Azalea’s “Bounce.” As she pointed out, it’s pretty much impossible not to shake it to that song! That said, Cara was incredibly positive, supportive and encouraging. Her disarming charm coupled with her bright smile and HAIR brought a special energy to our morning. I think we all started out a little anxious about our hip hop dance abilities. By the time Cara got us going, our cares were checked at the door and we danced with abandon!

Please check out her classes – whether or not you end up on “So You Think You Can Dance,” you’ll definitely come away more comfortable moving your body and likely with a refreshed respect for dancers (as if we didn’t already appreciate how awesome it is to appreciate GREAT DANCE!).

As Cara packed up her kickin’ sound system, FFF friend and PAX Programs Educator, Susan Jensen shared with us on the topic of Understanding Men. Like you, I love the men in my life VERY much, but I would be lying not to admit that there are times when I feel like I have NO idea where they’re coming from! If you’ve ever wondered how your man has the GALL to walk over the same dirty socks throughout an entire day without picking them up or stared blankly as your guy grabs his keys for his 5th trip to Home Depot in order to complete the SAME project, you will LOVE Susan’s workshop.

Susan’s gentle approach and sweet nature drew me in, but I was truly hooked when she talked to us about the “Transition Time” most men require in order to move from one project to the next. In my case, my children and I generally pounce on my husband the second he walks in the door from his 12 hour work day, which includes at least 3 hours of commute time (between his own car, a corporate shuttle and/or the BART train). We’re so excited to see him, we can’t contain our enthusiasm for his arrival! Still, sometimes (read: daily!) I can tell we’re a bit much for him.

I want my husband to be as happy in our life as I am. I don’t ever want him to feel overwhelmed with the prospect of coming home – that sounds simply awful to me. So I’m going to read more of PAX’s website: www.understandmen.com. I’m going to look into the books they offer and I may even spend a weekend at one of their “Queen’s Code” workshops. I love my husband so much and I want to be on the side of his happiness as well!

What about you? When’s the last time you shook some bootie or cut a rug with wild abandon? Are there aspects of your communication with the opposite sex that you wouldn’t mind refreshing? Tell us about it in the comments! We love to hear from you.

Super Simple Homemade Pumpkin Hummus

Who doesn’t love hummus? Well, I don’t know about them but I know I love it! I also LOVE pumpkin (duh!) and I love learning how to make at home the things that I could otherwise buy at the store for many times the cost of making it myself. (I indulge in buying the fruits of other people’s labors on the regular but I also like a challenge).

To be honest, making homemade hummus is NOT much of a challenge. It’s so easy in fact, that I almost wouldn’t consider buying hummus from the store again.

Last night, we had our yoga & wine event at Yogaworks and I wanted to bring some yummy fall delights to share with the lady-crew post-class. Along with the pumpkin/kale/sausage pasta dish (that was a huge hit), I also brought along this yummy hummus, which got rave reviews as well. I hope you like it!

And to give the credit where the credit is HUGELY due, I adapted this one from A Couple Cooks. The thing is, I get an idea and think it’s original. Just to get some general guidance on execution, I google it first and ALWAYS find that someone else has already tried it. So why re-invent the wheel? Why not just tweak it with some sick rims or something? That’s what I’m about…pimping out other people’s recipe creations. Hmmm, I truly wish there was a less offensive word I could have used there besides “pimping.”

Easy Pumpkin Hummus

Ingredients
  • 4 garlic cloves, paper and hard stem removed
  • 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (or 1¾ cup pumpkin puree)
  • 1-2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2-3 shakes pumpkin pie spice
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1-2 tablespoons good olive oil
Throw it all in the food processor and blend until combined. Be sure to swipe down the edges to capture any spices that went astray. Serve with pita, pita chips or veggie crudite. Enjoy!

Pumpkin, Kale & Sausage Pasta

Last night, at our Yoga & Wine event at Yogaworks Walnut Creek, I wanted to share some food to bring us together socially after class. Because it’s mid-fall and pumpkin is ALL AROUND us (Trader Joe’s), I went for savory pumpkin. I also brought along a few bottles of wine because we all love a party, right?

I also made Pumpkin Hummus, which was jammin’ along with some cut carrots.

After searching the inter-webs and Pinterest, I decided that a combo of kale, pumpkin and sausage was perfect because (a) it sounded delicious and (b) I had each readily available in my fridge!

Now anyone who knows my cooking style knows that my approach to following recipes is pretty liberal. By that I mean that I hardly ever measure ingredients – I just wing it with a shake of this and a pinch of that. My poor husband, who is a Scientist and accustomed to following recipes for biotechnology drugs with EXTREME PRECISION, gets very uncomfortable with my approach. The truth is…it’s not perfectly repeatable and it’s in no way scalable but it’s all I know!

So here it is…adapted from Fine Cooking.

  • Sea salt
  • 1 package Aidell’s mini chicken-apple sausages, cut into small pieces
  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cups 3/4-inch-diced peeled, seeded pumpkin (or just buy the prepared bag at Trader Joe’s, like me!)
  • 3 shakes champagne vinegar (or dry white wine if you aren’t alone in your house with your kids and you’re trying to stay on the wagon thus refusing to open a whole bottle that will sit in the fridge staring at you every time you open it)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 10 oz. kale: trimmed, ribs removed, leaves cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Bowtie pasta (I used most of one box)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano; more for serving
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat.

In a heavy-duty 12-inch skillet over medium heat, heat the sausage. Push the sausage towards the edge of the skillet and add the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until golden and the sausage is well browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin, vinegar, and garlic and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Add 3/4 cup of the stock and cook until the pumpkin is almost tender, about 12 minutes (it took me a while to get the pumpkin tender because the TJ’s chunks are kind of large). Add the kale and the remaining 3/4 cup stock, cover, and cook until the pumpkin and kale are tender, about 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in the boiling water according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and then drain well. Add the pasta to the skillet with enough of the pasta water to coat the pasta and vegetables generously. Stir in the Parmigiano and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with additional Parmigiano.

Vino & Vinyasa!

Last night, we had the extraordinary pleasure of enjoying Kathe Oster at Yogaworks Walnut Creek for a yoga fundamentals class. Because it was Friday night, Kathe treated our FFF lady-crew to a relaxing yoga session, which included some foundational instruction I’d never experienced. The thing is that I’ve done quite a lot of yoga. But even in the “Level 1 / 2” classes I’ve attended, I’ve always felt like my practice is just beginning and everyone else’s is well underway.

I came across this quote recently and believe it applies really well to how I felt at last night's yoga class.

I came across this quote recently and believe it applies really well to how I felt at last night’s yoga class.

Kathe took her time explaining proper positioning, alignment and BREATHING. She guided us through many breathing exercises while gently taking us through a series of asanas (yoga poses) including sun salutations and warriors. Kathe didn’t rush at all but took the time to guide us through each series with patient instruction, giving endless cues about form to prevent injury. I felt so empowered in her class! Understanding so many of the subtleties and deep knowledge of the asanas that many classes or instructors presume each student already knows made me feel capable of any pose Kathe suggested. While we didn’t do anything “crazy” (e.g. headstands!), I left last night’s class feeling not only refreshed but powerful and able to challenge myself to a yoga practice based on a strong foundation. At one point, it occurred to me that we normally like to snap photos during our events to give you an idea of how much fun you missed. But, when I thought of pulling out the camera, I changed my mind. All the focus, power and deep body awareness those ladies harnessed would have been lost the moment I pointed the lens their way. While capturing memories is awesome, it just would not have been the right thing to do in that moment. Thank you Kathe for a lovely class! Check out Yogaworks Walnut Creek.

After the class, we had some food and wine and got to catch up. I brought along Pumpkin Hummus and Pumpkin / Kale / Sausage Pasta. It was pretty yummy digs!

Have you ever tried yoga? Did you ever feel intimidated in a fitness class? Share your experiences in the comments!