F&F Friday Favorites ~ 10.17.14 (and a flash giveaway!)

Good morning!

Today I’m celebrating five years of being with this guy:

Five Years Me and TimIt’s kind of crazy, and I kind of can’t believe it. I also can’t believe that we are getting married in less than a year. And I ALSO can’t believe that this happened last night:

Wedding: Gown

Eeek!

Anyways, let’s get into our Friday reading material. If you missed any posts on the blog this week, check out this recipe for delicata squash farro and this recap of the Athleta in store bootcamp class and shopping event that I hosted.

Here you go!

Friday Favorites

Fitness

Recipes

Blogging and Social Media

Self Image, Life, and Inspiration

–Let’s chat–
Tell me about your weeks, anything you are celebrating, and what’s up for the weekend!

Tim and I are going out for our anniversary tonight, but the only other thing we have planned is running the Oaktoberfest 5k race at the Oak Square Y on Sunday. Team F&F has 11 other people who joined, which is awesome, but I also have one unclaimed free entry to give away today. Interested in running the race with us? Click on over to my F&F Facebook page for a flash giveaway and your chance to win!

Sweat, Snack, Shop: Birthday Bootcamp at Athleta

A couple of weeks ago, I teamed up with Athleta Legacy Place to teach an in store bootcamp class during the week of their one year birthday celebration.

Athleta Legacy Place: Birthday Bootcamp

I arrived around 6:15 to get situated, help clear the racks from the middle of the store, and make sure my music was okay. My class sold out pretty quickly which was AWESOME, and people started trickling in around 6:30. Of course my mom and bridesmaids were the first to arrive!

Athleta Legacy Place: Birthday BootcampAthleta Legacy Place: Birthday Bootcamp

I started the night by welcoming everyone and thanking them for coming, introducing myself and my background, and going over some logistics. I also gave a short talk that would speak to who I am and hopefully leave everyone feeling inspired before we jumped into the workout.

“I’m passionate about empowering women through fitness. I love showing people that fitness is fun. It doesn’t have to be about spending hours on a boring piece of equipment, and it most certainly is not only about how we look. Fitness is about trying new things. It’s about how we feel, how it makes us confident, and it’s about feeling strong and happy in our own skin. Athleta’s tagline is “power to the she,” which I love because it speaks to women who see being healthy and fit as vital to life. It speaks to the fact that it is okay to make fitness and healthy living a priority, no matter how much else you have going on. And you know what’s awesome? That there are 30 of you here tonight, choosing to spend your time doing something for YOU, something healthy, and something fun.”

I then made everyone introduce themselves to someone they didn’t know since the social aspect of fitness is so important to me. As everyone was chatting away, I got my music going, and then we were off!

Athleta Legacy Place: Birthday Bootcamp

After the warmup, I used a tried and true format: bodyweight strength supersets with cardio and ab blasts in between each round. I tried to pick exercises that would show you don’t need a lot of fancy equipment or a gym to get a good workout in or feel the burn!

Athleta Birthday Bootcamp: Bodyweight superset workout

This took us right up until around 7:40, so if you are doing this on your own you can allot around 40 minutes for the workout, including the warmup. For the remaining 20 minutes, I had everyone find a partner and do the following partner exercises:

  • Leg throwdowns
  • Crab walks forward and backward + 4 hand claps
  • Cross arm jumping lunges
  • Plank reach and touch
  • Back to back “wall sit”

Athleta Legacy Place: Birthday Bootcamp

Everyone was laughing and having so much fun together by the end of these! <—that is what I LOVE seeing and when I feel truly in my element. We finished class with some of my signature group situp lines and a stretch, and then it was time to mingle!

Here’s a sweaty pic of me and some of my gym friends… shoutout to Jen who took my class at 6am that morning AND came to the event to support me!

Athleta Legacy Place: Birthday Bootcamp

Athleta was kind enough to set up a table with veggies and munchies for people to snack on during the post class shopping event. They also offered a 25% discount off of any apparel purchased that night and two raffle drawings. So generous! I want to also extend a thank you to the folks at Hint Water who donated waters for us to stay hydrated and Joos who donated one of the raffle prizes for the night.

Athleta Legacy Place: Birthday Bootcamp

I would say the event was definitely a success! I ended up leaving with a nice thank you goodie bag from Athleta with a yoga mat, headband, water bottle, and hat. I also purchased this, these, this in white, and a pair of black leggings! Thank you to everyone who came to support me in my first event like this. I loved seeing so many familiar faces but meeting so many fun new people at the same time.
Athleta Legacy Place: Birthday BootcampI left feeling inspired to do more things like this and less of what doesn’t fuel me, but you could probably guess that would happen. Stay tuned!

–Let’s chat–
Have you ever taken a fitness class in a store before?
Were you at my Athleta event? What did you think? What does fitness mean to you? How do you interpret Athleta’s tagline of “power to the she?”

Let me know if you try the bodyweight workout at home or have any questions about it!

Delicata Squash and Farro Risotto

You guys, I have a confession. When it comes to squash, I have always been a butternut snob. Truthfully, I probably haven’t been giving many other squash varieties a fair chance. Last week, however, I discovered the wonders of delicata squash when we got one in our CSA delivery. Delicata squash are yellow with green stripes and have an oval or oblong shape. I’ve always seen them in the store, but never tried one before.

Tim wasted no time getting busy in the kitchen with this one!

Delicata Squash and Farro Risotto

Delicata Squash and Farro Risotto

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 2 delicata squash, peeled and chopped into quarter-inch cubes
  • 2 cups farro
  • 5 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In this recipe, you will be working with the farro and squash simultaneously. Before you begin, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and put the broth in a saucepan over low heat. You will also want to soak the farro in water for about 10 minutes.

  1. Toss the squash with the extra virgin olive oil in a bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking dish, and cook for about 10-15 minutes or until fork tender. Make sure to stir/flip the squash halfway through cooking.
  2. Take the squash out of the oven, and divide the quantity in half. Take one half and purée it in a blender, food processor, or with an immersion blender. Add the water while blending. Note that you might not need all the water depending on the squash you are using. You want to blend until the squash has the consistency of a thick applesauce.
  3. Drain the farro, and then toast it in a skillet over medium heat. Continuously stir until the farro is dry or you can smell it toasting.
  4. With a ladle, scoop 2 ladle-fulls of broth into the farro skillet. Stir until the broth begins to evaporate. Once the broth is almost evaporated, add in all the pureed squash, the Parmesan cheese, and the dried rosemary. Continue adding the broth, ladle by ladle, stirring until evaporated, until there is no more broth to add.
  5. At this point, add in the other half of the squash that wasn’t pureed. Heat until warm, and serve.
  6. Enjoy!

Delicata Squash and Farro Risotto

Tim and I prefer using farro instead of rice to make risotto. Not only is it a healthier option, but the dish can maintain its texture a bit better with the farro, especially for leftovers. This was nice and creamy (I know, I know, gross word alert), and it was a great fall dish for a chilly night. Plus, dinner always tastes better when Tim cooks!

–Let’s chat–
What’s your favorite type of squash? Have you tried delicata before? How do you prefer your risotto?

Lots to do at work today, but Jen is in town tonight! I’m psyched!

F&F Friday Favorites ~ 10.10.14

Good morning!

This week I tackled one of my blog/social media projects that’s been on the good old to do list for a long time: Pinterest! I’ve had an F&F Pinterest page for a couple of years, but it was never carefully organized, and it was definitely really outdated. Well this week I had some time to create boards for all my different types of workouts and recipes so that they are easy to navigate and find. I think you guys are going to like it!

pinterest

Right now the majority of my pins are my content, but moving forward I will be pinning more from other bloggers too. Do me a favor guys, click on over and follow me if you aren’t already!

For those of you who are just catching up on my posts from the week, here you go:

And now, your weekly reads! Some good ones in here today!

Friday Favorites

Fitness

Foodie

Recipes

Blogging and Social Media

Self Image, Inspiration, Life

And that’s that.

–Let’s chat–
What’s going on in your worlds? Anyone working on any kind of project, whether it’s something at work, your home, a hobby, etc.? What’s up for the weekend?

It’s a long weekend for me! So far it’s looking like Lion King tonight > wedding dress shopping tomorrow (eek) > our friends’ baby’s baptism on Sunday, and free on Monday.

Autumn Quinoa Salad with Kale, Beets, and Pears

New recipe post!

This week we got so many fun fall ingredients in our CSA delivery. Have I mentioned how much I love the fall? On Tuesday night, Tim and I spent a lot of time together in the kitchen, and I put together a salad to have for lunch the rest of the week. I wanted to use multiple ingredients in one meal, and I chose to use the kale, beets, and pears.

Autumn Quinoa Salad with Kale, Beets, and Pears

Autumn Quinoa Salad with Kale, Beets, and Pears

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 bunch kale, rinsed, chopped, and massaged with juice from half a lemon
  • 3 small to medium-sized beets, peeled, and chopped into quarter to half-inch cubes
  • 1 pear, peeled, and sliced into match sticks
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • Half a red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • A few squirts of agave
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Crumbled goat cheese, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Put the beets in a tinfoil pouch with a half to full tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Close up the pouch and cook for about 10 minutes or until fork tender.
  3. Meanwhile, put the 1 cup quinoa in 2 cups of water in a pot on the stove. Bring to a boil, then simmer 15 minutes until cooked.
  4. Mix all the other ingredients with the quinoa and cooked beets in a large bowl. Sprinkle with goat cheese if desired, and enjoy!

Autumn Quinoa Salad with Kale, Beets, and Pears

One thing I think people often overlook when they make a dish is not the flavor of their ingredient selection, but the variety of textures used. Since the quinoa, kale, and cooked beets all share a similar consistency, the pears added a unique mouth-feel to this salad. They weren’t overly ripe yet, so the crispy and juicy combination worked to our advantage.

Autumn Quinoa Salad with Kale, Beets, and Pears

Even though I’m calling this my autumn quinoa salad, I think it would make a festive addition to any holiday table in a couple of months! Isn’t it pretty?

–Let’s chat–
Do you ever think about the consistency or texture of the ingredients you cook with? What ingredients (besides pumpkin and apples!) come to mind when you think of fall?

One last thing today… congratulations to two of our dearest friends, Cate and Joe, who welcomed their new baby girl, Brynn, into the world yesterday. We cannot wait to meet her!