"In all of living have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured!"
~ Gordon B. Hinckley

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Coolest Kid in the Sunbeams

It's Memorial Day Weekend!! That means lots of people on vacation! Which means, lots of help needed in Primary at church! So I got asked to help out with the Sunbeams class (4-year-olds). After it was finally over the teacher apologized and said it was about the craziest today that it's ever been. Whatever! I thought it was like the best day ever!

I got to build cages and slides for zoo animals to appease the kids that wanted me to play animals with them and the kids that wanted me to play blocks with them at the same time, and the bear was safely barricaded away from the mommy pig so no animals died. The skirt I randomly grabbed after waking up late happened to be pink and sparkly, which was a huge hit with the girls. Speaking of which, one of the girls decided we should have a princess party at my house and invited everyone in the class. And not one, but three kids decided I absolutely HAD to sit next to them around the table for the lesson and snack. Sitting up to the table next to three kids at the same time is hard. One of them even gave me both of the stickers she had on her hand to try and buy my affection.

Oh and I have a new boyfriend now. I caught him quietly staring at me from his chair on the other side of the teacher during Sharing Time instead of singing like he was supposed to. He gave me his paper bracelet handout they gave all the kids and built zoo cages with me and sat next to me, or on my lap, the whole time and never left my side. He even unbuttoned his shirt so I'd have to button it back up for him. And after class was over, he even invited me over to his house to play. Yep, that's true love right there!

My goodness kids are SO cute when you just have to feed them snacks and play with them for an hour or two and then you can just send them home :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Healthy No Bake Cookies!!!...?

I'm so proud of myself :) Discovering a healthy way to eat my dessert!

I found this wonderful blog http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/ on Pinterest and was totally captivated! Tons and tons of lovely pictures of decadent treats like strawberry-chocolate truffle pie, German chocolate fudge bites, pumpkin cream cheese bars, berry crumble bars, cake batter ice cream, sugar cookie milk shakes, chocolate brownie batter dip, pumpkin pie parfait, snickerdoodle blondies, carrot cake shakes, chocolate raspberry fudge cake, you name it! Mmmmmmm......aaaand they all claim to be healthy low-fat, low-cal, sometimes sugar-free recipes that taste just like the real deal, if not better!!! No way!!! It's almost too good to be true!!

So I tried a couple of these delectable goodies.

Yep. It's too good to be true.

They tasted...pretty gross. My husband wouldn't even touch them. Lets be honest here. When you blend together raisins, peanut butter, vanilla, and cocoa powder, it doesn't taste like cookies. Even if you call it that, go on and on about how good it is, and have a pretty picture. It tastes like peanut butter, raisins, and dirt. And when was the last time you mixed up only raspberries, coconut, cocoa powder, and 1 Tbs sugar and expected it to taste like raspberry chocolate fudge cake? Most likely never.

*I must clarify though, her recipes are intended to be more for gluten-free, no sugar added, raw food, clean-eating purists, vegans, or people with food allergies...not for people like me who eat sugary, fatty, rich, preservative-laden, artery-clogging junk like it's going out of style. So to the audience for which the food is intended - and compared to the normal diet of such people - they probably taste divinely delicious; whereas to me...not so much.*

I guess that means it's time for a healthy wake-up call!

SO, yesterday took the recipe I was trying to make at the time (healthy chocolate peanut butter fudge!) and modified it a bit...and I LOVED it!! Aaaand I didn't even add any sugar!! (just snuck in a couple chocolate chips...hehe) For those who want it, and to give proper credit for my inspiration, the original recipe is here .

I'm so proud of myself :) My own little recipe for healthy no bake cookies!

And here it is (approximately):
- 1 very ripe medium banana, mashed
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 2 1/2 Tbs cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/3 cup rolled oats
- 2-4 Tbs coconut if desired
- 2-4 Tbs chocolate chips (mini milk chocolate chips work great :)

Just mix it all up and eat it :) It's gooey and never sets up so use a spoon, or you can chill it in the fridge or freezer and cut it up and eat it like fudge how the original recipe intended for it to be.

NO this does not taste exactly like no bake cookies. Of course not, silly. That would require a lot of butter, sugar, salt, all those deliciously unhealthy things. So if you're looking an awesome dessert recipe, this isn't it. But, if you're looking for healthier way to abate your chocolate cravings, fill you with appetite-satisfying and sustaining protein and natural fats and sugars and healthy carbs, pacify your sweet tooth a bit, and sneak in some extra fruit and fiber, maybe give it a try :) I sure thought it was tasty enough!

Oh, and yes, you can taste the banana. It's the natural sweetener, along with the chocolate, of course. If you're not a banana fan you could also substitute raspberries or strawberries and just add a couple tsp of sugar (or honey?), or for a more no-sugar-added approach, substitute finely chopped raisins or dates for the fruit.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Such Beautiful Torture

Those stupid shoes! Those awful, painful, expensive, agonizing, torturous, tight, abrasive, wretched, stinky, pink pointe shoes!!!

Don't be fooled by the pretty shiny pink satin. When I quit ballet, one of the things I was most eager to leave behind was dancing on pointe. I even took a picture of my retired pointe shoes and toe pads.

So long pointe shoes! And good riddance!

But now, after a 5-year break, once again I am putting on those dreadful, hated shoes to dance in Swan Lake.

Why do we put ourselves through this??! Who's terrible idea was it to invent these horrible shoes and make us all suffer and endure the endless blisters and bruised, broken, and lost toenails on the way to developing crippled deformed feet riddled with arthritis and bunions by our early 20's if not sooner?!?!




This is what the audience sees. Exquisite, perfect, weightless, graceful, unearthly, effortless.





What they don't realize is that it feels like this...





And this...
 




Every day. 

Hour after hour after hour. 
 

And yet, we all choose to do this to ourselves. Why?! What is wrong with us?! Talk about the worst hobby ever! I've only worn my new pointe shoes a few times and I've already gotten several hot angry blisters on top of my old scars and places where my massive calluses used to be, not to mention the beginnings of bruises under the tips of the corners of my big toenails from forcing the weight of my entire body onto a tiny oval less than 1/2 inch in diameter, or the stinging painful ache of bunions. Ugh. 

I found the picture above on this site http://www.the-perfect-pointe.com/Agony.html along with this quote: 
The Ballet toe shoe is one of the few instruments of torture to survive intact into our time. ~unknown
 Truer words may never have been spoken. Except for maybe "beauty is pain". When relating to ballet anyways. 



That being said, it really is beautiful. And as much as it hurts, and as hard as it is to master, there is something wonderful and liberating about dancing on pointe! Being taller and longer than you really are. Such a love/hate relationship! Before I quit ballet several years ago, I never got strong enough on point to feel like I was working with my shoes instead of fighting against them. Maybe this time around will be different. I know more now, and I don't have the same pressures and stresses I did before, so maybe I'll learn to like my pointe shoes a little more. 

...and maybe I won't, and I'll do the bare minimum to get me through Swan Lake and then quit again and just watch other people dance on pointe. It won't hurt like the dickens that way :)




Monday, May 7, 2012

Googling

I just checked my blog stats after several weeks of blog neglect, and discovered that someone found my blog in a google search for "I love my life quotes". Can I just say that made me ridiculously happy?! Not so much the part about a random stranger coming across my blog from a random google search, but just that google apparently somehow decided my blog was worthy of being categorized in an "I love my life" search.

Because you know what? I do love my life. Chronic nausea and all. And why shouldn't I? I have been blessed with great parents, an incredible family, a better husband than I could have ever imagined for myself, very generous and loving relatives, good education, incredible training in both piano and ballet and well as several opportunities to use it, I could go on and on. Most importantly though, I am a daughter of God. The princess of a Heavenly King who loves me more than I can understand, and who is helping guide and shape my life to be the way He meant for it to be to potentially create the best version of me I can possibly be. And if that's not reason enough to love my life, I don't know what is :)