Monday, March 31, 2014

5 Reasons Why Not to Wear Yoga Pants

Unless your job requires you to dress professionally, you are probably sitting there reading this blog post while sporting a stretchy, oh so comfy, pair of yoga pants that have seen better days. Let's be honest-- I don't blame you. Those things are probably the comfiest damn things on the face of the earth.

However, after wearing yoga pants most days for a couple of months into self-employment, I realized that it needed to end. Wearing yoga pants was quite possibly one of the worst things that I could be doing for myself, and I needed to break the habit. If you think I've totally lost my mind at this point, I'll convince you otherwise.

1. You shower. Think about it. How many times do you crawl out of bed, throw on some yoga pants, and then stumble to the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee, never to change out of those yoga pants for the rest of the day? Yup. That was me. And quite honestly, after a while I just started to feel dirty if I still hadn't taken a shower by late afternoon.

2. You feel better about yourself. If you've showered, taken the time to put on a nice outfit, and have accomplished this by 9am, then that's a win. You will feel 200% better about yourself. You won't feel like a slob. You'll feel put together and most likely have a better body image of yourself, which only leads to a better outlook for the rest of your day. It's a confidence booster.

3. You become more productive. Getting out of those yoga pants and into a nice outfit will make you feel like you're on a mission. If you can accomplish that, I guarantee you'll start your day with more motivation to accomplish your goals for the rest of the day. I have noticed that on days that I don't shower and put on real clothes by 9am, my entire day slowly becomes a complete waste. I often like to throw on a cute pair of shoes in addition to getting nicely dressed. Cute shoes always up the ante.

4. They're an incentive to work out. If you're like me, you love fashionable workout clothes just as much as any other type of clothes. Choosing a few pairs of yoga pants that you really love can be an added incentive to be active and sweat it out. If you work out, then you get to wear your yoga pants. Use them as an incentive to be active, not to lounge around the house.

5. You have more reason to shop for cute clothes. What's the point of shopping or buying fashionable items when you never wear them? Not wearing yoga pants all day makes me more excited about what I can do with my day to day wardrobe. I love being able to dress for my mood. For example, if I'm feeling like a rock star businesswoman that day, I choose a blazer and pumps. And, knowing that I'll actually be wearing the clothes I purchase makes it easier for me to justify buying them.

I've stuck my guns with the No Yoga Pants rule for a few months now and it's a game changer. Of course I indulge on the weekends and have at least one lazy day because we all deserve that. However, I've jumped ship on the yoga pants during the week. Have I convinced you yet? Are you guilty of wearing yoga pants non-stop?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Homemade Dog Biscuits

This past Sunday was Lilah's fifth birthday. While she is starting to grey a little in the chin, when most people ask us how old she is, they are shocked to find out that she's not one or two years of age. We've been told by many of our friends that she has mellowed out considerably in these five years, but she truly is one of the happiest dogs I've ever met and just doesn't slow down.

Andrew and I usually give Lilah something special for her birthday, so this year we decided to make her some biscuits. They were quick and simple to make and boy does she love them! Between her high level of energy and the fact that she snarfed her biscuit down so quickly, I gave up all hope of capturing a photo of her for this blog post. After glancing at several recipes, I decided that I could have a go at making my own concoction that would please Lilah based on some of her very favorite things. This recipe includes simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry, and is fairly healthy. Lilah will eat just about anything and can put on a few extra pounds quite quickly if we're not too careful, so I kept that in mind. In addition, we've still only been giving her one biscuit about every other day so as not to overdo it.

Homemade Dog Biscuits

What You'll Need
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth (please make sure it is low sodium! too much salt is not good!)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 mashed banana

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix flour, oats, and baking powder. Stir in the broth, peanut butter, and banana until the dough comes together. Form the dough into a ball on a floured counter. Kneed the dough for about 30 seconds to make the dough smooth. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to about a third of an inch thickness. Use a dog bone shaped cookie cutter to cut biscuits and place the biscuits on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes until the biscuits are crunchy.

And from one dog family to another, we hope that your pups enjoy these biscuits as much as Lilah does!

Do you celebrate your dog's birthday? Have you made dog biscuits before? I'd love to hear about your recipes!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Oatmeal Coconut Cookies

Yesterday was Saint Patrick's Day (as you all know), but instead of the normal sunshine and 65 degree weather we tend to have around this time of year, we got dumped on by several inches of snow. This winter in Baltimore has been rough. I mean really, really rough. I've really tried to stay positive through it all and hopeful of warmer weather making it's way into the forecast, but I'd say I'm probably not alone in this city (or this country, for that matter) when I say I almost feel like it has gotten the better of me. So when the snow started falling on Sunday night, I decided I would make the best of the situation and at least make cookies. After all, who doesn't like to eat cookies while stuck inside the house with the snow swirling outside. And nothing makes you feel more warm and cozy than some of your mom's best cookies, so I busted out an old favorite my mom had baked many a time.

These oatmeal coconut cookies may be the best on the planet. They are soft and chewy and last for weeks! I might sound crazy, but the back story is that when my mom was in college, she drove from Indiana to Santa Fe to visit her aunt. She had made a batch of these cookies to munch on in the car. Upon returning to Indiana, she forgot about the cookies until finding a bag of them under her car seat about a month later. Laughing at the entire scenario, she decided to taste one to see if they still were any good, and sure enough, they were just as good as they had been a month prior! So while the "official" name of this recipe is Oatmeal Coconut Cookies, the other name in our family is Oatmeal Coconut Cookies that Stay Good.

 Oatmeal Coconut Cookies

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter and sugars. Mix in eggs. Mix in coconut and rolled oats. Add the flour, soda, and baking powder. Shape in to one inch balls and place onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until edges start to brown.

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