Archive | October, 2010

That’s right. Margarita Cupcakes.

31 Oct

Hey Everyone –

Sometimes you just need a treat.  I find that if I make my own treats – I enjoy them so much more.  Cathryn and I made these bad boys for my mom’s Pampered Chef Party, and they were a HUGE hit.

Ladies and Gents,

Say “hello” to Margarita Cupcakes!!

Ingredients –

3 sticks of butter

2 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs, at room temp, plus one large egg white

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

2 3/4 cups of flour

2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 plus two tablespoons whole milk

grated peel of 4 small limes, plus 1/4 cup lime juice

1 teaspoon pure vanilla

3 cups of confectioners’ sugar (maybe a 1/2 cup more)

2 tablespoons tequila

green food coloring

lime wedges for decoration

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350.  Line two cupcake pans with baking liners.  Using mixer, beat two sticks of butter and the granulated sugar until creamy.  Gradually beat in the eggs and oil.  Scrape down sides of the bowl and mix again.

2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a large glass measuring cup, stir together the milk, 2 table spoons lime juice, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla – this will curdle – just like a science project.  On low-speed, mix in one-third of the wet mixture, then one-third of the dry mixture.  Repeat twice, ending with the dry mixture.  Mix in half of the grated lime peel.

3.  Fill each baking liner about three-quarters full with batter.  Bake until the cupcakes spring back when gently touched, about 24 minutes.  Let cool 30 minutes.

4.  Now for the frosting – (I had to make a double batch, but I LOVE frosting)  beat the remaining stick of butter until creamy.  Beat in one cup of the confectioners’ sugar.  Beat in the tequila, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, lime peel, and food coloring until smooth and creamy.  Add the remaining sugar – until you get the consistency you like.

5.  Frost and top with a wedge of lime – enjoy!!

Until Next Time –

Andrea

Let’s Focus on You!

28 Oct

“If only I looked like that…”

“If only I had some extra time – I could do that too.”

“If only I had her sense of style.”

“If only, If only, If only.”

Let’s stop the self-loathing pity party for one cotton pickin’ second.

You are YOU!  Not – her, him, it, them, those….  Shocker, right?  Love “you.”  Look in the mirror and say, “Damn gurl, you be fiiiiine.”  No matter what you are, no matter what you look like, no matter what your income is – before you decide to send save the date cards to the pity party of the century – try to own your self and your situation.

If you want to make healthy changes – I’ll be first in your corner rooting you on.  But, the first change you need to make, the VERY first – is to know that you are worth it.  You are good enough to deserve whatever in life YOU want.  YOU are amazing and there is no one in the world like you.  Roll around and get dirty in your uniqueness.  Are you loving it yet… are you feeling like, “Yes, the world is MY oyster!!

Ready, Set, Run to the Mirror, Let’s Sing it Together –

Until next time!!

Andrea

 

Please, Oh Please, Don’t Do That!

27 Oct

As we all know,  or most of us know, there is a certain etiquette a person is supposed to follow while working out in a gym.  Granted, I know that they aren’t always followed and for the most part, I can handle them no problem because I am usually pretty distracted with my workout.  Really, sweat, bad B.O., slamming down weights, grunting, the person who never wipes of the machine after they have dripped sweat all over it, the poser who is always checking themselves out in the mirror, the excessive noise maker, the man wearing extremely short shorts that really shouldn’t be.  Doesn’t bother me.  However, today, I saw something that just was gross.  Please, oh please, do not stand in front of the mirror and pick your pimples.  GROSS!!!!!  Save that stuff for home.  The thing that was even more bizzare is that this guy was oblivious to me standing next to him!  People these days! So, I did my best to control my facial expressions, turned and walked away trying not to vomit.

Ok, I feel better now.  Until next time, mind your manners when you are in the gym, or anywhere for that matter, and have a great day!

Karly

New, Three Week, Running Schedule

26 Oct

Howdy Folks –

I got my schedule for the next three weeks – just in case you are interested:

Monday – 30 minutes

Tuesday – 20 mins, 10 x 100 meters, 20 mins

Wednesday – Off

Thursday – 30 minutes

Friday – Off

Saturday – 50 minutes and 15 x 100 meters.

Sunday – off.

It’s gonna be a good week!!

Meet the Pitcher’s

25 Oct

I would like to introduce you to a couple that I have the pleasure of knowing and who inspire me very much so. They are truly amazing together as well as individually. 

 To give you a quick background of how I came to meet this amazing couple, It was January 2010 and Manuel and I were trying to prepare and sort out this figure competition stuff.  We knew it was important to get in touch with someone who knew what they were doing.  With the help of my best friend Andrea, she got me in touch with Kris Pitcher, who happens to be a competitive bodybuilder.  Her  husband is a personal trainer, a competitive bodybuilder and contest prep. coach.  We hit it off great via: email and I knew this was the right fit for me.  We met in February for posing and preparation 101 and since then they have been great guidance and support for Manuel and I. 

I am honored to be apart of Team Pitcher and hope you enjoy reading about them below.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Jacques Pitcher (JP), I’m a Personal Trainer and owner of Team Pitcher. I train locally in Spokane where my wife Kris Pitcher (KP), and I have lived for 4 years. Kris is the Director of Development for the WSU College of Nursing. I’ll turn 39 in November and Kris is 40, we’ll celebrate our 12th anniversary this spring. As a teen I was a nationally competitive power lifter. I was fortunate to have mentors who believed in me and taught me to believe in myself during very formative years. This is where I began to focus my passion for fitness. I was a machinist by trade, and in Seattle in the ‘90s that was good work. But since then I’ve been able to match my work with my personal passion, creating a really strong path for myself.

Describe your work for us.

 JP– I’ve worked in the fitness industry for 10 years in roles from personal training to health & fitness director. When we came to Spokane I had the opportunity to focus on what I get the most from personally, training people. And that’s what I do. It was at that same time that I began to seriously pursue my bodybuilding “hobby”. I am a regionally competitive bodybuilder, and this year I’m putting a bit more energy and mental focus in this area with the intent of stepping on the national stage. I’m not getting any younger.

 I recently started my company, Team Pitcher. I do nutritional consultation, contest preparation, and training based on-line for people across the mountains or across the country. And locally of course for clients here. My clients range from older adults looking for increased quality of life, to competitive athletes and everyone in between. I work with all kinds of people, including clients with injuries, MS, diabetes, arthritis, eating disorders, you name it. Prepping clients for competitions is a particularly rewarding experience and Karly’s a great example of that.   

 KP – My background is in health & fitness as well. I spent 11 years in a non-profit organization starting as an Exercise Specialist and climbing the career ladder developing to Executive Director. Our move to Spokane gave me the chance to focus on one component of that final role, development work. I started competing in 2008 and I’m a lightweight bodybuilder. I’m also a writer.

 You can find my current work on my blog, “Fitness Bliss With Kris” http://krispitcher.blogspot.com. I am the Health Contributor for Sistahpedia.com, which will launch this holiday season. I write mind/body inspiration and motivation, which I love. It’s very rewarding work.

 What is your favorite type of exercise and why?

JP-Weight lifting. Period. We’re drawn to what we’re good at, and genetically Kris and I are both good at it. I feel like I achieve something every workout, there’s a success with each accomplishment. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t love the physical labor of it. But each workout gets me closer to my goals. And that feels good. My favorite exercise is the leg press – it’s a love hate relationship because of the amount of weight. But for that same reason, it’s the one that brings the greatest feeling of success.

KP – Mine is the same but for a different reason. The leg press is my favorite because I can press more weight than all the guys in the gym except for Jacques! I take pleasure in that with or without an audience, but my preference is to make a few jaws drop.

 Do you think as a married couple, it is important to both be active and if so, why or why not?

JP– It is important. I’m not saying it doesn’t or can’t work if both aren’t but it sure helps. For us, it’s one of the core values that brought us together. If you think about the things that make couples successful there are really only a few things; values about health & money top the list. If you share those values, you’re going to make it. This is such an important value to me that my first date with Kris was a workout. Working out together was going to be a good indication of how we would be able to communicate, problem solve, support one another, improvise, take constructive criticism, and be good partners. It was nice being real close too.

KP- The difficulty when you’re not both active is that when one person is succeeding it’s an unfortunate natural response to sabotage. I hear people complain about frustrations related to this a lot. So, yes it’s important. I didn’t realize how important that first date was! Sharing values is what makes us successful.    

What motivates you?

 JP -I’ve always wanted to be different from the norm in a special way. Being 5’ 5”, I knew I wasn’t going to be tall; the only way I was going to change myself was to be bigger. This was an early motivator. Now, I’m motivated by that same desire to be different and my goals keep me moving forward. My life and my work are focused around those goals. I draw energy from having people around me who support that in a positive way.

 KP– I’ve struggled with my weight for a long time. As a teen I was fat, and it wasn’t until after college that I started to get interested in exercise. I’m motivated by getting better every year as I age. Oddly, my job was so stressful when I worked in the industry that I couldn’t focus on my own health and fitness. I’m loving the direction that I’m going in right now, and that’s motivating. Forty never looked so good, and I can’t wait to see what 45 has in store for me. In this sport, muscle maturity is a good thing!

 Who inspires you the most in the industry and why?

JP-Right now I’m inspired by Dave Palumbo – he sticks to his ideals and isn’t afraid to take a risk in the industry forging his own path. He’s innovative and different which is good for the industry. As a competitor, I’m also motivated by the emerging 202 class. The success these guys are having breeds new hope for so many of us who are never going to be a Jay Cutler.

KP – I’m inspired by Tosca Reno, she pretty much sums up being a successful industry leader.

What advice would you give someone who wants to make the change and start eating clean and exercising? 

KP -It’s easier and more cost-effective than you think. A few things can go a long way. Start to prepare more things at home. This means less packaged foods from the grocery store, and less eating out. Eat more vegetables. Drink more water. Start moving more. And read my blog!

JP – Accountability goes a long way, couple that with an effective plan and you’ll be able to make changes that you can live with.

What’s it like to have 2 bodybuilders preparing for a competition in the same household?

 JP– Last year we competed together for the first time. It’s actually easier. When Kris was dieting and I wasn’t, it could be hard for her to see me eating the things that weren’t in her plan. Same thing the other way when I was dieting and she wasn’t. Our basic nutrition would be the same, it’s just the extras, the family gatherings, the birthdays, holidays…that kind of thing. So, it’s easier to have 2 dieters. We’re both even-tempered and fairly organized, especially about our food. You just have a schedule. We do a lot of food prep at once, weigh out meals, & stack them up in the fridge. We each had our own shelf in the refrigerator. You just make things easy by planning ahead.

KP – Things get ugly when you’re not prepared, you’re not prepared because you didn’t plan, you didn’t plan because you’re not paying attention. You have to pay attention. You look out for one another and do everything you can to help each other too. And if one of you is having a hard day, you just give some slack, because you know how it feels.  

What do you like to do when you aren’t prepping for a competition?

JP -When we’re not prepping, well we’re always prepping…we lift together 4 days a week. When it’s nice out we walk the centennial trail. We love to watch movies, and we have a big cat, she has a “physique of leisure”. We’re both good cooks. We love to travel & scuba in warm water. In the winter I snowboard and Kris skis.

KP –We’re best friends, and we like each other. I like to bake & experiment with altering recipes. I write personal essays & short stories, and I’d call it a hit’s a hobby that I love. We love sushi. I love our workouts and feel like its sacred time together. We’re goofy.

Running Tights… Tight Tights.

24 Oct

I see this ad for CW-X running tights in Runners World – and I think, “Those are soooo fancy, and I would love to have a pair.”  After a couple of months of stalking them on eBay I find a pair that isn’t too expensive… so BAM! they are mine!

I furiously open the package when they arrive, and to my shock and dismay, they look like something that my niece Kayla could wear.  At this point, Shiloh doubles over with fits of laughter.  “HAHAHAHA did you get the little kids size??  HAHAH”  “NO Damnit!!  but I am not sure what I am going to do with these…”

So, I do what any sensible gal would do – take them into the bathroom and lock the door.  Okay… Step one… pretend they are nylons….  They are a whole lot thicker than nylons – stttttttretch!!!!!!!  Okay, one leg on.  Try not to tip over, whoa, whoa, ouch.  Catch my breath.  stttttttretch – other leg on.  Now, shimmy to the left, shimmy to the right, yankin’ on these tights with all of my might!!!  One last big breath, and PULLLLLL, (at this point I am feeling like Molly Shannon on her SNL skit, “kick, stretch, kick – I’m 50!!”  But I got them on.

Holy Moses, these bad boys are like a second skin!!  I checked the package again, and yes, I ordered the right size.

I take them to the church to run, of course I am wearing shorts over them, I don’t need to be obscene about things.  Hey, these are pretty great.  They are really tight around the knee to provide some stabilization.  They force you to kick a little faster.  They are pretty warm. Did I mention they were fancy???

So, after my initial trauma – I think I could get used to them.  Although taking them off could provide for a whole new fight…  and lets just hope they don’t shrink in the wash.  I have zero wiggle room.

Until next time,

Andrea

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

23 Oct

Wear you pink this month to support the cause for breast cancer awareness month.  Don’t have anything pink??? Avon happens to be very involved in raising awareness for breast cancer.  All proceeds purchased from the items below go to help this very cause.  Below are just a few items Avon has to offer- Click on the link below to go to site page for all the items they have to offer.

http://shop.avon.com/shop/product_list.aspx?level1_id=300&level2_id=380&cat_type=C&omnCode=Fundraising

Global Breast Cancer Crusade Pin
634-193 $3.00
Global Breast Cancer Crusade Pin 

Breast Cancer Crusade Pink Water Bottle
Breast Cancer Crusade Pink Water Bottle
559-718 $5.00
Avon Walk Boatneck Tee
Avon Walk Boatneck Tee $20.00

So you want to know my running schedule?

19 Oct

Hey Folks!!

I have had some requests for my running schedule, and I am happy to share.  I should warn you now though – I – 80% – of the time log my runs by minutes, not miles.  I often run in the grass around a church, so I really have no idea of how far I have gone.  This is a really good thing for me because otherwise I would get hyper-focused and twitchy.  Not what I need right now.  I am working on building my foundation.  I also swim and weight train during the week, but here is my schedule.

Andrea’s Super Easy Week Schedule (This happens to be my “rest” week).

Monday – 30 minutes

Tuesday – 20 minutes with 15 X 100 meters

Wednesday – off

Thursday – 30 minutes

Friday – off

Saturday – 20 minutes with 15 X 100 meters.

Next week should be more difficult, and I will post it when I get it.

Until next time,

Andrea

Holy Yumness!!!

17 Oct

Y’all know how I feel about onions.  And if you don’t – insert gagging noises here.  I made this soup at a Pampered Chef party this weekend, and it blew my mind.  When we were making it, I was all – oh this is gonna make me toss my cookies.  Now, I can’t WAIT to make it again, and again, and again!!!

Curry Scented Butternut Squash Soup:

1 butternut squash, 6 cups cubed

2 large sweet apples, Fuji or Honeycrisp

3 medium onions

2 tbsp butter

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 1/2 tbsp curry powder

6 cups vegetable or chicken stock

2 tsp salt

1.  Peel squash and apples; cut into 1-in. cubes and dice onions.

2.  Melt butter over medium low heat.  Add onions; cook 5-6 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.  Add squash, apples, brown sugar, and curry powder.  Cook and stir 1 minute or until curry powder is fragrant.  Add stock and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Simmer 25 minutes or until squash is soft.  Remove from heat.

3.  Carefully ladle about one-third of the squash mixture into a blender container.  Cover and blend until smooth.  Pour blended soup into a bowl.  Repeat two more times with the remaining mixture.

Enjoy!  This makes quite a bit – so make sure to have some gladware (or Pampered Chef 2 Cup Prep Bowls) to put the extra in.  I bet you could even freeze this, and bring it out on a rainy day.  I hope you enjoy this as much as I did…. onions and all.

Until next time,

Andrea

Because I needed another phobia…. no really.

16 Oct

So, here I am minding my OWN business when I get an email forwarded to me.  Not just any email, but an email detailing one couples misadventures with bedbugs.  The email even goes so far as to describe how they had to chuck their laptops – just in case a female bedbug crawled in there and laid eggs.  WHAT?!?!

I was perfectly happy thinking bedbugs were a mythical creature, but no… no they are real.  and they are here to GET ME!!!  Well, not actually – but this is what my brain is telling me.

All of you who know me, know that once I get something in my noggin… forget about it.  Imagine Shiloh’s surprise when – I coming storming in the front door on a mission!

“Honey, where you going?”

“Going to check for bedbugs…”

“Whaaa, why – is there a problem?”

“Theres gonna be if I find blood spots down by our feet…”

Look of shock and dismay…

It’s okay… I am pretty sure we don’t have any – there were no black flecks.  But now I have to add “check under the mattress” to my list of things “to do” once I enter a hotel room.  It will be right under “check the shower” and above “check behind the curtains”.   You know… looking for psycho killers.

Until next time – Don’t let the bedbugs bite!!!

Andrea