I'm getting so excited to bake with my mum-in-law and twin sister over Christmas. I think we'll make classic chocolate chip cookies, plus a few other new recipes.
This is hands down the best recipe for chocolate chips I've ever had (thanks to Wendy, whose kids I used to babysit, for sharing!). Enjoy!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
1.5 c sugar
1.5 c brown sugar, packed
2 c crisco (can use a bit less, or substitute butter)
Beat above ingredients until they are creamed together.
1.5 tsp salt
1.5 tsp baking soda
3 tsp vanilla extract
Blend in to mixture.
Finally, blend in 4.5 cups flour, adding a bit at a time as you go. Fold in a bag of chocolate chips. Scoop spoonfuls of dough onto a cookie sheet and bake 7-10 minutes or until edges are golden.
Here are the other two recipes I can't wait to try:
But then I tried pigeon pose with this thought in mind. The comfort and joy of Christmas morning.
It's true! If you concentrate your energy on what's happening as you slowly enter the asana, there is something very comforting and relaxing about pigeon pose. The gentle twist happening in your body, the way your head rests on your hands on the floor, the letting go that you must do in order to open the hips... it all adds up to a sense of well-being, relief, and solidity.
I love the idea of enjoying a yoga flow with my children someday.
Are you working on your handstands yet?
Whether you're hanging out upside down a lot or you just want to strengthen your hands, palms and wrists for a more steady downward dog, this video has some great tips. (Warning: her boobs are a bit much at certain points, but it's still worth watching for the movements and instruction.)
For another great wrist move, try Sadie Nardini's wrist clear. Or do her supersets to build overall body strength (works wonders for inversions, bow and standing bow, as well as full wheel.) Enjoy!
- Plan meals around healthy ingredients. Check out Whole Food sales, and then look up recipes based on what I can find for cheap.
- Cut as much corn syrup as possible. Start read the labels a little more closely for this.
- Utilize the crockpot! I'm definitely going to be relying on this incredible blogger, who used hers every day for a year.
- Watch more documentaries. These never cease to inspire. Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead was such an eye opener.
- Get back to the juicer! We have fallen off the bandwagon what with all those crazy flavors. My friend at work is going to share a few more palatable recipes to try.
People Talk to Me
It is interesting. People, even strangers, talk to me now. I've noticed this since being back from training.
So I am back to a day job now. A coworker of mine came to talk to me about stuff and it got me thinking. She was saying how she wants to be a better woman so those characteristics would reflect in her children.
gmail dot com today!
- Chat with the instructor you're hiring before the night of the party. Decide what sort of practice you want to host -- something easy and laid-back with restorative postures? Or something more energizing? By planning ahead, you'll be able to let your guests know what to expect.
- Light candles for the practice. How cute are these ones?
- Leave a few yoga books on your coffee table so friends can peek and learn more. I recommend the Bandha Yoga series, Stephen Cope's The Wisdom of Yoga or Bikram's guide. They are all fascinating!
PS How cute is this yoga party for kids?
As in: go ahead and relax your facial muscles, relax your mind, relax everything you can, all those muscles that you don't need to do the posture!
Because furrowing your brow and straining your forehead aren't going to help much. Plus, it's so much more calming to do a challenging pose if you can let go of tension in your face. It's a great little instant relaxation technique.
I was reminded of this during my bike ride to work this morning, as the wind pushed hard against me, taking my breath away and keeping me in the 1-5 mile per hour speed range. I realized, hey, I can't ride this bike with my face! and figured I might as well stop trying :) It worked -- I enjoyed the rest of the windy way there much more after that.
Have you guys heard of Leela? It's a ground-breaking game featuring relaxation and meditation techniques which spotlight the chakras. Kinect technology also allows you to use the game to track and monitor your breathing during meditation and gentle, restful body gestures. Now I'm not usually a video game person, but that's one I'd love to try!
To celebrate the release of the game, Leela is launching a Mandala Creativity Contest through their Mandala Facebook app. If you enter a customized mandala drawing into the contest, you could win the Leela videogame or the Leela CD soundtrack.
As star snowboarder Travis Rice says in the film, "Adventure is what you make it."