Weekend Happiness

It’s been a long week…we all need (& deserve) a little chill time, right?

Take a few moments to yourself this morning. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and relax. Yes, at least for a minute. Then, enjoy this ADORABLE video from San Diego Zoo Safari Park of Ruuxa the baby cheetah meeting Raina, a 7-week-old Rhodesian ridgeback puppy.

 

[Recipe] Easy Slow Cooker Soup

warming slim down soup | sunshine & the bearI can’t begin to explain how exciting it was to come back home after a long day at work and an evening at the gym to a warm dinner…because this morning I made prepared the easiest meal ever: the Tone It Up Warming Slimdown Soup!

It has all kinds of great, healthy ingredients: carrots, parsnips, scallions, etc. and delicious rosemary and thyme herbs to make it so amazingly perfect for a cold night! It warms your insides. If you want to add turkey or chicken, you can – but it’s also delicious just as a vegetable soup! Personally, I like broth-heavy soups, so I added more liquids.

You throw everything in the slow cooker and boom, dinner is warm and ready when you get home! WHY don’t we use our slow cooker more?! I had to share!

[Recipe] Easy Slow Cooker Soup
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 parsnips (peeled & thinly sliced)
  • 1 C carrots (peeled & chopped)
  • 1½ C portabello mushrooms (chopped)
  • ⅔ C scallions (chopped)
  • 3-4 C low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 C water
  • 1 T fresh thyme (stems removed)
  • 1 T fresh rosemary (stems removed)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 t hot sauce
  • S+P
  • 1 C white chicken/turkey meat (cooked and shredded) - optional
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to slow cooker.
  2. Set on high for 6 hours.
  3. Enjoy!

 

New BARRE in town

This past weekend, I went to a new class being offered at my gym and it was awesome! I felt the burn throughout the class, right after the class and basically still today…  :)

Stacey and Ann Marie of Soul Body Barre have teamed up with Beachfit to start offering a new class in our area called SB Body Barre.

SB body barre at beachfit | BMOREtoned

This new “barre” workout uses a handheld, weighted body bar in place of a fixed bar/dumbbells as well as a ball and bodyweight. We used a 9lb bar and, believe me, we didn’t need anything else! Ann Marie led the class with Stacey’s help demoing and had some great music to help keep the energy (and glutes) up.

SB body barre at beachfit | BMOREtoned

The class goes through various tracks that work your entire body, but focuses on certain muscle groups. Much like a traditional barre class, there is a lot of pulsing, tucking and squeezing, but unlike the traditional barre style this class can be done anywhere!
SB body barre at beachfit | BMOREtonedThe small isometric movements work your muscles and tone those little areas you didn’t know could be worked. The moves pull from pilates, yoga, dance and traditional interval strength training, so it’s a good mix for anyone looking for a good toning workout, that still delivers a strong mind-body connection.

Beachfit is the first location to start offering this class in Baltimore and I definitely advise you checking it out! Currently, SB Body Barre is offered at Beachfit every Saturday at 10AM.

They are also looking for instructors so they can offer more classes. If you’re interested, they have an upcoming training in January!

What do you say, what to meet me at the barre? :) 

I challenge you, 2015!

Like many, I LOVE fitness challenges because they help encourage me to get up and out the door. Honestly, I feel like most of the time my BMOREtoned gals or Tone It Up community work as my alarm clock, coach and cheerleader!

Being January (the time when everyone is looking to make changes) there are lots of fun fitness challenges popping up – my friend Jami did a great Challenge Roundup over on BMOREtoned!

tone-it-up-love-your-body-series-100-by-v-day-100I’ve done it for a few years and I’m excited to do the Tone It Up Love Your Body challenge again this year. It’s always a great way to get new workouts, try new healthy recipes and all-over just love yourself more! This challenge lasts for 6 weeks (ending with Valentine’s Day) and has daily/weekly challenges to help you stay engaged. Also, we have an overall goal of completely 100 miles (run/walk/bike/etc.) by the end. Running isn’t my strong suit, so I love this because it pushes me to get out there!

I’ve decided to go-big-or-go-home this year…and I’m doing two challenges! I’m also joining the Map My Fitness Workout Games! For the games, you are challenged to log or record at least 30 workouts, each 20 minutes or longer, until February 8! I typically use Map My Fitness for running – by having my phone on me while I’m running, I can find out my approximate pace, distance and elevation. This challenge will definitely push me to run more, but there’s also an opportunity to log my strength training workouts with them. It’s a great way to keep track of what I’m doing. This fits in perfectly with my TIU challenge because I can log those workouts too. I’ve backlogged a few from December, and I’m looking forward to keeping track of my workouts over the next month!

mapymyfitness workout games | sunshine & the bear

The new year presents an awesome opportunity. Fitness challenges present the perfect chance for me/you/anyone to get out there do it!

Who wants to join me?! 

 

Love your life in 2015!

Happy New Year!

Let’s take a moment…right now, we have a great opportunity to reflect and look forward! It’s a new chapter in your book – you know all the things coming will somehow build on what’s already happened but you also get to start fresh and experience all new things!

dont live the same life quote

With a new year comes the tradition of resolutions. I’ve learned through trial and error that the important thing when it comes to resolutions (and goals in general) is to fight the urge to make them lofty and unattainable. Goals are wonderful…but only if they are smart, motivating and attainable! Don’t get me wrong, I also would like to add Chris Evans to my list, if that was plausible…

You need direction, focus and motivation to change. And let’s not forget that change is rarely the flip of a switch…it comes with WORK. You need to stick with it! I read a quote that always stuck with me – “The road to success is always under construction.” In other words, even with a goal in mind you’re bound to hit a few road blocks or detours. If you can work toward expecting it, you can be prepared to make another move.

This year, I’m setting new goals for the season, which I’m going to try to revisit in the spring. Check them out below:

  • tone it up love your body quote | sunshine & the bearFind & love: I want to find my version of happiness with myself and ACCEPT IT. There’s is so much pressure to keep up with the proverbial Joneses! We’re always pressured to be skinnier, wealthier, more popular, etc. etc. But are those measures of “happiness” mine? I know the things that make ME happy and I know what I love. I just need to focus on finding and appreciating those things. :)
    Which is another reason I’m so glad the Tone It Up Love Your Body Challenge is coming back – If you know me, you know I enjoy basically every TIU challenge…but I really love this one because it’s not just about working out and eating well, it’s really about making a happy and healthy lifestyle that helps you love yourself!
  • Disconnect: This might be for 5 minutes or it might be for the whole day…I’ve become so tied to my phone, my computer, the TV, etc. We’re checking emails at dinner, scrolling Twitter on the couch…every moment is something. I want to step away from it all and try harder to be present! I want to tune in. Clear out the chaos. And return to that peaceful place again and again.
  • katekatebear letsgetflexy yogaHome yoga routine: I’ve learned to love yoga but I can’t always make it to a class. I want to start regularly practicing at home, if even for a few minutes. Yoga helps me focus, stress less and sleep better!
  • Eat at the table: It seems like a simple thing, but we almost never eat at our kitchen table. We pile books, bags, groceries, packages…everything on our table, except our food! In doing so, we end up eating in front of the TV. I want to get away from that this year!
  • Moderate: So many people are resolving to eat healthier to lose weight (2012 survey estimated that the number of American adults who are dieting jumps from 34 million during the holidays to 50 million in the first two weeks of January!), to undo indulgences, or to simply feel healthier/happier…but I’ve found that never comes from a stark diet change. No need to go cold turkey. The key is moderation.

My wish for your this year is try new things and get out there to do the things that motivate you! Take a break from hating/judging yourself. Meet new people. See new places. Try new things (even if they’re scary). Seek inspiration. Explore the world around you.

Cheers & all the best to you in 2015! ♡