Tuesday, April 30, 2013

get your glutes in check

1: The Chair Squat
The squat is one of the best exercises you can do to engage your glutes, and using a chair helps to ensure you use a full range of motion with great form.
How to do it: Stand in front of a sturdy chair with your feet slightly wider than hip distance apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Bend your knees, shift your hips back and pretend you are going to take a seat. Keep your weight in your heels and don't let your knees extend past your toes. Lower down until you are almost touching the chair, and then stand back up.
Form tip: Don't lock your knees when you stand up—always keep them 'soft'

2: The Stationary Lunge
Another classic butt lifter, the split stance of a lunge also adds an additional balance challenge, making your buns work even harder.
How to do it: Start standing, feet together, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Take a big step behind you with your left leg, lifting your left heel off of the floor, keeping most of your weight in your right leg. Slowly bend both knees, lowering your body straight down until both knees make 90-degree angles, being sure to keep your front knee in line with your ankle. Push down through your front heel as you slowly stand back up. (Do 15 reps on both legs).
Form tip: Be sure to keep your front heel pressed into the ground and avoid lunging forward. Always drop down and up out of your lunge instead.

3: The In n' Out Plyo Squat
This challenging move will get your heart pumping and work your fast-twitch muscle fibers (they help with explosive movements) to help shape up your booty fast.
How to do it: (No dumbbells needed for this move.) Start standing with feet slightly wider than hip width apart. Bend your knees and sit hips back into a low squat. Using your arms, jump straight up until both feet leave the ground. Land softly with your feet together, and sit back into a narrow squat position. Repeat your jump again, landing with your feet wide next time. Alternate landing your jumps in a narrow and wide squat, bringing feet in and then out each time you lower.

4: The Curtsy Lunge
A variation on the classic lunge, curtsy lunges are a great way to tone your glutes and legs.
How to do it: Start standing with your feet hip width apart, and then, keeping your weight in your left foot, take a big step back with your right leg, crossing it behind your left leg (as if about to do a 'curtsy'). Slowly bend your knees and lower your body straight down until your front thigh is parallel to the floor, and both knees are bent at 90 degrees. Be sure to keep your abs drawn in and your back straight. Do 15 reps on one side, and then 15 reps on the other

5: The Plie Squat
Ever wonder why ballet dancers have such great backsides? Try this ballet-inspired plie squat to find out!
How to do it: Start standing and hold one dumbbell at either end with both hands, with your feet slightly wider than hip width apart, and your toes turned out about 45 degrees. Lift your heels off the floor, balancing on the balls of your feet, bend your knees, and lower your body straight down, keeping your hips under your shoulders and your back straight. Make sure your knees open over, but not past, your toes as they bend. Slowly straighten back up and then lower your heels.

6: The Walking Lunge
This move works all of your butt muscles and is one of the all-time best tush toners around, Shoemate says.
How to do it: Start standing with feet together, holding dumbbells on top of each shoulder. Take a wide step forward with your right foot as you bend your knees, lowering your body into a lunge. Both knees should bend at a 90-degree angle, and the front thigh should be parallel to the floor, keeping your knee behind your toes. Stand up out of lunge, and step your left foot into your right. Then repeat the move with your left leg. Repeat 15 times total, alternating legs each time


Friday, April 26, 2013

get your weekend on

The Bunny Gang- Free Show

Saturday April 27th @ 6:30 :: San Jose Rock Shop
Nathan Maxwell from the group Flogging Molly will be playing with his side project "Bunny Gang" this weekend 

Japantown, San Jose
Sunday, April 28, 2013 9:30 am - 4:00 pm

When visiting little Japantown for one of their festivals, you always have a good time. The food and activities are always fabulous and the shops and restaurants are always inviting. Plus there will be an auction for vintage samurai swords!

Apr 24–May 1, 2013

Participating restaurants offer a discounted three-course fixed price dinner menu each night they are open. Diners get a chance to sample cuisine from a broad selection of restaurants at a very affordable price. It’s a way for restaurants to thank local customers and for consumers to show their support for restaurants. See the lineup of participating restaurants here.

Sunday, April 28, 2013 10:30 am- 3:00 pm
Guadalupe River Trail

438 Coleman Ave.
San JoseCA 95110

Uniting people together as a community to help another community. Get out and participate on the beautiful 11 mile trail and raise money for the people in Boston. Do something good for your health and your heart!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sweet Potatoes :: Three Ways

Favorite Sweet Potato Recipes

:: Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges ::

6 medium sweet potatoes 
Cooking spray
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 500°.
Peel potatoes; cut each lengthwise into quarters. Place potatoes in a large bowl; coat with cooking spray. Combine sugar, salt, and peppers, and sprinkle over potatoes, tossing well to coat. Arrange potatoes, cut sides down, in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 500° for 10 minutes; turn wedges over. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until tender and beginning to brown.
serving size 3 fries
153  calories
.4 grams of fat
2.4 grams of protein
35 carbs

:: Sweet Potato and Ginger Soup ::
3 cups water
3 cups peeled, diced sweet potato
1/4 cup julienne-cut peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt

Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add remaining ingredients. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Place half of sweet potato mixture in a blender; process until smooth. Return pureed mixture to saucepan; cook over medium heat until thoroughly heated.

serving size 1/6 th of batch
89 calories
0 grams of fat
1 gram of protein
21 carbs

:: Maple Walnut Sweet Potato Mash ::

6 large sweet potatoes
Cooking spray
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350°.
Place potatoes on oven rack or a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until tender. Cool. Peel potatoes and mash. Stir in syrup,1 tablespoon brown sugar, and salt.
Preheat oven to broil.
Spread potato mixture into an 11- x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. In a small bowl combine walnuts, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and butter. Sprinkle walnut mixture over potatoes; broil 2 to 4 minutes or until nuts are lightly browned.
serving size 1/2 cup
175 calories
3.2 grams of fat
2.4 grams of protein
35 carbs
3.5 grams of fiber

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

simply smile

daycation attire to The City

I feel like I have been doing a million things lately, and I love it. I have made so many new friends in the last few weeks, but then.. I have always been a social butterfly. These are some shots from the previous weekends venturing up into San Francisco.. One of my favorite cities. The first round was a train ride to the City for a wine tasting event. The second time was for a daycation and for delicious Waterfront Pizza.. which I highly recommend! You have to make your own happiness sometimes..

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
Mahatma Gandhi

view of the bridge

oh, I cut my hair off!!

The sights while walking to the MUNI from the Train

Amazing pastries inside the Ferry Building.

Riding the Muni

Wine Tasting at Fort Masion

Trapeze class in Oakland (more pictures to follow)

Friday, April 19, 2013

get your weekend on

Fight Night is this weekend!

UFC on Fox will be held at the H.P. Pavilion this Saturday night with prelims starting at 5:00 pm. I met Frank Mir last night when I was heading home from the Sharks Games (we won!) and he was looking fierce. I hope all my favorites dominate in the octagon.

The Fine Arts Festival in Menlo Park

1100 Merrill Street
Menlo Park, CA 94025
The festival will offer paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture, ceramics, graphics, jewelry, handmade clothing, leather goods, wooden toys, country items, and dried flowers.
 April 19, 2013 10:00 am - Sunday, April 21, 2013 5:00 pm

Even though Earth Day is this Monday coming up, I will be celebrating this weekend. If you know me, you know I love my planet.. I want to preserve it and protect it, and I take it personally when you don't recycle. I will be out at Oak Grove High School this Saturday morning with my dog, doing a litter pick up! Do something Green this weekend

xo, D

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

keep your head in the clouds

"When you wake up in the morning you have two options: to keep dreaming or to chase after your dreams."

I'm currently dreaming of a vacation to relaxation. I am also praying for our society.. People are making the wrong choices lately and I feel like it will only get worse. #prayforboston

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Am I Blue.

sweater- Ann Taylor, pants- Jcrew, shoes- Cynthia Vincent

I am seriously loving my new job. My co- workers are so sweet, my role is fun and challenging, my Boss is hilarious and my office is nice. The fact that I can honestly say "I love coming to work" already says enough in my book! Now that I work upstairs, the dress code is a little more relaxed (read: more color and prints) This is one outfit I pulled for work. A classic fit cropped trouser in a bold color. Paired with a wool print sweater and statement necklace. The flats are always in because they're unique and have a range of punchy colors to match any outfit. Oh, and this is the courtyard in my complex.. it is very peaceful and filled with gorgeous flowers. Maddie loves them. <3

Friday, April 12, 2013

get your weekend on

The weather has been thoroughly delightful here lately. For a good part of the week, the temperatures reached the 80's. It was perfect for evening strolls and eating dinner outside.  I'm headed up to San Francisco and I hope the sun stays through the weekend .. I'm actually praying! There are a few fun things going on in the City this weekend, maybe you should make it a round trip and stay for a mini vacation to experience them all.

Happy Friday!!

San Francisco Vintners Market is this weekend at Fort Mason Center.
Saturday & Sunday, April 13 & 14, 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Retail Wine Buyers/Trade: Noon - 4:00 p.m.
This is located in a cute upscale neighborhood, that sits right on the edge of the water. If you come for the event, make sure you stay for the food in this area. yum! Some recommendations are Greens Restaurant + La Mediterranee + Frascati and Blue Barn Cafe

SF Cherry Blossom Festival is this weekend in San Francisco Japantown
Post and Fillmore
San Francisco, CA 94115
Tomorrow, April 13, 2013 10:00 am -
Sunday, April 21, 2013 6:00 pm

The Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival is said to be the second largest festival outside of Washington, D.C. The streets of Japantown are filled with Japanese dancing, singing, martial arts demonstrations, as well as delicious traditional and nontraditional Japanese delicacies.

 SF PIE SOCIAL being held at
Sunday April 14th 11:30- 2:00 pm

Come with an award winning pie and win the grand prize of a $1600 knife set from Williams Sonoma.  Tickets are only $15 and even if you don't enter into the competition, you can still have a slice of pie.
Email here ->[[ sfpiesocial@gmail.com ]] for entry.
Plus there will be a panel of judges from the best bakeries in the City, I want to go just to meet these pastry royals...
Elisabeth Prueitt (Tartine)
Jake Godby (Humphry Slocombe)
Michelle Polzine (20th Century Cafe)
Mutsumi Takehara (Sandbox Bakery)
Jessica Battilana (Tasting Table)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


click for larger viewing <3

Oh Coachella, is it that time of year again?
For bare feet and relaxin', for amazing artists and perfect sunsets...

I did get to experience the festival last year and I can tell you that it had it's highs and lows. The artists were AMAZING!! My favorites were Bon Iver, Radiohead, Snoop/Dre/Tupak (yes, the hologram was insanely cool) Beirut, Santigold and Florence and the Machine. The company was great and the evenings were golden.
Now, I'm not a girly girl- I can camp. But the temperature and lack of resources (read: water and air circulation) really put a damper on my experience. Needless to say, if I were headed to Indio- camping would not be my first choice. I would recommend this hotel though, it was perfect the night I stayed!

So take a peak at my wish list for Coachella this year, and have a great time if you're going!! xo

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Paradise Bars

The other week I got the itch to bake. I knew the taste that I had in mind, vacation..  but I wasn't sure what to make. Instead of going off a recipe from online, I decided to make up my own concoction. Sometimes being creative pays off, and this was one of those times because they turned out delicious!!

My inspiration for the dessert came from my vacation day dreams. To me vacation is: adventure, authentic food, living like a local, relaxing and nature. No matter where I travel- tropical or chilly.. those are the experiences that I crave. Where do you like to go for vacation?

 It had a graham cracker base, caramel coconut center and a chocolate chip cookie top. I thought they were delicious and had just the right amount of coconut flavor. Give them a try in anticipation for Summer!
enjoy xo


6 graham cracker cookies
broken up for the base
mixed with 6 TBSP coconut oil
1 tsp of cinnamon
1/3 cup honey

Caramel Coconut filling
make caramel like here
stir in coconut flakes to your liking.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Topping
(If you would like to change the cookie topping, you can use the flavor you like)
I used this basic recipe, chocolate chip cookies are standard across the board, but I always add more vanilla extract and use coconut oil instead of butter.

After you crisp the crust (10 mins @ 350 degrees)
layer your filling and spread evenly- while it's still warm
Then plop the cookie dough over the top and bake @ 350 for 20 minutes (longer if needed)


yum :)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

only a ginger

Only because I know her... but everything she is wearing is from Urban Outfitters, shoes- Keds, glasses- Hot Topic

Sister is making an appearance on the blog today. We were getting ready for my birthday party on Tuesday (as you can see from the pictures below it was quite a success)
and I was so in love with her outfit we stopped while at Target for an impromptu  photo shoot.. sure people were staring but we like the attention, just kidding.. Denim on denim is a look that is so popular right now, and the pop of red from her shoes adds just the right amount of excitement. Plus her polka-dot top added a girly touch to an almost all boyfriend style. Go Kendal! So take note, when pairing pieces for a monochromatic outfit, throw in a bit of color to break up the look.

this is just how girls party.. cupakes and wine, duh!

I just loved this car sitting next to me at the light.. #stalker :)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Eat This Not That

I may be a little too excited about our healthy vending machines that we just got at work. But sometimes you have to makes things easy and convenient in order to entice people to make healthy choices. Ours are stocked with a ton of delicious snacks and we are going to be adding meals too! (think salads, sandwiches, fresh fruit) I'm so happy that these new choices have been added to the lunch room. Keeping up with the health trend, I also added some "Eat this not That" inspiration. So next time you're thinking of reaching for that candy bar, grab a Kind Bar instead!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


It was a sad day last month when I got rid of my tired and true black sneakers... Although it was time for them to go (I had enlisted the help of duck tape in order to keep them alive) they will be missed. I have been scouring the Internet for a suitable pair, that I will love just as much. Now, I could just get a pair of chucks and call it a day.. but I want a shoe that is a little more versatile in the styling dept.. ones that could switch from dresses to pants to shorts. But the question is... which color!?

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