Friday, February 18, 2011

Fun Friday: Hot Mess Edition!

How was your V-day? Mine rocked! I got this from my wonderful boyfriend...


AND...


THE ZUMBA GAME!!! IT'S JUST WHAT I WANTED!!! What a sweet boy. (Note the card says "Serious card purchased long before today" HA--definitely not!). I played the Zumba game for the first time on Tuesday--it's definitely a fitness challenge and I HIGHLY recommend it!


And then Wes reacts to my gift to him. I think it's ironic that we both bought each other games--it's kind of like we were both thinking "Here is something to keep you occupied so you don't bug me." I'm kidding of course--we really do love each other :)

I also found this under my office door on Valentine's Day...



Awww--my honors students from last semester made and signed me a card. I was really touched. This is why I teach.


This week's funny video is--believe it or not--is Britney Spears' new video for "Hold It Against Me." Don't get me wrong--I really LIKE this song (and use it in my group fitness classes), AND I think Brit's body is bangin' (what are homegirl's fitness secrets?). HOWEVER, this video is a big, hot, crazy mess. It's like she's trying to do a lower-budget, less creative version of a Lady Gaga video. 

When you're watching this, be on the lookout for:

-Dancers getting dressed. Literally--zipping up.
-Product placement for Brit's perfume, Radiance.
-A big white dress with cheap rhinestone cuffs that are stapled to her arms.
-A clip of old-school Brit (a la "Hit Me Baby One More Time")
-What is that shooting out of the cheap plastic tubes on her fingers? Is that Gatorade? Paint? Highlighter? Tie-Dye? Nickelodeon gak?
-Brit on Brit catfight. A hint at mental illness? Really--why, just, why is this in there?
-Other randomness!!!



Whoa pony. Are you as confused and jaw-dropped as me? What do you think?  I'm no serious art critic, but I think my college minor in art (yay for 18 credit hours!) allows me to certify this video with "Artistic Hot Mess" status.


Moving along...


This week's recipe is courtesy of Wes! This is what he made me for V-day and I have to say...the boy did good! It's always nice to come home to a vegetarian meal on the table :)


Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

Ingredients:

1 (19 ounce) can green enchilada sauce
1 1/2 cups water
1 cube vegetable bouillon
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup vegetarian chicken substitute, diced (optional)
4 (6 inch) corn tortillas, torn into strips
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. In a pot, mix the enchilada sauce and water.
2. Dissolve the bouillon cube in the liquid, and season with garlic powder, chile powder, and cumin.
3. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low. Mix in the beans, tomatoes, and corn. Simmer until heated through.
4. Mix in vegetarian chicken and tortillas, and cook until heated through. Stir in cilantro, and season with salt and pepper to serve.

You can also serve this soup with homemade tortilla chips (Which Wes did!). Here's a good recipe for those!


Now on to the music...


Many of this week's tunes were sourced from the Sirium/XM station BBC Radio One (British Pop Station). I love BBC One because they play a lot of techno-y pop and soulful stuff that we don't hear as much on American pop radio stations.

1. C'Mon - Tiesto/Busta Rhymes/Diplo
(As heard on BBC Radio One. Booty-shakin', Latin-y, techno--love it! Not to mention that the music video features some CRAZY breakdancing)

2. Katy on A Mission - Katy B
(Also heard on BBC--an upbeat, reggaeton, infectious one!)

3. What the Hell - Avril Lavigne
(*Sigh* I never thought I'd see the day that I said I liked an Avril song. But here is that day. This song has been stuck in my head for the past 24 hours!)

4. Moneygrabber - Fitz and the Tantrums
(Fun fact: The whole Fitz and the Tantrums album was written on an old church organ that the lead singer had in his home. That will give you an idea of the soulful-song of this song!)

5. I Do - Colbie Caillat
(Oh, Colbie--how do you know how to write such beautiful love songs?)



That's all peeps! Have a wonderful weekend and come back to visit me on Laura B. Fit!

Q.O.D. (Question of the Day): Can Britney Spears make a comeback? What was your *favorite* part of that video? Have you played the Zumba game yet? What do you think of it? Got a song or video or share? Post it in the comments! I heart sharing!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Falling in Love With Fitness!

Oh fitness items, how I adore thee! Let me count the ways...

Seriously, though, I'm pretty much head over heels in love with these fitness items. So in honor of Valentine's Day (which I will be celebrating all week on this blog!), I give you the five items on my current "fitness-love" list...

Cupcakes taste the best on Valentine's Day! :) Image by Bakerella on Flickr


1. Zumba Samba Pants

When I started teaching Zumba everyone kept raving about how comfy the Zumba pants are and I can tell you...YES. THEY. ARE. They are a little pricey, but Zumbawear goes on sale often and they LAST for a long time. *Sigh* If only I could wear Zumba pants all day...

If you ever order Zumba pants--a word of warning--they run a little small so order a size up!


2. This Zebra Bag!

Remember this CSN giveaway post? Well, I actually found this bag at a Gordmans in town! SCORE! It's the PERFECT gym size--not luggage-large, but not purse-small.



3. Lara Bars

Not only do they share my namesake, but these bars are 100% Gluten Free and Vegan. You know there's something good about a bar that only has four ingredients. I've tried A LOT of protein bars in my day, but nothing gives me feel-good energy like a Lara Bar. Some flavors are just *meh* (Chocolate Chip Brownie), but some are *OMG-this-tastes-like-the-real-deal* (Banana Bread). And, their newest flavor is Blueberry Muffin...drool...

You can find them in the protein bar aisle of any natural food store or Wal-mart.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is another awesome flavor!



4. The "Workout Towel"

This towel is too cute and beyond functional! Small enough to take with you to the treadmill and it solves the problem of where to put your keys! The perfect gift for your gym-going Valentine (hint, hint, Wes!). Check out the rest of The Workout Towel's other colors too!




5. Dr. Scholl's Insoles

Okay, okay, so the last "fitness love" is super-lame. But, insoles rock! My podiatrist recommended that I try using some kind of insoles in my athletic shoes since I'm on my feet all day. Now, I can't live without them in my sneakers. They make a huge difference! You don't realize how cheap the sneaker insoles that come with your shoes are until you replace them :)

I'm gellin' :)


In sum...HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!

Valentine's Day card by VixensEmpire on Etsy.com


Have a sweet day and don't be afraid to indulge a little today. If there's any day of the year to savor a piece of chocolate (or cupcake), it's today! And the gym will be there waiting tomorrow ;)


Q.O.D. (Question of the Day): What's on your "Fitness-Love" list? What fitness items can you not live without? P.S. I Love comments! :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

DIY Sunday: How to make flower hair clips

I'm a notorious creative-copycat. I see something I like, I try to replicate it. Thus, the flower hair clip was put into my repertoire.

I always saw beautiful ones on Etsy.com, and I thought, "I want to make that!" So I figured it out. Now, flower hair clips have become a trademark of sorts for me. Not only do they bring a fun n' funky vibe to my group fitness classes (esp. Zumba!), they are a reminder that this Illinois-winter-from-hell will EVENTUALLY end! :) Aside from group fitness, they are also fun to wear to parties and weddings!

Here's the play-by-play:

Step 1:

Get supplies. You will need...
--silk flowers
(look for types of flowers that have flatter bottoms and smaller flowers as these will be better for gluing and bunching. Unfortunately, the quality matters. More expensive flowers will hold up longer, but cheaper flowers do the trick anyway)

--LOTS of hot glue

--Alligator hair clips
(you can find these at a craft store or beauty supply store. I found some really good flat-top barrettes that work really well with this at Hobby Lobby)

--A sheet of foam
(I use the glitter kind because tends to fall into the flowers!)


Step 2:

Remove flower from the stem and then remove the plastic backing from the flower. It pulls right off.


Step 3:

Snip the excess flower stem all the way to the flower.



Step 4:

Cut a small piece of foam the size of the top of the hair clip. The foam will help the flower adhere better to the metal than if you just glued the flower straight to the metal.


Step 5:

Glue the foam piece to the hair clip.



Step 6:

Put hot glue at the base of the flower. This will ensure that the stem stays glued into the flower. Then, glue the flower onto the hair clip.


Step 7:

Lightly hot glue the in-between layers of the flower. This will ensure that the flower "holds together" without that stem and backing.


OPTION FOR SMALLER FLOWERS:
If you want to use small flowers to make a hair clip, simply leave the plastic backing and stem on the flower, and hot glue them in clumps of 2-3 onto the foam/hair clip. You want to make sure when you are hot gluing them that you hide the stems.


VOILA!!! A small flower branch for the hair!



Step 8:

Rock that flower and whip your hair! :)



That's it! You go forth and get in touch with your inner crafty-self and make some hair clips!

Q.O.D. (Question of the Day): Are you very crafty? A creative-copycat? What items do you like to DIY (leave a link to the item in the comments!!!)?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fun Friday: I Heart You Edition

Did ya'll have an awesome week?

Valentine's Day is on MONDAY! As I've listed before, it also happens to be tied for my SECOND favorite holiday! Do you also love it or are you an anti-V-day devotee like my sis, who screen-printed me this shirt?

My sister, Valentine's hater :)

Speaking of my sister...last Friday I was telling you guys about my dealing (or non-dealings) with the "Snowpocalypse" that swept through our lovely area. Well, my sister down in Texas got a little snow too. So, she posted this gem on my Facebook wall:


So true. So hilariously, sarcastically true. This week, in lieu of a funny video, I recommend that you hike on over to Bluntcard.com for some giggles. Just a warning however--they are not for the faint of tongues. Expect some sassy language. For a quick dose of sassiness, just hit the "Random Card" button and let the hilarity ensue. Some other random loves from the site...





Are you making dinner for your loved one this Monday (or getting dinner made FOR YOU--wink, wink)? This week's recipe is not the most romantic (can tofu EVER be romantic?), but it is good for your real heart. Tofu packs an enormous 10 grams of soy protein per serving, and research on soy protein in recent years has shown that regular intake of soy protein can help to lower total cholesterol levels by as much as 30%, lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels by as much as 35-40%, lower triglyceride levels, reduce the tendency of platelets to form blood clots, and possibly even raise levels of HDL (good cholesterol).

It's taken me MANY years of being a vegetarian to get comfortable making tofu, but as they say--the secret's in the sauce. Tofu tastes downright EWW until you add flavor to it, but it takes on the flavor of whatever you add to it. Hence, BBQ tofu, Cajun tofu, or even... Balsamic tofu!

I add this marinated, baked tofu to pasta salads, stir-fry, marinara-based pastas, pizza or salads (pictured below)--pretty much anything that I want to make "Italian." So treat your anatomic heart right this V-day and whip up a batch of this! Super quick and easy!

Balsamic Baked Tofu
Yummy salad w/ carrot, mozzarella, tofu and leftover homemade guacamole!

Ingredients:
1 package super firm tofu (I use Nasoya Super Firm Cubed Tofu because it's already cubed!)
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
2 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. Oregano
1/2 tsp. Basil
1 tsp. minced garlic (I use the quick jar kind :))
A dash of onion powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:
PRE-HEAT oven to 400 degrees.
1. Drain the tofu and pat dry with clean towel or paper towels to remove excess liquids.
2. While tofu is draining, whisk all over ingredients together in a bowl.
3. Add drained tofu and mix.
4. Allow to marinated in the fridge at least 20 minutes, up to two hours.
5. Spread on a pan that that been sprayed with cooking spray.
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until tofu is browned.

Before baking...

After baking...it gets crispy!


For this week's music selections, I thought I'd share a few love songs that will be on rotation on my iPod this V-day!

1. You and I Both--Jason Mraz
(Jason Mraz's voice = butter. This song = butter love.)

2. Somewhere With You--Kenny Chesney
(I'm still not a huge fan of Chesney simply because someone once told me that he "fakes" his guitar playing at his concerts...which to me is like a slap in the face to country music. Regardless, this song is pretty to listen to and is definitely my 2011 Valentine's pick!)

3. Drive--Cars
(Right NOW, iTunes is offering a BUNCH of love songs for 69cents--including this FABULOUS song. I immediately purchased ALL the 80's ones! Get on over there and grab em' all up while you can!)

4. Just Like Heaven--The Cure
(One of the most iconic, and most downloaded, Cure songs. This has been my ringtone on and off since I got my first cell phone. The music video is undeniable weird, and yes, lead singer Robert Smith STILL dresses like that to this day, BUT this is stil a classic and probably my most favorite love song.)

5. When We First Met--Hellogoodbye
(A love story told through haircuts. Gotta love it!)


Q's of the Day (I heart your comments!): How are you spending your Valentine's Day? (I'll be going to a PRE-TRIAL for a speeding ticket. BOO! But I'm also subbing a Zumba class. YIPEE!). What's your favorite love song (slow or fast)?

Card by LetterHappy on Etsy.com

No matter what your Valentine's Day holds, have a wonderful, love filled one! Treat your heart and your heart right today! ;)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Fun Friday: Slow Jam Edition

It's Fun Friday!!!

Let's kick things off with two very funny gems!

Does anyone else wonder how TLC shows could get any weirder? I have fundamental issues with the way shows like Heavy, Hoarders, My Strange Addiction and Intervention treat mental illness, but I'll save that rant another post. Regardless...please TLC, just stop already. We are all weirded out.


TLC Promo - watch more funny videos



I'm not a regular Glee watcher, but I think the show is doing a lot of good things by bringing important social issues to a bigger audience. HOWEVER, I do think they tend to take liberties with some artists' music.






Are you ready to get your happy hour on today? I MOST DEFINITELY AM! It's okay to indulge once in a while and reward yourself (For my "Happy Hour" beverage selections, check this post). Looking for a happy hour snack that is GOOD for ya? Try these spinach balls! They pack in a FULL SERVING of veggies per serving! My family has been making these for YEARS! So simple and quick and they go GREAT with a glass of white wine! Enjoy in moderation! :)

Parmesan Spinach Balls!
Parmesan Spinach Balls

Ingredients:

1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 cups finely crushed herb-seasoned dry bread stuffing mix
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 cup melted butter (or Margarine)
3 eggs, beaten (or Egg Substitute)


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl combine spinach, stuffing mix, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, black pepper, Italian seasoning, melted butter and eggs. Shape into walnut-sized balls and place on a baking sheet.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until heated through and browned.




For this week's music selections, I decided to go the "Slow Jam" route. Most of these are slower songs--perfect for cool down! I also picked a good diversity of genres--there's something for everyone here!

1. Haterade -- Gucci Mane ft. Pharrell and Nikki Minaj
(SLOW JAM to the max!)

2. You Will Leave a Mark -- A Silent Film
(Alt. rock gem! Beautiful piano and a haunting chorus)

3. With or Without You --U2 cover by Sarah Darling
(I love country music, but I'm not big on country covers. I cringe every time I think of Mark Wills' rendition of "I Do". However, this one is actually really, really gorgeous)

4. Heartbeat -- Enrique Iglesias ft. Nicole Scherzinger
(I use this as a cool down song in my class. Enrique = handsome AND talented)

5. Who Wants to Be Alone -- Tiesto ft. Nelly Furtado
(A little faster tempo, but catchy. P.S. Whatever happened to Nelly Furtado? Has she done anything in the US recently?)

6. Undercover Martyn -- Two Door Cinema Club
(I'm really digging this band right now. I can only describe their style as "electro-disco-pop-rock." I don't know else to put it! I dare you not to dance to this one!)


Well, that's all, peeps! I'm off to teach Zumba this afternoon! If you know of a funny video, awesome recipe or song to share, post it in the comments or email it my way! Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New Year, New Blog!

Hi, blog. Remember me!?!? It's Laura!

The last six months have brought many changes into my life. With the flux in my personal life, I felt it only fitting that my blog also go through a metamorphosis--a "rebranding," if you will. I feel like my fitness life has evolved, and so too should B. Foxy Fitness. Out with the old name and in with the fresh and exciting (I double-dare you to click that link!). Sometimes, we all need a re-evaluation.

So welcome to my Blog 2.0! Do you like the new look? I was going for the "disco-glitter-she's-a-lady-clean-lean-blogging machine" look :) I kept the "B" because, as I've said before, that letter is significant in more ways than one.

Stay tuned to Laura B. Fit cuz I'm back like Barack and I'm here to stay! Send me any fitness questions you may have...or just general questions (I heart random questions!).

Some posts I have coming up...
-Fit n' Fun Friday! (the music selections and funny videos are BACK!)
-So you want to be a fitness instructor? (a multi-part series)
-Party recipes that are GOOD for you
-10 fitness essentials that you need TODAY
-Fitness clothes that make you want to PAR-TAY
-and MORRRRRRE!!!!

Another change you will see shortly is the addition of YouTube videos! Yes, you will be able to see me embarrass myself on camera for the whole world to see. And that's at least worth stopping back by for!

Well, back to dealing with this midwestern "Snowpocalypse" and dreaming of the beach!

The "Great Blizzard of '11" 

Trying to take my dogs out to pee has proven tricky. Please note that Bay Bay is adopting the ostrich method.

The snow is up to their chest!

Boof was like "ALRIGHT I'M DONE MOMMEEEEE. LET'S GO INSIDE!!!"

It's no 20 inches, but it's got to be a foot deep!

I tried to "fall back" expecting to fall through the snow...fail! The snow was too compacted. I think I got a snow concussion.  

REAL icicles. Not the Christmas kind either. The kind that signal that driving is impossible today.

This gives you a better idea of how deep the snow is!

Ugh...I need a margarita on the beach...STAT!