Spritzers are the New Black

Last night we celebrated my sister-in-law and her husband tying the knot in the most gorgeous, romantic, traditional wedding ever. Being a wedding coordinator, I feel like I’ve seen it all, but with each new wedding I work or attend, there are always special touches that make each unique. The details that stood out to me this wedding were everywhere!

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I absolutely LOVED the cocktail hour setting. The reception was held at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach & Spa Resort, and the cocktail hour was on the rooftop terrace, where the most gorgeous, vivid sunset appeared out of nowhere and created the perfect backdrop for the bride & groom to take pictures. I also loved their guest book; they asked everyone to leave well wishes as well as an adventure, that they promised to complete in their lifetime. How adorable is that?! I also had the best wedding food I’ve ever had – a juicy, perfectly cooked steak. SO.GOOD.

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Drink like a TIU girl.

Anyway, back to the origin of this post….drinking like a proper TIU girl. Being a breastfeeding mom, I can only have one glass when out, and not being a huge drinker anyway, that’s totally fine with me. Luckily, I just don’t really like the taste of alcohol anyway; not wine, liquor, or beer. I love a good marg and a good glass of champs, though, so those are my weaknesses.

Save Calories + Save a Hangover

Cocktail hour didn’t have champagne, so I was left to be creative. I had a baby sitter, my friend Jackie, watching Tanner for a few hours so I could enjoy myself and feel like a pretty little independent human for the night, so I deserved a drink! So what’s a TIU girl to do to save calories and save a hangover? (Or in this case be breastfeeding aware – I don’t pump and dump; that milk is gold!)

Here’s my trick…

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Photo credit – NY Times, 2014.

I order a half glass of wine (they had a rosé white Zin, so this was my choice because I don’t really like red or white & prefer the sweeter taste) and top the glass off with sparkling water and ice (if you’re somewhere chilly you obviously don’t need ice, but this is South FL and you need all the help you can get chilling anything). Being a champs girl anyway, I love the bubbly effect this creates, and you can still enjoy your night with a fun drink – with HALF the cals, and half the guilt 😉

Spritzers are the new black!

Don’t let too many drinks dull your sparkle the morning after. Drink well, be well! Congrats, Jena & Brian! Thank you for a wonderful evening!

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IMG_1991-0.JPG 💗💗💗

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TIU SAN DIEGO Meet Up!

Pumpkins + Painting + Potluck…oh my!

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Where: Address TBA to those who RSVP yes – North County, San Diego

When: Sunday, October 19th from 1:30-3:30pm

Why: because nothing is better than fall and pumpkins celebrated with TIU sisters! Let’s get to know one another better 🙂

Who: San Diego TIU sistas

How: Cost is $10 to cover painting supplies. Bring yourselves, a pumpkin, a TIU approved dish to share, paint-friendly clothes, and anything specific you like to drink! I’ll provide painting supplies, paint, a TIU dish, and the rest!

A few of my favorite things…

Goodness for your soul, goodness for your body…

My morning started off with such positive vibes this morning! Mostly because I took a minute of gratitude to appreciate my surroundings and realized I was embodied by so many of my favorite things, both materialistic and spiritual. The perfect blend of what makes you happy…a little goodness for your soul, a little goodness for your body…

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For me this morning, a good handful of these things were featured in the photo I posted on my TIU Instagram (@tiu_shelley). Here’s the breakdown of my little happiness-in-an-Instagram-square:

What makes YOU happy?!

what’s good for your body is good for your soul + what’s good for your soul is good for your body

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I realized that what’s good for my body is good for my soul, and what’s good for my soul is good for my body. It’s so much easier to hold on to hate, to hold on to the past, to hold on to grudges. I hate that! It’s not fair those things take up more space in our beautiful minds than all the wonderful things going on around us. Challenge yourself today – whether it’s for a five second breath count, a minute, a few minutes, or even part of your day….breathe out the bad, breathe in the good. Share more of the beauty, dismiss the ugly. Imagine all the bad thoughts, the resentment, the things pestering you to pop like bubbles each time they try to enter your thoughts. Sweep them out of your mind like dust bunnies!!

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I took all that out of my yoga practice this morning. The teacher really struck close to home today. Set your intentions – set your happiness – set the tone for your life. You deserve it, and are in charge of it!

Happy Monday, sweet souls! Xoxo

Crockpot Pineapple Habenero Chicken

Two of my favorite things in this world are chicken & crockpots. Seriously, whoever invented the crockpot was a God or a Goddess. I’d say it was obviously a woman, because it’s so practical and time saving, but it could have equally as been a man since it’s the ultimate lazy move as far as the actual cooking process goes.

I went to Costco for printer ink & paper, but of course roamed the aisles throwing other things in my cart. One of them was this all-natural marinate/sauce…SO.GOOD.

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All Natural. No Funky Ingredients or Artificial Flavoring.

I loved that it was pretty clean and there weren’t any weird ingredients that you couldn’t pronounce; typically a good rule of thumb for anything healthy as we all know. The vegetables used in the sauce weren’t “flavoring”, they were the actual veggies themselves. It was already noon when I was shopping & I knew I had organic chicken breasts in the fridge, so as soon as I saw this sauce, I knew I wanted to bust out my crockpot. Now, if I didn’t have a one year old that was climbing out of my cart and clawing me like a raptor, I would’ve bought the ingredients to make the sauce myself. But today just wasn’t one of those days I was going to have 30 seconds to myself. (teething + up all night + sleepy + clingy + temperamental baby today). I’ve gotten used to this new life as a mom & the sacrifices we make are worth it. Like how I’m going to have to pause writing this right now to tend to a screaming banshee who wants out of his playroom and onto my boob…

Okay, where were we? Chicken & crockpots…

Ingredients (Using Costco Sauce):

  • Organic, boneless chicken breasts
  • Costco sauce

Ingredients making homemade pineapple habenero sauce:

  • 1 cup pineapple
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup mango
  • 1/4 cup chopped white or yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup yellow or orange bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon amino acid soy sauce substitute (I use Bragg’s)
  • 1/4 habenero pepper (use less or more depending on how you tolerate spicy things).

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Directions (using Costco sauce):

1. If using Costco’s pre-made marinade, pour about half the bottle into crock pot

2. Add chicken (I only used two breasts, but you could could make three with using half the bottle of sauce, or double up recipe when using more chicken; which I would recommend because both the chicken and sauce is really good leftover).

3. Cook on low for 4-6 hours, depending on your crockpot’s cooking ability & how many chicken breasts you used. Cutlets cook faster if you only have 3-4 hours.

4. Serve with a TIU approved side. I made veggie fried “rice” which you’ll find the recipe post coming soon!

Directions (using homemade sauce):

1. Dice all vegetables using food processor or knife

2. Dice pineapple & mango using food processor or knife

3. Add diced veggies, fruits, pineapple juice, coconut sugar, and “soy sauce” to crock pot. Stir all ingredients together to form a nice relish-like consistency.

4. Add chicken breasts.

5. Mix sauce and chicken breasts until nicely coated.

6. Bake on low for 4-6 hours, depending on how many chicken breasts & your crockpot’s cooking ability. (I used two chicken breasts and cooked for 6 hours, only because I wasn’t home).

7. Chicken should fall into nice shreds when served.

8. Serve with your favorite TIU approved side. I made veggie fried “rice” which you’ll find coming soon to my blog!

*Do not consume under-cooked meat. Make sure chicken is properly cooked all the way through before consuming.

FALLing out of Summer Parfait

IMG_1667.JPG Since the TIU Pumpkin Parfait took over my breakfast tastebuds, I decided to try another parfait this morning. The morning parfait is something so simple, yet I always forget about it! Probably because I’m a smoothie and acai berry bowl addict.

Apples + Pumpkins = Oh my, it’s fall, ya’ll…

I was grocery shopping yesterday searching for my Yoplait Pumpkin Pie low-fat yogurt (this was a quick essentials shop with limited time, so I couldn’t make it to Sprouts or Trader Joe’s for a cleaner alternative) when a sparkly new “limited edition” yogurt caught my eye; apple crisp. Um, yum. Apples + pumpkins just scream fall, so I left the store with my two yogurt flavors in tow (among other things, like fresh fruit of course!)

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FALLing out of summer

This morning when I ones the fridge to make Tanner’s breakfast, I began slicing nectarines and blackberries down to baby niblets, when I thought, hmmm these could be yummy with my apple crisp yogurt! Blackberries and nectarines/peaches always remind me of summer, but cinnamon and apples remind me of fall, so the two flavors combined seemed perfect to saying farewell to summer and hello to fall! (In the kitchen, at least, because we’re having another heat wave here in San Diego). Que recipe name, FALLing out of summer 😉

What you need:

  • Apple crisp Yoplait low-fat yogurt OR you could absolutely make your own, clean version (listed in directions). If doing so, you will also need plain greek or low-fat yogurt or vanilla greek yogurt, apples, cinnamon, and vanilla extract.
  • Optional, Perfect Fit protein.
  • Blackberries
  • 1 Nectarines and/or 1 peach
  • Chia/flax sees granola
  • Mason jar or Tupperware
  • Spoon (duh)

Directions:

1. Pre-prep your yogurt if making homemade;

1a: For a cleaner substitute, start with plain Greek Yogurt, apples, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Bake the apples until mooshy, and cube. Once completely cooled, add tiny apple cubes to your Greek yogurt. Add a 1/4 tsp vanilla extract and a few sprinkles of cinnamon.

1b: *For a protein boost: sprinkle in vanilla Perfect Fit Protein into yogurt mix. If you chose to add PF protein, you may not need to add vanilla extract.

1c. If you’re using Yoplait’s, just open the lid 😉

2. Slice nectarines/peaches into tiny little cubes

3. Add about 1/4 cup yogurt to bottom of Mason jar

4. Add nectarine cubes

5. Add 1/4 cup granola

6. Top with about 10 blackberries

7. You can sprinkle top with cinnamon or drizzle a teaspoon of raw, local honey atop blackberries

8. Mix together or eat in layered bites, and enjoy!

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As you can see, it’s baby approved!!

(no granola & all fruit chopped into tiny bits; no protein powder.)

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@TIU_SHELLEY

Instagram is an incredible platform of social media. You’re able to reach an audience of like-minded people and connect on a common-ground through pictures…who doesn’t love pictures?! I know the old saying is to never judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to Instagram, the opposite rings true. Pictures express our emotions, our lifestyles, our backgrounds, what motivates us, excites us; what makes us happy. And, of course, let’s not forget our meals. Who hasn’t uploading mouth-watering pictures of a meal a time or two?! If you’re nodding your head no, I don’t believe you. Especially if you’re a TIU girl – this is pretty much a rule of thumb to get initiated into the #tiuteam.

share. love. inspire. sweat.

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If you’re not a member of Tone It Up, some of my lingo will seem foreign; when it comes to Instagram check-ins during challenges, such as the current #friskyfall, we’re encouraged to check in. What does that mean? Posting pictures alllllldayerrrrdayyy of our meals, workouts, motivational quotes, etc. Basically anything that embodies the TIU way of life; share. love. inspire. sweat. In fact, during 8-week challenges, our likelihood of winning weekly giveaways is increased by checking in (posting pictures) and interacting with the TIU community by encouraging others.

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On that note, my Instagram dedicated to solely Tone It Up (@tiu_shelley) is such a ray of light during my day. The support I constantly receive from other TIU girls never ceases to amaze me. Each and every single one of my family of followers seems to say just what I need to hear, at all the right moments. I swear, no matter what outside chaos is going on in my life, my TIU girls keep me grounded. They keep me smiling. They keep me motivated. They keep me HAPPY. If I’m ever feeling down, I just open my TIU instagram, and scroll through my posts. Even just looking at my feed of bright colors, happy things, inspirational collages and quotes makes me smile and boosts my mood as an instant pick-me-up. I mean, just look at it!

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“I don’t want to be the one who says life is beautiful. I want to be the one who feels it.” 
― Marty Rubin

If you’re part of my TIU Instagram family, thank you. Thank you for inspiring me, making me smile, and making me feel so loved, each and every day. I hope I continue to inspire you the way you all encourage me!

XO,

@tiu_shelley

Yoga for One

Wooo! Things got super wild today when I left to do my FIRST solo yoga class since Tanner was born…yep, ladies and gentlemen (not that I think gentlemen would be browsing this blog, but ya never know!) you heard that right…my first solo yoga class in ONE FREAKING YEAR. ONEEEE YEAR!! And oh.em.gee. it felt AMAZING.

Try a new yoga studio.

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When #friskyfall started three weeks ago, K&K gave us a #pmchallege to dedicate some time to ourselves and focus on our goals for the 8 weeks that were ahead of us. I love that their challenges aren’t only about setting physical goals, but emotional and self-worthy goals too. I’ll focus a separate blog entry to my goal-setting another time, but for now I’m focusing on one of them: trying out a yoga studio in town I hadn’t tried yet, and going alone. Sans Tanner.

Yoga studio + juice bar…yes please!

I had my heart set out on a few studios in town, so next came checking their class schedules to see which times would coordinate with mine/Tanner’s/my husband’s. The #friskyfall #pmchallenge last night was to prep our breakfast for today last night so we had it ready and waiting, ensuring our day (and our metabolism) got off to a nice healthy start. I was reading what the #pmchallenge was once I was already in bed (and obviously hadn’t prepped anything to eat for breakfast yet). With that, a lightbulb went off in my head…try the yoga studio with the juice bar!!! win-win! So I checked their schedule at sure enough, there was a gentle yoga at 9am…perfecto!

He decided to wake up at 8:58am…

Since Tanner was born, I don’t believe in alarm clocks…I have a little alarm that squeaks every morning around 8:30am to wake me up. Okay, I’m lying, I have a little alarm who crawls on me and finishes his milk for the morning; we’re still bed-sharing. Yeah, yeah, I know…time to move him into his own room (please leave your parenting advice elsewhere; to each their own). Well, today he decided to wake up at 8:58am. Yoga in 2 minutes? Not happening. I was actually relieved to see it was a little later than 8 this morning, because I went to bed WAY too late and needed any extra minute to survive the day sans caffene. So the time “issue” wasn’t going to stop me! It simply meant that studio wasn’t meant to be today. So back to plan B – check the other studios closest to our house to see if any classes coordinated. TA-DA! reformYOGA…gentle yoga flow…10:30am. PERFECTO! This actually worked out better anyway because I was able to feed Tanner breakfast before heading out (I don’t totally trust my husband to cut everything into small enough pieces and watch him without playing on his phone – #sorryimnotsorry #newmomtrustissues #oneday).

Time to give back to myself

If always feels so funny every time I get into my car alone. I look in the rear mirror & don’t see a smiley little face playing with his dino or favorite helicopter from grandma; just an empty mirror with a car seat in its reflection. It’s that feeling when you think you’re forgetting something, but know you checked your packing list three times before leaving for the airport. But it’s also a little sense of freedom; a sliver of the independence you had before baby made you a family of three. Which is exactly what I deserved after neglecting myself – my hobbies – my interests – and alone time – for an entire year. Don’t feel bad for me; it was my own untrusting mothering instinct – and huge breast feeding issues I was determined to rise above – that lead me to chose to not leave Tan alone with anyone. And up until now, I was totally okay with it. But when K&K asked us to reflect on ourselves and what makes us happy, I knew it was time to give back to myself. And that’s ok. And healthy.

#namastebitches

So I headed out to reformYOGA in Bressi Ranch. My first reaction to the studio was I LOVED the location. Right next to a Nekter?!?!? It was a sign from above! This place & I are going to be two peas-in-a-pod.

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For new students it’s only $39 for a month of unlimited yoga; when classes are $20 each, that is a STEALLLL. With my TIU yoga mat in tow, I registered as a new student, grabbed a block, blanket, and strap, & found my spot in class. #namastebitches – it’s time for some peace and calmness – solo.

At first I was surprised to see a male instructor. I had always had women, but often found their voices to be high-pitched and not very relaxing. Except one of my favorite instructors, Amanda, at Soul of Yoga, where my favorite mommy-and-me yoga is! His voice was calm, deep, and soothing, and was a really nice change on the mat (and the eyes…kidding…kind of!) During class we were challenged to hold the block in between our thighs for the entire time! Whaaaat?! I came here to relax! Actually; it was the perfect mixture of relaxing and challenging, and was exactly what I needed to start my day.

reformYOGA = 5 stars * * * * * 

I absolutely loved every second of the 60 minute class. The room was so cute, too! My favorite detail was the quotes on the back wall. The front wall was floor-to-ceiling mirrors, so the quotes were actually screened backward on the wall so when you read them in the mirror they were correct. I loved that! I give reformYOGA 5 stars, and can’t wait to go back! My only complaint with all yoga studios in the area is that I wish they had childcare. My husband travels for work ALLLLL the time, so I wish I could pop in whenever I wanted for a class and bring Tanner. Even if my mom & dad lived locally, which they don’t, I like to go during the week during work hours. If you’re looking for a business start-up and you’re reading this…women are the majority of yoga goers…of those women, the ones that attend weekly classes in the middle of the day are likely stay-at-home moms, or moms that work from home…some of those women are new moms who don’t want to leave their babies with family or a baby sitter just to go to a yoga class….so our yoga studios need childcare so you can get more of our business!!!

mind + body + soul

Getting out to a yoga class today was healthy for my mind, my body, and my soul. It was the perfect hour escape from real life, and a moment to connect with myself, find peace amongst the chaos that is life, and made me really happy to accomplish another goal I set for myself this month. I can’t wait to reevaluate my #friskyfall goals and get the next one checked off 🙂

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Pumpkin Spice Parfait

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All my recipes these days are inspired by the Tone It Up way of life, and I LOVE when Karena & Katrina come out with new goodies for members of their nutrition plan, like this Pumpkin Parfait.

 

What’s a Tone It Up mama to do?

This week, my husband & my little munchkin both came down with whatever sickness is floating around (que shots of Bragg’s apple cider vinegar & TIU Bombshell spells!!!) so I didn’t have much time for grocery shopping. I was bummed when I couldn’t follow the TIU directions exactly, but what’s a Tone It Up mama to do?! Raid the pantry & refrigerator to see what I had to improvise!

Only 5 Ingredients!

In my fridge it felt like I won the lotto when I found two little low-fat pumpkin spice Yoplait yogurts…is there anything better than anything and everything pumpkin during fall?! Next on my mission: granola. Again, I won the jackpot when I found not only granola in my pantry, but chia seed pumpkin spice granola…from Sprouts….the parfait gods were with me. I even had two ripe bananas screaming to be eaten, and pumpkin pie spice stocked in my cupboard from making my favorite pumpkin bread – my mom’s – with a TIU clean-eating twist (which you can find here).

 

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Okay, okay, cut to the recipe chase already, right?! Here’s my I’m-a-mom-that’s-too-busy-to-go-grocery-shopping 5 ingredient pumpkin spice parfait!

 

Ingredients:

  • Pumpkin spice, pumpkin, or pumpkin pie flavored yogurt. My favs – Chobani’s, Trader Joe’s, or Yoplait’s
  • Chia or flax seed granola; you can use plain or my favorite is Sprout’s pumpkin spice; because it’s pumpkin flavored (duh) AND has chia/flax seeds and pumpkin seeds
  • Bananas (I also used blueberries and loved it! Feel free to sub with other fruits you think would compliment pumpkin spice flavoring)
  • Pumpkin spice and/or cinnamon
  • A mason jar or tupperware

Directions:

  • Slice bananas
  • Begin with layering approx. 1/3 cup yogurt on bottom of mason jar/tupperware
  • Sprinkle 1/8 cup granola on top (if prepping this the night before do NOT add granola until when you’re ready to eat, as it will get soggy and gross.)
  • Add layer of sliced bananas (approx 1/2 of the banana)
  • Repeat; yogurt, granola, bananas
  • You can layer as many fit, as many times as you like, but my particular finding was two layers was perfect.
  • On top layer of bananas, sprinkle pumpkin pie spice and/or cinnamon on top
  • Take a picture of your beautiful creation and tell me how you like this quick 5-ingredient pumpkin parfait inspired by K&K by tagging me @tiu_shelley on Instagram 🙂
  • Eat in layers or mix all around for a yummy parfait scramble & ENJOY!

 

Kept me full until lunch! 

What I love about this recipe – you can add it into your weekly meal prep and make a few ahead of time for a quick breakfast on the go, quick snack throughout the day, or a great breakfast to bring with you to work! You can even adapt it into your favorite overnight breakfast recipe – overnight oats, etc! If prepping before-hand, be sure to leave granola on the side until ready to serve to it doesn’t get mushy! It also kept me full until lunch time! You can sprinkle in some of your protein powder into your yogurt for an even more filling addition too!

Happy pumpkin season!

LAST CHANCE to join #TIUSECRETSISTER

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Ok, really, I mean it this time!! Haha. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if you had an issue creating your Elfster account and didn’t get into the draw, this is your LAST CHANCE to get added as a latecomer for the #tiusecretsister #motivationalmail #tiugiftexchange !!! Late comers will NOT affect pairings that have already been drawn; it creates a subgroup. If you’re active in the exchange, please share this, because I can’t reach everyone out there 🙂 leave your EMAIL address HERE so I can copy & paste it into Elfster! Have a great Monday!!!

Lower Body Stretch Routine

Sometimes after my TIU workouts, I just need a nice, gentle, relaxing stretch. A good old fashioned, nothing fancy schmansy stretch. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love yoga, but after a strenuous workout routine, it’s not always what my body yearns for.

So this morning after completing three TIU videos; Mali Booty x2, Thailand Tush, and Karena’s arm routine, I searched YouTube for a lower body stretch routine, and found the perfect one! My hamstrings, butt, and thighs are sure to thank me tonight (and the next three days) for allocating 13 minutes to cool down and stretch out.

Looking for the same thing? Check out Fitness Blender’s Lower Body Stretch Routine here

Happy stretching!

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