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It’s Almost Birthday Week!

by Renee on December 18, 2014 · 5 comments

in Uncategorized

I’m still alive! I promise sorry for leaving you hanging for the past few days. Blog Updates, kids, work, sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the day. Heck I’ve only had one workout this entire week!

It’s been a caffeinated week. I prefer Panera red cups to Starbucks. And I’m a little embarrassed to admit this…these two pictures were NOT taken on the same day.

Panera Coffee

Day 2 of coffee and off site working, or as I like to call it website hell :)

Panera 2

On a happier note PLEASE notice the Steak and Blue Salad is BACK at Panera. This made my day. I swear I haven’t been able to work from home lately with all the gifts and things kicking around my house there are just too many distractions right now. I go through phases of needed new scenery to get things done. This week has been one of those weeks. I might be headed back there today, you can find me Ren booth 5 ;)

In little boy news some one had a very special visitor last night at hockey….Santa came to deliver hockey STICKS! Broc was of course ecstatic.

santa with sticks

Thanks Santa!

Broc getting his stick

I can’t decide if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that both of these jars of olives and peppers are already gone? I bought them December 1st! Ouch. Olives and peppers

I find myself making meals just to use them that’s how addicted to them I am right now. The struggle is REAL. And if you haven’t yet you can enter to win your own Mezzetta gift basket.

I’ve got some recipe “thangs” I’m working on including this little number and a refreshing cocktail. Tis the season for festive eats!

Nasoya noodles

If you haven’t yet seen Guardians of the Galaxy I’m sorry for you it’s awesome and what’s MORE awesome is the soundtrack. I’ve introduced my kids to the glorious music of the 70′s including funk and Motown. As an early gift we opened this baby up and rocked out. Awesome Mix 1

The best part? Explaining to my kids what a cassette is as well as a CD…dear lord I am getting old! In funny news Broc did ask Santa for a Cassette player for Christmas… you can’t make this up folks. He described it as a carrying thing that plays music, I said an ipod. No the one with the big buttons on the side! (Cassette Player!)

It’s been a rough week workout wise. Yesterday I snuck in a half hour of PiYO and weights that I completed in the kitchen while making dinner. 15 pounds seems light until the 25th rep. Then I want to die.


Luckily this morning my schedule lightened up a bit and I got in a 5k and arms and back weights. Cheers for small victories!

And it other news…Monday begins birthday week. Because it is actually my birthday and my husband’s birthday! 33 and 34 practically adults ;)


For my birthday giveaway I have that Alex and Ani Bracelet giveaway be sure to enter!

And since I’m rambling I’m teaming up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for a dose of Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

Question of the Day: Do you get to celebrate all week-long for your birthday? 


Hearty Mushroom Risotto {Meatless Monday}

by Renee on December 15, 2014 · 17 comments

in Food

This weekend after an early morning hockey game and a rushed holiday shopping trip we decided to try out a new to us restaurant. The mushroom risotto called out to my hungry husband. And in one of the strangest compliments he’s ever paid me after taking a bite of it, he said “I wanted this but it’s not that good, I know you could make a better version.”

Mushroom Risotto

Umm you have to remember when I first met my husband, I used the oven of my one bedroom city apartment for extra storage. And I once cooked us a “special” meal that ended in food poisoning. It’s been a long culinary journey for us. And a huge compliment that now he finds I can cook food better than  restaurants. Practice makes you less crappy perfect I guess ;)

Hearty Mushroom Risotto

Anyway with a new task at hand I set out to make my first ever risotto. Pasta, cheese, mushrooms and garlic sounds easy enough but as I learned with the first version of this dish, risotto isn’t alway a smash success first time out. But the second time…it is a hit!


mushroom risotto 2

My husband really enjoyed this dish! The little guys of course saw mushrooms and ran for the hills but what can you do?  It was a fantastic meal on a late night and I felt like I really accomplished something since it was better than the inspiration! Score one for me!

My first attempt at this though ended in uncooked pasta and a weird texture. You really need to slowly cook the pasta if you leave the heat too high it won’t cook properly. So trial #2 was a test of my patience.

Mushrooms are always a great substitute for meat so I’m linking up today with Tina and Deborah for Meatless Monday!

Meatless Monday Button

Also please remember only a few days left to win that Alex and Ani Bracelet! Also enter these great giveaways $500 cash, Luna GlutenFree Bars.

Question of the Day: Have you ever copied a dish from a restaurant to try to make it better? Did it work? 


2014 I’m going to call the year I seriously got into yoga. The year I stepped outside of my causal yogi-ness and dove head first into the chakras, poses and releases that make yoga, yoga.

Breathe Barre and Yoga

Once upon a time I sat in the back of yoga classes. Unsure of where my hands went or what on EARTH was an Ujjiyi breathe? Over time and LOTS of practice. I began to understand the pull of yoga. Sure physically it’s challenging but also it allows my mind the space it needs. It’s my happy place.


I’ve spent a lot of time trying out different classes here here and here. And of course my new love for the Daily Burn Yoga. I’ve made my own challenges for myself that include NOT making a to-do list during Shavasana.  And really linking my movement with breath.

I’ve learned a lot about myself and been pretty humbled in the process. My only regret for my 2014 year of practice is that I didn’t start on this journey sooner. Chaturunga -1.jpg

Headstands oh man headstands. It’s a process.


Sure my breath sometime is NOT connected to the movements and sometimes I can’t balance on one foot to save my life but it’s a practice not a perfection. I think that’s really what I love the most about yoga. No matter where you start you can see the strength and feel the release.

It took me a LONG time to develop upper body strength. A LONG time. And one of the most rewarding parts of yoga is being able to Chaturanga. I seriously thought I would NEVER be able to.

I’m pretty excited to continue on this journey for 2015. I think you’ll see much more about yoga on this blog next year.

I became a certified PiYo Live Instructor this fall and enjoy the fusion of yoga with pilates.

PiYo Instructor

So although my poses aren’t perfect I’m enjoying the journey.

PiYO- triangle

One of my favorite new yoga gifts this year was an Alex and Ani Om bracelet. And in the spirit of spreading the yoga light I’m giving away one just like mine to one of YOU my lucky readers! 

OM Alex and Ani

This contest is open to my USA and Canadian Readers. Enter to win through the widget! One winner will be selected on December 22nd (my birthday!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Alex and Ani

Alex and Ani Om Giveaway

I’m linking up today with Fitfulfocus and JillCoyners.

Question of the Day: What are you most looking forward to in 2015? If you win the bracelet are you going to keep it or give it away?