Hope you guys had a wonderful weekend! I was in San Francisco last week at YouTube/Google for work and enjoyed some pretty delicious food and fun.
Best of all before I left for my trip, my latest Stitch Fix came in the mail. It feels likes Christmas every time I get a package! This time I kept 3 out of the 5 items they sent. You can read about why I love Stitch Fix so much here.
I was getting excited for Fall so I requested classic sweaters and told them to head to my Pinterest style board for inspiration on what types of pieces to send. I recieved a short black sweater (pictured above), and paired it with a bright, bold teal necklace that came in one of my previous fixes. Cute, huh?
It’s a Friday and I want to ramble about life nonsense. I need to vent a little and sometimes the only way to do that is through writing. So here we go.
This Summer has been busy and you’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been as consistent with my blogging. I can’t say that I enjoyed summer to it’s fullest, because I didn’t. In fact, I still have yet to make it to DQ for a Blizzard which is sad because that’s one of my favorite things to do during the Summertime. Dairy Queen reminds me of moments with my Dad and how special our time together was. I’m making it a point to get an M&M blizzard tonight.
I’ve been so obsessed with keeping up with my full time job, blog, and other consulting projects that I haven’t been appreciating things like I should either. I keep pushing myself to my limits. At this point, I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. Although my blog is my passion, it keeps me up until 1AM most nights as I edit photos and write posts. I spend my weekend developing recipes, too. It’s hard work and dedication.
So why do it?
There are so many reasons! This blog is helping to pay off my student loans (and I have A LOT of student loans). It also pushes me to pursue my passion and THAT is something I absolutely love. When I founded Ambitious Kitchen two years ago, I never imagined that I would make money from it. Nor did I ever think that I’d have readers or Facebook fans; every day I worked on it a little harder and learned along the way. The toughest part about blogging is that sometimes you feel like you have to stand out among others. My best advice to new bloggers? Write about what you love, share your passions, and be true to yourself. That in itself will make it stand out because no one in this world is like you.
Really though! I’m so thankful that you’ve decided to come read Ambitious Kitchen. Even if I can’t keep up with it as much as I’d like to. You’re still here.
I don’t know what will happen in the future with this blog, but I do know that it makes me happy — no matter how many nights I’m up late.
Now last but not least, I have some favorites for you. Summer favorites and links that keep me inspired from other hard-working bloggers. Enjoy!
It’s been a great past two weeks. I did a 3-day juice cleanse, met with one of my best friends for a fun wine night, made some delicious treats, annnnnndddddd bought a bike that I’m absolutely in love with.
Anyway I’m quite ready for a relaxing weekend. I have an epic cake in my mind that I want to bake up to celebrate the blog’s second birthday — hopefully I get around to that. Of course it involves chocolate. DUH.
I’m also popping over to help take some photographs for work at the Minnesota State Fair. It’s pre-fair, so it’ll be nice to be there before all of the chaos!
Now let’s get to my favorites… delicious favorites, beauty picks, music you need to hear and other random stuff thrown in.
Hey there! It’s been a while since we’ve just chatted. You know about life, fitness, and non-recipes.
Sometimes we have to do that. To just catch up. I hope this doesn’t bore you.
First let me start out by saying that I LOVE salad bars. All of the healthy quinoa salads, kale galore, and every veggie you could imagine is a dream.
Usually I tend to go vegetarian at the salad bars but if I’m extra hungry I’ll get a little chicken. Then there’s always spinach, kale, and romaine for a bit of crunch. I top my salad with chickpeas, grape tomatoes, olives, red peppers, peas and mushrooms. Oh and red onion! I adore red onions. Lastly I drizzle a bit of red wine vinegar and sometimes a dash of sesame oil. TOTAL NOMS.
Happy Friday! The photo above is a quote I picked out during my yoga challenge that inspires me! Of course I’m still doing the challenge but I decided that doing it everyday wasn’t necessary for me. 5x a week is enough (with some double days)! The point of the challenge was really to complete 35 classes within 6 weeks and there are still a few more weeks to go.
Hmmm what else? Yesterday I ran 5 miles with my friend. My legs were heavy, but we kept a 9 min mile pace, which isn’t too horrible. I have to admit that sometimes I just need a good run to clear my head. I especially enjoy running with a friend because I’m extremely competitive when it comes to fitness, so I end up pushing myself. Do you prefer to workout by yourself or with a friend?
Oops! I just realized that I have yet to post a yoga challenge recap. I’m sorry! I promise to do one soon. I have lots to share. Wanna know what my biggest accomplishment this past week was? Packing my lunch every single day! I think I saved about $30!
Anyway I have a fun weekend ahead of me — I’ll be babysitting the kids I used to nanny for when I was in college. They’re the sweetest and I cannot wait to bake their favorite banana bread or monster cookies with them!
Now on to the good stuff… my weekly favorites! Here they are:
I know that this is a food blog, but I can’t help but share some of my favorite things with you! And I LOVE beauty and fashion, so this post is really for all of you ladies out there.
I’ve mentionedStitch Fix a few times on my blog, because I’m absolutely head over heels in love with their company! Have you tried it yet? If not, I’ll give you a little more info.
Stitch Fix is basically a personalized styling service… in a box! That’s right, it’s very similar to Birch Box except your ‘fix’ consists of 5 styled items tailored specifically to your style! To start you fill out a style profile online; it’s important to be pretty detailed in this process because you want to make sure that you get clothes that reflect your body, personality, and what you would actually wear.
After filling out your profile, you schedule your first fix. And let me tell you, getting your first fix is like Christmas! You don’t know what’s in the box, so every month is a fun surprise. Plus you get three days to figure out what you want to keep. And the ones you don’t keep, simply drop them off at the post office, your package is already prepaid. Oh and I think I forgot to mention that you get 25% off if you keep all five items that were sent to you. Could it get any better?
My experience with Stitch Fix has been fantastic so far. Each fix just keeps getting better, and I especially love the fact that I don’t have to go to three different malls searching for clothes. Who has time for that? Not me! This is convenient and best of all you have the ability to pick your price points. LOVE LOVE LOVE!
Anyway, here’s what was in my last fix:
This dress is adorable and perfect for work! I feel like I could dress it up or down so definitely keeping!
I wanted to tell you about an amazing non-profit organization called Echoing Good who is currently hosting an online bake sale auction to raise money for some really incredible projects in Uganda. And guess what? My Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Saltare up for bidding! That’s right, bid the highest amount and I will personally ship you some these heavenly cookies.
This cause is incredibly important to me, and an easy way for us all to contribute to something good. In fact, 100% of the proceeds of will benefit Echoing Good and the amazing project work they do.
From Echoing Good:
Currently in Uganda, malnutrition is depriving many children of the chance to get an education. Due to the high cost of food, families are faced with the decision to either send their kids to school or put them to work to help feed the family. Echoing Good is working directly with the community to develop farms that enable lunch programs in primary schools. The crops grown provide pupils with daily nutritious meals and excess crops are sold to generate money that is reinvested back into maintaining the farms. This one meal eases the financial burden on families to provide their children with every meal, prevents hunger and malnutrition, and ultimately keeps the children in school.
Echoing Good’s program currently feeds over 1400 children every day. WOW!
I would love if you would consider participating!
How to bid: Please help support this wonderful cause by simply heading to Echoing Good’s Facebook page, make sure you like the page, then start bidding on some sweet treats by some very talented food bloggers! The bidding ends July 20th at 2pm Pacific. Winners will be notified within 24 hours, and treats will be shipped within a week.
Hi! Another week of Summer is fading away, so let’s enjoy the sunshine as much as possible. It’s going by way too fast.
I have to tell you that I’ve REALLY had the urge to bake. I don’t care if it’s Summer and hot. I want to turn on my oven and bake a thousand cookies. In fact, I have a list on my iPhone including some pretty ridiculously good recipes but I am trying my best to resist for I fear that I will eat EVERY single thing. Yep, stress baking at it’s finest! But we haven’t had a cookie recipe in a while so I need to debate on that a bit. Other that I’m hoping to do a little boating and catch a movie. I’ve also been craving a long run with Jay-Z blasting in my ears.
An update on the yoga challenge: This week has been really wonderful! I’ve been to the studio every day even if I was tired (and this week I was VERY tired). Sometimes I have to convince myself to go, but after every class I feel incredible and powerful. I’m even starting to notice changes in my body and it’s only been a week. There will be a week 1 recap including food and calories soon!
Anyway let’s get to the good stuff. Food stuff. Beauty stuff. Majorly awesome links:
Meet my lovely Mom (on the left). This picture was taken a while back at an event we attended. Unfortunately these past few weeks have been busy for the both of us, so we haven’t had any quality mother-daughter time. That being said, I’m missing her quite a bit! I won’t be able to see her until next week, so I’m baking her extra healthy breakfast muffins and then freezing them for her as a surprise.
By the way, I hope you had an awesome 4th of July! Didn’t it feel good to soak up the good weather and enjoy delicious food? I’m making a mental note to do that more often instead of living on my computer during the weekends (even though, I really like you guys).
Anyway, my yoga challenge doesn’t officially start until July 8th, but I’ve been pretty much going every day anyway. It’s been exhilarating, and I’m patiently waiting for my heart rate monitor to arrive so I can start tracking my calories! This weekend I’m going to prepare meals for the next week which I’ll detail for you in a post soon. I really want to start experimenting with different ingredients too; stay tuned!
Anyway I’ve got 12 fun links that I’ve been dying to share with you all week long:
He was nice, fun and quite interesting. Adventurous, too! Unfortunately, he was also incredibly challenging. Quite frankly, he annoyed me quite a bit… but in that good sort of way. Does that make sense?
Anyway no hard feelings there. The point I’m getting across is that my relationship with him is quite comparable to my relationship with yoga.
It’s challenging, yet rewarding. Both fun and difficult all at the same time. Most of all it’s something to experience. Because who are we, if not for our experiences?
I’ve been practicing yoga for about 3 years and find it to be one of the most rewarding workouts. Not to be a complete hippie, but it’s really taught me a lot about myself, reduced my stress, and kept me happy during tough times. Obviously better than any boyfriend thus far.
So, what’s this yoga challenge about?
My yoga studio offers several different types of yoga classes, all in a heated environment. They recently posted a yoga challenge called Mount Everest, and I was immediately curious. The goal of the challenge is to yoga every day for the next 6 weeks. Whoever reaches 35 classes first wins! You can also double up on your classes; I’ll probably do that two times a week.
I wanted to share this all with you and document my experience, and also perhaps offer a little inspiration and encouragement along my journey.
Here’s what I’ll be sharing:
Calories burned: I just purchased a heart rate monitor off of Amazon, so as soon as it arrives in the mail, I’ll be wearing it to all of my classes to help document how many calories I’ve burned.
Food: I don’t plan on posting what I’m eating all the time, but instead include some photos of my meals in weekly recaps. For the next month, I’m giving up alcohol, peanut butter, and most wheat. I’ll be sticking to a high protein diet, healthy gluten free grains, and avoiding anything processed. I’ll also be switching to organic fruits and veggies. It’s a good thing I’ve been saving up recipes to post!
Weight loss: I’ll track weekly any weight loss along with how I’m feeling or if I’m noticing any changes in my body or emotions.
Recaps of favorite work outs: I’m not going to jotting down my moves while in class, but I might share a fun move or how many sit-ups I did, etc.
I’m curious, what has your fitness experience been? Have you tried yoga?