Note to the math geeks: I am well aware that this one post is not a list of 50 things and that my title is misleading. It just seemed clever to me, even though it’s not accurate. Though by the time you finished laboring through both posts, theoretically, you should have read through more than 50 favorites!
To continue on in the Epic Favorites Post from last week…
Favorite ways to move:
This Barre3 DVD
I’ve tried a few different barre videos and even a barre class (which ended up being too fast-paced, unguided and generally too high-level for me), but this is hands-down my favorite. If it didn’t cost money, I’d totally sign up for Barre3’s online membership, but barre isn’t my go-to favorite way of moving. I just like doing it occasionally to mix things up, so it wouldn’t be worth the cost of the membership. This DVD is perfect for that and I’m working on my library system buying more Barre3 DVDs. 😆
Yoga with Adriene
So this is my go-to favorite way of moving. Well, not necessarily YWA, but any sort of yoga, it’s just that this is my favorite free yoga channel. Adriene is so good about explaining how to do each pose as she goes along so that after a bit of experience with her style, you almost don’t have to watch the videos. She has many tutorials on individual poses, different practices for whatever it is you’re needing in the moment and a light-hearted, accepting spirit of growth and learning if you are not yet at a level of difficulty where you wish you could be.
Walking while listening to a podcast (or book…or music!)
I used to walk my dog Bella, but as she’s aged, it’s become less and less fun for both of us, so now I walk by myself in our development, most of the time I’m listening to a favorite podcast and soaking up the sun (which yes, contrary to popular rumor, we do actually do see every now and again! ☀)…or when there is no one wandering about, I’ll turn on the tunes and belt it out like no one’s listening!
Personal dance par-tay!!!
I used to have a special playlist on my phone just for those moments when I want to have an impromptu dance party with me, myself and I (most everyone else wouldn’t want to have a dance party with me anyway…except my cousin’s daughter Vida or my nephew Allen 😜). Usually happening in our walk-in closet/storage room. And I like my music loud when I’m dancing (or when I’m trying to lose myself completely). 💃 I really need to make another playlist like that on my new phone, but until then, I have to queue it up the old-fashioned way.
Hot yoga class
I’ve wanted to try a real yoga class for quite some time, both a hot yoga class and also a regular (cold??) yoga class. For whatever reason, here in the Maple Valley area, we only have hot yoga studios. Sure, there are regular yoga classes at gyms, etc., but with gyms’ current reputation for mis-teaching yoga and fostering, in many cases, a spirit of exercise addiction (which is especially dangerous for me considering my history of exercise addiction), I really did not want to go to a gym yoga class if I could help it. I still haven’t had an opportunity yet to try a regular yoga one, but my sister Katie (who also wanted to try hot yoga) and I decided to give it a try at a local studio. They had an awesome deal that we took advantage of, and even though I expected to dislike the wetness of sweat throughout the entire workout (I am very sensitive to sensory things), I loved the hot yoga so much that I could deal with the unpleasant sensory stimulation. And with the somewhat novel experience of heat without humidity, it was a lot better than I expected; the heat didn’t feel hot exactly. It was very hard to explain, but something I want to do again! Katie fell in love with it too, and we both thought would be amazing if we could afford to do it on a more regular basis.
Characters most like me:
Kronk (The Emperor’s New Groove)
Do I even need to explain this one? Pretty much every single thing that comes out his mouth could have come out mine (if I was the villain’s sidekick that is). Okay, one quote, “Riiiggghhhhtt…” <- if you’ve watched the movie, that is so 100% me. Trying to be subtle, sly, in-the-know…and failing utterly. Or the dinner scene where Yzma is trying to tell Kronk to knock out the emperor? The first time I watched it (in between laughing till I cried), I was right there with Kronk, and could not for the life of me figure out what she was wanting him to do. 😂 Childish, trying to be helpful but his ignorant innocence leading him to say and do things that are never right, easily confused, not the sharpest knife in the drawer, easily pleased, clueless on absolutely everything except his ninja abilities with food…yeah, that all pretty much defines me right there!^^ See why I like him so much??
Fred/Wasabi (Big Hero 6)
I am like the ultimate mashup of these two. Part of me is so like Wasabi (see car chase scene…“You have to indicate before you turn; it’s the LAW!!” My siblings still laugh and look at me pointedly in that scene 😂), but then there’s the part of me that’s so like Fred (“Oh, welcome to mi casa! That’s French for ‘front door'”, “I also asked Honey to turn me into a fire-breathing lizard at will, but she says that’s ‘”not science‘”, “Whoa, no, I am not a science major, but I am a major science enthusiast.”, “Nothing is better than free food!”…). So if you put these two together, I’d be the law-abiding, comic relief, rule-following friend who is fun-loving but not-so-wicked-smart, can only function with a plan, who loves the high life but is always up for an adventure, who will take on anything for his friends and who knows when a big hug is necessary. 😉
Winnie-the Pooh (pick a video/movie/book to cite this one from! 😆)
“What could be more important than a little something to eat? Or perhaps a little larger something?” Let’s just start with his sentiment toward food, and sweets in general. Yep, Pooh, you and I are on the same page! Then there’s the fact that he is a bear of very little brain, which could be my middle name. I’m coming to terms with that fact and seeing it as a neutral thing, and Pooh helps me, especially when he makes a statement of fact such as, “…for I am a bear of very little brain and long words bother me,” or “It’s a good thing I noticed it; otherwise, I wouldn’t have seen it.” And like me, his ways of problem-solving seem simple and straightforward enough, but often have disastrous implications…”Oh, bother. I don’t remember thinking that through…New plan, Piglet: run!” He also supervises the way I tend to a lot of the time. 😉 But despite him being a bear of very little brain, he knows what’s important and holds an indomitable confidence and unwavering trust in his friends and their good intentions. He maintains his complete, sweet and charming dedication and loyalty to his friends, despite extreme physical and mental pressures and demands (“Ever have one of those days where you just can’t win, Eeyore?” I know I’ve quoted this one a million times, but it’s just so perfect for, you know, those days). He’s just the best, as I said, I have already decided that Winnie the Pooh and I are secret mind-twins.
Aurion (Rite of Brotherhood)
Even though Aurion actually says more than is prudent and more than I myself would dare to say out loud, still he says (and thinks) things that go through my head all the time. And it kind of is cool, because I always wondered what would happen if I did actually say them out loud to the person, and of course in my mind’s hypothetical situation where I do say my thoughts/feelings to someone, it to turn out in real life like it does 9 times out of 10 in the book. But part of me knows that that’s not the way it truly would have turned out IRL. Which is why I like to fantasize that it really would turn out the way I wanted and experience that vicariously through the book. And it’s about the character developing a relationship with his cousin…need I say more? Yeah, like, right. up. my. street. Also sometimes very applicable. 😄 See my favorite quotes section. 😜
Bilbo (The Hobbit…the book, not the movies!!)
Oh Bilbo, Bilbo. Where do I even start? His love of food (“…he found himself scuttling off…to the pantry to fetch two beautiful round seed cakes which he had baked that afternoon for his after-supper morsel.”), his keen awareness when he goes without food (“‘…my stomach is wagging like an empty sack.'”) his love of Rivendell (“Bilbo would gladly have stopped there for ever and ever..”), his propensity to over-apologize (“…poor Mr. Baggins said he was sorry so many times, that at last [Thorin] grunted ‘pray don’t mention it’ and stopped frowning.”), his desire to have everything done right, even if it means doing it himself (“Off they went, not waiting for trays, balancing columns of plates, each with a bottle on top, with one hand, while the hobbit ran after them almost squeaking with fright, ‘please be careful!’ and ‘please don’t trouble! I can manage.'”)…I could go on. Anytime Bilbo expresses a sentiment in the book, I’m laughing because it’s so much like me.
People I wish I could meet:
I’ve been listening to Mr. Fields’ podcast, Good Life Project, for a while now, and even though he comes more from a point of view of business/entrepreneurship (something I am not in the least interested in), he tends to make the discussions broadly applicable and pursue ideas and conversations that are absolutely fascinating (even though I sometimes don’t agree with his worldview). I think he would be an interesting person to talk to, but actually, come to think of it, I’d kind of want to interview him and write up a bunch of questions and just listen to his perspective. He is a tremendous conversationalist and I think it would be so inspiring to deep dive into philosophical, meta, profound or thought-provoking topics. Basically, I’m super-jealous of his round-table guests.
N. D. Wilson
Most (if not all) of my siblings and are all HUGE N. D. Wilson fans, and I think it would be amazingly fantastic to get a chance to meet him, and even better to have dinner with him. I have about a million and one things I’d want to ask him about his books (though I’d have to be sure to come with a list, lest my star-struck mind go absolutely 100% blank once I was actually standing in front of him), plus I think it’d be beyond cool just to listen to him talk. Especially if he talks like he writes. 😏 *rubs hands together* He is definitely someone I’m looking forward to meeting in heaven!
Bjork and Lindsay Ostrom
Okay, can I just say they are some of the coolest?? Every time I read one of Lindsay’s posts (especially the life ones) and about every other Food Blogger Pro episode I listen to Bjork host, I just think how awesome it would be to meet them. Of course, I would totally freak out and trip over my tongue and make a fool of myself. But it would be worth it.
Do I even have to say any more?? I mean, it’s Amanda!! I’ve been fangirl-crushing on Amanda for a long time now, and have I conjured up countless mental hypotheticals for “wouldn’t it be cool if…” that somehow involved meeting/going out to coffee/going out to lunch/working with/doing something fun with Amanda…which I know about 99% of you all just about curled up and died because this is someone I don’t actually know…just someone I know from online and think it would be pretty awesome if we were IRL friends. At least I can fantasize. You can bet your sweet bippy, though, that if I’m ever anywhere near Alberta (certainly higher on the priority list if only because I’ve always wanted to visit Banff), I’ll be trying to get in touch and arrange a meet-up with the wonderful Amanda. 😉
Libby is so sweet, and from my interactions with her, reading her content, listening to her talk, she is definitely the style of body image coach that I would need/want. The more I hear and read, the more I want to meet her in person. She has such a healthy perspective on body love, food and all the things I am fighting for, and she does it in such a graceful, gentle and seemingly easy way. When it comes to my relationship with my body and food, when I finally get to the point where I spend most of my days in my body/food happy place, I very much hope that place looks something like Libby’s relationship with her body and food. (plus, um, Santa Monica is one of those Bucket List places I want to visit! 😜😳😮)
Bonus…because I couldn’t decide which of these six to put as the “top five” (not to mention the battery of backups I have on a much longer list of people it’d be cool to meet.
Okay, so obviously, some of these are more realistic than others. Like this will basically never happen. But it would be super-cool if it did. I do have to give you guys a neat little background fact about Andy Grammer. Growing up as kids, my sibs and I listened to a lot of his dad’s music; we even went to a concert of his once with Mom, Daddy and my grandparents (this was before a regular concert ticket cost a month’s wages, and a meet-and-greet three month’s) and met Red Grammer. Back then, Andy was a kid and singing the occasional cameo solo on his dad’s CDs. Fast forward like 15-20 years and all of us are grown up, Andy’s making his own awesome music, and I pretty much am a fan (just not one of those fans, you know??). He seems like a really cool guy behind-the-scenes too, which always makes me smile.
“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it, but one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
“If only our eyes saw souls instead of bodies, how very different our ideals of beauty would be.”
“It’s all too rare that we tell people we love exactly why we love them – what they bring to our lives, why our lives are richer because they’re in it…But that night was an unusual and beautiful thing. We risked the awkwardness of saying tender, meaningful things out loud in front of everyone, in front of our friends, trusting that those words would travel down to a very deep part of someone we cared about.”
~Bread and Wine, by Shauna Niequist
“Oh, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person: having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them out. Just as they are–chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness, blow the rest away.”
~Dinah Maria (Mulock) Craik
“I hardly dared believe that, after all, everything was coming right. The most I had ever hoped for was that he would accept me as his friend, but not that I would ever be particularly important to him. When he told me about the custom of sworn brotherhood, it had gone out of my mind because it seemed to have nothing to do with me. But he had chosen me. He needed me as much as I needed him. After this, neither of us would ever be alone again…
He was halfway to the door before I found words for what I wanted to say.
‘Arax, I’ll try not to let you down.’
He paused, still with that uncharacteristic seriousness. ‘You are what you are. You don’t have to try.’”
~Rite of Brotherhood, by Cherith Baldry
Double Chocolate Banana Bread Oat Bars (which I only half-bake of course 😜) via Monique @Ambitious Kitchen
I love this for all the gooey-yummy reasons of super-chocolate-y + banana (<-something I crave frequently) and I always add extra banana! 😜 I make this a lot, especially when I want something chocolate, but a little less sweet-tasting. Half-baked, this is perfection.
Brownie Batter Breakfast Bake via Amanda @Running with Spoons
(again, which I only half bake) Most recipes I use as guidelines, hacking and slashing the creation until it’s barely recognizable as coming from the initial recipe. But the Brownie Bake I change very minimally: I add a little extra cocoa (😜 more chocolate! YAAASSS…👍🏽) and therefore need to add a touch more sweetener, and I swap out the coconut oil for cashew butter for a thicker, more batter-y taste. It’s just so perfect and I have it a lot!
Vegan (Peppermint) Protein Brownie Muffins via Alexis @Hummusapien
I still make these pretty regularly, though as with almost everything I make, I change the recipe somewhat. But I tried to keep every recipe in this list down to recipes I love and make frequently, but also ones I change little/I know they would be just as good make according to the recipe. These protein brownie muffins are like the perfect combo for my breakfast…like, Alexis found a way to eat brownies for breakfast and get in some protein?? Count me in! As always, I only half-bake them and eat them gooey. 😍😋 I usually add peppermint to only half the batter, as I’m usually not a big fan of peppermint, but actually this is pretty stupendous.
Blueberry Muffin Breakfast Cookies via Dana @Minimalist Baker
It’s no coincidence that all those^^ recipes were chocolate to the max, because that’s what I love best!! But there are sometimes when I don’t want something super-sweet for breakfast (rare, but it happens…and even still, I almost never want something savory), and that’s where these little beauties come in! If you’d told me even a couple of months ago, that I’d be posting a blueberry recipe in my favorites, I’d have told you you were crazy. See, I basically hate blueberries. They are bland and tasteless, and sometimes even floral (in a bad way). Even the much-praised “tiny wild blueberries” were no better, and actually I’ve only had one kind of fresh blueberry I liked (that was when our friend brought us a tub of ones he picked himself, and I don’t know why those tasted different). But when Dana posted this recipe with dried blueberries, I was seriously oddly intrigued and wanted to give it a try. I finally mustered the courage to buy (ironically, teeny and wild) dried blueberries from Trader Joe’s and make this and I haven’t looked back. I love those dried blueberries and this recipe is the perfect little something slightly sweet (FYI note: I do mess with the recipe of course…kind of a lot…).
The one and only Magic Green Sauce via the one and only Lindsay @Pinch of Yum <-yeah, I’m serious fangirl 😆 (Oh, and try dipping Trader Joe’s plantain chips in that sauce…it’s the best and I’m addicted!) It’s just the best. There isn’t much to say about this recipe, just because it’s plain and simple awesome. And so extremely versatile. Serve it as a salad dressing, a dip (see above!), with enchiladas or tacos, with chicken, shrimp, roasted chickpeas or protein of choice, served in wraps, over quinoa, salad or rice (<- if you must)…the possibilities are almost endless!
And two bonus recipes, because I just couldn’t not…
Healthy Brownie Batter Dip via Arman @The Big Man’s World
Are you even surprised that it’s a chocolate recipe? Again, I mess around with this one all the time, but I follow the basic recipe. And Arman’s stuff is nearly always good. Remember what I said about Alexis figuring out how to eat brownies+protein for breakfast? Well, let’s make that one step better. How about eating protein brownie batter for breakfast?? Ahhh, yaaaassss…bring. it. on. Raw = better…almost every time. #truth
Chocolate Pretzel Granola Bars via Courtney @Courtney’s Cookbook
As I said in the last post, I’m having a thing with pretzels and chocolate lately, and this has been my one of my go-to recipes for satiating that craving for months. I’m not saying I don’t play with the recipe a bit, but I don’t think I change that much. Of course, I add in both the raisins and the chocolate chips, because the more like trail mix, the better, right? I’ve also taken to adding toasted coconut to it and that just takes it to the next level!
SO! There you have it everyone! If you waded through that all, bless you. You are deserve a medal and a hug! Seriously, though, thank you; you make my day!! 🌞 Even imagining that people out there are reading this makes me smile!