Hi Friends, how are you on Tax Day?  I could say Hump Day, that sounds much more fun to me than Tax Day!  Did you file your taxes or at least file an extension?  I filed mine last week and for once in my life, was glad to because of the home-buyer tax credit.  We shall see if I actually get the check in the mail in a few weeks.

Scott left for a business trip and is gone until Saturday so I am alone with Skylar.

Young girl standing with hand over face
 And she is totally full of it!
Young girl standing in kitchen giving the biggest smile

Scott took her for a little bit this morning before he left and she got her Daddy Time in, and Scott picked me up this card with a super sweet note from him inside.  

Card that says one day at a time, one step at a time

As well as a lovely picture from Skylar.  She just turned 3 in February for new readers.

Picture inside card drawn by young girl of smiley face

Reminds me of These Flowers they recently surprised me with!

Lillies on countertop
I was truly surprised because I surely didn’t expect to receive them!
Close up of bloomed Lillies

After 9+ years married and 11 years together, I am blessed to be married to my best friend.  And cards and flowers out of the blue are another little blessing for which I am grateful!  I love you, Scott!

Before Scott left today, I went to the gym and I pushed myself, hard, inside the gym and then did cardio outside in the 85F heat.  Gotta work on that tan, ya know…haha!  Actually, I would much prefer to run outdoors, rain or shine, freezing temps or blistering heat, than run on a treadmill or do indoor cardio machines.  I despise them.  Too boring!  Plus, I find running outside much more challenging, which I like.  Never underestimate mother nature.  It’s a lot different scuba diving down 20 feet in the ocean than 20 feet deep in pool water type of thing!  I actually feel pretty high on life at the moment.  Must be all those post-workout endorphins.  I am Meathead Earth Mama, hear me roar!  

And then, complete with gym sweat and road grime, I went to the bank and Target.  I really needed some lifting gloves and for $9.99 at Target I found these.  

Grey and pink lifting gloves front sideGrey and pink lifting gloves palm side

I saw nicer ones online but these are the type of thing I really needed to try them on so I went with the Target brand.   I think they’re pretty cute (I love the pink stitching because well, I love pink!) and hopefully they will prevent my hands from getting so tore up when I’m lifting.

Hand wearing lifting gloveHand showing palm while wearing lifting glove

And my running shoes were on their last leg.  And beyond.  So I was thrilled when my new Nikes arrived today.  I have been wearing the Vomero 4 for about a year and these are the Vomero 5 they came out with.  They seem pretty much the same, but I haven’t ran or walked in them yet. 

Blue and silver Nike Running ShoesClose up of Nike Vomero 5 on the tongue of shoes

I have huge feet.  A women’s Size 12.  And they are super narrow.  Like AA. 

Shoes on feet

I am also 5’11” so my feet match my legs and the rest of me and don’t look ridic big like whoa! or anything.  Well, you may beg to differ but Alyson or Madeline can vouch for my dogs being proportionate.

Woman doing yoga pose
Woman doing yoga pose

Men’s Nikes are what I’ve worn since 7th grade when my feet became this big.  They are long enough and of all athletic shoes, I find them the narrowest and they seem to fit me the best and I can actually order online and am generally fine.

Woman wearing new shoes showing them off

The shoes seemed a little snug when I tried to put my Bake-able Insoles in…

Bake-able Insoles  
Bake ’em up!  225 F for 2 Minutes
Oven preheated to 225 degrees F
Insoles in oven
….but the shoes will probably stretch out and in a week or so, I can slide the insoles in.

Thanks everyone who told me that you liked my new ‘do!  Not too much different, but the color was freshened upSo I feel freshened up.  Ahhh.   I appreciate all your sweet comments!

Woman taking selfie of new hair color

Thanks for letting me know if you’re a Risk Taker with your Hair or Not, and also for your Great Comments about Insurance.  Everything from health, auto, home, life, and how you feel about it.  Sounds like many of you feel ripped off as I do.  But that many of you have had situations where you’re thanking your lucky stars that you had it.   

My beef if that I pay all this money and never use my insurance but I feel I have to keep paying these insane premiums for coverage because if I don’t, I could end up bankrupt.  My daily quality of life and disposable cash would be so much better if I didn’t have to spend all this money on insurance but one catastrophe could wipe me out forever, so I keep paying these ridiculous premiums.  Anyway, great Insurance Comments, thanks for chiming in!  And for all of you who are still on mom and dad’s policy…be glad!  Milk it while you can!  ha!

And  glad you all liked the looks of my High Protein Chocolate Coconut Oil Popcorn!

High Protein Chocolate Coconut Oil Popcorn in silver bowl
 When are you making it?
Close up of popcorn in bowl

 

As I said in the Recipe, Don’t be afraid to use some healthy oils (or cooking spray) or you’re never going to get all your protein powder to stick! 

Green Food: A Kale Salad with Tomatoes, Carrots, Cukes, & Cauli Topped with….

Green salad topped with mixed vegetables 
Sesame Ginger Maple Tofu in foil lined dish
Thanks to everyone who’s written in to tell me you made this Tofu Recipe of mine and that you really loved it.  Yay! 
Three pieces of Sesame Ginger Maple Tofu
 
The Dressing for this one was my Vegan Creamy Tahini Cesar-Inspired Dressing
Salad toped with Vegan Creamy Tahini Cesar-Inspired Dressing

I don’t eat very much soy at all, but the extra protein is nice and as long as I take it easy and don’t overdo it, I don’t seem to have any glaring food allergy reactions.

Stacked Sesame Ginger Maple Tofu in clear container

Dessert is a New Recipe!
It’s a Spin off and Combo of These….

1. Vegan Creme de Menthe Bars (No-Bake)

Vegan Creme de Menthe Bars showing layers
Vegan Creme de Menthe Bars close up

2. Raw Vegan Chocolate Coconut Snowballs

Raw Vegan Chocolate Coconut Snowball in white dish
Close up of Raw Vegan Chocolate Coconut Snowballs

3. Dark Chocolate Coconut Snowballs

Dark Chocolate Coconut Snowball in bowl
Scoop taken out of Dark Chocolate Coconut Snowballs batter

4. High Raw Vegan “Peppermint Patties”
One split High Raw Vegan Peppermint Patty on paper liner
Close up of bite taken out of one High Raw Vegan Peppermint Patty
When I make a dessert these days it has to be: Fast, Cheap, Easy, Very Little Cleanup, and bonus for no power appliances needed. 

This recipe delivers on all fronts!  As I mentioned in This Post, Various Criteria Must be Met for Me to Call Something a “Good Recipe”.

Averie’s No Bake Vegan Mint Chocolate Coconut Snowballs
3 Cups Coconut Flakes (I use sweetened and inexpensive from the grocery store; use what you prefer)

1.5 Cups Cocoa Powder (can use Carob)

1 Cup Maple Syrup (you can use agave, honey, or yacon)
2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil (Melt it first if it’s solid)
1/8 to 1/4 Cup of Creme de Menthe OR 1-2 Tbsp Peppermint/Mint Extract
Optional: 1/3 Cup Mint Chocolate Chips/Chocolate Chips/Carob Chips/Cocoa Nibs


Combine All Ingredients & Stir (The order in which you combine the ingredients doesn’t matter)

First I combined the Dry Ingredients

Dry ingredients in bowl to make No Bake Vegan Mint Chocolate Coconut SnowballsClose up of dry ingredients

Then Add & Combine the Wet Ingredients:  
First I Melted 1/4 C Coconut Oil and added Creme de Menthe, Vanilla Extract, and Maple to the bowl

Hand holding coconut oil container
Inside jar of Coconut Oil
Bottle of Creme de Menthe
Close up of label on Creme de Menthe
Wet ingredients added to No Bake Vegan Mint Chocolate Coconut Snowball mixture

Stir Until Combined

Snowball mixture being stirred up

Store in a Container or Portion into Bowls

No Bake Vegan Mint Chocolate Coconut Snowballs portioned into five bowlsClose up of one No Bake Vegan Mint Chocolate Coconut Snowball

Freeze and Enjoy!  

Overhead of one snowball

The Recipe Will Not freeze rock solid because of the Coconut Oil and the alcohol (Vanilla Extract, the Peppermint Extract and/or the Creme de Menthe) thus preventing a really solid freeze…

…Which is perfect so you can remove from the freezer and nibble as needed!
Side view of No Bake Vegan Mint Chocolate Coconut Snowballs

Can you see the Little Chocolate and Mint Chips Coated in Minty Chocolate? 

Close up of snowball showing mint and chocolate chips
  This is Scott’s new Favorite Dessert!  He loves mint and chocolate together and the coconut is a bonus.

I am either the Dessert Ball Queen  and prefer my chocolate and coconut to be of this variety:

Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate

Hand holding Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate
Diced up Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate
How do you like to eat your coconut and chocolate?

Yoga Today is a  Seated forward bend (Paschimottanasana).
If you’re a runner especially, you really need to think about stretching your hamstrings in a seated forward bend or standing forward bend where you’d fold over at the waist and touch your toes.  Running shortens your hamstrings, and forward bends will counter that and helps to lengthen them back out.  And doing so will help you prevent injuries. 

For the non runners, this pose also helps to stretch and release your lower back and since we all spend too much time sitting at our computer and not doing our backs any favors, forward bends will also help your back.

Woman doing Seated forward bend yoga pose

And with the traditional ashtanga style toe-hold

Woman doing traditional ashtanga style toe-hold yoga pose

Gym & Weights Workout Today: Please See My Gym Workouts Tab and look for Upper Body Workout with Super Sets

I updated The Tab with The Workout I Did Today and boy, it kicked my butt!!  In the best way, though!  I did the whole thing…including everything after the “If You Still Have Energy….”  Comment.  Enjoy the Workout!

**LAST CALL CONTEST ENDS THURSDAY 4/16/10
Tip of the Day: My $25 Custom Chocolate Shopping Spree Give Away!!!!!!

Chocolate bar with gummy bears and sprinklesChocolate bar with coconut and bananasChocolate bar with fruit and a butterfly
Romance Bar
Chocolate bar with chips in yellow box

 

Thanks Chocomize!!!
 
Have You Entered Yet?  
Customized Chocolate BarCustomized Chocolate BarCustomized Chocolate Bar
Here’s Your Chance to Win Free Customized Chocolate!  Click Here to Enter!

Questions
1. Do you all go back and read the comments if you’ve left me a comment-with-a-question in it on a post of mine?  
I do go back and answer and respond to them and leave answers and replies down my own comment page, but don’t want to waste my time if you’re not seeing my replies.  I know personalized email is nice, but I don’t have the time.  Plus, if one person asked it, like they said in school, another person probably wanted to know the answer too, so if I reply on the blog, then everyone can benefit.  
Are you seeing my replies if you asked for something?

2.  For those of you who lift regularly, how many days a week do you lift and for how long are you at the gym?  Do you work hard and pretty much keep your heart rate up doing set after set, or do you luxuriate a little more and rest more fully in between sets?
My trainer told me that you should rest about 60 seconds between sets, but shouldn’t rest longer than 90 seconds.   He also told me that I shouldn’t be on the gym floor for longer than 45 minutes based on the workouts he gave me.  Being that I don’t rest anywhere near 60 seconds between sets (bad girl!) and am usually in turbo mode zooming from one set or exercise or machine to the next, I get his whole workout done in about 25 minutes, and then throw my own stuff in for about 15-20.  After that 40-45 minutes, I am indeed ready to pack it in.   
How much time do you rest, spend on the gym floor, and how many rest days per week?  

3. Taxes.  What’s the biggest refund you’ve received or the biggest amount you’ve owed and had to come up with?  
I have received refunds in the 4 figure range and owed in the 5 figure range.  Not fun at all.  Don’t even ask.  But yeah, painful and stressful beyond belief.  Thankfully this year wasn’t one of those kind of years!   
How did taxes go for you this year?  Not trying to get all personal or anything but I hope you all get fat refunds and can splurge on something with your “found” money!

4. Fave Place to Buy Athletic Gear?
It’s the type of thing that I could save a lot of money by ordering things like sports bras, shoes, workout gear, yoga clothes, running shorts, you name it, all online….but, if it doesn’t fit you have to send it back and then end up spending tons of money on shipping it back. 
Do you buy clothes, shoes, athletic stuff online or in person?  What are your fave stores or websites?

I’ve got Skylar to contend with alone, for the rest of the week and want to get started on my ACE Personal Trainer Studying, so I’m a Busy Girl These Days and am doing my best to get to everyone’s bloggies as my time and life permits!  I love you all and thanks for reading and for all your awesome comments you all leave me!

Stay Tuned For Another Great Dessert Recipe and Blogger Meetup Details…

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