Friday Favorites #25 Farmers Market Finds, Boho Dresses, & A Recipe

Most Friday posts start off with a bunch of word salad because I’m so over-the-top excited that it’s Friday that I don’t take the time to formulate proper thoughts.

I think that was a case in point.

Per usual, I am thrilled that the weekend is finally upon us. We’re far enough along into Spring that no one really remembers that it’s not actually Summer yet, and every weekend feels completely beach-able. At least that’s the case here in LA… Boston – have you defrosted yet?

If I may continue to brag for one more paragraph, I’ll note that my current work schedule does not have me working Fridays, so I’ll be spending the rest of the day just living the dream: sitting in the sun on our patio. You can hate me for now, but this won’t be my schedule for much longer, so I’m milking it while I can. I promise.

Friday Favorites #25

This week’s favorites are pretty predictable. There’s fruit, there’s fitness, there’s a Kevin or two… But there are also chocolate chip banana pancakes, just to keep you guys on your toes. Let’s get started, and as always please feel free to share your favorites in the comments below.

 

Artichokes

Artichokes from the farmers' market

Notoriously difficult to prepare, I think I’m starting to get the hang of these pointy green vegetables, thanks in large part to this article.

 

Artisanal Semolina Pasta

Artisanal Semolina Pasta from Wheel House

It’s so artisanal! Andrew and I tasted this pasta fresh at a happy hour that our local cheese shop, Wheel House, held a week or so ago. Strozzapreti is one of Andrew’s favorite pasta shapes (very hard to find) and we liked the taste of the semolina pasta enough to buy a whole bag. We had some for dinner last night along with broccoli, zucchini, onion and bacon. It was delicious and had a good amount of al dente ‘bite’.

 

Summer Fruit Rainbow

farmers market rainbow of fruit

You can expect to see fruit on my Friday Favorites lists for the duration of the summer. And I know that it’s not even officially summer yet, but the peaches are already summer quality. Hopefully that doesn’t mean that the summer season is going to be a short one. Cherries are already on their way out, sadly. Thanks a lot, drought.

 

GF Chocolate Chip Banana Pancakes

GF Chocolate Chip, Banana Pancakes

A tupperware container of these delicious pancakes appeared in this week’s What I Ate Wednesday post, and I’ve since received several requests for the recipe. Ask and you shall receive, my friends.

(GF) Chocolate Chip Banana Pancakes
(Serves 2)

INGREDIENTS

1 very ripe banana
1 t baking powder
1 egg
1/2 t salt
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 T sunflower seed butter (or almond butter)
1 T coconut oil
3 T almond milk
3/4 cup gluten free rolled oats
1/4 cup chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Mash the banana well, and stir in the baking powder (it will fizz a little).
2. Add the egg, oil, salt, vanilla, sunbutter, and milk. Stir well.
3. Add the oats and stir until just combined. No need to go crazy with it. Fold in the chocolate chips.
4. Heat a pan or skillet over medium heat and spray or lightly coat with coconut oil or butter.
5. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into the skillet for each pancake and allow to cook on each side for 4-5 minutes (or until golden brown).

 

These Free People boho dresses

[Free People Tyler DressFree People My Girl Dress, Free People Bateau Dress]

How is it that I can get caught up browsing boho dresses for practically 30 minutes, even when I have zero intention of buying any? Although, to be fair, by the end of those 30 minutes, I had some minor intentions of buying one or more boho dresses.

 

Kickboxing

One of the reasons this post is coming to you so late in the day is that I took a kickboxing class at LA Fitness this morning. I’ve done some kickboxing here and there in the past, but this morning’s class had a great teacher and really good, really loud music. The combination of all of those things led to an amazing class and an even better workout. I’ll certainly be incorporating more of it into my workout routine. Any avid kickboxers out there?

 

Patio Cats

 patio cats

We’ve slowly been introducing the Kevins to the great outdoors, by way of our tiny enclosed patio. It’s funny to see how ‘at home’ Al feels, whereas Sam is like a pretty little princess who doesn’t want to get dirty and would rather stay inside if given the choice.

Al…

Al on the patio

Sam…

Princess Sam on the patio

 

Links from around the web:

Want Great Longevity and Health? It Takes a Village [WSJ] I love reading about what makes the healthiest people on earth healthy. It’s always more than just nutrition and exercise.

Need some baby goats in your life? [Mashable] The answer is ‘always’.

Hanging Squid Planters [This is Why I’m Broke] Made me realize I need more plants inside.

This DIY Leather Jewelry Dish [Le Fashion] Seems like a doable, yet chic craft project.

 

Enjoy the rest of your Friday and have a wonderful weekend. See you back here next week!

Amy

 

Check out what others are loving over on Heather’s blog.

Friday-Favorite-Link-Up-Botton-Life-In-Leggings

20 minute Leg + Core Gym Burner

Plan & Track Your Workouts (20 Minute Leg & Core Burner)

You’ve had a long day at work, but you’re a champ and you’re on your way to the gym. Your iPod is fully charged and you’re on top of your training enough to know that it’s a leg day. You’re doing really well so far. Good job! One quick question: Did you plan out your workout?

I hope you didn’t say no! The last thing you want to do is walk into that gym without a plan. Set yourself up for success (and a speedier workout) by showing up with a predetermined strength routine… like the one at the end of this post!

 

Plan + Track

Whether you carry a workout notebook like I do or you keep an exercise journal on your smart phone, I highly recommend planning and tracking your workouts. Having an exercise log makes each workout run more smoothly, and makes tracking your progress over time super easy.

Most of my workouts incorporate a mix of strength training (which part of the body depends on the day of the week) and cardio. The cardio part is easy, I just jump on a machine and tune out, but strength training requires more focus. I reference my notebook for order of exercises, number of repetitions, and weight as I go along.

Strength Exercise     Number of Repetitions     Weight Used
biceps curls                15 reps x 3 sets                   10 lbs
triceps extensions     15 reps x 3 sets                   15 lbs
squat jumps               10 reps x 3 sets                   n/a

 

A more efficient workout

When I show up to the gym with a plan, it’s easy to get into a groove and spend less time distractedly looking around in between exercises. If I need 10 lb dumbbells for my next exercise and they’re all in use, I can just move on to the next thing on my list and circle back when the weights are free.

Even Especially if I’m working out at home where it is so easy to get distracted, having a plan to follow along keeps a 20 minute workout from becoming an hour workout.

 

So hopefully by now, I’ve at least convinced you to consider keeping an exercise log, workout journal, or whatever else you want to call it. Let me take the pressure off planning tonight’s workout by doing it for you. Save this image or scribble it down onto a napkin so you can walk into the weight room like a boss tonight.

 

20 minute Leg + Core Gym Burner

Parallel squats – Starting with feet shoulder-width apart, bend your knees and lower into a sitting position with your butt reaching back, and chest lifted. Your knees should be in line with your second and third toes, and not extend forward past the tips of your toes.

Alternating front lunges – Starting with the right leg, hands on hips, lunge forward (making sure your knee doesn’t go past your toes) and return to standing. Repeat on the left leg. That’s one repetition.

Deadlifts – Stand with feet shoulders-width apart and pointing straight ahead. Holding your weight of choice with straight arms, bend at the waist to lower to weight to the ground, maintaining a flat back the entire time. Squeeze your glutes (butt) to return to a standing position.

Alternating side lunges – Just like the front lunge, but to the side. With hands on hips and chest lifted, step out wide to the side, keeping the standing leg straight, and return to standing. Be sure to keep your bent knee in line with the second and third toes of that foot. Repeat on the other side to complete one repetition.

Russian twists – Sitting on the floor with legs lifted at a 90 degree angle and abs engaged, twist your arms and upper body from side to side. Your lower body should be tight and should not move.

In & outs – (Also called knee tuck crunches) Starting in a similar position to the russian twists, with legs lifted at a 90 degree angle and arms either on the floor beside you for support or holding a weight, extend the legs out to a straight position just a few inches from the floor and then bring them back in to a tucked position.

High & low scissors – Start by laying on your back with your arms tucked under your butt for support. Lift your legs to a 45 degree angle, simultaneously kick both legs out to the side and then bring them back together (sort of like a scissor motion), lower both legs to about 6 inches off of the floor and repeat the scissor motion. That’s one repetition.

Plank – Planks! You know these!

 

Let me know if you give this workout a try. I did this one at the gym on Monday and felt it in all the right places Tuesday. 🙂 I hope the rest of your day is fabulous.

Amy