#motivationmonday9

big_3443618822482431f58001bafd6362eaeb7bf776

I’m just going to let this one sit with you, let it stew.

We always have a million things going on in our day to day life. It’s like we forget to think because we are do damn distracted all. the. time.

How about we make it our goal this week to SIMPLIFY.

Whatever that means to you. And hopefully it will help us find the simple answers.

love & cupcakes,

Katie

Continue Reading

#motivationmonday8

Funny-Quotes-about-Inspiration

Hello again!

Isn’t it bizarre how TRUE this is? It sucks to be on the receiving end, or hear through the grapevine stuff about yourself that simply isn’t true, no matter how big or small.

This is the kind of thing where I like to take a step back from myself and do a little self assessment. It can be so easy to get sucked into that game when you’re with your girlfriends and you’re gossiping about harmless nonsense (probably all about yourselves) and the next thing you know, the chatter has migrated to being about other people.

We’re all guilty. No one is perfect, it happens.

Let’s just decide right now to do our best to steer clear of this kind of “talk.” Imagine what it’s like putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. We never know the other side of the story, the side we can’t see or didn’t hear about.

And ultimately, if we don’t put ourselves in these kinds of situations where we’re the ones doing the most talking about other people, then more than likely, less people will talk about us that way too.

love & cupcakes,

Katie

Continue Reading

#motivationmonday7

inspirational_quote_strong__sayings_images

I love this quote because I feel like it reflects what I want this blog to reflect. Besides the fun stuff I share here like the DIYs and recipes and nail polish stuff, I hope that you get the sense that I’m rooting for every single one of you. I think women in particular need a community where we can feel supported by every other woman, even if we don’t know her personally.

Try to love your imperfections. The imperfections you may hate, might be something someone else loves about you.

love & cupcakes,

Katie

Continue Reading

#motivationmonday6

f2d82afd921633e39b103f763aec8f23

Better believe it, babe.

If someone treats you like a yellow starburst (which to be honest, I don’t think they’re all that bad but that’s besides the point), then guess what? They’re the one who’s the yellow starburst.

We all know those people who put others down just to lift themselves up. Get away from those people. Ctl + alt + Delete that shit. You know your worth! *Stands up and shouts “yeah!” while pumping fist in air*

Pink starbursts for life!

love & cupcakes,

Katie

Continue Reading

#motivationmonday5

image

Hi friends!

I just want you to look at that quote up there and ask yourself one thing: Do you want to become a distinctive person? It’s not often that we think of ourselves as being distinctive. Special? sure! Funny? sometimes. Successful? hopefully. Distinctive? That one hadn’t hit me really.

Of course we want to be a distinctive person. But that means we may have to step out of our comfort zone. When we are faced with hard choices, it’s how we deal with them that reveals the content of our character (<–Thanks MLK Jr.) And we need to start thinking of hard choices as just that – opportunities.

So get out there and tackle all those Monday opportunities! and then treat yourself to some chocolate. (or wine).

love & cupcakes,

Katie

Continue Reading

Cardio vs Weights

For those of you who know me, you know I like to workout. A year and a half ago I started a side job as an independent Beachbody coach and that is what led me to my “soul mate workout.” I hardly ever stray from this particular regimen, and when I do, it’s only for a little while and it’s to do my second favorite workout (also introduced to me through Beachbody).

The reason why I love my workout, is because it uses weights and gets my heart rate up at the same time. No, weights will not make you bulky. No, they will not make you look like a man. But they will give you a shapely hiney and some toned triceps. I don’t hear any complaints!

I’ve seen a lot of debate over time as to whether cardio is better for you, or strength training using weights is more beneficial.

So I did a little digging and in the end found some great info from an article in Self magazine that is really helpful and I wanted to share it with you all.

Is cardio or strength training better for weight loss?

The answer is: Strength training. Even though you may burn a few more calories per minute doing cardio, your body continues to burn calories even after you are done with your workout. When you’re on the elliptical or treadmill, in all reality, your body is pretty comfortable, but when you strength train, it makes your body go, “Whoah, wait a minute, what are we doing here?!” The stuff that makes your body go “wowza!” takes an hour to recover from, which means you burn an extra 25% in calories. So here’s some math for ya – you burn 160 calories in your workout, but by the day’s end, you’ll have burnt 200 calories total from that workout.

2913348690_87a5c17b1e_b

Which should I do first?

On this one, it doesn’t matter. It’s your choice here. The reason being that cardio makes a great warm up for strength training, and it also is a good cool down; it helps flush out lactic acid which causes sore muscles later on. The exception to this is if you’re training for something like a 10K – you’ll obviously want to do that kind of exercise first before you have any sort of muscle fatigue.

Does one give a bigger endorphin boost?

Cardio does! If you’re looking to improve your mood, anxiety, depression, or relieve pain try cardio activity. Strength training will give you endorphin boost, but you have to get your heart rate going by using heavier weights and/or not taking long rest periods between sets (to keep your heart rate high).

Should I lift heavy or light weights?

Both. (Yup!) When you use light weights, you should be able to get in 15-20 reps before you fatigue. This activates slow twitch muscles. Heavy weights, when you get tired at around 8-10 reps, triggers fast twitch muscle fibers. The two lifting styles give you the best results. You can do this by alternating days of light and heavy lifting, or combine it into one workout.

Building upper body strength while aerobicizing

What if I only have time to do either cardio or strength training?

Then you should strength train. If you work it the right way, you can kill two birds with one stone and get your cardio in as you strength train. If you’re still on the fence about it, here’s some food for thought: studies show that you get better results, both aerobic and strength gains, from three 20 minute strength circuits a week vs 60 minute cardio sessions five days a week. SOLD! I’ll take 20 minutes 3x a week over an hour 5x a week always!

I hope you enjoyed this post, and if you’re feeling stuck in a rut with your exercise routine, talk to me for some ideas! Or go and explore your options with a friend! Doing something new with a friend is always way more fun (and less scary!)

love & (calorie free!) cupcakes, <–in a perfect world 😉

Katie

Continue Reading

#motivationmonday4

952c7a6960d6b02cebf8ef706f55a9eeHappy Monday 🙂

Some pretty terrible things have been happening out there in the universe this past week. And while I’ve seen many people offering their opinions on it all, I don’t feel that adding one more (mine) will make a difference. (Actions, not opinions inspire change).

What I do know and feel is that many of us can undoubtedly say that NOTHING of this nature should ever happen to anyone. Unfortunately there are things that we will never be able to rationalize as to why they occur.

With that said, cherish the beauty in the small things. Because you will realize that the small things are what make up the big things in life.

Hug your friends, tell your family you love them. Smile at strangers.

Make the world a kinder place. And let it start with us.

love & cupcakes,

Katie

Continue Reading

Cold Brew Coffee @ Home

image

Cold brew coffee is a thing of beauty. We were introduced to it by a couple we know who housed Geoff when he worked for Opera North. He fell in love with it, learned to make it, and insisted that when he got home from the program we had to buy the system to make it ourselves. It was that good. I told him he could make it, but I was hesitant, because I had my beloved Keurig machine and thought that it made perfectly fine coffee.

Long story short, I am a cold brew coffee convert, and I’m never looking back! As one of our friends likes to say, we have been spreading the gospel of cold brew coffee!!

A man named Todd Simpson developed the Toddy Cold Brew System. Basically, the cold brew process just takes time, since you’re not brewing it with hot water and therefore gives you less acidic coffee — 67% to be exact! Cold water brewing takes the flavor compounds from the coffee beans but leaves behind the bitter oils and fatty acids (they’re only soluble at a high temperature). The cold brew process gives you a wonderful smooth cup of coffee which you can serve hot or cold.

You can buy the Toddy Cold Brew System here! It’s really not too expensive, and it’s worth it to have the “kit” to make it at home, instead of DIYing your own system.

Some people are really hoity toity when it comes to making their coffee, cold brew included, but we’re not. I’m gonna give you the process we do when we make our cold brew!

image

Here’s what you need:

  • Toddy Cold Brew System (purchase here)
  • 12 oz. whole bean coffee (ground it on the coarse setting)
  • waterrrrrrr

*Just a little tip, I find that I get the best results when I use a coffee that is at least a medium or dark roast. I love that rich flavor.

Steps:

  1. Grind your coffee beans – we like to do this at the store since it’s easy and you don’t have to worry about cleaning up your mess in your own kitchen! Make sure you have the grind setting on COARSE. Anything else will risk clogging your filter.
  2. Soak the filter (that circular disk) in water until it stops bubbling and is completely saturated.
  3. Take the cork and put it in the bottom of the plastic Toddy container.
  4. Put the plastic container in a large saucepan. I like doing this in case the cork accidentally pops out and drains all over the place. It has NEVER happened, but never say never!
  5. Put the soaked filter in the bottom of the Toddy system – you’ll see the indent where it goes.
  6. Pour your 12 oz of coarse ground coffee in the Toddy plastic container.
  7. Fill it gently with cold water until you reach the top. When it’s filled about 3/4 of the way up I take a knife and “cut” through the grounds and make sure everything is wet with water. (You would be surprised how the middle of the coffee grounds can be bone dry while the rest of it is wet).
  8. Set the whole Toddy system somewhere where you won’t knock it over etc.
  9. Let it sit overnight. The longer the better! (usually when I make ours it sits for around 17 hours).
  10. In the morning, carefully lift up your plastic Toddy container and line it up over the glass carafe.
  11. Pull out the cork in the bottom, and gently set the plastic container on top of the glass carafe. You’ll see how each container cradles the other so it’s safely seated together.
  12. Let it drain fully (this could take a while…I’m talking like 30 mins or more, depending on how steady the stream is).
  13. Enjoy your cold brew!
image
This is what it’ll look like before adding water.
image
This is filled with water.
image
Slowly draining into the carafe.
image
Final product!

It’s important to note that the cold brew is like a super concentrated version of regular hot coffee. So you probably don’t want to down a whole entire mug of cold brew unless you want major jitters, like, all day long.

We like to fill our coffee mug about 1/3 of the way with the cold brew coffee, and then fill the rest of it with water. I pop it in the microwave (since I love hot coffee, even in the summer), and top it off with my favorite creamer!

image

Call me crazy, but I swear, when you have cold brew coffee, there is almost a chocolatey depth to the coffee flavor.

image
Is this not beautiful?

Do you think you’ll try cold brew coffee at home?

love & cupcakes,

Katie

Continue Reading

Things I’m Loving

image

Call me an old lady, but I am in love with these beautiful little pod thingies right here. Don’t they look like jewels?!

To be honest, I thought our dishwasher was simply not doing a good enough job. This meant we were completely rinsing and scrubbing any dish that had anything stuck on it before it went in the dishwasher to be cleaned with soap. It was as if we were hand washing our dishes before having a machine wash them. Kinda defeats the purpose of having a dishwasher, right?

image

Well, one day I was at Costco and we had run out of our dishwasher liquid, so I was looking for a new kind – hoping I would pick something that would solve our horrible dishwasher. (to back track, I had already taken apart the dishwasher parts and cleaned out any food particles or sludge left behind…which to be honest, there wasn’t much of thank god…because GROSS. So that helped rule out that our dishwasher wasn’t the culprit of giving us dirty dishes after the wash cycle).

I spotted this giant tub of Cascade Complete pods which I had heard good things about, and decided to try them. You guys. They are a GAME CHANGER. I purposely put wicked dirty dishes in the dishwasher, without pre-scrubbing them, and they came out cleaner and shinier than when I would do all that extra work with the old detergent!

SOLD.

Check out the before and after of this spaghetti plate that had sauce microwaved onto it. You know it turns into spaghetti sauce cement once it hits the microwave.

Amazing, right!?

So before you think your dishwasher is crap, try switching to these soap pods and see if it works the same magic it did with mine!

Time to go empty the dishwasher! Do any of you use this stuff already and love it?

love & cupcakes,

Katie

Continue Reading

#motivationmonday3

Screen Shot 2013-06-18 at 1.36.59 PM

Hi lovelies!

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend and are carrying that energy into this week ahead! We got a chance to relax and get some sun at the pool and hang out with friends and meet their cute new pup!!!

Anyways, do you ever feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders because you put so much responsibility on yourself? How about you challenge yourself to delegate one thing to someone else in your life that you know you can let go of. Do you think you could do that? If you’re anything like me, that is HARD. I like being in control because I know the kind of work I put into something so I already know the outcome will be up to my standards. Does that make sense?

When you hand the power over to someone else, you no longer have the control over the outcome. Which is downright scary. BUT, it also gives you a sense of freedom.

Once you allow yourself to let go, you may find you love sharing the responsibility with someone else.

Try it this week, especially if you are a total stress case. And if that’s not enough to calm you down just a smidge, then just look at this beachy picture, close your eyes, lean back in your chair, and imagine you are breathing in that salty air with a frosty drink in your hand listening to the lapping waves on the shore.

Just don’t forget to come back to reality! And remember, you ARE enough.

love & cupcakes,

Katie

Continue Reading