Saturday, May 28, 2011

Zumba: The Experience of a First-Timer

It took me a long time to come around to the idea of joining in a group fitness class at the Y.  We've been Y members for almost a year, and I have spend my mornings there sneaking past the glass-walled fitness class studio to head upstairs and catch up on gossip magazines while listening to Lady Gaga.  Oh, and work out on the elliptical machine, obviously.  That's the main reason I'm there, right?

Recently I have hesitated while walking past all the ladies attending group fitness classes.  They always look like they are having so much fun.  And they are most definitely getting a better workout than my lame-ass is.  "Man, I wish I had the courage to go in there," I'd often say to myself.  But still, I'd head upstairs and work out at my own pace for as long (or short) as I wanted to.  I don't know what it is about group fitness classes that freaks me out.  I'd say it's a combination of insecurities, loss of control, and fear of the unknown.  I don't like when I can't do something, and trying something new is usually accompanied with a lot of, "huh?" and "how do I..."  I'm not a generally insecure person, but when it comes to moving my body in ways that I'm not used to I am totally self-conscious and embarrassed.  Then there is that whole loss of control issue.  When you are in a class, you are pretty much committed to working out the entire time you are there.  There is no, "I'll just do this until I feel out of breath, and then go downstairs for some coffee..." when you are in the middle of shaking what your momma gave you.

Well, I overcame all of those fears today.  I went to my very first group fitness class.  And the class I picked?  Zumba!  Of all classes, this one seemed like the most fun, fast paced, and so packed with other members I wasn't afraid that people would really notice me.  While voicing my fears to a fellow mom and YMCA member a few weeks ago, she encouragingly told me that I should try Zumba because as she put it, "there is always someone else worse than you are."  That was certainly not the case for me.  I can say with pretty much 100% certainty that I was the worst in the class.  The class went left, I went right.  They kicked their leg out in front of them, I twirled in a circle.  They shook their chest back and forth while doing Shakira-esque hip thrusts in the air, and I just looked like a total spaz with all kinds of body parts moving that really shouldn't be.  Seriously.  I was pretty much a disaster on the Zumba floor today.  I can't say I was the only one who didn't have a clue as to what I was doing, but I very well could have been the only one who was not able to get it together by the end of the class.  Getting my arms to do one thing, move my hips, while my feet did something else, all the while staying upright was like mission impossible for me this morning.

I spent the first 15 minutes watching the door, wondering how bad it would be if I left.  Then I decided I wasn't going to give up that easily.  I wasn't going to let Zumba win.  I reminded myself that if it wasn't hard it wouldn't be worth doing, and I kept going.  I actually managed to have fun, smile, and clap on cue.  As for the moves, I'm not sure I'll ever get those.  I just really don't think I'm meant to dance.  But that doesn't mean I can't have fun doing it, right?

So there, Zumba.  I'll be back next week.  Shaking, grooving, and trying hard not to get my steps all mixed up causing me to fall into the lady in front of me. (that did not actually happen today, but it is only because of the grace of God that it didn't!)  Maybe I'll even practice this week and try to find my inner Latina.  Ha!  Just kidding.  I have no inner Latina in me.  None, whatsoever.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Shoe Fetish

By now you have probably learned that while she may be small Olivia has a big opinion about pretty much everything. Quiet and calm most of the time, when she gets something stuck in her head there is no denying her. Not without a lot of tears and yelling anyway.  She's a lot like her momma that way.  Well, minus the quiet and calm part.

Olivia's most recent demands have been regarding which shoes she wears. At a mere 2 years old, she has a serious addiction to shoes. Last week you may remember me posting a picture on facebook when Olivia and Katelyn both decided they should be sporting the boots & no pants look.

Well just the other day as I was preparing to leave the house I pulled out my first choice in children's footwear... Crocs. I think they are super cute on little feet (not so much on the bigger variety...), comfy, and obviously the easiest style for a mom who has three kids that can't put their own shoes on. No laces, velcro, zippers or other fastening device involved. Unbeknownst to me, Olivia had scurried into the closet behind me and pulled out a pair of fancier dress shoes that were in a bag of hand-me-downs from our little friend Julia.  The reason these shoes (among others) were still in a bag is because they are too small for Katelyn's big stompers and still too small for Olivia's tiny toes.  So they are in the "on hold" department of our shoe collection.

On hold no longer.  When I denied Olivia the shoes and tried to get her little feet wedged into her Crocs she ran from me, brought the shoes to Ron and cried for him to put them on.  It was a test of wills, to say the least.  I didn't want her to wear them for 3 reasons: 1. They don't fit, and I didn't want her to trip over them all day, 2. They didn't match her outfit, and 3. I had already selected a pair of shoes for her and I am the boss.  Now is the time to exercise my power and demonstrate how in control I am.  (Mostly, just #3.  The other reasons are just things I told Ron so he wouldn't think I was being irrational.)

Olivia threw a fit to end all fits.  She cried, yelled, covered her own face in snots and boogers, threw the Crocs at me, and laid on the floor when I tried to leave the house.  Ultimately, she won.  She wore the too-big, non matching shoes, and she wore them proudly.  And I vowed to never make a big deal out of my daughter's shoes again.  Well, until she's like 13 and wants to wear stripper heels to school.  Now that's where I'll put my foot down.  No pun intended.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Frito Lay Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to post #2, Cheryl F. who said, "We love Frito-Lay chips and would love to try these :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!"  I hope you enjoy your snacks Cheryl!  Thanks to all who entered... don't forget to come back soon for another giveaway!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Frito-Lay Giveaway

It is hard to believe that May has started already.  This year is just flying by!  Cinco de Mayo is in a couple of days and to get the party started I'd like to share a couple of great recipes from Frito-Lay's Executive Chef Stephen Kalil.  These dips are made from natural, wholesome ingredients, and are meant to be enjoyed with delicious Frito-Lay snacks such as:

Tostitos Artisan Roasted Garlic and Black Bean Tortilla Chips
or Tostitos Hint of Pepper Jack Tortilla Chips.

Now, for the recipes.  Make sure you get your party off right with this yummy Avocado Hummus Dip which can go with pretty much anything:

Avocado HummusIngredients:
Avocado Hummus:
2 large avocados (or 3 small)
3 tbs real lemon juice or other lemon juice from concentrate
1 clove garlic crushed
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
4 tsp tahini
4 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp ground cumin
Pinch of ground coriander (optional)
Pinch of cardamom (optional)

Pumpkin Seeds:1 cup pumpkin seeds
½ tbs canola oil
½ tsp New Mexican chili powder
¼ tsp kosher salt
Pinch ground black pepper

Avocado Hummus:
Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Spread the Avocado Hummus into a serving dish. Sprinkle evenly with pumpkin seeds and chopped cilantro. Squeeze one or two lime wedges over the top and garnish with additional lime wedges. Serve with Tostitos Artisan Recipes Roasted Garlic and Black Bean tortilla chips.

Pumpkin Seeds:In a large sauté pan, heat the canola oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, add the seeds and spices, toast for 4-5 minutes allowing the chili and spices to adhere to the seeds. Cool the seeds on a sheet tray. Coarsely chop and sprinkle over Hummus.


Perhaps you are in the mood for Guacomole to celebrate Cinco de Mayo?  You must try this super easy recipe, paired with Tostitos Hint of Pepper Jack Tortilla Chips:

New Age Guacamole
Ingredients:1 prepared recipe TOSTITOS® DIP CREATIONS™ Freshly Made Guacamole Dry Dip Mix
2 tb oven roasted tomato, 1/4 diced
2 tb minced shallots
1 tb minced serranos
2 tb chopped cilantro
2 tb lime juice
1/4 cup mango, 1/4” diced

Instructions:Fold all the ingredients into the prepared guacamole. Serve chilled & Enjoy!

Ta Da!

***Now that I've got you all thinking about chowing down, here comes the good part: A GIVEAWAY!  Frito-Lay has been kind enough to send me some of the chips featured on this post, and they'd like to send a supply to one of my lovely readers.  Just leave a comment on this post if you want to win.  That's it.  All you have to do is leave one teesy-weensy comment.  So do it.  Right now.  What are you waiting for?

This giveaway starts now, and will conclude on Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) at 11:59pm.  Winner will be selected via and announced shortly thereafter.

Now be a good duck and leave me a comment so I know you were here.  Muchas Gracias.

***Sorry if you came here yesterday to enter the giveaway.  Blogger is giving me issues, and only published the first part of my post. Grrr***

*Disclosure:* I was provided the products mentioned above free of charge from Frito-Lay for the purpose of writing this post.  All opinions expressed are my own


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