Tag Archives: IIN

Baking Adventures…and Other Highlights of the Past 2 Months

As I type this, I’m sitting at a window table at a Starbucks in Springfield, MO, sipping a passion fruit iced tea and wondering how in the world it’s been so long since I blogged!


Initially, I decided to take a couple weeks off this little blog to focus on school because things were getting kinda crazy as graduation approached and I didn’t want to fall behind. Those “couple weeks off” quickly turned into almost 2 months away, but I’m finally back today with plans to be more consistent with my writing.

This blog is primarily just a personal creative outlet for me and a way to express (in writing, at least) the thoughts flying around in my brain. ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t claim to be any kind of exceptional writer or attempt to impress anyone with my fitness or healthy living. I just love to write and journal and share the random musings that come to mind. And it’s fun to have a place to do that!

The past couple months have been a blur…as of March 1st, I am officially a graduate of IIN (the Institute for Integrative Nutrition) and I’m now a Certified Holistic Health Coach! I’m so excited to be officially graduated, but it also means I really need to kick it into gear with my marketing and business development! I started coaching my first client a couple months ago, while still finishing up school, and that has been going well!

I have lots of ideas about how I want to develop my coaching business and the demographics I hope to work with…now it’s all about translating those ideas into ACTION and making it happen! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m excited! …and a little nervous. ๐Ÿ˜›

In my free time, I’ve been running a lot (for me), spending lots of time with my family, and eating a lot of dark chocolate. Especially the chocolate part. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ve also made some really fun desserts that have garnered good reviews from my guinea pigs family.

Most notable were the Superbowl-themed desserts I made for a party at my sister’s house. I’ve never done much intense decorating of baked goods so the fact that these turned out was a huge win in my book!

Yard-line chocolate cupcakes:
This is a great step-by-step recipe, which is exactly what I need when special icing decorating is involved. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Those little “footballs” on top are chocolate covered almonds!!


Football brownies:
(I used this recipe, but made my own from-scratch brownies instead of using the mix)


Also of note were the cinnamon crescent rolls I whipped up one night which were highly reviewed by my 19 year old brother. After eating 3 of them, he mumbled with his mouth full, “dude, these are legit!” …These wonderful cinnamon pastries are not really what most people would consider “healthy” but hey, everything in moderation! We had a tube of crescent rolls in our fridge that were going to waste so this was the perfect way to put them to good use.


This post has already gotten annoyingly long, I know, but I’ve saved the best recipe (in my mind) for last… homemade chocolate peanut butter cups!! This is truly the most simple and easy recipe imaginable and only requires two ingredients, but the idea is ingenious! I found the recipe on this blog and went to work. I made simple chocolate peanut butter cups (I did add a little sea salt on the top of mine) but she offers all sorts of delicious toppings suggestions if you want to get a little creative.


I brought these to a family dinner one evening and they were definitely a hit! (as if it’s possible for ANY combination of chocolate and peanut butter to not taste amazing…)

I promise I haven’t ONLY been baking and eating delicious desserts for the past 2 months. But yes, that’s been a huge part of my life of late. ๐Ÿ˜›

I’m in Springfield for a quick day trip with my brother and a friend of his who came in town to visit a university here. While they sat through a few seminars and informational sessions on campus, I donned my running shorts and did a little exploring of downtown Springfield on foot. It’s a warm, gorgeous day today and I had a great 4 mile tempo run in the sunshine. I’m hoping spring has finally come to stay for awhile!

Enjoy your weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

So, I’ve been thinking…

I feel like my mind is on the brink of explosion. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking the past several days, about a lot of different areas of my life. Mind is spinning.

It all began the day I was supposed to begin my internship in the event-planning field. I’d interviewed with an amazing lady who owns her own event-planning business, and she was ready to take me on as a short-term intern for the next few months. At first, I was thrilled about the idea, thinking,ย “This is something I’m actually excited to do! I’ve always thought event planning sounded fun!”ย  However, as she started emailing me with the dates of different events, wedding rehearsals, holiday parties, etc., that I would be expected to attend, I realized that not only was this new internship going to completely take over my evenings and weekends for the next several months, but I wasn’t even excited about it anymore. I was dreading it. Yes, I do think event planning sounds like a lot of fun. And yes, I do enjoy planning parties. But for some reason, I just didn’t have a good feeling about starting this internship right now.

A few hours before my first night, I was scheduled to have a phone call with my health coach, who is assigned to sort of mentor me throughout my education at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She is the most amazing woman and has been such an inspiration and blessing to me through our monthly conversations! Anyway, while I was on the phone with her, she was asking me how I was progressing with the various marketing and business aspects of starting my health coaching. I had to admit that I really hadn’t done much with that…at all. Gulp. I’m over half-way through the year at IIN, yet I’ve barely done any marketing or bothered to set up my own website, seek out clients, etc. To be short, I’ve just been doing the homework, taking the tests, and doing the necessary studying. As I was talking with Pam, my health coach, I realized,ย “What am I doing? Iย wantย to be a health coach, but I’m doingย nothingย to make that happen!”

As I told Pam about this new internship I was planning to start, (I was supposed to meet the lady that night to sign the paper and officially start the internship!) I realized that not only did I not WANT to do the internship anymore, but it was actually going to be a distraction in my life from what Iย reallyย want to be doing with my time. Pam encouraged me to call the lady and be honest with her about my feelings; I was so nervous to do this, but the lady was actually so understanding and told me that if I was interested in interning for her after the holiday season or at any time in the future, I should give her a call. Whew. So, that went well! I felt so relieved as soon as I got off the phone with her. I knew I’d done the right thing.

This experience was a very good one for me, for many reasons. For the sake of keeping this at least somewhat concise, I’ve boiled them down to:

My 5 Realizations from This Past Week:

(catchy title, I know) ย ๐Ÿ˜›

1) I realized that I was just doing the internship to AVOID the tough work of starting my health coaching business, and to make myself feel good about “having a job” so I wouldn’t feel pressured to devote myself wholeheartedly to IIN.

2) I realized that it was FEAR that was holding me back from jumping into the marketing and business side of things with my health coaching. This is a whole other topic for another post. Fear has been really holding me back in several areas, and I’m just now starting to realize how widespread it has become in my life. Definitely going to be working on that!

3) I realized how much I DO want to be a health coach! When I allow myself to brainstorm about it, I get so excited and bombarded with tons of ideas for starting my business! I’m passionate about health; passionate about fitness; passionate about helping people live whole and happy lives! I DO want to make this my career; and I believe it is my calling. ย ๐Ÿ™‚

4) I realized how many things in my life are holding me back from pursuing what I really want. Again, this could be a whole post on its own, but the general concept is that I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my time management, my relationships, my habits and practices, and more. My mind is spinning from all of it.

5) Last, but definitely not least, I realized that with some of the time I would have been putting toward the internship, I can instead help out with my sister’s wedding planning! She is getting married in mid-November and has a lot of final details and projects that I am thrilled to tackle. It’ll be a fun adventure and definitely more memorable than planning weddings for brides I don’t even know. (as fun as that could still be!) ย First up: planning the “welcome bags” for our out-of-town relatives, with sightseeing information and other fun gifts to welcome them to our city. ๐Ÿ™‚

This post is already getting quite long, so I won’t drag it on too much longer. ย ๐Ÿ˜›

Suffice it to say that the past week has been very enlightening for me, shown me a lot about myself, revealed to me some things that are holding me back, and inspired me to press on toward my goals and dreams with new passion! All in all, it’s been a good thing. ๐Ÿ™‚


That’s all for now!

Plyometrics and Yoga – the perfect balance

Well, it’s been a few days since I wrote anything on here! I’ve had a busy week, but overall it’s been a good one. ๐Ÿ™‚

Tuesday was a fun day! Last time A was over, she lent me a couple of her P90X DVDs so I decided to try the Plyometrics one on Tuesday afternoon. I used to do a lot more plyometrics and miss them a lot! Plyometrics are high-intensity and include lots of jumping around, explosion-like exercises…just my kind of thing! ๐Ÿ˜› The P90X DVD was an hour long and it was INTENSE. I did a LOT of sweating and may or may not have said some nasty things to Tony Horton while we were doing yet another set of jump squats. It’s a love-hate thing for me. I love being pushed so hard in my workouts but I hate it in the moment. All of that to say, I really loved my first P90X experience! I often get distracted or bored during workout DVDs, but this one was intense and the instructor was funny (corny?) enough to keep me entertained. Win, win!

After sweating bucket-loads in my basement, I came upstairs to shower and get ready for A to come over. Tuesday morning I had been at Schnucks to check out their newly-expanded gluten-free section! It is amazing! I spent over 20 minutes geek-ing out over all the gluten-free pastas, baking mixes, cookies, flours, and other goodies. I came home with a gluten-free chocolate cake mix and decided to make cupcakes for A because she loves chocolate. ๐Ÿ™‚ I never ended up icing the cupcakes because everyone agreed they were plenty sweet without it. So, I guess they’re technically more like chocolate muffins. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Regardless of the name, they got rave reviews from A and my family!

A and I had a fun girls night, complete with facial masks, painting of the nails, and some girly chick-flicks. (of course!) We watched Last Holiday, which was such sweet movie, and an old classic: Roman Holiday! I guess we were in a holiday theme, for some reason…

Wednesday morning, A and I had a date with Bob Harper. Well, via his Yoga for Warriors DVD. ๐Ÿ˜› My calves were TIGHT and sore from the plyometrics on Tuesday so the yoga felt amazing; hurt so good. ๐Ÿ˜‰

After enjoying some delicious oatmeal for an 11am brunch, we decided to do some shopping because I needed black pumps for an interview today and A had some gift cards she was eager to use. I never really wore pumps at my previous job. Because the attire was pretty casual, I stuck to flats and wedges, which are much easier on my feet. But, I figured it was probably time to get some classic black pumps…good thing to have on hand, right?

We did some serious damage at the mall, as well as TJ Maxx! But almost everything I got was on sale or a fall staple that I will wear a lot, so that made me feel better about the $$. I got some cute shirts, leggings, black boots, black pumps, and two classy skirts! Really happy with the purchases. I hadn’t been shopping in so long because once I quit my job I decided to really cut back on spending money to be wise about it all. I haven’t even allowed myself into a mall for several months, haha!

This afternoon I did a bunch of studying for IIN and also skype-d with an out-of-town friend. I’m contemplating heading out for a swim at the gym (this morning I did my usual upper-body strength training routine) and probably relaxing with my family tonight. Rumor has it that my sis and her fiancรฉ are coming over for dinner. ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a great night!

P.S. Cocoa and I played “fetch” for awhile on Tuesday and I couldn’t resist taking some adorable pictures of her, playing with her ball. ย ๐Ÿ˜‰

Quick and Easy Upper Body Workout

This morning’s workout was upper body weights, with my go-to exercises for arms, shoulders and back. When I’m at the gym, my strength training workouts are much more involved and thorough, but with the limited dumbbells I have at home, my basement workouts are much more basic.

I completed 3(sets) x 15(reps) of these exercises:

– Side shoulder raise

– Tricep dips

– Overhead press

– Bent-over, single-arm row

– Reverse Fly

– 2 minutes of abs

After enjoying a bowl of my favorite oatmeal for breakfast, I got to work on some emails and homework. And of course, did some knitting. ย ๐Ÿ˜‰ My scarf is already about a foot long and I love it!

ย  ย I fear that I may be coming down with the cold that has been going around. My throat is sore, my head is congested, and I have very little energy today! Uh-oh! I’m supposed to go to an awesome Fall Party tonight and I was going to bring a yummy pumpkin dip…really bummed that I might miss the fun time with friends tonight!!

In the meantime, I’m going to try to rest as much as possible here at home…reading, homework, knitting, and some Netflix. ๐Ÿ™‚