December 27, 2009

We've moved!!

Please continue to follow my blog at www.missmuffetsmuses.com

December 10, 2009

a SWEET time of year

Poor girl, no pastas, breads or sugars for her....

Not so fast! Have you even heard of Paleo Treats? After my review of Stephanie's delicious Cavemen Cookies, I was contacted by Nik of Paleo Treats to sample some of his paleo friendly, bits of heaven.


Paleo Treats currently come in two flavors, Cacao Now! and Mac Attack. Cacao Now! is a sort of dark chocolate cup filled with pistachios, raisins, almonds and goji berries. Something different for everyone, these treats were right up the alley of my CrossFit BMW trainer Jarrod. He was delighted and surprised to hear that these treats are 100% paleo and could not tell me enough how much he loved it. More my speed, the Mac Attack! I could go on and on about how delightfully amazing these treats are. Coconut, cacao & cacao nibs - yum, yum, yum! I would be able to hand the Mac Attack out to any bump on a log, American couch potato and they would have no idea they were eating like a caveman! If you love coconut, this is definitely the treat that I recommend.

Made from all natural ingredients - sweetened with organic cacao powder and organic agave nectar, Paleo Treats are a great way to satisfy any sweet tooth without the guilt. Thank you, again, to Nik for sending some treats my way, I can guarantee that I will be a return customer!

November 19, 2009

The dust hath settled...mostly

It has been almost a month since my last post, wow! I am officially a Michigander...again! The past few weeks have been filled with many sad endings;
-Leaving my amazing job. I am so thankful to have worked for such an amazing children's charity for the past two years. Everyone should take the time to donate this holiday season, you'll feel proud and fulfilled for weeks to follow.
-My last day with the
Tribe!! I hated leaving my work-out family. I will miss them so much and am glad to have spent the last 7 months together. Everyone went for drinks on my last night to wish me farewell & good-luck. The whole group also signed a couple of plyo-boxes for my new gym, I cannot wait to put them in their new home along with a stash of awesome hair bands from Jess!
-Saying goodbye to D :(. I have spent the past 4 years with my best friend and I hope to remain close forever. I held tough as long as possible, before falling apart into a red-nosed, sobbing mess. Good thing he loves me - I am not a pretty crier!

With endings come new beginnings, and I am on a roll! I arrived in Michigan late Sunday night and am off to a running start. I have 3 job interviews my first week in-town and have started attending
CrossFit BMW in Royal Oak. I am going to be a part of an amazing new paleo blog focused on women (more to come on this!!), I am in the process of finding a location to open my own CrossFit box, I am registered for my level I certification in Ontario, Canada and am expecting some yummy Paleo Treats in the mail (can't wait to review these!)
I finally had the pleasure of meeting Jarrod at CrossFit BMW. We had some time to chat and I think we are about to begin a beautiful friendship. I have such high hopes for all that is to come, and am excited for the opportunity to have a partner in crime. I think that Jarrod's years of experience and expertise mixed with my excitement, enthusiasm & fresh outlook are a perfect combination for something great!
I hope to have many exciting updates on a more frequent basis moving forward. Wish me luck!

October 26, 2009

Great, great, great, great, great cookies

It is with great regret that D and I hereby resign our positions in the 100 Burpee Challenge. With our constant skipping of days, I think we have done well to prove that we are able to do 100+ burpees multiple days in a row. Besides, pulling over on the side of the road to complete burpees during my upcoming 32 hour roadtrip - not my cup of tea.

In other news, owner Stephanie Lester of Cavemen Bakery was kind enough to send me a bag of Cavemen Cookies to share with the Tribe. These cookies are delicious and 100% primal (or pretty darn close depending on whether or not you choose to eat honey.) Either way, if honey is a cheat for you, this is a pretty guilt-free way to do it. The cookies definitely have a ginger snap flavor, (the only ingredients are honey, almond flour, walnuts, raisins, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon) but the texture is super soft and super chewy. Not the "chewy" of your typical commercial, chocolate chip, "soft 'n chewy" cookie, these were a different kind of chewy that I am having a hard time finding a comparison for. Regardless, they were wonderful and hit the spot. The sweetness conquered my cravings and prevented me from finishing off the entire bag; the perfect combination!! In sharing this tasty treat with 5 other hungry primal crossfitters, I hope I was able to do my part in sending some business Stephanie's way.

During my remaining free Saturdays before the big move (which means 1) I am extremely grateful and excited/nervous for the opportunity to shadow, learn and train beside my very own CrossFit master Jason "Jakers" Parent. [Side note: I watched 'Kung Fu Panda' this weekend, hence the use of the word "master", I feel that it fits the CrossFit hierarchy wonderfully!] Hopefully in the 1.5 hours time, I will be able to gather some useful information, knowledge and skills towards achieving my own goals & aspirations in Royal Oak. I have so much to do and learn and am extremely lucky to have such savvy and generous people to call my friends.

October 14, 2009

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Unenthusiastic 100 Burpee Challenge Update: Today, I will be doing 145 burpees. This wonderful number comes from today's 43 & yesterday's 42, plus 60 undone burpees I managed to rack up over the weekend. It will not be pleasant, it will not be fun.

A lot has happened in a short period of time, so goes most major events in my life. From the top:
D and I have decided that waiting and waiting...and waiting for his relocation to San Diego for the 'big break-up' to happen was like sitting on a time-bomb. We intended our drawn out farewell to last 1-3 months and, unfortunately, it has been over 5. We are very happy with our circumstances and intend to be the best of friends forever...oh how I love intentions!
Next stop, Michigan. Beginning with my found feelings of confidence, hope and "me" while in Ireland, I have come to the conclusion that I have a lost a lot of who I am during my 4 years in Arizona. I miss my family, friends & home. With that, I have decided to move back to the mitten state for at least a small while. I am confident that this is the right decision for me, though I will have a heck of a time saying goodbye to the Tribe.
As long as I am making changes, why not go all out? I am a once a year maintenance type of girl when it comes to my hair. I don't over wash or over style so my hair stays pretty healthy all on it's own. Each of my last 3 appointments (over 2 years!) I have gone with the intention of chopping it off, but have always been convinced "Let's go shoulder length first, than come back for the next chop!" Problem is, by the time I come back, my hair is back down to my butt. (It's the Paleo!) Well this time, no more! I was finally able to go all of the way and I couldn't be happier. (Although, people are questioning why I would make such a decision right before moving back to MI's frigid temperatures! )

With changes, come aspirations. I have big ones, but I'm going to keep these to myself for now. I have been doing a lot of planning & research and hopefully, I will have some amazing news to come!!

October 6, 2009

100 Burpee Challenge - Update

Today is day 35! It feels like so much time has past, when really there is still so much to go. Yesterday, D & I had the pleasure of doing 130 burpees for missing days 31, 32, 33 & 34; at least now I know that day 100 will be possible! I know a lot of people have bailed on this challenge, I wonder who has stuck in there? Lesley? Susan? Dylan and I are the only people left doing it at our gym, but we power through at the end of each WOD. The competition of 'who can finish first?' is definitely helpful.
In other news, I recently received a lovely little package in the mail from Larabar. I was anxious to sample their 2 new flavors, but they are still not being stocked at my local healthy kid stores. I sent over an email sharing my adoration for the bars and Harry was kind enough to send me a sample box of 4 flavors, including the two newbies Peanut Butter & Jelly and Tropical Fruit Tart.

*Tropical Fruit Tart: A new favorite to add to my line-up! This bar is the deliciousness and wonderful texture of Coconut Cream Pie, plus a little somethin' extra. It is amazing and I cannot wait until I can buy them locally. In fact, the purchase of a whole box may be in order!

Peanut Butter & Jelly: I ate this bar on a Sunday morning after reaching the top of my nemesis, Camelback Mountain! It was one of the more dense Larabars (more like a Clif Bar) and a perfect pick-me-up when I really needed it. I couldn't believe there were no strawberries or grapes in the bar to give it that exact PB&J flavor, but it was dead-on and delicious!In the next couple days I will be receiving a bag of Cavemen Cookies in the mail! I cannot wait to try them and share them with the Tribe!

September 24, 2009

I've gone green [Happy Arthur's Day!]

Burpee Challengers: Day 23! We are almost a quarter of the way there! :)

I’m not sure why it is taking me so long to write my ‘Ireland Synopsis.’ Each time I sit down to do so, I can’t think of a good place to start or the right words to use - my first case of writer’s block. In an effort to get it written before the memories fade, I vow to get something posted. I loved this country; I loved the people, I loved the experience, I loved the pubs, I loved the food. While in Ireland, for whatever reason, I fell back into myself. I felt confident, happy & open to life’s opportunities.
Friday morning, a month or so ago, I flew (Flew? Flied? Fled?) to Ireland on my first “big plane.”
I had two short stops in Chicago & London. The plane & flight were amazing, comfortable, smooth & not nearly as terrifying as I had imagined. The stop in Chicago went off without a hitch, but I highly discourage flying through or into London Heathrow Airport. I felt like I was a mouse in a maze and my next gate was the cheese. Passengers were funneled down 1 way hallways, through 1 way doors, stopping at 3 security checkpoints before (2 hours later!) arriving at the next gate and boarding the plane in the nick of time. Flight attendants on the Air Lingus flight from London to Dublin were the closest I’ve ever seen to what real “stewardesses” look like in the movies; sassy outfits, obnoxiously polite demeanor, blue eyeshadow & frosted pink lips à la Mimi from the Drew Carey Show. After 12ish+ hours of travel and an 8 hour time difference it was Saturday morning and I had arrived in Dublin!
Dublin is not the green oasis you expect when you think of Ireland. From my experience, it more closely resembled Santa Monica Blvd. in California. Dublin is very ‘city’ with modern steel & glass towers squeezed between 1,000 year old beautiful brick buildings and hundreds of people crossing the streets at once to get to their next destination.
I stayed at the Harding Hotel right in the center of central Dublin; I could not have asked for a better location for my first trip to the country. I spent the first couple of days in the city exploring the shops, buildings and best local pubs. My favorite drinking holes ended up being “The Quays Bar” in the Temple Bar district and “Darkey Kelly’s,” a small pub attached to my hotel.
By day 3, it was time to start traveling. I decided to start off easy by using the LUAS light rail and DART train to access cities nearby Dublin. My first destination was Howth. Howth is a small fishing town, with lighthouses, grey skies, a brisk breeze and (from what I’ve read) amazing seafood. Unfortunately, I did not partake; I will definitely have to get lunch here next time.
From Howth, I rode all the way in the opposite direction to the city of Tallaght. This is the mini-city where Crossfit Ireland is located. I would describe the area as very industrial & business. Crossfit Ireland is NOT the easiest place to find on foot, but after a good 2-3 mile walk, retracing my steps multiple times, I made it! I was in no mood for a WOD after my stressful hike, but I didn’t come all the way from Arizona just to say ‘Hello.’ I had the pleasure of meeting Will and he led the group through a quick work-out. Before heading back, I was also able to meet Colm & Tom and purchase my own Crossfit Ireland t-shirt. [Side note: I was drowning in the men’s size small, so D ended up receiving an extra gift. Luckily, Tom was kind enough to let me know that there is now an inventory of women’s sizes and I will be receiving a new t-shirt soon!]
Day 4 I headed down to Cork. This was a hefty bus ride away (about 4 hours) and, from this experience alone, not worth all of the trouble. Silly me, I was wearing a dress and sneakers the day it decided to rain and blow for the first time all week. There were only 5 hours to explore before the final bus headed back to Dublin and the city bus tours were not running on this particular day. So, I did the only thing available to do in the amount of time I had and headed over to Blarney Castle!Although this is a major tourist trap, I am glad that I went. The castle is not so much a castle anymore as it is a hollow, stone tower. I climbed the long, narrow, spiral staircase to the top, set my eyes (not my lips!) upon the Blarney Stone, and was on my way. Another 4 hour drive, a bus out of gas, a short jaunt back to the hotel & I was ready for some shut-eye!
The next day called for sleeping in and a relaxing afternoon in Dublin. I was able to explore the city more thoroughly, now that I was more comfortable in my surroundings and knew my way around on foot. I also made my way over the Guinness Brewery for a tour and a free pint of beer at the Gravity Bar.
[Side note: I had always thought Guinness looked delicious but my taste-buds told me otherwise. Either way, everyone says that you must try a pint of Guinness in Ireland because it is a different experience than drinking a pint in America. Boy, were they right! I am now a Guinness girl through, and through & enjoy sipping this delicious brew whenever I have the chance!] The Brewery got me in the 'gifting mood' that had been missing on my trip so far. I was able to spend a fair amount of money and get a few loved one's souvenirs taken care of.
Since the first half of my trip was spent solo exploring, days 6 & 7 I signed up for guided group tours to see and learn the things more difficult to do on my own. My first tour was to Wicklow, aboard "Wild Wicklow Tours." This was the Ireland I had been waiting for. The countryside in Ireland is breathtaking and absolutely beautiful. Not only were there the bright green, rolling hills, but in the late-summer/early-fall everything blooms with the prettiest yellow and purple flowers.
One of the coolest parts was Guinness Lake; the water has such a high iron content, that it appears a deep brownish-burgundy color (the color of Guinness!) To top it off, the Guinness family had white sand imported to line the beach, giving their giant pint of Guinness the foamy head it deserved.
My second tour was to the Cliffs of Moher. This place is a Kodak Moment in a box! We made it the entire bus ride with no rain, but the second the doors opened so did the sky. The rain didn't last long; after a quick 15 minutes I was able to tighten up my hood and head out to the Cliffs. Knowing that Ireland is an island, I had no idea the country was surrounded by so much beautiful water.
My last night in Dublin I made one last round at my favorite pubs, ate one last great meal, drank one last Guinness and met even more wonderful people. The next morning at sunrise, it was back to the airport for another 12ish+ hour flight back to the desert.