100 Days of Geek Chic and Healthy: Stress Relief

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

After seeing Ariel’s (Nerdy Birdie) 100 Days of Geek Chic and Healthy theme, I couldn’t help but be interested. Fitness and eating right have both been well established in my life (with a cheat day here and there, of course), but my inner-geek isn’t as strong as it once was. This challenge will hopefully step up my geek chic game with inspiration, and I hope to be able to inspire you with different workout and recipe ideas.

To be honest, I can’t say I have dealt with a lot of stress lately. I won’t lie, there have been times when I’ve been frustrated or annoyed, but it doesn’t get to the point where I hyperventilate or want to lock myself away.

I use to.

This was before I started waking up at 5:30am and prepared the coffee pot so all one had to do was push a button for it to start brewing. And before I clipped the leash on Snoopy and snapped a belt around my waist.

Those kind of long-term taxing situations were before I laced my shoes and hit the pavement. Being stressed out was before I began running.

Stress Relief - Running with Snoopy

Look ma, no hands. Well, except for the one holding the phone.

I don’t know if it’s having time to step away from everything. It could be the extra time I have to chew things over in my head and assess different paths I could take to get to the situation’s finish line. Maybe its the scenery.

Stress Relief - Scenery

Running along the trail.

Hell, it could be the endorphins.

Either way, I think there is a reason fictional characters like the Flash or Sonic the Hedgehog are so free-spirited. Runners, as many people say, are just a different breed.

And even if you don’t want to go run, it would probably work just as well to thrown on a pair of shoes and walk or ride a bike. As a famous squirrel once told me, free your mind.

 

Red, White & Blue Blondies

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Red, White & Blue Blondies
Fourth of July can mean a lot of this to different people. Some love to veg for the day, others like to go on vacation. Fourth of July this year for me was to race.

Crossing the 4 Mile Finish Line

Growing up I didn’t always love running. In fact, I loathed the one mile run in P.E. It wasn’t until I started running in college to keep in shape that I started to enjoy it. After a few years of running I decided to run a marathon. Once I completed it, I was asked how I was going to celebrate.

With my favorite video game character, of course.

Sonic the Hedgehog tattoo

I loved playing Sonic the Hedgehog from the SEGA Genesis to the Nintendo GameCube growing up (Sonic Adventure 2 being my favorite of all time.) It’s safe to say the blue hedgehog and his friends kept close throughout my life and I know will continue to; hence the tattoo on my ankle.

He is also my motivator to not only run, but to run fast. It may take more effort, but do the results pay off.

Not only did I race, I won my age group as well as the previous age group. By a whole minute.

Race Medal

After the award ceremony, the boy and I cleaned up and went off to a Fourth of July BBQ. Feeling the need to bring something, I made my Red, White and Blue Blondies. They were a hit.

Yum - Red White & Blue Blondie
Yum.

You can obviously make these any time of the year with any M&M color choice you want. Orange and brown for Halloween, blue for Hannakah, red and green for Christmas… To keep things patriotic, red and blue were my colors of choice.

Red, White & Blue M&Ms and White Chocolate
Good, better, best.

Red, White and Blue Blondies
1/2 cup butter, melted
1-1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup M & M’s, red and blue
1 cup white chocolate chips

Optional:
3/4 extra cup white chocolate chips

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F and prepare a 13×9” pan by covering it in aluminum foil and then spraying both the bottoms and the edges inside the pan.
  • In a large bowl, combine your butter and sugars together until fluffy. If you have one, I recommend an electric mixer or a Kitchen Aid.
  • Add in one egg at a time with vanilla and mix until it appears all incorporated.
  • Pour and mix in flour and salt into your batter in three about-equal batches. This way it is easier to make sure everything is well blended. Who wants tons of flour in one bite? Not me.
  • Scrape off your electric mixer. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to add in your M&Ms and white chocolate chips. Mix until well combined.
  • Pour into your prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top appears lightly golden brown and a tooth pick comes out clean. Your blondies should be soft, don’t keep them in the oven for too long.
  • Allow to cool before serving. And of course, enjoy.

Optional:

  • Allow to cool before melting about 3/4 cup of white chocolate chips. If you’re using a microwave, I recommend putting it in for 30 seconds, mixing, and melting again for 30 seconds. Continue this process until it’s well melted (if you try to do this without mixing in between, your white chocolate can burn easily.)
  • Cut a sandwich sized plastic bag’s side tip off (the smaller, the better.) Once your white chocolate has melted, pour into the plastic bag and drizzle over the top of your blondies.
  • Once again, allow to cool before serving.

White Striped Blondies