Sunday, February 15, 2015

Valentine's Day

What a wonderful day full of love. Every day is and should be that way. 
The hubs had a little work in the morning, but I got to sleep in a bit, so we didn't miss much time away. Kicked off the morning with a good workout, because showing your health some love is important too. Brooklynn joined me by trying to mimick everything I was doing. I'll have to get it on video next time. She's pretty much the cutest thing ever. We followed it up with a nutritious and festive lunch... 

If you know me, I relish the opportunity to play with my food. By which I mean, make it cutesy and themed. Yes, I'm THAT mom. My tot appreciates it and it makes me smile. XO.

We read some Valentine and lovey books to get B into her nap, and afterward it was off to the park... 
We love the playground and the park. We love the swings and the slides. We love the sunshine and beautiful days. We love heart print things and Valentine's. Most of all, we love each other.
After a day full of fun and me playing Mamarazzi, we flew to dinner. Literally...
We enjoyed a delicious dinner together at one of our favorite sea food restaurants. Afterward, we went for a night time stroll around some local shops. We made our stop at B's favorite waterfall to say hello and blow kisses to all of the Nemo characters she thinks are in the pond. Coffee in hand, pretty views in our eyes, and love in our hearts. It was a beautiful day.
Brooklynn thought Valentine's Day really rocked and we hope yours was filled with love too!

Thursday, February 12, 2015


Who wants my special brownie recipe?(; No, not those kind. 

These brownies are special in that they're as healthy as they are delicious. That's right people; bikini approved brownies. Say what?! 
So I found myself with a mean hankering for some thick chewy chocolatey goodness the other night. I ate a nibble of some dark chocolate, but it just didn't cut it. I craved that warm gooey goodness of a brownie. In that moment, I realized I haven't had a brownie since I was pregnant. Insanity. Well, obviously typical brownies don't fit my healthy eating lifestyle; you know the one where I don't eat much sugar or junk food. So I decided to get experimental in the kitchen... 

Success! I made these fantastically delicious chocolate hunks chunks, using only healthy ingredients. I tested them out on several friends, including the pickiest or junkfoodiest (that's a word now) of eaters, and they gobbled them up. Don't let the odd sounding ingredients throw you off, give them a try and thank me later. 

Just in time for Valentine's, here is my Bikini Brownie recipe:
First, go put your bikini on, because you've discovered a yummy treat that'll make you look great in it. Then preheat your oven to 350* F. This quantity works best in an 8x8 Pyrex dish. I "grease" (I hate that word, because there's no greasy grossness here) the pan with a paper towel dabbed in coconut oil or grapeseed oil. A little goes a long way. (Healthy cooking sprays will work as well, just avoid vegetable oils or butter, or Heaven help you margarine.) Then add the following ingredients (except chocolate chunks) into a blender (I use a Vitamix), a food processor or hand mixer will work, just make sure it's blended really well. Then stir in the *optional chocolate chunks into your already blended batter before pouring into dish. ps. You can lick the utensils salmonella-worry-free, because there's no egg involved. Go. To. Town.
•1 (15oz) can of black beans (drain and rinse thoroughly 
•1/2 cup plain oats (no instant flavored sugary varieties) 
•1/3 cup of 100% pure maple syrup (that means maple syrup is the only ingredient; you defeat the purpose with sugary/hfc kinds) ((You can do honey or agave, but note it will change the flavor to that of those.))
•1/4 cup coconut or grapeseed oil 
•1/4 cup cacao powder (You guessed it; just cacao or 'cocao', no added sugar. This is not the same as hot cocoa mix)
•1/2 scoop protein powder (I use Muscle Milk 100% Whey Vanilla or Chocolate; yeah there's like 1.5g of sugar. Use your preferred.) 
•pinch of salt
•OPTIONAL: dark chocolate chunks/chips. (You can buy chips or just grate/break small chunks off of a bar. Be sure to get a kind that is at least 70% cacao for their to be health benefits and less sugar content. The first ingredient should be cacao, not sugar.)
Place the filled dish into oven and set timer for 15 minutes. Check on their progress by inserting a toothpick and pulling it out; if the batter is stuck goopy to the toothpick it needs more time, if it comes out clean, they're ready. Ovens obviously vary, as do moist/chewy preferences. Mine usually go for about 21 minutes, just enough to get those chewier corner pieces. Remove from oven (use an oven mit; I'm sad I have to say that.) and let cool for about ten minutes if you can resist temptation that long. 
And yes, making them into heart shapes makes them taste that much better. Goes great with a big glass of almond/coconut milk, complete with a heartsy straw. Add berries or drizzle with almond butter, whatever your healthy cravings desire.
ps. PLEASE tell me how they turned out for you, or if you tried something different. Tag me on Instagram @blakeleyfitness with your masterpieces.

I got a few questions regarding these brownies for kids; the recipe I provided is not one I'd share with my toddler, because I don't allow her to have protein powder. It's completely unnecessary at her age. It is completely fine to omit it in the kiddo's batch, they'll just be a bit more moist. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Brooklynn's first dance class

Wow. That time is here; Brooklynn's first dance class. I grew up in dance and always dreamed of the day I'd have a daughter and get to put her in dance too. It just never dawned on me how quickly that time would come, and that time was this morning. It was one of those major mama moments and it was beautiful. I teared up with joy when I put her leotard on and again when she went through her bow drawer to pick the perfect one to match. She chose both yellow with sequins and a pink one that matched her tutu (that was the one Mama picked too). I was a bit emotional that our baby girl was growing up so quickly, but mostly just excited and proud. Daddy helped put her bow on and gave encouraging hugs and kisses bye bye, and we were on our way. On our way to the first day of what may be come her lifelong passion, something that we'd spend so many future years doing. My whole dance life flashed in my head and I can't wait for her to experience it all. (That is if she wants to, don't worry I'm not going to be the crazy forceful mom. She can choose her passions.) In my head I pictured all the practices and recitals and going from fun little Saturday toddler classes to rehearsals everyday. From stickers after class to trophies after competitions. To those proud moments when her Daddy will give her roses after recital. All of this in a ten minute drive to the studio. Magical thoughts. 

We arrived early and got to watch "the big girls" (any of my fellow dancers remember idolizing them growing up?) and she thought they were "pwetty". As other tiny tots clad in pink arrived she would shyly smile, but get closer to me the more crowded it got. When it was time to line up, she clung... Hard. Though she knew both of her teachers from the basketball games, she was still a bit hesitant. So I walked her back along with one other mom who's daughter was on her first day too. Then the time came to set them in a circle, and for me to walk out. Fail. She immediately screamed "No, no Mama!", but with the help of her teachers holding her I made my exit. I wish I could say I got back to the lobby and saw her on the tv screens just tenduing her little heart out, but she was gripping tightly in the arms of one of her teachers. That continued for about ten minutes and they tried to ease her down with the rest of the class. She wasn't digging it. Then she'd get caught up and interested and about to like it, until she remembered the "doooooor, open the doooooor! Mamaaaaa!" The teachers did a great job at trying to keep bringing her back to the group and hold her to show her how the other girls did it. Meanwhile, the parents with me assured me it only lasts a couple times and then they love it. Which I know, I grew up in dance and taught the littles as well. It's funny, I've been the teacher and held that little girl who was scared and crying, but it's so different to see from the outside, as the mama. So, she didn't love it the first time. That's okay, we tried and we'll try again. After class, she had calmed down and gave both of her teachers a hug and kiss, and told them bye with a smile. So she wasn't fearful of them, that's a start. The whole way home she told me she liked dance and it was fun and that she wanted to go back. So we shall. Brooklynn certainly loves to dance and does it all the time, we've just got to pique turn across the floor away from her separation anxiety. We'll get there. Baby steps. Or maybe it's baby chassés. 

All in all, it was a special experience. It made my heart happy and we can't wait to try again. Here's to Brooklynn, ballerina in the making.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Big Fat Greek Birthday

Okay, so this post doesn't count as late if I get it posted within a month... Right? 
We celebrated Brooklynn's second birthday party at her favorite (ours too) local Greek spot. Hence the title. 

B's younger buddy Trent wanted to make it clear that HE loved Brooklynn and gave her big smooches in front of everyone, including her older boyfriend Hudson (who was obviously thinking "Hey, that's MY girl!")
As you can see, she was pretty smitten with all of the attention.
It was such a treat to have all of B's loved ones in one room, there just for her. Of course we know how loved she is, but seeing it all at once is overwhelmingly sweet. 
(Her first piece of jewelry from her boyfriend Hudson.💕) 
Brooklynn was showered with wonderful gifts, but most importantly so so much love. Thank you to everyone who's made the night and the past two years of her life so special, you're all such a blessing. 
Anyone that knows me, knows I love any reason to craft. Naturally, I continued my sign tradition with her two year stats.
If you keep up with my blog you know B doesn't eat sugar, or any junk food for that matter. I wanted her to have a dessert to blow out candles on, but certainly wasn't giving into cake. So, two hours before her party (planning a party with a toddler can be a bit chaotic, let's be honest.) I made up this recipe for sweet potato brownies. I admit, they weren't brownies. They were good, but definitely tasted and had the texture more so of a Larabar, which is a snack B enjoys often. B liked them and some of the adults did too, but it was definitely one of those you can tell it's super healthy things. But hey, that's what I want for my kid; good health. Bad news: I was in such a hurry and making it up as I went that I really don't remember the recipe. Good news: I came up with a new one (in a much more thought out process) for actual brownie like brownies that are delicious and still incredibly healthy. Post coming soon!
and she got to end the night with the sweetest birthday kiss. (Told you he was going to steal her back.) I mean, does it get any more adorable than that?!😍