The Little Things Newsletter #410 – Life, laughter, and lots of great food!

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Welcome to the weekend, my friends! Despite the rain in the forecast, we’re hoping to sneak out for a short hike today whenever the weather gives us a break and we might get in some Frisbee golf too. (FYI I’m awful, but it’s still fun.) This is an Easter weekend full of family and friends for us.

I’m simmering some green chile stew for dinner tonight and tomorrow will be a waffle brunch after church followed by country-style ribs for dinner. We don’t have a traditional menu for Easter most years and it’s fun to play it by ear.

ON THE BLOGS THIS WEEK: Whether you’re dressing up a salad or slathering it on a burger, Thousand Island brings a punch of flavor that’s downright irresistible. Creamy mayo meets tangy ketchup along with the pop of diced pickles and a sprinkle of zesty onions in this recipe for Thousand Island salad dressing.

Want to know how to make perfect French Bread Pizza? This method creates cheesy pizzas with a crispy crust. It’s homemade pizza that’s fast enough for a quick lunch or casual dinner.

Smashed Brussels Sprouts with balsamic glaze are the candy of the vegetable world. I simply can not eat just one!

Hash Brown Waffles are hot, crispy potato perfection. They’re perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and they make a terrific base for all kinds of toppings.

Topped with warm blueberry compote, these crepes are a breakfast that my kids would love to eat every day. Blueberry crepes are a breakfast lover’s dream come true.

Chocolate dipped Coconut Macaroons are rich, sweet, chewy cookies that are almost candy-like. While they’ve been a holiday favorite for as long as I can remember, coconut macaroons are a treat we enjoy year-round.

Vanilla sweet cream ice cream filled with chunks of birthday cake and plenty of sprinkles is as much fun to make as it is to eat! Birthday cake ice cream is my current favorite flavor. And yes, I just declared a new favorite ice cream for at least the 10th time on this website. How could I possibly choose a forever favorite when I’m constantly trying new flavors to share with you?

What I’m CRAVING: All the s

Friday Faves 3.29

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Hi friends! Happy Friday! How was the week? Ours was a whirlwind, but SO much fun.

I had our choir performance last Friday, drove Liv to Phoenix for her dance competition early Saturday morning, spent the night, the Pilot and I P drove up, I rushed home for our Sunday performance while they stayed in Phoenix for Day 2 of dance competition,

I took the shuttle from Tucson to Phoenix early Monday morning, they swooped me at the airport, we drove to Anaheim for Disney fun for a couple of days, then to San Diego for a couple of days. We’re finally back home after a super fun adventure and spring break!

It definitely felt good to sleep in our bed last night and I’m looking forward to a low-key Easter weekend with the fam. I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to!

It’s time for the weekly Friday Faves party! This is where I share some of my favorite finds from the week and around the web. I always love to hear about your faves, too, so please shout out something you’re loving in the comments section below.

Friday Faves 3.29

Spring Break vacation:

Some pics from the Disney and San Diego adventures:

We had our usual Goofy’s Kitchen dinner (so good and such a fun way to kick off the trip!)Read more

Birthday Cake Ice Cream

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Vanilla sweet cream ice cream filled with chunks of birthday cake and plenty of sprinkles is as much fun to make as it is to eat!

This birthday cake ice cream is my current favorite flavor. And yes, I just declared a new favorite ice cream for at least the 10th time on this website. How could I possibly choose a forever favorite when I’m constantly trying new flavors to share with you?

homemade ice cream with birthday cake and sprinkles

Prior to making this ice cream, I don’t remember the last time I tasted a funfetti cake topped with sprinkles frosting. Let me tell you, this cake was a time machine back to my childhood. I remember enjoying these cakes so very much at birthday parties. (And there simply aren’t enough opportunities for funfetti cakes as adults – let’s change that, ok?)

Could I have made the cake and the frosting from scratch for this ice cream? Absolutely! Could you do that? You bet! That said, there are a couple of reasons why I didn’t mess with doing that for this ice cream. First, if I’m being honest, it felt like overkill for a batch of ice cream.

And second, I don’t think it will make that big a difference. Might it be even tastier? Maybe, but not enough that I was willing to work through three different recipes just to make the ice cream I was craving.

birthday cake chunks on cutting board

Birthday Cake Ice Cream

You’ll need the following ingredients to make this recipe:

Motivation tips for group fitness instructors

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Motivation Tips For Group Fitness Instructors

For today’s post, I wanted to talk about motivation tips for group fitness instructors: what I’ve found to work in my years of teaching, what only works for some people, and what falls flat, no matter what. I would love to hear your thoughts and experience as group fitness participants or fellow instructors!! Whether you’re leading through a screen, like many instructors are after Rona, or in person, motivation strategies are super important. You want to transmit energy and inspire individuals and group exercise participants both effectively and authentically.

What works (almost) every time:

Use great music with a diverse playlist.

This is one of my favorite things to do! Include a mix of music in your playlists, because someone in class will love the *weird song* you picked. For example, I’ll throw in a random oldies or country song just to keep things fun, and will also try to mix up top 40s music with more alternative and instrumental styles. If you make an entire playlist based on one genre (like EDM or top 40s) one person in class will love every song, but one person will hate every song and possibly never come back.

Call out participants by their names.

I think it’s so much more meaningful this way and shows participants that you care about them.

Acknowledge their hard work and push them to take it up within a safe level.

I talk more about this here! It’s SO important to encourage participants to listen to their body, modify as needed, and be proud of them for showing up!!!

Demonstrate proper form and ways to modify or progress an exercise.

When participants have confidence in the moves and know they’re not setting themselves up for injury, it’s more motivating. 😉

Emphasizing the muscle group they’re working.

Explain why it’s important (“a strong core helps protect our low back and support everyday movements”), and helping them put their mind to muscle.

Just be quiet.

Sometimes it motivating and powerful to be quiet for a bit and let the energy and music do the talking for you.

What works sometimes, depending on the vibe and your personality:

The more “woo” side of things, like visualizations.

During a spin class, sometimes I’ll say something like, “Imagine the people you love standing on the side of the road right now holding a sign to inspire you. What does the sign say?” Or “For our sprint, we’re riding against your biggest competition. Maybe it’s someone from work, or maybe it’s someone who doesn’t even know who you are.”

Hands-on adjustments.

Some people love these and some people hate them, so it’s good to ask at the beginning of class if there are injuries or if anyone is uncomforta

156: Five things I do before bed each night

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Sharing five things I do before bed each night in today’s podcast episode!

Here’s what I talk about:

– My anchor nightly habits that help me to get higher quality, restorative sleep

– The WHY behind each of them

and some little tips along the way 🙂

156: Five things I do before bed each night

156 five things i do before bed.


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