Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Site!

Hello Friends,
After months of sorting and organizing, the new site is up! I've moved my blog to a abitofbeesknees.com. As wonderful as Blogger has been to me as a newbie, I've found it a tad restrictive for my needs of expanding and creativity. All of my old posts have been transferred to the new site (and many new ones have been added too)! Come over and check it out. You'll now be able to search through categories instead of one long feed! Yeah! And I've re-opened my shop as well! Ooooh fun things are happening. Hope you like the new look. I'll keep this old blog open, but all of my new posts will be on abitofbeesknees.com. Thanks for sticking with me,
Love Brittany

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Burn Boot Camp Workout Video and Chocolate Coconut Protein Muffins

Burn Boot Camp | A Bit of Bees Knees
This is my second month at Burn Boot Camp and I am really enjoying my time here! It has become my daily routine - wake up in the morning, put on my workout clothes and lace up my shoes, fill up a water bottle, pack an extra outfit for work and I'm good to go. My whole day is more productive, my mind is sharper and I'm excited to be spending time focusing on my health. Burn Boot Camp's pillars of success are mindset, organic whole food nutrition, strength training, burst training, and providing a positive environment - it's just the place I want to be.
Burn Boot Camp | A Bit of Bees Knees
My trainers help me focus on my goals, give nutritional advice and push me to improve in strength and cardio training. There is a "weekly protocol" that changes every week and they never do the same workout twice! Classes are always interesting, challenging and fun. Every other day we alternate between different muscle groups with burst and strength training techniques. Here is an example of our weekly protocol -->
Weekly Protocol -
Monday - upper body superset w/ elevator push-ups
Tuesday - bodyweight burst training mini-camp w/ sprint finisher
Wednesday - cardio pyramid whiteboard w/star crunch finisher
Thursday - partner leg strength chipper w/ partner bunny hop finisher
Friday - partner core/conditioning droplet w/ half burpee jump knee tuck finisher
Saturday - full body strength circuit w/ squat press finisher
Burn Boot Camp | A Bit of Bees Knees
A word from my trainer Brittanny:
"Burn Boot Camp focuses on 2 exercise formats: strength and burst/cardio training.  On strength days we are working on muscle hypertrophy meaning we are seeking maximum growth of our muscles lifting heavier weights working toward muscle fatigue and muscle failure, making those last few reps of the set nearly impossible to sustain.  Burst training is HIIT (high intensity interval training) with more cardio and athletic conditioning; a full body work that builds strength, power, mobility, balance, and agility.  On burst and cardio days your heart rate will spike much higher than strength days - that's one big difference. We never combine the 2 types of training so it's either cardio/HIIT day or a strength day.  We never train the same body part the following day because we expect our clients will be sore! It's a good thing therefore we work on a totally different muscle group or training format. No workout is every the same and the protocol changes every week."
I asked my trainers, JeffreyBrittanny and fellow BBCer Shastin to help me make a short clip to demo some examples of strength and burst/cardio training that we do at the gym.
Song by: MØ - Final Song

weighted back lunges
bicep curls to overhead press
bent over low rowers
jump squats
jump tucks
cricket burpees
**************************************************************************
I always follow my BBC workouts with lots of protein - usually a protein shake, lean turkey or chicken with a side of veggies will do, but somedays I've got mad cravings for chocolate! Here is a yummy recipe from "Beyond the Blender Bottle" by Burn Boot Camp that uses  After Burn protein powder - everything you need to fuel your potential.
Chocolate Coconut Protein Muffins

Chocolate Coconut Protein Muffins
Ingredients:
2/3 cup oat flour
1⁄4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 serving of Afterburn whey protein
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice)
1⁄4 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk (or regular almond milk) 3 egg whites
2 tablespoons liquid coconut oil (or melted coconut oil)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place 8 silicone cupcake liners on a sheet pan. Whisk together egg whites, almond milk, and coconut oil in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add remainder of ingredients into the bowl and stir until well combined.
Evenly divide cupcake batter among cupcake liners.
Bake in the oven for 14-16 minutes, or until center is cooked. Let cool and enjoy! Makes 6 servings; 1 serving is 1 muffin
NUTRITION INFO: Macros for 1 serving: 126 calories, 6.5g protein, 12.8g carbs, 6g fat, 3.6g sugar 1.9g fiber
*I made my muffins smaller (bitesize) so the nutrition info is cut in half for 12 mini muffins. Drizzle with natural PB and a few crispy coconut chips
Chocolate Coconut Protein MuffinsChocolate Coconut Protein Muffins Chocolate Coconut Protein Muffins Chocolate Coconut Protein Muffins

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Burn Boot Camp and Post Workout PB Oats

Burn Bootcamp
Four weeks ago my friend called me up… “Hey do you want to join a boot camp with me?” Sure why not!? It was a great deal - $30 for 30days so I jumped on it. It’s been a month and I’m already thrilled with the results I’m seeing. Burn Boot Camp workouts are similar to circuit training – an intense 45 minute workout with stations designed to target specific areas of your body and get your heart pumping! Some days they'll focus on calisthenics, arms or legs etc. Each day has a group warm up, then splits into rotating sections for the workout and ends with a "finisher" and stretching. It's creative, it's tough, it gets results + it’s a great place to cheer on other ladies who are all working to become stronger and healthier.
Things I love about Burn Boot Camp that are different from any other gym I’ve been to:
Accountability- “Focus meetings” are one-on-one meetings with your trainer where you can discuss your goals, weigh-in, take measurements and devise a plan to help you reach your BEST self. I really think the whole accountability aspect works wonders for me… just knowing that I have to check-in every other week, kicks my booty in gear – I’ve got to do my best! It’s all about feeling stronger, more energetic and confident. We talked about nutrition and meal planning and my coach gave me a shopping list of goodies to stock up on (lean meats, veggies, foods high in protein and low in bad fats etc.). I’m calling this “the year of Britt” working on myself and all the things I want to achieve and improve on before D and I try for a kiddo. So I’m starting here at Burn Boot Camp. We came up with an action plan for working towards my goals and finding foods high in nutrients and protein; “remember ladies you have 30-40 minute window to get 20-30 grams of protein in after your workouts” all day everyday ;) I’m excited about this new adventure and I think having accountability has a huge impact on results.
Women Only- It’s fantastic to be surrounded by women and moms of all ages, sizes and athletic abilities. I feel like Burn Boot Camp is a safe environment – one that challenges me, but doesn’t force me to perform above my level. It’s not easy by any means, but it’s not the drill sergeant boot camp you are imagining. The coaches are wonderful, knowledgeable and supportive. There are co-ed classes available in the evenings and free classes open to the public on Saturday so I can bring my husband and friends.
Free Childcare- Huge plus! Not many gyms offer free childcare! My friend can drop her kids off in the room right next to our workout area. The kids play games, watch movies and color during our 45 min workout. It’s nice to not worry about the added cost of childcare and safety of the little ones.
But best of all, you can try out BBC right now! There are only a few spots open for $30-30days! – Hurry up the deal ends soon! And if you want to follow my journey I’ll be working on a few Burn Boot Camp posts paired with healthy recipes in the months to come!
Burn Boot Camp
2675 Irvine Ave
Costa Mesa, California 92627
Email: costamesa@burnbootcamp.com
Phone: (949) 632-7873
and a post workout pick-me-up...
Creamy Peanut Butter Oats with Yogurt, Herbs and Honey
Creamy PB Oats with Greek Yogurt and Ayurvedic Herbs
Healthy eating goes hand-in-hand with working out! So I thought it would be fun to share a post workout recipe! This is my go-to snack (rather a small meal) after a tough workout. I love these creamy pb protein oats. I mix mine with non-fat Greek yogurt, a spoonful of peanut butter,  ayurvedic herbs, honey and hemp seeds. It's packed with protein, vitamins and belly friendly probiotics! This recipe is truly divine! Here's how I make my mornin' bowl.
Ingredients:
1 cup water
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1 tbsp creamy organic peanut butter
1 tbsp raw honey
1/2 tbsp hemp seeds
*Optional* Add your choice of herbs, vitamins or protein powderI like to use a combo of ayurvedic plant powders - brahmi and ashwagandha for inflammation and stress relief. Please consult with your doctor before using dietary supplements, especially when pregnant or breastfeeding.
Directions:
Boil 1 cup water in a small pot. Add oats and simmer until oats are soft and water is absorbed. Remove from heat. Stir in yogurt, peanut butter and honey until the porridge is smooth and creamy. Add, herbs, vitamins or protein powder if desired. Sprinkle with hemp seeds for a healthy dose of omega 3 & omega 6! Super easy, yummy and filling! The perfect fuel food for post BBC!
Creamy PB Oats with Greek Yogurt, Brahmi & Triphala

Friday, August 21, 2015

Sonoma Weekend


Dan and I had a fun weekend getaway last week. We've been racking up airline miles (with building those houses and all) so we cashed them in for a Friday night flight to the Bay Area. Our lovely friends AJ and Sheena picked us up and we drove out to wine country to meet up with the rest of our friends. The Wanamaker's rented a an awesome airbnb house and we split it between all of us. 

On Saturday we went to the Roth Estate Winery down the street from our house and played Cambodian jenga while wine tasting...later on we went on a Russian River Float! It was really fun -- a calm cool river, sprinkled with a few "Oh my god" rapids ;) I ended up popping my floatie on the first rapid...my valiant husband insisted on giving me his. What a guy! After the float we came back to the house, made dinner, drank a bit more wine and explored the land behind the house.

The next day we drove to the Francis Ford Coppola Winery, lounged by the pool, sipped on mudslides and had a private tasting and tour at the winery! Thanks for the hook up Mr. Wanamaker! It was really interesting to learn about the wine making process! I had no clue how complicated it really is...

What a fabulous weekend.
I love these people <3



Now I'm not a wine connoisseur by any means...I have know idea what I'm doing, but I thought it would be fun to put together a little list of my personal favorites that we tried over the weekend! I'm on my way to understanding why people go nuts for wine!

********


Roth 2012 Alexander Valley Heritage Enticing deep, dark purple color. The wine features smoky, firewood aromas and dark fruit notes such as blackberry, and cherry. The palate draws you in with a good mouth-feel and rich flavors of violet, coffee, clove and vanilla bean.

Roth 2014 Sauvgnon Blanc is crisp and balanced with a nice vibrant acidity. On the nose, it displays notes of tropical fruits, citrus zest and floral aromas that carry through to the palate with lively flavors of melon and grapefruit. This wine finishes strong for a long, juicy finish.

Coppola's 2010 Archimedes is a luxurious Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, delivering immensely concentrated flavors of black cherries and juicy red plums. Opulent and aromatic, opening with an alluring fragrance of cherries, figs, cocoa and lavender. Dark, luscious flavors of cassis, plums and blackberries are accentuated by spicy notes of cloves and allspice. The wine is dense with medium tannins and a long, flavorful fruit finish crowned by the scent of cigar box. 

Coppola's 2012 Reserve Viognier Chardonnay is a real show stopper that bursts from the glass with perfume of pears, honeysuckle and cloves. Its rich, lush palate includes pineapple, peach, and melon flavors that are balanced by zesty citrus fruit, notes of minerals and a beautiful butterscotch finish.
^^^I do believe this award winning beauty is my favorite!!! I’m a bit of a wimp when if comes to big bold wines, so this one is perfect -- smooth, easy and fabulous to drink by the pool or dine al fresco on a warm breezy evening. A complex and creamy Chardonnay, layered with juicy citrus flavors and a buttery finish. Ahhh yes…this is my pick right here people!



Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Oh Hey There Minted.


I have been crushing on Minted for a long time. When they reached out to see if I would be interested in a sponsored post, I jumped at the chance because their company is one of my favorites and their products are just too gorgeous not to share! Minted is a marketplace of independent artists who create and submit designs for all your paper necessities… everything from wedding invitations to limited edition art prints and paper party decor. Minted has it all! Being an art lover myself, I think it's a fabulous company and a great way to showcase and support artists. The public is welcome to vote and submit for free! <-- LOVE this!



It’s easy to lose track of time while exploring their site – they have so many options! I’m especially fond of Minted's save the date cards. Wedding fever is catching among our friends... every time we open our mailbox it seems that another couple is tying the knot!  I was recently the MOH for my best friend Shan and she decided on these beautiful Minted wedding invitations. They were perfect for her garden wedding! I recommend Minted to any of my bride-to-be friends who are searching for their save-the-dates and wedding invitations. You can’t go wrong!





Yes, Minted is the dream one-stop-shop for all your wedding paper needs, but they are so much bigger than just weddings. I really enjoy Minted's personalized stationery, day planners and journals – helpful items to get your family organized with the new school year fast approaching. And photo calendars are a beautiful way to display some special moments throughout the year.

Gawwww I love this personal stationery ^




A few more things Minted offers ^^^

P.S. Is it too early to be thinking about Christmas cards? I am falling for these

***All pictures come from Minted***

My Best Friend's Wedding


My best friend got married to her Navy man a few months back! I've been holding off on the post, because I wanted to share some of their gorgeous wedding pictures too! Thanks for letting Danny and me be a part of your special day! We love you both so much and wish you all the happiness in the world.

A little MOH love to her best friend and groom. 
A small slice of my cheesy speech... 


"It is impossible to not see the love, respect and friendship between you. It is the kind of relationship we should all aspire too…one that pushes you to be your best, to trust in your partner and to live by the motto -- home is where your heart is / or home is wherever I'm with you. 


Love is powerful – it’s the virtue that holds all others together. Whatever plan God may have for your future, you will know with certainty that he gave you each other to get there as a couple
to love each other 
to support each other 
and to make each other stronger 

Cheers to Justin and Shannon and their greatest adventure yet.  May you both grow more in love each day and be surrounded by the support of family, friends and God’s immeasurable love.  Cheers to a lifetime of happiness."


A little wedding clip I put together:
"All I Do Is Dream of You" by Debbie Reynolds and Bobby Van {S and J's 1st Dance Song}




































 





Photography: jmfoto photographic co.  | InvitationsMinted  |  Venue: Twin Oaks Garden Estate  | Catering: Twin Oaks  |  Floral Design: "Petite Bouquet" | Linens & China: Twin Oaks | Wedding Dress:Allure Bridals 9121 | Suit Rentals: Men's Warehouse & Navy Dress Whites  |  Hair & Makeup: Annie Mergenthaler & Camille Smith 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Vegan Vanilla Caramel Slice














































The most AMAZING vanilla caramel slices! They taste like caramelly cookie dough heaven! Vegan and refined sugar free. Made from wholesome ingredients with healthy benefits! I like to keep these in the freezer and have one for dessert...or breakfast ;) with a cup of coffee. Awww perfection! 

Here’s what you’ll need:

Base:
1 cup soft pitted dates
1 cup almond flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. water

Blend ingredients in a food processor until combined. Press date mixture into a lined (wax paper) 9X9 glass dish.  Place in the freezer.

Middle Layer:
2 cups soft pitted dates
1 tbsp. peanut butter
3 tbsp.  tahini
1/2 cup hemp mylk
1 tbsp. mesquite powder (*see note below)
1 tsp. vanilla

Blend ingredients in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Pour on top of the base mixture and use a spatula to spread it evenly into the corners of the dish. Place back in the freezer.

Top Layer:
1/2 cup raw cocoa powder
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 tbsp. pure maple syrup (optional sweetener)
Mix ingredients in a cup. Use a microwave if needed to melt the coconut oil.
Pour on top and spread chocolate sauce evenly over the caramel-date layer.

Sprinkle with topping of your choice or keep plain (I used chopped pistachios and Brazil nuts).
Place in the freezer for 8 hours (or over night). Cut into slices and serve!


*Note on Mesquite Powder

So when I first heard about Mesquite powder, I thought it would taste like smoky BBQ; not so... it has a sweet nutty caramel-like flavor, making it ideal for a natural sweetener in desserts. Mesquite powder is ground from the pods of the mesquite plant and is high in protein, low on the glycemic index and is a good source of soluble fiber, calcium, iron, lysine, manganese, zinc, and potassium. Nice...