Tuesday, May 31, 2011


The more posts I write, the more I realize there is a repeating theme - Tuscan. Tuscany. Italy. I am drawn to anything "Tuscan" and it's making me want to travel more than ever.

This week's Tasty Tuesday happens to be a recipe for Tuscan Lemon Muffins. I absolutely love anything lemon so it must be fate that lemons meet Tuscany to make this low-fat yummy treat.

  • 7-9/10 ounces all-purpose flour (1-3/4 cups)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients (through salt); make a well in center. Combine ricotta and next 5 ingredients (through egg). Add ricotta mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

3. Place 12 muffin-cup liners in muffin cups; coat with cooking spray. Divide batter among muffin cups. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over batter. Bake at 375° for 16 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan on a wire rack.

Special thanks to Maureen Callahan, MAY 2011 for this recipe.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


My thankful Thursday goes out to the Bare Minerals team for finally realizing their product is messy and making a twisty plastic lid that keeps the loose powder in its place within the jar. With a simple twist of the plastic barrier, I can open it up and shake just enough powder into the lid for my application. Then when I'm done, a simple twist closes it. I can finally use this product without making a complete mess of my bathroom counter.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Don't wish for fairytale endings - the carriage will always turn back into a pumpkin at the stroke of midnight. Make your life your own fairytale and enjoy the ride.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


OK, so I know normally I try to share relatively healthy recipes with you, but I would absolutely kick myself if I kept this one a secret. I went to a girls' dinner party at my good friend Kristyn's house last Friday where she made this special treat for dessert. Let me just tell you that the word delicious is an understatement!

Ingredients -
  • 1 tablespoon LAND O LAKES® Butter, softened
  • 1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury® Grands!® Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (8 biscuits)
  • 1 can (10.2 oz) Pillsbury® Grands!® Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (5 biscuits)
  • 13 large marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup LAND O LAKES® Unsalted or Salted Butter
  • 1/2 cup hot fudge ice cream topping
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Hershey’s® Special Dark® baking cocoa

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 12-cup fluted tube cake pan with 1 tablespoon butter. Cut all 13 biscuits into quarters; set aside.

In large microwavable bowl, place marshmallows, 1/2 cup butter, hot fudge topping and vanilla. Microwave uncovered on High 1 to 2 minutes, stirring once, until melted. Using wire whisk, stir until smooth.

In medium bowl, stir sugar and cocoa until blended.

Carefully place 1/4 of the biscuit pieces into hot chocolate mixture, gently folding in to coat. Add another 1/4 of the biscuits, gently folding in to coat. Using tongs, remove biscuits from chocolate, letting excess chocolate drip off. Drop 1 biscuit piece at a time into sugar mixture; spoon sugar over biscuit to coat. Layer biscuits in cake pan. Repeat with remaining biscuits. Sprinkle any remaining sugar mixture over biscuits.

Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until biscuits are deep golden and no longer doughy in center. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Place heatproof serving plate upside down over pan; carefully turn plate and pan over. Remove pan; immediately scrape any remaining topping in pan onto bread. Pull apart warm bread to serve.

Using fresh marshmallows is key to the success of this recipe.

Thank you Kristyn for introducing me to what might just be my new favorite weakness!

Monday, May 23, 2011


If you tell yourself failure isn't an option, then I'm telling you that success won't ever be an option for you either. You have to fail and make mistakes in order to learn, to grow, to understand the obstacles you need to overcome in order to enjoy success.

Dream. Dream big. And fail. Fail many times. At the end of the road, you will be greeted with success.

Have a great week my friends and dare to be great.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Take one. Take two. Just be sure to have a happy day today and smile at a stranger.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Well I'm off to Disneyland today with two of my besties and I am SO excited! Not only do I love Disneyland, but I also LOVE LOVE LOVE Tinkerbell! She is the just the most adorable, sassiest little thing...

Most people love buying and wearing Mickey ears and Goofy hats when they go to the Happiest Place On Earth, but I would much rather wear Tink's costume. Do you think I could get away with it? I mean, I dressed up as Winnie the Pooh when I was 16, I can certainly be Tink at 25, right!?

Believe me, if I was given the opportunity to fly off the Matterhorn while glowing through the sky to light the fireworks show, I would take it and I would be living a dream! Knowing that opportunity isn't in my near future, at least not today, I will just enjoy my day traveling through the all of the fairytale lands, riding super fun rides, eating churros and frozen bananas while waiting in lines and anxiously hoping a bit of pixie dust lands on me and turns me into Tink...just for a day...

Friday, May 20, 2011


How "bikini-ready" are you? OK, so maybe you aren't a female and aren't concerned about fitting into a bikini. Let me rephrase my question for all my male readers. How about this - how "beach-ready" are you?

Here are two ab exercises that are sure to help you get beach sexy and ready to hit that sand in that "itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini," or in those board shorts for all you beach boys out there!

1) Around-the-World Plank

How To Do It Place both feet on a bench, and assume a pushup position. Brace your core. Then, without dropping your hips or moving your feet, make a full revolution around the bench by "walking" your hands all the way around it. Do 4 revolutions, resting 60 seconds in between revolutions.

Benefit The stabilizing muscles in your abs, upper and lower back, and shoulders work harder than they would in a traditional plank.

2) Medicine-Ball Pike

How To Do It Assume a pushup position, but with your feet on a medicine ball. Keep in a straight line from your head to your ankles. Without bending your knees, roll the medicine ball toward your hands by raising your hips as high as you can and rolling the ball with your feet. Pause, and reverse back to the starting position without letting your hips sag. Complete 3 sets of 15 reps, resting 45 seconds between sets.

Benefit You improve balance and engage your hips flexors and rectus abdominis—your six-pack muscles.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


My to-do list seems never-ending this week. Do you have days/weeks/months like that? Even though I am crossing things off constantly, I feel like I'm not getting anywhere. At least when I look down at it, I smile when I see the brightly colored ink on the paper.

To-do lists don't seem so scary and tedious when they are written in color. Everyone has their own method of keeping track of their agenda- I prefer mine to be inked in a bright, sunny color. It's amazing how a pop of color can bring a smile to my face.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Well it's that time of year, as we call it in Orange County, May Gray. The weather has been rather chilly and even rainy over the past few days. Typically May Gray leads up to June Gloom which is just such a let down.

I must admit I am more than ready for Summer. I can't wait for the hot sunshine, the feeling of sand in my toes and the fun memories I will make with my friends and family.

Summer, hurry up and get here please!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Well hello my friends and followers. I apologize for being MIA for the past few days - my life has been extremely busy and I am finally feeling like I can breathe! :)

Today's Tasty Tuesday recipe sounds delicious - Tuscan Bean Salad. I personally love bean salads, especially in the summer months. They are so yummy and quite refreshing. Enjoy!


1/2 cup water
1-1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper


2 cups cannellini beans, home-cooked or canned, drained
2 cups red beans, home-cooked or canned, drained
1 cup new potatoes, boiled until tender and chopped
2-1/4 cups cups green beans, chopped
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup carrot, diced
1/2 cup roasted red bell peppers, julienned
1/2 cup roasted yellow bell peppers, julienned
1/4 cup red Bermuda onions, julienned
2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup Roma tomatoes, diced
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions -
To make the vinaigrette, combine the water and cornstarch in a small saucepan, stirring with a whisk until the cornstarch dissolves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Toss the salad ingredients in a large bowl until thoroughly mixed. Add dressing, stir to coat vegetables, and chill. Makes 8 servings.

Thank you once again Beachbody for another great recipe. For more tasty, low-cal recipes like this one, please visit http://www.FitCoachTaryn.com

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Forget the wishing well...I'm on a wishing roll! Another wish of mine has come true and I have Beachbody to thank. Because of the weekly commission I earn as a Beachbody Coach, I was able to purchase a brand new car last night...an adorable Starfire Pearl fully-loaded 2011 Lexus IS 250! While I cried when they drove my little Honda Civic (my first car) away, it was a bittersweet moment and now I'm filled with nothing but excitement. Thank you Beachbody and thank you customers!

This post counts for two days - Wishful Wednesday and Thankful Thursday. See you all on Friday! :)


Drinking water daily is a must. Thanks to Beachbody, here are some yummy ways to make your glass of water taste more fun. Hopefully you will find that you can't get enough!

1) Get fruity. A squish of lemon, lime, or orange goes a long way toward giving water a little zing. It's almost calorie free, and you get a bonus blast of vitamin C.

2) Herbify yourself. Make yourself a big tub of caffeine-free, herbal tea, or "tisane," as the French call it. Technically, it isn't made from the Camellia sinensis (aka "tea") plant, which means it doesn't have the antioxidants of tea, but it tastes good and has no negative effects. There are hundreds of flavors to choose from. Mint and raspberry are a couple favorites.

3) Bubble up! According to a 2001 study out of the Creighton University Osteoporosis Research Center in Nebraska, the notion that carbonated water leaches calcium from your bones is completely untrue. So, if you want to hydrate with a big glass of Perrier, go for it.

4) Minty fresh. Crushed mint is another great way to liven up your water. If you want to get the most out of the leaves, put them in the glass first and grind them down. This will release a ton of flavor. Mint is also known to soothe upset stomachs and, more importantly, freshen your breath. Mix the mint with the lemon for a real taste sensation!

5) Filter flavor. It's a subtle shift, but sometimes the filtration process can alter the taste of tap water. Get yourself a Brita filter or similar brand and give it a go. Even if the flavor doesn't change, you'll be drinking purer stuff.

6) Brush your teeth. A good scrub of your teeth and tongue overpowers the taste of almost everything you put in your mouth for several minutes afterward. Take this opportunity to knock back a glass of H2O. You won't taste a thing.

7) Cuke you. This one is a little wacky, but if you like new tastes, give it a shot. Chop up a cucumber (yes, a cucumber). Add it to a pitcher of water and chill it for 2 to 3 hours so that the cucumber flavor can permeate. Serve the water with ice. It's the perfect refreshing drink for a hot, summer day.

For more yummy inspirations from Beachbody, please visit www.FitCoachTaryn.com

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


No more looking down a wishing well for me - a 2-year wish of mine has come true! I am finally teaching a second PiYo class on a permanent weekly basis and I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am. I have been wishing, asking and sometimes even begging for a second class for what has seemed like an eternity, and thanks to my new Group X Manager, my wish has been granted.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Rice pudding was always a favorite treat of mine. I can remember the chilly winter days when my mom would make a batch of it. I could smell it in the oven and could hardly wait for it to be ready to eat.

It just so happens that the Beachbody recipe of the week is fat-free rice pudding. How exciting - I can enjoy one of my favorites, but guilt-free. :)

Ingredients -

* 2 cups water
* 1 cup long grain rice
* 4 cups evaporated fat-free milk
* 1/2 cup brown sugar
* 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
* 1 tsp. vanilla extract
* 6 egg whites
* 1/4 cup raisins
* 1/4 cup of any chopped or crushed fruit of your choice

Directions -

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and lightly coat a baking dish with cooking spray.

In a medium saucepan, bring the 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the rice and cook for 10 minutes. Pour the rice into strainer and drain thoroughly.

Add the evaporated milk and brown sugar to the same saucepan. Whisk the two ingredients together and cook until the mixture is hot. Then, add the cooked rice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract. Simmer the mixture over low heat for approximately 30 minutes, until the mixture is thick and the rice is tender. Remove from the heat and let it cool.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg whites together, then pour this into the rice mixture. Add the fruit and raisins and stir until it is well blended. Spoon the pudding and fruit mixture into the baking dish. Bake until the pudding is set, about 20 minutes.

Serve warm or cold. Makes 8 servings.

This recipe is complements of Beachbody. For other low-cal, good-for-you recipes, please visit www.FitCoachTaryn.com

Monday, May 2, 2011


"If you don't know where you are going, you will end up someplace else." - Yogi Berra

Do you know where you WANT your life to take you? You need a road map. You need to write down your goals.

You need to know where you want to go or it's true, you will end up someplace else, and most likely someplace you don't want to be.

Is that worth taking a chance on? I don't think it is. Most, if not all, successful people will tell you it's not worth chancing either. Listen to those who have earned success before us. Why reinvent the wheel?

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Every 1st of May, I think back to 2nd Grade when my teacher made us celebrate May Day by filling green plastic strawberry baskets with flowers and candy and exchanging them with our classmates. I remember the basket that I received like it was yesterday: It was from Anthony Brown and it was filled with white clover flowers and Almond Roca candy. Why do I remember that?! Probably because it was the first time I ever tasted Almond Roca and I was HOOKED!

To be honest, I never understood why we did that and I have never done it since then. Thinking about it as I do every year on this day, I decided to look it up online and learn about May Day.

Apparently many countries have their own unique May Day traditions. Here is what I found for the Americas:

May Day was also celebrated by some early European settlers of the American continent. In some parts of the United States, May baskets are made. These baskets are small and usually filled with flowers or treats and left at someone's doorstep. The basket giver would ring the bell and run away. The person receiving the basket would try to catch the fleeing giver. If they caught the person, a kiss was to be exchanged.

Modern May Day ceremonies in the U.S. vary greatly from region to region and many unite both the holiday's "Green Root" (pagan) and "Red Root" (labor) traditions.
Among the largest is the May Day Parade and Pageant created by In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, an event that has happened every year since 1975 in Minneapolis and now attracts some 35,000 people.

So there we have it! It's exactly the way we did it, except we placed the baskets on our classmates' desks and there were definitely no kisses exchanged!

Happy May Day!