30 Minute Boot Camp

Hey there, savvy readers! My name is Courtney and I blog over at Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life.

While my dear friend, Julie, is busy buying and moving into her new house (YAY!) I’ve offered to help her out by doing a little guest post.

On a side note, I first met Julie this past July at a fantastic, fun-filled blogger brunch. This is when I my love affair with her Savvy Scones officially started. Oy vey!

Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to see Julie, as well as some other amazing ladies at a couple of other blogger meet-ups. I must say, I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing her again very soon!


So recently, I’ve really been getting antsy when it comes to my workouts. I’m finding that the same old routines that I’ve been doing for the past few months just aren’t cutting it anymore. This is actually quite normal…I tend to get bored easily.

Luckily, I have quite an arsenal full of workouts that I will occasionally go back to in order to keep my motivation up. Because really, what’s the sense in working out if you’re not enjoying yourself, right?!?

This past week, I happened to come across an article I had ripped out of an old Self magazine for a “30-minute Build Your Own Boot Camp” workout. The great part is, you don’t need to trek to the gym, AND the only equipment you really need is a chair and a set of dumbbells.

So if you’re in the market for a new, quick and efficient workout, go ahead and give this one a try!

30-minute Build Your Own Boot Camp

*Get a pencil & paper, a watch, a chair, & a set of dumbbells heavy enough so your 10th rep is difficult but not impossible.

*Warm up for 5 minutes, cardio of your choice.

*Do 1 minute of each of the following moves, pausing only to write down the # of reps you completed:

  • jumping jacks
  • push-ups
  • crunches
  • bicep curls with dumbbells
  • lunges
  • overhead press (holding a dumbbell in each hand, extend to ceiling then lower)
  • squats
  • planks
  • triceps dips on a chair
  • mountain climbers (in push-up position, alternate bringing one knee at a time toward chest)

*Repeat, trying to complete even more reps than you did in your first set.

*Cool down for 5 minutes.

Sounds fun, right?

Now go ahead and get movin’! 🙂

Experimenting with Baking

Lots of moving going on over here today! I’ll be sure to share pictures and updates on Monday, but in the meantime, please enjoy this guest post by the wonderful Tina!

Hi, everyone! My name is Tina, and I blog over at Carrots ‘N’ Cake. Julie is busy moving into her new house, so she asked me to share a guest post on her blog. I decided to write about one of my favorite pastimes: baking!

IMG_8913 (640x427) (640x427).jpg

I love baking. I really do. I find it relaxing, even calming, and, of course, I love the end result! However, I’m not someone who always follows a specific recipe. While some people think of baking as an exact science of carefully tested proportions and measurements, I think of it as a fun experiment. I love trying to create my own version of recipes with a semi-healthy twist to them. Here are a few things that I keep in mind when attempting a baking experiment:

  • I start with a recipe that I know turned out well. I’ve had plenty of cooking disasters in the kitchen, but I try to prevent this from happening in the first place by using a recipe that I know turned out well to guide my baking experiment. With the help of that recipe, I then make subtle changes with regard to measurements and ingredients. This way, I increase my chances of an edible treat, and I don’t end up wasting food!
  • I try substituting fruits, vegetables, and beans. When a recipe calls for butter or vegetable oil, I always try replacing part of that amount with a more nutritious ingredient. My favorite substitutions are ripe bananas, canned pumpkin, chickpeas, peanut butter, eggs, dates, yogurt, and soy milk. Pretty much anything that adds moisture with a bit of texture usually works well. I start with a small amount and add more based on the consistency of the dry ingredients to create the batter.
  • I taste the batter. When it comes to baking experiments, the taste of the batter usually guides my new recipe. Basically, my thinking is: if the batter tastes delicious, the baked good will taste delicious too! I alter the recipe based on my initial taste test.
  • Make sure to write down the new recipe as you go. This is important! Make sure to record the ingredients, process, and cooking times of your creation as you go. You don’t want to learn the hard way by creating a delicious treat and not being able to enjoy it again because you can’t remember the exact recipe! I’ve done it before. It’s very sad.

Over the years, I’ve come up with all sorts of delicious treats. Here are just some of my favorite baking experiments:

I hope you decide to get creative in the kitchen with the help of these tips and tricks. It’s a lot of fun! Happy baking!