Bench Presses & Italian Pottery

Today started off bright and early with an 8 o’clock trip to the gym! The weather has finally been getting nice! I’m such the spoiled SoCal girl. Anything below 60 gets me shivering and complaining ;).

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What's a girl like you doing in a place like this ;)?

What’s a girl like you doing in a place like this ;)?

I did 20 quick but intense minutes on the elliptical for a warmup, then met up with my friend Hot Ryan for a great lifting session! The name “Hot” Ryan teasingly originated at the beginning of the school year and has stuck ever since! It’s to the point where I can’t think of him by any other name haha.

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quick and efficient!

Ryan came from an early morning Crew practice, but was still game to show me some new additions that I can add to my weight routine! I tried bench pressing for the first time and had a blast with it! It was great hour long workout and I’m excited to be extra sore tomorrow.

ARGHH! Get swoll!

ARGHH! Get swoll!

After the gym I rushed to Starbucks to pick up an iced coffee with a few pumps of sugar free toffee nut syrup. It was refreshing but not overly sweet. Totally hit the spot!

Sip-a-dee-doo-dah!

Sip-a-dee-doo-dah!

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Sweeet Nectar of College Life!

Lunch involved some fresh fish tacos with shredded lettuce, onions, tomatoes, and sour cream. A salad on the side along with a bowl of grilled vegetable cous cous.

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At 3 it was time for some much needed shopping with my girls! I ended up getting a cutout dress, some shirts, and a really adorable pair of belted red shorts. The two shirts were from a thrift shop (Macklemore anyone ;)?) and were only $12 together!

Red Belted Shorts

Red Belted Shorts

Simple Blue Dress

Simple Blue Dress

I love cut outs!

I love cut outs!

Chiffon Dusty Pink Top

Chiffon Dusty Pink Top

Sheer Paisley Brown Top

Sheer Paisley Brown Top

The best buys of the day were a dusty pink Lululemon headband (I came thiiiiiiiiis close to buying a pair of back capris) and the perfect Mother’s Day present for the Mama! She LOVES Italian hand painted dishes/pottery, so I got her a petite olive oil container that would look perfect on our rustic wooden dinner table. I hope she likes it!

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The rest of my night will be consumed with homework and the usual See’s Candy/Latte date with my main man!

"You talkin' bout me?"

“You talkin’ bout me?”

Hope you had a great day :)

xoxo Christine

Rose Devil’s Food Cake

Boy do I have a recipe for you!

Rose Meringue CakeI first made this delectable cake for a party at Kyle’ house. I love baking, but I save more extravagant recipes like this one for special events. It does take a bit of time since every section is by scratch, but you could definitely speed it up by using a box mix for the actual cake part!

When finished, this baby is a hefty specimen that is guaranteed to get tons of “Oooohhss!” and “Ahhhhss!”.

Ingredients:

Devil’s Food Cake: From: Tartine by Elisabeth Prueitt

  •  1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 ½ tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 ¾ cup sugar
  • 5 large egg
  • 1 ¼ cup buttermilk

Chocolate Meringue Logs:

  • Baking by James Peterson
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 6 egg whites
  • pinch of cream of tartar
  • ½ cup sugar

Espresso Buttercream

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 1/4 pounds cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 10 tsp espresso, or more to taste

Devil’s Food Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2.  Spray two 9-inch round pans with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  3.  Sift the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt together in a mixing bowl. In a bowl in a stand mixer, beat the butter  and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each one. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and mix fully. On low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the buttermilk in 2 batches, starting and finishing with the flour mixture.
  4.  Divide the batter into the two cake pans and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out cleanly. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Chocolate Meringue Logs

  1. To make the meringue logs, reduce the temperature of the oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Whisk together the cocoa powder and powdered sugar.
  3.  In another bowl connected to a stand mixer, beat together the egg white and cream of tartar on medium-high until stiff peaks form. Add in the granulated sugar and beat for another minute. Sift and fold the powdered sugar mixture over the egg whites.
  4.  Fill a piping bag or plastic bag with a cut corner with the meringue and pipe long strips on a baking pan covered with parchment paper.
  5.  Bake for one hour or until dry to the touch.

Espresso Buttercream 

  1. To make the espresso buttercream, bring the sugar and water to a simmer over medium heat. While the syrup cooks, beat the egg yolks in an electric mixer on high speed for 8 minutes, or until the eggs have quadrupled in size. Check to see if the sugar mixture is ready by taking a bowl of ice water and ladling a little of the sugar water in. Once in, roll the sugar between your fingers. If it forms a soft ball, it’s ready. If it forms thin thread, keep the mixture simmering.
  2. Once ready, turn the mixer to high and slowly beat in the sugar water into the beaten yolks, taking care to not allow the sugar water to touch the mixer’s whisk. Continue beating until the frosting reaches room temperature.
  3. Turn the speed down to medium and add in the butter a little at a time. Beat for 10 more minutes, or until light and fluffy.

Add in the espresso and beat until incorporated.

Assembling

  1. When the cake has cooled, take one layer and cover the top with frosting, sandwiching it with the other layer. Frost lightly with a crumb coat and refrigerate until the frosting has set.
  2.  When set, use ½ of the remaining frosting to frost the sides and top of the cake.
  3. Cut the meringue logs to reach a little over the height of the cake, and press into the frosting. Take a piping bag and fill it with the remaining frosting. Use a 1M tip to make rose rosettes to cover the top of the cake.
  4. Pass out from baking exhaustion ;)

WIAW #1

I thought participating in my first What I Ate Wednesday would be the perfect way to celebrate my first week of blogging. Like most bloggers, this is really what I ate on Tuesday ;).

Breakfast: Oatmeal with a sprinkle of brown sugar, honey, and raisins. A banana on the side and plenty of coffee! Along with half a sticky bun (couldn’t resist!).

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Ooooeeeyyy-goooeeeyyy goodness!

Lunch: Lots of yummies made an appearance at lunch. Chicken pot pie, buttered beets, green beans, and some raw veg made up the main course.

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A salad on the side…

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And some fresh fruit to top it off!

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Dinner: A gyro sandwich on pita with fresh lettuce, cucumers, tomatoes, and beef slices. A huge dollop of tzatziki sauce on top and some tahini on the side.

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Another salad. Loving me some carrots at the moment!

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Dessert: One of my favorite times of the day is at night when Kyle and I have our usual coffee and chocolate date. With all the See’s Candy that my parents gave us, I don’t think we need to worry about running out anytime soon!

4 lbs!!

4 lbs!!

One happy camper

One happy camper

gyraffes 4 lyfe

gyraffes 4 lyfe

And that pretty much sums up my eats for the day!

xoxo Christine

Elliptical Interval Workout & Call for Blogs!

Hurray! I love Tuesdays! Tuesday is by far my easiest school day as I only have two classes back-to-back from 12:00-2.

Side note: please comment below if you have a blog! I’m trying to expand my reading horizons and would love to subscribe to some new ones :). 

Workout

I celebrated my easy day with a not-so-easy workout from pbfingers.com. Her workout had me constantly changing things up and my workout went by super fast! I rounded it out to a solid 30 minutes by cooling down at a resistance of 8. Julie (the owner of pbfingers.com) is actually the person who inspired me to start my own blog. I’ve been a long time reader of hers, and love hearing about her life!

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post-workout glow ;)

Love Julie's blog!

Love Julie’s blog!

Breakfast

Breakfast this morning was a good one! I’ve been on an oatmeal kick and had a big ol’ bowl of oatmeal with a sprinkling of brown sugar, a little honey, and raisins! A banana on the side and coffee to get me moving.

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I also had half a sticky bun with my coffee. Who could resist such gooeyness?

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I’m off to do a little work before heading to my French class. The plan is to grab some lunch and play some tennis with Kyle later! Nice and relaxed!

xoxo Christine

Cold Spring Tavern

Tonight was absolutely wonderful!

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I’m the luckiest girl in the world :)

Kyle and I celebrated 2 1/2 happy years together by going to one of our favorite places, Cold Spring Tavern. It’s located in Santa Barbara and is about a 25 minute drive from where we live. The drive up is so scenic and beautiful and is filled to the brim with picturesque mountains that provide a stunning view of the surrounding area.

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All dressed up!

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What’s cookin’ good lookin’ ;)?

One of the things that Kyle and I love most about Cold Spring Tavern is its uniquely rustic and homelike feel. Like I mentioned in a previous post, it was originally a stagecoach stop in 1886 and was preserved by its previous owners.

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The inside is dimly lit and the seating is very intimate. My photos didn’t turn out as well as I’d like, but it was totally worth it for the warming atmosphere!

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To start, we were served the most delicious freshly baked bread and immediately ordered the tantalizing looking Charbroiled Tiger Shrimp on Saffron Linguine. It was spectacular! Kyle and I couldn’t stop raving about how mouthwatering it was.

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For my main course, I ordered the New York Steak, which came with a salad with Lingonberry dressing and mashed potatoes that were out of this world!

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Kyle ordered the Sautéed Duck Breast with roasted shallot glaze. I’m salivating just thinking about it ;).

We opted to skip dessert since we have 4 lbs of See’s Candy waiting back home, but I accidentally ate a bug on my way out. Does that count? It more like kamikaze-bombed its way into my throat. I never stood a chance in defending myself. Kyle approvingly mentioned that I probably got a ton of protein from it. We estimated probably about 13473 grams. I should investigate the nutritional facts later.

Pre-bug consumption. All smiles... for now..

Pre-bug consumption. All smiles… for now..

I’m looking forward to the rest of my evening being nice and relaxing. It’s been such a great day!

Catch ya’ll later!

xoxo Christine