The Experiment: Day 2

*I am participating in The K-Y Intimacy experiment and will be blogging about my thoughts and experiences during this process.*

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The first part of the experiment for day 2 was all about reflecting on the connections made with your partner outside the bedroom.

Our first task at hand was to determine how often we engage in certain physical activities.

Such as kissing, holding hands, saying I love you, complimenting each other, emailing each other, checking in on one another throughout the day, doing chores together, participating in mutual hobbies….etc.

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After discussing these different activities we felt pretty darn good about our relationship as we pretty much do them all together, (except I’m an email person and he is not). We’ll work on that! 🙂

I’ve been told that we may still be in the “love bubble” but I like to think that kissing, holding hands, and complimenting each other is something we will always do. It’s been over two years and we are still going strong!

According to the K-Y Experiment Intimacy handbook, touching your lover is very important. Positive touches (even just holding hands and kisses throughout the day) actually cause the brain to produce the chemical oxytocin, which in turn helps to create a sense of emotional intimacy, and also helps relieve stress and improve mood.

Bring on the positive touches! Anything to relieve stress and improve mood is exactly what I need these days.

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So far, J. Alabama and I are just enjoying these little moments during the experiment where we just get to focus on one another.

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I wrote this while participating in a blog campaign on behalf of K-Y® Brand and also received product samples to help facilitate my review. For more information, visit the K-Y Intimacy Experiment tab on Couples Place.

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The Experiment: Day #1

Things are spicing up over here! 

I am excited to announce that I won a chance to participate in the K-Y Intimacy Experiment from Drunk Auntie awhile back.

And I couldn’t have been more ecstatic when my fun box arrived over the weekend.

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At first I thought the package might be a wedding present, but upon further inspection the words K-Y caught my eye. We’ll just call this an “early” wedding present to both J. and I.

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The K-Y Intamacy experiment is a 10 day experiment that was developed to help spice things up in the bedroom as well as help couples to reconnect on a more intimate level.

When I thought about the timing of this experiment, I wondered how could we possibly need to spice things up in our lives right now, we are 18 days away from marrying eachother. But once I thought more about it, I realized this is the absolute PERFECT time to jump start a lifetime of love and intimacy together.

With all the wedding planning comes not a lot of time or focus for anything else. So J. Alabama and I vowed to take on this 10 day experiment as a way to become even closer before our big day.

So I will be blogging about my experience of the experiment over the next 10 days.

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We kicked off the experiment last night!

Day #1: Our project was to create a “Love Nest”.

With J. Alabama moving into my apartment in a few weeks, this project came as a godsend. Let’s turn this mess into a  love nest! 🙂

Before: 

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After:

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We were encouraged to add candles and sensual smells to the room as well as doing away with all clutter.

Before:

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After: 

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I realized that I have no framed pictures of us in my house and bought some cheap and cutsie frames from target to frame a few of our favs.

And I set up the iPad to the Damien Rice station on Pandora to get us into “the mood”.

Before: 

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The after picture had the look and feel of a hotel room! Love it!

Before: 

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Who knew that just closing the doors would block out all that noise of the cluttered closet.

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Part two of the experiment for Day 1 was to reap the rewards of our hard labor of making our love nest.

The candles, the mood music and lack of a mess and clutter made it so J. Alabama and could fully focus on one another for the entire night. It was definitely a night that ended in a firework show. 😉

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I wrote this while participating in a blog campaign on behalf of K-Y® Brand and also received product samples to help facilitate my review. For more information, visit the K-Y Intimacy Experiment tab on Couples Place.

Paella & Sangria

 

I have always been intrigued with Basque food.  And lucky for me, Boise has quite a large Basque influence making it easy to indulge in it whenever I want. 

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But the question always come to mind, how can one make such delicious tasting food at home?

As a fairly belated birthday gift to my bestie, I treated her to a Paella & Sangria Cooking class at The Basque Market last night.

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The Basque Market sits in the middle of the Basque Block in downtown Boise. It’s a great little place to snag a delicious bottle of wine, fresh meats & cheeses, or even pre-made croquettes. (If you’ve never had a croquette, you are truly missing out).

We were anxious and excited to finally take this cooking class. Her birthday was in January, so this has been a long time coming.

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Included in the price of the cooking class ($30/person) was a tasting of several Basque wines, tapas, a full plate of paella, and Sangria!

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The evening began with a nice glass of Tempranillo wine as we mingled and looked around at all the fun Basque foods and paella making supplies inside the market. .

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Then we  watched as they brought out a few tapas for us to taste.

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The strawberries were stuffed with goat cheese and sprinkled with ground pepper, and topped with a pomegranate molasses. Holy yum!

The second plate, was actually a piece of toasted baguette topped with potato salad and a green olive. It was actually quite good despite the sound of it.

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Next up it was time to talk about & cook Paella!

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Paella can be described as very popular rice dish originating from Spain. Paella may contain rice, fish, chicken, pork, shrimp and chorizo. Also saffron is an essential part of the dish, turning it it’s signature golden color.

They talked about the order of cooking the different ingredients, and how to cook the dish. It is actually a very similar cooking method to that of making risotto.

While the Paella cooked we made some Sangria!

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You can use either Red or White wine to make your Sangria. And it is so easy to make!

Take a bottle of white wine, mix into a pitcher with 1 cup Brandy, 1 cup simple syrup (2 cups sugar & 2 cups water boiled until sugar dissolves), and 1/2 cup fresh orange juice.

Mix well, then add 1 cup of assorted sliced fruit (limes, oranges, mango, strawberries etc) to pitcher right before serving.

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Cheeers!!!!!

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Then it was time to give the Paella a try!

Our Paella included, chicken, mussels, clams, chorizo, green beans…There really is no wrong Paella combination!

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And of course, I had to pair it with the Red Sangria, because I needed to really have the full taste experience, ya know?! 

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Absolutely divine!

I loved taking this cooking class because I learned a lot. We learned about the history of the dish and how to make it as well as how to prepare two different types of Sangria.

And I came away with a few good tapas ideas (those strawberries will make another appearance!)

Cooking class success! Have you ever taken a cooking class?

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I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!! 🙂

Fruity Friday: My Cherry Cherimoya

  

TGIFF! (Thank God it’s Fruity Friday!)

Wowza, it sure has been a looooooong time since I did Fruity Friday.

For those of you who are new to Beyond Destination 26.2, I would like to let you in on a little secret.

I have a weird fascination with weird fruit.

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So weird, that I literally seek out the produce section of every grocery store I enter (especially when I travel) in search of freaky fruits.

I know, weird right?

And sometimes it even costs me an arm and a leg to then decide I would have been better off never trying it.

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But it’s better to know right?

Anywho, Aneta and I have joined forces on many occasions to report on the same fruits to see each others reaction. Though it’s sometimes hard to find the same fruits considering she lives in Canada and I live in Idaho.

Which brings me to today’s spotlighted freaky friday fruit…..

The Cherimoya

This fruit immediately caught my eye when I was perusing through the Boise Coop last week. The lady at the check out squealed with excitement when I bought it.

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“You are buying the pudding fruit!”

Whatever that meant, it did intrigue me a little more.

The skin looks tough, but it’s actually kind of soft when you touch it.

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And I wasn’t lying about the price tag, it cost me almost $6.00 to buy one. I was crossing my fingers that it would be worth it.

 On one website it was suggested to pop these babies in the fridge until time of consumption. I guess the chill of the fruit makes it tastes even better.

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Looks like a little ♥heart♥

So then it was time for tasting. Seriously I was excited at this point.

I cut it in half and began scooping out the fruit, similar to an avocado.

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Now there are big seeds in the fruit that need to be dug out.

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Oh course I took a bite, and began to throw the rest in the blender….wooop wooopp… Smoothie Time!

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Omigawsh, the taste!

I could immediately understand why the lady at the check out called it the pudding fruit.

It has a creamy texture and sort of a smooth taste of banana and vanilla. The texture reminded me of mangos, without the slimyness.

Oh and the smell….

So sweet and delicious. The smell alone made me want to devour this fruit up.

I will admit that I’m little sad I put the fruit in the smoothie instead of enjoying every last bite. It was that good!

But sadly, I got a little over excited and in the blender it went, along with some other fun fruits.

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I didn’t think a Cherimoya smoothie could happen without actual cherries in the mix.

My Cherry Cherimoya Smoothie

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  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 cup of frozen cherries
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen mixed fruit (mango, peaches, strawberries)
  • squirt of vanilla extract

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As I mentioned… the smoothie was not nearly as good as the fruit itself. But it was still rather tasty!

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But as you can tell from this photo, someone did not take all the seeds out. Some were missed and they got grinded up in the blender. And it was hard to drink without choking on seeds.

Which made me even more sad.

My final thoughts on the Cherimoya are this… if you find one, buy it!

Have you ever had a Cherimoya?

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And if you are really in the fruity friday mood, head on over to Aneta’s as she is doing a fruity friday review today too! Unfortunately her Cherimoya had a little mishap, and she is reviewing the Dragon Fruit instead. (So jealous!!!)

Happy Fruity Friday Friends!!!

*One week and a day until The Robie Creek Half. 🙂

My First Vlog

Hey There Bloggies!

I did it – I jumped on the Accent Vlog bandwagon.

After seeing so many of these accent vlogs going around the blog world, I knew I wanted to put a voice to my own blog.

Also, I forgot to mention in the vlog that I was born and raised in Boise, Idaho and have lived here all my life. So in case you have just been dying to here an Idaho accent, here is your chance!

I don’t feel that I really have an accent, but I guess I will let you all be the judge of that! 🙂

I was actually really nervous during the filming of this, so please don’t make fun of me too much!

If you haven’t done one of these yet, all you have to do is read the words listed below and answer the questions.

The words I read were: Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting Image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught.

 

The Questions to answer:

– What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?

– What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?

– What is the bubble carbonated beverage called?

– What do you call gym shoes?

– What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?

– What do you call your grandparents?

– What do you call it when the rain falls while the sun is shining?

– What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?

– What is the thing you change the TV channel with?

 

So what did you think of my “Idaho” accent?

Surviving the Resolutioners

It’s that time of year again, we all know it has come.

The time where we lace up our gym shoes and put on our gym clothes in fear and agony of what comes next.

The pure site of treadmill after treadmill being taken over by over exuberant resolutioners.

Now there is nothing wrong with a little fitness related New Year’s resolution but you also should not let the short-timers scare you away either–because you have goals too!

So after my first and second visit to the gym this week I came up with a few tips to surviving the resolutioners.

Tips to Surviving The Resolutioners

1. Be Patient: Everyone is at the gym because they want to get healthy. You shouldn’t be upset about that, but just realize that your favorite elliptical might be in use for the next few weeks. (Have hope though, in about two weeks a good number of resolutioners lose momentum).

2. Try  a new gym time: I showed up at the gym on monday at 5:30 am and was surprised by how empty it was. By 6 am – it was a mad house. J. Alabama likes to go anytime after 7:30 pm for that same reason.

3: Classes: I am the Queen of workout classes. I love them! I love them because I don’t have to think about my workouts, I love them because it motivates me to workout for a full hour. But this time of the year you have to plan ahead to attend them. Seriously consider showing up 20-30 minutes early to secure your spin bike, or body pump supplies.

4. Attitude: Keep it positive people! Go into the gym with a positive attitude that you are going to get a good workout no matter what.

5. Be Flexible: So all the shredmills are taken, jump on the elliptical until one frees up. Or switch it up by adding a little weight training.

I guess the moral of my post is, we are all in the same boat here. We don’t like it that our gym is full the max and feels like a cluster. But it is what it is, and I say have a little patience and make the most of it.

Us year-rounders just have to keep the momentum of going to the gym for a few weeks, then it will resume back to normal soon!

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TGIF Friends! I’m crossing my fingers this little cold I have goes away quickly so I can run with my new running group tomorrow.

 

Happy Panda Christmas

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend full of good food and family fun. I know I sure did!

As I mentioned last week, the cooking commenced bright and early on Christmas Eve morning.

We had glasses of red to inspire us through the lasagna making process. Aka as “WINE AT NINE!”

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We were busy cooking and prepping for our Christmas Eve feast all day.

We snuck in a little Veg-Nog break around 3pm just before the guests started to arrive.

If you haven’t tried Angela’s Vegan Nog, you are surely missing out on a delicious and delightful treat.

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Veg-Nog is a cross between a smoothie and egg nog. As it has an egg-noggy texture but a rich smoothie taste. But there was not a trace of eggs. Crazy!

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Let’s just say that we went for the full bourbon addition and enjoyed every last drop of this drink.

Then we put out the spread and waited for the fam to arrive.

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It was hard not to over snack as the lasagna was coming up next.

Before:

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After:

MMMMMMMmmmmmMMMMM! 🙂 Look at those layers!

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It was as tasty as it looks. Another Lasagna success!

After dinner we opened presents and enjoyed each other’s company. Here are a few gifts that I received.

I can definitely see a lot of use out of this gift. I seriously cannot wait to crack into it and whip up some hummus or something!

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Now onto my cork board. Not just any corkboard, but one made purely from wine corks.

And not only does this look pretty bad ass, but my Aunt actually made this herself. She placed and glued every cork.

100_4515 I was absolutely in love with this gift. It screams “The Linz” for sure!

One last gift to showcase, because I love J. Alabama and he loves me. He loves me enough to go to Build a Bear and make me a panda!

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If you didn’t know this about me, I LOVE pandas.

Like LOVE LOVE LOVE them. They are the funniest and cutest animals. When I’m having a saaddd pandaaa kind of day, I YOU TUBE baby panda videos and can’t help but laugh at how darn cute they are.

So J. Alabama bought me a panda and recorded his voice into it. So when I’m having a bad day I can click his paw and he will say..

I love Linzi! And I’m tasty and almost extinct”

Don’t worry, I don’t eat panda and never will. That part is supposed to be funny because J.Alabama and I are funny like that. He teases me that panda bears are tasty. I say no, no they are not.

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Okay, one more recipe to showcase and rave about.

I changed Christmas morning tradition and made Mama Pea’s Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls.

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To. Die. For.

I prepped them in between making lasagna and veg-nog and was so excited to just pop them into the oven on Christmas morning.

I will share with you later this week, our traditional Christmas breakfast, but I think the cinnamon rolls are a fun addition.

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Did you get to test any new recipes? How’d they turn out?

I was very impressed with the Vegan-Nog and Cinnamon Rolls and would definitely make them both again. When looking for fun Christmas recipes I went straight to the blog world in search of the perfect recipe. I think I done good! 🙂

Happy Monday Friends! Make the last few days of 2010 the best as a new year is almost here!