Burn Boot Camp

Burn Boot Camp | A Bit of Bees Knees

This will be my 3rd month at Burn Boot Camp Costa Mesa (BBC). I’ve been seeing great progress in my strength and overall health! I love spending my mornings with a fun group of ladies that inspire me to reach for my personal best. It’s such a friendly and uplifting environment. Here are a few words from some of the wonderful ladies that I workout with:

“This is no normal gym, this place feels like home. The women that come here work hard and they work even harder at supporting each other. This is why I love Burn and why I come back even when my body is threatening to fail me. Give up all the excuses, shut off your brain, just put your pants on and show up. Do what you can plus a little more and repeat.”- Elizabeth Bader

“I could have given up long time ago but with all my ladies at Burn Bootcamp encouraging and supporting one another is what motivates me the most. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all my beautiful strong Ladies and Jeffrey Lawler and Britt Sturg for always pushing me.” –Karla Murillo

“I love coming to this place, putting in a challenging workout and doing it with all of these amazing women!” –Mindy Murrieta

“I want to say thank you to every single person who made a change in my life, especially in this new chapter. Burn Boot Camp – Costa Mesa, every day there is motivation to keep going, every single face that shares the same passion to see all these lady’s giving a 100 %. Thank you to Brittanny Sturgess and Jeffrey Lawler for pushing me everyday to not give up, Thank you to Dale Lawler for opening this place to make a better community.”-Gabriela Rosales
Burn Boot Camp | A Bit of Bees KneesBurn Boot Camp | A Bit of Bees Knees
Working out everyday is wonderful, but exercising alone will not get you results. You need to change your eating habits. Fresh veggies, fruit and lean meat should the base of your nutrition. Get rid of the junk food at home. Throw out the artificial sweeteners and processed foods.
Understanding macronutrients is the next step in the BBC nutrition philosophy. Learning about protein, carbohydrate and fat ratios and how they impact your body will help you determine food options throughout the day. This plan involves monitoring your calorie and macro intake to hit the correct %  of protein, carbs and fats. I like to use my fitness pal app on my iPhone and computer to track the food I eat. Here are a few charts that I find helpful. I printed these out and posted them on my fridge to remind me.
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BBC

and a few helpful tips from BBC headquarters for meal prepping!

——Meal Prep——

1. Plan your meals around THE SAME MAIN PROTEIN. Choose a lean protein (boneless skinless chicken breast, lean ground turkey, etc.) and structure all of your lunches and dinners around that item. For beginner meal-preppers, chicken is by far the easiest protein to deal with. (Cook 4-6 pounds of chicken in your slow-cooker for 4 hours on low. Chop or shred the chicken and use as the base for your main meals.)

2. Wash, dry, slice and pre-portion all fruits and vegetables so they are ready to go.

3. Pre-portion snacks such as almonds, cashews, or chickpeas in small bags to be sure you are eating a proper serving size.

4. Choose recipes with ingredients that overlap to save time and money (green peppers, onions, etc.).

5. Make double-batches of items and freeze for future meal planning.

6. Invest in reusable and stackable microwave-safe containers to store individual entrees for the week.

7. Grab an inexpensive food scale to help with portion control and serving size.

Melissa at eat.lift.play.repeat has a great shopping list that is perfect for the BBC lifestyle.
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One Skillet Spinach Shakshuka

One Skillet Shakshuka
It’s been cold, rainy and wildly windy for the past few days, so staying in my PJ’s until 12 and making a big shakshuka sounded like the best thing to do! It’s an easy one-skillet recipe that originated from northern Africa and is now served all over the Middle East. Lots of spicy flavors, sliced onions, peppers, tomato, feta cheese and eggs. I added some spinach for a fun twist. Serve with crusty bread or chapati style flat bread. Mmmmm. It’s the best – especially when you cook those eggs just right! And it makes the whole house smell wonderful!

Ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion (thinly sliced)
1 red bell pepper (thinly sliced)
4 garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 (28oz) can tomatoes with juices (chopped)
salt (to taste)
black pepper (to taste)
3 cups fresh spinach (chopped)
½ cup feta cheese (crumbled)
6 eggs
cilantro and parsley (chopped)

In a cast iron skillet, cook onions, bell peppers and garlic in a tbsp. of olive oil until browned. Add spices and tomatoes. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add spinach and stir until wilted. Turn off heat. Add feta cheese and eggs. Place in preheated 350F oven for 10 min or until egg whites are cooked and the yolks are just beginning to harden around the edges. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cilantro and parsley. Serve with crusty bread or chapati style flat bread.

One Skillet Shakshuka


The Lace Studio Wedding Dress Necklace : Giveaway

Lace Studio Necklace
I have admired Liz Cater’s jewelry for quite awhile now. I posted about her fabulous idea for wedding dress necklaces back in 2013. What a wonderful way to remind you of your special day. Liz will encase a piece of your wedding dress lace in a clear waterproof resin and sterling silver backed pendant to wear as a necklace. But this idea expands beyond just wedding dress lace. Any special material will work… a hospital baby cap, a piece of your past loved ones favorite shirt or tie, military uniform or any piece of cloth that means something special. I love it Liz! A necklace that reminds me of a moment in time, my very own time capsule. It’s something that I can look down at and feel all warm and fuzzy when I remember that day. Thank you!

I caught up with Liz a few weeks ago for a meet-the-artist interview! She is so nice and offered to send a GIVEAWAY kit to one lucky Bit of Bees Knees reader! And a shoutout to all you guys out there…Valentine’s day is just around the corner and I think this would be the perfect gift for your lovely lady.

-GIVEAWAY RULES-

The contest will be held on my INSTAGRAM at the time of this post and runs until January 23rd.
1. Like this picture and tag 1 friend in a comment below.
2. Check out @the_lace_studio on Instagram and like one of Liz’s pictures.

That’s it! Contest runs until January 23rd! I will notify the winner via private Instagram message the night of the 23rd for your shipping info. 

The kit is for the 20mm sterling silver necklace, so a little bigger than the one I’m wearing (mine is 15mm, or dime sized, and the 20mm is nickel sized) and retails for $85.  I will mail the lucky winner a necklace kit from The Lace Studio. It comes with complete instructions on how to send in your material, pick a background color and mail it back to Liz (stamps included). Any material can be sent in!

Lace Studio Necklace

Meet the Artist

L I Z Z   C A R T E R

What inspired you to make jewelry?  

I was inspired to make lace jewelry from my own wedding.  I asked my seamstress to save any lace she cut off during alterations with no real plan on how to use it, I just knew I didn’t want it to go to waste!  After searching for gifts to give to my family for helping me plan the wedding I fell short, the typical robes and monogrammed cups were great, but didn’t seem personal enough.  I started with the idea of putting the lace in a locket, but really wanted it to last a lifetime, and that’s when I started experimenting with resin.  It took many different processes and resins before finding what worked best, but now that I have the basic process down, the ideas are limitless, and I really enjoy encasing all types of materials in resin now, it no longer has to only be lace.   

What do you enjoy doing in your off time?  

In my time off I enjoy hiking and yoga, and spending time with family.  My son is 11 now and it’s a really fun age.  

Where can you be found online (websites, social media etc)?

I can be found at thelacestudio.com, on Facebook (facebook.com/thelacestudio), and Instagram (@the_lace_studio), I’m also still on Etsy where I started in 2011 at lacestudio.etsy.com.  

What is the most rewarding aspects of starting a handmade business? Do you have any tips?  

I love that I am able to be creative and work with my hands. My favorite thing is hearing the stories behind the material that I work with. I am honored that my clients let me be a small part of that story, and that I can help keep that story alive by creating something they can wear everyday.  I am so grateful that I am able to work from home with flexible hours, it allows me to put my son on the bus every morning and be here when he gets home from school.   My tip to anyone who enjoys creating is to go for it!  Even if it starts as  a hobby and not your full time job, you never know where it will take you unless you try.
Lace Studio Necklace Lace Studio Necklace Lace Studio NecklaceLace Studio Necklace


Vanilla Bean Purple Sweet Potato Creamy Cashew Berry Cake

How about a slice of vanilla bean purple sweet potato creamy cashew berry cake? These cakes are vegan, gluten free, wheat free, refined (cane sugar) free, dairy free, soy free and yes they’re still delicious! Flavor packed little squares! Here is the easier-than-you-think recipe!

Ingredients: 

Crust
6 soft dates (pitted)
3 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
2 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp almond meal
1/2 nuts (almonds, peanuts whatever you have)
1/2 cup rolled oats

Bottom Layer
1 cup cashews (soaked in water for 3 hours and drained)
1/2 purple sweet potato (peeled and steamed)
2 tbsp coconut BUTTER (melted)
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tbsp rice flour
3 tbsp water

Top Layer
1 cup cashews (soaked in water for 3 hours and drained)
10 raspberries
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp maqui powder
1 tbsp pomegranate powder
2 tbsp beet (finely shredded)
2 tbsp coconut BUTTER (melted)
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tbsp rice flour
3 tbsp water

Directions
Make each layer separately in the food processor (wash the container between each layer). Starting with the crust – throw all ingredients into the processor and blend until a ball is formed. Crust should be pliable and easily to shape without falling apart. Line square glass dish with parchment paper and press the crust into the paper and the edges of the dish. Spread evenly.
Wash out the food processor and blend the first layer ingredients together until smooth and silk. Pour into the dish. Wash and repeat with the second layer.
Place the layered “cheezecake” in the freezer for 3 hours. Cut into squares and top with desired goodies (I used chocolate covered cacao nibs and blackberries). If you want to drizzle it with a magic chocolate sauce shell, mix 1 tbsp cocoa powder with 1 tsp of coconut oil and maple syrup. Serve when cakes are thawed, yet still cold. Like cheesecake.


Baby It’s Cold Outside – New Year’s Eve at the Cabin

Idyllwild CA
We spent New Year’s Eve at the cabin this year. We invited a few of our friends and caravanned up the mountain just in time for a mini snowstorm. ^^^My favorite spot in Idyllwild (pic taken by a sneaky photographer – thank’s Dany, u da best). With hot cider in our mugs and a few brews stashed in the boys pockets (oh those boys), we hiked up to the lookout rock to enjoying the view of the canyon before the rain and snow came that evening.
Idyllwild CA
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^Our lovebird friends that are moving to Nashville to finish pharmacy school. We are so stoked for you guys, but we’ll miss our weekly hangs and tasty excursions. I hope we can keep a yearly vacation going… just 3 more years until you move back to us! And we can’t wait to see you in Nashville for that White Coat ceremony!
Idyllwild
^^^Babes
Idyllwild CA
I woke up early on New Years day to check out the snow before it melted away. What a gorgeous morning – the perfect way to start my 2017. Then D and I made buttermilk pancakes, eggs and bacon for the crew.
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I pray that you have a wonderful New Year filled with all the best that life can bring. Health, happiness and love to you and your families.
Idyllwild