Life by Cynthia: December 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Holiday Party at Stone Brewing Co.

My husband & I attended my company holiday party which was held at Stone Brewing Co./Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens.  I knew that we would have wonderful beer choices but I was pleasantly surprised with the delicious food that was served!  We were in agreement that it was a great place to host  a company party.  It was a bit confusing to find since this was our first visit there.  There wasn't any obvious signage but now that we know where it's at - we will likely be back!

The beer and wine was free flowing all evening long.  I stopped at one beer to be the responsible designated driver. I wish I could remember the names of the beers that my husband and I had.  With my husband's love of great beer and my love of great food... a return trip with some friends and family is in our future!

There were a few food choices that were served buffet style.  I had the Poached Pear Arugula Salad, Mac 'n Beer Cheese, and Pan-Seared Salmon served with a fruited gastrique & fried shaved parsnips. My selections were absolutely delicious!  For dessert we were treated to pumpkin pie cheesecake squares. Normally I find cheesecake to be much too dense and rich for my taste but these were light and heavenly!  I cannot stop raving about my dining experience!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Torani Syrup - Salted Caramel Banana Topped French Toast

I have been invited by She Speaks to participate in the Torani Holiday Cheers program.  Torani syrups are widely known as a delicious "add-in" to your favorite beverages.  You are bound to see bottles of various flavors in you favorite coffee houses!

Cooking and baking with Torani Syrup is a fun and simple way to add wonderful flavors to your favorite dishes as well!

Torani has such a vast selection of flavors to choose from.  You will have to visit their website to see for yourself!  They even came out with Chicken N Waffles!

I'm excited to try the Almond Roca and Macadamia Nut flavors!

If you still have a last minute gift to fill for the Holiday's or can't figure out what to give that hard to shop for person on your list - try the Holiday Variety pack of Torani Syrups! The holiday collection includes: Gingerbread, Pumpkin Spice, Vanilla, Hazelnut, Italian Eggnog and Peppermint! It's also PERFECT for Holiday entertaining!

I was thrilled to receive the Sugar Free Salted Caramel and the Gingerbread syrups to try out!  I found a quick and easy way to enjoy the Salted Caramel Flavor: Simply drizzle it over slices of green apple!  It's like a fresh version of caramel apples! Try it for an instant fix!

I made Salted Caramel Banana Topped French Toast! French toast was one of my absolute favorite breakfast foods as a child.  We normally enjoy them with a dusting of powdered sugar or with maple syrup.  I decided that I would make them extra special by adding some Torani flair!  I caramelized bananas with the Salted Caramel Syrup to create a NEW breakfast favorite!

Next up: Creating Holiday treats using the Gingerbread Syrup!  Ideas anyone?

Torani's description of the Gingerbread Syrup: The flavor of ginger snaps reminds you of cheerful holiday times. The fresh-from-the-oven taste of this syrup gives off hints of cinnamon and molasses.

About Torani: Family-owned Torani has been crafting great tasting flavored syrups that coffeehouses use to make their flavored drinks taste so delicious. With over 120 flavors in Regular and Sugar Free varieties, Torani flavored syrups are perfect for flavored lattes, mochas, coffees, cocoas, Italian sodas, teas, lemonades, cocktails and smoothies. Coffeehouse professionals choose Torani flavors because they are expertly crafted and made with the highest quality ingredients, like natural flavors and pure cane sugar. The Sugar Free flavors have no calories and are sweetened with Splenda. Now, Torani flavored syrups are widely available at retail so you can easily create authentic coffeehouse quality drinks at home.

Save $1.00 On any flavor of Torani. Available in the coffee aisle. Coupon Expires 1/17/2013.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I have partnered with She Speaks & Torani to share my experiences with Torani Syrup. All opinions are my own and I did not receive compensation for my review. Samples were provided to facilitate my review.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Three Years of Thanksgiving

 Our Thanksgiving family photos. We have so much to be thankful for!




Tuesday, December 11, 2012

SD Mom's Night Out Fitness Event

I am excited to share my recap of SD Mom's Night Out Fitness Event with Jeremy Jackson (AKA Hobie Buchannon from Baywatch). SDMNO partnered with Look Better Naked (which specializes in healthy lifestyles), FITzee Foods (which creates ideal prepared meals), and Drew Canole of Juicing Vegetables for a wonderful event created for San Diego Moms.

The night was fun.  I had my first boot camp style workout which was led by Jeremy Jackson, DJ Pickel provided music to keep us all motivated, and we had a chance to meet fitness trainer & model Loni Christine.
Photo Credit: SD Mom's Night Out
I learned about FITzee Foods varieties of healthy prepared meal choices: vegetarian, dairy free, gluten free, low carb, and paleo friendly.  I got to sample different juice blends and listened to the many health benefits of juicing. After all of our hard work we had treats to enjoy and time to chat with one another.  All in all a healthy night out!  I didn't go home empty handed!  We received a goody bag and I also purchased a few FITzee prepared meals to take home for hubby to try.

Photo Credit: SD Mom's Night Out
My takeaway from the event: dropping 60 lbs  ≠  being fit.  I'm only 5'2", picture me at 180 lbs. NOW I thought that I was in shape because I was able to rock this dress (in the picture below) at the last SD Mom's Night Out Event a few weekends ago (I'm the Mom in the middle).  I had put on so much weight with my pregnancy that I did not want to get dressed and go out!  It wasn't until very recently that I've felt comfortable stepping out again. Thankfully, I have a very loving and supportive hubby that looks after our son while I take a "mommy time out". I have been able to enjoy a few hours with the girls. Without his encouragement and understanding I would have such a hard time heading out the door!

Photo Credit: Crystella Photography
THIS SD Mom's Night Out Event was the reality check that I needed to get my butt back to working out regularly, eating healthily, and taking better overall care of my mom self!  Fitness Challenge? Oh, It's ON!

I attended survived the fitness portion of the SD Mom's Night Out Fitness Event. I am now recovering.  My muscles are SORE.  My ego is bruised.  I am praying that unflattering photos from the event do not surface.  I KNOW there are some floating out there to chronicle my struggle.  I am by nature pretty competitive when it comes to sports, athletics, fitness, etc. - I grew up playing sports competitively and I don't like to lose without a fight.  This fight: I lost. BIG TIME.  Not a fight against the wonderful ladies that were participating in the workout let by Jeremy Jackson, but one with myself.  My body just wouldn't (couldn't) do what I wanted it to.  I sucked.  I had let myself lapse so far out of shape that this experience humbled the hell out of me.  I was cussing under my breath and sometimes out loud! I was grunting and groaning and I now officially apologize to those that were near enough to have heard me. Sorry.
Check me out! I'm keeping pace with Mr. Fitness.
Photo Credit: SD Mom's Night Out
I kind of kidded myself into believing that I was in shape since I lost about 60 pounds over the past 2 years. HA!  The joke was on me.  Weight loss does NOT equal being in shape or fit.  I had zero endurance, minimal strength, and became discouraged.  Don't get me wrong - I TRIED AS HARD AS I COULD.  I tried to the point that I seriously wanted to throw up.  I started off strong but ran out of gas FAST! I made sure I separated myself from the pack just in case I might barf.  To my credit: this was a tough workout!  Even the ladies who were fit had to work hard and suffered the soreness too.

Photo Credit: SD Mom's Night Out
My thanks goes to Samantha & Angela of SD Mom's Night Out for organizing such fun events for local Moms like me!  I enjoyed working out, learning about FITzee Foods, getting to know other moms, and meeting fellow bloggers IRL. I can hardly wait for the next event.

Samantha, Jeremy, and Angela
Photo Credit: SD Mom's Night Out

Photo Credit: SD Mom's Night Out

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to attend the event. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Cold & Flu Season Got In The Way

The 2012 Cold & Flu Season has kept me MIA for a while now.  I wanted to do a quick post just in case you were wondering where I have been or if I am still alive. I'm alive, but not well, and have been in bed mostly.

It started with our little guy getting sick.  School has been the culprit. I was next. Generally, I take something at the onset of sickness. I've tried preparations like Emergen-C, Airborne, Zicam, and most recently Oscillococcinum.  It seems to have worked for me in the past but I was never quite sure if if was all in my head.  This time I didn't take anything early on because I didn't have any on hand.  Big mistake.  I am STILL sick. I am on the mend but it is still lingering.  I am never usually sick enough to miss work but this time my illness kept me at home in bed.  I missed 3 days of work.  I wasn't well enough to even WANT to be online. I did not touch my computer.  YES, too sick to prop myself up and crack open the laptop.  I have so much catch up work both at the office and as far as online projects.  We missed our Disneyland & Knott's Berry Farm trips since I was sick.  I hope that you all are staying healthy!

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