Author Archives: ahappylass

About ahappylass

Hi! My name is Ashley. I love nutrition, exercise, interior design, and architecture.

Tasty Tuesday: Sweet Ricotta Bruschetta

My parents AND siblings came down to see our apartment this weekend. Over the span of Friday and Saturday I had a crazy night with my parents, an awesome last bootcamp workout with new/old friends, and amazing Mexican food/Hot Dogs/dessert eat session with my siblings and Mike.

It so odd to be interacting with them as adults now. With my parents, its like I’ve returned with valid opinions and the ability to handle responsibility. WHAT?! Weird. With my siblings there were always arguments. Put together 4 boisterous, confident, outgoing, smart kids and there’s no way to avoid head butting. However! As we enter adulthood together, we’ve learned each other’s quirks and are actually starting to get along! Siblings as friends, who knew??

Anyway, my parents came over for appetizers before we went out for dinner. I have learned from many mistakes with this, not to shoot too high when it comes to apps. I settled on 1 reach plate (falafel which was a total disaster), rice crackers with this amazing local sauce called Bitchin’ sauce (too easy to mess up), and this Ricotta Bruschetta (great success!). I got the original recipe from Martha Stewart.

Disclaimer: It’s not entirely to my “no cow dairy” rule since each piece has ricotta but it didn’t actually irritate my stomach at all. VICTORY!

This recipe is unbelievably simple. It’s tasty and light and delicious. It’s probably best at breakfast time or when balanced with a different, more savory dinner app. Enjoy!

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Workout Wednesday: Total Body #3

This weekend was hot in San Diego and VERY busy in Hillcrest. Our bootcamp class was early in the morning to avoid the Pride Parade traffic. We started with a bit of cloud cover but 5 minutes in, the cloud peaked out and we started sweating. Unfortunately it was too late for us to move to shade but we learned two lessons:

  1. Exercise in the shade whenever possible, no matter the weather when you start.
  2. Drink LOTS of water. Not just while sweating but when resting, walking, working, etc. The more you stay regularly hydrated, the less quickly you dehydrate when water is inaccessible.

On that note, enjoy this workout. And enjoy that sweat! With the sweat, out come toxins, stress, and fat. 🙂

20 minute total body 3

Love and a big, sweaty hug – Ash

Tasty Tuesday: Creamy Quinoa Salad

Update 9/17/13: I am ashamed to admit that I didn’t actually try making this recipe before I posted it. My Aunty Nik cooked it and I demanded the recipe. Granted it’s still delicious, there are definitely a few tweaks that need to be made. Also, I’ve talked to two readers who have made it multiple times and improvised with whatever ingredients they have available. All their new dishes sound awesome! So don’t be afraid to throw in that last bit of cucumber of the shrimp you have leftover in the fridge, this recipe is great for that. And check out below for the tried and tested recipe.

My last Tasty Tuesday was a recipe cooked by my fabulous aunt. Well here is another one! It must be said that credit for that Summer-time Cucumber Recipe goes to another great chef, gorgeous Stella, and this one goes to a darling lady I’ve known since she was tiny, Jessica.

However, my Aunty Nik cooked them and man they were marvelous! This one is a deliciously creamy, fresh quinoa salad. It goes like this …

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Mindful Monday: Money Makeover

Happy Monday Everyone! This is by far the toughest day to stay upbeat but whatever you happen to be doing this Monday, try and be thankful in some way. That might help your state of mind. This Monday I am thankful for my awesome new job, the fact that I recently got to hang out with my Australian family for the first time in five years, and the companionship of my lovely man 🙂

Moving on … there were a few friends/patients back in Peoria that I let know about the desperate state of my finances. Some of you may understand: when deeply in debt, you know you shouldn’t run around telling people but the pressure is so intense that you can’t help let it slip to the people you trust.

On this particular occasion, I was glad I did. Candice (the friend) told me of a book she and her husband read. It absolutely changed their financial outlook and within a few weeks it did the same for me.

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Fantastic Friday: A Little Happiness

It’s not often that I share videos with the blogosphere. For the most part they end of being a time-suck. However, I received a video recently that changed the type of day I was having.

My best friend sent it to me and Mike and I watched it together. Now that we live in Southern California, where the sexy people gather, it has even more meaning to us.

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Tasty Tuesday: Summer-time Savory Cucumbers

My aunt is an incredible cook. While my mom is amazing at delicious, simple, relatively quick dishes, my aunt specializes in going all out for large groups of people. She loves to cook and we are all happy to indulge her.

While we were on our staycation at the beach house, she made some dishes that beg to be shared. This first one is a perfect summer appetizer. Refreshing, tasty, and really healthy.

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Hillcrest Farmers Market

With summer comes an onslaught of Farmer’s Markets. From coast to coast there are streets lined with tents and under those tents is some of the freshest, tastiest, local produce you’ve ever had. Our new neighborhood, Hillcrest, is no exception.

I’ve written about Farmer’s Markets before and while the one is Peoria is pretty awesome, our new local market is spectacular. The area is rife with crazies like us, all looking for raw, vegetarian, organic, blah-blah-blah and these vendors supply some of the best health food I’ve ever had.

One of my favorite things about farmer’s markets is the ambience. They’re usually on the weekend and people usually aren’t in much of a hurry. They’re there to taste, peruse, and barter for the local flavor. Ours are held on Sundays and that is when I’ll be doing ALL my grocery shopping. So check out your local Market this weekend, you might be surprised by how much you enjoy it.

StrawbsShopping is a joy when you can taste and buy strawberries like these.

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Wednesday Workout: Total Body #2

Last Saturday was the second day of my Happy Bootcamp Workout. My head was a little more organized and we had a great workout. It was a scorchingly hot day and despite our shady spot, most of the ladies were dripping sweat by the end. Our post-workout smoothies were hard-earned.

Enjoy and feel free to comment with any questions!

20 minute total body 2

Marvelous Monday: The Latest Transition

As you all know from my most recent posts, Mike and I just moved to San Diego from Peoria. I was going through my photos and realized how little of it I’ve actually shared with you guys! We have done so many awesome things this last couple weeks …

IMG_1475The bridge out of Peoria. Exciting and sad all at the same time. Bye bye Peoria, thanks for giving me so many amazing friends.

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Workout Wednesday: ABsolutely Exhausted

I’m back! I’m officially back. I took a brief hiatus while we moved from Illinois to California and I’m finally unpacked and ready to start blogging again. Thank goodness! I missed you guys.

I taught the first Happy Bootcamp Workout last Saturday and had a blast. The women that came were a group of friends I haven’t seen in a long while and it was wonderful to motivate and help them to health. I’ll be teaching the same ladies for the next 3 weeks!

The reason I mention this is because I’ve been struggling with what to share with you all, and what to reserve for paying, bootcamp clients. Then I realized, I definitely can’t put together two great workouts per week and I definitely don’t want to deprive the non-San Diegans the chance to do them too!

So weekly workout posts are here to stay. Bootcamp clients will get the added benefit of working out with friends in the beautiful San Diego sunshine. They will learn to perfect the form of each exercise and will receive the motivation they need to get (or stay) on the track to healthy. I will be a ready source of any kind of exercise or nutrition advice and all the workouts we do together will be posted here for easy access! Even without exclusive workouts, that’s a pretty sweet deal.

Enough of the chatter, on to today’s workout. We did this last Saturday at Bootcamp and man it was an awesome workout. I was sweating and burning just watching them!

20 minute total body 1

I hope you’re having a wonderful Wednesday. Love and a big smile – Ash