I’m her favorite….

until the Pilot comes home.

bell and pilot

Or anyone else comes over.

At least she makes me feel like her BFF for most of the day 😉

Bell has a little bit of cabin fever, hence the stink eye. I don’t teach on Tuesdays, so I almost always manage to get in a long walk with her, but with a lot of pre-Thanksgiving to-dos, a work meeting, class with the Pilot and a lunch date with a friend, it didn’t happen. I owe ya, Bellerton.

Some snacks:


Grapes and tea

2 eggs with homemade salsa –I tried a new recipe this weekend and just needs a couple of tweaks- and a brown rice tortilla


Lunch was courtesy of BJs Brewery with a friend and definitely included sharing a gluten-free pizookie. So good 😀

Tonight, before heading home to get ready for class, I stopped to get all of the ingredients for what I’ll be making for Thanksgiving. After debating back and forth –it makes it challenging to decide when I already know the legendary goodies my fam will be making– here’s what I chose to roll with:

Pumpkin chocolate chip bread (for brunch at the madre’s)


-Quinoa, cranberry, walnut and goat cheese salad with balsamic dressing

Marbled pumpkin cheesecakes with gingersnap crust (two- one to take to lunch/dinner at my uncles, and one to have here at the casa for our late-night pre-Black Friday shopping dessert party.. sugar buzzes are excellent for fighting crowds)


-Cool ranch kale chips… for us… and they’ll be gone before they’re done dehydrating. I’ll post the recipe tomorrow 🙂

Off to bed!



Today’s tip: Not falling asleep very easily, or just need a second to clear your mind and relax? One of my favorite tricks is to count backwards from 300 by 3s, but tonight we learned a new relaxation technique: close your eyes, and in sequence, think about each color of the rainbow, an object in that color, and make the object move, shrink and dance around in your mind’s vision, before clearing it out and onto the next color. Here’s an example: for red, I envisioned the color red and then a red heart in the middle. I pictured the heart moving around, shrinking and growing and then dancing off my mind’s “screen” before focusing on yellow. I pictured a yellow sun, and did the same. You follow the colors of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) and it’s so relaxing, especially if you’re mindful to breathe deeply and go through each color slowly.

Apparently it’s a popular technique but I’ve never heard of it before. I almost crashed out sitting on the floor, so it worked pretty well 😉 What’s your favorite relaxation technique?

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  1. Nicole P on November 23, 2011 at 12:27 am

    That cheesecake is beautiful 🙂
    When I get have trouble sleeping (major nerd alert ahead) I imagine myself back in highschool as being almost famous lol. Sounds stupid but I think it works because growing up I would fall asleep at night daydreaming that I was the most popular girl in my school and the best singer and everyone loved me. So now whenever I think of that again it puts me to sleep lol. You were warned 🙂

  2. andrenna on November 23, 2011 at 12:40 am

    I tried a new technique today, too! You might like it because it’s sort of like self acupuncture. It’s called “tapping” and you use positive self reinforcements in combination with tapping on pressure points on your body. i’d never heard of it! i tried it and it worked. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWu3rSEddZI

  3. Ali on November 23, 2011 at 12:52 am

    Aww, well my cat used to head butt me out of the way to get to my mom! My fav relaxation technique is cuddling with My Love, by far.

  4. jenna on November 23, 2011 at 12:54 am

    I can’t remember where I read or heard this, but I think about all the animals in the forest going to sleep. It sounds weird and cheesy but it helps me when I am stressed or anxious at bedtime.

  5. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on November 23, 2011 at 2:18 am

    Pumpkin chocolate chip bread and the cheesecake AND the cool ranch kale chips? oh yes please!

    Looks like you’ve been busy and it all sounds amazing.

    Trouble falling asleep? That’s not one problem I have. Making time for sleep is the problem 🙂

  6. julie on November 23, 2011 at 2:55 am

    Sometimes I just need to sit and breathe. So easy…

  7. Drisana (SoulShineBlog) on November 23, 2011 at 3:58 am

    Your cheesecake looks beautiful! I am actually making a vegan version of a pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crust for Thanksgiving. I didn’t think about marbling the filling though, it looks really pretty like that! I might have to try it 🙂

  8. Girl on the Run on November 23, 2011 at 4:34 am

    “At least she makes me feel like her BFF for most of the day ” She’s soooo cute!!

  9. Clare on November 23, 2011 at 7:24 am

    I will definitely try both of those out, I have the worst time sleeping and with anxiety in general – I am terrible at relaxing (so type a, it’s ridiculous!).

  10. Heather @ For the Love of Kale on November 23, 2011 at 7:30 am

    All of your goodies look divine! My favorite way to relax is to pray. Every night before I go to sleep, I let go and say a prayer to God. Usually, I end up falling asleep smack dab in the middle of it – hope He forgives me! 😉

  11. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on November 23, 2011 at 7:40 am

    Oh my gosh pumpkin cheesecake?! That’s two of my favourite desserts all rolled into one! I think I hear angels singing in the background right now… 😉

  12. The Healthy Hipster on November 23, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Mmm quinoa, cranberry, walnut and goat cheese? That sounds incredible!

    • Marci on November 23, 2011 at 7:55 am

      I agree – will you post a recipe for this one?!

      • Molly on November 23, 2011 at 10:15 am

        Yes, please do!

  13. Amanda on November 23, 2011 at 8:15 am

    I’m so looking forward to your recipe for cool ranch kale chips! I’m hoping Santa will bring me a dehydrator this year. 😉

    I’ve also never heard of that relaxation technique, but I’ll give it a try. I sometimes just take a few minutes for savasana on my bedroom floor with the lights out as a way to relax. It usually works, until my dog comes running in and thinks my being on the floor means I want her to lick my face. haha

  14. Amanda on November 23, 2011 at 9:17 am

    HAHAHA dying over Bella’s face in that picture. She’s all, “Yeah I’m in his lap, what?”

  15. courtney @ cupcakedynamite on November 23, 2011 at 10:39 am

    mmmmm ranch kale chips!! I’d love those as an appetizer. your marble cheesecake looks heavenly and bella’s face is just priceless.

  16. Michelle on November 23, 2011 at 10:52 am

    I feel your pain with being the “second favorite.” My husband works from home and our dog Gertie spends allllll day with him. I come home and she’s like, “oh, hey” for a quick second, then she goes back to snoozing at his feet. When she was a puppy and we both worked in offices, she did like me better back then. So I’ll always have that, I guess. Haha.

    I have no tips for falling asleep – I am a major type A personality and get anxious about not falling asleep, not getting enough sleep, worrying about being tired the next day, etc. I’m definitely curious to see what types of techniques others use.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  17. Andrea P on November 23, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Bella is so adorable..I can’t even take it lol I’d love the salsa recipe! Also really excited to try that relaxation tequnique, sounds interesting!

  18. Krystina (Organically Me) on November 23, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Hi Gina! I just want to let you know that I took Zumba because of all your praises (and I’m finally at a gym that offers classes) and I LOVED it! I can’t wait to go back. 🙂 It was seriously the best class I’ve ever taken and the hour flew by!

  19. Alicia @beingLA on November 23, 2011 at 11:29 am

    I love BJs pizookies! And I had no idea they have a gluten-free version?? I’ll have to try it when I go back next, I haven’t been in forever! Have a very wonderful Thanksgiving and thanks for sharing all of these wonderful recipes. The pumpkin cheesecake looks divine…

  20. Meghan @ StruggleMuffins on November 23, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    I like the sound of this relaxation technique, especially because its more abstract than counting backwards, which would just get my overly-analytical synapses firing out of control. Thanks for this! And also for the inspiration to make chocolate chip pumpkin bread, which I’ll be whipping up for tomorrow 🙂

  21. Allison on November 23, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    The marbled pumpkin cheesecakes look delicious!

  22. Mo on November 23, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    I do the counting back by 3’s from 300 and it works pretty good. Although, if you do it often, eventually it doesn’t take much thought or time to get down to zero! Just want to wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving – as I go down my list of what I’m thankful for this year, your wonderful blog is definitely on it!

    Take care,


  23. Kat on November 23, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    That’s a great relaxation technique — my shoulder sunk an inch lower just reading about it.

    Someone once told me that they like to think of a glass of soda water, and focusing on one bubble at a time as it slowly bounces its way to the surface. I’ve always thought that was a pretty relaxing image.

  24. Amber from Girl with the Red Hair on November 23, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    That picture of her on the Pilot’s lap is SO cute!

  25. Jen on November 23, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Your Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread looks delicious!!

  26. Liz @ Southern Charm on November 23, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    I have tried the rainbow technique, but not as in depth as you … that is picturing that color and an object and have it move. I need to try this!

  27. danielle on November 23, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    My dog is the same way!!

  28. Moni'sMeals on November 23, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Nice work on the cheese cake!! Yum. Smart to make 2.

    Great tip for help trying to fall asleep. I will be trying that. 🙂

  29. Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau on November 23, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    That cheesecake is so pretty! My female dog is the same way. As soon as he comes home, she only has eyes for him.

  30. patti on November 23, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Kaiser permanente has some free audio clips that lead relaxations…some progressive muscle relaxation and guided imagery… I LOVE it…can you tell I’m a psychology student? Haha

    • Fitnessista on November 23, 2011 at 8:21 pm

      i’ll have to look for those!

  31. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on November 24, 2011 at 12:16 am

    Thanks for the relaxation technique! I’ve never heard of it before either. I’ll definitely need to try it the next time my mind doesn’t want to shut off.

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