Exciting News and a New Year {MIMM}

Happy New Year’s Eve!

Sorry for not being the most consistent blogger lately, I’ve realized when I’m at home I got into full on lazy mode. It feels good but doesn’t bode so well for my productivity level, or my motivation to blog. But that’s okay, because isn’t the point of winter break to do absolutely nothing for a month? I’m going with yes. Gotta enjoy those school breaks while I still have them! Anyway…

Happy Monday!

(Thanks Katie and  congratulations on your wonderful news!)

First of all, can I just say that every Monday that I’m home on break is automatically marvelous because I have absolutely no obligations and it feels like the weekend. Sorry to rub that in a little more.

Secondly I have some exciting news!

I was recently contact by Tribesports to see if I’d be interested in partnering with their team. Um, YES! If you’ve never heard of Tribesports, it’s basically a social network for sports, fitness and health freaks like yours truly. You can use the website to track workouts, join fitness/health challenges, share advice and recipes and connect with others! I really love the concept of the site and even though I’ve only been a member of the site for the past week or two I’m already loving it!

Tribesports encouraged this

I’ll be sharing some fun workouts and graphics as part of my partnership with Tribesports. For example:

scales

This one I had to share right away because I love it so much. So true right? I used to be so fixated by the number on the scale. I don’t ever weigh myself anymore (seriously it’s probably been almost a year since I’ve stepped on a scale) and I’m so much happier because of it. That’s basically a long way of saying that I really love with this picture (and Tribesports) promotes; I’m so grateful they reached out to me and I’m excited to share more graphics like this with you guys!

Here’s my profile if you’re interested.

Some other things making my Monday marvelous?

Reconnecting with old friends. I met up with an old friend from elementary school on Thursday. She just had an adorable baby girl named Kylie in August and it was so good to see her and her daughter! The last time I saw her was back in June for her baby shower but before then I hadn’t seen her in probably 9 or 10 years! (Whoa, time flies!) I hope to do a better job of keeping in touch this time.

It feels so great to reconnect with old friends, I think that since Facebook and other forms of social media have gotten more popular we’ve become so lazy in staying in touch with old friends. We just check someone’s Facebook/Twitter/Blog to see what they’re up to instead of calling them up and having a real conversation of it. I’m really guilty of that.

Discovering Degrassi Junior High on Amazon.

degrassi junior high

It’s cheesy, Canadian, and fantastically 80’s but I’m obsessed! I’m already over half way through season 2. Judge me if you want for watching a show about middle schoolers but I do not care. I’m a sucker for the headbands and preteen drama.

Hello 80’s fashion. Too bad my family is less than thrilled by it.

Old Navy deals!

I stopped by Old Navy with so Christmas money to take advantage of their post-Christmas sale and walked out with these:

oldnavy

I snagged the sports bra for $6, the shirt (in pink) for $4, the workout capris for $10 (and they’re compression pants!) and the green pants for $17, except that they’re full length in real life and not ankle length like they are on the model. I’ll consider that a win.

I always go shopping with the intention of buying real clothes and some how end up buying workout clothes instead. Whoopsies.

I also had a $20 groupon to a local running outfitter store and picked up a long sleeve Asics top (originally $40). I’m slowly racking up the cold weather running apparel!

Family movie outings. Something crazy happened yesterday where everyone in my family had the day off work and no other obligations so all five of us actually spent sometime together at the same time. It’s sad how infrequently that happens but with school/work/other plans we see each other but not often all at the same time. We all went out to lunch yesterday afternoon at Sweet Tomatoes, and I had my usual obscenely huge salad:

sweetomatoes

You have to go for the double plates. Seriously. I also had some un-pictured chocolate/vanilla swirled frozen yogurt and granola, the best way to end a meal in my opinion.

That night we had plans to go bowling because the local bowling alley was really good deals on Sunday nights, but when we got there the place was packed, it was an 1.5 hour wait for a lane! So we headed to a movie instead. We all compromised on Skyfall (my brothers wanted to see Django Unchained, my dad wanted to see Les Miserables and I wanted to see Monsters, Inc 3D – yes I’m a child, and some how Skyfall was middle ground?). I’m not a big James Bond fan, or action movies in general but Skyfall was actually pretty good. Plus Daniel Craig wasn’t terrible to look at.

daniel craig

I can deal with that for 2 hours.

My New Year’s Eve is going to be a pretty chill one, I’m thinking about running a 5k at midnight, but odds are me running it are starting to look a little slim. I’ve still got about 2 hours to decide (procrastination much?) but home is pretty warm and cozy and race fees are $30, and $10 a mile is starting to sound a little steep. We’ll see what happens! I might just curl up with a glass of wine instead 🙂

What are your New Year’s plans?

Any New Year’s resolutions?

What did you do this weekend?

Advertisements

An Elf for Health Thankful Thursday

Today’s Elf for Health challenge is to make a list of 20 things I’m thankful for, so I thought I’d tie it into my usual Thankful Thursday post! The more gratitude the better!

thankful thursday

  1. My Family

    family

    We can be a little crazy and sometimes we get on each other’s nerves but they always make me laugh and are 100% supportive of everything I do. I couldn’t ask for a better family!

  2. My Friends

    friends
    I’m lucky to have found such a great group of girls, they’re seriously amazing and never fail to make me laugh!

  3. My Boyfriend

    boyfriend
    He’s everything I could ever ask for in a boyfriend, and makes me feel like a better version of myself when I’m with him. Plus we’ve been together for six years and he hasn’t gotten sick of me yet, quite the amazing feat 🙂

    Basically, I have some really amazing people in my life. Maybe it’s a little repetitive but family, friends and boyfriend will always top any thankful list I make. I’m so lucky to be surrounded by so many positive and supportive people.

  4. My Kitties (and all other animals too)

    cats
    Crazy cat lady for lifeeee! Even though they’re not humans they still make me smile. It’s amazing the impact pets can have on your life. I miss them like crazy when I’m at school! Though I don’t miss my clothes being covered in cat hair.

  5. My Home/Apartment I’m thankful to have a roof over my head and not one but two places (my parent’s house and my college apartment to call home). It’s an easy thing to take for granted, but there are so many people who don’t have that luxury.
  6. Coffee

    sbux
    Of course 🙂 It’s carried me through many long nights of studying. And meeting for coffee is a great way to connect with people. The fact that it’s delicious is a bonus too.

  7. Creativity

    art
    I love all things artsy and even though it’s been wayyy too long since I’ve picked up a paint brush or a pencil. The rush I get when I finish a drawing or think up an idea for a design can’t be beat.

  8. My Health I’ve had relatively few health problems in my life (knock on wood) and rarely get sick (knock on wood again!). I’m so grateful to have I body healthy enough to push through a tough workout, and one that’s pretty forgiving when I stuff it full of sugary Christmas goodies 🙂
  9. Exercise sometimes my roommates think I’m a little crazy when I wake up at 6:00am to hit up a yoga class or go for a run but a daily workout helps keep me sane. It helps me blow off steam after a crazy week at school and helps with the fact that I can never seem to sit still!
  10. My Vegetarian Diet going vegetarian is one of the best decisions I’ve ever I made. Not eating meat makes me not only feel better ethically but physically as well. My diet has cleaned up so much in the past 7 years (I actually eat vegetables now!) thanks mostly to cutting out meat. Yay plants!

    kale2

  11. My Job I absolutely love my job! Teaching Pilates has been a serious challenge for me, I’m pretty shy and terrible at public speaking, but it’s been so rewarding. I’m still amazed I get paid for it because it never feels like work.
  12. Yoga I love having that time to myself to (attempt) to meditate and just stretch everything out. Time on the mat, even a bad practice makes me feel so much better after a long day.
  13. Running running is a constant challenge for me but I think that’s why I love it. It’s constantly pushing me, not only physically but mentally as well. I’ve reached so many goals I though were unattainable and helps me believe in myself.

    ncrc10k2

  14. This Blog! I love having an outlet for all my health freak/fitness and general life rambles. Not to mention I’ve met some pretty amazing people through blogging!
  15. The Mountains

    mountains1
    Nature’s beauty at it’s finest. I’m lucky to be so close to them while I’m at school. They may make the weather a little crazy, but they sure are beautiful. I’m trying to soak in the views as much as possible before I graduate and move back to sea level!

  16. Chocolate it keeps me sane 🙂

    choc2

  17. Adobe Creative Suite that sounds weird but it’s an essential graphic design tool and I use it pretty much daily. It makes design a million times easier and I’m thankful for that! I’m especially thankful for the undo function!
  18. Dance I wish I danced more often but dance has been such an amazing asset in m life. I’ve met some amazing friends through dance class, given some amount of coordination and is the most amazing emotional release. I haven’t performed in a while but nothing matches the adrenaline rush of getting up on stage.
  19. School it stresses me out sometimes but I’m so thankful for everything I’m learning while I’m there, not to mention all the amazing people I’ve met and experiences it’s given me.


    Go Mountaineers!

  20. You Guys! Starting this blog I thought no one would ever read it, and even though I’d write it anyway it feels good to know people are reading. I love all your comments and having the opportunity to connect with people around the world, people I would never meet otherwise. Thanks for reading all my rambles!

What are you thankful for?

 

What I Ate Wednesday, Christmas Style!

I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas! It felt great to unplug and spend some time with my family.

fampjs

Cue the Christmas Eve family matching pajama photo. I had a gnarly stomach ache at this point (all my fault, I couldn’t resist the gluten-filled Christmas cookies, never again) it took too much effort to put on the red shirt, but I tried to blend in anyway.

My mom loves giving a family gift and this year everyone got jingle jammies! Two Christmases ago she gave everyone Nerf guns, and we had way more fun with them than a bunch of adults should. Seriously, Nerf guns are the best.

Now for the food!

For breakfast I had this beauty of a waffle:

waffle

Okay more like three. It was been FOREVER since I’ve had a waffle, I usually hate shelling out the money for a gluten-free mix, but holy cow it was amazingggg. My mom spotted some gluten-free Bisquick mix at the grocery store, so we picked up a box and the waffles came out really good. The texture was almost identical to regular waffles. Oh waffles, I have missed you.

Once we were properly fueled with breakfast, it was time for presents! I’m still 5 years old, it’s okay.

It’s funny to see the different wrapping styles in my family. My mom’s presents are wrapped super neatly, I go the green route and wrap everything in newspaper and Trader Joe’s bags because I’m a big hippie 🙂

wrapping

And my brother just uses lots of duct tape:

wrapping2

Props to my family for finding awesome gifts for me, I didn’t want anything in particular this year. I’ve gotten to the point where I enjoy buying gifts for everyone else way more than I like receiving them. Saying that makes me feel a little old, in a good way I think.

presents1

presents2

I got some fun kitchen gadgets (including a juicer! Eeee I’m excited to try it out!), some fitness stuff (dumbells, yoga mat, running pouch) and a big box of Larabars courtesy of my brother the Trader Joe’s employee!

My family’s does our big meal of the day at lunch time rather than dinner so after unwrapping everything we turned into cooking machines and created this feast:

xmasspread

Starting with the oval dish at the bottom and moving clockwise we had:

  • Apple Sweet Potato Bake (followed this recipe)
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Tofurkey
  • Black Bean and Corn Casserole (followed this recipe)
  • Tofurkey #2 (that’s what happens when you have two hungry vegetarian brothers!)
  • Green Beans
  • Collard Greens
  • Plus an unpictured ham for the parentals, cranberry sauce, cornbread muffins and mozzarella and garlic stuffed mushrooms

Everything turned out delicious!

After lunch I proceeded to put myself into a serious sugar coma. My mom and I had a mini-bake session Christmas Eve and made gluten-free spritz cookies(!)

spritz1

Okay, this is a picture of the regular ones because the gluten-free ones came out a little crumbly but they still tasted AMAZING. Buttery, sugary, goodness.

We also made pecan pralines. I say we made but really my mom made them while I napped. She did all the hard work and I just woke up later and stuffed my face. Not sorry about it.

Let’s not talk about how much sugar I ate yesterday. It’s not pretty. I don’t feel bad because Christmas comes once a year so I live it up, but I woke up with one serious sugar hangover this morning. I don’t think my poor body knew what to do with all the sugar. Sorry body.

I thoroughly enjoyed all the Christmas goodies but I’m definitely ready to get some veggies back in my system.

kale2

Days of sugary filled goodness are fun, but my body definitely feels 24528340598230x better when I fill it with plants. Come back to me kale.

Do you like practical or fun gifts?

Does your family have any Christmas traditions?

Waffles or Pancakes? Waffles!

20 minute Cardio Circuit

20 minute Cardio Circuit

I love this circuit, the smaller number of reps makes this circuit fly by! It’s great if you’ve got a short gym attention span like I do!

Friday Rambles

Guys, I’m seriously slacking on my Pilates posts, sorry about that! I promise to make up for it later. But in the mean time, I’m feeling some rambles, I couldn’t think of a cool alliteration for it so you are just stuck with Friday rambles. Get ready, I have the attention span of a 5 year old, actually they might have me beat.

  • I leave for South Carolina tomorrow! We’re spending the weekend there to have pre-Christmas with my grandfather, aunt and uncle. My boyfriend’s tagging along too because we’ve been dating for 6 years and he still hasn’t met my extended family, I hope he’s in for an all new level of crazy. Just kidding, my family’s not too bad. Sometimes…
    fam2

    circa 2010

    Two things about this picture, one, it is physically impossible for my family to take a picture where everyone’s eyes are open, seriously every single picture someone is blinking, two, my family makes me look like a shrimp. I promise I’m actually 5’4″ my family is just a bunch of super tall freaks.

  • I’m very upset at my gut right now for hating gluten. I just want to stuff my face with spritz cookies but nooooooooo. Boo.

    spritz1
    You look so tasty yet you are so so mean to my tummy. Gluten-free substitute cookies just aren’t the same. You best believe I’m eating like 50 of these puppies Christmas morning, the day after Christmas is already super depressing so having a terrible stomach ache won’t make it much worse. That sounds a little terrible but it’s my plan.

  • Even though they’re not spritz cookies, I’ve had some pretty good gluten-free cookies lately, first these guys:

    almondcookies
    Then I picked up some of these guys at the store:
    gluten free gingerbread cookies
    Hit the gingerbread spot. They were light and fluffy, the texture was a little crumbly but I didn’t mind. Only 12 come in a box which is kinda lame, but probably a good thing because if I go crazy and eat the whole box I won’t feel too bad about it.

    And tonight I made these:

    pbblossoms
    PEANUT BUTTER BLOSSOMS. I. Love. These. Cookies. Luckily gluten-free peanut butter cookies are super easy to make and all I had to do was add the Hershey’s kiss. Dark chocolate Hershey’s kiss of course.

    For the cookie, I used this recipe from the Detoxinista, except I left out the salt because I was using salted peanut butter and I added 1/4 cup almond meal because my batter was looking pretty wet and I was scared it wouldn’t hold up the kiss. I found the Detoxinista’s blog through a google search and she has a ton of grain-free and flourless recipes that I’m super excited to try out soon! I love google blog finds!

  • One box, four cats

    1box4cats
    They are all a bunch of crazy kids. Who needs a cat bed when you have an Amazon box?

  • I’ve had some really awesome workouts this week thanks to having no daytime obligations, I love break.
    Friday: Yoga, I’m trying not to slack on the yoga since my 30 day yoga streak is over, but I definitely did during exams and my muscles were tightttt, but by the end of class they were all nice and loose-y goose-y
    Saturday: Weightlifting, I’ve been feeling a little weak and squishy lately so I’m trying to get more strength training back into my routine, yay muscles!
    Sunday: An Interval Training class at the gym, I haven’t been to one of these since the summer and I really enjoyed it! The class is 90/60/30 second intervals of cardio and strength training. I worked hard then went home and ate lots of Christmas cookies. It’s all about balance right?
    Monday: Pilates! I love being able to go to classes outside of my University, it gives me lots of good ideas/cues for my classes. This instructor was so good and intense, my abs were feeling it! And I ran a 5k on the treadmill after class.
    Tuesday: Another yoga class, I loved this particular teacher, her classes are very flowy and she always gives savasana adjustments which feel amazing!
    Wednesday: 5.5 mile run! My longest run since May!
    Thursday: 5k run with the running group at my gym and weights. Maybe not the best decision to run back to back days but my legs were feeling good and I don’t get many opportunities to run with other people so I jumped on the chance.
    Today!: Yoga and more weights! My legs were tight after all that running!

    That was a lot of words and not a lot of pictures, let me make up for that:


  • Lately I’ve been renewing my love for kale:

    kale1
    kale2
    I was on a big spinach kick for a while because it’s easier to prepare, but I picked up a bag of kale at Trader Joe’s the other day which was a fantastic decision. I love my greens!

Are you traveling anywhere for Christmas?

What are your weekend plans?

Have you baked any Christmas cookies/goodies? I want details!

Thankful Thursday Story Time

Happy Thursday/Last day ever because the world is ending tomorrow. You guys better live it up. I’m spending my last night on Earth wrapping Christmas presents and watching Food Network. Hopefully the world won’t end tomorrow because that is a pretty lame last day.

Well besides the world hopefully not ending tomorrow, I have a couple other things I’m thankful for.

thankfulthursday

I’m thankful for a roof over my head and financial support.

Story time: today I was on my way to Target (oh, Target I have missed you so much, it’s a lonely existence in Boone without you), to finish my shopping for Christmas parents. Before leaving home I was jokingly giving my dad a hard time for drinking the rest of the coffee in the coffee because I was just about to pour myself some. My dad was nice enough to give me a couple dollars so I could buy myself some Starbucks while I was at Target.

While driving to Target I was stopped at red light and to the left of me was a one-legged homeless man holding up a sign asking for change. In that moment a overwhelming sense of guilt washed over me. Here I was sitting in a car my parents paid for on my way to buy Christmas gifts for my family when this man had next to nothing. You can call me a sucker, but I’m okay with that. So I did what I could in that moment and gave him my coffee money. It seemed wrong to use the money for a cup of coffee I could make at home when I could give it to someone who really needed it.

The second I rolled my window down to hand him the money I saw his face light up and it warmed my heart more than any cup of coffee could. That moment made me realize just how grateful I am to have a place to come home to every night, because so many people don’t. It can be so easy to take something like a roof over your head for granted, but it’s something that can easily be taken away from us for a number of reasons. So today I’m thankful for my house and my apartment at school, the fact that I have a place to call home and parents who help support financially while I’m in school. And it wasn’t much, but I’m thankful I was able to help that guy out a little bit.

That was a lot deeper than I planned on going, but it really brightened my day to see that man smile.

On a lighter note…

I’m also thankful for Trader Joe’s. Maybe that’s silly but where else can you buy wine, coffee, gluten-free pizza, peanut butter and brussels sprouts (AKA the only things you need in life) for super cheap? Nowhere. Thank you Joe the Trader for being one magical bargain hunting genius.

What are you thankful for?

Are you a Trader Joe’s Fan?

Healthy Holiday Recipe: Pumpkin Crisp {WIAW}

Happy Wednesday!

Is it bad since I’m on break I no longer know what day it is? I just realized that there’s less than a week until Christmas! Say whatttt.

Luckily I went shopping yesterday and finished most of my Christmas shopping, I just have one more thing to pick up for my brother who is incredibly indecisive and doesn’t know what he wants. And I can’t go my usual route and just buy him food because he works at Trader Joe’s and gets already gets a discount on all the delicious snacks he could ever want. If anyone has (cheap) gift ideas for an 18 year old college freshman please send them my way.

Is there anyone in your family that’s hard to buy for? My mom is easy because she drops lots of hints but my dad and brothers either don’t want anything, only want cash, or want things my tiny college budget can’t afford. Men always have to be so difficult.

Anyway, back to the food. I’ve got another healthy holiday treat for you! But first, some of the food I’ve been enjoying lately:

veggies

I’ve been roasting veggies like it’s my job. Tempeh + Sweet Potato + Onion + Brussel Sprouts

salad

My family grabbed dinner at La Rancherita last Saturday when we were in downtown Apex. I remember eating there a couple of times as a kid, but we hadn’t been in a longgg time. Even though I’m not a fan of most Mexican places I loved this restaurant, their menu was full of vegetables and vegetarian friendly meals! Such a change from most Mexican places around here that are all tortilla, cheese and refried beans. I was so excited to see a non-taco salad on the menu!

spritz1
fudge

Lots of Christmas goodies, I’ve been trying to practice this little thing called moderation where I don’t eat all the Christmas treats in one day. I’m not very good at moderation but I’m doing much better than I have in years past!

I’ve also been trying to cool it on the gluten too, I’ve been indulging in way too much lately and while a cookie here and there doesn’t bother me too much, I’ve been eating much more than that and my poor digestive system has been feeling the consequences. Daily tummy aches are no fun. But I still plan to eat as many gluten-filled cookies as humanly possible on Christmas Day. It’s all about balance right?

My mom cooked up a big pot of vegetable soup over the weekend which I’ve been enjoying for lunch almost daily. Except I keep forgetting to take a picture of it. Sorry. She made it using a carton of vegetable stock, a jar of chunky Ragu sauce, a bag of frozen soup vegetable and a can of black beans. So easy and so dang tasty! I’ve been bulking it up with some microwaved kale to add some greens into the mix.

hotchocolate

I’m newly obsessed with making my own hot chocolate, I love that I can control what goes in the mix and I can get a chocolate fix without all the extra sugar. My mix lately has been 1 cup of plain unsweetened almond milk, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon honey, a dash of vanilla extract and a sprinkle of cinnamon. I think I’ve had this 4/7 nights this week!

And now for a healthy holiday recipe, I made this for the dessert potluck my friends had a couple weeks ago. I was worried it might taste a little too healthy but my friends gave it their approval!

Pumpkin Crisp

(Gluten-free, free of refined sugar)

pumpkin2

Ingredients

The Base

  • Two 15oz cans of pumpkin
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup honey (other liquid sweeteners should work as well)
  • 1/3 cup milk of choice
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla

The Topping

  • 1.5 cups rolled oats (make sure they’re certified GF if that’s an issue for you)
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Pumpkin pie spice

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large bowl mix together the ingredients for the base and pour the mixture into a greased 8″ x 10″ baking dish.
  3. Place the pumpkin mixture in the oven for 20 minutes
  4. While the pumpkin mixture is baking, combine the ingredients for the topping until all ingredients are well combined.
  5. Removed the pumpkin mixture from the oven and spread the topping mixture over top covering as much of the pumpkin as possible.
  6. Place back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes or until the pumpkin mixture has firmed up and the topping is golden brown

pumpkin1

Well maybe pumpkin isn’t the most Christmas-y flavor but that’s okay, I love it anyway.

What’s your favorite Christmas dessert? Cooooookkkkiiiieeeessss! I’m a Christmas cookie monster 🙂

Is there someone in your family who’s notoriously hard to buy for?

What’s the best Christmas gift you’ve ever given (or received)?

The Gobbler 5K

The Gobbler 5K was actually on December 1, which makes this post only 2.5 weeks late. Whoops, I guess I’m a little bit of a procrastinator. Sowwy.

This race in particular is really special to me because I ran it last November and it was my very first race. Basically, you can blame The Gobbler for my race addiction 🙂

The race started bright and early at 8:30, one day I’ll learn to stop planning things on Saturday mornings and actually sleep in. One day.

It was a pretty chilly morning but  not too terrible for December in the mountains, I hate running in the cold and my feet and hands were a little frozen at the start of the race, but they thawed out some after a few minutes. The cold air was a little rough on my lungs but I was feeling pretty good otherwise.

The course kinda sucked because it started with a sharp right turn and we had to stick to the sidewalks. That’s my one pet peeve about Boone races, there are only so many (relatively) flat running paths in the city and most are main roads so they can’t be shut down, which is understandable but starting 260 people on a sidewalk creates some really frustrating congestion. There was also one KILLER hill about 2 miles in, we actually ran down that hill last year so it was a little mean to reverse the course and make us run up it this year. I told myself it didn’t matter how much I slowed down as I tackled that best, but I was not allowed to walk, once I start walking I lose momentum and I struggle to get it back, luckily I was all to power through and I took that hill down.

Photo on 2012-12-01 at 14.56 #2

I finished in 31:30 which was actually probably closer to 31:00 since I started way back in the crowd at the starting line. Definitely not a PR, but I wasn’t expecting it to be and I’m pretty happy with 31:00.

Last year I finished in just shy of 37 minutes, that means I’ve dropped 6 minutes off my time in the past year and I think that’s something to be pretty proud of. Sometimes I have a bad run and get a little down on myself and then I remember a year and a half ago I couldn’t even consistently run a full mile, and since then I’ve run numerous 5K’s, an 8K, and a 10K and that’s something to be proud of. Not to mention last year I’m pretty sure I would have never made it up that hill!

I’m never going to be the fastest runner and I may never place in a race but I’m completely okay with that. Running is a constant challenge for me and something that has never come easily for me, but that’s one of the reasons why I love it. With every milestone I reach and every second I knock off my PR, or every step I add to my PDR I’m filled with an immense sense of pride with what my body can do. And I hope that my running continues to grow in the next year.

Oh and I forgot to mention the best part about The Gobbler is the cobbler at the finish line.

They even had gluten-free! I enjoyed a bowl of blackberry gluten-free cobbler and it was really delicious. Definitely a winner as far as finish line foods go!

What was your first race?

What’s the best finish line food you’ve seen? I think the cobbler wins that one, but the Stickboy goodies at the Mayview Madness 5K were a close second!

Lots of Sugar and Lights {MIMM}

Sorry I’ve been a little MIA this weekend, I’ve been enjoying being a lazy bum and spending time with my family. Plus life is just so low key lately that I don’t have much to blog about, I’m not complaining though 🙂

Things making my Monday marvelous:

  • Seeing the country come together. What happened on Friday was horrible, it hurts my heart that so many people where hurt and that someone was hurt enough to cause this tragedy. My heart always sinks when I hear news like this, I like to believe that there is good in everyone, and when tragedies like the one in Newtown happen, it really makes me question that sentiment. Then I see the outpouring of support from people, essentially strangers, from around the country and it gives me hope. While I wish with my whole heart that this never happened, it is truly amazing how people come together in times of need.

  • On a lighter note, A Deen Family Christmas, I lovelovelove Paula Deen, and seeing this on TV made my day. Food, Paula Deen, AND Christmas? Yes please.
    Dear Paula, please adopt me as your granddaughter.
  • Christmas baking with my mom! My favorite part of Christmas time! We made spritz cookies:spritz2
    spritz1
    We make these cookies every year, using the recipe from the cookie press my mom got in the 70s. Recipes from the 1970s and older are the best because they are not afraid of a little butter and sugar. I might have eaten too many yesterday and my tummy is paying for it but it is 100% worth it. Sorry tummy.

    We also made fudge:
    fudge
    The crumbly batch is the one I stirred, I got a little stir happy, and the flatter pieces are the batch my stirred and he did a little bit better job.

    fudge2
    We call the recipe the “Dead Sea Scroll Fudge” because the recipe is so old it’s starting to resemble the Dead Sea Scrolls. The recipe is actually from a Baker’s Chocolate recipe book from 1955! My mom even used this recipe to make fudge when she was a kid. It’s a winner and never ever fails. Best fudge ever.

    And finally we made some gluten-free friendly cookies too:

    almondcookies
    We used this recipe from The Urban Poser. I made a few modifications, like swapping butter for the coconut oil and vegetable oil for the applesauce, and I just rolled them into balls instead of cutting out shapes.

    They came out so good! Proof is that I made a whole batch yesterday and there are none left today. Whoopsies. At least I shared a little 🙂

  • Surprise cannoli’s! My boyfriend works at an Italian restaurant and I always give him grief for having access to free Italian and not bringing me a cannoli because they are one of my favorite desserts. Well, Friday night he surprised me with a cannoli that he made at work! He’s a keeper 🙂cannoli
    The fact that it was made with love cancelled out the gluten. Or something like that.
  • These silly kitties
    sam
    jenny
    They like boxes. Don’t even try to buy them a cat bed.
  • Christmas lights, I lovvvveeee Christmas lights. Seriously, don’t drive with me at night around Christmas because we WILL take a detour to look at lights. Saturday night my family drove out to downtown Apex to check out their Christmas lights and grab some dinner. The shops and restaurants downtown are decked out with Christmas lights and everything looked so beautiful!

    lights

  • Speaking of lights, check out this house in my neighborhood:


    They go all out every year and have been setting up all these lights for years. It was one of my favorite things when I was a kid and even though I’m in my 20’s I still drive by whenever I get the chance.

What made your Monday marvelous?

Do you have any pets?

Do your neighbors go all out with Christmas lights?

Thankful Thursday

thankfulthursday

First and foremost, I’m thankful that exams are OVER. I’m also thankful I got a 100 on the exam I took yesterday afternoon, now I’m just hoping the rest of them went that well! I seriously feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, and I’m not really sure what to do with all the free time I have for the next couple weeks. I’m definitely not complaining though!

Secondly I’m thankful for being home with my family.

family

They’re a little crazy.

fam

But I love them all the same. After a stressful couple of weeks it feels so good to be home.

Today I’ve been enjoying

froyo

Fro yo trips with my dad. The bowl looks really pitiful because it was 50 degrees out and I’m a wimp and didn’t want to get cold. I had espresso (delicious) and chocolate covered raisins. Hit the spot, and I wasn’t cold after.

moes

Dinner at Moe’s, I had an Art Vandalay, no tortilla, with black beans, mushrooms, cucumbers, onions, olives, guacamole and salsa. Boone is lame is doesn’t have a Moe’s, or Qdoba, or Tijuana Flats, or Chipotle. Basically we’re lacking any fast food burrito places so I have to get my fill when I’m at home. Oh burritos in a bowl, I have missed you.

hotchocolate

Homemade hot chocolate. I heated up some soy milk and mixed in cocoa powder, cinnamon, a little vanilla extract and honey. So good. It’s been too long since I’ve had hot chocolate!

tree

And the Christmas tree! My parents only put lights on it so I get to help decorate! I’m trying to get back into the Christmas spirit because exams squashed it a little bit. Bring on the lights, carols, eggnog and cookies!

I’m also thankful that Jessie hosts Thankful Thursday every week!

What are you thankful for this week?

Does your family have any Christmas traditions?