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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Popping in to Say Hello!

Hello Lovelies and Happy Wednesday! 
I just wanted to let you all know that no, I have not forgotten about my little blog or all of you!  Life has simply been moving way to fast! 

I feel like I blinked and it was already the middle of December!  How is Christmas a few short weeks away?   Do you have all your Christmas shopping done?  I just have a few gifts left to buy, otherwise I am done!  I have to say, I cannot wait to celebrate Christmas this year!  

This past Sunday I woke up to the most glorious thing!  A thick fresh white blanket of snow!  

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas here in Minnesota! 
Minnesota was hit pretty hard this weekend by what they are calling Winter Storm Caesar (I guess we are naming blizzards now too)! 

More to move this week on what I have been up to, just popping in to say a quick 'Hello!'

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Chilly - The Things I Heart

Yesterday morning I woke up to the swirling of snow flakes! 
Minnesota's first snow fall of the year! 

(Source) Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis 

It instantly made me wish I could sit curled up in my PJ's all day.  You know with a cup of hot chocolate (loaded with marshmallows) a good book and a cozy blanket.  Now that would have been the perfect day! 

So in honor of the first snow and the fact that the weather is getting much much colder I thought I would share a few of my favorite winter inspired things (the stuff I love as the weather gets colder)!  

1- Starbucks Christmas Cups

2- Warm pots of chili on the stove. 
I made a big batch of vegetarian chili on Sunday in my new Le Creuset Pot. 

Here are some of my favorite recipes:

Tempeh Chili - Peas and Thank You  - I got the recipe from her Cook Book 

3 - Hot chocolate in holiday mugs - extra marshmallows!  

Try these recipes: 

4- Warm Fuzzy Mittens and Scarves 

5 - And last but not least warm cozy blankets to curl up in and watch the snow fall!

What are the warm winter things you love the most?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Get out There and Vote - And My 10 Miler Recap!

Happy Tuesday Lovelies!
And Happy Election Day! 

I have to say that I am excited Election Day is finally here.  I am getting pretty sick of hearing political campaign ads every other commercial! Does anyone else feel the same way?

Now all I am going to say about election day is that I do hope you all get out there and vote! 
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and their own vote - I am not going to sit here and try to talk anyone into anything! 

Just get out there and make your voice heard! 
I know I am! 

Anyways , thats enough on politics. 
The next thing I want to share with you all is something I am personally excited about. 

This past Sunday I ran my first ever 10 mile race! 
The Kowalski's Strive 10 Miler.  I mentioned the run back in this post - check it out. 
This particular race supported the Strive Foundation which helps local seniors in high school raise their GPA's, graduate from college and get scholarships to further their education.  100% of the races entry fees went to the Strive Foundation!  That is amazing! 

I was a bit nervous scared and excited going into this race.  I was excited for the challenge of running such a long distance.  But also nervous in the fact that this would be the longest race I had ever run... and I was running completely alone!  I had a fear that I wouldn't be able to make it the whole way. 

But you know what... I DID IT! 

(Mile 4.5 or 5, half way there) 

I ran the entire 10 miles! I didn't go into this race with any expectations, I think that is why I was so happy with how I did. My one goal was to simply run the whole thing - I didn't care about what my time was.  But I am pretty happy with my stats!  Check them out! 

I ran the entire 10 miles in 1 Hour and 20 Minutes. 

Here were my rankings: 

52nd out of 135
18th out of 68 Females 
4th out of 14 in my age group! 

Pretty excited about those stats! 

The best part was I had Derek and my Dad there cheering me on the whole time!  It was amazing.  It was a great pick me up when I saw my Dad and Derek around mile 4.5 snapping pictures and cheering me on! 

(Post Race!)

Thanks guys! 
All and all I am still in love with running... bring on the half marathon training! 

Happy Tuesday All! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What I Have Been Up To

Happy Tuesday Lovelies! 
I am sorry for my lack of blogging, it has been a crazy few weeks!

What exactly have I been up to since I haven't been blogging?
Take a look!

1 - Hiking at the beautiful Taylers Falls!

Beautiful weather, 
Beautiful scenery 
and hiking!  

2- Trying out new wine bars!

Domacin in Stillwater

Where I found a new Charles Smith Wine I had never seen before (Charles Smith is my favorite wine maker, the same Charles Smith who makes Kung Fu Girl)

Vino is Charles Smiths Pinot Grigio 

We also tried out a new wine bar in Minneapolis,  Toast!

Great atmosphere, fabulous wine selection and great small plates. 

3- Last minute training for my 10 mile race this upcoming Sunday! 
Check out my new running shoes! 

I switched from Asics to Mizuno, and I love them! 

4- I have been working a ton! 

5- And last but not least trying out new recipes! 

What have you all been up to?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Friday Fancies - Chocolate Revel Bars

Happy Friday! 
I thought I would share a sweet treat with you this fine Friday, I am posting it just in time for possibly a little weekend baking!  This recipe doesn't take that much time, smells divine in the oven and has loads of gooey chocolate!  I made these sweet treats for my team at work, and my personal taste tester loved them too! 

The one thing I loved about this recipe was the ingredients list.  The ingredients are pretty basic, and I had all the ingredients on hand in my cupboard - which is always an added bonus for me!


From Better Homes and Gardens (love that site!)

1 C. Butter
2 C. Packed Brown Sugar
2 1/2 C. Flour 
2 Eggs 
2 t. Vanilla
1 t. Baking Soda
3 C. Quick Cooking Oats
14 Oz. Can Sweetened Condesned Milk
12 Oz Bag Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips 
1 C. Chopped Walnuts ( I left them out) 
2 t. Vanilla 


1- Reserve 2 T. of the butter for later. 
In a large bowl cream together the remaining butter and brown sugar.
2- Beat in your eggs and 2 t. vanilla into the brown sugar and butter. 

3- In a seperate bowl combine your oats, flour and baking soda.  Mix till combined and slowly add the oat mixture into your butter/sugar/egg.  Stir well till combined and set aside. 

4- In a medium sauce pan combine the 2 T. butter you set aside along with your sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips.  

5- Cook until chocolate melts.  Remove from heat and add your 2 t. vanilla and chopped walnuts if using. 

6- In a 15 x 10 x 1 inch pan press about two thirds of your oat mixture into the bottom.  Now top your pressed oat mixture with your melted chocolate, carefully smooth the chocolate evenly over the oats. 

7- Using your fingers dot the remaining oat mixture over the chocolate. 

8- Bake for 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven or until the oat top is lightly browned.  Cut into bars and enjoy! 

Happy Friday everyone! 

Runners High

Happy Thursday everyone, sorry for the lack of posts!  It has been one of those weeks! 
A little over a week and a half ago I ran my first ever 10k. 

the TC (Twin Cities) 10K.

And you know what I loved it! 
I loved it so much in fact that I found another race to run! 
In a little under 3 weeks I will be running in the Kowalksi Strive 10 Miler that the Rotary Club of White Bear Lake puts on (a suburb of Minneapolis, we will ). 

The strive foundation that the race supports is a local non for profit here in Minnesota that provides scholarships for students of in theWhite Bear Lake are that are enrolled in the Strive program.  The Strive Program helps area high schools commit to improving their GPA over their Senior year of high school.    

The trail we will be running for the 10 miler circles the beautiful White Bear Lake 

Part of me thinks I am crazy and the other part of me can't wait to get out there and run. 
I am not going to try and run the 10 miles in any sort of time, I just want to run the whole thing! 
Its going to be chilly but this 10 miler will be a blast, and a huge accomplishment for me in running! 

Now it is time to pick up these running shoes! 

What is the longest race you have ever run?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Weekend Recap - A Ballet and My TC 10K Results

This past weekend was jam packed with some of my favorite activities:  A ballet, a wonderful dinner, a early morning run and lots of relaxing! 

Friday night Derek and I enjoyed a night out in Minneapolis.  We started our evening off with an early dinner at Cafe Lurcat (located right in the beautiful Loring Park)

before heading to see Minnesota Dance Theater perform at the Cowles Performing Art Center. 
The food was amazing.  We enjoyed a Crab Cake as an appetizer followed by Lobster Ravioli for Derek and a wonderful Halibut for me!  We also shared some of the most amazing roasted cauliflower I have ever had.  

Buttery, crispy and just a bit salty: a perfect side to my meal. I could have eaten an entire plate of that cauliflower and been content.  

After our meal Derek and I headed down to the Cowles center for the ballet!  The new Cowles performing art center is beautiful.  Being in the same building that I used to dance in brought back so many wonderful dance memories.  Hard to believe it has been so long since I have danced.  Anyways Derek and I saw Minnesota Dance Theater perform The Enchantment: 12 Dancing Princesses.  The dancing was beautiful and elegant, I enjoyed every minute of it!

  Going to the ballet was a perfect birthday present!  Derek and I had an early evening; we headed straight home after the ballet to mentally prepare for our early morning 10k race! 

 Saturday - Race Day: 
 6:30 AM Saturday morning came way to quick, but I somewhat jumped out of bed and into my running clothes.  I have to say I was a bit nervous as we headed to the Medtronic TC 10K Saturday morning.  Not only was Saturday mornings 10K the longest race I have ever participated in, but Saturday morning was cold (about 37-40 degrees). 

 I went into Saturday mornings 10K with one goal, I wanted to run the whole thing.  I didn't set out with a time in mind I simply wanted to be able to say I ran the whole thing.  And you know what... We did! 

 I was so proud of Derek and I.  We ran the 10K in about 50 minutes!  I am now on a runners high and looking for my next race to run! See my stats below: 
I came in 28th in my age group!  I will take that! 
It was a wonderful weekend full of new experiences and memories! 

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Night at the Ballet

Well we made it to Friday and I am so glad we did because I have a fun filled evening, and weekend! 
Tonight Derek is taking me to see Minnesota Dance Theater perform The Enchantment: 12 Dancing Princesses at the Cowles Center (one of my birthday gifts, such a sweet guy)!

I have been dying to go see a ballet at the new Cowles Performing Art center ever since I moved downtown Minneapolis.  The Cowles center is now connected to the building where I used to study ballet (the Hennepin Center for the Arts). 

"The Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts permanently connects two of downtown Minneapolis' most historic structures, The Hennepin Center for the Arts (HCA) and the former Shubert Theater, which originally stood two blocks apart." (Source)

Isn't it beautiful?
It is hard to believe that this beautiful performing art center now exist, especially because the plans were just being talked about when I was still dancing up in Minneapolis! 
To say I am excited is a bit of an understatement!  

To follow our fun filled Friday evening,  Saturday morning bright an early (like 7:30 early) Derek and I will be up getting ready to run my first ever 10k! 

I am excited for my first race, all in all it is going to be a good weekend! 

Stay tuned for the recap! 
Have a wonderful weekend everyone! 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

There Back... Pin Recipes

Wow it seems like ages since I have shared a new recipes with you all, it has also been ages since I have cooked.  That is crazy!  I guess you could say I got swept up in enjoying ever minute of life! 
But I have to say I missed cooking, and trying new recipes.  So this week I have 3 brand new ones for you! 

Check them out!

1- Vegan Enchilada Casserole from Oh She Glows:

I am thinking serve this up with some guacamole and hot sauce - perfect!  I have been craving mexican!

2- Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili for 2  from Eating Well

The perfect portion for 2 people or I can easily eat this all week if just cooking for myself!

3- The Greek Goddess Bowl From

I have been meaning to try this dish for a while.  I think it will be delicious, and I just bought some red lentils from the bulk bins!

Oh and before I forget I owe you a review of this Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe

Now I have to say I love acorn squash, but this filling just didn't do it for me.  There was just not enough flavor!  I am still on the hunt for a good stuffed squash recipe.

Now Stay tuned for the yummy results of our 3 new recipes!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Scenes from the Weekend - Down South

Happy Tuesday Lovelies. 
This past weekend Derek and I were down south visiting our families for the weekend.  And when I say down South I really just mean Southern Minnesota! I had my lovely friend Katie's baby shower so Derek and I just decided to spend some quality time at home! 

Check out some of the fun things we did!

Beautiful Fall Day!
I made Derek stop on the drive down to Whalen so I could take these pictures!
Love the new panoramic camera on the Iphone 5!

Just spending some time in the fields!

My first time in a combine!

Look the tire is taller then me!

Making homemade Applesauce... Yum!

Recipe to come....
Just wait it is good!

and lovely girls at Katie's baby shower!

What did you do this weekend?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fall - Ammoudts Apple Farm

It is officially Fall!
My favorite season of the year.  I love watching the leaves change color, the smell of crisp cool fall air in the morning, pumpkin spice lattes (or pumpkin anything for that matter), apple cider and of course apple orchards! 

This past Sunday Derek and I wrapped up our relaxing weekend by taking a trip to Aamodt's Apple Farm in Stillwater with my parents! 

Lets just say I was super excited to go to the apple farm, I was like a little kid bouncing around. 
We had a beautiful fall day, just perfect for going to the Apple orchard! 

Aamodt's Apple Farm is one of the well known apple farms in the area, I mean people from Minneapolis drive the 45 minutes to Stillwater just to go to get apples( I am going to have to go back and get pumpkins). 

I could spend the entire day at Aamodt's..ok maybe that is an exaggeration, but there is so much to do there! You can go apple picking, enjoy a hayride and even do some wine tasting: The St. Croix Vineyard is on site too!  How fun is that?

It was the perfect way to end the weekend, and I came home with several pounds of the most delicious HoneyCrips apples... which fun fact is the Minnesota state fruit. 

Just wait and see what I did with the some of the apples I brought home.
Happy Hump day everyone!