Navigation Bar

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

36 Degrees = Minnesota Heat Wave

Monday,  Derek and I decided that 36 degrees was warm enough to take our 3 mile half marathon training run out doors!  And... I loved every minute of it!  While the run was cold in the beginning it felt exhilarating to be running outside. I get tired of running on a treadmill like a hamster on a wheel! 

To ensure that I was nice and warm on my run I busted out some new workout gear! 
Check it out! 

The Athleta Relay Tight 

I got these running leggings for Christmas in black and I absolutely love them!  They are high waisted enough where they don't feel like they are digging into your hips!  I also love the large zip pocket on the waist, perfect for my keys! 

My New Athleta Quarter Mile Half Zip 

Great for layering under a vest, I wore under armor under this and was perfectly warm! 

Even my new Garmin GPS running watch got to go for its debut run! 
Derek got me the Garmin Fore Runner 10 GPS Watch for Christmas, and I have been dying to try it out! 

This watch worked great.  This Garmin watch is light weight, smaller and even pink! 

Do you run outside in the winter time?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Almost 1 Down - New Years Resolution Check In

As we near the end of January ( I know hard to believe that is next week) I just wanted to take the time to check in and see how I am doing with my New Years Resolutions!  

We had a talk about New Years Resolutions the other day at work.  Some people made them, some people didn't and others have already broken those New Years Resolutions!   The conversation sparked me to do a month to month "check in" if you will on mine! 

So lets take a look (full recap of my New Years Resolutions Here)

1- Train for a Half Marathon 

So far Derek and I are in week 3 of our Half Marathon training!  We have one 6 mile run left to complete this week!   Derek and I have even picked the races we are going to do!  So far so good!

2- Read More

This one has been a bit of a struggle... But I have started a new Book! 
White Coat Required

It is a book published by the Author of one of my favorite Blogs Eat Live Run!  The book follows Jenna's life from College all the way through culinary school and beyond!  I am loving the book, just like I love reading her blog!  You should check her blog out (her Apple Sauce Almond Bread is Amazing)!!!

3- Drink 2-3 Green Smoothies a Week

While I blogged about how I first felt about Green Smoothies (read about it here) I have to say I am warming up to the idea of these bright green drinks!  So far in the month of January I have met my goal!  I have even found a new flavor combination I love!  Pear, Cucumber Banana!  I like to use the little Persian Cucumbers from Trader Joe's!  

4- Pray More

This is something I have def. been thinking about more and more.  I will consider this a work in progress. 

5- Blog More - 

Check and Check!  I feel now that I have taken the pressure off myself to blog everyday I have more great ideas and topics to write about!  Now it is just finding the time to actually write the posts!  I will say though that I am glad to be back blogging!

6-  Respect and Love People More

This is another on going one, but I am trying to see the good in everyone no matter what.  I am trying to remember the feelings of others and not do things just for me!

So tell me, are you still keeping up with your New Years Resolutions?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Saturday Brunch - Orange Ricotta Pancakes and Cheesy Hashbrowns

Well I told you all I had some fabulous new brunch recipes for ya! 
And let me tell you I thought they were so good, they deserved their own post! 

There is nothing I love more then a lazy Saturday morning filled with lots of hot cups of coffee and a delicious brunch!  Brunch has to be one of my favorite meals, probably because in the past few years I have become obsessed with breakfast foods (and yes, I used to hate breakfast)!  I also love brunch for its laid back and easy going feel. 

This past Saturday I decided to try my hand at Ricotta Pancakes, and not just plain ricotta pancakes... Orange Ricotta Pancakes!  These pancakes were absolutely delicious!  

I followed a recipe that I found on Cooking Light (see my go to recipe source)!  Check it out here.  
While these pancakes were a little more labor intense (you have to whip egg whites) the end result was worth it!  Light, fluffy and delicious!  The batter had an interesting consitency due to the whipped egg whites, so don't be alarmed when you make these!

To go along with our wonderful pancakes I made Derek baked cheesy hash browns following this recipe.  Derek has a soft spot for cheesy hash browns, ever since he tried the ones at Chester's (local Rochester restaurant with an amazing Sunday Brunch).  So he was thrilled to be having my version for brunch ( I have told him for months now that I would make them someday)! The verdict on my hash browns... two thumbs up! 

I guess brunch was a success! 
What are your favorite brunch foods?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Weekend Review - Sports, dancing and movies Oh My!

Happy Monday Folks, and Welcome to the beginning of another week! 
Did you all have a fabulous weekend?  I hope so! 

We had a wonderful weekend full of activities, and some relaxing! 

Friday -  Dinner and a show with Nikki and Jason. 
We saw B-Boy J-Sun and his crew perform some Hip Hip.  And Holy Cow did they blow me away! Check it out! 

(This was from a previous show, not one we saw) 
The dancing was amazing, I only wish I could dance like that! 
Myself along with everyone else in the audience were in awe with their dancing ability! 
My favorite part of the show was when they had  a live trio on stage performing while they danced! The Trio was Saltee was made up of a Beat Boxer, Cellist, and a gitarist. 
So much talent in one evening! 

Saturday was one of those relaxing move at your own pace types of mornings. 
I made Derek and I a homemade brunch  (post to come containing recipes) which was later followed by our 5 mile run!  We have now officially finished with two weeks of half marathon training!  After all that it was finally time to to meet Derek's family for the Minnesota Wild Hockey Game!  

It was very exciting to go to the  Minnesota Wild NHL Season Opener!  I am so glad that hockey is back, and can you believe that Saturday was my first ever NHL Hockey Game?

The Wild ended up winning 4-3 which was a great way to start off the season! Hockey has to be one of my favorite sports! 

Derek and I wrapped up or weekend with church, a great lunch at Bread and Chocolate, errands and The Hobbit! 

Oh and check this out... My Butler Bulldogs are ranked above Derek's Minnesota Gophers!  Butler is 9th and Minnesota is 12th!!!  I just had to share! 

What did you do this weekend?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Weekend Plans - Hip Hop and The Wild

Well Folks, We made it to Friday! 
And I have to say that it was a long week, especially since I have been looking forward to this upcoming weekend since Monday! 

This weekend Derek and I will be going to dinner  and a show with his Cousin Nikki and her husband.  We will be seeing B-Boy J-Sun.

at the Cowles Performing Arts Center (Derek took me to see a this ballet there)!  Nikki and her husband have seen this Hip Hop artist before and say he is amazing!  I am looking forward to seeing some amazing Hip Hop dancing! 

And Saturday we will be going to the First Wilds Hockey game of the Season!

The lockout is finally over! 
I have my gear all ready, and I am ready to see a good hockey fight! 
Derek's parents got all the tickets for Christmas! 

I will have to give you a full recap of the weekend next week! 
But in the mean time, Happy Friday Everyone!  I hope you have some fabulous plans for your weekend! 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Green Smoothies - Not Love at First Taste

I have to say that I didn't jump right onto the Green Smoothie band wagon.  In fact at first I absolutely despised green smoothies!  The thought of actually drinking spinach made my stomach turn (and I love spinach)!  So what changed you might ask?

Well, my entire perspective on the Green Smoothie changed when I simply just started experimenting with different flavor combinations in my blender (Oh, and the fact that they are insanely good for you helped too)!  You see I always like to challenge myself when it comes to New Years resolutions.  And I always have at least one New Years resolution focused around health and nutrition, and drinking 2-3 Green smoothies a week def. fits the bill!  

I  knew if I was going to be successful in accomplishing this little New Years resolution of mine that I better find a combination of fruits and veggies I actually liked!  

I started by looking at popular recipes online and then just started throwing random fruits and veggies together in my blender.  I have tried countless fruits and veggies; bananas, spinach kiwi, apples... the list could go on.  And I didn't only experiment with fruits and veggies but bases as well - like water, coconut water, milk and kefir all of which added a slightly different texture, consistency and flavor! 

So what Green Smoothie has been my favorite so far - Pineapple Banana! 

Pineapple Banana Green Smoothie:
Serves 1 

3/4 Cups Frozen or Fresh Pineapple (I like Frozen Trader Joe's Pineapple Tidbits - they blend well!) 
1 Ripe Banana (Since I use frozen fruit I don't freeze my banana) 
2 Handfuls of Baby Spinach 
1-1.5 Cups Water (or Coconut water) 
1 Spoonful of Vanilla Protein Powder (optional - I don't always use) 

1 - Place everything but your spinach and iceberg lettuce in your blender and blend until smooth. 
2- In small batches blend your spinach and iceberg lettuce into your smoothie until there are no large chunks. 
3-Pour into a glass and enjoy! 

Often times I take my green smoothie to work with me.  If I make it the night before I just pout it into a sealable container (I love blender bottles, they stay sealed tight) and pop it in the fridge! 

Tell me - Do you like Green Smoothies? What is your favorite one?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Wheels in Motion

I always get excited when I receive my issue of Cooking Light  in the mail, and this month was no different!  As soon as I got back to my apartment I flopped down on the couch to flip through pages of delicious looking recipes.  

My monthly issues of Cooking Light always ends up looking a little worn and ragged with a million recipes "dogged eared" in the hopes that I will someday make them!  There is no doubt that the first place I turn for healthy recipe inspiration is Cooking Light.  

Yesterday, as I was pondering how to use the rest of my Rotisserie Chicken (which was an impulse buy for my Moms Pasta and Veggies with Olive Oil) I found inspiration once again in the pages of my Cooking Light Magazine.   The recipe that sparked the creative wheels was -  Spicy Thai Basil Chicken from Cooking Light.   So armed with my leftover Rotisserie chicken I set out to experiment in the kitchen! 

The results... Flavorful, 

Spicy Thai Basil Chicken - Slightly Adapted from Cooking Light 

2 Teaspoons Canola Oil 
1/2 Cup Minced Shallots 
1/2 Cup Thinly Sliced Red Pepper 
4 Teaspoons Fresh Minced Garlic
1/2 a Rotisserie Chicken Shredded
2 Serrano Chilis 
2 Tablespoons Low Sodium Soy Sauce 
2 Teaspoons Brown Sugar 
1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper 
1 Cup Basil Leaves 
1 Tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice 
Lime Wedges for serving 

1- Heat 2 Teaspoons Oil and Sautee your minced shallots for 2 min.  Add your red pepper and continue cooking for 1 minute.  Finally add your garlic and sautee for 30 seconds. 

2- Add your soy sauce, serrano chilis, brown sugar and black pepper in with your shallots mixture.  

3- Slowly add your shredded rotisserie chicken handfuls at a time, and cook on low till the chicken is heated through.  

4- Remove chicken from heat, and stir in chopped basil and lime juice. 

Serve along side Sesame Rice and some lettuce leaves for wrapping! 

Happy Monday All! 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Recipe Alert - Makes these Tonight

Happy Friday Loves!

Monday night I got to spend the entire evening with my little sister, and we had a blast!
Talking, Laughing, Cooking and Frozen Yogurt were a few of the highlights from our evening!

I made these delicious Spicy Avocado Chicken Enchiladas - From The Novice Chef!

And, Oh My Goodness were they good!
The homemade enchilada sauce came together in a breeze, and had a great flavor!  It was also extra spicy!

I subbed in black beans for some of the chicken, and used pepper jack cheese!
If there is one recipe you should make this weekend it is for sure these enchiladas!

Have a fabulous weekend! 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Tackling a Resolution

Thank you all for sharing in my excitement about my blog and Cooking Light
I am still very excited about the opportunity that has presented itself - I think 2013 might be a good year for my little blog! 

Speaking of 2013 I have already started prepping for one of my New Years Resolutions (read my New Years Resolutions here)!  Yes, you heard me correctly!  I have already started for my Half-Marathon! 

I am following the Hal Higdon Half Marathon Training program, and so far so good! I didn't do any formal training for my 10 miler, but I thought it would be best to tackle 13.1 miles with a little training!

I plan on running my half marathon in early May!  That gives me over 12 weeks to complete training!  Derek has decided to tackle this long milage with me along with two of my co-workers - And I have to say it will be good to have all of them as running partners. I absolutely love running races with Derek, he is such a good motivator! 

All 4 of us will be following the same training plan! 

I have to say I am a bit nervous but super excited to tackle a half marathon.  I haven't decided what time I would like to finish the half in.  My only goal right now for the half marathon is to completely run the whole race!

So here is to training and to completing one of my 2013 New Years resolutions! 

Tell me, what is the furthest race you have run?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Exciting Blog News & Weekend Recap

Happy Monday Lovelies!
Another weekend has come and gone, but I have to say it was a good and relaxing one!
Before I jump into a few highlights from my weekend, I wanted to share some exciting blog news!
A few weeks ago I was contacted by Cooking Light (Yes, only my favorite food magazine ever!!) to be apart of their Blogger Community!

I was thrilled that Cooking Light wanted to feature my blog in their selected group of bloggers!
Check out my Cooking Light Blogger Profile Here!
I still can't believe that my blog was picked!

More to come on this exciting oppotrunity!
Now for a few highlights from our weekend!

The weekend started with a little pampering!
Mani's and Pedi's with Derek's sister Athena!
Love this new "It" color
I experimented some more with Green Smoothies!

So far so good with my New Years resolution of 2-3 Green Smoothies a week!  Stay tuned for a few of my favorite Green Smoothie Recipes!

We cheered on the Minnesota Vikings Saturday night at Nikki and Jason's as they battled the Green Bay Packer.

Lunch with my Family in Cannon Falls! 

Found a great little Deli! 

and a Matinee Movie!  Derek and I finally saw Les Mis! 

I loved it!  I am itching to see the Broadway version now! 
I thought the movie was extremely well done! 

What did you do this weekend?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Years Resolutions - 2013 Edition

Well it is that time of year again. 
Time to start fresh, and think about all the things we would like to accomplish in this New Year we have been given.  I find that I don't like to have one big New Years Resolution.  I like to have several - Some New Years resolutions that will stretch me, and others that will just hold me accountable. 

So without further blabbing from me, lets get on to my list of New Years Resolutions! 

1 - In 2013 I want to run a Half Marathon

and another 10 miler! I guess you could say I want to be fit in 2013!
Guess I better start training! 

2 - Read More - And well relax more too!   
Three Cups of Tea has been on my "Reading List" for a very long time! 

3- Drink a Green Smoothie 2-3 times a week! 

Here is to good health in 2013 - Still on this path to living a healthy life!

4- Pray More - I want to become stronger in my faith, faith needs to be at the for front of my life.  Not just an after thought. 

5- Blog More - I have been really slacking here!  I still love blogging - I just need to make time for it, and need to remember why I started this little blog!  

5- And last but certainly not least - Respect and Love others.  
I want to always think and consider the people that I love and care about the most, I never want to hurt them! 

What are your New Years Resolutions?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Hello 2013!

Hello Lovelies, and Happy New Year!  
Can you believe it is already 2013? I can't!

As a New Year begins, i always find myself looking back on the past year and my accomplishments. 2012 was a year of up's and downs, and many changes.   I moved home to Minnesota, got a job at a major corporation, and moved to the City to name a few!  

I ran a 5K, 10K, and a 10 Miler (bring on the Half Marathon), 

 (After my 10K) 
(My 10 Miler Time) 

Spent quality time with family and friends, 

and learned that I hold the key to my own happiness. 

I know there is a lot to look forward to as I move on into a New Year!  Here is to making 2013 just as good if not better then 2012!  

Stay tuned for my New Years Resolutions! Happy New Year Everyone!