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Friday, August 30, 2013

Sweet Treat - Chocolaty Goodness

Happy Friday Folks! And happy early Labor Day!


Does anyone have any big plans for the weekend?  Going anywhere fun?
We are just staying around the cities!   Pizza on the grill with friends, Saturday morning farmers market trip, wine tasting and an engagement party!  Sounds like a great way to spend a 3 day weekend to me!

To get this weekend started off right I thought I would share this amazing recipe I stumbled upon earlier this week!  Because sweet treats are the perfect way to kick off a holiday weekend!  Am I right?


Now before I tell you about this recipe you have to promise that you will not get scared by the ingredients list!  Because I swear this recipe is totally worth making!

Are you ready?  Did I scare you?
Here it is... Black Bean Avocado Chocolate Chip Fudge Brownies from Ambitious Kitchen! Head on over to Monique's blog and check out the recipe!  And make these TODAY!  You will not be sorry!  Trust me, they are that good (even Derek liked them)!

Happy Friday Loves! 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Farmers Market Bounty - Zucchini

This past weekend at the farmers market I went over load on Zucchini’s!  

My original idea was to get enough zucchini to make this Zucchini and Black Bean Skillet!  
I have made it before and it is easy, delicious and comes together in minutes!  Plus the leftovers are great to take for lunch!  However with my abundance of zucchinis I decided I needed to go on a hunt for more recipes where I could incorporate this wonderful vegetable!  Here is what I have decided!

1-      Vegetable Packed Zucchini boats! 

I made these for dinner on Monday and they were absolutely delicious!  I am all about stuffed vegetables for dinner (there are about a million stuffed pepper recipes on the blog) so I was happy when these stuffed zucchinis turned out so well!  I didn't follow this recipe to a "T" in fact my stuffed zucchini came out more mexican style!  I used leftover refried beans, peppers, onions, tomatoes and salsa to give my zucchini boats kick!  Here are a few other tasty stuffed zucchini recipes I found around the Web!

2-      Zucchini Muffins

This is one of my favorite quick breads it always reminds me of my child hood!  And this Cooking Light recipe always turns out delicious.  I blogged about these muffins a while ago here and I highly recommend making them for either a quick breakfast on the go or a quick snack! 

And last but not least –only because I am obsessed with Cupcakes! 
Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes from Taste of Home! 

Also check out this Chocolate Zucchini cake from Cooking Light.


What are your favorite zucchini recipes?
Do you ever go overboard on produce at the farmers market?

Monday, August 26, 2013

5 Random Monday Things

Monday is here again and it is a hot one!  Minnesota is currently experiencing a crazy heat wave!  Check it out!

With this hot weather all I want to do is stay inside and relax!  Maybe finish reading this  book that I am currently obsessed with!   

A few people on my team have read The Night Circus and highly recommended it to us all!  I am loving the book so far but I have a hard time reading The Night Circus at night due to the fact that I cannot put the book down!!  If you need a good page turner I highly recommend picking up The Night Circus.  This book is full of mystery, intrigue and suspense!  Buy it here at Barnes and Noble! 
Now let’s get into my 5 random Monday things!
1-Fresh flowers make any morning a bit more cheery!

This Saturday I just had to pick up more flowers from the local farmers market!  They are just too pretty not to!
2-A new addition to my living room!  Take a look at my handy boyfriend relaxing in the chair he put together for me!

He put the Ikea chair together in 20 minutes flat!  That is impressive considering it is from Ikea!
3-Action movie love?  Go see the new X Men movie!  Way intense but worth it!  Derek and I went Sunday afternoon and while I was a little lost (due to the fact that I have not seen all the X Men movies) I enjoyed it!

4-Entering week 5 of my 10 miler training!  I have a 4  and 5 mile run to tackle this week!  I am going to focus on an easy and sustainable pace!
5-And finally here is to a busy, yet fun week!  I get to meet my fellow Girls on the Run coaches tonight, attend a the MN State Fair with my team and Derek Wednesday Afternoon/evening!  I took Thursday off for a little person holiday and noon twins game with Derek and some of his friends.  And a pool party with my sister!  Oh and who could forget... Labor Day!!
Could it get any better than that?
Happy Monday everyone! 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Weekend In Pictures - Low Key and Relaxing

This past weekend was low key and exactly what I needed!  With a slight old creeping up on me I knew I wanted to lay low and get better!  Here are a few highlights from the weekend! 

Friday started the weekend of great - grilled pizza, relaxing evening and good conversation. 

Saturday Derek and I were up bright and early (ok 8:40) to head to the Minneapolis Farmers Market with Nikki, Jason and Eliana!  

A delicious Cranberry Orange Muffin was perfect as I enjoyed the beautiful weather while taking in the scenes at the Farmers Market! 

Fresh flowers brightened up my apartment - a much needed purchase from the Minneapolis Farmers Market! 

I found this tasty bar recipe and instantly got the urge to bake!  I think my sister and I will need to bake while she is staying with me! - recipe found here from Cooking Light 

And finally my weekend ended relaxing with my sister as we got her ready to start her big girl job today!  Good Luck on your first day of work sissy! 

Happy Monday Everyone 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Time to Train - TC 10 Miler

It is time to get it in gear!  My 10 miler is 7 weeks away!  While I am not terribly stressed about the race and the long mileage, I would still like to do a bit of training before race day!  That means a few  8 or 9 mile run before the big day, October 6th!    

My sister will be running the TC 10 K this year which is a part of the TC weekend events!  Her race is the day before mine and I am super excited to cheer her on  as she runs her first ever 10K!  She is going to do great!  

Both my sister and I are following Hal Higdon training programs (I Used the Hal Higdon program when training for my first Half Marathon – Read about it here, here and here)!

Since I only have 7 weeks until the big race I am going to jump right in at week 4.   

Check out my training plan here

I have been running at least one to two 4-5 mile runs each week (along with a few shorter miles) and have really been focusing on my speed for shorter runs to build my endurance.  The only problem I have with working on speed is now I don’t know how to pace myself slower to tackle a longer run!  All things I must work on in the next 7 weeks!  

Along with kicking training into gear I am going to be cleaning up my diet so I feel my absolute best on race day!  I am usually pretty healthy when it comes to eating but I am going to try and stay clear of refined sugar and alcohol while I train like I did when I trained for my half(weddings being the exception to the rule )!  

Stay tuned for more training recaps new recipes and the end race results!  And when all is said and done I feel a new pair of running kicks will be in order!  I am thinking these…

Do you have any big races coming up?  What are your favorite training programs?

Chop Chop

This past Saturday I completely chopped my hair off! 
Once I decided to chop it off there was no turning back, even when my hair dresser told me she would be taking about 5 inches off the back!  5 inches!!  That is a lot of hair!  

I had taken this picture to my haircut as somewhat of an inspiration.

And after an hour in the stylist chair this...

Turned into this...

I still cannot believe that I decided to chop it all off!  I think I was just ready for a drastic change!

While I am still getting used to the length (I struggle liking fresh haircuts) I am loving how quickly I can do my hair in the mornings!  I have been playing around with different ways to wear my hair now and have loved playing around with different styling products!  I have been using and loving a Kevin Murphy fibre paste to give my hair great texture and body!

Plus it comes in a really cool container!  While chopping my hair off was drastic I still have to say it has been a nice change!

What is the most drastic thing you have done to your hair?

Friday, August 9, 2013

Girls on the Run

Wow... It has been a while since I posted!  
Where has the time gone?  Can you believe we are already in the month of August?
I feel like the last part of July flew by in the blink of an eye!  Derek and I had lots going on from family events, to trainings, to bachelorette parties and work.  Its no wonder I haven't found time to post!

Anyways... I wanted to share with you what I did this past Sunday!!  Yes, almost a week ago I attended my coaches training for Girls on the Run!  Starting this fall I am going to be an Assistant Coach for Girls on The Run Twin Cities and I could not be more excited!!

Girls on the Run is an after school program for girls in 3rd-5th grade.  The program help builds self confidence, and incorporates running into a fun curriculum.  I feel it is very important for young girls to build up a strong sense of self at a young age.  The more confidence they have in themselves as they begin their teen years the better!

The Girl on the Run Mission Statement-

“to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.” (source) 

Throughout the 10 week program the girls will in the Girls on The Run program will learn valuable life skills/lessons such as how to handle bullying while they tackle training for a 5K!  At the end of the 10 week program each girl will participate in the end of the season Girls on the Run 5K!  

I am pretty pumped to be able to volunteer for this great organization!  I am excited to be able to get back into volunteering and to be able to share my love for running with young girls!  I think running is one of the best things out there for setting personal goals, stress management and exercise!  

To learn more about Girls on the Run Twin Cities click here! 
Otherwise check out Girls on the Run International to get involved in a Girls on the Run Program in your state! 

In other exciting running news... I was selected to run the TC 10 Miler on October 6th!  I am super excited to have been selected!  The TC running events are great races -Derek and I ran the TC (Twin Cities) 10K last year!

Time to start training again!  I would love to be able to beat my last 10 miler time! 

This 10 miler also wraps up my New Years race resolutions!  Read about them here
Happy Friday Everyone!