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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

May your day be filled with family and friends!
Enjoy this time Giving Thanks for all the wonderful things in your life! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

I want to say a big "Thank You" to my family and friends supported and donated to the St Jude Give.Thanks Walk!  It was wonderful to see so many people out there Saturday morning (even in 18 degree weather), supporting such a wonderful organization like St Jude Children's Research Hospital.  This children's hospital is doing amazing things and I am so glad that I get to participate in fundraisers like the Give. Thanks walk to show my support! 

Thank you again! 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

{Give Thanks}

Ever since I joined my sorority ( Delta Delta Delta) in 2006 I have been passionate about fundraising for St. Jude Children’s ResearchHospital in Memphis Tennessee.  Not just because St Jude and my sorority have a national partnership but because St Jude is truly a wonderful organization, that I believe in!  

Since joining my sorority I have been fascinated and amazed at all the amazing things that St Jude Children's Research Hospital does for their patients and patients families.  St Jude's is a place where passionate people work together to find cures for some of the most catastrophic childhood diseases.   St Jude Children's Research Hospital is a place filled with hope, love and compassion for the children and families that are served there.   No child will ever be turned away for treatment and no family will ever receive a medical bill from St Jude Children's Research Hospital, to me that is simply amazing.  Fundraising and supporting this wonderful mission and organization is a no brainer to me, and that is why this upcoming Saturday I will be taking part in the St Jude Give Thanks Walk. 

I walk because I care, because I want to give children who walk through the St Jude doors a fighting chance at life and because I believe in St. Jude Children Research Hospital as an organization.  

I give thanks for my faith, family friends, Derek, my health job and countless other things.  What do you Give Thanks for?  Walk with us Saturday, November 23rd @ 7 AM, Target Field.  Help give a child a fighting chance at life.  Click here to find a walk near you, sign up, or donate!  I want to say a personal 'Thank You' to all my friends and family who donated to this wonderful cause!  I truly appreciate the support! 

Lets make a difference together! 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Love {Pumpkin Season}

My obsession with pumpkin is crazy this time of year.  My mouth literally begins to water just thinking about pumpkin spice, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie or just about anything pumpkin related! 

It is during this time of year that I have at least one can of pumpkin in my cabinet at all times, and I obcess over finding the perfect pumpkin recipes!  I literally pour over Pinterest like a crazy person for hours looking for the most delicious pumpkin recipes out there!  And since I have already made pumpkin chili, pumpkin bread, and these delicious chai spiced pumpkin muffins I decided it was time, shall I say to branch out.  Queue crazy obsessive Pinterest searching. And after a solid  30 minutes (ok a solid hour) of crazy searching I landed on the following recipes as inspiration for the delicious soup that I made last night for dinner! 

Here was my recipe inspiration: 

The quinoa absorbs a ton of the broth so don't be alarmed if it looks a bit runny!  Serve with crusty bread or crackers and you have yourself a delicious meal! Also, if your looking for strong pumpkin flavor in this soup you will surely be disappointed!  But this soup is still amazing and flavorful, it got my sisters approval! 


Pumpkin Soup with Quinoa and Black Beans 
Inspired by the above
Serves 8


1 Can Black Beans Drained 
1 Can Pumpkin Puree (not pumpkin pie filling) 
1 Can Fire Roasted Tomatoes 
1/2 Onion Diced
2 Cloves Garlic Minced 
1 Teaspoon Olive Oil 
1 Cup Quinoa
 5 Cups Vegetable Broth 
1-2 Teaspoons Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon 
1-2 Teaspoons Cumin 
Salt and Pepper to taste 


1- In a soup pot heat olive oil.  Add diced onions and sauté until onions become translucent.  Add garlic in with onions and sauté until garlic becomes fragrant.  Now stir in your spices.
2- Add vegetable broth, pumpkin and fire roasted tomatoes in with your onions and garlic.  Bring to a boil. 
3- Once your soup is boiling add in 1 cup quinoa, cover your pot and bring to a simmer. 
4- Cook soup until quinoa is cooked (about 15 minutes).  Stir in black beans heat for 2 minutes and serve! 

Best enjoyed with crusty bread of choice! 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The 5K

I remember running my first big race. The anticipation the night before, the nervous yet excited feeling as you wait at the start line, and the energy you get from the crowd cheering you on. 

Running races simply put, is one of my favorite things.  And this past Saturday, as I watched my Girls on the Run team line up for their 5K, I was overjoyed with how much I love running, and so proud of the progress these 3rd-5h grade girls had made!  To see the girls I helped coach over a 10 week period so excited to be there and race just made my heart skip a beat!  You could feel the excitement and energy at the start line as the girls began to warm up, just itching to get out there and run! 

It was simply an amazing experience to be a coach for Girls on the Run this season.  I got to meet and work with some amazing women, share my passion for running and serve my immediate community! 

And as I watched each and every girl cross the 5K finish line with a huge smile on their face, I was so proud to be there supporting such a great organization!  And as I think back to the Girls on the Run season I realize just how important those few hours a week volunteering are/were.  

How are you impacting someones life?

"Every action we take impacts the lives of others around us.  The question is: Are you aware of your impact?" - Arthur Carmazzi

Friday, November 15, 2013

Shine On

Friends, the week has simply gotten away from me! It was like the blink of an eye and the week was over!  I hope your week was wonderful and went as quickly as mine!  I will see you next week for a few life updates, yummy recipes and fun!  But until then I will leave you with this! 

Go out there and shine! 
Happy Friday! 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Weekend Shenanigans - U of M Vs. Penn State

Before I jump into talking about the weekend shenanigans we have planned, I simply must share this quote with you...

"Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you would be happy to live with all your life.  Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement" - Foster C. Mcclellan

My mom sent this quote to me about a week ago and I have been thinking about it a lot!  We all have an inner spark and endless possibilities for our lives.  We just have to figure out where our talents lie and trust that with a little hard work and effort we can truly reach our highest potential.  

Now lets talk about the weekend shenanigans that we have planned!  Tomorrow, we are headed out for a little Saturday football! Minnesota is playing Penn State! 

This is going to be my first Minnesota football game and I cannot wait!  It is going to be a bit chilly but will still be a blast!  

I will be sure to take lots of pictures! 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Winter Treat - The Best Hot Chocolate Ever!

It has officially snowed here in Minnesota.

And while the snow might not stick around for long, the sight of the white fluffy stuff swirling outside my apartment window certainly got me in the mood for my favorite winter drink... Hot Chocolate!  

Hot chocolate is one of those drinks that goes hand in hand with big fluffy blankets, a great book or movie and snow watching!

While I don't aways love to be out and about in the snow, I always enjoy sitting and watching the snow swirl and fly around the sky.  It is almost as if your in a giant snow globe.

(source) - Cooking Lights Barcelona Hot Chocolate

So today in honor of our first snow fall I thought I would share a delicious homemade hot chocolate recipe, that my dear friend Katie passed along to me!  This hot chocolate recipe is so easy to make and makes a great gift!  Oh, and did I mention it is down right delicious?  Because it is!  So grab your ingredients, your favorite mug and curl up in your coziest blanket to enjoy the most delicious hot chocolate ever!

The Most Delicious Homemade Instant Cocoa
 Recipe From - My Dear Friend Katie

**This makes a large batch!  Store hot cocoa mix in an air tight container such as a mason jar!

4 Cups Nesquick
1 LB (9.6 oz.) Carnation Powdered Milk
6 Oz. Container Regular Coffee Mate Creamer
2 Cups Powder Sugar

1 - Combine all your ingredients stirring well to combine.
2- Store in an air tight container

To Serve:
 1- Heat up 1 1/2 Cups water
2- Add 1/3 Cup Cocoa Mix to hot water and stir until combined.
3- Sit back and enjoy!

Add in Marshmallows if you wish!

Other delicious hot chocolate recipes from around the web:
Cooking Light - Barcelona Hot Chocolate
White Chocolate Peppermint Hot Chocolate 
Carmel Swirl Hot Chocolate 


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

We Did It.. Strive 2013 10 Miler Race Recap!

Well my friends,  my sister, Miranda and I successfully ran our 10 Mile race this past Sunday! 

And despite the insane wind the weather was great!  We ran the Kowolaski Strive 10 Miler which is a smaller race that takes place around the beautiful White Bear Lake! The race raises money for the Strive Foundation which helps local seniors in area high schools raise their GPA's, graduate from high school and get scholarships to further their education.  And 100% of the races entry fee goes to the Strive Foundation!  Amazing!  I ran the race last year as my first ever 10 Miler (read race recap here) but I was extremely happy to have my sister by my side this year on race day! 

My mom and Derek were there to cheer us on and I know both my sister and I appreciated seeing them at mile 4.5.  It was also great seeing both their smiling faces at the finish line cow bells and all!   I definitely needed a little extra motivation for this race.   I was having a rough race day.  I was in a bit of a race funk and couldn't find my running groove.  But I stuck it out and ended up with a new 10 miler PR!  My sister did amazing as well and I couldn't be more proud of her!  It was such an honor to help her train for her first long distance race and such a privilege to witness her run through the finish line strong!   10 miles is not a piece of cake but she tackled the double digit distance “head on” and came out strong! 

Check out the Stats:

Hilliary's Race Stats - 

10 Miler Official Time - 1:17:21
10 Miler Watch Time - 1:16:58
Over All Place - 32nd out of 131
Women's Over all Place - 7th out of 64
Women's Age Group Place - 4th out of 9

Miranda's Race Stats- 

10 Miler Official Time - 1:36:42
Over All Place - 89th out of 131
Women's Over all Place - 38th out of 64
Women's Age Group Place - 7th out of 9

I am looking forward to more training runs with my sister!  Such a great way to bond! Half Marathons here we come! 

Have you ever run a race with a sibling?