Blog Fail

Hi Friends 🙂

Yesterday was an incredibly frustrating day. I was hoping to have the new blog up and running, but we are running into too many problems. I am ready to throw my computer out the window! I have wasted my entire weekend and all of my energy on this and felt no closer to my goal. I *now* know what I need to do, it will just take more time than I had anticipated. Yes I was so stubborn that I tried to do most of it on my own — now I have asked for help.

The good news is that I ran 9 miles on Saturday with little knee pain — when I ran I felt fine, but during my cool down the pain was unbelievable. Stretching, ice and my foam roller helped me tons though — and this week is a lower mileage week, so hopefully I’ll be feeling much better soon. If not, I’m making a doctor’s appointment.

During my run I saw this commercial and LOVED IT — check it out:

Tomorrow I’ll have a recap of my February goals and I’ll let you know what I thought of The Hunger Games (yes I read it in two days, it was so good!)

Have a great day!

Holly

The blogging hiatus is over!

Hi Friends!
 
Long, long, time no blog. I know. I wanted to take a break for a few days but it turned into over a month! I have nothing crazy to share, just life in general has been happening! Here is a quick recap:
 
We baked a gazillion cookies before Christmas:

Jason and I had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends and we celebrated our 3rd Wedding Anniversary on January 11, 2011.


 Jason installed our new closet organizer (Martha Stewart collection from Home Depot)

I feel like I have my own little Gap jeans shop:

I’ve been drinking lots of tea (love my new teapot from Jason’s brother and his wife)

…and working out with my Kettlebell (Jason got me this for Christmas and I love it. I’m still learning how to use it properly though)

Cleaning out the basement and shredding old paperwork (along with lots of other house cleaning/organizing going on!)

(yes that is 3 bags worth of old bills, check stubs, etc!)
 
And beginning my training for Grandma’s Marathon!

Yep, Jason and I are going to run it again this year. You can read my recap from last year’s marathon *here*. I want to use this blog to recap my training runs, because I really wish I had kept a diary or journal of some kind last year. I remember having some good runs and some bad ones, but I don’t remember much more than that! I want to be able to look back and reminisce .
 
Blog changes are a’comin – new name, new format, more recipes, more book reviews and more fun!
 
Thanks for reading! 🙂
 
Holly

Pumpkin Butter Sweet Potato & Craigslist Success

Hi Friends 🙂

How was your weekend? I slept in yesterday morning and took it easy all day – no time for blogging. It does feel good to disconnect once in a while. I don’t know how some of you daily bloggers (or multiple posts per day bloggers) do it!

Another flower in my bouquet opened up:

These are just so beautiful. I’m glad Jason likes to buy me flowers once in a while. They sure do brighten up my kitchen. Here is where I blog by the way:

Excuse the stuff all over the counter. Yes that is a rubber mallet next to the vase. I don’t know why it is there! (And can you find my beaded orange bat???)

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The biggest change for us over the weekend:

YES THAT IS MY CAR IN THE GARAGE!!! We had a couple come and pick up our old washer/dryer set on Saturday and as soon as they left I pulled my car into the garage. We bought my car back in June and Saturday was the first day I put it in the garage. In case you “forgot”, here is what our garage has looked like for months:

We used Craigslist to sell a lot of things: dining chairs, washer/dryer, dishes, glassware, computer parts, old cell phones, curtains, patio furniture, our old grill, old tires, etc. It was sometimes a hassle to set up times to meet with potential buyers, but it made us some money and you can’t beat that! Here are some of my Craigslist tips:

  1. Post pictures in your ad. People want to see what you are trying to sell, and no matter how many words you use, a picture is so much easier.
  2. Don’t post your phone number, name or address in the ad. Use landmarks to give buyers an idea of where you live: a nearby mall, museum, lake, etc.
  3. Be specific in your ad. If you only want to accept cash, say so. If your price is firm, say so. If you’ll take the best offer, say so.
  4. Try to meet buyers away from your home: at a coffee shop, mall, grocery store parking lot, etc. Bring someone with you and tell at least one person where you will be going to meet with a buyer. If the buyer has to come to your house (for example, Jason and I were not going to load up the washer and dryer to meet someone) – make sure someone else is home with you. Meet in your front yard or garage. Don’t let the buyer in your home unless you have to. This isn’t to make you paranoid or nervous about buyers, but you need to have some common sense to protect yourself and your belongings.

Any other tips I am forgetting? Have you had any success selling on Craigslist?

*

And as promised in the title:

Pumpkin Butter Sweet Potato:

Take in the glory:

A large sweet potato, baked, and topped with drizzled peanut butter and a big ole blob of Pumpkin Butter. It was like eating dessert for lunch 🙂

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And, this is my 100th post 🙂 Thanks everyone who reads, comments, links back to me, etc. I truly do appreciate it and I look forward to what the next 100 posts will bring!

*Any Craigslist success/horror stories to share?

*Any good news/fun stories from over the weekend?

*What is your favorite Holiday and why? What do you enjoy about it?

Blondies Have More Fun

Hi Friends 🙂

I decided to take yesterday off — I got up early to write a post but decided to go back to bed instead. I think taking breaks every once in a while is definitely something I will keep on doing!

Jason and I spent the day running errands, (finally) selling our chairs on Craigslist:

And the family who picked up the chairs is going to come back and buy our old washer/dryer — I couldn’t be happier! In 1 week our garage will be clear and my car will be able to fit in our garage! Woohoo!

For dinner I made HEAB’s Almond Butter Chili again — this is a super easy recipe and it tastes so delicious. I served it over the rest of our spaghetti squash:

See the spaghetti squash under there? 🙂

And the dessert was wonderful as well:

Allie’s Vegan Pumpkin Pecan Blondies. I made them to share with Jason’s mom — who leaves for Italy this evening! She, along with Jason’s Grandma and his Aunt, will be in Italy for the next 13 days. I’m not bitter at all for not being invited 🙂

But back to the Blondies: holy cow these are rich and moist — and they are super pumpkiny without being overly sweet. Thanks Allie!

Lots to do today: grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry (ugh), reading, church, breakfast, lunch, dinner, you know, the regular stuff 🙂

Enjoy your Sunday! ~Holly

Questions:

1. What are your plans for today?

2. If you could take a trip ANYWHERE, where would you choose? Why?

Super Size Me

You’ve all seen this movie, right? Morgan Spurlock spends 30 days eating McDonalds food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it! The way his health deteriorates is ridiculous and downright scary.

What have you tried for 30 days straight? A new diet or an exercise routine? Or maybe you did what I did, which was participate in Tina’s 30 Days of Reflection for Self-Love.

This series really helped me a lot, and I think every comment I left for Tina included the words “thank you” – because although it was emotionally tough and overwhelming at times, it was totally worth it and I appreciate the time and effort she put into those posts. You can click *here* to read all of the posts – they are listed at the bottom of that post.

So do I love myself now? Well, I can’t honestly say “yes” – it is not something that (I believe) can be achieved in 30 days (no offense Tina!) – but the 30 Days series was definitely a big move in the right direction. Appreciate what you have and love the body that you were given.

The posts titles “Gifts of the Body” were my favorite because for so long I have beaten up my own body – eating too much or too little, exercising too much or not enough. Squeezing myself into clothes that made me feel uncomfortable and unattractive which led to more body bashing. My inner negative dialogue was so loud sometimes that it was hard to truly SEE myself in the mirror – all I saw were the negative qualities, when I really have plenty of positive ones!

So thanks to the 30 DRSL I do feel more confident in myself — and that is also the result of my own self reflection and movement towards a healthier lifestyle and a healthier outlook on life in general. So I guess I Super Sized my self esteem??? 🙂

So thanks Tina and everyone who had participated over there — I loved reading others’ comments.

*I know I said I’d take weekends off, but if I have something to write about I’m going to write! I’m just going to take it day by day.*

Questions:

1. Did you participate in the 30 DRSL? What did you learn about yourself?

2. What are your plans for the weekend? Jason and I are going to a MN Twins game today –woohoo! Tomorrow we are running in the TC 10 Mile race (wish me luck!!!) followed by a birthday party for Jason’s Grandma — she recently turned 70!

3. Do you have any goals for October? I’m in the process of figuring mine out 🙂 and will be posting them hopefully tomorrow or Monday morning. As usual, I want to focus on nutrition, fitness, spiritual wellbeing, intellectual wellbeing and my marriage. I try to cover all my bases!

4. What are some of your nicknames? Did you parents call you something when you were younger? Do they still? I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few, but my Mom used to (and still does) call me Holly Dolly 🙂

Have a great weekend!

Holly

Count Choco-cado-ula

Thank you everyone for your support on taking weekends off of blogging. I want to enjoy this and I don’t want to stay up late working on a post. I’m not saying that my job and home life are suffering NOW, but late nights do take their toll on me, so I’m doing what is best for me. But who knows, maybe a weekend post will slip in now and then 🙂

Let’s just get right to the goods:

As I was picking out avocados at the store over the weekend I remembered seeing a recipe for Choco-cado pudding on Gina’s site. I knew I had to try it, so I did! I followed her recipe, but made only a ½ serving and lessened the amount of almond butter and agave.

Believe me, it still had plenty of chocolatey goodness. It made me think of this guy:

I *almost* bought of box of this cereal over the weekend but I knew I would eat all of it in one sitting so I resisted the urge. If only it came in single serving boxes! Then I could maybe trust myself. Someone PLEASE make a healthy version of Count Chocula!

I finally finished one of my Sept goal books: The Dance of Fear and I have to say I really enjoyed the last chapter:

Ha! It’s true, we all have our fears and what is important is to know that it’s ok! I am still normal! The book concluded by talking about courage: that if you are afraid of something – you need (and HAVE) courage to deal with that issue. The author writes “Everything in this world that is truly worth doing takes practice. Courage is no exception”. To me, she once again is saying “fake it til you make it”. You may not feel/be courageous right away, but with time and practice, you will be!

For me, I get anxious and nervous (and fearful many times) when I am invited to a social event: birthday party, holiday party, bonfire, out to dinner, etc. I struggle because I am introverted and yet feel the need and desire to be a part of the party – I want to be seen as friendly and fun to be with. But I don’t feel that way since I can be so shy sometimes. I seclude myself in order to keep myself from being uncomfortable and nervous. But The Dance of Fear has helped me to see that I will not wake up one day and exclaim “I love parties and I can’t wait to go to the next one!” Instead, I need to go to these situations and practice. I need to take the courage I have and use it to face my fears. And with time, I will get more comfortable and less nervous. It won’t be easy, but like the author wrote: Anything worth doing takes practice!

Sorry, just had to throw him in there 🙂

Questions:

  1. Do you like those Halloween cereals? What was your favorite? Count Chocula, BooBerry or Frankenberry? My favorite has always been and always will be COUNT CHOCULA!
  2. What are you afraid of? I am afraid of many many things: spiders, snakes, rats, SHARKS, plus many other creepy crawly things!
  3. Do you dress up for Halloween? What was your favorite costume? Do you have a costume picked out for this year? My favorite costume EVER was when I dressed up as a hillbilly – I had a mullet wig, “Billy Bob teeth”, I wore a torn flannel shirt with long john bottoms and big boots. I carried a 12 pack of beer with me and it was hilarious. I was comfortable (hello long johns!) and it cost maybe $20 (mostly for the wig and beer!). I’ve been trying to come up with a good idea for Jason and me. Any ideas?

Did anyone watch Hoarders last night? The woman with all of those cats in her house made me so sad. Those poor animals! I’m glad they were able to save so many.

Holly

Almond Butter Chili

Happy Monday 🙂

So, I’ve decided to not blog every day. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy it, but sometimes I stay up way too late working on a post and that takes the fun out of it. I do have other commitments: a full time job, a husband, a house, family, friends, hobbies, etc. So unless someone wants to pay me to blog… I won’t be doing it every day. For sure I will be taking off most weekends. I know Laury does this and I respect her for taking the time off for herself.

I spent the weekend working on my September goals: cleaning the garage out, reading my books, exercising, eating well, going to church. 🙂 I’m doing good but I need to get in lots of reading over the next few days.

On Sunday I finally had a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Caribou Coffee – I see other bloggers write about going to Starbucks, but near my house there are PLENTY of Caribou Coffees and not so many Starbucks. *Plus* I had a buy one, get one free coupon — so how could I pass that up?

I actually prefer Caribou because of the “woodsy outdoorsy” décor. Hey, I’m from MN, what did you expect? Plus Starbucks (well, and Caribou too…) coffee tastes like burnt motor oilAverie has blogged about the terrible coffee at Starbucks and I agree!

After getting a lot of things done around the house on Sunday, I thought I’d make a delicious dinner: CD’s Almond Butter Chili from Heather Eats Almond Butter.

It was so delicious. I didn’t have all of the ingredients, but I managed and it turned out wonderful. Jason loved it! The addition of almond butter was pure genius. Heather I will definitely make this again! Thanks for sharing the recipe. I didn’t have any waning nut butter jars to use, and I’m sure that would have taken the meal over the edge!

Questions:

  1. What was the best part of your weekend? I have to say that I loved relaxing on Saturday and being productive on Sunday. It feels so good to cross things off of my to-do list.
  2. Do you have a blog? If so, do you blog every day? Do you feel pressure to blog about amazing things? That is what happened to me on Friday night – I didn’t have anything to write about and I spent too much time thinking about a topic or a recipe, etc. Instead, I could have just done something else with my time instead of staring at the computer screen thinking of a topic. I’ve decided that I won’t force myself to post just for the sake of blogging every day.
  3. How do you keep yourself organized? Do you keep a planner? A calendar? I honestly just keep lists with me wherever I go – my purse usually has 5-6 small pieces of scrap paper with notes, grocery lists and to-do lists on them. I also like to send emails to myself – that way when I check my email I am reminded of those to-do items. I’ve tried keeping a calendar but I get tired of it after only a few days.
  4. What is your favorite place to get coffee/tea? I actually like gas station coffee most of the time — it is cheap and READY! Or I just make mine at home. If I feel like spending extra money (doesn’t happen often) I go to Caribou.

🙂 Holly