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!



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! 🙂

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???)


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 🙂


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


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.*


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!


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 🙂


  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.


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!


  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

New Friends & New Veggies

Hi Friends 🙂

Did you have a lovely weekend? I did! Lots of relaxing and unwinding, but I also made a new friend 🙂 and got a lot done around the house.

On Sunday morning I went to meet Kate!

We had a lovely time together. We grabbed a cup of tea and then hit up the St. Paul Farmers Market. Check out the goods I brought home:

Those little potatoes are so good. I might use this recipe that I’ve made before. Yum!

Kate I had a wonderful time getting to know you better! Any other MN bloggers want to get together, let me know!

After that I went to church and I’m so glad I went. As you know, it was one of my September goals to attend church every Sunday. Well, I missed the first 2 Sundays but I’m getting into it now!

I also read another chapter in The Dance of Fear.

I am working on a post for Tuesday that discusses my thoughts on the subject. Just by reading the title, do you have any thoughts to share?


1. Do you have any family heirlooms/treasures? My mom recently showed me her charm bracelet from her high school years, as well as a few of her mother’s rings and her father’s cufflinks. Jason and I have a set of dishes from his Great-Grandmother:

Aren’t they beautiful?

2. What was the highlight of your weekend? I definitely enjoyed meeting Kate, but I also enjoyed getting so much done: cleaning, organizing, reading, relaxing, and getting to church.

3. Will you be watching Thintervention tonight? What are your thoughts on the show so far? Like I’ve said before, I appreciate that Jackie talks about diet AND exercise, and I think that The Biggest Loser emphasizes exercise, which I do not think is a good message to send to viewers.

Have a good day!


Water Cravings & Blog Love

Happy Friday!

I am so ready for the weekend. Thursday night after dinner (6pm?) I crawled into bed for a little cat nap. That nap turned into almost 2 hours! And I definitely could have kept on sleeping. The weird part was when I woke up, I was super hungry. I ran downstairs, grabbed a bowl of grapes/strawberries  out of the fridge and had a handful of grapes and a few strawberries. Then I realized what I was really craving: water. My throat felt so dry and I just needed water. Do you ever get that way? I usually drink a ton of water throughout the day, so rarely do I ever feel “thirsty” – I didn’t even recognize it, I thought it was hunger at first!

That old “drink a glass of water if you are hungry” thing actually has some truth to it – I thought I was hungry but I was just thirsty. The fruit sure was refreshing though!

On Wednesday I got my Barney Butter from Lindsey and on Thursday I got my Kroeger Herb supplements from Averie!

And its just what I need: Healthy Gut 🙂 I love the heart shaped vitamin holder too – usually I just use an old empty vitamin bottle. This will work way better. In Averie’s honor I decided to make a dessert from her blog:

Raw Vegan Sugar Cookie Dough Balls. I mean, who doesn’t love cookie dough? These will be perfect to bring to work, I know my coworkers will love them! I blended them up in my Magic Bullet which actually really struggles with blending up dates – but I figured out the secret: put the mixture (still in the bullet cup) and microwave for 10-15 seconds. It warms the mixture enough that the Bullet can cut right through and not get so stuck. After, I put the cup in the fridge for 30 minutes and then rolled out the balls.

And my winning streak continued! I won 3 blog awards this week. I received 2 “Happy 101” Awards :)Thank you Julia and Rachel!

10 things I like (copy and paste this into your post and list 10 things YOU like!):
2.My Family
3.My Sleep Number Bed
4. Bagging groceries — yes, I truly enjoy this!
5.Baking cookies, bars, cakes, brownies, etc
7.Watching Real Housewives of NY, NJ, OC, ATL…
8.Working out
9. Reading books on psychology, personalities, relationships and Sookie 🙂

10 Other Bloggers who deserve this award!

  1. Love, Veggies, Yoga
  2. 40 Apples
  3. Healthy Hoggin
  4. Snacking Squirrel
  5. All Kinds of Hungry
  6. Oh Healthy Day
  7. Eat Move Write
  8. Living With Healthy Hunger
  9. Spabettie
  10. The Fitness Dish

Thanks again Julia and Rachel! 🙂

AND my other award was from the lovely Leashie Loo:

1. Answer this question: If you had the chance to go back and change one thing in your life, what would it be? If I could somehow make myself more confident I would. That is something that I struggle with to this day and if I could go back and somehow HAVE it, that would be awesome!   

2. Nominate another 6 people for this award and let them know they’ve got the award.

A Healthy Slice of Life

Chronicles of a Diet Book Junkie

Faith, Fitness, Fun

Gluten Free Muse

Running to Slow Things Down

The Kitchen of a Runner

 3. Thank the person who gave you the award. Thanks Leashie Loo for this lovely award. I will treasure it always 🙂

I’ve got homemade chili in the crockpot for Friday night. My Mom is coming over to watch a movie with me – anyone have any suggestions? I have a Netflix account and we were going to pick something from their Instant Play library.


1.What is your favorite new-to-you blog? What do you like about it?

 I named a bunch of blogs above that I enjoy reading, for different reasons. Some take lots of pics of food, show recipes, etc. Others focus on exercise, and some do a bit of both a bunch of other topics too. Those are the ones I enjoy the most!

2. Any fun plans for the weekend? Tonight my Mom is coming over for chili/movie night, and then Saturday Jason and I are shopping for a storm door. How exciting, right? And I am supposed to have a blogger meetup on Sunday, I hope that is still going on! Anyone else in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area who would like to join in? Email me!

3.Money Question: How do you handle your money? Checking account? Savings account? Do you use credit cards? Why? For the convenience or for the rewards? If you are married/have joint finances with someone do you combine your money or do you keep it separate? I have seen a few blog posts where married couples have 6 accounts total: they each have their own savings/checking and then they have join accounts as well. How did you decide how to do it?

 Jason and I have 1 checking account and 1 savings account. Everything we have goes into those accounts. I cannot imagine figuring out who pays for what, etc. We just put our money together and pay for stuff together. It is what works for us. Oh and NO credit cards. Cash or debit card only.

 Enjoy your Friday!


September Update & Office Sabotage

Hello Friends!
Can you believe that September is half over already? No wonder if feels like Fall!
I thought this would be a good time to check out my September goals and see where I’m at:
1. Exercise consistently: Incorporate TurboFire, running and FBB workouts throughout the week, including at least one rest day and lots of foam rolling.
*I have been working out using TurboFire and FBB workouts pretty consistently, and as of a few days ago I was running as well. Now that I’m not focusing on running, I can add other activities instead. I’ve been foam rolling and resting regularly as well. GOOD
2. Continue to eat well: focus mostly on lean proteins/produce at each meal, with a sprinkle of healthy fats and carbs and a small indulgence here and there.
*My food intake has been good this month – I don’t post much of my daily food each day, mostly because that would be incredibly boring for you as a reader and me as a blogger. I’d rather write about life and other subjects! GOOD
3. Participate in Tina’s 30 Days of Reflection for Self-Love. I have been loving her series so far and I can’t wait to see the rest of the topics to unfold.  I have battled with low self esteem and self image as long as I can remember, and any guidance is appreciated!
*I have been loving Tina’s posts! The daily reflections on having confidence, appreciating our bodies and changing our perspectives have truly helped me in gaining more self confidence. When I look in the mirror I now see some good things before I notice the imperfections. I can’t say I ONLY see the good in me after only 15 days, but each day I feel a little chunk of my poor body image is being chipped away! GOOD
4. Read at least 2 non fiction books. I read plenty. Unfortunately, I have only been reading the Sookie Stackhouse books (trash!). Here are my two books that I plan to read: Dance of Fear and Love & Respect.
*I have been reading…more Sookie Stackhouse. I am halfway through Dance of Fear but I have yet to start Love and Respect. I also picked up The Highly Sensitive Person on Monday, but I will get to that book once I finish my first 2 choices. OK…
5. Attend church. I haven’t gone to church in months. I think I have a strong faith in God, but I am missing that weekly dose of worship. I plan on attending church every weekend in September.
 *To be honest, I haven’t gone to church once this month. I’ve made excuses every weekend to not attend. This is my #1 focus for the rest of the month – I feel so much better and more connected to God after attending church. I definitely need that weekly worship! NOT GOOD
6. Clean and organize. You’ve seen my garage. This month it goes away. I’m either donating or selling stuff. I need to get my car back in the garage!

*I have sold a few things on Craigslist (woohoo!), but my garage is still pretty full. My mom is coming over this weekend to pick through for good items for a work fundraiser (Hi Mom, Thanks for reading!), and then the rest will be picked up by a “we will pick up your junk” person from Craigslist. GOOD
7. Stay within our budget! Jason and I are in the process of building our savings, and that means not spending a ton of money at Target and Trader Joes. We’ve made our budget and now we just have to stick to it.
*Our budget has been great this month! We are well on our way for having extra money at the end of the month to go to savings. I encourage you to check out Dave Ramsey if you are looking into how to budget. Following his plan has helped us get on the same page with money, how to save, buying insurance, saving for retirement, saving for anything! GOOD
Everything seems to be going well this month, except I need to pick up a BOOK instead of turning on the tv and I need to get to church.
Did you make goals for September? How are you doing?
So…we had this sitting in the cupboard…
I know, I know, they are processed junk with empty calories and hydrogenated oils. But they taste great. I baked them up and they will make an awesome treat to bring into work tomorrow. I used to think that my coworkers were trying to sabotage me by bringing in treats — but I have always been able to say “yes” or “no” without any backlash. I think as long as you stick to your answer and not let yourself be swayed into saying “well, maybe I’ll have a little, ok a whole piece”. If you don’t want any, say “no thank you” and thats it! Stand your ground! I understand there are people out there who will literally shove the food in your face, or bring it to your desk, etc. When I don’t want something (either while I was in “losing mode” with Weight Watchers or if I had already had too many “treats” that day) I take it and bring it home to Jason. I usually took a picture and sent it to him to keep myself  accountable and not eat it! Worked every time 🙂
  1. How do you feel about office treats? Do they annoy you? Do you wish people would only bring in healthy foods? Do you feel pressure to eat what other people bake? I used to dread office treats, but I don’t mind them anymore. My coworkers are nice enough to not shove them in your face. Some people eat them and others don’t. We respect each other. I like to bring in treats for the warehouse employees – they love whatever I bake for them! So it’s a win-win for me, I get to bake (which I love) and I get a self esteem boost listening to the guys butter me up about my excellent baking!
  2. If you could go anywhere in the US for a vacation, where would you go? I’ve asked you all this before, but I love hearing more and more ideas. Jason and I are planning a vacation for next Spring. We have never taken a true vacation together and I’m excited about the planning!
  3. Are you going to watch the Top Chef finale tonight? Who do you want to be the winner? I hope Ed wins it all! I recently watched an episode of Iron Chef and Ed was Cat Cora’s sous chef – it was so funny to see him on another show!
Enjoy your Wednesday!