Tremendous Twelve

Hi Friends 🙂

Today is the last day to enter my giveaway – you have until 10pm CST tonight – winner will be announced tomorrow!

Jason is actually publishing this post for me – I am away at our Sister-in-Law’s house for the rest of the weekend. I know there is a way to set up an auto-publish in WordPress but I was short on time, so I showed Jason where the powerful Publish button is and asked him to do it for me.

Yesterday I ran 12 miles – and I was so nervous about how it would go. But it went great! I started off my morning with a good breakfast:

I think it is Denny’s or Perkins that has a breakfast called the Tremendous Twelve (2 eggs, 2 slices of toast, 2 slices of bacon, 2 sausages, 2 pancakes = 12!). Yes the only connection between the title of this post and the content of this post is the fact that the #12 appears in both. Moving on…

I chose to have a bagel with peanut butter and chia seeds on top and a sliced apple. This is my go-to breakfast before longer runs. It fills me up without weighing me down. I waited about 30 minutes and then I ran out the door!

Yes that means I ran outside – no more treadmill for the long runs. I just couldn’t bear the thought. And it was pretty nice out! At about 9am (when I started my run) it was maybe 25 degrees? But the sun was shining so I felt pretty good.

I was also bundled up with a jacket, long sleeve Under Armor shirt (love that shirt so much!), capris (from Target!), gloves and hat. I also had my fuel belt:

I keep tissues, chapstick and sport beans in the pouch, water in one bottle and Gatorade in the other. It took me a while to get used to having it on me, but now it doesn’t bother me at all. During my run I drank everything and the sport beans give me an extra boost when I need it. I love those!

I ran on some trails near our house – and I knew I was running 12 total miles because I entered it all into Map My Run before I left:

This is a great tool for me. I don’t have a Garmin or anything to keep track of the distance I am running, so I have to figure it out beforehand. Map My Run is easy to use and it is free! Plus you can search for mapped runs in your area — I have never used any of these though. I think there is a subscription service (where you can save runs, etc) but I don’t know if that is free or not. So I figured out how far I needed to run so that I was 6 miles away from home, then I turned around and came back.

12 miles took me about 2 hours, which is on track for how I have been running so far. I was just happy to be done! The hardest part was the last two miles – I knew how close I was to home and yet I still felt so far away!

I came home and iced my knees (just in case!), foam-rolled and then made myself some FOOD!

I made two over-easy eggs (my favorite), with a slice of toast. I also had a smoothie: 1 cup almond milk, ½ banana, 1 TBSP peanut butter, 1 TBSP chia seeds, 1 scoop whey protein powder, ice

Delicious! After showering I took a little snooze and I felt incredible for the rest of the day!

Have a great day!

~Holly

Green & Gold Breakfast

Hi Friends 🙂

How sad that the weekend is almost over! It always goes by so quickly (same with summer in MN, it never sticks around long enough).

So I finished 5 miles yesterday morning – and it was tough! Usually anything over 3 miles is a challenge (and hello 10+ or 15+ are super challenging for me) but I pushed through.

I took a few walking breaks, but generally my pace was 10 min/mile with a 1-2% incline. I’m happy with that on the treadmill for now, but we’ll see what my pace is once I start running outside. It was actually “warm” (30+ degrees!) this weekend, but there is still plenty of snow and ice and SLUSH on the sidewalks. No thanks.

I did have some IT band pain today, so I foamrolled for a while and that seemed to help. I also did some strength training at home (basic stuff like squats, lunges, planks, pushups, etc). Saturday afternoon we went to the Mall of America and it was a total mobscene. I have mentioned on the blog previously that I get easily overwhelmed in large crowds, loud, noisy places, etc so the MOA trip was not the greatest. But it was nice to walk around for a while and pick up a few gifts.

As part of my Feb goals, I tried a new recipe this morning! Spabettie’s Spinach Pancakes.

I blended up the flour, spinach and egg in my Magic Bullet:

I cut down the recipe and used ground oats instead of rice flour, but they still tasted pretty good! I ate them with a fried egg in between, and to be honest anything covered with a runny egg tastes amazing!

Thank you Spabettie – the best part was how GREEN they turned out! (So with the GREEN pancakes and GOLD runny egg — should I cheer for the Packers today?)

Today’s plans include fun things like laundry, vacuuming, cleaning, dusting, etc. But I hope to get some reading in as well. I’m plugging through Love & Respect

The idea of the book is quite simple: the author describes how husbands want respect from their partners and wives want love — and in arguments, it almost always boils down to the husband feeling disrespected or the wife feeling unloved. The author talks a lot about conflict resolution which is wonderful information for married couples, or anyone for that matter. We all fall in to conflict at some point – whether at work, at school, with our parents/siblings, spouses, significant others, friends, etc. Knowing how to share your views/opinions/complaints in an effective matter is something that everyone needs to learn.

Alright I’m off to start some chores around the house! Maybe I’ll turn on the Super Bowl while I’m folding laundry 🙂

*Are you watching the big game today?

*Are you good at resolving conflict? Do you tend to avoid it or do you confront it head on?

Enjoy your day!

Holly

Early Bird Gets the Gym

Happy Saturday!

I am up early to head to the gym (I say early because I usually like to sleep in on Saturdays)  – I have 5 miles planned for today. It feels really good to get back into running again. We “officially” start the training schedule on February 13th, so for now I am just running easy a few days per week.

I had a Microwave Banana Oat Cake for fuel before my run:

(Remember my Feb goals? This was my second new recipe this week – woohoo!) Read about my first one *here*.

Averie this was so good, and I used a smaller amount of sugar (only 1 tsp!) and the recipe turned out great! I used just a thin schmear of peanut butter (about a tsp?) on top and that made it even more delish. I liked that it was a “new” way to eat oatmeal! And the recipe was so simple! Thank you! It was very chewy (in a good way!) and satisfying!

After hitting the gym I plan on going to the Mall of America to do some birthday shopping. Jason and I have 2 nieces (one on “my” side and one on “his” side) and they both have birthdays in February. D will be 3 and F will be 4 – so adorable! Last time I was at MOA I saw Bob Harper, I wonder who I might see today? J

I wanted to share last night’s dinner with y’all (said Paula Deen style):

Roasted Tomato Grilled Cheese

I’ve made this before on the blog, but seriously. It is so good. I mean, check out that roasted wrinkly tomato!

Slice up a few tomatoes (I had 2 for Jason and me) and take the seeds out:

Toss them with some canola oil, salt and pepper. I also tossed in a few shakes of this:

(or you could add a clove of chopped garlic as well)

Roast on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, flipping the tomato slices at the 15 minute mark. Afterward, place slices on toasted bread and top with cheese slices (or soy cheese in our case).

I popped them under the broiler for a few minutes to let the cheese soften a bit. Soy cheese doesn’t melt the best (for me at least) but it needed to be just a tad melty.  Served with green beans and a sweet tater with cinnamon:

I really like open faced sandwiches because they take me longer to eat. I wolf down my food so fast that I need tricks like this to help me slow down.  I want to eat slower so I enjoy my meal more! (and I’ve heard it helps digestion – no idea if that is actually true or not!)

Well wish me luck on my run, this is the longest distance I have ran since October!

***What are your plans for the weekend?

***Have you ever seen/met any celebrities in real life?

Blueberry Banana Baked French Toast & Vegas Bound

Hi Friends 🙂
 
Today is the day Jason and I leave for Vegas!!! I am so excited about this trip 🙂
 
Thank you to everyone who gave me suggestions on where to eat and what to see. I’ll be blogging each morning with a little recap for the day before.
 
For now I will leave you with our breakfast:
Blueberry Banana Baked French Toast
 
I originally found this recipe on the Weight Watchers recipe board – but I’ve tweaked quite a few things, and you can adjust the recipe to any size – I made enough for 2 servings but you could easily double the recipe and make it in a larger dish.
 
Ingredients:
4 pieces of bread 
2 eggs
1 cup milk – I used unsweetened Almond milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cinnamon
1 sliced banana (and more for topping)
1/2 cup blueberries (I used frozen)
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat baking dish with nonstick spray (or use butter). Lay 2 slices of bread in bottom and mush together as necessary. Cover bread with sliced bananas and blueberries. Mix eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon in a large bowl. Pour ½ of liquid mixture on top of bread/fruit. Cover with the rest of your bread and pour rest of liquid mixture on top. Use a spatula to smoosh the bread to completely saturate it. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes (or until done)
Layer 1:
Topped with bread and saturated with egg/almond milk:

You know it is done baking when the blueberry juice oozes out!
Top with more banana slices and serve:
This was the perfect send off breakfast 🙂
 
Work until noon then home to finish packing and then we’re off to the airport!
  
Where was your last vacation? Would you go back?

Wunderbar Hemp Protein

Hi Friends 🙂

I spent a few hours with my mom yesterday – and one of the things she said was “is it just me or is time just flying?” And isn’t that true? I swear the past few months have gone by so quickly – and before we know it Thanksgiving will be here and then soon after 2011 will be here! It is truly amazing how fast time seems to be going. Makes me want to focus on enjoying each day!

I started Sunday with a Pumpkin Smoothie:

In the Big Mac glass! My favorite 🙂

Instead of my normal protein powder, I used this Hemp Protein sent to me from Manitoba Harvest.

They were kind enough to send me some other samples to try:

Along with some Hemp Seed Butter – which I will be trying later this week.

Thanks Manitoba Harvest 🙂

I spent the afternoon with my mom putting together some party favors for her job. She works for an Assisted Living Facility as their Activities Director, and this Wednesday is their Oktoberfest Party. Check out the wunderbar favors (they are little bags of pretzels)

Cute, huh? I had time to help her because Jason was gone for most of the afternoon. He is currently back in school (along with working full time). His school is undergoing some sort of accreditation program and he was asked to be interviewed by the accreditation evaluators. Basically he gets interviewed for an hour and gets free dinner 🙂

But he sure looked nice for the interview, right?

I put those roses there – I’m such a good photographer, right? You better be shaking your head “yes”…

I didn’t get super far on our Halloween costumes, but by the middle of the week I should have some good pics for you 🙂

*Best part of your weekend?

*Do you enjoy crafty stuff like putting party favors together or scrapbooking? I love crafts and I’d probably enjoy scrapbooking, but some of that stuff is super expensive – all the papers, stamps, stickers, tools, etc. I’d rather use my money for something else!

*Have you ever tried Hemp Protein products? What did you think?

*Don’t forget to submit your entry for the Great Blogger Pumpkin Carving Contest (open to anyone, not just bloggers!)

Enjoy your Monday! ~Holly

Sweetest Day Pumpkin Butter

Hi Friends!

What are you up to today?

I am expecting our Craigslist buyers to pick up our washer and dryer this morning, and then I can swiftly move my car into the garage! Yes it was a September goal to get the garage clear, but I am soooo happy that it gone done AT ALL. The few extra weeks weren’t so bad 🙂

I figured out our Halloween costumes! I picked up a few things at Goodwill and JoAnn Fabrics:

Any guesses what we are going as? Here’s your clue:

Making our own costumes will be so much cheaper than buying ones already made – the total cost of supplies was less than $20 for both of us. All I need is 2 hours to throw them together and sew them up!

Do you have your costume chosen/picked out?

*

Did you know that today is Sweetest Day? I heard a blurb on the radio about it yesterday and had no clue what it was. Apparently, it is known as a day to show affection to the ones in your life whom you like. So I made a lovely addition to breakfast for Jason (I like him, so it counts!)

Toast with peanut butter and homemade Pumpkin Butter.

I used Angela’s recipe for Happy Thanksgiving Homemade Pumpkin Butter. I followed her instructions and used brown sugar instead of Sucanat (it was all I had on hand). The house smells so good and just when I thought I was sick of pumpkin…

I’m not sick of it anymore!

Happy Sweetest Day! This is definitely a Hallmark holiday if I ever heard of one!

1. What are your plans for the day? Anything fun?

2. Do you celebrate little anniversaries/half birthdays/or anything of the kind? Jason and I don’t really celebrate, but we remember little anniversaries: first date, proposal date, wedding date (duh), birthdays, etc. We used to buy each other gifts for each month anniversary when we started dating.

My first gift to Jason:

His first gift to me:

Do you remember the gifts that family/friends/sig other have given to you? What has been a very special gift that you have received? Can you think of a really special gift you gave to someone else?

…my flowers are still alive:

Have a great day ~ Holly

Pumpkin Apple Stuffed French Toast

Hi Friends 🙂

Happy Friday!!!

Another flower shot:

They are blooming so beautifully!

Breakfast was glorious this morning. I’ve been eating oatmeal or eggs for breakfast for weeks, so I think I made the perfect substitute:

(can you see the layer of apple in there?)

Pumpkin Apple Stuffed French Toast

Ingredients:

4 slices of bread

1 large apple, cored, peeled and thinly sliced

2 eggs

1 cup almond milk

½ cup pumpkin

Vanilla, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice to taste (I just used a dash and sprinkle of each)

Sprinkle of sugar (1 tbsp worth?)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Coat a baking dish with non-stick spray (or butter) and place 2 pieces of bread in the dish. Depending on what bread you use and what dish you have, yours could look completely different from mine. I cut the bread to fill up the dish more. Place sliced apples on top of the bread.

Mix together remaining ingredients and pour half of the mixture over the bread/apples.

I poured enough to cover the bottom layer. Place the last 2 slices of bread on top and cover with the rest of the egg/milk mixture. Use a spatula or spoon to squish the bread and get it all saturated with that pumpkin goodness.

Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes, then uncover and bake for an additional 10-15.

Yum. I am not exaggerating when I say this tasted like pumpkin pie! And the apples provided such a lovely soft layer in the middle.

*

I took your advice yesterday and returned those condiments. I’m sure down the road I would “need” them, but for now, I’d rather have my money back. 🙂

And yes that is a $10 bill, the biggest reason I wanted to return those items. What can I say, I’m a cheapass. I felt awkward returning food, but the clerk was super nice and acted like this happens all the time! (and like I mentioned yesterday, it was 3 bottled condiments, all sealed up and never used)

*

What are your plans for the weekend? Tomorrow night Jason and I are babysitting our niece – I’m sure she’ll cry the whole time for Mommy and Daddy (Jason’s brother). She usually does that!

Are you a spender or a saver? I am definitely a saver and Jason is a total spender — it keeps us balanced I think. I like to shop for deals, and if something isn’t “perfect” for me (doesn’t fit quite right, not on sale, etc) I don’t get it. We just spent months (and we aren’t even done yet!) going through the stuff in our house and getting rid of stuff. We sure don’t need more unless we FOR SURE want it!

Have you checked out the Great Blogger Pumpkin Carving Contest?

Check out Lisa’s Giveaway for a CSN gift card and Kate’s Giveaway for a Macy’s gift card 🙂

Enjoy your Friday!

Holly

Pumpkin Pie in Coca-Cola

Hi Friends 🙂

Happy Humpday – not only is the week almost over but September is almost over! It is amazing how time can pass by so quickly. I’d still love suggestions for Halloween costumes for Jason and me, so let me know if you have any ideas.

Usually I watch The Biggest Loser on Tuesday nights, but last night I watched a little bit of this instead:

THE ONLY REASON I WATCHED was to catch a glimpse of this guy:

Yes, I had to see Uncle Jesse. 🙂 “Talk to me”

Rewind to yesterday morning, I decided to get up early and make something special for breakfast:

Pumpkin Pie Monster (from Angela’s blog)

I followed her recipe: ½ cup pumpkin, 1 cup almond milk, ½ scoop protein powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and a teeny tiny bit of maple syrup instead of molasses. And poured it in one of my CocaCola Babes glasses.

A friend gave these glasses to me years ago and I just love them!

I know, I know, I’m on pumpkin overload as is everyone else, right? I’ve decided to limit myself to posting one pumpkin recipe per week. Last week was Pumpkin Banana Bread and this week will be the Monster. What is your favorite pumpkin recipe?

Questions:

  1. Do you collect anything? For a while I collected Coca-Cola products: trays, glasses, plates, cups, mugs, pictures, postcards, bottles, etc, but I’ve slowly gotten rid of pieces that I don’t really want. I used to want to decorate my kitchen with a diner style/Coca-Cola theme. Tastes change over the years J When I watched Hoarders on Monday, one of the featured women talked about all of her collections. To be honest that show scares me – because as gross as many of those homes are, I can somewhat see how easy it could be to slide into those habits. If anything I have been getting rid of TOO much stuff lately only because clutter now drives me more crazy. (was that even possible???)
  2. Do you watch Glee? Is it really as good as everyone says it is? I watch too much tv as it is and I would hate to start watching another show. But I’ve heard such good things about the show that I am wondering if I am missing out.
  3. What is your dream job? Are you living it right now? What is keeping you from living that dream? I honestly don’t know what my dream job is. I like my job for now, but I don’t see myself working there for the next 10-15+ years. As cornball as it sounds, I want to be a Mom/Housewife. Maybe one day… Years ago my dream job was owning my own Bed & Breakfast – I thought it would be fun to decorate the old house, make breakfast, meet interesting couples, etc. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll get to do that too!

Enjoy your Wednesday!

Holly

POM Quinoa Parfait

Hi Friends 🙂
 
My new friend Craig is the best! We have gotten rid of a few items and I’ve gotten lots of interest on the rest of the junk treasures. Hopefully by the end of this week we’ll have a few more items listed and the garage will be almost empty…
 
It was pretty chilly and super windy here in MN today. So I was definitely thinking “fall” and “comfort food” when I made breakfast. I decided to use some of my POM juice in a new way:

Why can’t I cook quinoa in POM juice? I thought I’d give it a try. And it turned out wonderful! I think quinoa is such a cute grain — I love the shape and the fluffy texture. I layered my POM quinoa with sliced strawberries, unsweetened applesauce, golden raisins and pecans.

I think I want to tweek the amount of POM/water to quinoa ratio, but it definitely sweetened the quinoa and tasted nice with the applesauce. 
So I got to watch Thintervention and I liked it way more than the Biggest Loser. I like that it is not a competition between contestants and I like that Jackie talked about FOOD! On The Biggest Loser, the contestants exercise all day long. Then we have a brief moment where Bob or Jillian talks to the contestants about drinking milk, Brita water, whey protein, cheerios, etc. It is all commercials for their sponsors. Unless I always miss that episode, BL doesn’t talk much about diet or food. It is all about the exercise.
 
But I think that DIET is so much more important than exercise when it comes to losing weight. I can easily eat 1000 calories of junk food in a few minutes, but it will take me a long time to burn that all off. I don’t think you can erase bad eating habits with tons of exercise.
 –
Thintervention likes:
-Focus on diet changes with exercise
-Focus on decreasing sugar in daily diet
-Focus on changing bad habits
-The clients don’t live on a ranch
-The clients make their own food and live in their own homes
-There is an actual therapist to help the clients (instead of just having Jillian on the Biggest Loser)

 –
Thintervention dislikes:
-The blond female client who drinks and smokes all day long – she is ANNOYING

– 
I do watch The Biggest Loser but I get so tired of the competition aspect. Plus, I love Jillian Michaels, but I don’t like her trainer/therapist role. I wish she would just stick with training!
Oh and for my Real Housewives of OC watchers – did you notice that Jeana’s “chef” was that man Allan that she went on a few dates with? He was the father of one of Shane’s friends? Anyone else see that?
By the way, did you know Jillian is part owner of Jackie’s gym: Sky Sport and Spa?
In honor of Jackie’s new show I’m currently rereading portions of her book:

Although I do not like the “fat talk” (on the cover!!!), I do think Jackie makes great points about sugar addiction and the importance of eating a clean diet
And in case you didn’t look at a calendar today, it is a New Moon tonight!

Yes I have New Moon chocolates in my freezer. They actually taste horrible and they have lasted over a year. I keep them for the sentimental value only 🙂 They were a Christmas gift from my mother in law as a joke.
Questions:
1. Team Edward, Team Jacob, or Team Don’t Care? Team Edward!!!
2. What is your favorite grain? I love oatmeal and brown rice, but quinoa is slowly becoming one of the “favorites”
3. Do you tend to dwell on the past, dream about the future or live in the present? I honestly usually live in the future — I think about what could be or what will be, but I also often think about the past and I wonder if I have made good decisions. I am trying to live in the present and enjoy each day, but it is tough for me!
Have a great day,
Holly

Cinnamon Raisin Dumbbells

Happy September 1st!

I was just thinking a few days ago that I cannot believe it is almost September – where has this summer gone?

Ugh. But you know what? I’ve been super excited for September to begin because today marks the first day of Tina’s 30 Days of Reflection for Self-Love. Please head over to her site if you haven’t already. Are you in?

Last night I ran AGAIN – woah, I don’t run for weeks and suddenly I’m getting back into it. I ran 4 miles along my favorite trail and it felt great. I mean, how could you not enjoy your time here:

Ok those clouds are looking kind of scary in that last pic – I was booking it to get home because I didn’t want to get caught in the rain. I don’t have a Garmin (am I the only one without one?) but I wanted the same effect, so I duct-taped a brick to my wrist – ok not really, but seriously how do you run with that big honking thing?

None of my eats were really special yesterday, except for breakfast. It was all thanks to Rudi’s Organic Bakery:

Rudi’s was kind enough to send me four loaves of bread to test out. These are some serious loaves of bread!

(top left: 14 Grain, top right: Colorado Cracked Wheat, bottom left: Cinnamon Raisin, bottom right: Honey Sweet Whole Wheat)

I could totally use the Cinnamon Raisin Loaf for weights — it was so dense 🙂

I toasted one of each slice:

Jason and I tried ½ piece of each, and let me tell you, they were awesome. Our favorite was the 14 Grain loaf. The slices were small, but thick and very filling. We had a smear of strawberry preserves on top and it was so delicious.

The Cinnamon Raisin loaf was so hearty and crunchy — and each slice had huge raisins mixed in. The Cracked Wheat definitely had that “wheaty”, grainy taste and the Honey Sweet Whole Wheat was a very satisfying piece of bread, with just a hint of sweet honey flavor.

Check out their website to find Rudi’s products in your area! They also offer Gluten Free Breads as well (I’m looking at you Alyssa!) Thanks Rudi’s!

And be sure to check out Laury’s giveaway: Amazing Grass and Blender Bottle!

What is your favorite way to eat bread? A sandwich? French toast? With butter? Nut butter? My favorite is toasted with a little bit of butter and cinnamon.

Where do you exercise? At a gym? Your house? Outside?

Have a good one,

Holly