Mini Crock Pots & Popcorn

2013-11-17 19.38.10Murphy and I would like to wish you a happy Wednesday! My week has been going well so far, except for a cold I’ve developed. I’ve had less meetings after work this week and with Thanksgiving coming up, a short break is on the horizon! Woo hoo!

Today is What I Ate Wednesday hosted by Jenn at Peas and Crayons! My eats this week have been a little more diverse than usual. I’ve been getting fuller a lot quicker for some reason, so I’m not sure what that’s about. Could be some of the new food I’m eating.

Friday night I didn’t feel like cooking (let’s face it- do I ever?), so hubby and I grabbed some food from Q’doba. I don’t go there a whole lot, so I wasn’t exactly sure what to order. Although I studied abroad in Mexico, I’m not a huge fan of Mexican food in general- too many beans and tortillas does not make my stomach happy. I ended up going with the naked pork burrito bowl with lettuce, grilled veggies, salsa verde, and cheese. It was really good except that the grilled veggies made the lettuce kind of watery. The leftovers weren’t so great.

2013-11-15 17.33.54I am in love with my mini lunch crock pot. I received it last Christmas and forgot about it until recently. It’s perfect for taking soup or chili to work. You simply plug it in and your food will be nice and hot whenever you eat! It’s main use it just heating because the food needs to already be cooked. It’s really convenient for taking leftovers to work. I took my leftover baked potato soup (a la Skinnytaste) last week.

crockpotI’ve been on a popcorn kick lately. Not just plain old popcorn though, Pop Crunch Cheddar & Caramel Mix from Orville Redenbacher’s (such a good combo!) and Popcorn Indiana’s Cinnamon Sugar Kettle Corn. YUM.

popcornI picked up some cinnamon chips at my last grocery store run. I never bake with cinnamon chips, so I wasn’t completely sure what to use them in. After perusing Pinterest, I decided on Cinnamon Chip Pumpkin Spice cookies from I Heart Nap Time. They are really similar to the carrot cake pumpkin muffins I make often (just substituting cinnamon chips for mini chocolate chips and adding pudding mix). Make sure to bake the cookies the full 10 minutes. I under baked some of batches of mine and they’re a little soft (more “muffin” than “cookie” like).

2013-11-17 17.38.27Last night I enjoyed a little Centergy. I’m continuing to rehab my IT band with active exercise (thank you for all the advice!!) and am working on getting new running shoes. I think there may be a benefit to getting my feet refitted for running shoes. I’m curious what the other running store in my area will recommend for shoes. I’m definitely not hating the opportunity to look at new running shoes lately!

2013-11-17 07.59.54Keep calm and have a wonderful Wednesday!

Plain or flavored popcorn? Like or dislike Mexican food? Favorite fitness class this week?

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I Scratched the Itch + WIAW

2013-11-04 19.50.51On Monday I spoke of my race envy. As you get to know me better, you’ll find out I don’t sit on something like that for too long. Hubby and I tend to make decisions really quickly, which in the case of races is probably a good thing. No chance to second guess ourselves!

As I was searching through spring races, the St. Pat’s 17K caught my eye. It is 10.5 miles and a dress up race! At least I have plenty of time to plan a fun St. Pat’s running costume. So, I sent off my form today! I also decided I’m all in for the Cellcom half marathon in Green Bay. It’s May 18th and I’ve heard a lot of positive aspects of the race (running through Lambeau, great crowd support)! So, even though I’m jealous of all those who are racing now, I’m super excited for upcoming races. It will really help to motivate me through this winter!

On the food front- today is What I Ate Wednesday hosted by Jenn at Peas and Crayons! I had an especially good food week. I’m trying to mix up my meals more (yah alliteration :)). So far, so good. Here are my favorites from my week!

Favorite Baked Good:

cookiesI made an extremely good batch of chocolate chips cookies. Of course I don’t do “normal” cookies, so I tried Zucchini Applesauce Oatmeal cookies  from Two Peas and Their Pod. I love how the zucchini keeps the cookies moist. They’re very tasty even 5 days after I made them.

Favorite Breakfasts:

2013-10-31 06.23.09Gluten free toast topped with Laughing Cow wedge, sliced avocado, and 2 egg whites with a side of kiwi and coffee.

pboatmealPeanut butter and jelly oatmeal. It’s made just like it sounds- mixed in pb and jelly (and chia seeds) into my oatmeal. How have I never thought of this before?! Sooo good.

proteinpancakesMy Banana Cinnamon Protein pancakes topped with Peanut Butter Co Bees Knees and lots o’ cinnamon.

Favorite Lunch:

2013-10-30 11.44.32Salad with hard boiled egg, spinach, kale, cucumber, shredded carrot, feta, sunflower seeds, and yogurt dressing. I never get sick of salads because it’s so easy to change them up!

Favorite Dinners:

quinoabowlI spread one tortilla with laughing cow and filled it with cooked quinoa, veggies, and chicken sausage. I also added some shredded cheddar cheese and topped it with avocado.

2013-11-01 18.20.44Quinoa with avocado, a wedge of laughing cow, sunflower seeds and the veggie/chicken sausage mixture from the previous meal.

It will be hard to top these eats from this week. So many good things! Enjoy your Wednesday, friends!

Are you planning on running any spring races? Which ones? What are you favorite salad additions?


Pile on the Miles update: 9.5/40 miles

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October Foodie Pen Pal Reveal

Happy HalloweenThis month I participated in the Foodie Pen Pal program hosted by Lindsey at the Lean Green Bean. Thank you so much Lindsey for putting this together! It’s a great opportunity to share the local eats of my city and receive new-to-me eats from another part of the country!

2013-10-24 19.37.16Wanna hear about something not so scary? I received some great treats this month from Becca in Pennsylvania! I’ve never been to PA , nor do I know much about the food out there, so I was up for anything!

box1What was in the box:

  • Southeastern Mills Cheddar Garlic biscuit mix
  • Beaver brand Hot Cream Horseradish
  • Wos-Wit Pumpkin Butter


  • Little Debbie Pumpking delights cookies
  • TastyKake Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes
  • Organic Mint Chocolate bar

I opened the Kandy Kakes right away. OMG they’re so delicious. They’re a small cake, topped with peanut butter and covered in chocolate. It’s so simple, yet I don’t think we have anything like it that’s similar around here. I want more! I was very happy to see pumpkin butter in the box, as I recently ran out of the pumpkin butter I picked up in Door County. Becca included all things I am looking forward to trying. I am especially glad I participated, as {most of} these are local foods to PA. I wouldn’t have the opportunity to try these foods without the Foodie Pen Pal program!

I hope you have a wonderful Halloween! Try not to pass out from a candy coma. 🙂 I’m hoping we have lots of trick or treaters because I do not want all that chocolate and candy just laying around the house!

The Lean Green Bean

Pumpkin Bagels & Pudding Cakes

Well hi there.

2013-10-20 14.47.06Murphy & I wish you a happy middle of the week! The weather here has gotten noticeably cooler so I subjected Murphy to wearing his cute jacket. He actually doesn’t mind wearing it. I may or may not put it on him just so I can laugh at how cute he looks.

Today is my second favorite link up day, What I Ate Wednesday! (hosted by Jenn at Peas and Crayons). Below are my favorite eats from this week!

Last Saturday, hubby and I went out for dinner at a local eatery, The Kangaroost. The Kangaroost originally started as a food truck and now is a brick and mortar restaurant. They serve “gourmet comfort food with local flair.” You can taste such a difference with local, fresh ingredients. I seriously love this place. I had the Maple Glazed Salmon Salad with Gorgonzola Cheese and Citrus Vinaigrette. Their breakfast is amazing too (try the Happy Bellies oatmeal pancakes)!

2013-10-19 18.13.18Hubby picked up some bagels at Panera to bring to work for his birthday. I managed to sneak in a request for a pumpkin pie bagel for moi. It was really good, which means a lot coming from someone like me who doesn’t eat much bread. I topped it with Laughing Cow Cinnamon Cream cheese wedge and a sprinkle of cinnamon. So good!

2013-10-20 07.18.41A more typical breakfast for me in the morning continues to be oatmeal. I stir in 1 TB of chia seeds, sliced banana, and a scoop of peanut butter. It’s filling and satisfying, especially for these cold mornings lately!

2013-10-22 06.16.14I recently tried the Light & Fit blended greek yogurt. I really like that the flavor is already mixed in. I love the banana cream and orange cream varieties. I usually top the yogurt with sliced almonds.

2013-10-19 15.39.36We’ll end with a dessert because all dinners should be finished with some kind of dessert! Gotta treat ourselves a little too! Last week was our second anniversary and hubby’s birthday. Since it’s just the two of us, I picked up a small cake from a local bakery. I took a chance and selected the Snickers Treat pudding cake. I thought it looked really hard, but it was soft once I cut into it. A small slice was all that was needed though because it’s a pretty rich cake. Hubby liked it and that’s all that mattered!

cakeI’m going to a free running clinic tonight, hoping to get some tips on transitioning to winter running and staying injury free! I’m planning on running outside as long as I can this winter!!!

What’s your favorite kind of birthday cake? Do you have a little dessert every night or a lot of dessert one night? Will you be running outside this winter?

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Runner: Powered by Coffee

Let’s start with a confession…I haven’t run in almost a week and it’s bugging the crap out of me.  It’s not that I haven’t been exercising. I’ve done either Core and/or Centergy Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. But I just feel like something’s missing. Hey road, it’s you and me tonight, kapeesh? 

Last night we celebrated our second wedding anniversary. Hubby got me this awesome runner’s mug {powered by coffee} and sent flowers to my work. What a sweetie.

anniversaryWe went out to eat at our “special” anniversary restaurant, Red Lobster. Typically, we go here about 1-2 times a year. I changed up what I usually get and was very satisfied! I used to get the Parrot Bay jumbo shrimp with pina colada sauce and while it’s really good, I like eating something that I can feel good about the next day! I had the maple glazed tilapia with pineapple salsa, steamed broccoli, and vegetable medley. I couldn’t resist a Cheddar Bay biscuit though!

redlobsterToday is my husband’s 27th birthday! It’s crazy to think we’ve spent 6 birthdays together already. He was okay with having our anniversary and his birthday so close together, so I try to make his birthday special!

thennowLooking at the picture on the left makes me cringe a bit. I was definitely not leading a healthy lifestyle at that point in my life (probably 20-30 lbs heavier). That was a picture from homecoming ’08 at college. I don’t miss those days.

2013-10-08 19.10.25Foodwise, my goals lately have been to eat less bread and more veggies. So far, so good! I am packing spinach salads for lunch every day with greek yogurt and either kiwi or an orange. For dinner, I try to incorporate at least some veggies. This dinner was particularly good- sauteed portabella mushrooms, broccoli slaw, mini bell peppers, topped with laughing cow cheese and avocado. Yummy in my tummy (a la Michelle Tanner- for all my fellow Full House fans ;))

greekyogurtpopMy newest food find was this Superfruit Greek Yogurt Drizzlecorn by Popcorn Indiana. I had never heard of it before, but picked up a bag at Sam’s last weekend. It’s by no means “healthy”- the first ingredient is sugar, but it’s tasty (hello, lots o sugar) and different. I like it, but at $6/bag I probably won’t buy it again.

Check out everyone else’s weekly eats at Peas and Crayons!

Have a wonderful day, friends!

Do you and your significant other have a “special” restaurant? What are your food goals like lately? Anyone else a Full House fan?

WIAW: Crabby Patties, PSC, & Hi I’m Skinny

Happy Wednesday! I’m excited to share my weekly eats with you via What I Ate Wednesday at Peas and Crayons! But first, cute puppy alert!

2013-09-15 13.31.21Meet Murphy. He’s a year and a half now and just brightens any less than stellar day I have. I love coming home to him. He’s always so excited to see us. It’s hard to leave that face in the morning, let me tell you.2013-09-15 14.34.28We also like to cuddle. Errr, I like to lay on him.

2013-09-09 14.58.38And we may or may not treat him like our child. I think my hubby’s trying to tell me something….

Yep, those boys are all mine. And no, you can’t steal either one.

On to the eats for this week.

I’m definitely a lover of pumpkin, however, I’m not a fan of the pumpkin spiced latte. I tried one a few years ago from Starbucks and was really disappointed with the taste. Blah. I tried it mainly because I love pumpkin spice coffee k-cups from Green Mountain. This weekend I busted out PSC (can I make that an acronym?) and it was just as delicious as I remember. I bought a big box off Amazon last year because I knew it would be gone from the store before I knew it. I’m glad I did!

2013-09-15 07.15.33

One of my favorite snacks lately has been Hi I’m Skinny Sticks in the sweet potato variety. They are crunchy, sweet, and full of cinnamon flavor. My hubby’s favorite kind is the Multigrain Sweet Onion. There’s a lot more to them than some of those “veggie” sticks I’ve seen at the grocery store.

2013-09-06 16.30.57

When I lived in Stevens Point, my grad school town, one of my favorite restaurants was the Wooden Chair. They make a delicious opened face crab sandwich called the “Crabby Guy” on an english muffin. I’ve recreated my own version which I’ve deemed “crabby patties“. It’s one of those meals I forget about for a while and then make all the time once I remember how good it is!

2013-09-12 18.09.03

2013-09-12 18.11.15

Some dinners don’t always look the prettiest, but are very tasty. I picked up fresh produce at the farmer’s market this weekend, including cucumbers and red peppers. We also received veggies from family/friends. So, since I’m getting better at actually eating all the produce in my fridge, I threw together a chicken sausage stir fry for dinner.

2013-09-15 18.38.04

It included carrots, red and green pepper, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and spinach artichoke chicken sausages. To plate it, I laid down a bed of spinach and red quinoa and topped it with the chicken stir fry. I mixed in a wedge of Laughing Cow White Cheddar. Omg guys, it’s sooo good. Great way to use up my veggies!

2013-09-15 18.40.34

Sad news…I’m getting to the end of my pumpkin butter I bought in Door County. I need to start checking pinterest for some DIY pumpkin butter recipes. Hopefully it will be as good as the kind I bought!

2013-08-16 14.33.52-1

Have a great Wednesday! I’m happy it’s Wednesday because that means only 4 more days til my half marathon! 🙂

What’s the best pinterest recipe you’ve discovered? Do you have a hard time leaving your pet during the day?

Tuesday Tastes

There are so many great products out there that coincide with healthy living. I try to eat real food the majority of the time, but I also love finding and trying new eats and treats! Here are some of my favorite recent finds:

1) Funky Monkey Freeze Dried Fruit


The deets:

  • Gluten free
  • 100% Real Fruit
  • No added sugar
  • Vegan
  • Peanut/tree nut free

My thoughts: These have a great crunchy texture and are very flavorful. I’ve tried the Carnaval Mix (including freeze dried bananas, pineapple, apple, and papaya) and the Bananamon  (bananas with cinnamon) varieties. I was thinking these would be great to fuel with during a run as well. They obviously have natural sugar for a much needed boost. I like them more than regular dried fruit because of the crunch factor.

Where can I find these? I found these snacks as a recent new item at Walmart. You can also buy them online from their site, Amazon, and Target.

2) Snapea Crisps


The deets:

  • Good source of fiber (3g per serving)
  • Made from 60% whole peas
  • Low sodium (65 mg per serving)

My thoughts: I am in love with these! I randomly found them nestled in by the produce at Walmart. They come in Caesar, Lightly Salted, Black Pepper, and Wasabi Ranch varieties. I have tried the Caesar kind and they are becoming one of my favorite new snacks. They taste light and crunchy. Harvest Snaps also make Lentil Snaps which sound tasty.

Where can I find these? I’ve only found them at Walmart. After a quick search on their website, it looks like the main carrier is Walmart or you can find them online.

3) Blue Diamond Almonds

These are not “new”, but the flavors are a more recent addition to the Blue Diamond Almonds line.


The deets:

  • 3g fiber per serving
  • Um, they’re delicious? Need I say more?

My thoughts: I like my sweets. I blame my mom for giving me her sweet tooth. I try to limit the amount of sugar I eat (makes a huge difference in notable breakouts on my skin). I currently have the coconut, strawberry, and dark chocolate varieties in my cupboard. The strawberry almonds are good, but a little sweet by themselves. I like the throw them in greek yogurt, with chex cereal, or on a salad. On their own, I prefer the dark chocolate variety. I have not tried the blueberry or raspberry kinds yet, but they also sound good. Overall, very tasty and help to reach my fiber goals every day.

Where can I find these: At your local grocery store, Walmart, Target, they’re everywhere!!

4) Skippy Natural Creamy Peanut Butter with Dark Chocolate 

Look at that luxurious, dark brown chocolately goodness. YUM!


The deets:

  • 60% less sugar per serving than Nutella Hazelnut spread
  • 2g fiber per serving
  • 8g of sugar per serving

My thoughts: Love at first sight! It’s creamy and indulges my sweet tooth. I love it mostly in green smoothies. It’s also great on toast with cinnamon sprinkled on top. Peanut Butter & Co makes a Dark Chocolate Dreams that sounds very similar that I would like to try and compare.

Where can I find it?: I bought my 26.5 oz container at Walmart. A couple times I’ve gone there they have been out of it, so it must be popular. Others have discovered the goodness!

Recipe, please:

Nikki’s Favorite Green Smoothie

  • Big handful of spinach
  • 1 T chia seeds
  • 1 T Skippy Natural PB with Dark Chocolate
  • 3/4 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 to 3/4 of a frozen banana
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon

Blend and enjoy!

This smoothie after a run is half the reason I hit the pavement!

Question: What are your favorite new eats and treats??