TYT #14–Mankato Marathon spectator edition

So, even though I have run 2 full marathons and a lot of half marathons, I have never spectated a race!

So, while I was bummed to not be running any of the races during Mankato Marathon’s weekend, I was excited to show my support to my fellow runners. Bonus for my BODYPUMP participants who were running too!

Our house is just down from the race course and the race has one big loop – so we were able to see everyone near the start at mile 1 and then see the marathoners again about mile 16.

I had my “BODYPUMP strong” sign ready to go!


Cheers for spark. Smile 


We brought gummy bears. . . although Luke thought they were for him. Only the red ones though. . . Winking smile 


And Scott held a Kleenex box. . .


I don’t think I’ve heard so many . . .

I love you

Great idea

Thank you

You’re the best

Awesome idea

You’re a life saver

Best. Idea. Ever.


And the look on the runners faces when I said “gummy bears” was priceless. At mile 16, a hit of sugar is just what is needed. . . I remember that from the Des Moines half marathon, when a spectator was handing them out. .. I don’t think a gummy bear has ever tasted so good!

I ran a little ways with a couple of my bodypump people. It was SO amazing to see them out on the course, running their race, and going after it.

So inspiring.

It was an amazing morning.

I can’t wait to do it again!

Have you ever spectated a race?

Linking up with Becky for TYT – this was an unexpected and awesome treat for my weekend!!


Filed under Recap, Running

Weekend Update: 10/19/14

First, I mustache you a question. . ..


How was your weekend? LOL. Luke did NOT like this moustache on his face and ripped it off two seconds after the picture was taken. #keepingitreal

Friday it was chill and WINDY. Seriously in 5 miles, I almost got blown backwards at least a dozen times and Luke complained about the wind blowing his face. . . I know, bud, Mommy’s trying. . . But we completed 5 miles together and felt better because of it.


Our first family movie night on Friday – Ratatouille! And popcorn. Smile 


Epic pancake fail on Saturday morning… Paleo coconut pancakes – NOT good. Seriously, I can’t remember the last time I had a recipe fail SO bad that we had to throw it away. #majorfail


Thankfully, the farmer’s market was a success.


After “baking” with energy balls. . . and they are already all gone. Yup, that good!


And the best run I’ve had in a long time. Beautiful weather. Fall trees. Great pace. 10k done.



And, you guys, I seriously cannot stop wearing these fabletics pants. <love>


A boy + stick + water = hours of entertainment.


Sign for Mankato Marathon (full details of spectating the race on Tuesday!!)


And pancake (well waffles) for redemption on Sunday. Thanks again for the awesome (and AdvoCare challenge friendly) mix Jennie and Ryan!!


It was SO nice out on Sunday. We were outside all afternoon. . . well after the football game of course. go Pack go. Smile 




And in honor of marathon day, I had to rock out my Winter Carnival t-shirt from the Frozen half marathon in 2005! (Remember that one, Sue?!!)


And since we ate all the energy balls, a little more baking. And these are amazing. You would never guess the “secret” ingredient!


And then typical Sunday night stuff – dinner, bath time, laundry, getting ready for the week and early bedtime!

Hope you had a great one! What were you up to??

And because it was pretty marvelous, I am linking up with Katie for Marvelous in my Monday!


Filed under advocare, Recap, Recipes, Running, weekend update

Friday Favorites: Happy 10th Birthday Abby

On Wednesday it was Abby’s 10th birthday!


I cannot believe that my baby girl is 10 years old.


And looking at her, you would have no idea! She always has a toy in her mouth. Can still run without skipping a beat. And has never lost her puppy energy!

In honor of her birthday, (and because it’s Friday!), I put together a little list of my favorite things Abby reminds me of every day.

#1. Keep begging. You never know when all your perseverance will pay off.


and how cute is this “Pup-kin” spiced latte treat cup? Laura sent it for Abby’s birthday. Adorable.

#2. Enjoy the little things. A new toy. Licking Luke’s leftovers. An extra belly scratch. Chasing wild turkeys. Laying in the sunshine.


#3. Your never too old to snuggle.


#4. There is always room on the couch for one more.


#5. Eat every meal like it’s your last.

#6. Any run where you can be off leash is a great one.


Usually that means we are on an awesome trail in the woods away from busy roads and people and those are some of the best runs.

Happy Birthday to my first baby!!


And happy Friday to you!! Any plans for the weekend?

Linking up with Heather and Claire this week!

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Filed under Abby, Friday

Fall post round-up

Just popping in today to share with you a recap of some of my favorite fall posts – recipes, crafts and running! Enjoy. . .

Pumpkin bars with salted caramel cream cheese frosting

Pumpkin Bars 003_1

Halloween Trail Mix


Mini pumpkin muffins


Halloween baby craft project <—one of my all-time-favorites


DIY Fall Craft


Why I love fall running


And with lots of fall races coming up . . . my favorite spectator tips.

What are your fall favorites??


Filed under crafts, Recap, Recipes, Running

24DC Eats {clean eating}

Looking for some new clean-eating meal ideas? Whether you are doing an AdvoCare challenge, just love clean eating or you want to eat better, here are some things I’ve been eating (or am planning on making) during my most recent AdvoCare 24 day challenge. ..

Of course, these favorites from my 10 day challenge eats. . .

plus –>

Slow cooker curried pineapple chicken

Recipes by Ryann: Slow Cooker Curried Pineapple Chicken

Chicken avocado soup

Chicken Avocado Soup

Clean eating Thai chicken stir fry

Clean Eating Thai Chicken Stir Fry

Spaghetti squash pad Thai

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai from Lexi's Clean Kitchen

Pesto chicken spaghetti squash bake

Pesto Chicken Paleo Spaghetti (5)

Mustard balsamic baked chicken with roasted vegetables

Mustard Balsamic Baked Chicken with Roasted Vegetables - using boneless skinless chicken breasts and omitting potatoes (or swapping for sweet potatoes)

Taco lettuce wraps

Taco lettuce wraps

Chia seed pudding

Chia Seed Pudding Recipe- 4 ingredients, just mix and refrigerate. So easy and HEALTHY

Vegan banana ice cream

Only 4 ingredients: almond milk, frozen bananas, vanilla, and cinnamon.

Are you drooling yet? That’s what I love about clean-eating. . . it’s delicious. Smile

Have you made any amazing recipes lately??

Linking up with Peas & Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday!!

And finally, the winner of the Rese Activewear giveaway is lucky #4 – Joyce! Congratulations!!


Filed under advocare, Recap, Recipes

TYT #13 – Lulu + Athleta + Fabletics

So, remember a few weeks ago when we went to the Mall of America and I totally teased you with these pics on instagram? And on Friday with my Fabletics package?


And now, I’ve totally been holding out on you with what I ended up getting. I’m sorry. Please forgive me?  Smile

Here’s the goods. . .

Crystal Chaturanga™ Tight –> in polka dots. adorable. And bonus – they are reversible!! I actually haven’t had a chance to wear them yet. . . the weather has been too nice! But pretty sure MN is going to change that asap with snow in the forecast! <—btw – wtf?


Colorblock Chi Tank. Love the 2 colors of this tank.

Perfect for running.


And teaching BP. . . and supervising hand washing.


Cool Raceback from Lululemon – in hyper stripe mauvelous heathered black


Another staple – I already have 2 of these tanks. Great long length, comfy, and flattering. And of course I love the slight hint of pink in the stripes.


And my most favorite thing – these lima capris from Fabletics.


Love doesn’t even begin to describe them! I wore them for a run to try them out. Perfection. Didn’t move once. I wore them to bodypump in the park the next day. Again, didn’t move at all, plus I got compliments on them in class. Score.


Total keepers and I probably need to get another pair!

So, I didn’t break the bank. But got 4 pieces that I know will be some of my favorite workout pieces.

And love love love that both stores have a fitness instructor discount. FTW. Smile

Have you purchased any good fitness gear lately?

Oh, and if you like to buy gear from Reebok – check out this Groupon right now –> $25 for $50 Towards All Merchandise from Reebok.com (Thanks to Annette for letting me know about it!

Linking up with Becky for TYT!!


Filed under Fashion, Recap

Weekend Update: 10/12/14

Hey Monday. Craziness.

We were busy this weekend. And it was a nice busy. Not with anything that HAD to be done, but things that we wanted to do. And that’s the best kind of busy.

Luke and I went to the St. Peter Co-op.


My favorite snack. Apple chunks and almond butter.


Run. In my new Fabletics capris – more details in Treat Yourself Tuesday tomorrow. ..  (spoiler alert – they are the best capris ever!)


Dinner – spaghetti squash with ground turkey, onions and spaghetti sauce.


Saturday morning = snuggles. Love that he comes in our room first thing in the morning when he wakes up with his favorite stuffed animal (Dr. Jack puppy), his blanket and pillow to snuggle.


Went to an awesome event here in town put on by Howe-To Fitness. Their launch of BODYPUMP 91 – outside! So. much. fun.


Followed by a 4 mile run with this turkey.


Sent out some Jamberry samples (<—have you tried them? If not, email me at running4cupcakes@gmail.com and I’ll get you a free sample!)


And then a trip to the apple orchard. . .


And then tons of errands. . . Sam’s Club, Cub Foods, Target, Kohls. . .

and finally Chipotle. Selfies while we waited in line.


Sunday morning was a beautiful 50 degrees and sunny. Headed out for 4 miles.


And Sunday afternoon meals football + food prep.


And OMG the last 2 minutes of the Packers vs Dolphins = amazing. Go Pack Go. Smile

Apple chips!


Puppy naps.


Apple carrot juice for the family. (5 big carrot sticks, 1 apple + 1/2 lemon)


Family walk.  . . to the park.


And then typical Sunday night stuff – dinner, bath time, laundry, getting ready for the week and early bedtime! Smile

Hope you had a great one! What were you up to??

And because it was pretty marvelous, I am linking up with Katie for Marvelous in my Monday!


Filed under body pump, Running, weekend update

Friday Favorites: 10/10/14

Whew. Friday. Thank goodness. Right?

Looking forward to a weekend with a short to-do list and time to recover from the week!

Here are my favs from this week:


**Trying new recipes – Hummus crusted chicken and butternut squash soup – both delicious and super easy and challenge friendly. win. Smile


**My immersion blender.


Bonus points because it’s pink and my sister, Jenny, gave it to me (thanks Jen!). The butternut squash soup recipe called for me to put it from the crockpot into the blender. Ummm heck no, I just put my immersion blender right in the crockpot and woosh = soup. <love>

**Fun tags on Instagram. Danielle tagged me for a #widn (What I’m Doing Now) and so I snapped this picture.


Dinnertime in our house. Luke “helping”, pants optional. Winking smile

**Making protein balls. And trying a new to me protein powder from Protein Milk Shake Bar (<– how cute is that name?).


I love mixing up protein balls for a quick snack before my workouts. Usually, I use AdvoCare’s post-workout recovery (in chocolate!), but they were nice enough to send me a sample to check out and try their chocolate mousse flavor.

I just mix drippy almond butter, protein powder and unsweetened shredded coconut together.


You want them to seem a little dry, the more you mix, the softer they will become until you are able to shape them into balls.



I often use my hands to combine all the ingredients and that tends to be easier and faster. Add in a little more almond butter if you need more “liquid” and more protein powder if you need more dry ingredients.

I’ll admit that I am partial to the AdvoCare post workout recovery – their chocolate flavor is super delicious, but I liked the Protein Milk Shake Bars chocolate mousse flavor too, it was a bit more protein powder-y. . .but I really want to try their cupcake batter, that would be right up my alley!

**This package from Fabletics.


Don’t worry, I’ll share pics and my thoughts as soon as I have a chance to check them out!! Smile

With the assistance of my husband – aka the random number generator –> the winner of the Krusteaz giveaway is ..  . lucky #2 – Becky!


And don’t forget to enter my Rese Activewear giveaway for a pair of awesome capris!!

What are you up to this weekend? What made you smile this week??

Linking up with Heather and Claire this week!

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Filed under advocare, Challenge, Friday, Recap, Recipes

Rese Activewear {giveaway}

Have you guys heard of Rese Activewear?


I hadn’t either until I saw Caroline post about it a few weeks ago.

And then I did some looking around their website and they have some pretty cute stuff.

And they were nice enough to send me two pieces to check out for myself.

As you guys know, teaching BODYPUMP and running, I am always in need of good quality workout gear.

And Rese did not disappoint.

They sent me the Power Natalie capris in black. . .


My favorite part of these capris is the mesh stripe down the side.


That totally takes them from just plain black to a little something extra, but not too flashy. It also helps provide a little bit more breathability while working out. The fabric is breathable and on the thinner side. .. no worries – not see thru (I checked!), but not like lululemon capris where you have to shimmy into them because they are so tight and thick. They are super comfy. I can see these for lounging and running errands as well as working out and chasing Luke around.


I taught BODYPUMP in them last week and they stayed put the. entire. time. Literally, I didn’t have to adjust them once. I think that is a first for me with workout capris.

And also the Jane tank in watermelon.


This is one of my new favs for running. It says put, doesn’t ride up throughout a long run. The back is super cute with the black mesh detail. The bottom hem is a little flared so is figure flattering.


And one more thing I love – the pieces are decent. $74 for the capris and $32 for the tank.

The fits are a little big, so if ordering, I would order down a size from normal.


Because of that, I have an extra pair of the Power Natalie carpis, black, size large, to giveaway to one lucky R4C reader.

Awesome, right?

There are 4 ways to enter. Please make sure to leave a separate comment below for each entry.

1 –> leave a comment below telling me what activity you would be most excited to do in these capris.

2 –> Follow Rese and Running4Cupcakes on Pinterest.

3 –> Follow Rese and Running4Cupcakes on Facebook.

4 –> Tweet the following with a link back to this post:
I want to win a pair of capris from @reseactivewear and @runs4cupcakes *insert link*

The contest closes at midnight on October 14th and I’ll announce the winner shortly after. If I don’t hear from the winner within 48 hours, I’ll pick someone new.

Good luck!


Filed under Fashion, giveaway, product review, Running

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa


I made this recipe during my 10 day AdvoCare challenge in July. It. was. amazing. Great flavor. Clean eating. Delicious. And bonus points because leftovers were even more amazing after the buffalo flavor really soaked in. . . so don’t forget to make extra! You can bet I am making this one ASAP during this current challenge. Smile

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa  – Recipe inspiration from Half Baked Harvest

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
1 large onion – diced
3/4 cup diced carrots
3/4 cup diced celery

1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup hot sauce
1 teaspoon Lawry’s seasoned salt


  1. In a fine-mesh strainer, rinse quinoa. In a medium pot, combine quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn heat to medium. Cook until all the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  2. Mix together olive oil, hot sauce and seasoned salt for the buffalo sauce.
  3. Heat a large pot over medium high heat Add a tablespoon of olive oil. Add chicken and onion. Cook for about 2 minutes, then add carrots. Cook for another 2 minutes, then finally add celery.  Add about 1/2 the sauce and cook until the chicken absorbs the sauce.
  4. When the quinoa is ready, add to chicken/onion/carrot/celery mixture. Add the rest of the dressing and toss to coat. Serve. And enjoy.


Linking up with Peas & Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday!!


Filed under advocare, Recipes