Friday Favorites: 10/31/14

Thank goodness it’s Friday – this week has been a killer.

And Happy Halloween! I am super excited for the cuteness of Luke dressing up as a firefighter tonight. I am also looking forward to trick’o'treating tonight, I think Luke is going to flip out when he figures out that he gets candy at every house. Cross your fingers that it isn’t too cold out!

And of course I have to include pictures of cuteness from the last two years.  ..

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And my favorites from this week:

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pink crop twins.

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you guys know how much I LOVE my fabletics crops. And my love encouraged one of my BP participants to pick up a pair of cute pink crops too. And of course, we had to coordinate and take pictures!

stitch fix. yup, another one is coming. SO excited.

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Fekkai shampoo and conditioner.

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So, I got these samples as part of my influenster box. And even though the sample was super tiny and I could only use it for two hair washes, OMG. My hair was so soft and smooth and silky. I totally just use cheap shampoo – head and shoulders and herbal essences conditioner. BUT, after this experience, I might have to step up my game.  <—do you have any favorites to share?

facials. <love> and it’s been way to long. I have one scheduled this morning and I couldn’t be more excited!

halloween candy. Yup. Keeping it real. Totally going to eat Luke’s candy after he goes to bed. Isn’t that the perk of being a parent? Winking smile

these pumpkin bars.

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So, we just finished our AdvoCare 24 day challenge – recap and thoughts on my 2nd challenge coming next week. . . but just in time for Halloween candy and I’m totally making these bars this weekend. Delicious. now, I am just trying to decide if I want to do regular cream cheese frosting or salted caramel cream cheese frosting. #harddecisions #firstworldproblems

Have a great weekend!!

Linking up with Heather and Claire this week!

What are your favorites from this week? Are you dressing up for Halloween? Parents, do you steal your kids candy??  – please tell me I’m not the only one! 

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Crockpot Pinterest Meals

If you are anything like me, you have your favorite meals that you make again and again, but you are always looking for that new family favorite. And I tend to look at Pinterest for inspiration. With the weather cooling down and life not getting any less crazy. .. I am always looking for a new crockpot favorite. Triple bonus points if it is super easy.

Here are a few from my crockpot Pinterest page that I am super excited to try out this fall. . .

Crockpot shredded beef enchiladas

Crock Pot Shredded Beef Enchiladas are absolutely succulent! Skip the restaurant and make these mouthwatering enchiladas at home. | iowagirleats.com

Grilled pineapple pork sandwiches

Grilled Pineapple Pork Sandwiches - juicy shredded slow cooker pork with golden brown pineapple pieces. SO good! | pinchofyum.com

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken - Damn Delicious

Crockpot Thai peanut chicken

Crockpot Thai Peanut Chicken @Matt Valk Chuah Trendy Trainer

Crockpot beef carnitas tacos

Crock Pot Beef Carnitas Tacos from www.eatliverun.com

Chicken cacciatore

Cacciatore  1 of 1 3

How to make your own Rotisserie chicken

How To Make Your Own Rotisserie Chicken{No Rotisserie Required}

Do you have any family favorite crockpot recipes??

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No bake chocolate protein balls

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So easy.

So good.

And good for you.

Only 5 ingredients.

And only takes 5 minutes to make.

You can’t beat that.

Best snack ever.

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Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup oatmeal
1 scoop chocolate post-workout recovery
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
2 T chia seeds

Directions:
1. Mix all ingredients together.
2. Mix and mix and mix until all combined.
3. Roll into balls.
4. Try to store in fridge.  .. honestly, they might not make it to the fridge. Winking smile 

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Linking up with Becky for TYT. Because these are am amazing way to treat your taste buds. Smile

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Weekend Update: 10/26/14

Whoa. Can I have another day to recover from my weekend? No. Oh ok. Well, it was worth a shot, right? Really all I want is to get over this cold. I woke up coughing on Saturday night/Sunday morning at about 4:30am and couldn’t get back to sleep. Add insult to injury, Luke slept in until 7:45! Oh well, me and my spark got to enjoy some extra couch/quiet tv time. . .

Anyway, let’s back up to Friday. . .

I had the day off work, so Luke and I (and Abby) headed up to the cities.

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First stop – Danielle’s. We met at the Healthy Living Summit but haven’t gotten together since then. It was so much fun to see the kids play together and to meet her newest little one. SO adorable!

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And then a quick stop at my friend, Sue’s house. Luke loved playing with her little boy’s toys. (Jake the Pirate ftw) and she is always so sweet and has some toys for Luke.

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And then a lunch date with my Dad at Noodles.

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And Friday night perfection. The most beautiful run followed by Chipotle for dinner.

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Saturday morning, Luke and I were up bright and early to head to the Farmer’s Market. Squash for days. . .

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And then my first Wildtree event with my MIL. I haven’t had a chance to check out any of the meals yet, but I’ll report back when I do.

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Lunch!

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afternoon sunshine run.

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snack time. Luke insisted that his dog – Dr. Jack – needed apple slices too.

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And Saturday night = pizza! I used this recipe for cauliflower pizza crust and it was amazing.

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Sunday morning. Waffles. Then off to the pumpkin patch.

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In this picture, Luke is telling Abby to say “cheese and crackers.”

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oh the cuteness.

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And total fail. Run too close to nap time = falling asleep during the last 2 miles of the run and then skipping his entire afternoon nap.

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So, we put him to work cleaning windows instead. Winking smile 

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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!

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Filed under baby, Recap, Running, weekend update

Friday Favorites: 10/24/14

Friday! Let’s do the Friday dance, ok? Don’t worry, no one is watching!! 

Done? Good me too. Smile

I am super excited to have a play date schedule with this lovely lady and her 3 girls this morning! I don’t know what Luke is going to think of playing with 3 girls.  . ladies man. Winking smile 

Tomorrow, I am doing a Wildtree event  with my MIL. I’m super excited because I am trying out one of their Light and Healthy workshops and I think that the recipes will all be clean-eating (AdvoCare friendly!). So, I am super stoked. I’ll let you know how it goes!!

And I am super sad because tomorrow is the last Farmer’s Market of the season. . . anyone know how long butternut squash stays good for? I am totally thinking about buying a bunch!

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I need to make these again, and this looks amazing, and this too. . . #butternutsquashproblems — ooohhh and this one. Winking smile 

And now on to my Friday Favorites. ..

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–> Like to know it. Have you guys seen or heard about this? Basically you follow people on instagram and then if you “like” their photo, details and direct links to buy their outfit are sent to your email.

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Do you have the same problem I have? I see an outfit and think I love that. . .but have no way of knowing where to buy any of it. This is the perfect solution. And nope, I am not getting anything from sharing this with you, I just really really like it!! But careful, it can be SO dangerous. Direct links to purchase. . . too easy to buy all the things. Winking smile Totally have already bought a dress and some shirts because of this site!

–> And I know I am totally the last person to jump on the Zulily (<—referral link) train. I think that I thought it was just kid and mom stuff. But it’s not. Michael Kors, Coach, Kate Spade sales just to name a few. .. don’t get me wrong, I got a pretty cute pair of Mickey Mouse PJs for Luke too, so literally something for everyone.

–> Seatbelts. Yup. I’m going there. Seatbelts are cool and save lives. As you may or may not know, my husband is the district traffic engineer for the Minnesota Department of Transportation. . .

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basically he is in charge of making sure the roads are well functioning and safe. It also means that he gets updated from state patrol every time there is an accident on one of the state roads. And it is way too often that he gets notified of a fatal crash that potentially could have had a different ending if the people involved would have been wearing their seat belt. Thankfully, my parents always instilled upon me the importance of buckling up every time I’m in the car, and I hope to do the same for Luke. I’m going to get off this soap box now, but please buckle up, ok? 

–> Getting up early and working out.

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I had a total fail on Wednesday morning when I set my alarm to get up early and then about 2am, turned it off. Man, the rest of the day was just miserable because I felt like I had failed even before I got out of bed. . . I know, I know, some days you need your sleep, right? But that wasn’t the case that day – I think I slept worse from “sleeping in” that if I would have just gotten up. Anyway, I made sure that I didn’t make the same mistake twice. Thursday morning, I was up and on the treadmill by 5:30am! 5 miles done before work and that set the tone for the rest of my day! Success. 

Happy Friday to you!! Any plans for the weekend?

Linking up with Heather and Claire this week!

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Reading Recommendations 4

Since my 1st reading recommendations post, my 2nd one and 3rd one, I have read (or listened to on audiobook on my way to work) some more great books to share with you! These are the ones that I would recommend!!

The Hunt, The Pray, The Trap

Don’t Sweat.  Don’t Laugh.  Don’t draw attention to yourself.  And most of all, whatever you do, do not fall in love with one of them.

Gene is different from everyone else around him.  He can’t run with lightning speed, sunlight doesn’t hurt him and he doesn’t have an unquenchable lust for blood.  Gene is a human, and he knows the rules.  Keep the truth a secret.  It’s the only way to stay alive in a world of night—a world where humans are considered a delicacy and hunted for their blood.

When he’s chosen for a once in a lifetime opportunity to hunt the last remaining humans, Gene’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble around him.  He’s thrust into the path of a girl who makes him feel things he never thought possible—and into a ruthless pack of hunters whose suspicions about his true nature are growing. Now that Gene has finally found something worth fighting for, his need to survive is stronger than ever—but is it worth the cost of his humanity?

–> another vampire book? Yup, I was a little skeptical at first too, but I really liked this series. And it’s different from the typical vampires stories. A fun read with lots of twists in the trilogy series.

Absolute Power – David Baldacci

In a heavily guarded mansion in a posh Virginia suburb, a man and a woman start to make love, trapping Luther Whitney, a career break-in artist, behind a secret wall. Then the passion turns deadly, and Luther is running into the night. Because what he has just seen is a brutal murder involving Alan Richmond, the president of the United States, the man with…Absolute Power.

–> oh man – awesome read. Great twists, turns and shockers.

After Her – Joyce Maynard

Marin County, California, summer, 1979. When young women start turning up dead on the mountain behind the home of Rachel and her devoted eleven-year-old sister, Patty, their father—a larger-than-life, irresistibly handsome (and chronically unfaithful) detective—is put in charge of finding the “Sunset Strangler.” Watching her father’s life slowly unravel as months pass and more women are killed, Rachel embarks on a dangerous game to catch the killer. Her actions will destroy her father’s career and alter forever the lives of everyone she loves. Thirty years later, believing that the wrong man was arrested for the crimes, leaving the true killer at large, Rachel constructs a new strategy to smoke out the Sunset Strangler and vindicate her father—and discovers more than she bargained for.

Loosely inspired by the Trailside Killer case, After Her is part thriller, part love story—a poignant, suspenseful, and painfully real family saga that traces a young girl’s first sexual explorations, the loss of innocence, the bond shared by sisters, and the tender but damaged relationship between a girl and her father that endures even beyond the grave.

–> a very thoughtful book. . . one that you will think about long after reading.

The One – Kiera Cass

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The Selection changed America Singer’s life in ways she never could have imagined. Since she entered the competition to become the next princess of Illéa, America has struggled with her feelings for her first love, Aspen—and her growing attraction to Prince Maxon. Now she’s made her choice . . . and she’s prepared to fight for the future she wants.

Find out who America will choose in The One, the enchanting, beautifully romantic third book in the Selection series!

–> Love love love this book and this entire Selection Series. Such a chick flick but a great, quick, cute read.

Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant – Veronica Roth

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

–> so unless you have been living under a rock, you’ve probably at least heard of this series, maybe have read the books or seen the movie..  . well, I might be the first person ever to say that I didn’t love them. Well, not exactly. . . I really enjoyed Divergent, but it went downhill after that. Insurgent was just ok and Allegiant was totally boring for me. Oh well, you can’t win them all. BUT, I am still going to see the movies. Winking smile

Read any good books lately???

Linking up with Amanda today for Thinking Out Loud!!

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Day in the life: AdvoCare max phase {details + eats}

Max phase is the last 14 days of the 24 day AdvoCare challenge. And each day is the same in terms of what you should be eating and what supplements you take.

The max phase supplement is the MNS 3 –> from the AdvoCare website:

MNS™ 3 is our most comprehensive system. Not only will you benefit from appetite control, you will also receive the best core nutrition as we have added CardioQ, Calcium Plus and an additional OmegaPlex® to this system.* MNS™ 3 offers sustained-release energy, which means energy that will last throughout the day.* And with less than half the caffeine of MNS™ E and MNS™ C, it’s a fantastic alternative for anyone looking for a lower-caffeine MNS™ system.* For energy, appetite control and overall outstanding core nutrition and wellness, MNS™ 3 is your answer.*

Basically, it is a great support of the nutrition you are putting in your body with clean eating, and helps to make sure that your body is running on all cylinders.

I love it because it helps me control my appetite, gives me a TON of energy and helps me increase my athletic performance. I notice that I don’t have that afternoon energy slump. I am not thinking about raiding the vending machine or the fridge at home. I can lift heavier weights in bodypump and have a faster pace when running. Seriously, what’s not to love, right?

Anyway, I know that the AdvoCare challenge can sound overwhelming, so I wanted to share a typical day of the max phase with you to see what it exactly entails – pills + food + snacks + workout.

Here is a typical (for me) max phase day of eats and pills ..  .

Spark 

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+ morning pills –>

Before Breakfast Color Packet
Calcium Plus – 2 caplets
ActoTherm SR – 1 caplet
ProBiotic Restore™ Ultra – 1 capsule

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+ 2 catalyst 

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Breakfast: smoothie with frozen bananas, vanilla almond milk and spoonful of almond butter.

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+ breakfast pills.

CorePlex® – 3 caplets
CardioQ – 1 capsule
OmegaPlex® – 2 softgels

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Morning snack: apple with almond butter

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MNS Max 3 pills – take 30 minutes before lunch.

Before Lunch Color Packet
Calcium Plus – 2 caplets
BioTherm – 2 capsules

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Lunch: Chicken salad – diced chicken, grapes, celery and avocado.

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and cashews.

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Afternoon snack: hummus and carrot sticks

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+ 2 catalyst before teaching BP + spark while teaching… 

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Dinner: Hummus chicken and sweet potato “fries”

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Not too earth shattering, right? That’s what I like about it. Good, clean food that makes me feel better and top of the line supplements to help support my body.

I am on the last week of my 24 day challenge, but if you are interested in doing a challenge, we have another group challenge coming up in November.

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And you guys, this one is amazing timing – you start AFTER Halloween and end BEFORE Thanksgiving. <—if you have been thinking about doing a challenge, now is the time.

You won’t regret it, I promise (AND AdvoCare has a money back guarantee), so seriously, do it. Smile 

Email me (running4cupcakes@gmail.com) for details or questions.

And last AdvoCare thing. . . they just released this:

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I know, right?! They will sell out, so if you want to try it, order now.

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

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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!

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Cheers for spark. Smile 

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

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And Scott held a Kleenex box. . .

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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.

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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!!

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Weekend Update: 10/19/14

First, I mustache you a question. . ..

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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.

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

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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

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Thankfully, the farmer’s market was a success.

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

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

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

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A boy + stick + water = hours of entertainment.

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

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

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

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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?!!)

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

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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!

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

Friday Favorites: Happy 10th Birthday Abby

On Wednesday it was Abby’s 10th birthday!

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

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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.

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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.

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#3. Your never too old to snuggle.

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

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

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

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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!!

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

Linking up with Heather and Claire this week!

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