Monthly Archives: January 2013

Hawaiian BBQ Pork (crockpot)

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This weekend I started the #crockpotchallenge with a bang with Hawaiian BBQ pork. Original recipe was from Erica @ for the sake of cake!

My Mom actually put the ingredients in the crockpot for me while I was running the 1/2 marathon this weekend.

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Here is my version of the recipe:

 

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This recipe made enough for Scott and I and my parent’s to have dinner and to all have it for leftovers the next night!

This recipe will for sure be a crockpot staple in my house. 🙂 I really like crockpot recipes that are ok in the crockpot for up to 10 hours, because it I put it in the crockpot in the morning before work, I usually don’t get home from work for at least 10-11 hours later, so this one is a winner because it does so well just hanging out on low in the crockpot all day –> then just add the pineapple, make some rice and dinner is done! Thanks Erica from the great recipe inspiration. 🙂

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I also made apricot chicken in the crockpot with this recipe I found on Pinterest. It was just ok, a little sweet for my taste. I was hoping it would be more apricot-y with all the apricot preserves but it just wasn’t. Not a total fail, but not something I would make again. Same thing for this beef and broccoli recipe.

3 new recipes in to the crockpot challenge and 1 total winner so far! Smile

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Winter Carnival Half Marathon Recap 2013

Another 1/2 marathon done!

The Winter Carnival Half Marathon was a success. Smile 

The race started at a reasonable 9am. So, we were able to sleep in until about 7:30. We stayed at my parent’s house the night before, so we were only about 20 minutes away from the start line. It was a cold 3 degrees when we left the house. Good thing Abby has a fur coat that makes her the perfect spectator!

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My cheering squad: Scott and Abby!

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Beautiful downtown St. Paul on the drive to the race. 037

I had a LUNA bar and some water on the way to the race. And of course, had to find a porta potty before the race. Thankfully, because it was freezing outside, the lines went very quickly! I hooked up with Sue at the start line and at 9am and 3 degrees, we were off.

Scott was an excellent photographer. He was also super good about getting to see us a number of times on the race course – I think we saw him 7 times! 042047

My Dad even showed up too – and ran a little bit with us. 048

Sue and I haven’t seen each other in forever, so we had lots of time to chat during the race. Overall the race went well. I knew after hitting the wall at mile 11 during the Des Moines Half Marathon, that I wanted to start this race out slower and make sure I was able to finish strong. Which is just what I did! Slow and steady throughout the whole race. I was feeling a little tired at mile 4-5, but then, seeing Scott and having Dad run a little bit with us, made the next miles go by quick. It was a out and back course, so after the turn around, miles 8, 9, and 1o came quick too. We walked thru water stops at 6 and 10. And man, that water was chilly! And where people had spilled or dumped their water out – frozen ice on the ground – that’s when you know it is cold out! 050

And then about mile 12, Sue decided to take off.  .. and there are some wicked hills in the last mile! But I kept strong and steady.

Here’s Sue finishing!
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And about a minute later – me! waving my pink striped gloves. Smile 061

And officially crossing the line! Official time – 2:01:36. 062

And happy to be done!
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I was worried about the weather and being cold, but I ended up being perfectly dressed. I had two layers on underneath my super cool new wind-blocking North Face top that Scott got me for Christmas. I stated the race with gloves and mittens and handed the mittens off to Scott about half way through. And I had fleece pants with wind pants over the top.

Overall, a great half marathon! But the best thing about this race is that instead of a t-shirt and medal – you get a fleece headband and a mug! Scott was super jealous! The mug said “Frostbite is underrated!” Smile 

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Weekend Update: 1/27/13

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Winter Carnival Half marathon on Saturday with Sue. Full race details later this week! (It went well! Winking smile)

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Celebratory lunch at Red Robin afterwards. . . complete with onion rings and vanilla milk shake. Enjoyed with my awesome husband who despite the weather, spectated the whole race!

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Trying out big boy car seats at Babys’R’Us IMG_3206

Saturday night: hanging out with my parent’s

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Sunday morning: breakfast with Scott’s family

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And our first trip to Costco! And yes, it was exciting! IMG_3211

I also made 2 crockpot meals this weekend! Woop Woop #crockpotchallenge

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What were you up to this weekend?

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Friday Friday

Happy Happy Friday!!!

Did this week seem super long to anyone else? Maybe it was getting up at 5am in the bitter cold to teach body pump on Tuesday and Thursday, and having a baby get up every two hours on Wednesday night because of another ear infection?!?

Anyway, now it’s Friday. . . baby is on antibiotics and had a much better night last night and it’s the weekend! Whoop whoop. Smile

Here are a few things I am looking forward to this weekend:

2 crockpot meals planned #crockpotchallenge

  • Hawaiian BBQ pork
  • Apricot chicken

 

Running the Winter Carnival Half Marathon on Saturday

Get to meet the newest little addition to our friends group – Sam!

Hanging out with my family on Saturday

And brunch with Scott’s family on Sunday –> my mother-in-law makes the best crepes!

What are you up to this weekend???

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9 months

Look who turned 9 months old last week!

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New things this month:

    • Waving bye-bye
    • Doing “high-five”
    • Giving Abby a treat
    • Letting Abby lick his hands while eating in the highchair –> leads to lots of giggles and smiles!
    • Still Crawling! Everywhere. Into everything.
    • Furniture surfing. 
    • Standing alone – just for a few seconds!  
    • 2 teeth!
    • Still having ear infections. Seeing the ENT doctor to talk about ear tubes in March.
    • Still loves bath time – especially likes to crawl around the tub after his toys.
    • He loves eating puffs – he could probably eat them all day long!
    • Starting to eat chunks of food, eating everything except meat (and honey!)
    • Favorite things to ‘get into’ include: Abby’s water dish, the kitchen cupboards (especially the one with all the Tupperware), the dishwasher.

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Still hates:

  • getting his diaper changed
  • seeing his bottle and not getting it
  • running out of puffs
  • generally, not getting what he wants
  • getting out of the bath

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Looking forward to. . .  

  • ?Walking – eventually – no rush!
  • Eating meat
  • More family meals
  • Looking at baby swim class at the YMCA this winter
  • First vacation – to Marco Island, Florida!

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Taco Pasta Bake

It was a cold one today in MN. We woke up this morning to a temperature of –10! Thankfully, we made it to a high of +7 degrees today… they were forecasting a high of –2! It was a cold walk into the YMCA this morning – co-taught my 3rd body pump class. Smile The only thing I will get out of bed for at 5am! One more class of co-teaching and then I can start teaching on my own.

Anyway. . . with the cold temps, I knew I wanted something quick, easy, warm and comforting for dinner. Taco pasta bake to the rescue.

I made this for Scott and Laura a few weeks ago and it was a big hit. We all ate it for leftovers the next day! That’s a win in my house – when I can get my husband to eat leftovers. Winking smile

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I used the recipe from Iowa Girl Eats for inspiration, but tweaked it a bit, to make it my own. Here is the original recipe.

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Here is my version:

Ingredients:
1lb ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup water
1 packet Taco seasoning
14.5oz can tomato sauce
14.5oz can petite diced tomatoes
2 cups shredded taco cheese blend, divided
1 can sweet corn
4oz can chopped green chilies
16oz macaroni shells (1 box), cooked and drained
2 cups crushed tortilla chips
Toppings:  sour cream, taco sauce, salsa

Directions:

  1. Cook ground beef and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Drain, then return to the skillet. Add water, taco seasoning, tomato sauce, petite diced tomatoes, and stir to combine. Turn heat down to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile cook macaroni shells in salted, boiling water until just under al dente, then drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Turn stove off then add 1 1/2 cups taco cheese to the tomato mixture and stir until smooth. Add corn, chilies, and cooked shells, then stir to combine. Pour mixture into a non-stick sprayed 9×13 baking dish and bake for 10 minutes. Top with crushed tortilla chips and remaining cheese then bake for 10 more minutes. Serve with toppings, if desired

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Enjoy! Smile

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Weekend Update: 1/20/13

It was such a great weekend here. We didn’t have any specific plans, no places to go. .. we kept busy, but it was the perfect weekend to re-charge, have lots of play time and lots of laughs!

Luke got to hang out in Child Watch at the YMCA while I co-taught my 2nd BODYPUMP class. Yeah! It went really well and is so much fun! Smile 

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It was 44 degrees here on Friday afternoon, so I had to take advantage and take Luke for a run. He promptly fell asleep for the whole time! It was still crazy windy – as it always is here in Mankato – but still you can’t complain about running in shorts in January in MN!

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He was sleeping so hard that he didn’t even wake up when I took him out of the stroller, carried him into the house, took off my shoes, and carried him to the nursery. He slept like that for another 2 hours!

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And then we had Luke’s 9 month check up. He is doing great! Really liked the paper covering the exam table!

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Errands on Saturday – Menards, Target, the Mall, Sam’s Club. . . IMG_3145IMG_3146

First yogurt at Sam’s club – thanks to sample day!

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Then, lunch at the new BBQ place in town – Dickey’s. IMG_3151IMG_3153
Someone had his first ice cream cone.
He loved putting his hands in it.  ..
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but not so much in his mouth. . . IMG_3160IMG_3161

he was much happier with just the cone – no ice cream! IMG_3162IMG_3163IMG_3166IMG_3167

And on Sunday morning, we had lots of fun playing. . . just an idea of how busy he is!

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And his new favorite toy. .. an empty toothpaste tube – seriously, it is like all he has played with this weekend! Winking smile 

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Other happenings this weekend: Taught water aerobics Saturday morning, 9 mile run this morning (half marathon next weekend!), lots of body pump practicing, made a yummy cheesecake, and we booked a trip to Jackson Hole, WY with some friends in March.

And finally a random picture from a few weeks ago when we were at Scott’s brother’s house – his girlfriend, Ashley, got an inverter for Christmas to help with her back. And of course, I had to try it out. . . and Scott had to take a picture! And he told me that it needs to go on the blog. . . so here we go! You basically hang upside down and it is supposed to take the stress off your back. . . It was a weird feeling! But obviously fun, based on my expression! Smile 

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Did you have a good weekend? What were you up to?

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Body Pump Instructor Training

Last weekend I took the initial training certification class for Les Mills BODYPUMP. You can read a little more about what Body Pump is here.

Overall, it was an awesome weekend! We had a great group of about 14 people and an awesome, energetic instructor. It was a 2 day class, 8 hours each day. And we worked hard. We did the entire body pump class (about an hour) 5+ times over the course of 2 days. . . using decent (i.e. hard/challenging) weights. And I was feeling it! It has been a while, since I have really pushed myself and been that sore, so it was actually nice. There was a mix of activity and lecture time. But overall, we were up doing the workouts, practicing moves, form, technique, choreography, and teaching ques.

I am not sure what I expected from the weekend, but it wasn’t what I expected at all… I didn’t expected to have so much fun, to laugh as much as I did, and to feel challenged by learning the new material. I have been teaching aerobics for 3+ years and this class really challenged me to improve my technique and cueing skills. I had the hardest time learning to keeping on the beat while giving out instruction on form and providing encouragement. We had lots of time to practice during the weekend (thankfully). We presented our tracks 3 times over the 2 days, which was the most helpful to actually get up there and just do it.

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*”Studying” at Caribou on Sunday morning*

When I say ‘our tracks’ I mean, that we were given the music and choreography about a week ahead of time and told to memorize 2 of the songs and the choreography that went with it. Then, we had to actually teach that ‘track’ (song) to our group. I had the lunge track – which has lunges, squats, and jump squats in it! Thankfully, I did well enough to pass. 🙂 I totally goofed on my last time teaching it, so I was super nervous that that would hold me back, but I did well enough the other 2 times.. . And the instructor reminded us that we aren’t perfect, we are going to miss a cue or transition at times, but the key is, knowing where to pick it back up and get back on track.

And now, I move on to team teaching at least 4 classes, and then I am off to teach on my own. .. **I’ve already team-taught twice this week and it is awesome! I have been nervous, but I just love love love body pump so much, that is has been fun too. And good for my guns. Winking smile 

Unfortunately, the training doesn’t end there. Les Mills wants all their instructors to be awesome (duh!), so within 2 months of passing the initial certification class, I have to videotape myself teaching one of my body pump classes and send it in for review. Only after that has been reviewed and given the “thumbs-up,” will I be a certified Les Mills body pump instructor. So, I still have a little more to do and I am working now on learning all of the choreography for this release (84), to get ready to teach my own class and get that videotape done!

Have you ever taken Body Pump? Or do you have any exercise certifications?

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Tag, you’re it!

Yesterday I was nominated for a Liebster Award by Kate at Quarter Century Southern Living.  I love reading surveys on other blogs, and so I was super excited to participate. 

  1. What is your dream job? I am doing it! Being a family practice doctor. Saving lives. (most days!) Winking smile
  2. What is your ‘happy place’? In my bed! I love crawling into bed at night and talking over the day with my husband. I also love sitting in the living room, drinking my caramel skim latte, with Abby on one side and Luke on the other.
  3. If you could travel somewhere that you have never been, where would you go? New Zealand!!!
  4. What is your all-time favorite movie? There are 3 that immediately come to mind: Pretty Woman, A Few Good Men and How to Lose a Guy in 10 days.
  5. Why did you start blogging? You can read about it HERE!
  6. What is your favorite way to spend a Saturday? Sleeping in, family time, going for a run, more family time, and ending the night hanging on the couch with Scott.
  7. What is one goal you have that you are yet to accomplish? Hmmm that’s a hard one! I would like to do another marathon sometime. . . no rush!
  8. What is your favorite quote? “It’s actually pretty simple, either you do it, or you don’t.”

9. What is your favorite holiday and why? Christmas! Love the decorations, food, presents, family time, cookies, and the reason for the season.

10. What was the best part of your day? Getting Luke up from his crib this morning and seeing his big 2 teeth grin.

11. What is your all-time favorite book? That is a super hard question – but my most recent favorite book(s) was the Hunger Games Series.

Now, I get to “tag” a few other blogger and pose my own questions!

Runner Girl Revisited

Running After Babiez

The Caffeinated Runner

Water2Breathe 

My Neon Running Shoes

And here are my questions. . .

1. What is your favorite form of exercise?

2. Last meal request?

3. How many siblings do you have?

4. How many states have you lived in?

5. Favorite place to vacation.

6. Favorite form of caffeine.

7. Favorite phone app?

8. Favorite color?

9. What’s the #1 thing on your to-do list right now?

10. Name 3 things you have in your car right now.

11. Name the last movie you watched.

TAG – You’re it! Smile

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Crock pot challenge

Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers wrote a post about using the crockpot last week. She got such a huge response from that post that she started a crockpot challenge. Here’s the challenge:

Try 10 new crockpot recipes by the end of February

Simple and easy! I’m in! I’m not quite sure about being able to make 10. .. But I am willing to try! Smile

I love my crockpot and try to use it fairly frequently, but just looking thru some of the comments section of her crockpot post, gave me lots of ideas. . . some of the ones I am excited to try.  . .

Hawaiian BBQ Pork

Super Simple Sweet Pork Street Tacos

Café Rio Chicken

Brown Sugar and Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin

Apricot Glazed Pork Tenderloin 

Beef and broccoli 

Rotisserie Chicken

Cashew Chicken

Three Envelope Pot Roast

If you’re interested in joining the challenge, check it out!

Do you have any favorite crockpot recipes I have to try???

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