Monthly Archives: August 2013

Labor Day Weekend to-do List

I love to-do lists.

I make one each week for what I want to get done for the weekend. It is usually normal stuff like laundry, long run, practice body pump, make cookies, go to the Farmer’s Market, etc.

This weekend, we are headed up to the Lake for Labor Day.  . . (BTW – how is it Labor Day weekend already???)

And I was thinking about my to-do list and thought I would share my Labor Day Weekend to-do list. . .

1. Get a S’mores Dairy Queen Blizzard. I can’t let summer be over without trying this new flavor. I have heard that it is amazing and I can’t wait to try it out myself!

2. Run around the Lake –14 miles. This was on my summer to-do list and I have been increasing my long runs each week in anticipation of my big run around the Lake this weekend!!


3. Go on an after dinner boat ride. Adult alcoholic beverages encouraged.


4. Drink my caramel skim latte on the porch while soaking up the quiet Lake morning.


5. Practice the newest BODYPUMP 87 release.


6. Work on my presentation for Healthy Living Summit – just 2 weeks away!!

7. Research new phones. Scott wants to switch to a different phone plan which may mean getting rid of my beloved iPhone. . . I know! He promised that we only had to switch if I was able to find an acceptable alternative. So, if any of you have a phone that you love, please send recommendations my way.

8. Make fruit pizza, Special K bars and double marshmallow rice krispie bars. <—now you see why #2 is on my list!!


9. Hang with my family. . . especially Laura –> we have had alternating schedules all summer long so we haven’t been at the Lake together since the end of June for Country Fest!

What’s on your Labor Day weekend to-do list?

Don’t forget to enter my Spinning with Dara Torres and Koss Headphones giveaway!!


Filed under body pump, Goals, Lake, Laura, Recap, Recipes, Running, summer

Eating Out Challenge

After taking a closer look at our grocery budget and doing pretty well with making changes at the grocery store and reducing our monthly total, we have decided to take a look at our “dining” budget. I know that some people lump groceries and eating out into one category, but we have it separated out to help track and keep tabs on how much we are eating out versus eating in.

So, with the grocery challenge I was able to reduce spending from $425-$450 per month to $300 per month during the challenge, and now after the challenge, we are still right around $300 per month but our budget is $350 to account for additional items that we will eventually have to start buying again once our pantry and freezer stash is depleted. i.e. meat, pantry staples like flour, sugar, etc.

Our current eating out budget is $275.


When I heard that number, my exact response, was “seriously, we spend that much money on eating out each month?”

Scott’s response was “if I’m lying, I’m dying.” <—back off ladies, he’s mine. Winking smile 

And then, I asked, why is it so high?

And he said, Caribou.


uh oh. that is trouble. And the end. No challenge. Coffee is #necessary.

Ok, maybe we can at least look at the budget. . . but I have already told Scott, no promises on success for this one! Smile 

I think our numbers add up because while we don’t go out to eat that much, we do order pizza, eat on the road while traveling to the Lake, get ice cream, cupcakes etc. And it all adds up.


So, I am going to attempt another 3 month challenge for September, October, and November to take a closer look and keep tabs on our eating out budget. My goal will be to spend less than our current $275 budget. We have been actually going over that number fairly routinely for the past few months, anywhere from a few dollars to $50 or more. So, I don’t want to go over our budget number o f$275, and then I want to try to spend less. .. all while keeping our grocery budget at it’s current level. 


I obviously need lots of help for this challenge, so if you have any tips, please please please send them my way. #savethecoffee


Filed under Challenge, Goals

The Great MN Get Together -2013

Last Friday, we took Luke to the MN state fair. . . This is his *third time. The first time, he made me horribly sick with morning all day sickness. And last year, he slept most of the time. . . This year, he wanted to try everything we ate and wanted to get out of the stroller most of the time.. .

We headed up to the cities and picked up Adam and Ashley and headed to the Park and Ride. <—the best way to get to the fair – for free! And Luke loved the bus ride. . . we sat right behind the bus driver and he was fascinated.



It was super hot, but that didn’t seem to deter any people!! IMG_5441

So, our first stop was obviously for beer. . . 


And then ice cream. . . salted caramel and mini doughnut. IMG_5445

Then, some walking around and deep fried bread pudding <—highlight of the Fair this year, everyone’s favorite!!


Then, we had some fun walking around and checking out exhibits.


And Luke loved checking out all the new cars. . .


MN State Fair staple – Corn!!


We tried a new fair food – comet corn. Basically caramel corn that was frozen in liquid nitrogen. It was cool, but just ok.


Luke’s favorite food right now is pickles, so we got him a giant pickle.


Another State Fair staple – vanilla shake from the University of MN milk booth.


And of course, we had to go see the cows. . . which Luke loved! He kept saying more and moooooo. So frickin adorable. Winking smile 


And then, he was done.


But we weren’t! Cini-minis. YUM.


And the best ever turkey sandwich –> according to Beth. Smile 


And that was the end for us. We did a really good job sharing food, so we didn’t get too full or spend too much money!

And then it was back to the bus. And back to Mankato.

Another good year at the fair! Thanks for joining us Adam and Ashley!! Can’t wait for next year. Smile 

Do you go to your State Fair?


Filed under Recap

Spinning with Dara Torres {giveaway!!}

You guys, I have the best local giveaway for you all today!

Koss (Milwaukee based headphone maker) has just launched a pair of headphones made just for women. They are co-designed by US Olympian Dara Torres. They come in two styles and five colors.

Cute, right?

Well, they did a launch release party in Milwaukee back in May. Tina from Carrots ‘n’ Cake attended that event and blogged about it here.

And now, they are coming to Minnesota!! They are doing a similar event, where there will be a spin class (with Dara!!) where you get to check out the Koss Fit Series headphones. And then after class, you get to meet Dara! OMG – how sweet is that??

The giveaway details. . .

Each attendee in the class will receive:

·      – 60 minute spin class taught by local instructors

·       – A pair of Koss Fit Series headphones to use during the event and a pair to take home to hopefully review and share your feedback on your blog

·      – A gift bag from Koss.

·       – The opportunity to meet and workout with Dara Torres, a five time Olympian and 12-time medalist

****To be eligible for this giveaway, you need to be available on either: Tuesday, September 17 from 4:45 pm – 5:45 pm in Eden Prairie or Wednesday, September 18 from 11:45 am – 12:45 pm in Minneapolis****

To enter this giveaway, just leave a comment on this post letting me know one question that you would love to ask Dara Torres!!

I will pick 2! winners on September 4th (giveaway ends at midnight).

Good luck!!


Filed under giveaway

Weekend Update: 8/25/13

My weekend started out on a rough patch – the end of the cookie butter jar. Most of it eaten with a spoon –> it’s that good!


And it has been HOT! here. . . Upper 90s and humid. But that hasn’t stopped the running. I have just made sure to follow my own summer running rules. Smile 


And this was heart melting. . .


Luke  had the hugest grin on his face the whole time he was mowing with Dad.


And then, I had him help me, with the real vacuum!!


And then I needed to clean the windows again. . .




On Friday night we went to the MN State Fair –> full recap post coming up this week. ..


Family run. . . .again very hot, very sweaty!!


Playing with a new toy. . .


And another new toy – his own bubble lawnmower from Grandma Thompson.


Saturday afternoon, I got the baking bug. . . I have no idea why I wanted to turn on the oven when it was a bazillion degrees out. But I made chia peanut butter protein bars, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (into bars because I wasn’t going to make cookies for hours!)


And I had a good helper. . .


Banana bread mini muffins and Andes mint brownies. IMG_5517IMG_5519

And then Luke and I had the house to ourselves on Saturday night. . .


And then this morning, someone wanted to eat breakfast at his picnic table. . . so we did. Winking smile 


Followed by BODYPUMP 87 – the newest release!!


And another hot and sweaty run. Lunch. Naptime on the couch.

And then Brynn’s birthday party. How is she 2 years old already?


She was rockin’ the cutest pigtails. Smile And I am not sure who was more excited about her present (a basketball hoop) her or her Dad. . .


And we got to catch up with friends (Hi Jodi!!). . . and eat cake = perfect birthday party.


Another awesome weekend!!

What were you up to? Is it hot there too?


Filed under baby, body pump, Recap, Running, weekend update

Sunshine award

Becky was super awesome and nominated me for the Sunshine award this week. Basically a fun set of 10 questions for us to learn more about each other! Which I thought would be a perfect post for this Friday!! BTW Happy Friday!! Any fun  plans for the weekend? We are headed to the MN State Fair this afternoon with Scott’s brother, Adam and his girlfriend, Ashley. Saturday is a hanging out day. Going to try to fit in a long run. Sunday is more of the same, maybe try to clean the house (boo!) and go to Brynn’s 2nd birthday party! Smile 

Sunshine Award

The Rules:

  1. Include award logo in a post or on your blog.
  2. Link to the person who nominated you.
  3. Answer 10 questions about yourself.
  4. Nominate 10 bloggers to receive the award.

1. What is your first memory in life? I can’t remember my very first memory but I have very fond memories of going up to Madeline Island (on Lake Superior) every summer for the 2 weeks before Labor Day. We stayed at the same place every year. Spent lots of time playing in the super cold water, building fires, chasing sand crabs, and hanging out as a family before school started. Flashback photo from before Scott and I were married, when the family went on a day canoe trip.  .  .And Abby tipped the canoe with Dad and Jenny in it. The funniest part was the fact that Abby was able to stay in the canoe while Dad and Jenny both fell out. We were only about 5 minutes into the trip. Abby just looked at them in the water, like, why did you guys get out? Those of us in the other canoe, laughed our butts off. Winking smile 

102707 111

2. What has been the best vacation you have even been on and what vacation are you looking forward to in the future? I loved our road trip to Colorado a few years ago. Scott and I had a super fun time, got to see my Colorado friends and I saw Mount Rushmore for the 1st time –> super cool! I am looking forward to our trip to Coco Beach this winter. I think Luke will be the perfect age for the beach.


3. What is your preferred type/brand of coffee? Caribou – duh. Large caramel skim latte. Winking smile


4. Flowers or chocolate? Both? I guess I would have to choose flowers because they would last way longer than chocolate in my house.

5. What is your normal bedtime and wake up time? We go to bed super early, like 9:30. . .we both really need sleep and Luke tires us out! We get up between 6 and 6:30 depending on work schedules and Luke.

6. When going out, do you wear your hair up in a pony tail or down? I have my hair in a pony tail 90% of the time. When I am trying to look nice (i.e. date or meeting at work), I will wear my hair down.

7. Favorite form of exercise? Running and BODYPUMP.

5_09 069

8. Favorite place to shop? Super Target. It is the best place and has everything. I wish there was Super Target in Mankato. When I was going to medical school in Des Moines, I lived less than a mile away from a Super Target and it was the best thing ever.

9. Do you have a favorite cuisine to eat when dining out? What is it? Probably my favorite thing to get is pizza delivery. I like to go out, but I really like to stay in, have my PJs on, get comfy on the couch and eat in.

10. Broccoli. Yay or nay? I like broccoli. I don’t love it. But my favorite is probably roasting it in the oven until the edges get a little crispy. And cheese. Cheese makes everything better.

My questions. . .

1. What is your absolute favorite food?
2. What was the 1st blog you read?
3. If you had a be on a reality TV show, which one would you be on?
4. What is your catch phrase?
5. Where and when is your next vacation?
6. Football? Yes or No?
7.  If you could only watch one TV show or movie for the rest of your life, which one would it be?
8. First thing you did this morning?
9. What goal are you currently working towards?
10. What is one thing that your readers might not know about you?

And my nominees. . .

1. Emily @ The Good Era
2. Katie @ The Daily Cup of Kate 
3. Erica @ for the sake of cake 
4. Kim @ my healthy nest 
5. Ashley @ Cupcakes n’ Crunches
6. Kait @ Chickadee Says
7. Jackie @ Nacho Average Runner
8. Shannon @ Wisconsin Dachshund
9. Caitlin @ Chasing Chels
10. Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama

Now, if you wouldn’t mind, please answer one of my questions, whichever one you want, so we can learn more about each other!! Happy weekend. Smile 


Filed under body pump, Friday, Recap, Running

Blog Tips

Happy Thursday!!

If you follow Healthy Living Blogs like I do, then you know that every Thursday they do a “Blog Tip Thursday,” where you get new tips and tricks for your blog. This week, I am guest posting about  comment reply notification!! So, head on over and check it out! Smile

ScreenHunter_84 Jul. 01 15.38

And check out my previous tips for making social media buttons and the Google analytics plugin.

And don’t forget to be awesome today! Smile 


Filed under blog

Toddler must-haves

Now that Luke is officially a toddler.  .. I mean, he is even in the toddler room at daycare now! I thought I would share some must-haves that make our life with a toddler just a bit easier. Smile 

Check out my previous must-haves –> newborn and crawling editions.

1. Books! Especially ones with touch and feel pages. And if Aunt Jenny or Aunt Laura will read it. Luke is in love with the Peek-a-Who book.


2. Snack trap cups – allows them to get their hand in and some food out without spilling the whole cup. And perfect for keeping them entertained during long runs in the jogging stroller. Our favorites snacks are raisins, goldfish and cheerios.



3. Good sippy cups that don’t leak! We have Playtex – for milk and water and Zo-Li Bot with straw – works good for smoothies.


4. Toys are over-rated. Sure Luke loves toys, but he loves non-toys better. . . Abby’s water dish, emptying the Tupperware cupboard, and climbing up and down from chairs


5. Childproofing items –> the best advice I can give anyone who has an upcoming toddler is to childproof everything! It is so nice to be able to let Luke wonder around the house without having to follow him everywhere. Of course, he needs to be checked on because there are things that he likes to get into – playing with phone cords or trying to pry up the floor vents – that are almost impossible to childproof, but overall, he does pretty well and is safe in our house.

6. A dog. I have no idea what we would do without Abby. She grabs anything that Luke throws over his highchair. Follows him around the house if he is having a snack and picks up any extra. And gets the first layer of food off of his highchair tray. . .


7. Baby sign language. We haven’t done too many signs with Luke, but we use “more” all the time. He is able to tell us that he wants more of something – obviously we still struggle sometimes to figure out exactly what he wants – but it helps.


8. Ice cube trays. When I make smoothies, I always make extra and freeze it in ice cube trays so when I am looking for something quick and healthy for Luke, I can pull out a few ice cubes and either wait for them to melt for the next meal, or add some hot water and have a smoothie ready for him in minutes.

9. An extra change of clothes in the diaper bag. When you go from infant to toddler, you start to think that they aren’t that messy, no more spit up or diaper leaks (usually), so I took the extra change of clothes out of the diaper bag. .. big mistake! Now that Luke eats in a highchair, especially at a restaurant, food gets everywhere. . . we have had to leave with a naked except for a diaper from restaurants before because he made such a huge mess (thankfully it was summer!) –> now there is always an extra change of clothes in the diaper bag. Smile This is usually how our house looks after dinner. . .


10. Patience and love. These are the ultimate must-haves as your child transitions to the toddler stage. They start to push boundaries, explore their world and test limits. There have been melt downs, crying, and the start of a few fits. . . walking away and letting them work it out seems to work well so far, usually they last way longer if we try to pick him up and soothe him. We do lots of hugs and kisses when they are done and go on our way. . .


Toddlers are so much fun! The new things that they learn everyday. The energy and enthusiasm they have is contagious. You can’t help but smile and laugh with them all day long.

Do you have a toddler? Any advice or must haves??

And congrats to the winner of the Ellie giveaway –> Emily!!

ScreenHunter_106 Aug. 20 18.57ScreenHunter_105 Aug. 20 18.57

Please email me at to get your new workout capris!!


Filed under baby

Summer Eats

Anybody else eat way different in the summer than winter? I know that I do less cooking in the oven in the summer, but there is also the addition of the grill (not so accessible under a foot of snow in the winter) that makes turning on the oven even less desirable. . .

But on my last hot and humid summer run (12 miles on Saturday!), I started thinking about all  my favorite summer foods. . .

Smoothies –> homemade and from Panera. Strawberry is the best!


Big @** salads


Corn on the cob


All berries – I think blueberries are my favorite!! Scott gave me this big plate of fruit for our 4th wedding anniversary.


Anything grilled – teriyaki chicken, brats, hotdogs


Iced caramel skim lattes or macchiato. . .


Ice cold root beer from A&W – complete with a fresh glass from the freezer.


Fruit pizza!


Cold beer from the Leinenkugel’s Brewery


Ice cream –> bonus points if you get a puppy cup for the puppy!


Margaritas. . 


Doughnuts from the Bloomer Bakery while at the Lake


Lemonade –> want the best ever recipe? My mother-in-law makes the best! Check it out here!!

summer lemonade

Strawberry shortcake. . . especially this cake version.


Wow – that’s a lot of favorites – no wonder I do so much running in the summer!! Winking smile

What are some of your summertime food favorites? Do we have any of the same favorites??

And don’t forget to enter my Ellie giveaway for a pair of super cute workout capris!!! Ends tonight at midnight. Good luck. Smile


Filed under Recap, Recipes, summer

Weekend Update: 8/18/13

Happy Sunday night. . . I think. . . How is it Sunday again? And tomorrow is Monday, seriously? Oh well, we had a great weekend over here again. . .

We headed to the water park on Friday with Brynn and Sarah. It was on my summer to-do list! Luke loved the turtle water slide. Smile 


Someone was super tuckered out after all the playing. . .


Then, a 3 hour drive up to the Lake. . .

And a Friday night Fish Fry. + my family. Perfection.



12 mile run on Saturday. Nice weather. A little hot when there wasn’t any shade – which was most of mile 7. Thankfully, Scott and Dad met up with me at mile 8 and ran the last 4 and brought me water.


I refueled with Texas Chocolate Cake –> one of my favs.


And then beach time.


And boat time.


And more cake for Mom’s birthday.


And this morning, we had super easy omelets for breakfast <—have you ever had these? They are the easiest thing ever and so delicious.

Followed by some digesting.


Then, a nice 3 mile run.

Drive back to the cities.

Lunch with Grandma and Grandpa Thompson.


Play time with friends. And drive back to Mankato. Thanks for the cookies Jennie! Smile 


Dinner, laundry and some couch time at home.

And now I am off to join Abby in bed. Smile 

Hope you had a great weekend too. What were you up to??


Filed under Lake, Recipes, Running, weekend update