Monthly Archives: October 2013

Carmelitas

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No tricks for Halloween – just an awesome treat for you guys!!

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Laura found this awesome recipe on Pinterest and brought it for us to make during our weekend of fun.

I am not joking when I say that this is one of the best things we made that weekend. Crunchy on the bottom with luscious caramel and the hint of chocolate –> perfection! These were the first things gone in our house. We unfortunately only made a 8×8 pan and had to share them between both houses. . . Laura and I have already made them again and again – in a 9×13 pan! And it is on my list to make them again SOON! The recipe has amounts for a 8×8 pan, but I would recommend doubling it and making a 9×13 pan – you won’t be disappointed!

Ingredients
32 caramel squares, unwrapped
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Directions
1. Combine caramels and cream in a small saucepan over low heat.

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2. Stir until completely smooth; set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, flour, oats, and baking soda.

4. Pat half of the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of an 8×8″ pan.

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5. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

6. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over crust.

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7. Pour caramel mixture over chocolate chips.

8. Crumble remaining oatmeal mixture over caramel.

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9. Return to oven and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned.

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10. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting.

11. Enjoy!!!

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*A quick few minutes in the fridge will help them cool off. They shouldn’t be served cold, but all of that molten caramel takes a long time to cool down. They should be stored and served at room temperature. ***IMHO – I think they tasted great right out of our freezer!
**To make a 9×13″ version, simply double the amounts.

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22 Comments

Filed under dessert, Laura, Recipes

Wholly!

So you all know how much I love avocados and guacamole, right? I mean, it was one of my Friday favorites. . . and let’s be honest, it really should be on every favorites list there is. 

I shared my avocado love with the kind people at Wholly Guacamole and asked if they would be so kind to send me some products to check out. And oh my goodness, did they ever. 

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And I know, I don’t have to tell you how excited I was to dig in.

I had always seen their packages in the store, but for whatever reason, I never actually checked them out.

And boy, was I missing out.

I am in total love with everything, especially the 100 calorie Wholly Guacamole Minis. *remember my promise to be 100% honest with you all here on Running4Cupcakes* –> anyway, the minis are frickin’ awesome. Perfect size for a quick snack. Love to freeze them and then put them in my lunch for work <—yeah totally can’t take credit for that idea, stole it off their website! Winking smile 

They also sent a super cute stress reliever swishy avocado – that of course, Luke loves. . . yeah getting a toddler to sit still for a picture with his new favorite toy just isn’t going to happen. . . Winking smile 

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And they sent a nice note along with a recipe pamphlet from Food Network for salsas and guacamoles – there is even one for a margarita guacamole – yes please!!

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And their guacamole is made with Haas avocados. (Love that!!) and they are gluten free AND you can freeze them for up to 3 months.

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They sent me 4 packs of their new 100 calorie guacamole packs. #MiniGuac

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They have classic, spicy, avocado ranch and 100% chunky avocado. I have been putting these bad boys on everything. They are the perfect serving size for dinner – with chips or served over my enchiladas.  And seriously, how cute are they? Winking smile

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It is super hard to pick a favorite – I think I love classic the most, it is a really really good guacamole.

Abby’s a Wholly fan too .. .

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And did you know that they make salsa too? I sure didn’t! They have roasted tomato, classic medium and avocado verde.

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It is a really good sign that I don’t have any pictures, because we ate them too fast. . . Scott said that it reminded him of restaurant quality salsa. High praise from him –> he is a total salsa snob.

I really liked the avocado verde with my quesadilla casserole. Perfect pairing.

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And now, the good news for you: a Wholly giveaway!!

One lucky R4C reader will receive a cooler of Wholly Guacamole minis!!

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

–> leave a comment below telling me which Wholly product you’d love to try.

–> Follow Wholly and Running4Cupcakes on Twitter.

–> Follow Wholly and Running4Cupcakes on Facebook.

–> Tweet the following with a link back to this post: I want to win @eatwholly guacamole from @runs4cupcakes *insert link*

The contest closes at midnight on November 5th, 2013 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!!!

48 Comments

Filed under product review, Recipes

Moving.

So, we moved this weekend.

And it was hard.

We moved from a house with a lot of firsts.

We moved from the first house that Scott and I bought together right before we got married.

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We moved from the house that we lived in for 5 ½ years.

We moved from the house that we brought our 1st baby home to.

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We moved from the house that we built a fence for Abby as our first home improvement project.

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It was hard to move because we loved the house. It had great kitchen with a beautiful island. Scott spent hours and days working on the landscaping and yard and we loved to look out of our back windows at our beautiful back yard. We will miss that view. I will also miss the fireplace in the living room. And I will miss Luke’s room. And our huge basement with lots of room for the treadmill.

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But, even though moving was super hard and I did shed a few tears driving away from the house, it’s not our home anymore. We are moving on to better things. A bigger house that will meet the needs of our family. A new room for Luke. An even bigger island in the kitchen. The perfect shower in the master bathroom. A mud room that will be just perfect with storage, laundry and a bathroom. And we will get to pick everything out together. And make it ours.

Our new home.

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The transition to the townhome is tough. Packing up everything and trying to figure out what we don’t need and can live without for 3 months. One half of our garage in the townhome is just boxes. But, it will be worth it.

And it is so relieving that Luke is transitioning so well. This would be so much harder if he was having a hard time. But as long as he has his books and the Abby puppy is close by. .. he is good. 

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And I am learning from him. A house is just a house. It’s the people who are in it that make it a home. And as long as we are all together, we are home.

More to come as we continue building our new home! They have started
framing the basement and it is so exciting to see the progress.

Who makes your house a home?

23 Comments

Filed under Abby, baby

Weekend Update: 10/27/13

We survived. We are all moved. And we are soooooo tired. Can we have an extra day before having to go back to work??

Luke and I took our last run from our house. It was definitely bittersweet!

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On Saturday morning we headed to St. Peter for the Halloween 5K fun run. And of course, we had to dress Luke up in his Tigger costume!! Those ears and that tail. So. adorable.

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He wanted to keep it on for breakfast. . . I think smoothies taste better in costume.  . .

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Abby ran too!! Family picture.

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Since we had a stroller and a dog, we had to line up way in the back. So, we had to weave through a bunch of people for the first mile. I think there were about 1500 runners and walkers! Our finish time was 27.31.5 –> a little slower than our Le Sueur 5K a few months ago. . . and I think that was because of all the people. . . But we had a blast. This was our 4th year!! And I always love running past the college guys who then grumble to their friends that they can’t believe they are getting passed by a stroller. Winking smile

And then it was moving time. . .I was busy, but I did manage to snap this picture of the boys trying to figure out how and why our most heavy piece of furniture (the treadmill) was going to go upstairs. Spoiler – they totally made it upstairs and it is ready for some running this winter!!

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Luke wanted to get back in his costume during the move and loved helping Grandpa take apart furniture. . .

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And then helped Dad set up his crib. .  .

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And after a very long day, time to read books and go to bed.

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I was most worried about how Luke would do, but he is doing great. No problems sleeping our first night in the new place. He must have been tuckered out because he woke up at 6:45am for a diaper change and then went back to sleep until almost 9!! Which was much needed and appreciated by Mom and Dad!!

Sunday was more moving. . . and starting to do some organizing. . .

Luke and I went for our first run from the new place.

And Scott and I collapsed on the couch with LeeAnn Chin and Sunday night football. Go Packers!!

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And Abby seems to be settling in to the new place too. . .

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Again, a HUGE thank you to Scott’s family and Scott’s friend, Zak, for coming down to help. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Please tell me you had a more fun weekend than me?!?

20 Comments

Filed under Abby, baby, husband, Recap, Running, weekend update

Friday Favorites: 10/25/13

Happy Friday!! We are going to be busy bees this weekend. We are
moving! We are moving into a townhome for a few months while we wait
for our house to be built. Moving with a toddler is not anything that
I would wish for anyone!! Thankfully, we have a bunch of friends and
family coming to help us out this weekend.

So, I have to get to packing, but here are a few of my favorites from the past week!!

Google hangouts (hanging out with friends)

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My roomies from HLS got together for a Google hangout this week. It
was my first time using the hangout for so many people. It was a lot
of fun and good to see their faces – and meet Baxter! I am not sure
that Google hangout is the best way to have that many people chat
together. You couldn’t adjust the size of each person and we were
getting some feedback which made it hard to hear sometimes. Any
suggestions for a better way? I have never tried Skype, but have heard
good things about it.

Nectar sunglasses
A while ago, I got a scratch in my favorite pair of sunglasses, so I have been on the lookout for a new pair. I found this company thru twitter and they were kind enough to send me 2 pairs of sunglasses to check out.

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One pair is the “Apollo” aviators – and they are my go-to driving and hanging out sunglasses. The other pair is black “swag”  – and they are my new running sunglasses.

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They stay put and don’t slide down my face when it gets hot and sweaty!

Peanut butter m and m’s

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My little sister sent me a bag last weekend and they are gone already! Seriously, so good and too dangerous!! And random fact for you – blue is my favorite m and m color! Winking smile 

Chia seeds
You guys know how much I love chia seeds – my favorite bars even have them! And I am a huge sucker for any products that have them – an extra dose of omega 3 –> yes!

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Anyway,  I won these Vega One chocolate almond bars in a giveaway thru Pink Runner a while ago. I hate protein bars and protein shakes. But I love these bars and they have chia seeds in them! They have been my on the go breakfast option for the past few weeks. No crazy protein powder after taste. And chocolate for breakfast – heck ya!

BODYPUMP

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And you all know that I LOVE bodypump, but it is totally one of my
favorites this week. I taught one of my favorite releases – 84! And my
evening class is growing – so nice to see the room full of people
ready to do bodypump and then in 6 weeks to see how they have changed
and improved!! Love it.

Like Twice (<—FYI referral link!)

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Have you guys heard of this site? It is basically on online consignment shop. You request a bag from them. They sent you a pre-paid bag that you stuff full of clothes and send back to them free of charge. They have a great list of brands that they accept. And then they email you an offer. If you want any of your clothes back that they don’t accept, you pay $5 to get them back, otherwise they will donate them to goodwill for you! And it is an awesome site to do some shopping on as well. . .

Alright, now I really have to get back to packing! Hope you have a
great weekend!! Up to anything exciting??

24 Comments

Filed under blend, body pump, Friday, product review, Recap

Des Moines Half Marathon 2013: Race Recap

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As you know, Scott and I ran the Des Moines half marathon this past weekend. And I have finally had time to put together my official race recap!!

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So, after having my stomach cramp up at mile 12 last year, I was super nervous about what I was going to eat prior to this race. When I ran my first marathon, I had potato pancakes the night before and that went fine. . . so I dragged Scott to Perkins for dinner on Saturday night. And oh man, they were delicious. Potato pancakes are one of my favorite things!!

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We headed to bed early on Saturday night to get a good night’s sleep and in anticipation of getting up early. I wanted to get up early so that #1. we could find a good parking spot in downtown Des Moines and #2. So, I could get my caramel skim latte from Caribou.

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Before each of my long training runs, I have always had my coffee, so I didn’t want to stray from that for the race. Thankfully, Scott was totally on board and in support of doing everything possible to make this a better race.

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And we totally scored a perfect parking spot about 2 blocks from the start. And we were 1 block from porta potty’s with NO LINES!! They were sort of on the backside of the start line so not too many people were parking on our side. That was the key to the perfect race start. I always have to pee like 4 times before the start of a long run, combination of nerves and coffee. So, that was a great way to start out. We hung out in the car for about 40 minute before the race start.

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It was a chilly morning. 43 degrees with a little wind. I had an long sleeve t-shirt from a Halloween race a few years ago that I never wear that I wore to the start and then took off right before we got going. We made our way to the start line and lined up right at the 9 minute mile sign.

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I had a hard time deciding what to wear – I didn’t want to be cold or hot. I almost always wear shorts – unless it is below 35 degrees, but I wasn’t sure what to wear on top. I ended up wearing my tech long sleeve t- shirt from last year’s half marathon. And it was (thankfully) the perfect choice.

And then, it was 8am and time to start. The race started right on time. And I had my garmin ready to go! It took us about 2 minutes to get to the start line. And yes, we crossed the finish line to get to the start line. ..

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Scott and I settled into our pace right away and didn’t let ourselves get sucked into the mob mentality of starting out too quick. The first few miles you wind through downtown Des Moines. And run in front of the capital.

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The trees along the course were so pretty.

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You don’t want to miss this sign! **We totally saw a runner at mile 8 realize that she missed that sign and was running the half-marathon course instead of the full marathon course she was intending to run!! #badday

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There were a lot of spectators with great signs –> even one that said “What does the fox say?” They all  must have read my Spectator post because all of the things that I mentioned (except the sprinkler – too cold!) were there!!

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No, I didn’t know this man, but I appreciated that he was cheering for me. Smile 

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Team Lululemon. ..

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And this sign says “Keep Going, Keep Going, That’s What She Said.”

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Good signs. –> one that said “what does the fox say?” Gummy bears. My favorite – a lady with a box of Kleenex at mile 6. I had told Scott to watch for Kleenex. And I was totally texting and would have missed her, but Scott was “Katie, Kleenex!!” And I was so happy to see her. I said thank you!! And she said “I know what runners need!” Smile A couple of people read my name off of my bib and called out “good job Katie,” which is always nice to hear!

I was texting Melanie, Becky and my parents off and on throughout the race. I don’t feel like it affected my time at all. I just tucked in behind Scott and kept up with the pace. And it was super nice to have the encouragement too.

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I got water at 3 stops, but we never walked. I probably spilled more water on me than I actually drank. . . I never felt like the miles took forever. Scott and I didn’t talk about too much. We tried to figure out some colors for the new house – bedrooms and bathrooms etc.

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A couple of times my stomach threatened to cramp up, and I just slowed the pace a bit and it was fine.

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We caught up to the 2 hour pacer about mile 11. And man, she was annoying!! I know that she was just trying to talk and encourage the group, but she was saying things like “I like to repeat a mantra to myself, or sometimes I just say just keep going, or sometimes I just sing the ABCs over and over.” Scott and I ran past her so quick just so we wouldn’t have to listen to it anymore. Winking smile 

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At mile 11, Scott asked about our pace and I said that we were doing good – about 8:37 pace and that we could pick it up at 12 if we wanted to. .. I didn’t want to pick it up before then, in case my stomach started to act up. And he said maybe we can slow down instead. That’s when I realized that he wasn’t having the most fun. He had been worried about his foot bothering him like it has been for the past few long runs but that was fine – his hip flexor was totally cramping up. So, we just stuck together and I really realized that he was totally done when I asked him at mile 12.5 “what does the fox say” and I didn’t even get a smile back! Thankfully, we were almost done at that point.

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The only part of the race that is ridiculous is this little out and back that is only about 150 feet long at about mile 12.5 or so.

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But, then we made it to the finish line. And we crossed holding hands! Yes, we are that couple. Winking smile 

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And we made our goal of under 2 hours! Official time 1:58.01. Garmin time 1:58.09 with a total distance of 13.36.  Yep, we did about a quarter-mile of weaving around people!

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We got our medals and then wandered around the food. Had a piece of yummy pizza, some cookies, jimmy johns subs, and bagels.

Now, we are planning for next year for both of us to finish feeling good with hopefully another PR for Scott. This was his 3rd half marathon and first time under 2 hours!!

Des Moines is a great city. The half marathon course is a really good course. Overall flat. Good scenery. Great support. Lots of spectators. I would highly recommend this race. And we will be there again next year!! Smile

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Filed under husband, Recap, Running

18 months

Luke is officially a year and a half! Whoa. seriously? I just look at him all the time now and think that he is such a big boy!! Growing up way too fast.

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Loves books. . . asks to read “Roadwork” or “Trucks” before getting out of
the crib.

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Loves flushing the toilet.

Loves smoothies.

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And apples. pickles. fruit snacks. ketchup.

And juice. Even though we water it down at least 50/50. Winking smile

Loves riding in the laundry basket.

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Loves playing with Grandpa in the truck.

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Loves to help. Especially with emptying the dishwasher.

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And loves to help Mom with cooking and baking. Especially when we are using the mixer.

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Loves riding in the jogging stroller and pointing at every bus and truck and car. 

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Loves Abby. And always wants to give her treats. But, doesn’t like when she takes food out of his hand uninvited.

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Favorite words: roadwork, uh oh, turtle, what’s that, truck, bus, car, Abby, puppy

Loves singing Itsy Bitsy Spider. Check out this video of him doing the motions.

Doesn’t like: time outs, diaper changes, being told no, naps, the blender

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He is growing and changing so fast. Learning new thing every day! And I can’t believe that I officially have a toddler now. That is crazy!! Smile

32 Comments

Filed under Abby, baby

Weekend Update: 10/20/13–Des Moines

Hey there! How was your weekend? Mine was really good. Scott and I headed down to Des Moines on Saturday, ran the half marathon on Sunday and came back on Monday. Having Monday off made the weekend seem really long and it was pretty awesome. I am going to do a full race recap later this weekend, but for now, here is a weekend recap!

My weekend started with “just because” roses from Scott – in pink – my favorite!!

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And then we decided that we needed to really try out the new Ninja blender – and made mint chocolate chip shakes. Ummm super easy. Ice cream and milk –> awesomeness. The perfect way to start the weekend.

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Abby loves her new birthday toys from Laura.

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Luke’s new favorite thing is to sit in this basket.

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Luke and I did chores around the house. He LOVES emptying the dishwasher. And then he rode his pony in the kitchen. We put it in his bedroom every night and every morning he drags it back out into the kitchen. . .

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One last run to stretch out the legs before the race.

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Mom came down to watch Luke while we were in Des Moines and we went out to Axel’s Bonfire. Luke loved petting the chairs and watching them make pizzas.

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And who doesn’t like make your own sundaes?

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And I checked out jamberry nails. Much easier than I was thinking – and super cute. Can’t wait to check out the other designs. And peanut butter m and m’s that came with Abby’s birthday present from Laura. She knows me so well. They are my favorite!!

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On Saturday, we took Mom out to see the house.  .  .

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And then headed to Des Moines. First stop –> Palmer’s Deli.

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Then, race packet pickup and expo. We hung out around Des Moines and went to my favorite Target ever – the Super Target in West Des Moines. When I lived here for medical school, I was within walking distance of this place and it. was. awesome.

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Potato pancakes are the perfect pre-race dinner.

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Early bedtime for the early wakeup call on Saturday.

And true statement that Caribou makes you run faster.

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More race details in the recap but overall it went really well and we finished under our goal of 2 hours.

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We spent most of the day watching football and lounging around.
And then headed to Red Robin for our post – race shakes and burgers.

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And then walked around Lowe’s looking at light fixtures and kitchen options for the new house. <—being an adult is so exciting. Winking smile 

Monday morning means Panera. Cinnamon crunch bagel for Scott and cinnamon crunch scone for me and a caramel latte with skim milk to share.

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And of course we couldn’t leave Des Moines without checking out this place.

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YUM!!  –> Weekend perfection – running and cupcakes. Smile 

How was your weekend? Hope you week is off to a great start. Happy Tuesday!

26 Comments

Filed under Abby, baby, husband, Recap, weekend update

Friday Favorites: 10/18/13

Happy Friday!!! woo hoo, right? Winking smile We are headed to Des Moines tomorrow and the half marathon is on Sunday. Think good thoughts for us! Hopefully there are a lot of good spectators (minus a sprinkler – too chilly!!).  I’ll be back on Monday with a recap of the weekend and hopefully some good pictures. Until then, enjoy some of my favorites from the past week..  .

Perfect Halloween decoration. Laura and I made this last year with Luke’s feet and my feet. And I made two – so I have one hanging at work and one at home. 

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And I still really loving my fall decoration. And it was so flipping easy!

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Des Moines – I am super exited to be heading back to Des Moines this year for the half marathon. The first stop will definitely be at Palmer’s Deli – my favorite place to eat in Des Moines! Their sandwiches and salads are awesome.

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And I am really happy to be running the half with this guy again. . .

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The dollar store. . . seriously, this place is awesome. How do I always forget to check it out?!? I got these cute work zone cones for Luke and some Halloween candy (sixlets – anybody else love those from their childhood?). It’s a good place to wander around. . . I had an extra 20 minutes before meeting Scott for lunch last week and this was the perfect place to go!!

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Panera Autumn Squash soup. oh my goodness. so good. It’s like fall in a bowl. Bonus points if you get it in the bread bowl.

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And my random favorite thing for the week (remember those pickles from last week?). . . this food network mini muffin tin. How is everything better in a mini muffin tin? I think I have made mini muffins every weekend for the past 6 weeks. My absolute favorite? Banana nut muffins!! And those mini pumpkin muffins are a close second. Winking smile 

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Happy weekend!! Any plans??

21 Comments

Filed under crafts, Friday, Recap, Running

Spectator Tips

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I think that any runner can agree that good spectators can make a big difference in your race experience.

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As Scott and I are gearing up to head down to Des Moines this weekend for the half marathon, I did some thinking about key things that I appreciate from spectators during my previous races. . .

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Super cool funny sign –> a good sign can make all the difference. A couple of signs on my first marathon course really helped me. Motivational, funny, true, whatever as long as it gives me something to think about other than my quads. Some of my favorites:

Kleenex –> because my nose always runs and a Kleenex is a nice thing to have.

Gummy Bears <—my favorite food to eat during a race. . .not any other time, except during a half marathon or marathon! During the Des Moines half marathon last year, there was a nice lady about mile 11 handing out gummy bears and I loved her for it.

Sprinkler –> only on a super hot day and make it option. i.e. don’t spray people. . if you have a house on the race course, it might be nice to have a sprinkler running so that people can run through it if they want to, but avoid it if they want to.

Music –> crank. it. up. Smile 

What’s your best spectator tip??

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Filed under Running