Monthly Archives: January 2014

Friday Favorites: 1/31/14

Happy Friday!! I am on call this weekend for work. . . so I am hoping for a quiet, quick weekend! I am also hoping to spend some time checking out my new juicer and doing some major meal prep on Sunday night. And I have to say a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my best friend, Peggy! Can’t wait to see you in Maui in a few weeks!!

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On to a few favorite things from my week. . .

This sign. . . #truth

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Leaving work when the sun is still up. .. love that the days are getting longer!

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Treadmill running. And Netflix Instant Play! It is just so easy to walk down the hall and hop on the treadmill and makes my morning workouts actually happen. And watching Heart of Dixie helps too.

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Driscoll’s berries. . . I finally used all of my stash from HLS. #sadness

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Friday link ups!! Today, I am spreading the link up love and linking up with Heather from Housewife Glamour

Friday Favorites Button Housewife Glamour

and Clare from Fitting it all in.

Five Things Friday Link Up via Fitting It All In

And this recipe from Cub Foods for the big game on Sunday. or maybe tonight. Winking smile

Bloomin' Garlic Cheese Bread

And as usual, please link up with your Friday post!!

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What are you up to this weekend?? What’s was your favorite thing from this week?

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Reading Recommendations–2

Since my 1st reading recommendations post 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!!

Uglies – this is a series of 4 books: Uglies, Pretties, Specials, Extras. Each book is a pretty quick read. These books are targeted for a little younger audience, but I still enjoyed them a lot.

White Jacket Required –> This is a must read in general, but if you are a blogger, I think you will enjoy it even more because it is written by Jenna who blogs at Eat, Live, Run. And reading Jenna’s blog after the book is like reading the sequel. Winking smile

Is Everyone Hanging Out With Out Me – oh my goodness Mindy Kahling is hilarious. This book had me laughing the whole time. Another nice, quick read.

Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 – Really good read. This book is based on the failed June 28, 2005 mission “Operation Red Wings”. Four members of SEAL Team 10 were tasked with the mission to capture or kill notorious Taliban leader Ahmad Shahd. Marcus Luttrell was the only member of his team to survive. –> also made into a movie.

Open: An Autobiography – Andre Agassi. A very interesting, real, honest read about his life and being a tennis superstar.

The Elite – the second book in “The Selection” series. I talked about The Selection in my first reading recommendations. And the 2nd one came out in April. Another good book, quick read, super cute. The only problem is, the last book (The One) doesn’t come out until May 2014!!

Kill Me If You Can – James Patterson. A fun read with some good twists and turns. Thanks for the recommendation Laura!!

Bossy Pants – Tina Fey. Honestly, this book wasn’t as funny as I expected from Tina Fey, but it was still a good read. Interesting to learn more about Tina Fey’s life and how things have worked out for her.

Violets of March – Sarah Jio. Totally a chick flick book, but I liked it!

The Help – I am totally late in jumping on this train. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I thought the book was good. Long read. No spoilers, but I didn’t love the ending. . . I am interested to see the movie and see how they transition it to the big screen.

Have you read any good books lately??

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New Running Schedule

So, this is the post that I NEVER thought I would write. . .

I am running in the mornings before work.

I know, right?!

For anyone who knows me, knows that #1 I love to sleep and #2 I hate getting up early.

So this is really big news.

I knew something had to change when the weather got colder and started snowing and I couldn’t take Luke with me in the jogging stroller. . .

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See, I teach BODYPUMP on Monday and Wednesday nights at the YMCA.

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So I get home from work with Luke. We play, eat dinner and then I have to head out. . . leaving Scott to do more playtime and all of bedtime. Which is FINE – he gets Luke time and he is more than willing to do that for me. BUT on Tuesday and Thursday, it is my turn to take the lead with playtime and bedtime. (obviously when we are both here, we both help with everything, but we usually do bedtime with just one of us reading, brushing teeth, snuggling and prayers.

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Well, before winter came, on Tuesday and Thursday, Luke and I would get home and I would take him for a run in the jogging stroller. Win for me – running and time with Luke. Win for Scott – some alone time at home to get things done. Well, then it got colder and the jogging stroller wasn’t going to cut it. So, if I went for a run after work and that means I leave Scott doing the single parent thing again. . . Well, #1. that’s not fair and #2. I want Luke/family time too!

So, I did some thinking and heart searching and chatting with Scott and decided that I would try to do my Tuesday/Thursday runs in the morning before work. I get up about 45 minutes earlier that I would have before and that would give me enough time to get dressed, get on the treadmill, put in about 3 miles, shower and get ready for work.

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WOW.  It is so nice to get home after work and to not worry about trying to fit in my workout. I get to come home, hang out, play with Luke, do bedtime, cook dinner, spend time on the couch, catch up with the husband, give Abby some loving, all of these things that I would try to quick cram in after my workout after work. . . I also have time to run errands, or do a quick fro yo date with Luke.

Yes, there are some downsides. #1. I still loathe getting up early. #2. It takes me a lot longer to get warmed up, so my miles are usually slower.

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But, for how accomplished I feel after fitting in a few miles before work and having that workout done so I have time to enjoy my evenings = worth it.

I am not sure what will happen when spring and summer come back. I really enjoy running with Luke (and I like to sleep). .. so if he is still cool with hanging out in the jogging stroller, we will probably go back to running together after work.

BUT, it is so nice knowing that running in the morning is an option and I CAN be a morning exerciser. Smile Amazing, right? And if I can do it, anyone can…… no, seriously. Winking smile

When do you work out? Have you ever had to change your routine?

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Almond flour banana bread

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So, a few weeks ago, Nuts.com was super awesome and sent me some almond flour. I have never baked with almond flour, so I was super excited to check it out. Add some bananas that were close to death on the counter, and banana bread with almond flour = winner.

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For this recipe, I adapted from my favorite banana bread recipe.

Ingredients
1/2 c butter
1 c white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas ( about 3)
3 cups almond flour
1 t baking soda
1 t vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray baking pan with PAM baking spray.

Cream margarine and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs, vanilla, then bananas. Add almond flour and baking soda, stirring until just combined. Add chocolate chips. You can add in chopped nuts too if you want.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for about an hour (or until a toothpick comes out clean). Remove from pan, let cool. Enjoy.

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Making banana bread with almond flour makes the bread very dense and moist. So, if you are looking for a light and fluffy bread or muffin – I would recommend using regular flour!

Thanks so much to Nuts.com for sending me this bag of almond flour!

Also, if you are looking for another banana bread with almond flour recipe, check out this one from Beautifully Nutty.

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Weekend Update: 1/26/14

 Hi all. Monday again already? While I really can’t complain – we had an awesome weekend.. . I can complain about the weather. -9 this morning! I have just about had it with winter and all these polar vortex cold snaps. At least there is only 20 more days until we leave for Maui! Anyway, I hope that it is much warmer where you are.. . or you somehow had the day off today so you can stay in your PJs and drink hot chocolate!

Backing up to Friday. . .

My weekend started with some time at the YMCA for spin/bodypump class. And wow, it was a killer!! Love the combo class with 35 minutes of spin and then 30 minutes of bodypump.

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Stop at the grocery store. Pretty sure my husband could single handedly keep Wild Harvest in business. He LOVES their granola <—understatement of the year.

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Stop at Target – didn’t get anything on my list. #typical

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Drive up to the cities.  . . stop at Sue’s house for a trade: I brought carmelitas and helped her with her 1st Jamberry manicure. She traded me for an extra juicer! So, I can finally do some juicing!! Any good recipes for me??

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Then, over to my parent’s house.

Making finger Jell-O stars.

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Chinese take-out for dinner.

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“Flying” with Grandpa after bath time.

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All snuggled in and ready to drive back to Mankato. Saying bye to Grandpa. .  . taking bets on how far down the road we get before Luke crashes. Grandpa wins.

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First things first on Saturday morning, trip to the new house to check out the progress. ..

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This is the view from the kitchen, looking into the living room.

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And the stairs into the basement.

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My first Advocare product – a spark sample! Fruit punch. Super yummy.

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You don’t spend your Saturday morning sitting in the kitchen reading to the mixer? Huh. so strange. Winking smile 

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Run during naptime. 6 miles (<—powered by Spark) and Heart of Dixie.

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Afternoon trip to the library. Watching Nemo and reading books.

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Saturday night = pizza and couch time = perfection.

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Sunday was COLD and windy. So, Luke and I spent the day hanging out while Scott worked at the house.

Popcorn!

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6 miles on the treadmill during naptime.

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I love when friends share their Jamberry nail pictures with me!! This is Nicole’s latest manicure – so cute, right?

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And one more picture of Abby. .  . who is always ready to play (or eat treats).

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Hope you had a great weekend too!! Was it super cold for you too?

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Friday Favorites: 1/24/14

Happy Friday. Are you doing the Friday dance too?

Luke and I are going to kick off the weekend by heading to the YMCA – teaching spin/bodypump class this morning and then some ball pit action for Luke. We have another weekend with nothing planned. Well, that’s not exactly true – I’ve kept our schedule free, so Scott can spend lots of time working on the new house. So, Luke and I will do lots of visiting, playing and keeping the townhome in shape. Also, looking forward to getting in a few treadmill runs during naptime and meal planning. I know, it’s ok to be jealous of my awesome life. Winking smile 

Here are my favorites from this week. . . 

My husband.

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He is working so hard making sure everything is going right with the house, spending lots of time on the phone with the builder and contractor. As well as he is spending evenings and weekends working on finishing the basement! I am so thankful to #1 have such a hardworking husband #2 to have such a handy husband who can finish a basement! #3 for his attention to detail because I know our house is going to be awesome because of it. . .

Active Accessories on-the-go hair bands – of course I love the pink color! (btw – do you have any idea how hard it is to take a picture of your hair?)

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and they have a super cute on-the go accessory pouch. Perfect for your phone, chapstick and gym card.

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I was sent this products for free from Active Accessories for my review, but, as usual, all opinions at 100% my own on R4C. . . but also, the hair bands showed up at just the right time because I could not find my usual hair bands ANYWHERE. . . well, guess where I found them 3 days later. ..

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I guess they needed to be used as cargo in the dump truck.

AND you all can get 25% OFF your purchase on their website with coupon code: Running4Cupcakes. It expires on Valentine’s Day!

Bringing my own coffee to work. #1. Saving $5 = awesome #2. I love my nespresso machine and it makes pretty great lattes.

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Speaking of coffee. .. this sign in my office always makes me smile.

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My 1st juice – carrots and apple.

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After watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, I was inspired to try a fresh pressed juice. I don’t have my own juicer, so I checked out the one (?!? downside of living in a small town) place that sells fresh pressed juice. The verdict – LOVED it. Can’t wait to get my own juicer (hopefully soon, my friend Sue is going to let me check out one of hers!) and try some greens!

Google hangouts with my favorite blends (Becky, Melanie & Caroline). <good for my soul> Thanks again for the chat ladies. Smile 

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Tell me some of your little favorites from the week? And weekend plans?

Please link up with any Friday post of your own – all are welcome!!

Fri_Favs

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Filed under blend, husband, product review

Cookie dough dip

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Oh yes. You read the blog title correctly. It’s about to get real on R4C today.

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Cookie dough dip.

Cookie dough goodness that you can eat with a spoon, pretzel, graham cracker, finger, etc, without the worry of contracting some strange illness from raw eggs.

And oh man, this stuff is good – lick your fingers, double dip, eat 4 more spoonfuls after you swore you were done – kind of good.

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And it is totally customizable for whatever you want to add in. For my recipe, I used white chocolate chips and M and M’s, but walnuts and mini chocolate chips would be ah-mazing, or Reese’s pieces or white and milk and dark chocolate chips. . . sorry, just had to wipe the drool off my keyboard.

Anyway, enough talking about the goodness. Here’s the pics and recipe. Enjoy!!

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Cookie dough dip (recipe adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything)

Ingredients

  • 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 ½ cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup plain M&Ms
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Beat cream cheese, butter, and peanut butter until smooth.
  2. Add in powdered sugar, brown sugar, flour, and vanilla.
  3. Mix in the oats.
  4. Add the M&Ms and white chocolate chips.
  5. Store in the refrigerator until serving.
  6. Serve with graham crackers, pretzels, fingers, spoons, etc.

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Valentine’s Day Craft

So remember how I bought that hurricane glass for my fall craft?

And then I changed it into a Christmas decoration?

Well, now that the Christmas stuff is put away. . .time for something new.

And with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I decided to do a Valentine’s Day decoration.

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All you need is a hurricane glass, small candle, and candy hearts.

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Super easy. Pour the hearts in. Top with candle. Done and done.  Cute, right?

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Want more Valentine’s Day ideas?

This is the craft Luke and I did together last year.

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Jamberry has some super cute Valentine’s nail designs.

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And I love this heart wreath that I found via Pinterest.

Super cute valentine wreath

And I totally think this would be a perfect cake to make for the big day.

Vanilla cake with strawberry cream frosting.

Any good Valentine’s Day ideas to share? Any plans so far?

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TYT #5 {My 1st yoga class}

Happy Tuesday!! Today, I am linking up with Becky for some Treat Yourself Tuesday action. I treated myself to my 1st yoga class last week and I thought I would share my thoughts on it. . .

The local studio has $5 drop in classes on Friday nights and offers either a “Happy Hour Hatha” or “Power Hour”. I met my friend Jamie, who does yoga regularly, to take a class together. Since it was my first time, we did the hatha class.

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Overall, I thought it was boring. but, after we were finished, I was surprised that it was an hour class. . . it seemed like we were only in there for 30-45 minutes. So, maybe I wasn’t as bored as I thought? I wasn’t counting down the time but, I think that the entire class felt like the warm up of a regular aerobics class, so I spent the whole time wondering when we were going to the actual class.

I didn’t feel as stretched out as I thought. I have neck and shoulder pain which I think is from posture and working style. I was hoping that yoga might help with that. .  and maybe over time it would?

I was happy that I wore layers because it was chilly. For some reason, I expected it to be warm?

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It was super nice to meet a friend for a class. I need to do that more often!

I don’t think it helped that I though the instructor was annoying.  She kept saying, “we breathe deep” <—said super fast and in a bored tone. How am I supposed to relax with that intonation?

I think I need to try some different classes: FIT, Power, Vinyasa, or Ashtanga?

It totally wasn’t a workout, which I wasn’t expecting, so that was fine, but still I thought that it would be good for something?

I do really enjoy downward dogs.

I wasn’t as lost as I thought I would be. I understood and knew how to do pretty much every pose. I think that is just from being in the fitness industry. There is definitely crossover between regular aerobics and yoga.

I was extremely concerned about my lack of flexibility and that the instructor would have to come over a bazillion times to help me and give me those modification blocks. Nope, didn’t happen. This was truly a basic yoga class, so there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do. . . but the instructor was pretty good about giving variations and modifications that you could do if “it felt right to you.”

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Again, this is just my opinions after one class. I totally need to try different classes and different instructors before I come to a decision on whether yoga is for me.

Do you do yoga? What class do I need to try next?

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Weekend Update: 1/19/14

Happy Monday!! After a great weekend of just hanging out. .. I am ready for the work week. Like I said on Friday, we had nothing on the schedule, so we were just able to hang out and do whatever we felt like. Smile

Here is what we ended up doing. .  .

Luke had an ENT appointment on Friday to check how his ear tubes are doing. Everything checked out great!

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After, a trip to the YMCA to play in the kid’s play area.

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Then, naptime for Luke. Abby always sleeps right outside his room during naptime.

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And I got a good run in = 6 miles, while watching Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. WOW. Have you seen it? Totally makes me want to start juicing. Anyone have a juicer I can borrow? Or recommendations for a good one? BTW don’t tell Scott I want to buy another bulky, spendy kitchen appliance. Winking smile

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More sleeping. .  .

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And then time to check out the new house progress. . .

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It is hard to eat snacks while keeping mittens on. .

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Saturday morning = another run during naptime. 5.0 miles.

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Lunch. With ice cream cones.

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And a trip to the fireplace store to pick out our new fireplace. . .

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And we got the car washed. . . Luke and Abby were very interested by the whole process. . .

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naptime. . .

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followed by some epic post-nap hair.

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Saturday night. . . hanging at the new house keeping Dad company and Luke out of trouble.

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Sunday morning = baking. Made Krusteaz Pumpkin Spice quick bread into mini muffins. .. whoa, yum! I added pecans to it, which made them even better.

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but next time I am totally making these frosted pumpkin cookies!

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Play time while watching football.

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The weather was beautiful enough for an outside run with Luke in the jogging stroller.

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Then, we put on snow boots and went walking through the snow with Abby. . . and of course, we had to make some snow angels. Winking smile

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And what better way to finish the weekend than this beautiful sunset?

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What were you up to this weekend??

*I was provided Krusteaz Pumpkin Spice quick bread for free, but as always, opinions on R4C are 100% my own.

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