Monthly Archives: February 2014

Friday Favorites: 2/28/14

woo hoo for Friday!! Oh man, the week after vacation is so tough. . . I am looking forward to the weekend, because it’s the weekend. . . but we have to paint the whole basement this weekend. And you all know how I feel about painting. . .

But onto happier things – > here are a few favs of mine from this week. . .

La Terra Fina Dip


The nice people at La Terra Fina sent me 2 of their chunky classic dips: spinach artichoke & parmesan dip and artichoke & jalepeno dip. And OMG you guys, these things are amazing. There is a reason that there is only 2 pictures of them – they disappeared that quickly in our house! They are perfectly creamy. The addition of cream cheese to the dips was super yummy. You MUST pair with  pita chips. (Stacy’s are the best!) Watch out – they are too easy to eat – pretty sure Scott and I demolished these containers in one sitting. And Scott doesn’t even like artichokes! The spinach artichoke & parmesan cheese was our favorite. But the jalapeno one had a good kick to it. Just a hint of spice. I think these dips would be perfect for a party. Maybe I’ll have to get some for our housewarming? Or next Thursday. . . Winking smile

My new travel page! Check it out!!


Some recent blog posts (not necessarily from this week) that made me smile.

–> Becky’s post about My people. <—and I feel so lucky that I am one of those people.

–> Carly’s hilarious post about Secret Celebrity Crushes.

–> Lauren’s peanut butter showdown – homemade peanut butter in food processor vs blender –> and this post finally encouraged me to make my own peanut butter!

–> Colleen’s post about Daily First World Struggles For a White Girl. I think about this post all. the. time. and it makes me laugh and gives me some perspective on my *hard* life.

–> Stephanie from Now I Run doing a shout out for Jamberry nails and their highlight in Fitness magazine for March!








Having an extra day with this guy. I took a random day of vacation yesterday – because I knew that I would want to spend an extra day with Luke after being away all last week. And it was the best decision. We played, read books, snuggled, ate snacks, and just hung out. #perfection


What are you up to this weekend? Please say something more exciting than painting!

Spreading the link love by linking up with Heather, Claire, and Darci again this week.


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Filed under Friday

Nachos {recipe} + {Salba Chia review}

Have you guys heard of Salba Chia?

From their website:

Salba chia is the most nutrient dense form of Salvia hispanica L. (chia), and the richest whole food source of Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber found in nature.

Salba chia is different than your typical chia seed. . . here is some info on what makes it different from the Salba website:

Salba chia is premium chia, or as we like to call it, the smarter chia. Here are some of the ways Salba chia differentiates itself from generic chia strains:

  • Salba chia is the only form of Salvia hispanica L. that has undergone intensive peer reviewed human clinical research with positive published results
  • Salba chia is the most nutritionally dense and nutritionally consistent form of chia
  • Salba chia is a blend of the only 2 registered varieties (Sahi Alba 911 & 912) of chia among 80+ generic strains
  • Salba chia is white and visually blends easily into almost any food, making it easier to “eat with your eyes” as well as your taste buds
  • Salba chia has 5.58g (35%) more protein than generic chia
  • Salba chia has 500mg (312%) more potassium than generic chia
  • Salba chia has 139mg (22%) more calcium than generic chia

AND Salba chia seeds worked great for my chia peanut butter power bars. Smile

The company was nice enough to send me a bag of their tortilla chips. “Smarter than your average chip” because they have chia seeds baked right in! And they were the perfect base for my nachos.


We make nachos at least once per month. Super easy to make, delicious, and totally customizable. And who doesn’t love nachos?! We made these one night when Laura was visiting and she loved them!! I think she made them for herself and her boyfriend again later that same week.

So, start with a large cookie sheet.


Lay out chips in a single layer. (I had to include some of our standard Doritos on half the cookie sheet in case Scott didn’t like my “healthy” chips –> turned out to not be a problem at all!)


Top with shredded cheese.


Put in 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes or until cheese is just melted.


Top with taco meat.


Drizzle with taco sauce.


Add shredded cheese and tomatoes.


Serve on the cookie sheet with sour cream in the corners.


Dig in and enjoy!!



Chips (I usually use Doritos but any tortilla chip would be great)
1 lb ground beef or chicken
1 envelope Taco seasoning
Taco sauce
Mexican or Taco shredded cheese
Sour Cream

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Brown beef/chicken and prepare according to taco seasoning directions. Keep warm on low heat.
3. Arrange chips on large cookie sheet in a single layer.
4. Top with shredded cheese.
5. Put in oven about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
6. Sprinkle meat over chips. (I usually use about 1/2 of the mixture and then save the other half for leftovers.)
7. Drizzle with taco sauce
8. Top with shredded lettuce and tomatoes.
9. Serve (if desired) on cookie sheet with sour cream in corners.
10. Dig in and enjoy!!

What are your must-have nacho ingredients??

**I was provided with Salba products for free, but as usual, all opinions are 100% my own.


Filed under product review, Recipes

Weekend Update: 2/23/14

Whoa. . .  weekend update on a Wednesday? Better late than never, right? Am I the only one that needs a vacation when I get back from vacation? Between catching up on Lukie snuggles, laundry, work and sleep. . . I have had no time this week!

But, I still wanted to share my weekend with you all. ..

AND wish my little sister a very happy golden birthday!!

We made the most of our last day in Maui on Friday checking out the views. . .

on our run:


on the way to lunch:


chilling in the lobby.  ..



Then, we took the worst flight ever – an overnight flight to Phoenix.

A large caramel skim latte was #necessary.


And after 12 hours of traveling.  . . we were finally back home. It was great to get some hugs from this guy and that puppy!


And then we hung out to celebrate Laura’s birthday early.

She made her own cake! With Luke’s help. . .





Unfortunately, Luke isn’t on Hawaii time so he was up bright and early on Sunday morning. So I grabbed my coffee and tried to make the most of it.  . .


Then, back on track with meal planning and the grocery store. . . but I totally had the hardest time coming up with meals for this week .. . Thankfully, I had pinterest for help.


And I LOVE getting the mail when getting back from a trip – so many fun things, including the latest influenster box!!


5 miles on the treadmill during nap time.


And lots of laundry, followed by lots of quality time with Luke.


And finally, the popchips giveaway winner is:

Hannah! Please email me at and we will get you hooked up!!

And I never heard from my 2nd Cub Foods giveaway winner, so I picked someone new. . . nicole –> please email me too and I will get that giftcard to you ASAP.

Hope you had a great weekend!! And are having a good week too! What have you been up to?


Filed under Lifting, weekend update

popchips {giveaway} {closed}

Ok, so unless you live under a rock, you have heard of popchips, right? Ok, well maybe not everyone has heard of them because I just asked Scott about them (and he doesn’t live under a rock. ..) and he had never heard of them. ..

From the popchips website:

popchips are naturally delicious potato, tortilla and corn chips like you’ve never tasted before never fried (unhealthy). never baked (undelicious). We start with the finest ingredients, add a little heat and pressure, and pop! it’s a chip. the only thing added is a flavorful blend of seasonings for a snack so crispy and delicious, you won’t even notice it’s (we hesitate to say) healthier. thanks to the magic of popping, popchips have all the flavor, and half the fat of fried potato, tortilla or corn chips. what’s left out are a lot of calories and all the trans fat, cholesterol, fake colors and flavors (and greasy fingers) that give snacking a bad name.

Potato popchips come in 9 flavors: original, barbeque, sour cream & onion, sea salt & vinegar, cheddar, salt & pepper, chili lime, sweet potato and thai sweet chili. The tortilla popchips come in 4 four flavors including nacho cheese, ranch, salsa and chili limón. And did you know that Katy Perry has a signature flavor? katy’s kettle corn popchips.

And now Jillian Michaels has partnered with popchips. . .

popchips jillian michaels bring the fun social post image

One of my favorite tips of hers is this one. ..

“making wiser eating choices doesn’t mean you have to skip the fun traditions like taco night. when picking out your main dish options, always go with lean organic meat whenever possible. lean turkey and grilled chicken are great options. and if you love beef in your taco, just make it half lean grass fed organic beef and half turkey meat for a better option that still tastes great. having a burger night? instead of piling on the condiments, which are full of calories and high fructose corn syrup, try adding sliced avocado. they are full of healthy fats that are good for your body and skin! (then add a side of popchips instead of french fries.)”

AND she came up with a few recipes to pair with popchips –> I have never made my own hummus before, but I am thinking I might have to try. . .

Hummus (recipe from Jillian Michaels)
Pairs excellently with original and salt and pepper popchips

1(15 ounce) can no-sodium chickpeas
¼ cup fresh lemon juice, or to taste
3 tablespoons tahini
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish
1/8 teaspoon sumac or sweet, hot, or smoked paprika, for garnish


1. Place a strainer over a bowl and drain the chickpeas; reserve ¼ cup of the captured liquid.
2. In the work bowl of a food processor, place the lemon juice, tahini, garlic, and salt. Process until combined. Add the drained chickpeas and the reserved liquid. 3. Process until very smooth, scraping down the sides of the work bowl once or twice or as needed. Taste and add more lemon juice if desired. (The hummus can be stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week).
4. For a single snack: place 2 tablespoons of the hummus in a small bowl. Drizzle with 1/8 teaspoon olive oil and sprinkle a pinch of sumac over it. Pair with original and salt and pepper popchips for a healthy snack.

And now some super cool news. ..

This year popchips wants to bring the fun to the new year, with “no resolutions required”. They are asking snackers to tell them how they will bring the fun (not the fat) to 2014. You can enter their “bring the fun” ideas  at for a chance to win the following:

  • a round trip for two to jillian michaels maximize your life tour
  • a 1 year subscription to fitfusion
  • a 1 year supply of popchips!


AND I have a giveaway for R4C readers too!! Awesome, right?

popchips is giving one lucky R4C reader a one month supply <—that’s 24 bags! of popchips!!

There are 2 ways to enter. Please make sure to leave a separate comment below for each entry.

–> leave a comment below telling me which popchips flavor you would be most excited to have show up on your doorstep.

–> Tweet the following with a link back to this post: I want to win a month supply of @popchips from @runs4cupcakes *insert link*

The contest closes at midnight on February 25th 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!!!

**I was provided popchips in exchange for this post. But as always, opinions on R4C is 100% my own!**


Filed under giveaway, product

Friday Favorites: 2/21/14–Maui

Happy Friday!! Although, I am super sad because today is our last day here. . . we fly out tonight! But, I am ready to make the most of our last day!

So, here are a few of my favorites from this week. . .

Drinks with a view. ..


Whale watching. . .


which actually turned out terribly because I was a super dumb bunny and was using Scott’s phone to take pictures (we only brought our iPhones for cameras) and was sitting on the side of the boat, and yup, dropped it into the ocean. Oh man, I still can’t believe I did that.


Thankfully, I married the MOST understanding husband ever and he has been beyond wonderful about it. So, I guess Scott is my most favorite this week for being so wonderful no matter what we are dealing with. Love you honey!!

Running. . . 4 miles each day = great conversation and lots of sweating –> it’s HOT here in Hawaii.


Vacationing with friends = having the BEST time with Peggy and Brian!


Nice dinner at Lahaina Grill with Scott <—beef carpaccio = amazing.


This Valentine’s Day Card from Aunt Laura to Luke:


Pictures from Grandma of Lukie having a great time while we are gone. . .

Those cheeks! And the fact that he loves wearing his hat inside.


Building a fort with Aunt Laura and then having dinner in it. Note Abby sitting right outside the fort in case something rolls out. . .


Shoveling with Grandpa. And Abby standing in the middle of the street. . .


What was your favorite thing from this week? Any big plans for the weekend? We are flying out (overnight flight – boo) tonight. Celebrating Laura’s birthday tomorrow night and then Sunday = unpacking, laundry and lots of snuggles with Luke <—I miss that boy!

As usual, please link up with your Friday post!! Any post is welcome. Smile

Spreading the link love by linking up with Heather, Claire, and Darci again this week.


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Filed under baby, Friday, Laura, Recap, vacation

Blog Love {R4C 3rd Blog-versary!}

When I started blogging 3 years ago today, I had no idea where it would take me. I thought that it would be an online journal that a few people might read – mostly friends and family. Little did I know how much Running4Cupcakes would grow as a blog, but how I would grow along with it.


Through Running4Cupcakes, I have connected with so many different people, both online and in real life. I have had the opportunity to try new products, that if it wasn’t for blogging, I probably wouldn’t even know they exist (like SKORA running shoes!). . . as well as products that I already love (hello – Chobani!).

And I have found out that I am a serious social media junkie. . . My husband had to take the phone away from me last night as I was scrolling through Twitter and Instagram. Winking smile And don’t even get me started on Tweet Chats. Love those.

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ScreenHunter_148 Jan. 03 09.45

I love the ability through my blog to look back at what we were up to 1 year ago today. . . or scroll through old blog posts (here’s my first post) and marvel at how much life has changed since Luke has come along, or how crazy and cute Abby still is!


The blog gives me the ability to connect with other bloggers, but also let my friends and family know more about our life and what we are up to thanks to the blog. It keeps us connected.

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As a blogger, I am always trying to come up with new ideas for blog posts and it really keeps me on the lookout for all those little things in life and makes me appreciate and take notice of them, where as otherwise, I think they would just pass me by.. .


And who would have thought that I would be doing an occasional posts about How-To for your blog and the fact that I have some basic {– very basic!} knowledge of HTML code. And that my blogging would progress to get-togethers with other bloggers,


my first blogging conference – complete with my first time speaking at a blogging conference!!

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I can’t help but think back to getting my start in blogging. I started reading Peanut Butter Fingers after clicking though to her blog through an article that she had written on Spark People. I immediately loved reading her blog, hearing what she was up to, trying new workouts or recipes. . . and through her blog, I discovered the blogging world. .. and a few months later, lying in bed one night, thinking what if I started my own blog? And at that exact moment, Scott asking “What are you thinking about?” and I told him. And he said, that would be awesome – go for it. And then helped me come up with my blog name. . . something with running and food. Smile –> Running4Cupcakes.


And what a journey it has been. Thank you to my first readers – my family and friends, and thank you to all my blogging friends, near and far. Thanks for reading and sharing and commenting. Lots of love to you all.


Filed under blog

Maui Day #3

Aloha! Yup, it’s happening. Pretty sure it is a side effect of being in Maui. Smile 

Yesterday, I learned lots in my conference, and then walked out to pouring rain outside. . .

But Scott and I didn’t let that ruin our fun and took a chance with a beach run. Thankfully, the rain only sprinkled for the first 5 minutes and then the sun came out – and we did 4 miles together.


And then we went and picked up sandwiches and smoothies and had lunch on the beach. .. with this view!



After the afternoon on the beach, we got cleaned up. Hit up the pharmacy for some drops for an eye infection. Boo.

And then headed out to dinner at a local Thai restaurant (Thai Chef). Green pineapple curry for the win.


Beautiful sunset.


And then we headed to Warren & Annabelle’s magic nightclub. Scott’s friends came here on their honeymoon and told us that this show was one of the highlights of their trip. It is basically a slight of hand magic with a comedy show. And it was awesome! I would put one of their shows on your to-do in Maui list!


And this morning, latte with a side of flamingos.


I am super excited for this afternoon – we are headed out on a whale watching tour!! Cross your fingers for us that we don’t have any motion sickness!!

And finally, I am sorry that it has taken me so long to announce the winners of my Cub Foods gift cards giveaway. . . but they are:


Ola and Shannon!!

ScreenHunter_156 Feb. 18 14.23 ScreenHunter_155 Feb. 18 14.22

Please email me at!! **If I don’t hear from the winners within 48 hours, I will pick someone new. Smile


Filed under vacation

TYT #7 – Maui + Luau

Happy Tuesday!! Mine is especially happy because we are still hanging out in Maui. Smile It’s ok to be 100% jealous, especially if you are buried under a foot of snow. . .

But I thought I would share some treat yourself moments from yesterday in Maui. . . (thanks to Becky for hosting another TYT link up!)

After my conference, I met up with Scott for a run – 5k with beach views.


Lunch with a mango-rita.


Afternoon of walking around checking out the sites, with a coldstone shake snack.


And then it was time for the highlight of our night – a Luau!!


Scott got lei’d by a half naked man. #storyofmylife #notreally #happilymarried


Brian and Scott. . .


Peggy and I. . .


Watching the uncovering pig ceremony. . .




And we decided that we needed to try all of the drinks they offered. .. I think we got about 7/10 of them – unfortunately with free drinks, you get what you pay for. . . the highlight – the pina colada!


Dinner was served buffet style with typical Hawaiian foods. And it was just ok. There was some strange things! The best thing was the salad with the Hawaiian onion dressing –> I am going to have to find some of that to bring home!

And then it was time for the show. They danced for about an hour. And Peggy and I wondered how in the heck those girls are able to move like that!


And then we headed back to the hotel. A little Olympics watching..  .not a huge fan of ice dancing but it was fun to watch the Americans win the gold!

Hope you are having a great Tuesday! What are you up to? Hopefully not shoveling snow. Smile


Filed under vacation

Weekend Update: 2/16/14–Maui!

Hey! Happy Monday. It’s happy for me because we are in Maui for the week. I am here for a medical conference (Primary Care Update) and Scott decided to tag along. . . The only downside is that I have to spend each morning in the conference while Scott gets to soak up extra sun time. Oh well, I can’t really complain, right? I am in Maui!

But let me back up. ..

Friday was all about getting ready for our trip. And celebrating Valentine’s Day. I filled a bag with some treats for Luke, Abby and Scott. Luke loved pulling everything out of the bag. Pretzel M and Ms for Scott, bones for Abby, and Luke got a few of his recent favorite things – suckers, stickers and crackers. And an Elmo card. Smile 


And I got chocolate too. That Ghirardelli bar = amazing!


And I treated myself to a Caribou caramel skim latte.


Thankfully, in between all the packing, I had time to do bodypump. Chris let me borrow her DVD of BP release 80 –> awesomeness. And I think that the bar looks much better with pink sparkly nails.


And one more trip to the new house to check it out. . . drywall is going up in the basement!! This week while we are gone, they are supposed to be putting in flooring upstairs!


Saturday morning we dropped Luke off with Grandma (my Mom) and headed to the airport. And of course, had to pick up some coffee.


And Maui is super far away from MN – 3 hours to Phoenix and 6.5 hours to Maui. That is way too much time on an airplane.


Thankfully, it was sorta worth it – the view from our hotel room.


We are staying at the Westin. And their lobby is amazing – koi pond, flamingos and a waterfall.


Our firs morning here, we consulted Yelp (<—I love that app while on vacation) for a good breakfast location. And for the first time, Yelp failed. Worst. breakfast. place. ever. My latte was over 1/2 whipped cream. The French toast was soggy. And the place was just weird. Oh well..  .

And then we decided since so many people recommended that we had to drive The Road to Hana (including Shelly), and Sunday was the only day we had the whole day free, we hit the road to check it out.


The drive takes about 2-4 hours depending on how many times you stop along the way. The road is super curvy and you can only drive about 10-15 mph the entire time. And you have to stop a lot to let other cars pass the other direction because the road isn’t very wide. We picked up the Hana Audio Tour which basically talks you through the whole trip and gives you tips on which attractions to stop for and check out. It was super helpful.

We probably stopped about a dozen times over the trip. We are staying in West Maui, so it took us about an hour to get to the start of the road. About 4 hours to drive the Road to Hana and then we circled around to drive back to our hotel – and that took about 3 hours. Long day! We got to see some pretty cool sites. My only complaint was that the road was so curvy, I spent most of the time feeling car sick. So, if you are prone to car sickness at all –> skip this trip!

Here are some pictures from along the Road to Hana.








Black sand beach –> where lava flowed down and was broken into lots of super small bits from the cold ocean water.


Lots of waterfalls on the trip.



We were spent after getting back. All I wanted was some chips and salsa, so I consulted Yelp again and found an very highly rated food truck and we decided to check it out. . . #fail. The tacos were just ok, overpriced and no chips, no margaritas. Thankfully, Peggy and Brian – who are here for the week with us – joined us for dinner, so the conversation helped to save dinner.

Then, we got back to the hotel and watched a little bit of the Olympics – and Bode Miller get the bronze medal. How hard to watch was that interview?

And then since the 4 hour time change is killing us – we went to bed at 10pm!

Up early this morning – coffee in hand – for the conference.


Looking forward to a run this afternoon, some beach time and then a Luau tonight!!

What were you up to this weekend?


Filed under body pump, vacation, weekend update

Friday Favorites: 2/14/14

Happy Friday and Happy Valentine’s Day!!


Got any big plans? Yup, us neither. Winking smile 

Planning to eat leftovers and pack for Maui –> we leave tomorrow!!

I better get to it because I have to pack Luke for a week with Grandma and Grandpa. I have to pack myself and Scott, who is busy working on the house to finish up last minute projects before we leave for a week.  And of course, pack for Abby too – although she is pretty easy – food, leash, treats, done.

Here are some of my favorites from the past week. . .

These almonds that Ashley sent me. . .OMG amazing. Actually, looking at this picture makes me super sad because they are all gone.


Roasted broccoli. I think roasting makes all veggies better, right? I don’t know why I don’t do it more often. <love>


Teaching BODYPUMP and eating cupcakes. One of my regulars brought me this peanut butter cupcake that his daughter made for her birthday. Deliciousness. And super thoughtful. Usually it is running for cupcakes, but on Wednesday it was bodypumping for a peanut butter cupcake!


Valentine’s for Luke’s friends at daycare.  . . Angie’s vanilla cupcake kettle corn (made right here in Mankato!) for the kiddos.


And KIND bars for the adults. The tag reads: Your KINDness doesn’t go unnoticed. Cute, right? Yup, wasn’t my idea – I got it here. Smile 


My pink sparkle Jamberry manicure. And Coke Cherry Zero.


And this bag from Apera.


They were nice enough to send me this bag to check out. Full review coming soon, but I have had this bag for all of 2 days and I LOVE it. It is going to be my gym bag usually, but I think I am going to use it for my carryon for traveling this week. And of course, I l-o-v-e the color.


As usual, please link up with your Friday post!! Any post is welcome. Smile 

Spreading the link love by linking up with Heather, Claire, and Darci again this week.

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Filed under Friday