Monthly Archives: September 2014

Fall to-do List

Fall is one of my favorites. . .

but it always seems to go by so quick!

This year, I wanted to make a to-do list (you guys know how much I love my lists. . .) to try to take advantage of the 6-ish weeks of fall in Minnesota!

#1. Hiking. There is the beautiful trail between St. Peter and Mankato called 7 mile creek park. And with the fall colors.. . it is pretty amazing.

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#2. Apple orchard. Fresh apples.  Apple butter. Apple doughnuts. Apple cider. Apple everything. Yes please.

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#3. Crockpot meal. Tis the season, right? I’m ready to embrace it, starting with this one.

Crockpot Chicken Cream Cheese Chili - running4cupcakes

#4. Go to a football game.

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I love to watch my beloved Packers on the big ‘ol TV at home, but doesn’t an outdoor football game just scream fall? (Why do I live so far away from Lambeau stadium??) And we just happen to live within a mile of Minnesota State University football stadium. Go Mavs. Smile And I think Luke would love all the activity and let’s face it, he’s all boy, so he loves any sport with a ball these days. . .

What’s on your fall to-do list??

Also, I am linking up with Becky for Treat Yourself Tuesday!

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Weekend Update: 9/28/14

what a great weekend. it was everything I needed.

I had Friday off, so I took the opportunity to pick up an iced caramel macchiato and head up to the cities.

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I dropped Luke off with my Mom.

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And I went to  hit up the trail with my Dad. Remember how I said that I need to make some big decisions? Well, for as long as I can remember, I have always done the best making those decisions on long runs with my Dad. Having my Dad to listen to my dilemma and give advice/suggestions was exactly what I needed.

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Lunch with Mom and Luke at the park.

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I told Scott that I was heading to the cities to run with Dad to try to make a decision. So, in the morning, he wrote down which choice he thought I should make and told me to open it after my run with Dad.

And I opened it and saw this. . .

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He figured that I would open it as soon as he left for work. . . but I didn’t! So, of course, I texted him and was like “WTF?” – well he wrote his choice in little letters on the back of the “cheater” post-it. Such a prankster.

Luke and I celebrated making a decision by using these Lindor Sea Salt Milk Chocolate truffles to make cookies.. . .

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Well, they were a fail, the chunks of truffle didn’t hold up in the cookies and totally melted. So, probably won’t be doing that again, but at least they are edible and still pretty darn good.

Saturday morning = pancakes. Luke was watching Dad very closely to make sure that there was syrup on each and every piece of pancake.

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6 mile run and trying to get a toddler to look for a picture is almost impossible these days. . .

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After run walk. And seriously, toddlers in overalls. . . is there anything cuter?

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play time. one of my favorite things these days. Luke is at such a fun age of playing and making up stories and having great ideas. We were roaring at a stuffed alligator behind the couch yesterday because it was going to come get us. Seriously hilarious.

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Date night. Mexican Style. Heck yes to a big margarita. Smile

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Sunday morning = bodypump + running.

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And then ready for the big game. Packers win!!

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Abby chased wild turkeys through the woods behind our house and we almost disowned her because she was full of burs and a complete mess. Thank goodness she is so cute. . .

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My “helper” while I was photographing this amazing apple cheesecake (recipe on Wednesday!). . .

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I don’t think there are too many things that are better than after-nap snuggles.

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Sunday night always means getting ready for Monday, laundry, making lunches, meal planning, etc. And then some couch time to relax before bed!

Hope you had a great one! What were you up to??

And because it was pretty marvelous, I am linking up with Katie for Marvelous in my Monday!

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

Friday Favorites: 9/26/14

Happy Friday!! I am SO excited for a weekend with nothing planned. I have some big decisions that I am trying to make, so I know I am going to get out for quite a few runs to try to figure it all out. Other than that, looking forward to play time with Luke, couch time with Scott and maybe a trip to the apple orchard! 

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Here are my favs from this week: (feel free to play along in the comments or by linking up!!)

AdvoCare bling from Becky –> snail mail is the best. AdvoCare snail mail is even better.

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This Pinterest win. One pot French onion pasta.  So good. #thatisall

Joy the Baker – One-Pot French Onion Pasta

Banana chips. One of my favorite snacks. What I don’t understand is why the bag says there is 8 servings, when is it obviously only 2? Winking smile 

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BODYPUMP 91. Just taught it for the first time this week. It. was. awesome. Love the triceps track – great song! And the squats are awesome with a bazillion singles. Full review soon. Smile

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And don’t forget – AdvoCare  24 day challenge starting on Oct 6th.

Fall Challenge

There is still time to join in, email me (running4cupcakes@gmail.com) for details. I promise you won’t regret it!

What are you up to this weekend? What made you smile this week?

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

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Filed under advocare, body pump, Friday

My 5 running truths

I was on a long run the other day and you know, long runs. ..  it gets boring. . . and your mind starts wandering. . .

and I started thinking about 5 things that are always true for me for running.

and this is what I came up with:

#1.  I love running in the rain.

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Preferably when it is pouring out. The kind of rain that you are soaked within 2 minutes of stepping outside the door. Because that makes jumping in puddles so much more fun. Winking smile

#2. 5 miles is my magic running number.

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Obviously, I run shorter and longer depending on the day. But 5 mile is my distance of choice. It  is long enough that I get a good run in but not too long that it takes forever.

#3. BODYPUMP music is my first choice for running tunes. Some of the best music to run to, IMHO.

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#4. Running with friends is always better than running alone. yes.

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#5. Running always helps me work through any problem or decision that I need to make. and it works. always.

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What’s your running truth??

Linking up with Amanda today for Thinking Out Loud!!

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Fall Clothing Wish List

Cooler temps have me dreaming of some new things for my closet. . .

Skinny jeans – Would you believe I don’t have a pair? I really didn’t think I could pull them off until I got a pair in my most recent Stitch Fix box. . . unfortunately, those didn’t fix exactly right (which skinny jeans really really need to), so I am on the look out for  a pair. Any suggestions on where to look? I really like these from Banana. . .

Dark-Wash Skinny Jean

Boots – I have been drooling over Frye boots for at least the past 3 years but have never pulled the trigger. .  . this might be the year. Winking smile

Scarf – I think scarfs are the perfect fall accessory . . . and there is always room in your closet for another one, right?

Dot Print Scarf

Running leggings – like these ones (Salar legging) from Fabletics.

And the top that comes with it is pretty cute too. . .

Now if only I had an unlimited budget to buy everything. . . . Winking smile

What’s on your fall wish list?

Also, I am linking up with Becky for Treat Yourself Tuesday!

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Weekend Update: 9/21/14

whew. another awesome weekend. the perfect mix of productivity and relaxation.

lunch date at Panera. And it’s officially fall with the return of the harvest squash soup. <—so delicious!

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After work run.

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Saturday morning we hit up a small town festival (New Prague Dozinky days).

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And then headed up to the cities to the Mall of America. .. and of course, I had to hit up Lulu and Athleta. Details coming in a Treat Yourself Tuesday post!

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An afternoon treat from Caribou. Shared with Scott. Smile 

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The highlight of the afternoon for Luke – a new Lightning McQueen car from the Disney store.

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Oh yes. The Cheesecake Factory. It was amazing. Well, the food wasn’t very good. . .

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But all that really matters is this, right? Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake. Amazing.

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Sunday was being productive around the house + playtime.

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I was getting some Jamberry samples (<—have you tried them? If not, email me and I’ll send you a free sample!) ready to send out and Luke came downstairs to help me. In PJs and his shark hat. Adorable.

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And finished out the weekend with my first fall crockpot meal.

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And because it was pretty marvelous, I am linking up with Katie for Marvelous in my Monday!

What were you up to this weekend??

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Filed under Recap, weekend update

Friday Favorites: 9/19/14

heck yes, it’s Friday!! I have to work this weekend but I am not letting that get in the way of my excitement at the possibility of sleeping in this weekend. Smile 

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Here are some of my favorites from this week:

1. Jennie-O turkey bacon in the microwave.

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Ummm how did I not know that you could cook bacon in the microwave? Thankfully, my desire for bacon and eggs one night for dinner this week + quick shout out on instagram = quick and easy bacon.

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And you guys, it is SO easy. Plate. Paper towel. Bacon. Cover with another paper towel. Cook slowly – for 30-60 seconds at a time. Mine took about 3 minutes total time. Perfection.

And turkey bacon – yummo. seriously. I might have to start eating bacon and eggs for breakfast because it is so darn quick and easy. I know we are having pancakes and bacon this weekend for sure! (and btw – how cute are these turkey bacon pancakes?)

2. Beautiful running weather.

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I. love. fall. running. weather. #thatisall I even wrote an entire post about it last year.

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3. Smoothies.

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Even though the cooler weather is coming, I am still holding on to my smoothies for breakfast and this week they have been particularly delicious. . . although I have no idea why – I am not doing anything different.  And in our house, smoothies are a family affair. Luke helps me make them in the mornings – one for each of us to take on our way to work and school. And I love that Luke wakes up in the morning asking to help mommy make smoothies.

4. AdvoCare.  <love>

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I am getting ready to do another challenge starting on October 6th (perfect timing for finishing right before Halloween). AND Scott is joining me!! If you are interested in losing weight, having more energy, cleaning up your eating, feeling better, then this challenge might be for you.

And there is no better time than right now. You’ll have my support + an awesome Facebook group the entire time (and beyond!) + access to our amazing Pinterst page with tons of recipe ideas. Shoot me an email (running4cupcakes@gmail.com) if you’re interested for more details.

On tap for this weekend: the farmer’s market, a long run, putting the finishing touches on learning BP91, and family time.

What are you up to this weekend? What made you smile this week?

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

*I was sent Jennie-O turkey bacon as part of my participation in their Switch Circle team, but as usual, all opinions are 100% my own.

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How to get stronger in BODYPUMP

Hey guys! Happy Wednesday. I am guest posting on Daily Cup of Kate about BODYPUMP today. . .. the basics, your first class and what to expect.

But, if you have been doing BODYPUMP for a while. . . you might be wondering, now what? How do I increase my strength and continue to challenge myself in my 60 minute BODYPUMP class.

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And that’s what today’s post is about – exactly how to get stronger in ‘pump.

And it’s pretty simple –>

add more weight.

duh, right?

well, it really is that easy.

you know those little 1kg weights? add those. Winking smile

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Ok, but seriously, let’s break down on exactly how to increase your weights. . .

1. ask your instructor for  help. that person who teaches bodypump for you has been specially trained. and they can be a wealth of knowledge for you. also, if I know that someone is trying to add more weight, I am going to pay specific attention to their weight selection and form during class (of course, I watch everyone’s form during class), but if I know you are trying to get stronger and better and are open to critique and help. I am going to give it you! So ask!!

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2. don’t do too many tracks at one time. So, you decide, yup, I want to increase my weights. Now what? Pick 1 or 2 tracks to focus on increasing. Say squats and biceps. Increase those. But. . .

3. Either don’t change or back off on other tracks. If you are really pushing yourself on squats, you probably don’t want to go hard core on the next track (chest), so either stick with your normal weight, or if you are really tuckered out, go a little bit lighter. Don’t worry, you won’t lose your strength in chest just from going down in weight for a class or two. . .

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4. Ok, so you increased your weight in the squat track and now it’s the middle of the song and you are dying. . . it’s ok to use the break in the middle of the track to take off that extra weight. You are now stronger than when you started that track because you used a heavier weight for at least part of the song. Good for you. Now, in the next class, see if you can squat that heavier weight for even farther into the song. Remember, it’s always form first. So, if you feel you are really struggling and your form is suffering, drop that weight. And try again next time. Slowly you will get stronger and be able to squat the heavier weight through the whole song.

5. You added more weight, got thru the song, had awesome form, now what? Add more weight to another track – maybe chest or back. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Until you have added weight to the whole workout. Then, start again. That is the awesome thing about bodypump, the workout is 100% customizable depending on what weight selection you put on the bar and you can always be pushing yourself to the next level.

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Be strong my friends. Smile

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Weekend Update: 9/15/14

happy monday! back at it again, right?

what were you up to this weekend?

We had a pretty low key weekend. . .

because it’s Friday . ..

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Summer is officially gone. Cold, wind and rain = time on the hotel gym treadmill. At least I had my goofball husband to keep me entertained thru 6 miles.

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Saturday road trip to the lake = necessary stop at Panera.

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And a stop at Red Robin for lunch. Yup that’s a salted caramel ice cream shake. holy yum. and yes, I was super nice and shared. Winking smile 

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On our road trip, we made a stop on Osseo, WI at the legendary Norske Nook for pie. And OMG they have so many different options. . .

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And the largest sugar cookies I have ever seen. We ended up getting snickers and white chocolate raspberry. They were both delicious, but the snickers was definitely the winner.

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Lake time. . .

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beautiful fall weather run – 63 degrees. 4miles.

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all tuckered out.

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and that was our weekend! already looking forward to the next one. Winking smile 

And because it was pretty marvelous, I am linking up with Katie for Marvelous in my Monday!

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Filed under dessert, husband, Lake, Running, summer, weekend update

Friday Favorites: 9/12/14

Happy Friday!! Anyone else super excited? Ummmm yup. Smile 

I need to make this short and sweet because we are headed up to the Lake today for one last long weekend before it gets super cold!

Here’s what made me smile this week.  ..

this breakfast. delicious. filling. and quick.

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my new rese active wear top.

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abby’s bows after getting groomed.

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peanut butter m and m’s. love.

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random wednesday off of work and extra hang out time with luke.

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dinner with my parent’s on a weeknight + luke reading books with grandpa.

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What made you smile this week? What are you up to this weekend??

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

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Filed under Friday, Recap