Category Archives: Goals

Friday Favorites: 11/29/13 {+giveaway}

Hey all – hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving. We had a great low key day at home. We are headed to the cities today for Thanksgiving with my family. And then, I am super excited because on Saturday we are headed to Florida for a family vacation!! Cross your fingers for me for the 3 hour flight with a 19 month old goes well.  ..  any suggestions/tips/iPad apps you have would be welcomed!! And be ready for a weekend update full of beach and ocean pics. Smile 

Here are a few of my favorites from the week. . .

Pile on the Miles challenge. It has really encouraged me to step up my running mileage this month. It has been a challenge to get to my 100 running miles goal (12 more miles left before Sunday!). Spin training took up quite a few of my weeknights and so I didn’t get those miles in that I normally would have. . .but I put in 10  miles yesterday and plan to get in those last 12 with a run today and tomorrow (tomorrow’s run will be on the beach!!).

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Jamberry nails. It’s official. I love them so much, that I decided to become a consultant! My personal page is here, if you are ever interested! Also, they are having some pretty sweet Black Friday exclusives. . .

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Ellie. They are having an awesome 25% off for black Friday sale. And you know how much I love their little black capri. .. I might have to get another pair. And maybe a few new tops. Winking smile ScreenHunter_137 Nov. 29 07.59

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Mix My Own

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Klara and her husband and their super cute pup just stated this super cool company. Basically, it is the unique opportunity to create your very own healthy breakfast cereal mix using premium ingredients. You can choose a muesli or granola base and then add your choice of cereals, dried fruits, nuts and seeds, and extras. They were nice enough to let me create  my own mix and check it out.

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I  loved the addition of dried fruit and macadamia nuts to my mix. And it is perfect mixed with some vanilla yogurt. The freeze dried fruit can be a little tart, but it is really good mixed with the yogurt!

Popsations  –> specifically the white chocolate drizzled over classic caramel corn. They specialize in handcrafted gourmet popcorn made in small batches with the finest ingredients.

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And Robin – the founder of Popsations – is just one of the nicest people you could run into. She was nice enough to send me this tin of their popcorn to check out and taste test. And now, we are hooked. Sorry to ruin the surprise family, but you are all getting Popsations for Christmas. Smile It is the perfect holiday gift. Also, they do special orders for weddings or corporate events. How cute would their little bags be for a wedding favor??

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It didn’t last long in our house. . .

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

One lucky R4C reader will receive a 1 gallon tin of Popsations – your choice of milk or dark chocolate !!

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 Popsations product you’d love to try.

–> Follow Popsations and Running4Cupcakes on Twitter.

–> Follow Popsations and Running4Cupcakes on Pinterest.

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

The contest closes at midnight on December 4th, 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!!!

Tell me about your favorites from the week??

42 Comments

Filed under Friday, giveaway, Goals, product review, Recap, Running

November goals

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Happy November. . . wait, how is it November already? And doesn’t it feel like Halloween was forever ago, already? Craziness.

Anyway, with the new month, I wanted to set a few goals for myself. ..

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Goal #1Limit excess spending  – With the new house, we are trying to limit some of our extra spending and put that money towards the house. So, for the month of November, I am trying to really pay attention and limit any impulse buys, and buy the things we really need, not just the things that we want. And with December and the holidays coming up. . . it will help to curb spending a bit before that starts!

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Goal #2Eat more veggies – I am really good about eating fruit, but I really struggle with getting in my veggies. So, I am going to try to focus on it a bit more this month to try to get more servings in per day. I am planning to make sure and take a serving with for lunch at work, as well as, making sure that we have a veggie with dinner each night and not just sometimes. . . and use fruit for more of a dessert option.

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Goal #4Try a new cranberry recipe – so I totally bought a HUGE bag of cranberries after Thanksgiving last year..  . and it is still sitting in the freezer. So, I am looking for an awesome cranberry recipe to use for Thanksgiving this year!

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Goal #5Run 100 miles in the Pile on the miles challenge!

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Goal #6Spin training – I am going to be doing spin training at the YMCA so that I can teach a combo spin/bodypump class this winter. And teaching spin is on my fitness bucket list!! 

What are some of your November goals?

**Did you enter my Wholly guacamole giveaway?? Ends tomorrow at midnight! And who doesn’t need some free guacamole, right! Winking smile**

19 Comments

Filed under Goals, Running

Labor Day Weekend to-do List

I love to-do lists.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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5. Practice the newest BODYPUMP 87 release.

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

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

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

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

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

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

30 Comments

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

Eating Out Challenge

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

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

Our current eating out budget is $275.

Whoa.

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

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

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

And he said, Caribou.

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

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

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

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

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

30 Comments

Filed under Challenge, Goals

August Pinterest Challenge

Happy August!! Anybody else super surprised that it is August already? Seriously, where is this summer going?? Instead of being sad that summer is over half over, I thought I would use the month of August to do a super fun challenge. . .

I love Pinterest.

However, I tend to pin a lot of different things but never actually make or do most of them.

And so for the month of August, I am challenging myself to make 8 things from my Pinterest Boards. I plan on doing mostly main meal and side dish pins, but I am leaving the challenge open to anything – workouts, crafts, good ideas, breakfast, desserts, or drinks.

Anybody else interested? Use #AugustPinterestChallenge to join in!!

Here are a few ideas from my Pinterest boards that I am thinking would be perfect for this month. . .

easy summer quinoa
Easy Summer Quinoa using Farmers Market finds! | iowagirleats.com

Spicy Pasta Salad with Smoked Gouda, Tomatoes, and BasilSpicy Pasta Salad with Smoked Gouda, Tomatoes, and Basil

Key West Lime Grilled Chicken Key West Grilled Chicken

Easy margarita fruit dip Easy Margarita Fruit Dip Recipe

Grilled Corn Orzo Salad with Chili-Lime VinaigretteGrilled Corn Orzo Salad with Chili-Lime Vinaigrette. The best! (via @IowaGirlEats)

Strawberry balsamic dressing
Strawberry-Balsamic Dressing (Whole Foods)

Jargaritas
Jargaritas

Yogurt covered strawberries
Dip Strawberries in Yogurt & Freeze, and You Get This Amazing Snack

no-bake chocolate peanut butter cake
No-bake chocolate peanut butter cake...I will be making this VERY soon!

peach cobbler scones
peach cobbler scones

Raspberry lemonade crumb muffins Raspberry Lemonade Crumb Muffins | iowagirleats.com

Jumping Jacks Circuit workout Jumping Jacks Circuit Workout

Farm handprint animals
Cow  Farm Animals

And there are so many more drool worthy recipes, cute craft ideas and sweaty workouts. . . check out my Pinterest Boards for more. . .

Are you going to join in? Any Pinterest recommendations for me??

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Filed under Challenge, Goals, Recap, Recipes

Goals 2013–update

In January I posted about goals that I had for myself in 2013. And now that we are officially half way (ummm seriously, how did that happen?), I thought I would check in and see how I am doing!

1. Run 2 half marathons (at least!) –> 1 down (St. Paul Winter Carnival) and 1 to do in October (Des Moines Half Marathon)

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2. Run more miles than I did in 2012 (657 miles) –> I am currently at 463 miles for the first 6 months of 2013!! New goal – 1000 miles for 2013!!

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3. Regular blog posting –> check! Winking smile

4. Continue to be active in the blog community – commenting on other people’s blogs, maybe attend a conference??? –> Yes and Yes!! I am attending and speaking at The Healthy Living Summit in Minneapolis in September!! And I even got some cool business cards!

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5. Find a family church locally – whenever we go to church, it is usually with families up in the cities. We have done some looking around the area but just haven’t found one that we ‘click’ with yet. –> No progress on this yet. Hopefully soon.

6. Body pump instructor certification – already signed up for this month! –> Done!!

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7. Attend group exercise fitness certification –> Looking for a class that works with my schedule. . .

8. Monthly date night with my husband –> Fail. We have gone on some dates – for my birthday and anniversary but haven’t made it a monthly priority.

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9. Continue to be the best Mom to Luke. –> Done. Easiest one ever. Winking smile 

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Did you make any goals or resolutions for 2013?? How are they going???

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Filed under baby, blog, body pump, Goals, husband, Running

Summer 2013 to-do list

While I know summer didn’t technically start until today, June 21st, I have already been excited about summer – 80 degrees, sweat burning my eyes while running, little baby shorts, and smoothies for dinner. . .yeah, summers already here! So, that got me thinking about things that I HAVE to do this summer.  . . and of course, I made a list!! There is just something about the warm, sunshine weather that us Minnesotan’s only get about 3 months out of the year, that makes us want to be active, get out there and do things. And I want to take full advantage and not miss a thing. So, here is my summer 2013 to-do list!

1. Run around the lake ~14 miles

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2. Check out newish local ice cream shop – Mom and Pop’s Ice Cream

3. Picnic at Minneopa Falls

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4. Farmer’s Markets – Mankato , the cities, Eau Claire

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5. Country Fest – 2013!!

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6. Paint fingernails a fun summer color

7. Run the Lakes in Minneapolis .  .. Becky, Melanie, Sue – you guys in?

8. Spend an afternoon on Grand Ave. in St. Paul

9. Waseca water park

10. Picnic with friends –> Jodi and Sarah I’m talking about you guys!! Smile 

What’s on your summer to-do list?? Anything I need to add to my list?

22 Comments

Filed under Goals, Lake, Laura, Running

Grocery Challenge

I am going to be doing a 3 month grocery challenge (and by default, Scott too!) for May, June and July.

We usually spend between $400-450 per month on groceries alone. . this doesn’t even include eating out!!

After doing some research, this doesn’t seem too unreasonable, but could be much lower! I would like our grocery budget be closer to $350-375 per month.

Now, onto the challenge. . . my goal is to spend $300 per month for the next 3 months.

While, I don’t think this would be sustainable for the long term, I think over the next 3 months I can use items in our overflowing pantry and freezer. And really start to concentrate on making smart choices at the store and making changes in our buying habits that will translate to more savings in the future. In the interest of full disclosure, Scott did make a Trader Joe’s today and bought $36 of “staples” –> dried fruit, peanut butter pretzels and honey roasted peanuts. We will also keep eating out about twice per week and sticking to our normal ‘eating out’ budget.

I will be keeping track of total money spent, amount per store and per week. I will also keep track of groups of foods: i.e. fruits and veggies, meat, carbs, snacks, impulse buys etc. and how much is spent on each one. I will also keep track of savings via coupons.

Also, to make sure that we don’t overspend, we are going  old school with cash in an envelope.

When the cash is gone. . . that’s it! I think it will be easier to see where the money is going by handing over cash versus the credit card, where to be honest, half the time; I don’t even look at the total!

My overall goals for the challenge are:

  • Use Pantry/freezer items
  • Buy staples only on sale
  • Buy only what is needed for the week ahead
  • One weekly trip to the store(s)
  • Menu plan weekly and start by looking at the pantry, freezer and fridge and seeing what I can work with that we already have or will go bad soon
  • Start using coupons – I started following our local grocery stores (HyVee and Cub Foods) on Twitter and signed up for weekly emails from Cub Foods and I am going to start checking out some online coupon sites.
  • Go vegetarian for one dinner each week
  • Take Jodi’s advice and check out Wal-Mart for cheaper prices
  • Continue to bring my own bags – it’s only 5 cents, but each little bit helps, right?

How much do you spend on groceries per week/month? And how do you keep your grocery spending down?? Any tips for me?

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Filed under Goals

July goal review

I may or may not have had bbq chicken pizza for breakfast.

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Coffee and pizza –> who know? delicious together! What? You have never had that for breakfast? Winking smile 

I am currently trying to decide if I should go to the gym today or wait until tomorrow to do the New Rules of Lifting workout. I am pretty sore and tired from teaching aerobics twice yesterday. I don’t want to ‘take it easy’ with weight lifting, I want to be able to give 100%. ..

What would you do?

With the beginning of August yesterday, I totally forgot to review my goals for July and make some new ones for August.

Thanks to Becca and her morning post for reminding me about goals! Smile 

Here were my July goals. . .

Goals for July!

1. Continue to try new things: quinoa and spinach in smoothies!
Spinach – check. . . quinoa – not yet!
2. Longer weekly runs – at least one run per week over 5 miles – check! 7 miles last week!
3. Commit to Shred/strength training 3x/week
Better since starting New Rules of Lifting for Women!

And now. . .

August Goals

Continue New Rules of Lifting for Women (2-3 times per week)
Continue to do longer weekly runs – 14 miles around the Lake on Labor Day weekend!
Continue to try new things: This month: quinoa!
Another attempt at the perfect cupcake!

What are your goals for August???

I totally agree with Becca – I feel so much better when I have goals written down that I am working towards!

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Filed under Breakfast, Goals

The New Rules of Lifting

Happy Tuesday! Hope you had a great Monday night, like I did. . .

Started off the morning with a hot caramel skim latte – sometimes the AC is so cold! Smile 

My morning snack was awesomeness. . . toast with maple almond butter and nectarine slices! Don’t worry, the extra nectarine didn’t go to waste!

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Before lunch, I headed to the YMCA to start on Stage 1 of The New Rules of Lifting for Women!

Today: Stage 1: Workout A.

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I did a quick 10 minute warm-up on the elliptical and then got into it!

The workout consisted of 5 moves:

  • squats
  • pushups
  • seated row
  • step ups
  • prone jack knife

Overall it went well. I worked up a pretty good sweat and felt like my muscles were tired at the end. I wasn’t too sure of my starting weight for each move, but I felt like I was challenging myself, so I think that is the important part.

I had forgotten how much I like to lift weights. . . Body pump will still be my all time favorite!

I’ll keep you posted with how The New Rules of Lifting for Women is going!

Lunch was more leftovers: pineapple brat, red new potatoes = both with lots of ketchup, cottage cheese and watermelon chunks.

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Abby was being extra cute! (and annoyed I was taking pictures!)

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Not much excitement during the rest of the day. . . Scott, Abby and I went on a hot and humid 4 mile run on the Red Jacket trail after work. Lots of watermelon was consumed afterwards!

And dinner: another summer staple: corn on the cob!

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It was definitely the highlight of dinner!

During dinner we watched Tangled. The super cute Disney movie – have you seen it?

Off to watch a little move TV and then head to bed! Hope you had a great Tuesday.

What screams summer to you??? For me it is watermelon and corn on the cob! Love them. Winking smile

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Filed under Abby, Breakfast, Goals, Lifting, Lunch, Running