Monday, October 29, 2012


I had my last 5k race of the year on Sunday and I made a huge accomplishment. My fastest time previously had been 36:46 (hey I'm a slow runner, but I'm still lapping everyone on the couch) but on Sunday I finished in 34:57. I couldn't have been happier! I finished almost 2 full minutes faster than I ever have before. It was freezing and I pushed myself to keep going. 
I was too excited and forgot to hit stop so I was a few seconds slower on my clock.
I've been wanting to run a 35 minute 5k all year and I'm glad I finally accomplished that goal. Now to set my sights on bigger and better goal for next year. It was a good weekend :)

Linking up with the Weekend Update crew - Sami, Leeann and Dana 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Thirteen before 2013

Last year I participated in Twelve before 2012. I did about half the things on my list -- granted some of them were pretty ambitious. Here's my list for 2013 ... wish me luck!
  1. Finish reading all the books on my Fall Book List I was on on the waiting list FOREVER for the Sophia Kinsella book at the library.
  2. Create a Winter Book List See it here
  3. Make aprons for the little girls in the family for Christmas These are so cute, I can't wait for pictures with them all together matching
  4. Aside from the aprons make at least 2 other handmade gifts I made a mug rug for DH's aunt and yarn wreath for my step-mom.
  5. Refinance our current home I'm so happy this is done! 
  6. Get a massage or spa treatment of some sort 11/18 went to Woodhouse for the espresso mud body scrub
  7. Go on a date with the hubby (hey with two kids we don't get out much!) DONE! 10/27
  8. Finish potty training little miss J - boy is she stubborn YEAH! I might be happiest about accomplishing this one. Adios diapers!
  9. Bake Christmas cookies with my girls 20 some varieties later and we did it! 12/15
  10. Spend a couple hours scrapbooking (I'm sooo far behind!!) I did spend some time but I'm still really far behind.
  11. Commit to a healthier lifestyle (my snacking is out of control and my cholesterol hates me for it) This is a constant struggle for me but I feel like I've made some progress
  12. Do something unexpected for a stranger It was for a stranger but not unexpected. I also paid for the person behind me at the Starbucks drive-thru (12/18)
  13. Complete at least one project on my Pinterest boards I made homemade refried beans
What do you want to do before 2013?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mustard skinnies -- what do you think?

Style is something I severely struggle with. I know what I like and what I don't like. The problem comes in what actually looks good on me. Remember I bought those mustard skinny jeans from Old Navy? Yes that was back in August. And just last week I ventured out to wear them. I had a hard time finding something to pair them with and not feel like I looked ridiculous. I love the look of layering but at some point doesn't it look like you have way too many clothes on? Don't you get sweaty when you go inside? So what do you think ... did I pull them off? Should I have paired them with something else?
And yes that's the bathroom at work because frankly it has better lighting than my bedroom. However, the jeans look a little too bright yellow, trust me they are mustard. Go to Old Navy and check them out if you don't believe me.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Crock Pot Love

I am professing my love of the crock pot (side note: is there a difference between a crock pot and slow cooker? just wondering) -- I'm away from the house for about 11 hours every day for work so that leaves very little time for cooking dinner (and let's face it, DH has very minimal cooking skills). The crock pot has become my best friend. I tend to search Pinterest for new recipes. Here's some that I've pinned lately.
How to cook dry beans in your slow cooker
10 fall and winter soups in your crock pot
Crock pot pizza pasta
Crock pot garlic pesto chicken with tomato cream sauce
Now which one should I throw into the crock pot first?

Linking up with The Vintage Apple

Friday, October 19, 2012

Eat Out Of The Pantry Week

Welcome to eat out of the pantry week! The budget has been a little (or maybe a lot) tight around my house this month. I normally go grocery shopping every week and stock up on meals for the whole week. Well this week it's just not in the budget to do a big grocery trip. So I've decided we are having Eat Out Of The Pantry Week. I picked up the basics that we couldn't go without like milk and well that's pretty much it, I didn't even splurge on eggs. I got this idea from one of my favorite cheap meal sites $5 Dinners. If you haven't before check out some of Erin's recipes, she has some good tips & ideas!

Pizza bagels - top bagel with normal pizza stuff, bake in oven. Serve with side of fruit. For dessert (because it was still the weekend) we I had strawberries & chocolate.
Grilled ham & cheese with carrots and grapes. Not super inventive but that's not the point here; we didn't have to do any shopping for this meal!
Slow cooker ground beef stew with biscuits -- of course I only used what I had on hand and made a few substitutes
Ok we may have cheated. My MIL invited us over for dinner (ham, potatoes and carrots). We technically didn't buy anything so this is close enough to eating out of the pantry -- it just wasn't our pantry.


Asian night - chicken & noodles in a sweet sesame sauce (ok it was from a box and the picture does the flavor ZERO justice)
Luckily Friday is pay-day so I can do some real shopping over the weekend. It was nice not to have some of my fresh produce go to waste since we were only eating at home. Give "Eat Out Of The Pantry Week" a try, you'll be surprised at how much money it can save you. We will be doing this again for sure!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Halloween Snacking

I love Halloween. It's my all-time favorite holiday. I would give up Christmas to have another Halloween (yes I just said that). This week A is the "sunshine friend" at school. So all the kids get to know more about her and she can have a special guest come in to do something with the class. I'm going in to read some stories and wanted to bring a special Halloween treat. The thing I dislike about Halloween is all the candy, there are so many other better options to give kids and they will be just as happy. I've seen these fruit cups popping up on Pinterest and knew they would be perfect!
So I made my own version (sans-nose because well I forgot about the nose until I saw this picture again). They were super easy and fairly inexpensive. I used peaches because the store didn't have enough oranges. I got a 4 pack for $1.88, so for all the kids in the class it cost me under $12 (not bad for 24 snacks). Take a permanent marker and color a face on the top.
I'd call these a Pinterest success -- even though I don't think these could fail with how easy they are! Best of all, it doesn't matter how perfect all the faces are because the kids won't care. Happy Halloween snacking.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Chocolate ... yes again!

Yes I'm posting about chocolate again! As a self proclaimed chocolate addict connoisseur I couldn't turn down a chance to try the new chocolate sauce from Ghirardelli. (Bonus! It's only $5.95!!)

Chocolate Flavored Sauce Squeeze Bottle
They were nice enough to send a few recipes along with the sauce for me to try out. However, I've decided this is "eat out of the pantry week" (more on that later) so I made up my recipe. I had some strawberries that were about to go bad so I whipped up a quick dessert last night with them and my yummy chocolate sauce. 

Yep this is how basic it gets ... strawberries, Cool Whip and the chocolate sauce. Of course I didn't think ahead and take the Cool Whip out of the freezer so it was more like ice cream which was ok with me! My DH even wanted to get in on the dessert action asking if I was going to save any for him. I was nice and shared -- this time. The chocolate was thick and had a nice squeeze bottle. I will for sure be using this in my future impromptu desserts. Be sure to check out all the yumminess that Ghirardelli has to offer.

*I was not paid for my review. I was provided a free bottle of chocolate sauce as part of the Ghirardelli affiliate program. As usual, links contained within this post will support this blog. All opinions are my own. So seriously, go get some good chocolate.

Friday, October 12, 2012


What a busy week, I only managed a few pictures. So here's a quick recap of what happened ...
We went camping ... in the rain. Cute rain boots are necessary!
Monday morning was cold ... this is just not right
I'm glad kindergarten homework is easy
A pomegranate margarita was necessary for dinner this week
Sleeping on the bed is over rated
Linking up with Life Rearranged -- follow me on Instagram @amazingmommy

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Fact Is ...

Fact: Monday felt like a train wreck. I'm glad I had a margarita for dinner. 
Fact: I always seem to have a to-do list that is a mile long. Why can't anything get crossed off without something else being added?
Fact: I need a manicure. Like bad. So bad that I wouldn't even take a picture and put it on my blog. And that's saying something since I've posted about my toe cleavage before.
Fact:  I absolutely hate pumpkin anything. The smell, the taste. Eww. I'm tired of everyone ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the PSL (pumpkin spice lattes, yes they gave it an acronym). It's gross. I do like to carve pumpkins though :)
Fact: I miss summer already. It was 32* yesterday morning, unacceptable.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Mini Apple Pies

Is your mouth watering yet? Well it should be! These mini apple pies were delicious. I usually make one totally-from-scratch apple pie every year. This year I decided to make mini apple pies instead of one large one. I was so happy with how they turned out. I made them on Sunday afternoon and as of Tuesday morning only 1 remains and I think that's because my DH didn't see it hiding in the fridge the night before ;)

The recipe is fairly basic, but it takes awhile to put everything together (this is all from scratch remember!).

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening
4-5 Tbsp cold water

6 cups of thinly sliced apples (about 2 1/2 lbs)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg

Crumb topping
1/2 cup flour 
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp cold butter

Bake at 375* for 25 minutes. Top with whipped cream or serve along side a scoop of vanilla ice cream

Monday, October 1, 2012

Fort4Fitness 2012

I ran my 2nd race of the year on Saturday. It was the big one for me .. 4 miles long. I like the 5K races, enough to get you moving but not enough to land you on the couch for the rest of the day. I was about 30 seconds short of my goal time, but I was about 2 minutes behind going into the last mile so I feel good about making up that much time! The finish line is always a good place 
I have 2 more races scheduled before the end of the year. And they are only a week apart. I hope I don't curse myself later for that.

October 21st  Trail Blazer
October 28th River City Rat Race

And I don't run races after October because it is just too cold outside!