Happy National Pumpkin Cheesecake day!

I know, I haven’t posted in a long time so what better day to start than National Pumpkin Cheesecake day?

Today combines two of my favorite foods into one dessert which is definitely exciting!

Unfortunately, I don’t have all the ingredients for pumpkin cheesecake but I can improvise.  I have all the ingredients for bread (and time to make it) so that’s what I decided to do.  I made a Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread.

Mix bread

cream cheese doneBut first I had to go go for a run after work because I didn’t get up early enough this morning.  These dark mornings are really not helping my morning workouts.  Luckily tomorrow is Body Pump which I love so I will be up early for the 6am class.  Had a great run with the dogs and now they are tired dogs after our 5 miles run.  Watching me bake!


Well we are all ready for bed now.  Have a good night!


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Dinner, Movie and a Fire….perfect night

Happy Saturday!

This week has actually flown by! It’s good and bad since I am definitely ready for the weekend but I don’t want the holiday season to fly by too fast (although it always does).

Let’s see, well Thursday night I went to spin class and it was really good. A good teacher can really motivate me to work harder. I got there early so I started spinning to try and get in some extra miles before class started. By the end I only had 22 miles which is a lot but I had hoped to be closer to 25 miles. We stand a lot on the bike during this particular teacher’s class and that means the resistance must be higher. A higher resistance means you can’t spin as fast and less miles. A higher resistance also builds more muscle which is another reason why I like his class. My next goal is now to add another mile or too during his class to keep the workout hard.

After class, I came home and had some Salsa Chicken Soup and salad with Steve. It turned out pretty good although I had to tweak it a bit since I didn’t have all of the ingredients. I used a can of diced tomatoes and some taco seasoning since we only had a few tablespoons of salsa rather than a full jar that the recipe called for.  Also I think I may have used a bit too much cumin and it needed more taco seasoning. Overall it was a good recipe and I would make again.

It was another freezing COLD night so unfortunately we didn’t walk the dogs so we played some more fetch in the house. *Note to self….stick with soft toys because we almost took out the TV last night with the ball….oops!

Friday morning I ran 7 miles on the treadmill. I got my overall pace down to 9:13 although my goal was 8:30. My left knee started bothering me after Sunday’s long run so I decided to not push it too hard. I know my knee is hurting from running on the treadmill because it’s old and doesn’t offer much support but it’s all I have right now so it will have to do. I plan to ice my knee this evening too.

It was a whooping 37 degrees at lunch time yesterday so I took advantage of the “warm up” to take the dogs on a walk. They loved it!

Steve and I had planned to run last night but we both after it took over an hour to drive to the store and home we both were just ready for dinner and the couch.

I made homemade pizza dough a few weeks ago and put the extra dough in the freezer so I pulled out some earlier this week. I “hand rolled” the dough (because we don’t have a rolling pin) and then baked the dough for 7 minutes. I then topped it with some pasta sauce and mozzarella and baked it for another 7 minutes. Then added some fresh basil and baked for another minute or so. It was yummy!

Steve building us a fire.  We love our fireplace on a chilly winter night.

Noah enjoying the fire.

Kenda enjoying the heat from the fire too.  They both curled up in front of the fire later too.

We enjoyed dinner by the fire while watching the cartoon version of The Hobbit. I used to watch that cartoon all the time when I was a kid. We went and watched the first part of The Hobbit trilogy last winter although we did not realize it was going to be a trilogy so we all VERY disappointed when it ended after 3 hours and it was only a third of the way through the story. I just don’t understand why movies keep getting longer and longer. I don’t mind watching a longer movie at home but when you are stuck in a theater chair for that long my rear end starts going numb and I get bored.

What do you think of all the trilogy movies? Yay or nay?

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Baby it’s cold outside!!

Hey there!

So last night I was feeling pretty tired after work so I decided to just take the dogs for a walk after dinner.  It was a short quick walk because it was cold!  The temperature sure has dropped here but so has just about everywhere else except for Florida (tell me again why I live in Illinois?).

On my lunch break yesterday I prepared a pork tenderloin in the Crockpot to cook through the afternoon.  It was a Pineapple Pork Tenderloin recipe.  Have you checked out her blog before?  You should if you have not already!  I get most of my Crockpot recipes (or some version of it) from her blog.  I love cooking with the Crockpot especially during the cold winter months.  I remembered last night as I was getting ready for bed that I didn’t take a picture to share with you.  Sorry!  I am still trying to get used to taking pictures while cooking or working out to share.  I served the pork tenderloin with some brown rice and quinoa.  It was a tasty and easy dinner.

This morning I ran 7 miles on the treadmill at an average 9:21 pace which is slower than I wanted but it took me a bit to warm up.  It was soooo cold out this morning!

So glad I have access to a treadmill because there is no way I would be running outside with a -8 windchill.  My run went by quickly and even though I had a slow start I had some good (for me) negative splits.

Work wasn’t too exciting today and it was still very cold and windy at lunch so I didn’t walk the dogs except for a quick potty break, sure hope it warms up a bit soon.  I went to Body Pump class right after work as well.  I was still super tired today so I’m glad I mustered up some energy to go because it was a great class and I love seeing the progress that I’m making.

Well the dogs are snoring away and I think they have the right idea so it’s off to bed for me too.  Have a good night!

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Lesson learned

Our Saturday morning was busy since we had to leave at 8am to drive to a suburb of Chicago for a vendor show. It was a 2 hour drive to the show and I had to be set up at 10:45 so staying on track was important. The place was a little difficult to find but I got set up and was excited for my first show. Unfortunately it’s been so slow which is why I’m writing this post while at the show. I sure hope it picks up since I still have 2.5 more hours. This being my first show I learned my lesson in not doing research about the show beforehand. I didn’t check out their advertising or ask about theset up (we are at tables in hallways) or ask about how many vendors there will be….lesson learned.

Well I will know for next time. I’m bummed because I will miss a holiday cookie exchange too. So sad!!! I love cookie exchanges. An excuse to bake sign me up!!!

I had originally hoped to run the dogs before we had to leave this morning but it’s so cold here. We were supposed to get snow yesterday but the storm went further south so we did luck out there. I will have to bundle up and take the dogs for a walk when we get home because they are always bouncing off the walls after being home alone all day. Heck I’ll be bouncing of the walls after sitting doing nothing at this show all day.

Unfortunately the vendor show turned out to be a total bust but the good news of the day, Trader Joe’s was nearby!!  I love that store so we went to check it out after leaving the show.  We found some Quinoa chips and decided to make nachos for dinner.  We also found some Chipotle salsa which was awesome! I love the smokiness flavor to it.  We grabbed a couple of avocados, cherry tomatoes and shredded cheese too.

Of course we had to see what treats they had for the holidays and I got super excited seeing Joe Joe’s after reading about them at hungreyrunnergirl. I also found some chocolate covered espresso beans and decided I was only getting one treat and just couldn’t pass up the chocolate covered espresso beans.

We got to check out and chatted with the friendly cashier (they are always so nice there) and then he grabbed a box of Joe Joe’s and put them in our bag and said “on me” for the happy couple.  Ah how sweet was that!!

We were greeted by some very happy to see us dogs (there is nothing like a dogs love :) ).  We were only gone 10 hours but they acted like we were gone for days.  We fed them and started to put together our nachos.  We layered the Quinoa chips, blended up black beans, cheese and olives and then backed for 15 minutes.  I then sprinkled avocado and some cherry tomatoes to top it off.  They were good!

Sad to say its not even 8pm on a Saturday night and I am already in bed now.  Driving (okay well riding in the car – thanks for driving me Steve) makes me tired plus it was such a boring day so yep its early to bed for me.  That’s okay I have a long run tomorrow morning and then Body Pump class later so I should get some extra sleep while I can.

Have a good night!

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Up and Running!

Hi All! Welcome to my blog.  I’ve been toying with the idea of setting up a blog to document and share all my passions related to healthy living through yummy food and exercise and what better time to get started then a long weekend off work?

It’s Black Friday and I have vowed to not take part in the craziness after many years ago driving 30 minutes to Best Buy at 3am to wait in line in the cold Idaho weather.  After waiting in line for hours and rushing in for a camcorder (…yes I know old school…but that’s what my brother wanted) they were all gone .  So what did I end up doing?  Buying something way over budget to make my little brother happy because I was NOT leaving the store empty handed.  Lesson learned!

So today, I slept in then watched my favorite show, Four Weddings, while sipping my pumpkin spice coffee.  Much better!!  That lasted for awhile until I started getting “the look” from my 2 blacks labs.  If you have dogs I’m sure you a familiar with “the look” of take me outside and entertain me.  Yep, time for a run.

We are ready to run!

We are ready to run!

It’s pretty cold here in Illinois but at least the sun was shining brightly.  Steve, the dogs and I ran our usually 4 mile route in our neighborhood at an easy pace.  We even stopped in the park and ran a few “hill” sprints.  Yeah I live in the middle of Illinois and it’s FLAT here, I mean there are cornfields at the end of the street.  The dogs love hill sprints especially if they get to chase me.

I wore my TomTom watch because my running goal has been to increase my speed and being able to see my pace in real time has really been helping.  Although running with the dogs always involves lots of potty breaks though so it was definitely a slower run which is okay with me.   I am working on creating a new running schedule for this winter since the weather is a big factor and I have to rely on the treadmill more.  I am also trying to add strength training and have taken two Body Pump classes this week.  Wow I was sore afterwards and that’s the goal!

More to come!

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