Friday, March 18, 2011

dance, dance

I tried to post this awhile back, but for some reason I couldn't get it to work. Always brings a smile to my face though!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

here goes nothing...

Well, my friend Kristin and I did not win the lottery for Grandma's half marathon in June (kind of bummed), but in order to keep our momentum and spirits up, we've entered in the Eau Claire Half Marathon on May 1st. That give us 9 weeks to whip our butts in shape and build up to a daunting 13.1 miles! Neither of us have ever run any type of race before, so this should be a good challenge.

We met up at The Running Room in Woodbury after work yesterday and got fitted for some running shoes. This was a new experience for me - walking, squatting, etc. for the sales lady in order to determine the best shoes for me. In the past I've pretty much purchased my shoes based on 'looks'. Great, I know! Ha. Kristin has some over-pronation (basically she has flat feet, so they roll inward) so she was told to buy some 'stability' shoes. She picked hers out in about 30 seconds and fell in love with the first pair she tried on! I took a bit longer... Apparently I have have pretty normal feet and don't under or over-pronate so I got to choose from the 'cushioned' shoes. I tried on a few different brands, but definitely gravitated towards the Brooks ones - they were just so comfy! I ended up getting these beauties...

Inaugural run will be tonight after work. :o)

Any runners out there have recommendations for attire? Is it worth it to buy the expensive running clothes?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

one-year-old vocabulary

Peyton's developing quite the vocabulary lately! Here are the words I could think of off the top of my head. Obviously some are clearer than others, but she still gets her point across. :o)

Pooh (as in Winnie The)
Abby (from Sesame Street)
more (plus the sign)
no (and no-no-no with her finger pointing at Chase - SO funny!)
hot (this one's hilarious because she does this little hand sign with it - think pulling your hand away from something hot)
Peyton (if you show her herself in the mirror)
kick (as well as the action - thanks Dada!)
nice (as I'm attempting to teach her to be gentle when dealing with the puppy and babies)

She can also locate a variety of body parts when you ask her:
belly button

She also LOVES to help me with the laundry, which is great considering I hate doing laundry. :o) I can throw a pile of clothes on the floor and she'll load the washer (and even started it on me today while I was in the middle of adding the detergent) and she'll transfer clothes from the washer to the dryer. If only I could teach her to fold them and put them away...

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Well, I've officially entered the last year of my 20's. At this point, I'm not really sure how I feel about it - just feels like any other day. Come next year at this time though, we'll see...ha.

I had a very exciting day:
• Got up and worked out at Snap with Kristin
• Ben and I shot our bows at A-1 Archery in Hudson
• Grabbed an exciting Subway lunch and played with Peyton for awhile
• Baked cookies
• Took an AMAZING nap (sign of old age?)
• Went to Agave Kitchen in Hudson for dinner
• Grabbed Dairy Queen on the way home (as if I needed it after my big burger and onion petals)
• Put Peyton to bed

I know, I know, you are probably all very jealous after reading this. ;o)

Here's to another great year!

Friday, February 11, 2011

food? yes, please!

Lately I've really been making an effort to find some new and exciting meal options for us - to get us out of the 3 meal rotation we've been in - and I've totally fallen in love with food blogs (hence my last post). One of my favorites so far is Ree Drummond's site, The Pioneer Woman. So far, we've tried the following:

The MM Sandwich, PW Style

Alissa & Ben approved (Cousin Gavin too). Get the Recipe.

Beef Fajita Nachos

Ben, Alissa & Peyton approved. Just to give you an idea - I made a sheet pan full, Peyton and I shared a small plate full and Ben killed the rest. :o) Get the Recipe.

Mushroom & Swiss Sliders with Spicy Fry Sauce

We both loved the sliders, but Ben was not a huge fan of the onion strings (he said they tasted 'oily'). I liked them. Get the Slider Recipe. Get the Onion String Recipe.

I also pulled a couple of recipes from other sites for the Superbowl party we went to at my brother-in-law's house. All were huge hits!
Crack Potatoes from - These are your typical cheesy potatoes, amped up with ranch dressing and bacon - YUM! I adapted the recipe to make them in a crockpot for the event.
Fudgy Brownie Cookies from - A brownie in a neat little cookie package. What could be better? They were A-M-A-Z-I-N-G, especially if you love fudgy, gooey brownies as much as I do.
Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Thingies also from Pioneer Woman - Not spicy at all (even my sister-in-law ate them), but so tasty!

Hungry yet? You're welcome.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

spicy mocha brownies

Anyone who knows me well knows that I LOVE to bake - A LOT - maybe too much according to my husband's expanding waistline! (He says I'm a 'feeder', but in reality he just can't resist the goodness that comes out of my oven.) Anywho...I was sitting there on Sunday trying to decide what to bake. I found a lot of great ideas online, but had to table them for later due to a lack of certain ingredients. So, I decided to make good old brownies, but not just any brownies, brownies with a twist! I had some white & semi-sweet chocolate chips in the freezer so I figured I'd throw them in. Somehow the combination of white and dark chocolate made me think of Caribou's Spicy Mocha (I developed a slight obsession with these this winter) and BAM! Spicy Mocha Brownies were born. Here's the recipe for anyone who'd like to try them. Enjoy.

Melt the butter in the microwave-safe bowl.

Add the granulated sugar and stir.

Mix in the eggs.

Next, add the vanilla.

Now let's make it a brownie by adding the cocoa powder!

Time for the spices! I used 1 tsp. of cinnamon and 1tsp. of cayenne pepper, but if you don't like things really spicy, use less. And, if you can get your hands on ancho chile powder, give that a whirl (that's what Caribou uses, but I didn't have any at home). And then 2Tbsp. of instant coffee granules.

And finally, add the flour and give the batter a good stir.

Next, toss in 1 cup of chocolate chips or pieces (I did 1/2 white and 1/2 semi-sweet).

Choose your favorite brownie-cooking vessel and lightly grease it. I like thicker brownies so I always use an 8"x8" pan.

Pour your batter into the pan and pop it into your preheated oven. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until set. favorite, the ooey-gooey center pieces! :o)


  • 1 cup Butter
  • 2 cups White Sugar
  • 4 whole Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • ⅔ cups Cocoa Powder
  • 1 cup Flour
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp (or less) Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp (or less) Cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. Instant Coffee Granules
  • 1 cup Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8"x8" or 9"x13" pan. Melt butter. Remove from heat and add ingredients in the order listed, stirring well by hand. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until set. Cut and serve.

Monday, January 24, 2011


The Packers are going to the Superbowl and I couldn't be more excited!!! I've been training my little cheerleader to recite the "Go Pack Go" chant and do the touchdown signal. Now I must find her a new Packer outfit for the big game (she's outgrown all her old outfits). I'll try to post a video of her soon. GO PACK!