Thanksgiving Eve

Good morning and Happy Thanksgiving Eve! Tomorrow is a day for family, being thankful, and let’s face it – lots of food!!

I finally used up my last Vue cup in my Keurig coffee maker and I am back to using regular k-cups now.

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I was excited to try out the butterscotch coffee. It was very good – the perfect amount of flavor!

Yesterday

Yesterday morning, I didn’t go to the gym because Jacob had his first orthodontist appointment to get his braces tightened (I don’t miss those days!). The appointment went really fast and we were in and out of the office quickly.

We came home and Jaden and I decorated the fridge and worked on some snowman ornaments.

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I loved how the ornaments turned out! We just put cotton balls into a clear ornament, added a face, and then hot glued on the pipe cleaner and pom poms to look like earmuffs.

In the afternoon, I had physical therapy. Since I ran four minutes on Sunday, I was able to run five minutes at physical therapy yesterday.

I have been trying to increase my speed a little bit but my physical therapist said that it would be better for me to work on endurance rather than speed. She said I can add two more minutes to my running time but not to worry about going fast.

I’m going to try to stick with about 5 mph as long as my hip feels okay and work on being able to run longer, not faster. I’ve noticed that the faster I run the more I feel it in my hip so I’m going to make sure to take it slow.

Today

This morning for breakfast, I had apple cinnamon steel cut oats.

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I saw these at the store over the weekend decided to given them a try. Thankfully, they were really good because they were buy one, get one free at the store so now I have twenty packets of oats.

I’m letting the kids sleep in a bit today because we’ve been getting up early the past few days and Jaden was so crabby all day yesterday. Once they wake up, I plan on going to the gym and then going to the store.

On Thanksgiving, we go to my grandparent’s house every year. On Friday, my mom, brother, sister-in-law, and niece come over to our house and I cook Thanksgiving dinner. So after the gym I need to get the rest of the food for Friday.

On the menu for Thanksgiving Friday:

  • turkey
  • cheesy potato casserole
  • rolls
  • stuffing
  • carrots
  • corn casserole souffle
  • cranberry sauce
  • one baked potato for Jaden because he is obsessed
  • pumpkin pie

I plan on making the potatoes and stuffing ahead of time so I can just pop them in the oven when the turkey comes out. Yum!

I have been eating so much more this past weekend and this week than usual. Holidays are always so hard because there’s so much delicious food everywhere. I am looking forward to getting back on track after this weekend. :)

Have a great day!

  • What are your plans for Thanksgiving? Do you cook?

 

 

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Monk Fruit in the Raw

Disclaimer: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not reflect the the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product. 

As a Moms Meet blogger, I was recently given the opportunity to try out Monk Fruit in the Raw.

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I usually use sugar alternatives in my coffee and tea, so I looked forward to trying Monk Fruit in the Raw in place of my normal sweetener.

Monk Fruit in the Raw is a zero-calorie sweetener made with real monk fruit, a vine-ripened fruit from Asia. The monk fruit is blended with other sweeteners to create the perfect balance of sweet. It’s great in your morning cup of coffee.

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Monk Fruit in the Raw can also be used to replace regular sugar. You can use it in cooking or baking. The taste of Monk Fruit in the Raw is the closest taste to regular sugar of all the non-caloric sweeteners and it doesn’t have bad aftertaste!

Monk Fruit in the Raw conversion chart:

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I like that the Monk Fruit in the Raw comes in two different packages – individual packets for coffee and tea and a large package to use for baking. And it’s very reasonably priced. The individual packets are about $3.49 for 40 packets and the Monk Fruit in the Raw Bakers Bag is only $6.99.

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Monk Fruit in the Raw is vegan, kosher, and gluten-free. It doesn’t contain any added table sugar, sugar alcohols, or molasses.

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I used one packet in my coffee. I also added one tablespoon of cream and it was perfect! The Monk Fruit in the Raw adds just the right amount of sweetness without adding any extra calories or carbs.

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I watch my niece two days a week and my sister-in-law usually drops her off at about 7 am. Since she’s here early, we decided to try out a breakfast recipe using Monk Fruit in the Raw.

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We made cinnamon and Monk Fruit in the Raw French toast!

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Cinnamon and Monk Fruit in the Raw French Toast               Serves:2

Ingredients:

  • four slices of bread
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk (we used honey almond milk)
  • 2 tsp Monk Fruit in the Raw
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Heat pan over medium heat and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk eggs. Add Monk Fruit in the Raw and cinnamon. Whisk together.
  3. Dip each slice of bread into egg mixture and put onto hot pan. Cook each side until browned, approximately 3-5 minutes per side.
  4. Add you favorite toppings and enjoy!

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This is a super easy breakfast and loved by adults and kids!

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You can learn more about In The Raw products on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Do you use a sugar substitute? 

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Filed under Breakfast, Family Fun, Product Review, Recipes

Good morning – I hope you all had a fantastic weekend!

On Friday, Danny had a half day of work, and we went to Jaden’s parent visitation day at his school.

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Afterwards, Danny and I grabbed a quick lunch at Whole Foods.

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I love their California rolls. :)

Friday afternoon, I had physical therapy and was able to run for three minutes on the treadmill. I also did a lot of leg work including lunges. I was a little worried about doing the lunges because the last time I did lunges at physical therapy, my quad was in pain for days.

This time, my physical therapist had me foam roll right after I did them, and I haven’t had any pain! Yay!

On Sunday morning, Danny and I went to the gym. I started out by running four minutes on the treadmill. Since I feel okay running, I’ve been trying to increase my speed slightly. I ran at 5.4 mph. It’s amazing how fast you lose your fitness level after taking time off. I haven’t run in over four months and those measly four minutes at 5.4 mph left me out of breath!

I just have to work on building my endurance back up.

We also did some back exercises including:

  • close grip lat pull downs
  • seated rows
  • t-bar raises
  • deadlifts
  • renegade rows

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It was a great workout and I’m really feeling it today!

On Sunday afternoon, we went to my in-laws to celebrate Thanksgiving with them.

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We did it a little early because everything is so busy on Thanksgiving that it’s hard to get together with all of our family members.

I ate way too much and I ate turkey this year! I have been a vegetarian for many years so I haven’t had turkey in a long time! I just started eating chicken and turkey this year so it was nice to have a little turkey yesterday.

I’m not really a meat person and would be totally fine if I never had meat again, but sometimes I struggle with getting enough protein so eating chicken helps me get more protein in my diet.

The kids are off of school this week for Thanksgiving break and we have a few things going on – parent/teacher conferences, orthodontist appointment, physical therapy, Thanksgiving meal planning and shopping. There’s never a dull moment around here!

Have a wonderful day!!

  • Favorite Thanksgiving food?
  • Did you workout today?

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Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Running, Working Out

Two Minutes

Good afternoon! I hope you all are having a warm Thursday :)

Breakfast

This morning for breakfast, I had egg whites, Greek yogurt, and toast with peanut butter.

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I am not usually too hungry in the mornings and normally just eat a few egg whites and yogurt before the gym and then have a snack immediately after my workout – almost like two mini breakfasts. But lately I’ve noticed that I am a lot more hungry in the afternoons and have the tendency to start snacking and snacking. So, I’m hoping that adding a little more food in the mornings will help my afternoon snack attacks.

After breakfast, I went to the gym and per doctor’s orders was allowed to run two whole minutes! I walked the rest and finished my workout with some biceps exercises…and a selfie. Totally normal.

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I felt really good running those two minutes and I bumped my speed up to 5.0 mph today. I wish I could run longer but I know it’s better for my body to take it slow. And on Saturday, I’ll get to run three whole minute. Yes!!

After my workout, I was rewarded with this little alert from my car. And by rewarded, I mean not rewarded.

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Usually it tells me how many miles I have left and today I apparently had so little gas in my car that I’m surprised I made it to the gas station. I like to play a little game called “Let’s See Many Miles I Can Get Down to Before My Car Runs Out of Gas.” AKA “It’s Way Too Cold to Pump Gas in This Kind of Weather.”

Luckily, I made it to the gas station and a crisis was averted. I guess I’d be a lot colder stuck on the side of the street with no gas than I’d be pumping gas for two minutes.

Yesterday, I stopped at Starbucks for a skinny peppermint mocha.

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It was just meh. I’m not a huge mocha coffee fan so it probable wasn’t the best choice.

Tonight, I’m going to Costco with my dad! I think I only go to Costco once a year around the holiday season. They usually have really great holiday gifts!

Have a great day!

  • What do you usually have for breakfast?
  • Favorite Starbucks drink?
  • Do you shop at Costco?

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Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Fun, Running, Working Out

That Time I Ran For One Minute

Apparently I slightly misunderstood what the doctor told me yesterday. I can still start a walk/run program, but when he said five minute increments, he literally meant five minute increments and that’s it.

I had physical therapy this morning, and I asked my therapist how many times I could repeat the five minute increments and she explained that I would only be able to run one minute the first day, and that’s it. Rest the next day and then run two minutes followed by three minutes walking on the day after that.

So, I am starting off way slower that I initially thought but at least it progress and I don’t want to hurt my healing hip. Today at physical therapy, I ran one minute on the treadmill and walked four. I could have went more, but of course, I shouldn’t. I can walk more on my own if I want, just not run more.

I felt really good running for one minute and I can’t wait to run for two minutes. Yippee!

I haven’t run in a long time and my hip is still healing so my speed is very slow. I ran at about 4.3 mph today and I could feel my quad start to kick in so I’m making sure not to start off too fast.

I also went to the gym before physical therapy and worked on some chest exercises.

Yesterday afternoon, I went to Target and found these candy cane k-cups!

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I am excited to try them out. I have a few more Vue cups left to use before I start using the regular Keurig coffee maker.

Lunch

Lunch today was an oldie but goody – a bagelwich!

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I have been eating veggie flatbread pizza for weeks and I really needed something new so I switched to either a bagelwich with berry preserves (so much better!) or a grilled veggie quesadilla on a low carb high fiber tortilla.

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Both lunch are quick, easy, and delicious.

It is freezing here today in Chicagoland. I think if we stay below 22 degrees it will be a record low for this date. I think when I got out of my car a little bit ago it was 13 degrees and felt like -7 degrees with the windchill. It’s not even Thanksgiving and we’re in the negative degrees. I hate it.

Have a great afternoon!

 

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Best Appointment Ever

Good afternoon! How was your weekend? Before I get into my weekend, I have some great news to share – the doctor gave me the okay to start a run/walk program!

I am so happy!

I had my post surgery check-up with my hip doctor this morning. Can you believe it’s been 4.5 months since my surgery?!

He said that as long as my quad and hip didn’t bother me too much, I could start a run/walk program in 5 minutes increments.

So the first day, I would run one minute and walk four minutes. I would repeat this a few times as long as I felt good. Then I would not be able to run the next day and the following day, I would run two minutes and walk three minutes for a few intervals. Then I would rest the next day and continue with three minutes of running and two minutes of walking.

I would repeat this until I am up to about 10-15 minutes of straight running! Yay! But if my quad starts to burn like it tends too when I overdo it then I need to scale back. He said the quad pain should go away in the next few months but not overnight.

He also gave me the okay to do some group fitness classes like yoga, Pilates, strength training classes, etc as long as I start slow and avoid any position where I have to turn my body because my hip isn’t quite ready for that yet.

Overall, my said my progress looks great and the range of motion in my hip looks great. I just have to continue doing closed circuit exercises such as squats, lunges, and the leg press to help regain more strength in my leg. He said I should also be fine with doing physical therapy once a week. My next appointment is at the beginning of January to check on my progress.

Yay!!

Let’s back up to this weekend…

Saturday

On Saturday morning, I was making breakfast before Danny and I went to the gym and I cracked open a double yolk egg!

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I was a little more excited than I care to admit about that double yolk because that’s never happened to me and I thought it was so cool. But I also thought it was weird and wouldn’t eat it. I gave it to Danny instead.

After breakfast, we went to the gym. Danny and I did some back exercises including:

  • lat pulldowns
  • seated rows
  • t-bar raises (a new favorite!)
  • straight arm pullovers
  • deadlifts
  • bentover rows

After our workout, we stopped at the Giving Tree and picked out some tags to buy toys for kids for Christmas. We picked three tags for boys and then we’ll go back and deliver our toys to the box.

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It’s a great way for the kids to help others who might not have as much as they do. They really look forward to it every year and enjoy picking out a toy for a kid their age.

Saturday evening, we went to my brother and sister-in-law’s house for dinner. Crystal made a delicious chicken tortilla stew for dinner. I made a no-bake chocolate lasagna for dessert.

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Jaden helped. He is my little chef, One of his favorite tv shows is Chopped on The Food Network.

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The chocolate lasagna was so easy to make and so delicious! I found the recipe on Pinterest (of course!). The bottom layer was a Oreo crust. Danny and Jaden crushed the Oreos and I added some melted butter so they would stay together in the bottom of the pan. The next layer was cream cheese mixed with one cup Cool Whip, sugar, and a little milk. The third layer was chocolate pudding and the top layer was Cool Whip. I topped the whole thing with chocolate chips.

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Yum!

On Saturday, we also stopped at Old Navy because they were having 50% off all outwear until 1 pm. I was looking for a coat for Jacob but all the ones in his size were just too thin. I did find a black vest with a fur hood for myself for 50%.

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I used to have a black vest from H&M that I loved and suddenly I can’t find it. I have had it for years and years but now it’s just gone. I was happy to find a new one at Old Navy even though I had to ask an employee to take one off a mannequin because it was the only one in my size.

Sunday

Saturday evening was the first snow we’ve had that actually stuck and Jaden was so excited to build a snowman on Sunday. A mini snowman.

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Sunday, Danny and I went to the gym again and worked on shoulders. We had a good workout and then came home to watch The Bears and The Blackhawks.

And that was my weekend!

  • How was your weekend?
  • Have you gotten snow yet?

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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Recipes, Running

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!

I had physical therapy this morning and I think I’m getting close to the end of my physical therapy journey. It’s kind of bittersweet. I am happy to be almost done but at the same time I’ve been going twice a week for four months and I feel like it’s really been helping me.

My quad is still pretty sore but I have a follow-up doctor’s appointment on Monday so we’ll see what happens.

My physical therapist said I have full range of motion in my hip now which was the basic goal post surgery. I just have to work on my endurance which is nothing new. Even though I’ve been running for years, I have always struggled with endurance. It’s just something that I have to work on.

Let’s jump right into today’s favorites!

  • Keurig Coffee Maker

I must really love Keurig machines. This is my third one.

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I orginally had the regular Keurig coffee maker, and I loved it. I am the only person that drinks coffee in our house and I only drink one cup a day so the Keurig was absolutely perfect for me. Then the Keurig Vue came out.

I was smitten with the Vue. You could brew coffee, iced coffee, lattes, tea, and hot chocolate. You could change the temperature setting and pick how many ounces of coffee you wanted to brew. You had the option of brewing the coffee stronger.

It was love at first sight but I pushed the thought out of my mind because  1) I already had a Keurig and 2) it was expensive. Then my wonderful sweet husband bought me a Keurig Vue for our anniversary (I knew I married him for a reason).

But the Keurig Vue takes different size cups than the regular Keurig machine. For awhile, Target and Meijer near me sold them. Then they stopped and the Vue cups became a lot harder to find. I finally just started ordering them online because it was easier. The Vue cups also offered a lot less flavors than the regular k-cups.

As much as I loved the Vue, I missed the regular k-cups, especially all the flavors that come out around the holidays. I had already given my old Keurig to my brother and sister-in-law so I couldn’t go back to k-cups even if I wanted to.

Then earlier this week, Danny’s work was getting rid of one of their office grade Keurig machines. Danny was able to get it for only $25 (and a promise to clean out their current Keurig machine) and I was back in the k-cup business!! Yes!

I immediately had to go out and purchase a k-cup flavor that I was unable to get in the vue cups – butterscotch!

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I can’t wait to try it! I have a few vue cups left so I am using those up before I start using the other Keurig.

That was quite a long explanation about my coffee maker. Moving on…

  • Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie Creamer

Sticking with the coffee theme, I have a coffee creamer that I have been loving lately.

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As much as I love chocolate, I am not really a fan of chocolate in my coffee. However, I made an exception to try this creamer and it’s really good. Well done, Coffeemate.

  • Turkey Jerky

I have no idea where my love for turkey jerky has come from.

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I think I was trying out different foods to get more protein in my diet and I stumbled upon turkey jerky. I really like the Jack Links brand but today I picked up the Old Wisconsin brand to try.

  • Christmas Music

Our local radio station started playing Christmas music all the time today and I’m so happy! I love Christmas music.

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I know some people think it’s too early to start with Christmas music and decorations but the holiday season is such a short time and it’s over so fast so why not celebrate as much as you can. It makes me happy so why wouldn’t I enjoy what makes me happy.

I love Thanksgiving, being thankful, and spending time with my family also, but there’s no reason I can’t celebrate both. :)

And that’s what I am loving this cold November Friday. Danny has a work outing tonight, so the kids and I are staying in, making dinner, watching How to Train Your Dragon 2, and eating popcorn!

Have a great night!!

  • What are your Friday favorites?
  • Christmas music now or after Thanksgiving?

 

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Back to the FitBit

Good afternoon! 

Workout

This morning, I went to the gym. Pre-workout, I had some Cellucor C4 in strawberry margarita. I’ve tried a few of the C4 flavors but the icy blue razz is still my favorite.

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I rode the stationary bike and did a quick shoulder workout since I had physical therapy this afternoon.

My shoulder exercises included:

  • Arnold presses
  • Upright rows on cable machine
  • Mac raises with an overhead press (from Bodypump!)
  • Rear delt rope pulls
  • Lateral cable raises

My leg is still a little sore after the 4 miles I did on the treadmill on Monday. The pain is usually the worse in my quad which is where all my pain started almost two years ago. It’s frustrating that I still have quad pain after surgery but I guess my quad was overworked for so long that it takes a long time to get back to normal.

 FitBit

I recently started wearing my FitBit again.

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I took it off because of my hip surgery but Danny recently got a FitBit from his brother so I decided to start wearing mine again. I like that it keeps me accountable with getting enough steps and it syncs to MyFitnessPal so it tracks calories in vs calories out.

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Snack

Before physical therapy this afternoon, I had a thinkThin dark chocolate peppermint bar.

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This is the best thinkThin bar I’ve had! So far, I’ve only been able to find it at Whole Foods but I’m hoping I can find them somewhere closer to me!

Well, I’m off to eat a late lunch and pick up Jaden from school. Have a great afternoon!

 

 

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Increasing My Distance

Happy birthday to my sister-in-law, Crystal!

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We went out Saturday night to Carrabba’s to celebrate!

Danny and I:

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Jaden and my mom:

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Today

This morning, I went my longest distance on the treadmill since my hip surgery – four miles! A fitting distance since my surgery was four months ago yesterday!

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It definitely took me a while to complete four miles, and I am really feeling it in my hip and leg now so I am going to take it easy for the rest of the day. I’m happy that I can finally start increasing my distance.

After the treadmill, I worked on biceps and finished up my workout with some stretching and foam rolling.

I haven’t worn my Polar heart rate monitor lately, so I wore it today and I burned over 800 calories!

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After the gym, I stopped at Wal-Mart and I could not pass up these peppermint ice cream Drumsticks.

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Peppermint ice cream is one of all time favorite ice creams and I wait all year to eat it. I have never seen peppermint Drumsticks before, so I had to buy them!

They also had Amy’s full-size pizzas for $5.47 which is the cheapest I have seen them anywhere.

Have a great afternoon!

  • What’s your favorite holiday/seasonal food? I love peppermint ice cream, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie!
  • Did you workout today?

 

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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Fun, Uncategorized, Working Out

Friday Favorites

Disclaimer: The Old Factory Candle Set mentioned below was gifted to me by the company. All opinions are my own.

Happy Friday!

I didn’t go to the gym this morning because I had physical therapy but Danny and I plan on going together tomorrow morning.

Let’s jump right into today’s favorites!

  • The Treadmill

I have so happy that I have been able to start walking longer distances on the treadmill. I even broke out my Mizuno running shoes yesterday to walk 2.5 miles.

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I walked on the gym’s Woodway treadmill which is a lot easier on the joints. I followed it up with some core exercises and stretching.

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My next doctor appointment is on November 17th so we’ll see what he says about easing back into running.

  • Target

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No explanation needed.

 

  • Old Factory Candles

I love candles and I love buying new scents at the beginning of each season. Old Factory Candles sent me this gift set of three holidays candles – Christmas Tree, Candy Cane, and Gingerbread.

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They smell amazing. The candy cane scent is my absolute favorite. It smells like I want to lick it.

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I love that the scent of each candle is so strong and really gets the room smelling nice. The Old Factory Candles are natural soy candles and all hand poured in the USA. These would make a great holiday gift! You can order your own Old Factory Candles on Amazon.

  • Christmas Decorations

I love Christmas decorations and all things Charlie Brown Christmas are my favorite. I have been wanting the Charlie Brown Christmas tree forever, but never could justify the $15-$20 price tag. Well, I was at Five Below early this week and they had it for $5! Of course, I had to buy it. :)

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Look at that sad little Christmas tree. :( Doesn’t it make you so happy?!!

  • Coffee Mugs

I love coffee mugs, especially holiday themed mugs. I recently added two new Christmas mugs to my collection.

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The North Pole mug is from Target and the other mug is from Hobby Lobby. Oh, and I really really love my husband. :) (<—- I have to say that because Danny doesn’t quite share my…enthusiasm for coffee mugs, and I’m sure he won’t be the happiest when he sees I’ve added another mug to my collection. If it were up to him, I’d have one coffee mug for the rest of my life and really where’s the fun in that?! Coffee mugs are life).

  • Whole Foods Salsa Verde

Last weekend, we went to a new-to-us Whole Foods, and they had a taco bar. (That is genius. Every place of business should have a taco bar). We ordered some tacos and some chips and salsa to go with it.

Danny got the salsa verde, which we’ve never had, and it was amazing. Amazing. Delicious. I will even go as far as to say it was the best salsa that I’ve ever had. Ever. In my life.

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I almost felt kind of sad that I went my entire life without eating this green goodness that is salsa verde. Anyway, I found it at our nearby Whole Foods today, and I bought it. That is all.

Well, those are my favorites for today! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

  • What are your Friday favorites?
  • Any plans for the weekend?

 

 

 

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Filed under Christamas, Working Out