Monthly Archives: November 2013

Candles & Cranberry Cookies

Good morning! How’s your Thursday going so far? It’s dark, cloudy, and raining here in Springfield. Do I wish I could just stay in bed all day with Mac in our pajamas? Yep, basically. But life must go on despite the dreary weather. 🙂

Christmas Candles!

So you all probably think I’m crazy when I get excited over the smallest and silliest things. But when I got home from work yesterday and saw this pretty box on my doorstep, I was beyond excited!

photo(52)I completely forgot that I had ordered some large candles from Bath & Body Works last week on sale.

image(12)I love how they pack them up.  I order these babies each year and keep a few for myself and then give some away as Christmas gifts.

photo(50)Woohoo! My favorite of these four was the Cinnamon Caramel Swirl. It smells like the most heavenly bakery/coffee shop, and I will definitely be keeping this one for myself. My momma loves the Winter Candy Apple, so I’ll take that one to her this weekend as an early Christmas gift. Then I can use the other two as gifts as long as I can refrain from burning them in my own house before Christmas!

If you’re not signed up for the Bath & Body Works emails, you should sign up TODAY. Seriously. They send out the best coupons everyday, and I do tons of gift shopping on their site over the holidays. Plus they almost always offer free shipping deals, so it’ll save you a trip to the store!

Cranberry Cookies

And now onto the really fun stuff: cookies! I was crazy productive last night when I got home from work. I realized it was my last evening at home until Sunday night, so I got some things done! I did laundry, walked and bathed Mac, washed dishes, and then made some cookies with my fresh cranberries!

image(13)I loosely followed two different recipes from Pinterest, which kinda morphed into my own creation. But they turned out pretty well!

cranoatIngredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, chopped
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp All Spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 stick butter/margarine (softened)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar or Splenda
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 eggs

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and begin by creaming together the softened butter, brown sugar, and white sugar or Splenda (I used Splenda). Add in the eggs, applesauce and vanilla, and mix well. Next, mix in your remaining dry ingredients: flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, and All Spice. Last, mix in your cranberries and chocolate chips.

image(11)Spoon the dough out onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 13 minutes or until edges start to brown. These cookies don’t expand (or ‘grow’) too much while baking, so they may not be the prettiest, but they are pretty darn tasty! Plus, no oil (applesauce instead!) is always an added perk for those healthy eaters out there.

photo(51)The red cranberries make these cookies really pretty – perfect for the holidays! Try ’em out this weekend, and let me know your thoughts. Adding nuts or extra chocolate might be fun to try next time! Craisins would also work with this recipe I’m sure if you don’t have the fresh cranberries on hand. They would probably add lots of yummy sweetness!

Hope your Thursday turns out to be a great one. Mine started with a run (I got rained on again!), and it will end with Jazzercise tonight. Seems like an okay day to me!

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Running in the Rain

Happy Wednesday! We’ve made it through half the week. Woo! I also saw on Facebook (via Dede!) that it is National Peanut Butter Fudge Day!  Is anyone celebrating? I would love to participate in this random holiday!

Rainy Morning Run

I hope your morning started off a little better than mine did. I didn’t sleep very well, and when my alarm went off at 5 AM, I drug my tired body out of bed to get my running gear on.

When I had checked the forecast last night, there was no rain in site for my morning run. Fantastic! or so I thought…. I even mentioned at Jazzercise last night (2x!) that I was so excited to run in the morning without a chance of rain finally. Well I should’ve kept my mouth shut! When I pulled up my weather app  this morning, there were green blobs all over Springfield. Boo. So I stuck my head out the front door to make a decision. It was still dry as a bone, so I got dressed and headed out anyways.

Less than 5 minutes down the road, and it started raining on me…yuck! It was 40 degrees and windy. This made the light rain pretty unpleasant. I wanted to turn around and go home so bad, but I knew I’d be frustrated if I didn’t try to just stick it out. So I just stayed on my route, and luckily the rain completely stopped by the time I got home. I’m so glad I didn’t turn around! I made it to 7 miles in just under an hour, making the rain seem not so bad. 🙂

photo(32)And with this run out of the way, I’ll be free tonight to get some things done! Laundry first off, a dark walk with Mac, and then lots of other odds and ends as the next few weekends will be spent away from my house.

I may also try to experiment with the massive Sam’s Club-sized bag of fresh cranberries that I bought this weekend. I have about 4 pounds of fresh cranberries ready to be used…somehow.

cranberry-sauce-001This isn’t my picture, but imagine all these small bags being combined into one huge one. And that’s what I have to use up. But luckily they say they freeze well!

I found a recipe for a yummy-sounding Crustless Cranberry pie on allrecipes.com.

photo(33)It looks amazing and is really simple, so I’ll be making this for Thanksgiving at my parent’s house this weekend. But tonight I would love to maybe just experiment with some cookies or bread. There are tons of awesome holiday recipes out there on Pinterest right now, so hopefully one will strike my fancy this evening! Plus after my run this morning, I think a warm cranberry cookie is well deserved.

Have a great evening everyone! See you all tomorrow!

Calf Compression Sleeves

So I know I keep saying over and over….running is a learning experience for me. And training for my first half marathon has really kept me on my toes. I’m not even halfway through my training plan, and I feel like I’ve already learned SO much!

About 4 weeks into my life as a ‘real’ runner, I found some calf compression sleeves on Groupon goods. I thought I should give them a try! Well they finally arrived over the weekend, and I’m in LOVE!

image(7)I spent $20 on these babies, and they are worth every penny. It feels amazing to wear these things post-long run. Mac is still unsure about them though.

photo(129)I swear Nick thinks I’m turning into some crazy, psycho runner. But I’m really not. I just know what feels good after I’ve run 10 miles on a Saturday morning!

But I must confess, I bought something else. It was kinda premature, but it was on sale and I couldn’t resist.

photo(2)Isn’t it cute?! I’m hoping it doesn’t ship super fast. I don’t want to be tempted to wear it before my race in January. At this point in my training, I know I’m going to kill my first half, but I want to wait until I’ve officially crossed that finish line to start gloating by wearing things like this. 🙂

Lunch

So my lunch yesterday and today has been the same thing: a salad the size of my head.

photo(32)I put some romaine + spinach + carrots + broccoli + cauliflower + radishes into this large tupperware container. Then I poured in some balsamic dressing, put the lid on, and shook it all up. It was easiest and yummiest tossed salad I’ve had in a while. Plus, it was so much food that I wasn’t craving anything else. Win!

I usually eat more than this for my midday meal (more protein, etc), but I feel like I just haven’t been eating very clean/healthy lately. So I’m trying to stuff my belly full of fresh fruit and veggies this week before my 2 weekends of Thanksgiving meals begins! Plus, I know I just feel better if I don’t overeat. Eating too much before sitting at my desk all afternoon puts me in a food coma for the rest of the day. So just a little note while we are on this subject of healthy eating…

eat-like-crapI need to print this and put it up all over my kitchen!

Well this evening will consist of 2 Jazzercise classes right after work. Then tomorrow morning I will squeeze in my mid-week run of 6+ miles before work. I’ve already told myself that I will just run for an hour and see how far that gets me! If I can run at the pace I’ve been hitting lately, around 8:20-8:40/mile, I’ll be close to 7 miles by the time I hit the 1 hour mark. Fingers crossed for good weather. 🙂  Have a great night!