Tag Archives: St. Louis

Favorite Christmas Tunes

Happy Sunday everyone! Has this weekend been crazy or what?! My day has, once again, been pretty much crazy, but I don’t care too much. I finally ran 13.1 miles during my long run this morning, so that definitely made me happy for the day. 🙂

I’ve spent my weekend teaching Jazzercise and wrapping a few last minute gifts with Mac. He even helped me open some cards that came in the mail. And I thought this one from my girlfriend Jessica was extra cute!

photo(126) image(19)Mac thought he resembled the polar bear on the front of the card, but I couldn’t see it. 😛

I also mentioned yesterday that I was needing some mommy and Mac time, and I got some between work and Jazzercise on Friday night finally. I took him for a quick jog around the block, and he was so thrilled that I got showered with kisses when we got home.

image(18)I realized mid-kisses that we were by the tree, so I had to snap a photo. He was a lovey boy last night!

Favorite Christmas Tunes

So what are some of your favorite Christmas songs that you can’t wait to hear every year? I’m keen on the classics personally. Anything by Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, or Dean Martin will be playing on my Pandora station non-stop. But this year I decided to venture out of my ‘oldies’ bubble and try to get into some more modern tunes. And it’s all for the sake of my Jazzercise students!

As certified Jazzercise instructors, we are allowed to put some Christmas songs into our classes during December, and I’ve been taking advantage of this! We’ve been dancing to some Michael Buble, Mariah Carey, among a couple dozen other artists I’m loving right now! My favorite song for class is Let It Snow by Chicago. If you’re another instructor reading this, put the choreography from Kelly Clarkson’s Stronger to this song, and you have one killer upper torso routine!

I love, love, love Christmas music, so incorporating some upbeat classics into my class has been fairly simple. Plus, it’s fun to watch my students sing along with the Christmas tunes. I only have 2 more classes to teach before I’m off on Christmas vacation, so I’ll be rocking the holiday music for only a little while longer. But that’s okay since I got a new Jazzercise DVD with 32 new songs on it this weekend! I watched them all today, and I’ve already picked out some favorites to learn asap when we are back from the holidays!

Holiday Schedule

So here’s a quick overview of our holiday week! Sidenote: this is mostly for my own sanity right now. Does anyone else feel like they are going to forget something really important during this upcoming week??

  • Christmas Eve: Head to my parents house early in the morning to have Christmas with my side of the family on Tuesday night.
  • Christmas Day: Head to STL to be with Nick’s family
  • Thursday: Have a big Christmas (gifts and a meal) with Nick’s side of the family. Woot!
  • Friday: TBA – I’m beyond excited to have no plans. Jazzercise? Run? Shop? 🙂
  • Saturday: 10-mile Run at Forest Park in STL in the morning.
  • Sunday: Head back to Springfield!

I wish we could spend more time with my family, but my parents are traveling to Florida on Christmas Day to be with my dad’s parents for a few days. So technically, they are abandoning me, not the other way around. So I guess I shouldn’t feel too bad! HA!

Also, I last minute decided to sign up for the 10-mile run in the Frostbite Series in St. Louis. I thought it would be a good, easy race and great practice for my first Half. It’s on the same course (which I’ve heard is hilly), and it will give me a good idea of how my half marathon will go.

It should be a great holiday, and I’m so thankful that we get to spend time with each of our families. I hope you have some wonderful plans with your family and friends!

Have a great night, and I’ll see you tomorrow!

Ready for Thanksgiving, Round 2

Good morning, folks! Sorry I never checked in yesterday. It was a hectic day to say the least, and I taught my normal double-header last night. By the time I made it home at 8 pm, I had enough time to shower and clean up my kitchen (because who wants to leave for vacation with a sink full of dirty dishes?!) before I had to hit the sack. My body basically collapsed into a slight coma as soon as I laid down. But I slept hard, and woke up early to get in my normal Wednesday morning run.

Morning Run

I’ve said this before, and I’m hoping I won’t say it many more times, but this morning’s run was my coldest yet!

photo(2)My other weather app (KY3 weather app) told me it was also 16 degrees, but that the ‘Feels Like’ temp was 6 degrees. Umm BRRRRRR!! I bundled myself up in two bottom layers, a long sleeve cold-weather compression top, my running puffer vest, and my usual ear warmer and gloves. I’m pretty sure I looked about like the Michelin Man this morning running around my neighborhood.

michelin_manYup, that was me. When I stepped out of my front door, it definitely felt like 6 degrees, and it didn’t matter what I was wearing. I was going to be frozen no matter what! Or so I thought. About 3 miles down the road, I started getting too warm and had to take off my gloves. Yup, that is how warm I get when I run. It’s still crazy to me!

I tried to make it to 7 miles in an hour, but I just couldn’t make it today. My legs were too cold, and I made it to 6.93 at the hour mark. Oh well, I almost made it! And more than anything, I was thankful to get this run out of the way before we head off to St. Louis this evening.

And speaking of heading off to STL, my turkey hat is in my suitcase and ready to trot tomorrow morning!

image(10)That’s your sneak peek. 🙂  I’ll have Nick take some wonderful pics of me tomorrow before the race. I’m hoping I can get it to stay on my head!

We’re heading out after work this evening and should be at Nick’s parents house around 8 tonight. Then I’m hoping to get a good night’s rest before our 5K. Sometimes Mac has some issues with getting a full 8 hours of sleep when we travel, but mommy is hoping he will cooperate and sleep in past 5:30!

Cauliflower Salad

And now for a quick and easy salad recipe! As requested by Dede, here is my mom’s cauliflower salad. Just be warned that for a salad, it is nowhere near healthy, and all the measurements aren’t exact. She doesn’t measure one thing when she makes this, so I’m mostly guessing!

photo(33)This is the salad she made for our Thanksgiving dinner last weekend. It’s always a hit around our dinner table, and it’s super convenient to take to parties/gatherings.

You’ll need:

  • 2 bags of romaine lettuce (or enough to almost fill a large serving bowl!)
  • 1 head of cauliflower,  cleaned & chopped into bitesize pieces
  • 1 cup Miracle Whip salad dressing (use Light if you prefer)
  • 1.5 cups of crispy cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese

This salad is put together in the bowl you will serve it in. It’s also assembled in layers, and all you have to do is toss it right before serving!

Begin with the lettuce as your base, and layer the cauliflower evenly across the top of it. Next will be your Miracle Whip. Using a flat spatula, spoon the salad dressing over the top of the cauliflower and spread it out evenly to form a flat layer over the cauliflower. You may need more dressing to get a nice thick layer over the top depending on the size of the bowl you’re using. If you feel like you’re using too much, don’t worry. This salad can turn out too dry if you don’t use enough Miracle Whip!

Next, sprinkle on the bacon evenly, followed by the sugar, and lastly, the paremesan cheese. Since all the ingredient servings are approximate, feel free to use more or less to make it work for you! You can toss the salad immediately to serve, or you can cover it tightly and keep it in the fridge. My mom has kept this salad premade in the fridge for up to 2 days and it was fine. Beyond that, I’m not sure how it will hold up. 🙂

Easy peasy! Enjoy your cooking/traveling/eating these next couple of days. I’ll be right there with you dealing with crazy traffic, stuffed bellies, and too much family time. But remember the real reason for the holiday and everything we have to be thankful for. And maybe, just maybe, these positive thoughts will help us deal with the stress of too many family members in one house. 🙂

Have a great Thanksgiving! I’ll check in as soon as I can – see you then!

STL Bound

Happy Friday!! I hope your having a wonderful day so far. It’s gorgeous (and cold!) here in Springfield, and I’m loving it!

Right after work today, Nick, Mac, and I will load up and head out to St. Louis for a weekend at Nick’s parents house. I’m very excited! Though the anticipation is making this work day go by rather slowly… oh well. It’s already half over. 🙂

Backing up a bit to yesterday, I had a little more work to do in my kitchen before all my goodies would be ready to take along for the weekend. Frosting the sugar cookies was the final thing on my baking agenda!

photo(90)Plain sugar cookies with vanilla frosting = Nick’s father’s favorite! Mark is an easy man to please (his bday is 4 days after mine), and I had a wonderful time licking all the extra frosting off the spoon.

photo(92)I used a simple Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie mix, so they aren’t fancy but still delicious! And I actually ended up eating tons of the leftover frosting right before I went to teach 6:45 pm Jazzercise. Smart idea? Probably not. But I managed to make it through class without getting sick. 🙂

I also whipped up a batch of chocolate chip and pecan cookies for the rest of Nick’s family to enjoy. They aren’t into the plain sugar cookies as much as Mark is.

photo(91)These are like little pieces of heaven, people. Seriously.

I found semi-sweet baking chips in a Halloween variety to make these extra festive!

photo(89)And I obviously did not frost these. The chocolate chips were enough addition!

I now have 2 dozen cookies and a BIG bowl of the Halloween Chex Mix that I posted yesterday to take along for the weekend. Nick’s mom always complain that my treats are unhealthy and that I need to bring along some of my healthy food. But that’s no fun! Birthday weekends are meant for splurging, so splurge we will. A lot.

Morning Run

In lieu of me having to change up my half marathon schedule, I had a crosstraining day yesterday and taught 2 classes. So that made today my shorter run day! Yay for not having to run as far! 😛

I woke up early to the coldest morning we’ve had so far: 30° F! Woah! I bundled up in my best running layers, including a cozy ear warmer and gloves, and headed out on a 45 minute run. I tried to make today’s run a tempo run, but the cold held me back just a bit. My perfect race pace would be between a 8:00-8:10 minute mile, but this morning’s pace was 8:28 overall. I was a little faster than my run on Wednesday morning, but still not at my best. That cold air makes it hard to breath!

I made it to 5.1 miles in 43:30 and was more than ready to be back home. Today’s run was difficult to say the least. I was struggling to pick up my feet and almost tripped myself a few times. This was probably a mix of being tired and eating so much sugar all week. I’m still not feeling my best from eating so many sweets in the midst of all my baking/cooking for the weekend, so I’ll be ready for a ‘sweets detox’ starting Sunday night when we make it home!

I hope you all have a great weekend and can enjoy the beautiful weather! I’m not sure when I’ll have time to check in, but I’m sure I’ll have lots of fun times to share – talk to you then!