Friday, December 28, 2012

Fit Friday

We can all use a little motivation once in a while, right??


Confession Time:  

I haven't been running since it started to snow here in good old Utah.  I could...Plenty of people do.  But hello! It is freakin' COLD out there!!!  So it's been a couple of months since I've been running consistently. Part of me misses it (a lot actually), but the lazy part of me is starting to take over again, and I find less and less motivation to even try to do anything active.  Even though I was running for the better part of 2012, it's so easy to get out of the habit and forget how good it makes you feel.

The nice thing about life is that you are constantly getting second chances to change.  No matter what your goals are, they are attainable.  You might have to put in extra time, extra work, and it might take some patience, but you'll get there.  The most important thing is that you're closer today than you were yesterday (or last week, month, year, etc)!

Alrighty then--Resolution time!!  I'll be thinking of mine, and I'll let you know after the New Year exactly how I'm planning to stay fit in 2013.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Fun-Day Monday

Hope you're all ready for Christmas!!  If not, here's an idea.  You might be up all night, knitting, but it will be worth it!

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While you're at it, I'll take one of these for Christmas, thanks!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Fit Friday: Day Spa Apple Cinnamon Water


            (source)                                                       (source)

I try to drink a lot of water.  Usually I hate it, but I've started drinking flavored water once in a while (my favorite are the MiO brand water drops because it's a liquid rather than powder), and it helps me get more H2O on a more regular basis.

I've heard that you shouldn't drink too much of it because of the artificial sweeteners they contain, so I always try to drink at least as much plain water as flavored in a day.  Drinking ice water helps a lot too.  If it's really really cold, I think it tastes so much better, and I tend to drink more.

The other day I saw this on Pinterest and tested it out.

The idea is that the apples and cinnamon will up your metabolism and give you more energy...I don't know if I really got an energy boost, but I do occasionally get headaches (maybe from the artificial sweeteners in the MiO?), and I felt really good all day when I was drinking this water.

It wasn't as flavorful as I'm used to, and I definitely would not compare it to actual flavored water.  It was more comparable to having lemon water.  That being said, it did make my water more interesting for the day, and it was all natural, so that's a plus!  I'll probably do this occasionally, but the convenience of MiO still has me hooked!!  Maybe I'll try to make my own MiO mix with applejuice and cinnamon....? hmmmmmm.......


Monday, December 17, 2012

Fun-Day Monday

Oh my heavens.  I love Paula Deen's cooking so much.  Every recipe of hers that I have ever tried is amazing.  But seriously.  I mean, come on.  This is way too funny not to share.

hahahaha, I should hang this on my fridge
(I could not find the source for this picture...If anyone comes across it let me know)

Have you ever tried Paula Deen's Gooey Butter Cake???  It is one of the best things I've eaten in my life.  I don't think I've posted about it, but I've made it multiple times and it is soooo worth the calories.  The many, many calories.

Now that I've gained five pounds by thinking about that, I better go work out.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Ric Rac Receiving Blankets

Well, I could give about a million excuses why I've been pushing this blog aside, but the main reason is just because I felt guilty not blogging on our family blog.  Now that I've got it caught up, hopefully I'll be able to keep up there and here.  I'll probably only post here once or twice a week until things calm down. (We're in a new house and doing a lot of painting and redecorating.)  Hopefully I can kill two birds with one stone and post about some of the things we're doing with the house.

But first, I want to show you these cute blankets I made based on this tutorial.

These are pretty easy to make.  I made three in one morning, and I am no expert!!

I like to roll them up and tie a ribbon around the blanket to gift it.  I think they all turned out super cute, and it's a really fun project because the cuteness to time ratio is one of the best I've done!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Soda Cake

Wow, I've been making a lot of treats lately!!  I saw the recipe for this cake on omnomicon when I was making the rainbow cake a little while ago.  I just used a regular white cake for that, but still wanted to give this lower calorie version a try.

All you do is dump a can of a carbonated beverage (I actually used raspberry flavored, carbonated water) into a white cake mix and bake it according to the directions on the box.  It was really easy.  I think it was originally listed on the Weight Watchers website.  If you use carbonated water like I did, there are absolutely zero calories except what the mix already contains.

THE FINAL REVIEW:  This isn't really a "wow that's amazing" kind of dessert.  I could have frosted it (Omnomicon also has a low-cal frosting) to give it a little somethin somethin, but I don't really like frosting anyway.  It is, however, a good alternative for dessert if you're on a diet or trying to watch your caloric intake.  It's not a healthy food, but it is a healthier option than, say, this cake (which I've made twice now and can't keep it around long enough to get pictures to blog about really is that good).  Even though the carbonated water I used had a raspberry flavoring, It didn't taste much like raspberries.  The cake definitely holds its own flavor.  It was okay, but since I'm not that obsessed with the calories I'm eating, I probably won't make it again.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Cinnamon Toast

When I was growing up my dad would often make an entire cookie sheet (or 2 if everyone was home) full of cinnamon toast on Sunday evenings.  It was a perfect way to end the weekend.

First we (I say we...I really mean my dad; I occasionally helped) would toast the bread under the broiler for a few minutes so the bottom wouldn't get soggy, then my dad would butter the bread (it took me about ten minutes to butter bread as a child...let's just say my OCD tendencies started early) and I would sprinkle on some sugar and cinnamon.  Then we would put it under the broiler, watching very carefully and take it out when it was caramelized and completely delicious looking.

I saw The Pioneer Woman's version of cinnamon toast a while ago and I just had to try it.  I learned from a young age that cinnamon toast was a serious undertaking, so thank Heaven Above that Pioneer Woman treated this task with solemnity.  She goes through four different approaches to making cinnamon toast, my way being second best.  I could not believe there could be a better way to make cinnamon toast, but I tried it and...ahem....I have to agree.  Sorry, Dad.  I'll happily take it either way, but if I'm making it, I'm making it Pioneer Woman's way.

Take a cube of butter...

Add about a half-cup of sugar...

And a teaspoon or two of cinnamon...

And mix it up with a fork.

Make a delicious puddle of vanilla extract, and mix that into your butter.

You will end up with something like this, and you'll want to eat it with a spoon, or your finger if you don't want to waste time with a spoon, but DON'T.  I promise it's better on the toast.

This is where things get interesting.  Really slather on the butter mixture and bake your toast at 350 degrees for about ten minutes.  The butter will melt and you'll worry that by leaving it in the oven longer it will get even soggier, but trust me.  It will start bubbling up just a little bit, and at this point you're safe to turn the oven to broil.  Leave them in for a few more minutes; watch carefully to avoid burnt cinnamon toast--no one likes that. 

This is well worth the wait.  You will be rewarded with a crispy, crunchy, caramelized version of cinnamon toast, and you'll probably want to eat it hourly daily.

The back of your toast, as you can see here, will be toasted through.

The butter really soaks into the bread when you bake it at 350 degrees for a few minutes and cooks the bread.  It takes a little longer, but like I said, it is totally worth the wait.  

THE FINAL REVIEW:  Amazing.  That's all I have to say about it.  The addition of vanilla and the way you bake this toast makes it the perfect dessert, snack, or even breakfast.

P.S.  Sorry about the photos...they're from my phone, so that's why they're extra lame  :)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Fit Friday: Week 7

running = running


--Begin with a 5-minute warm-up walk, then run 25 minutes.

Saturday, February 18--2.615 miles--263.6 calories
Monday, February 20--2.54 miles--282 calories
Wednesday, February 22--2.906 miles--284.7 calories

Monday was President's Day, and my sister wanted to go running with me again (outside...dun dun dun).  I was nervous (again), because even though I knew I could run 16 minutes, I had to run 25!  Outside!  And if I didn't I would have to run again later on the treadmill!  We found a parkway to run at, and it was sooo much better than just running around my neighborhood.  I didn't feel like people were peering out their windows at me, and we didn't have to worry about stopping to cross the street.  I actually really liked running outside because there was so much more to look at.  Sure, I couldn't see my chart and workout schedule, but I could distract myself by trying to make it to a certain landmark and then when I got there picking another one.

We made awesome time, comparatively speaking.  We ran 25:21 and ran 2.54 miles.  Don't worry, that's just a 9:59 mile!!  I don't even know the last time I ran one ten-minute mile, so averaging that for 2 and 1/2 miles made me feel amazing.  Running with my sister pushed me a lot.  I've always been  less active than her, so I was sure she was probably going slower so she was able to run by me and not make me feel bad.  I didn't want her to feel like I was slowing her down, so along the way whenever I thought I had slowed down or I was holding her back, I would kick up the pace just a little bit.  She told me later that she was thinking basically the same thing!

My other two runs for this week were about the same as usual.  On my first run, I got really bad side cramps with five minutes to go, but I tried not to think about it and pushed through.  I also had side cramps more than half the time when I was running with my sister outside...I need to look into what is causing that.  I really hope it's preventable because it is really annoying trying to run through cramps.  Ugh.  I hate it more than anything right now.

Next week I'm doing all 28-minute runs, and the week after is the last week!!!  I can't believe I'm so close to being done!  Not done done, because I'm not just going to quit; I have been torturing myself too much to just stop.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Fit Friday: Week 6


1/3--Begin with a 5-minute warm-up walk, then jog for 5 minutes, walk for 3 minutes, jog for 8 minutes, walk for 3 minutes, and jog for 5 minutes.
Friday, February 10--2.622 miles--250.8 calories

2/3--Begin with a 5-minute warm-up walk, then jog for 10 minutes, walk for 3 minutes, and jog for 10 minutes.
Monday, February 13--2.522 miles--245.3 calories

3/3--Begin with a 5-minute warm-up walk, then jog for 22 minutes with no walking.
Wednesday, February 15--2.522 miles--253 calories
     + a 16-minute run on Saturday, February 16--1.45 miles--163 calories

I usually do a little self-assessment when I'm at the end of my time running to see if I'm dead tired or if I can push myself a little bit longer.  I usually find that I can push just a little more, so I run an extra minute or two or turn up the incline a little bit.  I've realized through doing this that I can do a lot more than I give myself credit for.  I've never really pushed myself physically like I am now; whenever I got tired before I would just stop.  I always took the easy way out with exercising, and I guess that's probably why I was never happy with where I was at with my body and my fitness level.  I'm still not perfectly happy where I'm at, but I feel like I'm finally actually reaching some goals and I can see the progress I've made, whereas before I felt like I was just walking in place (figuratively...and literally. HA!)

The runs this week were way better than my previous week.  It was still hard to do, and I could tell I was pushing myself, but I think not having an incline did wonders for me; I feel like I can do anything!

On Saturday my sister came over and wanted to go running.  I thought that running outside would be waaay harder and was afraid I'd only be able to run for a couple of minutes.  But I told her I would try it; I figured I didn't have anything to lose since I had already gotten my runs in for the week.

We ran for almost a mile and a half!!  It was hard (it was super windy), but it felt so good to know that I had conquered another obstacle!


P.S.  ^^That's totally not what I looked like, I'm sure...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Fit Friday: Week 5

Pinned Image


This week the workouts start changing each day.

1/3--Begin with a 5-minute warm-up walk, then jog for 5 minutes, walk for 3 minutes, jog for 5 minutes, walk for 3 minutes, and jog for 5 minutes. 

Monday, January 30--2.043 miles--241.4 calories

2/3--Begin with a 5-minute warm-up walk, then jog 8 minutes, walk 5 minutes, jog 8 minutes.

Tuesday, January 31--2.015 miles--239.7 calories

3/3--Begin with a 5-minute warm-up walk, then jog 20 minutes with no walking.

Wednesday, February 8--2.484 miles--249.6 calories
     + Thursday, February 2--1.327 miles--160.5 calories (made it to 18:30--so 13:30 of the 20-minute run)

My first run this week was okay...I really thought I might die on the third 5-minute run.  My second run was awful!!  I got terrible side cramps, but I pushed through and finished that run too.  Then on my third run for the week I just could not make it through.  I ran 13 and 1/2 minutes, but when I saw how far left I had to run I just couldn't go any further.  We left for California early Friday morning (I refuse to work out on vacation...I may someday change my mind about this, but for now I'm sticking with the idea that when I go on vacation, I vacation) and didn't get back home until Tuesday night.  So Wednesday I tried again with a pit in my stomach thinking this may be my breaking point.  If I couldn't get this 20-minute run I would have been really tempted to just give up.

Little did I know that I had unknowingly sabotaged myself along the way!  For some reason, the incline on my treadmill was set to a 5.0...I don't know how I didn't find that out on any of my previous runs (no wonder they were so hard...!!).  So I set it to a zero, just hoping I could make it through 20 minutes.  I had been running at a speed of 6.0 too, so I ran at a 5.0 this time to give me as much in my favor as I could.

I could not believe it when I looked at how long I had been running and I was already at 18 minutes!!  So I turned it up to a 6.0 for the last couple of minutes because I felt FREAKING AMAZING.  Then at 20 minutes I still felt great.  So I kept running and went 22 minutes!!  This is definitely my proudest moment up to this point in running.

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Friday, February 3, 2012

Fit Friday: Week 4

Via my crazy running, marathon training friend, Christine!


--Begin with a five-minute warm-up run; then jog for 3 minutes, walk 90 seconds, jog 5 minutes, walk 2.5 minutes, jog 3 minutes, walk 90 seconds, jog 5 minutes.

Tuesday, January 24--2.172 miles--234.6 calories
Thursday, January 26--1.885 miles--205.6 calories
Friday, January 27--2.33 miles--250 calories
     + Monday, January 23, 2011--1.101 miles--115.2 calories
     + Monday, January 23, 2011--0.5 miles--50+ calories

This week was a toughy.  For some reason on Monday I could NOT get through the five-minute portion of the run.  My first attempt I made it through the three-minute run but couldn't get through the five minute run, so that night I decided to just see if I could run five minutes straight.  That's it.  I told myself I wouldn't have to run the whole thing that day; I could just be done after five minutes of nothing but running...and I totally did it!  It was actually way hard, but I felt really proud of myself when I was done.

So Tuesday I went hard and tried to tackle the whole thing...and succeeded!!  By the end of the run I was feeling like I could run a marathon.  Not that I actually could because I was way too tired.  And then when I was thinking about how hard it was for me to run for five minutes I felt completely pathetic!!  Only five minutes??  Really?!?  I felt like I was never going to finish this 5K training if I could barely get through five minutes of running at a time.

The one thing that gave me motivation to keep going was looking back on my first day of running, and how tough it was for me to run 60 seconds at a time even with a 90-second walk in between each run.  Knowing I had already come so far from that was a big boost.

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In my first Fit Friday post I mentioned that I hung up my training plan in front of my treadmill.  Right on the wall of my living room.  I love having it there because it's so cute and TOTALLY goes with all the decor in my house.  NOT.  But I really do like it there because it 1) gives me something to look at while I'm running, 2) I can see how far I've come and remember back to how I felt running, and 3) I can see what goals I have coming up and see that they are attainable because of what I'm doing now.  I also printed out a spreadsheet from Excel so right afterward I can write down what date I accomplish what part of my run, how far I ran and how many calories I (supposedly) burned during that run.  This is great because I can easily see how I'm doing and if I'm on track.  I look at this a lot too when I'm running, and I try to go farther than the day before or burn more calories and kind of challenge myself.

I've heard of a lot of people putting up inspiration pictures in front of their treadmill or on the fridge or in the mirror so they see what they want to look like and get motivated, but I haven't done that (mostly cause I think it would be awkward to have swimsuit models hanging up all over my house).  I saw this and thought it was so seriously funny that I might change my mind on that now.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Cinnamon-Sugar Pretzels

Who doesn't love a crunchy sweet & salty snack!  Disclaimer:  This is absolutely not a healthy snack...but it's tasty!  And probably not as unhealthy as, say, these Sticky Muffin Buns, or these Ooey-Gooey Butterscotch Brownies, or even these easy Ten-Minute Caramels.  They are, however, just as easy as the ten-minute caramels, but they have more baking time.

Start with:
2/3-cup vegetable oil
1/2-cup sugar
1-tsp cinnamon
(mix these together--I just used the liquid measuring cup I used to measure out the oil)

1 bag pretzels
(put these in an oven-safe dish or roasting pan)

Pour the oil mixture over the pretzels and give it a stir...

Throw it in the oven (at 300 degrees).

Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring every ten minutes.

And you're done!!  Wait for a few seconds minutes for these to cool before scarfing them up.  These are good cool, but I really liked them when they were still warm from the oven.  

THE FINAL REVIEW:  It was a great (once in a while) snack.  When I saw these on Pinterest it looked like the sugar had caramelized into a kind of toffee, and it didn't (at least when I tried it).  The sugar was definitely just as granular as it started, and it didn't really melt over the pretzels like I was expecting it to.  I had extra sugar and oil in the bottom of my dish after baking these for about 40 minutes, so I wish I had used the entire bag (I used about 3/4 of the bag).  Overall these were good, but I think next time I have a hankering for something sweet & salty I'll try these pretzels instead.

For the original tutorial go to  

Friday, January 27, 2012

Fit Friday: Week 3

best running shoes for women

Scott and I are going to San Diego soon.  Maybe I can run on the beach like this girl...?  That is one long stride, right???  And some short shorts...don't know if I can pull that off.  My legs are, like, 5 inches long and do not have the capability for either of those things.


--Begin with a 5-minute warmup walk, then complete two sets of the following:  Run 90 seconds, walk 90 seconds, run 3 minutes, walk three minutes.

Monday, January 16--1.65 miles--171.1 calories
Wednesday, January 18--1.67 miles--171.6 calories
Saturday, January 21--1.702 miles--177.1 calories
     + Friday, January 20--0.587 miles--59.5 calories

So on Friday I started my workout, but I just ran out of time and had to quit way early.  So I started all the way over on Saturday...I am using Saturday as a makeup day for if I can't make my run during the week.  I hate working out on Saturdays because I want it to be a rest/hang out day with the fam, but it's definitely nice to have a chance to make up a workout that I miss.  I'm the type of person to give up on my entire goal if I screw up one week (or if I'm really feeling ambitious I'll start all the way over), so I really needed to give myself a second chance somewhere.  This works perfectly for me!

And how am I doing on the plank challenge...???  Umm...remember about five seconds ago when I said I'm the type to give up if I don't do something exactly right...?  Ha.  I kept forgetting to do my plank before bed (it was a part of my night routine until I started having to stay up late and work, and by the time I got in bed I just crashed), so I kind of plateaued at 2:30.  I've still done it when I remember (about half the time), but I only go for 2:30 and then I'm practically to the floor anyway. I still want to be able to plank for 5 minutes, but I'm pretty sure I won't make that in the next four days (remember, my goal was by February?).  Maybe I can get it by the end of February.  This year IS a leap year, so I am getting an extra day then normal--Okay, let's just say I will be planking 5 minutes by February 29!

P.S.  The first two or three days the plank made me pretty sore, but I haven't been sore since.  At all.  I shake and shake during the plank and for about a minute afterward, but then I'm good.  So if you try it, do not give up.  It really does get better.

P.P.S.  I saw these on Dr. Oz a couple of years ago...

Bare-Foot Running Shoes

And I think they're totally weird.  But I kind of want to try them out.  Not anytime soon, but maybe if I turn into a run-aholic...My toes (like my legs) are really short and stubby, so I wonder if these come in different toe-lengths.  I've seen some people with toes twice as long as mine; I don't think these are "one size 6 1/2 fits all 6 1/2."