Christmas Traditions! Day 1, 2, and 3.

It’s no secret, I LOVE Christmas. Since Annabelle is almost 2 now, I decided that we should do a fun Christmas activity each day. πŸ™‚

Day 1: Begin the advent calendar. AB needs to work on her sharing…she likes to eat the whole piece of chocolate herself. πŸ˜‰

Day 2: Decorate the tree. Annabelle was tuckered out and went to bed before we finished, but I had enough fun for both of us.

Dessert to give me energy for tree decorating…

Tree is finished!

11 pm, pajamas, Hallmark movies, and Monica’s 25 days of workouts.

She discovered the ornaments this morning. πŸ™‚

Day 3: A new Elmo Christmas book! Annabelle loves books and Elmo, so it was a big hit. I already have it memorized because we read it about 10 times.



I am looking forward to all of the holiday fun ahead! It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

White lights or colored?. White!

Favorite Christmas movie? So many good ones…Elf, Home Alone 1 and 2, The Santa Clause, Love Actually.

Happy Thanksgiving and my mom’s first 5k!!!

Hi everyone! I hope that you had a great Thanksgiving (if you celebrate :-)) with family and friends and I hope you ate lots of great good! We had a super fun time over here with my family.

We had a mini snow storm on Wednesday, so I decided to stay home from work and use my extra time to prep for Thanksgiving. This was my first year actually cooking, so it was nice to get a head start.

I made sweet potato casserole, a chocolate mousse trifle, cookie bars, and dressing. It was so nice to have all of this done prior to Thursday.



A white Thanksgiving Eve.

My parents flew in on Wednesday evening and I was SO HAPPY to see them. By the time we got home and got Annabelle settled down, it was after 1 am and we were exhausted.

We didn’t let sleep deprivation and freezing temps keep us from the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. My mom and I woke up and headed down the road to run a chilly 5k. The original plan was for me to run it and then back track to find my mom (who would be walking) once I finished. Well, she sure surprised me! I finished in about 24 minutes and headed back out to find her. It didn’t take long before I found her. She had decided to run instead of walk and she was already in her third mile! Since she had planned on walking, she was wearing a big winter hat and a long down coat AND carrying our packets! Even with all of that weighing her down, she ran her first 5k and finished in about 41 minutes. I am beyond proud. πŸ™‚


After a stop for Starbucks and donuts, we headed home to shower and get the turkey in the oven. The day was made extra special because my Aunt Janice and Uncle Gren came over for a visit and it was sooo nice to see them. πŸ™‚

We finally ate around 5 pm and it turned out very well for my first attempt at cooking. The menu included:

-Turkey and gravy
-Sweet potato casserole with marshmallows
-Mashed potatoes
-Cranberry Sauce



After letting our dinner settle, we dug into dessert (my favorite part of most meals)!

-Pumpkin Pie
-Chocolate Mousse Trifle (French vanilla cake layered with a cool whip and pudding mixture and topped with crushed Oreos…and repeat)
-Cookie bars

I made enough food for an army, so I’ve been eating leftovers everyday. I think I’ve had enough now.

I’m sad that I didn’t take a full family photo, but I did get a few good ones.

AB just couldn’t hang. πŸ™‚ (Don’t worry, she was not really drinking beer or wine)

Grandses, Annabelle, and Me ❀


It was a great day and I’m now looking forward to a whole lot of Christmas fun.

If it wasn’t for the camera on my phone…

…I would have no idea what I did or ate yesterday. I don’t know about you guys, but with so much going on I find it hard to remember the minor details day to day. Thank goodness for smartphones with cameras that allow me to share all of my very exciting activities with you all. πŸ™‚

Chris and I decided to take Annabelle to a bounce house on Monday. What’s a bounce house? It’s a huge room with about 8 huge bounce houses in it. AB was a little hesitant at first and she didn’t like the constant humming sound from the air keeping the houses blown up, but she started having fun in no time.



On Monday evening, I hit the dreadmill treadmill for a 6 mile tempo run.

1 mile warm up – 8:35 pace
2 miles – 7:35 pace
2 miles – 7:24 pace
1 mile – 8:35 pace

While I can’t say it felt good, I am happy to have done it. I sure hope I have some speed for this marathon coming up in a week…eek!

Am I the only one who sweats like crazy and likes to remove all sweaty clothing before leaving the gym?

Don’t worry, I wore sweats home. πŸ™‚

Wednesday was another run day. Jeanette and I went out for a lunch time run (it was FREEZING) and ended up with a nice progression run.

I had to make a very important decision yesterday afternoon. Donut or granola bar???

I did end up choosing the granola bar, but I took that donut home with me…and ate it at 9 pm while watching Red Band Society. πŸ™‚ I did eat a nice healthy dinner first.

Speaking of dessert, I really want to have this when we go to Florida next month. Mom and Dad, please take note. πŸ™‚

Tonight’s dessert looks gross, but it was delicious…one container of chocolate pudding, some redi whip, and two crushed Oreos. Stir and eat.

I am now trying to drink lots of water and talk myself into taking a 5:30 am yoga class tomorrow morning. Who wants to join me???

How many pictures do you have on your phone? Umm, I had 2,000 at one point.

Favorite donut?

18 miles, baking, chili, and yoga.

The weekend started with a chilly 18 miles on Saturday morning. They were slow easy miles but I felt great the whole time.

The rest of the day was spent eating breakfast and hanging with this little one. She actually took a nap in her crib and this NEVER happens anymore.

I spent Saturday evening with my friends Amber and Justin and their two kiddos. We had a great Shepard’s Pie for dinner and the kids ran around like crazy for a few hours. πŸ™‚

When I got home, I decided to eat a whole bag of popcorn.

On Sunday morning, I made pancakes, eggs, and sweet potatoes. Yum!

A little while later, I decided to make Tina’s pancake cookies. I used regular pancake mix, French vanilla creamer, almond butter, and peanut butter filled chocolate chips. These are really good…even Chris likes them.

I’m not sure what made me want to go, but I went to a late afternoon Bikram yoga class. This was my first class in over a year. It felt AMAZING and I was able to jump right back into proper form, but man is my flexibility gone…and I am sore today. But I can’t wait to go back for more. πŸ™‚

The best way to refuel after 90 minutes of intense yoga = crockpot turkey chili with pumpkin cornbread.

This chili is super easy!

Crockpot Turkey Chili

1. Cook ground turkey and season with salt and pepper and transfer to crockpot.
2. Chop one onion, one green pepper, one red pepper, and one orange pepper and add to crockpot.
3. Add one can of black beans and one can of white kidney beans to crockpot.
4. Add one packet of chili seasoning.
5. Add enough vegetable stock to cover the veggies, beans, and turkey.
6. Stir and cook on high for 4:30 hours.
7. When there is 10 minutes left of cooking time, add a 1/2 cup of cous cous and stir and recover.
8. Serve with cheese, sour cream, and cornbread. πŸ™‚

A Sunday night is not complete without watching Homeland and The Affair with lots of ice cream.


Did you see Homeland last night? OMG, so good!

Favorite crockpot recipe?

When is the last time you took a yoga class?

A few words per picture.

Happy Friday! It’s been a long week and I’m happy to welcome in the weekend. πŸ™‚

I can’t get enough pancakes…


and this loaded sweet potato meal. It really is sooo good.

Last night’s dinner…do you like Brussels sprouts? Annabelle does not.

Our first snowfall of the season.


First hot chocolate and marshmallows of the season. πŸ™‚

It’s been 2 weeks since Halloween and I had my first piece of candy this afternoon. It started with a mini Twix and a mini Milky Way. Next up were these babies…

I ended the candy eating binge with a full size Twix bar. Ugh.

Once I was done working for the day, I spent an hour with Jillian Michaels to balance everything out. Maybe all of that candy will be good fuel for my 20 mile run tomorrow morning???

What’s the best thing you ate today?

Who else is getting up to run in the freezing cold tomorrow? Please come run with me!

The BEST way to start the day…

I woke up around 7:30 this morning and since everyone else was still sleeping, I got dressed and headed to my happy place.

It was a beautiful morning for an easy 9 mile run…and a bathroom selfie.

After my run, I went to the grocery store (we needed everything but my main motivation was that I wanted to make pancakes) and Starbucks of course.

Pancakes with berries and maple chicken sausage πŸ™‚

The rest of the day was spent outside enjoying our warm November weather.


I was hungry for dinner by 4, but I snacked on a banana and pretzels (Trader Joe’s Honey Wheat Pretzels are AMAZING) dipped in almond butter to hold me over.

Dinner was also amazing. Yup, that’s a sweet potato topped with black beans (mixed with taco seasoning), cheese, avocado, and sour cream with mixed veggies on the side.

I wish I could take credit for this amazing combination, but I got the idea from my running partner in crime Jeanette.

Another great combination…yogurt, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce.


When do you like to run/workout/yoga/bike? Morning or evening?

What’s your favorite easy healthy dinner? I need ideas!

Sweatshirts and running.

Well, we made it through Monday and tomorrow is a federal holiday. Yay for being a federal employee! A BIG thank you to all of our past and present members of the military.

We had a pretty good weekend over here. When I got home from work on Thursday, I had FOUR great surprises waiting for me.

1. A very nice note from Chris.
2. My favorite Starbucks drink in the fridge.
3. A Reebok yoga sweatshirt.


4. A Nike sweatshirt.

He’s kinda the best. πŸ™‚ PS I have failed to take a picture of the sweatshirts even though I have lived in the Nike one for the last 4 days.

Annabelle got new boots and a new coat this weekend. She didn’t want to take it off.

I decided to randomly make these on Friday afternoon and it was one of my better decisions.

Sunday morning was spent running a 10k over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and it was awesome! I’ll have a full recap up soon.

Sunday afternoon was spent running another 8 miles with the jogging stroller. Why would I so such a thing? Because I thought it was a great idea to sign up for a marathon happening at the end of this month. More on that later. πŸ™‚

Do you have an obsession with sweats? Yes!

Chocolate chip cookie or brownie? Tough decision…

We had an exciting night.

So, I usually get home between 5 and 5:30 and there is time for us to play outside with Molly until it gets dark. Thanks to daylight savings time, it was very dark at 5:30. :-/ I’m thinking of attaching my blinking tail light from the Ragnar race on Molly’s collar so I can see her running around in the dark.

Dinner was simple, but it hit the spot. I eat a lot of these Perdue Simply Smart Chicken strips lately…it’s just easier to make the same thing for me and Annabelle.

After some playtime and some reading, Annabelle went to bed at 8:30 and I spent some time with Jillian Michaels. Her 30 Day Shred Level 3 is no joke. It’s only 30 minutes long, but it’s a great workout.

After I showered, I sat down to watch some TV. I landed on The Red Band Society…does anybody else watch it? I also consumed a stale brownie because a stale brownie is better than no brownie at all. πŸ™‚

I didn’t feel like blow drying my hair before I went to sleep, so I decided to sleep in braids. Look at my mad braiding skills.

I was hoping for a nice and wavy head of hair in the morning, but that just wasn’t the case. Womp womp.
In other news…

AB was the cutest pretty little pirate ever.



She loves to be like mommy now. It makes my heart melt.

Spinning and running. I haven’t taken spin in a long time and my butt is sore! I wish I could say this run felt easy but it did not. :-/


My favorite breakfast this week. Whole grain waffles topped with almond butter, banana, and agave nectar.

Playing with her Halloween candy = pure joy.

Favorite breakfast this week?

Do you blow dry/style your hair everyday?

Umm, no. But I should.

A day in my life.

Get ready for an inside look into one of my way too exciting workdays. πŸ™‚

I should get up around 4:30 am, but most days I roll out of bed at 5…sometimes 5:10.

I still have my alarms for Ragnar ready for next year. πŸ™‚

I leave for work between 5:30 and 6 and got to work between 6:30 and 7. After getting settled and checking emails, I walk to the cafeteria for coffee or tea. Up until a few weeks ago I almost always got coffee, but I’ve been on a tea kick lately.

I eat my breakfast around 8:30 and oatmeal with blueberries was on the menu for today.

I work until lunch time and I am more than ready to hit the pavement. My lunch time run is one of the best parts of my day (getting home to Annabelle tops the list). I went out with Jeanette today and we did a little over 6 miles at an 8:21 pace.

Once I get back to my desk, I eat lunch and work through the afternoon. Today’s lunch was a veggie burger with edamame and minus the sweet potatoes and add a strawberry Greek yogurt to the picture below.

By 3:30, I’m usually ready for a snack. Today’s snack was a banana swimming in a bath of almond butter.

I left work around 4:30 pm and got home around 5:45. Everyday when I get home, Molly, Annabelle, and I hang outside and play. Unfortunately this will end next week when it’s close to dark at 5. :-/

While I make dinner, AB watches Sesame Street. Don’t worry, this is not where she usually sits on her chair.

We ate dinner around 6:30 and it was super simple but super tasty. Chicken, white cheddar Mac and cheese, and edamame.

After playtime and bath time, we hopped in the car to drop something off to Chris at his work. Baby girl was so tired and she was asleep before I left the driveway. When we got home, she went right from the car to her crib…without her night time milk. Fingers crossed she still sleeps all night.

AB was asleep by 8 pm, so I Facetimed with my dad, cleaned up toys, and made a list of things I need at the store tomorrow.

On of my beloved traditions was next…dessert! Tonight’s selection was chocolate milk and chocolate chip cookies.

At this point, I would normally pack my breakfast and lunch for tomorrow and then watch some tv. Since I work from home tomorrow, I skipped right to the tv part. I love my sweatshirt blanket.

I will probably close up shop around 10:30 pm…I LOVE my bed. πŸ™‚

What time do you wake up for work?

How long is your commute?

White or chocolate milk?

Saturday Snapshots and good luck MCM runners!

I just want to say GOOD LUCK and have a great run to my Ragnar teammates running the Marine Corps Marathon tomorrow! I’m routing for you Vonks, Tim, Woody (yay, first marathon), and Pryce!

Baby in skeleton pjs!

10 mile slow and wonderful stroller run.

Playground time!


My new Lima Capris from Fabletics. <—–referral link! They are awesome. Comfortable, supportive, and they stay put :-).

Lunch of champions!

What was the best part of your Saturday???