Tuesday, January 31, 2012

ZipFizz Review and Giveaway

Do you ever just need a shot of energy? Do you ever feel just so rundown sometimes and you want something healthy and not a Monster or a 5 Hour Energy Shot? That's where ZipFizz comes in! 

ZipFizz is an all natural, healthy energy drink. There is a range of 5 flavors which are Grape, Citrus, Pink Lemonade, Berry and Orange Soda. Each tube is chocked full of vitamins and minerals which are AMAZING for ya! (Not all that sugar that some of the other drinks have!) Its also SO EASY to make and use! Add one tube, then add some water, shake it up (watch out cause all that fizz will make the water bottle pop open a bit!!!) and viola! Done. 

From their website:


Zipfizz contains 25 nutritional ingredients:

9 VITAMINS: vitamins C, E, all the Bs, and folate

8 MINERALS: potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc, selenium, manganese, chromium, sodium
ELECTROLYTES: magnesium, potassium
AMINO ACIDS: arginine, taurine
ANTIOXIDANTS: green tea extract, vitamins C and E
THE 4 G’S: Grape seed extract, Ginger, Green tea and Ginseng

Yes. It has 100 mgs of caffeine from natural sources of green tea and Guarana. That’s 
about one-fourth the caffeine in a Tall Starbucks coffee (375 mg) and less than two 
Excedrin tablets (130 mg).

Zipfizz contains no sugar. With only 10 calories, it is sweetened with Xylitol (pronounced 
“Zy-le-tall”) and Sucralose. Xylitol is a naturally occurring, low-calorie sugar substitute 
found in berries, fruits and birch bark. Many dentists recommend chewing Xylitol gum for 
good dental health. The average person produces 6-10 grams a day of Xylitol, it is a by-
product of sugar metabolism.

I have been drinking one of these tubes for the last week now after my gym time and let me tell you, it works! Normally by the time I get home from the gym, I am ready for a nap! Seriously! With this stuff, I was ready to go all day. There was no sugar crash either that some other products give you. It really is amazing and I am officially hooked. 

So do you want to try this out and become hooked as well? 

The lovely Nichole with ZipFizz wants to give TWO winners a chance at trying out this awesome product. You will receive this cute water bottle and the 5 tubes shown above! 

Here's how:

1. Become a public follower of The Pioneer Apron and comment that you did :D
2. Like ZipFizz FB page and comment below that you did (mandatory)
3. Share this giveaway on your blog, Twitter and/or Facebook (possible 3 entries)

Giveaway will end on February 7th at 9AM PST. Winner will be chosen and posted that day :D

Good luck!!!

Disclaimer: This product was given to me for free for my review. I was not required to give a positive review and these opinions are mine and mine alone.

Scentsy Winner!! and some races

So yes its 1030AM and I said I would pick a winner by 10AM but I just got back from being slaughtered at the gym by N. I mean not slaughtered...just killed. Jerk.

The winner of the Scentsy plug in warmer and three scents is....

#11 Jenn's Adventures with the comment
I tweeted your giveaway

Email me at soljerster AT gmail DOT com so we can discuss which warmer and scents you want :D

ALSO we are officially signed up for the St Paddy's Day run in Tacoma, just registered. OH YEAH!

I. Am. Going. To. Die.

We are also going to sign up as a group of 4 runners for this AWESOME fun time in Seattle:

Who WOULDN'T want to run this??? 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Week in Review and Upcoming Menu

So this week I was dreading since we missed an entire week due to the snow BUT it wasn't bad.

Until Wednesday when around 4pm my eyes started watering. And my sinuses were ON FIRE. By 8pm I was in bed nursing probably one of the worst head colds I have had all season. I spent all day Thursday in bed blowing my nose and hydrating. Then spent all weekend doing pretty much the same thing. I felt a tad better Friday but was worse on Saturday and by Sunday I was feeling a LOT better. My nose is still stuffed up but nothing like it was. Thank goodness.

Last week I have:

Monday: (walk/run) 25:54 time, 1.31 miles, 3.05MPH, 19.:39 pace
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 1.13 miles (not sure on anything else because I didn't jot this down before I deleted the text to Other Chef)
Thursday: Rest
Friday: (walk/run) 25:03 time, 1.27 miles, 3.05MPH, 19:39pace

So a total of 3.71 miles. Bleh. This week, and pretty much every week, we are going to be hitting the gym 5 days a week. Today went okay. I can tell I will feel soreness but meh. It felt good :D 

Jenn at Running with the Girls told me that I always have good recipes and I needed to post them more so I am going to get back into cooking full force (let's see how long that lasts). This weeks menu (for dinners) is:

Tuesday: Ranch Style Chicken and twice baked potatoes 
Wednesday: Sloppy Joes (homemade from PW) and fries (yes not the healthiest but I have two boys to feed who have been asking for this!)
Thursday: Ham, Potato and Cheese Soup
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Chicken Tacos (crockpot, a recipe from Pinterest)
Sunday: Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Monday: Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole
Tuesday: Leftovers

I know that seems like crazy, unhealthy stuff but honestly, its moderate (except for those sloppy joes of course LOL). I offset the sometimes unhealthy dinners with healthy eating the rest of the day. Pretty excited, I have kept right at my daily calorie count the last couple weeks :D Go me!

Is anyone else as excited for the Handful giveaway as I am? I can't wait! 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

New LARABAR Winner

I had to choose a new winner and the new winner is! 

#63 Give Peas a Chance

Thanks again for all the entries and new followers. Please contact me at soljerster AT gmail DOT com within 48 hours with your address so I can forward it on to Annie. 

So thinking of doing another giveaway now...what do you think? Do one today ending next week or just wait for Handful next week? 

Friday, January 27, 2012

New Found Love... (for headphones)

I can't use the iPod ear buds, or any ear buds for that matter. Not the ones that you stick in your ear but like the ones that come with an iPod. They slide out of my ear or they give me ear pain. So I just avoid them at all costs.

I bought these Skullcandy ones to use with my iPods. Still earbuds but they actually fit IN your ear. The gel sizes can be replaced depending on the diameter of your ear. Walking on the treadmill, they are great. No slippage. They sit there nicely. Plus they are a cute color too :D (Used to have the hot pink ones but my cat decided that they were a "string" to play with and she sliced them in about 20 different places..ugh) One complaint about these is how long the cords are. And I find that on ANY headphones. Not sure why there is like a mile long cord on them but oh well! The other is that when you run, or move at other high speed, out they come. I am constantly having to fit them back into my ear as I am running. Not only that but I hear everything else around me. So while I am trying to jam out to Rammstein (which is some angry, loud music) I can hear someone else's conversation over that. So for workout use, not good I would say.

Other Chef is a big runner. Always has been, always will. So he invested in these Bose ones. I was using them this week at home because I left my Skullycandy ones at N's house with my iPod. These Bose ones...WOW. Well worth the 99$. That gel piece you see here:
Fit in the V part of your ear. It prevents slippage of ANY kind. I was not having to readjust them at any time for any reason. They also block outside noise out. N tried to get my attention a couple times and finally I had to take them out cause I was practically yelling "WHAT?!" when she was talking to me. The cord is still kinda long but there is a clip on the cords that you can clip them together. Overall, 10 out of 10 rating in my book.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


So I realize I said that the winner would be selected by 10am PST and its now 1110AM PST. I am sick. So I have been sleeping since around 630 this morning :( Nothing serious, probably just a head cold but dang it. Ugh. Not a good time to be getting sick right now!! And I hope that the winner of these amazing 16 bars won't hold that against me!! 

Thank you so much to all the new followers and for the entries. You guys ALL ROCK! If you didn't win this one, stick around cause I have some pretty sweet ones coming up!

The winner of the LARABAR giveaway is...

Jenna Z with her comment: 

43. I really want to try the coconut cream pie. 

Congrats!! Please contact me within 48 hours with your address at soljerster AT gmail DOT com. 

Thanks again to everyone! Next giveaway is...


Oh yes. This one is AH-MAZING :D 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

One Year Ago Today....

One year ago today my phone rang at 145AM...

One year ago today my Mother told me that one of the most important people in my life passed away...

One year ago today I felt the most pain I think I have ever felt in my life.

One year ago today I lost my Grams.

Grams was really sick the spring of '10. I was told that she wasn't going to make it and to fly home. I got that phone call at 6pm and was on a plane by 9am the following day. Grams pulled through and things were fine.

I talked to her that Christmas day. I told her that I loved her and she told me something then that she has never said before to me. She considered me as one of her children, like I was her daughter and not a granddaughter.

My Grams and I have had a bond since the day I was born. She was in the labor and delievery room and was one of the first people to hold me. To say she spoiled the crap out of me is an understatement. I was, and will forever be, her girl. When my parents divorced, I moved in with her. It was just me, my cousins (their father died at the age of 35) and Grams. To say that house was chaos 90% of the time is a huge understatement. But all in all, Grams made it amazing and inviting. All. The. Time.

I didn't talk to her again before she died. I know she died holding my cousin J's hand (first grandbaby out of the 22 of us). I know she died surrounded by people who loved her and told her that it was okay. I know she died dreaming of my Grandfather and finally being able to see him again. After 22 years, she was going where she wanted to go. With my Grandfather.

I miss hre. Every single day. I miss her laugh. I miss her voice. I miss HER.I miss everything about her. I wish that we would have had more time together. But even through all of that, I know she is closer to me now in spirit then she was in body for the last 9 years. I know she is my own personal guardian angel. I know she is watching over my son and smiling down from Heaven.

God I miss her.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Getting back into it...

So with the Snowpocalypse of 2012, the gym was completely shut down for a week. Not only that but they were actually being used a warming facility for the people on base with no power. So for a week there was no workout on my end. I was completely dreading the gym this week for that purpose. Figured I would be dragging.


I actually did better on Monday then I did all the week before. My pace was better. My mileage was better. My MPH was better. I LOVED IT. N did amazing too! We both were feeling amazing leaving there. Who knew that some time off could actually BE beneficial? We are back into it with all speeds going though. I will say this though, I am sleeping much better then I did last week!!

Contemplating joining LA Fitness. Our facility is free so that kinda rocks. But the childcare area is just lame (N has a 1 year old we bring with us), we're always waiting for a machine, the machines are limited (2 treadmills in the "parent" area). LA Fitness is so nice and so many more machines, so many free classes, nicer childcare area, personal trainers. Just overall...better. I don't know though. We are going to go check it out sometime this week and then go from there.

What do you love about your gym? What classes do you take?

Monday, January 23, 2012

CrockPot Cream Cheese Chicken

Seriously, who doesn't love cream cheese? If I could eat it all the time, I think I would. I mean my butt would be MASSIVE but my belly would be happy right? Yeah I know, bad idea. 

Anyway, Thursday night we ended up having our "slumber party" while snowpocalypse hit us. I had started dinner that morning for us and D. When N and her family came, we had plenty! Like all recipes her blog has, this was really minimal with ingredients. Which I am starting to see is amazing and so quick. And this dish is so flavorful! The only thing that I noticed was that the sauce wasn't as thick as in her picture. So not sure what I did there but we shall see! Might have to experiment next time I make it!! I used her "alternate" ingredients which was amazing. The Italian seasoning tasted AH-MAZING on it. I served it over Rotini pasta :D

Verdict: Definetly a crowd pleaser. N's daughter had 3 bowlfuls! Most definetly will be making this again (in fact contemplated it when I was trying to figure out what to make tonight that was quick and easy!)

Sorry for no pictures. I had 5 adults and 3 kids to feed! 

The recipe can be found here or below!! 

--frozen chicken--enough to feed four adults
--2 T Italian seasoning
--1/2 t celery seed
--1 T onion powder
--1 T sugar (weird, I know.)
--1/4 t black pepper
--1 t kosher salt
--2 cloves minced garlic
--block of cream cheese (to add later)

or you can make it with:
--1 can cream-of-something soup
--1/2 cup chicken broth
--frozen chicken pieces
--packet of Italian salad dressing mix
--2 cloves minced garlic
--block of cream cheese (to add later)

Put everything except for the cream cheese into the crockpot. Cook on low for 6 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through and begins to shred. Shred the chicken with two large forks, and mix in the block of cream cheese. Switch the crock to high and cook for another 30 minutes, or until the cream cheese is fully melted.
Serve over pasta. We used Trader Joe's brown rice fusilli.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

CrockPot Broccoli and Beef

A couple nights ago, D was over for dinner (like always :-P) and I had broccoli and beef going in the crockpot. The house smelled DELICIOUS. I have never made this before so was really excited to try it out (as its my favorite thing to eat when we have Chinese). Let's just say, I think this one is way better then anything I can get out to eat! The only thing I do say is make sure you adjust the time to the cut of meat you have. I used a lean, no fat cut of meat and it was a tad dry. Not bad but you definetly want some juicy meat (or at least we do). The ingredients are minimal, the crockpot does all the work and you serve with some rice.




Crockpot Broccoli and Beef with some steamed rice

Verdict: We will most DEFINETLY be making this again. Loved it :D

--1 lb thin beef (I used rib eye)
--1/4 cup soy sauce (La Choy and Tamari wheat-free are gluten free)
--2 T white wine
--2 T apple cider vinegar
--1 T brown sugar
--2 t sesame oil
--2 cloves smashed and chopped garlic
--1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
--1 bag thawed broccoli florets (to add later)

The Directions.

--add the liquid to the crockpot
--chop up your garlic, add to mixture
--stir in spices

--slice meat into thin strips
--toss ( I used my hands. it wasn't gross! )in the liquid and spice mixture to coat thoroughly

--cook on low for 6-8 hours, depending on the cut of meat. Thicker pieces will take longer to tenderize.
--an hour before serving, add entire bag of broccoli, cover and cook on high for another hour or so.

--stir gingerly to coat broccoli

serve over steamed rice.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Heather's Corner

I received this in an email last night from Heather. She had sent me a picture of it when she cooked it a couple weeks ago and silly me, I deleted it. And so did she. Dang it! Enjoy though!!

Figured since you've been featuring crock pot recipes this month, I'd feature my favorite!!

Crock Pot Chili
Prep Time: 1 Hour 
Cook Time: 4 Hours or Longer

2 lbs Ground Beef
1 Medium Diced Onion
1/2 Cup Diced Red Bell Pepper (Seeded)
1/2 Cup Diced Green Chili Pepper (Seeded)
1 Cup Sliced Celery
4 Cloves Minced Garlic
1 28 oz Can Diced Tomatoes (Undrained)
1 6 oz Can Tomato Paste
2 15.5 oz Cans Red Kidney Beans (Drained and Cleaned)
2 Teaspoon Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Cummin
1 Teaspoon Cayenne Red Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper

I always find it easier to chop all the vegetables the night before I cook this so I don't have to deal with chopping everything in the morning when I'm only half way awake. If you want chunkier chili, do a rough chop on your vegetables, smoother chili, do a fine dice on your vegetables. I also like to do a bit more vegetables than the recipe calls for. I like doing about a cup of red bell pepper, a cup of green chili pepper (bit more spice), bigger slices of celery, a large onion and about 5 cloves of garlic (I love garlic!).

Cook the 2 pounds of hamburger and the diced onion together in big skillet. If you're not using lean ground beef, be sure to drain hamburger and onion of most of the grease.
In your crock pot, combine the beef and onion mixture with all of the remaining ingredients. Mix well!!
Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. If you have longer than 4 hours to wait until you eat, cook on high for 4 hours, then cook on low for the remaining time. The longer it cooks, the better it tastes!
Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese and enjoy!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Snowpocalypse 2012

We survived the storm! Last night we had a "sleepover" with N and her family. The base housing lost power so we were having people in and out all night long waiting on hotel rooms and what not. Then my friend S texted me, her house had no power either. She is over an hour away so they opted to stay there. Found out from BRiley that they lost power this morning. According to the news over 300,000 families are without power currently. I am extremely thankful that we were not part of that 300,000!

Last night was a fun night of Monopoly, Careers and then finally getting the kids to unwind. Overall I would say it was a success making sure everyone felt comfortable! This morning we woke up to this:

See those drops? Its MELTING! 
The only thing I can say is that all of this was a fluke and off its going. The highs all week (for 7 day forecast) is rain and 40s. Course now this entire area is on a flood warning. This weekend will be interesting for sure. Prayers nothing horrible happens in this area!

And Jenn, I blame you! You move here and bam we get slammed. I think Mother Nature was welcoming you in! LOL Couldn't you have brought sun with you?!? :-P

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Original Taco Soup and our Ice Storm

I have most definetly been giving my crockpot a workout this past week. The blog I found on Pinterest had some really awesome recipes on there and I am just moving on through them! This one I knew I would love. I love all things Mexican food. I really do. (I think that is a tied for first with Asian cuisine.) Its super easy to make but like she said, lots of cans. So make Al Gore happy and recycle! ;-D The thing that surprised me was the spices. Just a package of Taco Seasoning and then...Ranch dressing? Thought that was kinda strange but nope. Delicious. You could just barely taste the ranch dressing. Kind of like "hello, here I am and you are loving me!" Yes, we were!

Original Taco Soup
Verdict: Delicious. It makes a TON of food so for three people might cut the recipe in half next time I make it. Or not. We had a ton of leftovers and are now down to 2 servings. Definetly warm food for the nasty weather we have been having.

Speaking of nasty weather, we are not being slammed with an ice storm. There was about an inch thick of ice on my windshield this morning. I love how quiet your surroundings feel though in the winter. I went outside this morning to snap some pictures and it was just so peaceful outside. All this snow makes me miss Ohio :(

The tree right off our front porch

See all that ice? 
Hope everyone enjoys their day!

Side note, have you all seen this site? Super cute!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

LARABAR Review and Giveaway

I have heard about Larabar from a few people now (Thank you Give Peas a Chance and BRiley!) and decided to check it out. I am so sick of the normal fruit, nut and/or granola bars. So much in fact that I stopped eating them. When BRiley mentioned Larabar (she is obsessed with anything healthy!) I checked them out. Honestly, I am entirely hooked.

The bars are gluten free, dairy free, soy free, non-GMO, vegan AND kosher. Pretty much anyone can eat these! They really aren't all that big at all but they will fill you up pretty quick with one bar (or my stomach is just that little now). They are so easy to just put in your purse and off you go. Definetly a good "on the go" snack.

The first flavor I tried was the Cappuccino flavor. I adore coffee but am not a big fan of eating things that have a coffee taste. That single bar has started a love affair with Larabar. I contacted them to tell them how much I  would love to share with my readers and Annie was so gracious to send me 4 more to try! In the last 48 hours I have eaten Lemon, Cappuccino, Chocolate Chip Cherry Torte and Coconut Cream Pie. She also put in a cute note that said "Thanks Holly for being a friend! Let us know the winner of the giveaway and they will be sent a caddy with 16 bars!"


You. Are. Lucky.

So how do you win?? 

1. Become a follow of this blog and post that you did. (1 entry)
2. Like Larabar on FB, give them some love and comment below that you did! (1 entry)
3. Head to their website and tell me what flavor you would really want to try! (1 entry)
4. Share on FB, Blog, or Twitter. (possible 3 entries)

Each entry has to be one comment please! 

Giveaway closes on January 26th at 9am PST. Winner will be picked by 10am PST.

Good luck!!! 

Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast

So not entirely a big french toast fan. My Grams used to make it when I was little but I always ate it with ketchup. Weird I know. But delicious. So when I saw this recipe on TK, I knew I had to make it. Breakfasts at our house during the week is nothing to write home about. Mostly cereal, bagel or something of that sort. On the weekends, I normally make bacon and eggs. Sometimes some pancakes. Just depends on fast the family wants breakfast. So Monday morning, everyone was off and I decided to try my hand at the french toast.

And dear God am I happy I did.

It was amazing. I wasn't going to make bacon but Other Chef wanted some. So I did. Perfect breakfast I think!

You can't really see the "stuffing" since I didn't cut it in half and by the time you could see it, I was devouring it. So yeah.

Verdict: Its amazing! Definetly want to be making this again and again. Well not really cause my butt won't appreciate it but you get the picture!

Recipe is here:


  • 8 ounces, fluid Cream Cheese, softened
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 8 slices Thick Italian Bread
  • 2 whole Large Eggs
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • ½ cups Powdered Sugar, For Topping

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In small bowl, combine the cream cheese and sugar. Take 4 slices of the Italian bread and smear with cream cheese, like you would do with peanut butter. Top each slice with another slice of bread to form a sandwich.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and vanilla extract. Dip and soak each sandwich in the egg mixture.
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Cook two sandwiches at a time in the skillet, 4–5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Set each sandwich aside on a baking sheet and cook the remaining sandwiches with the remaining tablespoon of butter. With all 4 sandwiches on a baking sheet, bake in the preheated oven for 12–15 minutes.
Cut each sandwich in half and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Holy snow!!!

So this area is not known for all. We get one "storm' every single winter and it lasts for a couple days and off it goes. 

This year we figured we had bypassed the snow because it was into January and nothing. 

Last week the weatherman said that we were going to be having this horrible storm, etc etc. Brace yourselves! Sure sure. Saturday morning it was alright. Nothing major. Sunday same thing. It was "bad" but nothing major. Monday brought this:

Taken outside one of my front windows.
Like I said, brace yourselves!! This continued until around 10am and then was melted. In fact, from the Tacoma Dome up to South Seattle, there was all. So meh, no one was worried about it. 

Last night school districts started closing. The base went ahead and called for a two hour delay. Mind you, there was NOTHING but clear skies last night. 

Apparently I was the one that didn't brace myself....

Taken at 749am out my front door....

Taken at 749am out my front door...
Its still falling steadily. The weatherman is calling for 12-18 inches here in T-Town. Which is EXTREMELY unheard of. The entire 5 years I have lived here, I have never seen more then a couple inches in this area. The back porch is completely covered in snow.

Looks like for once the weatherman was right. Brace yourselves!!! 

Jenn, how ya holding up in Sea-City??? 

1. What is the weather like where you are? 
2. Did you get a lot of snow this year like was "predicted"?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

SPI Winner and Scentsy Giveaway!!

First and foremost, thank you to all the new followers and entries!!

Second, the winner of the SPIBand is....

Jen with Running with the Girls with this comment 

#23. I shared on my sidebar

Congrats Jen! Please contact me within in 48 hours at soljerster AT gmail DOT com so I can send your info to Dawn at SPIBands!! 

Thank you again for all the entries! I have many more giveaways lined up! LIKE this one! 

My friend (and workout buddy) N sells Scentsy. She LOVES it! I LOVE it! Everyone around us loves this stuff. She asked if I could do a giveaway for her business to help spread the word about what a great product this is. But since 99% of you are woman, I bet you already know what an awesome product this is! 

The scents smell amazing, they are very affordable, the warmers are super cute. The wax does NOT get hot. At all. So totally safe around kids (its paraffin wax). And because we both love this product so much, we are going to be giving away a Plug In Warmer AND 3 scents of your choice!!!

Here's how you win! 

1. Follow my blog and comment below that you did. (1 entry)
2. Head over to N's Scentsy page and tell me what warmer and scents you would pick! (1 entry)
3. Share this giveaway!! FB, Blog, Twitter! (1 entry per. 1 comment per please!)
Giveaway ends January 31st at 9AM PST. Winner will be chosen by 10AM PST.

Each step you do must be in a separate comment!! 

Good luck everyone!!! 

Monday, January 16, 2012

C25K Week 2

This week was alright. But not really. Thurs and Friday was really nothing to write home about since I had Charley Horses in both calves on Thursday and then all day Thursday into Friday I had soreness. So not cool. But this is what I logged:

Week 2:
Monday: 24:39 time, 1.35 miles, 3.30 mph, 18:08 mile pace
Tuesday: 28:02 time, 1.37 miles, 2.94mph, 20:23 mile pace
Wednesday: Rest Day
Thursday:  1.21 miles,
Friday: 30:01 time, 1.42 miles, 2.84 mph, 21:03 pace (mostly walking, 2 60 second runs)
Saturday: 30 minutes of Simple Yoga (DVD)
Total:  5.35 miles

Thursday I didn't get my pace because I ended up having to stop with the pain and then continue. The pace is what is killing me. ITS. SO. SLOW. My friend H runs races in Colorado and she told me not pay attention to the pace at first. Just get that 3.1 miles in AND THEN worry about pace. I guess watching N run, literally RUN, 2.5 miles each day compared to my mix of walking/running at not even 1.5 miles is just disheartening sometimes. But I keep telling myself that she is leaner then me, in better shape then me, etc. So I guess I can't compare. Just be proud of myself for actually doing it again! 

I will say that I hate running on the treadmill. Facing the same white wall. Having your distance, time and pace glaring up at you. Not cool. But running outside here right now is just not a go. At all. Its been snowing here since Sunday afternoon and is supposed to continue on into Wednesday. I am from Ohio so snow is nothing to me really. But for here, its major. Little Man's school is closed. The base is on minimum manning. All. Over. Three. Inches. Yes. Three inches. Expected to get 12 in the next 72 hours. We shall see!! The bad part is the gym me and N go to, is on base. So if the base is closed, the gym is closed. And if the gym is closed, that means yet another day of not working out. Guess my yoga DVD will be getting a workout! 

CrockPot Chicken Nachos

So warning, no pictures. If you came for the pictures I would just click the X in the corner now. But if you came for the recipe stick around!

So trying to eat healthy is kinda...crappy. Not gonna lie. Some things that should look or taste good just doesn't. Maybe its because I am not in that "mode" right now? I don't know. But after I made the Veggie Soup that Other Chef devoured I told him I would make a recipe I found on that 365 Days of Crock Pot Cooking blog. Definetly not the greatest thing in the world for you but its quick and easy to make.

Verdict: It was okay. The cheese doesn't melt that well so it looked kinda lumpy. I also don't think that it should cook for that full 6 hours. Some of the cheese was burnt to the sides. So I guess that is an easy fix by just stirring it up but I had not. Its decent but not something I think we will continue to cook.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Quick Vegetable Soup

Lunches around here are actually kinda hard to plan. I don't want to eat a sandwich all the time. Nor does Little Man. I am not a big can soup eater. I also don't like making a huge mess for just lunch either. So when I found this recipe, I was sold. Its literally quick, easy and oh so delicious. In fact, Other Chef devoured it and he's all about "meat" and not just vegetables. Not to mention, its extremely low in calories...who doesn't love that?? I did change it up a big. I didn't use the chili-garlic sauce. I seasoned it with chili powder (to taste), garlic powder (to taste) and some salt and pepper. It was DELICIOUS and I can't wait to make it again. In fact, I am sitting here contemplating making it again but apparently, the boys want Grilled PB and Honey Sandwiches for lunch. Oh...fine.

Recipe's after the pictures!!

What I used

The delicious soup done!! 
Verdict is DELICIOUS and this will definetly be a lunch option from now on :D


  • 1 teaspoon Butter
  • 10 whole Baby Carrots, Rough Chopped
  • 2 whole Celery Stalks, Rough Chopped
  • ½ whole Yellow Onion, Chopped
  • 2 cups Vegetable Broth
  • ¼ teaspoons Chili-garlic Sauce, Or To Taste
  • 3 Tablespoons Orzo

Preparation Instructions

Melt butter in a small pot over medium heat. Then add veggies and saute 5 minutes, until carrots and celery are crisp-tender and onions are translucent. Stir in broth and chili garlic sauce and bring to a boil. Add orzo and cook until al dente (about 9 minutes). Salt to taste.
Note: This doesn’t store well, because the pasta soaks up all of the broth. It’s best to make this right before eating.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Chinese Lemon Chicken

So making my menu for the next two weeks, I found this recipe. It looked good and we love Chinese food in this house so figured it was perfect. I cooked it on high as I had to sear the meat beforehand and I ended up waking up late. So 4-5 hours on high and didn't worry about it the rest of the night. The sauce itself is really quick and easy, I ended up doubling it as I used more chicken then she called for. Little did I know that I would just HATE the taste of this.

I ended up making some rice and served it all up to Other Chef, Little Man and D. It smelled DELICIOUS. The taste though, not so much. Little Man took one bite and made a face. Other Chef was eating it but definetly taking small bites, lots of sips of water and putting his fork down a lot. The person I paid the most attention to though was D. Normally D scarfs down anything we make. He loves eating at our house. D was taking small bites. His fork was put down quite a lot and same thing, lots of water. Yup, it was nasty. So I took a bite. *shakes head* No freaking way. The sauce was just too lemony. Which is a quick fix, don't get me wrong. It was just very overpowering! But the sauce was also kinda watery, not at all thick like in the picture on her site. Like I said all easy fixes but not entirely sure we will make this one again. Probably not actually.

Looks soo good!!! 
(Ignore that awesome chipped plate up there. Apparently this particular make of the Pflatzgraff dishes don't hold up very well. You could lightly tap it on something and you get a chip. Awwwwwwesome.)

Verdict: Probably not ever again. I am not saying its horrible, I am sure someone else can make this and it be absolutely 100% delicious. But none of us liked it. :( Maybe I might make some changes another time but it really isn't one of those recipes that I want to keep making and see if I can get it right! So if you do, good luck to you and I would love to hear it came out!!

Recipe is here:

The Ingredients:

--4 boneless, skinless chicken breast pieces or equivalent
--1/2 cup flour (or Pamela's)
--1 T kosher salt
--6 oz (1/2 can) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
--3 T brown sugar
--1 t balsamic vinegar
--3 T ketchup
--olive oil for browning chicken

The Directions:

--cut chicken into strips or largish chunks
--dredge in flour and salt, shake off excess
--brown chicken in a skillet with a bit of olive oil (you are not trying to cook the chicken--just give it some color and get the flour mixture to stick a bit)
--place into crockpot
--mix the rest of the ingredients in a separate bowl and pour over the top of chicken pieces
--cover and cook on high for 4 hours, low for 6-8

Serve over rice, drizzle with remaining sauce.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Thanks Pinterest?

As I am sure many of you know, Pinterest is slowly but surely taking over the interwebz. Pretty much every single person I know on Facebook uses this website. I love it. Not even gonna try to deny that one. I can literally sit on there for hours just clicking link after link. Its quite an addiction to be honest. And since I am sure you used it, you know that when you log in, you see everyone's boards. Lots of the boards I am following have Recipe/Foodage/Good Eats boards. Not only that but most of my friends, know each other. Subsequently I have been seeing this recipe a lot lately. So decided to check it out.

Let's just say that for us, this looked better raw and it turned into a cooking mess.

What I used...

Doesn't that look like it would taste delicious?? 
So instead of crushing the garlic, I used chopped. Yes that gigantic thing of garlic is what we go through in about 2 months time. Its ridiculous how much garlic we use but meh, GARLIC IS LOVE! (I know N is laughing right now!!) I also used 3 cheese Italian cheese instead of shredded Parm. That is not on purpose! The 3 cheese and the Parm were right next to each other. So I thought I was grabbing Parm and didn't realize until I got home that I had in fact grabbed 3 cheese. Fun...times. That orange container is my EVOO container. I love it. Not sure if Other Chef does though....

Anyway, I put it all together, stuck it in the oven at 350 for 35 minutes like he said. 35 minutes later, I check the meat because there they were kinda large. Yup, not done. Back in for 20 minutes. Take it out and this is what it looks like:

Looks good doesn't it? 
So we think hey, we cut into the meat and its done...its done.


The meat was STILL not done. Kinda frustrating.

At this point, I put it BACK IN for another 30 minutes. We're now at almost 80 minutes cooking. FINALLY done. But by that time, we had moved on to something else so yeah, whatever. The chicken is sitting in my fridge for some leftovers. We'll see how this goes.

The Verdict: Not sure. All I know is that the cheese is now a crunchy deep brown. The croutons that touched the sauce is completely mushy. I don't do mushy bread. No freaking way, no how. Not sure if I will ever make this again. Probably not.

Recipe for those that might want to try it!! There is a video that goes into detail, sorry I can't copy and paste that!

2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
hot red pepper flakes, to taste
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used 5, but they were huge!)
2 cups marinara sauce
1/4 cup chopped basil
8 oz mozzarella, shredded
4 oz Parmesan, grated
1 (5-oz) package garlic croutons

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Run That Wasn't Meant To Be....

Yesterday was a rest day for me. I just kinda hung out in my jammies, did laundry, read a book, played with Little know, the usual. This morning I got up, got dressed, got Little Man off to school and we hit the gym. I got on the treadmill to some awesome tunes and finished a 5k in 14.5 minutes.

Yeah. Right.

What really happened is this...I did get dressed and got Little Man off to school. N and I did hit up the gym. I got on there, hit it at 3.0 for walking and off I went. 5 minutes went by and I started my first run at 4.6. So not really a run, more like a jog. But hey, taking this slow people! (Don't judge me :-P) Midway through my 90 second run, I feel my calves start tightening. I am thinking Oh By the time the 90 seconds are up, my calf muscles feel like lead balls on the back of my legs. I had to get off the machine and stretch out my legs, all the while in pain. I finally got the pain down to a dull and got back on. I spent the next 20 minutes just walking and stretching out my legs. :( I managed to get 1.21 miles in today but ugh. It was not a good day. So tomorrow I am going to try again. Not cool. 

Have you ever had a pain that stopped you from completing a run/workout? How frustrated do you get? What do you do to help ease the pain? 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Having a Love Affair....


I am one of those weird ones that wants appliances for Christmas. This year, I wanted a bigger crockpot. So I upgraded to a 6quart one and let me tell you...I love it. Like seriously. If I could marry this thing, I would. It cooks without any complaint. It makes my house smell DELICIOUS without fail. This. Is. My. Love.

I recently found this blog on Pinterest this morning. So I have been sitting here almost all morning (in between switching out laundry) going through her crockpot recipes and writing them down for my blog. I think the next few weeks (or heck, maybe the next month) is going to be all crock pot recipes. Which hey, that is fine by me. Less mess to clean up afterwards!

What appliance in your home do you just love to cook with??

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Few Things I am Learning While at the Gym

So I have been going to the gym steadily for the last two weeks and I have noticed a few things...

1. I completely hate the New Years Resolution people who will give up in a couple weeks. I really do. The gym I go to is on base and its normally really quiet. As of the first though, oh no. Its packed NONSTOP with people. And its irritating. Like yesterday for example, someone came in and sat on an exercise ball for 40 minutes and talked on her phone. Meanwhile there are people waiting to use machines and equipment. Someone obviously lied to this woman and told her you could gain muscle tone by osmosis. Apparently, me and N are doing this all wrong. We could be sitting at home and get all the training we need!

2. I check out everyones shoes. Seriously. When someone walks in, I instantly check out their shoes. Not sure why but I do. Its typically the Nike or Adidas. I have yet to see a pair of Brooks or Saucony in there. I did see a really cool pair of silver and line green Sketchers up in there. Thought those were kinda cool.

3. I am extremely self conscious while running! Am I breathing too loud? Do I sound like an elephant on the treadmill? Is my form okay? Do I look like a moron running? I can't run near a mirror. I just can't. I would see stuff bouncing around that shouldn't be. Not too appealing to me I don't think.

4. N is a BEAST. She runs faster and more. And this is coming from the woman who is all like "I hate running, grrr." Yeah umm okay. Not sure why since you are OWNING it. Think I might have to trip her during this 5k so she doesn't make me look bad.


What are some things you notice yourself doing while working out with others?

Monday, January 09, 2012

First C25K Week in Review

So last week was week one of me and N doing the C25K program. I love it. Its really small baby steps getting back into running and that is awesome. I was just trying to jump start back into it and that just isn't happening. I used to be a "for fun" runner way before I had my son so for me, its just getting back into it. I am wading in the kiddie pool right now. For N though, this is major. She hates running. She will say it loud and proud...she HATES running. Yet yesterday afternoon I get a text from her and I kid you not...this is what it says:

"I can't wait to go running tomorrow. I am so excited!" 

No joke. This is huge and major. And I love it. I love that she is there for me every step of the way. I love that she is my own little cheerleader. And I love that she is really excited to get into this. We are running the St Paddy's Day 5k downtown this year. It's going to be a huge accomplishment for both. But I can tell you this. I am going to be SO proud when N crosses that finish lane.

This week was nothing major. In fact, I only hit the gym twice this week. I did end up spending all day Saturday in Seattle walking around so that added some distance this week. I am being extremely hard on myself. My pace and my average time is just horrible. But I also know I can't go into this sprinting. I really want to get back into it and love it. Not hate life because running is killing me.

Week 1:
Tuesday- 23:53 time, 1.19 miles, 3:00 average speed, 19:59 mile pace
Thursday- 24:02 time, 1.20 miles, 3.02 average speed, 19:50/mile
Saturday- .4 miles
Total: 2.79 miles

Pathetic I know. But I am trying!!! This week we are doing 4 days a week, rest day will be Wednesday. Today my pace was less by a whole minute and I actually got really excited about it. I also went .50 further today too :D Baby steps people. Baby steps. 

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

N made this soup for us a couple weeks ago. The recipe comes out of America's Secret Recipes cookbook. The premise is TGI Friday's Broccoli and Cheddar Soup. We don't have any of those around us so this stellar soup is a treat at home. Plus it doesn't cost us almost 5$ a bowl. That is another score. N and I do a little different. We add garlic and ground beef to our soup. It gives it more flavor but also makes it more heartier. Also make sure when you slice up the potatoes you make them a tad chunkier. I cut mine kinda thin so a lot of them were absorbed into the soup. The recipe's after the pictures!! 

Inside the pot...water, broccoli, onions and potatoes

Broccoli-Cheese Soup

4c water
2c potato, peeled and diced
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 c diced onions
2 10oz pkgs frozen chopped broccoli or 1 bunch fresh broccoli, chopped
2 10.75oz cans cream of chicken soup
1lb Velvetta cubed
1lb ground beef (optional)
salt, pepper to taste
garlic (optional)

1. Combine the water, potato, bouillon, onion and broccoli in a large, heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes or until potato and broccoli are tender.
2. Add the canned soup and the cheese. Stir until cheese is melted and smooth. Simmer for 15 minutes. Soup will thicken.

*I add garlic and browned ground beef in step 1 for added flavor and heartiness. Black pepper is also a good addition* (N's notes)

Friday, January 06, 2012

Heathers Corner

Heather emailed me this recipe last night. It sounds DELICIOUS! Can't wait to try it out!!

Nacho Cheese Beef Bake
Prep. Time 25 minutes Bake Time 15 minutes
Yield: 4 Servings

2 cups uncooked egg noodles
1 pound ground beef
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed nacho cheese soup, undiluted
1 jar (5-3/4 ounces) sliced pimiento-stuffed olives, drained (optional)
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
1.5 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups crushed tortilla chips (optional)
1/3 cup prepared ranch dressing (optional)
Shredded lettuce, sour cream and/or salsa (optional)

Cook noodles according to package directions; drain.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in tomatoes, soup, olives and chilies. (I add some chili powder to the beef as well for a little extra flavoring. Without some sort of seasoning its a bit bland. Pepper would do wonders too!) Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes. Stir in noodles.

Transfer everything to a 11-in. x 7-in. baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until heated through. Top with tortilla chips (optional), drizzle with salad dressing (optional). Serve with lettuce, sour cream and/or salsa if desired. 

I usually put a spoonful of sour cream and some salsa right on top and mix it all in! Yum!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Upcoming changes.

There are two things that will be up and coming on my blog and I am actually really excited about it!!

1. My friend Heather is a chef. And from what I hear she is an amazing chef at that. I talked to her recently about doing a guest spot on my blog called Heather's Corner. She was more then happy to do it! Not sure how often Heather's Corner will be featured but it will be on a Friday, every single time. So Fridays, be it weekly, bi weekly or monthly, will be devoted to Heather. Excited to see what she cooks up for us!! (Yes, that was a good pun, I know. I'm awesome)

2. Once a month I am going to be featuring a work at home owner or small business owner. I have a ton of friends who sell things for different companies (Scentsy, 31, ItWorks!, etc) and a ton of friends who have their business licenses for Etsy. They will talk a little bit about their business, why they do it, etc etc (your basic Q&A) and who knows...might offer some of their products in a giveaway!

Very excited to be doing these two things. Getting really excited that my blog is actually expanding and while my followers might still be a "low" number compared to some, my page views are quite nice to see. I can't wait to see what this year has in store for me with my blog!!!

P.S. Day two of the C25K program...hopefully tomorrow my legs aren't as sore! Any tips or ideas on how to limit the soreness?

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

SPIBands Review and Giveaway!!

Dawn from SPIBands rocks and sent me one to try out. I held off on it for a bit not because I didn't like it, oh no. I am absolutely in love with it now! But because the holidays were here and I took a hiatus from the gym (totally paying for that now by the way). At first, I won't lie, I was kinda skeptical. I was like Umm, what's the point of these? Only because I am a typical noob at the gym and I bring my wallet along with me. D said to me, upon seeing it, "Obviously you have never left your wallet and keys at the gym. This is AWESOME." Ah ha. Now I see it. That is kinda cool. No having to get a locker. Just put your stuff in and go.

Today me and N went to the gym and I wore the SPIBand on my wrist. I put my ID card in there along with a key and off we went. I didn't even realize it was there! It just fits on your wrist (or ankle) like a sleeve. I put it under my running jacket and completely forgot about it. I only remembered it because I was asking N where my ID card was. Oh...its on my wrist! Can we say SPACE CADET??!? Or is it just that awesome that you don't even realize it? You make that decision.

From their website:

Our latest product, the SPIband, is your new fitness necessity. It features a selection of colors and materials, including moisture wicking and reflective, or cool color combinations. Made of breathable, soft-stretch saterials, you barely know it's there. SPIband features a convenient and secure pocket to carry your small essentials, such as your keys, ID, credit cards, and cash. 

Then I was cool is this for the military men? They HAVE to do PT. They HAVE to have their ID cards on them. How cool is this?!? Now its all in one area and they won't have to worry about lugging around a wallet in their PT jacket or their shorts. I think that is winning!

So we want you to try them out too! Dawn is giving away ONE SPIBAND to a lucky winner! Heres how you win:

1. Follow my blog and comment that you did
2. Like their Facebook page, tell them that I sent you and comment that you did
3. Share giveaway on blog, Facebook or Twitter. Comment that you did (possible 3 entries)
4. Comment which color that you would want on blog.

Winners will be posted on January 17, 2012 at 11AM PST!!

Good luck!!! 

Monday, January 02, 2012


Anyone who knows me knows that 90% of the time, you will find me with a book in my hand. Always. Its like my crack. I have no preference of a type of book. If it looks good, I am reading it. Okay wait, I lied. I don't like the trashy romance novels my Mom used to read. No thanks! (Love you Mom!!!) But anything else, I am there. I just recently got into reading Fantasy novels and man oh man, I love them. Currently I am reading The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. It's the 2nd book in a series. Super good but man...900 pages? Apparently there is no such thing as a short fantasy novel!
There are 4 that look just like this....
That is just one of the four bookcases that are in the house. Plus the countless boxes in the garage of books that "didn't make the bookcase" cutoff. And the other books just lying around various parts of the house. OH not to mention that last year for Christmas, I got a Kindle. Then for Valentine's Day, Other Chef got a Kindle. And yet we still buy books (and books for our Kindles). Like I said, OBSESSION!
My most prized book collection...
A dear friend of mine sent me these last year. They are a limited edition Twilight collection that was only released overseas. I have read the entire collection a long time ago but not these yet. Why? Cause I refuse to. They are just too...pretty. I won't open them. I won't even try to read them. They will sit on my shelf and look pretty. They are my most prized collection. I know that sounds lame cause I mean come on, its Twilight. But because of who sent them. They will be dear to my heart probably for the rest of my life.

Are you a bookworm? What is your favorite genre? Is your reading an obsession like mine? What are you currently reading? 

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Prime Rib and I don't mix.

Saying that I am picky about my steak is the understatement of the year. I can't stand any type of fat, gristle, etc on my steak. I just can NOT do it. If I try to, I am gagging and come on, that is never a pretty picture. So typically when I eat steak, I gut the center out and leave a ring of nastiness (at least to me) on my plate. Always. Never fails. I just can NOT do it. The only steak I have been able to eat has been filet mignon. That is normally the best cut of steak you can get! But let's be real here. Its expensive. I wish I could afford to eat an amazing filet mignon every single night of the year. Cause trust me...I would.

Having said that I decided to make a prime rib on New Years Eve for dinner. A friend, we shall call him D, was coming over and apparently prime rib is his steak of choice. So to say that I was a tad nervous is an understatement. I'd never cooked this kind of steak before. In fact, my experience with cooking steak was next to nothing.

The recipe I used was extremely simple. Garlic, Salt, Pepper and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Score. Put it in the oven at 500 degrees for 20 minutes and then cook for 60-75 minutes at 325. Boom. Bam. Done.

Or was it?

So I put the meat thermometer in and all these juices came out. I was like Umm, this isn't right...too much. Or not. Apparently, prime rib is supposed to be like that. Yeah I don't know! So I stuck it back in for 25 minutes. Wrongo. The thickest part was nice and juicy and pink but the rest...not so much. So needless to say it was overcooked. Good. But overcooked. D and Other Chef devoured it so I guess it wasn't that bad!! But all that thanks. I think I will stick to my filet mignon.

Prime Rib ready to go in the oven!

Delicious...but not to me.

Homemade red skin mashed potatoes

Fresh green beans steaming

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