Treat Yourself To Some Holiday Baking

This weekend was a relaxed weekend for me. I mostly just hung out with my boy, who is a whooping 50 pounds now! When did he get so big! But while I was home this weekend I started to do some holiday baking, or assembling! After making my mom some gingerbread for her birthday last week I really wanted to experiment with the flavors of gingerbread, so that is just what I did! I made some gingerbread power balls!

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These little things are perfect to get in some protein and carbs, being made from oats, sunflower seed butter, almond flour and pecans! They take about 5 minutes to assemble and taste pretty close to gingerbread! They are very soft as well, not much crunch to these but still great for those texture lovers with raw oats and chopped pecans. Of course the time to assemble is about 5 minutes so there are no excuses not to!

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Hope you guys enjoy them!

1/4 cup nut butter (I used TJ’s sunflower seed butter)
1/8 cup chopped peacans
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 t allspice
1/4 t ground cloves
1/2-1 t cinnamon
1/2-1 t ground ginger
2-3 T old- fashioned oats
splash of almond milk (I used coconut-almond milk)
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Combine all the ingredients except the almond milk. Once they are combined use the almond milk as a binder to help hold the balls together. Form small balls and refrigerate!

The second recipe I tried out was Taylor Made It Paleo Peanut Blossoms. Check out the recipe by clicking on this link. I am a HUGE fan of those peanut butter cookies with chocolate kisses on top, but ever since my gluten problem I haven’t been able to indulge in them during the Christmas season. Taylor posted this recipe this weekend and I knew I had to try them out  before Christmas! Obviously they do not taste exactly like those holiday favorites but I loved Taylor’s version! They have such a peanut buttery taste! They are gluten free, so for those paleo people they are perfect! I think they have the perfect amount of sweetness, and with that pinch of sea salt it gives them perfect balance!

Well that is how I treated myself this weekend, but what better way than with gingerbread and peanut butter! I am linking up for Treat Yourself Tuesday today! Check it out and see how everyone else treated themselves!

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Why We Should Treat Everyday Like The Most Important Day In Our Lives

This weekend I came across something that really stuck in my mind. A girls most important day of their life. Many of us women think that our wedding day is the most important day of our lives. I guess looking at it on the surface it can seem that way right. We are literally in charge of the whole day, from the color scheme, to the floral arrangements, the venue, and much more (not that I know everything haha, since I have no where near this day in my life). It is also the day that we marry our best friend, our soul mate, the person we can count on no matter what the situation is. And on the surface this does seem to be a very important day! But it is most certainly not the MOST important. I mean what about the day you graduate high school, college, get your first apartment or house, run your first half or full marathon, have your first fur baby or real baby?

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You can’t choose a day in your life that is the most important because each and everyday is one of the MOST important days. You know those days that nothing seems to go right (rather the BAD days), you spill your coffee, your computer won’t start, you get a headache, you miss your yoga class, you burn your dinner? Well that day helps you to realize what a GREAT day feels like. In my book that is a pretty important day.

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What really stuck with me about this was the fact that everyday leading up to these moments are just as significant as the day itself, because without them these monumental moments wouldn’t happen. I mean what about the day you met the love of your life? The day you went on your first date? The day you had your first kiss? The moment you fell in love? The moment he asked you to be his wife? Aren’t those days important too? Isn’t that the bulk of the relationship, what makes you two, two peas in a pod?

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I guess the point I am trying to make is treat everyday like it is the MOST important day of your life. Whether you have to work all day, go to a dentist appt, or you are going out with friends. Every day is just as significant as the last no matter the occasion. SO TREAT IT THAT WAY!

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Have a great Monday everyone!

Friday Favs #3

Happy Friday and what a happy friday it is! Unlike my usual schedule I slept in until 7:30 today. It felt fabulous! My wake up was followed by a lovely 6 mile run. Well since it’s Friday I am participating in some Friday Favs! So I will get right to it!

  • Oatmeal: I took a very long long break from my oats obsession. When it comes to eating I try not to eat the same meals day in and day out. I think variety is a great thing! So I gave up oats, but with the cold weather I have reintroduced myself to them. I am still making my egg white protein oats, just varying the recipe a little depending on if I need more protein or more carbs, or just want more fruit or peanut butter.
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  • Writing: If you noticed I took a break from writing. Probably due to filling out so many job applications I got tired of typing and being on the computer. But I realized a valuable lesson in doing so, writing helps me mentally like you wouldn’t believe. It helps me express my emotions in a way that I couldn’t do doing anything else. And whether that means more blog posts for you guys or just more writing for personal reasons I think I will keep this up!
  • Cuties: Sometimes these guys can be a hit or miss! I’m sure you have experienced a cutie that taste exactly like water, but in the winter months it is so easy to find a perfectly flavorful one! They are perfect on the go and I love having them added with a snack.
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  • Marathon Training Plan: Ok so I haven’t exactly started this yet but I am so excited to start training! I plan to start my training the second week of January and I am going to use the Hal Higdon Beginner Plan. Even though I have been running for about two years when it comes to running a marathon I am most definitely a beginner! So far though I have two pairs of running shoes, some running fuel and winter gear including some tights, under armor shirts, gloves, and head band. Any suggestions on something more I need to invest in?
  • Benny and kitty play time: I just couldn’t leave this out! I currently have been living with Benny and my sisters cat Bax. These two make me laugh daily. It is shocking how good they play together and I just couldn’t have a Friday Fav’s and not put them in it!

On a rare occasion the puppy wins 😂

A video posted by @ranchcookie on

Hope everyone has a great Friday and even better weekend!

Thinking Out Loud

Better late than never right! I have had so much on my mind this week I can’t wait to link up for Thinking Out Loud to just let off a load! So let’s get right to it!

1. First of all I wanted to go over the big event of the week, the Victoria Secret fashion show. Have any of you seen this picture, or rather has anyone not seen it?

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It just makes me mad! First of all that it is of a little girl. Who should not in any way be concerned about her weight. But just the whole point of it. Men swooning on these girls because they are thin, tall and have long legs. Not to say they aren’t beautiful but you shouldn’t feel fat because these girls have a tall and slender frame! I don’t know about you but girls who are short and stocky can be just as beautiful as them. The model profile just ruins us :( But enough of that rant!

2. Tomorrow is the day! The day I will officially be signing up for my first marathon. After asking for some of your advice I have decided to sign up for the Cleveland marathon. I did some research and it appears to be pretty flat, which is what I want for my first marathon at least! It is in May so I am planning to begin training in January (I know I am the crazy Ohioan running outside in crazy temperatures) and I am so excited. I will be using this training plan!

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3. I am finally getting my writing mojo back! I feel like I stopped getting the itch to write for awhile and my emotions sure could tell. Part of the reason I write is to relieve stress, and get all that bad energy and thoughts out of my head. It helps me to turn that energy into something positive. Well after not writing for a couple weeks and crying for absolutely no reason more than once I decided to start again! It has helped me so much and I don’t think I will stop anytime soon!

4. Um yea my thigh is still bothering me, although only one now. And with number 2 it better heal soon. I have been staying off of it and no running. I also ice at least once a day and foam roll every other day. It is still dang tight. Does anyone have any advice?

Well I think that is it for me today. I have two appointments today, one including getting new glasses for Christmas and I can’t wait! So I better get going so I have time to eat something! Have a great Thursday everyone and remember one more day till Friday!

Surviving In This World

Lately I have come to the realization how money driven this world is. We have to pay bills, we have to pay for a gym membership, we have to pay to run races, we have to pay to get an education, we have to pay to get a certification. In other words you get the story. Everything in this world cost money. After having a conversation with my parents about making money and getting jobs just because of the money it made me realize how wrapped up I have been with the idea of this money driven world. I have been taking the things in life for granted that mean something. The things that don’t require money. The things that keep me going everyday. The things that are rather not even things. So today I wanted to remember those wonderful things in my life that aren’t money driven, that are free and that keep me going everyday! The reason I work hard!

- My family! These people are stuck with me no matter what I do!

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And although we get in fights and argue sometimes they are ultimately always here for me. My little support system and I couldn’t ask for anything better.

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- My Benny and other pets. I have been blessed to have some pretty amazing pets in my life. My first was my cat Princess,

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then was Tony the ferret and now I have Benny and Bax.

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They know when you are upset and they are there to cheer you up, put a smile on your face and make you laugh. They love you unconditionally with nothing in exchange! Just like Marley & Me:

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“A dog has no use for fancy cars, big homes, or designer clothes. A water logged stick will do just fine. A dog doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, clever or dull, smart or dumb. Give him your heart and he’ll give you his. How many people can you say that about? How many people can make you feel rare and pure and special? How many people can make you feel extraordinary?”
John Grogan, Marley & Me

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- My health. Being able to walk, run, talk, see, hear, smell. These are free gifts from God that I get to experience everyday. Yes sometimes they bring hurt or heartache but they also bring the most wonderful experiences as well. The ones you never forget no matter how old or long ago they were.

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- The relationships in my life. Whether this is a family or friendship relationship they help you not be lonely.

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When I have a heard time with the money driven part of life they set me straight, they give me advice, and they are just plain fun.

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What would life be like if you didn’t make time to have fun with the people you love.

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This goes for any relationship, even the ones that ended on a bad note, because you know what learning to love and be loved is one of the best things about this life we are given.

-Last but not least God. He is always there to listen and show me the way. He is the one I can go to when I think you just can’t take it anymore. When you get yourself so far in a bunch you just want to break down I can go to him to lift me up.

Life is crazy. Life isn’t fair. Life is not easy. Life can be cruel. But life is wonderful. It is inspiring. It is a journey that we are all on. So this holiday season instead of getting caught up in the money driven world, focus on the non-monetary things in life. And focus on the memories you are making!

On that note I hope everyone has a fabulous Wednesday!

My Weekend In Review

Hey everyone! How was your weekend! Mine was packed full and relaxing at the same time! But I have to say it gave me my first taste of the Christmas season, which I can’t complain about.

Friday started with some homemade peanut butter cups! They were so delicious to snack on in the evening hours before bed. I stayed in Friday night, it was raining and just felt like one of those nights you don’t dare leave the house. My family sat down to watch Disney’s A Christmas Carol. Yes, I am obsessed with the 25 days of Christmas on ABC Family.

Saturday began with a spinning class.My quads have been super tight and sore for about a week now, so I figured I should put running on the back burner until I recover. Plus I haven’t been to the Saturday morning spin class in awhile. We did a variety of hills and intervals, it was a great little sweat session! I then choose to do some walking and stretching afterwards, trying to get these quads back in commission!

Then like I mentioned in my post last week it was time for some Christmas shopping at Easton! It wasn’t terribly cold so it was a good day to head that way. And I got my first red cup of the season!

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We spent all evening there until dinner time, when we hung up the shopping and tried a new restaurant called Kona Grill. I got the kona salad which included grilled chicken, field greens, tomatoes, applewood bacon, avocado and a honey dijon dressing and white cheddar cheese on the side. The salad was good, but I am a fan of salad with hot off the grill chicken and it was all cold. The dressing was a little too creamy for my taste as well but it wasn’t half bad (I always ask for mine on the side because who likes soggy salad!). My mom got a chicken stir fry which we though had way to much crushed red pepper and my dad got chicken chili, which we loved and a cheeseburger with fries.

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I came straight home after dinner to watch the OSU vs. Wisconsin game, and we dominated! Great game to be a buckeye fan!

photo 1Osu jersey all the way!

Sunday began with a 7 mile run. I had taken a whole week off of running so I was itching for a nice long and slow run. It was a great way to start my Sunday after I got used to the cold. Once I got home I was rushing to get ready for the Holiday Pops concert. We had to get there at 1, for the appetizers and social hour. At 2 there was a little mini preview with the Children’s Choir and by 2:30 we headed over to the Ohio Theater to find our seats for the concert. The rest of the evening was spent with this guy right here! My one and only haha.

IMG_2122Sorry for the bad picture, I forgot my camera at home :(

All in all it was a pretty easy going and relaxing weekend with just enough getting out and going! Hope you all rested up and had a great weekend!

Happy Monday Loves <3

Survey Time! Plus 1 Friday Fav!

Hey guys I’m sure you might have thought this was something all about me right? Well actually I wanted to ask your help on something! I am conducting a little marketing project and first step is first I am asking you to fill out this wonderful and short survey! It is only 10 questions and I would really appreciate you guys completing it for some data to run off of! Here is the link! And thanks again you guys are great!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CZ5VYFT

FullSizeRender-1And because it’s Friday and I didn’t get my full Friday Fav’s in here is my Favorite of the week! My little baby boy Benny. He has gotten to be so big it is unreal! Here we are on Thanksgiving Day before my Turkey Trot! And don’t worry there will be more Benny pictures to come!

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder & Holiday Plans

Hey guys! Did ya miss me! I have been absent for quite some time. You know the whole life gets busy and blogging had to take a back seat thing. Well in all honesty, yes with Thanksgiving and a couple races and the pup growing like crazy, life hasn’t really gotten any busier. To tell you that I just didn’t have time to write would be a lie, but what wouldn’t be is that I just plain didn’t feel like it. I LOVED reading your blogs over the past couple weeks, but when it came time to actually write a post myself I didn’t even get to the new post page to even start. I considered stopping the blogging but you know what I thought what if I decide I have something to share or tell you guys. Lots of us preach that we need to listen to our bodies, from what we eat to how and when we workout. Well I decided to listen to my mind. And yet here I am writing to you today! Rather than dwell on the past on tell ya what I have been up to I wanted to tell you about my plans for the future, don’t worry the near future! With winter in full force in Ohio, those dropping temperatures and some freezing rain and snow I felt this would be the perfect opportunity to share some of my favorite seasonal and Christmas traditions we do around here in Ohio. So here is more or less my winter to do list!

1. Holiday Pops at the Ohio Theater. There are perks to some jobs, and this just happens to be a perk of my Mom’s job. Each year we get invited to a cocktail or rather before concert party. It is full of people I don’t know and appetizers that seem to get worse each year we attend, but what follows is the Holiday Pops concert. It is put on by the Columbus Symphony and Choir. A perfect way to kick off Christmas. The concert is full of a variety of Christmas songs, some for children and some for adults. It ends with a guest of Santa himself.

2. Columbus Zoo Holiday Lights. This is also a family tradition of ours to go to. Although it is freezing cold and the lights are basically the same each year just at least making an appearance is the only acceptable thing to do during the Christmas season. The lights are gorgeous and really get me in the Christmas spirit and stopping inside to see some animals is just icing on the cake!

Zoo LightsLast years lights were just My Mom and I

3. Decorating the Christmas tree. Can I just tell you guys that my mom should be hired to do the lights on Christmas trees. She takes this very seriously! We leave her to set up the tree (yes we have a fake one :( ) and put the lights on, then comes my job. The ornaments. This will be happening very very soon, as the tree has been up since Sunday…. Check out my Instagram later this week (hopefully) to see the final product!

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4. Shopping at Easton Town Center. I am starting to wonder why most of my holiday traditions seem to be outside. Easton is a great shopping center in Columbus. What I love about shopping here (besides every store I could ever want to go to) is that it is decorated so nicely for the Christmas season. Most people around like to stand in front of the ridiculously large tree in the middle of the mall with their significant others, but since I don’t have one (single forever haha) this year my sister is going to fill the spot!

5. Celebrating birthdays! A couple weeks ago I helped my sister throw a Great Gatsby party for her birthday, but just next week it is time for two celebrations, my Mom and my Grandpa! Not sure what is in store for their celebration but my guess would be a dinner at Olive Garden (they are very predictable).

6. And last but certainly not least the making, baking and taste testing of those Christmas cookies! Hopefully we save enough for Santa this year, but hey it is up in the air at this point ;)

IMG_0633Some Hot Cocoa cookies from last year

Linking up with Thinking Out Loud this morning as well!

What do you have planned for the holiday season?

High Protein Oats Recipe

I have found the perfect little creation of carbs, protein, and fats to fuel yourself for the morning! These oats are hot and satisfying perfect for the cold winter months that are upon us. The texture is cake like. These oats are also versatile; you can change the flavors, fruits, nut butters, sweet, and savory, whatever you are in the mood for. They are made out of a simple four ingredients and then the fix ins that you need. Oats, egg whites, fruit and nut butter is all you need! Simple, cheap and healthy who can ask for anything better!

I decided to try out some combinations because I love oats, and even though they do contain protein oats alone are more carb heavy than protein heavy. When I started lifting more again I realized that high protein is what my body needs and craves. It took awhile to find the perfect combination but I finally found it and now I am in love with these egg white oats!

You begin by cooking down the oats; I use water/milk, stevia, and pumpkin pie spice (it is pumpkin season after all). After the oats are cooked down I add the egg whites, I began by mixing them in, but then I just left them alone and let them cook. A crust will start to form and that is when you want to keep stirring. Once the egg whites are completely cooked you empty them in their bowl. I then add the fruit to the pot to warm them up. After they are warm I slide the fruit on top and add a tablespoon of nut butter.

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2 T oats

4 egg whites

stevia to taste

pinch of sea salt

1 t pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon

fruit to top

1 T nut butter to top

Water to cover the oats when cooking

  1. Cook the oats, water, stevia, sea salt and spices together until oatmeal is cooked.
  2. Add in the egg whites, stirring in as you pour them. On medium heat let sit and cook and stir occasionally. Once the egg whites are completely cooked take off the burner.
  3. Add your fruit then nut butter on top and enjoy!

I have been obsessed with this more cakey like texture! And it packs a killer 21 grams of protein! My perfect after lifting fueling meal! Hope you guys enjoy!

And I am linking up for WIAW today. Check out the link to see what it’s all about and don’t forget to check out everyones WIAW!

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Don’t Be Intimidated By The Gym

Are you a gym goer? Are you a spinner? Are you a runner? Are you afraid to go to the gym because of the intimidation? Well I am here to tell you don’t be! Intimidation is not a very good excuse to skip out on the gym, because in reality we are not there to judge. I wanted to talk about the gym community today.

Much like the blogging community, you know all the support we give each other, well the gym community is much the same. Going to the gym the first time ever, or even the first time in a couple months can be challenging and just down right scary. It is like you are stepping on a stage to show off how out of shape you have gotten. Is the person judging me for the speed I’m running on the treadmill? Is that guy judging the amount of weight I’m doing? Do I look fat in this workout outfit? Oh the doubts that go through our minds is just ridiculous.

What I love about the gym community is how no matter what you’re doing, how fast you’re running, how long you workout, or how much weight you are lifting people notice you’re there. People notice that hey maybe you’re not in shape but you are one of the few that are trying. You have began the first step and the only way to go from here is up.

My particular gym in general has the most amazing support system. People notice that I’m there every morning at 5am, and they tell me how they envy that! They notice when you are missing. Making the accountability for going to the gym just amazing. They notice you running and invite you to running club. They ask what you’re training for. They really support you! In fact that is how I got my on-calling job, by showing dedication at the gym. People will notice that hard work no matter what!

Now I will get to the point. Don’t judge gym goers. We know just by going everyday how much effort and dedication it takes. Whether you go once a week, every day of the week, or just for 20 minutes at a time just being there shows how you are trying to better yourself. And remember we are there to help, there will be someone you can ask for a spot or help! Don’t be intimidated, join the gym community, you won’t be sorry!