Month: October 2013

When the World is Screaming…Just Listen for the Peace

Well hey there friends! First off, Happy Halloween!!

I feel like it has been ages since I last wrote, but this past week and a half has been crazy busy!  I am jealous of all of you awesome bloggers who have figured out how to balance life, work, family, fitness, blogging, and everything else. I am still trying to find the best way to fit blogging into my schedule. So blogging pros, I’ll take any tips you have!

So with the craziness of this past week and a half, I felt like my world was moving 90 to nothing. I have been going to school every day and teaching my lovely first graders, last Thursday and Friday I had seminar at my university, and this past weekend was full of cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking, and celebrating my grandfather’s 82nd birthday. I am one of those people who can’t sit still long. I always feel like I have something to do or work that needs to be done, and if I think for a minute that I don’t have anything to do, I can pretty much guarantee that within a few minutes  I will find something I should do.

always being busy syndrome

This past Sunday I did something I don’t normally do. I went out for a relaxing run before church while Ryan was still asleep. Sundays are my rest day so I usually just sleep as long as my body will let me, and then I will fix breakfast and do things on my computer before I start to get ready. This run calmed me and cleared my mind more than ever. I stepped outside with my earbuds in my ears and right before I pushed the play button on my phone, I heard birds chirping. I didn’t start to play my music immediately, but I just stood there and listened before I started my run. Everything was quiet except for the birds that occasionally chirped. It sounded beautiful, so I started my run in silence. I began to pray and just thank the Lord for everything in my life. Then I decided to start my music, but I quickly realized that this morning was much too beautiful and peaceful for me to mess it up by blaring music in my ears. I turned it off and continued to pray. I asked that the Lord would prepare Ryan and I for church, and that we would be open to His Word and whatever He wants to teach us that day. I admired the nature and the quiet that was surrounding me. I heard the occasional car, but the roads really weren’t that busy. When I arrived home after my run I felt so at peace, and I was ready to face the day. I know I wouldn’t have felt this way if I had listened to music during my run.

psalm 46-10

This verse came to my mind. I definitely am guilty of not being still and just being in awe of God’s presence. This is something I need to pray for more and word towards.

Now, saying what I just said, I am not going to never run with music again. I ran 7 miles yesterday with music. I just think at times it is best to not have so much noise in our lives. With all of the technology in our world, it is easy to feel like our minds need to constantly be entertained. But the face is, sometimes we just need to reflect on what the Lord is doing in our life and what else He wants to do in our life.

Catch up on Life

Since I have been MIA in the blog world lately, here are a few pictures from last week. 🙂

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This was after a sweaty afternoon run. The sun was in my eyes so just excuse the squinty eyes. 🙂

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I added some spinach to my pumpkin protein pancakes, and you couldn’t even taste them! Score for adding vegetables into meal #1!

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Last Friday Ryan and I went out to eat with his middle brother, Brandon, and his wife, Brigette. They don’t live int the area, but were here for the weekend for Brigette’s first half marathon last Saturday. We met them and Brigette’s mom and friend at Macaroni Grill for a fun filled night. Ryan’s birthday is on November 4 and Brandon’s is on November 6, so we figured it was close enough to their birthday to celebrate. So they got free desserts. But that wasn’t the best part…

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The best part was this guy singing happy birthday to them. His voice was awesome! Oh, another good part is that last Friday was actually Ryan and Brandon’s oldest brother’s real birthday, but he doesn’t live close either. So naturally Ryan and Brandon sent him a picture of their free desserts and said happy birthday. 🙂

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To the left of me is Brigette, and on the right is her friend Grace. FYI, they both had an awesome race on Saturday!

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And obviously we needed this picture. And obviously I needed to share it with all of you.

So there you go! I hope everyone has a great day!

Questions:

1. Is it hard for you to be still and quiet in God’s presence?

2. What are your Halloween plans? Ryan and I are helping at our church with their Halloween event!

3. Favorite Halloween costume you have ever seen? 

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Push Yourself Pyramid Workout

Monday is here again! Time to use today to make this a great week, and not use today to wish it was still the weekend. I am learning to find joy in every day and make the best of everything, which is exactly what I did this weekend. So let’s make this Monday marvelous!

MIMM

I wrote in yesterday’s post that Ryan hurt his ankle pretty bad on Friday playing basketball. Because of this we couldn’t do much this weekend, but we made the most of it, and it was still a fantastic weekend! We have been super busy lately, so to have a weekend of us just relaxing together was fantastic!

Saturday was spent watching some television, talking and playing games with friends, and of course eating. 🙂 Ryan woke up Sunday and his ankle was still really sore so we decided to stay home from church and watch a sermon on-line. I finished working on my resume and finally finished it up yesterday afternoon and then went grocery shopping. Last night my parents came over and brought us dinner from Braums. I just had leftovers at home, but I did have them bring me some frozen yogurt for dessert. 🙂

While my parents were here with us they helped me make some corrections on my resume, and my sweet Dad  mowed our lawn for us since Ryan can’t right now! He is the sweetest!

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Over the weekend I was also able to wash all of our dirty towels and clothes, clean the kitchen, sweep, and clean our guest bathroom. I love getting cleaning done before the week gets started!

Saturday morning before our friends came over I started the day with this:

Push Yourself Pyramid Workout

100 jumping jacks

90 squats (no weight)

80 crunches

70 bicep curls

60 supermans

50 mountain climbers

40 shoulder press

30 lunges

20 dips

10 burpees

30 second side plank (each side)

10 burpees 

20 dips

30 lunges

40 shoulder press

50 mountain climbers

60 supermans

70 bicep curls

80 crunches

90 squats (no weight)

100 jumping jacks

30 second side plank (each side)

When I did the bicep curls and shoulder press I used a 3 pound resistance band, which doesn’t seem like much, but by doing 80 bicep curls and 40 shoulder press, I definitely still felt it even though it wasn’t much weight! So if you do this workout you definitely have to use a light weight on the exercises that require weight since you will be doing so many reps. This was much different from the other weight workouts and circuits I have been doing, so I enjoyed the change-up.

Like always, if you do it, please let me know what you think about this workout! Be ready to push yourself if you do it! 🙂

So I hope everyone has a marvelous Monday, and I hope everyone makes the most of their day, no matter what the circumstances!

Questions:

1. What are you looking forward to about this week?

2. Tell me something good from your weekend?

3. Any good breakfast ideas I should try this week? I need to change up my normal breakfasts!

Weekly Meal Plan and Pumpkin Protein Pancakes!

Yay for Sunday! My favorite day of the week! I think Sundays are perfect because I let myself relax on this day, I usually don’t wake up to an alarm, I go to church, enjoy family time, good food, and just relaxing. Sounds like a good way to start off a week to me! 🙂

So if you follow me on Instagram you have seen that my poor husband hurt his ankle pretty badly on Friday morning. He went to play basketball with some guys at 6:00 am, and in the last 15 minutes of playing he came down wrong on someone else’s ankle. 😦 Now his poor ankle looks like this.

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I should have taken another picture of his hurt foot next to his other one so you could tell just how bad it really is, but just trust me, his ankle is more of a cankle right now. 😦 Luckily he didn’t have work this friday (he is off every other Friday at his new job), so he was able to rest it all day. On my way home from school I picked up a milkshake to make him feel better. Even though Ryan was hurt, we still had our date night with homemade pizza and a movie in our living room. Those are the best date nights. 🙂

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This pizza is delicious, and I will be sharing how I made it soon. 🙂 Oh, and if you notice, the green and red vegetables are only on half of the pizza. Guess whose half has vegetables and whose half does not? 😉

Yesterday our sweet friends, Bryan and Ruth, came over and just sat with us in our living room all day talking since we couldn’t do much else with Ryan’s injury. Ruth and I went out about lunch time to grab us all something to eat at Chick-Fil-A, and then we played cards for the rest of the afternoon. We had a blast, and it was such a great reminder of how we have been blessed with such awesome friends!

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Sorry, this was the only picture I got with our friends from yesterday. But all of their hands are included in the picture so it’s better than nothing right? 😉

For dinner I enjoyed a little left over spaghetti (made with spaghetti squash) and a small bowl of leftover butternut squash soup. Everyone eats these two foods together right?

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Please notice I am eating the rest of the spaghetti out of the tupperware I was keeping it in. Using tupperware means one less dish to clean. 🙂

So now that everyone is caught up on my weekend, which I know you all care deeply about, let’s get to this week’s meal plan. 

Sunday: Whatever we can find, maybe leftovers, maybe breakfast for dinner. We will figure it out 🙂

Monday: Avocado Chicken Parmesan and vegetables(we just had this two weeks ago, but Ryan loves it and requested it again)

Tuesday: Chilli (even in Texas our mornings and nights are getting cold so this meal sounds perfect!)

Wednesday: Meal at the church

Thursday: Sweet chili glazed salmon with vegetables (and I will have some chicken in case Ryan doesn’t like the fish)

Friday: Still not completely sure, but I’m thinking maybe fajitas.

I haven’t had a chance to go grocery shopping this week so I will probably try to get out at some point this afternoon. I don’t like leaving my grocery shopping until Sunday, but sometimes it just happens.

Last Week’s Workouts

Monday: Danica’s full body x2 strength workout from itsprogression

Tuesday: 5 mile run

Wednesday: Jumping jacks circuit workout from pbfingers

Thursday: 6 mile run, plank

Friday: really wanted to work one out, but couldn’t fit one in. I know the extra rest was good for my body.

Saturday: A new full body workout that I made up and will be sharing tomorrow, plus a two mile run.

It was a good week of workouts and now I am enjoying my day of rest. 🙂

But before I go get ready for church I want to share with you the recipe for the pumpkin protein pancakes I made this morning!

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I would say these are perfect for a Fall Sunday morning, but in all honesty they are good enough for any morning in any season. But, especially good in the fall…on a Sunday morning. 🙂

I like these because unlike many protein pancakes, it doesn’t require any protein powder, which I am currently out of right now. Plus, protein powder can be pretty expensive, so if you don’t have any it’s not a problem! Here is what you will need:

  • 1 banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Now just follow these easy steps and you have a nutritious, filling, delicious breakfast!

1. Mix half of the banana with the eggs, yogurt, oats, and pumpkin. Stir and combine well.

2. Next add in the baking powder, vanilla, honey, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.

3. Mix all of this well (I even used a little hand mixer we got at our wedding so that the oats were well blended.)

4. You will want to make sure the oats are fully blended so that you have a type of batter.

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5. Cook them over medium heat

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6. When you are done put them on your plate so you can fix them up the way you like them!

7. Finally, EAT! 🙂

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I highly suggest you make peanut butter frosting (pb2, water, plain Greek yogurt, and a little honey) to put on top of the pancakes, with the other half of the banana that you didn’t use to cook the pancakes. Oh and if you have strawberries, add those too. 🙂

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This meal was so good, and I am ready to have them again!  Please let me know if you make them and how you like them!

Questions:

1. What are some of the meals you are making this weekend?

2. Have you ever hurt your ankle?

3. Protein pancake lover, yes or no?

4. Favorite topping for your pancakes? 

5. What fun thing did you do yesterday? 🙂

Pumpkin Cranberry Nut Bars Recipe

So like every good, normal person, I absolutely love pumpkin, and I love this time of year when delicious pumpkin recipes are shared just about everywhere online. I thought it was about time I shared one of my own new recipes that I absolutely LOVE! I have made these for the last three weeks, and I am planning on making more this weekend.

This recipe was inspired by Amy’s cranberry almond bars. I made these bars for a couple of weeks, but then I really wanted some type of pumpkin recipe since I was wanting to feel like I was enjoying fall even though weather here in Texas certainly hasn’t been feeling like it. Besides, we all know pumpkin is good anytime of the year anyways. J

So I changed a few things on the cranberry almond recipe and added some things, and Wa-La, I ended up with a delicious, protein-filled snack!

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Ingredients:

  • ½ cup almonds
  • ¼ cup walnuts (if you prefer other nuts I’m sure others would be great too, these are just the two I have always used for this recipe.)
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt plus an extra spoonful (this is an exact measurement right? 😉 )
  • 3 tablespoons of pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • a few dashes of pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats (check this measurement)
  •  2 tablespoons unsweetened dried cranberries, chopped (I think any other dried fruit would be good too!)
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Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grind almonds and walnuts in a food processor or a good blender until coarsely  chopped (I use my Ninja blender)
  3. Mix together the Greek yogurt, pumpkin, honey, cinnamon and a few dashes of pumpkin pie spice in a bowl.
  4. Add in the Greek yogurt mix to the food processor or blender and blend until a paste-like mixture is made
  5. Meanwhile, mix the oats and cranberries in a separate bowl.
  6. Mix in the Greek yogurt mixture with the oats and stir until everything is well combined.
  7. Line a 5×7 loaf pan with tin foil and coat with cooking spray
  8. Move mixture to pan and spread out evenly and flatten
  9. Bake in the oven for 18 minutes (edges should be golden brown
  10. Allow to cool and then cut into six bars.
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Enjoy! Make sure to store these bars in the refrigerator!

I have really tried to start making more things at home so that I buy less processed foods. I have been able to make my own protein bars and granola for about a month now, and I am really enjoying it. Sure, it takes some time, but if you take just that little bit of extra time on one day, then you are set for a whole week and maybe more (depending how fast you go through your snacks!) These bars never last me more than a week though. J I also love knowing exactly what is going into the food I eat. I am aware of what food I am putting into my body, and I know there aren’t any ingredients that I have never heard of or don’t know how to pronounce. Yes, life gets busy and sometimes we can’t make our own snacks, but I think it is definitely worth trying your best to do it when you can!

I hope some of you try this recipe and enjoy it as much as I do! If you try it I would love to hear what you think of it!

Questions:

  1. Do you like to make your own homemade snacks?
  2. Favorite homemade protein bar or granola recipe?
  3. What is one thing you want to learn how to make homemade? I want to learn how to make tortillas and salsa! Also cinnamon rolls. J
  4. Pumpkin lover, yes or no?

Labor Day Run 10K

Happy Wednesday! We are almost to the weekend; push through these next two days! 🙂

I just got back from our church. As I said when I posted this week’s meals, Ryan and I ate at our church tonight, and it was delicious. I enjoyed a beef enchilada, taco meat with lettuce and pico de gallo, a little rice and beans, and then some type of spice or pumpkin cake for dessert that was delicious! I left full and happy. 🙂 It was nice to not have to cook, and I know Ryan appreciates not having a sink full of dishes to clean!

Anyways, if you follow me on Instagram then you saw that I ran a 10K race back in September on Labor Day with my Dad. I never got to write about this race, so I thought today would be a good day.

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First off, I want to start off saying how proud I am of my dad for running this race. He has not been a runner his whole life, but has picked up the hobby recently. Actually last year on Labor Day I ran with my Dad for his very first 5k race. If you would have asked my Dad a few years ago if he would ever consider himself a runner, or much less that he could run 6.4 miles he would have said no way! But here he is today, 53 years old, and he is in the best shape of his life! 🙂

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We both had recently got new running shoes, so obviously I had to take a picture of our stylish feet. (Sidenote: how awesome are my Dad’s shoes?! He prefers shoes that are just white and black/navy, but they didn’t have these shoes in any other color and he really liked them so he decided to be brave and get them. I told him they look awesome!)

Running with my dad is so amazing! It is hard to describe how much I enjoy it, but I really love it, and it is something that I deeply treasure.

Anyways, back to race day. My dad and I had an awesome cheering squad there for us that day. This team was my Mom, and my MawMaw and PawPaw (my dad’s parents).

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Ryan was still at his old job on this day where he didn’t get many days off, so sadly he wasn’t able to make it to this race. But I know he was thinking about me while I was running!

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Here is a picture my Mom snapped of me at the very beginning of the race.

It was kind of sprinkling that morning, so I was hoping the rain would hold off until our race was over, but about mile 4 it was pouring! The race still went great though, and I was really happy with my time. I can’t remember what my exact time was since it was over a month ago, but I know it was 50 minutes and something seconds. That was much faster than I was expecting! The best part though was there was free watermelon and water at the end of the race. Score! 🙂

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I also ended up winning for the women in my age division, which was a super big surprise, and made me super happy!

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My dad finished with a great time too, and I don’t remember his exact time, but I know it was much faster than he expected! After the race we were both very happy and very wet!

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That day was so fun, and my Dad says he is ready for another 10K, so I look forward to running another one with him! The next race on my agenda is actually an Ugly Christmas Sweater 5K Run! Ryan and I are doing it with both of his brothers and their wives, so I am really excited about that one! The best part is their was a Groupon for it, score!

Questions:

1. Do you like running in the rain?

2. What is your next race? 

3. Tell me one good thing that happened to you today!