5 Fall Sweet Treats

Well I don’t know about you, but I had a bit of an interesting night last night!

While I was at book club, I got a text from Chris requesting that I pick up some gauze and sports tape on my way home. Ummmm, excuse me? What happened?

Apparently Laney managed to impale herself on a metal rake and take a giant chunk out of her leg. Not exactly what you want to come home to.

Thankfully Chris did a good job of cleaning her up, but I do have a call into the vet today because the poor thing is hobbling around looking pretty pathetic.

Needless to say, I’m feeling a bit rough this morning!

5 Fall Treats to Try

Since my birthday is coming up on Sunday (I’ve decided I’m just going to keep turning 25 all over again), I’ve been asked several times this week what kind of cake I want for my birthday.

And where else am I going to look to answer thay question? Pinterest of course. (PS you should follow me on Pinterest to see more!)

There were so many delicious looking fall treats that I just felt that I HAD to share some of my favorites with you! You’ll notice a trend – I’m all about the pumpkin and the apple once September hits!

So here are 5 delicious sounding fall treats that are on my “to-make” list!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes - this is the ultimate recipe for moist, fluffy, thick pumpkin pancakes! Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

Found here.

Ummm, yes?!? Chocolate? Pumpkin? Breakfast food? I’m all about that! I feel like these would be perfect on a lazy Saturday morning, with a nice cup of pumpkin spice coffee.

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Caramel Apple Cupcakes  http://recipesforourdailybread.com/2014/09/09/caramel-apple-cupcakes-cookbook-giveaway/

Found here.

Don’t these just look decadent?? All that caramel drizzle and pecan topping. I love cucpakes that have different texture or toppings, so I think this would be a perfect sweet copy of the traditional fall treat (and probably a little less messy!)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

This recipe makes one heck of a super-moist pumpkin bread! This fall favorite is packed with sweet cinnamon spice, chocolate chips, and tons of pumpkin flavor. Recipe via sallysbakingaddiction.com

Found here.

Once again with the chocolate and pumpkin! Since I’m not really that great of a baker, I love breads because they tend to be a little more forgiving. Plus I love that they can be a great grab-and-go breakfast option.

Caramel Apple Cookie Cups

Caramel Apple Cookie Cups - a brown sugar cookie cup filled with caramel and crisp cinnamon apples

Found here.

How perfect is this? It’s like an apple pie and a cookie got married and had a delicious love child. Those chunks of apple, that cinnamony cookie. Excuse me while I wipe the drool off my chin…

Apple Cider Sangria

Apple Cider Sangria I howsweeteats.com

Found here.

I know, I know, this isn’t quite a treat like the others. But in my opinion, a fancy drink like this can definitely serve as a treat too! I love the idea of mixing a traditional apple cider with the usually summery sangria. And floating chunks of apple? I’m all about that bass boozy fruit.

So now that I’m completely sugar hyped just looking at thesd, I’m going to try and figure out how to eat all of these without totally blowing my healthy eating habits. Apples and pumpkins are healthy… right? Fruits? Maybe?

So tell me: What is your favorite fall treat? Are you all about the apples and pumpkins in the fall? What one food screams “fall” to you?

Saying goodbye to summer

Back to Monday, and back to the grind. Now that fall is here, my mornings are now spent almost entirely in the dark. It’s like winter is here already!

Let me just say, waking up at 5:30am in the sunshine > 5:30am in thr pitch black. One is much more conducive to getting out of bed than the other…

Thankfully I had a pretty awesome weekend to counteract the Monday morning slump!

Friday

After work on Friday I met up with a bunch of friends for an “end of the summer hoorah”, which naturally started out at Chipotle for dinner. I have a newfound love for chipotle salads, because I feel way less guilty for eating the whole thing when it’s 50% lettuce!
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Post-Chipotle we all headed over to a nearby venue for a goodbye summer concert from Dierks Bentley!

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It was a great night of hanging out, drinking beer, listening to music, and chatting with some good friends.

Plus, the people watching was off the chain. Quite possibly the best part of the whole night was watching drunk girls in very short skirts trying to climb a fence. I’m sorry, but when you have to have a friend on butt coverage, your skirt is just too short, honey!

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Reason #1,093,387 that you should follow me on Instagram, You get to see pictures like this.

If you tell Laney to “go to bed”, she’ll go into whatever space you point. So when we told her to go into my in-laws dog’s bed (a 12-lb dog, PS), this is what we ended up with. Big dog in little bed…

It was the perfect ending to a great night, and the best way I can imagine to say goodbye to summer for good!

Saturday

Saturday for us was all about sleeping in and having a super lazy morning.

By about 11, I finally convinced myself to get out of my PJs and get a workout in, so I laced up my shoes and hit the road for a drizzly 3.1mi run. It wasnt the best, but it got the job done.

Taking a few months off from running is no joke! I am just dreaming about the endurance that I used to have…

From there we headed over to our friends Charlie and Lindsay’s house for wings, cheese fries, celery (because #green) and football watching.

Except that it ended up being a terrible game for my Hokies. So now I’m just going to wallow.

Thankfully we got to play with their new kitten which KIND OF made it better.

From there Chris and I headed up to the mall to do some serious retail therapy (aka shop for some new fall clothes). Not that I condone it as a regular practice, but boy did it feel good!

We had plans to go to Cheesecake factory for dinner (and an early Bday celebration for me), but we were still so full from lunch that we could only manage appetizers and cheesecake to go.

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Sunday

Sunday was all about productivity for us! Starting with some meal planning over breakfast.

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I used to be really good about meal planning, but I let it slide a bit this summer with all the traveling we’ve been doing. So I’m trying to pick it back up again.

The rest of my afternoon was spent grocery shopping and running errands, with a trip to the gym in the middle. At the gym I ended up doing 35min of elliptical intervals, followed by a 30 min arm circuit workout that has left me with jello arms today!

By the time I got home I had just enough time to shower, change and head to church and dinner with the in-laws.

Overall this weekend was a good balance of fun and productivity. If only my Hokies had pulled off a win, it might have been nearly perfect.

So tell me: What did you do this weekend? How have you said goodbye to summer?

Five Favorites Friday: All Things Fall

It’s Friday!!! And I, for one, could not be more thankful.

Yesterday was a bit of a crazy day. There was a somewhat stressful event at my job that ended up keeping me there several hours late. Not exactly how I planned to spend my Thursday afternoon! Luckily everything was worked out, but it was a bit crazy there for awhile!

FFFold

Since it’s Friday, I wanted to take time today to share with you some of my favorite things from this week! No better way to end out the week than that!

Linking up with Clare from Five on Friday and Katie from Friday Favorites.

Favorite Fall Entertainment: Football Season!

(source)

Words cannot even describe how happy I am that football is back! I am literally giddy. Some people get excited over new clothes or celebrities… I get excited over football. I’m a weirdo, I know.

But I am so happy to be able to spend my Saturdays cheering on my favorite teams (or rooting for my rival teams to lose *cough* UVA *cough*) once again. Nothing says fall to me quite like football season!

Favorite Target Food Find: Chobani Indulgent Bites

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I picked these up from Target the other day, and I’m already obsessed. They are the perfect small dessert-like snack! I’m especially in love with the banana flavor (you all know how much I love banana already), and have to contain myself from eating multiple throughout the day!

They also have a raspberry dark chocolate and a mint chocolate chip which I cant wait to try!

Favorite Thing About Fall: Scarf Weather

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Fun fact: I have a mild serious scarf obsession. Chris keeps telling me that I couldn’t possibly need to purchase more scarves, but I always respond that at least I don’t have a purse habit. Scarves are way less expensive. Touche!

One of my absolute favorite things about the month of September is that we start to catch glimpses of the amazing fall weather, and I can justify bringing out my REAL scarves. It’s not quite time for pashminas just yet (I’m practically counting down the days), but I can at least say hello to all of the scarves that have been feeling neglected for the past few months. Hello, old friends!

Bonus favorite: Coffee the size of my head. I only got it 1/2 caf, and I still was bouncing off the walls. My poor coworker had to listen to me chatter all morning. But at least it kept me awake, which was its sole purpose. This girl has been lacking on sleep hardcore lately!

Favorite New Target Find: St. Ives Bodywash

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So funny story about bodywash. I tend of collect it for some reason. I always have like 5 in my shower. So when Chris banned me from buying any more until I finished what I had, I reluctantly agreed. This was last December.

Well I FINALLY have gone through all of it, and needed to buy a new one. So after scouring the Target bodywash section, I found this guy. And now I’m obsessed.

It’s the perfect amount of light and fruity and citrusy, and it just wakes you up as you use it. I just want to smell it all day long! They need a perfume like this…

Favorite Fall Food: Spaghetti Squash

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I dont know why I always think of spaghetti squash as a quintessential fall food, but I do. There is something about it that just screams boots and sweater weather! So I’ve been loving tryjng out some new recipes, including yesterday’s AMAZING spaghetti squash lasagna Seriously. Try it now.

I have a few other ideas on what to do with the giant spaghetti squash sitting in my kitchen, so hopefully I’ll have some new great recipes to share!

Well I hope you all have a great weekend! I’m headed to the Dierks Bentley concert tonight with some friends and I’m super pumped!

So tell me: what are you loving this week? Do you hoard anything? Any exciting weekend plans?

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

Good Morning guys!

Sadly it was kind of a rough morning for me. For some reason I literally could not sleep like night. Like at all. I spent the whole night tossing and turning and looking at the clock. Which has left me all kinds of out of sorts this morning!

So since I’m struggling to form any kind of coherent thought, let’s just jump right in to the important stuff, shall we?

Thirty Minute Thursday

Might I dare say that this is one of the best recipes I have ever created? I know, BOLD statement. But I’m dead serious.

Not only did this get two thumbs up AND a high five from the husband, I am already looking forward to making this again with our next spaghetti squash. That’s how amazing it was. It’s full of flavor, and also has just a slight bit of heat, reminiscent of an Italian sausage to really bring out all the Italian goodness. Plus it’s chock full of veggies AND it’s gluten-free, so it’s like a double win!

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 large spaghetti squash (or 1 whole small spaghetti squash)
  2. 1 lb ground turkey
  3. 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  4. 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  5. 8oz mushrooms, sliced
  6. 2-3 roma tomatoes, chopped
  7. 1 cup spinach
  8. 1 jar tomato sauce
  9. 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  10. 1 Tbsp olive oil
  11. 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  12. 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  13. 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  14. 1/2 tsp dried basil
  15. 1 tsp red pepper flakes (to taste)
  16. salt & pepper to taste
  17. Sprinkle of mozzarella/parmesan cheese (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cook spaghetti squash, set strands aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add in ground turkey and cook until no longer pink. Add in spices (rosemary, oregano, parsley, basil, red pepper flakes, salt & pepper). Add in tomatoes and cook until soft, approx. 2 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  4. Add mushrooms, peppers, and onion to pan. Cook until soft, approx. 4-5 minutes. Add in spinach and cook another 1-2 minutes until spinach is wilted. Season with salt & pepper.
  5. In a glass baking dish, layer 1/2 the spaghetti squash, meat mixture, other half of spaghetti squash, veggie mixture, and pasta sauce.
  6. Place in oven and cook for approximately 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle cheese on top, and cook for an additional 5 minutes until cheese is slightly browned. Cool and serve.
  7. Enjoy!
My Freckled Life http://www.myfreckledlife.com/
 Also, if you’re interested in how I cook my spaghetti squash, I did a how-to!

IMG_4863IMG_4870IMG_4871IMG_4876IMG_4877IMG_4879Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

Spicy, tomato-y, full of veggies, and no gluten? How can you really beat that? Plus it makes enough leftovers to enjoy for a few days, so you can relive the experience over and over!

Plus, for all my vegetarian friends out there – you could easily sub out the meat entirely, or trade it for something like cannellini beans instead! Paleo/24DC/Whole 30? Just omit the sprinkle of cheese on top and you’re good to go!

It’s a meal for everyone!

Enjoy!

So tell me: What’s the best recipe you’ve ever created?

WIAW: Hidden Menu Edition

Woohoo, it’s Wednesday already! Excuse me while I go do a little haopy dance.

This week has been so gross and dreary that I have just been trying to push through towards the weekend. So I’m more than happy to know that we’re already halfway through the week!

I also wanted to take a minute to say thanks to everyone for your kind words yesterday, and for everyone who is going to join in with me on this mini challenge. Sometimes you just have to take a honest look at yourself and your habits, because it’s the only way you’re actually going to grow! So thanks everyone for the support!

Peas and Crayons

Keeping with the awesome Wednesday theme, let’s jump right into my favorite Wednesday tradition – WIAW! Head on over to Jenn’s blog to see more of what WIAW is all about, and what some other awesome bloggers are eating! Thanks Jenn for the linkup!

Breakfast

WIAW oatmeal

I’m back to my usual. In my opinion, when you’re trying to get back on track with your eating choices, sometimes it’s best to go back to the basics. And for me it’s plain oatmeal with frozen berries (it helps cool everything down so I can eat it quicker during my rushed mornings), natural PB, cinnamon and a touch of jam. Plus a big ole glass of H2O!

Snack #1

Around 10:00am I ended up eating a banana to hold me over until lunch, but I’m pretty sure you all know what that looks like! Totally blanked on snapping a picture!

Lunch

WIAW Mexican Salad

This has been my go-to salad all week so far. We had some leftover corn salsa from the football party this weekend, so I’ve been putting that on top of romaine, along with some garden tomatoes, bell peppers, grilled chicken and salsa. Spicy and delicious! And no extra dressing needed!

Snack #2

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Ok truth, this is a recycled picture. But it’s almost exactly what I ate yesterday, except instead of the zucchini muffin I had some natural PB instead. It was the perfect afternoon snack!

Dinner

WIAW Panera Hidden Menu

Chris and I had a group meeting at church last night, so we decided to pick up Panera on the way. I googled some of the “cleaner” Panera optiond and came across the hidden menu. Guys, do this immediately! I got the Power Chicken Hummus Bowl and it was seriously amazing!

Workout

Since I’m trying to jazz up my workout routine, I’m also trying to get in more movement throughout the day. So during my lunch break I got in a 30 minute/2.25mile power walk (it’s still a tad too humid to run during the day and then go back to the office).

Once I got home, even though I only had about 25 minutes before we had to leave, I did a couple of quick Blogilates arm workouts. Short and super intense, and exactly what I needed!

Overall, my first day of my 2 week clean eating challenge went pretty well! I am looking forward to this weekend when I’ll have a little more time to meal plan and prep, but on the fly I’d say it wasn’t too shabby!

So tell me: What did you eat today? What did your workout look like? What are some of your favorite healthy places to eat out?

This is the start of something new…

Anyone hear that phrase and immediately jump back to the mid-2000s?

Or is that just me.

I didn’t even LIKE that movie. But for some reason, this song always gets stuck in my head when I hear that phrase.

ANYWAY.

There is something about fall that just seems like a fresh start. I don’t know if it’s because I’m not that far removed from the school mentality and this time of year always reminds me of getting ready for the first day of class, or if it’s just the promise of a new season that I love so much, but there is something about post-labor day September that just feels full of promise.

(source)

Which is good, because I’m kind of feeling lately like I need some changes.

Truth be told, this summer has taken a toll on me, mentally and physically. We’ve been so jam packed with travel, weddings, baby/bridal showers, family obligations, meetings, and work travel that I feel like I’ve barely had any weekends to stay home and just be productive. I have a to-do list for home and blog projects a mile long. We have to close the doors to a couple of rooms when company comes over, because I just haven’t gotten around to cleaning them.

Not to mention the amount that I’ve eaten out in the last few months. I’m embarrassed to admit that all of the events, parties, restaurants in new cities, and road trip food, combined with a slightly sporadic gym schedule has caused me to put on about 5 lbs. And while that doesn’t seem like much, and it’s not like I’ve had to go shopping for a new wardrobe, it does mean that everything is fitting just a touch tighter than I’d like.

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But summer is officially over, which mean that it’s time to start fresh and make a few positive changes. Starting with my diet.

I’ve gotten a little lax with the portion sizes and the desserts lately. And by a little lax, I mean a lot lax.

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And since I’m not a fan of any kinds of extreme diets or anything crazy (because life is all about moderation, right?), I’m just tweaking my mindset to focus on some healthier decisions. Like an ACTUAL 80-20 clean eating lifestyle… not the 70-30 60-40 that it’s kind of slipped in to lately. One that focuses on more green things, and less processed foods, sweets and carbs (which always seem to be my favorite when I’m worn out!)

Just to make things a little less daunting, I’m just challenging myself to following through for 14 days. 2 weeks is totally doable. And once it starts to become a habit again, I know it’s just going to come a lot more naturally. I’d love if you all join in with me! 2 weeks of making good decisions, passing on the extra sweets, and focusing on filling our plates with greens and proteins.

My fitness routine also needs a bit of a jumpstart. Honestly, I’ve just felt a little blah about all my workouts lately. Some days I go to the gym and just put in 45 minutes on the elliptical because nothing else is really calling to me. So I need to MAKE something call to me.

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I love plans and training for something, so I think it’s time to add in another race challenge. That’s right, I’ve got my eyes set on another half marathon! And since it’s basically in my backyard, I think it’s only fitting to go for the Blue & Grey Half on December 7. Plus with a $45 entrance fee, what is there to lose?

I’m hoping that by taking a few steps to step things up a notch, I’ll be torally back on the healthy train by the time the dreaded holidays roll around.

I’d love it if you’d join me in this 2 week challenge! No obligations, no joining fee. Just a little bit of extra accountability!

So tell me: what are your tips and tricks for getting back on track after a few weeks (or months) of indulgence?

A winning weekend!

Monday again? I swear, the better the weekend, the quicker Monday comes back around!

And boy was this weekend a great one!

Since I feel like I’m still reeling from it all, let’s just jump right in!

Friday

We had a lot of grand plans for Friday night – we were going to grab some Mexican food, head out to the movies, and have a bit of a date night. However, I ended up having kind of a crappy day and by the time I got home, I was just plain grumpy. Thankfully I have an awesome husband who decided to forgo our planned date night, and instead agreed to hang out at home in our PJs, order pizza, and marathon Veronica Mars all evening. He’s seriously the best!

Saturday

I was up bright and early on Saturday morning for a whirlwind of a day!

First up I had to head to a work event, which I was helping to cover while we are short-staffed. Unfortunately it was an outside event, and I don’t know what it was like for you on Saturday morning, but here in VA it was over 90 degrees and humid as anything. Thankfully I got to sit under a tent, but still. Sheesh it was hot!

Once my shift ended I ran (literally) back to our office, changed clothes, threw on some perfume, and headed straight to a bridal shower! Hopefully I didn’t smell too gross after being in the hot sun all morning!

I just love bridal showers and baby showers! There is something about the promise of new beginnings and celebrating life changes that just makes me so happy! Good luck to you, Kim, on your last few weeks of wedding planning!

Apparently Saturday was all about rushing, because by the time I got out of the bridal shower, I had to rush home to help Chris get the house ready for the big event of the evening: Football Fish Fry Party!

We were having a bunch of our Hokie friends over for the Virginia Tech v. Ohio State game, complete with a fish fry! Chris and the boys fried up some cod, shrimp and hush puppies, and grilled up chicken, veggies and veggie burgers, while the ladies (including the lovely Lindsay and Aileen) and I put together a ton of different sides and desserts. This was literally only about half the spread:

Fish Fry

We then spent the next 4 hours in varying states of nerves, excitement, jumping up and down, and with our hands over our eyes (ok, maybe that was just me). It was one of the most nerve wracking games of my life, but my boys pulled it out! HUGE win for the Hokies!!

final score

By the time the game was over and we had cleaned everything up, Laney had made it clear that it was way past our bedtime and put herself to bed. Hey, that’s my spot!

Sleeping Carolina Dog


Sunday

Thanks to the late night on Saturday, I was all about sleeping in a bit on Sunday morning, so we had a nice lazy start to the day hanging out with friends and watching HGTV. Because apparently that’s the adult version of morning cartoons.

Eventually we got ourselves awake and dressed enough to head to brunch at a new diner in downtown Fredericksburg called Mason Dixon cafe.

Mason Dixon Cafe Fredericksburg, VA


I have to admit, I was feeling a little rough, so I decided to go with a big breakfast that would hopefully soak up everything leftover in my stomach and hold me over until dinner. And boy did it!

I got the big breakfast burrito, which basically had everything you could ever want for breakfast rolled into a burrito and topped with a homemade cheese sauce. And holy cow was it amazing!

Mason Dixon Cafe Fredericksburg, VA

By the time we said goodbye to our friends and headed home, it was nearly 1pm and both Chris and I were pretty exhausted. So we decided a quick power nap was in order.

Well… 2.5 hours later we woke up and realized that we’d basically slept the day away. Although in my opinion it was totally worth it. Sometimes you just need sleep!

The rest of the day was our usual Sunday tradition – church and dinner with the fam. Where we of course spent most of the evening talking about the Hokie win! When you’re in a family of Hokies, football becomes the perfect dinner conversation!

So tell me: What did you do this weekend? Are you a college football fan? Do you get together with friends to watch sporting events?

Rooms and PSLs – Five Favorites Friday

Happy Friday!

Considering how crappy of a day yesterday was, I for one am SO HAPPY that it’s Friday! Even though I already have a packed weekend, including having to go in for a work event, I’m seriously looking forward to being able to sleep in and relax a little bit. And watch football, of course.

Despite the fact that this was a short week and I had a few terrible, horrible days in there, I’m trying to just shake it off and focus on the good things about my week!

Shake it off, shake it off… and the playas gonna play play play…

Ok, sorry, a momentary dance party just happened. Anyone else feel like that song is just following you everywhere? Well played, tswift, well played. I just can’t get it out of my head!

FFFold

Anyway, here are 5 totally random favorites that I’ve been loving this week. I’m also linking up with Clare for Five on Friday and Katie for Friday Favorites!

Favorite Fall Tradition: Pumpkin Spice Lattes

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Yup, fall is officially here people. Fall equinox, football season, leaves changing color… none of them scream fall quite like the annual announcement of the PSL being back!

And I know that there is all this drama over what’s in them, and blah blah blah. Sometimes you just want to have your PSL, and that’s A-OK in my book. Would I advise drinking 3-a-day until the Peppermint mochas come out? No. But one here and there to get your fall fix in, is ok to me. Because really, fall.

Although I will admit that I forgot just how sugar-coma inducing they really are. I guess that’s what happens when you get used to drinking plain old coffee with no sugar. Holy sugar rush!

Favorite Blog Moment: Being on the Lifestyle Accountability Podcast

So this one was actually supposed to go in my FFF post from a few weeks ago. But alas, I’ve been slacking on Thusday nights trying to get them written (to my credit, there was a terribly skunking incident last Thursday… pretty sure getting the skunk smell out of two dogs trumps blog writing any day of the week).

Luckily, thanks to the wonders of the internet, I can share this with you all even though it’s a few weeks late! I was interviewed for the Lifestyle Accountability Show with the Bates brothers! If you’re not familiar with the Podcast, Adam and Devon Bates interview lots of different health and fitness professionals, bloggers, and individuals just trying to live a healthy lifestyle, and chat about motivation, hurdles, and accomplishments. It’s such a fun show to listen to, and I was really honored to be on!

Plus you get to hear me sound totally awkward, a joy that you don’t usually get first hand here on ze blog. Ever try listening to a recorded version of yourself? Yea, I sound weird. And overly perky. Check it out!

Favorite Weeknight Treat: Homemade chocolate chip cookies

Homemade chocolate chip cookies

The husband requests, and I provide.

Chris knows that I’m not a baker by any stretch of the imagination, so he usually doesn’t ask for much in the way of baked goods. So when he turned to me last week and said “you know what I’ve really been craving? Homemade chocolate chip cookies” and then went back to doing the dishes like a helpful husband, I knew that I had to oblige.

Thanks to a recipe from my baking coworker, I whipped up these babies that are super soft, fluffy, and the perfect amount of “I’m not really cooked, but I’m cooked enough that no one needs to worry about salmonella from the eggs”. You know what I’m talking about!

Favorite Current Read: Room

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m in a book club with several of my girl friends, and this month we’ve been reading Room (<-- affiliate link, FYI).

Room is the story of a little boy named Jack who lives with his mom in Room, which is the only world he's ever known. The story unfolds through Jack eyes and you begin to realize there is more to Room and to their situation than you orginally thought.

I'm only about 60% of the way through, but so far I'm absolutely hooked. It took a bit to get used to the style of writing (from a 5 year old perspective), but once I did it was so fascinating to see the world through a child's eyes. If you are in to dark, thought-provoking books, I would highly recommend it!

 

Favorite Smile-Inducing Video: Adam Levine on Jimmy Fallon

THIS. I’m pretty sure I’ve watched it like 5+ times at this point, because I just keep making people watch it. Not only do I love Jimmy Fallon, but I especially love his segments that involve making celebrities sing/lip sink. This one is even better because Adam Levine does such a great job!

(Side note: Thank goodness Adam Levine got rid of his bleach blond hair. Now he no longer looks like a pedophile.)

Well there you have it – 5 totally random things that I’m loving this week! Now I’m off to enjoy my weekend and root for my Hokies!!

So tell me: What is one thing you are loving this week? What books are you reading? Yay or nay on the PSL?

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Woo, let me tell you. It has been a MORNING.

One that I would not want to repeat.

In fact, I could really just use a straight up restart on this day. Because so far, nothing has really gone as planned. I woke up late, my computer decided to restart itself during the night and didn’t want to function properly (or allow me to get this post up as planned, so please pardon the small pictures while I try and figure it out!), Wild decided to pee on the floor even after she’d been outside all morning, I missed my train, and I spilled coffee on my pants. Can you see why I kind of just want to crawl back into bed? Phew!

Thankfully I have something positive to share with you all this morning, which will hopefully keep my mind off the rough morning. Actually, I’d say that this is more than just positive – it’s delicious! Even better? It’s super quick to throw together and makes enough leftovers for lunch the next day. WINNING!

Thirty Minute Thursday

Now that I’ve finally broken out of my food rut, I’ve been having fun trying out totally new recipes in the kitchen and gettin’ a little creative. So when Chris reminded me that we had this gem in the cabinet, I immediately knew I wanted to have a little jam session in the kitchen (jam, get it? because it’s peanut butter? Apparently even my jokes are rough this morning…)

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This is one of my FAVORITE savory peanut butters ever, from my friends over at Sprelly. You’ve probably seen me talk about them numerous times before (including doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge with them). It’s the perfect amount of spicy, sweet and nutty, which makes it great any any kind of asian dish. Which is exactly what I used it for today!

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

 

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 spaghetti squash, cooked and shredded
  2. 1 chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  3. 1 red bell pepper
  4. 1 cup shredded carrots
  5. 1 cup frozen broccoli
  6. 1-2 green onions
  7. 1 tbsp coconut oil
  8. 1 clove minced garlic
  9. 2 tbsp spicy thai chili peanut butter (could make your own with peanut butter, sriracha and soy sauce)
  10. 1/4 cup cashews
  11. Salt & pepper to taste
  12. Sriracha (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cook spaghetti squash and shred. Set aside.
  2. Heat coconut oil in wok over medium high heat. Once heated, add garlic and cook for 30 seconds - 1 min. Add in chicken and cook until no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add in bell pepper, carrots, broccoli. Cook until peppers are soft and frozen broccoli is heated through. Reduce heat to medium-low.
  4. Add in spaghetti squash, peanut butter, green onions and cashews. Mix thoroughly until everything is coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve and top with sriracha for additional heat.
  6. Enjoy!
My Freckled Life http://www.myfreckledlife.com/

If you want to see how I cook my spaghetti squash, I actually did a tutorial here!

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

ISpaghetti Squash Pad Thai

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As I said, super quick and easy, and seriously delicious. This one got 2 thumbs up from Chris too, who has already claimed the leftovers as his dinner tonight. You know it’s a successful meal when your husband wants it 2 nights in a row!

Well I’m going to cross my fingers that today gets better! Or that somehow I wake up and realize that this was all a dream… except for this recipe, of course. That’s real!

So tell me: What do you do when you’ve had a terrible morning? Any tricks to turn it into a good day?

WIAW: Post-Vacation Reset Edition

After a long weekend of indulgence and very limited exercise, I’m definitely happy to be back into my usual routine. As fun as vacations are, I’m always a fan of being able to come back home and restart my healthy habits again. Especially if I feel like I’ve come back a little… squishier… than when I left.

This time was no exception. Despite the long, awesome weekend, I’ve jumped right back into all things green in the hopes to give my body a little bit of a reset from all the beer and fried fish that it consumed while in Wilmington!

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So in honor of Wednesday, here is what it looks like when I get back into my normal routine. Lots of greens, lots of veggies, and nothing in the fried family! My tummy feels better already!

If you’re not familiar with WIAW, I highly encourage you to check out Jenn’s blog for more information, and to see what other awesome bloggers are eating! Thanks for the linkup Jenn!

Breakfast – 6:30am

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I don’t know what it is about 3-day weekends, but they always manage to completely throw off my sleep! So when I totally overslept by 15 minutes I shouldn’t have been that surprised. But it meant that I was running around like crazy in the morning, and only had time to literally shove a bowl of cereal into my mouth. Not the most graceful, but it got the job done!

Snack #1 – 10:15am

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Sadly cereal doesn’t really keep me full that long, so by 10am my tummy was grumbling a bit. So I threw together a quick brown rice cake with a smear of natural peanut butter. Delicious, and it kept me going until lunch!

Lunch – 12:30pm

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After a long weekend full of slightly-less-than-healthy eats, I was ready for some green in my life. So I threw together this quick Mexican salad with romaine, tomatoes, carrots, corn, sauteed onion/green peppers, black beans, and sprinkled with blue corn chips and salsa. Yummm, Mexicany goodness!

Snack #2 – 4:30pm

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After my mid-day workout, I was ready for a snack to hold me over until what I knew was going to be a LATE dinner. I had a half of a bagel with cream cheese (my darn coworker brought them in and they made the whole kitchen smell like toasted goodness), and some of my leftover green smoothie from Monday night. Except don’t be fooled, half this smoothie was still frozen! So I drank what was defrosted, and left the rest for another day.

Dinner – 9:30pm

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Yup, dinner ended up being a late one. Not only did I have to work late today, but I went straight from work to watch Chris play softball. So by the time we left the park, there was only one thing on our minds – Chipotle! I went with a veggie burrito bowl with brown rice, topped with all of the fixin’s and a heaping spoonful of guac. Except I could seriously only eat 1/3 of this bowl – my tummy just didn’t want that much food after 9pm!

Workout

Because I worked such a long day at work, I was able to take a break in the middle to go to the gym near my job (the ONE benefit of working super late days sometimes). I ended up walking about .5 miles to the gym before completing 25 minutes of elliptical intervals, 25 minutes of an arm circuit, and walking back to the office.

I’ll admit that it wasn’t my best workout ever. For some reason, I really just wasn’t feeling it. I honestly think I was a bit dehydrated, and just wasn’t coping well with the heat. Oh well, a so-so workout is better than no workout at all!

Well there you have it – my Tuesday eats and workouts! Overall, I definitely think I did pretty well with the green factor! I loved having a smoothie at work, so even though we’re headed into colder weather, I might have to start incorporating that more into my meals! Plus, anything in a mason jar is a million times better!

So tell me: What did you eat today? What did your workouts look like? Are you a smoothie fan?