Thinking Out Loud #15 and Happy New Year!!!

Another week another holiday!  This week its new year’s eve!  Im in Allen Texas today recovering from my half marathon this morning and prepping for my next one tomorrow.  Yes I am that crazy person.  But the medal is awesome and sometimes I get sucked into a really awesome medal…dont judge me!

New Years Eve Double

Linking up with Amanda again here and I think now would be a good time to reflect on 2015!

Thinking-Out-Loud

  1. I think I may be really crazy for doing back to back half marathons…even if the medal is awesome.  On the bright side of that though I get to eat In ‘N Out burger and feel 0% bad about it.

In N Out dallas2.  This year has definitely been the year of travel.  Let’s see, we went to Italy (Venice, Bologna, Florence, Pisa, Rome), Amsterdam (work), Orlando, Chicago (work), Midland (work), Vancouver, Alaska (Skagway, Ketchikan, Juneau), Midland again (work), Dallas (work), Phoenix (work), Anaheim, Dallas, Orlando (work and personal), San Antonio (work), Anaheim, Orlando, San Antonio (work), Allen.  Fhew Im exhausted just typing all of that!  2016 is going to be much less travel which is a little sad but good for my bank account.

3.  I had the best birthday ever with a Harry Potter themed party.  I think everyone had a great time because I know I did.  It was a lot of work but paid off 10000%.  The photobooth alone was amazing, clearly though my  brother and sister in law think Im crazy 🙂

HP Party4.  I ran more races than I ever have before!  Not including what Im doing today and tomorrow I did 3 half marathons, 3 10k’s, and 2 5k!  Im a racing fool!!!  Not to mention all the training runs, pretty sure my poor feet need some TLC this weekend.

5.  Possibly because all of those races I have been injured more than ever before.  I love my doctor but would love to not see her so often!

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6.  Fitness wise this has been a pretty solid year.  While the scale doesnt show the number I want and there are areas of my body I still want to work on I know I am stronger today than I was at the beginning of the year and thats a positive.  I have every intention on getting even stronger next year.

meeting mickey

7.  I hope to make some interesting changes in 2016 which I cant talk about until they happen but Im hoping something new comes my way in 2016 😀  I love this quote from one of my favorite authors.

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8.  Look forward to 2016 I am least and most excited to turn 30.  Excited because we are going to PARIS!!!!  Not excited because its 30 and thats, ugh, old.  Ok not really Im being overly-dramatic, but ugh 30.  Paris though!!!  Suggestions on places to eat are much appreciated 🙂

paris

9.  What are your highlights from 2015?  Anything exciting on the books for 2016?

WIWW #22

We had fajitas bought for us at lunch today.  They were delicious but I am now sleepy from all the queso and carbs.  It was queso blanco which is divine and I was lucky to not have eaten the whole container myself.  Alas now I need a food coma but cant because work 😛

Disclaimer on this post though…my outfit is from Monday.  I know, IM LIVING A LIE!!!  Im traveling today to Allen for my races and, well, my travel style is boring.  I debated whether or not to post my travel outfit but ultimately decided I didnt have enough time to put together a last minute post.  So Im writing a Wednesday post on Tuesday with Monday’s outfit.  I live life on the edge!

I am wearing a lot of new things with this outfit 🙂  The sweater is a gift from my mom, the shoes are a gift from Joe, and although you cant see it I got the Jawbone UP 3 for Christmas as well!  I think I might put together a post on the Jawbone Up 3 vs. the FitBit but I need some more time with the Jawbone to make a post on it.

christmas sweater

See, I got the sweater for Christmas 😀  I really hate to admit this but it took FOREVER to get my outfit picture.  Getting the right camera height and lighting and all that…I should have just pulled out my big girl camera set it up on the tripod and been done with it because this picture didnt even turn out that well.  One day I will be the master of all things blog related, but today is not that day.

WIWW

Sweater: ModCloth (Its on sale right now plus ModCloth has a sale on sale items what!!!  Code L8R2015)

Jeans: Express (similar, I hate mid rise but thats pretty much all thats out right now)

Shoes: Tieks (yes I am still loving mine and am so happy to have a neutral color to add to my collection)

WHISP!  She is an accessory to all my clothes because dang my dogs shed!  Most of the time I wear dark clothes are her fur blends in but you cant really cover up the whole dog haha.

CHIME IN!!!  Did your wardrobe grow this Christmas?  Do you like cute sweaters?  Eat some good tex-mex lately?

Workout Recap 12/22-28

Its almost 2016 friends, are you ready?!?  Im gearing up for back to back half marathons to ring in the new year what are you doing?

Its been a weird training week with more runs than I normally do, lets talk about it 😀

Tuesday: 45 minute recovery run at a really slow pace which turned out to be 12:30min/mile pace.  Goal was 11:30 but I was really exhausted and was happy to just get up and out of bed.  Ugh I cannot WAIT to sleep in this weekend and really rest.  PS—this heat in winter is STUPID.  Why am I wearing shorts a few days before Christmas.  That night 15 minute stretch and foam roll.

Wednesday:  30 minute core class with more emphasis on lower abs.  Feeling a little stronger than I used to with core so yay!!!  10 minutes stretching and foam rolling that night.

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Thursday:  45 minute run with 8×60 second repeats at a little faster than 5k pace.  I ran in my new Hokas to get used to them which made my feet a little stiff and my legs felt heavy from just being exhausted.  It was pretty hot today (like over 80 degrees) so breathing was harder than normal.  Ended with 4 miles in 41:39 at 10:20 pace which I was really happy with.  This was the first time doing repeats for so long.  The 7th one was really rough and I stopped for a minute to catch my breath (seriosuly yall it was so hot) and finished strong.  Great way to prep for all the Christmas eating that was going to happen 🙂  Did a DIY tape job on my foot since it started hurting a little again.  I look super fancy right.

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Friday:  Off and Merry Christmas!!!  PS—Its been a year since I got my camera and I finally figured out how to get the amazing glow of Christmas lights.  Que the angels singing.

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Saturday: 1hr 45min run at easy pace.  Foot started hurting around mile 5 and had to walk a little and stop a few times to rest the foot.  I was running in my new shoes again so that may have added to the issue.  I got lost a little as well since my running buddy split off before the nature trail (I’ve only run in there twice before so I dont know my way) which slowed me down trying to figure my way back.  I found my way and ran past the dragon.  Since no one was with me this time I felt no shame in taking a selfie 🙂 Ended with 8.35 miles with 12:20min mile.  This was supposed to be an easy run but at an 11:30 pace.  With all this crap plus the heat and humidity Im glad with how this run went.  Granted I would have liked to have a better pace but when the temps get over 75 its hard to get a faster pace out of me.  10 minutes stretching and foam rolling that night.

saturday run

Sunday:  Original plan was 3 miles but I got rained out.  When I started it was sprinkling which is ok but about the half way point it was pouring and starting to thunder.  I was at a point where it was either turn back or keep going and possibly get stranded if lightning came.  I decided to turn around since I was with the pups and they didnt look happy about the rain either.  Ended with 1.75 miles at 12 ish pace.  This was supposed to be a recovery slow run anyway so no worries with the slow pace.  I was sad to end the run early but happy for the rain that means the cold weather is coming back.  10 minutes stretching, foam rolling, back stretches that night.

Monday:  3 running days in a row!  Sheesh!  All the rest I got this weekend really paid off.  3.25 miles at 10:30 pace yay!  A lot cooler today than the rest of the runs this week but there was a pretty strong headwind for most of the run.  Overall this was a much better run than the previous 2 and had a pretty solid time.  I was going to go to core class as well today but I ended up having a meeting at work and lunch bought for us (Salata for the win).  I was a bad person and didnt stretch or foam roll tonight either.  I really just wanted to be a vegetable when i got home so thats what I did.

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For those of you counting thats 5 runs in 1 week!!!  Thats 2 more than what I used to do and 1 more than what I normally do now with the coach.  No wonder I didnt move from the couch save to do said runs and eat / restroom breaks.

CHIME IN!!!  How are your workouts going?  Ever been so exhausted you sleep all day and can still sleep that night?  Do you run in the rain?

A Very Merry Disney Christmas

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas!!  I am back at work today but wanted to keep the Christmas spirit going and give you details on what its like to experience a Disney Christmas.

christmas castle

I have been fortunate enough to have been to Disney World on Christmas Day as well as other times during the holiday celebration.  While I would not recommend going on Christmas Day unless you enjoy crowds, Christmas time at Disney is one of the more magical times to visit.  Lets break it down shall we:

Each resort and park is decorated with themed christmas trees and decorations.  For example, Animal Kingdom’s tree will be “wild”, whereas Hollywood Studios is cinema themed.  Each resort has their own decorations as well fitting into the style of the resort.  Some of the Deluxe resorts also have gingerbread displays with the most impressive of these at the Grand Floridian Resort (photo on the left).  While the resort decorations are pretty much all complete right after Halloween the gingerbread displays arent complete until mid November at the earliest.

If you have time to visit the deluxe resorts and see their Christmas and gingerbread displays (gingerbread at Yacht Club, Beach Club, Boardwalk, Contemporary, Polynesian, and Grand Floridian) you will not be disappointed.  You can also meet characters at different times during the day at some of the resorts.  At the Contemporary one year we met Scrooge McDuck and Daisy (yeah that says 2010…long time ago)!

rare characters

Animal Kingdom and Disney Springs do decorate for the holidays but there arent many if any holiday special activities.

animal kingdom tree

Hollywood Studios is also decorated and has the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights!  Well, they did.  This is the last year for this amazing light show and will be sadly missed.  Hopefully Hollywood Studios will have some new holiday entertainment because without the lights there isnt anything holiday specific here either.

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Magic Kingdom is decorated to the 9’s for Christmas with the most spectacular display being the ice lights on the castle.  Its my favorite way to see the castle actually.  At Disney World Haunted Mansion and Its A Small World stay the same year round (which is a shame) but they do have Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.  This is an after park hours party that features rarely seen characters, hot chocolate, sugar cookies, a special parade and fireworks show.  When I say rare characters I got to meet all the major Princes, which has NEVER happened before (unless you are at the Princess Half Marathon).  I really did enjoy this party the first time we did it, but the second time felt rather boring.  While the parade is cute, I didnt feel like it was worth the extra $70+ to go more than the one time.  If you have never done the party before definitely check it out, Im not sure I would go again though.  Other than the party (which typically starts after Halloween) and decorations there are no other holiday offerings at Magic Kingdom.

Epcot is where the real magic happens.  Where to even start, there is the Candlelight Processional, Holidays Around the World, Holiday Food Booths, and of course the decorations.  Lets start with the Candlelight Processional.  Simply put this is the Christmas Story narrated by a celebrity accompanied by an orchestra.  Expanded version is this is a magical production with a volunteer choir singing classic Christmas songs perfectly complimenting the story as told by the celebrity narrator of the day.  You can buy a dinner package or just stand around outside the theater to hear the music and story.  Its slightly better to have a seat but its not necessary.  We have seen a few narrators but the below is Brad Garrett.  This  event runs from the end of November (typically after Thanksgiving) to the end of December and the narrators change almost daily.

Now that you have been blow away by the beauty that is candlelight processional, experience Holidays Around the World.  Personally this is a favorite of mine simply because I love hearing about different traditions from other countries.  With Holidays around the world each country tells the story of their Christmas tradition.  If you time it right (by starting in Canada) you can walk to each country and see each story in a row.  Its a very cool addition to Epcot and gives you a little extra bit of culture.  This also runs from after Thanksgiving to the end of December.

While you are walking around the world make sure and stop and enjoy some of the holiday food from a few of the countries.  New to me this year was a passport similar to one you get during food and wine that has all the holiday treats and merchandise available in each country listed.  I made sure to try something from each country (except Morocco, yuck) to get a fully stamped book 🙂  It was a tough call but I think the mulled wine from Germany wins out.  A close second is the hot applejack cider from England and the Liquid Black Forest Cake from Germany.

Each resort and park does have holiday food offerings but can change year to year.  Before you go check out DisneyFoodBlog they are my go to source for special food items and news updates from Disney.  Its also how I found this amazing pumpkin spice pretzel!

pumpkn spice pretzel

There is also special holiday merchandise that starts making its way to the parks and resorts right after halloween.  If you plan on buying special limited edition pieces plan your visit for early november (although not all experiences listed here will be available).  If you dont mind missing out on limited edition items plan your visit for early December.  The crowds are slightly lower, the room rates are some of the cheapest you will find and the weather is pretty mild.  To get an idea on the crazy merchandise frenzy; our last trip, the ears Im wearing I bought early November 2 years ago (so right when they came out).  For this trip they were sold out and I was constantly being stopped and asked where I got my ears.  In that same vane I was not able to get the Osborne Spectacle pin or ornament because they were all sold out. Weather wise we were warm in the afternoon but cold at night, but in years past we were cold all day.  Check the forecast before you go but dont be surprised if you end up wearing shorts 🙂

christmas merchandise

Needless to say there is so much to do at Walt Disney World during the holidays you really need more than 2 days to see it…trust me we tried this last trip and werent able to get it all in.  Between doing the normal Disney rides to experiencing all the holiday magic give yourself at least 4 days.  Its always worth it, trust me Im pretty much an expert 😉  I love this time of year at Disney and cant wait until the next holiday season to spend more time at the happiest and most magical place on earth.  Side note—the holidays at Disneyland are slightly different and I havent been so I cant really comment on how exactly they differ but since Disney World is bigger, so is the holiday celebration.

disney christmas

CHIME IN!!!  Have you ever been to Disney at Christmas time?  Did I miss anything?  Whats your favorite thing to do around the holidays?  Would you ever go to Disney on Christmas day?

 

Sparkling Cranberry Brie Bites (Foodie Friday #17) and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!  Que the fireworks!!!

christmas castle

I hope you are having a fantastic day, enjoyed a leisurely morning and are getting stuffed to the gills with food as we speak.  Speaking of food…I want to share a recipe today that I have been serving as an appetizer at our Christmas celebration for a few years now that I LOVE!!!  Its all things yummy… frosted cranberries, brie, crackers!  Plus is very simple to make which, lets be real, is priority #1 in choosing appetizers.
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Sparkling Cranberry Brie Bites 

Servings: ~24crackers       Prep Time: 10min          Cook Time: 10min         Chill Time: Overnight            Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients
  • 14 oz fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 16 butter crackers (like Ritz)
  • 8 oz brie with rind
  • cranberry relish or lingonberry jam if relish not available

Instructions

Rinse cranberries and place in a medium bowl. Heat syrup in a small sauce pan just until warm. Pour over cranberries when syrup is warm, not hot, or cranberries may pop. Cool, cover, and let soak in the refrigerator overnight.

Put sugar in a large bowl. Drain cranberries then add to bowl with sugar in 2 batches and roll around until lightly coated in sugar. Place on a baking sheet until dry, about 1 hour.
Assemble crackers with one slice of brie, a light layer of cranberry relish, and 3 or 4 sugared cranberries.
Notes:  Its very hard for me to find cranberry relish and I didnt want to use the cranberry sauce from the can.  This year I subbed lingonberry jam and it worked just fine.  Availability of both might be hard to find so just stick with something tart.  If you want to try cranberry sauce from the can make sure and get the one with whole berries in it.
*Slightly adapted from here*

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Thinking Out Loud #14

Merry Christmas Eve!  I hope everyone is having a great day and are either off work or will be off soon.  I took the day off because I have some cooking to get done, and well, thats what PTO is for right!  Since we are soooooo close to Christmas, Im going to do a Thinking Out Loud Christmas edition!

Linking up with Amanda here

Thinking-Out-Loud

  1. Christmas to me is about spending quality time with the family.  Yes we exchange gifts and yes we eat till we need to be rolled out of the house but its about spending time together.  Luckily I live close to my family so its not a once a year kind of thing but I know not everyone is as fortunate (if you like your family that is).

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2.  In line with #2 I, for the most part, enjoy spending time with my family.  Yes they get on my nerves and sometimes I just want to be in my quiet space but they are my family and Im happy they are mine.  I know this isnt always the case for people either so Christmas just reminds me of my blessings.

DSC_00283.  Not to get religious on everyone but for me its important to also remember the whole reason we are celebrating the Christmas season.  Jesus’ birthday!  While the is a lot of talk about December 25th not being his actual birthday…I wasnt there I dont know, but it seems like as good of a day as any to celebrate an amazing miracle.  Sermon over 🙂

reason for the season

4.  With so much negativity in the world its nice to have a brief escape from that when people try a little harder to be nice.  Things feel a little more optimistic and filled with hope.  That may just be me projecting, but I want to believe its true.

christmas spirit

5.  A tradition we have in my family is to read the story behind certain holiday rituals.  Years past we have talked about the Christmas tree, exchanging gifts, and christmas lights.  I dont know what we will talk about this year but its always fun to get the reason behind why rather than just doing something to do it.  If you want to read about why we have Christmas trees check out this article by the history channel.

6.  I really enjoy the gift giving part of Christmas.  I take a lot of pride in finding the perfect gift for someone and seeing their face when the open it.  I kept myself to a pretty tight budget this season to keep myself from going overboard, but cant wait to see what everyone things of the gifts.  I always feel awkward opening mine but get really excited for others to open their gifts.  This picture is from a few years ago, but come on!  My grandma makes the best happy faces!

gift happiness

7.  Another tradition I really enjoy is looking at Christmas lights.  Of course Osborne lights is my all time favorite but since its going away I have to find new favorites.  When I went to Boston all alot of the city was decorated which was awesome, Italy had lights up way past December (La Befana story kinda explains why), but I think the happiest lights are the ones we put up on our house.  These lights were last year but we change them up every year.  We used to go ohhh and ahhhh at all the lights around the neighborhoods when I was a kid and that amazement has stuck with me.  Lucky for me Joe enjoys lights too!

christmas lights

8.  The creative side of me comes out in full force at Christmas time.  I love making homemade things to go with the store bought gifts.  This year what I made is a surprise so Im not going to spoil it but last year I made homemade vanilla extract.  It take a little time but its the homemade touch that makes it truly special.  I usually make ornaments as well, but since Im really the only one in the family to go all out with the christmas decorations I didnt do them this year.  This ornament I made 2 years ago.

9.  What are your christmas traditions?

 

WIWW #21

Its almost CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!  My favorite holiday is almost here!!!  I wish it was colder.  Its a little difficult to get in the holiday spirit when you are wearing shorts.  Oh well, my house is festive and I have the Christmas spirit and thats all that matters.

In the spirit of all things Christmas I decided to wear one of my holiday shirts.  This is one of my favorites for obvious reasons (Doctor Who!!!!!).

Also an update on the Tieks.  Since I have worn them quite a lot and at Disney they were starting to look a little lack luster.  Per the website you can use a good leather cleaner on them to keep the shoes looking nice.  I bought a leather cleaner on Amazon (of course) and buffed them up following the instructions on the bottle.  They look just like new now!  Since Tieks are higher quality its important to use a good quality cleaner on them so your investment is well protected 🙂

WIWW

Shirt: ModCloth, although you can buy it other places as well (like amazon!)

Jeans: Express (similar, crops arent in season right now because its supposed to be winter right now lol)

Shoes: Tieks (still loving them by the way).

CHIME IN!!!  Are you feeling in the holiday spirit?  Have any favorite holiday clothes to wear?  What are you doing today?

Workout Recap 12/8-21

Two weeks of workouts to share today!  Thats what happens when I get too lazy to do a post.  Yikes.  I did workout though I promise, let me prove it to you 😀

Tuesday:  30 minutes on elliptical with 9 incline and 9 resistance.  This was my very first time on the elliptical and had no idea what I was doing.  It felt really difficult on my quads but apparently 9 and 9 is very difficult…now I know for next time lol.   Ended with 30 minutes at 2.75 miles.  This was a good workout for my foot which at the time was still hurting pretty badly.  15 minutes foam rolling and stretching at night.

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Wednesday:  off.  I had meetings around Houston and wasnt able to get to the gym to do core class.  15 minutes stretching and foam rolling that night.

Thursday:  6 miles with 8×20 second repeats ended up with 5.7 miles.  Last 15 minutes feet felt really heavy and breathing was pretty hard because of the humidity but on the plus side I didnt walk at all!  Overall I was pretty happy with this run.  GPS was about .2 miles off though because of the fog boo!

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Friday:  I did have a scheduled run but my foot was hurting so bad I decided not to.  Plus all the walking around Disney the day before I was exhausted.  I decided to rest and wear the boot all day to help it out.

disney boardwalk gingerbread

Saturday:  3.75 miles with a little faster pace.  The weather was warmer than I expected but I felt good considering I hadnt stretched in  days.  Foot was still hurting though.  I realize now how my runner high affects me, I feel no pain until hours later.  Probably not a good thing right 😛  More walking around Disney but today until 1am so needless to say I was wiped by the end of the night.

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Sunday:  Travel day.  Had a scheduled run but didnt have the time between flights and getting prepped for my next travel day tomorrow.

Monday:  Travel day, should have been a rest day but traveling is never rest for me 😦

Tuesday:  rest day

Wednesday:  45 minutes on elliptical with resistance at 6 and incline at 6.  Ended with almost 4 miles.  Felt pretty good but felt even better to get home and spend 15 minutes stretching and foam rolling.  It has been almost a week since I did some solid stretching/foam rolling so needless to say I was pretty stiff.

Thursday:  rest day.  Busy day, my sister graduated today!!!!!!  15 minutes foam rolling and stretching that night.

grace graduation 2

Friday:  30 minutes elliptical with incline and resistance at 2 with fast feet.   I felt like I was going super fast the whole time but only did 2.75 miles, guess I just dont know how to use the elliptical…15 minutes stretching, foam rolling, back stretches that night.

dead on elliptical

Saturday:  1hr 30 min = 8 miles at 11:30 pace.  Legs would not warm up today, it was cold outside but not cold enough for them not to warm up.  Felt like I was running through mud, ugh so frustrating.  The lack of sleep and all that walking at Disney definitely caught up with me.  I had a 90 minute massage later that morning and I had her focus on my legs which totally helped.  I really needed that.

puppy love

Sunday:  I had a run scheduled but I put it off till Monday I needed the rest, and even still that day felt wiped out.  15 minutes stretching, foam rolling that night.

Monday:  50 minutes at normal pace with 8×30 second repeats.  I did this on the treadmill so the first 4 were at 8.5 speed the last 4 were at 8 pace.  Ended with 4.25 miles.  Was suppossed to do 60 minutes but being this was during work hours that extra 10 minutes was just too much considering I still had to shower and change.  I felt pretty good actually.  The run was hard but I didnt want to fall over and die at the end.  I felt like I pushed just enough that I felt like I couldnt have done much more and lasted as long as I did.  15 minuntes stretching, foam rolling and back stretches that night.

crazy treadmill day

And now we are all caught up!  I dont know why I make stupid faces when I take a selfie…more fun than a regular face?!?  My camera is sucking at self timer pictures and I feel silly taking self timer action shots at the gym anyway (ok silliER than I already do taking selfies).  Sorry for the ugly sweats…that just means I killed that workout right!

If you can see from the above workouts, things didnt really go as planned this week with missing workouts and foot injuries.  Its been a rough couple of weeks but I think my foot it getting better.  I had my friend Lauren use KT Tape on my hurt foot and it feels SO much better now.  I’ve also been extremely tired which always makes workouts harder.  I hope to catch up on some zzzzz’s this weekend, but you know what they said about the best laid plans.

CHIME IN!!!  How have your workouts been lately?  Are you enjoying the cooler weather?  Do you use puppies as blankets?

 

Well That Was Awkward

I didnt intend to not post last week…and then life happened.  Back to back travels got the better of me and I am still exhausted from the whirlwind that was last week.

I dont really have anything of substance to say today because honestly Im still tired and need like a 20 hour nap.  I do though have some highlights from last week to share!  Tomorrow Ill be back with normal posts 🙂

alone at disney

I went to Disney for Christmas!  The first day (thursday) I was by myself and I thought it would be funny to get a mistletoe shot to send to Joe.  Luckily the photopass lady was totally for it and it turned out cute 🙂

drinks in germany

Day 2 (friday) Caitlin joined me in the afternoon and we drank our way around the world with Holidays at Epcot.  Germany of course had the best drinks with mulled wine and liquid black forest cake.

TARDIS

As close as I will probably ever get to a TARDIS but Ill take it!

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Cue the magic shots.  I love magic shots!

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Day 3 (Saturday) Amy joined us (the night before but really late, poor Amy with travel troubles) and of course a magic shot.  We are FABULOUS dont hate!

Sunday was traveling home then packing straight away for San Antonio.  I actually pre-packed most of my clothes before I left for Disney so all I had to do really was switch suitcases.  I’ve done this before 🙂  While in San Antonio (Mon-Wed) I ate some fancy adult food and felt very grown up…then I had meatball pizza.  Balance, am I right!

grace graduation

Thursday my sister graduated college!!!!!!!  She has a bachelor’s degree is Music and Im super proud…if you couldnt already tell!!!  She worked really hard and is the last in the family to graduate from University of Houston.  Cougar family here people.

Friday was party prepping and cookie making because Saturday was the Grinch party!!!  Im not going to post all those pictures just yet, but here’s a preview of my makeup and hair for me being the Grinch.

grinch party

When going to a who party you make a who face!  Sunday I was so exhausted but managed to make 5 dozen gingerbread cookies (regular and gluten free) and gnocchi!  Fhew!  I said it was a whirlwind week!

CHIME IN!!!  What have you been up to lately?  Been to any fun themed parties?  Are you ready for Christmas?

Butterbeer Rice Krispy Treats (Foodie Friday #16)

Im tired of sharing savory food I want to share a dessert!  I love baking and all things sweet but majority of the time I make savory food because you need normal food to live 🙂

I have made this dessert a few times and every single dang time they are devoured.  Its probably the browned butter…no its probably the marshmallow goodness…no its probably ALL OF IT!!!  Fair warning these are pretty sweet but totally worth it.  They do taste 100000000 times better with the frosting, but its totally optional.  Just be warned…its 1000000000 times better with it.  Got that…100000000 times better 🙂

butterbeer rice kirspies

Butterbeer Crispy Treats with Butterbeer Frosting (slightly modified from here)

Servings: 1 9×9 pan        Prep Time: 20 min          Cook Time: 5 min

Ingredients

For the Treats

•6 cups rice crispy cereal
•1/2 cup butterscotch chips
•1/4 cup unsalted butter, browned (if desired, link to the tutorial I have always used)
•14 ounces mini-marshmallows + some larger ones to be added at the end
•1/4 cup butterscotch syrup (such as ice cream topping, very liquidy)

For the Frosting (Optional)
•1/2 cup unsalted butter, browned (link again to the tutorial I have always used)
•2 cups powdered sugar
•2 tbsp butterscotch syrup (such as ice cream topping, very liquidy)
•pinch of salt

Instructions

To make the treats: Lightly coat cake pan in cooking spray or melted butter; set aside.  In a large bowl, combine the cereal and butterscotch chips; set aside.

Combine the marshmallows and butter in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Stir constantly until the marshmallows are completely melted. Stir in the cereal mixture until it is evenly coated with the melted marshmallows.  If desired add some larger marshmallows in to have the nice marshmallow chunks. Once combined, press the mixture into the prepared pan. Allow to cool completely before frosting or serving.

To make the frosting: In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter on medium high speed for about 30 seconds. Add the sugar, about 1/2 of a cup at a time, and beat on medium speed until combined. Stir in the salt, and syrup until combined. Mix on medium high speed for 5 minutes, until fluffy and very light in color.  The frosting will be pretty flaky and not as creamy as something like buttercream frosting.  If you would like a creamier frosting add a little milk at a time until desired consistency is reached.  If too liquidy add a little powdered sugar at a time for the opposite effect.

Note:  If you dont add the extra marshmallows these treats will be pretty dense.  I prefer a little loser krispy treat so I add the chunks of marshmallow in, but if you prefer a denser treat leave them out.  Also dont be too heavy  handed on the syrup that will make the treats soggy.

original butterbeer krispy treats These are from the first time I made them, the first picture is most recent, you can see how I’ve progressed 🙂

In the past I have made this with the butterbeer syrup recipe Darla did (the post has since been removed) but I cant find actual butterbeer drink anymore so its probably easiest to use butterscotch syrup it tastes pretty much the same and is easier to whip up.

CHIME IN!!!  Do you prefer to cook sweet or savory?  Do you like rice krispy treats?  Make anything good lately?