Dinners centered around sweet potatoes are the best

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Things are hectic around here with everything…I’m happy but busy busy πŸ™‚

Last Thursday was a special date night. Kevins Aunt and Uncle gave us a gift certificate to the steakhouse located in the venue where our wedding reception is being held as part of our gift for the engagement party…we were both pretty psyched to have a nice dinner, it had been a while since we’ve treated ourselves.

And boy did we…I talked Kevin into ordering the crab and shrimp martini for 2 as an appetizer…

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It was expensive but worth every penny because it was HUGE and delicious! It had huge chunks of crab in remoulade sauce and fresh shrimp…we both ate our weight in seafood before dinner. Luckily I also convinced Kevin to split a steak with me because I wanted to try their Delmonico steak but knew I couldn’t handle 24 oz of it on my own. We ordered asparagus and shallot mashed potatoes on the side. Everything was absolutely amazing, it was a really great night out.

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My friday night was spent cleaning, but I was pretty psyched to try out the new vacuum cleaner we had bought with the gift cards we had gotten from the engagement party. Our old one really sucked and it drove me crazy thinking about how much pet hair was stuck in our carpets…gross!

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You dont even want to know the amount of hair that it picked up but it works REALLY well so far so i’m hopeful!

Saturday morning was glorious because I slept in until 830! I love winter running because I dont have to worry about waking up at dawn to beat the heat! I did my longest run since the marathon…13.2 miles. Yes, the .2 miles at the end were the toughest. Afterwards me and Kevin spent the afternoon at Bed Bath and Beyond setting up our wedding registry. We also registered at Macys but that one was done mostly online…I’m glad we got a couple of hours in scanning stuff in the store though, it was exciting thinking about building our future home together. We have a lot of stuff already since we’ve lived together for a while now but its nice to think about upgrading a lot of the older/rundown items we have!

Today I discovered a new favorite snack:

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I’m a sucker for sugar obviously. I only had to eat half the bag to satisfy my sweet tooth for around 5 minutes πŸ˜‰ Good thing I ran those 5 miles on my lunch break, I didn’t feel too guilty about these.

Kevin had off from work tonight and we decided to make something in the crockpot. I love that we are getting more use out of it! We used thisΒ recipe and it was another success in the kitchen!

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

– 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

-1 small sweet onion, small diced

-1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

-1 can organic black beans, rinsed and drained

-1 14 oz can organic fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained

-1.5 C organic veggie broth

-3 garlic cloves, minced

-1 T chili powder

-1 t cumin

-1 t paprika

-pinch cayenne

-1/2 t sea salt

-1 lime (for splash of juice at the end)

Combine all ingredients into a slow cooker (except the lime), sprayed with nonstick spray.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

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I added some cheddar and light sour cream to the top…YUM!

I’ve tried a couple of different chili recipes in the past few years and this one is definitely up there!

I seriously can’t believe Thanksgiving this week. Time goes by way too quickly. Hope everyone had a good weekend!

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New things and the best fiance ever

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Last night Kevin took me completely by surprise.

See, we are trying to pay for as many things wedding wise that we can possibly afford by ourselves. I told my dad from the get-go that I would buy my own wedding gown. I had a certain budget in mind of 1500-2000. I had heard that I only had to put a chunk of a deposit down and then would have some more time to pay the gown off. I figured that was a realistic number. I’ve been saving since the moment we got engaged and paid for a few other deposits/expenses out of my savings already but felt like I was still in good shape. When I finally picked out my dress, I didn’t take into account the cost of the veil, the slip, the alterations, etc. On top of that, I had picked a dress that ended up being at the very high end of my budget. I had to put over half down as a deposit and it basically drained my savings. I felt caught off guard over the weekend but when I told Kevin he reassured me that everything was fine and that I should get the dress I want since we only get one wedding day. I also knew that whatever we would get from the engagement party would go into savings and that I had plenty of time to save up the rest of the dress expenses (just a little over 1000 that would be due around June). I’m good at saving when I put my mind to it πŸ™‚Β 

So, after I picked up Kevin from work he asked me what the exact number was that I owed on the dress. I looked at him a little confused since I didnt know why he was really concerning himself with the number, I was planning on saving up the rest myself. He then told me that he had been still saving as well and that he wanted to give me the money to pay for the rest of the dress. I have to go back next weekend so she can take a measurement for the hem and he wanted me to pay it off now instead of later so that we could get to saving for the rest of the things we need to take care of. I laughed at him and told him not to worry about it, that we could put that money towards the honeymoon…but he insisted. I was floored by his thoughtfulness πŸ™‚ I know that he offered to help with the dress but I wasn’t expecting that. He still knows how to surprise me everyday! He’s the best!!

Despite that lovely moment…today was pretty stressful at work. That seems to be the theme of the week there so far. I did try out a new breakfast that made my morning though:

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Yes, I’m cheating on Chobani with Oikos..its my first time trying it and it was really awesome! I would definitely try it again. This granola is new as well…I see it in Costco all the time but I get hesitant because i’d rather not try something new in bulk πŸ˜‰ I’m in love though, so I will totally pick this up next time i’m there!

Otherwise, Kev and I have been catching up with some new reading that Caroline gave us as a gift over the weekend!

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Perfect reading snack?

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….and maybe a small (okay, BIG) piece of ice cream cake. I’m thinking I wont fit in my wedding dress by the rate i’m going…lol I did run 5 miles on my lunch break and it felt good. Another 5 on the agenda tomorrow. Seems like the magic number most days…at least during the winter when i’m stuck on the treadmill. I really look forward to my weekend long runs during this season πŸ™‚

Happy Weds everyone!

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Busy as can be!!

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It’s going to be way too hard to recap the past two weeks that I’ve been M.I.A. so let me try to just give you the overall gist.

  • The hurricane hit and was definitely one of the scariest storms that I’ve ever been through. I was with Kevin and my sister the whole time cooped up in the apartment. The winds were incredible, in the worst way possible. Tons of damage was done to our state but i’m lucky to say we fared ok. We lost power for a few days but got it back in a matter of days.
  • My parents and Aunt had to stay with us for a few days because it took longer for their power to come back on. During Hurricane Irene when we lost power, it was pretty easy to be semi comfortable in your home since it wasn’t super cold out. Not so much this time! My Dad also has sleep apnea and needs his machine powered in order to get a good nights sleep. It was a full apartment over here for a few days but they were so happy to get their power back last Tuesday!
  • We knew a bunch of other people that only just got their power back a few days ago. My sister-in-law was one of them…we ended up having to reschedule the engagement party we had planned for the weekend before and moved it to this past weekend.
  • Workout wise, I’ve been trying to slowly increase my mileage again, incorporating more junk miles. I did 32 miles last week and i’m hoping to get more in this week. My eating on the other hand…a little out of control with the not so healthy items so I’ve been trying to wrangle myself in. Its definitely tough!
  • This past weekend was absolutely packed, but with fun things. I went wedding dress shopping for the first time and found my DRESS! Obviously I can’t post a picture here since Kevin checks my blog but I’m in love. I’m not so in love with the price tag of everything but I knew if there was one thing I was going to splurge on myself with, it was my dress.
  • We celebrated Dema’s birthday Saturday night…wine, cheese and friends is the perfect combination.
  • Despite having to reschedule our engagement party, it worked out for the best. The weather on sunday was GORGEOUS and it was such a wonderful time. Hands down one of my favorite weekends of the year.
  • I took off on Monday since I knew the weekend was packed. In true Theresa fashion, the day was probably more tiring then a day at work. I ran 9 miles, did tons of errands (including spending some of the gift cards we received at the party, HELLO Sodasteam and new vacuum purchase!!)…and then drove up to our wedding venue to attend a Bridal show. There wasn’t a ton of vendors but it was a great opportunity to taste the food (which was absolutely delicious) phew…what a wedding filled weekend.

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Wine and cheese girls night…Dema puts out the best spreads ever!!

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Driving over to our engagement party!!

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My bridesmaids!! (minus my cousin from El Salvador!)

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Kevin’s groomsmen!

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THE INFAMOUS ICE CREAM CAKE!! need I say more??

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I joked that this was the best year ever because I got to have ice cream cake 3 times…except I wasnt joking πŸ˜‰

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Practicing for the wedding, if only Kevin could look at the camera πŸ˜‰

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Delicious pumpkin roll that my Aunt Leeanna made!!

And yes…i’ve been housing leftovers from the party ever since…such healthy eats around here lately..

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Our new Soda stream…i’ll be drinking gallons of club soda from now on, thank you very much:

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And yes, I did manage to get a healthy breakfast into my system this morning. My first time making oatmeal in a almond butter jar on its last legs. Not microwave safe but definitely delicious.

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I thought maybe 15 seconds would be ok, but I was wrong. That college degree is getting some overuse in my day to day life.

Trying to get back into the swing of things…life is slowly starting to feel normal again. Except maybe I have a weird definition of normal…lol. Hope all is well with everyone else! I’m feeling really incredibly excited, lucky and blessed.

Recovery…

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This is just going to be a short blog post tonight…

As many of you already know, I live in NJ and so I’m in a state that has been heavily affected by Hurricane Sandy. I haven’t been able to post most of the week because I have been out of power. I wanted to confirm that I’m lucky enough to say that I’m safe, my family is safe, and we received power back in our apartment on Thursday. Not everyone is that lucky…there are hundreds of thousands still out of power at this moment. Homes are destroyed and some people have lost everything in this storm. It’s a sad time but still a time of hope…despite the devastation around us, its truly touching to see us New Jerseyians rallying together to help our fellow neighbors.

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Its been hard for me to blog or even think about it during this time. Hopefully I will feel more up to it next week. At this time, I have my family staying at my apartment because they are still without power in their house and its freezing out. I’m happy to spend time with them and help aid others by getting together donations for those in need.

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Stay strong all those from this area!! I hope all is well for all my other readers too!! πŸ™‚

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Girl nights and fall runs

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Its been one of those longgg crazy weeks, thus the delay in blogging duties!

I was really excited to have a date night with my man last night…his schedule has been really nutty lately so I haven’t gotten the chance to see him much. We had a lot of errands to run after I got home from work but decided on picking up Thai food and catching up on the DVR a bit. This thai place makes me happy because it was one of the first few dates we had together when we first starting dating…it’s a place called Pad Thai in Highland Park. They are SERIOUS about their spicy food. I always get the pad thai dish there and order it mild and its usually ok but it was super spicy this time!! We started with a beef satay and then shared our main entrees…Kevin ordered the thai fried rice and it was spicy bordering on uncomfortable for me…but despite the spicyness was a great meal. I DO like spicy but not the kind of spicy that burns off your taste buds πŸ˜‰

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I decided to be really advantageous this week and did a 5 mile run yesterday and decided to do a 10 mile run today! My longest run since the marathon! I took a half day from work today because I’m crazy and like to do that when I know I can’t fit it in on the weekend πŸ˜‰ Kevin and I have our 1st marriage workshop for the church tomorrow (1 of 2…our actual Pre Cana class is in January) and we have to be there at 8 am so I wanted to squeeze this run in today. I tell you…there’s nothing like a fall run. Its gorgeous weather and beautiful scenery and makes me the happiest runner on earth!!

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How can you NOT want to run with this outside your door?Β 

Tonight I bought a bottle of Prosecco and Nina and I had plans to watch a marathon of Say Yes to the Dress!!

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Except she also had plans for me to dye her hair…we’re in process of seeing how it turned out, I’ll let you know!

In other random news…I got some Jets decals for my car for my birthday and stuck one of the random ones on our back door window. The cats proceeded to become obsessed with it and constantly scratched at the window ever since…nutty cats, nutty owners..

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Good afternoon entertainment considering our internet and cable were out until 10 pm 😦 

My last piece of random news is that i’d like to declare that I officially have the CUTEST nephews in the WORLD!!

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I melted the moment my sister in law sent these to me πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to see them this weekend!!

Happy Friday everyone!

Welcome back Quinoa!!

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I’m happy to say I mustered up the energy to get out of bed at 5 am this morning to hit the gym. Ok, maybe it wasn’t as quickly as I would have liked but I was able to get in 30 minutes on the stairclimber and 30 minutes on the arctrainer. Weight training has been non-existent for a while so I need to make more of an effort ASAP!

I started reading a new book I downloaded last week:

200px The Casual Vacancy

I really really enjoyed the Harry Potter series so I had hopes that this book would be awesome. Obviously I wasn’t expecting it to be anything like Harry Potter but I loved her writing style so figured why not. Its um…interesting so far. The language is pretty strong so that takes some getting used to. I had to read “Peyton Place” for a Culture of the 1950s class back in college and it’s starting to remind me A LOT of that book. I’ll see how it goes.

Work today was pretty crazy, but I feel like I say that more often then not. I always hope things might calm down but I should just get used to always pulling my hair out πŸ˜‰ Things are going to be changing with work in the near future so I’m excited for the possibilities and change of scenery. I’ll be able to say more once things are fully solidified πŸ™‚

You know what helps make a stressful day at work better?

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I stopped by the supermarket on my lunch break to pick up a couple of items and couldn’t resist these. I havent had one in forever and forgot how delicious they were. For 60 calories a pop, I’ll take it πŸ™‚

Actually, remember those nuts I bought last week?

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Best purchase ever. These are so ridiculously delicious I can’t even find the words for them. Kevin is really into them too so I’m sure it won’t be the last time we’ll be splurging on them πŸ™‚

I’ve been semi-productive after work today…I printed out a bunch of pictures over the weekend because I wanted to change out some of the older pictures we have hanging in the apartment and also wanted to fill up a new wall frame I picked up last week:

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I take so many pictures all the time (oh who am I kidding, its usually Kevin who is good with the camera and picture taking) but it always takes me forever to print them out. I need to do it more often!

I became reunited with an old friend today..

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I cant even remember the last time I made myself quinoa. For the last couple of weeks of marathon training all I was craving was eggs and bread! I still have a big bag sitting in my pantry so wanted to finally utilize it again. I simmered quinoa with chicken stock then stirred in a serving of sundried tomato goat cheese and a BIG handful of spinach. It was delicious and filling and I couldn’t be happier. I need to eat this more often!

I went back and forth in my head about whether I wanted to wake up and hit the gym and treadmill it tomorrow or run outside after work. I think I’m going to do an after work run…its been forever since i’ve done one. It sucks that it gets dark out so early now but it looks like i’ll be reintroducing another old friend into my life…

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HAHA how do you think I snagged Kevin?!

I have no problems with looking silly on the street with this on…its much better then not running at all or breaking my leg out there in the dark. I have a hard enough time not falling in the daylight πŸ˜‰ I like to run with this in the fall before it gets too cold at night, might as well take advantage before it does πŸ™‚

Time for me to get back to being lazy on the couch!

A weekend of birthdays

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Another weekend that flew by!

I woke up on Saturday morning bright and early to get 9 miles under my belt before I had to take Kevin to work at 10 am. I felt great and I love getting back into the swing of things! It was Kevin’s birthday but he had to work all day…he was a good sport about it. It also gave me time to run to Wegman’s so I could buy the ingredients for his birthday dinner that I was making for him Sunday night. Typically I take him out to dinner on his birthday every year but I asked him if he wanted me to cook for him at home this year since it’s been a while since we had a fancy home-cooked meal. He was totally down for it πŸ™‚ I also stopped by the mall to finish up the last of his birthday present.Β 

I had some good tunes for driving while I was running my Saturday errands:

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Kevin’s sister and her family got my an iTunes giftcard for my birthday and I’ve been putting it to good use! Sadly I had NO Boyz II Men on my iPhone so I had to change that πŸ˜‰

Kevin wasn’t the only one with a birthday this weekend…

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(You can tell how much she LOVES taking pictures)

It was my mom’s 50th birthday on Friday!! My dad invited me over for dinner on Saturday to celebrate so I drove up after I was done running my errands. I love getting to spend time with my family and nowadays it seems kind of rare for ALL of us to be together so twas a very nice night!

Afterwards Nina and I drove back to my apartment and finally picked up the Birthday Boy from work. I gave him his presents (new cross-trainers, a few new clothes, a video game, a vinyl and some candy) and Nina gave him hers as well (parks and recreation on DVD and a shirt) and then came the highlight of his birthday night…

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DOMO cake!!! hahaha…Kevin and I have had this running joke for a while now. I’m hello kitty obsessed and we like to say that Domo is her crazy counterpart. Thus began Kevin’s obsession with DOMO. We like to say that its the cartoon version of him πŸ™‚ Our friend Staci is amazing at making cakes and she did a fabulous job on this one. Kevin was so excited about it!

Sunday I took Kevin and Nina out to breakfast and then started doing prepwork for his dinner later that night. I baked an Apple pie for dessert late Saturday night so that was already done. I decided to make bacon-wrapped filet mignon topped with lobster, twice baked potatoes and a caesar salad. I mostly put together the potatoes and steak so that all I had to do was stick in the oven later on that night. We were headed out to watch the Jets/Patriots game that afternoon so I was trying to be super prepared for dinner to come together quickly right as we got home later. Unfortunately the Jets lost….but dinner cheered Kevin up because it all came out delicious:

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Absolutely not a healthy meal by any means but it’s his birthday and he cane have whatever he wants πŸ˜‰ I was a little scared about tackling the steak because I dont make beef too often and I’m afraid of overcooking it since we both like our meat done medium, but I’m happy to say dinner was a huge success. The rest of the night was spent lounging on the couch watching Dexter. It was a lowkey birthday for him but that is exactly what he wanted and I was glad to make him happy.

So begins another week. Work is crazy as usual but I feel like i’m making more headway wedding wise. I booked the hairstylist for the wedding and made my appointment to go bridal dress shopping in two weeks. I can’t tell if i’m excited or nervous but hopefully its a successful trip!

In other news, I ran 5 miles on my lunch break and felt good. I’m going to up my mileage slightly this week but I’m feeling recovered for the most part. No speedwork until next month though!

In classic Theresa fashion, my dinner is a really random mix:

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I scrambled egg beaters and shredded cheese with a bunch of spinach. I have a tub of spinach from Costco to use so expect to see lots of greens for the next two days…thats the expected time it will take me to go through that much spinach, haha!

Hope everyone had a good weekend!! Tell me about it in the comments!

Slow cooker turkey chili and new purchases

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Yeah, that whole getting up at 5 am to work out thing hasn’t been happening that much this week. Yesterday I chose to run on my lunch break instead. It works out perfectly since i’m still taking it slow with the running this week. I did 5 miles on my lunch break both yesterday and today. I’m feeling much more like my normal self. I’m happy just running to run right now and not be on any particular training schedule. As the Brooks running logo says…”Run happy!!”

I just want to state the fact that honeycrisp apples are by far the best apples ever:

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We took a trip to Costco today and I was hoping to buy a tray of these since the ones from Costco are HEAVEN but I couldn’t bring myself to pay 14.99 for a batch of them 😦 I hope the prices go down before they go completely out of season! I’ll probably pick some up from the supermarket to make Kevin a homemade apple pie for his birthday this weekend πŸ™‚

I DID end up picking up these from Costco:

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I love how I say I can’t bring myself to spend 14.99 on apples but I spent 10.99 on this bag of nuts that I’ve never tried. I think my rationality was that at least these will keep better longer πŸ˜‰ That and Sahale nuts are the BEST nuts ever. They are my honeycrisp of nuts πŸ˜‰

I’ll let you know the verdict as soon as I tear into these babies.

Kevin and I really wanted to use the crockpot for a meal this week so we tried out a new recipe! We have an ultimate favorite chili recipe but that one is done in the dutch oven and isn’t the healthiest. I wanted to try a healthier version of chili so we used this recipe only a little modified.Β 

INGREDIENTS:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound ground turkey
1(10.75 ounce) can low sodium tomato
soup
1 can diced tomatoes with chili peppers
1(15 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 pinch ground allspice
salt to taste
DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Place turkey in the skillet, and cook until evenly brown; drain.
2. Coat the inside of a slow cooker with cooking spray, and mix in turkey, tomato soup, kidney beans, black beans and onion. Season with chili powder, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, cumin, black pepper, allspice and salt.
3.

Cover, and cook 8 hours on Low or 4 hours on High.

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I healthified mine even more with a teaspoon of light sour cream and shredded cheddar πŸ˜‰

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Served with my last Goose Island beer from last weekend. If you ever see this one around, pick it up, its delicious! (and reminds me of Chi-town!!)

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I love these kind of meals during fall πŸ™‚

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Woohoo, almost the weekend!

Whoever thought I was photogenic never saw me run a marathon…

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Before we get to the title of my post, lets chat about a few things quickly.

I know you have heard me complain plenty of times about getting up to workout but its getting damn near impossible for me now. I rolled out of bed at 5:15 this morning only to get completely dressed for the gym and then contemplate going back to bed. I literally turned the light back off and curled up, about to go back to sleep in my gym clothes when I talked myself out of it. I could have worked out on my lunch break but that wouldve meant I couldnt run errands like I needed to on lunch. Being an adult with responsibilities sucks πŸ˜‰ I did end up getting in 30 minutes on the stairclimber and 30 minutes on the arctrainer. Weight lifting has been kind of nonexistent lately…oops!

I wanted to share with you guys my marathon playlist…now you can think i’m an even bigger geek then you did before.Β 

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As you can see, my musical tastes are all over the place.

I’m about to share the following with you because we are all best friends here and I dont mind laughing at myself. My friends and family always tell me how jealous they are that they think I’m SOOO photogenic and take great pictures. Well my friends, i am here to prove you wrong. I couldn’t believe it when I started looking at my photos. In the hazy like dream of my marathon memories, I could’ve sworn I was smiling and looked tough the whole time…

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LOL

These are the few semi ok photos:

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Andddd the money shot of me at the finish line:

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Needless to say, I won’t be ordering any of these photos anytime soon.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Another successful birthday celebration

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This weekend was a whirlwind in the best way possible. I woke up Saturday morning and hit the pavement for a slowww 8 mile run. I still felt sore in my hips but it went pretty smoothly otherwise. Slowly but surely getting back into the game!

Kev and I picked up my birthday cake and then headed up to my parents house. It was go go go from that point on…before we knew it, our family and friends started showing up and the night was underway. We had lots of food, lots of drink, lots of cake…but most importantly we got to spend time with the people we love the most. I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday celebration. I’m SO incredibly lucky!!

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Sunday was awesome too, we had a Jets win and then hung around withΒ each other. Not a bad way to cap off a weekend πŸ™‚

Take a look at all the fun gifts I got over the weekend:

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Thats just a few of them, I had a bunch more but figured I didn’t want to be too obnoxious with the pictures. I’m pretty sure i’m going to inhale those Peanut butter pretzels by Weds, tops.

Running wise, we’re off to a good start to the week…I did 5 miles on my lunch break and I felt good! My plan this week is to run more frequently but still be careful about the distance. Next week will probably be getting more back to normal. My goal from here on out is to build a good base without getting injured like last time. I have to learn when to back off if i’m feeling not quite right so I hope to be smarter this time around πŸ˜‰

Leftovers, seriously, i love you!!!

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Probably not the healthiest dinner but oh well. I stole a bunch of leftover paella and stuffed rice to bring home with us. I was drooling thinking about getting to eat this alllll day long and it did not disappoint!

Lobster and carbs= intense love

This month is crazy…my Birthday was last week but my cousin, mom and Kevin have their birthdays this week too!! It’s only the beginning of birthday celebrations around here. My father in laws birthday is just around the corner as well. Busy busy busy πŸ™‚

So here’s to the start of another week. I know its going to be a good one!

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