New Christmas Presents and recipe!

So I have been so excited to try out all of my new workout clothes and gear.  My brother gave me this awesome New Balance towel that is supposed to cool you off after your workout and is pretty much the coolest thing ever. It’s been pretty chili after my runs so I will have to save it for gym time.  I still haven’t used my Garmin since Christmas because it has been too cold and snowy outside, but I ‘m hoping I can again soon.  Because of the weather (snow in December?  What?!) I have had to use the treadmill at the gym. Lame. I know, I hate the treadmill too.  I just like to be running somewhere. Towards something.  I get antsy.  And Claustrophobic.  But I was excited to wear my new outfit.

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My other brother gave me this sweet under armour zip up which is literally the best material ever! It’s so soft and is supposed to keep you nice and warm outside.  I wore it to the gym because I just couldn’t wait.  The pants are from his girlfriend and they are also under armour and in my fave color!  She already knows me pretty well. I know, I’m super lucky.  I told you I got awesome Christmas presents this year.  However, my new stuff did not help improve my bevel.  I’ll work on it,

I also got this zip up Champions jacket from Target and I have literally been living in it!  24/7. It is the most comfortable thing ever.  And it’s super cute! You wouldn’t be able to tell from this terrible photo but it is. Trust me,

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Sorry about the Horrible Instagram Photo

After a quick 7 miles at the gym and walking back home in the freezing cold, I thought about how I could put one of my new baking Christmas presents from J to use.   I thought back (to the best holiday ever) and remembered how much he liked these pumpkin cookies.  So I did what I could with what I had.2012-12-28 21.19.06

I mixed half of the yellow cake mix with 3/4 of the can of pumpkin and 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips and a Tbs of Cinnamon.  Poured evenly into this cute little Christmas mini bread loaf kind of pan and baked at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

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The imprints on the pan didn’t work out so well, so I will have to find something else to bake in there.  Maybe more of a bready type substance.

Anyway, these are perfect right out of the oven when they are still warm and gooey.  Literally such an easy things to make.  Waiting for J to get home from his get to get the official taste test.

I may or may not have gone to target today and used a gift card from Christmas slash bought the whole store slash why are their groceries so much cheaper than anywhere else?  I got some pretty sweet deals on Christmas chocolate stuff, everything was 50 percent off!  IMG_20121229_212530

Minty.

I also may have picked up some monster trail mix.  The peanut butter chips are key.  So is the fact that the trail mix is mostly just chocolate and candy and nothing too nutritious.

It’s okay, I took two dance classes today.  I also had a lunch date in the city with my Hubmiester.  We ate salad.

Byeee.

Christmas at the Lake

It’s been awhile and I thought that Christmas would be a good place to recap.  This year was a pretty good Christmas.

Me and J spent the weekend having our own Christmas just the two of us before getting together with the family.  We celebrated on Sunday morning by opening our stockings in bed with coffee then the rest of our gifts after breakfast.

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I’m not going to lie I really got the best present in the entire world.  Like literally.  The best.

Mostly all J got from me was clothes.  I know, so romantic. He tried to fool me by getting me a ton of little presents so I would think I wasn’t getting much, but it didn’t work because I loved everything! One of my favorites was a giraffe usb flash drive.  So cute.  But the best one of all was…..can you guess?…

IMG_20121224_162949How did you know?  I have seriously been wanting a Garmin 305 for ages and J got me the upgrade, a 410!  I know I haven’t been good enough to deserve it but for some reason J still loves me!  I couldn’t wait to take it for it’s first spin but since we were up at the Lake that night I didn’t get a chance for a run right away.  It had to be a walk.  I was a little bratty disappointed about it but so excited to use it! I even used my nike+ app to try and compare the two.  They were actually pretty off.  I’m not sure if it is because of the satellites and the gps in the mountains/trees.  But I took it for a 6.75 mile run on Christmas in the snow and it was wonderful!  They both lined up a little more that time.  I still have a lot to learn about it and syncing and all that but definitely the best present ever!

I spent a lot of the Sunday day baking and getting ready to have family Christmas up at the lake.  I haven’t really ever baked for Christmas before (without my mom) so it was stressful fun to do it this year.  I mostly made a lot of candy because that is the least time consuming and what I like best (obviously).  My favorite is the peanut brittle!collage

There was so much that I wanted to make and didn’t get a chance to!  Maybe next year.  We drove Sunday night so that we were there for Christmas Eve.  We had a “relaxing” day and then went to mass that night.  On Christmas I went for my run and then the rest of the family arrived that afternoon. We opened our gifts with some wine and cheese before we ate dinner.collagetree

I definitely got all of the best gifts this year.  So much running/gym gear it makes a girl wanna work out more.  Or just hang out on the couch eating chocolate in all my comfy workout clothes.

Honestly though, the best part of Christmas was just hanging out with everyone, telling that’s what she said jokes, being funny, drinking wine, playing Uno and hanging out by the best fire ever woodstove.  Big shout out to my mom and dad for letting us hang out with them at their awesome lake house, and to my mom for making such amazing food for us to eat!

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Hope you all had a Merry Christmas!

Byeee.

Gluttony.

So I promised you a birthday post.

I had quite the birthday weekend.  Yes.  Quite.  Saturday J had a dueling gig and I went to see him and celebrate Halloween My Birthday!  It was such a great night and I got to hang out with my BFF and my cousin and her hubby!  I had a blast and J was amazing!  It was so good to finally see him do his thing.

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Rocking out!

Some more pics from the night..

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It was literally one of the most fun nights I have had in awhile.  I was clearly a creepy, ghouly Alice in Wonderland.  Clearly.  That picture of me crying is just to show the hilarity that transpired during the night . Lots of craziness.  Two cousins together makes for a photoshoot of laughter.  I am not going to bore you with all 10,234,234 pictures that were taken of just the two of us. Especially because we had the worst photographer ever!

So I have been using my birthday and the hurricane as an excuse to pig out and eat everything in sight. First I made birthday cake and then some little pumpkin cake/cookies.  They were delicious.

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I stole the cake recipe from HERE and pretty much followed the recipe except for the frosting.  Instead, I made a marshmallowy topping since I don’t really like cool whip (I know I’m so weird).  It was a really good cake, I don’t know about better than anything, but it was good.  The toffee bits topping was the best part!  I wont tell you about the night that J and I just took a spoon to the top.

Now, the cookies were really easy, just half a can of pumpkin mixed with half a box of vanilla cake mix and some dark chocolate chips and extra bits of  Halloween candy thrown in (I chopped milk duds and whoppers)!  Yum! (J ate about 5 before I could even take that picture)

The next few birthday days were spent hanging out, surviving the hurricane (we had a lot of light flickering), scary movie marathons (I couldn’t get enough, J was really scared though), scrabble, eating(anything and everything) and drinking (J bought me a bottle of Belvedere for my birthday!) and just plain being fat.  On Wednesday J made me scrambly eggs for breakfast with our champagne!  Champagne is good at pretty much anytime of day.  I got lots of great presents/gadgets and I have the best Hubberoo ever!  He really made my birthday super special and I am glad we got to spend so much quality time together before he goes away.

We went out to dinner for our last night together/my ACTUAL birthday at a cute place down the street.   I decided to be a hippie and J wore his fangs.

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I wear my sunglasses at night.

We were served by a nun who gave us free shots of tequila (I just remembered that right now as I am typing) and free scary candy when she had to tell us that they were out of dessert.  How can you be out of dessert?  I let it slide because all I actually wanted after dinner was a plate of fries (which they didn’t have either.  I guess they didn’t know that it was my birthday).  So we went off in search of some fries.  The great thing about this is that we have a billion restaurants/bars around us so we didn’t have to go far.  At our next stop we tried a crazy Japanese Single Malt which I think was called Yamazaki (but don’t take my word for it} and even though I really hate single malt, this one had more of a brandy flavor with a scotchy aftertaste.  It was really nice and I would definitely suggest. We didn’t stay out late because J had to catch a REALLY early flight in the morning (sadface).  Yes, he is leaving again, but only for a month this time.  I think I may live. Or not.  And don’t worry, on the way back from the airport I didn’t have to pick up any hitchhikers to take with me into the city, I made it back before 6am.

To sum it all up I had the best birthday/week and I can’t wait to do it again next year!

 

Byeeee.

Pumpkin.

I baked again..

One of my September goals was to bake something with pumpkin.  Cross that off the list {That, and only that}.  I have never really had a lot of pumpkin flavored things so I am trying something new.  I decided on some bread!  I used the pumpkin bread with pepitas recipe from skinnytaste.

 

 

 

I must say it came out pretty fantastic!  I of course had to add some dark chocolate chunks into it because everything tastes better with chocolate.  I’m still awaiting the arrival of the hubman from work so he can give the approval {and tell me to stop making up words}.

My mom is coming down tomorrow so we can go see some dancing at New York City Center.  Hopefully I can get her to eat some of this bread so I don’t scarf it down all by myself!

SO far I think I like this pumpkin thing!  Next up..  Apples.

 

Byee.

Peanut Butter Overload? Impossible.

I basically had the most amazing weekend.  Thursday, was hanging time with the rents while they checked out our new place, ate some of my zucchini coconut bread and then we drove them to the airport for their 40th Anniversary trip!  Yay for 40 years.  I am extremely jealous, but figure they deserve it.  Plus, J promised to take me somewhere really awesome when we have ours! {Hint: Greece would be nice.  End Hint.}

This also arrived..

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We finally have a little place to eat dinner!  {It opens out on both sides to make a round table!}  It’s perfect for our apartment and I am so lucky that I have a handy man to put things together and fix things for me.

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I have been taking a rest from running lately and have been doing more strength training or just long walks.  Friday was a rest day and me and J went for a walk running errands and around the park.

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He went home to get ready for work and I continued on to do about 5.3 miles. But a nice pace. Some views..

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Then I cam home made some Zucchini Chips and dinner.  They were burnt, but better that way.  Some of my eats..

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Saturday we ran some errands for some special baking that I wanted to do, went for a walk and J went to do more work while I drove up to my parents for the weekend.  We had plans to get some more things from storage, put some back in, and hang out with some friends of ours to celebrate their recent engagement.

I got to my parents and took advantage of the neighborhood {not city} environment to go for a run.  I don’t usually try to go for speed in my runs, it is more about just running and how I feel but this time I figured since I had the opportunity of flatter ground to see if I could make it faster.  I did 6.3 miles at an average pace of 8.12.  Not too bad since I have been running slower lately. 

IMG_20120812_003846I got back and started my baking!  It was nice to be able to bake in a bigger kitchen.  And not so hot.  I made some Nutella Brownies from Hungry Meets Healthy.  I only made four of these because I was more excited about the other goodies and did not want to go too overboard.

These weren’t so bad. But not my favorite.  Nutella is difficult to work with!

Then I moved onto some Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes with peanut butter frosting!!  They were as good as they sound don’t you worry.  I wanted to bake cupcakes for my friends who just got engaged so these sounded perfect.  I got the recipe from Sweet Tooth Sweet Life.  Amazing!!

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So.. you mix it up and then pop the Reese’s peanut butter cups in the center so they get all melty! Is melty not a word? Yes.. its ridiculously, amazingly, wonderfully good!

Next you make the frosting!  I wasn’t sure how this was going to go since I’m not really a baker,  but I figured I would try it.  And thank God I did! 

 

 

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It is literally the best frosting I’ve ever tasted.  I halved the recipe so I actually ended up having to make a little more for the last few cupcakes.  I made fifteen total! We had some left over frosting which was pretty great because you can dip anything into it! Anything.

 

 

 

To complete the cupcakes you add some extra Reese’s on top! I really thought I would be peanut buttered out.  But I guess that isn’t possible.

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{They look like little bowties!}

We didn’t end up seeing my friends so unfortunately we were stuck with all of these fantastic cupcakes to ourselves.  Sadface.  Notreally. Oh, and some champagne.  So instead we celebrated ourselves {because we are pretty awesome} with champagne, frozen pizza and PB cup chocolate cupcakes!  It was actually pretty wonderful!

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So all in all the weekend was great!  Me and the Hubbso had some really great quality time together, we ate lots of cupcakes and sugar, watched the ending ceremonies of the olympics and some of the meteor shower! Lucky we were upstate! QT time well spent.

Oh and last night we went for a jog together.  It was weird but wonderful.  See, I can share.

Byee.

 

Just Call Me Susie.

I am so proud of myself today!  I had and amazing food day!  This morning I had my usual breakfast and then for lunch some PB on an english muffin with bananas.

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I couldn’t decide so that is some regular PB and some Peanut Butter and Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams.  Amazing.

I decided to take the day off from running to give my knees and feet a break so I did an upper body workout at the gym and then biked for 25 minutes.  It was nice to get some strength training in again, I have been leaving my muscles out since I’ve been running so much.  Hopefully I will be feeling it tomorrow!

 

Crazy ab sweat!

Tonight for dinner I made this amazing jumble of food..

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and then I put it in a tortilla and made it a taco with some greek yogurt!

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Ground turkey, red and green peppers, black beans, onions, salsa and some other spices mixed in there.  Delish.

After dinner, while J was at work I decided to try out some baking!  Since it was National Zucchini Day,  YES, apparently they have a day for everything, AND zucchini is my favorite, I decided to try out a zucchini bread.

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I mixed a little of this Coconut Zucchini Bread recipe with this Zucchini Oatmeal Bread recipe.

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It tasted amazing!!!  When J came home it was just about done so we will have full bellies before bed. But it was so good I can’t even believe it!  And it’s good for you because it has zucchini in it!  No but really, no butter, no oil.  It’s not bad.

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 He liked it!!!

You wouldn’t even recognize me with all this cooking and baking!  Next time I will have to try it with some nuts or fruit or even chocolate!  We’ll see! {My sneaky plan to fatten J up is only just beginning!}

For now, it’s bedtime!

Byeee.