1. Is it too early to start planning another vacation? I say no. Tim says yes. I know I still need to post our last leg of our Europe. After I post that, then can we look at next getaway? Ok, cool.
2. I have really been embracing night running. The cooler temps and darkness make me feel like I'm flying. Yes, mum, I'm wearing my headlamp and reflectors! The only thing about night running is how much more gear you have to put on - pants, couple shirts, coat, hat, gloves, reflectors, headlamp, headband, neck warmer, blah, blah, blah. It's a scene.
3. I'm still swooning over my new little baby nephew, Reed. He is so adorable.
4. Pumpkin, pumpkin, and more pumpkin. I really tried to use up the can of pumpkin I opened this week, and made Pumpkin Pancakes and Pumpkin French Toast Bake. The rest of it is a treat for Louie who literally goes crazy for it. Like, he gets crazy eyes. It's weird.
6. He's really started to pay attention to the TV - actually watching it. This new activity also includes: barking at other dogs on TV, barking at the doorbell on TV, and watching the Packers. Whatcha doing Lou? Oh, nothing, just chillin' with my dad.
7. I had a friend prank me and change my phone to Spanish. Not that bad, but so annoying when it comes to auto-correct. Hi becomes Hola. See you soon becomes Ser you son (and you is underlined red as incorrect spelling). I've changed it back, but it keeps reverting. Dios mio.
8. It's pomegranate season! And these little seeds are the bomb. So yummy. Although you really have to work for these guys. It's worth the work, I guess.
9. Hot topic: Christmas season slowly creeping up into July. Ok, but seriously, we have a rule in our house that Christmas starts the day after Thanksgiving. This rule is hard for me to follow, and I may or may not have already watched Love Actually, but I respect the rule, because if Christmas was alllll the time it wouldn't make it special. So counting down until Friday.
10. Christmas! Oh, wait, I have 5 more days.
11. Thanksgiving! Annual tradition to is run the Turkey Trot in Mequon with the Quakenboss clan and then stuff myself with delicious food. I'm lucky in the fact that my parents are invited to my in-laws, so it's one big happy family and no mass traveling for me and Tim. YAY!
12. Since it's the season of thanks, I'm thankful for my wonderful friends and family. You are all awesome and I love having you in my life. And my hubs who probably puts up with more than he should. And Louie for being such an awesome dog.
I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and safe travels!
Fall means delicious things like pumpkin! But once you open a can, you have to get creative with using it up. Lucky for me, my pup goes CRAZY for pumpkin puree, so he may be getting some in his food bowl tonight.
This past week, my husband was entertaining customers at a delicious steak dinner, so I made myself Pumpkin Pancakes. I will eat pancakes any time of day, any day of the week. I dream about them in my sleep, and think about them while running. My friend Sarah had posted this pumpkin pancake recipe, so I just had to try them.
And then add to griddle. I add some dark chocolate chips to one batch and craisins to the next batch. I liked the chocolate ones better. Whole cranberries would have been better, but I didn't have any.
So then I went to the pins to use up the rest of the pumpkin puree and found this recipe from Minalimist Baker - Pumpkin French Toast Bake. What do I love other than pancakes? French Toast!
Cut up yummy bread into 1-inch cubes.
Top with brown sugar and chopped walnuts. Bake.
Drizzle with maple syrup. YUM. Like candy. But it's breakfast.
Pumpkin Pancakes from Mountain Man Approved
Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg together in a medium bowl. Combine egg, oil, milk and pumpkin in a small bowl. Stir pumpkin mixture into dry ingredients. Leave to stand for five minutes.
Scoop batter on to a hot griddle sprayed with cooking spray. Turn pancakes when bubbles appear and edges are cooked. Top with butter and maple syrup.
Add dark chocolate chips. YUM!
Cut any kind of bread into 1-inch cubes – just use enough slice to fill a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish quite full.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, pumpkin puree and pie spice until well combined. Pour over bread and push down with a spoon or your hands until it’s all soaked and mostly covered. Cover with saran wrap or lid and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees, uncover and top with brown sugar, additional pumpkin pie spice and nuts (optional). Bake for 35-45 minutes or golden brown and no longer wet.
Serve immediately with maple syrup. Store leftovers in the refrigerator covered for up to a couple days.
Ever since my sister-in-law Sarah called and told me they were expecting, I have been sooooo excited. A little baby! And my first nephew. But I was not prepared for how much I would love this little guy.
Sarah was overdue by about a week when she went into labor. After more than 15 hours in labor, her doctor determined that she needed a c-section. Shortly after, Baby was born.
Reed Matthew arrived on November 14 at 1:05pm weighing 7.15lbs and was 21.5 inches long. He is perfect in everyway from his brown hair to his little nose and perfect little mouth. He looks like both his parents, no one gene pool overpowering the other.
Sarah was doing so well. I was in awe of her, having given birth by c-section one day earlier, and she looked so amazing and so natural in her new role as mother. I was also really impressed with Joe, and how he was with Reed, while taking care of Sarah at the same time.
1. Just a warning: this post is full of LOUIE.
2. My mum spent a couple days with us last week and we are so spoiled. She cooked, and cooked and baked. Took Louie out for walks, and played with him. Cleaned up our yard. And went grocery shopping...twice. And by 10am, I would have 5 pictures like this on my phone:
6. The election already feels really far away. But it was only last week. Am I happy? Yes. I'm more looking forward to seeing what the House and Senate do TOGETHER. But I'm happy and believe that human equality is more important than more money in my bank account. One of the many reasons I voted for Obama, but that's just me.
7. I volunteered at Girls on the Run 5K this weekend - and it was a blast. I applied to be a coach for the spring, so wanted to volunteer at the fall race and check it out. It's an after school program where girls are coached for 10 weeks, and then the season ends with a 5K. It's super cool, and really awesome to see so many young girls being introduced to running so early. I was introduced late - running to me then was just a part of sports. I didn't know that I could run just to run. My friend Angie joined me, and we also took part in the 5K, taking it easy and enjoying our time catching up. Girl power.
8. MOAR LOUIE!
10. It's only 9 days until the one of the best days of the year - a day of running and eating. Thanksgiving! YAY!
I had started to believe that I would never scrap again...or remember how to when the time came. I literally hadn't sat down and focused since last November, so when two Madison friends said let's spend a couple hours crafting, I jumped at the chance.
For those of you who only know me post-college, I was pretty nerdy in the scrapbook area in my earlier years. I started in high school, worked in a scrapbook store, and was eventually president of the UW Scrapbooking Club in college (I can hear you laughing from here). I made some really awesome friends during that time, and we were usually the youngest by like 30 years at most scrapbooking events.
Anyway, fast forward, and since working full time, getting into some other hobbies like running, and getting a puppy, scrapbooking has taken a backseat. But I was happy to devote some time to sunday scrapday, and going to try to make this a regular occurrance - even if it's just for an hour.
Starting to scrapbook after a long hiatus can be very overwhelming - what do you start with? I took the easy road and picked something recent - Louie! So I started a book on Louie and really enjoyed myself. Scrapbooking for me is a creative outlet, and I almost feel lighter afterwards. And I get to catch up with friends, so that's always a bonus :)
So being in the midwest, we didn't physically feel the impact of Hurricane Sandy. But we still hurt and want to help those affected.
If you are asking how you can help, and you like to run, please join me in Race for Recovery, a virtual race organzied by a NYC running mom.
The mom wanted to help, but has two little ones at home, so decided to see how a virtual race would pan out. After reaching out to several sponsors, she was able to garner some support (and prizes!)
The donations will benefit the Tunnels to Towers Foundation, which runs a race to commemorate 9/11. They are collecting donations for the Hurricane Sandy Relief as well, and their information is here.
Read her blog post here and then take these steps:
Step 1: Sign up: Race Registration (The more you donate, the more you are entered to win the prizes).
Step 2: Donate here at the Crowdrise website.
Step 3: You need to run a 5K or 10K (or both) on or before December 8th. This could be on your own or with some friends.
Step 4: Record your results here!
Let me know if you sign up and if you're in the Madison area, interested in running together!
1. My husband was introduced to coffee this weekend. It was REALLY scary.
2. I'm slightly jealous of all my running friends dominating the Tyranena Beer Half Marathon - it was a great way to end the season and looks like you all had so much fun!
3. We cheered on the Packers yesterday with 70,000 other packer friends. It was a good game, amazing fall day and good company. I'm glad I went - almost didn't because of an "oncoming" cold.
6. I'm doing a Photo A Day Challenge this month - something I've wanted to do for a long time. This one is from a mum's blog in Australia. I happen to fall upon it on Nov 1 (lucky me!) from my friend Krista. Photos are on instagram with hashtag #fmsphotoaday.
7. Last week was Halloween, and we had some friends come and visit, one of which was a dinosaur. No big deal. Little Lion made an appearance too. And Santa.
8. Herb-crusted roasted pork loin with a balsamic glaze with garlickly potatoes and green beans. YUM.
9. Card stunt! It was miliatary appreciation day across the NFL, so we did a pretty cool card stunt during the national anthem.
13. GO VOTE tomorrow! It's such a cool priviledge. Do it.