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It’s Friiiiiday!!!

And I got to work a very short day today, meaning I actually have a reason to celebrate with the rest of the world, despite having to work through the weekend!

I hope everyone has some fun things ahead of them this weekend. It’s actually supposed to warm up into the 60s in Sioux Falls, and I’m hoping to get outside for a run or a hike.

Let’s jump into some Friday Favorites:

1. Early Fall Walks

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While most people were not thrilled by the 50 degree weather yesterday, I was loving it. I decided to get outside and ended up going for about a 4 mile walk along the bike path near my apartment. Although the leaves are still very green, I could just tell it’s only a matter of weeks before that changes. It felt so nice to be outside in long pants and a sweatshirt. Maybe that sounds crazy to most people. Fall is definitely in the air!

2. Homemade Pumpkin Chai Latte

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I love chai lattes, but rarely order them at coffee shops for some reason. I was in the mood for one yesterday, so I made myself a cup of pumpkin chai tea, and added about 1/2 cup heated skim milk. It was perfect! I’ve done the same thing with green tea before, and it just was not the same. I’d like to try it with other spiced teas and maybe almond milk.

3. Red Grapes

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Why are grapes so addicting? I have been eating so many over the past few days I think I’m going to turn purple. I’ve been really low on snacky-foods this week, so grapes have been my go-to. I’ve been eating them plain, throwing them in cottage cheese, and adding them to salads. Only a couple months before this delicious fruit will be out of season!

4. Fall Fashion

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I’ve been a little obsessed with checking out Fall fashion trends on Pinterest lately. I think I may actually be a little daring this year and try out the whole leather pants trend. A little scary, but can’t hurt to try right? I love the above look but unfortunately, Sioux Falls isn’t really known for its high fashion and great shopping. I may have to look for a pair next time I’m in Minneapolis.

5. ‘Last Known 9/11 Rescue Dog’ Story

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You may have seen Bretagne the Golden Retriever’s story popping up on social media and the news yesterday. She is the last known living 9/11 search and rescue dog. She is 15, and is still helping those in need. I caught Tom Brokaw’s story on the pup on the Today Show yesterday, and almost started crying it was so sweet. I just had to share it!

9/11 Rescue Dog Story

That’s all for my Friday Favorites. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

 

 

 


I’m back!

It’s been about three weeks since the last time I blogged. I’ve been working a lot of very strange shifts and schedules at work lately which has thrown me for a loop, but now I’m back on track!

I have some good Friday Favorites today, but first, there’s something I want to share.

A few months ago I wrote about how I will be running in the Sioux Falls Half Marathon. Well, about a week ago I made the decision to sit this one out. Honestly, throughout my entire training I was pretty unenthused about the race. It never really felt right, but I wanted to push myself through training and run a strong race.

A few weeks ago, about a month out from the race, I started dreading my runs. I was so unmotivated during long runs and it definitely showed in my times. I knew I didn’t want to go into a race feeling unmotivated and unprepared, so I made the decision to just not participate in the race.

I never actually paid for the race, since the price stays the same until the day before, unlike most races where the price goes up like crazy as the date gets closer.

I am a little disappointed in myself. I really wanted to beat my PR and run a sub-2:00 half marathon. However, I just knew something was off, and I know there will be plenty of other races in the near future. I don’t like the idea of quitting, but I think when it comes to fitness, you have to be motivated and you have to be excited about your goal. I was certainly not excited about this race.

Well, glad that’s out of the way! In other news, Mike is coming this weekend! Woohooo!!!

Friday Favorites

1. Wild Game Meats

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The photo above is the moose & rice casserole I made the other night. Yes, moose. My dad is a big hunter and it seems every time I visit him lately he insists on giving me pounds of wild game meat. Currently I’m stocked up on ground moose, moose steaks, elk steaks, and venison sausage. I know moose might not sound like the most appetizing thing in the world, but it’s actually quite good. It’s also one of the leanest meats out there. I found a website that lists some of the leanest wild game meats, and Elk and Venison are also on the list.

2. Finnish Coffee

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One of my best friends recently took a trip to Scandinavia and was kind enough to bring me back a few souvenirs! I am actually 50% Finnish which is why she brought something from Helsinki, the capital of Finland. This coffee is amazing. Not too bold, nice medium blend. Just the way I like it! Those Fins must know how to brew a good cup of coffee.

3. Weekend Breakfasts on Weekdays

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One nice thing about having Wednesday and Thursday off each week is I have time to make traditional ‘weekend’ breakfasts midweek! This week, I whipped up some protein pancakes one day and protein french toast another day. I think the added chill in the air as fall gets closer adds something special to a nice pancake breakfast.

4. Miss Poppy

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I took this photo while lounging with the pups, Alfie and Poppy, at my parents house in Minneapolis last week. This is sweet Ms. Poppy. She’s the smallest full grown black lab I’ve ever seen and is just a big ball of affection. I could hang out on the couch with her all day, but she’s quite an athlete so I doubt she’d be able to sit still for that long.

That’s a wrap! Hope everyone has some exciting weekend plans!

 


Good morning!

It’s Friday! Which means it’s really my Monday. I’ve had the past two days off and can’t say I’m looking forward to getting back to work today, but hopefully this next week will fly by!

I’m a little bummed right now. I had an 8 mile run planned for this morning but woke up to pouring rain outside. It’s been so gross in Sioux Falls the past couple of days. Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise because my legs are still dead tired from a lower body workout the other day, and 8 miles doesn’t sound like too much fun right now. Hopefully I can squeeze it in tomorrow morning instead.

Let’s move along to some Friday Favorites:

1. ‘Share a  Diet Coke with Rachel’ 

Image 3Hey that’s me! I’ve been hoping to find a ‘Rachel’ coke or diet coke since the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign started. My co-worker brought this back to the station the other day to show me and I had to snap a pic! It’s the little things in life, right? I’ve seen some pretty obscure names on coke bottles and cans, but I knew a few ‘Rachels’ had to be out there somewhere! I try to keep my soda intake relatively low, but I do like to enjoy a Diet Coke or Diet Dr. Pepper every now and then.

2. Cereal at night

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I’ve been really into having a small bowl of cereal as a late night snack lately. I’m normally not a huge cereal person, which I’m sure will shock everyone, but lately I just can’t stop craving it. My go-to cereal lately has been HyVee brand Oats & More with honey.

IMG_2362I always have cereal on hand to throw in my yogurt or mix into a smoothie for a bit of crunch, but rarely just eat it the old fashioned way with a spoon and some milk! Some of my other favorite cereals lately have been Kashi Golean Crunch and Fiberone 80 Chocolate.

3. Fall Ideas

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Fall is creepin’ up! Halloween decorations are starting to make their way into stores, and I’ve seen a lot of fall-pinteresting going on lately. The above photo caught my eye while I was browsing Pinterest this week. It’s originally from Fox Hollow Cottage. Fall is my favorite time of year without question. I can’t wait for cooler weather, changing leaves, and of course, everything pumpkin spice flavored!

4. ‘Chicago Food Authority’ Instagram

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When I lived in Chicago, I knew the food was good. Now that I can’t have it, I find myself constantly dreaming of it. the Chicago Food Authority Instragram page is a compilation of various food photos taken around the city. Anyone can submit their photos which is great. I just discovered the instagram account this week and have been drooling over it ever since. Oh what I would give to have any type of cuisine just steps out my front door. Not knocking Sioux Falls, but after living in Chicago for four years I am definitely spoiled when it comes to food options.

5. Chicago Countdown!

I won’t have to wait much longer to get my hands on some of that delicious Chicago food!

In exactly one week, Mike and I will be taking off for Chicago for a long weekend! I am beyond excited. I haven’t seen my Chicago friends since December and can’t wait to be reunited!

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wild college life

wild college life

We already have quite the to-do list, or should I say ‘to-eat’ list while we’re in Chicago. Mike and I are going to stop by some of our favorite places like Ditka’s, Athenian Room, and Homeslice. My former roommate Gabby and I are also planning on going out for sushi, and I’m sure I’ll fit a Chicago hot dog in there somewhere! Most of all, I’m just looking forward to seeing some of my best friends.

I’m heading out of Sioux Falls a day before we leave for Chicago so I’ll have some time to spend with family and friends in Minneapolis. Seriously, this next week can’t go by quick enough. I haven’t been this excited since like…Christmas. That’s saying a lot.

Have a great Friday!

 

 


Good morning!

I know Friday is a celebratory day for most people as it marks the start of the weekend. However, my schedule has changed dramatically and Friday is now actually my Monday! I’m currently working a Fri-Tues schedule. Sounds depressing, but I’m still pumped that it’s Friday because that means Mike comes today!

I also will have a chance to enjoy some weekend-like activities over the next couple of days. I’m not complaining!

Friday Favorites:

1. Running Routine

I’m running the Sioux Falls Half Marathon in September and started my training about 2 weeks ago. I haven’t ran more than 2 miles since my last half marathon was cancelled over a month ago. I’m slowly getting back into my running routine and it feels great! Of course, the most important part of the routine is the pre-run snack/meal:

Pre-run meal

Pre-run meal

Bagel thin+PB+Banana+Coffee.

I have the same pre-run meal anytime I’m running more than 5 miles. If it’s less than that I may just have a cup of coffee or handful of cereal before. Well, yesterday I was supposed to complete a 6 mile run that got cut very, very short due to a full on thunderstorm that popped up out of nowhere.

Rain-soaked run

Rain-soaked run

I made the decision to turn around once it started pouring. I even spotted lightning a couple times. Yikes! I finished just over 4 miles, and even with the rain, it was still a good-feeling run!

2. Summer Smoothies

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While I’m no fan of scorching hot weather, I am a fan of smoothies. And hot weather means I consumer more and more smoothies! We have had some very hot days in Sioux Falls lately so I’ve been having smoothies for lunch, breakfast and snacks. The smoothie above consisted of frozen mangoes, strawberries, vanilla whey protein, plain greek yogurt and pineapple juice. Nice and tropical!

3. Dasani Sparkling Water

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I’m a big fan of sparkling water and am always on the lookout for new kinds to try. Dasani sparkling water was on sale at the grocery store last week, so I picked up a 12-pack of the lime flavor. This is naturally flavored, unsweetened sparkling water which is typically my favorite. I love the lime flavor, but would also like to try some berry flavors. If you’re a sparkling water fan, I recommend trying the Dasani brand!

4. Skinny Cow Mint Ice Cream Sandwiches

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There are certain foods I can’t control myself around; potato chips. french fries, brownies, etc. Ice cream is not one of those foods. Call my crazy, but ice cream is something I can normally do without. That said, I’m loving these Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches. My family bought them while they were here for 4th of July. That shows you how untempted I am by ice cream, I’ve been able to let these sit in my freezer for almost a month! Anyway, these are delicious. Like I said there have been some hot hot days here lately, so ice cream comes in handy when I need a good cool down. Plus, mint is my favorite ice cream flavor!

5. Kitty Cat

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Lyra moved in with me almost two weeks ago when I brought her back to Sioux Falls from my childhood home in Minneapolis. She’s already used to her new home, and I love having a little friend around when I come home from work. Don’t worry, this won’t become a cat picture blog.

I’m off to complete that 6 mile run!

 

 

 

 


Morning!

It has been another crazy week! My family was in town last weekend for the Fourth of July, and I feel like I’ve been trying to catch my breath at work ever since. This is my last week before I start working weekends for good, so I’m planning on going home to Minneapolis on Saturday one last time. The craziness continues.

Let’s jump into Friday Favorites:

1. Fourth Of July Food

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Thanks to my mom I was left with tons of leftovers to polish off this week. Not complaining at all. My mom knows I (try to) eat healthy, so she’s usually pretty good about accommodating me when she’s making meals. For the Fourth of july she whipped up all the staples; brats, burgers, potato salad, fruit salad, etc. However, she went for healthier options in most cases. For example, she bought turkey brats, lean ground beef, potato salad with light mayo, and baked potato chips. I really appreciate the thought, and it means I feel okay eating the leftovers for dinner all week!

2. Extreme Protein Pancakes

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I love protein pancakes, but the best part about making them is getting creative with the toppings. I’m a topping/condiment enthusiast. I don’t like food that isn’t jazzed up. These special little protein pancakes that I made earlier in the week had all the bells and whistles: blueberries, banana, PB2, sugar free preserves, and of course syrup. It might sound like adding so much to these pancakes defeats the purpose of making ‘healthy’ pancakes, but that depends. If you’re topping your food with unhealthy additions like full fat mayo or in this case, full sugar syrup, then you can run into some problems. Adding a couple healthy toppings won’t hurt, and it will make things much more flavorful!

3. Mighty Maple Peanut Butter

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My love for Peanut Butter & Co. continues. This was the only flavor at the grocery store this week that I hadn’t tried, so naturally I had to get it! The texture is unlike any other flavor of theirs. It is so creamy and smooth. I’ve been topping pancakes, toast, and english muffins with this deliciousness all week! I don’t think it’s better than ‘dark chocolate dreams’, but it’s up there.

4. Caramel & Cheddar ‘Boom Chicka Pop’

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I know this stuff has already made in into Friday Favorites, but I just can’t get over it. During the workday, I honestly dream of how delicious this stuff will be for dessert. It may be one of the best sweet/savory combinations ever created. I know caramel & cheddar popcorn existed before this stuff, but this is my first love affair with it. SO, so good. Plus, it’s not that bad for you!

5. This Scholarly Puppy

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Are you guys familiar with dogs of instagram? If not, I highly recommend checking it out. I get my daily dose of dog cuteness from their posts every day. I love photos of dogs acting or looking like humans. Look at this little honey bun looking like a scholar! Love it! Dogs of instagram is also great anytime I’m feeling a little down. As soon as I see a photo of a cute pup it just brightens my day!

That’s it for Friday Favorites. On a different note, I will be starting my training for my next half marathon this weekend! Let’s hope this one doesn’t get cancelled.

 


Good morning! It’s a gloomy day in the Sioux Empire, but Mike is coming to visit tonight so I’m excited!

I have some pretty good favorites this week. Let’s kick things off on this Friday morning.

Friday Favorites

1. Tropical Smoothies

Smoothie

Smoothie

I’ve been really into tropical flavors in my smoothies lately. I bought a few mangoes this past week and those little devils have been making their way into breakfast, lunch and snacks all week. The above smoothie was made with mango, banana, strawberries, vanilla protein powder and plain greek yogurt. Tropical fruits like mangoes or pineapple just always make me feel like I’m on vacation. Love it!

2. Mike’s LITE Hard Lemonade

Mike's LITE

Mike’s LITE

I’ve been a big fan of Mike’s Hard Lemonade ever since my Mike turned me onto it when we first started dating. My favorite flavor is the black cherry, but honestly I love them all. I can usually only handle drinking one since there is so much sugar in the traditional Mike’s Hard Lemonade. I get pretty bad headaches from too much sugar, especially when it’s mixed with alcohol. That’s why I’m diggin’ the lightened up version of Mike’s Hard Lemonade. It tastes just as good to me, but I definitely noticed how much better I felt after drinking it compared to when I drink a whole regular one. Plus, it’s lemonade with alcohol. Perfect for summer!

3. Sweet Grass 

Sweet Grass Restaurant

Sweet Grass Restaurant

If I was ranking my favorites in order, this would be at the top. This cute little cafe is in Wessington Springs, the small town I’ve been spending a lot of time in lately due to the horrible tornado damage they sustained last week. If you’ve ever spent time in a small town, you’ll know there aren’t typically a whole lot of decent dining options. Sweet Grass completely wipes out any idea I’ve ever had about small town restaurants. Everything they make is fresh, delicious and simple. All the salad dressings hare homemade and the prices are good as well! I’ve eaten here four times in the past week and have yet to have a bad meal. My most recent eat was a chicken salad sandwich on wheat bread and a side salad with house made strawberry vinaigrette. Of course, they make their chicken salad in house.

Chicken Salad Sandwich

Chicken Salad Sandwich

4. Karen Cookies

Chocolate Chip "Karen" Cookies

Chocolate Chip “Karen” Cookies

During my time as a nanny in college, the mother of the kids I watched, Karen always made the same chocolate chip cookie recipe. I got pretty comfortable with the recipe myself, and now it is my go-to chocolate chip cookie. I call them “Karen Cookies” since they will always remind me of her. I made a batch last night for my co-worker’s going away celebration today. I like these cookies because they’re soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. I will most certainly share the recipe on her sooner than later.

That’s all! Weekend time!

 


Good evening or good early morning!

It’s still Friday on the west coast, so we’re going to let my ‘Friday Favorites’ tardiness slide.

Dinner

First off, I got home from work around 10:00 tonight and was craving pizza and breakfast. I was really struggling to decide which one I wanted most, so I decided to combine them to make a breakfast pizza!

breakfast pizza

breakfast pizza

This little creation hit the spot. I topped a toasted Flatout Flatbread with 3 cooked egg whites, 2 slices turkey bacon, chopped red bell pepper, spinach, cheddar and mozzarella cheese, and popped it in the oven for about 6 minutes at 400 degrees. Oh! I also used Sriracha as the ‘sauce’ for the pizza. Good call.

Like I said in my last post, this week has been nuts. Which brings me to my list of Friday Favorites!

Friday Favorites 

Five tornadoes touched down in South Dakota on Wednesday night, and one really tore up a small town in the central part of the state. I’ve been covering the damage out there for the past two days. The experience has been absolutely unreal and it’s something I’ll never forget. That brings me to my first ‘favorite’:

1. South Dakota Weather 

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I know this shouldn’t be a ‘favorite’, but let me explain. As a reporter, there’s really nothing like covering natural disasters. This week has been full of floods, thunderstorms, and tornadoes. Thankfully, there have been no serious injuries and things are starting to slowly get better throughout the state. Covering all these storms has been exhausting, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything right now.

2. Overnight Oats

overnight oats

overnight oats

Like I said, this week has been crazy. I haven’t been getting much sleep, and getting adequate nutrition has also been a struggle. It’s times like these that overnight oats really come in handy! I’ve been preparing overnight oats the night before I know I have to wake up early for a story. This morning I was up at 4:30 a.m. to head out to cover tornado damage. I knew there was no way I would feel like cooking breakfast that early, so I whipped up a batch of overnight oats last night! This bowl was made with 1 container Dannon Greek Light and Fit blueberry yogurt, 1/3 cup raw oats, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1 tbs ground flax, 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder, plus banana, blueberries, and Kashi cereal for toppings.

3. Boom Chicka Pop Caramel & Cheddar Mix

BOOM CHICKA POP!

BOOM CHICKA POP!

This popcorn is TOO good. I’ve been getting home reeeeal late these past few days, and have been digging into this bag each night for a little pick me up. This mix is my absolute favorite. I’m a big fan of the sweet and savory combo when it comes to food. The cheddar with the caramel is the perfect pairing if you’re a sweet + salty person. Just be careful once you open a bag of this stuff because it’s tough to stop stuffing your face.

4. True Blood Final Season 

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I True Blood still cool? I don’t care either way. I’ve watched this show since season 1, and have been a fan through and through. I can’t believe the final season starts this Sunday! I plan on spending my Saturday night re-watching the previous season to jog my memory. I’m not a big vampire person, but I love the way True Blood fits real world social issues into the show. I’ll be sad to see it go!

That’s all! I need to get some sleep. I’m heading back to tornado town bright and early in the morning!



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