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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.

 


This week has been so cool.

I’ve covered some seriously awesome stories, and today the fun continues. I will be interviewing legendary journalist Tom Brokaw!

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Tom Brokaw is actually from South Dakota, and is speaking at an event in a tiny little town this afternoon. It’s going to be about a 2 hour drive but totally worth it!

Let’s move on to some Friday Favorites. Like I said, this week has been a great one at work. That brings me to my first ‘favorite’ of the day:

1. Buffalo 

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Bison or buffalo? Whatever you want to call them, these animals are amazing. I got to spend some quality time with these guys for a story this week on a buffalo ranch. Did you know the males can weigh around 2,600 pounds? That’s insane! I know this has nothing to do with food or fitness, but I was seriously wowed by my buffalo encounter.

2. Buffalo Jerky Sticks

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So did I mention buffalo meat is also amazing? Bison burgers have become increasingly popular in restaurants, and even in grocery stores. The meat is actually leaner than lean ground beef! It’s a little pricy, but worth spending the money every once in a while I’d say. After my day on the buffalo ranch, the owner was kind enough to let me sample some buffalo jerky sticks. These things rule. I’m a huge jerky fan, and buffalo jerky did not let me down.

3. Empty Gym

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I love having the gym to myself. One of the perks of early morning workouts at my gym is there is rarely anyone there. Occasionally there will be maybe one or two people, but most mornings it’s just me! Yesterday was one of those mornings and it was great. Sometimes I like being in a packed gym atmosphere because it helps me get pumped up, but typically I like having the place to myself. No feeling self-conscious or worrying about waiting in line for a machine. I wish this happened more often.

4. Long Weekends With Mike

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The past two weekends have been particularly enjoyable. Two weeks ago I had a nice 3-day weekend in Minneapolis, and this past weekend Mike had an extra day to spend in Sioux Falls. When you’re in a long distance relationship, an extra day really does make a difference. I rarely have the opportunity to take a day off of work, so I really hold onto the time that I do get.

Hope everyone is ready for the weekend!


Morning!

I’m just getting in from a nice and easy 3 mile morning run that was supposed to be at half marathon pace.

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Got a little ahead of myself on the whole half marathon pace, but oh well.

 

I’m hopping on the Friday blogging bandwagon and would like to share some of my recent ‘favorites’ and things that I’ve been diggin’ lately. Let’s see where this goes.

Fruit Salad

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I have been eating a sickening amount of fruit salad this week. I made this huge bowl on Monday and have been adding it to greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and of course enjoying it by itself. Summer fruits are so delicious I just can’t get enough of them. I think I’ll add some blueberries to my next batch!

Simple Charm Necklaces

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Not sure why it looks like my chest is having an allergic reaction in that photo. Whoops! It seems like on TV, you either need to wear a big staple piece necklace or something very subtle. I’ve found myself really gravitating towards simple charm necklaces like these lately. I love the one pictured above that I got from a cute store called ‘Zing’ in Sioux Falls last weekend. My mom also got me a similar one with a circle charm as an Easter gift.

Cerise Limon La Croix Sparkling Water

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I’m a big fan of sparkling water. I spotted this new flashy La Croix flavor in Target the other day, and when I saw a case was on sale for $2.99 I had to go for it. Plus, I love all things cherry lime (especially Sonic’s cherry limeade). If you’re a sparkling water drinker, I recommend giving this new La Croix a try.

Spring Weather

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I never want Summer. I’m sure that sounds nuts, but I’ve never been a fan of hot weather. On the other hand, I’m loving Spring. It’s been absolutely perfect in Sioux Falls this past week; highs in the mid 70s and very little wind. I’m dreading the 90 degree weather and humidity that’s just around the corner. I’m going to enjoy this ideal weather while it lasts!

Hope everyone is looking forward to their Memorial Day weekend! I’ll be working through Saturday but am hoping to get outside to enjoy the holiday weekend Sunday and Monday. Plus, the outdoor pool at my apartment complex is opening this weekend. Woo!



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