Category: Recipes + Food

The rest of the weekend (family & food)!

By , April 9, 2018 12:42 pm

The 5K I did this weekend was in my hometown, so I got to see my parents, my brothers and their families, my grandma, my aunt, AND! my snister and her family because they came up from Kansas City for the weekend! Woo hoo!

We rented a house with Snis and her family (it was our first time doing that in our hometown), and it worked out well!

Us with Snis and fam


We got in around 6:00 pm on Friday and hung at the rental house with Snis, Will, William, and Mom and Dad. Christina (Snis) gave me this beautiful painting she had done of Snow. I’m looking forward to finding the purrfect spot to hang it.

Artwork by dimdi

She gave it to me at the same time I got a text from Bobbi, who was checking in on the cats for us, saying how strange it was not to see Snow at the house. Aww, sad face. It IS strange and we miss him so much. I still get choked up about him being gone, from time to time. Mostly now though, it’s just stories and me saying I miss him. I’ll really love having this painting of him to remind me of him each day. It’s such a thoughtful gesture from Christina and her family.

On Friday we began our culinary tour for the weekend, ha! Half of us got Thai food, and half of us got pizza. And Christina and I enjoyed vegan cupcakes Dad had picked up for us during the day!

Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies & Cream from Scratch Cupcakery


Saturday was the race, but more importantly, it was my sister-in-law Alyssa’s birthday! I was pumped we were going to be in town to celebrate with her! After the race, we all hung out at Grandma’s and the kids did an Easter egg hunt, then we went out for lunch. Ha, again, it was a half and half split of pizza and Asian food (half went to The Other Place, and half went to HuHot).

There was a basket for us!

We came back to Grandma’s and had MOAR cupcakes!!!!

Christina, Alyssa, and me

And hung out together for a lot of the day.

Christina taught me a dance move I’ve been wanting to learn

We finished the night by going out for drinks (and bar food!) for Alyssa’s birthday, at a bar my uncle owns in town. Another aunt of mine was there working, so we got to see her too, yay!


On Sunday I ran with Dad,

William still doesn’t know what to think of my running outfits

then we packed up to go home! We stopped by Grandma’s and a few of us went out for Mexican food,

then we hit the road. My hometown was supposed to get 3-6 inches of snow, and the storm started while we were at lunch, so we wanted get ahead of it. We did, thankfully, but staying ahead of the storm meant we had to cancel meeting up with my other grandma. Bummer. Maybe next time I try to meet up with her in April there won’t be a snow storm?!?!!??!?!?!?!??!?! WTF.

The drive home is about five hours. We stopped at Aldi and I used the new Aldi keychain (that holds a quarter) my snis gave me. Love it!

Then we got home, I got a few cat cuddles, then immediately unpacked and did laundry, because I love that part of returning home.

So yeah, that was my weekend. Lots of driving, hanging out, and eating (and a little bit of running) – exactly what I expect from a weekend with the fam! And while we didn’t do much, I was worn out when we got back, so I am glad I took a half day today and could chill in the morning!

I could have used a million more William cuddles this weekend!!!

Things I do: exercise, errands, nap, and EAT (donuts)!

By , April 2, 2018 6:23 am

Thanks for reading these long arse weekend recaps! I enjoy writing them and appreciate you reading them!

There was no reason for last week to feel as long as it did. I was glad when it was finally Friday night!


We kicked the weekend off by going out for MOD Pizza. MOD’s a build-your-own-pizza place (think Subway or Chipotle style) with unlimited toppings! And they have vegan cheese!

MOD’s one of the very few places I like to get pizza out. I prefer Steven’s homemade pizza, or no pizza at all – I’m actually not a much of a pizza fan! But MOD… drool.

We ran an errand after dinner and picked up Pitch Perfect 3 to watch. It was silly, but entertained us a lot more than other movies we’ve rented lately!


On Saturday I got my run in before the wicked winds hit (25 mph winds with 40 mph gusts, no thanks), did an indoor bike ride, then taught a fitness boxing class. The class had an egg hunt theme – I put the workouts on little slips of paper in the eggs, and the students “hunted” for them to find out what workout we’d do!

It was fun for me since I had no idea what order the workout would be in. It ended up being a high intensity class, and the students liked it, yay!

I handed out goodie bags too. I had goodie bags for twelve, but I had two cancellations an hour before class, and three no-shows. I typically have a cancellation (and sometimes a no show) for every single class I teach, but when it’s a big number like that, it makes me a bit frustrated/disappointed. Oh well. That meant I had leftover goodie bags for my boss’s kids!

I ran errands after teaching – Aldi and Walmart pickup. This pickup did not go as well as the last one. It  took a long time, and the employee seemed overworked and was rude to me (about being there “early,” when I had received a notification my order was ready…?!). Hopefully the next time I try it, it goes better. I did have a good reality check NOT to be too upset about this FREE service while I was there, when I saw another customer who’d been waiting since before I arrived, leave, in her car, without her pickup, with her window down, screaming at the employee. Eek.

After food prep for the week, and lunch, we ran MOAR errands – Target and Kohl. Why so many errands on Saturday? Because I’ve been burned before, leaving shopping for Sunday, only to have everything closed because it’s Easter.

I wonder if everyone else had the same idea, or it was just normal Saturday shopping, but GAH there were too many people out and it made me anxious and stabby. Sigh. I needed more of this on Saturday:

and less people.

Happily, Saturday night was quiet. We made tacos, watched The Beguiled, and I read a bit before bed.


When we saw on Holey Moley Doughnuts’s social media page that they were going to be open on Easter, we knew it was a sign we had to go. Three months after making it a goal to get there, we finally did!

It was overwhelming when I got there, and saw they had THIRTEEN (not an April Fool’s joke!!!) different vegan donuts I could try. AHHH!!!!!

We got seven flavors (including one we’d had before and knew we like). Clockwise from top left: chocolate cake with vanilla glaze, cinnamon sugar (have had before), banana bread, s’mores, raspberry, samoa, and apple fritter (under chocolate cake with vanilla glaze).

We didn’t try: blood orange, chai, maple pecan, passionfruit coconut, peanut butter, or grasshopper.

These are all cake donuts, and the flavors are phenomenal. We both liked samoa the best, and couldn’t get over how the banana bread donut tasted just like banana bread. Yum.

I like these a lot, but they sit a bit heavy (um, could that be because I ate about three of them…?! nah), which just reminds me yeast donuts are my favorite! Which is why they only have 3.5 drooling faces below.

State Date Name Flavor(s) Rating (0-4) Photo
Kansas 1/15/18 Mud Pie Cake Chocolate Frosted
Illinois 2/7/18 Do-Rite Chai Maple
Illinois 2/17/18 Holcomb Hollow Lemon Vanilla
Ohio 3/23/18 Holey Toledough Blackberry Hibiscus & Cinnamon Roll
Wisconsin 4/1/18 Holey Moley Coffee + Doughnuts Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Glaze, Cinnamon Sugar, Banana Bread, S’mores, Raspberry, Samoa, and Apple Fritter  

The rest of my Sunday was just as amazing as the morning. I took a nap when we got home (less than six hours of sleep both weekend nights had me yawning and rubbing my eyes all morning), we ate lunch and played with the cats with the toy the Easter Bunny left them,

Ha, I had to include this one first cause it makes us laugh so hard!

Data played a little, but mostly watched

then I did my donut fueled long run, and we made our Easter dinner!

Now, to recover from the weekend…

(I usually don’t mention what Steven is up to during the weekends when I am exercising and doing errands without him. This weekend he was working and installing a security camera at the house. He’s usually working a bit, and doing some sort of project!)

Anne brought the vegan donut tour to me!!!

By , March 26, 2018 6:16 am

Well, my weekend started out AMAZING, because SEE TITLE ^^^

I was already stoked Anne was in town (for a Sunday race in the city) and we’d get to hang out Friday night, but then she shows up at our house with these beauties?!?!


They’re vegan donuts from Holey Toledough, in Toledo, OH. Anne stopped on her drive in to get them for me! Isn’t that sweet? (pun not intended, ha)

The flavors were cinnamon roll and blackberry hibiscus. Hands down, these are best donuts I’ve had this year. They’re yeast donuts (my preference over cake), and they got everything right – they were light and airy/fluffy, with great flavor, and the perfect amount of icing. I’ll be thinking about these donuts for some time to come. Yum.

State Date Name Flavor Rating (0-4) Photo
Kansas 1/15/18 Mud Pie Cake Chocolate Frosted
Illinois 2/7/18 Do-Rite Chai Maple
Illinois 2/17/18 Holcomb Hollow Lemon Vanilla
Ohio 3/23/18 Holey Toledough Blackberry Hibiscus & Cinnamon Roll

And that was my entire weekend! Ha ha ha, I kid.

Before we indulged in donuts, Anne and I did her weekly long run together, yay! I stupidly dressed too cold, and the wind made me feel even worse. I don’t know what I was thinking. But I loved having all of that time to chat!!! <— duh, broken record, any time I get to run with a friend.

After our run (and donuts!), we made enchiladas for dinner,

then tried to watch Downsized. We almost made it to the end! What a neat idea for a movie. Too bad it never went anywhere.

Anne is one of Data’s favorite people to sit on

The weekend could only go downhill after that awesome Friday, right?

Ha, it kind of did. I woke up a little before 3:00 on Saturday with a headache, and could NOT fall back asleep. So I got up.

I worked on blog posts, rode my bike, read a little, tried to nap… then hung out with Anne when she got up, and left to teach fitness boxing (and go to Aldi) shortly thereafter.

When I returned home, I had to take a nap since I got less than four hours of sleep. I LOVE naps but I wanted to work on something for Steven and was not happy I was too exhausted to do so. Sigh.

While Anne was here, she told me about the Walmart Grocery app and I decided to give it a try for Sunday pickup, when I’d be near a Walmart. Imagine my surprise when I got a text during my run that my order was ready. On Saturday. Doh, I had requested the wrong date! I sped up and hurried home so I could go get the order during the window I asked for. I’m not sure if that matters or not, but I didn’t want to find out the hard way!

Pickup was hella easy, and I was impressed by the service (it’s free!). I will definitely use it again. I don’t like to shop, and really don’t like wandering around in (ANY) big box stores.

And they gave me a goodie bag with samples! Thanks to my lovely assistant for modeling it on the dining room table. Eyeroll. (He’s not supposed to be on the table, or counters, for that matter.)

Steven asked me why I hadn’t used it before – if I didn’t know about it. I did! I saw someone talking about it online, but all that person does is promote stuff, which makes me not see them as a valid source for reviews (seems insincere when every post is “this product/service is THE BEST EVER!”). I had to hear it from Anne. Sorry, internet marketing – I still use legit word of mouth.

Saturday night was chill! We watched a show and a movie and made dinner (pasta with sauce and meat-a-balls-a! <— have to say it that way).

I took NyQuil so that I would be able to fall back asleep whenever I woke up during the night, Saturday, and it worked! Hurrah!!!!

On Sunday I did my long run and was able to work on the thing I wanted to help Steven with. Yay!

I also got my manicure. Thank you to everyone who voted on the color. I did stick with blue, since it matches my singlet, but went a bit lighter, with “Gelato On My Mind.”

We felt like going out Sunday night (who are we?!) so we met Jen, Troy, and the kids for bowling. I was surprised at how busy the lanes were for a Sunday night. It was hectic! I felt like I couldn’t focus and my bowling was all over the place, but I still had fun.

Picture in which it does not look busy at all, ha

And we were still home and in bed by 9:20 pm! Win win! Ha.

I’ve been reading at night to help me fall asleep, and right now, I am reading Hanna Who Fell from the Sky, a novel about a young woman who lives in a polygamous town that she’s never left, and is about to turn eighteen and be married (to a man who has several wives and many children). Before her wedding, she meets a stranger who makes her think more seriously about things she’s been subconsciously questioning about the way of life in her community. I am curious to see how it ends! And I have just over a week before it’s due back at the library to do so! Ha.

Another weekend of DOING ALL THE THINGZ!!!

By , February 19, 2018 12:59 pm

While I was sad my parents had to leave late yesterday morning (I wanted to hang out more!) it was a blessing in disguise because Steven and I were worn the f*ck out from our weekend of doing all the things, and needed a day to be sloths. It felt good to do almost nothing after two and a half busy days!

And I am still feeling lazy so I am going to bullet this shiz up, ha!

On Thursday

  • Mom and Dad arrived at 6:30 pm and we ate homemade vegan alfredo sauce on pasta! And dessert was a vegan apple pie sent from my mom’s mom!

  • After dinner, Steven and Dad went to Menards to get the beam and other wood for the basement project, while Mom and I watched the Olympics, then screwed around in the basement gym for a bit.

On Friday

  • I taught class at 5:00 am, and Dad and I went for a run (me)/bike (him) when I got back.

  • Then Mom, Dad, and I went to the 10:15 showing of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. I laughed so much, and we all liked it. I usually do NOT like Jack Black (except in The Holiday) but his character cracked me the hell up in Jumanji!!!

  • We went to Aldi after that (where we picked up a Kringle for Mom and Dad to try!), the came home and made lunch (salads and couscous). Steven came home from work and ate with us, then he and Dad got to work in the basement.
  • And Mom and I got to work shopping at the outlet mall! I live so close to the outlet mall – it’s less than a ten minute drive, and I even run through there and fill up my water bottle on long runs. We found a few deals, and made sure to send my snister photos of the clothes we were trying on.

Sample photo we sent Christina, ha

I only got two soaps and a new PocketBac at B&BW. Restraint FTW!!!

  • We went to Woodman’s (a grocery store) after to get ingredients so Mom could make a cake she wanted to try vegan for me (and to get some things I needed).
  • Then we went home and made chili and cornbread for dinner (and had pie and Kringle for dessert!). Steven and Dad kept working until we ate, then went back in to the basement to work more, after. I’ll do a separate post about the project, but it was structural, so there were parts of the night we were told not to be in certain parts of the house (on the stair landing or in the kitchen). Mom and I were playing Blokus in the kitchen when we were told we needed to move (they were putting a beam in underneath us, so I understand why!), so we went to the living room, but they had turned the power off, so we played Blokus by candle light. Ha.

On Saturday

  • Dad came to my Indoor Cycling class (then went back home to work in the basement with Steven after)!

  • And Mom came to my Fitness Boxing class!

  • After class, Mom and I went to the Holcomb Hollow grand opening, then ran errands at the mall. I hate going to the mall (and shopping, in general) so it was nice to have Mom with me! I got my rings cleaned, and did an exchange.
  • Then we picked up everyone’s favorite El Famous Burrito for a late lunch! (Seriously, most people who visit us want to go there!)

  • The boys ate a late lunch with us, sampled some of the Holcomb Hollow treats (and had more Kringle) then got back to work. Mom and I went for a swim (we swam for about ten minutes then used the hot tub for forty!). When we came back, I helped her book a hotel for her March trip with her mom to Mount Rushmore.
  • I made a stir fry type dish for dinner, and the boys ate with us, then, you guessed it – got back to work. I helped them clean out one (huge) duct and later, hold some ducts in place. That is basically all I did on that project. <— so helpful (they didn’t care, but I feel a smidge guilty to be entertaining my mom and not helping much)
  • After dinner, mom got to work on the cake she wanted to make. It was called a Hummingbird Cake (recipe here), and the main flavorings were banana and pineapple. She decided to make it in to cupcakes. It turned out AMAZING! We all liked it, and had some close to 11:00 pm. Oops. SO MUCH SUGAR ON THIS VISIT AHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

  • The boys finished up the project around 10:30/11:00!

On Sunday

  • Dad and I went on a run in the morning, then I finished up this dishcloth real quick for Mom to take with her.

Ha, it’s obviously NOT blocked

  • Then they packed up and were off! We took a quick usie since, of course, we got no photos of all four of us throughout the weekend.

We’re extremely grateful my parents visited to help us with this basement project. My dad is so helpful with house projects (or any project). Steven and I were impressed that they got it done in one and a half days of work, and I know that wouldn’t be the case if I was the one helping him with it (because I have way less experience)!

And I appreciate my mom running errands with me and helping me out with other things around the house! And being up for doing anything I suggest, ha.

I really do hope though, on the next visit, all FOUR of us can do something fun, like go to a movie, or bowling, or out for a meal!!! I bet we can make it happen!

Surprise vegan donuts!

By , February 17, 2018 9:36 pm

We had a surprise stop on the vegan donut tour today!

Holcomb Hollow is a gluten free, vegan, and dairy free bakery that sells in a few retail locations in our county. Steven recently picked up some of their cookies and a muffin from a coffee shop, then happened to see they were having a grand opening (at their own location!) with free coffee, muffins, and an oatmeal bar this week. He didn’t have to tell me twice – I immediately put it on my calendar! I liked their muffin and cookies, and I knew Mom would love checking it out with me.

What I didn’t know until I got there was that they were going to have donuts too. WHUUUUUUUUUUT.

And, guys, you could take as many donuts as you wanted off of these trays to try.


Um, say whuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut.

Each donut had a vanilla or chocolate base, and was baked. We tried the lemon frosting, berry frosting, and coffee frosting. We liked lemon the best!

Sigh, I have to report that the donuts didn’t really do it for me, though. The frosting flavors were well done, but the donut base was a bit too spongy and just not… donut-y enough. Fun to try though!

State Date Name Flavor Rating (0-4) Photo
Kansas 1/15/18 Mud Pie Cake Chocolate Frosted
Illinois 2/7/18 Do-Rite Chai Maple
Illinois 2/17/18 Holcomb Hollow Lemon Vanilla

Their muffins are AMAZING though. We tried chocolate, chocolate chip, banana, carrot cake, and blueberry lemon.

And came home with (purchased) berry crumble, blueberry lemon, and banana. Yummmmm. Their muffins are where it’s at! I’ll definitely be going back for those!

Second stop in the vegan donut tour

By , February 9, 2018 6:19 am

Silly me! In my 2018 quest to eat a vegan donut, I had somehow forgotten there is a Do-Rite Donuts (somewhat) near my office that I could pick one up from, if I took the time to walk there! WHUT?! Kim, you so sil. I know.

So on Tuesday, I swung by on my lunch walk to see if they had any vegan donuts left. Nope. Okay, got it. Go earlier in the day.

The next day, I lengthened my walk to work to stop by, and they had three vegan donuts to choose from. Horray! I went with Chai Maple and it did NOT disappoint.

The vegan flavors were in the top left shelf.  They have gluten free donuts too (in the cabinet on the counter).

What a treat!

I now feel better about how I accomplished my main goal for the year. It was purposeful and planned, and I did not rely on someone else (like I did when my snister took me to a vegan bakery in Kansas).

And I’m ready to expand on this goal for the rest of the calendar year, and make it my 2018 Vegan Donut Tour! Let’s see how many states I can eat a vegan donut in.

So far I’ve done:

State Date Name Flavor Rating (1-4) Photo
Kansas 1/15/18 Mud Pie Cake Chocolate Frosted
Illinois 2/7/18 Do-Rite Chai Maple

Potential states include: Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Texas, Ohio, and California (we’re really hoping to get out there this year). Now, I just have to make sure I plan my travel around finding a vegan donut, ha!

Quiet weekend!

By , January 29, 2018 6:27 am

I’d been looking forward to this weekend for a long time – I had no social plans and wasn’t teaching! Laziness, here I come!!!

Okay, that’s sort of a lie. I had ONE plan, to get my nails done with my friend Kim Friday night. It was time to get the gel nails removed that I had put on in KC, and I decided to get new ones put on. They’re doing a good job protecting my nails, and it’s nice not to have them chip (too much, anyway… the left hand started to chip 1.5 weeks in). I wonder how long I’ll keep this maintenance up! So fance. Much self care. Very pamper.

Color is OPI “We Seafood and Eat It.” I love OPI! Background is Data. 

On Saturday, I ran, did errands (at an earlier time that I usually do, which was great because there were less people out), then assisted Steven with installing the antenna in the attic (this is the second antenna we’ve tried, with a stronger signal). My job was very important – I handed Steven tools, and sat on the couch and pressed buttons to see what the signal strength was and let him know, while he messed around with mounting it in the attic.

YOU GUYS. I made a major realization this week – now that we have an antenna we can watch things like awards show (the Oscars!), and sports games (the Superbowl), and Saturday Night Live (if I EVER stay up that late). EXCITING!!! We only got an antenna so I could watch the Olympics, so all of that seems like a bonus!

(Note: we can’t get cable on our street, and we didn’t get an antenna before because it wasn’t important and we doubted it would work with being too far from signals in Chicago and Milwaukee. But this super strength antenna seems to be working! Yay!)

On Saturday night, we had a “date night” in Milwaukee, and tried Beerline Cafe, a vegetarian/vegan restaurant. The food was delicious! It’s a treat to go to a restaurant where I can order almost anything off the menu!

Yay, I satisfied my nachos craving!

But the restaurant was in a super quiet residential area and I couldn’t come up with anything to do after! I suck at finding things to do OTHER than food, in any town. We don’t drink much, so going to bars and breweries is often out. I was looking for shows, and movies, etc., but it was too last minute. I need to work on that!

Sunday was another quiet day. More exercising, a few chores, knitting, short napping (Saturday too!), and relaxing. Yay! My next quiet weekend isn’t until March (if I get one!) so I am glad I had this one!

Random Thoughts Thursday 165

By , January 25, 2018 5:33 am
  • I got more information yesterday about what’s going on at work. I’m still disappointed, but I understand it better now. I’ll share more when it’s all done (in a few months).
  • The RAGBRAI route announcement party is this Saturday! We streamed it last year and it was horribly painful to watch – way too drawn out. This year, I’ll just look up the course before I go to bed. My guess is that it will go through the far south of Iowa.
  • Shutterfly had an offer for a “free” (you pay for shipping) custom notebook. I love this photo of me and Steven, so I used it. It doesn’t really go with the message I put on the cover though. Ha!

  • For those of you who saw the film It, what did you think of it? I was expecting it to be better, and scarier (note: I haven’t read the book or seen the mini-series). I typically don’t like movies with kids as the main characters, so that didn’t help. Eh. At least I could sleep after watching it! (Except for my usual wake up to use the bathroom then feeling wide awake happening.)
  • Ha, we got this flier for the Frosty Footrace in the mail yesterday. The caption on the front page cracks me up (especially the typo). A lot of us must have complained when they changed the format last year. I’m glad they’ve changed it back! (Brief history – I’ve been doing this 5K since 2009 as a goal 5K and they changed it (after I registered) to a “2 miler” last year and the race sucked.)

  • Snow has been coming in some nights to spend the night inside. He LOVES the bed. And is SOOOOO cuddly.

  • It looks like I am going to be blogging for another two years – I just renewed my hosting until March 2020. I hate that I have to negotiate the rates each year. Blah.
  • And now for the COMPLETELY random. I’ve been talking about nachos a lot lately. I should probably make some soon, so I shut up about them. Nachos… droooooool…

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 164

It’s healthy cause FRUIT

By , April 25, 2016 6:09 pm

A special dessert


to celebrate a special fifth birthday!


We’ve had such a fun trip in Texas with our otra familia! More to come… when I am not eating fruit pizza, nom nom nom.

Sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands

By , March 22, 2016 6:12 am

Like when Target stops selling your favorite vegan peanut butter cups… you naturally buy 100 of them…


Because asking the store to start carrying them again would be much too difficult!

And hey, since I am paying for shipping, why not get these, too?!


Someone please check in with me in a few weeks and make sure I haven’t already eaten all of these!!!

(I have a piece of chocolate – either one of these or a Ghirardelli square – after lunch each day, and sometimes (often) after dinner. For a few months I didn’t have any of these peanut butter cups because Target seemed to stop carrying them, and I didn’t want to place the order until we moved to the new house and were a bit settled. Long story long, I was CRAVING these. I love plain dark chocolate, but I need my chocolate and peanut butter fix* from time to time (and peanuts and chocolate chips weren’t cutting it!).)

*This reminds me of the summer I lived in Rome and traveled to London to visit a friend doing a summer internship there. We were talking about the things we couldn’t wait to eat when we got back to the states, and I told him the first thing I wanted was a Reese’s peanut butter cup. Then asked him if he thought that sounded good… completely forgetting about his severe peanut allergy. Oops. Ha ha. That was not the thing he was looking forward to eating!

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