Friday, February 28, 2014

F is for Friday + February Stitch Fix

F is for Friday - Happy Friday!  Any big plans this weekend?  We are going to a princess party tomorrow and Ina has a tiara she has been saving for just such an occasion.  

F is for fish - I made a dinner for one last night, which was actually fun.  Ina went to a dinner with her papa and Dan had to work late, so I found myself unexpectedly home alone.  I made tomato tilapia (thanks Carrie and Amanda for the recipe suggestion!) and watched the Downton Abbey season finale.  It felt so weird to sit there with nothing that might demand my attention.  Ha!  

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F is for fashion.

I received a new Stitch Fix this week - full details here.

I really liked this one and absolutely can’t decide what to keep.

I also spent a good chunk of my alone time last night taking pictures of myself zwearing all the clothes using my tripod.  However, after spending 45 minutes this morning looking for my camera, I have decided that God is telling me that my awkward posing tripod pictures aren’t destined for the internet.  

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Let’s hash it out,  From the jeans and clockwise around:

-Adorra skinny jean ($88)- I really liked these.  However, I already have a pair of skinny jeans and I would like to lose about 10 more pounds, so they might be too big, but they might still fit.  Sigh. 

-Tribal print infinity scarf ($32): I loved this scarf and would be perfect for spring.  But $32 for a scarf?

-Thisbe color blocked open draped cardigan ($58): This cardigan is something I would wear once a week, however, I already have many similar pieces.  Also, it seems very wintery, and I want to transition to summer.

-Lucia embroidered V-neck jersey top ($58)- I thought this top was adorable out of the box, but it wasn’t all that flattering on.

-Cathleen split neck tulip sleeved blouse ($68): cut shirt.  Not $70 cute.  

Any advice?  

F is for fast workout.  I did this one over lunch yesterday at my work’s gym and it was a doozy.  My legs are hurting today.

F is for friendly advice.  Are you a woman looking to improve your marriage?  Read this article.  It might be tough to swallow, but it will work.  Trust me.  

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!



Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thankful Thursday

This morning I am extra thankful, because I slept in until 6:30 and didn’t wake up to a crying, miserable baby!  

Yesterday morning wasn’t looking very good, as Ina’s pink eye spread to her other eye and she was super cranky.  However, it was like she woke up from her nap a new woman.  

Can you tell she is feeling better?  

I am thankful for comfort food - Paula’s beef stew and Rachael’s bacon brussel sprouts.  

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I am thankful for the single rose that Dan put on my windshield for Valentine’s Day.  

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That baby is still going strong, two weeks and multiple Ina sniffs later, not one single petal has fallen off.  

I am thankful for finally getting the opportunity to run, after an unintentional 3 day break.  

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I watched an educational episode of Glee on the treadmill, during which I learned what twerking was and finally heard the Miley Cyrus song Wrecking Ball.  I am now back in the loop.  

I am thankful for bible study.  Because we had to cancel small group, we read our 4 chapters of Acts with Dan’s parents.  This is my first time reading Acts straight through and it is awesome to read about the start of and growth of Christianity.  I am so thankful for how brave those men were in the beginning.  

I am thankful for wine and dark chocolate.  Just a bit of each.

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That is all for me.  What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wonky Ina + Man Pleasing Chicken

Good morning!

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Same story, different day.  Woke up at 4:30 to a crying baby girl.

But at least this morning I knew the reason.  Poor Ina has an ear infection that has since moved to her eye and throat and now she also has pink eye!  She is also really congested and is having a hard time breathing, so I see lots of time in our “steam room” in our future.  

She is on double antibiotics, ibuprofen, and Benadryl at night.   Fortunately, she loves to take medicine now and stands below me like a baby bird, sucking the stuff right out of the syringe.  The eye drops, however, she is not a fan of, and giving them to her is a 2 person job.  

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(Picking out stickers at the doctors office)

Her poor eye looks so pathetic.  Dan has started to call her Wonky Eye, or Wonky for short.  

Although she is sick, Ina is just as funny as ever.  

When we were picking up her prescriptions at the grocery store, Ina really wanted to give the cashier a kiss.   I tried to explain to her that not everyone wants to kiss a baby that has snot oozing out of her eyes and nose, but she kept on puckering her lips up.

Also, when taking a bath, she had a bit of an explosion.   I frantically pulled the drain to try to clean Ina off.  As the poo particles were swirling down the drain, Ina waved at them and said, “buh-buh.”  


We had to cancel small group last night because we didn’t want any of the other kiddos catching what Ina has, but my in-laws came in a day early so they could watch Ina today.

Ina did sleep long enough for me to make a yummy supper - man pleasing chicken (easiest recipe ever!) with kale salad and mashed sweet potatoes (boiled peeled and diced potatoes, added almond milk and coconut oil and mashed together).  

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We were due for a good dinner and this one did the trick.  I liked the salad the best.  Dan liked the potatoes the best,  Papa liked the chicken the best.  

Hopefully today will be the last day I talk about having a sick / sleepless baby.  

Have a great hump day!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Croupy and Diaperless Ina

Good morning!

Ina broke her record this morning by waking up at 4:30 instead of 5, and this time she was super congested and sounding somewhat croupy.  I am going to try to get her into the doctor this morning, just in case it is something that can be treated like an ear infection (even though she hasn’t been grabbing at her ears at all.)

Until then, Ina, Mickey, and I will hang out.  

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Due to my lack of sleep, I am 0/4 for food and fitness plan (although still following The Daniel Plan) so far this week.  No, wait, I did rest on Sunday, so I am 1/4.  Sweet.  

So, what to talk about when I am not running or cooking anything particularly exciting?

Ina, of course!

- Yesterday morning was so cute.  

I asked her to go get her shoes and she did!  After we put her shoes on she went and got her jacket.  I was so proud.  After her jacket was on, she went and got her tutu.  

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I almost died from the cuteness. 

- Due to her diaper rash, I thought it would help to let her walk around a little bit without a diaper to sort of air things out.  That lasted for about an hour, and due to multiple puddles that Ina thought would be fun to play in, we put that diaper right back on.  

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Her diaper rash is so much better though, so I would say it was worth it.  

- Last night Dan brought some cereal to bed for a snack.  Ina has never had cereal before and let me tell you, she is a fan.  She grunted in between each bite.

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Have a good day!  Maybe I will squeeze a run in while little miss is napping.  

Monday, February 24, 2014

Sleepless Ina Strikes Again


The Sleepless Ina struck again last night in a big way.  After I publish this post I am going to Google legitimate IV caffeine formulations. 

This will mark the 5th morning in a row Ina is up by 5.  It seems that I need to change my blogging time, or else my mind will be stuck somewhere between blogging, changing diapers, and Micky Mouse Clubhouse.  

I cannot think of anything that has changed.  Her food hasn’t changed.  She does have a diaper rash, but this started before the rash.  She goes to bed at about the same time. Maybe she just needs less sleep?

Last night was worse because she didn’t go down until after midnight.  I was sure she would sleep in today, but nope, her  internal alarm was blaring.  

And that is where my writing motivation ends for today.  I will leave you with this video of Ina feeding herself.  

I hope you have a good Monday.  I am hoping to get a run in during lunch.  

Sunday, February 23, 2014

My Food and Fitness Plan #26

Good morning! How has your weekend been so far?  

Ours has been so-so. 

Mostly good -I found a new trail next to my work and ran 4 miles over lunch on Friday.

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We spent Friday night in, and I went to bed at 8.  

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Danielle and I ran 4.5 miles bright and early Saturday morning.

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We went to church and listened to our pastor’s vision for the future of our church.  

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(Dan bought our pastor some flowers to say thank you)

Kim cut my hair - bless her beautiful soul.

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Then we went back to church and out to eat for some Mexican afterwards.

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Ina can never decide what to order, but that is mostly because she wants everything.  Last night we couldn’t shove the bean and rice and guac in fast enough.  

Poor baby work up yesterday morning with a horrible diaper rash, so although we have had a great weekend is some ways, she hasn’t been sleeping or napping well, and her mood reflects that.  

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Although she still smiles most of the time.  

Today is looking pretty open because we went to church last night.  Maybe some grocery shopping?



  • Sunday: rest
  • Monday: 3 mile run
  • Tuesday: spin class
  • Wednesday: HIIT video
  • Thursday: rest
  • Friday: 3 mile run
  • Saturday: 6ish mile run
Running with Racheal

What are you up to this week?

Friday, February 21, 2014

How to Increase HDL (Good Cholesterol)

Alternate title: Fishy Friday

It’s Friday!  Yay!  I hope you have something fun planned for this weekend.  We don’t, so I am going to live vicariously through you. 

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Ina rocks out even the clam nights in, so she doesn’t need to live vicariously through anyone.  

I don’t think I ever mentioned this, but last week I had a biometric screen done at work.  They measured cholesterol, blood glucose, blood pressure, weight, height, and waist circumference.  

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Blood pressure and glucose - perfect

Weight - approximately 10 pounds overweight - expected 

Bad cholesterol and total cholesterol were great, but my HDL (good cholesterol) was low (52)!  

Say what?  

This threw me, because the last time I had my lipids measured my HDL was 85 (well above my goal of 60) and I would consider myself healthier now than then.  

So, what’s a girl to do?  A few ways to rev up the good stuff:

- Physical activity: I think I do a pretty good job on this one

- Lose weight: working on it

- Eat better fats - ding, ding ding, tons of room for improvement

Specifically, I should eat fats that are high in omega 3’s, such as fish, nuts, and seeds.  I think I have the nuts and seeds thing down (hello, almond butter and coconut oil loves), but admit I don’t eat enough fish.  

I attribute my fish-less diet to lack of experience cooking the stuff.  To remedy this, I now vow to make at least one fish meal per week, but really aim for two.  

Last night we had almond meal crusted fish sticks for dinner.

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I also made shrimp curry during the week and over the weekend had a sardine salad.  

Can you help me out?  What is your favorite fish recipe?  Any good ones for salmon?  

I have my eye on these salmon patties.  

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Good morning!  

What are you up to?  Ina and I have been partying since 5 am.  

Fun times.

A few things I am thankful for this week:

- My mother and mother-in-law.

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My mom watched Ina all day on Monday, then came back over to watch all the small-group kids on Tuesday.  Tuesday night was the shift change where my mother-in-law organized all of Ina’s toys and helped me yesterday to get her ready. She is watching Ina again today.  I am telling you, we are spoiled over here. 

- aZAZZaze (<—that’s what Ina’s thankful for)

- New pillows.  My grandma gave Dan and I new pillows for VDay.  They are glorious.  I feel like I am sleeping on a cloud.  

- Dan’s grandmas’ recovery.  

Yesterday we went to the hospital to visit two of Dan’s grandmas.  One had back surgery and is recovering wonderfully.  The other is undergoing chemo for stomach cancer and having some complications from that.  Prayers would be appreciated.  

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Ina loved the hospital hallway. Her favorite part was that there were different people in every room!  After a few awkward “sorry to bother you”s we decided it was best to stay in our room.

- Quick dinners.  Dan seared up the marinated chicken while I popped the sweet potatoes and asparagus in the microwave.  Dinner served in 15 minutes!

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Because dinner was so quick I was able to run a quick 3 miles on the treadmill when I got home while watching the second to last episode of Veronica Mars.  I will be so sad when it is over.  

- Disney Junior - who made this quick post possible by entertaining Ina for 15 minutes.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Dear Summer Racheal

Good morning!  Happy Hump Day!

Yesterday we had a glorious heat wave and a little break from the snow.  I took advantage of it by running Ina to daycare before work.

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After work and before small group Ina and I snuck off to the park.  

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It was amazing to feel the sun on my face and I could tell Ina loved it too, although her little eyeballs were squinting the entire time.  

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Note to self, next time, bring a hat.

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I could tell she had a great time by the hysterical fit she threw when I took her out of the swing.  

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Don’t look too close at those Nikes, or else you will see they are on the wrong feet.  I have said it once, but I will say it again, I really should be nominated for mom of the year.  


Yesterday’s near-70* temps had me dreaming of summer, so I thought I would write a little letter to my future summer-self.

Dear Summer Racheal,

Listen up, this is important.    

Go outside.  Stay outside.  Don’t go back inside until it is dark.  Even then, build a fire or turn on a strobe light or something.  

Plant a garden.  Don’t let one single tomato go bad.  Even if you can’t eat all of them, someone will be able to.  If you can’t find anyone, can the darn things.  

Play frisbee with Dan.  It honestly is one of his favorite things to do and you never do it enough.

Go to the farmer’s market.  Run there, take the wagon, whatever, just go.  Introduce Ina to the farmers and start to teach her where food comes from.  

Go to Royals games.  Who cares if you have to go to work the next day?  Ina can sleep on the way home.   

Go to the zoo.  Teach Ina about the animals and what noises they make.  

Go to the pool.  Teach Ina how to swim, or at least help her build the courage to put her head under water.  

Use the grill.  Go camping.  Use the boat.  Run outside.  Plant flowers.  Water the flowers you planted.  Go to the park.  

Work outside.  Blog outside.  Drink your coffee outside.  Just stay outside.  

Most importantly, when you walk outside and feel the heat from the sun kiss your face and squint your eyes, don’t you dare for one second take it for granted, because in 6 months you will be longing for that feeling.  


Winter Racheal


Dream with me?  What are you looking forward to most about summer?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Daniel Plan Detox Review

Good morning!  How was your Monday?

Mine was crazy busy.  After work I wanted to get a workout in, but things kept on stealing  my attention.  Ina wanted me.  Dinner needed to be made.  

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Dan wanted a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (not a fan of green curry shrimp).  I had to work.  The dogs wanted out.  The dishes needed to be done.  

Finally at 8:00 I turned this video on.  

I am LOVING Gina’s new workout videos - short but super effective.   She is like a nicer and free Jillian Michaels.  I think it is great they are in video format, because there is no way I can keep track of 20 seconds while my heart is beating out of my chest.  

Last night is the perfect example of why I need to get my workout in during my morning, but time always seems to slip alway from me.  Another example - I spent 20 minutes today looking at different blueberry lemon paleo desserts.  Sigh.

On a slightly related topic, I wanted to give you guys a review of The Daniel Plan Detox.  This is different than the actual Daniel plan, which I will fully review in a few months, once I go through the small group study.  

However, to simplify the Daniel plan - eat real food.  Eat fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, seeds, low-fat dairy, and meats. Limit your sugar intake and always choose honey, maple syrup, etc. before refined white sugar.  

Try to build your meals to create a plate that looks like this:



The detox follows all the same guidelines as the actual plan with the addition of eliminating caffeine, alcohol, gluten of any kind (even oats), sugar of any kind (even honey), and dairy of any kind.  

The detox is designed to eliminate all foods that could cause inflammation. After it is over, you add one food group in at a time to see if it impacts you.  

So how was it?

I will start by saying the food part was relatively easy.  I had already given up gluten and eat lots of fruits and vegetables.  The changes I made were to add more vegetables, cut out all the added sugar and the occasional piece of cheese.   I also ate a lot more fat than I normally do in forms of nuts, seeds, olive oil, and coconut oil. 

Really, I never actually felt deprived or hungry because of food, because I ate some awesome stuff.  Some of my favorite things I ate:

kale salad  (modified by not adding sugar and using no-sugar added dried cherries)

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Nooch popcorn - a great snack

almond meal chicken fingers

chicken and bean bake

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roast chicken

sweet potato breakfast scramble

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hummus with carrots

paleo chai latte

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My favorite veggies to add as a side were roasted brussel sprouts, steamed broccoli, and steamed asparagus (in the microwave!)

The caffeine was a completely different story.  This detox taught me that I am completely addicted to coffee.  The first two days I had a monster headache and hated the world.  

Even once the withdrawal went away, I still so missed my morning tradition of stumbling down the stairs and fumbling with the coffee maker until the good stuff dripped out.  I tried herbal tea, but it just wash’t the same, so I ended up making decaf coffee and not drinking it the last two days.  

I started drinking coffee again on Friday and I swear I accomplished more on that day than I did on the previous 7 combined.  

Now that my love story to coffee is over, I will say that in general I was a fan of the detox.  I feel great because I am giving my body what it wants - eating food that loves me back.

Since stopping, I have had a few cups of coffee, sips of wine, and a tad bit of dairy here and there (which didn’t seem to impact me).  I haven’t had any added sugar or gluten, but I imagine I will eventually just stay gluten free, like I was before, and try to eat by The Daniel Plan plate.  

One last thing - I am really trying not to focus on weight and instead focus on being healthy.  However, I suppose I should mention that I lost around 4-5 pounds during this week.  

Look for the review of the full plan in the next few months.

Have a great day!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Reebok Z-Quick Review

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Reebok.  While I received product and compensation for this review, all opinions are my own.


Good morning and Happy Monday!  I hope you had a great weekend. My Friday and Saturday were wonderful and yesterday was even better.  

After church Ina and I introduced Dan to my boyfriend Joe the Trader.

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It was awkward at first, but after a few minutes Dan discovered he loves Joe as much as we do.

During Ina’s nap, I met with my friend Kim for a glorious run in the snow.  

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Have you ever ran in the snow?  It is similar to running in sand.  Man, my calves are feeling it today.

Then, we finally cooked our Valentine’s Day dinner.  

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A good Sunday indeed.

I was especially excited to run outside because I had the opportunity to test my new Reebok Z-Quick running shoes on a non-treadmill surface.

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Not one little drop of water got to my toes!

Reebok created these shoes to make you unnaturally fast by designing soles with high performance Z-rated racing car tires as inspiration.

Z Series Drive 0 V54318 2430x2700

They literally deliver sports car handling for your feet, creating a perfect system for control, traction, and speed.  Watch out now!

A few features: 

  • There is a no-sew upper bootie, which makes the shoe feel extremely flexible, much more than any other running shoes I have worn.  This feature also makes the shoe extremely low cut.  
  • The shoes are lightweight with CRTek high abrasion rubber in key wear areas only. At times it felt like I was running barefoot.
  • The shoes are wide, with groves that allow the midsole to flex and expand.  This was designed because your foot dimensions changes as you run and is about 5 mm wider when your weight is on it compared to when in the air.

This video gives a little more information on the design:


  • I love how the shoes are lightweight and flexible.  My feet didn’t feel as confined as they do with my other running shoes.
  • The traction and control felt great, even when running in the snow. 
  • They are nice looking shoes, which I know isn’t the most important, but still important.
  • I ran my fasted treadmill mile in them sprinting a few weeks ago.  Just call me Race Car Racheal.


  • The only con (that might not even be a con) is the low cut feature.  I didn’t wear high enough socks and first time I wore them and they gave me one heck of a blister on the back on my ankle.  I think this can be expected with new running shoes, although it has never happened to me.  No worries, higher socks and a band-aide fixed me right up and yesterday my blister continued to heal.  

Find out more about Reebok Z-Quicks here.  You can purchase them online here or you can go to any FootLocker store and try a pair on for yourself.  

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Vday + Sledding + Weekly Food and Fitness Plan #25

Good morning!  How is your weekend going so far?

Mine has been fabulous.  

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Valentine’s Day was great - a little note on  my car.

After I went grocery shopping and bought the stuff for a fancy steak dinner AND put the baked and sweet potatoes in the oven, Dan decided he wanted Mexican.

So to Mexican we went.  I ordered the vegetarian fajitas WITH chicken - it was great and will probably be my go-to Mexican order from now on.  

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Ina loved the salsa.

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We got home, put Ina to bed, opened a bottle of vino, and watched The Silver Linings Playbook.  (Loved it!)

Saturday morning I woke up ready to work, realized I didn’t have to work, and as I was cooking breakfast wondering what I was going to do, my dad called to see if we wanted to go sledding.  


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Um, yes!

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We had such a great time.  

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Ina liked the sled,

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but liked more riding in the UTV and watching us sled.

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She liked even more sitting in the heated car and watching us have a snowball fight. 

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I was the official snowball factory for my nephew Kauffman and I think it is safe to say I did him proud.  

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“Another circle Racheal, another circle!”  ~Kauffman

“Dachel - I sled wit YOU!”  ~ Hallaway

“Hey!” ~ Ina

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After we came home and warmed back up Ina took a nap and then we went to our friend Nigel’s birthday party.  

So much fun in two little days!  

Here’s what I am up to this week:


  • Sunday: filet minion with sweet potato and roasted green beans (our would be Vday dinner)
  • Monday: green curry shrimp (with lots of veg added to the curry) with brown rice
  • Tuesday: small group
  • Wednesday: grilled marinated chicken with roasted butternut squash and steamed asparagus
  • Thursday: almond encrusted tiliapa with brown rice and brussel sprouts
  • Friday: leftovers / something social
  • Saturday: leftovers / something social / OR another round of crockpot beef stew 


  • Sunday: 3-4 mile run
  • Monday: HIIT interval
  • Tuesday 3-4 mile run
  • Wednesday: rest
  • Thursday: sprints
  • Friday: 3-4 mile run
  • Saturday: rest
Running with Racheal

What are you up to this week?

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