Blogger Meet-up, Shopping, The Blind Side

Happy Monday everyone!! I hope ya’ll have had a good day so far, especially those who had to go back to work today. Luckily, I don’t have to go back to school until Wednesday, but I do have to start studying again tomorrow. I am ready to go back though because I only have another 2 weeks and I will be on Christmas Break!! I also have felt like a slacker in the running/exercise department, so I am ready to get back into my routine tomorrow with an early morning run with Erin! Since my half marathon is Saturday (YIKES!!) I am trying to taper this week but it’s hard to NOT run like I’m used to! I really had to not let myself run today and rest! Tough stuff when your legs are so raring to go! Haha!! I have been slacking on Whittle My Middle also, so I got back on track with that today! Since we started a little late on that challenge, Erin and I are only halfway through, so it’s time to take our halfway measurements! I am doing mine in the morning so I will let ya’ll know how that goes tomorrow!


Erin and I had the awesome privilege to meet Bobbi today!! Her hubby is from the Memphis area and they were in town for Thanksgiving!! I knew we would all hit it off right away! It’s so refreshing to meet another Christian blogger with the same love for running, health, fitness, and God!! We met up at Starbucks early this morning. I had a Nonfat Peppermint Mocha (I only get one pump of each otherwise it’s too sweet for me!) and it was so good!! I can’t believe how fast time flew and before I knew it, we had to go because Erin had to get to work! Time really flies when you’re having fun!! Here is a pic from our meet-up (courtesy of Bobbi’s hubby)




So glad we could do this and it was so great meeting you Bobbi!! And Matt too!! We will definitely have to do it again next time you are in town!!


Since today was Cyber Monday, I decided to do a little online shopping! I saw that Gap, Banana, Piperlime, and Old Navy were all having 20% off and free shipping! I found a lot of things I wanted but ended up only getting a new pair of black boots from Piperlime (I had to draw the line somewhere!!) Love these boots I purchased and they were on sale, plus I got 20% off and free shipping! Can’t beat that!! I also bought my first Christmas present of the season! I bought my brother these things called Stuffitts. They go in your running shoes (or any other shoes) and keep them stink free!! I want the pink pair!! This is a great gift idea for any runners!!


I found the BEST water bottles EVER the other day at Sports Authority. I really try to use reusable water bottles for everyday water drinking, and I needed some new ones. I purchased these Nathan water bottles and they are awesome! I have been drinking out of them everyday! I got a pink one and a blue one! Here’s the pink:







And last but not least, my mom and I went to see The Blind Side today! AWESOME movie!! So touching, especially since it took place here in Memphis at Briarcrest Christian School! If you haven’t seen it, definitely do! It’s so worth the expensive movie tickets!


And with that, I’m off to catch up on my Google Reader and work on my Christmas List! What’s on your Christmas list this year?

Good Recipes

I hope everyone had a GREAT Thanksgiving! I know I did! I love spending time with my family! I also found some really good Black Friday deals yesterday! My mom and I braved the crowds, although there weren’t too many crowds where we went, so that was nice! We didn’t get up super early either, I think we went out around 9 ish and there were still great deals then too!


Today, I stayed busy decorating for Christmas, grocery shopping, and going though my clothes to give to Goodwill. I am getting rid of so many clothes I don’t wear! My closet is looking a little bare! Haha! I also have been watching a bunch of Christmas movies!! I’ve been looking through the guide and recording all the good ones on my DVR so I can watch them all over and over! I am currently watching Jingle All The Way. But, my absolute favorite is The Santa Clause! That will be recording tomorrow!! I will post decoration pics once I get my tree up. We are hopefully going to pick one out tomorrow! We are getting a real tree this year :)


I wanted to share some good recipes I made today!! I was in the mood for baking Christmas cookies so that’s what I did!! These are some of my favorite Christmas cookies!!


Magic Rainbow Cookie Bars


1/2 cup butter

1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 can condensed milk

1 1/3 cup sweetened coconut flakes

1 cup M&M’s- Christmas colored

1 cup chopped pecans




Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for glass pan). In 13X9 baking dish, melt butter in oven. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over butter. Pour condensed milk over crumbs. Top with remaining ingredients, press firmly.




Bake 25-30 mins. Store at room temp.




Yum!! These are so good!! I’m going to have to take some to my parents tomorrow so I don’t eat them all :)


My next recipe is for Brussel Sprouts. I have never made these before and this recipe is delish!!


Brown Sugar Brussel Sprouts


1/2 cup chopped pecans

3 medium shallots, thinly sliced

1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil

1 1/2 lbs brussel sprouts, trimmed, each cut in half

salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp brown sugar

1/2 cup precooked bacon pieces


In skillet, cook pecans over medium heat for 5 mins, or until toasted. Transfer pecans to plate and set aside. In same skillet, cook shallots in oil over medium heat for 3 mins or until slightly brown, stirring frequently. Add brussel sprouts, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook 10-12 mins stirring occasionally. Stir in brown sugar, cook 1-2 mins until sugar melts. Add bacon and pecans, stir until well blended and heated through.


These are so good! I forgot to take a picture because I was so ready to dig in! This recipe will definitely be a staple in my diet!!


Well, I better get back to my movie! Hope ya’ll have a good night!!

Happy Thanksgiving and New PR!!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope ya’ll are all having a wonderful day and thinking about all the things you are thankful for!! I am so blessed and am thankful for so much!! I am spending the day at my parents house and am super excited for the yummy dinner tonight!!


This morning, my dad went with me to the Turkey Trot 4 miler as my camera man!! This was a larger race than I normally run, I think they said there was around 2000 people!! It was pretty chilly this morning, around 40 degrees with a pretty strong wind that made it SO much colder!! It wasn’t very fun standing there freezing waiting for the race to start, but once I did I was fine! Even got a little warm at the end!!


The race was at Shelby Farms, which is a huge park in Memphis with tons of running trails, lakes, biking trails, etc. The race was on a paved trail that was only wide enough for 3 people across so that meant I was weaving around people the entire 4 miles! It got a little frustrating at times! The course was a little hilly but I’m used to that!! I went out fast (for me) and kept telling myself to slow down but I was just really getting into passing people! Haha! That’s ok because I still had a lot left in me at the end and was really able to push it my last mile!! My official time (chip and Garmin time were the same) was 35:44!! A new PR!! I was hoping to run around 37 minutes because I have done that recently on my training runs and was going to be really happy to beat my previous time of 36:xx from a few years ago, and I did both! I don’t think I have ever run 4 miles that fast! That means just under 9 minute miles! Wohoo! I am so pumped!! Here are some pics from the race:




Before the race, waiting to start. Luckily I was able to wear my warm jacket and hand it off to my dad right before the start!



That’s me in the red if you can’t tell :) This was right at mile 1. And then unfortunately, the camera died :(


After the race, my dad and I walked another 4.5 miles around Shelby Farms. Gotta burn all the calories I can for all the food I’m gonna eat tonight! Haha!!


The POTM challenge is officially over today. I am proud to say that I logged 122.5 miles from Nov 1-26th!! My goal was 100 and I definitely surpassed that!!


Well, gotta get back to the family! Enjoy your Turkey Day!!

Favorite Thanksgiving Food

Hey guys!! Only 2 more days until Turkey Day!! I can’t wait!!! So, what is your favorite Thanksgiving food?? Mine is by far the sweet potatoes with marshmallows that my mom makes. And, they have to be the kind out of the can, not fresh ones! Haha!! Every year she asks me if I want fresh sweet potatoes or the canned ones, and every year I say the canned ones of course!! I only eat them once a year and to me, they MAKE Thanksgiving!  Definitely looking forward to them on Thursday!


I had a pretty productive day today! It started off super early with a 3 mile run with Erin. We actually did our 3 miles faster than we have been, so that was nice!! I have a scheduled walk in the morning with my running buddy and then the Turkey Trot 4 miler on Thursday!


After our run, I immediately came home, did Whittle My Middle, and started cleaning my house. I basically cleaned every room!! Living room, kitchen, both bathrooms, and my bedroom! The guest room and office didn’t really need to be cleaned so that was nice! I can’t believe how clean my house is now! I also went ahead and started our registry at William-Sonoma! I love that store, and even before I got engaged I knew that I just HAD to register there!! It was really fun to browse through the website and pick out all the things I wanted! I hope I get a lot of that stuff! I’m also going to register at Target and Bed Bath and Beyond but Al and I are going to actually go to the store to do it. I want to use that scanner gun! Haha!


Tonight for dinner, I made on of my go-to recipes: BBQ Chicken Pizza

1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded

BBQ sauce

Boboli pizza crust

Shredded mozzarella cheese

sliced red onion, black olives, and jalapenos

Coat chicken in BBQ sauce. Spread BBQ sauce generously over pizza crust. Top with chicken, onion, olives, jalapenos, and cheese. Bake for 10-12 mins. Enjoy!



Well, I have another early morning workout so I better get heading to bed! Hope ya’ll have a great night!!

Thanksgiving Break!

It’s official! I had my LAST Anatomy test this afternoon and I am now officially on Thanksgiving Break! Yes!! And what time am I waking up on my first day of my break? 5:30am to go run with Erin! Guess that means I’m addicted! Haha :)


I made one of Erin’s recipes tonight and it turned out really good!! Here’s the recipe:


Potato Sausage Casserole

  • 1 lb kielbasa sausage (I used Italian turkey sausage)

  • 2.5 cups red potatoes, cut into bites

  • 1/2 green pepper chopped

  • 1 can cream of celery

  • 1/3 cup water

  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese

*I also added some chopped onion to the casserole*

Preheat oven to 350. Layer in baking pan sausage (cut into pieces), potatoes and pepper.




Cook cream of celery, cheese and water until melted together.




Pour over pan.




Bake for 1 hour or until potatoes are tender.




I really enjoyed this! I think next time, I won’t use Italian sausage. Not a huge fan of that flavor. Regular turkey sausage would be much better.


I also have left over PB cookies and that’s not such a good thing! I just polished off three! I need Al here to eat the rest of them for me so I don’t! Haha :)


No running today, it was a scheduled rest day. I took Sadie on a walk and did Whittle My Middle instead. I am SOOO excited Thanksgiving is this week! Just can’t say it enough! Hope ya’ll have a wonderful night!


*I watched My Sister’s Keeper tonight and LOVED it!! Great movie, definitely a tear jerker!!*

Last 12 Miler!!

Happy Sunday!! I’ve had a pretty busy day and am so ready to go to bed! I started out my Sunday morning with a 12 miler since I didn’t do it yesterday. I got up at 6 and was out the door by 6:30. I ran the same route as last time but felt tired from the very beginning. Surprisingly, I ran this 12 miler a little faster than last weeks! My time was 2:10:xx with an average pace of 10:54! I did incorporate some walk breaks and surprisingly they really made me pick my pace up after them. Normally when I do walk breaks, I just want to keep walking and they make me even more tired! But not today!


The run was pretty uneventful. The weather was nice, 50 degrees and cloudy. This route is pretty hilly so that made me a little more tired than my other routes. I did upload some new Christmas music to my running playlist last night so that kept my mind occupied for a while!!


I didn’t eat anything before this run, like I did last week. There just wasn’t enough time for me to eat, digest, and then head out for the run. I did take a Powergel at mile 8. I felt about the same as last week. I started getting a side stitch around 6 miles and the walk breaks helped a little with that but it continued to the end of my run. I don’t think it matters what I do, I am gonna get a side stitch on my long runs no matter what. I have tried changing what I eat pre run, the night before, during the run, etc. and nothing makes me NOT get one. Anyone have any insight on this? I am thinking it’s just something I’m going to have to deal with and that kinda sucks because I felt great, other than that.


Anyway, that was my last 12 miler before my race on Dec. 5th! I think my long run next weekend is only 8 miles so that will be a nice break!!


After my run and ice bath, I studied some more for my Anatomy test tomorrow and then went to Al’s families Thanksgiving! It was so good! I love family events, especially when they involve food!


I hope everyone else had a great weekend! I am so ready for my test tomorrow to be over so I can be on Thanksgiving break!! Have a great night!

No Long Run Today!

Good morning everyone! Happy Saturday to ya’ll!! I had a hard test yesterday in my Anesthesia class, that I had been studying for literally all week. I feel like I did pretty good though! Guess we will see! Unfortunately, I have my LAST Anatomy test on Monday so I had to come home from class yesterday and immediately start studying for that. And, that’s what my WHOLE weekend will consist of, especially all day today. I want to keep an A in that class so I need to be really well prepared for this test! But, I am SOOOO sick of studying! At least after this test on Monday I am off school for a week and a half! Yay!!


I had planned on doing my long run, 12 miles, today, but that didn’t really go as planned! I really wasn’t into it mentally, AT ALL! I slept in, because I didn’t want to get up and run. And once I got up, I played on the computer, reading blogs to procrastinate this run even more! And then, when I finally talked myself into putting clothes on and attempting this run, my Garmin wouldn’t turn on! So I spent a good while reading the handbook trying to figure out what to do! Luckily, I just had to reset it and it started working! So, I finally pushed myself out the door and from my first footstep all I could think about was “I don’t want to do this” over and over! After about 2 miles of this, I decided this run just wasn’t going to happen today, so I decided I would attempt again tomorrow and just finish this run as a 3 miler.


I think this was a really good decision because if I continued on, this run would have just been awful with the attitude I had about it. So, hopefully tomorrow will be better. I’m getting up early, because I seem to do better running when I’m up super early to do it! Haha! I think I am just burnt out on training! I still love running but the “training” part I’m sick of. Does that make sense?? I’m glad my race is almost here! Dec. 5th! I think my training plan was just too long but I will critique that after the race! Does anyone else ever get like this at the end of training plans?? I signed up for a Turkey Trot 4 miler for Thanksgiving, so at least I have that to look forward to next week!


Tomorrow we are doing Thanksgiving with one of Al’s grandparents and that side of the family, so that on top of a 12 miler is not going to leave me with a lot of study time so I have a ton to do today! Al has requested I make those PB cookies again to bring tomorrow because they were so good! He ate most of them! He would eat like 6-8 cookies at a time! Haha! So, I will be making those again today!


What are ya’ll doing this weekend? Anyone else going to Thanksgiving this weekend? I think it’s kinda fun because I still have his other side of the family and my family to do on Thursday! So it’s like 3 Thanksgivings! Good thing I’m a runner! Haha :)

Google is AWESOME!!

Last night, I went over to Erin’s so she could show me just how neat Google is. I was completely clueless. The only thing I used Google for was to search. So, after the teaching on Google, we decided to do some Biggest Loser yoga. Well actually, there was a lot more laughing and talking than yoga going on! Morning exercise is so much better for us! Haha.


Anyway, back to Google…. Today I downloaded Google Chrome and started using Google Reader. Yes, I realize you all are saying to me “ where have you been?” Well, I have obviously not been caught up with the latest Google technology! Ha! I am totally loving both!! I have now decided to set up a Gmail account, and that’s what I need ya’lls input for! I can’t decide what my email address should be! I have 2 options, a fun one, and a more professional one. And, I don’t know which one to pick! I like the fun one because it would be easy to tell to people, but I’m thinking I may need a more professional one with my line of work and school (medical field for those of you who don’t know). What do ya’ll think? Here are my 2 options(and as of last night, they were both available):


1. Super cute, easy for people to spell without me having to spell it for them, same as my Twitter


2. This one is my initials and new last name. I know some of you may think I’m jumping the gun already trying to use my new last name, but there is no sense in me making one with my maiden name when it’s gonna change in 7 months! But, this one is more professional, easy since it’s my name, but I will constantly have to spell it for people when giving over the phone, etc.


Opinions?? Or, if you have any other suggestions, that would be great too! Thanks Erin for introducing me to a whole new world! Ha :)


I had a another good run this morning with my workout buddy! We did our usual 3 mile loop! I felt extra tired this morning for some reason. Maybe because it was my 3rd day in a row of running? Not sure. But tomorrow is a rest day and then 12 miles on Saturday! I also did day 4 of Whittle Your Middle.


The rest of my day consists of studying with classmates and then class this afternoon! Hope ya’ll have a fabulous day!

Best PB Cookies EVER!!

Hey friends!! I am on a quick 30 minute study break so I have to make this fast!! Last night I made the best PB cookies EVER!! Seriously, the best!! I first got the recipe off of IGE but then heard some of my friends at school talking about the recipe also! Apparently, this lady used this PB cookie recipe to win some type of Pillsbury Cookie contest in 2008. Anyway, I think she was even on Oprah!! So here’s the recipe:


Double-Delight Peanut Butter Cookies
Pillsbury 2008 Bake-Off Contest Winning Recipe by Carolyn Gurtz 


1/4 cup Fisher® Dry Roasted Peanuts, finely chopped

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup JIF® Creamy Peanut Butter

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated peanut butter cookies, well chilled



1. Heat oven to 375°F. In small bowl, mix chopped peanuts, granulated sugar and cinnamon; set aside.


2. In another small bowl, stir peanut butter and powdered sugar until completely blended. Shape mixture into 24 (1-inch) balls.




3. Cut roll of cookie dough into 12 slices. Cut each slice in half crosswise to make 24 pieces; flatten slightly. Shape 1 cookie dough piece around 1 peanut butter ball, covering completely. Repeat with remaining dough and balls.


4. Roll each covered ball in peanut mixture; gently pat mixture completely onto balls. On ungreased large cookie sheets, place balls 2 inches apart.




5. Bake 7 to 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack. Store tightly covered.




These are soooo good!! I ate 2 right out of the oven!!




On the running front… today I had an AWESOME 6 mile run!! It was one of those days when I really did not want to get out of bed. It’s freezing and cloudy outside. I just laid there and laid there until I finally made myself get up. The temp was 43 degrees with a pretty chilly wind, but halfway into my run I was sweating!! I love these cooler running temps! I did the same, super hilly, 6 mile route that I did last week. I really felt great this entire run! Like, I couldn’t believe I was feeling that good, especially on the last mile! I could tell I was running pretty fast (for me) for the entire run, and I was right!! Here’s my stats:


Time: 58:14

Avg pace: 9:43!! Yea!!

Mile 1: 10:16

Mile 2: 10:05

Mile 3: 9:51

Mile 4: 9:25

Mile 5: 9:30

Mile 6: 9:08


I am so happy with this run! It’s gonna put me in a great mood for the rest of the day!!


I also did Day 3 of the Whittle Your Middle Challenge! My abs are so sore! I am loving these exercises!! Tonight, I am going to Erin’s for some yoga and Google teaching sessions! I am clueless about all you can do with Google stuff!! Well, gotta get back to the books! Go make those cookies!!

Wedding Update

I know, I know… I said I would be MIA this week but I guess I just can’t stay away! Haha.. I am taking a study break right now and thought I would post on here!! So, my parents just got back from Florida on Sunday. They were there taking care of wedding details, meeting with the planner, vendors, finding a house to rent, etc. I was sad I couldn’t go :( Stupid school! Anyway, I wanted to share some stuff they got accomplished for me!!


First up, table decorations!! I am using Calla Lilies for my flowers, so here is how I am having the florist do our tables.


calla lilies


We are not having the side vases with flowers, just the center one with calla lilies. There are also votive candles and yellow and white rose petals scattered around. I thought this was gorgeous! Our table cloths are a sheer blue overlay over the white table cloth. The blue color I’m using is a cobalt or Memphis blue, if you will :) My bouquet is going to be mini and large white calla lilies mixed together and my bridesmaids are going to have large yellow calla lilies. So I’m excited about that!


Now for the cake…


wedding cake


I am having Heidi of Bake My Day do my wedding cake. I’m basically having this cake, except it will be 3 layers and the blue swirl things are going to be a darker blue. The cake itself will be a vanilla cake with a vanilla crème and citrus filling for the top and bottom layers. And the middle layer is going to be vanilla cake with raspberry filling and chocolate ganache. Sounds yummy to me! I am also having a groom’s cake for Al. It’s going to be some sort of fishing scene that says “Al and Niki, Hook, Line, and Sinker!” Cute right?? And his cake is going to be a chocolate cake with strawberry filling and chocolate ganache. He has no clue a groom’s cake even exists so it’s gonna be a fun surprise!! So I am really excited about this too!!


Now for the honeymoon… I have a week and a half off for Thanksgiving from school so I am planning to make all our honeymoon plans then! Book everything! So, we decided we are going to go to San Francisco, Napa Valley, and Sacramento for out honeymoon! I am SOOO excited about this!! So if you have ever been to these places, let me know if you have suggestions of where to stay or what to do!! I need some help, there’s way too many choices!!


Quick running update: I had another good 3 mile run with Erin this morning! It stayed dark almost the entire run because it’s so cloudy here! I also did my 2nd day of Whittle Your Middle Challenge! My abs are really feeling it! Well, I hope ya’ll have a great Tuesday! Must get back to studying!!

Running Update

Sorry guys, this is going to be short and sweet. I may be a little MIA this week because I am busy with studying for tests on Friday and next Monday! But after that, I am off for a week and a half for Thanksgiving! Yeah! Just gotta buckle down this week :)


On Sunday, I did a 4 mile recovery run at a 10:20 pace. It was a nice, easy run. Nothing to really write home about. I was actually really surprised at how good I felt. Not very much soreness at all! Ice baths really do work wonders!!


Today was a rest day. Erin and I decided to start Angela’s, at Oh She Glows, Whittle Your Middle Challenge! We are about a week late starting but we are extending it a week so we do a full month like everyone else. So far so good! I know I’m going to be sore tomorrow! Anyone else doing this?? Well, better get to bed. I have an early morning run with Erin on the schedule! Good night!!

Tremendous Twelve!!

I did it! I ran 12 miles this morning!! Overall the run was pretty good! I got up around 7:30 and was out the door around 8ish. This was this first time I did my long run in my town which makes for a lot of hills! It wasn’t bad though! The weather was nice, I almost wish it was a little cooler. My computer said it was 43 degrees when I started, so I wore capris, a short sleeve shirt, and a long sleeve light shirt but almost immediately I was ready to shed that long sleeve shirt! I stashed my water and gel on my porch so I looped back every 3-4 miles to get water. Since I had such bad side stitches last week, I opted to NOT eat anything before my run. I know some of you may think that’s crazy, but I just feel better when I am running with nothing in my stomach. This is fine when I can just get up and head out but will pose an issue on race day since I will be up about 2 hours before the start to get ready and get to the race. I am planning on mimicking race day on my 12 miler next weekend so any fueling suggestions? I need something small so it won’t bother my tummy but substantial enough so I’m not starving. I’ve tried oatmeal, toast with PB, and cliff bars. Oatmeal and toast with PB are major fails but 1/2 a cliff bar seemed to work ok most of the time. Any other ideas would be great!!


Ok back to the run… So the first 4ish miles were great, stopped real quick, got some water, and started again. The next 4ish miles were also not bad, more hilly than the first but still ok. No side stitches or tummy troubles at this point. I was making a point to keep a nice slow pace seeing as I really wanted to finish this run and I normally don’t do my long runs on this many hills!! I took a Green Apple Power gel around mile 8 with more water. Really like that flavor! I really am a fan of gels! Around mile 9ish, I started getting a bit of a side stitch but I managed the last 4 miles without too much difficulty. I had to take a couple walk breaks to stretch my side out when it got unbearable but I was ok with that.


My time was 2:12:xx for 12 miles with an average pace of 11:03. A little slower than usual but not bad considering the hills and the walk breaks I took toward the end. I am really happy with this run!!


I am also happy to report that the awful sick feeling that I have been experiencing after my long runs was no where to be seen today! I actually was able to eat not long after the run and took an ice bath! Ice baths are kinda fun :) I sat in the tub, shivering, drinking hot tea and listening to Christmas music! I lasted 15 mins and then got out. Hopefully I will not be too sore tomorrow so I can do a short recovery run. Overall, this tremendous 12 miler was a win in my book!


I also decided to do some baking today and used Megan’s recipe to make Mini Pumpkin Scones!




They turned out really good!! I made the icing a little too thin because I ran out of powdered sugar so it’s more of a glaze. But, it still tastes awesome! And you know I sampled one already :) Great recipe Megan!!


Tonight’s the last night that Georgia gets to stay with me because my parents are back in town tomorrow. So, we are having a girl’s night!! Yummy food, wine, and catching up on the DVR and blogs! Sounds like a great night to me!! Hope ya’ll are having a great weekend!!

The last few days…

I have been a busy little bee the last few days and haven’t posted! Did ya’ll miss me?  :)


I first want to start by saying the Turkey Enchiladas that I made Tuesday night were awesome!! We have already eaten the leftovers! I did freeze some of the meat for an easy taco night some time in the future! Definitely try this recipe!! Last night I made Chicken Chili from a recipe I got a while back from IGE. Awesome recipe! Seriously, BEST CHICKEN CHILI EVER!! And of course, no chili dinner is complete without some sweet cornbread!! Do ya’ll eat regular or sweet cornbread?? I’ve always eaten sweet and am not a fan of regular!




On the running front… yesterday I had an awesome 6 miler! But, HOLY WIND!! It was so windy! At one point I was going down a hill into the wind and barely felt like I was moving! So much for enjoying those downhills!! I did a super hilly 6 mile route around my town and it was awesome! Ya’ll know I love those hills! Here’s my stats:


Time: 1:01:16

Avg. pace: 10:13

Mile 1: 10:16

Mile 2: 10:18

Mile 3: 10:16

Mile 4: 10:08

Mile 5: 10:20

Mile 6: 9:59


I felt great after this run! Didn’t run it too fast or too slow, right in the middle. I am happy with myself for keeping a pretty consistent pace! After my run, I went over to Erin’s to do some Biggest Loser yoga. It was fun to “attempt” the poses since I am the most inflexible person ever!! It did feel awesome to stretch out my muscles though! Hopefully I can become better at it as we do it more often! Haha. Does anyone else’s arms get super tired during yoga?? I swear, I could barely keep my arms lifted in the air! Haha.


This morning was another early morning 3 miler with Erin! It was pretty chilly again this morning, 39 degrees, but made for great running weather!! This run was much better than Tuesdays! Our time’s are getting better every time!! We have a nice early morning walk planned for the morning! There’s nothing like a great workout buddy to get you up at 5:30 am every morning to do some form of exercise!! I am loving it!!




I’ve been pretty busy doing school stuff this week. I finally finished my take home test yesterday. So glad that’s done! We had to write 35 test questions over a variety of topics and write rationales for the right and wrong answers. Very time consuming! I am so glad I’m not a teacher because making test questions is hard!! Today, I get to go to The Med (one of the hospitals here in Memphis) and get to see and learn how to use and anesthesia machine! I am so excited!!


Well, this post is long enough and my doggies are begging for a walk so I better get going! Hope ya’ll have a great Thursday!!


Question: Is it too early to start listening to Christmas Music?? I am so ready for it!!

Busy But Boring Day

Hey guys! How’s it going?? I’m not a happy camper right now because my coffee pot just decided to roll off the counter and crash on my kitchen floor, thus shattering glass everywhere! And of course I cut my finger while trying to pick up the big piece. Sigh.


Anyway, my day has been pretty boring today. The only fun thing I did was a 3 mile run with my running buddy this morning! The rest of the day I have been working on a take home test from school and doing housework. I did get 25 out of the 35 questions on the test done though! Yay!! I am hoping to finish it up tomorrow!


Tonight for dinner I am making us Turkey Enchiladas from a recipe I saw on GreenDogWine a few days ago! It looks good, I will let ya’ll know how it turns out! I also rented the move The Taking of Pelham 123 with John Travolta and Denzel Washington for Al and I to watch tonight. I am excited to see it because I have been waiting to watch it since this movie came out in theaters!! Anyone seen it yet? I hope it’s as good as I’m thinking it will be!


Well, I still got lots to do so I better go! Have a great night!!


Hey everyone! How’s your Monday been? Mine’s been ok, mostly reading stuff for school and getting ready to head to Anatomy lab in a bit (gag me). I did get my car back, which I am so happy about, but wasn’t too excited to foot $428. Geez, cars can be so expensive!!


Like my title says, I have a houseguest this week, and her name is Georgia!




She is my parents dog (well actually mine, long story, but basically my parents wouldn’t give her up when I moved out!) and she is staying with me and Sadie this week while my parents are in Florida. They are going to do some wedding stuff! See the venue, meet with vendors, and scout out beach houses for my wedding in June. I am so sad I can’t go :( Stupid school always gets in the way! Haha.




Georgia loves to give kisses and hugs. She is the sweetest dog ever, well besides Sadie of course!




Her and Sadie are BFF’s and are gonna have some major fun this week!!




And here’s my little angel taking a nap. She has been sleeping ALL DAY! My brother’s dog Lexi really wore her out yesterday! Haha :)


No running today, it’s a rest day! Back to running early tomorrow morning with my Running Buddy Erin! Hope ya’ll have a fabulous night!

Spiritual Sunday

Church was great this morning! Worship was wonderful and the message was really convicting, so I am going to share a little bit. Did ya'll know that today is the National Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church? We saw a video clip of a bunch of different countries and the people there who face religious persecution. I automatically praised God for the religious freedom we have in our country! However, even though we aren't physically persecuted, we are spiritually persecuted every day by the ungodly things of the world. That's hard to hear sometimes because the things of the world can be great at times. But we have to remember that God and his love for us are MUCH GREATER than any worldly things!! There are also some great verses I discovered today during this message that I would also like to share.

Romans 12:2 "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is- his good, pleasing, and perfect will" As my pastor said, we need to change the way people think, and by doing this, we can change the way people live.

1 John 2:15-17 "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world- the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does- comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever" This is majorly convicting to me! Sometimes I find myself living for the things of the world and this verse really convicts me and makes me turn away from worldly things to the will of God.

2 Timothy 4:7 " I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith" LOVE this verse! I am making this the verse for my life!


On the running front... Today's run was tough. I had an 11 miler on the schedule but only completed 8. Better that then none right? I couldn't start my run until after church, which was about 11:30 am and by then, it was already 76 degrees. Now, that's not super hot but it felt like it since I have been running in 40 degree temps for weeks! I felt tired, hot, and super sluggish. Not to mention, that from mile 1 I had an awful side stitch that progressively got worse, to the point where I could barely catch my breath and was gasping for air. So needless to say after 8 miles of this torture I decided to call it quits. I felt pretty happy with going that far because I was ready to be done after the first 3 miles. Oh well, all runs just can't be wonderful and I will take this run in stride knowing it was only 3 miles short of what I was supposed to do.

I felt really bad after my run, like the same lightheaded nauseous feeling I had last week after my run. This lasted for about 2 hours post run. Anyone have any ideas what this could be from? I drank a whole water bottle full of 1/2 Gatorade and 1/2 water so I don't think I was that dehydrated. But I just felt awful and am not too excited that it keeps happening after all my long runs! I ate breakfast too, so it's not like my blood sugar should have been low. But anyway, any ideas/suggestions ya'll have would be nice!!

Today is my dad's actual birthday so we are celebrating tonight with a fajita dinner, cake and ice cream! Yay! Happy Birthday Dad!!

Friday Birthday Dinner

We have a tradition in my family to go out to eat for each of our birthdays at the restaurant of the birthday person’s choosing. Since Sunday is my Dad’s birthday, we decided to go out to celebrate it last night. He chose a new Italian restaurant called Elfo’s. I had a spinach salad, my mom and I split a veggie pizza, and I had tiramisu for dessert. It was good but a little pricy in my opinion. It was a lot of fun and we all had a great time! Here are some pics:




Me and my dad! Yes, we are matching :)




My mom and dad




Me and my brother




Me being silly




My Tiramisu! It was super yummy!!


On to other things… I had to take my car in to the shop yesterday because my service engine soon light had been on for a few days. Well, it ends up being a multitude of things that I have to replace: the battery, some automatic speed control switch, and my radiator hose that was leaking antifreeze. Needless to say, I am sad at how expensive this is going to be but thankful I took it in when I did and didn’t end up stranded some where! Another bummer about this situation is that they had to order a part and it didn’t come in today so I am carless until Monday. Luckily, I was able to use my mom’s car today to go to class and back home. But, I am having to stay at my parents house tomorrow night because my mom has to go to work Monday morning and I am stuck there until my car is ready. Guess it could be worse though! I don’t know what people do when they have car issues and don’t have family in the same city! Please enlighten me if this is your case!! I am just so thankful to have my parents and fiancé around to help me with things like this!!


On the running front… Yesterday I ran a quick, 4 mile fartleck run on my treadmill before class. I could definitely tell it was my 4th day of running in a row. My legs were tired!! I was so glad that today is a rest day before my long run tomorrow. I have 11 miles on the schedule! I am a little nervous because it’s supposed it be 76 degrees tomorrow at the time I will be running and I have been running in a lot cooler weather than that for weeks! I hope it doesn’t affect me too much!! My mom and I also took the dogs on a nice 1 mile walk this afternoon. The weather here has been great!! Well, I guess that’s all for now! I hope ya’ll are having a great weekend! Sadie and I are relaxing tonight!

Rediscovering Twitter

Hey everyone! Happy Thursday! Is everyone as excited for the weekend as I am?? I am super excited that this Saturday is my LAST Anatomy class, AKA last Saturday class ever!! Yay!!!


I got up early this morning and had another great 3 miler with Erin. We ran a lot faster this time and it felt great! The weather was a little chillier this morning than Tuesday morning but it was still ok. I am really loving these cooler temps. Funny how yesterday’s noon run was 70 degrees and I was super HOT and wearing shorts and a tank top and this mornings run was chilly, 38ish degrees and I had on long pants and long sleeves! Crazy how much of a temp difference there is from morning to lunch time!


As my title says, I have rediscovered my love for Twitter!! I haven’t been keeping up with it for a while until today when I realized I could Tweet from my phone! I send and receive tweets like text messages! It’s so fun! I’ve been getting text message “tweets” all morning long! Makes me feel important! Haha. I’m sure most of you have already come to this realization that you can tweet from your phone. And I’m sure the majority of you have IPHONES with the Twitter app, but I’m still sporting the ghetto razor, as I call it (because it’s bejeweled, and yes I did it myself many years ago), with text messaging being the only form of multimedia I have! So this is super cool and fun for me! So, if you Twitter (and if you don’t, give it a try, it’s pretty fun) follow me! @NikiRuns (see button at top right to follow) I promise to do lots of fun tweeting!


I am off to Bunco tonight! Can’t wait! Ya’ll have a great rest of the day!

Thankful For The Wind

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but today during my run I was VERY THANKFUL for the wind! The weather is a little crazy here. This morning when I went to class it was 38 degrees and when I headed out for my 5 miler around noon it was 72 degrees! Makes it kinda hard to just pick one outfit for the day when your freezing in the morning and sweating in the afternoon! Anyway, back to my run. Like I said, I headed out around noon for a 5 miler. It was 72ish degrees and I knew this was going to be a HOT run. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, quite the beautiful day, but provided direct sunlight onto my face while running. Not so nice. But, there was this awesome breeze!! Normally the wind seems to blow in only 1 or 2 directions, but today it was blowing in 3 directions. And when I was running in the direction with no wind, boy was I HOT and really wishing for the wind! Ha! I normally hate running into the wind. I always feel like I have to work so much harder! And why is it, normally, that the wind is only around when the temps are freezing? Rarely is the wind around for super hot days!! Please wind, stay away in the cold and come around when it’s hot!! So basically, today, the wind made for a nice run!! Here are my stats:


Time: 48:13

Avg Pace: 9:39 min/mile

Mile 1: 9:59

Mile 2: 9:37

Mile 3: 9:38

Mile 4: 9:45

Mile 5: 9:15


Overall great run!! I think 5 miles is one of my favorite distances! Long enough to feel like you are really working but short enough to push yourself hard!


Tonight I am going to dinner at Bonefish with one of my bestest friends and bridesmaids, Katie, who is in town this week! I am super excited! I can’t wait to see her and I love Bonefish!! This week has kinda been nice and slow for school but socially busy!! Unfortunately, I need to enjoy this week because the next 2 weeks of school are gonna keep me super busy! But after that it’s Thanksgiving Break! I can do it :) Hope ya’ll have a great night!


PS: Check out the cute Turkey POTM Challenge button Bobbi made to the right!

Running Buddies Make Running Just A little More Fun!!

How many of ya’ll have running buddies out there?? I have been the runner that has never really had a running partner (AKA “Buddy”) and it’s made me a little sad. I was always slightly jealous when reading all the wonderful running blogs and the different people they get to run and train with. I always pushed away my slight jealousy with the thought that I like running alone, I get to listen to my music, run whatever pace I want, think about things… until I started getting bored on my long runs and knew I needed a change. Heck, I was bribing myself with Swedish Fish candy to complete my long run this past week! I was longing for someone to run with on any of my runs during the week, not just my long run. And today was the first day that I ran with my new Running Buddy!!


Well, she’s not really new to me at all!! Erin and I have known each other since High School! And now since we live really close to each other (like 5 mins away) and are both runners, we can officially be friends and Running Buddies!! Yay!! I was so excited to do our first run this morning!! We were able to head out early since the sun is now coming up around 6 am which made for a pretty run with great temps!! I think it was right around 50 degrees.  We ran a 1 mile loop around her neighborhood 3 times (3 miles) that had a nice mix of flat and hilly stretches. And the best part of the run? We talked the ENTIRE time and the 3 miles flew by! I really was amazed when our Garmins were beeping 3 miles! That’s definitely the way to run, with a buddy!! I’m looking forward to our Thursday morning run!

Dinner and Dessert!!

I made some yummy things today that I wanted to share with ya’ll! First up is Pumpkin Bites! I got this recipe from Iowa Girl Eats last week and it is divine!! I have been super into baking ANYTHING pumpkin and I think these little bites take the cake so far!! Here’s the recipe…


Pumpkin Bites

3 cups plus 2 TBSP all-purpose flour

1tsp salt

1tsp baking soda

1tsp baking powder

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

2 TBSP cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 cup melted butter

1/2 cup canola oil

3 cups pumpkin puree (2 smaller cans)

2 eggs

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and powder, and spices. Set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk sugars, canola oil and melted butter. Add pumpkin and combine thoroughly. Add eggs and vanilla, whisk until combined. Pour flour mixture into wet ingredients and slowly whisk until combined. Do not over mix.


3. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper.

4. Place entire mixing bowl in refrigerator to chill for 20 mins. Use mini ice cream scooper to make 1 inch circles onto prepared sheets. Bake 10-12 mins. Once cool, fill centers with cream cheese icing.



Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

1 stick butter, room temp.

8 oz cream cheese, room temp.

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

Dash of salt

Beat cream cheese, butter, and cinnamon until lump free and smooth. Gradually add sugar until well combined. Add vanilla and mix just until incorporated.


Fill zip lock bag with frosting, snip one corner, and pipe onto cookies.


Sandwich them together and enjoy!!



Ya’ll, these are so delish! And this frosting is to die for! You must make these!!

I also made a really yummy, easy dinner tonight! I grilled one sweet turkey sausage on the George Forman grill, baked some sweet potato fries, and sautéed some spinach, garlic, and red pepper flakes! Yum! I’ve never eaten spinach like that and it’s super good!!


This dinner was great for just throwing something together!!

I didn’t do any running today. My right IT band is really bothering me so I decided I needed a day of rest. It’s super tight and really painful to just stretch. I will be back to running tomorrow but am still planning to take it a little easy. I did some strength training and stretching today. I also got out in the beautiful weather and took Sadie for a walk! Love days like this!

My Anatomy test is over, thank goodness, and I don’t have anymore tests this week so I get a little break from studying! I am excited for tomorrow because I am getting my hair done! I am getting a trim and it highlighted. I am so bad about keeping up with highlighting my hair because it gets so naturally blonde in the summer and I don’t need it done! So, it’s been well over six months since I had my hair trimmed or highlighted! Yikes! Just glad I’m naturally blonde so you can’t see my roots! Haha. I just want it to be a bit brighter since it’s  almost winter and will be getting duller and a tad darker. And then after my hair appt. I am going to lunch with a good friend who is also planning her wedding so we have lots to talk about! Hope ya’ll have a good rest of the night!!

November 1

I can’t believe it’s already November!! This fall is sure flying by! I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!! Mine was very low-key. Just took Sadie over to the parents house and we helped hand out candy and then my mom and I watched the movie Vacancy. It was pretty good! I was surprised that we barely got any trick or treaters! I know it used to NOT be like that when I used to trick or treat. What does everyone do instead?? I ended up eating a ton of candy, YUM!! And I still have some left over at my house since I didn’t hand out candy there.


So today I decided I would do my 11 miler that I failed to do earlier this week. I really pumped myself up for this run so I could have a good attitude! I even brought some Swedish Fish candies to use as some fuel during my run. Note to self: Swedish Fish are a little chewy to try to run and eat. I was ending up just swallowing them whole! Haha. The weather was pretty nice for the run, about 64 degrees and sunny with light winds. I set off after church about 11:15 and there were a ton of people out! That’s always motivating. So, the first 4 miles or so were nice, I felt really good. I stopped at my car around mile 4 to grab some water and my fish to carry along with me. Another note to self: I HATE carrying things while running, even if it’s just a baggy full of Swedish Fish! My hands got so sweaty, yuck! I started trying to chew my fish around mile 5.5. I figured half way would be good so I could digest these suckers and get some energy!! It was kinda hard to run and eat but I bet if I was eating something less chewy and sticky, it wouldn’t be so bad. I really want to try those cliff shot blocks! Anyone ever try them?? Well by mile 8 I was really tired but I just kept pushing through. I was going a little slower by this point but felt like I was expending so much energy to just keep up that pace! I don’t know how some of you run marathons! I was exhausted after just 11 miles! Anyway, I finished up in 1:57:18, which is a 10:40 min/mile average pace. I’ll take it!! I’m just gonna be happy with finishing this half!!


Like I said, I felt tired during the last couple miles of my run but when I finished my run, I felt awful. Stomach cramps, nausea, lightheadedness… it was awful. I finished my run around 1:30ish and couldn’t even eat anything until around 4:00. And then I could only stomach a few saltines and some OJ. I had the worst nausea and cramps! Awful. I even felt bad just laying on the couch, like really weak. I would stand up and be super dizzy. I’m sure not eating for a few hours after my run didn’t help that but I’m really not sure what started it all. I mean I really didn’t do anything drastically different on my long run this week. So who really knows… I am hoping to have my appetite back tomorrow!!


Well, I am looking forward to taking my Anatomy test in the morning just to get it out of the way! I am so sick of studying this stuff! Wish me luck and good night!