Saturday, September 29, 2012


A picture walk of my week : food, life, & happenings

Dinner: whole wheat pasta, sprinkle of parmesan & garlic salt, steamed broccoli, & garlic bread

Breakfast: Chobani vanilla greek yogurt, handful of frozen triple berry blend, & granola

Is there anything better than a morning run around the park when the leaves are changing & the air is crisp? Technically yes, but this is pretty far up on the list. My list, anyways.

Getting organized & filing my bills. One word - adulthood.

I will never get sick of driving to work. & this was even on a gloomy day (might I add that since I have lived here, there has been maybe 3 days that the sun hasn't been shining. Awesomeness.)

Followed through with one of my challenges of eating no bread. & lived to write about it.

Beautiful times a gazillion. 

Fall-la la la la is in full swing at my house. 


If you haven't noticed, I gave my blog a little makeover. What's new besides the layout? I have added a couple tabs at the top where you can see: contact information, book recommendations, & a short snip-it about yours truly. 

As much as I LOVE reading your comments on my Facebook, I would love to be able to read through previous blog posts & read your comments on here. I strongly urge you to start commenting on my blog as anyone can do it (you do not need your own blog!). 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

suit up

Lace up your shoes, throw on your jersey, & let's go. It's time to play.

We are no longer going to stand on the sidelines or sit in the stands. We are no longer going to critique those that are playing as what are we doing? Watching. Watching people fall & get back up. Watching people get hurt & get healed. Watching people score a goal & get rewarded. Watching people work together & seeing that a little teamwork can go a long way. We are no longer going to fear the unknown as the unknown is something to embrace & look forward to. 

The people that sit back & watch others are the people that have nothing going for them. They are waiting for things to happen because they are too scared to try something. They are the ones that are jealous of you & all your adventures. They are the ones that look at your life & wish it was there's, yet they remain on the sidelines. Stop. Being. Scared. --- He knows what he is doing & He will never take you through it unless He knows you can handle it. 

Our failures come about when we try to be something that God doesn't want us to be. In failure, something is born. Look at your own life & think back to a time where you thought the world was ending & nothing was going your way. Where are you now? What did you learn? How did you grow? If you are still stuck in that rut, go play. Stop throwing a pity party for yourself & get out there. You can't fly unless you fall. 

In our failures, mistakes, risks, there is always something greater that is to come

I can't take credit for all these words as the sermon I heard on Sunday is what sparked this post. It was one of those sermons that moved me, inspired me, motivated me. I URGE you to listen to this teaching as I guarantee that you will take away at least 1 thing from it, if not 10. 

Go play (& hope that the refs in your game aren't replacements!)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

recipes for: zucchini pie & scarecrow treats

Zucchini Pie


8 oz. dried whole wheat spaghetti 
1 C pasta sauce
1 T extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large zucchini, peeled & shredded, about 2 C
1/2 tsp dried basil
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
1 C shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 oz. sliced turkey pepperoni (about 15 slices, chopped)
4 large eggs
1/2 cup 1% milk **I used Silk milk & it tasted great
1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese


 1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil or coat a 2-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to the pan. Stir in the pasta sauce and set aside.

2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the zucchini and basil; cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is tender, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Stir the cooked zucchini, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni as desired into the pasta until well combined. Transfer the mixture to the prepared dish.

4. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs and milk in a bowl. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the top of the spaghetti, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

5. Bake until bubbly and golden brown on top, 25 to 30 minutes. Let stand about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Nutrition facts per serving (1 piece): 310 calories, 21g protein, 33g carbohydrate, 11g fat (4g saturated), 4g fiber

For original recipe, click HERE.

Scarecrow Treats


1/2 C butter, softened
1 (18.25 oz) package pudding in the mix yellow cake mix
1 egg
3 C miniature marshmallows

1/2 C light corn syrup
1/4 C sugar
1/4 C brown sugar
1/2 C peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla
2 C crisp rice cereal
2 C salted peanuts
1 C candy corn


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Combine butter and cake mix in large bowl. Beat on low speed until well mixed. Add egg; continue beating until well mixed.

2. Press onto bottom of ungreased 15x10x1-inch jelly-roll pan. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until set and edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven. 

3. Immediately sprinkle marshmallows over hot, partially baked crust. Return to oven; continue baking for 1 to 2 minutes or until marshmallows puff.

4. Meanwhile, combine corn syrup, sugar and brown sugar in large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until mixture comes to a boil (2 to 4 minutes). Remove from heat; stir in peanut butter and vanilla until smooth. Stir in cereal, peanuts and candy corn. Immediately spoon over marshmallows; spread to cover. Cool completely. Cut into bars.

Nutrition facts per serving (1 bar):150 calories, 3g protein, 18g carbohydrate, < 1g fiber, 8g fat

For original recipe, click HERE.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

sign me up

I love a good challenge every now & then. Hence why I decided to leave everything that was "safe" & move to a new state, new city, new everything. I have learned more about myself in the past month than  one could ever think. I can't help but feel proud of myself (as cheesy & self-centered as it sounds) when my mom says that I just "glow" when I talk about my new life. 

While I have conquered & survived this whole moving challenge, I figure I might as well add in some more challenges just to spice things up. As they are all not as "dramatic" as moving away, they will take some self-control & focus.

- I will not spend money on going to Starbucks or any other kind of coffee shop. My apartment complex has free Starbucks coffee...hello!

- I will not buy bread or eat it when at a restaurant. I have found that my stomach gets a little funky feeling & does 3029834908 flips after I eat it. Allergic to gluten? I'm about to find out.

- After work, I will not be glued to my phone to check Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram every 10 minutes. 

- Before bed I will shut off the tv & open up a book.

I would be craving a Skinny Vanilla Latte from Starbucks right now. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

knowing when

1. Knowing when to start doing things the way YOU want to do them.

"Carrie, you are a people pleaser. You do things that won't necessarily make you happy, but will make the people around you happy. I'm here to tell you that you simply cannot keep going through life this way". My aunt is a pretty great lady, wouldn't you agree? I always need reminding (not that she is a great lady, but that I need to focus on my happiness) of this because I know that I continually fall in to the trap of making sure the people in my life are "ok". I know this isn't a bad thing, but when it gets in the way of what I truly want to do, than I think it is a problem. We need to fall down & pick ourselves up. We need to know what it feels like to hurt & to come out of something with a whole new outlook. We need to try new things & learn from them. We need to make mistakes & take something away from it that changes our views. We need to meet people that are complete opposites of us & teach us that embracing different people is one of the best lessons we can learn.

2. Knowing when you are getting slapped in the face with reality.

I royally suck when it comes to eating healthy while on a trip. This weekend was no different while in Missouri for my brothers wedding. I told myself that I'll get back on schedule on Monday. It's Monday, & I am here to tell you that I had the biggest rude awakening I have ever had. I literally cuddled up on the couch from the time I woke up till lunch time. It was one of those mornings where I COULD NOT STOP EATING. From toast, to cookies, to chips, to practically everything in my kitchen. It was bad. So bad that I got the worst upset stomach & ended up with my head in the porcelain bowl. This might be at the top of my list for "most embarrassing things that I have ever wrote about on my blog" but it's me. It's real. It happened. & it was exactly what I needed to flip that switch in my head & get back on schedule. That is until I felt like a 500 lb woman that had no self-control & to be honest, I was in complete awe of what I had just done. So naturally, I crawl in bed & dose off for an hour. I woke up to a message from a girl that somehow, I have NO idea how, knew that I needed to read the following words:

Hey Girl, 
Something urged me to stop and write you a quick note. Looks like you're adjusting well to your new life; I think I'm secretly jealous of you - in the best way possible. Keep doing what you're doing and the blessings will continue to come. Have a good week pretty lady!

No lie, I jumped out of bed, put on my running clothes, & left for the best run I've had in a long time. I needed that slap of reality that said "stop being lazy, get up, get out, do SOMETHING". Thank you, Carli, for thinking of me, not knowing what I was going through or that your thoughtfulness would motivate me to stop being a complete & utter bum. Book your ticket yet? : )

3. Knowing when to take the focus off yourself & putting it on the relationships in your life.

We often get so caught up in our lives day to day struggles, that we forget we need to be the ears that our friends need to vent to. We need to be the advice givers & the shoulders to cry on. Since moving away, my friendships have become so much stronger & I do not take any of my girlfriends for granted. I don't know where I would be if I couldn't just pick up my phone & talk to them about anything. On the flip side, I try to make a point during every phone call or text that I am always here if they need to talk. I have become so aware of what it means to have those friendships that are continually shaping & evolving that I know none of us have our lives figured out, but it lifts the stress a little bit when we know we can all lean on each other & go through the "not knowing" path hand in hand.

4. Knowing when you are in the right place.

I woke up Sunday morning & was not looking forward to flying home. I didn't want to go back to the same old, same old. But then I remembered that my home was no longer Moorhead & that I got to hop on a plane to Denver. I immediately regained my happiness & felt like I was going on another vacation. I can't say it enough that I am 100% sure I am in the city that I am meant to be in. Maybe not for the rest of my life, but for right now. While running at the park this afternoon, I took in all the sights, sounds, people, & dogs. Dogs are everywhere around here & my neighbor doesn't know it yet but when he introduced me to his lab last night, he was giving me an invitation to steal Gracie whenever I please. I'm not saying you need to relocate to regain your sense of home, but you do need to alter something in your life if you are not satisfied. Take it from me, you will know when you are in the right place when you no longer wish you were somewhere else. Take a trip, try something new, pick up a new hobby, read a new book. Something, somewhere, somehow, will spark a feeling in you that will let you know your feet are on the right grounds.

Where my feet hit the pavement. & to think that people believe the "big bang" created all this?!
5. Knowing when to keep blogging.

I had at least 5 people come up to me this weekend to tell me they read my blog. I can't tell you how good it feels when the people that you least expect to read your writing, tell you they love it & love your positivity. On one hand I write for me because I enjoy it, but on the other hand I feel like the thoughts & views in my head could help someone. Maybe it is only one person, but if my writing can help them, than heck, I deserve a cookie. Oh, wait, I already ate them all when I was on a psycho rampage of my kitchen. Sigh...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

a favorite

I had the day off today so decided to have some "me" time (because I clearly don't get enough by living by myself and only knowing a handful of people here [insert sarcasm]). I started my morning at Barnes & Noble. I somehow find browsing the aisles "fun", especially with a Starbucks in hand. Anyone else feel like they are stealing if you grab a load of magazines, find a corner, read them all, & then return them to their place? I do. But I still do it anyways. 

After purging through magazines & my latte was no more, I drove to Washington Park. On the weekends, this place reminds me of a mini We-Fest. Well, minus all the drunk people, girls walking around in next to nothing, & I'm fairly certain you won't find anyone using the bathroom in anything other than a bathroom. You will find hundreds of people, from babies to oldies, having picnics, playing volleyball, listening to music, reading, playing tennis, sitting by the lakes, catching some rays, running, biking, rollerblading, & anything else you can think of. After looking through my pictures, you will know why I spent over an hour walking around. I did in fact get asked to join in on a game of volleyball, but shy me turned it down & said I had a coffee date to get to. Baby steps, people. Baby steps. 

Look familiar miss Meghan Murray?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

thank you, colorado

I knew that moving to CO was going to take a toll on my body, but I didn't know it would do so many things to it. 

Exhibit A) I am ALWAYS tired. No matter how much sleep I get, my eyes are constantly burning.

Exhibit B) For the first week, I had a constant headache that would NOT go away.

Exhibit C) I got on the treadmill 4 days after moving here & couldn't even make it half a mile before thinking I was going to pass out (mind you I was running on average 5 miles a day back home).

Exhibit D) I have already gone through a box of Kleenex due to the runny nose that will not leave.

Exhibit E) One drink down & I am Miss Chatterbox.

The kicker that really "got to me" was the whole working out thing. At first I was frustrated. How do I go from running miles to running not even one mile? How am I going to burn calories when I can't last more than 15 minutes? I've learned that with these first few weeks here, I was going to have to slowly adjust & find alternative ways of staying active. 

With that said, I have taken up swimming, interval training methods, & yoga. I am still building my endurance up for swimming but I feel so refreshed & awake when finished. I have taken a liking to interval training on the treadmill because I find that I am so focused on the time & speeding up/slowing down that when the time is up, I feel like I had just started (I am then reminded that my butt just got kicked when I look at the sweat that is dripped all over the treadmill. Cute, huh?). I bought Jillian Michael's Yoga DVD last week & figured I'd give it a try this morning. I figured it would be pretty "easy" since I had done Centergy (mix of Pilates & Yoga) all summer. Umm, yeah, boy was I WRONG. Miss Jillian & her smirky little remarks of come on people, this is the easy level really made me want to punch the TV. Don't worry, I couldn't because I was either doing the Downward Dog or a Sun Salutation that left me laying on the floor feeling defeated. You won this time, girlfriend but I will be back for a rematch! 

new beginnings

This might be my favorite day in the social media world. As I logged in to Facebook, I was flooded with images and status updates about the first day of school. I love (& hate) seeing my nephew standing on the front step, backpack on back, & grin on his face, ready for his first day of 2nd grade. I say I hate it because I still remember the day he was born & now he is probably going to break a girls heart this year with his ravishing good looks (complete with his 2 front teeth missing) & charming ways (the kid can "pass gas" on cue). 

As kids are getting ready for school, so are the teachers. I have 2 good friends, Meghan & Mel, who are starting their first day of teaching. I wish them nothing but the best & know that they are going to have an awesome & exciting first year! 

& then there is me. Today I start my new job. I am nervous but ready. With all new beginnings, & I have had my fair share of them lately, I know that it is going to take time to "get the hang of things". I look forward to the opportunity to use my creativity to help the company grow & getting to know the people that I work with. 

Whether you are starting something new or not, the seasons are changing & a fresh start is around the corner. Embrace the unknown, live in the ever curious present, & live each day as a new beginning.