Chocolate and Sunshine

Hey, is it really Wednesday already?! It seems like the Easter bunny was just here!




We had a really low key holiday this year, which is kinda nice. We spent Saturday at my Grandma’s farm, where Reagan had a blast running around all day. So much so that she missed nap and acted like a like a crab all evening until bedtime. Reiterating for us that naptime is still completely necessary at 2 1/2! Sunday the Easter bunny managed to find us at my Mom’s house, so it was a great success Smile 

I don’t know what’s gotten into me, but I haven’t even touched all our leftover Easter candy. I’ve got a whole bag full of egg shaped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for heavens sake and I haven’t even opened them! Very unlike me, but I’m sure I’ll get over it and they’ll be gone before I even realize it’s happening. This morning all I really wanted was yogurt. But nobody ever said yogurt couldn’t have chocolate chips in it.




I saw this on Pinterest recently and decided I had to try it. I think it was described as Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough yogurt. I really don’t think it tasted anything like cookie dough but it was completely delicious. I didn’t really follow the recipe. I just threw all the listed ingredients together without measuring and the result was magic. Basic ingredients included:

  • 6 oz plain greek yogurt
  • honey
  • vanilla extract
  • peanut butter
  • mini chocolate chips

Even with the chocolate and the honey it was still very light and only mildly sweet. Of course that could be changed by adding more honey, but I loved it not being too sweet. Especially since it was for breakfast.

About an hour later I had part 2 of breakfast, which was an frozen blueberry waffle and coffee.


part2 edit


It’s been rainy and gloomy all day today so for my workout I headed downstairs to get a treadmill workout in. I blame the weather, but I wasn’t overly motivated today. I run 3 miles and then walked at an incline until I hit the 40 minute mark. Ended up being just over 3 3/4 miles. I’ve been a little spoiled by the nice weather lately. It was a little hard to be back on the treadmill again. Catching a little HGTV on the iPad helped a little Winking smile




Lunch was pretty quick and easy but was exactly what I was craving. 2 whole wheat tortillas stuffed with deli turkey, sliced sharp cheddar cheese, some leftover corn and black beans. I dipped it in barbeque sauce and Dijon mustard. Probably kind of weird, but I’ve been obsessed with mustard lately and the barbeque sauce just added a nice punch of color, not to mention flavor.




Today’s weather was a real bummer after the gorgeous day we had yesterday. Mid-60s, sun and a clear sky! We took advantage by having a little picnic outside and then playing on the playground. I picked Reagan up from daycare and then we picked up sandwiches from Subway before heading to the driving range near our house. Not because we had any interest in working on our golf game, but because it is actually a pretty decent picnic spot. A couple of nice big trees provided some nice shade from the sun.




The trees also provided a nice barrier between us and the playground which was key to getting her to actually eat some dinner. Subway fail, they were out of apple slices. That’s the one bit of nutrition I can always count on getting in her.  It was a little chilly in the shade so I kept things moving with the eating so we could get to the playing. The playground is a totally different ballgame this year compared to last. The timid little girl who avoided the slides and just wanted to swing for hours is climbing on everything this year. I supposed that means more work for mom and dad in keeping an eye on her, but she definitely had a blast.




Ahhhh…..more days like this are definitely ahead! Just a couple more weeks until we move and  I can’t wait to get acquainted with our new area. We aren’t sure how far the nearest playground is from our new house, but we know there is definitely room under the deck for a swing. Daddy already has his first project planned Smile. Fingers crossed the sun will come out tomorrow!


Hope your week is off to a good start. Our weekend was a bit of a whirlwind, as has life been lately. The reason for my crappy posting schedule has been that things have been incredibly busy here at home. Because……..we are moving!! Several weeks ago, my husband got a job offer with a company in Minnesota. We decided to go for it and then had to rush to get our house ready to put on the market. We were incredibly fortunate and blessed that 2 days after our house hit the market, we accepted an offer. Of course that meant we needed to hurry up and start the house hunt in MN. So between getting the house ready, house hunting, coordinating things with movers and realtors and mortgage companies, getting new daycare set up, etc. Things have been a little crazy to say the least. But in a good way, we are really excited about this new adventure :) We found a great house about 2 weeks ago and put in an offer. We had it accepted later that day. Things have really been coming together well so far. This weekend we took Reagan to see the new house and check out her new daycare. We headed up Friday after work.


A trip that is supposed to take 3 hours takes about 4 when traveling with a toddler :) I managed to get her to eat about 3 bites of that sandwich and cut a deal with her to eat her apples in the car so we could get back on the road again.  An hour after our dinner stop we arrived at our hotel and got everything ready to put Reagan to bed since it was already past her bedtime. Then we had time to unwind with a glass of wine before hitting the hay ourselves.

Saturday morning we met our realtor to tour our house again. We’ve been hyping up the idea of “new house” to Reagan ever since we knew we were going to be moving so that she’d think it was really exciting. So far it’s working because new house was all she could talk about.  The new house is actually new construction so it’s completely empty right now, which meant tons of room for her to run around. Of course she managed to get herself into trouble within about 5 minutes of arrival after she discovered how to lock the doors and found it hilarious to run into all the bedrooms and play with the lock. We’re hoping once all of our stuff is inside, she won’t even notice the doors anymore.

The second big event of our day was to take Reagan to visit her new daycare. Which we have been referring to as “new school”. She’s been obsessed lately with the idea of going to school, so we figured that if we overhyped it in the same way we were with the new house and told her she gets to go to a new school and meet her new teachers she’d be excited about it. The meeting was a success. I feel good about it and she was so excited when she saw all the toys they had. As we were driving away she actually said, “I love my new school”. Seriously sweetie, you’re 2 1/2, that’s a mighty big thought, and it completely melted me!

Once the evening rolled around, we were pretty stoked to try out a new restaurant. We ended up at Dino’s, a local New York style pizza spot. The atmosphere and ambiance was fantastic with exposed brick walls, awning covered booths, and candle light at each table. We were impressed before we even tasted the food. We were lucky we got there around 5:30 because we grabbed the last available table and the line started to form fast.


The house red hit the spot after a long and eventful morning and afternoon. Never mind the toddler being scolded behind it ;) Little miss decided to start acting her age shortly after we sat down, so we ended up making a very quick decision on what to order. We are already looking forward to going back to try one of the amazing sounding specialty pizzas. This time we rolled with a classic pepperoni and ground beef. We loved it. It tasted very fresh and homemade. And we got to watch them toss all the dough while we waited so that added a fun and authentic pizzeria vibe to the experience.


We headed back to the hotel and took Reagan for her first pool swim. We’ve been meaning to get her into swim lessons but just haven’t gotten around to it yet. With summer coming and us moving to lake country we probably better get looking into that.


She loved running down this hallway. Problem this time was that she insisted on having the straps of her Crocs in the front, so she couldn’t run in them :)


Luckily we had the pool to ourselves because it was a little small. And much colder than I would have preferred! Neither one of us had any interest in going in more than waist deep. We checked out the hot tub and discovered it wasn’t nearly as hot as most. In fact it was barely warmer than bath water, so we all moved over there instead.

We lasted in the hot tub for another 20 minutes or so before drying off and heading back upstairs to give Regs a bath and get her in bed. Then it was time to break out the tiramisu we had brought back from dinner.


Ahhhhhhhhhhhhmazing! We had a couple of drinks while we watched a little TV before turning in.

Sunday morning we grabbed some complimentary hotel breakfast. I had the some scrambled eggs and biscuits and gravy. Along with a glass of orange juice and coffee.


Not too shabby. I may or may not have grabbed a donut after this picture was taken ;) It actually wasn’t very good though. Definitely store bought and kinda dry. After showering and getting dressed we played the lazy card and just hung out in the room for awhile. We had taken care of everything on Saturday that we needed to get done so we just enjoyed the free time for a little while. We had a couple of stores we wanted to run to so we hit those up quick and then grabbed some burritos bowls at Chipotle for lunch.


It was really busy inside and the only table left was a high top with only 2 chairs, so Lloyd had to hold Reagan on his lap while we ate. It was definitely not the most enjoyable meal but it was still delish! After lunch we packed up and headed home. We had planned travel time to coincide with naptime in hopes of getting some quiet drive time.


If this is any indication, then I guess it was well planned ;) It rained the whole way home. I wished I could have had a nap too. Glad to be home but looking forward to the next time we head up there it will be with a moving truck and we’ll be there to stay! Less than a month to go. I have a feeling it will fly by with all we have to do in the meantime. Glad to have you along on the journey with us.    

Monday Funday

Happy Monday friends! Hope you all made it through our favorite day of the week unscathed. After the usual hectic scramble to get out the door on time without forgetting anything, I dropped Reagan off at daycare and headed home to get my work day started. First on the agenda, breakfast of course.


I rarely feel like making much effort on Monday mornings. Peanut butter toast x 2 sounded wonderful today. Coffee to round it off. I absolutely love the combination of peanut butter toast and coffee. Maybe it’s because I was drinking my coffee with a Cafe Mocha creamer. Is there really any better combo than chocolate and peanut butter?! I think not. Hit the spot and held me over fairly well til noon rolled around.


All laced up and ready to head outside!!! We hit 60 degrees today so I knew I had to take advantage and get an outdoor run in. It was beautiful and sunny at the get go and I immediately regretted that jacket. I just pulled up my sleeves and I was totally fine. I hit the 2 mile mark and turned around to head back home. That’s when I got hit by the NW wind. Wooooooooooooeeeeeeeeeee, hold onto your hat kind of weather. Wouldn’t you know, the way back was also when I hit all my uphill portions. So between the wind and the hills, I said the heck with this. Let’s just enjoy the weather and the scenery and take a couple walk breaks. Alternating between running and walking the 2 miles back home, I made it back in just over 40 minutes.


The sky had me a little nervous. That beautiful sunshine I started out with was quickly replaced by some fairly ominous looking clouds. I put a little extra spring in my step at that point cause I really didn’t feel like getting wet unless it was in my shower :)


Made it home! 4 miles down and it felt oh so good on a Monday. I’ve been a little lazy in my workouts lately so it was nice to get back on track. Plan to see more of this in the future. The forecast is looking mighty fine! After a quick shower I heated up a burrito which I ate at my desk.


Thank you Amy’s for making my lunch come together in a snap! I don’t have any sort of gluten sensitivity that I’m aware of, but the store I usually buy these at has only had the Gluten free in stock for the last few weeks. Honestly I can’t tell much of a difference. I like them a lot. Sorry the pic appears to be glowing. I didn’t realize my setting had been changed :)

After picking up Reagan after work, we headed home to heat up some leftover soup from last night for dinner. It’s a lasagna soup recipe I found on Pinterest. I made it in the crock pot yesterday and it heated up really well tonight.


Quickly slurped down so we had time for the much anticipated evening that I had promised Reagan – playing outside!!! Those darn clouds had reformed by the time we had finished eating, so we only had time for a quick run around the block.


At least she got to burn off a little energy. And she entertained me by pointing out brown spots on the ground that she claimed were dog poop :) I don’t know where she comes up with this. We made it home just as the thunder started rolling. Off to enjoy a little unwinding time. Maybe watch a little Dancing with the Stars. I’m not a regular viewer, but I check in from time to time when I can’t find anything else on. Have a good night. And watch your step, there’s dog poop everywhere ;)  

Still kickin’

Whoa, I bet you thought I fell off the face of the earth. My absence has been for good reason as life has been pretty crazy lately, but I will share all of the details around that soon. All  is good, in fact there has been a lot of exciting things happening, I’m just waiting for a couple more things to officially fall into place and then I’ll fill you in. In the meantime, let’s recap Wednesday.

It started like this


Nothing like a good blood draw to get your day started out right :) Every year my company offers us the opportunity to participate in a health screening which includes a fasting blood draw and then once we receive the results, complete a health assessment. In exchange, they deposit a little free money in a flexible spending account. It’s pretty easy to do since they provide all the medical personnel that set up shop at the office so we don’t have to worry about making our own doctor appointments or having to pay for the test. It’s a pretty nice little incentive. I set my appointment for bright and early so I could get it out of the way and be able to eat again! The fasting is the worst part for me. Take my blood all day long but just let me eat please :)

After my quick visit to the office, I headed back home to work. I could have just worked in the office for the day, but I was actually just there on Monday for some meetings, so I decided I’d rather just go home where I have all my equipment already set up. I was not in the mood for anything fancy for breakfast, so I went with the quickest thing I could find to replenish my energy: cereal!


Fun fact for you, I rarely eat just one type of cereal at a time. I’d much prefer to mix. This is a combination of Multi Grain Cheerios and Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds, which I polished off in no time. I followed it up with a slice of peanut butter toast and a steamy mug of coffee which I forgot to photograph, but it was pretty standard.

My workouts have been a little lazy lately. I think I’m just really tired of the same old treadmill routine. No matter how much I try to change things up to keep it fresh, I’m just itching for the spring weather to finally come around and stick around for good. Every time we get a nice day, we get another day in the 30s with snow flurries to quickly bring us back down to earth. With the end of March right around the corner, I figure it has to get better soon right? As much as I didn’t want to, I hit the treadmill for a quick 2.5 mile run. I was trying to make it to 3 miles, but sometimes you just need to listen to your body when it tells you that it really doesn’t want to. So I hopped off and decided to focus on this for 15 minutes instead.


I’ve decided that I completely love this Better Butt workout on the NTC app. As much as those split jumps kill me every time, I know I’ve gotten a great workout. This time was no different. Work up this morning feeling that beautiful soreness throughout my legs and definitely in my butt. 

My afternoon was less than stellar thanks for a mysterious internet outage. Not cool when you work from home! Luckily my smart husband told me I could make my phone a hotspot and connect that way so I could continue my day. Our internet company had no idea what was going on. They were unable to connect to our router so they scheduled me for a Thursday afternoon appointment. Thankfully, the internet came back all on it’s own a couple of hours later. They had no idea why, just that our router had gone offline for some reason. Gee, that’s super helpful :) It remains a mystery but I’m just glad I have a connection.

I used the little down time I  had to whip up some dinner. Turkey meatloaf with quinoa and a simple side dish of rice with mushrooms cooked in beef broth.


Pretty simple and super delicious. I will share the recipe soon. I think I’ve almost got it perfected. I mostly just throw things together, but I’ve noticed it’s usually the same ingredients so next time I’ll keep track of my measurements.

Today has been busy, busy, busy again. Gotta run, but I promise to come back soon. I’m hoping things will slow down here now, at least briefly ;)

Hello sunshine

Hope everyone had a good weekend and the week is off to a great start. Saturday was a big day for us. Reagan got her first haircut!! We hyped it up big time, telling her how awesome it was going to be and how great she would look afterwards. She was so excited. Every time we’d ask her what we were going to do that day she would immediately get a big grin and say that she was going to go get a haircut. The overhyping was key to ensure she’d go into it thinking it was the greatest thing in the world rather than something new and scary. She maintained a super serious face throughout, but was all about picking out her seat and what she got to watch on the TV in front of her hair station.


She chose the plane because she thought it looked like Dusty from the movie Planes. And she got to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, win win!


We didn’t have too much taken off since she still doesn’t have a ton of hair for her age. But it’s so nice that she doesn’t have the beginning of a mullet in the back anymore and no more shaggy hair in her eyes. Afterwards she got a sucker and I have to admit I was a little proud that she had no idea what to do with it. It’s funny to teach someone how to eat a sucker.


We did this at a specialty kids hair salon so that it would be a fun and not scary experience for her. Of course that meant it cost 3 times what I spend on my Great Clips coupon special hair cuts, but there were no tears, no screaming and we somehow made out the door without having to purchase any of the toys they were selling (well played Shear Madness, well played;). Great success!

We had promised her that if she was good we could go get ice cream later. I’m not sure if we were really trying to reward good behavior or create an excuse for ourselves. I really don’t care, because there doesn’t need to be an excuse for ice cream.


Have you tried the Dairy Queen Cookie Jar Blizzard? It’s my favorite but it’s not always listed on the menu, so I didn’t even know it existed until someone told me about it. That’s their vanilla soft serve swirled with cookie dough, Oreo cookie pieces and hot fudge. Heaven in a mini size cup!

After a rough Monday morning wakeup thanks to daylight savings time, I was feeling pretty uninspired for breakfast ideas. I ended up with a yogurt and a slice of peanut butter toast.


A much needed mug of coffee followed about an hour later.

When noon hit, something pretty exciting happened. What do you notice about this picture?


I’m OUTSIDE!!! Holy moly, it’s 61 degrees currently in the Des Moines area. I could hardly keep the smile off my face the entire time I was running. I forget how different it is going from treadmill running to outdoor running. I wasn’t exactly fast and it’ll take me a little while to get back into outdoor running shape, but boy did that fresh air feel good in my lungs.


It’s still a total mess out there and I had a lot of puddle dodging to do which slowed me down a little, but I’ll definitely take it. I was so excited to try out my Garmin Forerunner 10 that I had gotten for Christmas. It is so nice to be able to just run and not map out my mileage ahead of time. I ran until I hit 2 miles and then turned it back around and headed home.


I’m not breaking any records or anything but it was a great way to start out the week. I’ve heard rumblings about the possibility of snow tomorrow but we will also return to the 50s later in the week. Hopefully that means we’ve turned a corner in the weather department.  Have a great Monday everyone. Talk to you again soon!

Whatcha readin’?

I’ve had this grand plan to read at least 1 book a month this year. I’ve been doing pretty well in all honesty, but I did run a little over in February. But hey, it’s a short month, so it’s ok if it took me a couple extra days, right?!


I’m a little late to the Sarah Jio party. I’ve heard good things about her books for a long time but for whatever reason I hadn’t ever picked up one of her books until now. I was all set to purchase on my Kindle but decided at the last second to check my library’s online catalog to see if they happened to have a copy in stock. As luck would have it, they did, so I decided to save myself $8 and ventured out to the library to pick it up. The great thing about the library is that I have a due date so it holds me accountable to keep reading. Yes I could renew it if I needed to, but I like to use it as a goal to finish. The book was an easy read and interested me from start to finish. I’m going to return it tonight and either pick up another one of her novels or The Husband’s Secret. It seems like a lot of people are reading that one now and have good things to say. I’ll let you know where I land.


It was an oatmeal kind of morning today. Standard bowl of steel cut with peanut butter on the top. I love to let the peanut butter slowly melt its way in rather than just stir it all up right away. 


My banana was really ripe so this bowl was a good one! It was super filling too. I got a little carried away with the peanut butter so I guess I got a little extra protein :)


I hit the treadmill for 3 miles and varied my speed from 6.0 to 7.0 throughout. I get really bored if I don’t change things up frequently so I adjusted my speed every minute. No fancy graphic, but it looked a little like this:

Minutes Speed
0-2 4.0
2-3 6.0
3-4 6.1
4-5 6.2
5-6 6.3
6-7 6.4
7-8 6.5
8-9 6.6
9-10 6.7
10-11 6.8
11-12 6.9
12-13 7.0
13-24 – Repeat minutes 2-13  
24-28 6.0

Finished up at 3 miles! Afterwards I decided to try the NTC Leg Sculpting program again.


Last week when I tried it for the first time I didn’t like it as well as I had a few of the others, but I changed my mind quickly when my thighs were sore for 2 days! My legs felt like rubber when I finished and I had a hard time running up the stairs, so I’m hoping to feel it again tomorrow!

Time to get crackin’ on dinner so we can hit up the library afterwards. We’ve been putting Reagan to bed a little earlier since it’s so hard to get her up in the mornings. I think it’s been helping a little but it makes our evenings with her very short. Have a good one!

Any good book recommendations?

Over the hump

Wow, I’m having a heck of a time getting into the swing of things this week. Last week was a little crazy. Wednesday through Sunday Lloyd was out of town, in Las Vegas for a bachelor party. If you’re keeping score, in a months time that is 2 vacas for Lloyd, 0 for Jill. But who’s counting right?! ;)

I think it must be true that when one person is away extra craziness sets in. Enter ice storm. I mentioned last week that we had gotten a bunch of slush and I had to pick Reagan up early last Thursday. Well, we had to go out on 3 separate occasions to clear the driveway.


Lucky for me, this little one was perfectly content to play outside while mama worked! She ran back and forth up the driveway for a good hour. If I could have gotten outside right after the slush fell I think everything would have been fine. But since I was working and had to leave it til later, it all froze. And the snowplow piled up an extra 1-2 feet at the end of the driveway. Thankfully we have an ice chisel, or else this wouldn’t have been possible. I had to break the ice up in layers essentially, scoop off the chucks and throw them off to the side. Such a good workout! I would have been happy to leave it for the husband as a welcome home present, but we needed to make sure he’d be able to get his car in the driveway and we wanted to be able to get out of the house.

Our daycare provider had taken Friday off for a family event so I got an extra day at home with my girl. We had lots of fun playing all day but by that afternoon I think we were both feeling a little cooped up. So I rounded up our stuff and we headed out to get some groceries. We grabbed dinner at Subway before we started shopping.


There is a Subway inside of our local Wal-Mart, so it made for a quick and easy one stop shop experience. Toddler approved!

We were pretty lazy for the rest of the weekend. “The nest” made a return visit on Saturday night. Ever since we did this on Valentine’s Day, it’s all she can talk about.


Then Sunday morning we made pancakes! Probably my best batch yet. I started with just a regular box mix. Then added in a mashed banana and a couple of tbsp ground flax seed. The flax gave the pancakes a nutty texture and flavor which made them taste like banana nut pancakes. So good! Will definitely be making these a regular thing.


We were glad to have our man back in the house by Sunday afternoon. The first half of this week has been all about playing catch up. Now that Thursday is here, we are over the hump and the weekend is in sight!

I started my Thursday off with a super simple breakfast. Just a container of blueberry greek yogurt, 1/3 cup dry old fashioned oats and 1 tbsp ground flax. I had hoped to throw in a tbsp of chia seeds as well, but alas, I got to the cupboard and found that Lloyd had finished off the bag in his smoothie. Oh well, it was super thick as it was and probably would have needed more yogurt if I had added the chia.


Noon signaled workout time! I hit up the treadmill for 3.1 miles while watching Friends reruns. Most challenging part is staying on while laughing so hard. I’ve seen every episode multiple times and it’s still funny. I followed up the run with a NTC workout, the 15 minute Leg Sculptor.


I didn’t like it as well as I have some of the other lower body workouts, but we’ll wait and see how my legs feel tomorrow as the true test. Off to make some dinner. I’m actually cooking something pretty decent tonight. More on that later. Hope everyone is having a terrific Thursday!