I’m Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Thanksgiving is a time for everyone to look back on the year and acknowledge what they are thankful for. I know not everyone does this, but I’m sure it crosses there mind at some point during the day. Unfortunately, society has become less thankful for what they have. How about we take a moment and ponder…”What am I thankful for right now, at this very moment…” It can be anything. Your health, your puppies, friends, personality, family, the weather. Whatever it is, take a moment and embrace it. Give it the acknowledgement that it deserves. I mean, what if you didn’t have that “one” thing?

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This year has been an absolute whirlwind and I don’t know where to begin, but there are so many things that I am grateful and thankful for.

1. My health. As you know, I’ve struggled with ED for many years and even though my physically may not look like it, it is still in the back of my mind. I am thankful for having the strength to continue to battle this monster.

2. My family. If you know me personally, then you know that my family is my rock. As of late, my father’s cancer has turned for the worse so I am thankful for all the memories that we’ve shared and will continue to make.

3. Kasa and Reese! Those two can be pills, but they are family and we all have our downfalls at some point.

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4. Friends/Acquaintances/Coworkers, etc. Being around people is very important to be and it helps me stay grounded.

5. My motivation. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of my self motivation.

6. Strength. Physically and mentally. This year has been very hard mentally with regards to running. I’ve been injured off and on since March and it has taken a huge amount of self will to help me get over this hump. I’m known for running, participating in races and continuing to improve. I’ve had to put all of that on the back burner for most of this year, but I’ve tried to stay positive knowing that things will change and I’ll get back into it. On another note, I’m been thinking that perhaps this was meant to happen. To help my mental and physical strength.

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7. Football. Yes, I am thankful for the sport and the Seahawks! 

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A view from our seats at the Seahawks v. Cardinals game

How are you going to spend Thanksgiving? I’ll be heading to Flywheel then the family is heading over to a family friends house to eat and watch the Seahawks play the 49ners. Go Hawks.

What are you thankful for today?

What is your favorite dish to eat?

Do you like pie?

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

XO, Tara

Post-Thanksgiving: What the Bake Friday!

I hope everyone had a spectacular Thanksgiving! We are all full and happy in my house!

On Wednesday, I decided to try out a new recipe since I had the day off and all. Perfect for What the Bake Friday!

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Apple Crumble Bars

Ingredients:

1.5 cup flour

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

½ + 1 Tbsp brown sugar

1 ¼ tsp cinnamon

¼ cup +  Tbsp cold butter

2 Tbsp milk

2 cups peeled, chopped apples

2 tsp cornstarch

3 tbsp pure maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

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Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together the first seven ingredients. Chop the cold butter into small pieces for easier mixing!

Pour 2/3 of the dough into a 4×7 pan and press down firmly.

In a separate bowl, mix together the apples, cornstarch, maple syrup and vanilla extract.

Layer the apple mixture on top of the dough.

Add the rest of the dough mixture on top.

Bake for 45 minutes, and then let cool for 20 minutes before cutting into bars.

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Recipe adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie! Check out her marvelous blog for many other recipes!

My family definitely approved! I am sure yours will too! 🙂

Are you out shopping already? Or are you BACK from shopping? 

What was your favorite dish from Thanksgiving?

What is your favorite pie?

XO, Tara

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10 Thanksgiving Questions

10 Quick Thanksgiving Questions

I got this from this lovely lady!

1. How old do you have to be to move up from the kids’ table?

We never had a “kids” table. I am an only child, so our family is quite small!

2. Stuff the turkey or cook stuffing separately? (aka salmonella or not?)

I think we stuff the turkey?! We are doing two this year. One roasted and one smoked.

3. Who sits at the head of the table?

My step dad.

4. Pumpkin, pecan, apple pie?

Oh man, we have pumpkin, pecan, apple, banana cream and lemon meringue. I like pumpkin, but I will have taste of them all!

5. What the hell is mince meat?

Huh? I don’t know what this is…..

6. Is it okay to play Christmas music on Thanksgiving?

I guess so…I don’t enjoy Christmas music. My family probably won’t.

7. In five words or less, worst Thanksgiving memory?

Never had a bad Thanksgiving.

8. Speaking of leftovers. Who gets dibs on them? 

ME! Just kidding. Anyone who lives in the house.

9. Worst Thanksgiving food?

Cranberry. Gross.

10. Best Thanksgiving quick joke?

Ok I had to look one up….

What sound does a space turkey make?

Hubble, Hubble, Hubble!

LOL.

Have a great Turkey Day.

XO, Tara

Be Thankful Regardless

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is a day to reflect on everything that you are thankful for. I love Thanksgiving, because it is a day when everyone gets together at one table. This only happens twice a year. Thanksgiving and Christmas. I cherish these days together. I get to catch up with my step brothers, friends and family members that I may not see that often.

Yesterday, four pies were made from scratch. We already have a gigantic pumpkin pie that I brought home from work on Tuesday.

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Damn right you have to test it out before you serve it to everyone! 😉009

On Tuesday, I made Apple Crumble Bars. Ummm, yes they are pretty darn tasty.012

These will be another treat for everyone to try. I feel like we have more desserts than actually food!

But, then again I am wrong. We are cooking TWO turkeys! Roasting one and smoking the other! Yum yum yummmmmmmmmmm!

Ok, I am hungry just typing this out. I am off to my Flywheel classes. I will need to burn off some major calories today. Today is a time to pig the hell out!

Have a yummy Thanksgiving!!! Good luck to everyone who is going out on Black Friday. I don’t think I’ll be doing that this year, but things could change!

XO, Tara

Check out:

6 Reasons to be Thankful for Fitness

Respect the Turkey Dude.

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Hello- Five Day Weekend!

Yes, I said it. I have a FIVE day weekend. I am so happy about this, you have no idea. I am off from my normal M-F day job until Monday; however, I do work at Flywheel a few times. Flywheel is just fun, so it isn’t work to me! 😉

Today consists of……well….not a whole lot. I don’t have to plan anything! That is just simply perfect. I can catch up on some shows, take a Flywheel class or two, then go to work at Flywheel for a few hours. I prefer these types of days.

I also volunteered to start prepping for Thanksgiving dinner. Chopping onions, celery and apples. Apples for pie pie pie!!!

I brought home a huge Costco pumpkin pie that my work gives to each employee every year. I think we are okay on the pumpkin pie this year. My mom and I plan on making pecan, banana cream and apple pie from scratch this year. Yummm! We always make pies from scratch, no store bought crust allowed in this house.

This family will eat pie for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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I’ve witnessed this. No pie is safe in this house.

I wish I was more of a pie LOVER. Sadly, I am not. I’ll have a bite here and there, but I don’t go loko over it. I enjoy prepping and baking pies though. Seeing a perfect pie is my reward!

We will see how many pies will be made. Other sides need to be made along with the TWO turkeys that we (mom and step-dad) are making. I am not apart of that ship. We are roasting one turkey and smoking the other. Smoked turkey is BOMB!

I’ll leave you with that.

What is your favorite Thanksgiving side?

What is your favorite pie?

Roasted, smoked or deep fried turkey?

XO, Tara

The Air is Cool, Crisp and Fantastic.

I can feel winter approaching and I am finally adapting to the colder weather. Hallelujah! I love bundling up in scarves and gloves.

The weather in Seattle was glorious all weekend. The air was crisp and the skies were clear and sunny!

It was quite the busy/non-busy weekend. Does that makes sense? Probably not. I worked both Saturday and Sunday morning at Flywheel. Oh did I mention that I went and saw The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on Saturday!!!!!?!?!?HUNGER-GAMES

Oh my gosh, was it good. Go see it, if you haven’t already! I feel like every fifth post on Facebook all weekend was about Catching Fire. 

I also watched The Internship. It was pretty fun. You can never go wrong watching a movie with both Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson.

Check this out. Which is bigger? Kasa or the pile o’ hair?

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This is what came off Reese during his brushing. WOW. Speaking of wow, we discovered this gem Sunday morning….026

A nest. Interesting to look at but NOT fun to get rid of. Not sure what the game plan is regarding this.

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I finally got my car washed. I’ve been meaning to get it washed or wash it myself for months. I’ve just been lazy or blaming it on the cold weather. Meh, the car wash did its job!

I am loving the fact that is only a three day work week. I am grateful for that.

Btw, six more days until the I run the Seattle half marathon. The count down is officially on. 🙂

Have a fantastic Monday.

XO, Tara

What the Bake Friday!

Only 5 more Friday’s left of 2013. Can you believe it? I cannot wrap my head around this. 2013 flew by. 

That means only 5 more What the Bake Fridays! I’ll try to make them holiday themed. Maple, peppermint and pumpkin flavors will be taking over!

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Chocolate Maple Banana Bread

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Ingredients:

2 ripe bananas (mashed)

1.5 c. whole wheat flour

1 egg

½ c. applesauce

¼ c. brown sugar

½ c. chocolate chips

1 teaspoon maple extract

½ c. unsweetened almond milk

½ teaspoon baking power

½ teaspoon baking soda

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat together bananas, egg, applesauce, maple extract, almond milk and brown sugar in a large bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl; mix together flour, baking soda and baking powder.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.

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Lastly, add the chocolate chips to the mixture.

Pour the mixture into 3 mini bread pans.

Sprinkle some chocolate chips on top and bake for 25 minutes.

Let cool for 5 minutes or so then cut and serve!

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IMG_3289The maple sets this recipe apart from all other banana bread recipes that I’ve made in the past.

Here are some of my favorites from my Recipe Page:

No-Sugar Banana Bread

“Healthified” Banana Walnut Bread

Chocolate Banana Protein Bread

Whole Wheat Chocolate Banana Bread

Zucchini Bread

Do you add “holiday” flavors to your recipes? 

Have you started cooking for Thanksgiving yet? Or shopping for the upcoming holidays?

XO, Tara