Friday, January 31, 2014

Spinach Tomato Egg White Cups


Here's a healthy breakfast packed with protein! These Spinach Tomato Egg White Cups are a great start to any morning and a filling, after-workout meal.

The mixture of ingredients

In the muffin tins and ready for the oven

Out of the oven

Breakfast is served


Spinach Tomato Egg White Cups


Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ cup egg whites
  • ¼ cup milk (fat free)
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese (reduced fat sharp)
  • ¼ cup onions, diced
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 handfuls fresh spinach (wilted and chopped...makes it easier to work with)
  • salt/pepper to taste

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl
  3. Grease a regular size muffin tin
  4. Fill 12 regular size muffin tins with mixture. I use a measuring cup to scoop out the mixture and pour it into the muffin tin.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes
  6. Let egg cups cool slightly before removing them.

Recipe by Chrissy @ Loving Lifehttp://lovinglife27.blogspot.com/2014/01/spinach-tomato-egg-white-cups.html

I like to add a little salsa on top of my egg cups.


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Friday, January 17, 2014

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup


We've had some cold days down here in Florida.  I know not as cold as the rest of northern US, but cold for FL.  Remember, it's all relative.  When I can't wear flip-flops to the grocery store, it's cold.

I felt like soup one day and whipped up this homemade chicken noodle soup recipe using what I had on hand and my crockpot (slow cooker).  It came out really tasty!  Even my very picky boys ate this soup.  Win, Win!





Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup


Ingredients:
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 32 oz box chicken broth
  • 10 carrots cubed
  • 10 celery stalks cubed
  • 2 sweet potatoes cubed
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 Tbsp each basil, parsley
  • 1 tsp each garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, rosemary
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 cup dry elbow noodles

Directions:
  1. Combine cream of celery soup, a can of water, carrots, celery, sweet potatoes, all spices/seasonings in a slow cooker on high.
  2. Add chicken broth and chicken to a pot on the stove and boil chicken until cooked, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. When chicken is cooked, remove it from the broth and chop into small pieces.  Add chicken to the slow cooker.
  4. Add the chicken broth to the slow cooker using a mesh strainer to remove any fat from the broth.
  5. Leave the slow cooker on high for 4 hours
  6. Cook the noodles according to the package directions, drain, and add to the slow cooker when ready to eat the soup.




What is your favorite soup?

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

My boys love chocolate chip cookie cakes, much more than regular cakes. I usually buy a cookie cake for their birthdays but this time I decided to make my own.

This chocolate chip cookie cake is so easy to make and delicious to eat!  It comes out very moist and soft.



In the pan with parchment paper.


Just lift the cookie cake out of the pan using the parchment paper.



Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake


Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 bag (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips


Directions:
  1. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes
  2. Mix in egg and vanilla extract
  3. With the mixer on low speed, add flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt
  4. Stir in chocolate chips. Dough will be thick.
  5. Chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  6. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Place parchment paper into the bottom of a 10x13 cake pan to help the cookie easily come out of the pan when cooked.
  8. Spread the dough out into the cake pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool for a couple minutes in the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
 
Recipe originally found here.

What is your favorite type of cake?

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Disney Marathon 2014 Recap



Oh Disney Marathon, why do you tempt thee?

The Disney Marathon was my first marathon last year in 2013.  It was a fun race, if you can ever say running 26.2 miles is fun.  We stopped for pictures, took walk breaks, and enjoyed the scenery.  The course is not my favorite because of the different terrains, twists, turns, slanted streets and overpasses. This race, marks my 3rd marathon.

This year I had a time goal in mind.  I wanted to finish the marathon in under 5 hours.  If I did, it would be a 25+ minute PR for me.

I headed to Orlando on Saturday with my fellow runners and MBs (marathon bitches).  We picked up our race packets and browsed the expo at the Wild World of Sports.


Marie, Chrissy, Carly - marathon runners


Michelle, Marie, Chrissy, Carly, Maribel and Faith - runners and MBs
After the expo, we went to Downtown Disney for lunch and shopping where we met up with two more friends, Daffodil and Mica, who were volunteering at a water stop the next day.  I love these ladies!  We always have a great time together!




3:00am came much too early for this night owl. But I got up and got ready to run my 3rd marathon. We found the signs our MBs made for us.



We got to the start area at 4:00am and had plenty of time to spare since the race didn't start until 5:30am.


Marie and I, in our Minnie costumes, decided to try and stay together during the race, unless one of us was hurt or needed to take more time for the race.  We ran a similar pace and trained together so it was a good match.


Mile 8 on the Disney Speedway
This was a tough race for me because I just wasn't feeling the run.  Runners have good running days and bad running days.  It's never a good thing when a bad running day falls on race day.  On this day, I was ready to be done at mile 10 which is unlike me.  The half marathon's 13.1 miles is my favorite distance and I wasn't even there yet.  About this time, my feet started to hurt and I felt blisters forming on the bottom of my toes.  Another anomaly, as I usually don't get blisters on my toes.

We pushed through and I felt better after we reached mile 16, knowing we only had 10 miles left.

It was so nice seeing Daffodil and Mica volunteering at the mile 18.3 water stop!  At this point, Marie and I were both feeling various pains. My left knee was hurting and Marie's hips were bothering her.  We knew we'd see friends at this water stop so it was something to look forward to.


Mile 18.3 water stop with volunteer Daffodil
Then we saw our MBs at mile 19 inside the baseball field at the Wild World of Sports.  We stopped for a quick picture but quickly got on our way.  Starting back up from a stop or walk was hardest on my knee.


Mile 19 in the Wild World of Sports baseball field
As we left the Wild World of Sports with only 6.2 miles left, I told Marie we could make the under 5 hours goal if we kept going at the same pace.  Unfortunately, Marie's hip pain was too much and she had to take some walk breaks.  I decided to push on ahead and try to meet my goal of finishing under 5 hours.

I was exhausted and my pace was getting slower and slower but I knew I would be so close to 5 hours and I really wanted it, so I pushed!  There was no sprint left in me at the end but I made it to the finish line in 4:57:56!



Done and looking swollen!
Our friend Carly came in at 4:10 and Marie came in at 5:03.



I had a fun race and even more fun with friends! I did end up with 3 huge blisters on my toes.  UGH



Div Place: 483/1650
Gender Place: 2488/9697
Overall Place: 6768/19198
5 mile split: 51:36
10 mile split: 1:45:01
Half split: 2:23:49
20 mile split: 3:48:10
Chip Finish time: 4:57:56

That's a 27+ minute PR over the Clearwater Marathon last year.

Have you even run a Disney race?

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Space Coast Half Marathon 2013 Recap


The weekend after Thanksgiving (and of course after Black Friday shopping), I ventured over to the east coast to run the Space Coast Half Marathon.  I must admit that I signed up for this race after seeing the medal.  The race bling was fantabulous!  I loved the space shuttle medals!

Denise, Mica and I drove over on Saturday, hit the expo at the Kennedy Space Center to pickup our race packets and bibs, and settled into our hotel.  The Space Coast Expo is nothing to write home about so we didn't spend too much time there.


Chrissy, Denise, Mica




We were up bright and early the next morning ready to race in our matching outfits we called "Starry Night".  By the way, I made my running skirt instead of buying it online. I was so proud of my first big sewing accomplishment and I saved money!
 

The half marathon started at 6:00am so I had an hour of cool weather before the sun and temperatures rose.  I felt great at the start of the race and kept a nice pace.  I wanted to beat my PR from Frankenfooter and someday run a half marathon in under 2 hours.  Denise and I ran together for the first couple of miles but I eventually pulled ahead to take advantage of the cool dawn weather and great pace I had going.

The Space Coast Half Marathon was an out and back course along the Indian River with beautiful views and gorgeous houses.  It was a mostly flat course with a couple of dips and rises along the way.  I still felt great at the half way turn around and continued back to the finish line.

On the way back, there was a very strong wind that nearly blew my visor off multiple times but I was determined not to let it slow me down.  I thought I might actually finish around 2:05.  With a goal in mind, I pushed myself to get it done.


I ended up finishing in 2:06:19 and setting a new PR!  I had an excellent race all around.


Look at this bling with the beautiful Columbia Space Shuttle!  This was the first year of Space Coast's Big Bang Series.  I plan to be back next year for the Challenger medal.



Age Div: 40/316
Overall Place: 483/2943
Average Pace: 9:39
Chip Finish Time: 2:06:19

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Angry Birds Go! Jenga Pirate Pig Attack Game Review



We love games in our house and recently had the opportunity to play and review the Angry Birds Go! Jenga Pirate Pig Attack Game.  In this game you race head to head with your partner to destroy the pirate ship and knock down the pigs.  Two players each have a kart to slingshot at the pirate ship Jenga blocks.


My boys really enjoyed this game.  They had fun sling shooting the karts all over the place.  It reminded me of build, destroy, build with the number of times they rebuilt the pirate ship.  Dylan was excited to use the special code included with the game to unlock content in the Angry Birds Go! app.  He loves new apps for his iPod.  Unfortunately, the Angry Bird Go! app does not work on the iPod touch 4.


My boy took turns to see who could knock down the most blocks with the least number of kart jumps. I love to see them playing nice together!

Angry Birds Go! Jenga Pirate Pig Attack Game retails for $29.99 for 1-2 players, ages 8+.

Disclaimer: I was given an Angry Birds Go! Jenga Pirate Pig Attack Game to review.  All opinions are my own.

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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Ringling Bros & Barnum Bailey Circus Review



The Greatest Show on Earth from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey presents a new show called Legends at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, January 1-5, 2014.

My family and I got to see the show on Friday night and had a great time!  This was Dylan's first time at the circus and Jared's second time, although he doesn't remember the first time.  My boys love the stunts and acrobatic performances.


Motorcycles in the ball were Jared's favorite.





The Pegasus

Girls hanging by their hair!




Motorcycle on a tightrope

The trapeze artists were my favorite.



I loved the live music throughout the circus performances.

Dylan with a clown


It was fun for the entire family!  We each had a different part of the show as our favorite.

Click HERE to purchase tickets online.  Save $4 on select performances using promo code MOM4.  Offer not valid on Front Row or Premium seats. Not valid day of show. Only valid for these performances: Thurs 7:30pm, Fri 7:30pm, Sat 11am, and Sun 5pm.

Visit the Facebook page or follow them on twitter, #RinglingTPA.

Disclaimer: I was given tickets to the show in exchange for promotion and review.  All opinions are my own.

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