Lazy Weekends & Spring Cleaning

And just like that, it’s Sunday again! Why do weekends seem to go by incredibly quicker than weekdays?

Well, it was such a low key weekend over here and I loved every second of it. I had to keep telling myself not to get too used to it since it’s a rarity for us to have no commitments on a Friday or Saturday.

Yesterday morning I woke up feeling under the weather and it stuck with me most of the afternoon as well, which foiled my running plans. I also seem to have a pulled neck muscle from my weight session either Thursday or Friday morning, not sure when it happened just that it’s difficult to turn my neck.  However, I did crank out this delicious meal for brunch Saturday.

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Spinach and feta egg scramble and turkey sausage with a mixed berry smoothie on the side.

Friday after work Nathan and I planned to head out for a hike but plans quickly changed the minute we sat down and stopped moving…  we may have napped rather than hiked. Oh well, I know I needed that power nap, otherwise I’m usually in bed by 10 pm most Fridays. ;) Afterwards we put on our comfy clothes and headed out the door to a San Antonio favorite, Longhorn Cafe where this happened…

 

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Jalapeno cheddar burger!

No, I did not finish this whole burger but I came close and it was certainly delicious. I typically order their grilled chicken salad with buffalo sauce, but by Friday I was tired of salad. It has been a week long of staying well under my caloric goal for myself via myfitnesspal and I felt great about ordering a burger! I still stayed under my caloric goal after eating this burger along with a handful of fries too! It’s all about moderation folks! :)

I totally failed taking any food photos from my meal plan this past week but plan to snap a few this week before hand.

Meal Plan:

M- Homemade wholewheat veggie pizza

T- Gala dinner (out)

W- Shrimp and zucchini bake

Th- Meatloaf with green beans

F- out

S- Lightened up chicken Alfredo with spinach

S- leftovers

After church today I have a plan to tackle my spring cleaning list. I found this awesome checklist online and this I am going to stick to this as my spring cleaning guide!

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Well my fitness plan for the week looks identical to last week’s plan, except with a bit more hiking thrown in there. ;)

Have a great Sunday! Oh, and Brandy says hi!

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This is B’s “Mom will you play with me?” face. I can’t say no!

I’m off for a quick 3 miler before church! Catch you later!

Lauren <3

 

 

This Week’s Food and Fitness Plan

Well, it feels great to be sitting down after a long but productive Sunday.

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*That quote really hit home for me this week.

 

Nathan and I went to our Saturday night service and this morning I was able to get errands run and my to do list tackled around here. We had a church picnic today after church and I planned to run, workout, get groceries for the next two weeks, and clean the kitchen before hand. 

We’ve decided to start hitting the budget hard again after a few months of putting on the back burner. We have been dining out more than cooking in and making tons of purchases on car, house, and miscellaneous items lately. 

However, all of our eats have led me to discover my new favorite restaurant….Fish City Grill, a seafood lover paradise.

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All of their seafood is super fresh and they are famous for their oyster nachos which were out of this world! 

And then there was Saltgrass Steakhouse which is where we ended up for our date night Monday evening. I want to try to recreate their wedge salad!

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I got these groceries to last us for the next two weeks.

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I like to plan and buy for two weeks rather than one and I’ve gotten pretty good at knowing how much to buy so we don’t have to make multiple trips to the store in between those two weeks.

 

Here is our tentative meal plan for this upcoming week:

M: Date night- out

T: Lemon garlic shrimp with roasted zucchini squash

W: Omelettes with spinach and feta

Th: Baked talipia with garlic and dijon

F: Sticky chili wings in the crock pot

S: Out

S: leftovers

As I talked about last week the hubs and I have been tracking our calories on the myfitnesspal app. I am not one to restrict myself and obsess over calories, I do not agree with that nor is it healthy. The app. is merely a tool we are using to keep track of how many hidden calories really are in the foods we consume. It has been very eye opening to both of us as to just how many more calories we were consuming than needed. So far Nathan has lost 7 lbs. and I have lost .8.  We have not felt deprived once and are continuing to eat our favorite foods just in moderation and with a better awareness as to what an accurate serving size is. ;)

with that said, here is my workout schedule for this week.

M: Early morning run before work/ strength train

T: off

W: pilates

Th:Run after work/ strength train

F:  Early morning run before work/ strength train

S: Run/hike with Nathan

S: Run/hike with Nathan

Hope everyone has a great week!

-Lauren <3

 

 

Tennis, Shopping, & Frozen

As I sit here ready to type this post, coffee in hand, birds singing out my window I can’t help but smile. I love spring time! It has been a gorgeous week here in Texas and prime outdoor running conditions.

I grew up playing tennis pretty much from the time I could hold a racket. I played all throughout high school but declined the offer to play in college. However, playing tennis on Friday afternoons was the very thing that led me to meet my now husband Nathan! He too played and challenged me to a match one day after Speech class. The rest, is history ;) True to form, yesterday my darling husband challenged me to yet another tennis match. We had  blast!

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I wanted to talk honestly today about a few things that have been on my mind lately! 

Recently I have become frustrated with how much energy I put into healthy eating and exercise paired with the lack of results I have been receiving. Don’t get me wrong, I honestly enjoy running and working out, it is a huge stress relief for me. So, I decided to take a step back and analyze where I’m going wrong.

I have about 8 lbs. that I have gained over the course of winter, which might not seem like much, but on my 5 ft. 2 in. frame it really shows. I am uncomfortable in lots of my spring/summer clothing that I have put on this past week and I am tired of it. 

So, Nathan and I both joined the myfitnesspal app. It’s crazy neat and basically an online food diary. It gives you a caloric goal for the day and tells you how long it will take to reach your goal weight. I was blown away at how many calories I really was consuming on day one. Luckily you can factor in all exercise as well and it adds calories to your goal for the day. It feels great to be more aware of all the foods I am putting in my body and how important it is to measure our portions and not just “eyeball” an amount because many times it’s inaccurate! I will keep you update with our progress :)

I had the pleasure of one of my best girl friends coming to vacation here for her and my spring break!

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San Antonio River Walk

 

We had such a blast touring the River Walk, shopping malls, outlets, restaurants, and exploring the city. She is an incredible person that I have known since we were little, tiny. I am in her wedding this summer as well so It was fun as usual to talk weddings all week! 

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Dinner on the river

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sushi!

And of course I couldn’t resist some deals at the outlet malls ;)

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This past week of work has been the most challenging yet. Our private school is undergoing accreditation and us teachers have been busting our fannies to help get us where we need to be. I had the bright idea to plan an elementary wide zoo field trip on the 18th on top of everything else going on. Needless to say there have been many late hours and restless nights lately and I cannot wait for it to be over. We are having a group of people come Monday and Tuesday to decide if we can be accredited or not. They will be observing my teaching and that always makes me a bit nervous because It’s a lot of pressure. All staff is meeting at the school tonight to formally meet these accreditation people. Wish me luck!

On a lighter note, Nathan knew how tough my week was so Friday after work this happened. 

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Yes he did grill us steaks, buy the movie Frozen, and get me my favorite ice cream. It was so nice to relax together and it totally did the trick! :)

 I’m off to conquer some miles in the blustery wind then it’s off to church! Have a great day!

-Lauren <3

Rainy Day Running

Good morning, and happy “Spring Forward”! (I so like the “Fall Backward” one better. )

Well, as soon as I hit publish on this post i’m out the door for a quick pre-church run. There is finally a break in the rain and I’m going to take advantage of it. Brandy may even get to come, she’s barking at a bird out the window as we speak, which makes me think she may need a good run too! 

I am beyond excited to have the whole next week off for Spring Break! I’ve been working on little odd jobs that still need to be done around the house. It’s amazing to me how my  house to-do list just keeps getting longer even though I’m checking things off…

Yesterday, after a rainy morning run and a leaders meeting at the church I swung by good old Hobby Lobby to browse and ended up purchasing some fun decorative pieces to put together, and I really like the way they turned out!

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Also, I stuck pretty well to the meal plan this past week, and it was nice to get back into that routine. ( I think our wallets appreciated it as well)

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Buffalo Chicken Salad

 

I could eat this salad for every meal, no joke. The fact that Nathan requested it for dinner this week made my little veggie-loving heart happy!

we also had taco night, which I realized we have never done before! I never make tacos because I always just think of the icky ground beef, cheese, and sour cream that makes tacos so heavy. So, I decided to put some alternate twists on these tacos that out waistlines would appreciate!

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Taco Night!

I cooked up a pan of ground lean turkey and seasonings,atop whole wheat tortillas, with spinach, lettuce, and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt and Red Hot. Delicious.

So, Nathan and I have just discovered one of the best board games there is…CLUE.

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Where have we been all these years to not have played it before? We have been playing it incessantly and it’s seriously a great game, especially because I love a good mystery.

This past week in First grade we celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday by eating green eggs and ham. Nathan cooked it all up for me and the kids absolutely loved it! We voted on whether we liked it afterwards or not. I love my job!

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 Well, time to go hit that pavement. I am so excited for this week of Spring Break and the warmer temperatures! 

I’ll check in later!

Lauren <3

Are you on SB this week?

What are your favorite board games?

 

 

Delicious Eats, Long Hikes, & A New Recipe

Happy March! 

Today has been a busy and productive day over here! Before church I ran a quick 3 miles and did some strength training, took care of some finance things, then headed to church. After church Nathan and I headed to Red Robbins for a yummy lunch, and I just returned from running errands and purchasing some more home decor for some of our projects that are underway! 

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Cute right?

Saturday got off to an early start when my alarm sounded at 6:00 a.m. reminding me that I planned to fit in a quick 3 miles before heading to work for a school open house. Well, I opted to get up early and have morning devotions and delicious coffee with Nathan instead, and I don’t regret this decision one bit! :)

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So I’m going to recap the rest of February very quickly , because one of the main reasons (other than health and fitness purposes) that I decided to start a blog is to have the ability to look back, see, and reminisce over past experiences.

Here we go!

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For Valentines Day Nathan surprised me by taking us downtown San Antonio to Bohannan’s Prime Steaks and Seafood which was out of this world! The restaurant was gorgeous and had an old world charm about it. 

Nathan ordered the New York strip steak with a side of white truffle oil steak fries and I of course got the french-grilled oysters with their famous goat cheese mashed potatoes and a Shirley temple to drink! (pictured) We will no doubt be visiting this gourmet restaurant in the future.

That weekend we headed out to Marble Falls, TX for our annual winter camp with the youth group! Those kiddos are such a blessing to Nathan and I. Camp was incredible and overall, 41 students made commitments to the Lord whether recommitting their lives to Him or committing for the first time! PTL!

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In the First grade realm, Valentines day was a total success, and my kiddos loved our Valentine themed center activities and Valentine exchange. :)

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In all honesty the month of February was great on the workout front but weak on the meal planning side of things. we ordered or dined out more evenings than not. Here’s just some of the pictured meals I did not plan, ha!

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Although, it was certainly delicious! ;)

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I have been LOVING Subway chopped salads lately! Every time we go I’ve been getting two one to eat and one for my lunch the next day! 

Nathan and I are taking advantage of the 70*-80* temperatures we’ve been having and doing quite a bit of hiking on the weekends. We are both outdoorsy people and love soaking in God’s creation together. 

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The other evening I made on of my favorite and easy pasta recipes that is a regular in my kitchen and couldn’t believe I had yet to share it here on LLBM! I like to call it Mediterranean pasta!

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I have made this both with chicken and without and I love it both ways though the chicken does add great flavor to it!

Ingredients:

1 box whole wheat pasta*2 diced chicken breasts* 1cup cherry tomatoes*3 Tbs. olive oil*garlic salt* pepper* 2 tbs.lemon juice* 1 cup Feta cheese* 3 handfulls spinach* 1 tbs. lime juice

First,While pasta is boiling I cook the chicken in 1 tbs. olive oil and then add spinach and tomatoes and saute. 

Then, add the lemon and lime juice, remaining olive oil, cooked pasta, and feta to the skillet and mix together until well blended. top with garlic salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Well, I’m off to hang out with Nathan and Brandy!

Have a great evening!

-Lauren

Valentines Day Dinner Surprise & Winter Camp

Happy Sunday!

I’ve got a little time before I’m out the door to church so I decided to squeeze in a much needed blog post about what, I am still not sure ;)

Friday evening we had dinner guests and I whipped up a batch of delicious Pinterest inspired white chicken enchiladas and chocolate chip cookies. There were no leftovers.

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Yesterday morning we got up had coffee dressed and headed to the church at 9 for a youth team leader meeting. Nathan always gets Panera Bread for these meetings, which I cannot complain about!

Afterwards, I decided I was in need of spending some Christmas gift-cards that were burning a hole in my pocket so off to Target and TJ Maxx we went. ;) I ended up buying some new teaching apparel along with a dry erase monthly calendar for Nathan and I to better keep track of our ever-busy schedules.

So, lack of meal planning this week led to a whole lot of take out and dining out, which I am not complaining about but our wallets might be…

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Fish Tacos

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Dinner at Red Robbins, yummmm

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froyo at Orange Leaf!

Also, We bought a new car this week which has been exciting! A friendd of ours was selling it and he gave us an awesome deal on it, thanks God!

I have been downing a smoothie each morning before work in attempts to keep my immune system up, being surrounded by germs in the classroom all day. As my students would say, pass the hanitizer. ;) 

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This weeks tentative workout schedule will look a bit like this:

M-Run-strength train

T-rest

W-Run-strength train

TH-Run-strength train

F-Early morning run before work

S-Winter camp activities

S-Winter camp activities

Yes, this weekend we are going off the grid with a bunch of crazy teens for winter camp ’14. I am excited, and looking forward to what the Lord has in-store for everyone as the theme is Identity, and focusing on putting our identity in Christ alone.

Nathan and I will be celebrating Valentines day tomorrow evening and each year he takes me out on a surprise date ;) I wonder where we’ll go this year? I did drop a few hints that I was craving some sushi, so we’ll see! ;)

Catch ya later!

-Lauren <3

-What are your valentines Day traditions?

-What workouts are you planning this week?

Home Makeovers, Giant Clocks, & Family Time

Hi there! I hope you are enjoying your weekend!

I have some fun home makeover pictures to share with you that we have been working on over here in our casa!!

I left off last time without a brief recap of our trip North,so lets get to it,shall we?

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Many snowy miles were conquered…

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A plethora of board games were played…

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At home workouts were completed…

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Linds, Annie, Kelly, and I made batches of delicious Oreo truffles…(hence the running (; )

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Our finished product, yummm!

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& we threw Lindsay a NYE bachelorette party. It was a blast!

Upon arriving home in Texas, Nathan and I realized groceries were a MUST seeing how were were basically down to just condiments.

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Lat weekend, my good friend Jenny and I headed out for a rocky hike at Eisenhower park. Well, Friday after work Nathan and I decided to head home, change quick, grab some Starbucks and take a sunset hike at the same park. It was breathtaking and a good reminder to just slow down and take in the Lord’s beautiful creation together.

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We also made it out to one of my our favorite restaurants this weekend! That’s right, Willie’s Grill & Icehouse. I seriously dream about those oysters….

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This past week, I’ve been on a huge interior decorating kick. Were talking Pinteresting it up over here! <– Do people even say that?

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Spending plenty of time at Home Depot lately with my handy man ;)

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This picture does not do the paint job justice, but we painted a nice turquoise-gray color accent wall in our master bedroom.

Yesterday, Nathan and I planned to make a quick pit stop at Garden Ridge just to “browse”. Turned out to be my lucky day because they were having a huge moving location sale throughout the whole store!

Let me show you our haul… 

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Yes that is a Christmas tree in the back. Seriously a 6ft. pre-lit tree marked down 75% to $19.00!! Yes please!! We had been planning to purchase a fake tree to stand in our upstairs bay window area next Christmas anyway. Yay!

I played around with different flower arrangements yesterday and here’s what I came up with. I ‘m not sure if they will all stay like this but for now I’m happy with them. :)  Have a look!

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I totally made over this lamp by using extra wall paint to paint the base and then purchased a new silver-y lamp shade for it yesterday. I kinda like how it turned out considering I’m someone who is not very DIY oriented. ;)Our master bedroom is the first room I am tackling on my home renovation list. 

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I really am loving our mantle right now, and I’ve been looking for just the right artwork to hang above it. When I saw this giant clock yesterday I just knew it would be a great fit! It’s so fun to be home owners! :)

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 Well, that’s enough randomness for one post! 

Have a great Sunday!

Lauren <3

 

Memories from 2013

Here we are again, the beginning of a new year. There is a sense of new starts and fresh beginnings in the air. 

Personally, I like to reflect a bit on the year past and remember all of the major high points that 2013 brought. Since this is essentially my online journal I figure I will record some of those highlights here! 

Happy 2014!!

Let’s begin in chronological order….

-We kicked off 2013 with Nathan’s family visiting from Michigan last year

-Nathan and I toured the Mummy World Exhibit down town

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-Winter Camp

-Nathan took me to the famous Tower of America for Valentines Day

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-The church sent us to  the Simple Youth Ministry conference in Indianapolis ( we got to see family)

-I shared my personal testimony with the youth

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-Nathan’s 23rd Birthday

-Carrie Underwood and Hunter Hayes concert

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-We took a day trip to Dallas to attend a Detroit Red wings game

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-Family and my great friend Faith visited for Easter

-I ran my first half marathon in 1:57:53

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-Nathan and I ran the RCCC 5k together 

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-I spent a week vacationing in Ohio for my mom’s b-day

-We celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary at the Inn on Lake Grandbury

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-I started the blog! ;)

-Aunt Lisa visited San Antonio

-Summer Camp at Forest Glenn

-Uncle john visited Texas

-Faith and Bud’s wedding

-My 23rd birthday

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-We bought our first home

- My family visited to see our new home

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-We spent Thanksgiving on the ranch

-Josh visits

-We spent Christmas up North

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-Lindsay’s New Year’s Eve bachelorette party

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-I ran a total of 616 miles, burned 52,925 calories, and my avg. pace was 9 minutes and 12 seconds per mile!

Photo: Miles run in 2013

 

WOW, talk about great memories! I cannot wait to see how the Lord blesses us in the year to come! 

Celebrating Christmas Early and Brooks Running Shoes

Happy Monday friends!

I have to start this post out with a birthday shout out to my dad and sister-in -law. (yesterday)

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This morning just so happened to be the only time N and I could celebrate Christmas together and do our own little gift exchange. He works tomorrow and we have 3 Christmas eve services tomorrow evening then we will be flying the friendly skies on Christmas morning, so today it was! 

I stopped by the store yesterday to buy some supplies for today’s Christmas dinner…

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So, I woke up today around 7 because I planned to make a pot roast that we could enjoy for a late lunch, and I just have to say my house smells AMAZING right now as it cooks away!

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 I put on a pot of coffee, played some Mannheim Steamroller Christmas music, and we read through the story of Jesus’s birth in Luke 2 together before opening gifts. 

We let brandy open her gift first and it was hilarious watching her try to figure out what to do with the wrapping paper ha!

Then Nathan and I took turns opening gifts that we got for each other. He usually does a theme when he gets me gifts, and this year’s was a fitness theme. 

Check out these babies!

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I’m officially a Brooks owner ;) I’ve never tried this brand of running shoe, mainly because they are so pricey, and I love my Sauconies.  HOWEVER, I am super excited to test these babies out on my run today! Thanks Nathan!

After gifts, we headed to the kitchen and made omelets with goat cheese and spinach. 

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I love goat cheese, it’s probably my favorite cheese out there. 

Oh, and there has been mass amounts of coffee consumed over here this morning, because dad shipped me some of our favorite coffee only sold in Northern Michigan. We discovered it on a family vacation one summer and have been fans ever since.

The flavor is “Chocolate Cherry Festival”, which gives it a hint of amaretto and mocha. I highly recommend it!

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Last night Nathan challenged me to yet another board game. (I think he was still holding a grudge from all of my recent Monopoly victories). So, I gladly accepted his proposal to play Settlers of Catan.

Well, guess who swept the board yet AGAIN?

yep, I think it’s safe to say he won’t be challenging me to any rematches any time soon. ;)

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Well, I’m off to break in my new Brooks and brave the chilly 40* weather. 

Have a great day!

-Lauren <3