Donut Girl

Oh hi. I just ate 2 donuts (and a salad duh) and am so happy. I love donuts so much and haven’t had any for a long time so today I decided to treat Harry and myself to a field trip to one of my favorite shops in the Twin Cities.

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Don’t mess with the Mojo

Harry and I hit up Mojo Monkey this morning and I may gone a little overboard on the donuts but YOLO because like I said last post, I’m enjoying the rest of 2018. There were so many festive donuts to pick from I wanted more but decided not to be selfish. I chose 4 apple cider donut holes (they gave me a free one!), 2 maple cruellers, a creme brulee (chosen by the head baker), and a bismark.

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Donut ask me to share

Not gonna lie, I popped 2 donut holes in my mouth once I reached the car and they were delicious. I also ate the bismark and one maple crueller…whoops. At least I saved a couple for Sam hehe.

Harry and I also made a stop at Cafe Astoria. I have had this place on my coffee shop list for a while and decided to make the stop today since we were already so close. It was a super cute little cafe and I went with Leah’s Happy Place for my beverage. It was a matcha, lavendar, and pistachio drink and it was amazing. I drank it way to fast but whatever. I’d def go back. Also, it was only $4.75 for a schmedium which is cheaper than Starbucks. I’m in.

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Leah’s Happy Place

Over the weekend we got our Christmas tree and it was very exciting. Sam said we could get a real tree this year for Harry’s first Christmas and it smells so good in our house. Let me tell you though, taking care of a baby AND a Christmas tree is tough work. You can’t forget to water that darn tree or it will get v dry (like my skin currently) and die. Yikes.

Harry likes the lights on the tree. He also likes Christmas music 🙂

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Hare Bear and a Tree

Harry also recently discovered how to grab on to things and it’s adorable. He loves holding my fingers and his toy dog. I try to make him pet Ruthie but he’s not super into that yet. He also likes to smile, make sad faces, poop, eat, and lay in his tee-pee. Ah the life. Enjoy it little dude.

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My Sweet Monkey Boy

Now excuse me while I go paint my right hand nails. I started painting them this morning and only had time for the left. I for sure will smudge them and probs end up just removing all the polish because I’m not patient enough to let them dry all the way.

Hope you’re having a fab week. Catch ya later gators.

PS Stay tuned for a fun workout post tomorrow 🙂

-Hales

 

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Be Grateful. Be Thankful. Be Joyous. Give Love.

Hello.

Harry is napping so I figured I’d take a little time to do some house chores and write a blog post. It’s been a few days but that’s OK. Life gets busy. Ruthie is currently snoring next to me as I sip a vanilla latte from Starbucks. All is good in the world.

Sam tells me I’m never appreciative for the things I have in life so I’m trying harder to think about that every day. He is right. There’s a warm roof over our head. Sam and I have the best dog and son in all the land. I am able to drive a car that has an amazing heated seat that burns my bum. Being able to work allows us to put meals on the table (or in our case the arm chair of the couch). Nature has graced our house with a lovely Fraiser Fir this year. Yes, I am thankful. I also appreciate Sam so much. He is such a wonderful dad and makes us laugh every day. He is one of the hardest workers I know and would do anything for his family. Yes, we are lucky.

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Polo Baby loves daddy

Last week was a very festive one. Harry and I spent some time with Grandma Dee making cookies and other Christmas treats. Of course we did the classic sugar cookie with the most tasty frosting. I love decorating cookies but typically by the end I get bored and just sprinkle sugars on them. This year was different. Every cookie got time spent on it. Every cookie was different. I may have eaten 3 dozen by myself. Usually I’d be like wtf you gross human. But this year is different. I am enjoying whatever I want this holiday season because I can always get back on the healthy eating train in 2019. PS can you believe it’s almost 2019? I think it’s gonna be a good year 🙂

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Santa’s workshop

Gramma Dee and I also made chocolate dipped pretzels and the pretzel rings with Hershey Kisses and M&M’s. So easy and so tasty. She also made toffee and fudge and let me tell you…it tasted like it came straight outta the bakery.

Yesterday we went to Sam’s school and Harry met Santa. It was just a blast. He was a little unsure in the beginning but then realized this guy is going to be his favorite every December 24th for the next oh…10 years. He even smiled at Santa as he tugged on his beard. Oh to be a child.

Today we are planning on decorating our Christmas Tree. Yes, we got a real tree this year and the house smells amazing. I’m planning on turning on Santa Clause or Elf and drinking a large peppermint mocha. I’ll post a pic later.

I also bought a whole chicken to try in the instant pot for dinner. I sure hope it turns out! Trader joes has all the fixings for a lovely chicken dinner complete with stuffing AND mashed potatoes. All that’s missing is the pumpkin pie but we have pretzels to eat so I guess that will work.

Hoping to get a speedy workout in here sometime today but lately, if I miss a workout I don’t care because carrying an 11 pound baby around the house is a workout in itself. Maybe we will walk up and down the stairs like 10 times or something IDK. LOL.

I hope you’re enjoying this Holiday season. Remember to take time each day to jut live in the moment otherwise before you know it it will be January and the Holidays will be over. Be grateful. Be thankful. Be joyous. Give love.

XO

-Hales

2 Months

Hello and happy Monday. Can I say that? Happy Monday? I hope your Monday is happy.

Our morning started with Harry’s 2 month check up which meant…SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS. He got weighed (11 lbs 1 oz) and measured (24.5 inches) and I’m thrilled to know he is growing. He is in the 96th percent for height but a little behind on weight still but they aren’t worried. Looks like he’s a string bean just like his dad.

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My burrito babe

He did so well with his shots. He screamed for about 10 seconds making me get teary-eyed but then he stopped and was even smiley after the shots were done. I love this little boy so much and never knew my heart could grow so much each day.

So, Harry had his first overnight experience over the weekend. Gramma Dee and Papa Fletch watched him so Sam and I could get some rest and go on a date. It was so weird not to have the baby but we enjoyed each other’s company fully 🙂 Our night wasn’t too crazy…we went and looked at Christmas trees (didn’t get one because we took my little car hehe) then we went for beers and an app at the Tavern. Pretzels and mustard will always be my #1. I had 2 mich golden lights and they tasted like golend water…I know, real exciting.

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Pretzel and mustard

After our snack we started watching The Haunting of Hill House or whatever but I fell asleep about 30 minutes in. Real exciting night. It felt super strange to get 8 hours of sleep but I’m v grateful and feel refreshed.

Sunday morning I went to pick Hare Bear up then made some Christmas Sugar cookies with my mom because it’s that time of year. Since I only have a month left of leave, I’m trying to do all the XMAS things now to enjoy every moment of the season.

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Magic

I made a December bucket list that includes driving around to look at Christmas lights, decorate the tree, make Christmas cookies (check), and drink hot chocolate. Sam made fun of me for this one. Tis the season to eat all the cookies and drink all the drinks eh?

Oh, I almost forgot. On Friday my family went to the Chanhassen Dinner theater to see Holiday Inn and it was such a fun time. I’d highly recommend the dinner theater. The food was good and the show was so much fun. Great way to kick off the holiday season.

Now today, Harry and I are just going to chill. I might get out our fake baby xmas tree and put it up in his room or my room…I can’t decide. I’m also going to try out my new INSTA POT! YAY. I’ll post more on that another day.

It’s snowing so I’m going to get a gingerbread latte from Starbucks and be all Christmassy today.

Really wishing you a fantastic Monday and a joyous week.

XO

-Hales and Hare

 

Be Thankful

It’s snowing and it’s magical and all I want to do is decorate, drink coffee, and write down goals for the next 3 years of my life 🙂

I hear today is like the biggest party day of the year since not many people have to work tomorrow (if you do, I’m sorry, that’s shitty…unless you like it, then it’s great!). I will be enjoying a grasshopper for sure tonight with my fam. Can’t wait for some minty goodness.

Since Sam has been on break from school this week, I’ve been able to get to a few classes at Alchemy and it’s been so nice. My bod is def slowly getting strong again and it feels so good to move. However, having a baby takes away any core strength I once had. I’m focusing on slowing down and building up those muscles one ab at a time.

This morning I did a super fun workout at Anytime to get in a good sweat before Turkey Day. I did a bunch of different squats mixed with some rowing and then finished off with the following:

5 sets of 5 reps: Power Cleans

Then…3 rounds as fast as possible of:

10 Box Jumps

9 Hang Power Cleans

7 Front Squats

5 Strict Press

I did this all with a 45 pound bar. I finished with 10 minutes of walking at an incline. So great. I got home an instantly downed 2 protein muffins complete with whipped cream and peanut butter and 2 eggs with avocado.

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My fave breakfast

So, what else have we been up to lately? Harry is the wiggliest little monster ever so I’ve been trying to find ways to entertain him. I’ve also discovered that every day he looks more and more like his dad. He’s a mini Sam and I’m 100% ok with that because I think Sam is pretty cute 🙂

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Mini Sammy

I’ve also been trying to taste all the lavender lattes in MN and got one from Spyhouse yesterday and while it was $6, I’d get it again and again. So good, so lavender-y. I mean my homemade version wasn’t terrible compared to this one but I think I need to pull the trigger and get that espresso machine…especially if I’m going back to work in a month. Yikes.

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I like you a whole latte

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I can’t effing believe it. My fave day of the year is already here and there’s SO much to be thankful for. I love going around the table and having everyone say one thing they are thankful for this year. Here are a few on my list:

  1. Healthy family
  2. Harry, Ruthie, and Sam
  3. A roof over our head
  4. The best friends who are always up for adventure
  5. The ability to dream big dreams
  6. A family that believes in me
  7. Food and coffee (duh)
  8. Having patience
  9. The ability to vote
  10. Living in a country where women are being more valued every day
  11. Snow, Hallmark, and Christmas music

OK, now I must go pack up Harry’s room as we get ready to head to my parents for a few days. I wish you safe, yummy, loving Thanksgiving. Stay cool ya Turkeys!

XO

-Haley

 

Protein Packed Saturday

I had a decaf caramel macchiato from Starbucks today and I swear it just puts me in the best mood. Harry and I (we tried to get Ruthie to come but she said she’s on a no caff diet right now) went at 5:30 this morning because the child wakes up at 5 everyday. It was so fun.

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Decaf duh

So, yesterday afternoon I went to a class at Alchemy (haven’t been for a while) and it was a blast. I went to the A10 since I’m just getting back into it and it kicked my bum. The workout had pull ups and I haven’t attempted a pull up since about March. Oofdah. But I gave it a shot and it wasn’t all that terrible. Except today. I def feel it today. I forgot how much I love working out in a class setting!

Today has been a busy day. After coffee, I came home and prepped my fave protein pancake recipe.

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Protein Pancake essentials

It’s really simple and so yummy. You take a cup of egg whites (I always add one whole egg), 1/3 cup of oats, a dash of baking powder and whatever spices you want. Sometimes I add tumeric. Today I went with cinnamon. You can also add protein powder, cocoa powder…the options are endless. Then you pour all that into a hot pan oiled with coconut oil and cook. I suck at flipping the thing because it’s giant so it always turns into a giant blob. But eating blobs is the most fun.

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YUM

The topping options are endless as well. Today I went with a little PB, some jam, a few dark chocolate chips, and some local honey. I might have licked my plate after. Only Harry and Ruth were here to judge me so that’s whatever. Oh, and whipped cream. Ruthie recently discovered her love for whipped cream as well and I always have to give her a little taste.

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Masterpiece

After downing my cake, I wanted to take Ruth for a run. But she was protesting the cold so I went by myself. I don’t know how far I went and I sure as heck didn’t go fast. I just took my time and enjoyed the snowflakes falling on me.

Next on the agenda, muffins! I found a box of Kodiak cakes muffin mix at Target yesterday and decided to try that with my fave easy muffin recipe. All you need is a box of cake mix, a can of pumpkin, and mini chocolate chips. Seriously, so simple.

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Choco-punkin

All you do is mix the cake mix with pumpkin and about 1/2 cup of water…add your chocolate chips and bake at 350-375 for 12 ish minutes.

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I love these muffins because they are so moist. I usually underbake them a tad so they are gooey in the middle. I offered Sam one but he politely declined. The options with these are also endless. Sometime I do a spice cake mix and rasins, or a white cake mix and white chocolate chips. YUM!

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True Beauty

I eat these for breakfast and dessert 🙂

The rest of our Saturday was spent lamp shopping (fail), eating, going for a walk, drinking Coconut La Croix, snuggling, and eating Chipotle.

PS there’s a new Hallmark movie on tonight and we can’t wait to snuggle in with our muffins and a cup of decaf mocha.

Have yourself a merry night!

XO

-Hales

 

 

 

La La Lavender

I’m currently having a breakfast appetizer of banana bread as I wait for my steel cut oats to cook. This is my first time making steel oats and I didn’t realize they take 20 minutes to make! I’m used to my 90 second oatmeal but was in the mood for something a little heartier. I will probably top my oats with some milk and brown sugar…maybe a little coconut yogurt and a chocolate chip? LOL who am I kidding more like  5 chocolate chips.

I also went to Target yesterday to get more Almondmilk Creamer (have been obsessed with the Toffee Tidings flavor) and got distracted by the all the holiday flavors. I left with Sugar Cookie instead of the Toffee Tidings. Marketers sure know how to get me. Argh!

So it’s been cold. Freezing cold. It’s OK because I usually spend my day snuggled in a chair with Harry and Ruthie so we stay warm but we’re starting to go a little stir crazy staying inside all day. So yesterday Harry and I ventured out to do some errands and pick up ingredients for a lavender latte! I love lavender lattes and seeing the one in Duluth over the weekend made me want to make my own.

First things first. I had no clue where to get lavender buds…wtf is a lavender bud even? Target or Trader Joes do not have them. My next thought was whole foods but I didn’t feel like driving into the city. After fearing defeat, we drove past a little store called Fresh and Natural on our way home. Sure, what the heck. Might as well try, right?

BINGO. Fresh and Natural def has lavender buds. And many other fun/odd/cool things. The nice thing was that the buds were in the bulk section so you could take as many as you wanted. I love the smell of lavender and filled my little baggie up…the price per pound….$53! Thank god lavender weighs like nothing. I think my total for the lav was $3. I’ll be getting more of this stuff.

I also grabbed some decaf coffee (also in the bulk section) to make my latte because I’m trying to only drink one fully caff coffee a day (my morning cup with said Sugar cookie cream). Before leaving I tried looking for collagen because I am curious about the stuff and wanted a sample jar but only saw a large tub for like $40. Don’t need my hair and nails to grow that bad. Anyone have thoughts on collagen?

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Lavender ❤

Back to latte. I started by making the lav syrup in the recipe. I boiled the water and buds and let it simmer. It smelled amazing. I’m adding a small strainer to my XMAS list because all we have is a giant spaghetti noodle strainer and a handful of the buds made it into my drink which was fine but not ideal.

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Sup bud?

Next step was to boil water and sugar then add the boiled lav juice to the sugar water. Pretty sure I may have burned my sugar a tiny bit but it was still yummy.

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See the little buds floating?

Then you basically let the syrup cool, brew some coffee (I used my French Press), and pour that into a mug. Now for the coolest part…the milk. All you do is heat up your milk (I used Fair Life Non fat because I like this kind the best and almond milk has not been my fave lately) for like 30 seconds then give it a good ole shake. Bing. Bang. Boom. Pour that on top and you have a lovely lavender latte.

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I Love Lav

I really want to learn how to make a flower or something with my foamy milk but I’m guessing I need a fancy espresso machine for that. Anyway, I’d highly suggest this recipe! It will hopefully save me $100 in fancy lavender lattes hehe. Then I can put that $ towards a nespresso. I found one on sale at Sur La Table and am hoping Santa brings it…or maybe I’ll get it for Harry LOL.

So the website that has the lavender latte also has a recipe for PB cup coffee creamer. I might try to make that today. Oh and pumpkin bread because you can never have enough pumpkin.

PS what do I use extra lavender buds for?

Cheerio!

-Haley

Harry Takes on Duluth

Good morning pals. Harry is currently having a day. He’s been awake since 5 AM and seems to only settle down when I hold him. I can tell he is super tired but he won’t fall asleep. Come on buddy, get your rest!

I’m also still  not confident in my breast feeding skills and have been pumping and feeding him the bottle…at least he’s still getting breastmilk right? I just love him so much and want to make sure he’s getting enough nutrition.

I can’t believe how fast the days goes with a baby. I don’t do a whole lot but I feel like every time I look at a clock another hour has gone by.

Over the weekend we took a road trip to Duluth, MN to visit Aunt Molly. We left Friday morning and arrived to beautiful snowfall. You know, the big fluffy flakes that make you feel like you’re in a snowglobe? The flakes that make you want to listen to Christmas Music, decorate, and bake cookies? Yeah, those flakes.

Once we unloaded the car (I feel like I need a moving van for all our stuff now) and fed the bear, my sister and I took a little trip to the craft store to find a Holiday project we could make. Here is a glimpse of the project we decided on.

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Turkey’s, Presents, and Trees…Oh my!

Dinner that night was at the Tavern on the Hill where I indulged in a lovely glass of wine and creepily stared at my baby. For dinner I went with the pork burrito bowl and we shared the fried pretzel sticks OMGSOGOOD.

Of course, we all had a craving for something sweet so we stopped at the grocery store for a Pumpkin Pie. Yum. My first pie of the fall.

Saturday morning arrived after about 4 hours of sleep and I decided I’d make a run to the Lake Superior Bakehouse. This might be my new favorite place in Duluth. They had a huge case of baked goods and I was only to pick 3…my what a feat. I went with a pecan caramel roll, scone, and cream cheese frosted cherry coffee cake. BEST CHOICES. I also got the best vanilla latte I’ve ever tasted. I kicked myself though for not thoroughly reading the menu and missing out on the lavender latte (they are my absolute fave). I was almost tempted to get a second latte but didn’t. I should have. Oh well. Next time.

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Effffff

Saturday was very relaxing as it was cold AF. Molly and I did a little putzing downtown and went to the Duluth Coffee Company where I got the best decaf mocha and she got the cutest little cappuccino drink. I just want all the warm beverages right now obviously.

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Yum ❤

Saturday finished with a little baking and The Greatest Showman. I’m so mad because I fell asleep about 10 minutes in. I wanted to see that movie so bad.

Sunday came too fast and we arose to more beautiful snow. After a fantastic breakfast at the Vanilla bean (GET the wild rice porridge)  it was on the road and back to the cities.

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Going to try to re-create this!

Every time I visit Duluth I always want to move there. It’s so fun and beautiful, outdoorsy, and relaxing. One of the best places to visit.

I always enjoy getting home after a weekend away though and catching up on laundry, working out, getting back on track with eating and meal prepping. After unpacking all our shit yesterday, I took a trip to the gym for a speedy workout (I haven’t been going during the week on account of I have a baby so it’s nice to go on weekends when Sam is around). Here’s a snap shot of what I did:

15 minute alternating EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute):

Minute 1: 13 Squat cleans

Minute 2: 15 Squat throws

* Every 5th Minute-complete 60 seconds of Slamball Step Ups*

Then…4 sets of 5 reps Sumo Deadlift High Pull

Superset with 4 sets of 10 reps American Swings (heavish)

Then…5 sets of 400 meter sprints on the treadmill

Cool Down with walking and stretching

I loved this workout and am def a little sore today. Give it a try!

Now, I’m hoping to make some gingerbread donuts today if my cranky baby allows.

Have a swell Monday and fantastic week. It’s almost Turkey Day, the best time of year.

XO

-Haley