I Gave my Crockpot the Weekend Off

Thoughtful of me…I know!

The BOY and I did our grocery shopping on Saturday, so we had to have our plan set early.  Sunday was a gorgeous day!  I had a lot of things that I needed to do around the house including hanging my new arts and craft project (seen below) and my marathon poster.


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Plus, I organized the pantry.




Meanwhile, Cooper enjoyed some time in the sunshine!




I also got started with this week’s meal prep.  On tap for lunch this week, Buffalo Turkey Chili.  I should admit that this is also a Pinterest find (and imagine how much more I will find when I have time off between jobs).  The original recipe is from Whipped for Buffalo Chicken Chili, but since we are having chicken for dinner this week, I thought I’d go with turkey.




I started chopping veggies and was struggling.  Then remembered that I could use the BOY’s awesome new knife!  I sliced up all of the veggies for my chili and made a few bags of fresh veggies for the week ahead.  This knife works so well and is SUPER sharp.  It almost makes veggie chopping fun!




I’m not a huge hot sauce girl, but thought I would try adding a few drops (about 1/8th of a cup) of the BOY’s smoked chipotle hot sauce.


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I let everything simmer for a LONG time because I like my veggies really soft.




This chili has a smoky flavor that makes it unique and delicious!

Save this recipe for the next time you want to give your Crockpot a weekend off!



Meal Planning 11/03/13

Sunday: Mac n Cheese


Monday: Out for Dinner


Tuesday: Leftovers


Wednesday: Beer Can Chicken


Thursday: TBD


Lunch: Buffalo Turkey Chili



What did you do this Sunday?

Do you prepare bags of healthy snacks ahead of time?



Buffalo Turkey Chili

Adapted from Whipped



1 tablespoon olive oil

1.25 lbs ground turkey (97/3%)

1 (15-ounce) can white beans, drained and rinsed

1 small onion, chopped

3 large carrot, finely diced

3 celery stalks, finely diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika

1/2 tablespoon cumin

1/4 cup hot sauce (I used 1/8 cup of smoked chipotle hot sauce)



Heat oil in a 4- quart pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken, paprika, and cumin; cook, breaking up the meat, for about 6 minutes until browned.

Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic; cook for 8 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.

Add tomatoes and hot sauce, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 60-75 minutes.

Stir in white beans and continue to simmer for a another15 minutes until the veggies are soft. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Top with sour cream, avocado, or blue cheese.

Hot Cider Hustle

I almost didn’t get up and moving this morning!  Typically before a race, I get everything set up the night before.  But this morning, I scrambled to pull together some cold weather gear, breakfast, and a race bag.




I left around 7am and drove the 30 minutes south to the forest preserve where the race was being run.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but got there early enough to pick up my packet.  I got a sweet parking spot, and easily grabbed my bib and race shirt.




It was freezing outside and so I retreated to my car for awhile, playing on Pinterest and listening to music.

Before the race, people started to gather, moving around to stay warm.  I found a sunny spot to stretch out my still sore calves and think warm and happy thoughts.




When it came down to get started, we all filed into the corrals and wandered towards the start line, eager to begin.  I wasn’t thinking much except that I wanted to start moving and get warmed up.  During marathon training, I did countless 8 mile runs which is why I thought this would be a great post marathon race.  My usual pace was around 9 minute/miles, so I was hoping to finish around 72 minutes.  However, since the marathons, my runs haven’t been that speedy.


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I figured I would just see how I felt today and take it from there.  I brought my phone along hoping to snap some photos of the beautiful trail.  The first 2 miles were a challenge in trying to keep my race belt down and my pants up.  I swear I desperately need a new race belt.  After snapping these not so clear pics, I moved my phone from my pants to my belt which helped.




By mile 3, my body was finally warmed up.  I shed my gloves and was able to pick up my pace a bit.  My miles stayed below 9 minutes and the trail was beautiful.  At the half way point, I felt good, but my race bib came unhooked.  It was a bummer and a few people passed me along the way.




The last few miles, I continued to jockey back and forth with a few other runners as we picked up the pace towards the finish line.  With about a mile and a half to go, I felt strong and gave it a little push.  My last mile was just under 8 minutes and I crossed the finish line, feeling fantastic!  I think all of those 8 mile runs combined with no expectations made for the perfect race.  And a negative split!!!






Since I didn’t get any photos of myself finishing, I was able to get some action shots.  The hot cider at the finish was awesome and totally hit the spot, along with a few other Whole Foods goodies.  It turned out to be a beautiful day!




Even thought it was tough to get the day started, I’m so happy that I participated in this community race.  It was well priced and the course is beautiful!  Plus, 8 miles is a really fun race distance!  It would have been fun to have some family and friends to hang out afterwards and enjoy the day.




I arrived back home 30 seconds before the BOY after his test and I went straight to bed for a nap.  Cooper and I curled up for 2 hours, and I woke up feeling better, but still exhausted.  I think the emotions of the week have gotten the best of me, so I am laying low again tonight.  I look forward to using the extra hour tonight for some sleep.  I’m sure there’s another busy week ahead!


It’s been a successful year of racing for me, so it’s with sadness that I close out the year.

No worries, I am already planning my first race of 2014!



Hot Cider Hustle

Official Results

Overall Place: 109/568
Age Place: 12/78
Time: 01:07:06.0
Pace: 8:23



Did you race this weekend?

Are you doing any late fall races?

Five Things Explained on Saturday

1. Yes I love Pinterest, but even more exciting…I quit my job!


Remember when I admitted that I need to make a change at the start of summer?!  Well it worked out wonderfully!  It allowed me to focus on non work related interests, like running a marathon, and spend more time with the BOY.  We adopted a kitten, and I’ve spent plenty of time getting to know him.  During this time, I also started to work a second job part time and when a full time position became available this fall, I was excited to accept it.  My last day at my current job is in two weeks, and after 5 years, it will be hard to say goodbye.  Then I will have a little time off before starting full time at my new job (which by the way cuts my commute in half) in December.



2. I worked again Friday night and after a long week, I’m feeling pretty run down.  I’m not sure if it is the physical or emotional stress (possibly both), but I was thrilled to be spending Friday night in curled up with the BOY and of course Cooper.  It worked out well since the BOY had an important test today and I was running an 8 mile race.





3. I want to do a little something for my coworkers before I go who have admitted that yes they’ll miss me, but even more, they will miss my baking.  So I headed off to target to get supplies for candies!  We now have new flannel sheets and much, much more!  Target does equal happiness!



Recycled picture, but man I HEART Target!



4. Ok, big goal ahead.  Getting to the gym!

I have been exercising and running consistently, but I really want to start lifting some heavy weights.  It does sound good when you tell your friends or coworkers that you went to the ‘Jim’ in the morning.  With my new work schedule in December, I think I can make it happen 2 mornings a week.



5. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday!

Now that we’ve passed Halloween, I am starting to get excited.  And even more so because we are heading to New York again this year!  I’m counting down the days!





BTW, if this confuses you, check out yesterday’s post!

A huge congrats to Brittany who took my challenge and knows me SO WELL…she aced it!