Sour Cream Sugar Cookies with a touch of luck…

March 13, 2018

This is one of those good ol’ local church/grange cookbook recipes; some of my favorite recipes are from those types of cookbooks! I bake every week for life group (normally) and this week I wanted to make something with the special shamrock sprinkles my mom got me. She knows I love clovers and St. Patrick’s Day! I was also whooped by the end of last night and honestly hate making cut out sugar cookies anyway… these are much easier and just as delicious. The secret ingredient: It’s the nutmeg that makes these so yummy.

Sour cream sugar cookies

1 cup butter or margarine (softened)
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tap vanilla
3/4 tsp nutmeg
Pinch of salt

Cream the butter (I use margarine) and sugar; add eggs. Them continue to combine vanilla and sour cream. Slowly add the dry ingredients and best with mixer until well combined. Drop by spoonfuls on ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle with colored sugar or candies/sprinkles. Bake at 400* for 10-12 minutes. Makes 4-5 dozen.


Don’t miss out…

March 10, 2018

It’s the runs you don’t feel like taking, or the days you don’t feel like getting out of bed, that end of being the best! I had one of those today. I got up and looked out the window to find an unexpected dusting of snow and more coming down; it hadn’t called for that and I was totally irritated. Where I live, I know winter is not quite over yet, but I’M so over it. I feel like I’ve been running in winter conditions for about 8 months already. It’s March and I don’t want to have to wear yaktrax anymore, especially for a long Saturday run. I actually went and got back into bed; I didn’t want to get up at 5 am on a Saturday to begin with but had to get a run in before my husband went to work. It was silly thinking I would fall back to sleep though, once I’m up – I’m up! So I laid there thinking and kind of grumbling to myself, still trying to decide if I should go or not. I hemmed and hawed and thought I could just get up early (again) tomorrow and get my long run in before church. Then it dawned on me that it was day light savings time tomorrow. Forget that…I hopped back out of bed and decided I would tough it out.
After getting ready to go and looking out at the conditions again, it had stopped snowing by then and really hadn’t amounted to much, I was going to rebel and not wear the yaktrax- I refuse this morning! Thankfully, it was the right decision, I didn’t need them especially once I left town, and the main roads were just wet. It ended up being a beautiful morning (for 24*) and one of the best runs and best paces I’ve had in about 3 weeks. Like I started out saying, it’s always those mornings when you didn’t feel like going but made yourself go anyway, that are the best! So, next time you don’t feel like going- go anyway, you don’t want to miss out!!!

Last minute…

March 7, 2018

You know what March 7th is? The day before my daughter’s birthday…this year her ‘golden birthday,’ turning 8 on the 8th! Well as she gets out of the shower and gets ready for bed, nearly 8 o’clock now, she says ‘oh yeah, mom, my teacher wanted to know if I was bringing a special treat in for my birthday tomorrow?’ Oh crap, mom fail.

I had thought of the gifts and had them prepared, plans to hang some balloons from her doorway in the morning, hope to surprise her at lunch, and of course had her special birthday dinner planned out from the list of her favorites she gave me, asking me to surprise her:

But somewhere in there I totally forgot the whole ‘send a special treat to school’ thing. Normally I try to do something super cute, creative and the school nurse in me, somewhat healthy….but at 8pm it’s going to be what do I have ingredients for and the time to make.

In opted to make M&M Blondie bars. These are not my recipe but an easy, good ol’ go-to bar cookie. Thankfully I had some pretty pastel colored M&M’s to throw in. Had them in the oven before I tucked them in, out id the oven when we were done. Goodnight! Whew, dodged a bullet there. So in case you are in need of a quick and easy cookie type dessert, try these: M&M Blondie Bars

Weather won one today…

March 2, 2018

Very rarely does the weather stop me from running. It was calling for an accumulation of snow today, but not starting til 5am. I figured I had time to get started and if I had to run in a snow storm, it wouldn’t be the first. I got up at 4am and stood and looked out the window for a solid five minutes trying to decide if I should run outside or submit to the ‘dreadmill.’ Despite the wind chimes clanging and the fact that the little snow that had started to fall already was being whipped around out there, I decided it was still a better option than the dreaded treadmill.

Fast forward 20 minutes, after I had gotten ready and was again looking out the same window, now there’s a good two inches on the ground that wasn’t there earlier!? And the snow coming down was thicker and harder to see through as it was even more blustery. Still… better than the treadmill; still going to brave it, at least it’s 32* out! 😁

Well yaktrax required obviously, but for the first time ever, they hardly helped! I should have known when two blocks into my run I had to stop and scuff my feet to get down to the pavement, to then scuff some more to get the collection of heavy wet snow off the bottom of my shoe. I continued to play this game for about 3/4 of a mile before I turned and headed back home. I could handle the wind and the snow falling or shooting directly into my eyes; I was literally running with my eyes closed at one point. But, I can’t run with what feels like snow balls the size of my fist collecting under my feet with every step. Nope, the weather won one today… I went back home to continue my run on my treadmill with my lovely view:

(I try not to look at the time…)

Although I complain about her, I am thankful I have her on the seldom days like today. 😜

Did I mention it was like 50s and beautiful out the rest of the week prior? Hopefully this counts as March coming in like a lion….out like a lamb? Ready for spring!

At least running on the treadmill means listening to a good playlist. 🎶 What do you listen to?

God knows just what we need…

February 22, 2018

Go figure, right…God thankfully knows exactly what we need and we should trust in Him and trust that His plans are greater than ours.

This past weekend we had a fun weekend trip planned with our friends, one that we had looked forward to for months! In the stressful weeks leading up to it we (my friend and I) both vented how we couldn’t wait to have a fun and relaxing weekend with our families all together. The kids were all packing and talking about the adventures we were going to have.

I had been praying for over a month that we would all be healthy and nothing would stand in our way of going as planned (and because it was already paid for as well!). I still couldn’t help this feeling in the two weeks leading up to our weekend that someone was going to be sick or something, getting in the way of this perfect weekend from happening. Well I guess, unfortunately, my gut feeling was accurate; my daughter woke up Thursday morning with a fever. Sure enough, it was the dreaded influenza.

Side note: I was obviously very concerned about her first and foremost and was sooooo thankful for all the praying and concerned family and friends we have. Her case of the flu was much shorter than it could have been! So very thankful for that and for the power of prayer!!

Unfortunately, there was still quite a sting of disappointment in our house as we realized our weekend away was not going to happen. I have to admit I didn’t deal very well with this disappointment- I felt so badly I needed this break and looked forward to just relaxing and laughing with our friends for the weekend! I was not only looking forward to time with our friends but a fun time together as a family and time with my hubby; he’s been so busy with work and extra obligations lately. We were also supposed to take a weekend away together as our Christmas gift to each other, but after other expenses arose we decided this trip with friends was our only trip for now. So now, no trip. In turn I was a total grump for the weekend; not a very good example, I know. It’s no fun unpacking from a trip, let alone a trip you didn’t get to go on.

However, I know it could be so much worse, it could always be worse. Thankfully my daughter wasn’t worse and so far thankfully, no one else has caught it.

It took a couple days to snap out of this pity party, grump funk I was in. I started by turning to God and admitting I was being a jerk and continued to praise Him for the restored health of our daughter! Not something to take for granted, I know! But as I knew and was reminded of by my friend, it’s ok to tell God how you feel or what’s on your heart. He cares.

Yesterday I felt really blessed and felt like God was giving me a hug through the people around me. It was just little things, but they were all so appreciated.

Started my day with my running partner, which I may have taken for granted prior to this winter, because our runs together aren’t as often due to weather, and it makes me thankful for the days we do get to run together!

Next, my hubby surprised me with a card waiting for me in the car to start my day; it was super sweet and totally unexpected, and a great, much appreciated smile to start to my day. 😊

Then, this was definitely a God thing, my secret pal at work surprised me with a random gift…and not just any gift, but a devotional book and some of my favorite chocolate candy, with a sweet little note that read ‘what goes better with chocolate than God.’ How sweet and the timing was perfect. I don’t believe in coincidences. 😉

Then to top it off, this morning I was spending time reading my devotionals, including one we are doing with our church during this current season of Lent, ‘40 Days with the Holy Spirit’ by R.T. Kendall. Today was titled The Holy Spirit Overrules and talked about times when God might overrule in your life. You may have set plans, when God in turn says, ‘nope, sorry, I have something else in mind.’ Well thankfully God has got it going on, lol. He is good, He knows more than we do, and His plans are always better.

So, 1. He knew exactly what I needed – blessed me with some extra love and pick-me-ups when He knew I needed them, and 2. For whatever reason, we weren’t supposed to go this past weekend, it’s ok, I trust it was for a good reason and I accept that His plans for me are better. (I know this was just a little hiccup/small disappointment in life compared to so many other bigger issues, but I am glad I was able to learn something from it in the end.)

God is good and He cares; tell Him what’s on your heart and trust His plans for you.

Speaking of sneakers…

February 14, 2018

Monday I mentioned I wore my sneakers to work because they make me feel good. Well, speaking of sneakers… in order for them to literally make you feel good and have happy feet, you have to make sure you are replacing them as needed. I KNOW this, but still at least once a year tend to slack on replacing them and end up with my feet screaming at me to do so! I replace my sneakers approximately every 400 miles (about 3 pairs a year). I was due for new ones around the beginning of December, but being winter time with yucky roads and often wearing my yaktracks, I decided I would wait a little while.
Well a little while turned into end of January, when I at least put it on my to-do list so it was on my radar to get it done. January turned into beginning of February, when I did shop online for some. I more often than not shop for my sneakers at a specialty athletic shoe shop approximately 2 hours away; their service is unbeatable to say the least, along with their knowledge, experience, and guarantee to fit you to the right shoe!

I have found what shoe brand/make/model works for me for the most part. It’s always ‘iffy’ in the spring when new models come out for the season; they make changes and it’s not a guarantee that they are going to fit you as well as the previous year’s model. (Did I ever mention I hate change; especially when you have a favorite running shoe! Why do they have to go and mess with it.

Anyway, I am in my third pair of the model I’m wearing now and know that I love it so I figured instead of making the 2 hour trip or calling and having them ship a pair, I’d try to find a pair on sale online first. Well I found a pair on Amazon, shipped directly from them (no third party), free shipping about a third less than what I normally pay. Easy, done, on their way! Wore them around home and work for a few days to break them in like I always do, and within 4 days my feet started to hurt. (My feet are a bit temperamental; I have to have good support or they start to hurt.) I felt like when I first put them on, they didn’t quite fit the same; they had less support or something but I wasn’t sure if it was my imagination so I gave them a try. I also had in the back of my mind a past experience from a year or two ago when I thought I’d try to save money and ordered a pair online that was a ‘good deal’ from a site I had never heard of.. big mistake. They arrived and I knew as soon as I put my foot in that they were not the right shoe, they looked identical, but the support that I buy them for was totally missing. They felt flat as a board inside! Thankfully when I called and complained that I believed they were selling ‘knock-offs’ they didn’t deny they were and quickly offered me prepaid return shipping and my money back.

So I understand a no-name site I never heard of trying to sell ‘knock-offs,’ but I expected more from Amazon? Not impressed and now I feel like I can’t trust ordering my running shoes online anymore; or at least if they are less expensive than they should be I guess.

Anyway, live and learn, and remember to replace your running shoes regularly, based on your use. It can really have an affect on your whole body- feet, hips, back, etc.

Lastly, I had a great (extra) early morning run today! Got 6 in on a Wednesday! And it was warmer and the roads were dry! Oh! And the best part, I was joined by my running buddy; sure does make the miles pass quicker!

Ps- not to knock Amazon but I tried to post a review about the shoes I had purchased and I received an email back that stated my review would not be posted due to it’s content. I guess they didn’t like what I had to say; it was just the facts. We might want to keep that in mind next time we are reading reviews before we purchase something. It may be that some of the negative reviews didn’t make the cut. 🙄🤐

What makes you feel good…

February 12, 2018

I had a bad case of the grumps yesterday. For no good reason, just felt super grumpy the second half of the day; its makes me mad at myself when I get like that, which in turn doesn’t make me any less grumpy. Lol. Thankfully today is a new day – even if it is a Monday, lol. No really, I’m ready to start the day off positive. Despite the fact I had to use the treadmill rather than running outside this morning, I was thankful to start the day with some miles …that always makes me feel better for the day!
Do you have an article of clothing or something that just makes you feel good when you wear it… maybe it’s something that makes you look pretty/feel pretty or feel good about yourself. Well I decided to wear a dress today… to look/feel pretty? No, lol! For comfort, because it means I can wear leggings to work, silly! (Ps. I think leggings are to blame for my current waist line, but we won’t go there!) Anyway, despite the fact I’m wearing a dress today, I still chose to wear my sneakers (and I don’t care if it looks dumb!)… 1. Because my feet hurt and could use the extra support, and 2. Because they make me feel good! They almost make me feel more energized, better about myself, and a good reminder that I can do this – whatever ‘this’ is on this Monday ahead of me.

Honestly, I’ve had more grumpy days lately than I’d care to admit, and many for no good reason, like yesterday. I feel miserable with myself sometimes; down, discouraged, like I’m not doing anything right. Almost always, I’ve come to the realization that it’s Satan attacking me – he likes to see me down on myself and discouraged and GRUMPY. Because when I am, I’m not praising God or doing what He has set out for me. It’s easy for me to be hard on myself and then it’s a struggle to love others around me. I read something within the last couple years that has stuck with me… You can’t love others more than you love yourself. Hmm… I’ve always struggled ‘loving myself’ but over the last couple years, my journey of growing closer to God and having a real relationship with God has definitely helped! I feel like that’s the only thing that snaps me out of my ‘grumps’ sometimes – spending some time with God, reflecting on who I am to Him and that, thankfully, He loves me no matter what…
So, to combat my ‘grumps’ and start the day (and week) off right, I often turn on my favorite Christian music and pounded the treadmill to that today. Instead of just a boring old run on the ‘dreadmill,’ I did some interval training with some elevation and speed changes – tried to switch it up a bit with hopes of boosting my calories burned! Packed a healthy salad with chicken for lunch and had a shake and lots of fluids for breakfast. Spent time thanking God for all the awesome people and things I have in my life to be thankful for. Feeling pumped with my sneaks on and ready to start the day with a positive outlook!
What makes you feel good about yourself? What’s your answer to snapping yourself out of the ‘grumps’? Do you love yourself?? Did you know God loves you no matter what? Who do you turn to when life throws the big stuff at you, more than just battling grumps, but real stuff…? Big questions, I know. If I didn’t have God in my life – I wouldn’t have the answer to these questions!

Chilly, beautiful Saturday morning…

February 3, 2018

On the colder mornings I tend to stay within a couple miles of home. It’s hard to get a longer run in when just doing so around our little town. With that being said, there’s not many places I haven’t explored and my solo in-town runs can be less than exciting. (However, I don’t need excitement if it involves skunks like earlier this week!) Today, however, I went somewhere I hadn’t been before ..but it was technically trespassing 🤐😛😊🏃 I really just wanted to check out the view…

(My local friends have probably figured it out 😜.)

Anyway, nothing too exciting this am- 9*, I only got 8 miles in- the cold wears on you. It was a beautiful morning though; and I found a lucky penny heads up in the middle of the sloppy road! All day long have good luck, right?

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Spaghetti squash’s best disguise…

February 2, 2018

Two to three times a month I make spaghetti squash; normally trying to disguise it in some semi-healthy casserole. Up until this week, our favorite has been a pizza like casserole that I came up with myself… 9×9 pan with precooked spaghetti squash, browned ground turkey, pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and turkey pepperoni, yum! Well, I had intentions of making that this week but then last minute changed my mind. I had some cooked chicken breast to use up and I was hungry for the buffalo chicken pasta dish that I make and my family loves. (You can find that recipe here.) Who doesn’t love buffalo chicken dip? Who wouldn’t want an excuse to eat that for dinner? Well picture chicken wing dip marries penne pasta and ta-da – a dinner everyone loves! (Thankfully my kids like a little spice!) So, you see where I’m headed; it occurred to me, why not use the spaghetti squash in place of the pasta for the chicken wing pasta recipe!?! It was a winner!

My kids, who overhear us watching ‘Chopped’ sometimes, have recently been acting as judges at the dinner table (🙄😗), well my little judges tonight gave it two thumbs up and ‘a million stars.’ 😁 We all agreed this was our favorite spaghetti squash disguise so far!

Sorry there’s no pictures- I didn’t expect to blog about it and there wasn’t much left to photograph! That’s gotta say something, right? 😀

Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti Squash
(Inspired by

2 cups shredded chicken
8 oz cream cheese (I used reduced fat)
1/3 cup buffalo sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup light ranch (or blue cheese)
1 large or 2 small, pre-cooked\prepared spaghetti squash

Melt the cream cheese along with the buffalo sauce and chicken broth in a large skillet over medium heat. Whisk until melted, creamy, and all incorporated. Add spices and combine to stir. Stir in the ranch dressing, then add chicken. Allow to simmer for about 5-10 minutes. Then add the spaghetti squash and simmer until heated through, approximately another 10 minutes. Enjoy!

How do you cook your spaghetti squash? I know many who cut in half and roast. I’ve found this leaves a lot of unwanted extra moisture; no one wants a soggy casserole. I’ve found my favorite way to roast it is to cut it as shown below (thank you pinterest!), roast on a pan @400* for about an hour. Cool and shred/pull apart from outer rind. Super easy. I usually do this the day before, then my spaghetti squash casserole is a much faster/easier dinner the following night.

Add a little zest to your Oatmeal Cookies…

oatmeal craisin

January 29, 2018

I’ve been meaning to share this recipe since Christmas; I guess it takes a day of being sick on the couch with a nasty sinus cold for me to make time to do so! This is an original recipe of my own, as I wanted to put a holiday twist on the normal oatmeal cookie.  I guess orange zest and craisins wouldn’t have to mean holidays; you could make this cookie anytime your little heart desires!  Enjoy!

oatmeal craisin1

Oatmeal Craisin Cookies with a touch of Orange
1 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
3/ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda dissolved in 1/2 cup milk
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup craisins (dried cranberries)
Zest from 1 large orange
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Cream the shortening and sugars, then add the eggs. Then add the dry ingredients; before completely combined, I then add the baking soda dissolved in milk. Lastly, stir in the craisins, orange zest, and nuts (if desired). Bake at 350* for 10-12 minutes. I remove mine just before they appear done (still moist appearance), to avoid a hard crunchy cookie.


oatmeal craisin2