Dancing for Food

Overcoming the ballet body image.

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I’ve had a lot of breakdowns lately.  I had one on my birthday which was super fun.  I had one on Monday night, presumably because of the emotional stress when Grandma passed away on Sunday.  Then I had another one last night.

We’ve been receiving a lot of news lately, some bad, some normal but annoying (money), and some good.  But all together it’s a lot to take in in a short amount of time.  The breakdown happened when I was trying to sleep.

Having all that stuff in my head was just a lot to handle.  As I tried to sleep, my brain wouldn’t turn off.  As it was, I was already going to bed later than I should have.  And then my brain did that thing where it won’t turn off and you start freaking out about the fact that you can’t sleep.  And then you really can’t sleep.

It’s fun times.

Oh yeah, the breakdown.  Well, as I was lying there trying to fall asleep and freaking out about how I couldn’t sleep, I also noticed that I could feel my heart racing in my ears.  Yes, in my ears.  And feel it sort of pounding.  It was kind of scary.

After at least half an of heart pounding, I finally broke down and woke Mat up.  I didn’t want to because he has trouble sleeping as it is sometimes, but I felt so alone and freaked that I just needed him.  Luckily I have the best husband in the world and he stayed up with me, comforted me, and let me cry.

Because boy, did I cry.  I bawled and bawled, and my breathing was all gaspy.  I just couldn’t calm down.  I’m pretty sure it was some form of an anxiety attack.

I eventually did fall asleep, probably around 1 am, and woke up to my original alarm at 5.  Mat said I wasn’t allowed to go for a run and to try and sleep another hour.  I didn’t really because my brain clicked back on, and I ended up getting up at 5:45.

The work day dragged on like you wouldn’t believe (I had to go to a dance collaboration meeting all day and then go back for the Halloween carnival because the dance kids were selling pizza).  And then I finally got home and got to eat this:

Baked potato soup with veggie bacon, adapted from here.

I also had a couple pumpkin spice cake balls.  And Halloween candy.  Obviously.  We didn’t go to CrossFit tonight (again) because of my not sleeping and Mat’s hurt heel, so I’m basically eating a bunch of junk on a non-workout day.  Oh well.  Calories don’t count on Halloween, right?

I’m planning to do my missed run tomorrow morning.  Assuming I get some sleep tonight…


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My Oregon Foodie Penpal

This month, I participated in the foodie penpal program that Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean runs.  I first heard about it from an email announcement from Healthy Living Blogs.  Basically, you sign up on Lindsay’s site and you’re paired with someone else in the US (or Canada, or the UK, if that’s where you live).  She sends out a massive spreadsheet listing the person you’re sending a foodie gift to.  You receive a foodie gift from from a completely different person which means that you get to meet two new bloggers.  There’s a $15 limit so you’re not spending tons of money.  I think it’s an awesome concept and was so excited to participate!  Here’s a rundown of what I got and who I got it from.  🙂

I received my box from Sarah at Will Run For Pasta.  She sent some awesomely yummy things from Oregon for me to try.  Here’s  what was in the box:


Everything except the peanut butter was direct from Oregon.  I’m not gonna lie, the peanut butter was the first thing I saw and my jaw dropped to the floor.  Or actually the couch because I was sitting on it while opening the box, but whatever.  Same thing.

The peanut butter was the first thing I tried and OMG.  Delicious.  I told my husband he had to stay away from it which resulted in pouting.  We’re both peanut butter fiends – we go through a Costco sized jar almost every week.  So far I don’t think he’s had any of it except once to taste.  I’ve been eating it pretty slowly too because I want it to last.  I’ve had it with apples, muffins, and smeared on a little piece of bread as a post run snack.  It’s amazing.  I have big plans for some delicious overnight oats when the jar is almost empty.  🙂

Ok, so on to that sea salt caramel thing.  Another OMG. Delicious.  I took a bite and I think my eyes rolled back in my head.  It was tons of caramel which I adore.  I had a couple, as did Mat, and have been slowly eating the rest.

Fruit bars?  Always delicious.  I love when you can’t tell that something is gluten free and it tastes the same as anything else.  Mat is more of a tea drinker than I am, but I certainly enjoy a nice cup of tea to relax me.

Oh yeah, and Harry and David jam?  Um, yes please!  I love me some Harry and David anything!

One of the best things about the foodie penpal program, besides having a foodie present, is the chance to meet more people.  From meeting Sarah and reading her blog, I discovered Online Blog Con and was able to sign up in the nick of time before registration ended.  As you can see from my sidebar, I attended!  I learned SO much. So much that I can’t even imagine how to review it properly.  I still haven’t had a lot of time to really put what I learned to use.  Having a full time job that keeps me away from home from 7 am until sometimes 6 pm makes it hard to devote as much time as I’d like to my blog.  But, slowly but surely wins the race, right?

So in short, if you’ve never heard of Lindsay’s foodie penpal program, go check it out!  And sign up!  You don’t have to write your own blog to participate either; you can be a blog reader.  It’s super fun and a great way to network and meet other like-minded individuals.  Go for it!

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This post is for Grandma.  I know she’s watching me write this from Heaven and I hope she’s smiling.

Grandma passed away on Sunday.  My mom, my aunt, my dad, my sister, and my husband were all there.  She had been sick for a long time, and we knew the end was near.  She had developed another infection two weeks earlier and as the days went on it became pretty clear what was happening.

On Sunday, we had planned to go to church with my parents and then go visit her.  We ended up skipping church and going straight to the nursing home because she wasn’t doing well at all.

We got there a little after 8 am.  We sat by her bed, my mom and aunt talked to her, and our pastor came by and prayed with us.  An hour after he left, she took her last breath.

I love you Grandma.  I know you’re in a better place now.


Pumpkin Spice Cake Pops (Without the Pops)

Today I made pumpkin spice cake pops. Without the pops. Basically they were cake pops just not on the lollipop stick. I randomly got the idea the other day to make these and this time actually put that idea into action!

I started with a box of yellow cake mix, a can of cream cheese frosting, a can of pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice.

We love all things Trader Joe’s. Which makes sense since Mat works there.

I made the batter using 1/2 cup of pumpkin instead of oil and added 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice.


It went into a 9 x 13 pan and into the oven at 325 for 28 minutes.



Once it was done, I let it cool completely. I even put it in the fridge for a while to make sure it cooled down all the way.

To make the frosting, I combined a little over half of the can of cream cheese frosting with about 1/3 cup of pumpkin.


Then, all that gooey deliciousness got mixed with the cake. I mixed it all up with my hands to make sure the frosting got completely incorporated with the cake. I also added a little more pumpkin pie spice at this point because after taste testing Mat and I both determined it needed a little more spice to it.


It was then time to form the cake/frosting mixture into balls. I tend to make mine on the bigger side, but you can do them any size you want.


The cake balls went into the freezer to set for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, I started making the candy coating. I used almond bark and red and yellow food coloring to make an orange coating. (The store didn’t have orange food coloring so I had to get creative). I followed what the box said and did 12 drops yellow with 4 drops red. I wasn’t satisfied with that orange, so I did 12 more yellow and 4 more red.



Once the balls were set, I dipped them all in the orange coating. It was a bit time-consuming (this is the one time where I started to wish I’d done the pops version because you can hold them on the little stick) but it worked. The last few looked weird because the cake was starting to warm and the coating was not as runny, but we just ate those first. 🙂





See the ones on the left? They’re all wonky. 🙂

Last but not least, I drizzled them all with melted chocolate.



Halloween perfection!

Now go make these. Seriously. Do it.



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Halloween Candy

“What is your favourite Halloween candy to receive?”

This is a post from NaBloPoMo that I can write because I love chocolate.  I don’t receive Halloween candy anymore of course because I’m not a kid, but I will say that there are many types of candy that I love.  Give me Reese’s, Snickers, Milky Way (especially dark OMG), or Twix and I’m a happy girl.  The other day at Target Mat and I totally bought Halloween candy even though we probably won’t be getting any trick or treaters in our complex.


That’s just a small sample of the candy we have.  I may take some to school later this week.  Or not.  It’s entirely possible that we’ll end up eating all of the candy ourselves over the next (hopefully) several months.

I really don’t eat candy like this at all, but every once and a while I really enjoy it.  It’s not surprising that the craving strikes around Halloween.  🙂  As long as I don’t go too crazy, bring on the candy!

Mmmm sugar high!!!!  😀

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LONG-Awaited Date Night

Tonight Mat and I had our first date night since July.  Yes, July.  Unless you count going to Corner Bakery randomly on a Friday night a month ago, it really has been that long since we had a night to ourselves.  There have been weddings, wedding related activities, and birthdays every weekend for the past two months.  None of those things are bad, but it’s so important to have date nights every once and a while.  You don’t realize just how important they are until you finally get one.

It started with a trip to the pumpkin patch.  There’s a really awesome pumpkin patch just 10 minutes from home.  It’s almost like going to Riley’s Farm but cheaper and easier.  It was pretty hot (we’re having ANOTHER heat wave) so we didn’t stay long, but it was still fun. We even got a picture with one of the scarecrows.  🙂







Isn’t that sky gorgeous?  We picked out a nice big pumpkin to take home.  We’re thinking we’re going to be extra festive for Halloween and actually carve it!  Or it’s also possible we’ll be lazy and not carve it and just leave it out for decoration until Thanksgiving.  We’ll see. 🙂

Since it was so warm and we didn’t stay nearly as long as we might have had it been actually fall weather, we decided to drop the pumpkin at home.  I also wanted to get the coupon I had clipped for cake mix and frosting since I’m planning to make pumpkin cake pops tomorrow.  I have a bit of a busy morning, but I’m still hoping/planning to do a little experimenting in the kitchen.  Cross your fingers it goes well!  I’ll have a post up about it in the next day or two.

After our random Target run for cake mix and candy (shh…it’s Halloween time.  Candy is totally legal) it was dinnertime!

We had a 5:30 reservation at The Melting Pot.  We’ve been there once before and remembered that it takes quite a while to eat so we opted for an earlier dinner.  We’re total homebodies who fall asleep by 11 and we wanted to watch a movie at home.

If you’ve never been to The Melting Pot, GO!  It’s not cheap (we had a gift card from our wedding that covered a good chunk of it – thanks Sarah!) but it’s definitely worth it if you want a nice dinner out.  The best way to go, at least in our opinions, is to get the four course meal.  It’s priced per couple and includes cheese fondue, salad, entree, and chocolate fondue for dessert.  At $82 per couple, it’s actually not TOO bad when you consider what you get.

We both started with a glass of wine.  Mat had a pinot noir and I had a white wine blend that I can’t remember the name of.  It was slightly sweet with a dry finish.


We chose the traditional Swiss cheese fondue as our first course.  It had a couple different cheeses in it along with white wine, garlic, lemon, nutmeg, and some sort of alcohol that was drizzled around the edge.  It came with bread, apple, and veggies for dipping.



For the second course, we both chose the house salad.  Mine was with the house dressing (kind of a honey mustard but without the mustard) and Mat had the peppercorn ranch.


For our entree, we had salmon, mahi mahi, regular shrimp, cajun shrimp, and potstickers along with vegetables.  We cooked it ourselves in a Caribbean inspired broth with orange and lime juices.  Delicious!



There were 5 different dipping sauces: teriyaki, something similar to sweet and sour, yogurt-based curry, bleu cheese, and The Melting Pot’s own green goddess dip – a blend of sour cream, cream cheese, chives, parsley, and I think something else that I can’t remember.  Whatever it was, it was yummy!


And of course, you can’t forget the chocolate fondue.  We chose the cookies and cream marshmallow one.  It was dark chocolate with flambeed marshmallow cream and crushed Oreos on top.  It came with all sorts of goodies to dip.  I licked the bowl clean finished the last few bites with the spoon and promptly was over the top full.  But oh so happy.



And at that point, I definitely had to roll out.  As I was waiting for the pictures to upload, I was browsing Pinterest and saw this:


It was captioned “too full to stand up – I know the feeling.”  And yes, I know the feeling.

Date night is continuing at home with this that we bought on our random Target run:


I’ve been wanting to watch this for a while now and have been wanting to get it too.  I love these kind of animated movies on blu-ray, and I also just love the “IT’S SO FLUFFY!!!!” part.  But don’t we all?

This was the perfect date night.  It’s a lovely combination of going out and staying in.  I hope we can do it again soon – at least sooner than three months!

How was your Saturday night?

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No Pain, No Gain?

I ran this morning.  10 miles.  The morning after my third CrossFit class.  Am I crazy?  Probably.

I actually didn’t feel too bad during the run.  I was naturally a little tired at first and my legs felt heavy, but I just reminded myself to take it nice and easy and not push myself.  I’ve also been trying to remind myself during runs to run for ME and use the time to let my mind wander.

It sort of wandered.  I was listening to mostly Taylor Swift (yay new Red album!) along with some other country/good workout music.  I got up at 7 and started running probably around 7:45.  I had to go back in to get my sunglasses because the sun was very bright this morning.  Fortunately, the air was nice and cool the whole time.  I finished around 9:20.  I really need to get a Garmin.  I always guess on how long a run takes me.

I had a graham cracker with peanut butter before the run and a protein shake (protein powder and milk) when I got back.  I also stretched and foam rolled for a while because I knew I’d need it.  No pain, no gain, right?  Between CrossFit and running, I better be stronger in a few weeks than I am now!  When our month of CrossFit is up, we’ll see what we do.  I might just do my own strength training.  As awesome as CrossFit is, it’s obviously very expensive.

Once I was all stretched, rolled, and fed with protein, I cleaned like crazy.  Lately I’ve been on a total cleaning kick right after a run.  It feels so good to just get it done and get the laundry started before I shower (you’re going to get icky while you clean so why bother showering first?).  When Mat gets home he cleans the bathroom (the one chore I asked that he do – I’m cool with everything else) and then the rest of the weekend we live in a clean place.  It’s lovely.  🙂

Here’s my fun fall themed TV stand.  Along with the Ironman world championships that are on NBC.  🙂


Ok, that was actually a commercial.  Whoops, my bad.

My real meal after all the cleaning was done and I finally showered (isn’t it just so satisfying to take a shower – and shave your stubbly legs, oops – after a good workout and cleaning session?  No?  Ok, I’m weird) was overnight oats and fruit.  I had a banana and a few strawberries and I gobbled before snapping a pic.


In the jar:

  • peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup organic pumpkin
  • handful chocolate chips
  • milk
  • pumpkin pie spice
  • granola (added before eating)

I shook it all together when I made it last night so the spice would mix better.  I wasn’t sure what it was going to taste like, but it was actually really good!  I’ve made overnight oats with pumpkin before, but never thought to put the pumpkin pie spice in it.  Lesson learned: it’s way better with the spice!

So this Ironman championship.  Holy crap these people are amazing.  I’m running my first marathon ever in March and I thought that was an accomplishment.  This guy on here has won the Ironman 5 times?!?!  They probably feel super relieved to be off the bike and into the run because they ONLY have a marathon left.  Oy.  And I thought I was in shape…

Sorry if this was a rambly post.  I just had so many little things to say!  Mat and I have date night tonight – we’re going to the pumpkin patch and then using a gift card for The Melting Pot for dinner.  We haven’t had date night since JULY.