One Lucky Mama

The perfect Mother’s Day weekend…

On Saturday we went to Bode’s swim lessons and then for a family 3.5 mile run around a nearby lake. The weather was so beautiful which made for a very enjoyable run. I am very excited to get back into running shape. I want to add a half mile on to each week and build up my endurance slowly but surely!

After our run we went and got our BOGO Caribou coffee. They offered BOGO on both May 9th and 10th so of course I had to take them up on that offer both days!

Hubby made us some BLT’s for lunch!

blt

Bode and I watched Dana mow the yard. Bode really liked watching him walk back and forth!

For dinner we grilled up some steaks from our local co-op, red potatoes with onions, and broccoli. Seriously so good. BTW right now I have a little man grabbing at the computer so I need to hurry this post up!

steak

On Mother’s Day (Sunday), Dana got me Caribou and doughnuts in the morning while I was feeding the baby! Have I mentioned how much I now love doughnuts? It all started during pregnancy and it’s a love that hasn’t left. That and burgers!

caribou coffee and doughnut

I was royally spoiled by my family. It’s fun being a mama on Mother’s Day!! Have you all tried the strawberry shortcake Larabars? I am super excited to try them!

Mothers day treats

Sunday night we celebrated my dad’s birthday along with Mother’s Day and I made one of my “famous” ice cream cakes! Caramel chocolate ice cream, Oreos and hot fudge in the center, topped with more ice cream, Oreos and sprinkles of course! So pretty and very tasty! All for under $10!

ice cream cake

The festivities continued into Monday…just how I like it! We celebrated with Dana’s parents and had pizza and pie!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I am one lucky mama.

I am linking up with Becky today!

My KIND of Giveaway!

So here’s what happened…I wrote up this post on Friday to link up with Katie’s Friday Favorites but neglected to post it. I realize it’s now Monday but you know what? I’m still going to post because there is a serious treat at the end of the post!

My “Monday” Favs:

1. My family. My family is ALWAYS on my favorite list because they are incredible day in and day out.

2. My first postpartum outdoor run. On Thursday, I bundled up and hit the pavement for a 2.25 mile run! I was kind of nervous about it because I hadn’t run for over a year and I was afraid I would be disappointed with how out of shape I am, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well it went! Moose was my motivator through it all. Plus, the frigid wind got me running faster too—it got me home faster! To think that this run was about 30 degrees warmer than this one…

Polar Dash 2013

dana and melanie polar dash 2013

I have some toughening up to do!

3. Supportive moms.

4. Caribou Coffee. K, so really this may be a least favorite to my wallet, but a favorite to my tummy and to-do list. So delicious. I’ve actually informally vowed to myself not to buy any signature ($5) drinks from any coffee shops for the whole month of February.

caribou

5. The KIND Snacks company for sending me these delicious bars! They are the perfect on-the-go snack.

KINDLogo_Pantone_Pos

kind snacks

They sent me:

  • Kind Fruit and Nut bars: whole nut and fruit bars
  • Kind Plus bars: whole nut and fruit bars plus a nutritional boost
  • Kind Nuts and Spices: made with whole nuts flavored with delicious spices
  • Kind Healthy Grain bars: granola bars made with five super grains: Gluten Free Oats, Millet, Quinoa, Amaranth and Buckwheat

Talk about spoiling me, right?!

What I love about these products is that I can pronounce all of the ingredients and they are absolutely delicious and healthy.

And you know what else I love about them?! They are offering all of you 15% off and free shipping on a case of KIND using the code KINDNUTRITION! You have the entire month of February to use it (limit one per customer)!! Don’t miss out on this!

And if that weren’t enough, they are also going to give away a prize pack of 10 BARS to one of my Beautifully Nutty readers!

kind bar

Enter to win by :

1. Like Beautifully Nutty on Facebook

and/or

2. Tweet “I want to win @KINDSnacks from @NuttyMelanie! http://www.beautifullynutty.com/kind-giveaway/”

Do both for two chances to win! Just make sure you comment on this post telling me what you did! 

You have until Thursday, February 5th to enter. On Friday I will randomly select one winner!

Have fun, be KIND!

Disclaimer: I received free products from KIND but all opinions expressed on the products are 100% my own!

Traditions: Bells and Lights

Happy Christmas Eve Eve! I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend. How ’bout a quick little recap for you all?!

On Friday, we bundled up and rang the bells for the Salvation Army. We were thrilled to tell everyone that their donations would be matched on Friday and Saturday all across Minnesota and North Dakota!  To donate to the Salvation Army, you can click over here: Salvation Army.

dana and melanie christmas gear

Bell ringing was followed by Chinese take-out. I can’t remember the last time we ordered Chinese food but it was just as good as I remembered. Nice and salty. 🙂

chinese food for dinner

There was lots of gift wrapping, Christmas music, dancing, and a little cleaning happening around our house this weekend.

Saturday night we grilled up top sirloin and then headed out to look at Christmas lights in the neighborhood.

steak broccoli christmas lights christmas lights

We made a stop at Dairy Queen for a double fudge cookie dough blizzard for me and the seasonal mint one for Dana, just as we always do when we go looking at lights. I love traditions. 🙂

And I treated myself to a couple of cups of insanely priced peppermint mocha and turtle lattes on Friday and Sunday!

coffee

Again, another tradition of the holiday season. So worth it.

Today is my last day of work for the week and I am so anxious for the Christmas festivities to continue!

Happy day my friends.

Sweet Friends, Decadent Desserts, and Free Wine

Hi my friends! I don’t usually post on Sundays but I have had such an amazing last couple of days and I can’t wait to fill you in. Does the post title intrigue you?

On Friday I got dolled up after work for a friend’s wedding. I was so happy that the weather actually held up and ended up being beautiful and partly sunny when the evening rolled around.

wedding ready

My hair actually looks pretty long in that photo. It’s hard to believe I had about five inches chopped off of it! I’m starting to like the cut more and more.

On Saturday morning, Dana, Moose, and I hit the neighborhood for a five-mile run. This was our test run to determine if we were ready to run in a 10k next weekend. Well guess what? We passed our test. The run went pretty well and we have officially decided to run in a 10k next Saturday! The registration is complete so there is no turning back now.

Next on the agenda was a meet-up with Becky and Katie, a couple of my fellow blogger friends. We met at a local Caribou coffee where we sipped on our coffee, chatted about life, new adventures, and of course, our blogs. There is so much to know and learn about blogging and it is so incredibly nice to have friends to bounce ideas off of.

coffee with blends

I have a few new projects I would like to work on with the blog this upcoming week. The girls definitely got the wheels spinning with some great ideas!

Our date continued at Patisserie 46 off of Grand in Minneapolis. They are well known for beautiful desserts, fresh bread and pastries, ice cream, but they also offer savory menu options like pizza, quiche, cheese plate, and paninis.

I pretty much freaked when I walked in this place. Cue the angelic music.

patisserie 46

Yes, these are all real and edible. Isn’t it unbelievable?

patisserie 46

We all snapped photos, drooled over the decadent beauties, and contemplated our dessert decisions for what seemed like eternity.

I decided on the “Rory” which is caramel mousse, vanilla cream, sable breton (don’t ask me what that is), salted caramel, and pecan nougatine. Sounds pretty fancy, right?

patisserie 46

It was a work of art…almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

patisserie 46

I savored every bite of it’s decadence. It was creamy and caramely and just sooooo good. I also bought a peanut butter and chocolate chunk cookie home to share with Dana. It was pretty good, but not as good as the Rory.

The main reason we went to Patisserie 46 was to meet up with the wonderful Teresa, who is one of the owners of Famiglia Meschini wines. This family-owned company manages a vineyard in Mendoza, Argentina which is where Teresa’s husband, Eugenio is from. He grew up in a wine-making family, and his passion for wine only progressed over the years. Teresa is equally passionate. Eugenio, along with Teresa, their family and other extended family members, own and run this growing business.

To read more about the family and their story, check it out here: Famiglia Meschini.

Teresa brought four different wines for us to divide among ourselves and taste. She also mentioned getting together again in the future to do more of a complete taste testing. We were all about that idea! We were all excited to meet her, hear about the wine and her company, and of course, we were all happy to get free wine!

Teresa FM wine

FM wine with blends

***Love these girls!***

After our sugar rush, we parted ways…

I’m not one to have a drink very often, but when I do, it’s almost always a glass of red wine, so I made sure to take one of the reds home to try. The one I got was the Pinot Noir which is made from grapes from Chile (they work with another vineyard in Chile).

FM wine

Dana and I had a quiet night on Saturday so we decided to crack open the bottle while we played an exciting game of Yahtzee. We have pretty crazy Saturday evenings. 🙂

FM wine

FM wine

yahtzee

We both enjoyed the Pinot Noir. It isn’t usually our first choice of reds (we usually go the cab sauv route or red zin), but this was a very pleasant, subtle, and smooth wine and we both liked it quite a bit.

I am excited to try some of the other blends too! If you’re local and what to try some of this lovely wine for yourself, you can click here to find a store nearest to you: Wine Locator.

(In case you were wondering, I beat Dana in Yahtzee). 😉

It was an absolutely fantastic Saturday!

Thank you Teresa for meeting up with us! Can’t wait to work with you again in the future, and ladies, can’t wait to see you again!

10K Training Plan & Other Fitness Challenges

Hello world! The weekend came and went as fast as I can say Happy Holidays. The holidays are now in full swing. We had an annual holiday party with our friends on Saturday which was a blast. I gave the camera a rest for the night however so you’ll just have to take my word that it was a great party full of lots of laughs, great food, and great friends.

The last time we caught up was on Friday, so it’s time to play catch up from Friday night, Saturday and Sunday. So here we go!

Friday Night

On Friday we went over to my mom and dad’s (and Kev too) to watch our wedding video with them. We laughed, some of us teared up, and really enjoyed reliving the memories of our wedding day together.

Mom made us gluten-free spaghetti noodles with red sauce that had italian sausage, mushrooms, onions and spinach. It tasted SO good and I could not tell the difference in taste or texture between gluten-free and ordinary pasta. We also had a side salad—can’t forget about the greens!

Saturday

I had my standard pre-run breakfast of banana and peanut butter before Dana, Moose, and I hit the road for a 3.5 mile run.

The training plan for our 10K on January 1st is such:

  • Mon: cross-training and/or strength train
  • Tues: 3 mile run
  • Wed: cross-train and/or strength
  • Thurs: 2 mile run
  • Fri: rest or cross-train
  • Sat: week 1—3.5 mile run; week 2—4.5 mile; week 3—5.5 mile; week 4—6.6 mile; rest or short run; then the 10K!
  • Sun: rest or cross-train

The weather has been pretty unpredictable around here. On Saturday morning the temperature was around mid to upper 30’s and now this morning the thermometer says it’s 49º F outside! It’s supposed to drop down again later in the week but I am loving the warm for as long as I can get it.

After our run we made a stop at Caribou Coffee for their BOGO 20¢ deal. We treated ourselves to the Light Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Mocha. That was the same one I got in Atlanta and once again, it was like taking a bite of dessert each time I took a sip. Amazing.

We continued our journey over to Minneapolis to pick-up our bibs and race gear for the 10K for early packet pickup.

We even got to meet a local meteorologist, Ken Barlow, who was volunteering at the pick up! As you can see in the photo I was a tad bit excited about it.

Once we arrived home I made myself a simple fall salad with mixed greens, pear, feta cheese, walnuts, and poppy-seed dressing.

After some food prep, and errands, we said good-bye to the pooch and headed out to the holiday party for the evening.

Sunday

Brunch: sautéed onion with chili beans topped with cheese, a runny egg, tomatoes, and avocado. Outstanding.

Next on the agenda was flipping through the Sunday paper, coupon cutting, vegging on the couch, and watching the Vikings lose.

I managed to get myself on the treadmill for 35 minutes while I watched Elf on ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas. I also completed some reps for a current challenge I’m participating in…

Courtney of Sweet Tooth Sweet Life is hosting a 2012 Closeout Workout Challenge. The challenge is to complete 2012 reps of exercises of your choice by the end of 2012. After day 2 I have 1,837 reps to go. I figure it’s worth a shot, even if I don’t reach 2012, I was still doing extra activities daily that I wouldn’t normally do. It’s a great motivator for me to do more strength activities.

Dinner: Broccoli salad (recipe to come most likely) and mixed greens with leftover beans from the morning, avocado, and honey mustard dressing.

If you can’t tell I was trying to veggie load yesterday. I didn’t get much sleep on Saturday night so I was trying to energize my body with good foods versus falling into the ever-so-easy slump of eating not so good food choices when feeling tired. Sleep, activity, and food choices are all very related. It’s important to keep all three aspects in check in order to stay healthy.

I’m going to end the post here because it has gotten random enough and I was able to condense this weekend to a manageable length post. I hope you are all having a fine Monday. Catch up with you soon!

 

 

Birthday in Atlanta

I had the most amazing weekend in Atlanta celebrating my 27th birthday with great friends. I have lots of photos to share so I am going to get right to it.

Friday

I made it a priority to go to Caribou Coffee and get my free birthday coffee. I chose a light salted caramel mocha and HOLY COW, it was sooo good. It was like taking a bite of dessert each time I took a sip.

We took our coffees to Piedmont Park which is like walking in a dream for me. The park is huge, the leaves are all turning colors, it is very fitness friendly with fitness stations set up throughout the park, I have a free coffee in hand and am walking with Dana and my girls. Dream. Love.

Kate, Me, and Heidi at Piedmont Park

Three little monkeys sittin’ in a tree…

The views were gorgeous everywhere you looked. Combine that with friends who humor me by posing for photos throughout the weekend and you have yourself some great pics. 😉 They love it.

Later in the afternoon we went to Olympic Park which held the 1996 Summer Olympics—woop woop Kerri Strug and Dominique Moceanu. The park was decorated for the holidays so we took full advantage of the photo opps.

Next we made a spontaneous decision to visit the Georgia Aquarium which is the world’s largest aquarium. We went an hour before they were going to close and only had to pay half price for tickets. SCORE! This place was incredible. I especially loved the whale shark and dolphins.

 

For dinner Friday night we went to JCT Kitchen and Bar. We sat on the “rooftop” patio outside under heat lamps. The evenings cooled down to about 50° F, but sitting under the heat lamps kept us nice and warm. I enjoyed being outside while we ate. They had live music too!

I order the “Day Boat Fish of the Moment” with creamy cauliflower, brussels sprouts, toasted hazelnuts, and lemon vinaigrette. I couldn’t tell you for a million dollars what the name of the fish was that I ate. It was very tasty though; mild and not fishy tasting. Right up my alley.

Dessert=amazing. Chocolate stuffed pastries of some sort with ice cream and a birthday message written on the plate?! Yes please.

The red lights from the heat lamp made for some snazzy glamour shots.

After dinner we walked over to a bar across the street that had ski-ball, bocci ball and a fun laid-back atmosphere. We spent a couple of hours competing in ski-ball (Heids was the champ) and Dana and Heidi dominated in a game of bocce against a couple of Atlantans (is that a word?).

Saturday

We finally got ready and out of the house by noon the next day. It wasn’t that we weren’t up until then because we definitely were, we were just all feeling a little too lazy to get moving very quickly.

The girls parked over at Piedmont Park to go for a little walk before meeting the guys for lunch at the Park Tavern. We sat outside while we ate and enjoyed the sun and people watching in the park.

Dana and I split an order of edamame and a crab cake salad with avocado dressing. It wasn’t until we were all done eating our seafood lunches that someone made the comment about how it is ironic that we ate fish last night and today after visiting the aquarium yesterday. Womp wompppp.

It was once again a beautiful day. I was happy to be back at Piedmont Park again. I could spend hours there. We were going to go check out another park in the area but decided against it since we were all feeling extraordinarily lethargic. We went home instead to rest up instead so we could enjoy our last night together.

For dinner on our last night we went to a restaurant called Seasons 52 Fresh Grill aka one of my new favorite restaurants. Their menu is full of seasonally inspired dishes and nothing on their menu is over 475 calories!

We ordered the ceviche appetizer to split. In it was cooked shrimp and scallops (again with the seafood), pineapple, cilantro, lime, and a bit of pico de gallo type mix. Oh my goodness this stuff rocked my socks off.

For dinner I chose the Autumn Vegetarian Tasting which included “grains of life” (a quinoa salad), a soft taco with black beans, chili relleno, brussels sprouts, cedar roasted tofu with  mango chutney, and butternut squash with a sweet maple glaze.

I really enjoyed this sample platter. My favorite was the taco and the salad. Nummy!

And as if the meal couldn’t get any better, our waiter brings us out a complimentary dessert shooter mix. BTW if you go to Seasons 52 our waiter was Kason and he was awesome. There were nine different shooters each filled with a different dessert: pumpkin pie, pecan pie, s’more, peanut butter chocolate, berry something, raspberry cheesecake, key lime pie, and two more that I can’t remember. It doesn’t matter because all you need to know is that they were all fabulous. We all shared the desserts and polished them off in no time.

We called it an early night knowing we would be getting up early the next day to catch a flight back to Minnie.

What an incredible way to celebrate my birthday. A girl could get use to that. I had such a blast in Atlanta, and again thank you to our sweet hosts Kate and Luke for letting us stay with them. Can’t wait to see you again soon!

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I am happy to be back home and I am getting ready to host my first ever Thanksgiving meal on Thursday. Yikes! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are having a good start to your week. Catch up with you soon.

 

Turkey Meatloaf, Veggie Loaded

I had such a productive weekend I feel like a new woman today. I need to do some catching up from Saturday’s dinner, but I am going to start with Sunday morning first. Excuse me as I jump around throughout the post. Jump, jump everybody jump!

Sunday Morning

It was my last chance for the week to get my yoga on in order to meet my October Yoga Challenge, so first thing in the morning I headed to the living room to set up. The routine before a yoga session is to push all of the furniture aside, get Moose’s toys off of the carpet, and vacuum the area. I love our pup but he sheds like a maniac so vacuuming often is necessary in our house.

I turned the heat up in the house to create a “hot yoga” atmosphere, and got moving to yoga OnDemand. This particular session focused on jump kick-backs aka burpees.

It was a 22-minute session and it really got me sweating! I guess that could have been because I cranked the heat up too. Either way, I was still sweating. I got in my weekly session and it felt SUPER once again.

After yoga, Dana and I took a trip to Caribou Coffee to get our BOGO on. First, yoga, then BOGO. I am still trying to be careful with dairy in my diet so I ordered a french roast with sugar-free hazelnut. I did put a touch of cream in my coffee when I got home. I love the creamy smoothness that cream adds to the coffee. As much as I’ve tried to switch to almond milk, or no milk, or no cream, I just don’t enjoy it as much as I do with the cream. So, I’m sticking with it. It’s my special treat in the morning.

To go along with my coffee I made myself some breakfast: a smoothie with blueberry, strawberry, banana, almond milk, crushed ice, and a tablespoon of hemp protein powder. Fabulous.

Now to recap the weekend’s events…

Saturday was an incredibly productive day. After getting organized at work on Thursday, then seeing a guest on Rachael Ray’s Show demonstrating how to organize your home in no time, I was inspired to tackle my own home.

Throughout the weekend, Dana and I organized: the front closet, the kitchen cabinets, my desk, my closet, the guest room closet, and the dining room cabinets. Not bad right? We also went crazy on the backyard and cut down all of the plants for the winter. Sort of bittersweet.

It’s amazing how good you feel after getting your house reorganized. Now, to keep it that way.

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Now, reverse back to Saturday evening. Let’s talk about dinner. After spending the day cleaning and organizing, I was in the mood for a hearty meal. I took the inspiration from my cute little turkey meatloaves to create this bomb of a dinner, and I mean bomb in a good way.

Turkey Veggie Meatloaf and Sauteed Brussels Sprouts

I included carrots, zucchini, onions, and olives in this meatloaf and it turned out great! Parents, if you have a picky eater and are looking for a way to camouflage some veggies into their diets, this just may be the way to go. The veggies add a bit of a light crunch to the loaf, and all of the flavors from the veggies, seasonings, and meat all meld together to form a perfect combo. Plus there’s ketchup in meatloaf, kids love ketchup. 🙂 As do adults (right, Kev?).

Last weekend, Dana and I stopped at the farmer’s market in our area. We bought a few squash (that I still need to use) and a carton of brussels sprouts. Since I was set back this past week with the stomach bug, we didn’t get around to cooking up those sprouts, so we pulled them out on Saturday.

I washed and trimmed the ends and let them drain. I then sauteéd them in a small amount of coconut oil and simply seasoned with salt and pepper. I only used about half of the brussels sprouts in this side dish, so I froze the unprepared ones for a later time. They freeze perfectly.

Such a cozy comforting meal on a cool fall evening, and so very tasty too. I’m all about that lately. Did you check out my soup from Friday night? NUM!


Turkey Meatloaf, Veggie Loaded
Print
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Loaf:
  • 1¼ lbs lean ground turkey
  • ½ cup carrots, grated
  • ¼ cup zucchini, grated and drained
  • 1 cup onion, finely diced
  • ½ cup green olives, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp. celery seed
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • dash of cumin
  • 2 tsp. worcestershire
  • 1 tsp. mustard
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • Topping:
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1½ Tbsp. mustard
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease standard bread loaf pan; set aside.
  2. Combine all "loaf" ingredients; do not over-mix.
  3. Press into prepared pan.
  4. Mix together topping ingredients. Spread over loaf.
  5. Bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes, then place under broil for 2 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and let sit 5-10 minutes before slicing.

I am off to take on this Monday once and for all. I hope you have an enjoyable day. Check in with you all soon!