Memorial Weekend: Productive Yet Relaxing


Long time no see! How was everyone’s Memorial Weekend? Mine was very productive but also relaxing. That seems to be a common theme around our house on the weekends. We got so much done around the house and spent the majority of our weekend working outside in the yard.

I want to give HUGE shout-out thank you to the guys who came over on Sunday to help Dana dig the egress window well. THANK YOU times a million! They plowed through that job so fast I couldn’t believe it.

After the window was dug, I helped Dana lay the bricks in for the walls of the well. I felt pretty tough as I carried those bricks around the yard, and my arms are definitely feeling it today! One more trip to Menards for our last batch of brick and the egress window well will be nearly complete. The next step will be putting the windows in, but we’re going to have that done professionally. Then we can start finishing our basement! I’m just waiting for that money tree to start growing in the yard. It all adds up real fast.

Besides getting muddy in the yard this weekend, I also hung out with family, friends, and ate some delicious food. I was hoping to get a bike ride in with Dana but the weather wasn’t really cooperating. The sun hasn’t shown us its beautiful face around here since Thursday if I’m not mistaken. Our poor plants haven’t seen sun since we planted them in the ground on Thursday! We could all use a little Vitamin D around here. Soon enough though. Think positive thoughts, right? Maybe I’ll do a little sun dance later.

Alright, I’m planning on keeping it short today. I don’t have a ton of photos to share to recap the weekend, but I do have a few. So, I’m going to finish off today’s post with the collection of my photos from the weekend. And here we go…

Chipotle loaded with veggies! Proof that you can chose healthy fast food decisions; just go light on the cheese, sour cream, and guac, ditch the tortilla, and go heavy on the veggies and you have yourself an extremely delicious and healthy veggie-packed Chipotle bowl.



Almond banana muffin with almond butter and sliced bananas…

almond bread

The Egress window well…


Salad: mixed greens, tomato, carrots, peas, avocado, olives, sunflower seeds, and Newman’s Own honey mustard dressing.



One of many trips to Menards…11% off everything right now really adds up when you’re there everyday. Spend money to save money, right?



Cherry Berry…with no skimping on frozen yogurt OR toppings. I meant business.

cherry berry

Homemade MAH bites, fauxtmeal raisin cookie style.

mah bites


And the Bachelorette…






I had to throw that last one in there because I am super excited that the Bachelorette is back on again. I spent a good 5-miles on the treadmill watching the season premiere last night. It should be a good one! No favorites yet, though.

I have a nummy vegetarian meal planned for tonight that I am anxious to share with you all (inspiration from Denise). This is actually the only meal I planned for the week because I’m thinking there will be leftovers. Do you have any meals planned for the week?

I hope you all had a FANTASTIC weekend.

Did you do anything fun this weekend? Were you productive around the house? Did you relax with family and friends?

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CocoaCraisy Energy Bites

Happy Saturday! Hi-fives all around for Saturday love.

This morning I snacked on half a banana with some Smart Balance Peanut Butter then headed to the gym. I was really feeling good today and knocked off a little over 4-miles on the treadmill. Since I got my new phone I downloaded the Pandora app and wanted to try running with that today. I loved not knowing what song was going to come on next but I didn’t like that I wasn’t always able to click to the next song. Maybe it was just me because I am a little special in the technology department. I don’t know, I guess I’ll have to look into that one.

Here is some good news….I haven’t had any shin pain lately. I don’t know if it was the Zumba class that threw me off, or I wasn’t stretching enough, or if it was a combination of factors, but whatever it was is gone. I feel no pain now! Now I can actually concentrate on building up my stamina and not have to be thinking about how badly my shins hurt while I run.

To touch base on the half marathon training…..I have decided to stick with the plan which has me running Tuesdays, Wednesdays if I feel like it, Thursdays, and Saturdays. As far as increasing my  mileage though, I am going to probably be halting it at 3-5 miles for now until the weather improves. I am driving myself crazy trying to run longer than that on the treadmill and no one wants to see crazy Melanie. Unless I am really feeling it one day on the treadmill and want to increase my mileage, it will have to wait a little bit. I am hoping only a month or so. Come on early Spring! I know the Groundhog saw its shadow but that means nothing to me. 🙂

Anyway, after my run I hit the weights to do some leg work.

  • 3×10 lunges with 20 lb weight (really it’s 3×20 lunges because it was 10 per leg–but who’s counting :wink:)
  • 3×10 leg press (both legs, then right single leg, left single leg)
  • 3×10 calf raises (changing direction of the toes each time to hit different muscles–toes in, toes out, toes forward)
  • 3×10 seated leg curls

I was Mrs. Jello legs after this! Can’t wait to feel it later.

I headed to get the car all prettied up at the car wash and snacked on apple on the way. Now I am home and sipping on some coffee as I contemplate lunch. I am really hungry but feeling pretty lazy right now to actually  make lunch. This afternoon Dana’s parents are stopping over to visit and then we are having a couple of friends over for Sushi later on! What a great day!


Back this thang up to yesterday lunch. Remember how I said let’s see if I branch out from my usual order at Panera Bread? Well, guess who did NOT branch out? Me. I am ridiculous sometimes. The thing is though, I don’t go there that often so when I do get the chance to go, I like to stick with a favorite. If I went there ALL the time I would for sure branch out. I stuck with the French Onion soup and as always I am happy I did. It was served with a chunk of whole wheat baguette on the side. Nummy! It was great to meet up with mama during her lunch break!

What was even better was that I would be seeing her and dad and Kevin that night! Dana and I headed over to their place for dinner where mom had whipped up some of her famous chicken wings (Scott and Jeff if you’re reading this I know you are jealous). The chicken wings were served alongside baked (or broiled?) zucchini, asparagus, cheesy potatoes, and a side salad with balsamic vinaigrette. What a feast!

Thanks for the great company and the great dinner last night!


For a while now, I have been meaning to share a recipe with you all for energy bites, or what we call in our household, Mah balls (MAH are my initials and we think we’re really clever and funny when we say it). There are made up of dates and nuts primarily, but other ingredients can be added to give them different flavors like cocoa powder, peanuts, Craisins, etc.

Mah Balls: CocoaCraisy

Not the prettiest things, but they are delicious!

These are perfect little bites of energy. I often will pop one of these in my mouth before a workout or if I need a quick pick me up if I’m heading out the door. I will give you other variations of the recipe in the future, but feel free to venture out yourself!


CocoaCraisy Energy Bites
  • ¾ cup almonds, roasted
  • ¾ cup dates
  • ¼ cup Craisins
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
  1. In food processor, add almonds and process until they resemble wet sand texture; pour into small bowl and set aside.
  2. Add dates, Craisins, and cocoa to food processor. Process until mixture begins to form a ball, and pieces are small.
  3. Add almond mixture to date mixture and process until combined; about 1 minute.
  4. Form combine mixture into one inch balls using your hands and store in air-tight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.

I’m off to get ready for company! Hope everyone is having a great Saturday!

P.S. I updated my Education page under the About section in the top menu.

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