Friday Free-For-All – 10/13/17

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

I am officially on the #pumpkineverything bandwagon. Usually, I just stick to tried and true items like the PSL, but I’m branching out this year. So far, the clear winner is the Pumpkin Spice Rx Bar (so delicious!), and the loser is Burt’s Bees Pumpkin Spice lip balm. It smells more like chai and has a terrible aftertaste. I still want to try the pumpkin spice Cheerios too.

I’m having a sleepover tonight! My friend Stacy and I are going to see the show that our friend Abbie directed, and then we’re having a grown-up sleepover at a hotel. Whee! I’m excited to see my friends and have an all-night ladies night. This week at work has been pretty rough and I need to unwind a bit.

We’re going to see my folks this weekend. Once again, it’s been longer than I’d like to admit since we’ve headed down to see them. Unfortunately, mom has to work on Sunday, and we aren’t arriving until midday Saturday, so it’s a somewhat abbreviated visit. Still, it’s the first weekend we’ve had/will have free for a bit, so it was now or never. I’m looking forward to just relaxing and spending time with the fam.

Workout motivation is super low right now. I worked out once last week, and twice this week. I bring my gym bag with me to work every day, and when the time comes to go to class or go for a run, I just put my poor, neglected gym bag back in the car and go home. Blame it on what you will–the time of year, post-race blues, my insatiable desire to watch Netflix and knit–it’s a thing, and I’m not worried about it. Motivation ebbs and flows, and after finally hitting my half marathon PR goal, I don’t have anything driving me.

Happy Friday the 13th!

Friday Free-For-All – 09/29/17

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

Fall has finally arrived! Even though September 22nd was the equinox, we had a string of hot, dry days that were like a second summer until just yesterday. While it was nice to have some extra summery days to sort of make up for our cold, rainy spring, I’m definitely happy that fall weather is here. Fall is my favorite anyway, but ESPECIALLY when I’m about to run my first half marathon in a while! It will be much nicer to run with temps in the 60’s versus in the 80’s.

Race weekend! In case you missed it, I’m running the Leaf Peepers Half Marathon in Waterbury on Sunday. Check out my thoughts and goals here. On the whole, I’m very excited to run my first “for time” race in quite a while. I just want to do my best and have fun.

We had our first meeting with our buyer’s agent this week. She came highly recommended by some friends who recently bought a house using her services. It was a good meeting, and I really think having a realtor in our corner will help a lot, both from a “seeing more stuff more easily” perspective, and from a “navigating the home-buying process” perspective. Fingers crossed that she’ll have some places for us to look at soon!

IMG_4525I can’t stop eating candy corn and/or mellocreme pumpkins. I know I alluded to this in last week’s FFFA post, but it’s bad. I bought two bags yesterday (one of each) and have already gotten into both. I prefer the pumpkins, but I can’t forget the classic candy corn shape. I always eat them by biting off the colored sections, starting with the yellow at the bottom. #typea They’re my favorite seasonal candies so I feel like I have to get as much as I possibly can before they disappear for another 11 months. I may just go buy a bunch of bags and hoard them for a while. Of course, knowing me, I’ll finish them all within a month.

Has fall arrived in your neck of the woods?



Friday Free-For-All – 09/22/17

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

Today is the final day of United Way campaign week, and I could not possibly be more happy about it. As usual, it was a ton of stress and work, and as usual, we raised a ton of money for a good cause. I can’t wait to go home after work and have a couple of beers and just let this shit goooooo.


We met with another mortgage broker this week. The first lady we met with a month or so ago sort of ghosted on us, which is majorly not cool. The new mortgage broker is with our bank. She answered all of our ridiculous questions and gave us a lot to think about, so we’re feeling pretty good about possible next steps. Yay! Next step will most likely be getting pre-approved, and hiring a buyer’s realtor to help us find a house. We’ve contacted a couple of referrals, so we’ll see what happens.

Final long run before the half will be tomorrow. Guys. I can’t even believe this, but I’m actually trained. Like, I’ve done two double-digit long runs, and some middle distance runs, and speed work. I think I might ACTUALLY run the half next weekend. In fact, I’m thisclose to registering online today. I think online registration is only open for a few more days, so I need to make a decision ASAP, as they don’t allow race-day registration.

Today is the first day of fall. Bring on the pumpkin everything, sweaters, boots, scarves, and of course, my dearest love, candy corn and mellocreme pumpkins. I plan to eat my body weight in candy corn. They are my most favorite candy of all time. I already caved and bought a bag earlier this week, but now I’m just really going to give in and go with it.


Do you like candy corn? I know it can be a polarizing food…



Fall Bucket List 2015–Wrap Up

So yeah, I made a bucket list. And then kinda forgot about it. And then Lisa reminded me. Thanks, Lisa!

The good news is, I actually accomplished some of the things on this list. The bad news is that, as usual, I did not complete the list. Oh well. C’est la vie. So how did I do? Well, let’s look back at what was actually on that list:

Fall Bucket List

  • Apple picking–CHECK
  • Make apple butter–CHECK
  • Watch Hocus Pocus in my PJs–CHECK
  • Have a Starbucks PSL–CHECK
  • Come up with a good Halloween costume–SURPRISING CHECK

I guess 5 out of 8 is actually a pretty good percentage. But I really need to just get over myself and make a pie, already. I’m weirdly afraid of making pie crust. Like it’s some impossible, difficult thing. Eh, I’ll get there eventually.

Have you made a pie crust? Am I being silly?

Fall 2015 Bucket List

I usually make a seasonal bucket list, but I don’t think I’ve ever posted it to my blog before. After my dear friend Lisa posted hers last week, I decided to share mine as well, in the hopes that I might actually cross off one or two things this year!

Fall is my favorite season, and there are so many activities I enjoy that it can be hard to fit them all in, especially when I get busy with other things like work and theater activities. But this year, I’m DETERMINED to at least come close to completing my list. And so, without further ado, I give you my Fall 2015 Bucket List:

Fall Bucket List

Do you make seasonal bucket lists? If so, what’s the number one thing on your fall list?

Friday Free-For-All – 09/25/15

FFFA (1)

I got a chair massage at work on Wednesday and it was magical. We have someone come in to do 30 minute chair massages once a month, and up until now I’ve always been sort of, “Meh, whatever,” about it. But I was still so sore after the Spartan race that I decided to suck it up and pay the $15. BEST.DECISION.EVER. The lady was really nice and paid special attention to all my sore spots. It was a delightful little oasis in the drudgery of my Wednesday and I think I might have to do one every month now.

I know you’re all waiting for the Spartan recap… I know, and I promise, it’s already written, I’m just waiting for the photos to be posted. Spartan offers free (!!!) downloads of all race photos, so I want to get them and put them in the recap. It’ll be up as soon as possible, I promise!

Color Run tomorrow! I didn’t write a “goals” post, because honestly, the goal is just to have fun and get my friend Emily through her first 5k. Unfortunately due to her crazy schedule and mine, we didn’t get to do as much training as I would have liked, and she’s understandably very nervous about her first race. I promised that I’d get her to the finish line no matter what, and that’s what I plan to do!

Fall has officially arrived here in VT. The leaves are beginning to change, the weather is cool and crisp, and it’s getting darker earlier. While fall is my favorite season, I can’t help but feel sad because I missed out on so much of this summer being in rehearsals all the time. I’m sure once I bust out my basic white girl attire of leggings and boots and sip my first PSL I’ll feel better, but right now the change of seasons is very bittersweet. At least it’s good running weather! I have a 9 miler scheduled for Sunday and the weather looks perfect–sunny and low 70’s!

Are you racing this weekend?

Friday Free-For-All (Fifteen)

Welcome to Friday Free-For-All, where I talk about anything and everything on my mind.  This is usually just a great big brain dump, so brace yourselves!

I can’t remember the last time I was so grateful it was Friday.  These last couple of weeks have been killer.  Between crazy projects and stress at work, and personal life/wedding drama, I’ve been out of my mind.  I’m so thankful to have running as an outlet because otherwise I’d have gone crazy a long time ago.  The good news is, work should calm down after this week, so I’m hoping to get back on a more even keel.

This weekend will be awesome.  A good friend of ours who lives in Colorado is visiting.  We haven’t seen her in almost two years, so it will be awesome to spend some time with her.  Also, her brother and his wife just moved back to town, so we have a full day of festivities planned on Saturday.  First up is brunch at the Drew household.  My future father-in-law makes a killer breakfast.  Homemade biscuits with sausage gravy, eggs Benedict with homemade hollandaise sauce, blueberry muffins, home-fries…  You name it, he makes it, and it’s all amazing.  Next up is the annual Underhill Harvest Market, an outdoor farmer’s market/craft fair/country fair/tag sale with hand cut french fries, homemade soups, prizes for biggest pumpkin and zucchini and anything else you could ever want.  Then we’ll wrap up Saturday with happy hour at our friends’ parents’ house, which is ALWAYS a good time.  And then of course I have to run 9 miles on Sunday.  Whee!

The weather here in VT is screwing with me.  We were on a stretch of lovely fall weather–crisp nights, cool, breezy days, blue skies, low humidity…  And then summer decided to come back.  At least, during the day.  Nighttime temps are still in the 40’s, so when I leave the house in the morning, I’m all bundled up.  And then it’s 80 degrees by noon and I’m sweating my buns off.  Get your sh*t together, Mother Nature!  You can’t be fall at night and summer during the day.  I need consistency!

What are you looking forward to for this weekend?

Has Mother Nature been messing with you too?

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Please Note:  This post is an excerpt from a post on my old blog, Rachel Robin’s Nest.  I posted a picture of these cookies on Instagram yesterday for the #SweatPinkAutumn challenge and the response was huge, so I figured I should share the recipe.  Enjoy!

This recipe is tried and true.  It was given to me by my dear friend, Jaska, and it was developed by her grandmother.  The joke in her family is: “You  know it’s a Grammy recipe when it’s got 4 cups of flour in it!”  And yes, this recipe has 4 cups of flour in it.  But the resulting cookies are so flavorful, and so fluffy, you won’t even care that they are probably pretty bad for you.

I did however, make a tweak to this already amazing recipe.  I decided to swap the oil for some homemade applesauce–WINNER!!.  It really gave the cookies additional depth and moisture, and there are actually tiny pieces of cinnamon-y apple in them.  SO. GOOD.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

from Jaska


  • 2 c pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c oil ( or unsweetened applesauce!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp baking soda dissolved in 2 tsp milk
  • 2 c sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 c flour
  • 2 c chocolate chips
  • 1 c chopped walnuts (optional)
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix pumpkin, eggs, oil (or applesauce), sugar, soda, milk, and vanilla until well combined.
  3. Mix in the flour a bit at a time, stirring until just combined.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts, if using.
  5. Scoop onto parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 375 for about 15 minutes.  The edges will be just turning a golden brown.

I have to say, I’m really proud of myself, because this recipe is supposed to yield 4 dozen cookies.  Usually, I end up with less than three dozen, because I am physically incapable of making small scoops of cookie dough.  My cookies always turn out to be ridiculously large.  Jaska and her mom, Sabrina, always used to tease me about my XXL cookies.  HOWEVER, this time, I used a measured cookie scoop.  And I ended up with 4 1/2 dozen cookies.  Hooray!

See how nice and small and even they are?

I love making these cookies because Jaska, Sabrina and I used to get together each winter and bake them together.  It was always after Christmas, because we were always so busy during the holidays, but without fail, after New Year’s I’d get a phone call, and we’d set aside a date. I’d arrive first thing in the morning and we’d bake as many cookies as we possibly could-pumpkin, Grammy’s molasses cookies…whatever we had time for.  And when we were all done baking, we’d feast on cookies with organic milk, or strong coffee sweetened with molasses.

Making these cookies always brings me back to Sabrina’s warm, bright kitchen, and gives me the warm fuzzies all over.  I hope you love them as much as I do!

What’s your favorite pumpkin or fall-inspired recipe?