Elf4Health Challenge 12/8/13

So far I have been loving the Elf 4 Health challenge! I have met so many amazing and supportive people.

Todays challenge is to write a list of 20 things we are grateful for.

20 Things I’m Grateful For

1. Scott

Scott is such a huge supporter of mine.


2. My Family

Besides Scott my family is also a huge supporter of mine.


3. Friends

Friends are so important to me and I truly cherish all of my friends.


Cara and I. Old photo but she lives in China currently and I don’t have any recent photos! Weren’t we cute when we graduated high school 🙂


Liz and I have been close friends since 6th grade 🙂


Steph and I. She is one of my favorite 5k running buddies. Color Run 2013


Mark and Sarah.



St. Kate Nursing Students

And my new nursing friends… We have been through so much together!

I have other friends that I did not mention and I am grateful for them also!

4. Maisy



5. Workout Buddies


Right now my mom is my best workout buddy. We swim, run, bike, jump, and do yoga together!

I am always looking for new workout buddies so let me know if you need one, if you live in MN 🙂

6. Blends

Since I started this blog I have virtually met so many amazing people. I haven’t met any of these people in person but through their blogs I have learned so much about them.

7. Cooking

I really love to cook and I know it might be weird to be grateful for it but it is such a good stress reliever. I love trying new recipes!


Pad Thai

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Homemade Pasta


Flatbread Pizza and Amazing Greek Orzo Pasta Salad

These are just a few of the yummy things I have made 🙂

8. Xperience Fitness


I really love my gym…. so many amazing workout classes!

9. Christmas Decorations


They just make me smile every time I see them 🙂

10. SkyZone




It really is an amazing workout. I have seen some of the fittest people come to skyrobics and they can barely make it through the class.

11. My Job

I really love taking care of kids and making a difference in peoples lives.

12. Graduating


I’m actually graduating this month!

13. My Healthy Body

During my spin class the instructor always asks us to give thanks for our healthy bodies. It truly is a blessing to be able to do what I want to. There are many people out there who have health issues that prevent them from living their lives the way they want to.

14. Music

I am super motivated by music. If I’m doing a hard workout I just need a few great songs and I will get through it.

15. Happy Days

I am rarely in a bad mood and that is because life is WAY TO SHORT to live it pissed off. I almost always have a smile on my face and I love to make the best of every situation.

16. Snow

Although I don’t love the cold I really enjoy the snow.

17. TV Shows

Kind of weird to be grateful for but watching my shows is a great way to relax after a stressful or busy day.

18. Books

I really love reading… I haven’t had a ton of time for this while in school but during the summer I read a ton! I can’t wait to finish my current book and move on to a new one.

19. Photography

I really love photography. This is another thing I haven’t had a ton of time to do but I can’t wait to learn more about photography now that school is over and I will have more time.

20. Elf4Health

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I have really enjoyed Elf4Health so far. I have met many amazing people who are always supportive.

21. My Readers

I am truly grateful for everyone that reads this blog. I had no idea what it would turn into when I started it.

What are some of the things you are grateful for?


Friday Favorites

Today is the start of a new link up! Katie over at Running4Cupcakes started this link up and I am very excited to participate.


Heres what Friday Favorites means to Katie: “I know there are a couple of version of Friday Favorites around the blog world, but here on R4C, it’s all about the little things that made you smile over the past week. And anything goes! Because we all know that it’s the little things in life that make it count, right?”

I have lots of favorites from this week!

New Workout Bag:


This is the Everything Fits Bag from Gaiam. My bag came yesterday and I got to use it today and so far I am loving it! Everything really does fit.



I don’t really love the cold but I do love the snow. And my furry friend really loves the snow!

The End of Nursing School:

Thursday night I took my final nursing test of my Associate Program! This girl is officially graduating with a RN degree.

Celebrating Thursday Night:


Gotta love the glowing eyes from being in a dark bar 🙂


Love my Hard Cider 🙂


I really was blessed this semester to have an amazing clinical group. We all got along so well and I think we will all stay friends for a long time.

Operation Beautiful:

Todays challenge for #elf4health was Operation Beautiful. I honestly hadn’t heard of operation beautiful before this challenge. Their goal is to spread to teenage girls that they are beautiful just the way they are. It really is the little things, like a note on the mirror or randomly placed at Target, that make a difference.


My note that I left at the gym.



And a couple other notes that other elves left!

Spin Class:

I truly love the Road Rage spin class at Xperience Fitness. The instructor, Stacey, is so amazing! She is so inspirational and really pushes us. During the class she always has us take a moment to be thankful for our healthy bodies. She sometimes has us dedicate our ride to someone who can’t be there. I love every minute of her class.


Now it’s your turn… What are your favorites from this week?

Thanksgiving Weekend Update 2013

Thanksgiving weekend started on Wednesday for me!

Wednesday I woke up and did my #elf4health challenge of doing a new workout. My workout that I chose was not new but it has been a VERY long time since I’ve done it. When I was in High School I used to do 500 crunched everyday! It had been a long time since I have done this so I figured why not. I only had time for a quick workout. After my 500 crunched I headed to lunch at Noodles with my mom and then headed to Scott’s moms, Lynne’s, to prep some yummy Thanksgiving food.

Lynne likes to go all out on the turkey so we cooked 3 turkeys for Thanksgiving! I know… a lot!! When I got to her house Wednesday afternoon she had turkey #1 done and Vern was working on carving it. OMG did this turkey turn out amazing…. it was so juicy I couldn’t believe it! Turkey #2 and #3 were going to be cooked on Thursday.

On Wednesday I put together my cornbread wild rice stuffing and pumpkin cheesecake.


The cornbread wild rice stuffing is something that we started making with my family for thanksgiving. It is so yummy! I made the cornbread from scratch this year and added craisins to the mix! So good!!

Thursday started off bright and early with the Woodbury Turkey Trek 5K!


It was 14 degrees… a little chilly but not to bad. Once I started running I was fine. This 5K went better then I expected!

After running I raced home to shower and head to Lynne’s to help her get everything ready for Thanksgiving!


I have gotten pretty good at making gravy so I did that and then put it in the crockpot to keep it nice and warm.


Turkey #3 was a deep fried turkey. Gotta love that crispy skin! We also cooked Turkey #2 Thursday morning, that one was roasted.



Jack (Scott’s Brother) and his wife Kelly brought the cheesy potatoes! Which are one of my all time favorite!!!!

I also bought veggies to roast… butternut squash, brussel sprouts, carrots and cauliflower. I simply chopped the veggies, drizzled olive oil on then and sprinkled them with Emeril’s essence seasoning. Put them in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes! They were really good!!!

I also made homemade cranberry sauce! I mixed together fresh cranberries, orange juice, orange zest, sugar and pomegranate seeds.


My amazing Thanksgiving Day meal! SO good! Good thing I ran before the meal 🙂

After our meal we of course had dessert which I forgot to picture. I had a piece of my pumpkin cheesecake and a piece of Kelly’s “Better then sex pumpkin cake” 🙂 It was delicious!! haha I love the dessert names that people come up with. She found the recipe from a coworker who brought it to work!

After dessert we headed to Pinz for an hour of bowling for Scott’s Aunts Birthday! After bowling we stopped at Scott’s dads quick to say Hi and write out my christmas list from the Victoria Secret catalog. Some how we started a tradition of writing out our christmas lists from the victoria secret catalog. Both Kelly and I tell him what we want. Works out great because I always need more yoga pants! I love wearing theirs for working out.

Once we were done at Don’s it was time for shopping! It is kind of a love hate thing with Black Friday starting so early! I love it because we were home by midnight but I also hate it because it cuts into Thanksgiving time… we didn’t stay at Don’s house as long as usual.

Our list of stops for Black Friday was short…. Best Buy, Herbergers and of course TARGET!

At Best Buy I found a camera bag that I really wanted and let my aunt know thats what I wanted for Christmas. We draw names for Christmas and my cousin got my name…. which means my aunt buys what I want and my cousin pays her back 🙂

Herbergers I thought I was buying some awesome pillows but once I got home and tried them I hate them and they are going back to the store! Scott and I just aren’t memory foam lovers.

At Target I got a Christmas gift for my mom and I bought The Big Bang Theory on DVD. They had all the seasons on sale for $13 and since it isn’t on netflix I had to buy them!

Friday Mark and Sarah came over and we hung out all day. They brought their puppy with them and we had a training session with Rado and Maisy. Maisy doesn’t always get along with new dogs so we had our trainer Tina come over and work her magic! She is a doggie genius! Seriously if you are having any issues with you dog she can fix it! Contact me if you would like her info. By the end of the hour training session Maisy and Rado were playing like best friends.

The rest of friday with Mark and Sarah consisted of shopping, cooking and hanging out!

Saturday I woke up and got ready for my mom to pick me up to head to The Ugly Sweater 5K.


Waiting in the car


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Sorry for dark photos 🙂


We headed to the start line early so we could be in the first wave of people that they let off. They had a fun snow machine up at the front… smelt like soap. I wish I would have taken pictures during the run…. they had a bunch of blow up figures along the way…. reindeer, trees and slay. At the halfway point we got hot chocolate or water. My mom was nice enough to run the whole thing with me. The second half of the race I had to do a lot of walking. For some reason my left foot would go sort of numb and it was hard to run on. This happened during my Thanksgiving day 5K also. So far it has just been the left foot. Has this happened to anyone else? Any suggestions?

After the 5K we headed home to shower and go out the lunch with my brother, aunt, mom and scott for my moms birthday. Nathan had to head back to Colorado so we just went to smashburger for a quick lunch. It was very good! We made mom open her present at the restaurant and she loved everything she got.

Saturday afternoon I spent putting up our Christmas tree.


Saturday night we went out to Carmine’s in Woodbury for my moms Birthday.

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I really love Carmine’s and highly recommend it! They have really good food. Our favorite app is the fried pickles and peppers. Also on Thursday and Saturday night they have live music. The band saturday night was really good and we all had a blast.

Sunday morning I headed to SkyZone for SkyRobics.


A nice BDAY workout for my mom!

I also started my 100 burpees challenge at SkyZone. You can see the video on Instagram here. 1 down…. 99 to go. I got 25 done and skyzone and did the remaining 75 at home. The 100 burpees challenge was Sundays challenge for #elf4health By the way if you don’t already please follow me on instagram here.

We brought my aunt with to skyzone since she had never been there. We all had a blast and got in a great workout!

I was so happy when I finished my 100 burpees! I did not think I was going to be able to do it!


The rest of Sunday consisted of going to a baby shower and then heading to see Catching Fire! Loved the new Hunger Games movie! I cant wait to see the third one.

P.S. I never heard from the winner of the energybits giveaway so I am picking a new winner!

drum roll…….


Sarah if you could please email me at alexrunsforfood (at) gmail (dot) com I can get you your free sample!

How was your Thanksgiving? 

Did you go Black Friday Shopping?

How about cyber monday shopping?

p.s. I am currently cyber monday shopping! Lots of deals out there. For some good ones check out http://www.pbfingers.com also I found 20% off and free shipping at gaiam.com I got a gym bag!

Weekend Update 11/24/13

This weekend was mostly filled with working but I did have a few fun moments…

I went to a bridal shower for one of my very close friends 🙂 I’m so excited she is getting married in Jamaica in January!!

I also got to meet our close friends Sarah & Mark’s new puppy. He is soooo cute!!



Rado was such a little snuggle bug!


Mom, Danielle and I went to SkyRobics!! Love it…. such a good workout and so much fun!

I also joined Elf4Health! It just started this sunday.


The Details:

Dates: Monday, November 25th – Sunday, December 22nd, 2013
All participants will receive an elf. In return, all participants will be that person’s elf in return!
If you missed the initial sign up deadline: You can still enter for Rounds 2. See the details & sign up form below!
Anyone can participate. It doesn’t matter no matter where you’re located! All you need is access to the internet and an email address. It also doesn’t cost anything. (We know you have plenty of gifts to buy this holiday season!)

For more information visit here or here!

Everyday during the 4 weeks there is a new challenge.


Today is meatless monday…. so far I have had an egg and cheese breakfast sandwich.


Another fun thing from the weekend….. Nathan (my brother) is home for Thanksgiving and he brought his dog Mesa.


She is very well trained and super cute.

Last little update….. I have selected the winner of the EnergyBits giveaway…




Stephanie please email me at alexrunsforfood (at) gmail (dot) com and I will forward your information on to Jonathon.

Also a reminder for anyone interested in trying ENERGYbits they are only available at ENERGYbits.com, and Jonathan (their Brand Manager) has shared with me that he’d be happy to connect anyone with a current ambassador to share a discount on a bag of bits – you can email him at jlevitt@energybits.com

Thanks for being a part of my very first giveaway!!

What did you do this weekend?