Friday Faves + Goodbye Kitchen + YOU are Amazing!

4.3 miles for my Thursday morning!  I was on my own for the run so I just did some loops around our neighborhood.  I’m sure any neighbors that saw me run by them a few times must have thought I was crazy… just a little crazy but also really wanting to stay close to home:)

And then it was time to take Brooke to school!  The happiness that the fake fur on her hood brings to her is priceless.

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Our neighbor called and said he could get started on our kitchen yesterday which we are beyond excited about.  Now to figure out this weekend of eating until we get a sink and counters again:)  I don’t know how my sister did it with 5 kids for weeks when she was redoing her kitchen!  I see a lot of cereal in our future.

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This dog is beyond loved.

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After school we were able to have one of the kid’s friends with us come around on a few errands.  No kitchen = pizza factory for lunch because I was craving one of their salads big time.

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And of course their breadtwist that doesn’t actually fit entirely into the picture.  One of the many important lessons that Andrew has taught me in life is the importance of ranch and dipping breadsticks or pizza into it.

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And this is the salad that I had on my mind.  They have kiwi, apples, cranberries, chicken, cheese, mandarin oranges and almonds on there… heaven (especially when drenched in their dressing)!

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After lunch we had to go pick up some things at Home Depot to get things moving on the kitchen!  I decided I would join the kids in pretending the ground was hot lava and sit on the cart the whole time.  Once again, the pregnancy card comes in handy over here.

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Yep, this was a much more fun trip to Home Depot than usual doing it this way:)

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I ran into Target while we were out to get some of the things you recommended for my hospital bag (HERE) and saw these!  Maybe these are the one type of Oreos that I will actually love since they are Hot Cocoa flavor?  Has anyone tried them?

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The kids are actually pretty thrilled with the idea of having simple meals for the next few days… that means they aren’t having to try any new meals (because that might be the hardest thing on the planet at this point;).

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THANK YOU to Andrew because he picked up Noodles & Co for me for dinner and since he knows their garlic bread isn’t my favorite, he stopped at a different store for the better stuff.

My stomach is turning into a great mini-table for my food and I spill less often this way!

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A happy pregnant wife that is no longer hungry and ate exactly what sounded good to her = a happy life;)

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Time for a few Friday Favorites!!!

*I just started trying out some new leave in conditioner (my first time ever) and it is fabulous!

*Andrew took this picture the last time he was at In-N-Out (I’m one of those people that doesn’t understand why people love that place so much… add to the fact that hamburgers are a current aversion)!  But they have FREE HOT COCOA for kids on rainy days.  That is brilliant.  I will be taking the kids the next time it rains and I’m sure I’ll get a hot chocolate and/or shake for me too:)

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*The other day I was on the computer getting some things done and I heard a Youtube movie start.  I found Andrew and Brooke taking an online ballet class.  You should have heard Brooke’s giggles, she was so happy.


*This carbs sweatshirt… I saw my friend wearing one the other day and decided that I REALLY need one since that is 95% of my diet right now;)

*My sister’s little boy is going places with his basketball career already.  Nothing but net.

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*Roolee (my favorite boutique ever) started their Black Friday sales now—>  HERE!

*Seeing this…  we are an interesting bunch of humans:)

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*Brooks is giving away a super cute long sleeve holiday Distance Tee when you spend $150 or more… grab some new shoes!  PS the Launch 4s (aka my favorite shoe right now) are only $75 right now!!

*Sara recommended this book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance and it is super interesting!  It isn’t a running book but pretty much everything in it can be related to running and I loved this part about the treadmill, “Staying on the treadmill is one thing, and I do think it’s related to staying true to our commitments even when we’re not comfortable.  But getting back on the treadmill the next day, eager to try again, is in my view even more reflective of grit.  Because when you don’t come back the next day— when you permanently turn your back on a commitment— your effort plummets to zero.  As a consequence, your skills stop improving, and at the same time, you stop producing anything with whatever skills you have.”

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*Gwen Jorgensen (she took the Olympic triathlon gold in Rio) just said that she is leaving the triathlon to go to the MARATHON.  Her goal is to go for the gold at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, I can’t wait to see how she does with the marathon!!  (source)


Keep on being AMAZING and if you want me to feature your accomplishments, send them to [email protected]  !!!


Christina!!!  “Here is my husband and me at the Rockville 5k this morning.  I’m currently 38+ weeks pregnant with our first child and set my sights on this race the past couple weeks.  My goal was to run under 30 minutes and we came in at 29:15!! Now I’m ready for this baby to come:)”



Florence!!!  “Well… I did it!!!!!  I had my first half marathon race on Sunday which I completed in 3:03 (i.e.: 14 minutes quicker than I did it in training)!!!  The race was the Nice-Cannes marathon on the French Riviera which I did as part of a relay team with my husband Kevin (each runner does a half).   When I finished I sat on the ground and promptly burst into tears of happiness and exhaustion!!!  My next half marathon race is the Barcelona half marathon in February and I’m running the London Marathon in April!  Yikes!!!”

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Sarah!!!  “This race was the best, yet most challenging run in my entire running career and I still cannot find the right words.  It was incredible- incredibly fun and incredibly tough!  I was overwhelmed but the cheering crowds, the atmosphere and the passion for running in the participants as well as in the spectators that could be felt along the entire 26.2 miles.  After the starting signal I was so motivated that I started faster than I planned to.  All the cheering made me feel great, but at mile12 my thighs started to hurt.  I was not used to running hilly terrain and all the up and down took a toll on my legs.  So I backed off, accepting that I won’t run a new PB, but deciding that I savor every kilometer in this awesome atmosphere and this beautiful city from that time on.  And I did.  Although the course was tougher than I could imagine beforehand I just forgot about the pain in my legs and feet and had the most joyful run ever.  I finished in 3:10:22 and I am proud and so very thankful that I had the chance to be a part of this incredible event.  And from now on, I’m in love with NYC!  This picture was taken after I was reunited with my husband, who finished as well (equally overwhelmed), and after having the best grilled cheese ever.  All the love from Germany (with a bit of jet lag and pretty sore legs from sitting on an airplane for 10 hours the day after the marathon)!”

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Loribeth!!!  “My running accomplishment is that I ran my 10th half marathon on Saturday!  It was a tough one because I underestimated the course.  It was a small race limited to 400 people (only about 250 ran the half) and sponsored by the YMCA.  The course was on the paved parkway trails just a few blocks from my in-laws house… I run those trails every time we visit Nashville.  I forgot how intense the hills are in middle Tennessee and combining that with 100% humidity, some major toe cramps, a pretty big chafing spot under my arm (ouch!), and starting out a bit too fast, I was about 10 minutes off my usual time.  I was initially very upset but my wonderful husband very quickly made me realize just how awesome I was for finishing and I actually came in 5th in my age group, so the hills were not just tough for me but for everybody!  The race was so well organized with police and volunteers at every crosswalk and subdivision entrance (there are a lot of those on this course) and there was a festival for all the kids afterwards with pizza, inflatables, music, and the police and fire department trucks.  I found a great tent afterwards where they had a massage therapist and got all those toe cramps calmed down.   My Tennessee flag jersey was a hit, too!  I will definitely be back to try this race again, and I will not underestimate it again!!!!”



Have any Friday Favorites?!?

What are your true thoughts about Oreos… any varieties you love more than others?  What about in-n-out… fan or not so much?  

Anyone running RNR Las Vegas this weekend?  Who has done a Rock’n’Roll race in the past… which one(s)?!  This is one of my favorite races (besides the fact I felt so sick because I was pregnant and didn’t know it;)… ENJOY and I’m going to make it back one of these years!

What are your Friday night plans?

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My favorite today is my foam roller! This week at the gym was a lot of testing 1 rep maxes — squat cleans, bench press, and snatch — heavy barbells! I’m so sore that I’m snuggling my foam roller all day!

I’m a fan of the original — normal stuffed — oreo. You just can’t beat a classic!

Our semester is rounding down and I teach multiple sections of a research & writing in mathematics course. I have so many papers to grade that I plan to change immediately into my pajamas upon getting home tonight and then grading grading grading until I’m done. Hubby won’t see me again until maybe Sunday morning… ^_^


Ran the r&r half in Nashville in 2013….right after Boston bombing…..that was one of my favorites but it was huge! Thousands and thousands of runners! It rained the whole time but I still loved it and may do it again in April. Have a great weekend!


Friday favorite: new Taylor Swift album is out!!!! She’s a lyrical genius.

I need to try this Noodles & Co. place. I’ve always heard good things about it. I need to see if I have one near me! LOVE how sweet it is that Andrew and Brooke were doing that ballet video together :) Hope y’all have a wonderful weekend together, Janae!!


He went to a different place just to get you better garlic bread? He sure sounds like a winner!! Maybe you can get those $10 trays of pre made sandwiches and wraps at Costco. Low stress mess and such a bargain. Have fun making memories of being creative without a fully functional kitchen!


In-n-Out is overrated. (sorry, Andrew) I’ll eat there but it’s definitely wouldn’t be my pick. I like 5 Guys way better.
Oreos are good! I actually like the vanilla version best. The gingerbread ones are AMAZING. Those hot chocolate ones look interesting.
I’m going to go see Murder on the Orient Express tonight. So excited!! Have a great Friday, Janae!


Agree Alyssa – LOVE 5 Guys!!!


I love the Red Velvet Oreos!

Friday night plans: Girls night! Friends, movies, takeout, and pajamas. Nothing I’d rather be doing when it’s 20 degrees outside!


I listened to a podcast that feature Angela Duckworth – she received the McArther Genius award and is amazingly hilarious in addition to being mad smart. So happy to hear you are enjoying her book. I think she was a panelist on the Podcast Tell me something I don’t know.
Oreos are bomb, fruit in veggie salads is nasty – your taste buds might be broken.
This weekend is the Charlotte Marathon. I’m not running, but might take the baby down to cheer on folks. Also we’re going to a party my SIL is throwing to celebrate paying off all her student loans! (More people should have parties for these kind of reasons — we work HARD at paying off mortages/loans, running long distances, or even committing to big decisions) let’s celebrate MORE!!


Ok so thank you for saying In N Out is not that great…I am a Midwesterner and we traveled to Utah recently and ALL of my friends here comments on how I HAD to try it – well, we did, near the SLC airport, and it was just ‘meh’ – we have had FAR better burgers. My son and hubby are big burger eaters and they were not impressed, either! Give us Five Guys Burgers and their delectable fries!! :)

We just did the Rock N Roll St Louis half (my 2nd time, it was my first half in 2013 I think) and it is always a good time!


You are not alone Tricia… Five Guys is a trillion times better! I will never understand the in-n-out craze. Never. Glad you came out to Utah, I hope you loved it! CONGRATS on your recent half marathon in St. Louis! I want to join you there one year! Enjoy your weekend Tricia!


So happy you’re reading and loving GRIT! You may remember…but my sister, Stephanie, is the super amazing runner that just recently placed 22nd overall female at the Chicago Marathon (2:41:50) and she has qualified to run in the Olympic Trials in 2020. I’ve wrote you more than a few times about her amazingness! :) Anyhow, reading GRIT all I could think about was her. She only started running about 5-6 years ago, no high school/college running experience, zilch! We have a fun story, but basically she’s not the “natural runner” or someone that grew up in competitive athletics. She was a 27ish year old girl that decided to run.

Her GRIT it was has helped her to accomplish all these amazing things and I am SO SO excited to see her journey to the qualifier in 2020. I’ll definitely keep you up-to-date. I’m seriously like the most proud sister EVER! :)


THANK YOU Sara for recommending this book to me:) YES, I do totally remember you and your sister! Thank you so much for sharing with me! I love it, thank you Sara and I hope you have the best weekend!


I LOVE Oreos but typically stick to the classics, but those hot cocoa ones are really good! My MIL brought a package to Halloween and I spent the night trying to figure out how to smuggle the whole thing into my kids’ Halloween baskets! Can’t waitto see your kitchen!! We are getting ready to redo ours too so I’m always looking for good ideas!


Good to know… thank you Mindy! OHHHH YAY… what are you guys doing with your kitchen?!?


I would love to do rnr Las Vegas as some point but I’m not a night person and I don’t think it would be as enjoyable. It does look like one of the most fun.

I like the standard oreos or red velvet. To be honest, I normally just eat the filling and leave the cracker…but I essentially eat the frosting of cupcakes and cake too so.


Did you know Gwen went to the high school I teach at?
I think she was a freshman my first year teaching.
Amazing athlete then, and now!

C has been out of town for work all week. It has been a combo of great girls week, and me wondering how single parents do it? So needless to say my Friday night is going to be giving him and Hope some needed catch up, and then maybe collapsing into his arms. :)


My fave Oreo’s are the the Oreo thins! love the vanilla and the chocolate in the thins;) If it not a thin….then I just want the plain oreo’s (no double stuffed) But they must be FRESH & crunchy. if the package has been opened more than a week I probably don’t want it;)
in n out is not my fave either;) We have a place here called Hopdoddy’s and they have THE BEST burgers, and shakes I have ever had (their fries rock too). if I had to choose a last meal it would probably be there;)
Have a great Friday Janae!


I tried the hot cocoa oreos – they are a little more cocoa-ey (that’s a word) than regular oreos, but not much. They are good but not much different from regular oreos. Which are already good.

Though they were good enough that I ate 3 and send my husband to work with the rest.


Love Oreos! This is good, too

My first marathon was a RnR race- Nashville. It was tough! I’ve done a bunch of half marathons but I want to do another full. I just had a baby so not for a little while though. I wish I had Florence’s race schedule! #jealous ;)


I love Oreos – we usually go for the Mega Stuff….I love the creme filling! I haven’t tried the hot cocoa ones yet!
I’m sharing my Friday Favorites on my blog today :)
Tonight we’re prepping for the baby shower I’m hosting for my sister-in-law tomorrow – she’s due in January with a little girl! Can’t wait to meet my niece!!


In and it is a no! Their fries are soggy…I don’t get it.

Oreos. Eh…I don’t mind one here and there but I don’t love them.

We are having a hot chocolate party tonight with my husbands family!


Dude, okay, I’m one of those people that interrupts everyone because I get excited about something — I would’ve stopped you like five times through this post if you were saying everything out loud.

The Oreos = meh. I think that my disappointment is completely clouded by the fact that I had *EXTREMELY HIGH HOPES* for them.

The kitchen = I can’t wait to see iiiiiiiiit!

The picture of Brooke in the faux-fur = melted my heart. I teach P.E., Kindergarten through 8th grade, and Kinders are so my fave…hilarious faces, profound words, and the biggest hearts (also the biggest tattle tales, but whatevs).



I’m usually not a fan of all the special edition Oreos, but the cookie butter ones are sooooo good!

Another one here who doesn’t understand the In-n-out love….I think they are mediocre. There are way better burger joints out there!

Have a great weekend!!


Mediocre is the perfect word for in-n-out in my opinion too! I totally agree with you:) Oh we will have to try the cookie butter ones! THANKS Laura and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!


Mint oreos – well those are his favourites so I end up eating them as well but I don’t eat a lot of oreos. No huge friday plans, but might do a local climb with a girl friend – we definitely have snow on the mountains!

I have only had N and Out a couple of times because we don’t have it here in Canada!

Happy Friday


I love the hot cocoa Oreos! My husband and I have made it our mission to try every new Oreo flavor that comes out—and usually I’m not the biggest fan (apple pie Oreos = no thanks, IMO), but these are yum. The texture of the marshmallow part of the filling is great too. I agree with you on In N Out. I just don’t get the love for them. I think there are a lot of better options for burgers and fries.


You are making me want to try them… I have to go back to Target! YES… a million better options for a good burger and especially for some better fries. I hope you are having a beautiful day Amanda!


I can’t usually get behind the weird flavors of oreos, but hot cocoa ones do sound quite delicious!

My Friday night plans include a trip to the symphony with the boy and his family. It’s sure to be a good time!


Not only do we talk about grit in my elementary education classes, I’ve also heard Angela Duckworth’s name mentioned in like eight other podcasts, blogs, or articles lately. Maybe I need to just read that book already.

I’m with you on not liking Oreos! I haven’t tried many of the crazy limited edition flavors, though. I hear their Fruity Crisp and Gingerbread flavors were pretty outstanding.


I love reading the accomplishments, you ALL inspire me!

I’ve ran 2 RNR Las Vegas Marathons, and 1 RNR Phoenix. All were amazing and SO much fun…I ran my marathon PR in Phoenix.


Are you remodeling your kitchen or just new counter tops? Would you mind sharing your contact? We are looking to do a remodel in our kitchen. Thank you!


I like cookies and cream ice cream but not Oreos! However, I like the golden oreos and the cinnamon roll ones (ironically neither are chocolate!)

Today I took two teenage girls and one tween boy shopping around a larger town than we live it. It was so fun, yet so exhausting (it was drizzling and cool). So, Friday night we are all lazing around!

I want to read that book! I worry that kids these days don’t really have as much Grit and perseverance……..thanks for the recommendation!


ps-congrats to Sarah for running NYC after that flight from Germany! I live in Germany and it’s not easy to run after that flight!


Thanks :)
yes, that was a bit tough. My legs were tired (and so was I due to the jetlag…)


My Friday favorite is that my MIL just found out she is cancer free!!!! Feeling so thankful and overhwelmed with joy today. Tonight’s plans include lots of rest and carbs to prepare for my second marathon on Sunday!!!

Have a great weekend, Janae!


That is fantastic news Emily! Thank you for sharing, it brought me a huge smile! GOOD LUCK on your second marathon and please let me know how it goes!


Yes! I’m running RnR Vegas tomorrow night! First timer! I’m from Florida so I️ am so looking forward to this destination race:)

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