Monthly Archives: April 2011

Irishmen and Prophets

Good evening friends! Wow! What a day! It was my final day of grad school, my course this semester being Prophetic Leadership. As part of our class we got to hear 9 of my classmates present their final colloquium projects. It was pretty inspiring!


One of my classmates closed her presentation with the reminder to us that sometimes we need to step back and breath! Blowing bubbles helps us connect and focus our breath! It was such and enriching day but also intense, lots of information to absorb! When I got home “the boys” were more than happy to head out to dinner to our newest Irish Pub the Dublin Square!



I had hear such good things about this place and couldn’t wait to try it! Their menu featured some traditional Irish food as well as some unique “bar food”


All three of us went for the “build your own burger” option. You could literally get ANY topping on your traditional burger, chicken breast, or walnut burger plus they were served on a variety of breads with several options of cheese.

Brian went with grilled chicken on sourdough, with Swiss chees, pepperoni, and black olives with traditional fries.


Gardner got grilled chicken on sourdough with pepper jack, bacon, and bar-b-q sauce.


I got a walnut burger on wheat berry bread with pepper jack, artichokes, mushrooms, and horseradish with my favorite, sweet potato fries!


It was pretty AMAZING! I ate all of it…definitely not healthy but sooooo delicious! I also got a Black and Blue which is Guinness combined with Blue Moon.


Times 2! Smile Gardener had one too!


I would definitely eat there again. There were a lot of interesting things on their menu that I would love to try!

Well, I am pretty beat! Tomorrow we have Confirmation ALL morning and then I’m going to lunch with…THE BISHOP! My camera will NOT be making an appearance at lunch! I’m going to try and wrestle the remote control away from the boys so I can watch something other than sports! Have a good night!



Hey there! Bet you’ve been wondering where I’ve been! So sorry for my absence. Really my only excuse is there hasn’t been much going on worth writing about. I have certainly been busy with my job, teaching fitness classes, and grad school. Just nothing healthy eating/living worth writing home about. I am almost done with school for the semester and since the two classes I am taking overlap I’ve been VERY busy finishing up papers for that. I did manage to do some work on my papers outside on our one only nice day of the week.


Hmmmm… looks like my webcam is dirty!

Today I also had a note worthy breakfast, my version of a healthy a fast food breakfast sandwich.


Egg whites, with a venison breakfast sausage, low-fat cheese, on an Arnold Thin with a side of oranges.

I did make a decision about running a marathon this fall. I have decided NOT to do it. I really am hoping to finish up grad school this Fall and that time of year is just so busy at my work. The thought of training was really stressing me out so I know that this is the right decision. I do know that I WILL run a marathon some day, now is just not the time.

I will be very busy with grad school this weekend. I am contributing  Back on Track Wheat Berry Salad for our afternoon potluck. Gotta try and keep it healthy! Gardner will also be in town so I am hoping that we can go downtown to the new Irish Pub, that would definitely be blog worthy!

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Hopp’n in to say hello!

Hey there! Happy Easter to you! I’ve been MIA for a long time! This being Holy Week and all our priest suggested that we take some time out and disconnect from the electronic world  for awhile. That’s one reason I’ve been gone. I’ve also been at church A LOT! I actually LOVE the Easter Triduum and sang in the church choir this year. It was a lot of fun but it meant I had little time for anything else. Not to mention I have this HUGE paper due soon so I’ve been working on that in my spare time (like for 4 1/2 hours yesterday!). We did have a fun time with friends and family this weekend. Here are some of the highlights!


Decorating Easter Eggs with my nieces!



Brian making some delicious Bloody Mary’s for our own personal Easter brunch we ate this morning after a 5+ mile run (his longest to date!)


Enjoying our Bloody Mary’s!


Getting ready for the Easter Vigil!



All dressed up and ready to go!


The Easter Bunny came and hid some baskets for us “kids” at my mom’s house.


I am pretty exhausted from all that celebrating. Hoping for an early bedtime before another busy week ahead! Hope your Easter was a hoppy one!

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Wordless Spring (?) Wednesday







The ban has been lifted!

Hey there friends! Yesterday was our last day of alcohol detox. Brian went in this morning for his tests so guess what we had with dinner tonight?


Oh yeah! A beer and a (venison) burger the perfect spring/summer meal! Too bad it’s suppose to snow AGAIN tomorrow! Oh well! It felt good to celebrate on a Monday!


Besides drinking beer today I went for an early morning swim. Can you believe I haven’t been in the pool since that fateful February day when I crashed into that other swimmer? It felt good to be back. I had intended to do 40 laps but as I was warming up I thought, “No way, I’ll make 40, I’ll just do 30.” About 15 laps in I felt a little stronger and thought I could maybe go 40. I compromised and did 35. It felt good! It also felt good when a woman who takes my classes at the Y told me she could tell I had lost a lot of weight! Not many people have noticed or said anything so I really appreciated the compliment. Actually today I weighed in at home and at Weight Watchers and am at the lowest weight I’ve been in a looooong time! Not sure how adding alcohol back in will affect me, I guess we’ll see!

I also did some MAJOR cleaning. My kitchen is very sparkly now!

My final adventure of the day was trip here.

IMG_0019[1]     IMG_0023[1]

Can you guess where here is? It’s our tiny little airport, it only has three gates but it does have free Wi-Fi! It is really great to fly in and out of though, if you can afford it! I was there to pick up my good friend Jess who had been traveling from Peru for 19 hours!! She pretty much runs an orphanage in Peru and is here to promote the orphanage and get funding from churches in our diocese. Can you believe she just graduated college in December of 2009?! She’s a pretty amazing young woman and I hope that I get to spend some time with her while she’s back.

Oh yes, and I also worked on grad school homework. Which is why I must finish this post before my eyes turn into squares from staring at the computer screen too long. Did anyone else’s mom tell them that would happen if they watched too much TV?

Have a good night!

Finishing on a healthy note

Hey there! How was your weekend? Mine was SUUUUUUUPER busy! The Youth of my church who are going on our mission trip this summer hosted a  fundraising bake sale this weekend so I spent a lot of time at church making sure everything ran smoothly! It was totally worth it! We made a good chunk of change. I also spent quite a bit of money on some sweet treats so when Brian suggested we have salads for dinner I was more than happy to oblige. Check out this salad beast!


With a side of sparkling lemon/lime water. I also got a nice 3.2 mile run in since it was sunny and 50 degrees, perfect running weather. It feels good to end the weekend on a healthy note. I’m pretty tired so plan to spend the rest of the night chilling on the couch and then early to bed!

Hope you’re ready for the week ahead!

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A Marathon of a Dilemma

Whoa! It sure early for a Saturday morning! I had to get up early today to teach Group Strength at the YMCA but not THIS early! I had a hard time sleeping last night and finally at 5:30am just said, “screw it!” and got out of bed. Once the sun finally came up I realized that I also woke up to this…


  Yep snow…AGAIN! Come on! Can’t we catch a break here in Wisconsin?!  I figured I’d get started writing a post since with hopes that get a nap in later! It’s so early the dog isn’t even awake yet!

So I mentioned earlier this month that one of my goals for April was to decide if I should run a marathon this year. Specifically I would like to run the Twin Cities Marathon and as of a few minutes ago (I just checked) it is still open but I’ve heard that it closes quickly.

As I sit here typing this, debating weather I should train and complete a marathon I almost have to laugh. I skipped the two runs I had planned for this week and have no intention of running today! So that means I haven’t run in a week. Since completing the Disney Half Marathon, besides the times when I have to teach at the YMCA, I’ve kind of just let my body tell me if I want to run or not. Sometimes it does sometimes it doesn’t! And that’s just fine with me, I kind of like it. That right there is one reason NOT to do a marathon. Do I really want to get sucked into the obsessiveness of following a training plan, and stressing out if I have to skip a run here and there? I am a type “A” personality so I like to have a well laid plan and I feel like once I commit to a plan I need to follow it.

The other issue is time. I know that I could run a marathon if I trained for it but the question is do I have time this summer? I’ve changed up a few of my classes at the Y so essentially I would have more time and energy to train during the week. Right now, with the exception of July, our weekends in the summer are looking pretty open. I’ve actually mapped out a training plan and what my long runs on the weekends would like. According to it I have a 14mile run planned for the weekend of my brother’s wedding. On the other hand they just did a story about a bride to be (who I actually know from the YMCA) who did a 16mile training run the day of her wedding! The other factor is that the month right before the marathon, when I would be doing the longest of runs (20 miles!) is also one of the busiest time of year for me at work. I also am hoping to complete my grad school work this fall which means writing a final thesis. I won’t be taking classes on the weekend but from what I understand you need to work on that paper every spare chance you get which essentially means on the weekend. That is not set in stone yet. I still need to talk with my advisor.

The final thing that places doubt in my mind about running a marathon is injury. I still have not got that strange leg injury I suffered during half marathon training checked out. Honestly I haven’t gotten it checked out because it really doesn’t bother me. Every once in a while it will ache but nothing horrible. This still indicates to me that something is not quite right with it. On the other hand my back hadn’t flared up at all.

So, after all of my reasons why I shouldn’t run a marathon why SHOULD I or rather why do I want to? After training for two half marathons in a span of six months I know this is just something I want to do, just to say I did it. I really do enjoy running and even though I haven’t been doing much of it lately I really enjoyed the long slow runs. I also ask myself, “If not now, when?” I’m pretty much in the prime of my life, I don’t have any kids, and I’m in the best shape of my life. As far as my reasons why I shouldn’t do it I can certainly think my way around them. The whole issue of time will evaporate once I sign up. If I really want to do something I’ll make time. As far as being locked into a training plan, I’m okay with that too. In fact my type “a” personality kind of likes having a goal and some direction to follow. As far as the injury goes I’m not too sure. I really need to have it checked out. I wouldn’t want to sign up, pay the registration fee, start training, and then seriously or permanently injure myself. The only other thing holding me back is I know Brian won’t be there on race day to support me. It will most definitely be the opening of duck hunting season I know that is very important to him. I know that I have other friends and family who will be out there supporting me but, it might not be the same without him.

I waffle on the decision day to day. Sometimes the desire is so strong, or after I have a really good run my brain and my body just want to do more. Other days I’m so busy or tired that the thought of training for a marathon exhausts me.

So, what do you think? Should I do it? How would you decide?

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Kreative Kitchen

**Note** I wrote this last night went to publish it and couldn’t connect to the internet. The only webpage I could connect to was Facebook! Got frustrated, shut it down and chilled. Didn’t have time to fix it until after work today. So here it is! Thanks for your continued reading even though my posting has been sketchy lately!

Well, hello there! So sorry for my absence! I guess all that birthday celebrating really did me in! Just kidding! Honestly I don’t remember what I did on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday I worked at church from 9am-4pm and then had evening events from 5pm-9pm! Not much time to blog in there!

I kind of feel like I am becoming a hippy! My hair is the longest it’s been since I got married, I am desperately seeking bike bags big enough to hold my groceries so I can bike to and from the Co-Op rather than drive, I just bought a bunch of organic natural cleaning products for our home (full post on that to come), and a few friends and I are thinking about purchasing and sharing a CSA for the summer! So, that’s what you have to look forward to seeing on my blog.


(Picture of me at work from my NEW iPod touch!)

For today I was busy busy busy cleaning, teaching fitness classes, cooking, and working on homework. I have to share with you the two fabulous recipes I made today.

You may remember how much I raved about Angela’s Back on Track Wheat Berry Salad. Well yesterday she came up with a different version of it. I present to you Back on Track II Cilantro Lime Spelt Berry Salad. As much as I loved version one of this salad I knew I had to try this right away!

Just look at all the colors!


All mixed up now! Yes, there were wheat berries (substituted instead of spelt berries) and black beans hiding under all those veggies!


This is the perfect healthy spring salad! So good! Especially with all that cilantro in the dressing!

Sadly, our weather has not been very spring like today. It has been cold, gloomy, and rainy. They are even calling for snow flurries this weekend! I knew I needed some type of comfort food for dinner. Excuse me while I pat myself on the back for this one. This is a Kristin original! I usually don’t come up with my own recipes but this one turned out pretty well if I do say so myself. Especially since our fridge is looking pretty empty.


And our cupboards pretty bare!


What ever would I make? I had some chicken breasts defrosted and let them simmer in some chicken broth on low in the crockpot for 6 hours. Then I drained the liquid, shredded the chicken, put it back in the crockpot and added about half a jar of salsa. I mixed in a little shredded cheese, let it simmer on low for another 2 hours and voilà! It would have been really delicious in a tortilla but we didn’t have any so I made some bulgur, one of my favorite grains (but Brian doesn’t like it so I don’t make it often) and served it over top of that with a side of steamed veggies!


This was perfect comfort food for this gloomy day. Well, I better peel my eyes away from the computer. I have grand plans to knit and watch some girly shows since Brian is off hunting. Have a great night!


It’s my birthday and I’ll run if I want to! ACS 5K Race Recap!

Good evening friends! I have been waiting all day to share with you all the wonderful ways I’ve been celebrating the start of my 31st year of life! It has been a great day!

Brian and I started out the morning by sleeping in, which really wasn’t sleeping in since I woke up before 7am! We lounged around for awhile. I started some laundry and did some home work, yes I know how what a FUN way to spend your birthday but it’s just what I had to do. It was good to relax and hang out together before heading to the American Caner Society 5K Run/Walk. Eleven years ago this was the first race I ever participated in as a runner. I don’t remember much about that race eleven years ago except for it was cold for April and my only goal was to run the whole way. I’m lucky that my friend Darick had someone take a picture of us and my college roommate after the race to capture the memory.


I had wanted to do this run again for several years but something was always going on. When I found out this year it was taking place on my birthday I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate. I was even more excited because I asked Brian if he would run it with me as a birthday gift and he said yes! It would be his first race!’

Well, the weather was a lot warmer than we were us to running in. Earlier this week I was wearing tights and a long sleep shirt and it was in the 50’s today it got up to 80 and I broke out the shorts (and my pasty white legs) for the first time. They were calling for severe storms but they held off for the race. There were also a lot more hills than we had anticipated. Our time wasn’t as good as we had hoped or trained for but considering the change in weather and the hills I felt pretty good about our race. I was so proud of Brian! A year ago he couldn’t even run 4 blocks!


After the race we headed home to shower and then back out for Sushi! I really wanted to try a new place in town, The Bamboo House. The last time we are Sushi was way back last July at Yoko’s.  I have always loved Yoko’s but I think The Bamboo House was just a cut above. The Sushi was much fresher, it literally melted in your mouth. So good!

We started out with spring rolls. I have been craving one since we visited the St. Paul Farmer’s market last summer.


These were just ok. Nothing like the ones in St. Paul. But the Sushi! Oh the Sushi!



In the center the Philadelphia Roll, surrounding that Hamachi (yellow tuna), upper left spicy shrimp, lower right Alaska Roll, and in the upper right and lower left corners the Sweetheart Roll.


I will definitely be going back to the Bamboo House. I would like try some of their Thai dishes too.

We headed back home to relax for awhile and even had to hideout in the basement during a severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings! Later my parents, Brian’s parents, and my brother and Raina came over for Diary Queen ice cream cake!


I love how the frosting is making my teeth look red!

It was a great birthday but I am exhausted! Here’s to a great birthday, I am ready to embrace my 31st year with joy and enthusiasm. I just can’t wait to see what life has in store fore me.

Bring on the Birthday Adventures

Good Saturday morning blog world! I’m up nice an early ready to take on another day of grad school. Hopefully I can get this post off before I pedal myself over to school!

So, as you may know my 31st birthday is tomorrow! I’m one of those people who likes to celebrate for a few days before or after and this year is no exception. My mother offered to take me out to lunch yesterday for my birthday so I thought I would make the whole day a celebration.

I started out with this very decadent breakfast!



That would be overnight oats in a jar layered with cookie dough banana soft serve! Last weekend I whipped up the cookie dough and banana soft serve. I couldn’t eat all the soft serve and frozen it hoping it would thaw out well. I took it out of the freezer before I went on a run yesterday morning and by the time I had run 3 miles and stretched it was the perfect consistency. Plus no need to dirty up the food processor. This was so delicious and a perfect healthy breakfast treat.

Then I thought I’d stop at near by coffee shop on my way to work and treat myself to a fancy coffee! This cute little Irish coffee shop opened last fall  just down the street from where I work.


Look how close it is located to where I work (both circled in red).

coffee and work

Can you believe yesterday was  only the third time I had been there? It would be very easy to make a habit of stopping in every day for a cup of Joe Smile I had a delightful cup of their highlander grog. I was happy to see that the place was pretty full. I will definitely be back for more!

I chose to go to Hackberry’s Bistro for lunch. This was one of the first places I felt comfortable enough to take my camera out and capture my lunch last year!

I had the portabella mushroom sandwich and a side of soup. Their soup for the day was this wonderful fish chowder in a spicy red broth with salmon and clams. It was REALLY good and unique! The sandwich was also very tasty!


Since I was celebrating my birthday I got dessert too!


This was a the perfect sweet treat for the afternoon and didn’t give me to much of a sugar rush. Seemingly simple it was just strawberries (very fresh) with homemade chocolate cake and real whipped cream! Loved it!

Thanks mom for celebrating my birthday with me! I had so much fun!


Well, I gotta get going or I’ll be late for the start of my 8:30am coffee and doughnuts class. Have a great day!

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