Favorite Crock Pot Meals

With Brandon traveling so much for work, I often find myself turning to the crock pot to cook dinner for the week.  Ok, and sometimes I just don’t feel like cooking dinner when I get home because the couch is calling my name.  I love the convenience of crock pot dinners–dump everything in, head out the door, and dinner is served when you get home!

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I couldn’t resist.

I thought it would be fun to list a few of my favorite go-to crock pot dinner recipes to share!

1.  Crock Pot Garam Masala Chicken & Chickpeas.  If you love Indian spices and chicken thighs (you could probably substitute chicken breasts if you prefer), this recipe is right up your alley!  I like to add cinnamon to it as well.

Pic via PBFingers

Pic via PBFingers

2.  Ground Turkey Broccoli Slawghetti.  This is perfect for anyone looking for a low carb crock pot recipe.  I like to add mushrooms to it as well to give it a meatier texture, and top it off with some nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor!

Pic via RunEatRepeat

Pic via RunEatRepeat

3.  Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken.  This is one of Brandon’s favorite recipes!  We love to serve it over quinoa to soak up the broth.

Pic via Skinnytaste

Pic via Skinnytaste

4.  Ginger Chicken with Watercress.  I found this recipe in one of my Food Network magazines, made it last week, and loved it!  I love the ginger flavor, and you can make the sauce the night before in a blender and set it in the fridge until you’re ready to dump it in the crock pot the next morning.  I also added extra mushrooms to the recipe, and topped it off with cashews!

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5.  Low Carb Crock Pot Chili.  I tested this recipe out last winter and really liked it.  I like to double some of the veggies to it to give it a little more oomph.  It’s pretty versatile so you can add whatever you want!

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And on days where even prepping the crock pot is too much….

wine for dinner

Hope you all have a great Wednesday!

Favorite crock pot recipes?

Weekend Wrap-Up!

Happy Monday!  I had such an amazing weekend and I can’t wait to re-cap it and share pics with you guys!  Brandon came home Friday evening from his two week business trip, and Friday was our five year wedding anniversary.

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Since his flight didn’t arrive until 10:30 at night, we didn’t celebrate until Saturday, but I’ll get to that in a bit!

Saturday:  I decided to give my legs a bit of a break since they’ve been feeling heavy lately, so I let myself sleep in Saturday morning and just did a quick 4 mile run.  After my run, Brandon surprised me with an anniversary gift!

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It was the boots I had wanted to get during the Nordstrom anniversary sale!

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He is such a sneak!  He bought them after work during the sale and hid them.  He said he wanted to give them to me on our anniversary since it’s in the fall, and I can actually wear them.  My inner BWG is beyond pumped!  These boots are beautiful–the leather is so soft and they are super comfortable.  I can’t wait to wear them!

After my surprise, I headed to Maryland for my work BFF’s bridal shower!  I was helping her cousin host it, and she did a fabulous job decorating.

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I stole the sign idea from Angie!  We had all the guests address an envelope to make it easier for the brides when sending out thank you cards.

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There was so much yummy food–Chik fil a nugget tray (HEAVEN!), hummus and pita, salad, chicken, cupcakes, peanut butter and chocolate cake…it was all I could do not to stuff my face!

I was so honored to be a part of Erin and Jodie’s shower.  They are such a cute couple and Erin is a great friend and a ton of fun!

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Our other work BFF came to the shower as well!

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Erin & her cousin

I love how I am like ten feet tall in that pic.  I had such a fun time at their shower with all of their family and friends.  I can’t wait for the big day in November!

Once I arrived back in D.C., Brandon and I headed out to Garrison for dinner!  I love that we have so many great restaurants within walking distance.  We had a yummy bottle of Cabernet, and shared the burrata and grilled mushrooms.  The mushrooms were bomb!

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I ordered the duck and it was delicious!  It came with fennel and grilled peaches.

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We decided to opt out of dessert at the restaurant and walked over to Sweet Lobby for a sweet treat.  I got the vegan carrot cupcake and it was yum!  Too bad I shoved it down my throat 0.2 seconds after getting it and didn’t snap a pic.

Sunday:  We continued our anniversary celebration by driving out to Zephaniah winery for a little wine tasting!  I made sure to check the schedule for our football teams to make sure we wouldn’t miss any games.  I’m an awesome wife, I know.

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This place was so cute!  The tasting room was in an old house (built in 1819!) and we learned some history about the house and vineyard.  We also explored the grounds a little bit.

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We spent the rest of our Sunday doing a little outlet shopping and relaxing!  It was a great weekend 🙂  I hope you all have a great Monday!

Share your favorite anniversary story!

Best surprise gift you’ve ever received?

What were your weekend highlights?

Friday Faves: Pumpkin Edition!

Hello & happy Friday!  First, I want to give a shout out to my other half–today is our five year wedding anniversary (but we’ve been together for 11 years total!).  He comes home from his business trips late tonight, and we’re going out to dinner Saturday night and a winery Sunday to celebrate!  I should have a fun-filled weekend wrap-up post for you all on Monday 🙂

Moving right along to my Friday Faves!  My inner BWG (Basic White Girl) has been super excited about this post for a while and I’m not ashamed to admit I go nuts when all the pumpkin flavored items come out.

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1.  Pumpkin Spice Latte.  

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Obviously you should’ve known this would be #1 on the list.  The PSL is the BWG’s staple and symbolizes everything that is awesome about fall.  I try and limit my PSL purchase to once a week and modify it so it’s less sweet (with soy milk, only 1 pump of syrup and no whip).  I can’t wait for the weather to get a little bit cooler so I can wear boots and a scarf while I sip my PSL and look super #basic.

fall outfit

2.  Pumpkin Pie Lara bar.  I love Lara bars.  They are gluten free, minimally processed, and don’t have any funky artificial crap in them.  Lara bars make a great afternoon snack when I have meetings I need to power through without wanting to die.  Although they have several amazing flavors (cookie dough and cappuccino are staples), I get super pumped when they release the seasonal fall flavors–pumpkin pie, snickerdoodle, and gingerbread.  Oh yes.

Larabar

3.  Thomas’ Pumpkin Spice English Muffins.  I have two packages of these bad boys in my freezer from last fall that I can’t wait to take out, defrost, and devour.  And then buy like four more packages.  I love them toasted with nut butter, jam, or obviously, with pumpkin butter while sipping on my PSL.

4.  Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats.  Oh how I heart oatmeal.  Especially during the fall/winter months with some pumpkin pie spice sprinkled on top.  But on mornings when I’m in a rush, I turn to overnight oats.  And when it’s fall and I’m feeling super basic, I turn to this recipe specifically (I add more milk than the recipe calls for).  This recipe has the perfect fall flavor staples–pumpkin (obvi), pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup, and vanilla.  Boom.

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5.  Buzzfeed’s ’25 Things All Basic White Girls Do In the Fall’ article.  This article cracks me up.  Ok, so it’s not specifically just pumpkin related, but I freaking love it.  It sums up my life from September-November and I ain’t ashamed.

*Raises hand*

*Raises hand*

I hope you all have a great Friday and wonderful weekend!  I’m taking it easy with my run this weekend since I want to spend time with Brandon, and want to give my legs a bit of a break–they’ve been feeling like lead lately!

Favorite pumpkin items?

Do you get as psyched for fall as I do?!

Any long runs on the agenda for your weekend?

Weekend Wrap-Up: A Day Late!

Oy vey.  I could not get myself together Sunday for the life of me to type up my Weekend Wrap-Up post for Monday.

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But let’s backtrack to Saturday!  I woke up a little before 6:00 am, ate a Picky bar, drank some water, and headed out to the Mt. Vernon trail for a run.  But, like a dumb dumb, I forgot my handheld AND my visor.  Genius.

say what

I know.  AND it was muggier than I anticipated, so not having my Cocogo affected me more than usual.  But, I just focused on the fact that the temps were cooler than they have been, and that I was still a B.A. for getting up early on a Saturday to run.  I was hoping to bust out 8 miles but settled on 7, which I’m still happy about.  I keep telling myself I don’t need to/shouldn’t push myself too much right now since my half marathon isn’t until March, and I need to save some energy for the actual training!

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Overall, I was happy with this run but I know I can do better with my pace.  It still takes me like a mile to warm-up and for my legs to feel loose, but I need to work on picking up my pace quicker without feeling like I want to die.  Any suggestions?

After my run, I drove over to Lot 38, my favorite local coffee shop, for my favorite soy dirty chai latte.  I enjoyed it on our deck while my legs got some TLC with these compression socks.

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I love the argyle!  I rock these bad boys around the house all the time.  While I was sipping on my dirty chai, I peeked over and saw Rusty sitting and just staring at the ground.

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Dogs are so funny.  I wonder what he was thinking about–probably counting down the hours until his next meal.  Weirdo.

After my run, I headed out to Michael’s to get some things for my friend Erin’s bridal shower this weekend.  If you know me at all, you would know that the thought of an arts and crafts store gives me severe anxiety.  I appreciate people who are good at arts and crafts, but I HATE doing them.  I suck at them.  I had to make a paper crane at a bachelorette last summer and practically hyperventilated.

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I was proud of myself because I spent half an hour in there and refused to leave until I could find what I wanted!  I would post pics of the things I bought but I know she reads my blog–sorry Erin!

Saturday night I hung out with a good friend and watched some college football.  I actually went to bed at a reasonable time and got a good night’s sleep!  Win!

Sunday:  I think because I was so productive Saturday (I cleaned, went grocery shopping, and did all the laundry that day too), I didn’t want to do anything Sunday.  Even move.

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Yup, that about sums up my Sunday.  I laid on the sofa, watched football all day, and ordered Thai food for dinner.  And the Packers won!  Brandon comes home Friday evening too–he’s been gone for two weeks in NY and California for work, and I can’t wait for him to come home so we can celebrate our 5 year anniversary!

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend!

Any tips on how to get adjusted to a faster pace earlier on in the run?

Highlights from your weekend?

Do arts and crafts make you panic like they do to me?!

Friday Faves: Running Edition

Even though I only had a three day workweek, I feel SO drained and am happy Friday is finally here!

For reals.

For reals.

Since I love running (obviously), I thought I would dedicate a Friday Faves post to the running items I’m currently loving!

1.  Lululemon ‘Run Swiftly’ tank.  I love this tank top.  It’s lightweight, breathable, and doesn’t chafe under my arms.  Like I said before, I tried my hardest to resist Lululemon but I got sucked in and I don’t think I’ll wear any other tank top from now on.

lululemon

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2.  Oiselle KC Knicker.  I used to hate running in capris.  Until I found these.  I took them for a test run Tuesday when the weather was in the upper 50’s that morning and I fell in love.  I’m all about workout bottoms with a wide (read: forgiving) waistband that doesn’t dig into your sides.  These kept me comfortable and never slipped down or rode up at the knees.  They will definitely be a staple for fall/spring running.

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3.  Saucony ‘Ride 7’ Neutral Running Shoe.  I discovered Saucony running shoes while I was training for my second half marathon.  I had bad luck with my previous running shoes during my first half, and these came to my rescue.  They have just the right amount of cushioning, and the 8mm heel-toe drop is my sweet spot.  It doesn’t hurt they come in cute colors either!

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4.  Feetures ‘Elite’ Running Socks.  One of my biggest running pet peeves is a: blisters, and b: when my socks slip down into my shoe.  I mean, I also have other running pet peeves, like cyclists attempting to run me over, but that’s a whole other post.  Anyways, these socks have been heaven for my tootsies.  They hug my arch just right and the back never slips down the back of my shoe.  They also have a merino wool pair that I love for arctic weather running!

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5.  Cocogo ‘Lemon Lime’ Coconut Water.  I have been searching the ends of the Earth for something to drink on my long runs that won’t upset my stomach.  I can’t handle Gatorade, and water doesn’t give me enough energy to keep me going.  I stumbled across these packets on Jen’s blog and I’ve been using them ever since.  I just put one packet in my handheld, give it a quick shake, and I’m good to go.

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I hope you all have a great Friday and a relaxing weekend!  Here’s a little Friday night runners humor for you:

Story of my life

Story of my life

Share your favorite running gear!

Do you have a long run planned this weekend?

Did Lulu suck you in like it did to me?!