Friday Faves!

Hey guys!! Hope you’re having a great Friday!! 😀

ger

If you’re new to the blog (hello!!) or are a reader but suffer from chronic memory-loss like me, then you should know that every Friday I post my Friday Faves!! So here are today’s favourites…

gre

1. Double Oatmeal Raisin Cookie oatmeal…

Oatmeal topped with a crumbled oatmeal raisin cookie and more raisins 🙂

It is perfectly normal (and highly recommended) to include cookies in your breakfast by the way, especially delicious Happy Herbivore ones you made. Little tip there.

gera

2. The reading-on-the-elliptical trick.DSC07290

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I don’t remember how I ever managed to last on this machine before discovering this. (And FYI, if you are looking to increase your speed in the 5k or 10k, this book is AMAZING!) Anyway, Friday cross-training was a lunch-hour special: 30 mins elliptical, 15 mins spin bike and weights.

grea

3. Getting started on my March Goals! I am going to be looking around a pretty high-end Virgin Active gym soon and I can’t WAIT to check it out!! Open-mouthed smile1999

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I also did two YogaDownload classes (Yoga for Strength and Yoga for Runners).images

It felt SO good to stretch out! My hamstrings were SO tight!!

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4. Chocolate chips straight up.DSC07295

Little drops of heaven.

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5. Using the (remaining) chocolate chips in some Friday Baking Fun!DSC07300

Vegan Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

These bad boys are moist and delicious, and yet are healthy! Made with spelt flour, sweetened with agave and can be oil-free too!

(Make 5-6 large muffins, depending on how much ‘batter tasting’ you do)

  • 1 cup wholegrain spelt flour + 1/4 cup all-purpose/plain flour (you can use all spelt if you prefer, or a different flour)
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1 tbsp wheatgerm or bran
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp oil or unsweetened applesauce (I used 1T applesauce+2T melted vegan butter)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Spray a muffin pan with non-stick or use liners.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients together except the chocolate chips. Then add the wet and chips and stir in.
  3. Bake for about 10 mins, depending on your oven (my speedy one only took 7!) and then remove, transfer to a cooling rack, and ENJOY!!

Seriously, these are amazing. So sweet and delicious…mmm…. DSC07297

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6. Broccoli. My favourite veggie. I ate a whole head of it.broccoli-recipes-1b

I actually do eat some things other than chocolate and oatmeal, despite what it tends to look like on here! Smile with tongue outAnd you know when my birthday is now, so I expect THIS:i_love_broccoli_tshirt-p235733568416413736adc0r_325

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That hint was very subtle I know. Subtlety is one of my strong points. As is modesty apparently! Winking smile

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What are some of your Friday Favourites? Share with me PLEASE!!

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What is your favourite veggie? Mine is broccoli! I love spinach too…and squash…and mushrooms…man I love veggies!! Smile

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And if you could get a T-Shirt saying “I love…*something*”, what would that something be? I think the broccoli one is pretty cool personally!

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I might go and wash my hair now and fulfil another of my March Goals…be proud people! Smile with tongue out

gera

Have a great weekend friends!!

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I’m a child at heart

HEYA friends! Smile
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First up, a big THANK YOU to all the offers of UK-US swapsies! To be fair, I’ll make a list of people who offered and then Random Number Generate it, then email you if you were that number. Love you all and thanks for the offers! Open-mouthed smile

grea

Okay, so there’s one thing that you should all know about me: I’m a child at heart.

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I love having fun and playing about with my breakfasts. This means fun size comparisons…

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Baby DCD and Big Daddy DCD 🙂

 

…playing the game of ‘see how much oatmeal you can stuff in the small empty jar’

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Answer: most of it!

…and then seeing how much topping you can put on before it overspills…DSC06988

Hehe topping mountain… Smile

thga

I like summer a lot more than I like winter.  It means I can wear cool hats and cute sundresses

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Emma+big bro aged 5

…and it means I can bake foods with lemon in them! Lemons=summer. So I kidded myself that it was sunny and 30C outside by making some sunny lemon drizzle muffins.DSC06994

Lemon Drizzle Muffins (adapted from Vegan with a Vengeance)

These muffins have only a few spoonfuls of sugar and oil, and are made with wholegrain spelt flour, but taste deliciously sweet and are light and fluffy…

Makes approx 9 muffins

  • 200g/7oz spelt flour (you can use all-purpose if you prefer)
  • 4 tbsp sugar or substitute
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp coconut oil (or other oil, or you could try subbing applesauce for a low-fat option, but I like my healthy fats!)
  • 175ml/6 fl oz milk (I used rice)
  • 175g soy yoghurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Zest from 2 large unwaxed lemons
    For the drizzle:
  • 40ml lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp sugar or substitute
  • 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  1. Preheat oven to 200C/400F.
  2. Sift together dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder and salt) into a large bowl. In another bowl whisk together the oil, milk, yoghurt and vanilla, then stir in the lemon zest.
  3. Spray/grease a muffin tin. Fill each cup about 2/3 full, depending on how big you want your muffins. Bake for 20-25 mins, then remove from oven.
  4. Combine all the drizzle ingredients in a saucepan over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Then brush over muffins with a pastry brush.
  5. Enjoy!!

Kids love muffins, and so do I.

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IT'S SUMMERTIME!!

 

I hate washing up though, and may have left my kitchen in a mess for a number of hours…! Smile with tongue outDSC07004

gera

I love Disney more than life itself. When I met up with a friend at the cinema today, the choice was out of a whole list of serious movies, or the new Disney film Tangled. Guess what I voted for?

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I have to get my way, or I throw a tantrum. It was okay though, because my lovely friend accepts me for who I am and conceded. VICTORY WAS MINE. We were surrounded on all sides by screaming and giggling children, and I fitted right in. Smile

thr

I can never have too much Disney. I followed up the Disney movie with more Disney. On my Tuesday Tempo run, I plugged my iPod into the treadmill and watched away!DSC07007

TOY STORY 3!!DSC07010

I never got to see it when it was out, so I rented it and watched the first bit today! So SAD so far!!

grea

I love brightly coloured things. Like this chocolate that was on sale in Whole Foods yesterday:DSC07003DSC07002

How cool is THAT?! Tasted like heaven…

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I find balls hilarious. So apparently, I’m not just any child mentally- I’m an 8 year old boy. But I do love balls.

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Tropical balls: cashews, dried apricots, coconut + spices made Averie’s way. Seriously, I could live off balls. Winking smile

gea

Before I get too carried away with my list of endless child-like traits (this post would be so long it would break records), I thought I’d tell you about the exciting event I mentioned in the last post!

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Yesterday when in WF, I was given a leaflet about upcoming events at the store this month.DSC06953

And check out what’s on tomorrow!DSC06952

I’ve booked a place at the talk by a Sports Nutritionist!! Open-mouthed smileI’m SO excited- I can’t wait to hear what he has to say, and hopefully I learn a lot! And obviously, another WF trip is hardly a bad thing either, although I’m not sure my bank balance will agree…! Smile with tongue out

grea

So are you a child at heart, or mature all the way? I have my mature moments…but I think my childish ones overshadow those! Smile with tongue out

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Do you love Disney? What are your favourite Disney movies? The old classics are my faves, like the Little Mermaid and Aladdin. I always wanted to be Jasmine so badly when I was a kid!

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Have you ever been to any talks like this one? If so, was it useful I haven’t, so I can’t wait to hear what he has to say!! I think I might bring out my inner geek and make notes…!

grea

Have a great day tomorrow lovelies!!

grea

P.S. I am in the process of moving to self-hosted blogging, so if something goes disastrously wrong and my site explodes, you’ll know why! Smile with tongue out

Thirty Day Thursday and looking on the bright side

Hello friends! Open-mouthed smile

You may have seen this 30 Day Challenge on other blogs (I got the idea from the lovely Averie), and I think it’s a fun thing to do! So basically, every Thursday, I’m going to be posting about one of the Thirty Day Challenge topics! Not in order though, because where would be the fun in that? Smile with tongue outimage21

Day 26- What kind of person attracts you

So you may have heard me mention BodyPump boy before. Because clearly I am a little obsessed with him. Well today, straight after class, I ran off outside the hall leaving all my stuff and my set-up to take a call…dsc05785

…and when I got back, he’d put away all my weights and my bench and was holding the door open for me! Awww!! Smile

That is probably the thing I find most attractive in people! Manners, generosity and kindness wins over good looks for me any day!

Shmushy time over now! Smile with tongue out

***

I have also been a little bit obsessed with the whole PB+J combo this week. Read: oatmeal topping Every Single Day.

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Peanut Butter and Jam

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Dark Chocolate Dreams and Jam

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Almond Butter and Jam

Yummy yummy yummy!

I was a bit sad today, because my ankle wasn’t feeling 100% still. I considered going ahead with my planned hill sprint run anyway, but decided in the end it’s better to play it safe. I always like to look on the bright side though!

Bad: Not being able to run today.

Good: This meant I could spend more time in the kitchen cooking up yummy goodies! Open-mouthed smile

Trial #6 of Emma’s Perfect Vegan Chocolate Chip cookie!DSC06276

Bad: Not yet perfect still! Tasters say the texture of this batch is perfect, but they preferred the flavour of Trial #6!
Good: All the trials mean I get to eat a lot of cookie dough, and a lot of cookies! Open-mouthed smile

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DSC06278Bad: Not having enough of these…DSC06269

…to make Trial #7 today!

Good: This gave me the perfect excuse to make something else- Katie’s delicious Chocolate Pumpkin Protein Bars! Made a few minor adaptations, but they were amazing!!DSC06303

Seriously, make these now!! They are yum!

Bad: I ate about half the batch! Embarrassed smile
Good: They were so darn tasty, I don’t regret it one bit! Winking smile

Bad: It finished off my jar of peanut butter!DSC06312

Good: This means Oats In A Jar tomorrow for brekkie! With jam on top of course! Smile with tongue out

Amazing: Going back to the cute health store I found on my run on Tuesday, and having a long chat with the lovely woman who owns it. She is my new best friend. She is 65, and ran a sub 3 hour marathon aged 57, and still runs marathons today!! So she is also my new idol. I wanted to take a picture of her and frame it but I don’t think she’d agree that we’re quite at that stage in our relationship…yet.

Even better: She gave me a half price on everything I bought, just because.

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One of my goodies- nutritional yeast flakes

The Best: Lovely Amazing Marathon Woman also threw in a bar of dark choccie with raspberries for FREE for me after I told her how much I loved the last one! She says I need it to fuel my running! She knows me so well already! Open-mouthed smileDSC06229

We chatted for ages, and she gave me tons of advice on my running and speedwork!! I LOVE HER!!

So share with me what kind of person attracts you/what qualities in a person you find most attractive. Like I said, I love courtesy, manners, kindness, and I’ll add a good sense of humour to the list! Smile

Do you tend to look on the bright side of things? Glass half-full or half-empty? Please tell me about something Bad —-> Good that happened to you today!

P.S. Don’t forget to check out my yoga giveaway! That’s another good thing!! Smile with tongue out

Have a great Friday lovelies!

Friday Favourites

“Feel free to do it on your blog” <—– From the hilarious Janae’s amazing Friday Favourites post! SO I have taken her up on this offer! Open-mouthed smile Like she said, it is good to think about the things we are thankful for that make us happy!!

1. A Chocolatey Friday Breakfast. So this is a new invention of mine, but every Friday I will be celebrating the end of the working week with a nice healthy chocolatey breakfast. Like so:

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Mmm…fluffy choco-banana oatmeal+ my first ever fudgie!

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Sooo good! The fudgie melted and stirred in it was AMAZING!

2. An email from Women’s Running to say that this month’s mag is now out! I’m so addicted to expensive but amazing magazines like this and Runner’s World.home_1099

I know what I’ll be wasting spending my hard earned cash on tomorrow! Perfect gym entertainment. Someday I will master the art of reading+running at the same time…

3. Changing into sweats and fleecy socks as soon as I get home. Ultimate comfort. Height of fashion…DSC06095

And let us not forget the oh-so-cool granny fleece I’m rocking too…

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Yo.

I hear the fleece+sweats look is all the rage in Milan.

4. Cookie dough. Need I say more?DSC06088

Really, cookie dough is a health food. Good for the soul.

5. Baking with what is left of the cookie dough after you have consumed vast quantities of that goodness.

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Can you tell I lost my cookie dough scoop? Unevenly sized cookies are much more fun anyway! 😛

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This is my favourite cookie of my trials to make the perfect vegan chocolate chip cookie! I think I’ll try one more tweak and then post the recipe! Open-mouthed smile

So what are your Friday Favourites? Spill the beans!!

And do you have something fun planned for this weekend? I’m going to a friend’s birthday bash tomorrow, hence the cookie making! I never go to someone else’s place empty-handed! Winking smile

Have a great weekend friends! Smile

Better late than never

I actually breathed a sigh of bliss after yesterday’s (failed) challenge whilst eating my granola-topped choco-banana oatmeal this morning. Aaaah…DSC06053

Seriously, never again. And I think every commenter agreed with me: oats are an essential. Fact of life.

***

Today was a BodyPump day. I knew this. I knew what time my class was. And yet if the class hadn’t been running late anyway, I would have been seriously late.

Because I am a late person. I live by this philosophy:better%20late%20than%20never%20detail

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I leave everything (and I mean everything!) to the last minute. I also procrastinate by:

  • Baking, even when I know I don’t have the time to, and then the all-important ‘taste-testing’…
  • Watching TV (Criminal Minds and Gilmore Girls=addictive)
  • Reading magazines or recipe books
  • Blog stalking and Twittering <—–BIGGEST CULPRIT!

And I totally did all these things today before BodyPump.

I baked:

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Chewy protein granola bars

 

I watched TV:DSC04977

I read:DSC06076

And I blog stalked just about everyone in the world who has a blog.

Then I realised I had left myself 3 minutes to change, pack my bag, and get out of the house…yeah that just didn’t happen! But 15 minutes later and I was out!DSC06064

I was the creepy girl with the camera who tried to subtlely  take a photo of the class without anyone noticing, but got caught.

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That is one helluva death stare I'm getting!!

Note to self: strangers do not appreciate having their photo taken without their permission…

Oh, and these chewy protein granola bars are amazing, if I do say so myself! 😛 Made these ones with canned pumpkin, dates, apricots and sultanas. Holy yum.DSC06056

I cut them into squares this time, and so far today have eaten six. And I’m proud of it too! Winking smile

So are you an always-late person like me, or are you an early bird?

What do you do to procrastinate? Eating is another big procrastination of mine! I love spending time making something in the kitchen, and will usually do this rather than senisbly grabbing a snack bar to-go!

FRIDAY tomorrow! Have a great one friends!!

Chewy protein granola bars

Hello friends! Open-mouthed smile

Do I have an awesome recipe to share with you guys today or what?!

Y’all know that I love granola. And I love healthy energy bars. And I love chewiness. As in chewy cookies. Mmm… So anyway, I combined all these things in my baking today to produce this beauty:DSC05832

Chewy protein granola bars (based on this recipe from Allrecipes.com)

Makes approx 12 large bars.

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar (Note: I found this quite little sweet (even for me!) so I would recommend trying 1/2 cup, but it’s up to you)
  • 1/2 cup protein powder (optional- add 1/2 cup wheat germ, wheat bran, etc. otherwise)
  • 1 cup spelt flour (or flour of your choice- any will work)
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup dried fruits (I used 1/4 cup sultanas, 1/4 cup dried blueberries, 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots)
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar (or honey)
  • 1/2 large banana,  beaten
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce (Note: this makes it very applesauce-y. I love applesauce, so this is a good thing for me, but you can reduce it to 1/2 cup for a slightly crunchier texture, or use 1/2 applesauce+ 1/2 oil)
  • 2 tsp vanilla/other extract (I used 1t vanilla+1t almond)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F/175C. Grease a 9×13 inch pan well.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all dry ingredients (oats, sugar, wheat germ, protein powder, flour, cinnamon, salt and dried fruits).
  3. Make a well in the centre of the mix, and pour in all the wet ingredients (all the remainding ones), and mix well.
  4. Bake for approx 25-30 mins until the bars turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 mins, then cut into bars straight away for easy cutting. Enjoy! Smile

Gather all the dry ingredients into a bowl, and try not to eat too much dried fruit as you go like I did! Smile with tongue outDSC05807

Add the wet and mix well!

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Spread evenly into your pan, and pat down. I found that this didn’t fill my 9×13 pan without thinning out too much (I like thick bars!), so I left a couple of inches at the end.DSC05815

Bake away! It only took 22 mins at 165C in my fan-assisted oven.DSC05817

After 5 mins of cooling, cut into bars or smaller squares, your call.DSC05827

I chose large bars of course! Smile

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And enjoy! I certainly did! Open-mouthed smileSO delicious, and filling! Full of protein, fibre, fruit and energy!DSC05832

I cling-filmed the bars to keep them fresh. Perfect for slipping into my bag for some energy and protein pre or post workout!DSC05837

The best thing about this recipe is that it is totally customisable! For example, you could try:

  • Adding in nuts/cacao nibs for a slight crunch in the texture
  • Using a variety of other dried fruits, or even chocolate chips!
  • Adding canned pumpkin (and reducing applesauce accordingly)
  • Making them more crunchy by reducing the applesauce to 1/2 cup
  • Adding 1/4 cup of nut butter (and reducing applesauce by 1/4 cup)

I can’t wait to try out some of these other subs! I’m thinking a PB and chocolate chip crunchy granola bar? Open-mouthed smile

So what are you- a chewy or a crunchy person? I am definitely a chewy person mostly! Cookies come to mind- I’ll take a soft chewy cookie over a crunchy one any day! The only exception I can think of is in fact granola, but I prefer chewy bars to crunchy ones, hence this recipe! I’m going to try a crunchy version too though to compare Smile

And what is your favourite dried fruit, or are you not a dried fruit person? I love love LOVE dried fruit!! I love them all, but my favourite has to be dried apricots I think!

P.S. Going along with my healthy bar theme today, I thought you should all know that the lovely Freya is hosting an amazing Nakd giveaway! Haha this is actually the third time running I’ve promoted someone’s giveaway! Loving the giveaways!!

P.P.S. Because of the sudden surge in blogger giveaways here in England (not complaining- I think it’s really really great!!), I’m going to be putting off my own one for a bit to spread them out! But never fear, it will come! I’ll just leave you in suspense for a little longer! Smile with tongue out

Love you all! Have a great week! Open-mouthed smile

I’m not ashamed to admit…

Hello friends! Open-mouthed smile

Firstly, a huge congratulations to one of my blogging inspirations Tina @ Faith, Fitness, Fun who gave birth to baby Braedon last night, AND blogged about it! Love this girl, and her baby is beautiful! I want him!!

This morning’s sweat fest was truly awesome. Seriously. I had a great spin class, (although the music wasn’t as good today) with an amazing instructor, who had already taught BodyPump and Aerobics by that point! And still fresh as a daisy…sickening really! Smile with tongue out I followed this up with 35 mins on the elliptical whilst reading Runner’s World to pass the time.

Sadly, a big feature (see here for the discussion on this topic) in Runner’s World today…

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49 greatest weight-loss tips.

Other than that though, it has some very useful stuff, including the Ultimate Race Guide 2011!DSC05643                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

It featured quite a few of the races I’m looking at doing this year. However, I’ve decided to limit the number that I would otherwise do, because entry fees aren’t cheap! This is my definite race though (other than the trial in March):royalparkslogo

The Royal Parks half! It’s supposed to be a good one, is close to me, and is a mostly flat course so a speedy time potential! Open-mouthed smile It’s very popular though, so I’ll have to sign up fast when it opens!!

Today at lunchtime my head+stomach were telling me “Green Monster, Green Monster, GREEN MONSTER!!”. So of course, I gladly obliged.DSC05623

It had been way too long. Today’s GM: 3 handfuls spinach, 1 big banana, 1 cup milk, cereal, ice, protein powder, xanthan gum and soya yoghurt, topped with some Wild Berry granola that made up yesterday’s haul. DSC05618

This stuff is so so good! Granola is my love…

I am not ashamed to admit that later I dove straight back into that packet and munched away happily until I was satisfied.DSC05624

I am not ashamed to admit that I am a cookie dough monster, and that this is my refuel food of choice.DSC05630

I am not ashamed to admit that I do have baking failures, especially with my tendency for blindness that lead to adding a ton more agave nectar than the recipe called for, and ending up with chocolate chip scuffins rather than cookies.

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Tasted darn good anyway!

I am not ashamed to admit that I now keep a spoon by this jar for emergencies:DSC05572

Make me feel better by telling me one thing you’re not ashamed of. And are you signing up for any races this year? If so, do you have any specific ones/distances in mind? I’m definitely doing that half, as well as the 5k trial in March, and there are tons of other possibles on my list! Exciting times! Open-mouthed smile

Hope you are having great week! Smile