Tag Archives: food

My Favorite Holiday Weekend

I love kicking off my favorite holiday weekend with the Heart and Sole Race, in Pittsville, WI. It’s always on July 3rd, so sometimes it’s crazy hot! It’s an evening race, which sometimes helps, but it’s a fabulous five mile race that raises money for their little local fire department. What a great cause!

There are a couple things that I can count on in this race, and this Blues Brothers guy is one of them!

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This course is an out-and-back with four water stations, and they’re all needed since it’s usually so warm. I stop every time! I run this race with my friend, George, and we chat almost the whole time. We both see runners that we know from other races, so it’s nice to wave at our friends when we run by! That’s one of my favorite parts about out-and-back courses… I get a chance to see everyone who hit the turnaround before I did on their way back, and then I get to cheer on everyone behind me once I turn around! πŸ™‚

The finish line for this race is just adorable. So festive!

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I obviously took that photo before the race- when we came through the chute, there were lots of other people with us! I really love small town races. πŸ™‚

I enjoyed some incredible watermelon post race…

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…and granola. Oh, gosh, the granola.

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It’s homemade, and I have dreams about it the rest of the year. It’s sooo delicious, and I love munching on that once I finish the race! πŸ™‚

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Many thanks to this lady, who obviously is responsible for cooking pans and pans and pans of the good stuff!

George and I came in at a strong 47:24, and refueled with cold beer. πŸ™‚

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I came home, soaked in a tub, and hung out with Brian on our newly finished back deck. We live close enough to Riverfront Rendezvous that we could hear Here Come The Mummies as they played, and I relaxed with a glass of lemonade and enjoyed them from the comfort of my own home. πŸ™‚

On Saturday morning, we prepped for a cookout later, and I got ready for our Stevens Point Fourth of July parade. I love parades, and the Fourth of July, and everything patriotic. This is my favorite day!

The common council and the mayor all got together and walked in the parade. It was a lot of fun!

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This is me with “the Marys…” Alderperson Mary Kneebone and Alderperson Mary McComb. πŸ™‚

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Our other friend Mary was driving the truck with the City Band float. Way to go, girl!

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After the parade, I dropped off cookies for our police department and fire department (THANK YOU for working holidays and keeping us safe!), then met Chris and Amy at our house for some lake time!

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We had some perfect weather- hot and sunny with a cold, clear lake to jump in. Before we knew it, it was time to head back to our house for our annual cookout. Of course, I completely forgot to take photos of our friends and all the delicious food, but we had a gaggle over for burgers, brats, sweet corn, and all sorts of traditional grilling foods!

For dessert, we featured my tenth annual flag cake!

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I can’t believe I’ve been making this cake for ten years! I used to choose white cake, but now I make angel food cake with fresh whipped cream for frosting. Delicious!

Once it got a little darker, we played with some sparklers. My friends are the cutest!

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We finished our night with s’mores by the fire, and Amy and Chris stayed for a sleepover!

We woke them up with coffee, egg sandwiches, and quite impressive Bloody Marys.

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Breakfast on the front porch with friends is really the best way to start my day, especially since our post-brunching activity was a walk to the new winery. Brian and I were lucky enough to attend their soft opening the week prior, so we were excited to show off this new facility!

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We strolled through the parks on the way home, stopping to look at the emergency vehicle display.

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Abbie was thrilled with all our visitors and all the time playing outside, but she was really happy to cool off inside for the afternoon. πŸ™‚

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Stevens Point hosts fireworks on Sunday, so Brian and I headed over to the park with our kayaks and watched both our friends in Horseshoes and Hand Grenades play at the park AND the fireworks from our little place on the water.

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Don’t worry, friends: we are experienced kayakers and had both bow and stern lights, as well as headlamps. I get concerned about the other kayakers out on the water- there is a lot of boat traffic out for the fireworks and I’ve seen less experienced kayakers struggle in the wake. Lights are very important, too!

We packed up the boats, drove the three blocks home, and collapsed in bed.

Fourth of July weekend? Complete, and a total success. πŸ™‚

As always, thanks for reading!!

Miles this year: 308.55

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Easter + a week on the road

I love Easter! We celebrated Easter this year with friends from our church, and I brought deviled eggs. 

I love deviled eggs, though I always feel a little weird bringing something with the word “devil” right in the name to a celebration about Jesus. πŸ˜‰

We tried to go easy on the Easter candy at home, but there is a seemingly unlimited supply of seasonal candy at the PT clinic. Oh, gummy candy… I burned off all that gummy candy with a super windy and hilly nine miles with Lydia on the Wau-king trail.  We refueled with beer at Chain Bar, and I headed home to pack for a crazy week.I had such a busy day- when Brian got home, we headed up to Wausau for a ballroom dance lesson with our first dance teachers, Missy and Jeff! We hadn’t seen them since they taught us to dance before our wedding. Eight years was too long! Of course, I was too excited to see them and I forgot to take a picture, but after our lesson, we headed over to the election headquarters for our alderman Mike Wiza, and we were present when they called the vote, making Mike our new Stevens Point mayor! Congratulations, Mike. πŸ™‚Brian and I spent the week in the Valley, while he was at a training for work. It was pretty cool for me- since most of my work is portable, I can work from anywhere. I was able to catch up on some photo work, make all the games for Amy’s upcoming bridal shower, and shoot a gorgeous pastry (with the cutest edible orchid!) from SAP Brunch in Appleton.On our last morning at the hotel, we went out for breakfast at this fabulous cafe- Molly’s. They had sweet potato hash browns! Made. My. Day. I loved the treadmill at the hotel, so I headed back to our room, changed, and logged a few miles in the hotel gym. After a quick shower, we packed up and headed down to Chicago to celebrate my great aunt Eileen’s 75th anniversary of being an active member of the ancient order of Hibernians. It was a beautiful party where I got to see a lot of my family, including my brother and his family. Happy National Sibling Day! We caught up with everyone and danced until we dropped! It’s fun to visit my Hoffman side, because I’m the short one among those cousins, and I’m 5’8″! πŸ™‚

We spent the night at my aunt Maureen’s house and took care of Percy. I think she was upset that she wasn’t invited to the party. She wouldn’t smile for me! πŸ™‚ We left very early on Saturday morning to head up to Wausau for Amy’s bridal shower! My car celebrated a little palindrome milestone of her own somewhere in northern Illinois…We stopped at home for a whirlwind half hour- showered, changed, styled my hair, brewed some iced tea, boxed up the shortbreads, made simple syrup, then packed it all up in a cooler and took it to the Hirn home for Amy’s bridal shower. Becky, Brooke, and I planned this adorable tea-themed shower, and it turned out beautifully!    

                    

  Congratulations, best friend! I’m so happy for you and thrilled to be your matron of honor. ❀️ 

Miles this year: 221.45

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Thanksgiving!

I love Thanksgiving. It’s the one time of year that I transform my home into a gourmet restaurant, bake beautiful pastries, and use chargers.

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I had an ear infection, so I was feeling less than stellar, though I was on antibiotics and the good cough syrup. I was in no condition to run the turkey trot, though, so I was bummed. I moped around the house all morning, and was making breakfast when the runners ran right past my kitchen window. I focused on trying to relax, though we both worked all morning to clean the house and prepare it for dinner. I’d just finished hanging our rugs outside and mopping the floors, so we hopped in the shower. I came out, threw on leggings and a dress, and I heard a knock at the door. Brian was in the shower, so I answered, and it was my mother-in-law, an hour early! The floor was still wet and I was definitely not ready to receive. We made it work, though- and it was a very natural celebration. Natural is code for no-makeup-no-hair-no-nice-outfit, but casual can be good. I was so frazzled from starting the day like that, and I forgot to take a picture of the finished table! 😦 major bummer. Picture a big white tablecloth, gold chargers, white servingware, and glass candleholders with cranberries and white candles. Oh, and white cloth napkins. The food went over very well- Brian helped me with the turkey, and we had Grandma’s stuffing, Mom’s mashed potatoes, creamed corn, maple roasted Brussels sprouts, homemade cranberry sauce, gravy, Jean’s squash bake, a green salad, fresh rolls, and of course, my pie. I went with individual pies this year, and served them with cinnamon honey ice cream. Delicious! I also took my annual thanksgiving photo with Grampie…

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I went shopping on Black Friday with Amy, per our tradition, and then headed over to the country to celebrate Thanksgiving with my inlaws. Saturday was with the Oberstadts, and I scored the best recipe for heavenly hash. Once I try it out, I’ll post it for you πŸ™‚
I baked Saturday night for Thanksgiving with Brian’s brothers and their families. My famous pumpkin pie!

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We went to bed early so I could rest- my ear infection was bothering me, and I was hoping to run the Noodleini. That story is up next! πŸ™‚

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Staush and Colleen and my Wisconsin fall weekend

I can’t get over how cute these two are.

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Meet Staush and Colleen.
I first met Staush through my work with Wisconsin TU- he’s on our state council as well. He picked a beautiful antique engagement ring, surprised her at a park, and amidst tears, Colleen said yes! They are planning a beautiful August wedding in Green Bay next year, and we’re really excited to work with them! They both work in politics, so an election-year engagement session was hard to schedule, but they came all the way over to Rib Mountain to hang out with us.

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Congratulations, guys! πŸ™‚
We had dinner Friday night with my other BFF, Amy, and her handsome fiancΓ©, Chris. They took us out to celebrate our birthdays!

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We started our busy Saturday with work in the crawl space under the house, then headed up to Kim’s cancer benefit in Wausau. The beautiful Kim Kuklinski and I went to high school together, and we are all praying for her strong recovery. We donated a photo package to the benefit, so I dropped off my display, bought a lot of tickets for raffles, saw some friends (hi, Alie!)…

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…then headed off to the apple orchard to see Amy, Chris, and a few other folks from the wedding party. It was great- Helene’s had live music, several varieties of apples, and rides for the kids.

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After a bushel and a peck of apples, we zipped over to the Phares’ super cute house for dinner. Ron and Stacey spoil us! We also got to play with Newton a little bit, too. πŸ™‚

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I made a big batch of pink applesauce with the apples from the orchard.

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I hope we have enough to last us through the winter! πŸ™‚
As always, thanks for reading, friends.

Miles this year: 467.8

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Happy birthday to me!

I celebrated my 29th birthday with a 20 miler. It was tough but I made it through πŸ™‚

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Long runs build character, as well as strengthen my body. I took four five mile loops, and fueled at home in between. The fall colors were starting to show, and I took some beautiful loops on the Green Circle. I was even stuck behind a train at mile 18!

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I finished along the Wisconsin River by my house, and relaxed in compression socks for a while πŸ™‚

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My mom and Bill invited us up for pizza at Sam’s, the place where I had my first waitressing job. πŸ™‚
I celebrated my birthday and long run with some thin crust deliciousness and a frosty mug of beer. Pretty awesome. Afterwards, we went to the campground where they’ll be having their wedding reception.

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We returned home, and I tried to take a selfie with my curly-haired Grammie, but she was being camera shy. Too cute.

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I had Friday to recover from my fun birthday, and we headed over to Waupaca on Saturday to capture the wedding of Mary and Scott. These two are so cute together, and they had lots of personalized details- especially featuring their shared love for Scott’s Cadillac. They had their reception at the historic Gerold Opera House, and it was a beautiful and unique setting! All the lush red velvet and well-danced wooden floors…
Take a peek!

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Congratulations, friends!
I took Abbie out for lots of miles the next week to burn off that delicious wedding cake, and I wore her out… She loves her new bed!

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Brian was gone the following week at an AFL-CIO conference, so I filled my time with friends.
I ran with Sarah…

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Met Stacey for coffee…

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And hooked up with my cutie patootie BFF Nikki for dinner.

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Too much fun in one week, if you ask me. πŸ™‚
Next up? Engagements with my friend Staush and his beautiful fiancΓ©e, Colleen, dinner with the Phares’, and a whirlwind weekend with a trip to the apple orchard. Thanks for reading, friends!

Miles this year: 464.5

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Baby Lily Nowinski!!

Our fabulous friends, Mary and Joe, welcomed brand new baby Lily over Labor Day weekend. We popped over on Monday to meet her, and gosh… she’s adorable.

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If I’ve been lucky enough to meet you, you probably know that I love dimples. Brian has them, and I think they’re so handsome. Mary also has dimples, and she passed them on to Lily!

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We love this little cutie. Congratulations, Nowinski family!
My heart was kept warm that week by stopping over to catch some photos of Hart Equine Therapy for Hoopla. These fabulous folks volunteer their time and their facility to help kids with special needs. How awesome! We were greeted at the barn by horses, donkeys, and your standard farm cats and dogs. I loved it!

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The rest of my week was pretty typical. I ran…

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…I went to Radio Kaos with Bill…

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…I heard Brian play with River Cities Jazz and danced with my students…

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…ate some fabulous food (look at that fish plate!) from Freckled Frogg…

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…and capped off a busy summer week with a bonfire.

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Summer life in Wisconsin is the best. πŸ™‚ thanks for reading, friends!

Miles this year: 446.95

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Relax? What’s that?

I got home from Pennsylvania just in time to celebrate Mother’s Day. Brian and I invited our moms over for a brunch- we had a waffle bar!
My mom is truly an amazing woman. She was a single mom for most of my life, and made some amazing sacrifices so I had every opportunity to develop into the woman than I am. I love you, Mom!

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The flowing week was packed with some of my favorite things: running the Green Circle Trail with Lydia and Carmel…

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Cuddling with my favorite Halle girl…

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Making chive vinegar…

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…and feeding watermelon to Abbie on hot days.

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I ran over to Green Bay to host an event sponsored by Green Bay TU that we called Women, Water, and Wine. It was an event for women to come and learn about the things that TU does in their community and hook them up with the local chapter. Tim Landwehr over at Tight Lines graciously donated his shop space for us. We had wine and cheese and it was a great time!

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That same week, B and I went down to Milwaukee to catch a Brewer game.
I feel like the only person who tailgates with a salad, but it was delicious!

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We made a couple stops for some tasty eats- gourmet cupcakes and Bloody Marys from Wicked Hop.

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More trips to come- the driftless area for a meeting, the Green Bay half marathon, a baby shower… You know me. Always on the go!
Thanks for reading, friends. πŸ™‚

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