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Things I am Thankful For

My favorite and most loving sister tops the charts, obviously.

Where did this year go? I can’t believe my 3rd favorite holiday has already gone and passed. I love Thanksgiving.

I am thankful for my mom’s Whipped Maple Pecan Sweet Potato recipe, as well as the rest of our feastful:

I’m especially thankful for my family.

I’m also thankful for my friends…especially the ones with a new baby!

What a cutie patootie!

I’m also thankful for CHOCOLATE…thanks to the people at Adora! They gave me the chance to taste, review and let you all know what I think about this sinful, healthy, nutrient-full supplement.

Milk or Dark Chocolate. Yum.

As they say, rich, creamy, and indulgent. Adora holds true to its word. Providing 50% of your daily value of calcium per 30 calorie disk, as well vitamin D3 and magnesium for optimal absorption, this is seriously the best thing since sliced bread. With chocolate tasting this good, I won’t EVER forget to take my calcium supplement again, and that’s a promise. Is there such a thing as overdosing? I hope not. Thanks Adora for letting me try your fabulous product.

YOU can be thankful for Adora’s retail availability at CVS/pharmacy stores and Whole Foods nationwide. Go get some NOW!

I’m going to continue giving thanks and my body will thank me for the post-Thanksgiving workout I’m about to endure.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Cozy Sunday Lasagna

I woke up at 11am today.:-/ Either I needed the sleep or I’m living up my last days before the early a.m. routine kicks in at my new job. The rainy drizzle and overcast skies didn’t help my motivation any. I lit a Pumpkin Spice candle just for effects. $1 well spent.

The weekends always seem to go by in a flash and this weekend was no different. I spent Friday night out on the town which always seems like a better idea than it actually is.

Luckily Saturday morning came in a flash (or not so lucky…in the lack-of-sleep department) but I had a coffee date I couldn’t be more excited for! I met up with the fantabulous Healthy Everythingtarian herself. I felt like I’ve known Holly for years, we are in fact born and bread in the same city, fyi. This girl is everything you thought she would be and more. We had a blast gabbing away at the local Panera for coffee (which I should have subbed for saline straight to the veins considering my Friday evening), but we shared some good laughs over my ‘lack in brain cells’. (I.e. Me making eggs the other day and putting the cheese away in the pantry and not back in the fridge???) I don’t know where my head is at sometimes! I wish I could say I had pictures from the afternoon, but guess who forgot their camera in the car or at home or who knows where?!

After two hours we parted ways and Holly headed off to her sister’s Bachelorette Party and I had to get ready for the SheTaxi holiday party. I was in charge of dessert. Again, adapted from Smitten Kitchen, I healthified the Maple Cream Cheese Carrot Cupcakes. You can find my changes here. This time around. I made ’em mini.

They were a hit! And who doesn’t like their dessert bite-size? And no butter/oil.:mrgreen: It’s the simple things in life that I like to indulge in. These are one of them. I think I’ll be repeating this recipe for Thanksgiving. You should too. They are that good!

Oh, but the deliciousness doesn’t stop there! Like I said, I wanted to spend my Sunday snuggling up on the couch, doin’ a little cleaning, laundry, this and that.

That includes LASAGNA!

Adapted from Culinary Cafe.

This is what you need (and yes that’s a 5lb tub of cottage cheese❤ )

Here’s what I did:

  • Boiled water with salt, added 7 lasagna sheets (the recipe called for 6, but I can’t count)
  • Browned Italian meat (1.5lbs, put half in fridge for later use)
  • In a 2-quart pyrex, I added 1 cup of pasta sauce
  • Added the rest of the pasta sauce to the skillet of meat (~.75lb)
  • Layered the bottom of the pan with 3 cooked lasagna sheets (cutting 1-2 inches off the end b/c they’re too long)
  • Added 1/3 of sauce & meat mixture
  • Added 3/4 cup of Cottage Cheese
  • Sprinkled ~1/2 cup of cheddar/Italian/Parmesan cheese
  • Add two sheets of lasagna noodles and repeat meat/cottage cheese/shredded cheese steps
  • Add final two sheets of lasagna noodles (using 7 total, could use 6 too)
  • Add last 1/3 of meat, and sprinkle a little shredded cheese on top
  • Cover with foil and refrigerate until ready to bake
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour and light a candle.

Ahh, the joys of fall.

Yesterday was a pretty stellar day.

Who could ask for more when you get to spend 3 hours with your Grandma out to lunch at Good Earth, help her fill up her gas tank and chat for another hour back at her apartment afterward? I love this lady. She bring good luck too. True statement.

And isn’t she just precious. How couldn’t you love hanging out with her?!

In addition to hanging out with Gma McG, Tuesday also marked the release of my first published blog article “Finding My Healthy” at www.SheTaxi.com! This site is a private, subscription-only online vehicle for women to relate to different topics, be it Motherhood, being Solo, Daughterhood, Wellness, Sheness, etc. I definitely think it’s a great tool, but of course, I am a little biased. However, you should still check it out. Membership is free dura beta.😉

This would make me a writer, would it not?🙂

Now, I’m pretty sure good things happen in groups of three, too. Because, while out with Gma, I got a call from an Unknown number but refrained from answering at the restaurant.

That’s when I figured it was was a call regarding an interview last week. I told, maybe, 3 people about this interview, just in case it didn’t work out and especially because it was so intense, I was nervous about the outcome. Luckily, I had my lucky Grandma with me in this time of doubt.😉

While back at her apartment she said,

Well, I really hope you get the job Molly, because if you do, that means my apartment is lucky. You wanna know why? Both of your aunts received calls about selling their houses while they were here. So it must be lucky.

Don’t get me wrong, I was a little skeptical, but Grandma delivered!

I was offered the JOB!!!!!!!!!

I am now employed, and my Grandma is for sure a lucky charm, so if you have something in your life that needs a good vibe, just hang out with her. Or just stop by, because she’s pretty good company!

Coming up on A Minnesota Life…a product review, stop back soon, you won’t be disappointed!

Priorities

Happy November, Happy Election Day (yesterday), Happy Fall, Happy Hump Day,

Well for those of you who follow my blog, or did, I was an avid writer while in Japan. I had the time, the energy, the inspiration of being in a foreign country with endless topics, ideas, and events going on in my life that I could share with people. I was especially good as sharing my feelings and hardships about the language barrier, cultural differences, and lifestyle of an American girl living in rural Japan.

Things are different now, I will admit. It seems like I write every two weeks, or sadly, go even longer without posting. I wanted to maintain this blog as a healthy living site for what goes on in my life and what I’ve been up to on a day-to-day basis. I’d love to say my life is exhilarating, and full of excitement. I will say, I have been doing a LOT, however, when I want to blog about something or post my new recipes, etc., I find myself holding back and getting “sidetracked” because what I really should be doing is job hunting. Granted, I don’t job hunt 24/7, but I feel guilty even picking up a novel and having ‘me time’ when I know I should be pounding the pavement with this job search.

It’s a tough market people. I’m sure you’re all aware of that. Part of me wants to just get my foot in the door with a great company like Target, General Mills, or Health Partners, and not care about the position. The other part of me wants to find that perfect position and not care what the company or pay is, but just do what I love. What exactly do I love? Well, health is definitely at the forefront of my interests, as well as writing…so that leads to PR, I like promoting health, wellness, fitness…so there’s job potential there. I also like the idea of working with a company with healthy foods (hello Target, yes I will be a buyer for your Organic foods)…a girl can dream right? I just don’t know where to start. It’s overwhelming and slightly depressing sometimes, but I’ll keep at it and get my dream job one way or another!

In the meantime my other priorities include my internship at SheTaxi (the more practice and experience, the better), running, family, friends, and of course a little cooking, TV, and People magazine.

These past few weeks, since Grandma’s 90th, we’ve spent time with the family from out of state, going to the cabin,

Quality sister time,

And of course last weekend, getting all gussied up for the festivities, that is, my 2nd favorite holiday of the year: HALLOWEEN.

Hello Shakira and our lil Firefighter

Nerd & a TopGun girl (that would be my dad’s real Vietnam uniform there!)

Antone Dodson, and Jake the Bachelor

A Hot dog, taco and condiments

I will say though, that when planning a Halloween costume, being from Minnesota, taking the weather into consideration is a good idea. I did not, and paid the price. It was freezing!

So while I’m not gonna worry about where my priorities lie, I’m just gonna let the good times roll. Life too short to not to enjoy the small stuff.

I hope everyone got out and voted yesterday for somebody. Have a great rest of the week. Let’s set a personal goal (me) of writing again before weeks end.

 

I really have no excuse for not blogging for ages. I really want to get back into it, pretty sure I lost all my blogger-reader-friends. Come Baaaaaaaaack🙂

Last year about this time, I was making a list of all my favorite fall things but all the way from Japan. Now, a year later, I am still grateful for all things fall, but I’ve got a few to add to my Midwest list for 2010.

1. Fall T.V.: I wish I was kidding. I wish my list was shorter (I don’t really). I wish Tivo wasn’t invented.

  • Ellen. Daily
  • Chelsea Lately
  • Tosh.O
  • Grey’s Anatomy
  • Private Practice
  • HIMYM
  • House
  • Biggest Loser
  • Dancing with the Stars
  • Modern Family
  • Glee
  • Law & Order SVU
  • The Office
  • Gossip Girl

Am I forgetting one? This list is embarrassing, so I hope not.

2. Going to see WICKED!

3. 100 years of Johnnie Football/Homecoming/Tommie-Johnnie all in one day.

4. Family visiting from out of state, especially the cousins who can’t make it every year!

5. Celebrating Birthdays

  • Mom
  • Auntie Maureen
  • GRANDMA’S 90th FREAKIN’ BIRTHDAY last weekend~

Grandma with the kids and grandkids + spouses. We are a good lookin’ bunch if I do say so myself!

WHAT.A.SUCCESS.

5. Last but not least, kitchen experiments.

Have you ever heard of Larabars? They’re pricy. I made my own. Today’s trial run was Reese’s Pecan impression of a Larabar:

  • 2 cups of pitted dates
  • 3/4 cup of pecans
  • 2 Tbs all natural Peanut Butter
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • sprinkle of salt

Throw it all in the food processor + Glee in the background.

Walla (like a magician would say. Is that how you spell it?)

Don’t knock it till you try it, but YUMMY!

Well since we all know I have 18 hours of Tivo to catch up on, I gotta get back to that, plus ice my legs after a fall run around the lakes (that’s #6 on my list btw.)

Night!

A BIG Thank You or Two

Ok, ok, so I’ve been going on living life, and not really sitting down in front of my computer much. Which good for me, sad for you (when I disappear for who knows how long), but good news, I’m still here, not goin’ anywhere, and I’ve got updates, pictures, and fun things to share (minus that Zucchini Cookie mishap. I can’t share a recipe that totally flopped. They turned out more like muffin tops, healthy yes, cookie no. Sooo, if you’re looking for a muffin-y recipe with zucchini, choc chips, & craisins, then contact me at aminnesotalife@gmail.com🙂 ).

Remember back when I attended the Healthy Living Summit in Chicago? Well, I also mentioned that I won not one, but TWO drawings. The first was from Athenos. It was a Swoop Bowl like this:

And a 2-piece Arctic Salad server

Wow, THANKS AGAIN Athenos!

Then, not only did I win that awesome set, but wait, there’s more! I won a drawing from Attune Foods!

I won 5 boxes of Uncle Sam’s High Fiber cereal, 5 boxes of Erewhon’s Gluten-free cereal, AND the best of the best: 3 bags of Attune Granola Munch (Apple Cinnamon, Maple Nut, and Chocolate with Chocolate chips). I’d be lying if I told you they lasted more than two weeks (if that). My FAVORITE was the Maple Nut (I’m secretly a Canadian at heart…or at least wish I was). The Maple Nut and Apple Cinnamon had little yogurt chips. Heaven. I tell ya, this product will be purchased in the near future! Thanks again, Attune Foods!

~~~

The second (technically 3rd) big thanks goes out to Ms. Tomoyo who came ALL THE WAY from Japan to visit me this last week. Let’s recap, shall we?!

Some wordless recaps:

(ok a few words: I bought this shirt in Japan for my dad. Tomo saw it and burst out laughing. Apparently the Japanese written on it says: Emperor of the Night who is summoned by women into their snack bars to get drunk and then take those said women home). Well in Japan, my dad would be a pimp evidently.

Ok, no more words:

Thanks for an amazing week Tomo! See you again soon, hopefully in Japan😉

In the meantime

My day started at 4:10a.m.

More like my night ended at 2:30a.m. and I took a cat-nap until 4 when I heard Tomo come nearly crashing down our death stairs carrying her suitcase that most definitely weighs as much, if not more than her.

Today, Tomo left.

Mom, Dad and I drove her to the airport at 4:30a.m. I will say that, since I fell asleep in my clothes on the couch and didn’t even bother to remove my pants or put on p.j.s that I was looking pretty good for that early in the a.m.😉

In addition, I have lots of updates on our 8 day adventure around the Twin Cities, but while I whip that up, as well as some Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies, here is a dorky survey that I actually enjoyed doing, to tide you over.

I was tagged on Anne’s Blog @ Food Loving Polar Bear in her little survey/questionnaire. So here goes my answers to those questions.

1. If you could have any superpower, what would you have? Why?

I would want to fly or be invisible so I could walk through walls. Sounds like it’d be cool. Oh wait, I wanna breathe underwater too! Free SCUBA diving!

2. Who is your style icon?

Hahaha, if you know me at all, um I clearly don’t have an icon by the way I dress, but I do like simple and cute with some accessories and heels. Who’s that?

3. What is your favorite quote?

Wow, I love quotes, but I currently have this one on my email signature:

Progress involves risk. You can’t steal second base while keeping your foot on first. -Anonymous

Seems relevant to my life right now.

4. What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?

Tomo’s family told me that I am the nicest foreigner they’ve ever met and I’m really respectful and understanding of other cultures.😀

5. What playlist/cd is in your CD player/iPod right now?

I’m a little behind on the times since I just got home, but I’m still obsessed with Love the Way you Lie by Rihanna/Eminem, and I really like the country tune: If I Die Young.

6. Are you a night owl or a morning person?

I used to be a morning person, but evidently my social priorities have me staying up really late. That will all change again when I’m working 40+ hours a week!

7. Do you prefer dogs or cats?

Don’t hate me: NEITHER. I don’t mind them, but since I didn’t grow up with any, I could live without ever having one. Some people have really cool dogs though.

8. What is the meaning behind your blog name?

I am from Minnesota, and this is my life. (Travels, Friends, Family, my Faith, and the fun things I do…all while trying to find a healthy balance). Here is my About Page!

Tag some people:

Jamie @ Tearaveler

Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers

Molly @ Something.Beautiful

Janetha @ Meals and Moves

Have fun with the questions! :)

~~~

Enjoy and I’ll be back SOON!