minor victories

And I mean MINOR. Like yesterday I didn’t eat a single Christmas cookie or have even a small sip of wine. 

And today is my fourth day in a row at the local Ripon gym and my second with Jaime! Life is so much better when you have one of your favorite hometown pals ellipticaling by your side. 



I REALLY hope I can still button my new snow pants after this trip. The calories just go down so easy in these parts! 


Merry Christmas!

Life is pretty sweet in Ripon right now. My family has mounds of snow and now we’re patiently waiting for prime rib and fresh baked bread for our Christmas feast. Breezy joined the parents for my pick-up trip to Milwaukee airport on Sunday afternoon, and it’s been non-stop family bonding ever since. Yesterday we went to my Grandma’s, where we saw more of the Nielsen clan than I’d seen in years. After that, back to Ripon to celebrate with my aunt. Happy family!

Prior to leaving Oregon, Eli and I spent Saturday on Mt. Hood, and I learned to snow shoe. My new favorite workout! I’m still a little sore. 🙂Image





I think I’ve finally mastered Mandy’s pizza dough recipe… last night I made my best version yet! It sat out all day, making it super easy to roll out.

Lucky Eli gets the leftovers delivered to work for lunch today. 🙂 I packaged all the extras up immediately, as to not tempt me before bed. It worked!

Bacon, brussel sprout, mushroom and onion with goat cheese!


Pre-WiscoVaca workout schedule that I can not waver on (haven’t seen the gym in three days… oy!):

Today: Spin
Tomorrow: Bodypump
Thursday: Spin
Friday: Spin
Saturday: Bodypump

Who’s coming with me!?

OMGosh! It’s snowing here, AT MY HOUSE, right now!!!

happy New Phone Day to me!

I’m in love, people! This phone is ultra fast and fabulous – total luxury!

These will find a way into most meals over the next few days:


All I want to do is walk around Portland on this sunny day with my new toy and take a million pictures. But back to work I go. Boo!

a pastry chef, i am not.

Eli gets lemons from his Granny’s tree.

I juice them, zest them, freeze everything to preserve for future use.

Two weeks later I set out for this lemon jelly candy recipe.

Oops! Added pectin instead of gelatin, resulting in two wonderful cups of lemon jelly!

Eli: Try adding gelatin to the jelly, maybe that will work.


Two nights later (tonight), I turn weird gelatin/jelly mixture into what I hope will be gooy (yet firm and hearty) oatsy breakfasty bars. Click here for Brown Butter Bar recipe.

In conjunction with this little repurposing mess, I decide to also make biscotti.

No white sugar, gotta find a brown sugar recipe.

Cool! Here’s Martha’s version that I can add my pistachios and cranberries to!

Why is this dough so dry? Maybe I should add another egg? Ok!

Bad idea.

Dough doesn’t cook through during round one, so it’s uneven and wet and crumbly in all the wrong ways.

Recipe yields 40 cookies, mine will be lucky to see eighteen.

Shoot, I’m too busy blogging! Are they burning?!

Grr, not burned, but still not cooked evenly.

Will anyone eat these? And more importantly, how many calories have I consumed during quality control?

Major gratitude to all you busy baker bees out there; this gig ain’t easy!


Blogging with my current phone is the pits. And constantly borrowing E’s phone for every shot of food and fun is getting pretty old (for both of us). Good news though, I’m getting a new fancy phone on Wednesday and am most excited for the 8mp camera!

Yesterday was perfect. Spin class, Forest Park hike, family dinner (meatballs!) and Christmas light hanging.

Few pics were taken, but here’s a shot from the hike. It’s our new favorite place to go– the end of the 30 mile Wildwood trail off Newberry Road.

magical fogginess

magical fogginess

medifast tuesday

I came down with mini-cold on Saturday night that kept me from the gym on Sunday and Monday. After a serious dose of soup and vitamin C I was able to return to spin class this morning, but my spirit is a little deflated from what I saw on the scale.

So today I’m following Medifast and drinking the shakes I still have left from earlier this year. Tonight we’re having salmon, greens and shitaki mushrooms for the Lean/Green meal.

What do you do to get back on track after overindulgence or sickness?

I didn’t take any pictures this weekend, other than the shots from E’s iPhone…

Wild Hare Tree Farm, Estacada, Oregon

Wild Hare Tree Farm, Estacada, Oregon