Thursday, December 2, 2010

When Hardwork Pays Off...

Happy Thursday Everyone!
I don't know how the weather is where you are, but today's not too terrible here!  It's a chilly 30 degrees, but without the blistery wind, it feels much warmer!  Yesterday I went for a little jog out and about and let me tell you...NOT PLEASANT.  Do you ever have moments where you're outside whether it's working on your lawn, running errands, etc. and it's crazy windy and COLD?!  It just makes me downright angry.  Not to sound like the grinch or anything, because I do love this time of year, but not necessarily the weather.  Pretty snowflakes falling from the sky...yes, sleet and 0 degree thank you.

Ok, enough about the weather.  I mean, who really cares.... And why do we (aka: our country in particular) talk about it so much?  I found this little entry on Urban Dictionary (a dictionary devoted to made up/slang terms that anyone can edit) and had to laugh a little, because it is SO TRUE!

"when ones conversation with another is not specifically about the weather, but only regards dry less meaningful topics such as "what are you up to tomorrow?" or "how has your day been?", reaching no higher significant peaks"
Do you agree?!  :)  Sorry if you happen to be a meteorologist or weather channel fanatic.  Forgive me.

Moving on, (can you sense I already am getting off task?!)
So I mentioned in the first post that I run cross country and track at a private college.  We just finished up the cross country season here in the Midwest.  Our team (both men and women) qualified for the Division III national meet.  Now, a lot of people don't comprehend what the word national (in this specific context) entails.  Let me tell you folks, it's a pretty big deal.  Only 32 teams in the entire division III nation can qualify.  And we did it!  :) We ran against teams that flew from Vermont, New York, California...(get my point?!) and guess what?  WE PLACED 6TH! Woo Hooo!! Our team did outstanding!  You can see results here if you choose to be a running geek like me ;) 
and here's a little summary from our college sports website: 
"Today's sixth place finish is Luther's highest finish at the national finale since 2000 when it placed third. It also tied the second highest finish in school history. In 1983, Luther made its first appearance at the national championships, and that year also finished sixth. This year, the Norse were making their 11th appearance at the national meet and fourth in the past five years."

Ok. Just had to share a little excitement!  But it was amazing not only because all of our hard work and dedication throughout the summer and season paid off, but also because of our amazing fans.  We had so many friends, family, teammates, alumni, etc.  A 6k race in 30 degree weather with tough competition is quite  a mental and physical challenge.  Without my family, friends, teammates and alumni there, it would've made it pretty dang painful!

Now, I promise, I won't blog about running for awhile.  We'll be in the off season until indoor track season starts (in February).  Unless of course, it's negative degree weather ;)

I also told you, in my first post, that I'm getting married in July.  Now that wedding planning is underway, my fiancee (man that sounds weird!), and I took some engagement pics in October.  Our photographer is so fun and creative!  We loved spending time with her and I suggest you check out her website:  She's a blast and super laid back!  I'll give you a quick preview of some of pictures she took.  Speaking of planning weddings, I never knew how complicated a guest list could be.  Seriously.  No one warned me!  So my future hubby and I are currently compiling pretty much every person we've ever been close with, not to mention our parents friends, etc.  The list goes on and on and ON!

On another note, I've been baking and cooking like a madwoman lately!  My little bro and I had our team out last night for some snacks and to finish up Toy Story 3!  What a great animated movie!  I never guessed I'd be into animated movies as a 21 year old, but I loved it.  Another great animated movie I suggest you watch is Up.  And I'm not bias to the movie just because the old woman's name is Ellie.  Although that's pretty sweeeeeeet. :)
I threw together some spinach-artichoke dip, um to DIE for!  Not only did I substitute all the ingredients for lower fat ingredients, but I also added leeks!  I know you're probably thinking, YUCK!  Who would add leeks to spinach-artichoke dip?!  But let me tell you, it adds another dimension and it's deliciosa!  Just satay a couple chopped up leeks in some olive oil, add some minced garlic, a few of your fav spices and mix it right into your standard spinach artichoke dip!  Then bake as indicated on your spinach artichoke recipe!  So yummy! (Don't forget to sprinkle a little parm cheese on top for extra flavor!).   I also made some super easy peasy fruit dip.

Fruit Dip
1 (8oz) container light strawberry cream cheese
1 (8oz) container marshmallow creme
2 Tbsp. orange juice
1 cup cool whip

With hand blender or kitchen aid or whisk combine the first three ingredients.  Then add in the cool whip.  Serve with a spoon and any kind of fruit.  (I chose to add cut up apples and bananas).

I also made a pretty stellar 7-Layer Dip.  Man that stuff is addicting.  You can find that recipe here:

The team inhaled it.  Honestly, it was about 10 minutes for 15 people to demolish a 9x13 pan.  So I suggest you make this!

Thanks for listening to my rambling :)  I hope you have a fantastic Thursday!  And guess what...tomorrow is FRIDAY!  Yiipppeee!!

-Ellie :)


  1. Woooohoooo, first follower:) Don't forget it, sister! You and Bobby look so beautiful!

  2. I found your site on Foodbuzz, and how happy I did!
    Looking forward to future posts!

  3. I'm your newest follower.

  4. First off, you are gorgeous! Second, congrats to your team. That's awesome!

  5. Aww you guys are so kind! Thanks for the comments, I love them!

  6. thanks for becoming a follower of the health nut. :)

    your engagement photos are gorgeous!

  7. I LOVE the pic with the garage door. Seriously, love your outfit, love those boots, love you and bob!


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