Valentines for CrossFitters

Yeah, Valentine’s isn’t a real holiday. It’s pretty lame. But ever since I became a teacher, I’ve started embracing it. I have fond memories of eating a large stash of Hershey’s kisses during a teacher inservice back in the day. I’m also a huge fan of pink, and I enjoy decorating my studio are for my students! These days, I always work late on Valentine’s Day, and then we go out for Chinese. However, this year, (I think) we’re actually going to be at CrossFit for the last Friday of our competition series!

In honor of that, I submit to you Valentines for CrossFitters…. or, more likely, for you to go out and buy for yourself!! Many are $25 and under!

crossfit valentines corrie anne



Cute barettes from to keep her hair out of her eyes during wods! $12

crossfit tote

Cute tote from the Push Press. $18

Hers: Socks are a MUST for CrossFit. I am especially aware of this since I rope burned almost entirely through one last night!!! They were cheap Target socks — this type usually holds up better. I was glad I didn’t ruin a pair of pants, and socks + shorts is typically the right combo in Colorado.

yay burpees

Yay Burpee socks from the Sox Box.  $9.99

20% of every Sox Box purchase goes to the Independence Fund for wounded US military veterans.

heart tights

Heart tights from Kate Spade hide bruises really well! $19.99

dia de

Dia de los Deadlifts shirt. $28


Vinylux nail polish. This stuff stays on for more like TWO weeks!! That’s 10+ wods!!!  $4.95


beanie-1 rogue beanie

Sweet beanie from Rogue. $20 (out of stock right now, but they seem to restock often and have great alternatives.)

321 socks

Kevin loves these 3-2-1 socks from Reebok. $12

poster push press.

A is for Airdyne!! The CrossFit Alphabet also from the Push Press. They also have sweet pillows and posters of the Girls workouts. All awesome. $26


try bacon

Try bacon tea towel. $20

eat more bacon pillow

Eat More Bacon applique pillow.  $85 (ouch)

bacon month club tender bellyNoticing a theme here? Bacon of the month club from Tender Belly (local). 6 months $286.80 ($11.95/lb) We LOVE this bacon.

The heritage pigs we use for our bacon are from Iowa and are naturally grown: NO antibiotics, NO hormones, NO gestation or farrowing crates, and fed a 100% vegetarian diet. With their exceptional meat to fat ratio they are the perfect belly. Our signature maple and spice rub is applied, the bellies are dry cured and then cherrywood-smoked to perfection. We spare no expense with ingredients, process or time to give you the best possible product. Remember: BACON, it’s good for ya!


Very affordable kettlebells from FringeSport… they ship free! The 35lber is $59.

supple leopard

Because we all need some more mobility in our lives. Becoming a Supple Leopard. $31.04

trigger foam roller pinkA foam roller to go with it – this is the one I have in camo, and it’s great! $37.67

rx jump rope

Rx Smart Gear Jump Rope. $34.95

rich froning

Rich Froning poster $17.95.

chomps grassfed beef

We love CHOMPS!!! I mean we really, really, love them. If we are out, we are very sad. 100% grassfed beef sticks! Hoppin’ Jalapeño is the best. $22


I’ve never made anything out of it, but Gather is the prettiest paleo cookbook I’ve ever seen! It’s practically a coffee table book! $25.77

starbucks gift card

A Starbucks gift card is what EVERYONE always wants, right???

What do you want for Valentine’s Day (even if you don’t celebrate)? 

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Lucky Lu’s

A little Pre-Valentine’s dessert:

valentine little debbiesThese are MY FAVORITE Little Debbie’s. We even had them on our wedding cake table!

cake pic wedding little debbiesAnd it was the first cake we chose to eat as husband and wife. Haha. We didn’t do the whole cake cutting bit, but we did manage to capture this precious moment. :)

Anyways, we started off our Saturday by taking the babies to the vet for a pre-vacay checkup. Don’t worry — nothing serious! But I was so nervous. I was kind of stressing about the shots and what they’d say about Pippa!

boyd and pippa playing arm in boyd's mouthEverything turned out okay — the dogs were little angelitos compared to the rest of the pets in there this morning. Just a little yelping because they wanted to play! And the office has a resident cat who was taunting them!! Good news: the vet said Pippa is the perfect weight! I’ve been so worried since she was malnourished when we first got her and because she gets a lot of exercise. I feel so much better. By the way, she weights 42 pounds. I don’t think she minds me sharing that? Boyd supposedly clocked in at 35. Kevin and I both think that’s very shady since he was moving around a lot, and he’s a chunk!

My next stop was Lucky Lu’s — yeah, I finally got in to have my hair done, and it feels sooo good now! I don’t know why I procrastinated so long. I don’t even want to show a before pic, but it’s not like you guys haven’t seen this every day for the past 6 months!

hair before pic

Straggly is the word that comes to mind.


lucky lu's afterSo much better!!!!

Check out how cute the salon is inside (via their Yelp page):

yelp pic lucky luAdorable, right? But not in a snobby way — more like cute posh. My stylist was Jessie, and she did an amazing job with a totally clueless and indecisive client. I really think it’s the best cut & color I’ve ever had. So I’m determined to become a committed salon goer. She suggested that I go every 3 months since I have long hair and the color she gave me will grow out nicely. I can handle that!

front of my hair afterYay!

corrie anne kevin kissyKevin even met me outside with an umbrella (it’s snowing!) so I wouldn’t get my hair wet. Best husband ever!!

Now my hair is ready to go on vacation too!

Do you have a favorite Little Debbie’s snack? It won’t kill you to have one occasionally — ours are in the freezer and will definitely last us until our anniversary in June!

Favorite Valentine’s candy? I actually LIKE conversation hearts. Especially white and green, but pink is pretty good too!

If you’re married, what was your wedding cake? Little Debbie’s, carrot cake, poppyseed, strawberry, funfetti, etc.

P.S. I REALLY want to make this Valentine’s cake.

K&C Part 1: He’s From Winona!

I bet you don’t know how I met Kevin James.

Okay, so obviously my besties know. But in the past, I haven’t felt the urge to shout it from the rooftops usually awkwardly deferring to Kevin or mumbling something incoherent about “through a friend of a friend of a friend.” Which isn’t even exactly true.

Can I tell you from the beginning? Because I’m a hopeless romantic, and I really want to. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I spent some time in the Dominican Republic.

Sadly, I was far from the beaches in Santiago de los Caballeros

I moved down there almost immediately after college and spent three years teaching in a private bilingual missionary school. When I moved there, it was my first time leaving the United States ever.  Needless to say, it was a bit of an adjustment for this freckle-faced girl from Minnesota!

I was 24, and rapidly approaching 25. 25 was always the age I said I would get married. As I mentioned, I’m a hopeless romantic, and definitely intent on seeing my Cinderella ending come to fruition. But I also have a suppressed rebellious streak which meant I was really savoring my days as an independent woman. I was always flat broke, but if I wanted to spend my last peso on imported Sabra hummus and Dominican shoes – that was up to me!

I remember this was the lovely mug shot I sent with my applications to international schools!

My options in the romantic department were rather limited while teaching in the Dominican Republic. Do you have any clue what the male-female ratio is in a Christian school overseas? It’s not pretty. What about a Dominican man, you ask? “Are you racist?” my students would ask (anything to get me off topic!). While my Spanish was improving daily, I have enough communication issues in my first language! Don’t even get me started on the cultural differences in dating!  Despite many proposals that first year, I managed to stay single and ready to mingle!

I prayed about it that summer while I was home in Minnesota. I really did. I poured my little heart out. I was deeply encouraged by the story of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1, and I came to a renewed peace that the Lord was in control.

It’s about to get good, guys.

That summer I spent some quality time with one of my best friends forever, Deidre. And when I say forever, I mean forever. We’ve been friends since we were born, and conveniently, our big brothers were too! Deidre and I have this thing that we say,”In the cookie of life, friends are the chocolate chips!” All this to say, that she has always been a trusted confidante and we can talk about anything. In fact, we probably have talked about everything!

One day,  we were having a heart-to-heart-talk one day about my love life and lack thereof. She suggested online dating. As we discussed it further, I was rather intrigued with the idea and figured,”Why not?” I was leaving to go back to the Dominican Republic in a few days, so I considered it to be a risk-free venture. I would have nothing to worry about with stalkers or accidentally being matched with an ex-boyfriend. So eHarmony it was! I signed myself up for some kind of free trial, filled out the lengthy questionnaire, and it was go time!

I can’t believe I remember it exactly, but I do! My first reaction to seeing Kevin’s little profile picture was,”He’s from Winona!” I think I was talking to Deidre, probably via one of our famous rapid-fire Gmail exchanges.

The first picture I ever saw of Kevin James

In the off-chance that you’re not familiar with Southeastern Minnesota geography, Winona is a mere 30 minute drive from my hometown of Wabasha and home of the nearest Target!

The first picture Kevin ever saw of Corrie Anne

August 2009 was the first time I saw Corrie Anne on eHarmony.  Little did I know we would be married within two years.  You see, I was just was just having some fun on eHarmony talking to a lot of different girls.  What do you expect when they send you 5-10 new matches a day?  The first time I saw her, I thought she was cute and her profile was interesting, but I didn’t send a message.  Maybe I didn’t send one because she lived in the DR, which I didn’t even know what “DR” stood for at the time. Or maybe it was something else.  I really don’t remember exactly.  Eventually I gave into those baby blues and that cute earmuffs picture she posted.  At that point there was no turning back because I just made the best decision of my life.

To Be Continued…

Insta-Weekend: February 11-13, 2012

We were unexpectedly called out of town this weekend due to Kevin’s grandmother passing away on Friday morning. We’re absolutely exhausted, but it was a truly a beautiful & sweet weekend celebrating his grandma’s life and sharing with family. I am thankful I had the chance to meet his grandma back in July when we roadtripped it to Chicago. One of the first things I remember hearing about her is that she would be pleased with my “pedigree” because I’m very Irish. I loved seeing all of her stylish photos and the classic family movie!

Our time there was definitely concentrated on honoring family and spending time with them, but I did manage to snap a few photos. My father-in-law actually seemed quite concerned when I wasn’t taking pictures of my food at times. (He’s a new fan of the blog since he was featured this month!)

L: When We Were Strangers. I read this book on the plane to Denver. Definitely a well-written and riveting story of an Italian’s immigrant’s journey; however, it took an unexpected turn around page 200 that I couldn’t quite get behind. Can I just say that at least it had a happy ending?

R: Typical airport pic!

L: Chinese food. We had to travel to all three gates to get this. Haha. Long story, but we love our airport Chinese.

R: Kevin also packed a bag of snacks to keep his wife happy. We enjoyed this endangered chocolate while watching the Westminster Dog Show late Sunday night.

L: My first Valentine’s Sbux!

R: A fun size Valentine’s M&Ms we pilfered from the stash we brought for our nieces/nephews.

L: I was able to carve out 30 minutes each day to hit the gym, and that was it! It also required me setting my alarm brutally early this morning, but I knew it’d be a long day without any activity. On the plus side, I scored two apples and two mini bottles of water! They had towels in the refrigerator at our hotel’s gym. How fancy!

R: The only pop we could get our hands on late at night in the hotel. 10 oz glass bottles of Diet Pepsi.

L: After the funeral, the family shared lunch at Cucian Biagio! It was a beautiful meal with soup, salad, three kinds of pasta, and tiramisu. Kevin didn’t give me his tiramisu. Can you believe the nerve? He doesn’t even like coffee!

R: Girl in Translation was my read on return flight to Denver. I finished it just in the nick of time. I almost had to make Kevin stay on the plane so I could read the Epilogue. Kind of a sweet mother/daughter tearjerker, but is it okay that I’m hoping my next book doesn’t deal with an immigrant heroine faced with an unwanted pregnancy? That said, the two books made my flights go by in a snap, and were at very least. distracting and entertaining.

Good night!! See you around this week.

What’s the best book you’ve read lately? I love suggestions! And happy endings.

What’s your favorite brand of chocolate? I want to try the Endangered otter chocolate. Just because I like otters. :)

Denver Date Night: Hburger Co

We had to stop by the store for Cookie Friday ingredients on the way to Date Night. While there, I decided to create my own ghetto version of the design-y balloon trend.

Did it work?

In case you are like my husband and don’t frequent girly blogs… here’s an example.

Sweet engagement photo shoot with balloons (via Green Wedding Shoes).

I guess I’m not quite there yet with That’s okay. Because we had a great dinner! We had been eyeing HBurger for a while (thanks to LGSmash), and tonight was the night!

Kevin was a manly man and ordered the Prairie Burger (buffalo), while I went with the Mace Burger (turkey).

Hungry K!

Can you believe I chose asparagus over french fries!? I made Kevin order extra large fries so I could have a few.

I loved my burger. It came with some kind of green chile sauce instead of mayo. That’s a genius idea. Who wants mayo on a turkey burger? Not this girl!!!

And I still had room in my stomach for fro yo!!

We cheated on Yogurtini and went to Menchie’s because it was nearby. Of course, we spent the whole time weighing the pros and cons of the two. Yogurtini is obviously going to be the winner 99% of the time due to proximity reasons!! I like Yogurtini’s flavors better, and Kevin likes their toppings better. But, Menchie’s gave us a free bouncy ball named Sprinkles and said,”Have a smiley night” when we left…

The teacher in me can’t resist a chalkboard!

This is like a workout!! My legs were feeling the burn!

What a sweet wife.

I told Kevin,”Your turn.”

Oh my.

He is sooooooooooo funny!!! :)

He redeemed himself.


And then we played a round of bouncy ball. Probably two groups of people came and left while we were hanging out at Menchie’s. Haha.

As it turned out, I was very clumsy with the bouncy ball. I think Kevin blamed it on being home schooled. The principal might want to send him in email on that. I believe we were, in fact, schooled in bouncy balling. I blame it on my poor vision.

Slipped right through my fingers!!! Kevin has already instructed me that I’m only allowed to play with the bouncy ball while Boyd is napping. Boyd would definitely scarf down a bouncy ball. Especially one named Sprinkles!!

We weren’t ready to go home yet so we swung be Super Target. We really know how to stay out of trouble on a Thursday night…

I have my EYE on this big pink corduroy heart pillow! I want it! But I will bide my time and wait for it to come on sale. I think I need to go shopping on February 15, for sure!

We are up way past Kevin’s bed time so I’m out! Sweet dreams. And check out the 2 Ingredient Fudge. Perfect last-minute Valentines treat!! It’s apparently a man magnet too if you’re looking. I had several men strike up conversations with me at the office today when I was in the vicinity of the fudge and even on the elevator. Including one asking me if “I had anyone special to bake for.” Yes, I do. And trust me, you’re lucky he’s sharing!!!!

P.S. I’m totally in love with my new pink gingham jacket. It’s the Candy Connoisseur coat from Mod Cloth. It rates a 1.5 on the warmth scale. Haha. I would!




Let’s Get It Humid In Here + Buffalo Chicken Soup

This beautiful pink thing is going to change my life:

Isn’t that the cutest humidifier you’ve ever seen? I think it’s going to change my life. I can’t believe we made it over 5 months in Colorado without it! I literally wake up multiple times during the night with my mouth so dry that I think I’m going to die. But I forget about it during the day – the time when normal people buy things.

This is the Crane Drop Shape Cool Mist Humidifier. Kevin was nice, and let me choose pink, but they also have some other inferior colors. It’d probably make a great Valentine’s gift for someone in your life with dry skin.

I was the nice one at lunch today, and let Kevin have the good leftovers. It’s all about the give & take in marriage. ;) I had whatever else I could find around the kitchen, and it actually ended up being fairly nutritious! I’m loving the frozen broccoli I bought at Whole Foods. The bag is SO much bigger, and the broccoli pieces are perfectly bite-sized. I don’t like stems or big chunks. Haha. Picky little princess, I know. But at least I’m eating vegetables.

The highlight of my afternoon was definitely when I found a wayward Hershey’s kiss hiding behind the F7 key. That made me so happy!

I finally got a decent workout in today at the gym. 4.06 miles of stairs + 4.07 miles on the treadmill for a total over just 8 miles today. That felt good! I didn’t go too hard on the run. The 4 miles on the stairmill had me sweating like crazy, and I had Jeopardy! to watch.

I was so pumped to come home for this dinner.

Buffalo Chicken Soup (via How Sweet Eats)

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 8-10 oz), cooked and shredded

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 sweet onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon flour

32 ounces low-sodium chicken stock

1/3-1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce

1/3 cup freshly grated cheddar cheese

1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

sliced green onions, crumbled gorgonzola and cilantro for topping

Heat a large pot over medium heat and add olive oil. Add onions with a sprinkle of salt to the pot, stirring to coat, then cook for about 5 minutes until soft. Add in garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes more. Sprinkle in flour and stir for another 1-2 minutes. Add in stock, buffalo sauce, chicken and grated cheeses, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil, then reduce and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring every so often.

Serve soup and top with toasted baguettes, cilantro, green onions and gorgonzola.

We added little itty bitty noodles. Because we are carb happy. And we want the soup to stretch out for leftovers!

Served with some leftover homemade bread.

This picture is for you if you ever get confused by this blog into thinking I’m good at life because I make cookies every week or I run a lot or any of my slightly redeeming qualities:

That’s what I call my curly fry hair, guys. I know I’ve confessed before about how much I loathe washing my hair during the winter. And how it’s been noticeably tanglier since moving to Denver. So my hair just starts to get curled & crunched into place… after a few days. If I have to choose between washing my hair and eating diner 5 minutes sooner, you can guess which one wins.

And, yes, that is marshmallow creme you see prominently displayed on my lower lip.

The good news is that my skin is not that color. It’s just weird bathroom lighting. Lol.

Do you wash your hair every day? Just asking. I used to wash it every day when I lived in the DR. If the utilities were on that day. But it was always warm there, and my hair would air dry on a walk to the colmado!

What’s your favorite buffalo flavored thing? I also really love buffalo on pizza and sandwiches. And pretzel crisps. And I believe I’ve seen some recipes for buffalo mac ‘n’ cheese which I would obviously love. Don’t say wings. I don’t like yucky bones. Haha.

Have you had any Valentine’s candy yet? Several Hershey’s Kisses. But I miss the Christmas Special Edition mint ones. I wish they did a good special edition for Valentines. I only saw raspberry. That looked gross.



Unremarkable + 1 Impressive Feat

I wish my window looked like this…

(via Noodlehead)

I always really want to decorate for the holidays, but the time slips away. Of course, pink is one of my favorite colors so this could stay up for many months.

Today was a pretty unremarkable day for me. Still special in its own way, but fairly unremarkable. Even to me who makes a big deal out of everything! I was not in the mood to eat like an adult today so for lunch I had:

an orange


Some crispy pitas!


A huge bowl of No Sugar Added Vanilla Frozen Yogurt.

I just like to say the “no sugar added” part to make it seem slightly more forgivable. :) That was a good lunch!!

I was bumming about being at the office today because I was really hoping to be back in a school this week, but that just hasn’t happened for me (yet). The funny thing is that I can’t stop thinking of myself as unemployed, when I work 32+ hours a week!!

I was actually supposed to go to the store to get Valentine’s supplies today after work, but I just wasn’t feeling it so we went straight to the gym. Even my workout today was unremarkable. I eked out 4.25 miles while watching Jeopardy! and then I was out like a girl scout!

I turned theCaprese Quinoa leftovers into caprese pasta with broccoli! At least dinner had some actual food groups represented, right?

And I baked some bread.

I have my mom to thank for the fact that I don’t think twice about whipping up a batch of homemade bread. That’s how 6 home school kids made it through the brutal Minnesota winters. Mom’s homemade bread and Dad’s belief that “a day without ice cream is like a day without sunshine” really made childhood magical. ;)

The best part was that Kevin totally surprised me by writing a Facebook status about it. This is unusual. My husband’s not really a social network user (except for, well, when it came to wooing me — but more on that later!!). He probably updates his status every 3 or 4 months. So I thought it was so sweet that he was kinda bragging on me. Don’t you think it’s sweet when people brag on their spouses? It always makes me so happy when I hear other people doing it! So thanks, Kevi, that can count as your Valentine’s gift to me. Haha. For today.

So what was my impressive feat for the day?

After dinner, Kevin and I each had 1 thin mint. 1. That’s it. Crazy, right? True, we had fresh bread to snack on, but still. Thin mints are generally eaten in at least quads, right? :)

I’m in a giving mood, so here are some Valentine’s links that include no fitness or healthy eating tips. Although it is tempting to give you a cheesy one about working out your <3.

Those are some quality links, people. I would click them if I were you. The only reason I’m not hoarding them to myself is that I know I won’t get to them. Haha.

Tell me 1 unremarkable and 1 impressive thing about your day? This is like an upgraded version of the best/worst part of your day question.

What was your favorite link? Or link me your favorite Valentines link. Or if you don’t like Valentines, just something pink. You have to like pink!! My blog is pretty pink.