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Blogger Cookie Swap Recipe

Are you all ready? It is time for the big reveal! For the 2011 Blogger Cookie Swap, I made Lemon-Poppy Seed Cookies.

I was asked to make dairy-free cookies, which  I typically do not make. I do like to substitute soy or almond milk for regular milk. I was set out on a mission to have the qualities I love in a cookie while making them completely dairy-free. My favorite things in a cookie are softness, sweet and somewhat “healthy.” The last one is always the hardest since cookies usually are not healthy. I tried my best and tried this recipe and LOVED it!

Lemon-Poppy Seed Cookies                                                              (adapted from Bright and Blithe blog)                                                                                     ¾ cup white sugar                                                                                                                            ¾ cup light brown sugar                                                                                                                ½ cup margarine (I used Earth Balance)                                                                                  1 cup applesauce                                                                                                                                1-¾  tsp. vanilla                                                                                                                                  1-¼  tsp. lemon juice                                                                                                                       ¾ tsp. baking soda                                                                                                                           ½ tsp. salt                                                                                                                                             2-½ cups flour                                                                                                                                   ¾ tbp. poppy seeds                                                                                                                         ½ cup Pomegranate Craisins

Cream both sugars, margarine and applesauce                                                                Add vanilla, lemon juice and poppy seeds                                                                          Mix in baking soda, salt and flour                                                                                           Stir in craisins                                                                                                                               Drop spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet                                                                                    Bake 10 minutes at 350

Once cooled, I packaged them up in some Christmas containers for the ride to their eaters…Michelle, Kimberly and Lilli. To each box, I added a recipe card and short note. I sent the boxes out the next morning!!

I have heard positive feedback from both the receivers and my co-workers who tasted my test batches! These are not exactly holiday cookies but definitely awesome tasting and I recommend trying them.




Life in Cville

I did not think I would say this for at least another 2 months but I am starting to love Charlottesville. My first few months here were difficult. I not only was moving to a brand new city/state but moved here without knowing anyone. That was exactly what I wanted but I definitely underestimated how difficult it would be. I expected the experience to be like college but it was far from that. Unlike college where you are forced to make friends since everyone is in the same boat, people are in different boats with most already having a set of friends. I let it upset me and stress me out for the first month and half. After speaking with a close friend, who is in a similar situation, she helped me realize that things take time and the more I stress about it, the longer it will take to find a routine and a group of friends. After Thanksgiving break, I decided to take a step back and let things happen.  She could not have been more correct. I owe her BIG! As soon as I did that, I have found a routine that works for me and found a group of people I work with and others I go to the gym with that I foresee to become good friends. Thank you Gretchen!!

My advice for others who take the leap to move to a new city/state after college:

– be patient in making friends                                                                                                         – spend the first few weeks of your move focusing on yourself and your own routine                                                                                                                                                      – be willing to step outside your comfort zone and join a club or sports team          – ask co-workers to go to lunch or meet for drinks                                                               – be yourself and don’t change just to find friends                                                                 – do not be scared to be alone and not have plans except to hang out alone              – treat yourself to something each week (I treat myself to sushi on Fridays)            – keep a journal so one day you can look back and see how strong you were for making the move                                                                                                                                  – believe in yourself and that you are doing something few people have the confidence to do.

I hope anyone who wants to take an adventure and try something new, does it! It may be difficult but you will become a better and stronger person from it. I definitely have 🙂

New topic, guess what tomorrow is?! If you guessed, it is the Blogger Cookie Swap Recipe reveal, you are correct?! I adapted a recipe from a blog, which will all be revealed tomorrow. I actually ended up making 3 batches and each one came out differently which was strange. I still think each batch was delicious! Stay tuned for the recipe.

I am off to sip some green tea and watch a Christmas movie or two on TV. Hope you all had a great weekend and see you tomorrow!


Goals and Cookie Indecision

I finally received my three fellow bloggers for the 2011 Blogger Cookie Swap. I was so excited to get my people and start baking. I found a fabulous and delicious recipe on pinterest a few weeks ago and have been dying to make it. (One of my friend’s tried it first just to make sure it would pass the approval test for the Cookie Swap since I did not want to send “non-delicious” cookies.) Do not worry, it passed with flying colors. But then I received my people and found out the cookie had to be DAIRY-FREE! Unfortunately, the cookie I had chosen was filled with many dairy products and there was just no way to substitute all the dairy ingredients and still maintain its deliciousness. So I accepted the challenge and search again for the perfect cookie. I wanted something yummy but also different and not the usual cookie. I ran into a lot of trouble since 9 out of 10 cookie recipes has dairy. But I still tried a few cookies and finally decided on one that you would not find everyday. I put my own twist on a few different recipes I found on the internet. I wish I could share my cookie but you will all just have to be patient for a few more days!

I am not going to lie, I am a little a lot nervous that my cookies will not be liked. This is my first blog-ish type event, since I only started my blog a month ago! I hope I give off a good first impression through my cooking. But I am bringing them to work tomorrow to get a feel if I am making a good decision. I plan on sending them out Thursday of this week. Fingers crossed, they are liked! I will then share the recipe on Dec. 12th so be ready for some baking that week 🙂

In my past few posts, I have given the hint that I would like to write down some goals I have for myself over the next month or so. I am going to try to complete them by Jan. 1st and then have new goals for each month. Some may carry over but I hope to complete most of them:

– double my intake of fruits and veggies per daily (mainly eat more veggies since fruit is very easy for me!)                                                                                                                   – drink at least 8 servings of water each day                                                                             – call Grandma once per week                                                                                                         – try to blog 4 times per week                                                                                                         – run at least 10-12 miles per week                                                                                               – get at least 8 hours of sleep a night                                                                                            – drink 3 cups of green tea a day                                                                                                    – catch up with an old friend (one per week)                                                                            – continue to keep up with my spending and monthly budget through excel doc

This is just a start and includes all the basics. As time goes by, I would like to add more long-term goals for myself. I like to have something to work towards. It creates more motivation for me. What are some of your goals?

Thanks for stopping by and hope everyone is getting ready for the Christmas season!


I’m back already!

Hey friends!!

Can you believe that I already have another post? 2 in 1 day, this is CRAZY! I guess it is because I just miss you and the blog so much. Lets hope it stays that way and I learn to post once a day, or at least every other day!

Today was a very productive day, a day that makes me very happy :-)! My alarm went off this morning at 5:20am. When I finally heard it (side note: I am a deeper sleeper and it takes a lot to actually wake me up, opps!), I wanted to turn it off and sleep another hour and half. But I knew that once I got to the gym, waking up would totally become worth it. So what did I do? I rolled out of bed and into the bathroom, changed into running clothes, brushed my teeth and put my contacts in, grabbed my ipod and sneakers and was out the door in 12 minutes. As soon as I got to the gym, I got on the treadmill and ran about 3.25 miles before hitting the Stairmaster as a cool down. After some ab work and crunches, I got back in my car to go shower and get ready for work. I made record time in showering, packing breakfast and lunch, and straightening the mess of hair I have and was out the door in 40 minutes.

The next 9 hours were spent at work, where a lot of things were done and successful which makes me happy! I also got an afternoon break from work for an hour and tutored at a local elementary school. On Tuesday and Thursday, I take a late lunch and volunteer as a tutor near work. I LOVE it!

This was a poster in the classroom today and thought I would share. As a child, I would not admit this is true but now, after looking back, it could not have been said any better. Seeing many of the children in the tutor program, I have noticed most care more about what others think of them rather than learning life lessons and classroom work. It is hard to change their mindset but one day, they will understand and be telling their kids this. Funny how that works, is it?!

Oh Lunch! Today, I brought bread to toast before making a peanut butter and apple sandwich. Here is a picture:

As you see, I was pretty hungry so by the time my camera was out, lunch was almost done. Also with the sandwich, I had some pringles (courtesy of my company’s snack closet)  and celery. There was also plenty of these throughout today (and everyday for that matter):

After work, I drove home and found a package at my door! It was from my parents and included some things I requested but had some surprises as well. My mom baked mini pumpkin muffins, Health magazine and some coupons 🙂 Too bad Greys Anatomy is not new tonight or else, today would just be amazing!

One last thing, I decided which Half Marathon I am doing this coming Spring 2012. I will be participating in the CareFirst Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Half Marathon on March 17, 2012 with my best friend from high school, Gretchen. I do not have any time goals, except to finish! More to come…

Since I started this blog, I have not been the greatest at writing posts consistently. I am planning on having a goal post on what I hope to achieve in this blog, in fitness and in health.

See you soon 🙂


Playing catch-up!

Hello Friends!

I am sorry for starting this blog and then going MIA for the second time! I feel awful but things are starting to slow down and I am finding my routine which combined leave me to have a little more time.

I am going to do a picture recap of the time I missed. I was having a very rough time when I first moved here so I have tried to make every effort to meet people and find a routine so I feel more “at home” here since this is technically my new “home.” That concept is still very strange to me since I often refer to Rochester (where I grew up) as my home and Charlottesville is a temporary place, like school. However, that is NOT true so I am trying to make Charlottesville feel like “home.”

Here are some pictures for you: (sorry about the quality, they were taken on my phone since my camera was stolen but I am getting a camera over Thanksgiving!)


















These are random eats from the last time I posted. My top two favorites were the smoothie that included: pineapple chobani yogurt, frozen banana, and Silk soy milk light vanilla. Simple and delicious! My second favorite was the spinach bites, pictured last. They are meant for children and when I purchased them at Whole Foods, the cashier gave me a strange look. I did buy Sushi, Pumpkin beer and these spinach bites at one time. So I guess that is a random selection. :-/

My workouts since the last time consisted of running for Pile on the Miles (POTM) through / spinning / Body Pump / and swimming.

I promise to try to be better at this. See you soon 🙂

KM! (like the new signature??)







Blogger Cookie Swap

Hello people!

I am officially all signed up for the…

If you have not signed up yet for this amazing blogging event, please do me a favor and go sign up now by clicking here! The more people who sign up and participate, the better. The creators of this event are even opening it up to international bloggers if you are able to have 4 people from your area participate. Here is a little information:

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap is an event that provides three addresses to each participate whom you are to send one dozen cookies to during the month of December. In addition to sending the cookies, they ask you post your recipe(s) to your blog on a specified date. This way, everyone can try your cookie creation. The signup deadline is Friday November 18th so you still have time. Here is the link again, just in case you missed it earlier: Blogger Cookie Swap 2011.

On to other news…this morning I was the winner of a local radio stations Impossible Trivia!


The impossible trivia this morning was: “According to a new study, women who do this are taken more seriously. What?” and drum roll please… answer was “keep their maiden name” and that was correct! I won a family four pack of tickets to see Civil War Voices, a free oil change and Shenandoah Joe coffee. Unfortunately, I am not a big hot coffee drinker (unless its from Starbucks with tons of flavors hehe) and will not be in town to use the tickets so both prizes will be given away. It was a fun morning and started my work day off on a high note, especially because I never win anything!

Lastly, my workout and eats for the day. I have finally started to find a good workout routine for me and that makes me very happy! I have set my alarm to 5:20am every morning (except Tuesday since I love the instructor who teaches Cycle Plus on Tuesday at 6pm) this week so I can workout before work, which allows me to have “me time” after work. This morning, I ran 3.32 miles and then swam for 20 minutes. I felt great and wish I could have stayed longer but work calls. Tomorrow is Body Pump at 6am but I am hoping to run 1.5-3 miles as a warm up but depends if I can pull myself out of bed quickly or even earlier tomorrow.

Today’s eats were nothing special but each meal kept me satisfied for hours, which is very rare for me. I kind of liked it but I love snacking so I missed that. I usually pack a lunch and then eat it throughout the day rather than all at one time for lunch. For breakfast, I made myself oatmeal with a heaping spoonful of peanut butter and chia seeds. Lunch was a brown rice, tofu and lima bean stir-fry. An apple was eaten around 6pm to hold me over until I was hungry enough for dinner. Around 7:30pm, I was ready for dinner and made myself a veggie burger with some spinach. I also drank plenty of H2O and green tea throughout the day as well.

Well, I am off to snuggle under some blankets and watch Greys Anatomy!

Thanks for reading and be back this weekend 🙂







hello everyone! I hope everyone had a fabulous day and did not have too much of a sugar hangover from Halloween candy. For the first time in years, I did not eat any Halloween candy and see any trick or … Continue reading