We're Getting Married!!!

On Monday night, at about 10 p.m., my boyfriend of nearly 4 1/2 years and I went for a walk.


We stopped here


to pause and look out over the Mississippi River.


After a few minutes of just standing together, not saying much at all, Jesse took my hands in his, turned me around, and got down on one knee.  I can’t even explain how surprised I was at that moment.


He said the sweetest most sincere things I’ve ever heard, through his emotion, all while I was crying, then pulled the ring out of his pocket, and asked me this:

“Danica Elizabeth Louwagie, will you marry me?”

YES!!!!!

We’re engaged!!

We’re getting married!!

And I don’t care how cliche it is:  I honestly could not be any happier.

We’re Getting Married!!!

On Monday night, at about 10 p.m., my boyfriend of nearly 4 1/2 years and I went for a walk.


We stopped here


to pause and look out over the Mississippi River.


After a few minutes of just standing together, not saying much at all, Jesse took my hands in his, turned me around, and got down on one knee.  I can’t even explain how surprised I was at that moment.


He said the sweetest most sincere things I’ve ever heard, through his emotion, all while I was crying, then pulled the ring out of his pocket, and asked me this:

“Danica Elizabeth Louwagie, will you marry me?”

YES!!!!!

We’re engaged!!

We’re getting married!!

And I don’t care how cliche it is:  I honestly could not be any happier.

Workouts 6/19 – 6/25

Exercise completed this week…

Sunday, June 19th:
30 minute walk outside….was dealing with a migraine all day :(

Monday, June 20th:
Bike ride: 5.8 miles in 37 minutes
(I tried to workout that morning too but still wasn’t feel 100% and didn’t have enough energy to get something productive done, which of course, since I couldn’t workout meant I was craving a run all day. bleh)

Tuesday, June 21st:
35-minute Treadmill Workout that looked like this:

Minutes

Pace

Incline

0-5

6.5

1.0

5-6

4.0

8.0

6-7

4.0

9.0

7-8

4.0

10.0

8-9

4.0

11.0

9-10

4.0

1.0

10-15

6.5

1.0

15-16

4.0

8.0

16-17

4.0

9.0

17-18

4.0

10.0

18-19

4.0

11.0

19-20

4.0

1.0

20-25

6.5

1.0

25-26

4.0

8.0

26-27

4.0

9.0

27-28

4.0

10.0

28-29

4.0

11.0

29-30

4.0

1.0

30-31

4.0

6.0

31-32

4.0

3.0

32-33

4.0

1.0

33-35

3.8

0.0

I made sure to stretch and warm up before doing this workout, and I followed it up with stretching, too.

Wednesday, June 22nd:
Living Room Circuit:

Move

Weight (if used)

Reps/Time

Standing Alternating Bicep Curls

10 pound weights

24 (12 per side)

Shoulder Exercise

10 pound weights

12 per side

Alternating Lunges

30 (15 per side)

Tricep Dips
(with a chair; knees bent at 90 degrees)

20

Squats

30

Plank

60 seconds

Jumping Jacks

60

Plank to Row

10 pound weights

20 (10 per side)

Side Lifts (Abs workout)

12 per side

Front, Side, & Back Kicks Series

10 per side

I did this circuit 3 times through, with only a little break between sets 2 and 3.  I can’t say that it was so hard I’ll be sore tomorrow, but it definitely got my heart-rate up and I was sweating like crazy.

Thursday, June 23rd:
(race day) 4 mile run in 33:29 minutes + a couple hours of shopping-at-the-mall walking :)

Friday, June 24th:
Rest Day

Saturday, June 25th:
30 minute walk, basically another rest day

4-Mile Race Recap!

Thursday night was my 4 mile race!
But let’s start at the beginning…

Thursday afternoon I drove 3 hours to my Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

gloomy drive...

There I met up with some of my family, ate supper, and got ready to “head to town” (this phrase always proves you’re in the country) to get to the race.

The event started at 7p.m. with a kids 1/2-mile race, and 4 of my cousins participated.

It was really fun to watch all of the kids run.  Of course, they all started off sprinting, so in the middle of the run quite a few had to walk.  They all finished strongly though! :)

Go Jackson!

Go Levi!

Yay Mya!

Way to go Mykela! (and Amy, too! :)

 Once this race was over, there was a little awards ceremony, ribbons for all participants, and then we were moving over to the 1-mile race start.

My brother Eli and cousin Jackson ran this event together.


Eli, being the fantastic cousin that he is, ran with Jackson the whole way, and at the end Jackson even beat him! ;)


THEN it was time for us all to get ready for our 4-mile!

Our fans got ready, too.

this cutie even gave me a big good luck hug :)

At 8:00 we were off!


I felt really well throughout most of my run.  Between miles 1 and 2, though, I started to get a backache, so I slowed down my pace a bit and tried to breath deeper.  Apparently it helped because after a few minutes I felt good again and was ready to pick my pace back up.

While I was somewhere around the 3-mile mark, some of my family members starting crossing the finish line!

Eli finishing strong!

Way to go, Kari!! (my aunt who ran with a sprained ankle...crazy (or seriously dedicated) woman...)

My sister Brooke pushing hard at the end!

Next it was me coming around the corner.  I couldn’t help but smile when I saw my family cheering for me…


My goal for this race was to get 36 minutes or less…

And my finishing time was 33:29!

Right behind me was my cousin Kinzee and my uncle Darrick!

Way to go!!

 And then my Grandpa.  Yes, my Grandpa.

66 years old. AMAZING.

 I had SUCH a fun time.  We made sure to take plenty of pictures after the race, too…

"Bite your medal, see if it's real"

It was so much fun to have my family here at this race, no matter what their “role” of the night was.  I had such a great time!

Thanks to my family for such a great night!

Chocolate Almond Butter Cookies

Cookie Recipe!

The original recipe (listed below) is from Carrots ‘N’ Cake.  The only thing I did differently was put in a little extra (dark chocolate) coca powder.  I like chocolate….(that makes me think of the turtle kid, haven’t seen that ridiculous clip for a while…)

The texture of these cookies is almost brownie- or cake-like, and the taste of the nut butter really comes through (yeah, I just giggled).  Enjoy!

“Chocolate Sunflower Butter Cookies

Makes approximately 18 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sunflower butter
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350*F.
  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well until batter is blended evenly.
  • Roll dough into 1” balls and place on a greased baking sheet, approximately 1-2 inches apart.
  • Bake cookies for approximately 15 minutes.
  • Remove cookies from baking sheet and allow to cool on wire rack.”

Of Possible Interest…

Some interesting articles I’ve read so far this week, thought I would share…

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

On Sunday morning I made these muffins for a comforting weekend breakfast…the recipe is from Emily Malone, the author of the blog Daily Garnish.  They turned out so well, were very dense and filling, and they made the apartment smell fantastic–like peanut butter cookies were baking in the oven.

A few adjustments I made to the recipe:

  • I used peanut butter instead of peanut flour, so I reduced the amount of almond milk by 1/4 cup (this is explained in the recipe, too)
  • I used dark chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet
  • I only used 1/3 cup chocolate chips and skipped on the extra for garnish on top (as much as I love chocolate, I don’t like too sweet of a breakfast)
  • I used regular cane sugar since I didn’t have any organic
  • Chose to use canola oil instead of olive oil
  • Let the muffins cook about 24 minutes-they needed just a little more baking time than indicated on the recipe (for my oven at least)

I highly recommend these!  They’re easy to make and oh-so delicious…peanut butter + chocolate?  for breakfast??  Yes. Please.

Here is her recipe:

“Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

by Emily Malone

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients (12 muffins)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup peanut flour (or sub peanut butter and reduce milk by 1/4 cup)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp flax (+ 3 tbsp water)
  • 1.5 cups almond milk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or canola oil)
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (+ additional for topping)

Instructions

  • Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees. Combine all purpose flour, peanut flour, baking powder, salt, brown sugar, and cane sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  • I was lucky enough (with the help of Krissy) to hoard a large stockpile of the Trader Joe’s peanut flour before it was yanked off the shelves. If you don’t have the TJ’s flour, you can use PB2 or another brand, or you can also sub with regular peanut butter. If you use regular PB, make sure you reduce the almond milk amount by 1/4!
  • In a small bowl, combine the ground flax with 3 tbsp water to create a “flax egg” – allow the mixture to sit to the side for a few minutes until thickened.
  • In another bowl, combine almond milk, vanilla, and olive oil. Whisk!
  • I opted to use olive oil in this recipe because I love the flavor, and I think it brings a little something extra to baked goods. If you prefer canola or vegetable oil – that works too!
  • Add the “flax egg” to the wet ingredients, and then mix wet into dry.
  • Stir until combined, and be careful to not over-mix. Once the flour is all incorporated, gently fold in 1/3 cup chocolate chips – YUM!
  • Spoon the batter into a greased muffin pan.
  • And top each cup with a few additional chocolate chips. Why not?
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Prepare to wipe your drool when you see how round and fluffy these are once baked…
  • Plate and serve at least one directly out of the oven – piping hot.
  • Peanut butter and chocolate are a decadent and rich combination, but these clock in at a relatively healthy 200 calories and 5g protein each!”

"Carrots 'N' Cake" Book Review

My latest read: Carrots ‘N’ Cake: Healthy Living One Carrot and Cupcake at a Time by Tina Haupert

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I’ve been reading Tina’s blog Carrots ‘N’ Cake daily for close to six months now.  She’s really inspiring, very real, and has so many good recipes to try–many of which are “healthified.”  She lives in the Boston area and blogs a few times throughout each day.  I chose to purchase and read this book because I follow her blog regularly and was interested in what she had to share about healthy living.

In this book, Tina discusses what works for her to live a balanced life filled with delicious food, enjoyable exercises, and positive self-image.  Honestly, most of the book was information I already new from reading her blog.  She explained her past and present in terms of healthy living progress.  But what was new-to-me in the book and what I really loved was how she shared about her struggles with portion control and self-image –things I, and probably many others, can sometimes struggle with, too.  She was very honest in sharing her moments of uncontrollable eating and how she mentally recovered from letting herself consume an overly large and therefore unsatisfying amount of food.  How she dealt with the issue is what impressed me the most because it’s so easy to think negatively about your actions–it’s important to see the big picture and remember all that you’ve accomplished and all that you’re worth, plus to look ahead rather than focusing on the past.

What I loved most about this book were the many recipes throughout her stories.  I seriously can’t wait to try them all, including homemade granola, double-tomato bruschetta, pumpkin muffins, cinnamon-brown sugar pancakes, workout cookies (yes, workout cookies), peanut butter cookies, and, of course, grated carrot cake.  There were also a few workout guides in the book that I’m also interested in trying out sometime.

If you’re interested in the recipes and workouts, I would recommend this book to you.  But for anyone interested in what Tina has to share regularly, I would definitely recommend you check out her blog!

*Next book I’m diving into: House Rules by Jodi Picoult

“Carrots ‘N’ Cake” Book Review

My latest read: Carrots ‘N’ Cake: Healthy Living One Carrot and Cupcake at a Time by Tina Haupert

{source}

I’ve been reading Tina’s blog Carrots ‘N’ Cake daily for close to six months now.  She’s really inspiring, very real, and has so many good recipes to try–many of which are “healthified.”  She lives in the Boston area and blogs a few times throughout each day.  I chose to purchase and read this book because I follow her blog regularly and was interested in what she had to share about healthy living.

In this book, Tina discusses what works for her to live a balanced life filled with delicious food, enjoyable exercises, and positive self-image.  Honestly, most of the book was information I already new from reading her blog.  She explained her past and present in terms of healthy living progress.  But what was new-to-me in the book and what I really loved was how she shared about her struggles with portion control and self-image –things I, and probably many others, can sometimes struggle with, too.  She was very honest in sharing her moments of uncontrollable eating and how she mentally recovered from letting herself consume an overly large and therefore unsatisfying amount of food.  How she dealt with the issue is what impressed me the most because it’s so easy to think negatively about your actions–it’s important to see the big picture and remember all that you’ve accomplished and all that you’re worth, plus to look ahead rather than focusing on the past.

What I loved most about this book were the many recipes throughout her stories.  I seriously can’t wait to try them all, including homemade granola, double-tomato bruschetta, pumpkin muffins, cinnamon-brown sugar pancakes, workout cookies (yes, workout cookies), peanut butter cookies, and, of course, grated carrot cake.  There were also a few workout guides in the book that I’m also interested in trying out sometime.

If you’re interested in the recipes and workouts, I would recommend this book to you.  But for anyone interested in what Tina has to share regularly, I would definitely recommend you check out her blog!

*Next book I’m diving into: House Rules by Jodi Picoult

Happy Father's Day!

To my father…

The man who loves with all he has,
Gives amazingly comforting hugs,
Tells truly hilarious jokes that get my entire family laughing to tears,
Is willing to help anyone no matter what because he’s one of the most caring, big-hearted men you will ever meet,
Puts anyone to shame with his explosive farts,
Loves his boat, motorcycle, cars, the lake, and tools (and I love how he is when he’s spending time with what he’s passionate about),
Does anything he needs to in order to provide for his family,
Is a truly talented musician and an amazing singer,
Shows his children how to truly love your spouse,

Passed his sensitive heart onto his children,
Has a seriously contagious laugh,
Brought me to church on Sunday and prayed with me each night,
and does the best he can in every situation life throws his way.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad!
I love you!