Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Four Things

My sweet friends Karen at Just Me and My Running Shoes and Lauren at LNRB For Miles both tagged me to participate in a “Four Things” post.  I guess they missed my blogging and wanted to see me jump back into it :)  Well ladies it worked!


Four names that people call me, other than my real name:

- Nowicki (my maiden name)
- Jen
- Honey (only Jason haha!)
- Hey you! (lol I don’t really have a 4th)


Four jobs I have had:

- summer 4-H camp counselor
- basketball coach
- recreation counselor
- financial aid officer

 jen karen

Four movies I’ve watched more than once:

- Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
- Mary Poppins
- Wolf of Wall Street
- The Big Lebowski (hubby watches it all.the.time)


Four books I’d recommend:

- 50 Shades of Grey (hehe)
- P.S. I Love You
- Runner’s Guide to Walt Disney World
- any good cookbook

jen goofy

Four places I have lived:

- Franklin, GA
- Barnesville, GA
- Dahlonega, GA
- Cumming, GA


Four places I have been:

- Alaska
- Hawaii
- Barbados
- Grand Cayman

jen stitch

Four places I’d rather be right now:

- Disney World
- my parents cabin in the Blue Ridge mountains
- on a warm beach somewhere
- with my wonderful running friends


Four things I don’t eat:

- mushrooms
- shellfish
- eggs
- rutabagas

triple peach

Four of my favorite foods:

- Pizza
- Mexican
- Sushi
- soft pretzels

soft pretzel

Four TV shows that I watch:

- The Amazing Race
- The Biggest Loser
- The Big Bang Theory
- Burn Notice


Four things I am looking forward to this year:

- getting back into running
- working out at the new Orange Theory Fitness studio
- making even more memories with my running friends
- to see what surprises 2015 may hold


Four things I’m always saying:

- Sad panda
- What up yo
- That’s funny
- Seriously?


Four People I Tag:

- Ashley
- Amy
- Julie
- Lena

Merry Christmas Eve everyone!

Until next time,

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2015 Esprit de She Ambassador

I am excited to announce that I will be returning as an ambassador for the 2015 Esprit de She race series!

I enjoyed my first Esprit de She in 2013 at Piedmont Park, and while I was not able to run in 2014 because I was at Walt Disney World for the Wine and Dine half marathon weekend (awesome Christmas/birthday gift from the hubby last year!) I heard that the race directors made some great improvements from 2013 and it was a success! 

esprit de she 11

I would love for some of my local Atlanta running girls to join me on Thursday, November 5th for either a 5k or a 10k followed by cocktails and tapas!  AND…if you sign up by December 31st, you’ll get this very cool Moxie Cycling color block tee (while supplies last)!  If you don’t cycle there are plenty of different things you could use this shirt for.  I personally love the vibrant colors and the chevron!

moxie shirt

These prices are as low as they’ll get…$35 for the 5k and $40 for the 10k until December 31st.  If you are a member of Lifetime Fitness, you can register for $30 for the 5k and $35 for the 10K!  After that the prices go up.  I know you’re probably saying “That’s a lot for a 5k/10k”…but this race really hooks you up with some great swag and perks!

With your race registration, you will receive -

  • Customized race bib if registered by September 18, 2015
  • Two complimentary drinks at our signature Bubbly Bar at the Southwest Porch at the Park Tavern (right near the finish line!), plus your own GoVino wine glass (21 and over only)
  • Healthy post-race tapas and treats
  • Access to our Panasonic Beauty Bar powered by LifeSpa with complimentary massage, mini manicures, blow outs and hair braiding
  • Professional event timing and live results messaging to track and promote your race success
  • Invitation to join Finish Line Training from Life Time Run
  • Awards for top finishers

I also am loving the race shirt this year -

If you want to take a look at the course map, you can check it out here.  The 10k is a loop course.

Got your attention yet?  You can register by clicking here and make sure you use my code EDS015.  It truly is a fun girls night out.

I hope to see you at the Atlanta race in 2015!  If you have any questions please feel free to shoot them my way :)

Until next time,

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Baking Recipes

Hi guys!  I’ve been getting a lot of requests for the recipes of the cookies I’ve been baking and posting on social media, so I thought I would share them here so that everyone could have access to them whenever they wanted!  I’ve actually been really good about limiting myself to just a couple a day – for whatever reason, I normally do not eat what I bake…weird right??

I hope you guys enjoy the recipes and I look forward to hearing and seeing how they went!

Sugar Cookies
sugar cookies

The first batch I made I was not happy with, so after scouring the internet I stumbled across In Katrina’s Kitchen.  She had a sugar cookie recipe that you 1) don’t have to refrigerate the dough before working with, and 2) the cookies kept their shape more and didn’t plump out like my previous recipe.  I was so incredibly pleased with the outcome of these cookies!  You can find the recipe to her sugar cookies here.

Hubby requested icing on the cookies instead of the usual colored sugar sprinkles, so again, I turned to the internet to find a good recipe.  The website The Kitchn had a simple recipe for icing and I decided to give it a try.  They have 2 different recipes for the border icing and the flooding icing.  Once I got to the trees I discovered the border icing made them look a little sloppy for my liking, so I very carefully used just the flood icing.  It’s a bit thinner so you have to be careful not to put too much or it will ooze over the side (I had a couple do it on me).  You can color the icing however you want it makes for fun, festive cookies!  Click here for the recipe.

The Grinch Cookies
grinch cookies

I had a bit of time on my lunch break at work and decided to browse Pinterest as I had not done this in awhile.  I came across these oh so cute cookies and decided that I HAD to bake them.  I also found these on In Katrina’s Kitchen (she has some amazing looking eats!) and it’s super easy and would be fun to do with the kids.  I found the heard at Party City over in the baking section.  They come in a tube along with pink hearts, but I just picked the red ones out and used those.  Find the recipe here.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
choco crinkle
I remember making these when I was in Minnesota for Christmas back in 2007 – I was able to set them in the garage for a few minutes to allow the dough to chill…that’s how cold it was!  These are also incredibly easy to make and don’t take very long at all! 

All you need is:
1 box Devil’s Food Cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar

Mix the cake mix, oil and eggs together until wet.  Put in fridge for 30 minutes.  Put powdered sugar in a bowl.  Roll the mix into 1” balls, roll in powdered sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes.  Allow them to cool on the sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.


Yes, I know it has a crazy name, but it’s really not a crazy dessert!  I am part Polish and these are a traditional Polish dessert.  They are actually very light and not super sweet.  My grandma would always have these in the house at Christmas, and I hadn’t made them in a few years so I decided now was the perfect time.

Your ingredients include:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 whole eggs
4 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 jigger rum, preferably a dark rum

Using a KitchenAid mixer with the whisk attachment, beat eggs and salt until lemon colored.  Add butter and sugar – beat well.  Add rum.  Change to a dough hook.  Add about 1/2 cup flour at a time until the dough is no longer sticky.  Transfer to a well floured board.  Separate the dough into smaller sections.  Roll dough very thin and cut into small strips about 4 inches long.  Slit each strip down the middle and pull one end through the strip.  Fry in hot oil (350-375 degrees) until lightly browned.  Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

The recipe recommends using peanut oil, which is what I used. 

Peppermint Meringues

I have made these for the past few years and they are always a big hit.  They are another easy recipe to make, and at only 30 calories for 3, you won’t feel like you’re overindulging!  Back in 2012 I discovered Skinnytaste, a website with hundreds of recipes for your favorite foods with a healthy twist to the recipes.  I have found so many wonderful recipes on her page, and this one doesn’t disappoint.  Check out the recipe here.

White Chocolate Dipped Cherry Thins
cherry walnut

Every year my grandparents send us a food box from General Mills.  It contains new products that they’re coming out with in the next year and also includes a cookbook.  Last year’s cookbook was “The Big Book of Cookies”.  I finally dug it out and flipped through it only to find these yummy looking cookies.  What I love about this recipe is that you can make the dough ahead of time and put it in the fridge before baking, and can also be frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months – great for throwing some cookies in the oven for spur of the moment guests!

Your ingredients include:

1 cup sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 container (8 oz) red candied cherries, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup walnuts
1 package vanilla flavored candy coating (almond bark)
Colored sugar sprinkles (optional)

In a large bowl, beat sugar, butter, vanilla and almond extracts, and egg with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.  On low speed, beat in flower, baking soda and salt.  Stir in cherries and walnuts.  Divide dough into two 8 inch logs.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or until firm.  Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Cut rolls into 1/8” slices.  On an ungreased cookie sheet, place the slices about 2 inches apart.  Bake 6-8 minutes or until lightly brown.  Cool slightly and then remove from cookie sheets to a cooling rack to cool completely.  Microwave the candy coating as directed on package until melted and smooth.  Dip about 1/3 of each cookie at an angle into the coating, allowing the excess coating to drip off.  Placed on waxed paper and sprinkle with colored sugar, if desired.  Allow to stand one hour or until coating is set.

I found that if I melted the coating in the container it comes in and then pouring it into a bowl or glass it made dipping the cookies a little easier.  I really like the way the green sprinkles pop off the candy coating.  My husband had some of these cookies with coffee tonight after dinner and really likes them.

I hope you guys enjoy these recipes if you decide to bake them :)  Please share with me on social media if you do! 

Happy baking!

Until next time,

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