Category Archives: Recipes

Longview Half Marathon Recap 11/09/19

Sloth Running Team strikes again!!!

Yeah, just ignore how messy my bathroom is. πŸ˜‚

As you probably already know, last weekend my dad and brother drove from Colorado to Kansas so my dad and I could tackle the Longview Half on November 9th and then the Gobbler Grind Half on November 10th.

Two half marathons. Two days. No big deal, right? πŸ˜‚ Well, it might have been less of a big deal if either of us we’re actually trained and prepared to run the equivalent of a full marathon over the course of two days, but due to a plethora of reasons neither of us were.

That sure wasn’t going to stop us from trying though!!

So my dad and brother got here on Friday and honestly things just moved very quickly after that! After they got here Luke drove my dad and I to the KC Running Company store so we could pick up our packets and so my dad could get himself some Honey Stinger to fuel both of these races!

Packet pickup was smooth and uneventful, like it usually is for these smaller, local races. I’m cool with that though! I don’t need some big event surrounding packet pick up. I’m happy to just get my stuff and get out of there so I can start thinking about the upcoming race!

Anyway, after we got our stuff we went to Bo Ling’s for dinner. Because obviously Chinese food is the ideal pre-race meal. πŸ˜‰ I mean, I got noodles though so that counts as carb loading, right??

At the end of our meal we all opened our fortune cookies and shared aloud fortunes as a group does when eating at a Chinese restaurant. Luke and I both got typical “fortunes” but my dad’s was absolutely PERFECT for our situation!!

After we ate we had to run to tractor supply and then Walmart to pick up a few things, then after that we headed back home where we got our gear ready, set our alarms for 5:30 am, and then went to bed.

Race day morning was dark sand chilly (my favorite!) but the sun was supposed to be up and shining by the time we started. My dad and I ate, made coffee, and got dressed pretty quickly. Luke (he offered to drive us) got up around 6 am and by 6:30-ish we were headed to the start line!!

Unfortunately we ended up almost completely stopped on the highway. Later, while we were running, Luke overheard some people talking about the traffic we almost got stuck in. Apparently someone had hit a deer and that caused such a mess that it completely backed up the highway. Luckily Luke got off the highway before we got completely stuck in the traffic so weren’t stuck in that mess.

Getting off of the highway and going around did add some time to our drive though. Not much, but you’ve got to get to the start of this race early if you want a decent parking spot and if you want to use the port-o-potties. They seem to have the same issues directing traffic into the designated parking areas every year, and they never have enough port-o-potties. Especially considering now this race is a half, 10k, and 5k, so a lot more people are participating than they did in previous years (hahaha remember this is the 5th year I’ve been to this race! πŸ˜‚).

Very pretty view from our walk from the truck to the starting are.

And of course we ran into those same issues. Parking was a bit of a hassle, but it wasn’t too bad. We still had to walk a ways to the actual starting line, but no where near as far as we had to last year. But we were getting down to the wire as far as time goes, and we still wanted to use the port-o-potties. Which of course had a huge line… But we got in it and waited our turn. We waited for a little over 10 minutes, missed the national anthem, but we both did finally get to go!! By the tine we were both done the announcer was calling for 30 seconds until the start time and there were still a bunch of people in line!

We made it just in time though! And luckily we line up in the back so we didn’t have to fight through any people to get to where we belonged in the starting corral. We had time to snap a quick photo and then we were off on our my 5th and my dad’s 2nd 13.1 mile journey!

We went out fast. Too fast for two slow people who had little to no training. πŸ˜† For about the first 3 miles we hung with/in front of the 3 hour pace group. They were a lot of fun and we joked with them for a little bit. We are the party in the back and it sure felt that way!!! We also drank the beer that an aid station was handing out a little after mile 3. I’ve never done that before, but I decided a while ago that the next race I was offered alcohol while running I was gonna take some! Hahaha and I’m glad it did! It was only a little bit of beer, but it made the next mile a lot more fun. πŸ˜‚

At about mile 4 we started fading. I figured we would though. I knew we went out too fast and pushed too hard during the first few miles. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (and I’ve told him this at every race we’ve done together πŸ˜‰) my dad is bad at pacing. And occasionally it drives me, who is a little more experienced at this kind thing, a little crazy. πŸ˜‚ Ah well, we were having fun! As you can definitely see in this photo taken a little after mile 4.

After this point we began our slow slog through some hills. They actually weren’t even that crazy of hills but they felt that way at the time. They actually changed this course last year so this was the first time I’ve run the new route and I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I probably should have looked up the course map and description, but I didn’t. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜‚

But like I said, there was nothing really too crazy. And the last several miles were a net downhill.

Anyway, I’d say things really took a turn for us around mile 7, you know, about halfway through the race. πŸ˜‚ that’s when we REALLY slowed down and then eventually we just ended up walking all of miles 8 and 9.

At around mile 8 we turned onto a really nice gravel trail. It was super nice to go from asphalt to gravel in the last miles of this race. Plus it was SUPER pretty on the trail! The views there are much nicer than they were in previous years. πŸ˜„

I think mile 9 ended up being close to an 18 minute mile. That was tough for me. Physically because weirdly enough running was less painful than walking. But mostly mentally. Knowing we had three more miles to go. And we were walking. Ugh. I was mentally DONE at that point. Hahaha but again, the views were GREAT!

So a little after mile 10 I did something I swore I wasn’t going to do. I left my dad behind. Oh man, I felt shitty doing it, but I just couldn’t keep walking like that. It was KILLING my hips. A little earlier in the race he told me to go ahead and at this point I just had to.

So I went back to running and I actually ended up passing most of the people that had passed us over the last 2 or 3 miles. That was kind of a fantastic mental boost for me! Also the few people who I ended up talking to who weren’t part of the race but weren’t really spectators either (they were just out walking the trail I guess) helped too. One guy with a HUGE, happy looking pit bull told me I was doing great and that I was almost there. I could have hugged that man if I weren’t on a nice roll at that point. Hearing those words were literally the best thing to ever happen to me. At least it felt that way at that moment. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

I think that happened around 12.7 miles. And I only know that because I had checked it on my watch a few minutes earlier. I don’t typically like watching my watch during hard races or workouts. It just makes it seem like the misery is dragging on and on. But I NEEDED to know how close I was, ya know? πŸ˜‚

Anyway, once I knew how close I was I could hear the announcer calling out names. So I sped up a little and ended up passing this couple who were also in the race. I guess after I did that I slowed down and they sped up because I heard then getting closer. I decided I was too close to the finish to let them pass me so I sped back up and turned off of the trail and onto the road to the finish before they did.

I crossed the finish line at 3:19:32. That was the biggest relief of my life! πŸ˜‚ I was so happy to be done. I don’t even care that this was my second slowest half marathon time (with all of the factors going into this race I knew it would be slow), finishing was a FANTASTIC feeling.

After I got my medal and had my timing chip clipped off of my shoe, and found Luke, I got my snacks and then had one of the active releases therapy people who were there stretch out my hamstrings. That was fantastic! It felt great after all of that walking! Hahaha apparently they weren’t ready to deal with all of that walking which was weird, but I guess does make sense. Walking is a different motion than running and I wasn’t ready for that.

Anyway, after that was done it was only a few more minutes before my dad came in sight of the finish line. The 3 hour pacer has walked back along the course and found him and ends up walking with him. He said she was great and played all sorts of music for him on her phone. She let him cross the finish line on his own though. He finished his second half marathon in 3:34:56, while I screamed and cheered my head off. 😁

After he finished we watched the very last guy finish. He carried a full sized American flag with him the entire way which is pretty badass. Then he was quickly followed by the very last pacer. She’s the sweeper who makes sure everyone makes it and that no one technically finishes last. We talked to her a little bit out of the course this year and found out that she was going to be at the Gobbler Grind the next day as well. My dad and I are also fairly certain that we talked to her during the Gobbler Grind last year as well. Either way, she’s one awesome chick!

Once we were done cheering for the last runner, my dad also went to the active release therapy booth where he had him work on his hips. It looked painful, but he said that it felt progressively better every time the guy moved his leg. πŸ˜‚

And then we were done! We walked back to the truck and Luke drove us to Garry Gribbles so we could pick up our packets for the Gobbler Grind. Then we went to 5 Guys for burgers, which is now our post race tradition. 5 Guys is already pretty good but their burgers taste even better after completely a half marathon!! πŸ˜‹

After we ate we went back home, where I promptly made hot chocolate and then took an ice bath. Getting into the ice bath initially sucked as it usually does, but after that it actually felt sooooo good on my feet, hips, and hamstrings. Those were all really hurting at that point. But completing a half marathon on basically no training will do that to a person. πŸ˜‚

Then my dad showered while Luke and I went to Walmart because he had promised my dad and I pies after we finished, so he bought us a pumpkin pie and an apple pie. πŸ˜‚ So that evening me, my dad, my brother, and Luke hung out in my living room, eating pie, and getting ready for our race the next day. At least I was attempting to do that anyway. πŸ˜‰

Aaand I guess that’s where I’m going to end! This post is long enough as it is anyway.

So I’m gonna try to have your Gobbler Grind recap tomorrow! So wishing you the best until then!

~Ashley

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Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Happy first day of fall!!!!! πŸŽƒπŸ‚πŸ¦‡πŸ•ΈπŸπŸŒ™πŸ‘»

Who else is super freakin stoked that summer is FINALLY over and that fall is here?!?!? I know I sure am! Plus the weather has been super nice the last couple of days here in Kansas! It actually feels like fall and it’s fantastic! I sure hope this weather sticks around and that summer is gone for good this year. πŸ˜„

Anyway, since the weather has been cooler I’ve been all about oatmeal! Don’t get me wrong I love oatmeal all of the time, it’s just that sometimes when it’s hot out eating a bowl of oatmeal isn’t exactly satisfying. But it’s just so cozy and filling and perfect for when the weather starts getting colder! Or at least I think so. So I’ve been making my all time favorite oatmeal recipe! Which of course involves pumpkin because it’s fall and literally everything consumed in the fall should contain pumpkin, right? πŸŽƒπŸ˜‰

And why not? Pumpkin is full of all sorts of goodness; potassium, antioxidants, beta-carotene, vitamins C, E, and A, and fiber, among other things. So I say eat all of the pumpkin you want!! Well, maybe notΒ too much. Especially if you eat a lot of other foods that contain beta-carotene like carrots and other kinds of squash. A fun little side effect of consuming too much beta-carotene is that it can give your skin an orange-ish tint. When I was a baby I LOVED things like carrots and squash and I ended up turning orange! Luckily it’s just a temporary thing though, and once you start limiting the beta-carotene it will fade away.

Anyway, lets get to the recipe, shall we?

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Makes 1 Serving

335 calories if made with honey and unsweetened almond milk, but it will vary depending on the milk you use and if you use brown sugar instead of honey.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • about 1 and 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup milk of your choice
  • 2 tbs honey or 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • pumpkin spice to taste
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Ignore my badly opened can of pumpkin haha. πŸ˜‰ So, I like unsweetened, vanilla almond milk, but you can use whatever kind of milk you like.

Instructions:

Add water and a pinch of salt to a pot and bring to a boil on the stove. Once your water is boiling add your oats and pumpkin spice, reduce heat to medium and let the oats cook for 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it though. I’ve found that the cook time can vary depending on the pot you use. A good rule of thumb is to let most of the water cook out and that usually takes around 10 minutes.

Once most of the water has cooked out of your oats add the milk, pumpkin, and honey or brown sugar. (I prefer honey, but every once in a while I’ll use brown sugar and it’s pretty good that way too. πŸ™‚ ). Mix together and let it cook on medium heat for another 10 minutes. Again, keep an eye on it, just in case! Nobody wants burnt oatmeal!

Enjoy immediately!

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There you have it! The perfect bowl of oatmeal for the fall!

Please let me know if you try this recipe and what you think of it! I’d love to hear how it turns out for you!!

I hope you have a fantastic fall!

Until next time,

~Ashley

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Halloween Playlist 2017

It’s that time of year again!!! Time to break out my Halloween playlist!

So if you’ve been following my blog for a while, you probably know I take my running playlistsΒ veryΒ seriously. πŸ˜‰ But to be honest with you, I haven’t really been making very many playlists for running lately. I’ve been in a very “I have to listen to the WHOLE album” kinda mood for a while now. And if I don’t feel like doing that, I just find a playlist on the RockMyRun app that seems intriguing and listen to that. But there are two times during the year that I absolutely have to make my own playlists; the beginning of spring and Halloween season! Haha and in my opinion, the Halloween season starts in September and I may or may not have been listening to this playlist since then. πŸ˜‰ But hey, if the Christmas season can basically start in November I feel like Halloween can have two whole months too!

So my Halloween playlist is pretty much the same thing every year, I just keep adding new songs to it. But that totally works for me! I mean, I only listen to this playlist for a two-ish months every year so I don’t exactly get bored with it and I like super long playlists so I can just shuffle it and it will end up being different every time.

So yeah, here’s my Halloween playlist for 2017! πŸ™‚

Thursday Things

Alrighty then, I’m going to start off this post by getting really real; PMS is kicking my ass this week. The week before my period is literally the worst thing to happen to my running. I’m don’t seep well so I’m always tired, I’m usually kinda nauseous in the morning, my legs don’t want to seem to move, and I’m just in a surly mood. Gross…

At least I got 3 hours of deep sleep last night. That’s a slight improvement.

So yeah, my running has hardcore suffered. I skipped my run on Monday because I was too tired to even consider it, Tuesday I should have hit 3 miles but I skipped the cool down after my interval workout so I didn’t quite make that, and yesterday I had every intention of doing 4 easy miles but after 2 I was just like “fuck it”. Jeez I’m such an awesome athlete; skipping workouts, cutting them short, missing strength workouts. I’m obviously doing everything I can to improve. Did I mention that I’m in a surly mood?

Tuesday and Wednesday’s workouts

I guess to put a positive spin on this so far Β super whiny post; at least peak week is done. And it went really well too! I didn’t skip any workout or mileage, and I felt pretty good throughout the whole week. So I mean, one bad week doesn’t define my whole half marathon training experience. Although right now it feels like it, but at least can look back at weeks like last week and remind myself that I do like running, I am ready for this half marathon, and that things will go back to feeling better soon. Training has its ups and downs and that’s totally normal and ok. πŸ˜„πŸ’œ

Speaking of half marathon related stuff (great segue way, well aware πŸ˜‰ ), I’m almost down the two week mark! In 16 days I’ll be back at Longview Lake and kicking ass! Well, hopefully. Either way, I’ll be there and I’ll be giving it my all.

At this point last year I was like, hardcore freaking out, but now at this point I’m pretty excited. I think that 12 mile long run last week definitely helped build up my confidence. Last year the longest I went before was 10 miles. Not exactly a great confidence builder.Plus the fact that I’ve already covered the distance once is probably helping with the whole confidence thing. Either way, I’m excited to run this race for the second time!

As race day gets closer I’ve been thinking more and more about what I want to do and accomplish after this half. I already talked a little bit about this here, but I definitely want to improve my strength and speed. So I’ve decided I need to do hills and lots of them. Haha that’s as far as I’ve gotten, but I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, ya know?

I feel like that pretty much covers everything running-wise. A this point running is the most exciting thing going on in my life, but I’m ok with that.Too much excitement before a big race isn’t necessarily a good thing.

My sister is still still talking to me about running. She’s recovery really well from her surgery and is slowly building up mileage. Yesterday she ran/walked a little over 5k, which is awesome and I’m so super excited for her! Hopefully sometime soon we’ll be able to run together, and I’m sure by the time that happens she’ll kick my ass because she’s speedy and I’m not. But to my credit, I can go farther than she ever has, so I mean, at least I’ve got that going for me. πŸ˜‰

I don’t know what’s going on with the weather, but I’m super duper unhappy about it. It’s the end of October for pete’s sake! It should be cold!! 😦 😦 😦 It definitely doesn’t help knowing that it’s snowing in other parts of the country, but we’re back in the high 70’s here in the Midwest. Sad face…

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Last night Green Day played in STL at a super awesome/super small venue. Not gonna lie, not being able to be there kinda hurt, but I’ve decided a long time ago that I’m never going to be lucky enough to see them play at a small venue. A few weeks ago the announced their stadium tour dates for early 2017 and none of them are anywhere near Kansas City or St. Louis so that’s a huge bummer. If they completely skip over the Midwest like they did for the Trilogy tour (although that one was cut short for other reasons) I’m going to be super pissed. Can you tell I’m a little bit bitter? *sigh* It looks like they had lots of fun last night too…

 

I suppose that’s all I’ve got for today, plus I desperately need to dye my hair. I have a bad habit of letting it get really bad before I fix it, but it’s such a long and boring process! So I’ll leave you with the very last song from Revolution Radio. That’s right, I’m finally done haha! Seriously though, Ordinary World is a fantastic song and a great way to end an awesome album. πŸ™‚


Overnight Apple Oats

Who doesn’t love overnight oats?! They are so easy to make, super yummy, and I’m a big fan of anything of that involves “set it and forget it” in the instructions. The only problem is overnight oats tend to be best when eaten cold. Especially when made with yogurt. That’s not a bad thing, but now that fall is upon us and the mornings are getting kinda chilly, I enjoy a nice warm breakfast, ya know?

So I’ve come up with a solution to my dilemma! This also kinda helps with the apple situation we’ve currently got going on. We still have a bunch of apples from our apple picking adventure two weekends ago, and weΒ reallyΒ need to eat them before they go bad.

Anyway, I dumped a bunch of stuff, apples included, into my crock-pot, and 8 ish hours later, I have breakfast for the rest of the week! Or maybe a few dinners instead. I quite enjoy having oatmeal for dinner. πŸ™‚ Either way, this oatmeal stores pretty well in the fridge for a week or so, and it’s just as good warmed up as it is coming out of the crock-pot.

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Ingredients

  • 4-5 apples
  • 2 tbs chia seeds
  • 2 tbs heavy whipping cream
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup Log Cabin syrup
  • 2-3 tbs honey
  • spices to taste

Directions

Peal/core apples, then line the bottom of the crock-pot with the slices (I’ve found the apples turn out more soft this way, and that’s how I like them). Sprinkle chia seeds on top of the apples, then add in oats, whipping cream, syrup, honey, water, and whatever spices you like. In this batch I used cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, and a tiny bit of vanilla extract. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, then stir and enjoy!

The great thing about oatmeal is you can’t really mess it up. So, you can pretty much add/remove anything to/from this recipe and it would probably still turn out really good! For example; last time I made this recipe I use 1 cup of soy milk and 3 cups of water, but I was out of soy milk. I also used 2 tbs of butter instead of heavy whipping cream last time, but I didn’t have any butter on hand. It’s all good though, it still came out super tasty!

The absolute best part about this recipe is waking up to the whole house smelling like apple-y cinnamon-y goodness. Unfortunately I didn’t get that this time around, since I made it yesterday during the day because I wanted to get decent photos haha. Oh well, I still ended up with a super yummy, relatively healthy batch of oatmeal! πŸ™‚

10/10/16

Gooood morning world!!! Or afternoon, or evening, depending on when you’re reading this I suppose…but right now as I type, its 8:09, so good morning! πŸ˜‰

Today I’ve decided I need another rest day. According to my Garmin recovery adviser; I still need 34 hours of recovery time. I’m not entirely sure how much I trust that thing, but I did sleep really well last night but still woke up feeling tired and stiff and a little sore, and that’s what made me think I need another day off. Even if I did attempt the easy 3 miles that are on my scheduled today, I don’t think they would go well and I definitely wouldn’t have any fun.

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I guess I’m not sure how much I trust Garmin’s sleep tracking either, but so far from what I’ve experienced, it seems relatively accurate.

After deciding I wasn’t going to run I felt super relived, which was another really good indication that I should not run today. I guess I kinda sound like I’m trying to justify my decision, but I’m really not! I’m actually quite proud of myself for listening to my body and giving it what it needs. Which was apparently another day off from running and leftover sweet potato chili for breakfast!

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I’m going to have to share this recipe with you guys at some point. It’s super yummy, super healthy (especially this time around, since we used fresh tomatoes from our garden, and the tomato sauce Luke made with more tomatoes from our garden) and an interesting way to eat sweet potatoes. I’ve definitely never thought of adding them to chili before. Next time we make it I’ll definitely document the process, but for now, just know that it’s delicious and I’m eating it for breakfast like a crazy person. (But for real, why do we even classify foods as only for breakfast, or only for dinner?! So what if I want chili in the morning? Maybe I’ll have bacon and eggs for dinner! My food cravings don’t have a time limit!!!).

Well then, that was kind of a weird rant. Anyway, I’ve got a gecko to feed, bunnies to attend to, and dogs to walk. So I’ll leave you with Somewhere Now, the first track from Revolution Radio, because it’s a great song, it’s been stuck in my head for two days, and I’m in hardcore fan girl mode right now.

Happy Monday!

~ Ashley

Crock-pot Applesauce

I woke up this morning thinking I had to do an easy run like I usually do on Wednesdays, but I was so totally not feeling that today. On Monday I was supposed to run an easy 5k but that kinda turned into a fartlek type thing because the weather was nice and I felt great! Since that happened I probably should have made yesterday’s run an easy one but I was determined to do my intervals. Haha right. I only made it half way through the workout and then I called it quits because, surprise surprise, my legs were tired. But I did do an hour of yoga for strength, so at least there’s that. πŸ™‚

Anyway, getting back to my original point, when I checked my running scheduled this morning I foundΒ that today was actually a rest day! I don’t think I’ve never been more excited to not have to do a workout! The rest of this week is kinda hardcore though, with a long interval session and a 10-11 mile long run sandwiching an easy run over the next three days, but I’ll cross those bridges when I get to them.

But enough about running, lets talk about food!!

I’m not entirely sure how I didn’t know that making applesauce in a crock-pot was a thing, but I was totally unaware up until this point. Since we still have a whole mess of apples from our apple picking adventure last weekend I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with them (besides just eating them as is), and this seemed like a fun idea! And it was super easy, which is always a plus!

After looking up several recipes, I felt I was ready to tackle this one on my own. I mean, every recipe I looked at called for like, 3-5 ingredients, so I figured I couldn’t mess this up too bad. So I ended up kinda doing my own thing and I’m super happy with how it turned out!



Ingredients

  • 1012 medium sized apples
  • 2 tbs raw honey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • The juice from 1 lemon
  • cinnamon to taste

InstructionsΒ 

Peel and core the apples, then like pretty much every other slow cooker recipe, throw everything into the crock-pot and wait. It took mine about 8 hours on the low setting. I also mashed it a few times to get it to the consistency I wanted.

Every recipe I looked at called for 1/2 cup sugar and I ain’t about that life…Ok that’s a lie, I totally am. But I’m trying to swap less nutritious foods for foods that are full of good stuff, and swapping sugar for honey seems like an obvious choice to me. Plus I think raw honey tastes better than sugar and adds a little extra flavor to things anyway. πŸ™‚

As for the apples, I used a mixture of Jonathan, gala, and a few granny smiths, because that’s what I grabbed first out of our huge bag of apples. I also ended up using 15 apples because some of mine were kinda small. Let me tell ya, having one of those peeler/corer things really came in handy today! I don’t think I would have walked away from this project unscathed if I had to do that all with a knife.

Along with being unaware that you could make applesauce in the crock-pot, I didn’t know how freaking delicious it was warm! I’ve always eaten it cold or room temperature, but holy cow I think I’m eating it warm from now on. It’s soooo good!😊

I’m so super excited about how this turned out! It made the most perfect runner friendly, fall dessert tonight and I’m sure it’s going to be an awesome snack. I’m totally going to be making this all fall long.

Speaking of my favorite season, it’s definitely starting to feel like fall here in Kansas! It’s still a bit warm for my tastes, but the mornings and evenings are getting a bit chilly, the leafs are starting to change and drop, and a bunch of people in my neighborhood have pumpkins on their porches. It’s great and I’m one happy camper!

Happy fall everyone!

~Ashley

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