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April Goal Results & Randomness

Sunday, May 01, 2011

A most awesome month! My goals for April were:

*25 pushups - am doing 26 - emoticon
*50 situps - am doing 50 - emoticon
*2 miles in 20:30 - best time to date is 19:48 - emoticon
*160 lbs - today is 159.8 - emoticon
*green w/ stripe karate belt requirements completed - 3 not complete but did jump ahead and complete most of the blue belt requirements instead so counting as emoticon
*finish all mending - everything that I am capable of repairing & wearing again is done - emoticon

Apparently I need harder goals! emoticon

So total year to date stats:

45 lbs gone, 25 to go
Waist - 38 to 32 inches
Hips - 48 to 42 inches
Thigh - 25 to 22 inches
Waist-to-Hip Ratio - 0.79 to 0.76 inches
Push-ups - 15 to 26
Sit-Ups - 25 to 50
2 mile run - 60 to 19:48 minutes & my 1st 5k running all the way!

Today I need to think about what May goals will be. Writing them down in April seemed to help me progress a lot more than otherwise (example from Jan to Mar I only improved pushups by 4 yet increased by 7 in April alone).

Yesterday was finally a beautiful day. Somewhere in the 60s, the sun was out, no rain. My lawnmower still had a charge from the fall so I was able to mow the front lawn for the first time this year. Unfortunately the back yard is still swampland and more rain is happening today & tomorrow so the backyard has to wait. It's going to be a major pain to mow when it finally dries out. Haven't been out to the garden yet but do need to find my boots & brave the swampland to start prepping the beds.

Most of my house is now painted, the texture crap is gone from the walls. Scout Dad is going to finish the bathroom today and start sanding the kitchen / nook area ceilings to get rid of that texture. I need to remeasure all of the rooms to double check and sometime soon go order the flooring. I wanted hardwood but the more I think about the maintenance & care required, and having a large dog & 2 teenagers...I think I will delay hardwood for a few more years and go with a Pergo for now.

Fingers crossed, but my Grandma may be moving into assisted living by the end of the month. My Mom came up last week for a few days & she & my aunt found somewhere. We are just waiting to find out if she qualifies for HUD in order to get in, and is the 1st person trying to get the room to qualify. My uncle seems to be slowly accepting that Grandma can't take care of herself, or at least decided to stop arguing in the face of united opposition & several professional opinions. So double bonus there, Grandma gets the daily help she needs and I & my daughter don't have the added stress of the things she does.

I think I'm past the anger of not getting the job I wanted - well, I am still PO'd about it but it is no longer all-consuming and making me want to burn some bridges or commit grievous bodily harm on someone. After thinking about it a lot I've decided it is probably best right now. Housing markets are still depressed so it would be next to impossible to sell my house for what I owe in order to relocate. I don't have the cash to complete all the things that would need to be done to get the max value from a sale (eliminating the swamp, landscaping, new driveway, new siding, flooring in the entire house, not just a few rooms) - these are all things that DO need to be done but, being major expenses, I need to do over the next few years as I save for them. Plus, since the company was acquired last year, it's only been a matter of time before our parent started changing how we work to fall in line with their practices (which, IMHO, are not as good as ours)...and it has started. The next 6-8 months are going to get dicey with personnel changes (i.e. people being removed) and policy changes and maybe the worm will get caught in the cross fire (petty of me I know, but honest). Time for me to hunker down and prove my invaluableness (is that a word?) so I can ride out the coming storm and find a place in however things shake out.

Hope everyone has a great Sunday with plenty of rain or sun depending on your needs. If I could find a way to export our rain I'd do so in a second, I am SO sick of rain.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOODIE59 5/2/2011 4:13PM

    Worms? Crossfire? It's all good:) Congrats on your month's goals. Sounds like you're doing everything right. Good luck in May --

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VYVIENN 5/2/2011 3:48AM

    Excellent job on the goals, wow!! Glad to hear there's a solution for you grandma, that should give everyone some air (including her, I'm sure).

You know, hardwood, when treated correctly and laid well, is actually quite durable. My grandmother still has the original floor from when her house was built in the 1950s, and it has braved several generations of kids and at least one dog for a short while. I think she had it refinished once!

If I had my choice, I'd have a nice laminate all through the house, because these days, it looks just like hardwood and is so easy to maintain. Our new house has carpet throughout, though, except for one area, and for some reason, DH likes how it goes with the way the previous owners decorated the place, so I'm stuck with it for now. One thing I'm never falling for again is that "dirt-repellent, tightly woven, specially treated" wall to wall carpet junk - no matter WHAT the claims are, that stuff gets dirty and never looks the same again!

When Scout dad gets finished, will you show us some pictures?

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    I'm really glad about your uncle coming to terms about your grandmother... what a touchy subject, caring for our elderly family!

We have tile floors of slate, I think you call it. I wouldn't trade it for the world because it is so easy to clean and maintain!

Have a great week, and good for you on your fitness! Keep sparking! emoticon

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GREENEYES2020 5/1/2011 3:08PM

    Congratulations, you are doing great!

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SARAHJG33 5/1/2011 9:48AM

    GET IT, GIRL!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GETSTRONGRRR 5/1/2011 9:35AM

    Great work for April and a 5K to top it off!

Keep doing well at work. Attitude is sometimes just as (sometimes even more) important as performance

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BELTONWALKER67 5/1/2011 8:43AM

    emoticonYou are doing a fantastic job in the goal setting and achieving your goals. On the job situation...remember all works out for the best and usually when one door closes another one will open. Have a great day!

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SILVERHAWK 5/1/2011 8:31AM

  Good job on meeting your goals!

Good luck on the May goals!

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TURCOTTEP 5/1/2011 8:23AM


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I ran, I finished, I did not cause a traffic accident!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

WooHoo! Yay me!

I ran my 1st ever race today, a 5k, just a few miles from my home. My goals were to finish, to run the whole race, not to be in last place and not to get hurt.

Given that I am accident prone, the race was on the road (remember I live in MI, where we drive on patches & potholes, not roads and the patched patches have patches), I am accident prone, all running to date has been indoors on the treadmill, I am accident prone, part of the course was under road destruction, I am accident prone, cars would be driving in the next lane, and I am accident prone....finishing was not necessarily a given.

However I am pleased to report that I ran, if not exactly like the wind at least like an occasional breeze, ducking and weaving my way around all potholes in my path, taking flying leaps over flattened road kill squirrels, dodging walkers who didn't understand the concept of a straight line and would swerve in front of me for no visible reason (these are probably the same people who don't quite grasp the idea of a passing lane when driving and believe speed limits are too high).

I saw an old high school friend that I haven't seen in more than 20 years (except on FB) and one of the moms from Boy Scouts; both also ran the 5k.

I made it to the 1st mile mark and checked my watch to see my time...and saw that I hit the reset button by mistake when I started so timing had never started. Very bummed about that, I wanted to see what my 2 mile outdoor time is, since I know it is slower than on the treadmill. So I started timing at the 1 mile mark.

The last bit leading up to mile 3 was up a slight hill, dodged the fence through a narrow opening over rough patched asphalt, around the corner and into the home stretch. Hot 'n Cold by Katy Perry on the mp3 to pick up the pace and cross the finish line...smack into a "traffic" jam as everyone before me decided that was a good place to stop & stand around. Grabbed my water & a banana (after dropping my orange quarter on the ground) and headed back to the corner to wait & cheer for Scout Mom and go with her to the finish.

According to my watch I did 2.1 miles in 22:08, which I guessed made my total time around 32 minutes. Of course I didn't look at the clock when I crossed the finish line, that would have been too easy LOL. They had the race times posted on line by the time I got home...and my official time was 33:25 and I came in 38 out of 96 so WooHoo! I rock!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRISBY0 5/3/2011 4:39PM

    Wow, super impressive, awesome achievement, I bow before you!
Way to go! emoticon

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DOODIE59 5/2/2011 4:33PM

    Thanks for the play by play!

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VYVIENN 5/2/2011 3:41AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Well done, well done, well done!

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DOJORAT 5/1/2011 9:40PM

    Awesome job on your first 5K!! That's a great time especially for only have ever run on a treadmill! I found your blog delightful to read, it sounds just like running here in WI. I am constantly dodging road construction cones, giant potholes and lake size puddles, lol!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GLASSPAK22 4/30/2011 10:52PM

    You're emoticonway to go emoticon

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GETSTRONGRRR 4/30/2011 9:00PM

    Very, very cool! You've got a lot to be proud of, especially since you are now a RUNNER!

Great job....when's your next one?!?
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PUG-GIRL 4/30/2011 4:48PM

  Totally emoticon! And it wasn't just a 5K race, it was a 5K obstacle race. emoticon

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RESULTS361AP09 4/30/2011 1:32PM

    emoticon You totally rocked the race! Way to go on your first race and I'm sure there will be plenty more to come! emoticon

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SNW1126 4/30/2011 1:09PM

    Great job! emoticon emoticon

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KRISTINKP 4/30/2011 1:00PM

    33 is an awesome time! I'm still shooting for that in a race - no prob on the treadmill, but outside is a whole nother story! Great job!!!

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GHODGE6 4/30/2011 12:47PM

    Super! Way to go! You should be grinning from ear to ear over this accomplishment! I thoroughly enjoyed your telling of it, too. Felt like I was there.
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    WOW! You did a FANTASTIC job! I am so happy for you! And I remember those pot holes and patches of MI quite well! emoticon emoticon

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1st ever race in 2 days...need advice

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

About a month ago, in a fit of caffeinated insanity, I registered for a 5k race on 4/30. I still don't know why exactly I did this. I have successfully ignored this fact until today when I realized that tomorrow night I have to pick up my race packet. Since I made the commitment to run the race I'm going to have to do it.

Never having run a race before, and having Type A / control freak / OCD tendencies, I'm a bit freaked because I don't know exactly what to expect or how best to prepare. I know the obvious, like get a good night's sleep & eat breakfast in the morning (planning on a pumpkin muffin with some peanut butter and possibly some mint tea). Beyond that, what should I do or not do in the next 2 days exercise-wise?

Tonight was a cardio/strength training night. For cardio I run/walk on the treadmill for 65 minutes. My primary focus is speed for a 2 mile run (down to 19:48! WooHoo, yay me!) and then a 12 minute 1.1 mile to get to the 5k mark. Then I have a brisk walk for the next 25-30 minutes, then go to strength training (full circuit for arms, legs, chest & back).

Tomorrow will be yoga pilates (which I've missed the last 2 weeks) & karate with pushups (still hate them) and sit-ups. I'm assuming I'm OK for tomorrow's exercise plan.

Friday would be another run day, but with the race on Saturday morning I'm assuming it's probably not a good idea to run Friday night.

So what should I do instead? I'm getting twitchy at the thought of not doing anything, but I don't want to overwork myself and risk injury or burnout on Saturday morning. It will be weird enough running outside on the road, all my running the past 4 months has been indoors on the treadmill.

My goals for the race are 1) to finish (I'm accident prone so finishing is not necessarily a given); 2) to run the entire distance (see #1); and 3) not to be in last place. Yes, I know just finishing is an accomplishment and there is nothing wrong with being the last one done b/c it is finishing that is the true achievement...but remember above about my being Type A? I'm also *slightly* competitive...not enough to expect to "win" but I have to have something to measure myself against. Actually, just not getting hurt will be an accomplishment for me!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TIGGERJEAN 4/28/2011 12:15PM

    You go, girl!!

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DOODIE59 4/28/2011 9:53AM

    You are going to have a riot. You won't know what hit you after the race. Sore and exhilarated at the same time. Pulling on your race T-shirt w the tags still hanging off. You're one them! A runner!! It will change the way you see yourself. And you will sign up for more:)

Just have fun.

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PUG-GIRL 4/28/2011 6:57AM

  Have a great race! We'll be cheering you on emoticon from the virtual sidelines!

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VYVIENN 4/28/2011 1:39AM

    I think the most important bits have been covered already... emoticon I would add... if they offer a warm up prior, go ahead and join in - you can count it as your first official act in the race. Make sure you have someone cheering you on. I know this is "only" a 5K, but if you think there might be a sticky point during the race, position someone from your cheer team at that point for an extra boost.

Start out slooooooooow! RW always lists as the #1 mistake racers make: starting out too fast. And remember Jeff Galloway if you need him: it is ALWAYS absolutely 100% ok to take walk breaks. Your goal is to finish, so set yourself up for success.

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GETSTRONGRRR 4/27/2011 11:37PM

    Great news! You'll do fine.

I recommend relaxing the day before the race. Stretch out or go for an easy walk if you get the jitters. Save your energy for race day.

A 5K will be over before you know it, so it's not like eating anything will really help you out. A muffin 2 hours prior is just fine. Like Kristin said, lay out your stuff the night before, then go over your routine for the morning ("I'll get up, brush my teeth, get on running clothes (with bib), etc.) If you have someone there to cheer you on, then give them your car keys.

Prior to the race, line up towards the middle to end of the pack so you don't get run over by the uber-competitive up front. I liked to do some VERY light jogs (30-60 seconds) a few times about 15-30 minutes before the race time just to loosen up and burn off some nervous energy (and know that everyone in the pack will be some level of's a good feeling to have for a race).

Most important of all....enjoy the experience! Get into it, breathe deep, start slow and finish strong.

In terms of sportsmanship, I always circle back to the finish line and cheer on all the runners finishing after's good for the soul.

Look forward to hearing how it went!

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TRI_BABE 4/27/2011 10:59PM

    I would not have the peanut butter unless you were going to eat at least 2 hours before the race, and make sure the muffin is low-fat, fat takes a long time to digest and you don't want that right before you run. The blood will leave your stomach for your legs and you might end up upchucking.

If your goal is just to finish, it sounds like with your current workout you are going to do that anyway. If you really want to make sure you are rested then just do yoga the day before the race.

If you do the 2 mile run in 19.48 and the last 1.1 in 12 minutes even, that is a finish time of 31.48, trust me, you will not be the last one done, and considering you will be running the whole time your time will be even faster.

If you want to compromise on Friday you could always walk or power walk, too, then do the yoga.

Comment edited on: 4/27/2011 11:00:10 PM

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KRISTINKP 4/27/2011 10:44PM

    I usually do yoga the day before a race! It seems to relax me (I'm a bit jumpy thinking about it), it really stretches me out, and I seem to sleep better after doing yoga. All things that will make me fell great for the race. A few tips - lay everything out you need the night before, since you'll probably be getting up at the crack of dawn to race. Don't eat anything the night before or the day of that you don't know how your tummy will react to...don't want any stomach issues during the race! Drink plenty of water in the days leading up to it too! Good luck! It sounds like you have trained well, so don't be nervous - just get out and run!!! Have fun!

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My Garden Plan

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Below is my planned garden layout this year. Iím excited, each year it gets a little bigger, better organized. I canít wait to get started planting, our last frost day should be any day now. Because of the rain, cold & wind last weekend I did not get the last of my raised beds built or do any work outside so Iím hoping Iíll be able to get to it this weekend. I have the next 4 days off work so I will really try to take the time. I intend to be planting on time this year!

Because itís kind off small & hard to read here is a list of what Iím planting going in rows from the top of the page. The pink boxes are for marigolds, Iíve been told this flower helps repel the various insects that like garden plants. No corn or this year, Iíve decided itís too much work for what grows (and the animals donít eat) and I can get better quality and exactly the quantity I need from the local farmerís markets. I also plan to grow potatoes but they will be in another area.

Row 1: pumpkin, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, zucchini, eggplant

Row 2: parsley, chamomile, mint, basil, marjoram, tarragon, sage, other herbs TBD, beans, peas, spinach, kohlrabi, cabbage, tomato, cilantro, thyme

Row 3: watermelon, onion, chives, habanero, chili pepper, jalapeno, bell pepper, green onion, peanuts, tomatillo, artichoke

Row 4: honeydew, tomato, oregano, cilantro, thyme, peanut, bee balm

Row 5: cantaloupe, tomato, bee balm (I think I will change this to something else), onion, garlic, and a box just for flowers Ė donít know what kind yet but maybe some lavender and whatever flowers attract bees

I also have 3 large catnip plants not shown on the plan. When dried and put in baggies to take to work to share with other cat owners I look like drug dealer LOL!

In typing this up I just realized that I forgot carrots and now have no where to put them in the garden. They may have to go off-site by the pear trees I planted last yearÖwhich are also right next to the deckÖunder which lives my colony of bunnies. Oh well, I will have enough to share.

I also have raspberry bushes that really started producing last year so I expect this year will repeat. Iím going to try planting blueberries again this year and see if they take this time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TIGGERJEAN 4/27/2011 2:39PM

    YAY! Way to be organized! We're looking forward to fresh veggies for the grill this summer!

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ATURTLESPACE 4/23/2011 8:33AM

    Wow! Looks great! We were just planning on tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, etc. this year, but you have inspired me a bit. Of course our space isn't *quite* that big (or nowhere near it...) but it's our first real garden space. Now if I can just keep from killing the veggies the way I did the flowers last year... emoticon emoticon

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BELTONWALKER67 4/22/2011 3:09PM

    Wow! You are going to be one busy lady and look how much you will save at the grocery. Your layout is as big as my yard! I'm going with container plants this year for tomatoes, Green Bell peppers and some strawberries. After I see if I have a green thumb may increase a little next year. Have fun!

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DOGSTARDADDY 4/22/2011 11:33AM

    ok.. I have a big garden.. you have a REALLY big garden.

I'm doing 10-12 rows of corn, pumpkins, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, summer squash, strawberries, and probably watermellon.

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4EVERFIT011 4/22/2011 10:52AM

    Oh I am soooo envious! My garden is teeny-tiny compared to yours and I dream of having one at least twice it's size. This year though I planted several veggies in my flower beds. Kale, Swiss chard, tomatoes, and several spice plants are sharing space with my flowers. I love your organized plan! Here's to great harvesting!
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FUSCHIA6 4/22/2011 10:27AM

    That looks fantastic. I have been growing golden raspberries. They are great because no one steals them. People assume the are unripe red raspberries.

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VYVIENN 4/22/2011 8:07AM

    Oh, awesome!! DH is already reading a HUGE book on organic gardening; ever since we bought the house, he's been soooooo excited about finally having acreage to put stuff on, lol!!

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DOJORAT 4/21/2011 9:58PM

    Wow!! That looks like it is going to be an awesome garden!! I always plant my carrots, beets and onions in the space between larger plants like cabbage, broccoli, peppers, tomatoes etc. No wasted space this way. I'm so antsy to get my garden going but the ground is still way to cold here, we actually still have a little snow left.
keep us up to date on your garden, cant wait to hear how it turns out!

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DEZZIEJAMES 4/21/2011 2:02PM

    Your design looks AMAZING! I can't wait to hear your gardening stories! I am working my greenhouse for the first time this year. So I'm gardening right along with you!! Happy Spring!!


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    Now, that is an organized garden!!!
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Comment edited on: 4/21/2011 12:35:15 PM

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1_OF_5 4/21/2011 12:26PM

    Fantastic! This is something that we keep talking about, but we never get beyond a couple of beds of greends, potatoes, and onions.

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

This seemed to be the weekend for muffins! I saw a new muffin recipe in Cooking Light I wanted to try, VYVIENN made pumpkin cranberry muffins, I learned you can freeze muffins to eat later (somehow that never occurred to me before), and my muffin top is mostly gone.

Today I made pistachio chai muffins. I changed some things from the Cooking Light recipe. I sacrificed some of my coconut chai tea for this, here is the recipe (makes 9 muffins):

3/4 cup white flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt, 3 chai tea bags (unused), 1 cup vanilla soy milk, 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 large egg, 1/3 cup pistachio nuts, chopped, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1 TBS water

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. In large bowl mix flours, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt
3. Cut open chai tea bags and add to flour mixture; stir well to mix
4. In another bowl mix soy milk, coconut oil, egg and vanilla extract
5. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Do not over mix
6. Coat muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray
7. Divide batter into muffin cups
8. Sprinkle nuts evenly over the muffins
9. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack.
10. Combine 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, powdered sugar & water, stirring until smooth. Drizzle evenly over muffins.

I also entered the recipe on SP so you can get the nutritional values here:

I think tomorrow I am going to make Lavender Blueberry Muffins and later in the week I will try VYVIENN's pumpkin cranberry. Here is the Lavender Blueberry recipe (makes 9-12 muffins depending on size):

1 cup white flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 cup Silk Vanilla Coconut milk (from the dairy section not the canned coconut milk used in Thai cooking), 2 medium eggs, 1 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen - if using frozen do not thaw first or your batter will be blue), 2 TBS Lavender buds

1. preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Mix all ingredients until wet; do not over mix, batter should be lumpy
3. Spoon into muffin cups
4. Bake 20 minutes (approximate)

Sometimes I add shredded coconut to the recipe and sprinkle some on top of the muffins. The recipe with the coconut is here:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MCJULIEO 4/19/2011 7:05PM

    "and my muffin top is mostly gone. "

Yay, YOU! emoticon

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DOGSTARDADDY 4/19/2011 1:44PM

    I love Cooking Light mag.. but the ingredients on so many of the things just look kinda.. weird. I'm not a terribly brave eater!

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VYVIENN 4/18/2011 10:45AM

    Mmmmh! I might just have to try those after Easter!!! Next up for us: oatmeal chocolate chip! DH loooooooves chocolate chip... we'll see how he feels about the muffins.


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JERSEYFLOWER 4/17/2011 8:24PM

    Muffins - that's something I always say I want to make and then never do! Guess I should at least buy a muffin pan, huh.

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NUTRON3 4/17/2011 8:19PM

    Sounds great!

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