Weird Weekend Runs/Friend Makin’ Monday

I went running on both Saturday and Sunday as usual this weekend. Both experiences were…interesting.

On Saturday, I went with my trail-running friend to a nearby state park to try some new trails. I have lived here for like 4 years (to be fair, I used to live much further from the park) and I had no idea the state park was so nice! It had a farm (that sells stuff/has educational tours in the summer), a mini water park, a pine forest made out an old Christmas tree farm, and preserved prairie grass! I can’t wait to go back to the park in the spring/summer when Kris visits with Belle. On top of learning that all of this was only 5 minutes from my house, the experience was interesting because it was SO COLD. I think the actual temperature was 15 degrees so who knows how cold the “feels like” temperature was (I can’t remember). It was so cold that my sweat froze into an icy layer all over my fleece jacket and headband!!

Yesterday, I decided to opt out of running with my friend at the park because I’m a wimp. Basically, it was only 8 degrees and we were having our first snow of the year so I chickened out and decided I’d do a short run on the treadmill in our apartment complex gym later. I don’t know what was wrong with me, but that run was incredibly difficult! I could barely keep up my normal easy pace (about 9:00-9:15 per mile) and my lungs were hurting a bit at the end – and I only ran 3 miles! I don’t know if the treadmill was inaccurate (I usually use the other treadmill but someone was on it) or if I am starting to come down with a cold or what. Typically days like this are disheartening because I feel like maybe I’m slow/tired because I’m lazy, not because I am worn down or sick, but this was SO difficult for me that I am more baffled than discouraged. I will just have to see what happens next time I’m out running!

Now on to the Friend Makin’ Monday part of the post. I am very excited about the topic this week – I love new recipes, which would be evident if you ever glanced at my Pinterest (I’m totally going to make ALL those things someday).


If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Share Your Favorite Holiday Recipe

Ok, so I don’t have my actual recipe book here in Indiana, so this is going to be a little half-assed. Let’s just pretend I am sharing more the gist of this recipe rather than its actual specifics and then it won’t be such a spectacular fail at recipe-writing. Now, for context: the recipe I am going to share is my Grandma’s recipe for turtles, which she makes for everyone every year, along with numerous quantities of fudge and those Hershey Kiss cookies. It is such a tradition that it was seriously a huge signal of adulthood to me when I received a plate (read: one pretty Christmas plate and then like 3 ziploc bags of stuff that won’t fit on the plate) made up for “Chelsea and Kris” instead of my parents receiving one for the whole family (and I get more now because my mom passes off like half of the butterscotch fudge to me!). I don’t recall exactly how she melts her chocolate/toasts her pecans/how much she uses of each item, but I do know the most important part: she uses homemade caramel. And you would be surprised how easy making this homemade caramel is.


  • 1 bag pecans (you might actually need more, I’m not sure how much she uses)
  • 1 bag chocolate chips (again, not sure of this, but it seems to make sense)
  • 2 cans sweetened condensed milk
  • Seriously, that is it, unless you like to add milk when melting chocolate


Start by making the homemade caramel. This is the part I actually know how to do. Place your 2 cans of condensed milk (still closed) in a crockpot and completely submerge in water. Turn the crock pot on low for about 8-10 hours, checking to make sure they are still submerged, and adding water as necessary. When it is done cooking, open the cans to find caramel! Note: this always works better for my Grandma than for my mom – it still turns into caramel, but my granmda’s is much thicker – which I am guessing is because her crockpot is older and therefore cooks at a lower temperature. I would recommend making the turtles right away or you will have to heat the caramel up (like in a saucepan) to make the turtles.

In order to make the turtles, start by toasting the pecans (however you like to do it – I usually just do a couple minutes in the oven at 350 or so). Lay them out (individually if you want them small; a couple if you want them big) on baking sheets that you have covered in wax paper. Melt the chocolate chips however it is that you typically do it (if you don’t know how, basically put them in a bowl in the microwave and cook for 30 seconds and stir then repeat until it’s melty, or, if you have one, use a double boiler). Over each pecan (or group of pecans) drizzle 1-2 teaspoons of caramel then 1-2 teaspoons of chocolate. Let them set up before transferring to a serving plate or container for storage. 

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s question!  Don’t forget to come back and link up in the commencts!  Happy Monday! :)


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