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Weekend: Home Projects, Copycat Levain Cookies, 8 Miles and More!

Hey there! I hope your week is off to the best start and that you’re having a great Monday. My Mondays have gotten so much better since giving up early training clients. I teach late on Mondays so it made for a long day to go from 6 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. and it kind of felt like I started my week off in the hole. It’s such a kinder and more relaxing start to the week to wake up around 6:45-7, eat breakfast, get my week organized and then head to the studio to teach my first class at 8:15 a.m.

Okay, time to recap the weekend.

Y2 Yoga Bootcamp

We had a fun start to the weekend by teaching a “Back to School Boot Camp” on Friday for our morning crowd. Bonus, it was our friend Wanda’s birthday (she’s the photographer we work with all the time…she shoots everything for the studio and shot both of my books!). She has a birthday tradition of dancing to Flo Rida’s song “Low” so we always make sure to play it for her in class. This year she actually brought boots with the fur that she put on and did yoga in during the song. Love this lady.

The rest of Friday was computer work, working out, training a client, teaching and happy hour with some friends and students. I was home early to prepare for Saturday morning’s event with Premier Protein.

Premier Protein Workout

The event was a success and I’ll have a full recap with lots of photos tomorrow.

Namastay Bowl at Namastay Kitchen

I met Tanner for lunch at Namastay Kitchen. I had our Namastay Bowl with chicken (and added avocado after this photo was taken).

Turkey Brunch Burger at Namastay Kitchen

I couldn’t resist taking a bite of Tanner’s turkey burger. Our brunch burger has balsamic onion jam, crispy prosciutto, arugula, basil aioli, cheddar and an over easy egg. SO GOOD.


I got home from lunch and did dishes and wiped the kitchen countertops. The next thing I knew I had Pledged every surface in our house, cleaned wood blinds, changed air filters, washed baseboards and walls and pulled the couch out from the wall to vacuum.


I also had the contents of one of our closets on the floor. Tanner came home and was like, “What are you doing!? You’re cleaning in like 4 different places?” I am such a cleaning mess. I go in circles where cleaning one thing leads me to the next and the next and then I eventually make it back to thing one.

He jumped in and helped and we ended up moving a ton of furniture around and completely redoing the living room. We finally called it quits around 7:30 and changed to head to a friend’s birthday party.

Foxcroft Wine Co

We stayed at the party for about an hour and then headed over to Foxcroft Wine Co. for a light dinner. We shared this bruschetta with a mushroom duck mixture.

Foxcroft Wine Co

And scallops over grits.

When we got home I made a cup of tea and ate a slice of carrot cake that I brought home with me from the birthday party! 😉


Sunday was a (much needed) lazy day.


I made brunch…nothing new to see here!

Levain Copycat Cookie Dough

After brunch Tanner said, “let’s bake cookies.” He’s been wanting to test cookie recipes for the restaurant. I’d had my eye on some copycat Levain Bakery recipes so we got to work.

Copycat Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies

Overall, the cookies were a success! I used this recipe but made about 16 cookies instead of 8. Making 8 cookies from 3 cups of flour, 2 sticks of butter and a cup and a half of sugar just seemed insane.

Copycat Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies

The texture was spot on. They were a little crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside but I’d like to try them again with a few small modifications for taste. They are so close but not quite perfect. Regardless, I took a big container of them to the studio later that day when I went to teach and they disappeared like hotcakes!


I stayed into my PJs until 3:45 p.m. when I had to change to go to the studio to teach. I got sucked into a three hour vortex of going though old photos that I’ll share more about in coming weeks.


After class I came home to tackle my long run. I waited until the last moment of the weekend to do it but I loved the sunset run. The weather was perfect and it was a nice way to end the weekend.


I did a little over 8 miles at a 9:20 pace. My legs just did not want to move very fast last night but I just went with it and enjoyed the scenery and listening to Glennon Doyle Melton’s new book, “Love Warrior.” It was just released on September 6 and I’ve been seeing so much about it. I liked “Carry On, Warrior” so I wanted to listen to this one too. My initial thoughts are…that it’s really heavy. So heavy in fact that I had to turn it off and switch to music for the last 3 miles and my pace picked up considerably for those last few miles.

Taco night

Tanner also ran last night (but not with me). He did 6. I’m trying to convince him to run the half with me but I don’t know if that will happen. After showering and hydrating, I whipped up chicken tacos with an avocado goat cheese sauce. The rest of the evening was spent on the couch with Parenthood and having cuddle parties with the girls. 🙂

Are you an “organized” cleaner or do you “clean in circles” like I do? 

Any favorite chocolate chip recipes to share? 

Did anyone else long run or race? How did it go? 

{ 22 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Rebecca September 12, 2016, 2:41 pm

    Those cookies look insane (in a good way)! If I ever get in a baking mood again, I will have to give those a try.

    It poured rain for my long run on Saturday morning. If I had been running by myself, I would have bailed for sure. But I was meeting up with my training group, which made me get out of bed and do the damn thing!

    • 2
      Jen DeCurtins September 12, 2016, 3:14 pm

      That is definitely one of the best things about training groups…accountability and having to show up! Way to get it done! How far did you go?

  • 3
    Meredith (The Cookie ChRUNicles) September 12, 2016, 2:51 pm

    ha, I clean like that too! Once I get started I just keep going all over the place lol. The levain cookies are insane! I can see how they require a ton of flour for each cookie but again, that’s because they are insane and thick! I would love to try one that you made! I haven’t made my good old fashioned chocolate chip cookies in a while. there’s nothing better than that!

    • 4
      Jen DeCurtins September 12, 2016, 3:13 pm

      Mine were equally as rich and sinful but just a tad bit smaller! 🙂 Glad to have another ADD cleaner with me! 🙂

  • 5
    Linda September 12, 2016, 2:58 pm

    Just finished Love Warrior…I liked it, but it is heavy. I read it and am now doing the Courage Works Wisdom of Story.

    • 6
      Jen DeCurtins September 12, 2016, 3:12 pm

      I haven’t heard of Courage Works, thanks for sharing. I will check it out.

  • 7
    Miche September 12, 2016, 3:26 pm

    I love this recipe for whole wheat chocolate chip cookies from Food52:

    The whole wheat flour lends a nice nutty flavor, and the fact that the recipe calls for cold butter makes it easy to whip these up at the last minute.

  • 8
    Julie September 12, 2016, 4:09 pm

    Ha ha I def have cleaning ADHD, too!

  • 9
    Jennifer September 12, 2016, 4:36 pm

    Avocado Goat Cheese Spread??? I think my heart just skipped a beat. That sounds amazing. I would love if you were able to share the recipe.
    Those cookies look killer, too.
    Ok, ok, ALL you food from the weekend look great.

  • 10
    Ashlee September 12, 2016, 4:54 pm

    My secret ingredient for super moist (ew gross word) choc chip cookies is…… instant vanilla pudding mix!!! Add it in and it’s like sprinkling magic.

    • 11
      JennyV September 12, 2016, 9:58 pm

      Yes!! That’s what my mom has always done… The recipe we use contains 1/4 c white sugar, 3/4 c brown sugar, 1 box of instant vanilla Vanilla pudding mix for he “sugars”!

  • 12
    Christina September 12, 2016, 6:56 pm

    WOW!!! Glad I’m not the only one with ADCD – Attention Deficit Cleaning Disorder!😂

    Those cookies look amazing!!! I do have a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe but, I dont think they are very healthy😁 They’re called Marry Me Cookies! I came across this recipe and can only make MAYBE once a year!!! They are dangerous!

    Hated to miss your event Saturday morning but, needed pick-up daughter in Columbia on Sunday so had to do my long run Saturday morning. Would rather have been there with yall – I ended up running 11.2 miles as I got a little lost! I know! I was made fun of by my kids when I got home! 😣 I was just trying to run in NEW scenery!😍 Oh well it ended up being a great run! 😀

  • 13
    Danielle September 12, 2016, 9:30 pm

    Panrethood, I miss that show! Those cookies look really, really good. I did my 2nd to last 20 mile run before my fall marathon and it went really well! The rest of Sunday was then very, very lazy.

    I definitely clean all over the place! I think of something else to clean, get distracted, and then come back to the original spot. Haha.

  • 14
    Arthi September 12, 2016, 9:52 pm

    LOVE Levain cookies!! Those look great!

    Long run this weekend consisted of 20 miles!! 22 next week and then it’s time to taper for the Chicago Marathon!

  • 15
    Alicia September 12, 2016, 10:10 pm

    I hate cleaning and cannot bake! In fact my daughter and I tried to make soft pretzels yesterday, epic fail! I did run an 8 miler too. I’m getting ready for a half in Oct.

  • 16
    Brittany September 13, 2016, 7:13 am

    I definitely clean in circles! We are getting ready to list our house so I have lots of deep cleaning projects to tackle this week. It’s so defeating with dogs though isn’t it?

  • 17
    Julie Running in a Skirt September 13, 2016, 8:35 am

    Ohhhh the old photos vortex is tricky!!!
    I could use a house deep clean… if only I could find some time!

  • 18
    Erin September 13, 2016, 12:18 pm

    I’ve had this recipe on my radar for a while: https://smittenkitchen.com/2016/06/the-consummate-chocolate-chip-cookie-revisited/ I just need a weekend with nothing going on so I can hunker down and make them!

  • 19
    Tara September 13, 2016, 2:07 pm

    i’m totally an all over the place cleaner and often make a bigger mess “cleaning” than what originally existed. at least at first. and my boyfriend reacts in much the same way…uh what exactly are you doing ? i laugh just thinking about it. its like i get all hyped up and take on a huge project then dont have the time or energy to finish properly

  • 20
    Liz N. September 13, 2016, 4:03 pm

    I am generally a focused cleaner but I always feel like I need to do a better job of it. I need to finish the book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. I’ll admit that I hold onto things longer than I should and need to do some serious purging soon. These may not fit into the “cookie” category, but I can’t wait to make these during the Fall months: http://www.annies-eats.com/2012/09/28/pumpkin-whoopie-pies/ ! Pumpkin all the things! I wish it would finally cool off here in Charlotte.

  • 21
    Melissa Stadler September 13, 2016, 8:29 pm

    Hi Jen! Thank you so much for trying out my Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies! I appreciate the shout out and love. You are inspiring me to get out and run again! 🙂

  • 22
    Laura September 14, 2016, 9:41 am

    Chicken tacos with that sauce sound like heaven!

    I’m a terrible cleaner. Awful. I start, then get distracted and forget what I was doing. I end up going back into a room an hour or so later and thinking ‘oh yeah, I was cleaning in here’.

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