Christmas Decor Home Tour

Happy week of Christmas! All my gifts are bought and wrapped, my house is decorated, and I am ready, I just wish I had one more week to just soak it all in! Since we will not be posting a blog post for our normal Friday post, I thought I would make a post today sharing some of my favorite Christmas decor around my house.  

12 Days of Christmas Gift Basket

Greetings! We got quite the snow storm here on the East Coast and I have to say I actually LOVE it!    Even though we are teaching virtually, school left out at 12:30 pm on Wednesday in anticipation of the storm, and was cancelled on Thursday, and Friday as well. Hello super long weekend!  All this snow makes it feel even more like Christmas!

In last week's post I mentioned I was creating a "12 Days of Christmas" gift basket for my neighbor. I shared some of what I did in an IG story and I got so many comments and questions on it that I thought I would share it here.

5 Holiday Activities that are NOT Cancelled


Last weekend was a very busy one for us. I am on the Winterfest committee and we had our annual Tree lighting and this year it was a "Remembrance Tree" where we could hang an ornament in memory of a loved one. I actually got the idea from my good friend Rebecca Jo ( you should totally check out her blog) and brought it up to the committee and they were on board with the idea. I think each year we are going to dedicate it to a certain group of people, I believe next year it will be "essential workers". 

December Coffee Date

 December is finally here! Aren't we all just ready to put this year behind us? 

I 'm joining the virtual coffee date with Deborah and CoCo.

So let's catch up.  Here are a few random things I would tell you over coffee. 

Gifts for the active dog owner


My gift guide last week proved to be successful and I had a few people text me to tell me they bought something off my guide or that I gave them some great ideas!  That gift guide was of course gifts that I wanted to GIVE.  This gift guide will be about gifts I'd like to receive and maybe you'll find something you like too, or get a good idea for a dog momma in your life.

Holiday Gifts they'll want more of...Gift Guide

 We apologize for not having a post up last week, but hopefully you enjoy this one and it makes up for it! 

At some point in your life, the people you need to buy holiday gifts for get to an age where they really don't "need" anything and just giving stuff to give "stuff" is pointless. I've felt this away for a while now and that is why I am so particular on what I give. I really like to concentrate my gift giving efforts on giving experiences like a spa day, concert and theater tickets, a fishing license ( for my husband) and other outings. I've done this for some people on my list for several years but to be honest, there aren't a lot of "experiences" going on right now. Heck, some of the gifts that I gave last year, still have not been "experienced"  thanks to COVID.  Although my husband DID get to use his fishing license, so that will be another gift I will give again!

So this year, I'll try to focus on consumables, and practical things things I know people will love.  

Currently...Fall Edition and Runfessions

 Oh my Gosh, we are wrapping up on October, how is that even happening?  With everything going on, I've remained positive and am going to be thankful for what October has brought me. So here are some Current  Fall Confessions/Runfession from October....

I'm also going to play along with Marcia for her October Runfessions! 

I USE to LOVE these running products, Now not so much.

 Can you remember back to each time you got a new running gadget or piece of gear?  You probably thought that foam roller was the greatest thing since sliced bread and you wouldn't be caught leaving the house without your Garmin.

I am still fond of my foam roller and I always take my Garmin on my runs ( unless I forgot to charge it the night before), but I will now admit there are a few items I thought were ALL THAT, that honestly, I could care less about now.

Our Time at Wild Fire Ranch




Last weekend my friend and I visited Wild Fire Ranch and Spiritual Retreat.

We signed up for their two hour trail ride called “Mystic Mountain”.  They have trail rides of all different distances and some where you even get off your horse to picnic before returning back on the trail. 

Fall Fall Favorites Prompt - Play along!


This is an oldie but a goodie! I found this Fall Fun prompts a few years ago from my friend  Rebecca Jo and thought I would do an updated version! 

6 Hikes to take in Central PA


We've talked multiple times on the blog about all the hikes we've done over the summer. Although we hope to do a few more this fall, we thought we would at least make  a comprehensive list of the ones we've done so far, and review them.

The Summer Six


Visiting a camel farm was something new I did this summer!

As many people carried on with their summer vacations, I just couldn't.  I couldn't ignore the fact that we were  in a pandemic or the fact that there was a possibility of violence occurring at a moments notice in any given city ( or small town). Because of this, I chose to be cautious and stay close to home this summer. Which let's face it, if there was ever a time for me to stay close to home, it was this summer. The new puppies really absorbed most of my attention anyway and the fact that I didn't get to go on a vacation, really didn't seem that important. 

Banana Cream Pie


This is my last of the summer pie recipes, Banana Cream Pie.

I've been buying a lot of bananas this summer because they make a great treat for the puppies. I usually cut them up, freeze them, and then put them in the food processor to make banana ice cream.  I add some peanut butter to that and Sybie and Willow go crazy! 

Murder on the Trail

Over the Labor day weekend, my sister and I did what we've been doing all summer, we went for a hike. Again, we found another new to us trail. If anything,  COVID made us more adventurous.

Coffee Date- Back to School Edition

I am very much looking forward to the long weekend! In the past, this has been the weekend my mom and I would be at the beach. However, my husband thought it wasn't such a wise decision to go during a holiday weekend (like we've always done over Labor Day), not just because of COVID, but also because of all the protesting and violence ( whether intentional or not) that is ensuing!  I have to say, that as much as it saddens me, I do agree with him.  So I guess I will stick around and have a coffee with the ladies!  

Summer Runfessions!


                               It's Friday and that means Marcia's Runfessional is open!

So, let's see if I have 5 things to Runfess this month. Actually I'm going to call this Runfession the Summer Edition! 

Lemon Blend Pie

I have been doing a lot of baking this summer. It seems that baking and hiking has been what has been taking up most of my time this summer. Which I am grateful for the hiking because what I've been baking have been mostly desserts!

This week I am sharing another yummy pie!

That "Dateline" Trail

Another week, another trail! It seems we've been doing a lot of that during the summer of Covid!

 If you read my sisters  post the other week she mentioned that we went to one and we didn't even get out of our car because it felt like it could have been a Dateline episode.

After we came home I was talking to my one friend who is an avid hiker and she said that she had hiked some of those trails before and that she would gladly take us there.

Breakfast Stuffed Crescent Rolls

I always like experimenting with putting different ingredients in refrigerated crescent rolls and I think this one was one of  my best recipes!

Summer Loving.....

      This summer I've been running, walking, swimming, making new recipes, cleaning my house, and sometimes going out on the boat. Sadly enough, none of those things require me to wear any more than "lounge wear". I'm sure some of you can relate!

That rare time that we went into town. 

What I've been loving the most this summer in the form of "lounge wear" has been the rompers!

No Bake Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie  is one of my favorite summer flavors!  I recently bought some Key Lime Pie flavored popcorn, so that inspired me to make this pie.

Hiking Dale's Ridge Trail

This week my sister and I hiked a "new to us" trail.   We had to run an errand in the morning and thought about finding a trail in that area, but that didn't work out.  So on the drive home, I suggested the Dale's Ridge Trail.  I had known about this trail for a while and my mom and I tried to find it once, but could not.  Since then, they've put up some signage, so it was easy for us to find it now.

Coffee Date Chatter

I'm going to "share" coffee this weekend with Coco and Deborah, ( and all of you).  You might remember that I don't drink hot coffee, but I do prefer frozen and this past week I got a yummy one from Dunkin. I got a Blueberry  frozen coffee. I don't know why I ordered that flavor since I'm not really fond of blueberries, except that it sounded refreshing. 

June Runfessions

I can't believe we are nearing the end of June already! I bet a lot of people are going to be saying this exact thing this week.  I've got into a running routine this month so now I actually have some stuff to Runfess!

Summer Gazpacho

My sister and I have been using the Vitamix lately to make some yummy Summer Soups!
The first one we decided to make is a Gazpacho. 

Gazpacho is a chilled soup of blended vegetables.  It was so simple to make .

The Runner gun

A few months ago when all of this quarantine started and places were not open it seemed like the only things that were open were the trails. So, I decided to take advantage of those and began running much more than I ever have.  It is no surprise the more you run, the more it takes a toll on your body and you begin to feel sore, tired, or even just run down. They say recovery is just as important as your workout (whoever they are) but I know I lack in that department as many of us probably do, whether it is not drinking enough water, using a foam roller, stretching,  etc.  

The one thing I used to really enjoy after races, or even just running a lot of miles was a massage. Unfortunately we know that those places haven’t been open in what seems like forever and will probably be one of the last places to reopen, which brings me to my new purchase. The Runner Gun!  

I don't want anyone else to get hurt.

This is something I've been thinking about often, actually I think about it every time I clean out my closet and I always have conflicting thoughts.

Coffee Talk - Something new

Hi Friends,
I thought I would link up with the ladies for Coffee Talk this week because I have something on my mind.

I mentioned at one point in the past that I was thinking about changing my username on IG. When you have a blog, and are pretty active on social, this isn't something you take lightly. (I mean it's no first world problem, but it is something that requires thought), and I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.

This whole thought process started well over a year ago. I felt I've outgrown @Fairytalesnfit and wanted a name I could use personally, professionally and with the blog ( because I did not want to create multiple accounts). I wanted to create a name that was part my own name yet still kept the integrity of our blog name.   An ideal name would have been @Merandasfairytale or @FairytaleMeranda.  However, the experts (whoever they are), suggest keeping all social media handles the same and since Twitter does not allow for more that 15 characters in their handle, both of those names were out.  I then resorted to just using my initials @MSfairytales (or a variation of @ms.fairytale or @msfairytale but if one of those names was available on Insta, it was not available on Twitter and vice versa.  This process became overwhelming so I just decided to forget about it for a little while longer.

Over this time I've realized that the thing that was making it so hard, was coming up with a name that would still be recognizable with my blog, and that meant keeping either the word "Fairytale" or the word "Fit".  Since the word Fairytale is already 9 letters, I decided there was not any part of my name that I could add to it that would make sense ( and I would feel comfortable using).  I've eliminated the word "Fit"  because  I did not want that to be the main focus of my accounts.  ( there is actually more to this story why I did not want to keep the word fit and it involves me getting multiple DM's each week about joining groups and I'll just leave it at that).

It took me a while to realize this, but I can still "Be myself" and still have a social media presence with my blog, lots of people do it.  The blog is something I do, not who I am.  I am more than a blogger and I think my social media accounts reflect that.  I struggled with the fact that my new user name may not be "exciting" or "intriguing" or "interesting enough to make people want to click and check it out, but that is the risk I am willing to take.

So I've decided (if I can actually pull the trigger) to retire @Fairytalesnfit at the end of the month and just use a variation of my own name. I'm not going to state exactly what it will be at this moment because that will depend on what is available on both Twitter and IG at the exact moment I make the change. I already know that I can not use my first and last name because it is already taken, so it more than likely will be a variation of my first name.

So now I think, What will happen to @fairytalesnfit?  Will anything linked to that automatically be linked to my new name?   Can I (or anyone else) use @fairytalesnfit again or is that name now blocked?
What do you think? Am I making a mistake?  Have you ever thought of changing one of your names that have already been established? Do you think it matters that your social media names are all the same?  What suggestions do you have for me? -M

Deluxe Cheeseburger Pie

Memorial day is the quintessential day for cook outs!  With some social distancing orders being a bit relaxed now, will you be having a cook out with friends or family?   If so, hamburgers or cheeseburgers might be on your list of things to grill.  If you are not into grilling or perhaps you are looking for a dish to bring to a picnic, the Deluxe Cheeseburger pie might be perfect!

This starts off as your basic "Hamburg pie" recipe that you can get off the back of the Bisquick box, but kicked up a notch!

1. Start off by frying your ground beef.

In a separate pan ( those awesome Copper Chef Pans I love), I also sauteed some mushrooms and onions  (This is part of what makes it "Deluxe").

In a pie dish ( that you sprayed with non stick spray) place your ground beef and  pour your Bisquick mixture over. Bisquick mixture is 1/2 cup Bisquick, 1 cup of milk, 2 eggs.

I'm using my glass LocknLock pie dish with lid  and these are awesome! I noticed that they are on clearance right now at QVC for  ONLY $14.98 and you get TWO of them!  They come in this pumpkin color ( what I have) or blue.

Go ahead and add the sauteed mushrooms and onions. I also sliced up tomatoes and dill pickles.  Add whatever type of shredded cheeses  you want to the top.  Bake on middle rack at 400 for about 25 minutes!   Enjoy!

What will you be cooking this weekend?  -M

The History of Disney Races

Many of you may know that this week is registration week for The Disney Marathon.  I can't even begin to think about what this summer will be like let alone prepare myself to sign up for a race that isn't even taking place until 2021, so I will not be registering for any of those races.

However, as we are all wondering what the future of racing will look like,

Low Fat Cooking - Pork Chop Casserole

I recently got a new set of pots and pans (quarantine time has forced me to clean out my cupboards so out with the old and in with the new).  Actually I've had this pan from Copper Chef for quite some time but just recently started using it...I LOVE IT! So it inspired me to buy an entire set! 

Copper Chef Pans QVC

Since I got the set,

What will define your year?

You may remember last year at this time I was in a really sad place. I was taking care of my Baylee girl as her health just got worse and worse ( yet I had hope). 

April Runfessions

I'm stepping into the Runfessional this week with my friend Marcia (

The first thing I must Runfess is that

What I've been watching

Anyone who knows me, knows that I rarely watch TV.  I'd rather be reading, writing, running, chasing dogs, or creating something. However with a little more time on my hands then usual, I've decided to check out some shows on Disney Plus!

Can you believe we've had Disney Plus since December and I've never once turned it on till last weekend? Yea, me neither!

Has your running been effected?

Most of us are finding a few extra hours on our hands now that our social life and any other obligations outside of the home have come to a halt.  I am still working from home and on most days I put in more hours at home than I would at work but I am still finding some free time to get in some runs.

Running has just felt weird lately. 

The Time I Reported on Tigers!

One of the best things about being a journalist is being sent on assignments. This allows me to experience things I would otherwise probably not do. For example did you see my IG story earlier this year on the Polar Bear Plunge?  There is no way I would ever jump into icy water in February, but I was happy to report on everyone else doing it!

Exotic cat rescue

One of the best assignments I've been sent on was reporting on an  exotic animal refuge in Central Pennsylvania. Since the movie The Tiger King is gaining so much popularity these days, I thought perhaps this might be of interest.

Flying during Covid -19

In the wake of what is going on in our country right now, most places are closed and almost all professions are working from home. It is said that unless you are essential, STAY HOME!

Well apparently flying is essential,

Browning Ross 10 Miler

We put great thought into what we wanted to share for this week's blog post given the climate of our nation right now. We don't want to be insensitive to what is going on with COVID-19 but I'm sure you really don't need to hear more about it from another blogger, so for that reasons we decided to continue with another running post.

The other week I ran the final race of the Browning Ross Winter Series.

Spring Break at Crystal Springs Resort and Spa

What was meant to be a Pre-Spring Break trip may end up being the only Spring trip I get to do depending on the state of our country in the next few weeks.

In any case, I was glad to be able to relax in a paradise setting so close to home.

February Highlights

Since February is a somewhat short month, I thought I would be able to keep up with the "One Sentence a day" and link up with my friend Rebecca Jo.  Turns out, I forgot to write a lot of things down and I came up with a lot of empty days on my calendar.  The only thing I kept record of mostly was Sybil's health concerns ( and during February there were a lot of them) and I doubt anyone wants to read the play by play on that.

So instead of skipping the month all together, I thought I would just do a February highlight reel. Does that work?

The Salt Cave Experience

The other week for Galentine's Day my friend and I thought it would be fun to experience a salt cave! I have heard great reviews about them and was excited to try one out.  We went to the  Simply Health Salt Spa near State College, PA. 

There were several services you could do. We chose the salt cave, the jade bed, and the hot butter hand treatment. 

When we arrived

Snowfest Trail Race

The other week there was a Winterfest going on at our local State Park. I was debating whether or not to go because I had just taught a spin class followed by a yoga class and I was a bit tired. My sister was planning to go to do an article for the newspaper so I thought I would tag along. 

During the day they had many festivities taking place and the one of them was a 3.5 mile trail race.

Snorkeling in the Bahamas

A few weeks ago I went on a cruise to the Bahamas. One of the excursions that were available was snorkeling. 

My friend and I have both done it before but thought it would be fun to do it again. The night prior we were planning out how the following day was going to go. If you have cruised before you know each evening they put the sheet under your door for the activities for the following day. When looking over the sheet we thought there were quite a bit of activities going on during the day while we were docked. I know some people don’t even get off and just like enjoying the ship to themselves. They even had the Newlywed game going on that afternoon. The snorkeling was only supposed to be in the morning so we would have time to get back on the ship to watch that (that’s my favorite).  We even saw that this was the formal night. Well that’s odd I thought why wouldn’t they put formal night the day at sea?  That evening we wanted to watch a comedy show but knew we had a big day ahead of us so we decided to head to bed early. 

Browning Ross Winter Series Race

This past weekend I ran another 5k race in the Browning Ross Winter Series again. The weather was much nicer than the other week I ran the race. I was familiar with the course, and I wasn't sick, so I was excited to see what I could do.