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cruising altitude dropping quickly


This week, the blog is stacked! Here's a birds-eye view of what's happening below if you want to skip around...


Since I am deep in birthday/Christmas mode (committed to being done by Nov 25th), I am going to keep on sharing things I'm buying for my family and friends!

I love baking homemade treats for friends. I made almost 150 cookies for the Christmas Market at Anna's school Friday, and after testing 10 different kinds, I highly recommend making these and these for your holidays! They freeze and thaw beautifully as long as you separate layers with some parchment and cover tightly with foil. Bonus: no rolling or cutting required and they still look so special with just a sprinkle of sparkle! Oh and of course they are INSANELY good.

I love this lighter from anthropologie. I bought it several years ago and even though I doubted the price in the moment, I have not once since then regretted the purchase. Excellent stocking stuffer for anyone who love candles as much as I do. If that one seems stupidly pricey (which it is), here's an amazon version that gets you two...I wish I had two.

My daughter Tess is the easiest girl to shop for. She is all about overpriced athleisure, aesthetic school supplies and most recently...Kendra Scott jewelry (#influenced by friends no doubt). I bought her this necklace and earrings and then a discount was emailed to me for 20% off. Passing along the referral since I am DONE for the holiday at this very sunny establishment, but maybe you still have someone to shop for!

From my easiest kid, to my most challenging. Anna is getting this portable speaker that I think she'll love to have in her room or clip on to her bag when we hike. I also picked up the earbuds since they were both on an early black friday deal when I shopped!

Elle is our artist and animal lover, so this kit looked perfect! Her birthday is around the corner and she's also getting a new backpack (doesn't everyone's zipper break before the first trimester ends?) that couldn't be more 'on brand' for her.

For the man building a skating rink the backyard, this.

Vuori is always a top gift destination for my family. Earlier this year I got my sister this shirt for her birthday. For my husband's birthday next month I picked up this hoodie and these pants. I also grabbed another one of these hoodies for my mom (her third one!) and this may have slipped in the cart for me. Currently no sales but I'll let you know as soon as I hear anything!

We love family games in our house. But none of my kids appreciate being gifted a something 'for the family' so this will have my husbands name on it this year. Looks like a blast to play with any combination of adults or kids!

Did you see my stories last week about breaking my milk frother? Turns out I cannot live without it, so when I saw this one for the right price (less than $6), I knew I had to grab it.

My very good friend and consummate hostess always has the best cookie party in December. For her hostess gift I plan to tie this book to this board with some beautiful holiday ribbon. I love this combo for an easy, thoughtful, gorgeous gift. It always looks so pretty and you can pick the book you think the recipient will love most.

Maybe you caught my reel highlighting about 3 years worth of Cozy Earth love. If you've always been hesitant because of the cost (and I get it) you'll want to tune in today (Sunday, November 20th) at 11 am central time. I'm so happy that I get to give away THREE pajama sets and ONE set of sheets plus a code to save FIFTY percent off for just two hours. If you have any shopping to do from here, you don't want to miss this!

Black Friday Sales have begun! I have a live spreadsheet here that I am constantly updating with the details from some brands I love. Those that are already underway are: Summersault, Cozy Earth, Beam (everything linked in the spreadsheet). Stay tuned for 25% off PeScience, G2G and more later this month!


This looks like 9pm but it was actually 5:15 on Monday. Can you spy Elle on the couch between homework and basketball? These kids just crash on these dark nights! I just want to give them an espresso cookie! Sunset today is 4:34 and it just isn't fair.

That same day I posted in my stories a day in in my life, hour by hour, which was really cool for me; I highly recommend anyone trying it. Even if you are someone who posts regularly (maybe even especially) it is so different to share something that happened, even if it's nothing, within a specific time frame. It's a great reminder that most days, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, which may seem really mundane in the moment...but they are not.

Just looking back at this photo right before I had to get her going to practice reminds me of how lucky we are to have such full lives...but taking time to just sit in our living room more often would benefit us ALL!

It brings me back to a question I ask myself a lot: 'what do I need right now?' I always ask myself this at least two more times because the first it will be my ego talking: 'No, no, what do I *actually* need right now?'

I loved this meaningful, little experience and I'll continue to do it every year. Thanks to my friend Sarah (with all the good ideas) for sharing about it!


Is anyone surprised I am still playing around with the pumpkin pancake bars?

They truly are perfect 'as is' but when I ran out of oat flour and had to sub in some quick oats, they reminded me a lot of the pumpkin oat bars (basically minus the egg whites).

From there my mind went to...*could* I add a vegetable? Should I add a vegetable?

To be clear I wasn't trying to make them more macro friendly or abide by a food rule. I sincerely just wondered how they would turn out if I tried. Plus I was thinking about adding a gingerbread-y spin, which I'll detail at the bottom. So I went for it.

And the verdict is...they're good. To me, not nearly as cake like as the pumpkin pancake bars (which is my preference so I'll continue with that version daily). These are dense in nutrition and volume. The macros are great; even better I'd say than the traditional 'zpo' bar because there is some bonus nutrition from the whole eggs, making them more balanced in carbs/fats/proteins. But it is way too similar to other recipes I've shared on instagram, and will probably confuse anyone who is not an avid follower!

So I am just going to share with this audience, on this platform because I love options and variations, and I think this serves a niche for anyone who loves the protein pancake bars, but misses the addition of a vegetable! For pleasure alone, I personally prefer the original.

Take a look at the recipe and let me know in the comments if you have any questions. You can also click the link below for a downloadable PDF.


  • Up to 1 lb frozen riced cauliflower (use whatever size you have) OR grated zucchini, patted dry

  • 1 1/2 cups /120 g quick oats

  • 4 scoops / 120 g Pescience protein powder of your choice (I like snickerdoodle and cake pop for this)

  • 2 whole eggs

  • 15 oz can pumpkin puree

  • 1 cup unsweetened cashew milk (or whatever milk you like)

  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar will work)

  • 1 tbsp baking powder

  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • OPTIONAL for sweetness: up to 1 tsp liquid stevia (titrate this in relation to how much riced cauliflower you use; if you only put in 8 oz, I recommend 1/2 tsp of the sweetener)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 9x13 pan with nonstick spray or use parchment paper.

  2. Microwave riced cauliflower per package directions until fully cooked.

  3. Combine all ingredients, in any order, stirring with a whisk to combine everything.

  4. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes.

Seasonal option if you want to add gingerbread-y vibe to any of my oat bar style recipes: add 1/2 tsp ground allspice, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp ground cloves and 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg and (this slightly affects macros) 2 tbsp molasses to the recipe.

Nutrition on molasses: 2 tbsp/42 g = 104 calories/26 carbs which shakes out to very few additional carbs per serving - go for it and don't worry about the adjustment!

Also, because I based this off of the pancake bars, I am keeping the serving size to four per batch, but in no way am I suggesting you should eat this much in one serving. It is very dense and if you are adding any toppings or spreads, this can become a lot to digest. Size according to your needs and desires please.

Macros (not the gingerbread version):

4 servings/ 328 g each (feel free to make them smaller)

322 calories/35 carb/6 fat/32 protein/7 fiber

MFP Entry: Katie Crokus Protein Pancake Bars (with Cauliflower)

Protein Pancake Bars (with cauliflower)
Download PDF • 1.68MB


A book recommendation to go along with your favorite Taylor Swift album. If you signed up, did you get on the list for pre-sale tickets for her Eras tour? We were waitlisted!! Tess and Elle are devastated. I'm so disappointed. Wayne says You Need To Calm Down. I think he has no idea and should see this.

Sweet Redstone after a full snow day.

On Monday Anna left for a three day/two night retreat with her 7th grade class. Her bag for sure weight almost as much as she did. I was so sad to say goodbye but I know she needed this space.

Here she is taking a leap off some ridiculously high pole on a ropes course, probably thriving without me telling her to be careful. ('Careful' is actually what she named our Elf on the Shelf when she was 2; presumably because that's all she ever heard me say. She may have thought it was her name).

I walked out the door to snap this photo and turned around to find my entourage.

They are always watching.

What 96 raw sugar cookies look like 'before.' Tuesday was part 2 of cooking making for Anna's school's Christmas Market this weekend (I covered part 1 in last week's blog).

And after...when some are 'done' but not anywhere near done. In the back are some gooey chocolate butter cookies I made gluten free for Wayne.

Not one cookie I chose was 'easy' like a classic chocolate chip but apparently no one buys those at Christmas Markets (I was told).

The start of what amounted to about three inches of snow which fell that day, making it perfect for baking.

She came back to us Wednesday and was never more grateful for all the comforts of home!

Back to it. Tess got a comb stuck in her hair. Anna loved it.

This took way longer than it should have. The comb is in pieces but at least there was no hair cutting. Reminded me of the days we used to cut chunks of hair off their heads to free them from slime. I shudder just recalling that.

I've been very into sandwiches this week. So simple, easy, balanced and satisfying!

Anyone else's countertops look like a beverage station graveyard at the end of each night? There are 5 in the family. There are never fewer than 10 vessels on the counter. The math doesn't add up.

Impulse purchase(s) on top of an already full cart. Somehow I got pine needles got all over my other groceries, my car, my house (!?) and they never even came inside. They are beautiful but committed to leaving a sticky trail of pine needles/

Anyone else pay too much for strawberries (*cringe*) but just so happy to see your kids excited? There have been a lot of apples and bananas around here lately.

I have no idea how I did this but carried about 200 cookies in into the Christmas Market. And used one hand to take a picture. #whyiworkout #whyidropimportantthings

These were my favorites and obviously not made by me!

Ended the week getting coffee (tea for me after two cups that morning!) with a friend. This scene made me feel like I was in the mountains again.

Fun Friday with just one girl this week.

We are updating our movie room (formally the toy room for the kids) and just made a very big (literally) furniture purchase. Super nervous to get it and see it in our house, but if it is anywhere near as great as the reviews are, I think we are going to love it. Link here for a $200 discount if you are interested in anything from the site. I've never shopped this brand before! This is the first investment furniture piece we've made in probably a decade. Since then we've been all about Costco and keeping our purchase price in triple digits. Finger crossed this doesn't disappoint!! Do you have a 'pit sofa?' Tell me you love it!


I am working on Thanksgiving menu planning. Every year we keep it pretty traditional but I don't have any MUST have recipes to male. My mom always handles the turkey, potatoes and stuffing (I'll make a GF version using the Trader Joe's box), and I am all about bringing the sides and dessert.

Usually I peruse all my favorite bloggers and pick some new ones to try. Here is what I have in the lineup so far (that is subject to change at any moment):

How about this or this on Thanksgiving morning?? Don't forget you still need to eat that day prior to the main event.

This zucchini dish looks right up my alley.

Thinking a cauliflower au gratin dish of some kind, like this one.

My mom requested brussel sprouts and thinking outside the box with this one.

If I have an abundance of time during my prep, I'll make this. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. If not, my alternative is...

I love a good cornbread and these photos have me sold, but if I make this one I will drastically cut the brown sugar because I've never made my cornbread sweet (I realize this is not normal).

Very interested in this cake. There will be no piped icing but I'll still torch it!

It's just not a holiday meal for my husband without peanut butter, so welcoming this to the table (nice shortcut in the crust too).

Every one of the recipes I chose will get altered in some way. That's just who I am. With a few notable exceptions (looking at you pies, breads and most baked goods), I feel like I can always take recipes made with veggies and protein just as satisfyingly delicious and cut a few corners (macros). If I strike any gold, I'll share in a post thanksgiving post.

Are you a big planner and want to have it all mapped out? Here is a great tool for you!

Finally because we watch it and I share it every year, here a rankled list of all the Friends Thanksgiving episodes complete with brief clips to jog your memory. Personally I think #2 should have the stop spot. My girls' favorite is #1. Which is your favorite??

What would you add?? Please share in the comments below.

I hope you enjoy this final week before Thanksgiving is here! Don't forget to keep checking back on my Black Friday Deals - which I'll be updating every time I can share more news and join me for the instagram live Sunday (today!) November 20th at 11am!

Warmly, Katie G E T I N T O U C H Communicate & Connect @katiecrokus


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Really enjoying these blog posts! They feel so nice and cozy and like you’re chatting with friends. Thanks for sharing 😊

Katie Crokus
Katie Crokus

Well thank you so much! I love the 'chatting with friends' analogy because that is entirely the vibe I get when writing! This means so much. I appreciate you!



Katie, I have THE cornbread recipe of the century!! Anyone that tastes it begs for the recipe and I have become the deemed ‘you bring the cornbread’ person. Lmk if you’re interested. Happy to help You, who has given me sooo much!! Insta handle @i.c.deitz

Katie Crokus
Katie Crokus

I for sure would love that recipe! Thank you so much Ilene!

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