Quick as a Cricket


Can someone please confirm that I am in the right state? Season? HEMISPHERE?! 8O

Sixty seven degrees on January 5th. In Iowa.

I don’t know whether to laugh because this is so deliriously wonderful, or cry because it means the Mayans might be right!

I decided to go with the former, and listened to tropical island-type tunes from Jimmy Buffett and Bob Marley on Pandora all day, then laced up the new Hawkeye-inspired sneakers (black with yellow stripes!) I got at the Addidas outlet store in DC, and hit up my very favorite trail for a run in the sunshine after work. 8)

3.5 miles in 30 minutes and 30 seconds. Quick as a cricket, and back just in time to see the last hot pink rays disappear from the skyline. Pure gloriousness!!!

Ok but seriously, outdoor runs and pina coladas aside, this weather is weird…right? EEK!

In other news, I received the following e-coupon from Papa Murphy’s around 3:30 this afternoon, and promptly forwarded it to Ben with one word. “Dinner?”

Not 15 seconds later came his reply. “YESSSSS!”

We love Papa Murphy’s take and bake pizza in this household. It’s fresh, inexpensive, and their deLITE thin crust ‘zas come in really great flavor combos like Chicken Parmesan, which combines grilled chicken with tomatoes, parmesan cheese, garlic, fresh spinach, and mozzarella cheese. It’s the ‘ish!

I wish you could smell this!

I never feel weighed down when I eat this pizza, and it always tastes homemade.

I guess that’s because it is! ;)

In other news, I finally took down the Christmas decorations last night (gahh, feels so much better!) so I’m staying aboard the organization train and tackling the office tonight.

It’s…out of control.


Have a great night!


Take and bake, or delivery? Favorite pizza place?

Take and bake allll the way, and my favorite pizza place is The OP. Can you say Taco Pizza with Parmesan Garlic breadsticks?!

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  1. Kristin 01.05.2012

    Love your blog as another Iowa gal named Kristin! I also love Papa Murphy’s delite pizza. My favorite is the one with chicken, spinach, feta and sun-dried tomatoes! Delicious!

    • Allison 01.05.2012

      I agree, that one is AWESOME!

  2. Amber 01.05.2012

    67!! Jeaaallouuuss… I think it was upper 40’s in Minneapolis. Still crazy nuts for JANUARY!

  3. Emily 01.05.2012

    I love Papa Murphy’s! This sounds really good…maybe I’ll have the husband make a stop on the way home!

  4. Love Papa Murphy’s! We are going to have to try this! My favorite pizza is from Northern Lights…I eat it every time we are back in Des Moines! Their thin crust is amazing…and their breadsticks….YUM!! Now I want to come to DM and eat pizza! :)

  5. Drool. That’s it…I MUST find a good take and bake. When the pizza cravings hit, R and I have just been going to the Pizza Hut in our neighborhood. It’s not awesome, but it’s fast and cheap (five topping large for $10). And I agree about how crazy warm it’s been. It’s been near 80 degrees in LA this week. It’s fantastic, but it just isn’t right!

  6. We love Papa Murphys but alas, there are none in VA…

  7. Allison 01.05.2012

    My favorite pizza places: Domino’s (they’ve improved since the 1990s, I think), Papa Murphy’s, Gusto (in Des Moines), and Centro (in Des Moines). I like the crazy bread at Little Caesar’s.

    Not so much a fan of Papa John’s or Northern Lights, but I wouldn’t pass up a slice of any type of pizza. Love it! Now I want pizza.

  8. Rachel 01.05.2012

    Papa’s Pizzeria in Polk City-Taco pizza. YUM!

  9. Favorite take out: Pizza Hutz! Favorite frozen: Digiorno!

  10. Kara 01.05.2012

    Ahhh I’m so jealous of your weather! I’m originally from Iowa and just got back to NY after visiting for the past two weeks. When I left it was about 6 degrees. I thought about the Mayan prophecy also, haha! Scary!

    P.S. I’m from Iowa City-love the shoes, Go Hawkeyes!!

  11. Dione 01.05.2012

    I was just saying today (after walking to work in the third or so episode of freezing rain this winter)…that this weather here in Edmonton is scaring me! Right now it’s 3 degrees celcius, when this time of year normally we should be an average of -9C, and we should have had a good few dumps of snow and some deep freezes of -20C or much lower by now. On the Canadian Prairies we live in one of the most extreme climates in the world, and this heat wave is not normal. It hasn’t been much colder than -5C for a high since beginning of December. I know come February and March (and even April) there has to be SOME normal weather. I loathe deep freezes, but this is why we don’t have nasty parasites and bugs in this part of the world.

  12. My favorite pizza is from a local pizza place in the city I used to live (Saratoga Springs, NY) called Caputos. SO GOOD. I haven’t found a pizza place I really like in the city I moved to in June, but funnily enough I found a Godfather’s Pizza tucked in the back of a Hess gas station here. I didn’t realize there were other Godfather’s in the state of Iowa (I never saw one outside of Mason City, where I grew up) let alone in New York! I guess they’re everywhere. I immediately ordered a pizza from there and it was so awesome to have pizza from my childhood.

  13. gosia 01.05.2012

    I know, right?!?! I’m in SE Iowa… and a month ago I sent out invitations for my daughter sledding birthday party this weekend… yeah… not happening… O_o
    Relative to pizza places… unfortunately the best pizza I’ve ever had is 1000 miles away in NJ… so now I’m testing all of the “take and bake” brands…

    • Wohooo…Yeah for Jersey pizza! We have some of the best in the WORLD:)
      ps-I thought about the mayans with this weather too…eeeeeeeee! I. WANT. SNOW! :)

  14. Love Papa Murphy’s…. I might have to order me some this weekend!

  15. Mary W 01.05.2012

    Great Plains Sauce & Dough Co in Ames is the BEST pizza I have ever had!

    • JennyV 01.05.2012

      LOVE Great Plains!

      That said, my all-time fave for pizza is Harris Pizza in the Quad Cities (IA)… or if I’m going cheap, I like Casey’s taco pizza!

      • I totally forgot about this place! My sister took us there while she was at ISU. LOVED their honey whole wheat crust!!

        As a native Minnesotan who spent many summers on the North Shore, I have to say one of my favorite places to get pizza is Sven and Ole’s in Grand Marais.


  16. Kate 01.05.2012

    I love the OP! My husband and I graduated from UNI in 2003 and we go back every once in a while for the treat (oh, and to see his parents :) and the last time we ate there, they changed the recipe!! So disappointing!

  17. Liz 01.05.2012

    Oh, wow, I love the shoes!

    I got the same email. Glad to hear the pizza is good. It will be mine soon enough!

    Oh, and you’re right, The OP is one of the best! Which one do you go to?

  18. Kathy 01.05.2012

    ABSOLUTELY the OP pizza is the BEST! But my favorite is green olive! Caseys pizza is a runner up!!

  19. Kim 01.05.2012

    I think those tennis shoes are Mizzou inspired;)

  20. And I thought 45 degrees when I got out of work felt tropical today! :) I wish it was near 70 here. This weather is nuts!

  21. Kris N 01.05.2012

    Ahhh..The OP…I am dreamming of cheese bread, baked sandwiches and pizza…..

  22. Jill 01.05.2012

    Love Papa Murphy’s and the OP! But when we head back home to Dubuque, we enjoy some Happy Joe’s.

  23. I am obsessed with the Archers Farms goat cheese and spinach pizzas from Tarjay. However the real issue lies in the fact that I pretty much always eat the entire thing myself.

  24. That pizza looks fantastic! I love the simplicity of take and bake. I grew up in Ohio, but live in Phoenix now and 75 degree days (like today!) still feel off to me. I know I shouldn’t complain though! Glad you got in a run in the sunshine :)

  25. ktlovespie 01.05.2012

    I’m so jealous. It’s cold here in PA.

    As for pizza, if you’re even near Wilkes-Barre PA, check out Pizza L’Oven. It’s unlike any pizza you’ve ever had. Kind of like Sicilian but they put oil in the pan so it gets browned and crunchy-fried. Mmmm

  26. Traci P 01.05.2012

    With each passing weather forecast on tv I get a bit crankier! We are in northern Illinois, so our weather is much the same as in Iowa…come on, just a little snow, please?? As for pizza…I’m originally from Wisconsin and how I miss the Papa Murphy’s. We don’t have one around here. When we go back to visit my parents, PM is usually the last stop on the way out of town…even though it’s 2 hrs. away, we drive really fast and pop it in the oven when we get home :)

  27. Colleen 01.05.2012

    We have Papa Murphys every other Friday night-its great and we keep my cousin employed;) We just had it and got the same kind-yummy! Beside PMs, we do the OP, Godfather’s or Casey’s taco pizza, or make our own.

  28. Sarah 01.05.2012

    It was crazy warm here today too – I couldn’t believe it! We’re supposed to get a little snow this weekend, than back into the 50s. I’m loving the warm temps, but the ski resorts are hurting – they have 1/2 the “base” (natural snow) that they had last year!

    We love Papa Murphy’s as well, it’s so cheap and delish! Plus, even the regular crust doesn’t feel as heavy as Pizza Hut/etc. We also like Papa John’s – I love that they have different toppings than some of the other chains nearby, and are still reasonably priced.

  29. dawn 01.05.2012

    OMGosh, the weather is insane. We are planning on a ski trip to Tahoe end of month and so far… no snow, oh no!!!
    Major Blerg!

  30. Kristin 01.06.2012

    I moved to Ames in the summer of 2010, and though it got much colder last year we still had a long and wonderful fall with little snow. All the Iowans here keep trying to convince me this isn’t normal but I don’t believe it! We’re here for another 3 winters (grad school) so we’ll see. I’m glad I came across your blog – it’s a lot of fun, thanks!

  31. Michelle B. 01.06.2012

    Yesterday, here in Missouri (not too far!) I went running in shorts and a tank top. I still can’t believe it! I’m not complaining, but like you, I am a little freaked out by it.

  32. I love thin crust pizzas so I usually prefer to take and bake or just make them at home! You dinner looks awesome. Can’t beat $7!

  33. Ris 01.06.2012

    Looove take and bake. There’s a place in Chicago called Homemade Pizza Company and it is just amazing! When we lived in Chi-town we wanted to go there like once a week! I limited us to once a month but it was a challenge. Yum!

  34. Matt 01.06.2012

    I gave up eating out this week so reading your blog this morning was pure torture given the fact that I LOVE Papa Murphy’s!!! As for take and bake vs delivery, I’d probably go take and bake any day, however you just can’t beat Wig and Pen Chicago style pizza in Ankeny!! The taste is phenominal! And they have great long islands too! :)

  35. We had the same thing for dinner last night–only MY coupon was for $8?!?! What gives? It was delish…I love their chicken artichoke pizza, too.

    My favorite food is pizza, so it’s hard for me to pick one go-to place. I love them all for different reasons.

  36. Chicken pizza does rock, plus it was a great deal! andoh you mention Taco Pizza! We grew up in the Iowa area as well, but we live a couple of hours away now from the closest good pizza place, aka somewhere with Taco Pizza! We adore Taco Pizza and have been trying to recreate Happy Joe’s pizza at home when we get the cravings.

  37. I’m hoping the Mayans are wrong too… I’ve put too many deposits down for my wedding, lol.

    My favorite pizza place is Pizza Paradiso in Washington, DC. Their pizza is out of this world!

  38. Bethany 01.06.2012

    The OP is THE BEST PIZZA EVER. Every time I go back to Cedar Falls that is the first stop I make!

  39. Cait's Plate 01.06.2012

    Delivery or homemade pizza beats everything in my book!

  40. Kristin from MN 01.06.2012

    Favorite Delivery: Pizza Ranch and Papa John’s
    Favorite Frozen: Freschetta Simply Inspired

    I don’t really like Papa Murphy’s Crust EXCEPT for the deLiTE crust I think is really good! I will need to try that Chicken Parm! Yum!

  41. […] getaway. Even though the weather has been insanely mild lately, I’m in complete winter getaway mode. I can’t stop thinking about taking a relaxing […]

  42. Jaime D. 01.06.2012

    OMG I LOVE taco pizza! So delicious! I am also a huge fan of Papa Murphy’s – always so fresh and tasty.

  43. Linda W. 01.06.2012

    GODFATHER’S!!!! Our favorites are the taco or veggie pizza and they now deliver in Des Moines!

  44. Encore 01.06.2012

    About the weather…I know, right?!? I went running early this morning and it was 43 degrees a state north of you! I can’t believe it and I’ll take this in January every year! And, I’m a big fan of Papa Murphy’s, but if I’m ordering then it’s Papa John’s. I guess you could say I’m a fan of the Papas!

  45. Allison 01.08.2012

    Loving this springtime weather in the middle of winter- no complaints! Although, I wouldn’t mind a snow day [aka day off from work]- the first snowfall is always so beautiful… As long as it’s 60 degrees the next day and it all melts ;P

    My fave take out pizza is Upper Crust!

  46. It seems the States have switched!Florida has gotten colder!

    I love Newman’s own pizza- pepporoni. We add crushed pinneapple and spinach. It delicious!

  47. […] year when it was warm enough to have a bonfire on Thanksgiving, go coatless until December, or run outside in January. Even if we get hit with an epic snow storm at this point, it’ll melt within a few […]

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