Wintery Wonderland

Mother Nature is making up for lost time this winter because it’s snowing like crazy right now.

This week I’ve been substituting for the art teacher at the high school I did my student teaching at, but I’m home today because it’s a snow day! I loved snow days as a kid, but I definitely love them even more as a teacher.

Cash spent his morning whining as he paced around my apartment. This dog is obsessed with snow! After I got tired of listening to him, I bundled up and we ventured outside.

I planned to walk down to a new-to-me trail that isn’t too far from my apartment so I could let Cash run around without a leash. Unfortunately, it was a lot colder and windier than I expected and my hands were freezing even though I had gloves on. Cash was having the time of his life but was starting to form icicles on his face and snowballs on his paws. We did a loop around the neighborhood before coming in the dry off.

My plans for the rest of the day include cleaning/organizing/working out. And maybe a nap.

Cash’s plans include playing with his rope, sleeping, and wishing he were outside.

Happy Thursday! 134 days until Run to Remember!

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Summer Highlights

Happy first day of Fall!! There’s not a lot that makes me more excited than gorgeous New England foliage, wearing sweaters, and hearty comfort food.

But before I get ahead of myself, I’d like to look back on the amazing Summer I’ve had.

I graduated.

Had a graduation party.

Where I got a surprise visit from my twin sister, who flew in from Alaska (This video still makes me cry).

I became a mom to a furry little monster.

Met some new friends.

And spent time with old ones.

I went to a G.Love concert.

I went shopping.

And did some more shopping.

My cousin James came home for a few weeks.

I found some awesome roommates.

And I moved to Portland.

Where I spent some quality time on our front porch.

I started student teaching.

And I ran a 10K.

And to think, I referred to this Summer as “uneventful.”

Back in the Groove

I’m running again…and I have a new running partner to thank for the motivation! He’s 25 pounds and furry.

I would also like to thank the upcoming 10K and the cooler weather for their part in motivating me as well.

Speaking of the 10K…I got my dates mixed up and it’s not till the 18th. Phew!

On Tuesday I ran a mile loop around our neighborhood twice with Cash and then did this 2.6 mile route on my own (4.6 miles).

Today Cash and I did the same loop we did did Tuesday but ran it three times (3 miles). Before we ran we fueled with sunflower butter.

(Don’t worry, I didn’t let him eat out of the jar…I let him lick the spoon when I was done though!)

When I run with Cash I don’t listen to music so I only have to carry the leash, not my phone/iPod. I don’t mind though because I usually end up talking to Cash like the crazy cat dog lady that I am.

Ten days till Trail to Ale!

Small Victories

I’ve learned to always appreciate small successes in life. For instance:

I survived Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred DVD (level 2) and only had to drop to my knees during mountain climbers three times, pause it twice, and get in child pose once. My shoulders are killing me now too. I’d call that a win

Also, I showered today. That’s a success…even if my arms were shaking as I washed my hair.

This week I also stole found a practically brand new size 2 Brooks Brothers blazer for $28 at a consignment shop. Another point for me.

I was able to replace my favorite flamingo cup ($5 at Reny’s) that didn’t survive a fall at work.

Cash hasn’t had an accident in the house today. Nevermind…guess I jinxed that one.

I successfully created the breakfast taco.

I found an apartment!

I ran twice this week.

I did some baking and I didn’t switch cornstarch for the baking soda (I’ve done that before) or burn them. And I didn’t make too big of a mess.

I caught this sunset.

And I lost another 1/2 inch from my hips. A small victory when you consider that I used fit into size 15 jeans and now I wear a size 2, but a victory that is definitely worth appreciating.

Excuses

I’m the queen of excuses and I have plenty to explain my lack of blog posts lately. Don’t get me wrong, I think most some of them are pretty good. The almost 100 degree weather…working a lot…and not having my computer for the past week or so (someone who will not be named decided that my charger looked like a chew toy). Not blogging because I haven’t been running…now that’s a terrible excuse. It finally cooled off enough/I finally woke up early enough to fit a run in yesterday before I went to work. It’s amazing how running made me feel like a human being again! Of course…I haven’t found the motivation today yet. I did manage to drag myself to the nail salon down the street for a shellac manicure though…it matches the “Cajun Shrimp” nail polish on my toes!

This week I’ve really been trying to eat less at work. Working in a restaurant can definitely be difficult sometimes, especially when there are plenty of extra french fries, chili cheese nachos, and chips. I’m determined that this Summer won’t be forever remembered as the Summer that I ate my weight in french fries so I’m making a conscious effort to bring my own food to work from now on. I still occasionally snack at work (and I will never say no to a couple bites of cheesecake) but bringing my own meals and snacks means that I don’t leave at the end of the night feeling bloated from eating too many chips with bleu cheese dressing. Last week I made a delicious curried tuna salad with granny smith apple, fresh cherries, and almonds over spring mix that was inspired by a recipe in the Whole Foods flyer. Yesterday, in a moment of genius, I created the hamburger salad. Grass fed beef, Farmers Market tomatoes and spring mix (amazing), red onions, and dill relish with a little mustard on top. I decided not to take a picture because it looks very a little weird, but it’s definitely delicious.

Blogging has also been difficult because I haven’t been taking a lot of pictures of anything other than a previously mentioned little monster.

He’s a pretty cute excuse though.

Will Run for Smoothies

So I broke up with the training schedule I was using…maybe I’ll try it again but actually start at the beginning this time…duh.

I’ve run three times this week so far, but the heat hasn’t made it easy. When will I learn to run earlier?? My legs also felt like lead the past two days. I blame myself for not stretching after I ran on Monday

Monday: I ran 4.5 miles in 40 minutes. My iMapMyRun app tells me I ran an average of an 8:49 minute mile…I don’t believe it but I won’t argue with technology! I also took sweaty self portraits of myself.

I’m weird…I know

Wednesday the heat definitely got the best of me and I ran 3 slow miles. I ran on a trail for a mile and it definitely tires my legs out faster than when I run on the road

Today my legs still felt like lead and I had to take a couple walking/stretching breaks but I ran 4.4 miles around a neighborhood near my house.

I was feeling pretty tired by the last half mile but the thought of making a giant fruit smoothie when I got home motivated me to finish strong. So after stretching and hydrating, I pulled out the blender and threw in:

A giant handful of spinach (don’t worry, you don’t taste it)

About half a cup of plain greek yogurt

A frozen banana

A generous portion of frozen strawberries and blueberries

Milk to help it blend

The spinach makes it look a little disgusting strange, but trust me, it’s great

I poured the finished product into a tall glass

And enjoyed it outside while hanging out with my favorite guy

Who likes green stuff as much as I do

And smoothies

What I’ve been doing lately

Well…I haven’t been running since Wednesday. But I have been busy!

I’ve been making kale chips

I used this recipe for kale chips from one of my favorite bloggers. I made two trays, one with garlic powder and parmesan cheese and the other with cumin and curry powder. I can now say that I’ve eaten an entire bunch of kale by myself in an afternoon.

I’ve also been doing some reading

I love this book but it’s taking me forever to finish it. I’d say that it really sums up my own food philosophy. I won’t go into detail about the contents because I could write a whole post about this book (I probably should!) but humor me and at least check out this review of In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto from the New York Times.

I’ve been hanging out with this guy

Eating ginormous salads

This one had romaine, carrots, cukes, tomatoes, salsa, black beans, red onions, avocado, chipotle cilantro hummus (from the Farmer’s Market!) and fresh cilantro. Delicious.

I’ve been shopping (big surprise)

I take pictures of clothes when I try them on so I can send them to my friends for approval. That’s completely normal right??? Maybe I should just stop shopping by myself.

Going to BBQs

Eating lots of strawberries

(Try this dressing, it’s amazing.)

Celebrating with good friends

And drinking a little wine

No wonder I’m exhausted!

Heaven on Earth

It’s no secret that I love food. Not just any food, though- I love GOOD food. And there’s nothing more delicious than hummus that was made in the next town over and kale that was picked that very morning. Local food is beneficial in so many ways. It is more nutritious because it is picked at the peak of ripeness. Produce that has been shipped from across the United States is picked before it’s ripe so it withstands the journey…and also loses some of its nutritional value. Environmentally, eating local produce (and other products too!!) uses much less gas and energy to transport it from farm to plate. It also supports the local economy! For every dollar spent on local food, up to $3 circulates back into the economy. Local produce is often organic even though it is not certified.

This is why nothing could make me happier than spending a morning at the Portland Farmer’s Market. Wednesday I took my mom and Cash to the Market in Monument Square. It was a gorgeous day and there was so much to look at.

So much green stuff…I felt like a kid on Christmas. My mom picked out some cilantro and a basil plant. I talked her into getting a head of kale as well so I can make kale chips. Mom also bought banana greek yogurt and herbed soft cheese. We couldn’t resist buying three containers of the best hummus I’ve ever tried and fresh baked pita bread which quickly became lunch as soon as we got home.

I still can’t decide which flavor I liked more.

In addition to food, the Farmer’s Market also has clothing, jewelry, coffee, flowers, and these gorgeous colorful prints.

There was even a band!

Cash was very popular as well.

Although he did fall asleep in my arms halfway through the market.

For more information on the Portland Farmer’s Market, click here.

And if you’d like to join Cash and I at the Farmer’s Market one day, feel free. It’s like Heaven on earth

This is Cash

He’s an eight week old black tri Australian Shepherd…and he’s all mine. I think that Cash is too cute for words…so I’ll save them and just post some of the adorable pictures I’ve taken in the past few days.

My sleepy Puppy: