August 2012

August, you will be good to me.  I know you will.  I have high hopes and a hair cut scheduled, oh and shopping.  At any rate, today is cold-ish and it has been so hot lately that I am embracing the chance to wear jeans.

"Oh darling, let's be adventurers"


Chit Chat

So...I finally figured out what has been keeping me from this blog.


I'm happy.  Work is on the right track, even if it is keeping me busy.  I am a better, faster runner than I was at the beginning of this journey.  I love it.  I love how it makes me feel and look lol.  I'm reading, on and off.  Sometimes books get boring, and I get busy.  My husband is amazing and we celebrated our 2nd anniversary this month.

Let's face it, I'm in a good place and while this outlet has been amazing, I feel bad not posting.  I feel worse promising to post and not posting.  So...I'm on a break.  Officially.  I'll post sometimes, but nothing serious.

It feels good getting it out there.


On Our Nightstands: #8

I am an escapist.  Whether it is books or movies or T.V. shows, I like living in someone else's life for a brief time.  My brain is always turning over problems and solutions or how to have a conversation I've been dreading and being able to be someone else for a while quiets the storm.

So...here is a list of books I want to read this summer:

1. Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
     I am reading this one right now and like it so far.

2. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

4. The Mists of Avalon books by Marion Zimmer Bradley

This is just the beginning of my list.  At some point I want to read Les Mis. and re-read the Harry Potter series and Lord of the Rings.  We will see how far I get for now lol.

What are you reading?


July 2012

July promises to be a month of HOT weather, longer runs and bike rides, more hours at work, good books and nights in with the man I love.  I cannot wait to conquer July.  I have a feeling it will need to be conquered, but I am happy to do it.  I have my knight in shining armor to help me when I need it.  

Since my quote for the month is about books I feel like I should mention what I plan to read this month...and that will be my next post.  Today is all about fun and purging last months ball of stress.  

July is about popsicles, or at least it should be. So wish me luck!!

P.S. sorry I am a lazy poster lately, hopefully I will get my groove back


June 2012

June, I have been waiting for you; for the sun, good books and blonde hair.  Oh, and movies.  I love summer movies.  Basically, I love June.  The weather isn't too hot, but it is warm enough to wear shorts (well after this week anyway lol).

June is always filled with promises of a great summer to come.  So that is what I am looking forward to.  The promise of fun and MAGIC and running and reading and watching movies.


Books, Books and Books

I have been reading a lot lately, both with my friend at work and on my own.  I attempted to read The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, and I have to say, I was not up for the challenge.  I wanted to appreciate the interesting writing style and realize how important the book was, but I just didn't.

So...I moved on.  Since, I am all into running and finding peace in it, I took the suggestion of the lovely Elise Blaha and read Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes and the Greatest Race the World has Ever Seen by Christopher McDougall.  It was amazing and inspiring and made me feel small and like an uber small time runner (I still struggle with whether or not to call myself a runner).  I loved learning more about running and what I could be capable of.

From there, my pal and I moved on to Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.  It was petty darn good.  I liked following Ender through Battle School.  Parts were hard for me to read though.  The brutality of it all (yes, this is the same girl that loved the Hunger Games).  I guess I didn't like children that young fighting for a cause they didn't understand.

Now we have moved on to Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card.  So far I like it.  It is more involved than Ender's story, but follows a different young boy and his journey to save the world and find out more about himself.  Sometimes the stres of the book makes me not want to read it.  I think it is a summer thing.  I love reading random love stories and calm "beach novels" once summer hits.

As a result, I am slowly plugging my way through Ender's Shadow while also re-reading The Time Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.  It is possibly one of my all time favorite books.  It does a great job of mixing romance with the impossibility of time travel.  It can be crude sometimes, but the story captures my heart.

So, what have you been reading?  Where do you get ideas on what to read next?  I have been checking out this site and making a list of other books I would like to read this summer.


April Running/Jogging/Walking

That's right...there are 20 pictures there.  Over the course of the month of April, I walked/ran/jogged/biked 53.57 miles.  I even managed to get a buddy on a few workouts, plus bike with Nick.  Nick isn't a big runner, but loves to bike, so we borrowed bikes from his family and have been out a few times.

Running has become so much fun over these two months.  I love getting out there and letting nothing matter but my stride and breathing.  Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not good nor am I some guru.  I have just learned to love the freeing nature of it.  I can get out and just listen to tunes or think and pretend that I'm good at it.

On the health side of it, I have lost roughly 10 pounds; which equals 2 inches from my hips and 1 1/2 from my waist.  I love knowing that it is working and that it means more than losing weight.  Running has become more about being healthy.  We have been focusing on eating out less and eating fewer processed foods.  It doesn't always work out, but we are trying.

I can't wait to finish this next month of workouts.  I have slowed down a tad over the past week, due to my yucky infection, but I have been doing 3-4 jogs a week.


May 2012

Oh May, how you have run me into the ground.  You have been so so busy and have made me have a horrible sinus infection...

but you will not win!  I will beat you.

At any rate, May promises to be a busy month full of big things at work.  I have been given a half promotion (or that's what I'm calling it anyway).  I get to learn more and work harder, but I am moving forward which is the amazing part. I have hope that I will be getting an even better promotion soonish.

Nick and I have been watching lots of TV in our sickness.  That's right, husband is sick too.  We are both getting better though.  We saw the Avengers a few days ago, and it was GREAT!!


Easter Treats

So I know Easter is over, by a week now lol.  I do not care though.  I wanted to show off my adorable treats from Easter!!

I made dirt pudding from this recipe on AllRecipes.com.  Keep in mind, this is something that Food Rules would be highly against, but it was so tasty and fun.  Plus, it would fall under the special occasion rule lol.


Food Rules

I recently read Food Rules: An Eater's Manual by Michael Pollan.  Let me just say, I feel inspired by the amazing words in this book.  I am pumped to change my (and Nick's) eating habits to better our health and to cut out some of the processed foods we consume.

The book gives readers 83 rules to follow to change their eating habits.  Now, let me explain, I will not be able to follow 83 rules let alone remember all of them.  Pollan, however, suggests that you choose three or more rules to start with.  One from each of the three categories: "What should I eat?," "What kind of food should I eat?" and "How should I eat?"

Throughout the beginning, okay at the beginning of the book Pollan answers those three questions and then explains those answers through the 83 rules.

"What should I eat?"
-Eat food

"What kind of food should I eat?"
-Mostly Plants

"How should I eat?"
-Not too much

I have decided to pick a few of these rules and post the ones I want to follow and how I am following them.  I'll be working on deciding which ones we are planning on following and how to follow them.  I'm hoping to begin working on this project on our next grocery shopping trip.

Pollan, Michael. Food Rules: An Eater's Manual. (2011) The Penguin Press. New York


Lazy Day

So really today wasn't lazy at all.  I worked. I ran. I made dinner.  I am now sitting on the couch pretending to be lazy while really stressing over work and running and cleaning up dinner.


Tomorrow is my day off.  So it is time to be lazy!!!



Nick and I love Mexican food.  Granted, we usually eat tex-mex and not true Mexican, but we like the idea of it.  I am a big fan of quesadillas; however, Nick doesn't always view them as a full meal.  So we added some chicken, onions, peppers, red pepper flakes and cheese and made it a real meal for him.  They were amazing and just spicy enough.  I added sour cream and guacamole to mine to make it perfect!


Being a Kid

When was the last time you swung on a swing or went down a slide?  Some times it is just nice being a kid.


Running/Jogging/Walking Month 1

I did it! I ran/jogged/walked 4-5 times a week for a whole month.  It was amazing, and I feel amazing for it.

My body and mind have changed so much throughout those 18 pictures (that's right, 18!).  Some days it was easy, I mean truly easy to do 1 or 2 miles; while other days, I wanted to cry it was so hard to get out the door.  My body is responding to the change though.  My legs are stronger and get antsy if I don't use them enough in a day.  I am also able to breath better throughout my work out.  Breathing has always been a struggle for me.  I can't breath in through my nose and out through my mouth like I should.  Instead, I pant and pant and pant through my workouts.  My lungs are getting stronger though and don't have to work as hard. My mind has been the most amazing change though.  I crave the workouts.  We hung out with family on Sunday and even though we walked and played around outside and I even got a bike and rode for a few minutes...I still couldn't stop thinking about whether or not I should work out when we got home.  Craving the rhythm and the adrenaline is amazing.  It keeps me going through the rough days.

As far as health goes, I haven't stepped on a scale...not once.  I don't want to pressure myself like that.  I have tried that before, and I just get depressed or discouraged and my lack of progress.  I can tell you that all of my clothes fit better and that I feel so much better.

With each run, I took a photo.  There are in order above from my first to last run of March.  The amazing Elise inspired the shoe photos.  She has a lovely blog that I can't help but read each day.  She set a goal to run a mile every day from Thanksgiving to New Years and documented it through photos.

I can't wait for the runs/jogs/walks I have in April and the results I know I will continue to see.


April 2012

March is officially over.  Can you believe it?  I sure can't.  Despite my massive amount of goals and my crazy work schedule, it flew by.  Now it is time for April and it's rain, lol.

I am so excited for April this year.  It will be my second month jogging and my first month in a new role at work.  I am nervous about both but believe both will have amazing rewards.  April will also come with a few trials.  The insurance company has deemed my car a total loss...bummer!  We will spend this month finding new ways to save money so we can buy a new car for me.  In the meantime, we have duct taped Maurice together and hope he will survive the drive to and from work for a month or two.

Even though saving money is a challenge, I think Nick and I will be better for learning how to do it now.  Don't get me wrong, we can save, but we have also become accustomed to a certain lifestyle.  We eat out more than we should and see every movie as soon as it hits theaters.  I can't wait to cook more often and to get a chance to anticipate movies while we are waiting for them to hit the Frequent Movie Goer Club at our local theater.

Have a beautiful, rain showery month of April!!!!!



Is it hard for you to keep up motivation?  This week has been difficult motivation wise.  I can always get myself out the door to work out or up out of bed when I have a long day ahead; however, I lose motivation while out.  I'll be in the middle of a good jog and just think: "Man, I could use a walk about now."  Then I have to seriously refocus.  Get my head on straight and keep going.  Usually, I end up making myself go faster or longer for my bad thoughts lol.

What do you do to keep motivated?  Does refocusing work?

I always feel so much better when I am able to overcome my lack of motivation.  This poster from Pinterest has kept me going this week.


Car Troubles

So, first off, I am fine.  I am not hurt at all, but my poor, poor Maurice is in pain.  On my way home from work the other day, I was backed into by a truck.  Like I said, I am fine.  My car is not fine though, which means I am grumpy and missed a run.

Alright, pity party is over, lol.


The Hunger Games

Alright, so have you all read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins?  I read it with a friend from work a few months ago.  We both steam rolled through the quick read and fell in love with the characters while they were fighting for their lives in a tyrannical country.

The same friend and I, plus a few more amazing people, went and saw the midnight showing of the movie based on the book.  I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised.  Usually I feel this huge backlash to movies based on books.  First of all, I typically make myself read the book before I see the movie and then I spend the whole movie pointing out the differences to myself...depressing!  This movie was different though.  Of course they changed many aspects of the story line to both make it more understandable to someone who had not read the book and to make it fit in the allotted time.  There were few aspects of the change that I saw negatively though.  I won't go into to much detail here, because I know some of you haven't made it to the theatre yet.

I also think that the young actors did an amazing job in this movie.  Not only did they portray the characters amazingly, but it didn't seem forced.  Many movies based on books have to look so hard for young actors to fit parts, that sometimes the craft of acting can be sacrificed, and I do not feel like it was in this adaptation.

The trilogy is a great set though.  I am always happy when people read together and can bond over a book, or when something like this can just bring more people to read.  At any rate, I would highly recommend these books.  Keep in mind though, there is a lot of violence and it does get dark in some places.


Spicy Alfredo-Marinara Rigatoni

A few weeks ago, we had some friends over for dinner.  They introduced us to a wonderfully spicy pasta dish.  Nick and I are huge fans of pasta for its quick cook time and for the delicious sauces we get to pair with it, but we hadn't had a spicy pasta dish in awhile.  This dish combines spice with Alfredo and Marinara sauces.

Spicy Alfredo-Marinara Rigatoni- adapted from Jude
serves 4

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp chopped garlic
4 chicken tenderloins
1 cup broccoli (chopped)
26 oz marinara sauce
16 oz Alfredo sauce
1 lb rigatoni

Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat.  Add red pepper flakes and sauté until flavor is absorbed by oil.  Add garlic and cook until slightly browned.  Add broccoli and sauté for 3-5 minutes.  Cut chicken tenderloins into bite sized pieces and add the pan.  Cook the chicken until done.  Meanwhile, heat water until boiling and cook pasta until done to your liking and drain (we are a slightly mushy pasta family, al dente is a little to hard for us).  Add marinara and Alfredo sauce to the pan with chicken (keep in mind that you should add sauces slowly and make the combination that you like best).  Once sauce is slightly bubbly, add the sauces to pasta and mix.

Keep in mind, you can always adjust the spice to your liking.  We added a while Tbs of red pepper flakes the first time and that was a little too much for us.


The many cat naps of Sophie Ann

Some days a cat nap just sounds nice...


Apple Turnovers

Until recently, I was a frozen turnover kinda gal.  I just didn't think that I had the time or skill to create such a wonderful bakery treat; therefore, I turned to the frozen section of my grocery store anytime I had a hankering for one.  

When hunting for recipes for a brunch I was hosting for a few friends, I came across an apple turnover recipe and decided to look into how much time and energy it would take from my already busy weekend.  

Low and behold, the recipe told me it would take very long, and I could make the filling in advance.  I was sold.

The little beauties turned out to be delicious!  I did make a few adjustments to the recipe though.  I could not find all-butter puff pastry and I added about 1 tbs of cinnamon and a tsp of nutmeg to my apple filling to give it more of a pie filling flavor.

by Molly Wizenberg
All-butter puff pastry is available at some specialty foods stores.
Yield: Makes 8 servings

3/4 pound Granny Smith apples
3/4 pound Golden Delicious apples
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

For pastry:
1 14- to 16-ounce package all-butter frozen puff pastry (1 or 2 sheets, depending on brand), thawed
1 egg, beaten to blend (for glaze)
Superfine sugar (optional)

For filling:
Peel, core, and cut apples into 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups). Place apples in medium saucepan; add 1/4 cup water, 3 tablespoons sugar, and lemon juice. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until apples are very tender, stirring frequently, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Gently mash apples with fork or potato masher until mixture is very soft but still chunky. Cool completely. DO AHEAD: Filling can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.
Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

For pastry:

If using 14-ounce package (1 sheet), roll out pastry on lightly floured surface to 15-inch square. If using 16-ounce package (2 sheets), stack sheets together and roll out on lightly floured surface to 15-inch square. Cut pastry into nine 5-inch squares. Place 1 generous tablespoon filling in center of each of 8 squares (reserve remaining square for another use). Lightly brush edges of 1 pastry with beaten egg. Fold half of pastry square over filling, forming triangle. Press and pinch pastry edges with fingertips to seal tightly. Lightly brush pastry with beaten egg. Sprinkle lightly with superfine sugar, if desired. Repeat with remaining squares. Using thin, sharp knife, make 3 small slits on top of each triangle to allow steam to escape. Place triangles on prepared baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
Bake turnovers until beginning to color, about 15 minutes. Reverse baking sheets from top to bottom. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F; continue baking until turnovers are firm and golden, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Cool at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Read More http://www.epicurious.com:80/recipes/food/printerfriendly/French-Apple-Turnovers-em-Chaussons-Aux-Pommes-em-350419#ixzz1p7Cs0EQz



I have had a lot of thoughts bumping around my head lately. So, I thought I would share a few (see, there is another thought).

  • Week two of working out (walking, jogging, running, crunches etc.) was really really rough.  My body didn't want to do it anymore and worse still, my brain no longer had those beautiful day dreams of me feeling great while running.  Instead, I knew the pain was coming.  I knew the ache was going to settle into my legs and arms and abs before to long and it just didn't sound appealing.  Week two was hard, but it is over now.
  • People have bad attitudes.  I mean seriously, the world is not out to get you and you aren't the only one that is suffering today nor are you facing the worst of it.  There are people without jobs that would love to have yours, so...must you come into work dreading it before it gets started?  Remember: "Be kind; Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle" Plato (or someone else)
  • Having pretty painted nails just makes me feel...glorious.  I know that sounds ridiculous, but in a world where I cannot always be myself, in a world with rules that I must follow and in a world where I must be a leader among many, my painted nails ground me.  They remind me that I have a beautiful life to come home to.  Once again, I sound crazy.  I know that.  I know that if my nails chip it doesn't mean I will have a horrible evening at home.  I suppose it just reminds me of all the beautiful things I have and that painted nails is a luxury I should be grateful for.
  • I love shopping!!
  • I have only been allowing myself one (sometimes two) non-water drinks a day.  Coffee has become my constant one drink.
  • I have a love hate relationship with Greek yogurt.  I found a brand I love.  I hate all others.  I hate that my one brand is only available at the one grocery store we don't frequent.  I love that yogurt though.

Have a thought-filled glorious Tuesday!!!



I absolutely LOVE sushi.  I'm probably not what one would call an expert though.  We've only been to a few places, and there are only a few rolls that I truly like.  Either way, it makes me so happy lol.

There is a great place a few towns over, Miyagi's,  that has a happy hour from 3-6pm Monday-Thursday.  It is perfect for our Sushi fix because my favorite of all favorites is the Spicy Tuna Roll and it is half off during happy hours.  They also have amazing Edamame (also half off during happy hours).


Deluxe Donuts

Do you ever just need a donut?  We had a Saturday morning a few weeks back that just required donuts.  After some Google hunting, we found a great place just up the street, Deluxe Donuts.  They were "ahh-mah-zing." The place was jam packed with customers.  Nick had to park in a parking lot a street over while I ran in and grabbed our treats.  We got 2 glazed, 2 jelly filled and 2 Bavarian creme (my favorite).  We will definitely be going back!



Folks....Supernatural is on Netflix!  You heard me right.  Sam and Dean Winchester at the touch of a button.  Let me just say, when I had my horrible cold, the boys took care of me.  They make me laugh and fight off all of my fears lol.

Okay, so that might be an overstatement.  The Winchester's have kept me entertained though.  I have seen the first 5 seasons before, but I am a huge fan of re-watching my favorites and this is definitely one of my favorites.  It's the perfect mix of sci-fi, laughter and scare with family drama added in.  The first 5 seasons are the best though.  The show was only meant to last that long and the episodes after it aren't nearly as good, but I am still intrigued about the newest episodes.


Beautiful Morning

What a beautiful day to enjoy a cup of coffee, grapefruit and my new favorite nail polish (OPI Cajun Shrimp)!!!



Isn't it crazy how we spend our lives waiting?  It always seems like it takes forever for things to happen.  If I had started this blog before our wedding it would have read...

"I can't wait to get married"
"Why have we waited so long to get married?"
"Will July 24 ever get here?"
"Could this summer take any longer?"

I mean seriously, when did I stop to enjoy what was happening?

Never, that's when.

I have been making a solid effort to enjoy the now lately, but with my new running goals, I feel like I have begun the waiting game again.

"How long will it be before I see results?"
"When will my legs stop aching with the effort of three doubles a week plus 2 miles three-four times a week?"
"When will I stop being sleepy from running?"
"When will I get to go on my shopping trip because I need new clothes?'

I need this to stop now!  If I run, sit, jog, walk and work wondering when these things will happen, when will I enjoy them happening?

So here, I pledge to try to pay more attention to....


March 6 and 9 runs.  2.24 miles and 2.12 miles respectively.


Happy Endings

I have a new favorite T.V. show.....

Nick and I have fallen in love with this show over this past T.V. season.  We started watching in season 2 and have kept up with it regularly (which is odd for us).  There are only a few shows that we watch every week these days.  

Happy Endings is hilarious.  It follows six friends that live in Chicago.  Their lives mingle with each others in a mix of pop culture references and "ahh-mah-zing" situations.  

Do you have any new shows that you love?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...