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?



I feel like I have too many goals.  I truly believe that I can accomplish them all; it is just a lot to maintain.  Currently, I have a lot of goals going at the same time and I think of more and more each day.  The one on my mind this morning is shopping.  

I love to shop for new clothes, but if I achieve my goal for July 31 then I would much rather have saved my shopping money until it is time to buy clothes then...right?  

So, should I make it a goal to not buy clothing unless it is workout related or necessary because things don't fit (i.e. work clothes or jeans when my old ones are too big)?  

Also, if I do not spend money and save it over the course of this time, won't I end up with a large saving and be able to either buy more or just keep some of it to help with our college debt and so forth?

See what I mean, it seems like such a good idea/goal, but does that make too many, what with the birthday list, running and all those silly personal goals that I haven't even bothered to mention on here like how I want to use up all of my stock of lotion before I buy anymore (I'm a lotion horder).  

I guess, I didn't really decide anything in there, but I think it is something to think about and maybe a good reward for my hard work if I am able to save the money will be an awesome shopping spree...or maybe I won't be abel to resist a good sale tomorrow...or maybe the goal is just to be conscious of my spending when it comes to clothing...either way I'm glad we had this talk lol.

The picture and quote below describe how I feel.  Thanks to Leah Remillet's blog for the inspiration.



So I did my second run today.  I made it 2.03 miles in 32 minutes.  I realize that I am not going super fast or for as long as I should, but I think I am doing a great job of getting started.  Sadly, I couldn't run the past few days due to work.  I decided that I shouldn't run on the days that I work a double.  I did, however, wear a pedometer on Saturday at work, and it showed that I walked 7.3 miles! So I feel like that has to count for something...right?

Things I LOVE

I have become obsessed with some really great products lately.  I don't typically LOVE things as much as I LOVE the products above, unless we are talking about movies or books, of course.  

1. This beautiful Barr-Co. Candle was purchased at Anthropologie.  It has this amazing aroma that changes as it burns.  A little coconut, a little freshness and boom, my whole apartment smells relaxing and cozy.  It lasts a long while too!  I am on my second candle and can't wait to buy my third.

2. Let's face it, I LOVE dessert; however, I do want to start getting into shape and all of my sources says that dark chocolate is the way to go.  Enter Dove Dark Chocolate Squares to save the day.  Plus I got it on sale after Valentine's Day.

3. Bath and Body Works has long been my staple for amazing smelling lotions and body mists.  Last summer I fell in LOVE with Forever Sunshine.  It is a mix of apricot and summer smells. I have the lotion and body spray in this fragrance.  

4. I have been searching my whole life for a Chapstick that works well for me.  I typically lose it or it just doesn't work the way I want it to.  I demand a good mix of softness and usability from my lip balms.  C.O. Bigelow's Rose Salve wins the award for best ever!  It comes in a little tin, so I don't lose it, and it works wonders on not only my lips but also on my chapped hands.  It also gives my lips a nice shine, which I appreciate.

5. Eye shadows are something that I tend to LOVE or hate.  This has become my new favorite.  It is Ulta's eyeshadow quad Girly Girl.  It has great colors for my skin tone.  I can make it look dark or light, which makes it easy to switch from night to day.  I work long hours and having an eyeshadow that stays on and doesn't make my eyes look dark or have creases makes me a happy lady.



My first run....

1.9 miles in 28 minutes!
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