Monday, November 29, 2010

Walking a fine line

The last month or so, it feels like I'm constantly walking a fine line between almost healthy and sick. I'm not really sure why.

I find myself tired with a scratchy throat, sneezing or blowing my nose at all times of the day. Thus begins the cycle of downing Emergen-C, sleeping extra, running shorter mileage, etc.

Tonight, I opted to head home to spin rather than run 5 miles out in the cold with the running group. 1 hr later and a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving watched, I was drenched with sweat and warm.

Things I'm doing right:
sleeping 8-9 hrs most nights
exercising 1 hr per day
eating healthyish
drinking plenty of water
yoga when I can

Where I'm falling short:
Spending on things I don't need
Being/Running in the cold without enough layers
Foam rolling

I'm not sure exactly what's going on. My left lower eyelid has been twitching for 3 weeks now. In an effort to get in the holiday spirit, stay calm and ward off any sickness, I'm going to work on those areas I'm falling short.

In addition, I'm going to challenge myself to 25 Days of Yoga. Who wants to join me? The deal is, from Dec. 1-25 you have to spend anywhere from one pose to an entire podcast or yoga class each day. Some days, I'm entirely positive it will simply mean holding one pose for a minute or two. And other days, 30-60 minutes.

Another thing I want to get back to doing is journaling. There's something about writing out your stream of consciousness and inner most thoughts that helps the creative juices flow. It also helps me get to a better place mentally feel like I'm working through stuff rather than just letting it sit and brew. Do you journal or write out your occasional musings somewhere?

Okay, I'm off to eat health food in the form of Joe Joe's ice cream. That's right...Trader Joe's made ice cream with those delish peppermint oreos I was raving about.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

WeekEND, it just can't be!

I don't know about you, but this long weekend coming to an end is a bit sad. It's been so nice to be extra lazy and just relax with no work work to do. Unfortunately, Monday comes knocking tomorrow. :(

So, how'd you fare? Fabulous Thanksgiving meals (for the U.S. readers) and lots of Black Friday shopping/avoidance?

We had a beautiful drive over to the Oregon Coast where my grandparents live.

I was definitely full after our Thanksgiving meal, but not too full for a bit of pumpkin roll and pumpkin pie! Most of Thanksgiving day was occupied with entertaining my cousin's new baby or her little toddler. They are the cutest little boys.

Brendel and baby Hudson

Brothers Kyle and Max

Dad with Brendel's other adorable son, Carson. He sure knows how to smile for the camera.

On Friday, I stayed at my parents house and hung out with the family. We hit up some of the sales, but I shockingly didn't buy anything! Don't worry, I made up for it yesterday. Ann Taylor LOFT was having a 40% off your purchase sale. That makes a $44 sweater $26. Yes, please. Somehow, I just don't have enough sweaters for the winter.

This morning, I headed to the group run and polished off a cold 6 miles in 49:45. After grabbing a Starbucks, I raced off to see the manfriend in his cyclocross race.

Barriers to jump over

Hills to run up

Manfriend finishes 1st in his category

Muddy as usual post race

Okay, I'm going to do some magazine and book reading and couch time to take advantage of the last hours of this weekend. I wish it didn't have to end! It totally feels like the holidays are officially in full swing now. Are you ready?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

My new favorite food and the 5K

On a day when we'll all be consuming a lot of food, I thought I'd share my FAVORITE new food.

Yep, Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe Joe's!

Chunks of peppermint candy cane in the middle made with good stuff. No ingredients you can't pronounce.

These things are far better than the real thing (Oreos).

You better believe I've been rationing these things out to the manfriend and myself like they're $10 a cookie. Get 'em while you still can! This is a seasonal Trader Joe's goodie.

Is there a food or product you've recently fell in love with?

I also wanted to report back from my Turkey Stuffer 5K this morning. I PR'd again in 30 deg temps! 22:13 according to my watch

Last year was a PR of 23:01 and this year I beat that! I'm kind of impressed. I had no intentions of taking this race too seriously, but once the crowd gets moving and I start testing out those legs, I just let them take me where they will. Not a bad way to start Thanksgiving Day!

I hope you and your family enjoy some great food and laughter! Cheers! It's a beautiful morning here. I'm showering, making a green smoothie, watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade and then heading off to see the fam.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

All in Moderation

Every year, thoughts of a big Thanksgiving meal and all the calories that come with it, start filling our heads. And honestly, it's something we look forward to. The stuffing, the mashed potatoes, the turkey (if you eat meat), the pumpkin pie, you name it. Oh and enjoying it all with family of course.

A few years ago, I realized that each year I finished Turkey Day with a stuffed belly, but not necessarily satisfied with all my eats. That's when I employed a different strategy that allows me to not have to worry about Thanksgiving. Hey, I had cinnamon rolls and milk for breakfast today!

Since that year of revelation, I simply take one scoop of mashed potatoes, a little stuffing, one piece of turkey, etc. That way, I'm also able to enjoy appetizers before hand, Thanksgiving meal, a drink if I feel like it and a slice of pumpkin pie AND my grandma's berry cobbler.

So, here are my tips for this Thanksgiving:

1. Have some veggies and hummus before dinner to fill your belly a bit
2. Choose the items you really savor and dream about all November and leave the items you could care less about (sweet potatoes w/ marshmallows in my case).
3. Drink H20!
4. Have conversations during dinner so you eat slowly
5. Take a walk/run before or after the meal (one year I laced up for a run at my grandparents' house about 30 min before dinner)
6. Keep on moving the day after Thanksgiving - hit up the sales, meet a friend for a walk, head to the gym, do a yoga podcast at home

Do you have a plan for big meals like Thanksgiving or do you give yourself a pass for these special occasions? Anyone doing a turkey trot tomorrow? I'm excited to run our local 5k + a few more miles so I really earn my turkey and mashed potatoes, but it's going to be freezing so I've already decided I'm not going to be sprinting this thing.

Anyone heading out to Black Friday sales this year? I usually get up early with my mom to watch the frenzy around town, but I'm not sure about this year. I may be checking out the online sales anyway.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Who says Pumpkin Season has to end?

I know some people choose to abandon pumpkin as fall turns to winter. But I think I'll keep using it as long as the stores keep stocking it.

First, I wanted to share with you the ingredients for my favorite pumpkin snack these days. Sometimes I add plain oats and make a version of this for an overnight oats breakfast.

But most days, I mix 3 T pumpkin puree, 1/4 cup honey greek yogurt, a few shakes of pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and ginger and add a little homemade granola and chia seeds.

It's not only pretty, but it's healthy and it tastes like pumpkin pie!

And now, the pumpkin cinnamon buns I'd been itching to make, courtesy of We Are Not Martha. These ladies sure know what they're doing in the kitchen!

Don't be deceived. This process wasn't quick and easy, but I wanted to capture the fun sections.

Two hours start to finish and finally, I had these beauties...

Oh and it SNOWED last night in Eugene. This is about a once a year occasion so it's a pretty big deal. In fact, most of the schools around here are closed. Icy roads + people who aren't used to driving in this kind of weather = no bueno.

Happy Holidays! What recipes are you busting out this week either for the holiday spirit or your contribution for a Thanksgiving feast? The baking bug definitely bit me this week.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Wine, Running and Laughter: a weekend recap

Our local train station

Amtrak...the best way to travel. I love not having to do ANYTHING but sit to get to a place.

Kristin and her bags all the way from Nashville!

A little holiday spirit at the 5th Street Market made complete by a free tasting of local wines!

Another glass of wine at Steelhead Brewery w/ Kristin and the manfriend before dinner

Spectating a half marathon on a beautiful day with good friends.

We managed to fit in 6 miles of running while they completed 13!

Beautiful day along the Willamette River

And it wouldn't be a spectacular weekend without a ladies wine night.

The Broadway was a perfect place to sip some amazing wine and gossip.

And that my friends, sums up our fabulous weekend. It was the perfect mix of relaxation and reconnection with a dose of good food and drink on the side. I'm so thankful for the amazing friends in my life. Who else is getting a bit giddy about Thursday? I LOVE holidays and short work weeks.

On a running note, I've run the last four days in a row and plan to run again tonight with the group. Needless to say, my hamstring isn't too pleased with me. I must get serious again w/ that foam roller. These legs can't wait for tomorrow's REST day!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

An early Thanksgiving

Last weekend, my mom's side of the family got together for an early Thanksgiving. We do a brunch before Thanksgiving because my family goes to my dad's side of the family on Turkey Day. It's a nice change so we don't have stuffed bellies a few days in a row. Plus, I prefer breakfast foods over dinner.

My contribution to the meal was a classic gingerbread from the Splendid Table cookbook.

My grandpa (gramps) proclaimed this the best gingerbread he'd ever tasted!

I may not be cooking my way through the entire cookbook like I vowed, but at least I've made one recipe!

The feast to include: gingerbread, cheesie potatoes, eggs, my aunt's delicious coffee cake, ham, turkey, cranberry, olives and pumpkin pie.

Grams cutting her pumpkin pie because it's not Thanksgiving without pie!

The gang's all, dad, grandparents, cousins, brothers, girlfriends and manfriend

The manfriend and his hot beverage.

After a belly-stuffing brunch, the manfriend and I drove home and bundled up for a cold, wet 22 mile ride around town with a pit stop for coffee. It felt good to get our spin on after an indulgent morning.

Does your family do Thanksgiving the traditional way or do you put a little spin on it?

On Thursday, I'll be heading to our local Turkey Stuffer 5K (where I PR'd last yr) and then we'll head over to the Oregon coast where my dad's parents live. My grandma makes a traditional Thanksgiving dinner and all the pies and cookies herself. It's pretty impressive. In fact, I'm positive she's already begun the cooking process (she usually bakes and freezes the cookies 1 week ahead of time).

Thank goodness for grandmas! I'm not sure what will happen in the future because the thought of prepping and cooking a Turkey and several side dishes kind of terrifies me. But I'm sure I could tackle the challenge if necessary.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Hair chop and the visitor!

Yesterday, my hair looked like this...

I was actually becoming accustomed to the grow out phase, but I was also really itching for a haircut!

The next thing I knew, my hair looked like this. Oh and welcome to my casual Friday wear.

It seems an inch or so short for my liking so pulling a section back makes me feel a little better about it.

And look who's coming to visit!

My friend Kristin gets in tonight all the way from Nashville, TN!

Happy weekend! I hope yours is fabulous. Mine is sure to be full of running, laughter, brunch, coffee and wine with the ladies!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Jolly Holiday Elf and Post-its

Can I just say that things have been a little Cra Cra CRAZY over here! My office desk is a disaster zone. I have lists on Post-it notes below my keyboard, on my desk, on random pages of my notebook, curling edged Post-its, you name it.

In case it's not obvious, I'm the Post-it queen. Our office manager buys the pretty colored stacks just because she knows how much I appreciate them. Does anyone else love Post-its this much?

Oh and I discovered an old holiday spirit igniter someone ELSE a gift and you'll feel like the jolly holiday elf. Now I just need to buy me some cute green shoes!

Sorry this post was a little random. Life is busy, work is crazy and I have a visitor coming to town tomorrow! Oh and I just chopped my hair again and kind of think I liked the longer version. The grass is always greener...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Not so wordy Wednesday

Say hi to my seventeen year old brother, Max.

This photo was taken at our cousin's wedding this summer.

Basically, the look on his face says it all. He's the baby of the family and kind of thinks he knows everything.

Originally, I got a road bike about a year after he did in part so I could force him to go on rides. That didn't so much happen and my bike definitely sees the light of day more often than his. Amazing how busy high schoolers can be.

I can't wait to hang out with my brothers (and parents) over Thanksgiving! We typically bond over Home Alone, video games or big breakfasts. Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

You know what?

I took a rest day today. And it felt so good. When I looked at last weeks workout regime on Sunday, I realized the body needed a little TLC in the form of a rest day.

After skipping the group run last night to do 30 minutes of weights and 30 minutes of sweaty spinning, these legs appreciated another day without pounding.

Usually, I feel a little guilty and say things to myself like "Maybe I should just go for a short run?" or "I could just do a little weight lifting at home." But not today. Today, the rest felt simply gratifying.

By the way, have you checked out Lisa's 10 Days of Thanksgiving? It's such a clever idea. Each post makes me think of something I'm similarly thankful for. Like the other day, when I saw a homeless person sitting in the rain eating, I said a little prayer and was thankful I have a warm, dry place to sleep and relax because not everyone is so lucky.

Feel free to leave us a link in the comments if you've done a recent Thanksgiving inspired post! I'm feeling a little behind the eight ball in getting into the holiday spirit. It feels like it's crunch time to dig out some Thanksgiving type recipes and cook them simply because it's mid November.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Like a Mac Truck

I don't know about you, but I often find myself going so fast that I'm barely living in the moment. I'm so focused on the upcoming weekend, race, or life hurdle that sometimes I forget to live in the present.

Because this life is short and precious, it's time I reminded myself to slow the hell down. Lately, my mind has been racing with how far behind I feel. But in actuality, I'm right where I'm supposed to be. Twenty somethings aren't supposed to have it all figured out.

Yesterday, it hit me like a Mac Truck that all of this anticipation I was pressuring myself over (marriage, babies, dream home, etc) was not what I need to focus on right now.

Sure, I want that in the semi-near future. But, honestly, when I really thought about it and looked at my friends' lives who have kids and real commitments, I realized that there's something to cherish about being young and free.

When else will the manfriend and I be able to head out to a nice dinner, go on 3-5 hour running/cycling excursions, or off to the bar on a Friday night? We don't do that much these days, but the freedom to do so isn't so bad.

So, I hope this encourages you as much as it reminds me, that slowing down is good for your soul.

Instead of jam packing each week after stressful week, throw in some moments to just be.

My suggestions: take a bike ride, watch some water flow (river or stream), read a book at your local coffee shop, take a walk w/out your ipod and notice the sounds and life around you, dance along with your ipod, write in your journal, or do a little yoga!

What thing have you put pressure on yourself that isn't such a big deal? The leaves here are from a lunchtime walk I took a few weeks ago right before the weather turned and the leaves emptied off the trees. I miss them already.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

On the Trail again...

Today I rounded up a group of the runners to head out to the McKenzie River Trail about an hour from Eugene. It was the perfect day for it. Drizzly, but not too cool and the trees offered enough coverage to keep us dryish.

The trail is perfect because it runs along the river with beautiful views AND it's fairly flat. I do love running trails, but in Eugene most of the trails have some serious incline and for some reason I tend to stay away from them. I'm hoping to change that this winter. Hills? Yes, please!

I ran about 8-9 miles in 1 hr 23 min. By the last 20 minutes I was getting a bit lazy and started hitting rocks and partially rolling my ankles or stepping into puddles. My right hamstring was seizing up near the end. I should really do something about that...ugh. Sometimes it seems easier to ignore an injury that isn't stopping you in your tracks, but I know I should do some serious stretching and foam rolling

It just so happened that the trail we ran on was near a hot springs so we had planned to hop in afterward. It was the perfect way to relax our tired muscles, even if they would have preferred an ice pack. I didn't take any pics, but use your imagination.

On a random note, I'm thinking about getting these cozy slippers from LLBean for the winter.

Are you a slipper person? Or a sock person? Or the barefoot type? I'm a sock girl, but Jonah Bell's black hair gets all over my socks and slippers would be pretty cozy...

Winter just demands coziness in my opinion. I crave hoodies and sweats and leap for cuddly sweaters in the stores.

Friday, November 12, 2010


The manfriend was taking part in this hairy faced fun perhaps by coincidence for the first week of November. I wasn't such a fan and came home Saturday to find a freshly shaven man, but it was fun to see a different face for a bit.

Crazy how different a person can look with more/less hair.

Wacky Friday: As I was taking Jonah for a walk this morning, a car in our neighborhood stopped me and the lady asked if I knew which house owned a pot belly big because there's one missing. All I could say is "um, no. weird." Seriously random.

And wouldn't someone know if their pot belly pig ran away because it goes about 1 mph and would be snorting and squealing the entire way??

Do you know a man in your life who is taking part in Mustache November AKA Movember? Have a great weekend! We have an early Thanksgiving to attend and a trail run on Sunday.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dogs and Wrinkles

Does anyone else hate ironing as much as I do? No matter what I do, I can't get a shirt/skirt/pair of pants pressed perfectly and it just wrinkles in 5 minutes anyway.

Truthfully, I often avoid wearing certain items of clothing just so I won't have to iron them. Ugh.

Now on to a more friendly, furry note.

Most mornings when I leave the house, Jonah Bell is in one of these two positions.

It kind of breaks my heart a little. It makes me want to stay at home all day and lay around the house with her.

She does love the new dog bed I bought her at Costco for only $17.99! It's filled with cedar chips (which apparently keeps the fleas away) and smells pretty fresh too.

Before meeting the manfriend, I knew I liked dogs, but my life was just too busy to take care of one on my own. And now, I can't imagine not having a dog. Jonah is my morning walking buddy and a great stress reliever when I need it. Plus, she's just so freaking adorable all of the time. Are you a dog or cat person?