Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Second Trimester: Weeks 14 and 15

I am currently 18 weeks along, so we're just getting caught up on the specifics week by week. In case you missed it, click here for details about the first trimester.

Week 14

How I'm feeling: Still having a little bit of nausea. I bought a box of saltines to munch on to try to put the queasiness at bay when I'm not hungry.


Baby: is the size of a lemon.

Weight gained: 3 lbs 

What I'm wearing: H&M maternity jeans, Gap ponte pants (super comfortable, like thick leggings), Old Navy tamis tank, and the Gap pure body long-sleeve in addition to a lot of my normal clothes. All maternity items minus the jeans were bought on sale during cyber Monday or otherwise. 

Exercise: spinning, yoga, strength training, and a few shorter runs. 

Pregnancy purchases: Belli elasticity oil to help moisturize and hopefully prevent some stretch marks as well as this Bravado seamless bra. So far, I'm a big fan of both of these items. I'm debating whether or not to get a snoogle to help me sleep now that I am primarily sleeping on my left side. 

Week 15 

How I'm feeling: This was the week right before finals, so it was jam packed with studying and finishing projects and papers. It's hard to think much about how you're feeling when you've got things like tests and deadlines looming.

Love these Gap maternity ponte pants. So comfy. 

Baby: is the size of a navel orange. I got to his/her heartbeat at my second OB appointment. This time it was about 154. My doctor also mentioned that the baby was moving around a lot in there as evidence by the extra noise picked up by the doppler. 

Brief stop on an easy 5K around the neighborhood

Weight gained: 5 lbs

What I'm wearing: same as before. A few maternity pieces and most of my regular clothes. 

Exercise: Over the River and Through the Woods hilly 10K with friends was this week. I ran it in 59 minutes, which is about 7 minutes slower than my fastest recorded year. Ultimately, I'm just happy to still be running, even if it is at a more relaxed pace. I also fit in a few shorter runs, hiking and yoga. My body was sore and left foot was achy after the 10K, so I took a few days off high impact. 

Cravings: still the same. I want everything I can't have, including over easy eggs on toast, turkey sandwiches, wine and beer.

Baby preparations: Pete painted our spare bedroom, which will be the baby's room. It's always surprising how long it takes to prep and paint a small room.

Let me know if there's anything you want to hear more about and I'll see what I can do.

Related posts:
Pregnancy announcement
The First Trimester

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Getting Caught Up: The First Trimester

In case you missed it, I made a little announcement last weekend.

To catch you up a bit, I thought it would be fun to look back on the last oh, four months and what's been brewin'. I am currently 17 weeks along, so let's get caught up on the first trimester!

When we decided to have a family, we knew we didn't want to try to get pregnant until after our Europe trip so we could enjoy that fully. Being nauseous or not able to enjoy a glass (or two) of good wine in Italy or France would have been some kind of crime in my book.

From our wine tour in the Chianti region of Italy

In an ideal world, we hoped to get pregnant and have a baby in early summer so I could have the summer off to take care of and adjust to life with a baby before going back to school in the fall.

In late September when I didn't get my period, I took a pregnancy test to see if anything was happening. A few minutes later, I saw a faint + sign. I wasn't really that sure that what I was seeing was positive, so I waited a few more days and took another one, only to see the + sign appear even darker this time.

Sure enough, pregnant!

Now, we're not sure, but this little baby may have joined me for his or her first race early on as I ran the McKenzie River 50K on September 6. Part of me wonders if that's why my stomach felt off that day and I felt SO tired (granted, running 50K is tiring)?

We haven't been great about taking photos weekly, but I have included some of the photos we took of the nonexistent bump as well as thoughts from my journal.

Week 4

Breathing became noticeably harder this week during runs. I would start my runs at an easy jog, yet feel like I had just done a sprint. The body is definitely adjusting to all the extra blood and oxygen that needs to be provided to the baby.

By weeks 5 and 6, my boobs were already growing a lot (and feeling sore), causing me to need to buy a new sports bra and a few bigger regular bras. I also started feeling extra hungry and more tired than normal. During week 5, I ran the Berkeley Trail Adventure and enjoyed a great weekend in San Francisco.

Week 7

Week 8

How I'm feeling: So tired (and under the weather). The exhaustion of pregnancy has really hit, plus several large work events and midterms in school made this a tiring week for me. I nearly threw up in my nutrition lecture class. Thank goodness for ginger candies.

Baby: is the size of a raspberry.

Weight gained: 1 lb

What I'm wearing: Around this time, my skinniest skinny jeans no longer felt comfortable to wear. They cut in at my waist where things were just starting to thicken up. I immediately folded those two pair and put them on the top shelf of my closet so I wouldn't even be tempted to try them on again.

Exercise: minimal. Life was just too busy.

*This was my last week of work at a job I've had for almost nine years!

Week 9

How I'm feeling: A lot better. Trying to adjust to life as just a student. Happy to be back on the workout train!

Baby: is the size of a green olive.

Weight gained: 2 lbs

What I'm wearing: I bought my first pair of maternity pants - skinny jeans from H&M.

Exercise: Runs are steady at ~ 9 min pace and 5 miles feels like a chore. Gone are the days where I simply head out for an easy 8-10 miler. Did a few shorter runs, strength exercises and yoga this week.

Week 10

How I'm feeling: SO, so tired. Studying has been very challenging as I can't do much of anything without wanting a nap.

Baby: is the size of a prune.

Weight gained: 2 lbs

What I'm wearing: Mostly just rotating through a few pairs of my looser jeans. I did order a few tanks and a long sleeve from Gap maternity as they were having a 40 percent off sale.

Exercise: Ran a hilly 8 miles at Mt. Pisgah with my friend Laurel. Slow and steady with walk breaks as needed. Fit in a few other short, easy runs + yoga and weights.

Week 11

How I'm feeling: Started feeling some nausea this week, which has been really rare during my pregnancy. I threw up once. My guess is that the extra hormones surging through my system paired with the fact that I had only had part of my breakfast (a piece of toast) upset my stomach. Need more food, more often!

Baby: is the size of a lime. We got to hear the heartbeat and it was so strong!

Weight gained: 2 lb.

What I'm wearing: The same stuff. Squeezing into some of my jeans and cords that I know won't fit in a few weeks, like these black skinny jeans.

Exercise: Managed to do several runs and even ventured on to the Ridgeline Trail with some girlfriends to do a challenging 10 miler! Kept the pace easy for me and walked up hills as needed.

* I went to my first OB appointment and we got to hear the heartbeat (192 bpm)! And we finally told our parents we were expecting this week! 

Week 12

How I'm feeling: Things must have been busy because I didn't make any notes in my journal. I'm pretty sure I threw up this week right after walking the dog. Again, need more food first thing in the morning.

Weight gained: 2 lbs

What I'm wearing: My friend Laura who had her baby Amelia about 10 months ago gave me a bag of her maternity clothes. I was thankful to get some hand-me-downs so I won't have to buy as much!

Exercise: forgot to track it this week

Week 13

How I'm feeling: Not too bad, although I did throw up in the middle of a short run before heading to an early Thanksgiving gathering with my family.

Weight gained: 2 lbs (but more to come soon!)

What I'm wearing: Ordered a few more things from Gap and Old Navy maternity. Again, sale!

Exercise: Ran the local turkey trot at an 8:40 min/mile pace, which felt fast and hard. Gone are the days where that's my easy pace, I suppose. Managed to fit in 5 runs, weight training and some yoga.

Cravings: wine, beer, turkey sandwich, sushi (We actually went out for sushi and I ordered the few rolls on the menu that weren't raw. Yum!). I will say that pretty much from the moment I knew I couldn't have deli meat, unpasteurized cheeses, sushi, etc. was the second I wanted to eat ALL of these things.

I hope you're enjoying a wonderful Christmas filled with lots of relaxation, laughter, good food and people. We are just about to board the plane bound for Chicago and then we'll be on our way to Michigan!

This is just my experience as a pregnant woman. I know I enjoy following other's pregnancy journeys, so I hope you find these posts interesting and informative.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

There's Just a Little Somethin'

...I've been meaning to tell you. 

With much anticipation and excitement, the manfriend and I wanted to announce that I am pregnant! And we couldn't be happier.

Baby Moe due May 2015

The manfriend (AKA Pete) and I met in the fall of 2008 at a local running group. We went on our first date on January 4, 2009 (where he told me first dates were like interviews). Three weeks later I told my mom I was pretty sure I would marry the man. 

In April 2012, he {finally} proposed at the end of the Eugene Marathon on Hayward Field. In July 2013, we got married in Bend, OR. In June 2014, we went on a belated honeymoon to Europe to see the Tour de France (and so much more). 

More details to come next week!  

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

There's Nothing Better Than...

I came up with this topic as I was making one of my favorite sandwich combinations today. Biting into a favorite food I haven't had in a while reminds me I need more of it in my life. Join in and tell me what there's nothing better than.

There's Nothing Better Than...

a grilled turkey, mustard, avocado and cheddar sandwich. The savory flavor combo is just the best in my opinion. Whoops, I ate a little cheese, but well worth it. 

a hot shower after a soaking wet run.  Brrr!

a hot cup of coffee, cider or hot chocolate on a freezing cold day. I often think about making hot cocoa this time of year, but rarely do.

that nap after a loooong run, food and a shower. I tried to fight the post long run naps for years and then one day I just gave into the manfriend's demands that I needed a nap and ever since, I've been a big advocate of naps post long run.

watching a movie cuddled up on the couch while it pours rain or dumps snow outside. 

ice cold water on a HOT day. Refreshing!

pulling on a pair of thick, cozy socks, your favorite sweats and a hoodie. Ultimate lounging bliss.

sipping a crisp beer on a hot summer day with friends. Yum.

laughing so hard it hurts. More laughter, please!

a massage that's so relaxing it puts you to sleep, thus reminding me I need to budget them into my life more often.

Tell me: What's one of your "There's Nothing Better Than..." statements?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Holiday Hustle & Bustle

It was fun to hear your budget tid-bits as everyone has different ideas and/or motivations around their spending.

This week, I'm focused on getting back on track. With a week free to clean the house, finish a few neglected projects, and just plain relax before we head to the midwest for Christmas, I really want to return to (mostly) clean eating + some serious workouts.

From last weekend's annual Over the River and Through the Woods 10K 

Last week was all about survival (finals are done. hallelujah.) and then this weekend included the manfriend's company holiday party and an early Christmas with my family.

Mom, my brother Max and his girlfriend Hannah.  Backdrop courtesy of Trader Joe's.

As Christmas celebrations tend to include plenty of good food, this weekend was no different. And when surrounded by a lot of it, I tend to lack the kind of control I do at home.

I don't regret the fantastic weekend we had filled with family bowling, neighborhood walks, Christmas movies, games, presents and food, but I want to get right back to feeling like my normal self.

The plan? Sweat it out every day, whether it's a run, a HIIT workout, or strength training. Drink lots of water. Focus on veggies and quality protein. Forget the cheese and sweets  (because sometimes there simply is too much of a good thing).

Saturday morning I got the manfriend to run with me on the river path.

Last week also included a few much needed om sessions, even the 10 min post-run variety. 

How are you faring with the holidays? What is your favorite tradition this time of year?

Honestly, we haven't had many celebration to attend so things haven't been too crazy, but I haven't had much time to think about many things beyond school and a little Christmas shopping. Two of my favorite things this time of year are laughing my way through Grumpy Old Men and Christmas Vacation and driving around looking at lights in the hills of Eugene. 

Workouts to try:
I tried all of these last week in addition to a few runs + yoga. 

Fitnessista's Kettlebell Rock (strength)
Sarah Fit's Booty Sculpting Moves (strength)
Your Trainer Paige's Abs-olutely Strong Core

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Budget Shmudget

I don't often talk money around these parts, but I'll admit that it's something I think about quite a bit. As we've moved to one salary (and some student loans), I have adjusted how we're budgeting our dollars and cents quite a bit.

I'll admit that neither the manfriend or I have been particularly amazing at budgeting previously, but this change in our finances spurred us to sit down several months back and go through our basic expenses and upcoming needs to develop our base budget (i.e. what we could exist on if we really didn't do or buy much of anything "extra").

While budgeting isn't the most thrilling activity or topic to think about, I confess that after going through the process, I feel much more confident about our financial decisions than I did before. Rather than just spending as we wish and making sure to pay our bills, we're being strategic with our $. And I like that.  

Our basics include:
  • Groceries
  • Electricity + water + internet
  • Mortgage
  • Car payment
  • Cell phones 
  • Home/auto insurance
  • Savings (a modest amount)
  • Private insurance (now that I won't be covered through work)
  • Gas + oil changes
  • Haircuts
  • Dog food
  • Manfriend's beer/coffee money (gotta keep things a little fun)

Honestly, seeing our basic monthly needs added up wasn't as jaw dropping as I might have expected. It was doable.

Of course, life throws curve balls, so there are things like a new roof or dentist visits that will come up and leave you rearranging said previous budget. But because I have this basic budget set up, I'm not panicking when these things come up. 

What has changed? 
  • I'm not doing as many fitness classes as I used to. Lifeforce has pretty much been removed and I am going to yoga about 1x per week. But I'm still keeping my yogaglo membership so I can do classes at home. 
  • We're sticking to one meal/dinner out per week. Even if it sounds good to grab burritos or Thai food on a Wednesday night, it's likely not happening if I think we might go out later in the week. 
  • I am testing out the cash envelope method for groceries. Every two weeks I'll get out a set amount of cash designated for our groceries and then I'll try to only use this $ when I go shopping. Granted, I just started doing this, so it's not yet perfect (i.e. sometimes I forget to bring the cash with me), but it's a start. Plus, cash has me less likely to grab random things I just want. 
  • I'm getting better at not buying things I really want (but don't need). This means avoiding LOFT sales or heading to REI to grab something I need/want for running. Those $30-40 purchases add up!
  • We're prioritizing bigger purchases more than we did before. Things like a new front door, a new chair, a rug for the bedroom, etc. 

So, that's it. It's not a perfect system by any means, but I'm happy that we feel in control of where our money is going and that we're making smarter decisions with our money. 

Do you follow a monthly budget? Any tips or tricks to share? 

I've also noticed that this time of year makes it a bit easier to avoid unnecessary purchases because I remind myself how much we have compared to some and that really, I have everything I need in life. Plus, when I spend extra money on meals or experiences, those are often much more rewarding purchases than acquiring more things. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Keeping your Favorite Runner Warm this Winter

Sorry I've been MIA this past week! The last two weeks of school have been a doozy. But the end is in sight {thank goodness}. I had a presentation and a few projects due this week and then I have three finals next week. Ugh.

First thing's first: this time of year really is one of the best. Yes, I LOVE the sunshine and frolicking outside 24/7, but that little extra feeling of cheer everyone seems to have this time of year is simply refreshing.

And enjoying Trader Joe's spiced cider {while wearing snowman socks} isn't so bad either...

I don't know about you, but as it gets colder, I find myself realizing that "Oh, I really wish I had X or Y to keep me warmer." Granted, we have few days that I might need to wear some of these items, but there are definitely times in December and January that will get pretty frigid around here.

Here are a few things I came up with that may just strike your fancy and end up on your Christmas list (or a shopping list for your endorphin-loving friend or family member).

Running Mittens - When it gets really cold, finger gloves just won't cut it anymore. That's when mittens are where it's at. Because your fingers are cozy together, they keep in a lot more heat than gloves do. I found these North Face Runners at REI that look decent. Plus, if you're a member, you'll earn dividend on your purchase. 

And for fashion and function, I really like these cute Thinsulate mittens that Ashley of (Never) homemaker featured recently.

Neck Gaiter - This is one of those items that could work multi purpose for running, cycling, skiing, and practically any outdoor adventure. The nice thing about a gaiter is that it stays close to your neck blocks the wind on those days you don't pull on a full running jacket or high-neck top. This SmartWool gaiter has a few fun patterns and looks a bit thicker with its double layers.

Good Socks - It may sound like a pretty boring gift to give someone, but honestly, any runner or cyclist will appreciate good socks. Plus, at $10-15 per pair, they aren't something easy to treat yourself to. A few sock brands I love or have hear good things about are: BalegaThorlo Experias, and Feetures. And while they may seem a tad expensive for socks, they last a long time. I still wear fancy running socks that I bought five years ago.

Cozy Vest - Okay, so this may lie more on the fashion and comfort side than the functional aspect of running or outdoors-ing, but with the popularity of vests and the amount of warmth and comfort they provide, don't underestimate the power of the vest. A few cute options for your post-run latte: Patagonia nano puffPatagonia Better Sweater Fleece VestOld Navy quilted tweed, and the Columbia Mighty Lite III.

A few of my other cold day + latte favorites are: this knit infinity scarf, this basket weave hat or this marled popover. And these Ugg slippers in grey (on my Christmas list) for that at-home latte.

What is your favorite piece of running gear? Is there anything you can't live without in the winter time? 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankful Thanksgiving

I don't know about you, but I really love these quiet mornings on a special day (Thanksgiving!) before the sun rises when it's just me awake in the house. I'm excited for our 5K this morning as well as catching a few minutes of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

This afternoon, we'll head up to my grandparents for Thanksgiving with the family. I'm bringing the veggie tray and maybe some cranberry sauce as my grandma still does the whole sha-bang on Thanksgiving! Her rolls are the best.

If you're still needing something tasty to whip up for friends, family, or yourself, Minimalist Baker has a ton of drool-worthy recipes on tap for you.

Today I'm thankful for the manfriend, my family, my friends, and living in the Pacific Northwest. Every time I imagine leaving this place, it just seems nearly impossible to do.

As winter approaches, I'm already scheming up the number of times we can visit Bend, or do anything involving getting out to the snow and the mountains. And for the record, we already have two trips to Bend planned for January!

Last Saturday, I opted to skip yoga so the manfriend and I could head on a little hiking adventure - something I always say I want to do, but rarely make the time for.

The views and the long, winding drive to Kentucky Falls were worth it, however.

Don't be fooled by my seemingly normalness. There are days I look like a crazy tourist hiker and last Saturday was one of those...


And as usual, the debate begins in my mind. Will I go out on Black Friday or will I stay in where it's cozy and peaceful?

On the one hand, I'd like to pick up some new sheets at half price and a few other small things, but on the other hand, I could also do that via a little online shopping and avoid the day of craziness. 

Of course, if you're doing any online shopping, be sure to sign up for Ebates. It's free and easy and you'll get cash back on most purchases you make online. Seriously, there is no trick to it. You simply have to login to your Ebates account and from there navigate to the online store of your choice and you'll get a check in the mail once a quarter that you shop.

Are you doing any holiday shopping this weekend? 

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating! 

Be sure to eat something you love, move your body a bit, and take a moment to reflect on the good stuff in life. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Embracing the Holidays

Thursday has arrived! Thursday is always a relief because when it's over, we're just around the corner from Friday. Wednesday and Thursday are my busiest days of the week, so it is pretty exciting to almost over the hump.

This year, I admittedly jumped into the holiday spirit early. I blame it on the extra cold temps sent our way over the past few weeks and all of the amazing recipes I'm seeing pop up everywhere. AND the fact that we'll get to celebrate with a white Christmas this year back in the Midwest!

A Few Things I'm Thankful for Right Now:

Holiday Music - Yep, guilty as charged! Two weeks ago I innocently popped in the Michael Buble's Christmas album in my car and it all went down hill from there. Once I listened to a few of my favorites, I was pretty much fine with listening to anything and everything Christmas. Sorry, I'm not sorry.

Candles - This vanilla snowflake candle from Bath & Body Works makes the house smell so good. Last year I got a peppermint one that I also loved, so I picked up a new one last week. It's amazing how a good smell can make you happier.

Turkey Day 5K - It's the little things like running a 5K on Thanksgiving morning that get me excited. The manfriend and I are signed up for the local Turkey Stuffer, so I guess he better start training! I haven't been doing much speed training, so I'll just be running for fun, but I'm already looking forward to it.

Layering up - Now that I'm able to be a bit more casual with my daily outfits, I am embracing layers and feeling comfortable, while still feeling put together. With the colder temperatures, it's been nice to throw on a puffy vest and scarf to stay warm.

Trader Joe's Treats - I found these last weekend at Trader Joe's and put them right in my basket. These are a mini version of the mint dark chocolate covered cookies they used to make. I actually prefer the minis because you can have just a few more. A few other things I'm looking forward to are the spiced apple cider and the candy cane Joe-Joe's.

Thanksgiving Thoughts
I'm starting to think about a few recipes I'd like to make for Thanksgiving - either for one of our family gatherings or just for the manfriend and I to enjoy.

One thing I'm making for sure is Oh She Glows' Sweet Potato Casserole. I love sweet potatoes, but I am not a fan of the candied yams that people do with tons of marshmallows or brown sugar and syrup many recipes call for. I'm especially excited for the crunch nut crumble on top! Angela has put together several other amazing vegan Thanksgiving spreads that put most people's tables to shame. Someday, I will make a Thanksgiving meal from top to bottom.

*I'm particularly fond of her Hockey Nuts recipe that is perfect for a party or giving to a friend or family member as a gift.

How is your week going? Do you have any Thanksgiving recipes to share that you'll be whipping up? Is anyone else running a turkey trot? 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Just. Keep. Going.

Alternate title: One Step at a Time

This topic is one near and dear to my heart, especially over the past year. For many years (5+) after college, I wondered when and what I would go back to school for. I have always known I would either continue down the marketing path, focus on health and wellness, or dive into something more creative like photography or graphic design.

After several years of hemming and hawing without any attempt at any of my other areas of strengths/interests, I was simply fed up with my own indecision. Jess Lively, a blogger and entrepreneur I have followed for several years has always promoted the idea of living intentionally and focusing on your strengths and interests. In fact, I'm highly certain I adopted the term 'Just Keep Going' from her.

There have been many times where I questioned "Is this REALLY what I want to be doing?" or "Can I hack three years of this plus an internship?" or "Will I be succeed?" There has been fear, excitement, breakdowns, and confusion.  

But amidst the fear and confusion, the thing that I've held tight to is that I just have to keep going. When I start to look at the big picture and what it takes to reach the end goal, I get overwhelmed. It seems like a mountain I won't be able to summit. But shockingly, when I think about things one baby step at a time, it doesn't seem so bad. 

So while the long term is the goal, the short term focus is what gives me strength and reassurance that reaching a big goal is just a matter of taking a lot of little steps.

This idea can be applied to a lot of other areas of life (forming new friendships, saving for a house/car/trip, learning a new skill, etc.).

How do you tackle a big goal? 

I hope you're surviving the arctic blast wherever you are. It's been pretty cold (for Eugene) getting into the 20s at night. Yesterday, I waited until it warmed up around 3 p.m. to a balmy 42 degrees to go running. But I won't complain too much because I know it could be worse. Plus, it's kind of fun to have to bundle up a bit more for our morning dog walks. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Back into the Swing of Things

With school, it's proving to be much more difficult to run ~30 miles per week with all the studying, homework and commuting that's required. But last week my load was a bit lighter, so it felt good to actually run regularly and feel the effects of it - hello, sore legs.

And, I almost hit 30 miles. I'm also trying to keep up the strength training 3x per week, even if it is only 10-15 minutes some days.

Monday - upper body strength + 5 miles steady

Tuesday - yoga

Wednesday - 4.5 miles steady + strength

Thursday - 4 miles speed work

Friday - HIIT/strength + 3 miles easy

Saturday - 9.5 mile trail run (hills)

Foggy and cold, but so beautiful out.

Sunday - race volunteering + yoga

It's rare that I volunteer for a race and I figured it would be good to give back. The manfriend and I had also run this race last year, so it was fun to see the 10 milers turn around at my aid station and the 16 milers keep on truckin'.

Best meal of the week? Crockpot pulled pork sandwiches + homemade slaw.

Hardest run? Speed work, of course. It's been weeks since I could make it to the workout and this week we alternated between 10K and mile pace, which was challenging to say the least. We did a mile alternating paces and then 4 x 600m with the first and third 200m at 10K pace and the second and fourth at mile pace.

Most fun run? Saturday morning trail run with the girls. It's rare that I run with others outside of speed work, so it was fun to chat away the miles. The miles seemed to fly by and before we knew it, we had covered nearly 10 miles.

What was the highlight of your weekend? And your hardest workout last week?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Thankful Thursday + Fashion Friday

So, if you've been reading for the last few years, you might remember that I've tried to do a Thankful Thursday post most Thursdays of November. I remembered this week, so let's jump in a day late, okay? And feel free to join me on Thankful Thursdays if you're interested!

The last few weeks I think I've noticed every tree that has been changing color ever so slowly. My morning dog walk is one of those perfect times to notice everything as I typically leave the phone at home and just pay attention to my surroundings.

So, the changing trees {and seasons of life} are what I'm really thankful for this week.

The scene below is one from the Oregon State campus where I go once a week for two nutrition classes. This section of the campus is a little piece of tree heaven.


Fashion Friday
A few weeks ago I exchanged a skirt I had purchased from the LOFT for something I'll wear much more often, this beautiful oversized and warm sweater. For someone who is freezing for most of the winter, I don't own nearly enough sweaters. Just a tip: be sure to shop when LOFT is having a sale because frankly, it would be silly not to. Plus, they have a 40 percent off sale just about every week or two this time of year. 

Sweater: LOFT, necklace: LOFT, jeans: Hudson, boots: Clarks

Also, I've been considering dying just the grow out from my highlights (the lower 6" or so) to my natural brown. Has anyone ever done this?

What I'm pining for {fashion wise}: all the infinity scarves.

What I'm listening to: Serial, a podcast of This American Life. Someone mentioned it at yoga one morning and I have been hooked ever since. It works great for the days I am in the car a lot driving to and from school.

What are you thankful for right now? Happy Friday!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Finding Fall out on the Trails

Last weekend I hit the trails in search of some of my favorite views and running spots. It's funny, 90 percent of the time I run around my neighborhood, on the bike path, or on flat, well-known trails in town. But that the other 10 percent of the time when I venture out, I notice I enjoy my runs the most.

Mt. Pisgah is one of those places where I probably only run 5-10 times a year and yet it's only a ten minute drive from Eugene. Granted, it requires a little more planning, time and $3 for parking, but it's always worth it. 

My friend Laurel and I headed out on my favorite loop around the mountain (i.e. the scenic route), which is about eight miles in total. I love when you get to the back side and the single track opens up onto this rolling country road.

After a mile or so, you head back UP into the single track and into the forest for some hilly fun. Again, another favorite view is right beneath these power lines. I love how you can see the fall colors even through the fog.

These trails tend to invite you to mosey on at your own pace because really, why rush this scenery?

And soon enough, you're greeted by fall at its finest. Hello, yellow everywhere. 

With tired legs and rears, we got back to the parking lot about an hour and a half later. And what better way to warm up than a cinnamon dolce latte (1/2 the syrup) in one of the first red cups of the season?

Afterward, I meandered my way through Old Navy looking at some of their cute fall wear. Sometimes, simply window shopping fills my urge to actually purchase something. #clothesaddict

For trail gear, I'm still loving my Nike Zoom Terra Kigers as they're light, have good tread, and are wide enough for my fat feet. Saturday, I wore long spandex, which were warmer than needed but nice for running through brush, wet bushes and past blackberry vines.

Beyond that, I always like to wear layers on the trail, so I wore a tank + 1/2 zip long sleeve and a light Novara vest. The vest was overkill on Saturday, but often times perfect for cool or wet trail runs. Plus, it has a HUGE pocket in it to carry gloves, fuel, etc.

I don't know about you, but it's that time of year where I am once again shocked at how soon Christmas will be here. Cue shopping panic! The last few years we've been pretty minimalistic about gifts, but I always find this internal struggle with wanting to give nice gifts, but not wanting to give just to give (and worst of all, giving someone something they don't want or won't use).

Okay, back to microbiology...

What's your favorite fall activity you've done this year? Do you have a "plan" for Christmas, whether it's how you're going to celebrate or purchase gifts? 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Life Lately

Forgive me, I'm just trying to unbury myself from the mounds of reading and assignments that I need to catch up on and/or are due this Friday, in addition to one of my midterms! It's incredible just. how. much. work can be assigned from one class.

Honestly, I'm not sure we'll use our dining room table for dining any time soon. It just works so well for holding stacks of books and binders...

On a more exciting note, here are a few highlights of life lately.

What I'm Thankful For...

Heat - we finally turned our furnace on for the first time this fall and I can tell you that 68 feels like a world of difference from the 61 degrees we were enduring lsat week. We were trying to hold out until Nov. 1, but no dice!

Dry morning walks - I take Jonah Bell out every morning rain or shine, so I really appreciate the mornings that are dry with just a slight fall breeze. I hate having to towel her off after she's soaking wet!

Seeing friends - Last week I had at least three planned social events, which really does something for the soul. It's so easy to get caught up in your own life and feel like you have time for no one else. The opposite is actually true. When you're the most frazzled, you likely need some social contact more than ever.

What I Need Right Now...

This yoga class. I tried it for the first time this morning after running hilly trails on Sunday and running 5 miles last night and it really helped stretch out my tight legs. I highly recommend it (and yogaglo in general)!

What We're Eating...

The manfriend has really stepped up and has been making dinner several nights a week when I've been too busy or have to stay at work late, study or do homework. But when I do have the time to cook, I'm still making some of my favorites.

Dinner last night was stacked enchiladas! Someday, I'll remember to buy the big tortillas for real enchiladas, but this version a little less tedious and a bit healthier.

This is one of those recipes that is great because it's super flexible and allows you to use whatever you have on hand as far as veggies or protein goes. First I saute my veggies and boil the chicken (or leave it out). Then, I tear up a few small white corn tortillas (I used 4 mini ones) alternating veggie protein mix with tortillas and then topping it all with a bit of cheese. Bake at 375 for 20-30 min or until cheese is melty and bubbling.

Ingredients: sauteed veggies, including onion, corn, and red pepper, black refried beans, shredded chicken, a little taco seasoning, avocado slices, a few dollops plain yogurt, 1/4 cup or so of enchilada sauce, and 1/4 cup shredded white cheddar cheese.

What I'm Reading... {beyond thrilling textbooks}

75-Year Study That Found The Secrets to a Fulfilling Life - It's really no surprise that relationships/love are key to a happy and fulfilling life, but it's nice to read it all the same.

How is your week going? Pick one of the above topics and tell me what's going on in your life regarding that topic.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fall, what fall?

Thank goodness for weekends! I definitely needed this one to recover and recharge from a cold and a few big work events last week. 

The weekend was spent doing yoga, studying for a few tests I have this week, going out to breakfast, and heading out to our favorite local farm for pumpkins and tasty, affordable apples.

It was our first time out to Thistledown Farm this season and I was surprised to realize they're only open for two more weeks. Glad we fit in one trip anyway!

Manfriend picking out a few good ones for our porch.

Crunchy apples of all varieties for $1.29/lb? You don't have to tell me twice!

And no trip to the farm is complete without a few apple cider donuts. YUM.

Also, can we talk about how it's not really fall here? The entire weekend was 75 and sunny!

First run in five days = happiness. 

With a sunrise like this to boot!

And finally, Sunday afternoon was spent soaking up some Vitamin D because who knows when my legs will see sun again.

How was your weekend? Anyone experiencing fall weather yet?