Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Coastal Weekend

A week is just too long to go without writing, but school, work and keeping up with exercise are getting the best of me in the blogging department. Anywho, I'm baaack!

Last weekend after a work meeting on Saturday, I had my car packed and headed north(west) for a brief getaway on the Oregon Coast. What better excuse than a girls weekend to get out of town?

Haystack Rock - Cannon Beach, OR

This is the fourth year now that our high school group has got together to rent a house, relax and enjoy some good meals and laughter together. I love that even after a few marriages, a few babies and even a few thousand miles between some of us, we've still made it a priority to get together.

Me, Jessica & Evie (flower girl from our wedding), Annie, Lauren, Taylor, Jolyn 
Jackie and Teresa, we missed you!

The first few years we met up in Cannon Beach, OR and then last year we tried Hood River for a change. This year, we decided to head back to Cannon Beach as it is super relaxing, a semi central location between Seattle, Portland and Eugene, and it's beautiful there.

I arrived late Saturday afternoon just in time to meet the girls and walk the mile or so into town to walk around the little shops. It's your typical coastal town with quaint shops and a few good restaurants, but mostly outdated merchandise. Just fine by me. Better on the wallet!

Saturday evening, we all headed down to the beach to watch the sun set. The house we rented was in the perfect location as it was just up the hill from Haystack Rock, a somewhat famous coastal view.

Sleeping baby A

Cue cheesey waving photo that some stranger made us do...

Annie, Lauren and I brought our happy hour to the beach with us. More cheese factor. 

To continue our tradition, Jess and I got out early for a run on Sunday morning before anyone else was awake. Jessica's husband Scott came to the coast and rented a motel room to help take care of their two young girls so she could spend some time with just us.

We headed out just before 7:00 a.m. to enjoy sunrise on our beach run.

If only I could be transported to the beach every morning for a tranquil run with views like this...

Jess and I ran about 3.5 miles chatting and jumping over little streams of water before she headed back and I finished for a total of 5 miles. My butt was definitely feeling it after a challenging at home HIIT workout on Friday.

After a little stretching back at the house, the other girls got up and it was my turn to cook. We all share in the meal making on these trips and I had signed up for breakfast, so I put together an oatmeal and toppings bar as well as items for yogurt parfaits. But I was too busy eating to take any photos.

We went back to the beach a little later that day to let the waves chase us and look at the starfish before the weather turned stormy. And once again, another successful girls weekend is in the books!

What are your plans for the weekend?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Snow Storm, Round 2

Stepping back to almost two weeks ago...  
So, about that time it snowed twice in one winter in Oregon. Growing up here, I know that this kind of weather is extremely rare, but even more rare to experience more than once a winter. 

Thursday, February 6, we woke up to a dusting of snow, which quickly turned into a lot more snow. The sky just started dumping and wouldn't let up. And Friday, was much more of the same: dumping snow all day, schools closed (except the University) and people warned to stay home if they don't have to go anywhere. 

Per the usual, I took Jonah on her morning walk on Friday and she loved romping around. 

After dropping her off, I couldn't help but head out for my own snowy 20 minute jog before getting ready for work. It doesn't look like it, but the flakes were huge at this point and sort of blinding me as I ran along. 

We had a late start at work, so I took my time heading into the office and pulled out the Sorels for the occasion. By some luck, I happened to purchase these this year not knowing I would actually need them in Eugene, not just at the mountain. 

Snow day at the office meant chambray and black jeans for this chica. I did actually wear real shoes around the office, but wore the boots to and from the car. 

Friday, we were sent home early and I grabbed a pint of beer with a coworker. Not a bad way to end a snowy Friday! 

Saturday, the manfriend joined Jonah Bell and I for our morning walk to look at the mess. 

Shortly after, we ventured out on the roads for a little breakfast date, armed with boots and warm layers. 

We parked about a mile from our destination downtown and happily trudged through the snow and muck for waffles at Off the Waffle

I present to you: Goat in the Headlights

Let me tell you, I would have walked five miles for this breakfast (although I would have needed two of them). I'm never straying from the Goat in the Headlights ever again. The liege waffle (sort of caramelized) has chevre, avocado, fresh basil, paprika and two eggs over easy on top. Yuuum.

Sunday, the roads were still a mess with the lack of snow plows, so I was going a bit stir crazy. I had done my share of spinning, Tone it Up, yoga flows, and Winter Shape Up workouts at home. Heck, I had even tried hitting up the local pool that has a tiny fitness area with a few treadmills, ellipticals and weights, but even they were closed.

So the manfriend dropped me off at the end of the one clear road that existed in our neighborhood. I'm pretty sure the only reason it was clear was for the fire trucks to get through as we have a fire station a few streets down.

Luckily, that road is about a mile long so I was able to run up and down it a few times, cranking out five miles in no time! A few people made comments to me with how impressed they were I was out running, basically meaning they thought I was crazy (we don't have too many exercisers around us).

Luckily, by Monday, the roads were pretty much clear for driving and life slowly returned to normal. That is, for those of us who didn't lose power.

We're now back to typical Oregon weather with regular rain showers and some short periods of clear skies. I'm really trying not to be a wimpy rain runner, but when we've had so little of it, it's hard to excited about heading out into the rain. I just don't wanna...

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Seven Glorious Miles

Hi friends, I hope you had a good weekend. Mine was tiring, but good for sure! The manfriend and I didn't really celebrate much in the way of Valentine's, but we did get each other a card and some chocolate (for him) and flowers (for me).

We celebrated by visiting college friends Laura and Josh who had their sweet baby Amelia three weeks ago. Our other friends Audrey and Andrew were visiting to see the baby, so we had dinner together on Friday night and Josh and Laura's.

I made a spinach, mushroom, cranberry salad with warm dressing (Audrey's amazing recipe that we used to make all the time in college). Audrey made roasted sweet potato/chard dish and some delicious chicken. But who are we kidding, the night was all about the baby and reconnecting with friends.

Saturday morning I woke up excited to head to yoga where Lindsey subbed for Kira's power yoga class. It was her first studio class (she had been teaching some of us on Sunday morning's from her house) and she did an awesome job! Teaching is definitely a different beast than taking a class.

After a little coffee and chat with Lindsey, the manfriend and I headed up to my parents to help haul and clean up a bunch of down limbs and branches on their property as they have over an acre of land with many huge fir trees. After the snow storm we had two weeks ago, their yard was quite a mess.

Then we cleaned up and headed to my grandparents to see family and play a card game with everyone called 'hand and foot.' It is a really fun game and a good one to play with big groups.

Today, after a solid nine hours of sleep I got up and did my usual weekend things > tea, ipad reading of feedly, dog walking and then headed out to run group, which I haven't been to in at least a few months.

Last week was pretty study/homework heavy so I didn't do much running (only 12 miles!) and my legs were itching to run. Well, they were actually pretty sore from yoga and squatting a hundred times or so picking up loads of yard debris, but still I wanted to run. By some sheer luck, it was sort of sunny today and I spent seven glorious miles running in a little sun.

My Garmin battery died around mile two, but I didn't really care. I know the loop and pace didn't really matter today as I was simply out there for my sanity and health. It was also nice to run with a friend for the first few miles before she turned around as these days I'm often running solo.

Good Eats
I thought I'd share with you my favorite way to cook chicken these days as I haven't shared much in the food realm in a while. Most days we don't have much prep time for dinner so things need to be easy and tasty. 

A few weeks ago, I randomly tried this combo and loved the result: flavorful, moist chicken!

Prep: Turn your oven on to 375 degrees. Spray a little olive oil in your baking dish, put one or two organic chicken breasts in the dish, spread ~ 1 Tbsp or a thin layer of olive oil mayo over each chicken breast, sprinkle ~ 1 tsp of Homestead seasoning (paprika, garlic salt, pepper, onion, sugar) on top. Bake for about 25 minutes or until you can't see pink inside the chicken breast. 

I occasionally throw some chopped onions or mushrooms on top because 
it makes me feel like a chef. ;)

Caveat: I am typically a mayonnaise hater, so I understand if you don't like using it, but it really does help the chicken stay moist. I used Best Foods mayo w/ olive oil in it. 

This is the seasoning I have been using. I found it at a little spice shop in Bend, OR when we were there in December. It is so good!

Tonight, I sliced up the chicken and put it on a bed of mixed greens with a few other toppings for dinner. I paired it with a little appetizer plate of nachos for crunchin'.

Okay, I've got do a little more studying and maybe some foam rolling. I spent a few hours studying this weekend, but definitely could have used to do more. And the foam rolling, well, I've just been avoiding it and my hamstrings are begging for mercy.

What's your go to meal these days? And tell me about your favorite workout from the last few weeks.  Other than this chicken, I've been making a done of rice and bean bowls to take with me for lunches and dinners on busy days.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Four Days Off

Well, it sure feels like this week was pretty much a wash thanks to being sick, having an anatomy test to study for, and then getting another blanketing of snow over Eugene!

We woke up to a light dusting on the ground this morning and then continued to watch the snow fall all day. Schools are already closed for tomorrow and it's safe to say most of Eugene is now considering it the weekend. Fine by me.

As I've mentioned before, folks to the east of us probably think we're crazy, but we don't have the snow plows or as much experience driving in this stuff. Schools (other than the university) are often closed down if we get even an inch of snow for the everyone's safety. I even slid a few times on my drive home in the Subaru!

After making my way home, I finally got back into the workout mode after four days of inactivity. And oh, did it feel good. 

On a side note, I did find it weird that yesterday my muscles randomly felt sore after doing nothing, but trying to ditch this sinus infection! I'm not going to lie, I wanted to workout, but I'm glad I just let the body do its job and didn't test my limits.

I played it safe and didn't go running outside or anything, but I stayed inside for a nice strength and tabata session with my good friend Gina. ;) I also added on her latest booty burner and a five minute ab combo to the end. 

Renegade row to side plank lateral raise

This week's winter shape up workout was a little less cardio heavy than last week's, but has a lot of good strength moves in it. I'm guessing my booty will be a little sore in two days.

A note on my top: I recently bought the indigo flyte tank and the Lesley run tights from Oiselle and love them both. I also own the long sleeve version of this tank in grey. I pretty much want to live in all things flyte.

This is all just a little PSA to say that if something makes you happy, sometimes it's worth the splurge. Hands down, my quality, well fitting, attractive workout clothes get used more than the cheap thing I found for well... cheap. Eventually, I get down to the bottom of my workout drawer and use everything, but certain pieces make me happier than others. File this under: another reason while I don't yet own a quality handbag.

Oh, I also wanted to tell you guys that I met my friend Katie for coffee this morning to chat about her new venture. She is opening her own practice to do talk therapy combined with exercise! It sounds really exciting and is something that no one else is really doing.

How did your week shape up? What unique career or business venture would you love to try out?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Say it isn't so

I'm officially sick. The week was a busy one with less than ideal sleep (went to bed after 11:00 p.m. a few nights and woke up at 6). Yesterday was pretty busy too with yoga, a work event and bike commuting around town. I managed to rack up 20 miles by bike on Saturday!

Taken a week or so ago on a bike adventure to study

I was on track to run 20+ miles this week, until I woke up this morning with a scratchy sore throat. Womp, womp. I've learned that I never out run a sinus infection (my body's illness of choice), so I gave in and opted to walk Jonah Bell 45 minutes this morning in the sun and did a short 25 min yoga flow on Yogaglo.

Then, after showering and writing my grocery list, I left my house key at home while Pete was off mountain biking with the guys. Fail #2. So, I had to kill an extra hour or so while grocery shopping before I could get back into the house.

Now, I'm trying to do my chemistry homework and study for my anatomy test with a foggy, tired brain and body.

On a better note, tonight's dinner menu includes local Gorgonzola stuffed burgers (pre-made from Market of Choice) grilled on the Griddler with a side of baked sweet potato fries. Maybe that will cure this sickness? If nothing else, it will taste good.

Super Bowl related: Did anyone else think that was one of the better half time shows we've seen? Red Hot Chili Peppers were a little freaky, but Bruno Mars hit a home run in my books with an entertaining show, no nudity and no lip syncing.

Workout wise: As usual, I'm loving Gina's weekly workouts for her winter shape up. Last week, I did her new tabata/strength workout on Wednesday and Friday and could definitely feel the effects a day or so later (AKA sore buns). ;) Even if your current workout routine works for you, it's always fun to spice it up once in a while.

What's your favorite meal when you're sick? Sometimes I opt for extra spicy thai food in an effort to kill the infection. And almost always, I buy a kombucha. This likely has no merit, but it seems like a good idea.