Fall Means to Me…

Hey guys! How’s your Monday shaping up for ya? 🙂

So it sounds like we’re all omelet eaters when it comes to eating breakfast out. It’s funny because at home I almost always eat a sweet breakfast (waffles, oatmeal, cereal, etc) but when out, it’s omelet time!!

I’m at the gym working away, but I thought I’d throw in a post for some afternoon reading 🙂

I’ve always been known to say my favorite season is summer, and the rest all pale in comparison. But really, guys, I’m realizing just how awesome fall really is.

I know it’s a super short season.

And it means winter is coming.

And the fall colors are just there because stuff is…dying.

But it’s also one of the prettiest, most nostalgic and wonderful times of the year.

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And it’s the best weather for…

going Frisbee golfing on a Sunday afternoon:

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Biking down the trail…

 

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…to a local pub for some FOOTBALL:

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and the obligatory beer that goes along with it 😉

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And last but not least, comfort food:

 

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Yesterday after taking a long bike ride on the trail, I came home and wanted something soothing for the soul.

Can anyone tell me a dish more soul soothing than macaroni and cheese, please? Didn’t think so. And none of that blue box stuff (though it is mighty tasty…)

 

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So I cooked up a box whole wheat elbow noodles – and snuck in some veggies in the form of cauliflower 😉

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then warmed up the three dairies (1.5 c. cheddar, 1 c. manchengo, and 1 c. Greek yogurt)

And combined them to make one super duper comfy meal:

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Simple, no? Delicious, no? 😉

This makes WAY more than one serving by the way – probably more like 5 or 6? That bowl is HUGE.

——

Back to work I go…

What’s your favorite comfort food? What dish soooothes your soul? Besides macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes just do it for me.

 

PS –> Check out this week’s seasonal recipes from other bloggers!

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Trail Etiquette Turned Deadly

Hi guys! How’s it going today? It’s supposed to be a whopping 80 degrees today here in Illinois, so I’m one happy Illinoisan. And it’s Friday to boot 😉

A couple months ago, I was on my usual long run, on my usual trail, in the zone and finishing up that last mile – as usual. I was a little early in reaching my end point, so I decided to keep going half way, turn around, and then make it to the end point to make a nice even, rounded mile (OCD much?)

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As I got to my “turning point,” I abruptly stopped, turned around on the trail, and made my way back to the finish. However, with headphones in ears, donning a this-is-my-trail attitude, I nearly got clipped by a bike going who knows how fast. The cyclist was pissed at me, and he had every right to be. (I said sorry and yelled it like three more times.)

 

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I was pretty shaken up the rest of that day, but haven’t really thought much about it since. Until today. Today I read an article about a runner who was on her typical run, probably running on her usual trail, jamming out to her tunes, who did the exact same thing I did, but had a much less fortunate outcome. The runner was hit by the cyclist and later died in the hospital from critical head injuries. The cyclist was injured as well.

So instead of a delicious dinner, or a new breakfast recipe, or kick butt strength training workout to try, I have today a PSA for runners or – or anyone who uses the trail, really:

Watch out for others when you’re on the trail or exercising outdoors. Turn down the volume to your iPod so you can hear cyclists verbal warnings and other passersby.

I know I’ll always look and make sure no one is behind me before I turn around on the trail now (probably to the point of being paranoid, now!) Scary stuff, man.

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Hope you all enjoy your Friday! I have a busy one filled with errands, but then tonight I’m going to a local winery! It should be a good time. But I have to bake something to bring, and I’m not sure what. Maybe a pumpkin dessert?

 

Have you ever had any close calls involving collisions – either with cyclists, other runners, cars, etc – while exercising?

And this one’s a little more light-hearted:

There have been TONS of pumpkin desserts floating around the blogland as of late. What was the most memorable one of the week that you saw?

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Happy Monday  long weekend to those who live in the US:)

Even though it’s a long weekend for most, I’m heading into the gym to work today. I have a couple clients, and I told the owner I’d watch the gym.

Saturday night Shane and I had plans of grilling out and heading to the dog park. Big night😉

This weekend was also the last weekend for home games for our town’s minor league baseball team. Just so happened that while working at the gym, I met one of the players from the opposing team to offered up two free box seat tickets for Shane and I! Instant (and cheap!) Saturday night plans!

 

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Before heading to the game, it was grill time!

Snacks for pre-dinner + cocktails:

 

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Okraaaa

 

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I’ll miss grilling out…

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We’ve grilled out countless times this summer. At least once per week – that’s more than we ever have before!

 

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Sourdough garlic bread, okra, veg burg w/ ‘cado + green tomato + pickle!

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Okra beans. They’ll be the next new superfood, just you wait! haha

Around 7, we got out the bikes to ride to the game

 

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Pump it up!

We grabbed a beer, and then our seats.

 

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It was a pretty good game!

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But we left early to get ice cream before it got too dark.

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Unfortunately, September = too dark too early, so we didn’t beat the night sky which left us ffffrreeezing and not being able to see much on the way home.

 

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But the fro yo was worth it! By the way, reason #42 why I want to move away from Illinois: instead of having fun places like “self serve frozen yogurt shops” we have ice cream shops where the cashiers give you the oogly eye if you ask for one flavor on top of another. Hence, the two cups above. When I asked if I could have a small bit of raspberry on top, she just shook her head slowly and said “no.” She was a joy.

LOL

I showed her!

 

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Worth it;)

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How much did you grill out this summer? See above:D

What’s your favorite thing to grill out? I loooove making veggie packs (as evidenced on the blog) with potatoes, carrots, and onions~ yum!

 

Only one more day to enter my Thermos giveaway!

 

Have a happy Labor Day to my US readers!!!

College Nostalgia

Heyyyy friends! How’s the rest of your weekend going? Hopefully you had a fun one rounded out with a day of relaxation today 🙂

Yesterday turned out to be quite a fun day in these parts!

After playing camera, Shane and I got down the bikes and rode into town for some lunch.

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After a quick 20 minute ride, we were in downtown Normal, picking a place to eat.

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I love downtown Normal. There’s something for everyone! Like a vegetarian cafe for me, and a sandwich shoppe for Shane!

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We parked it at a table between the two, and dined al fresco.

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I’ve never had tebouli before (and I’m still not 100% sure what it is) so I ordered it on a whim.

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It came in a chewy whole wheat pita with hummus, cucumbers, tomatoes, and some kind of sauce.

 

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They literally STUFFED the pita with tebouli. It was realllly good!

With full bellies, the ride home was a little bit more difficult. Full belly + uphill = a slower ride home.

Plus, we made a detour through my Alma Mater’s quad:

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Pretty ISU flowers.

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The college kids are moving in soon, and I always get SO nostalgic around this time. Oh, college…

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A little closer to home, we were riding past our favorite ice cream shoppe, and before I knew it, we were making a turn for it!

 

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Shane got a vanilla cone, but I was still too full from lunch! I got some water – riding back was a workout!

 

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Besides, I may or may not have bought a vegan chocolate chip cookie at the coffeehouse for dessert ; )

 

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Unfortunately it was just “meh.” It’s the kind of cookie that gives vegan baked goods a not so good name. Hopefully I just got a dud!

Once home and showered, the adventures continued. We were planning on going to an anniversary party in Peoria that night, and wanted to get a nice bottle of wine for the couple. Where else to go but Friar Tuck?IMG_0246

Friar Tuck is a Midwest liquor store that is absolutely HUMUNGOUS. The beer and wine selection there is outrageous. Plus, they have tastings on Saturday afternoons 😀

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They sold me on the Apricot beer and one of the bottles of wine, heh heh.

Three bottles of wine, one 6 pack of beer, and $80 later and we were on our way to Peoria.

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Before we headed to the party, we got some Qudoba.

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That was a not-so-stellar burrito bowl of black beans, a little rice, guac, a squash mix, and cheese – the works.

But what I was looking forward to was seeing these lovely girls!

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Some of my best friends from home. LOVE love love. Recognize one sunny sista in that group?? 😉

We stayed for a few hours, but had to head back that night, so we kept it low key. Shane played bags – an inevitable game when we get together we old friends.

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And I played flippy cup with water. No, really. I’m that crazy! Obviously I can’t turn down a game of flippy cup, but I also wasn’t sure if I was driving or not – and didn’t want to be hungover this morning. Playing flippy cup also makes me nostalgic for college! So I downed my cup of water, flipped it, and helped the girls’ team beat the guys’ teams’ booties 😉

When we got home, I probably had a couple handfuls of chocolate covered banana chips. Probably.

What a fun Saturday! Bike rides + good eats + wine tastings + friends? Sounds like the perfect summer Saturday to me!

Do you get any sort of nostalgia around this time of year? Whenever August comes around, not only do I get nostalgic about college, but I also get nostalgic about summer! Summer is my favorite season, and I every August I wish the next month were May again. It would be May through August (ok maybe April through September) year round in my perfect world!