The Quarter-Mile Long-Run

Hi guuuys 🙂 Have a good Halloween? I sure did! It was quite the relaxing, yet productive day. After getting everything done for the day, Shane and I kicked off the holiday season (which starts on October 31st, didn’tchaknow?) with a bottle of spiced [spiked] cider and some Wii! For some reason, the Wii goes untouched until November hits, and then we’re all about it 🙂 I guess it’s our way staying sane during winter hibernation 😉

Speaking of the changing seasons, did you know that next weekend Day Light Savings Time ends? (I hear all you foodie photographers crying! 😦 ) Taking advantage of the last weekend with an extra hour of light, I did the ultimate act of summer – and grilled out! Or I should say the husband did the grilling.



I made Angela’s chickpea bites to go alongside brussels, broccoli, and fries I baked all in the oven.






Everything was delicious, but I really overcooked those chickpea bites. They were crispy all right. And crumbly. And dry 😦 The taste was spot on, but trust when Angela says to only leave them in for 35 minutes. Don’t accidentally leave them in for 50 minutes. Just sayin’…


Now, on a much more serious note, I have to tell you guys something. I did something yesterday I’ve never done before. I skipped my long run. But not just any long run – the last long run before THE race.

OK. Skipped might be the wrong word. Because I was there. I gave it an attempt.

Let me back up.

Saturday night after I cleaned the entire kitchen, I told the husband I wasn’t cooking because I didn’t want to dirty it up again (hello!) so we drove on over to Q’doba.



As soon as I stepped out of the car, I knew something wasn’t right. I walked it off until we were standing in line, where I turned to say, “Shane, my heel is really in pain right now. It hurts to stand here.” I almost shed a tear in line in fear of what was coming.




Maybe it’s just a spur, I thought as I ate. It won’t get in the way of my running. I’ll just start out on the treadmill tomorrow before taking it outside.

Low and behold, yesterday morning as I stepped onto the treadmill and started to run, I had to stop at .25 miles and was nearly in tears out of frustration and pain. What?! A week before the race? I stepped off the treadmill, called my mom to gain a little sympathy (thanks for dishing it out, mom!) and retreated to the bike and the weights room.

So what does that mean for running? I’m not sure. I’m sure I’ll attempt to run a short run around the neighborhood to see how it feels. Or perhaps I should rest it in anticipation of this Saturday’s race? Will this Saturday’s race even happen?

I’ll be sure to let you know when I know 😉

Have a great Monday everyone! I hope it’s a good one for you!!

How do you stay sane during winter hibernation??



I’ve updated this week’s seasonal recipes in the “seasonal recipes” tab! I found some good recipes this week! Like Allie’s 2 Minute Pumpkin Pie, Averie’s Pumpkin Honey Tofu, and much more! And be sure to let me know if I missed any good ones from your blog or another blog you saw this week so I can include it, too 😀


Bumming Around

Happy Halloweeeeeen 🙂

When I was a little girl, every once in a while on weekends where not much was going on, my dad and I would spend the day together. It’d start out with a breakfast at the local diner, and where we’d go from there was up to the wind. We’d take off in the car and meander around town until we’d come up with somewhere to go. Popular ventures included garage sales, neighborhoods with grand or interesting houses, local antique shops, and other places weren’t on a to-do list or included in a list of errands. We’d just go to go.

We called it “just bumming around."

Yesterday reminded me of those days.

Nothing was on my to do list. Well, there’s always something on my to do list, but it wasn’t urgent yesterday.

It started out with breakfast at a [very] local kitchen table:





And from there, I bummed around to the Farmer’s Market. It’s the last one of the year [tear] and I wanted to fill up on some local organic produce:




IMG_0752Sweet potatoes??

I left with an abundance of greens and some heirloom tomatoes I bought purely for the sake of clinging the end of summer with a death grip.

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And from there, I bummed on over to Von Maur to meet my friend Heidi – just to say hello…

But we all know that isn’t possible for me to do at Von Maur. I picked the darker one, by the way. Thanks for your opinions I solicited on Twitter yesterday 😉


It just called out to me!

And from there, the bumming around went to Fresh Market, where I picked up even more fresh produce and some coffee.

I meandered home to pick up the husband to join in on the bumming around, and needed a snack. After stocking up on all that delicious and nutritious produce, I decided on a twix, naturally.


Shane and I had no place in mind to go, but found ourselves at Friar Tuck for a wine tasting, where we were persuaded to pick up a couple bottles, and then to a certain dealership looking at a certain car that I may have in my future come January (!!) 🙂

To a Starbuck’s where we both ordered a salted caramel hot chocolate:


BAD idea. I drink, therefore I am addicted now.

When we ran out places to bum around, I found myself back at home, with my dirty floors looking at me a little too hard.

So I baked.


An apple pie!

Using this recipe, I baked up the first apple pie of the season, and according to the husband, the best homemade apple pie ever!



How perfect of a Saturday. It was the first one where I didn’t wake up with a plan or have things to get done. In fact, I can’t remember the last time Shane and I had the “What do you want to do today?”-“I don’t know what do you want to do?”-“What is there to do?” conversation. I didn’t think about working out today. I didn’t think about work today. Heck, I didn’t think about taking a shower today until it was after 2:00 p.m. and even then I waited two more hours.

I just bummed around!


And now I’m off to RUN around:) Got a 9 miler ahead of me today – so long as the plantar faschia agrees with me. Then maybe a lunch date?

Happy Sunday!!! And Happy Halloweeeeeen!

Where do you go when you bum around?

The Last Supper

Happy Friday! Weee!! Usually the weeks pass by at the speed of light for me, but for some reason this one seemed to take its time. That’s really OK by me though. It’s passing by too fast! 🙂

Yesterday when I got home for the day, I was reminded that there are more things that are guaranteed in life besides death and taxes.

For example, Illinoisans are guaranteed construction, corn…and giant breaded tenderloin…


And then they’re also guaranteed the day the thermostat switches from “off” to “heat.”


Yesterday was that day, my friends. Twas a sad day.

Have you had to turn on your heat yet? Or have you already had it turned on for a while now?

After shaking my fist in defiance, I retreated to the kitchen, stewing about what would make the-day-we-turned-on-the-heat a little better…


And by stewing, I mean I opened a pumpkin beer for Shane and I to try.


Favorite pumpkin beer alert!!! This one is from Trader Joe’s, and sadly, I only had this one in my fridge. My friend Destiny sent it home with me to try out. Winner winner! Although the husband said it was too pumpkiny and spicey. I say BLASPHEMY!

Thankfully, a coworker saved the day by bringing in the most delicious smelling organic green peppers into the office.


These pepper taunted me the whole day. Each time I’d turn around, I smell the fresh, spicy green pepper smell 🙂 I simply had to put these to use in the kitchen last night.

The Last Summer Supper


Stuffed peppers, no matter what’s in them, turn out great, don’t you think?! They’re pretty much the easiest recipe or un recipe ever! For these, I just cooked some brown rice, and then added in taco seasoning to the rice during the last 5 minutes. After hollowing and boiling the pepper, I stuffed it with the seasoned rice, some black beans, a chopped tomato, and salsa and popped ‘em in the oven! During the last 5 minutes of baking, I topped the peppers off with the spiciest cheese ever and called it good.


But it was more than good!


Stuffed peppers must be eaten in a bowl, too. Because once you cut open the first little pepper door, there’s no stopping the delicious mess that’s going to spill out.


And with that, summer, I bid you farewell.

Bring on the pumpkin scented candles, scarves, boots and hoodies!


Today’s mission: find a Halloween costume! We are so behind!! What are you all being for Halloween??

Have a great Friday, guys!!

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.


And it’s the best weather for…

going Frisbee golfing on a Sunday afternoon:



Biking down the trail…



…to a local pub for some FOOTBALL:


and the obligatory beer that goes along with it 😉


And last but not least, comfort food:



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…)




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



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:


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!

I Blame Indian Food

Turns out Friday night’s drinkies didn’t hinder Saturday morning’s long run at all! I’m giving credit to chugging water, eating a pretty decent portion of veggie pizza for dinner, and downing a cup or two of coconut water before bed:)

What the run was is beautifall.



I picked up my friend Amber about 5 miles from our starting point, as she had only planned on doing 5 miles. So that way, when we reached 5 miles, she simply went to her car, and I ran the 5 miles back to the starting point. However, we misjudged the mileage, and the half way point was only 4.5 miles, so my entire run ended up being nine miles instead of ten.

Total time: 1:21:45

Avg pace: 9:05

It’s just as well, because my hip started to nag at me and I had to get to work.

Which is just what I did after a good foam rolling session, shower, and a smoothie.



This smoothie’s too much for a glass! Good thing, because that granola crunch munch is sooo good!




But I’m afraid to say that I’m smoothie’d out? At least this flavor. This saddens me because it makes for SUCH a good post-run snack! The body can absorb nutrients much easier when in liquid form. I’ll just have to get more creative with the ol’ new Vita-Mix. Like I’ve said before, I become obsessed with things, get too much of it, and then need a nice long break.

After smoothie-ing it up, I had to hurry up and shower and get to the gym to work. While there, I devoured the prior night’s veggie pizza leftovers:


Cold pizza in Tupperware. Class 😉

Truth be told, by the time I left work, I was wearing down. I had plans to drive to Peoria to meet my friends Jessica and Clint, but I slept through it. Literally!

I blame Indian Food.


Baigann Bharta, basmati rice, and whole wheat naan.


SO delicious and SO spicy. Mmmm:)


But for some reason, Indian food always makes me suuper tired. More tired than a Niko on a Sunday morning!


I took a “quick” nap, that lasted about an hour too long. Probably a sign I needed to stay home anyhow.

Upon waking, I watched three episodes of Gossip Girl and called it a night. Par-tay animal, yo.

But for now…it’s breakfast time! I had planned on running 4 miles at an easy pace, but I also woke up with some residual hip pain from yesterday’s long run. Looks like that run won’t be happening! Sometimes plans just don’t work out!

Shane and I are going out for breakfast this morning…which rarely happens anymore! I honestly can’t remember the last time. Breakfast is probably my least favorite meal to eat out – but every once in a while it’s fun! 🙂


Hope you all have a supah dupah Sunday!!

Did you get outside and enjoy the beautiful fall colors this weekend? What outdoor activities did you do?

Leaning Tower of Libby’s

Hey there 🙂 Glad you guys all loved the empowering Nike ad. I think we can all agree that there needs to be more ads like this!!

Lookie lookie what I fouuuuunnndd


The leaning tower of Libby’s

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Hooray! I haven’t been able to find any Libby’s pumpkin this year until this weekend. This surprised me because I only live 25 minutes away from Libby’s Farm! In fact, I ran in a 10k last year that was sponsored by Libby’s 😀

Hey….what’s that doing there?!


I also had the first pumpkin beer of the season:)



(yes, I was worrying about it o’ – FALL – ing when I took this pic 😉 )

This was REALLY good! Could have been a tad more pumpkin-y, but yummy nonetheless:)

Naturally, I wanted to dig into the canned pumpkin ASAP. It got its debut in breakfast form.


I made a usual batch of oats, but the star was this topping:


1/4 c. pumpkin + 1/4 c. plain Oikos Greek yogurt + 5 drops of vanilla stevia



However, there was a dilemma. I still had half a can of pumpkin to use up (shhh I know I keeps in the fridge for a few days.)

Solution? Matt’s Vegan Pumpkin Bread!




This (VEGAN) is amazing!!! I followed Matt’s recipe except for I didn’t have any applesauce – so I subbed it for 1/2 c. more of pumpkin. It worked wonderfully.


It made two loaves, one of which I planned to give away, but now I’m not so sure 😉

Nevertheless, we still have a situation on our hands, as this recipe called for the rest of the can of pumpkin and then some.


I know what today’s breakfast will be 😉


Have you had a taste of fall yet this year? I was trying to hold out until the end of September, but I couldn’t resist!

Have a terrific Tuesday, all!! 😀

One for the Books

Nothin’ like a cold breakfast bowl on a hot summer morning:




OK…so I’m going to pull out the “summer morning/afternoon/evening” as long as I can.

Morning rainclouds stole my lighting:(


Overnight oats – 1/3 c. oats, 1 T. chia, 1 t. maca powder, sea salt + stevia, 1/2 scoop Jay Robb, 1/4 c. plain oikos, 1/2 c. of milk – went into the fridge and chilled over night. This morning, I added another 1/2 c. of milk, a handful of Kashi, and some puffed millet. I like when there’s extra milk. This way is also a lot like Gina’s breakfast cookie dough cereal, which looks delicious as well 🙂

Sidenote: I had all intentions of eating this after a hot morning run this morning – I know! I even woke up on with just enough time to strap on my Garmin and head out doors for a 35 minute tempo run. Except I woke up, started the coffee, and then realized it was POURING. So, the run will wait until tonight after my client I s’pose.

August is still most definitely full fledge summer season in my opinion. But for some reason when the month changes from August to September, all of the sudden, it’s really happening: fall is coming. Another year goes by that I don’t somehow find a magic power to make the next month May. Not that September is a bad month – I got married in September…but not in Illinois 😉


There’s something magical about walking outside no matter what you’re wearing (albeit wearing clothes) and not worry about the temperature.



And about the abundant and bountiful produce




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Don’t get me wrong, I love fall. Love, love, love. I love all one week of it 😉 At least here in Central Illinois, it seems fall lasts about that long – a week. And then…there’s six months of cold.

This year, instead of hanging on the every last string of summer and wrinkling my nose at the premature Halloween decorations flooding the stores, I’m going to take a moment to celebrate this summer.

It was one for the books…

I ran my first half marathon

I quit my full time desk job

And experienced three weeks of pure bliss

Then I went back to my desk job, but with the amount of working hours cut in half

Drank lots of wine

I fell out of the race loop

But my love of running didn’t waver…and eventually the race bug bit me

Celebrated a year of blogging

And Watched my best friend marry the man of her dreams

Helped my husband quit smoking (still smoke free!!)

Welcomed my best friend home from Afghanistan

Won First Place in my summer league volleyball

Posted my first vlog

And created lots of yummy recipes

Helped make my friends birthday a surprise hit

And went on several cute out door dates with the husband

Went to Healthy Living Summit!


You notice I didn’t take any outrageous summer vacations or really even a summer trip, but it was how I felt internally that made it so blissful! This summer I learned how to slow down and savor life and just keep a positive attitude in general.

Oh, Summer, it was a fun one, and I’ll see you next year.

And technically, there’s still 23 days left of summer 😉

What is your best memory from this summer? What made it special for you?