Half Marathon Training

Around the time that Henry & Emily began taking their first steps, I realized it was time to tackle a few new steps of my own. That was both the plan and promise I made to myself after delivering my two cutiepies; “Baby steps, before Babies’ Steps“. So once it was time to take “The Next Step” for my fitness goals I registered for the 2017 Route 66 Half-Marathon!

Continue reading Half Marathon Training

Early to Rise 

It wasn’t going well; the whole – wake up to the sound of my twins on the monitor then hit the ground running – thing. I’d been thinking about about waking up earlier for a while to sneak in some me-time/prep-time, but it’s not easy when you have twin toddlers and you just.want.your.sleeeeep. Right?!

Continue reading Early to Rise 

The Next Step

The days of my two little bugs walking independently, running, and cartwheeling through life are seemingly minutes away. Both Henry and Emily surprise me and Sean daily at how quickly their balance improves, how fearless they are, and how joyful they become with every new discovery. It’s truly an honor to watch these two souls grow.

Continue reading The Next Step

Review: StudiOne’s Fit Camp {from home}

So remember when I told y’all about that 12 week remote fit camp that I signed up for in Feb? Here’s that original post: Fit Camp! {from home}. Well…I DID IT! I completely loved it, needed it, and desperately want it back in my life again. It was the first time in far too long that I felt like I got my strength back, and then some.

Continue reading Review: StudiOne’s Fit Camp {from home}

Baby Steps before Babies’ Steps

I ran a 5k (Tulsa Run) on Saturday! It was a big deal for me. Huge. It was the first time that I tackled a race, let alone 3.1 miles, in well over a year.

 

In my pre-preggo/pre-mama life I ran 5k’s, a couple of 10 mile races, a half marathon and 2 Ragnar races. I wasn’t a phenomenal runner by any means, but I loved the challenge and how it kept me healthy. I’m my best self when I keep moving and stay challenged. But for the past year my body barely remembered those days.

My twin pregnancy was a doozy. I was on modified bed rest for months and as the belly weight double-timed in its intensity, so did the stress on my joints. But here I am nearly 5 months later looking at my sweet bib from Saturday and I’m already getting pumped for another 5K in Owasso this weekend! I’m gonna be bold and say it:

I’m proud of myself!

I don’t think we say that about ourselves enough, especially when we’re often our own worst critic.

Why are those 4 words so hard to say?!

For me, I often set the bar way too high, then get frustrated and exhausted when I can’t reach it in record time. That’s basically how I’ve felt about this race until recently. I wanted to reach 3 miles in my training over a month ago but I just wasn’t there. I had to learn to pace my body slower than my mind wanted me to, especially with so few windows of time to fit in a run each week. Saturday’s 5K was incredibly slow for me, but as I was reminded before the race: everyone has their own goal. For me, I just have to remember to take baby steps…before my babies take their first steps!

“Baby Steps before Babies’ Steps” is my own reminder to keep exercising regularly as I have been, but not push myself too far too soon. When the day comes for Henry & Emily to take their first steps it will be a HUGE milestone. I’ll watch as they push their own boundaries and break out of their own comfort zones to put one foot after the other. We’re in this together, so from that point on I will feel ready to push the boundary on my own fitness goals, home workouts, longer runs, etc. I’m loving this plan so far!

It’s been painful, exhausting and challenging to get back to some sort of fitness routine but…I’m DOING it! I’ve got two precious babies, a supportive hubby, friends & family, the world’s best dog, a flight of stairs, double stroller walks, occasional weekly runs, an amazing sitter and an incredible weekly boot camp class with StudiOne Tulsa to thank for my renewed strength and progress. I’ve got this.

You know what else? I’ve got a pretty rad playlist. Here are a few of my favorites:

Can’t Stop the Feeling – Justin Timberlake

Demons – Imagine Dragons

Greenlight – Pitbull

I Bet My Life – Imagine Dragons

Renegades – X Ambassadors

Sit Still, Look Pretty – Daya

Sugar – Maroon 5

Team – Lorde

And what about you?! What are you proud of? Time to celebrate yourself 🙂

Big hugs,

Katherine

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

Sean and I have been eating much healthier these days. Ever since we booked our flights and hotel for our week-long Key West vacation (t-minus 2 weeks ’til we’re there!) we buckled down and vowed to do this whole “beach ready” thing as a team. Sean’s determination has totally impressed me, y’all. Seriously. The man has lost over 20 pounds!!! I’m so proud of him. It has inspired me to choose healthier options and for that reason……I gotta be honest…..I miss baking. I really truly miss it. The butter, the sugar, the flour, there’s a lot of deliciousness in there that will neither help him, nor me on this healthy track. I’m so glad we’ve worked to keep most buttery, sugary foods out of our diet (for the most part). But, what’s a baking lover pursuing healthy foods to doooooo?

Thank goodness for healthy alternatives.

And Googling recipes.

And frozen bluuuuueberries…

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This morning I had the baking fever in me and had to do something about it. I researched a few healthy blueberry muffin recipes to consider some good alternatives to butter, egg yolks, and sugar. Check out my new favorite blueberry muffin recipe below! It’s pretty darn delish.

After breakfast and a little relaxing this morning, my awesome friend & fellow Tulsa-area blogger, Jessica Sprenkel, came over to run around my little country neighborhood here in Owasso, OK. Part of my favorite route was cut short because of the crazy over flooded creeks we’ve had from the non-stop rain here in Oklahoma lately, but we made it work!IMG_9922

https://instagram.com/p/3HgHw5NO2O/?taken-by=ok.kath She lives in Tulsa and is a fitness trainer who has really inspired me to stay focused with my running and overall healthy living. Venture on over to her blog, Sprenkled, to get yourself inspired as well on this glorious Memorial Day! We finished our workout with a smoothie: frozen bananas, spinach (never tried it in a smoothie before…and LOVED it!), frozen blueberries, milk, and ice. Highly recommended ‘lil post workout refreshment.

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I sent her home with some blueberry oatmeal muffins. Enjoy, Jess! Some of you on Instagram asked for the recipe. Here it is!

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

1 & 1/2 cups Quaker Quick Oatmeal
1 cup Milk (skim or almond milk if you have it)
1/2 cup Brown Sugar, packed
2 Tbsp Honey
1/2 cup Applesauce (or the puree from 1 Apple)
2 Egg Whites
1 Tbps Oil
1/2 tps Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
3/4 cup White Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 1/2 cup Blueberries (I used frozen)
Baking Spray

Mis 'en place

Step 1

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Step 2

Place the oats in a food processor & pulse 5-7 times. Remove from food processor and mix with milk. Let the chopped oats soak in the milk for at least 20 min.DSC02834

Step 3

If making sauce from 1 apple, remove peel & core, and slice into cubes. Puree until it looks juuuust like apple sauce 😉 Easy peezy!

Step 4

Combine the applesauce with the brown sugar, vanilla extract, honey, oil, and egg whites in one bowlDSC02841

Step 5

Mix the salt, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder into the flour in a separate bowl.DSC02831

Step 6

Once the oats are soaked well (like, 20+ minutes well) add in everything but the dry ingredients. Soooo basically just your saucy little applesauce mixture 🙂

Step 7

Add half of the dry mixture to the sauce mixture, stir slowly, then add the other half of the dry mixture until it’s blended.DSC02866

Step 8

My favorite step! Add in those beautiful blueberries. I prefer frozen, but if you have some delicious durable fresh berries – go for it. Fun fact – did you know that Target sells some DELICOUS fresh blueberries? I ate all of them at work but luckily I had these frozen bad boys ready on stand-by. Fold them in to your mixture – mine turned blue like…immediately. I think that’s perfectly fine. If it doesn’t, even better.DSC02873

Step 9

Divvy up the mixture evenly into a muffin tin for exactly 12.

Step 10

Into the oven @ 400 degrees it goes! Keep a close eye on it. I set my timer for 24 minutes and that was PERFECT! Wanna see?DSC02894

Ragnar SoCal – 6 Days To Go

There’s a moment when we realize we’re pushing ourselves way past comfortable and we’ve reached a fearful uncertainty. We all know that feeling when pushing ourselves in a workout, a new job, or simply trying to balance a million responsibilities. It happens from time to time, right about when my adrenaline has whittled away into reality and my nerves begin to spike from thoughts like, “Can I really do this?”

This time next week I’m faced with a physical challenge that I’m about to do for a 2nd time. It usually hits me when my feet and legs start aching, my breathing goes from on-point to playing catch up, I look around at totally new surroundings, and fear tries to take over. That’s when I think to myself:

What am I dooooooooing!?!

And juuuust as I start to over think it, I hear a distant sound of cowbells ringing, the van’s horn honking, and my teammates cheering me on.

Oh yeah! Right. I can do this. I’ve totally go this! Just keep going…

Ragnar.

It’s a team oriented running race unlike any other I’ve attempted before. Ragnar Relays are races with teams made up of 12 runners split up into 2 vans. Each runner will take on 3 legs over the course of 30+ hours. Each team, through a rotation of 36 legs, will run approximately 200 miles. Ragnar Relays are held all over the nation in and around various cities from East to West, North to South. Here’s a perfect (and quick) video explaining what happens:

In October 2013 I ran my 1st Ragnar Relay with my fellow Washington College alumnae (shout out to my GEORGE’S GIRLS!) from Chattanooga, TN to Nashville, TN. It was freezing. We were exhausted and sleep deprived. I lost feeling in my toes. But…we loved every minute of it! Why? Because it pushed us WAY out of our comfort zones; along streets we’d never traveled, air we’d never breathed, and sights we had never seen in our beautiful nation. It forced us to trust in ourselves, our teammates, and to have faith that the journey we signed up for was the journey itself.

Here’s a quick slideshow of my favorite memories the 1st time I did this amazing journey:

For some runners, 15 miles in 30 hours is no biggie. For others…like me…it’s kiiiiiind of a big deal. Because, I’m not just running 3+, then 5+, then 4+ miles per leg…the race packs in little to no sleep. But I’m tellin ya’ll…please believe me when I say: it’s worth it 🙂

I’m so excited! I can’t wait to see these incredible girls again, to decorate our vans, run along side the Pacific Ocean in Southern Cali at all hours of the day and night, laugh uncontrollably, absorb new senses along the coast, take about a million photos, and of course – push myself into a new journey.

Will you follow along and cheer for us!? We would LOVE that! Our team name is “George’s Girls” ’cause good ‘ol George Washington co-founded our beautiful alma mater, Washington College. He’s the man. You can follow us on instagram, twitter, and facebook via #georgesgirls between Thursday – Saturday. We’ll keep you in the loop with how we’re doing! 😉

Thirty One

It’s my 31st birthday today! I’m spending the day with my hubby. He’s my favorite person 🙂 We’re exploring Austin, TX all weekend and are having the time of our lives!

A weekend getaway to a new place often heightens my senses to the world around me. The air, sights, and sounds all stand out a bit stronger because it’s new and different. That got me thinking – I hope I take enough time to appreciate the little things that I adore in life. I used to be better at that.

Throughout high school and college I’d escape for a few minutes (or hours) and add to a list of what I loved. Totally random things…like…how people tilt their head when they eat a taco, or a much needed outburst of laughter after something has gone horribly wrong and that poor moment needs some comedic relief. Before I knew it, my list had exceeded 1,400 things. The sad truth is that I have no idea where that book is now. But the idea of doing that, of writing down the little things that I love about life, well I think today’s a brilliant day to bring it back.

So, in honor of my 31st, here are 31 little random things that I love:

  1. Snuggling with my yellow lab, Stella.
  2. Stovetop popcorn.
  3. The entire experience of walking around an Anthropologie store.
  4. Slowly sipping red wine on a cold night.
  5. The 1st cup of coffee in the morning.
  6. Finishing a long run.
  7. Writing.
  8. Star gazing.
  9. Small town America.
  10. Getting positive results from using little pockets of time wisely.
  11. Country music.
  12. Cowgirl boots.
  13. An unforgettable culinary experience.
  14. Dark chocolate.
  15. Laughter from my favorite people.
  16. The distant smell of a campfire.
  17. Swivel chairs.
  18. HGTV & The Food Network.
  19. Needed hugs.
  20. A new dress.
  21. Baking.
  22. Stained glass windows.
  23. Coffee shops.
  24. Windows open, kinda weather.
  25. Sushi.
  26. Getting asked to take strangers’ group photos.
  27. When a baby smiles or yawns.
  28. Zumba. 
  29. Hearing perfectly beautiful harmony sung a cappella.
  30. People who don’t complain, appreciate life, and embrace each day.
  31. Choosing happiness.

More than any of these, more than anything in the world in fact, I love and adore my family and friends over all. I’m a very lucky lady to have such joy surrounding me all the time. Not quite sure how I got so lucky, but I thank God everyday for y’all.

So…what’s on your list?!

Happy day, friends!

Go get it.

stella eos m (1 of 1)We can learn a lot from dogs like Stella. She’s ambitious, loving, fearless, hilarious, grateful, trusting, and protective when necessary. I’m convinced this girl is made purely of heart…and high jumps. When we first got her, I don’t think I realized just how much she would teach me. Yes, though this little “being” doesn’t talk, she teaches me every day.

“Go get it.” we’ll often say to her with both command and excitement in our voice as we play fetch. But before we can get to “it” she’s off like a bullet out of a gun. Those of you who have spent some time with her and have seen her run/jump – y’all know. She’s in the ZONE. No holding her back. In her incredible mind there are no plans later in the day, no concerns for how long we’ll be playing, or if she’ll get injured…she’s fully committed. This girl could play fetch for HOURS. I especially love it when she also tells us that she’s done. She’s her own little lady who knows when it’s time to stop and rest.

Yesterday afternoon around 5:30 p.m., I took her to the end of our street where there’s a big ‘ol field. We LOVE our new neighborhood by the way. I love everything about Oklahoma. Anyway, I took her over there for what I call “Stella’s Happy Hour” where she gleefully accepts every stick/frisbee/ball challenge I throw past her. Below is a quick iPhone video I took just to give you a precious little peak into her happy hour. Sorry in advance for the vertical-length filming!

It’s nothing fancy. You’re probably like, “…mmkay…it’s a dog playing fetch. That’s…great, Kath.” Yes, I know. But she’s MY dog playing fetch! But more importantly, while we all have these little inner struggles/excuses/fears – there’s inspiration staring us in the face, just WAITING for us to “go get it.”

What’s there to get?

It’s different for everyone. For me: it’s a long, consistent run where I don’t give in to walking the last 2 miles. It’s those magazines and publishing companies I want to work for as a freelance writer but am sometimes too shy to put myself out there. It’s the terrifying feeling I sometimes get when I hit “Publish” on this little blog in fear of someone not liking it, or that someone’s annoyed that I write about my dog playing fetch, or they’re annoyed that I’m a genuinely happy person who wants to share some happiness with the world. That last one gets me every time. Those Negative Nancys out there spark fear of judgment and insignificance sometimes.

What the…what on EARTH?! Those are the silliest fears I’ve ever heard. Funny though…because they’re fears and excuses that cloud my judgment. I’m human, and I know I’m not alone. What are your fears? What’s holding you back? It’s helpful to get ’em out there in the open and own up to the fact that they’re holding you back. You deserve to be successful in whatever form of success you define.

So, go get it.

This morning, Sean and I woke up around 5:45 and went for a run with Stella around our neighborhood. It was awesome!!! Yes, we were tired, but we were fine and knew when it was time to stop. When we stopped running it was awesome….because we stopped running…haha. BUT also because we got it. We broke the excuses and started a new routine in our new town.

Now, go get it!

Will Run For Corndogs

packageGraphicYou read that correctly. Living Social recently promoted the Corndog Classic 5K in Tulsa this month! It took all of 30 seconds for me to think about it, check out the details, and register.

This Living Social deal takes 50% off the original registration fee of $30…AND offers a few other goodies like a beer/lemonade mid-run (one guess what this country girl’s gonna choose), a t-shirt, and free admission to the upcoming Tulsa State Fair this fall!

Jealous? Live near Tulsa?!

Don’t you worry. You can register here to get the same deal of $15: Living Social Deal for Corndog Classic 5K

If y’all end up running this let me know! Pre-Corndog Classic race photo? I believe it must happen 🙂

Happy running!

Katherine

 

Dear Tennessee

Dear Tennessee,

You have some of the most kind hearted people I’ve ever met. You set a weary, tightly wound traveler from D.C. at ease even despite her calendar’s limited time for relaxing. Thank you for not letting me witness one single moment of road rage from your drivers (D.C. – you could learn a thing or two from Tennessee!).

Thank you for allowing my fellow Washington College alumnae and I to run up and down your rolling hills, to take in the most glorious star-lit night run we’ve ever witnessed, and to cheer our hearts out while aggressively ringing our cowbells for each teammate running. Thank you to those Ragnar Relay volunteers who stood outside all hours of the night in freezing temperatures, shining a light of hope at the end of our long and exhausting legs. Thank you to those two middle/elementary schools that let our runners sleep on their gymnasium floors and use real bathrooms.

Thank you for your aspiring chefs who are crazy excited about our sensational food industry, with wide eyes and ears for my dear CIA.

And let’s not forget country music. Thank you for live music everywhere I went. Thank you for your head-over-heels love of America through each country song I hear. Including this airport terminal…with live music….I love it!

My soul is restored thanks to this amazing week! I hope to see you again soon, Tennessee.

Big hugs,

Katherine

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Easy Breezy Beautiful

Remember how I’ve been trying to get back in shape? Well, I’m still trying: a 2 mile run here, a 3 mile run there, a walk around the neighborhood with Sean and Stella once in a while…but today was a breakthrough. FIVE miles! As in one, two, three, four….FIVE of them! Wohooo!!!! I’m completely exhausted now, but I’ve definitely felt like quite the little rockstar all day. I remember when 5 miles was easy breezy, beautiful (“cover girl!”) and that there used to be absolutely nothing to it back in college and high school. Then I suddenly began to grow closer to 30 and let continuous weekly exercise slip away from time to time. “Stop the madness!” I say. It’s time to bring back the easy and the breezy again.

While this morning’s run was anything but easy or breezy, it was so rejuvenating, and yes…beautiful. No one wants to spent their weekends sweating and in pain, am I right? But when the Sunday morning coffee, breakfast, morning T.V., Pinterest addiction, and online wedding venue searching is all out of my system…then what? I knew I wanted to clean the house a little, do some laundry, and make a fun dinner later that day, but that was reserved for “later that day.” What do you challenge yourself to do in those other hours of your day? I say make it beautiful with a little healthy exercise. Your heart and soul will thank you! Mine certainly did.

Interested in finding out how my five mile run went? ….no? Oh dear. Well tough cookies, prepare to be entertained anyway. Rather than rambling along as I typically do, I thought I’d try out a fun, more innovative way to take you along with me this morning. Anyone ever hear of the “GoPro” often used by snowboarders, skiers, surfers, and really anyone else who wants to personalize their active lifestyles into incredibly cool videos?  Here’s the GoPro website to see what it looks like, plus an amazing video on how it’s used: http://gopro.com/. I strapped this puppy onto my “Life is Good” hat, while getting my actual puppy, Stella, pumped up for our morning run. A few things to know before watching this: our house’s “office” isn’t always that messy (it’s filled with Sean’s camera gear), our front lawn currently looks like a mine field because Sean’s filling all the holes with dirt so that we can even it all out more, also – you’re not actually going to sit through 40+ minutes of my run – it’ll speed up and slow down for your viewing pleasure. Shout out to the world’s best fiance’ who put this video together for me today!!! Enjoy:

Hope you liked it! I know the camera was shaky, but it was a fun way to document it not only for this blog, but as a reminder to myself that despite all the things I’m trying to accomplish each week – beautiful exercise like this must remain at the top of the list.

And in other news…I made a delicious new dish tonight! Last Christmas, my Momma gave me my very own Barefoot Contessa cookbook. OOOooohhh my goodness…are her meals delicious or what!? If you love to cook and don’t own a Barefoot Contessa cookbook, please go by one this week. You’ll thank me. I flipped through the pages this morning before my run and showed Sean the winner: Indonesian Grilled Swordfish. Sean loved the sound of that, and he was all in. Here’s the progression to gloriousness in 6 pictures:

DEEEEEELICIOUS if I dooooo say so myself! And yes…I do say so myself. Oh wow. Okay, so all of the ingredients in the first photo was in preparation for the marinade. Appaaaarently the swordfish is supposed to sit in the marinade for four hours or more. Weeellll, that didn’t happen. Instead I just stuffed it all politely into our friendly ziplock bag, then into the fridge for about two hours. Good enough for us! Sean slapped both fish filets right onto the grill, and after about 10 to 15 minutes, they were ready. They were SO juicy, coated with a nice glaze from the marinade, and oozing with flavor. As our sides, I locked in hearty sized asparagus from Trader Joes (love you, Trader Joes!) in aluminum foil with butter, salt, and pepper. I also had pre-cooked rice the night before just incase we wanted it for lunch or dinner. Smart lady, ehh? It was so good. Sunday nights have become our more romantic homemade dinner nights. It’s so special to have that time together before the work week starts up again. It just puts a little bow on the weekend.

Love to you all. Now go eat and exercise lots. With the right attitude, it’s not as annoying as it may sound. As long as you’re happy about it: it’s easy, breezy, and beautiful.

Day Off (Part II)

Operation day-off was a total success! If you’ve read my previous post from this morning, you’ll remember my wish list of items to conquer today. Well guess who got competitive….this girl:

  • My day-off breakfast. Started off the day with my FAVORITE day-off breakfast: coffee (duh), an egg white omelete with feta cheese and arugula, and grits (no judging, I’m a proud child of the South). It was delicious. Stella and I cozied up to the Today Show while I enjoyed the first few hours of my day.
  • Running with Stella. Today was unbelievable. Truly. Did you see it? Did you literally breathe, smell, and completely take in that spring air? Oh my goodness gracious. It was a lovely little run. And by little, I do mean little. Even though the sunshine was delightful, I was hurtin’ yet again up this one massive hill that completes the trail in our neighborhood. Stella was an angel though. She just kept me going, looking up at me with her drooling smile as she guided me back home. Just under 3 miles today, but it was well worth it.
  • Target time! Got cute, inexpensive clothes (see “Cute new dress.” listed on the previous wish list – DONE AND DONE!), bought new pots and pans for our kitchen, wall art on canvas for the guest room, and way too many other goodies!
  • A clean house. I’m seriously exhausted. I haven’t cleaned like that in a long time. I’m talkin’ vacuum cleaner pumpin’ (which I despise using), swifer jet moppin’, “Fantastic” sprayin’, dish washin’, laundry folding’ ~ kind of cleaning that lasted all day. I may be exhausted, but my house smells delightful. Sean was really happy and surprised to come home to all of this tonight. Love that man!
  • Wedding Wishes. Sometimes, your first choice venue just doesn’t work out the way you want it to. Up until recently, we had found the PERFECT wedding venue in the mountains of South Carolina.  But just about a week ago, we received a notice that this golf course + real estate community (which held our chapel and reception venues) has declared bankruptcy. It’s truly a wake up call to experience the harsh repercussions and inconsistencies of this economic situation that our beloved America continues to face. Although we hear that the community may be bought by a new owner, we don’t want to stew in worries all year just hoping that all will turn out well. Maybe it will, but who really knows? After speaking with family and friends – it seems like the best idea to move on with a new venue search. Luckily, we didn’t loose our deposit, giving us a clean break. So today I called our photographer, hoping that she can still work the new potential location in Asheville, NC. I also researched potential vendors’ price points and reviewed our budget. All in all – it was great to have a day to catch up on this little “hiccup” and set us down a better path. As for other fun wedding news: we’ve chosen our honeymoon destination….Hawaii!!! Predicable? Perhaps. Unbelievably romantic and adventurous? Absolutely 🙂 We want two weeks…and we have been recommended to go to Maui. Any recommendations on places to stay, things to do (I really want to hike a volcano!), all-inclusive resorts, etc? Let me know. Sean & I have both separately been to Hawaii before, but we’re excited to plan our first two weeks out there as  Mr. & Mrs. Mason!
  • Pinterest. All over it today!
  • Cupcakes! Yay!!! This was one task that I wasn’t sure about. I loved the idea of making cupcakes today, but it was a bit of a long shot considering all that I wanted to accomplish. Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting = deliciousness. 
  • New recipe. Here’s where I went even crazier. Brushetta for an appetizer AND this phenomenal meal which happens to be the cover of my new favorite cookbook, “Buonissimo!” by Gino D’Acampo. You have to…have to…HAVE TO buy this cookbook:Okay so there’s the cover…and let’s compare to how my meal worked out:

Buonissimo indeed! It was SO GOOD! Ohhhhh my goodness. Unbelievably good. My perfect day of productivity was ended with a romantic dinner with my future hubby, followed by a hilarious episode of New Girl. So…when’s your next day off?

Day Off (Part I)

Ever need a day to yourself when the rest of the world is working? One that frees you from work, an agenda, and permits your heart and soul to truly define the day?

Today is my day.

That’s right! I have the day off. “HOLLERRRR!” What to dooo!? Well, last weekend was spent in both Westchester County and Long Island, NY for work, so I intend to smush a weekend full of my wish list adventures into today. Special shout out to my AMAZING team (Andrew Bunting, Daniel Zimmet, and Mark Mansdoerfer) who I traveled with. Our mission was to host two admitted student receptions in those areas over the weekend. It was a TOTAL success!

Today’s post will come in two parts:

1) Part I: What I want to do with my day.

2) Part II: What I actually accomplished (both productive, and delightfully unproductive). I’ll deliver Part II after New Girl tonight, so stay tuned. Both for that show (9 p.m. on Fox) and for my little day off report that is 😉 And just because I’m excited…let’s take a little looksie at a preview of tonight’s show:

A day off is typically a day to sleep in and do nothing if your schedule allows for it, am I right? Well, not today. I have a wish list of all-things-delightful to accomplish, and I intend to takle it head-on. Not an agenda…just a wish list:

  • My day-off breakfast. Tales of this deliciousness coming soon.
  • Target time! I’m convinced that shopping at Target is one of the greatest things in life. I have things to buy, Starbucks coffee to enjoy, discounts to get excited over, and new decoration ideas to be inspired by.
  • A clean house. I adore coming home to a clean home…and call me old fashioned, but seeing the smile on Sean’s face when he comes home from work and the entire house is clean (this only happens when I’ve had the day off – don’t be fooled), is priceless.
  • Running with Stella. Remember when I was a rockstar last weekend? If not, read my last post! I need to keep up the athleticism, and today just so happens to be beautiful again. SO beautiful, in fact, that the sunshine just smacks a smile right on your face the moment you step outside. It’s time to exercise.
  • Wedding Wishes. 9 months from our wedding day may seem like an eternity, but the list of things to both plan, and RE-plan is growing by the minute. News on that later.
  • Pinterest. I mean let’s be honest, we all know it’s going to happen. Might as well add it to the list so that I can feel especially productive later!
  • Cupcakes! I love to bake. Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, anyone? I think it’s gonna happen. Work friends at Mason’s Office of Admissions – if you cheer me on in this task… you’ll be “sweetly” rewarded when I return tomorrow!
  • New recipe. I’m loving the ideas in one of my new recipe cookbooks. Tales of this deliciousness coming soon as well.
  • Cute new dress. I LOVE dresses, and would love a new one. Let’s see if I can fit this task in as well.

Oh my…it’s already 10:43 a.m….time to go. Who’s excited!? THIS GIRL!

Stay tuned.

“Who’s that giiiiiiiiirl……”

I’m out of shape. True story.

Walking up the stairs at work…oh heck…even walking a brisk pace these days – I get out of breath. It’s not my diet, I know that. Even though I love-me-some red velvet cupcakes and chocolate chip cookies, for the MOST part I will pat myself on the back and proudly report that I really do try to eat healthy. These days, in fact, I’m head-over-heals for fresh fruits and veggies, egg-white omelets with feta cheese and arugula, hearty salads, and healthy portions. My problem uncomfortably rests in the overflow of excuses that I so quickly and easily use to validate my lack of exercise.

It’s raining. I just ate. I feel a cold coming along, and don’t want to make it worse. I need coffee first. I’m too sleepy to get out of bed early. I’m too sleepy to work out after work. Blah blah blaaaah. That has gotten me nowhere. But don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t always a little excuse-minded rebel.  I was a competitive rower for 8 years, an avid runner, I cycled across America one summer, and I was actually getting pretty good at Zumba. But then travel season for work kicked in last fall. Then winter decided to hang out for a while. Then I moved. Then my commute got longer. Oh my goodness…I’m DOOOING it again! Time to stop this madness. So I did.

With Stella and Sean cheering me on…ladies and gentlemen…I did it. This past Saturday morning I woke up at 8am, put on my new running shoes (shout out to City Sports in downtown Silver Spring for introducing me to the best shoes ever!), drank some water, ate a string cheese (shout out to string cheeeeese!), and got Stella (shout out to Stellaaaaa…ok I’ll stop) all excited for our morning run.

It was great! It sure wasn’t painless, but it was wonderful. Breathing in and out that morning air, reminding my leg muscles that I haven’t forgotten about them, waving to other runners as they pass by while awkwardly trying to refrain Stella from running after them, it was all exactly what I need. Not needed…what I need. Sean was sweet enough to take a photo of my start (he knew I was excited to restart my athletic lifestyle):

Over 3 miles! I was so happy! “Who’s that girl!!!?” It’s ME!

Speaking of…is anyone else as obsessed with the hit new T.V. show “New Girl” as I am? “Jess,” the lead character is an inspiration to me. She makes mistakes, sure, but she is someone who doesn’t wait for life to deliver happiness to her. She makes it, works for it, delivers homemade cupcakes to people she doesn’t know, trusts the world with her smile, and appropriately defends her happiness if anyone were to ever judge her. I just love her! This is exactly how I have always tried to live my life, how my parents raised me…and it’s just refreshing to actually see these characteristics on T.V. now as well.

It’s this kind of inner-strength that we all have in us, we just have to ignore that little excuse-minded rebel in our minds and remember who we are, and what we need. I’m thrilled that I fought that battle with myself on Saturday morning and actually ran 3 miles again. I’m back!

On that note….I’ll leave you for tonight’s “New Girl” episode. T-Minus 10 minutes until it starts!