Race Day Eve + Recent Reads

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I’m so excited for us to kick off December with our first half marathon. I’m feeling chill about it since I’m running for fun with Kevin rather than for a personal best time. The weather looks like it’s going to be amazing!

boyd pillow

Do you think Boyd finds it insulting to be used as a pillow?

I feel bad for Pippa that she doesn’t get to come tomorrow after she trained for the whole race with us!

Today’s mini workouts:

Run 2 miles + 15 minute Alex Morgan workout from Nike Training Club

Because Kevin will take any excuse to have pasta:

pasta chicken sausage aurugula

Penne Pasta with Chicken Sausage & Arugula.

Here’s a funny clip I found when I was trying to figure out if I knew how to pronounce arugula correctly: Will Someone Say Arugula from Ellen!

Recent Reads:

I read The History of Love today. Just picked it up this afternoon, put it down for a coffee break with a friend, and then managed to finish it before Kevin got home from work. That was my goal because I have a hard time staying pleasant when being interrupted near the end of a book.

history of love

As Sarah Crewe would say:

Never did she find anything so difficult as to keep herself from losing her temper when she was suddenly distrubed while absorbed in a book. People who are fond of books know the feeling of irritation which sweeps over them at such a moment. The temptation to be unreasonable and snappish is one not easy to manage.

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

It was okay. Obviously a good story since I read it straight through. I actually ordered it from my library because Cup of Jo has mentioned it about 20 times. What can I say? I’m influenced by blogs. It actually reminded me in a lot of way of The Lost Wife (which I preferred).

happier at home

I also read Happier at Home this week — which I probably enjoyed more. Although I don’t totally agree with some of her conclusions (particularly in the section where she talks about building “shrines”), I enjoyed her writing and found her projects both interesting and inspiring to read about. Now I want to go back and read her previous book - The Happiness Project.

poor pippa

Poor Pippa is being tortured by squirrels and cats on the other side of the fence.

What have you been reading lately?

Anyone else signed up for a December race?

Good night!! We have to wake up at 6AM! On a Saturday!! :( 

You Should See Me Dance + DIY Spinning

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I can’t believe I haven’t debuted this lovely number on the blog yet… Probably because there are so many words that it’s difficult to self-portrait it! ;)

I guess the post title was kind of a spoiler, right?

This is the only item of purple clothing I own, people! Purple is my least favorite color second only to blue. And yes, I’m very childish about it. If something is blue, I just don’t want it. (For the record, navy blue is an exception because I just consider it a neutral). But anyhow, I saw this little gem at Forever 21, and I had to have it!! I like to wear it when the Zumba people are coming in… just to intimidate them.

Let’s get to the real part. I managed to grab the computerized spin bike thinger today! Yay! I was totally gunning for it yesterday but our gym’s version of Angelina Jolie was hogging it. I’ve been trying to stay off my feet a little more (hahaha) since my left foot is still feeling a little wonky. So this is my version of taking it easy.

I Googled for some DIY spin workouts, and I even printed one off. But I left it in the car. With my water bottle. So sad. Now I can run miles & miles, but I can’t be bothered to walk back to the car for a little thing like a water bottle! Sigh.

By the way, if you’re interested, Matt @ Athlete’s Plate has a great post about creating your own Spin class.

Check out who was creeping on the stepmill directly behind me!?! It was hard to get a clear picture because we were both very bouncy. He’s just paying me back for all the times I’ve stalked him!

I ended up semi-following one of the built-in interval programs. I liked that it counted you in to the next thing, but I cheated and stood up more than I should have. I haven’t done spinning in a while, and I don’t want to be too sore! :)

If you’re curious, our gym has a lot of actual spinning classes. Practically every hour in the before/after work time slots. But I don’t like to commit to an hour or more when spinning/rowing/whatever is really secondary to running. And always will be. :)  Plus I like to do my own thing and rock out to my Don Omar Pandora station!

I ran afterwards during Jeopardy!  (seriously none of the 3 college students knew which singer Eddie Cibrian was married to?!) 4.52 in 38. I probably should have stopped sooner because I could “feel” my foot, but I made a poor choice. I hope I don’t pay for it later. I feel like it’s been “so long” since I’ve had a good run.

Today was definitely a clean-out-the-fridge kind of day! Lunch was a baked sweet potato with a side of plain Greek yogurt (for sour cream) and pizza green beans. Kevin did not believe me, but they did taste kind of like pizza topped with a little marinara & mozz. I love green vegetables dipped in marinara sauce when we are having spaghetti or something so I figure I would just do it straight up! If you see speckles everywhere – that’s garlic powder. Got a little garlic happy!

Dinner was equally uninspired with a nice double pasta combo!! Half with No Sugar Added Marinara & half with a nice nonfat Greek yogurt/garlic/basil/mozz sauce I concocted. And the last vegetables in the house!

By the way, I also did my pushup challenge today when I got home from the gym. I’m debating methods for modified pushups? What do you do? I kind of like the idea of just doing”half” pushups. On your toes, but only going halfway down to practice.

Check out these ladies:

They put me to shame, shame, shame!! Could you beat them!?

Fill in the blank “You should see me ___________.”  Haha. I wonder what you’re going to say! Mine should probably say “run” since that’s really the only thing I can do to impress people. And it’s nto even that impressive here in Denver. Haha. I guess play piano, but I’ve lost some of my mad skills living without a piano. :(

Favorite pasta sauce? I need to learn to make some from scratch, right? Preferably from my window box garden. Haha. That’s not going to happen anytime soon. I prefer my sauce to be tangy and truly prefer No Sugar Added varieties.

Do you spin? I’m going to try to work it into my impulsively complex, totally not-scheduled workout routine. Along with pushups, rowing, and kettlebells. Working out is so fun!!

P.S. It’s February!!! Be looking forward to a little lovie series that includes our How We Met story!!

Cardio Machines & Grocery Budgets

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Last night I gave Boyd a bath!!! I couldn’t stand his smell any more. He was hilarious in this bathtub because we don’t have a detachable hose like we did back in our house in Winona. It really perturbed him that the shower head full of water could follow him anywhere around the bathtub. It reminded me of the The Truman Show. :)

Fluffy Boyd!! He still needs some of his snarlies cut out of his shaggy ears, but he smells a lot better. He may have even gotten a few spritzes of Victoria’s Secret body spray.

This afternoon we decided to start our 3-day trial at a nearby gym. I got a chance to try some new cardio equipment like the Stair Mill. Woohoo! That thing was TRICKY! I can keep up the workout, but I just keep tripping. I was scared!!! And it doesn’t have like a panic button. Are those people crazy? I made it my goal to go a mile on that thing. I think it was 50 flights of stairs. I was sweating buckets. I also tried the Vespa climber, and a spinning bike that has built-in video workouts (sweet!!).

Unfortunately, I was not a fan of the treadmills in this particular gym. They were just plain old. And one of my motivations for joining a gym is definitely for a place to do a good long run in the winter (with a little tv entertainment). The only channels they had were sports and news. L-ame! I don’t watch sports or news. Ever. That’s just the way it is. I need like TLC and HGTV! I was definitely not impressed with the gym for running. I would rather go to the gym in my apartment complex because the treadmills are definitely better quality. We’ll see. Kevin and I are going to try a spin class tomorrow (5:45 AM!!!) and talk to the real membership rep so we’ll see how those go.

Dinner tonight was thrown together from whatever we had left in the apartment. A little baked chicken, jarred pesto, nonfat Greek yogurt, basil, and a tiny little bit of tomato made a nice pasta bake. I tried not to let us eat it all so we would have leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

For some WEIRD reason, the power was out in the little plaza nearby with King Sooper’s! I noticed immediately when we drove into the parking lot how creepily dark it was. And it was off the whole time we were there. And we are not speedy grocery shoppers! Although I did have a list. This weekend Kevin used mint.com to look over our budget for the last few months. We have been spending an insane amount of money on food. Cooking, baking, and eating are my most beloved hobbies, but we still need to watch it a little better – especially since we can’t get our house to sell! So we made it our goal to meal plan every week (I’m so sporadic with that!) and keep it under $80. I know. That’s quite a bit for 2 people, but I’m not even going to tell you how much we have been spending.

But I’m obviously not going to give up avocado or hummus! We even managed to use a store coupon deal they had going on to save like $10 or something. Woohooo! I know it helped that we didn’t buy any chips or pop. I hope we make it. ;) I have to scoot because we have an early wake-up call, and I have a long day of auditing coming up!

One more full work week before Thanksgiving!!! YAY!! :)

What’s your fave cardio machine other than the treadmill? Isn’t the treadmill everyone’s favorite. I mean, seriously. It’s like running. Indoors. You can force yourself to maintain a steady pace. You can create an incline to torture yourself at any time. It’s genius. I did like that stair mill though. And I REALLY liked that individual spin bike.

Super curious about your grocery budgets. If it’s not too personal – spill. I think we can get ours lower once we actually get some staples on hand. It helped that we got our old pantry food from Winona. I hope they didn’t bring any mice along!!!

P.S. Super jealous of all you people who have tomorrow of work/school for the huelga. Those days were the best. Even better than snow days. :)

An Ounce of Prevention & Healthy Recipe Plans

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I did some menu planning this afternoon so hopefully we won’t end up at Taco Bell/Pizza Hut Express again. I am a stay-at home wife (SAW) so you’d think I’d be able to handle these things! I chose 5 recipes and made cute little bullet points of things I would need to pick up at the grocery store (everything). I’ll incorporate these recipes into the next two weeks or so, but I’m sure they’ll be interspersed with simple things like sandwiches. And pizza. Kevin and I can’t live without pizza!


Left: White Bean Chili With Jalapeño Bulgur

  • Bulgur wheat
  • Olive oil
  • Onions/Peppers
  • 2 cans cannelini beans
  • Jalapeños
  • Lemon juice
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • Cumin/Chili powder

Top Right:  Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Baking soda
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Lemon juice
  • Part-skim ricotta
  • Oil

Bottom Right: Easy Orange Chicken

  • Broccoli
  • Chicken breast
  • Brown rice (my preference)
  • Soy sauce
  • Lemon juice/orange juice
  • Brown sugar
  • Green onions
  • Cornstarch

Left: Zucchini with Walnuts & Raisins

  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Olive oil
  • Walnuts
  • Garlic
  • 4/5 zucchini
  • Raisins
  • Grated parmesan

Right: Zucchini & Basil Lasagna

  • 2 cups fat-free cottage cheese
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 4 cups chopped zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups bottled spicy tomato pasta sauce
  • 9 oven-ready lasagna noodles (such as Barilla)
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Which recipe looks best to you? Would you try any of them? No clue where the zucchini kick came from except that I’m a little shy around raw meat! :) I’m dying for the pancakes. Totally craving them!

Popeye Pasta

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I spent my college days making stuffed shells and garlic bread for Sunday dinners at Emmaus. I remember eating practically entire loaves of garlic bread. That stuff was the best! Now that I’m older, I need to have a little more portion control to stay in my skinny jeans! I was happy to see that a serving of this pasta is actually 7 noodles! That’s a lot.

I was vaguely inspired by this recipe on Skinny Taste, but I left out the meat, 3/4 of the cheese, and all of the flavor. Kidding. Kevin and I tag teamed this so I could workout while the pasta boiled. I created a mix with half a container of baby spinach + 1 container of low-fat ricotta + 1/2 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese + maybe 1/8 cup of leftover low-fat cottage cheese + pepper. Yeah, I just totally eyeballed it. It probably would’ve been better with more cheese, but I didn’t want to open the other bag so I figured the ricotta would do the trick!

I layered the bottom of the pan with my favorite Hunt’s No Sugar Added Tomato Sauce. I love that stuff! Megan and I discovered it in a Dominican grocery store because it has probably 33% fewer calories, and we are all about maximum quantity of food for minimum calories! It took me a while to find its hiding spot in Midtown, but now it’s mine! I want to find it on sale and stock up! I can only imagine how much it used to cost me in pesos. It was one one one of those food things where I never did the math so I wouldn’t have to deal with the pain of how much imported food cost.

This morning I discovered that I really need new socks. These are what I had to wear during my workout today. SICK! I came back from the DR with only two pairs of socks (in case you haven’t noticed the pink polka dot/pink argyle combos from all my sweaty pics!). I only wear socks for working out, but I’m thinking a trip to Target is in order. I haven’t been there since Thursday!

P.S. In case you missed it, make sure you check out the Corrie Anne 2.0 post which details the rocking improvements I made to the blog this weekend. And no, I did not post it DURING church. You can schedule posts ahead of time. :)

I Could Not Ask for More

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I’m in a super good mood! Making the Cookie Friday cookies tonight because  we are BOOKED to the hilt tomorrow. And I’m listening to country music on Pandora. Because I can’t handle that crap you kids listen to on the radio these days!


A repeat of overnight oats. Today with frozen berries. I was nervous about the berries thawing overnight in the fridge, but it was perfect! :)

My luncheon was just a little carb-heavy, but it was awesome. Kevin James was happy not to be forced to choke down vegetables. The bread was homemade in a pinch this morning and served with panini leftovers. The creamy avocado pasta was served cold because I read in the recipe writer’s blog that it’s bad to reheat avocado. Interesting.

I just HAD to have something before I want to tutoring so I went with a bit of chocolate frozen yogurt.

Oops! Extra snack today because we had to delay dinner significantly due to a meeting Kevin James had. I was thrilled to discover the Sabra hummus all over Winona this past week. I hadn’t seen it in ANY of the grocery stores before. And now it’s in Hy-Vee AND Wal-Mart. It’s the creamiest and the best.

 

Our late dinner was a version of Ancho-Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Slaw & Avocado. I was a huge fan of the slaw! I was surprised because normally I am VIGILANT in removing that purple cabbage from lettuce mixes, but it was nice and crunchy in the slaw. It was tasty and had a little lime flavor. LOVE lime. Love it! I saw a whole bag of limes, and I coveted them just a little with my two paltry limes in the cart. You know in the DR limes are like a staple. You might only have 150 pesos to buy groceries, but that’s probably going to include limes. I know this because I frequented the supermercado! :) I miss my homies there!!

Kevin’s slaving away on last-minute garage sale stuff so I gotta bounce. :)

P.S. Oh yeah. Confession. No pop or expensive iced coffee, but I did have a LITTLE cookie dough when I was prepping Cookie Friday. I resisted for the longest time. And then I just fell. Haha. :)