Things I’m Loving Lately #1

Sooo usually sometimes I don’t really have a cohesive topic for my posts.

Lately, I’ve seen a lot of people making posts about things they are currently into. I LOVE this idea, because to me it’s cohesive randomness.

Here’s a look into my current loves (in no particular order)

  1. Smoothies! Especially in my new to-go cup(CVS, $7.99)…it’s freezable so it keeps them cold extra long. Will be perfect for summer camp! *planning to post very soon about my fave smoothies!!
  2. Mangos . They are so darn good. But, I HATE cutting them. Any tips?
  3. Bedside fan. I always use this for the noise when I sleep, but I put it on my nightstand this week to keep me cool…no idea our apt would be this hot already – it’s not that hot outside

  4. Tofu. I’m not really a huge tofu fan… I’ve always liked it but don’t think to buy it that often. That may change soon… I made followed these directions the other night, and have been eating it in different ways all week! Love the versatility...and the texture created by preparing it this way!

    Cookin’

    Done! + leftovers for the week

    W/ roasted veggies & balsamic vinegar

    On top of salad


  5. This ice pack. For making me forget about my knee pain. Temporary bliss.
  6. Friends! Are you really surprised?
  7. Older country songs. The radio has been driving me nuts lately. Today I was in the car for an obnoxious amount of time and dug out an old mix CD that had a lot of country on it…some faves: Billy Currington – I Got a Feelin’  , George Strait – Check Yes or No
That is all for now! I’m off to bed – can’t believe tomorrow I’ll be packing up for San Diego!!
Goodnight!

So much “Friends”

***I mentioned on my last post that I thought a post had been deleted by mistake, but actually the mistake was that I accidentally published a post from a couple of weeks ago as a page! It is fixed now…click here! :-) ***

Hi everyone!

I feel like I was just writing about last weekend, and now here we are with the weekend again! Not that I’m complaining, though…

I’ve had a very relaxing weekend so far! Watching an embarrassing amount of ‘Friends’ has contributed to the relaxation.
Weekend Recap

Yesterday, one of my teammates had a pool party. It was the perfect day for it and we stayed for hours chatting away and sunbathing. And quoting Bridesmaids (which I really want to rent again, pronto!) I also got to play with this adorable dog, whom I may have tried to kidnap.

Today, I walked around on Newbury Street with my aunt and cousin. Highlights included new Lululemon purchases (!) and frozen yogurt at Pinkberry. I had been craving froyo for a while, and this fit the bill perfectly. After a lot of debating about style and color, I ended up with these shorts (except my trim is white instead of black).

This was my first pair of shorts to buy from Lululemon, and I am so excited to wear them next weekend! They fit like a dream and are soooo comfortable. Now I know why so many of my teammates have been raving ;-)
Running Update

Still haven’t been running, still have been FREAKING OUT. I am so so so nervous about how my knee is going to act. I just want to get through the race!

Current plan of action:

  1. Ice and stretch at least 2x per day
  2. Chiropractor (Tuesday)
  3. Sports massage (Wednesday)
  4. Try to get knee KT taped at race expo on Saturday
    *Optional Required: 1 episode of ‘Friends’ per stretch sesh

I’m hoping that these combination of things will keep the knee feeling happy, and while I am hopeful, I am also trying to mentally prepare myself for the possibility of having to quit if it becomes necessary.
Recent Eats 

Earlier this week, I made Mama Pea’s Coconut Curry Kale Stew in the crock-pot. It felt a bit unseasonable to be using it, especially with the warmer weather we’ve been having. I just really wanted soup, I guess. It came out tasty, but definitely needed a lot more spice added to it.


I also recently made this Vegan Cheeze Sauce with brown rice penne pasta. I left out the onion powder because I didn’t have any, but added a bit extra garlic powder and pepper. Love how quick and easy this recipe was!!


I wanted to bring something to the pool party, and have had this box of gluten-free choco chip cookie mix in my cabinet FOREVER, so I thought it was a great time to use it up!


I pretty much never buy boxed mixes because I enjoy the process of baking from scratch, but I had gotten this from a friend who wasn’t going to use it.

I was super impressed by a) how few the ingredients the actual mix had , and b) how well these cookies came out! I didn’t have high expectations, but they tasted great and no one could tell that they were GF at all!

COOKIE DOUGH!

Two thumbs up for the finished product!

Finally, a few weeks ago I attempted to make mashed cauliflower. I read a few recipes online first, and then decided to just wing it.

Mashed Cauliflower


Ingredients:

1 Head cauliflower
1-2 cloves garlic
Almond milk (unsweetened/unflavored), or any other neutral milk
Salt & pepper

Directions:

1. Chop cauliflower into bite-sized florets.
2. Steam cauliflower in microwave or on stove.
3. Combine cauliflower with rest of ingredients in food processor, until desired consistency is reached.

NOT potatoes!

I really loved the texture and taste of these, but I definitely added a disproportionate amount of garlic. Just use your best judgment based on how big your head and cloves are…you can always add more!

Ok, that was a LOT of food at once. I think my work here is done.

Off to watch more Friends sleep! Hoping for yoga in the am :-)

Goodnight!

Let’s Play Catch-Up!

Once again, it has been 103189 years since I last blogged.

I do have a LOT to catch up on, so I’ll just dive into it!

Running / Knee Status 

Apparently, the last time we chatted was before my longest run. The good news is that it went well! I didn’t have much pain until the last few miles.

The bad news is that my run this past weekend (about 10.5 miles) was TERRIBLE. My knee felt awful beginning at mile 4 and lasting until the end. I stopped and stretched several times, and almost threw in the towel, but no one was available to pick me up at the moment. I stretched and iced, and then tried running again today. It started to bother me pretty quickly…not a terrible pain, but definitely noticeable.

Needless to say, I am really discouraged and totally freaking out about the fact that the marathon is in 12 DAYS!

Weekend Highs 

One of the reasons I haven’t written in so long is that I was at home this past weekend…I was having way too much fun to be tied down to the computer!

The trip was actually planned a while ago – mainly around going to the Dave Matthews Concert

But, let’s start from the beginning of the trip. I arrived on Friday night, and was picked up by my aunt and mom (thanks guys!). We went straight to get our nails done, which was a belated b-day gift. I got the gel nails, which I was super excited about, as I had never had them done before. They came out great! :-)

On Saturday, I was up bright and early to run, then I headed to the lake for a couple of hours to ride around on the boat with the fam. Enter: sunburn. Whoops! 

After that, I went home and got ready for the concert! I went with my friend Matt, his older sister, and brother-in-law, who are all huge DMB fans. We arrived a couple of hours early to tailgate, which was a great time.

Then came time for the actual concert, which was just as amazing as I expected it to be.

Braid twins!

Overall, this was definitely the most fun night I’ve had in monthsTotally carefree and happy. With a side of grape vodka :-) 

I think I’ll leave it at that for now – I promise to return later this week! Cross my heart.

Have a great night! 

Great Weekend, Bad Day

Hello everyone! Happy Monday!!

Did you have a good weekend?? Mine was very nice, even though I wasn’t able celebrate Mother’s Day with my mom.

Long Run Recap 

The Saturday’s run went somewhat better than I expected! First of all, 18 miles is my longest distance to run – ever – which is awesome to begin with! It was also the longest run before the marathon (June 3). Taper time!

It was warm outside. Much warmer than we’re used to, but not terribly hot. Probably good practice for San Diego weather!   Salty!!! Wow…I was covered like never before.  The last 3 miles were HARD. More because my knee hurt than lack of endurance. This gives me mixed feelings - I’m worried my knee will act up the day of if it started to bother me after only 15 miles. However, since the mileage will be a lot lower the next two weeks, maybe it will be okay by then…? Also, it’s good to know that I didn’t hit a mental block after this long.

I’m actually feeling pretty good today. I can feel some twinge in my knee, but not as bad as I thought it would be considering how I felt on Saturday. I got a massage yesterday and have been stretching like crazy, so I’m sure both of those factors have contributed to how I feel now.

Fun Fundraiser!

Most of day Saturday was spent recovering (icing, eating, sleeping) but by the evening I was ready for some time out with some fun people!

One of my teammates had an AWESOME fundraiser in Boston. She really did an amazing job coordinating the event and seeking out items to raffle/auction. I was so glad I was able to go, especially because I haven’t really been able to make it to any of the other social outings (which I’m even more bummed about now after having had hung out with these great people all night).

YAYYY TNT!

It was a lot of fun, but boy was I ready to crash by the time the night ended!!

Sunday

I had a very relaxing day, which was just what I needed. As I mentioned, I had a massage (thanks, Groupon!) which was nice, except not what I was expecting. I had scheduled a sports massage with the hope of loosening up my knotted muscles, but I guess there was some type of error, so it ended up being more of a regular massage.

Monday (a.k.a. Bad Day)

Today was not great. It actually wasn’t terrible overall, but it was one of those “one thing ruins your whole day” situations. It’s kind of a long story, but basically my travel plans for the marathon are all sorts of messed up. A few months ago, I put in a request to have the Friday before and Monday after off, because I intended to travel with the team. The days weren’t approved by HR. My supervisor and principal had no problem with the request, so I spent a few weeks going back and forth with different people trying to figure out if there was any way they could make an exception. I was told that if I didn’t show up on the two days, my contract would be terminated. Eventually, I talked to the person who is the  head of the union at our school, and she got me the final answer today that there is no way it is going to happen.

Obviously, I feel like an idiot for not having cleared this sooner. In my defense, I really had no idea that TWO DAYS would be that big of a deal. Lesson learned. Regardless, the whole situation is ridiculous. Mostly because now in addition to all of the extra money I’m going to have to pay to cover the difference of my fundraising minimum, I’m going to have to pay out of pocket to book different (EXPENSIVE!) flights that will allow me to be present at school on Friday & Monday.

It further irritates me that they aren’t even considering the needs of the child! There is no way they would hire a new person for him for the last 2 weeks of school, and a sub would be incredibly expensive for that amount of time. UGH!!! 

Ok. end rant.

By the way, if you are able, both myself and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society would appreciate any donation you can make! Find my fundraising page here! 

Ending on a Good Note 

One nice thing that happened today was that my babysitting gig got canceled (sick kid), so I had an unexpected  night off. After I calmed down from a very emotional afternoon, I spent time finding some jobs to apply to for the fall, as well as doing one of my favorite things: baking!

I had some yeast that I bought a while back to make something with (don’t even remember what now?), and randomly I came across it today. I looked through my bookmarked recipes, and found one that sounded like a good idea to try!

I made these english muffins. Yum! I was impressed that they came out well – baking with yeast always seems so daunting ;-)

Do you ever bake with yeast? If so, what do you like to make?

Andddd now I’m off to foam roll and hit the hayGoodnight!

Life Lately

Hi friends! 

Hope you all had a wonderful week! 

I haven’t had anything too eventful going on, but I do have a few updates on the knee situation along with some recipes I’ve neglected to post about! 

Running/Knee, Lately

The knee itself seems to be doing better. I’ve still been going to physical therapy twice a week, and the other day my therapist said my IT band was really knotted up. She worked on it a lot, which was painful, but probably necessary. Bruising occurred. 

Sexyyyy

The past few times I’ve run I’ve been feeling a LOT of tightness in my left hip flexor. Like, it hurts the next day too. I’m a bit worried about how it will do tomorrow for our 20 miler (!) so I’m taking it easy tonight and stretching a LOT. Tomorrow’s run is our longest before the marathon, which is only about 3 weeks away! AHH!!

Food, Lately

Last week, I made this recipe for Quinoa Falafel. I didn’t make the sauce, and swapped the sesame seeds for chia seeds (didn’t have sesame). The flavor was great, however they didn’t really hold together very well. I think next time I’d probably bake them in the oven for a while after searing them on the stove.

Processing

Frying

Enjoying!

Last week, I also made White Bean Basil Pasta that I’d bookmarked a while ago from Clean Eating Chelsey

It was good, except I had a total goof up with the ingredients. I opted to buy store-bought Sun-dried Tomatoes, which would have probably tasted fine, had they not been Smoked Sun-dried Tomatoes. Definitely changed the flavor for the whole dish. However, I do loooove me some fresh basil, so I will definitely try this again with the proper tomatoes!
Finally, the other day I made some Breaded Baked Tofu. I have baked tofu several times before, though I have never attempted a breadcrumb coating. You can find the recipe I generally followed  here. My only change was to make my own breadcrumbs by toasting two pieces of gluten-free brown rice bread and then throwing them in the food processor.

I’m not sure why, but the breadcrumb mixture did not stick well at all. Also, this probably sounds weird, but the breadcrumb mixture alone tasted wonderful! I kind of wanted to eat straight-up it with a spoon.

Dippin & flippin

Last night, I had this with a side of sweet potato fries. 

Tonight, I had it with a Mexican-style salad. 

Salad topped w/ tofu, red bell pepper, avocado, and quinoa w/spices

I love making things (like this tofu) that are versatile – a simple change and it’s like a whole new meal! Definitely keeps things from getting too repetitive ;-)

Welp, I’m finally off to bed…way too late of course… I definitely foresee a post-run nap tomorrow  ;-)

Goodnight!

Birthday Weekend and Girls on the Run Volunteering!

Wowza, it’s been awhile! I meant to post a few days ago, but life was busy

Birthday

As I mentioned, my birthday was on Friday!

I baked up a batch of these cookies for my class. Coincidentally, the other aide that works in my class had her birthday the day before mine, and made chocolate chip blondies, so I wanted to make something different. Thumbprints came to mind, and coincidentally Angela had just posted this recipe! 

Mixin’ it up

Finished product

They turned out delicious! I didn’t roll them in the coconut because I didn’t have any. My only complaint was that they were very doughy - I had expected them to have more of a bite. I think it was because either a) I didn’t bake them long enough, or b) I stored them in a plastic container. Side note: I’ve read before that soft cookie storage = plastic containers, while hard cookie storage = glass containers. Oh well, I will just have to make them again another time ;-) 

My class sang to me and a few students made me some very cute cards/drawings. The student I work with even brought me flowers – so sweet!!! They smell like perfume.

In other birthday-related news, my dad e-mailed me on Monday, asking if I wanted a visitor for the weekend. I replied with, “sure!” and just like that, his trip was booked! I was super excited, because I didn’t have much planned for the weekend after having had celebrated with my friends already. Plus, he had not yet seen my apartment since I moved here in October!

I mentioned trying to find some tickets on StubHub for the Red Sox game on Friday, but my dad took it upon himself to score some tickets via a friend of the family. He works in the box office and sometimes has tickets available at the last minute. By a very lucky chance, he was able to get us tickets in the FRONT ROW OF THE GREEN MONSTER!!! Anyone who knows/lives in Boston knows that this is pretty awesome! 

My aunt, uncle and two cousins joined us, and we all had a fabulous time (despite the less than stellar weather) 

Saturday

We were up and at ‘em early on Saturday, because I had a training run with TNT. My dad drove me to our meet up spot (a large room in a local college), and hung out at a coffee shop until I was done. The run was 105 minutes (about 10.5mi), and went by very quickly. I am happy to report that I didn’t feel much pain at all! Although my left hip flexor was SUPER sore…I thought I may have pulled it, but it actually feels a lot better today. I did a quick change and stretch, then reunited with my dad. 

From there, we went straight to the Girls on the Run 5k! Here’s a bit from the website about the GOTR program. 

Girls on the Run® is a 501(c)3 positive youth development program which combines an interactive curriculum and running to inspire self-respect and healthy lifestyles in pre-teen girls. Our core curriculum addresses many aspects of girls’ development – their physical, emotional, mental and social well-being. Lessons provide girls with the tools to make positive decisions and to avoid risky adolescent behaviors.

Girls on the Run® is a life-changing, experiential learning program for girls age eight to thirteen years old. The program combines training for a 3.1 mile running event with self-esteem enhancing, uplifting workouts. The goals of the programs are to encourage positive emotional, social, mental, spiritual and physical development.

Pretty awesome, right? I have been trying to get involved with the organization for months, and committed to volunteering for the 5k event a few weeks ago. Originally I was supposed to help with face painting and hair prep, but one of the teams was delayed because the subway shut down, so not many girls were there early. Instead, I manned the water stop with another girl.

The whole event was fabulous! It was very well organized and there were tons of decorations (lots of PINK) and other various signs of encouragement to support the girls. I was amazed at how many people participated! Talk about inspiring

**Previous picture found on organization’s website

After volunteering, my dad and I headed back to my apartment so I could shower and pack up for my grandparents’ house. We stayed there for the night, and had a very relaxing evening just hanging out and catching up with each other. We stuck with the relaxing theme and lounged around in the morning, until it was time to head to the airport so my dad could fly back to Texas

What a great weekend! Thanks again for coming, dad! :-) 

I just got done watching Desperate Housewives (unreasonably sad it’s almost over), and now I’m going to shower and crash! Goodnight!