Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Making Meal Planning + Prep a Priority

Making meal planning and prepping a priority is another one of my summer goals (hmmm..this "summer goals" list is getting pretty long). My schedule is easy breezy in the summertime and it's the perfect time for me to try new things and really create a schedule or routine that works well for my family. Once September rolls around things only get busier and it's an easier transition when we have a routine and groove established.
Last year (any other teachers refer to their "year" as their school year aka Sept - June...) I noticed that everything from getting out the door in the morning to making dinner at night was much easier when I (me being the key piece here) was more prepared. It's also a million times easier to make healthy choices when they are readily available. We've learned that we eat what's in the house so we stick to mostly clean eats- lots of fruits, veggies and as much non-processed food as possible (we're not perfect and my husband has a sweet tooth!). We might only be a family of two but we both have busy schedules and when you throw in the everyday hustle and bustle of life things can get pretty hectic sometimes. So I set out on a meal planning and prep mission this summer and over the past month I've made a concerted effort to stick to the plan (ah if it were only that easy!).

Here are a few things I've been doing to make life in our kitchen and home:
*Please note that I don't take pictures of my food - they never look as appetizing as the food really is! We'll have to use some good old fashioned imagination for this one ;)

Food Shop for the Week- I was a notorious food shopper. There were at least three-four trips to the market per week (!!!). I seldom had a list and would often come home with lots of food but not enough to make meals for the week. I've now started to go to the market on Sunday's and try to stick to one trip per week (and if I forget something and have to pick it up NBD). I've also ordered groceries online. This ensures that I have a list (that I double, triple check) and discourages me from actually going to the store to buy more food because I've paid for them to be delivered. I can't decide if this is the ultimate laziness or convenience?

Prep- After I've gone to the market I find it best when I prepare my food for the week as soon as possible (because before you know it Sunday turns into Monday which turns into Friday and then the whole week is gone!). I cut up fruits and veggies, grill some chicken, etc. so that everything is conveniently ready to eat when we open the refrigerator.

Share- My husband and I take turns cooking - especially on Sunday night's. Since I am usually the one who goes to the store, preps the food, makes the lunches, etc. we've agreed that on Sunday's it's his turn to cook.

Plan- Meal planning is something I am still working on. In my quest to be more adventurous in the kitchen I've been picking two new recipes per week to try (usually main course meals). Cooking new recipes has helped me to try new things and step outside of my cooking comfort zone. The planning makes things easier throughout the week. When dinnertime rolls around I don't need to ask myself what's for dinner because I've already pre-planned (and maybe even prepped a little if I'm feeling ambitious) it out.

Question: Do you meal prep? What helps you to stay on track/ organized at home with meals/food?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Five 7/18 {Friday Favorites!}

Happy weekend everyone! I don't know about you but I'm looking forward to some extra zzz's,  a little running and some beach and boat time this weekend. This Friday I'm linking up with the lovely ladies Courtney, Mar and Cynthia for this week's Friday Five. The topic was "Friday Favorites" and I've decided to share some of my running related favorites. I hope you have a great weekend! Here are some of my running favorites:

1. Favorite Race- Different races are significant to me for different reasons and in my books the 2014 runDisney Princess Half was my favorite race experience yet. I was able to run with my best gals and crossed the finish line with my mom. I also sported a super cute (and surprisingly comfortable) tutu!
2. Favorite Piece of Running Gear-  SHOES! and currently my Newton Fate's (it's only been two weeks but I think it could be love) ;)
3.  Favorite Race Medal-  Princess Half Marathon 2014 again for the win! I love the royal blue ribbon and the memories that go along with it.
4. Favorite Running Accessory- Don't be fooled friends, running gear is essential and running accessories are optional (okay not really but that's how I ratonalize it ;p). My favorite running accessory is compression socks. They are fashionable and functional.

5. Favorite Piece of Running Advice- Okay, time for the cliche answer BUT it took me a LONG time to follow the #1 rule (in my book) of running... run your own race or if I'm not racing... run your own mile. I used to get stressed about how fast or slow I was running compared to others or how I feel most comfortable running with run/walk intervals and some people just run the whole time without walking at all. Just recently I've really started to take my own advice. Once you embrace your pace, your mile, your makes everything more enjoyable. As they say, comparison is the thief of joy! Let's make running as joyful as possible :)

Question: What are some of your running favorites? Pick two and fill in the blanks!

My favorite race is ___________.
My favorite piece of running gear is ___________.
My favorite race medal is ___________.
My favorite running accessory is ___________.
My favorite pice of running advice is ___________.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Do What Makes Ya Happy Weekend

Oh Monday, you always come too soon. This weekend was a nice change of pace from the all out sprint we've been doing around here lately.  It was a welcome weekend at home and it was just the thing to completely get me back on track. Hubby was away so I was flying solo and with nothing on my schedule I decided I was going to do all things that made me happy (sometimes the weekend is packed with obligations we don't necessarily want to do or make us laundry).  I was taking advantage of a wide open calendar.

Here are the (little things in life) things that make me happy and make my heart sing:

It has been SO long since I've been to a yoga class and everytime I go I tell myself I need to go more often and then I don't. So I'm telling you now .... I AM going to yoga (again) this week (maybe even x2).

Farmers Market
There is a great little farmers market down the road from our house that I haven't been to all summer (we were busy getting married and honeymooning!).  I love buying local, fresh produce and supporting our community.
Trip to the Bakery
Our refridgerator is packed with fruits, veggies and fresh food but when I am in the mood for something sweet...I drive myself right over to the bakery to pick up a chocolate petit four (not vanilla, only chocolate - that's a hard rule).  It's a little bit of heaven (seriously, I've done a taste test of other petit fours in the area and there's no comparison).  PS. Did you know "petit four" means "small oven" in French? I taught ya something new... :)

Queit Sunday Mornings
Sunday mornings are the best...'nuff said. you like my new coffee mug?

This is a new item on my "favorite things to do" list but I'm getting comfortable in the kitchen and have found that I love to make a good (and by "good" I mean edible) meal for my family and friends. My husband was away all weekend working (not business, think cutting down trees, grass, mountain men things...:)) and I wanted to welcome him home with one of our favorite Sunday meals. I made homemade marinara sauce with spaghetti and turkey meatballs (yum!).

You didn't think I'd leave this off my list did ya? Sunday morning I headed out for a
It was just what I needed to clear the clutter out of my mind and reset for a new week. I was happy and a little annoyed at myself for waiting until Sunday to get out there but ya live and learn, right?!
I wrote down all my weekly workouts for this upcoming week in hopes that it keeps me on track. When it's written on my calendar and starting right at me I have a harder time ignoring it - I enjoy crossing things off my to-do list a little too much :p
Road block- someone didn't want to let me out the door to go for a run yesterday. 

Question: How was your weekend? Ever overload your summer activity schedule? Favorite summer activities to do at home? What little things that make you happy?


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Coffee Date

Hi, friends! I hope you are having a fabulous start to your summer. We are just back from our honeymoon and now that all of the wedding excitement is behind us, it's time for me to refocus my efforts on running. The summer is my sweet precious time that I have to really commit.  I have the time off and I want to use it wisely. I posted my Summer Running Goals before we left for our honeymoon and while I did get started on them I took a little break. I'm jumping back into it now and I feel very confident.
Grab your coffee (iced for me, please) and let's chat....

If we were having coffee this morning I'd tell you...that I am having a tough time adjusting to the (sweltering) heat.  I know that I complain in the winter about a frozen nose and numb fingers but I think I'd take that anyday over melting on the pavement in this heat (or let's find a happy medium aka spring or fall).

If we were having coffee this morning I'd tell you...that I've come to a point in running where I am running for enjoyment and not so much for speed.  This doesn't mean that I don't have goals or won't constantly be trying to better myself, it just means that I am okay with an 11:00 minute mile (or whatever my pace may be). If that's what gets me across the finish line and keeps me moving, that's what I am proud of.

If we were having coffee this morning I'd tell you...that my runiversary is tomorrow, marking 2 years since I laced up and hit the road...time flies!

If we were having coffee this morning I'd tell you...that I've added a few new songs to my summer playlist

-Brad Paisely "River Bank"
-Joe Nichols "Yeah"
- Icona Pop "All Night"
-Clean Bandit "Rather Be"

If we were having coffee this morning I'd tell you...that I'm getting really excited for the WDW Marathon weekend. I know it's over 180 days (!!!) away and so much can happen between now and then but I'm looking forward to the journey because I know the experience is amazing.  I'm also excited to share this year's race weekend with my family - most of whom are running!

Question: If we were having coffee this morning what would you tell me about summer running (or anything?)


Friday, July 4, 2014

Friday Five {Special Edition} Hawaiian Honeymoon + Happy July 4th!

Happy 4th of July! I hope that wherever you are and whatever you are doing today you take a moment (or the whole day!) to celebrate our freedom. Remember that freedom isn't free and thank those who serve/have served to protect our country. The 5K I am running has been rained out so I'll be celebrating again tomorrow :)

Thank you SO much for all of the wedding well-wishes and congratulations! It has been a very special time and I appreceiate all of your kind words.  Our wedding was a beautiful day and I'm thankful for everyone who made it so special. I can't wait to share more pictures with you! To be honest I only have a few candid shots from our wedding as I (and my husband) did not have our phones with us (you know we were busy being the bride and groom! :) ). I will wait until I have our pictures from the wedding photographer to share (which could be awhile...).

In the meantime I thought I'd tell you a little about our honeymoon, mostly because Hawaii is one of my most favorite places (this was my third time there) and in a perfect world we'd all go on a trip and go running in the morning and spend the rest of the day on the beach :)

Here are five things I loved about our Hawaiian honeymoon:

1. Four Seasons- We were very fortunate to be able to stay at an amazing hotel, The Four Seasons Lana'i and Manele Bay.  Lana'i is one of the smallest Hawaiian islands and is very secluded. This is the only resort on the island. There is a small town (Lana'i City) and it's pretty much a slice of paradise in the Pacific Ocean. When you are near the ocean it is beautiful and when you are up in the mountians it is equally as beautiful. We unexpectedly fell in love with Lanai. If you ever have the chance to go to Hawaii I highly recommend this island (I've been to all of the major Hawaiian islands) and this is by far my favorite.

2. The Beach- White sand, blue ocean and dolphins to greet us each morning? What more could you ask for?

3. Food- Oh dear, the food was incredible. Fresh fruit, fish caught daily, sushi and a breakfast buffet that was to die for (let's just say I may have had more than a few pasteries...). I usually don't take pics of my food because I can never get an appetizing angle :p

4. Sunshine- Be it sunrise or sunset there was always a gorgeous view of the sun in Hawaii.

5. Adventure- Lana'i was the island for r and r and Kaua'i was the island for adventure. We saw waterfalls, crusied the island in a convertible and went on a helicopter ride that had no doors (!!).

Have a great holiday weekend - run, swim, soak up the sunshine, spend time with friends and family, watch fireworks, drink margaritas and most of all do what makes you H A P P Y! :) 
Question: How do you celebrate the 4th of July? What's your favorite tropical destination? Name one thing you will do this weekend that makes you happy.