Thursday, October 31, 2013

Scenes from my run yesterday.

Wednesdays are probably one of the best days of the week because they are my outdoor run days. On this one wonderful day of the week, the stars align and I have the time and babysitting necessary to go commune with nature. 

(I might sound a little hippy dippy crazy, but I love running outdoors because it puts me in a spiritual Zen-type meditative frame of mind)

The weather was gorgeous. Totally out of the ordinary for nearly-November. It's been chilly in the mornings (not unusual), but the afternoons have been warming up to high-seventies. 

My running photography philosophy: I don't stop or break stride to take a picture. When I'm running, it's constant forward motion. 

With that being said, here's some sights I saw on my run:

The pedicab! I've never actually seen anyone ride it, but I love how he's decorated it for fall. 

This is a turtle pond. The kids and I walk up this way every so often and watch for the little turtles pop their heads out of the water. 
People were out fishing in waders! I would say that's an indication of how warm it is, but people who like fishing seem to really like fishing and will do it in any weather. Kinda like runners, huh?

There was a band practicing in the park, and they were pretty good. It was nice to have some accompanying music. 

Ah. I cherish my Wednesdays. I hope this weather keeps up ;)

Anyone else have some beautiful scenes from a run?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Baked Eggs, Italian style

Oh boy, it's already Wednesday! I worked yesterday until 9:30 and was showered and in bed by 10, so it doesn't really feel like I did anything with my Tuesday except for my early morning run and prepping for the day before taking the kids off to school. Workdays are always crazy like that. It's the nature of the twelve-hour-shift beast. Then we were all up bright and early to seize the new day.

Anyway, for this What-I-Ate-Wednesday, I want to share this recipe I found on and modified to make into little individual sized dishes. Here it is:
Baked Eggs, Italian style! Though the egg is hidden beneath the romano cheese.
So we go through a LOT of eggs around here. It seems like every other week I'm at Costco buying another five dozen, plus every so often we'll be able to buy some farm-fresh eggs from various sources (those are my very favorite, especially when the yolk is ORANGE!)

We all love them. Mike and I take hard-boiled eggs nearly every day with our lunches and usually fry them for breakfast, while Sam knows how to make a scrambled egg for himself in the microwave. Meanwhile, little miss Julie is very fond of the yolks.

This recipe is an easy and tasty way to change up our Old Reliable. It's basically like a pasta-less lasagna in a way, with the eggs functioning as the noodles. It may sound a little weird, but it's awesome!

Baked Eggs, Italian Style, for an Individual Portion
-1/2 cup of your favorite marinara sauce
-1 egg
-red pepper flakes or Tabasco to taste (if you want it spicy)
-1 Tbsp Pecorino romano (or parmesan, but I prefer romano)
-any random veggies you want to toss in the sauce, like spinach, mushrooms, etc, or fresh herbs like basil

To assemble, I put the sauce in a 6 oz custard cup, mixed with a pinch of red pepper flakes and some chopped mushrooms, then made a little well in the sauce and cracked the egg into the indent. I sprinkled the top with romano and then baked it at 350 degrees F for about 18 minutes until the white was set.

I made five portions the first time I made these (because I only have five custard cups, heh) and inhaled two for breakfast. Mike polished off the other three later, because they reheat pretty well in the microwave.

But seriously, so good. You have to try it.

Anyone ever heard of a dish like this before?

linking up with 

Monday, October 28, 2013

I like being contrary. I like Mondays.

Oh Monday, Monday. I'm rather fond of you.

I know I sound crazy, but hear me out. I've had my share of weeks where going back to school or work sounds awful, but lately I've been looking at the positive aspects of Mondays. It's a new week, new you!

This week is going to be marvelously awesome for a number of reasons:
*I'm done with all my midterms, so I'm that much closer to finishing out the semester, which means I'm that much closer to starting my nursing classes. The closer January comes, the more excited I get.

*My coworker just called and told me that the tamales I ordered from another coworker have arrived. Yessssssssss. *fist pump* (Rafa makes the best. tamales. ever!)

*Thursday is Halloween! It's little miss J's first Halloween (she's going to be a kitty cat), and Sam is going to be Darth Vader. I haven't tried Jules' costume on her, but Sam wore his to his school's Halloween Carnival on Friday, and he has perfected the Vader breathing sound. It's hysterical.

I can't wait to take them trick-or-treating! Last year wasn't so fun with my pregnancy back pain (but I did love my deviled egg costume), but my sister and I are taking our kids together.

*I signed up to be an independent designer with Origami Owl, which looks to be a lot of fun. Look at how cute this jewelry is!
I love how it's similar in concept to a charm bracelet, but in a new and beautiful way. I'm having so much fun making mockup designs.

*Saturday is my 5k race, and I get to run on this beautiful bridge:
I just love the Sundial Bridge. Hopefully the scenery will distract me from the inherent pain of 5k pace.
Here's to a terrific week! I'm linking up with Marvelous Monday, so I hope your Monday is fantastic too!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

10/21-10/27: The rundown

I figured it would be fun to start posting a brief summary of my running/workout week on Sundays... especially since I've decided I'm going to run the Shamrock'n Half-Marathon in Sacramento on March 16th! This is a big deal for me, because it's going to be my first half-marathon ever ever.

I had plans to run my first half back in 2011, but had to drop out when I got a new job (my current one) and had to work on race day. I couldn't really rearrange it, since I was such a newbie and on orientation. It was a bit of a bummer, especially since my training had been going swimmingly, but it makes me even more excited to FINALLY do it! I'm making a big step up to becoming a more legit runner ;)

So I've been using Hal Higdon's Novice 1 Half-Marathon plan as a guideline to start building my base miles up, and I've been doing a run/walk routine to ease back into it, which is why my average pace seems so darn slow (that 10 minute warm up/cool down walk kills it). I'm starting to pick up the pace though!

Monday-I rested. Well, kinda. We've got a teether around here, so there's not a lot of sleeping going on!
Tuesday-3.5 miles in 46:54 (13:24/mi average)
Wednesday-3.62 miles in 44:01 (12:09/mi average)- My outdoor run day! I <3 Wednesdays.
Thursday-3.5 miles in 44:25 (12:41/mi average)
Friday-maxing and relaxing (and acting all cool)
Saturday-run long 5 miles in 1:02 (12:24/mi average)
Sunday-walk on max incline for 40 minutes- made it 2.7 miles (14:48/mi average)

Next Saturday, I'm running the CASA Superhero Run. It's a 5k (My first 5k since 2011!), and (obviously) superhero themed, so I'm trying to scrounge up a costume.  I'd love to PR, which would be faster than 24:14, so it's probably not in the cards. A girl can dream though (and haul some rear end)!

I'm really excited for the race. My mom is going to go with me and watch little miss J as I race my little heart out, and then we're going to go for a walk. It's been a long time since we've walked the River Trail together :)

Here's to a fun week! School first thing in the AM. I should probably get my homework finished!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

WIAW - it's pumpkin everywhere.

This weekend, little miss J and I took a walk to check out the new Dick's Sporting Goods and went to Trader Joe's since it's right next door. I go to TJ's maybe once a month, because I have terrible impulse buy problems there, but I always like seeing all the new goodies.

So, in case you missed the memo, it's October and prime pumpkin season. TJ's had their act together, and I felt like I was listening to Bubba's shrimp speech in Forrest Gump, but with pumpkin instead.
What I ended up buying:
-pumpkin yogurt
-pumpkin bagels
-pumpkin butter
-pumpkin cream cheese
-pumpkin pancake mix
-pumpkin bread mix
-pumpkin blondie mix

Yes, I got suckered into all the special pumpkin stuff (but notably, I bought no actual pumpkin). In my defense, I just love all the spices that make up pumpkin pie spice! A wonderful blend of tasty. (But Starbucks can keep the PSL to themselves because I don't like that too much)

Let's file this under "This is healthy if I eat it off with apples and bananas:"

I also got chocolate-covered peanut butter-filled pretzels that were just so amazing I ate them in two days (!!). *shakes fist* Darn you, Trader Joe's!

Anyway, serious time. I have to talk about these bagels.
Pumpkin flour? Is that going to be a new thing?

Anyway, pretty darn tasty bagels. I've only had one because the five year old has been gobbling them all up, but I had it with pumpkin cream cheese and pumpkin butter, and it was like eating pumpkin pie for breakfast. I'm a fan.

Anyone else tried the pumpkin bagels? How much of the seasonal pumpkin stuff did you wind up buying?

Amusing anecdote: When I was checking out, I chit-chatted with the cashier lady about the PUMPKINFYALLTHETHINGS that they have going on, and I said, "What's next, pumpkin hummus?"(because I love me some TJ hummus variations) and she said, "Don't give them any ideas!"

Pumpkin hummus. Maybe it'll be the new awesome thing. Maybe not. Either way, you heard it here first.

Linking up with WIAW!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Marvelously Manic Monday

Hello blogosphere! I missed you last week. It's been a bit of a crazy week over here!

This Monday started off with a three am wake up call, but it was for a great reason so I don't really mind (okay maybe a little bit... It's hard to get up that early!). Every other weekend my son goes to his dad's, so on those Mondays we have to take a three hour round trip to exchange. Since S started school, it means it has to be done super early to get him to kindergarten on time! Hence, the wee hours of the morning and I have become BFFs. 

Today is awesome because my wonderful fiancé got up and made the drive with me and the baby so we could spend some time together (and I could nap in the car). Then we got my kid, some Dutch Bros, and the day is off to a great start!

(I would do a selfie here of myself holding up my cinnamon brown sugar latte but it's still dark, hah. Plus I'm holding a coffee cup. It's not that exciting, promise.)

As soon as we get back to town, we're all off to work or school, but we'll all be back together for some family time tonight! Can't wait. 

Some highlights of last week: 
I went up to the helipad at work to assist with unloading a patient from a helicopter and took a few pictures of the horizon as I waited for the bird.
Ignore the ugly foreground. I'm too afraid of heights to get much closer to the edge! But ach, the weather has been fantastic lately.

Sacramento River as seen on my Wednesday run. Don't be too envious, because on my unpictured left I'm running alongside a freeway and it's far from completely serene. I just look to the right.
My son's after school program had face painting on Friday. How come my school never did that? Anyway he was the Flash which is completely apropos for him. He's a speedy little thing!
My little girl is getting so wiggly piggly. I just started putting her in the cart seat when we go to the store and she loves it. Somehow she manages to prop her feet up on the bars up front above the leg holes and then fold herself in half. Her flexibility is amazing.

And for some of the best news I've had all year...
Guess who's going to nursing school in January!
This girl!!

Oh boy, I've been so excited ever since I got my official acceptance letter. This has been about five years in the making, and assuming that nothing catastrophic occurs (touch wood) I will be a RN in 2016! How's that for some marvelous news?!

What's new and exciting in your life?

Linking up with #MIMM!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A silly terrible joke to start off Saturday

Courtesy of one of my favorite coworkers:

"You're riding a zebra alongside an elephant and being chased by a giraffe and a lion. What do you do?"

"Get off the carousel! You're drunk!"

It's a lazy(ish) day around here today (let's get real... with kids around, it's never truly lazy).

We just made cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and then we're going to take stuff to the recyclers, go shopping (little man S decided he's going to be Darth Vader rather than Batman... go figure!), and hopefully I'll be able to get my homework done before I go out to a girls' night tonight. I also want to finish up the treadmill workout I started and didn't get to finish before the baby woke up, so here's hoping!

Have a good day!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday five 10/11

1. My amazing run on Wednesday was probably ill-advised. Although the weather and scenery was drop dead gorgeous,
I shouldn't have gone out and ran four miles after slacking off in the running department for so long.

Since then, my legs have been tight and sore and not in a super awesome way, but in a "back off, and build up more slowly or you're going to get a stress fracture or otherwisely injure yourself" kinda way. Darn. 

2. I can't help it though! It seems like everyone at work lately has caught the running and racing bug. A few of my coworkers are going to San Francisco next weekend for the Nike Women's Marathon, and one of my newer coworkers was talking about the Shamrock'n Half Marathon in Sacramento. I think we're going to do it together! I can pull myself together by March ;)

3. So if I'm going to be getting back to serious runner mode, I think I'm going to have to invest in a foam roller and find my old "The Stick" that I have somewhere. Maybe I'll get a pair of those fancy Pro Compression socks so I look even more like a real runner.
Bring on the pain. I mean, myofascial release.

4. According to Michael, I use the word fancy like Vizzini uses the word "inconceivable!"
Silly backstory: Mike went to the store and picked up a few mid-week essentials. Like more coffee. 

He asked what kind I wanted, and I told him that I didn't really care as long as it was caffeinated and pre-ground because we don't have a coffee grinder. I figured he would get another can of Cafe Bustelo, since that's what he got last time (as I said, we're super fancy) but he came home with a gigantic can of Folgers. "The best part of waking up!" he tells me.

I brewed the first pot yesterday, and Mike took the first sip, grimaced and did his best Austin Powers' impression: "This coffee tastes like sh!t! Good thing we bought a giant container of it!" Yeah, it's pretty bad, but it does the job.
I told him I would get some fancy flavored creamer next time I went to the store, and Mike looked at me like I'm crazy (I am) and said, "How is that fancy? It's just creamer. Why would you call that fancy?" Trying to explain my definition of fanciness left us both in a giggle fit. 

Btw this is fancy creamer:
So classy.

5. No school (for me) today or Monday! Except for work on Sunday, I get to spend all weekend with my little monsters! We're going to start prepping for Halloween (baby's first Halloween = very very important).
What am I going to be? Besides cute, I mean. And bald.
S wants to be Batman this year because he's seen the old school campy Adam West Batman (read: good Batman). Should be interesting because I don't think the mask is going to last too long!

Bonus 6: One week until I hear the verdict on nursing school!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Apple Rice Pudding (esque)

It's been quite the week so far!

I had a somewhat depressing situation occur at work yesterday, and I've been feeling a bit moody since then. I work in an emergency room, so I can't really get into specifics, but sometimes crappy things happen and there's not a whole lot that can be done about it. C'est la vie and que sera sera.

The baby is teething, so there's not a lot of sleeping going on around here right now! My poor baby girl is so miserable with those teeth trying to break on through (to the other side). She's had one big purple lump left center lower jaw for about a week now, and now she has two angry purple bumps and no teeth to be seen. Any day now!

So when I'm tired and blue, I tend to embrace carbs. Carbs are my friend. And when I'm tired, I also love to use leftovers.

I made two huge batches earlier this week: one of black beans and one of brown rice . It's a foolproof combination for my five-year-old (he could eat beans and rice all day, every day) and I can pull together Mexican(ish) meals really quickly and easily.

But I've been trying to branch out in the rice department, and when I needed to make breakfast, I decided to use a cup somewhat like oatmeal. Hence, this apple rice combo was created.
I even tried to plate it pretty!
I sliced up an apple and sauted it with a teaspoon of clarified butter, then mixed it in with a cup of already cooked brown rice and drizzled a teaspoon of honey on top and a little bit of milk.

Groundbreaking, I know. But its comfort food at its best. I put some cinnamon on top and it was reminiscent of rice pudding (not quite) and it hit the spot. I even put it in my favorite bowl, which although it's a bit silly to ascribe so much meaning to a bowl, makes me smile.

Carb-hugging completed! Now here's to a better rest of the week. I have both Friday and Monday off from school, so I'll get to kick back and spend a little more time with my loved ones. I can't wait :)

What did you eat this Wednesday? I'm linking up with the rest of the WIAW crew!

Hit and miss

Thank goodness it's Thursday, because it's my virtual Friday!

This week has featured a lot of ups and downs. A few hits and misses:

Hit: I got to run outside yesterday. Wednesday seems to be my day that I can get outside and commune with nature. I know it's a bit woo, but it's my Zen. And how gorgeous it is!
(I actually take pretty decent pictures with an iPhone without breaking my stride. Who knew?)

Miss: before I was able to go for my run yesterday, I spent the last hour of class desperately trying to not doze off. It was largely unsuccessful. 

Hit: my darling baby girl finally has one tooth popping through those tender gums. It's making her much less cranky, which is wonderful!

Miss: my son dropped a full bottle of juice  on the kitchen floor, which of course got everywhere. But...

Hit: he immediately grabbed towels and did a wonderful job helping me get it all mopped up. He's turning into such a thoughtful, helpful boy. 

(And he cracks me up on a daily basis. Lately it's been his imitation of "what does the fox say?")

Big miss: I had a patient pee on me today!! Eww! It was awful. But...

Hit: Michael was so wonderful and brought me a new pair of shoes and socks on his lunch break, which was super amazing and thoughtful because he only has a half hour. I love him. 

Another big hit: I got to have a good chat with my best friend. I can't wait to see her again!

So how is your week going?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday Five 10/4

Another week, another [few] dollar[s]. I can't lie, payday Fridays are probably my favorite Fridays. Anticipating a day off and money? A few of my favorite things! Sign me up!

And now, my Friday thoughts. 

1. "Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." Albert Camus
So, I'm not a ZOMGfall person at all. I haven't been counting down days until ermagerd PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE!! and pumpkin-fy all the things! But even though I'm a summer girl at heart, I had to snap a picture of the leaves changing colors at my school. Camus' quote above sums up the beauty of autumn. 

2. Los Gordos for dinner. Muy delicioso! I always love a good taqueria meal and Horchataaaaaa! 
Since I'm la gordita, I took a bite of the enchilada before remembering that I'm a blogger now and I should take a picture first, heh. (Pics or it didn't happen, that's the motto)

3. In case you were wondering, horchata >>>> Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Any day. 

4. Now that I'm getting into a groove with the schedule of my school, my kindergartener's school, and work for Michael and me, I finally made some time to get my run on.

I decided to start back at the beginning. Again. Patience, young grasshopper, I tell myself. Otherwise I'll end up overdoing it and stupidly injuring myself. Been there, have that t-shirt. 

I finished week one of the beginner 5k (but I'm going to call it base-building, k? Sounds less running-n00bish) in my Run Less, Run Faster book, and although the run segments were only a minute long (x4), the little bit of soreness I have indicates that it's probably the right level to begin again. Onwards to week 2!

5. Little miss J is amazing me with her progress every hour of every day. She's quickly approaching nine months, and she is desperately trying to learn to walk (in order to catch up with big brother, no doubt). She's becoming a kissing pro (okay, maybe she just smacks her lips together a lot after we give her kisses, but it's still darling) and she's clapping and high-fiving. Just growing up too darn fast!

Meanwhile, little man S is counting to 100 any time he can and asking how to spell everything. Pretty soon, Mike and I will be losing our "spell-things-out" secret code. We'll have to find another way to secretly communicate in front of the kids. 

Telepathy works, right? I sure hope so!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What I ate Wednesday - not cat food. Promise. It's avocado tuna salad.

Would you like to see a bad picture of ugly food?

You came to the right place!

Something I've been trying to do in meal planning is to try new combinations of staples I usually have. So when I stumbled upon a recipe for avocado tuna salad in The New Rules of Lifting for Women, it was a perfect fit for this criteria. I had to try it. 

Avocados? Check. 
Tuna? Check. I usually have a plethera of cans. 
Tomatoes and black beans? Of course. 

And here it is, in all its glory:
Avocado tuna salad. No wonder the book doesn't have pictures of this! I'm not too sure how one could make it prettier and more Pinteresting. Maybe layering it in a Mason jar?

Avocado-tuna salad (from The New Rules for Lifting for Women)
1/2 Hass avocado, peeled and cubed
1/2 small cucumber, peeled and diced (I didn't have this, so I subbed in about 2 Tbsp minced red onion)
1/2 fresh tomato, diced
1/2 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
2 oz chunk light tuna in water, drained (1/2 6oz can, drained)
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil

Mix everything together until combined.

Verdict: It was interesting using avocados and black beans, which I generally think of as Tex-Mex ingredients, with more Italian style flavors like balsamic vinegar, oregano, and basil. Then throwing tuna into the mix... eh. The flavor was okay, but not so delicious that I want to make it again. It broke me out of the tuna-and-mayo rut, but maybe I like that rut!

So if you're looking to try an offbeat tuna salad recipe, this one might be right up your alley! For me, it's alright, but I think I'll keep my avocado on my toast

Happy Wednesday! Linking up with 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...