Friday, August 31, 2012

The Most Delicious Supper known to man.

Chicken & Couscous.

1 cup cooked chicken, shredded
1 medium-large tomato
1/2 onion
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup couscous, prepared
garlic powder

Dice onion & tomato into bite-sized pieces. In a sauce pan, sautee the onion & tomato in 1/4 cup water for 2-4 minutes. When onions are softening, add chicken until heated through and remove from heat. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.
Place prepared couscous on plate  & spinkle with cheese. Top with chicken mixture.
Serves 1.

This is DELICIOUS!!! The flavors are fantastic together and really meld well!!
This also is a filling meal that takes very litle prep or cook time I literally spent 5 minutes preparing and cooking. I keep home-canned chicken in my pantry or freezer, so it takes just a minnute to throw this together. This is a perfect meal for summer when tomatoes and onions are bountiful from the garden. I x'ed this recipe by 4 or 5 and made several servings that I put in tupperware to freeze for lunches or suppers on the go.

Enjoy!! :)

Totally Talkable Thursday.

1. I have yet to figure out why anyone would ever design an article of clothing without pockets. I have bought clothing that I will never wear for the sole reason that it has pockets! I am sure that at some point, some person in the US is going to drop their phone and sue the company of the clothes they are wearing because they are pocket less.

2. Chai tea is pretty much an exceptional mood booster. I have yet to meet a cup I didn't like. I have to say, Starbucks has nailed their iced chai recipe. I've contemplated working there just to get their recipe.

3. This week my brother had a non-injury wreck after he blew a tire in his vehicle. Ya'll have any idea how expensive insurance is for a 15 year old male?? Add a couple of zeroes and you have the adjusted number post- wreck. Seeing as it wasn't even his fault, I feel super bad for him. Praise Jesus he was unharmed!!

4. Everytime I get ready to say the words "I like Country music"; they play a Jason Aldean song and I quickly change my mind. And then Jason Aldean goes and writes "Tattoos on this Town" and "Fly over States" and I immediately realize that I don't like Country music. I LOVE it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I'm a Runner. Yes, I'm Slow.

I got this running survey from Hanna @ Bouffe e Bambini.
 (Wanna talk amazing weightloss story and super-Momma?? Okay, we'll save it for another post, but go check out her blog!)
I thought it would be a fun thing to do now- and then again in a year or so and see if any of the answers change. I am so new to running, I am sure I will change considerably with time!!

Running Survey:

Are you a morning, afternoon or evening runner?
I promise not to be this undecisive on every question, but I would have to say this is a tie between morning and evening. I LOVE going for sunrise runs and getting in some serious miles before my day starts. But I equally love a good run while dusk settles and all the crickets and cicadas start singing in the evenings.

Solo or Pack Runner??
I love running by myself because I can just get wrapped up in my own little world with my thoughts. I enjoy running with other people, but I am always terribly self-concious about slowing them down or not keeping their pace. I would also have to say that this one is a tie. :) I get in the mood for solo runs, but I also really love running with others, especially my sister Tabitha. She's the best running partner to ever run the planet.

Favorite Post-Run Snack??
Definitely a power smoothie. I love a light and refreshing smoothie to refuel and rehydrate after a run.

Favorite Race??
To date the only race I've run is a 5k, so this one is hard to answer.

Do you wear a Garmin? How do you track your miles?No garmin. It's in the budget, and I'm too much of a tightwad to cheat on my budget and just get one. (Christmas and my birthday are right around the corner, and I will love you forever if you want to get me one!!) I use the runtastic app on my Iphone, which works well but it starting to be a bit unreliable..........ahhh.

What is your least favorite race?
The one where I don't meet my goal. (Not what that question means, I know.)

Where is your favorite medal from?
Medal? Medal? They give those out to the GOOD runners. I don't qualify!! :)

How long have you been a runner?
 About 8 months. I started transitioning from walking to running in January of this year. It has been amazing to see what my body can actually do!!!

Do you run with your engagement/wedding ring on??
My engagemnent ring is worth about $14,000 so it wouldn't be the smartest or safest thing to run with it, but I do anyway. I love it too much to part with it. I kid, I kid. I don't have an engagement/wedding ring, so this question doesn't actually apply to me. (yet.)

Where is your favorite place to run??
OUTSIDE. One of the best things about running is it allows you to see the world on your own two legs. It's like traveling on a motorcycle. It's just you and this big, amazing world. Running outside is so fun. I love running in the city, country, mountains, desert, beach- everywhere!!! :)

Do you use Gu?
Gold Underwear? Green Umbrella? What?? No, I don't use Gu. I haven't ever tried one. I am usually a wuss when it comes to things that have a wierd texture, so I'm not sure how well I would like them. I do plan to try them at some point because I am sure they would be useful on longer runs.

What do you drink to stay hydrated?
Water. Water, and some more water.

What do you take with you on a run?
My lipgloss, some money, car keys, baby photos of myself, corndogs, bug spray, a swiss army knife, an extra pair of shoes and a smart car. I'm a real heavy runner. haha.
Just my phone. My phone is multi-functional because it serves as my ipod and my mile tracker while also providing the safety net of having 911 at my finger tips at all times. I refuse to run without my phone for safety reasons, especially because I run in different places all the time, and I'm by myself more often than not.

What is your favorite type of Cross-Training?
This is also a tie between the Turbo Fire Hiit workouts and my weight sessions. I LOVE burning it up in the weight room, but I also relish the Turbo Fire burn. :)

What brand of shoes do you wear?
I originally wore Asics, but switched to Brooks this last pair that I bought. They are both comfortable, but I wouldn't say I'm married to either pair.

Do you wear a hat when you run?
Not unless it's raining.

What is your favorite running temperature?
40-50. Cool, but doesn't hurt your lungs.

Any big races coming up?
I'll be running my 3rd 5k this coming Saturday where I expect to have a major PR and am training for my 1st 1/2 marathon in November!! :)

Now your turn! Runners- ready, set, GO!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Rain in Spain falls Mainly on the Plain.

I was one happy camper waking up to cloudy skies and a drizzle on Friday! Yay! Something about stormy weather puts my mood into over-drive!!

After work on Friday I was finally feeling almost back to my regular self. Yay for kicking that nasty bug! When I got home from work I couldn't wait to get out in the rain for a good hard run!

Not totally soaked.....
When I got home from my run I was feeling good. My legs felt pretty dead through most of the run, but I didn't take it easy on them. I finished with all my miles under 10 minutes- woot!!
I should move to England because I could run in the rain every blessed day.
Post run I decided to have an omelet and fruit. Good idea, but apparently my omelet making skills are not as sharp as I thought they were.. Ahem.

Rain or shine for your runs?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Pass the chicken noodle soup, please.

This has been one looong week battling a severe head cold/the flu. Since I work in an office alone, I didn't have to call in sick out of thoughtfulness to other's health, so everyday was a battle with myself- how tough am I?? Each day I went to work I fully planned on going home at noon! I am proud to say that I got in my full 40 hours this week.
I am tough as nails.
I realize that sometimes being healthy and taking care of yourself is NOT pushing, and taking that sick day, but for me this was a major accomplishment. I am a wimp and I never push myself. I cough twice and call in sick. So this week I showed myself that I could be tough if I need to be!!
I have improved as the week as gone on and today feel pretty much 100%. Unless I swallow.

Thursday was the worst day and when I got home all I wanted was soup and toast and my bed. I nearly cried when I found out that there was not a slice of bread within the four walls of this house. While I diluted my soup with my tears, my sweet brother took the bread off his sandwich he had packed for work the next day, toasted it and served it to me in bed. And then I cried REAL tears. :)

And yes, I made absolutely no plans for the weekend and I fully intend to sleep and inhale garlic and slurp up chicken broth until this thing is kicked.
(Oh, no plans except work tomorrow. And a run with Natalie. And go to church.)

Despite being sick I stuck with my training schedule and got in every scheduled work out!! Two runs, two strength session and a cross training day. Natalie & I ran on the hottest windiest night of the week. Whew. We had a NASTY head wind that pretty much died as soon as we turned around. :)

You have not lived until you have run alongside cows. Seriously, a bellow of moos is the best cheer-team ever.

Post-fuel smoothies are a friend of my sore throat!

I am living up my Friday night like any normal girl would- run. refuel. sleep.

Do you work-out when you are sick?

Home remedy or anti-biotic?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Totally Talkative Thursday.

Every Thursday; 4 things you need to know before you die.

1. My OCD backfired on me last night. My iphone told me I had an update available for my pinterest app. As a general rule of thumb, my iphone will self destruct if I do not update the apps immediately upon seeing that little red number pop up. Since the update I now officially hate pinterest on my iphone. Be warned- don't accept the update no matter how annoying and life-threatening that red number may be. 

2. I am admittedly the most uncreative person on the planet but I do have a soft spot for hand made/custom designed greeting cards. I purposely avoid craft fairs because I cannot afford to buy every adorable card I fall in love with. I can't bear to part with the really cute ones, so they don't even ever get filled out or sent.

3. Speaking spanish with the wait staff at Mexican resturants can be entertaining. Today my waiter had the case of the down in the dumps and needed a listening ear. I'm glad to oblige fella! Hope your land lord evicts your noisy neighbors so you can sleep and not look tired all the time. :)

4. While I am generally not a clutzy person, I had more than my fair share of oopsies yesterday. My lunch date with a friend involved knocking over a broom and hitting my head on a hanging light fixture. Before the afternoon was out I also couldn't get my car out of park, dropped a pack of gum in the toilet and broke a pair of sunglasses.  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

1/2 Marathon Training Begins!!

So, so, so--- I'm getting ready to get a little crazy!
This week I officially began training for a 1/2 marathon!!
I'm so excited! Right now I am focusing on training my mind even more than my body. I KNOW I can run it, but I need to KNOW it with everything I am- my mind, my soul & my body. It's a race you run in your mind- and I fully plan to run it and run it well!

In my typical OCD fashion I spent several hours online googling local races before I finally settled on the Pilgrim Pacer in Shawnee Park, KS. I have friends who live in Shawnee Park area, so I've run a few runs in that area and it's beautiful.

The 1/2 is on November 10th and I am already praying for good weather I am praying for overcast skies, 50* and no rain. I guess I should also specify that I'm hoping for no snow as well. :)

I am using Hal Higdon's 1/2 marathon training plan to train for this 1/2. I don't think I need a specific training plan, but I want to be really focused, stay on track, taper well and make sure I get the right ratio of rest and cross training. Having it all out on paper for me is super motivating. Maybe it's my OCD but just looking at my freshly marked calendar of training runs give me a blast of endorphins. 

When I originally decided to run this 1/2 I immediately started bouncing around times in my head for how fast I wanted to finish. I've really vacillated between setting a goal time and not because I can see a lot of pros and cons to both.
In my two 5ks this summer I set a goal time for both of them; one of them I met and the other I didn't. I have only been running for 8 months and it is still work for me. It's not smooth gliding and shut-my-brain off and think about what-ever-I-want-to. It's put one foot in front of the other and try and make it to the next mail box. I'm my own worst critic and I am always telling myself I need to run faster, further, with better form, more often.
Balancing this with believing in myself and pushing myself to my limits is something I'm still learning. It's a tough tight-rope. :)
I have decided to set a goal to finish the 1/2 marathon sub 150 minutes/2.5 hours.

Honestly deciding to run this 1/2 marathon is several miles outside of my comfort zone.
Aren't runners supposed to be skinny?
Aren't they supposed to be fast?
Aren't they supposed to have cute, matching workout gear?

Maybe. I don't know. But I do know that
 Runners are strong. Runners are positive. Runners reach for the stars.


Have you run a 1/2 marathon?

What was the hardest part?

What is the best advice you give someone training for one?

What color socks will make you run the fastest?

Monday, August 13, 2012

11 Mile Run.

Sometimes the weather is just so perfect I could eat it.
Today's run was scheduled for 3pm with my friend Natalie and I was a little bit nervous to see just how stinking hot it might be. I forgot that fall is around the corner and today was a great reminder! It was about 83* with a good breeze and absolutely beautiful.
Bring on Fall!!

My friend Natalie is a veteran runner and I am lucky enough to be able to mostly keep up with her on our runs......we work together and during lunch the other day we decided to go running together since we are basically neighbors. (If you live in the country, anyone who lives within 10 miles of you is your neighbor. Which still adds up to only 2.5 people) hopefully she doesn't get absolutely sick of me from work AND running together. :) She is a super great Mom, laughs at all my corny jokes and feeds me pumpkin pancakes. What more can you ask for in a friend??

Post-run smiles!!

 Today's run turned into a brisk walk, but it was great to get in several good miles. When we got back, my runtastic app told us we had accomplished 6 miles, but the trip meter on Natalie's car told her only 5 miles.........I was just sliggghtly tempted to delete the app out of frustration!
I haven't had any problems with my app so far, so this really surprises me. I read a review today that said that after tracking 4 miles, the app performance starts to decline, so I might split my runs into two sessions on the app to avoid this problem in the future.
In the meantime, is it okay if I just say we ran 11 miles today?? :)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Just an average weekend.

Saturday morning was the PERFECT morning for a run! It was 54 degrees and absolutely amazing out. Tabitha and I got in a quick 3 mile run at a 10 min/mile average before I hurried to meet up with my friend Natalie for another 4 miles. It was quite a bit warmer and the sun was fully up during our run but it was still beautiful! The cooler weather this week has been a definite relief! I forgot to take a picture of Natalie and I after our run. I'm not sure why but I'm pretty sure it had something to do with her dog licking my leg. Animals. :)

When I got home from my run I noticed how much laundry I had piled up to do and was instantly coerced into taking a short day trip to Omaha to get in some shopping and sibling time. Laundry can wait when there are back-to-school Target sales to go bankrupt on very wisely take advantage of.

I am seriously the most blessed girl in the world to have such amazing friends. AND they are related to me. These three hotties are my siblings and we have a blast together. I have yet to have a bad day with them in my life!!
Just think- they have to put up with me and my bad jokes forever. hehehe.

I happened to see this while we were stopped at a red light and I had to get a picture. My sister was sleeping and she woke up to me chanting "light-stay-red-light-stay-red-light-stay-red" so I could get a picture before the light turned........
The nice gentleman didn't really appear to appreciate me taking a picture of him or his truck or his sign. I was glad that I turned and we parted the bullets for the bad guys dude.

Shopping makes you hungry, or maybe it was the 7 miles we ran that morning, but lunch was on que pretty much as soon as we got into town. I am a horrible decision maker and extremely fortunate that when it comes to food my sister does not mess around- she knows her stuff.
Hu-hot is Tabitha's favorite place to eat. It doesn't matter where we are, if you ask here where she wants to eat, she will always, always say "hu-hot". We could be in the middle of a cornfield and she would still say it. It's not my favorite but I do have to say, it's some seriously addicting stirfry. I didn't get any noodles but just loaded my plate full of beans, onions, mushrooms and meat. So delicious. I did have to fight back some minor anger because when they dumped my bowls of ingredients on the grill, they spilled about 1/2 cup of onions on the floor. Dude, don't short me my onions.  

I had to include this picture of my sister because she is seriously gorgeous. Wow. I have assigned myself to be her personal body guard at all times. It's a double barreled shotgun keeping the boys at bay.

One of the only downers about country-dwelling is that the nearest froyo establishment is about 90 miles away. I know you are thinking 'poor deprived girl' and you are SO right. It's a miracle that I can ever smile. :) The only remedy I have found to this problem is to vow to never pass a froyo shop without partaking. I am devoted to keeping my vows, to say the very least.
Mocha + brownie bites + raspberries + granola. And a scoop of the little fruity jelly-pod thingies. I know, I know, that's not what they are called! The really funny thing is that I NEVER used to get them until I went for froyo with my friend Grace. She loves them and left me snitch some from her bowl. She got me hooked. The only thing I actually can't stand them mixed with the froyo- I like them plain. Weird, I know.

Omaha is not the brightest or best of cities but it has become a major draw since my sister married an Omaha boy and changed her address to match his. They also have one of the cutest and happiest babies I have ever laid eyes on so they have scored even more brownie points in my book.
We met up with them for a couple games of bowling which are never fair since my brother in law totally dominates. Oh well- I'll let you bowl a couple of my frames if I get to hold to chubster a little bit longer! :)

It was a great week-end finished off by a thought provoking sermon this morning at church. I am always grateful to have extra time on Sunday mornings to focus on what God is teaching me and showing me and how He is shaping me to be in His image. The sermon this morning was all about attitudes and our hearts and our faith............if you stripped away everything in life except our hearts-- what would we have. If you took away the running, and family, and froyo and working and gardens and laughing and flat tires and nephews and everything good, bad or otherwise; where is your heart with God?
That's what really matters.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Mi Familia!

For Tabitha's birthday we went out to eat at the restaurant of the birthday girl's choice- Mexican. The hostess put us in the private party room because they were swamped and had no other space for a party of 10. My brothers were delighted to be semi-removed from the public eye-- this means we can be as loud as possible, right!??! Haha!!
"Family Dinner" in my family is outrageously loud and funny and guaranteed to include at least 2 spills. We also pretty much exhaust the word random when it comes to our conversations. Today we wore out just a few topics; the Great Wall in China, Olympic swimming, french dressing, fur bearing, hybrid tomatoes, flavored lemonade and current male hairstyles; not necessarily in that order.

Birthday Girl!!

Lunch. I always manage to pick the most delicious selection on the menu with the most difficult name to pronounce. I literally butchered the name of this dish, but it was worth it.

After dinner we hooked a ride with my brother Seth to continue the deep conversation we began during lunch about the length and weight of our favorite flavor of licorice. Only the important stuff- right?? He works full time in construction/cement work and his car was full of miscellaneous equipment and work toys.  My sister and I decided that they also doubled quite nicely as hair accessories.

Who needs a head band to keep the hair out of your eyes?? This one has built in FM radio and drowns out unwanted conversation. Double bonus in my book.

Hair sticks are a thing of the past. Blunt lead pencils are the way to go.

A little bit of volleyball, swimming and some watermelon and we're ready to put this weekend in the books!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Friends don't let Friends Workout Alone.

Mi amiga Gracie is in the hood!! I love you Gracie!

It's shaping up to be a super cool weekend. Just in time too because I was ready to just take it slow for a coupla days! Grace is amazing and a super sweet friend! She is also super close to my sister Tabitha and the three of us have a blast hanging out together! Our conversations would definitely win gold in the Olympic "Most Random" competition, but they really are a barrel of laughs.
Today we all ignored our alarms in hopes of sleeping in until the very last minute possible before we headed into town for a late breakfast/early lunch at our favorite local coffeehaus.
We ate and gabbed and had a fabulous time solving all the problems of the world, er...........mentally chasing our tails. Super chill time!

After coffee time it was workout time! It's always more fun to kick your workout with a friend! We smashed out an awesome 20 minute HIIT!
Teeth check........almonds + photo shoots don't usually go over so hot.

Pink, Gray, Sweaty & Short. The best kind of friends!! :)

Smoothies for supper. The over abundance of raspberries in my freezer are rapidly disappearing. Whew, gonna have to restock because a raspberry shortage would be completely earth shattering.

Ya'll have Saturday night plans? It's movie time here!