Friday, May 31, 2013

Confessional Friday - Almost June!

Hello Friends,

Good lord, it is Friday. I am ready for the pool, a good long run, and and sleeping in :) But for now, it is time for a lovely link up with mommy-to-be Lesley at A Blonde Ambition. Here we go:

1. I confess that I have been counting down until the end of school for 28 school days. Any we only have 5 left. That is ONE WEEK!!

2. I confess that I tried out a new recipe last night for chocolate-chocolate chunk cookies and ate 2 3 of them. They are yummy, and they have some wheat flour & sweet potato in them. Win. I will post soon, no worries.

3. I confess that I am making yet another weekend road trip today to visit the man. I will be so glad when A. and I live in the same city. This long distance thing is just too much for much too long.

4. I confess that I did not run last night. I did a 45 strength training workout and went home. My foot has been hurting for about 10 days now, so I just decided to rest it. Sad, but needed. A. said I am a real runner when I have an injury. I tol him I was a real runner when I ran a marathon.

best running partner. ever.
5. I confess that I have a really exciting announcement this week! Be sure to check back on Sunday!


Monday, May 27, 2013

New Orleans Weekend!

Hello and welcome back from a long weekend. I took off on Friday, so I had a really long weekend and enjoyed every minute of it. A and i had the most amazing time visiting with family and exploring New Orleans together.

We have been to NOLA together before, but this time we planned a few different activities to try something new. We visited with family on Friday afternoon and then headed over to New Orleans, where there was a mix up with our hotel room. Due to an overbooking issue, we were gifted with a significant upgrade (I told A is was karma ;), clearly a sign about the weekend we would have. Here are some of our snapshots and memories from the last four days!

Happy to be celebrating Memorial Day weekend with my military man :)
A. may have been slightly embarrassed about the food I packed for the weekend. I come prepared with trail mix, protein powder, fruit, and nut butters. Hey, I like to snack!
Starting our Haunted History Tour. You can tell one of us was more excited than the other...
 We signed up for a Haunted History Tour of the French Quarters and didn't know what to expect. I was slightly concerned it would be a little hokey, but it turned out to be awesome! We learned a lot about the history of the city, as well as some incredible stories. A and I agreed it was a really fun experience.
Can I live in an apartment like this??

Oldest consecutive bar in the United States - serving since 1772.
Apparently it has some ghosts too.

And we found one!!! Just kidding #lovethisphotobomb
We ate dinner at this incredible restaurant called Eat, recommended to us by a friend/local. I loved the location and decor: it had wood floors, pale blue walls, and brick accents. It was also BYOB :) We enjoyed traditional southern soul food, including friend green tomatoes, greens, and chicken and dumplings.

The next morning, we walked down to Cafe Du Monde for the classic beignet and cafe au lait, which we enjoyed in Jackson Square.

After some shopping and walking, we met up with a friend for brunch at Stanley's, right in Jackson Square. I had scrambled eggs, wheat toast, and Cajun potatoes. A. had poached eggs with fried soft shell crab and oysters - only in Louisiana!
What a view!

On top of all the walking, we ran 10 miles on Saturday morning and did a major gym session this morning. I had to balance all that southern food! We continued to enjoy the city and I was sad to come back home this evening... what a perfect weekend!

I hope everyone enjoyed their Memorial Day weekend. Thanks to everyone who serves, we are so blessed.


Friday, May 24, 2013

Confessional Friday: Memorial Day Weekend Addition

Happy FRIDAY! I hope everyone is settling into some exciting plans for the long weekend. As always, thanks to the lovely Leslie at A Blonde Ambition for hosting. Do yourself a favor and go check out her adorable baby bump pictures. I pray I look that chic if I ever have a child.

1. I confess that I woke up thinking about food. This could stem from the fact that my apartment still smells like the banana bread I baked last night. BUT (victory!!) I am not eating banana bread right now. I am eating protein pancakes and a banana. Hannah: 1, Banana Bread: 0.

2. I confess that I started packing on Wednesday night for my trip to New Orleans this weekend. A girl has to be prepared. In fact, Becky at Olives 'n Wine recommends packing a week early, so really I was running behind schedule.

3. I confess that I am ridiculously excited about going to New Orleans this weekend. While A and I always have fantastic weekends together, it will be nice to get away a bit. I'm usually willing to trade my farmer's market for beignets and coffee :)

4. I confess that I announced to my first graders that my mother is coming to visit next month. They were concerned that I hadn't seen her and we bonded over missing our moms. Thank heaven the school year is ending in {9} days, I am becoming a 6 year old.

5. I confess that I am leaving early for my trip because I need to stop at the Kate Spade Outlet. They have 40% off your purchase, plus 20% off handbags, plus I get a teacher discount. I suggest you run there, asap.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Ohmygoodness, this weekend was lovely for so many reasons!

1.On Friday evening, I attended my Teach for America Alumni Induction. I am 14 days away from completing my 2 years as a corp member! Time has flown and I have thoroughly enjoyed 'teaching in the heart' of Texas. The ceremony was lovely and we had so much fun remembering the our adventures. Our city mayor surprised us by attending as well, which was encouraging :)

My hansom date, who came complete with roses and a new tie. 
My dear friend Laura and I, holding our diplomas.
Sweet friends Alex & Katie. We loved our complimenting colored dressed :)
2. The bf and I had an absolutely lazy Saturday and it was perfect. This was our first Saturday without work since Christmas and we were in heaven. I woke up before Aaron and made these Buttermilk Biscuits by Jenn over at Peas and Crayons. I halved the recipe and substituted half whole wheat flour, which was the perfect amount for 2 people (I know, I need to step away from the wheat flour). We even enjoyed it with all my fancy jams &  honey that I bought in London. After breakfast we worked out, ran errands, and went out for frozen yogurt (major guilty pleasure). 
OL snicker-doodle & peanut butter, topped with chocolate chips,
granola, and a drizzle of hot fudge. Yumm.

3. I finally saw the Great Gatsby after finishing the book for the 5th time. I was worried that the movie wouldn't do the book justice, but I loved it. Aaron says he finds my constant chatter during movies endearing, but I need to tone it down before we get kicked out of the theater. I just get so excited. Ooops.

4. We made some amazing Greek chicken burgers, served in pita bread with veggies and yogurt sauce. I promise to post the recipe this week.

5. 10 mile, crazy hill run this morning. We woke up early and got a great start. Even though the temperature was over 80* and the hills were horrible, we loved it. Summer training, here I come!!

Are you one of those people who has to read the book first,like me? Did you like Gatsby? 
Do you do your weekend long runs on Sunday or Saturday? Why? 

Hope your weekend was fabulous!


Monday, May 13, 2013

Weekend Review!

Hello all & Happy Monday!

Ohmygoodness, I think I speak for teachers everywhere when I say "Can summer come now?"! This weekend was a beautiful taste of what will come and now I am anxious for the real thing. Fun parts of my weekend included:

- An amazing dinner of bourbon-honey salmon, squash, and wild rice (cooked by my man) on Friday night.We got the pre-marinated salmon at the market and it was wonderful. I normally like simple flavors on fish, but this was perfect.

- Saturday morning farmers market, where I picked up kale (always), broccoli, squash, and broccoli sprouts. Anyone ever tried broccoli sprouts? This was my first encounter and I was pleasantly surprised. The farmers market is our weekend tradition. We get coffee, shop around the booths, and sample goodies. Its the perfect was to start the weekend, I think :)
We are in workout clothes because we went to the gym after :)

- Saturday dinner with a fabulous couple at Hugo's. We love this restaurant and I always order their cornbread that is yummy (and probably horrible for me). I sampled bites of cornbread, lentil cakes topped with guacamole, plantains, and a pineapple margarita. Afterwards we went to are friends' house and enjoyed some wine and laughs.

-8 mile run on Sunday morning at 10 am. If you live in Texas, you know this means: the weather was over 80* and sunny. It brought flashbacks of marathon training in the heat last summer. I can't wait to start again in June!

What is your favorite weekend ritual?
Do you have any training plans for summer?


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Dark Chocolate-Banana Muffins

I had some browning bananas on my counter & a serious sweet tooth on Thursday night, so I decided to whip up some muffins. Being a health-obsessed baker, I wanted to make this as yummy and healthy as possible. This recipe was born, incorporating my love of chocolate with some healthy add in's (banana, apple sauce, wheat flour, and Greek yogurt).

I started with a liquid base of mashed banana, apple sauce, Greek yogurt, and one egg. For dry ingredients  I used a combination of wheat & white flour, which provided a hearty muffin texture, but also a nice rise. I also used unsweetened cocoa powder to give the muffins a serious chocolate flavor rather than a banana flavor.

Whenever I cook with wheat flour, I use a bit more leavening ingredient to insure the dough rises. For these muffins, I mixed baking soda and powder. I chose dark chocolate chips for added richness, which meant I only needed a touch of sugar. The results were fantastic! Talk about a healthy way to satisfy your sweet tooth. I recommend them right out of the oven ( mmm... .melty chocolate chips), or microwaved for 30 seconds. Yum :o)

Dark Chocolate-Banana Muffins
(Makes 12)
2  large bananas, well mashed
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce (I used those single-serving cups from Trader Joes)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon EACH  baking soda and baking powder
1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt (once again, the individual 6 oz. cups) 
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, plus more for topping

Mash bananas with apple sauce, egg, and sugar; set aside. Whisk flours,cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda/powder together. Combine wet and dry ingredients, then gently fold in the Greek yogurt and chocolate chips. The mixture should appear almost fluffy. Line muffin pan with 12 paper cups (optional), and lightly spray with oil. Fill cups 2/3 full and sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top. Bake muffins at 375* for about 18 minutes. Check with a toothpick - it should come out clean. Be careful not to over bake, as chocolate muffins don't become brown. Let the muffins cool for several minutes, then store in a container (I keep mine in the refrigerator, though I am not sure its necessary). 

These are best enjoyed warm, so eat them right out of the oven, or briefly microwave before serving :) 


Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday Confessionals

Hello & Happy Friday (thank god). It's Friday and I thought I would join Leslie at A Blonde Ambition for some good old fashion confessions.

1. I confess that I have worked a total of two full days this week (Today will make three), and I am over it. It is that time of year when kids go crazy in the classroom. Fellow school teachers out there, I raise my glass to you.

2. I confess that I did not follow my "salad a day" motto during my trip to London. In fact, I often counted quiche as a vegetable. I even found my self asking "is an apricot pastry a fruit?". Which is why I am eating like this right now:
Can I earn back veggie servings?
3. I confess that I am ridiculously excited to see my bf this weekend. Seriously, being in such different times zones and so far apart was hard! I can't wait to see him after work today.

4. I confess that I am not wearing my school colors for "wear a college shirt to work day" today. I am rocking my man's alma mater instead, because lets be real: The SEC is more fun than my liberal arts degree.

Have a happy Friday!