Friday, May 30, 2014

5 on Friday

Hello all and Happy Friday! I must admit, the work week was pleasantly short this week. I think I could be a 4 on/3 off kind of girl ;)

Linking up with Natasha and friends for a little 5 on Friday!

1. This Bag
I saw this purse at Ann Taylor last Friday, but the salesperson said it wasn't part of the 40% off sale. I wasn't willing to pay $118 for it, so I went home. The nest day, AR had to pick something up at a different mall. I took him in to see the bag and the salesperson there said it was 40% off! At the register, the manager said it was a mistake, it was not on sale, but they would honor the price because an employee has quoted it to me. STEAL! I rushed out with my pink bag for $70. Love it.

2. This granola.
I made the Law Student's Wife's Chocolate Almond Granola last night. my home smelled amazing. AR flew in around 9 and we ate about a cup of it before bed. It is amazing.
Chocolate Almond Olive Oil Granola with Coconut and Cherries. BEST granola I've ever tried!
Photo by the Law Student's Wife. Not me.

3. This tanner. 
I know I promised to review tan towels this weekend, but I'm going to wait. While I already said how much I loved the lotion, I have only used the wipes once. So I am giving it another week before I tell you what I think :)

4. These shoes.
Saucony got me again. I grabbed a pair of last season's Kinvaras to try for my speed work and I am in love. I used to run in a lighter shoe, but once I started doing distance, I moved to something more supportive. While I still love my Saucony Triumphs, these are perfect for speed work and shorter runs.

And they are neon coral. Who can beat that?

5. This smoothie. 
Anyone else on a major smoothie kick now that it is hot out? Sometimes I add a bunch of different things, but other days I keep it simple. On Wednesday, I made my own version of a strawberry milkshake: frozen strawberries, ice, almond milk, and protein powder. It was so so yummy.

Have an excellent weekend!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Peach Cobbler & Memorial Day

What an excellent Memorial Day weekend! I hope everyone spent time with loved ones and enjoyed the holiday while remembering those who serve. AR has 8 years of military service, both of my grandpas served, and several of my uncles. I have much to be thankful for :)

I am dropping in before work to share an amazing peach cobbler recipe with you. I made this for a BBQ on Sunday evening and it was such a hit. Every single bite was eaten!

If you are a cobbler-virgin, let me explain: Cobbler is a warm syrupy fruit dish (like pie filling almost, but not as sweet), with a cake-like topping. De-lish! 

This was the first weekend that peaches were available at the farmer's market. I was slightly concerned that they wouldn't be sweet enough, but they were perfect. My recommendation for a perfect cobbler? Let the peaches get very ripe. Leave them on the counter for a day and let them get nice and soft. 

You can certainly leave the peal on the peaches for this dish. The fuzziness goes away, but the skins don't look very pretty. I really like the flavor the skins add, but when I make them for other people, I take the skins off for appearance sake.

Peach Cobbler
Adapted from Southern Living Magazine
Serves 10

1/2 c. salted butter
1 c. all purpose flour
1.5 c. sugar, divided - to taste
1 T.baking powder
1 c. milk
4 c. fresh peaches, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 t. cinnamon - to taste
Whipped cream and vanilla ice cream

Place butter in baking dish (either 13 x. 9 inch pan, or 7 individual 1.5 c. ramekins). Place dish(es) into 375* oven until butter is melted.

Mix flour, 3/4 c. sugar, and baking powder. Slowly stir in milk until just moistened. Pour evenly over melted butter, but do not stir. (I use a measuring scoop to help me to this evenly!).

Bring remaining 3/4 c. sugar, peaches, and lemon juice to a boil, stirring. Pour peaches evenly over batter, do not stir. Sprinkle with cinnamon as desired.

Places dishes onto a baking sheet (in case of spills) and bake at 375* for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately, or let cool. When ready to serve, place in a 350* oven until heated. Serve with ice cream and whipped cream.


Sugar: I put "to taste" because this depends on your peaches and your personal tastes. My peaches were sweet, so I only used about 1 cup of sugar total this weekend. Other times I have used more. Taste your peaches, remember that they get sweeter as they bake, and adjust accordingly! 


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Weekend Recap: Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

I left work 2 hours early on Friday - woo hoo! AR and  I  went to the gym for a while, made a stop at the running store, and then went to dinner with AR's brother. We walked to a place near-by and I enjoyed a plate of vegetable sides: spinach- quinoa risotto, roasted green beans, edamame succotash,  and okra.

Saturday morning started with the farmer's market (always). It was the first weekend of the summer for fresh peaches! We grabbed greens, peaches, and whole wheat bread. We also got coffee and avocado-egg sandwiches for breakfast.

We walked home, packed lunches, and went for a day of hiking on the Chatahoochee River! We had an amazing afternoon of hiking and picnicking on the water.

All of the walking sapped out energy. We made noodle bowls: chicken meatballs, rice noodles, shredded carrots, and chopped lettuce. Served with a warm fresno-chili sauce. It was so yummy!  We finished out night with a movie and frozen yogurt :)

I woke up extra-early on Sunday morning to get a longer run in before the heat got bad. Marathon training over the summer is so much fun (not).

Now I am on to a peach cobbler and roasted vegetable pasta salad for today's BBQ. Happy holiday!


Friday, May 23, 2014

5 on Friday- be back later!

So I may have missed the 5 on Friday boat... Fail. I'll be back later to join the fun, but for now, Happy Friday!!

1. I got a new purse that I I'm obsessed with.
2. I'm going hiking this weekend and cannot even wait!!
3. I went out on Wednesday, which is so unlike me. But I'm thinking it may become a thing ;)
4. Atlanta public transit makes me concerned. And I take it one a day.
5. I did my hair every day this week and that is utterly shocking for me.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Chicago Marathon Training Plan

Marathon Training has arrived again! AR and I are running our third marathon in Chicago on October 12, 2014. As usual, I am excited and concerned. We all know my real motivation to do this is the extra food I'll consume over the next four months.  Just kidding.
Honey Stinger products become a food group for me.
For out first two marathons, AR and I  used Hal Higdon's novice program. This program gets us up to a high of 37 miles/week, which is really all that our schedules can handle some times. It provides two rest days, four days of running, and a cross-training day.

The only concern is that it only reaches one 20 mile run and one 18 mile run. AR and I felt like we needed something more.

For the Atlanta Marathon, AR and I modified the plan to give us two 20 mile runs, which I think is important. We've also learned to add an addition 1-2 "flex" weeks in case disaster strikes (like the time I got diagnosed with pneumonia a month out...). This seemed to work much better.

This time, we are using Higdon's Intermediate 1 plan. This plan has running five days a week, with one day of cross training and one day of rest. The mileages gets up to 44 miles/week, which is a slight jump for us. We plan to build in one flex week, which we will use up within the first 12 training weeks.

Here is what is will look like:
1 Cross 3 m run 5 m run 3 m run Rest 5 m pace 8 24
2 Cross 3 m run 5 m run 3 m run Rest 5 m run 9 25
3 Cross 3 m run 5 m run 3 m run Rest 5 m pace 6 22
4 Cross 3 m run 6 m run 3 m run Rest 6 m pace 11 29
5 Cross 3 m run 6 m run 3 m run Rest 6 m run 12 30
6 Cross 3 m run 5 m run 3 m run Rest 6 m pace 9 27
7 Cross 4 m run 7 m run 4 m run Rest 7 m pace 14 36
8 Cross 4 m run 7 m run 4 m run Rest 7 m run 15 37
9 Cross 4 m run 5 m run 4 m run Rest Rest Half Marathon 26
10 Cross 4 m run 8 m run 4 m run Rest 8 m pace 17 41
11 Cross 5 m run 8 m run 5 m run Rest 8 m run 18 44
12 Cross 5 m run 5 m run 5 m run Rest 8 m pace 13 36
13 Cross 5 m run 8 m run 5 m run Rest 5 m pace 20 43
14 Cross 5 m run 5 m run 5 m run Rest 8 m run 12 35
15 Cross 5 m run 8 m run 5 m run Rest 5 m pace 20 43
16 Cross 5 m run 6 m run 5 m run Rest 4 m pace 12 32
17 Cross 4 m run 5 m run 4 m run Rest 3 m run 8 24
18 Cross 3 m run 4 m run Rest Rest 2 m run Marathon 35

Notice those double weekend runs? Yeah, that is a little daunting, but I think it will make us stronger. I like doing a pace on Saturday because it will take some of the pressure off Sunday. I am hoping that I can focus on the distance on Sunday and not become obsessed with the pace of those runs, especially because we will be training in July/August/September. 

We start our training on June 2, which is two weeks away. We are focusing on maintaining our base mileage right now and adjusting to the heat and humidity. I really can't say I am looking forward to all these runs in the ATL weather. I really hope that training in the hills, heat, and humidity of Atlanta will help us run stronger in flat, cool Chicago. 

This is how I feel the whole time I train. 
I've been doing lots of hill workouts the last few months and running the majority of my runs outside, which is a start. I feel like I am getting better with the weather, but I still plan on starting my long runs by 7am to avoid most of the sun. 

Chicago Marathon, HERE I COME!!


Monday, May 19, 2014

ATL Eats: Bantam & Biddy

This weekend AR and I tried a new-to-us restaurant that just opened within walking distance from our apartment. While I had read about Bantam & Biddy in Atlanta Magazine, I always felt it was too far away for brunch. Not any more!

Coffee: First, let me just say I was thrilled that there was no line and I sat down immediately. Hallelujah! While they did not carry soy milk, I ordered an almond milk latte, made with my favorite coffee: Batdorf & Bronson. I automatically warm up to any brunch spot that serves this roast. My latte was incredibly strong, but I drank every drop.

Atmosphere: The atmosphere is quiet and small. I was obsessed with the subway tile and retro mirrors hanging from the ceiling. I surveyed the menu and found about 42 things I wanted to try.

Food: The menu has a large selection of chicken options (their specialty), but also a surprising number of gluten-free and vegetarian dishes.

I had my eyes on the hot faro cereal and the warm vanilla bean apple sauce. I also tried the curry chicken sausage for a bit of protein. The cereal arrived with a warm cinnamon milk, topped with roasted bananas and raw almond. In a word, AMAZING. I loved the combination and was surprisingly filled by the small cup (only $3.50). The raw almonds added a bit more texture to the cereal and the warm bananas provided a sweetness.

My apple sauce was yummy, not not a strongly vanilla-flavored as I expected. I still ate every bite. The curry sausage was probably a poor thing to order with my faro and apple sauce because the flavors were too strong in contrast. I liked it more when I heated the leftover sausage up the next day.

AR ordered a build-you-own-biscuit. It was about 5 inches in diameter and filled with scrambled eggs, cheese, and friend chicken tenders. The biscuit was yummy, but the fried chicken stole the show. So excellent. I took a bite, then asked for another, and then considered ordering my own. I will absolutely order some next time. It was flavorful, crispy, and not as all greasy. AR couldn't even finish the whole biscuit, but he ate all the chicken out of it.

Service: The one thing I would change was the wait service. My server was not very knowledgeable and seemed a little confused, but I think this has to do with the new location. It certainly won't prevent me from coming back.

AR and I plan to have a dinner at Bantam & Biddy in the new few weeks. You can bet friend chicken will be on my plate!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Fitness Goals & Meal Plans for the week

Hope your weekend is off to an awesome start - I'll share more on mine later. Just popping it to share my goals for the week.

Last week's workout recap:
M- Long Walk
T - 3.5 mile run at the gym, 1.5 mile walk to and from the gym
W - 4 mile pace run outside. It was SO hot
Th - 2.5 mile run. I got rained out :(
F - Mall walking???
S - Strength training: Abs, butt, and arms *
S - Long run still waiting to happen (hoping the rain stops)

This week I plan to up my mileage a little but because I start Marathon Training in 2 weeks! AR and I are using a more challenging plan this time, which is exciting and concerning. I just hope I can handle 6 hard workout days on top of school/interviews!

This week's goals:
M - cross train
T - 3 miles
W -4 mile pace
Th - 3.5 miles
F - rest
S - cross train
S - 7 miles

Meals for the week:
(We till don't know if AR is in town this week or not, so I didn't assign days, just meal ideas. I may alter the schedule depending on what days he is here).

- White Beans with Broccoli Rabe and Corn Bread
- Stuffed Bell Peppers with ground Turkey, Black Beans, and Cheese. Served with Kale.
Photo and Recipe from Skinny Taste
- Grilled Chicken with Roasted Cauliflower and Salad.
- Asian Noodle Bowls with shredded Lettuce, Chicken Meatballs, and Rice Noodles.

- Turkey Sandwiches
- Kale Salads
- Yogurt, veggies and hummus
- Leftovers (always!)

- I had the most amazing farro hot cereal this weekend, which inspired me to make a quinoa hot cereal for this week! I'll share the recipe on my WIAW post :)
- Cereal with bananas
- Fruit and greens smoothies with toast

Hope your week is off to an awesome start!

Friday, May 16, 2014

5 on Friday - ice cream and eye cream

It is another 5 on Friday and I am excited to be linking up with the new mommy over at North Carolina Charm, Natasha, and friends :)

1. My baking is getting out of control. 
Thank heaven I start work on Monday, because my kitchen is over flowing. Yesterday - with a cookie in his hand - AR asked that i stop baking sweets for a while. Apparently my love of cookies is becoming too much. Who ever heard of such a  thing?
So I baked this rustic bread instead of cookies!

2. I found a solution for those sweets. 
I went to Whole Foods and grabbed some ice cream. And then I got too embarrassed to be checking out with only ice cream at night, so I went back and grabbed a bunch of frozen fruit for smoothies (Pathetic. What a solution).
And then I made ice cream sandwiches!!! This is my go-to when the counter gets filled with treats, because they last well and are less tempting when they are in the freezer.
I stuffed these chocolate-peanut butter swirl cookies with vanilla ice cream, then individually wrapped them in plastic wrap and froze. I also ate one. Yum.

3. This eye cream is amazing. 
Ceramide Herbal Eye Cream
I grabbed this Mario Badescu eye cream at Ulta the other day. I had actually planned on buying it as part of my summer beauty haul, and then Ulta was giving away a free sample of it. I was so glad to try it before buying.
The stuff is amazing! No less than 3 people have told me I look like I am so "happy and glowing". I'm giving Mario Badescu the credit :) Bonus: It is only $18 a jar.

4. This weather...
Is ruining my running. On Wednesday, I did 4 miles at an 8:30 pace and felt like I was sufficating in the heat and humidity. Then yesterday I went out and nearly froze. And then it started raining. I cannot keep up with this weather. I feel like I am basically always dressed inappropriately.

5. Clothing Swap.
I've cleaned out every cabinet, shelf, and closet over the last 2 weeks. I filled several give away bags and numerous trash bags. This weekend I was invited to my first clothing swap, which is the perfect home for some of my give-away clothes! Of course, I restocked my closet at the outlet malls last weekend, but I can always make space. Have you done a clothing swap before?

Have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

No Knead Whole Wheat Bread

My baking obsession has a new love. Move over biscuits, I am on to no-knead bread. This beautiful, whole wheat rustic loaf came out of the oven this morning. 

Of course I had to slice it right away and have a bite. I love the crispy crust, the soft, airy inside, and the savory taste. Perfect topped with jam and butter. I cannot even wait to use it on a grilled cheese (dinner, please come quick).

I am a yeast bread fanatic. I like the way it makes my house smell. I like the process of mixing, waiting, kneading, rising, waiting. The rhythm and consistency of the activity blends perfectly with the unpredictability of the outcome. 

Some days, my bread comes out perfectly. Some days, I wait hours and the bread never rises exactly right. I like the chance of that. And I really like kneading the dough. It is a work out for my arms! Just kidding, it is a fun, relaxing process. 

But I don't actually have half of the day to wait on bread some weeks (shocking, I know). So I attempted the new-to-me, no-knead bread making method. Jim Lahey made this famous, but apparently I missed the memo until now. 

I was a little skeptical about the process, but pleasantly surprised. The bread came out beautifully. I'll me honest, mine didn't rise as much as Jim's, but that could be because I used some wheat flour. And maybe got over excited and baked it early. 

The bread bakes in a covered pot in a round, rustic shape. Of course, my caste iron pot doesn't have an oven-safe lid. And a $250 Le Creuset Pot isn't in my budget right now. So I baked it in my pot and used another caste iron skillet as a lid. It still came out beautiful! Feel free to use an enamal, caste iron, or pyrex dish. 

No Knead Whole Wheat Bread
Adapted from Jim Lahey's No-Knead Bread

2 cups of whole wheat flour
1 cup of bread flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon of active dry yeast
1 1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 1/3 cup of cool water

Measure flour by gently spooning it into measuring cups and leveling with a knife. Be careful not to over measure. Mix the flours, salt, and yeast in a medium bowl. Add water. Once everything is combined, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature. Bread should rise for 14-18 hours, until more than double in size. (I left mine over night and was slightly concerned that it would rise out of the bowl. But it was okay). 

After the bread rises, generously flour the counter. Using a spatula, scrap the dough only a floured surface. Pinch the dough into a round. Don't get too caught up with this, because it doesn't really matter. This is a rustic loaf, after all. Generously flour a dish towel and place the dough, seam side down, onto the towel. Top the dough with flour and fold towel over to cover. 

Let the dough rise for 2-3 hours. (Mine rose for 3 hours and was about double in size when it was done). When there is about 30 minutes left to the rise, turn the oven onto 450* and put the pot into the oven to heat. When the dough is ready, carefully remove the *hot* pot from the oven. Turn the dough out from the towel into the pot. The seam side will be up, that is okay. Pinch the dough slightly if you need to smooth it out. 

Cover the pot and bake the dough for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake 15-25 minutes, or until the bread it a deep brown, but not burned. Mine was done in 15 minutes. Remove the pot and use spatulas to take bread out. Let the bread cool completely before slicing. 

Store the bread on the counter in a plastic bag. I don't seal my bag completely the first day - this keeps the crust extra crunchy! Enjoy!


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Summer Beauty Buys

Summer Beauty Tries

I've been researching new products to try for summer for a while now. I like my skin care routine, but I think my skin needs a little oomph right now, especially with all the sun exposure and sunscreen applications. After reading a million reviews, talking to the people at Ulta, and watching Jacklyn Hill's you-tube channel, I am ready! Here are my purchases:

1. Mario Badescu Cucumber Lotion: This is a cleansing lotion I plan to use at night after washing with my Cetaphil, but before moisturizing. Jacklyn Hill has featured this on her videos several times, so I am hoping it helps me get extra clean before bed. 

2. Mario Badescu eye cream. I *gasp* don't wear eye cream, but I need to start, especially because I stare at a computer/book so much of the day. This is from Jacklyn Hill too. It says it can be used day and night, but I will probably stick to night only right now. I don't want my eye make-up to melt off. 

3. Mario Badescu drying cream. I LOVE the drying cream by Kate Sommersville, but it is pricey. This one is much cheaper, but reviews say it is the same. We will see!

4. Smashbox High Definition Concealer. This stuff is doing wonders. No creasing, awesome coverage, and very easy to blend. I like to get my under eye concealer a little lighter because it provides a highlight under my eyes. I highly recommend this product, at is it only about $22. That is a lot for a concealer, I know, but this is much cheaper than the Amazing Cosmetics cult-product, but I like it even more. I think concealer is worth the investment. Cut costs on things like mascara and liner, but invest in face products. 

5. Olay BB Cream. First, this is $11. The Smashbox one I used for a while was like 4x the costs and not near as good. It made me feel like I had tar on my face. This one has a good SPF, stays put, and looks natural. No, this isn't new, but I am still obsessed with it for summer. I've been using this since January and still have a bunch in the tube. Love that. I recommend this for a lighter, day makeup. I plan to wear it to work and everything, because the coverage is good enough. 

6. Covergirl Perfect Blend Eye Liner. This is my summer liner because it has great staying power. I just don't think eye liner is something I need to invest in. They all seem pretty similar to me. This one blends really nicely, and is only a few dollars at Target. And who doesn't love an excuse to go to Target?