Monday, September 29, 2014

Weekend Baking: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hello Monday!

This weekend I:

1. Split this black & white cupcake from Sprinkles with AR on Friday night. Friday was a rough day, so we got a cupcake to share and watched the season premier of Nashville (is he a winner or what?).

Sprinkles will always have a soft spot in my heart because AR lived a few blocks from one in Houston and we went there on a lot of dates when we first started dating :)

2. Went to the North Georgia State Fair and saw Craig Campbell perform. I also got to pet this adorable goat. Unpictured: the goat that tried to eat AR's shirt a few minutes later, haha!

3. Got new running shoes for the marathon! This is my 5th pair of Saucony Triumphs and I still love them!! For shorter runs, I stick to my Saucony Kinvaras, but these are my marathon shoes. I got a new pair and broke them in with 10 rainy miles on Sunday.

Notice how them match my teal hat. Now I need to find the perfect shirt :) #ilikematchingrunninggear

4. Baked these amazing pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. 

Source: Pop Sugar
I bought a LOT of pumpkin at Whole Foods this weekend. I like it in my oatmeal, in cookies, in soup...everything. After searching for a recipe, I decided on this one from Pop Sugar.

The result: A soft, pillowy cookie with gooey chocolate chips and lots of cinnamon flavor! I really like this cookie - it is kind of like a muffin inside, which works well with the pumpkin. Next time I may eliminate the egg and add less pumpkin to get a chewier texture, but these were awesome!

Any good pumpkin recipes to share with me??


Friday, September 26, 2014

Its Friday!!! (Confessions)

Hello ladies!

It's time for some Friday Confessions with the lovely mama Leslie over at A Blonde Ambition. Happy weekend all!!

1. I confess that I have never seen an episode of Scandal. But I did just watch my third episode of Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders - Making the Team. Yes, my taste in television is excellent.

Seriously though, have you seen this show? They dance all the time in full hair and make-up and its crazy hard. Then, if they put on any weight, they are called in to the office and told "you don't look your best." I just imagine my boss calling me into her office and saying "you're fat." Crazy.

2. I confess that this weekend is the North Georgia State Fair and I am dying to go! I LOVE state fairs, which is semi-out of character for me. I'm not so big on the food, but I love all of the animals and music. On Saturday, Craig Campbell is playing, so I just might be there :)

3. I confess that I made sweet potato biscuits yesterday morning after a glorious 5 mile run with AR. All of my classes were canceled until 5pm and I took full advantage of it. This morning I am enjoying left over biscuits with a fried egg!

4. I confess that I went out last night for Girls Night with the Junior League. I know, I know - I never go out on Thursdays, but I don't have class on Fridays, so I joined. We went to Canoe, which has seriously the most gorgeous outdoor space I have ever seen. If you live anywhere near Atlanta, you need to go here!!!

5. I confess that I don't know what shoes to wear right now. Is it boot season? Bootie season? Wedges? I feel like all are inappropriate right now, so I just wear ballet flats and pumps. Seriously, this this is a struggle. Its 60* when I leave for school at 75* by afternoon. No shoes are appropriate.

6. I confess that I read some awesome articles this week - and you should too!

- this  article on wearing white pants after labor day... and I did not pack my white pants away! Lets see if I can make it work :)
- this article on making your own kombucha. Not saying I will make my own yet, but this was inspiring.
- this video tutorial on dewy make-up. LOVE her videos and have learned so much from watching them.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fall Bucket List

Friends, fall is HERE!'

I am thrilled. 

Fall in Atlanta is one of the most gorgeous things ever. The weather doesn't get too cold, but the city is filled with trees that put on a show with bright colors. 

Here are some things I want to do this fall:

1. Take pictures in the park with all of the gorgeous trees - maybe for our Christmas cards?

2. Go apple picking. 

3. Get a new puffy vest to wear in these cooler temperatures. 

4. Make an autumn table-scape.

5. Carve pumpkins - AR and I do this every year, its a tradition.

6. Bake a pumpkin, puree it myself, and make soup/cookies/everything.

7. Run the Chicago Marathon in the gorgeous midwest October weather! 

8. Make lots of crock-pot soups and stews with cornbread or biscuits

9. Take a "cleanse month" for AR and I --> more on this later! 

10. Take a trip to Stone Mountain. 


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Marathon Training: Wk 15 - 3 weeks out!!

Race day will be here in less than three weeks!!! Ahh, so excited for the Chicago Marathon! I cannot believe that last week contained my final *long run* and I am on to the taper.

Last week I ran:

M - Rest.

T - 5 miles. These were early morning treadmill miles :)

W - 8 miles. I didn't end up getting to the gym until about 5pm, which was okay. The 8 miles went great, but I knew the next day would be hard.

Th - 5 miles. I woke up to run these 5 only 12 hours after my 8 miler... not ideal. I was pretty tight and sore, but I made it!

F - Rest.

S - 5 miles at race pace. AR and I did this on the treadmill together and it was great!

S - 22 miles!!! This was my longest training run to date. For Houston, I only did one 20 miler and it was horrific. For Atlanta, we did two 20 milers. This time, we both felt that we wanted a second 20 miler, and had debated expanding it to 22. Our plan only called for 20, but we decided to push it a little bit. The run was great!
We definitely ran a slower pace, but felt pretty strong for the first 20. At 21, I lost a little interest in the whole thing and my legs started to really tighten up. We pushed through the mile and ran to about 21.5. At that point, we encountered a huge hill that is near our apartment. We both looked at each other and said "I'm walking that" :) Still proud of the run and all 22 miles.
I was also happy with my fueling for this run: I used a package of Honey Stinger energy chews (fruit smoothie flavor!) and one Honey Stinger chocolate wafer. The wafers are a little dry, but work well for me. I've tried several gells and really don't love them - Honey Stinger is always my fav! I will be bringing these two things to the race.

Throwback to my last fall trip to Chicago!

Love this picture - I actually pneumonia here... hahah

This week is a bit lighter - my highest weekday run is only 6 miles and our weekend run is only 12.

Next on the schedule? Buying a new pair of Saucony Triumphs and picking out a new shirt for race day! I always love a new outfit for races :) Right now I am planning on shorts and shirtsleeves, with a sweatshirt to throw away. Chicago has had really cold/wet races and really hot ones, so I guess I need to plan for everything.

My suitcase will likely be all running gear, compression socks, and sweatpants. I apologize in advance to my family for my appearance for that weekend :P


Monday, September 15, 2014

Marathon training: Wk 15 & Weekending!

Monday is back :(

After such a fantastic weekend, I am a little heart broken to see a new school week start. The dreary, gloomy, rainy Atlanta weather isn't helping at all.

I just finished week 15 in my marathon training (where in the world did the last few months go???) and only have 4 weeks until the Chicago marathon. I am excited to go up north and see my family in a month... am I excited about the 26.2 miles? Mmmm.... not yet :P

Friday night was absolutely horrific, weather wise. I volunteered most of the day at the Junior League's Nearly new shop and had plans to go to dinner with AR and another couple. Our reservations were not until 9pm, so AR and I planned to grab drinks at a near-by bar before dinner.

Confession: I threw a mini-fit before dinner about what to wear. It was almost 90* and pouring rain. And it is mid-September. Tell me how to dress for that!

We ran down the street with a high umbrella, only managing to get slightly wet. Out favorite spot was pretty empty (see above), due to the weather, so we grabbed a corner table. I sipped on wine and split a soft pretzel with AR. I will miss eating soft pretzels pre-dinner when marathon training ends. 

Dinner with our friends was amazing. I just love them.

Saturday was a day to sleep in - we didn't get home until after 1am, which is late for me - and a trip to the gym. I was CRUSHED to find out I had an 8 mile run, not the 4 miles I had mentally planned on.

Luckily, I messed up my Wednesday run too, by running 6.4 instead of 5, so I did 7 at the gym and called it even :)

This week I ran:
M- rest
T - 5 miles
W - 6.4 miles with the running group! 
Th - 5 miles
F - rest

AR's mother came to visit and we took her to lunch at a favorite healthy spot. At this point, it was 3pm and all I had eaten was a piece of peanut butter toast, so I was starving!! My lunch: faro & lady pea salad with a bowl of lentil soup. Ice tea on the side. Yummmmm!

Saturday night was low key. AR and I made enchiladas for his mother and I baked these awesome peanut butter chocolate chip cookie bars (which I quickly packed up for her to take with her the next day!).

Sunday was a 12 mile run in the rain, but I am not complaining. When you get to this point in marathon training, 12 miles is such a relief. I was thrilled, even with the rain. My legs felt really strong and I the run went by so fast. My Saucony Triumphs shoes are really on their last leg, so I had to wear my Kinvaras for the run. Previously, I only wore those shoes for <8 mile runs, but I LOVED them. I think they might become a distance shoe for me.

Sunday afternoon consisted of frozen yogurt, lots of studying, and Miss America :) Thoughts on that talent, anyone? 

Hope your weekend was incredible! 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Confessions

Its Friday. I haven't posted since Sunday.... (confession number 1) oops. Happy to be joining Miss Leslie for some Friday Confessions to kick-off the weekend!!

1. I confess that I always recommit to wearing more make-up after watching KUWTK. I saw the glamorous Kim/Kanye wedding on E! at the gym yesterday morning, and of course, I went home and found some eye shadow & contour magic while getting ready. Those girls know how to contour.

2. I confess that I tried my first ATL running group this week, after living here for over a YEAR. I really loved my San Antonio running group, so I don't know why it took me so long to try one! I went to a Junior League event at a local running store and joined them for a 6.4 millrun afterwards. It felt so motivating and energizing to run with a group again.

3. I confess that I am dying to wear sweaters and boots. Everyone is filling up my insta-feed with fall pictures and it is still in the 90s in Atlanta. No boots for me. Not even jeans. I am dying of heat when I put on pants.

I miss sweaters

...and dark nail polish
4. I confess that I pulled out my favorite tan towels yesterday. Considering the temperatures, I need to keep rocking a summer glow, so I grabbed a Tan Towel (half body) yesterday and bronzed up those legs for the weekend. These things are a life saver and sold at Ulta, if you are interested!

5. I confess that I have a job for next summer :) I am SO excited. More on this later!


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Marathon Training - Wk. 14!

This week was everything.

54 miles in 7 days. 

My best 20 mile run during marathon training.. ever!

Here is what I ran during the week:

M - 12 miles. This was horrific and sunny and hot and horrible. We pushed our Sunday long run to Monday because of the long weekend and really enjoyed the Sunday morning off, but Monday wasn't pretty.

T - 5 miles on the treadmill. I did this before class and it wasn't too bad. I held about a 9 minute pace and entertained myself with Law & Order :)

W - 4 miles in Houston. I went to Houston late Tuesday night and didn't end up arriving until after 1am. I was zonked the next morning, but got 4 miles in before my interview. It was fun to run through downtown Houston again... It made me a little homesick for Texas.

Th - 8 miles on the dreadmill. I went after class and this wasn't fun. I flew back to ATL on Wednesday night and once again, got home after 1am. After two nights of less than 5 hours of sleep, I was pretty miserable, but I got the miles in!

F - rest. Much much needed.

S - 5 miles at an 8:30 pace with AR. We went for our pace run late morning and both felt surprisingly strong. AR pushed 7:20 with his pace, but I stayed comfortable with an 8:30. It is ridiculous how much better 5 miles feels when compared to 8 miles.

S- 20 miles!!! First 20-miler of the training plan! We woke up extra early and ran by 6am (we learned from our Monday mistake). The temperature was better and we got 7 miles in before the sun rose. I was feeling pretty strong at 18 miles, despite the hilly route. Our pace was slower than normal, but I am not complaining considering the week we had.

Post run, I felt horrible. I fell asleep after my shower and had to force myself to get up and eat something. Even now, all I've has is grapes, toast, and chicken sausage. Long runs kill my appetite. 

We only have one more serious run before RACE DAY! I think its 12-20-12-8 or something like that.

The last 20 is going to become a 22 miler, just for some extra oomph for race day. Here's to hoping Chicago is so much flatter than ATL!!!


Friday, September 5, 2014

5 on Friday

Oh Friday, I needed you something fierce this week! Some how, short weeks always seem worse than full weeks. Is that just me?

Here are a few thoughts for the weekend :)

1. Football!
Football season has returned, my friends. I am so excited for tailgates and viewing parties. While I did not grow up in a big sports family, I have really enjoyed all things SEC since moving to the south. My bf is an avid LSU fan, so I have jumped on the bandwagon and joined in the fun.

2. 20 Miles
This weekend AR and I have our first 20 miler of training season. Jesus take the wheel. I am not so keen on it, especially not with this long week and the 90*+ weather all weekend. This is gonna be a doozy.

3. Airport Sadness
I had a disastrous flight experience this week. I flew out on Tuesday night after class and my flight got delayed like 2 hours or something. I didn't end up landing until after midnight and made it to my hotel after 1am east coast time.
I always travel with tea and a cozy sweater.. which really came in handy this week!

Then, on Wednesday night, my flight was majorly delayed and was reporting a midnight departure at one point. Thankfully, I got on an earlier plane, but I still didn't get in bed until after midnight. My poor body is so over it.

4. Clean Eats
I confess, my eating has been awful this week. I feel so gross. The last few weeks of interviewing have been so full of heavy meals. AR and I have also cooked some not-so-good choices. Tonight in class, my sweet prof brought pizza and I had a few bites. I am totally regretting it now and wishing for clean eats all weekend.

5. Skinnies and Hunters :) 
I use to consider September/October the months of sweaters and scarves. Since moving to ATL, I have renamed them the months of skinnies and Hunters. It is cooling off every once in a while, so I like pulling on jeans (because shorts in September still feels a little weird sometimes). With all of the rain we get, boots are a must! So I am living in my Hunter rain boots and loving every minute of it.

Have an awesome weekend!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Marathon Training Wk. 13 & a Long Weekend

Happy Tuesday!

Do you feel refreshed from the long weekend? Mine was extra long (no classes on Friday), and I took full advantage of it.

AR came in late on Friday night, so I cooked a yummy dinner of individual chicken pot pies (recipe here!) before he got home. I curled up on the couch with a glade of wine, my pot pie, and the movie Bride Wars.
Yes, you may think this sounds like a perfect fall evening, but I am embracing September as much as possible.

On Saturday morning, AR and I went to the gym for a 6 miler at an 8:30 pace. I, of course, got a bloody nose at around mile 5.5 and walked it in while holding a kleenex. About 5 different nurses got off their machines to ask if I was okay. I looked pretty pathetic.

We walked another mile to Bantam & Biddy for brunch and then walked home. We were gearing up for a night of FOOTBALL and ready to watch LSU beat Wisconsin.

We cooked some tailgate classics: chicken sausage, watermelon, and homemade sweet potato fries. I confess, I fell asleep at half time because LSU was losing and it was like 11pm. Of course, I missed all of the good parts. At least LSU won!!

AR and I had already decided to push our long run to Monday because of the holiday, so we made breakfast, cleaned the apartment, and went to a local coffee shop to study.

turkey bacon, fried egg, and a mug of grits!
I had about 200 pages of reading to get through, and between Friday and Sunday, I made it! I really wanted to leave Monday without any studying, and I was so happy to be free. Getting back into the grove of classes has been a little tough, especially with all of the craziness of interviews.
Check out that beautiful almond milk cafe au lait!

We did 12 miles on Monday morning. It was hot as could be. I was sweating buckets and the weather report said that it was 84% humidity. Yep, Atlanta marathon training is a real joy. I keep thinking the weather will get cooler and it doesn't :(

We met friends for brunch, took a walk around West Midtown, and then went furniture shopping. I am now the proud owner of this new coffee table!!!

How gorgeous is it? We picked it up at West Elm and I love how it looks in my living room with our new couch we bought a few months ago. I am not shopping for a large, dark brown tray to put on top.  Suggestions on where to look?

And of course, my weekend wouldn't be complete without froyo: chocolate hazelnut topped with berries. Yum.

Other runs this week:
M- rest
T- 5 miles
W- 5 miles
Th - 4 miles
F - rest

This week is going to be a bit rough - I have a 20 miler on Sunday and we are expecting temperatures well into the 90*s. AR and I have already promised to start at like 5am... lets hope we make it!

Hope you enjoyed your weekend!