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Archive for December, 2010

I love beautiful things. Especially beautiful, vintage things. There is just something about old items that I find comforting and exciting all in the same. Whether it be jewelry, clothing, furniture or photographs, if it comes with a story from a previous life, I fall in love with it. Head over heels, I’m tellin’ ya. I have a special place in my heart for things that have been in my family and passed onto me or will eventually be passed onto me one day, right, Mom? But I also appreciate things I have found at garage sales, antique shops, or even online (Proof God loves us – Etsy.com).

With this love comes inspiration of what to do with all this ‘stuff’ as my husband calls it. Sometimes I find great inspiration from within, but other times, I like to gain inspiration by researching the success of like-minded peeps. A new addiction is a fabulous website and this week’s chosen flavor: A Beach Cottage – Life By the Sea.

Seriously, this Aussie has got style & sass. I could spend HOURS clicking around this little slice of internet heaven. The genius behind this website shows how she has successfully turned other people’s trash into some beautiful treasures. Currently an apartment-dweller, her home is what my future habitat looks like in my dreams. I encourage you to make a pit stop at her virtual domain, you won’t be disappointed.

This site helped me realize my love for furniture in all shades of white. And it sparked an obsession within yours truly of finding an old beat-up dresser and  the desire to rehab it with whitewash and silver knobs…

Well, I actually found the below piece of furniture at an antique shop near my Mum’s over Christmas break. I plan on keeping it in its current state, because alas, it is vintage, white-washed and has silver knobs.  We were meant to be together!

Love at first sight!

3 drawers below and a shelf concealed by 2 doors above

Not too shabby, eh?

 

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Veggie Couscous

I made one of my favorite dishes last night for dinner, it is a take on the Moroccan Couscous with Saffron recipe from The Kind Life book. This is absolutely one of my favorite books and it is loaded with yummy recipes! You should mos def check it out!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large zucchini cut into 1/2-3/4″ cubes
  • 1 large onion (I choose white) cut however you please – I prefer larger chunks
  • 2 cups peeled  butternut squash cut into 1/2″ cubes (I cheat and purchase the pre-cut, frozen variety)
  • 2 cups chopped sweet potato
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat couscous
  • 2-3 tablespoons EVOO
  • sea salt
  • black pepper

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F
  • Clean and cut all vegetables, and add to a large baking dish
  • Drizzle EVOO over vegetables and sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and toss vegetables
  • Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, turning once with a spatula about midway through to prevent sticking and to allow for even cooking of vegetables
  • Pour vegetable broth into a saucepan and bring to a boil
  • Scrape the roasted vegetables and their juices into a large bowl, and add the dry couscous on top
  • Pour vegetable broth over the couscous mixture all at once
  • Cover bowl tightly with a plate and allow to stand for 15 minutes
  • Toss the couscous and vegetables with a fork, and serve
  • Add more salt and pepper to taste according to your preference

Roasted veggies! YUM!

Whole wheat couscous thrown into the mix

Bon appetit!

This is one of those vegan dishes that even the most dedicated of carnivores (ahem, my husband) enjoys eating. This dish makes quite a large amount, but don’t fret, it stores really well. In fact, I pack it in my lunch during the work week quite frequently and it tastes just as good as when it was first prepared.

Enjoy!

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Boston Training – Week 3

Sunday 12.19.10

  • Run: 16 miles

Monday 12.20.10

  • Recumbent Bicycle: 30 minutes
  • Strength: Core & Lower Body Workout: 45 minutes
  • Deep Water Running: 45 minutes

Tuesday 12.21.10

  • Rest

Wednesday 12.22.10

  • Run: 9 miles

Thursday 12.23.10

  • Run: 9 miles

Friday 12.24.10

  • Run: 9 miles

Saturday 12.25.10

  • Run: 9 miles

Sunday 12.26.10

  • Run: 10 miles

This week was a recovery week, so nothing too exciting to report. I did feel strong on all of my runs and it felt nice to have an easier week thrown into the mix. During the holidays, when the hubs and I were spending most of our free time visiting with family and friends, it was nice to not have to fit in a speed workout or a super long run.

Today marks 16 weeks until BOSTON and I received some key items in the mail that got me super jacked!…

Front of my DetermiNATION singlet

Gotta love thumb holes!

That's me!

Can’t wait ’til April 18th!

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Just a few shots from my Christmas weekend.

Some of my mother's angels.

This little light of mine.

Merry Christmas!

For me, there is nothing quite like the coziness of my mother’s home, especially during the holidays. I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend spent with family, friends, joy and laughter.

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I have developed a new appreciation for beautiful, one of a kind stationary, cards, invitations, etc. In a world where I am surrounded daily by virtual and digital correspondence, I get mega-excited when I receive something of the hand-written breed in the mail. This fall, I talked my husband into taking some photos at our favorite Lake Erie beach to be featured on our Christmas card. His only catch? It had to be “REALLY cool”. Well I thought the perfect person for the job would be the mastermind behind this week’s obsession, ink & ivory.

I envisioned a vintage-looking postcard featuring a photo of my love and I on the beach, with ‘Sending love from Lake Erie’ written in script across the front of the card.

Back and front view of our Christmas postcard!

She nailed it, if you ask me! The owner and designer at ink & ivory brought my vision for my Christmas card to absolute fruition, and it turned out better than I could ever imagine!

Members of my family have used ink & ivory for bridal shower invites, baby announcements, Christmas cards and new address announcement cards, and have loved each and every design.

I encourage you to check out her portfolio and consider purchasing your next personalized piece of mail from ink & ivory!

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Sunday 12.12.1o

  • Run: 14 miles

Monday 12.13.10

  • Recumbent Bicycle: 30 minutes
  • Strength: Core & Lower Body Workout: 45 minutes
  • Deep Water Running: 45 minutes
  • Massage: 60 minutes (Happy Birthday to me!)

Tuesday 12.14.10

  • Run: 9 miles

Wednesday 12.15.10

  • Yoga: 90 minutes

Thursday 12.16.10

Recumbent Bike: 30 minutes

Speed workout on indoor track: 8 miles total. 80 laps! I should probably have my head examined.

  • 2.5 mile warm-up
  • 1 mile @ 6:32
  • 800 m jog
  • 1 mile @ 6:32
  • 3 mile cool-down

Friday 12.17.10

Deep Water Running: 30 minutes

Recumbent Bike: 30 minutes

Lower body/core strength work: 20 minutes. I was STARVING I had to get outta the gym before I hurt someone and cut this portion of my workout short.

Saturday 12.18.10

Run: 8 miles

Sunday 12.19.10

Today I had a 16-miler on the schedule. I did manage to get up before the sun, chugged some lemon-lime Gatorade, had some pomegranate and some pretzels (I know, totally random) and was out the door. The first 8 miles felt ROUGH, not gonna lie and I was feeling rather sorry for myself (I’m sure it had nothing to do with going to a holiday party and indulging in wine and party snacks, followed by a bean burrito from taco bell – WTF was I thinking?! And only getting 5.5 hours of sleep). At the turn around, I ate some fruit snacks, took a quick stretch break and gave myself a much-needed pep talk. I REALLY wanted to go to yoga class at 10:00am, and I had to be back to the apartment no later than 9:15am so I could eat inhale a snack, change clothes and drive a half hour to Oberlin. Yes, the class is THAT good. Also, I told myself that I have worked too hard to qualify for Boston and I needed to take my training seriously and I needed to grunt through the ickyness and do work! So, I dug deep and surprised myself with one helluva negative split!

Stats from today’s training run:

Total time: 2:13:11 for 16 miles (8:19 pace per mile)

First 8 miles: 1:09:02 (8:37 pace per mile)

Second 8 miles: 1:04:09 (8:01 pace per mile)

Resulting in a 4:53 negative split!!!!

I am disappointed in my first 8 miles, but it was all my fault. I RARELY consume alcohol. For multiple reasons, but the biggest is that it makes me feel like total crap, and the crappiness lasts for days. And I make really poor nutritional choices while under the influence – exhibit A: taco bell. It was just a tortilla filled with beans, thank goodness it didn’t contain dairy or meat. However, it still was utterly disgusting. In my hazy state I even realized this and threw half of it in the trash. But I redeemed myself with my final 8 miles and I am pleased with the overall results.

After my run, I went to yoga, and it was the best class I have had yet and am so glad I made the effort to attend. A 90 minute yoga session is the perfect way for me to jump-start my recovery from my long runs.

After class, I treated myself to my favorite vegan everything cookie, a soy chai latte infused with espresso, and a soak in the tub with some bath salts my Massage Therapist gave me for a Christmas gift. So, I have a weakness for pampering myself, sue me.

I know I am not perfect, I don’t expect to be. Sometimes I am really hard on myself and am my biggest critic. I do realize though, sometimes you need to make mistakes and poor choices to learn, grow, and to even be reminded of why you choose to live your life in a particular way. Did I have fun last night? Absolutely. Could I have had as much fun without alcohol and poor food choices? Absolutely. Next time I will be sipping good old H2O outta my red solo cup.


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Thought it appropriate to feature some photos I snapped earlier in the week of how the weather is changing the beautiful Lake Erie landscape. Enjoy!

Blue skies & crashin' waves.

Mother Nature rocks.

I love trees.

Survival.

Hope y’all are staying warm on these blustery winter days, but don’t let the chill of the air deter you from exploring your own back yard. You may not live on a Great Lake but I can assure you that there is beauty sprouting up all around you. Just slow down and take in your surroundings, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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