Currently – The November Edition

This cute “Cabin by Bear Lake” can be booked on Airbnb! Click the pic for the listing.

As far as I’m concerned, the holiday season is in full swing!  My family and I just got back from a long weekend in Charleston, we’ll be heading to the mountains for a pre-Thanksgiving celebration, and then we’ll spend Thanksgiving and a few days after at the beach.  From there, it’s going to be all Christmas all the time.

Lately I’m …

Watching:  A bit by accident, my boyfriend and I started watching The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Netflix’s new Sabrina the Teenage Witch reboot.  It’s really dark and has some solid humor, but we’ve almost finished the first season and I’m still not sure I like it.  I’m also anxiously awaiting the return of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on December 5!

Wearing:  While I was in Charleston (recap posts coming soon!), I wore these Keds for some major city walking.  They’re cuter on than they look in the picture and they’re really comfy.

Reading:  I recently finished reading WomanCode by Alisa Vitti.  I picked it up mostly out of curiosity and I found it to be a bit too woo-woo at times for my taste, especially since I have really positive and collaborative relationships with all of my doctors.  That said, I do think there are some valuable takeaways that I’m trying to incorporate, like eating in a way that supports my hormone balance.  And cycle syncing sounds cool, but also like way too much work.

Finishing:  I mentioned last month that I have been following Hal Higdon’s 5K training schedule and guess what!  My last run of the program, the big 5K, is scheduled for this weekend!  I’m pretty pleased with myself for sticking to the plan, and proud of my sister who jumped in halfway and finished it up with me.

What are you loving lately?

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A Month of Running

A month ago, I decided to start running regularly.

After a couple years of sporadic running, I decided that I was going to stop getting in my own way and that I was going to uphold a commitment to myself to complete a 5K training program.  For a long time, I had been letting my weak mental game keep me from running at all.  That’s so stupid when you consider that all I was promising, and then failing to deliver, to myself is 3 miles.

For a lot of people, 3 miles might seem like nothing.  But for a lot of other people, me included, it’s a big goal.  Sure, I could walk/run 3 miles, but it would be miserable.  What I really want is to be able run a controlled, relatively comfortable 3 miles and I want to feel empowered to do it a few times a week.

There was a time when I ran regularly and 3 miles would have been an easy undertaking, but that time is about 4 years gone.  So this month of 5K training has been really humbling.

To date, my longest run has been 2.5 miles.  The first mile of each run is getting better, but anything beyond that is still so hard.  And I still feel a twinge of embarrassment when I toot my horn for running a couple miles; something in me is always saying, “Yeah, but it was just a couple of miles”.  But I know that saying that downplays my commitment to this goal, which is a lot less about running lots of miles than it is about my ability to prioritize me.  And I’m much more proud of that than I am embarrassed of “just a couple miles”.

To keep myself motivated and to hold myself accountable, I’ve been snapping photos here and there on my runs.  Plus, some day when I’m running marathons, it’ll be nice to look back at these.  Ha!  🙂

Currently – The October Edition

from @abeautifulmess

Happy October, my favorite month of the year!  It’s been a busy one so far.  My family and I kicked off the month with a weekend in the mountains and a birthday celebration for my mom.  Last weekend was all about football. — it was homecoming weekend at Georgia Tech and the Falcons finally secured a win.  And this weekend, I’m heading to a wedding shower.  Phew!

Lately I’m …

Watching:  Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder for this first time!  It was so, so good.  And I just finished the new Netflix “docuseries” Salt Fat Acid Heat (based on Samin Nosrat’s book by the same name).  Salt and Fat were my favorite episodes.

Wearing:  I ordered this dress to wear to this weekend’s wedding shower.  We’ll see how that emergency purchase works out when it arrives on Friday.  Cutting it close!

Eating:  Last week, we made these Mango Coconut Tofu Bowls.  It was my first tofu experience and, I’ll be real with you, I was very anxious about it.  But it was a success — the flavors in the recipe are so on point!

Hearing:  My dad recently got me hooked on the podcast Cool Tools.  It’s not a big impressive production, but it’s such a cool conversation concept and a great way to get ideas.  Also, I’m craving Christmas music already.

Following:  I have been very committed to Hal Higdon’s 5K training schedule and the Tone It Up October 31 Day Challenge.  This is the longest I’ve stuck with any type of training schedule or challenge in a while.

What are you loving lately?

Happy Belly – Part 7

I feel like I’ve really stepped up my at-home food game lately.  When it’s just me, I have a habit of having the same salad all day, everyday.  Now that my boyfriend and I eat most of our meals together, I’m a little bit more creative, I step away from the salads, and I try new things.  Here’s a peek at what’s been on dinner table menu during the last few months …

We made Inspiralized’s lamb meatballs, with a side salad, spiralized cucumbers, and hummus.  The meatballs were good, but I think they could have been made with any ground meat — it was really the whole combination of flavors and textures that made it a success!

Post-Whole30, I try to (loosely) stick to Whole30 principles for as long as I can stand it.  We have made this (Whole30-compliant) Coconut Lime Chicken from The Whole Cook several times.  It is so good and so easy.  Since we haven’t been Whole30-ing, we have ours over rice, but it would be delicious on top of cauliflower rice or all on its own.

I’m a fan of Skinnytaste.  The recipes are always yummy and never taste like you’re making sacrifices in the name of fewer calories.  The Easy Bagels have been on repeat around here.  We started off with Stuffed Bagel Balls, but have recently been just making bagels.  I will say that they’re not real bagels; they’re more like biscuits, but that doesn’t bother me.  They keep well, bake exactly as the recipe says they will, and they’re really yummy.

Recently, my boyfriend and I went to Gunshow, an Atlanta restaurant where the menu rotates and the dining style is a bit unorthodox.  Chefs prepare dishes with seasonal ingredients and then present the dishes on trays to diners.  If you want a dish, they leave a plate of it with you.  If not, they move on and you wait for the next dish to come around.  It was a fun experience and we tried some really delicious things.  First up was a gnocchi dish with a mix of beans, tomatoes, and dill.  Fried feta followed and I was in love.  We tried a few other things before finishing our meal with a fancy cinnamon toast dessert.

I’m not a huge avocado fan, but I’ve been making myself little batches of two-minute guacamole to have with my eggs for breakfast.  Trader Joe’s Teeny Tiny Avocados are the perfect, single-serving size for someone who wants just enough, but not too much, avocado.  And every one I’ve sliced into has been perfectly ripe.  (My two-minute guacamole goes something like this:  slice into tiny avocado, squeal about how cute it is, mash to desired consistency, add a tablespoon or so of chopped red onion, add a pinch salt, add more lime juice than you think you’ll need, stir it all up.)

A little charcuterie spread inspiration never hurt anyone!  My boyfriend and his buddies like their cheese — I snapped this at one of their get-togethers.  This spread landed on the side of being rich and sweet.  It’s not exactly my thing, since I’m a fan of pickled things and sharper cheese, but it was beautiful!

We were getting a little bored with regular pancakes, so we whipped up a Dutch Baby Pancake a couple of weekends ago.  We used this basic recipe.  It was delicious, easy, and beautiful.  Plus, I just love watching them puff up in the oven!

Around here, we like pasta and we like feta cheese.  This lemon pasta with pine nuts, feta, and mint from Molly Yeh was a big hit.  It looks and sounds way more difficult than it was.  Granted, her recipe includes homemade pasta and we definitely didn’t do that.  With boxed pasta, it comes together really easily.

Another Skinnytaste recipe, this time from her Fast and Slow cookbook!  These chicken and couscous bowls with piri piri were delicious.  They were light, but filling, and required very little work.  And they kept well for lunch leftovers.

And another one from The Whole Cook!  This tropical salsa chicken was really yummy, and just different enough that it was a nice break from the monotony of all of our other go-to chicken dinners.  The pineapple-y salsa was really yummy!

Ugh, I’ve made myself hungry.  Tell me what’s been making your belly happy lately.  And, if you’re interested, you can find more of what’s made my belly happy here.

Yet Another Mountain Weekend

Over the Labor Day Weekend, my family and I made another trip to the mountains.  We’ve made the same trip in previous years!  It’s always nice to get away, just the four of us, and this trip was no exception.

We all took the second half of Friday off, so we made it almost there and stopped at a local farm for lunch.  We were to the house by mid-afternoon, so we could settle right into relaxation mode.  And then we could get to the food — we kicked off the weekend with a not-too-fancy (hello Fritos!), but still-kind-of-fancy charcuterie spread.

During our first full day, we had planned on revisiting Rabun Bald, but we got a later start than intended.  Instead, we made a quick stop at Dry Falls on the way to see a family friend’s new mountain house in Highlands.   I would never call Dry Falls a hike, but it was very, very pretty.

On our way to our friend’s house, we stopped for lunch at one of the many scenic overlooks.  Part of the plan when we were going to be hiking Rabun Bald was to stop at the top for a picnic lunch — we picnic-lunched anyway, using this recipe for a crowd-pleasing sandwich from The Kitchn.  It was delicious and fun!  (FYI:  We got 8 lunch servings out of ours.)

The next day, we set out to hike Yonah Mountain.  We’ve hiked Yonah once before (and I took a very similar picture of that lone house from the top!) and I remembered it being hard, but I still stumbled and struggled my way up and down the mountain.  You can see the summit from the parking lot, which is humbling at the beginning and validating when you finish and are completely beat.

There were plenty more delicious meals, glasses of wine, and cups of coffee.  We did a puzzle, I read a book and a half, and we played Sequence.  And, most importantly, we all were refreshed by the weekend away.