Friday Faves

TGIF friends! I have a pretty easy day today – teleworking from home, and then we’re meeting our small group tonight for escape room adventures.  Should be fun :) I’ve got some Friday faves below.

I recently decided to learn some basic Spanish to help me communicate with the people we’ve been serving during volunteer activities, like the food distribution event I went to last weekend.  I was looking for a audio-only learning program I could do during my commute, and ended up buying Pimsleur‘s Level 1 package of classes.  It’s been awesome! It’s just a 30 minute lesson each day, and there’s lots of repetition to help you remember the words.  I’ve only been doing it for a week, and already have several useful phrases under my belt (e.g., “I am an American and don’t speak Spanish” lol).  It also makes my evening commute go by so much faster.

After making our way through lots of bad TV, I’ve decided to just go ahead and re-watch my favorites – so I’ve been re-watching West Wing in the evenings.  Just as good the second time around.

Homemade almond butter – I go in and out of food phases, and I’m all about the almond butter right now.  I’ve been buying the roasted, salted almonds from Trader Joe’s and making (and eating) a jar a week.  Sometimes I’ll go plain, and sometimes I’ll add in a little honey and unsweetened coconut.

If you’re looking for a pair of comfortable and cute sneakers, I highly recommend Allbirds. Mike’s brother and sister-in-law turned us onto them, and they’re amazing.  Made of wool, they’re machine-washable, warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and comfortable enough to wear without socks! I got a ton of compliments on my mint green pair the first weekend I wore them out.

I’ve been on a huge pancake kick lately (see my breakfast above) – I’ve made buttermilk pancakes, sour cream pancakes, and ricotta pancakes in the last couple of weeks to use up random dairy products left over from recipes.  And you know what? Ricotta pancakes are THE BEST – so fluffy with a luxurious creamy center.

Arrow Endure water resistant mascara – I got this as a Birchbox sample and wasn’t expecting much, but it works so well! It’s the first mascara in a while that actually helps me look like I have lashes ;)Britt Marie Was Here – I’ve loved all the books I’ve read by Fredrik Backman so far (including A Man Called Ove and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry), but I think this one is my favorite! I love the way he transforms his characters through interactions with other people – like softening wax with a flame.

I’m making this warm kale salad with dates, bacon, and other goodness for lunch next week.  Make it with me!

What’s one thing you’re looking forward to this weekend?

Friday Faves

Happy Friday friends! Any good plans for the weekend? I’m volunteering at a food distribution center tomorrow morning, and then we’re heading into the city for a date night :)0317170950_HDR

About the fake plant on my desk above – I wanted a plant for my office, but I don’t have any windows so I figured it would be a challenge to keep a real plant alive.  But then I remembered this interesting article about the soothing effect of artificial plants (in prison) so I picked one up from TJ Maxx.  I think it’s working :)

I listened to this audiobook on a business trip to Raleigh a few weeks ago and LOVED it.  Jim Gaffigan might be my new favorite comedian.

This jacket for spring.  I tried it on in the store a few weeks ago, and ended up buying it at half the price on Poshmark.

GoT coasters – I got them from Etsy as a surprise for Mike! I’m House Greyjoy all the way – who doesn’t want a kraken as their house symbol?IMG_20170218_192928

I made this recipe last week and it was a HUGE hit with both of us. So easy too – I just used red curry paste and coconut milk for the base, and subbed the veggies for what I had on hand (red cabbage, frozen edamame, mushrooms, kale).

I’ve spent a few days in Raleigh over the last couple of months on business trips, and have discovered there’s a ton of great restaurants/eateries in the city! This gourmet hot dog from Tasty 8’s was everything.  I’ve been told I need to eat some BBQ next…0216171149_HDRThe Sing movie soundtrack on Spotify.  We watched this months ago and I’ve been listening to the soundtrack several times a week ever since.  Fave song: “I’m Still Standing” – so good!

Speaking of movies, I watched Hidden Figures with my girlfriends a few weeks ago and it’s one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time.  Such an amazing story – from the women determined to make an impact to the people in their lives and at work who supported them against the racist/sexist backdrop of the time to America’s ground-breaking achievements in space exploration.  ALL the feels.  I’m going to watch it again with Mike when it comes out on Google Play!

What’s the best movie you’ve seen lately?

Friday Faves

Hey friends, hope you all had a great week. It’s been so chilly around here, but it looks like the weather should get a little warmer this weekend (morning temps back in the 20s…) so I’m looking forward to getting off the treadmill and getting to run outside! Here’s some things from this week:

Pizza spaghetti squash – SO good. No real recipe; just split and baked the squash for 40 min or so in the oven (at 375, I think?), then topped each side with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, and capers (for me). We have more mozz, pizza sauce and pepperoni leftover, so I think this meal will make another appearance this week :)img_20161207_183108

Rock’n’Roll race sale (yesterday) – RnR had a big sale on all their races yesterday, and I signed up for the DC half! It fits perfectly into my training plan for my early April marathon.

A new mug from Target – Target is also having a sale off their Threshold line of products (20% off with code THRESHOLD), so I picked up this cute mug to drink tea at work #mugaddiction51145084

Double chocolate and peanut butter mug cake – I had a major craving for something sweet on Monday night, so I looked up mug cake recipes and decided to try this one (swapped out the nutella for PB because that’s what I had). I’ve had some dry/overly sweet mug cakes in the past, but this one was a winner – moist and well balanced in flavor. Will definitely make again!1212161828a_hdr

This photo of Kitty – We’ve finally started turning on the fireplace again, and Kitty is one happy cat. After I saw her doing this, I got out a fleece blanket so she’s not stretched out on the wood, lol. I think winter is her favorite season.1212161215_hdrWhat treat do you turn to when you have a sweet tooth?

Friday Faves

I feel like this week went by much faster than usual; anyone else feel that way? I made it to two OTF classes this week and my butt (literally, my butt) is so sore. And my back. And my abs. And my calves. I want to slather myself with bengay and go to sleep now. But first, Friday faves!

Holiday socks/ pajamas
I’m all about socks and slippers around the house this winter. I got this cute pair from Target and I slip it on as soon as I get home every night! I also have and love this flannel plaid lounge shirt – so cozy and festive.1201162019a_hdr

Candy Cane tea
Let’s continue with the holiday theme, shall we? This was an Aldi impulse buy and it is really good. Mint flavored teas are perfect after dinner – I feel like they aid digestion and stop dessert cravings.1205161806_hdr

Westworld
We’ve been sucked in, and it’s SO good. Mike and I have fun making outrageous predictions about a character’s future actions or past or who’s controlling everything behind the scenes. I was shocked when he correctly predicted a major reveal in one of the last episodes (but we’ve also had a bunch of terrible guesses, lol).465_1024x411

Secret Santa website
Both our families are doing Secret Santa this year, and after several failed attempts to draw names from a hat without someone picking him/herself or spouse, I did some googling and found this secret santa website! It has all the features I could think of: you can tell it to exclude certain matches, people can fill in their wishlists for their secret santa, and the administrator can go in and see who has logged on and entered items into their wishlist.  Oh, and it’s free ;)captureAlso – winter is coming.  YASSS.

capture

Friday Faves

We are off to our first holiday party of the month in a few hours – our company holiday party! I’m going bold with my wardrobe choice; blouse and pants instead of a dress since I’m tired of freezing my legs off while waiting for an uber/cab ;) But onto today’s post – it’s that time of the week where I share recent favorites around our household – running, food and other random stuff.

New Vacuum (for pet messes)
I mentioned a while ago that our cat Lucy has been sick, and one of the unfortunate side effects of her illness is that she’s been vomiting and making other messes once or twice a week. I had a small battery-powered hand vac that I used for messes previously, but it wasn’t able to keep up with the higher frequency and I wasn’t satisfied with the suction. So a month or two ago, I ended up upgrading to the Rug Doctor Portable Spot Machine and have been so happy with the purchase ever since. The suction is incredible, the large nozzle makes it easy to clean large messes, it takes only one or two passes to get deep set messes out of the carpet, and the dirty water tank is easy to empty and clean. Highly recommend for fellow pet owners.1118161618a_hdr

Holiday soaps
We don’t do a lot of Christmas decorations around the house since we’re usually at Mike’s or my parents’ place, but I love switching out our hand soaps for holiday scents! We both love this gingerbread one.1111160603_hdr

Scrapbooking
Mike bought me a travel scrapbook (it’s like the one from Up) years ago to document our trips and I fell behind sometime in 2012, lol. I decided to finish up our travel scrapbook this year with all the trips we’ve gone on in the past four years, and it’s been surprisingly relaxing and fun to work on (albeit time-consuming). We’ve enjoyed looking back on and remembering our trips, and I know we’ll enjoy the finished product for years to come.1118161618b_hdr

Yurbud 200 sport earbuds
I upgraded to the 200s after my old 100s died, and I love the slight upgrades on this model! The earbuds attach magnetically, which is great for storage or for keeping them around my neck when I don’t want music. I also think the soft earpieces (the blue part) are more securely attached on this model, which is great because my only complaint about the 100s was that the earpieces kept falling off and getting lost.1121161645a_hdr

This maple soy glazed salmon recipe
I’m always looking for new fish recipes because I know it’s good for us but I don’t love the flavor, so I tried this Skinnytaste recipe earlier this week. It was a big hit! I loved the sweet, salty and spicy glaze and Mike kept saying, “this is really good” while he polished off two pieces, haha.  We’ll be making this one again.1129161812_hdr

Any favorite fish recipes to share? Have you put up any holiday decorations yet?

Friday Faves

Hey friends,

I’m back with another Friday Faves! I missed getting a workout log up on the site on Monday, but last week was somewhat of an impromptu rest week – between a cold and more than usual social events over the long weekend, I only got two runs and a cross training session in. No matter – I was back to my usual self this week and will have a great training log to share on Monday :D

New dining table
I’ve been wanting to replace our small round table with a larger dining table to be able to have more people over, and after a year of talking about it, Mike finally got on board, researched different furniture makers, and ordered a table and bench – all in one afternoon. We joke that he’s like an avalanche; it takes him a while to get moving on something, but once he does, he goes from 0 to 60 in 10 seconds. Anyway, the new table was delivered on Sunday and we both love it! It fits into our space perfectly and can fit 8-10 people – can’t wait for our first dinner gathering.1113161159a_hdr

R+Co Cleansing Foam Conditioner
I love all the hair products I keep getting from Birchbox lately, and this foaming shampoo+conditioner was no exception. I don’t know that it gets my hair squeaky clean, but it smells amazing and makes my hair silky soft. It’s a nice alternative to the harsher head and shoulders shampoo I use most days. I like to save this for rest days/ low activity days when my hair isn’t super sweaty.

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Source: Birchbox

Soul Cycle Motivating Marathon playlist
I discovered this Spotify playlist while scrolling for music to power my speedwork session on Tuesday and loved the fast paced music/ running theme! When I started struggling on my last repeat, I skipped forward till I found “Remember the Name” and finished strong and fast :D

Xtend Barre Circuit7
I bought a package for this studio when I saw it pop up on Gilt City a while back, and started going last week when I realized my classes would expire soon. I decided to try out their circuit7 class, which is 7 7-min segments (workout, legs, arms, core, bonus round, HIIT, and cooldown) with a greater focus on cardio. I LOVED it – it incorporates traditional barre movements with a faster pace, and includes some plyo moves as well. The class goes by fast since you do an exercise for 30 sec to 1 min before moving onto the next, and the HIIT round is short but tough. I’ll do a longer review of the studio after I’ve gone to a few more classes – I’m hoping to try their Barre Stick class next week!1111160654_hdr

This is Us
If ever there was a show designed to make me cry during every episode, this is it. All the feels. I made my mom watch one of the episodes when she was here in October, and even she liked the very real emotion and compassion in the show (she normally watches only korean TV).

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Source: NBC

I’ll leave you with this inspiration for your weekend running!

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Source: The Daily Quotes

Friday Faves

Hey friends,

It’s that time of the week again! Hope many of you are enjoying a 3-day weekend like we are – our weekend plans include board games with friends, watching Dr. Strange (has anyone seen it?), church small group, and getting a new dining room table! Oh, and studying – apparently my midterm is on Monday, lol. Here’s a few things that I’ve been enjoying lately:

Fall leaves
I just can’t help myself – this is my favorite time of the year! The color peak was in mid October, but the leaves are still going strong.1110161418_hdr

Dr. Jart+ Water Drop Hydrating Moisturizer
Another birchbox find – I was looking for a moisturizer to layer under my CC cream in the morning, and this one absorbs really well and feels very light on my skin (like water). I haven’t had any of the usual flakiness/dryness that comes with the cooler weather yet!1107160656a_hdr

Homemade greek yogurt
I started turning to plain greek yogurt with jam swirled in as my afternoon snack, and after buying a few containers of Fage (my favorite, but $$), I decided to try making my own at home. I tried out this crockpot recipe, and it’s so easy and after an initial failure (I think I didn’t wait long enough for the milk to cool down), it’s been a success each time! I make it each weekend now, and a $2 half gallon of milk turns into 4-5 cups of high quality greek yogurt.

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My straining set-up! There’s a small platform in the pot below a colander, which is lined with a thin kitchen towel

Freakonomics podcast
Lately, I’ve been listening to podcasts on long runs and easy runs on the treadmill as an alternative to music (which I save for speedwork days). After (finally) finishing Serial season 2, I started listening to Freakonomics, which explores “the hidden side to everything”. Some of the podcasts are on interesting topics (e.g., are payday loans bad) and others are motivating/useful (e.g., how to get more grit in your life), and I’ve enjoyed each one! My runs go by much faster when I’m absorbed in a podcast :)

Bokchoy from garden
I planted the first harvest in mid September after I finished the last of the kale! It’s been a hardy fall crop and I’ve been using it up in stir fries and soups.1107160720_hdr