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Showing posts from October, 2012

Foodie Pen Pals Reveal October

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Even though I have been doing Foodie Pen Pals for 6 months now, I am no less excited now when my box arrives than I was at the beginning.
Foodie Pen Pals is an awesome idea thought up by Lindsay at the Lean Green Bean. Every month you get a penpal pairing via email. You then have some time to exchange e-mails and get to know your pen pal before mailing out their box. The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15, so it is fun without breaking the box.

This month I received a box from Krista from Alaska who blogs over at MissCellaneous. This was one of the most personalized and thoughtful boxes I've received. Krista really spent some time getting to know me and picked items especially for me.

My box included some super yummy locally roasted coffee (because I told her I love coffee), coconut water (because I am a runner), lingonberry syrup (because I said I like to try local specialties),  healthy pumpkin choc…

Sandy's Wrath

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It was a wild and windy night here on the coast of Maine. I went storm chasing last night. At Portland Head Light it was so windy that I couldn't keep my eyes open. Needless to say, I wasn't able to take any pictures. So I went back today to get some photographic evidence. It wasn't as crazy as light, but it was still pretty spectacular.
My thoughts and prayers are with those who sustained serious damage in the storm.

Canine Companion

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Meet my house-mate for the next 2 weeks.


The boyfriend is away at a training for the next 2 weeks. Being the amazing girlfriend that I am, I agreed to watch Dixie. Actually, I begged him to let me watch her. She is adorable and the easiest dog ever. I wish I could have a pet, but with my work travel schedule it hasn't been practical. Now I have a step-dog. Awesome!

This morning we started out with some yoga. She does a mean updog. Then Dixie went back to sleep while I went to the gym. Now she is trying to help me work by jumping onto my keyboard.

Do you have pets?

The storm before the storm

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It's been a busy weekend. Friday night I hosted a grilled pizza and pumpkin carving party before we headed out to the haunted hayrides. I hadn't been on these haunted hayrides since I was a teenager. Either they have gotten less scary, or I have become a little less of wimp!



It was a late night, so when my alarm went off for kickboxing Saturday morning, I just couldn't get up. That turned out to be a good thing because I discovered a great new class at my gym- athletic conditioning. We did agility drills on a ladder, and then cardio and strength intervals with boxes, jump-ropes, kettleballs, and plates. It really challenged me.

After the gym I decided to ignore my to-do list and head out to 2 Lights State Park. It was abnormally warm, sunny day and I wanted to spend some time outside. Unfortunately, there was a fog bank hovering off-shore.

The fog bank quickly moved inland and I very quickly could barely see beyond my own feet. 


 Saturday night I went to a Halloween bonfi…

Hazlenootpasta!

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In high school I went abroad to Holland and I had the most amazing host family. I consider them as much my family as my blood relatives.






My host-sisters have come to visit me and I've been back to visit them twice. Last year they met me in Rome for the marathon.






Besides my host family, the best thing about Holland is the chocolate hazelnut spread and chocolate sprinkles.  Long before there was Nutella in the US, there was chocoladepasta and hagleslag. For breakfast we'd either have hazelnut spread or butter with chocolate sprinkles. Seriously good.

So I was super excited to get a package this week packed full of my favorite Dutch treat. I've had it on bananas, english muffins, and straight from the jar.


Do you have a favorite international food?




Hot Yoga Fail

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Lululemon is sponsoring an October yoga challenge with a free daily class at various studios around Portland. I was so excited when I saw the calender at the beginning of the month........ and then I didn't go. Since the end of month is rapidly upon us, I was determined to go last night, even if the class of the day was hot yoga. I have avoided hot yoga like the plague because I really hate the heat. I am a native Maine girl, bring on the snow.



But since it was free, and since my legs really needed it after the Harvest Half on Sunday and a killer hill workout yesterday, I decided to give it a whirl.

The room was already pretty full when I arrived, but I managed to smush myself into the back row. No way was I going up front. The heat didn't feel too bad as I lay in child's pose waiting for class to begin. Then, we started moving. I was dripping sweat in no time. The class had a much different flow than any yoga class I'd been to before. Mentally, it was a nice change. Phy…

Harvest Half

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I've been trying to run 12-13 miles every 3-4 weeks just to keep myself in shape. But, I am so tired of running alone on the same routes, so when I saw a posting on the Maine Running Company's Facebook page about the Harvest Half, I pounced and signed up. Nothing like signing up Saturday for a Sunday race.

After a few rainy, yucky days, Sunday dawned clear and cool. The race was held on the Eastern Trail starting in Biddeford and running through Arudel and Kennebunk. I LOVE small races. I got there 30 minutes before the 9am start and was able to park right by the start. No bathroom lines either! At 9 sharp we were off. It was chip timing, but it didn't really matter, since with less than 200 participants, it only took seconds to cross the line.

I planned to just run easy. I had set my watch for a 4min run, 30 sec walk interval ratio. Unfortunately, I forgot to start the interval workout. I wondered why that first 4 minutes felt so long. When I passed the first mile marker, I…

Why Running at Night Feels Faster

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Ahah, vindication! I have always said that I feel faster running at night, and everyone told me I was crazy. 
Now, a study from the Journal of Sport & Exercise Physiology supports my point. You do feel like you are moving faster when running in the dark than during the day. Why? Well basically in the dark objects further away aren’t visible, so you only have close-by objects to use as reference. This gives you a greater sense of speed compared to running during the day where your reference points are far away. Cool.



Does running in the dark feel easier to you?

Earthquake

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Because our flights home from San Diego were messed up, I was up for a good 32 hours. By 7 last night I was crashing. I had just crawled into bed with a book when my house started shaking. I live fairly close to the airport, so at first I though it was just a low flying plane. But this was louder and stronger than ever before. For a good 30 seconds, I sat in bed as the world rattled. And then it was over.

I sent my boyfriend a message "Um are we having an earthquake?" He said he was at work and didn't feel anything. I went downstairs and opened my front door to see if my neighbors had come outside. They hadn't. So I thought I was crazy.

Then my phone started exploding with text messages. It was an earthquake and the epicenter was close to my house!

My West Coast friends are making fun of how we are reacted to a 5.0 magnitude earthquake. It's no biggie, I know. But this is Maine, we don't get earthquakes!

I will never understand my body

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The last 5 days I have been going for beautiful runs along a dead flat seaside path on Mission Bay in San Diego. I was sleeping 9 hours and night and eating great food. And I felt like death on every run. My legs ached and my lungs burned.



Given that, I did not have high hopes for today's run. Due to a travel snafu, I have been up for more than 24 hours. I gorged on a huge margarita, garlic fries, and chocolate cake in the airport last night. My whole body is stiff from sitting on planes and my feet are swollen. And I have run a lot of days in a row, instead of my usual every other day, And then I went out and rocked 9 minute miles on my run and felt wonderful.

San Diego

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Greetings from San Diego where I have been sitting in the airport because our flight was cancelled. So much for coming back from vacation well rested.  Oh well. We had a great long weekend. I went to some meetings, but mostly we swam, ate, lounged in the sun, and slept. 
Our hotel was AWESOME. This is looking down at one of the pools from the tower. We swam at least twice a day.

My company hooked us up with some super nice meals. It was fun to get dressed up and eat outside watching the sunset.



The boy got to wade in the Pacific for the first time ever. I also introduced him to fish tacos and self self fro-yo.
 Sunday we had completely free so we went to the zoo. It was amazing! My favorites were the elephants who alternated between throwing dirt on themselves (they use it as sunscreen) and frolicking in the water.
 If I had to pick one animal there to have as a pet it would be a koala. So cuddly!


 We spent a solid 4.5 hours at the zoo and I think we walked a good 7 miles. My feet were d…

San Diego Bound

I go to Southern California all the time for work, so I am usually not all that excited about getting on a plane to head West. This week though, I am psyched. This is not a normal trip.

It is work related because I am going for my annual company meeting. Because we are all consultants and work all over the country, once a year they fly us all somewhere fun for a meeting. Last year was New Orleans and it ROCKED. There is some business involved, but there is a lot more fun, eating and drinking than anything else.

This year we are headed to Paradise Point in San Diego. It looks super nice. It has been cold and rainy in Maine for like 3 weeks so I can't wait for some sunshine. Even more exciting is that the bf is coming with me! He's never been to the West Coast so I am excited to get to take him. It makes it feel more like a vacation.

California here we come!

On the Edge

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This fall I made a goal to improve my fitness, not just maintain it. I feel like I'd gotten stuck in a rut with the same old workouts. So, I started added some more speed works and hills into my runs, and added 2 additional strength workouts per week. For the first few weeks, I felt great.

Then, I started my new job. It is a killer. Because I work from home, and my customers are in California and Texas, I have a really hard time turning off at night because they just keep calling and e-mailing.

Last week it caught up with me and I started to crash. At first I just tried to push through. I told myself I just wasn't being tough enough. Then, I remembered a great post I'd read on Carrots N' Cake. You can't push in every area of your life at the same time. The extra intensity and frequency of my workouts was too much combined with the stress and long hours of my new job.


So I tried to really escape this weekend by heading up to my Mom's on Southport Island. It is my …

Health Fall Comfort Food: Greek Yogurt Penne with Wild Mushrooms

The cool weather continues here in Maine so I finally have a chance to make some of the yummy comfort food I have been pinning on Pinterest all summer. This week I found a winner- Penne with Wild Mushrooms in Greek Yogurt Sauce. Pasta, mushrooms, and creamy sauce? Yes please. I even went crazy and made my own spinach pasta from scratch. Boo yeah.



I got the recipe from the Fage Yogurt Website, but I will admit I did not use Fage. I used the cheap store brand instead.Without further adieu, here is the recipe so that you can try it too.

Ingredients:2 tbsp olive oil3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed2/3 lbs fresh wild mushroom, wiped and sliced1 tbsp balsamic vinegar1.1 lb packet of pasta¼ tsp freshly grated nutmegSalt and freshly ground black 2 containers of 6 oz Fat Free Greek Yogurt2 tbsp freshly chopped basil Preparation Directions:Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the chopped shallots and crushed garlic for 2-3 minutes without browning. …

Healthy Fall Comfort Food: Pumpkin Apple Oatmeal

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It really feels like fall here in Maine this week. The leaves are vibrant and the air is cool. Unfortunately, it has also been gray and rainy a lot of the time.


Stuck inside on chilly days, I have been majorly craving comfort foods. But, I am also going to San Diego next week so I am trying not to over do it, so I will still be able to rock a bathing suit. This week I whipped up a big batch of my favorite fall breakfast- pumpkin apple oatmeal. It is a great thing to whip up on Sunday and eat all week.


Pumpkin Apple Oatmeal

1 c old fashioned oats
1 c steel cut oat grouts
1/4 c flax meal
2.5-3 cups water (you can also replace half the water with apple cider for extra apple goodness)
2 medium apples diced
1 can pumpkin
spices (I like nutmeg, cinnamon,  and ginger)
1/4 maple syrup

Combine everything in a pot and cook over medium until the oatmeal is done. I liked to serve with a big dallop of  Greek yogurt mixed in for extra creamy goodness.




A long run and a new toilet

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I had so many fun plans for last week- apple picking, horseback riding, and Octoberfest. Instead, it poured all weekend and everything got cancelled. Boo. Instead I did two things I didn't plan on doing, a long run and installing a toilet.

I have hated my downstairs toilet since I moved in. It was old, ugly, and didn't work that well.

But on the long list of everything I wanted to do in my house, the toilet was near the bottom. Until Saturday when it wouldn't stop running. When I opened the tank and tried to fix it every piece I touched broke. New toilet time! Because I am a huge nerd, I had actually written down the model of a toilet I saw in Consumer Reports a few months ago. I went right on-line and ordered in from Lowe's. Then the bf and I spent awhile watching videos of how to install a new toilet on-line. Seriously, what did people do before Youtube?

I would like to say I helped a lot, but I didn't. R did most of it and I handed him things. I did do some of the …