Sunday, September 25, 2011

Surviving Long Runs...

Jeff and I will be running the Philadelphia Marathon in less than 2 months! I can't believe how close it is...we have been training for so long and are so ready for this race to be here. Yesterday we ran our longest run yet-14 miles. I wish we could tell you all that we enjoyed running, but we honestly can't say that we do...especially runs that are so freaking long. We are not runners. I mean, come on, I am 4 foot 11 inches! My legs do not love to run. There are, however, a few things we do to make the runs a little more enjoyable....

1. Drink a lot of water the night before. Since we wake up and are out of the door by 7:00 am, we really don't want to drink prior to the run. So we don't cramp up on the run, we always drink a few full glasses of water the night before (and unfortunately end up waking to to pee in the middle of the night!).

2. Get a good night's sleep. The last thing you want is to be tired on a long run.

3. Have a pit stop half way through the run. The family I nanny for lives about 7 mi
les from us, so we left a bottle of water and 4 small packs of gummy bears there to drink/eat half way. Although it is always hard to get our legs moving again for the last 7 miles, it is so helpful to get some calories and sugar into our bodies! We also stopped again around mile 11 for a bathroom break and some water at Panera. It is helpful to find places along your run to stop and re-hydrate.

4. Run with a partner. Jeff and I encourage each other the entire run. It is usually me (Cait) that wants to stop and complain, but Jeff always convinces me to keep running! Randomly throughout the run you will always hear us saying to one another, "Great job" or "We got this." The little encouragement helps so much.

5. Don't plan anything for the rest of the day. After our run yesterday we had a portrait shoot for our photography business-bad idea. We were completely exhausted and both ended our day with headaches :/ Take the day to relax! And remember to re-fuel with a meal after the run. Yesterday we stopped at a bagel shop and had some sandwiches on bagels-so good!

So, there you have it. Some things we do to help us through our runs. I'm pretty sure every run I turn to Jeff and say "I can't go anymore. There is no way I can run a full marathon." But we are so close! We have 3 more long runs left in our training program-16 miles, 18 miles, 20 miles.

I felt encouraged after yesterday's run, though. We ran our quickest average pace yet (about 9:45/10 minute miles) and I felt good the entire run. Some days runs go well and other days they don't.

We have already run more than a half marathon, so I know we can do it! Is anyone else training for a half or full marathon? If so, how is it going?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mini Apple Pies

I promised you a recipe involving apples, so here it is! It is pretty adorable if I do say so myself. I wish I could take credit, however I found this recipe on foodgawker one day. I adapted it a bit, but mostly stuck to what this blog advised. A big thank you to Cat (the author of the blog) for coming up with this great, adorable and tasty fall recipe :)

-1 box pie crusts (2 crusts per box)
-3-5 apples (I used granny smith)
-1/4 cup sugar
-1/4 cup brown sugar
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-2 tablespoons melted butter

First, peel and cut the apples into small pieces. Remember that it will be easier if you peel the apple before you cut it (something I forgot and hated myself for :)

Toss the cut up apples with the sugar and cinnamon and mix well.

Cut the pie crusts with a circle cookie cutter, or if you don't have one, use a mug like we did! The circle should be a little larger than the muffin cup size.

Press the pie crust dough into the muffin pan.

Fill the dough cups with the apple mixture. It should be pretty full.

Top the mini pies with another circle of dough and press around the edges. Use a knife to cut 4 slits in the top of the pie. Top them with a little bit of butter and sprinkle some sugar on top. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until browned, at 400 degrees! While they are baking, take pictures of your adorable pup...

And then of your handsome husband...

These are just too cute. And easy! If you are having guests over and need to impress them with a dessert, this is it.

So good and the perfect size. Enjoy it with some vanilla ice-cream and they're even better. Jeff and I ran 14 miles today for marathon training. I'll be back tomorrow to give you and update on marathon training and share with you some of our running tips :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New Etsy Shop

My new Etsy shop is up and running! Visit it HERE. I've been working on lots of lace earrings and finally got around to putting a few up on Etsy for you all to purchase if you are interested. Let me know what you think and what you would like to see more of (or differently). And of course I can't post without leaving you with a few photos. So, here are some of yesterday's farm class with my little buddy...

I can't wait until Jeff and I are ready to have a little one of our own! We are waiting a few more years since we are so young and have so many things we want to do before children take over our lives ;) Some days I turn to Jeff and say "I want a baby." He immediately smiles then reminds me that we need to enjoy life together, just the two of us right now. I think it is so important to embrace this stage of life. So, as much as my heart melts whenever I am with the little guy above...I enjoy being able to give him back to his mama everyday and head home to just my hubby.

Ps. Are you wondering where all of my recipes are? I am too! I've been working on these earrings for another project I am getting involved in (will share with you in a few weeks) so I haven't spent much time cooking. This weekend I should have something up, though! Something involving apples...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Roasted Corn & Apple Picking

It finally feels like fall and that makes me oh, so happy! We spent Sunday with friends doing every fall activity we could think of (well, not really...just a few). We went to the eastern part of Long Island to apple pick, however quickly realized that we were too late. I always thought apple picking was a fall (aka September or October) event, but I was wrong. We learned that for the past few years apple picking in this area has been best in August. All of the apples were off the trees and on the ground and most were unfortunately rotted :/ So, we didn't leave with many apples...but lots of pictures instead!

Exhibit A: rotted apple.

Instead of picking dirty apples off the ground, we took advantage of some great scenery for pictures. Meet Brittany and Jon, an adorable couple...

We took the picture below 2 years ago at an orchard near our college.

Here we are again with a few changes. First, we're happily married! Second, my hair is longer and darker. Third, our pictures are no longer blurry. Fourth, there no apples on the trees.

You can't make a trip out easy without enjoying some Long Island roasted corn...

I loaded mine with salt (bad I know). They had so many different kinds of salt to add to the corn...I couldn't resist.

We ended the day with a stop at the beach. Jon and Brittany knew of a beautiful private beach nearby so they showed us the way. One of the few things I will miss about Long Island (yes I said few, I'm a PA girl at heart)...

If you haven't apple picked yet...go soon! Our next fall events will be pumpkin picking, haunted hay riding and apple cider drinking. Hoping to cross off the apple cider drinking tomorrow night :)
Saturday, September 17, 2011

Shopping Spree

Jeff is working back in his hometown this weekend which leaves me and Ollie to hang out together for the weekend! Ollie had a lot of fun at a park yesterday so I decided to have some fun today...except at the mall instead of the park. We are on a tight budget so I probably shouldn't have bought anything, but everything was reasonable so I treated myself. I'm still very much into lace and fell in love with this shirt! $19.00...

The jeans I have on are 7 For All Mankind and I got them off ebay for $20.00! Originally $150.00, not bad right? I couldn't resist the scarf below. It was $12.00...

And last but certainly not least, I found this fun feather hair extension for $4.00...

Husbands beware...this is what happens when you leave your wives for a few days! But at least I'll look super cute for our apple picking date tomorrow :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Wyatt's Nursery

So, you might remember my post about my sister's baby shower I helped organize this summer. Well, I'm here today to share with you pictures of her fabulous nursery :) I am in love with Wyatt's nursery-the blues, the oranges, the trucks...every little detail. I helped by making the crib skirt, pillows and curtains and my amazing husband made the puppy mobile (can you even believe him? I can't!) It is the perfect room for a little boy to spend the first years of his life. My sister is due on October 4th and I cannot wait to meet my nephew! Lauren is already such an amazing mom to her two pups, and I know she is going to be the best mama to Wyatt. He is one lucky boy-first to have a nursery as cool as this one, but second to have an amazing set of parents! Enjoy reading her blog today...

My Boys and Their Toys

Who needs to spend $100.00 on Etsy when you have a husband who can make this (below)? Lauren has 2 schnauzer pups, hence the schnauzers on the mobile. I don't know about you, but I think my husband is pretty awesome for this! The fabric on the little bones even match the fabric in the curtains, pillows and crib skirt I made.

I just hope our future child has a nursery as cool as this one day! Although Jeff said he was never making a mobile again :/ I'm sure I can convince him...
Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Grilled Mini Polenta Pizzas

I tried polenta for the first time a few months ago and fell in love. You can do so many different things with it and it is gluten-free! I've eaten polenta with eggs and also as a side dish, but yesterday I tried it as an appetizer. Very happy with the outcome...

-10 slices of polenta
-Mozzarella cheese (I used string cheese that I had on hand)
-3 tablespoons pesto

Light your grill and place the slices of polenta on for a few minutes, until they start to brown. Once one of the sides is browned, flip it over and add the toppings. Place the pesto on first, then add the cheese. You could add any toppings you want...but pesto and mozz is one of my favorite combinations!

They are bite sized, gluten-free and healthy...3 of my favorite things.

Ollie really wanted a taste. Sometimes I wish he was a human so that he could eat what we eat (and talk to me when I'm bored and talk to him) -I'm sure the same old dog food every day gets boring.

We also had turkey burgers (made by Jeff), string beans and potatoes for dinner. Delicious!

On a non-food related note, I am opening up my etsy shop again at the end of the week! No more headbands though. I've moved onto bigger and better things. Lace earrings.

I'll have several styles for sale. Anyone interested?
Friday, September 9, 2011

Random Facts Friday

I wish I could share a great recipe with you today, but I haven't done too much cooking this week. We've been living off of pizza, soup and pasta due to a lack of grocery money this week! Living on a budget is so much fun (not). So instead, I'll share with you random facts about myself so you can get to know me a little better :) Feel free to comment and let me know if you share any of these traits as well...

1.I vacuum once a day. It's actually a very annoying habbit. I wish I didn't feel the need to because sometimes I just want to come home from work and relax, but if I see a speck of dirt I HAVE to vacuum it up.

2.I spelled my middle name wrong until middle school. I was making an 8th grade scrapbook and went to show the finished product to my mom. She responded, "You're not finished the cover, becuase you forgot a letter of your middle name." My middle name is "AnnE", not "Ann".

3. Jeff and I have had our baby boy and baby girl named for when we decide to have kiddos for years. I'll let you in on part of the secret. Boy name starts with "T" and girl name starts with "J." And for those of you who think, "You'll probably change it..." we absolutely will not :)

4. I HATE condiments. I don't eat mayo, mustard, ketchup, creamy salad dressings, cream cheese...nothing.

5. I played lacrosse and soccer in high school. I was also on the swim team...for two weeks...then I quit. It's hard stuff. A lot harder than it looks!

6. I used to be obsessed with fake nails. I had my nails done all the time in high school. And although they ruined my nails for a while, I secretly miss them (but maybe not the crazy length and designs I used to get on them). Oh high school...

7. My sister and I call each other "Willis." She is "Willis" in my phone, my e-mail and in person. Why? I really couldn't tell you. All we remember is that my mom had a guinnea pig as a class pet many years ago named Willis and somehow it became our nickname for each other.

8. I currently have 3 cavities. Oops.

9. I want to go to seminary. I can't now because Jeff is finishing up PT school and we have a crazy amount of loans to pay off first, but one day I hope to make it there! I studied Christian Ministry in undergrad and just want to learn more...

10. My next car will be a Kia Soul-a green one.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

DIY (Anthropologie) Lace Earrings

I'm into lace. A friend of mine saw an adorable pair of earrings from Anthropologie and asked if anyone could make similar ones (for cheaper, of course). I decided to give it a try! Although mine aren't exactly the same as the link above, I'm a fan. They were super easy.

You will need...
-Ear wires
-Water and elmer's glue (only if lace isn't stiff)

I have tons of lace from an old wedding dress I found in my grandmother's large pile of scrap fabric in her basement. I picked a patten that I liked and carefully cut it out. The lace was already stiff, so I didn't need to use glue, which would make it more stiff (follow this blog if you need to do this step). Add the ear wires and you're done!

I also made the same pair for the friend that posted the idea on Facebook :) This was my first mirror picture...kind of fun!

Ollie wanted to join in on the fun, as always.

Go find yourself some lace and start crafting. I promise it will cost you less than the $20.00 Anthropologie sells them for and they will be more awesome since YOU made them!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Chicken, Broccoli and Rice Casserole

Today I am sharing with you a recipe I grew up eating. My mom made this casserole dish every once in a while, and after making it for Jeff about a month ago he requests it often now! I think he likes that it fills him up and that he can take leftovers to work/school easily the next day. It beats his everyday turkey and cheese sandwich, that's for sure! I don't make casserole's often since they aren't always the healthiest, but once in a while is fine :)

-2 cups of cooked white rice
-2 chicken breasts, shredded
-1 head of broccoli, steamed and cut into small pieces
-1 can of cream of broccoli, chicken or mushroom soup
-3/4 cup shredded cheese

Simply combine all of the above ingredients together in a dish and top with the shredded cheese. Place in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted (the rice, broccoli and chicken should still be warm from just cooking beforehand). I do love how quickly this dinner comes together.

We took Ollie downtown to meet some people and pups yesterday. We also enjoyed some Starbucks since we had a few dollars left on a gift card.

Caramel Macchiato (Jeff's choice)...we shared.

Ollie had a great time sitting on the bench observing the people and other dogs and sniffing the air from tons of different smells. We meet so many more people with a dog by our side! And surprisingly, almost every time we have Ollie with us, someone comes up to us who has or had a Westie. I never thought they were such a popular breed, but I guess they are.

Lastly, when is fall going to be here? We are sick of summer. I know, I will probably regret saying that when my toes are blue from the cold this winter...but I'm really sick of this heat! We put away our air conditioners to save some money this month and are starting to regret it. Hopefully fall is on it's way :) I'm ready for pumpkin spice lattes, apple picking, boots and sweaters!
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