Category Archives: Weekend Wrapup

Mango (not so) Green Smoothie

This weekend has just flown by for me! Anyone else? While I won’t bore you with every single thing that we did this week (or still plan to do!), here’s a quick rundown of this weekend’s festivities.

Friday night, as I blogged about here, we had a pretty low key night. We are addicted to Breaking Bad. Can.not.get.enough. We had to run out to Target this morning and buy Season 3 because we couldn’t wait to start watching it. If you haven’t seen it, I highly suggest you do!

Saturday was a bit more productive. We started our morning by taking Peanut for a quick walk and then headed to a local breakfast place called The Farm at South Mountain. Their Morning Glory Cafe is delicious and has a dog friendly patio, so we took Peanut along. If you live in the Phoenix area and have never tried The Farm for breakfast or lunch, definitely do!

After watching a few more episodes of Breaking Bad, I headed out for my 8 mile run. And run I did. This was a new PDR for me, so going in I was excited and nervous at the same time.

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To keep it interesting, I drove about ten minutes down the street to a local park for my run. When I first started I created a loop that was a little over 2 miles and so I just repeated that about 4 times…this strategy worked for me. It spiced things up but also let me know exactly how much actual ground I had left to cover. Even though I was wearing my watch, this physical distance reference kept my head in the game.

And, I finished! And honestly, I felt pretty strong. I won’t say I was speedy…because trust me, I wasn’t I covered 8 miles in about 1:27. But I’ll take it! My race isn’t until March 2, so I still have plenty of time for training!

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Came home and was starving so I made a quick snack of cheese, tuna fish and crackers. And a few sour patch kids snuck their way into my mouth too.

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After snacking, more Breaking Bad, and a quick shower, we headed out to Four Peaks Brewery with a couple of friends for dinner. The place was packed! But we ended up waiting and had a good time chowing down on some delicious food and chatting.

This morning Justin and I hit the gym for a quick workout. I ran 3 miles in about 28 minutes and let me tell you, they were a tough three miles. I think my legs just wanted to rest.

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After our workout, it was smoothie time! and spoiler alert, my green smoothie for today, didn’t turn out so green. But it tasted delicious, so I’ll take it!

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Mango Green Smoothie

1 cup mango (fresh or frozen, I used frozen)
1 cup strawberries
2 cups spinach
1 frozen banana
enough very vanilla soy milk to move it around (i probably used about 2 tblsp)

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I’m pretty sure my smoothie went wrong in the spinach department. I definitely overestimated the amount of spinach I had left in the fridge, so while you should use 2 cups for this recipe, I probably only used a little under a cup. I think if I had had the correct amount, it’d be more green! 🙂

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I’ve got to get started on taking down these darn Christmas decorations…my motivation? More Breaking Bad!

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

Stay Classy San Diego

Happy Monday Wednesday everyone! It sure feels like a Monday to me and I’m having a hard time getting back into the swing of the professional world after such a long holiday break.

As promised, I owe you all a recap of the wonderful weekend that Justin and I spent in San Diego with Peanut! The following will contain far too many pictures of my adorable dog. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! 🙂

Friday

Justin and I were a little nervous about a 4.5-5 hour car ride with our dog considering the longest she’d ever be in the car previous to this was about 20 minutes. However, we were worried for no reason. Peanut climbed right onto daddy’s lap and proceeded to sleep for the majority of the drive. Win! However, this meant that I did ALL the driving…not so awesome. Oh well, though…we made it safe and sound!

Justin and I were staying at the Hilton Gaslamp Quarter Hotel in downtown San Diego. We chose this hotel because it is pet friendly, has a little dog park right outside the front lobby and is very conveniently located within downtown San Diego. Steps from amazing restaurants and shops and very close to the pier and water as well. Check-in was a breeze. We are Hilton Honors members and I have to say we definitely received amazing customer service during this trip. While checking in we were informed that we had been upgraded from the Loft Style Suite that we had originally booked to a similar Loft Suite but with about 300 sq. feet of extra room as well as a large jacuzzi tub. Our pet fee (which is normally $75/night) was also comped! Thanks Hilton!

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Once we arrived to our room Peanut was in heaven, so many new things to sniff! She ran around for a bit while Justin and I got down to the important stuff. Where should we eat for dinner?! Justin called down to the concierge at the hotel and asked where a yummy, dog friendly, place to have dinner would be. He asked if we liked Italian? OF COURSE and suggested we check out Chianti. The concierge even took care of making reservations for us, ensuring that we got a good seat on the patio so Peanut was able to join us. Awesome. We were starving so we packed our stuff up right away and headed out.

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Peanut was a great sport even with all the distractions of the city!

Once we arrived at Chianti we were given, as promised, a perfect little table on the patio where Peanut could join us.

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I was so hungry that I didn’t even think to snap pics of our dinner but let me tell you, it was delicious! I got the homemade pasta with meat sauce and Justin got the gnocchi. We both, of course, had a glass of wine to go with our meals as well.

All in all it was a perfect night for dinner on the patio…the weather wasn’t too cold and the food was delish!

Saturday

After a great first night, we woke up and decided to have a quick breakfast at the hotel before heading out for the day. We dined outside on the patio with a fireplace to take the chill off!

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Peanut sat nicely at first and then got very curious as to what the heck mommy kept pointing at her! 🙂

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The night before we had heard from some people at the dog park that the dog beach on Coronado Island was awesome and that it was a must visit while we were in town. Saturday morning was the perfect time to visit. We packed up and made the short 10 minute drive to the Island and explored the dog beach and let me tell you…I think Peanut thought she died and went to dog heaven. She literally did not stop running for the full hour that we were there. Coronado is a leash free dog beach, so she was able to roam and play at her leisure.

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After Peanut was all tuckered out we headed back to the hotel. Justin relaxed on the couch with a very sleepy Peanut and I hit the gym for a quick 4 mile run. Gotta get my training runs in!

Saturday night we decided to keep it low key, since it was drizzling a bit outside and Justin just ran to the restaurant downstairs and got take-out for dinner. (we had already bought a bottle of wine to drink in the room).

Sunday morning our plan was to enjoy a nice breakfast before bringing Peanut back to the dog beach for one last romp before we head to make the long drive back to Phoenix. We had gotten a few recommendations from locals to check out Cafe 21 for breakfast or lunch and that we wouldn’t be disappointed! Since locals always know best, we took them up on their suggestion and headed to Cafe 21 for breakfast. Cafe 21’s menu is inspired by fresh, organic produce and they definitely had some different and interesting things on the menu!

We were again seated on the patio and I ordered a latte to get my morning started.

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For my actual breakfast I ordered the banana pancakes. Once they arrived, I realized I’d forgotten to order a half stack instead of the full, regardless, they were delish so I’m actually glad I forgot. Not too dense, not too fluffy and also not too sweet. I would definitely order again.

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Speaking of unusual menu items, Justin got the short rib omelet and was definitely happy with his choice.

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After breakfast, we packed up the car and instead of heading right for the highway gave Peanut another quick run on her beloved dog beach. She ran and ran for another 30-45 minutes before we called it quits.

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See you next time San Diego!

Our drive home was pretty un-eventful except as we were nearing Phoenix, we saw the brightest rainbow ever! Thankfully Justin got a shot while we were at a stop light!

It’s the simple things… 🙂

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And that’s a wrap! Our San Diego weekend in a nutshell. Sorry for the super long post…and Peanut photo-bomb! I’ll be back later this evening with an update on my marathon training and healthy eating to start the New Year! I’m participating in Real Food Runner’s Green Smoothie Challenge and I’m so excited! I got a Ninja blender for Christmas so making smoothies is even more fun for me right now!

Chocolate Chip Dough Balls

Happy Sunday everyone! Today was a busy day for us. After sleeping for about 9 hours last night. (Ahhhhh sleeeeeep) We got up, got ready and promptly headed to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the Lions game. After a nail biter, the Lions walked away with a W, yippee! We came home and headed right back out to Target to get a bunch of these…


…in order to start packing our apartment = booo. But moving into our new house = yay!

However, while at Target, I also bought the last two ingredients needed to make these…


Chocolate Chip Dough Balls! I literally copied the recipe from Diana at The Chic Life, so hop on over here to find the recipe!

However, I snapped photos my whole way through the baking process so here is the recipe in picture form for your viewing pleasure!

True to cookie baking form…gather all of your ingredients and mix all your dry components together…

Then, add your sugars and wet ingredients into a medium sized bowl and stir until well mixed…

Then mix your dry ingredients into your wet…it totally seems as if you did something wrong and measured out your wet ingredients incorrectly…however as the recipe states…keep mixing and it’ll form a stiff dough…

Then mix in your chocolate chips…I used 1/2 cup Nestle Semi-Sweet

Then you are supposed to chill your dough for at least 20 minutes…I can say I literally threw them in the fridge for 20 minutes on the dot and it worked out fine. I used this time to clean up the kitchen…see?
From this…

To this….

Clean counters make me happy.

Once 20 minutes had passed I popped the dough out of the fridge and started rolling them into balls. I believe the recipe says to use a small melon baller or sorbet scoop but I didn’t have either so I used a 1TBSP scoop. It worked perfectly. Scoop and roll….scopp and roll…

and then I sprinkled some sugar on top, for good measure, and popped them in the 350 degree oven for 10 minutes on the dot.

They came out golden brown on the bottom and just the right amount of doughy on the inside…mmmm mmmm goood.

All the while, Justin was couching it…playing on our iPad…

Lucky him! Yummy treats and he didnt even lift a finger! Anyway, these are seriously delish, so I highly suggest you head on over to The Chic Life and make.these.now.

The rest of my evening was spent packing, packing and more packing…trying to pack for a week out of town while also packing up everything you own have proven to be challenging.

In other news, I totally didn’t get my run in today. Boo. But I’m planning to get one in tomorrow morning (going for 4.5 miles) and again on Tuesday morning. I leave Tuesday afternoon for a work trip in NYC, so I wont have much time Wed-Fri (or the weekend for that matter, staying in NYC with a friend) to get any runs of decent distance in, so I’ve gotta pound the pavement while I can before I leave!

I hope everyone had a great weekend! I’ve totally spend my free time today reading everyone’s race recaps and have been so inspired! There are so many amazing members of the blog community it’s unbelievable! I’m so thrilled to be a part of it all. 🙂

What’d you do this weekend? I’d love to hear about it!

Summer Hiking at Dreamy Draw

As promised, I’m back to give a recap of Justin and I’s hiking adventure on a hot Phoenix morning over Labor Day weekend.

It was 93 and a bit overcast and we thought to ourselves…why don’t we go for a hike? So we did. Well first we googled somewhere new to hike, and I came across Dreamy Draw Recreation Park. judging from the reviews on Yelp, it seemed like an easy place to get to and a park with lots of hiking options. We filled up our four (yes 4! have to be prepared in AZ) containers of water, threw on our hiking gear and we were out the door!

The hike started out like any other…a nice flat trail that weaves you up into the mountain…

And at this point, despite the heat (and the sun that was beating down on us!) I still felt great! And was happy to be outside, enjoying nature. Did I mention that we were basically the only people out there? (I know, I know, its summer in Phoenix!) But it was actually really peaceful and nice and quiet!

So we continued on. Knowing that the even trail was about to end and we were about to hike up a mountain, we stopped and drank some water and just enjoyed the scenery!

And then, we started reallllllly hiking because the trail turned into this:

And the climbing was fine, heck it was even fun until I started to feel like death. AKA no matter how much water I drank, and how many rock sitting breaks we took I still felt like I couldn’t go on, not.another.step. Mentally at least, physically my legs still felt pretty darn strong. So we took another break. (That’s Justin shading me from the sun. What a keeper!)

Justin on the other hand, was moving right along and encouring me too. We were so close to the top, and we literally only had a small ways to go before turning around and going downhill!


and he was even nice enough to wear my pink hiking backpack the entire way! love him!

And so we kept on hiking…and we made it to the top! I was pretty proud of myself for sticking with it, and the view was pretty good, too. Look how high we were! Thats the trail we started on, way down there!

From here, it was all downhill (literally). We climbed our way back down in pretty decent time, stopping for water breaks and rock sitting every 15 minutes or so and that was that! Our first Arizona hike in the middle of the summer!

Now of course, I realize that hiking (heck any type of outdoor physical activity) in extreme temperatures can be very dangerous, and if at any point during the hike I literally felt as if I had heat exhaustion or couldn’t stand up, etc. I would have stopped. But for me, it was more lack of being 100% in shape, (that’ll hopefully change soon, as I’m running a 10K November 6th!), the fact that it was like, 95 degrees out and mentally I think I just had a wall up.

Overall, I’d definitely go back to Dreamy Draw and may try one of the other 15 trails we saw on the map. You can also access Squaw Peak from this entrance to Dreamy Draw Recreation Park…and from what I’ve heard, Squaw Peak is the hardest hike in Phoenix, second only to the legendary Camelback Mountain! Hmmmm, I think I see a few hiking challenges in Justin and I’s future. Once the weather cools down, of course!

Tonight we are spending the rest of our 3 day weekend on the couch watching tennis…(Go Wozniacki!) and relaxing before it’s back to reality tomorrow. Oh and I’ll probably have a bite or two of something sweet to wrap it all up. What’s a relaxing night on the couch without some dessert?

Quick Trip to MI

Thanks for all the comments/emails regarding races in the Phoenix area! You had some really great suggestions and I can’t wait to pick a few to sign up for! Once I do, I’ll definitely blog about it so that if anyone is interested in a running buddy, we can coordinate! But first, let’s back up to last Friday…

We took off  early Friday morning for the airport for a quick weekend trip to Michigan for our friend Ryan & Melissa’s wedding! (Congrats Mr & Mrs Buffa!)

Typical plane fare:

Then, we landed in MI hung out with some friends from college we hadn’t seen in awhile. Here is our friends cat, I’m allergic to cats so I could only take a picture through the sliding glass door. Everyone say hi to Dobs!

Saturday morning Justin went golfing with the soon-to-be groom while I slept in, got some work done and relaxed. Soon it was time to get ready for the wedding!

Here we are just after dinner getting ready to hit the dance floor (best part of weddings, BTW! and NO Justin isn’t miserable, he just doesn’t always love his picture to be taken!)

Saturday night was a late one…but well worth it. Being at our friends wedding makes me that much more excited for ours! Now that I’m planning a wedding, I pay attention to all the little details that I would have never even noticed before. Case in point, I was taking pictures of center pieces. They were pretty though, weren’t they?

And finalllly, a trip to Michigan isn’t complete without the purchase of a new Detroit Lions shirt! Hollllla!

Andddddd, we’re back. Home sweet Phoenix!

Today was a crazy busy day at work. Breakfast consisted of some blueberry oatmeal. Lunch was leftover pasta and tonight’s dinner was quick and easy! Chicken sausage on the grill, garlic and herb cous cous with a slice of watermelon (yum!)

The rest of this evening I’m trying to get some work done while catching up on the DVR (can you say Keeping Up With the Kardashians and two weeks of Giuliana and Bill!)

Tomorrow will be a super busy day at work plus a night of packing becausssssse we are headed to Amelia Island, Florida on Wednesday morning for 5 days of relaxation! Well, for me at least! The trip is with Justin’s company so he has some training/work to do for a bit each day but I don’t! And if I can get a lot of work done tonight/tomorrow I may even be able to leave my laptop at home! Score! I can’t wait to blog from my ocean breeze balcony! and I promise to take lots of pictures! I’m also very excited to be able to take a few runs on the beach! Being from the midwest, that’s one thing I miss here in Arizona!

Ciao!

Monday (Not So Fun) Day

Quick weekend catch-up: I made it to Saturday morning yoga (ahhhhh, love starting my weekends off on the right foot) and then went for a quick 2 mile run on Sunday.

Followed by some much needed relaxation by the pool.

(PS. Did I mention that I LOVE instagram for iPhone? Because I do.)

Okay, back to the present…at least by this time, Monday is almost over! I definitely had one of those Mondays. You know the kind…you wake up late, run out of the house and know that you are forgetting something but can’t put your finger on it until, you know, you’ve driven all the way to your office (which is an hour commute in rush hour traffic) only to realize that you’ve forgotten your LAPTOP at home! yep…one of THOSE days. Thankfully Justin hadn’t left the apartment yet by the time I realized I forgot said laptop and I was able to meet him at his office downtown Phoenix…so I only had to drive halfway back home and back again instead of all the way. Needless to say, my day got off to a semi-rocky start.

Thankfully, it didn’t turn out so bad. After cranking out quite a bit of work today at the office Justin and I decided on Pita Jungle for dinner. Have you ever had Pita Jungle? If you live in the Phoenix area (and I believe they are in CA as well) and haven’t, I suggest you head there now. Seriously, go there NOW! I had the hummus and grilled chicken with pita and Justin had a Chicken shwarma. Excuse the iPhone photo, I was simply too hungry to bust out the real thing by the time we got home from picking this up.

In other news, this week is gearing up to be a busy one. We’re headed to Michigan for a good friends wedding this upcoming weekend so that means a 4 day work week for me (YAY!) But a shorter work week always means packing 5 days of work into 4…but oh well, I’ll take it if it means I have an extra day to spend with Justin! Tomorrow evening I’m catching up with a friend over dinner and Wednesday I’m going to try to hit up my favorite yoga class before we go away for the weekend.

I’m really trying to put a bigger effort into sticking to my workout schedule. I just feeeeel better when I’m eating healthy and working out, that should be reason enough for me to get my move on!

Hope everyone is enjoying the rest of their Monday! G’nite!