Tag: summer

YAY – Successfully Moved into Our New Apartment!

YAY – Successfully Moved into Our New Apartment!

Hi Everyone – I have some exciting news to share with you all! As I mentioned in my last post on the DIY projects, my boyfriend and I finally moved into our new apartment! It’s officially been just over a month since we’ve moved in. This explains why I’ve been very MIA over the past few weeks. As many people can likely relate with big moves, there are a lot of moving parts and it can be quite time consuming! You think you have everything, yet once you move in, it seems like that Target or Home Goods list just keeps getting longer…am I right?!

Anyway, we’re super pumped about this move – we finally have our own place together, we have a big kitchen to cook in (major find seeing as every apt kitchen we looked at in the city was smaller than a closet), we are conveniently located near Whole Foods, we’re right near some great running areas, cafes, public transportation, etc.! I’ve been doing a lot of my runs around the BC reservoir which is so nice in this boootiful summer weather! I also love how active this area is – literally EVERYONE is out running, walking, biking and more – so it definitely keeps me motivated.

As I just mentioned, there is a lot to still be done in this apartment. Furniture to be painted, bed headboard, kitchen walls to be painted, new couch to be delivered, painting in bedroom to be done, rugs for the living room and bedroom, and more decorating to happen. However, I wanted to share pictures with everyone so that overtime, we hopefully can see some good progress to be made! Side note – don’t mind my boyfriend stuffing his face with popcorn – he refused to move for the photos. ALSO, I would have liked to take these pictures in better lighting…but I’m desperate to upload a post as it’s been a while! Look out for a future post with NEW pics, apartment updates, and better lighting 🙂

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Our theme is beachy/boho/California vibe (because when the cold New England weather creeps up on us for half of the year, it’s at least nice to pretend we live in a hot, beachy location). Our colors are mostly shades of beachy blues, oranges, greens and some white…but as you can see we have a few pieces of eye-popping colorful, mismatched furniture as well.

Keep an eye out for more updates…I’m looking forward to sharing our progress with you all! And feel free to comment with any suggestions – I always like to hear about new ideas for apartment shopping destinations, DIY projects, and more!

Beach Inspired DIY Projects

Beach Inspired DIY Projects

I’d love to take credit for the inspiration that you’ll see in the below picture, however, shamelessly, I got all of these wonderful ideas through pinterest. THANK GOD FOR PINTEREST AM I RIGHT?? What you’ll need:
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– 1 Wooden board with either a mount or a rope to hang
– Mason Jars
– Old Fashion Tall Soda Jars
– A variety of paint brushes – Small, Medium, AND Large
– Acrylic Paint (this is the type of paint that works best on any surface; wood, glass, etc. Michaels has a HUGE selection of colors, so make sure to keep your eyes pealed) >> We used the “FolkArt” brand; multi-surface (turquoise, aqua, mandarin orange, White, Gold, & Silver)
– Plain Wooden Letters (Again, Craft stores like Michaels or AC Moore carry A TON of these wooden letters in different styles, so make sure to look around for the right one!) >>> Also, we chose to use our initials; but you can also create words to hang or display somewhere around the house. For example; we’re thinking of doing “GIN” in all gold to put above the bar cart OR you can spell SURF or BEACH… you get the idea!

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*For the mason jars and soda cars, I was inspired by this image I found on pinterest; then I just went for it and did my own variations of the bohemian design. These mason jars and soda cans can be SO versatile – Candle holders, Vases, pencil holder, tooth brush holder, kitchen glasses, and more!

*For the wooden board, we took a thick brush and painted it white first, then let it dry. Next, we stenciled “BEACH” in a pencil, then painted over it in aqua and outlined it in the orange all with thinner brushes.

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*For the letters, we each did our own design using variations of the paint colors. Then we kept the & a solid Gold to balance out the patterns.

The best part is that now that we finished this project for just $25 each, we have all of this paint left over to use for more decorations once we actually make the move to our apartment …will likely end up getting more mason jars because I just love that look!

Make sure to follow me on Pinterest & my “DIY“; “Workin Gal in the Real World“; and “Comfy Heaven” for all my apartment finds!

Mango Salsa (with a kick)

Mango Salsa (with a kick)

Ever in that mood where you KNOW you want something for dinner, but LITERALLY have no clue what it is? Well, earlier yesterday, my boyfriend and I were strolling around the Whole Foods produce section, trying to get inspired by something…ANYTHING. Mexican? No.. Spring Rolls? No.. Fish? No… Pasta? No…

You get the point. Clearly both of us were as indecisive as it gets. Luckily, after circling the obstacle course of what the Whole Foods produce section is, we stumbled across the mangoes. Ahh mangoes. This beautifully delicious fruit can at times, be disappointing if served too soon before ripening. However, when served right, one can’t help but dig into it, juicy bite after juicy bite, instantly teleporting you to the clear blue waters of the Bahamas. Point is, the second my eyes caught that mango, I knew what had to happen. Mango salsa. The perfect summertime meal. Without any hesitation, I knew what had to happen next. A Fresno pepper, jalapeño pepper, red onion, lime juice, fresh cilantro, and more. With a sweet & spicy salsa like this, a blander, white fish would do the job. Freshly caught tilapia was next on the list. Lastly, some perfect asparagus spars for our side dish to top of this summer-inspired meal.
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Serves 2 people.

Ingredients for the Salsa:

  • 2 Soft Ataulfo Mangoes diced (these are the golden yellow ones)
  • 1/2 finely diced red onion
  • 1 small Fresno Pepper finely diced
  • 1/2 small jalapeño Pepper
  • A small handful of fresh cilantro (about 1/4 cup and then chop the cilantro into small bites)
  • 2 tsp of Honey
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 TBSP of Lime Juice
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    Additional Ingredients:

  • 2 Tilapia Fillets

  • Mrs. Dash Caribbean Seasoning (enough to fully cover the fish)
  • Curry Powder (A few shakes on each fillet will do)
  • Paprika (to taste…)
  • Coconut Oil or Olive Oil

  • A batch of Asparagus

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1-2 TBSP)
  • 1-2 finely diced garlic cloves
  • Salt & black pepper to taste

We’ll start by prepping your salsa first (the further ahead of dinner you can do this, the more juicier and flavorful your salsa will be later). Take all ingredients (chop or dice according to above ingredient directions) and mix together in a small bowl. Set this aside in the fridge.

Next, set your over to 380 degrees. Place your tilapia on a lightly sprayed baking pan (I use Coconut Oil spray)…I also like to spray the fish lightly with the oil as well. Then shake each bit of seasoning onto the fish, should be fairly covered. Once the fish is in the oven, it should only take about 12-15 minutes. Make sure to check periodically, fish should be flaky when ready to be taken out.

For your asparagus, simply sauté the spars in a non-stick pan with the olive oil, garlic cloves, salt & pepper. This process should take about 15-20 minutes. I find it helpful to cover the pan to help the asparagus soften quicker.
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When you’re ready to serve, top your fish with sliced avocado, then top it with the mango salsa and a side of asparagus. Enjoy!! And Happy ALMOST Summer! 🙂

Festival Trends I’ve been Loving Lately

Festival Trends I’ve been Loving Lately

In light of festival season being in full swing now and with the summer quickly approaching, I wanted to share with y’all festival trends I’ve been loving lately! Last year, I had the opportunity to experience one of the most amazing 3 days of my life in Las Vegas for Electric Daisy Carnival. As ridiculous as it sounds, it was honestly a life changing experience and something that will be sure to go down in the books. We actually loved it so much, that we reasoned dropping another grand to make our way out to Vegas for round 2 in June. Vegas in itself is a beast of its own. Now picture 500,000 people flying in from around the world for one ridiculous week in June full of DJ’s 24/7, pool parties, crazy outfits, good vibes, warm weather, and enough dancing to put you out of commission for a whole week.

This festival is truly unlike any other. Now, one thing to note is that EDC festival style is VERY different than Coachella festival style for example. That being said, I’ll share some trends that could honestly swing any way. See below for my top picks!

First, here are my top 3 picks for Best Overall “Festival Shop”:

1.) MISSGUIDED Festival Shop
2.) Shop Planet Blue Music Festival Shop
3.) Hello Molly Festival Shop

My TOP Picks for Festival Clothing: Tobi
neoprene tobi skirt
All About That Neoprene Skirt

tye dye skirt
Dramatically Beautiful Skirt

leo
Leave Me Breathless Bodysuit

daisy
Oopsie Daisy Tank

twang
Twang and Slang Fringe Skirt

three
Three by Three Top

My TOP Picks for Festival Accessories: Dolls Kill

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Daisy Sunglasses

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Sweet Tooth Backpack

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Pizza Wristlet

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Optical Garden Backpack

I SCREAM FACE JEWELZ
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My TOP Picks for Festival Shoes: Nasty Gal

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Chiara Ferrangi Sneakers

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Neoprene Slip-On

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Iggy Azalea x Steve Madden Rundown Leather Sneaker

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Classic Slip-On Sneaker – Black Hawaiian Floral

Festival on a Budget: $20 and under!!

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Fringe Top

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Watermelon Tank

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Galaxy Crop Top

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Double “Cool Hands” Black Print Tank

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V-Neck Floral Romper

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Fringe Skirt

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Lace Kimono

Would love to hear what festivals you’re all attending this summer and where you shop for your awesome styles! Comment below 🙂

When in San Francisco, do as the San Franciscans do…

When in San Francisco, do as the San Franciscans do…

When in San Francisco, do as the San Franciscans do…

First let me just start off my saying…how fricken cool are these boxed waters??? And no, I’m not cool enough to “promote” the company. I just am a SERIOUS fan of this! I mean super green and eco-friendly plus you have to admit, they’re kind of really trendy. Don’t even deny it.

Ayywayyy, since I’ve moved to San Francisco, one of my number one “To Do’s” on my bucket list was to run over the Golden Gate Bridge. I knew signing up for the San Francisco Half Marathon was a MUST if I wanted to achieve this. Sunday, was RACE DAY. Was I ready? Nope. Was I excited? Kind of. Was running over the Golden Gate Bridge amazing? Definitely.

So I may not have had my best race and finishing, I was definitely very disappointed in myself. But after an hour or so of eating (had to), grieving and blaming my poor training and commitment, I finally appreciated the run for what it was. A year ago, I would never have thought I’d be running through the streets of San Francisco or blazing over the Golden Gate Bridge. The fact that I completed that Sunday morning was truly incredible and I realized that I really needed to be more grateful for that opportunity.

Now for the fun stuff – Saturday was the expo held at Fort Mason. I stupidly decided to take the train in, walk 30 minutes to the shuttle that brought us to the expo, and then spent the rest of my day walking and shopping around the city, when I FINALLY decided to walk back to the train by 6 PM…bad call. Regardless, the expo was awesome and you can betttt I hit up all the free food vendors. SUPER BIG THANKS to larabar and cliffbar who never fail to disappoint with their free bars and tastings. I also hit up every flavor of NUUN, the electrolyte company, helped myself to Kale Chips, Wasabi dried Green Beans, Sweet Potato Chips, and the list could go on. Additionally, I obviously had to purchase a new pair of neon orange shorts and hot pink compression sleeves from the “MASSIVE BLOWOUT SALE” that was occurring – ugh, those always get me. Oh and we also got SUPER cool long-sleeve shirts as part of our SF half marathon swaaag.
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Though I always enjoy walking around and exploring the city, I definitely was not smart about resting the day before my race. Plus, this race was different than most I’ve ever run as the gun went off at 5:30AM for the start!! Given that, I “woke up” at 3AM, left my apartment by 3:30AM to drive into the city, and began my warm up run at around 4:45AM through the city. Thank god my 5:50AM runs paid off for this crazy start time. Anyway, around 5:25, I found my way to the starting line. The race went off at 5:30 and it was still dark as the night. That was a first for any race I’ve ever run. I actually REALLY liked starting at this time. The race went off, all the way down the pier, towards Chrissy Fields and all along the water. Eventually we hiked up yet another hill that opened out to the Golden Gate Bridge. The bridge was a decent length and half way through the first place runners were leading the pack making their way back across the bridge. This was exactlyyy the kind of motivation I needed to keep going. To be honest, I was REALLY hurting at this point. At last a bit of drive and determination settled in, however, this unfortunately only lasted for a short period of time. As Iooped around and made my way back over the bridge, I could hear my mind yelling at me to stop and eventually I gave in a few more times. This was possibly the MOST frustrating race for me. My mind and my body were speaking in two different languages. Part of me just wanted to go for it, but every time a new hill popped up, I instantly let go of that drive.

{so KIND of cool that they give us FREE photos….if only I was as photogenic as the MOST photogenic guy in last years marathon…}
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I contribute part of this to my lack of hill training, in addition to lack of mileage, and lastly I just did not start the race in a positive mindset. I already had the feeling that I wouldn’t be able to compete and break, nonetheless run my PR. Finally…the race ended…on an uphill stretch – GO FIGURE. Though the race was tough and I was HATIING myself after…looking back it, I’m proud that I even ran what I did given the serious elevation in that race and given how many times I stopped. I’m just happy to say that I finished the race and conquered the brutal hills of San Francisco! Lucky for me, my next half marathon in October should be MUCH less hilly. And lesson learned – TRAIN PROPERLY CALLI!! Oh, and don’t psych myself out.
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^^ just me struggling over the golden gate! GTZ!!!

Sanity Check

Sanity Check

My sister shared this gem with me and I figured it was only appropriate to share with the rest of the world. SPREAD THE SANITY. amen.

20 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Level of Insanity

1. At Lunch Time, Sit In Your Parked Car With Sunglasses on and Point A Hair DRYER At Passing Cars. See If They Slow Down.

2. Page Yourself Over The Intercom. Don’t Disguise Your Voice.

3. Every Time Someone Asks You To Do Something, Ask If They Want Fries with that.

4. Put Your Garbage Can On Your Desk And Label It “In.”

5. Put Decaf In The Coffee Maker For 3 Weeks. Once Everyone Has Gotten Over Their Caffeine Addictions, Switch To Espresso.

6. In The Memo Field Of All Your Checks, Write “For Sexual Favors”

7. Finish All Your Sentences With “In Accordance With The Prophecy.”

8. Don’t Use Any Punctuation

9. As Often As Possible, Skip Rather Than Walk.

10. Ask People What Sex They Are. Laugh Hysterically After They Answer.

11. Specify That Your Drive-through Order Is “To Go.”

12. Sing Along At The Opera.

13. Go To A Poetry Recital And Ask Why The Poems Don’t Rhyme

14. Put Mosquito Netting Around Your Work Area And Play Tropical Sounds All Day.

15. Five Days In Advance, Tell Your Friends You Can’t Attend Their Party because You’re Not In The Mood.

16. Have Your Co-workers Address You By Your Wrestling Name, Rock Hard.

17. When The Money Comes Out The ATM, Scream “I Won! I Won!”

18. When Leaving The Zoo, Start Running Towards The Parking Lot, Yelling

“Run For Your Lives, They’re Loose!!”

19. Tell Your Children Over Dinner. “Due To The Economy, We Are Going To Have To Let One Of You Go.”

And The Final Way To Keep A Healthy Level Of Insanity…….

20. Copy this and Send an E-mail To Someone To Make Them Smile..
It’s Called Therapy…

via nativeamericanjobs

Adventure Time – Road trips, Vegas, and more!

Adventure Time – Road trips, Vegas, and more!

Life is about taking adventures right? Well, I can 100% say I’ve taken full advantage of being here in California and exploring a lot of what the West Coast has to offer. Since I’ve last updated you all on my blog, I’ve continued my travels and have increasingly branched out by doing these things on my own. Coming out to California for me was a chance to really gain some independence, push boundaries, get out of my comfort zone, and ultimately learn that I have nothing to be afraid of. Traveling on my own gives me that chance to finally push those limits and see where it can take me.

Just recently I had two major trips. One trip was to Las Vegas. Now, this was my first time ever going to Vegas AND my first time going to Electric Daisy Carnival (a music festival with over 150K people attending at the Speedway). This weekend was everything I expected it to be and more. Landing in Vegas alone gave me chills of excitement and curiosity of this infamous city. Right from the airport, myself and the guys headed directly to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for EDC night one. Walking into the speedway, just as the sun was setting was truly just magical. There were simply no other words to describe the breathtaking feeling. You entered at the top of the bleachers, so the view you had entering the speedway was absolutely amazing as you could see everything. Hearing the music and seeing the lights, the stages, the crowds, the rides, the costumes, and the backdrop…literally everything was unreal and instantly could make the hair rise on your skin.
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The rest of the night involved dancing and DJ’s. The following two nights followed as such, each one seeming to get better and better. The fireworks around the entire speedway continued to amaze me and the music and energy of the crowds never faded, not once. We knew ending that last night, that we would be back next year. It was just an experience that you need to relive again, and again, and again….

Following my Vegas trip, my mom arrived and we have a great time once again exploring the city, making a trip to the quaint and beachy town of Capitola, and spent a day at the beach and some drinks at the Ritz in Half Moon Bay.

The weekend following that was a BIG weekend for me. Seeing as it was July 4th which meant free holiday off from work, I decided, why not road trip to So Cal on my own? I knew coming out here that trips on my own would quickly become the norm and was no longer something I “feared”. I actually look forward to trips on my own now. I love owning my independence and being on your own allows you to branch out of your comfort zone, do whatever you want, with no agenda, meet interesting people, come home with fun stories, and see amazing, beautiful sights along the way!
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So here’s how my trip went down. Left Friday morning at 3AM! Yes, 3AM…you read that correctly. Ever hear about the traffic nightmares in LA? Ya…so have I and I wanted to ASSURE that I would not have to deal with any of that, especially while traveling on a holiday. So, I shot down to Laguna Beach in no time, just around 6.5 hours. It honestly felt like a breeze as I cruised down the highway, traffic free, windows down, music going. Yes, I am the epitome of a road trip junkie. I arrived in Laguna just around 9AM and instantly hit up the local coffee shop which was just steps away from the beach. Then, you can bet I did not leave that beach the entire day. I was so content and happy just laying at the beach, taking in the sights, and of course gazing out in awe at 12 year old surfers that honestly looked pro (I don’t get how they are like babies but have that kind of talent…). Anyway, the beach was a hot mess of the wealthy, the hippies, the average surfer, the tourist, and everything in between. The people watching was PRIME.
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Later that evening, I took a short walk through the downtown area and then finally decided to gain some motivation for a run. It was HOT out, but the one thing I love about running in a new area is seeing the sights from a different perspective and you get to cover the spot in half the time. After a gorgeous run along the beach and I cleaned myself up and made my way to a local bar called “Rooftop”. The name just about sums it up. Rooftop was a fun, popular bar overlooking Laguna Beach with perfect proximity to the sunset and the fourth of July fireworks. Oh, and their wild berry mojito wasn’t too bad either 😉 Though going to a bar alone isn’t my favorite thing to do, (especially with how much awkwardness was exuberating off of me), you’d be surprised at how friendly and welcoming people can be! I had great conversations and met people with such interesting stories to share.
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The next day I woke up early, determined to conquer the heat and the hills of Laguna for a solid hike. I biked over to a local trail near the “Laguna Canyons” and began my hike, literally straight up hill for a solid 1.5. It was hot and hilly, but the view was SO worth it once I got to the top. Apparently, that was not even the end of the trail. I looked across the mountainous terrain and noticed bikers cruising along the top of the hills directly across from me on another mountain. In fear of getting lost and dying a hot and lonely death on top of the Laguna trails, I decided to descend back the way I came. Following my hike, I stopped for some breakfast and a VERY large iced coffee as I continued my journey back up towards LA. First stop of the ride, Manhattan beach. I’m not going to lie, I may have stopped her for the soul purpose of possibly running into Karena and Katrina. Of course…that didn’t happen, BUT I did make a stop at one of their new foodie spots, Paradise bowls, for a delicious tropical coconut acai bowl!
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I then continued my drive to Santa Monica where I would stay Saturday night. Santa Monica was a beautiful area, however, I didn’t care much for the crowds around the pier. I figured as long as I stayed clear of that, this trip could not have one flaw! I hung out on the beach for a little, then once I settled in at the apt through airbnb I was staying at (btw I paid $70 for a awesome apt, 5 min walk from the beach and downtown…I highly recommend using airbnb for your next trip!), I went for an awesome 30 minute long bike ride to and back from Venice beach. This bike bath was ideal as it ran all along the beach and was only for bikers which was KEY because who likes dodging clueless tourists left and right as they casually stroll in the middle of a populated path??
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Later that night, I strolled the promenade and various streets throughout Santa Monica. After a long and active day, all I wanted to do was go to bed. Of course, that was not before stepping foot into my hosts’ “cave”. Yes, she has a closet space that she calls a cave. It is covered in pillows and cushions, with dimmed lighting and candles. It was her place of calming and relaxation. She said “people think I’m crazy, until they come and actually sit down in the cave.” I’m not going to lie…she was kind of right. Like I said before, road trips typically lead to meeting VERY interesting people along the way! Anyway, the next morning I woke up early to run along the beach, then I made my way towards Beverly Hills and Hollywood for a perfect little breakfast at this place in Melrose called Urth Café. It was righttttt up my alley  After breakfast, I continued my trek back North, but not without making a stop in Malibu!
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Ah, Malibu. I don’t even have words to describe you. Just so perfect. You know you’re in Malibu once you start hitting super winding roads, rolling mountains, large mansions along the beach, and open-aired cars with surfboards hanging out. My destination was to a hike I was referred to called “Winding Way”. It takes 1 mile from the parking lot to even get to the trail. Then once you begin it tricks you into thinking it would be an easy hike. HA, not until I got to the barren waterfall (yes, California is in a drought…) where I looked up to see pure rocks and dirt and ropes. No trail. Just vertical rocks. I was supposed to climb this? Well…I gave it a shot, gripping with all my strength to the ropes that I was apparently supposed to trust my life with….

After about 20 minutes of this struggle, I decided again, that this was probabllyyyy not the safest move to pull on my own and descended from the “trail” once again. When in Malibu, right!? My next and final stop before heading home was in the beautiful Santa Barbara County. What a gorgeous area right along the coast, just 4.5 miles south of Palo Alto! I could EASILY and WOULD be making a day trip (or weekend for that matter) back to this happy little spot. From the picturesque downtown area to the harbor and beaches, what was there not to enjoy about this area??
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Finally, when it hit around 4PM I decided my road trip had to come to an end if I wanted to make it back at a decent hour. Though there were obviously times where I longed to have a friend or my boyfriend at my side, I do think it’s important and mentally HEALTHY to get out there on your own and push that comfort level. Sometimes, I feel we get too comfortable in our day-to-day lives that we don’t jump on the chances to try something new and do something that quite possibly scares us half to death! I’m glad I did this trip on my own, I learned things about myself and I left feeling more confident and empowered. With that being said, I think I’ll make the next road trip down to So Cal with my boyfriend 🙂

My Past Month in Cali, Summarized in Less Than 2 Pages

My Past Month in Cali, Summarized in Less Than 2 Pages

So let’s see if I can give you all a “brief” summary of my whereabouts in the past month since I’ve been in California. I feel like I’m finally settled in. My apartment is decorated. I’m catching on to my new work environment. I now know how to get onto the main highways, to the local grocery stores, and of course, the Urban Outfitters right down the street. Lastly, I’m currently typing out this blog post, while sitting on my $15 Ikea chair out on the balcony, looking into the late afternoon sun. I could not be more content and grateful in this exact moment.

Now, here goes my recap that hopefully will not turn into a novel! So let’s see. The last we met, I talked about my Santa Cruz Half Marathon. Since then, I’ve been doing a lot more traveling and exploring now that I’m officially comfortable in my apartment and local setting. I’ve spent yet another beautiful weekend in Santa Cruz, laying on the state beach, driving along the coast, stopping by to view the eclectic walks of life by the lighthouse as they grooved out during a silent disco. I’ve met some silly seal friends down by the pier, I’ve walked past intense beach volleyball games along the boulevard, and I’ve eaten a damn good veggie burger and fries all in the fun little beach town of Santa Cruz.
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I’ve driven up 5 miles of curvy, narrow roads, passing wineries off to my left and right as I made my way to Castle Rock State Park for a beautiful hike down in the woodsy Saratoga area. Following the hike, I stopped by in the local town where I sat out with a cup of joe and some late lunch, as I baked in the sun, while listening to the soothing sounds of a small town band playing on the cafe’s patio. I’ve gone on an abundant amount of walks locally, exploring my town and the areas around me. I’ve biked through Stanford’s amazing campus and I’ve eaten at almost every vegan friendly restaurant there is in Palo Alto.
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My sister has now had her first visit in California and boy did we cover the bay area pretty damn well in just 2 days. We made our way to The City on a sunny, yet cool Friday night to dine and drink at an Off the Grid food truck event in Fort Mason (an area in The City, right by the marina, with a beautiful view of the Golden Gate Bridge). We ate, we drank, we listed to the live music, and most importantly, we stood by the heat lamps. Yes, we’ve now learned our lesson that it ACTUALLY does get cold in the city after 5, no matter the temperature during the day.
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The following day, we finally made our way down highway 1 in pursue of a destination to Big Sur. Our first and farthest stop was at the McWay waterfall, a waterfall in Big Sur that falls onto the beach and into the ocean. We then progressed back North, stopped to take pictures by the infamous Big Sur bridge and other gorgeous and breath taking sights along the way.
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We then continued on, stopping in the upscale town of Carmel. We of course then indulged in a deliciously filling Mediterranean meal, topped it off with a warm vanilla latte, and walked up and down the street for some window shopping. Eventually, we slowly made our way to the car as we continued on to our next destination. Pebble Beach was our next stop, a luscious green golf course, famous for it’s elite championship tournaments and it’s beachy backdrop. Next stop, Monterey, a cute little fishing town, just past Carmel. Moving on, we found an awesome little farmer’s market along Highway 1, where we feasted on the free fruits, veggies, and snacks being offered, then helped myself to 7 BABY avocados for $1 in total. WHAT A BARGAIN!! Anyway, our final stop was back to Santa Cruz, where we decided on a whim that after a long day, we’d top it off with a few rides on the boulevard. The sun eventually set behind the roller coaster, ending the day on a perfect note.
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The next day, we again made our way to The City. Our first stop was an amazing little breakfast cafe called Cafe St Jorge. I helped myself to a healthy Chia bowl and a fantastic cup of coffee! We then spent the majority of our day surprisingly in the Haight-Ashbury area, walking up and down the streets, trying on unique thrift shop clothes, and taking in the interesting walks of life. We then continued to drive around and explore the rest of The City, snapping pics of all the touristy “must-see’s”. Eventually, we ended our day across The City, in a seaside town called Sausalito.
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The following weekend, my boyfriend visited…I was getting spoiled having company around the apartment!! Anyway, we had a perfect weekend planned, spending Saturday in Sonoma and Sunday in The City. Early Saturday morning, we made our way up to Sonoma in beautiful wine country! Our plan for the day…bike ride around to the different local vineyards! This sounded a lot more practical before we made it to our second vineyard…
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A few too many sips of wine later, hours passed and we had (somehow) successfully biked around Sonoma and made our way to four different vineyards, all portraying different styles that resembled images you’d imagine right out of the vast lands of Tuscany. The rest of the late afternoon/night was a little blurred as a result of FAR too much wine and sun.
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The next day, we then hopped in the car and set off early once again as we drove back towards The City. Our first stop of the day? CARNAVAL to kickoff the opening of the World Cup! This event really amazed me. This event in particular solidified my love for the Bay area here in California. It’s amazing to see all of the different cultures and ethnicities that come together and support one another on whatever endeavor they came to San Francisco to pursue. It just shows how welcoming and truly judgement free this City really is. I’ve always heard how “care free” San Francisco is, but it’s events like this, with thousands of people gathered and a crowd where Justin and I were merely the minority, that it made me truly appreciate the exposure I’m getting out here to new, eye-opening cultures.
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After spending about two hours in the area, dancing along to the floats in the parade and walking through the streets of vendors, food, and live music, we then proceeded to Haight-Ashbury. We picked up a lunch from Whole Foods and enjoyed it on the grassy hills of the infamous Golden Gate Park. Eventually, we had decided that we had seen enough interesting sights while people watching and continued to walk around the area and window shop. Following Haight-Ashbury, we then made our way to the super touristy area along the water and the Embarcadero. Somehow, the day had flown by and Justin had taken a beating in the sun, it was time for a Spanish, tapas style dinner on Market street! YUM! Boyyyy did we splurge on this dinner : )

After another wonderful and non-stop weekend, I wasn’t ready to stop! Just yesterday, I headed up to Napa for the Bottlerock Napa Music Festival with a few friends. A fun festival scene with all types of music from Matt & Kim, to Outkast, to Weezer. A day spent drinking craft beer (yes, I drank beer…which NEVER happens), listening to music, and enjoying a gorgeous day in the sun. I could get used to this lifestyle…

So there ya have it folks, my recap of the past month all covered in just a few paragraphs!

Big Ol’ Bowl of Choco-Banana “Ice Cream”

Big Ol’ Bowl of Choco-Banana “Ice Cream”

Although it’s smack in the dead of winter right now, sometimes your body just CRAVES something summery. Or MAYBE you’d just prefer to day dream about the beach, while laying sprawled across your couch, wearing the new bikini you just purchased 6 months in advance for the summer, with “do you like pina coladas” blasting in the background. And given this particularly psychotic and strange normal situation, you may just want to enjoy a refreshing bowl of deliciousness. What better way to smooth your cravings than over a bowl of Choco-Banana “Ice Cream”??

This simple and healthy, yet satisfying treat will be the perfect cure for your summertime sadness/seasonal depression/hating yourself for not living in Florida or So Cal/whatever it may be coped up anger. So lay back, enjoy the frozen banana bowl, and pray that the groundhog foreshadows a short winter!
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Ingredients:
2 Large Frozen Bananas
½ Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
¼ Cup Natural Coconut Water
5-6 Ice Cubes
½ scoop (or more!) of Chocolate Protein Powder (I use a RAW, Plant-Based Protein, but any one will do!)
½ tsp ground Cinnamon
1 drop of vanilla crème stevia

Additional Toppings:
Goji Berries
Cacao Nibs
Flax Seeds
Pecans
Strawberries
Blueberries

Directions:

>>Blend all of the ingredients together either in a blender (thank goodness for my vitamix!!) or food processor – keep in mind it should be a thick texture but if you find it won’t blend at all, slowly add more almond milk until you get the right consistency (leave out the additional toppings listed above until later!).
>> After 30 secs or so, remove from the blender into a big bowl and place in the freezer for a good 10-20 minutes.
>>Remove from freezer, layer on your additional toppings and enjoy!!

What’s in your lunch box round 2!

What’s in your lunch box round 2!

So this week I decided to get a little more creative with my lunches/breakfast’s now that I’m beginning to fall into a groove and learning to find a good work-life balance! If you remember not too long ago, I had my minor panic attack while figuring out how to juggle a healthy lifestyle, a social life, work life, lack of sleep, ME time, etc. Though I obviously have not perfected it yet (cut me some slack, I’m only my third week!?…or is it fourth? It’s all beginning to blur together now…), I feel like I am beginning to fall into a routine. Shocking!!

I really never thought I’d get used to a 5:30AM wake up call. Now don’t get me wrong, I certainly don’t ENJOY waking up that early. Trust me, there have been a few mornings where I’ve snoozed the alarm like 5 times until I realize my hour and a half before hand to workout has disappeared and I’m left to go the gym after work. Ugh. So, yes there are days I struggle and then there are some where I’m weirdly too motivated haha but case in point, give it some time and I promise you, YOU will fall into a happy and healthy work-life balance compromise : ) Now for some on-the-go friendly recipes to hopefully get you inspired!
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The Lean, Clean, & Mean Broccoli Salad (serves 2-3 decent size servings):
-1-2 heads of broccoli
– ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt OR more depending on how many people you are serving and creamy you like it, just make sure not to add TOO much in as it can be overpowering (I prefer plain chobani or fage)
– 1-2 tbsp. Unsalted sunflower seeds
– ¼ cup Chopped pitted dates
-Dash of Cinnamon
– ½ tbsp. Lemon Juice
– ½ – 1 tbsp. of Honey (depends on your taste buds and sweet tooth! ☺)
-2 tbsp. Unsweetened raisins
– ¼ cup Diced red onion
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and I recommend having it sit overnight before serving. This way the yogurt, lemon juice, and honey soften up the raw broccoli and really make it much more flavorful!

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PB&J Banana Overnight oats:
-½ banana
-4 sliced strawberries
-4 chopped pitted dates
-Cinnamon (add to your desire)
-2 tbsp. of almond butter
-½ cup dry Quaker instant oats
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
-1 tbsp. of chia seeds
Optional: add honey or stevia as a natural sweetener if you enjoy your oats even more sweet. HOWEVER, I didn’t feel it was necessary at all as this LITERALLY tasted like a dessert. I was seriously in heaven!!
Anyway, I usually toss all ingredients in a jar (I had about 2 tbsp. left in my almond butter jar so I just used that!) and then I shake it fairly well so everything mixes in real nicely. Then I squeeze the lid on tightly and put it in the fridge overnight. You can choose to either eat it cold like that the next day (as the oats absorb all the liquid and expand) or you can heat it up if you’re in the mood for a warm comfort meal!

Chicken! An easy source of PROTEIN to add to any meal…salads, quinoa, rice, corn, etc.
Balsamic Sesame Chicken: Set over to 375 degrees. On a baking sheet, toss chicken in ½ tbsp. of balsamic vinegar, ½ tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with sesame seeds, ground black pepper and a pinch of salt. Cook until meat is white when you cut through and Voila! Simple as that!
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EASY peasy Rosemary Balsamic Chicken: Set over to 375 degrees. On a baking sheet, toss chicken in ½ tbsp. of balsamic vinegar, ½ tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with rosemary, ground black pepper and a pinch of salt. Cook until meat is white when you cut through. Basically the same idea as above, but it just comes to show how one simple spice can switch up your meal options!

Salads on Salads:
So basically if you couldn’t tell based on my instagram account @Eatrunandallinbetween I LOVE having a small salad with just about EVERY meal. Now, I’m constantly hungry so JUST a salad for lunch doesn’t exactly do the job for me. However, I find it a simple and great way to get my greens/veggies in for the day just by adding it on the side!
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I typically use:
-Spinach or Arugula
-Cherry Tomatoes
-Red onion
-Shredded Carrots
-Sliced Avocado
-Red/Yellow Peppers
-Cucumbers
-Unsweetened Cranberries or mixed nuts/sunflower seeds

And for the dressing:
-1/2 tbsp. of lemon juice
– ½ – 1 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar (great detoxifying source!)

For some reason, in the midst of summer, I was feeling a little fall inspired and whipped up this concoction! Not going to lie, I felt a little guilty eating this warming fall treat on a beautiful summer day…
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Sweet Potato, Pumpkin, and Almond Butter topped with mixed Nuts and Dates:
-1 large chopped sweet potato. (Peel skin off and chop into diced size chunks)
-Cinnamon (add to your desire)
-1/4 cup of pumpkin puree
-2 tbsp. of almond butter
-Raw Mixed Nuts (Almonds, Cashews, Unsweetened Cranberries)
-3 Chopped Dates
Heat up the sweet potato initially by itself (including the cinnamon!) for about 2 minutes or until soft. Next, layer it with the pumpkin puree and the almond butter and heat for another minute. Finally top it off with the nuts and dates. Obviously you can add any other toppings to your liking (i.e. honey, granola, sliced bananas, apples, blueberries, vanilla Greek Yogurt, etc.) Enjoy!

Well, I hope that helps give you an idea of what I bring into work every day! And lastly, here are a few helpful tips:
TRY and prep this all the night BEFORE (or if you’re really on top of your stuff, get it all done on Sunday or at least try and chop all your veggies then!)
– Another tip I have for you is to bring a snack OR 2 to work! When that 3:30/4 mark comes around and you’re anxious to get out, a healthy snack is a great way to curb your stress cravings and get your mind back on track. I typically bring in nuts, fruit, Greek Yogurt w/ granola, a protein bar, carrots & hummus
– OR hit up the drink station… I’ll often sip on Green tea, a decaf coffee, OR even the low-sugar/low-fat/low-calorie nestle hot chocolate powder to curb my sweet tooth craving! Try it out 🙂

4th of July Healthy Tips and Recipes to Stay on Track!

Hey everyone! So again, I’ve been SO awful with posting! I actually just had my graduation party this past weekend so as you can imagine, it’s been pure chaos for the past few days! Anyway, I am back it again and have some tips for you all to stay healthy while celebrating the 4th of July at the same time. Of course, I can’t guarantee these tips will 100% work but it’s worth the try, right!?
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Tip One: EAT breakfast! People pull this move all the time. They know that they have a party and/or a big feast later that day and then there goes fasting for the upcoming 12 hours. But, let me tell you that will absolutely not work! The second you’re surrounded by delicious foods and drinks, you will end up eating more than had you just had breakfast and stuck to a normal eating plan. Eating breakfast first thing in the morning secures a normal blood sugar level for throughout the day and thus lessening the likely hood of you overeating later in the day.

Tip Two: Bring your own HEALTHY app to share with everyone at the party. (Healthy Recipes Posted Below) If you stick to eating your own app, you can assure you’re eating something that’s clean, low-fat, and fits to your healthy eating ways.

Tip Three: Try and stick to just ONE drink an hour. I know this sounds lame on the 4th, but if you’re really serious about watching your food intake, we all know the more alcohol you consume, the more drinking calories you’re taking in, and not to mention you’re probably more likely to drunk eat and make unhealthy choices later in the evening!

Tip Four: If you are drinking, stick to a lower-calorie cocktail. Often times, there are always festive 4th of July cocktails being served, but try and keep it to trying just ONE of those, and then sticking to wine or a plain liquor mixed with soda water for a lower-calorie option.

Tip Five: Do a little exercise that morning! If you’re not a regular exerciser, go for a jog that morning. You’ll find that you’ll feel much more confident about yourself and just that little bit of motivation will want to keep you on the right track for the day. Who would want to go and ruin that hardwork?!

Tip Six: If you know you have a big party to attend later in the week for the 4th of July, you should be preparing by sticking to a healthy eating routine all week. That way, come Thursday, you can take the 4th as a TREAT day. NOT a cheat, but you deserve to enjoy life and a nice big piece of an American flag cake! Then the next day, jump right back into your healthy eating routine, DON’T fast. You had one treat day, doesn’t mean your life is over!

Here’s a Few Healthy Recipes to get ya started for your 4th!

Red, White, and Blue Protein Smoothie:
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What You’ll Need:
Red Smoothie:
-¼ Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
-4-5 Strawberries
-1 TBSP of Vanilla Greek Yogurt
-2 Ice Cubes
White Smoothie:
-1 Banana
-¼ Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
-1 scoop of Vanilla Whey Protein
-1 Ice Cubes
Blue Smoothie:
-Handful of Blueberries
-¼ Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
-1 TBSP of Vanilla Greek Yogurt
-2 Ice Cubes

Greek Yogurt Covered Strawberries and Blueberries:
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greek-yogurt-dipped-berries

Instead of Chocolate Strawberries, make them healthy and patriotic for this 4th. Simply get a batch of Fresh Strawberries and dip half of them in Vanilla Chobani Greek Yogurt. Then use half a batch of Blueberries and cover them completely in the Greek yogurt as well. Place on a piece of wax paper and put into the fridge until yogurt is frozen! Serve Chilled.

Patriotic Summer Spinach Salad:
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What You’ll Need:
-Baby Spinach
-1 Cup of Blueberries
-1 cup of Sliced Strawberries
-¼ Cup Shredded Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
-¼ Cup of Sliced Almonds
-¼ cup of unsweetened dried cranberries
-¼ Cup of Reduced Fat Feta Cheese Crumbled

For the Dressing:
-1 TBSP of Balsamic Vinegar
-1 TBSP of Organic Honey
-1 Freshly Squeezed Lime

Healthy Pizza Eggplant Bites Appetizer:
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Alright, so there aren’t exactly many BLUE veggies, but an eggplant will do the job…
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What You’ll Need:
-1 large eggplant Sliced
-1 Can of Organic Tomato paste
-1 Can of Organic Tomato Sauce
Spices: Ground Cumin, Chili Powder, Black Pepper, Oregano, Basil Leaves
-Freshly Shredded SKIM mozzarella Cheese
-Fresh Cherry Tomatoes to Top
-Purple Asparagus (sauté these in extra virgin olive oil before placing on eggplant)
-OR you can also use olives to make for a “blue” topping as well!

On a cooking tray, place the eggplant slices and put into the oven on 350 degrees until soft and just the little bit golden. Then pull tray out, add the sauces (mix both cans and spices together in a separate bowl before placing on eggplant), add the cheese and then top with the asparagus and tomatoes. Put back in oven for another 5-10 mins (look for cheese to melt), then switch oven to BROIL and leave in for just a few mins. This will make the eggplants crispy BUT make sure to keep an eye on them as they will burn quickly!! Enjoy your patriotic and healthy “pizza” bites!

Hope you enjoy the tips and healthy recipes! Happyyyy 4th of July Everyone!! Make sure to check out my instagram account: @eatrunandallinbetween for daily postings!

Happy Thursday! Try out some New Summer Inspired Recipes!

Happpyy Thursday Everyone! I have a few recipes here for ya that even on the gloomiest summer day, (aka this entire week coming up……..UGH.) they will brighten your meals up! A few delicious go-to salads that will please any crowd you may be serving, as well as some awesome refreshing and healthy seafood recipes are posted below. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

Nutty Kale Salad:
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What You’ll Need…
~ Kale
~ Sliced Strawberries
~ Diced Red Onions (I used about ½ of the onion for a larger serving)
~ Sliced Almonds
~ Sliced Walnuts
~ Salted Pumpkin Seeds
~ Unsweetened Dried Cranberries
~ Crumbled Feta Cheese
~ 1 TBSP of Lemon Juice
~ ½ TBSP of Olive Oil
~ 1 TBSP of Balsamic Vinegar

As for the Nut Mixture, I went to Whole Foods and filled a small bag of the almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and cranberries from the ‘serve yourself nut, granola, and dried fruit station’. Great way to mix and match whatever you prefer!

Simple Summer Spinach Salad:
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What You’ll Need…
~ Baby Spinach
~ Sliced Strawberries
~ Chopped Walnuts
~ Reduced Fat Feta Cheese
~ 1 Freshly Squeezed Lime
~ 1 TBSP of Olive Oil
~ 1 TBSP of Balsamic Vinegar

Garlic-Chili-Lime Baked Tilapia & Veggies:
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What You’ll Need:
~ 1 Tilapia Filet (bake on 350 degrees – will be done when you scrape top and it is flaky)
~ ½ cup mushrooms
~ ½ cup of brussel sprouts
~ ¼ cup (Dry) of Quinoa (follow cooking directions on bag)
~ Handful of Spinach
~ 2-3 Garlic Cloves finely diced
~ Chili Powder, Salt, Pepper
~ ½ TBSP of Olive Oil
~ 2 Fresh Limes

On a oven-friendly tray, place the tilapia and add the olive oil to it. Make sure you roll the filet on both sides in it. Then top with the garlic cloves, Squeeze the limes, add a good amount of the chili powder (more powder = spicier!), and add a dash of the salt and pepper! Place in Oven. For Veggies…I steamed all of them and then when finished, I added just a dash of Extra Virgin Olive to all of them and mixed it in with the quinoa and topped with a dash of salt and pepper!

Baked Salmon, Quinoa and a Avocado “Salsa”:
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What You’ll Need…
~ Salmon Fillet
~ 1 TBSP of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
~ Ground Cumin, Salt, Black Pepper
~ Cooked Quinoa (follow directions on bag)

Roll the filet in the olive oil and top with the spices. Bake on 350 degrees until flaky and you can easily cut through the fish.

For Salsa (Serves 4-6):
~ 2 Ripe Avocados Sliced
~ 1 TBSP of extra virgin Olive Oil
~ ¼ of a Large Red Onion finely chopped
~ 2 Garlic Cloves Finely Sliced
~ 1 Yellow Pepper chopped into small pieces
~ Fresh Cilantro Leaves (I probably used about 2 tablespoons finely chopped, but go easy on it because it has strong flavor. Try it out and then add more if needed!)
~ 1 tsp of ground cumin
~ 1 tsp of paprika powder
~ 1 tsp of salt and black pepper
~ 2 freshly squeezed limes
~ 1 cup of chopped pineapple slices

Mix together and make sure to chill for a bit before serving over salmon and Quinoa.

Simple Caprese Quinoa Salad:
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What You’ll Need for 1 Serving…
~ ¼ cup (dry) quinoa (cook and follow directions on bag)
~ ½ cup chopped Heirloom Tomatoes (found at local farmers market)
~ Handful of Spinach (You can use this raw or steam it if you’d like)
~ About 5 Basil Leaves finely chopped
~ Reduced Fat Crumbled Feta Cheese (2 TBSP)
~ ½ TBSP of Olive Oil
~ 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar
~ Dash of Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook the Quinoa and then stir in everything else before serving. Enjoy!

Grilled Shrimp Over a Black Bean Corn Salad:
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What you’ll need…
~ 5-6 Shrimp Per Person (Grill or Sautee)
~ 1 Bag of Frozen Corn cooked
~ 1 ½ can of Black Beans (unsalted)
~ 1 Avocado Chopped
~ 1 cup of chopped Heirloom Tomatoes (found at local farmers market)
~ ½ cup Edamame Beans cooked
~ ¼ Diced Red Onion
~ ½ cup of chopped cucumber
~ 1 tsp of each: ground cumin, chili powder, paprika, black pepper, salt, basil) add more for taste!
~ 1 TBSP of extra virgin olive oil
~ Fresh Lemon and Lime Juice (add to taste)

Make sure to chill this salad for at least an hour, serve cold and top with shrimp!

In Light of Boston…Top Summer Road Races

As part of a recent project I did for one of my classes on the Baltimore Marathon, I stumbled upon a letter on their site directed to the Boston Marathon and the recent tragedy on April 15th. A quote I pulled from the letter follows…

“While the tragedy that occurred will impact every major running event in the future, what
the perpetrator or perpetrators of this crime will never understand is a runner’s spirit and
sense of community can never be broken.” The letter than ends by stating that “…we will all move forward
with the fortitude to get up and finish.”

I pulled those quotes because I felt they truly portray not only how supportive the running community is, but how no matter where you are in the world, there’s comfort, dedication, and positive energy beaming from one person to another. On that day, we remember the heros, the runners who finished the race and continued to run towards the hospital to give blood, the runners who trained and worked their butt off for months, and those running for charities to raise money for those less fortunate. Being a Boston native, knowing friends and family running the marathon, and lastly being a passionate runner myself, I feel so proud of the thoughts, prayers, and support from the running community to countries around the world to neighboring cities and so on. It’s amazing to see how the country and the rest of the world suddenly comes together as one community and proves just how STRONG we are as a nation.

In regards to the terrible event on the day of the Boston Marathon, the quote just comes to show that this will not stop anyone. We will prevail and continue to run. Whether you’re a professional athlete or a just someone interested in staying fit, running can be seen as an outlet and a safe haven. In light of this, I have put together a list of road races in the New England/East Coast area for you to participate in during the summer and prove that no one is giving up.

1.) As previously mentioned in a blog post, the Falmouth Road Race is an amazing summer event and one where thousands of New Englanders and participants across the US and even from other countries come together to cheer on, accomplish, and support one another through a grueling 7 mile course.

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Location: Falmouth, MA
Date: August 11, 2013

2.) Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race: Though I’ve never personally run this 6.2 mile course, Maine is a beautiful location, especially late into the Summer when the weather is just right. The founder and former olympian, Joan Benoit Samuelson, explained how she “always wanted to create a race that brings runners to some of my most favorite training grounds, so that they can enjoy the same beautiful environment, sense of community and rich history that has played such an important role in my life.” With 6,000 plus runners and over 10,000 spectators, this is one race you don’t want to miss!

Location: Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Date: August 3, 2013

3.) If you’re in for a real challenge, than the Mount Washington Road Race is the one for you! This road race literally has you running up 7.2 miles of Mount Washington, which rises roughly 4,650 vertical feet. The told claim to faim is the “unique attraction” of the trail and the challenging course is what draws attention.

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Location: Pinkham Notch, New Hampshire
Date: June 16, 2013

4.) Run Gloucester — So for those of you have been to Cape Cod, this here is the Cape Ann version of the Falmouth Road Race. There are even rumors that “Down the road, the idea is to create a triple crown series in New England with Beach to Beacon, Falmouth, and Gloucester.’’ Anyway, the draw of this road race is the destination and beautiful beaches.

Location: Gloucester, MA
Date: August 19, 2013

5.) If you’re a night owl instead of an early bird…run the Darcars Rockville Rotary Twilight Runfest! This race winds 8K through the streets and neighborhoods of Montgomery College Rockville campus IN the dark with about 2,000 other participants!

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Location: Rockville, Maryland
Date: July 1, 2013

6.) B.A.A. 10K — otherwise known as Boston’s Back Bay 10K road race, is run throughout historic attractions and notable areas/neighborhoods of Boston. The course runs past the famous Bull and Finch Pub from the classic television series “Cheers”, through Boston University, and Kenmore Square. If you’re a Boston local or just visiting, this race is for you and 5,000 other dedicated participants!

Location: Boston, MA
Date: June 23, 2013

7.) Stratton Faxon Fairfield Road Race Half Marathon: This race has been in existence since 1981 and has continuously been picked and/or nominated as one of the Best Running Races in America according to a number of popular running magazines across the board. This race starts along the beach and runs through beautiful scenic areas during the entire race.

Location: Fairfield, CT
Date: June 24, 2013

8.) Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon: Interested in ending your race with a refreshing class of wine? Go run through the rolling hills of Virginia’s own vineyards and wineries, also know as the “D.C. Wine Country”! This race is picturesque as you run miles and miles through beautiful fields and vineyards.

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Location: Purcellville, VA
Date: June 1, 2013

9.) If you’re spending some time on the Vineyard at all throughout the summer, be sure to sign up for the Vineyard’s famous Murdicks Fudge Around the Chop (i.e. the vineyard bluffs) 5 Mile Road Race held in early July. Or if you’re around Oak Bluffs during Memorial Day Weekend, the official kick off for summer, be sure to sign up for the Memorial Day 5k Road Race! Lastly, for those of you who are around in August and are familiar with Scoop’s Ice Cream, they’ll be hosting a 5k event along South Beach! The vineyard is a great summer destination for everyone, the beaches, the atmosphere, and the downtown shopping area!

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Location: Martha’s Vineyard
Date: May 26th, July 4th, August 5th

10.) Plan a destination race for this summer as part of you’re run AND vacation! There are so many races in California, the Mid-West, across Europe, and other parts of the world!

So, get going and sign up for those races! Enjoy the summer road racing community and at the same time use these races as motivation to stay in shape throughout the summer! Have fun with it and enjoy 🙂

Follow my Words: Run the Falmouth Road Race to subside Legitimate Post-Graduation Fears

So as a soon to be graduating senior, I’ve come to the realization that between the hours of 3-5PM daily, I will not have a coordinated practice time, I will not be surrounded by my track teammates, I will not be dreading an interval workout on the track, I will not have any structured reason to even go for a run. I’ve realized that my time as a D1 college athlete has come to an end. Rather than leave it on a depressing note, I’ve decided to take the initiative to take this as an opportunity to start a new chapter of my life. I’m sure the majority of you can all relate in one-way or another. Whether your athletic career came to an end prior to college or with your graduation into adulthood post college, there comes a time where no one is checking you off on the attendance and it’s up to you to decide whether or not your motivated enough to fit a workout into your hectic work schedule. Regardless, if you’re like me, you may be deathly afraid of what waits for you after graduation. Is this the end of my competitive days? Am I going to become a fatass with no direction or motivation for the rest of my life? As ridiculous as it sounds, these are LEGITAMATE fears I have BUT also ones I plan on never having to actually face.

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As part of my post-college/graduation approach, I’m planning on forming a type of ‘to-do’ or ‘goals’ list! Of course, I’m crazy and I have all these “BIG” plans ahead of me such as giving cross-fit a try, signing up for early yoga/Pilate morning classes, biking on occasions, taking on new hobbies, crafting up some new recipes in the kitchen, planning my FUTURE apartment, and future half marathon races. Yep, that’s just a glimpse of what my potential “list” looks like. So that MAY be far-fetched, but hey it’s better to have a lot of plans than none at all, right?? Anyway, my first plan is to take on one of my bigger goals, competing in a half-marathon race. Now, I don’t plan on running a half marathon right after graduation. I’m thinking more like this time, NEXT year. I figured as of now, I’d take a few weeks off after Spring track has come to an end and then once I go too stir crazy and my overly-energetic self looses my mind, I’ll start up running again and then plan to run some small, insignificant road races later this summer. However, I’m extremely upset to find out that I will be starting work (aka being a real person) before my favorite race of the summer, the Annual Falmouth Road Race, which takes place in Falmouth, Massachusetts on Cape Cod.

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This is my FAVORITE race for many reasons. One of the main reasons being and my personal (and far overused) claim to fame, winning my age group race back in 2006. This was the start to my running career and the point when I realized running was somehow an actual passion of mine…wait what?? Now although I’ve made it a goal to go back on random years and break my time from 2006, I go back for many other reasons. For one, I like to pretend that I can actually compete for a solid 5 seconds with the Kenyans, LOL…that pretty much exists for the few seconds I stand on the starting line. However, there has also been the occasional circumstance when a Kenyan runner goes down and they end up limping the rest of the race, I can then say that I’ve passed them as well. Though totally different conditions, I like to still pretend it counts. I also love to go to this race due to the fact that I like to think that I have a lot of friends there since almost everyone on the Cape gathers at this event, including those around the MA area and even outside of the state as well! It’s exciting to either cheer everyone or catch up on old times, or in some cases…try and force any small talk possible. Another reason to love this race is due to the large amounts of freebies and food you receive at the end of competition (ICE POPS GALORE). A fourth reason strings from the amount of nightlife festivities that come with this race. Now although I have not yet been old enough to partake in these festivities, I’ve heard that they do indeed exist and is a fabulous way to top of your Cape Cod summer. Lastly, because this race is held in August, this is (for the most part) the best time of year on the Cape and almost always there will be awesome running and beach day conditions (aside from the rainy weather this past summer).

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Anyhow, as you can tell, I’m slightly obsessed with this race. HOWEVER, there is one smallllll catch. For those who are not Falmouth residences, it’s not 100% guaranteed that you’ll definitely be able to run this race. Upon registration, which is open to the public on May 8th-19th, there is a lottery that occurs to narrow down the runners. Fortunately, this has grown to be one of the largest 7-mile races on the east coast at a shocking 10,000 runners! Now, since I will not be home to run this race, I encourage you all to partake in this insanely awesome madness so that I can live vicariously through each and every one of you. Hopefully, I will be back the next summer on the one or (maybe two) vacations I will (cross my fingers) receive?! Who knows! But for now, like I said above, my eyes are set on small races for the beginning half of the summer and then perhaps I’ll find myself a new (NOT and NEVER will be a replacement) ‘Falmouth road race’ for me to compete in and grow to love somewhere else across the country!?

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Now, if the Falmouth Road Race isn’t in the cards for you, I strongly support you all in finding something that makes you happy and motivates you post-graduation. Whether it be signing up for a cooking class or attending morning Zumba classes. OR it may be finding your own version of the Falmouth Road Race to motivate you for the summer and give you something to look forward to and rejuvenate your competitive juices! Have fun with it and DON’T fear, there will be something out there for you ☺

Also, last bit of advice, if you want to begin training for ANY race this summer, start with my Running Week One of Training and progress from there!

*And don’t forget to check out my instagram account @EatRunandAllinBetween : )

Spring Break Bikini up-keep on Island Time

Spent the past month working your ass off in the gym and eating more veggies and fruits than you could imagine in order to get in shape for spring break? Well, not to worry, you don’t need to throw away this hard work just because you’re about to spend a week either indulging with your family or drinking day and night with college friends in Punta Cana. I’d imagine that not only did you want to get in shape for Spring Break, but also desired to begin your bikini bod summer shape up as well. Of course, one week of training wont put you to far off track, but like I’ve said before it’s all about CONSISTENCY and nailing it into a daily routine. Of course, while your on vacation, I encourage you to legitimately live like you are on vacation…indulge a little! There’s no harm in that, just make sure you keep a sense of balance. Balance is key while on vacation and makes it possible to maintain a plan to avoid unwanted bloating while relaxing around in a bikini!

My first tip is to get a workout done ASAP in the morning…
– If you refer to my recent post on, “The Hardest Part is Getting Out the Door”, I guarantee you getting a workout done right away in the morning will make you feel golden for the rest of the day. Although personally I’ll be vacationing with my family, college students across the states will most likely be drinking and clubbing late into the night. I can totally 100% understand that drinking the night before makes it almost impossible to wake up in the morning and get a workout done. But, I can PROMISE you that this will a) CURE your hangover and b) sweat out those unnecessary drinking calories consumed the previous night.
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For your morning workout…
– Throw on a sports bra and some shorts, either hit up your hotel gym (check ahead of time to see what’s available) or better yet, run around the town or beach area. This way you get to explore AND get in some fresh air. Fresh air, the cool sea breeze, and the nearby ocean will make running with a hangover that much easier. AND on top of that, dive into the ocean post-run for a nice refresher! Along with this, take a few laps in the ocean if you’re not feeling the heat and a sweaty run. Even if you’re not up for a run, go for a fast walk on the beach (walking on the sand alone is a great calf workout and can get your heart rate up). Another alternative is to do some short cardio/strength training on the beach. If you refer to a post from a few months ago, I uploaded 5 standard routines that can be done ANYWHERE, including the beach! One other option is to find a local hiking trail or bike rental station, many beachy, resort areas have these options as well…and again it’s a great way to sightsee and embrace the beauty of the tropical location.

url Check out some Beach Workouts Here at Health.com!

Bring a friend and Plan ahead of time…
– It will be so much more beneficial to you if you plan to workout ahead of time or the night before WITH a friend. That way, if you snooze that alarm of yours, hopefully you can count on your friend to get your butt up and going! Make it a fun outing by going for a nice run on the beach (PLUS you get extra tanning time in the sun) and then find a fun, local coffee shop for a little wake up refresher for the day. BUT make sure to HYDRATE HYDRATE HYDRATE as this is important to flush out all the alcohol toxins, prepare yourself for the heat, and of course to avoid sun poisoning as you’ll be on the beach for the entire day.

Eat accordingly…
– Working out is just one part of keeping up with your routine. However, your diet is what’s KEY. If you will be on a spring break vacation where the majority of your friends plan on drinking 24/7, try and give yourself at least some time off from the alcohol. Try and relax and re-hydrate during the day or limit yourself to just one or two daiquiris! Alcohol is loaded with sugar and sugar is the number one bloater. So just try and limit the amount that you’ll be drinking and as I’ve continued to repeat…DRINK WATER!!

Eat the local food…
– Like I said before, it’s okay to indulge here and there on vacation…trust me I love some delicious desserts! But, if you do plan on indulging, scope out some healthy places that provide a large amount of the locally grown produce. I can bet that many tropical locations have AWESOME fresh fruit and vegetables in large variations. Remember that your stomach is not a wastebasket, so try and consume foods that are “clean” (refer to my last post) in order to stay on track for the most part. Also, to avoid binge eating late in the night (post-drinking), make sure to eat a hearty breakfast (I highly recommend some eggs, toast, and fruit for the best recovery). A large, healthy breakfast will set the tone for the day and avoid late night overeating cravings.
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My last bit of advice…seriously try and AVOID sun poisoning and DEHYDRATION.
– This will ruin your spring break experience! I’ve have sun poisoning a number of times and it’s not fun AT ALL. Picture giving birth and PMSing combined and that’s what sun poisoning feels like! You’ll most likely either being laying sprawled on the floor crying in fetal position or yacking over the toilet. Basically, if you haven’t gotten the picture yet, it’s something you want to avoid at all costs!

Signs of Sun Poisoning:
– Skin Redness
– Pain/Tingling
– Swelling
– Pounding Headaches
– Fever and/or chills
– Nausea
– Dizziness
– Dehydration

How to avoid and treat this??

– Get out of the sun ASAP!
– Go for a dip in a nearby pool, ocean, or take a cool shower
– Drink more amount of water for the next few days than you normally would
– Take Ibuprofen
– Don’t overdue on the water if you begin to feel nausea, from my own personal experience, you’ll most likely throw it up if you begin to chug water
– Eat something salty and substantial like pretzels, bland crackers, and bread
– Drink EXTRA electrolytes!
– Avoid Alcohol

Refer to WebMD for more on sun poisoning tips!

Lastly, ENJOY SPRING BREAK! Have fun with friends and family! Embrace the vitamin D from the glaring sun. And if you’re staying up, take advantage of that time to relax, catch up on sleep, and maintain a consistent workout/eating routine!
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