Dinner and Revelations


Dinner tonight, while inappropriately warm for a summer evening, was perfectly simple.

15-Minute Vegetarian Chili! (Source)


1 tsp canola oil
1 clove medium garlic, minced
14 1/2 oz stewed tomatoes
15 oz canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained
15 1/4 oz canned yellow corn, drained
15 oz canned tomato sauce
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried regano
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup dehydrated onion flakes
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 Tbsp low fat shredded Cheddar cheese, sharp


  • Heat oil in a large, nonstick, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, beans, corn, tomato sauce, chili powder, oregano, red pepper flakes, onion and pepper; stir well.
  • Increase heat to high and bring chili to a boil; cook, stirring frequently, until chili is thick and flavors are concentrated, about 5 minutes. Spoon into serving bowls and sprinkle with cheese. Yields about 1 1/4 cups chili and 1 tablespoon cheese per serving.
This chili was delicious with just the right amount of kick for me and Dan, but you could always add more chili powder or a little hot sauce if you really want to spice things up. Give it a try and let me know what you think.


So, last night I almost didn’t go for that four mile run. I definitely would’ve missed out on twenty seconds of bliss.

You’re thinking, ‘what is she talking about?’

I can only describe it as running bliss. My body was on complete autopilot. My arms and legs moved together in stride. My foot strikes perfectly on the treadmill belt. Everything worked the way nature intended. My lungs inflated and deflated in perfect time, filling my body and brain with the perfect amount of oxygen and releasing all the carbon dioxide. I followed my breath until the music coming through my headphones faded to a faint thump, like a heartbeat.

And then came the euphoric feeling of my mind being completely freed.

Free of the anxiousness of wanting to be home. Free of the stress of the day. Free of thoughts of the past and the future. Free of everything, my mind was just open and observant of my physical state.

Runner’s high? Brief meditation? Whatever it was it only lasted about twenty seconds and then it was gone. I feel like a runner now, because I would do anything to get that feeling back.

It’s taken over four years to find that one little spark. I’d love to hear from other runners or meditators even– what was it like the first time you felt that, I can only describe it as, oneness?


No regrets



I almost broke the plan on day two.
I was busy, then hungry, and finally laziness tried to take hold.

Now, I’m sweaty, tired and exuberant.
Four miles. Done.
Time for a shower, then my pillow, and finally a peaceful sleep.

No regrets.


The plan

Look Mom! I’m flying!

With the exception of actually running races this summer, I have been seriously slacking in the training department. This is very bad because in a matter of weeks (eeks!) I have a ten mile race. September first is coming faster than I can run, so this week I’m making the plan that will, at least, help me survive the ten miler.

Hal Higdon is an awesome resource for training plans. My plan is to use HH’s novice 15K (9.32 miles) training plan starting at week six because I’m pretty comfortable with a five mile run at this point– which is something I NEVER thought I would say.

So here’s what my week looks like:

Monday: Yoga and a Tone It Up routine
Tuesday: 4 Mile run
Wednesday: 40 minute walk with Roxie
Thursday: 3 Mile run and strength training
Friday: REST DAY
Saturday: 6 Mile run (this will be my new longest run EVER!)
Sunday: 50 minutes of cardio

So, that’s the workout plan, but it’s going to take more than that to get me in better shape. I have to really follow my Weight Watchers plan. This last month has been all fun and revelry, but it’s time to get serious about eating (and drinking) healthy. So, what’s the plan:

Drink, at least four of these babies every day.

Eat clean all week, meaning no over-processed  junk.
No alcohol, except for wine night, but there will be no wine night if I skip even one workout this week.
Moderation and portion sizes.
Get lots of fruits and veggies.

Big salad

And lastly, track everything I eat!

So many rules, right? But I guess what it all boils down to is that I have to be a lot more responsible when it comes to what I put in my body.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, so I know there won’t be results by the end of the week. All I can do is take it one day at a time, so that in five weeks I’ll be ready to take on that ten miler with time to spare, or at very least a buffer should my commitment wain.

Alright, so that’s the plan, now it’s time for some action.

Wish me luck!


The fringe is back

This post is a big THANK YOU to my hairstylist, Talia! We’ve worked together for over five years. And I mean worked together.

Talia and are partners when it comes to my hair, as silly as that might sound. We come up with a plan and we execute that plan. She takes a look at my inspirations and then she tailors them to my hair type and face shape. I really din’t know what I would do without her!

Right, now I am growing out my hair– LONG! Long enough to donate to Locks of Love, or a similar organization, and have enough hair left over for me. Growing it out can get pretty boring and lately I’ve been bored and annoyed by my long fringe, so it was time for a change.

Here are a couple of my fringe inspiration pictures, found on Pinterest, that I shared with Talia today.


This is me before the fringe.


And after:

I love them, and I know that I will love them even more once they grow out a little bit more! It’s just a fun little change for the summer.

Looking for a hairstylist in Manchester? I highly recommend Talia and will be happy to send you her information if you want to let me know in the comments or by email.


Chocorua the Cat

I think that it’s about time that I properly introduce the littlest member of our family: Chocorua. She’s named after the mountain and not the legend, just in case you were in the Googling mood.

A month ago, while volunteering at the Manchester Animal Shelter, a foster mom brought in a litter of five kittens that she bottle-fed and weaned herself. She loved each kitten as her own. As she explained their personalities, I was immediately drawn to then-Pookie. Her foster mom described her as the big sister of the litter, the mature one. She was very observant as her foster mom kissed her and each of her siblings goodbye, and something in me caved.

Please forgive this awful photo.

I filled out an application that night and was approved the next day. Dan wasn’t pleased at all, but I knew he would come around once he met her. I knew Roxie wouldn’t be thrilled either, but that ultimately she would come around too. After, a couple of scary run ins between Roxie and Chocorua, I believed that we’d have to bring Chocorua back to the shelter to find a new home. After talking to the assistant shelter manager, I had hope again, and we decided to take things day by day.



There was no way that I could bring her back. There was no such thing as “getting more attached” or “falling more in love”. I was attached and I loved Chocorua.

Happily, life is a lot better now. Roxie is tolerating kitten madness, and they are separated whenever we aren’t home. I’ve even captured Roxie laying beside Chocorua, sharing the sunshine.

20120611-204326.jpgChocorua toddled around for the first week. Playing with her favorite toys: a golf towel, a crumpled up piece of paper, toy mice, and toilet paper rolls. She learned how to jump onto the couch and bed, the importance of staying away from wires, and how to use the scratching post instead of the sisal rug. Watching her run around with wide eyes was a complete joy.

Now, Chocorua is in that menace stage of kitten life. Running as fast as she can and launching herself onto the furniture. She knows her name, greets me with kisses on the nose in the morning, and her current favorite toy is a feather in a stick, hours of fun.

Day by day, we’re becoming a stronger family. I’m not afraid that Roxie will hurt Chocorua, because Chocorua is so FAST now, but I’m still cautious. Chocorua is so much fun, a handful, but fun.

The moral of the story, really take the time to acclimate your pet to a new pet. No matter how much you believe and trust your pet, it’s better to be safe than sorry. The other moral of this story. Adopt, don’t buy. You’re local animal shelter is full of amazing animals waiting for you to find them. Just look at these two.




I’ve been pretty lazy about dinners lately, so I am grateful that couscous takes very little time to cook, only 7-10 minutes. Then I take a look in the fridge and the cupboards for extra veggies and beans to add.
Tonight, it’s couscous, cooked in garlic infused olive oil added to the water, with tomatoes, spinach, basil, and cannellini beans.


So good warm, but even better cold because there are enough leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch.
Do you have any quick dinner ideas?

So much new


I turned 29.
Dan got a new job.
We bought two new cars.
I joined Weight Watchers… Again.
I’m “training” for a ten mile race in September.
Finally, and awesomely, we adopted a kitten. Now, nine week old Chocorua (said: Shakura). She and Roxie are still getting to know each other, and it’s fun to watch.
That just about catches us up.