Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Valentine's Day Treat Round-up

Valentine's Day is one of those holidays I always associate with treats. Heart shaped lollipops, sugar cookies with red and pink sprinkles, and lots of red velvet. Of course, back in the day I was also all about the making and showing off of the Valentine boxes. Did you make beautiful creations out of shoe boxes for Valentine's cards in elementary school too? But let's be for real, the kids that had the valentine's attached to candy were the real winners back then. So why not bake up a little treat for all those special people in your life to reming them how sweet they are to you!

Here are some of my favorites:
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie
 by Created by Diane

Red Velvet Crinkle Sandwiches by Eat Cake for Dinner
Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars by Averie Cooks

Brown Sugar Blondies by The Recipe Critic

Fruit Pizza by Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Now I just have to decide which to make! 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Friday Five - 10k Training Edition

Happy Friday everyone! I am excited for a low key weekend getting caught up on some errands and enjoying in the Olympics. I watched some of the Ice Skating Team Competition, Snowboarding Slope Style, and Women's Mogul Competition's last night and am cheering USA on to *hopefully* many medals.

This week me five is all about 10k training. I am happy with my progress so far, but next week will be the hardest so far with a four-miler!

1. I completed my first 3 weeks of my 10 week 10k training program. It is really keeping me accountable for hitting the gym and getting in my mileage/strength training. I had been in an ‘I’ll do whatever I feel like’ rut and not pushing 100% for my workouts.

2. As one of my cross-training days this week, I went to BOHO cycle studio here in Richmond and took the ‘body’ class. I loved that it worked my arms in addition to being a great cardio session. Plus the playlist was on point, Red Hot Chili Peppers plus remixes of some of my favorite current songs.

3. Speaking of music, I’m trying to find a killer playlist to help me get through the longer runs without losing interest. I usually default to a workout or my trusty Justin Timberlake Pandora stations, but they can be hit or miss, plus commercials are the worst. Any great running song suggestions?

4. I am working with a trainer on my strength training for the run too. I do 1 upper body and 1 lower body day a week on my cross-training days. I am hoping post-race I can up my strength training but for now I am sticking to the following regimen:

Upper Body - Flat DB Press on bench - Row - Lat Pull Down - DB Shoulder Press - Planks
Lower Body - Leg Press - Leg Curl - Walking Lunges - Calf Raises - Band Presses

5. I am really thinking a trip to LuLuLemon is in store. In the winter I rotate between my Old Navy and Gap capri pants and think I need an upgrade for the race (plus a little shopping incentive). I typically stick to cotton t-shirts also so I may look into a tank or slick tee as an alternative. Any tips on navigating Lulu for the first time?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Valentine's Day Fashion

Disclaimer. I am a total Valentine's newbie. This will be my second year of having a real Valentine. Last year, I wore the one red blouse I owned to dinner and called it a night. This year, I want to mix it up with something fun and flirty. 

When I saw this adorable Banana Republic ensamble in their "Outfits We Love" section, I thought what a cute, updated twist on a Valentine's Day date outfit.

Most people (myself included) own a lot of black and white, and I love the idea of pairing a fun neutral print with a pop of pink.

Here are some my favorite printed pink and black picks: 

What will you be wearing Valentine's Day? Any fun plans? 

Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Five

Happy Friday everyone! 

1. I am headed North this weekend for 4 of my friend's birthdays. They are all born within a week and there are sets of birthday twins (2 on 1/28, 2 on 2/5). I am also thankful to be able to spend some time with my family before the birthday celebrations.

2. Richmond got its second huge (by our standards) snow this year this week. Typically we get one good covering and everyone gets their snow fix. In addition to the snow, it was absolutely frigid for a few days. And to think I thought coming to Richmond would be an escape from Maryland and Blacksburg mountain weather!

3. After numerous people praising House of Cards on Netflix (the second season comes out 2/14), I decided to jump in head first. I have been flying through the first season on Netflix and it has kept me on my toes!

4. I updated my stuffed peppers recipe to make it a little healthier. Instead of rice, I used quinoa and added some diced tomato's and black beans for extra protein. It was super filling and flavorful 

5. Week 2 of my 10k training plan is done. One of my days this week consisted of cross training and I took a stab at the Arc Trainer. Boy, is that a workout. I think I found my new go-to cross-training machine.

Have a great weekend! 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Road Trippin'

This frigid winter is giving me an extreme case of cabin fever. Usually, I have a little inkling to go skiing or play in the snow, but not this year. I would much rather be wrapped up in front of the fire with hot coco in hand. Well, I am ready to get out and onto the open road.

Ever since two of my best friends went on a cross-country road trip (Virginia to California) to drop my friend off for her Teach for America job in Los Angeles last summer, I have loved the idea. Outside of the east coast I have only visited San Francisco and Chicago. Cross-country would be the ideal trip but I would take up any of these smaller trips too!

Blue Ridge Parkway

This would be the easiest route for this Virginia native. The mountains are especially magical in the fall and you can stop along the way for hikes, wineries, and end up at the Biltmore!

California’s Pacific Coast Highway

With gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean along iconic Route 1, this is the perfect romantic road trip. Plus the trip brings views of farms, beaches, cliffs, and beautiful redwood trees.

Going-to-the-Sun Road, Montana

The only road to cross the Glacier National Park, at over 6,500 feet, and going over the Continental Divide. Not only will you witness stunning mountain and glacier views but some interesting wildlife, including mountain goats and bighorn sheep.

Bourbon Trail, Kentucky
If you are trying to bring a man along for the ride, this is the ticket. With 8 distilleries creating 98% of the bourbon, you get to taste the best of the best. Plus you are hop away from beautiful Lexington and Louisville! 

Jackson to Yellowstone National Park
 Yellowstone National Park is the quintessential American road trip. Our great national park is loaded with beautiful scenery, abundant wildlife, hot springs, lakes, and more.

Sonoma and Napa Valley’s
 Any other 90’s kid automatically imagine “The Parent Trap” house when you think Napa Valley? Driving through all that amazing scenery and being able to enjoy a glass of wine or two would be my perfect trip.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Superbowl Snacks

The Superbowl is one of my favorite events of the year. My family is huge on football, so growing up we hosted many of Superbowl parties. Last year, my parents were even lucky enough to attend the Superbowl in New Orleans to cheer our Ravens on to victory! 

Since the Ravens are out of the picture this year, I am shifting focus to my other favorite part of the big game - the food! Snacking on tons of yummy dishes. Last year we made homemaded mac and cheese, buffalo chicken dip, and gaucamole. Chili is on the menu for this year and at least a few of the following must be included! 

Honey Balsmic Meatballs by Iowa Girl Eats 
Honey Balsamic BBQ Meatballs |
I love the idea of this new flavor combo to these Gluten Free meatballs. 

Homemade Crab Pretzels by Sally's Baking Addiction
Sally knows Maryland's favorite Crab Pretzels cannot be beat. 

Buffalo Chicken Jalapeno Poppers by Half Baked Harvest 
You can't go wrong with buffalo chicken or jalapeno poppers so I am loving the combination.

No Superbowl is complete without a cheesy dip. 

Baked Brie Bites by Iowa Girl Eats
Baked Brie is one of my favorite apps, and I love the idea of bite-size brie with different flavors.

Mexicorn Dip by Tasty Kitchen
My friend has made this before and it is so good, such an easy but delicious dip! 

Carmelitas by Averie Cooks
And of course, you need a little something sweet to end the night with.

What are you favorite Superbowl treats? Do you make something every year or switch it up? 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

10K Training Plan

Hi everyone!

This week marks 10 weeks until my second 10K and the beginning of my training program. I am really excited to be participating in the Monument 10K in Richmond, VA again this year.

I trained and ran last year (read my 10k weekend recap here), but had an injury half way through my training that made me take two weeks off from any running. I completed my goal to run the entire time (my longest distance to date) and had a fabulous time, so this year I want to up the ante and try to run the 6.2 miles in under 62 minutes (10 min/mile pace). Currently, I can run a 5k at this pace, so I am hoping the program will allow me to increase my distance and possibly my speed.

My training schedule is as follows:  
Additionally, I am adding 2 days of strength training a week. I am starting with one day of 5 upper body exercises and one day of 5 lower body exercises. Every few weeks I will work with a trainer to adjust accordingly.

To help hold myself accountable, I will try and update my progress on the blog periodically.