This weeks Obsession….. Kabees (aka Mediterranean Pickled Radishes & Beets)

Since the best thing to do after a hard, mind-frazzling workout is to talk about food – well, that’s what I find myself doing with one of my instructors.  Just the other day after working out so hard I could … Continue reading

I Am Just As Strange As You

Just love this!

Positive Outlooks Blog

I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you. — Frida Kahlo

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Saucy Kale and Tomato Pasta

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I was trying to decide what to eat – knowing that I had to eat/fuel to run since I have a run scheduled for Saturday before the predicted big snowfall. Usually I make a simple pasta dinner the night before a LSR (Long, Slow Run) – with a very easy tomato sauce that can be made in 30 mins. Tonight, after chatting with my running partner Kathy about what to have for supper (she was enjoying lasagna! Yum!) I decided to add a few new things to my good, old faithful – Kale and some sun-dried tomatoes, olives and for good measure a cherry bomb pepper.
Wow! It was really great and so quick and easy!

Here is the recipe.
Saucy Kale and Tomato Pasta
Pasta of choice (**I always use real pasta – Barilla is great and occasionally I will make my own or try another type of imported noodles, always from Italy!)
3 large ripe tomatoes
Kale
Organic garlic – 2 cloves (thank you SP!)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (directly from Puglia, Italy — soooo good!)
Hot sauce – such as Frank’s (you just need a dash or two)
Rock salt for water for pasta
Italian blend of Seasonings
Store bought Antipasta mix:
-sun-dried tomatoes
– green olives
– cherry bomb peppers
**I just love this mix, if you have a Antipasta bar at your local grocery store you can pick and choose what you like and don’t like – if you don’t like olives, pick something else, or if you want something a little spicier go crazy!

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Put a pot of water to boil and add salt to taste.
While the water is heating up, start slicing the garlic thinly (**do NOT chop garlic!) and chopping the tomatoes and kale.
In another large pan on medium heat (I like to use a wok like pan, but please use what you like) add enough olive oil to coat the pan and add the sliced garlic, cook till lightly browned and remove once it’s been browned as you only want the infusion of the garlic not the actual garlic (you can discard it or use it for something else such as garlic bread or whatever else you like).

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Add the chopped tomatoes to the hot oil and cook on medium heat, stirring while the tomatoes cook, this should take about 10 minutes, you can now add the kale. Now if you really love kale, add as much as you want, if you’re not sure, like me, use only about 10-15 stems – I know that sounds like a lot but like spinach, it does cook down quite a bit. At this point, drizzle some olive oil (about 1-2 tablespoons) into the sauce and add a couple of shakes of Italian spices.
As this cooks, you can add the pasta to the boiling water, unlike to set the timer from between 6 and 7 mins- depending on the type of pasta. I like my pasta al dente, but feel free to cook it to your liking.
While the pasta cooks, keep an eye on the kale and tomato sauce.

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Now here is, to me anyway, the secret to any good sauce…
As the sauce cooks, add 2 ladles of the pasta water, one at a time. The water will absorb into the sauce.
Turn down the heat to low but keep on eye on the sauce. It should now have thickened up nicely and all the kale should be very soft. At this point you can toss in some of the Antipasta …. And a couple of dashed of hot sauce ……Or not. 🙂

Once the pasta is cooked, drain as usual and plate pasta in a bowl and top with Saucy Kale and Tomato Sauce and if you’re like me – fresh Parm Cheese.
Enjoy!

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2014 Running Goals

2014 running goals

I’ve been giving this some thought.
It has taken me a little bit to put my 2014 Running Goals together.
I wanted to put goals down that are not only attainable but also challenging – without making them so hard that I would get discouraged and let them fall through the grates. I also thought it would be best that I compile goals that I can actually “plan” for… that I can put a strategy together for. Now I know there are a lot of people would think, why bother, it’s a lot of work, ugh too much structure etc. But I am one of those people who need to plan, so I can have some structure. I don’t like surprises and I like to be prepared for what’s ahead. (*and yes if that makes me a bit of a control freak…then yes, that’s who and what I am – and it works for me. Don’t judge ok?)

While I was getting ready to sit down and put this post together, I came across something that touched me. It made me cry a bit and it made me realize how simple yet true this piece is.

http://www.upworthy.com/right-before-dying-from-a-rare-lifelong-disease-sam-revealed-his-three-secrets-to-happiness

I do believe that all of the above can be applied to not only life in general but to running as well.

1. Be ok with what you ultimately can’t do because there is so much that you CAN do…..  So I may never qualify for Boston but I can and will enjoy my races and runs (the good, the bad and the ugly) that I am ABLE to do.  I CAN enjoy all that running brings me – the feeling of freedom, of accomplishment, the beauty of the landscapes I run – whether they are cityscapes, farms or where ever I am, to feel blessed that I can even run.

2.  Surround yourself with people you want to be around……. These are my running friends, buddies, partners, coaches and supporters.  I’m absolutely a people person but my running people are something very special to me.  I spend a great deal of time with these folks — I run 4x a week during training and this includes our long runs…oh those long runs.  You can learn a lot about someone on these runs.  We have shared hopes and dreams, fears and tears.  We have laughed – soooo much and we have learned even that much more.  I surround myself with these people because they are the best.  Really.  Truly.  The Best. ( *You know who you are!!)

3.  Keep moving forward…..  Always keep moving forward, one foot at a time.  One run, one race, one dream at a time (ok well at least keep the dreaming somewhat realistic!).

4. Never miss a party if you can help it…… Well, this one is easy, and I don’t mean a major bender!  The Parties I think about are the celebrations with my peers – the birthday celebrations, the milestone celebrations, their accomplishments, my accomplishments and of course – the Wrap Up Celebrations after a Race – no matter how well we did or how poorly we ran.  It’s about celebrating our friendships and just being able to live fully.

I would strongly encourage you to have a look at this video – link below.  This young man was not only a brave person but a very wise person who has inspired me to think a little harder about 2014.

( http://www.upworthy.com/right-before-dying-from-a-rare-lifelong-disease-sam-revealed-his-three-secrets-to-happiness )

And now without further ado…. my 2014 Running Goals (** butterflies**).

1. Stay Injury Free.  Enough said.

2. Run my 2nd Full Marathon  AND the Around The Bay this year as a true races and beat my time by at least 15 minutes.    

3. Run a Full with my sister!  

4.  Motivate and help train at least one person who has never run before  – and help them to run a race  – any race! 

5.  Limit my running shopping addiction to only one running item to every 3 months.  (Wow.) **** Gels and nutrition items not included.

6. Run one race with both my sibs – my brother Frank (*who is not a runner! hint, hint see number 5) and my sister, who is just coming off a running injury.

7. Cross Train!  Yup that’s right.  I am committing to cross training at least 2x a week (where am I going to find the time for this?!?)

8. No swearing or negative attitude or words during runs.  I use to swear and complain during the first 2-3km of runs and on a few of our long runs (my poor training partner Ingrid, she had to endure that last year while training for the Scotia, she is such a trooper!) Btw –  Saying Oh Shoot doesn’t count!

9. Plan and run one destination race, even if it’s just across the border or out-of-town.  Preferably with Sis!

10. Learn better fuelling for my races!  That last 2 km at the Scotia was tough!  The cramping…wow.  ouch. This year I need to really try to avoid that cramping so I don’t end up having to walk as much as I did during the second half of my first Full.

11.  Volunteer at least one race this year.

12. Not to be so hard on myself and just enjoy the journey. 🙂

Well, that’s 12 goals that I think are do-able, number 5 might bring some tears and maybe a meltdown or two but very doable.

What are your running goals for 2014?

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No Excuses!

No Excuses!

It’s a New Year, ready for some new Running Goals and absolutely have NO excuses now that I have a huge stash of new running clothes and the gorgeous Asics Gel Kayano 20 – in Pink no less! I feel … Continue reading

Hibiscus for Hair

What a great idea!

To Great Lengths...

D.I.Y hibiscus shine spray & shine boosting mask

DIY Shine Spray

Like rosemary, hibiscus is a great natural ingredient to incorporate into your hair regime. The hibiscus flower is mainly used in herbal teas, but not only is the tea healthy and delicious, it can also work wonders on your hair! Although there has been very little scientific research into the beauty benefits of the flower, it has been used by women for centuries, in cultures all over the world. For me, the best thing about using hibiscus on your hair is the fantastic shine it gives, especially to red and brunette hair, and it couldn’t be easier or cheaper to prepare!

Step 1

Cut Hibiscus

The first thing you will need to do, is buy some chopped hibiscus. I get mine off ebay here for £4.25 for 200g (This will make 20 bottles of shine spray!!). Make sure your hibiscus is dry and fine…

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29 Hairstyling Hacks Every Girl Should Know

 

29hairstyles

29 Hairstyling Hacks Every Girl Should Know.

via 29 Hairstyling Hacks Every Girl Should Know.

This is definitely  worth looking into!  Great tips and tricks, especially with the holidays fast approaching!  This was shared online by one of my favorite Beauty and Style YouTuber –  MsGoldgirl – Marnie (https://www.facebook.com/msgoldgirl)

I love the fuller pony tail tip and the different curls to play around with.

Tis the Season to look gorgeous ladies!

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Heathy Fast Fish Dinner

Quick and delicious dinner.  You can use any white fish you like.  Leftovers make amazing fish tacos!

Quick and delicious dinner. You can use any white fish you like. Leftovers make amazing fish tacos!

Growing up I really wasnt a fan of fish or seafood of any kind – to me it just didnt look or smell appetizing.  As an adult, I still avoided it until I was a newlywed and my new husband insisted I try Blackened Catfish at a very nice restaurant in our new neighborhood just outside Cleveland.  Oh what a wonderful surprise that was!  It was fantastic!  How could I have not eaten this delicious dish before?!   Well that was it for me – that positive experince really opened up a whole new world for me.

These days I find myself eating more fish and seafood than ever before.  I’ve found that fish and seafood dishes are pretty easy to prepare and taste so good.  It’s a great alternative to chicken or another type of protein.   One of the best things is that you can pretty much use  any white fish from the market- tilapia, halibut, monkfish, catfish etc.

Here are a few popular and mild white fish that you might want to consider: Monk Fish – This large low-fat, firm-textured salt-water fish has a mild, sweet flavor that compares with lobster. Sometimes referred to as “poor man’s lobster.”

Flounder – A fine-textured flatfish prized for its delicate flavor. Some of the more popular varieties include “Fab,” “English Sole,” and “Plaice.”

Haddock – A North Atlantic fish, the smaller cousin to the cod. The haddock has firm white flesh that is mild in flavor.

Halibut – A low-fat, firm white and mild-flavored fish from the flatfish family. Resembles a gigantic flounder. “Chicken Halibuts” weigh up to ten pounds and are considered the finest halibut.

Orange Roughy – A New Zealand area fish with lean, white flesh that is firm and mild. This popular fish can be poached, baked, broiled, or fried.

Striped Bass – This true bass is found along the Atlantic coast. It features six to eight horizontal stripes and provides a moderately fat, firm flesh with a mild, sweet flavor.

Swordfish – A saltwater food and sport fish with mild-flavored, moderately fat flesh. The flesh is red, dense, and meat-like. Thanks to its firmness, swordfish can be prepared by baking, broiling, grilling, poaching, or sautéing.

Now for the  details.  The actual recipe for the fish doesn’t get easier than this one.

4  fish fillets of your choice  *(I used frozen Halibut I purchased from Costco for a great price, very convenient and great value)

1/2 flour

2 egg beaten

1/4 cup of milk

pinch of salt, pinch of pepper

paprika

olive oil * a few drops will do, I use a Misto spray bottle for my olive oil instead of Pam or butter

Wash fillets, dry on paper towels.

In 2 seperate  dishes, I just use plates.  In one plate place the flour, salt and pepper, in the other the eggs and milk that have been beaten.

Turn stove on medium, add the olive oil to frying pan. 20131210-004735.jpg

Place the fillets in the egg mix and carefully coat both sides, then dredge (place them in the flour mixture) the fillets in the flour, gently shake off flour.  Some people use a baggie and put the flour in there – that is entirely up to you.

Place the fish into the hot pan and watch it carefully that it doesn’t burn.  Cook on each side till golden brown, sprinkle a dash of paprika for a bit of flavour and colour. >
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Slice some lemons and add to plate along with veggies of choice – mine were sauteed corn, orange peppers and a vidalia onion.  For my carb part, I sauteed some perogies which were served with a bit of low fat sour cream.  Oh and I added my latest obsession – feta stuffed red hot peppers!

Yum!

Now go enjoy!

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AWOL. But now I’m back!

Well hello Friend!

It’s been a long, long time since this little corner of the Internet has seen any action!

Life just seemed to get so complicated and sad after my ATB (Around The Bay) race and I kind of lost myself in the loss of my sweet girl Sammy. She passed away due to complications from surgery and it was so utterly painful that I just didn’t know what exactly to do. It was my first pet loss, but they are never easy. For me it was heartbreaking and going over all the what ifs, and maybe I should have of the time leading up to her loss that was making dealing with losing her so difficult.

Someone suggested I “foster” a puppy to help me deal with the grieving but I didn’t want to even hear of it. But the more I thought about it the more it made sense – to take my sadness and turn that negative energy into something positive.
That is how I met Lucy.  Cute huh?  Well I will have to post her story soon so you can meet her!

This is Lucy, aka Le Petit LuLu

This is Lucy, aka Le Petit LuLu

Things around us have been pretty busy and so much has happen since my last post.  I am still running and just hit my biggest challenge this past October – I not only ran but completed my first full marathon!  I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am to have achieved this goal.  It was a lot of hard work and many sacrifices along the way – was it worth it?  You bet it was!

I will posting photos and some of the adventures that I’ve had in running as well.  I have made some amazing friends and have shared tears and heartbreak along the way but at the end of the day- despite my thoughts that I would only run one marathon in my life, even before I crossed that finish line I already knew that there would be another race in my future.

I am still cooking and baking and trying out all sorts of projects – craft, organizational and household dyi’s.  Stay tuned because I am back and am ready to start filling up this blog with some of the things I love and hopefully you will join me in my adventures!

It feels good and right to be back.  The timing is just perfect!

Thanks for stopping by.

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