A Day Off in Vermont: Run to Chocolate

Happy Monday Friends!

How was your weekend? Mine was pretty spectacular. Not only did I get to spend some quality time with the hubby, but we also knocked off two races this weekend!

Friday night was spent hanging out with the teens in our youth group. P.S.: I’m starting to feel really old when I make movie/music references and they have zero idea what I am talking about….sigh… but other than that, we had a good time.

Run to Chocolate (2 Miles):

On Saturday, Farmer Ben and I got up early, layered up, packed a bag with extra clothes and headed across the lake.


It was frozen

After we got off the ferry, we stopped at Wally’s Bagels for breakfast and coffee. If you’ve never been, check them out. Best. Bagels. Ever. I went with egg and spicy cheddar on a rosemary olive oil bagel.


Farmer Ben is not impressed

Once we had our bagels, we jumped on the highway and headed north to Fairfax, Vermont. It actually wasn’t too long of a trip. Even better, I can finally say that I have driven on a covered bridge…unfortunately, I forgot to document this with a photo.

The hubby and I got to the school where the race was held about 40 minutes before starting time. Luckily, it was a pretty low-key event, so we had plenty of time to register, stretch and stay in the warm gym.

We lucked out with the weather, it was a beautiful, sunny day… but the course was snow-covered and slippery. It was an out and back on a dead end road, complete with a nice uphill toward the end… coming back through the school parking lot for the finish was a little tricky, so I didn’t have my usual kick.  Farmer Ben ran the race in 17:34 and I finished at 18:44, not too shabby for the conditions.


Finish photo

After the race, we walked back into the gym to find tables of chocolate. There were chocolate bars, truffles, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, hot chocolate and a chocolate fountain. The chocolate bars, truffles and fountain were all local. Heck yes! We even scored a few Fleet Feet $10 certificates… not too shabby for a $10 registration fee!


Terrible photo of the chocolate fountain

Farmer Ben and I got some hot chocolate and brownies and grabbed some of the other chocolate goodness for later. We ended up chatting with two women from Hardwick, VT and even talked them in to coming across the lake for Strides for James!

After the race, we headed to Fleet Feet so I could pick up a new pair of running shoes. The staff sized me, did a gait analysis and then had me try on a few pairs of shoes and watched me run on the treadmill. I ended up getting the Mizuno Wave Inspire 10….with $35 off.


Cannot wait to break these in

Then, we went to Chipotle. And we had a gift card.


Happy Hubs

After Chipotle we headed to downtown Burlington and meandered around Church Street.


Ice sculptures in Church Street

We ended up going to the Saratoga Olive Oil Company and came out with 4 bottles…1 was free!

I guess you could say Saturday was the day of the discount!

Overall it was a great day off and it was so fun to race with the hubby!

How was your weekend? Did you race? Would you run for chocolate?!

Real Talk- Legs.

I’m back!

As much as I loved sneaking off to the city for a couple of days with the birthday boy man, I have to admit, it is nice to be home. It felt so good to put on my super-soft, enormous sweats (They have always been big, but now they are …even bigger!) and a t-shirt and crawl into my own bed.

Don’t get me wrong, NYC was great. We ate and drank and walked and walked and ate and watched and walked all over. But there’s just something about coming home, dumping your stuff in a pile in the middle of the floor and immediately putting on those previously mentioned sweatpants. 

Say it with me, “Aaaah…”

Anyway, I know we have a lot of catching up to do. I’m working on a couple of posts…one I am having an especially hard time writing because it’s something very personal…and I am honestly unsure how exactly to approach it. In the end, I’m sure I’ll choose my normal verbal-vomit, dump whatever comes to mind out on the page screen approach. And that’s fine.

Before I do that, there are a few things I really need to get off my chest.

Allow me to give you a play-by-play of something that happened to me on Saturday.

Prepare for a rant.

1. I love boots. Especially tall boots. I just love them. And how they look.

2. I have big calves and always have. This makes buying and wearing tall boots very difficult. Sometimes impossible. So, you know that when I found a pair at Target last year on clearance for $20 that I had to have them. It was the last pair, and I could actually zip them all the way…okay, most of the way, but it was close enough that I bought them. And wear them often…even though they only zip most of the way.

3. I really love the way jeans look with tall boots. But I hate that I have to stuff them inside my already over-flowing boot leg.

4. That being said, I decided that I needed to find a pair of skinny jeans.

4b. I currently own two pairs of jeans-one that I saved from a few years back and one that I purchased…so I figured it was okay for me to buy a few more pairs. Both pairs are boot-cut, size 8.

5. I’m not a huge fan of skinny jeans. I don’t know why…But I decided that if I want to wear my boots as comfortably as possible, that I should get a pair. Give them a go, if you will.

It’ll also save my boot-cut jeans from getting super wrinkly if I decide to wear a few times between washes…not gonna lie, this happens often.

6.  On Saturday, I went to the mall to find an over-the-shoulder bag for our trip and decided that I would also find at least one pair of skinny jeans.

7. Instead of finding a cute pair of skinny jeans, I discovered that my previously mentioned big calves prevent me from being able to wear skinny jeans. Period.

8. This discovery is really depressing. I can’t make this stuff up…and furthermore, who would make this up?!

Seriously, I don’t know if it’s because I’ve gone down so many pants sizes or what, but most of the jeans I tried on I couldn’t even pull up all the way. Apparently if you wear anything below a size 12, you have chicken legs…or something.

I know what you’re thinking, Home Girl is in denial about what size she wears! 

For all of you thinking that,  I can tell you, every pair of boot-cut jeans I tried on, in the same size fit perfectly. But I wasn’t looking for boot-cut jeans, was I?

So no, it was NOT because they were too small or I couldn’t get them over my hips (which,yes, can happen and I am sure if you’re a bit curvy you can relate-you move up the size chart and move on with your life), but because apparently I have such monstrous calves that I could only get them up to a certain point until they got stuck.

9. Yes, the jeans got stuck on my calves, so much that I couldn’t pull them up all the way, no matter how hard I tried, and then I had to sit down and use both hands to peel them off. Try doing that in every store. Talk about a workout!

10. This initially made me feel like a freak! I had to do this little dance, not once, not twice, but over ten times in ten different stores…with numerous brands of jeans. I even tried going up a couple of  sizes in some stores, with the same result! I left the mall empty-handed (well, except for the bag I initially set out to get…which was also a huge disappointment–it broke!) and extremely discouraged. No wonder I can hardly ever find tall boots!

11. Why do clothing companies think that all women are created exactly the same? Why do clothing companies think that all women have tiny non-existent calf muscles?! Why does the “ideal” woman have to fit a certain image or set of measurements?! 

12. I’m 5’4″ and a size 8, however I’m also very curvy. And I have short legs. And big calves.

I have big boobs and a big butt…even after losing thirty pounds.  I’m not going to give you my measurements, because it really doesn’t matter and I think that would be a little creepy…but I will tell you that even after losing that much weight, my bra size remains the same… my hips and butt are smaller, but they are still very much there. And I am okay with that. So is my husband.

13. I run. Yes, I am a runner. This means that I have big legs. Big thighs and yes, apparently monstrous big calves. That doesn’t mean that I am “fat,” it means that I have muscle.  I admit, I was fat, but that is not the case anymore.

14. Growing up, I always had an issue with my legs. I wouldn’t wear certain things because I didn’t want to accentuate them and I was extremely self conscious–especially as a teenager.

15. Now, as a 25-year-old woman, I am embracing my body. This is what keeps me working to improve myself both physically and mentally. God gave me this body for a reason, but I know that He expects me to take care of it. This is why I work out and aspire to be better.

I know that I have my trouble spots, but I’m not focused on them. I know that I embrace my curves, my muscles, and even those giant calves.  I know that I am healthy.

My “big” legs carry me through long runs, giant hills, fast runs, mud and snow,  new challenges and every day life and I am so blessed to be able to use them to their maximum capacity. And I will continue to do so as long as I can.  


After an awesome workout... check out those gams!

So, I guess this is my way of taking a stand against those in the industry who try to make me conform to a certain size and shape. If you can’t make pants–or any clothing, for that matter–that work with my body, then I won’t wear them. Thanks but no thanks.

I am not a perfect creation, but I am perfectly me.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is.

I don’t broadcast my political beliefs on my blog and I try not to rant and rave about too many political issues on this site–It’s not the place for that.

However, I will use it to remind you to get your butt out and vote today. It’s your right and your duty.

I voted, did you?

 But don’t just vote today. Practice your beliefs every single day.

Vote with your dollar.

People forget that they have a choice every time they go to the store…pump gas…buy clothes or makeup… or order online. Even when they go out to dinner!

Whether it be trying to buy from local farms instead of large supermarkets, buying American-made products as opposed to items made overseas or supporting companies who are committed to the environment and their employees instead of those who are focused solely on the bottom line and the latest technology, your dollar is the biggest weapon you have for change.

I realize that sometimes it’s a tough choice and it can be a little more expensive (although many times, this is a myth), but if you want to change the system, every dollar–or vote–counts.

An example of this? My husband and I are very committed to knowing where our food comes from and eating local. 

We grow a lot of our own food and what we can’t grow, we get from local farms that we know and trust. Or order from companies that we have researched.

When we go out to dinner, we try to pick local restaurants that we know support local farms over chains and big food vendors.

We also try to buy products made in the US, whenever possible.

Again, this takes time and effort…and sometimes extra money, but it can be done.

I grow very tired of seeing people rant and rave about their personal beliefs and politics, who then go out and support the exact opposite with their dollar.

Do your research. Be educated. And use that knowledge.

So today and every day,  put your money where your mouth is.

Simple Food. Good Times. Great Friends.

Hi Friends! Sorry I have been MIA for a few days… life has gotten in the way.

Anyway, it’s been a bit of a crazy week. Ben and I are finally working on the Thank-Yous for the wedding (we’ll only be sending them out a month or two late…no big deal) and we are finally turning our lovely little home into a lovely little home…and not just an apartment full of boxes. Yippeee!!!

I have been busy online shopping (I’ll tell you about that this weekend), scheming (more on that next week), catching up with good friends, making biscuits  and looking for a part time gig, to go along with my already full time gig…mostly to alleviate winter time boredom, but partly because, well, I’m broke. Aren’t we all?

I’ve been very fortunate this week to have had time to catch up with some good friends. This was ideal…especially because I have become a bit of a hermit as winter takes full effect in the North Country.

Two of my favorite people (Hi Tina and Vanessa!) came over for dinner earlier this week. Although it was nothing fancy,  I did make it classy: I put some Frank on. Mr. Sinatra holds a special place in my heart-I firmly believe that he is the ideal dinner companion, whether it be a romantic dinner or an evening with friends…or just …anytime. He’s my go-to-guy.

The food was great, too. I broke out the stemless wine glasses we received as a wedding gift (You rock, Carrie!) and the awesome Spanish red from another friend (Thank you, Liz!!!) then I sliced up a sourdough round (it was baked with rosemary and garlic from our local organic bakery).

Quick Snack/Party Food/Dinner Side: 

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Take the slices of bread (sourdough is great, so is a nice multigrain baguette/french bread. You’re gonna want something crusty) and place them on a cookie sheet-line with parchment paper for super easy cleanup.
  • Drizzle slices with extra virgin olive oil
  • Sprinkle with your favorite herbs/spices. I used some garlic powder, cracked pepper and sea salt. Parsley or Basil would be really good as well.
  • Place in a preheated oven at 350. Broil/bake until nicely browned. If you do use the broiler, just be sure to pay extra close attention.
  • Serve hot. If you want to jazz it up, top with tomato slices (when in season, of course) or avocado.
  • You can also sprinkle/slice some cheese (Manchego or Parmesan would be glorious) on top of these before you place them in the oven. It is hot gooey deliciousness.

I love olive oil toast. Not only is it super easy to make, but it also reminds me of my days in Sevilla. I was studying abroad. Life was beautiful. I was tan… I miss those days.

This is also a bit lighter than your standard garlic bread, loaded with butter. Everyone will love it. Try it.

Anyway, I served some leftover Turkey Noodle Soup with the toast. It was wonderful. A nice hot meal, good wine and a lot of laughs. It was a great night and made me nostalgic for the days of crashing on Vanessa and Tina’s futon. And high school. But then I thought about how much I love my nice comfy bed. And how I really don’t miss the  collar that Vanessa put on her cat…I still get twitchy when I hear bells jingling. Or thinking about it. Ugh.

Moving on…

This simple dinner shows that you don’t have to go out of your way to have a good time…or good food. I love this. They loved it too…or at least that’s what they told me.

Alright kids, have a great weekend! Stay tuned for an awesome biscuit recipe, some holiday baking ideas and a great gift idea!