Happy Independence Day

Hello!

Just stopping in to say “Happy Independence Day!”

Last night, Farmer Ben and I practiced our right to grill and had a pretty delicious meal of chicken hot dogs, vegan beer brats (I’ve been really digging Tofurky brand sausages lately-Ben thinks I’m such a weirdo!), zucchini, radishes, scallions and hot sauce-dipped pineapple.

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Everything was delicious… but we probably went a bit overboard for two people (We also had cheese and baguette).

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Luckily, I have lots of leftovers to eat while Farmer Ben is feeding the masses today. I may have eaten some for breakfast, paired with some iced mango-black tea I found at Trader Joe’s earlier this week.

Honestly, I can’t complain about this day one bit… it started with delicious food and some quiet time before doing some work. That feels like a total win!

Anyway, remember to take a moment to thank those who serve and protect our freedom today!

Have a safe and happy holiday!

What are you doing to celebrate the 4th? 

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Real Talk: CamelBak Review

Last week, my new CamelBak came in the mail. As promised, I tested it out on my long run this weekend.

In case you forgot, here is what it looks like:

Can't wait to try this out on my run this weekend!

The Aurora.

Sunday, I headed out after church with our friend Preston (PS. Thank you so much for running with me!). I picked the hottest time of day to run and my body protested the whole way, so I was relieved to have water with me.

In short, I’m really happy with my purchase.

Please forgive me if I call something by the wrong name, I’m new to the hydration pack lingo.

Overall Review:  

The pack stayed put for the most part. It was super nice to have pockets to store some shot blocks, my phone and chocolate adzuki bars (recipe coming!). I love that the reservoir had a wide lid (especially if you want to add ice cubes!) and was easy to fill and clean.

I read online that the water swished a lot, but I didn’t notice this at all. (I found and tried this tip: fill the bag and close it, turn it upside down and suck out the excess air through the hose/mouthpiece. There will be no swishing).

I also put the reservoir in the fridge overnight to keep it cold. The water stayed cold for most of my run…amazing considering I ran from 12:30-2:30 on a very hot day.

I did notice some bouncing, but I think part of this may be my needing to figure out the perfect adjustments for my body. I do wish that there was another buckle around the waist to secure the bag just a bit more, but I ended up tying the free ends of the shoulder straps and this helped some (it also kept them from flapping around, which would have bothered me more). If you choose not to tie the ends of the shoulder straps, they have Velcro on them so they can be out-of-the-way. Another plus!

I had some trouble adjusting the shoulder straps, but that may just be me.  Again, I’ll figure it out as I wear it a few more times.

Overall, I am extremely happy with my purchase.

 

Happy Running!


Real Talk: CamelBak Purchase

You guys! I cannot tell you how excited I am!

Allow me to explain:

If you know me, you know that I don’t like spending money on myself…but I’ve been wanting a CamelBak for my long runs (so I don’t have to plan a route based on where I can stop for water when I need it…or make Farmer Ben come out and meet me en route)…so I finally broke down and started looking.

I knew I wanted something kind of middle of the road (that way, if I don’t like it for running, I can at least have it for hikes or bike rides)…from there, I let the reviews lead me.

Long story short, I had a gift card for LL Bean and they happened to have this little beauty:

Can't wait to try this out on my run this weekend!

The Aurora.

What makes this so special? It’s my first CamelBak… I also got it for $23 instead of the  $68 + tax! Thank you LL Bean gift card!!!

On top of that, it only took two days for (regular) shipping…FREE shipping. Can you say win? Mad props to L.L. Bean ( no compensation from LLB, I am just ridiculously impressed). Seriously.

As you can imagine, I had to drive home on my lunch hour to rip open the package and check things out. I love the color and I am happy that I decided to go with a 70 oz. pack. I’m also pretty excited about the pockets… I’d love to not have to use my running belt and/or stuff things in my sports bra (TMI?)!

I tried it on, and it seems to be a good fit, but I won’t know for sure until I hit the pavement.

I’ll keep you posted as to how I like it, but I am feeling good about it thus far! I’m really looking forward to my long run this weekend to test it out!

Do you use a hydration pack? What are some of the pros and cons? Where do you store your must-have items on the run?!

Happy Running!


It Just Tastes Better. Period.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; local food just tastes better! Especially if it’s from your own backyard. There’s just something about knowing exactly how your food is grown and being able to pick it at its peak freshness.  It never gets old.

Monday, I had the pleasure of assisting Farmer Ben in the garden… with my current work schedule, it hasn’t happened enough lately. Needless to say, it was glorious. It felt good to dig right into the dirt and pull out all the things we’ve grown.  I think I enjoyed the potatoes the most–so much fun!

So… I’ll say it again… nothing compares to fresh picked food. It’s just amazing.

Here are just a few pictures of our garden adventure:

Corn King!

Three Sisters in Action: Corn, Beans and Squash!

Tomatoes. Taking Over.

Potatoes! Ready for digging up!

Digging Right In!

Another Day’s Harvest

It feels so good seeing the fruits (and veggies) of our labor.

I am so blessed to have such a talented, hard-working hubs! Thank you, Farmer Ben!

What are some of your favorite garden items and activities?


Honestly…

It’s Friday. The Friday after a crazy week . Finally Friday. The last thing I want to do today is work…let alone work at both jobs. But…here I am!

I’d really love to be laying on the beach right now, margarita in hand… or sitting on a patio with a bloody mary. These both sound infinitely better than working all day.

On the bright side, the hubby drove me to work AND we stopped for coffee.  It was so needed.

In other news, my waist and hips have whittled down to the point where I can take off numerous pairs of pants/shorts without unbuttoning or unzipping them, meaning that I desperately need to go shopping so I have something to hold me…

Even though I can accomplish this fancy trick, I don’t feel like I am that much thinner. I kind of feel like I am the same size. But 20 lbs is 20 lbs.  And it’s gone!

Another plus: People are actually noticing, so it must be true!

This morning I woke up approximately 50 minutes later than I had planned. What happened, Alarm C lock?! We have a standing date and you broke it!  I don’t know whether to be relieved or upset.

Even though I woke up late, I was still able to haphazardly get ready and make it to work on time… but I can’t guarantee that my hair is brushed. No big deal.

I was so planning on mailing out my foodie penpal package this morning… but I have to do it tomorrow because I left some of the items at home. Le sigh.

Our garden is out of control… I am waiting with bated breath for the avalanche of tomatoes and basil that will come in the next few weeks… we’ve gotten a few currants but I am waiting for the main event! Ah! And cucumbers… and beans … and potatoes… Yes! Life is good!

Ben made kimchi and we had it over soba noodles yesterday… it was pretty delicious but my stomach was on fire for about 4 hours after lunch. Talk about feeling the burn!

I cannot wait to soak up some sunshine tomorrow and Sunday. Bring on the SPF 50!

I also see some granola making in my future.  And napping. Definitely napping.  And running. Yes. All good things!

Happy Friday!


Something to Smile About…

Last week was rough. There’s really no other way to describe it. 

Without getting into too much detail, I had way too many things going on…and I missed an important appointment because I didn’t double-check my dates (BUT, I was able to reschedule!).

Luckily, I have a wonderful husband who helps me out in any way he can. Last week it was doing laundry, getting up with me at 5:30 in the morning and driving 40 minutes–each way– to pick someone up before I went to work, making  breakfast and lunch, and listening to me have a mini-meltdown midweek. No big deal.

Somehow, we made it through the week and Saturday morning, we were out of bed bright and early to drive down to the social event I’ve been mentioning for the last month or so.

This weekend, Ben and I attended a wedding. The wedding of my friend Laura… or my ex would-have-been-sister-in-law. She’s a pretty amazing lady and we are still close. Driving down Saturday morning my feelings were swinging between “This is going to be totally fine. It’s not a big deal.” and “What the heck was I thinking?! I am so nervous that I am going to drive off the road!”

The reality of the event was somewhere in between. I’ll share more in my next post…but for now, I need to share some positivity!

So, here is a short list of things that made my weekend (and life in general) pretty amazing:

1. My hubs. This man makes my life a lot more interesting. Each and every day. Not to mention,  he’s pretty handsome.

2. Wearing a dress that I haven’t worn in a long time and finding out that it still looks pretty good. It’s an awesome feeling, and nice to know that hard work does pay off.  

We clean up pretty well, don’t we?

3. Local Produce. I love going to farm stands, co-ops and farmers’ markets and knowing that I am supporting my local economy… not to mention, it just tastes better. This weekend, my sister, Ben and I visited Turks, a small farm and flower market in Horseheads, NY.

Shades of Summer…

I love summer veggies!

4. My amazing family. And our abillity to make stupid faces. Meghan is going to kill me.

5. Fresh Ingredients. Simple Food. Delicious-ness. Here are some shots of our Sunday lunch. Thrown together in about thirty minutes after a quick trip to Turks and Wegmans for supplies.

Brie and Baguette are a must-have!

A closer look… Quick Pickles, Caprese Salad and A Veggie Plate

6. Potato Salad. Especially when it’s not drenched in Mayo…Recipe for this particular salad is coming soon!

I love all the color in this bowl!

   7. Late summer nights. Particularly when paired with a glass of wine in hand, hummus at my fingertips and ridiculous conversation. Bonus points for a bonfire.

What are some things that make you ridiculously happy? 

As I said, stay tuned. More to come!


Lookin’ Out My Back Door!

It is an absolutely beautiful day today. The sun is shining, there’s a nice breeze and I had a lunchdate with the hubby. I’m working at the restaurant this evening and I brought my running gear for a night run.  How lucky am I?

Ben also informed me that we have beets, beans, lettuce,  mint and corn popping up! Hooray!

Of course, whenever I talk about spring or summer weather in the North Country, no one ever believes me. But I’ve got proof! These photos were taken this morning by Farmer Ben… enjoy!

 

We now have cows in our backyard, no big deal.

The cows belong to our landlord…

Near the garden…

 I secretly love dandelions.

Potatoes. Who knew?

Biggest spring onions ever.

Seriously, these suckers are huge!

Ben called this last one “The Yellow Brick Road.”

Have a beautiful rest of the day!