Monday, August 31, 2015

Marathon Training Monday

Taper week! I love taper weeks because A. you get to run less and B. you feel like superwoman.  I ran 12 miles Saturday and compared to the 15 or 16 miles from the previous two Saturdays, it felt like a breeze.  Also, I was told I earned hard-core runner points because we ran the 12 miles in the rain.  It wasn't cold, but it was pretty rainy for most of the run and that was a little annoying.  However, it could have been worse.  I'll take rain over heat any day.

After my 12 mile run, I also had cheer tryouts at school.  I am one of the cheer coaches for the brand new squad at my school and I am pumped.  Tryouts went really well and we had a great turn out! I can't wait to get started with practices!

This week the mileage is 4, 9, 5, and 18.  18 is a really long run.  I'm a little nervous.  But, I also know that once that 18-miler is over, I will feel super confident about being able to finish the marathon.

This week is also my first official week of school with my students! I can't wait to meet them all.  We have some fun getting to know you games/activities and we are also diving into Algebra 2, Pre-Calculus, and AP Calculus.  AH! I'm extremely nervous, but I am also so excited!

Happy Monday! Hope everyone has a nice week!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Vegetarian Black Bean and Avocado Burritos

Today I am sharing some really big news! I got a new job!  I am still teaching high school math, but now I am at a school much closer to my home!  I used to commute for about 1 hour and 15 minutes each way to and from school.  Now, my commute is about 25 minutes.  It's amazing!  Plus, I am working at this amazing new school in Chicago and I am learning so much.  I have been there for a few weeks getting ready and now the first day for my students is right around the corner!  I can't wait! 

I have been really busy with all the changes so I have been a little bit behind on cooking and sharing what I'm cooking.  However, I am starting to adjust to this new life and a 25 minute commute means I get home much earlier than usual and therefore have more time to actually make dinner!  Here is one of my new dinners that I am really into.  It was really easy, vegetarian (so Bri's a big fan), and quick.  It is a great weeknight meal and you end up with leftovers for lunches! 

Vegetarian Black Bean and Avocado Burritos
(Adapted from The Kitchn)
Oven ready burritos!
12 whole wheat tortillas
2 chiles in adobo sauce, minced
1 cup non-fat, plain greek yogurt
2 15 oz cans of low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
2 avocados, peeled and diced
2 cups of your favorite salsa
1 cup shredded light Mexican cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a 13 by 9 inch pan.
2. In a food processor, combine the chiles, a few tsp of adobo sauce, and greek yogurt.  Add in 1 can of the black beans and pulse to combine.  You should get a nice paste mixture.  
3. In a bowl, combine the black bean paste, the other can of black beans, and the chopped avocado.  
4. Spoon a few tbsp of the mixture into the center of a tortilla.  Roll to create your burrito and place seam down in the pan.  Repeat with the rest.  
5. Pour the salsa over the tops of the burritos and then top with the shredded cheese.  Wrap tinfoil over the top and place in the oven for 20 minutes.

Enjoy :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wedding Planning Wednesday Part 8

Catering! Food! Woo!

We have found a few possible caterers and now we are dealing with tastings.  This is such a fun part of the process and I am so excited that it is here!  Once we decide on our caterer/food, we have ALL the big things done!  We will have a venue, DJ, photographer, officiant, wedding party and caterer!  Then, the next thing will be the florist.  Wedding planning is sort of like a part time job and I always feel so good when we get something done!

We are tasting with Catered By Design, Beyond Events, and Food Evolution.  If anyone knows anything about these, I'd love some advice/recommendations!!  I can't wait to try everything and find our caterer!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

My California Trip: Davis, Lake Tahoe, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Sonoma

Cali was a great trip for me and Bri.  We have been there before, but we had never gone to these areas and so it was a blast!  We did a lot of sightseeing and a lot of eating!  I went for a couple runs and it was a really nice time!

Our trip started out in Davis where we visited Bri's brother, Kevin.  He showed us around campus, I went for a run through their beautiful arboretum and since he's a vet student, we got to play with kittens!  While staying in Davis, we decided to drive out to Lake Tahoe to see some gorgeous sites and eat some yummy burgers.  We went to Burger Me for lunch and then walked around the lake area.  Then, we went to Emerald Bay to get a good view of the lake as well as the scenic mountains.  

Back towards Davis, we went to Track 7 Brewing Company.  Bri and I love visiting tap rooms and drinking different kinds of beer.  At this place, we found a Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout!  It sounded pretty strange, but ended up being amazingly good!

We spent a night out for dinner and dessert in Sacramento.  For dinner, we headed to Pizza Rock for dinner and ate some amazing pies.  Kevin and I split a BBQ style pizza and Bri got a calzone.  Everything was delish.  Afterwards, we walked down the street to Rick's Dessert Diner.  This place was PACKED.  Obviously it is a place to be and it did not disappoint.  You can find every kind of dessert you can imaging in this cute diner.  I, of course, got a slice of the Red Velvet Cake.  

After all that eating, we felt like we needed to get moving.  We spent some time strolling through Muir Woods. I thought that fairies were going to fly out at me.  This place feels incredibly old and magical.  The redwood trees are simply stunning.  Pictures do not do them justice.

Following our Muir Woods excursion, we spent the day in San Francisco.  We started off with brunch at Sweet Maple's.  This place was also a hopping spot.  We stood outside and waited for our table for quite some time, but it was totally worth it.  I got a scramble that was out of this world and the "million dollar bacon" was also a huge hit at our table.  I am not a big bacon person (gasp!...I know), but it even tempted me.

San Francisco is a great place.  We just loved it.

We even found dessert as a middle of the day pick-me-up at Dandelion.  This place happens to be one of the best chocolate shops in the world.  Go there.  Get the Peanut Butter and Jelly Bar.  Trust me.

Then, because you just ate your brains out, go walk up a hill and check out this gorgeous city.

And then find beer...

Tasting at 21st Amendment Brewery
At this point, you're probably wondering: "So this girl went to California and drank beer the whole time?"  Bri is a huge beer fan and I enjoy it quite a bit.  However, the answer to that question is, nope.  We definitely got our wine fix in Sonoma:

Wine Tasting Tour

Wine Tasting Tour

and more beer :)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Marathon Training Mondays

I got a Garmin watch!  I love it!  It is so cool to see your pace, elevation, where you went and how far you ran.  This past Saturday was the 16 mile run and it went really well!  We stayed at a pretty consistent 10 minute per mile pace, but I forgot to stop my watch at a few water stations...oops!  Check it out:

The 16 miler is supposed to confirm the fact that you totally can run a marathon.  It made me feel confident.  For the rest of training, I have two "dress rehearsal" runs.  They are the 18 miler and the 20 miler.  I am going to focus on:

1. What I eat the night before
2. How much water I drink the day before
3. What I wear
4. What nutrition I bring with me for the run

I can't believe I am at this point again and I am very excited about the marathon!  I am also SO CLOSE to my fundraising goal.  So, if you know anyone who might be interested, please pass along this info!  Even if you only donate $5, it will totally help!  Team Have Dreams - Jodie B.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Marathon Training Mondays

Hi! Long time  Anyways, I was traveling and a bit all over the place for the past week, but I'm back and ready to share some marathon training maddness.

I was in California for my 10 mile run and I went for a very hilly run through the UC-Davis Arboretum.  It was very pretty, but very hilly, and I was not all that pleased with my run.  However, I did it and as usual, afterwards I felt great.  Plus, I got to see these squirts while I was running! So cute!

California was a great trip and I can't wait to share some of my adventures, but then we came back to hot and humid Chicago and I had a week of NOTHING!  Camp is over and school hasn't started yet, so I was able to relax a little.  This past week's mileage was 3, 7, 4, 15.  7 was tought.  15 was pretty darn difficult.  I finished both runs at about a 10 minute mile pace, but this weather is really wearing me down.  I need to go back to beautiful Cali!  

15 was also the start of the really long runs.  In my mind, anything under 13 is not too terrible.  Anything above is a really long run.  You need to hydrate and take care of yourself the day before.  You need to bring "course nutrition" (like gels, gu, or other things) the day of.  And, afterwards, you need to get some good protein in your system and stretch/foam roll.  I'm feeling a bit tired and sore, but I'll survive because I'm trying really hard to take good care of myself!  If anyone has any tips on what has worked for them as the mileage increases, I would love to hear it!  

This coming week the mileage is 4, 8, 4, 16.  I'm hoping that the heat starts to die down! 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Happy Birthday Mommy!

It's my mommy's birthday today!  She's officially 60!!!! I can't really believe that because she certainly doesn't look/act like it!  I am writing this because I want to wish her a very happy birthday and I hope that she has an amazing day.

Last night, we had a lovely meal at Longitude315 in Highwood.  Afterwards, we went to Cellar Gate for some drinks and to enjoy some live music.  It was a special night and it was a wonderful way to celebrate my mom.

Tonight, we are head to Mexique for dinner.  This place is AMAZING.  I mean, the food is just fabulous.  Bri's sister had her wedding reception at this place and I am very excited to be going back.
Good food is my absolute favorite way to celebrate and today is an extra special day.  My mom is the most amazing person that I know and I love her so very much.  She was the world's nicest mommy as I was growing up and now she is the world's greatest friend/advisor/teacher to me.   I love you Mom!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Southwestern Pizza

Yesterday was Bri and my six year anniversary of when we started dating.  We decided to do something relaxed and so I decided to cook dinner for us and then we went and walked the 606 trail.  This is the new elevated trail in Chicago.  It was super nice and we walked about 3 miles.  Afterwards, we went and got gelato for dessert!  Yum!  It was a really nice night and a nice way to spend some time together on a weeknight.

This pizza is also a great weeknight meal in general.  Bri was a big fan because it is totally vegetarian.  It can also be made totally gluten free if you need it to be.  I like it because it is incredibly flavorful and it is a healthy meal.  I was inspired by the Southwestern Pizza on The Kitchn and then I adapted it and put my own twist on it.  It was a great dinner and now we have leftovers for lunch!

Southwestern Pizza

1 lb of pizza dough
1 16 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 chili in adobo sauce, mince the chili
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 sweet onion, sliced
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 small tomato, chopped
1/2-1 cup mexican shredded, light cheese
1/2 avocado, chopped or sliced
1 lime

1. Preheat oven to 450.
2. Lightly grease a baking pan and roll out the dough.  Place dough on the pan.
3. In a separate saute pan, place the sliced onion and 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Cook over medium until your onions start to caramelize.  Remove from heat and set aside.
4. Place black beans in a microwave safe bowl and heat in microwave for 1 minute.
5. Stir the minced chili, chili powder, cumin, salt, and 1 tbsp olive oil into the warm black beans.  Add a few tsp of the adobo sauce, to taste.  Mash this whole mixture with a fork so that you create a black bean paste and all the ingredients and well combined.
6. Spread the black bean paste over the dough.  Sprinkle the caramelized onions, corn, and tomatoes over the top.  Place in oven and cook for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, sprinkle the cheese over the top and cook for another 5 minutes.  Top with chopped avocado and a sprinkle of lime juice.

Enjoy :)

Monday, August 3, 2015

A Special Marathon Training Monday

I am basically halfway through training! I ran 13 miles on Saturday and while they weren't the best 13 I've ever experienced, everything went pretty well.  I also did a circuit training workout on Sunday.  This seems to be helping me strengthen muscles without feeling like I am exhausting myself and I am hoping that it will help me run stronger and therefore be able to run longer and avoid injury.  This week the mileage is 3, 7, 4, and 10.  It is a taper week!  That means I run a shorter run on Saturday then the previous week to rest and recover a bit.  This week, I will have to figure out how to run 10 miles while I am on vacation in California.  I'll keep you posted on that!  Also, for those of you who weighed in on if I should get a Garmin watch or not, I have decided to do it! (Thanks Mitch for giving me some great advice).  Basically, he said to get the watch if I don't run with my phone.

This is a special marathon training Monday because it is also Bri's and my anniversary!  We went on our first date 6 years ago!  These past 6 years have been so incredibly special and I am so excited and grateful to spend the rest of my life with this guy.  He is my best friend and I can't wait to be married to him! When I ran the Chicago Marathon last year, Bri got blisters from walking around so much trying to see me at different points.  Now that is some serious dedication and he is clearly my number one fan :).  I can't wait to see what this year has in store for us.