What’s Getting Me Through

Happy Wine Wednesday/Hump Day!! I hope everyone is having a great week so far. Today in New Hampshire the temp was above 40 degrees… heat wave!!! I’m looking forward to this weekend where it should be in the upper 20s and I can venture out on some long runs. More importantly, I’m counting down the days until April 15th (I think we’re at 43 now). I wish I had all these fun workouts to report and could give details of my long runs… but sadly the office is holding be captive 12-15 hours a day and with my added commute time and occasionally showering and eating, the wear of running on my body is not welcomed. Ironic that this is also the time of the year when I need running the most. Holy restless leg syndrome! Once the clocks change, I’m hoping to take a break at the office around 6 when it closes to the public and going on mini runs… something is better than nothing! Until now I’m living for the weekends!

As awful as I make tax season sound, I do love it. The work is challenging, but the days do go by fast and I love solving everyone’s tax puzzles. Every client I have is unique and no two returns are ever the same! Aside from that, there are still plenty of little things that help me get through my long weeks:

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PRO just released their new SOM today! You can find it here! Warning: if you are a popular size (S/M) they will sell out! I made the mistake with the last SOM and never got around to getting it. These are perfect for your St. Patrick’s day races and to give you luck throughout the year. I mean, they have clovers. You will get lucky in them (and get a PR… get your mind out of the gutters).

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This is probably the most random birthday gift I’ve ever received, but it’s also the most useful. I completely forget the name, but it’s this little clay pot with a dome lid on it and a handle. The lid has a hole on top and you can make delicious things in the microwave. It’s main claim to fame is poaching eggs. I have yet to try that but the other day I threw in a couple whisked eggs, spinach, tomatoes, cheese, and microwaved it with the lid on for 1:30 minutes. The results were this super fluffy and delicious omelette! On my yumminess. The booklet it came with had a bunch of other recipes I can’t wait to try!

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Like I said earlier, I live for the weekends. I can’t wait to get to Saturday where I can put on my favorite socks, lace up my shoes, and go tracking through mud season. Living on a dirt roads gets pretty nasty this time of year, but my running attire brightens it up a bit!

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Most importantly, whenever you are feeling down, there is a picture of a Corgi with a flower on it’s face. If I could have any dog in the world it world it would be a Corgi. Close to the ground, close to your heart. Life goals.

I hope everyone has a great rest of their week and I’ll keep reading all your running recaps and gym workouts and living vicariously through you until Saturday!

xoxo

Life Lately

Happy Saturday!!! I actually have no idea what day it is… I just wrote Friday and earlier today I could have sworn it was a Tuesday. Tax season is really throwing me for a loop and a half here. At least I have tomorrow off and I plan on making it feel as much of a Sunday as possible. After a few rides on the trainer and runs on the treadmill this week, I was happy to get out this afternoon and breathe some fresh air.

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A nice easy three was just what I needed to feel loosened up. However, I definitely should have made today my long run since it looks like there is a chance of snow tomorrow. By chance I mean there is. There always is. In fact, it’s even snowing a little right now.

Meanwhile, while I am running around all week and every week from now until April 15th, Coco is doing what she does second best. Sleep. (Barking is what she is best at)

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After taking that photo, she gave me the worst look for waking her up. She wouldn’t last a day in my shoes, but I would gladly trade places with her for even a few hours.

As you all know, busy schedules come with weird eating habits. I’ve eaten lunch out the past two days and I hate myself for it. Not only does it add up, but it’s hard to pick the healthiest options all the time. Packing my own lunch generally saves me money and calories. Please feel free to leave me suggestions on what to pack for lunch that is easy, delicious, and I can possibly make ahead of time! I need all the help I can get. I’m also not picky.

Breakfast on the other hand, I can handle. I can’t eat right when I wake up so I usually pack that to go as well and eat it when I get to work. Lately, I’ve been making a lot of nutrient packed smoothies and overnight oats:

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Ok that doesn’t look appetizing at all… but it tastes delicious! It was pretty tragic when I ran out of oatmeal in the middle of the week. My favorite part of overnight oats is that all I have to do is remember to grab the mason jar out of the fridge in the morning before heading out. Right before leaving I through in some frozen fruit which keeps it cold on my 45 minute commute.

Not sure when I decided to turn this into a post about food… but other things I’m loving lately are blueberries and hummus! (not together…) Maybe it was just that I read Tom Brady eats a lot of both, but I’m addicted. I buy the party size tubs and go through them so quickly with pita chips and carrots. What I really want to do is make my own… So if you have a recipe for that, let me know! (Ok… this is also quickly become an “help me!” post”)

Other things I’m loving this week include the fact that┬áPro Compression came out with their sock of the month earlier this week and I heart it with all my heart!

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Sizes are selling out, so if yours is still available, act fast!

One final thing I’m loving is this quote:

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With everything going on in the news, work, life… everything… it’s very easy to lose faith in human nature. However, when I think back to my marathon (and every race I’ve ever done), nothing beats the excitement around the finish line and the support along the way. You can’t control human nature in general, but you can control the humans you surround yourself with, and the most important human of all: yourself.

Have a great weekend! Go eat some oatmeal!

Monday Motivation

Happy Monday! I hope you all are getting in the holiday spirit out there and have a few vacation days ahead!

I can across a quote this week by Susan Sidoriak that said, “I date you to train for a marathon, and not have it change your life.” I mean that is right on… I have never been more motivation or inspired to do anything since my marathon. It’s kind of like anything is now possible. The only problem is training for a marathon seems easier than trying to be a CPA at this point… but I just need to keep trucking on and reminding myself that all the “training” towards taking the exams will be worth it in the end! Trying to pass these exams is definitely like training for a big race. You have to pace yourself, not let yourself get too overwhelmed, and have a game plan.

Here’s a few things to get you motivated this week:

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And some things to make you smile:

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Thanksgiving in New Hampshire

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving! My festivities began the night before with some pie making while buckets of snow came down from the sky. I think we got at least 8 inches. The entire time I was baking the lights kept flickering and we were extremely lucky to not lose power. A lot of the surrounding towns to me did lose power and couldn’t make their Thanksgiving turkeys. I can imagine that Friday and Saturday night dinners were just as full of Thanksgiving dinners as Wednesday was around here.

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I started things off with making Martha Stewart’s Pear-Cranberry pie. The only differences between the recipe and what I did were: I used a pre-made crust, did my own lattice thing, and only used four cups of cranberries.

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Coco was hating the snow and all the dishes I was making.

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My finished pie! This was prior to putting the apricot glaze on top. It was such a beautiful pie! As far as the taste goes, it was on the tart side, so be warned. I think either cooking the cranberries slightly with sugar before putting in the pie or baking a tad longer so they become more tender would have made a difference. However, I didn’t mind the tartness, especially since it complimented the sweet pears. I also didn’t feel bad for eating it as breakfast the next day!

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For me, Thanksgiving day started off with a four mile run. I was worried I would be slipping and sliding on the freshly fallen snow, but the roads were blowed pretty good and the ground hadn’t been frozen so the snow was already melting away. There were some sloppy parts, but I just took my time and made the best of it. It was like an running adventure.

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My poor little car got covered! You can really see how much snow we got here.

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Yikes. You would think this was a Christmas morning picture.

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Before dinner, I whipped up a super quick appetizer. All you do is take half a cup of softened goat cheese and half a cup of pumpkin puree and combine until one consistency. I then flavored the cheese mixture with a little cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Then, on whole walnut halves, you put about half a teaspoon and top with a dried cranberry. So easy and delicious!

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Feast number one of the day. It included turkey, potatoes, squash, stuffing, cranberry sauce, lasagna?, brussels sprouts, bread… anddddd some pies obviously. Dinner numero dos that I attending had twice as many sides. Needless to say, it is now Sunday and I am still full.

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It’s always sad when holidays are over, but the great thing about moving on from Thanksgiving is that CHRISTMAS SEASON IS HEREEEEE! Grab your Santa. Grab your tree. It’s time to get decorating!

 

Christmas Sugar Cookies with Icing

I am well aware that Thanksgiving has not happened yet, but every year the month of December and “Christmas Season” seems all to short. Yesterday, while out shopping at Target, I definitely got hit with the Christmas bug. Between all of the Santas and Candy Canes in Whole Foods prior, to the wrapping paper and Christmas displays in Target, I could have sworn it was already December.

While I did hold of on buying wrapping paper, ornaments, and stocking stuffers, I did come across the cut out cookie display which caused me to do a quick google for a sugar cookie recipe, and buy all the necessary items.

So we may or may not be eating iced Christmas cookies at thanksgiving… but by the time the actual meal of Turkey and all the fixings is done, I think it’s a good time to sneak Christmas in.

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So I ended up making a super simple recipe that was easy to work with and came out delicious! I need to work on my decorating skills and presentation… but it’s only November, I have time.

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Target had the cutest mini rolling pin for $5.99. It was perfect for this project and a great alternative to buying an expensive one. The shapes were inexpensive too, only 79 to 99 cents depending on the size. Using powdered sugar instead of flour is key when rolling them out. It adds a little sweetness to the cookie without drying them out.

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I was able to fill up two large cookie sheets! At first it didn’t look like a lot of dough, but I rolled them pretty thing and a little went a long way.

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The cookies were then cooked to a light golden brown color… some darker than others. I must admit that my rolling skills weren’t very good. I think that’s where the expensive full size rolling pin would have come in handy.

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Decorating was the best part. In the future, I need to buy actual decorating instruments, but for now a spoon and some sprinkles worked just fine for what I was going for.

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It looks like a three year old did most of these… but in reality it was a 23 and 27 year old.

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Also found this gem of a tree coat in Target. Coco was not impressed.

Sugar Cookies

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • Powdered sugar, for rolling

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Place butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer and beat until light in color. Add the egg and milk to combine. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat until combined. The batter will look crumbly, but it is stickily. Form a ball and put it in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Take half of the dough out and leave the other half in the fridge to stay cool since it is hard to work with the entire ball. Cover a surface with powdered sugar, and roll out to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out shapes and place on a cookie sheet. If the doughs starts to get warm you can put a chilled ban over the dough, or I just used a spatula to assist taking them off the counter. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes (or longer depending on the size of your shapes) until the edges begin to turn brown, rotating the cookie sheet half way through. Allow to cool on the sheet for a few minutes before moving to an actual cooling rack.

Icing for Sugar Cookies

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 teaspoons milk
  • 4 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Food coloring

Combine all ingredients with an electric mixer until it is glossy and smooth. You want it to be almost a tooth paste consistency, so play with the milk and confectioners’ sugar until that is reached. Divide the icing into bowls and add food coloring.

Another option is to make the icing super thick and pipe an edge around the cookie. Then create a more runny icing and “flood” the inside. I went for the tooth paste consistency and using the back of a spoon to spread it around the cookie. Patience is key, and less is more. There are plenty of other techniques and tools out there to help, but this is a good basic recipe to start with.

Decorate your cookies with the icing and add sprinkles or whatever you want as needed!

 

 

Early Mornings, Snow, and Holiday Spirit

Being one of those people who needs to be busy every second of every day is (as you would guess it) exhausting. Every second of everyday needs to have some sort of propose. Even planning out sitting and watching TV can be a task (I wanted to make sure I was done by run before Ellen came on today).

Busy days turn into quick weeks which turn into months that will fly by in what feels like ten seconds.

Before we know it, Christmas will be here. Don’t worry, Christmas shopping has already made an appearance in my planner a few times this month. One of those times I picked up this little reindeer (or bear with antlers?) that plugs into your computer and changes colors. Festive. Festive for sure. Christmas music has also been playing in my office. If that is what makes formatting financial statements enjoyable, you bet that’s what I’m going to play!

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He definitely needs a name… Hmmm, need ideas. Help!

Last weekend Christmas spirit started in full force making these sparkley mason jar candle holders. There were a few trial and error runs, but we got some good ones! This could make an appearance with its own post, beware.

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I’ve also been into making lattes every morning since it’s time to say goodbye to iced coffee. My lattes don’t get too exciting these days. I use to make a lavender and vanilla once using Monin syrups, but the other day I discovered that the vanilla one had mold in it. So that ruined that for me. I keep it simple most days. I make a few shots of espresso and steam some almost milk. If I’m feeling wild I’ll drizzle on some chocolate syrup. My latte art is impeccable:

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Here’s just a picture of Coco. She doesn’t have a busy life (she may beg to differ).

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Running with this time change has been challenging. I either have to wake up super early before work when the sun is coming up or run in the dark. I don’t want to run in the dark around here since there are no street lights so I start my mornings around 5:30. Around 6:00 is when I leave and the sun stilllll isn’t fully out. Around a mile into my run the sun will pop out and I regret wearing three layers. The plus side of this schedule is that I get to work around 8:00 having already ran, showered, and commuted 40 minutes. My main motivation for getting up and out of bed while it’s still dark out? These Pro Compression socks:

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They are nice and fitted and I have yet to have seen any blisters appear from them. They also come up at a good heigh to make sure there is no gap between my socks and tights which is necessary on these cold mornings. It’s been so cold lately that this morning there was snow on the ground:

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Yup, after this morning I’m officially ready for a snow storm. Too bad I can’t wear these boots in it:

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I was so excited to get them all week and they finally arrived… and don’t fit. They are wide enough for about half my foot. It’s really sad… but at least it saved me some money? In mourning of the boots I will be returning, I did what one must do in a time like this:

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Yup, I made brownies. From scratch. I’ve never had good luck from scratch… this time was no different. They were by far the best from scratch brownies I’ve ever made… but Betty Crocker isn’t going to be turning them into a box mix anytime soon. I guess I’ll just have to keep practicing!