Archive for May 2011

The Bayshore Marathon

My second marathon...finished! 
What a fun, challenging, sore weekend this has been. We traveled up to Traverse City on Friday night to run the marathon early Saturday morning.  Having never visited Traverse City, I was in awe of the beauty that surrounded me on my 26.2 run.  Almost 90% of the race was ran right next to the bay, making for some awesome distractions. Only downside was how chilly it happened to be that morning. Drizzles of light rain and  a hazy fog accompanied us until the afternoon.  I was ecstatic to have run a 3:25 and was so proud of the boys...overall a great experience, totally worth the pain and long training. 



We scored some pretty huge medals...which I think we definitely deserved! 


The crew: Joe, Zach, and I. Zach had some minor chafing issues during the race.  For those who aren't runners, this happens a lot to guys during long distances...especially to those who don't wear band aids or nip guards!  Poor Zach.



After cheering our other friends on and getting cleaned up, we toured around the city...I loved all the adorable little shops and wished we had more time to visit.  With thunderstorms supposedly coming in that night, we opted out of camping that Saturday night. 

Zach enjoying a beer at Mackinaw Brewing Company.
With all the beautiful vineyards everywhere, we had to taste some wine as well.  Chateau Grand Traverse Vineyard...scenic views of rolling hills, glimpses of the bay in the background, and amazing cherry wine. Almost made me forget how bad my legs hurt. 


Right before we left, a short trip to Old Mission State Park, at the edge of the peninsula. 
Next time I'm up here, I want to walk to that baby island in the above picture. :) 






























I can't wait to come back!  Zach and I have plans to camp up north more this year, so hopefully we'll witness more of these breathtaking views.

Happy Tuesday to everyone!

-KateLainey

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What's in Season - Asparagus!

About this time last year, I came across Barbara Kingsolver's book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.  Her book delves into the trials of her family attempting to live a year purely off of local produce and what they could grow in their backyard.  Barbara discusses a wide variety of topics aside from eating locally, some in which I agree and others in which I have taken with a grain of salt.  Overall, Barbara inspired me to become more conscious about eating local and seasonal foods, along with provoking questions like why the food industry has gotten to such an awful state. Eating seasonally is hard, especially when our grocers provide any kind of food imaginable, all easily within our fingertips, at anytime of the year.  Since reading her book, I have tried to take advantage of the local farmer's markets in my area.  With that being said, I'd like to start a new topic called, "What's in Season."  I'll be discussing what fruits and veggies are in season for Michigan, my farmer's market finds, meals you can create with them, and any other advantages to eating this way!
Sound good? :)

This past weekend I stopped by the Fulton Street Farmer's Market after my run and quickly picked up some asparagus. These lovely gems came from a farm in Belmont, Michigan and were only $2/lb. Grabbing a pound and half, I was struck immediately by the size of the asparagus heads on these babies.
They were huge!




We ended up mixing the asparagus with red and orange peppers, mushrooms, lemon juice, garlic, a touch of parmesan, and then tossing with angel hair pasta. A delicious and super easy fresh meal.

I hope everyone enjoys their Memorial Day Weekend. I'm heading up to Traverse City for my marathon and we are planning on camping afterwards. I'm excited to check out some vineyards and tour the area since I've never been there. Anyone else have fun plans this weekend?

-KateLainey



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A Shabby Chic Trunk

As young kids, my brother Alex and I would always try to get our mom to open up the "treasure chest" in my parents room. We never really knew what would lay underneath the heavy cedar chest lid that day; a new toy, vintage clothes, souvenirs from past trips to Germany, or remnant items from our childhood.  It was usually whenever we had been well-behaved for sometime that mom would surprise us by asking..."who wants to see what's in the treasure chest?" I still like looking through the chest to see my old baby clothes, my parents grade school pictures, and anything else sentimental that my parents kept.

So obviously I've always wanted my own chest or trunk of my own.

I decided that by buying a trunk that could be used in my wedding as a card box and for keepsakes afterwards would justify the purchase.  Not having the budget to buy the same kind of chest my mother had, I decided to find something smaller and rustic. I loved the structure of this trunk, but decided it needed to be refinished before displayed at the wedding. 



And the sanding began...


It didn't take long for me to get down to this blue paint and then discover that someone had written an address in black permanent marker on the natural wood! It was actually really fun sanding and trying to decipher what was underneath all this layers. 


Thanks to my co-worker I didn't have to hand sand the rest of it the second time around. I then promptly added a power sander to the registry...I'm envisioning a lot more projects like these. :)


The finished trunk! 







So do you guys like it?

I'm so happy how it turned out and can't wait to use it for the wedding.
I've been quite enamored with the whole shabby chic effect; hence the distressed look.

Here is what you need to get this look:
old trunk - or new
sand paper - high grit
power sander to make the job easier
primer - I used Behr white paint and primer in one (sample size)
paint - I used Martha Stewart Sea Glass (sample size)
new screws or hinges if unusable
cork board tiles
foam board
 glue - I used gorilla glue

I first sanded most of the two layers of paint (and permanent marker) off, put down a coat of primer, one coat of sea glass paint and then another coat of my white primer/paint. These coats took a while to dry, so over that waiting period I repainted the hinges and replaces the screws since most of them were stripped. I also used some leather conditioner on the strap. Once the trunk was dry, I then undid some of my precious work by sanding off random areas. Definitely sand all corners or areas where natural wear would occur.
To make the trunk a little bit more unique I added cork board to the inside. Since the tiles weren't that thick, I added foam board first, then cut the titles to the appropriate fit.

Now you are probably wondering why I would put cork board on the inside of a trunk...Well the trunk will be left open during my wedding for cards to be left in and I wanted to utilize the inside lid to display pictures, notes, and a "card box" sign. I got the inspiration to do this from one of our wedding photographers, Mae! Check out her cork board DIY here.

I love creating and watching my work unfold.  I could definitely see myself refinishing lots of older pieces in the future.  Speaking of future...we recently put an offer in on a house and it was accepted today!
We are hoping to close after the wedding, so nothing is official yet, but I'm so excited about the potential of this house and what these hands can create in it.

-KateLainey

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Bridal Shower

I had such a fun weekend! No stress, wedding dress fitting, house shopping, time with Mom, and a bridal shower!  On Saturday, Zach's mom and sister hosted a beautiful bridal shower for me. I'm so excited to officially become part of the family and so blessed to have such great future in-laws. The first few pictures below are at the bridal shower; where we ate some really yummy Italian fixings, opened lovely gifts, and mingled!  Thank you everyone who came out; it was so nice to have some lady time. 

Baby Natalie & Grandma Horner
Afterwards, Mom and I headed back to Grand Rapids and stopped by a clothing swap. I had quite a few things that I have been meaning to donate or send to consignment shops, but I figured this would be way more fun.  Met some really nice ladies and saw a few I already knew! I ended up walking away with two tops, a jacket, and a pretty scarf. Score! Of course we had to grab a few outfit shots once we got home...and after the humidity had had it's way with my hair. :)  




This dress is actually one of my favorite thrift store finds. You can't tell from the pictures but it has a great semi  peter pan collar and it is super lightweight. I was worried that the neckline was a tad low...but then I figured that I'm young and you only have so long to be able to pull off outfits like this before it becomes inappropriate. 





Had to throw in a jumping picture. It was a swell weekend. 
A bonus...we are going to be putting an offer on a house! Not sure if we'll get it, but if we do, I cannot wait to share details and my plans for renovating it.  That will be the next project after the wedding. :) 

Till Later 
-KateLainey

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Eggplant Parmesan

Tonight is probably the first time I've felt like I could relax this whole week. How hectic things have been!
I have tried to jam as much into each day as possible; which in turn leaves me incredibly antsy and stressed. Thankfully my beautiful mother is coming up to Michigan this weekend for my bridal shower, to see my wedding dress, and to house shop with us!  We are hoping to get some time to practice our food photography skills as well. After watching a free creativeLive workshop with Penny De Los Santos about food and culture, we both left the workshop motivated and incredibly enlightened by Penny.

I unfortunately had taken the photos below before watching the workshop...but still wanted to share because this recipe is super yummy and I found it on my new favorite food blog, CleanGreenSimple by Jessica!  Jessica is also a photographer; which in turn means all her recipes look and taste amazing :)

I give you Eggplant Parmesan - Vegan Style.




Check out Jessica's blog for her recipe or to find other yummy treats!
I made a few adaptations from her recipe; used whole wheat noodles and flour, made use of the only vinegar I had...red wine vinegar, and used half panko crumbs/half regular breadcrumbs.

This meal did take me a while to make, which occurs quite frequently when I'm testing a new recipe, but it was definitely worth the wait. I was a little leery about the "cheese" part, but it turned out really similar to alfredo sauce...and way healthier for you! I'm super pumped to try more of Jessica's recipes.

Anyone see any other recipes on Jessica's blog that they want to test out?
I already got a list of things that I've got to try.
I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

-KateLainey

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Guest Bloggers Needed!

In anticipation for my June wedding, I wanted to ask my readers for your help!
I'm looking for guest bloggers to fill in for me while I'm away on my honeymoon.

Anyone interested?!


Since my blog covers a variety of topics like fashion, interior design, cooking, and wedding planning, I'd love these guest post to reflect that variety as well...but they definitely aren't limited to those four! If this is something you'd love to do, shoot me an email at kate.freshour@gmail.com before June 4th.  I will let you know if space is available and when the posts need to be submitted by.  I've got a few amazing bloggers already lined up so let me know soon before all the spots are taken!

Thanks so much for your help and continuous support!

-KateLainey

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Riverbank Run 25K

The steady sound of footsteps, labored breathing, and thick humidity envelops the air.  Puddles are strewed over the streets; race spectators hold their umbrellas unyielding, and I'm praying that this pause of showers continues for 15.5 miles. With over 20,000 runners coming together for the Riverbank Run on Saturday, the crowd pushed slowly through the streets of Grand Rapids; all to pursue one goal...to finish the race.  

The Riverbank Run is the largest 25k road race in country and if you haven't witnessed it before, it is truly a sight to see. The beauty of a race like this is how well the community of runners, spectators, and volunteers come together to pull off such a huge event.  This year I wasn't in race mode, but rather running it just to get my miles in for my marathon training.  As a competitive runner, I knew this would be a challenge for me not to race it.  Turns out, I came away with a greater sense of accomplish than I would if I had been racing. 


When you are in "race mode" the focus is on yourself and how well you can perform.  Saturday morning I had no pressure to race, so I took in my surroundings and witnessed the beauty of this race.  Kids patiently cheering us on as we pass by, hands out stretched, and hoping for a high five.  I couldn't turn them down and seeing how happy they became instantly made the run go by even better.  The amount of volunteers who helped keep us hydrated and running strong amazes me.  The weather never seems to corroborate, yet the volunteers keep coming back every year to stand outside for a couple of hours.  The racers around me supported each other, giving words of praise and encouragement to the weary.  Once I crossed the finish line, the love kept coming...catching up with friends I haven't seen in ages and congratulating others on their finish.  

My handsome running buddy. :)
As I ran back to my car soaked, cold, and extremely hungry, I reflected on how despite the pain and unpleasantness that comes with running, there is a overwhelming sense of happiness. Happiness to be involved in this running community, to have ran as well as I did, and to be done. 


Just a quick shout out to my fellow Gazellians...thank you for your amazing support and congrats to everyone who ran!  To those who haven't done the Riverbank Run before, I highly recommend trying it out next year.  
Look for me...I'll be there. :) 

Happy Running!
-KateLainey

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Vintage Family Photos

As much as our wedding is about Zach and I and our new life together, it is also about our families.
I wanted find a way too highlight the love and commitment that our grandparents and parents, have demonstrated to us over the years...allowing us to come to this beautiful place in our lives.  
Because with out them, there wouldn't be a Zach and Kate. 

So, in dedication to our families, we decided to gather their wedding photos and will be displaying them at our wedding. Can you tell which line is my family side?  My mom kinda gives it away.  :)  I just can't get enough of vintage photography; the graininess, the colors, and the mood of nostalgia they trigger.  Exposing each era and the couples personality instantly makes me reminiscent.  These are yet another detail that will make our wedding so much more personable and embrace the style of old.  Only thing left to do is find a few more vintage frames and I think I'll be done with the decorations for the wedding! Yippee! 

Well, Friday is finally here and I'm really hoping for good weather for the Riverbank Run tomorrow. 
Have a great weekend everyone! 

-KateLainey


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Hummus+Veggies

I seriously do not know why it has taken me this long to make my own hummus. As much as I've loved this spread since college, I guess it never occurred to me that making my own wouldn't be that hard. 


Ingredients
1 can of chickpeas, drained
1 head of garlic
1/4 cup of tahini 
1 lemon (for zest and juice)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper 

Directions
Cut the top off of the whole garlic head and drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and pepper if so desired. Wrap the garlic in tinfoil and roast for about 30 minutes on 350 degrees. Once it is cool enough to handle, squeeze the cloves out and into a food processor with the tahini, 1 tsp of lemon zest, the juice of that same lemon, olive oil, cumin, salt, and pepper. Puree until smooth. If the spread is too thick, add a little bit more olive oil or water. 


I love pairing hummus with green peppers, carrots, pita chips, or in pita wraps.
It is super versatile and a healthy spread/dip option.  I'm also featuring one of my latest vintage finds, these super cool 50's/60's small prep bowls. I purchased two of these bowls in the speckled blue color and two bright yellow ones for $1.49 a piece! It wasn't until I got home that I realized they matched perfectly with this sweet dish towel my Mom gave to me.  I would love to have my kitchen reflect this color scheme!

So who else out there enjoys hummus?
Definitely try making you own if you do, it's way cheaper!

-KateLainey

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Sun Kissed

Soaking up the beautiful sun this weekend and watching the abundance of people out and about; you can't help but get excited for summer. As much as I wanted to be outside every second this weekend, running 22 miles Saturday morning put a damper on weekend plans...all I wanted to do was fall asleep.  In an attempt to feel better, I got a little dressed up for dinner with Zach. 


 I saw this gem of a dress at a local thrift store and fell in love.




Dress: Thrifted, Shoes: Thrifted, Belt: H&M, Necklace: Gift


I adore this picture. Thinking about using it as my new header...what you guys think? 

Here is to a very busy week coming up! At work we are prepping for the Riverbank Run Expo & Race, which I'm planning on doing just as a training run in preparation for my upcoming marathon.
Anyone else in the GR area running the Riverbank Run or any other upcoming races?

-KateLainey

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To My Favorite Woman


Happy Mother's Day, Momma! 
Daily, you inspire me by your grace, work ethic, and love for our family.
My hope is to be able to follow in your footsteps and be the wonderful mother you are.
You are truly beautiful and I love you. 

Love,
your Lainey girl

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Beholden

I adore Anthropologie and all the inspiration I gather from their collections, so when they launched BHLDN on Valentines Day this year, I could not have been happier!  Some of the items are a little pricey and out of my wedding budget, but the overall designs speak wonders to my wedding style. The charm, the nostalgic vibe, and the airiness of the collections envelops the passion of a wedding and the glamour of women. The site also allows you to create moodboards for inspiration, so I picked my favorite new decor and attire pieces that I think are divine and truly captivate me.

BHLDN

BHLDN
As I drooled over the newest decor additions, I quickly decided that I would have to attempt crafting some of these myself for the wedding.  Garland, banners, old vintage keys...these are all within my reach.

Have you checked out BHLDN yet?
If so, what is your favorite piece?

Have a lovely and beautiful weekend!
-KateLainey

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Forget Nature Valley


My Mom used to make granola bars for me when I lived at home and would continue sending treats like these to me via mail at college.  I've never been a fan of store bought granola bars; they are usually too hard, processed, and expensive for me to justify buying.  Plus, homemade is always better, so forget Nature Valley! These are not that healthiest of homemade granola bars that I've ever made, but they are delicious and double as a easy snack and dessert! 



Ingredients
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup Earth Balance spread (vegan option) or butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)
1 (6-oz) pkg semisweet chocolate chips or carob chips

Directions
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 13X9 inch pan. 
Combine brown sugar, peanut butter, agave, Earth Balance, and vanilla in a bowl; blend well. Add all remaining ingredients and mix. Press evenly in pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees or until lightly brown. Cool for about an hour before cutting bars. 


Did you mom or dad ever send you sweet little treats for you while you were away from home?
What were your favorite to get?

Enjoy your Wednesday!
 I'm heading out for a run in this beautiful sunshine. 

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