Archive for 2012

A Break...

It's been a while blog friends. This past month, my life has changed in many ways. All great blessings, but regardless of the wonderful things I've decided it's time for a break from the blog world... and social media in general. It's taken me a couple weeks to get to this point. As much as I cherish and dearly love this blog, it's not where I want to spend a good part of my life. I'd rather be taking on my many hobbies and living these adventures, than blogging about it. It's a hard decision, but something that needs to be done before I spread myself too thin. 

With work becoming more important and challenging to me, I dream of my career flourishing. Being able to dedicate time to train for a 50 mile race, that's not easy, but I want that option. It's diving into the world of cooking, crafting, and learning what I crave. Or absorbing Grand Rapids and meeting the beautiful folks within it. Traveling to far off places and being full of wanderlust is my hope. It's eking out every last second of the day to spend with my best friend, Zachary. 

These are my priorities and this is why I must take a break. I don't know for how long or if I'll every come back, but I want to thank all the amazing followers who have left me beautiful comments and always made my heart full of daisies. :) 

Much love, 


Weekend Adventures // Olympic Trials

It's hard to imagine that two days ago I was amongst some of the most talented runners in 
America. The Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon - the mecca of Track & Field - I felt like a kid in 
a candy store. Inspiration, drive, and hard work seep through the historic Hayward Field; allowing
dreams to be made and records to be broken. Not only did I get to witness some intense races, 
I also took in the character of Eugene. From it's overwhelming growth of greenery, to the endless 
trails at every corner, I smiled and took it all in. 
Staying at the Brooks House, we met dedicated athletes and specialty running retailers who
 all were held captive by the atmosphere the Trials create. Pure courage, mental drive, strength
and high emotions were all witnessed. It was where you left it all on the track.
Standing in front of Pre's Rock was surreal. Steve Prefontaine was like no other - cocky as hell, 
but fast and gutsy. He will forever be a legend in the running community. 
Spending the weekend running through Pre's Trail, Amazon Trails, Dorris Ranch, and
 Spencer Butte, I was never at a loss for places to explore. By far my most rewarding run was
climbing 2055 feet up Spencer Butte. Reaching the summit, joy and a sense of freedom overtook
 me. The meaning of running ran through my head - it's the places you go, the things you see, the 
strength you achieve, and the happiness that is bound to be found. 

Have you ever been to Eugene? I think the west is calling my name for my next big travels. 

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Run Away // Robinettes

No one says that training for a race is an easy process. Running an ultra marathon is pretty much farthest you can get on the extreme side of long distance running - making the training pretty intense. I'm not going to lie, the last two weeks I have been in a rut. The combination of the heat and just feeling burnt out, my motivation was gone. Regardless, I still ran, but it wasn't enjoyable. It wasn't until Scott Jurek, an ultra marathon legend, came out to Gazelle's Dirty Herd event to run with everyone, that the desire to get back on the trails ignited. Scott is such an inspiration for anyone interested in running ultras or eating a more plant-based diet, which he is a huge advocate for. After that night, I decided to get back out to Robinettes and do most of my 3 hour run on these trails. It hurt and it wasn't easy, but it brought my focus back. 

I love capturing these moments when we run. Zach and I tend to run light, not carrying tons of gear, 
but being able to stow my phone and get some quick photos, makes us able to treasure these amazing runs even more. After doing two loops at Robinettes and a short loop at Provin Trails, I headed back home for the last half of my run. With just the road in front of me and a refreshed mindset, I was happy to be running.  

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Collard Greens & Potato Bean Hash

So you know what is really sad? The fact that I had never tried collard greens before this year. But it's okay, I'm making up for lost time with these leafy edibles! I'm digging these babies so much, they are almost replacing my ultimate love for kale. Like most greens, you can enjoy them in various ways. For me, sautéing collard greens is the way to go, cutting the bitterness and bringing out their unique flavor. 
6 collard greens 
8 red potatoes (or enough to fill a large cookie sheet)
1/2 onion, diced
3 porchini mushrooms, chopped
1 can of black bean
1 can of hominy
fresh basil/rosemary
3 tbsp Braggs
3 garlic cloves, minced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Dice potatoes and put on an oiled cookie sheet. 
Sprinkle fresh herbs, such as basil and rosemary on top. Cook potatoes till brown and tender. 
While potatoes are cooking - saute oil, onions, mushrooms and garlic cloves. Add collard greens. 
After a few minutes, put black beans and hominy in as well. Add a splash of Braggs for flavor and more basil and rosemary. Once potatoes are ready, toss the potatoes on a plate - adding the beans and greens! 

Have you tried collard greens before? If so, what is your favorite dish to use them in? 

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Weekend Adventures // North Manitou Island

I couldn't have thought of a better way to celebrate the first year of marriage to my best friend, than by hiking thru the wilderness and soaking up the sun on the beaches of North Manitou Island. This past weekend was one that will not be forgotten - making us realize how vital it is to get away and focus on the important aspects of our lives - our relationship, our health, and our earth.

Removing all the "noise" in our daily lives, we spent the weekend hiking, reading, talking, 
and just absorbing the beauty around us. Dips in the lake were taken and deer sighting occurred.
I even ran around the entire island, despite the abundance of poison ivy and garter snakes that
lurked at every turn. And without a soul for miles around us, the silence was refreshing. 

After such a killer trip, Zach and I are already talking about plans for next year. 
I highly recommend touring the island if you are in the northern parts of Michigan. 
Do you camp? Where is your favorite spot? 

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Favorite Camping Trip "Essentials"

Well, Zach and I have been married for almost a year, so in celebration of the best year of our 
lives, we are going camping! I've been gathering all our must haves and scribbling up lists of
things we can't forget. Below are just some of my favorite "essentials" that will make our mini
vacation just that much better, even if we could do without them! 

So many adventures to be had! I can't wait to share them all with you! 
What are your must haves for any vacation away? 

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Sportswear as Everyday Wear

Sunny days always call for an outfit to match. Bright colors have my heart this spring. 
Pushing the neon and bold pops of color, the running industry is right on. Stepping into 
Gazelle Sports, you can't help but stare at our shoe wall covered in a rainbow of fun hues.
Color blocking, mesh, burnout, and cut-outs in our apparel are all saturated in bright tints.
Running errands this Sunday, I grabbed my Lole Twist Tank and paired it with my new favorite
running tank - the Brooks D'lite Micro Mesh Tank. I wore this tank in pink for the Riverbank Run! Bright 
skinnies were an easy choice, as were my old dependable canvas flats. A trusty side braid to keep
the lion's mane at bay and I was ready to go. By the time yoga in park begin that night, all I had to do 
was swap out my skinnies for boy shorts and grab that yoga mat. 

Once the summer officially hits, I can guarantee I'll be living in my D'lite Tank... probably 
throwing it over my swimsuit as I hit the beach. Or sporting it as I run hours upon hours on the weekend
in anticipation for my ultra-marathon. Just a few ways I show my fit. 

How do you show your fit? 

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Herbed Flatbread

I love making any type of curry, especially if there is peanut butter involved. 
My coconut curry has peanut butter and peanuts as a base and was a yummy accident that
I've now made several times. But what makes any kind of curry so much more enjoyable is the 
bread to scoop it up with! Bread, good bread that is, is hard to make...but I was pleased with 
the simplicity of this recipe and the results that followed. 

Herbed Flatbread
5 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
2 tbsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Sea Salt
3 tbsp Basil
1 tsp Rosemary
1 tsp Thyme
1 tsp Oregano
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 1/2 - 2 1/2 cups Water

1.). Preheat oven to 425 degrees & well oil a baking sheet
2.) Sift flour & baking powder in a bowl, adding fresh herbs and salt
3.) Slowly add oil and water
4.) When all liquid is absorbed, begin mixing with hands. Knead for 2 minutes or until the 
consistency is elastic. Add more water if needed to attain this
5.) Roll out to desired thickness using a rolling pin or your hands
6.) Place on baking sheet and put in oven to bake until golden brown, about 18 minutes

You can also add some other yummy ingredients to this bread: roasted garlic, minced sun dried tomatoes, and a variety of other herbs! What would you put on your flatbread? 

Did everyone enjoy their Memorial Day Weekend? I didn't want it to end! We spent Saturday with some amazing folks, had a killer lady date, picked out more flowers for our backyard, saw the Avengers, and ran my legs to death! 
See more thru my eyes by following me on Instagram

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Weekend Adventures // At Home

To stay at home all weekend long is a rarity for us as of late. This past weekend we vowed to 
have some quality "couple time" and just work on the backyard projects... which turned out to 
be one of the most rewarding undertaking. Once more grass is seeded, plants bought, and 
dirt removed - I'll have to share the finished result. As for now, a glimpse into our weekend.
Green sun tea with fresh mint & lemons + Lemon sorbet = the best things to enjoy on a hot day! 
This weekend also marked the start of our ultra marathon training... Lots of running braids will be 
happening this summer. It's the only way I can handle having such long hair on sweltering days like 
this past Sunday! Makes me scared to see how hot August will be if it's already been in the 90's! 
Digging out our old, crumbling retaining wall to replace it with the above gem was the major project we 
accomplished this weekend. It took way longer than I expected, but turned out perfectly. A bonus
touch, Zach put together the arbor he had built for our wedding and placed it on the pathway to 
the lower level of our yard. Such a lovely reminder of a perfect day. 
Hope everyone has a killer week. Any fun plans coming up? 
Enjoy the sunshine and the feeling of spring bliss! 

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Run Away

There is something exhilarating about running amongst 20,000 people. The energy, restlessness, and pure passion all in downtown Grand Rapids sends me into running heaven. The Fifth Third Riverbank Run is the largest 25k road race in the country and is a phenomenal run to witness. I've done the 25k four years in a row and cherish running it every year...despite how I feel afterwards. Since I work for Gazelle Sports, one of the races sponsors, I made sure to sport my embroidered D'lite Micro Mesh tank, my racing Brooks HVAC Shorts, and my favorite Mizuno Wave Riders
This was the first year that I've actually enjoyed the festivities after the race. We congratulated friends 
and co-workers who raced, grabbed a free beer, and enjoyed the views from Downtown Grand Rapids. 
Definitely my favorite year thus far - to share it was dear friends and to feel proud about my race - you can't beat that. Here is to training for Riverbank Run 2013! 

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