a hoax

Only a few more hours left to enter the chia seed giveaway!

Yesterday I was MIA…at least here on the blog.

There was, however, a lot of action going on off the blog.

Cookies were baked (and eaten!)

Walks were taken

Delicious food was prepared and consumed

And the moon was watched.

Not sure what that other object is – it wasn’t visible except in the photo.  Must have been something to do with the lense?

Yes, that’s right.  I said the moon was watched.

My lovely sister sent me a text message on Friday evening tell me that at 12:30 am I would be able to see Mars and that it would appear as big as the moon.  Well, I’m not one to miss out on an event this epic!

So, while Jon fell asleep by about 11pm, I burned the midnight oil, waiting for my chance to get a glimpse of the red planet.  At exactly 12:28 I shook Jon awake and told him, “you have to get up!  we have to go see Mars!”

He faithfully stumbles after me, down the hall and out the front door, where he sleepily plops down on the porch while I stand in the middle of the yard, camera ready.

I watch…and watch….and watch.  Waiting.

And nothing.  There was nothing but the trusty moon and a sprinkling of tiny stars.

So, after about 10 minutes, we traipse back inside where I immediately hop on the computer to get the lowdown.  It’s at this point that I find out that we’d been duped!  Apparently this email goes out every year, and it’s all a hoax designed to get fools like me to stare up at the sky, hoping to see a once in a lifetime event.


Luckily the husband is very sweet and forgiving of my crazy antics.

But Cristen, you better watch your back ;)

Onward and upward.

This morning we got up super late for our weekly long run.  Because we cut back to the half marathon, our weekly long run was cut back as well.  So we went out for 5 miles.  I think I underestimated it.  I was a little too cocky.

We’ve been running seven plus miles, so I thought we had this one in the bag.  It didn’t go so well, however.  By the time we got out there the sun was beating down with a vengeance, and despite the drop in temperatures as of late, it was blazing hot.  With the help of a little walking, we finished it out though.  Bad runs always happen, so we’re not too bummed.  The walking time was actually kind of nice:)  We’ll get revenge next week.

I’m off to get caught up on some work that piled up a bit while we were playing all day yesterday. I’ll be back with a recipe for the second batch of cookies later.

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend!

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giveaway time! spreading the chia love <3

Jon and I woke up bright and early this morning and headed out for a three mile run.  It actually wasn’t too terribly humid and hot, and therefore was almost enjoyable.  I said almost ;)

Soon after we got back, I was starving for breakfast and was wasting time on twitter while trying to decide what to have when Evan tweeted an idea for the Vega Shake and Go Smoothie mix from the HLS swag bag.  It sounded too good to pass up, so I went for it!

It may not look too appetizing, but don’t knock it ’till you try it.

First, I mashed a whole banana until it was fairly smooth. I then mixed in two heaping spoonfuls of Vega powder, 1/3 cup of raw oats and a splash of almond milk.  It turned out like a thick chocolate pudding!  My only complaint is that it was a tiny bit grainy from the powder.  Next time I think I’ll go a little easier on the powder, but otherwise it was awesome!  And full of protein!

The Vega mix is completely plant based and is corn, dairy, gluten, soy, wheat and yeast free. Per serving it has:

  • Two servings of veggies
  • 2500 mg Omega-3-6-9
  • 11 g complete protein
  • Only 100 calories
  • 1 billion probiotics cultures

Pretty cool, right? I have yet to find a protein powder that I like, but I’m a fan of this.

This morning I had my first meeting with a new student that I’m going to be tutoring!  She’s from Korea, and I’ll be tutoring her 3 days a week now.  I’m pretty excited about it – something inside me just lights up when I work with international students. :)

After my meeting I had lunch with my friend Grace at Panera.  I ordered a version of my favorite – Mediterranean Veggie sandwich, Garden Vegetable soup and a whole grain baguette.

And an Adora disc for dessert.  Not sure what I’m gonna do when these run out – I’ve gotten kind of attached:)

Okay, now onto the good stuff.  Sorry to leave you hangin’.

How about some chia seeds from to make it up to you?

I don’t like to bombard you guys with giveaways, but I honestly just cannot pass up an opportunity to spread the chia love:)

The lovely folks at ChiaSeedsDirect have been gracious enough to offer a free 2lb. bag of chia seeds to one fabulous ChiaSeedMe reader.

There are five different ways you can enter (1 entry for each one you do):

  • leave a comment on this post telling me the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done OR something adventurous you want to do in the future
  • add ChiaSeedMe to your blogroll and tell me you did or if it already is tell me that
  • follow me on twitter (@chiaseedme) and tweet about the giveaway using the following:    @chiaseedme enter to win free chia seeds!!
  • decide on one random act of kindness you will do sometime this week and tell me what it is (and you have to do it – honors system!)
  • mention the giveaway in a blog post and link to it in the comments

Please make sure and tell me which of the five you did in the comments.

The giveaway will run until Sunday, August 29th at midnight.

If you’ve never used chia seeds before and need some ideas – click here for tons of ways that I love to use them.  Also, make sure and check out my post on why chia seeds are so awesome.

If you haven’t checked out ChiaSeedsDirect yet, you should!  They are an awesome company that offers the highest quality chia seeds at very low prices with free shipping on all U.S. orders.  You can’t beat that!  Also, if you are interested, feel free to download a free 16-page booklet on chia seeds, chia seed uses and chia seed recipes by using the following link:

**giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only.  Sorry!

See you all later!

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1 down, 26 to go

Tonight we went out to this little old school house to get some photos for my homework assignment.

and then we ended up in the middle of nowhere on this dusty road.

It was fun. And hot. Very hot.

And then I came home to upload the pics, and the program wouldn’t work!  I’m hoping my instructor will give me an extension…it’s crazy feeling like I’m in college again.

We also managed to get to the store and buy groceries, which I’ll be showcasing as the week goes on.

I’ve kind of strayed a bit from my straight laced eating habits, which inevitable happens to all of us from time to time.  And while I don’t expect myself to be my best all the time, my body’s is not thanking me for it.  So, tomorrow (my next meal) it’s back on track for me!

Also at the grocery store tonight I accomplished one of my 27 goals for my 27th year of life!  At least I made a start toward it.  I bought Burt’s Bees all natural facial cleanser and moisturizer.  Lately I’ve been feeling more and more bothered by the fact that I put chemicals all over my face and don’t think a thing about it.  I spend so much money and time on what I put in my body – what I put on my body should get the same attention and concern. This is just a first step as all my other makeup products are not all natural.  But I must start somewhere!  Anyway, I’ll do a full review on these products here in a couple of weeks!

Next in news tonight;)  Jon and I have officially decided to drop down to the half marathon in November as opposed to the full.  This actually causes me to regress on my list of 27 things:(

It has been a very hard decision, but we both feel that it is the best one.  When I announced that we were going to train for the full, I mentioned that Jon’s work situation was going to make it difficult to get the training time in, but that we wanted to shoot for it anyway.  Well, you’ve heard the quote – shoot for the moon and if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.  I guess our stars are going to be the half marathon.

I am so competitive that this has been a very hard decision for me to swallow.  But with Jon taking on his boss’ responsibilities (on top of his own) for the next 3 months plus the demands that Outbox is putting on us, it just isn’t going to be feasible or healthy for us to train for the full.  We know from our first full marathon that training is a huge time and energy commitment.  While it’s one that we definitely plan to make in the near future, it’s not going to be right now.  It’s taken me several days to accept the decision and to get excited about training for the half.  But I’m all on board now, and I’m so ready!  So, we’ll run it, and we’ll have a blast running it together:)

For the record, I did consider going ahead and doing the full on my own, seeing as how I do still have more time than the husband.  But after discussing it, we decided that it’s much more fun to stick together throughout training as well as the race.  Like  I said this morningit’s always better when we’re together“  :)   We’ve run all our races together so far, and there’s no good reason to stop now.

So, since we had already started our full training a few weeks ago, we’re a little bit ahead of schedule.  We’re just going to press on, and either run an extra run or two in the weeks preceding the race, or have a bit of flexibility if something comes up one weekend between now and then.

So, that’s all the big news for tonight.  Hope you all have had an awesome weekend – time to get geared up for the week ahead!

Do you use all natural skin care products?  Is that something that you think about/is important to you?  How do you go about choosing a skin care system?

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gotta love the swag

Friends, I’m in the midst of a crisis.

Since I got my Canon DSLR camera back in April, I’ve been uploading all my photos into iPhoto.  Unfortunately the file sizes are huge, and they are overtaking my macbook!  I’ve finally decided to start uploading to Flickr instead, but I also am going to have to move all my photos over from iPhoto as well.

This process is going to take forever.  I’m just so deep in this hole.  Not only is my computer moving slower than ever, but the process of transferring the photos is going to slow it down even more.  Argh!

Okay, rant over.  Thanks for listening;)

warning: if you aren’t a dog lover, just glaze over this next part:) and don’t think I’m crazy.

First things first – Olive wants to say Happy 1st Birthday to her cousin, Bentley!

We still love you little B, even though you chewed up 2 of my retainers this summer.

This morning has been so productive!  Don’t you just love super productive days?

First, I went for a four mile run.  I planned to go to the gym, but the second I stepped out onto the porch, I changed my mind.  It had to have been about 80 degrees.  And there was even a cool breeze.  I couldn’t pass up the chance to run outside.  Unfortunately my Garmin wasn’t quite as thrilled apparently and didn’t find its satellites until well in the run.  I know I ended up at about 4 miles, but have no idea what my time was.  O’well!

Before I went I had a piece of canteloupe, sans salt and pepper

Once I got back, it was still cloudy and breeze, and our scraggly yard was giving me the eye.  I couldn’t resist the nagging and immediately changed shoes and revved up the mower!

About an hour later I finished, a sweaty, hungry mess.  Seeing as how it was after 10:30, though, I opted for a little snack instead of breakfast to tide me over.

I got this herbal water in the HLS swag bag, and I am now obsessed.  I must find a place to buy these.  They have no added sugars or preservatives, and the water is infused with a perfectly subtle ginger lemon flavor.

These pistachios and dried pineapple are also from the swag bag, courtesy of Oh Nuts.  The pistachios were great, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the pineapple.  I don’t like added sugar on my dried fruit, and this definitely had some.  I don’t know why companies always feel the need to add so much sugar to their dried fruit!

Anyway, I answered some emails and before I could turn around twice it was lunch time.

My sister bought me this garlic olive oil from The Olive Tap.  It gives off just a nice, subtle hint of garlic.  Judging from her description I really wish I could have visited the store too.

I mixed 1 tbsp+1 tsp of garlic olive oil + 1 tsp water to 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp seasoned salt and a sprinkle of ground red pepper.

I filled a gallon sized ziplock bag with sliced sweet potato rounds and asparagus, and after adding the oil and seasoning mixture, shook until I couldn’t feel my arms (it really is an exact scienceJ  I then dumped it out onto a cookie sheet (don’t forget to spray it!) and roasted at 400 degrees for about half an hour.  Don’t forget to stir and flip occasionally.  I actually think the asparagus was a bit too soft, so you may want to take it out after 20 minutes or so.

I toasted a piece of Ezekiel bread and spread it with Earth Balance to have on the side.  Plus, another piece of canteloupe with salt and pepper.

Dessert was an Adora Dark Chocolate Calcium supplement disk from the swag bag.  Love these.  lol. What did I eat before HLS?

I just wanted to give a quick shout out to my awesome co workers from my teaching job.  I stopped by the school for a visit yesterday and loved getting to see everyone.  These people are a huge reason why it was so hard to leave, and I’m going to miss them dearly!

my best friend, Teri, Bryan, and me

two of our awesome librarians!

Meghan taught in the classroom next door to me and was a fellow first year teacher.  This girl is a hoot!

And again, Teri:)

Well, I’m off to get some work done!  I’ll be back tonight with my fourth and final HLS recap!  If you missed ‘em, here is recap 1, recap 2 and recap 3.

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annnddd we’re back!

Good morning!

This time last week Jon and I were heading out for a long run.  We hit the road at about 6:30 am for a seven miler…and trudged home about an hour and a half later, disappointed, yet still hopeful.

Feeling exhausted and a bit disappointed, but still proud that we at least still covered the distance

There were several key mistakes responsible for what we called our “successful failure.”  Successful because we covered the seven miles and made it back in one piece.  Failure because we didn’t accomplish what we set out to do.

  • We didn’t go to bed early enough the night before.  We were running on about 5.5 hours of sleep, which is not nearly enough.  Getting adequate rest is vitally important when pushing your body.
  • We hadn’t hydrated well the night before the run.  It’s not only important to hydrate during physical activity; it’s also crucial to hydrate in the days before.
  • We got going way too late.  By the time we went out, the sun was already beginning to peek out, and the temps were in the 90s.  On top of that, the humidity was extremely high.
  • We didn’t have good tunes! For me, music is a serious motivator during long runs.  While I did have my iPod on, I didn’t have a good playlist ready.  I don’t necessarily have to have every song be super upbeat, but Adele just wasn’t doing it for me.
  • We didn’t fuel before leaving, so we were still running on the fumes from dinner the night before.  To make matters even worse, we didn’t take anything along to fuel while we were out.
  • Lack of hydration during the run.  We did wear our hydration belt, but the water heated up super fast and we ended up running completely out of water by mile five.  No good!
  • I had to go to the bathroom starting at about mile 3.  There are few things worse as a runner than carrying on despite needing to use the restroom.  Sorry if that’s TMI, but the resulting cramps and heaviness alone were enough to do me in.

So, as you can see, pretty much everything that could have gone wrong did.  Plus some!

We initially started out fine, but at about mile 2 things started to go downhill when my bathroom needs presented themselves.  There was nowhere to stop, and I didn’t want to go back home so we pressed on, hoping it would pass.  In retrospect we should have just looped back around to the house.  Throughout miles 2-5 we were just feeling spent.  The lack of cold water, humidity and lack of fuel were wearing us down fast. At mile five we completely ran out of water.  My mouth felt like cotton, and as I continued to press on I began to feel extremely weak and a bit lightheaded.  That’s when I knew it was time to stop.  The humidity was like a thick blanket around us, and the sun was beating down.

It’s always difficult to cut a workout short, and when I do I often feel as if I’ve given up or failed. I do think it’s important to push myself even when my mind is telling me to quit.  Many times my body can overcome my mind and prove that I really am stronger than I think.

However, it’s a different story when my body is telling me it’s time to stop.  I don’t call that quitting, I call it taking care of my body and being wise.  There should never be any shame or regret in listening to your body and complying when it’s begging you to stop.

So, we walked the last 2 miles back to our house and vowed to do everything differently the next week.


Which brings me to this morning.  Instead of following our training plan and dropping back down to 5 miles this week, we decided to have a re-do of the 7.  Having hydrated well, fueled with half a brown rice cake and peanut butter, gotten plenty of rest, we set out at about 5:45 am with a camelback full of ice and water and a motivating playlist! The humidity truly was as bad as ever, but the things we did to prepare really came through for us.

The one thing we didn’t fully prepare was the Garmin.  I put it on the charger last night, but I guess it didn’t attach well because it was dead this morning.  So we free-for-all’d it! Whoop! It was kind of nice not having to worry about time or splits.  We had mapped out our route the night before (using so we knew exactly where we needed to go to get in 7 miles.

This morning was honestly one of the funnest and most enjoyable runs I’ve had in a long time.  I highly recommend that every runner nix the garmin and just run at least every once in a while.  It’s a very freeing experience.  I really feel like the joy of running was brought back to me this morning.

At about the 2 mile mark we ran into a friend

This picture is really crazy looking because it was dark still and I was using the iPhone. This cow was so cute though!  He was like “what are you crazy fools doing out here?!”

Around mile 4  – yoga to stretch out my tight legs!

waving hello to our campus stadium

and a little window shopping!  I really want the top two left shirts for football season this year:)

Along with stopping for water every couple of miles, we also carted along some starburst jelly beans for a little carb kick!

We had an epic finish, and I felt so proud and happy to have redeemed ourselves this week!

So, I can basically sum up our last two weeks of runs in one lesson learned.

It’s all about preparation.

Actually, two lessons learned.

1.  It’s all about preparation

2.  Don’t be too hard on yourself!

Whether you’re a seasoned runner or just starting out, you can know that you will inevitable have “bad” runs.  Every single run is not going to be great. Heck, you might even have an entire week of bad runs.  But if you just keep at it…keep pressing on it will get better.  And it’ll be worth it.  There truly is nothing like crossing a finish line after lots of hard work. Whether it’s an official marathon finish line, a 5k, or your own 2 mile run at home – it’s so rewarding.

I hope you all are having a restful and fun weekend.  You’re amazing!

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