Thursday Update

As much as I try I am seriously failing at blogging during the week.  In my defense this is the last week of the third quarter which has consisted of a lot of grading for me and extra time with my students, including my lunch:)  No worries though I am continually impressed with my students and how hard they work.  I work at a really great school and am excited to see where some of my students go in life.  In other news we had two beautiful days in Portland on Monday and Tuesday and then yesterday it came back…..yep the rain.  I was doing an awesome ab/strength workout that was kicking my butt last night when all of the sudden I hard something pelting our living room window – it was rain.  Crazy intense rain, which is something we do not normally get in Portland.  Here is the link for the ab workout: Ab Workout.  I am always on the lookout for new strength workouts and this one was awesome.  I am really sore in my abs today which I take as a good sign:)  I also did not have the blocks that they had so instead I just used my 5 pound weights which worked out fine.  When I finished that up it was time for dinner.  Dave and I eat pretty healthy due to me being a vegetarian and Dave having pretty bad acid reflex.  We like pasta but like to stay away from acidic and high fat sauces.  I saw a post on Iowa Girl Eats about a Skinny Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo and I was excited to try it.  She used Greek yogurt to lighten it up and it was perfect!

(Source: Iowa Girl Eats)

This did not disappoint and was awesome.  I started with spinach tortellini from Trader Joe’s.  Normally I don’t like pre-made pasta but there’s is made fresh so I get it every so often.  I also substituted asparagus for broccoli and had no chicken.  I did the sauce the same as she suggested and it turned out great. I definitely recommend that you try this.

Happy Thursday!  I have in in-service tomorrow to do grading and a haircut tonight and Dave is getting a special surprise tonight:)

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The Great Tattoo and an Amazing Easter

This weekend has been absolutely wonderful here in Portland.  For the month of March we got the most rainfall Portland has ever had so to say that we were ready for sun was an understatement:)  Well we finally got sun and 60’s for Saturday and Sunday.  It was amazing.  Dave and I also finally got something for one of our guest rooms – a desk.  It’s a nice, but small room that has a door to the outside so the desk we have upstairs was way too big.  We found a skinny one at Ikea and got a chair for it as well as a lamp.  The room is slowly coming around.  I also finally took care of my Christmas present from Dave.

Yep that’s an owl tattoo and yes that is on my back.  Pretty huge but I love it:)  I did not think it would hurt as much as it would and for the first hour and a half I was fine.  Not perfect but after running marathons I have a pretty high pain tolerance.  The last half hour was spent on the shading and it did hurt a lot but it was so worth it.  When I finished I told Dave I was never getting another tattoo:)  I think it was the 2 hours of clenching but now who knows:)  Either way I am a big fan of it and it really has no significance just that I really liked the design.

Today Dave and I celebrated Easter with an awesome 8.6 mile run for me, an amazing church service, a bike and run with Dave him running me biking, and then lunch/dinner at Pok Pok that was awesome.  I rarely talk about this on my blog but my faith is very important to me and Easter is by far one of my favorite holidays because of the significance – Christ has risen was on my mind today and the weather further signified this.  I hope everyone enjoyed their Easter and was able to remember that amazing thing that happened over 2000 years ago.  Now Dave and I are enjoying the evening, I am done with school work for the day and laundry.  Oh and some homemade granola from Julie was made.  I cannot wait to have that this week for breakfast.

Also check back for more posts this week.  I was terrible last week and I will blame it on being back at school after Spring Break:)

Happy Easter

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Lazy Saturday Morning

This morning Dave and I slept in and woke up to rain.  Remember when you could sleep in until 9 or 10am?  I definitely used to be able to do that and now sleeping in until 8 is about all I can do:)  We decided to go and get some coffee from Floyd’s Coffee.  We had a google offer…actually 2 of them here so we have finally used one here.  It was still pouring rain so I decided no running for me today.  I try and take at least one day off a week but when it’s nice out that doesn’t always happen.  At the library last week I found a Pure Barre DVD and got it immediately.  I have always wanted to go to a class but they are expensive and in the end I like running a lot better.  I decided to do it today for my cross training exercise.

Wow this workout kicked my butt!  I consider myself to be in pretty good shape due to running and doing strength training or pilates twice a week as well.  This was an incredible workout that I hope will produce a dancer’s body at least that’s what skinnyrunner said:)  What I liked most was that this required no extra supplies although they did have a small ball but I modified this part.  I also felt a burn like no other and can’t wait to do it again.  I definitely recommend this as a quick but effective workout.

 

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Last Day of Spring Break

Today was the last day of spring break….sigh back to school on Monday although I to be honest I am really looking forward to it.  While I have loved this week off, being productive, and running a lot I am ready to get back at it.  Home stretch at this point with only 2 months left:)  For my last day off I had something special planned that I hinted at the other day.  I went for a long run and then got ready for my appointment.  For Christmas Dave got me two awesome gifts.  First was a shoe dryer something every Portland runner or Pacific Northwest runner needs.  It’s a life saver and is quiet and dries my shoes perfectly.  The other thing Dave got me was a gift certificate for a tattoo.  Yep after my one this summer I was hooked.  So I went in this morning to check on the design.  Let’s just say I am super pumped as the artist did an awesome job designing…wait for it…

Yep it’s an owl:)  Kind of random but exactly what I wanted and I will be getting it next Friday on my right shoulder.  After that I went back home and just relaxed as it was still raining….Portland:)  If you follow me on Facebook you’ll know that I randomly saw one of my friends in runner’s world…because she is an amazing runner and they profiled her!  Jeannette Faber – first woman from the US in the Chicago marathon and was on my 4X800 relay team in high school.  Pretty awesome.  I decided to end the day with a little baking.  I normally don’t bake because it will sit for days without us eating it.  I decided to make Oatmeal Cookies and used a recipe from Annie’s Eats.  They taste and look pretty great.

While we’ll eat only a few I figured they would be a good treat for people at school on Monday as well.  I also experimented and used a vegan butter substitute:

This butter substitute is awesome and I really like the earth balance company which makes their products plant-based, vegan, made without artificial ingredients or hydrogenated oils, and are free of gluten, lactose and eggs.  While I am not a vegan I do like most of the ideas of that type of lifestyle.  I just really like eggs and cheese:)  Someday maybe but I will stick with being a vegetarian for now.  I highly recommend the products at Earth Balance if you are able to try any of them.

Off to enjoy the weekend with the husband.  Happy Friday!

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My monthly running fix

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Bon Appetit Love

Yesterday I had a pretty uneventful day that was spent mostly on grading math tests.  I am glad it is all done now.  I decided to get out of the house and that I would take a walk to the store so I could make this:

That would be the Spring Vegetable and Goat Cheese Dip that was in this month’s Bon Appetit.  One of Dave’s Christmas gifts from his mom was a subscription to Bon Appetit and every month we salivate over the recipes which are always incredible.  This one did not let down.  It took awhile to make but was really easy and the end results was nothing short of amazing.  Plus what I made actually looked like the picture which rarely happens:)  We enjoyed this dip and a salad last night with tons of leftovers.  The recipe is below but you can also click on the link of the title.

Spring Vegetable and Goat Cheese Dip

Serves 4 – 6

Ingredients

  • 1 cup 3/4-inch pieces asparagus
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chopped leeks (white and pale-green parts only)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup grated mild white cheddar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 14-ounce can chopped artichoke hearts in water, drained
  • 1/4 cup fresh (or frozen, thawed) peas
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 4 ounces crumbled fresh goat cheese, divided

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 450°. Cook asparagus in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain; let cool.
  • Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 10 minutes. Whisk in flour; gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened; remove from heat. Add cheddar; whisk until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Fold in asparagus (reserve tips), artichoke hearts, peas, chives, mint, flat-leaf parsley, zest and 2 oz. crumbled fresh goat cheese.
  • Transfer mixture to a 4–5-cup baking dish; arrange asparagus tips on top and dot with another 2 oz. goat cheese. Bake until golden brown and bubbling, 15–20 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Just finished an 11 mile slow run.  My legs felt like dead weights due to yesterdays workout but it felt good to get out there.  Off to go plan for school next week and maybe tackle some other recipes:)
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Track Workout

This morning I woke up with this on my mind:

A track specifically a track workout.  I am currently training for my 5th marathon.  Normally I just do long runs on the weekend and maybe a random speed or hill workout here or there.  This past marathon I put in a ton of miles and was able to break 3:20 and was really close to breaking 3:10.  I decided that since I was so close I am going to really go for it and actually put in some real training.  So I made a marathon training plan on smart coach through runners world.  I am not going to do everything on it especially the long runs since I know what works best for me but I really like there middle of the week workout.  It vacililates between a tempo run or a track workout.  Last week I did a tempo/interval run.  This week the workout called for 4 X 1600 at a 6:24 pace with 800s rest between each 1600.  So I set off this morning to go to the Cleveland High School track.  Cleveland is one of the many Portland Public Schools High Schools but what makes this track special is that Phil Knight, the Nike guy, donated money to redo the track.  It’s an awesome track and is open to the community.  So I set out and ran a 6:20, 6:22, 6:22, and 6:24.  I was really really happy with those times.  Can’t you tell?

I was really happy because I was done at this point.  I also ran 1.5 miles there and back so it turned into a great workout.  I came home and did some strength training and now I am just relaxing.  The weather has been pretty good for Spring Break although we did have rain yesterday but it’s warm.  I’m off to shower and then grade some tests:)  Make sure to come back here on Friday as I have a great surprise:)  Also I am going to add something for people to become followers since I am noticing I am getting comments from more than my mom and mother-in-law:)

Happy Hump Day!

 

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2nd Day of Spring Break

Yesterday was a great start to my Spring Break.  Dave and I both work a lot of hours which causes things like mailing out cards or getting birthday presents to become late.  I hate admitting it but we are not good at this.  Yesterday I got to spend the day cleaning and organizing our lives.  I now have all our family/friends birthdays and anniversaries on one calendar.  Plus I wrote over 8 cards that were in need of sending out.  Sigh hopefully this won’t happen again to us:)  I also organized our files.  Now that we have the house it’s not something I can slack on.  If you know me at all you might think I am pretty neat and organized but it’s actually something I really have to work at.  I think we are getting a start over here at the Watson household.  Last night we were able to video skype with my whole family.  Usually you can only do it with one other person but my brother Derek bought a skype subscription for his web company – which if you need a web designer contact him – http://madebysa.com/  He is awesome:)  We got to skype with my parents, my brother Derek, and my brother Nathan and his wife Emily.  It was awesome and hilarious.  I will say living in Portland is hard sometimes because we are so far away from our families but I thank God we have skype.  So far I have gotten to skype with my whole side and Dave’s brother and wife in the past 3 days.  Not too bad:)  After skype I made a new recipe from 101 cookbooks.  If you have gone to this site you have to.  The author, Heidi, has an emphasis on whole foods and natural ingredients and her vegetarian recipes are amazing.  The recipes also are simple with few ingredients.  I made Stuffed Shells which were amazing.  I used less red pepper flakes which was a good idea and I did not need anymore salt than what she suggested.  This was a great meal and I can’t wait to try another recipe from her.

This morning I got to go on another 11 mile run and made another smoothie:

I used the same ingredients from yesterday only I added a scoop of peanut butter.  Once again it was great.  I am off to the post office to mail everything I wrote up yesterday and then it’s on to downtown for a little shopping and enjoying another day off.

 

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Lazy Day Outfits

While I enjoy dressing up for work and other special occasions the second I get home I put on my yoga pants and a sweatshirt.  I found the following looks below on Molly Mesnick’s website and absolutely love them.  I can’t wait to recreate them and since I am on spring break I have the time to:)

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I really love look 1 and 2 but think I could pull off the other too.  Either way I am going to look at recreating them.

Enjoy:

 

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The Start of Spring Break

Today is the start of my Spring Break although it really started on Friday at 3:30 when I and the rest of the students and staff hightailed it out of school.  Let’s just say I was ready.  Saturday morning Dave and I slept in and woke up to SUN!!!!!  Unlike the rest of the world that has been having amazing weather we have not here in Portland.  It has been rainy and 40’s for weeks.  Saturday it was as if the world woke up here.  We decided to go to brunch at Petite Provence.  This is a local french restaurant in Portland.  We have had pastries there and I have been to brunch there with my parents but Dave had not.  It was awesome.  Great coffee, croissants, and wonderful poached eggs.  We came home and attached our yard.  We decided to go to dinner at Yakuza Lounge.  We had a google offer there and I have to say I would not go back in the future.  Yakuza is an Asian Lounge with an Asian Fusion theme.  To be honest they need to get rid of their Asian Fusion and just go with a fusion theme.  The meal started with an awesome salad that we split.  Everything there is meant to split.

The meal was good after that but it was over priced.  I still had a great time with Dave:)  We also watched the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo that night.  I have read the first book in the series and Dave is in the middle of it.  I have to say the book was better than the movie.  It was okay but really long and I thought they could have done a better job developing some of the characters.  Overall it was good just not great:)  We did get to rent it from Itunes.  I really liked this option especially because we had a gift card.  This morning I got to sleep in and go for an 11 mile run.  It’s sunny and beautiful out and I am ready to go and clean the house.

I am also participating in a 7-Day Green Smoothie Challenge.  Jen from Peanut Butter Runner is hosting this and since I have free time to actually make smoothies I was really excited.  I make smoothies a lot in the summer just not as much during the school year.  Here’s what I made:

Green Smoothie Bowl

1/2 c Greek Yogurt

1/2 to 3/4 c Frozen Blueberries

1 scoop chia seeds

1/4 c soy milk

whole leaf of kale tore into tiny pieces

splash of strawberry keifer

I combined all of these and blended.  It was so good.  I topped it with the homemade granola bars I made last night found here.

Off to go clean and then do some shopping for birthday gifts on Hawthorne this afternoon:)

Happy Monday!

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