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Wednesday, January 30

Layered Basics

{Loft dress, H&M blazer, Modcloth tights, Seychelles booties, Michael Kors bag & watch, Anthropologie necklace, vintage & F21 jewels}

With the weather here fluctuating between 70-degree afternoons and cold-enough-to-ice-the-windshield mornings, layering has become a must. And although most days I wear pants purely for practicality, sometimes a dress and tights is what a girl needs.


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Tuesday, January 29

Weekend Adventures: Tampa/Clearwater, Florida

Last weekend husband and I went to visit two of our closest buddies down in Land O' Lakes, Florida. I must say, the weekend was an absolute blast. Aside from the general merriment associated with friends you only see a few times a year, we had a schedule jam-packed with fun activities.

Saturday we spent most of our day at Weeki Wachi Springs, paddling down the gorgeous, serene natural spring. We took turns canoeing and paddle boarding, our first time on paddle boards, which was so fun. The water was so clear and teal that it honestly looked fake! Toward the end of our trip we also saw a family of about ten manatee, swimming and sleeping in the deep ponds at the end of the river.

{a reluctant thumbs up from husband & the resultant frown from me. ha!}

Sunday we ran a 5 miles race at the Clearwater Running Festival. Our friends were total rockstars and completed the half marathon! The route for both races followed the road along the ocean and bay, traversing multiple bridges {the Florida equivalent of a hill}, and allowing lovely views. After the race {and showers... and a nap} we headed down to Ybor City for a dinner feast at The Columbia Restaurant. After 1905 salads, crispy calamari, traditional cuban pork, and a {shared} bread pudding, we were all stuffed and ready for a long winter's nap.

Here's to a great weekend and sweet friendships.

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Monday, January 28

2013: Your {30 Minute} Morning Workout

Many of my goals for the new year are focused on physical health and fitness, and I am looking forward to the journey of achieving them. That being said, I am notorious for not getting out of bed when it's cold outside! I love to sleep, and the flannel sheet are just. so. warm. After I've hit the snooze button a couple times, a long run in the mornings is pretty much out of the question, so lately I've been doing morning sprints. 

Here's the breakdown:
4 minutes to get out of bed & get ready
5 minute warm up - light stretching, a bit of yoga, jogging in place
16 minutes of sprints - 8 rounds of 30 seconds on, 90 seconds off
5 minute cool down

It's that simple. 
Best part? I only have to wake up thirty minutes earlier than normal.

I try to fit in sprints two to three times a week in addition to a strength program {three times a week} and two or three met-con WODs. Weekends are for long trail runs, swimming laps and riding my road bike. 

Here's to morning workouts and new fitness goals in 2013.

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Friday, January 25

Friday Favorites

Even though Monday was a holiday for us, this week felt impossibly long. So after a long, slow ten hour work day, I am ready for a low-key weekend at home. Hope yours is a wonderful one!



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Thursday, January 24

Sesame Almond-Flour Crackers

When I was in high school and college, my mom used to stay up late with me when I was writing a paper or studying for a test. She would sit with me until the wee hours of the morning, usually dozing off now and then, but always beside me. She would make us cups of hot cocoa and saltine crackers with cheese just barely melted on top. Perhaps because of this, cocoa and crackers has become like comfort food to me. So now and then, when I get a serious craving for saltine crackers, I turn to these little guys. 

To make...
3 cups almond meal {I used unblanched}
1 cup sesame seeds
1&1/2 teaspoonful sea salt
Stir together dry ingredients, then add
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil

Roll onto parchement paper until desired thickness {these will not rise at all upon baking}. Slice into squares with a knife and bake for 12-15 minutes at 350. Cool for 30 minutes before serving with almond butter, cashew hummus, chicken salad, or raw milk cheese or anything you desire.

I got the recipe from this cookbook, which I highly recommend. We also love the savory pie crust and use it for both chicken pot pie and breakfast-for-dinner quiche. 


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Wednesday, January 23

Sambo's First Year

It hardly seems like it was a year ago we added sweet Sambo to our lives. When we got Sam we were living in a small rental house far from our family and friends, had just lost K's mom to cancer, and were looking towards my last six months of pharmacy school. It was a difficult time in our lives, but also filled with moments of joy. We grew closer as a couple as we struggled through those six months together. And we added Sambo to our lives. 

Since then, he has been on many adventures with us, and it's hard to imagine life without him. Coming home every day is so much sweeter when there is a furry face and wagging tail to meet you. He gets so. excited. And evenings are filled with laughter as he tries to sneak his way onto the couch to cuddle. {Sam weighs about 55 pounds but believes himself to be lap-size.} There's no doubt this furry little creature has wiggled his way into my heart and taken up a permanent residence. 


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Tuesday, January 22

{What I'm Wearing}: No-Brainer

Levi's chambray, J. Crew skinnies, Dolce Vita wedges, Francesca's necklace, vintage & F21 bracelets, Michael Kors watch & bag

Some form of chambray and black cigarettes is my go-to, no-brainer outfit. For work, for church, for play, it's easy to dress up or down and makes transitioning from day to night a breeze. Which was perfect last weekend. Because after reading through therapy updates and a  thirty-page contract for work, I didn't have much brain power left.

P.S. I love how Sambo kept photo bombing me here. He was just so excited that we were home!


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Monday, January 21

2013: Focusing on Gratitude

One of the simplest ways to gain perspective is to keep a gratitude journal. Having a visible, tangible representation of things hat I am grateful for helps to soothe my soul after a challenging day and reminds me of the countless blessings in my life. It's also uplifting to read my past gratitudes and relive the precious moments I recorded. Most of my gratitudes deal with my husband, family and friends, but sometimes even the small things like french roast coffee can make your day just a bit brighter.

So, for 2013 I challenge you to keep a gratitude journal. Every day, or as often as you choose, jot down one thing that you are thankful for that day. I also like to record one moment from the day that touched me or one that I just want to remember. Even in the face of adversity, we are so very blessed.


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Friday, January 18

Life Lens

The past couple weeks have been a whirlwind of good and bad news, long work days, and home improvement projects. I feel like I've been on an emotional roller coaster, my heart breaking for one friend and rejoicing for another, small victories {a new deadlift personal best} and small frustrations {spilling coffee all down my white top}. It's good timing for a long weekend away. We're planning to spend the weekend with two of our closest friends, paddling on the ocean, running in a race, and eating delicious food {including a trip to this taco stand!}.

Hope you have a wonderful, refreshing weekend.

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Tuesday, January 15

Gluten-free, Dailry-free Chocolate Chip Cookies*

*In fact, these cookies are actually vegan! 

One of the things I dislike about many paleo treats** is the tendency to need four to six eggs per recipe. This may not seem like a big deal, but when your eggs are about $4 a dozen and you go through about four per day, they become a precious commodity. That's why I love this recipe. I adapted it from what I found here, and I love the combination of chocolate, coconut and a bit of sea salt. It's the perfect companion to an afternoon cup of {decaf} coffee. 
You will need:
2 cups almond meal {I use unblanched. It's less expensive, but lends a more robust nut flavor}
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons melted coconut oil
4 tablespoons raw honey
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons almond milk 
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup walnuts {optional}

Preheat your oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easier clean-up. Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl, and  whisk together wet ingredients in a separate small bowl. Combine wet to dry and mix well. Use a spoon to place small circles of dough onto your baking sheet and press down in the center of each cookie. Bake for 10 minutes, until the bottoms start to brown. Remove from oven and let cool five minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. The cookies will be soft when you take them out of the oven, but they firm up in a few minutes as they cool.


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**Paleo treats is really a an oxymoron. Treats aren't a part of the paleo diet, but sometimes a girl just wants a chocolate chip cookie. And I feel much better about the fact that these don't contain wheat or dairy and won't make me feel terrible like a traditional cookie would. I'll still get an insulin spike from these cookies, but they are a better alternative to the standard CCC.

Monday, January 14

2013: Mind, Body, & Soul

We hear it every January... this can be your best year yet. Well 2013, I say let's do this. In an effort to truly make this my best year yet, I've decided to focus on one thing every week that improves an aspect of my life -- mind, body or soul. From fitness goals and new workout plans to focusing on gratitudes and giving back to my community, I'll share my ideas here in hopes that this space becomes a source of inspiration for you as well.

Today's goal is simple - do one thing today that only benefits someone other than yourself. Something as simple as paying for the person behind you in the line at Starbucks can bring joy to both of your days.

Here's to a wonderful year.

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Friday, January 11

Twenty Thirteen Goals

As I mentioned previously, I am not really a fan of New Year's resolutions. They carry a somewhat negative connotation in that resolutions are often easily broken plans that revolve around things you should do. Instead, I like to make goals for the new year. Things that I want to do, even if I should already do them. I believe that goals should be specific and measurable. Instead of eat more vegetables let's try eat a vegetable with dinner every night.

Here are some of my goals for 2013. I have a feeling it's going to be a great year.

 ~ Hike the entire Georgia section of the Appalachian Trail
{This sounds much more involved than it actually will be. The GA section is about 70 miles long and should take only a week or so}
~ Renovate our master bathroom
~ I've been doing kipping pull-ups for a while, now its time for a muscle up!
~Commit to yoga at least once a week in addition to my current workout schedule
~ Complete a half marathon
~ Complete a sprint triathlon
~ Go on a medical mission trip {Haiti may be an option this summer!}
~ Be more organized with our meal planning, grocery shop only once a week {or less!} & cut our grocery bill by $250 a month
~ Consistently keep a gratitude journal
~ Take a girl's trip somewhere with my mom and sister

What are your goals for this year?

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Thursday, January 10

{What I'm Wearing} Ladylike

Loft sweater, Banana Republic pants, Macy's coat, LuLu Townsend heels, Steve Madden bag, F21 scarf, vintage & F21 jewelry

As much as I love pencil skirts and dresses, pants are often more practical in my wardrobe, especially when it comes to work. Add a sparkly sweater, extra special earrings and fitted outerwear, and I feel just as feminine as I would in a skirt and heels. 


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