The World is Ending

Well, probably not, but at least that’s how it looks outside right now. The forecast is calling for thunderstorms all day and then temps in the mid-70s over the weekend. On my commute Monday morning I couldn’t crank the heat high enough to fully thaw out (I know you people enduring tundra-like negative degree weather are scoffing right now, but temps in the teens are pretty much tundra-like for Austinites) and then last night on my way home the air conditioning was on. Texas, I will never understand you.

My first week back to work after the glorious 16-day hiatus was definitely a clusterfuck and I am pretty psyched it’s only a few short hours from being over. My email is caught up and I can somewhat see my desk again, so I guess progress has been made. But it sure doesn’t feel that way. I spend the weeks leading up to and following a vacation freaking out because of what could/did happen while out of the office. But that vacation was totally worth it.

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So now the weekend is almost here and my to-do list is overflowing because the end of the month is already booked for Houston & the “I’m no longer in my 20s” Pity Party. It’s time to focus on whipping the office into shape, which is one of the things on my 30 Things (creative, no?) list. And speaking of that list, I should probably finish making it. 30 Things currently consists of 15 things, so I’ll need to come up with a quite a few more this weekend. Finding items that are a good balance of “easily attainable” and “ridiculously impossible” is interesting to say the least.

One thing I can put a big satisfying check mark next to is fixing all of the broken links here on STAMT. Well if that wasn’t a monster project. One of my resolutions in 2014 should be to not include 1200 links in every post. There were even some that still linked back to posts with the We Run for Wine address! 2012 was the most time consuming to fix because I found the need to participate in these little challenges where I’d post every.single.day of the month, whether I had legitimate content or not. You know what that results in? Garbage posts. Garbage posts full of broken links. Oy vey. LESSON LEARNED.

Anyway, back to that whole office task. Who out there reads an affordable interior design blog that wants to share the link with me? I’ve been researching a lot of the ideas I have on Pinterest and then I inevitably get sucked into the black hole that is Etsy. And before I know it I’ve lost three hours and my cart is filled with $200 worth of crap I don’t need – and $100 worth of shipping fees. So basically I need some blogs to stalk for ideas and then I’ll head to Hobby Lobby to buy the stuff for 75% cheaper.

I sent Brad to Target yesterday to buy new sheets for the bed in the office and as it turns out, even men can’t escape that store with only what they intended to buy. So now we have this fancypants new drawer organizer (for the shiny new silverware):

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Kitchen-related things are my FAVORITE. Seriously, if you buy me a spatula we’ll probably be best friends forever. Except don’t really buy me a spatula because I already have three. Anyway, this drawer organizer was completely unnecessary but apparently he hated our old one so much that he wanted it replaced ASAP. Oddly enough, I had looked at them when buying the silverware last weekend but was like, “nahhhh, we don’t really need a new one.” Guess I was wrong.

And he also came home with a new – well, is it still considered new if we didn’t have one to begin with? – doormat:

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Maybe we’ll be able to explain to Sox how to use this so she doesn’t tattoo her muddy pawprints all over our carpet and couches. Not holding my breath on that one.

Speaking of the little devil, WHY IS SHE HUGE? Here’s your daily puppy photo, whether you like it or not:

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Now, fork over the links to your favorite interior design blogs.

LDW Wrap-up & September Changes

I’d be hard pressed to think of a long weekend that was more relaxing than this one. It consisted of a ton of cooking, three coffee-fueled trips to the dog park, adult beverages, and sleeping in. Sounds terrible, right?

Here’s an Instagram tour of the weekend:

Caprese Spaghetti Squash

Bo and American Mastiff

Bo Dolphin

3 Olives Loopy

Beer and Wine

The final meal of the weekend was inspired by a recipe from The Wannabe Foodie: Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese. Because I have a realllyyyy hard time following directions, I revamped the recipe as follows:

  • 1 container DePasquales fresh pasta (or 1 box gemelli) 1 box Ancient Harvest Quinoa Veggie Curls
  • 1 cup butternut squash puree pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons fat free half and half
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth vegetable broth
  • 1 heaping tablespoon 1/3 fat cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese smoked gouda
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup onions, sliced thinly leeks, thinly sliced
  • 1 glove garlic, sliced thinly or grated
  • 1 large crispy apple, grated
  • 4 tablespoons crumbled bacon
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage fresh basil
  • freshly grated Fontina for garnish

Did you think I was exaggerating when I said “revamped”?

I knew I’d end up omitting the bacon so I wanted to add something to enhance the flavor of the dish a little. The smoked gouda was perfect for that. I think it would definitely be better with bacon BUT if you’re a vegetarian, this recipe is still a homerun. Make it. You won’t regret it. I’ll be happily eating leftovers all week.

Pumpkin Quinoa Pasta with Smoked Gouda and Apples


So back to that whole vegetarian thing. Yesterday I mentioned we were embarking on a meat-free journey for the month of September. I’m trying to broaden our horizons when it comes to meals so this will force me to try a few new (to me) things, like spaghetti squash. Cooking is something I’m really passionate about and I think this month will really push me outside my comfort zone and get a little creative.

I used to be a vegetarian so this isn’t a “see if I can last a month without bacon” challenge. I know I can do it, and physically (and mentally) feel better when following a plant-based diet. I’d like to get back to that point. Brad is joining me for the month, but may not stick to it 100%. If he wants meat, he says he’ll cook it himself. And once that calendar flips over to October 1st I’m sure he’ll go running back to his carnivorous ways. As for me? I wouldn’t be surprised if I remained an ovo-lacto. We shall see.

Are you a vegetarian? If no, have you followed a plant-based diet in the past?

Link to your favorite vegetarian recipes below!  {please&thankyou}

Five Things Friday

1. I am super stoked for the upcoming 3-day holiday weekend. Followed by a short 3-day work week, followed by a 4-day holiday weekend, followed by a 4-day work week. Oh, and I didn’t have to use a single vacation day! Seriously awesome.

2. I absolutely cannot wait to put on these gorgeous shoes. I got them from my parents a few weeks ago but I’m not allowed to run in them until Christmas. Since Sunday is a rest day, I’ll be taking them out for Operation Jack on Monday!

3. I made it into the championship game in my Fantasy Football League. It’s total points over a two-week span, but I’m already off to a great start thanks to Arian Foster.

Tomorrow morning I have a ZOOMA training run with Leslie, but afterwards I plan on making myself comfortable on the couch with a mimosa to cheer the rest of my fantasy team on!

4. I’m really excited to be participating in the Operation Jack Satellite Run for the second year in a row. It’s such a great cause and I love that the proceeds benefit the Operation Jack Autism Foundation and Train 4 AutismSam is an amazing person. With it being so close to Christmas, I probably won’t ever be able to make it out to CA for the half or full marathon, but it’s awesome that there is a satellite option!

Added bonus: check out this medal – it’s even bigger than Boston’s!

5. I am officially an Ambassador for ZOOMA Texas!

I was just notified this morning so there will be more details to come, but I feel so lucky to have been chosen. It will be an incredible opportunity and I cannot wait to become more involved in Austin’s running community while helping others train for the race in March!