Thursday, September 27, 2012

Traveling Light ~ Part 2

In honor of our trip to Boston tonight, I thought I'd share with you Part 2 of my first Traveling Light post: toiletries.

I'm by no means a traveling expert, but this is my 6th month in a row on a plane, so I feel like I have picked up some helpful tips along the way.

Some time ago, I read an article about packing, and they suggested keeping a toiletry bag packed with travel size bottles of all your items. When I finally found a bag I loved (this highly rated one from L.L. Bean), I purchased travel size bottles for every item I use and then I packed the bag full. I leave it packed year-round and refill the bottles when I return home from a trip.

I can't even express how easy this has made packing. I never have to think: Did I forget deodorant? Toothpaste? Contact solution? It's such a lifesaver. No matter if I'm traveling for a short weekend or a 10 day vacation, I know I have all the essentials. I purchased the medium size bag, and I have no problems fitting everything. I love that it has a removable mesh bag with a hook that you can hang in the shower! I also keep my 1-quart ziploc baggie here for when I carry my suitcase onto the plane.

For reference, items I carry when I travel that all fit in this bag: shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, razor, wide-tooth comb, leave-in conditioner, hair mousse, hairspray, contact solution, contact case, makeup removing wipes, toothbrush, toothpaste, glasses, mini perfume sample, lotion, tampons, and moisturizer.

One thing I left out, which I could probably still fit into this bag as well, is my makeup. In college, I never had a bathroom that had drawers, so I got used to keeping my daily makeup essentials in a cosmetic bag. (I plan on doing a "What's in my Makeup Bag" post soon!) I've been through several Clinique sample bags, but have been using a Coach one I received as a gift for several years now. I like it because it has a wide base and can stand up on it's own without tipping over and all the contents spilling out. When I'm headed on a trip, I just throw the bag in my suitcase and know I've got all the items I need!

Super easy!

Nothing I've shared is really groundbreaking, but I think the pre-packed toiletry bag is essential to quick packing. Plus, who wants to travel with full-size bottles of everything? That makes a suitcase way too heavy!

Now, share your tips with me! I'm sure I've still got plenty of things to learn!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Weekend Update ~ Food, Friends, Fall!

I had a pretty low-key weekend, but am considering it the calm before the storm, since I'll be out of town for the next three weekends.

Instagram snapshots:

1. Pumpkin coffee - so scrumptious | 2. Love the quote at The Velo Fellow (a bar in the West End) | 3. My 6-pack of pumpkin beers I scooped up at Total Wine (celebrating the first day of Fall in style!)

4. The intensity from watching the Clemson/FSU game | 5. My bestie Kyle was in town! |
6. Homemade pretzels and beer cheese at Mellow Mushroom - so yummy

Hope y'all celebrated the gorgeous weather this weekend! Only 3 more days of work and I'm off to Boston Thursday night! I'm so excited; productivity will be at an all-time low this week at work!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fall Bucket List

Happy First Day of Fall, y'all!!

Gorgeous fall day in Cashiers, NC
It never occured to me to do a bucket list for each season, until I saw them on two of my favorite blogs, Hungry Meets Healthy and In The Pink & Green. Remember when I talked about fall being my favorite season, but it always goes by so fast that I don't get to take advantage of it? Well, I'm here to remedy that with a fall bucket list of my own! This will ensure I cross off all the things about fall that make me smile - and I have until December 21st to do it!

1. Try a Pumpkin recipe

Perhaps this Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread, this Pumpkin Crunch Cake, or holy cow, these mini Pumpkin Spice donuts.

2. Go apple picking

This is something I've never done, which is pretty unacceptable considering how close I live to NC mountains and what I'm assuming are some pretty awesome apple orchards.

3. Carve a pumpkin

I haven't carved a pumpkin on Halloween since this little guy in 2008. Lauren and I should definitely decorate our little porch with two pumpkin friends this year. Halloween is actually my least favorite holiday (I know), but there's no harm in doing a little celebrating with this tradition!

4. Run a 5K

After dropping out of the half marathon, I'm still looking forward to running the Big Punkin' 5K this fall. I went backwards in my race distances; I started with a half marathon, then ran a 10K, now I'm finally tackling the shortest distance. Weird.

5. Visit Boston

In less than one week, Ryan and I will be in Boston! I'm hoping for crisp fall weather and changing leaves! I've been wanting to visit Boston for so long, and couldn't think of another perfect time than when Clemson is playing BC. I've heard the whole town is full of Clemson orange with visitors in town for the game! Can't wait! Things we're hoping to do/see: Fenway, Sam Adams Brewery, Harvard University, and take a Boston duck tour!

6. Take a trip to the mountains (or two or three)

View from our porch in the mountains
My parents bought a timeshare for a mountain home in Cashiers, NC a few years back, as my dad has always been more of a mountain person (for the colder weather, fishing, photography, and hiking) than a beach person. We get to go about 4 times a year and we always schedule a week for my dad's birthday in October. If we're lucky, the leaves have already started changing colors and the weather has turned cooler. It's one of my favorite family vacations (even though my sister has never gotten to come). We're actually spending Thanksgiving up there as well (which Katie will get to attend, hopefully)!

Our college friends are also trying to plan a mountain weekend, hopefully in November. The thought of piling into a cabin, watching football, reminiscing about college, and sitting in front of a fire with my best friends has me practically giddy.

Lauren and me in Cashiers, NC, Fall 2011
7. Make a pot of chili

My mom makes a vegetarian chili every year when we're in the mountains, usually eaten for dinner while watching a Clemson away game and sitting in front of the fire. However, I've never made chili myself. Maybe I'll get the chance when we go to the mountains with our friends; it's the easiest way to feed a bunch of hungry mouths! I'm not sure the guys would take too kindly to the meatless version, even if I swear to them it's hearty!

(I also want to try and make cornbread, too...perfect to go with a pot of chili!)

8. Ride bikes on the Swamp Rabbit Trail

I bought a Living Social deal for a 4 hour bike rental for Ryan and me. I've been saving it for fall when the weather is nicer and so we'll have a view like this on the Swamp Rabbit Trail. I haven't been on a bike since our family rented them in Sonoma and rode them to different wineries. Hopefully this adventure will be a smoother ride (I blame the wine)

Greenville is such a pretty city and I feel like we don't take advantage of it enough. Fall will be the perfect opportunity to soak up the trail and enjoy nature!

9. Enjoy as much football and tailgating as possible

Our last home game as students, Fall 2009
College football is probably one of the main reasons I'm so in love with fall and Clemson is absolutely beautiful this time of year. Nothing beats walking to class while crunching fallen leaves under your feet. 

We have more home games towards the end of the season this year, which I couldn't be more excited about. It's just hard to get into a football game when it's 95 degrees out. But for those October and November home games, when the air is crisp and everyone is piling into Death Valley at sunset to cheer the Tigers on, life really doesn't get any better than that.

Geez, can you tell I get extremely nostalgic for my alma mater?

10. Celebrate one year with Ryan

In the mountains, March 2012
I tend to count anything after Thanksgiving as "winter," and our anniversary is December 6th, but winter doesn't technically start until December 21, so this still falls in the "fall season." (I might have just won an award for using the most commas in a single sentence) Nonetheless, I'm excited to celebrate one year with Ryan - he's my best friend and I love him to death, mainly for keeping me grounded and making me smile every day!

11. Buy a fall-scented candle

I purchased a woodwick one from Pier 1 last year and it reminded me of Thanksgiving any time I burned it. This year, I have my eye on Rewined's fall exclusive, "Spiced Cider," which is described as "fresh apple, clove, cinnamon, and a shot of buttered rum." YES PLEASE!

12. Take more pictures

Can't help falling in love with a view like this!
Since starting the blog, I've definitely gotten better about documenting my life through photos. I did really well in college but slacked off during grad school and some of last year; I practically have no photographs from that period of time, which is a shame because we had such a great time as a group!

With lots of vacations this fall (Boston, Mexico, and several mountain getaways), I vow to take more pictures! At least I have to now, for the sake of the blog!


I want to start crossing things off right now! Oh fall, please don't fly by, because I'm so excited you're finally here!

What are some "must do" items on your fall bucket list? Please share with me!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Turning a New Leaf

I've been doing the "Inspire Me: Healthy" linkup to share my half marathon training to keep motivated. Now, since I'm not running the half anymore, I figured I'd share another side of my "get healthy" campaign: my diet.

All In My Twenties

I know I've mentioned this in a few posts, and without running the risk of TMI, I'll just say this: lately I've been having a lot of stomach issues and pain. It all started when I had food poisoning in San Antonio, and I haven't felt right since. Almost every meal I eat leaves me with awful stomach pains and some mornings I'm curled up on the bathroom floor in the fetal position.

I'm almost 99.9% sure this stomach pain is diet related. I've never been one to have a weak stomach, and it's driving me crazy. I've tried to run through possibilities in my head: lactose intolerance (I drink tons of milk), gluten allergy, wheat allergy, etc. down to even scarier options like IBS or stomach ulcers.

After my sweet friend Bobby gave me an extremely stern lecture about being proactive about my health and going to see a doctor, I'm finally trying to take control and figure out what's really wrong with me. We have clinical health assessments at work tomorrow, where they'll draw blood and take measurements and do an overall health analysis. I plan on discussing the problems with the nurse then to see what her opinion is.

My problem is this: I know one of the first things the doctor is going to ask is what my diet is like. The truth: I eat like crap. I have days where I'm really good and I'll get in all my fruits and veggies and have a completely balanced diet, and then a football weekend comes up and I eat Bojangles for breakfast, drink 8+ alcoholic beverages during 12 hours of tailgating, Wendy's for dinner, and then nachos for lunch the next day (that actually happened this past weekend, I'm not exaggerating). Ugh. It's incredibly disgusting and I immediately am so mad at myself when my stomach starts revolting against all the crap I've been eating.

So I decided to revamp the way I eat, by doing a challenge I found via Six Sisters' Stuff. The challenge is mainly focused towards weightloss, which is not entirely my main goal, although I have gained 10 pounds since this time last year. Woof.

You can see more about the challenge here, but I've adapted it for myself. I plan on rewarding myself with something at the end of 8 weeks if I've reached my goal of eating healthier and finally feeling like myself again. The bribe present to myself has yet to be determined, but I really want an iPad.

It's pretty fun to tally up your points each day! I almost want to congratulate myself for staying away from fried food when I remember that, yes, I did in fact inhale a Chick-fil-a chicken biscuit my client gave me yesterday. Curses.

But I'm getting better. I went to Trader Joe's yesterday and spent all my time in the fresh produce section. I know having healthy options and no temptation is what I need to feel better. One of my major vices is the fact that we eat out every day for lunch at work, since we're traveling. I'm powerless in front of a menu of delicious mexican/pizza/chinese, when I should be eating a salad. I'm working on it.

Sorry for such a novel post; I've been thinking about sharing my troubles for quite some time. I want to be held accountable for taking care of myself! Let me know if you'd like to join the challenge, too!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

{Recipe} ~ Creamy Spinach Shrimp Pasta

Ryan and I stayed in last Friday night since we had to be up early for the football game. I have been wanting to try this recipe for awhile, so I scooped up all the ingredients on my weekly grocery store run.

This recipe was pretty quick and really good. You'd hardly know it was a "skinny" pasta dish, as the sauce is so creamy, it definitely tastes like alfredo sauces you get in restaurants. This would be great to make for a crowd or just for two, because the recipe can be easily halved or doubled! We both ate a full plate and still had leftovers! Serve with a crisp white wine and dinner is all set!

Shrimp Pasta with Homemade Cream Sauce
from The Realistic Nutritionist


  •  12 ounces shrimp, tails removed
  • 8 ounces of pasta (I used whole-wheat thin spaghetti)
  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • 5 ounces light cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup crisp wine
  • 3/4 cup shrimp or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup light cream
  • 1/3 cup parmesan
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Liberal dashes salt and pepper
  • Lemon zest


  1. Prepare pasta according to box. Rinse and set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a medium size 3 quart pan over medium high heat. Add onions and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and peppers and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add in wine, broth, cream, cream cheese and salt and pepper. Cook until mixture begins to thicken a bit, about 6 minutes. Stir in parmesan, lemon zest and additional salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer another 4 or 5 minutes to thicken up. Remove from heat.
  3. In a small pan, heat remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Cook shrimp for about 2 – 4 minutes or until done. Remove from pan and add to cream sauce. Add spinach to the small pan and heat just until wilted, about 3 minutes. Toss spinach and shrimp with cream sauce.
  4. Pour over pasta and enjoy!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Weekend Update ~ More of the Same

Another weekend. Another home Clemson football game. We ate, drank, won, and had a great time with old and new friends.

Can I go back to college now?

That's all, folks.

Friday, September 14, 2012

{Recipe} ~ Taco Cornbread Casserole

I'll always remember this recipe as the first one I cooked in my first apartment in Greenville with Lauren. I wanted something simple enough that I knew I wouldn't mess it up. I was surprised at how delicious it was! It also reheats really well. It kind of falls apart when you're trying to remove it from the casserole dish, but presentation shouldn't matter if it tastes good!

Taco Cornbread Casserole
adapted from Debbi Does Dinner

1 package corn bread/muffin mix (I use Trader Joe's - it's my favorite!)
3 cups cooked taco seasoned meat
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream, light
1 cup colby jack, cheddar or mexican cheese, shredded and divided
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 cup shredded lettuce
In a large bowl, prepare cornbread mix based on instructions on the box. Spread into an 8 x 8 pan  sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Remove cornbread from oven and spread meat over corn bread.  Combine sour cream, 3/4 cup cheese and onion.  Spread over meat mixture.  Bake for 15 minutes longer or until heated through and cheese is melted.  Sprinkle with tomato, lettuce and remaining 1/4 cup of cheese.  


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What I'm Loving...

It's been awhile since I've done one of these posts, but there are a few things I just have to share with you!

This dress from Anthropologie:

This dress is so versatile and comfortable. I want to buy it in every pattern. I've already gotten so much wear out of it, and I've only had it a month. I wore it to a baseball game, dinner at a steakhouse in Dallas, and then on the plane afterwards, and most recently to Sippin' Safari last weekend. I wear it with this belt, also from Anthro.

Have I mentioned I'm going to be in big trouble when they finish building the Anthropologie in Greenville? My bank account can at least breathe easy until sometime in 2013. Yikes.

I'm officially a CPA

Yep, I got my license in the mail and now I can finally put those 3 little letters behind my name that I worked so darn hard for. Maybe someday I'll write a post about how I came to be an accountant, because it seems that most people don't come out of the womb wanting to crunch numbers. Hard to believe, I know.

These beauties from Tory Burch:

I've been debating a new pair of flats since last fall. I know everyone loves their Revas, but I couldn't decide if the shiny metallic logo was for me. When I saw these, with the more subtle logo, the tumbled leather, and that gorgeous camel color, I was pretty much sold. No store around here sells them and I wanted to be able to try them on first. I lucked out when I was in Atlanta and Emmie let me try on a few of her pairs to determine fit.

I'm very picky about my shoes. I only have about 12 pairs, and each of them serve an individual purpose (nude heels, black heels, black flats, neutral sandals, etc.) But these will be perfect for fall and can match almost anything in my closet.

Next thing you know, they were in my shopping bag online at Nordstrom. The verdict: I'm. in. love. 

This little exclamation from

I want to buy a house. Like tomorrow. I've been saving up for years, and now that I have a real job, I've been putting more away each month. I set a goal for myself a year or so ago for a certain dollar amount I wanted to reach to help pay for a down payment and some furniture (i.e. necessary items for a new house). This month, I finally reached my goal! However, Lauren and I renewed our lease for another year, so I won't be looking for awhile. That gives me time to save even more money so I can buy something I really love. Look at me, all grown up!

This planner I found at Staples:

At work, we're all pretty much glued to our Outlook calendars. Mine syncs with my iPhone so I always know what's coming up on my schedule, but sometimes I miss the pen-and-paper planners I used in college. I bought a blank one this past weekend that can serve as a running to-do list when busy season starts. I'll be looking to get promoted next year, so running my jobs efficiently will be key when I start taking on more responsibility. Plus, the floral pattern is pretty!

This designer copycat watch from Target:

I've been coveting a Michael Kors gold boyfriend watch for quite some time. But there are certain items I'll splurge on (shoes, above) and things I won't (trendy watch). I usually breeze right past the jewelry section in Target because I have a few classic pieces I wear all the time, but for some reason I decided to browse through on my most recent trip. 

I almost jumped up and down when I saw this watch. It's cheap ($14!!) but doesn't look cheap at all. I even had someone ask me if I had purchased a MK watch when I wore it this weekend. Talk about a score! I smile to myself when I glance down at it and pat myself on the back for my thrifty find.


Anything you're loving lately (besides of course the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks)??

Monday, September 10, 2012

Week 5 ~ Spinx Half 10.27.12

Week 5 is also known as "The Week I Decided Not To Run The Half Marathon."

Ugh. Part of me really hates to write this post, and the other half of me is pretty relieved. Here are my reasons mainly my way of convincing myself I'm not a quitter in list form.

1. I can't commit enough time to train properly.

I talked a little about training for my first half marathon here, and I learned a lot of lessons I certainly didn't want to repeat. Let me also reiterate that the first time around, I had no job, no boyfriend, and no huge social circle in Greenville yet. Fast forward a year, and I've got a lot more on my plate. I knew fitting in 15+ miles a week was going to be tough, I just didn't quite realize it would be this tough. I absolutely love my job, but there's a lot of responsibility/extracurricular activities that comes with it. As employees, we're expected to attend philanthropic events, events for clients, join Young Professionals' groups in our area, and be active in the community. What does that really mean? I don't really stop working at 5 pm. I might be at a recruiting event until 10 pm in Clemson, a baseball game sponsored by the firm, or a Young Professionals' Happy Hour. Quite frankly, I just haven't figured out how to do all of that and fit in a run 4 days a week.

Does it sound like I'm complaining? Probably. But I'm honestly not trying to. I enjoy these after-work activities. But knowing I have to run before work/after work/before the event/after the event/what about dinner? had me juggling way too much.

2. Traveling

Last training cycle, I used a beginner's plan which only slated a long run of 10 miles. The rest were manageable 6, 7, and 8 milers. However, when I look back on DailyMile, I didn't run any of those long runs. I took a vacation to San Diego mid-training, and didn't run for over a week. I got injured after the 10 miler and backed off significantly so I would still be able to run the race. Long story short, when those 13.1 miles were in front of me, I hadn't trained properly. I was not equipped to run 13 miles and that was why I missed my goal time by almost 20 minutes.

So I tried to remedy that solution for Half Marathon #2. I found a plan with high(er) mileage, with a 12 mile run sandwiched by two 10 mile runs, and several 8 mile runs. I knew this would help with endurance and allow me to get used to the time on my feet. This theory worked great, until I got bit by the travel bug.


If you overlap my long runs with my calendar, it looks a little like this:
  • September 29 - Boston, MA + 10 miles
  • October 6 - Cabo San Lucas + 12 miles
  • October 13 - Cashiers, NC + 10 miles
Can someone explain to me how I expected to run all these miles in completely unfamiliar cities (and countries)?

So what was one solution? Oh, just move those long runs to the Monday when I get back from vacation. 12 miles after working 9 hours? No. Thank. You.

The other option? Skip them.

Then I'm right back where I started on race day, facing 13.1 miles with completely inadequate training.

3. Some things are more important

I mentioned this briefly in last week's training recap, but running isn't my life. It's a hobby. Things more important to me include my family, Ryan, my friends, cooking, and enjoying all of life's opportunities (see wanderlust, above). Am I going to miss out on a vacation, a dinner with friends, or a football game with the excuse, "Sorry guys, I can't, I've got to go run" ?? Hell no.

I also really like my sleep. I turn into a whiny, cranky witch when I sleep less than 7 hours (and I prefer 8 or more). Even though getting my run out of the way first thing in the morning was a great start to the day, I was really, really ticked off when my alarm went off before 6 am.

Running didn't seem fun anymore; it seemed like a chore instead. That, my friends, is not something I signed up for.

4. I need variety

I joined the Y back in January so I could take advantage of the group classes. I was excited about trying some strength training (Kettlebells), Yoga, and Cycling.

Welp. I haven't used my membership in over a month. All this running has consumed my free time and I'm wasting 29 precious dollars a month for a gym I haven't had time to frequent. With cutting back on running, I'll be able to get back to the gym and get some variety back into my routine.

5. I don't want to half-ass another half marathon

I know what a huge accomplishment it is to finish a half marathon, and I don't regret for one minute that I crossed that finish line in Pinehurst, which for a while, was extremely questionable.

But to me, it wasn't a success. I walked a lot. My whole body hurt. I started out too fast. I didn't know there would be hills (huge fail). Blah Blah Blah. I had a finish time in my head that I thought was attainable and I missed it by a lot. What can I say? I'm a perfectionist.

So when I signed up for #2, I wanted it to be successful. A PR would've been nice, too. But based on the reasons above, this one isn't quite shaping up to be too successful either.

Does that mean to say that I won't try anything if I think I'm going to fail? No, absolutely not. Half Marathon #1 was proof of that. I just don't want to continue doing something when I can't put in the effort to improve. Make sense?


Geez. That was enough complaining for one post. Now on to the good stuff:

Because I had already registered for the half and didn't want to entirely lose my money, I transferred my registration to the 5K, The Big Punkin'. People are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes! I've never even run a 5K since I got too drunk missed the St. Patty's Day one back in March.

Now I still have a goal to work towards (run 3.1 miles without stopping) and I won't feel completely bummed about dropping out of the Half Marathon.

Thanks for sticking around if you made it through that lengthy post. Whew.

Dont Quote The Raven

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Weekend Update ~ Dear Ol' Clemson

Whew, what a great weekend!

A few of us decided to go to Sippin' Safari at the Greenville Zoo on Friday night. It was similar to Brew at the Zoo, but with wine and hors d'oeuvres instead of beer and BBQ. We had so much fun walking around the zoo, drinking, and mostly laughing, but I didn't catch any pictures of the animals this time!

We were up with the sunrise on Saturday morning to head to Clemson to cheer on our Tigers in the first home game against Ball State. It was incredibly hot until a storm rolled in and the clouds gave us some relief. The game was a blowout, so we left shortly after halftime to visit some other tailgates. Several of our college friends were back in town, so Ryan and I ended up staying in Clemson for the night and hitting up our favorite bar for wings and more football. It was good to be home, if even for just a night. 

It's an absolutely gorgeous Sunday here in Greenville. We've got the windows open and NFL football on. Hope the weather stays this perfect! Enjoy what's left of your weekend, lovelies!

Friday, September 7, 2012

{Recipe} ~ Tequila Lime Chicken

When Lauren and I decided to have a few people over to watch the Virginia Tech vs. Georgia Tech game on Labor Day night, I wanted to cook something easy for dinner that didn't require a lot of prep work. (I'd much rather spend my time hanging out and enjoying my guests than trying to throw things together in the kitchen).

I've recently gotten Ryan hooked on the Food Network. I used to watch it all the time in college and last Sunday when we were being lazy, I turned it on and watched for hours. I thought Ryan was busy playing video games and/or reading about college football and/or checking his Fantasy Baseball stats on the Internet, but he would throw in comments every now and then, like "Oh that looks good!" or "Who the heck has time to make something that complicated?" Interesting, he can multitask.

Anyway, back to the point. So this past Sunday, when we were in Atlanta, and waiting for everyone to wake up/shower/find enough motivation to put on something other than pajamas, Ryan turned on the Food Network. Do you see where I'm going with this? My girl, The Pioneer Woman, was whipping up a Mexican fiesta. Remember that one time where I freakin' love Mexican food?

Moral of the story: I gave her recipe a whirl on Sunday, complete with guacamole. Everyone gobbled it up. Score.

Tequila Lime Chicken
adapted from The Pioneer Woman via the Food Network

  • 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup tequila
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced
  • 1/2 bunch chopped fresh cilantro
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cups grated Monterey Jack

Slice open the limes and squeeze the juice into a food processor or blender. Add the tequila, olive oil, salt, garlic, jalapeno and cilantro. Blend the mixture until totally combined. Add the chicken to a large plastic bag and pour in the lime-tequila mixture. Seal the bag and marinate in the fridge for several hours or overnight.
Remove the chicken from the bag and grill it over medium-high heat. Rotate the chicken 45-degrees on both sides to create nice grill marks, and continue grilling until the chicken is cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
Melt the Monterey Jack over the top of the chicken breasts and serve immediately.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

{Recipe} ~ Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars

I finally made dessert! 

It's no secret that I prefer savory over sweet, but that still doesn't stop me from pinning desserts I'll probably never get around to baking.

When thinking about what food to bring for the tailgate, I wanted to try something different (there are only so many chip & dip combos I can get excited about). That's when I figured I should probably try something sweet that could hold up in the heat fairly well. I had all the ingredients for several different recipes, but finally landed on these:

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars
adapted from What Megan's Making

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups quick-cooking or old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 375. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl and beat just until combined. Fold in the oats and chocolate chips. Spread in a rimmed 10x15 baking pan, using a spatula or your hands to press into place. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool, but cut the bars while they are still somewhat warm, as a knife will go through them more easily.


I halved this recipe and it still made plenty of bars! I actually only had one bar to make sure they tasted okay, but ended up leaving them with Jacob and Emmie to enjoy. I had to keep Jacob from eating them all before we left for the tailgate. I guess that means they were good! These were simple - I'd recommend them!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Week 4 ~ Spinx Half 10.27.12

Last week was pretty much a training failure, but I'm honestly okay with it. I'll be back on track today!

After slowly upping my mileage week after week, I think my body needed a break. My shins were starting to ache on longer runs and I didn't have enough time to stretch and foam roll this week.

I missed my runs on both Friday and my long run on Sunday because we stayed in Atlanta until after dinner Sunday night.

Tuesday - 3 miles

Tuesday's "run" was actually cheating because I did 3 miles on the elliptical instead. I woke up early for this one and just don't think I was quite awake yet.

Wednesday - 4 miles

This run was amazing. We're back to hot, humid weather in the South, so this run was on the treadmill. I ONLY STOPPED TWICE! That's a huge improvement from my other runs, and it was also 4 minutes faster than my 4 miler from last week. 

In hindsight, sometimes you've just got to make do with your schedule, and I had a super busy week with after-work commitments everyday. Lack of sleep + 12 hours work days + trying to fit in a workout? Not. happening.

I also ate incredibly unhealthy all weekend (um, hello, tailgating is NOT conducive to fruit and vegetable intake) and am certainly feeling it today. 

Throughout training, you learn it's all about balance. I'm not the kind of girl who is going to miss out on a great weekend with friends because I've got to run 7 miles that day. That's just not me. Some people can make a huge commitment and sacrifice a lot to train for half marathons and marathons, and I commend them. But this is just a hobby for me and at the end of the day, my friends are more important than getting in that long run. I know I won't regret missing two of my training runs because I had a fantastic weekend! Totally worth it!

Dont Quote The Raven

Monday, September 3, 2012

Weekend Update ~ The Return of College Football

This weekend was one of the best. It included all of my favorite things: best friends, traveling, and Clemson football.

I've been looking forward to the start of college football since the last bowl game. Clemson season's opener was in Atlanta against Auburn. We haven't won a game in Atlanta since 2003 (that's 6 losses), so my hopes were not very high. We stayed with Jacob and Emmie, in their awesome apartment in Midtown.

All of our friends were in town and we had a great tailgate spot. There's nothing better than best friends and a Clemson win.

We followed a great Saturday with a great Sunday and brunch at The Nook. If you're ever in Atlanta, you must try this place out. They have fishbowl liquor drinks and loaded tater tots. It's amazing. The patio is always full of people and you can stay for hours watching football. It's probably my favorite atmosphere on a patio. I wish Greenville had a place like this.

Can't wait to do it all again next weekend with our first home game in Clemson! 

All is right with the world now that college football has returned!