38 Things I Believe and a Recipe with Butterfingers

Jen at Jen Chooses Joy did a post last week called 38 Things I Believe. I loved her answers, go check them out! I decided to borrow this idea and do my own list. Here goes…

I Believe…

  1. handwritten thank you notes are important
  2. in football season
  3. in having a firm handshake
  4. October is the absolute best month
  5. rice krispy treats solve any problem
  6. in clean sheets
  7. punctuation is very important
  8. in being early – or at least on time
  9. in comfy clothes
  10. in the snooze button
  11. dogs are better than cats
  12. in mental health days
  13. in naps
  14. in laughing at yourself
  15. the only way to read a book is by reading the actual hard copy, not on an electronic device
  16. Ellen DeGeneres is the best person alive
  17. in flip flops
  18. Windows is better than Mac (she says as she’s typing on her Mac Book…)
  19. in flossing
  20. in dessert
  21. snakes are from the devil
  22. in “please” and “thank you”
  23. in the fine arts
  24. flats > heels
  25. in hoodies
  26. pumpkin-flavor anything is the best
  27. in bubble baths
  28. in going to bed at 7pm
  29. watches are an underrated accessory
  30. in clearance racks
  31. in lots and lots of pillows
  32. it’s better to be cold than hot
  33. in silence
  34. that traveling is important
  35. saving money is important
  36. exercise is the best medicine
  37. my husband is the jelly to my peanut butter
  38. in really good Mexican food

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I wanted to share this delicious and easy recipe with you. I made a Butterfinger Chocolate and Peanut Butter Lush cake for Blondie’s birthday last week. It was SO easy and required zero baking – bonus!

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I got the recipe from Christian at Spicy Southern Kitchen. So delicious and so easy!

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Tell me some things you believe!

What’s your favorite dessert to have on your birthday? <chocolate cake with cream cheese icing? oh me too!>

What’s the best birthday present you’ve ever received?

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Abs, Running, Recipe, and Crafts – How Random?

Hey there friends! I’ve been wanting to incorporate some ab exercises into my workout routine, probably something that I would do at home after work. I found this “Dozen” ab workout that I’m going to start this week.

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I was on the Runner’s World website over the weekend and I read this article and wanted to share it.

It’s All Working Out

“Running is just a form of exercise until you love it.”  FRIDAY, AUGUST 14, 2015

I found it super comforting to know that running, the more I do it, the more it will become something that I love instead of just a form of exercise. I am starting to understand what it’s like to be “in love” with running. It has definitely become something that I “get to do” instead of something I “have to do” and I’m hoping this relationship will continue to evolve throughout the course of my marathon training. My favorite quote from this article:

It’s all just exercise, just going through the motions until at some point, if you’re really lucky–something clicks. And it’s never the same after that.

Dear running,

I can’t wait to continue our relationship. Hopefully you fall in love with me quickly and can refrain from breaking my heart – or breaking/straining/pulling/tearing/scraping any of my body parts or muscles. Let’s keep this a neat and clean, PG-rated relationship, mmmmk? I’ll do my best not to cuss at/about you, if you do your best to keep me healthy and happy and on the road to marathon glory!

All my love, sweat, and tears,

Katherine

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Yesterday, the hubs and I tried this recipe out for dinner:

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Instead of white rice we used brown rice, and I also added some broccoli into the sauce for our veggie. It was so easy and the only thing I had to buy at the store was the chuck roast – I already had the rest of the ingredients! This was definitely a hit. I love crock pot meals!

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Last weekend when we were cleaning out the garage, I asked the hubs to cut up some 2×4 boards we had saved from when we put up our fence in the backyard. I want to use them to make this adorable fall pumpkin craft!

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I’ve found so many cute fall crafts on Pinterest – I can’t wait to get started on them!

Thanks for letting me share all my randoms today! I hope you found something interesting or informative amidst this plethora of topics! Tomorrow I promise will be a little more organized!

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What’s your relationship with running like? Has it changed over the years?

What’s your favorite season? Favorite time of year for running?

Are you crafty? > I have to have a lot of help from my friends, I’m impatient!

Kacey Musgraves and Thursday Things

Hi friends! Blondie showed me a new Kacey Musgraves song she’s loving and I had to go straight over to Spotify to listen to the whole album. Y’all, if you are a country music fan, this girl is what’s up.

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Some Thursday Things –

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The MIL (mother-in-law) sent me this cookbook, holy heaven! It’s got some yummy and easy recipes! Stay tuned for next week’s meal plan, sure to include a couple from this book! Maybe this one?

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One of our yummy dinners this week – beef stirfry! An easy way to get that extra helping of veggies in for the day!

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The hubs doing some meal prep on Monday for his lunches this week. He’s quite the chef!

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Got some Kroger coupons in the mail. It’s shocking to me how well they’ve memorized the staple items on my grocery list. I’m nothing if not consistent.

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This quote – can I get an amen? Stole it from an ex-Bachelor contestant’s Instagram. Side note – I’m a big fan of The Bachelor/ette. I didn’t watch last season though, Kaitlyn didn’t excite me.

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The hubs and I are getting our KING SIZE BED delivered on Saturday. PRAISE THE LORD!! I’ve heard from lots of married couples that a king size bed is the key to a successful and lasting marriage. For us, it’s the key to our dogs continuing to live with us. The hubs is pretty fed up with having to share our queen bed with me plus two big dogs. So our solution was to get a bigger bed!

All that to say, we are re-doing our master bedroom! By re-doing, I mean changing up our color scheme. I’m trying this thing where I don’t make HUGE life changing decisions for another year (i.e. new jobs, moving, babies, etc.) so my solution is to make small changes. Painting some rooms in the house is one change we are making. This is the bedroom color scheme we are going with.

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We got this new quilt from Target for the bed.

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In real life it’s pretty close to that third color swatch on the color pallet picture. So we are either going to paint the room a lighter blue, a light grey, or (gasp) that bold red! We’ll see.

The sheets we got are a tan color. We ordered them from my FAVORITE company to get my sheets from, Peach Skin Sheets. When I tell y’all that these are the most amazing sheets I’ve ever had, I do not lie.

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They’re a microfiber material that’s made to keep you cool and be moisture wicking. The also don’t bead up (you know, if you wash sheets a lot they get those pills/beads building up on them?) or pill, they stay as soft and smooth as they are the first day no matter how many times you wash them! I ordered this color on sale for $49.99 on Tuesday and they arrived at my door on Wednesday! Can’t say enough great things about this company!

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This was the burger I got at Blondie’s birthday dinner on Sunday. The restaurant had their own branding iron that they stuck on all the burger buns! How fun!

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Running Updates : Wednesday – 3.1 miles easy (I pushed snooze one-too-many times that day and didn’t have very much time at the gym). Thursday – 5 miles speed work.

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If you only listen to one song off Kacey Musgrave’s Pageant Material Album, please listen to “Biscuits.” Not only is it incredibly clever, girl speaks the truth!

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Are you a country music fan? Ever heard of Kacey Musgraves?

Do you use coupons when you grocery shop? Any good coupon sites you can recommend?

How’s your running going this week?

Weekend Recap and A New Recipe

Sorry for my lack of post yesterday! Last weekend was surprisingly busy for being a weekend without plans…isn’t that how it always works out?! Also, we stayed out on Sunday night celebrating Blondie’s birthday, so I blame her.

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We checked out the Atlanta Braves Grill in downtown Atlanta. Blondie is a huge Braves fan so I was excited to take her to this restaurant!

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The food was DE-licious. They surprisingly had some issues finding the Braves game on TV – go figure? They finally found it, but we were a little concerned that the ATLANTA BRAVES GRILL didn’t know what channel the Braves Game was on. We hit up Tin Lizzy’s for a post-dinner marg.

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Saturday was filled with running, and errands. I got a good 7 miles in before we headed out for the day.

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I was very happy with that. I think my struggles with running outside come when I try to do them in the afternoon after a long day of work, and also at the hottest part of the day. It’s not my conditioning, it’s just the time of day that I try to make it happen. If I stick to my morning runs, my long runs don’t seem so bad! Oh, and I got through 2 episodes of Serial – it’s getting juicy!

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I had a buy-2-get-2-free coupon for Yankee Candle and the sale ended on Sunday so that was a sign that I needed to hit up The Avenue. You know you’re an adult when you opt for $50+ on candles over $50+ on clothes. Fall candles are my FAVORITE! I’m so happy with my purchases and I’m hoping they bring the fall weather with them!

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August Goals Update – last week’s runs 8/3 – 8/9 totaled 23.1 miles! First week of August = still on track for 20+ miles per week!

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A cute pic of Willy as he anxiously awaited the vet to arrive. We are trying out Healing Hands Mobile Veterinary Service in the hopes that Wilson won’t be so terrified of getting his shots if someone comes to him at our house…

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Recipe Reviews: Last week the hubs and I tried out two new recipes, Maple BBQ Salmon and Crock Pot Garlic Bacon Chicken. I’m happy to report that both recipes were HUGE hits at our house. I was a little wary of the salmon when I was combining the ingredients, but y’all, it was delicious. And it was really easy, I had most of the ingredients in my pantry already. The same with the Crock Pot chicken. It was so juicy and tender from cooking all day, we inhaled it. I’d highly recommend both recipes!

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This week our new recipe is Spinach Lasagna Rolls from The Girl Who Ate Everything. The original recipe doesn’t incorporate a meat, but we like meat in our Italian dinners. So we will be modifying the original and adding ground beef into our ricotta/spinach filling.

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This AM’s run: 6 miles / 55 minutes (like, on the dot. weird.)

How was your weekend?

Any yummy recipes you’ve tried lately?

Do you like baseball? Favorite team?

Favorites, August Goals, and Some Light Reading

It’s been a minute since I’ve shared some of my favorite things! In the spirit of The Sound of Music (you know the song…) here are a few things I’m loving right now!

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Jeans day at the office! They only come once a month, but I take them very seriously.

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Just found this bag of deliciousness on my Sunday grocery trip. So good and healthy!

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I started listening to the Serial Podcasts during my runs. I wasn’t sure how it would go, I typically listen to angry/motivational/fast music to keep me going. But I thought I’d try something that would keep my mind working – trying to follow the story instead of thinking about how far I had left in my run. And you know what? It worked! The podcasts are made up of 14 episodes that follow a murder mystery and each episode builds on the last. The first episode is 54 minutes long and my run flew by! I’m really glad I branched out and tried something new. Here’s the Serial website if you want to read more about the story, and you can download the podcasts in the App store!

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Really, is there any better snack on the planet? I think not.

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So I was over browsing The Freckled Runner and got some motivation from Jackie to put together some August goals. What better way to hold myself accountable than to share these goals with the world (okay let’s be honest, probably 50 people, half of which are probably related to me…minor details). So here are some goals I’m going to try to accomplish this month – I’ll do a recap at the end of the month and see how I did!

1. Run at least 80 miles this month

2. Register for at least 1 race through the end of the year

3. Spend less than $200 on miscellaneous things to stay within the budget

4. Have 2 pre-planned date nights

5. Make (successfully) risotto

6. Read 1 book

It’s quite a plethora of goals to reach for – running, cooking, money, family…but if I have a goal for each area of my life that’s important to me then hopefully I’ll be able to strike a good balance. Making each of these areas of my life a priority takes planning and deliberate action. August is a balancing month, hopefully all parts of my life will feel the love!

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I’m pretty sure I know what book I want to read this month –

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Emily Giffin is one of my favorite authors. I love the style of her writing and the way she develops characters that are so relatable, you can’t help fall in love with them. Her new book, “The One and Only” has been calling my name and I’m excited to dive in!

Some other things I’ve enjoyed reading (on the internet, not in hard copy)-

The Finance Girl – It’s Better to Want than to Owe

Ronda Rousey is a Badass

This Article my sweet Granddaddy sent me – 20 Crucial Pieces of Life Advice, As Told By People Over 60

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Have you ever listened to podcasts or audio books while you run? Any suggestions?

What are some goals you have this month?

Any good book or article suggestions? 

Thursday Things with a Play List and Traveling

Welcome to this week’s Thursday Things! image1 Yogi Detox Tea is one of my favorite things right now. It’s a good pick-me-up after a long weekend. image2 And they give you a sweet little note on every tea bag. Happiness! Oh, and my “Rome If You Want To” mug was a sweet gift from a friend – I’m dying to go to Rome one day!

Did anyone else hit up the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale? Here are two things I purchased…I’m so excited! 0115331d096c0f6854609739d44c0ac0 This Topshop Stripe Sweater Dress…must have. f27f5c3a4b606581666d27eba238eb7f This Nike ‘Cool Breeze’ Dri-Fit Tank, perfect for those hot outside runs in the summer!

The Anniversary Sale is still going on, you definitely need to check it out!

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I made a throwback playlist, but I think it’s more of a rock playlist than throwback. I like to run to a ton of different kinds of music. Depending on my mood, sometimes a good hard rock song really gets my energy going and kicks my run into high gear. These are some of my favorite rock songs to run to.

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The hubs and I have done a fair bit of traveling this year and we still have a few more trips to go. Some of our traveling has been for fun vacations and some has been to go home to visit family.

This weekend we are heading to Nashville for our annual couple’s vacation with the hubs’ cousin and his wife , I’m beyond excited! The boys are going to play golf two days and us girls will get to do touristy things while they golf, then it’s party time at night!

When I go on vacation, I like to get a feel for the city I’m visiting, especially if it’s somewhere I’ve never been. One of my favorite sites to use is Thrillist. thrillist Thrillst features tons of popular destination cities and gives you inside tips on the best restaurants, bars, live music, brunch spots, date night ideas, all the great features of the city that will help you plan your trip.

It’s great to use for your own city too – I’ve discovered a lot of hidden restaurants and hang-out spots in Atlanta, my own city, using Thrillist.

Here are some things that Thrillist has told me I need to check out while I’m in Nashville this weekend:

THE 11 FINEST PATIOS IN NASHVILLE

26 FREE THINGS TO DO IN NASHVILLE

WE RATED EVERY BAR ON LOWER BROAD

THE 8 BEST BACON DISHES IN NASHVILLE

Another site I love to use to pick out my must-do’s on vacation in a new city is USA Today 10 Best.  10Best-USA-Today-logo2 Literally hundreds of cities both in the U.S. and abroad are featured and you can find anything and everything you want to do / see/ eat / drink…it’s an amazing travel resource.

Fun Fact: Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. Here are a couple breakfast places I’m hoping we can hit while we’re in Nashville I found using 10 Best:

1. The Pfunky Griddle – There’s a griddle in the middle of your table and you get to make your own breakfast food! They give you the batter and an unlimited amount of toppings! I’m all about interactive dining, this is right up my alley!

2. Sky Blue Cafe – They boast an impressively creative menu of coffee concoctions begging to be tasted. Also, there is a picture of a delectable looking breakfast burrito in their restaurant profile that I NEED to try. PageImage-500470-2696288-SBhuevos_54_990x660_201406010129 How deliciously fresh does that look?! Get in my belly!

Needless to say, it’s going to be a struggle to fit in all of these things in the 2.5 days that we’re in Nashville but I’m darn sure going to try!

Check out Thrillist and 10 Best to see what kind of cool things they suggest doing in your city!

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Tell me some Thursday Things!

Have you ever been to Nashville? What are the must-do’s while I’m there? Food, please suggest food. I love to eat!

What kinds of things did you find on Thrillist and 10 Best in your city?  

Coach Carl, Some Ramblings, Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Welcome to Wednesday! I had my first meeting with my running coach, Coach Carl, yesterday and it was so encouraging/exciting/motivating/informative/all of the above! This first meeting was to do a running form analysis, but it was so much more than that. I don’t know why I was so nervous before I met him, but it went so well! See me, nervous: IMG_1140The Good News:

* He said there are no MAJOR things that we need to change. I just have some form issues that we can work on that will help my running economy – exactly what I wanted to hear!

* I got some amazing exercises to do before and after my runs that will help strengthen the muscles that I need to build up to improve my form.

* Coach Carl was so excited to hear that I had recently purchased a foam roller and assured me that it would help with my ankle/calf issues (apparently my pain is due to some flexibility issues in these areas, but easy to fix). IMG_1142 * This was my view during our meeting. I love Piedmont Park. Second time there in a week, my inner city girl is swooning.

The Bad Stuff:

* While there is nothing majorly wrong with my form, my posture needs some work. The madre (and pretty much anyone who has been around me, ever) would agree, I have a posture problem. Beating a dead horse here…

* I need to work on the flexibility in my ankle so that my back foot will have more power in my stride and take a lot of the pressure off my hips which get tight.

* Coach Carl was a little worried about IT band issues if we don’t strengthen my glutes. That doesn’t sound like fun. Here’s a little more on the IT band and how it affects runners and ways to avoid injury.

He also did a video analysis of me running – that was definitely eye-opening! It was incredibly insightful and I could easily see (with no professional coach training) some things I need to work on!

As I start getting more into the warm-ups and specific exercises Coach Carl has prescribed, I will share them with you guys and let you know how it’s going! Overall, the session definitely motivated me and made me excited about continuing to improve myself as a runner and become more efficient and more prepared to complete this 26.2 miles in just a few short months. More specifically… Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 9.27.30 PM Side Note: The marathon is still open! You can register here, and there’s still plenty of time to train!

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These bananas were staring me down from the kitchen table, begging me to make some banana bread. Turns out, the recipe I used called for 4 over-ripe bananas. Coincidence? I think not. IMG_1133 Here is the recipe I used and it turned out to be delicious! Confession: I did add about 1/2 a cup of chocolate chips to my batter, so it ended up being Banana Chocolate Chip Bread. If you ask me, the chocolate chips really made the bread, in my unbiased opinion. primedayamazon-728x403 Have you heard about this? Today, Amazon is offering tons of deals to Prime members! I’ll let you know what kind of deals I score.

I was able to go meet my running coach this afternoon after work thanks to my amazing neighbor and best friend. Today, she and her hubs ran over to our house after work to let our pups out so that I could head straight to the park and not have to drive all the way home first. Love my friends!IMG_3657 IMG_7035 Mila and Wilson love when she comes to visit, and I’m grateful that she loves them just as much.

Wednesday Words of Wisdom: 865af01a7dd6d36ca3f47e94191d80ea The reason I decided to and the reason I am able to continue on this running journey is because I’m surrounded by people who tell me that I can. So much of what we accomplish in life we owe to those around us who encourage, support, and go out of their way to push us toward our dreams. We can’t do things on our own – or at least, in my experience, it’s a lot harder. Be someone worth cheering for, have goals, tell people about them, let people help, and accept encouragement.  Surround yourself with people who lift you up and push you to be better – because you are better.

And, on that note, my workout recaps:

Monday – Strength Train, 10 minutes on elliptical

Tuesday – 4 miles in 37:33

Wednesday – 4 miles in 37:03, plus some exercises Coach Carl gave me before and after my run

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Has anyone trained with a running coach before? How was it? 

Are you eyeing anything on Amazon to buy on Prime Day? 

I’m hoping they have some deals on running gear, obviously.

Who are the people in your life who motivate you the most? Make sure you thank them today!