Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Knowing My Limits

2012 Miracle Miles 15K
The above photo is from last year's Miracle Miles 15k in Orlando. My sister and I tackled our first 15k together that day and let me tell you, I felt so empowered, strong, and badass! At the same time, I felt so very burned out on running, but I had a half marathon on the horizon in February so I kept at it pushing through the discomfort and exhaustion....and injured my foot pretty badly (which I mentioned in this post). I was still able to run my first half marathon and far exceeded my time goal which was understandably conservative due to the injury and time off.

Training for and running the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February was the highlight of my running career thus far. I loved it. I loved the long runs and I loved the actual race. So much so that I  want to run another half this year and I'm contemplating signing up for Disney Princess 2014 too!

This time around I'm planning to train more conservatively, but hopefully still PR. I'm not sure that is possible, but I know my body feels better when I have the time and energy to strength train and practice yoga in the midst of training for a race. I normally LOVE Hal Higdon's training plans and I used his intermediate plan to train for the Disney Princess race. This time around in order to avoid burn-out and keep my sanity (or are those two things really the same thing? HA!), I'm going to try a different training plan by Runner's World that only includes 4 days of running each week, leaving plenty of time for a well rounded fitness routine. A sample week will look like this:

Monday: Strength Train/Weights
Tuesday: Run
Wednesday: Strength Train/Weights
Thursday: Run
Friday: Run
Saturday: Yoga
Sunday: Long Run

I think it seems very doable and I'm so excited to get started! Now I just have to decide which November half marathon I want to run. Hmmm... decisions, decisions! ;)

Friday, April 05, 2013

Some Much Needed Comfort

I don't have much to say today. Everything is much too buried inside for me to even begin to sort through and share. But I wanted to pop in and share a Bible verse that I just came across. As soon as I saw it I burst into tears because it struck a cord with my heart. Life has been pretty rough the last few months. Believe it or not, I don't handle stress very well and it's starting to show. It's starting to show at work, at home, on me. I haven't done anything very "heathy" lately, no workouts, too much fast food and sweets. I'm trying desperately to be ok with this because, well, quite frankly I can't handle anything else at the moment. I feel lost, stressed, slightly depressed. I know it will pass- hard times always do- but its hard to keep that in perspective while you're going through the valley. Anyway, back to that Bible verse. It spoke so clearly to my troubled heart that I wanted to share it in case anyone happens along this little piece of the internet whose heart needs some comfort as mine did.

"The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?" Proverbs 20:24

Remember God is here for us. He knows where our lives are headed. He has a plan that is so much bigger than the heartache we face today. Don't lose hope. I promise there is a silver lining in your cloud. I trust there is one in mine too! I hope the Lord pours comfort into your hearts this evening. Hugs.

<3 K.E.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas

There are few things better in a busy woman's life than the aroma of a cooked dinner wafting through the house when she finally makes it home at the end of a long day.

One of my favorite ways to cook during the week is with my slow cooker. The food is always moist, delicious, and (usually) easy to prepare.

Since it is the middle of the week, I thought you could all use a fresh and easy spin on dinner tonight.

Slow Cooker Fajitas

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 jalapeno
1 sweet onion
1 jar of salsa
taco seasoning

Add all ingredients to slow cooker with chicken on the bottom. Sprinkle taco seasoning on top. I usually add about half a cup of water as well to ensure nothing burns or dries out. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4-6. It really all depends on your crockpot. Shred chicken and serve with your favorite Mexican toppings.

Let me know how it turns out!

<3 K.E.

P.S. I really need to share a disclaimer here...this is a delicious recipe- no doubt. However, I have an even better fajita recipe that takes much, much more work. I will share it with you eventually. Just today. Carry on. ;)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Vegan Baked Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Happy Saturday Morning, Friends!

We did a great job of using up all of our groceries this week. Almost too good of a job- I ran out of eggs- which left me in a pickle this morning. What do I make for breakfast?!

I don't know about you, but I love to have a slightly more lavish breakfast on the weekends. Something that the weekday rush to get out the door doesn't leave time for. So after thinking about what we had in the pantry and a wonderful suggestion from my husband, I managed to throw together this vegan baked oatmeal. It is fantastic and super easy to make! Obviously, it was vegan by default- all my favorite baked oatmeal recipes call for eggs which I didn't have. But needless to say, I don't think they are missed at all. This recipe is also free of any added sugar- I've been on a crazy sugar binge lately with all the valleys of life and I am committing to one week free of sugar (honey, agave, coconut sugar, etc.) starting today. I wanted to do two weeks, but there is no way I have the willpower to stay away from the goodies on Easter Sunday! ;)

And without further ado, I present my Vegan Baked Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal.

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbs ground flax seed
1 Tbs chia seeds
1 flax egg (1 Tbs ground flax seed + 3 Tbs hot water)
1 cup applesauce
1.5 cups Silk unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins
1 large apple peeled, diced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make the flax egg by combining the flax seed and hot water; set aside to gel. Mix first seven ingredients in large bowl.  Mix wet ingredients in medium bowl. Pour wet ingredients into dry. Once combined, stir in flax egg. Add raisins and apple. Pour into baking dish (I used 7x11 Pyrex dish) and bake for 30 minutes, until top is golden brown and middle is set.

Notes: I like to use a teaspoon to pour my vanilla extract, but let it spill over a bit into the bowl which is why I said 1-1.5 tsp. Love me some vanilla! Make sure both your vanilla extract and applesauce have no added sugar. Surprisingly enough, my current vanilla extract is from Target. This recipe makes about 4-6 servings depending on your appetite. This recipe could be gluten-free if you use certified, gluten-free oats.

And last, but not least- I apologize for the sad lack of photos in this post! I honestly didn't think about blogging this recipe until I tasted it, but then I had to share. I couldn't believe I hadn't added any sugar! Enjoy friends!

<3 K.E.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Sorrow and Loss

Despite my intention of positivity in 2013, life has a way of blindsiding us every once in a while...
A dear family member was taken to Heaven yesterday. I wish I had words to console her family. Her children who now have to experience all the great joys and sorrows of life without their mother. Her husband who has lost his other half. Her parents who as they gazed into the face of their newborn daughter never dreamed they would bury their child. My husband who lost a sister he dearly loved. Words are beyond inadequate in the face of such sorrow, such grief. Loss like this is something we never recover from or "get over." This is loss that stays with us forever. The stabbing pain may dull, but we never forget nor would we want to. Our dear loved one is always with us and the memory of her joyful, full life helps us eventually to pick up the pieces of our lives that feel so shattered now.
 She suffered greatly over the last two years and she was ready to meet the God whom she dearly loved. But despite knowing that her suffering is over and she is experiencing true joy, we still mourn. We mourn our loss. I guess that is the thing about death- we aren't mourning anything she lost, because she gained something. We are mourning what those of us left behind lost. A sister. A mother. A daughter. A best friend. An incredible, talented, beautiful woman. The world has suffered a great loss, but Heaven has gained a beautiful soul.
Requiescat in pace, Cari.
You are dearly loved and greatly missed.
<3 K.E.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Injuries and Determination

I've been keeping a rather tight lid on this venture. I'll admit that I love setting and meeting goals, but I absolutely hate how people can undermine your accomplishments or put your down with a smile. I'd much rather set a goal, meet it, and never let anyone else know. My goal can be my own, little, secret happiness. But sometimes, it is good for me to share my ups and downs. Sometimes it is a source of growth and joy despite the happiness suckers out there. Those are the times when I remember that my goals, my life, my little blog aren't here for other people. They're really here for me. And I can choose to share them or not on a whim. So, here goes. I'm in a sharing mood.

I've been training on and off for a half marathon since November. I say on and off because early on I decided to try out new, minimalist shoes. I didn't break them in. I didn't have my gait analyzed. I didn't know what I was getting into. I don't even know when exactly it happened, but I sprained the top of my left foot pretty badly. I tried to run through it. That didn't turn out so well. In the end I had to take a month+ off from running, from yoga, from just about everything because I couldn't move my foot. I could walk. That was it.

After a month of inactivity, I didn't really think I would be able to come back. I thought my February half marathon was impossible. After a lot of self-pity, I decided that since I'd already signed up for the race, I would finish that race even if I have to drag my sorry butt over the finish line. So I started training. Those first few runs were brutal. My whole body was stagnant. It didn't matter how far I was going, I'd be huffing and puffing. My legs were stiff. I hated every mile. Eventually though the miles got easier. Its like riding a bike I guess- you never really forget how to do it.

I ran 9 miles this weekend and it felt great. Am I where I thought I would be five weeks before my first half marathon? Nope. But I'm here. I'm running. And it feels damn good!

<3 K.E.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Welcome, welcome 2013! I have a feeling that this year holds a lot of new adventures for my little family and will be a spectacular year.  I love the excitement that I feel when a new year dawns. The air is full of so much promise- I'm making resolutions, visualizing dreams, enjoying time with loved ones. It is fresh and new and no one has ever ventured into this year before. It is an untamed land full of adventure, romance, and mystery.

A new year is truly a bittersweet moment. As I'm welcoming a brand new year, I'm also letting go of the old one. Saying goodbye to a year that holds such sweet memories and heartaches. In 2012, I learned to let go of what others want from me and instead to focus on what is good for me, what brings me life. I learned to open myself to new experiences, to new favorites, to new (or simply rediscovered) hobbies. I also celebrated my first wedding anniversary. 2012 was a full, wonderful year. It is hard to say goodbye to such a dear friend.

I've been giving a lot of thought to what I want out of this year and the main thing is joy. I want to focus on the good things and learn to put the bad into perspective. Taking a hint from a few other bloggers, I decided to choose a word to embody 2013. My word of the year is positivity. I want to be a positive person. No more Debbie Downer! Move over glass half empty! This year is all about my blessings!

<3 K.E.