Long run of the week

My long run this week was 5 miles, it’s also my longest run to day since my half marathon 2 weeks ago. I went ok, the bf and I were both pretty tired and sluggish feeling which could be due to several things. It could have been the 10 hours we slept, the sitting on the couch and binge watching the Netflix original series Strange Things or it could have been the McDonald’s and Taco Bell we ate, or it could have been all 3 put together.

Either way we stumbled through our run and made it. We went to a park a few exits away to run in the shade and got 4 of our 5 miles done. The park closed at “Dusk PM” …….what does that even mean? It is sunset, is it when you can’t see your shadow anymore, what? While we should have had time to finish that last mile I didn’t want to risk us having to sprint back to my car or have the gate lock us out and have to get my car the next day so we left at 7:40pmish. Drove home then I dropped the bf off at home, he needed to get rid of the taco bell, and I ran to the grocery store to pick up a few things. Yes I literally ran to the store, then walk/ran back. Carrying a semi-heavy bag while running is a killer bicep workout.




After I got back we had ice cream, watched an old game of thrones episode (I am slowly catching up) then passed out.

Some other news, Thursday is now slow cooker day in my house

By the time dinner rolls around on Thursday i don’t want to cook. I’ve usualy been doing laundry and dishes and the bf and i either go for a run or out to a movie or whatever and i am too tired to cook so slow cooker day it is. 

And i got a little extra so i could freeze the rest

All i have to do is take it out of the freezer, throw in the fridge overnight and dump it in the crockpot the next morning. 

Advertisements

4 weeks to Europe!!!

4 weeks to international travel, here is what you should have done:

-Notify all banks and credit cards when and where you will be traveling. The last thing you want is to be overseas and have your account frozen due to unknown charges.

-Order any last minutes things online. Even if you have amazon prime you never know if that one thing you want isn’t on prime or something gets lost in the mail.

-Pre-packing/travel checklist. Time to make a list and check it twice, how many outfits do you need? Toiletries? Documents? Vaccines (this should have been done earlier)? Also if you need any Visa’s for your travel make sure you have received them and they are in order?

-Triple check any and all deposits or last minute due bills are paid and ready to go. Don’t want to show up and find out you didn’t pay for that excursion.

-Research and buy anything upfront that you can. (this week I am buying my skip the line pass for Vatican City) The last thing you want is to waste your time standing in a 5 hour line.

-Check for deals. Groupon is international! Like I am buying above check and see if there are any skip the line deals or fast pass kind of things. Usually these do not cost much extra and are soooo worth it. Also verify the language of your tours, don’t want to get stuck listening to Spanish or German if you don’t know the language.

Book Review**The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story

Image result for the girl with the seven names (image from Google)

Oh man, just like the last book, Lilac Girls, this was sometimes very intense but so good. I only knew the vaguest things about North Korea and now I feel like I know so much more. I always wondered how dictators got away with things and now I know a little better. They keep their people ignorant.

The struggles that she and her family went through are amazing. The strength and courage all the defectors show is amazing. I found this to be a thoroughly interesting story.

A little catch-up on food

Howdy all!!!

My food has been up and down since the half marathon and I working to get it back on track.

There has been a lot of good.

But there has also been way too much pizza and snacking and things like that so I am trying to reign it back in.

I did a huge amount of food prep just recently that means I will have dinners set for like 2 weeks which is great and cuts down on my food costs on the week in between paychecks. I just need to remember to look in the freezer next week when I plan my meals instead of making new ones.







My stomach has been bugging a little bit again because of all the bad food but not as bad as it was before so I know I am at least keeping a little balance hahahahaha. Let’s turn this bad streak back around!

Blackberry Balsamic reduction

 

I got this off pinterest.

Remember all those blackberries we got from the farm? Time to put them to use! I cannot wait to try this on meats!!! I am going to make a blackberry balsamic reduction and a blackberry rosemary balsamic reduction.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups blackberries

1 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp. molasses

(rosemary for 2nd reduction)

This is the amount used per reduction, so all in all it was doubled

 
Put all ingredients is a sauce pan and simmer over medium heat.

Mash blackberries as they soften. Reduce heat if it starts to boil.

Continue to simmer until liquid has reduced by half. It should thickly coat the back of a spoon when it is done.

Strain through a mesh sleeve and discard seeds

Store in a jar or bottle with a tight lid, it should keep in the fridge for weeks. Or you can do what I am doing and freezing it in freezer bags for later.

I froze some of it and may have licked the bowl clean with some ice cream

Sooooo freaking good!!!! I am going to look forward to this every year!

Monday Motivation**August 14, 2017

Almost halfway through August! I think our weather here is FINALLY starting to cool back down meaning I will be able to get in more afternoon runs. Medical terminology is still going good, currently have an A, lets keep it that way.

(Image from Google)

Last week I ended up only getting in 2 short runs for a totally of about 3.5 miles, it was only 1 week post half marathon so I am ok with that also the BF and I spent Friday at his grandparents little farm so no run that day and it was so worth it!!!

Ariana’s travel tips

 

  1. plan, plan, plan- I know some people like to fly by the seat of their pants and that is great but in some cases you need to plan. If you are not on a budget then you might have a little more room to play with this but if you are on a budget, as I always am, planning is your best friend. Also if you only have a limited amount of time planning ahead can save you hours of wasted time standing in line.
  2. research- Groupon is international if you didn’t know. For most places if you do a little research you can find inexpensive skip the line passes, semi-guided tours, activities and so much more at reduced costs and it definitely saves you on those hours in line.
    1. planning and research also help you squeeze in as much as possible in a short time period. For example we are packing Venice into a day and a half then on our last day in Venice which would have been a 3/4 day anyways we are instead taking the train and spending a few hours each in Verona, Florence and Pisa before laying our heads down in our AirBnB accommodations in Rome.
  3. Think outside the box when it comes to lodging- you don’t have to stay in a nice hotel to feel luxurious when traveling. If you once again research you can find nice places for a lot less expensive. I have stayed in some seriously nice hostels and and used AirBnB several times when I have travelled. If you are traveling with friends AirBnB is a great choice. We have accommodations in the heart of Venice, Rome and Barcelona through AirBnB that are less than $150/night,  whole apartment in each place, split the cost between everyone and you are looking at $20-30/night for each person in a nice place. and having and entire apartment means you have a kitchen so you can hit the market and make a few meals to save some money. You are still eating locally!!!
  4. Do a few things that aren’t overrun by tourists- on my first morning in Venice after some coffee and a pastry I plan on walking the opposite direction of the crowds and will continue to do this. That is how I will explore Venice, going the opposite direction of the crowds (obviously do a little research on places you should avoid and use common sense, if you turn down a street and it feels sketchy, backtrack quickly).
  5. Safety!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!- Be safe, research the places you are going, know the areas to avoid, know the laws and customs. Pay attention to the dress code. If something or someone doesn’t feel right get out of that situation and place ASAP. Think before you act. If you are alone, don’t get so drunk that you are impaired. That movie TAKEN with Liam Neeson is a fun thriller but it is also real, people are kidnapped and murdered every day, enjoy your vacation but be smart and be aware.
  6. common sense should see you through-if you wouldn’t do it at home don’t do it abroad. Again take 10 minutes and learn about the place that your are going, I would sunbath topless in Ibiza, I would cover all tattoos and most skin in the middle east, different place different experience.
  7. Check in. Give someone at least a vague itinerary of where you will be and when you will be there and when you will be home so someone will know if you don’t arrive. Try and check in at least ever 72 hours (I tend to check in at least once every 24 hours) you can find a free or very cheap internet café almost anywhere. And most cell phones have international coverage if you check. It will cost me $.55 every day to send 1 text message to my mom and get one back from her both acknowledging we know I am alive. $.55/day is not much to ensure piece of mind.
  8. Be a dork. Take selfies and make stupid faces and journal and take videos. Who cares what the people around you think, in 5, 10, 15 years you are going to be so glad you can look back on those memories.
  9. Be respectful. It may not be your culture, religion or favorite food but it is theirs. You wouldn’t want someone to bad mouth your way of life so don’t do that to anyone else. You don’t have to believe in it or even accept it but don’t be mean about it. Step to the side, quietly leave the church, discreetly bow out of the ceremony, say thank you and try the tiniest bite you can manage.
  10. lastly HAVE FUN!!!!! You may never be back, you may never experience something like this again so drink it all in. Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way and truly live this experience.

Day on the farm!

Brandon and I headed out to his grandparents small farm in northern Oregon to hang out for half a day and had such a great time! It was so relaxing and wonderful.

From the moment we got there Brandon was in front of the blueberry bushes snacking away while we talked to his grandfather. Artemis enjoyed the flavor of the pigs trough water hahahaha. This is the only pig they have left and it is much more of a pet than something intended for a meal. It is getting old and grumpy though. It likes having its belly rubbed hahahaha!!!!! It was a little wary of Artemis but surprisingly she was not afraid of it!

I spent some time talking to his grandfather about their Israel trip which sounded amazing. Then we all went out to lunch and a teriyaki burger hit the spot.

When we got back from lunch Brandon, Artemis, the grandparents dog and I all set off to explore the property. 1/4 of their property is basically a little forest area that is super beautiful, the cows graze down there in the heat and there are blackberry bushes going wild. We wandered down there and explored and snacked on blackberries hahaha. Definitely getting our fruit quota for the day. Have you ever had a yellow raspberry? Now I have! they are pretty amazing right off the vine and according to his grandfather that is how you have to eat them because by the time you have them in the house they are starting to go bad.



At this point we were both super hot as it was the hottest part of the day so we headed back instead to talk some more and look at pictures and cool down.

Around 5:30-6 as the sun was starting to move toward the horizon and a lovely breeze started we headed out to feed the cows!! Got some hay from the barn and some treats for the cows and they slowly wandered over. We fed them some treats as well, their tounge feels like sandpaper like a cat! Again it took a minute but Artemis wasn’t afraid! Though they were a little wary of her hahaha.




Once the cows were chomping away happily we headed back down to the wood area and spent about an hour picking blackberries! 



We went home with probably a good 8lbs of blackberries! I am so making a blackberry balsamic reduction to freeze to put on some amazing stuff this winter (that post to come). At that point the temperature was perfect, I could have stayed out there for hours, and the space and joy of the country was just everything. It was such a great peaceful day. I can’t wait to go back!

In a month or 2 their trees will be hanging low with Apples!!! Can’t wait to make some apple desserts and some great slow cooker meals with apples!

Huckleberry half**Race Review

This last Saturday my boyfriend and I ran our first race together. We didn’t have high hopes going in since neither of us had trained enough and there were going to be some hills.

We are not fans of getting up early.

What can I say about this race except that it was small which was nice and off the main road so we didn’t worry too much about cars. Their fuel stations were just ok in my opinion but I am used to bigger races with bigger sponsors so in the future I would just need to plan better.

The race was on sort of back mountain roads so trail running shoes would have been better because the roads were all chewed up from snow. I got blisters on my blisters.

The course was beautiful and shaded which made all the difference.

Our pace was ok, not great but not horrible for a hilly run for me.

As you can see I started off strong and really faded toward the end hahaha

Oh the hills!!!!!!! The entire race was a series of ups and downs. There was no flat, this race just wiped me out.

Fun wood carved medals, though Brandon is disappointed we didn’t get t-shirts, he likes those more than the medals.

Overall it was fun and I am glad we did it but I wanted to cry the last 3 miles because I was so tired and my body hurt so bad.

We know to train better for the next one!

Oh and if you are a slow runner and don’t like being at the back of the pack don’t run this race, We crossed the finish line with only 4 people behind us….yes only 4. This was a small race of fast runners hahaha.