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A Fall Weekend and Lots of Firsts 

This weekend we seemed to have had a lot of firsts. It was the first in a while that we were able to relax and enjoy some local activities and some downtime at our house.

It seems like every weekend since we moved in we had something going on that required a road trip and a lot of rushing around. Sometimes it’s a complete mystery to me how we have been able to get all of our household chores done and function like adults (mostly anyway) on a weekly basis.

On Saturday our neighbors invited us to go to Becker Farms to drink beer pick apples.
Ok… we picked some apples too. Which I fully plan to put to use in an apple pie. Every year I have made Kris an apple pie for his birthday, and even though it’s going to be a bit late this year (whoops), I’m still planning to keep the tradition alive.

We also had the most delicious donuts ever and planned to pick pumpkins but we had a few too many growlers of Shipyard Pumpkinhead and a little too much fun with our friends and we all lost track of time (in the best way possible). Luckily there was a house on the way home that was selling pumpkins by the road so we got our pumpkin fix.

We really enjoyed exploring the orchards and surprisingly they were not crowded.

I would just love to know what’s going on in his head in this picture.  Why does he look so guilty? 

On Saturday morning when I was running some errands I decided to finally try kombucha. I know I’m way behind the times on this but I’ve been kind of reluctant to try it because it sort of grossed me out. But it actually gave me a nice energy boost and I am looking forward to my next one.

Side note – apparently you’re not supposed to shake before opening.

One more reason I need to clean my car.

Another first that we’ve finally gotten with the times on is Blue Apron. Our friends got us a 3 meal subscription for our wedding and we decided to give it a try this week. I was pretty amazed with the packaging and impressed that everything stays cold and arrives in such good condition.

We actually saved the ice packs and the insulated box for future tailgating needs.

I was a little skeptical at first because the portion sizes looked tiny before everything was made. Depending on the recipe, some of these are supposed to be 3 servings, but we only got 2 out of them.  Overall though I would definitely do it again (maybe just not every week).  It’s a neat experience and it’s fun to try new dishes, but it’s not exactly a quick ‘throw together’ sort of dinner. And it’s also not exactly cheap.

But I can say we will be keeping the recipes because the meals we have made so far turned out delicious.

Random side note – yay for 70 degree weather in October!  I’m still trying to keep my morning runs with the B dog alive!


Have you tried Blue Apron/Hello Fresh/ any others?  What did you think?

What are your favorite fall activities?

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The Weekend – Pumpkin Cookies, A Selfie Stick, Puppy Play Dates, & The Seating Chart

This weekend was the first in what felt like forever that we were able to spend the whole weekend at home together.  We have had SO many exciting things going on this year – from friends getting married to family events – but the only downside to being on the road all the time is that we don’t have too many weekends to relax at home.

So we took full advantage of the down time.  On Saturday I caught the cooking fever and whipped up a batch of these delicious and simple pumpkin cookies along with the cream cheese icing.  I was too lazy to ice them as beautifully as I did last year, but they were just as good.

2 Ingredient Pumpkin Cookies

While I was busy in the kitchen, I also made some hummus.  For some reason, mid-week I was craving hummus and olives in the worst way (random, I know).  So I made a point to visit the antipasta bar at Wegmans on Saturday and get the necessary supplies.

For dinner on Saturday we had Salmon Ceasar salads.  There’s nothing better than a healthy home cooked meal after being on the go.

In other news, I have been thoroughly enjoying the running trail this summer and fall.  It’s so peaceful to be out on the trail with the B doggie. I love that I can feel like I’m submersed in nature and still be close enough to road traffic not to feel secluded.

I never thought I would say this but I bought a selfie stick, and it’s awesomeee.  (B dog was excited too).  Can’t wait to use this bad boy on our honeymoon.

On Sunday we watched more football and had a few friends over that also have a GSP.  I absolutely love watching these two together.  It just makes my little puppy-loving heart melt.

After the fun was over and everyone went home, Kris and I decided we should probably get a move on our seating chart.  So we implemented a super high tech plan to map out our seating arrangements.

1 sheet of paper = 1 table

1 post-it = 1 guest’s name

It’s a work in process.

Anyone have any super fancy (or not so fancy) ways they charted out their seating arrangements?

I’m baaaack! 

Wow, where to start. So much has happened in the past 6-7 months and so many exciting things are on the horizon! I will be sure to publish the highlight reel.

I stopped posting back in February when I was feeling frustrated about coming up with new content and overwhelmed with wedding planning and the start of a new job.  Things have been insanely busy. But I can confidently say, although it’s been an absolute whirlwind, I will look back on this time with so much happiness/fondness and wish for it back. 


Over the past 6 months I have thought about blogging over and over again but just couldn’t bring myself to get past the overwhelming feeling of my daily to-do list. It’s such a cruel irony that these moments in life are the most noteworthy yet, with all the excitement, they are the most difficult to find the time to document. 

The one thing that is for sure though is that I can’t shake the feeling that I want to make this blog work. I go back and forth about sharing my life on social media. It feels scary and revealing putting personal information on a public platform. I feel like I am always walking a fine line, and to be entirely honest I am terrified of the inevitable judgment. I am scared of missing out on precious moments because I’m too busy worrying about snapping the perfect picture, and I hope I can create authentic and interesting content. I love writing, but blogging definitely puts me on the edge of my comfort zone. 

So if you want the  less-sappy summarized version – life is short and blogging makes me terrified and happy, so I’m back! And I would love for you to come on this journey with me (again)! 

Side note – tonight is the Buffalo Bills season home opener. The city may burn (I wish I was kidding). 

 

#GoBills! 

Meals, Deals, and an Early Spring

This week I was a little late to the meal planning party. I normally try to plan on weekends but sometimes with our busy schedules (and my current Shameless addiction) that’s just not an option.   

So things were a little delayed this week, but luckily we had some leftovers to get us through Monday.

My sister got me The Skinnytaste Cookbook for Christmas and I have to say I’ve been loving it. I was a little nervous at first that the ingredients would be super expensive because the recipes looked so fancy, but that was not the case at all. 

In the lineup for this week: 

Monday – leftover skinny enchiladas (from the cookbook)

Tuesday – Cheeseburger Casserole

  

Wednesday – Grilled romaine steak salads with roasted baby potatoes and blue cheese/balsamic vinegar (and obviously a side of wine)
  

Thursday – Bangin’ Good Shrimp (skinnytaste cookbook) 

Friday – frozen pizza

On a side note, I totally jumped on board with the Victoria’s Secret swim suit deals this year. They still have some going on right now that are ending soon. 

Code SPRING2015 – $15 off $100, $25 off $150, $50 off $250

Code DIVEIN – free shipping and returns on swimwear (ends Friday)

Bras – any 2 / $49.50

Yoga pants & Leggings – 2 / $65

FYI – I’m sure if you’ve purchased anything recently you know, but I’ve noticed that the offers/coupon code step of the payment process always gets skipped over by default and I have to go back and add each coupon code. The free shipping and returns are not automatically applied. Do not fall victim to the trickery! 

And Punxatony Phil predicted an early spring?! I never thought that little fur ball would come through for us, but hopefully he is right!  

5 Things About the Weekend

Good morning!  This weekend was one of those rare weekends that everything just comes together.  My family took a trip up to the Great White North to visit us and although I failed at taking many quality pictures, I did capture a few things that made me happy about this weekend (besides sharing quality time with loved ones of course).

  1. House warming gifts in my favorite color.  I love green/blue/teal. And I love baking.  And I love Valentine’s day.  So these towels and dishes from my parents were a wonderful surprise housewarming gift.
  2. Furry family members coming along for the road trip
  3. Brunch! We tried a new-to-us restaurant on Sunday morning to celebrate my sister’s birthday and the food was incredible.  The restaurant was called Trattoria Aroma, and if you’re ever in the north towns of Buffalo it’s definitely worth the stop.

      

  4. Valentine’s Day cookies.  I made these sugar cookies and they are the BEST cookie recipe I think I have ever tasted.  I would argue that they give Eat n’ Park a run for their money.  And they’re easy to decorate with this royal icing recipe.img_4978
  5. Engagement picture canvases.  I found a Groupon and got an awesome deal on these canvases from canvasonsale.com.  They came in the mail on Saturday and I was so pumped to get them up.  (The canvases turned out awesome and the picture quality was great… but does anyone actually pay the full prices listed on that site??).img_4982

And on that note, I suppose it’s back to the grind.  Do we really have the Monday already?

Anything good happening over the weekend in your neck of the woods?

Is anyone else super into Valentine’s Day decorations?

 

Baked Salmon with Guac & Baby Bok Choy

Lately I have been making an effort to eat less processed foods around here. So when I did my meal planning for this week I quickly realized that many of the recipes that fit that criteria can get pretty time consuming.  So I tried to find things that were fairly quick and easy, but packed with natural nutrients and ingredients that would satisfy our hunger.

Over the weekend I made the more time consuming meals, but to be honest, with the crockpot it wasn’t too terrible.

Last night’s dinner was inspired by this salmon and avocado salsa recipe.  I really didn’t change too much, but I used sesame oil on the salmon along with the spices, and added cherry tomatoes to the avocado salsa instead of the jalapeños (I couldn’t find them at the store, I’m actually a little disappointed about this).

baked salmon with guac and baby bok choy

I also added baby bok choy to the mix, mostly because I bought it at Trader Joe’s last week on a whim and I figured this meal could use a side of greens.  I have actually never had baby bok choy before (at least that I can remember), and I was a little nervous when I googled a recipe and saw that it was also referred to as Chinese cabbage.  So I decided to play it safe with a 5 star recipe, that basically smothers it in butter and garlic and it turned out pretty good!

baby bok choy

This dinner is definitely a make again.

On the exercise front, (in typical Shae-fashion), I signed up to participate in Pile on the Miles and then kind of changed my exercise approach.  With it getting dark out so early (and colder), I don’t feel very comfortable logging tons of miles, so I’ve decided to run shorter distances and try to work on my speed.

running at night

Night time running is so peaceful and creepy all at the same time.  If I hadn’t seen a coyote run across the road on my way to work one morning I probably wouldn’t be such a baby.  (Ok, I might.)

Last night I logged 3 miles and I felt really good (maybe all the food prep is paying off??).  My time was nothing impressive, but it was still an improvement for me.

garmin forerunner

Do you notice an improvement in your running when you eat well?

What are your thoughts on running in the dark?

The Last 2 Months…

Good morning!  It’s been a while since my last post and I feel pretty guilty that it has taken me this long to come back to the blog.  I wish I had an epic story to explain my hiatus, but the truth is I was just tired and overwhelmed with transitioning to a new place and a new routine.  Although I definitely could have done a better job keeping up, I knew deep down that something had to give and unfortunately, blogging doesn’t pay the bills. Every morning I thought, man I really want to get back to the blog… but every evening I thought “but I am le tireddd”.  (Lame, I know.  But I truly needed the time to recoup so that I can give my best to come up with semi-interesting things to talk about!).  So I don’t have a super cool, legendary reason why I fell off the grid, BUT I do have some super cool, legendary (in my tiny life) news!

But first, here’s the quick and dirty on the last few months…

We decided to become real-life adults and buy some flowers:

front porch flowers

…or at least we tried…

Lilacs in a corona bucket

We picked out the interior options for our house!

kitchen interior choices

And then doubted ourselves, and then changed our minds, and then made a final decision (we think).

I found a new hairstylist… at a salon that serves wine!  And a generous portion, at that!  Maybe I have been living under a rock, but this is brilliant!

hair stylist wine

I took a trip to Chattanooga Tennessee for work (and saw this awesome Buffalo shirt at the airport… someone buy it for me!)

buffalove

Kris and I had never been to Tennessee, so we had planned to make a long weekend out of it and he flew down to meet me Thursday night.  Friday we went to Nashville where we got an incredible tour of a recording studio.

Nashville recording studio

There were SO many buttons… I have no idea how anyone keeps all those cords and buttons straight.  I loved Nashville.  I am a huge fan of live music and I love country, but it was also a bit sad to me.  There were musicians everywhere just trying to make their dreams come true in such a cut-throat, heartbreaking business.  I give them major credit for being brave enough to pursue their dream.

On Saturday we went hiking at Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee.

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We made it to the very top of the waterfall, where we had a gorgeous view (the waterfall seemed to be suffering some sort of drought at the time though, it was more of a drizzle.)

fall creek falls TN

At the top of this waterfall, in the heated battle with the Tennessee sun and a lingering hangover, Kris proposed!!!!!!!

fall creek falls engagement

I’m still not even sure that I actually said yes in the moment because I was too busy crying like a baby.  We are so incredibly happy and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with my best friend.  I am so freakin’ excited to enjoy this time and look forward to our long and happy future together.

fall creek falls

(I’d like to take a moment to point out the difference in water volume between that historic picture and the one I took above… definitely a drought).

Ah, there is still so much left to share and say but I think that will be for another post soon!  Have a great day!

Thursday Eats

Good morning!  Just checking in to give you a quick update on the menu this morning:

Breakfast – 1 slice of whole wheat bread with Wild Friends’ Maple Sunflower Butter and a side of fresh blackberries and raspberries:

maple sunflower butter

Lunch: I was feeling extra hungry this morning so I decided to pack the old lunchmeat sandwich.  I only use 1 slice of bread though so that I feel less guilty about the side of chips:

lunch

Snack: yogurt and a banana (if needed)

I am changing up my work schedule a bit today so that I can try to make a 4:30 yoga class on the way home, so I’m hoping that is a success.  Gotta run, have a great day!

My Week Long Hiatus

Happy Monday, my friends! I hope your week is off to a great start.  Last week I decided to take a break from the blog because, to be honest, I was exhausted.  I’m hoping to get back at it this week because I certainly don’t want to give it up, but it’s very difficult for me to come up with good blog topics after a long day.  So here is a little snapshot of the last week:

I went to a few Pure Barre classes:

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We scored awesome seats to a Pens vs Sabres game:

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The weather finally broke (Spring is here!!):

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Runs were completed:

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We took a trip to Pittsburgh this weekend to run the Pirates 5k and go to a surprise birthday party:

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And now it’s time to get on the road for another work week, and it’s Boston Marathon day!  Have a good one!

A Weekend of Fun & Back to the Madness

Happy Monday!

I hope your week is off to a great start.  We had a fairly unproductive weekend and it felt great.  We finally found an apartment on Saturday, so I won’t have to be homeless when I start my new job in the Great White North next Monday!  But other than that we took some time to relax and celebrate any Irish roots that we might have.

Friday night Kris came home from Buffalo, we ordered a pizza, and I passed out (per usual).  Saturday I woke up bright and early to go for a run, but it was a bust.  It was cold and wet and I was not running at my best, but I guess a bad run is better than no run.  Around noon we went downtown for some Pittsburgh St. Patty’s day festivities with friends:

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It was a long day of green beer but we had a great time.  We got to meet up with a decent number of friends including my brother as we made our way around The Burgh throughout the day.

Yesterday there was a fair amount of laying around and recovering.  I baked some sugar cookies (that I have yet to ice) and we grilled some jalapeño cheddar chicken burgers for dinner with avocado and watermelon:

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OK – I didn’t eat that whole bowl of watermelon in one sitting (close though).  There is plenty to make a few watermelon salads this week.  I am on a mission to have a bare fridge by Saturday so that we have less to pack.  We shall see how it goes!

It is supposed to be a beautiful day here in Pittsburgh and I’m hoping to get in a nice long run with the B-ster and a visit to my parent’s house.  Have a great day!