Weekend Things

Good morning!  How was everyone’s weekend?  Mine was great, because A) fall in Colorado this year seems to be more beautiful than I ever remember it being and B) Denver Rock’n’Roll weekend!

We kicked things off on Friday with a trip to the race expo.  Honestly, I usually love the expo — what’s not to love about free mini Larabars?! — but the turnout was kind of disappointing this year.  Aka no Larabars!  Actually, we barely saw any of the tents we usually see.  Joey had to shush me when, on our way out, I mumbled “Turn back, there’s no Larabar samples!” to those runners just heading into the expo :P

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Afterwards, we booked a weekend trip to Texas — should I regret this decision? — for the Cowboys game and went out to dinner with my family.

Saturday started with some sleep in action (for me at least…) followed by homemade Pumpkin Spice Lattes and pancakes topped with those apples I was talking about.  There’s a coffee shop nearby that makes their own pumpkin spice syrup (with REAL pumpkin!) that we originally planned on going to but my aforementioned sleep in set us back so homemade (still with real pumpkin!) it was.  A bit sweet but otherwise delicious!

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We spent the afternoon at a birthday party for Joey’s cousin’s son, complete with TONS of Ninja Turtles loot, a piñata and a homemade pirate cake.  The weather was sooo nice that day so we spent a majority of the party outside in the backyard (I even wore a dress!)  I wasn’t kidding about fall being extra beautiful this year!  Afterwards, we spent some time cleaning up our wedding stuff.  Yeah, we still hadn’t done that… and I’m happy to say our backroom is officially cleared out.

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We kept it pretty low key for the rest of the night.  The worst part about running Sunday morning races is it means an EARLY morning and thus an early Saturday night.  But I still deserved a pre-race beer sample, right?

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5:45 AM came way too fast the next morning!  But I was ready to attempt a 10K after not much running in the past month and having not run 6.2 miles since the Bolder Boulder… The 10K start line was actually pretty close to our house and we got there and parked with a good amount of time to spare.  Um, that NEVER happens!  I almost always miss my race wave.  Go figure that there were no waves at this race.

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The race went really well!  I should probably stop letting myself believe that a 10K will kill me :)  Actually, the whole thing went by relatively quickly.  They only had the first mile marked so I had no idea where we were until we ran up to the state capitol building (literally through the parking lot — so cool!) and I realized we were already at the finish.  The 1st place half marathoner finished RIGHT BEHIND us.  That is so crazy fast!  We stood by the finish line to cheer on the other runners and got to see the first female half finisher go by.

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I love this race.  I never fail to feel empowered and inspired afterwards.  Joey and I have already agreed to sign up for next year’s half.  I’m feeling ready to jump back into it and challenge myself.  Now if only I could work on that whole speed thing.  P.S. It was just a little bit colder than I would’ve liked it to have been.  I was fine mid-race but walking around afterwards I was freezing!

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We took ourselves to breakfast afterwards and just barely missed the Denver brunch rush.  No wait, the Denver Brunch Rush.  It’s real and it’s not to be taken lightly.  Last time we tried to eat at Jelly, we showed up and the restaurant was closed due to a power outage so we were excited for another shot at eating there.  I dove headfirst into a piping hot almond milk latte (see above comment about being freezing), while Joey treated himself to a Bloody.  I’ll be honest, I liked Jelly but it just seemed a little bit too similar to Snooze and between the two, Snooze wins by a mile!

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The rest of the day was spent grocery shopping (that Whole Foods bulk aisle, ay yi yi…), hanging out in the kitchen (more apple pie filling, some granola and pomegranate arils) and Joey chasing me through the house every time the Cowboys scored so that he could pick me up and yell (please send help!).  Plus some reading, Gilmore Girls-watching and spaghetti squash-roasting.  Have I mentioned how much a love fall?

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Happy Monday!

P.S. Does anyone have any good restaurants recommendations in the Dallas area?

What I’m Love-Hating Lately

Okay, it was about time for another edition of the “What I’m Loving Lately” blog series, but with a new spin, aka what I’m “love-hating.”  Because that it totally a thing.  And because it happened to apply to all the things I was brainstorming.

In other news, a happy Friday to you all.  I hope you get to spend your weekend enjoying perfectly crisp fall weather (is crisp a type of weather?), relaxing and not dying during your 10K race on Sunday.  Oh wait, I’m just talking about myself on that last one :)

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First and foremost…

Honeymoon Recaps!

Love because it’s an excuse to post that photo AGAIN (help me, I can’t stop!), to look through all the other photos we took and relive all the fun we had.  Hate because it reminds me that I am NOT in France, eating cheese, drinking full bottles of wine every.single.night. and having my mind blown over all the beauty.

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Morning Workouts

Love because something about getting up and getting my sweat on first thing in the morning makes me feel productive/confident/healthy/badass for the rest of the day.  Hate because that getting up before the sun thing, womp womp!

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This Whole Wheat Applesauce Loaf Cake Recipe

Love because it makes the most amazing muffins.  I think my nephew devoured about six of them two Sundays ago and we all know children are the real test of whether something tastes good because they are not afraid to tell you if it’s bad!  Hate because every time I opened to fridge I wanted to eat 10, but settled for one.

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Writing Thank You Notes

Love because the lost art of handwritten notes speaks to my soul and makes me feel giddy.  Plus it’s just another way for me to express my thoughts and emotions through the written word (as if I needed another way to do that…).  Hate because A) hand cramps and B) never enough room to fully thank everyone as much as I’d like to!

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Frye Flats

Love because hello beautiful leather, expert craftsmanship and impressive durability.  And in the words of the Nordstrom salesman who convinced me to buy them, my new pair “has everything that makes a shoe fashionable; a pointed toe and a heel.” Hate because breaking them in is such a pain.  I very jokingly compared it to the pain of having your feet bound and then Joey’s face let me know how inappropriately insensitive that comment was…

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Raw Apple Pie Filling

Love because the recipe is so simple, contains NO sugar (um dates are so amazing!) and is honestly just plain delicious.  Every time I use them to top oatmeal or yogurt I am like “how is this so good and so healthy at the same time?!”  Hate because I am almost out of the batch I made and it is sending me into a state of panic!

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Our Washing Machine 

Love because it’s finally fixed — did I mention that a hole burnt into the tub?! — and our laundry basket is no longer overflowing.  Hate because I kinda liked having a good excuse to let said laundry basket pile up.  Note: I don’t mind the actual washing/drying part, but folding clothes?  No.  I like to be conveniently busy when our laundry comes out of the dryer.

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Home Cooking

As in my own (though I certainly don’t discriminate against someone cooking from their home for me!).  Love: Because I think we ate out three meals a day for over a month and I missed my kitchen!  Hate: Because I didn’t miss doing the dishes (though I would gladly choose doing the dishes over folding laundry!).

What are you love-hating lately?

 

 

 

Our Honeymoon: Provence Part I

Hi guys!  Happy Wednesday!

I don’t know what the weather is like where you live, but today in Colorado we are having the most beautiful fall day.  It’s 80-something degrees, the sun is out and the sky has never looked more blue against those bright yellow leaves.  I’m in love :)

Anyways, today I’m telling you all about the first half of our stay in Provence, France and I don’t know if it’s a combo of today’s weather, the fact that it’s Wednesday (mid-way through the week, yay!) or being able to relive our honeymoon by writing this post, but I’m feeling pretty happy today.

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After a few hours on the train (for the first time ever!), we landed ourselves in Nimes for a 3 hour layover before our second train took us on to Avignon.  After being in crowded and touristy Barcelona, Nimes was quite a shock to the system.  It was clean and quiet and felt so authentically French.  I was instantaneously in love.  We had to drag our suitcases around with us and it was hot, but you know what, I didn’t even mind.  Everything was straight out of a picture.  We stopped and had lunch at a little place where no one spoke English and that was the beginning of when I started to realize that the less English spoken, the better the experience!

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One train ride (and many pages of The Sun Also Rises, which I loved for the record), we picked up our FIAT (Joey was soooo excited!) and made it to our hotel in Avignon <— our “home base” for the first four nights.  We spent our first full day in Avignon, exploring, dodging the rain, becoming obsessed with this one duck that was twice the size of the other ducks, eating cheese (duh!) and discovering our favorite lunch time drink, kir.

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We read that France takes drinking and driving pretty seriously (rightly so!) so even if we took a day trip we always had dinner back in Avignon.  I wasn’t sure what to expect language-wise in restaurants but I figured my rusty French could at least get us a bottle of wine and dessert :)  Turns out a lot of the smaller French towns don’t speak as much English as in Barcelona (where you sit down and are given a menu in English…).

I won’t lie, it’s kind of intimidating to go somewhere that doesn’t speak the same language as you.  I won’t even tell you how many times we just wandered around hungry until we got up the courage to ask for a table in French.  But!  It was also kind of fun to decode menus or you know, just make a guess and see what comes out (which is how I ordered duck on our first night — I ended up loving it)!  By the time we got to Paris, we were old pros :)

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 ^^^ Best bacon of my life.  P.S. That’s fried phyllo stuffed with goat cheese.  

I died and went to heaven that day.

One night (our first), we ate at a little place that was being manned by one chef and a brother team of two waiters (I swear the one who was waiting on us was 12 years old…).  And on our last night, after almost going to that first restaurant again, we ended up at a tiny little place where a young girl was doing EVERYTHING herself.  As in serving, cooking and entertaining!  I was blown away.  Also, she served us what we’re pretty sure was squid but looked and tasted different than any squid I’ve ever had.  It was so amazing in that creamy sauce.  Oh and shots of rum to help us digest our 3-course meal.  P.S. Lots of multi-course multiple-hour meals in France.  Which is totally fine by me :)

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As far as day trips go, one day we went to Les Baux, which is an old castle town with a little cobblestone town below.  We got a workout in that day.  Note to self, do not climb old stone steps in wedges and a dress… But the view from the top (over endless fields of olive trees) was pretty cool.  Afterwards, we drove to St. Remy for lunch (and an obligatory “cafe”), a stroll through the picturesque (those blue shutters!) streets and a visit to the mental hospital that Van Gogh stayed in after cutting off his ear :P  I adored St. Remy.  It was that perfect combo of upscale and quaint.

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On our last day before we drove up the the Cote du Rhone region, we took a trip into Arles.  I won’t lie, it was not our favorite day trip destination.  We caught it at the end of market day, and there seemed to be a lot of trash leftover from all the vendors, but!  We did have probably our best lunch of my life of the trip.  Hello, thick salty slices of bacon, plentiful goat cheese and peach kir.  I die!  I will say that once we wandered off the main road into some of the more back alleys, things got much prettier.

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Overall, this part of our trip was such a dream!  Sure, we sometimes accidentally ended up in restaurants surrounded by other English-speaking Americans (not as fun as being surrounded by beautifully-spoken French locals), or broke a wine glass at dinner (oops…) or had a hard time reading road signs and maps but the scenery was breathtaking, the kir was delicious, our hotel felt like home — we stayed at Hotel Colbert and loved it! — and we just had so much fun!  I would go back forever in an instant.

 

 

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