Tag Archives: Changin’ Time

Decembers, Recently.

3 Dec

For the record, seasonal mood disorder is a real thing and I may or may not be afflicted.  I swear I’ve been a zombie since the cold weather settled in – and I usually love this time of year!  In an effort to boost my moods, I was trolling through my own archives this afternoon.

2 years ago: December 2011

Dec. 2011

Dec. 2011

Based on my postings, December was a bit of a whirlwind.  We both finished up school that month: Christina graduated and I spent my final semester doing research. We were welcoming our very first litter of puppies into the world! 4 little yellow boys who crash landed into our living room DURING finals week in our last semester of college.  Then, we high-tailed it back to Pittsburgh and tucked ourselves right back into our home WITH our little litter of pups.

1 year ago:  December 2012

Dec. 2012

Dec. 2012

Another busy month!  We were saying goodbye to Liberty’s second and final litter of puppies as we were settling into the newly renovated home of Changin’ Time in West Homestead.  I was experimenting with some of my favorite recipes: think Avocado Chicken Parmesan, Broccoli Bites, and Chili Colorado Burritos!  And we were taking part in some great holiday festivities: like Spanish Christmas dinner and Christmas cookie exchanges with friends.

Dec. 2012

Dec. 2012

A lot has changed since I started this blog!  I can’t wait to look back in a few more years and smile at what’s going on lately.  Isn’t blogging the best??

What will this month bring?  Probably much of the same but without puppies. 😦  I am reminded, though, of how blessed I am to have good fortune, health, and a wealth of friends and family in my life.  I love that on days when I’m feeling a bit disconnected from the present, I have this space where I can peek back into daily happenings, funny stories, and events.  Sometimes being reminded of how lucky you are can turn your whole mood around. 🙂

Lucky Number Three

23 Apr

I had taken a week off from running since the Tuesday after my 5K.  Not intentionally, really, just my body demanding some R&R.  I spent the week eating whatever I wanted and drinking more beer than I should have.  No regrets – I needed a break.   In between doing work for Changin’ Time, participating in the Great Cloth Diaper Change, and renovating our new rental, I managed to carefully devise my 10K training plan.  Don’t worry, I’m still running with Hal.

There are several big changes that I knew I had to make based on my 5K training.

1.  Integrate strength training into my program.  Stronger legs and core can help a struggling runner keep proper form, especially when they’re at the point of fatigue.  Maintaining proper form can even keep a runner from feeling fatigued too quickly.  (I can’t find the exact article where I read this, but it was at somewhere on Runner’s World.)  With my 10K program, I am going to be doing strength training 3-4 times a week along with cross training 2 times a week.  I even played around with some basic strength moves yesterday to see where my skill level is.

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But, then it got awkward when customers started coming in and I was grunting around in the office.  I’m even a little sore today, so I guess a little bit is better than none at all!

2.  Run more.  To quote Christina, “Three days a week ain’t cuttin’ it.”  After nine weeks of training, I still struggled, and it was clear to both of us that I needed to run 4-5 days a week.  My 10K program has 3 days of running.  This first week, for example, looks like this:  2.5mi run today (Tuesday), 2 mile run on Thursday, and a long run of 3 miles on Sunday.  For the first few weeks, the only distance that increases in the long run, eventually building up to 5.5 miles the week before my 10K.  I plan on integrating some easy runs into my cross training, just so that I build a good mileage base.

Today was my first day back to running.  I took it slow and I’m happy with how I did.

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It might have had something to do with the cool temperatures and the absolute bluest sky I’ve seen in a long time.

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3.  Stop eating crap.  Every time I say that, there’s this little voice in the back of my head that says:  “Obvi,” and rolls its eyes.  But, its not always as easy to follow through with as it to say.  Processed foods are extremely tempting and easily accessible; so is grabbing a bite during the few minutes of down time we have in our hectic lives.  For the most part, the junk food is out of our house (which I hear about by someone who isn’t training for a 10K and is wondering where all the snack food is).  I’ve noticed that the rumors are true: when I have healthy food within reach, I am more likely to grab healthy food to snack on.  In fact, I even noticed that one of my old favorite snacks (tortilla chips & salsa) didn’t even taste good to me anymore.  Isn’t that weird?

As usual, I’ve been turning to Pinterest for healthy dinner ideas.  Last night, I made chicken and kale stuffed ‘bella caps.  The chicken mixture included shredded chicken, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, Alouette creamed cheese pats, shredded Parmesan cheese, and kale.  I topped it with a little more shredded cheese and baked them.  She♥ did NOT like them.  At all.  Perhaps because she expected it to be spinach and upon tasting, realized it was kale and it was just all off.

I, on the other hand, wish I could eat them every day.

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So, those are the three big changes that you’ll be hearing me complain talk about over the next 8 weeks.  I’m going to try to keep up with weekly updates about my progress.  I don’t want to jinx a potential “Fitness Friday” series because obviously my “Fish Friday” series has been a total bust for the last two years!  (I can’t help it if I live a mile away from the best lenten fish fry in the entire city, Holy Angels Fish Fry!!

Friday Things

8 Feb

There are so many things I want to say about Wednesday’s post, but I will have to save that for another day. 🙂

Today has been busy and its not even halfway through my day yet.  We’ve got some help at the house today and I’ve been told that the kitchen will be wired and dry-walled by the time I come home tonight.  YIPPEE!!!!!!  I made sure to take some before pictures late last night as I was emptying the kitchen of its contents.

This morning, I had to do diaper & laundry deliveries by myself.  Stressful doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about doing deliveries by myself.  I always manage to get all turned around, even though I know exactly where I’m going.  I constantly find myself in the wrong or slow or turning lane.  And I do NOT deal well with detours.  After arriving at my first delivery several minutes before what would be considered “LATE” (<– my least favorite thing in the world), I decided to catch my breath and calm my nerves with coffee.

If you are from Pittsburgh, you know there are about a million coffee stops near Shadyside, but parking is always an obstacle for me.  I decided to swing by Coffee Tree Roasters in East Liberty for several reasons.  One, there is always access to parking.  Two, it was on the way to my next delivery.  Three, I love Bakery Square.

Bakery Square

The East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh is one of those in-between neighbors which is in the process of changing from a crime-riddled ghetto to one of Pittsburgh’s now re-gentrified destination spots.  It butts up against one of the most posh urban neighborhoods (Shadyside) and one with the worst reputation (Homewood).  Within a one mile radius, there is both an Anthropologie, a prestigious all-girls private school, and several low-income housing projects.  I think that its a neighborhood that is slowly assuming a new identity, but in a sustainable way.  The neighborhood needed some new life breathed into it, I just hope that as it grows it does so by welcoming people of all income levels.

The development at Bakery Square was a turning point for East Liberty, in my opinion.  The development of several blocks of vacant, run-down warehouses into luxury offices, storefronts and living space gave people a reason to give East Liberty another chance.  The fact that Google opened offices in the Bakery Square development surely didn’t hurt.

Nestled front and center is Coffee Tree Roasters:

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Feeling crunched for time, I just ordered a large black coffee and grabbed one of these vegan energy bars at the register:

HeartThrive

I know the quality is a little bad, but that’s what you get for taking pictures while driving.  I should include the disclaimer here that I am not a vegan or gluten-free, nor do I have any real desire to be.  This was an impulse buy – kudos to whoever the genius was who realized product placement was a good idea.  These Heart Thrive bars by The Healthy Baking Company (also the makers of the California Suncake) were dense.  And dry.  It wasn’t bad though.  It was just different that what I’m used to.  They claimed to contain ingredients with a low glycemic index, which sustain energy over a longer period of time instead of causing energy spike and dip in one spurt.  I’d say that was accurate.  Normally, I spend mid-morning in an english muffin or bagel-induced carb coma and I wasn’t feeling sluggish at all after these two cakes.

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Also, I chose Cranberry simply because the only other option left was Raisin Spice. After checking out their website, I will be keeping my eyes peeled for a Chocolate Chip one.  I would definitely try these again, but in a different flavor.  Cheers to trying new things!

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And to the little Transit that could.  She’s being quite a trooper while she waits for her bumper to come in (its on back-order until March).

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Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

14 Oct

Fall is in full swing and I have been insanely busy.

My cloth diaper/laundry service is in the process of moving into our new facility, I’m working on my graduate research AND I was recently elected to the executive board of the Real Diaper Industry Association.  Needless to say, I have had very little time to blog.

Here is a little teaser that I’ll leave you with until I can devote more time to SFTS:

Ravioli with Pumpkin Sauce (from Cooking During Stolen Moments)

Melt 1/4 c. butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Then, add 1 medium, minced shallot and 3 cloves minced garlic; cook until the shallot and garlic begin to brown.  Then, add 1 can of pumpkin, 1/8 t. nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Reduce heat to medium-low.  I let this sit for a few minutes to integrate the flavors and grab the next ingredients.  You will need 1/2 c. chicken stock and 3/4 c. milk.  Cook over low heat until the sauce thickens up – I tasted while its thickening, adding more salt and pepper.  Then, right before spooning over the prepared ravioli – I added a 1/4 c. of flat-leaf parsley.

It took the ravioli longer to cook than it took to make this sauce from scratch.  Just sayin’.

It was AMAZING!  I was hesitant to dive into Pinterest, but the recipes I try get better and better.

Operation Diaper Wagon: Day Three

28 May

The final leg of our diaper wagon journey involved A LOT of police sightings and again, a lot of farm country.

We loaded our diaper wagon up with everything AND the kitchen sink:

Spent some quality morning time with the family…

I’d like to think that Unc’s expression here is saying “Hopefully nobody notices this sausage I just cooked is still raw in the middle.”

Based on the extended tour of Mayberry Hillsdale, I’m guessing that Unc + fam wanted us to stay a little bit longer, but alas we had to take our diaper wagon and head home!

There are two things we needed before we could endeavor on our long trek home:

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Its safe to say that I was pretty chatty for the first leg of the journey.

After leaving Michigan, I feel like every hour we saw this:

WTF Ohio.  You’re killing me with your tolls and with your horrific sports teams.

There was literally nothing to even look at.

Cleveland.  Ew.

The only thing that even SLIGHTLY redeemed you?

I’m really not even sure how I got roped into stopping at the fireworks store just before the state line.

(Its illegal to sell fireworks that leave the ground in the state of PA so of course we just hop the boarder like Mexicans, grab our contraband, get the hell home and start lighting M80s before any of our neighbors realize who is the responsible party.)

Ahhhhh….a place that makes me feel warm and cozy:

It was smoooooth sailing from this sign baby!

My peep always tingles when I come around this bend and see the best fucking city in the world:

That’s not smog – its a filter and it was dusky.  Pittsburgh is actually a really clean, beautiful place to live so I thought I’d add the disclaimer!

Home ♥ Sweet ♥ Home

And now the real journey of the diaper wagon begins!!

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