Friday, September 19, 2014

Happy Weekend!

Scenes from the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. And some new succulents to add to my collection.

Despite all of a sudden having 3 hours to myself, 3 days a week because of Alice's new preschool schedule, I still didn't find time to blog like I intended to do. I feel like I want to be selfish with my newfound freedom! So I went for trail runs both Wednesday and today. I figure that when the snow starts to fall, I'll have plenty of time to clean the house, grocery shop, and blog.

My sister is in town this weekend and it is so cute to see Alice and Tia Amanda reunited. Alice did not want to go to school today, which I think was a combination of separation anxiety from mama but also she just didn't want to miss even a minute of her Tia's time here.

Don't worry, love bug. We'll have lots of time with Tia this weekend.

Happy weekend! What are your plans?

Weekly Workouts: Monday - After that trail run to White Pine on Sunday, rest day! Tuesday - CrossFit! 3RM power clean (105lbs), then 150 double unders (5 attempts, then 200 singles). 2 min rest. 25 burpees. 1 min rest. 30 power cleans (75lbs). Wednesday - Trail run to Little Black Mtn! 7.4 miles/2:00/2,650 ft elev gain. Thursday - Rest day! Friday - Trail run/hike with Amanda. 4ish miles/who knows how much time.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Frozen Tomatoes.

Frozen tomatoes! My newest trick in the kitchen.

I learned a great trick last week and then, over the weekend, I was able to confirm that this trick actually works! My mom planted six varieties of tomato plants in the spring and now, of course, they are producing like crazy. Since my step-dad despises tomatoes and one person can't possibly eat the bounty from six plants, my mom sends me home with bags of home-grown tomatoes whenever I see her. But even I can't eat that many! So last weekend while we were at Alice's best friends birthday party, I mentioned my over-abundance of tomatoes to one of the guests and he suggested I freeze them!

That's right. Take vine-ripe tomatoes, wash them, put them in ziplock baggies and then toss them in the freezer to use later in sauces and soups and such.

But what about the tough skins, you wonder? Simple! When you are ready to toss those tomatoes into whatever you are making, take them out of the freezer and run them under hot tap water! No joke. Those skins will peel right off.

I guess I don't have to learn how to can tomatoes anytime soon.

With that frozen tomato trick up my sleeve, I made a delicious chunky sauce on Friday night. And since I still can't bring myself to eat a plate of pasta after my Whole30, I served that yummy sauce over buttered spaghetti squash "noodles." Here's how I made it.

Chunky & Beefy Marinara over Buttery Spaghetti Squash Noodles (serves 4):

  • 1 lbs grassfed ground beef
  • 7-8 small to medium tomatoes, frozen with skins removed
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 kale leaves, stems removed and ribboned
  • 1 tsp dried or 1/2 tbs fresh oregano
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup stock, vegetable, chicken of beef
  • 2 tbs butter or ghee
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 spaghetti squash, halved with innards removed
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled (optional but totally recommended)
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Put 2 inches of water into two glass baking dishes. Pierce the skin of your two squash halves and them place them meat-side down into the water. Cover with tinfoil and then bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the flesh breaks away easily into noodles.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large sautée pan, brown the beef over medium heat. Add the onions and then, 3 minutes later, add the garlic. Sautée and stir for 2 minutes and then add the celery and carrots. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then add the frozen tomatoes with skins removed. Add the kale and a pinch or two of salt and then let them cook down, occasionally breaking them up them with a potato masher. Add the stock and continue to cook and mash until it resembles sauce, 10-15 minutes. Turn off the heat and then add the basil and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Using a fork, create noodles from the squash by shredding the flesh. Put it in a bowl with the butter (or ghee) and a pinch of both salt and pepper; stir.
  4. Plate the spaghetti squash noodles and top with the sauce and crumbled goat cheese. Enjoy!

My oftentimes paleo-dissing husband absolutely loves this dish. He says it's one of my best creations! Try it (along with that great frozen tomato tip!) and let me know what you think.


Chunky & Beefy Sauce! So delicious.

Monday, September 15, 2014


Finally putting art up on her wall. // My breakfast (Alice wasn't impressed). // Identity board for preschool.

I just dropped Alice off for her first day of preschool. I have mixed emotions as I sit here at the coffee shop a few doors down from where she is having her first day of this totally new experience. Excited for her to start this new chapter. Nervous for what challenges she might face without either her mama or daddy there to help. Learning to follow instructions from the new face of her teacher.

I thought my heart might burst as I watched my little girl proudly walk into her new classroom, full of new kids who will hopefully become her friends. I felt tears spring to my eyes as her teacher introduced herself and said, "Welcome, Alice!!" with the enthusiasm that a two-and-a-half year old appreciates. And I felt so proud as I walked down the stairs and out the door, hearing the chatter of the excited children fade as I walked to the coffee shop.

Maybe staying close to the school was more about calming my own nerves and less about calming hers.

Most of our weekend was spent preparing Alice for her first day of school: Getting a lunch box, filling out paperwork, and making an identity board so that her classmates and teachers can get to know our little girl. I did manage to go for an epic trail run by myself to the beautiful White Pine lake in the Lone Peak Wilderness. My run was almost derailed by two bull moose,though, who decided the middle of the trail was the perfect place for their head-butting match. I gave them their distance and they briefly looked my way only to go right back to fighting in the middle of where I needed to go. Not to be deterred by two wild animals, I decided a little serenading from my iPhone was in order to move these two along.

So I played them some Katy Perry This is How We Do at full volume.

Obviously not fans of pop music, they stopped, looked my way, did sort of a moose shrug, and then walked slowly off the trail. But they didn't go far! They were still there an hour or so later as I made my return trip from the lake.

And every hiker and runner I passed on my way both up and down gave me a warning and their own accounts of seeing those two bull moose. It certainly was an exciting day on the trail.

How was your weekend?

Weekend Workouts: Saturday - Family bike ride! City Creek to Popperton Park. 8.1 miles. Sunday - Trail run to White Pine Lake! 11.1 miles/2:30/2,764 ft elev gain.

White Pine Lake @ 10,175 feet & the Lone Peak Wilderness (& a little gopher... see him?!).

Friday, September 12, 2014


Found a book & a seat while Mom shopped.

Currently... wondering where the week went. I blinked and it was Friday. Can every week go this quickly, please?!

Currently... excited for Alice to start preschool on Monday! The three of us met with the director this morning for a talk about their program and a tour of the school and, after Alice decided she didn't want to leave, we signed her up to start next week! Now suddenly I'm going to have three mornings to myself. Pinch me.

Currently... stuffed from dinner. I made a from-scratch spaghetti sauce with grassfed beef over buttery spaghetti squash noodles, topped with goat cheese crumbles. Even Lee loved it! Recipe to come next week.

Currently... exhausted from the continuing sleep issues Alice has had since we came back from out month-long trip. We talk to her every day about sleeping in her crib, all by herself and we remind her of what she should do when she wakes up in the middle of the night (like just ask for mama, not scream like a crazy person!!) but all rationality seems to go out the window once her head hits the pillow. So I have an extra cup of coffee. And a nap on most, ok every day lately.

Currently... loving my vertical succulent garden! It arrived last Saturday and, after letting it acclimatize for a week while the roots take a good, strong hold, we are planning to hang it up tomorrow in it's new spot.

And currently... feeling just really, really happy.

What are you currently doing?

Weekly Workouts: Monday - Rest day! Tuesday - CrossFit! 1RM split jerk (120lbs), then 100 double unders + 50 sit-ups + 40 shoulder to overhead (jerks 55lbs) + 50 sit-ups + 100 double unders. Wednesday - Alice slept terribly so... Rest day! Thursday - Family run! 5.1 miles/46 min/409 ft elev gain. Friday - CrossFit! Front squats, 20 reps at 80% (100lbs, accumulate :30 sec L hang for each re-rack), then 2 RFT of: 20 yard handstand walk (HA! I scaled with 5 wall climbs) + 15 double squat wall balls (HA! I scaled with 15 wall balls + 15 air squats) + 10 broad jumps. And then a bike ride 1 mile home.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What's next?

Sunday's hike to Red Pine Lake. Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Now that we've made the decision to have only one child, I suddenly have this urge to move forward with things I felt needed to be put off until after having another baby. For some reason I was apprehensive about moving forward with my personal life if it was just going to be put on hold again to grow, birth and raise a second child.

Just today, for instance, I've filled out an application for preschool for Alice, I've researched the requirements for the Doctorate of Nurse Practitioner program at the University of Utah (I'm attending an information session in two weeks!) and I'm thinking of running another 50K in just a month.

Another 50K without really training might be a bit ambitious, though. So we'll see about that last one.

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