Officially 26!

Well, I am officially 26. And I am also officially blogging from a Mac Book WAHOO!! I’ve only been wanting once since I was 18 years old and 8 years later, I GOT ONE!

My birthday was another great one. I spent the entire day making everyone celebrate with me and ended it with a delicious dinner with my favorite dude.

In honor of my 26th birthday – I decided to make a list of 26 things I want to accomplish/do (some much bigger than the others!) before I hit 27. Hopefully I can come back to this list and check each one off in 1 year.

1. Take a trip to California
2. Pay off any debt that is not tied to student loans…because those will never be paid off
3. Run my first full marathon!
4. Take on more responsibility at the ol’ 9-5
5. Learn to stand up paddle board
6. Go kayaking
7. Go white water rafting
8. Take a trip to Jackson Hole, WY
9. Run a sub 1:30 half marathon
10. Run 2,000+ miles
11. Take a spin class
12. Make these – but I like the look of wooden letters in the front rather than painted on.
13. And then make this - I would change a few things on this one, but the idea of it is what I love. I have a roomie with a few business trips coming up and I think he may just come home to a bored girlfriend who made a random bookshelf bar…lucky guy.

14. Put $$ in my savings account without taking it out :)
15. Cut back on candy to only 1 serving a week – this shouldn’t be too hard since I’m pretty sure all of the candy my mom sent me for my birthday should cover me until the next one :)
16. Put more time into the blog and become an ambassador
17. Run a sub 20 minute 5K
18. Volunteer…I have no problem volunteering, I actually love it and had a blast with the Big Brother Big Sister program…I need to find a place that doesn’t mind a little infraction on the background check ;)
19. Read more books – again, I love to read but I have trouble finding good books on my own
20. Snowboard in Colorado
21. Make it back to Seattle!
22. Master a healthy dish
23. Take a trip to Lake Tahoe!!
24. Send the loudest toys I can find to the new little nugget my brother and SIL will be having next year :) – you’re welcome for this one guys
25. Only giving into my sweet tooth once a week (that’s 1 serving of candy + 1 serving of sweets…I get both!)
26. This is a biggy…get a Boston qualifying time when I run my first marathon.

I officially have 363 days to complete that list! Time to get started! If everything goes as planned, I will be running my first full marathon in June of next year, but until everything is booked and signed up for, I don’t want to put it out there yet just in case something doesn’t work out.

Have a great weekend! Utah’s resorts open this weekend and the snow is supposed to start dumping so I will be out getting in my first snowboard runs of season!

Successful Easy and Healthy Recipes!

This whole going to the gym, strength training, and not focusing all of my time on running is really working out for me! I finally moved my membership over to a new gym on Sunday and was ready to go! A few things I am trying to focus on are leg strength, actually being able to lift 20lbs with my arms, and the ol’ glutes. So, Sunday I spent 30 minutes on the stair mill (side note: those things are crazy!) and it was an incredibly hard workout! I went with level 10 of 20 and I was sweating up a storm by minute 3…if you’ve never used it before, I suggest giving it a try! I also did 30 minutes of leg, core and some interval work. I love being at the point of working out where I’m not burnt out or bored with anything that I’m doing.

This morning I was back at the gym at 5:30am and still excited! I ran, but I only went for 25 minutes and then hopped off for some strength training. I focused on my arms today and they are sore. sore. sore. I’m not sure what the normal ratio between arm and leg weights are, but I feel like it’s a bad sign when I had my legs around 100-125 for most things and I kept just about every arm machine at 20lbs. That seems slightly lopsided to me…whoops! I know I’m going to have to start throwing in some more cardio but I’m just not in the mood right now and I am letting that be okay! I am planning to participate in the #RWRunStreak this year, running at least 1 mile every day from Thanksgiving to New Years Day, and actually completing it fully. I did it last year, but I didn’t learn about it about 1 week after the start date and I definitely didn’t get in 1 mile every day. So this year I am actually going to pay attention and get it done!

Along with this new ‘gym sarah’ I’ve been trying to find easier, healthy meals. But lately I feel as though I’ve had more fails than successes, and it’s frustrating! However, in the midst of burning down the kitchen, I wanted to list a few healthy, easy recipes that I’ve attempted, succeeded, and loved lately!

Healthier Cheese Ball

I followed this recipe pretty closely so I knew amounts, but I subbed in goat cheese for the regular cream cheese and cut the chive and onion cream cheese in half and subbed in greek yogurt (plus added spices to make up for the chive and onion). And yes. I did make it on Halloween and shape it into a pumpkin Smile 

French Onion Soup Cups

These were absolutely delicious! A huge hit at my house, and so easy to make!

Goat Cheese & Apple Sandwiches

This one’s easy, just goat cheese and slices of (I used gala) apple! I switched it up between using bread and tortillas for a wrap.

Spicy Butternut Squash Soup

I didn’t really follow any particular recipe for this one. I found basic measurement (like how many squash made how much soup) and eyeballed the rest. I was aiming for 2lbs of butternut squash. Unfortunately, I live near the worst Smith’s in the history of grocery stores and I found 1.5lbs pre cut and cubed and they had no fresh squash, so I had to go with a small acorn squash to get a extra squash. I sautéed smashed garlic and chopped onions in butter for about 5 minutes and then threw in the squash and spices for another 5 minutes before throwing it all in the slow cooker for 8 hours. Spices. I like to use a lot of spice, just an FYI. I used, cumin, coriander, chili powder, hot pepper powder, garlic salt, and salt & pepper.

After it had been on low in the slow cooker for about 7 hours, I used a hand blender to smooth it out. After that I subbed greek yogurt for the 3/4 cup half & half and let it cook for another hour. I was throwing in some more spices throughout the cooking process. I probably used 1.5TBS of each spice. The not so healthy part, I baked some bacon to throw in top as a garnish.

I am on a pretty big kick of making a big batch of soup in the slow cooker on a Sunday to have for lunch throughout the week at work. So far I am on week 3 and I am thinking I will need a break next week, but it’s been a good run!

I really need to get better about taking pictures, I have nothing interesting to show you. So…I’ll leave you with this…have a great Tuesday…photo (3)