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Archive for November, 2011

The wait is over. I am finally going to tell you about my first experience at Trader Joes in Spokane, WA.

Before I get to the details please note that this is our entire Trader Joes haul all laid out on the kitchen table when we arrived home.

We spent a lot of money.

And I am sad that the Peppermint Pretzel Thins are gone.

The Spokane Trader Joes recently opened its doors at the end of October. I have never set foot inside a Trader Joes before so I can’t compare it to others. It was smaller than I expected, and busier, but I had a lot of fun exploring.

At first I thought this was just a “scope it out then come back before we leave” trip so I didn’t get too crazy putting things in my cart.

Until my husband found me and his arms were loaded with cheese and cured meat.

Right then I knew this was our shopping trip.

Thankfully we were able to put all the groceries in the lock box of our truck, and since it was cold enough we didn’t have to worry about anything going bad over the weekend.

I must admit I was a little overwhelmed by all the different food items but I loved every minute of it. We bought everything from hummus to dog biscuits.

Here, in no particular order, is a list of my favourites so far and a few items I can’t wait to try.

1. Parmesan Ranch Dressing – so good and low-fat to boot! It’s made with buttermilk and I love the consistency. I bought two bottles and wish I had bought more.

2. Pumpkin Butter – a little on the sweet side but I like to mix it with peanut butter to dip my apples in. I also bought Fig and Mango Butter but they remain unopened in my cupboard.

3. Dried Baby Pineapple – no sugar added and perfectly sweet. I didn’t know pineapple grew so small.

4. Cream of Portobello Mushroom soup – great on its own or as the base for a delicious Stroganoff. Thankfully I bought two. I shouldΒ  have bought more.

5. Dark Chocolate Covered Edamame – I can’t describe the taste but I like it.

6. Mango Ginger Chutney – we had this with curry the other night and I really liked it. Andrew wasn’t so sure which means more for me.

7. Meat and Cheese – my husband bought a lot of different kinds of meat and cheese. We froze the majority of it, including the selection below, because it would definitely go bad if we kept it in the fridge.

The following items have not been opened but I can’t wait to try them.

8. Salted Caramel Sauce – I have no idea what I am going to do with this but it sounded too good to pass up.

9. Roasted Red Pepper and Artichoke Tapenade – Andrew and I always do appies instead of supper on Christmas Eve, I think I’ll save this for that night.

10. Lime & Chile Mixed Nuts and Rosemary Pecans & Cranberries – is it bad I forgot I even bought these until I went looking for something else?

11. Peanut Butter with Flax – I have a large tub of Costco peanut butter already open so I should probably wait a while to try this one. But it’s going to be difficult.

The following items didn’t even make it home.

12. Smores Ice Cream Sandwiches – we each had one then the other two melted in the hotel freezer. They probably would have faired better in the truck. Please excuse the tacky hotel bed spread.

13. Two Buck Chuck – it was actually $2.99 but still tasty for an inexpensive wine.

Honourable mentions.

14. Three layer hummus (original, cilantro and spicy) & Lentil Masala Dip – I ate these before I remembered to take a picture. The Masala dip is to die for!

Overall, I had a great time at Trader Joes. Our cashier was fabulous and Andrew even had a pack-off with the guy packing our groceries.

Andrew won.

And we were this close to snagging a free shirt.

Until next time Trader Joes.

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This running at lunch thing is definitely working out for me. It’s only been a few times but it sure beats what I used to do on my lunch break: catch up on TV and snack too much.

Except now I am way behind on my shows.

Lucky for me my husband started playing hockey on Friday nights so now that is my TV night πŸ™‚

The weather has been typical for this time of year.

My Monday run looked like this:

The river was frozen and the trail was covered in snow.

Enough people had been on the trail though for it to be packed down enough that I wasn’t breaking trail. But there was still a fresh dusting of snow that made it feel extra adventureous.

I actually really enjoy running in the snow. In addition to the Yak Trax (which I highly recommend) I also don’t leave the house without these when it is cold outside:

When I was first given these gloves at the expo for the BMO Okanagan Marathon I thought to myself “There is no way I will ever use these.”

But I took them anyways and I haven’t regretted it since.

The best part is they were free.

Except I didn’t need them today because today’s run looked like this:

The snow is gone, it was 11 degrees C and lightly raining.

I did get a lot more sweaty today.

But I’m confident the snow will be back soon and I’ll have this for a background again.

I ran another 3 miles today and happy I can leave the treadmill for someone else for the time being.

 

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Winter is definitely here in my neck of the woods.

On Friday we received over 4 inches of snow in town.

The local ski hill received 3 feet.

But I didn’t let that stop me from hitting the snow-covered pavement.

I strapped on my Yak Trax and headed out for my first official lunchtime run.

Since I get an hour off for lunch I have decided to start running at this time.

It’s light out.

It gets me moving since I sit in front of a computer most of the day.

I don’t have to worry about finding child care.

I can relax with my husband in the evening.

Did I mention it’s light out?

Friday’s run was done while it was snowing so I figure if I went out in a storm then I really have no excuse from here on out.

I even had time to stop by our house to stoke the fire and make my hair somewhat presentable again before heading back to work.

I completed 3 miles and am going to challenge myself to increase my mileage without increasing my time too much.

Translation: run faster.

Fortunately I can eat my lunch at my desk once I am done.

I wore my new Saucony Kinvara 2s and loved them. I know I ran differently and more on my toes, and it felt great, but I’m not sure if that was because of the running shoes or if it was because of the road conditions (even though I had on the Yak Trax I was still cautious of falling).

Either way they were comfortable and my feet even stayed relatively dry and warm.

I will still need some time to get used to wearing the Yak Trax. They feel so strange under my feet but it’s the best option for me.

Translation: I already own a pair and cannot afford a pair of trail running shoes at this point.

I work Monday, Wednesday and Fridays so those will be my running days.

Tuesday and Thursday will be reserved for cross-training and strength training.

The weekends will be reserved for cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, tobogganing and other winter-related activities.

It’s nice to have a plan in place.

And a brightly coloured jacket to go with it.

Only 5 months, 2 weeks and 1 day until the BMO Vancouver Half-Marathon.

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A very good friend of mine is a photographer and has been wanting to take my pictures for a while now.

At first we were going to take running photos but I chickened out.

Then it turned to Fall/Winter and my trail just doesn’t look the same so I decided to hold off on the running pictures.

Instead, we did some beauty shots – and some not so beauty shots πŸ™‚

I had a lot of fun but I admit I feel a bit awkward having my picture taken.

My husband always tells me I look like I fake smile.

I tried to channel my inner America’s Next Top Model and think Tyra would approve some of the pictures.

I’m going to use some to change-up my blog for the Winter but thought I would share a few of my favourites with you first.

Narcissism at it’s finest πŸ™‚

All photos are copyright of True Blue Photography.


And then this is what happens when I get uncomfortable and don’t know what to do when I’m told to keep walking towards the camera and said camera is getting closer and closer to me.

My husband has this as his phone background.

Must be love.

Thanks Nicole for a fun day!

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WIAW 12

I’m back for What I Ate Wednesday (hosted by the lovely Jenn over at Peas & Crayons) after a couple of weeks off.

My husband and I went to Spokane, WA on the weekend for some time alone while Lincoln stayed home with Nanny.

As a result, this edition of WIAW will feature some of the things I ate while in Spokane, WA. All the pictures were taken with Andrew’s phone so excuse the poor quality.

We are still talking about how huge the portions were compared to most restaurants here in Canada…unless you order salad.

Boo.

The eating adventure began with a salad for lunch.

That evening we tried to go out for Mexican food but there was some kind of event happening downtown and parking was too expensive for our liking. Instead, we went back to the hotel and walked over to Applebees.

I had another salad.

One of Andrew’s wonton tacos (yum!)

A Mojito.

And a Peach Sangria.

What can I say? We were on vacation πŸ™‚

Our hotel included a free continental breakfast. It was standard and I didn’t take any pictures of my toast with peanut butter. But I just have to ask: What is the appeal of gravy and biscuits in the morning?

Things kind of went downhill from here.

For lunch we went to Winger Bros. Restaurant and Brewhouse located in the parking lot of the Spokane Valley Mall.

We both wanted the ham, artichoke, sun dried tomato and olive pizza so we ordered one to share.

But that’s not all.

We also decided to try the fried artichoke hearts.


And the largest onion rings in the world.

We barely put a dent in all this food and took two takeout containers, bursting at the seams, home with us. The containers sat in the truck until even the thought of all that fried food made us sick and we threw it out on our way home.

Yes, it all tasted good – especially the pizza which was amazing – but it was just too much food.

Let’s just say that when it came time to eat supper we were both still full.

But I really wanted fish tacos.


I ate one, plus the filling of another, and left the rest on my plate.

They were delicious but I couldn’t eat another bite.

I finished the trip with an undocumented chicken and spinach salad.

It’s a good thing we don’t go on vacation very often πŸ™‚

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I’m back from a relaxing weekend away in Spokane, WA with my husband.

We spent too much money (wait until you see my Trader Joes purchases).

Ate too much – why are portions so much BIGGER in the US than Canada?! (but at least I’m ready for WIAW this week).

My husband enjoyed Trader Joes just as much, if not more, than me.

I enjoyed Cabelas just as much, if not more, than my husband.

I discovered Forever 21.

We became Costco members.

We drank two-buck Chuck – and it was surprisingly good!

I didn’t take many pictures except for my food (yes, I realize that is weird) but I will have a few recaps this week.

Oh, and it turns out Spokane is only 2 1/2 hours from our house so there wasn’t even that much traveling.

***

Today not only marks the beginning of the week but it is also the start of half-marathon training.

I am following another Hal Higdon plan but this time am using a marathon training plan in support of my friend Jillian. She is training for the 2012 Boston Marathon and I wanted to be there for her as she prepares. This means I will also be quasi-training for a marathon but will be running a half-marathon at the end of it all.

Today is rest day.

I always find it weird to begin a training plan with a day of rest. But since my Mom is only here for a couple of more days it means I get to spend the time with her.

And since winter has officially arrived I am going to have to figure out a strategy for not only fitting in my runs (hello darkness my old friend) but where I will run.

I’m going to give the treadmill another go now that I have different running shoes. I’m hoping it works out because that would make my training life so much easier.

I also plan on turning my long-run days into snow shoe days once the snow is deep enough. I love to snow shoe and even own running snow shoes. I may not get in the long distance but it will definitely kick my butt!

Stay tuned for a lot more updates as I prepare for my next half-marathon.

***

And last, but certainly not least, please follow this link to the Life’s Hard Questions site.

Mine is on there.

And this question will only get harder for me as our family grows.

No, I am not pregnant, but Lincoln will not be an only child forever.

***

Sorry for the sporadic post. I feel like I have been away from the blog world for a long time!

 

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Look at what I got today.

I am the proud new owner of a pair of Saucony ProGrid Kinvara 2 running shoes.

These are my first pair of minimalist running shoes and I am excited to try them out.

I tried these, and a few others, on in a specialty running store and then found them for half the price on Amazon.com – they are officially from Backcountry.com and arrived in less than a week.

The timing is perfect since half-marathon training officially begins again next week.

Let’s just hope the snow and cold isn’t too hard on them.

So as I mentioned last week, my husband and I are headed to Spokane, WA tomorrow for a weekend get-away. My mom is staying home with Lincoln and we are looking forward to sleeping in for a change πŸ™‚

I will be without my phone, computer and the internet all weekend.

My husband is happy about this.

Me?

I think I’ll survive πŸ™‚

I’ll be back Monday with pictures from our fun- and shopping-filled weekend.

Watch out Trader Joes, here I come.

 

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