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Summer is what?!?! Over?!?!?

What!?!? Summer is over?!?!? What on earth did I do?

I certainly didn’t keep up my blog.

Here are some of the highlights:

1. I subbed a ton of spinning classes this summer, and was given 2 regular classes! So every Saturday morning and Wednesday night, I’ll be at the gym to kick some ass.

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2. Our garden exploded with tomatoes.

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Jars of sun-dried tomatoes, salsa, pickled jalepenos, and diced tomatoes are lining our pantry shelves outside–I am so proud of myself for overcoming my fear of canning and jumping right in.

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3. Camping for the fourth! Beautiful weekend in the mountains!

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4. So much running with my girls–so thankful for all the fun and the friendship, especially in the last few weeks. Another highlight–one of my runner girls has been training for the Nike Women’s Marathon in October with Team in Training, and I’ve been happily helping her with some of her fundraising efforts.

5. Three whole married years with my favorite person! Love you babe!

6. This is the first summer since I was 20 that I did ZERO traveling. On one hand, I’ve been so exhausted over the past year traveling to see family seemed like the most insurmountable hurdle. Call it intuition or what have you, but it seemed very important for me to stay low and close to home this summer. I am thankful I did, but could not have imagined the reason my intuition was right.

We found out almost a month ago that my husband has colon cancer. Surgery day has come and gone, and we are waiting waiting waiting to find out the next step. My emotions have been all over the place, and I am happy to find solace in my time at the gym and my running therapy session with my runner girls.

7. Holy crap, wedding season is upon us. ::big breath in:: Here we go.

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I’ll exhale in November.

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Because It’s Juuuuuune! June! June! June!

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June is busting out all over!

Who could forget the utter joy of Carousel? It’s June! In Maine! (And let us delicately ignore the themes of domestic violence. I hate myself for agreeing with Richard Rodgers–it’s my favorite R&H musical too.)

This enforce runs through my head every June. It’s a really exciting month for me–it starts the 2 month hiatus from my 8-5 job (aka, kicks off ladies who lunch season.)

First, a recap of last month.

The good great stuff of May:

1. Fabulous and fun time running a half marathon with my runner girls.
2. Lots of spin subbing and few great playlists under my belt.
3. I GOT MY OWN CLASS!!! Every Saturday at 7:00 head out to the gym and I’ll kick your butt (or at least make you sweat (which auto correct just listed as swear–lol).
4. We painted the house!!! Old color on the right, new dark blue gray on the left. It looks divine.

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Onto June goals.
1. More strength training. I went to an ab focused boot camp this am, and am appalled how far I’ve fallen. Run for 13ish miles? Sure. Two hours of spin? Bring it on. One minute of side plank dips or v-ups? OMG. Torture.
2. Finish getting my paperwork filed, and get some business cards with 100% correct info. Feel appropriately lame until I do.
3. Clean out my closet. There are some serious de-cluttering Goodwill trips in my future.
4. 60 minutes of yoga per week. Whether it’s an hour long class or three twenty minute sessions, I need to get to it!
5. Make one spinning playlist a week.
6. Participate and kick ass on this plank challenge.

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7. Keep up with blogging!
8. Do something social at least 2x per week AFTER 7 am. The majority of my social life currently happens early.
9. Eat lots of green food. Eat lots of real food.

That’s all to kick off week one of summer vacation–a very, very hot kickoff to summer. Tomorrow this one will get shorn:

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And I’ll show you what happened to these innocent little plants:

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Spoiler alert–it’s pretty leafy back there in the garden area.

 

What are your big summer goals? Let’s hear ’em!!!

 

The Problem with Apricot Trees

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All those suckers are ready at once.

Thanks to a quick google search, I grabbed all the apricots on the tree to make apricot butter in the crock pot (following this recipe: http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/sauce-spread/jam/crockpot-apricot-butter.html).

A bit on the soupy side, I bet it will make better ice cream topping than something to spread on biscuits.

Anyone want to come over for a run and then ice cream? Yum.

Let’s Talk Podcasts

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What is the one thing all my workouts/sewing/adventures have in common? My love of listening to podcasts.

I can’t do music when I work–the desire to flip to the next song is so strong. Give me a good story, game, or information? I’m yours for hours.

Here are some of my favorites (all available on iTunes).

1. Good Job Brain (www.goodjobbrain.com)

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Do you like pub trivia (or as autocorrect insists, pup trivia?) This podcast is an awesome collection of cocktail facts and fun trivia. It is my current favorite–I have listened to every episode available, and love when the magic blue circle lets me know when I have a new one waiting. I’m actually sad I was not aware of this podcast during its Kickstarter days–I would have loved to be an original backer.

2. Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me (The NPR news quiz)
Clearly, I like trivia. I also like smart celebrities.

Carl Kasell is my favorite:

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3. The Suze Orman Show
!

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I love a good Suze Smackdown, and I have learned so much from listening. Roth IRA FTW!

4. Chicken Thistle Farm Coop Cast

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The husband and i both love this podcast. We have learned a lot from their stories on the farm, and have gotten a lot of great tips on raising our garden and chickens. i love how they are very dedicated to living pasture to plate.

Also, The post on Heromine the pig giving birth was absolutely riveting.

5. The Mötley Fool

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Lots of great investing tips and market talk. It makes following the stock market/investing feel so much less intimidating.

Other favorites:
Storytelling: This American Life (stories from modern America, constructed around a weekly theme); The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (rebroadcasts of the radio show from the 1950s–including commercials!!); To The Best Of Our Knowledge (stories from modern America);Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar (another rebroadcast of a 1940s/50s radio detective series)

NPR: Planet Money, Playback, Sunday Puzzle, Car Talk, pop Culture Happy Hour, and many more

Quick and Dirty Tips: Money Girl, Legal Lad, the House Call Doctor and Get Fit Guy are favorites; Modern Manners Guy amuses me with his impolite judgements of others impoliteness)

Smart Passive Income

I have yet to find a fitness podcast I really love.

This is the audio that keeps my fly wheel spinning, my feet smacking the ground for just one more mile, and the hula hoe weeding one more bed.

 

Do you have any favorites/recommendations? Let me know!!

 

Happy Easter Everyone!

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What would Easter be without the traditional Rice Krispy treat lamb? My mom makes and sends me one every year–it makes home seem a little closer.

Then again, the parents are celebrating Easter with 4″ of snow on the ground, so I’m happy to be basking in the sunny, floral-scented California spring.

Enjoy your day, whatever it may bring. After sunrise church, I am anxiously awaiting a fabulous brunch at my mother-in-law’s house. She is a great cook on a regular meal, but when it comes to breakfast foods, she is knock ’em dead delicious.

A few hours later..

We got home from a delicious brunch and spent five hours weeding. Five hours with my hula hoe and–dare I say it–my new badge of awesome. A pair of worn through leather gardening gloves.

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Great day, but now I need a shower and some relax-o time!

And for those who celebrate it–The Lord is risen! He is risen indeed! Booyah!!!

Spring Break! Spring Break!

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I loved this episode.

I’m on spring break this week, and it’s gone fast!!

I’m torn between feeling like I’ve been unbelievably lazy and super productive. What on earth have I done this last week?

Friday
–left work at noon, watched the fighting Illini win (ILL! INI!), and the husband and I fell asleep at seven. Wow.

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Ang Lee, Illinois alum

Saturday–Worked 8 – 4, came home to watch Marquette win (Ring out Ahoya!), fell asleep at seven. Apparently the exhaustion of the last month caught up with the husband and I on the exact same weekend. That’s magical.

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Jesuit pope!!!

Sunday-church, worked in the yard. But after all that sleep, we were both in the mood to get stuff done. Awesome. My yard is super free of weeds.

Monday: Ran 3 miles, then spin! Great morning—even better afternoon! Thanks to a glowing recommendation from a friend who is also a spin instructor at my gym, I went in to talk to the manager and was hired on the spot!!

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TuesdayRan with my girls at 6!. My 8 am run canceled on me. Lunch with a friend, where I met this little girl. Does Miso J. Puppyvich need a sister?

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One gorgeous wedding gown showed up at 4–I love fun, exuberant groups. Quick take in on the side seams, bustle and add some straps–easy, fun, and a project for Tursday.

Wednesday–watched the kiddos, work for 4 hours, wine night with my favorite wine ladies. I’m shockingly honest 2 glasses in.

Thursday–worked at home while we had concrete curbs put in around our yard!!!! Yay! This is where a walkway and a planter bed will go:

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Today! Spin!!. Great class–even though I reached the point of wanting to throw up a few times. I don’t know if that’s a testament to my poor food choices before class or my hard core-ness during class.

Now for some work around the house and more March Madness!!!

Who are you cheering for?

Any big plans this weekend?

I’m shooting for 10 miles tomorrow! Hope your weekend is great!

It’s Almost Garden Time!

Or is it here? Last Sunday was a working in the yard/garden extravaganza.

We’ve dedicated our 3 new garden beds to follow the Square Foot Gardening method outlined by Mel Bartholomew in his book.

So the husband built us some 4′ x 4′ boxes and filled the bottom with a mix of our home-grown compost, chicken manure, and straw:

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Mix together 5 kinds of compost (here are 2):

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Peat moss:

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And vermiculite (not perilite!!!!):

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Mix it up on a tarp:

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And fill up your beds:

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This creates a breathable, well drained soil that holds moisture so we can water less. There is a lot of info out there on sure foot gardening–check it out, or follow me here as we follow The Square Foot Gardener book.

As for the puppy–she couldn’t wait to get inside to relax. Can’t blame her–shoveling dirt and working in the yard is exhausting.

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