Friday, December 19, 2014

My Year of Running 2014

I'm super excited to link up with Miss Zippy again this year for My Year of Running 2014. It's been quite a good running year for me! :-)

Year of Running 2014

What was my:

Best Race Experience? How can I possibly choose a best race experience?! I think I ran more races this year than I have in many years. OK, if I have to pick one, I'll go with the Ventura Half Marathon. After running it, I went on a blogging hiatus, so I never did a proper recap, but you can check out this Google Plus story about the race. I had a lot of fun running this one in a swimsuit cover-up (with running clothes underneath) and a floppy beach hat AND even managed a PR. Whoo hoo!

Ventura Half Marathon 2014

Best run? So many great runs this year! I loved hitting the trails with George training for Ragnar Zion and then Trails of Fury. Some of the best runs, of course, were the ones with my non-runner husband who trained for, and ran, his first half marathon this year. But one of my favorite runs was the one I did on Catalina Island in May.

Catalina Island

Best new piece of gear? The Flip Belt. I broke down and bought one of these at the Rock 'n Roll Las Vegas expo. I love it so much - better than any belt or pocket I've ever tried.

Best piece of advice I received? Run more races. lol. And like I mentioned, I did run a lot (for me) races this year. :)

Most inspirational runner? I like to be inspired by regular people and well, people from Twitter. I'm going to go with my friend, George, this year. He inspired me to try out trail running again and pushed me to run some of the trails here in Vegas with him. He runs lots of crazy races and just has a lot of fun with running. He's always willing to run at someone else's pace to help them through a race, as well. If you're not following him on Twitter, you should be. :)

If I could sum up my year in a couple of words, what would they be? Amazing and fun!

How was your year of running?
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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Holiday Drink #3: Cocogo's Mistletoe Punch

OK. This is by far my favorite Holiday Drink using Cocogo!

If you missed the other two recipes, you can find them here and here.

Cocogo's Mistletoe Punch

Cocogo's Mistletoe Punch | Fill the Season Full of Flavor #holidaydrinks #holidaycheer #tistheseason #holiday #holidays #holidayseason #christmas #hanukkah #cocogo #drinkcocogo
picture courtesy of Cocogo
Yield: 4 servings
Calories per serving: 110 per serving (non-alcoholic)

  • 1 stick pack Lemon Lime Cocogo
  • 1 cup Pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 cup Water or vodka
  • 1 Lime, freshly squeezed
  • 12 oz Ginger ale
  • Lime slices

  1. In a large pitcher, combine first 3 ingredients. Stir until powder is dissolved.
  2. Just before serving, add the juice of 1 squeezed lime and add the ginger ale. Give a quick stir and pour over ice in highball glasses.
  3. Garnish with a thin slice of lime.

This drink was very simple to mix up and was delicious. Okay, so I didn't have a lime and used 3 tsp of lemon juice instead. I also went with the vodka option. ;-) This drink wasn't overly sweet or overly sour. It was perfect.

I've never really had pomegranate juice before, and it was delicious. But man, is it ever expensive! I think it might be the most expensive juice I've ever purchased.

Are you a fan of pomegranate juice?

As a Cocogo Ambassador, I have the pleasure of giving you a promo code to enjoy 10% off your order at the Cocogo store. Just enter code ENJOYINGTHECOURSE (code must be in all caps) during checkout. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

What's Cooking? Week of 12/14

Way back when, I used to link up with Laura over at Mommy Run Fast for a weekly meal planning link-up. I don't really have a meal plan put together, so instead, I thought I'd share with you all the ideas of things I'm going to try this week.

What's for Dinner? Week of 12/14
I need to update my graphic

Yesterday, Jeff and I picked up a basket from Bountiful Baskets, so we have lots of yummy produce to play around with this week.

We even went early to volunteer.

Volunteering at Bountiful Baskets
Volunteering is hard work!

And check off our final volunteering activity for our 2014 goal.

2014 Enriching Activities | Enjoying the Course

Now, we're down to one cultural activity and one new restaurant. I'm confident we'll accomplish them both before the end of 2014! :)

Okay. Back to the baskets. This week we received a couple eggplants, two heads of lettuce, some potatoes and turnips, cucumbers, and broccoli. Lots of apples and pears, grapefruit, clementines, and bananas. I'm excited for everything, but I also want to make sure that I have a plan to consume it all. Otherwise, it has a tendency to go bad before we can get it.

So, here are a few of the things I'm hoping to cook up this week.

Baba Ganoush - I actually made this yesterday. 1 eggplant down.

Eggplant Parmesan - Still need to decide on a recipe for this one. And 2nd eggplant done.

Potato, turnip, broccoli cheese soup - I froze a soup concoction a few weeks ago and plan to doctor it a bit to create something new, so I'm going recipe-free on this one. Hope it turns out delicious! Uses some of the potatoes and turnips and, of course, the broccoli.

Caramelized Pear Upside Down Cake - I pinned this recipe a month or so ago and have yet to try it. Uses some pears.

Baked apple chips - Not sure if I'll dress these up at all or if I'll just thinly slice them and bake 'em up. Uses up some of the apples.

Apple/pear crisp - Crock pot or oven? Not sure yet. A few more apples and pears used.

Salads - I bought some carrots, celery, and tomatoes to add to the lettuce in our basket. I'll also cut up the cucumber we received. And... checking off cucumbers and lettuce.

That's about it as far as recipes go.

Oh wait. Yesterday, I had an Apple and Gouda Grilled Cheese sandwich. So yummy!

The baba ganoush will be good with pita chips as well as some of the carrots, celery, and cucumbers. And a lot of the fruit I'll just eat as snacks.

So... wish me luck in not wasting any food!

In addition to all of the above, I'm also making Slow Cooker Cinnamon Almonds and White Chocolate Lemon Truffles - even though they will not help me consume any of the produce. If the almonds turn out as good as they smell (yes, they're in the slow cooker right now!), I'm planning on giving them away in gift bags to some friends at work. As for the truffles, well, I bought the heavy cream for them a few weeks ago, and now that is very close to its expiration date, so I really had no choice but to make them. :-)

What are you cooking up this week?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Holiday Drink #2: Cocogo's Hot Wassail topped with Salted Caramel

Who's already counting down to Christmas? Jeff and I don't really do much to celebrate, but I am enjoying trying out these holiday drinks from Cocogo!

Recipe #2 is perfect for those cold, winter nights. Even if cold is only in the 40s here in Vegas, it's cold enough for me to want to wrap up in a blanket with a hot beverage and watch a movie.

Cocogo's Hot Wassail topped with Salted Caramel

Cocogo's Hot Wassail topped with Salted Caramel | Traditional with a Twist #holidaydrinks #holidaycheer #tistheseason #holiday #holidays #holidayseason #christmas #hanukkah #cocogo #drinkcocogo
picture courtesy of Cocogo
Yield: 4 servings
Calories per serving: 89 (non-alcoholic)

  • 3 stick packs Lemon Lime Cocogo
  • 3 stick packs Raspberry Passion Fruit Cocogo
  • 1/8 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1/8 tsp Ground Allspice
  • 2 1/2 cups Water
  • 1/2 cup Water or Rum
  • 4 sticks Cinnamon Sticks (for garnish)
  • 8 Tbsp Whipped Cream
  • 4 tsp Salted Caramel Topping

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a medium saucepan and add water. Stir. 
  2. On medium heat, bring to a simmer. Add additional water or rum and stir.
  3. Serve in mugs. Garnish each mug with a cinnamon stick. Top with whipped cream and drizzle salted caramel topping over the whipped cream.

37 years old, and I don't think I've ever actually had a true wassail before, so I was excited to try this recipe out. It says it's traditional with a twist, so I'm not sure how it compares to a traditional wassail. I will tell you it is a little on the sour side. Jeff likes his drinks sweet, so he wasn't a big fan of this.

We tried it without the rum, because all of our rums are flavored, and I wanted to test this as close to the original recipe as possible. Not sure if rum would have cut any of the sour. Hmmm.

The whipped cream and caramel topping were a nice contrast (for me) with the sourness of the actual drink, but I had to finish Jeff's for him. Maybe it was a good thing I left out the rum. LOL.

Have you ever tried wassail?

As a Cocogo Ambassador, I have the pleasure of giving you a promo code to enjoy 10% off your order at the Cocogo store. Just enter code ENJOYINGTHECOURSE (code must be in all caps) during checkout. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Ultimate Coffee Date - December 2014

The last post I wrote before going on blogging hiatus was an Ultimate Coffee Date in Sept, so I was super excited to find out this link-up is still alive!

Coffee with friends can be so much fun, so I'm excited to grab a cup and catch up with all of you!!

The Ultimate Coffee Date

If we were having coffee today... I'd have to keep this short and sweet because I'm meeting some friends for a trail run this morning! I haven't hit up a trail in months, so I can't wait. If you're a long time reader, this might shock you because I used to really dislike trail running, but it kinda grew on me this past year after training with George for a half marathon/5K back in May. I'd ask if you prefer trail running or road running.

If we were having coffee today... I'd tell you all about how 2015 is going to focus on speed! I've had breaking a 25-min 5k as a goal for the past 2 years, and right now I'm not sure I could even break a 30-min 5k. I've got a lot of work to do in 2015, which means I'm committing to no marathons in 2015 and lots of speed work and strength training. :-) I'm toying with an idea of hosting some kind of a virtual 5k race series that would last all year long. I'd ask if you were focusing on speed in 2015 and/or if you'd be interested in joining a virtual race series.

If we were having coffee today... I'd tell you how I'm *this* close to 1400 followers on Instagram! How fun would it be to get to 1500 before the New Year?! You can follow me here and I'd ask if you were on IG as well.

If we were having coffee today... I'd tell you how excited/frustrated I am that we are planning on buying a house in 2015. (yes, 2015 is going to be one hell of a year!) I'm excited at the possibility of moving into a place all our own. Our current apartment is getting more and more ghetto. The people who are moving in and the people who are walking around aren't making us feel the safest, so we're definitely excited to get out of our current complex and area of the city. I'm frustrated that it's not happening right now! When you make a huge decision like this, you just want it to happen right away. We're trying to save a little more money and find the perfect (for us!) house. We're probably several months away from actually moving, and I'm sure there will be a lot more frustrations to come, but it's still very exciting. I'd ask about your first time home buying experience.

If we were having coffee today... I'd probably apologize that I haven't mentioned anything about the holidays - shopping, decorating, baking, etc. Truth is over the years I've gotten less and less into the holidays. Jeff really doesn't get into them, and when it's just me, it just doesn't seem as important. Maybe I'll start getting into all the holiday decorating and baking again next year when we're in our own place. I'd probably ask you about any holiday parties you have coming up.

OK I've got to get ready for my trail run! It's been fun sharing with you!! I hope you'll go check out everyone else who stopped by the Ultimate Coffee Date over at Confessions of a Mother Runner today!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Holiday Drink #1: Cocogo's Cranberry Cocktail

I hope you stocked up on some Cocogo on CyberMonday, because here comes recipe #1 for a delicious holiday drink. :)

Cocogo's Cranberry Cocktail

Cocogo's Cranberry Cocktail | Festive & Refreshing #holidaydrinks #holidaycheer #tistheseason #holiday #holidays #holidayseason #christmas #hanukkah #cocogo #drinkcocogo
picture courtesy of Cocogo

Yield: 6 servings
Calories per serving: 66 (non-alcoholic)

  • 1 stick pack Lemon Lime Cocogo
  • 1 stick pack Grape Cocogo
  • 2 cups Cranberry juice cocktail
  • 1 cup Grapefruit juice
  • 1 cup Water or Vodka

  1. In a large pitcher, combine all ingredients. Stir until powder is dissolved. Pour over ice in cocktail or champagne glasses. As an option, top with champagne and garnish with a thin slice of lime.

As a Cocogo ambassador, I was asked to try out and share this holiday drink recipe with all of you! It's definitely a winner! Of course I tried it with the vodka option. ;)

If you're not a huge fan of grapefruit juice, then this might not be the drink for you. It's kind of powerful, and makes the drink taste stronger than it really is. :)

Do you have a favorite holiday drink?

If you missed out on CyberMonday, you can always enjoy 10% off your Cocogo order anytime with code ENJOYINGTHECOURSE (code must be in all caps)

Monday, December 1, 2014

December - You're going to be a great month!

Happy December, everyone!

Here are a few reasons why I'm excited for December.

#1. Today I'm starting a 21-Day ‘Re’-Bootcamp program with Tamara over at Fitknitchick.

Fitknitchick's 21-Day 'RE'-Bootcamp

After spending the past few months focusing on running and marathon training, I definitely need a reset. I want to get back on track with better eating and exercising more than just those running muscles.

Today's task is to Find Your Exercise Why to focus on during the 3 week program. She gave us a list of benefits of exercise to help us choose our why. I'm choosing to focus on how exercise will (hopefully) reduce my desire for sweet and fatty foods. Let's just say we've gotten off track with our eating a while ago, and I need some motivation to get back on track.

It's too late to join in this challenge with Tamara, but if any of you are already registered, let me know! I'd love to follow your journey on this!

#2 Running is not completely going on pause. It's just not going to be the main focus. :) Today is also the start of the holiday #RunChatHunt - 12 Days of finding fun things on your run and posting them on Twitter! Click the link to see the list of things to find!

I'm also attempting the holiday #RWRunStreak - 36 Days of Awesome! This started on Thanksgiving and goes until New Years. At least 1 mile a day.

#RWRunStreak 36DAYSOFAWESOME Winter 2014

Anyone else doing either of these challenges?

#3. And probably the best one. Dec 21st is my 10th anniversary!

Wedding Picture
It's crazy to think that I've been married for almost 10 years! We don't have anything too crazy planned to celebrate, because we are also trying to save for a house. Probably just a nice dinner and a show. We live in Vegas after all. :) It doesn't really matter what we do, as long we we're together. Cheesy, I know!

What fun plans do you have for December?

Before I go... Don't miss out on these Cyber Monday specials!

  • 20% off at Cocogo. Plus an additional 10% with code: ENJOYINGTHECOURSE (Yes, I do believe the code needs to be in all caps)
  • 30% off any plan at Diet-to-Go
  • Runtastic Running Set for only $84.99

Plus the girls at Sweat Pink Partnered with some amazing companies to offer you the best CyberMonday deals like:
I'm off to squeeze in a short run before work! Make it a great Monday!!
Tweet: A few fun things I'm looking forward to in December! via @EnjoytheCourse #sweatpink #fitfluential