Archive for December, 2009

Jesse Owens

“I always loved running…it was something that you do by yourself, and under your own power.  You could go in any direction,  as fast or slow as you wanted, fighting if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.” – Jesse Owens

When I just started out with running, it made me frustrated at times…”why can I only run 2 miles”, “why cant I run fast?”  “I will never been a “runner!”  But, my friends, the reason I love running so much is because you do it for yourself.  You are out there all by yourself, with nothing to help you.  You must use the power of your body to push you through your run.  You can go wherever you want and  as far as you want…and as slow/fast as you want!

I know a lot of people want to “get into” running or have made a new years resolution to lose weight and start working out more.  Do not be afraid to lace up those sneakers and get outide and run.  You ARE a runner and you ARENT too slow or too out of shape.  Running is all about enjoying the ride and having fun!

No one ever said you had to be able to run 10 miles at a sub 8:0o pace in order to be considered a “runner”.  My absolute favorite part of a race is watching the tail end of the runners cross the finish line.  Some of them are older men and women, some of them are people who just started running, some of them are people who decided to make a lifestyle change and get off the couch and get more active…etc.  I just think its absolutely amazing that these people are out there running,trying to make a positive change in their lives.  Its actually quite motivational if I do say so myself.  I just cant help but think “WOW- that is AMAZING” when I see them cross the finish-line.

and so…in the words of one of the best movies of all time…



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I am off to Boston for the 2010 Winter Classic! Tomorrow night (Thursday- New Years Eve) my family and I are going to out to eat and to see Dane Cook (famous comedian for those who do not know him)…not sure where we will end up for the strike of midnight.  Friday is the winter classic and at night we are going to a nice dinner for my 21st birthday (which is not until the 2nd…but we are celebrating on the 1st).

But do not worry my friends…I wont leave you completely hanging… I have 2 posts set up and I will update on my boston trip when I return.


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Baked Penne Pasta

The other night my best friend/college roommate, Becky, came over my house for dinner and to see Bradley (our new puppy)!

Becky is going to New Zealand this semester…I am going to miss her soooo much.  She is honestly the nicest person and an amazing friend…so I guess ill keep her around haha…here is a picture of Becky and I at school:

My sister found a recipe for baked penne pasta off of Matt’s Blog and  it looked absolutely delicious so we decided to give it a try!


  • 1 pound dried penne rigate pasta
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 (25-ounce) jar marinara pasta sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 an onion, diced
  • Olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Satue the garlic, onion, and ground turkey until almost cooked through. It will finish cooking in the oven.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook penne according to directions on package, then drain and set aside to let cool for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine ground turkey mixture, ricotta cheese, basil, 1 1/2 cups of the pasta sauce, and salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Transfer pasta to bowl with cheese mixture and toss gently to coat. Spread 1/2 cup of the remaining pasta sauce over the bottom of a 7-x11-inch baking dish. Spoon pasta mixture into dish and spread out evenly. Drizzle remaining sauce over the top, sprinkle with mozarella and bake until golden brown and hot throughout, about 30 minutes.

this was reallllllyyyy good!!! Loved how it was just like baked ziti but healthier for you woohoo 😉 I am definitely saving this one and will be making it again soon!

Have a nice night!

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I am going to Boston for the Winter Classic early thursday morning and will not return until January 2nd (which happens to be my 21st birthday!!!! WOOHOO) so I decided to do a little New Year’s Post before I depart ;)…. I also have a great recipe for baked penne pasta from Matt’s Blog coming soon too!!!

oh and just to warn you– this one is a little lengthy…its a bit tough to capture a year in one blog post!

This year has had its ups and downs…

  • I started blogging!
  • my sister graduated college

  • I ran in the Sea Isle City 10 miler with my 2 older sisters (ah look how tan I am there!!! I am now a white ghost haha)

  • Went pumpkin and apple picking with my roommates!

  • I was a nerd for halloween!

  • I ran my first marathon- the philadelphia marathon
  • …and I qualified for the Boston Marathon 😉

  • My grandmother passed away- love you forever and ever ❤

  • We got a new puppy named Bradley! 😉

  • I had pretty much the toughest semester of my life in school!!
  • We got hit with a huge snow storm 😉

  • my roommates/best friends from school are all going abroad (minus my direct roommate- court!)-4 girls I became friends with last year are moving in this semester. I will miss my friends very very much…but I am excited for something new and different!!

well there you have it… 2009 in a nut shell….well sort of anyway.

I cant say that I had the best semester ever this past fall.  While I definitely had some awesome times with my roommates…it honestly was not a walk in the park for me.  I know I never really showed this through my blog but for the first half of the semester I was really down in the dumps.  and if you do not know me…this is very unlike me.  I am usually a happy-“look at the bright side of things” type of person… I think I was just overwhelmed with school, training for the marathon, and my grandmom’s health getting worse with each passing day (and seeing my mom upset and everything).  I honestly would cry myself to sleep five out of the seven days of the week.  and most of the time…I couldnt really pinpoint why I was crying! And then my grandmom passed away.  I expected everything to just get worse but instead I felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.  I came back to school from my grandmom’s funeral a much happier person.  Of course I still cry from time to time.  and not a day goes by that I do not think of my grandmom; I keep her funeral card taped to the side of my bed and I pray each night (or close to it) to my grandmom before bed…its a nice reminder that even though she is not physically present- she will be with me for the rest of my life.

Even though I finally dug myself out of the rut I was in… too bad it was already almost November by this point.  For awhile I thought WOW I wasted a whole semester but I came to realize that I did not “waste” this semester at all.  For starters, I did have alot of fun times this semester (I was not down in the dumps all the time people!!!) and ….I honestly grew as a person during this semester.  I feel like I am a much more mature/independent/”tough” person.  I figured out what is important to me in life.  This semester I had to sacrifice going out (and having fun with my friends) as much as I would have liked to so that I could train for my marathon and get myself as best prepared for it as I possibly could.  I also had to sacrifice time to study for my classes- (I set myself up for a extra tough semester when I thought I was going abroad.  As it turned out, I didnt end up going abroad and so I was stuck with a hellish schedule!!!)  but dont worry- even through it all- I still managed to have a good amount of  fun 😉

so if you are still reading…here are my goals for this semester/year:

  1. Learn how to deal with stress in a better way- when I am faced with difficult circumstances such as a loved one passing away or a tough school load- I would like to learn how to deal with the situation in a better way instead of keeping it bottled up.
  2. Have a bit more fun this semester 😉 (which should be a bit easier since I lightened up my course load a little bit- stil wont be a walk in the park though!)
  3. Do well in my classes
  4. floss everyday!!!!
  5. if I do not end up getting in a charity for the Boston Marathon- train for another race- 10 miler or half-marathon
  6. find time each day for myself- whether it is going on a run outside, writing in my diary, praying at night, just sitting in silence for a bit, or practicing yoga
  7. be a better person
  8. wear real clothes…AKA not workout clothes EVERY day of my life…only some days haha
  9. work on my cooking skills!!!!!
  10. While I would normally put…FIND SOMEONE (as in a guy haha) I honestly dont care about this anymore!  Over christmas my mommom (grandmom) told me to find someone who loves me more than I love him and someone that would die for me.  haha…those are some pretty tough standards I must say.  But I think she is right in a way!  Anyway… I feel like I do not need to worry about finding anyone at this point.  Why not just have fun with people and be myself?  I mean I would love to find someone obviously…who doesnt?  But where is the fire people!?  Eventually I will find someone…but for now Im just going to be myself and have some fun, okay? okay. 😉
  11. never lose sight of how lucky I am.  Sometimes I take what I have for granted.  I have an awesome life, a great family, amazing parents and two awesome sisters (plus two pups ;)).  Sometimes its easy to overlook the gifts you have in your life.  and you honestly never know when these things will be gone forever.
  12. be more careful with my moola!
  13. become a good golfer…okay maybe a decent golfer…orrr just a good enough that I can finish 18 (or close to it) holes with my daddio haha
  14. I am sure there is more but for now…thats all I gots!!!

p.s. go over to Katye’s Blog and check out her HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY!!!!,  Sunday Funday, and 1,010 miles for 2010 challenge!

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Interval Training!

Hey everyone!  So I decided to change up the direction of my blog… only slightly though.  After my sister made a new blog I reevaluated what I wanted my blog to be like.  After much thought and consideration (I am sort of kidding here haha) I decided to make a very slight adjustment to things.  My blog is entitled “mindful living”.  I want to talk more about running, yoga, biking, cooking, baking, eating healthy, reading, leading a fulfilled/happy life, etc.  I feel like I have focused most of my blog posts on what I do on a day to day basis. Instead… I will devote each post to one “mindful living” topic….

and so today I present you with...interval training. I do not know about you guys but I have been over indulging lately.  and of course the holidays have ALOT to do with it but I would venture to say that it has been since the marathon that I have been going a little overboard on things haha.  and I have not done ANY “long distance” runs since the marathon.  oh well.  if you fall off track…the only thing to do is jump back on!

On Christmas Eve my sister and I put a workout together that conbined interval training on the treadmill with circuit training.  If you have some weights and a treadmill in your house….and a partner willing to workout with you…give this workout a shot!

**one person starts with Treadmill session 1 and the other person starts with circuit session 1 and then you switch after each sessions**

Treadmill Session 1

Warm-up: 3 minutes at 6.5, 2 minutes at 6.8

2 minutes—increase speed to 7.5

3 minutes—recover at 7.0

Total Time: 10 minutes

Circuits Session 1

Bicep Curls—1 minute

Standing Overhead—1 minute

Calf Raises—1 minute

Flying Standing—1 minute (bring weights out to the side and then in front of you- both to shoulder level)

Standing Forward Lunges—1 minute

Bicycle Abs—1 minute

Sawing—30 seconds each side (2 minutes)- grab a heavier weight and go to a flat surface such as a bench.  put one knee on the bench and the other foot is flat on the ground. make sure back is horizontal/flat.  extend the arm holding teh weight down and pull up (making sure you keep the elbow close to your body and not out like a chicken leg!)

Regular Crunches—1 minute

Stretch—1 minute

Treadmill Session 2

1 minute at 6.8

1 minute at 7.4

2 minutes at 7.8

1 minute 8.0

1 minute 7.5

1 minute 7.0

Total Time: 7 minutes

Circuits Session 2

Squats—1 minute

Scullers—1 minute **to do this exercise refer to the picture/directions at the bottom of this post

Bench Pull ups—1 minute

Superman—1 minute

Lat Pull Downs—1 minute

Plank—1 minute

Stretch—1 minute

Treadmill Session 3

1 minute at 7.0

1 minute at 7.5

2 minutes at 8.0

2 minutes at 7.8

1 minute at 7.3

1 minute at 6.8

Total Time: 8 minutes

Circuits Session 3

Side Plank—each side 1 minute (2 minutes)

Star Abs—1 minute (lie down on the ground and extend arms/ legs like star.   bring leg leg up and your right arm up to touch…switch)

Legs Straight Crunch—1 minute

Opposite Reach Abs—1 minute

3 minutes—stretch

Treadmill Session 4

30 seconds 7.0

30 seconds 7.5

1 minute 8.5

1 minute 7.2

1 minute 6.5

1 minute, gradually decreasing at 6.0

Total Time: 5 minutes

Circuits Session 4

Push Ups—1 minute

Bench Press with weights—1 minute (lay face down on the bench and take either dumbbells or a bar and pull up)

3 minutes—stretch

scullers: this is the beginning motion to this exercise (knees are in and off the floor and arms are extended out to the side -like the oars of the boat). Extend your legs out and draw your arms in. repeat!


p.s. we just found out that our older dog (Andie- 4 yr old female) is the aunt of our new puppy…how cool!  oh and we FINALLY came up with a name for the new puppy…BRADLEY!!!

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M-e-r-r-y C-h-r-i-s-t-m-a-s-!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Eve/Christmas Day!  Last night my family had some people over for christmas eve and my mom cooked up a very nice meal.  Today we are headed down the shore to my Aunt’s house!

check out my gingerbread house! (My sister and I made it after Taylor did a guest post on my blog about gingerbread houses!)

Well…I have been saving for this for today (in case my mom checked my blog!) but we bought my mom a new puppy!

how cute is he!?  He is from a breeder in Vermont.  On tuesday My sister and I picked him up (we met half way in New York) and have been hiding him ever since!  Last night I put a red bow and bell around the puppy’s neck and rang the doorbell and stuck the little red crate on the front doorstep. My mom answered the door and found this…

Our other dog (Andie) is not very pleased with the new addition to the family!  She doesnt HATE him but she is a bit jealous.  Just will take a little time to get used to!!  He is a Cavalier King charles Spaniel-


ideas so far: joey, bradley, owen, topher, eli, noah….any other ideas??

Here are my sisters and I (plus the dogs) on Christmas morning!

andie had enough of the new puppy and decided to hang out under tree

they are starting to warm up to each other…

and I got tickets to the Winter Classic on New Years Day! Its for my birthday (which is January 2nd- turning 21!).  The flyers are playing the bruins and my family is huge flyers fans!  I cannot wait! It will be so so so much fun!!!  We are also seeing Dane Cook while in boston! It will definitely be a great birthday!

I hope that you all have a wonderful day! check back in later 😉


P.S. What did you get for christmas?  Are you planning any vacations soon?

P.P.S. go over to Shut Up and Run! and get in on her starbucks giftcard giveaway!!!!

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It has been a crazy few days since I have been home from school!  I got home on Friday evening and have literally not stopped since.  I like it that way though… buttt I am also looking forward to relaxing with the family tonight 😉

Yesterday my sister and I made CHRISTMAS COOKIES and a GINGERBREAD HOUSE!!

this year we decided to try out a recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies that I found!  The trick to making cookies (as this blog told me) is:

-Browning part of the butter
-Using a high proportion of brown sugar
-Toasting the nuts
-Using chopped dark or semisweet chocolate instead of chips
-Chilling the dough
-Baking at a higher temperature (to start, at least)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground sea salt
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts, lightly toasted

1 cup unsalted butter
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground sea salt, plus additional for sprinkling
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 ounces coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Generously butter cookie sheets.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; stir in 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil.  Boil 1-2 minutes, whisking frequently, until golden brown; stir in walnuts until well coated.  Place on a sheet pan, and bake for 5 minutes or until well toasted; cool.

Melt 1 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; continue to cook the butter, whisking frequently, until it starts to brown and foam, about 5-7 minutes. Set aside.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together flour and baking soda; stir in 2 teaspoons salt until combined.

In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat 1/2 cup softened butter, brown sugar and 1 cup granulated sugar until well combined and grainy, about 1 minute; beat in browned butter for 1 additional minute. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well combined. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually beat in flour mixture until just combined; stir in chocolate and walnuts with a wooden spoon until combined. Chill dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour. (You could speed up this process by placing the dough in the freezer for about 45 minutes.)

Drop 1/4 cup measures of dough onto cookie sheet, forming into large mounds, and flatten slightly. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown around edges. Cool 2 minutes before transferring to wire racks.

Makes 4 dozen large cookies

these were GREAT!!!!!!  Next time I want to try chocolate shavings instead of chips…I also made some with M&Ms too!

The next cookies we made were Flourless Peanut Butter!  Such a simple recipe and honestlyAWESOME.  you have to try it!

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 18 oz. Peanut Butter (I used Creamy Natural Skippy)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • Hershey Kisses

and lastly….we made Holly’s Pumpkin Molasses Cookies!

Pumpkin Molasses Cookies

2 cups flour (you can use regular or whole wheat)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup molasses
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup evaporated cane juice (or other form of sugar), reserving 2 tbsp.
2 tbsp. water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, sift all the dry ingredients together, including the ground flax. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, molasses and canola oil.  Then whisk in the sugar.

Fold the pumpkin molasses mixture in the dry ingredients. Add the water near the end, which should help the dough come together.  It will be sticky.

In a small bowl, place the 2 tbsp. of sugar and mix with a dash or two of ground ginger.

Spoon 1 tbsp. of the dough, rolling it in your hands into a ball.  Then toss the ball in sugar mixture until it is coated.  Repeat this process for all 24 cookies.  Before placing the pan in the oven, press a fork vertically then horizontally (creating criss crossing lines), slightly smooshing the cookie down.  The cookie should be 1/4- to 1/2-inch or so thickness.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until slightly firm.

Makes 2 dozen cookies

um sorry Holly I stole your picture haha… I just want you guys to see what these looked like and I forgot to take a picture of them! and now they are all mixed amongst other cookies!  These were good but honestly not as good as I was expected.  Granted, I did only have one and it was at 2:30 in the morning as I was making a gingerbread house so this opinion may change.  I just felt it was missing something.  It was good still. Loved the sugar coating and the soft texture.   and definitely would be good with tea or something haha but still missing something.  cant put my finger on it!  I will reevaluate this tonight!!!!

We also did a great interval/circuit training workout this morning.  I will post it in the next post… it was a great way to work off the 15+ cookies I had yesterday haha

Well as I was just saying…my sister and I made a ginerbread house together last night.  It came out FANTASTIC!!! but…. I cannot show it to you yet my friends…but stay tuned!!!

have a wonderful christmas eve and christmas everyone!!

p.s. head over to Katye’s blog and check out her challenge for the year- run (or bike or swim…whatever) 1,010 miles!!!

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