Hey friends! Today I’m coming at you with one of my classic completely random all over the place life lately style posts. I’ll be sharing some recent yummy eats, a couple good runs, some books I loved recently and could not put down, and more!
Let’s kick things off with the running, shall we?
I have had a couple good runs in the last week – the first, pictured below, was a run on the Mt. Vernon Trail with my friend Kathleen.
We made it about 4.5 miles but probably walked a mile of it because despite being gorgeous out it was also quite hot!
Running gear side-note: I’ve gotten really into wearing spandex shorts for running instead of loose shorts. I like that they don’t require any adjusting while running because they don’t move/ride up at all, and they keep me from having any inner thigh chafing too. The side pocket for my cell phone is really nice as well.
These are my fave spandex running shorts (affiliate link) that I’m wearing above – they’re from Brooks and I wanted to mention them because I noticed a bunch of the colors are on sale right now! I just ordered a couple new pairs because I want to wear them more often than not for runs this summer. If you are between sizes, I would order up as they run small.
One other warm weather running gear hot tip: these small soft collapsable water bottles (affiliate link) are great for runs where you want some water but aren’t running so long that you need a huge bottle or a hydration pack. I love my hydration pack but unless I’m running super long I don’t really want to wear it, so these water bottles have been an amazing option for when I just need a little water to get me through!
Holding it in my hand doesn’t bother me like a big water bottle would, and I love that as you drink it gets smaller and collapses, so it gets easier to carry as you go, and when you’re done it will fit into a pocket or waist belt. I have the smallest size option and it’s perfect for me for up to a 4 or 5 miler in warm weather.
Anyway – I also got out for a run after dropping the kids off at school yesterday morning with my friend Katie (who is the one who introduced me to those small water bottles as she carries one on our runs). It was cooler out which always helps me big time, and we had a great 5 miles together.
It feels really good that I can comfortably run up to 5 miles again. I’m very grateful my body does okay with that distance and my hip/lower back situation has resolved! Definitely not trying to up the distance and test it, that’s for sure.
In food news, Matt and I are continuing our usual routine of alternating between Sun Basket and Blue Apron (<- those are both affiliate links that will give you a deal on your first box if you’re interested) outside of when I test new recipes for the blog. I just look at the menu for each of the services each week and decide which one I like the look of best!
(If you want to see a fully comprehensive comparison of the services as well as HelloFresh, check out this post which I wrote a long time ago but have been keeping updated: Blue Apron vs. HelloFresh vs. SunBasket.)
Here’s a yummy Sun Basket we had recently – a mediterranean themed chicken with quinoa salad. It was similar to my Quinoa Chickpea Salad with Feta. I always love quinoa salad.
Also, hooray for evening light for better food photos!
(If you’re a quinoa fan as well, here’s a post you might want to bookmark: 9 Healthy Quinoa Salad Recipes.)
The roasted potatoes had some parmesan on them as well which took things up a notch in terms of deliciousness.
In other news, we had Freyja the dog staying with us recently as my parents were out of town and the kids (especially Riese) were PUMPED.
Freyja was originally my brother’s dog, then we took her when he moved into a dorm for grad school, then my parents “borrowed” her during the pandemic and never gave her back… ha! Quite the family dog at this point!
Freyja found being chased around by two small children quite exhausting:
But she was a good sport about it, and especially about the kids “helping” walk her (with us also holding the leash, because Freyja is STRONG and gets riled up when other dogs go past).
Matt tried taking Wes for his first haircut this past weekend, by the way, but it was a bust! He completely lost his mind and wouldn’t let the hairstylist anywhere near him, despite the salon having an iPad, a cool car thingy to sit in, etc.
I was happy to be honest because I love his sweet baby curls and I’m not ready to let them go yet and have him seem like so much more of a “big boy” rather than my little baby (even though he’s very much a big boy these days regardless of his hair cut, the hair feels like a big deal, ya know?).
So, the curls are staying, at least for now! It is annoying as the front pieces are always getting in his eyes and he doesn’t like that, but he won’t let me put a clip or hair tie in it; hence attempting the haircut. I guess it will just stay in his eyes until we can convince him a haircut is not scary… or until I can convince him to let me tie it back or something!
Riese didn’t get her first haircut until she was 3.5 years old (partly because of pandemic timing, but also because she liked hair ties and clips). I’m curious, if you have kids – when did they get their first haircut? How’d it go?
I cut Riese’s hair myself last fall for her second haircut, but I’m nervous to attempt Wes’s because I feel like he’s going to move his head quickly and get hurt. Also boy haircuts seem more complicated with all the different lengths! For Riese, I just cut it all straight across, and she was entertained by a show on Matt’s phone and didn’t move.
Aaaaaanyway – that turned into a longer tangent than I meant it to!
Back to life lately – this past weekend Matt and Riese brought me breakfast in bed for Mother’s Day and it was lovely. Homemade banana bread, yum!
We hung out as a family for awhile on Mother’s Day morning and then Matt took Riese and Wes out and about and I went and did a little hike by myself which was lovely.
We were originally going to do a family hike, but Riese was complaining about it, and I was like “You know what I DON’T want for Mother’s Day? To go on a hike with a child who does not want to go on a hike…”
Plus, Riese had dance class so it would have been tight timing anyway. Being in the woods by myself was so so lovely. It’s always my happy place.
I hiked around for awhile and then enjoyed a Sweetgreen salad – a variation on their Harvest Bowl, of which I have a copycat version on the blog: Harvest Bowls with Sweet Potato. So good.
Earlier in the weekend I had another fun treat – my good friend Ashley was in town visiting! She’s my original running buddy from wayyy back when I was first getting into longer races (which was right around when I first started my blog in 2009, so super long time readers will recognize her from posts such as this recap from my very first half marathon in 2010).
Ashley has been dealing with a nagging running injury unfortunately so we didn’t get to run together, but we did go to one of my favorite yoga classes and then grabbed brunch at Junction here in Del Ray. Their food is fantastic – I had their veggie breakfast burrito with a side salad.
Ashley lives in San Diego now and I miss her! It was great to catch up.
Let’s close out this post with a couple book recommendations as I read some books recently that I loved (and just FYI the book links are Amazon affiliate links).
First up: Beartown, which a friend lent to me recently. This book is incredibly beautiful – it’s profound and heartbreaking and the writing is absolutely gorgeous. I can’t recommend it enough (but do be aware of the trigger warnings). It did start a little slow and a lot of characters were introduced quickly, but I stuck with it and was so glad I did.
Apparently it’s a trilogy and now I want to read the rest… as well as the author’s other books. His writing is amazing. Have any of you read his other books, like Anxious People? Curious what you thought if so!
I also recently read Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune on my Kindle and loved that as well. It’s a sweet romance novel that I couldn’t put down.
I love Carley’s writing; her debut novel last year, Every Summer After, was one of the best books I have read in a really long time. Her character development and dialogue is so good. I was pumped when Meet Me at the Lake was released and devoured it within a few days!
Lastly, I absolutely stormed my way through the From Blood and Ash fantasy series books that a blog reader recommended to me a few months ago. There are 6 books in the series and they honestly got better and better! The plot and world building was so well done (and it was all quite steamy, too).
What should I read next, friends?
Have a great day and I’ll see you back here soon!