Fave Cold Weather Running Gear

Happy Hump Day, all! I did my 5 mile loop this morning and the weather was a chilly 27°F / -4°C outside at 5 am. Brrrr! It’s actually starting to feel like November in Boston.

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When the weather changes significantly (or in weather conditions I’m unsure about), I religiously check Runner’s World What to Wear Running tool. The results of this tool seem more like a suggestion than a tried-and-true fact. More than half the time, I disregard their advice and usually just pick my outfit out on the fly. I feel like they really favor “light jacket, long sleeve technical shirt, tights and sports bra” as their main cool weather outfit. I mean, come on – they don’t even include VESTS in their tool, one of my favorite things to wear running when the temperatures drop. Also – which tights should I wear? The thin ones? Medium thickness? Lulu tech fleece? Brooks Utopia Thermals? I may spend too much time thinking about these things, but being comfortable while running is important to me. I am usually a victim of overdressing, which slows my pace down because I’m either too hot, awkwardly carrying my layers, or stressing about what hooligan is going to steal them out the bushes I’ve stuffed them into. So, I have rounded up my favorite cold weather running gear to share with you.

Ear warmer

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Hats are too warm for me unless we are talking arctic circle temperatures. I like to keep my ears warm, and still be able to put my hair in a pineapple on top of my head (although, there are cute ear warmer headbands with cutouts in the back for your ponytail, if that’s your thing). They are easy to slide up if you’re getting too hot, or even take off and stuff them into a pocket (that almost never happens to me – keeping my ears warm is a MUST). It’s also a bonus that this Lululemon Run and Done ear warmer features 360° reflectivity.

Running gloves

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I found these Mountain Hardwear gloves a few years ago, and I have been obsessed ever since (they have even made an appearance on one of my Friday Faves). This pair has features that I couldn’t do without – every single finger (not just thumb and pointer finger, as is standard with most running gloves) is touch screen compatible (yes), they feature fleecy cuffs to keep cold air out (yes!) and they have a fleece nose wipe patch on the back of the thumb (double yes!). Sadly, I’ve searched the internet high and low for this year’s model, and they must not be out yet. If you’re in the market, keep these features in mind – they are super useful. Also, it’s great to get running gloves with reflective features, as you want to be as reflective as possible when running in the dark to stay safe.

Fleece Running Pants

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Lululemon Toasty Tech II Tights

Let’s be honest: my buns get really cold when I’m running outside in the late fall and winter. To keep ’em warm, I am partial to Lululemon Tech Fleece pants, which have sadly gone up in price (UGH). They are great for 20 – 30°F, but if it’s colder than that you definitely want to pull out the big guns: Brooks Seattle Tights. These are the tights to wear when you won’t skip your run because it’s snowing and blustery outside. I have an older pair (Brooks Utopia Tights) that are so warm, I save them for the coldest days. The Brooks Seattle Tights feature windproof and waterproof panels, zips at the ankles for easy on/off and if you get hot, and are meant to be worn below 20°F.

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Brooks Seattle Tights

Marmot Kitzbuhel Insulated Vest

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This Marmot vest is my favorite vest for cold weather running. It doesn’t look like much, but BOY is it warm! It’s thin and lightweight, but the insulation packs a punch. It has quilted insulation and stretchy fleece panels down the side for warmth and movement. Of course, the zipper helps you regulate your temperature as you warm up or get cool, which I really like. Bonus: it’s not actually for running, so you can wear it in real life too. 😉

Rulu and Wool Everything!

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I love Lulu’s Rulu fabric, but this year’s batch has been thinner than normal and not so great (womp womp). On my quest to move on to bigger and better, I’ve discovered Oiselle Wazzie Wool. Merino wool is nature’s answer for warmth, water-repellent, stink-free and breathable running gear. Oiselle has this super cute side-zip merino wool running top that will definitely be on my Christmas list this year. You can’t go wrong.

Speaking of wool…

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I am obsessed with merino wool running socks. There are lots of great options out there, but SmartWool is a fave. These PhD running socks are actually my favorite, and I wear them for every race (if you have small feet, you’re in luck! They are on sale at REI).

Safety First!

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In Boston, it gets dark really early (at like 4 pm). Nathan has some awesome products for visibility in low-light conditions. I have both the StobeLight and the Pulsar Stobe, which both hook on to your clothes or running shoes and provides visibility to cars, people and bikers. They are super bright and lightweight (so you don’t even remember they are there). It important to be visible so you stay safe while you are logging your miles.

Welp, I hope this helps, at least for now! I’ll be back with more of my favorite gear as the temperatures drop even more and as the snow comes to New England. 😀 This isn’t really a popular opinion, but late fall and winter are my favorite times to run outside. I actually LOVE running in the snow (you can take the girl out of Western New York, but not the WNY out of the girl). It’s much easier for my asthma lungs to breathe without pollen, and I like the cold and quiet since no one is half as crazy as I am and out running in the Baltic temps at 5 am. 😀

I hope you all have a booyah-filled day! Happy Hump Day, all!

With warmth,

L

The Great Northeast Tough Mudder Recap

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Team Down N’ Dirty 2015

Hi everyone! Thanks for bearing with me while I had the week from hell and worked some crazy hours last week. I now bring to you – the Tough Mudder Recap you’ve been waiting for!

Also, it’s my one year blog-o-versary today! One year ago today, Bubbles and Booyah was born. In that time, I’ve run:

  • 4 Half Marathons
  • 2 Trail Races
  • 1 10K
  • 5 5Ks
  • 1 Tough Mudder

Basically, I have really grown into my own as the High Priestess of Booyah. I’m proud to say, I’VE KICKED MAJOR ASS in the past year!!! There will be more thorough reflection on all things Booyah and a stroll down memory lane later this week. For now, I’ve promised a Tough Mudder recap, and I will bring you a TM recap!

I have to admit: I was more nervous for the Tough Mudder than I was for my half marathons. Running is so mental, and I’ve done wonders to build up my mental game over the past year. For running races, I have a routine, I know what works for me, and I stick to it – I know once I start running I’ll be okay. But Tough Mudders are different: these are mental and physical challenges, and your whole team is watching you perform. You don’t want to let anyone down! Ten days before the race I had a text message exchange with my friend and gym buddy D (who was the unofficial captain of our team, and organized the whole Tough Mudder experience) which really captures how nervous I was:

L: I’m getting excited and nervous at the same time! I just don’t want anyone to yell at me or make me feel bad if there’s a really high thing/enclosed space thing that I really don’t want to do because I’m scared of heights and claustrophobic af. I’m not afraid to push myself and try hard but don’t want people pushing me to do stuff I’m not really down with.

(…I was basically sh*tting my pants, guys. I was so nervous! All I could picture in my head was me standing up on a really high platform and everyone yelling for me to jump off and me frozen in place out of my fear of heights. Or not being able to reach someone’s hand to pull myself up over a wall. Or somehow screwing up an obstacle so my entire team had to do it over. Or basically looking like a complete wimp and my team like secretly annoyed with my lack of athletic ability. Lots of anxiety over here.)

D said something that really stuck with me:

D: You see people of all sizes killing it and you’re like “Sh*t, they did it. I have to try!” But obviously if you don’t want to, no one will make you feel bad at all.

L: I will def try!! I’m sure I’ll have so much adrenaline pumping it will make it easier to get over my hesitation. I guess my biggest fear is being embarrassed if I like don’t want to do an obstacle/freak out at an obstacle and people are like pissed at me or something.

D: No one will care. I promise you that.

Spoiler alert: no one cared. D went on to say more nice things about the emphasis on teamwork and cheering each other on that did wonders to assuage my fears of failing the team and made me feel a little calmer before the Mudder. But underneath it all, I was still wicked nervous.

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On the morning of the Mudder, I put my pre-planned outfit on: my $3.88 clearance rack workout t-shirt from Target, old Nike running capris, a Lululemon all sport bra, CEP compression socks, my Nike trail running shoes I got from the outlet for $49.99, and a Lulu fringe fighter headband to keep the wispies out of my face that I bought on clearance (in case it was lost/damaged, I saved my no-longer-in-production and highly coveted Lulu Bang Buster headbands from harm). I lubed myself up with Body Glide, counted my Mocha Clif Energy Gels, double checked that my inhaler was working properly, chugged water, made a protein smoothie, braided my hair into a low braid, brushed my teeth and then anxiously waited for Sarah to come get me.

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Sarah took this from the drivers seat when I walked out to her car at 5:45 am the day of the mudder. I got a few thangs.

Sarah came and picked me up at 5:45 am and we headed up north to Westbrook, Maine where the TM took place. It would be an understatement to say that I brought a lot of stuff. Sarah was dying laughing when I exited my house with two huge tote bags, two reusable shopping bags, my purse and a precariously balanced cup of coffee for the car ride. I packed bananas, apples, enough water for before and after, 2 PB&J sandwiches, a bowl of overnight oats for my second breakfast that I never ate, paper towels, 2 beach towels, garbage bags, face wipes, baby wipes, 4 gym towels, a change of clothes (sweatpants, T-shirt, etc), one hoodie, arm sleeves, kayaking gloves, flip flops, my purse (with wallet/phone/keys/etc), Advil, New Skin, band-aids, Neosporin, sterile alcohol wipes and a cup of coffee. Yeah, I was basically ready for a week long camping adventure, and/or a zombie apocalypse.

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We arrived at the parking lot, met up with our team and took the bus to the abandoned golf course where the mudder was to take place. Our heat started at 9 am, so we checked our bags, hit the port-a-potties, wrote our bib numbers on our foreheads and upper arms, pinned our bibs on and headed to the warm up area to prepare for our heat. Being with the team helped quiet my fears – I was lucky enough to be with a team full of awesome, kind and fun individuals. We were in it together, and full of team spirit. We recited the Tough Mudder pledge, sang the national anthem, smiled for the cameras and we were off!

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Riding the bus to the start line!

The first obstacle is about a mile way, so you trudge through the woods on a trail for about a mile, up and over hills, through creek beds and mud puddles. I did the best to keep my feet dry (rule #1 in running long distances), which was kind of pointless because you rounded the corner and the first obstacle we encountered was the Kiss of Mud – basically crawling through a mud pit under barbed wire. race_1191_photo_25928850My hair got caught and I sliced my elbow on the barbed wire trying to free myself. One of my team members freed the fro from the barbed wire (I still don’t know who came to my rescue, but thank you!) and another team member pulled me out of the mud pit. This is when it became apparent why you do this as a team – you help each other get through each obstacle.

The next obstacle was the Beached Whale: a huge inflatable slick with mud that you had to get your team up and over. Not too bad – lots of teamwork involved. Then we faced the most dreaded obstacle: the Arctic Enema 2.0. You shoot down a slide that has chain link fence over it (so you have to lay down flat, and in essence go faster down the slide) into a 36 degree muddy ice bath in a dumpster, head up and over a wall, swim-ish to the other side and get down a ladder. This one I was not looking forward to because a) it’s cold, and you were about to get completely soaked; b) I was not a fan of that chain link fence because of my claustrophobia and c) I did not want to feel as if an ice cube got shoved up my you-know-what. I sucked it up and did it, sliding into the ice bath in between my teammates Nikki and Chris, and it was not nearly as bad as I expected. My face says otherwise though.

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This is me probably yelling obscenities because of how cold that was.

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Trying to haul my ass over that wall and get out of the cold water as fast as possible.

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Brrrrr!

After the Arctic Enema, there are a lot more obstacles. Seventeen more, to be exact. So I’ll just fast forward and give you the highlights of my favorite ones.

Funky Monkey 2.0: Monkey bars angled upwards (so you climb at an incline as you move forward), a trapeze bar and a pipe that you go hand over hand to the end. I was really proud of this one: I made it all the way onto the trapeze bar, but hesitated before jumping onto the pipe to shimmy to the finish. I touched it with my fingertips though! I almost made it – I’m looking forward to dominating it next year. Picture8Picture7I was really proud of myself for how far I got in that obstacle. I was nervous and second-guessing myself but I did it! That’s what happens when you try. You might surprise yourself in what you can accomplish. Also, what are those concentration faces I’m making. LOL.

There were a lot of walls, mud pits, ropes, slippery slopes to get up and over. My team cheered myself and our entire team on for each challenge – individual or team obstacle, it didn’t matter. We stuck together and encouraged one another, which is what made it so fun. They didn’t even care that I chickened out on one of the obstacles: King of the Swingers.

Now if you’ve read B&B before, you’d know that I only have two major fears in life: I’m wildly claustrophobic and totally scared sh*tless of heights. I climbed up onto the 15 foot platform, got to the very edge to get ready to jump and did something dumb: I looked down. My hands started sweating. My heart started racing. And all of my team members had already gone. I had no one to tell me I could do it, and all I could think about is if I hurt myself somehow, I would miss the next three races on my fall roster. I slowly backed away, and climbed down the platform. Sarah predicted the future the best, “You’re gonna regret it.” She was right: I did regret it. But I knew in that moment it wasn’t in me to hurl myself off that platform without some outside encouragement. Am I worried about it or still beating myself up? Nope. I will do better next time.

Everest 2.0: A curved ramp about 15 feet or so in height that you have to sprint toward and jump to the top, it’s one of the most team oriented obstacles, as your team has to catch you and haul you up and over.

I was worried about this one. It’s the second to last obstacle, and by now you’re covered in mud, tired, hungry, thirsty and ready for that post-mudder beer. You can see the finish from here, so I think that helps to propel you forward. I was afraid it would be hard to pull myself to the top, so I backed up as far as I could and sprinted full force toward the wall, and jumped as high as I could right as it started to curve. My teammates told me after they thought I was going to smack right into the wall because I was hauling ass, and that I compressed the curved wall as I pushed down to jump up towards them (which means these legs = power). They helped haul me up and I helped them pull myself with no problem, I was so relieved afterwards. So DAMN FUN.

Electroshock Therapy 2.0

I think this obstacle is tied with the Arctic Enema for the most-feared obstacle. Live wires, crackling with 10,000 volts, hang down over a watery mud pit, and are mixed in with dummy wires. When second-time Tough Mudder D was asked what it felt like, she replied “Like you’re getting punched.” Great. Just how you wanted to end 4-ish hours of obstacles, isn’t it?

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Please note the smile.

Before the Tough Mudder, I was hell bent on skipping this obstacle. It just didn’t sound all that safe. But after doing all of the 19 obstacles before it (minus skipping out on King of the Swingers) I figured I would give this one a shot. Also, I was armed with the fact that redheads (aka MC1R.3 mutants) are less sensitive to electrical pain. (I’ve electrocuted myself by accident a few times by doing dumb things like trying to plug my phone charger in the dark and getting my hand in between the charger and the wall, and it’s really not that bad). Booyah, betches. Ahead of me, my own team members and other randoms were running full force through the wires with the forearms blocking their face. There was a lot of yelling, shouting and swearing as they got zapped (it’s not funny but it’s hard not to laugh because it seemed like we were in a cartoon). I casually strolled through the wires, avoiding them if I could, and didn’t get hit once. I think someone was looking out for me, because I’m pretty sure I’m the only one that happened to.

And I DID IT!! We all ran across the finish line holding hands as a team. So, so, SO ridiculously fun! It’s a pretty amazing feeling not to just complete but actually excel at something that you weren’t too sure you could do. I felt incredibly strong and empowered as I crossed that finish line, knowing that I did something pretty friggin’ amazing. BOOYAH! And I could never do it without my team: an amazing group of individuals, who supported, encouraged and cheered me on throughout the entire process. Down N’ Dirty: you guys rock my world. ❤ Picture10So my take away message is this: you can do this. You can do something that you think is impossible, if you have an amazing group by your side and work together to push through each and every obstacle. I feel that the immense popularity of the Tough Mudder is due to the fact that it is such a good allegory for life: you may get beat up, fall down, feel defeated, zapped – whatever, but if you keep pushing forward and believe in yourself, you can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. And if you approach each obstacle with some serious mental toughness and belief in yourself, AND have an amazing team of people supporting you and helping you through, it will seem like a cake walk.

Stay tuned for my Tough Mudder Essentials post tomorrow, outlining everything you need to succeed in your first Tough Mudder.

I hope this past week was fantastic, and I hope everyone is having a happy Monday!

With warmth,

L

Friday FAVES!

Hello darlings! Sorry for the dearth of new recipes this week, I’ve been eating my mom’s pasta and sauce for leftovers all week long – the perfect way to carbo-load as a half Italian! 😉 What a crazy week, I feel like it has flown by. Tomorrow I’ll be getting down and dirty in the Great Northeast Tough Mudder – I’m wicked nervous and excited! I can’t wait!!

Let’s get to it: what I’ve been feeling this week 😉

  1. C9 Champion® Women’s Tech Tee

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Um, I picked up one of these bad boys up at Tar-gay for $3.88 (!!!!!) from the clearance rack. WHAT. I know that this sound pretty hypocritical coming from the girl who almost always wears head-to-toe Lulu to workout in, but you CAN find super cute workout clothes without spending a mortgage payment. I’ll be wearing this bad boy for the Tough Mudder tomorrow. 😀

C9 Champion® Women’s Tech Tee, Target $12.99

2. Michelle Wie’s Rainbow Hair

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#HairGoals! SO COOL! I love the Michelle is shaking things up in the generally conservative golfing world. The most impressive part? She colored her hair HERSELF!! Check out her Instagram for the proof. So rad.

Michelle Wie on Instagram

3. Sephora’s Ombre Seamless Hair Ties

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I just chopped a solid 3+ inches off my curls because they literally felt like straw and I was over trying to detangle my weave every morning. The worst part was trying to pull out my hair elastic after getting sweaty at the gym – it felt like it was impossible! I highly recommend these elastics from Sephora that won’t rip or damage your hair – and that’s coming from a girl who wears her hair in a pineapple on the top of her head every day (when I’m not at work/trying to look super cute, of course).

Ombre Seamless Hair Elastics, Sephora $9

4. Harbinger Women’s Flex Fit Weight Lifting Gloves

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Omg you guys, I can’t believe I forgot to tell you about these!!! I love these training gloves! I got them this summer – I finally caved because my hands were covered in calluses and looking pretty ratched (not the first impression I want to make when I shake someone’s hand). They are AWESOME. They have leather and gel-filled pads on the palms to help with grip, and the backside are mesh so that you hands can breathe. And they are PURPLE, hello. They stay put, protect my hands and help me push through workouts without tearing up my palms. Stellar all around, I highly recommend them to gals who are training/lifting.

Weight Lifting Gloves, Amazon $19.72

5. These Astronomy Photos

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If you guys have been following along, I’m pretty amped about astronomy and what we can see in the night sky – it’s fascinating. Check out this article on io9 for more of these beautiful images. Stunning.

What are you guys up to this weekend?? I’ll be doing the Tough Mudder bright and early tomorrow, eating a whole (vegan) pizza afterwards and then passing out at a sufficiently Grandma Hour, then Sunday I’m giving myself a FULL rest day before I get back into training for my next half marathon in 23 days! Also, I’ll probably be totally beat. 😉 Tell me what you’re up to this weekend in the comments!

Think of me tomorrow at 9 AM EST! I’ll be diving into the mud right about then.

With warmth,

L

Weekend Recap: White Mountain hike + Vegan BLT

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L atop Mount Lafayette

Two glorious things happened this weekend: 1. I went on an AMAZINGGGGGGG (there isn’t enough space for all the G’s I want to type right now) hike in the White Mountains in New Hampshire and 2. I made the most bomb vegan “BLT” or TLT (Tempeh Lettuce Tomato) sandwich EVER and I can’t get over how delicious it was. That’s a whole lot of Booyah for one weekend right there.

On Saturday (aka the perfect New England hiking day, it was 75°F / 24°C and sunny), I went for an 8.8 mile hike along the Franconia Ridge, which summits Mount Lafayette (5260′), Mount Lincoln (5089′) and Little Haystack Mountain (4760′) and offers staggering, dramatic views of the White Mountains. It was a challenging hike, with a 3860 foot gain in elevation. However totally worth it: the views were stunning, and the 1.6 mile segment of the hike from Mount Lafayette to Little Haystack is atop an open ridge. I’m going to let the pictures do the talking.

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L’s cousin J about to hit the ridge portion of the trail.

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View from the summit of Mount Lafayette

 

We took the Falling Waters trail on our descent and were treated to a barrage of gorgeous waterfalls. The trail traversed back and forth over the stream several times, and it was there that I left a little bit of my dignity as I rode a natural water slide down a portion of the stream on my Lululemon WUC, while emitting the same yelp a 10 year old girl would make. Not on purpose though – I totally ate it. Whoops! And, at some point my Buffalo Bills hat was lost – I like to think it lived its best life and a black bear is now rocking it in order to scare away all the Patriots fans. RIP Bills Hat – we’ve been through some great times/races/long runs/wins and loses together. Ah well. Such is life. Check out these waterfalls though:

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Yeaaaaah buddy.

On Sunday, I saw The Light and made literally one of the best things I’ve ever tasted: a vegan BLT. As I mentioned in last week’s Friday Faves, I bought Lightlife Tempeh Fakin’ Bacon at Whole Foods last week. Um, YUM. You open that sucker and you’re like, “There is no flipping way this stuff is going to taste remotely like bacon.” And then, you heat some olive oil in a pan and fry those mofos and the smell is UNREAL DELICIOUS (it’s got to be the liquid smoke/spice combo, I studied that ingredient label and tried to use my Chemistry brain to figure out what made it so good afterwards but the magical ingredient remains elusive – I won’t get into how long I sat at my spice rack smelling different combinations of spices to try and figure it out). That being said, it’s been more than 15 years (holy balls I’m old) since I’ve had a “real” BLT. Also, this reminds me that with my upcoming birthday, I will have been a vegetarian for over half my life (again, holy balls I’m old!). Anyway, I’m not sure that you guys really need directions of how to make an uber bomb TLT but what the hell let’s do this anyway.

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This is making me hungry again and I literally just ate breakfast. FML.

TLT: Tempeh, Lettuce & Tomato Sandwich

You’ll need:

  • Lightlife Tempeh Fakin’ Bacon
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Low-Fat Veganaise (or your fave vegan mayo)
  • Wheat bread
  • Someone to listen to you immediately express how delicious your TLT is
  • Olive oil for frying

Directions:

Step One: Get your toast ready to rumble and heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Gently unwrap your tempeh bacon (the slices are fragile, so in order to not destroy your “bacon” use caution when separating each slice).
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Here is what the bacon looks like before. Don’t worry – just wait for the smells to come.

Step Two: Fry your facon (fakin’ + bacon?) until edges are crispy and browned and the smells are filling your kitchen with YES. Once done, slide your facon onto a dinner plate covered in a paper towel to allow the facon to “drain” (Idk if this is really necessary, but it’s what my mom always did with real bacon, so yeah). Get your toppings ready.

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Step Three: Assemble your TLT. Spread vegan mayo on toast, top with 4 – 5 slices of facon, lettuce and tomato and you are in business, Batman.
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Oooooooh yeah (think Kool-Aid man voice).

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Step Four: ENJOY 😀 😀 😀
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In my mouth, now.

 

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Si por favor.

Dude, this was SO GOOD. I can’t get over how good it is. I’m actually counting down the hours until I get to go home and eat the other half of my package of facon. Boooooooooooooyah!

So overall – what a great weekend!! I hope you guys had a spectacular weekend as well – what did you guys get up to?? Tell me all about it in the comments!!

With warmth,

L

Friday Faaaaaves!

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Happy Friday, everyone! Last night I hung out with the ever fabulous C, a friend I met through my sis and bro-in-law who just moved to the area (and by area, I mean literally two streets away from me, we could string together two cans and play telephone, so basically the universe is telling us we are meant to have a great summer hanging out together – woot!). Clearly, I had take C on a micro tour of some of my fave spots, so right out of the gate I brought her to Christopher’s in Cambridge and got burgers (vegan for me and Southwest for her – NOMS):

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My vegan veggie burger at Christopher’s Cambridge. We even got to sit outside! It was a perfect day weather-wise in Boston yesterday. 😀

And then we tromped over to Davis Square for a delicious cocktail and lots of people watching (literally everyone was on a first date and it was uber amusing to observe their dating behavior):

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Our cocktails at Saloon in Davis Square. 🙂 Cheers!

All in all, a great start to the weekend! Now, as for my faves:

1. The Nalge.

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How has this NEVER made it on my list of Friday Faves?! I have no idea. If you met me from the years 2000 – 2010, I was def toting a Nalgene bottle with me. And if you’re cool, you’d know to properly refer to a Nalgene bottle as a “Nalge” – the L method of abbrev-ing just about every word known to man. These are the OG of water bottles, and you must have one! Perfect for when lightweight matters (hiking, camping, lugging your junk to the beach in a tote bag, going to a party with your pre-made cocktail in your purse), these bad boys usually make up the lion’s share of my portable water bottle avalanche when I open that certain cabinet in my kitchen. Sad for me (and my normally large but now dwindling Nalge collection), I recently started toting these everywhere and abandoning them. So, if we are really good friends and you live within a 5 mile radius, you probably have one rolling around in the back of your car (Kad), forgotten on your kitchen counter (Eeyore) or underneath your couch (who knows- but there’s a 67% chance that it’s pink). Thus, I have to replenish and will be going to EMS tonight to get one. 🙂

2. Cocomama Honey Quinoa Cereal

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This pre-cooked, soy/dairy/gluten free and vegetarian (I’d say vegan but the honey! I always forget) quinoa cereal was a life saver this week! My sister introduced me to this when she snuck a pack into my lunch for me to eat on one of the Monday mornings I drove from her home in Southern Connecticut straight to work in Massachusetts (it’s a nice 2.5 hour commute against traffic). I was saving this packet of cereal for a “rainy day” (you know, one where I shoot myself in the foot and am too lazy to assemble my Overnight Oats that literally takes about 5 minutes the night before) and I was not disappointed. You heat this bad boy up for 20 seconds in the microwave and BAM – you have a delicious, filling and flavorful breakfast at your fingertips. It was so good that I bought the rest of the flavors to try. And interestingly enough, it introduced me to kañiwa (another high-protein Peruvian food similar to quinoa), which I had never heard of and am chomping at the bit to incorporate into future recipes – stay tuned. 🙂

3. Lightlife Tempeh Fakin’ Bacon

Product-Tempeh-Fakin-Bacon

I have yet to try this (have any of you tried it?) but I am SO, SO, SOOOO excited about this!!! No offense to Morning Star Farms, but their fake bacon is diiiiiisgusting and I just can’t hang with it. I found this at Whole Foods this past week when I went to “get a few things” and spent $158.67 (including a probably $37 prepared foods salad from their salad bar – no regrets), and immediately threw three packages of this into my cart in a fit of optimism. The last delicious fake bacon I ate was when my co-worker Jan made an out-of-this-world Eggplant Bacon in his dehydrator, but I have neither the counter space or patience to get on his level with the faux bacon scene. I’m really hoping this is as good as my expectations because I cannot wait to make the most bangin’ vegan BLT (TLT?) this weekend. Yasssss Queeeeeeen.

4. This Jumpsuit

jumpsuit

K so I love jumpsuits but literally own 0, so I’m dying to get this to wear and I’m so excited about it. I’m normally not that trendy but it’s less than $100, looks super cute and I love the bright blue color!!! DYINGGG.

Also, just think of the intense dance party you can have when your pants and shirt are ATTACHED to one another. Boooo-YAH!!! 😀 😀 😀

PS: Do any of you have jumpsuits??

Nasty Gal Jeslina Jumpsuit, $88

5. Kate Somerville Quench Hydrating Facial Serum

quench

I’d like to thank the Academy, and this face serum, for causing someone to improperly identify me as 22 years old this past weekend (in fairness to them, they may not have been sober). Thank you, Kate Somerville for plumping my fine lines, and totally making it worth paying the outrageous price tag – based solely on the fact that some rando thought I had just graduated from college. That made my life. Bravo!

(Seriously though, I’ve used this product for a few years now and I swear by it. Stay out of the sun, drink water and put retinol on your face at night – BOOM. You’ll have great skin.)

Soooooo…what are you guys up to this weekend?? I’ll be heading up (waaaaaaay up!) to the White Mountains in New Hampshire for a full-day hike with my cousin and his super rad girlfriend tomorrow and then seeing my sister for her b-day!! Tell me what you’re up in the comments!

I hope that you guys all have a fabulous day and an even better weekend!!! Happy Friday, all! 😀

With warmth,

L