Friday Faves!

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A pic my friend took in Charlestown after one of the storms that I totally stole off his Facebook to illustrate the madness. Thanks, C! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜›

Happy Friday all! It’s been an interesting week. I feel like I can comfortably speak for most New Englanders that we are completely and utterly sick of the snow (especially the associated travel issues – the T is broken, side streets are still a mess, and there are zero parking spots anywhere in Boston Metro) and so B & B will be taking applications for its first annual Boston Snow Relocation Project in order to spread the wealth of snow across the country to those who want a piece of this winter wonderland. πŸ˜‰ I’m basically just still mad that my race was cancelled (with no refunds – lame). So, I’m focusing on the positives (as one must do in these circumstances): embrace the snow, and have fun because spring will come!

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I LOL’ed when I saw this sad/highly accurate MBTA map on Twitter, made by @SaraMorrison. Hilarious, yet dead on. Womp.

Here is what I’ve been feeling this week:

1. Justin’s Cookie Dough Almond Butter.

cookie butterI WANT THIS. NOW. Apparently, the King of the Morons John Mayer (sorry not sorry, I think he’s kind of a D) tweeted at Justin’s requesting a Cookie Dough Almond Butter – a request which was fulfilled by the Almond Butter Gods at Justin’s. The Cookie Dough Almond Butter is chocolate almond butter with chocolate chips and real chunks of cookie dough (and it’s vegan!). I don’t know why they wasted this pleasure on him, but if they don’t make this available nationwide, I will personally stand outside and picket Justin’s headquarters. Also, if you are a huge Justin’s fan like moi, you’d know that the founder, Justin Gold, always includes a message on each jar. Here it is for the jar above:

I know this guy named John. You see, John’s awesome because he doesn’t just sit around waiting on the world to change, he makes things happen with the power of his thumbs, a little keyboard and this thing called Twitter. If it weren’t for my buddy, we would still be living in a sad, sad world without Cookie Dough Almond Butter. Talk about using your powers for good. If only everything I tweeted came true . . . John, enjoy this creation. Finely crafted just for you. β€”Justin

Dude, seriously – the world needs this, Justin. Make it happen. PLEASE!!!!

2. Nike Legendary Lava Tight

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My amazing sister got me some Nike Legend training tights for Christmas, and I’m obsessed. They are (I can’t believe I’m about to say this) better than Lulu! The fabric is thick and opaque (no free shows!) but wicks sweat really well, and the pattern she got me is really cute. I’ve been wearing my pair at least once a week – they are perfect for the days, like today, that the temperature is only 8Β°F / – 13Β°C when I wake up and head to the gym at 5 am – so I’m not freezing my ass off in crops, but the full length tights still wick sweat like a boss and I don’t get overheated (and that’s coming from a furnace – I run so hot when I workout). I am OBSESSED with that Lava pattern in the pair above – it’s SO FUN and SPRING-Y! I’m really feeling the fun pants recently, even though I really only have two pairs in a sea of solid dark neutrals. Also, the Lifting Girls at the gym always wear fun pants and they look so friggin’ cute. I want some.

3. NYFW
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Victoria Justice at Mara Hoffman F/W 15 show

New York Fashion Week just came to a close yesterday, but I’ve spent every free minute in the past week reading recaps, using WhoWhatWear as my Fashion Bible. And, I want that outfit (above). Oh. Em. Gee. Obsessedddd!! One of my favorite parts of NYFW is perusing the Street Snaps by The Styleograph. I get such sweet outfit ideas by scoping out how other people put pieces together in a creative way. Loving it…

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Photo via The Styleograph. Also, who looks that chic when it’s 10 degrees outside?! I love how she put her winter outerwear together! ❀ That hat = YES.

4. This article by Hungry Runner Girl: Ten Changes To Improve Your Running Form

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I feel like my form could use some work (I mean, it can’t hurt) and maybe I’ll be faster (yeah, yeah – I know you only get faster by running sprint intervals/run hills but good form helps too, right?). On some of my longer runs, I have to consciously think to stand up straight, keep my shoulders back, and not bounce or slam my feet on the pavement for the first mile or so until I get into my groove. I found these tips to be really helpful, and they are definitely worth checking out. πŸ™‚
5. This little motivational quote I stumbled across.
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Even though I’m pissed my race was cancelled and I don’t get to compete, I am trying my best to not get too bummed out. I’ve worked really hard, and there will be another race that I can do. Regardless of racing/not racing, I’ve come so far in my training and I’ve been kicking ass. Thus, I’m basically unstoppable (at least that’s what I’m telling myself to keep my momentum going). Any fun half marathon race suggestions are welcome. πŸ™‚
6. Stretching.
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I’m still SO SORE. Wah.
I hope that you guys all are having a great Friday today! Later this evening, I’ll be driving to CT for the weekend to see my favorite person in the universe: my 11-month old nephew, E! I am so excited to see that little nugget and give him Auntie hugs and kisses! So pumped (if you see the Marshmallow Mobile on I-84 give me a honk on Waze). Also, L’s Rock Climbing Adventure Part Deux will be occurring on Sunday afternoon – pretty stoked on that, too! What are you guys up to this weekend?? Tell me all the deets in the comments. ❀
With warmth,
L
xoxoxo
PS: The Boston Yeti is a vegan. Just sayin’. And the fact that he retweeted my tweet made my day this week! πŸ˜‰
Boston-Yeti

Friday Faves <3

Happy Friday all – we made it to the end of the week! And it’s almost Valentine’s Day – which means I *almost* made a cheesy Valentine’s Day edition of Friday Faves, but after scrolling through ridic stock images of V-Day stuff, I just couldn’t do it. I love you guys – but it’s just not me. You know what your lover/partner/significant other wants, and it’s not anything I can tell you. πŸ˜‰ I mean, my mom reads this blog – catch my drift? πŸ™‚

Moving on…this is what I’ve been feeling this week. ❀

1. The Boston Yeti

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Probably the only soul enjoying the tremendous amount of snow in Boston, there’s literally a yeti wandering the streets of Boston/Cambridge/Somerville helping to shovel people out and generally just romp around. Amazing. You can read about the Boston Yeti here and follow the yeti’s movements on Twitter: @BostonYeti2015. I’m sure with the fourth blizzard coming to Boston just in time for Valentine’s Day, it won’t be the last that we see of him. Yessss!

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The forecast for this weekend. Fourth blizzard, we are ready for you!

2. Anything in this sweet print (moody mirage bark berry deep navy) that just came out from Lululemon:

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lulubra

LOVE (I also love her cute braid/bun combo)!! Stop it Lulu, I’m trying to save up! Specifically for this….

3. Grand Teton Half Marathon

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I want to do this SOOOOOOO bad!!! I feel an ache in the depths of my bones that I MUST do this race. My friend D was showing me a list of all these amazing destination half marathons and I couldn’t even deal (every other one I was yelling “Shut up! Stop it! Why are you doing this to me?! I want to do ALL of them. Can I just quit my life and travel the world doing races? If only!”). All of them sound amazing and I am just itching for a change of scenery (you all know I’m from Western New York but even I am starting to get over all the snow. It’s not even fluffy anymore, it’s basically glacial ice blocks, mounds of snow coated with a thick crust of ice that is a real b*tch to shovel, walk through and deal with. Ugh). Here’s the list that D showed me so you can drool over them with me: The Year’s Best Half Marathons. I want to do them ALL, but I am going to start with this one. You run toward the Grand Teton mountain range in Wyoming (sadly, I had to look that up. I’m good at math, not geography), with breathtaking views along the way. It just looks AMAZINGGGG and so fun (although I may die running at altitude but whatevs). Just watch the promo video and you will understand how I feel: Run to The Tetons. Um are you for real? The views are stunning. Tetons, I’m coming for you.

4. This Awesome 50 Shades of Glutes Workout

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I stumbled across this really sweet article from Self.com illustrating a pretty dope glute workout. I will definitely be incorporating some of these moves into my next Work It Out Wednesday with R, A & S. So excited! Also, we did a lot of these exercises in Sarah’s Bootcamp yesterday and let me tell you – my quads/glutes were crying in Spin this morning. I love blasting my glutes, because duh everyone loves the booty. No one wants a pancake.

5. Mustang Speed Dating Prank

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This really cracked me up. You should watch here because #girlpower!

6. Veuve Cliquot Rose

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I generally believe that Veuve is pretentious and overrated (sorry not sorry! There are a plethora of great, much more budget-friendly champs out there that do the job and taste fantastic without costing $45+/bottle). However, despite my feelings of resistance, I am a total sucker for the Rose (dude, I know! I don’t want to like it but I really do). It seems drier than its boring and uninteresting friend, the classic Yellow Label, and tastes elegant and luscious, and is full of flair (ba BAM!). It’s beyond cliche to have pink champagne for Valentine’s Day, but whatever your V-Day plans (or lack thereof), you never need an excuse to indulge in a glass (or four) of bubbly. So, cheers darlings! *Clink*

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I hope you all have a Valentine’s Day filled with lots of love ( ❀ ❀ ❀ ), and you get to really celebrate the one you love (whether that be yourself, your signif, or your four-legged friend) with lots of champagne, vegan chocolate and good times USA (or fill in the blank as to wherever you hail from πŸ˜‰ ). I will be participating in Galentine’s Day – celebrating V-Day with my gal pals! We are doing all sorts of fun stuff: pedis, rock climbing, cocktails, dinner and going to see 50 Shades. I’m beyond excited!! I think this will be the best Valentine’s Day yet! πŸ˜€

gaga

What are you guys doing for Valentine’s Day? Fill me in, in the comments!!

And, because we don’t have decorated shoeboxes to put our Valentine’s Day cards in anymore (like we did in fourth grade), consider this my e-Valentine to you. Love you guys! You truly make Bubbles and Booyah a super exciting space. I love hearing from you guys and getting to know you better with each post. Thanks for making B&B so fun! Sending you all so much love. ❀ xoxox

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Keep It Simple: Roasted Eggplant and Brussels with Quinoa and Baked Tempeh

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Roasted Eggplant and Brussel Sprouts with Quinoa and Baked Tempeh

To be honest, I’m having a hard time finding cooking motivation/inspiration since I lost my grandfather. A lot of days since I’ve been back, after work all I’ve wanted to do is just curl up in a blanket cocoon and focus on anything else. It’s funny, because everyone treats you with kid gloves for a day or so and then everything goes back to normal (I actually appreciate not being asked how I’m doing, I’d rather just try to get along with my day). But those difficult moments don’t just disappear when people stop asking you how you are doing and look at you with concern in their eyes. They come and they go, and I think that’s pretty normal. Sometimes it’s really hard, and sometimes it’s okay. I try my best to roll with the punches and let myself feel the feels without it preventing me from focusing on the fact that my grandpa would not want me to be bumming out. He’d want me to enjoy my life (specifically – eat lots of food, dance, joke and smile). I’m not really sure why my inspiration is flagging, but I just don’t really want to create anything specific. My mind, when it comes to food, is blank. When I got back from Western New York, the only thing I could think to whip up (so I didn’t starve) was to roast some veggies and tempeh and throw it over a grain – at least I’d be getting everything I needed, nutritionally. I pulled inspiration from my Farro with Tempeh, Leeks and Roasted Brussel Sprouts I made a few weeks ago, and roasted eggplant and brussel sprouts (two of my all time fave veggies) tossed in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. I threw the roasted veggies over cooked red quinoa, threw some baked tempeh in there (that I had marinated according to my Baked Tofu marinade/recipe) and topped it off with half an avocado. Voila. Dinner is served.

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Brussels, tossed in balsamic and EVOO, sprinkled with salt and pepper and ready to be roasted.

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Eggplant ready to be roasted. Angie’s Eggplant Tip: Slice the eggplant, lay it out in colander in the sink. Salt it, allow to drain for 20 – 30 minutes and then rinse the slices before marinading. You won’t need as much salt as you put on the brussels for the marinade, and it will help neutralize some of the bitter flavors in the eggplant. Yum.

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Brussels and eggplant after roasting. Yum, yum!

This dish isn’t even recipe card worthy (let’s not reinvent the wheel here, shall we?). πŸ™‚Β  Simply chop your veggies, toss them in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper added by eye (I did this in a large bowl, just like in my Farro and Roasted Brussel Sprout recipe) and roast at 400Β°F for about 25 – 30 minutes, or until they are slightly browned. I cooked the quinoa according to the directions on the package, and baked the tempeh according to my L’s Best Baked Tofu recipe. Verdict? Food does not have to be complicated or take a long time to taste delicious. This was awesome, and I actually went back for seconds.

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This was leftover night! I had a broccoli salad recipe I made from Vegetarian Times (more on that soon), and (along with the eggplant/brussels) I simultaneously roasted butternut squash tossed in olive oil and Cataluna spice blend that I talk about in my Baked Sweet Potato and Spicy Black Beans and Corn recipe that I posted back in November. Also a great quick and easy recipe to try!

It’s great to roast a bunch of veggies and veggie protein (like tempeh or tofu) all at once because now I have a ton of delicious veggies and tempeh to top off my salads for lunch, or throw together into a dish for dinner, or just eat plain as sides (or directly out of the container while standing in front of the refrigerator, while “thinking” about what to eat for dinner). It’s great for when you are feeling uber low maintenance (as I am right now) and want something quick, easy and simple – but still nutritious and filling (and with enough nutrients that will power my intense early morning workouts). So, if you’re feeling uninspired like L right now, it’s okay to take a day off from making complicated, labor-intensive dishes and just keep it simple.

judge judy

Thank you Judge Judy, I will.

I hope you guys are all enjoying your Tuesday, and if you’re in Boston Metro – I hope that you shoveled your car out okay and didn’t get stuck! I only had to help one guy get his car unstuck yesterday – it was a record! πŸ˜€

Take care all. πŸ™‚

With warmth,

L

PS: Here I am, Captain of the Shovel Squad, doing a post shoveling victory dance during yesterday’s snow day. Woop woop! We got a bit of snow, eh?

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Sweet, dude! More snow! L’s Run Recap.

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Pre-run selfie! This hat makes me look like an elf and I’m loving it.

…Jk. Kinda. Okay, I’m kinda mad about it. I’m watching the snow continue to fall outside my window as Boston gets its 4th and 5th feet of snow today. I’m thinking of everyone who has to drive, shovel their car/driveway/sidewalk out (here you will get ticketed if you don’t shovel your sidewalk within 2 hours of the snow stopping), and all the guys doing snow removal for their third consecutive week 24 hours a day. Crazy, crazy. Even when I lived in Western New York, I don’t remember getting this much snow in such a short period of time. It’s pretty unreal.

However, since I *was* raised in WNY, Little Miss Stubborn Pants (that would be me, btw) decided to go for a 10+ mile run in 4″ or so of snow for Sunday Long Run Day at the beginning of this 3 day storm. Oh yeah, and on tired legs that lifted the day before (obviously the best way to train for a half marathon is to torture your body in cruel and unusual “I’m allergic to rest days” ways). What could go wrong?

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This is about the time I thought my Boss Level was a 10 but really it was about to be a 3.

 

Spoiler alert: If you’ve read this blog before, you know that every time I have an “I’m allergic to rest days” moment, it comes back to bite me in the ass in some magical way. Here, there is no exception.

Good news: I ran the 10 miles, mostly without stopping (except when I saw my friends on the trail and stopped to chat at mile 2.2).

Bad news: After mile 2.5 the trail was no longer plowed and I was slogging it through 4″ of semi-fresh, semi-packed down with foot prints and cross country ski trails snow. After mile 5 my left foot was soaked (through my sneaks and two pairs of socks) from the slush. At mile 7 I detached my YakTrax from my sneaks and carried them, and in doing so, soaked through my gloves immediately. At mile 9 some d***head wagged his finger at me and PULLED OVER on Mass Ave (a usually very busy, 4 lane, main-artery kinda road in Boston/Cambridge) to instruct me to run on the sidewalk, despite the fact that there was a) zero traffic; b) 75% of the sidewalks weren’t shoveled; c) I was following the rules of the road, running facing traffic in a plethora of visibility gear (blinking arm band, reflective bright yellow pinney over my otherwise all black outfit). I wanted to wag a different finger back at him, but decided to be the bigger person and told him that he should worry about his driving before immediately putting my earbuds back in and going on my way down Mass Ave. Really dude? Move along, buddy *waves hand to shoo him away*.

Worst news: It took me a few minutes post-run, after I removed my sneaks and pounded some water, before I realized something was seriously wrong with my right foot. I couldn’t put any weight on it and pointing my toes was excruciating. Well, sh*t. Lucky for me, one of my best friends of life who I’ve known since I was 3 years old (when our friendship was solidified by simultaneously dumping our Barbie Pool – aka a Tupperware bin full of water – all over the floor in her older brother’s room. Basically any time I got into serious trouble, it was with her. Love you, L!) is a physical therapist in California. She’s on the left coast, so I sent her photo evidence and answered about 50 questions before she gave me some exercises and homework to do (ice, Advil, foam rolling my calves and rolling my foot with a tennis ball). I took that as a sign that the rest of my Sunday Funday should be spent with my foot elevated eating food and watching Sons of Anarchy. Yup.

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Post-run selfie: #iwannadie. But that smoothie was EPIC as sin!

 

Lucky news: After icing/elevating/Advil, the ball of my foot was not nearly so swollen, and after a few hours I could put weight on it and point my toes without uttering every single curse word I’ve ever learned. Foam rolling and massaging my foot with a tennis ball made life even better, and so in an epic moment of FOMO (Mom – that means “Fear Of Missing Out”), I actually got up this morning at 5 am and went to the gym. Where we were doing treadmill work for the first half of class (of course) – sprinting at 9 mph for eternity and then resting for -4 seconds (at least that’s what it felt like). Even after all that, my foot is still feeling prettyyyy gooood, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this was my one stern warning from the Running Gods and now I actually have to take it easy until my race (which is in 13 days). Also, bff L texted me this morning to warn me against not running for a few days (oops) and to continue rolling for the next week or two as a precautionary measure (dude, I know – I’m a bad patient). But this time, I think I’ll listen (Mom and Dad, I heard you last night – I won’t run! I swear on Chanel). I may have to bury my sneakers in the 5 feet of snow outside so I’m not tempted. They are just sitting there, in the hall, looking at me.

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There they are…giving me some serious side eye.

Okay, okay – I won’t do it. I can resist the sneaker side eye. I hope you guys are all safe and sound, and warm and healthy today. All my Boston peeps – stay warm! Also let me know if you need help shoveling because the WNY Shovel Squad may be available to come help you out (seriously though, I think a bunch of people in my small group training class are going to pile in a car armed with snow pants and shovels, drive around* and Good Samaritan shovel random cars out later on. Gotta kill those shoulders!).

How was everyone’s weekend?? Did you get b****ed out by a rando on Mass Ave too?? Tell me all about it in the comments.

With warmth (for real),

L ❀

PS: This is what the roads looked like this morning when I left the gym:

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Glorious.

*K, that might not actually happen because the roads are seriously horrific. But if it does, you’ll be the first to know. πŸ˜‰

GratiTuesday: Snow Day!

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Happy GratiTuesday, all! We are reporting live from Boston, where the snow is still coming down (on top of the 6 or so inches we already have – it’s hard to tell with the drifting). Today I’m grateful for every snowflake, and more specifically, having a snow day! It’s time to make hot chocolate, snow forts, sledding jumps and vegan baked goods. Wooohooo!!! After baking a batch of Vegan Pumpkin Power Muffins, drinking wine and watching chick flicks with my peeps last night, I wore my PJs inside out to bed just in case we didn’t get dumped on (obv it worked). πŸ˜‰ They are still predicting 18 – 26 inches total accumulation by Wednesday. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

 

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What are you guys grateful for this week?? Tell me all about it the comments! πŸ˜€

With (hot cocoa level) warmth,

L ❀