101 miles

101 recipes. 101 miles. 101 appears to be my number for the summer.

Two weeks ago, my little sister and I woke up, glued our rears to our bike seats, and biked 101 miles on the White Pine Trail– a former railroad that runs from Cadillac to Comstock Park (just north of Grand Rapids).IMG_0453Our first stop–12 miles in. Awake yet?!


At 9 am, we were 30 miles into our ride–Reed City.

When we reached Big Rapids, we had to get off the trail and bike the road to avoid unpaved trail. 35 miles later, we made it to Howard City. LUNCH. 72 miles down. Many thanks to Bob for meeting us along the way to cheer and deliver food. IMG_0466Cedar Springs. So close. Here, our dear aunt and uncle joined us to bike the last 15 miles of our day. Having them there made the miles fly by much faster. IMG_0469

The end. We made it!IMG_0475IMG_0478 It was a long, exhausting day, and we were (very) grateful to reach our destination.

This adventure is one I wouldn’t trade. I got to conquer something pretty big with my little sister. I’m so proud of her for the ways she challenged herself to make it to the end of the ride. Thanks for the adventure, Abby! Looking forward to many, many more.

Saturday Small Talk: for a wannabe yogi

I’m in town for a weekend. Not traveling. Staying put. What joy! Instead of spending Friday evening in the car, as I have the last 3 weeks, I stayed home, baked bread, enjoyed my back porch, and did some yoga.

I’ve been intrigued by yoga for a year and a bit now. I’m not particularly dedicated. I’m not particularly amazing. But that’s not the point. I like it. How it feels. I like the juxtaposition of effort and peacefulness. And the way my body sighs after a good stretch. How strong I feel in certain poses. That’s what yoga is about. Not judging yourself or anyone else. Relaxing into the process. Observing. And dismissing. Not dwelling or obsessing.

I have discovered Dave Farmar podcasts. This could get dangerous. I did this one. It’s only 20 minutes long. Perfect for a quick evening strength session, with relaxation at the end. You can download other (longer) podcasts for free from itunes.

I discovered that my mat needs a bath. In the worst way. Here’s how!

These no-bake energy bites look pretty awesome. I want to try them.

There is power in doing. Just start. Whatever your goal is, just start. A wise roommate once said, “Don’t think, just do.” Lindsey Lewis shares how to maintain a home yoga practice.

Try this for breakfast: banana bread batter instant steel cut oats. I love any kind of quick bread batter. And can’t wait to try this recipe. Just have to procure some steel cut oats. Maybe I’ll try it with regular oats. Think it would work? Stay tuned!

I wanna know: Do you ever do yoga? Or do you avoid it like the plague?


What? When did this happen? How is it February!?

In some ways, January dragged. It will do that when you live in northern Indiana, and the sun is a hot commodity. Quite literally: hot, but also a rare commodity. In many other ways, refer back to paragraph #1: “What?….”

I didn’t make any goals for January specifically, because…well…I have no good reasons. I just didn’t. It was still a great month!

For February, I have 28 precious days of winter-ness to:

  • Cook 3 new dishes. Including lasagna and spaghetti carbonara, and mac and cheese. February just scream “pasta dish” to me!
  • Celebrate the birthdays of my wonderful roommates
  • Travel: Winter Carnival! Washington, DC!
  • Finish memorizing the Beethoven movement I’ve been working on. It’s high time. This goal has been in the works since Thanksgiving.
  • Send 4 thank you cards.

It’ll be a good month. I can feel it. Right now, Indiana is battening down the hatches in preparation for an epically amazing snowstorm that’s headed our way. Bring it.

Maybe not quite that intense….

photo source

Lessons learned

Lesson #1: amazon.com is the best gift certificate a girl could ask for.

My very own Joy of Cooking! And thank you cards to work on the gratitude part of my goals for the year.

Lesson 2: Yoga with Amanda is the best possible way to wrap up a busy Monday. How in the world have I lived this long without trying yoga? I’m sold.

Lesson 3: Turn this….                                                          …into this…..

And then thank me, because it’s the perfect snack. Happy Monday, friends!

December recap and January goals

Hello again, friends! In the spirit of all of the new years resolution-ing, here are my goals for the coming month. I find that I work so much better in the short term than the long term. Anyone with me? Break down the big goals into smaller, more manageable ones? Check out Emily’s great post on this!

So, in that spirit, here’s a brief recap of December:

  • I spent less than $7 on superfluous possessions for myself (but I got a pair of hiking boots, a fleece, 4 books, and 10 records for that $7. I love thrifting!)
  • I didn’t over-eat too excessively over Christmas.
  • I snowshoed. Twice.
  • I booked a ticket to DC for February.
  • I made food, but not gingerbread. I’ll make that in July, I think. Just to be trendy.
  • I stayed active (three cheers for a great week outdoors in MI with family and friends! Sledding, skating, snowshoeing…)
  • Submitted two guest posts to other blogs. One of them was published! I’ll keep you posted on the other.

For January:

  • Continue to stay active, even though it’s cold.
  • Make 3 new recipes off the 101 in 1001 list.
  • Have a great weekend in Chicago with Cara!
  • Memorize the Beethoven movement (carry-over from December. It’s almost there, but not quite).
  • Make 2011 vision board with Lindsey
  • Two more guest posts to other blogs.
  • Journal my 2011 goals/resolutions

Bring on January. A new month. A brand new year. It’s bound to be a good one!