Blog Archives

My favorite things about Fall

I love Fall.

Do you call it Fall or Autumn? I never say Autumn but I like how it’s spelled. Either way, it’s one of my most favorite times of year.

The only bad thing about Fall is that it means Winter is just a little bit closer. But, except for the snow/ice hazards and the extremely bitter cold days, I have learned to appreciate that season more as well. But let’s not jump the gun. I’m here to talk about Fall because it’s what’s almost here!

I started this post about a month ago when we had a break in our seriously hot weather. But then it got hot again and didn’t feel like the right time to be talking about Fall just yet. Even though it was 94 yesterday, it seems that the cooler weather is just about here to stay and it is almost October so I did not want to delay any further!

I’ve also been thinking about Fall a lot because I work on a college campus and once the semester finally started, the students came rolling in and the restaurants and coffee shops went back to their normal hours (read: later than 2 p.m. and places that have been closed all Summer are finally open!) and there will be other exciting events going on here between now and the Christmas break.

Most days, the mornings have been on the cool side, cool enough as my friend Carrie said “to have a cup of hot tea in the mornings again!” She’s right about that. It’s also been darker in the mornings when I go out to walk Suzie and it’s been getting darker earlier at night. As much as I do love my daylight, it’s sort of cozy when it gets dark early and that makes me want to go to bed earlier, which is a good thing for me.

I have been feeling inspired 🙂 Change is good.

Fall means a lot of things to each one of us. But I think we can all agree that it’s generally a fun time of year. Now I just thought I would share a few of my favorite things about Fall with you 🙂

1. P-U-M-P-K-I-N!

Seriously, as soon as I see this stuff, I’m stocking up again! It’s been too long!

My pantry last Fall

I like to bake with it, put it in my oatmeal, make soup with it, pumpkin dip with ginger snaps, you name it. I’m also excited about pumpkin spice tea and pumpkin flavored coffee (not the syrup but the actual coffee flavor) and anything else coffee shops, cafes  or companies come up with to entice me into trying something. If it says pumpkin on it, I will probably at least give it a second look.

2. Art fairs, charity walks, outdoor events, etc.

Such as the St. James Court Art Show!

St. James is the event that really kicks off the Fall for me and it’s just a little over 2 weeks away. It also has the most unpredictable weather! I believe this picture is from two years ago, while last year we were in shorts! You just never know 😉 But I’m kind of hoping for a chilly morning this year, just not too cold!

The Louisville Walk for Farm Animals

I am one of the co-coordinators of this year’s Walk for Farm Animals (Farm Sanctuary)  on October 22nd and I am really excited about all that we have planned! Last year, we had a decent turnout and raised a good amount of money through our walk and a bake sale that we had beforehand. I’m looking forward to topping all of that this year! If you would like to sign up to walk or donate to my walk page, click here (thanks!)

Mighty Kindness Harvest Hootenanny

The Hootenannies take place in the Fall and in the Spring (on Earth Day) and it’s another time of rather unpredictable weather. Last year’s Fall Hoot was absolutely freezing and then the Earth Day hoot this year kept a lot of people at home because of rain/storms. Hopefully this time we will have a better day. I will be working at the Louisville Vegetarian Club booth this year and I hope my friend Kristin (pictured above in the hat and sunglasses) is there selling her goods again too 🙂

Fall Road Races!

While I haven’t decided to run any races this Fall (yet), I am going to be supporting my friends Farrah (pictured above on right) and Chloe in the Louisville Marathon on October 16th! I know it sounds corny but it’s long been a dream of mine to be on the sidelines cheering for someone else 🙂 This will be the first marathon for both of them and I can’t wait to see them cross that finish line!

3. Haunted Houses and horrors!

Courtesy of Nightmare Forest Louisville

I don’t scare easily but I do tend to jump at loud noises! My husband and I love the Halloween season. Soon we’ll be busting out our collection of horror movies and lining up on a Friday night to go through some scary forest, hotel or whatever attraction we choose to visit this year. We are also big fans of the Danger Run, even though we usually end up arguing and get lost at some point. All in good fun!

4. Football (sigh…)

I'm bummed he's not playing 😦

Never in my life did I think I would include this on a list of my favorite things about Fall. But the truth is, I do enjoy watching some football. It gets overwhelming when there are several games on in a week or when my husband is in the basement yelling at a particular team and I can hear him two floors up.

He’s not the only one who does this, but I just don’t like it when people get so mad about a game that they say terrible things to a team they claim to be a fan of and they just plain ruin my good time! But most of the time, it’s enjoyable to root for your favorite teams while spending time with family and friends over some chips and salsa.

We used to host Monday Night Football at our house every year but since we just moved and aren’t quite unpacked and my husband’s work schedule is a bit unforgiving (he wakes up at 4 a.m.!) we have decided not to do it this year. I kind of miss it already but hopefully we can get some people together for a game sometime this season!

I’m sure there will be some other adventures that I’m not even aware of yet but I will leave it at that for now. We are still settling into our new house and hopefully someday I will finally sit down and do a before and after post on some of the rooms we have redone and how the place looks now that we actually live here 🙂

What are you looking forward to this Fall? Anything not on this list that I should check out?

Not really Fall

If you asked about weather preferences, I would be the first to exclaim that I am totally a warm weather person! I hate being cold, so cold that no matter how many blankets you throw on or cups of tea you drink, you can’t shake that shiver.

But this year, it’s just been HOT. We hit the 90’s in June and hardly looked back. While that is okay for the Summer months, here we are getting ready to celebrate the first day of Fall and it’s going to be 96 degrees.

So as much as I love Summer and dread Winter, I need a happy medium!

Even though Fall has yet to really arrive, I’ve been getting a head start on my favorite Fall flavors.

001I actually found this tea on our trip to Brown County back in July, I’ve been saving it for a while! 🙂

002 003

I also found some Pumpkin Spice coffee at one of my new favorite places in the world (haha): World Market!

Pumpkin spice coffee!

Sadly, even though I’ve been enjoying my pumpkin beverages, I have yet to actually make anything with “real” pumpkin. But it’s still early. Heck it’s not even really Fall yet.

Side note: has anyone been able to find Libby’s pumpkin anywhere? I’m still on the hunt. Whole Foods brand organic pumpkin just isn’t the same 😦

Update on goals

I decided to kick my caffeine habit on Monday, May 24th and I am happy to say that so far, so good.

I still drink one cup of caffeinated tea per daybut that is significantly less caffeine than I was consuming (19 mg caffeine vs. 90). I have only had one minor breakdown where I was literally falling asleep at my desk and had to have a cup of the “real” stuff.

(Image Source)

But once in three weeks is pretty good, no?

I wish I could say it is helping me sleep better but that has actually taken a downturn (hence falling asleep sitting up). I’ve been up every night past 11 (sometimes 12) and then I’ve been waking up every morning at 5 or 5:30 to work out before work.

I can function well on 6-7 hours of sleep normally, but when I start going under the 6, it becomes a problem. I need to work on this soon because not getting enough sleep can cause a whole lot of problems! It seems like it’s hard to fit everything in and still get enough sleep but somehow I have to do it.

I also gave up drinking diet sodas and I think now that I have found enough other drinks to enjoy, it’s not so hard to resist them anymore. I haven’t had one since May 8th! Josh even has a 24 pack of Coke Zero in our house where I can see it and I’m still not tempted.

A diet soda here or there isn’t such a bad thing, but I have no moderation. I would drink that entire 24 pack in just a few days. Then the artificial sweeteners wreak their havoc on me. No good for me, so no thanks!

If you read my fitness blog, River City Fitness, then you know that I have been taking Body Pump classes regularly the past two weeks (this week is the 3rd). Since I am in a regular weight training program now, I am trying to pay more attention to what I eat after my workouts, including adding more protein to some of my meals and snacks.

I’m also learning a lot thanks to this summer “Nutrition in Athletic Performance” class that I’m constantly cramming for taking right now. I’m also having a lot of fun, eating healthy, hanging out with friends, not worrying about my weight and just enjoying life.

So that’s what’s going on right now. How about you?

Have you given up something recently? How is it going for you?

Everything…almost

I decided today that I wanted to show you all everything I eat and drink in a day. Sometimes I leave things out because I think you are tired of seeing it, but really that is me.

It could be that this is your first time visiting my blog and I would be wrong to assume that you’d be tired of seeing anything. So here we go!

Breakfast this morning was an awesome combination: oats (with almond milk), flax, strawberries, and almond butter.

001

I forgot to photograph my boring black coffee, which is why I had to put “almost” in the title, ha ha.

I snacked on some nuts mid-morning.

002

And some pomegranate raspberry green tea 🙂

004

Lunch was in three parts:

First was a salad with balsamic vinaigrette (vegan).

005

I was surprised I didn’t end up using half the dressing. That’s why it pays to just use a little at a time instead of dumping the whole thing on there!

Second was leftover spaghetti from last night.

006

And finally, some Musselman’s all natural applesauce with real cinnamon.

008

More tea! Rooibos Red this time.

007

My afternoon snack was a piece of bread with peanut butter.

009

And oops, a Diet Pepsi. I do have one every now and then, like once a week if that. I just haven’t been able to let them go 100%, yet.

010

I kept dinner pretty light because I was going to the gym not long afterwards.

012

Chickpeas, brown rice and steamed asparagus. Looks simple and boring, but it really hit the spot and gave me good fuel for a workout.

Find out what I did over at River City Fitness!

I also drank this SoBe Lifewater while at the gym.

013

I stopped by Whole Foods on the way home (right by the gym, another big selling factor) and then enjoyed my favorite snack ever.

015

The best part? I finished the last bite at 8:59.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my whole day. I kind of liked it too 😉

If you are a blogger, do you blog all of your meals, snacks, etc. or are there things you leave out? Why or why not?

Normally, I would’ve left out all the drinks and probably the nuts since I eat them every day.

Daytona and Beach

Oh, to be in Daytona this week. Would’ve been nice.

Nope, we were still in Kentucky, where it is cold and snowy, watching a little race called the Daytona 500. Oh well 😉

Breakfast on Sunday was more oat bran with strawberries and peanut butter, yum!

007

At church, I snacked on a tangerine and then we headed to Courtney’s to watch the race.

My plate included a vegan burger on a sandwich thin, veggies and chips with salsa.

005

I had a few more chips with salsa over the course of the day. We also built some friends during the long red flag break in the middle of the race.

019

Meet our friend Daytona.

021

And his pet turtle, Beach! Ha ha.

027

When we got home, I was actually hungry for dinner but the only thing on my mind was PB&J oats, so that’s what I had!

 031

And some more delicious tea 🙂

006

It was quite the interesting day! The race got pretty lame with the red flags but it was good to welcome NASCAR back for another season 😉

Are you a NASCAR fan? Who is your favorite driver?

What I ate on Saturday

Saturday was quite the interesting day. Thankfully it all started off with a good breakfast!

003

But then it went south when I had a really disappointing “race” that just wasn’t meant to be. But I got over it, eventually, and enjoyed good food the rest of the day.

Lunch: spaghetti leftovers!

012

013

Snack:

014

This tea reminded me a lot of English Breakfast. Not as “special” as I’d hoped it was but still good.

015

Dinner: more leftovers!

016

Snack: the box is gone, woo hoo!

017

So that was my Saturday. Sorry for the lull in blogging, I just needed a break I guess 🙂

7 years ago

On Friday the 12th, it was seven years ago that Josh asked me to marry him!

(I haven’t been able to wear my engagement ring for a long time, but it looks something like that one, ha ha)

It’s hard to believe it has been that long but then sometimes, mostly due to all the changes I’ve made in my life, it seems like a lifetime ago!

Anyway, Friday was an awesome day in terms of food. I was off work for a dental appointment so I got to take my time with breakfast 🙂

Oat bran with PB and banana.

021

Then before I left for my appointment, I had a good lunch of leftover vegan meatloaf in a pita pocket with cauliflower and a tangerine (yay, vitamin c)!

001

002

After my appointment, I was able to get in a really good workout and then came home to snack on some “homemade” peanut butter crackers.

003 

And a vitamin water, which tasted okay but I didn’t care for the ingredients (like Sucralose and a few others I couldn’t pronounce, never good).

004

Luckily, I also enjoyed a nice cup of tea as well!

005

Friday night, I went out with Courtney for dinner and a movie!

We ate at Shiraz Mediterranean Grill, which no matter how hard I try, I can’t resist the falafel!

002

I ordered mine without the tzatziki sauce (contains yogurt) and they graciously offered hummus instead 🙂

I also had some sweet potato fries but managed not to photograph them, so sad 😦

After dinner, we went to see the movie “Leap Year” which was cute but sort of silly. My favorite parts were definitely the ones taking place in Ireland 😉 I thought Matthew Goode was a hottie in this movie!

I also had some Twizzler nibs during the film!

Friday was definitely the highlight of my weekend. You’ll see why soon enough 😉

Mucho soy

On Wednesday night, Courtney asked me if I wanted some more tea. Uh, did she see my tea post? Ha, of course!

011

I love you, Earl Grey. You are delicious!

Since you’ve already seen my breakfast from yesterday, let’s move on. I snacked on some nuts (and coffee) mid-morning.

003

As much as I love tea, I can’t resist a cup of coffee at work 🙂

Since my breakfast was a bit skimpy, I got hungry for lunch rather early. I went ahead and ate my tangerine (loving Vitamin C these days).

014

Then eventually broke into my leftover rice and beans!

015

I ate a Larabar around 1:00!

016

So it’s no surprise that I was starving by the time I was heading to the gym after work. It might just be full of air, but it got the job done.

023

Then I rehydrated with some Lifewater!

024

Dinner was some baked tofu (garlic powder, chili powder and sesame seeds) with a sweet potato and pita with Smart Balance Light.

017

As if I hadn’t had enough soy for the day, I decided to finish off the leftovers of my Tofu Chocolate Pudding from Wednesday night.

019

And a cup of Chocolate Cheerios!

020

Must’ve been that awesome elliptical workout that worked up such an appetite! I almost went back for more cereal but I realized I wasn’t hungry anymore, but tired.

So I maintained my 9:00 rule, went to bed at 10 and felt just fine 🙂

I used to be “afraid” of eating too much soy, but I’m so glad that I learned that soy in it’s “whole” forms: soybeans, tofu, soymilk, etc. is safe. It is the overly processed soy “products” (like meat substitutes) that can be consumed too much.

I highly recommend this article written by my friend and fellow vegan, Carrie.

What is your take on soy?

Snow Day 2010

When I woke up at 5:30 this morning, I found out that I didn’t have to work today!

It started snowing last night into today and I think we’ve gotten somewhere around 6 inches of snow.

002

Suzie and I have had fun today!

013

Instead of going back to sleep, I enjoyed some leftover pancakes and coffee!

001

Since I had the day off from my full-time gig, I got to work on my home duties that had gotten neglected over the busy weekend!

I literally cleaned my entire apartment, did laundry and dishes. Now I’m really hoping I get to go back to work tomorrow or else I won’t have anything to do 😉

I snacked on some nuts mid-morning and then took a break for lunch in the midst of my housework.

018

Veggie burger with hummus in a pita pocket, plus some cauliflower. And a tangerine!

019

Of course, I had some more tea this afternoon 🙂

020

Loved this one!

All my cleaning worked up an appetite. I had this later in the afternoon.

021 

For dinner, I started off with a spinach salad with balsamic vinaigrette.

022

Then I made some rice & beans (pinto) sprinkled with hot sauce.

023

And even more tea, if you can believe it. I’m obsessed!

024

Jasmine is definitely a favorite. I think I like the other Jasmine tea I had before better than this one, but this is still really good!

I also tried a new product for a snack tonight.

021

First, the Silk Almond milk is delicious. I’m glad I got the original because it’s just 60 calories per cup and its creamy and sweet (I used it in my green monster yesterday).

My mom has been raving about these Chocolate Cheerios forever, so when I finally saw them, I had to try them out.

025

These taste just like Cocoa Puffs. I mean that in a good way. I’m going to have to be careful with these 😉

What’s the best new product you’ve tried lately?

Tea happy!

I have really been getting into drinking tea again lately and I’ve picked up a few new kinds recently, plus I’ve been trading with my friend Kim as well!

This was my first time ever trying Rooibos tea. The first time I had it, I wasn’t sure what to think, it just didn’t have much of a distinctive flavor to me. But I tried it again today and it’s growing on me (which is good since I have an entire box). And it is red tea, which is a nice variation from my usual greens and blacks.


This is one that Kim gave me and I have long been a fan of Bigelow teas and this one did not disappoint. I tasted the caramel more than vanilla but it was a perfect compliment to those pancakes I had on Saturday 🙂


This was one of the best green teas I’ve ever had. I don’t buy the Tazo very often because it is rather expensive (or I’m cheap, ha ha) so I’m thankful to Kim for passing this one on to me. I’m not very good at describing teas so I’ll take this one straight from the site: “China Green Tips is a fresh and lively tea with a light, creamy, vegetative taste balanced with a lingering sweet, smooth finish.” I couldn’t have said it better!

I was so excited when I saw that the Yogi teas were on sale for $2.99 at Kroger! This one jumped out at me first because who doesn’t need stress relief? This tea has a very rich flavor and isn’t too sweet or fruity, which is what I expected for some reason. I also love the little messages that come on each string, this one said “Mantras you shouldn’t say: I don’t know; I’m not ready; I can’t do it.”

I’m usually not a big fan of fruity teas but this Pomegranate Raspberry green tea (from Stash) was just mildly fruity and not too sweet, which is why I think I liked it so much. I just realized that I don’t have a bad review to give about tea, at least not the ones I’ve tried recently. Hmm…not necessarily a bad thing!

Do you like tea? Tell me your favorites!