Insert Witty Title About Vacations

I’ve been trying to figure out a good way to say I’m on vacation. Looking at pictures and figuring out funny quotes when I came across this gem through Google Images

PERFECT. For me, a vacation isn’t just time spent on beach, an excuse for food, or being slightly antisocial at times…although I plan on all of that and more…it’s a time to reset my brain.

Leaving the state always put me into a mode where I could appreciate all I have and all I wanted for my future. Normally though I went into panic mode near the end. Will I EVER be stable in my job? Housing? Money? Whatever else? It’s nice to know, this time I leave for vacation in a good place and I come back from vacation in a good place. I can’t put into words what it means to me that I have, after so many years, achieved a place of stability and happiness.

I leave for Portland on Thursday, I will be unplugged other than Twitter or Instagram or other easy things on my phone. No blogging, no commenting, no Facebook. OK? When I get back I plan to do things like stay up all night playing video-games or watching movies. Taking my new bathing suit to the beach or simply sitting outside with my dog and a good book. I might do some site maintenance or reading of blogs, but my brain doesn’t want to worry about clients, or deadlines, or analytics for a while. I think you all understand.

I’ve never taken an extended hiatus or vacation from this blog in 4 years. I haven’t ever had a REAL adult vacation from a REAL adult career. I think it’s only natural to have both at the same time.

Love you all and I’ll be back soon!

Friday Food : Great Grape Smoothie

Guess what today is everyone? It’s a very special day for ROJ Running! It is my FOUR YEAR anniversary! In the world of wedding anniversaries I could expect silk or linen, fruit and flowers or electrical appliances. I DID buy myself new towels this week and today’s recipe features fruit. Who wants to send an electrical appliance? Does a washing machine qualify or a dishwasher because I’d really love either. Maybe Amana will hook me up at FitBloggin next week. haha. DREAM BIG.

Earlier this week I was on the hunt for new workout pants. While looking at Kohl’s, I happened to come across two new cookbooks.  Sold as part of their Kohl’s Cares Program. One for Party Food and another for ideas on recipes to make in your blender. At $5 a piece and knowing the money goes to charity, how could I say “no”? I immediately started eyeing the ideas in the blender book and found one to share.

Great Grape Smoothie

Great Grape Smoothie
What you will need:

  • 1/2 cup chilled grape juice
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup seedless grapes

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth and frothy

Makes 1 serving

Comments and Photos:

The original recipe calls for red grapes, I used seedless black because they’re my FAVES next to concord. I also used Chobani Greek yogurt…because is there really any other kind?

My mixing device of choice is my Ninja Blender, and although I DO love it, I have to agree it doesn’t always mix the skins of things into the finest condition. Green smoothies have specs of spinach and this smoothie has specs of grape skins. I personally don’t mind and like the texture, but it’s something I know others wouldn’t enjoy.

At first I was nervous about grapes and yogurt, but it was quite pleasant. Want to know a secret? I even made my own grape juice!

Since this was such a simple combination, let me tell you how to make your own grape juice too.

  1. Take your grapes (I don’t know how many exactly, but it takes a lot to make juice so be warned). Make sure they’re rinsed and pulled off the stems and nothing weird is getting in the way. Technical language.
  2. Using a potato masher (or blender on pulse as I used) break down the grapes.
  3. Pour this mixture into a saucepan and heat on medium and stir for 10 minutes.
  4. Next strain the mixture using a cheesecloth or sieve into another saucepan or drinking glass to collect your juice. Don’t throw out the grape skins yet!
  5. Allow juice to cool

By making my own juice I was able to make this smoothie knowing there wasn’t a crap ton of processed chemicals, preservatives or sugar.

What did I do with the extra skins? Waste not, want not. I topped my oatmeal with them! YUM YUM. I truly had myself a Great Grape Meal.

Great Grape Smoothie and oatmeal
When you’re cooking do you ALWAYS follow the recipe or is it a guideline? What’s your favorite type of grape? Red? Green? Black? Vote below!

Thanks again for a wonderful 4 years, here’s to many many many more!

Around the web : June 2013

I’ve been collecting interesting emails from various companies or friends or sources for a while now and haven’t been able to really form a good theme to use them for “Three Things Thursday” and now they’re getting out of control….like this sentence…so I decided it was time for another “Around the web”, which hasn’t been written since August of last year! Ha!

#1 Pretty Muddy 5K is coming to Columbus, OH Sept 14, 2013 and has announced their location! For the second year in a row they will be taking over Mad River Mountain. I am an ambassador for the race, so you’ve been reading about my training and excitement for a while now. Isn’t it nice to know where we’re all going? I know it was a BLAST last year, so this makes it all the more exciting. Oh and if you’re a mommy or daddy you may be interested to now the race is now partnering with Rileyroso shoes.

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#2  Westin Hotels & Resorts recently announced a new partnership with Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon.  They’re looking for an individual to take their passion for running on the road with the exciting new position of RunWESTIN Concierge. The RunWESTIN Concierge will serve as a charismatic leader for VIP Westin guests throughout their race experience, providing tips and information on training, nutrition and race logistics. This is high profile, paid position will last a minimum of six months. You can get the full job description and more information here: http://www.runwestinconcierge.com

#3 I was sent a press release about a new book. I don’t have time for a full review, so I thought I’d pass the 411 on to make your own call. I think it sounds AWESOME, especially for those with kids.

Get Your Kids Hiking! Start them Young and Keep it Fun

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Want Your Kids to Enjoy Hiking and the Great Outdoors? “Make it fun”, says Jeff Alt, renowned hiking expert and author of the new book Get Your Kids Hiking! How to Start Them Young and Keep it Fun.

Jeff is an avid hiker. In addition to walking the 2,160-mile Appalachian Trail, he also walked the 218-mile John Muir Trail with his wife, and trekked across a 50-mile path of Ireland with his wife, young daughter, and extended family. He and his wife emerged from the church doors on their wedding day wearing backpacks, and his son was taken on his first hike at 8 weeks.

List $13.95    More information is available at www.JeffAlt.com

#4 This is VERY cool. I especially love this concept after seeing Spirit of the Marathon II and sicking around for the ‘This Water is Beautiful’ documentary for WorldVision. Janji (runjanji.com) is a running apparel company where the proceeds go the help alleviate the water crisis in many countries. First look at some of these cute women’s shirts:

Janji

Now their background, from their website:

Janji is a running apparel brand that provides food and water to those in need.

Runners require proper hydration and ample nutrition to train, run 5Ks and finish marathons. At the same time, millions of people around the world lack the basic necessities for survival.

We can change that.

Through each purchase of Janji’s distinctive running apparel, a portion of proceeds funds organizations that are alleviating the worst problems related to food and water. By funding solutions and raising awareness through our apparel, Janji wants to create a nation of runners that run for another and eliminate the global food and water crisis.

#5 Did you know KIND Healthy Snacks has a line of granola now? I’ve seen their bars countless places, both online and in stores, but I wasn’t aware until recently their line had expanded.

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KIND Healthy Grains contain healthful, unique 100% whole grains like amaranth and quinoa; superfoods like blueberries and chia; and delicious ingredients like peanut butter and dark chocolate. Eat them with milk, yogurt or right out of the pouch. <–yes that’s a direct quote from the website. ( ; Check out any of these yummy sounding flavors.

  • Peanut Butter Whole Grain Clusters
  • Vanilla Blueberry Clusters with Flax Seeds
  • Cinnamon Oat Clusters with Flax Seeds
  • Maple Walnut Clusters with Chia & Quinoa
  • Dark Chocolate & Cranberry Clusters
  • Oats & Honey Clusters with Toasted Coconut

#6 I know lots of people are talking about running their first marathon this fall. Maybe head over to Kenneymyers.com and read 10 IPHONE APPS TO HELP YOU TRAIN FOR YOUR FIRST MARATHON “. I’ve heard good things about Runkeeper and MyFitnessPal. I used MFP off and on over the years and if you like calorie counting and community based support it is great!  Especially with the website partnership. 

I think those are enough fun and exciting links for now, don’t you? What products, services or general information have you come across lately that you find worth a share? Feel free to link below.