Friday Favorites: September

standard September 30, 2016 Leave a response

FridayFavorites (1)

Cooler weather and falling leaves brings comfort foods and thought-provoking reads this month. There have been so many intriguing stories and cozy meals, so grab a cup of coffee and dig into these favorites from around the web.


  1. What You Should Really Bring Someone Who Just Had a Baby // Great suggestions here that most people don’t think of, but are so true and helpful.
  2. Working from Home: Finding Your Own Work Flow // Comparison is the thief of joy. Find your own best routine.
  3. Gardening as a Kid Indicates You’ll Eat More Fruits and Veggies as a College Student // Go out and garden with your kids!
  4. The Secrets of Happy Families // A must read for families. This changed my way of thinking about a lot of common issues.
  5. The More of Less // A concise assessment of how to get started minimizing your life. It does not have to be daunting or hard!


  1. Cheesy Cauliflower Rice and Broccoli Bake // Childhood comfort food.
  2. Walnut Butter Oatmeal // Super simple and easy, perfect for a busy morning.
  3. Miracle No Knead Bread // As someone intimidated by bread baking, even I am excited about this recipe. So easy! So good!
  4. Spicy Vegan Chocolate Chili // A smoky, flavorful spin on a classic for a hearty weekend feast with friends.
  5. Pumpkin Protein Balls // A delicious and healthy way to fulfill those pumpkin cravings.

Have a relaxing and delicious weekend!

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Purchases from these links may result in a small commission used to support

Run Austin: Fall Racing Plans

standard September 23, 2016 Leave a response


WAYYY back in January of this year, I signed myself up for my next marathon. Before Austin. Because we had grand plans for 2016 training and racing. And because the price was crazy cheap. I thankfully had the foresight to purchase a refundable registration that I can cancel with a note from my OBGYN. Yet, I also already have my eyes on a fall or winter 2017 race, because, you know, annual marathon tradition and all. Plus, motivation.

In the meantime, I am focusing on staying moving forward as long as I can. Weeks 6-10 of pregnancy were horrible in terms of nausea. And for me, running only made it worse. Then, illness and a toe issue derailed me a few more weeks. Today, I managed a happy, slow, solid 4 mile trek, and am so grateful to be able to keep running, at least for the time being.


On paper, Miami Marathon training starts next Thursday. And even though I am going to be canceling my registration (because Zika. And travel restrictions. Don’t worry. I was crazy enough to try to figure out how to still go for a while. Sometimes you just need friends to tell you you’re crazy), I am still determined to see how much of my training plan I can complete. Without goals, I do nothing. I need a game plan, even for the every day. So why not use the one I already made, with a few modifications? Here’s how it’s going to work.

  1. Walk. Yes, walk. Run/walk methods have been my friend ever since I first started running, and they work. This will force me to slow down, enjoy the process, prevent injury and issues.
  2. Decrease mileage. I can guarantee you I won’t be doing a 16 miler anytime soon.  By decreasing a few miles out of a training day, opting for a walk day instead of always running, or rethinking speed workouts, solid training can happen safely and happily.
  3. Rethink running. Some runs will turn into elliptical sessions at the gym. Some speed days will turn into cross training with strength and Pilates classes. But miles will be done. Activity will be completed. And we will both be healthy and happy.


So what about racing? Yes, I’d LOVE to keep racing this fall as the weather cools down. I have refused to sign up for anything until the last minute in case I cannot complete the race. I’d rather pay more and know it’s feasible, than sign up in advance at a cheaper rate and feel pressure to run it even if it doesn’t feel right. Right now, I am looking at the Run Free Texas 80’s 8k, Run for the Water 10 mile (or 5k), and the annual Turkey Trot with my family.

None of this may work out the way I want it to. But having a plan gives me a focus, a start, a joy in continuing something I love despite limitations.

Anyone else running through a pregnancy? Would love to hear your stories and tips!

Simplify 2016: Schedule

standard September 16, 2016 Leave a response


One of the best things I did for my schedule was delete my Google calendar. I had it color coded, organized by tasks and activities, could share it with classmates and family. And I was addicted to it. I lived by what that calendar did and filled every inch of space I had with something that needed to get done. After switching to a paper planner (this one is my absolute favorite <– affiliate link), I still color coded everything, but I craved the white space that came from NOT filling in every open space. White space left room for last-minute projects, lunch with friends, a 10 minute mental break. And it forced me to single task. Online calendars let you schedule multiple items at one time. Paper gives you ONE line. Life-changing.

Simplified Planner

Ready to simplify your schedule? Start with these three tips:

  1. Stop multi-tasking. We live in a culture that promotes and celebrates doing as much as we can in as little time as we can. But how much are we focusing on the task at hand or completing it well? Try doing just one thing at a time and focusing on that one task until completion (or if it’s part of a longer project, until a break is needed). I promise you will not only get just as much, if not more, done, but you will also have done it better. Read more.
  2. Block schedule tasks. In addition to single tasking, block scheduling tasks helps ensure that your larger and most important tasks get completed. It also makes room for those little tasks that you keep putting off. Prioritize what needs to get done, write down a schedule, and follow this effective 7 minute strategy for all those small items. Read more.
  3. Plan breaks. It is easy to get in a zone and go go go when it comes to some projects. Set a timer, get up and stretch every hour. Take a walk around the block during lunch. Get away from the computer and phone screens for a few minutes in the middle of the day. Exercise, a change of scenery, and a little rest can go a long way to preventing the afternoon slump and keeping your day productive. Read more.

How do you simplify your daily schedule? Any tried and true tips or tricks?

Catch up on previous Simplify 2016 posts: