Life lately: running gear, books I loved, delicious meals and baby curls

Hello friends! Today I’m back with one of my classic, totally random, All Over The Place Life style posts. I’ll be sharing with you some yummy goodies from lately, some good runs, some books I’ve loved lately that I couldn’t put down, and much more!

Let’s start running, shall we?

I’ve had a couple of good runs over the past week – the first, pictured below, was a run on the Mt Vernon Trail with my friend Kathleen.

We made it about 4.5 miles but probably walked a mile because while it was lovely outside it was pretty hot too!

Side note on running gear: I really enjoyed wearing spandex shorts to run instead of loose shorts. I like that they don’t need to be adjusted when running as they don’t move/ride up at all and they also prevent my inner thighs from chafing. The side pocket for my phone is really nice too.

These are my favorite spandex running shorts (affiliate link) I’m wearing above – they’re Brooks and I wanted to mention them because I noticed a lot of the colors are on sale right now! I just ordered some new pairs because I plan to wear them to runs more often this summer. If you are between sizes I would order up as they run small.

Another hot tip for warm-weather running gear, these small, soft, collapsible water bottles (affiliate link) are great for runs where you need some water but aren’t running so long that you need a large bottle or hydration pack . I love my hydration pack, but unless I’m going for a very long run, I really don’t want to wear it. That’s why these water bottles are a great option when I just need a little water to get me through!

I don’t mind holding it in my hand like a large water bottle would and I love that it gets smaller as you drink and folds up for easier carrying on the go and when you’re done , it fits in a pocket or waist belt. I have the smallest size option and it’s perfect for me for up to 4 or 5 miles in warm weather.

Anyway, I went for a run yesterday morning after dropping the kids off at school with my friend Katie (who introduced me to the little water bottles she always carries with us on our runs). It was cooler outside which always helps a lot and we had a great 5 miles together.

It feels really good to be able to run up to 5 miles comfortably again. I am very thankful that my body can handle this distance and my hip/back problem has been solved! I’m definitely not trying to increase the distance and test it, that’s for sure.

As for the food news, Matt and I continue our usual routine, switching between the Sun Basket and Blue Apron (<- these are both affiliate links that will get you a deal on your first box if you're interested), outside of the time in who I test new products recipes for the blog. I just look at the menu for each service each week and decide which I like the look of the best!

(If you want to see a full comparison of the services as well as HelloFresh, check out this post I wrote a long time ago but kept up to date: Blue Apron vs. HelloFresh vs. SunBasket.)

Here’s a delicious Sun Basket we had recently – a Mediterranean-style chicken with quinoa salad. It was similar to my Quinoa Chickpea Salad with Feta. I always love quinoa salad.

Also cheers to the evening light for better food photos!

(If you’re also a quinoa fan, here’s a post you might want to bookmark: 9 Healthy Quinoa Salad Recipes.)

As for Blue Apron, we’ve been enjoying their sheet pan meals lately. This one reminded me of a cross between my Crispy Baked Salmon Bites and my Baked Panko Crusted Chicken. It was a baked cod!

There was also some parmesan on top of the roast potatoes which added to the flavor.

In addition, we recently had the dog Freyja with us, since my parents were out of town and the children (especially Riese) were completely out of action.

Freyja was originally my brother’s dog, then we took her with us when he moved to a dorm for grad school, then my parents “borrowed” her during the pandemic and never returned her…ha! At this point he really is a family dog!

Freyja found it quite exhausting being chased around by two small children:

But she was a good thing, and mostly because the kids ‘helped’ her to walk her (although we also held the leash because Freyja is STRONG and gets upset when other dogs walk by).

By the way, Matt tried to take Wes to his first haircut last weekend, but it was a flop! He completely lost his mind and wouldn’t let the barber near him even though the salon had an iPad, a cool car thing to sit on, etc.

To be honest I was happy because I love his cute baby curls and I’m not ready to let go of them and make him seem so much more of a “big boy” than my little baby (although he is very much more of a “big boy”). It’s a big boy these days, regardless of his haircut, the hair feels like a big deal, you know?).

So the curls stay, at least for now! It’s annoying because the front pieces always get in his eyes and he doesn’t like that, but he won’t let me put a clip or a hair tie in them; So I try the haircut. I guess it will stay in his eyes until we can convince him that a haircut isn’t scary…or until I can convince him that I can tie it back or something!

Giant didn’t get her first haircut until she was 3.5 (partly because of pandemic timing, but also because she liked hair ties and clips). I’m curious if you have kids – when did they get their first haircut? How did it go?

I cut Riese’s hair for her second haircut last fall myself, but I’m nervous about trying Wes because I have a feeling he’s going to move his head quickly and get hurt. Boys haircuts also seem more complicated due to the different lengths! I just nailed it all for Riese and she was entertained by a broadcast on Matt’s phone and didn’t move.

Aaaaaanyway – this turned out to be a longer tangent than I intended!

Coming back to life lately – last weekend Matt and Riese brought me breakfast in bed for Mother’s Day and it was lovely. Homemade banana bread, delicious!

On Mother’s Day morning we hung out as a family for a while, and then Matt took Riese and Wes on a little hike, and I went on a little hike by myself, which was lovely.

We originally wanted to do a family hike, but Riese complained about it and I was like, “You know what I would NOT want for Mother’s Day?” Going on a hike with a kid who doesn’t feel like it…”

Also, Riese had dance lessons, so the timing would have been tight anyway. Being alone in the forest was so nice. It’s always my happy place.

I wandered around for a while and then enjoyed a sweetgreen salad—a variation on the Harvest Bowl, which I have a copycat version of on the blog: Harvest Bowls with Sweet Potatoes. So good.

At the beginning of the weekend I had another fun treat – my good friend Ashley was in town! She’s my original running friend from when I first got into longer races (that’s around the time I started blogging in 2009, so super long-time readers will pick her out of posts like this recap of my very first half marathon). in 2010).

Unfortunately, Ashley was struggling with a bad running injury so we couldn’t run together, but we went to one of my favorite yoga classes and then had brunch here in Del Ray at the Junction. Her food is amazing – I had her vegetarian breakfast burrito with a side salad.

Ashley lives in San Diego now and I miss her! It was great to catch up.

Let’s end this post with some book recommendations, as I’ve read a few books recently that I’ve enjoyed (and FYI, the book links are Amazon affiliate links).

First: Beartown, which a friend recently loaned me. This book is incredibly beautiful – it’s deep and heartbreaking and the writing is absolutely gorgeous. Can’t recommend it highly enough (but heed the trigger warnings). While it started out a bit slow and many characters were introduced quickly, I stuck with it and was so glad I did.

Apparently it’s a trilogy and now I want to read the rest…as well as the author’s other books. His writing is amazing. Have any of you read his other books, such as Anxious People? Curious what you thought, if so!

I also recently read “Meet Me at the Lake” by Carley Fortune on my Kindle and loved it too. It’s a sweet romance novel that I couldn’t put down.

I love Carley’s writing; Her debut novel last year, Every Summer After, was one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Her character development and dialogue is so good. I was thrilled when Meet Me at the Lake came out and devoured it in just a few days!

Last but not least, I sifted through the books in the fantasy series From Blood and Ash that a blog reader recommended to me a few months ago. There are 6 books in the series and they honestly just keep getting better! The plot and world building was so well done (and it was all pretty hot too).

What should I read next, friends?

Have a nice day and see you back here soon!

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