halfsies.

Guess what today is…

I will be accepting all gifts in half-form today. Including a half-dozen roses, half a sheet cake, and of course, a half million dollars.

Juuuuuust kidding.
Kinda.

Seriously, today actually is something special. It’s actually my half-versary (ok I’m done) of being pop/soda/coke free!

I gave up pop at the being of the year and haven’t looked back. To some people that’s not a big deal, but I used to drink a significant amount of it.

Honestly, it adds nothing to your life and you are better without it.

Have a happy and healthy July!

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my drunk kitchen.

Ya’ll need to get up to speed on this internet sensation.

 

She’s hilarious and kind of my hero. Check it.

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tour de cleve.

Dear Cleveland,
On July 29, 2011 – you must do this.

…and if you don’t live in Cleveland, find your local chapter and get involved.

I participated in Cleveland Critical Mass last night. Critical Mass is a bicycling event typically held the last Friday of every month in over 300 cities around the world.

HOLY FUN.


(Check out my Peugeot! I’m in love.)

CCM meets downtown in Public Square.

This month’s ride was extra special for a couple riders, they got married! Sadly I missed the wedding but I heard it was super cute.

At 6:30pm we were off!

We rode around downtown for a bit before circling back to Public Square to meet up with another group ready to go at 7pm.

The destination this month was the Larchmere neighborhood in Cleveland near Shaker Heights.

Along the way we were greeted with lots of waves, words of encouragement, friendly honks, and curious bystanders. It was amazing to see how supportive and happy most motorists and locals were. I heard so many people inquire about what was going on and how they could get involved. I talked with a couple ladies who were working at a local shop, giving them the information and encouragement to join us next month. I hope they weren’t too offended by my sweaty helmet hair.

After an hour and 15 minutes and 12.29 miles, we made it!

Our grumbling tummies and need for rehydration led us to Academy Tavern on Larchmere Blvd.

Their fish and chips special and a tall brew made this lady very happy.

So seriously, July 29 – be there. And don’t worry if you don’t have a bike, you can contact Great Lakes Touring Company to rent one! They will deliver a bike for you at Public Square and pick it up at the end of the ride.

I’ve done a lot of cool things in this city, but I don’t know if CCM can be topped. Ride on.

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salmon cakes.

Want to fluff up some canned tuna/salmon?

Here ya go.

Salmon Cakes

1 can salmon packed in water
1 egg
1/3 cup breadcumbs
seasoning of choice

Put all the ingredients in a bowl:

Mix and season. I used Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning because it rules:

Form into patties and cook in a lightly oiled skillet:

Brown on both sides and eat!

Enjoy!

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yeti battle 2011.

Why hello beautiful…

I spent the holiday weekend breathing the glorious mountain air near Kinzua Dam in the Alleghenies.

Also – getting eaten by bugs, falling down mountains, suffering from smoke eyes, eating way too many hot dogs, almost peeing my pants 378 times, not fishing on a fishing boat, laughing at other people falling, witnessing a super vornato, not taking a shower, unplugging from the world, and fighting a Yeti.

You see, I got pretty banged up Saturday evening. An innocent romp in the woods turned into an epic battle of girl vs. beast.

This is basically a perfect re-creation of what went down…

Ok, fine. There wasn’t a Yeti. No epic war between species. Just a clumsy gal trying to walk in the forest back to her tent.

A tree branch grabbed my leg (I swear) and took me down into a leafy ditch. No one saw this beautiful fall, but they heard it. Fellow camper, Middle Mike, described the event as such, “I’ll never forget the sound that made. Leafy footstep, leafy footstep, kaTHUD……(silence)…….leafy footstep, leafy footstep.” I’ll save you from having to look at my Jupiter-like bruises, just know they are AWESOME.

I’m beginning to think Kinzua is an enchanted evil forest.  The Yeti’s are involved in some crazy karmatic witchcraft. I laugh at a friend for falling off the boat into mud and later that evening…destroyed.

Don’t mess with Yeti’s, man. They mean serious business.

Anyway, camping was amazing as always. The much-needed escape comes at the perfect time every year. Good company, good food, good times.

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pretzel cookies you say?

I know I named my blog “Hip & Healthy”, but I love to bake so you’re going to get a lot of very unhealthy things.

Today I wanted to experiment, so that’s exactly what I did.

Oatmeal Cookies with Milk Chocolate Chips and Pretzel bits (yeah!)

Who doesn’t love chocolate covered pretzels? I know I really do!

Like I said earlier, these aren’t healthy BUT there are exactly two ways these are semi-healthy.

  1. With the addition to Oatmeal I am not tempted to eat the dough. Uncooked oatmeal isn’t the most pleasurable thing to nosh on.
  2. Oatmeal adds a significant amount of fiber to the cookies. We all know fiber = goooood.

I started with the Quaker Oats Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe. I reduced the salt to a 1/4 teaspoon (since there is salt on the pretzel sticks), obviously replaced the raisins with chocolate chips, and added chopped/crushed pretzels.

I wasn’t sure if adding the pretzel bits to the dough would result in them being soggy, so I tested the pretzels inside and outside.

Aaaaaand the winner is…

Pretzel outside!

Just sprinkle pretzel pieces on top of cookie dough before baking. They come out crunchy and salty and all around perfect.

The cutest kid ever approves (aka my nephew, A.J.)

He never tasted the cookies, he’s just cute.

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french connection.

Apparently some looney tunes are saying the world is ending Saturday. Where did they come up with this? I really wish people would stop being crazy and just float along quietly like the rest of us.

If this is true, I will be sooo pissed. There are still so many things to do and see.

Yesterday I watched the first Paris episode of No Reservations. I love Anthony Bourdain, he gets it. To me, he knows how to live life (minus the smoking, he really should stop smoking). Tony explained why Paris (Europe in general) is awesome. They have such appreciation for life. Days aren’t wasted away working or mindlessly watching TV. They talk, laugh, eat, and drink with such passion. Passion for the good things in life.

If any of you know me well, you know that I am insanely obsessed with Paris. I’ve never been, I only admire from a far. I hope to get there soon, and I imagine this is how it will be:

(I recently started making MS Paint cartoons – you will see more, many more)

Paris oozes romance to me, and I am a sucker for romance.  I want to dance in the streets like they do in old movies, eat at an adorable cafe, drink wine on a balcony as the Eiffel Tower and I gaze into each others eyes. Sigh. Some day soon, my love.

Maybe this whole thing will teach us to appreciate life more. Live every week like the world is ending Saturday. Get off Facebook and actually talk to someone, eat really good food, play outside, love someone, do something that scares you.

Live life like the Parisians do.

Au revoir!

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sad face.

I’ve been putting off writing this post for a couple of weeks now in hopes that the situation might change, but sadly it has not.

Please allow me to be hard on myself for just a moment, I promise we will end on an optimistic note.

I’ve been training for the Cleveland Half Marathon since January 27. It has not been easy. My body has struggled through the whole process, and I called it quits a week ago. After  attempting to run one day I experienced shooting pains in both my legs. Barely being able to go a quarter-mile I knew I was done. Hobbling back home, bawling my eyes out I couldn’t help but feel like a huge failure. I worked SO hard for nothing. Spent a ton of money for nothing.

I’m not quite sure where I went wrong, but I knew I just needed to stop.

I had to stop TWO weeks before the race. Wahhh.

I am extremely upset to not be running my first half marathon this Sunday, but I will give my body the time it needs to heal. If all goes well, I will try again for the Towpath half in October. I WILL run 13.1 miles this year!!!

Although I’m sitting this one out, I will be there cheering everyone on.

Good luck to all the runners! See ya next time!

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runcbus 10 miler.

First race, DONE! Today was a b-e-a-utiful day for a run, but I’m sure you already knew that.

After not sleeping too great (nerves, hotel bed), I got up at 6:30am and slowly got ready. I ate a bagel thin with Sunbutter, drank coconut water, and popped 2 aspirin. I am extremely happy to report that my leg did not give me any trouble. I purchased new shoes this week and everything seems to be in working order again. I did end up with a very minor blister on the bottom of my foot, but nothing that really bothered me.

The race stared promptly at 8am and was an easy, flat/downhill course at the beginning. I knew I was in trouble. Sure enough around 2.25 miles I look ahead and see a monster hill, or death hill as I like to call it. The words, “ooooh *BEEEEEEP*” came spewing out of my mouth. I took my time and made death hill my biotch. Yay me!

Since I did not train passed 6 miles I was not surprised that my body tapped out at the point. I kept a fast pace (for me) those first 6 miles, averaged 9:30 – 9:50 a mile. I stopped to walk a few times because it was just too dang hilly. I’ve never walked in a race before, so I probably hesitated doing it for about a mile. I allowed myself to walk and recharge, since I am injured and all.

At one point the course took us through a cemetery. By far the best part for me. It was beautiful. Wish I had my camera but I already had enough junk dangling off me.

All in all, I had a great race. I couldn’t me more happy.

931 Courtney Marshall    27 F         1:48:54 10:54 **

Oh, and I got this sweet swag:

New Balance running jacket, aka the Inspector Gadget jacket of jackets. All kinds of fancy do-dads. (pardon my hair, I just woke up from a much-needed nap)

The soreness is starting to settle in, I’m off to bask in my victory.

**Correction – after fixing blips in their timing system, I actually finished at 1:48:34**

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motivation.

Well, the time has come. My first race for the year is on Sunday and I’m as ready as I’ll be. I head down to Columbus on Saturday for the Runcbus 10-miler on Sunday morning.

I’m not going to lie, I’m nervous. Just as my right leg healed, my left started to act up. I gots a terrible case of the shin splints. And after weeks of trying to “heal” myself, nothing seems to be working. I’m compressing, icing, heating, elevating:

I am now stuck wearing these compression sleeves when I run; I changed my shoes and I take an aspirin before I head out – all which help A LOT.

Don’t mind me, I’m just going to soccer practice…

With my struggle to overcome the pain, my motivation has gone down the tubes. Some days, running is the last thing I want to do. I can’t just throw on a pair of shoes and head out the door, it has to be this whole ordeal.

Thankfully yesterday, I discovered that one of my favorite documentaries is on Hulu. The Spirit of the Marathon is an amazing film following 7 runners (of all levels) who run the Chicago Marathon in 2005. I dare you to watch this documentary and not be inspired to run. You may fall in love with the sport, too.

I took time out to watch it yesterday and needless to say, I immediately grabbed all my gear and ran 6 miles. I felt good amazing. I am ready.

Hope you’ll excuse me, I have a couple of races to run.

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