My Current Thoughts and Ponderings…

Somehow it’s already the last week of September. Someone please tell me…how did this happen?! If my absence from my blog didn’t clue you in, September was a crazy busy month for us! All fun stuff, but crazy nonetheless. Our September started with a trip to Colorado (I know! We’ve been so fortunate to be able to go visit twice in one summer), a triathlon here, a bike tour ride there, and a few other fall events scattered in between. And if I thought September flew by, I’m afraid October will fly by just as fast…most likely faster. Let’s just say, I’ll be out of my office at work for three straight weeks. Whee! So, to find out what we’ll be doing and where we’ll be going, be sure to follow along with me on Instagram for all of our upcoming adventures. So, so excited you guys!

In the meantime, let’s find out what I’ve been doing already in the month of September. I promise recipes from my kitchen will again happen once life settles down a tinge (I mean, does it really ever settle down? I’m not so sure anymore…), but for now, I thought I’d share with you another round of my current thoughts and ponderings (sorry in advance for the picture overload!). Enjoy!

Right now I’m…

Savoring fall with: Homemade Apple Butter. Remember when we had fall weather? You know, when it wasn’t 90 degree weather and being outside was actually enjoyable? Thankfully that was the weekend Philip and I decided to head to Sutter’s Ridge Family Farm to pick $40 worth of Honeycrisp apples. Okay, so we went a little overboard, but they were so good! They were delicious on their own, but were equally as scrumptious when made into apple butter. This Crock Pot recipe I found could not be any easier, especially if you have one of these, and it makes your house smell amazing! This apple butter is great on toast, made into a peanut butter and jelly butter sandwich, or even better: A grilled cheese sandwich with smoked gouda cheese, thinly sliced apple slices, and a thick layer of apple butter. Yum! Next I’ll be roasting some pork to lather this apple butter on top of. It may not feel like fall outside, but that’s not stopping me from creating all the fall flavors!

Cooling off with: Cold Massage RollerI spotted these rollers when I did the BolderBoulder 10k race in Boulder, CO, over Memorial Day weekend and I’ve been thinking about them ever since. Philip finally asked if he could just go ahead and buy it for me…okay, twist my arm. :) You put the ball in the freezer for two hours and supposedly it stays cold for 6 hours, whether it’s in 90 degree weather or normal room temperature. I haven’t tried testing it in extreme temperatures yet, but I can say that it stays cold for a long time at room temperature. Philip and I have been having fun testing it out on each other and I’m sure it’ll get plenty of use over the years.

Daydreaming about: Colorado hikes. On a last minute decision, Philip and I decided to book plane tickets for another trip to Colorado over Labor Day. Similar to our other trips, we had a mix of family time and plenty of active time! I don’t think we’ve ever visited Colorado where we haven’t gone hiking and this time was no different. We were able to join my in-laws and do another 14er (where you summit at 14,000+ feet. It’s high!) with them. Mount Evans was the chosen hike…supposedly it’s an “easier” 14er to hike. There was a little more scrambling and bouldering than I was expecting (partly for the lack of trail…oops!), but it was a beautiful day, the views were spectacular, and the company couldn’t be beat. Colorado, why do you have to be so beautiful? It’s always hard to leave.

A believer of: Acupuncture. So I did it; I tried acupuncture. I don’t know how it works or if it works for everyone, but somehow it helped me. The summer racing season culminated in September with multiple races for me. My last tri of the season was right before we left for Colorado and my last road race of the season was the following weekend when I competed in the Fortitude 10k (the sister of the BolderBoulder) in Fort Collins, CO, on Labor Day. The races were fun (I even managed to come in first for my age division in the 10k!), but left me feeling a little sore. I’ve been taking it easy the month of September and, with the help of some relaxing acupuncture, have been feeling better already. Because I love action photos of the body at work, here they are for your enjoyment, too. :)

Recovering from: Bike the Barns. Apparently I’m not taking it easy from biking, though. ;) I think my butt has finally recovered and sitting no longer hurts. :) Last weekend Philip and I toured around the countryside of Madison on a 58-mile bike ride with stops at local CSA (community supported agriculture) farms along the way. This was such a fun event and was a great way to combine my love for food, the rolling countryside hills (I’m a country girl at heart), and biking. Each stop along the way and at the end of the bike ride, we were welcomed with gourmet local food and live music. I can’t stop thinking about all the great food we had (and believe me, we had a lot!). Plus, you can’t beat the cause. All the funds went to a program that provides financial assistance to increase access to CSA shares to those who want one.

 

Reminiscing about: Chimichurri steak tacos. You.must.make.these. I made these steak tacos last weekend and instead of going out to eat the next night like we had planned, we both agreed that we would rather stay in and eat these. Leftovers beat out going out to eat, people! They were that good. I cut the recipe in half since it makes quite a bit, but everything is a breeze to put together. If you don’t want to do anything else, I think the main star was the marinade for the steak. These will definitely be happening again soon.

Trying out: Native Deodorant. Lately I’ve been wanting to switch away from the deodorant that I’ve used for years and try out one that was aluminum-free with more natural ingredients. For as much as I’m working out, taking showers, and putting on deodorant, I felt like I could benefit from a deodorant like Native. Thanks to my sister-in-law who showed me hers, I decided to give it a try. I just got it in the mail last week, but so far, I like it!

Dreaming about: Our next home projectI’ve come to realize as a homeowner that you’re never done with projects. There’s always something waiting on your wish list. Since we’ve completed our summer landscaping project, next up on our winter project list is to update our fireplace. I’ve been searching on Pinterest (where would we be without Pinterest) to find ideas that I like and that would fit in with our current house and decor. Since our lower kitchen cabinets are gray (that was last year’s project :)) and since we don’t have white baseboards, this gray fireplace caught my eye. I also really liked the detailing of the herringbone tile. All thoughts or suggestions are welcome! Or just send help. :)

Laughing over: Real Actors Read YelpHilarious! Philip and I just found out about these from some friends of ours this past week. They’re actual reviews found on Yelp with professional actors reading them. Seriously, the things people write! We had a good laugh going through them. If you need a laugh, or want to hear the crazy things people get upset about, watch these.

Giddy about: Our upcoming trip! We’re headed to Italy and Greece in October and I can hardly wait! We started planning for and dreaming about this trip almost a year ago now. I can’t believe it’s finally almost here! This cooking class may be what I’m most excited about. They call it a “culinary adventure” — I’ll say!

Ciao for now! I’ll be sharing all about the amazing food we taste, the adventures we discover, and the interesting people we meet when I return!