Lately.

Because there is more than just workouts and recipes. And because rainy nights make the best time for brewing coffee, burning a pumpkin candle, and blogging.

Rainy day collage (stronglikemycoffee.com)So what’s happening lately. Well I’ve been watching Angel’s games, adding sugar-free pumpkin spice creamer to my oatmeal, using far too many emoji’s in group texts, feng-shuing the apartment furniture, and falling asleep before 10pm. We’re experiencing weird side effects from the tropical storms and there is a weird limbo period right now between summer and fall. Most mornings I’m not sure if I should wear a sundress or a scarf.

Lately I’ve been thinking about where I’m going after graduation. All summer long, I basically researched cities in Washington, Idaho, Virginia, Georgia, Colorado, Tennessee and every where in between. Where am I going after graduation? Not here. Not home. My heart kept going back to North Carolina. And the more I felt pulled towards Carolina, the more it would pop up. My two FAVORITE bloggers moved to Charlotte over the summer (Simply Taralynn and Peanut Butter Fingers). Their pictures and posts are filled with Charlotte-this and Charlotte-that. Meanwhile, I’m looking for a post-graduation career in sports marketing. Charlotte = NASCAR capital, not to mention part of the “triad” (an area of D1 schools with incredible athletic programs). The character in the book I’m reading – NC native. My new athletic marketing boss – NC graduate. My running buddy at my local running club – ran for NC collegiate team.

Coincidence?!?!

Wilmington, North Carolina

One city that is too cute to be true: Wilmington, NC. I have to go there. I have to at least see it. I’ve spent hours on the internet, researching the demographics, the history, the culture. Drooling over pictures of the historic downtown, picturesque boardwalks and scenic parks. It’s basically a straight-line on the I-40 from here to Wilmington and I honestly day-dream about what an amazing roadtrip that will make after graduation.

I-40 California to Carolina

Plus, Chase Rice is from North Carolina. I’m doing my part to keep the cd industry alive and picked up his new Ignite the Night album the other day because my car pre-dates modern technology to plug in iPods and I wanted some new music to drive around to. Good Lord. After listening to the album start to finish, I searched for Mr. Rice’s concert tour dates. He’ll be two hours away next month. Aaaand now so will I :)

Chase Rice Album

At the risk of looking reeeaallll creepy…..I totally looked up Chase Rice’s instagram and fell in love when I saw this picture.

Copy of Chase Rice's Instagram pic

Lately, I also searched the Spotify workout playlists for some fun new upbeat stuff to fill my iPod.

Current playlist —-> Habits (Stay High) by Tove Lo; Black Widow by Iggy Azalea ft. Rita Ora; Ugly Heart by G.R.L.; Ex to See by Sam Hunt; We Can Glow by Royal Teeth; Animals by Maroon 5; and I’ll totally admit it……Shake it Off by Taylor Swift.

Shake it off by taylor swift iphone message

My fitness routine is a whole lot different than 5 months ago because I’ve learned that for ME personally Cardio >>> Weight Lifting.

I do HIIT regularly with body weight strength exercises but prefer to get sweaty than get swole. Cardio of choice: forever and always running.

So lately, there’s been some running on the treadmill:

Treadmill cardio session (stronglikemycoffee.com)

And running on the road:

Road running cardio sessions (stronglikemycoffee.com)

Running at running club. And tonight I’m running with an old teammate :)

So that’s me lately. :)

Mini Football Snackies!

I’m actually thankful that today is Monday. New week = fresh start.

Which football games did you watch this weekend? Even the unsporty-est of the people can find something they enjoy about football season.  You get to plan team-colored outfits, prepare fan-friendly appetizers, maybe some drinks or cocktails, tailgate parties, house parties, sports bar parties, trash-talking the opposing team. I don’t want to hear about Ray Rice anymore, let’s talk about the actual players and games! Or food. That’s cool too.

Mini Football Pretzel Snackies from Stronglikemycoffee.com

My weekend was spent working at our home-opener football game. (I’m a sports marketing intern for our athletics department). After working 2.5 hours at a volleyball tournament, I spent 7 hours on the football field. Our boys stepped out in brand new uniform designs and we kicked off brand new game-day traditions. I’m sad to report that I didn’t have any glamorous or “wow” jobs during the game. Typical intern grunt work. But the boys kept me entertained with touchdown after touchdown, killing the opposing team. Brought home a W and that’s all a fan can ask for, right?!

Sports marketing interns on game day (stronglikemycoffee.com)Okay moving on….It’s not really a secret that I like to make things pretty. Why have pretzels when you can turn them into adorable football pretzels? For some reason, I will use any excuse to make DIY crafts and recipes that have a theme. Just appease me.

Peanut-butter filled pretzels + chocolate = BOOM. 2 ingredient recipe. (Not to mention the best flavor combo EVER.)Mini pretzel football ingredients (stronglikemycoffee.com)

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Melt your milk/dark chocolate, and dunk the tops of the pretzels into it.
  • Set them, pretzel-side down onto the paper-lined baking sheet.
  • Place the sheet into the freezer for ten minutes while you melt your white chocolate
  • If you don’t have a piping tool that is thin enough to outline the laces onto the pretzels, you can just use a ziplock bag. Push a toothpick through the corner to create a tiny whole, and fill the bag with your melted white chocolate.

Making mini football pretzels (stronglikemycoffee.com)

  • Pipe the laces onto the pretzels and place them back into the freezer. Store in the freezer until you’re ready to place in a dish for your party, because if you leave them out they will be G-O-N-E. ;)Mini Football Snackies Recipe (stronglikemycoffee.com)

They were a hit! And yes, they do taste better than regular chocolate peanut butter pretzels because they are made with love. Football love.

That’s just the start of weekend football festivities, we have a long season to go. More snacks and recipes to come!

Mini Football Pretzels Tailgate Party Snacks (stronglikemycoffee.com)

I leave you with his football-themed single by Chase Rice, who has replaced Hunter Hayes as my country crush btw ;)

Olympian-Worthy Track Workout

You know you’re a running nerd when you consider professional runners a celebrity sighting ;) I belong to a local track club, which happens to be located in one of the running Mecca’s of the country. So last night’s stormy track workout brought more than thunder. Olympians Ryan Hall and Shalane Flanagan as well as professional athletes Sarah Hall and Emily Infeld graced us with their presence!

Shalane Flanagan at Track Practice (Stronglikemycoffee.com) As an aspiring marathoner, meeting the fastest American female marathoner Shalane Flanagan was pretty darn cool. She is currently training for Berlin, where she hopes to break the American record. Which would equate to 5:19 miles (26.2 of them in a row…). I need to find out what that girl puts in her coffee to make her so stinkin’ fast! ;)

After we finished playing paparazzi, we had an actual work out to get to. Most of us amateurs were not-so-subtly trying to “impress” our elite onlookers (Ha! key word trying.)

The workout: (described as “simple, old school rep workout)

4 x 200 meter sprints (with 1 minute rest between)

immediately followed by

4 x 350 meter sprints (with 2 minute rest between)

immediately followed by

4 x 200 meter sprints (with 1 minute rest between)

Holy Heart Rate!

This speedy “All Out” effort workout is similar to HIIT because it pairs bursts of intensity with bouts of rest (although the rest in this situation was a bit long). The sprints make my heart pound faster than any long run can do. Such great cardiovascular strength building!

Fun fact: Emily and Shalane are members of the Bowerman Track Club. Bowerman, as in Bill Bowerman. As in track coach of University of Oregon in the 1970’s and subsequent co-founder of Nike, Inc. He created shoes for then-athlete Steve Prefontaine. Steve Prefontaine, as in the legendary long-distance runner who once held seven American records. Just a little running history for ya!

The rain is done! Muddy trails await :)

Flagstaff storm (stronglikemycoffee.com)

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