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Biscuits (It’ll make sense later)

This morning I woke up at 4:00am. Try as I might, my body was not going back to sleep. I made myself lay there until 5:15. It reminded me of when I was a toddler and my parents put a clock next to my bed, teaching me to wait until 6:00am to get up on weekends ;)

Around 5:30 I was sipping my first cup of coffee. Now I have a few extra hours in my morning that I didn’t expect, so here I am. Thought I would put together one more spring break post before I break into some new territory with projects I’m working on for next week. A lot of my California friends have different spring break schedules and many are on vacation now, so I feel like it’s still appropriate to bask in the spring-y-ness one more time :)

Any college kid will tell you one of the best parts about coming home is family dinners. If not, then A.) they are lying or B.) their momma’s homecooking left a lot to be desired… (insert smirky emoji here). Healthy Food Collage on Strong Like My Coffee (Stronglikemycoffee.com)

You go 18 years eating the same kinds of dinners at home with your family, until suddenly you’re living on your own. Dining halls, communal kitchens, take-out, fast food, delivery, cooking for yourself….it’s just not the same. I’ve come a long way in following recipes and recreating family favorites, but eating by yourself in a tiny apartment will never compare to eating at home.

In 9 days, we only went to a restaurant once. My parents had LOADED UP on produce at my request (well, they usually do anyways) and we had the most colorful dinners.

Healthy Dinners on Stronglikemycoffee.com

I told myself that I was completely inspired to return from spring break and start cooking similar colorful balanced meals……and then I went and got three sushi rolls. It’s a work in progress.

My dad pumped up the tires in our bikes so that I could take a leisure ride around town and he could ride with me on my Sunday long run for the marathon training. I probably spent more time snapping pictures than pedaling. 90 degrees feels like heaven after a frigid Flagstaff winter.

Bike Path in Spring on Stronglikemycoffee.comAnd of course the sea-level (extra-oxygenated!) air did wonders for my marathon training. I was able to get in another great Yasso 800s workout on Wednesday, some cross training, and a killer long run. I set out for 15 miles on my favorite running path at home. This time, I had water and fuel along the way! I used the Vega gel for the first time, which is made with dates, water and grape juice rather than straight sugar like other brands. I felt better about putting something a little more “natural” in my body during the run…..but it didn’t taste great. Seemed to do the trick though because I ran my last couple of miles at 7:00 pace, averaging 7:18 overall.

(Yes, I used a picture from my Warrior Dash Race haha)

Marathon Training Long Run Stats on Strong Like My Coffee at Stronglikemycoffee.com

Also got to spend some quality time with my girl Missy….HAH whattajoke. That maltese of ours has grown quite comfortable being the “only child” now that I’ve been gone off and on for four years. She onced used to cuddle and love me. Now she has a jealous side whenever I visit my parents. She literally pouts when I take my mom’s attention away from her. (This is coming from a spoiled only-child herself.) She did watch me as I curled my hair, trying to imitate Miranda Lambert’s from the pool scene in her Little Red Wagon music video. Nailed Failed it!

Profiles (literally.)

Well this turned into a pretty random hodgepodge of pictures and tangents, didn’t it? Might as well add in a new jam that I’m loving!

*I’ll throw something more organized/themed at you next time. This is what you get at dark:thirty in the morning! <3

Kacey Musgraves, Queen of Country Cool, has been on my playlist since I heard her hit Follow Your Arrow. Biscuits is actually pretty similar, and equally adorable. Good message and reminder to stay focused on myself during the last weeks of college. We need less negative comparisons in our lives because that is just stressful. “Pouring salt in my sugar won’t make yours any sweeter.” Hope you enjoy it as I do. :)

What were/are your Spring Break highlights?!

Independence Day Weekend

Happy Independence Day Weekend!

Still recovering from the 4th of July festivities?! I hope you were able to celebrate the special day with friends, food and fireworks! I thoroughly enjoyed a day off of work and celebrated by sleeping in an extra 3 glorious hours :)

Happy 4th of July from Stronglikemycoffee.com

My family’s Independence Day weekend included a healthy dose of sunshine on one of my favorite west coast beaches. Balboa, baby! I adore the ferris wheel, the Balboa ferry and the peninsula lined with (over-priced) cute condos. We spent a couple hours walking along the boardwalk and through the beach-y neighborhoods, shopping for our dream home.

I think I was the only girl on the boardwalk not wearing high-waisted shorts and a crop top. How on earth this trend continues to catch on while it makes your butt look unnaturally long is beyond me. #sundress4life ;)

Beach day at Balboa (Stronglikemycoffee.com)

Coffees next to the ferris wheel is Balboa beach tradition.

We started the beach day walking from one pier to the other. American flags were everywhere! Newport residents did not disappoint with the patriotism. After over an hour of walking (and sweating), we were ready to set up camp on the sand and do absolutely nothing.

This girl needed to add some sunlight back into my skin (and work on the eternal sports bra/spandex tan lines!)

Beach day on Newport Pier (Stronglikemycoffee.com)I made one unhealthy mistake…..insufficient sunscreen. Damn, I’ve never had major sunburns. My SoCal skin usually welcomes the rays with an olive tone….but three years in the snowy mountains have turned my skin pale and I guess its reunion with the beach sun was a little too harsh! Aloe Vera is my BFF right now.

Unfortunately the beach is overwhelmingly crowded, especially on a holiday weekend. We pinicked lunch with some healthy sandwiches and fruit and decided to hop on a ferry to walk on the other side of the island.

Showering after a sandy sweaty day at the beach = best showers ever. To be clean again! And the night ended with a Pineapple Rum Slushie.

Tomorrow morning I set out for my Sunday Long Run! My favorite workout of the week :)

Due to a ridiculously busy schedule last week I had to postpone a few blog posts that I wanted to share but be ready for a pineapple-y recipe on the blog Monday morning!

A Day in LA

A couple days ago I blogged about the cold weather and comfort food. Yesterday I made a quick trip home for two days and California greeted me with sweet, sweet sunshine!

Oh Hello, Palm Trees! :)

After some crazy LA traffic, my parents and I spent the whole day in Beverly Hills. We were meeting with two specialists in facial reconstruction to get some second opinions on the next phase of my surgeries. (In July and December, I began the process of removing my venous malformation.) The cosmetic portion is left, and there is so much great technology out there that just wasn’t available a few years ago.

On one hand, it’s a little scary and stressful to think about making decisions now that will affect what I look like forever. And it’s crazy to think about having a handful of “plastic surgery” procedures done before I’m 21… (In Beverly Hills, I should fit right in, right?) On the other hand, I’ve been waiting for these opportunities my whole life and am eager to finally get some results. There is no perfect timing though, and the hardest part is working around my track and cross country schedule to miss as little as possible!

On a more pleasant note, in the middle of appointments we had three hours to kill. First stop: lunch! We picked a cute little salad and sandwich shop, Green Leaf Gourmet Chop Shop.

Green Leaf Chop Shop Lunch (stronglikemycoffee.com)I ordered the thin-crust veggie and goat cheese pizza, and when they say “thin crust” they are not kidding! I felt like it was on a tortilla…. less carbs though, right? Loved the sweet potatoes and zucchini on a pizza. And a diet cranberry grapefruit Sobe to go. :)

Green Leaf Pizza (stronglikemycoffee.com)

After our lunch we walked around soaking up the sun, coming across some cute little spots and restaurants. After running every day for over three weeks straight, I decided today would be a good day to take off completely for a “rest” day. But I definitely didn’t mind walking around Beverly Hills and Rodeo Dr. My parents and I were comparing LA to New York, and while none of us are particularly city-living people, we all agreed that we would prefer to live in New York between the two. It’s more fast-paced and full of life! Rodeo Drive (stronglikemycoffee.com)Tiffany’s, Gucci, Hermes, YSL – a girl can dream! Such a gorgeous day. The crazy thing? I looked for a Starbuck’s for blocks. I was ready to treat us all to some Iced Americano’s and was completely dumb-founded that there wasn’t a Starbuck’s on every corner we passed. There are literally THREE on one of the streets next to my house, all across from one another. And yet I couldn’t find one yesterday as we walked around. Madness!

After meeting with the second doctor and learning about different options for “nerve re-animation” and facial reconstruction, we had plenty to think about on the drive home. I know there’s no perfect scenario where I can have both the surgery and a full cross country season this summer.

Thankfully running always clears my mind! Lacing up the shoes in a bit and taking advantage of the park by my house for an especially-warm run before heading back to school.

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