WIAW – Grad Student Edition

Seeing as today is Thursday, I know I’m a little late to the party, but I really wanted to participate in WIAW this week:).

Because I’ve been so busy working on my thesis, I haven’t had a lot of time to cook. Although a lot of my meals have been a bunch of random food items grabbed out of the fridge and stuffed in my face, there have also been some good (but still quick) meals in there. You don’t always have to eat unhealthy when you’re short on time!

For breakfast this past week I’ve been eating a lot of Rokit Fuel Stud Muffin oatmeal.

A while ago I won a contest on Kate from NaturaStride‘s blog (yay!) and I was able to order some Rokit Fuel:). Naturastride’s mission is “to provide distance runners and endurance athletes with organic and natural alternatives  to performance nutrition products including  energy bars, drinks, snacks, and other wholesome foods.”

In other words, I could read and had heard of every ingredient in my Rokit Fuel. Love it! Lately I’ve been warming it up with some milk and throwing in a handful of blueberries. Perfect (and quick) way to start my day!

Lunches have been a lot of “whatever is in the fridge” salads. This one had spinach, yellow peppers, grape tomatoes, almond slivers, a packet of tuna, and some tabouile on top.

When I was in a hurry and didn’t have any good ingredients in the fridge, I grabbed a quick salad from the Safeway salad bar (and an iced coffee from Starbucks the size of my leg. Consuming coffees the size of your leg is a well known side effect of thesis crunch time. True story.).

This salad was AMAZING. It had some pasta and bean salad on top. And you better believe I go for the yellow and orange peppers–they weigh the same as the green peppers!

When I don’t have time to cook a real dinner, one of my favorite quick meals is a pizza made on a whole grain sandwich wrap.

Throw the wrap in the oven for five minutes while you chop up your toppings (this one had some red peppers, onions, and leftover turkey bacon), put a little spaghetti sauce on the wrap and top with mozzarella cheese and toppings:). Yum.

And for dessert I have been eating leftover Fourth of July dessert pizza:).

Since I was a bad blogger and forgot to give you the recipe before, I will post it now!

Fruit Dessert Pizza
1 package of sugar cookie dough
1 8-oz package of cool whip
1 8-oz package of cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
Fruit topping of your choice

Directions: Roll the sugar cookie dough out in the middle of a pizza pan or cookie tray (remember that it will rise and expand, so leave room on the edges).  Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool. While cookie dough is cooling, beat sugar and cream cheese together, then gently mix in cool whip. Spread on cool cookie dough and top with fruit of your choice. Enjoy!

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Happy Fourth of July, everyone!

These past few days have been all about unplugging–literally getting away from the computer and relaxing and enjoying some quality family time!

This weekend I went to the pool.

Laughed at my new kitten.

(Such bad manners, but she’s so adorable!)

Spent time with family.

(Do you think we look alike? Sometimes people mistake one of us for the other, but sometimes people tell us we don’t look like sisters!)

Ate lots of Fourth of July food.

(If it’s patriotic the calories don’t count, right??)

(Fruit pizza:)

Played some card games. (Oh yeah, and maybe indulged in a couple adult beverages, too;)

And cooked out and watched the fireworks with friends!

Basically, everything except this:

It was a GREAT weekend!

What did you do this holiday weekend?

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It’s a Girl! And Other Exciting News

Well, as you probably guessed, I haven’t been around much this week because of my THESIS.  I know, I’m sorry, I am as sick of talking about it as you guys probably are of hearing about it:). Almost. Done.

Here is a quick rundown of some of the more exciting things that happened this week:

1. Baby girl! Noooooo, Eric and I are not having a baby! I am talking about a baby girl of the feline kind.

Eric and I have been contemplating adopting a new cat to keep cat Oscar company. We finally saw this sweet girl at the adoption center and decided to go for it!

Her name is Kali, and she has been a dedicated, although not very helpful, study buddy this past week.

(I don’t have any good pictures of her awake, because when she’s awake she’s just a big blur:)

2. Triathlon adventures. My brother, my husband, and I signed up for the Luray Sprint Triathlon on August 14! I am super excited to do a triathlon with my brother AND my husband. This will be the first triathlon for both of them!

Me and my brother:).

3. Giveaway Winner! Okay, I am sorry for making you wait so long for the announcement! But the winner of the Allied Medal Display giveaway is Heather, from Miss FancyPants Tris!!! Heather, please send me an email with your contact info. If you didn’t win but still want to purchase a display, Lauren has a coupon code for 10% off your order (LAURENSTRIBLOG).

4. Fitblogger Post. I am writing a feature for Fitblogger called “All Things Oats.” That’s right, I can finally take my oatmeal obsession to another level! You can check out my first post and leave me some comment love, here:).

That’s it for now! I miss you all and can’t wait to have you back in my life on a regular basis again:).

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Anniversary Dinner and Stuffed Red Peppers

There are TWO DAYS left to enter my awesome race medal display giveaway! Also, if you want an extra chance to win, you can enter Lauren’s giveaway, too:).

As I said in my last post, Sunday was my and Eric’s one year wedding anniversary:).  We went out to dinner on Saturday to celebrate. I had wanted to go to one of the restaurants my foodie friend Beth suggested, but we had a lot going on this weekend and ended up deciding to stay close to home.

We went to the Warehouse Bar and Grill in Old Town.  It was great!

I am also going to call this my WIAW “Anniversary Dinner Edition.”:)

I started with the She Crab soup. DELICIOUS. It was creamy and spicy and crabby. Yum.

I decided to stick with the seafood theme and ordered the Seafood Sampler (hey, it was a special occasion, right?;).

Roasted potatoes, steamed veggies, a crab leg, scallops, and half a Maine lobster tail topped with lump crab meat. The food was good, but a bit heavy (the lobster and scallops had a cream sauce on them) so after my soup I could only eat about a third of my meal. Oh well, you can never go wrong with leftovers!

For dessert we got the Triple Chocolate Decadence. It was really good. So good in fact that even though I was really full from dinner I still went to town on the cake.

So this was the only picture of it I got. Oops:).

After dinner we walked around by the waterfront.

It was a great night! But the celebrating is not quite over yet, because this past weekend we also booked a vacation to SAN FRANCISCO for July.

SO. Psyched.

We have not been on a vacation since our honeymoon last year, so we both need one bad. I can’t wait!

On a completely unrelated note, I wanted to share the stuffed red pepper recipe I mentioned in my last WIAW.

These peppers are amazing. They are stuffed with lean ground turkey, spinach, zucchini, onion, and bulgur (which makes them super filling), and topped with stewed tomatoes and feta cheese. Delicious, healthy, and filling. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Stuffed Red Peppers
Recipe from Ellie Kruger’s The Food You Crave

1 pound of lean ground beef or turkey (I used turkey)
1 10 oz package of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 medium zucchini, coarsely grated
1 small onion, minced (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup bulgur
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 medium red bell peppers, cut in half length-wise and cored
2 14.5 oz no-salt-added stewed tomatoes, chopped and juices reserved
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except red peppers, tomatoes, tomato juices, and feta. Place the pepper halves in a 9 x 13′ baking dish lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Fill peppers with the meat mixture and pour the tomatoes and tomato juice over peppers. Sprinkle with feta cheese and cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes covered, then remove the aluminum foil and bake for another 45 minutes, or until filling is completely cooked and the peppers are tender.

When I first tried these I thought for sure I would need at least two peppers (if not more–what can I say, I eat a lot when I am training:). But these things sneak up on you, and shortly after eating just one half of a pepper I was pretty stuffed!

Pictured here with some fried zucchini. Yay, vegetables!:)


Do you have any summer vacation plans?

Have you ever been to San Francisco? Is there anything we have to do while we’re there?

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Celebrating x 3

Don’t forget to enter my awesome race medal display giveaway. You have until Friday to enter:). Speaking of giveaways, the winner from my Gotein giveaway is Trish from ketelcopia.blogspot.com. Send me your address, Trish, and I’ll send you the Gotein samples!

Today I am celebrating my two favorite men.

One year ago today I married the love of my life.

And, 27 years ago, my dad celebrated his first Father’s Day.

My dad is a huge part of my life, and is a big part of who I am today. He has taught me how to work hard.

How to have a sense of humor.

The importance of family.

The importance of relaxation.

And much, much more.

Not to mention he has ALWAYS been there to support me, rain…

…or shine!Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

How did you celebrate your Father’s Day? What has your dad taught you?

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Where Do You Hang Your Race Medals? (+GIVEAWAY)

Thank you everyone for your moral support on my thesis writing and for still loving me even though I haven’t been a very good blogger this week:(.

Since you guys were so nice to me (and also because I don’t feel like I have much to share with you this week except more pictures of my messy house or the empty Oreo tray sitting on top of the trash can), I want start my next giveaway!

I know, I can’t believe all the giveaway madness lately, too. I am pretty sure you should just set a calendar reminder to unfollow my blog starting next week, because I’m not really sure how to top a half ironman race report, Dean Karnazes interview, inspiring best friend battling cancer story, and a string of giveaways.

But for now, I am super excited, because I do have something fun to share with you.

For a long time my poor race medals sat in a big tangled mess in my “memory box,” which is really just a fancy name for a 15-year-old shoe box full of random items that only have meaning and value to me.

You see, it wasn’t that I am not proud of my medals, because I am VERY proud of them. The problem was, I just had nowhere to put them.

I tried a number of locations, some of which I thought were pure genius. But for some reason my husband did not approve of any of them. We clearly disagree on what awesome interior decorating looks like.

I thought they were a nice touch to the fake fica tree! But he wouldn’t go for it.

So I tried to compromise and settle for just wearing them around 24/7.

But the constant jingling got old after a while and they started to really hurt my neck. So sadly, they went back in the box.

Little did I know an angel sales rep named Joel would come into my life with the answer to my woes.

I was happier than a kid on Christmas when this little white box showed up on my doorstep.

You see, angel Joel works for Allied Medal Displays. Not only does Allied design some really kick-booty race medal displays, they also can custom-design them.

Ask me how in love I am with this bad-boy:

Prettier than an all-you-can-eat cupcake buffet after a long run.

The display came with clear instructions and all of the necessary screws and spacers to hang it with, so after frightening my husband by busting out the power drill, things got even more beautiful.

So. Freaking. Awesome. I’ve kind of had a hard time focusing on my thesis these past few days with this amazing thing to look at.

Now I have a grown-up-house appropriate display and I get to walk by my medals and be proud of my accomplishments at least 10 times a day.

And you want to know how awesome Allied Medal Displays is? They have offered to let me give away a display to one of YOU!

I seriously cannot say enough good things about this company and their product (and no, I am in no way getting paid for this review!). Joel was professional, quick to respond with designs, patient when I asked him to make a tweak for me;), and the final product is gorgeous.

So, one lucky reader will win a display of their own. You may choose any display from the web site.

I think international winners are okay, but you would have to pay the additional shipping costs.

They have some pretty awesome designs on their web site. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Alright, I’m sorry, you guys are probably thinking “we know they’re awesome Erin, we want one. Tell us how to win the dang thing!”

Wellllll, as usual, to win you must be a blog subscriber. You can subscribe through email or WordPress. The contest will be open until midnight (EST) Friday, June 24.

Please leave a separate comment for each item:
1. Subscribe to Until You Tri
2. Check out the Allied Medal Display website and tell me which one you would get!
3. Like Allied Medal Display on Facebook (but they have asked that you NOT say who sent you, please:)
4. Tweet (+1), Facebook (+1), or blog (+2) about the giveaway!
Good luck!

Thank you, Joel, for the beautiful display. And I hope you are not mad at me for calling you an angel.

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Hi folks! If you haven’t entered my Gotein giveaway yet, don’t forget to do so. It closes on Friday.

Just a quick update today because my life has once again turned into this:

I have spent, oh, approximately 80 of the last 96 hours in this spot, with the remaining time spent getting very little sleep, grabbing the occasional random food I can scrounge up with as little effort as possible, and showering changing my shirt occasionally so it looks like I am not as gross as I am.

It’s thesis crunch time (it’s due in 2.5 weeks!) and my procrastinating self is having to work extra hard to get back up to speed in time to get this thing done.  Today I couldn’t even figure out what day it was or the last time I left the house. That’s how sad my life has become.

So, I apologize for being absent from the blog world these past few days! I’ve read a couple of your posts before I caught myself straying from my thesis writing, but quickly made myself get back on track. I promise I will be catching up soon. I already feel like I am missing out on so much of your life because I can’t read and comment on your posts every five minutes.

My “What Did I Just Do” (WDIJD, not to be confused with WWJD) moment of the week was this:

That’s right! I signed up for the Philadelphia Marathon on November 20, 2011. Kind of crazy considering I currently have a sprained foot and can’t run at all right now, but I am hoping to be back in business in time to do this. I am excited and scared at the same time!

Also, happy WIAW!

Today I am doing a WIAW weekend edition. You don’t want to see what I’ve been eating this week…it would be boring pieces of fruit, PB&J sandwiches, kettle corn, Oreos, and coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.

This past weekend I was still in denial about my thesis being due soon, so I did have a little bit of fun. Here are some of my meals from the weekend.

Breakfast parfait with vanilla yogurt, Greek yogurt, blueberries, almond slivers, and chia seeds.

Lunch one day was some leftover stuffed red peppers (I need to post this recipe sometime!) and fried zucchini. Yum!

Eric and I went out for dinner on Saturday. Panang curry sweet roll, panang chicken, and carrot cake cupcake (not from the Thai restaurant:). Just a tad on the indulgent side:).

PS, please forgive me if there are some worse-than-usual spelling/grammar/general making sense issues in this post. Sleep deprivation is kicking in hard. I’m scared to read my thesis writing after I wake up from this daze…

What was your favorite meal you ate this week?
-Mine was that carrot cake cupcake. Yum. Oh wait, dessert doesn’t count as a meal? Says who?!

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