She Sells Seashells

July already? Happy birth month to my girl Brooke!

My family and I had a great weekend at the coast despite rainy weather and unpredictable house projects. The necessity of having a handyman (my dad) around is a new standard for me in my quest to find a mate. He continues to set the bar high and I don’t think he will ever stop. Well played, Tim!

If enjoying family time and testing Pinterest recipes aren’t enough, we have made a point to explore the beaches to the North and South of Lincoln City in an attempt to shop our rainy day opportunities. On Saturday afternoon we set out for a 20 minute drive to Pacific City where we were surprised to find a young demographic, a Slingball tournament (example here) and an award winning pub with an oceanfront view. If you’ve never been to Pelican Pub, come join me on a weekend and we will indulge in a too-good-to-be-true salad, a savory burger and a refreshing pint. Afterwards we can work it off by trekking up the sand dunes for a sunset view… Beach life is no excuse to miss a workout!

Some of my favorite things about our vacation home so far (sans some of Mom’s amazing DIY projects!):

Beach photos from the early 90’s – Mix old with new

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INSTANT Hot Water

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Bailey Even loves to play in the sand

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We Embrace Beach Time 🙂

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Unfortunately I can’t be on beach time forever, but I can look forward to the upcoming week of Independence Day festivities including:

  • Long weekday runs
  • Starting a 30 Day Ab Challenge
  • A rooftop 3rd of July party hosted by my favorite PDX socialite extraordinaire Amanda!
  • Photo sharing with my friend Cory who just returned from 2 weeks in Honduras
  • House cleaning
  • Pre-screen of Savages
  • Portland Waterfront Blues Festival
  • Grillin’!

Tonight I’ll be making 4th of July Brownie skewers & Smore’s Pops!

Yum!

❤ JE

NE Alberta Last Thursday

Happy Friday!

This weekend I’ll be making a trip down to the coast to spend time with my parents at their new beach house. Owning a beach house has been a dream of theirs for over 20 years and I’m so proud of them for reaching their goals and making the place their own special getaway. Stay tuned for decor photos and views from the rooftop!

But uh, Back to the lecture at hand – Portland is known for being “weird” and one of the greatest showcases of this label that we’ve earned is NE Alberta’s Last Thursday Street Fair.

On the last Thursday of every summer month, NE Alberta and connecting streets block vehicle access in the heart of the neighborhood from 6-10pm and the scene is buzzing with music, street performers, vendors, food trucks, patio bar seating, animals, dancing and more! Last Thursday is an event that celebrates public nudity expression and artistic individuality. Whether you go to eat, browse, shop or perform, you can find a new adventure around every corner.

I could carry on and on, but Last Thursday is something you and your skinny jeans are going to have to go enjoy yourselves!

Here are some of the sights and tastes that Tanna, Greg, Jason and I enjoyed:

Mexican Corn w/ Chili Powder ($3)

Mini Sandwich Shack ($2)

Only Beginning

Tonalli’s Donut Shop

You can bet I’ll be there on July 26th!

❤ JE

So What, I’m a Runner

Let’s get this out of the way so things don’t get awkward between us.

I run 100 MILES per month, every month.

Are we still cool?

I’ve always enjoyed stomping the pavement since I was at the age where I’d carry my Discman around with me and get frustrated that the music would skip every other step. Now the times have changed and technology has advanced – but ironically I don’t need anything more than the thoughts in my head to get through a morning 6 mile run to start my day off right.

The benefits of running are endless. When I run I’m relieving stress, challenging myself, problem solving & workin’ on my fitness (you’re my witness). The reasons why I run and why I continue to run are easy to come up with, but many people don’t feel the same way that I do.

Simply put – running comes down to motivation and dedication.

I started my 100 mile a month running plan in November of 2009 – a real turning point in my adulthood. It was the month of my 22nd birthday and had been a full 5 months since my college athletic career had ended.

Being an ex-collegiate athlete meant a lot of things for me:

  • Freedom in workout choices
  • Longer work hours as a result of less ‘obligation’
  • More time spent studying to finish my two majors and minor
  • and… lots of happy hours to catch up on lost time with friends

All things considered, I learned (as most ex-collegiate athletes do) that I needed to make some adjustments in my attitude towards health because I was no longer getting it for free.

In an effort to run more / drink less, I devised a plan that states: “For every alcoholic beverage that I consume, I will run 2 miles within the 7 days that follow

I learned very quickly that binge weekends and I didn’t get along and that I really didn’t need to order the last round at closing time.

As I followed my strict rules, people began to notice my body changing for the better and I witnessed my confidence skyrocket. I reaped the rewards of my hard work and I decided that running was not a “punishment” for my dietary choices, but instead was something I could set a goal against and strive to achieve it.

I have since logged every mile I’ve run over the past 2.5 years in an elaborate Excel file (3,141 as of June 28,2012), along with the exact count of every alcoholic beverage I’ve sipped on (not sharing, thanks!).

The next events for me are the Hood to Coast Relay (August 2012) and the Portland Marathon (October 2012), but truly I’m training for life!

❤ JE

Strawberries at Sauvie’s

Some friends come and go and some will be here to stay for life. I’m ecstatic that I’m still great friends with a girl I met on my first day at Clackamas High School and even happier that our hangouts have become more regular lately!

I’m a huge fan of live music, fruit picking and time spent with my great friends Tanna Williamson, her husband Greg, her dad Jason and their friend Kristina! We all have to plan well in advance to get together so we had our trip to Kruger’s Farm Market on the books for a few weeks. Thursday nights in the summer are their Farm Tunes Concert Series where you can take a picnic or get food on-site from local vendors and enjoy music, sunshine (if you’re lucky), and pick from their fields of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and more!

With all of us picking, we came away with guilty stained fingers and lips and enough berries for Tanna to make 10 jars of jam, 4 jars of strawberries in syrup, crepes, and chocolate covered strawberries… still with leftovers! My two pints  were enjoyed in protein shakes, cereal, fro-yo and all by themselves. They were some of the greatest strawberries I’ve ever had, and I didn’t mind the fact that I was able to sample before buying either 😉

Our PickingsImageTanna & Greg

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Tanna and Greg are expecting their first child (Olive _?_ Williamson) on October 29th and her pregnancy has been exciting to follow. They will be great parents as they also have two four legged children, Kain and Lola, who can’t wait for their sister to arrive. 🙂

❤ JE

Marks of Mud

This past weekend was a blast for me and two of my great friends Brad and Brooke as we traveled north to explore Southwestern Canada and more importantly to participate in the Tough Mudder Vancouver race!

When we first committed to the race it was late October of 2011 and 8 months later here we were at Whistler Olympic Park on June 24th at 6:15 in the morning.

Tough Mudder is “probably the toughest event on the planet” with hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. Obstacles included a quarter pipe, jumping into a frozen-over lake, electric shock and good old fashioned pavement stomping on the back logging roads of the still icy mountain.

While the 3 hour duration of the course itself was a gut-check, I want to share some of my findings from the adventure:

  • True friends will push your butt over walls, cheer you on and get shocked while running through a field of live wires with you
  • Complete strangers will help you out of water that jolts your entire system
  • Running up a hill will never again be looked at as an obstacle
  • Body weight alone is the weight one should be able to lift
  • I wouldn’t have been able to do what I had done if I hadn’t lost 17lbs since April 5th.
  • I bruise easily
  • Bananas digest well mid-workout
  • Brooke Smith went Beast Mode on the Monkey Bars and Berlin Walls
  • “Call Me Maybe” is an unfortunately catchy song with fun internet meme’s for days
  • I could see myself living in Seattle
  • I’m in the right mindset to complete the Portland 2012 Marathon!
  • I would do another Tough Mudder. No question.

GAME FACES

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And after, here we are before we hit possibly the worst part of the day – the ice cold showers!

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My 2008-09 Portland State Softball shoes – so happy to say goodbye!

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❤ JE