Running on Ice

So, there has been some serious freezing-rain-or-snow-or-ice happening here in Michigan.

Everyting is frosted and iced.

Everything is frosted and iced.

The last two days I went out early and ran.

The path was either wet and slick or thick with snow. And for some reason I absolutely LOVED it.

There is something about running when the conditions aren’t great, or even ideal. There is something about running miles before passing another brave soul. There is something about having to use extra caution so that you don’t twist or fall. There is something about feeling extra strong because you are pounding the pavement when most avoid it. There is something about running in winter that makes you feel so dang CONFIDENT. You can’t be stopped by the weather. You can’t be stopped by the temperature. You can’t be stopped.

There is something about running that makes me feel so alive, so here, and so in the moment.

I love this quote from the book Run Like a Girl –

quoteDon’t you just love that?

This applies to me so much. This last week at work made me want to rip my hair out. The wedding is getting close and I have so much to do. I am behind on laundry. GAAAAAHHHH the list goes on. But-

Taking time for my sweat session clears my head and cleans my soul. Throw yesterday away and start fresh the next. Let that icy road carry your mind to a solid and strong place. Sweat it out.

With Christmas so close, many people seem to voice concerns about ‘holiday eating’ and ‘too cold to workout.’ Silly. Nonsense. There has never been a BETTER time to throw your gloves on and get some fresh air. Layer up and make time for yourself during the holidays. Round up your family or a friend. Sign up for a 5k and walk it.

We are leaving for Nebraska in the morning to spend Christmas with Mr. Speedy’s family. I am not looking forward to the looooong car ride but I am sure looking forward to doing some running and taking in the cornfields and Nebraska sky.

I just love running, even on icy paths.

Sincerely,

Lily

Healthy Broccoli Cheese Soup for Cold Days

I made this soup and it warmed me up so well, I just had to share.

Mhmmmm can you feel the warmth?

Mhmmmm can you feel the warmth?

Confession: I do not like thick soups. I do not like creamy soups.

Mr. Speedy loves creamy soups and has a special liking for broccoli cheese soup. I am a weirdo and prefer broth soups and am really not too crazy about this soup. But for the sake of his taste buds and my need to serve him new recipes, I thought I’d make some soup from scratch.

However, I modified the traditional cream base recipe and used broth. And added A LOT OF VEGGIES. We are a healthy household, or try to be.

Healthy Broccoli Cheese Soup

 1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic gloves, minced
Olive oil
2 cans of chicken-broth
1/2 of a large head of broccoli (remove stems, chop)
1 cup of finely chopped carrot
1 cup of finely chopped mushrooms
1 cup of finely chopped celery
2 1/2 cups of skim milk
1/2 cup of flour
Salt & Pepper & any other spices you enjoy
1 cup (and a bit more if you want) of shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
Parsley

1. Chop up the onion, garlic, carrots, mushrooms, celery and broccoli. Just get it done and it’ll make everything easier. Promise.

2. In a large saucepan, drizzle some olive oil and saute the chopped onion and garlic for a few minutes.

3. Add the broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, celery and broth.

4. Bring to boil and cook over medium-high heat for about 15 minutes.

5. Blending time. If you have a blender, then you are in luck and this step will be easy. If you do not have a blender (aka ME) then this step might be messy and you might swear. You need to blend the entire soup mixture. I used a bowl and hand mixer:

6. Remember if you do use a blender, you need to keep the top open to let the hot air vent. Place a paper towel on top to avoid flying hot soup from shooting out.

7. After the mixture is blended (mine did not blend NEARLY as well as I thought), place back in saucepan over medium heat and add milk.

Milk!!

Milk!!

8. Then add the flour, salt, pepper, any spices, and cheese:

9. Stir often to help soup thicken. Keep over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes and then serve! Sprinkle parsley on top. Great with thick, crusy bread!

So much veggie goodness.

So much veggie goodness.

I really enjoyed this soup despite my disliking for creamy soups. The broth add enough liquid and the milk/flour thicken it nicely, so you don’t feel like you are slurping up heavy cream. And there are so many flavors with all of the veggies simmering together.

I think I need a blender though… should probably add that to the wedding registry.

What is your favorite soup in the winter? Tomato. Hands-down. Love that stuff.

Sincerely,

Lily

WINNER of knitted headband & some Fabulous news!

If you entered the contest, I have to say first thank you and second, your comments made me warm and want to immediately bundle up in every heavy clothing item I own.

But I didn’t because then I’d look like Randy:

“Raaaaalphieeeeeee!”

So, what is the most popular item to keep warm?

Here is a chart with answers…. scarves were a big hit:

Car Seat Warmer… Love that one. A warm butt is a happy person!

Anyways, I selected the winner using a random generator….

number

Do you like my deco font? I'm Gatsby-crazed.

Do you like my deco font? I’m Gatsby-crazed.

Suzie H. is zee winner! And I obviously have Art Deco on the brain and had to type her name in Gatsby font…. ANYWAYS, congrats ! A new knitted headband will be coming your way!

Now for some fabulous news…. I bought these headbands at a whimsical, unique store Catching Fireflies. They have three shops in Michigan – located in Ann Arbor, Berkley, and Rochester.

That last store is where I shop at and they were hiring for holiday help and well, I’m going to work there this holiday. I am very excited. A little extra money for the wedding and I can’t wait to help defend the amazing-ness of the knitted headband, set up displays of scented soaps and pretty jewelry, and gift wrap presents. SO PUMPED. They also have a hot chocolate station IN THE STORE, so hopefully I don’t burn my tongue or drink myself into a chocolate coma. Tempting.

If you live in this area, you should TOTALLY check out this store! Perfect for finding gifts for anyone or a little treat for yourself 🙂

Happy Saturday- I am working on wedding things today…. that involve wine bottles and lots (LIKE A LOT) of feathers.

Sincerely,

Lily

GIVEAWAY: Knitted Headband

This weekend I stopped by a chic boutique where my cousin works and bought this knitted headband:

Yo. I got no makeup but my head is happy.

Yo. I got no makeup but my head is happy.

I’ve got to admit something to yawlllll.

Here it goes-

I am SLIGHTLY self-conscious about my head because it is tiny. And usually, I have a hard time wearing headbands and things on my head because they kind of gulf my entire upper half and make me look like Lady Gaga:

Is her head small? Is the hat big? WHAT IS GOING ON.

Is her head small? Is the hat big? WHAT IS GOING ON.

But somehow this knitted headband was perfect for small-heads like me. The person that made this headband must have understood that some skulls are smaller, and for that, I am forever grateful.

It has a massive flower in one corner and a large wooden button in the back:

I love it because unlike a regular winter hat, this knitted headband does the following:

  • You do not get hat hair. I LOATHE HAT HAIR. Hat hair is the worst, especially when you are on a date and did your hair and trying to look oh-so-cute… but have to wear a hair-ruining hat OR freeze to death and die on the date. No girl should have to sacrifice their cute hair to stay warm. SERIOUSLY- We can send people to the moon, we should be able to maintain our perfectly manicured hairstyle while keeping our noggins warm.
  • You can wear the headband with your hair down (a hat can achieve this look too).
  • You can wear your hair in a high-ponytail (something a hat wishes it could do):
High ponytail! Perfecto.

High ponytail! Perfecto.

  • You can also wear it underneath all your hair, like a traditional wrap-around headband and it looks so dang cute:

I am so obsessed with this headband that I did not take it off when I got home, cooked dinner wearing it, and even ate at the table. Mr. Speedy indulged my obsession but finally mentioned that I might be over-heating my head….

Since I love it so much, I am giving away ONE (1) pretty knitted headband to one lucky reader.

Very simple – just comment on this post below, answering this question:

—–> What is your favorite thing to wear during the colder months?

Do you love to wear mittens or gloves? Love staying bundled up with a heavy scarf? Have a favorite jacket or fuzzy pair of socks? What  do you wear that keeps you warm and full of smiles ???

Mine USED to be my long fluffy jacket that goes down to my knees. It is super warm and keeps my butt and legs warm (I’ll never wear a short winter jacket again), but now I think it might be this headband.

Contest ends FRIDAY night at midnight (eastern time)…. WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED OVER THE WEEKEND. 

Good luck! It would make a great gift for anyone too! ♥

Sincerely,

Lily