Fleet Feet Sports – Support the Girls!

I was recently contacted by Fleet Feet Sports in Mount Pleasant about a donation program they started called “Support the Girls.” 

Katie told me, “Many of the high school girls in JROTC have a noticeably higher BMI than their male classmates and worse scores on their weekly PT tests. A huge contributing factor is that most of the girls don’t have (and can’t afford) a proper sports bra, which is making them shy away from physical fitness.”

As a way to help these girls in our community, Fleet Feet is working with one of their brands, Moving Comfort, to donate a sports bra for every bra sold during designated weekends about once a month. They are trying to reach as many high schools around Charleston as possible. 

I was invited into the store to be fitted and get a new bra for myself (disclaimer: I received the bra for free). 

I had actually never been fitted before and proud to say I was exactly right with my size all along (let’s be honest, I don’t have too much to work with anyway). Amy, who was helping me in the store, recommended a few different styles for me. I ultimately chose the Rebound Racer bra. 

I love how the straps are adjustable in the front with velcro, not to mention the fun colors and pattern. Amy told me this bra is great for both high impact activities like running, as well as lower impact activities like yoga. I do both of those things, so I figured it was a perfect fit! No pun intended.
I am so happy to have had the opportunity to be a part of the Support the Girls program. It’s an amazing way to help adolescent girls who have shied away from physical activity in the past. Teenage years can be rough and if we can help those girls feel a little more comfortable in their own skin, I’m all for it. 
Locals – I encourage you to stop by Fleet Feet for a new bra of your own and support our local teenage girls as well. The next scheduled promotional weekend is November 9-10. Be there or be square!

Leggings *ARE* Pants…And Other Random Facts

1. I keep reading blog posts and tweets from girls saying, “Leggings aren’t pants!” Apparently it’s not okay to wear leggings as pants. That’s news to me. What other way can you wear leggings? On your arms as a shirt? On your feet as socks? On your head as a hat? No, no and no. 
I know what those girls are meaning to say is that leggings shouldn’t be worn with normal length tops. They think leggings should only be worn with longer shirts or sweaters that fall below your hiney. 
Wrong! Leggings, my friends, ARE pants. Leggings are even made in super cute prints these days (thank you Target!). I refuse to feel judged by those who claim this is a fashion “don’t.” Comfort is most important. So if it makes you uncomfortable, don’t do it. But if you ask me, don’t be ashamed to wear leggings with a shirt that doesn’t necessarily come down to the middle of your thighs. 
Agree or disagree?
2. This is what happens when you’re on a walk with a 110 pound “puppy” who takes all your possible strength to pull on the leash when another crazy dog passes on the other side of the street. I blame the other dog, just to set the record straight. 
Just look at her and that (slightly embarrassing) cone head. How could I blame that?!

3. Verde, a local fresh salad and wrap bar, celebrated it’s second birthday yesterday with discounted meals. I was excited to grab a cheap, healthy, and delicious lunch, while also getting to see Erica and Christina who were both working the event. They have several signature salads (which can all be made in a wrap too) or you can build your own. I opted for the signature Farmers Market wrap. It did not disappoint.

This baby was filled with arugula, mesclun, baby spinach, sprouts, cucumbers, avocado, broccoli, hearts of palm, sunflower seeds and green goddess dressing.

Mmmm. I can’t wait to go back. 
Well friends, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. My dad, stepmom and niece are visiting and we have a full schedule for the next 2-3 days. Mostly involving food. Can you blame us? I love my city and I love our food.

Apple Pie with an Oatmeal Crumble

I like to think of myself as a relatively happy, optimistic person. I haven’t always been that way, but throughout the past few years, I have grown closer to God and really noticed a difference. Looking on the bright side of things and having a glass half full attitude does wonders for my soul. It’s such a better way to live life. 
Of course there are times when I get upset and am not so smiley. Greg can attest to this more than anyone. He can handle it though. That’s why I have him around.

Then there are times when the silliest things just make me angry. Little things that are so annoying I can’t even take it, like:
1. You remember how we moved recently, right? Well I quickly discovered that at 8:15 every morning, right when I’m leaving for work, the sun shines through onto our street just perfectly through the trees so that for about five seconds of my drive I am absolutely BLINDED by the light (sorry for just writing the longest sentence ever). I seriously cannot see a thing for those few seconds, and it’s while I’m driving along a curve to make matters worse. Every morning I’m praying that there’s nobody in the road or a car coming from the other direction. It’s so dangerous, but there isn’t anything I can do. Sunglasses on, visor pulled down…I still can’t see anything. I get so angry at the sun during that time. Sorry, Sun. I love you, but I don’t always have to like you. 
2. When people have the car blinker on when they aren’t actually trying to change lanes or turn. I know it happens to everyone, myself included, but it still drives me crazy. I just want them to TURN IT OFF! I can’t wait to get around the car so I don’t have to see it flashing unnecessarily anymore. 
3. Wind. I have long hair. I like to wear it down sometimes, is that a crime? The wind thinks so.

And with that, I’m off to yoga to fight off these negative energies (well, I actually already went to yoga, but originally typed this post early this morning beforehand). Another solution to put yourself in a good mood: Make this apple pie, add a big scoop of ice cream and just see if you can keep a smile off your face. I bet you can’t. Take that, negative energy!

Apple Pie with an Oatmeal Crumble
(Adapted from my Baked Apple Pie and How Sweet It Is)

Makes about 8 servings

1 pie crust (I used a store bought crust)
4 medium granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the crumble topping-
1 cup oats
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces

+Vanilla ice cream for serving, highly recommended

1. Roll out the pie crust and lay in 9-inch pie pan. Press down around the sides of the pan and trim any crust hanging over the sides. Place in freezer for about 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
3. In a large bowl, combine sliced apples, sugars, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice. Stir until well combined. Pour mixture into pie crust and set aside.
4. In a bowl (I use the same one used for the apple mixture to reduce clean up), add oats, brown suga, flour, cinnamon and salt. Stir well and shake over top of the apple mixture in the pie pan. Distribute butter pieces evenly on top.
5. Bake for 40-50 minutes. Be sure to check on pie after 20 minutes of baking – cover with foil if the crust is becoming too brown for the remainder of bake time.
6. Remove from oven and let cool 10-20 minutes. Slice and serve with a BIG scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Mac Off and Menchie’s

On Saturday afternoon, we got together with a group of friends for a good cause. A cause near and dear to my heart. 
This is very serious.
But not really.
The annual Charleston Mac Off! Mac and cheese, that is. 

photo 1

Did you catch that? There, on that sign…White chocolate s’mores mac and cheese?! You know my eyes went big and my sweet tooth went crazy when I read that. It sure sounded strange, but I HAD to try it. Well, turns out it was just as weird as you would think. I love Graze and give them all the credit for taking a chance with that one, but it simply was not good. Sorry, Graze 😦
Once I got that out of my system, I tried all kinds of more traditional mac and cheese. You may have also noticed Crave listed on that chalkboard sign. And yes, they had won the competition for three consecutive years prior to this year. Wouldn’t you know it, but Crave won again! 
photo 2

Here I am with a sample of the mac from Poogan’s Porch, complete with scallions, country ham and smoked gouda. This was one of my faves. 
photo 3

Of all of the delicious mac and cheese I ate (way too much, but that was to be expected I suppose), this butternut squash ravioli in a brown butter sauce was the best part of my day. Rio Bertolini’s makes fresh pasta, which I’ve bought from local farmer’s markets before. They know how it’s done. I bought some lobster ravioli, butternut squash ravioli and whole wheat pizza dough to bring home for dinners this week. 
photo 4
I needed something cool and refreshing as the heavy cheesy pastas quickly got the best of me. I’m not much of a beer drinker, or a day drinker for that matter, so this sparkling lemonade was perfect. 

We spent the rest of the afternoon on the couch watching football with friends, taking a nap and recovering from the mac overload. Somehow I managed to be hungry by dinnertime. I ate a salad at Moe’s then loaded up on a heavenly bowl of Menchie’s – Pure Chocolate, Cake Batter, Praline Pecan, and Peanut Butter yogurt topped with peanut butter cups, whipped cream and caramel sauce. 
What a day!

Sunday Blessings – Simple Messages

But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.”
-Matthew 19:14

No, I’m not pregnant. Just thought I would clear that up before you got the wrong idea with that picture. Those are actually little booties I got for my friend Becca. I went to her shower this afternoon to celebrate the coming of her little baby boy very, very soon. SO EXCITED!

Somewhat-but-not-really related, today was Children’s Sunday at our church. This is a day where the children of our congregation are recognized by taking some of the leadership roles in service like greeting everyone, reading scripture and prayers, and collecting the offering. One thing that my church does, and from my experiences all Presbyterian churches do, is “children’s time” towards the beginning of the service where the younger ones are called forward to sit and listen to a story or message from the Bible, relating to the readings and sermon for the day.

I grew up Catholic where this was done a bit differently. The kids would be called forward then leave to a separate room with an adult leader where they would discuss Bible stories apart from the adults.

I remember the first few times going to Presbyterian services with Greg and not appreciating this children’s time. In fact,  as much as I feel bad saying it I’ll admit that it kind of annoyed me more than anything. “Let’s just get right to it,” I would think to myself. “Why do we need to waste this time listening to the message for the kids? They can go to another room or to their Sunday school classes for their worship.”

God has softened my hard head and taught me to truly value this dedicated children’s time. Throughout the past year or so I’ve found myself really enjoying the children’s sermon. After today’s service, I realized how much I get out of it.

The pastors and other adults who lead this sermon put more complicated stories and lessons into the most simple terms. I also love seeing and hearing the kids participate. It’s become a part of the service I look forward to rather than something I wish we could skip.

Fall Bucket List 2013

A fall bucket list, or bucket list of any kind, isn’t the most original thing, but they’re popular for a reason. It’s exciting to think about all of the fun things that come with a new season and it’s motivating to have a concrete list to refer to what I want to accomplish in the next month or two. 
Without further ado, here are my goals to make the most of this season of change.
Hope you’re having a wonderful fall weekend!
Go Bucks!