Pumpkin things.

But is a just me, or are things getting a little out-of-hand with the pumpkin everything thing?

I get it, it’s fall, and I think fall is one of the most wonderful seasons in the whole world.  Especially when the sun is out, which I haven’t really witnessed since fall began in North Carolina.  But the temps are a little cooler, I’ve been able to run without feeling like I’m going to vomit, and overall, I think this fall thing is a win.

Except…I went to a meeting early yesterday morning, and would you look at what I found.

Pumpkin PieThere, amongst all the asparatamey sweetness that is Yoplait (no shade to Yoplait, I used to like drink this stuff until I discovered Fage), was a Pumpkin Pie flavored yogurt as one of our breakfast options.  So obviously, I had to taste it.  I mean, what is the argument here.  I like pumpkin pie, I like yogurt.  But this was a major, major fail, and this, along the vast collection of pumpkin-flavored things to grace our Food Lion shelves over the last month, has just got to stop.

I have a confession to make.  I don’t care for the pumpkin spice latte (PSL).  I don’t care for pumpkin filled Oreos.  I don’t want pumpkin spice hummus.  Truthfully, the furthest I was ever willing to go was with pumpkin bread.  And pumpkin cheesecake, that too.  The rest of it?  I’m just not here for.

I’m sorry.

Does that make me grumpy?

Sweat Hope 5k

I have a very very special place in my heart for the 5k.  I think a lot of times, that runners, especially those of us who have a few marathons under our belts, tend to look down on the 5k.

Why would you put a 5k sticker on your car?  What’s hard about a 5k?  You’re proud of 3 miles?

But that’s not fair is it?  Because we all started somewhere, even if we’re running ultras right now.  And a 5k is exactly where I started.  The 5k was my gateway, when I knew that I could do some amazing things.  And I love to sign up for a 5k now and then to assess exactly where I am, and to reminisce about a time when I couldn’t even imagine running 3.1.  5 kilometers is an amazing distance.  And guess what?  Just because you’ve run a few marathons doesn’t mean that there isn’t a day that picking up your legs to run 3.1 doesn’t hurt like hell.  Cause it happened to me last week.

That said, I have something cool for you guys.

HoHThis is Jessica Ekstrom, founder of Headbands of Hope, a really cool organization that has caught FIRE she she started it while she was a college student a few years ago.  For every headband/hat/buff purchased from her site, Jess donates one to a little girl being treated with cancer, and $1 is donated to cancer research.  It’s so cool, and I feel so lucky that I’ve known Jess with time to see her extraordinary business grow and grow and grow.

Seriously – here she is repping the company on the Today Show.

Here’s where you, and my love of 5ks comes in.

The Sweat Hope 5k is popping off on September 27th in Raleigh, NC, and I will be running it.  On September 27th, you’ve got a chance to run this race, meet the founder of a great org, and save on your registration!

For $5 off registration to the Sweat Hope 5k, use code overactiveblogger here, and come out to run, enjoy some amazing food from local vendors, and ring in the inaugural Sweat Hope 5k!

Summer’s Best

I kinda stole this idea from Gracie at Girl Meets Life, but it was such a good one, I had to immediately put it to good use before I forgot.  So without any further ado – here are my Top 5 for Summer. 

My brother graduated high school.  

Not only was the fact that he graduated cool, but it was cool because it was one of the first times in a long long time that all of the siblings had been together.  We finished off the night by going to Ihop with my brother, who happens to share his sister’s love of breakfast foods.

Derek Graduation
Derek ended up on the nightly news!

My sister got married.

Deb had a pretty fast courtship and engagement – she was maybe engaged for a month or two before her and her husband decided that they just wanted to get it done, and we headed to York, SC one weekend in June to watch their nuptials.  It was really cool, plus I got to see my parent’s new party pad that they moved to promptly upon becoming empty nesters.

York Wedding Chapel

I got a new job.

Three years ago, I interviewed for this job, and was rejected, and heartbroken.  I spent a few days in bed, cried at the drop of a hat, and made my husband listen to me whine about it for weeks.  Fast-forward to a few years later, and the job almost fell into my lap, and I took it.  Best thing I’ve ever done, and I can honestly say that I love my job, and I feel so fortunate to be a part of that organization.

Pool at the job where I do a little bit of water running :)
Pool at the job where I do a little bit of water running 🙂

Les Mills Body Pump™ Certification

In July, I went to Wilmington to do the first part of my certification for Les Mills Body Pump™, and it was one of the most incredible experiences of life.  I have never come out of a weekend more sore in my life, but it was the best kind of sore, and I got to walk on the beach in the 5 seconds I had between the two days of certification.  I would gladly do it again.

This was pre-training, and pre-shoulder shredding workout!
This was pre-training, and pre-shoulder shredding workout!

….and last but not least…

We got married!

Which I’m fairly certain you may be tired of hearing about, but what’s a girl to do?

photo 5
image via Blest Studios

Now with all of that – Gracie also included what she’s looking forward to for the fall – and I feel like I’m still in such a whirlwind, that I can barely tell you what I’m excited about.  But with the new house and stuff, I’m pumped for:

  • Crunchy fall leaves.
  • Running when it’s not 90 degrees and 77% humidity out.  It will be nice to to not be nauseous immediately following a run.
  • DIYing around the new house – painting, setting up a workspace for me to work at, and kind of exploring my creativity a little bit.

And that’s about all I can think of right now.

What are you excited for this fall?  

Recipe

So, twice this “fall” (it’s been warm as a mother frick, so that’s accounts for the “) I’ve had this incredible soup from Panera, their squash soup.  Squash is happy.  Squash is a really pretty color.  And it screams fall.  However, not for no $7.00 like I was paying for it.  I’m a social worker who’s getting married in less than a year, I really don’t need to be spending that kind of money on a bowl of soup, how delish it is.

Panera's Version
Panera’s Version

So I grabbed 4 small bags of frozen squash from the Super Target, and got started on a Crock Pot Creation that would mimic the soup I’d paid nearly ten bucks a few days earlier. Here’s how it turned out.

My Version!
My Version!

So here’s the recipe, especially if you’re in one of those places that actually gets a fall.

If you don’t have anything in your kitchen but Lean Cuisines (tsk, tsk, sodium watch!) head to the store and grab a few things.

  • Curry Powder
  • Rosemary
  • Some decent black pepper.  Cracked is cool.
  • Some salt.  I like big fat kosher salt.  Thank you, summer camp. 
  • Veggie Stock (low sodium!) Like two of those cartons should be good. 
  • A few bags of frozen squash OR if you have some extra chop time, some butternut squashes (can you make squash plural like that?)
  • Heavy Cream (it’s next to the milk)
  • A medium onion.

Now, you’re ready to crock.

  • Chop, then sauté a medium onion in an oil.  I used butter, but you can make it a little lighter with some olive oil, or a light butter, if you’re watching the saturated fat.
  • Throw a few bags of frozen squash into your crock pot.  If you have fresh, chop it, then throw it in.
  • Throw those onions with oil into the crock pot.
  • Thow in a tsp of rosemary
  • For a little warmth, throw in a spoonful of curry powder
  • Throw in a cup and a half of heavy cream.  Cut it with some water if the cream seems a little fatty to you.
  • Pour your veggie stock over the mixture, til your crock is pretty full, but leave a little room for it to simmer toward the end.  There’s nothing worse than cleaning burnt mixture out of your crock pot.
  • Add a tad bit of pepper, and only a teeny bit of salt.  You can add more to taste, but you don’t want to oversalt, especially in the crock pot.  It’s really annoying to fix.
  • Crock it for 10 hours.
  • This is the only weird part of the recipe.  When you get ready, spoon however much you want into a bowl.  Pour the entire mixture into the blender, and purée it so all the chunky squash is like, creamy and stuff. 
  • Most important part.  Eat it.  Make sure to casually bring up in conversation how you made this in the crock pot and you’re so domestical and stuff.  Very key.

Random and disturbing observation.

I think Panera must put food coloring in their version of this soup, because it’s always been slightly more orange than what I’m comfortable with.  Also, mine was not so orange.  For the love of God, why color a SOUP?!

Anyhoo,

Let me know how yours turns out, folks!