Monday, October 13, 2014

Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops

Tonight's dinner  was Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops. These are very simple to make and are extremely delicious. Here's how to make 'em:

  1. Whisk 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl
  2.  Mix 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese with 1/3 cup breadcrumbs (I like the garlic flavored ones)
  3. Dip pork chops in egg mixture then the cheese/breadcrumb mixture
  4. Heat olive oil in skillet
  5. Put pork chops in skillet and fry each side until browned 
  6. Bake pork chops in oven at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Hokie Half Marathon

One year ago I told myself I was going to do a half marathon. I started training in June this summer by running 2 miles every other day at a small walking track at an elementary school near our house. Once I moved back to Virginia Tech, I began running on trails and roads. I followed a half marathon training plan that had me running between 18 and 30 miles per week. It was supposed to last 12 weeks but after week 8 my knees started to give out so I stopped so as not to put any more strain on them. I cut back to only running about 9 miles or less per week for the remainder of the training period. The day before the race I started developing a cold. Sore throat, runny nose and a headache. It was also supposed to rain the day of the race. Both not good signs. The day of the race, it was raining as predicted and cold (49 degrees). I somehow found the motivation to get out of my warm bed and go outside into the dark, rainy and cold race location. There were about 1500 runners who were signed up to run. At the last minute I decided to change out of my short sleeve shirt and wear a long sleeve shirt. I'm not sure if this was a good idea or not as the shirt was completely absorbed with water and stayed that way the entire time. The race started at 7:30. It was a slow start since there were so many people. I was completely drenched before I had even gone 10 feet. The rain only let up for about 5 minutes around mile 5. I don't remember much between miles 5 and 10. I was kind of in a frozen daze by that point. Around mile 10 I passed by my grandmother's house where she, my mom and dad were all watching. They caught a glimpse of me as I sped by. 3 more miles to go. I kept thinking of sitting in the warm car with heat blasting on me to keep me going. The worst moment was on top of a hill with rain pelting down and the wind blowing against me. My eyes were stinging from the water. I think it was a mixture of rain, sweat, tears and snot. By this point I didn't care at all what I looked like. I thought what would happen if I just collapsed, would the ambulance come rescue me? I was so cold by this point that it was difficult for me to breathe. Finally, finally the finish line was in sight. I picked up the pace a little bit and crossed the line. It was definitely not what I had been envisioning for the past year. Clear blue skies, warm with a slight breeze, smiling and throwing my arms in the air for a triumphant finish. Instead I struggled to stop my watch (I didn't manage to do that) and nearly collapsed from coldness once I crossed the line. My mom was luckily right at the finish line and guided me to the car. I could barely walk and words wouldn't come out of my throat. That part is a foggy memory. I didn't really notice any of my surroundings. I was just focusing on putting one foot in front of the other. I made it to the car and put a dry shirt on and sat in front of the heater.  Apparently my lips had turned purple and I was shaking uncontrollably. I was brought some chili which helped a little bit. Eventually I warmed up and was back to normal. My knees are just a bit sore but they should be better in a couple of days. I'm not sure if I will attempt another half marathon for awhile. I need a break from running.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Mount Rogers Hike

Today was an activity filled day. First I got up at 5 to run 6 miles. After that my family and I decided to hike Mount Rogers, the highest mountain in Virginia. We decided to drive up part of it and hike up four miles instead of 7.

The starting point. 

We found a large rock to sit on for lunch which provided a nice view. 

Mount Rogers has a herd of "wild" miniature ponies. However, with so many hikers, they're pretty tame. 

After a few hours we finally made it to the top! 

I wasn't too tired afterwards. My feet were just sore from hiking in old tennis shoes. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Happenings This Week

I have not been as diligent with the quilt making as at first because I am not fully sure how I should proceed. I may just wait until somebody can help me. Perhaps if I go home this weekend.

Today marked my fifth day in a row of running with this new training schedule. I'm up to 19 miles so far this week. After my run on Saturday I'll be at 25 for the week.

I finished my internship project today which was putting together different ideas for beginning farmer programs. I'll have nothing to do now for my remaining 6 days.

In order to fuel my energy to do all this running I've decided I need more food, but it has to be healthy so this has led me to try meal prepping. I'll probably start on Monday.  A sandwich and an apple for lunch has left me weak and fatigued after running. My meal prepped lunches/dinners will consist of a grain, such as brown rice, a protein - chicken/fish, vegetables and fruit as a dessert. Hopefully this will be beneficial and work. Anyone have any spare Tupperware containers?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

1/2 Marathon Training

I have been running all summer but with exactly 12 weeks until the Hokie Half Marathon I decided to follow a professional training plan.
I think it will be tough but I am determined to do it. 
Here's what I'll be doing for the next 12 weeks. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

More quilt stuff

I've taken a quilt break over the past couple of days since I finished piecing together all of the blocks to complete the final design. 

I sewed the blocks into 7 rows of 6. I've realized you can never use too many pins. Luckily I got everything to line up well. 

Hanging the final design from the door is proof that they are all attached. Once I put the border on I think it will be a pretty good size. 

Most of my corners ended up lining up perfectly, with the exception of a couple. But it's hardly noticeable. 

I'm pretty impressed and proud of myself so far having had no previous practice. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

More Progress

I finished piecing together all of the blocks and ironing everything. I spread them out to get a visual of how big the quilt will be. Next step is attaching the blocks to one another.

Sunday, July 13, 2014


My weekend was filled with sewing. I managed to get all of the short sides sewed to all of the squares and ironed each one. I am a little over halfway finished with putting together the final blocks. 
Here is a sample of part of what I have completed so far. I just layed the blocks down. They aren't actually attached to one another yet. The final quilt will have 42 blocks. I think it's coming along very nicely. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Fabulous Finds

I decided to go to the thrift store today to see if I would have any luck. Turns out I did! 

I found a sheet set for $3. They're reversible sheets so I can switch it around and have the yellow at the top if I wanted. 

The next thing I found was this comforter. I was in need of a new one so I was glad when I found this for $18. I looked the brand up online and new ones sell for about $100. I think it might actually be for a queen size bed and mine is a full but it's not a big problem. Of course I washed everything before putting them on my bed. 

My final item was this purple glass box thing. I thought it would be useful to have on my dresser to put some odds and ends in. And for just 50 cents! 

I think I'll start going to the thrift store on a more regular basis. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Beginnings of My First Quilt

This is my first attempt at making a quilt. Or anything involving fabric or sewing for that matter. I hope it meets all of my dreams and expectations when I finally finish it!
I started out with 2 yards of maroon and white fabric and 4 yards of orange from JoAnn Fabric. Luckily I found it when it was 50% off!
The most tedious task I have encountered so far is making all the measurements and cuts to get these perfect squares and rectangles. 
Here are my measurements in case anyone would like to make this pattern:
42 white and 42 maroon rectangles 2.5x9”; 42 white and 42 maroon rectangles 2.5x5”; 21 orange and 21 maroon squares 5x5”

After I finished cutting out all of my pieces, I started sewing two of the sides onto the center square. The orange squares will have a maroon border and the maroon squares will have a white border. I’m only sewing half of the border on to start with so I can iron it before I complete the block.
This is also my first experience with a sewing machine. All was going well but of course a problem occurred after just half an hour of use. After 2 phone calls to home and watching a YouTube video, I fixed the problem and continued on.

This is what the final orange square with maroon border looks like. 1 down, 41 more to go.