Thursday, September 27, 2012

Couch to 5K

If you have read my blog before, or know anything about me, you read that title and thought I was losing my mind because SARA DOESN'T RUN. kind of do.

My labmate and bestie Miss S and I somehow decided that we wanted to run a 5K sometime. We have chosen to run it in the spring, giving us plenty of training time. Oh wait, it gets better. After we run a 5k in the spring of 2013, we want to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon in 2014. I know it's a ways off, but trust me...I need it.

We've been at the training program, which is a variation of the Couch to 5K regimen, for about 5 weeks now.

My knees are killing me, my shins are screaming profanities, my ankles are all pissed off, and my lungs are trying to flee my body...but you know what? IT FEELS AMAZING. I am RUNNING!!!

My little brother (who is a super runner...seriously, he's like 7th in the nation for college running or something absolutely ridiculous like that) has been giving me tidbits of help along the way, explaining what muscles are changing and such. For example, I said to him "Hey, Little C, I started running and my legs are absolutely killing me. Why is that?" His response: "Um, haven't run since like, 1999. It's gonna hurt." He is so wise.

Regardless of the pain, and the fact that the increasing muscle mass is altering the numbers on the scale in such a way that makes me want to vomit, I am really proud of myself and Miss S. After 2 weeks, I treated myself to a boatload of new music on iTunes. I owe myself another prize I feel, for completely another 2 weeks. Putting prize milestones, keeps me on track and keeps me going.

That, and my husband bet me $1000 that I would not run the half marathon.

I hope he is saving his change from lunch and such.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Monday, September 24, 2012

Snake Bite Pasta

We here in the Lahman family love spicy. We love pasta. Therefore, we love spicy pasta. In a massive haste of a hectic evening, I threw a bunch of things that sounded good into my slow cooker, set the timer, and walked away. A little over an hour later, I came back to what turned into Snake Bite Pasta.

What you need:
1 tub Kraft Santa Fe cooking creme
1/2 jar of Pace Picante sauce (we use hot, but use whatever your taste buds can handle)
1/2 tub of sour cream (I use low fat, but use whatever)
1 small yellow onion chopped
1 can of petite diced tomatoes with jalapenos
1 green bell pepper
4 chicken breasts
1 can whole kernel corn (I use no salt added)
1 box pasta (I use whole wheat rotini...something with texture holds the sauce better)
black pepper
Green onions

What you do:
Put the cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Put into the cooker with the cooking cream, onions, tomatoes, and pepper. Season to taste with cumin and pepper. Cook on high for about an hour, until chicken is cooked through. Mix in sour cream, corn, and Picante sauce. And cook additional 10-15 minutes. Cook pasta according to package directions. Mix sauce and pasta in large bowl, garnish with green onions (I usually just cut them up with kitchen shears).

What I love about this is that you can make it as hot as you like. You could also use beans instead of chicken  for a vegetarian option. I have also garnished with a sharp cheddar or pepper jack cheese, if I have it handy.


PS. One day I will figure out how to take decent food pictures with my camera.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The PhD bracelet

In my lab, we have a tradition. Whenever a member achieves something noteworthy, my adviser purchases a bottle of champagne. The person with the accomplishment paints the cork a certain color, depending on what they have done, and fires it at the ceiling. Then, they sign the tile next to the cork mark, and the lab drinks happily in celebration. Our ceiling is amazing.


I can't take the ceiling with me when I graduate.

I wanted something to mark each milestone, each accomplishment, of my own.

I give you: The Pandora PhD bracelet!

It started with 2 charms, one for acceptance into the PhD program and one for getting an assistantship that covers my tuition and gives me a stipend. The third charm is for presenting at the Animal Behavior Conference in Bloomington, Indiana this past spring. Whenever I publish, pass a milestone (prelims, proposal defense, etc.), receive an award or grant, or present research, I will get a new charm. When I graduate, if all goes as planned, I will have one amazing bracelet to remind me of all the hard work I put in over 4 years and what I have achieved.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Good Eats for D

One of my best friends, D, from California is quite possibly busier than I am. She has three boys, two of whom are twins. She has a dog. A husband. A house and a mortgage. And she is an awesome family person. Oh, and she runs marathons. FOR FUN.

So yeah, she's super busy and I have crazy amounts of respect for her. We have never really lived in close enough proximity so I can help her as much as I want to. She taught me so much about being a first time mother, giving me all kinds of tricks and tips, without being pushy. I in turn, taught her some cooking tips, like how to make gravy from scratch and how to barbeque chicken. I just got to talk to her for the first time in a long time the other day, other than random texts and facebook snippets here and there. It was wonderful. Hearing about her life and her boys made me feel like I was back in California. It was like a breath of fresh air.

I know that she likes to feed her boys good, homemade food whenever possible. I promised her that I would send her some recipes, and I thought that I would share them with the blogosphere. Therefore :)...I am starting a new section to blog, called Good Eats for D. All the recipes that I will put here will be simple and easy to prepare, as well as easily affordable. I get my recipes from all over, and if by chance you stumble upon one that I don't credit you for, please please PLEASE let me know. I will be more than happy to correct myself. goes the first one! Sausage Crescent Pie (as made for me by Miss Sarah Jane). Note: I use low fat and reduced fat whenever possible. It's not necessary to do so, but I like to :)

What you will need:

2 tubes of crescent rolls
2 bars of cream cheese, softened
1 lb of turkey sausage (or any sausage you like)

What you need to do:

Preheat the oven to crescent roll specifications (most likely it's 375).
Brown the sausage in a pan over medium heat, drain.
Unroll one package of crescent rolls and press them flat so they cover the bottom of a 9x13 casserole pan.
Spread one package of cream cheese on top of the rolls.

Now comes the fun and creative part. Add the sausage. Then you can add pretty much whatever you want. I  have added mushroom pieces, spinach, onions...sometimes asparagus or tomatoes. Or you can just leave it as the sausage cause it's uber delicious that way.

Spread the last package of cream cheese over the sausage layer.
Unroll the last package of rolls over the top.
Bake according to crescent roll package directions (usually about 20 works)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

As the leaves begin to change color

"Can you set the DVR to record the Ohio State games?" my husband asks of me.

"What are you talking about? They don't start for a while yet." I reply.

"Um, they start on Saturday..."

This was a conversation that took place between my husband and I just a few weeks ago. Now here I sit, three weeks into college football season, knee deep in the semester, as the weather cools down and I try to figure where summer...or the whole year for that matter, has flown off to. It seems like only yesterday that I was packing to head up to Michigan for field research. It has been so busy, I have barely had time to take a shower, let alone blog about everything I want to. So here's a quick recap so I can shirk the guilt and move on.

I finished my first dissertation research data set. It's as beautiful as data can be, and holds a mountain of possibilities. Now comes the analysis and writing. I'm presenting it at the SICB conference in San Francisco! I'm so excited. :) I am starting trials for my second project, just hammering out kinks in protocol. My formal courses are completed, so this year is filled with reading and studying for my prelims, seminar hours, and writing my proposal. I taught the second summer session of Gen Bio lab, and all of a sudden, 6 weeks had raced by. It was a lot of fun, and I loved the material more than the other courses I have taught. However; I'm not teaching this semester. I landed the prep TA spot and I'm holding onto it as long as possible.

Isaac started preschool! He is adjusting really well, although he claims it is too hard. Oh buddy, it will only get harder. Ben started a new job, working as a service adviser for a local VW dealer. He loves it. He's home more, and the money is better. The new house is finally unpacked. Just looking for a few things to make it home. This proves quite a challenge as we have no extra cash. This summer drained us.

Isaac met Thomas, met Dora, and went to the zoo countless times. He visited museums, went to fairs and festivals, and rode an elephant. I can't even count how many times he went swimming and fishing.  We've hosted cookouts and parties.

Even though the summer went so fast, I'm super excited to what this fall holds for us. Apple butter, pumpkin picking, football games, trick or treating, more holidays and birthdays with our family.

And before you know it, I will be sitting in this same chair, looking out my window at snow, wondering where the fall went.