Fall CSA Week 6

Hey everyone!

1018161107It “officially” feels like fall this morning here in Virginia Beach.  It’s windy, grey, cloudy, and chilly.  The tree leaves are in the middle of changing colors and the fallen leaves are whipping around everywhere with this wind.  And did I mention it is cold??  🙁  For a gal who loves warm weather, I’m not sure how I feel about this!  But that’s why there’s hot tea, oatmeal, fireplaces, and crockpots.  Amiright or amiright??

For those of you on the East Coast, you’ll recall that we had Hurricane Matthew come through for a short, rain drenching, windy visit.  We, among thousands, lost power through the start of the week and everything got crazy here.  We had to get creative for food which I thought was fun!  We even had friends come over for chili and managed just fine without power.  One bummer was that Cullipher Farm had to push back their delivery; so there wasn’t a CSA pick up two weeks ago and they added one week for the Fall CSA.  Continue reading “Fall CSA Week 6”

Thoughts on Graduate School: Middle of First Semester

Hello and Happy Wednesday!

This week I thought that it’d be fun to switch up from the usual topics.  I’ve talked a lot about stuff in Virginia, being a member of the Community Supported Agriculture through Cullipher Farm, more food, and have dabbled in fitnesss.  Today, I’m throwing in another graduate school post.

graduate schoolBefore the start of the semester, I posted a Q&A with a second year graduate student in the Counseling Program at William & Mary.  Megan was tons of help before starting classes by answering a gazillion plus one questions.  There wasn’t much “on the line” (What movie is that from??!) about what to expect at graduate school for counseling programs that I could find.  In hopes to expand available information about graduate level counseling programs, I thought to do some posts throughout the next two years for those who are searching for answers. Continue reading “Thoughts on Graduate School: Middle of First Semester”

Fall CSA Week 5

As a new member of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in Virginia Beach, I have started a series on the blog to document the vegetable and fruit goodies each week.  This is to keep me accountable to try new fruits and vegetables, try new cooking methods or recipes, and spread the word about supporting local farmers.  Click here for more information about being a member of a CSA, Cullipher Farm, and a recap of each week.

Cullipher FarmGood morning everyone!

My hope is that you all are staying safe from Hurricane Matthew if you are on the East Coast.  If you are elsewhere – I hope you are enjoying some sunlight for the rest of us under the clouds!  It has been pretty dreary.  I hate to start out this post on a sour note but some sunshine would really help all of our moods.

Another week has gone by so another week of meal prep is coming!  Since I’ve started these Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) posts, has anyone started trying to start meal prepping?  For each of the fruits and vegetables we receive in our CSA box, I give ideas how you can enjoy them inside meals and outside meals (i.e. snacking and preserving).  However, if you all would be more interested in a weekly meal plan in which I incorporate all of the produce I would be glad to do so.  I started out with just this outline-ish format in order to give you all more flexibility and not be all crazy…. which I hide from you all 😉  Well, I used to do a really good job at keeping to a meal plan.  However, grad school has decided to turn that upside down.  But I digress.

Week 4

Here’s a recap of what went on with all of the goodies from last week’s box. Continue reading “Fall CSA Week 5”

Visiting Peter’s Orchard

Good morning!

Today’s post will be a short one with pictures of one of my favorite farm stands in Pennsylvania.  We always make sure to stop by this orchard whenever we visit my grandparent’s home.  This summer we stopped by on the way from a wedding in the Poconos.  However, my grandparents have been super duper and visited us twice – each time bringing a gazillion and one peaches!

Visiting Peter’s Orchard

Peter's OrchardPeter’s Orchard is a farm stand in Gardners, Pennsylvania.  Their farm stand is open all year.  They have giant signs on the back wall that identifies what fruits and vegetables are ready to be harvested when.

The number one thing you have to buy are their peaches!  They have so many varieties and each are delicious.  Find me a peach I don’t like, I triple dog dare ya.

Peter's OrchardThe farm stand inside is ginormous!  There’s tables everywhere filled with produce.  There are canned goods, from salad dressings to jams and jellies to pickled anything.

Peter's Orchard

This was one sign setting out the year’s harvest.  The selves below hold some of the canned goods that Peter’s offers.  I have yet to try out their canned goods since we are always supplied by both M’s mom and my great aunt with jams and jellies – not a bad thing.

Peter's Orchard

Don’t tell me that this is not the largest head of cabbage you have ever seen!!  I wish I could tell you how amazed and excited I was to find those cabbage heads.  (Except that the maple syrup was more exciting!)

Peter's Orchard

Here’s the other sign with the harvest dates for the produce that Peter’s grows.

Peter's OrchardI was tempted to buy this…. but at the time I was purchasing textbooks for graduate school.  So I had to restrain myself from using $50 for only maple syrup…..

Ha!  My first video 🙂  It would be of a farmer’s stand.  Nothing makes me more excited!

While this is a blog full of places and events in Virginia, I can’t hide my love for Peter’s Orchard.  There are only a few things that I absolutely look forward to every year: fresh picked figs and peaches from Peter’s are my top two.  I love knowing where my food comes from and I really love “real”, whole foods.  Now if only I could drive up today and buy their biggest of the big pumpkins!

I hope that you guys enjoyed a random snippet of PA that is a must to visit if you pass through PA.  If you have any questions about Peter’s, visit their website or comment below.  Any feedback is always welcomed!

Have a great Wednesday!


Your turn!

??  Where is your favorite farm stand??

??  What’s up for your Wednesday??

Fall CSA Week 4

Hey everyone!

I hope that everyone is having a great weekend thus far.  Despite the rain, we are going on… damply, ha.  My ma and I had a wet visit to the Mathews Farmer’s Market this morning.  Luckily, a few vendors stuck it out and they each sold something different, from plants to produce to soap to meat.  We got some brats, breakfast sausage, and soap.  The produce looked tempting but the CSA has kept us in stock of produce!

Before we address the produce, did you guys see my Instagram picture of these beauties??  Ohhhhhhh my goodness!

Continue reading “Fall CSA Week 4”

One Direction Spin Workout

Hey everyone!

Today’s post is my second cycling workout!  I’m really excited to finally be sharing this workout with you.  Partly because I feel a little guilty about completing the workout a few times already and not sharing it with you all.  And also because fitness is a big part of my life so I am glad to finally get another post written to fit that category.

The title for this workout is a little cheesey but accurate.  At home, I have the luxury to have a indoor bike.  And you’re always facing “one direction” – see what I did there? 😉  And I also made this workout to fit the number of songs for a One Direction album to get things pumped up.  Continue reading “One Direction Spin Workout”

Fall CSA Week 3

Hey everyone!

Thank goodness for Instagram.  Otherwise you all may think I’m gone off the side of the Earth.  Grad school has certainly taken up my energy so I’ve had to take away time spent on writing blog posts.  So I’d love to hear back from you all what kind of posts you like or what you would rather not read.

In the meantime, I really love putting together my CSA blog posts!  So here’s another one from our last pick up at Cullipher Farm.

Fall CSA Week 2 Recap

  • Heirloom tomatoes: I’m not sure where these went, really.  Ha!  I just know that I had two by the end of the week so I’ve stuck them into the freezer for a stew later this winter.  The other three I think went to my dad…?  Hopefully he made them into delicious mater sandwiches.
  • Eggplant: One was chopped up and roasted into chunks for salads or a veggie side.  The other was chopped and we made it into an impromptu curry.  (I’d be glad to share the easy recipe, if anyone is interested!)
  • Potatoes & String Beans: We roasted the taters with other veggies at 400 degrees with olive oil, salt, and seasonings.  This was a vegetable side dish one night, leftovers, and we made it into a vegetable & meat scramble of sorts for another dinner.  These two pans of vegetables last my mom and I longer than we thought they would.
  • Peaches:  I’ve had so many peaches at the end of this summer…..  But they are still so delish!  I have yet to get tired of them 🙂  They’ve been the best fruit at breakfast or for a snack.
  • Watermelon: We just sliced that up the other day, no lie.  We’ve had SO MANY watermelons, too.  So I’ve brought home half of the melon for M to enjoy because my mom and I are about watermeloned out.  But this one was still delicious.

Fall CSA Week 3

This may be one of the most colorful boxes yet!


This needed to be eaten pronto or be sauteed into something scrumptious.  I’ve had Kath’s Smoky Maple Lentil Salad printed and hanging on my frige since forever so we made that for dinner one night.  It was DELISH!  Definitely going to become a go-to for dinners and lunches.  The best part about this meal is that it has made the best leftovers for lunches.


ALERT:  THIS IS AN ENTIRELY NEW VEGETABLE TO ME!  Who woulda thunk that there’d be a vegetable out there that I didn’t know about??  Not that it upsets me – I have been so excited to find something new!  The best part about this veggies is that it really does taste like mashed white potatoes when you put a pat of butter on top!  Whaaaat!?  Yeah, I’ll be getting more of these beauties if they aren’t in my box tomorrow.  But I failed to take a picture of the final product so that will be fixed soon.  Just go find yourself one if you can. 😉


These have been my go-to snacks with guacamole.  But they were thrown into a breakfast scramble (my parents made breakfast without me 🙁 I see how it is) on morning.  I have one left for snacking.


They’ve been great snacking apples.  For lunch one day, we made grilled cheese sandwiches with apple slices inside.  I’d be glad to share the “recipe” if anyone wanted it!


I’ve frozen this bag of lima beans for later.  Some recipes that looked yummy were this soup, this casserole, and this dip.

So if you can’t tell I’m most excited about the squash.  Actually, everything in our box excited me.  I am not tired of any of these vegetables and fruit.  All of the dishes we made with them were delicious.  Feel free to ask any questions or contact me if you want to know of any more ways to enjoy this produce.  Always love to share favorite recipe ideas.

Hope your Monday is going well and you have a terrific start to the week!


Your turn!

??  Have you ever seen the mashed potato squash??

??  What winter vegetable are you most excited about??

Race Recap: Virginia Beach Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon

Happy First Day of Fall!

If you read my last CSA post you know that I have been dreading the end of the summer. But here I am! Trying to be optimistic about what I do love about fall: winter squash, crock pot meals, the wood stove, and Thanksgiving with my family. And to celebrate the start of the season, I baked apple bread for my classmates to help us make it through our loooong day of classes. Procrastination? Yup! 🙂

Back to the purpose of today’s post about the last race I ran. A few weeks ago, I ran my “first official” half marathon with the best running buddy ever!

Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon at Virginia Beach0904160605 Continue reading “Race Recap: Virginia Beach Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon”

Pre-workout Stretching

Good morning!

How is everyone? OK, now I’ll pretend you said, “Super duper, Ruth!” Or I hope so, at the least. 😉

Hopefully, your week is starting out better than mine. Because right now, I’m blogging from my Kindle. Not that that is a bad thing as my Kindle is wonderful. But I’m blogging from my Kindle because my “u”, “y”, and “h” keys aren’t working…. Hmmm…

Any who! Enough about how technology and I don’t mix well and more about stretching. I’ve been wanting to post my favorite stretches for before and after working out for a while. My aunt has actually been my motivation to type up this blog post. She and my grandfather will be running a marathon (woot woot!) Since I’m the only one in my family who stretches (I’m looking at you, Grandpa!) she asked about my favorite stretches. Hopefully this will help you, Aunt C, or anyone looking to shake up your stretches.

I love stretching because it feels great and makes my muscles happy. Since I workout early in the morning, stretching also helps my body wake up. But most importantly it helps to protect you from injury.

My favorite pre-workout stretches are a mix of yoga moves and dynamic stretches. Yoga is one of my favorite ways to move no matter what day I’ve had; it settles my mind and stretches my muscles in different directions. Dynamic stretches are moving stretches that warm up the body. So after a few sun salutations followed by dynamics stretching for a few minutes, I’m ready to work!

Whenever I stretch before the workout, I’ll flow through the yoga sequence until my body iis awake and happy. Which is usually between three to five times. For the following dynamic stretches, I’ll complete 20-30 reps on each side.

Sun Salutations A

Sun Salutation A is the first flow of moves that I do. This video  is a great instruction video for the flow. If you need to check out more info on each pose within the flow sequence, make sure to check out other links through Yoga Journal.  Downward dog is what I really like to hang out in the longest.

Jumping Jacks



Regular jumping jacks are always in my routine. I also vary them up by crossing my arms in front (versus above your head).


To do knee ups: bend one knee towards your upper body. Return foot to floor. Lift your other knee to your upper body. I “hug” my knee in by bracing it with my hands. It’s a lot like marching. If you’re feeling truly  already feel free to pick up the pace into high knees.

Side Lunges


To do side lunges effectively just be sure to don’t let your knee go past your front toes when your leg is bent. These sides will help strengthen your legs.

Walking Lunges or Reverse Lunges


If I have enough space, I’ll do walking lunges. If I don’t have much space to pace around in or I’m trying to be quiet while everyone  still sleeping, I’ll do reverse lunges.

Cross-body Punches


This is one exercise I like to do to help warm up my upper body. Except do it without the weights for the warm up.

Butt Kicks


I like these towards the end of my stretching. It starts to get your heart pumping and wakes up my calves.

So those are my favorite dynamic to help warm up before a workout. I hope that you enjoyed this brief post and it gave anyone who was looking for some guidelines some ideas.

And don’t worry – I’ll do a  up blog post with my favorite post-workout stretches. Later this week, there’s a post coming with a recent race recap!

Have a great Tuesday!


?? Do you stretch before or after or both??

??Whats your favorite stretch before a workout??


Fall CSA Week 2

This is the last week of summer.  By now, y’all are all tired of me pointing out that the summer is over and that my heart is broken.  It will take me a long time to get over the fact that Fall is about to begin this week….  But winter squash will get me through!  😉

Cullipher FarmWhere: Cullipher Farm’s Princess Anne Farm Stand

Cullipher FarmLast week, I mentioned that I’ve changed my pick-up day to Tuesday.  Therefore, the pick-up location changed to Cullipher Farm’s stand on Princess Anne down in the Pungo area of Virginia Beach.  Tuesday’s are my only day available to pick-up the CSA box but that means I just have to sacrifice 40 extra minutes.  That is a bummer compared to the 15 minute round trip drive to pick up the CSA at the First Colonial Farm Stand.  But oh well.  Becoming a member of the CSA with Cullipher Farm brings such incredible happiness and fulfillment that it’s ridiculous and I don’t expect anyone to understand. Continue reading “Fall CSA Week 2”