An Exciting First for Me.

When I asked my sister during our run yesterday about what races she is planning on doing now that she is running so much she replied, “I’ve already had enough pain in my life, I’m not going to pay money to be in more pain.”

Valid point.

Haha it really is a strange thing that we do when we pay money to be in pain on the race course but I definitely miss that pain.

9:29 average and a hangout on my porch for a bit before going inside.  My legs felt like cement after doing a speed workout the day before but I actually did run up one of the hills so that was exciting to me.

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Spending some time at the pool gets out a lot of their energy so it is the thing I am embracing fully this summer.  An added bonus is that sitting in the water is the only way I am going to survive being outside much this summer.

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She has a new facial expression for each picture that she takes.

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Then we had my niece over to our house to babysit and we went to our favorite place to eat—> Sundance Foundry Grill.

We ate outside surrounded by the mountains with a nice breeze because it is much cooler there compared to at home.

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Because we have season passes to ski here we can take the lift year round which Andrew loves because that means he has some amazing mountain biking all summer too.

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I absolutely asked him to match shoes with me ha.  We were sent these a year or so ago and I try to get Andrew to wear them with me as much as possible.

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And then we stopped at Coldstone to finish off our date.  I have no idea how Andrew doesn’t add a brownie or something delicious to his ice cream but he loves the cake batter flavor plain.

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After we got home I took the kids over to my sister’s house and we did something I’ve never done before… We made homemade freezer jam!

My sister’s kids were happy that she had her apron on to make something delicious and not for grouting which is what she usually wears it for ha.

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We used the recipe on this Pectin and now that we know how to do it, we are going to do it each year together.

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We made a total of 28 of these containers of jam and we figured out that for each container it only cost $1.65 (including the containers which she got at the dollar store and you can freeze them… We will reuse them for our future jams too).

Now I have homemade almond butter from Lauren and homemade jam for my sandwiches… I am set.

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I didn’t keep track of my favorite things this week but I’m sure that just means next week’s Friday Favorites will be doubled but I’ll leave you with our nightly tradition…

I position myself in a way on the couch that I can be lying down to eat my cereal (and avoid spilling all over myself) while we watch a show and Skye decides she needs to be eating my cereal too.

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I love the amazing things you are all doing and love to feature them!  Send them to [email protected] if you want to be featured!  So inspired by Nadya!

Nadya!!!  “On Sunday May 31, 2020, I ran a solo half marathon to support the movement for social justice in America. I am the Co-Director and an Associate Professor of Peace and Justice Studies at Wellesley College. I am also a wife to my sweetheart Patrick and Mom to (newly) 6 year old sweetie Leila. In the wake of the twin crises of the pandemic and the racial injustices that have occurred (which are linked), I wanted to put into action something I teach my students and my daughter. Peace is a verb. It is not something one can simply wish for and hope for to happen. Just like Love we have to work hard at it, nurture it, extend compassion in the face of differences and put it into action. It requires dynamic activism. But how could I be an agent of peace if I must quarantine or social distance? How can I be of service to justice? I have been caring for my elderly parents in rural Virginia and zoom teaching since early March  and my father’s age and underlying medical condition precludes me from joining large groups for protests. Instead of peaceful protest, I chose to become a peace runner. Running isn’t safe for all people (as we saw with Ahmaud Arbery) and I wanted to use my privilege to run to share the “Peace is a Verb” message- for this small rural community where we are staying and for my daughter to see too. So I made a T-shirt and did my run. I also raised a bit of money to donate to the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI). I always seek to affirm the message (of MLK Jr)  that the moral arc of the Universe is long but it bends towards Justice. It may be long but I know my strong legs can carry me quite a distance on that tough path toward Justice. If other people feel inclined, maybe they could become peace runners and make their own Peace is a Verb shirt?”

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What are you looking forward to this weekend?

Have you ever made jam?  What kind?  Made anything recently that you are pretty proud about (I’m extremely proud over this jam)?

Do you have any mountains close to you?  Close to any water? How far away?

During the time at home the last few months did you pick up any new hobbies/talents?

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Yum. Homemade jam is the best!!! I make strawberry jam every July during strawberry season and blended the strawberries as we don’t like chunky jam.
Looks like a great date! I wish I was closer to mountains. Nothing more peaceful

I wanted to get my almost 7 year old an electric scooter for her bday. The one I’ve been looking at is the same one Brooke has. Is it a good speed for that age and smooth? The only negative thing I’ve read is the front wheel isn’t rubber so it can be bumpy /slippery over certain pavement. Appreciate your thoughts before I buy it :)

Have a great weekend


OH I love that you do that every July! I can see why you do it yearly… it’s just the best. YAY for an electric scooter. Brooke loves hers and the speed is perfect for her (I do not want it going any faster). It actually is surprisingly smooth! She hasn’t had any issues with slipping but we just ride it on our driveway and our streets so I guess we haven’t tried a bunch of different types of pavement. I hope you guys love it too and that she can join you on a run with it:) Happy weekend Ashley!


That’s great!! I’ll definitely order it then. I was going for that one because of the speed. I don’t want it any faster either. My oldest fell off of hers when she was younger and wiped out pretty hard!
Thanks so much!!


Thank you for featuring me, Janae!!

I got an instant pot a few months ago and have made all kinds of new recipes with it:) we also started growing our own tomatoes!


I loved reading your story! Inspiring and a simple way we can all do something positive. Thank you ?


I have tears in my eyes reading your story! Thank you for sharing.


You are just amazing friend. You’ll have to share with me your favorite recipes so we can copy you:). Enjoy those tomatoes! Thanks Nadya!


Thanks for sharing, Nadya, I love, love, love your message. I’m definitely down with your t-shirt idea for HRG readers and regretting not using quarantine to improve (read: acquire) my crafting skills ahead of this point! Anyone with a suggestion out there?


I learned how to juggle! Kind of. ;-) I’m pretty good with two balls but adding in the third is a struggle. We’ll get there!

I made some s’mores cookies recently…they were AMAZINGLY good. I love cookies but I don’t know, these were special.

Have an awesome weekend!


Juggle… okay, that is awesome! I hear you, there is something just way too good about s’mores cookies/bars. I hope you make some more again soon. Thanks Kristin, you too!


How awesome that your niece can babysit!

Way to go on the jam! Where did you get the berries?I am terrified of canning (jars sealing incorrectly). Maybe I could give freezer jam a try!

Your sister is self-taught in all of her home renovations, correct? Again, I would be terrified! I can barely use a screwdriver or hammer!

I am going to Duluth today to run my half marathon with my sister tomorrow morning. On Sunday we leave for the cabin for a few days:-). I have found that I have the same mentality of your sister–I was thinking of doing a marathon this fall, but after my 20 miler last week, I have no desire to run any farther. It didn’t go horrible, but I don’t feel like paying to have my feet be so sore by the end!

No mountains, but in MN there is always a lake nearby!

Happy, happy Friday Janae!


Our store was selling STRAWBERRIES 1 lb for $1! They are such a good deal right now and the jam is amazing so try it! Yep, my sister learned it all on her own, she is incredible. HAVE A BLAST with your sister running the half marathon, I’m cheering for you. And then have the best time at the cabin. I bet you guys have so many amazing lakes. Thanks Becky, you too!


Those mountains are amazing – I’m a bit jealous. My nearest mountains are in Wales and Wales is still shut for Coronavirus. One day…
I’ve not made homemade jam but I think I will this year when there are blackberries to pick. I have started making bread over the last few months though. The results have been a little unpredictable in terms of shape but always delicious!
I’m doing a scavenger hunt on my run tomorrow as a part of a virtual race, so I’m looking forward to that.


I hope that Wales opens up again soon so you can get some mountain time. I will join you in making blackberry jam, that sounds so good! Way to go making bread, there isn’t much better than homemade bread. Have a blast on your scavenger hunt run tomorrow, I’ve never heard of doing that before and now I want to. Have a great time Helen!


I am most looking forward to a long run this weekend!

I have never made jam. But during this pandemic I have succeeded in keeping my sourdough starter alive! I make sourdough crackers from the discard, I make a weeks worth of sourdough waffles to keep in the freezer for my son, and I make, or course, bread! Sandwich bread and biscuits and crumpets and cinnamon rolls and French baguettes, etc.

Mountains are 200 miles away (where my sister and parents live). We have a lake a few miles away and a boat, but weekends on the water get soooooo crowded now that is is in the 90s every day. Our YMCA outdoor pool opens on Monday!


I hope you have a really great long run this weekend… wish we could all meet up for a run! SO awesome about your sourdough starter, that seems so complicated to me and you have just made so many amazing things with it! AHHH enjoy the pool time on Monday, Tonya!


I recently made brown butter almond butterscotch chip cookies. They were pretty good!

We can drive to the Catskills and Bear Mountain, so there’s some hiking on the schedule for tomorrow morning.


Okay, those sound amazing! I might have to steal that recipe:). Have the best time hiking tomorrow, sounds perfect. Enjoy your weekend, Emily.


I never knew you could make jam for the freezer (not that there is room in ours and we have a free standing freezer in addition to the drawer kind in our kitchen.

The last time I made strawberry jam was 8 years ago – we were in the process of trying to sell our townhouse and came home from strawberry picking to find out we had 3 showings the next day (our townhouse had been on the market for 3 weeks at this point and ended up not selling for another 6 weeks). So I started making 3 batches at 8 pm (when the kids went to bed – I miss those days!) and then had to clean up the house.

I am hoping to go this year since the kids have no activities – I bought more jars and pectin. So crossing my fingers we can go.


Jessey! What a fun memory and you’ll have to share the recipe with me that you use after you guys go strawberry picking! That will be a blast and I hope you have a beautiful weekend.


This weekend (today actually) our aquarium opens to the public for the first time since the March closure! It’s a members weekend, then we reopen to the public next Thursday. It’s only at 20% capacity for now, but hopefully that will increase throughout the summer.

The mountains in Tennessee are ones people live on, different from the rock and snow covered ones out west. So the mountains have populations of a few thousand, and if you drive up there you can run thru gorgeous neighborhoods and 2 million dollar homes. Lookout and Signal are my favorites. Also, it’s usually 5 or 10 degrees cooler up there! And they have the best bakery with soft bread and cream cheese brownies. (drooling)

The water is literally right out my front door. The mighty Tennessee River flows through downtown and provides a beautiful front yard for me…..I am so lucky to be able to run on the 14+ miles of paved trails that follow it down to the dam, or cross a pedestrian only bridge and run on the north shore hills near fancy homes and golf courses. You seriously need to see it for yourself!

Hobbies: I did a lot of puzzles, but was still working regularly, so not as many as I probably could have!


Oh Loribeth, I am SO happy that you guys are opening up again today. This is such great news! Enjoy! Oh I would love to visit your mountains and see those gorgeous homes and so great that you are right next to the Tennessee River! Have a great day.


So happy you are loving the AB. Give me a brief lead time when low so I can make fresh and send:))



I totally will!! Seriously you are the best and I’m eating it every day. Hope your Friday is a great one, Lauren!


Can you share your recipe for the almond butter?



Of course–It’s taken me some time to get it “just right” but I am almost there:)
The only ingredients are raw almonds and himalayan salt.

1st Step:
On a baking sheet with parchment paper, I fill it with almonds–actually its overfilled–tons–I don’t have t a specific amount but don’t want to see the parchment paper. Bake those at 350 for 16-17 mins. Once done I leave them out on my cooktop until they are cool. This might even been the next day if the almonds are baked at night.

2nd Step: Throw all the almonds in a food processor (I have a very big one). Shortly after it gets going I put in 1/4 TSP to 1/2 TSP of salt and let it go. It might take 30 mins for a bigger batch–but eventually the oil from the almonds becomes liquid. I do stir from time to time to get the stuff off the sides of the FP. My food processor gets HOT during the process as it is working so hard (just an FYI). Typically even when I think the almond butter is done, I will let it rest for a bit and then turn it back on for another 5-7 mins!! Just trial and error with that depending on how you like it!! I store in fridge but can easily be put in pantry too! ‘

Hope that helps!



Thank you so much! I’m making this!


Thank you for sharing Nadya’s story! I’ve never thought of Peace as a verb, an action, it’s beautiful what she did!
I made freezer jam this year along with some raspberry freezer jam (had raspberries in the freezer to use up)! So easy!
Have a great day, it’s pouring rain here, so my walk might have to wait!


I agree… never thought of it as a verb and now I always will! I need to make raspberry next, this stuff is too good. Thank you so much Martha and I hope you get some sunshine at some point today!


Nadya – nice job!

Hey Janae – I finally got my x-ray scans back. My right leg is 1/2″ shorter than my left leg. That would certainly explain all my right sided injuries. I meet with my new doctor to go over the scan results and discuss remedies on Tuesday. I would assume I wear some sort of shim in my right shoe.

I have an ice cream hack for you to try – just take plain vanilla ice cream and then crush up a heath bar and mix that into the ice cream along with some caramel topping sauce. Better than Cold Stone and much cheaper.


John, I am so so happy that you are getting answers to your injuries and you’ll have to let me know what the doctor says on Tuesday! YES… I’ll have to make that combo asap! Thanks John and have a great weekend.


I had no idea you could make freezer jam! What a great idea and I bet it tastes better than store bought. I’m pretty proud of making carbonara for the first time- it’s always been one of those dishes I ordered out, but didn’t cook.


It tastes SO so good… I want to put it on everything. Way to go on making carbonara, that stuff is amazing. Hope you have a wonderful weekend, Mariah!


I can’t wait for summer to show up in the PNW like it has for you! We usually have to wait until July 5th and then the wait will be worth it. Your jam looks delicious!
I’m looking forward to more trail runs this weekend! Nothing is planned yet but that’s the beauty of living so close to trails!
I’ve never made jam but my SIL makes jam as well as cans fresh tuna fish, pickles & green beans every year and it is all amazing!
I need to find a craft I can be proud of … maybe I’ll try making jam this weekend??
I’m lucky to live a few miles from a lake, 2 miles to the Puget Sound and about 40 minutes in any direction to a number of different mountains.
These last few months at home I think my only development has been to be ok with staying home!! I’m not a typical home body but not having a choice has turned me into one! Ha!
Have a great day!


You guys are so close to summer, I am very excited for you guys. Have the best time on the trails, living close to them is the absolute best. Let me know if you make jam, it really is so good… it’s the best reward for the work. I am so glad you are enjoying your time at home, it really is so nice to slow down. Enjoy your day and thanks Jenny!


Homemade jam is amazing! I’ve been making small batches for the past several weeks using strawberries, blueberries, lemon juice, and a little bit of jello powder (strawberry flavored). It’s so much better than anything I’ve bought from the store (other than the homemade kinds they sell at the local fruit farms haha). I might have to try this no-cooking Pectin method though! Mine has to cook on the stove for about 20-40 minutes. I don’t mind that, but a no-cook way would save time for sure!

Have a blessed day!


Hi Janae! That jam looks great! I had no idea you could make jam in the freezer! I’ve never made jam myself but my great aunt used to make me raspberry jam from her garden.
Love the Nadya story and how we can run for peace!
That lift thing looks so cool. Is there a special way for bikers to secure their bikes on the way up? I’d be so scared of dropping my bike ha!
Happy Friday!


I used to make strawberry and raspberry freezer jam all the time. I’d “pick my own” fruit and then make a batch of freezer jam for the year. It’s so easy and doesn’t need all the canning supplies – which I don’t have!


I think we’ve got a mellow weekend planned, which is sounding perfect.

The Santa Monica mountains are about 20 miles from us (as the crow flies) and on the other side of the mountains is the Pacific Ocean.

Our new “hobby” is wall building. New skills include digging trenches, mortar and concrete mixing and pouring, block laying, and keeping our neighbors guessing on how this is all going to look when it’s finished.


Freezer Jam is the best!!! I love it and want to make it, too. One year my friend made strawberry freezer jam and her husband told her in the morning: “that sorbet was the best.” (he was one of those sleep eaters). She was so mad because he ate a container of freezer jam. I might add that she was pregnant so it was extra aggravating. Maybe you should label the containers so no one thinks it’s sorbet…….

I love Nadya’s Peace is a Verb!!!!

Those mountains are gorgeous and seeing that trail made me giddy. I want to come run and mountain bike in Utah.

Happy Friday!!!


THIS MADE ME LAUGH SO HARD!! I am sure I could eat an entire container with a spoon too. Thanks for sharing with me and come mountain bike with us please!


Wellesley is my alma mater! Thank you for including highlights from others at the close of some of your blog posts. It broadens my thoughts as I finish reading your daily updates (which I love!).


The jam looks so yummy!’ I am definitely going to make some jam ?

What a fun date! I prefer toppings on my ice cream ? If toppings aren’t available I will get my cone in a cup and crumble the cone all over the ice cream haha

Cute matching shoes! ?

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