What I’m loving right now (Polar Vortex edition)

IMG 3806 300x300 What Im loving right now (Polar Vortex edition)Seems that I skipped my fall version of “what I’m loving,” so let’s just move right on into winter (polar vortex winter at that), shall we? I definitely have a few new favorites to share, none of which I need to FTC disclaim on–they were all purchases. So here we go:

The Athleta relay capri–I am not a fan of full-length tights and every year will do my best to put off wearing them for as long as possible. For the last couple of years, however, the trend has been for companies to make knickers that end at the knee. While I love these and wear them a ton, I was in search of something in between that length and full-length this year, and Athleta delivered with the relay capri. It’s a three quarter length tight and comes in a variety of colors/patterns. I had wanted sandstone–really wanted them–but by the time I discovered them they were all out in my size for what seems like the rest of the season. I settled on heather black and I still love them. The fit is perfect, the material is soft, and the wide waistband is super comfortable and doesn’t slide down. It also has a nice zipper pocket in back. Maybe next winter I’ll be able to go all the way through without full-length tights? A girl can dream.

Balega merino wool socks–I tend to over heat and rarely get too cold, so I haven’t tried wool socks in some time. My daughter picked out two pairs of Balega merino wool socks for my birthday, however, so I decided to give them a go again. Not your father’s wool, I’ll say that. These are thin, which is important to me because I get blisters whenever I wear socks with any oomph to them. They also keep my feet warm without overheating me. And a bonus to wool if you’re a trail runner–wet feet don’t stay wet for too long, or at least they feel drier faster. I’m a convert now, at least for fall and winter.

IllumiNITE beanie–I picked this up at the Richmond Marathon expo in November. Going with my theme of not wanting to overheat, I never wear a heavy hat in winter, even in the coldest of temperatures. This beanie is super lightweight so I don’t get too hot, plus the gray band becomes reflective in the dark, adding a little safety element to those dark early morning runs. And I like the orange sherbet pop of color–so cheerful in the gray winter months!

Soup–I’ve been on a serious soup kick this fall and winter, making at least one pot per week, and sometimes more. I love that you can fit a ton of nutrition into one pot and there is nothing better than a steaming bowl on these cold days. One favorite has been the quinoa minestrone that Laura of Mommy Run Fast created. Another is the crockpot white bean/spinach soup from Fitness magazine that I discovered a couple of years ago. Recipe below:

Bean and Spinach Crockpot Soup

3 14-ounce cans of vegetable broth

1 15-ounce can tomato puree

1 15-ounce can small white or Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed

½ cup uncooked brown rice

½ cup finely chopped onion

1 teaspoon dried basil

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

2 garlic cloves, chopped

8 cups coarsely chopped spinach or kale leaves

Shredded parmesan cheese

In a slow cooker, combine all ingredients except spinach and parmesan. Cook on low for five to seven hours. Just before serving, stir in spinach or kale, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

What have you been loving lately? 

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  1. says

    I particularly enjoyed that you had to put down a little disclaimer to note that you didn’t have to put an FTC disclaimer at the bottom of your post. I’ll have to adapt that soup for my crockpot-less kitchen; it sounds delicious.

    Sounds like the polar vortex cold snap is getting worse and worse – stay warm, y’all! As a tropical runner I have to say I appreciate the knee-length knickers that give my cramp-prone quads a bit of compression while not being too hot – but I had been wondering where the three-quarter tights had gone!
    Grace recently posted..In defense of disgusting gym clothesMy Profile

  2. says

    I recently discovered wool socks – I wore them hiking with my family, and I didn’t quite clear the stream as I jumped over. I was expecting to finish the hike with a wet sock, but it dried so quickly!
    Dana recently posted..No way like BroadwayMy Profile

  3. says

    I’m not a hat wearer but that beanie looks awesome – love that it is reflective!!!
    And, I think those socks sounds great – my feet are always cold!!!
    Now I wish I had some soup going in the crock pot – had I known how my day was going to end up going I would have started something earlier – oops!!
    Kim recently posted..You’ve Never Been Where?!My Profile

  4. says

    I love all things Athleta and I have those capris – they rock! I absolutely love that Beanie. I’ll have to check it out. I’m a head sweater and I can’t wear big bulky hats either.
    Thanks for the soup recipe! I can’t get enough during this cold freeze.
    Allie recently posted..In Defense of SkinnyMy Profile

  5. says

    You can’t beat soup for a winter meal. And when I found out last year that I could make soup in my slow cooker I got so excited. Can’t wait for the weather to cool to start making soups again.
    Char recently posted..Are You Good At It?My Profile

  6. says

    BTW, regarding the Velveeta shortage: if you’ve never melted Velveeta with Ro-tel tomatoes, you’ve never truly lived. Melt that mess up in the microwave, and eat it with tortilla chips. You will never be the same. Why do you think so many southerners are fat?
    bob recently posted..More Shooz…My Profile

      • says

        You don’t understand the evil alchemy that occurs when melted Velveeta meets canned diced tomatoes and green chilies. I was introduced to Ro-Tel dip at a girlfriend’s house at age 17, and promptly lost my frickin’ mind. Like, one minute, I was Mr. Cool 80’s Dude, and the the next, I was the compulsive, fixated junkie I was meant to be. I have to stay away from the stuff, or I’ll become one of those people they have to rescue from their house by breaking down a wall and lifting them out with a crane.

        Anyway, it’s pretty good. You should try it.

        I’m honored that probably the only person reading my blog right now is the great MissZippy.
        bob recently posted..More Shooz…My Profile

  7. says

    Hurray for vegetarian (and veganizable) soup! Nothing like a hot bowl of soup with this crazy weather we’re having (of course, not here, but everywhere else). I have a few new pairs of long tights this year after wearing my ones that dated back to the 90s, so I’m actually kind of enjoying them. I have a pair of Athlete Relay tights that I LOVE! Plus some really cool RRS tights that have a killer geometric pattern. Hopefully they’ll last me for the next 10 years or so.
    Debbie @ Live from La Quinta recently posted..Running Style Survey: Would You Rather…My Profile

  8. says

    Thanks for the capri suggestion! I have been wearing the knee length pants and sometimes they hurt the back of my knees when I am doing spin or rowing. It’s not as much of a problem for running.

    I am also a huge fan of soup! My favorite is probably bean based soups. I love a nice chili and I always pack it full of good veggies! Thanks for the new recipe.
    Travel Spot recently posted..Best Of 2013: BooksMy Profile

  9. says

    Love the Beanie. I’m heading over there right now to check it out.
    The soup recipe looks great. Quinoa is such a good source of
    protein for folks who prefer to eat less meat. I’d have to make it more
    stew like since I’m not a huge fan of soup but I like a really thick, hearty
    stew.
    Joanne recently posted..Ginger Ale Snack CakeMy Profile