Crack the Windows

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I stepped outside this morning to discover that it is quite CHILLY outside!


I think this Florida girl is due for a rude awakening this winter in Charlotte.  I grew up spending my Christmases on South Beach and my Thanksgivings on a sunny patio, for crying out loud!



That being said, I did go to the University of Pittsburgh for college.  I think I was in denial about how cold it was going to get in Pennsylvania.  I had zero experience with cold weather living and thought it might drop down to 20 degrees… at night… occasionally.  Right?  Wrong!

It was ALWAYS cold in Pittsburgh from October to April.  I can’t say I miss scraping ice off my car in the morning.  Funny story: once I trudged down the street in the middle of winter before work, found my car in a foot of snow, and discovered the door was frozen shut under a sheet of 1-inch thick ice.  I trudged back to my house, boiled water, trudged back, and poured the warm water all over the side of the door so I could get in.  Turns out I de-iced the wrong car.  Fail.

So it’s not that cold in Charlotte (hopefully never?), but it is a little chilly out.  Chilly enough to turn off the air conditioning and crack open all the windows!


Not too chilly for a cold breakfast, though!


Pumpkie Pie Smoothie


  • 1/2 can of canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup almond breeze
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (I used brown rice)
  • Heavy sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Pinch of cloves
  • 1/2 tablespoon of molasses

IMG_3201 IMG_3202

Tastes just like pie!  🙂


Many people have asked what I do with leftover pumpkin.  Well, I give some to my dogs for a breakfast treat, and then I save the rest in tupperware in the fridge.  It lasts about four days.


Time to be productive!



  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman October 1, 2010, 9:08 am

    I’m so ready for this crisp, cool weather. Summer lasted long enough. I’m no winter fan, but growing up in Mass. you kind of get used to spending way too long in the morning debating whether driving with a sheet of ice over the window is really a hazard.

  • Tina October 1, 2010, 9:10 am

    I couldn’t handle the cold of up north. I like the chill in the air but hate the cold. Fall is my favorite season, but I always kind of dread it kicking in full swing too because it means winter is that much closer.

  • lindsay October 1, 2010, 9:10 am

    my mom gives her greyhound pumpkin every morning in her food! spoiled dog 🙂

  • Christine October 1, 2010, 9:11 am

    It’s gotten chilly in Jersey. I don’t think I’ll be able to stomach a cold breakfast for a while!

    It’s a shame because I did make a pumpkin pie smoothie last week and loved it!

    I put my leftover pumpkin in an old washed out glass peanut butter jar. For some reason it keeps me happy to store it in something shaped like a can…..crazy, I know.

    Oh and FYI – Today:

  • Molly @fuelherup October 1, 2010, 9:11 am

    One of the reasons I wanted to go to college in Houston, coming from Missouri, is the warm weather. I like going on night-time runs and looking at Christmas lights while its still 50 degrees.

  • Megan (Running Foodie) October 1, 2010, 9:13 am

    I am also ready for some cooler weather! It was 100 degrees in California this week! “Winter” in the Silicon Valley averages about 50-60 degrees, so I won’t pretend I know what it’s like to deice my car, but I am certainly ready to wear a sweater and jeans 🙂

  • Freya October 1, 2010, 9:13 am

    Wow, you look SO much like your dad!!
    Major LOL at the car story too :p if my car wasn’t one of only 2 in my drive, no doubt I’d do that too :p
    Oh how I love cold weather 🙂

  • skinnyrunner October 1, 2010, 9:15 am

    i have leftover pumpkin right now in my fridge from last night and was wondering what the heck to do with it. smoothie time.

  • kelly October 1, 2010, 9:15 am

    Holy cow, your smoothie looks like a drinkable jar of peanut butter! Well, maybe pumpkin butter!! 🙂 Yummmm!!!

    I usually just put plastic wrap over my opened jar of pumpkin. Lasts 5 or 6 days like that 🙂

    • Orla October 1, 2010, 10:49 am

      If it is a glass jar that is fine, but you should always remove food from cans and store in a tupperware box. When a can has been opened and the food is open to the air the tin from the can can transfer more quickly to the food in the can.
      A tupperware box with an airtight lid will keep it better! 🙂

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) October 1, 2010, 9:17 am

    The smoothie looks delicious! I hope you have a great day Caitlin!

  • MaryBe October 1, 2010, 9:17 am

    Love that photo of you on the beach! So cute! But I could have done without the snow pics – it will be here soon enough 🙁

  • Vikki October 1, 2010, 9:25 am

    Don’t worry. The winters in Charlotte won’t be too bad. I live in SC and I’ve been outside in shorts and a T-shirt on Christmas Day. Most of the winter you’re looking at highs in the middle 50s and lows in the lower 40s. There will probably be a few days colder than that, but not many.

  • Tracy October 1, 2010, 9:25 am

    Look at you in your Roethlisberger jersey! I sure hope you’ve got that thing hidden now 😉

    BTW, I can’t recall, but were you active/running when you were at Pitt? Do you remember The Great Race (10k and 5k; 5k started in Oakland) – it was last Sunday, and I thought of you while running through Oakland 🙂

    Oh my, that smoothie looks delish!

    • Caitlin October 1, 2010, 9:26 am

      I only did one race in Pittsburgh, my first one – a 10K called Martha’s Run. I never got to do the Great Race but a friend did it and said it was fun!!!

  • Jenny October 1, 2010, 9:28 am

    Winter in Wisconsin is ridiculous. Every year the husband and I ask each other why we still live here. Truth be told, I think the extreme temperatures build endurance and make you appreciate things a little more. You have to get through the long winter to appreciate the other six months of the year.

  • Jazz October 1, 2010, 9:31 am

    Here in Saskatchewan it get’s to -40.. that’s right. AND I see people jogging in it.. I chuckle when my American family complains of cold weather when it’s 30 out..

  • Julia October 1, 2010, 9:31 am

    for some reason I thought you were originally from Pitt, so I didn’t realize you weren’t accustomed to the cold. Also, I love that your dad is wearing a speedo in that photo!!! 🙂 good times!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat October 1, 2010, 9:35 am

    It’s getting chilly here too and I am NOT looking forward to putting my snow brush back in my car! Your smoothie looks delicious! I never seem to have the problem of finding a use for leftover pumpkin… running out is my issue!

  • Julz @ freshman5k October 1, 2010, 9:37 am

    Does the recipe call for half a CAN or half a CUP of pumpkin? Not that I mind a lot of pumpkin 🙂

    • Caitlin October 1, 2010, 9:49 am

      half a can!

  • Marg October 1, 2010, 9:39 am

    My boyfriend went there too, so a big Pitt and Steelers fan. I’ve noticed so many people from PA move to Charlotte. Must be for the nicer weather or jobs!

  • Stacey (The Habit of Healthy) October 1, 2010, 9:40 am

    Yep, it’s getting chilly in the UK too! Not long until Christmas eh?! Your smoothie looks absolutely delicious.

  • Kelly October 1, 2010, 9:41 am

    We’ve had the windows open occasionally, but its still gotten pretty hot on occasion. Can’t wait to have them open permanently!

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit October 1, 2010, 9:44 am

    Yummy looking smoothie! I’m sometimes wary of pumpkin/squash smoothies, but I think I’d like that one.

  • Ella October 1, 2010, 9:44 am

    That smoothie looks great! For some reason I thought you went to Miami for college? Pittsburgh is a cool city though!

    I’m a Boston girl and now I go to school in CT so I am quite used to the cold weather..I think I’m one of the few who are actually looking forward to it, I’m constantly sweating, its like my apartment was built on the equator or something!

  • Jamie @ Food in Real Life October 1, 2010, 9:48 am

    I didn’t know you went to Pitt! My husband is from Pittsburgh so we go there all the time. We’re also crazy Pittsburgh Steeler and Pitt basketball fans. Was that a Roethlisburger jersey you were wearing in that pic?

    This past winter we couldn’t even get to Pittsburgh because of all of the snow between Philly and Pitt.

    I’m heading out for a run this morning and hoping that it is chilly outside my front door!

    • Caitlin October 1, 2010, 9:50 am

      Yes! That was the year we won the super bowl.

      • Jamie @ Food in Real Life October 1, 2010, 2:47 pm

        Awesome! I was in Pittsburgh that weekend too. We were out on the South Side. It was a blast!

  • Jess @ atasteofconfidence October 1, 2010, 9:49 am

    I wish I thought 60 was chilly! 😉

  • ari October 1, 2010, 9:50 am

    oh god, i feel ya about winter time. i was born and raised in florida, and just transferred to colorado for my sophomore year. i am not prepared.

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape October 1, 2010, 9:51 am

    Oh that pumpkin smoothie looks amazing!!! Man, I wish it would just get cold over here. The weather has been going up and down and it’s Chicago so I KNOW that the final verdict will be freezing. Make up your mind crazy weather!!

  • The Peanut Butter Addict October 1, 2010, 9:53 am

    Living in Southern Ontaria, I know all about cold weather from SEPTEMBER-April 😛

    It probably wasnt funny at the time, but your story about de-icing the wrong car made me laugh.

    And thanks for the pumpkin pie smoothie idea! I’ve been in a smoothie rut lately but now I’m excited to try that out 🙂

  • The Peanut Butter Addict October 1, 2010, 9:54 am

    Oh yeah, and your post title ‘Crack the Window’ reminded me of ‘Crack the Shutters’ by Snow Patrol 🙂 Random, but a great song!

    • Caitlin October 1, 2010, 9:58 am

      I was listening to that song when I made up the title!

  • Gretchen October 1, 2010, 9:56 am

    Just curious, why did you choose to go so far away for college? I had a similar college climate change…I’m from Louisiana and went to Minneapolis (I have family in that area, though, so it wasn’t completely random). Now I’m back in Louisiana for grad school, and I definitely don’t miss the Minnesota winters…!

    Also, that smoothie looks & sounds amazing!

    • Caitlin October 1, 2010, 9:58 am

      I went to PITT for a boy – my ex boyfriend went to Carnegie Mellon and then I got a full ride to PITT so I went there to be near him (I thought we were going to get married). By sophomore year, we imploded and then a month later, I met the Husband. 🙂

  • Crystal October 1, 2010, 9:59 am

    Ha! I just made a pumpkin smoothie myself this morning. My recipe was a bit different and I added a little something “special” (I promise it wasn’t those darn Trader Joe’s Ginger Cats….). It’s an awesome pre-autumn breakfast treat. I’m relatively new to your blog. Love it, Caitlin =)

  • tina October 1, 2010, 10:01 am

    i need to try one of these pumpkin smoothies- but i think i’ll add a little peanut butter flour = yum!

  • Sarah October 1, 2010, 10:05 am

    I love the cold and miss it so Much. Guess when you grow up with it its hard to get it out of your bones. Smoothie looks killer, just ran out of pumkin though 🙁

  • maria @ Chasing the Now October 1, 2010, 10:05 am

    Oh man. Your winter story cracked me up. We get crazy weather in Kentucky. Floods, ice storms, snow… you name it. Thankfully we aren’t prone to hurricanes (obviously) or earthquakes.

  • Wei-Wei October 1, 2010, 10:09 am

    Would that smoothie stay for long even without putting in oats?

    • Caitlin October 1, 2010, 10:13 am

      I was in the mood for a lighter breakfast so I skipped oats. but it’s still a 400+ calorie breakfast.

  • Theodora October 1, 2010, 10:11 am

    Fun pumpkin + dog fact: canned pumpkin is really good for them if their tummies are upset. (or if they’re constipated)

  • Kjirsten @ Balanced Healthy Life October 1, 2010, 10:23 am

    I wish it was 60 degrees where I live. I am sick of the heat. It doesn’t feel like fall when its sunny and 90 everyday!

    That pumpkin pie smoothie looks so AMAZING! I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for posting this! : )

  • Kim October 1, 2010, 10:23 am

    You can also freeze the pumpkin – it’ll thaw out great!

  • Heather October 1, 2010, 10:28 am

    I do the same with leftover pumpkin. sometimes I wished it came in smaller containers.

  • Angharad October 1, 2010, 10:33 am

    Bleeeuuugh. I live in Minnesota. I was NOT prepared! When I moved here my boyfriend (now husband) definitely down played the cold – otherwise I’m sure I never would have made that leap of faith! It gets to below zero a lot. I still run outside though 🙂

  • Nicole October 1, 2010, 10:33 am

    I live in Alberta, and we’ve already had snow! (two weeks ago- it just melted though). We have a bit of a warm streek going now, but for a while it was horvering between 1-4 degrees every day, and freezing at night! Usually I love our seasons, but everyonce in a while, I wonder why I live somewhere that really only has 2-3 months of summer, but 6 months of winter!

  • Theresa @ActiveEggplant October 1, 2010, 10:37 am

    That is such a cute picture of you & DadHTP on the beach! I’ll never forget my first Christmas in FL – I got sunburned! Such a difference from all of the winters in PA – I grew up in Erie, right smack in the “snow belt”. While I can’t imagine going back to weather like that, I can’t wait for cooler temps – it’s been a HOT summer in FL this year.

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing October 1, 2010, 10:40 am

    It doesn’t get QUITE that cold in Charlotte and around here. You’ll be lucky to see snow in the winter. But Jan/Feb are usually pretty cold!

  • Ashley October 1, 2010, 10:44 am

    Crazy coincidence! I just made myself a pumpkin smoothie too! It was my first time doing so (I’ve been inspired by all of your pumpkin breakfasts) and it’s delicious! Love pumpkin!!

  • kwithme October 1, 2010, 10:46 am

    I had a nice chuckle from your Chilly definition. It was 45 degrees and windy this morning when I went for my run at 9am. I wore my wool hat for the first time this year. I could have used my wind breaker too but I forgot.

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss October 1, 2010, 10:50 am

    I remember the first time I stepped outside and found it to be chilly..well, it was just a few days ago 😛 I can’t wait for it to feel that way all the way through the day instead of just 7:30 in the morning. But I’m not looking forward to it being bitterly cold! I’m cool with it if it snows, though 😛

  • Peggy October 1, 2010, 10:54 am

    I grew up in Boston and moved to California, just to avoid mornings like the one you described. Horrible.

    Pumpkin smoothies look amazing… Angela at Oh She Glows had one the other day, too, and the texture of both of yours looks so silky. I’m going to have to try…

  • krystle October 1, 2010, 11:00 am

    I can only buy the giant cans of pumpkin at my grocery store so I like to pour it all into ice trays, let it freeze, and then dump all the pumpkin cubes into a ziploc and keep them in the freezer. They work perfectly that way for both smoothies and oatmeal and no worry of spoilage.

  • Anna @ Doing Good & Living Well October 1, 2010, 11:02 am

    Dogs in jackets = too cute! I love fall and winter and snow but the cold is a struggle for me.

  • Claire October 1, 2010, 11:08 am

    Oh my goodness that picture of James in a winter coat….!

  • Amber K October 1, 2010, 11:18 am

    Living in Oregon, I’m used to rain and cold. Then again it doesn’t get anywhere near as cold here as it does other places! Since I’ve lost the weight I get cold really easily and I don’t think I could handle anything more than an Oregon winter!

  • Teacherwoman October 1, 2010, 11:25 am

    I don’t think Charlotte’s winter weather is going to be as bad as Pittsburgh! Want a true taste of the tundra, come visit me in Fargo, ND in January (bring your yack trax) and we can go for a run! The nice thing abour running in the winter months is you don’t feel the muscle soreness because your legs go numb! LOL. I am just happy that finally, at the age of 30 (almost), I have a car with auto start!

  • Natalia - a side of simple October 1, 2010, 11:31 am

    So many uses for Ball jars… love ’em!

  • Paige @Running Around Normal October 1, 2010, 11:40 am

    I wish I didn’t have to experience the below zero winters, but here in Illinois it’s pretty unavoidable.
    Looooving pumpkin smoothies lately:)

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine October 1, 2010, 11:40 am

    The cold in Pittsburgh was one of the biggest reasons I transferred from CMU. Not that it’s much warmer in NYC, but it’s less windy, less rainy and about 10 degrees warmer on the chilliest days! Hope you enjoy your Friday!

  • Jessica@tastyandtrim October 1, 2010, 11:44 am

    Yay for pumpkin! That smoothie sounds delicious 🙂

  • Angela (Oh She Glows) October 1, 2010, 11:50 am

    leftover canned pumpkin?! Is there such a thing? 😉

    My cat loves canned pumpkin…funny your dogs do too!

  • Mama Pea October 1, 2010, 12:07 pm

    I obviously grew up with brothers, because when you say “Crack the windows!” I think of something entirely different, like some really foul car rides.

  • Holly @ couchpotatoathlete October 1, 2010, 12:07 pm

    I’m in MN and I am totally experiencing the crack-open-the-windows time of the year. This is my favorite season by far!

    I love that your dogs eat the pumpkin — that is so cute 🙂

  • Carrie October 1, 2010, 12:19 pm

    Speaking of pumpkin, a quick FYI…Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter. You MUST get some! Last week they had it as a sample, sweet potato fries dipped in pumpkin butter. Crazy good. I’ve since been trying it on everything, toast, PB sandwiches, today in my oatmeal!

  • Sally October 1, 2010, 12:34 pm

    I’ll see you one pumpkin smoothie and raise you: have you ever tried using leftover pumpkin pie in an actual smoothie? CRAZY good!

  • Deanna October 1, 2010, 1:17 pm

    As a Pittsburgher, I know allll about this weather you speak of. YUCK. I joined a gym last night actually because all that is ick about cold weather & darkness is upon us. But thanks for posting you in your Steelers jersey! ( Even if it is Big Ben 🙂 )

    Also, I’ve been thinking all week about a pumpkin smoothie but wasn’t sure what to put in it. Will try this soon.

  • Ali @ Food, Fitness, Fashion October 1, 2010, 1:34 pm

    I hope your winter it not too cold. I hate winter, I am not used to it and I have lived in Boston MY WHOLE LIFE. I just hate the cold, but I deal with it because I love my city.

  • Allison October 1, 2010, 1:37 pm

    That pumpkin pie smoothie looks amazing! I have to try it! I wish I could say I didn’t have much familiarity with the cold, but I am from Chicago and then went to school in Massachusetts. I need some Florida time!
    Fit&Fab Living

  • Tiffany (Stuffed with Fluff) October 1, 2010, 1:42 pm

    “Turns out I de-iced the wrong car. Fail.” That sentence literally made me LAUGH OUT LOUD…in an otherwise quite room.

    And seriously? How cute is James with his winter gear on?!

  • Katherine October 1, 2010, 1:44 pm

    Ahhhh….I’m SO jealous of your weather! I’m in Texas as the high is 88 degrees today! I would love to open the windows in my house and turn off the A/C. No chance for me though!

    Does it snow in Charlotte? I would love to live in a place where I actually got all 4 seasons!

  • Megan (Braise The Roof) October 1, 2010, 1:44 pm

    Hehe, oh you Southern dwellers are so soft. 🙂 I’ve never lived in a warm climate (I’ve lived in Chicago for most of my life- the other parts spent in New England) and I love the change of seasons. I love that we have snow on Christmas and the feeling when spring breaks and everyone is outside in shorts and a t-shirt when it’s 60 degrees! Although de-icing cars is the WORST, I’m with you on that!

  • Lisa October 1, 2010, 2:01 pm

    I laughed at the part where you de-iced the wrong car. Too funny!

    Luckily Portland doesn’t get too many nasty winters. Snow isn’t frequent. I hope we get a big snow storm this year. 🙂

  • Lily @ Lily's Health Pad October 1, 2010, 2:07 pm

    That story is hilarious! I guess car door icing happens so often in Pennslyvania that it can’t really be used for a late to work excuse. 🙂

  • Julie October 1, 2010, 2:11 pm

    CAITLIN! I had no idea you went to Pitt! I live in Pittsburgh and work at the Carnegie Museums in Oakland!
    First, nice Steelers jersey! Second, today it is 62 and super sunny! Don’t you miss Oakland?! 🙂

    • Caitlin October 1, 2010, 2:54 pm

      Heheh well I miss my TIME in oakland more than anything 😉

  • Maureen @ Notes on a Visual Life October 1, 2010, 2:52 pm

    Girl, if you could handle it in PA you will be fine in Charlotte. I’m from Columbia so I can promise you this! 🙂

  • Marie-JourneyToBodyZen October 1, 2010, 3:05 pm

    I moved from GA to NH! Omg, rude awakening at it’s best! However, I now enjoy white Christmases, the smells of spruce trees, and am quite a good driver in the middle of a blizzard :). While I miss home, New England has certainly grown on me!

  • Amykinz @ Foodie 4 Healing October 1, 2010, 3:48 pm

    Knowing you were spending some time driving and reading the title of this post, I was expected to read about someone passing gas in the car and you needing to crack the windows! lol

  • Sara October 1, 2010, 4:09 pm

    I totally feel you on this – I moved from San Diego to Chicago. What was I thinking?! Oh yea, college! 😛 Well, I moved back to San Diego, and honestly it feels juuuust right! 🙂

  • Monica October 1, 2010, 4:14 pm

    What perfect fall weather for the first day of October! Crisp, but sunny!

    I always laugh at my LA students when they don’t know what an ice scraper is or how to handle fish-tails with control or how to maintain composure when you slip on ice on central campus. 😉

  • Brandy October 1, 2010, 4:41 pm

    Do you happen to know ballpark how many calories would be in the pumpkin smoothie?

    • Caitlin October 2, 2010, 12:30 am

      400 – 450

  • Rachel October 1, 2010, 7:33 pm

    It’s funny that people ask what you do with the leftover pumpkin – you try to add pumpkin to your meals all the time, i wouldn’t think you would have much left over!!

  • Magic October 1, 2010, 7:44 pm

    It’s getting chilly here. I like crispy chilly morning at this season. I have never lived in a very cold climate. Trust me you will be fine in Charlotte.

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin October 1, 2010, 7:51 pm

    It’s absolutely freezing all winter where I go to school too! I pretty much live in double layers of sweaters and long johns for 6 months straight. 😛

  • healthy ashley October 1, 2010, 8:27 pm

    I love this post <3

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) October 2, 2010, 12:09 am

    Frozen doors are the worst. I’m so grateful for my husband who preps the car now. It was a beast near Buffalo when I was single.

    James’ coat is adorable. He looks so happy 🙂

    Pumpkin is great for the dogs and our know the smell. The follow me if I don’t give them some.

  • Jolene ( October 2, 2010, 1:17 pm

    That smoothie is so pretty!!

  • AmyG October 6, 2010, 10:23 am

    I made the pumpkin smoothie this morning — it was incredible! Drank about 2/3 for breakfast and had the rest after my run. It was my first experience with protein powder!

  • Cole October 7, 2010, 5:59 pm

    PAH! I literally laughed out loud at work when I read you de-iced the wrong car, thank you thank you for making the end my day worth it

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