Tag Archives: kitchen toys

Christmas to NYE Lull

This is, hands down, one of my favorite times of the year at work. I love the holiday parties leading up to Christas, but I love even more the week between the 25th and the 31st. The week is ridiculous short (hooray work holidays), almost no one is in the office, and everyone that is here is trying to unload all the candy left overs from the holidays (and cakes, and cookies). Really, it’s awesome.

Also on the awesome list: Georgia’s first white Christmas since the 1880s. Yes, it was beautiful (and a little scary when I had to drive home in the dark on snowy roads). I followed my normal (and crazy) Christmas routine. My parents (Mom and Stepdad) and I cook a Saralee coffee cake and open our gifts to each other. (I use the work cook very lightly here since it’s a microwave coffee cake.) There’s usually a little lounging and napping with the GPTV station playing Christmas music and that single shot of a burning fireplace going. Then, I drive half an hour to my Dad’s family. We prepare lunch (real cooking this time), eat ourselves silly, open gifts, have dessert and then (a mere three or four hours after I arrive) I head out again — this time to my Mom’s side of the family. There’s more eating, our version of White Elephant/Yankee Christmas, and general shenanigans.

This year I had the hair-raising experience of driving home from my Uncle’s down a windy, narrow, hilly, unlit road while it snowed. I’ve never driven in slush, ice, snow, etc so I was convinced that I was going to wreck my car/maim myself/die on Christmas. My sweet Yankee stepfather loves driving in the snow so he shuttled me over to Hubby’s parents’ place so that I could see him and his family on Christmas also. So, Hubby’s mom called it a PJ Party and I spent Christmas night with them.

Santa was overly generous and brought me a new North Face fleece, some new Vera Bradley, a variety of giftcards, and some new work clothes among other things. He brought me and Hubs a few things as well including a nice big stock pot and a VITAMIX!! We broke it out for the first time last night and my smoothie this morning was 1000 times better. Delicious! Now I’m looking forward to my daily green smoothie again. 🙂

I’ll be spending next week on work travel through Florida and Louisiana. I’m pretty pleased about escaping frigid DC for warmer climes during early Jan! Sign me up! I’m also looking forward to reading a ton of mindless magazines on the planes — something about airports makes me want to buy hundreds of magazines, puzzle books, and best selling novels. I suppose that’s the point of airport bookstores and news kiosks?

I’m still ruminating on my New Year’s Resolutions. What are you resolving to do? Any ideas for me??


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The glorious incentive to working nine hour days is that I get every other Friday off. Tomorrow is one of those days off and I cannot wait to sleep in. I’ve been treating my poor body horribly/not nearly getting enough sleep lately. Tomorrow, I plan to treat my body well. Also in my plans: pedicure! It has been over a month and my tootsies are begging for some love.

Monday was a good day for eating and for working out. I did 32 minutes of incline intervals on the treadmill and covered 2.06 miles. Prior to picking Hubs up from class, I grabbed two new library books: The Captive Queen (about Eleanor of Aquitane) and The Lonely Polygamist.

Tuesday Hubs and I tried out a new recipe! We made mini meat loaves guided by a recipe in on of the Cook’s Illustrated/Test Kitchen “Best Of” cookbooks. To make it healthier, we modified the meat content and subbed meatloaf mix (usually fairly fatty pork and beef) for 90/10 Pork and 99% fat free turkey. Delicious and I had NO idea the meat was any different upon taste. I’ll post the recipe later. I can also vouch that the leftovers are incredibly tasty — potentially better than fresh from the oven?

Wednesday I started to drag, big time! My body is so tired in the mornings that it makes me feel sick. So need to get to bed earlier! Luckily I’m firmly in the habit of exercising for at least half an hour on the nights Hubs has class. AfterI got home, I trekked down to the gym and powered through 37 minutes of intervals on the elliptical. I love intervals because they really break up the work out and keep me from getting too bored. We had yummy leftover meat loaf with mashed creamer potatoes and tried to make banana softserve (of blogging world fame). It was pretty yummy and I liked the consistency (I had NO idea frozen bananas could do that) but I think we added a little too much vanilla and it gave it a weird taste. I’ll try again another time!

Today I am meeting up with a friend after lunch to see Eclipse for the second time and grab dinner. I’m looking forward to a girl’s night!

Our new Foreman Grill arrived on Tuesday:

I plan to play with that baby this weekend! Speaking of this weekend, Hubs will be writing a paper all weekend long so I want to spend some quality time in my kitchen! On my docket: Kelly posted a delicious sounding, healthy-modified version of Paula Deen’s slowcooker Mac and Cheese that made me drool while reading about it. I want to give that baby a go! Meghann also posted about making pasta-free lasagna using squash. (Can you guys tell I’m craving cheesy, gooey Italian food?) I also would like to find/try out a casserole or two (perhaps one for breakfast). It’s going to be a cooking-crazy weekend!

I’ve been reading away as well! I finished up My Name is Memory by Ann Brasheres. I wasn’t crazy about it – it’s an intricate story and parts of the plot felt rushed. Also, the ending totally disappointed me! I’ve started reading The Captive Queen by Alison Weir — she has written about Jane Grey and Queen Elizabeth as well. I enjoyed those two fiction works but am so far finding her latest book a little stilted. The prose doesn’t flow as easy and conversations are a little weird. Also, there’s a TON of what one character refers to as “bed sports.” I also picked up a book at work: Cyber War by Richard Clarke. In college I read his book on terrorism/counterterrorism (Against All Enemies) and loved it. Cyber War has a decent nexus to the work I do on a daily basis and deals with the loaming threat of cyber terrorism. I’ve been reading it when work is slow but it’s written in an accessible style (not at all like a text book) and I’m enjoying it.

My coffee is almost done, so I suppose I should gear up for some document analysis! 😉 What’s on your agenda for the weekend?

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The Grind

Whoops! Looks like I have a week to catch up on here.

Tuesday and Wednesday did not have formal work outs but my eats were on track. On Wednesday, hubs and I took a nice walk around the neighborhood for half an hour or so after dinner. It was nice to get out and get moving together. Thursday was, sadly, another day without the gym. Instead, I met a friend I haven’t seen in six months or so for dinner. I was super early and she got stuck in traffic, so I took advantage of the large mall I was at and walked laps around all four levels and the outside pavillion area. I would estimate that I walked for 35-40 minutes. So happy I took the advantage to move my body as opposed to sitting on a bench somewhere.

Friday I worked from home and decided to try and get in an outside run before it got too hot. (Side note: DC has been WAY TOO HOT for me this year. We’re breaking all kinds of temperature records and while I enjoy the summer, I don’t like triple digit heat.) I set off around 8:30 and it turns out that was probably still too late. When I left the apartment, it was about 83 degrees outside. I used my Garmin 305 for the first time and LOVED IT! I wish my run had been as awesome as the Garmin.

Instead, I struggled. Thanks to the Garmin, I knew I paced really well my first mile; I averaged under a ten minute mile which is RIDICULOUS for me. Heh, that came back to haunt me. While I intended to run three miles, my body quickly let me know that was not going to happen. I started to slow and I was drenched in sweat. No matter how much I guzzled from my water bottle, I was no match for the heat. I’m sure this gets easier, but this is probably ten degrees warmer than my “hottest” outside run. I was woefully unprepared. During my last half mile, I’m sure there were times where I didn’t even look like I was running. Regardless, I refused to stop until I hit two miles. My pace was glacial and I was so disappointed at having to stop. Never have I felt so wretched after a run. During my walk back to the apartment I’m sure I was weaving all over the sidewalk. At first, I was afraid I was either going to puke or pass out. I made it back alive and have never been so happy to feel a/c. My total distance was 3.65 miles in 56 minutes. Slightly shameful, but I seriously couldn’t move fast at all after I stopped running.

Lessons learned? HYDRATE before, during, and after. Also, when running in the crazy heat, make sure to pace yourself no matter how proud you are of  your current speed. In my mind, longer and slower is better than burning out fast like that I did on Friday.

Saturday I intended to go for a run with hubs around 8pm once things calmed down. My body, again, had other ideas and was super sore. Hubs was also feeling under the weather. I knew I would regret it if I didn’t get out and move around. So instead of a run, we took a jaunt out to Whole Foods to pick up dinner. We added in some extra loops and got our distance to 1.88 miles in 20 minutes (including the minute or two we spent waiting for walk signs and turning cars). After our walk in the heat, all I wanted was fruit and veg (hello dehydrated!) so I assembled a delicious salad and grabbed a berry smoothie. So tasty!

Today, Sunday, we got up super early (if it’s before 7:30 on a weekend day, that’s early for me) and headed to an awesome DC spot: Eastern Market. We met up with a few friends and walked around trying produce samples and smelling berries. The boys tired out quickly so my friend Kel and I have decided to return again without the boys. We’re not afraid to sweat it out for some delicious produce, fresh meat & cheese, and adorable flea market delights. We then went to one of my favorite restaurants, Matchbox, for brunch. While everyone else around the table ordered Bloody Mary Burgers (which feature a fried egg), I opted for their delish veggie frittatta (goat cheese, cremini mushrooms, baby spinach, peppers, and more) with a side of fruit (they toss it in a light yogurt and sprinkle cinnamon on top – yum)!

Sadly, I think some part of the frittatta did not agree with my body. I came home, laid on the couch and bemoaned my unsettled tummy for about four hours. I rallied enough to grocery shop – that’s horrible with an upset tummy. Had a little turkey sandwich and some goldfish for dinner (yay comfort food!) but my tummy said no, no, no when I thought about lacing up my sneakers for a run. 😦

So disappointed on the running front this weekend. Tomorrow is another day though. I’ll be fitting in a workout before I pick up hubs from class tomorrow evening. Hopefully my tummy has settled itself.

Aside from the Farmer’s Market this morning, there were two other highlights to the weekend. Hubs and I finally used up the rest of our Bed, Bath and Beyond giftcards from the wedding. We came home with two new non-stick frying pans (our old one was starting to chip, bad news), a springform pan, more hangers, some rubber spatulas, and a new dish scrubber among other things. The other highlight was finishing an AMAZING book: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson. I wish this man were still alive to continue the series. I loved all three books and would recommend them to anyone. There’s some graphic violence in all of them, but the writing is absolutely astounding. I’ve started My Name is Memory by Ann Brasheres. It seems similar to Time Traveler’s Wife (but crossing multiple time periods). I normally enjoy her writing, so hopefully this book follows suit.

Time to fix my food for work tomorrow. I must bid you goodnight. Sweet dreams bloggies!

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A quick recap from the newlyweds:

  • I spent last week traveling for work and still managed to get in a few runs. Behind schedule, but got on track for last weekend’s 5k.
  • Tom and I are (mostly) moved into our new apartment. We’re sleeping on a mattress on the floor (wooo!) and have so many bruises and cuts, but I love the new place.
  • Said new place has TONS of kitchen toys spread out. I’ve spent the past few days pawing through wedding present cookbooks.
  • Moving, traveling and finals (for Tom) lead to a deadly combo which annihilated our 5k ambitions this past Sunday. But hey, at least we got a sweet tech-tee for our money? Next year GW Parkway, next year!

I’m back at work for a week or so before heading to the West Coast. Moving killed my running this weekend and the weather was FOUL this evening. I’m hoping for a decent run tomorrow evening. Regardless, I don’t think the approaching quarter marathon will be a 100% running event for me. It would be wonderful if it worked out, but right now I’m not optimistic. I hammered out a 5k Thursday am, but prior to that the running has really been touch and go. I need to not let this get me down — time to stay on the horse! My current goal is to finish the course in 80 minutes. That allows for some walking and a little over a 12 minute pace all told. We’ll see.

Aforementioned kitchen tools and cookbooks have me rather inspired. I’ve got hoardes of recipes in my head that I want to try. Tom and I are putting together a yummy sounding crockpot dish sometime this week. Expect recipes to come kiddos!

Time for me to head to bed soon. I need to rest up so I can’t use the “I’m tired” excuse for not running tomorrow evening!

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Married? MARRIED!

Long time no see huh? It has been equally as long since I’ve worked out, but let’s allow the past to stay in the past!

My absence and lack of exercise was all for a good reason: I went back to  Georgia for a week, got married, spent a week in Jamaica and am now adjusting back to the real world. I go back to work tomorrow and that means back to eating right too. The vacation is over (as much as I loathe to admit it).

My most exciting bit of news (work out/health food related) is about stuff! Yes, stuff! Tom and I are blessed with amazing friends and family who surrounded us with so much love and support for our wedding. It was one of the best nights of my life and so wonderful to just look around and know everyone there has love for you. Really cool. In addition to their love and support, people are generous. We have SO MANY new kitchen gadgets and toys in general that I can’t get over it.

We haven’t broken most of it out yet as we’re moving to a new apartment within our building in about two weeks. (Let the packing commence!) However, we have some seriously awesome goodies and I cannot wait to start cooking things with them — I’ve already been daydreaming! A friend also got us two blender ball smoothie/shake carriers (cannot wait to take green smoothies to work) and a GARMIN 305!! Whoop whoop! I’ll definitely be testing that bad boy out before the move. In fact, if the box is still unopened come Sunday night I would be VERY surprised.

More to come, soon!

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