Thursday, December 30, 2010

a resolution. or eight.

as 2011 approaches i find myself trying to come up with a clever new years resolution but can't seem to pick just one! last year around this time i decided my resolution would be to train for a 5k, as documented here, and actually completed not just one, but two! so i want to make 2011 a year with not just one, or two, but several resolutions that i hope to complete. here's my list so far.

  1. run a 10k.
  2. strengthen my back (yoga, weight training, etc).
  3. read all my books before buying new ones.
  4. volunteer.
  5. save $$$!
  6. let the small things slide.
  7. take a tap dance class.
  8. make lovely memories in our new apt.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

morning chow.

boyfriend decided to make a delicious christmas eve breakfast in order to get us pumped and ready for the day's activities. i was stoked (obvi) because breakfast is my favorite meal and you can never go wrong with eggs and potatoes. boyfriend's usual breakfast masterpiece is fried eggs, potatoes and peppers mixed up in a bowl. this time, he opted for a poached egg and it was amaze-balls and a bit healthier. which was a plus, considering a few hours later we stuffed our faces with a christmas eve feast.

(poached egg, cubed roasted potatoes & orange peppers)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

jamaican me hungry.

(roasted potatoes, steamed garlic spinach, & grilled chicken with jamaican citrus sauce)

Monday, December 27, 2010

antipasto.

i hope everyone had a joyous and delicious christmas. i was able to spend my long weekend with my family and boyfriend's family. it was wonderful to be able to eat (a lot), drink (a lot), and be merry. boyfriend spent christmas eve with us this year where we devoured several courses full of yummy fishes (lobster, scallops, shrimp cocktail). at night we went to his family's house and played an intense game of charades (the girl's team won!) and shnuggled on the couch. it was a great way to end christmas eve. we woke up the next morning to light flurries touching the ground. i love it when it snows and for it to snow ON christmas morning was an extra bonus. after unwrapping gifts we started cooking. one of our family traditions every christmas morning is to start off the day with a hefty dish of antipasto consisting of delicious meats, cheeses, and vegetables. this is by far my favorite course (other than dessert!). what's your favorite dish at christmas time?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

jiggly jello.

i went to the gym last night with boyfriend. over the last 2 weeks he's been trying to get me to go and try out the new gym in our apartment. but i always seem to make excuses - "i have to unpack!"; "i'm cleaning"; "my back hurts"; yada yada yada. well, last night i decided that it had been way too long since my last work out (thanksgiving to be exact - i know, pathetic), and i needed a little jump start. the hardest part about working out is actually getting the motivation to go do it. why is that? our gym in the new place is super tiny (theme of the complex?), so all 3 tredmills and the 1 elliptical were in use. which meant only 1 machine was left...the dreadfull bike. i hate the bike. i find it to be boring, awkward, and ineffective. it never feels like i get a good workout when i'm on that thing. plus, it hurts my tush. but anywho, i had to work with what was available. after 30 minutes on the bike and 6 miles later my legs felt like jello. i was so exhausted! who would have thought! it felt good to be back and feeling my body adjust and use some muscles it hasn't used in a few weeks. i definitely see this as a challenge to keep up in the upcoming weeks. i just feel like there is so much to do and so little time to do it that how am i going to find time to go to the gym? my goal is to still run a 10k some time in the new year so hopefully once i get back in to a set routine i will be on my way.

here's a great post-workout meal that we made a few days ago (note the new plates. yay!).




(mixed green salad with yellow peppers, grilled salmon and white rice with a lime soy sauce)

Monday, December 20, 2010

thrifty.

while packing for the move the boyfriend and i realized we didn't have any shmancy furniture accessories. granted we moved my bed, my flimsy ikea dresser, my flat screen tv, his bubble tv (hehe), 2 tv stands and his bookcase. but, that's it. no barstools. no coffee table. no shelving units or cute little accent pieces. nada. so we both knew big purchases would be inevitable but didn't want to burn holes in our wallets. we agreed that in order to furnish our tiny little apartment comfortablly a few of the items would either be fixer-uper pieces we were originally going to toss during the move or (new?) second-hand purchases. so for our first fixer-uper project we decided to keep 2 unfinished bedside tables from ikea that tyler had. these tables were collecting dust in his room (literally, mountains of dust) so we were just going to donate them and buy new ones for our bedroom. but in order to be thrify and save some hard earned cash, we decided to sand and stain them to match the color of our dresser and bookcase. well neither of us had ever stained furniture before so we both went in not knowing what to expect. after a trip to michael's the staining venture began. it took about 20 minutes to sand each table and was quite the workout. after sanding we wiped the tables down and applied the stainer. three hours later the tables were dried. we were going to apply a second coat but decided that one coat would be just fine. so finally, we applied the clear coat wood finish and i gots to say. the final product is pretty darn good and matches my flimsy ikea dresser perfectly.

(before)


(after)



our next purchase is going to be a wine bar to put in the corner next to our couch. we are such wine-aholics that this seems like a logical (and necessary) next step. i'm thinking of getting something similar to this below. i love how simple yet sophistacted this antique tray looks.

Friday, December 17, 2010

baby, its cold outside.

the day after thanksgiving marks the beginning of christmas - sparkling lights, ridiculous retail sales (no, i am not one of those crazies that wake up at 3am), the smell of pine and cinnamon, and the anticipation of the first snowfall. speaking of...dc had its first snowfall yesterday and although it was only about 1.5 inches, mayhem ensued. first of all, people in northern va can’t drive. at all. and I’m not just saying that because i’m a jersey girl, but seriously. it's ridiculous. the moment a flurry touches the ground it’s as if the world is ending - schools are canceled, people are leaving work early and stocking up on canned goods. don't get me wrong, i l.o.v.e snow and sometimes i still find myself wanting to wear my pj's inside out the night before a suspected storm. but people around here need to relax. sheesh.

anywho. this year, the day after thanksgiving meant i could start planning and blabbing about decorating our apartment in all its festive d├ęcor. i'm sure boyfriend loved that. i happened to buy a 3ft tree last year at costco (obsessed with that place) in hopes of one day setting it up and well, it’s just the perfect little size for our perfect little apartment! we'll be decorating it this weekend :)


(our tiny little tree from the kitchen)


(hand-knitted stockings from mrs. holley!)



(christmas runner and mirror snowflakes..oh, and our super, ultra-comfy couch!)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

guten tag.

we made this dish about a month ago. when winter rolls around we can't help but crave the hearty eastern european dish of kielbasa and sauerkraut. it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. when i traveled to germany last year i ate my face off with sauerkraut. yum! talking about it is making me hungry. if it wasn't 11pm right now i would totally make this.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

we need forks.

we tested out our brand new appliances last sunday and cooked our 1st homemade meal. boyfriend tried out a new recipe for potatoes but they didn't turn out like we hoped. they should have been more oval and not as flakey. but they were still oh so yummy. i mean, how can you go wrong with potatoes, garlic and butter?


(our shmancy new stove)


(italian-seasoned salmon, potatoes, asparagus)

ok, so please ignore the dinnerware. since then we have invested in plates and bowls but have yet to make the plunge for utensils. we have a 200 assorted box sitting on our fridge. boyfriend thinks it's time to invest. i think it's time to buy hangings and cool decorative items. see where my priorities are? plus, the plastic ware decreases dishwashing labor which makes me happy. which should make boyfriend happy. happy girlfriend, happy night :)

welp, i must leave you for the next couple of days. i leave bright and early for san fran! can't wait to meet the tanner household, eat some rice a roni, ride a trolly, and enjoy the 65 degree weather while you all freeze your bums off! tootles!


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

keepin it classy.

recap of our 1st night in the new place:


(this doesn't even begin to describe it...)


(boyfriend nearly collapsed at the sight of all my coats. and i'm still missing 2 from this pic.)




(boyfriend eyeing our 1st dinner. keepin it classy)


(poppin' bottles!)




(next morning i woke up to these beauties. gotta love him.)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

cohabitation.

the boyfriend and i spent 13 hours - yes, you read correctly - 13 hours moving our belongings in to the new pad! the boyfriend says i need to get rid of a lot of things. he says they should be clothes. i say he should get rid of his comic books. and so it begins...

anywho, there was definitely sweat and a few tears during the 13 hour process. let's review:

tears
  • watching the boyfriend drive away in the uhaul (filled with all my precious belongings)with the back door wide open and not picking up his phone. you would have cried too.
  • the furniture delivery men telling me our beautiful and ultra-comfortable couch - aka the most expensive purchase i've ever made - cannot fit in the elevator or stairwell ( i believe the panic in my face made them re-think that statement which resulted in them finding a way to stuff it in the elevator!)
  • getting a $300 damage bill from uhaul. again, watching the boyfriend pull into a parking deck, a parking deck that had a really low cemented ceiling, and crush the overhang of the uhaul. (i love him dearly, but will never let him drive a uhaul ever again. we later laughed about it. but more so because now we're both extremely poor and might be eating rice and only rice for the next 5 weeks.)
  • waking up to a monsoon/tornado-warning/500mph wind morning. perfect for moving.

sweat aka the happier parts of my day

  • first, getting our beautiful, ultra-comfortable couch to fit in the elevator
  • then, searching high and low for the new "E" and "T" Christmas stockings i purchased at target. those obviouslly had to be the first things displayed in the new pad :)
  • thirdly, walking across the street to whole foods to pick up the essentials: laundry detergent, cereal (something grainy for him; honey nut cheerios for her), skim milk and champagne.
  • afterwards, walking another block to papa john's to place an order for a 1 large pie with sausage, green peppers and 1/2 mushrooms.
  • then realizing on our walk back that i actually get to walk places and not have to drive!
  • a few minutes later, sitting on our floor creating a make-shift coffee table with empty boxes (no way was there going to be eating on our beautiful, ultra-comfortable couch) eating pizza on paper plates and drinking a bottle of champagne to celebrate a day of hard work and our 1st night together.
  • and finally, realizing that every day i'll get to wake up next to the most amazing guy ever.

pictures of the new pad will be up soon. we first have to get internet.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

tryptophan weekend.

i leave for ocean city, maryland in 2 hours to spend the long thanksgiving weekend with the boyfriends family. there will be lots of eating (obvi), lots of drinking, lots of football, lots of laughing, and did i mention lots and lots of drinking? it's sure to be a blast!


Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

movin' on up.

as of last sunday, the boyfriend and i are officially living together! we'll be in reston for the next 8 days, living out of boxes, but we can't be any happier. we are very much looking forward to december 1st so we can move to courthouse and into our new apartment!

Monday, November 22, 2010

birthday bean.

my beautiful little niece turned 1 on saturday!




Happy Birthday, Lina Bean!!!!!!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

lovely locks.

what's your best feature? i believe that mine, without a doubt, is my hair. it's thick, ultra shiny, and completely healthy (wow, i am extremely cocky today). there was only one time in my life where i cut my hair above my shoulders, way above my shoulders. all the way above my chin (AH!) i guess 5th grade will do that to you. but i've always had long hair and i wouldn't want it any other way. until now.

at least once a week i get compliments from complete strangers on my hair. it's rather flattering. i've always taken good care of my hair, never sticking to the same shampoo or conditioner for too long and i always splurge on legit products from salons so they won't damage my hair. now don't get me wrong, there was a solid 8 years of dying, highlighting, and over-excessive straightening (duh, it was the millennium!), but in the last 15 months, i haven't dyed it and i only blow dry and/or straighten it on the weekends or for very special occasions. and i've noticed a pretty significant change. before my hair was very frizzy and wavy if i left it 'au naturale'. nowadays, it is still a bit wavy, but goodbye frizz!

i got to thinking a few weeks ago that i shouldn't be the only one to enjoy this luscious mane-of-mine. someone else, someone who deserves it more than i do, should have my hair. locks of love provides donated hair to help disadvantaged children suffering from medical hair loss. i can't think of a better organization to participate in. 10 inches of hair, tip to tip, is the minimum length needed for a hair piece. i measured my hair the other day, and if i were to cut it tomorrow it would be above my chin (flashback to 5th grade - eeek!). so i'm going to wait until Jan/Feb for my hair to grow a few more inches and give a child a wonderful gift! i can't wait!

i'm aiming for the end result to look similar to her's (p.s. don't you just love anne hathaway!):

Thursday, November 18, 2010

you say fajita. i say fajita.


grilled red onions and red peppers

black beans w/cumin, garlic and salt





chicken fajita w/onions, peppers, melted 4 cheese, black beans, & medium salsa.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

3 point 1 part 2.

this past sunday tyler and i ran the vienna turkey trot 5k! this was my 2nd 5k ever and tyler's 1st. i ran my first race back in june (which we all know from here, was pretty dreadful).

this race was a bit different. as you all know, we spent the last 2-2.5 months "training". but the last 3 weeks leading up to the race were super busy and we just couldn't find time to follow our training regime. because of this, i became extremely nervous the night before and thought to myself that i wouldn't be able to run the entire thing again. so saturday afternoon we went for a 30 minute jog and we felt really good. the weather was just right and we paced ourselves the entire time. even though we didn't run the full 3.1 miles, we felt confident and knew we'd be able to push ourselves the next day.

on race day we arrived 30 minutes early to find a decent parking spot and picked up our packets. it was FREEZING. and i was miserable. i definitely didn't think my lungs would be able to hold up. but once i looked around at the other runners (some wearing tank tops and shorts! crazy people), i sucked it up. the turkey trot raised money for the local fire department and high school marching band. along the trail they had kids playing their instruments and local residents cheering us on. definitely better spectators than the last 5k! tyler and i started off to a great pace. there were so many people that we didn't want to race in front and lose steam towards the end. tyler even ran alongside me the entire time (aww) even though i told him he could speed up. he was so helpful and encouraged me even when i wanted to quit with only .5 miles to go (it was cold! and i had a minor cramp). but all in all, my body felt really strong and i'm glad i had a running buddy there to support me. i came in at 34:12, knocking 2.5 minutes from my last race. although i would have liked a faster time, i'm happy i ran the entire thing and look forward to the next race in april: UKROP'S MONUMENT AVENUE 10K!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

the rally.

i attended the DC rally on Oct. 3oth to help and watch over 300,000 people restore sanity and/or fear...and it was pretty epic. we walked over 5 miles (woohoo, exercise!) just to avoid using the metro because of all the mass herds. i've never experienced anything like it before (aside from the hippie music festivals i've been to over the years). people were comparing the crowd to when Obama was inaugurated. i can't even explain the experience in writing. i'll let a few of my pics do the talkin.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

i like it rare.

i know it's been a a while since my last post, but A LOT has been going on which i will go into more detail in later posts. but to give you a sneak-peak, here you go....1) attended the DC Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear 2) met up with good friends in MD 3) preparing for my 5k this sunday and finally the most important...4) apartment hunting with tyler! yes, we have made the decision to move in with eachother, and although it's a few months earlier than anticpated, we both can't be more excited. it's a lot of work, though! and we're trying to consolidate our things so they comfortably fit in to our tiny, but spacious (?) 1 bedroom apartment! the apartment is located in courthouse, 2 blocks from the metro which makes it extremely convenient for me to get to work. my work is 1 metro stop away and in the warmer months, i can walk. tyler, on the other hand, isn't so lucky. but we both agreed that location in that area was most important. i think i'm most excited to decorate and buy a big girl sofa than anything else. we're not rushing into furnishing the entire place just yet because we would rather focus on getting items one at a time to be more cost-effective. as a result of this new and exciting news, i have a feeling that this little blog of mine will slowly develop into updates on the apartment!

now shifting a bit to the health side of things, i have been noticing a huge difference in the way my clothes fit these last few weeks (which has shocked me because i haven't been keeping up with my fitness as much as i've wanted to). Since Oct 2nd (my best friend's wedding), i've lost another 3.5 lbs! i think it surprised me the most because i haven't been eating anything differently, but i have been trying to incorporate excercise in different fashions (ex: hiking, walking, etc). i think my body has been reacting to the different movements and muscle reactions, which pleases me. so as the weather get's cooler, i would like to see what else is out there that is winter-friendly so i can incorprate into my weekly routine (yoga, spin classes, etc). any recommendations?

here is a dinner tyler and i cooked last week. i'm not gonna lie, it's not very filling, but it is sooooo clean and sooooo delicious. this is definitely more of a lunch-friendly dish than dinner dish.

sesame crusted seared rare tuna salad with steamed vegetables in a soy lime vinaigrette

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

you're a scampi.

my halloween this year was spent meeting dear friends in MD for lunch, trick-or-treating with my niece, and then plopping in front of the tv with a big bowl of shrimp scampi (one of my all-time favorite dishes). boyfriend used a recipe he found online, and although the angel hair was slightly bland, the shrimp captured enough flavor to make it good.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

taco night.

one of my favorite dinners as a child was taco night. the ultimate spread of chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, cheeses, sour cream, salsa, and delicious beef was such an experience in itself! i loved the process of making the perfect taco. beef first, sprinkle the cheese second (always melted a bit from the heat of the beef), lay down some lettuce, plop some sour cream and then top it off with salsa. it was fun! and i'm not embarrased to say that at 25 years old (eek, 25!), i still find the same excitement and fun in taco night.

my version of taco night this week was the same, but slightly altered. instead of using hard shells, we opted for small flour tortillas (only 100 calories/tortilla), and rather than ground beef we used ground turkey, fat free sour cream, and light cheese. i'd have to say that everything tasted the same, except the sour cream. i think next time i'll splurge and go with regular sour cream. sometimes, you just gotta (same thing goes for ranch dressing. never get fat free. always get regular).




Wednesday, October 27, 2010

caribbean cuisine.






boyfriend and i were in the mood this past sunday to create an exciting new dish. it had felt like ages since we cooked something fresh and decided to work with fish. the last time we cooked grouper, we thoroughly enjoyed it. so we decided to go with it again. but this time we opted for a homemade mango salsa topping. we bought 2 mangos and diced them up (they could have been more ripe, but nonetheless, they were still delicious), and added chopped peppers, lime juice, onion, and cilantro. we let that sit for about 45 minutes while we worked on the side dishes. tyler wanted to make a coconut rice pilaf, which i never had but it sounded perfect with the type of dish we were going for. we added light coconut milk, peppers, and garlic to the rice and let that cook for 20 minutes on the stove. then for our veggies (should always add some green to your dish :D), we steamed green beans and added a touch of lemon. there was no need to season the grouper as the salsa was enough flavor. this dish was amazing and by far my favorite one. not only was the dish so colorful and so light, but it was very filling, and had so many different components that all complimented each other. i can't wait to make it again!

Monday, October 25, 2010

difficult run.

my new favorite hobby is hiking. there are so many wonderful and gorgeous trails around the great falls area and this is the perfect time to go. the leaves are changing colors and the weather is perfect. so on sunday tyler and i decided to emerge from the house and hike difficult run. and oh boy was it "difficult". more than 50% of the trail follows the potomac river, with scenic views of mini waterfalls, cascading rocks, and the occasional kayaker! at certain points we decided to venture away from the trail and climb down to the water which always started out as a good idea. but then the climb up was exhaustingggg. along the way we ran into very cute doggies and a bunch of mountain climbers. it was neat to see them set-up their gear and start to climb the rocks. definitely sparked some interest in taking a few classes :) well 2.5 hours and 5 miles later we made it back to the car. i had NO idea the trail was that long and at times i really thought i couldn't finish - but i'm glad i did. there are a few more trails around the area that we'd like to try before the weather doesn't allow us to. i wish i took pics from difficult run, especially with all the beautiful views of the trees changing colors, but i found these pics from their website just to give you a slight idea of the scenary.





Saturday, October 23, 2010

yummy chops.


steamed asparagus, garlic mashed potatoes, and brown sugar glazed pork chops.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

ferraris from a vending machine?

so i was doing some daily web browsing last month and came across an article that really lured me in. the hudson hotel debuts the coolest vending machine ever: semi-automatic. so get this. there is a vending machine out there that carries gold handcuffs, ouija boards, and...ferraris. yup, ferraris.



the hudson hotel, located at 356 West 58th street in NYC, unveiled their vending machine that offers a luxe-list of offerings (ranging from $4 to $10,000) that sure don't include diet cokes and doritos. the machine offeres "glammed-up" travel necessities, like paul smith toothbrushes and kits by Malin+Goetz. Not only that, but you can expect to find rosary beads and 24k gold handcuffs. but what really chapped my ass was the option to rent a red ferrari 599 GTB. so if you ever wake up one morning and are really craving a chance to roam the streets of nyc in a snazzy, $250,0000 car, then take a stroll right down the hallway. but seriously, if you're willing to spend that kind of cash on renting a ferrari from a vending machine, you should be able to afford a swanky nyc apartment and stop staying in hotels.



Monday, October 18, 2010

caps and light the night.

the last week has been pretty relaxing. after a stressful few months at work, i've been able to work from home and keep a normal work schedule which has been refreshing. last wednesday tyler and i went to the caps vs. islanders game and had unbelievable seats. we were 5 rows up from the rink and even saw pat sajak from wheel of fortune! i think i was more interested in pat sajak than i was in the game at first! i love going to caps game. the energy is always over the top and the games are always close and exciting. boyfriend and i went to our first caps game last April and they lost so we were really hoping for a win against the islander's. the game was close, but in the last 2 minutes we pulled out a big "W". ch'yea. here's a pic from our seats. ballin!


on saturday my mom and i particpated in the "Light the Night" walk which is a national fundraiser raising funds for the The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and bring help and hope to people battling blood cancers. the 2 mile walk took place at sundown and everyone was given an illuminated balloon that represented survivors, supporters and those remembered. i joined the Deloitte team which raised over $26,000 alone for the event. they closed down pennsylvania and constitution ave in downtown DC, and thousands of us marched towards the capitol as we lit up the sky. it was such a positive experience and i'm so happy i was able to be a part of the event.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

west coast.

yesterday's run wasn't too brutal. boyfriend and i ran 1.5 miles outside and walked another .5 miles. the weather was great when we started, but towards the end it turned extremely humid and made it difficult to breathe. but tyler pushed me and i got through it and i'm glad i did. it felt really good to run outside. tonight on the other hand was a little different. i only ran 1 mile and had too much pain in my shoulders. when will this back and forth end? i'm tired of feeling great one day and then the next feel like my body can't even handle a 10 minute run? hopefully if i stay consistent from here on out it will benefit me in the end. tomorrow is my day off, as i'm going to the caps game! we have sick seats and i always have a fun time at the rink. the energy is always high and the game is always intense.

you're probably wondering why this post is titled, 'west coast'. well this week i've been looking up flights to san francisco! tyler will be there for work until december 9th and i'm going to meet him out there for another 3 nights. san fran is tyler's favorite place ever and all my friends who have been out there tell me how much i would love it. i'm very much looking forward to this trip. tyler has family and a few friends out there and one of my childhood friends lives in oakland and the plan is to meet up with her one night. i'm excited to try all the local cuisine, hike the intense hills (which i hear aren't much different than those at wvu!), and seeing the golden gate bridge. you know, touristy things. san fran here we come!


Monday, October 11, 2010

five.

i can't believe i am in week 5 of training and i'm ashamed to say i'm behind 1 week. last week i only managed to run 1 day because work was super swamped. i was at the office until 11 o'clock at night and too busy to make it to the gym or run outside. now i am extra motivated to kick it up a notch this week and mix in week 4 and week 5 of workouts. i'm meeting tyler tonight and we are going to go running outside. the last few days have been so nice outside, it barely feels like fall. fall is my favorite time of year. i love being able to walk outside in jeans and a hoodie and a pair of flip flops. i'm a little worried about the weather for the 5k. it's going to be mid-November and that means cold! my lungs can't take cold and as the weeks progress i am going to start running outside more and more so my body can get used to the air.

i haven't posted any pics lately of recent homemade dishes. here are a few from the last few weeks. my fav? grilled cheese and tomato soup! a classic. the last picture is indian curry with chicken, vegetables, and garlic naan bread.
















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