Wednesday, September 29, 2010

monkey's, lion's, zebra's, oh my!

last weekend was pretty special. not only did tyler surprise me with an early bday present, but it also marked 1 year of dating (awwwww)! he surprised me with a visit to the national zoo! it was my first time there and i probably told him 100 times since we began dating that i always wanted to go. it's basically in my back yard and he was surprised i had never been before. we walked around for about 2 hours. it was soooo hot. the zoo was under a lot of construction, but we still managed to see some animals. i was hoping for a glimpse of the elephants, but they weren't out. the national zoo is huge and it's crazy to think that they fit that thing in the middle of the city. i walked away wanting a pet monkey. shocker. after the zoo he surprised me some more with getting a room at a hotel near dupont circle. we grabbed a quick bite to eat (mcdonalds $1 menu how i love you), took a nap (well, i took a nap), and then he surprised me AGAIN with dinner at Vidalia's. a 4 star restaurant featuring american cuisine with a southern accent. we started off with the most amazing bread assortment (corn bread, onion bread and buttered roll) and an appetizer, summer squash agnolotti. then, courtesy of the chef, our waitor brought us a pumpkin-walnut squash amuze buche that melted in my mouth. for our main meal i ordered the berkshire pork chop which came with truffle-mac croquettes and vanilla braised onions in an apricot reduction. it was very delicious and cooked perfectly. tyler ordered the halibut steamer pot which had rock shrimp, soft clams, potatoes and corn in a broth. his was really tasty but nothing to freak out about. i so would have ordered dessert, but i was comfortably stuffed to the max, and didn't want to feel sick. my early bday surprise was so special and perfect. thank you, tyler. you are the best :)




to celebrate our "anniversary", we cooked a scrumptious meal of chicken parm with spaghetti in homemade gravy (aka sauce for all you weirdos), garlic bread and a blue-cheese salad with cucumbers. we made so much which was a great idea because i just had its leftovers for dinner tonight! yummmmm.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

two.

last week was week two of training. it was a wee-bit harder. my body was sore from physical therapy and i was just so darn tired! two days were spent at the gym, running for 20 minutes - run for 90 seconds, walk for 2 minutes. i spent the other day running outside. i'm not exactly sure of the distance, but i was out there for about 35 minutes. i enjoy mixing up my running routine and going a bit off schedule. i actually think it's better this way because i'm getting my body used to running outside, on the pavement, up and down hills. hopefully it will make me stronger in the end. so with week two down i am on week three. i will update more on this in a later post when week three is over and done with. in other news, my parents were in town last week so there was very limited cooking done. i sure didn't mind becuase i got to enjoy an amazing early bday dinner out at "Dolce Vita", a quaint little italian restaurant in fairfax. we ordered grilled calamari and fried oysters with bacon for appetizers and for my main meal i ordered the special, lobster ravioli. and the best part of the dinner? my surprise, generous slice of caramel cheesecake! it was a generous dinner and i'm so happy i got to spend it with my parents and tyler!

tyler and i did manage to cook one meal last week. chicken stir fry. a very simple and delicious dish. steamed white rice, snap peas, broccoli, carrots and chicken.


Monday, September 20, 2010

one.

week one of training is done. 3 days of running for 25 minutes (run for 60 seconds followed by walking for 90 seconds). it was very easy and i wasn't sore at all afterwards. there was a huge difference on how my body felt running this time around than it did earlier in the year. i remember the start of training last February, and not only was my body sore afterwards, but my the end of the 25 minutes i was pathetically tired.

i start week two tomorrow. 90 seconds of running followed by 2 minutes of walking for 25 minutes. i think i might add in some weights afterwards too.

only 7 more weeks to go! let's go!

Friday, September 17, 2010

t-minus 7 hours...

...until my weekend begins! this has been such a stressful week. not only was i feeling a bit under the weather, but work has been kicked in to overdrive and will continue like this for the next 3 weeks. i cannot wait to kick back and unwind this weekend which will include a little make-your-own pizza night, watch WVU burn maryland tomorrow, dog sit molly-wolly, spend time with my family and trek it up to b-more for the yankees/orioles game.

last night we cooked an amazing dinner. amazing, as in i didn't want my plate to end and was savoring every last mouthful. scallops, green beans and grits. the first time i ever had grits was in Charleston, SC last year while vacationing with my parents. i never thought they looked appetizing, but to my surprise, they were! so for our dinner last night, we opted for the instant kind, which were still delicious. the scallops were pan-seared in very little butter and oil, and we then steamed the green beans and added a sprinkle of salt. but what made the dish was tyler's own concoction. his homemade roasted red pepper sauce. it was SO good, i was honestly impressed. he first created it back in college. we grilled a red pepper, stuck it in the freezer for 10 minutes in a zip lock bag, peeled off the skin, stuck it in the magic bullet with a tablespoon of garlic and got it to a nice paste. stuck it on the stove, with a little butter and light cream and voila. amazeballs. here are some pics, but they don't do the dish any justice:



Wednesday, September 15, 2010

3 point 1.

i'm proud to announce that i just signed up for my second 5k race (woot woot!). the Vienna Turkey Trot is Sunday, November 14th. that's exactly 60 days from now. training starts today. i will loosely follow the beginner running schedule. i found this online and i followed this program for my last 5k as best i could considering my rib/shoulder situation. my goal this year is to run the ENTIRE race, which i don't think will be a problem because i managed to get my boyfriend to sign up with me! my biggest challenge the last time was that i had no one else running with me. i was bored - it was lonely. it's not like i wanted to chit-chat the entire time, but it would have been nice to have a fellow runner to run beside with or chase after? but anywho, i have much confidence that i will be able to run the entire race this time, especially if i train properly. though i only have 8.5 weeks to train, the guide is a 9-week program. so there may be some adjusting.


Monday, September 13, 2010

dear don draper, please take note.

graduating with a degree in advertising has helped me (to an extent) appreciate commercials, print ads, promotional items - you name it. occasionaly i find things that make me all warm inside. here is one of them:


Happy Inside
this commercial makes me want to furnish my entire house in ikea. job well done.

Friday, September 10, 2010

born to be a mountaineer.

i will be en route to morgantown tonight. but in celebration of the WVU game against marshall, i leave you with this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22up9twy9Cc

Let's Go Mountaineers!!!! CRUSH marshall!

happy friday :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

buy a hat. change a life.

i found this unique organization online called, Krochet Kids International . through extensive research, the program chooses some of the most vulnerable residents living in extreme poverty in the Northern region of Uganda and provides a reliable salary and empowers participants toward a future independent entrepreneurship. those least able to sustain themselves and their families are chosen for their program. there are currently ten women who are employed by KKI and are trained in the skill of crochet. KKI provides them with the materials to make quality crocheted products for a good salary. each hat carry with it the signature of the woman who handmade it. proceeds from hate sales are infused back into the communities from which they came in order to promote further development and aid in Northern Uganda. so go buy a hat today. i am. make a difference. buy a hat. change a life.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

vacation bliss.

my labor day weekend was splendid. main reason? no plans and it was wonderful. i loved being able to do anything i wanted, whenever i wanted. the weather couldn't have been better and it was pure bliss. let me recap for you...

since i didn't blog on friday, thursday night was spent at the good ol' Washington Sports Club, where i did the eliptical for 40 minutes, followed by 15 minutes of bike resistance. still feeling sore from wednesday's run, i ended my night with a few good stretches and heating pad to my back. Friday night was filled with dexter season 1 (awesome show) and grilling some halibut. i must say with great dissapointment that this was our least favorite meals. although extremely healthy, we overcooked the fish just a tad and should have added more seasoning. ah well, you win some you lose some. we did manage to save the night by making awesome homemade bruschetta as an appetizer. thank goodness for that. (pictures below)

Saturday we awoke to a gorgeous morning and went for a mile run on some trails. after hitting the closest starbucks for my usual skinny vanilla latte, we cooked some belgian waffles and relaxed on the deck. completing our night we watched WVU beat CCU (of course) at the bar and enjoyed a few drinks with good friends.

on Sunday we couldn't believe our good weather luck and didn't want to miss a second of it. so we scurried off to eastern market in dc, a trendy and hippie market in the middle of capitol hill is by far one of my favorite places. they have booths, among booths of handmade crafts, locally grown produce, fashion and jewlery. i walked away with a groovy sterling silver ring, purple fox tshirt from http://www.sharpshirter.com/ and a caribbean straw hat. we finished the morning taste testing peaches and drinking a few bloody mary's. then after a few hours of napping and relaxing in the sun, we cooked shrimp tacos for dinner. PERFECTO! so easy to make and so scrumptious. (pictures below from DC and our tacos!)


wrapping up the amazing weekend, we spent monday morning hiking scott's run, a nature preserve in mclean, va. tyler hiked it several times as a kid so he knew of all the good trails. it leads into the potomac river and has a really cool waterfall. we hiked a total of 2 miles and i'm feeling it today. my calves and quads are on fire and it feels so good. (pics of our hike below)


homemade bruschetta.


grilled halibut w/seafood seasoning, mediterranean couscous and grilled zucchini and squash in olive oil.


grilled shrimp tacos with sour cream and lime slaw with black beans seasoned with cumin

eastern market pics:


labor day hike to scott's run.



Thursday, September 2, 2010

sore.

yesterday marked my first day back in running. and boy am i sore. i never realized what 2 months of on and off again running/cardio can do to you. i am so out of shape. it's pretty sad.

now that tyler can run again (torn ACL last May-boo!), i have a running partner and it's so much better than doing it alone. i have someone i can either pace myself with or chase. in this case, it's the latter. there's a 2 mile route by tyler's house i used to take back in may when i was training for the 5k. i like it. it's on a semi-busy street so i feel like i HAVE to run when cars or people go by. i don't want strangers thinking i can't run.

before heading out into the 98 degree humidity, tyler and i both agreed that we would run 1 mile and walk the rest. easy as pie...not quite. about .5 miles in i felt a sharp pain in my right side. on top of that, i was gasping for air. nevertheless, we completed the mile. i was so exhausted and sweating like a fat kid. but on the walk back we decided to run the last .5 mile. i thought to myself, it's only .5 miles! let's go!

when we got home i thought to myself that i don't want to be like this anymore. i'm 24.5 years old. i should be able to run 1 mile! i used to run track for goodness sake. i have to stop having such high expectations of how far i can run right off the bat and just slowly get into it. it's not something i can just do for long periods of time, given the situation with my back (ugh!). so i'm going to try really hard and stay on track with running as often as i can. especially if i want to run another 5k this winter. i'm even going to talk to my physical therapist next week and see if she can teach me more runner friendly exercises i can do at home.

on a more delicious note...after our run, tyler and i decided to fuel up with a delicious japanese dinner. we've made this dish a bagillion times (yes, 1 bagillion times) and it always satisfies me. there is an amazing international market down the street from tyler's and sells crazy food for wicked cheap prices. he buys the asian noodles there for like $2 bucks and they last forever. ::sigh:: the benefits of having a boyfriend who has lived in china for 1 year. here are some snapshots of our dinner:

asian noodles w/chicken and broccoli slaw.






Wednesday, September 1, 2010

smile. it's hump day!

who said shopping bags had to be boring?

one of the few reasons i love D.C. one of the many murals scattered around the city. here is a 1981 painting of Marilyn Monroe on the corner of Calvert and Connecticut. cities need more of this.




have you ever been dumped? have you ever been filled with so much self-doubt and hatred over some boy that you start resenting others? we all have in some way or another. why do we let these silly little boys tear us down?

i discovered this totally feminist site called, "Pink Kisses". there mission? to help women through heartbreak with all sorts of fabulous pick-me-ups and inspire women to take control of their own fate. they'll surprise you with chocolates, flowers, texts, and even exclusive virtual gifts. they even have their own life coach to help you start new goals. all you have to do is sign-up online and choose your "attitude". whether it be classy, sassy, feisty, or 'i want it all', Pink Kisses will personlize each gift basket.

although it may seem a little desperate, and pricey, i think it's a great idea. because we all know chocolate and flowers can do wonders when we're feeling down.

GIRL POWER!

southern cuisine.


in my 24.5 years of existence i've never had fried chicken. i mean, authentic, juicy, crispy, southern fried chicken.
while vacationing in charleston, sc this summer(obsessed with this quaint little town), tyler and i ate dinner at a famous, local eatery called Jestine's Kitchen. pure classic. southern. comfort food. this place does not accept reservations and only has about 15 tables. my suggestion is to do an early dinner and beat the crowd because come 6:30pm, the line is way out the door.
we both ordered the notorious fried chicken platter with 2 generous sides (green beans and mac-n-cheese). this dish was pure heavenly.
if you're ever in charleston you have to stop in at jestine's. or your life will never be complete.

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