Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I love this :)

Fall is in the Air!

Yesterday a cold front passed through New Orleans and it is glorious! I had a wonderful run last night, slept with the windows open, and I didn't get all gross and sweaty walking the dogs this morning. I'm loving the cool weather!
This weekend was a lot of fun. We went to Oktoberfest on Friday night and I feasted on 3 different kinds of cabbage (cabbage rolls, sauerkraut, and purple stewed cabbage- divine!). After Oktoberfest, we went to the Balcony Bar and I also ate part of a fried appetizer with hot wings, fried mozzarella sticks, and jalapeno poppers. So bad, but so so good. :) On Saturday, I was worried about the weather, so I postponed my run and instead tried the Piyo (Pilates + yoga) class at the Reily Center. It was better (i.e. much more challenging) than I expected, but I thought the music was kind of cheesy (it sounded like 80's aerobics music). Saturday night I went to my friend Anne's birthday party. I also bought a sweet pair of dangly silver earrings while I was supposed to be shopping for a gift for Anne. Oops!
On Sunday I finally got around to tackling my 8 mile run around 2 pm. It wasn't very humid, but I guess it was hotter than I thought outside because that run was brutal. I felt really slow and tired the entire time and couldn't snap myself out of my negative thoughts about how lousy the run was. Sometimes my head just isn't in the game. But the important thing is that I pushed through it and ran further than I have ever run before! I ran my usual 4 mile run last night and at first, I felt like I was really slow and I felt the specter of my crappy run just hanging over my head. Fortunately, after a mile or so, I got warmed up and started to just enjoy the run and the weather and ended up with a pretty fast pace overall. I was so happy to have a good run! This week is my "cut back" week and I am supposed to only run 6 miles this weekend. I am not sure that I'll get to run at all this weekend because I upcoming travel (see below) but hopefully I'll at least get in some time on a treadmill.
I am traveling this weekend because I am going to Tulsa to celebrate my dear boyfriend's grandmother's 80th birthday. Of course, I spent Monday night having my semi-annual "I hate my clothes" pity party (which seems to happen every time the seasons change) and decided to go into work early, so I could hit the mall after work and before my run. I speed shopped and picked up 2 dresses (sadly I can only find a link to one of the dresses- the other has a maroon abstract floral print, a deep V in the front and back, and cap sleeves. Super cute!) and a cute purple shirt with ruffles on the front from Macy's, and a pair of light pink chinos from Jcrew (they were on sale for $19!!). I feel better now. :) One of the dresses and the pink pants will definitely be a part of my Tulsa wardrobe this weekend. I'm also really hoping to wear my trench coat because it will actually be cool in Tulsa!!
While I was shopping I also tried on this tunic and thought it was really cute, but I just didn't see myself wearing it that often. I tend to find it difficult to translate "trendy" items into something that looks realistic on me. Maybe if I find it on sale later in the year I'll pick it up but $40 was a little steep for something I'm not sure I'd actually end up wearing.
Other than that, I finished reading The Wide Sargasso Sea (which I loved) and have started reading Anathem, and am really enjoying it so far.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

CCRR Race Results

I just looked up the official results from the Crescent Connection Road Race. I was 35th out of 296 women runners! Go me!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


My bookclub meeting/ Tea party last night was a lot of fun. Everyone liked the food I made, and Sarah had a really good list of discussion questions about the book. Now that it's over and done with, I'm going to go ahead and review the book (before I forget that I meant to).
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is a murder mystery that features Flavia, an 11year old girl, as the narrator and main character. Flavia lives in an old English manor house and has to solve the mystery of a stranger she finds dying in her cucumber patch. Armed with her love of Chemistry and her trusty bike, Gladys, she is able to solve the mystery, acquit her father (who was arrested for the murder) and save the day. I really enjoyed this book and found it to be a quick, and generally light-hearted read. Flavia is a very compelling protagonist- the book club decided that she was equal parts Harriet the Spy, Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird, and Angela Lansbury. She is precocious, opinionated, and appealingly bratty. I have to admit that she reminded me a great deal of myself at age 11. This book is written for adults but would also be suitable for older children and teenager. A bonus is that there are supposed to be more Flavia books in the works!
Since I hosted this month's book club meeting, I got to pick the book for next month. I chose Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil because I recently watched the movie and really enjoyed it. We all also thought that the voodoo element to the story would be appropriate for October, especially since our next meeting is going to be close to Halloween. I went on a bit of a shopping spree today and bought not only that book, but also The Wide Sargasso Sea (another one I was considering for next month) and Anathem (which I've been meaning to read but don't know if I would subject my non-sci fi nerd friends to). I love books. :)
Also, I did make it to the black light party this weekend, although I didn't stay very long. Here is a picture of me with my dear boyfriend for your entertainment. We're glowing!

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Sarah's Rosh Hashanah dinner party was so much fun. Sarah and her boyfriend Jon made a wonderful meal for everyone!
We started off with apple slices dipped in honey, for a sweet new year. Then, we had Matzo Ball soup. (I am officially obsessed with Matzo Ball soup now- probably because I have come down with a cold and it was the most delicious comforting chicken soup ever. I want more, but don't have the energy to tackle a new recipe today. But seriously, I can't shut up about soup today.)
Next we tried Gefilte fish. Sarah warned us that it is an acquired taste- but I didn't think it was too bad. It reminded me of eating canned sardines with mayonnaise on saltine crackers which was my grandmother's favorite midnight snack. (But based on that description, I guess you can see why it would be an acquired taste!)
Next we had a yummy salad with greens, olives, cherry tomatoes, and artichoke hearts.
For the main course, we had potatoes in an apricot glaze (that tasted kind of like bbq sauce, actually, but I think it was apricot preserves and soy sauce for the most part), along with brisket and chicken in the same glaze. Everything was delicious!
I made Smitten Kitchen's honey cake to bring to the party, and it was served for dessert. The caked turned out great! The recipe has a pretty long list of ingredients (upon seeing me buying orange juice and whiskey for the cake when we went to the store last weekend, my dear boyfriend was like "What kind of cake is this again?") and a long baking time, but it was really easy to make. It turned out to be a really moist spice cake. It reminded everyone of carrot cake without the carrots (and we actually smeared cream cheese onto slices of it today for breakfast). I would totally recommend making this cake because it was really easy and the flavor profile is perfect for fall and winter.
It was a great dinner and I'm looking forward to celebrating with Sarah and Jon again next year. :)
Today my dear boyfriend helped my friend Steph move a TV she's giving to Goodwill and then we went to Mcalister's for lunch. Other than that I've been resting because I have a lousy cold. Hopefully I'll feel well enough to make a cameo at the black light party tonight because I have a great costume!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Holy Cow, it's Thursday again! When did that happen?
I had an unintentionally busy weekend last weekend- when I all I wanted to do was stay in and hide from the world. Work was crazy last week (and has been pretty busy this week as well, hence the lack of blogging) and I just wanted to chill. However, it was my dear boyfriend's golden weekend (a weekend that is guaranteed to be free of work during his rotation schedule) and so we ended up going out on Friday and Saturday. All was not lost though, I did manage to eat takeout pizza from Slice (goat cheese, spinach, roasted garlic, and basil- so good!), run 7 miles (the furthest I've ever run!) and watch both Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and Swingers.
On Tuesday, I joined the Tulane gym. I have a family membership with the dear boyfriend now which lasts a semester and costs what a month at the JCC costs. I don't love the Tulane gym (because I feel weird around all the college students), but I can afford to join both a gym and a yoga studio this way. Next week I plan to start shopping around for a yoga studio, which should be lots of fun!
Tonight I'm going to see the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Their Season Opener tonight is Romeo Meets Rachmaninoff. It should be lovely.
This weekend is also going to be very busy. Friday night my friend Sarah is having a Rosh Hashanah party. I am attempting to make a honey cake. I found the recipe on Smitten Kitchen. If you haven't checked out her blog, do so- the recipes are great! I made her roasted tomatoes and cipollini on Sunday night (using some of the divine garlic bread from Whole Foods that I am currently obsessed with) and it was amazingly good.
Saturday my friend Graham is having a black light themed birthday party. My costume for the party is a white t-shirt worn over a hot pink bikini top from American Apparel, black leggings, neon green leg warmers, and a white pair of those really obnoxious Kanye glasses. It should be hillarious! I also plan to run 8 miles on Saturday morning- wish me luck!!
Sunday I plan to run 2 miles in City Park with Steph. Other than that I plan to spend the rest of the day getting ready for Monday because I am hosting the first meeting of our new book club. We read The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and I am serving a high tea because the book is set in England. I really enjoyed reading this book and I can't wait to talk about it. (After the meeting I'll post a book review.) I also get to pick the next book we read, so I have to brainstorm for that as well.

My menu for Monday is as follows:

Tomato Basil Soup
Cucumber, Ham, and Chicken Salad Sandwhiches

Raspberry Chocolate Tart

A Selection of Decaffinated Teas
Punch (Sprite + White Grape Peach Juice=my favorite!)

I'm very excited for all this baking! I actually went out and bought a tart pan and a springform cake pan on Friday.
Okay, now that I'm all caught up, I'll wrap this up with a promise to post more frequently. Hopefully I'll have a goofy picture or two from this weekend's black light party for the entertainment of my dear readers.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Last night, I finally got around to trying the Banana Soft Serve recipe I've seen making it's way around the net. It's ridiculously simple- you put 2 frozen bananas in a food processor and blend for about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides frequently, until it's the texture of soft serve ice cream. I wanted to add some vanilla to mine but I am out of vanilla, so I added a little cinnamon instead. It was really good! My dear boyfriend thought that it tasted like frozen bananas, but I thought it tasted like banana flavored frozen yogurt. The one thing I didn't like was that you need to use two bananas (I think this is so the food processor will have enough to work with), which is more than I wanted to eat. I froze half of mine. The best part was the texture- it was incredibly smooth and creamy, especially when it got a little melty. (I guess if I don't like the texture of the half I froze, I can always throw it into a smoothie or try putting it back into the food processor.) All in all, if you have a food processor, you should definitely give this a try!
Three cheers for a 100% healthy dessert!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pumpkin Muffins

My friend Heather just reminded me of a recipe I used to make all the time that is delicious and fairly healthy. It's also as simple as can be!

Pumpkin Muffins:

1 can 100% pure
pumpkin (not the pie filling)
1 box duncan heinz spice cake mix
1/2 cup of water

Mix together, which may take a while b/c of the thickness of the pumpkin
. Bake for 22-25 minutes at 350 F.

Thursday Already?

Wow. It seems like time has just flown by since Sunday!
I had a fun day off on Monday that started off with me eating delicious steak and salad for lunch, then taking down two cookie-bars and a small serving of blueberry cobbler with ice cream at lunch. Somehow that degenerated into me having a daiquiri, beer, and potato chips for dinner. Zapp's Tobasco flavored chips will be the end of me. :)
Tuesday was notable because I went to Phiddippides during my lunch break and got new shoes, body glide, and some goo. Three cheers for new running accessories! I was, in all honesty, still sore as heck from the race on Sunday (I was actually still sore yesterday too, but I'm fine today!), but I couldn't resist going for a run to try my new shoes out. I'm not going to lie, it was pretty brutal because I'd had a long day at work (work has been insane this week for various reason- not bad, but busy busy) and in addition to my soreness, I had very little energy. Nonetheless, I'm happy that I went because it kept me on schedule and helped me maintain my good running habit.
I got two different brands of goo at the running store: Power Bar Gel (Rasberry and Apple flavors) and Gu (Margee gave me an espresso gu for my birthday, and I also picked up strawberry bananna, berry, and chocolate flavors). I look forward to comparing the brands and flavors to see which tastes the best and to see how they affect my energy levels during my long (over 6 miles) runs.
A really funny thing happened after I went to bed on Tues. My dear boyfriend woke me up around 4am saying "I think the dog is under the bed." When I asked, still mostly asleep, why he thought that, he replied "Because I hear scratching and whining." I got down on the floor to look under our very low platform bed. Sure enough, Bernie, the larger of my two miniature shcnauzers (who technically needs to lose weight b/c he gained a pound this past year) had somehow gotten under the bed and was too big to get out! I kind of suspect that Hereaux had a hand in putting him under there because when we went to bed, Bernie was in his spot on a blanket on the floor next to my side of the bed. When I looked under the bed, Bernie was basically scooted over about a foot from where he was before, and Hereaux was in his rightful spot, trying to look innocent. I had to tug Bernie out from under there! Fortunately, my tubby little pup was just fine and hopefully he won't go under the bed again.
I've eaten a lot of delicious food that is considerably healthier than my Monday night dinner this week. Highlights include Cornish game hens stuffed with dried figs, onion, and garlic and baked in a cast iron dutch oven with dried rosemary, red wine, worchestershire sauce and a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar for 40 minutes at 425 F (so easy!) for dinner (along with mashed sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts); my attempt at this pasta dish from the blog TravelEatLove (I used feta instead of mozarella- also so easy!) for lunch; and a really yummy snack bar called Bumble Bar. I've had the chai and chocolate flavors and both are super tasty. I like them b/c they have rice crisps and lots of sesame seeds so the texture is really crunchy and satisfying- sort of like a really dense rice crispy treat. (The packaging is really cute too!)
So that's how my week's been going!
Also, congratulations are in order to my friend Amanda, who gave birth to baby Liam on Sept.1 (I'm so negligent for not posting this sooner- please forgive me!) and Amy, who gave birth to baby Josiah this morning! I also just found out that my friend Janette is expecting baby #2! Congratulations, girls!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Crescent Connection Road Race

I am so exhausted and happy right now. The race was awesome! I ran the most challenging 4 miles I've ever run in 36:02. I thought I would be lucky to run it in 40 minutes because I knew it was going to be tough.
I rode to the race with my running buddy Margee and a couple of her friends. We met up with more of her friends (she runs with a big group of people she went to high school with) at their apartment in the warehouse district, then walked to the bus that took us over the bridge to the West Bank. We were at the start of the race pretty early because Margee and her friends needed to register for the race, so we waited for about an hour for the race to start.
Once the race started, the first mile flew by like it was nothing. Most of the races I've done in New Orleans have started with a really slow first mile because they were so crowded, but this one wasn't too packed. I think the turnout may have been a little low because it looked like it was going to rain. The sky was really dark and we kept waiting for a downpour, but in the end, we only got a little drizzle.
The second mile was where we started up the bridge. Running in New Orleans is comparatively easy (aside from the heat, that is) because we literally have no hills. This is bad because there is no way to train to get used to hill. Unsurprisingly, the mile and a half to the top of the bridge was excruciating. It was really hard, but Margee was really awesome about encouraging me. Having a running buddy really helped me make it up that hill!
Once we got to the top of the bridge, the course evened out and we got a little bit of rain. The awesome view, the rain, and knowing that the hard part was over and that I only had a mile and a half to go was a great feeling! Soon I started downhill and I was flying! Never really having run down hill either, I was surprised to find that it was harder than I though it would be. Going fast wasn't a problem, but I had so much momentum and I was hitting the ground so hard, I was worried that I would trip and fall. I realized though that I was wasting energy by trying to slow myself down, so I just had to go with it and try not to trip.
The final half mile or so was off the bridge and on level ground. After going so fast down hill, my feet felt like bricks! I kept going though, and counted the last 4 minutes in seconds in my mind because I was so tired all I could think about was how long until I finished.
As I rounded the corner towards the finish line, I could hear the announcer saying the time. I thought I was hearing things because he was saying "35:20...35:30...." It took a minute for it to get through my head that I was well under 40. I crossed the finish at 36:02, feeling a little disappointed that I didn't make it under 36 minutes, but mainly thrilled that I'd gone so much faster than I anticipated. They handed out slips of paper with your ranking on it and I was 35th in the women's race! Margee was 30th! I was so excited to find out how well we did because I don't think I've ever run a race fast enough to be notified of my ranking before. And there were easily several hundred women running. I am so proud of myself because this race was really really hard. I'm totally doing it again next year.

Fun Trip to Mississippi

So my top secret trip this weekend was to Jackson, Ms. My cousin, Kaley (pictured), decided to throw a surprise 50th birthday party for her parents (whose birthdays are in Aug. and Sept.). I had a great time at the party on Friday night. On Saturday, Kaley and her hubby got up early and went to the first Mississippi State game of the season, so my dear boyfriend and I had breakfast with my Aunt and Uncle. My uncle also took my dear boyfriend skeet shooting for a little while, so I hung out with my aunt and took a little nap on her couch. (We were up late at the party the night before!)
After that, we drove to Gulfport to pick up my dogs from my parent's house (they dog sat for me for about a week and a half due to my farm trip last weekend). We had dinner with my parents and made a quick stop at the outlet mall where I basically bought out the new JCrew outlet and stopped at the Nike outlet for a new pair of running shorts. I am very excited about them b/c they are tight (which will hopefully prevent my legs from rubbing together) and have a zip pocket in the back. I'll never understand why most women's athletic shorts are made with no pockets. It's such a pain!
Besides the running shorts, I got 2 button down shirts (one is a bright purplish pink, and the other is dark purple- I'm really into purple for fall), a light weight v-neck sweater (bright pink), a plain white t-shirt (it was $7), a navy hoodie, a dark purple tissue tee, and a cool cream and black headband. I'd call that a spree! :) We finally got home around 10 last night. It was fun little trip!
Today I am going to clean up my house and run the Crescent Connection Road Race (it's less than 7 hours away!) Wish me luck!! :)

Friday, September 4, 2009


I ran 6 miles again last night. I don't really like doing my long run during the week b/c that means I am running after a full day of working and my energy levels are lower than they would be if I woke up after a good night's sleep and promptly started running. (I do, on the other hand, think I am better hydrated during my weekly runs b/c I've had all day to drink my standard 2 Liters of water.) And of course after the run, I have to shower, make a quick dinner, and do the dishes- all things that involve standing on my tired legs. I also prefer running my long runs on the weekends b/c I think I fare much better if I can take a nap after I run. In this case, I ran at 6:30, got home at 7:30, then stayed awake for 3 more hours, feeling pretty crummy the entire time. I am way worse at recovering than I am at running.
Nonetheless, I am glad I ran. The weather has been amazing this week and I am glad I've gotten to take advantage of it. Also, I had to squeeze my long run in during the week again because I am running the 4 mile race on Sunday (Running 6 miles the day before would be, to put it mildly, a mistake). I am very proud of myself for being dedicated enough to knock out my long run during the week.
I will say that juggling my running schedule around my weekends has been a little stressful. Part of this is because I haven't increased my long run distance. This is intentional- I'm following a running plan (that I modified a tad bit) and I know I'm on track. (The reason I have run 6 miles three times without increasing my distance is that you are not supposed to increase your miles by more than 10% a week. I was running 4.5 miles twice a week, so adding another 6 mile run directly to that would have been a lot. Instead, I shortened my short runs, added the additional 6 mile run, then increased my short runs over the course of a couple weeks.) I think I will feel less stressed and more like I'm making progress next weekend when I finally increase my distance to 7 miles, which will be further than I have ever run. I can't wait!

Thinks to look forward to:
The Crescent Connection Road Race
Going to the running store to buy new shoes (post race), Body Glide, and Cliff Shots
Running 7 miles!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Happy Hour

I'm going to happy hour at the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) for their Culture Collision event. I wish I was going to be in town on Saturday morning (you'll recall I'm going out of town for a surprise party on Friday) because their yoga in the sculpture garden event on Saturday looks really cool. I hope they repeat it!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Buffalo Shrimp

Last night, I tried my hand at a meal that my dear boyfriend usually cooks and I am proud to say that it turned out very well. It is a quick, tasty meal for a busy weeknight- so I'm posting it.

Buffalo Shrimp

* 1/2 bag of frozen shrimp, shelled and de-headed (not the most precise of measurements, I know, but it doesn't really matter b/c you can make as much or as little as you like)
* Tabasco Garlic Pepper Sauce
* 1 Cup chopped onions
* 1 Tbsp butter

Defrost shrimp, then add enough Tabasco sauce to generously coat all of the shrimp. Marinate for at least 15 minutes, but longer is better. Cook chopped onion over medium heat in butter, stirring frequently, until browned, about 10 minutes. Add shrimp and sauce and cook until shrimp is done, about 2 minutes. Remove shrimp and reduce sauce until it is very thick. Drizzle sauce over shrimp.

Since this is ends up being nice and spicy, I like to serve this with something cool and creamy. I especially enjoy it on top of a Caesar salad (I just buy the kind you can get in a bag at the grocery store). The Tabasco garlic pepper sauce really tastes exactly like buffalo sauce, so this is a quick way to satisfy a craving for hot wings too. :)