Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Weekend of Good Food

I have eaten so well this weekend! Coquette was amazing. They infuse their own alcohols and I loved their fig infused Brandy. I had it in a French 75 to start my dinner, and I had a bit of it neat along side my dessert. As for food, my darling fiance and I split three small plates: roast oysters, fried shrimp with grapefruit, arugul, and chili oil, and duck and foie gras ravioli; as well as one large plate- seared scallops with green curry, rice noodles and bok choy. Everything was delicious! For dessert, we split a brownie with cherry cream anglais. So good!
On Saturday, I really enjoyed the Disney exhibit. I thought that the backgrounds were amazing- especially in Sleeping Beauty. I also really want to see The Princess and the Frog now! Oh, and The Ruby Slipper was delicious. I had the Huevos Rancheros and really loved them.
The ballet was okay. I really liked the first part of it, but the second half wasn't my favorite.
Today, I got up early and ran a couple of miles with my friend who were running in the Mardi Gras Marathon. I ran a mile to the race, then ran two miles with my friends. I wanted to run 3, but I couldn't keep up the pace for the third mile- sadly, I am so out of shape! However, I am really proud of my running buddy Margee who finished in 3:52! She's so awesome!
This afternoon, my darling fiance and I walked around Audubon park for a little while (the weather was amazing today!), then got groceries. This evening, we tried to cook something new for dinner- Grilled Pizza! It was awesome! We split our pizza into two smaller pieces. I topped both with tomato sauce, cheese, and prosciutto, then added spinach and goat cheese to one, and tomato and an egg to the other. We cooked them until the goat cheese was melted and the egg was sunny side up. Delicious! I've included a picture- grilled pizza, wine, and no make-up. Pretty much my idea of paradise. :)
We also went to Blue Cyprus Books before we went to the park this afternoon before going to the park. I bought The Mandarins by Simone De Beauvior. I have so many books to read this month!
Anyway, I had a really nice weekend and I hope everyone else did as well. Congratulations again to everyone who ran the Mardi Gras Marathon today!!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Great Day

I ran 5K this afternoon! I have been more than ready to get back into the swing of things and I'm finally feeling well enough to do it! I'm also running three miles with my marathon running friends on Sunday to help encourage them. I'm really looking forward to that. Running puts me in such a good mood! Of course I'm pooped now, which is kind of lousy- I remember when I thought 5K was too short for a short run. Oh well, I'll get my stamina back!
Other upcoming highlights include dinner at Coquette with my darling fiance tonight, brunch at the Ruby Slipper followed by a trip to the art museum to see the Disney Exhibit tomorrow, and Alvin Ailey at the ballet tomorrow night. We also went to the LPO's performance of Pictures at an Exhibition last night. It was beautiful!
On the vegetable front, things have been going really well. I've been averaging 6 servings of veggies and 2 of fruit a day (and never fewer than 5 servings of veggies). My biggest observation is that I am eating a huge volume of food! My second observation is that I hate carrot juice. Haha!
This week my darling fiance and I have gone through a bag of spinach, a bunch of kale, 2 sweet potatoes (topped with Amy's Organic Veggie Chili-yum!!) and a plastic box of salad. We've also nearly finished off a small raw veggie tray. We've also eaten a lot of other assorted veggies (we grilled burgers and had kabobs with tomato, squash, and zucchini one night, for example) and frozen veggies. As for fruit, we've gone through 3 blood oranges, most of a bag of apple slices (plus about a quarter of a bag of apple slices from last week), 2 frozen bananas, and a lot of frozen blackberries and cherries. (I've eaten most of the fruit.)
Things that have worked really well include the green monsters, the sweet potatoes with vegetarian chili (it's also low salt, which is a big plus), the grocery store salad bar, and of course the kale. :) I got a little tired of the salad by the end of the week because the frisee made it kind of bitter. The veggie tray has been as good as veggies can be as an afternoon snack (I dipped the carrots in cashew butter one day and was a huge fan), but I don't know if it's going to stick as a habit. I do like my greek yogurt ranch dip though.
So anyway, so far, so good!
Health wise, the other healthy thing I did this week was order a swimsuit. I'm going to start swimming at the gym with my running buddy Margee (who's training for a sprint tri, not to mention running in the Mardi Gras Marathon on Sunday- she's awesome!) and I needed a suit that would stay on a little better than my standard bikinis. Fortunately, Margee sent me a site that sells swimsuits at a pretty nice discount. I ordered this speedo in Navy. I think that it's pretty cute, actually. Hopefully it fits because I don't want to deal with sending it back and getting a different size. Some of the suits are hilariously garish- like this one, this one, and this one. (I kinda like the wonder woman suit though....)
I used to swim (recreationally) all the time when I was growing up because we had a huge pool, so I'm eager to get back in the habit!
Okay, I need to go walk the dogs, dry my hair, and pick out something to wear for tonight. Have a great weekend!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Guilt Free Ranch Dip

I mixed ranch dip mix into 2% Greek yogurt instead of sour cream and dipped raw veggies in it as part of my lunch (2 servings!) today. It tasted just like ranch dip but the stats are much better. A cup of 2% greek yogurt (although I had maybe 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup in my dip) has 150 calories and 20 grams of protein. Sour cream has 478 calories per cup and 5.5 grams of protein. Greek yogurt, of course, costs more than sour cream, but I think it is so worth it, especially because you can also sweeten Greek yogurt and eat it at breakfast (which I do on most weekdays).

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Briefly, I wanted to say that I ate 6 servings of veggies today, but only one of fruit. I really haven't had much of an appetite, so I didn't snack at all today. But I had a BIG salad for dinner. I measured it out (a serving of veggies is generally half a cup) and it was 4 servings! In all fairness, I barely made it to the bottom of the bowl because it was a ton of food. My salad had the afore mentioned mache, along with frisee and radicchio, plus shredded carrots, tomato, corn, and garbanzo beans. I topped it with a simple salad dressing (2 T olive oil, 2 T brown rice vinegar, 1/2 tsp mustard powder and salt and pepper to taste) and some slices of turkey sausage. It was definitely tasty (and very much like the salads I love in Switzerland), but in the future I'm going to try not to eat 4 servings of veggies at once. Volume-wise, it is difficult.
My darling fiance is using my resolution as an excuse to push the spirulina powder that he swears is good for me. I think it smells vaguely like a fish tank, but will occasionally add it to a smoothie, especially a green monster, which is green anyway, and masks the taste. However, I may take him up on it, at least every now and then. There are claims on the net that it counts for up to 10 servings of veggies, but if I eat it, I will count it as 1 serving.

Veggie Might!

I was thinking about my vegetable consumption while taking my shower today. What? It's not completely normal to think about spinach while washing one's hair? :P
I was trying to think about how many fruits and veggies I eat in a typical day. I think I usually get one serving of fruit at breakfast (there is usually some thawed frozen fruit in my yogurt or oatmeal), 2 servings of veggies in my lunch (I most often have beans and rice for lunch- I'm counting beans as one serving, and the veggies or salsa I add to the beans as another), a serving of fruit in the afternoon, and 1 or two servings of vegetables with my dinner (I need to determine if I'm eating half a cup of veggies (1 serving) or a cup (two servings). So that's 2 servings of fruit and 3 or 4 of veggies. I think I can do better than that!
I've read that active women need 4 servings of veggies and 3 of fruit. I'm also sort of hoping that eating more nutrients will help me catch fewer colds. I'm tired of coughing!
It's a little late to set a goal for Lent (confession- I had bacon pizza for dinner on Ash Wednesday), but I think I'm going to use Lent as my excuse and say that for the next 40 days I am going to try to eat at least 5 servings of vegetables a day. Bonus points for more than 2 servings of fruit.
I will do this in the following ways:
Green Monsters- I will have a Green Monster for breakfast several times a week
Veggie Lunches- I will be more vigilant about making sure there are lots of veggies in my lunches (salsa shouldn't really count). I will add a side of veggies if needed to my lunches. Also, if I want to eat out for lunch, I will hit up the grocery store salad bar, which I love to do anyway. :)
Snacks- I will try to add veggies to my snacks. (I'm not promising anything because I don't really like to snack on carrot sticks in the afternoon- I've tried. But I will try again!) I will also make a point to eat fruit for a snack every day.
Dinners- I will make sure to eat at least a cup of veggies at dinner, and try to cook two different veggies instead of 1.
Fun- I will try a new veggie each week. Yesterday I picked up a new salad mix. It has Mache (pronounced "Mosh," according to the front of the package) which was in all of the salads in Switzerland and is delicious!
Accountability- I will write down my servings of veggies each day and maybe blog about my totals on a weekly basis. I don't want to bore my readers too much! I'll also blog aboutveggies I ate that were particularly yummy.
Today since I've only had breakfast, I have only had one serving of fruit. It was in the form of cherries in oatmeal with vanilla, cinnamon, and almond butter. I bought some food at the Vietnamese New Year celebration we went to last night which is what I will be having for lunch. It is roast chicken with shredded cabbage. There is also cilantro and shredded carrots in the mix. I'm pretty sure there is a cup of veggies in there, but if not, I will eat some more carrots to account for the difference. So we'll say so far today I've had 1 serving of fruit and will have had 2 servings of veggies in a few minutes.

p.s. If anyone wants to join me, let me know and I'll share my google spreadsheet of veggie tracking awesomeness with you. :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Quick Pics

Here are pictures from the Arthurian's Ball (with my friend Julianne) and the Bacchus Ball (with my darling fiance). And one of Homer celebrating Valentine's Day because he is a supermodel. :)

Many thanks to my friend Steph for lending me her two gorgeous dresses!

Playing Catch Up

I'm briefly diverting my attention away from the million things I have to do, to write a recap post before I forget everything I wanted to write about.
First, Pancake! I got a call back from the vet saying he tested positive for Toxoplasmosis which could explain why he had the seizure. They want to put him on a month of antibiotics to knock out the infection. We still have some questions: Cats get it from eating dead prey- and he hasn't been outside since Nov., but he tested positive for IgM antibodies which is indicative of a recent infection (versus IgG which is indicative of an older infection) so we're not sure how long ago he would have gotten it. But overall, I hope that this is the problem- because I would love to give him a course of antibiotics and then have him be seizure free! Overall though he is doing well and hasn't had any seizures since we brought him back from the vet, so that's good news!
Second, Mardi Gras! Mardi Gras was a ton of fun this year. We went to the Arthurian's ball on Friday night, which is always a great time. On Saturday, we hung out at the Endymion parade with our friends, and on Sunday we went to the Bacchus Ball and had a great time. I'll do a more detailed Mardi Gras post with some cute pictures soon, I promise!
Up next, Work! Tuesday (Mardi Gras day) was a vacation day for my office- and yet somehow I spent it flying to Houston for work. Boo! I thought that meant that I could take Monday off completely to recover from the Bacchus Ball (we rolled in around 3 or 3:30, as I recall) but I had to work about 4 hours on Monday to prep for my work trip. Fortunately, my boss let me work from home. I wish I could wear PJ's to work every day! Anyway, I worked a 10 hour day on Tuesday and a 12 hour day yesterday (which included 10 hours spent in a meeting- ugh!) . I thought yesterday was going to be a 15 hour day, but I managed to catch an earlier flight (which involved running to the gate- who needs dignity?) and got home around 7:30. I was exhausted, but a 12 hour day is so much better than a 15 hour day!
Which bring me to, sickness! I think I am getting sick again. Last night I had a low grade fever and a horrible sore throat and this morning I'm coughing and stuffy. I think I'm having a relapse of the cold that I just got over, so hopefully my immune system will kick into gear and get rid of it quickly this time.
Because I miss running!! I think it has literally been a month since I've run. Having managed to get two (or more) colds in the past two months has really put a damper on my exercise. And whenever I'm well, it has either been cold, raining, or both. Fortunately, my running buddy got in touch with me this week. She's been out of town for med school this month and is eager to get back into our workout schedule. So hopefully I will be feeling better and we can get back into our routine next week! I will give myself credit though because I have actually been going to the gym as much as possible. When I'm feeling pretty good, I've been doing a workout inspired by Angela at Oh She Glows. I crank the treadmill up to an incline of 15% and walk at 4 km/hr for half an hour. (I usually follow that up with some abs work and 20 pushups.) When I'm not feeling so well, I just hop on the elliptical and watch TV. But I've been making it to the gym 2-4 times a week, with the exception of one week when my cold was particularly chesty, so I'm pretty proud of myself for maintaining my good habits! I also rode my bike for the first time in literally a year on Sunday. I needed to get to my friend Sarah's house but couldn't drive there because of parades. I biked there and back home, for a total of 6 miles. I enjoyed the ride, but I definitely remember why I don't ride my bike very often- it bruises my rear! :( I guess it's something you get used to over time, but I hate that about biking! (And yet somehow running induced foot blisters don't bother me....)
Finally, I want to say that I got a shout out on another blog. I tried Smitten Kitchen's Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onions (and so should everyone because it is easy and amazing!) and suggested that Heather at Heather Eat's Almond Butter should try it, and when she did, she mentioned me in her post. So, thanks, Heather! :) I'm glad you loved the sauce!
Okay I think that's all I planned to talk about for now. I hope everyone is having a good week!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Quick Update

Pancake came back from the vet last night. He hasn't had any seizures (knock on wood) and his physical exam was perfect. We're waiting to hear back about his blood work. But his vet suspects that the seizure is just a result of the head trauma he got when he was run over. Poor Kitty. I have been told to keep a seizure journal because if he starts having seizures more than once a month, we'll have to put him on medicine. Hopefully there won't be many entries in his journal!
In other news I just wanted to post a picture from the first Mardi Gras ball we attended last Friday. This was Cripple Creek's Ball and production of Ubu Roi. We got a lot of compliments on our outfits. :) Tomorrow night is our second ball of the year- the Arthurians Ball and we'll be going to the Bacchus Ball on Sunday night.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

It never ends

First, I would like to say that I did watch and enjoy the Saints game. Who Dat!!

But what I really want to blog about is that I'm having more pet issues. The first has been hopefully resolved, but all weekend long, Hereaux would sneak into the room where the catfood and litter is, and eat out of the litter box. I will be the definition of understatement and say only that this is an undesirable quality in a hairy dog. YUCK!!!!!!!!!!!
We are now making a point to shut the door to that room at all times and hopefully this will no longer be an issue. (The cats have another way in, through a door with a baby gate on it.)
Unfortunately, last night, Pancake had a seizure. It was really scary and he's at the vet right now. I talked to the vet and he said that the physical exam was fine and that they're running blood work. He suspects that the seizure is a result of the concussion and head trauma Pancake got when he was run over last fall- the blood work is to rule out any infections being the source of the seizure. I'll probably get to take him home tonight and if it's just a seizure center from the head trauma, all there is to do is watch him. If he has seizures more than once a month, then he will be put on anti-convulsion medication. Poor kitty!
Another really scary thing is that when he had the seizure Homer attacked him. He also attacks the dogs when they yelp (like if I accidentally step on their foot). It's not his best quality. I'm not sure why he feels the need to attack when things are out of the ordinary- I guess it's his reaction to being frightened, but I wish I could do something about it. Too bad there isn't a cat whisperer!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Having a Ball

I will technically be going to three balls this Mardi Gras Season. The first, on Friday, is not actually associated with a krewe. It is the Cripple Creek Theater's Masked Mardi Gras Ball. They are also performing Ubu Roi. So I get to dress up, wear a mask, have wine and cheese and enjoy a play all in one evening! :)
Next weekend I have two balls. I'm going to Arthurians again, and I'm also going to the Bacchus ball this year. Arthurians is Friday and Bacchus is Sunday. I am going to feel seriously awful on Monday! Fortunately (or unfortunately) I am going to take Monday off instead of Fat Tuesday (an office holiday)- because I have to fly to Houston for work on Mardi Gras day! (I still think this is an injustice, although I am bending it to my advantage.)
The other big event for New Orleans coming up is, obviously, the Superbowl. I'm not sure what I'm going to do on Sunday night. I don't have TV in the apartment, and I've only watched one game this year (I may not be a fan of football, but at least I'm not a fair-weather fan either!) but I think I would like to watch the game on Sunday. I don't want to go downtown though. I may go watch it in Metairie with my friend Steph and her game watching group. We'll see. I'm also going to go to the Barkus parade on Sunday afternoon. I think I'll be leaving my dogs at home though- they are a handful around other doggies.
Prior to the Masked Ball tomorrow, I am going to check out Calcasieu because I want to have our rehearsal dinner there. I don't have a lot planned for Saturday, but I do want to go to Magazine St. to find a Valentine's gift for my darling fiance. This could be dangerous b/c I am really good at finding things for myself on Magazine St. :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Inspiration Board #2

A few changes this time. I'm kind of obsessed with dusty miller in boutonnieres and bouquets. I also think I'm going to go with a darker color (the aforementioned aubergine) for bridesmaid dresses b/c they will be more wear-again-able that way. Also, I want to turn one of my greatgrandmother Tootsie's sequined broaches into a hairpiece. I've also included a picture of the Russian Mafia Band b/c we are thinking about having them play at the reception.
You can see my first inspiration board here if you would like to compare the two. :)

Groundhog Day

Since It's groundhog day, I'm going to go back and check out my post from last year. I actually posted exactly a year ago today (which isn't a given, since I don't post every day), so here it is:

Qualities Inherited from my Paternal Grandmother

1. Love of coffee
2. Being extremely cold-natured- think down comforters in July
3. Love of British Comedy
4. Habit of sitting around the dining room table for long periods of time
5. Home is my comfort zone
6. I say "Well!" when I am irritated or flustered.


I'd say not too much has changed since last year. All of the things in my post are obviously still true. I'm up one fiance and one cat, so that's (a happy) difference. :)