Monthly Archives: December 2009

Resting

I’m still not feeling 100%. I’m not even sure that I’m feeling 75% although I feel a hell of a lot better than I did yesterday. With me, there is one easy way to tell how sick I actually feel and that’s if I am taking medicine. I am not a big medicine taker, so considering the fact that I took Dayquil every 4 hours yesterday tells you that I really wasn’t feeling well. I do feel a lot better this morning, however. I’m really hoping that I’ll be able to go out to New Years Eve dinner. Okay, I’ll stop droning on about my cold now; I told you that I was a baby when I am sick!

Last night, I wanted comfort food for dinner. Whenever I’m craving comfort food, my go-to is refried beans. I don’t know why; I just really like them! Weird, right? I paired them with some sauteed peppers and a low-carb tortilla that I toasted and made into chips. Oh, and a heaping pile of salsa.

IMG_0154.JPG

That looks like much more food than it actually was because of the mound of salsa. Jason went the more traditional route and made his into chicken fajitas.

IMG_0157.JPG

This was his pre-fajita. You get the idea. After dinner, we watched Julie & Julia. I’m going to just say it, I didn’t love this movie. I kind of thought it was boring and Meryl Streep’s voice as Julia annoyed the hell out of me. (I know that Julia Child talked like that, but still.) The book sort of bored me too, to tell the truth. Although I did understand when Julie got excited about getting comments. Comments always excite me too!

I haven’t been to the gym since Monday. Ugh. I think it’s probably for the best though. I just get a little panicky when I miss more than two days in a row. I’m also a little panicky about the holiday goodies that I’ve been consuming for the past couple of weeks. Our scale has a dead battery so I have no idea how much damage my overindulging has done. I can’t go by the way my clothes fit. I always think my clothes are too tight unless they are completely falling off me. Hence the reason most of my stuff is too baggy. As much as a like these short weeks and seeing my family, I’ll definitely be happy this weekend when the holidays are finally over.

Wuss

There are two things that I am a big wuss about – being cold and being sick. And right now, I’m kind of both. I guess my epic hangover was partially the start of a cold. My head feels better, but my throat is scratchy and I’ve been sneezing all day. I really wish that if I was going to get sick, it wouldn’t be over a holiday.

Sicky pathetic face:

IMG_0140.JPG

I tried to stock up on Vitamin C. Does this really work?

IMG_0139.JPG

Even though I had soup for lunch, soup was definitely in order again for dinner. I decided to make Italian Wedding Soup from my Trader Joe’s cookbook.

IMG_0144.JPG

I used meatless meatballs and spinach because the lovely Kroger next door did not have Swiss Chard.

IMG_0153.JPG

Twas pretty good. I’m not sure that I like the taste of the meatless balls. Maybe it would be better with a different brand? Or perhaps with Turkey Meatballs? I also had my fair share of Pita Crackers that went unpictured. Not sure if this is going to cure my cold but I really would like to feel better by Thursday night. I don’t have any plans, but I want to ring in the New Year right and not sick.

I think I’m going to skip the gym tonight. I never know if I should go or not when I’m under the weather. I’ve always heard that if the sickness is above the neck, which it is, it’s fine to go, but I don’t really see myself getting a decent workout right now. I managed to go yesterday and did a half-assed 30 minutes on the elliptical. Hopefully I’ll feel better tomorrow because I have a 2 miler, a 5 mile speedwork session and a 6-miler on the agenda for the week.

What are your plans for New Years Eve?

My aching head!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I cannot drink the way I used to. It’s 5:40pm and I still don’t feel well from last night. I had fun though. My friends Margaret and Brady and their daughter Iris, Kirsten and Joe and their daughter Berkeley, Eva, Sean, Armando and I all went out to dinner at Lebanese Taverna. I had the Chicken Shwarma which proved to be quite a popular entree amongst the group; I think at least half of us had it. After dinner, the childless of the group, me, Armando and Sean, went to another bar – RiRa. My brother met us out and we hung out for a while. I think I probably had 4-5 beers (plus a glass of wine with dinner) at the bar. It was fun though. I don’t see these friends (or my brother) that often, so I don’t really feel guilty about it, my head just hurts today. I sense a New Years resolution coming on that’s related to this.

I’m trying to decide if I should go to Trader Joe’s or just eat a can of soup for dinner. I’m not feel very contemplative with my writing, so I’ll leave you with some pictures from the weekend.

Gingerbread Men. These were especially good dunked in hot tea.

IMG_0008.JPG

My stepmother’s dogs.

IMG_0028.JPG

Me in my stylin’ onion goggles. Awesome present. That’s a tank top, not a bra by the way.

IMG_2926.JPG

Sans glasses.

IMG_0078.JPG

Rebel, Rebel

Guess what I got? Hanukkah Claus was good to me and there was a Canon Rebel XSi sitting under the tree! (Yes, a real tree. My father’s side of the family celebrates Christmas since my stepmother is Christian.) I kind of feel like I’m jumping on some blogging bandwagon here, but I definitely have plans to use the camera for more than just food pictures. I actually took Photography, Photojournalism and Advanced Photography in college. Now I need to remember everything. I went to Barnes & Noble today and bought myself a Canon Rebel XSi for Dummies book! That should do the trick. I definitely want to discover the features of the camera and not just use it on automatic!

I can’t believe my vacation is almost over. I have a flight back to Atlanta tomorrow at noon. I normally leave a bit later, but I didn’t want to deal with the possibility of being delayed and getting home close to midnight which has happened many a time. I’ve had a fun trip although I really wish Jason could have come with me. He had to work.

My Aunt, Uncle, cousin and his girlfriend came over on Thursday night. My mom made chicken, green beans and potato latkes. I made matzoh ball soup from a mix. The kind from the mix is actually really good and the broth is even vegetarian. After, dinner, we played a game of Outburst. The Hanukkah tradition always includes a board game. It was my mother, aunt and cousin against me, my uncle and cousin’s gf. The other team won. Boo. My cousin invited me to a party after, but it was in Germantown, about a 20-25 minute drive and I just didn’t feel like going. Old lady here.

On Friday, I went to my dad’s house and we did presents. Then my dad, brother and I went to see Avatar. I’m normally not into Sci-Fi type movies at all, but I really liked it. We went to the Uptown theater which has a HUGE screen and it was really neat to see it there.

Today started early. My mom had a guest pass to her gym and let me go there while she got her hair cut. Her gym is so much nicer than mine. All of the cardio machines are state of the art and they all have personal tvs on them. But, she also pays double what I pay at LAAAA Fitness. 6 miles was on my training plan. I did it slowly, at 5.5 miles per hour. For some reason, the tv on the treadmill kept turning off and I couldn’t figure it out. I hopped around on some different treadmills and it kept happening. I’ll have to ask my mom what I was doing wrong because other people were watching tv just fine. So, I listened to music instead. The run was fairly uneventful. I had to play some mind games with myself. Just run 3 miles, I’d say. Then after that, I’d tell myself to run 1 more and I could quit etc. This actually worked and I did the entire 6 miles.

I’m going to do some shopping with mi madre and then five of my friends from high school (and their signficant others and in some cases, children) and I are all going to Lebanese Taverna, my favorite restaurant for dinner.

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend.

On the DL and a holiday tradition

I have gotten a little less blog-shy in the past few months, meaning that I’ve told several real life friends about the blog. I haven’t told my parents about it though. One, I don’t necessarily want them to read it and two, I think they’d just think it’s weird. So, whenever I come home, I get a lot of “why are you always typing on the computer?” and “Why are you taking pictures of dinner?” What do you think, should I tell them? I almost said something to my mother last night. We were in Giant and they had Pineapple Chobani (which I still cannot find in Atlanta). I told her how I contacted the company about it and that they sent me a carton. She seemed really suprised that they would do that and I almost said it was for me to review on my blog, but I chickened out. Are you guys “out” to your family about your blogs?

My flight to DC was uneventful. Save for a printer calling me on my cell phone to tell me about a problem they had with one of the files that I sent from a client. That involved several phone calls but everything got sorted out. Truthfully, getting a work call on my cell makes me feel important. Don’t tell anyone that! I read a new book, The Last Summer (of you and me) on the plane. It sucked. Sorry, but it did. I thought it was so predictable. Not worth the purchase. I need a good book to read. I’m going to scour my mom’s house for some new ones. She alwyas has tons of books. Got in about 7 and took the metro to Bethesda with my mom. We had some chili for dinner and talked for a while and then went to sleep.

Tonight should be fun. We have this Hanukkah tradition in my family. My aunt, uncle and cousins (who are my age) come over to my mom’s house. The weird thing is that my parents have been divorced since I was three and do not talk and this uncle is my father’s brother. When they got divorced, my mom still wanted to be Aunt Sheryl to my cousins, so she always has been. Anyway, when we were younger, they’d come over and we’d make Pillsbury sugar cookies and decorate them with tons of icing. We’d also play board games and order pizza. My mom would always do goody bags for the kids. I guess these were basically the same idea as a Christmas stocking. As we got older, the goody bags disappeared, the cookies had less icing on them and “Hanukkah” sometimes happened in the middle of the summer. But even so, we still manage to get together at some point each year and this year it actually happens to be right around the holiday time. Unfortunately, my oldest cousin is going with her husband to his parents house in PA, so I won’t get to see her. But my younger cousin, his girlfriend and my aunt and uncle will still be here.

My family is not very close, generally. My mother’s side of the family mostly lives in NY and I don’t know them that well. My father’s side lives mostly here, in MD, but there are some rifts causing everyone not to see each other as much. I have always hated that. I really enjoy his side of the family and wish we were closer.

Resolution Recap

Taking a cue from Sarah and Chandra, I decided to review my 2009 New Years Resolutions and see how I did. That’s the good thing about having a blog, I can go back and look them up, otherwise I would not have remembered them at all!

Here they are:

1. Try a new recipe each week. I actually did really well with this one. I feel like I cooked more this past year than I ever had previously. I think part of it was because I discovered that I really enjoyed photographing my food. And I really didn’t want to photograph something from a box. Weird motivation, but it worked!

2. Keep up with running after I run a big race. I did okay with this. I ended up running quite a few races in 2009. I think I ran eight – three 5Ks, two 10Ks, a 15K and two half-marathons. Signing up for new races definitely kept me running.

3. Stop gossiping. I’m not really sure where this came from. I must have felt guilty for talking shit about someone when I wrote it. I declare this resolution N/A.

4. Dress better. Well considering I kept waiting to lose those 10 pounds before I bought any new clothes and never lost them, this was a major fail.

5. Stop drinking to get drunk. I think that I’ve gotten better about this. Sort of. Basically, I pretty much only drink when I’m out with friends in a social environment. I cut WAY down on drinking at home and drinking during the week. But I didn’t exactly cut down how many drinks I had when I’m out drinking if that makes any sense. Still, it’s progress.

6. Record what I’m eating. Eh, I don’t have the patience for this. I try to do it sometimes during the day but then never feel like keeping up with it at night.

I don’t think I consciously thought of these resolutions during the year, but it’s interesting to see what I thought I needed to change in my life one year ago and how that differs from what I feel like I need to work on for the next year. And what is that? I still have ten days to figure it out.

I kind of felt like a human garbage disposal today. These stupid sweets in the break room are going to be the end of me. I cannot stop picking when I go to refill my water bottle. Maybe they’ll get thrown away after Christmas. Hopefully. Really did I need a cup of stale caramel popcorn this afternoon? Don’t answer that.

I had my first Tempo run of my half mary training today. I think I was a little lofty with my time goal. I put in that I’d run a half at 2:12 because I wanted to PR in the next one. But really, my fastest time is 2:17. I just noticed that this plan says that if I follow it, I’ll run the half in 2:08. I think I might revise it to go just a tad slower. Or maybe I should just push myself. So yeah, tempo runs suck. That’s all I have to say about that. I did a 5 mile run which included a 1 mile warm-up, 3 mile tempo and 1 mile cool down. I wasn’t even running the tempo portion that fast; it was at 6.1. For some reason, I felt like the treadmill was on an incline even though it wasn’t. It sucked but I soldiered through. I’ve never had any sort of mantra before, but I kept telling myself, “You have to run faster to get faster.”

Just want to relax!

I feel like it’s been go, go, go since Thursday. We got to Jason’s parents house at about 10:15 on Friday night. The weekend was filled with eating, drinking, chatting, board games and crazy dogs.

Doggie cousins Murphy and Chief. Chief is my dog-in-law, I suppose.

IMG_2851.JPG

They obviously take tug of war quite seriously.

I definitely ate a lot over the weekend. Jason’s mom made this cake that was delicious and I could not stop myself from eating another little bit here and there. Then I felt like I had to sample some of the cookies that I’d brought from the cookie swap. I am a sucker for sweets; I can’t help it. We opened gifts on Saturday night and took some family photos. I have one of all of us, but wasn’t sure if they all wanted their picture posted on the interwebs. So here’s me, Jason and Murphy.

IMG_2875.JPG

Contrary to how it looks, I’m not choking the dog.

We drove back to Atlanta early Sunday afternoon. I really wanted to get back to eating healthy, but we didn’t have any food in the house and decided to go out to dinner. We went to The Brickstore in downtown Decatur. This is one of my favorite restaurants but there is always such a long wait that we never end up going. On a Sunday night, however, we only had to wait about 15 minutes.

Downtown Decatur is so cute.

IMG_2894.JPG

I love the ambiance of the Brickstore. They have a lot of craft beers. In fact, I took my father there once and he had no idea what to order. You will not find Miller Lite on their menu nor will you find any tvs. I love it. Plus, a lot of their food is local.

IMG_2902.JPG

I had the Sweet Potato Curry. Sort of a random choice for a brewpub, but it was good.

IMG_2909.JPG

We had a nice time talking. Like I’ve said before, Jason and I don’t have the same work schedule, so it’s rare that we get to have a leisurely dinner together. Normally I’m in “I don’t want to go out on a school night” mode, but since it is a short week, I changed my tune. Plus, we went early and were home by nine.

I finally got some exercise in today at lunch. Sort of weird that I take two days off and am chomping at the bit to get back at it. I actually started the new half-marathon training plan that I got from Runner’s World. This plan has me running some SLOOOOOOOW short runs. I ran 2 miles today at 5.3 mph. I’m going to stick with it. I guess that you make up for the slow runs with tempo and speedwork training. I guess they know what they’re doing. They being the creators of these custom plans. I’m curious to see what my time will be following this plan.

After work, I went to Maggiano’s for a friend’s graduation celebration dinner. Maggiano’s makes me nervous. I know that’s weird and a little disordered, but it’s true. I don’t like how pretty much nothing on their menu is healthy. But what I really don’t like is the family style dining. Yes, this is the second time this has happened to me in 4 days! Everyone else wanted to get the family style and I wanted to get mussels. At first the waitress said that I couldn’t; if everyone else was getting the family style, I had to too. I mean, I understand that they don’t want people who aren’t paying to take advantage, but going family style at an Italian restaurant is kind of a nightmare for me. (No offense, Jaime!) Fortunately, she let me order the mussels after I promised her that I wouldn’t taste the family style food. How do you guys feel about family style dining? Love it? Hate it?

After dinner, I went over to Borders to pick up a present for my brother and stepmother. And now I’m doing laundry. Will I ever get to relax? All signs point to no.