30 January 2012


I've been experimenting with food a bit more lately. Still not doing anything challenging nor following recipes. Tonight I made blended cauliflower and it was delicious. I'm kind of surprised. I steamed it in the microwave (just using the microwave's fresh veggie setting), blended it using a hand blender, added a splash of skim milk, a tiny bit of butter, and a few sprinkles of garlic salt. I served it with some of the curry chicken I broiled yesterday. 


29 January 2012

Occupy DC banned from camping

By Monday morning Occupy DC is to be clear of McPherson Square. McPherson Square is maintained by the National Parks Service and always has a ban on camping, the ban just hasn't been enforced for the past four months. When I walked by today they were holding a meeting and none of the tents had been moved. I'm curious to see what goes down tomorrow.

26 January 2012

True Grit week 3

First off, how did I do with the eyebrows?
Honestly, I had a hard time remembering to look at other people's eyebrows when they were talking to me. I'd remember afterwards, but that didn't do me any good. I did notice that Ann Curry doesn't really move her eyebrows much on the Today show and Frasier's go crazy. I also noticed my niece seems to have wonderful arches in her eyebrows.

Ok, on to the week 4 challenge: The week of Wonderizing
The challenge is making "I wonder" statements at least once a day. Apparently it starts amazing conversations and makes you sound more intelligent, likable, and wise.

I kind of planned out my wonder statement on my walk to work. I knew a situation would come up with my coworker and when it did I let it fly. "I wonder what kind of conversations we will have at lunch" (We were having lunch with our boss and another boss level guy) At first I thought it flop as he kind of just shrugged, but then a few seconds later he started hypothesizing.

I like this challenge a bit more, because I'm not just looking at things and I'm curious to see how others will respond. 

the neon envelopes are the best

24 January 2012

Grown up things

On Sunday I made some purchases that I have really been putting off.

1. I bought my first ironing board on Sunday. In college I had a handy board I could iron on that my Mom had made me from a fabric bolt, but I lost it in one of my many moves. For the past 5 years or so I've been throwing a towel down on a table or floor and ironing away (but lets get real I rarely ironed). With my new washer & dryer in one I tend to have more wrinkles in my clean clothes, but I'm not complaining as having my own washer/dryer in my apartment has been a blessing (yes I feel that strongly about it). So anyway I finally bought one, I went all out and spent $15 at Target and then I took it home on the bus (I was not going to spend money on a Zipcar or Taxi for a $15 purchase). The bus was kind of crowded, but luckily ironing boards are skinnier than 90% of the US population. Even so I got a few groans and a kind older lady exclaimed that I was holding the first ironing  board she had ever seen on the bus... she had seen blinds and bookcases, but the first ironing board.

Getting my crease on

2. I replaced my ailing alarm clock that I received as a high school graduation gift from my assistant basketball coach Travis Fleming. I loved it as it was small and pretty and it played bells instead of waking me up with a harsh buzzer. But the sleep button broke (which I no longer need) and then recently every morning when I turned the alarm off it would start blinking like it had a power outage.

So I knew I wanted a clock that offered more than just a buzzer. After finding a less than stellar selection at Target (seriously does ever clock need a iPhone hookup?) I headed to Best Buy where I found a gem from Sony. This clock is also a radio! I haven't had a radio for a few years. I had a boombox radio, but since I wasn't able to get reception in NYC and there weren't any country stations I got rid of it. The clock also has five nature sound choices for listening or waking up to. I chose the beach. For the past two mornings I've woke up wondering who let the seagulls into my apartment, but overall I'm satisfied with my purchase.

beach? birds? rain? underwater? wind?

3. Ok so my third purchase wasn't actually over due. I've started hitting up some YMCA classes at 5:45 and 6 pm. While I have run home changed and run to the gym, but I was literally running to the gym, so I've started taking my gym gear to work on the days I know it will be tight. I have a ton of bags, but none felt right for a gym bag. Most of them are tote bags with no top closure or backpacks or huge. So Sunday I checked out Modells sad collection, went to a store called "Sports Zone" that sold street clothes, made sure Target didn't have anything, and went to a running store (why would runners need a bag?). I had done some online research and hadn't seen anything too spectacular so when I went in to Lululemon I wasn't expecting to find anything (I had looked online and didn't like their selection). Just as I was giving up and walking out (or running out... why do they have to be so perky and curious if I need help?) I spotted a great looking bag at the cash register. The clerk was messing with them so I asked if the were for sale and if I could look at one, she said yes and that it was on sale! Perfect, a nice bag for half price. Now that I've loaded up it seems big, but my other bags seemed too small... oh well, I still like it.

right tools for the right workout
That was a bit longer of a post than I planned, but I guess I'm pretty excited about my purchases. Have you been putting off any purchases? or bought anything recently you are super excited about?

21 January 2012

Winter showed up

Overnight we got a layer of not quite snow, more like ice. While I was happy to see the white stuff, I wasn't too excited to have to play football in it. But first at noon today I had my free personal training session at my gym. He sweet talked me by calling me a "country girl who knows her sports" and I signed up for 8 sessions, once a week. If I'm not a total badass athlete after 8 weeks, he's gone. A little after one I headed uptown (can I use that reference in DC?).

Before the session while sitting on my couch in my warm apartment I volunteered to referee the game before ours because another girl wimped out. I should of wimped out too. By the time my ref duties were complete, I could not feel my feet, but it was game time so I threw on another pair of socks and changed in to my cleats. We won big (like 26 to zip), but I never got the feeling back in my feet and the football felt like it was filled with concrete (don't worry my feet seem to be working now).


Tough Zogs competitors
I had a commenter ask the other day what "Zogs" means. Its named after the founder Rob Herzog. Rob started the league after surviving 9/11. He worked in one of the towers, but was running late for work that day. After reflecting on his life he decided that playing COED sports was what was right with his life and decided to start a new league that also included a charity aspect.

20 January 2012

True Grit Adventure Week 1 & 2

At some point when I was living in NYC I came across LifeLabs. I think they might of been mentioned in New York Magazine for something. So for the past year or so I've been receiving emails about their up coming classes. One class they offer is the True Grit Adventure. As described on the website: 

Become braver, more alive, more alluring, more mischievous. Add some grit and
adventure. Observe your friends & neighbors...(hm? Intrigued?)

For the next 8 Mondays you will receive, via postal mail, a little letter that gives you a secret 
mission. Complete the mission and a new layer gets added to your personality.

The missions are playful and fun, yet scientifically proven to make an impact. You will be noticing
new things, walking differently, designing small surprises for your friends and family, and stirring 
up new talents and habits:  An 8-week personality remix.

Upon sign up, you will receive your first mission via postal mail
within 10 days (yes, an old-school letter), and then another mission each week.

So after reading about this several times I decided to sign up. To be honest, after two weeks I am not impressed. These are not the type of challenges I expected. Hopefully the next 6 weeks are more exciting. To make it more exciting I'm letting you guys follow along.

Week 1: Become a professional shadow noticer

Basically look at shadows. The adventure includes three tasks.

1. Once a day evaluate the shadows around you (I did this a few times, maybe 4 days)
2. Point out a shadow to someone (I pointed one out to Matt!)
3. Trace a shadow with chalk and watch how it changes (Fail)

Week 2:  Become an eyebrow expert

The three tasks.

1. Pick one person each day to track, see if what they say matches what their eyebrows are saying.
2. Watch TV without sound, create your own dialogue using eyebrow cues.
3. Once per day spot an "eyebrow flash" An eyebrow flash is a short raising of they eyebrows to signal "hullo" it happens when two acquaintances meet for the first time that day. It also happens when people want to signal that they are done talking and it is your turn to talk.

I received the second task yesterday and I must admit I didn't do any of the tasks... better luck tomorrow.

What do you think? Do you notice shadows? Are you ever confused when eyebrows are telling you the opposite of what someone is saying? What do you think about the eyebrow flash?

18 January 2012

Matt turns 30

My good friend Matt (from grad school) recently turned 30, to celebrate the big day we celebrated big time. First stop was the Austin airport. There are more guitar cases per air traveler in the Austin airport than anywhere else (I just made that stat up, but I'm sure it is true).

keep Austin weird

Within an hour of landing I had my first serving of queso. After a few more hours I had more queso and some tex-mex. A few of us celebrated Friday night at the Broken Spoke in Austin. A true hole in the wall dance hall. We all got a turn scooting around the dance floor with Matt and I earned $8 by asking a random cowboy to dance.

take me out to the dancehall

 The next morning we got up early and headed to the lake house on Lake LBJ that Matt had rented for the weekend. It was amazing. The weather was perfect on Saturday and we passed time playing croquet and gazing out across the lake.

The lakehouse
hipster prep
Birthday boy
Sunday morning my friend Kandyce was up early to take a beautiful picture of the sunrise. 

I slept in a little longer and then took a delightful 3.8 mile run around the neighborhood (they don't call it hill country for nothing).

It was a bit colder on Sunday but we were still able to play a rousing game of Bocce ball.

follow through
I flew back on Monday and due to a fluke I had an extremely long layover in Kansas City, luckily I know some people around there. My sister and niece came and picked me up at the airport. We met with my aunt Betty, mom, and other sister for a nice Indian lunch and some shopping and coffee. By 6 pm I was back at the airport and I made it back to DC by 10:30. Sometimes its nice to suck every minute possible out of a weekend.

Yard Art

Christmas Dog

11 January 2012

Yard Art

I received pretty good feedback from my 25 Days of Christmas series and today when walking around my neighborhood I noticed a lot of yard art that needs to seen, so occasionally I'm going to share with you the best of the best DC yard art.

give me a vote

09 January 2012

Playing football with the Obamas

 I joined a winter Zogs team here in DC and Saturday was our first game. The weather felt more like spring league, but I wasn't complaining. I'm still feeling out the quarterback, but after getting some clutch catches in the second half, I think our relationship is going to work.

All of our games are on the Sidwell Friend's School Football Field... you know where the Obama children go to school. I must say it is a nice field.

I'm not sure what happened with this picture. I took it with my phone, which has a horribly slow and annoying camera. So it probably snapped after I thought I was done.

One of my teammates snapped a few pictures that came out a little better

I'm second in lime green from the left
Now on defense 

Oh in case you were wondering, we lost, but it was close so I think we'll have a good season.

07 January 2012

Meridian Hill Park

The weather was absolutely beautiful in DC this morning, then it got a bit cloudy, but it was still rather warm all day. After playing touch football. I grabbed some food and headed up to Meridian Hill Park. Its a little less than a mile from my apartment and a lot of people were hanging out. There was also a huge capture the flag game going on. About 30 twenty somethings worked for about an hour to get the flag, the red team won. 

I found a nice tree to shimmy up to and read some more of the Happiness Project.

After awhile January decided it wasn't over and it cooled down, so I headed home before checking out the entire park.

From what I could tell, that the summer will bring some amazing fountains to this park.

01 January 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I rang in the new year with an old friend and some new friends here in DC. As usual I left my plans to the last minute, but everything turned out great and I even acquired a paper top hat to wear and had champagne to toast to the new year.

I've always been a believer of you should try to do things on January 1st that you want to do all year, so today I:

Partied with fun and positive people
Ran 2+0+1+2 (5) miles
Cooked dinner 

I also am a sucker for traditional meals so the dinner I prepared included the same foods my Mom prepared for us every year growing up:

Pork The custom of eating pork on New Year's is based on the idea that pigs symbolize progress. The animal pushes forward, rooting itself in the ground before moving.

Sauerkraut - Sauerkraut represents wealth and eating it on New Year's day is a German tradition. People wish each other as much wealth and goodness as their is shreds of cabbage in the pot. 

Mashed potatoes - I don't think there is any greater meaning to the potatoes other than they taste yummy with sauerkraut.

I think I made some new year's resolutions last year, but I'm not sure where I wrote them down. So I'm not sure if I achieved any of them. This year I'm posting some of them here to try to keep me honest.

  1. Refrain from using the snooze button- This actually should be easy for me as the snooze button on my alarm clock doesn't work, but lately I got in a bad habit of getting out of bed, reseting the alarm time, and getting back in to bed. No more of this. I also was thinking about getting a new alarm clock with a working snooze button, but who needs a stinking snooze button? not me.
  2. Run at least 6 races- I'm trying to enjoy running more and I find I do best with a goal. I'm not talking any long races, but I hope to try a variety of races. I've already signed up for two, the Love the Run you're with 5K in Arlington on February 12 and St Patricks 8K in DC on March 11. This is my first 8K so automatic PR!
  3. Track what I eat & when I work out- I joined the free website Sparkpeople and just want to become more knowledgeable about the calories going in and out of my body.
  4. Knit something new- I tend to get in a rut and knit a lot of the same things. Luckily my aunt gave me a dog pattern, I just need to get size 2 needles and I'm off.
  5. Travel somewhere new- I tend to think about going places a lot more often then I actually go somewhere, I need to flip and reverse this.
  6. Be friendlier to strangers- This is one I tried to work on last year and I made good progress for awhile. I think I'm friendly when someone asks me for directions or for help, but too often when someone cuts me in line at whole foods, blocks the cross walk with their car, or bumps me in a bar I don't always react in the best way possible. If anyone has coping suggestions please let me know.
Ok that is all I can think of for now, but I may add to the list as time passes. What are your new year resolutions?