Hey Hey Hey!

Well, it’s been more than a minute, so I figured today was a good day to pop in and share some randoms with ya.

Happy Friday!  I’m taking a half day today and am thrilled.  I’m taking it because I have a few errands and stuff around the house to get done, but that’s OK, still means no work!

Running

My half marathon is 65 days away.  Doesn’t sound SO bad now that I’m typing it out.

Running has been going OK.  I’m trying to do all the OTF treadmill workouts as runs, versus before when I’d do power-walking.  So far that’s going well.  I’ve gone on a couple of runs outside as well and they’ve been OK.

On Saturday I ran 5 miles outside and felt good.  I ran with my other half and while he struggled, I felt great!  It’s been a long time since I’ve felt that good.  Fingers crossed that this weekend I won’t crash and burn.  I’m planning for 6 tomorrow.

While training hasn’t been stellar, my bare bones plan is to add one mile per week, which would have me at 10 by the end of May, which is fine with me.  It’s also getting lighter earlier, which means that early AM runs will be more doable during the week.

Running Fashion

I used to be extremely structured in what I wore to run.  I had to wear pants with a drawstring waist and a pocket, I had two sports bras that were OK, and of course a buff/neck warmer.

Somehow I’ve become a bit more flexible and have done a bunch of runs in pants without drawstrings.  Hooray!  Who wants to celebrate? 😉  Same goes for sports bras.  Pretty much any of the ones I own are fine.

Now though, I’m going away from headbands and more towards hats.  I also wear hats to OTF because I feel like with a hat I’m tougher (don’t laugh).  I can just put my head down and get sh*t done.

Hats are expensive though. I refuse to pay +$20 for a hat.  Thankfully TJ Maxx/Marshalls are great places for that sort of thing.  Of course it’s totally lucky since the inventory turns so quickly.

So when I saw a cute hat that didn’t look stupid on me (many do, I have  BIG head) and it was only $6.99 I snagged that thing up.

hat

Note that that is not me.  🙂  So it has a cute pattern, reflective detail, and like I said, doesn’t look horrible.  The tag said “Running Hat”.  When I got home and removed the tag, I saw the tag that indicated the brand…Limited Too.  Ha!  While I could be wrong, I’m pretty sure this is a kid’s brand.  Not sure what kid has a head this big, but whatevs.  I like the hat and will proudly wear my Limited Too hat.

Have you ever bought a random brand?  I had a non pregnant friend who fell in love with and bought a pregnancy shirt.

Other Cool Stuff

A dear friend of mine was on Good Morning America a week or so ago!!!

amy

That’s Amy!  After dealing with some crazy medical issues for years, she ended up writing a book about dealing with chronic conditions and advocating for your health and yourself.  I highly recommend her book.  Link to buy on Amazon.

It was amazing to see someone I knew, who had been through so much, on TV talking with Robin Roberts!  I was in tears with pride.

Cookies

Ending on a sweet note.  I’ve been baking a fair amount.  The other half takes my baked goods with him to work where people supposedly go nuts for them.

While I’ve made more complicated items, what everyone seems to go nuts for are my cookies.

cookies

These aren’t truly “my ” cookies as they’re based off the Nestle Tollhouse recipe.  That said, I do tweak that recipe a bit.  I also play around with the “toppings”.

The photo above is chocolate chip, butterscotch chip, Heath bar, and cocoa sea salt.

What I’ve started doing it putting a mixture of sea salt and cocoa powder on top of all my cookies before baking them.  I love the salty/sweet combination and apparently lots of others do too!

What I do struggle with is that the cookies always fall.  They come out of the oven all puffy and pretty and then they collapse.  Don’t get me wrong, they still taste amazing, but they’re not perfect.  Any suggestions?

With that, please have a most wonderful weekend!!!!  Talk soon! ❤

Friday Loves

Hi there!  Happy Friday!

It’s been a loooong week (at least it felt long) and I’m glad it’s finally Friday.  That said, I feel like I look forward to the weekend all week which makes it feel that much shorter and leaves me feeling that much sadder on Monday.

Last night I got pissed off by an email that a coworker wrote.  Rest assured I called him out on it, but it left a bad taste with me.  I also caught the news before bed and the Syria stuff messed with me a little.  My irritable/frustrated feelings clearly carried over to this morning where I was a bit ornery at Orangtheory.  Typically a workout makes everything better but for some reason that didn’t happen this morning.

I came home (still irritable), fed Minnie, and then took her out for a walk.  During our walk I became somewhat normal again.  It was about 6:45a and the sun was just coming up through the trees.  I love nature and love the beauty in nature so at that point I told myself to just let everything go and have a good day.  Stay positive and be happy.

So here I am.  Keeping with the positive spins, here are a few things that have made me happy over the past week.

Today’s Walk

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This is the photo that reminded me to stop and let everything go.  It’s just not worth it.  Beauty is all around us and once you stop and let yourself look, you’ll see it.

Sweet Treats

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Hey there!  🙂  Last Sunday I had a family event to go to.  I wanted to bring something but wasn’t sure what.  Normally I’d bake, but I didn’t have time.

A new donut place opened in the next town over Donut Crazy.  I’d been following them on instagram so I knew how amazing their donuts looked.  So Sunday morning my sister and I headed over and grabbed half a dozen to take with us.

I’m not sure I’ve ever brought a dessert that got people this excited.

Flavors above are crumb cake, french toast, cookie monster, strawberry glazed, maple bacon, and cannoli.  YUM!!!

I’m not a huge donut person but they are definitely tasty.  I think the joy in this one was more in everyone else’s reaction than mine.

Flowers

Maybe it’s almost not winter.  Maybe.

This is our first “spring” in the house and so I was very happy to see daffodils growing in the back yard.  And while I don’t have any photos of them, I do have a photo of the hyacinth that my sister brought me last week.  It’s doing a great job of making the house smell like spring.

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On a related topic, I snapped this photo the other day while I was getting my hair colored.  I LOVED these plant holders (is that what they’re called).

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I loved them even more when I learned that they are tomato cages flipped upside down, legs cut off, and then spray painted.  So cool!

Hats

While I will forever be loyal to my Bondi Bands for workouts and spin, I’ve started wearing hats for my own workouts.  I think that it’s less harsh on my fragile hairline (although that could be in my head).  But now I want all the fun hats and it just seems like active hats are not fun.  If you have any hat suggestions for someone with a big head, let me know 🙂

Sleep (sort-of)

So i’m thankful for sleep, although my sleep isn’t the greatest.  I used to be an amazing sleeper and somewhere within the last 4-5 years that went out the window.  I still sleep OK but I wake up a bunch.  The flip side is that since i’m not sleeping as soundly, it’s much easier to get up at 5am.

In an attempt to boost my sleep I grabbed some melatonin from Whole Foods.  I grabbed the 3mg.  I would only take it a couple of nights a week, but I felt like I was sleeping better.

Wednesday morning on my way to work (I had gone to OTF early) I was literally struggling to keep my eyes open.  It was bad.  I turned up the music, started singing and did all I could to stay fully awake.  I even considered pulling into a rest stop for a nap.

Thursday morning the same thing happened.  Hmmm.  Why???  Well, I realized that both nights before I had taken melatonin.

So I hopped online last night to see what the recommended dosage of melatonin was.  While the information varies, I ended up clicking on a link to Dr. Oz (not my favorite, but somewhat reputable) and he clearly stated to take 1mg.  So I was taking 3 times what he’d recommend.  Perhaps that was why I was struggling so much.

So last night I took no melatonin and also had coffee before work (I usually have it at work).  I’m happy to report that my eyes remained open for my entire drive.  It could be a coincidence but I think I’m on to something!  🙂

So there are my thoughts in a nutshell.

Tell me…

Do you take melatonin or anything to help with sleep?  What?  How much?

Any hat recommendations?

Is it spring yet?

Have a most wonderful Friday!!

 

A Little Bit Of Everything

I finally have pictures to post!  They’re random, but still photos.

It’s been a couple of weeks (I think).  I’ll try to recap.

Food

Last weekend the other half cooked a massive meat feast for him and a friend.  Too good not to share.

meat

Yesterday, at his request, I made blueberry lemon streusel bars, which are one of my favorite summertime desserts.

rasp

Recipe here.  So good.

Looking to spice up your cooking?  Give some calabrese pepper paste a try.  He found this at our local italian grocery and has used it in just about everything.

I’m not creative so I wouldn’t know what to do with it, but if you are (and like heat), try it.  We like the one on the right better.

calabrese

Running

I did roughly put together a half marathon training plan, which will officially start in the next week or 2.  It’s 12 weeks long and since we have more time than that, we should be OK.

We went out for a slow 3ish miles on Saturday.  This is the first time I’ve ran outside since moving and so now it’s a question of finding new running routes.  This one was OK.  I ran with my other half and we took it very slow.  Picked up the pace a bit in the last mile and it felt good.

Looking forward to more outdoor runs in the near future.

Spinning

The gym I teach at just wrapped up a Cycling Across America program to try and boost interest and attendance in our cycling program.  It was really neat and it was great to see the members get excited about it.

cycle across

Here’s me looking scary happy after our last cycle across america class.

Jessica Spin

This was a group photo (selfie) but i cropped the members out.  And yes, I am always that happy at spin.  Before, during, after.  Psychotic smile 🙂

Also in spinning, one of my classes is being cancelled.  I teach a Sunday morning and a Monday evening and the attendance on Monday has been struggling.  With the quarterly changes they decided to do away with Monday night.  I understand and know it has nothing to do with me.  The members are not happy, so I guess we’ll see what happens.

I don’t envy the role of making group exercise schedules at a gym.

Wedding

Not much to report here.  We did have a cake tasting and in doing so realized we like the style of a “naked cake”.  We’re not really doing this exactly, but I figured I’d share a photo of a photo anyway 🙂

cake

My favorite topic…

MINNIE!

Here are a couple of shots of minnie to wrap up the post.

Looking really excited.

stairs

Happy with her donut.

min donut

She never truly looks happy, eh?  It’s that sad Sarah McLauchlan face.

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So that’s more or less what’s been going on here.  I’ve been sticking with OTF two times a week, which has been great.  Body Beast has temporarily been put on hold while we focus on cardio/running.  I’d like to get back to at least some of it soon as I enjoyed the weight training challenge.

Have a wonderful week!!!

Dinner

As you know, i’m not the cooker (is that really a word?) in the household.

I’m very lucky that my other half does most of the cooking.  He’s much better at it than me and it comes naturally to him versus me needing to use recipes.

On Wednesday he told me that dinner that night was my responsibility and that we couldn’t have chicken (my default protein).  So I told him we’d have tofu. 🙂

I immediately pictured a tofu curry.  Work was busy so I didn’t have time to google a recipe until late in the day and when I did, I found this recipe on Minimalist Baker.  It wasn’t a tofu recipe per say but I felt I could work with it.

Here’s my version, which is actually quite similar to hers.  Her recipe also includes a recipe for coconut quinoa.  I have horrific luck with making quinoa so I skipped it and just made some farro to have with the curry.

Tofu Coconut Curry

Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup  broccoli florets
  • 3/4 of a small sweet potato cut into small pieces
  • 1 small diced tomato
  • 1/2 cup snow peas cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 14-ounce cans light coconut milk
  • 1 cup veggie stock
  • 1 block firm tofu (pressed)
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  1. Heat a large saucepan or pot to medium heat and add 1 Tbsp coconut oil. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, sweet potato, broccoli and a pinch each salt and pepper and stir. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened – about 5 minutes.
  2. Add curry powder, chili flakes, veggie stock, coconut milk, tofu, another healthy pinch of salt and stir. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat slightly and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Add the snow peas and tomatoes in the last 5 minutes so they don’t overcook.
  4. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

I found that I did need to add a decent amount of salt, but otherwise it was a pretty straight forward recipe.

I added the tofu.  I pressed a whole block but ended up using about half to three quarters of it.  Personal preference there.

I also went a little heavier on the veggies than the original recipe.

This was an easy recipe that ended up tasting quite well.  Give it a try!!

Do you like curries?  I didn’t for the longest time and then all of a sudden my tastes shifted.  I’m glad they did!

Where did it go?

This morning someone asked me how the weekend was and I honestly couldn’t remember.  It was to the point that it was strange.  What the heck did I do this weekend?  After some thought though, it came back to me.  It was busy enough but also somewhat lazy, and of course….too short.

I started out Friday rocking my new TOMS.  I love TOMS.  I didn’t for a while and then I bought a pair and now I buy them every time they are on zulily.com (no need to pay full price!).

toms

I had hoped to cut out a little early on Friday, but that didn’t happen.  What did happen on Friday was a delivery of a new fridge.  Hooray!

fridge

My old fridge was about 5+ years and the freezer was a disaster.  When I bought it, I was in the midst of renovations (kitchen and two bathrooms) and was tired of spending money, so I bought a cheap model.  Sometimes you get what you pay for.  While the freezer technically still worked, what it did best was attempt to turn the whole freezer into an iceberg.  I ain’t got time for that!

So new fridge it is, and boy is she pretty!  The space for the fridge is a very specific size and as a result there are not many models that will fit.  Thankfully this one worked.

Saturday One Bro had an event at 1p, so I had signed up for a 7am (ouch!) OTF class.  I will admit that when my alarm went off at 6a I toyed with the idea of cancelling.  But I didn’t.  I got up, walked the dog and hit that class…hard.  It was WONDERFUL!  It was a good class overall and for the first time in a while, I felt like I was able to really push myself.

I’ve been having some issues with their HR monitor, so on Saturday I used a loaner and it worked fine, which tells me that maybe mine really does have issue.  I have their chest strap (versus the wrist monitor) and had thought about trying out the wrist based on all the issues I had.  They were all set to give me a wrist monitor that morning and after trying two, neither worked.  Guess it’s a work in progress.

I grabbed some coffee and was still home by 8:30, which was crazy.  I kept thinking it was later in the day than it was.  I needed to do some errands and get ready for the event.  I left the house around 11:45 and headed over.

The event was in a part of Norwalk called Rowayton, which is a beautiful area by the water.  This was the view.

rowayton

Weather on Saturday was WEIRD and not at all July-like.  I had on jeans, a t-shirt, and a sweatshirt and I was actually chilly.  Because we were by the water it was quite breezy, which made it chillier.  Although from a working perspective, it was much better than 90+ and humid, especially because that oven is HOT.

Some food photos from the event…

Eggplant, chicken marsala, and salad.  Yum!

Saturday night we did nothing and it was pretty enjoyable.

Sunday I was up early once again, this time for spin.  Class is at 8:15 in Stamford (about a 10-15 minute drive) so the alarm went off at 6:45a.  Yuck.  Thankfully class was really good, so it was well worth it.  And again, being done by 9a is quite lovely.

From there I hit up TJs for a few items and then Old Navy who was having 50% off all activewear.  I’m hot and cold with their active stuff as I feel like the quality varies greatly.  I have a few things I love and have bought others and been disappointed.  I ended up grabbing two tanks, a pair of shorts, and arm sleeves for my other half.

As you know, i’m toying with the idea of shorts, so I figured I’d give them a shot.  I went with these.

running short

After 50% off, they were not even $10, which is awesome.  Unfortunately when I tried them on I hated them.  So back to the drawing board.  While I do like to be locked and loaded, i’m thinking that from an aesthetic perspective, fitted may not be the way to go.  I’m not a particularly vain person, but I need to at least somewhat like the way an item looks on me to wear it.  Next.

The rest of the afternoon consisted of some errands, relaxing, cleaning, and walking Minnie.  While the day started out really cloudy, the sun broke through and with it, lots of heat.  I took Minnie out and when we got back she did this.

minnie floor

That part of the floor is somewhat close to the AC and therefore a little cool.  Dog down.

Then I got to work on making some zucchini bread since we had a few zucchinis that needed to be used.

zucchini

Here’s the recipe I used.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Ingredients
 3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions
Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch loaf pans.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl.  Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well.  Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips until well combined.  Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes.  Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.
Sunday night I didn’t do much.  I recorded the new show on HBO, The Night Of and plan to watch tonight.  Anyone watch?  No spoilers, but what did you think?
I still haven’t run at all, aside from at OTF.  Thinking I will try to get outside for a run this week, although we’ll see just how hot and humid it ends up being.
The BAA Half Marathon registration opens this week and I’m toying with doing it.  Has anyone done it?  Would you recommend it?
So that’s that.  Hope you had a most wonderful weekend and have a great week!

Thanks and a dump

If that subject doesn’t get you interested, I don’t know what will. 🙂

First, the thanks.  Thanks to all who read/liked/commented on my post yesterday.  After doubting whether or not I was going to continue to write, it felt good to get that feedback.  Hugs!

The dump.  No, not that dump, or the other dump, just a brain-dump.  You know I love random posts, so here’s what I’m thinking today.

I subbed a class on Wednesday night.  It’s a gym that’s affiliated with a hospital so historically the clientele was older and had some health issues.  Recently they’re trying to shift that a bit, so while the average age is probably still a bit older than the chain gyms, there’s a solid group of people who want to work hard.  It’s a nice gym, complete with really nice locker rooms, shower, sauna, steam room, pool, indoor track, and they even have robes.  Yes, robes. (Side note: I love gyms that provide towels.)

Because it’s a completely different group than Tuesday I used the same playlist, just changed one song.  It was great.  I had a decent group and they worked hard.  A couple of them even came up to me after to compliment me (love that!).  But what really made my night was accidentally overhearing a conversation about me and the class in the locker room.  It’s a big locker room so they had no clue I was there and they had such nice things to say.  

But I digress…I used my heartrate monitor again and am happy to say that no naps were recorded.

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Much better!!  The key was that I tightened the strap.  Rocket science really!

So now here’s the dump…

Food

While at the supermarket earlier this week I saw this new addition to the frozen foods department.

birds eye

So intriguing!  I bought the Buffalo Cauliflower and the Fiesta Lime Corn.  I haven’t tried the cauliflower yet but did try the corn and I loved it!

Next up I think I’m going to grab the wasabi peas.  Have you seen these?  Tried any of them?

They all look interesting with the exception of the carrots.  I hate carrots.

The time waster but good for you to do

The personality test from 16 personalities.  I took it this morning.

estj

It’s pretty spot on and i’m interested in learning more.

Serious stuff

Read this post from Movin’ It With Michelle.  She is currently in the midst of her husband’s year-long deployment and this post is a poem written by her daughter.  It’s amazing and eye opening.  While I have zero personal experience with the military, I am a huge supporter and am blown away by the strength and selflessness of all those involved in that lifestyle.  Read it, but be prepared, it might lead to tears..and smiles.

Have  a most wonderful weekend!  I’m planning for 8 miles tomorrow and hoping the weather cooperates.  Talk soon!

Food!

Still here!  It’s been a really stressful week (thanks work!) so I’ve been MIA on many fronts.  But….i’m still here and figured today I’d write about food.  Yum!

Here are a few things on my radar…

The Braised Greek from CHOPT.  My goodness!

I believe this is a NYC area chain, so I’m not sure how many people have access to it.  After a just OK first experience, on my second visit I ordered the Braised Greek and fell in love.

braised greek.jpg

Here’s the description:
Slow-cooked FreeBird spicy Greek chicken and quinoa, lentil & millet blend SERVED HOT OVER local feta, Mediterranean olives, pita chips, kale, spinach and cabbage
Dressing: Lemon Tahini + a drizzle of Red Wine Vinaigrette

YUM!!!
Generally speaking, I don’t find salads particularly interesting or appealing and I think it’s because they tend to be boring.  I like stuff in my salads!
Last week I was tasked with dinner on a night I ended up stuck at work late.  I had ZERO ideas or inspiration, so I headed to Trader Joes hoping I’d see the light.  I went straight for the proteins and saw lots of meat (not my thing) and Dijon Salmon.  I can work with salmon.  Maybe a hearty salad.
So I skipped over to the produce section and picked up a bag o’ greens, beets, a sweet potato, and zuchini.  Then I grabbed some candied walnuts, feta, and Joe’s Balsamic dressing.
Initially my other half told me I was cheating with this meal, but in the end he agreed that it was quite tasty!
Since I seem to go to Trader Joe’s at least once a week, I’ll also mention a couple of items that I haven’t yet tried but will (soon).
Tempura Cauliflower – Have you had this?  It looks interesting
tempura-cauliflower
Dark Chocolate Almonds with Turbinado Sugar and Sea Salt.  I’ve mentioned these before, but they really are THAT good.  I brought them home this past weekend for Passover and everyone who tried them agreed.
96930-dark-chocolate-almonds
Chocolate Covered Honey Grahams.  Someone recommended these bad boys.  Have you tried them?
wn-dark-chocolate-covered-honey-grahams
Yay food!  Any recommendations for good stuff from Trader Joe’s (or anywhere) or any good recipes?

I’m coming home!

This has been a long work trip.  Thankfully most of my trips are only a few days, at most a full work week, but this one came out to about 10 days, which is just too long for solo work travel.

But today was my last day in Korea and I’m heading home tomorrow!! (it’s 10pm in Korea)

Overall I really enjoyed my time in Korea and ended up enjoying it more than China.  Here are my thoughts/observations about the trip.  Please don’t take offense to anything, this was just my experience and not necessarily representative of an entire country.

  • China is dirty.  Shanghai was considerably cleaner than the smaller city I visited about 1.5 hours away.  You could actually smell the hint of chemicals in the air when you got off the train.  Shanghai is known for smog, so to return to the city and breathe in the comparably “fresh” air sums it up.
  • Some of the older Chinese have some really gross habits (smoking, coughing and spitting…lots of spitting, even indoors)
  • I didn’t see anyone exercising outdoors in China (perhaps due to the first bullet).
  • Shanghai is very diverse and you can find any type of food there, which was neat.
  • The drivers in China are nuts!  My cab ride to the airport was honestly the scariest car experience of my life.  I cried.  I’ve never cried in a car and hoped that i’d make it to the airport in one piece.  Traumatic.
  • Korea has lots of water and parks.  I saw so many people walking and riding bikes, which was refreshing after leaving Shanghai.
  • Korea also seems to be a really big fan of heated toilet seats.  They have the fanciest toilet seats I’ve seen and they’re all heated (even in public restrooms).
  • Both Shanghai and Seoul felt very safe, and I really appreciated that.

Overall it was a successful trip.  I will definitely return to Korea, but I’m not so sure about China.  Guess we’ll see what the wonderful world of business has in store for me for the future.

Today I’ll leave you with some food photos.

First, China.  These were cooked by a chef at a Chinese company I was visited.  They were made slightly more friendly to my American tastes but were still considered authentic.

Here’s some food from Korea.  Unfortunately I forgot to take photos of the earlier courses and there were a lot of them.  The food just kept coming and coming.  I even ate some stuff I’d never eat because I didn’t want to be rude.  (my semi-meat eating doesn’t really translate well to other countries).

So, looking forward to getting home and back to a routine.

Next up is the BAA 5K on 4/16.  Prior to that my OTF is supposed to open, so hopefully I can get there for a test workout.  I’m sure i’ll like it, just need to rationalize the extra expense.

Talk soon!  Have a great Monday!!!

Loving Friday (as usual)

It’s been a quiet blogging week for me.  Stuff’s just been busy.  It happens.

Here’s what I’m loving this week.

Wednesday

I had the day off on Wednesday.  Because…

Yes, we went to see Live with Kelly and Michael.  This is clearly a perk of living in the NYC area.

A few years ago I miraculously got tickets, but couldn’t go.  At that time you had to essentially enter into a lottery and then they’d randomly mail you tickets.  Unfortunately they’d do that about a week in advance of the show.  I was new at my job then and couldn’t just take a day off, so we never went.  (I even got tickets to the Halloween show, arg!)  Now the process is better and you actually have some control.

I went with my mother and sister and we got there at 7:15 as they instructed and headed to the way back of the line.  We ended up waiting outside for about an hour and fifteen minutes and couldn’t feel our feet by the time we went inside.  We ended up with lousy seats but still had a great time and plan to go back.

From there we hit up another favorite spot…

cookies

Levain Bakery.  Yummm!  If you’ve never heard of them, google them.  While they are a full bakery, I say just go for the cookies.  Do it!  Yes, they are $4 a piece, but it’s worth it.  If you get them, try to wait to eat them until you’re home and then zap them in the micro for 30 seconds.  You can thank me later.  🙂

Then we went to lunch at Jacob’s Pickles, another great spot.  We of course started with some pickles.

pickles

Pickled carrots, green beans, tomatoes, and dills.  I’m not a huge pickle person, but they were good.  I really don’t like carrots, but I figured I’d try them pickled and hope for the best.  Unfortunately I still don’t like carrots.  🙂

I had the Honey Chicken and Pickles sandwich, on a biscuit (of course) and served with (incredibly) cheesy grits.  I tried to take a picture of this sandwich but it was so massive it just didn’t work.  It was. SO. GOOD.  So unhealthy and delicious!!

From there we headed towards Central Park to do some walking and then finished out the day.  By that point I had started to feel my 4am wakeup.  (Alarm was set for 4:45 but my most favorite dog needed the bathroom at 4.  Thanks Minnie!)

Music I’m Enjoying

Joey Alexander – He’s a jazz musician at the whopping age of 12.  He was featured on 60 Minutes a few months ago and then performed at the Grammy’s on Monday.  I like to listen to jazz at work and he’s been my go-to ever since learning of him.

Cake By the Ocean by DNCE – This is a weird one for me.  I like this song but part of me doesn’t like that I like it.  I debuted it in a spin class on Tuesday and actually thought that it worked really well for class.  It reminds me of the Scissor Sisters for some reason.  Going to check out the rest of the album.

Sugar by Robin Schulz – I love the original of this song and am totally feeling this version.  It makes me happy and makes me want to dance (or bop).

Food

Healthy Chicken Marsala – I was tasked with dinner yesterday and was told I should find a healthy chicken marsala recipe.  Found this recipe on the interwebs and while we did tweak it a bit, it was quite good as is.  It’s from a cookbook called The Skinny Taste Cookbook which I’m going to check out.

So that’s about it here.  I got an email that the half-marathon is one month away.  Yikes!  I’m nervous but i’ve also changed how i’m mentally approaching the half.  Originally my plan was to train hard and have a great race.  Given the health issues I’ve been dealing with, I’m now considering it more of a training run.  If it goes well, great, if not, it’s just to prepare me for the Fairfield Half, which is in late June (and I need to sign up for).

Have a lovely weekend!

Any songs you’re currently loving?  

Have you ever been to a live or pre-recorded TV taping?  Not proud of these, but I’ve also been to Springer and the Steve Wilkos show, as well as the Daily Show when Jon Stewart was hosting.

An Easy Soup Recipe

Last Wednesday night I was going to be stuck in the house on dog duty (missing out on my beloved book club), and I wanted soup.

I could stop at the supermarket on my way home, but it had to be QUICK.

I put up a post on Facebook asking for soup favorites and got some great suggestions.  I was specifically looking for something easy and quick with not too many ingredients.

My friend posted the Southwestern Chicken Soup from Real Simple.

Boy was it simple.  So I made my four ingredient shopping list and off I went.

soup

What good is a photo of soup without a TV remote control?

INGREDIENTS

  1. 12-ounce jar salsa verde (my jar was 16 ounces and I used it all)
  2. cups cooked chicken pieces (I used a rotisserie chicken)
  3. 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained
  4. cups chicken broth (I ended up using 4 cups)
  5. 2 green onions, chopped
  6. 1/2cup sour cream
  7. tortilla chips (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Empty the salsa into a large saucepan. Cook for 2 minutes over medium-high heat, then add the chicken, beans, and broth. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Top each bowl with a sprinkling of onions, a dollop of sour cream, and some tortilla chips (if desired). For a soupier dish, use 4 cups of broth.

 

Seriously, that’s it!   I will say that the quality of this soup depends greatly on the quality of the ingredients you use (because there are so few).  Unfortunately my supermarket seemed to only have one type of Salsa Verde, and it was by ChiChi’s, probably my last choice.  But I went with it.

I used Greek yogurt in place of sour cream, and in the future I may not make that choice again.  And while it was good that night, I found that it was better a couple of days later.

Also note that I had to add some salt.  My friend suggested adding some lime juice, which might be good as well.

It’s easy and healthy to boot!

Do you have a favorite soup recipe?  If so, please share.  My favorite is of course Lasagna Soup.