Friday, May 28, 2010

I Love Lamp!

I wish I had more money, and more side tables.  I love beautiful lamps, but not only are they expensive, you can only have so many.  How's a girl to choose?!?!

Layla Grace has a beautiful selection of lighting options that I can drool over while imagining that I have $300 to spend on a lamp.


The natural tones and classic lines of this Anteriors Bookers Limed Wash Turned Lamp and Shade make me want to try it in my living room.

I love the urchin-y look and the silver interior of the shade in this Anteriors Bexley Aqua Glass Lamp

If you really want to really splurge, Jamie Young has a gorgeous line of lighting like this Lotus Chocolate Lamp Base.


The Luna Chocolate Table Lamp Base is another nice option, but I really love the accompanying Coffee Stripe Silk Drum Lampshade.


I'm posting this last Jamie Young option as an indulgence since it is so close to the first one, but I really just love this Spiral Sea Glass Lamp Base with the Medallion Cotton Wide Hourglass Lampshade.

On a side not, it's really hard for me to type "Jamie."  My fingers just naturally want to go in another direction.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My first attempt at Macarons


I first tried these tasty little sandwiches at Laduree in Paris (that sounds really fancy doesn't it!) a few years ago and I thought they were pretty amazing, but never, ever thought I could attempt to make them on my own.

My first encounter with macarons at Laduree in Paris.

Inspired again by my good friend Kate, I decided I was going to try it.  To be fair, I decided it a while ago, but it took me a while to get the ingredients and the time to do it.  So the last Saturday night after a delicious dinner with JT and Bryan I decided that we were going to do it!  I had made a pretty runny attempt at strawberry chocolate ganache earlier in the day.  It didn't turn out right texturally, but it tasted OK. 

It turns out that there are tons of recipes and lots of ways to make macarons.  After searching for a while on how to do it, I finally decided to try Kate's recipe from her class in NYC.  It had some pretty fun techniques and I had some help sifting from JT and with ideas from Bryan and they turned out pretty well.  I didn't want to dye them this time (I didn't want to alter the recipe after the ganache fiasco) so they aren't pretty, but they are were pretty delicious!  I ate them all.  Like all....


My first attempt:  Macarons with Strawberry Chocolate Ganache

I will be making these babies again.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lost: The Final Episode


Today I carried out a live media and total facebook boycott so as not to have the series finale of LOST spoiled.  And I'm SO glad I did.

I laughed, I cried, I did both at the same time.  I screamed, I wailed, I applauded, I pounded the couch, I scared the cat (and probably the husband as he was listening to all this from another room).  My eyes are still leaking and I'm still sniffling as I write this.  I literally think I'm dehydrated from watching this episode.

The final episode of LOST was by far the most intense 150 minutes of television I've ever seen in my life.  I really feel emotionally spent.  I don't think I could have been happier with the final episode of this epic (in oh, so many ways) show.  Although show doesn't seem like a strong enough word.  I now have to re-watch every episode from the beginning.  I wish I could experience the whole thing all over again for the first time.

That's all I can write without cheapening it.

Update:  For those with "Unanswered Question" Syndrom, this article is fantastic.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Product I wish I could use:

I love using a summer Saturday or Sunday to take a long bike ride but I always feel guilty leaving Kota behind while we're enjoying a beautiful day outside.


When I saw this on one of my blogs today I thought "how perfect!"  

Then I remembered who my dog is and how that would never work.  She'd either be trying to run away from it or would be pulling me rather than letting me do the work.  She's also totally out of shape so our "long" bike ride would be like 2 miles.  Oh well.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Standing is a Struggle Today...

WOD: 1-10-1-20-1-30 Deadlifts

Yesterday's WOD (Workout of the Day for those of you who are unitiniated in the CrossFit cult) about killed me.  In this WOD the single reps are pretty heavy and the sets of multiples are (supposed to be) unbroken.

I did a couple warm up reps and went straight to 275# for my first single.  It wasn't pretty.  My back isn't supposed to be round, it's supposed to be straight.  But I figured, "hey!  I got it off the ground, I'm good to go!"  So I did my set set of 10 at 225#.  I knew by rep 5 that it was too heavy for that many reps, but of course I had to keep going.

I knew 275# wasn't coming off the ground again so my next single was 265# followed by my set of 20 at 205#.  By this time I knew that bending over was going to be an issue tomorrow.  My last single came in around 245#.  Well, at least that was done.  But OMG, the set of 30.  OMG.  I think I started at 175# and had to go down to 155# after my second rep.  I don't think I would have gotten through it without some outstanding coaching by Mike.


185# Deadlift at the 2009 CrossFit Games Qualifier

Lessons learned: 
My glutes are not as sore as they should be.  When I'm doing reps rather than working towards a max I need to focus more on my form and using my glutes and hamstrings, keeping my back and abs tight, pushing my heels into the floor. 

I kept feeling like my extremities were all getting in the way of eachother.  I widened my grip and my stance and was able to work through the reps much faster and smoother.

I need to go into a WOD like this with more focus.  I had a really hard time keeping my core tight through it all.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I No Longer Just Covet:

Morrocan Oil




During last weeks trip to Manhattan, I finally picked up the Morrocan Oil I've been eying (without having to pay shipping I might add).  I've heard rave reviews about this stuff.  I've heard that it makes your hair silky, it makes your hair shiny, it makes your hair smooth, it even makes your hair dry faster.  


I was really excited to try it out so I washed my hair today, two days ahead of schedule.  Usually the day I wash my hair it is just an awful mess.  It's huge and kinda frizzy.  It just doesn't look good if I don't dry it.  So I put a small dab of the oil in my hair today and sprayed it with the shimmer shine.  I promptly jumped in the Jeep, hair soaking wet for an exciting drive to Costco.  My hair DID in fact dry pretty quickly, even taking the windy drive into account.  Other than the top down drive, I treated as I normally do.  That is to say I put it in (and out, and in and out of) a loose bun and let it air dry.  When it was dry and and brushed my hair was in fact silky and shiny and smooth.


I give Morrocan Oil an A+!  At least for day one, the verdict is out for days three and four.

Day four update:  Still silky.  My hair is not at all oily or greasy as I was concerned it would be.  It got a little frizzy, but I didn't refresh it at all while I was in humid, humid Tampa.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Currently Reading:

The Dark Tower IV:  Wizard and Glass
Stephen King


Still following the story of Roland and his ka-tet.  This one seems to be mostly focused on Roland in his youth.

Last Days of Freedom

I spent my last days pre-work freedom with my lovely sister, Jessica and great friend, Kate in New York. I had a great time, but only wish it could have lasted longer.

I arrived via Megabus on Thursday, and after a long walk after getting off at the wrong Subway stop (who would think there would be a 51st street stop after a stop at 50th st, not me apparently.  I didn't realize that the distance between those stops takes you across town), I was on my way!

My first stop was Union Square, I was intending to walk and shop the high teens but I decided to keep walking and stumbled upon this New York City landmark.  I loved the walking through the square with people who were taking a break from there day and local artists displaying and selling their wares.

Next I headed over to meet with Kate at the Rebecca Minkoff sample sale.  There were some beautiful bags for sale but I showed restraint.  I'm very proud of myself!  I can't say the same for Kate, however who scored the "Morning After Mini" she had been lusting over on her third visit to the sale.


After a quick pizza stop for me, we met up with Jess at a store opening on the Upper West Side and finally headed to dinner at Fatty Crab, which I had been hearing about for ever.  Fatty Crab is a laid back, Malaysian inspired restaurant with cute, scruffy waiters and spicy food.  We shared steamed pork buns, mango salad, Lo Si Fun with tofu and Nasi Lemak.  Yum!
 Nasi Lemak at Fatty Crab

I had requested Kate to provide me with a food itinerary for my solo day on Friday.  The morning started out with a stop at Clinton Street Baking Company.  I got there a little late, not expecting it to be a problem since it was a week day after all.  I was wrong.  After about a 40 minute wait I was seated!  Yes!  I was told that I had to order the pancakes, I had no option.  That was fine with me as I LOVE pancakes.  I also ordered a side of eggs for some protein to get me through the day.  I plowed through the scrambled eggs, which was a much larger portion than expected.  Then it was on to the pancakes.  Oh, the pancakes.  Let me just say that it was worth the wait.  I got the banana nut version and they were amazing.  They were light and fluffy and delicious.  Clinton Street Baking doesn't serve syrup.  Instead they serve pancakes with a warm maple butter that is just amazing.  I now want to go to New York in February for Pancake month and eat every meal here.
Clinton Street Baking Company Banana Nut Pancakes


I spent most of the day walking around SoHo, got a haircut, nothing too exciting.  When I finally realized what time it was I found that I was almost out of time for Arepas at Caracas!  New York has so many food experiences to offer that I rarely want to repeat any.  I usually want to try something new.  This is one of the first meals I've put on repeat.  An arepa is basically a cornmeal patty stuffed with deliciousness.  I got the La Del Gato, plaintain, cheese and avacado.  Oh my goodness.  A-Mazing.
My La Del Gato Arepa and Jess's custom Creation at Caracas Arepa Bar.


Jess and I headed over to Tokio 7, an upscale thrift store which I would love to spend more time in with more money to spend.  I had my celebrity sighting while I was there when I spotted Jennifer Carpenter from "Dexter."  It seemed out of place so I was unsure until Kate confirmed that she and her husband, Michael C. Hall (Dexter of "Dexter") live in that neighborhood.


We then went back to Union Square to visit the new Nordstrom Rack before meeting up with Emily and Jesse for dinner at Cafe Mogador, a mediterranean restaurant with amazing falafel and grilled cheese.  Not grilled cheese as in the sandwich, grilled cheese as in slices of cheese thrown on a grill.  What?  That's right, folks, cheese that didn't melt, but got warm, and chewy with a bit of a caramelized crust when thrown on the grill.  Yeah.  The foodgasm ended with vegan ice cream at Lula's Sweet Apothecary.  I don't know what their secret is (I hear its something about soy and/or cashews), but you would NEVER know that this ice cream (I got caramel popcorn) is vegan.  It's still very smooth and creamy and tastes just like the ice cream we're all used to.


Finally, it was time to leave and say a sad farewell to New York (at least for a few weeks).  We loaded up the trailer with Jess's (my new?) patio furniture and were on our way home.  Did I not mention that was the nominal purpose of my trip?  I now have a new patio set.  Now if only I had a deck to put it on....
My new patio furniture in it's (hopefully very) temporary home.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I'm going to miss these days.


I took advantage of the beautiful morning to take a bike ride along the Mount Vernon TrailI didn't go far, only about 7 miles round trip or so, but it was really nice to have the ability to take advantage of the weather this morning.  Weekends on the trail are a bit - shall we say - crowded.  On this wonderful weekday morning the trail was relatively empty.  If I was an awesome biker I would have been flying.  As it is, I'm only mediocre so it gave me a second to catch my breath at the top of the hills anyway.

Kota was so upset when I left for my bike ride that I was guilted into taking her for a walk when I got home knowing exactly where it would lead.  We walked to the dog park so I could throw the ball to her a few times before she decided that she'd rather just sit down in the gravel by me - just as suspected.


I'm looking forward to my trip to NYC tomorrow.  Rebecca Minkoff Sample Sale here I come!  I really like having my whole day to do with as I please.

WOD: 1RM Squat Cleans

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My 155# 1RM Squat Clean on May 11, 2010

I maxed at 155# yesterday. I think that's my existing SQUAT clean PR. Somehow I can power clean more than I can squat clean with a 1 RM of 160# power clean. I got under 160# a few times yesterday, but I couldn't get out of the stinking squat. Then I started getting tired (and getting brain farts) and couldn't even get under it. I think I lose the tightness in my core and then just can't bounce out of the bottom. I'm happy to have made 155# on the squishy mats, but still pretty frustrated by the elusive 160# squat clean.

After it was clear that I would not be getting 160#, I decided to work off the frustration (and kill the time waiting to meet up with Emily for dinner) by doing the one armed bandit WOD of the day for those of us that can only use one of our arms. So I did 5 rounds:
Lunges around the perimeter of the room (around 46)
15 35# Kettlebell Swings
20 AbMat Situps
25 Body Weight Squats

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Currently Reading:

The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands by Stephen King

After plowing through the first two, I'm eagerly anticipating the next moves of the ka-tet.

Hello and Welcome!




Hello and welcome to my brand-spankin-new blog! I'm not a writer so bear with me. I'm planning on blogging about a whole variety of things I do with my life (but likely not work). I plan on talking about working out, riding, travel, reading, cooking and baking, shopping, pets, home improvements... basically just my life in general.

I live in Alexandria, VA with my wonderful, wonderful husband, my neurotic dog and my crazy cat. I have a fantastic family and awesome friends who inspire me (ok, fine, and who I sometimes outright SWF - I'm looking at you Kate and Jess) and who will probably be making appearances here. I'll try to update regularly. Happy reading!

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