Thursday, December 31, 2009

Your favorite moment of 2009?

Chrissy at Glamour's Storked got me reminiscing on 2009. Since I'm in Rose Bowl central, it doesn't really feel like New Year's Eve, but all the same I'm enjoying it.

My favorite moment of 2009 happened early on in the year. Jan. 1st, in fact. It was an early morning after a fun night of drinks with the runners. Bleary eyed and dehydrated, I woke up on the couch at a friend's house. The manfriend got up to leave around 8am saying he had to go let his dog out. He asked for my phone number, kissed me goodbye and said he would call soon.

Being me, I wasn't positive I'd hear from him. But sure enough, the next day (and conveniently my birthday) I was lounging in a comfy chair in Borders reading a book and writing in my journal when I got a text from him. Shortly after, a date was confirmed for a few nights later and the rest was history.

Tell me, what was your favorite moment or memory from 2009?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Rain in So Cal freaks drivers out

Last night we had a staff dinner at Mastro's Steakhouse, which was hands down one of the best meals I've had in a long time. Although I'm not much of a red meat eater, I enjoyed the smells from everyone's plate. I ordered the warm spinach salad and snapper. The whole table shared sides of creamed corn, broccolli, marinated mushrooms (yum), lobster mashed potatoes (super yum), garlic mashed, etc. By the end of the night I was totally stuffed. But leave it to us to order a few desserts for the table.

When this thing showed up, it was impossible to pass up a few bites.

And the courtyard across the street from the restaurant was too pretty to pass by without a photo.

I had a hell of a time finding my way back to my hotel that night thanks to the non existent GPS in my rental car. UGH! But I finally figured out a street that would take me all the way back home and hopped on it. After a lot of stress and a few tears, I was at my hotel, chatted with the man friend, did some yoga and went to bed. This girl is definitely good at big city driving, but not knowing where you're going can get really stressful and frustrating at times. I just wanted to be in bed and I kept circling around the same blocks not being able to find the on ramp to the highway I needed.

I was determined to make today a better day. This morning, after hearingEat Live Run's Jenna rave about this guy, I finally tried a Dave Farmar (free!) yoga podcast for the first time! I did a 60 min class in my hotel room and it was awesome. I do have to admit that yoga on slippery hotel carpet isn't quite as good as on my pink Gaiam yoga mat, but it worked and I felt really good afterward.

So, I headed downstairs to the gym to get the heart pumping. I did 22 minutes of treadmill time, 7 of it walking at a decent incline and 15 at a steady clip of 6.5-7.2 mph. Then I hopped in the unusually large hotel pool for a little dip, then on to the hot tub and steam room. Why? Cuz I could! Plus, I have a nagging sore throat and steam always seems good for a nose/throat issue.

After getting ready and grabbing breakfast, it was on to the duties of the day. We spent some time at the Santa Monica Pier in the drizzle.






Then we admired cool light fixtures in the awesome vegeterian restaurant, Real Food Daily, we went to for lunch. I had Mexico City tofu tacos...delish!


Does anyone else feel weird about asking someone to take your photo if you're traveling by yourself or with coworkers? I'm a photo junky and feel like I always have to explain myself when pulling out the camera.

After a few more hours of workish things, we were done for the day and I headed off to meet up with a college friend I haven't seen since we ran the San Diego Marathon together back in 2007! It was so good to reconnect. Now it's time for bed and hopefully recharging the energy levels. Gnight!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Looking toward 2010 and a few new goals

This year, I thought about the new year a little earlier than some. Say, a week or two earlier. Usually, I think "Hey, it's Jan. 1st! I guess I better figure out some resolutions." Well, after running a 1/2 marathon (now 8+) and then a full (or four) and have achieved a goal level of fitness and maintained an healthy weight for three years, I have to think a little more about what these resolutions might be.

So, this year I've decided I will strive to...

1. strengthen friendships, maybe even make some new ones, and reach out more often to the great people in my life

2. cook my way through my Splendid Table cookbook (the recipes that sound appetizing anyway).

3. continue working toward overall body strength (not just running strength), which includes core work, variety of exercises, running, yoga and strength training (and plenty of sleep). So far, this newish method (to me) seems to be working well in keeping my body strong AND uninjured.

4. bust out a little more creativity and thought into my blog. What does that mean? It means I want to spend a little more time preparing blog posts, thinking about what I'm going to write, posting photos, and getting creative to bring you fun new content that keeps me excited about writing and you excited to read it.

Cheers to you and a fabulous 2010! I'm off to Pasadena tomorrow for a week of Rose Bowl action! I'll try to check in when/if I can. I'll be there for work (but fun work) so I'm sure I'll be running my rear off doing all kinds of crazy things.

And in case you're wondering who you should root for...it's the Ducks! Those Buckeyes are going down.

A few tidbits of information about the University of Oregon (and some of its famous alums) that you might not know...

1. NBC Today Show news anchor Ann Curry '78 hails from the UO journalism department
2. Ann Bancroft '81 was the first woman to ski and windsail across Antarctica
3. Author Ken Kesey of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" is a UO graduate
4. The cartoon Stone Soup comes from UO alum Jan Eliot
5. Animal House was filmed on the University of Oregon campus
6. Nike's elite running coach Alberto Salazar '81 (also a graduate of the UO) won the NYC marathon three times
7. Ahmad Rashad '72 carried the football for the Ducks for 2,306 yards and 131 receptions during his college career

Thursday, December 24, 2009

What did you not know before blogging?

A short, but fun little post for Christmas eve. I woke up at 3:30 am this morning and couldn't go back to sleep. So, I got up, wrapped a few final gifts, wrote a grocery list for the quiche I need to make tonight, gave myself an at home Dr. Scholl's foot spa pedicure, read a bit of A Homemade Life, got inspired by my Splendid Table cookbook, and finally hopped on the bike trainer for 30 min.

During my four hours of extra time this early morning, I thought about all the things I didn't know about prior to blogging.

So, here goes. Before starting Sassy Molassy, I didn't know...

1. what in the world a "green monster smoothie" was
2. that near empty almond (or peanut) butter jars make for an amazing bowl of oatmeal
3. that so many other 20 & 30 somethings enjoy two commonalities: running and preparing/eating seriously good food
4. that I'd ever consider traveling to meet up with someone I've never met in person before
5. how fascinated we are with the details of other peoples' lives
6. that one could blog as their J-O-B
7. that they then could receive a book deal from said blog

Okay, your turn to add to the list! What did you now know before hopping into the blogosphere? Merry almost Christmas to all of you celebrating!

Okay, the exhaustion is starting to kick in. Just a 1/2 day at work and then I have a tempo workout, groceries and chores to do!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cccccrunch time (and peanut butter blossoms)!

It's that time again...presents frantically being wrapped/purchased, goodies to be baked, festive outfits assembled, hot cider to be mulled, and cheer to be passed around! Last night I had my first dose of the crunch. This is the first year I've been so prepared and I'm not sure why. It may be in part that I decided to pass on doing xmas cards this year and I set a small budget for each person I was buying for. Once that was reached, I was done. It worked not only for my wallet, but saved time!

But last night I stayed up late finishing a little craft project I've neglected for way too long. This isn't your standard holiday themed decoupaging or button wreaths, but rather a wedding album I had intended to finish for a friend two summers ago...when she got married. I know, EEKS! Needless to say, it was high time I got that puppy finished and outta my hands.

Since tonight is our Christmas get together with the high school gang, I decided this was a perfect time to SET a deadline. So I printed photos a few weeks ago and spent a few final hours on it last night. I'm sure she'll be happy to have the album. Better late than never, eh?! The cool thing about it is that I included photos from their childhoods through meeting each other in college, the engagement, and finally the wedding weekend festivities.

I nearly forgot to tell you that I also baked a nice batch of peanut butter blossoms. I'll link to last year's photo since that's pretty much what they looked like! These things are delicious! I can't wait to give them away. :)

Per the usual, there's (almost) never an excuse for not getting in a good workout! Yesterday, it was a 30 min run before work and then 75 min of yoga after work. This morning, I woke up at 6:30 to fit in a short (17 min) run with the dog and then hopped straight on the trainer (for my bike) for another 23 min sweat session. Now I'm just trying to figure out how I'll fit in that speed workout our coach has assigned us, prior to going to work tomorrow. Maybe I'll wait and do it in the afternoon. We'll see! Happy Christmas/New Year preparations!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Looking back on the resolutions of 2009

Last December, I made a few resolutions. Some, I accomplished more or less, and others I didn't. I'm okay with it. Life happens.

Here it is straight from last year's New Year New You post...
1. Say yes/being open to more opportunities (Have you read Yes Man by Danny Wallace? If not, you can now watch the movie.) *This is probably the biggest one for me because ultimately it means being open to guys I'm not originally interested, letting people know me better, making more of a concerted effort to be outgoing and talk to people, doing things that might have me scared shitless (moving to a big city and leaving my friends behind) so I learn something new and expand my horizons.
2. Consolidate and simplify some areas of my life while saying yes to more (does that make sense?)
3. Stop biting fingernails (i do this when i'm stressed, bored, frustrated)
4. Move on, get new job, figure out the whole grad school thing (if i'm going, where i want to go, what degree i'm seeking)
5. Get 8 hours of sleep a night
6. Focus on finances, specifically curb impulse buying and decide i don't need everything i love


Looking over this lovely little list, I noticed that I accomplished #1 in a very big fashion, but also regressed in this area in other fashions. How so? Well, I opened up big time to a man. This was monumental really. My trust in men prior to the manfriend was lacking. I not only opened up, but allowed myself the opportunity to be vulnerable and gain something fabulous in return.

As comfort with the relationship grew, my focus and time for friends decreased. I'm not proud of it, but it happened. The good thing is, I've noticed it and I want to improve. I'm looking to reach out and really spend time with my girlfriends again in the new year.

What else did I accomplish? I've been weeding through clothes and knick knacks trying to empty the stuff from my life that doesn't do me good. I've given bags of goods away to the local Goodwill and sold more recent items to a used clothing store. And then, somehow I find myself at the mall purchasing another item of clothing that I just have to have. ;) I'm also sleeping eight hours a night most nights, which has really made me much more functional in the morning AND able to get an early workout in right away.

As for those I'm still working on...the fingernails are still nubs. It's a busy stressful time around the office. I'm not moving on, life is good and I'm happy to have a job that has some great benefits. I am however, looking into grad school programs and taking some classes!

Finances are something I've been better at managing, but something I will consistently be working on. As a young professional moving out of that college garb of jeans and sweatshirts, it's tough to not see the opportunities in becoming more professional with those pieces I still don't have. For example, at the moment I'm constantly scouring for black or brown leather boots, another work jacket, black work shoes (comfy but modern and fun enough to wear for a night out with the girls), sweaters, layering pieces, a white button up...you get the idea. The list is long and it never ends. I have however found appreciation and inspiration (from Academic Chic and What I Wore for getting more creative and not insisting that things must be new or expensive to create a great look.

Let's kick off 2010 right. What are your aspirations for the new year? How will you make sure they happen?

My weekend was fun and relaxing! The snow wasn't as abundant as we expected, but we did enjoy the hot tub, go ice skating (i fell once very hard on my right knee-ouch and manfriend skated for the first time ever), play several board games, have mimosas, catch up with a college friend who just moved to Central Oregon, enjoy pulled pork sandwiches from the crockpot, and have a nice wet run. I can't believe this week is Christmas, but I'm happy it is!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Running...it's been a while.

Due to a little cold that caught up with me last Saturday or so, I hadn't run for nearly a week! In the running world, that feels like a VERY long time. To the legs, it wasn't so bad, but I took it easy.

Playing it safe, I stayed indoors this Wednesday for 45 minutes of serious spinning. I even brought my own Shimano cycling shoes to clip in to the bike pedals! If I can't ride outside, I might as well get a good workout inside. Afterward, I hit the weights for about 15 min and did some stretching.

Last night, feeling mostly healthy and rested, I met up with the group for some running. I of course planned on not doing the speed workout and sticking with easy laps around the track. Instead, I did a nice 15 min warm up, a second 10 min warm up, 4x100m strides and then got sucked into most of the workout.

With legs that weren't feeling super strong, I decided to take the intervals at a nice clip, but not my 5k pace as instructed. I maintained a 7:40-7:45 pace most of the workout without feeling depleted by the end.

The workout: 1600m (90 sec rest), 800m (90 sec rest), 800m (90 sec rest), 400m (90 sec rest) followed by another 15 min of easy running.

I can't say the legs aren't feeling it this morning (I clearly need to do some stretching), but the workout really kicked up my furnace. I grabbed a chicken burrito at one of my favorite organic restaurants in town and then had a few drinks with the runners. In the middle of the night my stomach was famished and I was pleased to see these legs and lungs were back!

I did an easy 24 min run with the dog this morning, I have a half day at work and then will pack and head for the mountains with the man! We're off to meet my family at a cabin my parents rented for the weekend. I'm super excited! I see snow, hot tubs, good meals and a few drinks in my future. What are your plans?

Are you a snow person (i.e. do you like to snowmobile, ski, snowshoe?) or do you prefer looking at it from your window? I like a little of both. Snuggling up by the fire with some hot cocoa isn't half bad, but I love getting a great workout in the snow too. Last winter it snowed big time for Oregon a few days and I went on an awesome 10 mile run. The ipod bit the dust in the moisture, but it was worth every mile!

Happy weekend everyone!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sit still when sick?

I don't know about you, but I have a very hard time sitting still when I'm sick. Even if I'm "not going to work sick." This weekend (and today), I have a little cold, stuffy nose, headache and sore throat action going on.

Trying not to push it, I didn't do ANYTHING what-so-ever strenuous this weekend. I took the dog on a few walks, walked around the dog park, and did some gentle yoga. But today, I couldn't take it.

I tweeted about this earlier today, but I'm curious as to how many of you work out when you're sick? And when are you too sick to workout?

I headed to the gym for a late lunch hour workout and an easy session on the bike. I hopped on to the spinner and began slowly cranking up the resistance. After 30 min of spinning, I cooled down, walked around the indoor track for a few, stretched, did a set of push ups and called it a day.

Now I'm trying to duck out of the office for a little walk with the running group. What I have noticed however, is that even though I'm showing restraint by not running (and pulling all that cold air into my lungs), I do need to bundle up for my slower pace.

Ok, I'm outta here! Planning on night #2 of an easy appetizer meal full of: carrots, sliced apple, crackers, brie, pepperjack cheese, salami and salsa. I love these nearly no prep meals, especially when I'm not feeling 100%.

PS-Anyone else participating in a blogger cookie/ornament exchange this year? I participated in Batter Splattered's last year and it was so much fun to receive my package AND to make one for someone else. I think I missed the boat this year. Busyness and life got in the way.

A Day with Nature

Before the Christmas tree adventure, I mentioned a hike/walk. A walk in which we got a little picture crazy. What can I say, it was a beautiful day and we were having fun!

There were bundled up boyfriends...

There were fabulous old signs...


There were old barns

and a nice flat walking trail


There were cool photos...

There were uniquely growing trees...

There were too many layers and nerdy looks...

And then there was a pushup contest, which I lost...barely


Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Christmas Tree

A few weekends ago, the man and I headed out into the great outdoors for a hike and a Christmas tree. After a nice hike, hot springs and driving, we arrived at a local family farm and selected a Christmas tree. I've been meaning to post these for a while, so here goes.

Searching for a lovely pre-cut tree (yep, we were lazy like that)

Then took a stroll through the still living ones...

Peeking around the tree!

Whoa, close up!

Man friend happy to have a tree this Christmas!






The past few years I've missed having a tree so it's very nice to have our own this year. Man friend isn't going home to the midwest for the holidays so he appreciates having a little holiday cheer around the house. Not to mention the fact that I'm playing Bing, Mariah and Chipmunks' Christmas cd's. What's your favorite holiday music? Do you have Christmas decorations up yet?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lemon Rosemary Buttons

Last night after a nice return to my boot camp class (I was rocking the running/sprinting in place and weights portions of class), I came home and fixed myself a nice little bean/cheese/tomato/spinach quesadilla. Then it was time to get down to business!

With so many new cookie recipes filling my cookbook these days, I'm on a mission to try several of these out before Christmas arrives. So last night, I tackled these guys. I was attracted to them by the rosemary, which is not often an ingredient in a cookie. But I trusted Sunset wouldn't lead their readers astray.

First the flour, sugar, salt, zest of lemon and chopped rosemary. Doesn't it look pretty? I love the color combo! Kind of Ducky if I do say so myself. ;)

Next, I was supposed to use a cookie cutter before baking the shortbread. But I think I mixed the butter/flour/sugar combo too much and it just didn't want to stick together, therefore making the cookie cutters IMPOSSIBLE to use.

In a pinch, I decided to just bake a flat sheet of the shortbread and use the cookie cutters as soon as I popped it out of the oven. Worked pretty good in my opinion. The glaze was a mix of powdered sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice. I love the finished look topped with a sprig of rosemary!

All packed up to be shipped to my grandma!


While mine didn't turn out as lovely as Sunset's (they never do), they taste absolutely divine! Bake these immediately and send to a good friend or loved one. You won't regret it. Happy holiday baking!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Book nerd review

Body Broken, a memoir by Lynne Greenberg

I picked this off the shelves when I was looking for a few other good books at my local library. I'm also in the midst of Pride and Prejudice, but this one is due this week er, yesterday so I've been busting my rear to finish it.

Within the first 30 pages, the main character gets in a serious car accident at the age of 19. She breaks her neck and doctors miraculously find that it all heals properly. After going on with her life, getting married and having two children, one day she suddenly feels a twinge in her neck. The pain spirals downhill from there and leaves her nearly bedridden, damaging her relationships with her husband and children as well as her career as a college professor.

I won't give it all away, but things begin to look up. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone. The next memoir on my list is A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. Has anyone read this, besides my girl Siri?

And I don't know about anyone else, but temps in the NW are beyond freezing. This morning it was 10 degrees when I walked the dog. Some of you midwesterners might be thinking "PSH! That's nothin'!" But here, it just does not happen. Last night's run was frigid. I was under dressed. My hands were ice, even with gloves on. It made me think "I can run in rain and snow, but I will NOT again run in 10 deg windy weather."

Friday, December 4, 2009

I love my ducks

It's official. We're off to Pasadena! Last night's game was crazy exciting and this girl got an early birthday present.



Well, it's a busy day around these parts. Good thing I got an early 30 min run in with the dog this morning! No time for a trip to the gym, much less a lunch break.

I'm headed off to Portland this evening with the man and his friend for a big cyclocross race tomorrow morning. We're staying at my brother's apartment, stopping by Hopworks brewery for packet pickup and dinner and then hitting the hay. Hope everyone has a fun weekend ahead!

PS-Want a few fun healthy meal/snack ideas to make for your favorite athlete (or even yourself)? I just got these recipes in my inbox from Active.com!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

workin' it in

Things are busy, busy, busy around these parts. Work is busy, tonight I'm attending a work event and tomorrow is a BIG college football game in these parts. Not only is it Civil War (Oregon Ducks vs. Oregon State Beavers), but it is also the deciding factor in who goes to the Rose Bowl to play against Ohio State on Jan. 1. And being that my birthday is Jan. 2, I'm really hoping for a nice little early birthday present of a win tomorrow night.

In the mean time, I've been staying fierce with these workouts. No slackin' here! Even if that does mean I had to get out of my snuggly bed earlier than desired this morning.

Monday I did a nice hard five miler with the group. Then yesterday, with plans to head to Costco after work with the man, I fit in a nice four mile treadmill run and 10 min on the elliptical during lunch.

A side note on Costco: some things there are a darn good bargain. However, I'd need a huge pantry or an army of children to feed in order to justify purchases of an eight pack of beans, two large jars of pb, 10 lb bags of sugar, etc. Regardless, it was fun wandering through the aisles. We did find: tillapia for fish tacos, some jumbo boxes of cereal, contact solution, a large salad mix, and a few other goodies.

This morning I hopped out of bed, had a quick bowl of cereal (I don't know about you, but I cannot workout in the am w/out a little food in the tummy), packed my lunch and headed to the gym. With just an hour to fit in a good workout, I jumped on the bike for a warm up, then hopped on the PreCor EFX trainer for 25 min of serious interval work. My legs were definitely feeling yesterday's workout. After another five minute bike session, I hit the weight room.

For a quick weight lifting routine that packed a punch, I did:
-5 sets of bench press (45lbs, 65lbs(3), 45lbs)
-3 sets of oblique twists w/ a 10lb weight
-3 sets of single leg squats on each leg (90lbs/leg)
-3 sets of double leg squats (140 lbs)
-1 set of incline back raises

I was impressed with my use of time. I had just 20 min to spare and this was a great routine because it targeted some major muscle groups and left me fatigued. What weight/cardio workouts do you stick to when you're looking to really challenge your body?