Sunday, February 28, 2010

Your Questions Answered

Overall, it was a successful weekend for sure! After the mouse disaster (Jonah Bell caught the mouse and I had to throw it away...yuck), I was on my way to Portland to see a few high school friends for the weekend. I took with me a yummy batch of oatmeal raisin cookies. Unfortunately, the friends weren't eating many sweets (one of them had given up sweets for lent), so I had a fair share to myself. ;)

Saturday morning, J and I headed out to theWildwood Trail for a 90 min hilly, muddy trail run. It was tough and pretty mucky, but we made it! I just hope I'll be ready for that 15.5 miler in four short weeks. After a shower and some fuel (homemade sandwich), we met up with T for a little shopping downtown.

I'm trying to be better about spending on clothes because let me tell you, I can get out of hand sometimes. We headed to Lululemon where I hoped to exchange some yoga pants I didn't love and get a new sports bra. Mission accomplished: I got a pair of their Groove Crops with a fun orange/pinkish waist band and a teal all sport bra. I'll be back in the near future with a product review for ya!

Next, we stopped at a few boutiques and then hit up Nordstrom so T could make an exchange. And being Miss Responsible, I walked out of Nordstrom with not a single purchase! My wallet was all the happier. We were all getting a little hungry so I suggested we walk around the corner to Flying Elephants Delicatessen where they have some gourmet eats...mouthwatering baked goods, fresh local salads, sandwiches, coffee, wine, soups, juices, etc. We all settled on salads. Mine had hazelnuts, gorgonzola cheese, grapes, apples and raspberry vinaigrette all on top of spinach.

Tired from all that shopping, we decided to call it a day and head back to J's house to watch a riveting game of curling, beer and homemade pizza for din din. This morning we were up early and went for an easyish 35 min trail run before taking the dogs and ourselves on a nice walk at this 1,000 acre park just out of town. Weather was in the high 50s and perfect for a nice stroll with the pups. This hint of sun is making me ready for serious shorts and flip flop weather!

And finally, your questions answered!

1. Are you from Oregon? If so, what area? And would you ever consider moving away?

Yes, I'm an Oregonian. Born halfway between Portland and Eugene. I've always been a Northwest girl. Although, I love love love the Northwest and how mild the weather is here (allowing you to do almost anything year round), I've definitely considered moving.

A few of my favorite places in the U.S. (that I've considered living in) include:

*San Francisco (the food, the winery, the scenery, big city living)
*Colorado (skiing, mountains, outdoorsy opportunities, laid back living)
*Nashville (I love the city, the people and country music.)
*Boston (never been there, it just holds a special place in my heart. I want to visit! And doesn't Michael Phelps live there? ;) )
*Chicago (the windy city stole my heart on two warm weekends. lake, running, biking, big city. i've yet to experience the wind and snow in Chi town.)

2. Have you always been a runner?
More or less. My mom shoved me out of the mini van crying in 4th grade to go to soccer practice and the rest was history. Turns out, I liked running and kicking the ball really hard (and the boys flirting with you on a coed team wasn't bad either). But really, I didn't get into running seriously until high school when one of my good friends, Jess, convinced me to run long distance with her. I wasn't fast by any means (8-8:30 pace), but we were constantly running hills and challenging runs that taught me a lot of mental strength. And coming in last during most high school meets didn't hurt either. :)

Then in college, I joined our club women's lacrosse team, which required a lot of sprinting and running (much like soccer, but in the air w/ sticks and small hard balls). The year after college, I saw an ad in Runner's World for the Country Music 1/2 Marathon and thought "I've always wanted to visit Nashville. I could train to run 13 miles. I should do it!" So I signed up, my mom took her first plane ride since she was 12 and I ran my first (of soon to be many) half marathons! Just six months later I ran my first full marathon in Portland, OR!

3. Have you ever lived outside of Oregon? If you moved to the East Coast, where would you go/why?

I've never lived outside of Oregon. Originally, I wanted to move FAR away from the west coast for NY. But it quickly became clear that the tuition and flights just to visit weren't quite in my parents' budget. So, I went to the UO just 45 min away from home. But far enough so the parents couldn't just drop on by my dorm to say hi!

Well, if I moved to the east coast I would want to go to Boston or DC, even though I've never been to either. I did visit NYC back in November 2006 when my friend Laura from college was interning for Kate Spade. Those six days there were absolutely amazing. The city was breathe taking. From the Brooklyn Bridge, to the orange, yellow and red leaves in Central Park, to the twinkle lights around the city, to the pure hustle and bustle of life, I was in awe. But I quickly realized that to live there and really enjoy what the city has to offer, you'd need some kind of amazing job or 10 roommates to maintain a shoebox sized apartment in Manhattan.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask them! It was fun answering. I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! I don't know about you, but I'm kind of glad the Olympics are over. While I really enjoyed it, it's hard not to be tied to the tube every night when you feel like you should be in the know on everything that's going on. Wow, February just flew by. I can't believe tomorrow is March 1!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Mouse on the loose and other Friday fun

It's been a busy day OFF so far. I made blueberry pancakes and organic bacon for the man this morning because I'm nice like that. Then I did 75 min of a Dave Farmar yoga podcast. I was only planning to do 30-45 min, but once you get going and you start feeling the burn, it's hard to stop. After a while, my arms and quads were really feeling it after so many chaturangas and side angle poses.

After checking the weather and realizing this rain was not going to stop, I gave up hopes to head out on the bike and went to the gym for a little aqua jogging. Thirty minutes of boredom later, my legs were tired and I hopped out. Next stop: grocery store for some baking necessities! I'm visiting some of my high school friends this weekend so I figured why not whip up something yummy?

On my way home, I promptly stopped by our local donut shop for a few donut holes and some awesome el cheapo coffee. Sometimes, you've just gotta give in to your cravings. And, what's a few donut holes gonna hurt?

On another note, I have to figure out how to trap a mouse. I'm not joking. Jonah Bell just found one and has been chasing it around. Unfortunately, she can't catch it and this girl just called the man screaming about a mouse running around the house. Moral of the story...Mouse: 1, Lauren: 0. I HATE RODENTS. Manfriend better have this situation taken care of by Sunday afternoon, if ya know what I mean!

Okay, hope everyone is having a fabulous Friday. Meanwhile, I'll be hopping around the house trying to get packed and do some baking with my new friend mousie on the loose. Y-U-C-K! So, in the spirit of what's running around my house right now, what is your absolutely least favorite animal? I despise any type of rodent, spider, or flying thing (birds and flying squirrels included).

Last night's beer tasting @ Oakshire Brewing Co. was a lot of fun. I even found a few new favorites (besides the Espresso Stout that I love so much), like the Amber and WaterShed IPA.

I love the graphic design of their labels! So fun and vibrant.

Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

And ode to feet?

I think feet are pretty ugly, well, my feet anyway. They're wide and callused (thanks to running). But I guess I shouldn't complain too much because they do get me around well enough in life. And, they afford me the excuse to get pedicures so I should probably stop complaining.

Alas, they're even uglier after ramming my foot against the dumb bells that were sitting next to my mat last night at boot camp. FAIL. I also slammed my elbow on the towel rack the other night after getting out of the shower. It's now bruised. I guess I need to slow down and pay attention a bit more.

Alas, I put them in pretty boots today to redeem myself. It's casual THURSDAY around these parts because I'm taking a vacation day tomorrow. Yeehaw! Sometimes you just need a vacation day.

Last night, our instructor went hard on the legs and abs, focusing less on the cardio portion. Whew, it was tough. Squats w/ weights, low fast squats w/out weights, lunge and reach w/ weights, power cleans w/ dumb get my drift. Then it was on to sit ups w/ weights behind the head, V sits to open and back, plank, push ups to side planks, 007's (hands clasped together, legs come from just off the ground to straight up and alternate which side of your legs your hands reach), etc.

Surprisingly, the abs and legs aren't TOO sore today, but I can feel them getting stronger! Just reminds me how much I need that class every week.

And, is one of these Top 40 Cheap Eats near you? There's only one listed that's in Oregon, but several in California, the midwest and east coast.

Do you own all of the Top 10 Accessories Every Woman Needs? I'm pretty sure I have everything other than the cuff...not a necessity for me. But I am on the lookout for more jewelry and fun stuff to accessorize with. Much cheaper to accessorize than to buy a whole new woredrobe! Where do you find your favorite pieces at? I'm a big fan of Target, but occasionally find things at a Macy's sale or Ann Taylor Loft.

Okay, back to work! Tonight I'm joining the manfriend and his cycling buddies for a beer tasting. A local brewery is sponsoring their team so I'm excited to taste some of my favorite brews. Espresso I come!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Give this girl maple flavored anything and she's happy!

It all started about a year ago or so when I first picked up a container of Nancy's lowfat maple yogurt. It's a locally made yogurt without any scary ingredients. Before the maple however, I'd been a raspberry or blueberry flavor only type of girl. Until, I met the maple. We just hit it off, ya know? Then, just a few weeks ago, I found a Brown Cow maple yogurt that was on sale and naturally, I had to pick some up.

Then, just two weeks ago I stopped by the gourmet grocery store during a sunny walk on my lunch hour and found this baby...Jason's maple flavored almond butter from Boulder, CO. Sign me up! Because of my affinity for maple, almond butter and Colorado, I had to have it.

At nearly $10, it wasn't cheap, but I have a feeling it's going to be worth it. I've yet to break the seal on this puppy however, because I have a few jars of a.b. that need to be emptied first.

And then of course, we have maple syrup. Give me real maple syrup any day over Aunt Jemima's or any other high fructose corn syrup version. The manfriend of course uses about 1/4 cup of syrup any time he eats pancakes or french toast so he's allowed nowhere near my $8/bottle goodness.

So there you have it, I have a serious love for maple. Is it just me or does everyone on the maple bandwagon?

Do you have a serious love for something foodie related that you're not sure everyone else has? If so, spill the beans! Not gonna lie, I am such a nerd that I got excited when I saw that Kath Eats Jason's maple a.b. as well! Okay, I digress.

You should know I successfully conquered Rest Tuesday #2 with no intense workouts! Halleluiah. I'm telling you, mentally it is the toughest thing to force myself not to do exactly what it wants to do. But the left foot hasn't been particularly pleased with me and I figure pounding the pavement every day is probably NOT the solution. Tonight: boot camp/sweat fest!

Thanks for your feedback yesterday. Everyone seems to have a different morning routine. I realize that if I were to wake up say around 6am, I might get out the door sooner, but I also value my sleep and enjoy being able to get as much as I can done around the house each morning. I guess that is the nature of having a job that doesn't require you to meet patients or have status meetings at 8am. And, I know if I have to be there at 8, I am capable of it.

I'll be answering your Ask Me Anything questions later this week, so feel free to send me any others you may have!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How much do you pack into your mornings?

I'm just curious. I mean, I don't have to be at work before 9 am most days (although I probably should be) AND I like to achieve a lot in my mornings. For example, today I woke up at 6:48 am. I put in the contacts, put on some pants and a sweatshirt and tennis shoes and grabbed the dog for a nice 20 min walk in the cold. We got back to the house, I started the coffee for the manfriend who has a much harder time with mornings.

Then, I did about 10 min of yoga, including plank and pushups before feeding the dog and hopping into the shower. After that, I grabbed the laundry from the dryer, switched the stuff in the washer to the dryer and got ready for work.

For breakfast, I made a green monster smoothie (ice cubes, spinach, oats, milk, yogurt, cinnamon & blueberries all blended). I watched the Dan Patrick Show while drinking my brrrr...freezing smoothie!

Then it was time to make a quick lunch and dry the hair and apply makeup. Before I knew it, it was 8:40 am and time to hit the road for work! It always amazes me how the time flies. What is your standard routine for the morning?

Monday, February 22, 2010

The weekend in review

Saturday, after a long work meeting for me, a 40 min run in the sun, and a 70 mile bike ride for the man, we took Jonah Bell to test out a new dog park with a nice view. She had a blast.

We quickly realized that this was the muddiest dog park around. So much for that $50 grooming bill I paid last week. She was a hot mess after tromping through the swampy grass and then laying down in this mud puddle to cool off. We rinsed her off, but she definitely smelled like wet dog on the ride home. Yuck!

Saturday I picked up a tub of this sweet stuff. The man loves Reeses pb cups (and anything peanut butter for that matter) so I knew this one would be a home run decision.

And it was. We both shared some while watching Food, Inc on Sat eve and the Olympics on Sun. Highly recommend Food, Inc. by the way! Opens your eyes to some crazy parts of the food industry. Take home message: buy local, organic and in season.

Yesterday, after we both got our exercise in (cycling for him, running for her), it was down to business! Remember that room we painted? Well, it was finally time to clean out the painting remnants and move in the furniture! It's amazing how exhausting cleaning up, mopping, moving a few pieces of furniture, cleaning windows (and the blinds) can be.

Sunday am, we woke up to 29 degree weather here in Oregon. K and I met at the running store for a long run. Neither of us felt 100%, but I had dreams of a 9 miler. K was kind enough to join me! There may have been several walking breaks, but it felt good to just get the mileage in even if we weren't speeding along. Sometimes you just gotta push through and make it happen no matter how ugly it feels. Anyone else have a tough LR this weekend? Any other questions for me? Your questions will be answered later this week.

And a big CONGRATS to my friend Siri at Transplanted Baker who gave birth to a beautiful baby boy last week! Pop on over to her page to see some adorable photos of Lasse! Siri Mom and I became good friends Freshman year in the dorms at college before she moved back to her home state of Minnesota to finish her college career.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Manfriend Makes Salad

Thursday night it was the man's turn to make dinner. Unless we go out to eat, Thurs nights will be his night to wow me in the kitchen. I came home after a hard workout to these lovely salads. Just what the body needs after a tough run!

Do notice the design. Manfriend put an extra special touch on mine to make it pretty.

Manfriend's salad

Sassy's salad

After such a healthy meal, it was time to bust out this Costco sized bag of chocolate chips.

Choc chip cookies, here we come! Didn't snap a photo of the finished product, but they must have been good bc the man ate all 25 or so of them in just a few days. I think I had a total of maybe four. Gotta love boys and their appetites!

And lastly, did you guys see this? The crash in the ski cross race where U.S. skier Daron Rahlves dislocates his hip midrace. Ouch!

I didn't see the US beat Canada in hockey, but I have been watching speed skating, ice dancing and ski cross. Fun stuff! I have to say, curling is the weirdest sport ever. Fri night was my first time actually seeing it played and all I could think was "really, they got to the Olympics?" Okay, I digress.

I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! It was sunny and in the 50s both Saturday and Sunday in Oregon! Love, love, loved it!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

These legs are pale.

I walked outside today in SHORTS at lunch because it just happens to be sunny and in the 50's here in Oregon. Not saying it was pretty (these legs are seriously pale), but I figured it couldn't hurt for Vitamin D consumption, know what I mean?! I walked myself right over to the gym, hopped on a bike for 10 min and then headed to the weight room for another 15.

Yesterday, I told you guys to do some weight lifting so I decided I should make use of that gym membership and pump some iron mid day! I've decided to hit the gym for a short weight session tomorrow as well because this girl needs to make sure she's getting her muscles where her money is. While I love not being tied to a machine, there's something splendid about walking into a place and sort of getting lost in time as you get your workout on.

I don't know about you, but sometimes I just need the opportunity to zone out and not think too much about what I'm doing after a long stressful day at work. Tonight however, is not one of those nights. Tonight, involves the SPEED workout in which I have to push myself mentally and physically.

On the agenda coach has us doing:
warm up, strides, 2 mile @ tempo pace, 3 min rest, 2 mile @ tempo pace 2x200 @ 10k pace with 60 sec rest, cool down. Ugh.

Okay, so I like these "Ask me anything" posts that are bouncing around the blogosphere so I'm taking part. What are you just dying to know about me, the dog, my marathon training, Oregon, my obsession with dri fit and designer jeans, etc? Go ahead, ask away!

And on that note, is there something you'd like to see from the blog? A certain kind of post, a review, recommendations? Thanks a million! And if you're on twitter and we've yet to connect, hit me up @laurenpeters. I love my tweeps!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Words for the Wise Wednesday

I'm at a loss for words really. It's one of those days I'd could whine about my dissatisfaction with work life, or blab about how my rest day went, or how the chili verde turned out, but really who cares?

I found a few things that might spike your fancy instead. I don't know about you, but I subscribe to a few running related newsletters that often give me great pointers or just reminders of things I already know. It never hurts to be reminded! It's like when your mom used to nag you about picking up your room, although a bit less irritating. ;)

First up, How Strength Training Helps Your Run! I've been neglecting the gym lately because I've chosen to focus more on boot camp and running, but I know I need to make the time to get in at least two strength training workouts in per week. And, my running will be better for it!

A few things good points from this article: "Runners often overlook strength training for the upper body, yet this conditioning can yield major gains in respiratory efficiency, core stability, and running economy...Most runners will benefit from two resistance train sessions per week, using dumbbells in a variety of ways...Similarly, while back exercises are certainly running-appropriate, remember to achieve muscle balance by training the muscles of the chest and shoulders, which provide opposite antagonistic actions to the muscles of the upper back."

Next up, The Best Natural Fuel For Runners! This is a great article because it gives you the time frame of when to eat (hours before, right before, during and after a run), what best to eat, and most importantly, why it's a great choice!

A few good points from this: "In fact, eating the right edibles is like flipping a switch that tells your body to run harder, faster and longer." For those of us who don't think much about what we're putting in our bodies pre or post run, it might be high time to start thinking!

"A 2009 Journal of Nutrition study reported that women with higher intakes of nutrient-packed whole grains have lower amounts of total body and abdominal fat." Congrats to all of us oatmeal, whole grain bread, pasta, rice, cereal eating women!

And, a few good articles about yoga. Are you incorporating yoga into your week? If not, are you making sure to stretch well after a run? I know I'm bad at stretching, but if I decide to follow a run with a little yoga, it's the perfect combination for what my body needs.

Is Yoga a Health-Enhancing Exercise? New Study Offers Resounding "Yes!" and Strike a Pose: Pair yoga with running to get stronger, sharper and less injury-prone.

And finally, 20% off J.Crew's final sale items! This is about the time of year I start dreaming of taking some Mexican vacation and coincidentally, begin browsing J.Crew for the latest bikinis, tanks and flip flops. It's been far too long since I've taken a real spring break vacation! Are you traveling somewhere sunny this spring?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Just another Sunday in the kitchen

Sunday morning after a late night at the beer fest, I woke up early to a gloomy forecast. I'd been needing an excuse to try Transplanted Baker's Jam Surprise Muffins of the Year and Valentine's morning was just that opportunity!

If you haven't seen her adorable chocolate Valentine's cupcakes, you must check them out! They are absolutely adorable. I love love love the pink frosting with sprinkles.

So, I whipped up the batter (replacing white sugar with brown sugar when realizing I was out) and began adding the jam! I used boysenberry and strawberry jams.

Then I plopped a little more batter on top and put them in the oven to wait for the surprise.

And, SURPRISE! What's the surprise? I think it's the jam popping out. Anywho, I grabbed these babies out of the oven and hit the road!

After Saturday's mudfest, I didn't believe I'd do much running Sunday. Although, as I've said before, once you get out there, the rest is easy. I put on the running capris and dri fit top and added gloves and a hat when I saw it was raining. D, K and I headed out chatting along. We got back to the running store with 7 mi in the bag.

And that's when I said, "I want to do another 2 mi" and they agreed! So, thanks to a few friends I got the 9 miler in.

After lots of errands, dog grooming, grocery shopping, etc, it was time to make the Valentine's Day feast. I won't take you through the specifics, but here are a few fun photos.

Beer (for the shrimp recipe) and my venti orange blossom Starbucks tea. Both huge!

Heart shaped Rice Krispy treats punched out by man friend!

Shrimp Thomas - a signature dish from man friend's father

Yum! Time to watch the Prefontaine movie, Without Limits. Definitely worth renting.

This is a dish I will definitely try again. It has such a great mix of flavors with its combination of butter, whipping cream, kahlua, green onions, beer and cumin. The hardest part is not overcooking the shrimp, which I did just slightly.

Anyone making something fun this week for dinner? I have a hard time finding time after work and run/workout to take on these recipes that fill my cookbook, but I'm declaring Tuesdays not only rest days, but also cooking days! After all, I've got to start working toward that resolution to use my Splendid Table cookbook this year!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

On the Day of Love

A few things I love ...

*the smell of fresh cut grass
*an enticing recipe
*hopping into bed with clean sheets
*a perfectly made xhot nf cinnamon dolce latte
*snuggling in a sweatshirt w/ a cup of hot cocoa on a dark, rainy day

*my girls (high school, college and beyond)

*a brand spankin new pair of pristine running shoes

*my down comforter with Pottery Barn duvet

*traveling beyond the US borders!

*Chocolove dark chocolate with raspberries (seriously, if you haven't tried it yet, you need to!)

*and of course, this guy!

What about you? Little or big, name a few things that make life just that much better. Have a fabulous V Day no matter how you're celebrating it!

Saturday, February 13, 2010


So, nine miles didn't happen today, but hey there's always tomorrow, right? We'll see...

Instead, I headed out on an easy three miles around the neighborhood. Then, I grabbed the dog, her leash and my goretex running shoes and headed for a little trail run. I guess I forgot how much it's been raining and how muddy that might make the trails. Luckily, I was armed with black shoes!

After the first mile section with a few swampy spots, Jonah Bell and I were both pretty well chalked with mud and my legs were tired. We took a little 3 min walk break and continued on our way. Coming to the switch back Mt. Bike portion of the trail, we came upon the worst of which was 4-5 inch icky sticky mud for as far as I could see. So, we turned around and went back the way we came.

After all was said and done, neither of us slid off the side of the trail and completed 47 min of swamp run/walking. I let Jonah Bell take a little dip in the creek to clean off some of the mud and we headed home to spray off these mud caked legs and shoes.

Thank goodness for these fabulous Goretex Nike's I won during the weekly Nike running group I used to attend! Every month someone would win a free pair of shoes. These babies saved my day for sure.

Then I took a quick shower, reheated some left over homemade bbq chicken pizza from last night and got prettied up to head to a friend's wedding.

Pink dress for Valentine's Day weekend! Plus, this was a steal I found at a little store called Jeremy's in Berkeley, CA where my friend Audrey is from. $10 for this pretty JCrew dress that actually fit!

Okay, we're outta here. Off to a brew fest with some friends! Happy (almost) Valentine's! I hope everyone had a fabulous Saturday!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Five Things Friday

1. I ate a burger this week. And it tasted really good. That's right, man friend and I went out for burger and a brew last night at new steakhouse we had yet to try. The burger was topped with bbq sauce, carmelized onions, and just a bit of cheese. I could feel the iron seeping into my bod after what was one of the hardest boot camp workouts yet. The vanilla porter I chose worked wonders with the bbq flavors. mm...M

2. Formspring. Buzz. No thank you. I don't need another time waster. Seriously, I was relieved when I could abandon myspace and not fall off the earth according to my friends. But between facebook, twitter and this blog, I have enough distractors in a day.

3. I'm making these babies for a fabulous little Valentine's Day dessert. Are you cooking/anything special for the day?

4. And on that note, even when I was sort of bah hum bug depressed about being single on Valentine's Day, I've always loved the holiday all the same. There's just something about a holiday that is celebrated by chocolate, flowers, lots of pink, hearts and just plain love.

5. I'm putting a long run (9 mi?) on the books this weekend. Might even mix in some moments of tempo in there.

Thursday's SPEED workout:
I bundled up in long pants, long tech shirt, vest and a Smartwool beanie. I headed out before the group run to get an easy 15 min run in. Then, I met up with the group for the warm up. Back at the track, my calves were feeling uber sore from Wednesday's boot camp (i.e. sprinting in place, jump squats and other crazy things).

So, after strides, I chose the short workout of 5 x 800s (approx 7 min pace/3:30 per 800m) with 2 min rest in between each one. I took it easy because that's what the bod asked for and did an easy cool down. By the end, the rain and wind had pretty well soaked me. This girl was very happy to get home to a warm shower and some easily boiled ravioli! Man friend even snagged two snack size (1 portion each) containers of Haagen Dazs. Carmel for him and strawberry for her.

*And on a side note, sometimes The Office is so random I can only think "Um, what just happened there??" I hope no one's office is really like all. Happy Friday everyone! I guess I should have really said Seven Things Fri bc that's what you ended up with. ;)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Oh sweet massage heaven...

Oh lord you guys, that massage was awesome. It was a first time for me visiting the Gervais Aveda salon and spa in town. The massage therapy place I normally go to is a little less fuss, but my therapist there gives an awesome deep tissue massage.

Yesterday's spa experience included a bathrobe and spa sandals, choosing my own essential oil (tangerine for me!), a fabulous hour long massage, and finally the choice of a hot shower or warm foot bath w/ warm neck compress. I chose the foot bath. What a nice way to complete a relaxing massage. My neck is feeling somewhat better, but still could use some work and stretching.

Have you had a spa experience? I almost felt guilty I was doing that on a work night, but it was great. I highly suggest getting a massage at a fussy place if you have the chance. And thanks to the manfriend, I didn't have to pay for the full shabang. I had a lovely little gift certif. that helped me swallow the bill a bit easier. ;)

Okay, time for a little book recap. I think I might have mentioned a while back that I was looking forward to reading Christine Coppa's Rattled! memoir. Well, I read it (couldn't really put it down several evenings) and really enjoyed it.

Since I love Chrissy's blog, I knew I'd love the book, but it was nice to dig a bit deeper into her journey of being storked at 26 and following her through her pregnancy and beyond. As I read pieces of it, I was taken back to posts I remember her writing as it was all happening. It's nice to have the full story.

And I have to say, my ideas on having a baby at what you might think is "the wrong time" has changed thanks to Chrissy's experience. We might think we have our plans and life's important events (marriage, baby, career, buying that 1st home) all mapped out, but when something comes along that doesn't quite fit the timeline, we shouldn't deny it. Sometimes, adjusting at letting life happen can return the greatest reward. I'm now on to Three Cups of Tea. What's on your night stand/book shelf right now?

If anyone would like me to mail you my copy of Rattled! just let me know in the comments! First come, first served.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mama needs a rest day!

Last night as I was running with the girls (at a faster than normal Monday pace), I kept telling myself "just a bit further. You can make it." Until, I stopped and walked for a bit. The bod was just not up to pushing it. K and I continued running at a slower clip while the other two girls kept up their speedyness.

So I declared today a rest day! After a 430 PM massage to work out the kinks left in this neck and just a nice opportunity to relax, I'll take myself home and maybe take the dog to the park, rather than heading off on a run or to the gym. Yippee!

Sometimes, you just gotta have a rest day. What day of the week do you usually schedule a rest? Do you do anything special to treat yourself on rest days? Personally, I revel in the few extra hours it leaves me in that day. Who knows, I might even start my new library book, Three Cups of Tea.

On The Bachelor: Did anyone else watch that craziness last night from Ali? I wanted Jake to really stand up and ask her not to leave, but you could tell from the first time she came to talk to him that she had in her mind already chosen a career over the possible love of her life.

Don't get me wrong, in this economy I don't blame the girl for sticking with something that's a for sure thimg rather than a 1 in 4 chance. But now that leaves us viewers to pick between Tenley, Gia and Vienna. I personally see Vienna as a bad match for Jake, but he sees something in her. Did you watch? What's your take on Ali's breakdown and decision? Who's your favorite contestant left? Mine would have to be Tenley bc Gia barely talks.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A New Coat of Paint

Since the roommate moved out, we had plans of painting the bedrooms to begin on a long list of to do projects. Tired after long rides (27 for me, 60 for him) yesterday, we made our way to Home Depot where we purchased a haystack yellow for one bedroom, Manhattan mist for the other, and popcorn white for the trim. Don't you just love the names of the paint?

Jonah watched the action from her bed. It was the best way to keep her (and her long black dog hair) away from the wet paint.

I caught her in a yawn!

Painting the trim! Contrary to the photo depiction, I did help a bit with the painting. I hand painted the yellow around the edges so he could roll away.

It is now my job to also paint the base boards white, since as he puts it, I'm little. Amazing what a fresh coat of paint will do!

I was excited to see the Saints win last night. Such an amazing thing for the city and for a team, whom everyone seemed to think would be losing. I just wish I could be in New Orleans for mardi gras this year!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Taco Friday and a Boot Purchase

Manfriend requested tacos for Friday's dinner, so we busted out the works! Tacos are fun to make and look at, to me anyway. I bought organic beef, but felt like I would have rather had chicken or ground turkey. I just prefer the taste. What about you?

Besides the health factor, I realized sometime during college that I just didn't enjoy the taste of beef (or most red meats for that matter) so I stick with turkey and chicken most of the time. Next time, back to what I know and love.

Friday afternoon in these parts was absolutely gorgeous and hovering in the low 60s. Luckily, I had taken the afternoon off to just get away from work and do some errands. I had a bachelorette gift to buy, library books to check out, a doc appt, an umbrella purchase, and some boot shopping to do. I wasn't going to get another winter go by without getting some new boots!

Just a peek...can you guess what these babies are??

That's right, I broke down and bought me some Frye Harness boots. Absolutely heaven.

Ok, well I'm off to a Super Bowl party with manfriend and the runners! I'm bringing seven layer dip! I guess I'm on a taco kick. Yummers.