Sunday, January 30, 2011

A French Feast

Sunday night already?  Where did the weekend go???? 

This morning I wanted something different for breakfast.  I decided on a breakfast wrap with chocolate peanut butter, ground almonds, and grilled banana.

I cooked the slices of banana in a little Earth Balance with a couple shakes of cinnamon.
Then wrapped it up in a flat out wrap.

This was actually pre-run fuel.  See how it kind of resembles my classic pre-run fuel of PB/banana/toast?  Today I went for my longest run since the marathon.  I did 4 miles at the trail with Michelle.  It went ok.  I  can tell I still have some left leg issues.  It felt good to get out there though.  We strategically parked at the opposite end of the trail from where we usually park in order to incorporate a trip to Yoforia into our trip.  I had a fruity mix of taro, pinapple, pomegranete, and cheesecake yogurt with fresh fruit toppings.  I ate quite the bowl full and it ended up being my lunch.

Today the temperatures were once again extremely warm in Charlotte.  We reached 70 degrees today!!  I even wore shorts and a t-shirt on my run!

Post run and yogurt, I headed home to do some cleaning and enjoy the weather.

Before I knew it, it was nearing 5pm and I had special dinner plans and needed to get ready.  I met a bunch of bloggers at George's Brasserie to take advantage of Charlotte Restaurant Week.  You may remember I did Restaurant Week over the summer with some friends too.  It happens twice a year in Charlotte.

I haven't been to many French restaurants, so this seemed like a great idea to me so I could expose myself to cuisine I don't have very often.
The restaurant was pretty fancy inside.

I met Kelly, Caitlin, Diana, Brittany, Heather, and Jackie for dinner.

We had a great time chatting it up as we checked out the menu.

It's always great dining with other bloggers so you don't feel like a tool whipping out your camera...

We enjoyed nibbling on crusty bread.

For restaurant week, you get three courses from a prix fixe menu. 

My choices:

First Course: Mixed green salad, with fried brie, apples, candied pecans, greens, and raspberry vinaigrette.

Second Course: Chicken Reisling with polenta cake, wine sauce, carrots, onion, and mushrooms.

Third Course: Chocolate Mousse

Everything was really delicious!

I had a great time with the girls.  It's always so fun to get together with like minded bloggers and see where the conversation goes :)

It was a wonderful Sunday and I wish I had another day off tomorrow so I could do it all again!

Warm Sunshine

Friday night it was fairy warm out, and I couldn't deny that I really wanted to run.  I headed out and did two miles, which I know is not much, but I personally have felt my body needed a gradual reintroduction to running since the marathon.  I'm happy to say that I felt pretty good, even though I had lost speed (haha, assuming I ever had any!).  I didn't want to do too much and also wanted to get in a walk with Clyde before it got dark so I stopped at 2 miles.

Back at the house I felt like a salad for dinner.  I assembed a salad with spinach, romaine, goat cheese, chick peas, tomato, and balsamic.

Then my sweet tooth kicked in and I decided to whip up a batch of Mama Pea's Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Balls.

Sooooooooooooo good :)

It was a nice relaxing Friday night.

Saturday brought crazy warmth and sunshine. 
I started the day with coffee.  Like my mug?

My friend Melanie sent me this for Christmas.  She shares my weird sense of humor...  :)

I thought I had this great idea- to cook egg with my leftover pasta from the other night.  It looked like quiche and I was excited to try it, but it was a serious breakfast fail.

I ended up with a bowl of Cinnamon Life cereal instead...

I got my hair cut and highlighted at Salon 42.  It was great to see my stylist, Brian.  I brought him some cookies and we caught up on life :)

After my appointment I headed home with the sunroof open!

I have to say, I feel really really bad for my Northeast friends who are buried in a couple feet of snow.  It feels like Spring in Charotte this weekend!

Once home I assembled a tuna wrap.  Tuna, plain yogurt, celery, pepper, lettuce, and tomato in a flat out wrap, with some multi grain tortilla chips.

I ate OUTSIDE on the deck!!

Ahhhh, I love this weather!

I took Clyde on a long walk after lunch.  About 3 miles.

I headed home to get ready for dinner.  I met two of my co-workers and their spouses for dinner at Jim and Nicks, a great BBQ place. 
Check out the temperature:

We actually met for dinner at 5:30pm- EARLY!  They both have little kids and are on the early dinner schedule.  I hadn't seen either of their kids in a while.  One is 16 months and has gotten so big!  She's talking a lot and her hair was in big tails!  The other is 6 months now.  The last time I saw her she was a week old now she's very expressive and aware.  So interesting!

My dinner went unphotographed, but I had BBQ tacos and a side salad.

I'm excited for another warm day today.  On the agenda?  Meeting my friend Michelle for a run and dinner with some bloggie friends tonight!  Stay tuned!


Friday, January 28, 2011

Things That Came In The Mail

Is there anything better than REAL non-junk mail?  I think not!  I get so tired of the same crappy junk mail every day that I love any fun mail that comes my way.  Lately I've gotten some cool stuff in the mail and I will share it with you.

Mail item #1 came two days before the marathon.  I came home to a box waiting for me.  Cue the excitement :)

I opened it to find this:

It's a water bottle from Lululemon that says, "I <3 Running" that my friend Alison sent me.  So sweet!  Thanks Alison!  Alison is a good friend of mine from DC and she ran her first marathon- The Marine Corps back in November.  We are planning a visit in March and I can't wait to see her :)

Mail item #2 came from Molly at I'm A Sleeper Baker.  She also ran her first marathon this fall and I really enjoy reading her blog.  She offered up some of these fun bumper stickers and I said, "Yes please!".  What a great mantra...

Thanks Molly!

Item #3 was this calendar I made on  I actually got a Groupon or Living Social deal for it.  Greg and I always see Dachshund calendars at book stores and consider buying them and then decide that we could make our own cute calender with pictures of Clyde.  Finally did it!

Item #4 was ordered after I finished the marathon and arrived yesterday.  I had seen these necklaces somewhere in the blog world and wanted one to display my marathon details, but didn't want to order one til I had successfully completed mine (superstitious??).  I ordered two necklaces from The Rusted Chain.

I ordered two so that I can give one to Michelle for being my training buddy and running the entire marathon with me.  I can't wait to give it to her :)

Have you gotten anything good in the mail lately??

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lost Routines

So, I still haven't had a successful run since the marathon.  I'm not really sweating it, because my marathoner friends tell me this is normal and it's only been about a week and a half.  I have no races on the agenda, and I know my has been body craving a break from running.  Still, a part of me wants to run again.  It's been such a big part of my life in the past year, it really feels weird not to run.  My second run attempt since the marathon was Monday while walking Clyde and it became obvious it wasn't happening.  Clyde was a little ball of energy and I started to "jog" with him and then felt all kinds of random aches and pains in assorted places in my legs.  I opted to walk instead.

I have to say, especially blog wise, I feel like I've kind of lost my muse.  I know I enjoy following marathon journeys on blogs as I'm sure a lot of you enjoyed following mine.  It's hard to know what else to share now that the marathon is over when that was sort of the "big event" in my life for a while.

While I do kind of miss running, I have channeled a lot of my running energy into yoga and love that I am rediscovering my love for it.  I have 22 classes paid for at my new studio and am looking forward to all of them.  I am always so tight and inflexible and really hope to change that.  Plus, it's just such a good combination of a workout and relaxation that I always leave feeling good.

I went to an hour and a half power flow class last night (with Jen) and it was tough, but awesome.  I tried doing a handstand against a wall and kind of crashed and burned, but at least I tried! 

Before I went to yoga I assembled this turkey sandwich on a croissant.

It had cheese, avocado, cilantro, and tomato on it and was yummy pre-yoga food.

Later after yoga I had a bowl of banana/peanut butter soft serve with chocolate sauce drizzled on it.   Nom nom :)

Ok, dog people, I have a situation to ask you about.  The weekend of my marathon I took Clyde to his doggie daycare for the weekend, since Greg and I would both be away and we needed a place for him to go.  He'd been a couple times before and once was overnight for one night, but this was definitely the longest he's been there.  All the other times went well- happy dog, happy people at doggie daycare, happy doggie parents.  We felt like we finally had a good place for him to go on the rare occasion we need to board him. 

Well, this time didn't go as well.  All seemed relatively normal when I picked him up that Sunday.  He smelled "like he'd been out of the nest" as my mom would say, so I bathed him when we got home, but by all accounts we went back to normal with our routine.  Until Tuesday.  He um, did #2 in the house!  He's been potty trained for at least 6 months now, so it came as sort of a shock to me, but I figured he may be off his routine from three days at daycare and kind of let it slide the ONE time.  A couple days go by and he did it AGAIN on Friday!  Again, I'm horrified, clean it up, yell at him, crate him for the day (it happened before I went to work), and try to be strict about his routine and taking him out often so he gets the message.  I'm thinking that's it.  Then he did it AGAIN yesterday!  It's weird!  I just don't know why he's so thrown from his routine.  Have you guys ever had this situation from boarding your dog?  I really like the place we take him to, but now I'm thinking we'll never be able to board him for a weekend again if we're going to have to RE-potty train him every time he goes there.  Ugh... frustrating!  I welcome your thoughts, feedback, stories, etc...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Black Bean Soup

Last night it was pretty drizzly here and all I wanted for dinner was soup.  I actually have a can of Amy's black bean soup, but since I was home, had the time, and tons of fresh ingredients, I decided to make my own.  I also figured it was about time I used one of my newest gadgets- my immersion hand blender!

Homemade Black Bean Soup
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1/4 green pepper, diced
1/2 Tablespoon chili powder (adjust depending on how much heat you like)
1/2 Tablespoon Cumin
1 about one can of stock (enough to cover beans/veggies in pot) (I used veggie)
1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
3-4 tablespoons of salsa
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped.
1 handful of spinach
Optional toppings: cheddar, plain yogurt, avocado

This recipe makes about two servings, so if you want more soup, double it.

Heat olive oil in medium pot over medium heat.
Add your diced onion and pepper.

Add your spices and cook til softened.

Stir occasionally.

Add stock and black beans.

Add salsa, cilantro, and spinach.

Cook/stir til everything is heated/wilted.

Then take your immersion blender and blend!  (you could probably use a regular blender if you don't have an immersion blender)  Cook a few more minutes and then top with cheese, avocado, and plain yogurt.

Mmmmm, sooooooo good.  I love black beans, and this soup was right on :)

I had a low key night in, kind of fighting a migraine :(  I watched "The House of Sand of Fog" on Netflix and cuddled the pup.  Wow, that movie was screwed up...

I'm about to update my Netflix que and I know there's a LOT I haven't seen.  Any recommendations??

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Stellar Sunday

I'm a little behind on posts here...  Ok, where were we?  Oh yeah I guess I left off with, Sunday!  Oh how I wish it were still Sunday, but alas, it's Tuesday.  Meh...

Anyway, on Sunday I convinced Greg to put down his books and be social and we met Kelly and our other friends Tim and Sarah at Crepe Cellar for lunch.

I've been to Crepe Cellar a couple other times and I think Kelly has been with me all of them.  It's one of her favorite places in Charlotte, and I have to concur with Kelly.  The food is sooooo good :)  I got a Living Social deal there a while back and was really itching to use it, so this was the perfect opportunity.  This was Greg's first time at Crepe Cellar and actually, his first time in NoDa a cute area on the north side of Charlotte.  Even though we've lived in Charlotte about 4 1/2 years now, he misses a lot of the fun because of his career, so there's still a bunch of stuff in Charlotte that Greg hasn't seen and done.  Or eaten at!

We were a little early, and Kelly was pretty much on time, but Sarah and Tim were a little late.  
To kill time we ordered pesto fries after Kelly mentioned how good they are.

And they were awesome...

For my meal I really wanted a crepe.  I'm definitely a "when in Rome" kinda girl a lot of the time.  If I'm at a place where a certain food is actually in the name of the restaurant, I'm going to try to order that food, as it's basically screaming out to me that it's their specialty.  I've actually had crepes every time I've been to Crepe Cellar, but it's not like I ever eat them anywhere else, so I still wanted them again this time.  
I ordered the spinach/mushroom crepes.

My hubby is not one of those people who loves to share food, but luckily Kelly was flying solo and jumped at the chance to share two different crepes with me.  She ordered a ham and Gruyere crepe and we split them :)

I also had bacon as my side.

It was a great meal and the company was also wonderful.  Sarah and I always comment about how we think Tim and Greg are a lot alike, so it was fun to get us together for some food and conversation.

After lunch, Greg and I headed back home.  We didn't have a lot of time left in the day before I had to take him to the airport so he could head back to Houston for more training.

It was a bummer to see him go, but he's doing well in training and should be finished in a couple weeks.

To finish off the afternoon, I headed to a power yoga class at OM and it was so wonderful.  Back before the blog and before my love of running, I used to regularly go to yoga at my YMCA.  My favorite class was power yoga with Sara, and she is now teaching at OM!  It was so great to be back a yoga class with her.  I feel like her classes are the perfect speed, intensity, etc... for me.  It's cool when you find a teacher that you feel like you fit with.

Well, the week is already underway.  Hope it's a good one of all of you!
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