Archive | July, 2012

Empty Telephone Boxes

25 Jul

Good evening!

I had a long day today, but it was fabulous! I had another day of training at work and my boss took the outgoing assistant editor and me out to lunch – Thai food! I had Thai food on Saturday with Stefano, but I’m never one to turn down some pad see ew, which is what I ordered again.

It was really yummy – I seriously can’t get enough of those wide rice noodles. One day I will make my own so there’s not so much sodium and whatever else they add in. Plus then I can add more veggies…I think I only got like, six pieces of broccoli. My boss ordered their lunch special which came on a super cute tray that reminded me of a Japanese bento box.

Sorry for the dark picture, I was trying to be sneaky.

My co-worker ordered the pad thai with chicken and it looked really good, though he avoided all the vegetables – why do people not like veggies?!?! I would have gladly eaten his, but I think it would have been weird if I had asked…

After work, I had a little bit of time before the volleyball open gym so I went to change my clothes and then had a nice chat with my mommy! On the way to the gym, I stopped by the drugstore so I could grab a quick snack because I knew I wouldn’t be home until almost ten and I had lunch at noon. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any fresh fruit or veggies, which bummed me out, but I did find some trail mix and pretzels!

The trail mix was the ‘tropical blend’ so it had coconut shavings and pieces of mango in it…mmm. I haven’t had pretzels in FOREVER. One thing I forgot was how dry they make your mouth feel, I must have guzzled a liter of water after eating them. The walk over to the gym was so pleasant; Washington was having one of its not-so-humid days, and for that I am grateful. I passed by a beautiful little garden, filled with flowers of differing shades of purple.

Aren’t they just beautiful? Purple is my favorite color and all these shades are so lovely! I also passed an English-style telephone box! …With no phone inside?

I peeked in and looked all over, but there was no phone to be there. I am sure there is a story behind this – anyone know what it is? It’s the telephone box in Foggy Bottom, near the GWU campus.

When I got to the gym, it was two hours of pure volleyball – my favorite. There were fewer people at this open gym, which was great because it meant that we were always on the court and didn’t have to spend a lot of time sitting out. The highlight of my evening was blocking this huge guy hitting against me. For those of you who have ever played on a men’s net, you can appreciate how high someone my height (5’9″) needs to jump to get her hands far enough over the net to block. Any volleyball player will tell you that stuffing someone is the best feeling. I was riding that high for the rest of the evening!

When I got home, I thanked myself for preparing a big batch of pasta yesterday, as it was almost ten when I got home. All I had to do was pop some in a bowl and stick it in the microwave for a couple of minutes. Love me some carbs!

Now it’s bedtime! It’s amazing how quickly the day goes when you work from 9-5… I hope you all had a wonderful day and I will catch you in the morning!

Grocery Comparison

25 Jul

Good morning, all! I have another day of training at work today, so I am up bright and early (by my standards) and ready to take on the day. I was pretty excited about my breakfast this morning – with my Chobani replenished, I was ready to make a kick-butt yogurt bowl. I filled this one with a 6 oz. mango Chobani, a handful of oats, fresh blueberries, some diced strawberries, and a sprinkle of chopped walnuts. It was a symphony of textures and flavors and I loved it!

When I went grocery shopping yesterday, I was thinking about how irritating it was to not know the price differences of the groceries at Target and my nearby grocery store. I had glanced over my receipts before, but they didn’t give me a good enough insight into the price comparison of some major food items. So, I decided to find out for myself.

Armed with a notepad and pen (the good, old-fashioned way), I made my way, first to Target and then to my grocery store. I walked down each aisle and took note of the products I buy regularly and their prices. I did some actual shopping at the grocery store, but when I got back to the house, I looked over the different price points and was really amazed with what I saw – there were some huge differences! The biggest one that shocked me was the cost of fresh mozzarella – $5.99 for 16 oz. at Target and a whopping $8.49 for the exact same size and brand of mozzarella at the grocery store! Ridiculous. I noticed some trends, though. Breads, packaged foods, and refrigerated foods (like milk and eggs, which the exception of yogurt) tended to be cheaper at Target, while fresh produce, baking items, and frozen goods were cheaper at the grocery store. It made me much happier to know the different price points of items and I made a list of “Where To Go For” so I can keep it handy when I go grocery shopping next week!

There a few more pages like the one above, but I just showed you this as a sample because I figured you didn’t want to see the prices of every single item. You’re welcome.

Grocery shopping has been a little bit of a challenge here, just because the cost of living is so much higher and so it has been difficult for me to gauge whether something is overpriced or just expensive because things are more expensive here.

Have you comparison shopped at your local grocery stores? Was there a big difference in prices? What’s the most expensive item on your shopping list?

I hope you all have a magnificent day – tonight’s post will come a little late because I have volleyball this evening, which  goes until 9 PM. See ya later, alligator!

Lentil Chips

24 Jul

Good evening!

I hope everybody had a great day and a relaxing evening. I just got back from some Zumba, followed by some boxing and have a belly full of pasta, so I’m in great spirits.

I finally got to the grocery store today! My lunch was a little pathetic, but it was still tasty – I used the last of my lettuce, along with the last few slices of fresh mozzarella to make a nice little salad. Topped with some balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and toasted sesame seed and paired with a side of hummus and carrots, it served me well!

Before I got to the grocery store, I stopped by Marshalls and noticed a shelf of clearance “gourmet foods”, so of course I had to take a peek. There was some agave nectar that I scored for $2.99 (whoo!) and a variety of other gourmet items, like tapenade and imported pasta. One thing did catch my eye…

I was curious to see how one turns a lentil into a chip, so I had to check them out. They actually turned out to be pretty good! If any of you have ever had PoP! chips, they tasted like those. I don’t think they’re a health food by any stretch of the imagination, but they are a good alternative if you are craving chips (a better alternative still would be apple chips!).

Then I went down to the gym and went to a Zumba class, which isn’t as cardio-intense as the one I usually go to, but is still really fun. I stuck around for another boxing class, which I am enjoying, but I am finding myself standing around a lot during the class, which makes me antsy and feel like I’m not getting in a good workout. I did see an old classmate from high school, though! Washington is such a small city, I feel like everybody has two degrees of separation from everybody else.

I was pretty famished after I got back, so devoured the remainder of the lentil chips and then made dinner. I am going to busy in the next couple of days with work and moving, so I wanted to make a big batch of something and then store it in a Tupperware. I had a box of whole wheat, penne pasta and some jars of tomato sauce hanging out, so I decided to whip up some pasta. In a pan I sauteed some garlic and onion in olive oil and then added the tomatoes and tomato sauce and plenty of dry basil. While that was simmering, I cooked the pasta and tossed in a bag of frozen veggies just a few minutes before the pasta was ready. After draining the pasta and veggies, I returned them to the pot and added in the sauce. It looked SO ready to eat!

I immediately served up a bowl and put the rest in a big Tupperware container. I had just filled the Tupperware to the brim and was contemplating whether or not to put the remaining pasta in a second container when one of my housemates came home from a softball game. I offered him the remaining pasta and he selflessly agreed to take the offending pasta off of my hands. I love living with other people!

Anywho, I am off to shower and then bed, I have another day of training tomorrow! Hope you all have a great night, catch ya on the flip side!

Pinterest for Dummies

24 Jul

Good morning!

I was a little nervous when I woke up this morning, because I was worried that I would be super sore from all the workout shenanigans from last night. Luckily, I felt great and the only thing that was a little bit sore was the arm I used to punch during boxing.

Breakfast was oatmeal with brown sugar, walnuts, raisins, and cinnamon because I don’t have any other option (I’m going to the grocery store today!!), but I still enjoyed it and I can never get over how fast it is to make oatmeal.

On the agenda today is more furniture shopping and finding a bed, finally! I am also going to go grocery shopping and head to the gym for some Zumba and more boxing. I hope Ellen will come, too! It’s fun to have a workout buddy.

While I was at the store the other day, I came across this book in one of the aisles:

It made me realize what a powerful social media tool Pinterest has become. For me, it has always been a way to pin recipes and ideas for my future wedding up to save for future use, but more and more companies are using it as a marketing tool. The New York Times wrote an interesting article about Pinterest and Tumblr a few days ago and I’m curious to hear your thoughts. Do you use Pinterest or Tumblr? What do you use them for, primarily?

Boy Meets World and Boxing

23 Jul

Good evening, beautiful people!

I had a gloriously lazy day today, which are numbered as it is less than a week until work starts and I have training on Wednesday and Thursday. After breakfast I did some super exciting things, like cleaning the kitchen and doing laundry. The rest of the afternoon was split between reading a book and watching Boy Meets World. Am I the only one who forgot how amazing that show is??? I am starting it from Season 1 and working my way through to Season 7 and I am SO excited. Cory was such a cute kid and his brother, Eric must be the best looking 15-year-old EVER.

At lunch I didn’t feel like getting a lot of dishes dirty, since I had just cleaned the kitchen, so I heated up my leftover quinoa and added some chopped green pepper, tomatoes, and feta cheese for a quick and easy lunch.

Then it was basically back to Boy Meets World and reading again. Rough life, I know. I did some browsing online for furniture, particularly a bed, since I can move into my new house next weekend. I am trying to decide if I want to be a real adult and spring for a quality bed, or if I’m feeling an Ikea one. Oh, the trials and tribulations of adulthood.

I left earlier than usual for the gym because it’s Body Pump and that class usually fills up really quickly. As expected, the room was already pretty full when I arrived 15 minutes early. While we waited for the class to start, I made a new friend! Her name is Ellen and she’s a newbie to DC, as well. It was her first Body Pump class, so I showed her all the equipment that was necessary. By the time I got to my weights, all of my normal weights were gone, so I had to use heavier ones and MAN, could I feel the burn as a result! The leg workouts were harder, but still manageable and has encouraged me to upgrade permanently on the lower body sections, but the arms were extremely difficult and I was unable to finish some of the sets with the heavier weights. Guess I have to get there even earlier next time!

After Body Pump, I had planned to stick around to try a new class, Boxing 101. I asked Ellen if she wanted to join and she agreed to be a first-timer at the class with me. The instructor is an ex-military, ex-Olympic boxer and he is super positive, but also very precise in his instruction. I absolutely LOVED the class and when Ellen and I left, we were really excited to go to another one. I’ve never taken any kind of martial arts or fighting, so I had no idea what to do, but it was still nice to try something new! I will let you guys know how that comes along, especially if I commit to buying gloves!

When I got home, I was so ready for dinner. Unfortunately, pickings were slim as I have yet to go grocery shopping for the week, so I scraped together the last of the salad fixings to make a large salad, with some carrots and red pepper hummus on the side. I decided to get fancy and top the salad with some roasted sesame seeds, which added a nice nuanced flavor to the salad.

After I pop in the shower, I am going to spend the evening catching up on blog posts and then reading the book I just started, ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma’ by Michael Pollan. Have any of you read the book? What did you think about it? I wish everybody a wonderful evening, see you in the morning!

%d bloggers like this: