Archive | October, 2012

23 on 23

23 Oct

Hi guys! Today is a special day for me because I turn 23. And it’s the 23rd, which makes today my golden birthday! This is the first time that I have been in Washington, D.C. , my birthplace, since I was born. It’s kinda cool to be in the city where my parents lived while my mom was pregnant with me. She suggested that I go over to Georgetown University Hospital to wave, but it’s far and not metro-accessible (which pretty much determines how I get anywhere in this city), so I will just have to wave from afar.

Google gave me a fun little surprise this morning:

Apparently, if you have a Gmail account, they customize your Google website on the day of your birthday to have birthday cakes! Thanks, Google!

Right at midnight last night, I decided I couldn’t wait any longer to open the stack of presents that had been arriving over the course of the week.

*As I was in the middle of writing this, a man delivered a bouquet of roses to my desk*

Seriously, I have the most amazing, thoughtful boyfriend.

I also have such a wonderful family who thought of me all the way across the country! I am so blessed.

This beautiful silver bracelet was made in Italy and it’s from Stefano’s parents, who sent it to him to give to me on my birthday. I just love them!

My baby brother (okay, he’s not a baby, he’s almost 21) sent me a pearl bracelet! He told me that he knows I’m not a huge jewelry person, but he thought I would use them on a special occasion. Oh my gosh, I just started tearing up – he is so thoughtful. I know I’m going to think of him every time I wear it.

This light box was on my wish list and my mommy got it for me. I used it last night and it works, it really works! I am going to try it for a few days to see how much it affects my overall energy level, but it was SO nice to wake up to a room that was pleasantly lit, instead of pitch black. Thanks, Mommy!

There were a few other things, but I don’t want to use the whole post describing all of my gifts – though they were wonderful and I love them all.

Let’s talk eats, because that what I’m all about. It will be noted that my brother sent me a gigantic bag of Skittles in the package he sent to  me – he knows me too well. I was thinking about bringing them to work today, but it’s definitely best that I leave them at home, since I’m not there most of the day.

Lunch yesterday was pretty blah. The highlight of it was snagging an Honest Tea that we had leftover in the work fridge from a going away party for a co-worker who, incidentally, now works at Honest Tea! When I got home, my roommate had some friends over for his birthday celebrations and he had some burgers on the grill. I ate two: one for his birthday, one for my birthday. At least, that’s how I justified it. That’s how I justified eating two bowls of mint chocolate chip ice cream later that night, too.  Hey, you gotta celebrate!

Let’s talk about this little discovery from Trader Joe’s. This is why I look forward to going there every week – there is always something new to try! Pumpkin Spice granola? Trader Joe’s, you are speaking my language. It’s SO good and luckily, I got a gift card to Trader Joe’s for my birthday (thanks, Mom!), so you best believe this is going to be in my pantry all autumn long. Mmm.

Last, and probably least, was my breakfast this morning. I was thinking about doing a special birthday breakfast, but I think I’m going to save it for the weekend. Celebrating during the week just doesn’t have as much ‘umph’ behind it, don’t you think? I just stuck with some PB & J on toast with some yogurt (half plain Greek yorgurt, half TJ’s honey Greek yogurt) with a sprinkle of chia seeds mixed in. I also had a cozy mug of mango tea. It was a relaxing morning and today has been so far, so good.

It helped that I saw this sign on the way to the bus stop this morning:

It was put up by a program called Make DC Smile and it worked! I definitely smiled.

Have a wonderful Tuesday, everybody!

Red and Orange and Yellow, oh my!

22 Oct

Good morning, good morning! Is it really Monday already?

I had such a great weekend and I really didn’t want it to be over! Stefano and I trekked out to Shenandoah Valley to be leaf-peepers and got a great hike in, as well.

The drive out was pleasant, though it took quite a bit long than we had planned. Apparently we weren’t the only ones who decided to see the leaves changing color.

 

We had a pretty spectacular view to greet us, though.

The trip was so, so worth it. Back in Seattle we mostly have evergreen trees, so while it’s green year-round, we don’t get the dramatic change of color the way the east coast does. It was absolutely breathtaking – so many reds and yellows and oranges!

We got a nice little hike in between the scenic drives.

Some jumping photos may have happened.

We both got some excellent air.

We eventually had to make out way back to Washington for our evening plans:

This was my surprise for Stefano! He and I didn’t get to see Train when they were performing while we were down in Virginia Beach because of a little incident, so I was excited to see that they were going to be in DC and had to snag tickets.

On our way back, we stopped by a little roadside restaurant for some grub. We saw a one-pound burger on the menu and were talking about how much food that was for one meal when the guy in front of us turned around to say that his six year-old kid had just finished it…by himself. What?! I can’t imagine that a six year-old would ever need that much food in one sitting – but his dad was reallllly tall and not a skinny dude, so I imagine he’s going to grow up to be a big guy.

I opted for the bison burger and Stef ordered their house-specialty: the pulled pork sandwich.

I don’t recall ever eating bison before and my opinion of it is pretty neutral. The meat itself was good, but because it’s so lean (it’s 97% fat-free) and they didn’t really season eat, it ended up tasting a little bland. The potato salad on the side was pretty tasty. I don’t eat pork, so I can’t attest to the pulled pork sandwich, but Stef enjoyed it.

The drive back was much faster because of fewer cars on the road, so we had enough time to grab some ice cream before the show. We stopped by Cone E Island, a George Washington University staple that has a variety of different ice creams and toppings. They also have soft-serve, which is what I ended up with.

 

The concert was fabulous! Train is such a good band and Pat Monahan, the lead singer, is a fabulous entertainer. He was really good at getting the audience excited and gave away a signed guitar to a little boy at the end of the concert. Also, he and his family live in Issaquah, Washington, so there’s Pacific Northwest love!

After a fabulous Saturday, Sunday was all about getting ready for the week, which means laundry and other equally exciting chores. Last night, the Sounders played FC Dallas and we watched Seattle pull out a 3-1 win! Fun fact:  George John, one of the players on FC Dallas went to our high school and Stefano played soccer with him on the school team (Stef was a freshman, George was a senior). Aaaaaaaaand that’s the closest our hometown gets to fame.

Now it’s Monday and back to the daily grind, but today is my roommate’s 25th birthday and tomorrow I turn 23! Maybe I’ll muster up the motivation to do something to celebrate 🙂

Have a wonderful start to your week, everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Waiting Game

19 Oct

Happy Friday!!!!! I am particularly excited for this weekend because I have a surprise planned for Stefano – I’m such a sneaky girlfriend.

I didn’t get home until late last night because my volleyball game was one of the later scheduled matches. By the time I walked in the house, it was almost ten, which meant that it was not going to be a fancy dinner. Enter grilled cheese sandwich, a la toaster oven.

I promise you, toasted bread and melted cheese will never disappoint.

I had a couple of surprises waiting for me while I munched on my dinner and they’re making me unbearably curious.

These packages from my mom are presents for my 23rd birthday, which is on Tuesday. However, she gave me strict instructions not to open them until the day of my birthday, so now I have to play the waiting game for the next 4 days – booooo!!!

Patience is definitely not my greatest virtue and I know it’s going to be torture to have them sitting in my room, taunting me until the 23rd.

I made sure that my breakfast this morning was a bit more filling and nutritious, as delicious as a cheese sandwich is.

My go-to scramble: three eggs, one sun dried tomato and basil chicken sausage, and a handful of frozen vegetables. I made the best decision ever when I added some goat cheese right on top as I finished cooking the eggs.

Never eat eggs without goat cheese ever again.

The creaminess of the melted goat cheese added some much-needed pizzazz to a routine breakfast. Holy yum.

It looked cold and rainy outside, so I curled up with a mug of mango black tea to warm up my insides. It’s not as good as the cinnamon spice tea, but it will definitely do in a pinch.

The Best Of DC awards came out the other day and their ‘Worth the Drive’ category inspired to me to take a road trip with Stefano to the Shenandoah Valley this weekend. I’m going to propose the idea to him tonight and see how he feels about peeping leaves for a day.

Source

 

How could this not be a good way to spend a day trip? Their weekly report says that the leaves are at 90% saturation right now, so I think it’s time to head on down before the weather gets too cold and the leaves are all gone.

I hope you all have a splendid weekend – I can’t believe it’s almost the end of October! Catch you guys soon.

Food For Thought: Where is the best spot to see changing leaves where you live? What are your favorite fall road trips?

 

 

 

 

My Body Is Tired

18 Oct

Good morning! I have been chugging along this morning and haven’t had a time to write until now. How are things going with everybody this week?

This morning I woke up to a body that was pretty tired, not sleepy,  physically tired. My muscles are sore and there’s a weird something going on in my knee. I did a double workout yesterday (Body Pump then Zumba), which hasn’t happened in a couple of weeks, so that might have something to do with it. I am hoping that the knee doesn’t act up during my volleyball game tonight. It doesn’t start until 7:55, so I am contemplating doing Zumba from 6-7 and then heading over to the game from my gym. Not sure how my body will feel after two days of double-workouts, but I will decide later in the afternoon.

Breakfast this morning was pretty simple, a yogurt bowl with some Kashi Go Lean on top. I didn’t make it to Trader Joe’s last week for grocery shopping, so when I ran out of yogurt I headed over to Giant to grab some Oikos Greek yogurt. I am enjoying it, especially with a tablespoon of maple syrup stirred in, but nothing has been able to beat that honey flavor that I found at TJ’s.

Plus some mango black tea from TJ’s, made even better by the Lion King mug 🙂

I know that I haven’t been as diligent about posting my meals but let’s be real, what I eat tends to be a little redundant and not very interesting most of the time. I figured I would spare you the constant deluge of cereal and salad – you’re welcome. That said, I should mention yesterday’s lunch, which was definitely more interesting than usual, due to a fun addition.

Salmon! My roommate brought back an obscene amount of salmon from a dinner party and gave us permission to have some, so I added it to some rice at lunch and it made my meal awesome. Coming from Seattle, I adore salmon, though I rarely partake because of its cost. Luckily, we have an abundance in my fridge right now, so I am taking advantage while it’s available.

Food For Thought: What are some foods that you love but don’t usually buy for yourself because they are too expensive?

For me, it’s definitely seafood – the cost, coupled with my fear of ruining it during preparation generally steer me away from it. Another one is really fancy cheese – I eat so much of it that I can’t make it a daily habit or my grocery bills would be astronomic!

 

 

Binders Full of Women

17 Oct

I am not going to get political in this blog post, but I just couldn’t help but mention the “binders full of women” sound bite that has gone absolutely viral across the internet. Before the presidential debate had concluded, there was already a Facebook page and a Tumblr dedicated to this little phrase. This one is my favorite:

 

Love me some Beyonce.

I watched the debate all by my lonesome, which was probably for the better because nobody was subjected to all of my added commentary. While I was watching the testosterone-fest, because let’s be honest, that’s what it was, I had a yummy plate of rice and veggies, with some leftover chicken from my house dinner on Sunday night.

 

I stopped by the grocery store to pick up some staples to tide me over until Friday, but neglected to read the label on the vegetables that said they came in an “Asian-style sauce”. Needless to say, I was a bit surprised when I poured the steamed vegetables onto my rice. I’m generally not a fan of store-made sauces because they almost always have too much sodium and sugar in them – but I wasn’t about to throw away a perfectly edible batch of vegetables. The sauce ended up being okay, though the flavors didn’t mix too well with the pesto and ricotta in my chicken. Ah well, you live and you learn.

Remember the tea I was raving about yesterday? It is making my mornings at work so great. I left the tin at my desk so I have something to look forward to when I get to work in the morning.

There were some oatmeal raisin cookies in the kitchen and the perfect addition to the cinnamon-y tea. My mornings are so cozy now! I get to work, make my mug of tea and read the blogs on Google Reader, scan the news for interesting articles, then get going on work. If I have a lull in the morning, I take the time to get a blog post up!

I’ve got lots on my plate today at work, so I have to sign off now, but I hope everybody has a happy hump day! Halfway there, guys 🙂

Food For Thought: Do you have a morning routine at work that makes you feel settled in and ready to go for the day?

 

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