Flowers for the office

How was everyone’s Valentine’s Day?

Yesterday, it was flower central at work.  A lot of the women had flowers on their desks from their significant others.  At one point I was walking around the office and I thought, “man, I totally understand why single girls HATE this holiday.”

But I did love my flowers.  Ben didn’t go for roses.  Too cliché.  He always gets my favorite flowers, star-gazer lilies.

stargazer lillies

This beautiful arrangement arrives at my desk yesterday.  I really wasn’t expecting flowers.  No really, I wasn’t.  But I can’t say I wasn’t happy when they were dropped off at my desk! Right now, all the bulbs are closed, but my mid-week, this baby will be in full bloom.

Dinner

Dinner last night continued along my “must go from table to belly in 30 minutes” theme.

This was a super easy dinner.

Gnocchi and Veggies

1 package potato gnocchi from Trader Joes (it comes in a red package and doesn’t need to be refrigerated)

1 package Archer Farms Harvest Blend Vegetables (Broccoli, carrots, onions, baby cob corn, sugar snap peas, mushrooms, water chesnuts, & red peppers)

1 tablespoon minced garlic

salt, pepper and olive oil to taste

  1. Cook the gnocchi in salted boiling water until it floats
  2. Steam the veggies in the bag per instructions (7.5-8.5 minutes)
  3. Saute veggies in garlic
  4. Combine everything in a large bowl, add salt, pepper and olive oil to taste and enjoy!

I sprinkled a bit of Trader Joe’s low fat cheese on it as well.  Fantastic topper.  Although, really, when isn’t cheese a fantastic topper.  This could easily be made a bit healthier by leaving out the olive oil, but we needed some healthy fats in our diet tonight.

Run

Yesterday was beautiful in D.C.  It even hit the high 60’s.  Perfect outdoor running weather, right? Well by the time I got home for work, there was so much wind it felt like a hurricane was traveling through our nation’s capital.  So up to the treadmill I went with my new shoes.

Verdict: overall, I like them.  I can feel how they help my stride a bit (I run on the insides of my feet), and they provide a lot of support on my arch.  The backs are a bit more snug then I’m used to, so I’ve got a tiny blister.  But I’m gonna just chalk that up to wearing in a new pair of shoes.  I’ve had work flats do more damage on the first day.

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White Ale, New Sneakers – doesn’t take much to make me happy

What was the highlight of my weekend?  Besides our Valentine’s Day dinner, of course…

 

Samuel Adams White Ale

Samuel Adams White Ale Label[photo credit]

Pretty much anyone who knows me, knows that Sam Adams White Ale is my favorite beer.  It used to be Sam Adam’s spring seasonal.  In college, Jane and I used to stock up on like it was going out of style.  Well, then in January 2010, it did go out of style.  Sam Adams announced that they were replacing White Ale with Noble Pills as the spring seasonal.

Now, don’t get me wrong,  I like Noble Pills.  I really wanted to hate it for taking over my beloved White Ale.  But I couldn’t.  It was too good.

Sam Adams claims that it is available in November-December in a variety pack, but I’ve never been able to find it.  While in Harris Teeter over the weekend, I walked past the Sam Adams “American Classics” variety pack and something caught my eye.  Could it be??  Oh yes it was!  My beloved White Ale!  I grabbed the variety pack and ran across the grocery store, looked at Ben and said, “Is it ridiculous to buy a 12-pack for two beers?”  After assuring me that the other 10 beers would not go to waste, I happily dropped the variety pack into the cart.  Now, I’m going to have to ration those two beers….

 

New Running Gear

I got really lucky with my old running sneakers.  In late Fall 2009, Ben and I were starting to head back to the gym.  My previous workout sneakers were on their way out when I found a pair of Nike’s on clearance at DSW.  Not knowing much about the sneakers, except that they were cute, I bought them.  They were like $30, and I was just looking for something to use as a general gym/workout sneaker.

When I got into running, I heard the worst thing you can do is just grab whatever sneaker is on clearance and go with it.  Oops, that’s exactly what I had done.  I Googled my shoes and it turns out, they are fantastic running sneakers.  Like made for running sneakers.  Awesome.  I just went with it.

But now, my bargain bin sneakers are getting worn out.  My feet have started to hurt while running and I can feel the ground more than before.  I don’t know exactly how many miles I’ve put on them, but after a year and a half, I’m thinking they are getting worn out.

So on Sunday, Ben and I went out for a little running gear shopping spree.  I purchased these babies:

Acics GT2150 Raspberry[photo credit]

The Asics GT2150.  I got them in the raspberry/lightening (as seen above).  They are great for stability (which I need) and have a lot of cushion (which I like).  I was pretty sure I wanted Asics, but I went in with an open mind.  I tried on numerous pairs, and these seemed to fit pretty well.  I did have to go a full size larger than my normal shoes.  I haven’t run in them yet, but I’m very excited. Plus…they are pretty.  And they match my new long sleeve running shirt.

 

Yay for beer and running gear!

 

Valentine’s Day

Ben and I decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day over the weekend.  How did we do it?

Started off with a 4+ mile run around D.C.   We started down on Ohio Drive (near where we ran the 10K on my birthday), ran down Ohio Drive, by the Lincoln Memorial, over Memorial Drive bridge into Arlington, down onto the Mt. Vernon trail to Teddy Roosevelt Park.  I took a break while Ben ran the trails through the park.  Afterward, we reversed the route and went back to the car.

It was terrible.  Terrible.  I could never get into the groove.  It was my first run outside in a while.  I’ve gotten used to running on the treadmill – where you can’t really stop.  Running outside, you could stop whenever you want.  Also, the wind was so bad that it kept knocking my earphones out.  Also, I kinda need to sneakers, so there was that too…

After the run, we had our Valentine’s Day dinner.  We decided to make dinner instead of going out.  On our menu:

Soup

Butternut squash soup

Salad

Baby lettuce with candied pecans and cheese

Dinner

London broil

Roasted sweet potatoes

Sautéed asparagus

Italian bread

Dessert

Hand rolled truffle

chocolate peanutbutter “bomb”

Dinner worked out well; Ben handled the meat, asparagus and salad and I handled the soup and sweet potatoes. We cheated and bought the dessert at Harris Teeter.  They have a rather extensive fancy dessert section.  We always assumed it wasn’t that great.  But after 4+ miles, we decided to give it a shot opposed to making something from scratch. 

I was totally fine that we didn’t go out somewhere.  Sometimes, its nice to just have a big fancy dinner at home.

 

What did you do for Valentine’s Day?

February Goals

What, its February 9th.  So that makes us a third of the way through February.  Never too late for goal planning.  Between a busy work schedule, people being in town, and me being on the verge of getting sick, I never made February Goals.  Doesn’t mean it’s too late to start, right?  right?!

Wedding Goals

  • Schedule all March appointments, including but not limited to: engagement photos, church director, minister, hair (test run for the wedding day), makeup (test run for the wedding day), dress fitting (preferable one and two, but that’s not exactly up to me), and hair appointment (cut).  I think that’s it.  Man I hope that’s it!
  • Get the wedding invites out the door.  They’ve been ordered, now we just need to get them out!
  • Secure DJ, hairstylist and makeup artist for the wedding.
  • Get started on the design for the wedding (things like menu cards, programs, name cards, etc).

 

Workout Goals

  • Get 2.5 hours worth of exercise each week (overall year goal)
  • Vary the workout up a bit more – work in more yoga, elliptical
  • Definitely do more weight workouts.  My dress is strapless ya know.

Other Goals

  • Get more sleep.  Like, I dunno, the recommended 8 hours!
  • Pack my lunch so I don’t resort to vending machine food and misc. snacks.
  • Get my sister’s birthday present to her, preferable on the day of or before her birthday (Hi Julie!)
  • Enjoy my trip to Boston!!


Like a Chesapeak Bay Native

Tonight’s dinner consisted of crab cakes and sweet potato french fries.  I wish I could say I made any of it from scratch.  But alas, we’re having my good friend Trader Joe to dinner tonight.

Trader Joe’s pre-made frozen crab cakes come in vacuum sealed packs of two.  They are a little thin, but they were great for crab cake sandwiches.  It’s not lump crab meat, but it’s definitely more crab than “filler.”  Directions said to defrost the crab cakes before cooking, but I threw them right from the freezer into a pan on low.

As for a side, I had Trader Joe’s sweet potato fries.  By themselves, they are a little bland.  I spiced them up with a dash of salt and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.  The spice was an excellent addition to the fries.

All in all – it was dinner success.

Although, lately for me successful dinner is anything that can be passed off as an actual dinner (aka not handfuls of pita chips) and can be fridge to table in under 30 minutes.  I just don’t always have the time and energy to spend an hour making everything from scratch.

Now, Ben and I are enjoying a nice glass of wine, some chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, and some White Collar.

Picture of Neal Caffrey White Collar

Back in Action

Sorry for the disappearance lately.  We had to send one of our computers back to the manufacturer so they could do some updating/fixing.  And the other computer, well, it’s on its last leg.  Not exactly great for blogging and it definitely won’t let me add any pictures or anything fun.

But, I’m back in action!