Mountains

I gotta say, I’m looking forward to this weekend.

Due to all the weddings this year, including my own, I’m a bit low on vacation days.  And by a bit low, I mean they are pretty much non-esistant.

Ben and I really wanted to visit the mountain house this year, but things were looking unlikely due to the lack of vaca time.  Travel is basically 1/2 day (flying) to a full day (driving) each way, and flights are usually really expensive.

But the good news is my office is giving us a four day weekend for the 4th of July holiday.  Since we realized this, we’ve planned on heading to the mountain house for the holiday.  Just a nice chance to get out of the city and relax.

And relax we will.  No metro.  No city.  No fancy restaurants.  Just some time to relax and hang out with nature.  YAY for relaxing and celebrating the holiday with all of America’s nature!

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Can I have another weekend?

Somehow, we have nothing to eat in our apartment.  I’m not entirely sure how that happened, because we go to the grocery store at least once a week.  But somehow we have nothing.

This weekend was fun.  My sister-in-law Debbie was in town for a conference, so I picked her up Friday after work and we headed back to our apartment.  Then Ben, Debbie and I headed to Lost Dog Cafe.

Logo for Lost Dog Cafe in Arlington, VA

Lost Dog is a great place that has amazing sandwiches, pizza and beer.  I ordered the “crabmeat” pizza, which was a white pizza with Backfin crabmeat, onions, green peppers and garlic butter with brie and mozzarella cheeses.  It was really good.  However, the crabmeat flavor was hidden by everything else.  I find crab is something tough to put on pizza.  Overall, I loved it.

For beer, I had a glass of Star Hill Love and another summer ale but I can’t remember the name.  I love Star Hill beers – I don’t think there is a beer from there that I don’t like.
Saturday, we met up with Debbie again, this time for Thai food.  We went to Top Thai, which was also fantastic.  I’m not a fan of spicy, so I went with Chicken, Snowpeas and Baby Corn, but I thought it was really good.  Debbie and Ben both enjoyed their spicier dishes as well.

After dinner, Ben and I went to Crystal City Sports Pub to watch the Red Sox game with our friends Robin and Jason.

Today was spent doing laundry and cleaning the kitchen.  I also did the ever fun task of taking EVERYTHING out of our fridge and tossing/reorganizing our food.  It felt like it took forever.

Now, even though its 10:00, I may go for a run.  I didn’t get a run in at all this weekend, so I’m kinda craving one.

Doggelganger!

After work (and just when I needed a laugh to be honest), I came home and decided to run through my Google Reader while Ben finished up a video game.

I came across this post from Carrots ‘n’ Cake, and it instantly put a smile on my face.

Apparently Pedigree in New Zealand created a “Doggelganger” website, to match humans up with real life dogs up for adoption.

I was paired up with Doc, a Greyhound Mastiff Mix.  Do you see the resemblance?

Personally, I think it did a really good job pairing Ben!

 

What dog do you match up with?

No mayo!

I’m not a fan of mayo.  Never was.  It’s one of those things that I hit a certain age and said, “well I haven’t started using it yet, and everyone else is trying to cut back on it, so I guess I just won’t start.”

Then one day, I was hungry.  Really hungry.  And the only thing around was chicken salad.  So i had some.  Turns out, mayo isn’t that bad.

But the thought of it still kinda grosses me out.  So i won’t add it to anything.  And the only time I have it is in pre-made chicken salad.

Then I decided I wanted to try and make chicken salad.  But I didn’t want to add mayo.  So I decided to give it a shot with greek yogurt instead of mayo.

How did it turn out?  Pretty good.  Does it taste like chicken salad? No, not really.  Is it good on its own.  It’s actually pretty good.

No Mayo-Chicken Salad

  • 1 medium apple, chopped
  • 1 cup of grapes, chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced and then cup in half
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cups of pecans
  • 1 cup greek yogurt (plain)
  • salt, pepper, rosemary, chives, onion powder to taste
  • 3 chicken breasts
Directions are pretty simple.  Cook chicken. Shred/cut chicken.  Mix all ingredients together.
I used a cup and a half of greek yogurt, and I thought it was a bit much, so I lowered the recipe to 1 cup.  Ben and I just ate it in sandwiches, and it was pretty enjoyable.
The key to this is to not expect it to taste just like chicken salad.  Greek yogurt does not equal mayo.  But it serves as a tasty substitute.
And maybe one day I’ll start taking photos of the food I make to include on here.  One day…

Asics GT2150 Review

Last February, I did a ton of research and purchased the Asics GT 2150.

Now that I’ve been running in them for a few months (even if it is sporadic running), I figured it was time to give them a review.

Bottom Line: I really like the sneakers, but I probably wouldn’t buy them again.

When I slip my feet into these sneakers, they feel great.  They feel like they hug my feet in all the right places.  They provide great support and just enough cushioning.  When I’m running, I feel fantastic.  Perhaps its the fact that I’ve improved my stride, and I’ve moved from “person-barely-getting-their-feet-off-the-concrete-to-move” to someone with with an actual stride.  I run in these sneakers.  My feet almost seem to bounce off the concrete.

But…(isn’t there always a but)…after every run, I immediately have a blister on the inside of my foot, right between my arch and heel.  No matter how often I run in them, my feet don’t seem to adopt to the structure of the shoe.  Usually the blister goes away in a day or two, but if I’m going to run every day it could become a problem.

Perhaps its just this cut, but I feel like I read somewhere that all Asics are cut tight to the foot.  With my next shoe, I’d love everything that the Asics GT 2150 provide, but perhaps a bit more flexibility surrounding the heel.

Pre-Wedding Recap

So back to recapping that whole wedding thing.

Tuesday, my parents picked me up from my apartment for our long trip down to Charleston.  I’ll spare the specifics, but two days, numerous conference calls with vendors, and somewhere around 9 driving-hours later, we all arrived in Charleston.  We went straight to our hotel to relax and decompress from the ride.

Wednesday night we had dinner at Hymans Seafood.  If you are ever in Charleston, I highly recommend this restaurant.  It’s a laid-back restaurant with fantastic food and even better service.

Thursday, my bridesmaids and family started to arrive.  We ran wedding errands ALL DAY LONG.

Friday however, that’s when the fun began!

It started with a welcome breakfast for the families at the Palmetto Cafe at the Charleston Place Hotel.  The brunch was hosted by Ben’s Aunt Carolyn and Uncle John, and everyone had a blast.

After brunch, my kind parents drove all over Charleston to drop off the guest welcome bags, while Jane, Ange and I got a mani/pedi.  Relaxing girl time was exactly what I needed.  Immediately afterward, we went back to the hotel to begin getting ready.

That’s when I noticed that my brand new pretty purple dress  had turned my armpits and arms bright pink.  I kid you not.  It took lots of scrubbing and two formerly-white hotel washcloths to get my skin to look normal.  As a result, I ended up being 30 minutes late to my own rehearsal.  OOPS. 

But everything worked out in the end.  And after the rehearsal, we all headed out to Middleton Place for the rehearsal.  Post and pictures to come soon!

 

 

Wine Tasting

I wrote a post this morning, but apparently it didn’t post and a lost it.  Basically, it was my own version of Cheryl’s post, recapping what happened to our friend AJ.  Thank God that AJ and her family are fine, but some of her neighbors were hit hard and the long clean up process has only just begun.

A few weeks ago, Groupon had a coupon for a wine tasting event with the Washington Wine Academy.  For $18 (a $36 value) each we were able to attend a wine reception/tasting.

We arrived and the event had a decent crowd.  The venue was at the street level of an apartment building, and was a decent sized room with lots of table and ample seating.  At the front of the room was one long table, featuring all the wine.  They also had a modest spread of crackers, fruit and cheese.

The event had quite a wide variety of wines.  Perhaps 16-20 wines, split evenly between wines and reds.  There was one dessert iced wine that may have been a rose, but roses were not featured in the event.  The two hosts were very friend and quite informed: they were able to answer any questions asked.

As for the selection of wines, it was a mixed bag.  It seemed like it was a rather hodgepodge of wines; there was no common theme running through all the wines.  As with any wine tasting, some were better than others.  While the hosts were able to give us basic information (this is a fruity wine from California), but they didn’t provide any addition information or “teach” us anything about wines or wine tasting.  It was basically 20 bottles of wine, and out went along and figured out what you liked on your own.

For an experienced wine taster, it would be a very good event to try something new.  If you’re looking to learn more about wines, you’re probably better off taking one of their classes, which appear to be much more organized.  The wine reception was a bit of a free for all.  But everyone was friendly and it was a good excuse to go out and try some new wines.  I can honestly say I had never heard of any of the wines before.

For $18, I thought it was a really good deal.  To get unlimited pours of the wine (within reason, obviously), it was great.  But, I’m not sure that I’d pay full price for it.  I’d probably max out at $25.

Have you ever been to a wine tasting event?  Was it organized, or more of a free-for-all?