Wednesday, September 28, 2011

House Rules

Dinner for One

Last night I had a whole hour between work and class and a measly 2 blocks to travel to get there (woot!).  I meandered over to Schnippers Quality Kitchen on 8th Avenue and 41st street.  I've walked past this spot many many times and have often wanted to stop in, but never did.  Well the opportunity arrived at last!

Deciding what to order was incredibly difficult.  They have burgers, hot dogs, mac n cheese, sloppy joes, and combinations of the above all over the place.  Could you specialize in more awesome foods?  After some serious contemplation I decided on a turkey burger (comes with arugula, tomato and Schnipper's sauce on a whole wheat bun) and an order of sweet potato fries. 

I'm not going to lie, this was an expensive meal (but at Times Square/Port Authority, what isn't) at $14 with the fountain soda, but  I have to say it was worth it.  They have this huge open seating area with amazing windows all the way around the place that makes for EXCELLENT people watching when you have some time to kill, annnnd the food was realllly good.  The experience is kind of like an upscale Five Guys (and who doesn't like Five Guys?).  I can't afford to make a habit of this place, but I have a feeling I'll be back there before the end of the semester.

What are your thoughts on fast-ish food restaurants?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

True Confession Tuesday

1) I'm back on diet soda.  I had one on Friday and another one tomorrow.  I went two weeks without having one at all, which I'm pretty proud of, but I feel like the fact that I'm not having one every. single. day. is progress.  I'll keep working on it, but in a jam when I need caffeine and all that's available in a vending machine, sometimes a girl just needs a Diet Coke. 

2) I had chocolate chip cookies for breakfast.  I KNOW.  There isn't any breakfast food in my apartment since my weekly grocery shopping got pushed to tomorrow (heyyy no classes on a weekday night!!).  So I had a couple cookies (they're homemade so I know there's nothing unnatural in them :)  Since I stopped to get an iced coffee on the way to work, I also picked up this guy:

NAKED's green monster.  Um, how have I never had one of these before?  dElicious!!  Also, there's like a day's worth of vitamin A and C and a good portion of other vitamin goodness like Bs and folate, plus 4 grams of protein.  Not bad for a beverage.  It is high in calories, which is probably why I'd never gotten one before, but it's got so much fruit and veg in it (no added sugar!) that it totally doubles as breakfast.  Awesome.

3) I took another rest day today.  I'm feeling a little bit burnt out by life right now, and I was still exhausted when my alarm went off at I reset the alarm and went back to sleep.  I have much shorter days the rest of this week, so I know I'll be able to get my mileage in no problem, even with taking two days off of training. 

So those are my confessions.  I'm walking a little bit of a fine line here between busy and COMPLETELY OVER THE EDGE INSANE BUSY right now, and it means that I have to make compromises on my lifestyle sometimes.  It doesn't mean that I can't do my best every day and that each new meal, or workout isn't another chance.  Mess up once, ok.  Do better next time.  Mess up a whole week, that's ok too.  Be better next week.  Mess up for years?  That's ok too.  Right now is a fresh moment.  Give it you're best shot. 

Got any confessions you want to air?

Back to the Grind

Oouf.  I am sore.  Not achy, painful to move sore, but ummm excuse me you should REST after racing 18 miles, not run errands all over NYC, sore.  Luckily, I have theater design class after work today so I'm carrying around foam board and drafting supplies in addition to my usual bag o tricks.

total bag lady

Last night I fell asleep by 10pm I was so wiped out after my bustling weekend.  This morning I woke up, did some early morning homework (because today is obviously a rest day on my training schedule I was NOT running), showered and got ready for work.  In spite of my 8 hours of sleep last night I was still pretty tired.  Luckily, I packed myself a power lunch of leftover eggplant stirfry, chick peas and brown rice.  Yum.

After work and class and countless back and forths on the subway I ordered up some chinese from my local hole in the wall.  I can't say it's anything special, but when good chinese can be ready and at your door in 15 mins, it is life saving.  (I would have taken a pic but I was STARVING...I got steak and peppers if you're interested). 

Tomorrow's another busy day but then I have 5 DAYS WITH NO CLASSES!!! (Thank you Rosh Hashannah!)  I will be going grocery shopping, and yoga classing, and cooking, and napping and tv watching and blogging!  Having evenings off is going to be stellar.

Got anything exciting planned for this week?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

My Epic Weekend....of EATING

This weekend was DELICIOUS.  On Friday night I made an eggplant stir fry.  On Saturday I baked chocolate chip cookies:
 Since I had an 18 mile race on Sunday morning, I knew I would need more carbs than just cookies, so I wrangled my favorite Brooklyn native into going to Vinny's of Carroll Gardens. Chicken Parmesan anyone?

BUT, I didn't quite think I was done with the carb-loading so we went out for a couple beers (obviously).  In spite of myself, I headed home at a reasonable hour, tucked my merry self into bed at 10:30 and set the alarm for...early.  I'm trying to forget about how early it was.

The 18 mile tune-up was an enormous success!  (FYI, I'm not running the NYC marathon, but I AM running a marathon in November, so I figured I totally count for the NYC Marathon tune up, right?).  The race was 3 miles of Central Park, and since it's pretty hilly I made a deal with myself that if I ran completely through the first 2 laps I could walk up the big hills on the last one.  Strategy was implemented, and I finished the race in 2:49:57, more than 10 minutes under my goal! Woot.

After the race I scurried my smelly self home, showered got gussied up and met some amazing ladies at a meet-up of health bloggers organized by the amazing Keelie of Sweat = Success!  We met up at East of 8th in Chelsea (brunch in Chelsea, so glam, right?).  I got to meet Ashley of Freckles and Spice, Toni of Running, Living, Loving, Juliette of Finish Your Broccoli, Lynda of Healthy Hoboken Girl and Amelia and Dierdre from Highways to Health.

Since I was in the presence of so many healthy ladies I obviously tried to order something health conscious:

The Monte Cristo, aka a ham and cheese sandwich in french toast.  I am so good at this healthy stuff.  Since there weren't any fruits or vegetables on my plate I made sure to order a mimosa to get some vitamin C.

Sigh.  So much goodness.  Did your weekend involve as much delicious food as mine did? 

Friday, September 23, 2011

I would like to be this hardcore

You guys, this might be TMI, but I lost my first toenail to running.  RIP dear toenail.  Luckily, I hung on to it long enough for a new one to start growing in! (Ok now it's DEFINITELY tmi.)  Either way, I'm feeling pretty hard core, but you know what's REALLY hardcore?  This guy, and his "old school" workout:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I'm a Guest Blogger

Hey guys! 

Keelie over at Sweat = Success is doing a guest blogging series on busy people and their healthy lives.  Guess what?  I'm one of them!  You can check out my guest post here.  While your there, subscribe, because her blog is amazing, and she is seriously smart when it comes to health and fitness (and acting and dancing and teaching and any number of other things, but that's another issue entirely). 

Also, it's almost FRIDAY!!!

Who's ready for the weekend?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Do you 10Q ?

A few years ago I started answering 10 questions about myself and the world every September.  The following year, those answers pop up in my inbox.  I love this project (10Q) and it's made me realize that 1) I know myself pretty well and 2) Many of my feelings and beliefs about the world are consistent year after year, but some things do change.  It's cool to see. Like last year I said one of my goals was to live healthier and "cleaner" one step at a time, and I've definitely taken steps to clean up my diet and lifestyle.  Here are some of the more amusing predictions I made:

Day 9: 

What is a fear that you have and how has it limited you? How do you plan on letting it go or overcoming it in the coming year?

Your Answer:
I'm afraid of going to the dentist and finding out I need expensive procedures I can't afford.
I'm going to have to go eventually.

Day 11:
What are your predictions for 2011?

Your Answer:
More homework.

1)I finally went to the dentist
2) I definitely had a beast ton of homework

Have you ever participated in the 10Q project or something similar?  Do you ever amuse yourself with your past year's goals/resolutions/predictions?

Monday, September 19, 2011

How I Ended Up Training for a Marathon

It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. ~Epictetus

A year ago today I ran my first half marathon and LOVED it.  In eighth grade I got a B in gym because I refused to run the mile for the Presidential Fitness test (I walked it happily), because I HATED running.  How did I go from someone who absolutely hated pounding the pavement to someone who can't get through the week without a good run? 

I was very athletic growing up, I was on the swim team, rode horses (English-style, jumpers), did gymnastics, danced, and cheered.  In college I was committed to staying fit, and was a total gym rat.  However, this funny thing happened when I graduated college and moved to New York without a job...I was broke.  Like realllllly broke.  I paid my first months rent, convinced my parents to stock my fridge with Costco goods and was left with $90 and stolen internet to find a job (which I did).  With no free campus gym membership in sight I started running up to Prospect Park, doing a few crunches and pushups and running home.  It started as two one mile legs, and eventually became a continuous three miles.  I started working at a local restaurant to supplement my paltry actor's income and the chef was a runner runner (He's like insanely fast).  The idea of distance running sparked my interest and I worked towards building my endurance.  After a year of living in New York I was running about 15 miles a week and actually enjoying it. 

For my 2010 resolution I decided I wanted to run a race...a long one.  The longest distance I could fathom running was a half-marathon, so I signed up for the Rock N Roll Philly Half Marathon in September and started building my mileage.  I started running 20-25 miles a week and have pretty much consistently maintained that ever since.  I completed my first race in 2h10m02s and I was hooked.  Honestly, if you want to get into running, but don't like it, sign up for a race.  You will never go back.

(I totally talked my parents into it.)

Ever the casual goal -setter I decided I wanted to try a marathon....eventually.  I decided that 2012 was the year.  I would run 26.2 miles the year I turned 26.  I'd be done with grad school, have the mental, physical and emotional capacity to handle it, and have plenty of time to prepare.  For 2011, I joined NYRR and decided to run the 9 +1(volunteer) races I'd need for automatic entry into the 2012 NYC Marathon (side note: I live a block away from the NYC marathon course and I LOVE going down to watch it every year).  I was ready.  The plan was set, my life was swimming along brilliantly and I had the mother of all marathons to look forward to when grad school was done.

Then I got my boyfriend of three years...who I was pretty sure I was going to spend the rest of my life with.  That SUCKED.  I was pretty devastated (note the sappy and philosophical posts that dominated the middle of the summer).  I needed something to throw myself into, and fast.  When an invitation to run the Inaugural Bucks County Marathon popped into my inbox, I clicked through instinctively.  It was the first ever marathon in my home town.  It was four months away.  Before I could question what I was doing, my credit card was out and I had a receipt from  I was running a marathon.      

Wooops.  Impulsive much? 

Honestly, I've had my doubts about this decision, but it's brought a lot of positivity into my life over the past few months that I desperately needed.  Marathon training forces to me fuel properly, not get rip roaring drunk, go to bed at a reasonable hour, gives me energy throughout the day, but leaves me exhausted at night so that I sleep like a baby.  On some level, I'm grateful for the heartbreak because it's given me the opportunity to run this race and focus on myself right now.  I'm working on becoming a better person all around and it's something I can be proud of.  It's not the path I would have chosen for myself, but its a path that presented itself, and I'm happy to say I'm enjoying the journey. 

Did a less than favorable situation ever drive you to something good?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Back to the Weekend Long Run

I was delinquent last weekend and abandoned my long run in favor of two shorter runs...oops.  Anyhow, I'm back on the wagon and (smartly) stayed in last night to prep for this morning's 16 miler.  Since I was 1) tired 2) feeling super lame about staying in on a Friday night, I ordered some takeout from my favorite Mexican restaurant .  OBVIOUSLY I needed to carb load, so I got an order of chicken enchilladas (comes with rice and beans) and an order of chips with guac (so much yum).

Sorry I neglected to take a photo before I annihilated it.  I was hunnnngry.  I got to bed at a decent hour, made sure I got a full eight hours and took a leisurely morning to fuel for my run.  I woke up at 8:00 (for those of you who've been getting up at 6am all summer to run before it's 9,000 degrees out know how absolutely THRILLING it is to get up at a human hour for a long run), got coffee from the local bakery, had toast with peanut butter and half a grapefruit (and gummy vitamins), and sat on my bum for a couple hours.

When I was at Target on Thursday I picked up a couple of CLIF Shot Bloks to try out for my long runs.

I actually really liked the taste of these, and they definitely kept me feeling fueled longer and better than Gatorade does.  They're extremely chewy, so I really had to walk while I chewed them, but since my plan for the marathon is to walk through water stations, these could definitely work for me.  I had one "shot" about every 3 miles, for a total of 5, so the 6 in the pack will probably serve me really well in next weekend's 18 mile tune-up.  I'll keep you posted.

So how did the run go?

I ran 16 miles in 2 hours and 35 minutes, for an average pace of 9:41, which puts me right on track to run next weekend in under 3 hours (my goal).  I walked up most of Prospect Park's "big hill" on my fourth and final loop in the park, which I'd prefer not to have done, but I finished my last two miles strong so I really can't complain.  New distance PRIDE.

Time to go eat those leftovers!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fridays are for TREATS!

I work hard.  I'm sure most of you do too.  We are busy people with lots of obligations and interests and we do our best to take care of ourselves along the way.  Sometimes we deserve to treat ourselves, right?  Today that meant that after my morning miles I picked up a whole wheat bagel toasted with apple cinnamon cream cheese.  That's right, APPLE CINNAMON CREAM CHEESE.  (I'll wait for you finish drooling.)

This stuff literally tastes like fall themed cheesecake all over your morning.  It is, for lack of a better word, awesome.  Anyway, I had a rather glorious breakfast.  The rest of the day has been rather uninteresting.  I did give another late afternoon diet soda alternative a try:

SNOW Natural Soda.  The ingredients on the can all seemed safe.  Helllo natural cane sugar, it's nice to meet you!  I always worry about things that are fortified with vitamins, but with the exception of the added Bs and Cs, I had faith in its natural-ness.  It also tasted great, and there were only 115 calories in the can.  No caffeine though, I ended up having a mug of black coffee afterwards.  I'm definitely going to make a special trip to Whole Foods for Kambucha this weekend though.  The search for a healthy alternative continues!

How do you treat yourself for all your hard work (at living)? 

Song I'm loving right now

"Everything is Borrowed" by The Streets

This song is really connecting with me this week.  Hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Clean Teeth and Good Food

I bought a Living Social deal to go to Park Dentisty back in......March (I may have been putting off a trip to the dentist....since 2008).  The reality is that I haven't had dental insurance since college.  For a long time I was terrified that they'd find a cavity and I wouldn't be able to afford the costs of fixing it.  Obviously avoidance was the best way to deal with the situation.  So for the past 3.5 years I've been practicing the very best dental hygiene and hoping against hope that I didn't have a serious dental problem.  No pain, no problems, right?

Anyhow, when a trip to the dentist (in my neighborhood no less) literally came through my inbox, I had to jump on the opportunity.  Thankfully, I'm in a more secure financial situation now than I have been, so I decided to go for it.  Oh. My. Goodness.  SO GOOD.

Dr. Milito was amazing.  She was so kind, her assistant and her receptionist were absolutely lovely and accommodating, and my teeth feel oh so fabulous right now.  Luckily, my delinquent self didn't have any cavities or gum disease (although I had a little bit of plaque build up courtesy of years without a dentist's cleaning).  She cleaned me up, sent me off and I've promised to go to the dentist every six months like a good girl from now on.    Cue creepy photo of my clean teeth:
Pearly whites!

 When I got home I waited the obligatory hour after the appointment (is that still a thing?), and then started MUNCHING on all the fruits and veggies in my apartment.  I had a monte cristo panini (no sides) from Prospect Perk Cafe for lunch, so I was a little desperate for some greens.  First I cut up some mango all fancy pants to show of my mad knife skills:
Next I decided to try my hand at roasted brussel sprouts.  I LOVE brussel sprouts, but I'd never roasted them before so I wanted to give it a shot.  I tossed those bad boys in a little bit of olive oil and salt and pepper:
I roasted them in the oven at 350 for about ten minutes, then flipped them all over and roasted for another ten.  They were delicious!  (Also, my teeth weren't sensitive post dentist as I'd worried they would be, wahoo!)

Have you ever put off taking care of yourself for financial reasons?  Know of any affordable options for the uninsured?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Solutions from the house

Thanks so much to the lovely ladies who gave me some advice on my little problem (diet soda).  While I totally had to google Kombucha (does that make me completely out of touch?), I'm definitely going to take Alexandra's advice and try it next time I swing by Whole Foods.  For today, I took a little hint from Keelie (Queen of Iced Coffee) and Kerri and did this:

Black coffee and seltzer (I did not mix them, if that's what you're wondering)!  I figured I'd get the bubbles annnnd the caffeine I need for the afternoon.  It's still in the experimental stage, but I figure I'll give it a shot for the next couple of days and see how it goes.

Thanks for being awesome you guys!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Unhealthy Habit I Cannot Kick

I hit up an enormous deal at my C-Town this weekend, 99cent FAGE yogurt.  This is awesome because I got delicious and nutritious Greek yogurt for about a third of the usual price, but horrible because now I know how unparalleled and perfect the texture and flavor of this exhorbitant-ly  priced yogurt is and I will be tempted to purchase it at it's full price (which is around $3) when I go back to that sneaky sneaky grocery store. Sigh.

Anyhow, I had one of the offending (and oh so marvelous) FAGE yogurt's today with about a 1/3 cup of granola and some fresh blueberries thrown in there.  I didn't take any pictures because there's a new crop of interns in my office and they're already eying me like I'm a nut so.... ya know.  However, I assure you it looked as elegant as this image from their website.

Lunch was rice and beans (cheese free version), (I would have taken a picture of that too, but I think I've shown you enough photos of rice and beans to feed a virtual village so I'll refrain) with carrots and Sunchips.  Dinner is on the run today as well, and it's going to be a  tuna sandwich on whole wheat with a bed of mixed greens in there.  I make my tuna with mustard instead of mayo, which gives it a hell of a lot more flavor and heck of a lot less calories - win win.  But I didn't come here to talk about food.  I want to talk about beverages,  and not the kind you're thinking, I am in full support of my drinking habits in that department (healthy moderation is my jam).  I want to talk about diet soda.

Sigh.  The ever powerful call of the mid afternoon bubbly caffeine indulgence with a side of aspartame.  I CAN NOT KICK THE HABIT.  I have tried again and again and again, and for some months I will switch to just seltzer, or nab the beast altogether, but I always go back.  Now I realize that right now isn't the right time to try and go cold turkey (you mean working full time, going to school full time, training for a marathon and applying for long term gainful employment require all of available my willpower?) but I want to quit eventually. I would like to cut the daily dose of harmful chemicals out of my life, but I think I need a healthy substitute in this situation; something to keep me going back to the beast.

Are there healthy alternatives to diet soda?  Is there something I can drink in the mid-afternoon when I'm starting to fade and have 8 more functional hours in my day?  Something with caffeine and bubbles?  Maybe something a little sweet that feels like dessert? 

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Monday

Oh Monday, you never cease to kick my lazy weekend booty.  So rude (Stephanie from Full House style).  While it's never fun to go back to my crazy packed weekdays, it's never as bad as I imagine it will be on Sunday night.  Since I like to end on a good note (this translates to "finish strong" when it comes to my runs).

The Bad
I woke up about 20 minutes late and proceeded to drag like molasses all morning.  How many minutes late was I?  Who's counting?

The Ugly
I finished my homework for this evening's class on my lunch hour at work...I still squeezed in 20 minutes of outside time to physically eat my lunch though, so not too bad. 

The Good
I brought the pumpkin spice cupcakes I made into the office and they were a huge hit.  Credit where credit's due (totally not my recipe).  Also, I ate really well today, and despite the long day, felt great throughout!

How do you get through a busy Monday?

The weekend I accidentally disconnected

I didn't plan on it, but I ended up spending very little time on the web, twitter, foursquare, facebook, mobile, etc. this weekend.  I was a little bit preoccupied, a little bit busy, and a little bit plain old lazy.. so no blogging.  Right now I've got a killer sinus headache, so if I stop making sense, please forgive me.  (Also if you have a cure for a sinus headache and sinus congestion I will be forever grateful!) 

Friday ended up being a crazy night for me!  I expected to be home alone in bed by 10pm like the boring old lady I've become nowadays.  Let's just say I didn't get home til FAR later than that, and I did not kick out 14 miles on Saturday.  To be honest, I'm not too upset about it.   I didn't end up going on a legitimate long run this weekend, but I covered 28 miles for the week, so I wasn't too far off of my goals.  Besides, going to see my friends' show, spending time with some of my new classmates, and catching up with old college friends was all infinitely more important than my run.  Life is like that.  Fitness and training are important, but they are a part of your life, not all of it.  The people in your life will always matter more than your marathon PR, or the number on the scale, or the "cleanness" of your diet.  Remember that.

Saturday was lazy, I went to work for a few hours in the afternoon, and then exhausted, fell asleep on the couch before I could meet up with a neighborhood friend for drinks.  I guess my body knows what it needs.  I did however have some delicious (and incredibly spicy) green curry for lunch:

Sunday was a day for being quiet and running errands.  I went on a sweet little run to clear my head, did my grocery shopping, went to church, baked some cupcakes and watched football.  (YEA EAGLES!)  I wore my Eagles green, but forgot to take a picture until long after I was covered in powdered sugar, so instead I give you a picture of my Sunday night.
Obviously Corona and cupcakes go together.

The most important thing I did on Sunday though, was reach out to those important to me and let them know that I love them. 

How did you spend your weekend?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Comfort Eating/Buying

I woke up this morning with the feeling that a cold might be coming on, so I'm in defense mode today.  Since I don't have classes on Friday nights, I decided to bump my AM run to a PM in order to catch some more zzzs.  For breakfast I got a whole wheat bagel with strawberry cream cheese (not a healthy choice, but an acceptable every so often deviation imo) with an apple and a glass of OJ (DEFENSE!).  So much yum.  My lunch looked like this:
(walnuts, dried cranberries, mixed greens, goat cheese & italian dressing)

and some of this:

It was not so delicious as I thought it would be when I impulse bought it at Duane Reade, which is unfortunate because I was really craving some fall weather soup.  Note to self: don't buy food at the drug store.  I did however walk out of there with some serious wins.

Essie's "eternal optimist" and mellowcreme pumpkins!!!  Nail  polish is my go to, quick fix, pick-me-up for everything.  I'm feeling a little sad?  Buy nail polish.  I'm feeling a little under the weather? Buy nail polish.  The world is falling down around us and the rapture is upon us?  BUY NAIL POLISH!  Seriously, it can effectively solve all distract from problems.  The pumpkins?  Yea, if you're not familiar with them, they are a juiced up version of traditional candy corn.  The main ingredient is high fructose corn syrup, and I will probably die 5 years before my time for eating them, but they are so good.  I have an affinity for seasonal candy.  I can say no to a snickers or a starburst no problem, but if it's holiday candy, I am powerless to resist!  This includes: mellowcreme pumpkins, cadbury cream eggs and candy canes.  They are my kryptonite.  This one's another bad habit of mine:
(can you say pot o' gold?)

What's your favorite bad habit?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

LINK: Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes from Sweet Tooth Sweet Life

You guys, it's no secret that I would not be able to cook/bake/eat like a human if not for the internet.  Seriously, it's a little embarrassing, but I like to keep it honest.  Google reader is my jam.  Anyhow, Sweet Tooth Sweet Life is another GREAT blog.  I mean how good do these look?

Do you have any blogs you love/ do you write an awesome-balls blog you want me to know about?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fall is here! (sort-of)

It was HARD to get out of bed this morning.  For the first time in months, there was a chilly breeze coming in through my window, and my bed was just so cozy.  I thought about staying in bed and passing this morning's miles onto another day until I realized that there's not time to put more miles on ANY days (thank you grad school and marathon training combo), so I put on my big girl face (and a fun t-shirt) and bit the bullet.

Thinking it was raining harder than it was, I slipped my gym membership card in my pocket and set out for an early AM run.  I am SO glad I got out this morning.  As it turned out, it was just a little drizzly and breezy; enough to deter a lot of runners/cyclists, but actually perfect for a morning run.  I had the park almost to myself, passing only a handful of other exercisers (normally there are dozens) while I knocked out six cool miles.

Since the weather's below 70 degrees today, I got to welcome back an old friend: hot coffee!  While I love me some iced coffee in the warm months, I have definitely missed the traditional brew.  I love coffee so much I drink it black.  Weird, I know.  I like cappuccinos too, they have milk (froth) in them!  Blame my dad, he's the king of the espresso machine and drinks stronger coffee than anyone I've ever met. 

For lunch, I added some sweet snap peas to leftovers from last night's Wo Hop (This is the best Chinese restuarant in NYC's Chinatown.  Get the wonton soup, you'll thank me.  I believe the address is 17 Mott Street, the basement one, not the one at street level.)  Only the very best Wo-Hop date will let you keep ALL the leftovers (thanks!!!), so I'll be having more deliciousness this week.

Do you have favorite leftovers?  What is it, and where can I get some?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

An Assyrian wedding, a lot of good food, and a little baseball (aka my Chicago weekend)

So, do you know where Assyria is?  Because I sure didn't!  Turns out, it was an ancient kingdom where current day Iraq and Iran exist, but it hasn't been an actual country (or kingdom for that matter) since the BC years.  However, Assyrian culture is alive and well, and I had the very good luck of being related to someone who married into an Assyrian family.  Anyhow, I went to a very fun and very different wedding yesterday here in Chicago.  The food was AMAZING.  Just look at it (sorry about the cell phone quality pics).

Also, the bride and groom were an absolutely beautiful couple inside an out.  They made the centerpieces together with sand from Lake Michigan beaches. Too sweet.

Sunday dropped us at the Cub's game at Wrigley Field!
I'm a big baseball fan (Phillies fan really, but I love the sport in general), so when there's an opportunity to check out a game and a new stadium I'm all about it.  Wrigley is a really unique spot.  They have an old-school scoreboard that somebody changes by hand from the inside, and there are bleachers for seating on all of the buildings surrounding the stadium.  Say whaaat?  Check it out! But the BEST thing about Wrigley Field is definitely the Chicago style hot dogs.

Piling vegetables all over my hot dog makes it healthy right? YUM.  My trip to Chicago began with a 15 mile run along Lake Michigan and ended with an enormous hot dog and a baseball cap full of nachos.  Hehe.  I've loved this city, but I am raring and ready to go back to Brooklyn.

Ever been to Chicago?  What are some of your favorite Chicago things?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I'm an Adjunct!

Sooo, I'm teaching an undergraduate course at Brooklyn College this semester (squeee!).  I was a little intimidated when I first got the job, but after the AMAZING support of my department and some alums, I felt completely prepared and ready to take on teaching at the university level.  I spent the summer drafting a syllabus, working out a class structure, writing lesson plans, and securing (the world's coolest ever) guest speakers.  All that was left for me to do was get in the classroom. What does Brooklyn's newest adjunct look like on the first day of class? 

Excited!  (For the record, the class went reallly well, and the students seem fantastic.  I feel incredibly lucky to be able to share my passion with such great individuals.)  Anyhow, since I was so darn pumped up, I didn't really eat much all day.  (Well, that and the fact that there's NO food in my apartment.)  So I treated myself to Chipotle before my class (I'm still working on ye old MFA).
There are few things better than an enormous burrito with lots of hot sauce, but teaching college students might be one of them :)