Sunday, April 26, 2015

Getting ready for the 5K

My last weekend before the Crawfish 5K next Saturday included running up this hill 3 times (I have to say this picture does not do this hill justice as how steep it is to run up) as well as a mile run to and from it yesterday morning:

And today, I ran the 5K course:

On the plus side, it looks like a possibility that I'll beat my previous 5K time of 33:29 (given that I ran .20 miles more than the 5K).  Unfortunately, it doesn't look like I'll meet my secondary goal of doing better than a 10 mile pace.  Guess that will have to wait until the next one.

I decided to give these compression socks a try today:

I heard that they were good for holding everything together as you run and would help prevent shin splints and improve performance.  And goodness knows, I'm down with trying any kind of voodoo to help with my running.  Overall, they were comfortable and it definitely felt like it was holding my legs together but it didn't make me faster.  That said, I'll probably wear them on race day--it certainly didn't hurt to use them.

So I got my runner friends to approve that this would be my last "long" run before Saturday since I'm traveling Wed-Friday.  So glad to get the long run over with (which is probably not a great sign about my running ability.)
Can't believe I found this street here in Columbia

Countdown to the race begins--less than a week to go!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Sending Lauren Off

Today was Lauren's last day at Kore and we had a farewell brunch for her, where, as usual, I brought the elegance:

She is heading off to the Marines in their Officer Training program.  We're excited for her, but we'll miss her.

Of course, we are wishing her the best. Our loss, the Marines' gain.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Birthday dinner!

With a generous gift, I was able to go to the fabulous @116 Espresso and Wine Bar cafe.  I had come here once with a friend and I loved the wine selection and food and dreamed of coming here again. This is one of the sure bets of a great dining experience and was so psyched to come here for my birthday:

Started out with a sweet, crisp Prosecco and their Hibiscus Highball (which was potent!):

Paul and I shared the Cheese Plate appetizer:

As well as their Deviled Eggs with Seared Tuna:

I had the Rainbow Trout with Blue Crab and Hollandaise:

Paul had the Cuban pizza:

For dessert, we split their version of Strawberry Shortcake:

and Key Lime Pie:

Such a great birthday dinner--everything was awesome and I left with a happy full belly!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Indie Grits and Family Hip Hop Day

Finally went to an Indie Grits film here in Columbia last night!

Went to see "Female Pervert", which follows a female who is somewhat a sociopath and her attempts at dating and interacting with other people.  The film was shot in Atlanta and was intrigued by the Asian-American lead and director--though it had no bearing in the storyline: 

It was offbeat and humorous and it was great to see an indie film in a film fest.  It even had a Q&A with the director, which I loved:

This afternoon, checked out the Hip Hop Family day in downtown Columbia:

Glad I got to meet up with Veronica--

This was one of those events that was a lot more fun nodding my head with someone rather than standing by myself. I used to not care about that when I was young and was fine going to events, shows, and bands by myself. Now, if I don't meet up with someone, I'm like, eh, skip it. Yeesh, is this a thing about getting older?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Haircut--color hair?

As you can see, my hair was really getting long for my face, specifically the hair around my face--heading into my famous "Yoko Ono, circa the Bed-In" stage:

Unfortunately, I don't foresee going to SoCal to see Christina anytime soon so I bit the bullet and went local.  Christina was kind enough to give me notes/instruction but I was still cautious.  The after doesn't seem like a big change but it did feel lighter:


She did make the gentle suggestion about doing a semi-permanent color to cover the grays. She was really tactful--I vaguely remember her saying something like, it's a shame to have these grays when you look so young. Hee! 

But for what it's worth, it's a comment every stylist has said to me in the last 10 years.  I used to be very "no way, keeping it au natural" as a stand against beauty and youth expectations for women.    But frankly it doesn't seem such a big deal about coloring hair when women of all ages color their hair in different colors--it's more fashion than about looking young, so that's not really my reason anymore.  I think a larger part is that I'm so lazy about maintenance and I dread having to maintain hair color.  But apparently this semi-permanent option makes the maintenance a lot less of an issue because it eventually washes out--no worry about seeing gray roots all of sudden. it time for me to start coloring my hair?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Tax Time!

Yes, I know it's less than 3 days before these are due but I finally got our taxes done. The catch? Turbotax is apparently suffering technical difficulties, and can't process the e-filing fee.  I'll have to wait until the phone lines are open and hopefully can pay by phone tomorrow morning and get this thing done!

Fingers crossed.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

SC Mud Run 2015!

I joined my friends' mud run team a few weeks ago.  Though I wish I had trained a few more weeks, I couldn't have asked for a more supportive and gracious team to join:

Hopefully lucky bib 49!  Our main goal was to complete without injuries:

And we did it and in pretty good time: 1 hour 38 minutes!  Not bad for a 10K with 36 obstacles.  Where's the mud?  Why, completely in my running tights!

Unfortunately I didn't make my standing goal of getting across the rope transfers but these margaritas soothed any shortcomings:

So did these chips and tacos!

Overall, glad I did it and setting my sights on another goal to train for...maybe a 5K?

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

My ode to Kore Wellness

Hoping to do all the rope transfers at my next SC Mud Run!

I love this gym.  No treadmills, no machines.  Just kettlebells, Sorinex, and stuff that reminds me of playground equipment.  I have made good friends here and they have been keeping me accountable to get strong and keep well.  It's such a supportive environment that I sometimes don't realize the progress I've made here--like finally doing an unassisted pull-up and doing the SC Mud Run (doing my 4th in less than 2 weeks!)  I'm looking forward to reaching new goals here!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

A couple of Firsts at Philly airport

The first time I have seen Breakfast Pizza (eggs, cheese, bacon on a pizza crust):

I couldn't do it. I went with a bagel.

And the first time I have seen someone, not only walk barefoot in the airport, but also board the plane barefoot.  The boarding agent was this grandmotherly lady who half-shouted in shock, "Where's your shoes?!"  I didn't hear the guy say anything and she just rolled her eyes and shook her head as he headed down the gangway.

I don't know which part puzzled me more--that he was barefoot when it was about 30 degrees outside in Philly or that he was walking barefoot in the Philadelphia airport and now, on to a plane. Ugh, I feel grossed out when I see people coming out of the airplane bathroom in thin flip-flops. So glad I didn't see what the bottom of his feet looked like.

Awesome Hotel amenities

Well, after the ground stop in Philly was lifted, my connecting flight took off without me.  So I was stuck in Philadelphia.  All the airport hotels were full, but I found a decent priced Crowne Plaza hotel (about $100/night) that was a $15 shuttle ride into the city.  The location wasn't handy to the cool parts of Phily, but I was beat after getting there after midnight.  And wow, I loved the included amenities!  Like 2 bottles of water, apples, and a Keurig!

And how about a mug full of Hershey Kisses while I watch 6 different HBOs?!

And look at this chic collection of shampoo, etc.  Oh yes, those came home with me.

And CD alarm clock with AUX input!

Man I wished I missed my flight earlier so I could have spent more time here!

De-Icing a plane

Got delayed in Boston Logan airport because major snow storms caused a ground stop in Philly, where I am supposed to connect to SC. The ground stop was lifted but before we could move, they said they had to de-ice the plane. I always thought de-icing entailed some giant ice-scraper going over the surface of the plane, but instead, it's this:

It appears they spray de-icing liquid over the entire plane:

I guess that's a lot easier than using a giant ice-scraper.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Girl is home!

The Girl is home for spring break, what a sight for sore eyes. We've been missing her so much, but appreciate she is having a good time at school, a thousand miles away. Treated her (and US) to some 10 inch hoagies at Which Wich:

She came along for Paul's latest follow-up post-surgery and convinced him to do a striped cast with glow-in-the-dark stripes:

And she even made me a bowl of ice cream and strawberries. Heavenly.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Rough week

Oof.  My laptop died Saturday and I wanted to get in a draft of a project in by Monday.  I had to fire up our old desktop, which, for what it's worth, has been a great trooper.  Unfortunately, totally not portable.

Then, at a follow-up appointment for Paul, post-Achilles surgery, he had an infection, which meant another surgery to remove any possible sources of infection.  So besides worrying about this infection, we are close to square one with the Achilles surgery.

And now work is ramping up and I'm at the hospital and all I can think is how helpful it would be too have a laptop.

Fingers crossed, something lightens up!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Care package to my girl

Besides being buried under tons of Massachusetts snow, my girl is getting ready for exams. Put together a little care package:

All stuff I would love to eat all in one night, though Paul thinks I overdid it on the Kind bars. Hope she digs it!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Happy New Year!

I cleaned the house like a crazy woman yesterday to welcome the Year of the Sheep.

Here's to my mom who was proud of being born in the year of the sheep.

Wishing everyone good fortune in the new year!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Happy Birthday to my man

For my man's birthday, I got a little crafty with his favorite trail mix to sneak into his lunch:

And we had his dream dinner of pizza, wine, and chocolate:

Best birthday wishes to Paul!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Sweetheart 5k run

Man I was getting so anxious for this run.  Yesterday, I mentioned this to a woman at the gym who used to run a lot.  She said, "I've found there are two kinds of runners.  One, those who are in tune with their bodies the whole time, those are...the top runners...the cream of the crop."  She took a wistful pause and I briefly thought she was going to kiss her fingers to honor these elite runners like waiters in Italian restaurants do when describing their transcendent ravioli.  She continued, "the other kind are the ones who need a distraction."  She looked at me, "Maybe you could have a radio."  I totally took no insult that I wasn't an elite runner and confirmed, that yes, yes!  I'll be playing music when I run.

And...I finished!

With a smile, to boot.

It was chilly--in the 30s.  And as usual, I started gasping immediately.  But I finished!  And it was pretty hilly terrain according to my RunKeeper app (fyi, 186 meters is approximately 610 feet):

What threw me off is that part of the trail overlaps part of itself towards the end and a 12K race was starting as we were finishing so we started to run into each other in opposite directions.  I heard a runner say "you got this" and another (thinking I was in his race) helpfully shout, "you're going the wrong way!"  Pretty supportive, don't you think?  I ended up stopping at one point after my app said I finished 5K and checking my map to make sure I was going the right way.  I was on the right path and found my way to the finish line.

According to my splits, I finished 5 km in 39:49, which was in line with my goal.

But apparently, the official 5K finished further out than my app calculated and my official time was 48:27.  At least I have time to beat next year--and I won't need to check a map next time!

Thursday, February 12, 2015


Okay, so I'm pretty sure I want to see this movie (fair warning, this is the red band trailer):

The cast looks great, from the chemistry between Amy Schumer and Bill Hader to Vanessa Bayer. Annnnnnnd...anybody who knows me, knows I love, love, love Tilda Swinton. And it doesn't look like she disappoints here.

"Thank you. You inspire me."

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


And also, #2 of 12 of my "make things" resolution.  Using an iota of my craft stuff, I made a few valentines for my girl and her cousins:

Besides stamping the front, I used my Zink hAppy to print pix to wish them kisses and funny faces inside.  Then I adhered a vintage valentine for some cute sentiment:

Here's a close-up of one to our nephew:

I included a little fruit wrap (though the girl got a Dunkin Donuts gift card) to give them something sweet but didn't bother going overboard since I'm sure they are going to get inundated with sweets by friends and schoolmates. And it doesn't hurt that it kept postage down to one stamp too.  Just a little sweet something from their Auntie!