Tag: family

Holiday Things {12-26-2012}

1. On Thursday I started to have some heel/arch/foot pain so I was on injury watch all weekend (and into this week). I had asked my mom for some compression socks for Christmas so she thoughtfully gave them to me early so I could live in them while I was at home. I think they helped with things but I know that I looked cool rocking green socks all weekend!


2. On Saturday, after running a million errands and spending lots of money on shoe inserts and athletic tape (did I tell you how seriously I’m taking this minor foot pain?), my mom and I were finally able to go to Inn Season, a vegetarian/vegan restaurant near my mom’s house. Unfortunately, after a day lacking in veggies, all I wanted was a salad so instead of trying one of the cool, vegan entrees, I stuck with a basic spinach salad with golden beets, raisins, sprouts, avocado, and tahini dressing. It was good but I could have had a salad anywhere, what was I thinking?


3. For some reason I thought it would be fun to check out the mall while I was home. Somerset is always decorated for the holidays and after spending a lot of time there in middle school and high school, I like to go back when I’m in town. Well, the mall was an absolute mess of people and the decorations were a little lacking this year but I managed to do a little more shopping and even picked up a sweater on sale at J. Crew.


4. When I’m in Michigan, I almost always need to go to Siam Spicy, my absolute favorite thai restaurant ever. Their pad thai is THE BEST but on occasion I like to branch out and try something new. This time I tried a stir fry dish that came with ginger and a black bean sauce. It was good and really spicy!


5. On Sunday I squeezed in my last 20 miler for the Goofy Challenge. I ran 20 miles out from my mom’s over to where we used to live and met my mom and Ian for lunch at one of my favorite cafes. The sidewalks were icy and the route was really hilly but I loved the change of scenery and really enjoyed myself. My foot also didn’t really bother me while I was running which was a huge plus!

photo (2)

6. On Christmas eve after running more errands, my mom, Ian, and I grabbed lunch at the only open place in the area a Mediterranean place and had quite the unplanned feast. I ordered vegetarian grape leaves and a juice (carrot, beet, apple) and was surprised to be served a huuge entree sized salad, grape leaves, fries, and tahini sauce. The fries were outstanding and I definitely ate a little bit too much.


7. On Christmas morning, I woke up early and headed out for a recovery 8 mile run. My foot didn’t’ really hurt but didn’t feel great either so I took my run nice and easy.

After eating, we exchanged gifts and listened to Christmas music. It was a great way to start our Christmas morning.

8. Last year, instead of having a formal Christmas meal, my mom and I decided to have something more manageable for only a few people and made chili. We decided to keep the tradition this year and made vegan and gluten free cornbread muffins, a turkey chili, and then my favorite vegetarian chili. I definitely had my share of chili and cornbread, it’s one of my favorite meals.


For dessert, I had a piece of my favorite cake, pineapple dump cake. The “recipe” is incredibly simple and can be veganized and made gluten free and still tastes good. I ate entirely too much of this stuff while I was at home!


9. Unfortunately, shortly after Christmas lunch, Ian and I packed up and headed back to Chicago. We both have to work today so we wanted to get back, unpack, and relax a bit before going to bed.

How was your holiday weekend?
What’s one of your family’s holiday traditions? My mom always reads The Night Before Christmas to me and even though I’m older, I don’t want to break the tradition!

Monday Things {11-05-2012}

1. On Friday evening my mom drove in to Chicago from Michigan. Even though Ian and I were home not too long ago, I was really excited to see her, I love spending time with my mom! We decided to go to one of Ian and my favorite restaurants for dinner, The Publican. Ian and I have been twice before and unfortunately the experience was much better then than it was Friday night. We ordered some oysters (amazing), I had the apples salad without cheese, my mom and Ian split the frites with eggs, I had the fish stew, and my mom and Ian split the blood sausage and the porchetta. While nothing was bad per say everything was just okay.

2. On Saturday morning I woke up early and went for a 5 mile run. I switched things up and headed south along the lakeshore trail and ran through one of my favorite spots in the city, the path around the aquarium. I don’t run there often but the view of the city is always breathtaking and I just had to stop and take a picture.

Booping idea courtesy of Sierra.

3. Back at the apartment, my mom and I each had a small breakfast and some coffee before heading out to enjoy the overcast city. Our first stop was Fleetfeet where I finally replaced my FuelBelt. I decided on something similar to my previous one that carried two 7 oz bottles and had a little pouch to store gels, cash, a credit card, etc.


I also picked up enough gels to last me about a month. Besides Fleetfeet I haven’t found a store in Chicago that carries a decent amount of flavors and kinds of gels. As it takes me 30 mins to get there and it’s out of my way, I don’t want to be running over there every week. I’d be so tempted to buy everything in the store!

4. We also stopped in a Starbucks so I could use the restroom and my mom could get a latte. She ended up buying Ian and me some Starbucks Thanksgiving Blend too! Yum, thanks Mom!


5. After shopping, my mom and I met up with Ian (who slept in and then avoided a trip to Fleetfeet) at Frontera Grill for a late brunch. Over a year ago we all went to Frontera for dinner and loved it and I knew we’d have to go back for brunch eventually. After my mom told me which weekend she planned on coming to Chicago, I made sure to make a reservation ASAP.

We all started with the guacamole which was absolutely amazing and so simple. I could have just eaten chips and guac and been content.

Ian ordered the sapitos (A trio of Xalapa-style gorditas (corn masa cakes) in chipotle-black bean sauce each with its own topping: scrambled eggs, grilled chicken, chorizo, plantains; homemade crema & queso fresco)

My mom had the enchiladas de mole poblano (Homemade tortillas rolled around Gunthorp free-range chicken, doused with Mexicos most famous mole. Black beans)

And I had the vegetables in oaxacan green mole (Corn masa tamales, vegetables from local farms, Oaxacan green mole, crispy epazote).

Everything was amazing and we all left the restaurant in foodie heaven.

6. After lunch we walked around the city some more. We went to the Anti-Cruelty Society to look at puppies and kitties and then walked over to my new office so my mom could see where it was. It was starting to get cold and we were starting to get tired, so we headed back to the apartment to veg on the couch and watch Arrested Development :).

7. Lunch was pretty filling and had it been a normal evening I probably would have made a salad for dinner and called it a night. However, I had 20 miles on my schedule for Sunday morning and I knew I needed to eat something more substantial. We kept things simple and headed over to Amarit, a thai restaurant near our apartment.

I started with one of my favorite lighter thai dishes, green papaya salad.

And then ordered their mixed vegetables over rice.

It was good and safe for my stomach but nothing fabulous. I kept eyeing my mom’s pad thai and Ian’s pad see eiw ;).

8. We debated going to see a movie but we were all pretty tired and decided to watch a movie on Netflix instead. Has anyone else noticed how bad the streaming movie options are? Every time I want to watch a movie on Netflix it takes me like 30 minutes to find one that I remotely want to watch. Ugh. Anyway, we finally decided to watch I Love You Phillip Morris and while it wasn’t my favorite it was interesting.


9. Sunday morning I got up super early and headed out for a long run (you can read more about my training last week here). The extra hour was greatly appreciated and it got light during my first miles (yes!). I also finally think I’m figuring out how to fuel during my runs. Yesterday I took 1.5 gels, 1/4 of a gel every two miles starting at mile 8. It was kind of annoying to remember to fuel every two miles but I didn’t have any stomach issues which is more important. I have also been paying with GUs vs. Clif Shots and caffeinated vs. non-caffeinated gels. So far I seem to prefer the caffeinated Clif Shots.

10. After my run, I iced, stretched, snacked, showered, and then my mom, Ian, and I walked over to Hackney’s for brunch. I ordered the tilapia tacos that normally come with black beans and quinoa but shortly after telling our waitress that I was allergic to dairy, she told me both the black beans and quinoa are cooked in bulk in butter. Boo. We talked through my other options and I ended up with tacos, broccoli, and fries. Random but delicious. Plus, I was too hungry to care at this point!

11. My mom left shortly after brunch (:() and Ian and I vegged on the couch, watched some tv, and eventually did our grocery shopping. I also had about 30 minutes of work that I wanted to get done before going in on Monday so I did that too. Why do weekends have to end?

12. Ian and I spent the rest of the night catching up on our DVR, watching Walking Dead (ummm what happened?), and then doing some reading. I definitely crashed early, I was a tired lady.

How was your weekend? What did you do?

My Long Lost Hobby

Do you have any long lost hobbies? I sure do. There are many things that as a kid I really enjoyed, lost interest in when I was in middle school and high school, and then have really started to enjoy in the last few years. One of these things is fitness and running and another one is reading.

I clearly picked up reading from my mom. When I was growing up she would spend a lot of her free time reading and usually read about a book every 2-3 days. She would often take me with her to Barnes & Noble and while she would pick out a few books for herself, she would let me roam free in the children’s section. I loved these mother-daughter dates and I would always leave with a stack of books that I could not wait to dive into.


I read everything from the Dear America series (fave!) to the Nancy Drew mysteries. At one time I loved Baby Sitters Club and then I read the entire Boxcar Children series. Reading was just something I did when I came in from playing outside. It was a part of life.


When I started middle school, life was just too busy to read all the time. I had homework which included reading and then when I wasn’t doing school work I wanted to spend time on AOL IM-ing with friends. I read on occasion during my summer break (hello Harry Potter) but didn’t really get back into the habit of reading for pleasure every day.


During college I had small affairs with reading. I would pick up a few books during winter/summer break and I would promise myself that I would keep reading during the semester. Unfortunately, things would get busy quickly and then free time was spent going out with friends and yet again reading would fall to the wayside.

After graduating with my Masters degree last May I took some time off of anything academic. I was completely burnt out and tired of cramming reading into every second of every day. Ian and I watched a lot of television and whipped through the entire Mad Men series. It took awhile but without fail, a couple of months later I started to feel the itch again. I wanted to read. I started easy and reread the majority of the Harry Potter series. When I wanted something more challenging I started Catch-22. After that, I decided to do the reading challenge, read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and Animal Farm. Before I knew it, reading became a natural part of my life again and my Nook and I became BFFs.

I forgot how much reading for pleasure helps me relax. I read on the ‘l’ on the way to work in the morning, on my lunch break (on days that I actually have some time to take a lunch break), on my commute home, and before bed. I love the feeling of getting lost in a good book for hours at a time. For some reason it feels so much more productive than sitting on the couch watching tv (although clearly there is time for that too- life is about balance!).

So tell me, do you have any long lost hobbies? What are they?
Also, any good book suggestions? I’m in need of a new one!