Tag: food

Catch Up

Every so often, I get caught up in other life things and the blog gets neglected. It’s sad but just how things go. It’s been a while since I’ve written a non-training post so let’s play a little catch up.

Two weekends ago, Ian and I met two of his friends for pho at a tiny Vietnamese restaurant on Argyle St. I ordered Pho Ga and it was outstanding. Ian and I also split an order of spring rolls that were pretty tasty too.


The next day it rained all day long so Ian and I decided to run errands and then hibernate in our apartment. Around 2 pm we started to hear music and decided to venture outside to find its source. Turns out there was a little festival a block over from us during the rainstorm. I give them a lot of credit for playing in that mess.


Work last week was horrendous, we had a big deadline and despite finishing our pieces early, we still were almost unable to submit due to a technical glitch. Talk about stressful. After I found out that our submission was successful and I wouldn’t need to work all Thursday evening, Ian took me out for dinner and a huge, much-needed beer.


Has anyone heard of having homework before classes start? I hadn’t either but apparently its a thing? My classes start this week but I spent a lot of time last week and this weekend with my new favorite book…



Last Friday I had a sports massage to work out whatever is going on in my calf. This was my first sports massage and I wasn’t sure what to expect but I really enjoyed it… after it was over. The entire massage wasn’t painful but oh man, I was seeing red when she was working on my calves. The massage therapist believes that my calf issue is nerve-related so she made sure to work along the nerves to help loosen any that may be pinched due to tight muscles. Whatever she did, it helped a lot and by Sunday, I was completely weird sensation-free!

On Saturday, I had to go back up to Evanston again to pick up something from the bookstore. You better bet, I wore my Michigan gear all over the Northwestern campus too. NU seems so different from UofM or maybe I have a different perspective on everything now. Thoughts for another day.


Yesterday, I met Katie and Miss Molly to go for a walk around the park. Katie and I caught up while Molly chewed on sticks and stalked squirrels and then Katie and I went to get froyo. It was so much fun!


Molly couldn’t wait to see me :).

What have you been up to lately? Fill me in!

Life is All About Balance

Sometimes I forget that life is all about balance.

For the most part, April and May were really hectic. With moving, running the Boston Marathon, dealing with running injuries, work demands, and going to Michigan for Mother’s Day, life had felt pretty devoid of quality Ian time. Fortunately, that changed a few weeks ago when after what felt like one of the longest weeks ever, Ian and I went out for a nice night on the town.

After much debate, we decided to go to English, an upscale restaurant and bar in River North, to enjoy a nice dinner and a much needed “bring on the weekend drink”. We arrived a few minutes before our reservation and were seated at a great high top table near the front windows where we could really appreciate the longer days and sunshine that Chicago has been experiencing of late.

malibu_meAs much as I love getting a good sweat in early in the morning, I also really enjoy going out with Ian and/or friends and having a drink or two. Unfortunately, unless you enjoy running 10+ miles with an awful hangover, it can be difficult to enjoy both lifestyles. Enter, Malibu Island Spiced, a Malibu rum that’s made with Truvia® so you don’t have to worry about having crazy blood sugar spikes (or sugar hangovers) the next day. Plus, if worrying about alcohol calories is your thing, one serving of Malibu Island Spiced is only 70 calories– much fewer than your typical serving of alcohol and probably less likely to make you feel guilty and sluggish the next morning.

At English, Ian and I each started with a specialty Malibu Island Spiced cocktail while we perused the dinner menu. I sipped the Sparkling Spiced which was made with Malibu Island Spiced, soda water, and garnished with an orange wedge and Ian tried the Malibu Spiced and Diet Cola.

malibu2We both really enjoyed our beverages and noted that we could taste the coconut, cinnamon, vanilla flavors. The Spiced on Ice was also really tasty and smooth– something you don’t always experience with your typical alcohol + soda water cocktail. We also agreed that we preferred the Malibu Spiced and Diet Cola because the spice paired nicely with the sweet coke.

malibu1What a perfect no-guilt cocktail to enjoy on a summery Friday night!

For our meal, Ian and I split an order of mussels & frites to start. The mussels were cooked in an allagash white ale broth and were really tasty but definitely on the smaller side. The frites were fabulous though and super salty.

musselsFor my main, I ordered the ahi tuna salad.

ahitunaAnd Ian had the lobster mac ‘n cheese.

macncheeseBoth of us were very happy with our selections and happily cleaned our plates. We also enjoyed the first round of drinks so much that we ended up each ordering another Malibu Spiced and Diet Cola to sip while we feasted.

malibu3After hogging our table for more than a few hours, Ian and I ended our fabulous date night and headed home where I happily traded in my cute dress and heels for some running shorts and my bed. What more can you ask for on a Friday night?

To make matters even better, I woke up super fresh, sans hangover, and ready to sweat on Saturday morning and was able to head out for an awesome, early morning run.


See, life really is all about balance.

Now it’s your turn:

Leave me a comment telling me what dishes you like to enjoy with rum cocktails for your chance to win a $100 Visa Gift Card!

Sweepstakes Rules:
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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner  will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 6/13/13 – 6/30/13.

Visit Malibu Island Spiced Rum on Facebook to get more drink recipes and join the brighter side of spiced rum!

And be sure to visit the Malibu Island Spiced brand page on BlogHer.com to read other bloggers’ posts!


MALIBU ® Caribbean Rum with Coconut Liqueur & Natural Spices, with Truvia® Sweetener. 30% Alc./Vol. (60 Proof) ©2013 Imported by Pernod Ricard USA, Purchase, NY

Truvia® and the Truvia®  logo are registered trademarks of the Truvia Company LLC.


*when mixed with your favorite zero calorie mixer. Limes and other garnishes may add calories

Please note that I was compensated for both the night out and my review. As always, all opinions are my own.

Monday Things {02-11-2013}

1. This weekend went by in a quick and tired blur. After three mornings of waking up before 5 am, I was exhausted Friday night. I threw dinner together for Ian and I and then we spent the rest of the night on the couch watching t.v. The highlight (or low light) of the night was losing my pinkie toenail (ew, I know I’m gross). I’m pretty sure I crashed around 9 pm and managed to sleep through the night until 7:30 am on Saturday. That’s a lot of sleep for me!

2. After breakfast, I lounged around the apartment, headed out for a 4 mile recovery run, and then headed to the gym to try a power yoga class. Now I’m not a big yogi, I’ve been to a few classes here and there and I’ve only been able to really get into one class and I believe it was Bikram style but I’m always up for something new and I figured I should check out the class at my gym. Yeah, it just didn’t do it for me. Sure my arms were a little sore afterward but I just didn’t love the class, it wasn’t a total waste of time but I’m not sure I’ll go back. I really do wish I could love yoga but it’s just not something I enjoy.

3. For lunch on Saturday, I met up with some friends at Tweet to celebrate Emily‘s birthday. The restaurant was father north than I usually venture but the menu was extensive and everything sounded so good. They even had a gluten free menu. I’d already eaten breakfast, so I opted for a huge southwestern cobb salad. It was massive and delicious.


After lunch, we headed over to a small Asian market and picked up kabocha squashes on the cheap.

Emily, me, Kelsey, & Katie

4. Saturday night was also super chill. Ian and I knocked out our grocery shopping, ate dinner at home, and then watched a movie on t.v. Ian was exhausted from working on his car so he crashed early and I read Cutting for Stone, until I got tired. We were party animals this weekend :P.

5. After a restless night, I woke up early on Sunday determined to fit my long run in outside before the rain started. I had a pre-run rice cake with almond butter and raisins and then headed outside. I ran a 5 mile warm-up followed by 10 miles at marathon pace with a 1 mile cool down. I tried a new type of gel, PowerBar energy gel with caffeine, and I think I liked it more than Gus but less than Clif’s gels. I also got lucky and it didn’t really rain the entire time I was outside. Woohoo!


6. After taking a long nap on Sunday, Ian and I headed to Urban Belly to grab some lunch. We decided to split some kimchee and wrinkle beans to start…


…and then for my meal, I ordered the #14 (spicy garlic chili, tofu, and chinese eggplant) with rice cake instead of egg noodles. I avoided the tofu and was really impressed with the rice cake that tasted like a really thick slice of noodle. Yum!


7. Ian and I ran some errands after lunch and when we got home, I parked myself in the kitchen and got started on making Ian’s breakfasts for the week, glazed chocolate cake donuts. The recipe was pretty simple but I was nervous about actually frying the donuts. I shouldn’t have been though, the oil was a little too hot at first and I think I burnt one or two but after turning the temperature down and figuring out what was going on, it was smooth sailing.


8. Unfortunately, my computer completely bit the dust last night. I’ve been having trouble with it for awhile and my battery has been nonexistent (meaning if I unplug my laptop it immediately shuts down) for about a week now. Ian and I were browsing along when all of a sudden 1,000 pop-ups appeared and wouldn’t go away. Ian spent some time trying to figure out what was going on but ultimately decided I was better off doing a restore. He found a back-up on my laptop from early 2011 and restored everything back to the old settings. It’s really annoying but I’m so thankful that I decided to back all of my files up externally about a month ago. Whew!

How was your weekend? Do you like to catch up on sleep over the weekend?

Three Aces {Date Night}

After publishing yesterday’s post I realized that while getting back into my normal routine has been tough this week, I really wasn’t doing anything to prevent myself from feeling lethargic and tired in the evenings. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people complain about something that they can change, so I decided to do something to combat my fatigue (besides drinking a gallon of coffee).

One of the reasons I feel so tired after work is the fact that it’s pitch black out when I leave the building. As I run in the morning (dark) and usually don’t have much time to step out for lunch, the only daylight I’m really experiencing is on my commute to work. Then when I get home and it’s dark out, all I want to do is eat dinner, put on my sweats, and curl up on the couch for the night. Sounds pretty anti-social right? Well, this winter I’m challenging myself not to hibernate. Obviously everyone needs a little downtime, but I’m really going to push myself to go out more during the week, see friends, and have date nights with Ian.

Which brings us to last night, after a week of “blah” evenings, Ian and I decided a date night was in order! We decided to go to Three Aces, a fun gastropub in Little Italy. We’ve been there a few times (including once for brunch) and have always had good drinks, good food, and a great time :).

Three Aces is on the “trendy” side so when I got home I changed out of my work clothes into my favorite only hipster clothes.

I almost wore my glasses but decided against it at the last minute :P.

The dinner menu is not exactly food allergy friendly but I was able to make-do with a few substitutions. In addition to a glass of wine for me and a beer for Ian, we split the apple and fennel salad (without cheese) to start.

It was awesome and the smoked almonds were so good! I didn’t even know that people smoked almonds but I liked them :).

For my actual dinner, I ordered the beer steamed mussels. The broth was fabulous and there was even some butternut squash at the bottom of the bowl. So good!

Ian had a risotto that came with ham and black eyed peas. He really liked his meal but couldn’t keep his hands away from the mussels either. I’ve always thought that Hopleaf had the best mussels in Chicago but Three Aces sure gave Hopleaf a run for it’s money!

It was so nice to get out of the apartment on a Thursday night and have a nice meal. I’d highly recommend Three Aces to anyone who likes craft beer (their beer list is super impressive) and farm-to-table food.

This morning I woke up feeling much better. My legs weren’t as stiff (must have been that long foam rolling session yesterday) and I felt ready to run. My workout was on the shorter side (5 miles w/ 6 x 100 m strides) but I felt much stronger and looser than I have all week.

Now I’m off to tackle my last workday of the week. Have a good one!

Monday Things {Thankful}

1. Thankful that Ian and I were both able to leave work early on Wednesday so that even though traffic to get out of the city was horrible, we got to Michigan at a decent hour.

2. Thankful that my mom was willing to get up early on one of her days off to drive me downtown to run the Detroit Turkey Trot (recap coming soon!)

3. Thankful that we were able to stand inside until the race started and that my mom has not lost her awesome photography skills (just kidding, love you).

4. Thankful that after a year of battling injuries, I was able to run a lot of miles while I was home, including a strong race.

5. Thankful that when my mom’s “puppy” chased Sonic around the house, Sonic was able to escape safely. Also, thankful that Sonic forgot the traumatizing experience after a trip to Petco and some new toys.

6. Thankful that oats in a jar never goes out of style.

7. Thankful that my mom and Ian were willing to have a gluten-free and vegan Thanksgiving so that I could eat everything on the table. We feasted on lentil loaf (my mom and Ian had stuffed chicken breast), cornbread stuffing, cranberries, mashed potatoes and parsnips w/ mushroom gravy, and lightened up green bean casserole.

We also had a side salad with pistachios and apples.

8. Thankful that my mom made a gluten free and vegan version of my favorite pineapple dump cake for dessert. She also picked up Almond Dream ice cream for me to have with it. It’s not by any means traditional but I love it.

9. Thankful that even though OSU beat Michigan, I was able to watch the game with my mom in my sweat pants and a baggy sweatshirt.

10. Thankful for Thanksgiving leftover salads- the only time mashed potatoes have a place on top of spinach.

11. Thankful that somebody somewhere gets my peanut butter addiction.

I was tempted but decided against it :P.

12. Thankful that I was able to go to my favorite Thai restaurant and find something that I could eat.

13. Thankful that despite waking up to snow, I was able to run a halfway decent 17 miler on Sunday morning.

14. Thankful that my mom picked up some of my favorites for me to enjoy while I was home.

I used to eat rice chex for breakfast every day when I was in college (way before I knew I had to go gluten free) and I haven’t had them since. So good!

15. Thankful for mindless tv watching, book club reading, and napping on the couch.

16. Thankful for post-run salads and sweet potato fries, the ultimate combination.

17. Thankful that I got to spend some time with Ian’s family and that I was able to visit his mom’s horse at the barn.

18. Thankful that I was able to unplug for four days.

19. Most importantly, thankful that I was able to spend Thanksgiving with my family (and Ian). It’s tough not living in the same state and I miss my family a lot but I am so grateful that I was able to spend the holiday weekend back home with them.

How was your holiday weekend? Do you ever feel like you need to unplug?