Monday, March 26, 2012

a recipe for happiness

If I had to plan my perfect weekend it would have involved everything I did from Friday evening through Sunday. The past two and a half days were pure paradise in my mind. I got home from work and decided to push myself to do a run, despite the fact Ross wasn't going to the gym. I know that I have to build up my tolerance for running and my endurance. When I'm running on the treadmill, I'm guilty of power-walking more than running, and sometimes I feel like my jog or run isn't even with my natural pace. So with the warm weather calling my name I set a 10-minute timer on my iPhone, turned on the Pandora workout station, and hit the pavement. My first goal was to make it to the Navy Yard gates without pausing or slowing down past a slow jog. SUCCESS! I made it to the gates in 7 minutes and 45 seconds. I took the next 2 minutes and 15 seconds to rest and catch my breath, then I took off again for another 10 minutes, pausing only for one traffic light. I zig-zagged around the new row houses they're building in our neighborhood. It took a lot of patience and concentration but I was able to run through the wind stitches, the pain in my knees, and the common signs of giving up within 3 minutes of starting a run. My 10 minute timer went off when I was two blocks from my front door, but I ran the extra distance just because I could. I felt so empowered and successful when I got home!! More than that, I mapped my run when I got upstairs and found out it was over two miles! I was beyond ecstatic and so proud of myself for sticking with it. I have a long way to go until I'm ready for the 13-mile Tough Mudder this September, but that's what the next five and a half months are for.
Margarita on the rocks with salt... in a Mason jar!
Ross and I enjoyed a celebratory beer, or two, out on our balcony. The breeze was so nice and so was the company ;-) Later that night we went to Surfside for dinner. If you have not been, I HIGHLY suggest that you check it out!! They are a made-to-order taco restaurant with a beachy vibe. There are no servers, you order at the counter, grab a beeper, and go pick up the food when it's done. While they were making my taco I grabbed a margarita and found us a table... which, by the way, are quite difficult to come by on Friday nights. That place was packed! When the food arrived I was just marveling at my plate, and let me tell you, it tasted even BETTER than it looked! I got the flour tacos with Mahi, pineapple salsa, carmelized onions and poblano peppers, cheddar and jack cheeses, lime sour cream, and cilantro. This was all served on top of yellow rice. It was too much food for me to finish, but Ross had no problem polishing it off for me ;-)
My delicious dinner at Surfside!

Saturday morning started with a New Jersey bagel (thanks Dad!), a fresh cup of french-pressed coffee (thanks Ross!), and 90 minutes of GMAT studying (thanks Life!). I had a lot to get done and a lot to look forward to, so I was motivated to finish my homework. By 10:30 that morning I finished all of my assignments which meant, the rest of the weekend I didn't have to stress about GMAT studying!! From there I headed to the gym so I could do my conditioning, build muscle, and get lean for the Tough Mudder (and Cabo, which is only 3 weeks and 1 day away!!).
Must whip royal icing for 10 minutes!
Check out all of her supplies! Tracey is so well stocked :)
After the gym I showered and got ready for Tracey's! She was giving me a tutorial on decorating cookies with royal icing. I showed you all a picture of her masterpieces on Friday's post. Turns out she has learned all of her tricks via online research; reading and watching videos. I'm so thankful that I had her to teach me because I know it would not have been the same without a friend at the counter with me :) We had a great time making the royal icing, sipping on mimosas, and chatting about trapeze! Tracey was such a great teacher; she had a handout ready for me to take-home (Note, I have already purchased all of my own supplies so that I can start decorating cookies on my own ASAP!) and she gave really simple demonstrations for all of the techniques. If it wasn't for her, my cookies would not have turned out as pretty, I swear. Thanks, Tracey!!
My output from Tracey's fantastic tutorial!
First draw the straight lines.

Then drag a toothpick through it. (Kinda reminds me of latte art!)
Saturday night, Ross and I picked up dinner at Sorriso; mussels marinara and a pizza with spicy salami, mushrooms, and onions. This is one of our favorite places in DC, especially for pizza, and since moving away from the Cleveland Park neighborhood, we rarely get to enjoy it. I also made some garlic bread with the baguette Dad brought us from Balthazar Bakery. After enjoying dinner and cleaning up we parked ourselves in front of the TV for some movie time and nail painting. We finished Good Fellas (from the weekend before) and put on the Green Lantern. Yes, it was cheesy. Yes, Ryan Reynolds is still hot. But, I have to admit that most of my attention was going towards my nails... after all they were getting doned in a Hunger Games theme! Yes, The Hunger Games. I was inspired, what can I say? And when the inspiration hits, you gotta run with it! So off I went, each finger represents a different District or character from the movie:
My nailpolish. Lots of people have recently asked me how many colors I have... about 42.

  • Finger - District #, industry - image
  • Left pinky - District 10, livestock - cow
  • Left ring finger - District 4, fishing - fish and hook
  • Left middle finger - District 6, transportation - high speed train
  • Left pointer finger - District 11, agriculture - corn
  • Left thumb - Mockingjay!
  • Right thumb - President Snow
  • Right pointer finger - District 8, textiles - needle and thread
  • Right middle finger - District 13, nuclear - atom
  • Right ring finger - District 3, electronics - gears
  • Right pinky - District 7, lumber - tree
My thumbs, pre clean-up.
The process took me a little more than two hours and I'll likely remove it tonight, but it was totally worth it!
District fingers!!
Sunday was a busy day with my friend and college roommate, Nev. After food shopping, Ross and I picked up Nev so that Ross could drop us at brunch. (Such a sweet boyfriend!) We ate at Estadio near Logan Circle, and thoroughly enjoyed it. We ordered, by recommendation, the warm toast with local honey butter and a shaved salt. It was so warm, delicious, sweet, and salty! A great combination of flavors and textures. We also split the mini chorizo sandwich with the accompanying cheese. Although it was a bit greasy, we devoured each morsel! It was small but we both agreed that due to the law of diminishing returns the second would not have been as enjoyable. (Both econ majors in college. Both dorks. It's okay, that's why we get along so well!) Then we split the soft scrambled eggs with goat cheese, mushrooms, and scallions. It was so tasty and I really enjoyed the creaminess lent by the goat cheese. If you do happen to grab brunch here, make sure that you order the orange juice. It's fresh squeezed!!

After brunch? Off to The Hunger Games!! We got great seats and enjoyed some popcorn (with butter) and gummy worms. (Clearly this is not the day I stayed on my normal diet of "no preservatives".) We both liked the movie, but I won't spoil anything here in case you folks haven't seen it yet.

Following the movie we headed up to Red Sun Nails for a pedicure. Although I brought a polish from home, "Orange, It's Obvious" from essie's Spring collection, I opted to pick a color from the salon. I tend to do this because if I'm actually going to spend money to get my nails done, I would rather enjoy a color that I don't own. I cannot remember the last time I got a pedicure and they did such a great job! Although, they did put baby oil on our feet, to soften them, which made our sandals a little slippery to walk on. 

Since I forgot my metro card, Ross picked us up!! When we got home, he and I went on a walk through the Hill. We walked over to Eastern Market but arrived after they closed, oh well. We stopped at a bench to soak in some of the sunshine and enjoy the outside air. Since I hadn't actually cooked all weekend I was quite looking forward to preparing dinner. We defrosted some of the Cream of Mushroom soup I made last weekend and I put together some Zucchini pancakes. The recipe came from Everyday Food by Martha Stewart and gave me a GREAT reason to use my Cuisinart's slicing plates (thanks Mom!). It was my first time using the plates, I typically use the whole bowl and the blades. But since I had to grate 2 zucchini, 1 potato, and half an onion, I knew this was the right time to check out that attachment. It was really marvelous how fast the vegetables grated! And it made my life SO MUCH easier. Some parsley, matzo meal, egg, parmesan cheese, and dill later and we had zucchini pancakes ready to go into some hot oil on the stove! Flip 'em after 3 minutes and keep them warm in the oven while you finish the batch. We served them up with apple sauce and sour cream on the side. I preferred the apple sauce, but both were good options. 

So, how did I end my weekend on a high note?? I ate dinner and finished cleaning up BEFORE 8:30. It was unreal. We don't usually eat before 8:30, so to have everything DONE by then was truly amazing! We started the first episode of Game of Thrones, Ross just finished the book, and I am really looking forward to that series. And then we watched the season premiere of Mad Men.

All in all, it was a FABULOUS weekend. I hope you all enjoyed your Saturday and Sunday too!! Now back to my typical, busy lifestyle... and GMAT class tonight. Yay, Life! At least I have a class at Trapeze School to look forward to this Saturday :-D


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    • The Fabric Finish, Pattern and Pores – The finishes won’t be very even in a leather product. In a faux leather material which is man-made the pattern visible on the surface will be even and also sometimes the same pattern will repeat often. In natural leather the pattern and pores on the surface will be so different and it will not repeat.
    • Bend it – While examining, bend the leather product. If it is real leather it will get back to its original shape otherwise it’ll develop few folded impressions.
    • Compare – If you are already having a leather shoe with you, better take it while shopping new leather shoes. Compare both the shoes and then try to spot the differences in material.
    • Scent – Sniffing (though it is not liked by all!) can also help you find out real leather. The genuine leather product, however processed it is will have unique smell.
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    • Burning – When you burn real leather product, it will create some pungent smell. If its faux leather then it will appear like foam or lather when burnt. (Try burning a small left-over piece of the product ‘If Possible’)