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Showing posts from March, 2013


Winnie-the-Pooh - A.A. Milne
Rubina told me I needed to read this book probably a year ago and I just got around to reading it now.  It was adorable.  In the review on goodreads they call it "charming" and I couldn't agree more.
It's one of those books that I think, 'If I have children, we're reading this book.'  And, 'I wish we read that book with the girl I volunteer with.'  I don't get to pick.
So so cute.

Run Less Run Faster - Runner's World
I think I read a more recent edition than the one linked to above.
Honestly, I skimmed this book.  I just don't think the goals of their program are my goals. This program is for 3 days running a week while monitoring your pace all the time.  The goal is go fast fast fast.  Sure, I like to go fast, but not sure I want to do a program like this to go fast.  It's not that important to me.  I like to run, to run.
However, I do think for the future, I'm not going to run as much as I have in the pa…


The endless options when it comes to chickpeas is amazing to me.  It's a good thing I love them.  (I used to judge a good salad bar by whether or not they had chickpeas.)

I wanted to make a chickpea curry for awhile, but with traveling and other events the tab just stayed open on my safari screen waiting for me to finally make it.

I got back from Cincinnati late Thursday and I'm leaving again Monday for over a week so that left me 3 days to eat at my place.  What does that mean?  No perishables.  Or bought in very small quantities.  And I was feeling bummed that I shouldn't cook anything.  But then... I just halved the recipe and bam! cue a couple delicious meals.  The perfect amount to finish in 3 days.

I dove in to this Chickpea Curry.  I didn't have all the spices (add coriander to my list to buy), but I had the majority and it was delicious!  I didn't find it extremely spicy, but it did have a kick (please remember I have a high threshold for spiciness).
This time …

Signs of Spring

Today was awesome with so many signs of spring:

*Lovely brunch with a friend and while I rode up there I didn't even have to wear a hat!

*A beautiful 12 mile run.  I didn't have to wear ear covers or a sweatshirt, just pants, long sleeve tee and gloves.  It was so sunny and wonderful.

*What did I see during said run?  Sailboat lessons started!  The sailboats are circling around the harbors.  (yes, there is still little ice on the lake)

*Heard my first "on your left" of the season.

Chicago, every year about this time I hate you, but then you pull me back in and make me fall in love all over again.

Yes, I am aware it's supposed to snow tomorrow.

2nd Day of Spring?

This is what I woke up to this morning?  The second day of spring?
I almost didn't believe it.

You know what else is happening this second day of spring?  It's a very special lady's birthday!
I'm looking forward to celebrating with her in a week!

Head wind

I know Head wind is a phrase used for biking.  But today I'm talking running.

I got out this morning to get in a quick 5 miler before the day started and boy was I in for a surprise.

Going south I could feel the very strong wind at my back and I knew the way home was going to be terrible.

Terrible it was.


I tried mentally preparing myself running south for how bad it would be when I turned around to head north.  It did not work.

Have you ever done a Billy Banks kickboxing video?  I did one a few too many times in my parents' basement in high school and I have one of his sayings firmly planted in my brain, "Dig!  Dig!  Dig!"  (I think he was talking about upper cuts.)  
So while I pushed hard against this wind for 2.5 miles on my way home in my mind I kept hearing Billy Banks saying, "Dig!  Dig, Lisa!  Dig!"

The wind died down for 10 seconds and I almost tripped, I was leaning into it so much.  (Do not worry my friends, I did not actually trip.)

Happy Saturday!


New Day

I know many people to do not appreciate daylight savings time.  Are we in that now?  Whatever, turning their clocks back and waking up to dark skies.  

I'm not the biggest fan either, but this morning on my walk back from the gym I saw the sun rising over the lake the entire last block and it was pretty awesome and what I needed for a new day.
I came in and got my camera just for you, for this picture.  (Yes, it was more awesome in real life.)

It makes me excited for the future.  What are you looking forward to?
I'm looking forward to:
*Karen's visit for St. Patty's day and hitting up the festivities with friends
*Easter (including a trip to Missouri)
and then BAM it's April.  Hopefully we'll have at least normal temps by then since we've been below average for a couple weeks.  burrrrrr...

Who's ready for the weekend?  Besides me.

Soy Chorizo

I think I've had chorizo once in my life and I was not a fan.  Hence only eating it once.  Personally, I found it greasy and I just didn't like it.

This may be why I tried all the other fake meat concoctions at Trader Joe's, but not the soy chorizo.  Then I came across a recipe for Soyrizo Pasta Dinner so I decided to give it a try and give soy chorizo a try.

It was so so good.  I'm serious.  
Maybe it was the recipe, but I'm sold.  After trying this one recipe I even requested their book from the library and I'm awaiting it's arrival.  Super easy, delicious vegan food.  At least that's the impression I got from this one recipe.

While I was paying at Trader Joe's the cashier asked if I had tried it before.  No.  He said he's a meat eater and even he won't go back to regular chorizo.  He liked that he knows what this comes from rather than the thrown together combination of meats in chorizo.  (His words, folks.)
I tend to feel like fake meat taste…

More Bike Lanes!

Last week at volunteering we did a once around where everyone shared their favorite thing about spring.  Yes, I made it up.  It's because we were making butterflies.  Annnd maybe it had something to do with the fact that I'm over winter. So many people said they're excited for spring so they can ride their bikes again.   In honor of them and since I'm pretty much over winter let's talk about biking and especially the new bike lanes downtown! I think that statement is a stretch, but every little bit helps and the bike lanes downtown are really nice.  You can read a bit more about the addition here via nbc.  (it always takes a bit for people to adjust to change)

While this is very exciting, bikers need to be careful on the city streets.  Come on friends, let's not be stupid.  When you act like you rule the road, cars are going to dislike you and it's highly possible they will take their anger out on a different biker.  

If you would like a wake-up call feel free t…

Hot Sauce Search

As you know, I like my spicy foods.  So you would think I would have a strong hot sauce preference, as it seems many people do.  (I seriously had no idea, but some people really care.)

And then....

Cholula happened!

I found my hot sauce!

And now I see there are different flavors, including Chipotle?  Oh you know I'm getting some of that!

Wintertime Chili

I'm still trying lots of new recipes, but haven't had the chance to share them.

Here are a few:

A couple weeks ago one of my friends came over for dinner & I was indecisive as to what to make... it was cold so chili came to my mind quickly.
Chili & corn bread
I used this 3 bean Chili recipe as a guide (and made a few changes... lots of chipotle instead of the other peppers, etc.)
Delicious, easy, no knead bread.  Karen didn't believe me when I told her, but I make it all the time, it's so easy!

I was also inspired by one of my friends who's trying out new foods right now to try roasted chickpeas.  I looked up some recipes and tried this one. It was so good.  Almost like chips, but chickpeas! I would roast them a little longer because I really liked the crunchy ones. Have you tried anything new recently?

Paper Student

As I promised Saturday, I will now explain the photo I took while volunteering.

My friend is a grade school teacher in Missouri and Friday I received a letter from one of her students.  They are doing the Flat Student project.  Have you heard of it?  I think it's a modification of the Flat Stanley project.

Her student sent me a super cute letter and paper doll of himself.  I got pretty excited and tried to take lots of pictures of the doll around Chicago this weekend.

I already showed you this picture from volunteering, but do you see the paper doll in the photo?
We took a ride along Lake Michigan
Checked out some of the ice on the path
We checked out the traffic (not so bad on a Sunday afternoon)
We biked over the Chicago River
We biked through downtown to check out some sky scrapers too

I'm working on my letter to accompany the pictures so I can get everything back to him.  

I was supposed to add something to the doll while I had it and wasn't sure what to add so I asked the kids …

Best Day of the Week

Today was already the best day of the week.
Not a big surprise, since it's Saturday.  But hang in there while I explain.

Today I volunteered and I just love those kids.

It's been a bit off for about the past month because many of the kids are in mandatory ISAT prep classes (yes, on Saturday) and there's so much going on that messes with the organization of the three Chicago Cares programs that usually occur at the elementary school.  (The other two programs were actually canceled for the last month and I think they start up again next time...)

I walk in expecting a bit of chaos and as soon as I sit down with the fellow volunteers and introduce myself one guy makes a sigh of relief and says, "oh good, Lisa, you're the regular."  
Me:  Yes  thinking I don't know this guy
Guy:  Yemsi (the regular program leader) had a doctor's appointment today and can't make it.  She said you would know how to run everything.

Cue me being the leader for the day.

We had more…


Yes, I know it is not spring yet.  
Today's the meteorological beginning of spring or something, isn't it?

I definitely suffered some winter blues last month (yeah, it's March!).

Check out these tulip fields for your Friday!
Normann Szkop took awesome photos while flying over Dutch tulip fields.

p.s. Two days later I'm still feeling amazing after my juice cleanse.  Yes, it's possible that's not what it's from, but considering nothing else has really changed (except starting a new month, which I am so excited about), it's getting the credit.