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Showing posts from October, 2014

Happy Halloween

For some reason I thought Halloween originated in the U.S.  It did not.  It originated in Europe and gradually came to the U.S.  In fact, the puritans were very anti Halloween.  But a mass Irish and Scottish immigration during the 19th century increased the holiday’s celebration in the United States.

People started carving pumpkins (instead of the traditional turnip of Ireland and Scotland) since it was native to North America.  Although, from personal experience, pumpkins in Mexico are much thicker and almost impossible to carve.

Here is a popular folktale about the jack-o-lantern:
On route home after a night's drinking, Jack encounters the Devil and tricks him into climbing a tree. A quick-thinking Jack etches the sign of the cross into the bark, thus trapping the Devil. Jack strikes a bargain that Satan can never claim his soul. After a life of sin, drink, and mendacity, Jack is refused entry to heaven when he dies. Keeping his promise, the Devil refuses to let Jack into hell and …


My favorite part of scrapbooking is the reminiscing that comes with it.

When I'm putting the pictures on the page.  When I get to flip through my completed pages any time I want.  It takes me back to those experiences that I enjoyed so much and I remember how much fun I had or laugh at misfortunes. 
Yes, it is a time investment & it often takes up a large portion of my living room, but having the binder to flip through later is priceless ;)


Here I am, what feels like perpetually, in the dating world.  I will admit my commitment to this world wavers...a lot.  But I'm back at putting forth a bit more effort again.

I love this approach I heard for dating: instead of thinking, 'I hope they like me.' before a date, think, 'I hope I like them.'  It's pretty crazy how this slight change can alter the approach so much.

But if I've realized anything it's that it either is or it isn't.  It's not your fault or theirs.  I mean sometimes one person or another can be a jerk, but usually that's a result of it not being "right."
That does not mean I'm not disappointed/let down/sad when it all goes down.

Another piece of advice I received and love is this article: Why Don't Men I Date Ever Love Me.  And I pretty much love it.  Read it.  (It's longish for our snapshot world.)  But power through & hang in there til the end!
I honestly think I'm relatively good with this a…

Shake Shack!

The excitement around the office has been mounting for months, wondering when the Shake Shack a few blocks away will open.

They put up the sign.
They took down the window coverings.

We've discussed it all.

Well today the date was released and our lunch date was planned.


We know we have to go at 11:30 or 2 and no where in between because it will probably be crazy, but we are ex-ci-ted over here!

Come on Dunkin' Donuts

Typically if I treat myself to a purchased coffee, I'll go to a nearby local coffee joint, but sometimes that doesn't work out and I find myself at a Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts.  I rather dislike both of them for the big box store thing, but that's for another time.

What I can't get over at Dunkin' Donuts is anytime I walk into one with a personal mug, they look at me like I'm crazy.  Why?  At this point, isn't this a normal occurrence?

I will say Starbucks is a relatively good sport with the personal mugs, they'll give you a discount.  Although I have noted before when the barista makes it in a paper cup, pours it in my personal mug, and throws away the paper cup.
Which is obviously not the point!

I guess I should stick to my local coffee joints who give me a huge discount and grab my cup without batting an eye...

Tee Ball with a 3 Year Old

A few weeks ago, at my nephew, Charlie's, 3rd birthday party, we were able to spend some time outside playing.  (It was 85 and beautiful.)

1st Charlie roller skated and I borrowed my sister-in-law's roller blades to go beside him
2nd I wore the roller blades and Charlie switched to his scooter.  (I almost couldn't keep up with him!)
3rd We played around on his tricycle.  Him peddling.  Me peddling, him hanging on the back.
4th Tee Ball

Charlie pulls out his tee ball stand and starts hitting the ball off the tee ball and then hitting down the tee ball stand and laughing.  "Charlie, let's try that again."  Don't mess with me and baseball.  "Let's get in our batter's stance."

When he had enough, my dad starting pitching to me (baseball's easy when you have an extra wide bat and light balls).  After I hit a few Charlie was immediately interested again.

We completely nixed the tee ball stand and just pitched to him.

Yes, it's more work, but w…

Goodbye Truck

2:30 am I pull up to my brother + family house in Savannah, GA to see a vehicle I don't recognize in their driveway.

Hmmm... I think and head inside to cuddle up on the couch so I don't wake up the whole house.

I wake up to my brother, Jeff, covering me up and after a bit say, "Hey, who's car is that in the driveway."

Jeff smiles and says, "mine...surprise."  With his sneaky little smile that means mischief. 

Jeff has been driving his Chevy S10 since his senior year of high school (2000).  I have so many memories of being dropped off at school.  My brother & sister would make me sit in the fake seat in the back that can be folded up because I was hastily dropped off in front of the middle school and they would ride to the high school parking lot together.  And how weird would it be if my sister was in the weird fold up seat in the back and no one was in the front for the 1 minute ride to the high school parking lot.  Apparently very weird.  At least tha…

Biking Wind Block

Chicago bikers are amazing.

A few years ago I discovered when it's super windy, bikers will line up on the path to create a wind block.  It took a bit for me to get the hang of this, but now I follow suit all the time.

Especially on days like today with a SUPER strong headwind.

Chicago has a pretty great biking community.  I was in a line of 4 people and I'm pretty sure no one knew each other.

Holy Hills - Marathon #5

After running a marathon yesterday in St. Louis, my main piece of advice:  if you run a marathon that's 80% hills, may I recommend maybe incorporating some hills in your training.  
I did not do this.
This is definitely the hardest course I've run.

The race had every combination you can think of.  Marathon, half-marathon, 5K and relay half-marathon. I decided to run the marathon & my sister, Karen, ran the half-marathon.
I am so proud of Karen.  Before this training she hadn't run over a 5K and she did the training and finished her 13.1 super solid!
And the hills didn't seem to stop.  I can't tell you how many times in the last 2 miles some spectator said it's all downhill from here and then I saw another hill to run up.  (At least four times.)  I stopped believing them.  (I know they were just helping with the mind games we were all playing with ourselves at that point.  I don't blame them.)
Once I got to the last stretch to the finish (which was flat) I gu…

We lost.

Last night the Cardinals lost.  We are now down 3-1 in the series and it seems almost impossible that we will advance to the World Series.  Especially since their pitcher tonight killed us in Game 1.  Maybe they figured him out?  I have no idea.  We've been so hot and cold all season, I just wish we could be super hot right now, which we will need to be if we want to advance.
While, yes, we did lose, but I had a great time at the Cardinals bar.
*Lovely group of people.
*It's so nice/strange when my friend, Molly, introduces me to her St. Louis friends she says I'm from Ste. Gen.  Which I am.  But no one's ever heard of it.  These people have! Here's how I usually introduce myself: I'm from Missouri.  If they ask. It's a small town called Ste. Genevieve sort-of close to St. Louis.  blank stares
*one of the girls claims she is an inexperienced Cardinals fan.  She is definitely a fan!  She's just learning the ins and outs.  After I corrected things she said a few…


Sunday morning I went for a quick run with my brother and we ended up chatting about our running woes.
He said a positive note on having muscle pain vs. joint pain is that muscle pain usually corrects itself after rest.  And I said, "Why does mine seem to come back?"
The conversation continued until he happened to mention potassium from bananas helping to reduce cramping muscles.
I haven't had hardly any bananas this summer!!!
Needless to say I'm eating a banana everyday this week in preparation for this weekend's marathon.
Overly hopeful?   I'll try anything.

Celebrity Look Alikes

Do people ever tell you, you look like a celebrity?  

No one's ever told me I do, until Wednesday.

Allow me to set the scene:
Wednesday night was a cooking class ish competition with some of next years leaders from the association I work for.  I just met them Tuesday and hadn't really talked with any of them until we sat down at a table to eat.  Towards the end of the meal one of the guys looks at me and says I look like Katherine Heigl.  

Seth (his name):  Do you get that all the time?
Me:  Um no.  I've never gotten that before.
Everyone at the table:  YEAH!  You do look like her!

She's pretty!  I'm taking it as a compliment!

Have a great weekend!  

I'm headed to Savannah to celebrate my nephew's 3rd birthday and have some much needed family time.  I'm pretty stoked.

We won!

Allow me to set the scene.

The client I work for has a conference in Chicago this week so this means longer hours and lots of socializing.  Which is cool, except when it's postseason Cardinals baseball.

4:00 game time.  I fired up my MLB app and it didn't close until the game was over.  This meant leaving it going during a StrengthsFinders presentation, walking to a Halloween store with a co-worker for something they needed for a surprise, & cocktail hour socializing all with my phone in my hand, glancing at my app.

When Adams hit his 3 run homer to put us up 3-2 I gasped (in the middle of someone's story about a coat).  Then I had to explain myself and it was embarrassing.  

Then I stepped to the side.  (Justine, my co-worker, was next to me.)
Me: I have to see what happened.
Holliday singles.  Peralta singles.  Adams homer!
Justine: Oh, Lisa.  Come on.

And she pulled me back into the crowd.

We won! We won!  We advance on to the NLCS (National League Championship Series)! 

Favorite Movie

What's your favorite movie?

I am not a big movie watcher in general, but Sunday evening I was beat.  I was still planning to cook my lunches for the week (Anyone else cook a huge meal on Sunday and portion it out for lunches that week?) and I wanted some company.

What to do? What to do?

I decided to watch a movie & I was then overwhelmed by the question of which one.

I went with When Harry Met Sally.  I decided that it is my favorite movie for several reasons.  One of them is I have an uncommon sense of humor and this movie makes me laugh.
Movie in the computer.  Computer stationed in the kitchen while putting together a butternut squash pasta dish.  I know, pasta is so unlike me (I'm not a big pasta eater...give me any other carb), but I found this fun vegetable pasta with a recipe on the back that I decided to try.

I'm never disappointed when I watch this little gem. 


Brunch & The Grey Sweatshirt

Happy Monday, everyone!

Grey sweatshirts are apparently in!  I really had no idea until I started wearing mine.  I wore it to work Friday and got so many compliments.  I had to think, "This?" every time.  


Sunday Karen & I had brunch at my favorite neighborhood brunch place, Melrose.  They have definitely rehabbed the diner.  It's almost like a new restaurant.  It's like one of those new rad diners, which I'm not necessarily a fan of.  This will probably play out, but I don't think it's going to be my favorite anymore.  They are BYOB and we brought champagne to celebrate life. =)

The majority of my weekend was watching Cardinals baseball.  Of course.

National Coffee Day

Did you hear Monday was National Coffee Day?

Wait...why did you just post a picture of water?  Hang on...hang on.

I choose to celebrate National Coffee Day by not drinking coffee.  (Honestly, it was just a coincidence.)  Why?  You may ask.  I started drinking a cup of coffee everyday a bit ago and recently I had the thought that I don't want to be addicted.

The thought of being addicted to anything terrifies me.  I don't want anything to have that sort-of control of my body.  I just don't want to.

So I started this week by passing on coffee.

Monday I had a headache all day.  That's when I was glad/mad I was cutting it out (for a bit).  I'm still going to drink coffee, I just don't need it everyday.  So I decided Monday I wouldn't have any coffee until Friday.

What did I find?  Coffee is definitely a comfort to me and Tuesday when it was so cold and I got to work, I filled up my coffee mug with hot water and it was almost as good ;)  And no headache Tuesday...whew…

Fall Foods

It is officially fall.

I walked into Trader Joe's and was honestly overwhelmed by the number of pumpkin items.  The leaves have started falling.  I've started settling in a bit again and I can't stop the craft ideas from filling my head.  I'm feeling a bit more reflective.  I think I heard last year based on your natural cycle during the year, fall is the season it is most natural to us to reflect, set goals, etc.  Do you fall in this category?  I do.

One thing I can't deny is I start cooking more in the fall.  In the summer I can survive on tomato & mustard sandwiches.  In the fall I cook a lot of Indian food.  Or more specifically, Indian type dishes.  Lots of beans, lots of spices.

One dish I frequently make (and made my first one of the season last week) is Masoor Daal or Masoor Dal.  Dal or Daal is a hindi word meaning lentil and Masoor is the type of lentil. There are a billion types of lentils.

Here's the recipe I follow from my friend, Rubina:
half an on…