Wednesday, June 30, 2010

This Bright Night.

Another work related post, I couldn't resist these photos.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Pursuing Selfish Delights

I frequently have to remind myself that occasionally being selfish is okay, or in fact, even good for me. This weekend, I spent most of my time being gleefully selfish!

Among other things, I played around with some new painting techniques.

I don't think I mastered them, but I'm actually quite happy with the way these paintings came out. I may hang them, although if I had known I was going to do that, I would have more carefully considered the colors of my composition in relation to my house, instead of just in relation to each other...

I only left the house Saturday to go for my run. I ran further than I typically do today and was rewarded with horrible wheezing for a while afterward. Baby steps! It seems that my new found interest has negatively impact my yoga practice. I attempted a yoga routine that I have done probably over a hundred times yesterday and couldn't get through it. Given this isn't the first time I've experienced a valley with yoga, but it's always disappointing. Luckily, even a bad yoga routine still has Savasana!

I've also been cooking up a storm! I prefer to cook things that involve tomatos, but this week I've only really used them in my Cheeseburger pie. Yesterday, I made a pretty delicious eggplant dish from the William Sonoma cookbook. I'm still not entirely comfortable cooking with eggplant. I find it difficult to cut completely evenly, and therefore it often cooks irregularly. Someday I'll stop fighting with the Mandolin Slicer, which will probably help. For now, I still find eggplant to be very tasty in almost all of the recipes I've tried it in. It's strange to me that I could have gone my entire life without ever having tried what turns out to be such a basic vegetable. I was also quite proud of my turkey rolls on Saturday. To be honest, I was quite proud of having three courses in one meal:

The only odd part is that for some reason, I bought and included the bacon recommended for inclusion with the spinach. This is odd because I very much dislike bacon and I was the only one eating this meal or it's various leftovers.

I've also been pouring over some wedding details, which invariable means spening quite a bit of time with this:

Like any project, I had to start with a binder. The only problem was that for the wedding, my notebook turned evil on me! It took the loving patience of my friend Jen to kick it back into shape. Now the notebook is back to being in good order, even if the wedding to do list is still a bit daunting.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Tomato Monster

My little gardening project is a lot bigger now.

This is after I pruned it... the problem is I have NO idea what I'm doing. I recognize that 9 plants is too many plants, but now it is too late to thin them I think so I'm better of just going with it and doing a better job planning it out next time. I'm not sure why the plants making the most tomatoes look so... sickly. Thankfully, the tomatoes are very tasty! I eat about three a day currently and my plants are keeping up with me. I'm pretty sure they will by pass me soon.

Gavin was home for a few days this week. Our time was full of wedding planning and hanging out. It's almost time! We bought our wedding rings and got a few other things done. I've got some items on my task list for tonight as well.

Last night, Gavin and I made vegetarian puff pastries. They were very good.

They were suppose to be round, but we decided not to waste all the extra dough. They are stuffed with mushrooms, red peppers, garlic, cheese and a sour cream sauce. Very good, although the puff pastries are no very healthy!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Colors in Las Vegas

This week I decided to take some time to see a few Vegas attractions I'd never been to before. I found striking color and contrast at both.

The first was Freemont Street. I've never been, and heard it was worth visiting (as long as you don't leave Freemont Street). Plus, I wanted to see where Gavin won his WSOP bracelet! )

Next, I drove out to Red Rock Canyon.

Gavin and I were hoping to take a helicopter ride, but it looks like that will have to wait for now.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I've been in Vegas for half a week now. I don't know how anyone could stand to be here all summer. I'm sure it doesn't help that I'm fighting some mystery ailment...

Sunday was the annual house party. I am a fan of our house this year:
Select party pictures are on my facebook. It was a fun party and I had a great time decorating.

I was able to have some awesome time with Emily and get some needed shopping done. Brooching didn't go so well, but did get some other stuff done. Yesterday I made cheeseburger pie. Man I love that recipe. Pretty much everyone in the house seemed to like it as well.

Today I was a bit more creative and decided to try to make some bread pudding. I adore bread pudding, but I think it falls under the label of 'baking' and that is still very unfamiliar territory! I was really impressed with my results.

It's a William Sonoma Healthful cooking recipe, so it uses banana instead of cream, etc. I really enjoyed it. The sauce is a maple syrup and orange marmalade reduction with Cinnamon. It was very sweet, but complimented the bread pudding very well.

Tonight, pending me feeling better, I'm going to make some veggie lasagna. If I feel awful it may wait until tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Runner's High

I am not a real runner, so therefore I doubt I've ever, or will ever, experience the real runner's high. I'm not even sure what it is. But today I experienced something that was close enough for me.

Because today was a bad day I had intended to go for a slightly longer jog today (since my last blog entry I've run everyday except Sunday) and work on some of my wedding to-do's. Instead, after my disheartening afternoon I decided to seek the company of a sushi chef instead. After eating, I didn't really want to go home to my jog or my to do list, but I decided I needed to go home to my puppy. And I wasn't going to go on my jog, I decided, I was just going to cuddle up and so nothing instead.

Once I got home, I decided to go for the jog, Penny needs her exercise after sleeping all day after all. I didn't want to go and it was more than my normal 'running is hard I don't want to do it' not wanting to . Then the runner's high happened. Something about leaving everything except my dog at home and taking off on my own, something about knowing that even though I'm no good at running, I knew my familiar course and I knew I could make it (something I wasn't so sure of two weeks ago), something about time, even a short time, that was completely quiet and free for my mind with nothing but the sound of my breathing in my ears. I don't know what real runner's high is, but for today I'll take this. And I'll try to remember this feeling next time I'm feeling down and like I don't want to go.

Next week I'm taking a short sabbatical from work for some full time domestic-ing/part time vacationing. I expect during this time I'll have at least something blog worthy to write about.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Your taste buds change every seven years.

This 'folk fact' as I suppose it can best be described, is a bit of running joke between Gavin and I, spurred from his family. However, I've figured out that apparently my interested change at least every seven years as well.

It's true that, as this blog has detailed, I've taken up many new interests lately. Biking, gardening, ceramics, painting: while I've never spent much energy on them in the past, I've never disliked any of these activities.

This week I tried and, to my shock, enjoyed two new interests: Running and History.

I've always disliked running. I think my dislike of running is a big part of my dislike of many sports I've tried playing. I hated Fridays in middle school because we had to run a mile every week. About six months ago I tried to pick up running because one of my girlfriends loves to run and we were going to be vacationing together (if you can call PCA a vacation). I planned and failed exactly three runs and gave up on the well intentioned, if fatally flawed, idea. Last week I decided to take a short run because I wanted to exercise but didn't have much time. I hated it, but I finished and felt accomplished. It was a long run, or a fast run, but I set a goal and made it. The next day I felt good, the way I generally feel after a particularly good yoga routine. So I tried again. I told myself I couldn't add running to my blog tracked activities until I'd done it five times. Mini-mission accomplished. I doubt I'll ever be a 'real' runner, but I'm excited to try something new for a awhile.

And History. I've been trying to come up with a good reason for why I disliked history so much, but cant really seem to. Regardless, a history book came up as a recommendation by my audiobook library: That's Not in My American History Book. by Thomas Ayres. It is even more surprising to me that I would download an American History book. Ancient history, history of civil engineering, and even religious history all sound more (.0001% is greater than 0%) interesting to me. I suspect I downloaded it for the same reason I downloaded the Art of War, to pacify my guiltily pleasure of crime novels.

I didn't intend to listen to it. I was finishing up Stiff by Mary Roach on my overnight drive from Vegas to Los Angeles. The middle of the night alone on a nearly empty highway is not the best time to listen to a book about what you suspect to be one of the more boring possible groups in the Dewey Decimal system. When Stiff ended, I realized that my iPod had slipped onto the ground in the passenger seat foot well. Penny had just fallen asleep and I wasn't really interested in being eaten by the Hills Have Eyes monsters while pulled over to retrieve it anyway. History book ti was. The book was actually pretty good. I was a bit embarrassed that many of the 'common known' historical people and facts he was debunking or expanding on were completely unknown to me, but at least I learned something new. I'm nearly done with it now and would recommend it to anyone with even a vague interest in American History.

Moral of the blog? Don't be afriad to try something again!