Monthly Archive: November 2012

Challenges

Posted by Nicole

Get ready for a randomly detailed post full of bullet points. This is mostly for my own motivation and lack of memory.

Up until Christmas, I have challenged myself to give up/limit a few “unhealthy” things:

  • desserts: cookies, candy, cake, brownies, ice cream, froyo, etc. – this won’t be too hard because I surprisingly don’t crave these too often
  • bad beverages: no energy drinks; alcohol and/or soda limited to once per week – this will be difficult because hello, I’m in college… and I randomly crave soda like crazy!
  • unnecessary carbs: white bread/rice, cereal

So why am I doing this? Well, if it isn’t obvious, I’m not loving the look of the ol’ body lately and I think that making these changes to my diet will give me a bit of a refresher. Not to mention that cutting out the above foods and beverages will help with my workouts.

Good fuel –> good workouts –> motivation to eat well… It is a cycle!

Some food:

  • 1: eggs and whites, cauliflower, nooch; strawberries
  • 2: banana oat bran, greek yogurt, peanut butter, almond coconut milk
  • 3: cranberry oatmeal cookie powerbar (race freebie from the Turkey Trot… love this one!)
  • 4: raspberry yogurt mixed with some plain greek yogurt
  • 5: eggs and whites, onion, marinara; carrots and ranch

  • 6: greek yogurt, banana
  • 7: pear- my favorite fruit lately
  • 8: carrots and PB
  • 9: salad topped with steamer garden veggie mix and an egg
  • 10: salad with fruit (blushing salad as the sorority calls it), cottage cheese

Some workouts:

Sunday

  • danced at the men’s basketball game vs. SDSU- such a close game, but we lost 60-66
  • 2 mile treadmill walk

Monday

  • 20 mins elliptical, 1.5 mile run – fun morning workout with Charlotte!
  • 2 hr dance practice – learned a new routine!

Tuesday

  • 1.5 mile run, 5 mile walk – perfect “me time”
  • 2 hr dance practice – we ran in the gym, ran stairs, and then did strength: burpees, lateral skater jumps, tricep dips, planks; and then learned another new routine!

Wednesday

  • 20 mins elliptical, 20 mins bike
  • strength: 3×15 of oblique dips w/ 25# plate, leg lifts, pushups… on knees

Thursday

  • 2.5 hr dance practice

Friday

  • 20 mins bike, 20 mins elliptical, 20 mins bike
Some fun:

That’s all for today, thanks for reading my rambles :)

– N

Q4U: Any recent challenge that you are trying?

Miranda and Matt’s Sonoma County Wedding

Posted by Lauren

On November 3rd, I had the pleasure of attending the wedding of my close friend Miranda to her soul mate Matt. And I’m finally blogging about it! :) When Nicole and I started this blog, I was in my first job out of college – the one in Monterey, CA that required a 2 hour round trip commute from San Jose. My faaaavorite part about that job was working right next to Miranda. Every day we shared stories, discussed blogs on the internetz, occasionally went for runs on the gorgeous Fort Ord trails, entertained each other during the long vanpool commutes… oh, and we worked.

We also did what all girls do – talked about relationships. From what I heard about Matt, the two of them seemed absolutely perfect for each other. They are both passionate about cooking (serious cooking), Cal football, whiskey, running/biking, and their cat Maddie. I’m ridiculously happy for the two of them and can’t believe how things have changed since our days in that office!!! Ok, let’s get to the wedding details! Everyone, meet Miranda, the beautiful bride…

Miranda with her mom Lisa (left) and Matt’s mom (right)… a few of these are “borrowed” from Facebook.

As soon as Kyle and I arrived at the ceremony/reception site, I snapped a few scenery photos so that I could share how amazing the Sova Gardens location is.

In the heart of Sonoma County’s wine country, the quaint Sova Gardens, on Sebastopol’s Gravenstein Highway, has:

  • a large lawn called Fountain Court – where their reception tables were set up
  • an indoor tavern area – where we signed the guest book and packed up goodie bags with the best caramel corn ever
  • a covered outdoor deck – where we gathered for cocktail hour and coffee after dancing
  • a rustic garden – Miranda and Matt took wedding photos in it, I bet they will be breathtaking
  • a tented dancing area – a place for YMCA and Call Me Maybe :)

Right before the ceremony, Kyle and I signed their photo guest book. Miranda: all of those engagement photos are so great! I signed next to my favorite one! We also enjoyed the live music and soaked up the gorgeous California sunshine.

At 4 o clock, the ceremony began. The bridal party looked amazing under the huge redwood trees. The bridesmaids had matching dresses, but all wore different shoes – loved that!

Their vows were so touching. I loved that Matt memorized his and Miranda consulted notes so she wouldn’t forget a thing – very fitting :)

BADA BOOM! Look at that!

We all blew bubbles as the newlyweds walked back to the Farm House adjacent to the ceremony space. Kyle had a lot of fun blowing the bubbles.

The crowd moved up to the deck for drinks and snacks while Matt and Miranda took a few photos in the nearby gardens. Miranda: tell me when you have the final pictures I really want to see them!

Guests could choose between beer, wine, and a few cocktails. My first order was a gin and tonic, after that I stuck to beer. In between bites of cheese, crackers, and fruit from the gorgeous display below, I caught up with another ex-coworker, Kristin, and someone who I was on the dance team with in high school, Claudia.

Around 5:30, we took our seats. I mentioned awhile ago that I wanted to sit next to Claudia so I could hear more about her adventures since our high school days and Miranda didn’t forget!

The centerpieces had a “fall” vibe and totally fit the venue. The mossy bits kind of remind me of Monterey. Pretty, huh?

All the food was family style per table. Instead of a plated dinner or buffet, each table had six generous portions to share! So smart.

Wild arugula salad with shaved parmesan, peppitas, and sherry vinaigrette

Heirloom tomato platter – local tomatoes, basil, balsamic vinegar and olive oil

Boneless beef short ribs, slow braised for fourteen hours until fork tender, finished with truffle demi-glace

Tarragon roasted root vegetables – butternut squash, carrots, beets, turnips (hiding in above photo, upper right hand corner)

Roasted garlic mashed Yukon potatoes – mashed with butter, sour cream, and buttermilk for a silky texture with lots of garlic and chives

Spiced rubbed chicken breasts – sautéed and rubbed with cumin and paprika, finished with artichokes and golden raisins.

The food was fabulous! I wouldn’t expect anything less from these two foodies. Miranda and Matt got their chow on, the best man and maid of honor delivered their speeches, and Miranda’s dad recited a poem that he wrote especially for their wedding (it was really really cute).

Some point between the speeches and the first dance, Matt and Miranda made their way around to each table to say hello, welcome, thank you, etc. The sun had set and the temps dropped slightly, so Miranda put on the neatest pink, furry, shrug. I think I should get one of those for my mom’s wedding!

From the first dance (awwwwww) to the glo stick dancing….

Everyone had a blast on the dance floor. Miranda, you’ve got MOVES. And Lisa, I’m amazed at your abilities to “get low” – seriously how do you do it?

Me, Miranda, and Kristin – no longer solving data questions for the DoD…

…and a photo with the New Zealand- bound newlyweds. p.s. have I mentioned before that Matt is a speeeeeedy runner? The three of us need to form another relay team!!

Possibly one of the best parts of the entire night: CHEESECAKE MARTINI BAR.

Say it with me…. CHEESECAKE. MARTINI. BAR.

I read a few wedding blogs and have been to a grand total of 4 weddings in the past 3 years, but never have I ever heard of a cheesecake martini bar. Each guest grabbed a martini glass with a scoop of creamy New York style cheesecake and topped it with whatever their heart desired: dark chocolate sauce, white chocolate sauce, cranberry sauce, strawberries, raspberries, and toasted nuts. SWEET GENIUS!

The couple cut into a mini cake for the cake tasting. I love the little Maddie cake topper! Matt gave Miranda a kitty back in 2006 (I think?) so this is their homage to her :)

Dancing continued into the night…. Miranda did some sweet pop n’ lock moves while three semi-professional swing dancers showed off their moves (in a good show off way).

Here’s a view of the dancing tent from the deck. Doesn’t it just look so intimate and cheerful?

I only managed to take one grainy photo of Kyle and me…. This is after a few cups of coffee and right before we left for Hopmonk Tavern in Sebastopol to continue partying.

We had an amazing time. Miranda and Matt, your wedding was beautiful! I’ve read all your honeymoon recaps and can’t wait to hear more in person! Expect me to start harassing you about dinners and races soon!

Question: What do you prefer at weddings when it comes to food: plated dinner, buffet, or family style? 

-Lauren

6 Tangents

Posted by Nicole

I’m not gonna lie, today hasn’t been the best. I swear I am more homesick as a junior than I was as a college freshman. Oh well, rolling with the punches here. Here are some tangents from the day because tangents are fun… especially when we are talking about math. I’m going stream of conscious here so it might be a bit wordier than normal.

1. I woke up tired and groggy after 11 hours of sleep (I know, woe is me), showered, made breakfast, and went to class. Exciting news: I officially only have 5 more class days left before study days and final exams. I’m happy about this because my brain is reaching capacity for the semester. Lectures are becoming a big jumble of information… oh wait, lectures actually are a big jumble of information:

2. Luckily, I got out of class just as it started to rain. I walked home in the light drizzle, and stopped for a 4 o’clock pick-me-up. They were out of SF hazelnut syrup so I got SF caramel in my coffee and it was pretty darn good. It reminded me of the caramel frapps I used to order back in the day before I knew about all the “oMg CaLoRieSSS”

3. After class, I started Season 8 of How I Met Your Mother. This show kind of drives me crazy because I just want to know who the mother is!! Anyone else feel like this show is dragging on and on? That said, it was the perfect half-paying-attention-show while doing my accounting project/homework for a few hours. (Side note: double monitors are amazing.)

4. My room has been a mess since Thanksgiving break. How you liking that American flag headboard? I had to put it somewhere while I’m not wearing it… Anyways, I got my act together and cleaned up most of the mess.

5. I have some food and workout updates which will be compiled in a post at the end of the week. In general, workouts have been going great, but today was just “off.” Anyways, I bundled up for the cold walk to the gym (not really, it was 60 degrees). I got through my workout with Thought Catalog entertainment, notably these articles: The 10 Commandments of Borrowing Clothes (cough cough Lauren), I’m Tired of Thinking About Boys (real talk), and 12 Great (Yet Underappreciated) TV Shows You Should Start Watching (not like I need anymore suggestions).

6. The remainder of my night is and will continue to be accompanied by this white powdered crack… #horriblejoke. Hoping that doesn’t lead to any questionable search engine referrals.

Hope your week is going well. We made it past Wednesday and the weekend is near. Holla.

– Nicole

Q4U: Are you the type of person that multitasks while watching TV?

I sure know Lauren and I are… I get so antsy when I am watching TV without doing other tasks.

WIAW 11/28: Stuffing and Stuff

Posted by Lauren

I’m terrible about following the proper WIAW rules.


Nothing I do is comprehensive, or chronological for that matter. I randomly take photos from my phone and use WIAW as a place to dump the camera roll. Whoops! Compromise: I’ll limit myself to one food photo per day:

Sunday

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I spent 5 hours at Starbucks first thing Sunday morning. I ordered my favorite spinach & egg wrap (I especially love the crunchy, toasted ends of each wrap!). I drank plain coffee and got a free refill while doing work-work, planning my 2013 race schedule, and compulsively updating my Fantasy Football app.

I won my matchup this week, in case you were curious…8-4 record, 2 of 12 in league!

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Monday

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I started out my Monday morning with a big bowl of protein oats, then had turkey chili for lunch, snacked on 2 nutrigrain bars and an apple throughout the day, and heated up leftover turkey/veggies for dinner. I picked up frozen yogurt on my way to Kyle’s and it was so. darn. GOOD! Pistachio, pumpkin, and white chocolate macadamia nut froyo in that cup up there!!

Tuesday

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Tuesday night I went to my moms house to make special cupcakes for an upcoming product launch at work (more on that soon!). I was ecstatic to see more leftover creole stuffing. Jordan asked for more info, so here’s the story: last year our mom’s fiance David declared that he was making stuffing for Thanksgiving. He bought a million ingredients and worked for hours to produce All Recipes’ Creole Cornbread Stuffing.

I remember the first bite…. it was spicy and sweet and crumbly and gooey. I fell in love with that stuffing. Really, it’s the best stuffing I’ve ever ever ever had. From now until the end of time, I want my Thanksgiving table to have a bowl of this stuffing. It’s fairly time intensive and requires a lot of ingredients (eggs, buttermilk, butter – the healthy stuff), but it’s 100% worth it.

Question: What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish? Pick ONE!

-Lauren

p.s. more links at Jenn’s party!