Sunday, November 30, 2008
After work today I'm going straight to the gym for Body Flow for stretching and strengthening, then home to make some Rum Balls, Raspberry cookie-thingys and Baked Potato Soup. If any of it turns out decently, I'll post recipes.
Next weekend we have the Reindeer Run 5k instead of a long run. I have only done a couple 5k, and my PR is somewhere in the 31-32 minute range...this time I am shooting for sub 31:00...I know, I know...I'm slow!
Friday, November 28, 2008
2. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver- for all you people out there who love good quality food, and who care where that food comes from-this is a must read! It chronicles a family as they try to eat locally for a year. They grow their own fruits and vegetables, raise their own chickens, make their own cheese, and barter with like-minded neighbors. Most of us can't feasibly eat locally to this extent, but it does open your eyes and make you think about how your food got from it's field or farm or feedlot to your plate. It is a great read!
3. Sonoma Scent Studio is a great little niche/indie line of perfume from, you guessed it...Sonoma. I sampled many of their scents, liked a few, disliked a few, and LOVED one..Fireside. It is not conventionally "perfumy." It smells like a campfire, and since I have always thought that was a wonderful smell, I fell in love with this perfume. It layers beautifully with vanilla and chocolate scents, to make a smell reminiscent of making smores over a fire. Perfect for fall and winter. A little goes a long way, so my bottle should last me a really long time, and their prices are hard to beat. Here's a note from the perfumer:"Fireside combines sandalwood, cedar, resins, and incense to create the scent of burning woods, reminiscent of sitting by the fire on a cool evening." So if I smell like burning wood the next time I see you, don't worry, I did it on on purpose:)4. Olive oil from The Olive Press in Sonoma. This past summer Rich, me and my parents went to California and we stopped in this place. It is a winery/olive oil factory. I never realized the variety of olive oils that exits. They range from very green and herbal to rich and buttery, and to me they are all delicious in their own way. My parents came home with several bottles and loved them all. We finally settled on lime infused oil. It is wonderful with vinegar as a salad dressing, or for sauteeing seafood or veggies. You can order online, and if you are looking for a unique gift for a food lover on your list, you can't go wrong with olive oil from The Olive Press. Check out their website, there is so much to choose from and it is all yummy. And if you're ever in wine country, you should definitely stop in for a tasting!
5. Smashbox O-Gloss, intuitive lip gloss with Goji-berry C complex. What is "intuitive lip gloss" you ask? Here's what Sephora's website has to say--Get a shiny pink pout all your own! This intuitive silky gloss reacts with your personal skin chemistry to transform from clear into your own custom shade of pink. Well I think that's a bunch of hooey, but I still like the gloss. It turns a nice pink shade on my lips, but I feel like it would turn the same shade on everyone. It would just look like a custom shade because the same color on different people will look like different colors. It certainly doesn't use it's little Goji-berry brain to know what shade of pink will look good on me, versus what shade would look good on you, but I fell for the gimmick and am very happy with my little pink tube of O-Gloss.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Shitty Kitty-guarding the wine fridge
Dickson-my first baby
Fiona-started as a foster, but we adopted her from Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue
Tanner-aka Eeyore...the lights are on but nobody's home
I couldn't find a pic of Molly, my black and white cat that we have to keep because no one else would love her. She's a pain in the butt!
-My friends-I have so many fantastic friends and I count on them more than they know.
-Richard and our marriage-it is a challenge but it is a wonderful challenge. I am blessed to have a husband who loves and supports me, even when he thinks I'm crazy. And he lets me foster dogs, which means a ton of work for him too, not because he loves it but because he loves me and knows how much it means to me.
-My dogs, and the kitties too...
-My job, even tho I'd rather win the lotto and not have to have a real job, I'm thankful that I do have one, especially in these uncertain times.
-My health, and that I have the ability to run and do the things I want to do physically.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
1. The Lip Scrub by Sara Happ, I have Cocoa flavor but there are multiple flavors to choose from on her website. I found this on sale on day at a boutique salon here in Charleston and I snatched it up. It is a great product because it both exfoliates and moisturizes, and it tastes great! It is a sugar scrub with an oil base, and it works great to keep your lips soft, smooth and flake-free. I use it daily before I put lipstick on. I just checked out her website and it looks like she is now making lip balm as well so I will be trying that in the future. If you can get your hands on this product, you should..I think you'll love it.
2. http://theperfumedcourt.com/ is a fantastic website where you can order various sizes of perfume samples or decants. They have sampler packs where you can try out a mixture of fragances from a certain brand, or with a certain main ingredient...ie Chanel sampler, Dior sampler, or coffee fragrances, iris fragrances, best beachy citrus fragrances, etc. They have a huge selection of hard-to-find perfumes, ones that are not going to be at your local department store. I have ordered several samples from them, and the service is great. If there's a scent you are curious about trying, or one you like but want a small amount of before springing for a full bottle, this is the place for you.
3. Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka-if you like sweet tea, you must try this. It is local to SC, but they
have expanded production and it is now available in many more areas of the country. I was not really expecting to like it, it just didn't sound appealing to me. But boy was I wrong. It is absolutely delicious mixed with lemonade, iced tea or even plain water with a splash of fresh lemon juice. It has become the "IT" drink in Charleston, but I don't care if is trendy I love it. And if and when it goes out of style, I will still love it. I think there are some other brands being made now, but if you can find Firefly you should stick with it. It's the original, and it is wonderful. Note: this is deceptive, it is 70 proof (I believe, don't quote me on that but I'm pretty sure) but does not taste like alcohol, just like pure heaven. Go ahead and try it, but don't blame me when you can't but the bottle down!
The Furminator deshedding brush and dry shampoo. For me this is the be all and end all of dog brushes. I tried multiple brushes and shedding blades, but they don't hold a candle to the Furminator. It will get SO much hair off your dog. It works wonders on my 2 labs, but the boxers coat is too short for it to work on. If you have a dog with medium to long hair, you need a Furminator. They are pricey, but once you use it you will agree that it is worth every penny. You can buy them at most petstores, or online. I got mine for a pretty good price on Ebay. I can't even describe how much hair this gets off Dickson and Tanner. One day I will take a picture and post it. It is a never ending job, I just brush until my arm is exhausted and feel like it is about to fall off. Do not try to use this inside! I use it outside by the trash can, so I just pull the clumps of hair off the brush and toss them straight into the trash. The dry shampoo smells like the old Bath and Body Works Sweet Pea scent, not sure if they still make that or not. You spray it on and work it into the coat. It has oils in it to moisturize the hair, and help loosen dirt and debris. I can live without the dry shampoo, although I do really like it. The Furminator is a must-have for pet owners. It also works great on the cats.
Moving Comfort sports bras in the Fiona and Phoebe style (oddly enough, Fiona and Phoebe are both names of boxers we've fostered in the last year and a half). In my area these are sold at Dick's Sporting Goods and at Trysports. They fit great, have excellent support and hold up well. I love them so much that I wear them exclusively and don't ever wear my Nike ones anymore. If you don't need support and can run in anything then I wouldn't spend the money on these, but if you need a little help to keep things in place while running, you should try these out. The Fiona has velcro straps that seemed odd to me, but they really do work to get a custom fit. Note: I speak only for the Fiona and Phoebe, I actually tried the Grace and the zipper rubbed a huge blister during a half-marathon, so avoid that one or at least try it on a long run before racing in it.
There you have it, the first edition of the Friday Fav 5. Anybody have any thoughts on these products or recommendations for similar, better products?
The great girls that I work with brought in bagels for breakfast, and a huge delicious birthday cake. Thanks K-dawg and Flea! Then Rich and I went out for Italian that night. We were definitely acting like old fogies because we got there at like 5pm and were out of there and home by 7. It was great though, we both had yummy pasta and split a bottle of wine. Then Rich had some chocolate cake for dessert, and I had a piece of wonderful pumpkin cake. It was a great day!
Saturday morning we got up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed after our early night Friday. It was cold, but for some reason I decided to run in my running skirt and a thin long-sleeved top. I hate running all bundled up in pants, gloves, hat, etc. It's a good thing it rarely gets too cold here! We drove out to Folly Beach to run along the roads there. Rich pulled ahead of me, so I just listened to my ipod and enjoyed the gorgeous sunny but cold morning. We did a 6 miler, 3 miles out and back. I felt good but stayed in my comfort zone for the first 3 miles to make sure I had the energy for the 2nd half. The first half was running into the wind and it was freezing. I saw several other people running in all their cold-weather gear and I felt like a big dummy for my lack of clothes. After the turn-around the wind was to my back and the sun on my face so it was much more comfortable. I pushed myself and ran just faster than comfortable for miles 3-5, and then even harder for mile 6. I finished up with an average pace of 11:20, which for me is excellent. I would love to go out and run sub 10-min miles, but that is just the kind of runner/jogger I am. I get there, it just takes me a while. We joke that we get our money's worth out of entry fees because it takes us longer than a lot of other people to finish :) Then we went and met some of my girlfriends from work at the Lost Dog Cafe for brunch and mimosas. Saturday night we went to our good friends the Shields' house for dinner. ES is almost 8 months pregnant and cute as she can be. Our other good friends the Ducky-larsons came over with their adorable 10month old Elliot. We all ate, drank and had a great time hanging out in front of the fireplace.
Sunday was a pretty lazy day, just hanging out at the house. We did go to Body Pump and can barely move today!
Emmy is doing great with her housetraining, she has not had an accident in her crate in several days so I think she has finally figured it out. She now knows sit, down, stay, and shake! I'll be taking her this week for her first injection of her heartworm treatment. Hopefully she'll tolerate it well and won't be too sore or sick.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I am super excited because Rich and I (and probably every teenage girl in Charleston) are going to the midnight premier of Twilight tonight. If you've been living in a bubble lately, Twilight is the first book in a series of 4 written by Stephanie Meyer. I am a member of the CBBC, also known as the Crazy Ballatore Book Club, and we read Twilight as one of our selections. It is a love story full of all the usual teen angst, with the twist being that the boy love interest, Edward, is a vampire. It is absolutely cheesy but addicting. Everyone I know that has read the book has done so in like a day. You start and you just can't put it down. Books 2-4 go on to flesh out this relationship with quite a few twists, turns and supernatural events (I won't spoil anything for you) that will have you hooked til the last page, and then missing all the characters. It's one of those books/series that leave you feeling like something is missing in your life when you finish reading them, you find yourself wondering what Edward and Bella are up to...then you realize you're a big nerd for thinking about them in the first place! Anyway, this is definitely not Richard's number 1 choice for a movie, hello there is a Bond flick out, but since midnight officially begins my last ever birthday before the big three-0, he has kindly agreed to be my date...secretly I think he just wants to be a creepy old man and check out all the cute young girls that are sure to be up past their schoolnight bedtime for this movie, but whatever.
Last night's 3.5 mile run was excellent. Neither of us have a pedometer, altho I really really want a Garmin and am saving up for that one, so we sometimes drive our runs first to estimate distance, or we just quesstimate an amount of time and run that way. That's what we did last night, we decided on 39 minutes. It was dark and it was cold, so we were all bundled up in our warm gear. We walked a few minutes to warm up then started out nice and slow but gradually sped up to a pretty quick (for us, we're pokey) pace. The cold air felt great, we ran through some really nice neighborhoods so we lusted after all the houses, chatted and the time passed quickly. Before I knew it we were done and it was time for dinner. We had a delicious mixed green salad with lots of good toppings, grilled pork chops, lima beans and Velveeta shells & cheese. Then we caught up on a couple episodes of House and I proceeded to conk out pretty early.
Yesterday was a milestone with Emmy--it was her first day with NO ACCIDENTS! And she was crated for 8 hours!! I know these things tend to be 1 step forward, 2 steps back sometimes so I'm fully expecting extra messes today but at least yesterday she did great. I was so proud of her. She has learned to watch the other dogs to see what she is supposed to do, and she will now sit for all her treats and when it's time to put her leash on. She will *usually* do her business right away now when we go outside. She has learned down, and stay and to wait to take the treat dangling in front of her nose until I tell her "ok." We just started learning to shake yesterday, so she should have that one down in a day or so. I even let her get on the couch to cuddle with me and Rich and Fiona last night, she loved it! As I was in the shower this morning, and she stood right outside waiting on me, I was struck by the fact that we are the only people in the world who love this dog right now, her previous owners don't love her based on the fact they took her to the shelter to be killed, the rest of BRBR loves her just like they love all our rescues, but we are the only ones who really know and love her but one day she will have a person or family of her own that will love her for her whole life, just like we do ours. That is powerful to me. In a way fostering is like dog-sitting, altho you're dog sitting for a stranger you haven't met yet and who you likely will never know very well, teaching and loving their future dog until they come along to do it. People ask me, and I often ask myself, why I am involved with rescue and fostering, and that's why--to be the person to love and want an animal that nobody else in the world loved or wanted, until they get adopted and to see that throw-away dog become a treasured pet and member of the family they were always meant to be with. It is a lot of hard work, and we are ready for a long break from fostering, but I know we'll do it again in the future because it is so worth it.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
On another note, yesterday I attempted to make my own Peppermint Mocha and it turned out pretty well so I thought I would share. I love Starbucks, but have a hard time justifiying $4-$5 more than once a week, so I restrict myself to once weekly lattes. I was really craving the peppermint mocha with this cold spell we're having, so I added a packet of fat free Swiss Miss hot cocoa mix, a little soymilk, and a couple drops of peppermint extract to my morning coffee. Delicious, and at a fraction of the calories and dollars for the 'bucks version! It would also be great with some really good quality cocoa powder.
I have been slacking on workouts this week. Last night was supposed to be 2 miles or cross-training, but I couldn't bring myself to get out of the house because it was so cold. It actually got in the 20's last night, we are not used to that here in Chucktown. Today I am recommitting to the week, and will run 3.5miles today, 3 miles tomorrow then a long run of 6 on Saturday, followed by mimosas! Hey a girl's gotta have some incentive;) Rich actually did his XT on the elliptical at the gym last night, but I was a lazy bum and stayed home. We had some yummy steaks and sweet potatoes for dinner, and hung out on the couch and had a fire in the fireplace, it was a very pleasant evening.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
My latest hobby is perfume. I love everything about trying new scents, the ones I adore at first sniff, the ones that take a while to grow on me, and the ones I can't scrub off fast enough! I love how one whiff of a particular scent can instantly transport you back (days, months or years) to the last time you smelled it, how a scent can instantly evoke a memory you didn't even know existed in your mind. I have broadened my view of what smells good. I used to just love fruity floral things, and I still do. But now I also love Fireside, which smells like a campfire, and Bulgari Black that was intended for men and smells like new rubber tires and vanilla...odd but lovely! I recently received my order of smaples from a company called Bond No 9 that has lots of perfumes all named/scented after various parts of New York City. They have some absolutely gorgeous and fun bottles. My favorites from them are New Harlem which smells great on Richard, like cozy sweaters and roasted coffee beans; Lexington Avenue which smells like creme brulee and has a stunning black bottle with shoes all over it, Saks 5th Avenue which is a heavy, creamy gardenia in a classic black and white bottle that would be a perfect match for our black and white bedding, and West Side which is a lovely vanilla rose packaged in a bright red bottle with a big music note. There are actually 7 of these I love, I'm not sure how I can narrow it down. Plus they are ridiculously expensive, so I may just have to make do with my samples for now. Just look at these bottles, aren't they to die for!
Poor Richard, I am always chasing him down to smell my hand, my knee, my elbow, wherever I have dabbed all these samples. Luckily for me he is not one of those guys that hates perfume, so he is a good sport about it and gives me his opinions. We do have very similar tastes on what we like, so that's good. Anybody else out there have a perfume obsession? If not perfume, what is your odd hobby? Am I the only cooky one out there??
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Today we went to Sullivan's Island for our 3.5 miler. It was nice and sunny out, but a little cool and very breezy. We stayed at our usual pokey pace (he could go faster, but I'm more a tortoise than a hare) of about 11:00-11:30 min miles. The legs were a little sore from yesterdays spin, but overall it felt great.
On an unrelated note, our computer system crashed for a while tonight. Yep, I work in a hospital. Said computer system is vital for getting life-saving medications to patients, you'd think it would be a bit more reliable than it has proven to be. Way to go McKesson, you rock! So in my downtime I decided to clean out my tote bag. Here's what I found...
That is 6 lip products that I have accumulated this workweek, and yes it is only Wednesday. These are some of my fav products, so let's go over them. From left to right: Victoria's Secret Beauty Rush lip gloss in unknown flavor (label has rubbed off) it is a nice purply sparkle that tastes yummy. It was a gift from Richard in my stocking last Christmas. It's a miracle I have kept up with it this long! Next is Clinique High Impact lipcolor in Afterparty, another purple sparkler but this one is much darker and naughtier (get it, afterparty). It is a great fall color, and also has SPF 15, love it! Next up is Bare Escentuals lipguards in Stinson Beach. It is my favorite SPF lipgloss for beach days, it is a neutral shade with a yummy lemon flavor. Then we have a fav plumper at a bargain price-Sexy Motherpucker from Target in Nude. Altho, it is not really nude, more of a mauve. It gives you that good lip-tingle that makes you think it's working, even tho your lips only look plumper because they are now shiny from the gloss. Still, it's a fav. Then we have 2 basic balms for when you don't want or need color (not sure when this is, other than bedtime). Softlips spf20 in Vanilla flavor, and the cult favorite Burt's Bees original Beeswax Lip Balm. Not the pomegranite, not the lifeguard version...the original! Rich introduced me to this when we were dating. He was never without a tube, and it was hard to find then so we had to stock up when we could find it. Now it's everywhere, but we still love it just as much. It's minty, moisturizing. The only thing it lacks is SPF, so I use it as the bedtime balm. There you have it folks, that's about 1/10th of my total lipstick/gloss/balm/etc inventory. Can you imagine a life with no lip stuff? No way!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Another thing about Maura is that she is not housebroken, and she seems to not want to go to the bathroom when we can see her. She holds and holds it until we put her in the crate to leave, then she goes in her crate. Ugh! I've been taking her out on a leash in the yard about once an hour, and she has seen the other dogs use the bathroom outside but she won't go. My theory is that her previous owners hit or severely scolded her as a method of "housebreaking" and now she is afraid to use the bathroom where anyone can see her because she thinks she'll get in trouble so she holds it until we leave. We'll work on it, and she'll get so much praise and treats the first time she goes outside so she'll learn that's where she's supposed to go! She's already had one bath today to clean her up, so hopefully we'll get this under control soon. It's just very odd because most dogs hate to go in the crate because then they have to sit in there with it, but nope not Maura......she's special:)
Sunday, November 9, 2008
After the game we had to pick up a dog (we think she is a boxer/pit bull mix) named Maura (click for her pics) that we are temporarily fostering. Here is her story....she was an owner surrender to the Charleston animal shelter around the first of October. Her owners never gave her heartworm preventative such as Heartguard, so now she has heartworms that have to be treated. She is young and otherwise heathy, so she should pull through treatment just fine but it is an expensive and painful process for them and 100% preventable. If you have a dog, PLEASE keep it on heartworm preventative!! Anyway, Maura's owners were moving and didn't want to take her so they signed her over to be adopted or euthanized. The Charleston shelter says they get between 800-1000 animals per month. I don't know for a fact how many make it out alive, but I would guess it is <5%. You do the math..that's a lot of animals that die. This could be avoided if people would simply spay or neuter their animals. Since Maura has heartworms she was "unadoptable" so her only chance to live was to be taken in by a rescue. The shelter staff loved this sweet girl, so they kept her in the back for almost 3 weeks longer than they are supposed to, just to try to give her the chance to be rescued. Our rescue, Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue, was incredibly full but our wonderful intake coordinators found a foster home for Maura. Rich drove her to Columbia last week and she went from there to Charlotte to her new foster home. Unfortunately, Maura is a big strong girl who knows no manners or commands. It's not her fault, nobody ever cared enough to teach her how to be a good girl. So she was not a good match for her elderly foster mom because she kept knocking her over and pulling her down. So, she is back with us for now. She and Fiona have played and played this morning and are now napping together on the rug. The problem is that Maura has a strong prey drive which causes her to chase small dogs and cats, so we are trying to get her moved to a permanent foster home (the foster home that will take care of her for at least 2 months during her heartworm treatment) that doesn't have cats. Hopefully there will be someone who can trade their foster who is good with cats for Maura who is not. She is a sweet girl, and it is remarkable that she can still love people after being abandonded by the only family she had ever known. That's just a glimpse into what the world of rescue is all about, and I'm sure if you keep reading this blog you'll know more than you ever cared to know about it because it is a HUGE part of my life and will make it's way into lots of posts:)
On the training front: yesterday was supposed to be a 5 mile training run. Since we were gone all day, we said we would do it today. Well after all the fun Rich had yesterday, I don't think running 5 miles is going to make it on his To-Do list for today. So..we're putting it off until tomorrow morning which I hate to do, but I'd rather wait and run together than go by myself this afternoon. Hope you all had a great weekend!
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
After BP I had 45 minutes to drive home, shower and change for dinner out with work friends, feed and play with the dogs and drive downtown. Several people from work and I went to dinner at a nice restaurant in downtown Charleston that was celebrating it's 9th birthday with lots of yummy specials, including $5 expresso martinis. To me, delicious martinis are like cookies or potato chips, maybe there are people out there who can have just one, but I am not one of them. I knew it was going to be a late evening, and that I had to get up early this morning for work so I told myself that I would not have any alcohol at dinner. So I was the only non-drinker at the table, and had to reiterate multiple times that I am in fact NOT pregnant (apparently that is the only acceptable reason for eating without drinking). It was tough to resist the martinis and champagne that everyone was enjoying, but it was pretty entertaining to be the sober observer. So now to the title of today's blog, this morning I rewarded myself for my incredible (one) night of self-discipline with a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks, and it was worth it. Have a great day everyone!