As of Lately

As of lately, I feel on some strange “survival mode” holding pattern. I’ve pretty much abandoned my paleo lifestyle for “convenience” foods – lots of restaurant take-out and coffee shop breakfasts. I just don’t want to cook. I don’t want to stand, really. When I get home, all I want to do is lay down. As a result, I feel like life hasn’t been very blog-worthy lately. But over the long weekend I told myself that I wouldn’t be doing my blog justice by only writing about what I think is “good” content. Life isn’t always rainbows, responsible choices, and freshly prepared kale salad. Sometimes there’s moo-shu pork and peanut butter chocolate chip cookies along with binge-watching Season 5 of “Archer.” Which is pretty much how my weekend went.

Saturday morning I got up early to head to Napa and help my sister and her boyfriend with their post-earthquake cleanup efforts. They’re fine and their house wasn’t damaged from the 6.0 earthquake last weekend, but pretty much all of their possessions ended up on the floor. They had most of it under control, but it’s hard to really get things done during the week when one has to go to work and stuff. We unearthed the last of the living room and repaired some bookshelves, and a good time was had by all. Plus, Amanda gave me a bag of hand-me-down baby girl clothes she got from a friend for me. Score. Then I went home and slept the rest of the afternoon away.

Sunday I had a strange possession to go for a walk as soon as I awoke. So I went on a nice hour-long jaunt around my old running route to AT&T park and back. Then I decided to honor my wild nesting craving top clean and organize Squish’s room, so I went through all of his clothes, toys, and books to comb out all the too small and too broken stuff. I also figured out where to stash all the baby stuff until the Little Miss comes.

Squish helped.



Then we hit the pool to enjoy the super unusually warm SF weather. Squish swam in circles for over an hour, he absolutely loves the pool. Once the sun hid behind the tall buildings we headed back in for some Chinese take-out and to watch all of Season 1 of “You’re the Worst,” which is a hilarious adult comedy on FX I highly recommend. Sort of “New Girl” meets “Friends with Benefits.”

Monday was Labor Day, so we all slept in and I made bacon and eggs for breakfast. Then my friend and I met to grab coffee and peruse the bookstore at the Ferry building. At home everyone else napped while I got caught up re-reading “The Golden Compass.” I love that series. We found out some friends were having a pool party, so we hit up the pool again for the weekend, and Squish once again spent a happy hour swimming in circles and charming all the ladies. Then we and a huge seafood dinner at our neighbor’s apartment. Seared scallops, shrimp, and mussels in white wine sauce. I gorged and fell asleep happy.

That’s my weekend recap. I hope you also had a relaxing long weekend, or at least a relaxing weekend if it wasn’t a long one for you.

Minnesota Rambles

Oh my goodness, I’m not even sure where to start, it’s been so long.

First of all, thank you all so much for your warm comments and thoughts for Duke. To sound all corny but true, there’s a small dog-sized hole in my heart that will not go away for a while I’m sure, and I appreciate the love. While putting together my Duke collage, I found his posting from the shelter where we adopted him. Since he was a stray, they named him “Kimi” when he was there. I think we did him a huge favor with his rechristening.


It didn’t really hit me until I came home from my business trip and was rounding the corner of the street where I always walked Duke every morning, and remembered I will never walk him again. He would never get another treat from the concierge desk, and I would never unhook his leash in front of the elevator and let him sprint down the hall to the apartment door because he likes to run. There was an empty spot on the bedroom floor where his doggy bed rested next to my side of the bed, and there was uneaten food in his dish. I bawled like a baby on and off all weekend every time I saw or thought of another thing that reminded me of Duke. Movies on the couch, unlatched doors being nosed open with a wagging tail, the fact that I now have to clean up the food that spills on the floor (okay, most of those tears were from my laziness), all made me sad that I wasn’t prepared to say goodbye. Good thing all dogs go to heaven, and that he will always live on in our memories, or I would be much sadder.

Okay, that’s been said now. On to happy(er) things.

We moved Squish to a toddler bed over the weekend. He’s been resisting bedtime/naptime more and more lately, but he loves being in our bed. So we thought he was ready to upgrade to a big boy bed. We have one of those convertible cribs where the front rail swaps for the toddler bed rail so it took all of 15 minutes to get it changed over. Now we need to teach him that just because he’s awake doesn’t mean it’s time to run all over the place. 5:30 is too early to wake up, kid. Okay, I know I wake up at 5:30, but that’s for my me-time. Squish’s time starts no earlier than 7. I doubt I can convince him of that, though.

We were in Minnesota last weekend visiting my grandparents. While there I went for a beautiful 5 mile run through the country roads around the lake.



Maria Chapel


The beach at sunset



Of course the next day when I did my 12-mile run it was cloudy, windy, raining, and miserable. Meh, good prep for race day.

Squish visited my aunt and uncle’s dog, a 2-year old Samoyed. The picture doesn’t do the size disparty justice; that dog is huge.



Then I traveled for work. Again.



Have you ever been in the crazy light psychedelic tunnel at Chicago O’Hare International?  It sort of freaks me out every time. I think it’s the creepy music box-meets-circus music they blast through there that gets me.


We have no plans for Turkey Day. None. There were some ideas thrown out, but they all sort of fizzled or fell through and neither Hulk nor I have made a solid effort to regroup. I might just cook some nice steaks instead of a turkey. At least I know we’ll have wine. That’s a given.





Purple Donuts



WordPress app, you have failed me again. I wrote a post this morning between sitting on BART and waiting in the plane waiting to taxi. But I can’t figure out how to post a draft I have saved. There is no “Okay, post this draft now” button in the WordPress interface. From what I can find, when you create an original draft you can either save it, or post immediately. Since I started the post on BART and finished it on the plane, I had to save the draft. Then I couldn’t figure out how to post the draft; the options are either to save it as a draft or cancel the edit. If there is a better way to post from my phone, I would love to know.

Anyway, long story short, my phone ate my post from this morning. So here it is again.

Saturday morning Squish and I went for a long overdue mommy-son date. I found out where Philz Coffee is down by the Caltrain station, so we walked there so I could get a delectable pour-over. Squish charmed the pastry counter guy into giving him a free donut with purple icing.


He was a happy kid as we wandered along the Mission Creek bike path, sitting incorrectly on the BOB.


Neither Hulk nor I wanted to cook Saturday night (not really different than any other night, I suppose), so we went to Thirsty Bear.


I was in a brew-tastic mood, and ordered the Panda Bear. I kid you not, it tasted like chocolate. It’s brewed with cacao nibs or something somewhere in the process (you can tell I know a lot about beer) and the chocolate flavor was there, but not overpowering like a hot chocolate. I should have had it for dessert.


Hulk ordered the caesar salad to keep his girlish figure, while Squish and I tag-teamed the flatbread. I recall it had bacon, kale, artichoke hearts, onion, and unicorn tears. Yup, that good.


Then on Sunday I ran 12 miles. I tried out a new route south. I call it the run-down-3rd-street-and-see-what-happens route. I will not be doing that again in the near future. It was … I suppose I would call it tedious and vacant. I didn’t really know what to expect; I ended up running through Soma, Dogpatch, and most of Bayview. But it was block after block of stoplights with no real views or “nice” places. I think one block had a tree. On the plus side, it was quiet with little traffic, and the weather was pleasantly cool for running. And I ran 12 miles. Bam, bitchez.

And now I’m in Pittsburgh. Woot. Time to try to unplug my ears from the flight and catch up on emails. And enjoy three splendid, child-free days. I don’t really know what to do with all of this peace and quiet.

Hope you had a lovely weekend!

Burgers, Life Decisions, and a Dramatic Makeover

Happy Monday to you! We had a pleasant weekend over here. Lots of running, a little adventure, and a makeover filled our day planners.

I had planned on switching my long runs to Saturday so I could get it over with early in the weekend and not have it hang over my head while making more fun plans. But Friday night we hung out with some friends until late, so by the time I finally rolled out of bed Saturday morning it was already too late to beat the throngs of tourists along the Embarcadero. So I did my usual 4-miler and called it good.


Which was probably a good thing. My foot is still hurting. I took Karen’s advice and rolled my foot with a frozen bottle. But I don’t think she had this kind of bottle in mind. Well, you use what you have available, right?


I’m actually pretty bummed that Hulk left this wine in the freezer. It’s my favorite – Benziger Sangiacomo chardonnay. We intended to drink it Thursday night as part of a little celebration, but someone forgot about it and opened up another bottle. I found it Friday while putting groceries away and was impressed that the bottle didn’t break. The frozen liquid just pushed out the cork. It made for a good ice pack. A very expensive ice pack.

While I was icing my foot with the world’s most expensive ice pack, Squish received a makeover. He was getting shaggy.



The distinguished after:


Then we headed south to San Jose to look at apartments. We had to make a decision this weekend if we were going to renew our lease at our current place or move, and where we would move to if that was the decision. All that apartment touring made us hungry, so we stopped at Billy Berks in downtown San Jose for some refreshing burgers and brews.

And sweet potato fries for #TheSquish.


Burger-riffic. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was to be burger #1 for the day.


Then we met up with a friend in Palo Alto and explored a few residence options there. It’s right in between where Hulk and I will both work, so we wanted to check it out. We wandered University Ave and I resisted the lure of the Palo Alto Lululemon store. Then we picked up (or, I picked up) some iced coffee.

Armed with all of our research and decisions, we headed back to SF. On our way home we found ourselves hungry again and while stopping for gas picked up some Burger King takeout (burger #2!), parked on a sweet spot on Potrero Hill, and munched our burgers as we gazed at the view of downtown SF and weighed options.


The verdict? With a view like that, why would we leave? We signed our lease and will stay in SF another year.

And I’m glad we did, since my 10-mile run through Crissy Field Sunday was glorious.



Followed by compression socks, Netflix, and celebrating Interational Coffee Day with more than one well-crafted beverage.


Did you honor International Coffee Day on Sunday?

Any big life decisions made lately?

Santa Cruz Adventures, Volume 1

Hello, lovely peeps!

I didn’t want to wait to start posting about how the weekend went. It was such a blast! Since Hulk was gone on the East Coast all week for a work thing, I booked us a night in Santa Cruz so we could take a little mini-vaycay after his absence. A little surf and sand was just the right thing.

But first I have to get caught up from the week. Friday’s lunch was a quick toss-together of chicken and herbs, sliced heirloom tomato, and broccoli. Woo-hoo.


It was a really pretty day in SF.


Of course I needed an afternoon pick-me-up.


I tried something new for Friday’s dinner – homemade mac-and-cheese, with chicken, peas, and swiss chard. It was Squishy-approved.


Saturday morning, I ran an easy 4 miles up to Pier 39 and back before we left for Santa Cruz. I didn’t want any pesky running training to get in the way of my beach time. Pre-game:


One under-ripe nectarine (ugh) under a sea of Greek yogurt and cinnamon. After my run, Hulk made some brekkie so I could clean up and get packed. His man-breakfast:


Bacon ‘n’ eggs (I added the sliced tomato for a little plant-eating), coffee. We ran out of milk so I had it black. Sad panda.

However, I needn’t be sad for long …


Woot! Our hotel was in a great location across from the beach off of the Santa Curz Wharf. We stayed at the Beach Street Inn and Suites, and I would recommend it. It was a little on the pricey side, but not as bad as some of the other hotels in the area with the same superb location. The staff were very friendly, it was clean and comfortable, and the decor was an adorable cozy cottage-chic.

You can see it around Hulk trying to wrangle the Squish out of his jacket:


Plus it was pretty quiet. There were several other family and groups staying around us, and we really didn’t hear anyone else unless they were right outside our door. And check out this shower! All 3 of us would fit in it.


Anyway, enough of that. We got down to business.


Squish broke into the snacks.


We basically grazed on snacks for lunch. I brought with us (let’s see if I can remember it all):

  • crackers
  • hummus
  • carrot sticks
  • strawberries
  • deli chicken
  • olives
  • chips & salsa
  • Squishy-approved graham crackers
  • trail mix
  • diet soda & beer


“Maa! I’m still hungry!”

After we beached it up (and I took a super cold dunk in the water … I wanted the crunchy surfer hair look) we headed back to the room for a quick nap.


“I would prefer this fascinating documentary on how the world will end over a nap. Because they’re pretty much the same thing.”

After we refreshed and recovered from the beach scene we took a stroll down the Wharf, where the barking of the sea lions serenaded us. There were so many sitting in the – what do you call them, rafters? – below the pier. There was a staircase to a dock below that was fenced off so you could go down and see them up close. If I wanted to lose a hand, I could have pet them they were so close.


For as big as they are, it was crazy to see them leap out of the water and land on the rafters. And by land I mean maybe make it up there, but more often than not fail and fail hard. It reminded me of when my extremely obese pet cat I had growing up would jump up on the bed. Sometimes he’d make it, and sometimes there would be a thundering crash and in the wake of the chaos a very indignant cat would strut away as if saying, “I meant to do that.”

Anyway, then I needed beer.


I had to give Amanda a poke for this. We went to the Seabright Brewery, one of our favorite stops in Santa Cruz, and I tried their Benderbrau, a German-style beer based on Bender from Futurama. It was mighty tasty.


I convinced Hulk to order the Brie and Roasted Garlic. We normally don’t do appetizers, but I didn’t have to twist his arm too much for a plate of melted cheese.


To accompany my brie-bomb, I ordered a small Caesar salad with blackened salmon that made my heart sing. So freakin’ good.


Then we walked home along the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. Squish gave up on the stroller long before we got to the restaurant, so he rode home on Dad’s shoulders.


And we stopped at some of the local todder attractions. Apparently the covered patio tables are all the rage in kiddie rides these days.


And then I pre-gamed and put out my stuff for my 8-miler the next morning. Cheers!


I don’t think I’ve had a malt beverage since college. Hulk picked them up since I failed to bring more beers than needed for one afternoon on the beach. They didn’t have quite the punch to them as I remembered.

So much stuff to recap! I need to take a break from my break. See you next time with Part Deux.

Where’s your favorite weekend getaway spot?

The One About My Wisconsin Adventures, Volume Two

The day back from a long-ish vacation weekend is no joke. I was flying around from when I woke up at 5:30 to when I finally pulled the plug at 8:30, completely exhausted. And I never finished my weekend recap! Bah. 

Anyway, I went on a super awesome trail run again through Willow River State Park on Sunday. It was my “long run” day, so my goal was six miles. My watch said I ran six, but my Runkeeper GPS app said I ran 7.5. I trust my Garmin more, so we’re calling it six.



It was a cool, cloudy morning. Perfect running weather.


ImageI got lost after the falls. The trail abruptly dumped me into some campsite. I wandered around the RV’s until I found the trail picked back up on the other side.



Then I got back to my folks’ house, cleaned up, and prepped for a party. I was too busy running around with a beer in one hand and a sangria in the other to take any pictures. The Screamin’ Deans played, there was way too much delicious food, and I got to see a whole bunch of family that I never see, and meet some of my folks’ friends. Apparently I am the “phantom daughter”, since most of their friends know my brother and sister, but I’m never around.

Aaand, the whole family, together again.



Come Monday, the six miles + sangria caught up to me, so I decided to take it easy and stretch my legs on a quickie bike ride with my dad’s bike. I rode to the St. Croix riverfront to check things out. It was cool and cloudy again.



Gosh, it’s Labor Day! Why isn’t anyone at the beach?



Then we flew home. It was great to see everyone again, and Squish really enjoyed his time at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Plus, it was a face plant-free weekend! Yay, Squish!

“Whatever. Just never let me stop swinging.”

That’s it for the long weekend wrap-up. We’ve been busy getting back into the swing of things, hitting up the gym, and making Costco runs. You know, all the fun stuff.

Time to run off and go do stuff. Make sure to make it a great day!



The One Where Labels Matter

Happy Monday, kids! It’s weekend recap time!


Friday night, Hulk and I had a date night. It was a special night, because we had reason to celebrate … I got a job!



No more uncertainty (job-wise, anyway) on what I will do when my contract is over next month. Now that he’s working and I am once again gainfull employed as well, that is a huge burden lifted.

Anyway, we partied like rock stars Friday night.

And Saturday night.


By Sunday, I was thoroughly, completely wiped.


I, too, want to crawl under the couch cushions for a nap, Squish-Squish.

We lounged all day, maybe did a few chores, and were in bed by 8pm, where I studied for my test to try and make up for my study abandonment the last few days. I’m worried this will end up like my GMAT fail, where I did nothing until the last minute, crammed a bunch of algebra and geometry proofs the night before, and ended up with a less-than-satisfactory score. You can’t really FAIL the GMAT, but let’s just say I won’t be applying to Standford anytime soon. Anyway, you CAN fail the PMP, so I’m trying to take it a bit more seriously this time. A bit.

This morning, in usual form, my alarm blasted me up for my run at 5:15, at which time I turned off my alarm and went back to sleep. An hour and a half later, I then scrambled getting ready for work and cursing my laziness for screwing me out of another workout opportunity.

So breakfast was from the microwave this morning.


Two scrambled eggs nuked for a minute or so, topped with hot sauce. I don’t know why hot sauce; it sounded good at the time. I hate hot sauce.

Then I cut up a peach and topped it with curry cinnamon and greek yogurt.


So, the curry and the cinnamon are in WAY too similar jars in the cupboard. I usually grab the wrong one. Thanks to a tragic baked apple incident, I always double-check what I’m using nowadays.


Tonight will be a mad “cramble” (cram + scramble) to get as much project management professional knowledge in my potato-like head as I can, and maybe get a run in somewhere. The only thing getting me through this week is knowing that it’s a short week – I’m flying to Minnesota to visit the family on Friday! 😀 I can’t wait to feel actual heat, reintroduce Squish to his relatives, and (of course) eat like I’m not coming back to food at home.

Toodles, until tomorrow!

The One of Pie, Picnics, and Brilliance

Since my postings have been catch-as-you-can, I find that it’s hard to stick with one congruent topic. So here’s more randomness that’s happened since the last episode.

1. Our beautiful friends got married on Saturday! And I was too busy Squishy-wrangling to get any proper photos. But that’s okay; apparently at some point someone grabbed my camera to take a picture of the dessert table, which is really the most important thing about a wedding, anyway.


Check it out – instead of cake, there was PIE. Mmmboy!

2. Squish is 100% over being in a high chair. Most of his meals are now take in my lap. Which is totally fine, unless I’m wearing my nice work clothes. It reminds me of Amanda’s cartoon on how I was finding the juggle between work and baby.


3. I am such a genius. I actually did food prep yesterday (!!) and I wanted to steam beets and boil eggs. So I steamed the beets OVER the boiling eggs. I shouldn’t be so proud of myself for this, but sometimes you just gotta take what you can get.

And here is my lunch, with steamed beets and egg.


And massaged kale, goat cheese, tuna, homemade mayo dressing (it didn’t emulsify, dagnabbit), bell pepper, carrots. In a serving bowl. Duh.

4. Hulk just texted me to tell me he signed up for motorcycle classes next week. That’s all, I just wanted to share that.

5. We have some friends staying with us, and since it was all cold and fog-tastic last night we decided to picnic in our living room. Which was fine by me, it was quicker access to the bathroom and our living room view is kinda better than the roof view anyway if you’re not standing right at the edge. “Apples to Apples” may have been involved with our picnic.


That’s all.

Well, not quite. What is “Proto-Indo-European language”? Because that’s a recommended tag for this post. I guess I’ll rock it and see what happens.


Long story short, we got a sitter for last night so we could attend a friend’s birthday party. There was this magical drink called a “Yacht Club” made with vodka, lemon, cucumber, and some magical fairy dust. I lost count somewhere around 3. So it’s been a slow morning.

But we arrived at the birthday party prepared.

BD Card

In my family, we like to give stupid cards. Bonus points if it’s a monkey card, but in a pinch you can get away with an obnoxious children’s card.

But THIS one came with a free princess crown, which Hulk was kind enough to model. Great success!

Tim BD Princess

Oh, it was kind of dark in the bar.

Anyway, I might as well recap the rest of the weekend as I procrastinate on going for a run.

On Fridays I like to grab an indulgent breakfast to kick off the weekend. This time it was a Specialty’s blueberry coffee cake. SO not paleo. In case you weren’t sure, with all the fluffy, crumby, brown-sugary goodness.

Bfast 3-22

Lunch was a quick sandwich that Hulk packed for me. Normally I don’t do sandwiches, but Hulk did the shopping this week and bought one of those 2-ft subs from Safeway to lunch with. We were out of salad greens, so it had to do.

Lunch 3-22

After the coffee cake, I really wasn’t feeling a huge French roll. I tossed half of it and just ate the meat and cheese.

We had a friend over for dinner, and I made this sort of slap-together chicken marinara bake. Then I drank a bottle of wine, did some drunk blog reading (sorry if I wrote a stupid comment on anyone’s post Friday night) and went to bed. Woot.

Saturday Squishy and I had a mommy-and-me date. I fueled up with some coffee and coconut milk.

Coconut Coffee 3-23

And we checked out the Children’s Creativity Museum across the street. I had been meaning to check it out since we moved here since they do a 10:30 little tyke class for 0-2 year olds on Saturdays. That usually happens during Squish’s naptime, but Saturday he was pretty amped and didn’t want to go down, so I decided to pack him up and go for it. It turned out to be a great idea. There was tons of probably-won’t-kill-himself activities with plenty of supervision so I could just turn him loose. He spent the first 15 minutes running around like a maniac, then he settled on some giant blocks and foam noodles.

Squishy Museum

Yeah, I ended up taking the pool noodles away from him because he kept trying to eat them. I found him chewing on a huge chunk of neon pink foam as we were leaving. But it was still a lot of fun and he had a great time.

Then we chilled out at home for a while.

Reading Nook

Squish found a new reading nook.

I made another throw-together lunch trying to use up the last of the veggies and open cans in the fridge.

Lunch 3-23

Ground beef, canned tomatoes, carrot, mushroom, coconut milk, curry, cumin, and some parsley for garnish. Not bad, sort of turned out like a Thai beef curry.

Squishy napped, Hulk and I watched a movie, then we got ready to head out to the party.

I had a quick carrots and AB snack. Duke wanted in on the action.

Snack 3-23

Our babysitter came and Hulk and I went out for sushi before meeting our friends at the bar. We went to 25 Lusk in SoMa. I drank a lot of vodka. It was a good night.

I’m still putting together a maybe Attack List for today. In my head it goes something like this:

  • Run 4 Miles
  • Laundry
  • Grocery Shop and Meal Prep for week
  • Make bed/pick up bedroom
  • Cook roast for dinner, avoid drinking because I’ve had enough for a weekend
  • Pack lunch and work bag for AM/lay out work out clothes

In reality, it’ll probably end up like this:

  • Watch Season 3 of “Archer”
  • Nap
  • Procrastinate until Hulk goads me into running 4 miles
  • Order pizza for dinner, drink a bottle of wine because it’s too damn tasty
  • Panic tonight at 10:30 because I really want to go to bed but I have no clean gym clothes for the morning, the kitchen’s a mess, and I don’t have any food ready for tomorrow’s lunch.

And now, some coffee.