Monday, February 28, 2011

You want more? I'll give you more.

You can't get enough of my blogs? Want more? Kinda like I couldn't get enough of the leftover sweethearts candy from Valentines Day and don't ever want to see the end....gah those things are just so good! (this was a jar of them....)
Soo this weekend was a good one! Friday night Matt and I met some friends for dinner--mostly couples, at Cajun Steamer a really yummy restaurant in Birmingham. After good food and conversation we debated going bowling but ended up deciding we were old farts and needed to go to bed. I mean, it was getting late, like 9:00ish late.

Saturday morning the boys' were off to play a round of golf and I had plans to meet up with Bethanny for our run. We met around 10ish and began our nice trek around the Homewood area to Mountain Brook and back. We had great run and I realize I like running with others since I can be both productive and social, and most of us know that I do like to talk! After we headed to one of my favorite restaurants Ocarrs for some yummy chicken salad and fruit. To celebrate all of our hard work we went to Dreamcakes, a bakery in Homewood.

Dreamcakes was featured this month in Southern Living Magazine for their delcious cupcakes. They are filled with different types of filling such as cheesecake, a hersey's kiss, cream cheese icing, etc. I mentioned to Bethanny I had never eaten there and she persuaded me (okay, maybe I didn't need any persuasion) to go check it out. Here's what the place looks like, and this was a less busy moment: Bethanny and I tried this scrumptious cupcake called Over the Moon-vanilla with vanilla filling. It was fantastic.

Here's Bethanny in her cute lil' running outfit and her cupcake
I highly recommend going to Dreamcakes if you are ever in Birmingham.
Saturday night we had another couples date night and went to dinner with Mitch and Amanda and Matt and Angela at Ruby Tuesday. We headed home afterwards and went to bed (remember we are old--can't stay out past 9pm).
Sunday we ran some errands, cleaned, and relaxed....Good times.

Run Recap

For the weekly run report:

Monday: Ran 4 miles/40mins on TM, no incline, easy run. Though the weather was good I felt bad for my neglected TM and thought I'd give it a little love since I haven't run on it in a couple weeks.

Wed: Ran 6.25/1 hour. This was the run in at the new trail where I had no clue where I was going and turned slight stalker-esk. The run went well, and since my GPS on my iPhone no longer works, I had to track it once I returned home on and it turned out I ran 6.25 miles in about 1 hour. Not too shabby for not knowing where the heck I was going.

Thurs: Ran 2 miles outside/20 mins. Ran 1 mile on TM/9:30. So I started off with Matt and the dogs outside and the weather began to look scary so we all headed in. I finished up with an extra mile on the TM. TM's gotten lots of love this week.

Sat: Ran 7.18 and no clue how long it took. I met up with my friend Bethanny who is also running the CMM (Country Music Marathon). She has run it before as well as the Mercedes Half (I think more than once). She just completed the Mercedes Half this month at 1:56 so she's purdy quick!! We had a great run and the weather was perfect for it. I like running with someone faster and more trained than I, since it forces me to push myself more to keep up with her. We celebrated with cupcakes afterwards. More on that later.

So weekly total of 20.43 miles.

Friday, February 25, 2011


Dear friends and readers, I would like to apologize for my recent neglect towards you, as I know you sit anxiously awaiting my next amazing, life-changing post. (or not). I am currently sitting at work, shamming myself for being so gluttonous after the big brunch we had to celebrate a co-workers leaving and anothers' birthday. I always wonder why I fill my plate up with piles of food and eat-like-it's-Thanksgiving when we do the work pot lucks. But hey, it happened and I can't change the past. I must accept and move on. To another subject.

This week has been going well. Matt left me crying (or smiling, whatever you want) Monday to go to Nashville for a work conference which lasted until Thursday. I had lots of free time to catch up on really important stuff while he was away like watching previous recorded episodes of Glee, Jerseylicous, and Teen Mom. Woah. I sound like a 13 year old. Why you judgin'?!

My sweet in-laws (be jealous) took me out to eat at Flip burger on Tuesday night and we had a good time just the three of us. I told Matt they said I was their favorite. He doesn't believe me. Whatever, I know the truth. It was fun pretending I was an only child and getting all the attention. They were too kind to keep me company while I was all by my lonesome self.

Wednesday after work I was all pumped about running a new trail that had been recommended to me by Paige who is also running in the Country Music Marathon. So I headed to the park I planned to run, pretended like I knew where I was going, followed a random guy who probably thought I was a stalker so he ran super fast and I couldn't keep up, so then I almost turned around when another girl who looked like she knew where she was going ran by, so I followed her for a bit and then she disappeared! Man! What is up with these people running so fast like they are being stalked. I just want to know where to go. And a new friend. Geez. So I decided to be more independent and found my way and luckily made it to my car after a little over an hour of running.

Last night Matt came home from his trip and we hung out. I missed out on monthly Chow Down, aka girls night out, because I thought I'd be nice and spend time with Matt-- I mean, I married the guy, guess I should spend some time with him, right? We went for a short run around the neighborhood (props to Matt for 2 weeks of running!) with the pups. We cooked dinner and watched some educational television shows called The Big Bang Theory, Grey's Anatomy, and Jersey Shore. It is nice to have him back though I will miss having control over the television remote. And the thermostat.

No big plans yet for this weekend but hopefully it will be a good one!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Weekly Run Report

The weather has been amazing here all week so I have been trying to enjoy every minute of it while it lasts (I will not kid myself into believing Spring is here in February!). I have been able to run outside 4 times this week for a total of 20ish miles (will explain that later). Gracie (my dog) and Matt have run a total of 6 miles this week, and Max (other dog) ran 3. So here's the rundown:

Monday-ran outside 4 miles with lots of hill training. Awesome run! One of those that makes you realize why you do it and inspires you to continue. Gracie and Matt ran 2 of these miles with me. Max made it under 1 mile before he had to go in.

Wednesday-ran outside 6 miles will lots of hills. Complete opposite of Monday. It was hard, I kept cramping, and it felt as if it took forever. Blah. My pace was around 10:30/mile. Gracie ran 2 miles.

Thursday-Ran around 3-3.5 miles. My dang GPS/iPod app thing was turned off and so I am not exactly sure the approximate total. This run started off slow/difficult but ended well. I made a PR (running outside, that is) of a 9:40 minute/mile. Glad to see my time is getting faster if I push myself. Gracie ran a solid 2 miles. Max ran 2 miles with Matt.

Saturday-So here is where it gets tricky. I am in Atlanta visiting the parents and for some reason my GPS wouldn't locate so I couldn't track my run and distance. Talk about annoying and frustrating! So I set my alarm for an hour and 15 minutes cranked my iPod and just ran. I guess this is good to not be soo focused on time/distance/pace and just to run for the heck of it. I estimate that I ran around 7 miles and it was a great run. I explored the areas and neighborhoods around my mom's house and enjoyed this beautiful weather.

Overall it was a decent week but I hope next week is even better and that my time/stamina continues to improve. On the treadmill I put it on a pace knowing I will run 9:30 min/miles and it forces me to push myself, outside I don't have to keep up with a moving belt so it is harder to estimate my pace (until my GPS/run app tells me). Stay tuned for next weeks updates!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Last night as I was pondering how many times Lindsay Lohan will get off from doing something illegal like stealing or abusing drugs I realized how simple life used to be. I didn't have to worry about important things like mortgage, car payments, taxes, or even celebrity gossip (other than whether JTT aka Johnathan Taylor Thomas had a girlfriend). I started to reminisce on the fun things I loved as a child and teenager growing up and thought I might share these with you.

1. Some great TV shows- Fraggle rock, the Muppet Show (ahh how they never showed the lady's face--killed me!), Clarissa Explains it All (FYI where I got my blog name, unlike my dad's continued error in saying that it is called "Jess knows it all"..and no, I do not know it all), Salute your Shorts (I can still sing that song), Hey Dude, Doug, Step by Step, Boy Meets World, Family Matters (Erkel!), Are You Afraid of the Dark (so scary!), and so many more...

2. Slap bracelets. In 3rd grade my best friend Megan Summers wore a slap bracelet to school and from that moment on I had to have one! Not quite sure looking back on the appeal of being able to 'slap' a bracelet on, but hey, it was cool.

3. Timberlands. In 8th grade I finally got a pair and loved to wear them with my Gap jeans. Along with that came the Cool Water and CKone fragrance.

4. Those super tacky plastic-y Nike soccer slip on sandals--The black ones with the white Nike swoosh. And yes, I wore them with tall tube socks that went up to my knees.

5. Warm up pants. Oh how, I used to wear these to school and say I was "scrubbin' it". And I loved boys who wore the tear away ones.

6. Hypercolor shirts. You know the ones that changed colors. And I would wear them with biker shorts. Classy.

7. I didn't actually have one, however, but I remember how cool "Starter" Jackets were. They had different ones for each team and I remember all the guys sportin' these. At least the cool guys.

8. LA Gear, Keds, and Reebok Pumps. My brother had some pumps and I thought it was the coolest thing. Mom wouldn't buy them for me. Said they only made them for boys. I have my suspicions that this is not true and she just didn't like them.

9. Bows. The clip kind. I had a plastic box full of these in every color and style. Gotta match your bow to your outfit. One even had cow print with a cow bell....Hmmmm.....

10. Kit-n-Kaboodle. Had a hot pink one. Not even sure what the heck I kept in it.

11. Polly Pockets. I had a couple of these--I know one was a Vet office and another was a townhouse maybe? Did they really even fit in your pockets?

12. Lisa Frank. There is nothing like a neon colored notebook with unicorns. You know you had one or wanted it.

13. Pogs. I think this is what those thick round cardboard things were. And you had a "slammer" that you threw down on the pogs. No wonder these didn't stay in style.

14. Skating Rinks. Who didn't go to the skating rink?! Ours was called Sparkles and had a dance floor we did splits on while the lights flashed up different colors. Oh yeah and a DJ booth you could write down a song request that never got played.

15. Kilo, Biggie, Montell Jordan, and Keith Sweat. Classics. I still love to play these songs cause they are just so good. Or not. I still like them though!

What are some things you remember growing up? Do any of these bring back memories for you?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Momite's Lasagna

You didn't think I would rant and rave about my Momite's lasagna and not post the recipe, did you?! I have included step-by-step directions along with pictures for your viewing and potential tasting pleasure. So we will begin, ingredients:

-1/2 lb ground beef (Matt is a beef lover so we used 1 lb) -1 onion (I only used 1/2)
-1 large can of crushed tomatoes -1/2 teaspoon tyme
-12 oz tomato paste -1 teaspoon salt
-1 T (tablespoon) sugar -1 Tablespoon Fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried
-2 bay leaves -1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
-1 lb of Ricotta Cheese -1 Tablespoon fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried
-Mozzarella Cheese (I used about 2 lbs) -14 Lasagna Noodles
-2 eggs -1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (I didn't use these)
-grated Pecorino Cheese (found in specialty cheese area)
Step 1: Cook Lasagna Noodles.

Once completed, place on wax paper or tin foil to prevent sticking. (If my noodles look weird it is because I used whole wheat--much better nutrition and same taste)

Chop onion and herbs for the sauce.

Brown Ground beef with chopped onion. Drain after.

Add tomato paste, tomatoes, and herbs. Bring to a boil stirring, reduce heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes.

In a separate bowl, mix 2 eggs and ricotta cheese.
Layer noodles on bottom of 13 x 9 casserole dish (we used this smaller dish and made another even smaller batch to freeze and eat later). Overlap the noodles when layering.

Next layer the Ricotta cheese mixture.
Sprinkle the Mozzarella Cheese on top.

Next layer the sauce and meat mixture.

Complete the layer one more time and top with the Pecorino Cheese (I also sprinkled a little more Mozzarella cheese-who says you can have too much cheese?!)
Bake on 375 for 45 minutes. Enjoy!

Getting and Sharing Some Love for Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day!! I realize this is a "Hallmark" made holiday in order to increase sales and force people to buy gifts for their loved ones, but I am a sucker for any occasion that calls for lovey-dovey-ness. Matt and I traditionally go out to dinner at a nice restaurant and get small gifts for one another. After all the years of battling the crowds and traffic to get a jacked up special priced "Valentines Menu" I let Matt convince me to do our traditional dinner out Sunday night and to have a nice romantic evening at home. So last night we went to eat at Village Tavern, one of our favorite restaurants in Birmingham. It was delicious and we had a great time.

Today, we went to lunch at Mama Goldberg's which is a place we used to frequent when we first began dating in Auburn. They have since expanded and we are lucky enough to have one (or several) in Birmingham. So we ate some Mama's Love's for lunch (how appropriate!) and shared nacho's like old times. After work, Matt joined me for a quick run with the dogs. For dinner, I prepared my Momite's (grandmothers) lasanga. It was my first attempt at Lasagna and it turned out great. Matt's reviews included repeating "magnificent" several times and even singing a song about how delicous it was. Fair to say he enjoyed it! I also had some beautiful flowers delivered to me as a surprise from Matt! What a great Valentine Matt is!

I hope you guys have/had a great Valentines Day whether you were with someone special or proudly embraced your single-hood.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Weekly Run Report

This week was a good run week. I improved my distance as well as pace and am pretty satisfied with how the training is going. I ran a total of 20.5 miles. Watch out Country Music Marathon!

Monday- Ran 4 miles on TD (treadmill). Did some good incline/hill training.

Wednesday- Ran 6 miles on TD at a 9:30 minute pace the whole time (no incline). My goal for the marathon is about 10 minute miles, so if I keep this up I may beat my goal!

Thursday-3 miles on TD at 9:30 min pace with lots of incline the whole time.

Saturday-A beautiful day to enjoy the weather and finally get outside! I ran 7.5 miles outside around the Trussville Mall area, a historic/park area. It was a good run, though I averaged about 10:30 min/miles which wasn't as good as I have been running. I am not sweating it though, my first few miles just weren't easy and then it seemed to click and everything went great.

The great news is that the weather is supposed to be very nice all week, which equals lots of good runs outside! I think Matt may have even gotten himself in trouble, agreeing to run with me some this week!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tipsy Tuesday

I always get a good laugh out of my friend Amanda's blog when she posts silly pictures of our friends. The other day I was going through some of our photos and realized we have a few silly picture's of us and our friends as well. We may not all be "tipsy" (or we may be...:) ) in these photos, but we sure look like it! Enjoy!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sushi, Shopping, and Superbowl

We had a busy weekend! It started out Friday evening when we met up with Matt and Ang B. for sushi. As the sushi and beverages progressed we somehow let the boys talk us into going to the dog track afterwards. The dog track is not the classiest joint here in Birmingham so it is not typically a place I enjoy to frequent. The hard part for me every time I do go to the dog track I notice how nice it *could* be, as it used to be an actual horse track. History has always been fascinating to me and I can only imagine how nice the track once was. It makes me sad though to see how it is no longer such a nice place. Anyways, I digress....we ended up going and it was a good time.

Saturday after my run, we cleaned house (thanks to my awesome hubs who helped!), and I managed to convince Matt into shopping with me. The trip was a success as we bought a new end table and lamps. I mean, I have no clue why Matt didn't like our old Walmart lamps and 90's style end table (no offense to Walmarts lamps). Please see the pictures of our new table and lamps, I think they turned out very nice and hope you do too!
In case you live under a rock Sunday was the big game, aka the Superbowl. We headed to Matt and Ang B.'s (they got alotta love from us this weekend it seems) for the festivities. I love the superbowl, ahem, I mean parties, because it is always fun to get together with good friends, socialize, watch the game (I mean commercials), and eat until you feel like you might puke. This year I'm not sure which was a bigger deal, smoking the meats all day with the correct "mop" or actually watching the game. Luckily the guys were able to finish the meat right before they watched the game. Good timing boys! So we along with several friends hung out at Matt and Angelas for the game and also were able to celebrate Angela's birthday which is tomorrow.

Hope you guys had a good weekend! Now it is back to the daily grind!

Angela and her football/birthday cake

A few folks watching the game, or not watching the game. Matt, Mitch and AmandaA small miracle, Romeo let someone (Bethanny) hold him. This must be documented as it happens so infrequently.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Weekly Run Report

So this week was a good week. I ran a total of 24 miles. I was only able to run outside once due the cold weather (ice, sleet, and snow, oh my!) but kept on track using the treadmill. Here's a quick re-cap of my runs:

Sunday- I wasn't able to run Saturday due the the "Breakfast Club" meeting (see last post) but luckily the weather stayed beautiful and warm for Sunday and I got a long run in that morning. I ran 6 miles outside and did okay, I ran a lot of hills and I'm not gonna lie, it was hard (the hills). I felt good after though.

Monday-I planned on running a short run (3 miles) Monday since I ran longer than usual on Sunday but once I started it felt great and I ended up running 4 miles on the treadmill.

Wednesday-After taking a day off I felt great and ran 5 miles on the treadmill. It was a great run and I maintained a good pace.

Thursday-I ran a short 3 miles on the treadmill before heading into work. I picked the "rolling hills" program on my treadmill and it was more like "incline UP the whole time". It was difficult because running outside I can slow down and speed up as I need to, but on the treadmill I try not to change my speed often. It wasn't a great run but I need that hill training, if I can't get it outside I need to make myself do it inside.

Saturday-Ran 6 miles on the treadmill and it went well. I got a little tired around mile 5 but pulled through and ended it fine. I ran the whole way and maintained a 10 min/mile pace. Getting tired though so early makes me worry how I am gonna complete 13.1 miles, but I know that the training is how I will be able to get my stamina and endurance up.

Overall, I feel I'm on target with where I want/need to be. I have been maintaining a 10 min/mile pace inside and outside for the most part (my 6 miles outside was a little slower with the hills...). My goal time to complete the half is 2:15 and I think if I keep up the training hopefully I should be able to accomplish this (hopefully!).

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Breakfast Club.

For the second time a few girlfriends and I decided to have breakfast, or brunch, and it ended up being an all day event. It started when a few best friends and I decided we would meet up at a restaurant called Silvertron in Birmingham while the boys were out playing golf. The weather was beautiful, the food and drinks were great, and so was the company. We met up around 10:00 am and started off with a few mimosa pitchers and some great breakfast. The turning point was around 10:57 when our Waiter informed us that the mimosa "special" which we thought ended at 11am, actually was an all day deal. Well, we girls don't want to pass up a great opportunity for some cheap drinks (and to also get in some vitamin C, duh) and more time to chit chat so we decided to stay, and to keep supporting the wonderful restaurant of course.
Around lunchtime we decided to change venues and enjoy the beautiful weather and headed over to a place called Jackson's in SoHo Square in downtown Homewood. Jackson's is one of my favorite restaurants with its awesome food and amazing atmosphere. We got a table outside and enjoyed the weather. While we were there we ran into Ryan Shoemaker, Auburn's Punter. We got our picture made with him (check Amanda's blog for pic's) and briefly chatted with him and his father (he was there with his girlfriend and mom also, but strangely we didn't talk to them much ;) ). As the dinner guests began to arrive at Jackson's, we decided it was time to call it a day. We met up with the boys, Matt and I grabbed a quick bite for dinner and passed out. It was a great Saturday! The weather sure was a nice tease, making me miss the days we can spend outside without a jacket!