Sep 30, 2011

Factual Friday

Yes, yes, yes!! I’m so happy it’s Friday. Ecstatic. Try to say that word 5 times fast.

Did you do it?

1. Look at Charleston’s upcoming weather. Absolutely perfect.image

2. Niki and I met Elvis a couple weeks ago. The real deal was bartending at Triangle for a charity event. Smokin’ outfit.IMAG0621

3. Last weekend I found this gem in a used bookstore. I almost peed my pants. But really, what if…IMAG0640

4. I have a doodling problem when I’m on the phone. This is borderline crazy, no? And if you’re about to ask me if I am in love, the answer is no. IMAG0629

5. When Mariah and I were baking pumpkin pancakes on Monday, I accidentally spilled wine in the four mixture. Seriously, how does one do that?IMAG0646

6. I want so many books. I wish I could rent a room in the library and just live there. Have any books you don’t want? You can send them to me. The next book I want to buy:image

7. I helped my guy friend with clothes shopping tonight. It was dramatic to say the least. While he tried on clothes for seriousness, I tried on ridiculous pants:

These were at the Gap. Snakeskin and camo jeans? What is going on here! Horrendous! I’m still not sure how I got these on and off my body.

8. I don’t think I have ever had my nails painted the same color for more than 4 consecutive days. They either start chipping or I get bored with the color. I really want Angora Cardi by Essie:

Happy Friday!!

Sep 29, 2011

What A Maniac.

I was crazy sore from strength training on Monday, so the thought of lifting anything other than food to my mouth sounded miserable. Plan B: an outdoor run! Sadly, both of my running partners (Amanda and Mariah) had plans, so I was left to pavement push alone! Amanda was nice enough to let me borrow her Garmin for my run. I’m seriously coveting one now because my iMapMyRun app has been dreadfully inaccurate lately.

I set out to run at Memorial Waterfront Park, where I did the Leprechaun 5k in March 2010. Here is a wonky little picture I found on the race’s site. God, it’s awful looking. leprechaun

My most recent 5k PR was from the Pajama 5k last November. I finished in 25:29. I was pretty pumped about that at the time, but was determined to run faster. I have been running consistently, but haven’t done any races since then. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen today, but I knew I had 2 cups of coffee in my system so things could get silly.

Silly fast that is. As of today, my new 5k PR is 23:51, or an average of 7:40 min/mile. Yeaaaaaaaaah! The Garmin helped SO much. I was hoping for negative splits, but the exact opposite happened.

Mile 1: 7:30

Mile 2: 7:43

Mile 3: 7:49

.11 miles: 49 seconds.

It also told me I took 4,010 steps with an average cadence of 85 SPM. I don’t even know what that means, but it sounds cool. Someone explain that to me, bc I’m too lazy to google right now.

After my run, I drove to Whole Foods. BAD IDEA!!!!!!!! I was still in running mode, racing through the aisles throwing food in my cart like a psycho who hadn’t eaten in days. On a positive note, I did see this babe cashier (who is also a baby at 25 y/o) and he smiled and waved at me. I almost fell on the floor I was so excited. Swooning for grocery store employees is soooooo my style.

Where were we? Oh, so while shopping, I threw in the most random collection of food I’ve ever seen. I started off really well with the following:

Then crazy hungry girl came out and I threw the following in my cart:

Then I got suuuuuper thirsty for the following:image


Don’t worry, I didn’t refuel with the beer. I had a salad, cottage cheese, an apple, popchips, and a fiber bar. I am about to go back in the kitchen and dig into the Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter…mmmm.

What’s your favorite food to refuel with?

Would you rather race competitively (with yourself or others) or at a leisurely pace?

Sep 28, 2011

Body Attack and Sushi Taro

On Tuesday, Amanda and I planned on going to Body Attack and the Farmer’s Market. Besides the fact that Body Attack is a great cardio workout, I love going for several reasons:

  1. Erica teaches the class. She is just awesome. Her energy is contagious and she’s really fun to watch. She’s a billion times more coordinated than I am and honestly, she inspires me to be less twinkle-toed. Did I mention she just gave birth to her gorgeous daughter, Kailyn? Yep, she welcome her peanut on August 1st, and is already teaching classes. See, I told you she’s inspirational.
  2. The music! If I’m ever in need for some good tunes, Body Attack has some great tracks. They are usually fast-paced and would probably be great to run to.
  3. It’s a good laugh. Honest to God, if I’m ever having a bad day, I need to remind myself that Body Attack makes me laugh a little too much. At what you say? Oh, just myself. My lack of coordination and inability to combine steps is really quite humorous. I always look over at Amanda (who does really well) and then back and myself and think “What are you dooooooooing, Christina? Get with it!” And then I look at Erica and I think “Oh damn, she’s good.”

Seriously though, check out Body Attack if your gym provides the class. It’s an calorie-torching hour of fun!

Our plans to hit up the Farmer’s Market didn’t work out. As we pulled up, we noticed all the trucks packing up! It wasn’t totally dark yet, but I guess that’s what happens when Summer turns to fall. Boo!

But instead of calling it a night, we decided to try a new(ish) restaurant in Mt. P: Sushi Taro. Sushi Taro menu is huge, with options ranging from sushi, hibachi, noodles, and even a few Thai entrees. Amanda and I decided to get an appetizer and share two entrees. This is pretty much the way we always eat together!

After many recommendations from our server (who was so sweet by the way!), we opted for the Gyoza: pan-fried pork dumplings served with ponzu sauce ($6).002 (1280x960)

Loooooved these. They were slightly crunchy on the outside with a tender, meaty filling. The sweet ponzu sauce was excellent.

Neither Amanda or I can resist a good Pad Thai. I also get really excited when I see Udon noodles on a menu…so that’s exactly what we ordered for our entrees.

Pad Thai: shrimp with rice noodles, bean sprouts, scallions, cilantro, chili paste, lime, crushed peanuts and eggs with tamarind sauce ($11).004 (1280x948)

Yaki Udon: Shrimp, chicken or beef with special sauce served on hot sizzling plate ($8).005 (1280x987)

We immediately dug in and loved both dishes…except for the shrimp on the Pad Thai. Something wasn’t right about the smell. And the taste. I’ve had food poisoning from bad oysters before, so there was no way I was taking any chances. I politely sent it back with our waitress who offered to remake the dish with chicken. Both she and the chef were apologetic and more than happy to remake it for us. Every restaurant can make a mistake, but to me, how they handle it is what matters most.

Overall, we were extremely happy with Sushi Taro. The menu prices were very reasonable and the food was just as good as Basil. Think about this: the Pad Thai at Basil is 15.50 and at Sushi Taro it is $11 and tastes the same. Hmm…I think we know where I’ll be revisiting! And if not for the Pad Thai, I still want to try their sushi and hibachi.

Sushi Taro on Urbanspoon

What are some of your favorite Japanese/Chinese/Thai entrees?

Have any memorable restaurant experiences? Good or bad?

Sep 26, 2011

Happy National Pancake Day!

According to this site, Monday, September 26th is National Pancake Day. Pancakes might be at the top of my favorite breakfast lists, so this holiday had to be celebrated. Lucky for me, Mariah was also up to celebrate. As we didn’t find out about the holiday until the afternoon, we decided that breakfast for dinner was in order!

My absolute favorite type of pancakes are these blueberry ricotta pancakes that I’ve made several times. But why not celebrate the beginning of fall with…

Pumpkin Pancakes, serves 4


  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 cup skim milk (or soy milk!)
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. In a large bowl whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine milk, egg, pumpkin, and vanilla extract.
  3. Add wet ingredients to the dry mixture and stir until just combined.
  4. Heat a griddle or pan to medium low. Coat with cooking spray. Drop 1/4 cup of batter onto heated skillet. When bubbles start forming, flip pancakes over, or after about 2-3 minutes. Cook for another 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately!

DSC_0651 (1280x853)

These pancakes were definitely some of the best I’ve had. The pumpkin flavor was light; I might add more puree next time. Because of all the spices, they weren’t very sweet, but maple syrup will help with that. Here you see my plate with the pancakes drizzled with maple syrup and a side of Trader Joe’s turkey bacon.

How do you feel about breakfast for dinner? I could probably have it at least once a week. It’s nice to be able to have breakfast foods that you can spend more time on. Mornings are too rushed for me!

What pumpkin recipes have you made so far? This was my first, but I’d really like to find a good pumpkin scone recipe. Send your favorite pumpkin recipes my way!

Fitness plans for the week:

Monday: 20 minutes of HIIT, shoulders/chest strength training, 20 minutes light interval cardio

Tuesday: Body Attack with Amanda

Wednesday: Body Pump or an outdoor run

Thursday: Kickboxing

Weekend: an outdoor run and maybe Body Flow – has anyone taken that?

Sep 23, 2011

Friday Five

Stealing this idea from Laura’s blog!


1. What I’m Reading:

As mentioned in this post, I’m on this weird mission to read all of the Time Magazine’s 100 Best Novels. Dear God, why am I such a nutcase? I just started this one:

Next week, I will start this for book club:

“Mary McCarthy's The Group rose to the top of the New York Times bestseller list for fiction in 1963 then remained there for almost two years. A sharply written page-turner about eight Vassar graduates and their lives in NYC and beyond, the novel tackled such then-taboos as extramarital affairs, premarital sex, homosexuality, contraception, abortion, and psychoanalysis in a style noted for its bluntness as well as its wit. The New York Times hailed McCarthy's works for its "miraculous precision" and "believable clarity" in portraying Manhattan Bohemia, while Time Magazine noted that "for the first time, highbrow readers who have long acknowledged an athletic and logical brain will meet those who prefer the fictional products of female temperament."

Wow, yeah. Thanks Jess!! I’m excited about that one.

2. What I’m Listening To:

Cannot get enough.

3. What I’m Watching:

Eh, nothing new. Just my girls.

4. What I’m Eating:

How about what I will be eating, as soon as I find one:

5. What I’m Pinning:

I only use Pinterest sporadically, but here are some:

Good Lord, his shorts are hot.

Love her hair, but I can’t pull off that blonde:




Whoa, I drank way too much coffee.

Sep 22, 2011

Wonderful Wednesday

If there is one thing I refuse to do, it’s call Wednesday “Hump Day.” Ew. Why do people say that? It disturbs me. Please tell me someone else out there is bothered by this too.

My Wednesday was wonderful, really! When I got to work, I took one look at my Greek yogurt + bluebs + cereal and pushed it away. (Who am I?!) I went downstairs to the cafeteria and ran into one of the managers I often help out while he was waiting for an omelet. He must be some sort of psychic because he asked me, “Want half of my egg white omelet?” Well yes, yes I do want a free omelet the size of my face. The rest of the work day was quiet; I got a lot of work done yet still managed to gossip gchat with Mariah all day.

After work, I went to the library to pick up a new book. Ever since a friend told me about the Time Magazine’s list of the 100 best English-Language novels, I’ve gotten this crazy idea in my head that I have to read them all. ALL 100 NOVELS. I can do it, right? Hmm. I’ve only read 3 on the whole dang list! At the library, I pulled up the list and randomly selected one:

I thought everyone and their mother read this in high school, but apparently not. Where was I?! Oh, drowning in my Spanish books. Before I start, I will finish the second half of Exes and Ohs, which I started last night. Go get it. I also picked up this random find:

After the library, I met Mariah at her house for a run. We completed a little over 3.5 miles then started dinner. We made the Southwest Meatballs – so good. If you haven’t made this, you live in Crazytown, U.S.A.

So what else is happening…Oh! Last year I ran the Pajama 5k, and knew that it was coming up soon. I went to the website to register and BAM! Our little heads!pjrunsite

That made my day. I just wish that darn rectangle wasn’t on top of Amanda!

Fitness plans for the week:

  • Monday: Body Pump, leisurely bicycle ride downtown Thumbs up
  • Tuesday: 3.5 mile run with Mariah around I’OnThumbs up
  • Wednesday: 3.5 mile run with MariahThumbs up
  • Thursday: Kickboxing with AmandaFingers crossed
  • Tentative weekend workouts: possibly a Body Attack class, but honestly I can see myself being okay with dancing my face off at Trio or running…straight to the bar.Mug

Have you read The Catcher In The Rye? Honestly, I have no idea what that book is even about. Guess I’ll find out.

What is your favorite day of the week and why? Friday! Friday! Friday! I love Sundays too.

Sep 21, 2011

Book Club Meeting #2: Sarah’s Key

Right after work on Tuesday, Mariah and I met up for a run through I’on. It was in the low 80s – perfect running weather. We ran a little over 3 miles throughout the neighborhood and admired all the beautiful houses. It was really nice to be outdoors instead of stuck in the gym. Lately, I’ve been trying to exercise outside as much as possible because the cold weather is just around the corner…

After our run, I met up with Amanda, Kira, Mary, Jess, and Price for our second book club meeting. At the end of our first book club meeting, Amanda suggested that we read Sarah’s Key. Six weeks later, we all got together for wine (duh) and discussion time. As usual, we all brought something to eat. My contribution was zucchini muffins:DSC_0643

Amanda’s dad grilled us some delicious shrimp. Seriously, so good. Thanks Papa Holloway.DSC_0642

The rest of the food is shown here: hummus/carrots/pita chips from Mary, cream cheese and almond stuffed strawberries from Jess, cheese and crackers from Price, and pumpkin dip (!!) from Kira:DSC_0649

Aren’t these strawberries so pretty? They were a hit.DSC_0647

While Amanda, Mary, Kira, and Price really enjoyed Sarah’s Key, Jess and I were not fans. Both Jess and I felt that we couldn’t really get into the book at any point. Usually I can pick up a book and plow through it in a few nights, but for some reason, I was never really excited to start a new chapter. The one thing I did like about the book is that during the first half, the chapters are from two different character’s perspectives. The second half of the book seemed to drag on.

Jess offered to host the next meeting at her house, and she’ll be emailing us what she chooses for our next book tomorrow. I was hoping to get started on our 3rd book tonight, but instead I’ll be starting Exes and Ohs!

Have you read Sarah’s Key?

Ever checked out Time Magazine’s list of the 100 best English-Language novels?

Favorite book of all time?

Sep 20, 2011

Southwest Meatballs with Black Bean and Corn Salsa

So, you guys know I subscribe to an obnoxious amount of magazines. We’ve talked about this. Er, I’ve blogged about this and then you guys commented. Same thing, right? Yep.

One of the magazines I subscribe to, Clean Eating, was never one of my favorites. I thought the recipes were boring and not worth trying. Well, when I plucked the October issue out of my mailbox, I took one look at the cover and thought, “Oh I am making that!”

Black beans + corn = one of my favorite combinations, ever. And meatballs? Who doesn’t love a freaking meatball. Oh, vegetarians you say? Boo.

This lady’s on a red meat kick lately. I’ve no idea where it came from, but I’ve been ditching the chicken for the cow at least once a week. (The Chick-fil-A Gods are hating me right now.) So, I often pull recipes out of magazines and shove them in a folder and forget about them. Or I star them on google reader but rarely go back to them. This time it was different. The next day, I made the recipe on the cover with a few changes. And it was good. So good. DSC_0604

Southwest Meatballs with Black Bean & Corn Salsa


  • 1 lb. ground sirloin (or turkey breast)
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 15 oz. can low-sodium black beans, drained
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 4 oz. can diced green chiles
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • juice of one lime


  1. In a large bowl, combine ground meat, egg whites, bread crumbs, salt and pepper and mix well. Shape into 16 meatballs.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil on medium-high. Add meatballs and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, turning frequently, until browned on all sides. Add corn, beans, tomatoes, green chiles, and cumin. Mix well. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through. Squeeze lime juice into the pan, and mix well. Serve immediately.DSC_0610

This is such a flavorful dish and so easy to make! I highly recommend using ground sirloin. Browning the meatballs in the pan seals in all the juices and really adds a good flavor to the entire dish. I really can’t wait to make this again!

What are your favorite food combinations? Some of mine are:

  • brown sugar & cinnamon
  • peanut butter & banana
  • avocado & honey
  • goat cheese & honey

What’s your favorite spice? I love cumin, coriander, and cinnamon. Cinnamon on everything!

Sep 19, 2011

New Food Finds

Every single girl I know is obsessed with Target. Admit it, you love it too. I don’t know what it is about that place, but you can go in there with the intention of buying one thing yet leave the store with twenty. I can only recall one time that I’ve gone to Target and came out empty-handed and it just felt so wrong.

I stopped at Target on Sunday to return a memory card that I didn’t end up needing. I knew I didn’t need anything, but how could I resist browsing? Here are a few new products that I picked up.

Earth’s Best Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rice & Potato Crisps. image

Katie has mentioned how much she loves these on her blog several times, so I had to give them a try. They’re basically like tiny Pop Chips! (Another snack I’m obsessed with.) Though not very flavorful, they’re kind of addicting. I can’t really explain it. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t eat the entire bottle within a 2-hour period. Oops. Good thing there are only 30 calories per serving and 7 in the whole bottle! :)

Campbell’s Harvest Orange Tomato Soup

Fancy tomato soup, right? I’m so excited to try this.

Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Grahams in Vanilla Cupcake

YES THESE ARE REAL. I saw them a while back on Holly’s blog and searched everywhere for them. I nearly jumped for joy when I saw them at Target. I opened them as soon as I got back to my car and seriously, I could not get them in my mouth fast enough. SO GOOD. They also have a regular vanilla flavor, and I’m interested to see if they taste any different. Vanilla cupcake sounds so much more fun than vanilla, no?

Also on the Pepperidge Farm is new sandwich bread!image

I really am a sucker for cute crap. I didn’t even realize bread could be cute. Ugh. Goldfish 2, Christina 0.

And finally, these Quaker Life bars.image


Ahh, these flavors! Has anyone had either?

I also saw these but didn’t buy them, as I’ve never been a fan of Snackwell’s products. Anyone tried these?image

This treat might have been out last Halloween, but it’s new to me:

Um, yum. And aren’t these cute too? They certainly appear to be friendly ghosts.

I’m sure you’ve all heard of this new ice cream. Cannot get over the name. Ew, ew, and ew.

What are some new products you’ve recently discovered? Love ‘em or hate ‘em?

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? I love cookie dough, coffee oreo, and pistachio. For Ben & Jerry’s flavors, I love Coffee Heath Bar crunch and Oatmeal Cookie Chunk. Has anyone tried their Red Velvet flavor? Now I want ice cream. Crap.