Monday, August 31, 2009


It's done! My Lasik surgery was a success. The doc says I'm now seeing at 20/15. I'm so happy! This was probably the scariest thing I've ever done in my life. I was very nervous about the surgery, but the possibility of the outcome made it worth it for me to go through with it. My eyes are sore and tired (and they will be for a few more days) but I can see! I never, ever want to live through the 7 minutes and 30 seconds that the surgery took again (and hopefully I won't have to). I'm such a baby, because as soon as it was over, I cried. A lady waiting for her surgery told me that it was the Valium that got me all worked up. Whatever it was, I don't care anymore. So what, I cried and I freaked out. It's over now and my eyes are healing wonderfully. I can't wait till I can start running next week, not have to wear those annoying goggles at night, and for next month when I go scuba diving in Roatan. But until then, I'll be wearing my sunglasses everytime I step outside and taking plenty of naps. The doc said sleep is my friend and that's good, cuz I love sleep!

6 Hours to go

Tonight was fun. I pretty much figured I wouldn't get to do anything this weekend, so I lived it up tonight. I met my old running partner for a nice jog around Rice, then dinner at Hungry's (which is quickly becoming a tradition for us). After that I met Married2Food at Anvil to start tackling my 100 drink list (mmmm Gin!). She convinced me that I needed to spend my last night in my glasses attempting to eat our way through a 10 course dessert tasting. Who's going to say no to that?

So, five of us girls headed to the chef's restaurant after closing to hang out in the kitchen and try his amazing desserts. I have never worked in a restaurant nor ever been in the kitchen of a restaurant, but this was definately cool. We stood around the counter where our amazing host prepared our treats. First up (sorry, I bit into it first before I remembered to take the picture) - the corn dog.

A cornmeal pastry, ketchup-hot dog sauce (yes, there were literally hot dogs used in making it) and mustard ice cream. It tasted like I was at the fair! I tasted all the parts separately and then again all together. I'm still amazed sometimes at what chef's can do with food. This was my all time favorite of the night.

Next up, funnel cake, maple syrup and spam ice cream. Yes, Spam! It tasted just like a creamy, cold version of the canned meat. Mixed with the sweetness of the maple syrup and crispyness of the funnel cake, we were all in heaven. No funnel cake piece went uneaten!

Our gracious host then made us his take on a peach cobbler. Peaches warmed in a sugar sauce with vanilla shortbread topped with crushed nuts and buttermilk ice cream. The man really knew his way with ice cream. I could have eaten straight from the container. I love cobblers, and this was no exception.
The crowd favorite: bacon jelly filled donuts dipped in chocolate sauce served with spicy nuts and chocolate ice cream. I'm not an over-the-top bacon lover, so maybe that's why this wasn't my favorite, but it was really tasty and very sweet. I still can't believe he managed to make a bacon jelly! I think everyone in attendance devoured at least 2 full ones. I was starting to feel really full and only had part of one.

Last up, a homemade chocolate cordial cherry. I loved these as a kid. I used to hoarde them in my room after Valentine's day and not share with anyone else in the house. But I think the rest of the desserts had played their part on me and I was throwing in the towel. I only had one bite of this. The rich, thich chocolate coating put me over the edge and I was done - we all were for that matter. We only made it 5 courses into our tasting - 6 if you count all the mini pastries we consumed while cleaning everything up. It was definately a great end to the night. I went home full, still slightly tipsy, and slept until it was time for my surgery. (Well, mostly slept - in between all the bad dreams about Lasik.)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

22 Hours...and counting

It's been a busy week over here. And not busy with running. :-/ Last week, Tuesday was the only day that I ran - and only 3 miles since I had to meet the girls for dinner. I started back at yoga last week and there was a guy filling in for our regular instructor. We did so many hip movements and stretches that I pulled something in the front of my left leg. Even walking was painful for 2 days! I stretched and I massaged, but to no avail. The damn leg just kept hurting.

This weekend, running was last on my list. (Although it shouldn't have been.) My man and I went camping at Brazos Bend State Park and diving with the group down at Mammoth Park. I haven't been to a state park since I was a kid and I honestly forgot how beautiful and peaceful they are. Brazos Bend would have been a perfect place for a run - I actually saw runners and cyclists out there. I didn't even take my shoes! I wanted to kick myself. So here I am in a new week and again, I've only run on Tuesday. I did do five miles, but I really need to get myself back out there. I'm not sure where my motivation has gone or how to get it back. I set my alarm to get up this morning, but turned it off and went back to sleep. I think I ran in my dreams - does that count?

I'm down to less than 24 hours before I can't run for a while. Tomorrow morning I'm going in for Lasik surgery on my eyes. I'm excited and nervous all at the same time. Finally I'll be able to run without glasses or dried out contacts! Finally I'll be able to dive and see underwater (since the water burns my contacts and I can't wear them)! Finally I'll no longer fight with my eyes when they burn and scream if I try to wear contacts! I'm so looking forward to perfect vision! (Even though Married2Food says I look so cute in my glasses! Have you ever done yoga in glasses? Yeah, annoying and in the way.)

But when my recovery is over, I'll be ready. I should be stir-crazy by then, but just in case, I've lined up some movitation: new running shoes and a new sports bra. Not much beats having new shoes!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

HRW - Voice

Last night, a few girls and I enjoyed a lovely dinner at Voice for Houston Restaurant Week. I tried out Benjy's and Rainbow Lodge last week for their HRW menus, but I have to say this was my favorite of all - and I already want to go back. We started the meal with a few appetizers of the regular menu.
Sashimi of Yellowfin Tuna, Asian pear, yuzu and spicy kanzuri. This was excellent. The tuna could not have been any fresher and the jalapenos added a nice kick.

Housemade Charcuterie: salumi, pate, cherry mustard and tuscan bread. I've never had pate before, but this was amazing. Supposedly pate is very gamey, but this was not at all. There were a few other meats on the plate, all of which I tried, but nothing compared to the pate.

Mushroom Soup “Cappucino”: Crimini mushroom, truffle foam, porcini powder. This is what I want to go back for. It looks just like a cappucino, but it's mushroom soup! I've never had a soup so good. It was like eating liquid mushrooms. I wanted to pick up the cup and just sip from it. It was even served as hot as you would get a coffee. I had trouble waiting for it to cool before slurping it up.

Pan roasted pork loin, roasted corn, israeli couscous, granny smith apple, bourgon-garlic sauce. This was the entree that I ordered. It was served not hot, but not cold which was disappointing. I chose this on the recommendation of the waiter, but after trying the steak from the other girls, I now regret my choice. It was good, it just wasn't GREAT like the other dishes we had.

Crab Cake with spicy Voodoo sauce. Like my picture? I'm trying to be all artistic with the shot. It might not look like it, but this little cake has huge chunks of delisious crab inside. The sauce was a spicy version of a sweet and sour sauce and was really good with the crabcake.

Warm chocolate cake, chocolate sauce, caramel sea salt ice cream. I was the only one at the table to order the chocolate cake. Everyone else ordered the Strawberry rhubarb crisp, almond oat streusel, ginger Chantilly cream. I was really torn on which one to order, but the caramel ice cream was just too inviting to say no to. And it did not disappoint. The chocolate cake oozed with chocolate sauce and the ice cream was a perfect combination with it. The sea salt kept the ice cream from being overly sweet so that the dish wasn't too overpowering. The crisp was also amazing, but everyone agreed it was a tough choice between the two.

The kitchen sent us out sorbets to finish our meal. They were an excellent surprise and we graciously thanked them for everything. Each of us were served a different flavor, so we decided to play musical chairs with them. The one I started with was Champagne Green Apple. It was much like a granita ice cream, very ice-y, but like and flavorful. The rest of the sorbets were creamier and very fruity. The other flavors were: Raspberry, Coconut, Cherry Almond and Smoked Strawberry. We all had different opinions on which ones were the best, but we didn't have any problem finishing them all!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Meet Marcie!

Say Hello to Marcie the Mares! :) This is the new scuba toy I picked up last night.She's beautiful, isn't she? She's going to help me breathe underwater. Not like that rental I had in Cozumel last month where I had to suck with all my might to get air out of the damn thing. Marcie will treat me much better than that. She's designed to be one of the easiest to breathe from and not only is she one of the best regulators on the market - she's also the smallest. Her mouthpiece is designed to fit in tiny mouths like mine comfortably without me feeling like I need to bite down with everything I have just to hold her in. With the bigger regs and mouthpieces, I'm very succeptable to the mouthpiece falling out (or someone kicking it out of my mouth!), so I usually swim around holding the damn thing - not anymore! Here's the rest of her setup:

That yellow cord and mouthpiece is my 2nd stage reg. If anything ever happens to Marcie and I can't breathe from her anymore or if my dive buddy runs out of air and needs to steal from me, the yellow one is there to help. Hopefully, we'll never need to use the yellow one, but one can never be too safe! The other black cord allows for airflow into my BCD (those vests we wear to hold onto our tanks). When we reach the surface and are waiting on the dive boat or need to swim, we can inflate our BCD so we don't sink back down again. The only thing I'm still missing is my console. The dive shop didn't have it in stock yesterday, but they are getting it ordered and it should be here by Friday in time for our dive trip down to Mammouth Lake in Lake Jackson. I'm so excited to try it all out and stoked to finally have a full set of dive gear! Oh, and after last night, I'm Nixtrox certified (and so is Marcie) so we'll be trying out new air with longer down times as well!

Beavers - Take One

Sunday a few of us headed to Beaver's for brunch. Nothing starts brunch better than a bloody mary, so of course I obliged and had my first drink before noon. (Don't judge me - I got up at 6am and ran 9 miles, what did you do?) JJ started our meal with an order of his Spam Nuggets - they were chunks of spam breaded and fried then coated in a chipotle honey sauce - so amazing! He had been working on his drop biscuit recipe for the throwdown the next night, so of course one of us ordered the special of the day to try it out. Check out the pictures!

That monstrosity is JJ's masterpiece. From bottom to top: half a biscuit, cheese omelet, gravy, bacon, homemade sausage, other half of the biscuit with a maple coating. He even sprinkled a few yellow flowers on top to finish it off.

I have to say that all of the food was amazing, but we definately tried to eat way too much of it. Our waiter kept the drinks coming to help wash down everything. And just when we thought we'd had all we could take, JJ brought us dessert.

This dessert was a perfect end to brunch: Another one of his drop biscuits stuffed with stewed peaches, candied bacon, maple and a fried egg then garnished with bacon ice cream and maple fluff! I think I could have just had this for breakfast and been completely satisfied. I'd heard of bacon ice cream before, but been a lil afraid of it - for evidently no reason at all. It was yummy! It tasted of vanilla with a hit of sweetness and of course BACON.

Beaver's is fastly becoming one of my favorite restaurants in Houston - and not just because I've made friends with the chef and the bartender, but because they really have some awesome food, drinks and patrons. We managed to turn brunch into a four hour event and make our way through at least half of the drink menu. I love Sundays (esp when meals like this get to be followed by an afternoon nap)!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Lazy Hazy Crazy

Last Saturday a few friends and I decided to run a 5K in the Houston August heat. It was actually a very nice out and back run (besides the heat and lack of breeze). I made a new PR of 28:42 that makes me very proud to know that my speed training is working. The fastest girl in my age group was 4 minutes ahead of me. I'm not sure I can beat that, but I sure as hell can try (give me a couple years tho - you get faster with age!). It was definately a great way to spend a Saturday morning - and even better that B and I won Astros tickets during the raffle!

Here's a pic of us after the race. B had just managed to explode a carton of OJ all over him and we were still laughing from the surprise of it (although I think he was trying to hide his smile)!

9 Miler

I want to reiterate. It sucks not having a training partner. SUCKS. The only time I run with anyone else is on Tuesdays during the Brian O'Neils runs, and those have to be my favorite. Otherwise it's always just me. I miss the days when my running partner was still around and not busy with school and I kinda miss HoustonFit. I ran 9 miles this morning by myself. Yes I had everyone else with me running the Memorial Loop, but when it came down to it - it was up to me to push myself to the finish. I did really good until the start of the 3rd loop when my iPod went dead and the sun really started to hit the sky and my muscles really started to yell. So I walked. I hate walking tho. Something about it makes me feel weak, like I'm giving up - which I know isn't true. I managed to finish the last lap with a nice slow jog, but I know I could have done better. I have one more long run before I have to take a week off from working out, so maybe when I can run again I'll see if there are any openings in any of the clubs around town. InFlight and Runners High seem to be more of what I'm looking now that I'm a more experienced runner. Wish me luck taking on 10 alone next week!

Now I'm off to Beaver's to try out JJ's pork belly for the throwdown tomorrow. I'll try to remember my camera to make you drool!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Excuses, Excuses

I managed to run 5 miles on Tuesday which is my longest "short" run that I've done in a long time. I always aim for 5, but usually never have the time or energy to quite get that far. According to the training schedule that I'm on (which I created by myself using Bart Yasso's recommended plan), I'm supposed to run 5 days a week. I've been slacking. Hopefully writing about it here will kick my butt into gear and I'll quit making excuses not to run. My latest excuses? Yesterday I told myself I could take the night off if I ran in the morning. This morning I convinced myself it was too dark outside to run thru the Heights - even though the sun was coming up! I actually went to the gym at lunch today with every intention of running, but alas, I had no sports bra. So now I'm SOL. It's my husband's birthday and his mother is in town tonight, so I'm sure I won't be able to get away to run today. I guess I'll just have to try again in the morning and keep my fingers crossed that another excuse won't convince me not to.

Day One

So I finally figured that I read enough of everyone else's blogs, that I might as well start my own. I mean, I love to talk, and I'm not a horrible writer - so why not give it a shot? I'll try to keep it as interesting as possible, so that you'll keep coming around and leaving comments (I hope!). So, welcome to my online world and please enjoy your stay!