Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What a difference

Before Max steamed the JMU inspired scarf with the iron:


And after:


Braided fringe:


The finished scarf is so much flatter and more polished than it was before it was steamed. What a difference!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Max's new toy

Max got the new iPhone last week because I insisted that he bring his old one to the race and because of the rain, it was damaged beyond repair.

Le sigh.

Absolutely devastated at the thought of having to buy the latest and greatest in mobile phone technology, we stood in line outside the Apple store on the second day after the iPhone 3GS was released. Here's the very first video he took on his new phone.

Eye-rolling aside, which I love, I'm amazed at the clarity. Max seems to like it too... despite all his complaining. :) You know, because I forced him to buy the new phone!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Lemon sorbet and berries

I bought a quart of buttermilk thinking I would make pancakes and scones, but then we went away for the weekend to Lancaster. So suddenly I had all this buttermilk and no time. In looking for a recipe to use up alot of buttermilk, I found this Lemon-Buttermilk Sorbet recipe from Bon App├ętit. It's quick and easy to make - and easy to serve, a plus for Max who usually ends up having to scoop it. We ate some tonight with the HUGE blackberries that we bought at the farmer's market this morning. Delicious!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New shoes

I went to Pacers on Friday to pick up my race packet. While I was there, I got a shoe fitting. Picked out the Nike Air Zoom Elite +4 from the three that I tried. They're definitely lighter than my old shoes and they feel more snug, in a good way. I roll my left foot in when I run, probably because I sprained my ankle in 2006, and this shoe is supposed to help compensate for that. Plus it's Nike+ enabled for instant workout feedback via my iPod nano.

Yesterday was my first run in the new shoes. They feel good but I didn't really notice the difference until I went for another run this morning in my old shoes again. Although it felt good running, my hips hurt and I could tell that my new shoes are better for me than my old ones.

Also, I found a way to map my run online. Automatically shows the mile markers and you can calculate your workout. I was able to create a new longer route to add to my training program. My usual route is 1.66 miles/2.68 km. The new one is a full 3.11 miles/5 km and includes a bigger hill. Max and I will probably run the new route on Saturday.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Turn a square hat

Cast on 88 stitches. Brim is garter stitch instead of rib and I knit a little more than 5" for extra snuggliness around the ears. The destination is north and it gets pretty cold there in the winter.


IMG_8378 IMG_8377

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Run for the Rainforest 5K

Two weeks ago I ran my first 5k in 15 years. My goal was to finish the race without stopping. Amazingly, I did. Having achieved my goal, we accepted Missy's invitation and decided to give it another go. For today's race, Max's goal was to finish in 30 minutes. Yikes! Four minutes faster than our last race? Would it be possible? I just wanted to do better than last time.

When I sent the race information to my Dad, he asked me, "What does it mean when they say it is chip timed?" I explained that we would receive an RF tag to attach to our shoe that would record our time and then the results posted on the race website. His response is priceless: "Well, I guess marathons have gone high tech. We have come a long way form Sparta."

Here's the tag from the first race:

The chip for this race was different, more sturdy and reusable.

It started raining just before the race started but it felt good because it was warmer this morning than it was two weeks ago. At first, it was just sprinkles but then it really came down. So much so that I couldn't see so clearly... but we kept on going. The only time Max or I stopped during the race was when the other person had to retie their shoe laces (which had only come undone because they were so wet). 373 people finished the race.

#250 Max 32:39
#260 Nicole 32:50

Friday, June 19, 2009

Favorite photos from last weekend

Amish on rollerblades

Max and Nicole at the fountain by Central Market

Shoofly pie from the Good 'N Plenty Restaurant

Max and Nicole at the Good 'N Plenty Restaurant

Max at Hershey Park

Waterpark at Hershey Park

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Thank you Missy and Max for a great weekend in Lancaster.

Thank you Noelle for a super cute birthday card.

Thank you Olivia for giving us the day off yoga so we can go drink instead.

Thank you Facebook for facilitating the many birthday wishes from all kinds of friends from all over the world.

Thank you Angela and Amanda for taking me out to lunch tomorrow.

Birthdays are still fun even as I get older...


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Banana Walnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies

This is our half... the ones with the "carmelized" bottoms. Saw these cookies on the Keyboard Biologist Knits blog and thought they would make a great hostess gift for Missy's parents, since we stayed with them over the weekend.

Followed the recipe pretty closely except for the chocolate. All we had in the house was milk chocolate chips. Missy's nephew didn't like them (he's nine and wasn't shy about telling me that he didn't like them either) but that's because he doesn't like nuts.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Lancaster County

This past weekend, Max and I went up to Lancaster with our friend Missy and stayed with her parents. She and I drove up together Friday morning while Max was at work and spent the day together in the village of Intercourse. We visited Missy's Mom's shop:

We also went to the Lancaster Yarn Shop:

Here's what I got:


IMG_8246 Lancaster County Fibers, alpaca, 230 yards, DK weight, naturally coloured. Made in Lancaster county. Added to Ravelry.

IMG_8252 Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball, 75% wool & 25% nylon, 460 yards, Fingering weight, colourway is Tropical Fish. Made in Germany. Added to Ravelry.

IMG_8249 Whorled Peace Zephyr, 255 yards, superwash merino. Made in Lancaster county. Added to Ravelry.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Go Dukes?

It's coming along...


I took this picture on Sunday. There are probably twice as many rows now. Despite the long rows, it's a quick knit and I'm really liking the look of it. Thinking that a matching hat might be fun. Not sure if my coworker "bleeds purple and gold" but she'll certainly look like she does if she's wearing the hat and scarf!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Last night Max and I went out to dinner at Rustico. What a fun place - great decor.

Our meal was delicious and the price was just right. Max had the soup of the day (ham and something else) and we shared a basket of fries for an appetizer - the smoky BBQ sauce for dipping our fries was wonderful! For dinner he had the ribeye and potato beignets, both incredibly delicious. I had the white pizza with duck confit - so good! The beer menu is pretty extensive, pages and pages. Max tried to the two heiferweisens. He liked the second one better because it was smoother. I had a sip but even after all these years, beer is not for me.

The server was attentive but not intrusive. The only downside was that we were too full for dessert. Alas! I would definitely recommend it.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Giant basil

Thanks to our friend Slav, we are the proud owners of a giant basil plant. It's huge. Practically a shrub. And right now it's taking up our entire kitchen island. You think I'm kidding?

Guess again! Max had some with his bread and cheese tonight at dinner. There are plans for pesto in the works, as well as an addition to garden salad. Even our cat Erin is getting in on it... a small one fell to the ground and I swear I saw her eat it.

Thanks again Slav! You're a really good friend.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Komen Global Race for the Cure

The weather was good but we started late. There were alot of speeches before the start, including an appearance by Joe Bidden (which was unexpected and pretty exciting). I've walked in the past... this year, Max and I started with the runners for the first time. We started out with my friend Angela but quickly she outpaced us and we lost sight of her. It was Max's first time running a 5k and my first time in 15 years. Almost every kilometer he would ask me, do you want to stop and walk?


I kept going.

Sometimes barely faster than people that were walking but my goal was to keep going as long as I could - and I completed the entire race without stopping. Not even for water. I almost lost all my juice after the 4km but then two friends, Missy and Eunice, whom I consider much better runners than me appeared from behind me. That gave me the motivation to pick up the pace. Then I heard Angela cheer my name from the sidelines. I finished strong, only seconds behind Missy.

It was tough for Max too and the fact that I wanted to keep going pushed him too. It's the farthest we've ever run together. Our finishing time was around 38 minutes. Nowhere near the times I used to run in highschool but then, I'm not 16 anymore either. I accomplished what I set out to do and I'm really glad I did.

There's another 5k on June 20... and I'm definitely thinking about it! :)
Updated to add:
Official results
Max 33:58
Nicole 34:00

Friday, June 05, 2009

Erin & Brookline

Whenever Max is out of town, I usually take pictures of the kitties with my phone and email them to him. Here's the ones I took when I got back from Boston while he was still in Massachusetts with his parents and his brother:

Thursday, June 04, 2009

New yarn

I ordered some yarn from Knit Picks on 5/29. It arrived yesterday! The purples and yellow is for a JMU inspired scarf for a co-worker whose bridal shower is in August. The red is for another co-worker who has requested a Santa hat for Christmas. Just thinking ahead! :)

I started on the JMU inspired scarf last night and it's knitting up quickly on US size 10.5 needles. Already have 4 long rows of 320 stitches. Using the scrappy lengthwise scarf pattern.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Opening Day

Stop by today! I went last year and really enjoyed it... a great way to unwind after work.

Upper King Street Fresh Farmers' Market

Wednesdays 3 pm - 7 pm
King St. Gardens Park

1806 King St.
Alexandria, VA 22314

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Monday, June 01, 2009

More new plants

A bunch of day lilies and another hosta - this one is more white than
the other three.