Monday, September 28, 2009

Finally done

Look at this thing:


Made up of 5 balls of Red Heart Super Saver, knit in linen stitch on US size 11 (8mm) needles. Cast on July 16 in Canada.

8/1 - joined the 3rd skein

8/13 - finished the 3rd skein

9/1 - measures about 56” wide and 60” long.

9/10 - joined with 4th skein

9/24 - knit the last row, just need to bind off.

Finished size is roughly 60"x71" though I need to remeasure it to be sure. Amazingly, I do not hate linen stitch... in fact, pretty much still loving it. Simple, easy, mindless. Sometimes that's exactly what you need.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


This morning, Max and I ran the CLARENDON DAY 10K. It was cool this morning, only 58 when we got to the start line. I was apprehensive, not nervous, just worried about my knees and concerned that I wouldn't have a good run. We started at 9am and by the half mile mark, I was feeling good. After a long stretch of downhill running along Wilson Boulevard, I felt great. Max and I ran together to the turn around at about mile 4, then he began to run on ahead. He was almost always in sight, at least until the last half mile. I just kept pushing myself to not stop and I was able to finish strong - and without stopping to walk.

After the finish, we walked back to the start. Briefly checked out the Clarendon Day booths but headed back to the car around 11am just as it was starting to rain. After a hot shower, we had hearty "Oktoberfest" lunch at Food Matters.

Official Results
781/878 Max 1:05:14
792/878 Nicole 1:06:21

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A new take



And after:

IMG_9152 IMG_9151

What do you think? Is it an improvement? I like it better but it's still not great... makes for a good road trip project though.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Autumn Soup

I made this soup over the weekend using what was in our fridge. Turns out... it tastes wonderful. Hearty and very satisfying. Max had seconds.

6 pieces bacon, cut into 1" pieces
4 chicken drumsticks, about 1lb, skin removed
1 garlic clove
5 or 6 carrots, cut into 1/2" rounds
1 potato, diced into 1/2" pieces
32 ounces black beans, cooked, with liquid
15.5 ounces chickpeas, cooked, with liquid
4 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, fry up bacon. Remove bacon from pot and set aside. Brown chicken. Remove chicken and set aside. Sauté the carrots, potatoes and garlic. Add bacon, chicken, beans, chickpeas, broth and bay leaves. Bring to a boil uncovered, cover, and then simmer for 25 minutes. Separate the chicken meat from the bones and remove bones. Remove bay leaves and discard before serving.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Rosa Mexicano

Friday night, Max and I met up with Angela, a high school friend from Beijing, for dinner. We hadn't eaten at Rosa Mexicano in awhile and so we met her there.

Dinner was great. We shared the guacamole and had drinks to start - enjoyed the white wine Rosa sangria. I had the shrimp brochettes for dinner and the shrimp were so plump and delicious. Angela had the red snapper, which I might order next time, and the mixed grill, which looked perfect for a meat lover. For dessert I had the cheesecake and it was amazing!

Friday, September 18, 2009


Random gift to a coworker - linen stitch scarf in Steelers colours.
She's a fan.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Erin is getting older, coming up to nine years old this fall. And while there are still periods of stir craziness, running around with her sister, there are more moments like these...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Alexandria yarn stores

Yesterday, Max and I went on a walk through Alexandria. Although we're on a budget right now and I could not buy anything, that did not stop me from going to my favorite yarn store, Knit Happens.

Also checked out a new store, Fibre Space. Such a different look and selection. And I love it! Will definitely be back once I have some money to spend.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Post race eats

Missy and I finished the Rock and Roll Half Marathon around 10am. After the finish line there was bananas, popsicles and other snacks but that seemed to only tide us over temporarily. By 11:30am, we were thinking about lunch.

On Olivia's recommendation, we went to Mahi Mah's. It was a little crazy because of all the other runners there but the food was good. Max and Missy shared the rainbow sushi and we all had the buffalo shrimp. Missy and I both had the seafood platter with shrimp, scallops, crab cake, tilapia, green beans, and mashed potatoes. Max had the tuna burrito.

After a long walk back to the hotel and a nap, Missy and I were ready for some more food and some drinks. Using the Urban Spoon app on my iPhone, I found Pacifica. Not a lot of pictures because we ate everything before I could... but that should tell you something! :) We ordered the cheese plate (the blue cheese was too strong for me but I loved the other ones), the goat cheese & mixed olives w/ roasted peppers & grilled bread (and extra bread), the Ahi au poivre w/ avocado oil & balsamic (which Max loved because it was heavy on the pepper), and the crab & sweet corn fritters w/ spanish remoulade. For dessert, smores!

We also went to Dairy Queen for some Blizzards. It was a good day.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Zia Marie

On a friend's recommendation, Saturday we had dinner at Zia Marie's for some pre-race carb loading. There was a 20 minute wait to get a seat because the place was packed. We sat at the bar sipping water (to get extra hydrated) watching all the food coming out of the kitchen... everything looked so good. And big!

I had the spaghetti and meatballs... cleaned my plate! And then had a cannoli for dessert. Max had the veal parmesan and a glass of wine - he wasn't running a half marathon the next day. His dessert was the cheesecake. Missy had the chicken parmesan.

Everything was delicious. A great local find! Don't be put off by the residential neighborhood... just trust that you're on the right road and going the right way.

Zia Marie
4497 Lookout Road
Virginia Beach, VA

(757) 460-0715

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

DDD Roadtrip

Since I just finished reading Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives and we were heading to Virginia Beach for the weekend anyway, I mapped out the Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives restaurants in Virginia. Three of four were on our way so I thought we should eat at one of them, depending on what time we arrived and what the menu looked like when we got there.

We had lunch at Dot's Back Inn.

A 10 minute drive away was The Village Cafe. Since we had just eaten and were quite full, we just stopped to take some photos.

Last stop before the hotel was Doumar's for ice cream. I had the banana split.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Virginia Beach Half Marathon

I am usually pretty conservative about my running and not usually subject to whims but this weekend I broke all my rules and signed up for the Virginia Beach Half-Marathon on the day before the race. I hadn't really trained specifically for this race and I definitely had my reservations... but I felt like I could definitely finish it without hurting myself. I ran with my friend Missy who has been trying to convince me to run with her for awhile now.

Look at that race course! It was actually a pretty good course with only one hill (which we climbed twice). The worst part was running through the navy base, especially when we got passed by someone we knew who is considerably older than us but we both pushed through and ran together the whole way.

Max was at the 2 mile and the 10 mile to cheer for us, take pictures, and act as race support by relieving us of anything we didn't want to carry and bringing us cool Smart Water to drink. It meant so much to see him there. He's been so supportive and really wonderful.

Here's the shot from the finish line video:

Many friends sent text messages and emails and facebook messages wishing us good luck and congratulating us on our finish. Thank you all for your support!

Official Results
Nicole 2:33:17
Missy 2:33:18

Friday, September 04, 2009

Dot's Back Inn

Went here for lunch. Had the BBQ duck quesadilla. It was delicious!

This was our first stop on our Diners, Drive-ins and Dives roadtrip to Virginia Beach.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Zucchini Bread & Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Cookies

The weather has been so much cooler this week that we were actually able to turn off the air conditioning for the first time since April. And I've wanted to bake for some time - today I finally could! So after work I made some zucchini bread and oatmeal cinnamon chip cookies.

Zucchini Bread

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup sugar
1 cup finely shredded unpeeled zucchini
1/4 cup olive oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Heat oven to 350°F.

In a mixing bowl combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg. In another bowl, combine sugar, zucchini, oil, egg, and lemon peel. Mix well. Add flour mixture; stir just till combined. Stir in chopped nuts. Pour batter into into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or till a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove bread from the pan; cool thoroughly on a wire rack. Wrap and store overnight before slicing. Makes 1 loaf.

Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Cookies

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2-1/3 cups old fashioned oats
1-2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) HERSHEY'S Cinnamon Chips
3/4 cup raisins

Heat oven to 350°F.

Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in bowl until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Combine flour and baking soda; add to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in oats, cinnamon chips and raisins (batter will be stiff). Drop by heaping teaspoons unto ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes on until lightly browned. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. About 4 dozen.