Eat, Work, Run in DC

DC Trip #4 of 2015 has come and gone. American Airlines seems to have changed their flight schedules, so I wound up at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport for my connecting flight. When at O’Hare, it is absolutely necessary to purchase a bag of Garrett Popcorn. This time I got the mixed: half cheese and half caramel. All addictive.

I made it to DC on time and headed to work on the sometimes reliable DC Metro. No troubles this visit.


 These trips are always so short and tiring that I usually want to just go to my hotel room and hide, but I promised myself that once the weather got nice, I would do some running outside. Since I have a 10K this weekend and my knee has been bothering me, I decided to make it a short one.  I still managed to get one major sight in on my run: The White House.

If you have ever been to DC, you may have noticed how many statues of men on horses there are around the city. This one is of one of my top 5 least favorite presidents: Andrew Jackson.

Also nearby is the historic and cute St. John’s Church.

If the weather is nice again on my next trip, I am hoping to put in a run around the National Mall. 
I flew solo for dinner at Nagomi Izakaya. I had the assorted pickles, hamachi sashimi and a mini salmon and ikura donburi. Hmmm….mini is right. I’m still hungry!

As I was walking back to my hotel and trying to decide what to do about my remaining hunger, I made a detour to Julia’s Empanadas and picked up a Jamaican-style emapanada: beef, onion, potatoes and curry. Now, that’s better!

I put in a 20-minute yoga session, watched two episodes of Chef’s Table and called it a night.

The jet lag usually makes it really difficult for me to wake up in time for breakfast, so it is usually Starbucks at my desk for me. This time though I was able to drag myself out of bed and have a semi-relaxing start to my morning at Slipstream. I loved this place and will be back. Since this was my first visit to this coffee shop, I had a hard time deciding which toast to get, but finally picked the avocado and goat cheese mousse. The bread was so soft and chewy. I also got an almond cashew milk cappucino, which was not that great.

I used to complain about the sheer number of sandwich shops there are in the DC Metro area, but now that I live in Albuquerque, I often cry out at lunch time, “Can’t a girl just get a good sandwich???” I went back to one of my old favorites: Bub and Pop’s for lunch on Tuesday and got the Italian hogie with genoa salami, prosciutto, capicola, pepperoni, provolone, arugula, roma tomatoes, relish, mayo, vinaigrette and pecorino romano. Their sandwiches are so delicious but so messy. Did I mention that this monster is the “half” size?? I love this place. The food is great and almost everything is made in house.

The rest of the trip consisted of me going back to work, Metro-ing to the airport, hopping on two flights and making it back home. Well, see you again soon, DC!

Weekend Update and Random Thoughts – April 27, 2015 Edition

Happy Monday, friends! I am on my way to Washington, DC this morning and hoping for some nice weather. 
We took it pretty easy this weekend but also managed to squeeze in some fun. I had a minor surgical procedure on Thursday afternoon, and I was not sure how I would feel in the days following the surgery. I wound up feeling fine after Thursday night. No pain or bleeding! Hooray!
On Friday night, Raisin Bread and I headed out to dinner at Thai Vegan. This is our favorite Thai place in Albuquerque despite the fact that they don’t serve any meat. We have not found a non-vegan Thai restaurant we like quite yet. 
I had a Thai iced tea and pad thai with soy chicken. Yummy!   

On Saturday morning, we went on a short hike with the puppers. I love the accessibility to outdoor activities that we have here.

Next Sunday, I am running the Run for the Zoo 10K, which will be my first 10K of the year. Yesterday, I got in my last long run before race day and put in 6.1 miles on the treadmill.  
The rest of Sunday was yucky weather-wise so I ran out to get some ice cream and have been checking out the new Netflix documentary series: Chef’s Table

I mentioned a few posts ago that I got some planters for the backyard. My mom helped me pick out some plants and planted them while she was in town. They are doing quite well. No fruits or veggies to eat yet though. The herbs that we transferred to the outside are not doing so well, on the other hand. Sad face.

Finally, I have a love/hate relationship with virtual races, but I couldn’t resist signing up for the this year’s Beat the Blerch virtual race. Can’t wait to get my goodies in the mail.  

Adventures in Santa Fe + the Tinkertown Museum

While my mom was in town last week, we took a little overnight trip to Santa Fe. All of my previous trips to Santa Fe have been day trips, so it was nice to go at a bit of a slower pace.

We left Albuquerque after lunch and made the one hour drive to Santa Fe. Our first stop was the very beautiful but very expensive Nedra Matteucci Galleries. 

The gallery is housed in a huge historic adobe with a beautiful sculpture garden in the back. The garden was so peaceful.

The galleries and sculpture garden of Nedra Matteucci turned out to be my mom’s favorite part of our trip to Santa Fe!

After seeing some art, we took a break at Kakawa Chocolate House. They specialize in drinking chocolate “elixirs” and had eight on the menu this afternoon. I had the chili chocolate elixir which was made of unsweetened chocolate, agave nectar, ancho chili and Mexican vanilla. It was super rich and creamy, and the small size was just the right amount.

Kakawa also sells house-made truffles, caramels and other chocolates. We had to purchase a few pieces to enjoy later.

We spent part of the afternoon at Prairie Dog Glass, learning to work with fire and glass. This is something I have always wanted to do, and I was so happy to learn how to do it with my mom. The session takes place over one hour and you can make as many pieces during that time as you can finish.

The class is very hands-on and it sure gets warm in there! The instructor was so patient, gave great directions and kept a close eye on what we were doing.

 My first piece was also my hardest. I made a bowl and afterwards my mom made a paperweight.

We still had about 20 minutes left on the clock, so I made a few flowers. It was hard to tell what our pieces would look like because they were still hot, and we couldn’t take them home with us until the next day. I was so curious to see how they turned out!

We checked into the Hotel Santa Fe and had some time to rest. But I decided, instead, to hit the treadmill for a 2.5 mile run before getting washed up for dinner.
We visited Mu Du Noodles that evening. I ordered a Thai iced tea, and we shared the Singapore and Pad Thai noodles. Our server surprised us with a complimentary appetizer of green beans. The green beans and pad thai were both yummy, but the Singapore noodles were super salty. 
Mu Du Noodles would not make it on my recommended list. Too pricey for what you get. 

The next morning, we enjoyed a lovely breakfast at our hotel before going to explore the Plaza

The first attraction on our list was Loretto Chapel.

The chapel is known for its “miraculous” staircase. The staircase has no visible supports and was built using only wooden pegs. Also, the identity of the builder was never discovered. I must admit that it is a lovely chapel!

We made our way around some of the Plaza and visited the native jewelry makers, galleries and souvenir shops.

After exploring the Plaza and grabbing some lunch, we headed back to Prairie Dog Glass to pick up our finished glass pieces. These are my works of art: a bowl and three flowers. I couldn’t take a photo of my mom’s piece because they wrapped it up really nicely for her flight home. But I can tell you that it also turned out very nicely!

We hit the road after that to get back to Albuquerque. 
On my mom’s last full day in town, we, along with Raisin Bread and the two pups, visited the Tinkertown Museum in Sandia Park.

Tinkertown began as the hobby of Ross Ward, who carved, collected and painted his miniature town over many years. He was a born tinkerer.

Although Ross Ward has now passed, his wonderful collection is open for the public’s enjoyment. There was so much to see that it was hard to notice every little detail that was lovingly created.

I hope my mom enjoyed her first visit to New Mexico and will see us again soon!

Weekend Adventures – We have a Visitor!

Happy Monday! This weekend was full of fun adventures, as usual, but it was extra special because my mom is currently visiting from California.

She arrived on Thursday night, just in time for us to have dinner. She was also able to meet the doggies and get the grand tour of our house before it was time for us to call it for the night!

Incidentally, Gus finally got his AKC STAR Puppy medal in the mail on Thursday. He passed the test at the end of January, but we had a delay in the paperwork so he just got his medal and certificate. Go, Gus!  

Do I get a treat now?
After work on Friday, my mom and I did something that I never seem to have time to do. Go shopping! Here I am trying on some duds at Marshall’s. 

We discovered that poor Carson had a broken toenail on Friday as well, so that threw a wrench in Raisin Bread’s schedule because he had to take him to the vet. Carson wound up having to have the nail removed. Poor baby. He looks so sad.

Gus, on the other hand, was very happy because grandma went to the pet store and bought him and Carson tons of treats. Lucky pups. 

How ’bout now? Do I get one now?
My mom has also been cooking up lots of homemade meals while she has been here for us to enjoy. 

The morning started off with a 2 mile run with Gus. Carson wasn’t allowed to be outside for a few days after his surgery, so it was just me and the puppy.

We spent our afternoon on the ABQ Trolley. On TripAdvisor, it is one of the top things to do in Albuquerque. 
The 85 minute tour took us to many of the major sights around Albuquerque, including Old Town, Museum Row, Route 66, Nob Hill and the University of New Mexico. 
Storefront in Old Town Albuquerque
Sculptures outside the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History
I don’t watch Breaking Bad, but apparently, this is Jesse Pinkman’s house
Cruising down Historic Route 66
Bart Price’s “spaceship” house
If you are visiting Albuquerque, I highly recommend this tour. It is a great way to get an overview of the city and learn a bit about the history of Albuquerque. I even learned some things. For example, Albuquerque was named the fifth quirkiest city in America by Travel + Leisure. That’s Albuquerque or should I say Albuquirky? 
Since we were already in Old Town, we made a stop at the Golden Crown for some biscochitos and empanadas. Yum! 
My mom and I had a girls’ trip to afternoon tea at St. James Tearoom for her belated birthday, which was at the end of March. For a more detailed post about my first St. James Tearoom experience, visit here
My mom and I both borrowed hats to wear for our tea time. Mine even matched my outfit. We were seated in the Munstead Wood nook, and this month’s theme was “Sowing the Seeds of Victory” in honor of the WWII Victory Gardens. 

Tea menu

As always, the service and food were delightful. I love visiting St. James Tearoom. It is such a unique and relaxing experience.

After tea, it was off to run some errands including purchasing some plants for my new planter boxes. I am wanting to start a little edible garden in my backyard. Will update on the progress of the project!

I also totally forgot that I was supposed to run Agent Outerwear‘s “Be an Optimist Prime” virtual 5K last week, and then the medal came in the mail. I figured I wasn’t allowed to open the package until I had run my miles, so I put in my 3.1 miles this evening on the treadmill.

I am a sucker for bling!

Weekend Adventures – It’s Spring!! + Impact Diet Whey

Guess who is still sick? Me! You know how it is when you just don’t feel like yourself and you can’t remember what day of the week it is or when you are making breakfast, you put lemon juice in your oatmeal instead of your hot water. That’s been me!

Go away, sickness.

This weekend was spent mostly at home. For breakfast both days, I made some toasties for two! I have been obsessed with toast recently. I made avocado toast as well as goat cheese, honey, fresh thyme and pistachio toast. So delicious.

Carson went to the groomers. He was already the sweetest dog and super cute.

But he was even fluffier and cuter than ever after his first groom. Plus, his fur has never been whiter. Oh my goodness!

On Easter morning, I decided that we needed to do an Easter egg hunt for the doggies. So I got some eggs from Target, filled them with treats and placed them around the backyard. 
Yeah, the dogs did not really get it. More interested in their daddy than the eggs. 

Gus also recently turned 10 months old. I can’t believe how much he has changed and grown. He is such a husband doodle.

For Easter dinner, I made an epic meal for Raisin Bread and myself.

We had classic deviled eggs.

A roasted rack of lamb with a mint yogurt sauce and roasted carrots.

Cope’s Corn (It’s a Pennsylvania Dutch thing).

Yummy yummy!

For dessert, we had strawberries and cream trifle. I hate the way Peeps taste, but they make awesome garnishes.

The rest of the weekend was spent doing a lot of spring cleaning. My mommy is visiting for nine days this month and we are preparing for her stay. Raisin Bread also went on a landscaping spree and guzzyed up the front lawn a bit. I also tried to give myself some time to rest, which did not seem to help because I only got more sick!
Before I let you go, I wanted to introduce you to MyProtein Impact Diet Whey, a protein powder that I have been using for a little while now. Impact Diet Whey is a great source of protein, fiber and carbohydrates for those looking to decrease their body fat.
I am typically not a fan of drinking protein powder mixed with only water or milk. I have a hard time finishing an entire serving. Instead, my favorite thing to do is come up with fun protein powder smoothie recipes.  

This one is my current favorite.

Impact Diet Whey Chocolate and Fruit Smoothie

– 1 banana
– 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
– 1/2 cup of frozen mixed berries
– 1 tablespoon of non-fat Greek yogurt
– 1 scoop of Double Chocolate Impact Diet Whey
– 1 squeeze of honey

Combine and blend. Et voila! It makes a great and tasty start to your morning.

My favorite things about Impact Diet Whey are 1) the taste is not too sweet and 2) the texture is not too gritty. I also used only one scoop instead of the suggested two, so it only added 100 calories to my smoothie.

Disclosure: I received a sample of MyProtein Impact Diet Whey for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own. 

Recent Happenings – April 4, 2015 Edition

Hello, friends! Sorry for the lack of updates. I was in DC most of last week and have been sick all of this week with some kind of sinus infection. 

Hope you are enjoying the beginning of Passover / looking forward to Easter Sunday / eating lots of chocolate bunnies!

Sickie Poo
I started feeling sick on Tuesday. I had the worst sore throat I can remember having in a long time. I was having difficulty swallowing and would wake up with lots of awesome mucus, severe congestion and a major headache. Whenever I get one of these things, I try to wait it out because all of the times I have tried to see the doctor, they always tell me the first available appointment is at least two weeks away. Ugh!

I am finally starting to feel better! Hooray! I think it’s because I ate a lot of red onion this morning. Did you know red onions have many health benefits including anti-inflammatory properties and providing protection against allergies? It could be the onions or it could just be that I successfully waited the sickness out. We will never know.

Springtime in DC = Wintertime in DC
I arrived in DC late last Wednesday. My second stop (after my hotel) was Shake Shack!! The line was so long. It took forever to get my order, but it was worth it. I enjoyed my ShackBurger and Black and White Shake in the comfort of my hotel room while watching American Pickers. Business travel ? glamorous

Thursday was actually a nice day. I have been wanting to run to the Mall, and this would have been the perfect afternoon for it. But it didn’t even cross my mind, so I wound up hitting the hotel treadmill. Silly, Wabbit!
Afterwards, I met up with my friend, Robyn, for dinner in Chinatown, which I failed to document. After dinner, we walked to the National Portrait Gallery to sit in the front of the building and chat. We had a good time reminiscing and catching up. 

I wound up extending my trip this month and found myself at an old favorite: Kogiya Korean BBQ in Annandale, Virginia, with some awesome friends and the Raisin Bread.

We had a ridiculous amount of food, including rib eye, galbi, marinated duck and marinated chicken, which came with the assortment of banchan as well as spicy soybean soup and steamed egg.

So stuffed…Can’t move….When’s dessert? We promptly headed to Breeze Bakery Cafe for some cake, ice cream and shaved ice.

Saturday was terrible weather-wise. It was dreary, WINDY and in the 30s. Not fun. Brunch was consumed at a French bistro called Le Diplomate. I had a latte and the Poached Eggs Basquaise with prosciutto and creamy polenta. There was something off with my dish. It was super salty and not very enjoyable.

We headed to the Mall for the rest of the day to hide out in the Hirshhorn Museum and the National Gallery of Art. The Capitol Building is undergoing renovations on its dome and was covered up in scaffolding.

You can tell by the trees that spring had definitely not sprung yet in DC. Afternoon rolled around and it was time to head back to Albuquerque.

View of the National Mall

Hopefully, my next visit will be more agreeable weather-wise!

I Adopted a Doberman

I am a Doberman!

Okay, not really.

I bought a Wisdom Panel DNA test ($65 on Amazon) for our rescue pup, Carson, in hopes of finding out more about his background. Apparently, he is mostly mixed breed, 25% miniature poodle and 12.5% doberman pinscher. Uh, say what? We suspected he was part miniature poodle, but I did not expect it to be such a small percentage of his make-up. He has several characteristics that are doberman-like: alert, energetic, intelligent, loyal and fearless. None of the physical traits though as far as I can tell. 

Do you remember Alpha the doberman from the movie Up? He is what I think of when I think of dobermans. Heehee

Even though we still don’t have a complete picture of his DNA, he will always be our little doggie.

Question: Have you ever gotten a DNA test on your dog?