Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sunny Saturday

Today in the late afternoon, I walked to do an errand, and on the way home, the sun was shining so warmly on my face that I thought to myself that we should consider eating dinner outside.

Then I came home and noted that it was still only 56 degrees. Okay, not quite dining al fresco weather yet. But close.

And really, even being able to entertain the idea is a springtime thrill - and that makes for a good Saturday at Miles and Laurel.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Calligraphy practice

This morning, I was doodling around on my phone, and while perusing Buzzfeed lists, I found 27 Ways to Make Your Groceries Last as Long as Possible. Many items on the list were new to me and fascinating, especially with summer produce season (and our CSA membership) approaching.

I was particularly intrigued by #27, a guide on what to store in the fridge and what to store on the counter or in a pantry. It was lettered, and I thought to myself, that would be fun calligraphy practice. I got out my ink, pen and paper and got to work, making all of the words capitalized so I could practice majuscules.

It turned out to be great practice because it used so many different letters, sometimes repeating a few times so I could become more comfortable with a particular majuscule (like C, as in cabbage-cauliflower-celery-cherries-corn-cucumber). Just for the record, I almost skipped mushrooms because I am not a fan and don't imagine ever buying them, but Josh likes them, so I guess he can have fresher mushrooms.

My only regret is that I forgot to make "grapefruit" its own note. It deserves so much more than the blanket "citrus."

I can't wait until I'm faced with the decision on how to store so many fresh fruits and vegetables!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A hiatus over

Today I went for my first weekday morning run in many months. Really, I don't think that has happened since well before the marathon I ran in October. I definitely don't mind missing miles in the cold dark. I do mind missing sunrises! Remember last summer, when I had to limit the number of sunrise pictures I posted? I can't wait until those days are back!


Also, you guys know how much I like tree silhouettes and this run's timing was perfect for that. In silhouette form, it's even easier to see that there are buds on the trees which means leaves aren't far behind. Real springtime is close.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The first winter with Wish

Well, technically it's spring, and I just realized that our first winter with Wish is almost over. (I heard on the radio that our snowpack might be gone by the weekend!) Because I'll soon be completely done with blogging about snow and winter for the year, I wanted to record some of what we learned about how to have a happy winter with a dog. This is probably going to be a post for the dog owners among you, but upon re-reading my tips, they are pretty applicable to humans, too, if you're in the mood to extrapolate.

P.S. I am totally not a dog expert. These are just my first-hand observations.

1) Find appropriate footwear (for the humans). Wish's wardrobe needs (or lack therof) are coming up later, but this is by far my top tip. For us, this meant finding some winter boots for the first time in many years. Even when there wasn't snow, it was so much more comfortable to have tall boots for extra warmth - and when there was snow, boots were essentially mandatory. I picked out this pair of Lands End boots in glacier blue, and they were one of my winter must-haves, even though I learned when the snow turned to slush and puddles that they are more water resistant than water proof. (But either way, still super warm.) Josh got some very serious winter boots for his birthday and I think he would endorse finding a good pair of boots just as firmly.

2) Figure out what your pup needs to be comfortable and safe. I heard a lot about booties for dogs going into the winter, and I harbored little daydreams about Wish wearing adorable little booties as he trotted merrily through the snow. It turned out that wearing booties was not on his wish list (puns on our dog's name are always welcome at Miles and Laurel). I think it would be a two-person job to put the booties on him, since it sure didn't work the one time I tried by myself. Anyway, the booties exist because some dogs are bothered by salt and sand in their paws, but that didn't trouble Wish, so the booties were out.  If we were walking through heavy, wet snow, he sometimes got clumps of snow stuck around his paws and would need a break (or help) to remove them.

Also, he basically comes with a big sweater - do you need me to post another picture of him? - so he didn't need a jacket, but some dogs with thinner coats do.

Okay, another picture:

3) Layer up. I learned that going for a walk in the winter was quite different than going for a run, when it's surprisingly easy to warm up nicely within the first mile or two. It just takes longer to warm up on a walk. On the first few chilly days of late fall, Josh and I were both underdressed and cut a walk short, and we both concluded that it wasn't fair to Wish  to do that just because we weren't dressed properly. We both started layering more and keeping winter accessories close to the door. (I found that it's dicier to second-guess accessory decisions when you're walking a dog. Should you grab gloves? It takes only one walk that finishes with popsicle hands to realize that yes, you should almost always grab gloves.)

4) Keep up your exercise routine (usually). This varies from dog to dog (I heard stories from friends whose dogs have a really hard time in the winter because of thin coats) but there were only a few bitterly cold days that bothered Wish. We could always tell when the weather bothered him, because he'd start walking a little gingerly and trying to avoid touching the sidewalk with his paws. We cut those walks short, and I would probably guess that our average walks in the winter were shorter than our summer and fall ones, too. But if the weather was a little warmer one day, or I knew a cold snap was coming, I'd try to get him out for a proper stroll. If we were stuck inside, I'd try to get a good game of football fetch going for him.

5) Remember to play. If your dog likes to play in the snow, I definitely encourage this, because besides being gloriously fun for him, it really boosted my spirits during a sometimes dreary season to watch him roll, sniff, gallop, and trundle in the snow. There's no doubt we laughed more than usual this winter because of this goofball. I only wish we could let him off-leash to see him really go wild. He reminded us that winter can be very fun.

More seasoned dog owners, what did I miss? Does yours like to play outside or prefer to wait til spring? Does he or she need a jacket or booties? And what's your best tip for taking care of your pup during a cold winter?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Marvelous Monday: Week 12

The first Marvelous Monday of spring: go!

1) In case there was any doubt from last night's post, Wish did nearly explode when he saw that Josh had returned last night. The combination of the look on his face and how fast he ran to greet Josh was basically "AHHHHHHHHHH!!" which I realize isn't very eloquent but is pretty accurate. Then we started eating our Chipotle dinners and he was all, "You left for so long and now you won't even share?! UGH!!!" Back to the regular routine.

2) I have a smartphone, but I kind of hate it. Here's some incentive to use it less: Your phone versus your heart. I found the article fascinating (and marvelous encouragement to stash the phone away more often).

3) In less than two weeks, I will be in Washington, D.C.! I cannot wait! My twitter feed alerted me to a series of guided ranger walks through the cherry blossoms during their peak, which is scheduled to coincide with my trip, to learn more about their history. Natty and I are intrigued.

4) The forecast has 50 degrees predicted for Friday.

5) Calligraphy breakthrough last week! We learned a little doodle to add to the capital letters, and that little addition really pulled together what we've learned so far. We have a week off this week (spring break!) but that will give me more time to actually practice it.

Hey! What's marvelous about your Monday so far? Is it spring yet where you are?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Upcoming reunion

I stayed overnight at my parents' house yesterday, and whenever I do that, the weekend seems to stretch out in a glorious way. It feels like yesterday's run was a long time ago. Since then, my weekend included: my annual fish and chips lunch with Sara at The Anchor Fish & Chips, two long walks with Mom and Wish, some wedding hair and makeup practice with Mom, pancakes with Mom and Dad, and a baby shower celebrating a friend who I met at an internship nearly 10 years ago. Sweet days.

But one of the highlights, I have a hunch, is yet to come. I'm heading to the airport to pick up Josh (yay!) who has been out of town for a few days. Wish is about to go absolutely bananas that his papa is back in town, and I can't wait to see it.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Three little birds

Today on my run, I was looking at some reflections of trees on the Mississippi when I noticed these guys hanging out on a sheet of ice. I enjoyed brainstorming what that big bird was trying to tell the three little birds.

Kind of begs for a caption contest, doesn't it?

The temperature was only in the 20s, but it was a nice morning: light wind and warm sun that even felt hot on my face by the end of the run. Nine miles, in the books.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Three things Thursday

Wow! It's almost the weekend. Here are a couple of seriously Hodge Podge updates:

1) Dinner that I began last night is finally in the oven. I bought a ton of vegetables early in the week to make a Moosewood tamale pie recipe. It's nothing like actual tamales but has a cornbreadesque topping, loads of vegetables (pepper, jalapeno, tomatoes, zucchini, onions, black beans) and a layer of cheese in between, which is a pretty good recipe for a thumbs-up in my book, and I haven't made it in awhile. Anyway, I made sure I had cornmeal before I left for work, came home and cooked all of the vegetables, only to be thwarted by what turned out to be way-expired cornmeal.

(I was kind of pleased with myself because I spread the vegetables out between two pie plates, making it properly tamale pie, and stashed them in the fridge while I acquired fresher cornmeal.)

2) I got a haircut! My hair was edging toward out of control. My mom cut about five inches off - I don't know how it got so long - and it's still just below my shoulders (and thus ponytaleable). It feels great. Thank you, Mom!

3) As I mentioned on Monday, I'm reading The Night Circus, which is a decidedly serious book featuring an illusionist, and sometimes it makes me think of Gob from "Arrested Development" and his theme song and I get distracted. (Is this happening for anyone else in my book club? I hope it's not just me.)

In other news, I filed my bracket just under the deadline. Let the record show: Florida versus Louisville.

Onward to Friday!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March sun

I fit in a few miles after work today, and let me tell you, I don't think I've ever gone for an evening run with the sun still so high in the sky and the temperature and wind so cold. It was very strange and kind of beautiful. It felt like running in the middle of the day, in the middle of January. Really, after a long winter, I am pretty thrilled to just be running in daylight after work, whatever the temperature. I love daylight.

The last day of winter is in the books.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Marvelous Monday: Week 11

Hi! The wind is howling tonight and the windchill is 1 degree.  This regular feature is a perfect excuse to shift my focus to the marvelous!

1) Cooking report: "Cooking is so much fun on Sundays!" I told Josh yesterday, and he laughed because all I did yesterday was prepare the crock pot ensemble for Iowa Girl Eats' pulled pork, which we made into tacos. There is a two-part resolution percolating that speaks to both of our points: I would like to use the crock pot more, and I would like to start using Sundays at home to try a more involved recipe. Specifically, I would like to improve at cooking meat - you know, figure out how to cook a turkey before I'm actually hosting a nice turkey dinner. That kind of thing. For the time being, that pulled pork is marvelous in tacos.

2) Reading report: I started The Night Circus for my book club, but got distracted thanks to a library trip that yielded not only Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead (I had it reserved) but also The Receptionist: An Education at the New Yorker and The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen. I have some reading to do. Back to The Night Circus later this evening.

3) I signed up for a summer CSA! We had a box a couple of summers ago, but I paused it last summer and am excited to get back to it. I will update you accordingly on how it goes.

4) We made good wedding planning progress this weekend in several areas. Like #3, a more specific update will probably come soon, but it is so fun and sweet to see the pieces fall into place and picture the pieces actually playing out on the day of the wedding. (Several M&L readers deserve big thanks for their help, over the last week and always.)

5) I practiced majuscules (that's capital letters to you non-calligraphy students). I struggled mightily with them in class last week, but guess what? Practicing (even a little) helped! I will charge into class tomorrow night with a positive attitude.

Hey! What's marvelous about the start of your week? Do you know how to cook turkeys and roasts and that kind of thing, and if so, do you have any favorite tips? If it is warm and springy where you are, please regale me with stories about this exciting new season in the comment section!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Something new

On the parkway along the Mississippi River, at a spot where the road curves in a horseshoe shape near the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, there's a mysterious-to-me little trail that veers off into a ravine a few steps below the popular pedestrian path.

That isn't even new to me, exactly. I run on the river road often, as I've written before, and there's a sign at the little trail's start that briefs the reader about ice climbing somewhere down the path. As a runner who logs most of her miles alone, though, I'm not prone to ducking off a well-traveled path to explore a pretty isolated trail, so I think I had just stopped considering this trail an option. Today, though, I saw a big group of hikers trekking along the ravine below me, and on a whim, I decided to follow the well-defined path in the snow to check it out. What's down there?

Guess what? As I gleaned from quick internet research afterward, the little ravine has a name. It's a real park! It's called Shadow Falls Park.

And then I found what I have to guess is Shadow Falls! It was in seasonal transition, like the rest of the neighborhood. Ice-climbing wasn't remotely possible, but the ice wasn't gone, either. A persistent water stream was rushing over the rocks.

Here's exactly what I saw, which made me gasp dramatically. (I was having the best time.)

I crept closer:

And a little closer:

Standing next to the half-frozen waterfall, listening to water streaming down, on a cold and bright Sunday morning, in a silent space in my home state's capital city, steps from a path my feet have touched hundreds of times, I was in awe.

There is always something new to discover.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Back to winter

A couple of hours after that pretty springy walk, winter stormed back in with sleet and snow and cold winds. I responded by heading inside for yoga and later revisiting Felicity on Hulu. It is hard to believe that a year ago today, the high surged into the upper 70s and I roasted at a St. Patrick's Day half-marathon with Molly.

On my morning stroll with you-know-who today, the sidewalks were covered with a fresh inch or two of snow, creating perfect conditions for the track-capturing that you guys know I love so much. Some little animals were going crazy!

Long run pushed to tomorrow in hopes of less slippery streets, more yoga instead, cozy afternoon under a quilt, a wedding reception tonight: a happy March Saturday, chilly temperatures aside. Hope yours is nice, too!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The first spring stroll

Today, I decided, was my first spring walk ever with Wish - "spring" representing a state of mind, because 1) technically we brought him home in the springtime (last May) and 2) technically it is still winter now. But this evening felt like a true spring one - the kind where you ditch your hat and mittens at home and don't miss them even once, when the sun is shining past 6 p.m., when a zillion neighbors decide to go for a stroll at the same time. It wasn't even that warm - no more than 40 degrees - but it felt like the season is shifting, and it was delightfully easy to forget that there's still snow in the forecast.

The first springy evening, I decided, is one of my favorite weather moments of each year.

Wish liked it, too, wet paws and all.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

101 in 1,001 update: February 2013

February 2013 will forever be known at Miles and Laurel as a quiet month on the 101 in 1,001 list!

Last month's update
The whole list

The goals I set last month:
  • work on a financial literacy project
  • start another classic book or try an autobiography
  • start the My Day in Six Words journal
No, yes, no. I had my eye on a few Community Ed finance classes, but I chose the calligraphy class instead. I skipped the Six Words journal entirely. But I did start #93 Read five autobiographies, with Ishmael Beah's A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. I also got a good recommendation for another memoir and got in the library's reservation line for Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. And yes, my original goal used the word "autobiography," but I am not making distinctions between autobiographies and memoirs. That's a subject for a whole other post, I suppose. I think for my next 101 list I will include a biography-reading goal. Also, I have typed "autobiography" or "biography" so many times in the last several sentences that the words look very strange now.

Continuing projects:
Now that I'm 15 months into the overall project, there are a lot of ongoing goals in progress now. One of my favorites is #82 Cook one new recipe per month. Every month! It has been a great reason to keep my eye out for new ideas. I like trying new recipes, and I like keeping a list of all the new ones I've tried. February was the spicy sausage pasta.

This month:
  • I'm hoping March is the last month for the Winter 2012 snowman effort (#13).
  • I will scout out a location for and start #73 Take a photo of the same place every month for a year.
  • I will begin #100 Read 30 minutes per day for two weeks. I have not been carving out as much time to read lately and would like to be more intentional about that this month
  • And I will re-try the Six Words journal (#99).
Any recipe recommendations for March, Reader? What are you reading? Any ideas for what local spot I should photograph monthly for a year?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Marvelous Monday: Week 10

Goodbye, 28! Hello, 29! It's my birthday!

Much love today (and every day) to my mom and dad.

28 was a year with a lot of learning and stretching. I started the 101 in 1,001 project (well, technically that happened for the last three months of 27), met Wish, ran a bunch of races and did more yoga than I've ever done in the rest of my years combined, and got engaged. I feel happy in my heart that 28 was one of my favorite years so far.

1) My breakfast included a birthday grapefruit!

2) We celebrated with my family last night and it was so nice. My mom cooked chicken parmigiana and my traditional sunny lemon birthday cake.

(Mom was very excited when I showed up wearing yellow! And, yes, my sister is holding Wish.)

3) Menu update: yesterday I made a batch of tomato-chickpea-pesto soup to have in between servings of leftover cake and chicken parmigiana. We made this a ton of times earlier in the fall and had to take a break from it, but it's time to revisit this recipe because it is tasty and very fast.

4) I guess I was too preoccupied with the chicken parmigiana last night to notice, but tonight I am determined to enjoy the marvelous extra daylight.

5) A bridesmaid dress shopping extravaganza commences later this week!

I'm excited for 29!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Saturday report (on Sunday)

Yesterday I was up from 6 a.m. to midnight (with one break in between). What a day!

I was up early to volunteer at Twin Cities in Motion's 100% Irish for a Day races at Lake Harriet. On Friday night, rain was supposed to roll in, and with temperatures right around freezing, it could have made for really dangerous driving (and running) conditions, so cancellation was a possibility. Luckily, it stayed just warm enough, and the races were on! There were a ton of people dressed festively - a ton of green tutus - and runners seemed to be in good spirits. Also, there was a break in the rain until right at the very end of the morning!

Just picture oodles of runners, many of them in green, looping around this lake on such a dreary day. (Can you even tell it's a lake? Probably not.) Anyway, it was a great sight.

I pulled together a few things for the evening, including a cake for which I've had a hankering for ages, grilled corn guacamole (but substitute frozen corn for grilled corn - sigh), and the black bean salsa recipe I tried a few weeks ago for Oscar night.

Then I went into the living room to watch the Tennessee versus Missouri basketball game, partly because I've been keeping up with UT basketball given the volume of Tennessee athletics content in my Twitter feed and partly because I wanted to hear "Rocky Top." I couldn't give you a thorough game report, though. It seems that I fell asleep waiting for the previous game's overtime to end so my game would start, and when I woke up, it was halftime. Oops. Bad fan. Tennessee did win, though!

Later, I took Wish for a walk while Josh ran an errand. The rain paused for the entire duration of the 20-minute walk, and it felt warm and springy - and very puddly. The puddles were huge (I saw one take up the better part of an alley) and of course that made for a wonderful surface for reflections.

We had a few friends over, for the first time in what seemed like ages. Wish was a little weirded out by the hubbub at the cookie party I hosted back in December, but it's important to us that he get comfortable with people around the house because, well, we really like having people around the house! We asked our friends to just kind of ignore him, so he could get used to having people around again. They probably thought we were goofy helicopter dog owners, because Wish mostly just flopped down on the floor, with intermittent loops around the guests to see if any crumbs were falling his way. He was a champ, I had a great time, and I hope our friends did, too.

And now it's Sunday morning, and I have some more coffee and a Sunday paper calling my name. Happy weekend to you!

Friday, March 8, 2013

A few notes for Friday

There are some fun things going on this week around Miles and Laurel, even though I didn't get to go to calligraphy class on Tuesday. (It was cancelled because of the snow!)

1) Any shopping list that includes this word is a winner:

2) I am very excited for my friend Katie, who is teaching her first yoga class tonight! I am so proud of her and although I can't attend her class tonight, I will attend one very soon. She is going to be a great teacher.

3) I strolled four miles last night with Molly and her pup. Molly is having her first baby very soon! It was great to spend some miles with her. (And we revisited our goal to lead a pace group together for a race - something, she suggested, for the next 101 list!)

4) I am loving the Hart of Dixie fans that came out of the woodwork this week after Monday's post, which means I have been able to talk about the show with people besides Josh, which may be one of his favorite outcomes of my blog to date. It also boosts my hope that the show won't get cancelled because now I know more people are watching it!

5) There has been a huge change in the amount of daylight lately. The sun was just ducking below the horizon at the end of our walk, and it's light in the mornings now, too. Ahhh.

Wish wants to participate in said daylight now, so I've gotta run. Happy Friday to you! What are your favorite highlights from the week so far?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The old and new picture frame

Recently I acquired what I think was a busted (non-functioning) light. This doesn't sound particularly noteworthy, except for the part where I thought to myself, That looks like a nice picture frame.

Game on!

It's basically a square frame with 25 five-inch squares, in five columns and five rows, so first, I ordered a bunch of photos. I had planned to do 5x7-inch photos because each square is five inches, but I quickly remembered that 25 5x7 photos are a heck of a lot more expensive than 25 4x6 photos. I decided to print 4x6s instead and grab a white piece of tagboard to serve as my "matting" for each photo. I cut the photos down to 4x4 inch squares. I measured out the squares with a yardstick and pencil, then taped photos in the middle of each square with double-sided tape.

Then I popped out the frosted glass and picked up a new piece of plexiglas from the local hardware store for $8. (You can custom-order glass and plexiglas there, which I think is neat. Also, somehow this project jumped ahead of our coffee table's broken glass panel in the priority line.)

Then I put it all together.

Voila! Here's the final product, sitting on my bookshelf ladder. You might recognize a few.

Next, it was time to explore locations for my new frame. I thought about hanging it over our desk, but I honestly just didn't feel like making sure that the frame wouldn't fall and crash onto my sewing machine and computer.

Then I saw the perfect space on our bookshelf. This bookshelf came with our apartment, and I remember being asked on the tour if we wanted the landlord to get rid of it, and we basically yelled, "NO!" It's one of my favorite parts of our home, partly because of its little ladder for reaching the highest shelves. Anyway, I ran into a little roadblock here because I thought it surely wouldn't be that hard to condense a shelf's worth of books by choosing a couple dozen to donate - which, as book lovers know, is an impossible dilemma. I suddenly came up with all kinds of reasons why I might need a textbook I haven't cracked open in a decade. I shuffled some things around and was finally successful.

Here it is!

And, you know, me posing with it. Just because. Probably just because I don't perch on the ladder as much as I should.

I was worried that the pictures would be too small, but I can still appreciate each one even when I'm sitting on the couch across the room. I am by no means a master repurposer, but I love this effort's result.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

In like a lion

Okay! I had to go there. I think a snowstorm on March 4-5 still counts in the "in like a lion" category.

It added up gradually this winter, a few inches at a time, but all of a sudden, it seems like St. Paul has an absolutely mammoth amount of snow - especially on my walk tonight, when many of the sidewalks had been cleared and their snow was piled up where grass will sometime eventually grow again. It has been a much snowier winter than last year's, and the last couple of days delivered around eight inches of more snow.

One fun part of that has been watching winter through Wish's perspective for the first time. He loves to trundle through the snow. The only downside is that sometimes when he tromps through loose snow, he thinks it's the exact perfect play time to bite his leash and yank it around. This was pretty funny the first time it happened (and because he obviously won't be reading this, I can admit that I still have to fight to not laugh because he gets this glint in his eye) - but we have to discourage it because he actually can make his leash, uh, less structurally sound. He doesn't do it in any other circumstances, so I have no idea what about the snow brings this out.

Something we don't have to discourage? His love for shoving his face into snowbanks to investigate. Today he finished the walk with his face covered in snow.

When there's this much snow, the scenery on our walks is totally different - that's part of why I love Minnesota's seasons. Today one stretch of run-of-the-mill sidewalk had turned into a stretch of fluffy little meringues.

A better look, minus the dog ears:

Of course, a big snow brings challenges, too, especially when there is basically a scary layer of ice under the snow like there is now. Fortunately, any mishaps we had were minor. My little car got stuck and it took Josh and a Good Samaritan to push me out. In a separate incident, I slipped and fell into a snowbank before work. (Oops.) Finally, Josh slipped and fell on our walk (he is okay) and Wish jumped on him in alarm and started licking his face.

But one definite upside of a March snowstorm: there's less chance of a serious cold snap afterward. It might be 43 by the weekend! It's funny to remember that spring is close - and Opening Day is less than a month away!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Marvelous Monday: Week 9

Last night, I was assembling a batch of Moosewood chili on the stove with the ever-enthusiastic Canine Mop underfoot to clear away any dropped ingredients. I shooed him into the living room, and then a couple of carrot chunks flew off the cutting board onto the ground, and I thought to myself, Of course Wish isn't here when food he can actually eat falls into his reach. I turned to measure spices, and about a minute later, I looked behind me and saw Wish sitting about 10 feet away, admiring a carrot chunk that he had plucked from the kitchen floor without me even realizing he was there.

Rascal. In other news, we are still celebrating our repaired kitchen sink that I mentioned last week. It is so much easier to cook with a functioning sink!

Onward with Marvelous Monday's five tidbits:

1. It's March, the month that includes the six-months-til-our-wedding mark!

2. I've been on a major kick for evaluating whether spaces and stuff in our home reflect how we use them  and thus how well they are serving us. I love many things about our home, but the storage situations throughout are kind of kooky, so I want to make sure they're being used well. For example, I looked at our cupboard and realized that we had been stashing some huge Tupperware containers - that we use a handful of times per year - in key real estate on one of the lowest shelves. Argh!

This weekend I shuffled the dinnerware and glasses around to make sure that the pieces we use the most are the most accessible. I also went through the four kitchen drawers to make sure that their contents made sense. It turned out that nearly a full drawer was still being occupied by the duplicate utensil set that we haven't touched since we merged our households together (two years ago). I am so excited for the new space.

3. One month from today I will be flying to Washington, D.C., for a long weekend with friends (and the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run!). I can't wait!

4. I had a little more time than anticipated last night and made the batch of chili that I had originally planned to cook sometime this week after work. (This is worth celebrating because Sunday night cooking, to me, is so much more leisurely than weeknight cooking.) I packaged the chili individually for easy meals this week, which should also cut down on just want Chipotle moods.

5.  After reading a tweet about an episode last week, I had been eagerly awaiting Hart of Dixie's return from its midseason break. It's a CW show about a doctor who moves from New York to Alabama and hijinks inevitably ensue, and I was ready to confess to you that I unabashedly love this show. But it turns out that I am the worst television fan ever, because the midseason break actually ended five or six weeks ago. Luckily, Hulu helped me catch up fast. I only know one other person who also watches this program and I cannot wait to talk to her about it...even though I am utterly dismayed by a recent plotline twist. In other news, I am caught up with HBO's Girls now. That's easier because it's only 30 minutes long.

Your turn! Have you reorganized spaces in your home recently? Any TV shows you're loving? Any spring travel plans? Share away in the comment section!

Sunday, March 3, 2013


As you might have guessed from yesterday's post, this weekend has been a good balance of activities and downtime.

My favorite picture from the weekend obviously falls into the "downtime" category.

Hopes yours included some relaxing, too, Reader - whether or not a dog was using your face as a pillow.

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Last night I went to sleep thinking this morning would include a couple of hours of running. This morning I woke up and thought that the day might instead hold a 75-minute yoga session and some relaxing and possibly a small but much-needed shopping trip. I decided to go with my instinct and be bold and roll with it. (Such is one distinct upside of not training for a spring marathon!)

I started the morning with Wish's version of an endurance workout: a long walk with him. We strolled along some streets that were new to him, and the neighborhood was quiet - so quiet that I actually wondered if I had messed up the time and it was really 7 a.m. instead of almost 9:00. I found out later that it was only 20 degrees, but the combination of no breeze and bright March sun (March sun!) made it feel downright warm. I took my hat off! Wish was loving life, except for one time when I caught him giving side eye to a snowman. We also walked over what I think was Wish's first bridge. ("CARS UNDERNEATH US AND CARS NEXT TO US!?! WHAT IS HAPPENING!") Later, he got to enjoy a little trail (read: non-paved path, nothing particularly rugged), which always makes him morph into a wild little dog who seems like he's trying to show me how utterly cool he is with wilderness.

And the shopping trip and yoga class happened, too. But the walk with my goofy dog is what I'll remember most about today.

Friday, March 1, 2013

It's March

Something I love: so much more daylight than just a few weeks ago.

Happy Friday to you, on the first day of meteorological spring!