What I’m Loving Wednesday, August 31

Doing the weekly list of happiness link-up with Jamie at This Kind of Love.

Yikes.  Kind of had a long day today.  After staying up all night with a sick puppy, I had to stay at work way longer than I wanted to.  I wasn’t really feeling the love by the time I got home.  Luckily, after a couple of glasses of wine  and some surprise flowers from Aaron, I’m back on track! This is what I’m loving on this last Wednesday of August (but this time it really IS the last Wednesday in August…unlike last week).

1. Labor Day Weekend Straight Ahead!  I’m a sucker for any weekend, but 3 day weekends really make me happy.  This weekend we have birthday parties, Labor Day BBQ’s, and of course, the New Mexico Wine Festival among other festivities!


2. J Brand Jeans: I consider these jeans to have magical powers, like making my legs look 10 times longer than they really are. Plus, Dutchess Kate wears them, and I try to live my life my What Would Kate Do.



3. Grape Stomping: I Love Lucy is directly responsible for me wanting to do this.  I’m finally going to get my chance!  I will be grape harvesting and stomping (followed by drinking) in a couple of weeks at Casa Rondena!


4. Aaron-made Eggplant Parmigiana: I don’t know how to cook, and I’ve never felt particularly compelled to learn how.  Chef Aaron on the other hand is spectacular in the kitchen.  His amazing eggplant parmigiana made my week.


5. Monsoon Season: I really am not a desert person.  Unfortunately, I’ve lived most of my life in the desert.  Usually, during the summer months we get a little bit of rain to help sustain life, but not so much this summer.  Until now.  We’ve had some glorious thunderstorms over the past couple of weeks.  Waking up to the fresh smell of rain is heavenly.

"Monsoon Season" by TheBlindHog redbubble.com


6. Britney Spears: As hard as I try not to, I LOVE Britney.  I’m happy that she’s come out of her dark days, and I’m happy that she’s being productive.  Her VMA tribute reminded me of all her songs I’ve loved throughout the years.



7. Mushroom Picture: I took this when we went on our hike on Sunday.  It really makes me want to transform into a faery and make it my home.


8. Daily Pinterest Find: I love vintage travel posters, and I love San Francisco.  This reminds me that I will be on vacation there soon!


9. First Wives Club: This movie was on some obscure movie channel last night, and I was immediately taken back to freshman year of college when my friends and I would watch it over and over again, and sing and dance to “You Don’t Own Me.”  The cast is glorious, 90’s chick movie heaven.


10. Anthropologie Birthday Pouch: My birthday is coming up here pretty soon, and all of the stores that I spend lots of money at are sending me special birthday discount cards.  This little surprise from Anthropologie just goes way beyond in its attempt to get me into their store to buy something for my birthday.

Two days until the long weekend!

Training Tuesday Week 3 and Trail Runs

This weekend was the start of  our 3rd week of half marathon training.  Even though I very proudly and excitedly ran 8 consecutive miles on Sunday without feeling all that terrible,  I truthfully expected to be faster and to have more energy by now.  Only about 4 months ago I was ingreat shape, but now I’m having a hard time getting back to where I was.  Guess I shouldn’t have taken all that time off from working out during the summer.

We’re running a 5K race in a few weeks, and I set out to finish in 22 minutes (which should put me somewhere in the top 10 women, based on last year’s results), but I’m not at all confident that I will pull that off.

And as much as I love the sunshine and hot weather, running in 91 degree heat is kind of miserable.  Thankfully, we have a recovery week starting on Saturday with 2 days off and a short run on Sunday.

According to running guru Aaron, this is the training we’ll be doing this week:

Saturday: 4 mile run

Sunday: 1 hour and 15 minute run (we got 8 miles in)…up 5 minutes from last week

Monday: Easy 3 mile run;  strength training

Tuesday: Interval training: 1.5 mile warm-up, 7 sets of alternating 5-k speed quarter miles with jogging quarter miles (so…14 times around the track: 7 at a brisk pace, 7 at a jog pace), 3/4 mile cool down jog/walk; strength training

Wednesday: Easy 3 mile run;  strength training

Thursday: Tempo run:  15 minutes easy jogging pace, 20 minutes 10-k pace, 5 minutes easy jogging pace (40 minutes total, up 5 from last week)

Friday: Rest or easy run


We decided to switch it up a bit during our Saturday morning run and head to the foothills.  Trail running is great for training.  Getting off the hard asphalt really helps to reduce the impact on your body.  Also, the terrain is constantly switching from uphill to downhill so all muscle groups are getting a good workout.  Plus, the air seems a little more fresh (if not thinner) than it is further down into the city.

Despite the risk of extreme fire,  numerous bear sightings in the area, AND rattlesnakes potentially attacking me (my personal irrational fear), it was a great 4 mile jog!


(Candid shot of me staring at the gourds).

A Celebration of NOT Being Housebound

I semi-ignored all chatter of Hurricane Irene until Friday (Hurricane during Hurricane season in the Bahamas? Novel!) when I finally realized that the entire East Coast was going to be obliterated.  And then I couldn’t stop watching.  I don’t know what it is about natural disasters that drives my interest so much (maybe because THANKFULLY I have never been in one aside from some small earthquakes), but we had CNN on from Friday evening until Sunday morning, watching the storm as it made its way up the coast and waiting for mass chaos to ensue.

Even Giuseppe watched the coverage. 

In a moment of gratitude over not being one of the 65 million people affected by the storm, we thought we’d celebrate because unlike the masses stranded without transportation and under evacuation orders and curfew restrictions, we had complete freedom to be outside and just out of the house in general.

Actually, before making it out, we decided to try some Polish chocolate that one of Aaron’s clients brought from Poland.  Not as impressed with the candy, but I love packaging in foreign languages.  It makes the contents a little more of a surprise. You never know what kind of crazy things Polish people might put into chocolate.

After a somewhat unsatisfying chocolate experience, we decided that it was about time for Giuseppe  to visit the Nob Hill cafe that inspired his name,  Cafe Giuseppe. Plus, I had run out of coffee and desperately needed a coffee fix.

Sunday, after watching CNN try desperately to convince the nation that Irene really was that bad (not to say that flooding and any damage isn’t bad, it just wasn’t mass chaos), and after enduring an 8 mile run in the hot sunshine, we decided to take a quick trip up to the top of the Sandia Mountains for a hike.

It was nice to finally see some greenery and plant life after a summer with no rain.  The Sandia Crest is in a different climate zone, so it actually gets moisture more often than we do in the city.

Aaron packed us a picnic lunch complete with sandwiches, chips, cookies, and sangria for us to enjoy overlooking the city from over 10,000 feet above sea level.

Once we made our way back home (in time to watch Lady Gaga have an identity crisis on the VMA’s of course), we got our own little bit of hurricane weather with a downpour of a thunderstorm to usher us (fittingly) into the week.

This is My Father, Ferris

In the very, very near future (as in weeks) I will be entering my late 20’s.  I know I need to get over it, but the aging process is hard for me to handle.  Most of the time I try to forget that I am actually as old as I am.

Complete denial works most of the time.  But then, one day I’ll be sitting there watching my college basketball team on TV, cheering passionately, thinking these players are my peeps, and then the announcer says that one of them was born in 1991, and I realize that these people are most definitely not my peeps.  In fact, when I was a senior in college, they were sophomores in high school.  Ouch.

NOT my peeps

As if my upcoming birthday isn’t bad enough, I stumbled across another lovely reminder on MSN that I’m too old to relate to college people titled, Class of 2015: So young, Ferris Could be Their Dad.  As someone who grew up crushing on Ferris Bueller and wanting to look like Sloane, I have a hard time believing that suave dude could be a dad, much less a dad to a college freshman (I wonder if he’d be ok with them causing as much chaos as he did?).  And then, I continued reading…. (insert depressed sigh here).


The article quotes The College Mindset List which compiles a list of what is affecting the incoming class of college freshman.  If you get any of this, then you probably feel my pain (as in joint pain).

The Top 20

1. There has always been an Internet ramp onto the information highway.
2.  Ferris Bueller and Sloane Peterson could be their parents.
3. States and Velcro parents have always been requiring that they wear their bike helmets.
4.  The only significant labor disputes in their lifetimes have been in major league sports.
5. There have always been at least two women on the Supreme Court, and women have always commanded U.S. Navy ships.
6. They “swipe” cards, not merchandise.
7.  As they’ve grown up on websites and cell phones, adult experts have constantly fretted about their alleged deficits of empathy and concentration.
8. Their school’s “blackboards” have always been getting smarter.
9. “Don’t touch that dial!”….what dial?
10. American tax forms have always been available in Spanish.
11. More Americans have always traveled to Latin America than to Europe.
12.  Amazon has never been just a river in South America.
13.  Refer to LBJ, and they might assume you’re talking about LeBron James.
14. All their lives, Whitney Houston has always been declaring “I Will Always Love You.”
15. O.J. Simpson has always been looking for the killers of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
16. Women have never been too old to have children.
17. Japan has always been importing rice.
18. Jim Carrey has always been bigger than a pet detective.
19. We have never asked, and they have never had to tell.
20. Life has always been like a box of chocolates.

So, with that happy thought I think I will go buy myself some prune juice and listen to some Journey (with Steve Perry, not the adorable Filipino dude) as I reminisce about my youth.


What I’m Loving Wednesday: August 24

Continuing my weekly link-up with Jamie at This Kind of Love for What I Love Wednesdays.

 I kind of had a hard time mustering up 10 things that I loved this week.  Perhaps my world is a little less loveable without fried food and laziness?  In any case, here is my “stretching it” list of things I love today, the last Wednesday of August (I wrote this and then looked at the calendar and realized that next Wednesday is actually the last Wednesday in August).

1. The name “Taco Stein.”  I truthfully haven’t been following the case of the missing lady in Aruba too closely (though, if you want a good/entertaining albeit unofficial synopsis, go here), but I do know that the Prosecutor General down there is named Taco Stein, which I think is a pretty cool name, and definitely a guy I would take seriously without giggling every time I heard him being called Taco…


2. Elsa Ross: This is a boutique in Nob Hill.  Under most circumstances I don’t  shop there because Diane von Furstenberg doesn’t really fit in my budget, but they have a great denim selection so I bought a pair of jeans there last weekend.  This store has AMAZING customer service.  The nice sales girl made sure that I picked the  right pair of jeans (and she brought out TONS for me to try), she was  informative about the clothes and brands, and the store will hem jeans for you which is always an added bonus.  AND THEN, to top it all off, yesterday, the owner called me just to make sure that I needed them hemmed up that much (of course I do because I’m shorter than a normal human). 

3. German for Drinkers: I’ve been following Oktoberfest Denver on facebook, and yesterday they started a “word of the day” but in German and related to drinking.  I’m excited to pick up some of this useful information!  For example, yesterday I learned that WAMPN is a “patronising expression for an oversized, hanging belly, caused by over-consumption of either fatty foods or beer.” I can’t wait to incorporate that into everyday conversation!


4. Daily Pinterest Inspiration: When browsing Pinterest this morning, I found this amazing looking tree house.  There are really only 2 requirements I have for a house.  One is a pool with a swim-up pool bar, the second is a tree large enough to build a house in.  When I find that house, I shall build this treehouse.  The rest of the blog entry, featuring some of the world’s best tree houses is here.


5. Puppy Jacket: Friend Rossann used to have Westies, and she very generously passed on some of her old puppy clothes for Giuseppe to wear (and chew).  I love this jacket so much that I am seriously considering buying a matching one. 


6. Warm weather: I’m happy to report that instead of cooling down, Albuquerque is actually getting warmer! Today is anticipated to be Day 2 of record-breaking August heat!



7. Pumpkin Lattes: As much as I love warm weather, and as much as I shamelessly complain that summer is almost over, all this talk about fall has me seriously craving a Starbucks Pumpkin latte.  They aren’t available until September 1st, but I might be willing to bribe a nice barista to sneak some pumpkin flavoring in a little early.   Can they do that?


8. Green Chile Season: I was driving to work today and noticed some vendors setting up some roasters in the Sunflower parking lot.  Green Chile Season has arrived! I know that the drought conditions have affected the crop this year, so remember to buy early and buy in bulk. (When I got home Aaron already had picked up some!)

9. Most Interesting Man In the World Radio Ad Campaign: Seriously amazing.  Makes my day every time I hear one.  (The TV ones are ok, but not quite the same caliber).  I’ve often wondered if the character was based on Francisco d’Anconia  from Atlas Shrugged.  In any case, I think that ad campaign is great, even if it really has NOTHING to do with the product it is trying to sell.  ‎

10. Aaron and Giuseppe:When I read the What I’m Loving Wednesday posts from other girls that participate in the link up, they always list their husband as something they love (on Wednesdays). When drafting a list, I usually forget to put mine on there.  Does this mean I’m an unloving wife??? I don’t know, but I think it goes without saying that I won the husband (and puppy) lottery when I landed these two fellas.  Today, I had a dinner. a mojito, and a very excited puppy ready and waiting for me when I got home from work. If that doesn’t scream “won the husband and puppy lottery,” I don’t know what does.

Happy Wednesday! (only 7 more working days until Labor Day Weekend!)

Training Tuesday Week 2

*NOTE: I’m not sure why my half marathon training needs to continue since obviously the world is ending.  Earthquakes: not just for Californians.

ANYWAY: Saturday kicked off Week 2 of our half marathon training plan.  The first week was kind of rough, especially because it is still a little hot to be working out outside in the afternoons…and I’ve been kind of lazy ever since getting back from Jamaica, so my cardiovascular fitness level isn’t where it was pre beach vacation.  But,  after a week of training, I’m starting to feel a little less wheezy, and I think I’m going a little faster.  I also ran the farthest I’ve ever gone on Sunday…7.06 miles!  I celebrated with a piece of blueberry pie a la mode for lunch.

Here’s the  Aaron Approved training plan for this week.

SATURDAY: 4 mile run (up 1 mile from last week)

SUNDAY: 1 hour and 10 minute run (we got in 7.06 miles)…(up 10 minutes from last week)

MONDAY: Easy 3 mile run, full body strength training

TUESDAY: 1.5 mile warm-up run followed by hill intervals (sprint up the hill, jog down, 8 sets), 1.5 mile cool-down run (the hill should be  about a quarter-mile long)

WEDNESDAY: Easy 3 mile run, full body strength training

THURSDAY: 35 minute tempo run: 15 minutes jogging pace, 15 minutes at a 10-k pace, 5 minutes jogging pace

FRIDAY: free day (yoga, pilates, walking)/ or make-up day for any missed runs.

Also on hiatus since Jamaica is a good diet plan.  Since last week, we’ve started eating healthier again, and I’ve noticed a definite difference when running.  Eating a huge Frontier burrito the night before a long run creates an unpleasant situation.  Healthy food the night before does not. So, as much as I really don’t like eating fish (and trust me, I really don’t like eating fish), I gave in and eat it at least once a week.  Mai Mai from Trader Joe’s is actually not completely terrible.   Added bonus…fish is one of the healthiest things you can eat.


Another part of running (biking/walking/etc.) in Albuquerque is the crazy amount of goat heads that make their way into our house.  Goat heads are these evil little buggers that grow on weeds.  They are like little clusters of  tiny, painful needles. When it rains, as it did finally last week, these weeds pop up everywhere, especially on dirt running trails, and the little goat heads stick to the bottom of our running shoes.  Stepping on one is not the most fun thing you’ll ever do.  Strangely enough, I’ve never heard of goat heads existing anywhere else in the country.  We’re just lucky, I guess. 

All of the little brown things stuck to my shoe are goat heads


Happy Tuesday! (a.k.a. The Day The Earth Didn’t Stand Still).

Not Really Ready for Fall

I’m not sure when the world decided it was ready for fall, but all of the sudden, reminders of its impending arrival are everywhere.  Pinterest is filled with fall decoration/outfits inspiration, Spirit the Halloween Superstore is getting ready to open down the street, kids are back in classes or heading back to college, and suddenly the shelves are full of Oktoberfest beer. 

This makes me sad.

Didn’t we just start summer?  It feels like I looked forward to sunshine and warmness for months and it is almost already over again. 

This weekend I attempted to ignore the end of summer as much as possible.  It definitely helped that we got invited to hang out at a swimming pool on Saturday.

We gave Giuseppe a bath (which he was NOT happy about) in order to make him presentable.

We packed our beach towels and sunscreen (which unfortunately Lobster Aaron didn’t take advantage of until it was too late).

We got our mojito kit together.

We slowly introduced Giuseppe to the pool.

We cautiously tested the waters, and turns out, Giuseppe can swim! I don’t think he really enjoys being a water baby though (in the pool or the bathtub), but I think he could probably survive in an emergency situation if needed.

Ok, so I don’t know what the heck the big deal is about “planking,” but Aaron decided to get in on the craze…even though I think we’re too late because apparently planking is passe and “flagging” is the new cool thing to do.  Who comes up with this stuff? And what the heck is flagging?

So, after Aaron planked the slide, someone came up with the brilliant idea to have 3 men plank on it while someone else slid down under them (only 2 men fit).  Yeah…I don’t know.  But, everything went as planned,  friend Robin made it down safely, and I got some great pictures of the process!  Notice how I didn’t volunteer to be the one to go down the slide.

I will say that Sunday’s 7.06  mile run wasn’t the easiest after pool party food/mojitos/sunburn (another reminder why eating healthy makes running easier).  But splashing in the pool was a fun way to spend an end-of-summer weekend. 

Luckily, even if the world is anticipating the arrival of Starbucks pumpkin lattes, Albuquerque will hopefully still have warm temperatures into early October.  So with that happy thought, I will face the week and I shall glare at any reminder that summer is coming to an end.

Giuseppe the Movie, Part 2

Happy Friday!

Aaron has found a new hobby in creating little Giuseppe videos.  And I don’t think Giuseppe minds being the center of attention!  As you may remember, Part 1 was created a couple of weeks ago.

So, without further delay: Giuseppe, The Life of a Puppy The Sequel.  Starring Giuseppe. Directed by Aaron.  Soundtrack provided by Elvis.  Filmed on location in my living room.

Live As If You’ll Die Today

Today I did something that I hope to never do again.

I only met Cameron Weiss once or twice, but this afternoon I went to his funeral.  He died Saturday morning from a heroin overdose.

I wish I could expand on the importance of not doing drugs, or the importance of living life to the fullest, but really, this situation sucks, and I don’t yet have the brain power to get passed that. 

To his family, we cannot express how saddened we are by a life lost too soon. To everyone else, I am frustrated that someone else’s child suffers the same fate and that, unfortunately, this won’t be the last heroin overdose.  I am frustrated that the drug trafficking industry brings in so much money, so people will continue trying to get new customers addicted.  I am frustrated that  I can raise my child in the right neighborhood and surrounded by the right people, and maybe that won’t be enough to keep them safe. 

Today I realized evil exists in many forms, and one of them is in heroin and addiction in general. 

Cameron Weiss would have turned 19 in September.

Blog Swapping

Welcome to Blog Swap #9 coordinated by 20 Something Bloggers.

Today Dan will be guest posting, and I will be over at his blog Sliding Down, introducing a whole new audience to Albuquerque.

 Dan is a musician and a mathematician (and long-time blogger) based near Chicago, IL. 



Hello! My name is Dan and I’m writing this guest post for Amy, who has been kind enough to let me write to her readership for the 20SB’s Blog Swap #9. This is the first Blog Swap I have ever participated in, so I hope it goes well! If it doesn’t, then I apologize! I tend to write my posts in the spur of the moment, so I won’t know if I’m in the “write” mood at the time. (I’m also full of puns, but that never varies with time :P)

If you’re part of the 20SB community, you’re probably aware that this weekend they will be hosting the first 20SB Summit in Chicago! It’s going to be a smorgasbord of blogs and blogging and other blog-related things! (Haha, I’m sure you guys could have figured that out by yourselves!) I haven’t had too much time to look at the schedule yet, but I’m looking forward to learning how to improve my blog!

As a blogger of six or so years, I’ve tried on my fair share of writing hats. When I first started out I was in high school and subject to the same emotional traumatization that continues to unfairly plague teenagers to this day. We used to vent our frustration at the world on platforms like Xanga and LiveJournal and our readership was the small circle of friends we kept. Eventually everyone moved off to college and our online social activity began to splinter. Blogging topics included more mature topics like the latest cat video on YouTube. My readers became any and all interested parties I ran into at the dorms who wanted to get to know me a bit better. And so I wrote! College was a time to write about ideas and people and adventures. For the most part I just stuck to that plan and it worked out alright.

Now that I’ve entered “the real world” and landed myself a job, I’m on the lookout for a new, perhaps bigger, audience. Part of that effort is participating in different communities, including this Blog Swap. I’m happy to write for other audiences for a change! I want to take this experience and learn from it, expand upon it, grow from it. I love writing. I love the different ways it acts as a narrative. I love how it can reach lots of different people in totally divergent ways and yet still communicate something worthwhile. And mostly, I love that it is a great medium of expression for so many people. I think that about does it for my guest post today.

If you like what you’ve read, come join me over at my blog for more! It’s not nearly as good as Amy’s — for instance, I need to post many more pictures! — but it’s building up steam. (Hopefully!) And if you’re going to the 20SB Summit this weekend, tweet me at @HeyMrBass or just drop a line on my blog!

Thanks again to Amy for letting me write! ~Dan