Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April Summary

Whoa - reality check, it's still technically April? I think we've got some confusion around here, the weather has been gorgeous in Portland and that's not normally until June July if we're lucky.

Really though, with the change of seasons, my work focus being on the month of May and all that has gone on in my world it's difficult to face that tomorrow is the 1st of May. No complaints, just level setting with my mind because so much has happened this month.

April to me meant change, maturity and responsibility at work. It brought overwhelming success and pride that I'll never forget. It propelled me into overshooting my running goal of 100 miles by 16 miles - which is unheard of during such a busy month. 

I'm looking back to my April's Eight Great Goals and I seriously missed the mark on 6 of 8. I didn't think reasonably what craziness the month would bring and sadly there were a few things that were out of my control and even out of my scope of importance. Where we did have amazing success was with limiting latte intake - I am looking forward to keeping that in mind in the months that follow.

Even though I'm managing through falling under the line, we still had a great month and plenty of wonderful memories to show for it!

Yummy Eats

So much amazing food was enjoyed this month from date nights to weekend food prep:


Sweet Potato + Quinoa Stir Fry


Work Related

I realize that I talked a lot about work this month, and really because I spend most of my day living and breathing my work with so many positive things to show for it.

I've promised Dan and everyone in my life that the craziness will be over starting once the fourth quarter is over - which means another month!

Still there were some good posts that came out of the craziness and want a collection of them here:

Under the Bridge

How High?

Desk Love

Keep Running

Running Love

I got after so many miles this month and it really impacted my happiness.

I knew that running was more than just about meeting my goal when I was lacing up after 8pm at night, or logging ten milers even after hitting my goal. The weather has been so warm I've even been breaking a sweat early on in the run, and there's no better feeling.

Running for Days

30 Mile Weekend

Countdown: Tough Mudder

My Handsome Daniel

The one person who got the least of me this month was my wonderful boyfriend. We stopped carpooling due to my schedule, we only went on two runs together, he had a golf tournament that I didn't make it to and he did nothing but try to fix the world and make things easier on my life. He's my everything and I'm so thankful he's in love with me.

Week 14 Cohabitation

Week 15 Cohabitation

heart JE

Monday, April 29, 2013

Golden Weekend

I'm so rested from this weekend - come at me, May!

Despite some car troubles for me (Thank you Dan, Dad, Mom, Sisters!) and some additional car troubles for Dan (Thank you, Austin!) we had a pretty nice birthday weekend for Dan.

He had his golf tournament both days so we didn't hit the town or get wild, but it was everything you'd want a weekend to be.

  • I had some quality alone time with two 10 mile runs (20 total).

  • I enjoyed a massage with miracle worker Maggie

  • We relaxed with some NBA playoffs and enjoyed the beautiful sunlight coming through the windows and illuminating our home.

I even reacquianted with these friendly drinking fountains in the neighborhood: The Benson Bubbler

The biggest part of the weekend that I didn't like was being unable to drive to get the cake Dan really wanted for his birthday a sheet cake from Costco, so he had no cake at all.

Instead, here are the cakes from his last two birthdays we've spent together:

At least I learned!

He had all kinds of birthday love from friends and family on facebook and via phone calls - so overall he considered his special week day a success.

He especially loved the visits and gifts from the two little goldens that have stolen his heart:

heart JE

Friday, April 26, 2013

Keep Running

Finally - Happy Friday!

Wednesday night I only had 4 hours of broken sleep and then last night my car battery died ... or it's an issue with my alternator. We aren't quite sure yet but I'm thankful for Daniel for always looking out for me, taking care of me, and even jump starting my car and following me in early this morning to make sure that all was okay. All was not okay and my car is parked just a few blocks from my house, but that's something we can figure out this weekend - nothing to stress about today.

This week my mantra unlike my car's was 'Keep Running'.

"Keep Running" to me means many things - 

  • Keep a positive attitude through whatever comes your way

  • Shovel manure and come out smelling like a rose

  • Challenge yourself with physical and metaphorical hills

  • Turn an obstacle or barrier into an opportunity to overcome

  • Pour your heart into your work and don't look back

  • Take time where time is due - with my Daniel, with my running, with my wildest dreams

When momentum is rolling, let it roll.

Don't force it but don't halt your energy and the energy of those around you.

Appreciate the world around you and influence the world within you.

Most importantly my friends - remember to Rise & Grind.

heart JE

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Golden Birthday

Sunday the 28th is Dan's 28th Birthday (Golden Birthday!) - please join me in wishing him a wonderful weekend and the best of luck in his golf tournament! He's taking a half day at work today in order to get another quality 18 holes in and I couldn't be prouder. I'm looking forward to driving down I-5 to shop at the Woodburn Outlet Mall watch him play and want him to know that I'm his biggest fan!

I thought today would be a fun opportunity to embarrass him share a few photos that his mother in Chicago sent to me this week at my request. I have her full permission to make the birthday boy blush today so I'm going to take this for some good mileage.


The great news is that I now have a ton of ammo to use and have some great stories behind some of the photos already planned.

In all fairness, it IS his birthday week so I suppose I'll have to pick up some Golden BIRTHDAY Oreo's if I can find them!

heart JE

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Today in History - 4.24.1999

Hello everyone!

There's so many things we could chat about, like the weather, the new clothes I've bought lately {on sale!}, my job, what motivates me, my man, etc.

It almost crept past me but something reminded me of a decision I made 14 years ago that has significantly improved my life and my health.

Today, April 24th, marks 14 years since I've drank soda.

I could harp and harp on why soda is bad for you, here and here for example - but instead I'll talk about what pushed me to the decision and the many reasons I've stuck to it over the past 14 years.

I was in Seventh grade, 12 years old and incredibly focused on softball and the things that I could do to improve my game. As a team, we were working on the 'mental game' to strengthen our minds and work out our discipline, so we were encouraged to choose something to give up for a week. Instantly I knew what I wanted to give up, but would have to enlist some help from teammates and my very own family.

See, my brother had given up soda a year prior and had always boasted about it - and being the competitive little sister I decided to lead follow my own path. I also was not such a light consumer of the sugary beverage. We would go to fast food restaurants for convenience after practices + games and I would consistently order the biggest Dr. Pepper or Root Beer I could get my hands on. No fault of anyone's, just the health concerns of high soda consumption weren't public knowledge as they are today - so it was more about the bubbly bite I'd experience from an ice cold soda rather than the taste of it.

I recall the 'last supper' like it was yesterday. My dad and I left the practice in Beaverton and headed to the East side, but not before a pit stop at McDonald's to order a #2 (Two cheeseburgers) No Cheese, Ketchup Only with a Dr. Pepper to drink. I remember slowly sipping out of the straw, calculating what I was putting into my body and ultimately feeling sick as a result. The cup sat overnight on my nightstand, half full and eventually poured down the kitchen sink.

Realizing that I didn't want to finish my last one, I knew I had an easy road ahead to look forward to both with this commitment and many others that followed.

Weeks passed, months passed. I noticed myself feeling better, my teenage pores were clearing up kind of and I was full of healthy hydration {water} like I'd never been before. Soon it was six months later and there was no way I was going back - I'd come too far to ever put a drop to my lips again.

Since giving up soda I have:

  • Saved a lot of $$

  • Avoided a lot of extra and worthless calories

  • Encouraged others to quit/limit their bad habits

  • Found the will to give up French Fries (going on 13 years)

  • Nodded my head to every health conscious reason to give up soda

  • Much less fast food dining

  • ...Saved a lot of $$

I don't nag or judge those who drink soda now, but I sure am happy that I don't crave the stuff.

I know that I'm a happier person because of this commitment and the endless personal strength I gained in experiencing success will serve me well for a lifetime.

Like I said, happy:

Just try it for a week, see how much better you feel!

heart JE

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

SE Saturday Nights

I don't know what it is about Saturday nights but lately it's been Dan and I's favorite night to unwind, grab some good walking shoes and hit the neighborhood for an adventure and some drinks.

Something about flowers blooming, people out for a stroll and the crisp night air becoming tolerable have allowed us to step out of our normal routine and into a playful mindset. It also gives us Dan an excuse for reflective swoosh photos.

The trek in mind's ultimate destination was Saburo's Sushi House that I've shared here once before. The last time we made a visit it was before Dan moved in, so this time wasn't so much about the tour - it was knowing that we were locals and had every right to sign our names on the list with 30 other hungry hopefuls in front of us. That's right, there was a literal mob outside of the front door and everyone was there to stay.

Dan and I signed up, shrugged our shoulders and walked off to do what we do best - Sellwood Pub Tour.

We started at Laurelwood Public House around 8:45 and ordered the a Space Stout for him & a Free Range Red for her. We enjoyed sharing the different flavors back and forth and I still can't call which was my favorite.

Next we went back to check on the list - rookie move. We were still at least 15 people down on the list and noticed that the couple after us was the cut-off point of the list. We were going to be there to shut it down.

So what do you think we did? Went to another bar of course! I love dive bar hopping in Sellwood and tonight didn't disappoint. The Cosmo Lounge was in full effect with karaoke enthusiasts making their way in and signing up for their debut. Dan and I escaped before karaoke night started, but not before my IPA, his Negro Modelo and our four $1 each Orange Jello shots. Well played, babe!

After us lightweights were feeling happy, we snuck in a few fro-yo samples at Nectar before having perfect timing to be seated at Saburo's.

This was the longest I've ever waited, two hours from sign up to sit down, but the memories, goofiness and amazing eats at the end of the road were beyond worth it. We even had a great time with the strangers who shared our same table that were visiting from Montana and had previously lived in Portland through college. Plenty of laughs, single serving friends, single serving of sushi (because Dan swooped up 75% of the plate while I was chatty!) and a great evening with my love.

I can't wait to go back again when blogger buddy Marisa is back in PDX. Nothing like a heaping plate of sushi to bring people closer.

heart JE

Monday, April 22, 2013

Feel Good Weekend

This weekend was full of good vibes for the house.

Dan and I spent a good portion of Saturday making our home clean and happy. It's been a little while since we had a nice, deep clean - so we treated ourselves to a brand new Swiffer Wet Jet for the occasion.

Toilets were scrubbed, counters were scraped, three loads of laundry, two loads of dishes (mostly my tupperware) and even recycling/garbage duty.

More than just cleaning, we had some fun too!

As a result of cleaning, the pool table in the garage that has been covered with boxes since the move was unveiled, and we had a great time playing a few games with loud jams and competitive glances. The pool cue was an awesome gift from my brother for my birthday two years ago and I haven't given her enough time and attention.

We've been killing it at the burger game lately. This beauty below was a result of the weekend prior's food prep, fresh avocado & the perfect amount of sriracha topping. Dan is the grill master and anything I do never matches up. He's happy that I'm so dependent.

Salmon Burgers

{Costco Salmon Burgers + Thin wheat buns + Mozzarella + Avocado + Sriracha}

Feeling even better, we had a special visit from mom, dad, Bailey and Bella for some landscaping work (more house help). Dan was out golfing in preparation for  his tournament next weekend, but when he came home he was greeted with kisses, wags and puppy dog eyes galore!

What else am I missing... oh yeah - I Ran! duh

Saturday Morning: 5 quick miles with Dan

Sunday Morning: 12 refreshing miles solo - nothing but good tunes and my thoughts.

Since I've been awful this month about my morning runs / Nike Training Club Goals, I've self prescribed myself a few more miles over and beyond my 100 as motivation to get out in this week's forecast of sun and 70 degree weather.

How was your weekend?

heart JE

Friday, April 19, 2013

Week 15: Cohabitation

Disclaimer: I re-read last week's cohabitation post and I don't remember writing any of it, but it sounds like Dan and I had a nice week together!

This week was a lot less time together but I feel like a lot more quality time we were able to spend.

A huge highlight for Dan was picking up a new video game, Injustice; Gods Among Us on Monday night for another midnight launch party. The game is a Mortal Kombat inspired fighting game but with comic book superheroes instead. He's spent a good portion of the week while I've either been running or tapping away at the laptop playing his games like a child on spring break.

Huge spoiler alert - he plays as Batman. Shocking, I know.

A huge help for the week was our weekend food prep! After each long night we had quick and easy meals to fix, and actually we still have a lot remaining for the weekend. Dan has been unbelievably resourceful the past few months as he's found the soup loop <-- technical term --> and brings home the cafeteria's excess soup (for free) when the options are delectable. Last night and the night before were sausage lentil then barley mushroom.

(Free) Soup is the key to my heart.

1. Somewhere over the Ross Island Bridge we saw a double rainbow

2. Minty fresh outfit with grayling jewelry + signature curly hair

3. Salmon burgers (costco) with mozzarella + avocado made by my sweetheart

4. Chocolate dipped strawberries for a work birthday potluck

I've been proud of myself for getting 12 miles in on weeknights so far this week - I have warmer temperatures and longer nights to thank - but most importantly the love and support constantly given to me by my wonderful Daniel.

This weekend Dan will be up and away practicing for his big birthday weekend golf tournament. I want him to do well so I'm all for his extra time hitting the links - good luck, babe!

heart JE

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Desk Love

Happy Thursday! We're one day closer to the weekend, the sun is rising early and yesterday was the start of sunsets occurring 8pm and later. #happygirl

I've been fielding the same few questions lately at work and feel that they are worth sharing in this space since you're probably wondering the same things:

  • "What time did you get here?"

  • "What time are you leaving today?"

  • "Have you stepped outside yet?"

  • "Do you stay the night here?"

  • "Do you have outfits / shower products at the gym for when you're here early/late?"

  • "You were here before me and you're staying after me - are you okay?"

  • "How do you fit everything in?"

  • "Why do you think about work things outside of work?"

I think you can get the point. I'm at my desk ALL day long, headphones on, smile on my face. When I'm not standing at my desk (cheers for a high desk!) you can find me strutting to the printer, sharing, collaborating, microwaving my lunch, refilling my water and doing everything I can to make an impact on the world that I live in.

Of course I'd love to be running around to meetings, working out at lunchtime and catching up with old friends over long lunches - but not now. The more work I'm getting involved in, the more I'm learning, the more people are noticing the work being done by my team and the more my ego gets a nudge from the positive feedback coming my way.

Like I said last week, it's like a runner's high.

Today's Throwback Thursday is brought to you by a young lady who experienced love at first sight with this very thoughtful Christmas gift:

heart JE

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Restaurant Review: Torta-Landia

Saturday night Dan and I were couch potatoes. We kept talking about what our 'plans' were for the rest of the evening and couldn't come up with anything better than catching up on our DVR with shows dating back to March. No time for TV

I really didn't want to spend the rest of my night just sitting, but I also only wanted to spend the evening with my guy. I saw an update on Facebook that my parents were headed out to date night and I was convinced that Dan and I needed to have one too!

The last time I was with miracle worker Maggie, she recommended a restaurant that was great for an upbeat vibe, delicious chips + guacamole and a feel good 'hole in the wall' spot off the beaten path. I told her we'd check it out and I wanted to do it before my next appointment at the end of the month.

Torta-Landia is located on SE 60th avenue just off of Foster Road and within 2 miles walking distance of our home. Since we were feeling like bums we weren't going to drive so we bundled up, put on our walking shoes and headed out the door holding hands and soaking in sights of the neighborhood.

We arrived to the restaurant just past 8pm and found a packed house with live music and margaritas everywhere. We had to join in!

What We Drank

2 House Margaritas ($5.50 each)

We almost went with the Corona-rita (Margarita with an upside-down corona) but had already been drinking most of the day while watching the Masters. #Sorrynotsorry

What We Ate

House Made Chips + Side of Guacamole ($3 + $2 Guac)

Carnitas del Diablo Burrito ($8.50)

Slow roasted carnitas sauteed with habaneros & jalapeno peppers, borracho beans, green rice cilantro-lime crema, queso oaxaca, and habanero salsa.

This burrito was big enough that both of us felt satisfied with the food we'd eaten and our bodies were warm walking back in the cool 50 degree evening.

Know Before You Go:

  • It really is off the beaten path, hidden behind a used tire lot on Foster Road

  • Happy Hour is 3-5pm Tuesday-Friday and 9-close Daily

  • They had live music the entire time we were there - it looked like it was set up for the same scene every night

  • Even Dan thought the burrito was massive - check the menu before you go and split a dish or two

  • Location: 4144 SE 60th Ave, Portland, OR

  • Hours: Closed Mondays, open Tuesday-Sunday starting at 11am.


heart JE

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Countdown: Tough Mudder

Today marks 2 months to the day until we embark on another Tough Mudder adventure.

Tough Mudder events are 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces that test your strength and stamina while forcing you to work together as a team and to finish strong, despite electric shock, freezing cold water and plenty of mud to go around.

Last year Brooke, Brad and I headed up to the Whistler Olympic Park in June to experience our first event and somehow we felt foolish enough to sign up and pay again to participate in a venue closer to home - Fossil, OR. This time around we were able to sucker Dan and a few other poor souls into facing the certain blood, sweat and tears waiting for us in Fossil this summer.

To give you a taste of what we're up against, watch the latest hype video shared on Tough Mudder's Facebook Page.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azQbiz2vm_Q&w=560&h=315]

Quoting the site, we are supposed to "expect a hefty dose of mud, ice, fire, and electric shocks to test whether or not we’re tough enough to earn the coveted orange headband and an ice cold Dos Equis at the finish line."

So far we've been doing the usual training, including long runs, body weight workouts and a #dirtyhairdontcare attitude, but this training schedule will ramp up significantly to prep for the next 60 days.

I guess first we need to find a hotel, don't we?

If you want to check out my take-aways from last year, visit one of the very first posts ever written on this site.

Wish us luck with the rest of training!

heart JE

Monday, April 15, 2013

30 Miles + Many Smiles

Another weekend come and gone, and everything about it was time well spent!

Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping and my mister was home all weekend - not working, not playing golf and not sleeping in. Bliss.

{Credit to my neighbors, beautiful flowers!}

More Running for Days

If you remember that last weekend I ran 20 miles you'd call me crazy for the goal I set for myself this weekend.

20 miles in two days was a worthy challenge, so I decided to shoot for 30 from Friday - Sunday to put myself where I need to be for the month.

  • Friday 7:20 pm - 7 Miles

  • Saturday 8:40 am – 11 Miles

  • Sunday 9:20 am – 12 Miles

 Why would I set my goal at 30 miles in three days?

1. It reaffirms that I can do anything I set my mind to.

2. I've been worthless at getting mileage during the week and I see that trend continuing through the end of May.

3. Why not?


After my Saturday morning run, this is what I had waiting for me on the counter, piping hot:

{Eggs + Avocados + Jalapenos + Mozzarella}

{Poor Man's Mimosa: Light or Wheat beer topped off with Orange Juice}

Dan is becoming quite the contributor to the magic made in the kitchen and I couldn't be happier. The rumors are that he's been known to live off of Mac n' Hot Dogs - which proves that he's had to really step up his game to keep the woman in his life happy. Thanks, dear!

Special Visitor

We had a special visit from Tanna (Happy Birthday week!) and Olive on Saturday and they were happy to meet Dan for the first time. It wasn't the usual girl-chatty catch up sessions Tanna and I are used to, but we are looking forward to some warmer weather where we can get take walks in the park and take adorable photos of miss Olive feeding ducks at the pond.

Onto the Next

Sorry, Tiger Woods - you didn't reclaim the green jacket but I hear you've still got years and years ahead of you before you retire. Next time. We're still happy to have a son named after you.

Is it weird that I was excited to get to my desk this morning? I have a suspicious feeling that this is going to be another quality week for myself and my team.

heart JE

Friday, April 12, 2013

Week 14: Cohabitation

I think this is the space where I can gloat that I tied for first place in my Men's NCAA Bracket pool and beat Dan by at least 10 picks. It's too bad I didn't have a wager on my selections because I'd be looking for ways to spend some hot cash right about now.

Okay, I can't begin this post ragging on Dan, he's had a hard week. He's been sleeping in till noon, staying up past 1am and staying in his pajamas to watch the pre, post, mid, live and iPad updated coverage of the Masters. This sums up his week from home:

Again, kidding! He has really earned this week off over the past few months and I couldn't be more of an advocate for days off here and there for the both of us.

If we rewind to the beginning of the week, it was necessary that we go out to the movies on Monday night before our Cinetopia groupon vouchers were going to expire. Near and dear to him in the theaters was Evil Dead - so against my better judgment I agreed and endured a gory night made tolerable only by a Subway sunrise melt, a bucket of popcorn, comfortable seats and the hand-holding I was offered by a very-into-the-movie Dan.

1. Subway dinner pre-movie

2. Tickets + popcorn voucher for Monday night showing of Evil Dead

3. Empty theater = dibs on our favorite seats

4. Tuesday night surprise - my white stallion with a latte delivery!!

Wednesday turned into a late night for both of us with his Intramural basketball game and some lingering work duties. I opted to go for a run in the crisp evening air, and he made certain that a well rounded dinner would be ready on the table upon my sweaty return.

Spaghetti + Sauce + Chicken Sausage + Asparagus makes for a very solid post workout meal!

5. Got home at 8pm and laced up for a run!

6. Returned from the 5 mile run and had a handsome man working away in the kitchen

7. Grilled asparagus... he's seriously the best!

8. To top it off - he bought me flowers at work as part of the Bloomfest fundraiser.

Lastly you see those beautiful flowers, he got them for me through the Easter Seals Bloomfest fundraiser and they have been putting a smile on my face since they arrived to my work building on Thursday.

You can really tell how the week has been as I was woken up from a deep reclined couch sleep last night with an unfinished blog and a drafted work email open on my screen. I'm looking forward to the weekend and doing nothing but running and being with my sweetheart.

What are you up to?

heart JE