Tis the Season! Christmas Pickles & 10 milers

Recap on life

(yes, I am a horrible blogger)

Friday

It’s getting festive at the University of Portland Marketing department!

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IMG_4686Work Christmas party at Voicebox! It was so much fun singing karaoke with the entire division. Not only did I win a $50 Nordstrom gift card (and no… not because of my singing), but the party was for a great cause. We ended up raising a good amount of money for Doernbecher Children’s Hospital!

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Afterwards, I went to celebrate the fabulous life/birth of Miss Katie Yochim

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Saturday

Holy Christmas Shopping Santa! Steven and I rocked it this year. I might have gone through the entire Target store twice.

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Fun fact: Steven has this nickname for me… “Pickle” And when we discovered there was something of a Christmas Pickle tradition, we knew we had to be a part of it! After a little bit of searching, this Pickle finally has her Christmas Pickle!

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Afterwards we had a low-key evening. Steven’s housemate is a foster mom to two adorable kittens! And the great girlfriend I am, a made a sick Steven a Christmas cake! Man, I love easy, box cakes.

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Sunday

Brunch with one of my favorite couples, Matt & Bridgette!

IMG_4736After brunch, I knew I had to get in a long run. And man, was it horrible! With less than a week until the half marathon, the runner in me knew I needed to do a 10 miler. It was cold, rainy, and painful. But I did it!

Screen shot 2012-12-11 at 3.33.58 PM10 miles never looked so ugly.

Afterwards I just felt sick and beat down physically… which unfortunately moved into my Monday.

Monday

I woke up Monday feeling super sick. I blame: hanging out with a sick boyfriend, my long 10 miler, the fact that everyone seems to be getting sick, I’m getting older and my immune system hates me.

I unfortunately had to stay home from work and totally babied myself. Basically my dad was spent chugging Dayquil, drinking way too much tea while sprawled on my couch watching HBO’s Big Love.

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(if you don’t watch this show, you should!)

big loveCourtesy of HBO

One bright spot in my sick day is that I received a beautiful housewarming gift from the fabulous Erica Jornlin! Her life in Chicago sounds wonderful and I am so excited to visit her (and Karen and Eric) in the Spring!

IMG_4743As for today, I am thankfully feeling way better! Nose is still sniffly, but it’s manageable. Poor Steven though sounds like kermit the frog! Sick boyfriend needs to feel better!

tis the season for sickness!

 

So… I am running my second half marathon…

And I really don’t feel prepared.

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I know I say this about every race I run. But this time seems different.

Don’t get me wrong, I am really excited for the Holiday Half. I will be running in NOPO (my territory), in a fabulous homemade tutu (thanks mom!), with my friends & family supporting me.

But running-wise, I don’t feel ready.

With the whole moving, life stress, and the fact that it gets dark at like 4:30 (ughhh), I just haven’t been able to fit in a lot of my training runs. To top off the fact that I don’t want to run during my lunch break, you can basically say that I haven’t really run at all in the past month.

And staring at the half marathon course is just freaking me out

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But I do workout everyday… and I have made a conscious effort to run my long weekend runs. But will that be enough? Who knows.

What I’m really going to focus on is having as much fun as possible on December 14. Because honestly, if I’m slower then my first half marathon time, no one is going to care but me. So here it is people, I AM GOING TO BE SLOW!

I’m deciding right now that I am going to be the girl, fists in the air, running in a tutu, and having a fab half marathon experience!

(I also promise not to skip my 10 miler this Sunday)

 

The Big Move

I officially moved into my big girl apartment this weekend!

And I LOVE it!

Before the big reveal, big thanks to my wonderful family & boyfriend for the move! I couldn’t do it without them – they totally rocked it!

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Also, big thanks to all my friends who offered to help me move/sent me encouraging texts through-out the day!

Sneak peek – my new big girl mostly decorated apartment!

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The Holidays are Here!

… and damn do I feel busy!

My Thanksgiving was so wonderful this year! And I had such a great little vacation from work. But instead of relaxing, I was on the go the entire time (which is how I usually thrive).

But wow, today I am feeling worn out!

Little recap of my extended weekend

Thanksgiving

Started with a 6 miler (I’m really not photogenic after a run. Remind me that later…)

Went to Steven’s grandparents for some Quirk/Hanna time!

Went to my parent’s house for some G-E time!

Friday

Packed up some of the apartment. Man, I have a lot of stuff… Thank god I don’t have to move my stuff outside at all. It was pouring buckets on Friday

Found my new favorite Starbucks holiday drink! Creme Brulee latte with two pumps toffee nut and a dash of sea salt. Oh my god, it’s amazing…

Grotto date with my mom to hear Steven’s opening concert! So much fun, but so much rain/wind!

Saturday

Went to Rogue to sit by the fire/watch the Civil War/drink beer

Double date with my parents to see my mom’s favorite cover band The Melody Butchers

Sunday

9 mile run. It wasn’t pretty, but I did it!

More packing… I have so much stuff.

The move is happening on Saturday. Basically I need to get my butt in gear and just get rid of stuff/pack!

How was your Thanksgiving weekend?

The 2nd Annual RG+SQ Fall Date

As you might remember from last year, Steven and I like to do a little fall-themed date.

Last night was our little date night, complete with good food (recipes below!), cider, and pumpkin carving. My little downtown apartment smelled so wonderfully! I really like having themed dates, gives something new/different to a regular night.

I’m really proud of our pumpkins! I did the Timbers logo, while Steven made a dachshund. I forget how stressful craving pumpkins is. Intense concentration was needed (and I bet the ciders didn’t help). And no… we didn’t mean to match with our v-necks…

For dinner, I used my trusty crock pot to make Aunt Donna’s Chicken and Dumplings. The recipe is easy, delicious, and perfect for fall/winter (it also makes your house smell amazing!)

Aunt Donna’s Crockpot Chicken & Dumplings 

3 frozen chicken breasts

2 cans cream of chicken soup

2 cans chicken broth

1 diced onion

1 diced carrot

1 diced celery

1 can peas

garlic powder

salt and pepper

1 can biscuits

Put everything but the biscuits in the crockpot. Cook on low for 8-9 hours

Cut the biscuits and throw them in 1-2 hours before you eat.

I also made a quick batch of the easiest cookies ever. It’s only two ingredients  but they are delicious and perfect for fall. If you love pumpkin flavor, you will love these!

Two Ingredient Pumpkin cookies

1 box Spice Cake Mix

1 15 oz. can of pumpkin

(optional) cream cheese frosting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Combine ingredients and drop batter on a greased cookie sheet

Bake 10-15 minutes

I cut each cookie in half and put some frosting to create a little sandwich! They are super delicious and can keep in a air-tight container for a couple days!

And ta-da! Our little fall date on a rainy Thursday night in Portland.

Side note: Dannica made this hilarious meme of me from another meme. Look at how terrifying my face is! 

Busy Summer Days

Things have been hectic. Good, crazy, adventure filled kind of hectic. And this past Labor Day weekend was no exception!

Life is really good.

Martini date

Timbers game (we won!)

Random 24 hour beach trip

Powells trip

Amber’s birthday/College reunion

Dinner with the family

Confession: I haven’t gone on a run since the half marathon. I am living life and taking a break!

Eide Shoma Mobarak! Happy (Persian) New Year!

The G-E family in Iran, 2011

Today is the Persian New Year! Hello year 1391!

The new year, Nowruz (which means new day in Farsi) takes place on the vernal Spring equinox, which is usually sometime in April or May. This huge holiday in the Iranian culture represents the celebration of new life that comes during the Spring.

Nowruz dates back at least 3,000 years and is rooted in rituals from the Zoroastrian religion. It was originally celebrated in the geographical area of Persia, but is now celebrated in Iran, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, Tajikistan, Albania, Bosnia, Kazakhstan, Iraq, Serbia, and Uzbekistan.

The weeks leading up to Nowruz is traditionally when Iranians do their “Spring cleaning.” By the time Nowruz comes, the Persians are ready for their fresh start to the new year and a new Spring.

The most essential tradition of Nowruz is for every family to prepare the Haft Sin or 7 symbolic items that start with the letter S (in Farsi). The number 7 has been symbolic in Iran since ancient times and the seven dishes stand for life – rebirth, health, happiness, prosperity, joy, patience, and beauty.

Sabzeh - sprouted wheat or lentil growing in a dish, to symbolize rebirth.

Samanu -  a pudding made from common wheat sprouts that are transformed and given new life as a sweet, creamy pudding and represents the ultimate sophistication of Persian cooking. This represents fertility and the sweetness of life.

Seeb – apple, represents health and beauty.

Senjed - the sweet, dried fruit of the Lotus tree, represents love.

Sir - garlic, represents medicine and good health.

Sumac - crushed sumac berries, to represent the color of the sunrise; with the appearance of the sun, Good conquers Evil.

Serkeh - vinegar, to represent age and patience.

Mamani & Baba, 2011

The Persian calendar, which would make this year 1391, is one of the oldest calendars as well as the most accurate solar calendar in use today. This is because the calendar uses astronomical calculations for determining the year. .

According to some internet searching, Nowruz begins “at the start of Spring in the northern hemisphere: on the midnight between the two consecutive solar noons which include the instant of the Northern spring equinox, when the sun enters the northern hemisphere. The first noon is on the last day of one calendar year and the second noon is on the first day (Nowruz) of the next year.” (yeah…I definitely don’t understand that…)

Happy Persian New Year!! Let’s make 1391/2012 a good one!