Friday, December 16, 2011


I forgot to add one of my favorite albums from 2011!

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - self titled

Their sound is awesome and cute. It almost seems as though this band is from a different time and place. Take a listen. You'll see what I mean.

And a few late entries...

The Black Keys - El Camino

Some have criticized them for selling out their sound. I don't understand it because they continue to sound pretty great. Sure, there's a song on here that's a combo rip off "Stairway to Heaven" and "Mary Jane's Last Dance". But, who cares.

The Roots - Undun

There are some real gems on this one. I love that there's a hip hop band out there. With a real drummer. Plus, it's pretty awesome what they pulled on M.Bachman on Jimmy Kimmel.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Favorite Albums of 2011

It's that time of year again! Time for the roundup of my favorite albums of the year. 2011 was an especially great year for music, especially women artists. Here's my list, in no particular order.

Wilco - The Whole Love

I was about to give up on this band. Their last few albums were so boring. This album reminded me why I loved them in the first place!

War On Drugs - Slave Ambient

A great record for a quiet Friday evening at home.

Tori Amos - Night of Hunters

I have loved Tori for so long. I don't care if she's not the most popular. She is a musical genius. Her albums of the last decade have been enjoyable, but there was usually only a song or two on each one I really loved. This album works the entire way through. I can't stop listening to it. Best when driving on a gray day.

Wild Flag - Wild Flag

These ladies rock. Enough said.

St. Vincent - Strange Mercy

Her guitar work cannot be denied. I think this album is alot more accessible than her last effort, Actor. A really great listen from beginning to end.

PJ Harvey - Let England Shake

I was against this album when I heard a sneak peak of it before it came out. Then I bought it and listened to it. One of her best. I don't know why I was so turned off by it at first. But, as I've learned throughout my life thus far, things I initially greatly dislike end up being my most favorites. (Twin Peaks, Tori Amos, Big Lebowski, etc).

Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes

Sensual and beautiful album. Her voice is captivating.

Black Lips - Arabia Mountain

The super fun party album of 2011. I dare you to listen to this and not dance around the room like a silly person.

Tom Waits - Bad as Me

Best album since Mule Variations. Some really great tunes from one of America's best song writers.

Running Apparel

So many of my friends have started running this year. I am so proud of them! Many of them have asked for running gear recommendations. I am of the opinion that, if you can put on a cute outfit, it makes getting out there on the sidewalks and roads easier. Here are some of my favorite cold weather options.

First up, Under Armour Frosty Tights. They are essential for cold weather running. I don't wear shorts over them, but some do. They were recommended to me by my sister years ago and I couldn't run without them!

UA EVO Hoody! I usually wear a long sleeve shirt or tank under this hoody. That's usually good even when it's cold. If it's really cold (below 30), I'll throw a fleece over it.

Newton Running Shoes. I love Newtons. They feel like the shoes I was always meant to have! But, they are not for everyone. I also love their funky colors.

Sweaty Bands. There are many retailers for these. They're ribbon with velvet backing, so you can wear a headband and it won't slip. If you have fine hair like me, these are a must! There are alot of sellers on etsy who also make and sell them.


Sorry I've been so MIA this year. I spent most of the summer training for a marathon, which I ran in the fall. So, now I'm back with more ramblings. More posts to come.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Marathon Training Progress Log

The Maryland 1/2 Marathon was such a success, I decided to train to run the Philadelphia Marathon in November. So far, it's pretty difficult running at least 15-18 miles every weekend, but I'm doing it! I'm still with the same awesome training group, and the people who run with me are the best motivation anyone could ask for.

This weekend, I run the Charm City Run 20 miler. I thought it would be good practice for the marathon. Hopefully I can keep up the motivation until November!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cupcakes - Two Little Red Hens

My friend and I went to NYC for the day to see the fabulous Alexander McQueen exhibit at the MET. We are both cupcake fans, so we tried out a new bakery, Two Little Red Hens. Their cupcakes were fabulous! Super moist cake, with just the right amount of frosting. The chocolate one was a bit overwhelming, but they were some of the best vanilla/vanilla I've ever had. I would highly recommend them!

Crabcake Wars

This summer, my husband and I have set out on a little journey of sorts for a really awesome crabcake. I read about the one at Koko's Pub, so we thought we would try it.

Turns out, this was the best crabcake I've ever eaten. It was almost a religious eating experience. Huge pieces of lump crab meat held together just enough with a fabulous tasting filler.

A friend recommended Pappas Crabcakes, so we visited there a few weeks ago. Their crabcakes were very good, but were not the awesome experience that Koko's was.

For our little experiment, Koko's wins, but Pappas is also a really fun place. If you're looking for the quintessential Baltimore crabcake, either of these places will satisfy.

Monday, June 27, 2011


I think it's great that no one really smokes anymore, and while this was a really great moment at U2 in Baltimore, sometimes, I miss the olden days of holding up lighters.

Burgers I've Eaten - Part 16 - Alewife

Alewife was recently awarded the best burger in Baltimore. When reading reviews, there was some chatter online comparing their burger to that at Hamilton Tavern. Since Hamilton Tavern is my current favorite burger, I was excited to see how Alewife's stacked up to the competition! The answer is....good, but not as good as Hamilton Tavern.

Alewife really piles on the goodies on their smokehouse burger. Bacon, chipotle mayo, lettuce, tomato, gruyere cheese. The beef they use is reportedly from Roseda Farms, and good beef like that doesn't really need dressing up. I actually took most of the bacon off the burger and ate it separately. The bacon itself was very good.

There is something intimidating about getting a burger with a huge steak knife stuck into it. This was a serious burger! I did manage to finish it, but couldn't look at the guy at the bar next to me 10 minutes later when he started eating the same thing. It was alot of food.

Overall, this burger is my #2. A very good burger, but my favorite is still Hamilton Tavern.

The accompanying duck fat fries were also good, but the ones at Victoria Gastropub are better.

Pretty view from the old bank window

Burger and Fries (and beer)

Burger closeup!

Burgers I've Eaten - Part 15 - Shake Shack

It's been a while since I've posted a new burger and I have two for you this week! The husband and I were off last week following our (not so great but we love them anyway) Orioles around the Mid Atlantic. Our first stop was Nationals Park, where they've just opened a Shake Shack. Word around the stadium was they're starting here, and then hopefully expanding to other locations in the District and beyond.

Most people will put these on par with Five Guys and In-N-Out Burger. So far, in this class, I thought these were the best. A perfectly cooked burger, with just the right amount of toppings, and an excellent, cheap bun. Sure, it's not fancy, but it's a perfect summer day burger!


Burgers and Fries

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Visualize Whirled Peas

Over the weekend, I visited my parents' house in the country and picked some peas from my Dad's garden! I decided to prepare them simply, by just boiling in water and then in a little butter with salt and pepper. Next time, I hope to have enough motivation for some risotto.

Freshly Shelled Peas and Stella. Not much better than that.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011


This weekend, I ran (and walked) my first 1/2 Marathon! There were MANY hills, especially at the end, so I did walk very briskly around mile 11 for a bit, but I did run for a good long while! It was challenging, but I finished! And, I raised over $2,500.00 for Marlene's Mission! I could not have done it without so much support from my husband, family, and friends!

Here's some photos of the medal and celebration cake from Sugarbakers.

Finishing medal:

Celebration flowers from my husband. Yellow cake with Raspberry filling and Amaretto buttercream. Best bakery cake ever.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

1/2 Marathon Training Progress Log!!!!

Well, it's been a long, but enjoyable winter! (When is the last time anyone has said that?) Tonight is the last track workout before the big race on Sunday. I have been dealing with some tendinitis in my ankle, but all looks to be well to run this weekend. I would like to thank everyone for all their support! I'll check back in next week for a full race report.

Friday, April 29, 2011

1/2 Marathon Progress Log!

This is a depressing progress log! I sprained my ankle in a 10K last week, so I've been forced to rest. BUT, I should be taking baby steps back to running this week, and it looks like I'll still be able to run the 1/2 marathon. I've been back in PT, and they're helpful.

I miss my running group though. I can run 2 miles tomorrow, and it will be good to see them.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mental Health Break

NYC Eats - The Spotted Pig

Our second stop of the day was the Spotted Pig. We got there at the totally senior citizen hour of 4:30 for drinks, and decided to eat an early supper when they started to serve their full menu at 5:30 (we had a show to get to, hence the early dining hour). My lovely cousin met us there to hang out with us, which was awesome.

I didn't take pictures of our drinks, but I loved them. My friend objected to putting bitters in a Tom Collins, so I got to finish hers. At 5:30, we were seated upstairs. I'm glad we went early because by 5:30, the wait for dinner was already one hour. Go here early, folks. This place is small and crowded.

We started with a plate of Gnudi, otherwise known as little pockets of cheese heaven. I could have had 3 plates of this for dinner and been satisfied. Amazing.

I went for the burger, which was supposed to be one of the best. It was definitely good, but super salty! Most of their food was salty, my friend couldn't even finish her pretty scallops. The fries were the real star on this plate, with awesome fried rosemary. Just perfect!!!!

Too Salty, but pretty scallops

Burger and Fries


NYC Eats - Katz's Deli

My friend and I ventured to New York City last weekend to attend the LAST LCD Soundsystem Show. It was wonderful, and we had a few eating adventures while we were there!

First up, Katz's Deli. Yes, it's pretty touristy there, but the pickles are good and the sandwiches are terrific. It's one of the best hot dogs I've ever eaten, and I was excited to go back.

There is usually a line to get in at lunch time, but it moves fast, as most people order from the counter.

Don't forget your ticket! Their seltzer is awesome, just don't call it sparkling water.

The menu

If you wait for table service, you not only get a seat right away, but you don't have to wait in an extra line for these terrific pickles.

My "light" lunch! Also my first ever bowl of matzo ball soup. Why have I never eaten this fantastic soup before?

10 Miles!

I hit the 10 mile mark this weekend on my long run! It was surprisingly not terrible, although I was pretty much finished at 10 miles. I have been chewing on these clifbar shot bloks as I run, and they've really helped keep up the energy. This week, our long run is supposed to be 12 miles, but I'm cheating a little and only running 6 because I have a 10K race on Saturday. I am determined to run this race without stopping this year! (There is an infamous insane hill at mile 4).

My IT bands are acting up again, but I'm stretching and getting through it, I think. I'm going to check out these fancy tights to see if they help at all. Someone in my running group has had success with them.

That's all for now! Only a few more weeks until the race!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

1/2 Marathon Training Progress Log - Week 7!

I just completed week 6 of my 1/2 marathon training and am full steam ahead into week 7! I think I'm finally used to getting up at 6:30am on Saturday mornings to run. This past Saturday, I completed 8 miles without stopping! From here on out, all distances will be the farthest I've ever run, so that feels like an accomplishment. 13.1 is feeling doable now!

I also had what will hopefully be my last PT appointment yesterday. The doc said everything with my IT band is looking good, just to keep stretching and icing after runs.

Thanks again for all the support!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

1/2 Marathon Training Progress Log #5

I am a few weeks into training now! I have discovered a few new running routes around local lakes, and it's finally beginning to warm up a bit here. Big thanks to Under Armour coldgear for getting me through the winter months! This week will be the farthest I've ever run, with a long run of 7 miles. I'll be a little over 1/2 way to 1/2 marathon distance! The people in my running group are great.

I am almost finished with physical therapy for my IT band. As long as I ice it for a little while after runs, it hasn't caused any pain, but it still feels tight. The foam roller is my new best friend.

That's about all for now! I'm glad these progress logs show actual progress!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Sprinkles Cupcakes (finally!)

You may remember a few years back when I posted about driving to Sprinkles in LA only to discover I left my wallet way back in my hotel room. The folks at sprinkles were nice enough to invite me to a free sneak peek of their new store in Georgetown. We were each allowed to pick 2 cupcakes from their Sunday menu. These are some of the best bakery cupcakes I've ever eaten. The girls down the street at Georgetown Cupcakes sure do have some competition now!

The vanilla/vanilla is fantastic, with just the right amount of sweetness. I think it is a hot milk cake.

The others were also great. The peanut butter chip was a little rich, but still very tasty. I liked that the cinnamon sugar didn't have icing, like my Nana's cinnamon cake.

Candace was there, but I didn't get to talk with her. Too many people in the bakery.

Here's some pics!


Cupcakes in boxes

Vanilla closeup and cut

Chocolate Marshmallow closeup and cut

Thursday, February 24, 2011

1/2 Marathon Training Progress Log

Well, the first week of official training was last week! We began with a 2 mile time trial at a local track on Tuesday and met on Saturday morning at 7:30am for our first long run. Things are going pretty well so far, and the people in the running group seem nice.

The great news of last week is that I've met my fund raising goal for Marlene's Mission! Once my cupcake bake sale total has posted, I will have raised over 2,000 so far! Even though I've made my goal, I am still accepting donations. Thanks to everyone who's contributed thus far!

Friday, February 04, 2011

1/2 Marathon Training Progress Log #4

Well, I am back to running longer distances! I am back to 4 miles, and am ready to start official training on the 15th! It looks like there are about 15 people in my group, and we're all at about the same level (running between 10-12 miles a week, and have finished a bunch of smaller road races). Thanks again to everyone who has donated to Marlene's Mission!

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Perfect Pancakes

I love a good, simple pancake.I always have a little trouble getting the temperature of the pan correct when I make pancakes. I haven't yet invested in an electric griddle. Last week, during a snowstorm, I managed to get pancakes right on the first try!

Perfect pancakes in pan!

Table setup!

Closeup with syrup!