Tag Archives: flowers

Valentine’s Day + Cupid’s Chase 5k

Good morning!  I can’t believe how fast the weekend is going.  Time flies when you’re having fun, I guess!

Friday evening started with a nice big glass bottle of wine.  This was the first time I tried this Mountain Merlot (I am totally guilty of buying based solely on the bottle design and name) and it was delicious.  Even though I only had a 4 day work week, it seemed like the longest week ever.


As evidenced by the fact that I tried my hardest to “uncork” this screw-off wine top.  (oopsie) But hey, I was on a mission – I was getting in there one way or another.


I’m not usually one to brag, but I feel like I would be doing the flowers an injustice if I didn’t show the beautiful Valentine’s Day bouquet Kris sent me at work on Friday.  It was a very unique mix of flowers and I really liked the arrangement (communityflower.com coming through clutch).  I used to get really embarrassed about the attention that usually comes with receiving flowers at work, but I seem to have gotten over it real fast. 🙂


Saturday morning we bundled up and headed into downtown Pittsburgh to run the Cupid’s Chase 5k (check that one off the races to complete in 2015 checklist).  I actually didn’t even check the temperature but I would guess it was in the low 20’s (the warmest it will be here for a couple days) and it was snowing.  To be honest it was a little dangerous… the snow was coming down and the trail was covered so it was a little slick in some places.  But we finished in around 31 minutes and we didn’t even stop to walk once (our best yet)!


For dinner we decided to try a new-to-us Italian restaurant Sarafino’s.  The restaurant isn’t very big, but we arrived just in time to get a table for two.  The atmosphere was very warm and inviting and it was the first time either of us have gone to a restaurant that is BYOB.  We brought a bottle of pinot noir and started with some warm bread with dipping oil and the goat cheese bruschetta appetizer:


For my main course I got the “Pasquale’s” – a yummy mix of penne pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, mushrooms, feta cheese, and spinach. (Kris got the “Sarafino’s” and it was delicious as well).


If you’re looking for a small Italian restaurant that is off the beaten path, I would highly recommend it!

On the agenda today – probably a lot of hibernating and chocolate chip cookies.  It is cold out!!


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A Buffalo Weekend + A Successful Shopping Trip

Is it really Sunday evening already? This weekend flew by way too fast, like usual.  It was a great one though!

Friday after work I hit the road for a 3.5 hr road trip to Buffalo.  Friday night we munched on some pizza and hung out with Kris’ parents for a little before I passed out.  Getting up at 5am to pack and workout will do that to a girl.

Saturday morning we woke up, had some a healthy dose of coffeeand made the most delicious egg sandwiches.  I didn’t get a picture, but we put 1 fried egg, 1 sausage patty, and 1 slice of swiss cheese (the secret ingredient) on an English muffin.  So yummy.  The swiss was a delicious change for us, and I totally bought some when I stopped at the store today.

After the egg sandwiches we laced up our running shoes and went for a nice little run – off the grid style:



It was only about 20 degrees but it didn’t feel too bad out!  It was so peaceful running off the beaten path, plus there is that nice little sign telling you when you’ve reached “The End”.  What’s not to love?

After the run we got ready and headed out to the Hamburg Brewing Company for a few beers and appetizers.  Wow, the beer and the food was excellent and the atmosphere is so cozy.  We will definitely be going back.


Today we lounged around and worked on a crossword puzzle (I forgot how fun those are), then I hit the road a little early to beat this massive snow storm that is supposedly on the way.  Before I came home though I stopped at the grocery store for some food for the week.  I was a little worried because I walked into the  store sans list (usually a recipe for disaster).  But I only spent $50 on food for the week!  And I was super excited to find some fruits that I didn’t expect for a few more months..

Kiwis! The cute name and kiwi guy on the front had nothing a lot to do with the purchase of way too many kiwis….


Can you really put a price on that much potassium though?? They also had mangos! I love mangos, I hope this one is a little better than the ones I got at the end of the summer season


Other great finds included some peppermint herbal tea – my mom has made herbal mint tea after dinner the past couple times I’ve seen her and it’s so relaxing and warm and delicious.


The best chopped kale EVER – this stuff is chopped so fine and it’s my favorite for salads and smoothies:


About Time protein sample packs – (birthday cake & vanilla) lots of people seem to have great things to say about this brand.  I don’t get too into protein supplements, but I figured a one serving packet is good to have on hand for post-run smoothies or recipes that call for protein powder. (This is also a great way to see if you like it before you buy the big boy).


So I’d say it was a successful trip!  Also, I came home to both of my orchids in bloom, and Ollie’s bubble nest is growing rapidly!



Now to do some weekly food prep and prepare for try to stay awake for my favorite Sunday night shows… Girls and Shameless!

Quick Stir Fry Linguine

This evening when I got home from work I was starving and feeling like I didn’t want a big project for dinner.  So I ate a chocolate chip cookie for my sanity (obviously).  And then I got to brainstorming (while eating some hot pickles).


I wandered around my kitchen, seriously considered eating the cardboard dipped in BBQ again, watered my flowers, then perused my pantry where I found a box of linguine.  That’s when it all started to come together.


Looking good, huh? I know crazy cat ladies are a thing, but is there such thing as a crazy plant lady?

Anyway, I started boiling some pasta and then realized I had the ingredients to make a super quick shrimp and broccoli stir fry.  A recipe was born.

Quick Stir Fry Linguine


– 1/8 box linguine boiled following directions on box

– shrimp (or other protein of choice)

– broccoli

– crushed red pepper

– garlic salt

– sesame oil

– soy sauce

– sweet chile sauce

– sriracha sauce



Unfortunately, I didn’t measure anything out, so if you’re unsure error on the side of caution.  You can always add more!

Prepare the pasta following the directions on the box, and mix with a drizzle of olive oil to keep from getting sticky.  Set aside.

Heat up a quarter size amount of sesame oil in pan, then add the shrimp (precooked and tails removed) and brown on each side.


Add the broccoli along with a drizzle of soy sauce and a light dusting of garlic salt and crushed red pepper.  (Add a little olive oil if you need more oil in your pan). If you want to kick it up a notch add a light drizzle of the sriracha sauce.

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Remove the shrimp and put them in with the pasta when they are done, otherwise they will get tough.  Cover the pan with the remaining broccoli and check frequently until cooked to your liking.

Mix it all together, and top it with Sweet Chile sauce!


Enjoy! 🙂

Welcome, 2015! The Year of the Green Thumb?

I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t exactly start 2015 off with a bang.  I actually learned a very sad and valuable lesson… I can’t handle more than about 2 drinks.  I planned to make my pork and sauerkraut, get my life organized, and start off on the right foot on January 1st!  How wrong I was. We stayed in and had a few friends over for New Years Eve.  It was nice and low key and I had about 4 drinks, nothing wild and crazy, but apparently I am getting old because I had the worst hangover of my life.  We’re talking 2 days, barely getting down water, borderline deathbed.  And I had to work on Friday.  Yikes.  I’m not proud, it was miserable.  But on the bright side, hopefully I can really only go up from here?  So here are some random happenings from the past couple days:

This morning we celebrated my coming back from the dead with a delicious breakfast of dippy eggs, blueberry English muffins, turkey bacon, and grapefruit. mmmmm.


Last night, to cheer me up,  Kris was nice enough to let me pick out a Beta fish and buy it for him. (There’s something wrong with this picture).  We think his name is going to be Ollie Walter Williams (because those are the 3 names we keep calling him).  So far he’s doing great, and B thinks his food smells deliciosa!


On another note, I think today might be the day that my orchids start to bloom!!



They are really happy on the windowsill and bloom about twice a year.  One of these days I’m going to commit to taking a photo series that I can turn into a flip book to watch them bloom.  I love plants, and I have a small assortment of orchids.  Did you know they can take around 7 years to bloom from the time they are planted??  Crazy, right.  I don’t nurse them from little baby orchids, I don’t have the patience or the skill set (yet), but I am still waiting on a few young’nz to show their first blossoms:


They share some shelf space with this little aloe plant that Kris harvested as a tiny baby:


(yes, I keep it in a yogurt container… it looks kind of ridiculous, but it works great!)

I think this year we may attempt a small flower and vegetable garden.  However, Kris always jokes that if a plant is not within a 3 foot radius of the sink it is doomed.  Case and point, this poor little poinsettia I am trying to nurse back to life after I forgot about it…


I know, it’s embarrassing.  But if you look closely you can see little green buds coming back!! I have made it my mission to nurse it back to health for next year.

I am also working on a list of races to run this year that I will be sure to share! I hope your 2015 is off to a much better start than mine!