Monthly Archives: October 2012

First Foodie Penpal (October 2012)

Hi guys! I know, it’s been a week since my last post here on my blog. It’s been a busy birthday week for me! I made the most of my remaining few days in my 20s. Yes, I indulged for a week! It was good! 🙂 I’d like to create a separate post regarding my thoughts on this brand new decade of my life. Stay tuned for that!For now, it’s about this exciting program called Foodie Penpals (#foodiepenpals). This activity is hosted by Lindsay of The Lean Green Bean. Head over to this link to know more details about the program.  On the last day of the month, we ALL share the goodies we got from our penpals!

Here I go with mine!

I am so excited to reveal my 1st Foodie Pen Pal Package.

The package looks beat up but the goodies inside survived! 🙂 My box came from Heather of MUSINGS OF A GIRL blog.

She sent me great goodies from her home state of Louisiana!
I love my first box. It made me reminisce my trip to New Orleans back in 2010.  I had a great time exploring the city with my family. It was such a great time with them. Here are some of the pictures I looked at once again after I opened my box.
  • Memories of New Orleans, LA:
A picture with my mom. It was Mardi Gras season when we came to visit.
Me in downtown New Orleans, walking to Bourbon Street.
The famous Bourbon Street. 🙂
There’s no denying my husband had fun (hmm). LOL!
…and pictures from Bourbon Street will end here. :PIts nice to look at our pictures once again from that day. It made me miss my family so much – my Mom, my Dad, little bro, and sister. They all live in the Philippines but they come to visit U.S. when they get a chance. Their next visit will be on Christmas! Fast forward to December please, I can’t wait to see my family again.

Going back to my box, Heather included a sweet letter for me explaining my goodies. 🙂

The first thing that caught my eye was the Beignet Mix.
I remember going to this coffee place in New Orleans called Cafe Du Monde.  I love the ambiance of that place. This is where I tasted their famous beignet.This is me, my husband, and my little brother at Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans.

My brother doesn’t look this young anymore, sigh. He’s all grown up.Beignet is the French term for a pastry made from deep-fried light dough. They serve it  with powdered sugar on top. For me, they taste like sweet doughnuts. It’s so good especially with coffee! 🙂

Thank you Heather for the Community Coffee. It’s indeed a good combination with the beignet.

Here’s my husband after he made beignet out of the mix, -with his souvenir hat he got from Cafe Du Monde. LOL! 🙂

Heather also gave me these very “Louisiana” chips. 🙂
Don’t they look interesting?!It was only in New Orleans where I saw shops full of all sorts of Voodoo dolls. When I saw those dolls, I remember saying this to myself – “Don’t mess with New Orleans (pronounced as: noo aw-leens). They know Black Magic!”

I started munching on the voodoo chips as I made draft for this post.

This stuff is good!!! It’s so addicting. I had to remind myself to stop and save some for my husband. I could finish it in one sitting. 🙂 LOL.When my husband got home, he finished it to the very last bit of crumbs! It was yummy!

I was curious about this can of pure cane syrup. Sugar cane is usually a refreshing juice drink in the Philippines. They extract the juice from sugarcane plant with a pressure roller machine. That’s how they would normally do it there. I wondered how this syrup will taste like.
I had it one morning for breakfast. 🙂 I usually eat oatmeal for breakfast so I tried the syrup with it.
Half cup oatmeal
Dash of cinnamon powder
Topped with Sliced Peaches
A teaspoon of almond butter
Sprinkled with chopped almonds
& Steen’s Pure Cane Syrup
Heather recommends it for pancakes and waffles. So, the morning before yoga class, I drizzled it over my pancakes.
That syrup was good! 🙂 Now, I am on the hunt for this!Where else can I find this?

I started munching on the other bag of chips while I take a break from studying. So good! I had to remind myself again to leave some for the hubby. I’m a good wife, really! 🙂

Heather indicated on her letter that Tony’s is a staple in most househould in Louisiana.
Creole seasoning is used to boost flavor in any dish. I tried it one night with our dinner. Yummy!
Steamed tilapia fillet
seasoned with Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
garnished with chopped fresh strawberries,
poblano pepper, cilantro & cumin seedsI tried the sandwich sauce last Monday with my Veggie burger. That sauce is sooo good! 🙂 It’s a little spicy which is good! I like spicy!

Thank you once again Heather for making my first month in this activity so fun and exciting!
I love everything you sent me! And because of that I signed up for next month’s foodie penpals! :)I hope you guys will consider joining us too. Receiving a box of goodies feels like Christmas morning every month! 🙂

Oh! Please head over to Lauren’s blog (www.parttimehousewife.com), my foodie penpal for this month to check out what I sent her!

That’s it!

Happy Halloween! Happy trick or treating!

I had fun last night giving out candies to the kids in their costumes despite the freezing weather.

Awwwh… aren’t they sooo cute! 🙂
 It’s freezing cold here in Ohio. It snowed here yesterday for the first time this season!
*** My thoughts and prayers for all those who have been involved with Hurricane Sandy. Be safe everyone and always be thankful for all blessings.***Have a great week ahead!

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Thankful for October

Oh I love this month of October! I cannot believe two weeks have already gone by. Some months may have been better for others but I have to say, October is definitely treating me fabulously well. So far, so good! 🙂

Here’s a list why I am loving this month of October.

1.) Grill Upgrade!

My husband loves to grill! He’s from Texas and he loves meat! We used to have this small charcoal grill from Wal-Mart but he got tired of how slow the charcoal would heat up and how much time it takes to cook food.

Then we bought a small gas grill.

The small gas grill was fine for the two of us but it’s difficult when we have guests and family coming over our place. Trying to squeeze chicken breasts, corn on the cob and veggies onto a small grill at the same time was impossible. Since we are just renting our place for now, we never really thought of getting those big grillers. We try to control ourselves from buying stuff for the house because we know we are still moving out. Then one day, we thought, whatever, we’ll just have to deal with that when the day comes. Plus his Texan friends were already making fun of him when he posted that pic above on facebook. LOL

We finally thought about getting a big grill!

Hello, beautiful!

So excited to have the new “real” grill! LOL! I am excited to no longer be boiling hot dogs and baking chicken all the time! 🙂 And I’m so happy that it’s not just me who’s cooking in this house. When this new grill came, my husband was the one who prepared and cooked dinner for the past week while I stay inside and wait. Two thumbs up for that! LOL! To all wives out there – *hint *hint! This is an effective way to put your husbands in charge of the cooking (*evil laugh*).

He loves his new grill so much! We invited our friends to come over for dinner to break it in. It was so convenient. I am so amazed how all the meats & veggies cooked together quickly. It was fun!

2.) Our First Cook Books!

I have never really bought cook books in my life. I have some cook books that were gifts that I have never really read properly or tried out any of the recipes. This is actually the first time my husband and I bought cook books for ourselves. Since he’s raving about his new grill, he searched for good grill cook books online (amazon.com). He also got me one of those slow cooker cook books. Wait, why did he buy me that? I thought with the new grill, I’d be able to skip cooking, I guess not. Lol.

3.) REI Store! YAY!

My husband and I love REI Store!

REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) is a national retailer that sells outdoor gear and clothing. It is where we usually get our snowboarding gears and other outdoor stuff. We used to shop and order through their website (www.rei.com) and I’m so excited that they just recently opened a new branch here in Cincinnati (Rookwood Commons). For me, this is the best outdoor store anywhere!

So last weekend, we went to visit the new store.

My goodies from the store. 🙂 More workout clothes from Brooks Running!

I’ve always been curious to know how it feels like running with this.

4.) We Are Snowboard Season Ready!

Yes, we are! 🙂 I know a lot of you are dreading the cold weather, but we can’t wait to hit the slopes this year! I am also excited because my family from the Philippines are coming over to spend Christmas with us. Relatives and cousins from Canada are coming over too. It will be fun! My younger sister and brother from the Philippines would like to try snowboarding. So, in preparation for their arrival, my husband bought a roof rack for our snowboards. He ordered them at REI.com and bought some parts at the store last weekend.

He was so excited about it. I woke up one morning and was surprise to find him busy fixing it.

He woke up so early just to install the roof rack onto his car.

And the final product!

5.) New Running Shoes 🙂

I don’t know when to really replace running shoes but I’m already feeling discomfort with my old one. My husband thinks his running shoes are not the best kind for him. He’s been dealing with ankle pains with his shoes. They say your running shoes lose shock absorption, cushioning and stability over time which causes pain and injuries. So, with all the pain and discomfort we’re feeling, we finally decided to get new pairs of running shoes.

My husband went from Brooks Adrenaline GTS12 to Newtons Sir Isaac

He’s been running with midfoot strike so his transition to Newtons was good.

I, on the other hand, who’s still heel striking but would like to transition to a midfoot runner. I went from Brooks Pure Cadence (which I really really love) to Newtons Lady Isaac S.

I did a 3-mile test run on this shoe, it didn’t feel right on my feet. It felt a little bulky for me. I went back to the store to return the shoes and they recommended the Newtons Distance U for me instead.

This definitely feels a lot better than the Isaac. It is close to the feel of my PureCadence. It’s very light and very comfortable. I did a test run yesterday and I felt my calves get a little sore as well as my shins. They said this is common when you are transitioning to this kind of shoes since a midfoot strike engages the calf muscles. It would take time for me to learn the proper running form but I know it’s going to be worth it. Learning the proper way to run prevents me from injuries and knee pains. I’d probably still wear my old running shoes for my next half marathon race (Indianapolis Monumental Marathon) which is already in two weeks. After that, I will concentrate more with these shoes and my running form.

By the way, I’m still a Brooks fan. I still love Brooks Running. It’s my first love. 🙂

6.) Someone’s Getting A Year Older In a Few Weeks

That’s me!

I’ll be turning the big 3-0 on the 26th. It’s the end of my 20s! I’m not quite sure how I feel about that.

I still get mistaken for being in my teens or early 20s, so I’ve never really felt my age. Just last weekend, after we visited REI store, my husband and I ate dinner at a restaurant. I ordered a mojito and the server asked for my ID. When I handed him my drivers license, he gave me this weird -“really-you’re-29”-look. It’s flattering but sometimes a bit embarrasing.

But, I’m kind of excited for my birthday. I get a lot of freebies from restaurants and stores. I get free meals in Red Lobster, ice cream in Cold Stone, burger from Arby’s, coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks… etc. 🙂 One of my favorites are the ones I get from Sephora.

Every year, they never fail to give me awesome birthday gifts. 🙂 I always look forward to getting their card in the mail. I can’t wait to claim this at the store.

It’s been amazing to look back and remember the days when I was still in my early 20s- the love, laughter, sadness, and life it gave me.  I had a wonderful and beautiful 20s. It was the years that I really ventured out and made decisions for myself. And now, I’m given another year of life to live. I’m grateful for another birthday.  I have sooo many things to be thankful for, I don’t even know where to begin.

I am thankful for nine years of friendship and three of those being married to the best man on this earth. I love this man!

I am thankful for my family, who have always been there for me.
I am thankful for good health.

I’m thankful for three awesome years of living here in the US. It sure was difficult to adjust with the culture difference but it was one exciting adventure!

Thankful for awesome neighbors, my husband’s friends from work, my friends from the Philippines, and my new friends here in the U.S. We have so many!

Thankful for nature! I am so refreshed and revived when I get into God’s creation during my trail runs.

Thankful for simple pleasures like food, water, …coffee. It’s the simple things in life and sometimes I forget that.

So long for now 20s. Thanks for all the memories! Here’s to my 30s and many more years to come, God willing. Cheers!

Inspired to Run

Last week, my husband and I watched a documentary film on Netflix called Running the Sahara. Its about three athletes who ran 50 miles a day for 111 days! It’s a great film and very inspiring. They travelled through 6 countries, 4,300+ miles (6,920 kilometers) by foot. To have the physical and mental capacity to do that, is really amazing!

Here’s the movie trailer.

 

We got so inspired by the film. So, over the weekend, my husband and I got up early and started our day with our morning run at the trail. No, we are not planning on running 50 miles everyday for 100 days! LOL! We’ll leave that to those three great athletes. 🙂

We ran 14 miles, our longest run so far! All of my runs have been below or at 13 miles from my half marathon races. I’d never really thought of increasing my mileage, until that day. From then on, I am convinced just how much power your brain can do when it comes to running. And we plan on slowly increasing our mileage every week, and hopefully soon, we’ll be ready to train for a full marathon.

It was so gorgeous that morning! The cool weather (40-50s degrees F) and the views of different colors of trees made our run very enjoyable. I love it! I love Fall Season!

They say, “running is 90% mental, and the rest is physical.” It’s true! It is a mental game. It’s the mental aspect that makes running so tough.

If your mind is not into it, chances are you’re not going to have a great run and you’re probably not going to get very far either.

Let see how this goes for me. I hope that as I go through my training, I can develop some sort of strategies to be strong mentally.

How about you? Do you believe that “mind over matter” is always true? What mental strategies do you use to help yourself through a tough run or a race? 

Ja @Ja on the RUN

October 7, 2012

Big SHOUT OUT to all the runners who are heading to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon today! So jealous!  I heard so many great things about this race. You guys are in for a real treat! Goodluck!!!

During the Flying PIg Marathon Expo last May, my husband and I got fliers of the races we like and one of them was the Chicago Marathon. We were contemplating on signing up for this race since it’s one those cities close to us. This is one of those out-of-state big races that we are strongly considering on signing up in the future. DEFINITELY! …and we will make sure not to miss this next time! 🙂

I can’t wait to see pictures of this event! 🙂 If you’re running this race, please share your photos and stories to us.

Safe travels to everyone who are heading to the event! Happy racing! 🙂