Sunday, January 30, 2011

Anne, with an E

There are many reasons why I love Anne of Green Gables but the two main reasons are probably the fact that she spells it Anne, with an e.  My middle name is Anne, with an e.  Yes I am Emily Anne and yes I get called Emily Anne and Emily Annie.  Funny thing is though the Anne is after my grandma.  Her middle name was also Ann but no e.  My mom was so convinced that of course my grandma would spell it with an e that she didn't check.  And thank goodness for that because I am convinced, like Anne, that it is so much more romantic spelled with an e.  The second reason is a little more obvious and that is we both have red hair.  But unlike Anne, I have always liked the color of my hair.  Probably the other reason I was such a fan of Anne was Gilbert.  Sigh, Gilbert.  My first book boyfriend.  In college, my roommate and I divvied up our book boyfriends and I'm pretty sure I ended up with Gilbert and she ended up with Mr. Knightley (of Emma) or was it Mr. Darcy?  I still would marry Gilbert if I could! :)

Why all the reminiscing?  Last night I went with Jessica & Nilufer to see Anne of Green Gables, the Musical.  The Musical?  Yes, they turned it into a musical.  We actually started off going to see the Harry Potter exhibit at the Pacific Science Center before trekking up to Everett.  We had dinner at The Magestic Cafe where I had Shepard's Pie (although the dish of the night was the Portobello Mushroom Lasagna, which both Nilufer and Jessica  had).  And then it was off to see the musical.  It was super cute.  The girl who played Anne did a really good job.  And now I really want to watch the movie again!  Time to dig it out...

Snobby Joes in the House

I'm usually on the lookout for a good recipe, especially since I came up with the goal of cooking once a month as part of my 33 Things list.  I first saw this recipe at Travel Eat Repeat and was intrigued and put it in my memory bank.  And as usual lately, I realized it was quickly coming up upon the end of the month so time to try another recipe.  I remembered this had caught my eye and did some searching to find an "actual" recipe.  Plus I just like the name Snobby Joes.  The lentils and I had a little bit of trouble coming to an understanding, but once I finally moved the pot to the bigger burner, we seemed to do much, much better.  And the result was delicious!!  This is one recipe I will make again (and again).    Only 3 more recipes to try!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Walk, walk, walk

It's now been 2 months since I hurt my knee and I'm finally feeling okay enough to start back into a more regular exercise program. 

Yesterday I went to the gym for the first time since before I went to Italy.  Hello Gym, we haven't spoken in awhile.  I don't know if you remember me or not.  I walked in and started on the stationary bike.  And that was when the voices in my head started talking.  Are they (the other people in the gym) wondering why I'm not going very fast?  Or very long?  I wish I had a big sign on my shirt that said I'm recovering from an injury.  When in truth, I'll bet they could have cared less what I was doing.  But those voices can be hard to shut up.

I finished up 15 minutes on the bike and moved to the treadmill.  My old friend.  I started off at a not super fast, but not slow pace and a tiny incline.  I did take a moment to realize I did come a long way last year in my running journey.  But then the voices started in again - you aren't even sweating.  You aren't working that hard.  So I ratcheted the speed up a little.  Not too long after that I started feeling some pain in my knee.  Was it from months of no activity, or was it something else?  I sided with months of no activity at first, but then it became clear it was that I was walking too fast.  Really, too fast?  Dear Emily, you need to take baby steps.  You'll get back to full strength.  But right now, baby steps.  Love, Your Knee  So the pace came down as did the incline.  But I finished a mile (pushing the voices to the side).

Back a long time ago, when I was still living in Houston and just starting to walk 5Ks, I did not belong to a gym.  I can't remember if my company had one or not at the time (they did, then it closed for awhile and if it reopened I probably didn't go sign up for it - it's all a bit hazy) and I'm thinking my apartment complex had a super ghetto gym.  In any case, no gym!  So what was a girl to do?  Especially a girl who was super out of shape, but wanted to start training to walk a 10K?  That was when I discovered Leslie Sansone and her Walk at Home program.  Walking in the comfort of your own home.  With no one looking at you.  For whatever reason Leslie popped back into my head the other day as a way for me to start walking again!  I looked for my DVD but could not find it anywhere.  So tonight on my way home, I stopped off at Target and bought her latest version.  Which meant tonight I could walk a mile in my own home and yes, I walked 1 mile.  (Alas, I figured out after I got home that she is on Comcast On Demand, but at least now I have my own copy.)

So for those counting at home, that is a mile a day for the past 2 days.  Not much of a start, but sometimes it is taking that first step.

Apparently since surgery is still on the table it is weighing on my mind as last night I dreamed I did have the surgery, with George Clooney as my doctor.  Oh yeah! :)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lazy Sunday

Isn't it funny?  I caught What A Girl Wants on TV and even though I've watched this movie numerous times and own it even, I still watched it on regular TV, commercials and all.  What can I say?  I'm a sucker for all things British, Colin Firth, and cute stories. 

You know, when my church first started having Saturday night services I wasn't too sure.  But when it means I can sleep in on Sunday?  Maybe this isn't such a bad thing.  Except you know that it points out my lack of social life on Saturday night! :)  So anyway, I slept in today, which I rarely do. 

What else did I do on my lazy Sunday?  I did get an oil change.  But after that, I (finally) finished up the Rome portion of my Italy trip, caught up on Castle, backed up some of my pictures and started looking for a recipe for January.  All from the comfort of my chair, with my knee up on a pillow and an ice pack.

I'm not sure where January went, but here we are near the end and I haven't made a recipe for January.  This was definitely a "stretch" goal on my 33 Things list as Emily and kitchen do not necessarily go together.  I've been scouring different websites to see what exciting recipes are out there.  There are a lot out there.  Maybe something with squash or quinoa or eggplant?  I still have a few more days before picking the perfect January recipe to get me one step closer to fulfilling #1 on my 33 Things list.

Anyone got a favorite (but easy) recipe for me to make?

Yummy in my tummy

I think I talked a lot about food in my reminiscing about my Italy vacation.  So I thought I would post a mosaic of some of my favorite dishes.  Anyone else hungry now?

When the Moon Hits Your Eye

Remember that time I went to Italy? It does seem like such a long time ago! But finally I am getting back to writing about the last leg of our trip, Rome. If you need to catch up, we first went to Venice which was quite wet and cold and then to Florence where I saw my statue boyfriend and fell off a cliff.

When we started looking for hotels in Rome, our first couple of choices were booked and we had to expand our search. We ended up at Albergo del Senato, which is literally right outside the Pantheon. As in, you step outside and there it is! Now that is location! We took a taxi from the train station to our hotel. I never know which drivers are more crazy - Roman or Parisian. We survived and checked into the hotel. And then stepped outside and there was the the Pantheon! We were starving by this time so we consulted Rick and found a little restaurant around the corner (Osteria da Mario). After lunch we went back and explored the Pantheon, and unfortunately the front half of the building was covered in scaffolding. But the inside was not under construction and it takes my breath away every time I step inside. With all that marvelling at the Pantheon, we were hungry. What better afternoon snack than gelato! It was probably the most expensive gelato we ate, as we ate it at a cafe facing the Pantheon. It was freezing! But there was a heated lamp to help warm us up. Gelato flavors: white chocolate, tiramisu

The Pantheon is really an ideal location. After we finished up our gelato we strolled over to the Trevi Fountain to throw our coins in the fountain, which according to legend will ensure our return to Rome. I think I've thrown a coin in the Trevi every time I've been to Rome and I've continued to come back so of course I was throwing another coin in! There was a ton of people at the fountain so we had to scooch our way into a spot up front to throw our coin in. We continued our stroll over to the Spanish Steps. If half of Rome was at the Trevi Fountain, the other half was at the Spanish Steps. Another set of stairs to climb? You know it. I didn't write down how many steps, but I think it was around 130 some odd steps. We retraced our steps back to the Pantheon and had dinner at another Rick recommendation, Le Coppelle Taverna. I had Pizza Fungi. Gasp! Once again I pass up Pizza Margherita? I really grew on this trip! We were eyeing their tiramisu all night but when we asked for it we were told they had no more. Oh well. They did have really good cappuccino though. And it had a flower in it. And no tiramisu just meant we had to get gelato! Gelato flavors: pistachio, strawberry, Bailey's (the Bailey's was extremely strong)

Today was ancient Rome day. Breakfast was at the hotel. They had stewed apples. I can't tell you the last time I had stewed apples but they were good! We started off towards the Colosseum, but the closer we got to the Victor Emmanuel monument we realized something was going on as there were tons of police around. It was some sort of demonstration. For the most part people were sitting in the streets, it didn't seem too organized. I am thinking this is why Victor Emmanuel was closed. But it did mean the street leading up to the Colosseum was basically closed to traffic so we were able to walk down the middle of the street! We got in line and 40 minutes later we were inside the Colosseum, imagining gladiators and the like fighting on the stage below. From there we walked over to the Forum, which has changed from the last time I was there. The entrance moved, the exit moved. But the ruins were the same. Inside the Senate House was an exhibit of Terracotta warriors. I've now seen Terracotta warriors in Epcot, in a mall in Krakow and now in the Forum in Rome.

After our fill of ancient Rome, we took the metro back over to the Trevi Fountain to see it in the daytime. It was still super crowded. We were starving by this time so grabbed a quick bite in a pizza place not far from the Trevi Fountain before retracing our steps from the night before and walking over to the Spanish Steps. We missed daylight, but caught the Steps as the daylight was fading. We did some glove shopping before heading back to the hotel. We had decided to have a "fancy" night out and tonight was it. We dressed up and walked to the restaurant near our hotel. I had gnocchi, which was okay. After dinner we strolled over to what had become our favorite gelato place for dessert. Gelato flavors: hazelnut, pistachio, walnut I was obviously feeling a bit nutty! :)

Our last day! It was free day at the Vatican Museums, so we walked over. I tell you, while I normally stay near the Colosseum, and I love that location, you can't beat the Pantheon location. It is basically in the middle of everything. We got in line for the Vatican Museum and I had never seen it that long! It was almost to St. Peter's! We waited for awhile but when the line didn't appear to be moving, we jumped out of line and joined a tour to make sure we got in. I wasn't sure about the tour guide at first, but on the tour she was fine. We walked through the museums and ended in the Sistine Chapel. Which was amazing!! But the secret exit to St. Peter's was closed. So we walked back through the museum and back towards St. Peters. We stopped at a little cafe for a late lunch. On the tour we had met Tessie from Colorado. She was on her own and so she joined our group for the afternoon.

It was another horrific line to get into St. Peter's. It was raining by now and so waiting in line was a bit miserable. Finally we got into St. Peter's and went to get in line to climb up to the top of the dome. We took the elevator up to the base of the dome before continuing to climb the 323 steps to the top. I never think the climb up to the top of St. Peter's is bad. Maybe it's because it is usually crowded so no one can go very fast? Who knows? We made it to the top where it was rainy and windy. We made our way back down and into St. Peter's where Mass was just starting. It was nice standing and listening to the first little bit. After that we walked over to Castel Sant'Angelo. And then it was time to say goodbye to Tessie as we parted ways. We walked back through Campo di Fiori and Piazza Navona, which had a mini carnival. It was pouring so we ended up at Le Coppelle Taverna again. And this time I had the pizza margherita! And they had a piece of tiramisu left so we split it. And since it was our last night, we had to stop by our favorite gelato place as well. Gelato flavors: walnut, hazelnut

We waded through the puddles back to the hotel and began the packing process. Ugh. So little space, and so much stuff.

One last breakfast, one last cappuccino with a heart on it. And then it was time to leave. We took a taxi over to the train station and said goodbye. Jessica & I left to go to the airport and Nilufer took a train to Naples to continue her vacation.

And that's that! Arrivederchi!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Winter Colors Week: Silver & Gold

We've come to the end of Winter Colors Week, hosted by Poppytalk.  But before we go, it's time for Silver & Gold Day!  Am I the only one who thinks of the narrator in Rudolph anytime I say Silver & Gold?  I think it was Rudolph...

Five Senses Friday

We interrupt Winter Colors Week for some Five Senses Friday!!

  • A big, ginormous moon

  • The soundtrack to Pocahontas (it was a toy store) and it made me want to go watch the movie!  Or at least dig out my copy of the soundtrack to finish listening.

  • Strawberries

  • I walked into a conference room and it smelled like pizza - turns out there were leftover pizza boxes still in there!

  • As if the torture rack wouldn't be a bad thing - I mean someone pulling on both your arms & feet, stretching you out doesn't sound like torture.  Of course I'd want them to stop and I guess that's where it would become torture.  But I feel compacted and a huge stretch would feel oh so good.

Want more five senses?  Check out Mandi's.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Winter Colors Week: Greens

It's not easy being green!  But check out all the greens as part of Poppytalk's Winter Colors Week.  And come back tomorrow for Silver and Gold.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Winter Colors Week: Blues

It's color week over at Poppytalk!  Come back tomorrow for It's Not Easy Being Green Thursday...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Winter Color Week: White

It's color week over at Poppytalk!  Tune in tomorrow for Blue, Blue, Blue, Wednesday!  I don't know if I should be happy or sad the snow pictures are all from a couple of years ago.  On the one hand, I'm glad we haven't had to deal with dire predictions of snow this year, but on the other, a snow day would have been nice! :)  I'm going to go with being glad we haven't had to deal with too much snow this year.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Winter Color Week: Red

Yay!!  I love Color Week!!  Poppytalk is hosting a Winter Color Week.

Jan. 17 - Monday – Reds (cerise, berry…)!
Jan. 18 – Tuesday – Whites (dove, whites, off whites, whatever shade of white you think)
Jan. 19 - Wednesday – Blues (Navy Blue, Turquoise…)
Jan. 20 – Thursday – Greens (Mint green, spruce…)
Jan. 21 – Friday – Silver and Gold!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Walking on Sunshine

Random thought for the day - the last couple times I've turned on the radio Walking on Sunshine has been playing (and on different stations even).  Not that I'm complaining - I like the song, it just seems weird that I've heard it three times in the past two days.

I have made it back to hot yoga!  I can't do all the postures, but it feels good to get back into a routine.  No dancer's pose, no fixed firm and I really shouldn't be doing camel, rabbit or half tortoise but I've been able to do plow and bridge as substitutes.  Next up, the treadmill & stationary bike.  My knee is still not happy, but I'm continuing with physical therapy for another two weeks and then we'll see.  With all the sitting at my desk the past few weeks, my progress has taken a step back or two which is why we're giving it another couple of weeks before deciding on whether or not to get an MRI.

I've seen several different people posting about 2011 races and it makes me realize this will be a different type of year.  I love the start of a race, all the excitement.  I love the feeling at the end of the race, knowing I finished.  I enjoy (and dread!) training for a race.  And right now, I'm in a different type of race.  That of rehabilitation.  A slow race.  One that is teaching me patience.  And reminding me it is okay to take it slow.  And to appreciate what I can do.  The reason I'm sidelined?  A silly fall on a hiking trail in Italy.  No glamorous injury.  Just a fall.

Speaking of things to do in 2011, I'm starting to think about where my big vacation will be this year.  I'm a planner.  On the one hand, Salzburg is calling my name.  The Sound of Music, a castle, and Mozart.  Hmm...  Or someplace else?  Sweden, Estonia or maybe Norway?  Then I could knock off another country.  Shockingly I have no Disney trips planned at the moment.  But I'm sure that will change! :)

Anyone else planning vacations for 2011?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Five Senses Friday

Well here we are again, with tomorrow turning into today.  I will be glad for this weekend and sleep, lots and lots of sleep.  I'm waiting for a report to run so let's get to this week's Five Senses!

  • Big, fat, fluffy snowflakes!!  It snowed and snowed and snowed and then it rained and the snow melted rather quickly.  And while it was pretty to watch the snow fall, I was very glad when it melted!!

  • What haven't I been tasting?  Currently on the snack table - chocolate, goldfish, teddy grahams, fruit snacks (both Tinkerbell & Toy Story 3).  Oh and almonds.  There were grapes earlier but we ate them.

  • Tired....but excited for the Seahawks game on Sunday!

  • Cinnamon gum - finally got gum to take away the urge to snack!

  • P!nk's "Raise Your Glass" - I don't really listen to the words all that much but the phrase that catches my attention (and who knows if it's even right, I may be making it up, I do tend to make up my own words to songs) is "Let's get dancy!"

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Death in a Cup

Oh coffee
Not only do you perk me up
But you warm my insides on a snowy wet day
Your delicious aroma wafts through the air
Tickling my nose
I wish I had a cup of you right now

Speaking of coffee, my boss's coffee order is somewhat involved.  I was picking up coffee the other morning and the barista looks at my boss's order and asks me "This isn't your drink is it?  It looks a little too intense for you."  After I tell her it isn't mine she comments that it should be called Death in a Cup.  Ha!  I don't know that it is that bad, but I love the phrase "Death in a Cup". 

I must be tired if I'm rambling on about coffee...

Friday, January 07, 2011

Five Senses Friday

So it's that time again, time to close out last year.  Which means I'll be seeing a lot of my desk!

  • Frost to start the week, but now rain, rain and more rain.  But I'm not complaining.  Rain is definitely better than frost & snow!
  • You'll get what you get and you won't throw a fit.  Yes, there is a story behind this, but I really can't remember it right now...but it has become somewhat of a catch phrase! 
  • Pizza
  • Fig Newtons and I'm hoping to get some goldfish and princess snacks later. 
  • Definitely on the tired side.  Plus I can't seem to shake this cold!
Want more Five Senses?  Check out Mandi's!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

DRUMROLL.............  I'm happy to announce comment #1, RR, is the proud owner of a new calendar!  Guess all those positive thoughts helped! :) 

Email me at with your address and I'll ship your calendar to you!!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011


Only one more day to enter my giveaway!  And just to whet your appetite a few sneak peaks at a couple of the pictures.  Everyone needs a calendar right? :)

Sunday, January 02, 2011

33 Things #2: Bellevue Botanical Gardens at Christmas

I never got around to seeing the Christmas Lights at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens last year, so I figured I might as well put it on my 33 Things list to encourage me to go this year.  December was winding down, and so I convinced Jessica & Nilufer to come with me.  Of course it felt like we chose to go on the coldest night of the year!!  My fingers were freezing!  Guess I need to invest in some good gloves.  But the lights were beautiful and worth the cold fingers & toes.  I'm a sucker for Christmas lights, or really most things Christmas.

P.S. Don't forget to check out my giveaway!