Happy girls are the prettiest girls

10.30.2012

Happy 30th Birthday, Baby!

Happy 30th birthday to my beloved Billy! Happy golden birthday, at that!
Dear Billy, today you are 30! I know there were some phantom old age pains you experienced yesterday, and you truly think you are now old, but age is nothing but a number my love. You are still the most beautiful person I know, the most caring man, the gentlest soul, and the best comic relief I can ask for when I'm feeling down. 
Billy, you are my best friend. You make me laugh with your silly jokes and your own versions of popular songs that always turn out dirty. You also took it upon yourself to corrupt our nephew Tyler, who now says inappropriate things on demand. We still think it's funny, and so do his parents even if they don't want to admit it. 
I am so glad I found you and now get to spend the rest of my life with you! I can't wait to celebrate many more birthdays to come. Here's to 70+ more birthdays!
With all my love, laughs, and adoration,
Your Addy

10.26.2012

You're the beautiful one

Here's a little much needed perspective for your Friday! 

This weekend I have a wedding in Pebble Beach to work, Jell-o shots to make, Butterbeer and Despicable Me Minion cupcakes to bake and decorate, salon clients Saturday-Monday, special makeup and hair for friends Saturday afternoon before a fabulous Halloween party that evening and general good times to be had on schedule. I'll be a busy, happy girl this weekend! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend full of fun and festivities! I can't wait to post photos of my rad costume and the party!

10.24.2012

NWM12 race photos

I checked out my Nike Women's Marathon photos today and surprised that there was actually a few I liked! I certainly don't look amazing in all of them, but the few I screen shot below are decent, and I think I might order a few! Sorry for the blurry nature of most of them, the thumbnails on the website were tiny and I couldn't enlarge them before I copied them :(

If you run races, do you usually like your race photos? Do you buy them ever?

Tasty Tuesday {spinach and artichoke pasta}

It may be after 10pm, but I still have a shot at posting this Tasty Tuesday post on its intended day! As per usual, supporting my girl Cassie who started this tasty experiment. 

Today, I bring you a yummy Pioneer Woman recipe that I recently pinned, and had to try tonight. I may have dropped hot spinach and burned my toe, but I managed to finish the dish without further injury! Billy and I really liked it {he ate around the the artichokes, I ate everything}. Although, Billy hadn't had cheese or heavy cream in awhile, and got a colossal tummy ache from the lactose...beware those who are lactose intolerant.  

Spinach and Artichoke Pasta by the Pioneer Woman
Ingredients
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
  • 2 bags Baby Spinach
  • 2 cans Artichoke Hearts, Drained And Halved
  • 3 Tablespoons Flour
  • 3 cups Whole Milk
  • ¼ teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • ½ cups Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1-½ cup Mozzarella Or Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated
  • ½ cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth (less Or More)
  • 12 ounces, weight Penne, Cooked Until Al Dente
  • ½ cups Seasoned Panko Breadcrumbs {I ommitted this step}
  • Crushed Red Pepper, To Taste
Directions:
  1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large pot or skillet. Add garlic and throw in the spinach. Stir it around until it’s wilted, about 1 minute. Remove spinach from heat and set aside.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons butter to the same pot and raise the heat to high. Throw in the halved artichokes and stir it around until they get a little color, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the artichokes from the pot and set them aside.
  3. Reduce the heat to low. Add 2 tablespoons butter to the pot. When melted, sprinkle in flour and whisk until it’s combined. Pour in milk and whisk to combine. Let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until starting to thicken. Add Parmesan, Mozzarella/Monterey Jack, salt and pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir to melt, and if it’s overly thick, splash in chicken broth.
  4. Add artichokes and pasta, tossing gently to combine. Gently fold in spinach, then pour the pasta into a serving bowl. Sprinkle the top with crushed red pepper flakes and plenty of Panko breadcrumbs for crunch.
  5. Serve immediately!


10.17.2012

What I'm loving Wednesday


This week I am loving down time. It's been busy, but I've definitely had more down time than on the go time, and I needed it. 

I'm loving sleeping in. I hate going to bed and getting up early. I fight sleep, even though I love it. My mom says I've done this my whole life, and I've never been a morning person. So while I've stayed up far too late recently, I've been sleeping later also :)

I'm loving taking a few days off running, and having no return scheduled. Oh, I'll run again, but it's nice to not have something to train for, or have the necessity of running ruin a perfectly good morning to sleep in next to my Billy, with a Sadie and the kitties curled up with us.

I'm loving Francesca's Collection boutique. My local mall has a store, and I came out of there last week with 4 new blouses {buy one get one 50% off FTW!!}, a gorgeous necklace, and a new gay BFF in Andrew, the boutique manager. He was so much fun I gave him my business card, and I hope he contacts me! I'm loving feeling so stylish wearing my new clothes!

I'm loving my new Aldo black boots! Yes, I finally found a pair I love!! Candlish is the model name  and they come in dark brown and Cognac also if you're interested.

What are you loving today?




10.15.2012

Nike Women's Marathon

Ouch. Exhilarating. Both serve to sum up the NWM12 half marathon that was yesterday. 
dark and early Sunday morning and flashing our bibs for all to see ;)
25,000+ people is a whole lot to run a race with. It meant craziness in the corrals, although those were pretty well executed allowing only those with corral specific wristbands to enter and rows of port-a-potties on every block {hallelujah}. My bestie Nicole was there with me, so the wait wasn't too long, and before we knew it, the corrals were slowly moving toward the start. It only took us 6 minutes to cross the start line. Once the sun came up, the fog was revealed, which kept the temperatures low, but the moisture was a pain, since our sweat never dried and the mist made us even more wet. 

We meandered through San Francisco's financial district out to the Embarcadero, passing Sf's great sights such as Pier 39, Fisherman's wharf, the Aquatic Park and Crissy field, and then up to the Golden Gate bridge and the Presidio. Too bad it was so foggy, there wasn't a single tower of the bridge to be seen. Now getting up to the bridge was a huge hill with a small path that bottle necked at the base, making progress a little tough. 

The second hill was just as bad, but had an even steeper downhill, which hurt something fierce! I've never been bothered by downhill running, so this was disturbing. We plodded along keeping a slower pace that was comfortable and maintainable, running through cute neighborhoods, along the beach, and then into Golden Gate park for the last few miles. Along the whole course there were cheering sections with rad signs {my favorite: "don't poop your pants!"}, costumed cheerers {purple teletubby, anyone?} and awesome girl themed music being pumped loudly to motivate us. 

The finish line came into sight, and Nicole and I grabbed hands, finishing with smiles on our faces even though we were hurting. We walked a red carpet to the lovely tuxedo clad firemen handing out those fabulous little blue boxes with our Tiffany necklaces, then continued through the crowd to collect more goodies to feed our marathon starved selves. 
Our very own silver platter with Tiffany boxes! 
Perfecting our Saturday Night Fever and Wonder Woman poses post race
Nike Women's Marathon finishers!

10.10.2012

Faire Virgin

Oh loves, I got to experience something incredibly fun this past weekend {in addition to my first ever duathlon}! I visited the Renaissance Faire for the first time! 
The Northern California faire is about an hour south of San Jose, so I tagged along with some friends who were faire enthusiasts. I even came prepared in a borrowed costume so I wouldn't look so out of place. 
My friends Anne and Danielle dressed up also!
We strolled through the faire, checking out the vendors, and watching some fun shows. I was very temped to buy a metal work crown thing, but even I can't shell out $80 for a costume piece! 
Oh, and there were giant turkey legs and lots of mead and ale!! I hate to admit that I ended up eating a grilled chicken pita and a root beer float, not very authentic but tasty. 

I tried to get a picture with Queen Elizabeth, but she shunned me. Maybe she knew it was my first time to the faire, and I had to earn my photo with her? That's alright, next year! I did get a photo of the grim reaper from the Danse Macabre group, death was scary!
Danielle got her hair braided while the rest of the group watched the manly men in tights show. I was super interested to see how the faire braiders did their work, so I tagged along. I have to look up the 5 strand Dutch braid now. I just love being inspired!
Some costumed faire participants heading to the joust {totally missed that part, I was so worn out by that point}
Look, I found one of those face in holes things! 

All in all, I loved the faire and I am so happy I finally got to experience it first hand. I would love to go back again in the future, and I think I might have to get my own costume, something with short sleeves so I am not roasting like I was this time around in my heavy leather bodice and tons of fabric. 

Have you ever been to the Renaissance faire? What did you think?

10.09.2012

Tasty Tuesday {tortellini soup}

Welcome back to one of my favorite blogging days! I love my girl Cassie, and I think it's great that she puts out a Tasty Tuesday post every week. I love playing along with her, so I decided to pull up some of my old recipe posts that needed to be dusted off and see the light of day again. 

Tortellini Soup
Ingredients
  • 1 lb chicken sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 pkg Trader Joe's  mirepoix mix {about 2 cups of chopped celery, onions and carrots}
  • 2 quarts reduced sodium chicken stock {2- 24oz containers}
  • 6 cups Trader Joe's Garden Patch vegetable juice {like V8 juice}
  • 1 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes 
  • 2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 medium zucchini, halved and sliced into half moons
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 10oz bag of baby spinach
  • 1 pkg of frozen cheese tortellini, frozen {I used Olivieri brand from Costco}
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • Parmesan cheese and/or cheese croutons to garnish
Directions:
  1. In a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat, cook sausage and mirepoix mix until sausage is no longer pink.
  2. Add chicken stock, vegetable juice, tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.
  3.  Add zucchini, peppers and spinach. cook 5-7 minutes or until pepper is tender.
  4. Stir in tortellini and parsley, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Top with parmesan or croutons {or both!} just before serving.

Makes about 9-10 servings, and is so, so good on a chilly fall day! 
About 365 calories for 1.5 cups worth.

10.08.2012

Mermaid duathlon race recap

Hi ladies! Happy Monday! {and happy Thanksgiving to my lovely Canadian blog friends}

This weekend was a whirlwind, and I can't say this week will be easier. 
Saturday was my first ever duathlon, the Mermaid series triathlon and duathlon in Capitola. It was an all women's event, and the duathlon had about 188 of them competing. I left my house around 5:45am, too early in my opinion, and made it to Capitola while it was still dark so I could score some primo parking {rare in that town} and set up my transition area. This was another race I did on my own, so I was kinda lonely just waiting around by myself for my wave start. I ended up walking down to the expo/finishers chute, then went to the wharf and watched the Olympic distance tri swim start. I did not envy their 1600 meter swim in the open ocean...where a great white shark was spotted just months ago. *shudder* 
My wave started right on time, and since I had made it to the front of the group, I didn't have to fight through anyone. The course had an uphill start, but I had so much adrenaline and energy that I powered through it. I finished the 1.5 mile run in 13:37, with the first mile finished in 8:13. Um, for me, that's incredibly speedy! Unfortunately there was a giant hill to the transition area, which totally winded me. 

I changed shoes and gear and hopped on my bike for the 12 mile ride, which I finished in 48:51. I was dying on the crazy hills, but made up for my sucking on the descent. Coming back in for T2 I was feeling pretty toasted, so it was no surprise that when I started the second run, I was dragging majorly. Here's my secret...I didn't train any bricks leading up to this race. I actually barely rode my bike because I wanted to focus on my running for the half next week. I had to run the same course as run #1, so there was that monster hill that kicked my butt...again. I managed to run the whole 2 miles, with a tiny walk break for some water and to help my majorly cramping calves. I finished that suck fest in 19:22, right in my normal pace of 9:34/mile. 

My finishing time was 1:23:28. I was 5th out of 28 in my age group, and 37th out of 188 overall. I'm pretty stoked with my results for this being my first duathlon, not having trained specifically for it, and for feeling the pain during the race. Want to see a photo from the end of the race? I totally wasn't prepared, so my eyes are a little "dead" lol
Hopefully I will get some good race photos later on. I didn't see too many course photographers, so I can't imagine how terrible and in pain I will look from the ones who caught me unaware!!

10.05.2012

Friday's letters


Linking up with Ashley for Friday's letters because I really miss that girl :(

Dear Ashley, I saw a car that looked like yours this week and it totally sunk in that you are across the country and no longer 10 minutes away. I miss you. Hope Michigan is treating you well. I think I will be visiting that beautiful state in the next year, because you are now one of many wonderful friends I have who live there.
From our friend Kate's bachelorette party at the Dry Bar back in September
Dear Billy, I'm so sorry you've been sick this week. Four days is a long time to be cooped up inside, feeling like death. I really hope you are on the mend now, and that I did all I could to help you feel better. There's only so much a girl can do for colds. OTC cold meds, throat lozenges, Airborn, vitamin C, water, and rest were what I ordered and what you complied with. Hope work treats you well today!
Dear Mermaid duathlon, I have absolutely no idea if I am ready for you. I have been training for the Nike Women's marathon, rather than a little sprint duathlon, but I figured it was worth the entry. I can blast out the 1.5 mile run, 12 mile bike, and 2.5 mile run no problem...I think.
This is my first race bib with my name on it! 
{The text says "I am fast enough, I am strong enough, I am good enough, I am mermaid athlete}
Dear Nike Women's half marathon, I just want you to be over already. You have been looming over me for far too long, and I am sick of being afraid of you. I will rock that hilly course, get my Tiffany's necklace, eat my Ghiradelli chocolate, and conquer you like the mythical beast you are. I may come out of the race battered and broken, but I will finish. 9 more days!
Dear self, I'm sorry you are kinda broken. I know I haven't been the best to you lately, but I am making up for the ouchies with lots of chocolate this week. But frankly, the candy has got to stop. I will NOT gain my usual October-January 5-10 lbs of weight from excess candy and junk food intake. Also, I never fully got rid of last year's weight! I'm doing something different this year, I swear. 

Dear Dr. JP Bourget of Mission Chiropractic, thanks for lasering, taping, adjusting, PTing me {story to come}, and generally geeking out with me the last two weeks I've been in to see you for various injuries. I think it's cool that you think I am weird in the best way, that my back is an anomaly and you have no clue how to begin treating me because I am unlike anything you've worked on before. I also think it's pretty neat you brought in the other two doctors to feel my crazy crackly scar tissue, which we have decided is probably tendon moving over rod and not to be worried about. Oh, and the fact that you are a hockey player from Calgary, Alberta made me think highly of you, if only because my girls Alison, Leigh, Nicole and Leslie are pretty stellar and make Canadians awesome. 

Vegas Vacay #2 {long post!}

You all remember how excited I was to be going back to Las Vegas with Billy in September? Well, it's October and I still haven't recapped that trip yet! 
This was the first time Billy and I had gone to Las Vegas without a group of friends. We weren't sure what to expect, but knew it would be different.
We arrived on September 11, which was a weird day to fly, but we made it safely. We checked into our hotel, the Monte Carlo, grabbed slushie drinks, and then headed over to Mandalay Bay to grab lunch at the Burger Bar. We stopped by the Statue of Liberty statue outside of New York New York and I snapped this photo that was super fitting for the day. 
While we were waiting for our table at the Burger Bar, the skies above the desert opened up and began to pour. And it continued in a steady down pour for 3 hours. 
Last year when I was in Vegas it rained, but it was 10 minute storms at most, and nothing like this. It actually flooded in several areas around the strip, making it hard to taxis, cars and pedestrians alike to get around. We napped and read at the hotel, then headed to Diablo's for dinner, I got tipsy off of one drink, we grabbed cupcakes from the Cupcakery and retired early.
Wednesday we slept in, woke to a super nice day, then headed to the Wicked Spoon Buffet at the Cosmopolitan. It was by far the best buffet I've been to in Vegas, I highly recommend. Especially the desserts...mmmmm!
We got tickets to see two different shows that evening. Our first show was at Caesar's, so we headed down there for dinner at Serendipity 3. We saw Absinthe, which was hilarious, raunchy as all get out, and had some really fun circus type acts. The best part? They encouraged picture taking! That's unheard of in Vegas!!
Crazy balancing act and a group of strong men
 
The Gazillionaire and Penny Pibbets, the emcees of the evening, were a comic duo with quite dirty humor. Oh and there was a lot of talk about unicorn penis, and sex. Those old people in front of Penny were NOT happy about the adult nature of the comedy. I thought it was ridiculously funny and my cheeks were sore from laughing after.
Angel Porrino of Holly's World on E! did a tap dancing number...in pasties...in a weather balloon. It was pretty cool!
More crazy strong men
A keg stand. Balanced between two dudes shoulders. On a high wire. Blew my mind.

We headed over to the Luxor to catch our second show, Fantasy. We chatted with our seat mates, one of whom was from Ireland, and the others were a cute couple from Toronto. Turned out to be a very global crowd. At one point, the emcee came into the audience and asked different members to sing a part of her song, but everyone had trouble. Each time she asked where they were from, they said a different country! Japan, Germany, UK, Russia, it was pretty funny! The girls in the show were really great dancers, I was in awe because I absolutely cannot dance. When I mentioned this to Billy afterward, he said "they danced?" I think someone was distracted by the boobies ;) We each picked a favorite girl from the show. I liked a super cute blonde, Billy went for the Megan Fox look-a-like. Funny how he and I have completely different ideas of what we think are beautiful women. Fun fact, I am not Billy's "type" at all. Before me, he was attracted to brunettes with large ta-tas. I, however, am white bread American, blonde, and am lacking in the ta-ta department haha! Our show finished up around midnight, so we headed to bed.

Thursday was another sleep in day, with the luxury of room service breakfast! We headed to the north end of the strip to check out the Venetian shops, and visited Madame Tussuad's Wax Museum. It's not worth the $25 admission, but it ate up some time and we got fun pics.
Gelato, mmm! Matthew Mcconaughey, mmm!
Bradley Cooper and Julia Roberts are my BFFs.
Jenna Jamison and Hugh Hefner, the sin room ;)
The Iceman, Chuck Liddel! We are huge UFC and MMA fans.
 
One ball and a six pack. 
Kathy Griffin and Celine Dion
 
Oprah Winfrey, JFK and Jackie
Miss Marilyn Monroe

We met up with our friend Stephanie for dinner at the Sugar Factory, enjoying some amazing {tasty and strong!} drinks. We decided to meet up with her again later that evening, but after a nap! Stephy's brother and his wife were in town, so we met up with them, along with Stephy's friend Jeremiah and his boyfriend, to hang out...until 2am! We were quite tired the next day, and very ready to go home. Our flight didn't leave until 6pm on Friday, so we walked around Miracle Mile at Planet Hollywood for hours to kill time. Fun was had at the Las Vegas fight shop for sure.
Chael Sonnen and Ronda Rousey shirts
I have just a huge tiny crush on Georges St. Pierre

Valuable life lesson learned: 2 nights/3 days in Vegas is plenty. 3 nights/4 days is only good if you leave early in the day :) 

I think I finally have my Vegas fix for awhile. No desire to head back there, at least until next year! 

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