Monday, November 30, 2009


This weekend was amazing. Giant turkey dinners, dance dance revolution-ing, karaoke-ing, Christmas tree cutting, indy film watching, christmas shopping, forest running, crew rowing, birthday tequila and dancing... it was epic. Tons of pictures and details to come.

But for now, Muppets singing Bohemian Rhapsody. Which may be my favorite song to karaoke to.

This brings a whole other level of joy... especially the shrimp!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Favorite Wedding Pic of the day...

The gorgeous sun poking through the walnut trees, the amazing dress in all its glory, and I am standing up straight! A winner all around.

I am trying realllllly hard to not let bad science luck get me down. I am thinking either, yoga class, mani/pedi, going home to cook and clean with Trent, will remedy the situation.

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Forgive the slightly ugly picture, but goodness.. these are some of the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever had. Just saying. Here is the recipe, if you are interested. I think the sea salt makes it shine.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

from Ashley Rodriguez, Not Without Salt

8 oz butter
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 lb good-quality chocolate, chopped into 1/2-inch chunks
sea salt

Preheat the oven to 360°.

Cream the butter and the sugars. Add eggs, one at time, then vanilla. Mix well, then scrape down the bowl with a spatula.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in another bowl. With a whisk, stir to combine. With mixer on low, slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate.

Before baking, sprinkle with a very fine dusting of good quality sea salt. Bake for 12 minutes, until cookies are lightly golden on the outside and a bit gooey on the inside (they will continue to cook as they cool).

Favorite Wedding Pic of the Day

Pretty much speaks for itself.

Weekend Recap!

It was a fabulous birthday week weekend. Started off strong with a drive out to Durham (after breaking in to the Frazong's house to drop off the guitar and mandolin so Trent and Stephen could jam, and nearly setting the lab on fire while trying to finish an experiment while my boss chatted away. Whoops! And I got lost on the way to Durham, but that was expected. Finally made it and met up with Amanda by her office. She took me on a lovely, historical walking tour of the town and we made our way to Rue Cler for a delightful French dinner. I had moules frites with a side of asaragus and she had chicken coq au vin.

Quick stop to visit her office and then off to Raleigh. Again we got lost (I am an excellent driver) but managed to find Furbish, Jamie's store. And it was SO cute. Here are pictures she took, I spaced and didn't take any. I wanted nearly everything and was so impressed that she was making it work. Great to see her. After sampling some delicious cupcakes and wine, we took a stroll around the neighborhood, very cute. And then headed home to our sleepy, jammed out, husbands.

Trent was up early for "Class Day Races" where each year races the others. His freshman (dressed as frat boys) beat the sophmores and tied with the juniors. And did pretty great against the seniors (Star Wars themed). While he was off racing, I had a lazy morning and long run with Sadie. Felt great. Met Trent at Weaver St for a big breakfast. Then we just happened to stop by the Recyclery, where I got myself a new birthday bicycle!

Adorable. And way faster/lighter than my current bike. They threw in new tires and new brake pads and Trent fixed it all up for me on Saturday afternoon. I rode it to work today and it was terrific. Happy birthday me.

Then the day started to get crazy. We dropped off my pants to get hemmed, dashed home to start making the most amazing cookies (next post). I was running out of time, frantically wrapping the lab baby shower present. But I managed to meet up with an ex-lab mate to help her pick out a present and enjoy a little snack and conversation while Trent finished up the cookies. Picked him up and headed to the shower!

It was at my labmate's apartment complex and she did a great job of coming up with games and favors. Above, from the left, is Anne, the host in the foreground, our lab manager Pam, my Boss, mom to be Harmony, her husband Mike, Trent, and ex-lab mate Ashley. Here everyone is trying to estimate the yard needed to wrap around her belly. Trent nearly won, I was wayyyy off.

We guessed how many diapers were in the tupperware, filled out our guesses for recessive and dominant heritable traits based on their parents and their traits (nerds!) and tasted babyfood. Lots of fun silly games. Then we opened presents, our lab went in on a Pack n' Play, that of course we had to see if we could set up.

Very cute. We struggled for a bit but finally figured it out. Their baby is due right after Christmas and it was fun to socialize outside of lab together.

My boss's 4 year old daughter thought the whole party was very cool. And the balloons especially. We all headed out around 4pm and after a quick visit with the Frazongs, headed home and were ready to work. We raked and dug and cleaned up the yard. It was excellent. And Sadie was a big help.

We enjoyed a fire in the firepit as we raked, though I don't recommend trying to burn leaves... quite smokey!

Trent started to get all sorts of exciting calls about his Rhode Scholar successes, so we opened a bottle of wine and snuggled on the sofa to watch Big Fish to celebrate. Cute movie!

Sunday was supposed to be very stormy, so we started working in the yard early to get things done. After a quick trip to two hardware stores, where I had to get Sadie an early Christmas present. The new bed is SO fantastic, she loves it. And her collar was starting to get gross.

We worked on fixing up the drive way and Trent dedicated more space to my garden. We are slowly reducing the amount of lawn we have, which I am totally happy about. I mowed lawn and pulled lots of weeds. Here is my newest garden space.

Trent dug out a trench for a big railroad tie wood border on the driveway and we rearranged the gravel to finish it up. Looks great. I made some holiday decorations with plants I found around the yard. Sadie continued to be a great helper.

It started to get stormy, so we headed inside for hearty lunches and a bit of recovering before heading back to Raleigh to go to Crate and Barrel. We finished off our registry, got lots of frames for our amazing wedding pictures and were very very successful. Picked up some chinese take out and Trent joined me at lab. He did homework/Re-Neset/Unplggd posts while I tackled some experiments. Home, some cleaning, long showers, and to bed!

It was great to work on our house, there is still a daunting amount of projects we want to complete, but everyday it is improving and it is so satisfying to see how far it has come.

Birthday weekend continues! I've been enjoying lots of coconut lattes as extra treats. Love it!

Monday, November 23, 2009

And they are here!

Oh goodness. The wedding pictures are here. And they are fantastic. It is taking me back to our awesome day and filling me with tons of joy to browse through them. It is going to be terribly hard to pick our favorites, but I will try to post those here.

Starting with our awesome exit.. tandem bike, industrial sparklers, birdseed. It was epic.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Weekend Plans

1. Heading to Jamie's store opening party tonight with Amanda. Champagne and cupcakes! And schnauzers!! Plus dinner and a cultural tour of Durham, thanks to Mae.

2. Taking new jeans in to get hemmed. $8. It is fantastic.

3. Finishing up the nerdy onesies!

4. Long run, I am ready and anxious to get out there. The weather is gorgeous!

5. Harmony's baby shower at 2pm.

6. Really want to see Pirate Radio, looks SO cute. And reminds me to put Love Actually on our Netflix cue.

7. A cautious amount of science. Things might be looking up but not getting my hopes up.

8. Pre-Thanksgiving cleaning and decorating. And grocery shopping.

9. Making lots of cranberry orange bread, always helps me feel festive.

10. Hopefully lots of snuggling, breakfast with friends, dance parties. You know, the usual.

Happy weekend all!

27th Year Mantra

Loving this poster from Etsy seller 3LambsGraphics. It is an Abraham Lincoln quote that is one of my motivations for the upcoming year. My yoga instructor is big on this idea also. You've woken up, you've gotten dressed, gotten to work, gone on the run, gotten on the yoga mat, whatever it is you are doing. Why not do it the best you can, since you are already at it.

I like it!

Birthday Week!!

It's official.. it is the kick off of birthday week! I am a huge fan of birthdays and believe they should be given an entire week of celebration. My plan is to be extra kind to myself, hang out with people I love, reflect on my good fortune, and make definite plans for making my 27th year fantastic.

We got the week off to a great start last night. Trent and I met up with Amanda and Stephen at the Lantern for dinner. We got nearly all the appetizers on the menu, and some delicious cocktails, and were stuffed. Lots of good conversation and Thanksgiving planning.

Then we headed out to meet up with Thomas, Adam and Corienne to watch the Ohio State vs. Carolina basketball game. We were heading to Ham's, a truly undergrad, rowdy, southern place, but stopped in on a suspicion at the Crunkleton. Turns our our suspicions were right, our dear neighbor from our cottage days, Gary, made his dreams come true and opened a bar on Franklin Street. It was fantastic to see him, he made some friends move so we'd have a perfect spot to watch the game, and we enjoyed some delicious drinks. I am so impressed.

Between going to his bar last night, and heading to Jamie's store opening party tonight, I am feeling like an entrepreneurial slacker! We stayed there for half the game, and then some folks were starting to get tired. So we said our farewells, and headed off with Thomas to Goodfellow's to meet up with some varsity rowers. We had a blast hanging out with the undergrads, lots of good gossip, an aborted plan to go steal a cat from a cheating boyfriend, and a very close game that Carolina managed to pull off.

Trent and I peeled off after the game was over, but in true "young at heart" spirit, headed to Cosmic Cantina for a late night burrito before heading home. I love my husband, and I love defying all the admonitions that we'd not want to go out after we got married. I do enjoy cozy nights at home, but I also love meeting people together, being a social unit, and wearing short dresses and being his hot wife. :) Fantastic.

Lots more birthday celebrations to come! And lists! I love lists...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Too much good times. I am home sick with lots of passion fruit juice, Glee on Hulu, and lots and lots of down comforters.


Monday, November 16, 2009


I've gotten a couple requests for birthday wishes.. but honestly, I am feeling so flush from the wedding it is hard to think about more presents! But, since I am also broke from the wedding and enjoy "window shopping," I thought I'd pass along a few goodies that have caught my eye recently.

Adorable air plant and pot from Etsy.

Ridiculously awesome curtains from Anthropologie.
Tickets to Mamma Mia at the Durham Performing Arts Center. I'd sing like crazy.

This vest. Like now, before I have to take the chilly walk to yoga class!

But really, I will be very happy to celebrate my birthday the day before on Thanksgiving with lots of good friends, getting to use our fancy new dishes and pots, and eating lots of delicious pie and turkey. And phone calls from all of you :)

Weekend Recap!

1. Watching Trent's boys destroy Maryland on Saturday morning at University Lake.
Yep, they did amazingly, beating Maryland and holding their own against the UNC varsity even. Plus, fantastic time talking to parents, rowers, and Bob Milikan who is going to change our world.

2. Fun science. Seriously, things are going well in this arena.. awesome.
Meh, not so exciting here actually. Lots of really cool experiments to do.. they just aren't working technically. Which is SO frustrating.

3. Lots and lots of digging to find the leak.
Oh gracious. The leak. Luckily Stephen came over to help on Saturday, but due to inferior heating tools, we weren't able to finish the job until yesterday afternoon. So showering at Amanda and Stephen's house before drinking our sorrows away at the Station and Orange County Social Club. Plus a good concert at Johnny's! But we have running water again, and it is glorious.

4. Finishing thank you notes.
All but about 5 left to do. So satisfying to have this done. Sat on the couch with a cup of hot cider and finished them, while poor Trent battled the leak and the yellow jackets that decided to pay him a visit. Not fair.

5. Planning Thanksgiving!
Starting to think about the menu, folks to invite. Still lots of work to do on this. Having water was a critical first step however.

6. Playing with our new hobby/life goal.
Trent bought us a guitar and a mandolin for our newest hobby. He can play by ear, I am spending more time with the "Learn Guitar" book and doing scales. We have a goal of playing at the 2010 Carrboro Music Festival, with Stephen on keyboard, Amanda as our designated dancer and percussion. I think we are golden.

7. Embroidering fruitflies onto onsies for a upcoming lab baby shower.
Watched the Carolina vs. Valpo basketball game yesterday at the Station with ex-neighbor Patrick and a bunch of Carrborians. I enjoyed the game, but also got started on this project. I am doing a series of model organisms, fruitfly, frog, mouse, worm. This baby is going to be a nerd from the get go! I will take pics when they are done.

8. Perhaps a first post-marathon run?
Still not ready. And the lack of showers was a deterrent. Yoga today though.

9. Perhaps seeing "Men Who Stare at Goats."
Nope, but excellent outings to local Carrboro hot spots, Johnny's, The Station, and OCSC. Met up with Deirdre and other science folks at OCSC for a friend's birthday and it was a who's who of Carrboro society. Trent and the gang went home earlier, but it was worth the dark stumble home to share a drink with my favorite trannie/politico.

10. Reading, relaxing, lots of hot tea and homemade applesauce and other fall delights.
Yep! I did a ton of housecleaning too, we finally had a sunny day so I opened all the windows, vacuumed and dusted everything. Also planted lots of heirloom garlic and some new ground cover plants. Made a big LeCru of gumbo that should last us through the week. And a successful trip to Marshalls for a fantastic deal on new Seven jeans and a Bandolino purse. Score!

Minus the science flops, it was a terrific weekend!

Friday, November 13, 2009

weekend plans

1. Watching Trent's boys destroy Maryland on Saturday morning at University Lake.

2. Fun science. Seriously, things are going well in this arena.. awesome.

3. Lots and lots of digging to find the leak. Not that our post work swim (showers) and dinners out (no dishes) haven't been lovely.

4. Finishing thank you notes.

5. Planning Thanksgiving! I love this holiday.

6. Playing with our new hobby/life goal (music! details to come).

7. Embroidering fruitflies onto onsies for a upcoming lab baby shower.

8. Perhaps a first post-marathon run? Sadie is starting to go bonkers, poor girl.

9. Perhaps seeing "Men Who Stare at Goats." Looks pretty hilarious.

10. Reading, relaxing, lots of hot tea and homemade applesauce and other fall delights.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Loving today..

Thanks to The Perfume Court (so much fun!), I've been trying all sorts of new perfumes for about $5 a pop. And crazy hard to find ones too. I even got a sample of Chanel Gardenia, which I have never seen in a store. But so far my far and away favorite has been Jo Malone's Orange Blossom. Oh gracious, it smells like California, the Miramar, and summer. Perfect for dreary, rainy, slighty homesick days like today.

Here's their description: "The scent of clementine leaves in the morning dew sparkles above a heart of orange blossom and water lily, transporting the wearer to a garden oasis."

Delightful! Here's hoping my 5mL sample lasts me through this cold winter. Or until my birthday ;)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Not loving today...

We are dealing with the remnants of Hurrican Ida, lots and lots of rain. Which is fine, except that we are currently dealing with another leak in our water system. Last time this happened, we were able to find the leak easily due to a suspiciously green patch of lawn. Not so easy when the whole yard is soaked. So we are turning off the water for most of the day, and Trent is running out to the street to turn it on for our showers/dishes. It is a very slow leak, but expensive still, so we have to be prudent until the storm passes, the lawn dries, and we can get to digging!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Loving today

My new JCrew corduroy pants. Feels like fall, elementary school, coziness. Plus, I love how they sound when you walk.

Uncooked oatmeal, vanilla yogurt and homemade applesauce mixed together for breakfast. Kinda strange, mostly awesome.

Being productive at work. If I am busy, the crazy people can't bother me.

Happy Tuesday.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Weekend Recap

Wowzers, what a weekend. It was awesome. And tough. Recap!

Amanda and I left on Friday afternoon, around 3. We had the car loaded with food and gear, and Jersey in the very back and Sadie in the middle seat. They were SO good on the way there, it was amazing. We stopped for dinner in Williamston (chosen for the name) and ended up at the "Hitching Post" where we partook of the "All You Can Eat Seafood Buffet" mainly for the novelty. We tried not to crack up too much as we tried to identify what fried marine creature we were eating. Pretty intense "cultural" experience. We got to Kitty Hawk, picked up the code for The Pearl, our house for the weekend. And the code didn't work. So we took the dogs on a late night walk while we contacted the emergency lock out people and finally got access. Stayed up a bit more chatting and enjoying a glass of wine, and then to bed.

Stephen and Trent left early early Friday morning to drive to Tennessee. Trent had a crazy day of kids locking themselves out of their vans, shortages of boats, and proctoring an economics exam to his kids missing class. Saturday morning they raced, and Amanda and I lounged about, napped, walked the dogs on the beach, read good books, ate our good food, and were generally lazy. Unfair for them.

Trent's team did really well, his "A" boat of novices got second out of 34 teams, and the only team that beat him was a "real" varsity team. Awesome!! They frantically loaded boats and kids and left Tennessee around 6pm. To drive to Chapel Hill, and then drive to the Outer Banks. Craziness!

While they were driving up a storm, Amanda and I continued to be lazy, finally making it to packet pick up to get our numbers and shirts and check out fancy running gear. Back to the Pearl where we dealt with more entry code issues. Lots more walks on the beach and naps, and I made a broccoli linguine in cream sauce for dinner. We laid out our gear for the morning and hit the hay, with the boys still on the road.

They arrived right around 5am, which was our scheduled time to wake up and get ready to race. However, we had to adjust the schedule for a little snuggling. We made coffee, ate peanut butter and banana sandwiches and Trent drove us to the start at 6:45, after a brief chase of a rouge Jersey.

This was my third time running this marathon, Stephen's second, and Amanda's first marathon ever. We all had very different expectations and goals, but it was great to have friends on the course. Trent got us there and saw me off to the start, reassuring me that my normal pace would be fine, regardless of training.

And for a majority of the race it was, I trucked along at 8 minute miles for the first half, chatting up with various new friends along the way and being amazed by the beautiful scenery. Trent was excellent race support and I felt pretty good.

However, around mile 15, I started to hurt. I had nice rally around mile 17-20 with a super friendly fella from DC who was encouraging all of us, but lost him right before the big hill. And then, man, I just kinda got exhausted. My whole body from my waist down cramped up and I was left to shuffle along.

But then I realized, I just got married, I've had a crazy month, that I comfortably ran 20 miles is pretty darn impressive. So for the first time ever, I walked during the race. And ran, and walked, and shuffled along. I was proud of myself for sticking with it, but almost more proud of myself for letting myself take it easy. I can be pretty tough on myself.

Finished under 4 hours, far from my fastest time, but I was satisfied. Met up with Trent and Stephen, who also had a rough race of starting to fast and bonking at the end. I am sure staying up most the night didn't help his race either.

Amanda came trucking in and was thrilled with her race. She was comfortable and on pace the whole time and had a great first race experience.

We sat around the race finish for a bit, Trent got us beers and fries and we took a quick nap in the sun. But showers were starting to sound very very nice. We hobbled to the car and headed back to the Pearl. We soaked our legs in the ocean, drank some nice cold Coronas, ordered pizzas and watched tv. We all napped and woke up and were lazy beings. It was fantastic.

This morning, we were all feeling better. I think because I let myself walk at the end, my legs aren't too sore and I probably avoided doing some serious damage. Definitely creaking about a bit, but I am doing pretty well. I made everyone spinach omelets, like my dad taught me, and we enjoyed the beautiful deck and played with the dogs.

We cleaned up the house and checked out around 10, but hung out a while longer. Sadie and I had a great play session and she is definitely getting more comfortable with the whole ocean phenomenon. She was really good this weekend, I was impressed. She is still not so bright, however...

Trent and I hit the road around 11, with a quick stop for some staples at the JCrew outlet. We made it home by 4 after an easy drive, and Trent went off to help unload boats from the races. I roasted acorn squash with brown sugar and sprinkled them with walnuts and cranberries and turned a bunch of apples that were about to turn (only two from SLO, mom!) into a big batch of apple sauce. The house smells amazing. Lots of cleaning, relaxing, and getting ready for our week. Hooray for a long weekend.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Making me happy today

Pictures of baby animals. I need a baby porcupine (via Unruly Things).

Watching 30 Rock on Hulu in my jammies, while eating cold oatmeal, vanilla yogurt, and pomegranate seeds mixed together, my new favorite breakfast recently.

The amazing power of the Dyson vacuum against Sadie's bi-annual shed marathon. I think she loses her entire summer coat and replaces it with her winter coat. I could vacuum twice a day and still battle.

Fall morning runs with Sadie in the forest. She loves the cooler weather, I like all the gloves and ear-warmers I get to wear.

Getting to spend the weekend with my favorite Amanda!! At the beach!!!

Getting an invitation to Jamie's store opening party. This place is going to be so amazing. And trouble for the wallet.

Sweet sweet emails from my dear friend Jill, doing the Peace Corps in Nicaragua. It is amazing to see friends grow and change, but stay the same.

Deirdre. Seriously, my lab life would be fairly awful without her coffee break discussions.

Continuing to get wedding presents. So fun.

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Thursday, November 05, 2009


So I am finally officially back, I feel. I had a crazy week with two presentations, lots of meetings and obligations, and now I am finally done for a bit at work. Science is going well, which is great, but keeping me very very busy!

Still waiting on our official pictures from the wedding (I go to his website about 10 times a day), but as soon as they are up, I will be sharing them.

Trent and I are settling into our fall schedules, he has morning practice at 6am, I run with the dog and we rendezvous for breakfast and biking to work. He occasionally has afternoon practice, and occasionally I am working late, so we are usually both home by 8pm. We've been cooking up a storm with all our new fancy gadgets and dishes, so dinner together watching the Daily Show on I usually stay up later to work or read, Trent is exhausted and asleep by 10.

Otherwise we've been: Writing tons of thank you notes, studying for the GRE's (Trent), dreaming about Thanksgiving plans, doing lots of yoga classes (me), and enjoying fall in Carrboro.

This weekend, Amanda and I are driving to the Outer Banks on Friday. We are staying in a rental house for the weekend to run the OBX marathon (her first marathon!). The boys have a race in Chattanooga, Tennessee on Friday and Saturday, but are driving all the way out Saturday night to meet up with us and so Stephen can run the race. We are staying Sunday night and heading back on Monday. Should be a nice little getaway. I am nervous about the marathon, as I did not have time/priority to train appropriately, but I just made an awesome running music mix that will hopefully keep me motivated and we'll see how it goes!