Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sound Bites 6/30: New music from Wilco, The Rapture, Bandana Splits

I'm trying out a new feature for ye olde blog, aptly titled "Sound Bites." Please let me know your thoughts! 

Sound Bites 6/30: Here's the scoop on three new songs, be sure to click on the links to go and take a free listen to each. 
The Rapture: "How Deep Is Your Love?
This track has an infectious, steady piano riff, is highly danceable and has a gratuitous saxophone solo. Therefore, I kinda love it. I'm calling it now, 2011 is the year of the sexy sax
Their forthcoming album In the Grace of Your Love, will be in stores September 6.
This press photo was taken in an elevator in the theater I work in, and use every day! G'ah!
Wilco: "I Might"
I love Wilco. I love Wilco. That is all. Go listen to this new song, it will make you feel good. 
Their new album This Whole Love is due out this fall.
Source: (holla to a Milwaukee-based blog!)
The Bandana Splits: "Sometimes"
If you dig the vintage-y sound of Zooey Deschanel's voice in She & Him, and miss girl groups, the Bandana Splits are for you. These girls sound pitch-perfect, and I love the old-school instrumentals as well. Plus, aren't they adorable? 
Their album drops on August 16.
Source: My Old Kentucky Blog

Treasures from Trader Joe's

Hello, friends - how's your week going? Are ya ready for the THREE DAY WEEKEND? I couldn't be more excited!

This week has been a busy one (what else in new?), but productive. Tonight, Zak and I are kicking back and watching Wayne's World. It's been ages since we've seen it and it's ridiculously funny!

Plus, we love all of the Milwaukee references. There's the Laverne & Shirley scene...
And of course, the Alice Cooper backstage scene where he gives Wayne and Garth a history lesson, and says "Actually - it's pronounced Mil-ee-wauk-eh, which is Algonquin for the good land." When he invites the guys to hang out in the dressing room, they freak out and yell out "We're not worthy! We're not worthy!" Classic :-)
We've had Alice Cooper a couple times at my workplace, and he's an incredible showman. A solid dude all around, too.

Anyhow. Pardon my tangent! What's new? After work the other night, I made a detour to Trader Joe's and picked up some goodies:
It was time for a TJ's trip because my usual grocery stores (aka the ones close to my house) just don't have some of the ingredients necessary for blog recipes. 
Raw cashews, for example. Big plans for these babies: Oh She Glow's vegan cookie dough 'blizzards'. Drool.
And goat cheese in handy single-servings? Thank you Fitnessista for prompting me to pick these up. The only problem? Zak has already finished half the bag... 
Sprouted tofu sounded interesting. Have you ever tried it? I want to make Paige at Running Around Normal's parmesan crusted tofu marinara
And these salsa-style refried pinto beans sounded great. Fact: I eat refried beans at least three times per week. Aside from the sodium, they are relatively healthy and a great source of fiber and vegetarian protein!

And this stuff is just naughty... finally splurged on some medjool dates and TJ's peanut butter-filled pretzels. Yummm.

Don't worry, I didn't forget some TJ's treats for the pups...
Blue sez: I can haz puppy treatz?
Open the box. Now!
Please? I'm not looking at the camera until you give me a damn treat.
And look who has finally learned 'Sit'? Good puppy! 
You do the talking: What are your favorite TJ's products?
I really wanted to find that peanut flour that the entire blogosphere is obsessed with, but my store doesn't carry it. Bummer.

What's your favorite scene / quote from Wayne's World?
I do love the part where the boys are talking about Cassandra, and Garth says "She's so hot, if she were a President, she'd be Babe-raham Lincoln." Too funny :-)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

10 miles, and my legs didn't fall off.

Yesterday's 10 miler was tough!
I consider the run to be a PDR (personal distance record) because I haven't attempted to run that distance in at least one year. Though in the past I've completed a full marathon, and a 13.1 mile hike up Pikes Peak, the 10 miles yesterday just felt ridiculous. 
Ridiculous, but in a good way :-) That's the best way I know to describe it. It was humid, the sun was beating down on me, and I was battling a mild hangover (oops). The night before, I should have stuck with one drink + lots of water instead of two drinks, followed by Qdoba at 1AM. I wasn't feeling too bad, but it definitely couldn't have helped my cause. Live and learn, right?

Anyhow, I somehow got through and finished ok. Slow and steady, baby!
Something that may have helped... I wore my new shirt that I ordered from SkinnyRunner and I'd like to think it gave me super powers. Either that, or boosted my sarcasm by 10%. Love this :-)

Some stats, thanks to my Garmin Forerunner:
The run was split into two separate 'activities' because I took too long taking photos on my gel break, haha.

First Half:
Avg Pace

Second Half:
Avg Pace
Avg Moving Pace:12:38 min/mi
Best Pace:09:33 min/mi

Heart Rate
Avg HR:166 bpm
Max HR:181 bpm
(The max amount is 98% of my capacity!)

Pre-run: Powerade + 1/2 PB sandwich
During: 1/2 Powerade / 1/2 water mix, 1 GU pack
After: Smoothie with protein powder, PB, spinach, chia seeds, cherries, almond milk
- Do not go out the night before a long run. If sister is in town and / or socializing is otherwise imminent, reschedule long run.
- Now that marathon training has begun, this is how my entire summer will likely end up... no going out on Friday nights. Not sure how I feel about that.
- Pick an interesting route for your run. I used the Hank Aaron State Trail and passed the Veterans Affairs grounds, and Miller Park (Brewers Stadium). I ran through the parking lots and concourses, and it was like my own personal tailgate party.

You do the talking: What's your PDR? Don't be shy, let's have some show and tell. I know you're all badass gals (and maybe dudes?) out there! 
If you haven't run the distance in awhile, do you 'start over' with distances covered? Also, what interesting / cool places are on your running routes?

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Core Four

Hola friends! Hope that your Friday is going well.

A quick update as I'm spending the evening with my family - sister Annie, my Mom and Dad. The core four :-) It's all about these folks, I can be a stressball and worry about things that won't really matter in the long run, then I drive out to my parents house and get brought back down to earth, immediately. The time spent with my family is truly priceless to me.

Today, Annie and I went to pick up her bridesmaids dress for an upcoming wedding... it's unique. Not just one, but three different colors. With a green flower applique on the sash. 'Nuff said.

Afterwards, we stopped by Kopps so that Annie could witness the glory that is red velvet cake frozen custard. It was glorious, as usual
Pardon my Google imagery. But you get the idea.
Tonight, we grilled out and are enjoying my Dad's special gin & tonics. Delicious.

Running Update: Yesterday, I knocked out 5 miles in the drizzly rain. It was cool outside, so the combo of the temperature and rain made for a refreshing, albeit very difficult run. 

I'm headed out for a long run in the morning. See ya tomorrow for a mid-day update!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Rufus, my original fur child.

How was everyone's Wednesday? Kick-ass, I hope!

Tonight's post is random. I could only think of two things to write about: how glad I am that summer weather has finally hit Milwaukee, and a certain fur child.

First things first. It's officially summertime in the Milwaukee area, and about damn time. The past two days have had on again / off again thunderstorms, and our garden is kicking into high gear. Soon, our raspberry bushes will be in bloom with fruit, and my tiger lillies will finally come around for the season. 
These photos are from last year, I just can't believe such beautiful things grew in our yard.

And when I think of beautiful colorful things, one special little furry man immediately comes to mind... 

Rufus. My first fur child.
About seven years ago, right after Zak and I met each other, I adopted a cat from the Wisconsin Humane Society. The adoption counselor told me that he was a 'special' kitten, was borderline not rescuable when they found him, and who may not ever fully warm up to people. All I saw was the cutest little boy, ever. 
Rufus is definitely not your typical cat. While he is very handsome, he prefers to be admired from afar. He does not  like to be held or cuddled, and is overall pretty wild. But he never ceases to amuse me with his curiosity and antics.
He makes a great gargoyle...
...and is surprisingly adventurous. He didn't mind checking out snow...
Okay, that was all Zak. Rufus wasn't really wanting to put these on.

He makes a great portrait subject...
His current favorite activity is lounging in an old box, watching the birds. Must be nice.
While Clay the puppy and Blue the dog are animals that actually enjoy human company and therefore get most of our attention, Rufus is my original fur child. Our home wouldn't be complete without him.

You do the talking: Are you a cat person, or dog person? 
I used to be a cat person, but Rufus changed that. He's cute, but pretty bonkers. I'm now more of a dog person.