Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Epic Date Part B

This past Saturday night Matt & I finally got to complete our Epic Date of 2013 (Part A here)! We got all gussied up and headed to Bonnell's Fine Texas Cuisine in Fort Worth. The original plan was for Epic Date to be actually 1 date-- we would eat dinner at Bonnell's and then spend the night at the Omni. Due to unforeseen circumstances, it had to be split into 2 separate events. I didn't mind though-- meant more time to explore the Omni and 2 awesome dates to look forward to instead of just 1! 

Anyway, we had an amazing Texas-themed meal and enjoyed every bite. The quality of the food is as good as any other fine dining restaurant I've enjoyed, just with a Texas twist. It really made for a unique experience and the service was awesome as well. I highly recommend it if you're ever in the area. 

Matt and I split 3 of our 4 entrees (what, we can't split dessert!) and still left absolutely full. We started with the appetizer sampler where we got to choose 4 of their appetizers. From top of the plate clockwise, our selections were the Texas Bruschetta, Elk Mini Taco, Venison Carpaccio, and Oysters Texasfeller. 

We also split a small salad as it came highly recommended to us. No picture but it was topped with a jalapeno and garlic vinaigrette and queso fresco. Not spicy at all, just very well-flavored and delicious!

We ordered the mixed grill for our entree. It automatically comes with their housemade Andouille sausage and grilled quail and we chose Bison Tenderloin to complete our meat selection. It was also served with green chile cheese grits and grilled cactus. The grits... oh my goodness! Everything was honestly so good and we both finished every last bite. The entree came with some cornbread with jalapeno bacon butter. I definitely used the cornbread to soak up the demi-glace as I figured it would be un-ladylike to lick the plate. Matt's favorite was the bison and I was especially partial to the Andouille. 

For dessert, Matt had the apple crisp and I got the caramelized banana sundae. They make their ice cream in-house and that was honestly my favorite part! Both desserts were awesome and the coffee we ordered was also quite good. 

Yay birthday candle :)
They were very generous with their apples in the crisp.
So there you have it. Matt did an excellent job in planning our Epic Date(s) and I'm so glad I got that quality time with him. Now to go dream about another meal at Bonnell's... Yum!

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Little About Fitness

I think I've alluded to it in a few posts, but I recently decided to do something crazy and signed up for a 10K. In less than a month, I will be attempting to run running 6.2 miles, a distance I've still never run. For those of you who don't know, I've never been a runner. Really. In high school I always hated the days we had to run 1 lap around the track for drill team practice. I would finish last, huffing and puffing like I was going to die. Part of that came from having asthma through adolescence and another part was just being out of shape. 
June 2007- London (wow this is hard to look at!)
Once I got to college I would work out a little bit, but come sophomore year I was at my heaviest and very unhappy about it. So starting that summer, I started heading to the rec and working out more. I took some fun fitness classes like fencing, yoga, and step aerobics as well as watched what I ate. Living in an apartment off campus really helped with that and I slowly saw the pounds start to come off and I thought I was at a really good weight when I got married in the summer of 2011. 
Honeymoon, May 2011
However, after we got married and moved, I was afraid of putting the pounds back on. I've always heard how hard it is to maintain weight loss, so I got a gym membership, stepped up my work outs, and started learning about what a healthy lifestyle really means. I don't just focus on cardio and I do some weight training to tone up a bit. I definitely allow myself some cheat meals here and there, but still count my calories and cook healthy recipes (Cooking Light, oh how I love thee!). 
Saturday night, pre awesome dinner date
All of that has been going well, but I was afraid of getting burned out on doing the same thing. So, I decided to push myself and do something I never would have considered. I had run a 5K in November of 2012 and it went well, so I wanted to push myself more. I didn't want to run a half marathon as the training for that is so long and running 13.3 miles is intimidating. A 10K it is! So I found one that was a few months out to keep the training realistic and found a 10 week training plan that allowed me to slowly increase my mileage as well as do some cross-training so I wouldn't get burned out, mentally or physically, on running. 

I'm not going to lie, it hasn't always been easy and I don't always reach my distance goal. The past two weeks I was fighting an upper respiratory infection so I had to walk more than I would have liked. At other times, I started getting cramps that I had to walk off. But I'm still glad that I've stuck to it and am mostly enjoying it. I still don't absolutely love running, but I'm learning how mental of an activity it is. I love knowing after a run that I've accomplished something I never thought I could do. That's why I keep on doing it as there are few things that give me that feeling. 

Anyway, this has gotten quite long but I guess I needed to get it out there. It has been quite a journey over the past several years. October 20th will be here before I know it and hopefully I will be able to meet my goal and not have to walk during the race. However if I do, there's always the next one! 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Five Things Friday

Don't look now, but I have just posted twice in 1 week. Crazy! Here is a quick update on the happenings of my life recently.

  1. It was my birthday! I had a great day of enjoying some tasty food and relaxing with my husband. That's all I could really ask for.
  2. We finally get to have Epic Date Part B Saturday night! Matt's taking me out to dinner and we get to get all dressed up and everything. I'm excited!
  3. I am so blessed by my family and friends. I don't say it enough but it is so true. I was reminded of that this week in many, many ways.
  4. As busy as school keeps me, I'm really enjoying my classes this semester. They are all pretty interesting and opening my eyes to several different research methods and issues I've never considered before. 
  5. I increased my mileage this week in preparation for my 10K. I wasn't able to run 4 miles completely without stopping, but I think running all but 4 minutes of it is pretty awesome. I just have to figure out why I get cramps around the 9 minute mark...
Anyway, that's about it for me. What are your plans this weekend? Have you been enjoying your September so far?
Because it's Friday; source

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Birthday, a Day Late

Hello everyone!

Let's not mention my unintended blogging hiatus, k? Life continues to be crazy. Let's stick with that. 

Anyway, yesterday was my 25th birthday! Matt unfortunately had to work but as I didn't have classes, I got to enjoy a day to myself. However, before Matt left we opened gifts. Yes, at 6:15 in the morning. Can you blame me? I didn't want to wait all day! I'm very blessed by my family as I loved everything I received, including this cookbook. I'm fairly obsessed with my Cooking Light magazine so this is pretty perfect! Matt was also pretty excited by this one as it means more baked goods for him. Win win!

After he left, I went to go work out and found this fun surprise on my heart rate monitor:
My own little birthday cake! How fun is that? I got a good work out in, did a little bit of school, and then headed out to treat myself to lunch. I had received several emails offering me free food for my birthday, so how could I resist? I ordered a delicious salad from Which Wich (I highly recommend getting their gyro as a salad-- you can even convince yourself it's pseudo-healthy) but of course didn't get a picture. Sorry. 

After lunch, I walked around Central Market and didn't buy anything. Why did I go? I could and I really didn't want to do work. I then headed to Academy, hit up their clearance racks, and bought some work out clothes I've been needing. Finally I went home and did a little bit more school work. After a professor got on to me for working on my birthday, I walked away from my computer and relaxed before Matt got home from work. 

Once he got home, we enjoyed dinner at a local Italian place, got fro-yo, and watched the airplanes take off at an overlook for DFW airport. Pretty good way to end a birthday! 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Five Things for Friday

I am taking a quick break from school to write a blog post just for you! Don't you feel loved? That and I need to think about something besides IRB, symbolic interactionism, deterrence, and R&R's. If you can't tell, I'm already a little overwhelmed by the start of the fall semester. Just have to remember to breathe...

1) I fell in love with the slow cooker all over again Wednesday night. I put together this recipe that morning and about 15 minutes before we were ready to eat, I added the final ingredients and boom! A delicious Thai dinner was enjoyed by all! It had leeks in it so Matthew & I had fun with puns all night. 

2) I love my family. I do. But I have been traveling so much this summer for various family-related things I am SO excited for this weekend. Why? No traveling. I have been needing a break from road trips and a nice weekend in, even if it is filled with studying, will be perfect. 

3) I miss reading for fun. I picked up this book from the library a few weeks ago thinking I would read it during some of our travels. Nope. It is half read and staring at me on the coffee table, begging me to pick it up. I'm a huge fan of the author, Erik Larson, by the way. If you're looking for a good book, I recommend any of his novels. They are non-fiction actually but read like fiction. In a good way. Just read them, k?

4) Matt & I finally upgraded our 2+ year old phones and got Moto X's. I am in love. Why? Well first, I got to customize it. I had a hard time choosing between a turquoise or this pretty chardonnay type color, but I figured I would go for the classier one of the two. 

Also-- it is way faster, way better battery life, and just has some really neat features. For example, it can automatically detect when I'm driving and it will tell me who is calling so I don't have to pick it up. I can just say "answer" or "ignore." It will also read text messages to me when I drive and then can send that person a response saying I will respond to them later. Anyway, I recommend it if you're in the market for a new phone and like/are open to the Android OS.

5) I'm planning on devoting a whole post to this in the not-too-distant-future, but I signed up for a 10K. The girl who never thought she could run 2 laps around the track much less 1 mile is committed to running over 6 miles. I have a training plan I've been using and this Wednesday I ran 3.5 miles. Doing that after some weight-training wasn't the best idea, but I did it and didn't stop. October 20th will be here before we know it though so I gotta keep it up!

I hope you have a great weekend!