Sunday, January 30, 2011

It's Official.

(Amsterdam, Brussels, Munich & Prague)

And I'm trying not to scream and jump around and yell it from the rooftops.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cookbook Challenge, Week 1, Over and Out

Today marks the end of the first week of the cookbook challenge that myself and other PPK'ers took part in. The book this week was Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.
I've made quite a few things from this book since getting it as a gift and almost* everything has been a hit!

1. Masala Baked Tofu
 The flavor of the tofu was really, really good. I didn't have curry powder, so I used garam masala and it was still awesome. This is without pressing whatsoever, but I'll bet pressing would make it so much better!

2. Pasta con Broccoli
 This will be a staple around here! So, so garlicky.

3. Unfried Rice
 My husband isn't a fan of leftovers. In fact, I eat all the leftovers because he won't. He ate all the leftovers of the rice, which should be a testament to how amazing it was. It was my first time making "fried" rice and I will be making it many more times!

4. Red Thai Tofu
This accompanied the Unfried Rice. It was tasty and very fast to make, but it almost feels like it's missing something?

5. Chipotle Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts.
 * This is the last recipe I made, and it was ok. Jeff is usually gung ho about trying everything but when I brought this chili up he asked "why the hell put brussel sprouts in chili?". We both liked the chili part, but I don't know if I'll put brussels and sweet potatoes in next time!

 The second week of the cookbook challenge tackles that mighty tome of awesome: Veganomicon. I must say, it runs sparse of dishes I haven't made, but I made Jeff pick 3 that aren't desserts and he has good taste. Obviously.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Getting my ass kicked.

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I've been taking Zumba classes since last October. An old coworker was teaching them and I decided to try them out and got hooked.

Now, I want to be honest: I have no rhythm whatsoever. I kind of look like an idiot in class. But I've managed to pick up on a lot of moves that are used in a lot of songs and work really really hard on the rest.

This morning my regular teacher was out and we had a sub - a woman that I would LOVE to take classes from regularly. I've had her before and she just kicks my ass every. single. time. in a way that my regular teacher doesn't. Don't get me wrong, I love my instructor, but this girl is just so hard core. Finishing her classes covered in sweat and aching make me feel so strong and motivated for the rest of the day!

On that note, the 5k - 10k trainings are going well - since this time around it's a lot easier for me I've been focusing on speed. BUT when I say speed, I mean attempting to run at a 5.5 mph pace rather than a 4 mph pace :-) It's hard, but I'm determined. I've been seeing a lot of my friends on FB and in real life that have taken up running and I get a little down that it seems a hell of a lot easier for them than it is for me. But I try to remember that they're not posting about the days they don't do well, the days that their running sessions suck and it makes me feel better. I am coldhearted, methinks.

ALSO! This week was the start of the new PPK Cookbook Challenge and I plan to write tomorrow about the dishes I made in the first book Appetite for Reduction!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Tools of the Trade.

I read a lot of photography blogs and subscribe to a bunch of photography newsletters. There’s a theme I’ve noticed lately that seems to coincide nicely with the current economic state: it’s not about the equipment, it’s what you do with it. This especially resides with me; as a poor college kid trying to make a name for myself (let’s face it, I’m trying to earn a little $$) I don’t have the means to set up my spare room (the “office”) up as a full blown photography studio. I can’t spend money on lights, sets or even lenses.

It gets me down sometimes, but then I see photos from people that do have that stuff and think “well, that’s not very good”. Not to toot my own horn, but I think that I’ve come a long way without the fancy flashes and super extra long zoom lenses. Not that I wouldn’t mind that stuff, of course.

Today, I worked on a project for my cousin. I shot some photos of a product for a website he’s building. This hasn’t been the easiest assignment, I will admit. I built a light box but my lights weren’t enough to light up the inside. I shot photos on the balcony in below freezing weather, but I wasn’t happy with the results. Thus, I reveal my set up:

Probably a fire hazard, but it accomplished what the light box and THE SUN could not.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

No More Excuses.

Thanks to my sister in law's post run high from last night and some good friends encouraging me, I am currently signed up for two races, soon to be three (maybe 4?) for 2011.

1. Fort Vancouver 6k - March 27th

2. Bridge to Brews - April 17th (c'mon guys, BEER)

3. Cinco de Mayo - May 8th

4. Rum Run - May 22nd

I've chosen these solely on the fact my sister in law and good friends are running them. The free drinks at the end are an awesome incentive though! I don't want to overload myself by signing up for these and then burning out, but I think this is the best way, based on my habit of backing out unless it's paid for.

I have no idea what distance to do for the last two runs. I figure if I'm doing an 8k in April, I should be able to finish a 10k, right?