Friday, May 31, 2013

Food & Beer Friday :: May flowers bring Rosa.

While I know I've been gone for a week, I've got a great Chicago-themed beer for you this week!  I'll be back next week with lots of Chicago and lots of updates!

One of the places we visited while in Chicago was Revolution Brewing.  I absolutely fell in love with their Rosa Hibiscus Ale while there.  While I was told that Revolution does not distribute their beer, I remembered Erin featuring this beer in a can a little bit before.  I'm still not sure why Chicagoans say that it's not sold?  Nonetheless, I'm smitten with this beer (who wants to mail me some?).  This brew is a little tart with just the right amount of sweetness.  It's brewed with hibiscus flowers and a bit of orange peel.  The ale has a bit of a pink tint (from the flowers) and is really easy to drink.  At 5.8% alcohol, this is the perfect summer beer.  It doesn't have that overwhelming sweetness of wheat beers, but it's not as tart as a sour beer.

We visited the Revolution brewpub and not the brewery itself.  I loved the open and well-decorated space.  If I lived in Chicago, I would definitely frequent this spot.

Of course we had our fair share of samples, but I couldn't resist the Rosa.  Since we've returned home, I've mentioned this beer at least five times.  The fact it comes in a can is certainly an added bonus (hello beach beer!).   I'm definitely trying to figure out how in the world I can get this beer to my doorstep...

Now go check out what beer Sarah has picked this week (and the chances of her and I picking the same beer are much slimmer this week!) and link-up any food and beer post you have from the past week.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Food & Beer Friday :: It's a paleooza!

Even though I'm Chicago living it up, I couldn't forget about Food & Beer Friday!  I'm keeping it short and sweet, but this brew is worth checking out!

Should I prep this post by confirming I'm not an alcoholic?  I'm not, but either way I typically end my work days by coming home and cracking open a beer.  Since I like to start my evenings with something simple, a pale ale is perfect!  I was drawn to New Holland Brewing's Paleooza.  At 5.6% alcohol, this brew is light and clean with the perfect hop bitterness.  It's brewed with Cascade hops and a refreshing way to end my work day or start my evening!  

Now since I cut things short, head on over to Sarah's blog and see what she reviewed!  I'll be back next week with some Chicago brews!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Getting back to running + Esprit de She.

Today is the big day.  I go back to the doctor after being on crutches and a knee scooter for 3.5 weeks.  It was supposed to be four weeks, but we conveniently leave for Chicago today as well.  While I don't quite know what this doctor's appointment will hold for me, I do know that there will be quite a bit of walking done in Chicago. I do know that I'm ready to get back to running.  I also know that I have a 5k lined up in a month.

I've been eying the Esprit de She race series since Katie mentioned it a while back.  This is a women's only race series that not only involves running but also cycling, tris, and duathlons.  I'm thrilled to be an ambassador for this series*.  One thing I love about this race is the fact that it's a week day "happy hour" race!  After the race, there's drinks, tapas, and music.  The entire community gets involved as well with a night market.  I can't wait to be a part of this race!  The charity associated with the NC race is Girls on the Run, which I am a huge fan of!

As much as I wanted to run the 10k, this injury has set me back much further than I had anticipated.  After speaking with the doctor, I'm hoping to make the slow transition back to running.  I'm ready to tackle this challenge.  I ready to be a part of another race.  I'm ready to learn how to balance running with other forms of fitness.  After we get back from Chicago (and with the assumption that I'll get the go ahead to start the slow transition back to running), I'll be posting about my training plan.  I'm already scared of re-injury and how slow this transition will be...

Interested in running the Esprit de She Cary/Raleigh?  Check it out here!

*As an ambassador, I was provided with a free entry to the Esprit de She race, but all opinions are my own and I am not being paid to promote this race.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Life Lately :: Life while crippled.

I've been making it through lately.  While I haven't been thrilled receiving my medical bills from the x-rays, MRI, and costs just to have someone "read" the MRI, I'm ecstatic to be going back to the doctor and heading out to Chicago on Wednesday!  I've got a two day week ahead (with a couple of really loud kids going to be absent!) and focusing on the positive.  As for the last two weeks, I haven't focused much on the gym (everything gets really tiring and old with a knee scooter and crutches) but I have been enjoying reading and relaxing.

 [What do you do on your first weekend with crutches and off Whole 30?  Go explore campgrounds and eat/drink Mexican fare.]

 [Teacher appreciation week was really good to me.  I'm so incredibly lucky to have a job I love and where I'm appreciated.]

 [Awesome cards from Happy Dappy Bits!  Cards are eco-friendly and I used the Congrats card to celebrate my running friend's graduation from nursing school.]

 [Enjoying a Terrapin Tree Hugger + my favorite tuna app from Tyler's Taproom.  Sometimes it's good to get out and about while on crutches.]

 [When you're semi-handicapped and working with three year-olds, your weeks don't feel shorter.  Sometimes Friday celebrations deserve local beer.]

 [This happened for about 10 minutes at Target.  I swear that thing almost died on me in the middle of the aisle.  Ditched it in the pharmacy section. Damn did my arms hurt after crutching around the entire rest of the store.]

 [Favorite lunchtime activity :: writing cards and reading.  Trying to finish up Animal, Vegetable, Miracle before we start our book for book club.]

 [A "mixer" at Foundation for the first book club meeting.  It was a success and I can't wait for the next meet-up!]

 [My first time cooking with collard greens.  They were one of the only local produce finds at Whole Foods.]

 [Falafel made with chick peas and collard greens!]

[D came home a night early before he flew out again!  We enjoyed a lazy Saturday and tried out the pizza at Trophy Brewing.  Loved the pizza (and of course the beer)!]

If you're still hanging around after all these pictures, here's what I'm loving lately...

Saturday, May 18, 2013


Ashley's apology the other day really got me thinking.  I rarely share about my family, my intimate relationships, friends...the real personal stuff that gets to the core of who you are.  Why?  Mainly, I think that some things should be kept private.  Things can be said in a moment; any one can read what I say in little space of mine. And to be honest, I like to focus on primarily the happy and positive aspects of my life.  That's what makes me most happy. Reliving the best parts of my life, not the worst.  Sometimes though, you have to be brutally honest with yourself and get to the heart of matters.


Negativity can get the best of me.  At heart, I am a pessimistic and complaining person.  I've been trying to work on cutting some additional negativity out of my life.  I have drastically cut out blogs that annoyed me more than not and simply deleted (not just hid) facebook "friends" that gave me an additional reason to complain on any given day.  Unfortunately, the negativity, frustration, and anger that can not be cut out is family.


Back to forgiveness.  One simple thing Ashley said really made me think,
"I forgive you because I love you."
As an adult, not child, of divorce, with two young siblings (and one older) who still live at home, I hold on to so much anger, frustration, hurt, and helplessness.  I have no relationship with my mother.  A multitude of emotions are the result of this faulted "relationship."  Anger, hurt, confusion, worry, frustration.  I often wonder what would go through my mind if she ever reached out to me, tried {again} to bridge that gap.  Could I forgive?  Could I forget?  So much of me feels like these two go hand in hand.  Is forgiveness as simple as Ashley says?  My mind says I can not forgive and certainly never forget.  The hurt and emotion seem to go too deep.  Is there an invisible line that is crossed by another that leads you to feel incapable of forgiving, feel the fear of continual hurt?

Obviously, my feelings and emotions go much deeper that I would delve into in this space.  The hurt that I feel goes beyond me, to others much more innocent and incapable of fully understanding.  Families are a complicated thing.  My only hope and wish is that this makes me a stronger and better person in the end.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Food & Beer Friday :: What the bock?

After a tough week, month, three months, day, I deserved a beer.  I'm a big fan of Anchor beers as evidenced here and here.  I couldn't resist picking up a brown brew from this brewery.  Anchor Bock Beer was actually a wonderful surprise after an exhausting spring day.  While we're approaching the horizon of summer, I want to relish these glorious days of spring while I can.  Anchor describes a bock best,
"In the ancient bock tradition, the dark-colored brew is released in time for springtime celebrations. Bock beers are believed to have originated in the town of Einbeck, Germany and traditionally feature a goat on their labels. The term, “bock” occurs in several Germanic languages and roughly translates to “billy goat”, but there are some unlikely alternatives. Followers of the zodiac have described it as a beer for Capricorn, the time when, as the days grow longer, brewers brew their bock beers in anticipation of the coming of spring."
I love the story behind the bock.  I was pleasantly surprised by this brew.  While I didn't have any real expectations, I imagined something hoppy.  This wasn't hoppy at all.  The Bock Beer was malty with a bit of bitterness, likely resulting from the chocolate and roasted barley.  I tasted a roastiness which was a sweet surprise!  The goat?  It's contributed to the "kick" behind this bock.  If you can still find this brew, pick it up for an easy drinking brown ale!

Now, head on over to Sarah's and say hello while you link up!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Travel Tuesday :: Adventures in camping.

After my little week of depression, I mentioned D and I were headed camping.  North Carolina is full of amazing state parks.  A couple of years ago, D and I tent camped at Falls Lake Recreation Area.  For our first pop-up camper trip, we decided to go to Jordan Lake Recreation Area.  There's quite a few campground around Jordan Lake, but after some exploring we liked Poplar Point best.  D went on Thursday and got us a nice site with electricity and all.

 [This bad boy has had three generations of Walkers sleep in it! (Maybe four one day?!)]

Since D went down a day and a half before me, he set up the entire campsite by himself.  This is some hardcore stuff too.  That cabinet above keeps all of your cooking necessities nearby but stored away (close for you, safe from animals).

While I wish there was some green on that plate, sorry.  I'm not sorry.  Camping has always been a time that I can indulge in foods and snacks that I never eat (I'm looking at you Garden Salsa SunChips).  Venison burgers (since venison is flexitarian for me), baked beans, and grilled corn is the perfect way to start a camping trip.

French press coffee and chocolate and peanut butter chip pancakes are an amazing way to start your day (after already sleeping in).  Seriously camping food might be the best...  After breakfast and being incredibly sore/tight from my injury, I wanted to start my day off with some outdoor yoga.  My yoga guru, Ashley, sent me some links, and I had one of the best yoga workouts ever.

This view is what I'm talking about.  I laid out the mat under the trees and the sunlight.  I plugged in my headphones (mainly to drown out the loud college kids across the way) and turned on the Yogini Pandora station.  It was amazing, simply amazing.

Cloud Atlas was a doozy to get through (so long), but in my opinion a day is no better spent than in front of the fire with a book.  We spent the entire day reading and relaxing.

Grilled pizza, chocolate popcorn, hot chocolate, and s'mores.  Perfect end to a little camping getaway.

Not so perfect?  A disabled girl trying to pee in the woods (who's wasting time driving and crutching up to the bath house) with a family next door.  Props to D for rigging a tarp and getting me hooked up.  While alcoholic beverages are prohibited in the parks, do you think it stopped D and I?  So imagine our surprise when the park ranger knocked on our camper door Sunday morning.  Oh shit.  Things got real (which means the last four of our beers had to be poured out).  Oh the memories...


Pin It button on image hover