Friday, June 28, 2013

Food & Beer Friday :: Another twin.

While I won't apologize for my lack of post last week, I will mention that I had a semi-emergency that involved my sister being in town and lice.  Ew.  Nonetheless, in the midst of a crazy busy and overwhelming week I've definitely been drinking some beers.

I've talked about Evil Twin Brewing before, and I'm a big fan of the company.  For some reason, Falco really stood out to me and I just had to have it.  It's an IPA, and I've mentioned my taste for this style is growing.  Maybe I got ahead of myself; maybe my hopes were too high.  While the beer was well done, it just was not for me.  The hops were some of the most bitter and strong that I could remember tasting.  It was really hard for me to drink the entire bottle on my own.  If you're really into hoppy beers and IPAs, definitely give this beer a try!  If you're an IPA newbie like me, bypass it or take a sip of your partner's!

Since hoppy beers pair well with spicy foods, I had the Falco with my favorite easy salsa and chips!  Now head on over and check out what Sarah has been sipping on this week!  


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Chicago :: The sights v.1

Way back in May, D and I headed out to Chicago for an early summer vacation.  Chicago had been on my bucket list for quite a bit, so I was thrilled to finally visit one of my coveted cities.  We headed out for five nights, and it was the perfect amount of time for exploring Chicago.

We got in late on a Wednesday night and got a hotel accessible to downtown Chicago.

The Palmer House Hilton is absolutely stunning.  It's old, and I won't bore you with the history of it.  It was right down the street from awesome restaurants and sites in Chicago.

We were only blocks from this gorgeous view.  It was a dreary, foggy, and chilly first day.  We ate breakfast nearby then decided to check out the Bean while we were in the vicinity.

Millennium Park was two blocks from our hotel.  While I wish it would have been a bit warmer to really enjoy and explore, it held the crowds off.

We hadn't heard of the Crown Fountain at the park prior to visiting.  I'm so glad we got to see it, but it's certainly...interesting.

LEDs illuminate videos on the the 50 foot tall granite towers with water running through them from May to October.  My understanding is that the videos change.  You could see scenery or pictures of Chicago locals!  That's an amazing way to display art.

After checking out our apartment we rented through Airbnb, we headed back downtown to the Bank of America Theatre to see The Book of Mormon

Seriously, the best of times.  D and I had access to a full bar (free drinks!) with apps and desserts before and during the show.  I'd go so far as to say this highly increased our love for the show, but it's definitely a must see!

Also, congrats to Shelley on winning the Esprit de She giveaway!  Please contact me via email by Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The little {walker} who could.

Yesterday, I mentioned that I'm missing running as well as not eating or working out the way I should.  I've been on a bumpy road with my stress fracture.  At the beginning of June I decided to give running another try.  My doctor didn't really give me a specific plan to follow, and I had walked with practically no pain (aside from normal transitional pain related to not walking for a month and suddenly walking again) all over Chicago.  I decided to try Pete Pfitzinger's return to running program.  The walking was fine, but the running portion gave me that same tight, "stress fracture feeling" that I felt when I first got injured.  I continued the run and attempted to convince myself this was just transition pains.

In conjunction with my first run, I had been doing the 30 day squat challenge.  Between the both of these, I felt that pain in my leg for the next week.  I finally connected that the squat challenge may be adversely affecting me, so I stopped that as well as running.  I'm taking this week to try simply walking.  I'm only going to do it on the track, and I know I need to take it slow.  Since I'm a little worried about Pete's plan, I'm going to try this one next week (assuming I have no pain during or after walking this week).  I'm planning to go get fitted for new shoes next week as well.

One of the hardest parts about listening to my body was knowing that this extra delay means I will not be able to run the Esprit de She in just ten days.

I've literally been looking forward to this race before it was even announced.  I'm unbelievably disappointed, but I know it's for the best.  I know I can not risk re-injury.  Not to mention I refuse to be on that scooter ever again!  I still plan to go to Esprit de She and be a part of the festivities.  I love cheering on other runners, and I know the atmosphere will be worth it.  Want to know a little more about the race?  Watch the video below!

Registration is still open, so go find out more about the Raleigh/Cary race!  In the meantime, I'm giving away an Esprit de She gift pack that includes a cool t-shirt!
This shirt is amazingly soft!  I wear mine from the Commitment Day 5k all the time!  Enter the giveaway and let me know if you end up registering for the race!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 17, 2013

Life Lately :: These days...

These days...I'm lacking time for blogging.

These days...I'm desperately missing running.

These days...I find it hard to sit down at the computer long enough to crank out something I'm proud of.

These days...I've lost a bit of focus and direction.

These days...I'm happy and enjoying being a part of the summer time.

These days...I won't make promises I can't keep.

These days...I've been eating terribly and not working out the way I should (nor can I the way I want to).

These days...I'll show you what I've been up to but make no guarentees to post again this week (which is not to say I won't!).

 [I tried my first walk/run back after the injury at an awesome track right near my house. Sadly, my leg had weird pains for a week+ after.  I'm hoping to start back in another week, but this has really put a kink in my Esprit de She plans.]

 [Baby birds in one of my hanging plants!  So glad I didn't accidentally drown them.]

 [The week before I got my tattoo I was still working out and trying to do the 30 Day Squat Challenge. I think the squats were aggravating my leg, so I took last week off.]

 [A glorious and perfect beach day with a friend was just what the doctor ordered!]

 [Of course the first beach day of the year ended with a sunburn.  A loose sunburn outfit is a necessity in the summer.]

[I started a book club and we had our first "official" meeting last week to discuss Gone Girl.  This book is our next pick and I'm super excited!]

Friday, June 14, 2013

Food & Beer Friday :: Flower child.

I'm still out of the loop.  To be fair, this week has been hectic and chaotic.  I'll bring a life lately update on Monday, but for now.  Enjoy this quick little beer spotlight!

I pulled one out of the archive from that Chicago trip that I've yet to recap.  Of all the drinking we did in Chi-town, I tried to drink only things that I couldn't access back in NC.  Half Acre Beer was a company that I really enjoyed.  One of my only regrets was that we didn't go visit the brewery.  On our last day of vacation, we picked up a four-pack of the Daisy Cutter to wind down and watch some of the new season of Arrested Development.

Half Acre characterizes the Daisy Cutter as a "west coast" pale ale even though it's brewed in Chicago. It's a perfect pale ale at 5.2% alcohol.  I'd say it's a pretty standard pale ale, but it's pretty damn delicious for something that's brewed close to you (we don't have a great pale ale brewed in NC in my opinion).  I'm always a big fan of canned beers, and this one hit the spot.  I mean it's nothing special like the Rosa was for me, but this would be a go-to if I lived near Chicago!

I'm keeping it short and sweet this week, but if you really need a food pairing check out last week's beer.  In the meantime, go see what Sarah chose to feature this week! Then link-up!  Link-ups will be open through Monday and you can link any food or beer post from the week.  Come join us!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Food & Beer Friday :: Citra & purple potatoes.

Last weekend was beautiful.  While I'm regretting not heading out to the beach, even solo (damn you tropical storm), I definitely enjoyed soaking up the sun right at home.  It was one of those productive and fun weekends.  Oddly enough, I may have finally converted to hops.  I keep telling D that I've grown up; my taste buds are changing.  I'm taking red onions and banana peppers on my pizza and salad at our weekly Trophy Brewing dates.  With summer beers in full swing, I continually find myself choosing hops over my previous sweeter summer favorite.

That being said, it's really odd that I would pick up an IPA.  Flying Dog's Citra Single Hop Imperial IPA caught my eye, and I figured I should branch out a bit.  One aspect I love about some hoppy beers is that floral hop flavor.  Citra had that taste.  Since the floral flavor is prominent, the beer doesn't overwhelm me with hop bitterness.  At first I thought it may be a little too easy to take down at 10% alcohol but it is actually perfect for just sipping on with a snack.  I would consider this more of a nightcap than a BBQ beer.  

And about that snack?  After reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, I'm making more of an effort to shop the amazing farmers markets in Raleigh and take advantage of what is in season.  I picked up these great purple potatoes a couple of weeks ago.  I simply boiled them a bit and threw them into a homemade potato salad with ingredients I already had at home.  Simple and delicious.  Initially we had it as a side with some venison burgers and a local lettuce salad.  I ate on it for days, and it only got better.

Now head on over and check out Sarah's pick for the week.  Have a food or beer post from this week? Link up with us!


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