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Sunday Runday

13 Jan

I was dealing with some serious internal conflict on Saturday night about what distance I should run on Sunday.  First world problems all up in here.  Earlier that day, I had decided that my 2014 inaugural race should be the Ole 5K again.  I plan to train harder than I did last year as I think I’m a bit more advanced this time around as the beginner program seems too easy now.  So, Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 5K Training Plan it is!  The problem is the first week’s scheduled long run is 5 miles.  I’ve peaked at 3.5…

I was hesitant on Sunday because I had been on the treadmill all of last week.  I had serious doubts about 2 miles.  But, if I want to build up to 5 miles before training begins then I have to jump up to 3.  There was really no point in putting it off, so I knew I had to swallow my fear of failure and just try as hard as I could.  I took a water break after 2 miles at the car, then pushed onward into Frick Park. #blueslidepark


And guess what?  I friggin’ did it!  I’m not putting any pressure on myself about it.  For the next 27 days I will see how far I get with base building and go from there.  With a little practice and a lot of persistence, I just know I can beat my previous time for the Ole 5K.

I went home and rested for a few hours, hydrated, and watched some extra greasy reality TV.  A few hours later, Liberty and I hit the road to meet up with some of our friends.


Actually the dogs had never met before, so they weren’t friends before the walk.  Katie was my roommate in college for a few years and is one of the only people I am still in touch with.


It was really fun! We discovered some homeless people camps and also a dog park, which was super muddy.  Just the way Liberty likes it.


This trail is part of the Great Allegheny Passage, which I’ve written about before.  If we had kept going, it would eventually connect with the trail that I run down at the Waterfront.  Pretty neat!  Since we were walking with absolutely no concern about speed or distance, I was able to give my muscles a nice cool down.  I am going to stretch out like crazy tonight after work and hopefully get 2 in in the morning!

Our First Dinner Party!

24 Nov

We had our first dinner party y’all!

Since we moved back to our house after finishing school, we have been in major renovation mode.  But, now that our house is completely done being remodeled and it looks amazing, we didn’t waste any time having some friends over!

On Thursday, we had 8 people over for a 3-course meal.  I was so excited, it was all I could think about since we made the plans on Sunday.  I poured over all of my best recipes to decide what I should make – appetizer, entree, and dessert – and decided on 3 things that I knew would go well together and would easily feed that many people.


AppetizerPear, Pecan, Gorgonzola & Honey Crostinis


photo from Deb

These turned out soooo scrumptious!  We all agreed that this isn’t something we would’ve ordered off of a menu, but the flavors were amazing when combined together.

EntreeBrown Sugar & Bacon Wrapped Boneless Pork Roast with Roasted Red Potatoes & Asparagus


I actually didn’t even get a chance to take a picture of the side dish, but here is a glimpse of it over breakfast the next morning:


DessertVanilla Poached Baked Pears with Vanilla Creme Sauce

photo by Melissa

photo by Melissa

I was really proud of how everything turned out and my time management was awesome!  I was able to talk and enjoy the party with everyone the entire time.  I was worried that I would be scrambling around fussing over things and not socializing, but it was so much fun.  Also, the recipes I picked were shockingly easy to pull together.

My only 2 regrets are:  paper plates (which I hate – but we only have 6 plates to our names) and lack of silverware (apparently I own 6 forks as well).  Luckily, the only person bothered by paper plates was me and we all got a good laugh out of eating with spoons.  Next time, I will make sure I’m better prepared!

And yes, I am going to make you keep checking back for the recipes over the next few days.  MWAHAHAHA!

Murray Avenue Grill

1 Jun

We had lunch the other day at the Murray Avenue Grill, which is (shockingly) on Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill.

This is a long-time favorite of mine, but I try something new every time we patronize this joint.

We sat right in the front window (which is usually my favorite seat in ANY house because we♥ both love to people watch.

There are additional booths in the back there and also patio seating when the weather is nice:

We♥ had always loved the buffalo chicken dip here, but they took it off the menu for some ONGODLY reason.

Whatev.  You can be replaced.

The dips at Murray Avenue Grill aren’t portioned like TGIFridays. They are great for 2 people who don’t want an entire meal, but an actual appetizer.

I had never noticed the extensive list of beers before this visit:

She♥ ordered the Leffe Blonde and:

While I just picked something completely random off the drink menu:

And here’s my piggy piggy plate:

It was okay.  The horseradish sauce was good, but there was a little too much of it.  The brisket itself was excellent.

In my defense, I only ate half the sandwich and a handful of fries.  I ended up finishing the rest for dinner.  Yummyyyyyyyyy.

Grunt work ♥

12 Apr

Since Easter, it has been work, work and more work!

Things are really moving along with my cloth diapering service, Changin’ Time.  The calls/inquiries are rolling in and we are trying to check – check – and double check everything so that this process is painless.  We are pretty much awesome.

Today was a lot of grunt work though.  Part 1 Phase 1 I feel like, of a broad marketing campaign that will start small and then escalate.  But like I said, today was Part 1 Phase 1…

Lord, I feel like we drove around EVERYWHERE today.  But, it wasn’t so bad really.  Logistically, it makes the most sense for us to target our main marketing areas, so in a few days we are going to do this all over again but with different types of businesses.

It’s actually pretty effing cool to be hitting the streets talking to people about cloth diapers and getting them as excited as you are about your business.

It was so nice out today…chilly but the kind of blue skies that Pittsburgh only really sees in the spring.

I love Bloomfield and wish I could have taken more shots of it today, but we were busy zip-zapping around getting our work done.

I did capture this growing over a fence in an alley…

lovely ♥

Pretty sure she♥ had this place in mind all along, because we “happened” to strategically pass by the Harris Grill on our way towards home.  I’ll let you wonder how it went until tomorrow….

Night, dolls 😉

Smallman Street Deli: Big Taste

24 Mar

While I am working on my recap of Farm To Table, I thought I would leave you with a little gem from earlier in the week.  She♥ had been given a gift certificate to the Smallman Street Deli.  We of course chose the one located on Murray Ave. in Squirrel Hill because it is closer, although I have been to the one on Smallman Street as well.

The first thing that I have always loved about this place is the patio seating.  Those things in the front that look like windows?  When the weather is nice, those are open and you can eat your breakfast/lunch/dinner in fresh air.  Love.

When you walk in the front door, it seems like a traditional deli:

There are cases of prepared cold foods, meats, beers, etc.  I also love how the menu is written on a chalkboard that wraps the entire length of the deli.  As you walk to the counter to order, you can see what they offer for breakfast and then lunch and then dinner.

I couldn’t help but notice the gluten-free beer selection:

And the meat case, which we were informed contained meat that was made and cured on site (kosher of course):

So finally we made our way up to the counter after I’m sure I completely alientated the deli clerk.

I, of course, already knew what I was going to get.

The Reuben.  My favorite.  $8.99 of pure heaven.

We headed for the outdoor patio, but of course walked through the crazy big indoor dining area:

They give you a number and bring the food right out to your table.

Here is what my little lovely looked like…

As served:

Oh.  Em.  Gee.

The perfect rye:


And like a little oyster (Paula Deen, style perhaps, but full of something beautiful):



The best damn corned beef in the city.  And the best damn Reuben at that.

I wanted to run back to my car and inform the general public that they are ignorant of the amazing corned beef they are missing out on.  (Although most residents of Squirrel Hill probably already know.

I think I need to stop back for breakfast some morning. I mean, you can’t go wrong with a “Meshugena Omelet,” right?

Moral of the story:  foodgasm.

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