More: Valentine’s Day

Starting with red roses and ending with a bottle of champagne, it was an amazing Valentine’s Day with the boyfriend. Besides the flowers, he also got me truffles and took me to Napa for the night. Couldn’t have had a more romantic day!


It only took us 3 hours to get to Napa, so I had enough time to get all pretty with my short pink dress and 5-inch heels. Leaving the hotel room, I was feeling all hot and confident and then: face-plant. So lucky it didn’t happen in the middle of the restaurant! We ended up having a really nice dinner at Tra Vigne, with drinks, good wine, calamari, venison, scallops, and butterscotch pannacotta. The next day we went to celebrity chef Michael Chiarello’s Bottega restaurant for another great meal. The boyfriend has learned quickly that the way to my heart is through my stomach.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

By the way, besides the mug I painted for him, my real gift was my name change: I am back to E.M now.

"Paint Your Own Pottery"

“Paint Your Own Pottery”

Eating: Guacamole

Last week I got avocados from my organic basket delivery and made guacamole for the first time. It didn’t last a day. So a couple of days later I had to make it again for the boyfriend to try. It almost didn’t last until his arrival.



3 avocados – peeled and pitted

½ cup diced onions

1 lime – juiced

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

2 diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon minced garlic


In a bowl, mix all the ingredients together with an electric mixer.


Makes 4 serving of 185 calories each.



Marathon Training – Week 15

Since I was going away for the weekend, I had to do most of my runs during a weekday. I also had to split a 5 mile run in half because I didn’t have time to do all of it in one day. In the end, it all worked out and I completed my miles! I got to go to different places each day, like Virginia Lake, the gym, and by the river in Carson with my friend T., and did my long run of 12 miles at night in my neighborhood. Glad to know I don’t have to rely on weekends for my workouts, but because I didn’t rest enough between jogs, my right hip continues to hurt a bit 😦

Carson Run

Carson Run

Eating: Gluten-free Egg-free Blueberry Muffins

A couple of weeks ago I made some gluten-free, egg-free banana and candied walnut muffins that were absolutely divine, but for some reason I kept forgetting to buy walnuts last week and had to change the recipe to blueberry muffins. Another favorite muffin recipe was born!

Gluten-free Egg-free Blueberry Muffins

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar

Egg Substitute (2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed dissolved into 6 tablespoon of warm water)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup yogurt

1 cup mashed bananas (2)

1 1/2 cups of Jules Gluten Free Flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

3 tablespoons flaxseed

1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 350ºF (static) or 325ºF (convection).
Oil or line muffin cups and set aside (makes approximately 16 muffins).
Cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the egg substitute and vanilla and beat well. Mix in yogurt and banana until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients then add gradually into the wet mixture until thoroughly mixed. Lastly, gently stir in the blueberries. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, filling two-thirds full. Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool before removing from tins.

Makes approximately 16 muffins.

Recipe adapted from Jules Gluten Free.

Marathon Training – Week 16

I finally had a week where I felt my training was progressing and it all started with a treadmill: 4 miles in less than 40 minutes! The gym also paid off when I went to the marina with the boyfriend and did a 9 minute mile. Sweaty but hungry, we had dinner at Jazz A Louisiana Kitchen afterwards. When did I lose all my vanity and started going to restaurants wearing a hoody?

Fish at "Jazz A Louisiana Kitchen"

Fish at “Jazz A Louisiana Kitchen”

When the weekend came around, I was ready for my 10 mile run. I ran the first 5 with my friend T. and after she left I continued on along the river. The weather was a little depressing though: cloud and rainy. Tons of homeless people under the bridges were a little sad too, but I completed my long run feeling great. The last run of the week was at Virginia Lake, which was slow, but rewarding. I can’t believe that even with the rain I got to run outside 3 out of 4 times. Unfortunately, the next day my right hip was hurting and the annoying pain hasn’t gotten any better…. Maybe it’s because I had to skip yoga on Sunday to go to church? I hope the karma points will at least help my hip heal soon so I can run my 12 miles this week.

The most sun I saw all week

The most sun I saw all week

Marathon Training – Week 17

Even though I was sick and we had some snow this week, I was able to achieve my goal. Well, sort of. I was supposed to run 10 miles this weekend, but the boyfriend wanted me to help him with the stromboli for the Superbowl, so I didn’t have the time. Not that I’m complaining: it was snowing and cold out, so he did me a favor.

The next day I had to make it up somehow, but it was still so cold… The solution was to go to the gym. Yep. Treadmill. I ended up doing 8 miles, which was 2 less than what I wanted, but since next weekend I was supposed to do only 8, I figured I could just exchange the miles and do the 10 next weekend instead. The best part: I actually didn’t mind being on the treadmill for 8 miles. I watched “How I met your mother” and “The Big Bang theory” and completed it in 1h22, which is amazing for me!

I also got new shoes this week: Brooks Ravenna 5. My Saucony ones looked super beat up even though they were only 6 months old, so I went to REI with the Christmas money from my MN host family and got some super awesome shoes. (Thank you MN family!) So far, they are working out great, although I was a little sore the first couple of times I wore them.

Eating: Roasted Delicata Squash (and Stromboli)

Last week was a mix of healthy and not so healthy dishes (the not so healthy ones due to the Superbowl). First, the healthy one: Roasted Delicata Squash. I ordered some from my organic delivery service and loved how it was super easy to prep. You don’t have to peel delicata squashes! The end result has sort of a french fry texture, which is delicious, especially if you add some ketchup or your favorite dipping sauce (mine is a mix of ketchup and mayo).

Delicata Squash "fries"

Delicata Squash “fries”

The not so healthy dish of the week was, of course, the best tasting one: Stromboli, which is pretty much a rolled up pizza. The boyfriend made the pizza dough and I helped slice up the apples and the brie for one, and the mozzarella and the salami for the other one. After you put the ingredients inside, you just close it up and bake it. Score!