More: Antarctica Fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters

As you know, I am achieving my dream of traveling to all 7 continents by the age of 30 very soon: not only I’m going to Antarctica in March, but I’m also running a marathon there. I am incredibly excited about the trip, but even more excited to have an opportunity to team up with the mentoring organization Big Brothers Big Sisters to help children in my community.

As a teacher, I see on a daily basis how adults can help shape children lives by being there for them. The Big Brothers Big Sisters program positively influences children self-confidence, provides stability, changes their perspective on life and encourages them to set higher goals. The high school graduation rate for children living in poverty in Washoe County, where I live, was 56% last year.  Recently I was pleased to learn that 75% of the age eligible “Littles” graduated last June. Since I joined Big Brothers Big Sisters, my “Littles” have also enriched my life in countless ways and I would like to keep supporting this organization.

In the spirit of my upcoming Antarctic adventure, I’d love for you to join me in making a difference in a Little’s life. Your contribution to Big Brothers Big Sisters will help provide one-to-one mentoring programs for at-risk youth in northern Nevada.

Join me by following this link and making a donation and don’t forget to check out my Antarctica journey on this blog Run, Eat, Travel, and More.

Thank you for your support! E.M. 🙂

Ps.: Since I don’t have Facebook, I’ll love your help sharing a link to the fundraiser there!

Outing with with my Little

Outing with with my Little

More: Wedding Planning

When we first started looking at getting married in 2015, I started going crazy: there is so much to do and it’s so expensive! But now that we are looking into 2016, I am finally able to enjoy all the wedding planning. I have been to two Bridal Fairs and several venues with the fiance. Take a look at what I have found so far: Tannenbaum on Mt. Rose, Corner Barn in Graeagle, The Grove near our house,  Wild River Grille Restaurant in Reno, Nevada Museum of Art, Cargo at Whitney Peak Hotel, The Loft at Somersett. I even took a look at a place in Napa: Wedgewood, which is by a golf course. What is it going to be?? Small wedding at a park? Big reception hall in Reno? Destination wedding in Napa? Glad I have time to decide! In the meantime, I will keep taking advantage of all the tastings 🙂

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Running, Eating, and Traveling in Napa/Sonoma, California

I went to Napa and Sonoma for my friend B.’s 30th birthday and couldn’t have enjoy it more! It was a beautiful day in the 70’s to do my long run (10 miles in 2 hours). I left from the house B. was staying in Sonoma and with the help of Google Maps and I found the bike trail downtown, passing some missions, the city hall and lots of wineries.

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For some wine tasting we went to Arrowood in Glenn Ellen. Our wines were paired with cheeses and spreads that complemented each other so well! Dinner was at The Girl and the Fig, one of the restaurants I had ran by earlier when I was downtown. Because of my 10 miles, I splurged on a juicy steak.

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In Napa it was all about visiting my friend V. who lives there. She is an amazing cook and had made “empadão“, a Brazilian chicken pie. Amazing! Then she rode with me to Tahoe to go to M.’s baby shower, another Brazilian friend. Busy weekend of celebrations!

Running: Antarctica Marathon Training in January

I started marathon training very late in the game, with just 2 months to go, and the first couple of weeks were not easy. For the past few months I had this annoying pain on my right hip that just wouldn’t go away. I took x-rays and nothing… I went to the chiropractor and nothing… After a few weeks though, the pain has subsided and I am happy to say I have been able to train in January with no missing days. Well, it’s kind of a stretch to call my outings a run: 12 minute/miles. When did I become so slow??? But I feel that at this point I just need to take it easy so I don’t get an injury for training too hard. I’m not too concerned about my time as long as accomplish my goal.

Damonte Ranch Run

Damonte Ranch Run

The weather has been perfect for me: warm and dry. Perfect even for hikes in Galena and jogs in Tahoe since there hasn’t been any snow. However, since it’s still too dark after I get off work, I have been doing most of my short runs at the gym.

I am up to a 10-mile long run now. I feel good I would be able to complete a half-marathon in Antarctica, but is a full marathon still too big of a stretch?



More: Super Bowl XLIX

We hosted Super Bowl for the first time this year! The fiance made chicken wings and everybody else brought something fatty to share. The fiance’s huge TV was a hit as we could watch the game and the half-time show from anywhere in the room.

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Eating: “Laughing Planet”

Despite of what you might think based on the last two posts, I didn’t cooked much in January, but I did find a VERY GOOD new restaurant in Reno: “Laughing Planet“.

It’s in Midtown and I had been trying to go there for a while, but it always has a huge line during lunch time. I finally went there with the fiance this week and was really surprised. Although it’s a chain and you order the food at the counter, the place is very spacious and has super healthy food, much like “Great Full Gardens” a block up. It’s not pricey at all and they allow you to make any substitution or addition to your dish. I had a quinoa, broccoli, kale, and chicken bowl with chimichurri dressing: healthy and delicious. Such a great find!

Laughing Planet Bowl

Laughing Planet Bowl

Other restaurants we tried in January: Creme at its new location just across the street from where they were before (and now they have a few more items besides crepes), Asian Paradise, a Chinese place near our house (overpriced but accommodating), “Sierra Gold Casino” for a greasy breakfast, and then raw food at “The Seed” so I wouldn’t feel bad about eating at a casino the week before, and, finally, “Heritage“, a new Mark Estee restaurant inside the Whitney peak Hotel.

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Eating: Pad Thai

The fiance moved in with me, and with him came a whole pantry of weird food, mostly Asian items. As I was looking for dinner, I came across something called “banh pho”. I looked it up online and it happened to be Vietnamese rice noodles, perfect for one my favorite dishes of all time! I found an unusual recipe online that had tomato sauce in it, but since I had most of the ingredients necessary, I decided to give it a try anyway. I simply loved it! Even a better Pad Thai than some of the ones in town!

Traditionally, Pad Thai also has fried eggs in it, but the fiance can’t eat that. I made it even healthier by adding chopped carrots and celery though.

Pad Thai

Pad Thai

Pad Thai

16-oz banh pho rice noodles

2 Tbsp peanut oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 onion (or a few scallions)

2 Tbsp fish sauce

1/2 cup tomato sauce

1/4 cup sugar

1-3/4 cups water

1 tsp red chili paste

4 Tbsp chunky peanut butter


In a large bowl, soak the noodles in cool water for 30 minutes. In a large frying pan, heat peanut oil and stir-fly garlic and onions. Add the rest of the ingredients, except noodles. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add noodles and cook for 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Done!

Makes 6 servings of 800 calories each.

Eating: Vegan French Toast

One of my favorite breakfast foods is French toast, but since the fiance is allergic to eggs, I could never make it at home and ate lots of pancakes for the past year instead. Not anymore! I made this Vegan French Toast last week and it was delicious! The taste and the texture were the same as French toasts made with eggs.

Vegan French Toast

Vegan French Toast

Vegan French Toast

1 cup vanilla almond milk

2 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon agave syrup

2 tablespoon ground flax seed steeped in a little bit of warm water

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

8 slices vegan sourdough bread (well, I just used regular sourdough…)


Mix the ingredients. Dip the bread in the mixture and coat both sides well. Cook on a griddle with a bit of oil.

Makes 4 servings of 300 calories each (more if you add real maple syrup!)

Goodbye, pancakes!

Goodbye, pancakes!