09 June 2012

i do things aside from the running, i swear.

today i ran my first 10k.
this was sort of a reward for getting through the month of may and the first week of june.  it was also a trial because i will be running one in october that i wanted to try out a 10k under race conditions before then so i don't lose my mind on the race i should be able to run well (cooler weather, flat course, etc).

may was all about prep for june 6th and 7th.  on the 6th my students hosted their fashion show.  the next day i had my annual review at work.  both of these things require a lot of prep work.  preparing for something i have no control over is mentally draining, and i recover by doing more...  stuff.  make that "stuff i like".  so, may was nutty with activities.  my mother and my college roommate both came for visits.  i sewed 5 new dresses, all from stash fabrics.  i also took care of a few administrative life tasks like renewing my passport, getting my cholesterol checked, buying new running shoes, and other boring adult things.

la de da!
so, the race.  i was going to do a different one a few weeks ago, but my foot was bothering me, so today was my last chance for a 10K before fall.  the heat held back pretty well until the last mile when i was running into the sun and cursing it with every fiber of my being.  at one point i was literally running down the center line of the whitehurst freeway with my eyes barely open mumbling profanity.

the actual running of the race mile by mile went as i expected, for the most part.  i know i am great through mile 3.5, i start to lose my mind around mile 4 and regain some sense of self around 5 and can usually finish strong.  these are under non-race conditions, of course.  i didn't finish as strong today, but i will attribute it to the heat at the end and the adrenaline at the start.  i would have PRed in a 5K today, which is sort of bad because it means i was running the first half of the race way too fast.  then again, the second half was so hot (i dumped water on myself, which i hate, so i was obviously desperate) that covering the first half too fast probably helped me make up time on the average.

it did feel good to look down at my watch at the 5 mile marker and realize that even if i finished the rest of the race at a 10 minute pace, i would still come in under my goal of 55 minutes.  that was when i decided to go for the goal time a friend had said i could make.  he felt confident with my 5k pr, i could do 10k in 52 minutes, so i went for it.  the last turn of the race is down a freeway ramp and under a bridge and as i crossed into the shade i looked at my watch again.  i could see the finish line and i knew that if i kicked it in the ass i would make it in under 50.  i felt like i was going to puke, but i did it anyway and finished in 49:52.  8:02 pace.

i then learned what every vegetarian who loves vegetables and nuts and is less hot on starch and sugar should know: carbs are really really important if you are going to race.  i felt like death all day and i have only snapped out of it (for the most part) since about 8:30 tonight.

no more races until the fall.  my garden and knitting both feel neglected.

28 April 2012

5k, final race!

last night i ran the last 5k in the series.  i really wanted to finish the race strong and, hopefully, have my best time.  i did both!!

no friends could make the race either to run with me or cheer, so it was oddly a pressure off situation on that front.  then!  i saw her!  in the second race i had overheard a pair of friends talking about their race pace and this man said of his friend, "she's great.  she does an 8 minute mile."  so in race two i used her as my pacer and chased her fancy newton running shoes for three miles.  she was back this week and i used the same strategy.

i started to feel disheartened after the second mile marker because this woman is a very effective racer.  she runs well for the first two miles and then kicks it in the ass for the last mile.  she walked off and left me last night at the second marker, and i was sure my hopes of beating my own pr were dashed.  my shoulder was aching a bit, but otherwise i felt really good, especially in my legs.  och, but my brain was just everywhere.  closing in on the last half mile i just snapped out of it.  "yvette, you feel great.  what the hell are you saving it for?  run faster." and so i did and i started to pass a bunch of people in that last half mile, which i have never done.  this course has a stupid wide U-turn in the last 150 meters and two (!!!!) different idiots trying to cross the race course (they were not racers) almost took me out.  i actually grazed one of them as i made the final turn and he yelled at me!

at that point i was angry with those jackasses, but when i saw the clock at the finish line, my brain straightened out again...  "forget them!!  sprint for it!!" and so i did.  just having the ability to break into a sprint in the last 50 meters made me feel like i accomplished something.

i don't know what is next.  maybe i should just be happy about this for a bit.

26 April 2012

5k, take three.

seeing as i am running the fourth race tomorrow, i suppose i should report on the third, right?

i was slow.  yes, i know you cannot expect to have a better race every single time, but it was disheartening none the less.  it was a generally difficult run all around.

first, it was really hot for an april evening.  hot enough that i was in shorts and a tech tee and before reaching mile one i wanted to take my shirt off.  my feet were also sweating like crazy, which makes me very very grumpy.

second, i was really sore because i over did it during the week.  that monday i ran hill repeats as the middle mile of a 3 mile work out and then on wednesday i did 7 miles, with a lot of downhill. (downhill is hard for me, i get scared.)  on thursday i could barely lift my legs to get dressed and walking down stairs was a nightmare.  i was still sore when i work up on friday, so i knew i was going to suck at the race.

finally, i was running on my new shoes.  i like my new shoes, but we are still in our period of adjustment, and the race was only the third time i had worn them.  this week i think i have settled into them a bit more and i have been focusing on my running cadence, which has helped me in so many ways, not the least of which is reducing my calf strain.  someone has a nasty habit of landing a little too far forward on her foot and this makes for very angry calf muscles when running distances.

tomorrow is the last 5k in the series.  they were a useful experience, but i am ready to not spend my friday evenings in crystal city for awhile.  i started running as an experiment of sorts, and having a standing date with a race has taken away some of my freedom to play around with the running experiment because i need to save something for fridays.  last week when i did the 7 miles, at the end i asked myself..  okay...  do you have another 5k in you?  the answer was, yes, i could run 10 miles.  i have 10 miles on the brain now and i will be glad to have the chance to try it out soon.

at this point i have not signed up for any other races until the fall when i have one 10k on the books.  i am very tempted to sign up for one next month in ohio when i am visiting my family.  the cleveland marathon, half marathon, and 10k are the weekend i will be home, and that 10k is looking appealing.

23 April 2012

pumpkin yum

i really love food.  a lot.
since i stopped eating highly processed foods and have been avoiding wheat, i have had to let go of many treats.  i don't miss the actual food items per se (cupcake?  meh.  pass.) but I do miss some of the flavors that are treat flavors.

pumpkin pie is a flavor i really love.  at thanksgiving i made a pie with GF crust made from almond meal.  it tasted good but the crust was kinda lame.  it got too brown and didn't hold the pie effectively, which is what a crust ought to do.  i am still working on GF pie crust because i like savory pies to, but i solved the pumpkin pie flavored treat problem in a way that is natural and super yum!

i adapted a recipe i found on the web to my pumpkiny needs.  the original features no spices and uses carrots.  any squash or root veggie you can cook and mash would work for a variation of this.

pumpkin pie powerballs
adapted from  zuzana's powerballs via bodyrock.tv.

1 cup GF oats, ground to coarse flour/meal
2 cups almond meal
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or to taste)
3 tsp baking powder

4 tblsp honey
4 tblsp virgin coconut oil, liquified
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)

1/3 cup almonds, crushed
1/4-1/3 cup sunflower seeds, crushed

  • preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • crush almonds and sunflower seeds together for coating, set aside.
  • combine all dry ingredients, set aside.
  • combine all wet ingredients, then incorporate into the dry ingredients.  the batter will be somewhat sticky.
  • scoop heaping teaspoonfuls of batter and gently roll into balls.  roll balls in the nut and seed coating and place on a cooking sheet covered in parchment.  i used a silpat.
  • bake for 25 minutes.
  • remove from oven and let cool so the balls will hold their shape.
yield: 38
calories: approx 75 per ball

these are super yum.  
if you go off the deep end and eat three it will equal as many calories as a candy bar but full of happy vitamins A, E, a few Bs, plus fiber with far less sugar.  snack happy!

15 April 2012

5k fridays, week 2.

Add caption
tree pollen is giving DC a nice coating of greenish yuck and makes running less than enjoyable sometimes.  this week after working all day and suffering from the pollen all week, i really did not want to run a race.

that said, i did the race, felt fine (perhaps too good, maybe i didn't kill it out there) and didn't slow down from the previous week.  i shaved 14 second off my time, probably from a combination of already knowing the course and starting out in a better position.  i didn't have to spend the better part of the first mile clawing my way through people, so i wasn't as tired by the time i reached mile 2, which is when i will start to get shoulder pains if i start any run too hard or tired.  no shoulder pain at all this week!  yay!

i learned two funny things.

first, drinking from a cup while running is hard.  i don't usually drink while running because i don't do crazy distances.  with the allergies this week i took a cup and as soon as i had it i realized i had no idea how i was supposed to do anything other than get it all over my face.

second, men running next to women are just like men driving next to women on the highway.  there were two men about my age running together who run at my pace. if i passed them, they immediately sped up in order to pass me and then paired up together again in front of me and slowed down.  this happened with the same  two men three or four times.   nice, fellas.  nice.

11 April 2012

5k, part one

this doesn't make me a real runner, you know.
last friday i ran my first 5k race and achieved the two goals i set for myself.

1. finishing.

2. finishing in under 30 minutes.

it was strange and much more different from just running than i thought it would be.

the most obvious difference is that there are a lot of people at a race, and they are all trying to do the same thing you are doing.  i don't really like large groups of people all together in one place.  i find it a bit overwhelming.  but on the other hand, they are a nice distraction from the fact that you are trying to run really fast and not fall apart.  my brain will give out before my legs do, so having the stupid tee shirts of the people around you to read is a great diversion.  i did my part to create an amusing spectacle for others by wearing a flower in my hair.

one of the things a close friend is often marveling at when she is at races is how different the people are who are there running.  it is very interesting to see who is running beside you and how they are doing it.  i followed a darty little kid for the first mile while weaving through the pack because everyone yields to a moppy-haired 10 year old. (thanks, kid!)  for a bit, i was running next to someone who reminded me of my father.  my favorite runner was a huge burly generously tattooed fellow wearing a bandana, shirt with the sleeves cut off, and moving generally like how you imagine a refrigerator would if it could run like all hell.

i signed up for a four week series of races, so back at it in two days.  in the spirit of having goals for myself, this week i want hang on to my time.  i finished with a much better time than i was expecting, but until i replicate it, i consider it an outlying data point.  i will be satisfied if i don't add more than a minute to my time.  goal number two is to finish stronger.  i was beyond dead at the finish line last week.  i want to give it my all again but not be a zombie.  full report if i don't puke/faint/die.

27 March 2012

the one that got away?

we are on break from the quarter at work right now, and i took the first half of my time off and translated it into a road trip to nyc.  on saturday i had to entertain myself solo for about an hour while my traveling companion got a hair cut, so i went vintage shopping.

i hit three shops in an hour, and the last one, A Little Wicked, was by far the best fit for me.  they have great pieces, and they buy (thus stock!) pieces in my size range.  prices we not at all bad for vintage in nyc. sorry nyc, dc will always have better prices for vintage.

i did go home with a yellow gingham number that i am very excited to wear soon, but i have been pining after the dress i left on the rack.  i certainly hope someone as rescued her because she is a lovely thing indeed!

look at those polka dots!!!
i justified leaving her behind because she is probably a size or two larger than what i need, and i was trying not to be a spending nut.  still, i pine.

other shopping highlights include a fabric trip to Mood, a pilgrimage to purl soho, and a last minute purchasing of buttons for my current knitting project at M&J trimmings.  one can buy from all of those places online, but there is nothing quiet like going to the shop in person.

i have a lot of sewing in my future!  the balance of my break, however, we be spent gardening and visiting with family who are coming in from out of town.  good times, indeed.

16 March 2012

egg on everything

scallions make everything yum
it is the end of the winter quarter at work, so new and shiny pictures are languishing on my camera and in my phone.  i am still doing things.  i have some great outfits and some knitting to share, but here is a quick hit for the meantime.

eggs are everywhere in my eating life right now.  one of my best girls and i enjoy finding new ways to incorporate a fried egg on top of nearly any dish that also contains veggies and rice as the primary ingredients. (i.e. bibimbap, mujadara, etc)  i am still egging n stop as well, but i have branched out into faux frittata.

i watched a bad movie in which Harrison Ford demonstrates his professional respect for a colleague through frittata (right?!) and i have been obsessed since.  last week i was using the mini sweet peppers from trader joe's.  this week it is spinach.  they all must be covered in my true love--scallions.

anything delicious can be made more delicious by adding scallions.

i am also going to take this moment to say that i am sorry that i didn't take a better angle of the pan.  those eggs are resting in my stunningly beautiful copper and stainless skillet.  you get just a sneak of the pretty all-metal handle there.  i am in love.  one day non-stick shall no longer reside in my kitchen, and that day shall be soon(ish).  after my last birthday i decided i will no longer listen to the people tell me not to buy nice things.

apparently we are all supposed to wait until we are marrying someone and register for nice things.  forget that.  life is too short.

28 February 2012

that 70s craft

the ocular proof
i have not been knitting very much in 2012.  i completed 12 adult sized sweaters in 2011 plus several other complex projects, so i was a bit burned out on the yarn and needles.

perfect time to find different yarn and needles, right?  right.

my cousin had been needlepointing--a craft i had never tried--and for christmas i wanted to buy for her some new needlepoint kits.  that is how i found the lovely 70s pillow kit you see to the left.

on one hand, i love it.  it is very easy and i can just kick back and work on something while i am listening to the radio or watching a movie.  much of this pillow has been stitched while watching the second season of Downton Abbey.  on the other hand, this, like all needlework type crafting seems slow to me.  i am spoiled by knitting and crochet (and especially sewing) when it comes to amount of gratification for amount of time sent.

i am on to the border areas now, which means more strawberries.  i will post another picture when i have more progress, but i have also picked up a sweater i put aside last year.

25 February 2012

two librarian looks

hello, wall.  you are in my way.
my students will sometimes suggest alternative careers for me to pursue when i become tired of being their professor. the two most popular choices are librarian and kindergarten teacher. (what does the later say about the maturity level of college students today?) they say librarian because i am a huge nerd and apparently i dress like i should be sitting at the reference desk.

so today i present two of my librarian looks.

this first one goes back to monday the 13th.  i snapped the picture on my way out the door and as you can see, the wall and i had a disagreement about who got to stand where.  ha.

blouse: odille for anthropologie via ebay.
sweater vest: handknit by me in Cascade Eco+ from a pattern published in knitscene magazine
skirt: maeve for anthropologie
tights: ralph lauren
shoes: ASOS
necklace: value village thrift store.

grey on a sunny day
this look has a lot of textures going on that you can't fully appreciate in the photo.  the tights are brown herringbone with sparkle gold shot through.  the skirt is brown corduroy with a wooly center plaid panel, and the blouse is printed swiss dot.  (printed with landmarks of europe!)

the second librarian look was what i threw together this past wednesday.  we had awesome weather in the 60s this week, and i could break out one of my lighter dresses.  

most days it seems like i am obsessed with anthropologie.  this outfit was very modcloth heavy.

dress: about the artist dress (recently returned to modcloth)
belt: modcloth
hair flower: forever 21
necklace: hotcakes design purchased at trohv.
tights: mystery lace tights from college???
shoes: poetic license via modcloth.

you will notice an important accessory has returned!!! 
right there on my right wrist is my RoadID. after weeks and weeks of being super ill, i am now back on the road running!  i made it out to run 5 times since sunday.  today i didn't set my nano to a time or distance target, i just listened to radiolab and ran until i felt myself getting tired and my form getting sloppy.  i ran for 48 minutes and made it just over 4 miles.  huzzah!

18 February 2012

i rock a lot of polka dots

this outfit is dedicated to Zooey Deschanel, despite the fact that she is ruining my life.  (apparently that is my i am sad that New Girl is making quirky chic but i do love me some polka dots face.)

every man on the planet is in love with Zooey, and now if one likes to wear every color, appreciate polka dots, needs nerdy glasses to actually see, possess useful domestic skills, and has a sunny disposition in life, you are a hot commodity for pick up line coming from every shmoe taking public transit.  we big weirdies just need to weather the storm until uptight guys stop fancying free spirits.

or maybe Zooey is doing for quirkiness what J-Lo did for posteriors--acceptance.  if so, then i will raise a glass. (hey J-Lo, we never talk, but i think i never thanked you for making an ample posterior less of a crime.  thanks, gal. you did me a solid, and i appreciate it!)

the specs....

sweater: urban outfits
skirt: odille for anthropologie circa 2004.  via ebay!   heck, yeah!
necklaces: thrift store
belt: mood shadow, vintage 70s
tights: target
destroyed boots: DSW, and walking the city

09 February 2012

vanity sizing is stupid.

nice socks, hot stuff.
i have been eyeing the Bike Lane Dress at anthro since it hit the rack about a month ago.  on sunday i finally tried it on with no intention of buying it. off-white is not a great color for me, but if it surprised me and looked good, come sale time it may have been game on!!

as adorable as the bicycle print is, i couldn't wear this is i wanted to.  in the picture i am wearing the size 2.  notice the broken contortionist arm?  yeah, that is me holding in 3-4" of dress.  it fell off if i let go.

from the reviews on the anthro site, it appears even the 0 would be too big for we under-endowed ladies.

and to this i say--get real anthro!!!  this vanity sizing thing is getting to be absurd.  i am not the smallest person i know by any stretch f the imagination, and somehow you made this dress too big for me?  i know vanity sizing is part of your overall pricing strategy.  we will pay more to feel good about the number on the tag, but this is getting obnoxious.

you are getting to be as bad as old navy with the silly XXS, XXXS and 00 or 000!!

i wear jeans too.

i can't believe i have been siting on this one for a week.  wait, yes i can.  i am a lazy blogger.

thursdays are some of the most relaxed days in the week for me.  i don't need to be on campus on tuesdays and thursdays this quarter.  tuesdays i clean and run errands.  thursdays are mental health days or the day i go into DC to take care of stuff and things.  thursdays are jean days.

what is better than pink jeans?  (excuse me, sulphur plum, according to adriano goldschmied.)  i can tell you....  kelly green jeans and safety cone orange corduroys in the same cut.  AG has stolen my heart.  they are pretty, comfortable, and made in the USA.

end of love letter!!!

05 February 2012

absurdity as artform

diva sunglasses make my day
wednesday i was in a goofy mood.  i was starting to not feel very well  (i know now that i was coming down with a sinus infection.) so i needed a happy outfit.

the centerpiece is the skirt, which i made.  if you look closely at the print they are 1970s meets Art Deco ladies.  it is an Alexander Henry print i bought at Exquisite Fabrics, which is currently in the process of closing...  much to my dismay.

blouse is from antho...  odille brand.  but i bough it for a whistle and a song on ebay.  ebay is a great way to score anthropologie at a reasonable price.  or to get the "rare" pieces that are gobbled up before you can find your debit card.

i realize now that this outfit is also an homage to great vintage accessories.  the gold bracelet covering my RoadID is a 70s snake bracelet. (Polly Sue's Takoma Park, MD)  the necklaces are also great find.  the long coper chain and pendent is a thunderbird, also from the 70s (Moonshadow Takoma Park, MD) and the beaded guy is one of my prized thrift store finds.

it is baltic amber in four or five colors (including butterscotch amber, which kills me) and the good people at Value Village had no idea what they were selling. i stole it at $4.99 then sunk an investment of $5 in new clasp and extender chain on a piece that would retail between $150- 200.

i wish i could high-five myself.

to truly improve a bad day one must have victory rolls, diva sunglasses, and favorite cowboy boots.  heck, yeah.

monday: neutrals

i love to wear every color on the plant at the same time, but sometimes i go with another favourite option: every pattern possible!  this works a bit better if you keep it neutral in the colors or at least limit the palette.

i felt very virtuous last week after i moved around my studio/livingroom situation and then employed the studio space to repair this dress.  i had a seam split.  in honor of the repair, i had to break her out for a wear!

i am too lazy to go look up the specs on everything i wore, but most of this outfit was from anthropologie.  on sale, of course.

i know the shirt dress is by maeve and it is a printed pin-wale corduroy.  yum.

the belt and boots are two pieces i love because they are black and brown at the same time!  yes.  no more breaking "rules" about coordinating leather colors. (first world problems, indeed.)
a touch of 70s.

i kept the accessories simple.  the necklace is a layered crystal and lucite ball 1960s vintage number from Moonshadow in Takoma Park, MD.  tights are circa 2000 steve maddens i had in a drawer forever and a day (their tights suck now, save your money). and i finished it off with my tooled leather name cuff at the wrist.

i took a second picture when i caught myself in the mirror on my way out.  the outwear actually really worked with this one!

jacket is a 1970s Wilson's leather cutie with a button and a tie belt.  the back is really pretty with a pleat!  scarf is my mustard + owl baby from urban outfitters.  i love the color mustard and i love owls.  i tink i actually broke a rule and paid full price.  my friends had to come home with me.  no risk taking here.

01 February 2012

colorblocks and stripes

Painted Love Heel by Lola Ramona

color is everywhere for spring, and i am thrilled.  

all of the store windows are showing color blocking, polkadots, and stripes.  i was talking with one of my best girls last weekend and we both confessed to be stocking up on the goodies we love while they are in style.  (she is mad for polka dots!)

i put this outfit together last friday specifically to wear those shoes.  yes, those shoes right there.  i know they are crazy, but they stole my heart away.

i purchased them during modcloth's big sale in december and it took me a month to figure out how to wear them.  i consulted my polka-dot-loving pal on that matter.

me: what do i wear these with????
nm: you have to wear these shoes with everything!  because these shoes just don't give a f*ck!

so this was my first attempt.  you must forgive the poor photo.  i am in another anthro dressing room, after all.  the belt and flower are both pink.  the blouse is a billowy silk thing in navy blue with kelly green bias trim edging the flutter sleeves.

top: Odille for anthropologie.
pants: Pilcro for anthropologie
shoes: Lola Ramona for modcloth.com
belt: target
necklace: vintage find from value village thrift store
flower: forever21

oh, and that black band on my wrist is my RoadID, not a part of the outfit.  ha!  i leave it on even when i am not out running so i won't forget to wear it.

if you run, cycle, swim, play a sport, or participate in any other activity that involves you and your ID being apart and any level of personal risk of injury, you should have a RoadID.


Bailey 44 knit dress
i was deeply skeptical of this dress when an associate at anthropologie suggested i try it last week.  it has so many potential problems for me.

1. knits.  i don't wear many tight knit things.
2. horizontal-ish stripes.  not a curvy girl's best friend.
3. tea length. the enemy of the slight of height.

but as this awkward dressing room photo shows, it wasn't half bad!  in fact, the dress was really pretty when walking (not posing and trying to snap a pic) and it is just about the most comfortable thing i have ever put on my body.

too bad it is $178!!
there are many variations on this style that they are selling right now, and if i get lucky, maybe one will go on sale and can be mine.  i have so many shoes that want to be best friends with this dress.

fingers crossed!

31 January 2012

my closet isn't that full

i know that anyone who must claim their closet is not that full perhaps protests a bit too much. still, i think i keep it reasonable when i could, if i really wanted to, go much further off the deep end. think Hoarders level--if i let myself.

that said, i have a lot of rules for myself.

1. be picky.
2. never full price.
3. only high quality classics or super quirky "never in, never out" pieces.
4. only dirt cheap trend pieces.
5. maintain and repair the collection.
6. no purchases that do not fit.
7. who cares how cheap it is if you will never wear it.
8. no repeats. (i will never own 12 pairs of blue jeans.)

why am i writing about my closet?

last week i was having drinks with a friend and sharing some dressing room snaps of a dress i am considering. it was suggested to me that i ought have a tumblr of pictures of me in dressing rooms because i take so many. i am not allowed to have a tumblr because it is habit forming. i am lazy about my blog, so i can throw some of that stuff on here.

like this cream puff.

silk organza and taffeta tea length party dress, early 1960s. 
this one was a keeper.  
the color is more of a champagne than off-white and the sash is a deep olive green.

label: "an original jr.theme new york"
store: Polly Sue's Vintage
location: Takoma Park, MD

obviously this is a dressing room photo. (so sad that orange plaid skirt in the background was way too huge to come home with me.)  i will post an outfit shot when i wear her.  i have designs on wearing a pair of red leather heels that are covered in hand tooled patterns.


12 January 2012


I spent Saturday afternoon outside finishing this shelf. I took it to the basement to finish drying and it appears it went on an adventure all by itself.

Some people have a lot of nerve to steal other's dumpster dive finds!   :-)

Treasures part one

Found December 20, 2011 on my way to the airport. I guess it must mean something?