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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

thanksgiving... and a december project

I've been waffling ever since I read about Reverb 10 on Gwen Bell's blog.
Reverb 10 is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. The end of the year is an opportunity to reflect on what's happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead. With Reverb 10, we'll do both.
Basically: read a prompt daily and write/create a response on your blog/in your journal. I have no idea what the prompts will be about, so may be setting myself up for failure or embarrassment by committing to responding to each of the prompts {publicly!} this December. But I also feel equally as strong that reflecting on the year - this year - will be very good for me. So then, check back this month if you'd like to see how it all goes. Or if you'd like, join me in the process. You can snag your own handy button (look to the right) for your blog after you sign up to participate.

Now on to Thanksgiving reflections....

Tom started his day by fixing our door


I cooked mashed potatoes*, green beans with bacon vinaigrette (magical) and butternut squash bread pudding (delish).

*on the topic of mashed potatoes - I've had a revelation. Mashing is overrated. Whipping them in the mixer makes the creamiest, most amazing potatoes I have ever tasted. Why am I just finding out about this now?

Tom's dad deep fried the turkey...


Tom relaxed...


Tom's sisters carved the turkey...


And Uga observed.


The food was amazing.....

the lovely spread

green beans

butternut squash bread pudding

tom's green bean casserole

Since the day was amazing (temps in the 70's), four of us took advantage and ate our meal outside.



How about you? Did you have a good Thanksgiving? Was yours as warm as mine, or did you see flurries (if you did, I'm jealous!)?

Monday, November 29, 2010

a haircut... duplicated

Like I mentioned earlier, I went to get a haircut. I wasn't super particular, and my stylist pulled up this picture on her phone as a good potential:


Super cute? Yes!

Able to pull it off? Not sure.

Willing to try anyway? Definitely!!

So I gave her the go-ahead, and she chopped away. I'm not really missing the locks, but I have to say I'm missing the blond a little bit. All my sun-kissed hair was cut off, and now my hair is a little bit more brown than I like.


And then of course we had to go out to celebrate with some Mexican food:



Want to know the crazy news?

I mean really really crazy?

Ready?

Here goes: of course when I left the hairdresser I had to let my sister know that I had cut my hair in a way that was strangely similar to the way that she cut her hair two weeks ago. Know what she said? That Vogue magazine is THE SAME ONE that she took to her hairdresser two weeks ago!!!! We used the same inspiration photo!!!

Wow right?

Was your mind just blown too?

Thought so.

Doesn't she look super cute with her cut?


Ok, off to play a round of banangrams. I promise I'll post those weekend pics tomorrow.

giving thanks

Oh where to start?!? What a lovely, perfect, divine, comfy, and cozy weekend. Things I love:

a) holidays
b) long weekends
c) cabins
d) puppies
e) snuggling
f) eating massive amounts of food
g) playing board games
h) weather cold enough to allow for a fire both inside and outside
i) mimosas

Today I am getting a haircut (long overdue!!), and when I get home I will post some sweet pics of the things listed above, give you a couple recipes that are both easy and delicious, and pause to reflect on a few of the things I need to give thanks for.

And if my haircut is good, I may even post a pic of that as well.

Oh what the heck - I'll post a pic even if the haircut is dreadful. But it won't be. I have the most amazing stylist.

I love saying that I have a stylist.

It makes you think I'm fashionable right?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

sunday cookies and crafts

I love Sundays. I mean, they can be kind of depressing, as Johnny Cash described in Sunday Morning Coming Down.

"On a Sunday morning sidewalk,
I'm wishing, Lord, that I was stoned.
'Cause there's something in a Sunday
That makes a body feel alone.
And there's nothing short a' dying
That's half as lonesome as the sound
Of the sleeping city sidewalk
And Sunday morning coming down."
But then again, there is also something fresh and rejuvenating about a Sunday. Especially when you add a craft and a recipe to the mix!



First things first, make these cookies. Seriously, goodness abounds and they made me supremely happy. I kept two for me and two for Tom, and am mailing the others off to some quite lucky souls. I'm pretty glad they are going to be included in my care packages, because if not I would be tempted to eat the whole lot. I followed the recipe to a T, except that I used vanilla extract instead of brandy. Also, because this is what I had on hand, I used orange flavored dried cranberries. These cookies taste just like I would imagine a holiday to taste, so these are a good (and simple!) idea for your next holiday party. White chocolate cranberry goodness:


Second, go here and print out this cute little Thanksgiving printout. Put in a frame. Hang. Enjoy. I really really like how Jessica put it in a frame with white matting (is that a word?), but this green frame is all I could find at the thrift store yesterday.


As a side note, I think its fantastic that crafty folks such as Jessica think up neat ideas and then share them with everyone else (for free!). So if you decide that this printout would look good in your home, leave her a comment and let her know you appreciate it.

And as another side note, I am just now getting comfortable with the idea that I like to craft. It used to make me feel either a) old or b) lame. Which is silly - I realize that. I'm trying to grow as a person, and being able to say "I like crafts!" out loud makes me feel like I'm growing. I am not alone in the "I try to embrace my crafty self in ways that do not make me feel old/lame" movement, as evidenced by my new hero Kelle in this post.

Barley always knows when something is going on in the kitchen, and she snoozes in the living room until it is picture time. Even if she is grumpy about it....


Isn't she just the cutest?!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

snappy lunch post

i cannot wait to get home tonight!

last night tom was away hunting and cabin-ing and doing boy things.

and i was away in-towning and drinking wine and doing girl things.

and tonight we will make pizza and watch a movie* and do us things.

{*got walk the line from netflix today! even though i'm probably most definitely johnny cash's biggest fan, i've never seen the movie and am so excited to do so.}

and, if all goes well, we'll play bananagrams. it finally came in the mail, and i am stoked.

to get you through the rest of the day, here is a website that my friend kelsey shared with me last night. because i have friends that are familiar with sites like this, i am blessed.

and if you happen to be one hundred and eighty seven times more awesome than i am, you would give two thoughts to making this. really, look at this picture and tell me thats not dedicated. the eiffel tower could not have been engineered with more precision.



by posting this, i am secretly hoping someone will get inspired to make me a tiny gingerbread house to put on my hot chocolate mug. takers?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

compassion

I love this so much.....



I first saw this on Gwen Bell's blog (goodness I've referenced her twice this week!), and couldn't help but share.

Monday, November 15, 2010

my favorite meal

Monday mornings can be so blah, and this one in particular was particularly dreadful. Something about the rain, the cold, and the end of an awesome weekend really made me want to stay in bed this morning. Today I understood how non-morning people must feel, because I didn't really come into my own until about noon or so.

So when I got home from work today I decided to get some real cooking done to shake off the blahs (and resist the urge to put on some slippers and drink tea on the couch).

I am absolutely in love with a good ratatouille. Actually I guess I have to strike that. My ratatouille is the only ratatouille I have ever had, so I should say that I am in love with my own ratatouille. I don't follow a recipe, and I'm sure that what I have created is some sort of mutant ratatouille that would never pass as the real thing. That being said, its pretty awesome. And I don't usually say that about my own creations.

Before I go on with the recipe, please let me say that I think you should alter, change or throw out anything that doesn't feel right to you. Nothing about this recipe needs to be done for it to turn out "right" so add and take away where you see fit.



Chop up lots of eggplant. About one large eggplant should be right - I used about 10-15 of the small Thai eggplants
Chop half an onion
Mince two cloves of garlic

Add a generous amount of olive oil to a wok
Add the garlic
When the garlic begins to dance, add the onion
When the smells in your kitchen make you feel that you have died and gone to heaven, add the eggplant
You may need to add more olive oil. Or you may not.
Let the eggplant soften a bit
Add about two 16oz cans of diced/stewed tomatoes (if you've got fresh tomatoes, use them!)
Add basil (fresh basil puts this dish over the top. It is fantastic. I didn't have any, so settled for a generous sprinkling of dry basil).
Let the flavors marry and mingle



As I was cooking and smelling and enjoying and listening to the Buena Vista Social Club, I decided the only thing missing was a glass of wine. So I poured myself a glass of my finest vino. My finest vino happens to be two-buck chuck from Trader Joe's. I'm no wine connoisseur, but I think its pretty amazing.



I started drinking my glass of wine, and decided the ratatouille needed some too. I added a generous splash of cooking sherry.

After letting some of the alcohol cook off, and after the dish looked fully cohesive, I turned off the burner. Here, my friends, is where the magic begins.

The ratatouille is nothing without goat cheese. Chevre. I'm not kidding. If I don't have massive quantities of chevre, I don't even make this dish. Its that important.

Put some ratatouille, some french bread*, some chevre in a bowl. Eat with your fingers. Yes, your fingers. Use the bread to scoop up the ratatouille and the chevre. Die and go to heaven. Repeat.


I haven't had this much fun eating dinner by myself in a long time.

*Tonight was extra special. Since the weather was so dreary, I decided to forgo a trip to the grocery store for french bread and make some myself. I looked up the simple recipe for white bread in my betty crocker cookbook and threw it together. I forgot how easy it is to make fresh bread. It takes time, but not too much. While the bread is rising you can be busy doing lots of other things. I was making turkey broth (I'll post about that later).



Baking bread can even work if you realize after you've started that you don't have all the ingredients. My bread called for 2.5 cups of milk. I didn't have any milk, so I used a cup of half and half, a cup of egg nog, and a half cup of water. It made the bread a bit denser, but still delicious.

Happy Cooking friends!! What is your favorite recipe?

In case you ever wonder what my kitchen is like, here is a small glimpse. This is how I cook, always. The dog sits at my feet. I tell myself its because she loves me, but that can't quite be true. She lays on the couch next to me because she loves me, she lays at my feet when I'm cooking because she's a crafty little devil who hopes to catch food scraps.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

not your mama's thanksgiving

My friend Nikki hosted friends' Thanksgiving last night, and she gets full credit for the title of this blog post. When things went wrong, right, or different, she reminded us that this is to be expected because it is most definitely not your mother's Thanksgiving.

But the food was fantastic. I will be hunting a few people down for their recipes (sweet potato casserole with butter and brown sugar on top - yes please!), and loved cooking with the gals. [And honestly, if the women cooking in the kitchen while the men drink beer and watch football doesn't remind me of a classic Thanksgiving, I don't know what does!]

And yes, the turkey came out OK too. If you may recall from Friday's post, I bought a pre-brined 24 pound turkey from Trader Joe's. I patted the whole thing down with paper towels, stuffed it with onions, garlic and lemons, and then rubbed it down with an olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme (fresh) and rosemary (fresh) mixture (thank you Chef Matt for this advice!!). I cooked it for 4.5 hours, and then checked it for done-ness by inserting a poultry thermometer into the meatiest section of the bird. It was only 165 degrees, so I put it back in the oven for another 15 minutes or so until it was slightly over my target temperature of 170 degrees.


The result? Fairly decent and pretty standard. I feel like I should have just proceeded with the delicious-looking brine recipe that I wanted to try. The meat was still a little dry, and I was hoping for a really moist bird. Next time I try this (oh yes, there will be a next time!) I'll brine the bird myself.

The gravy came out pretty well. Following my Mom's advice, I did use the drippings from the turkey (some people say that the drippings from a brined turkey are too salty for gravy, but it worked well for me). I combined about a 1/2 cup of corn starch (you can use flour too) and a cup of cold water in a bowl, and the whisked until it was mixed very well. Meanwhile, my friend Lisa had the genius idea of putting the tray from the turkey (with all the drippings) on top of two burners and heating them up until the drippings were boiling. We whisked the drippings while slowly adding the corn starch/water mixture. Because this was such a large bird, we needed an additional 1/4 cup corn starch and 1/2 cup of water to turn the drippings into gravy, but you just have to add it slowly (while whisking) until it looks right to you.

This picture makes it look like I was making the gravy alone, but it was definitely a joint effort between Lisa and I.


Also, I really really liked the way that Nikki decorated her dining room table, and thought I'd pass on the idea. She put lemons, limes and apples into these glass containers, and it looked so bright and festive.



Best part of all? There ended up being a lot of turkey left over, so Tom and I will be eating turkey sandwiches for a week.



Friday, November 12, 2010

the ever elusive turkey

Tomorrow, friends are having an early Thanksgiving celebration for 30 people. Last weekend, Tom volunteered me to cook the turkey.

Tomorrow, I will cook a turkey for 30 people. Four words for you: eff ee aye are. That's right: fear.

Lets be real: the turkey kind of makes the meal right? And so, if you're in charge of the turkey, you kind of have a big responsibility. If you bring a really terrible rendition of green bean casserole, its no big deal because people can slyly pass over it without anyone noticing. But have you ever heard anyone say: "no, I'll pass on the turkey this year." No! Unless they're vegetarian. But a carnivore just isn't going to pass on the turkey.

So I was nervous. Not to mention that one of our friends coming to the party is a chef. Like a real one. Not one who blogs about her silly mess up recipes during her free time, but one who went to chef school. And works with food. And teaches cooking classes. Plus, even non-chefs want to eat delicious turkey, and I feel its my duty to serve one.

Enter pressure, stage left.....

So I found this really great brining recipe last weekend, and thought: OK, I'll brine this turkey and it will come out great. However, you're supposed to brine a fresh turkey, not frozen. Do you know how hard it is to get a fresh turkey more than two weeks before Thanksgiving? Hard. Really hard. So I've been looking in a few places all week, and I can't find one. My chef friend didn't have one at the Whole Foods store he works at. Last night I thought I struck gold by trying out the DeKalb Farmers Market, but they won't get them until Saturday.

Get this y'all. I took a day of vacation today. I literally took a day off today because I have got to get this turkey going if I'm going to stick it in the oven tomorrow. And I'm past the point where I can just buy a frozen 25 pound turkey and thaw it by tomorrow. Really, I was feeling serious pressure this morning. I started calling every grocery store in town, and was repeatedly told no, no, no, no.

I was really starting to panic.

You know that song "Under Pressure" by Queen? That's kind of how I was feeling today. One of the stores was even playing it while I was on hold with their meat department. Coincidence? Clearly not.

Speaking of which, I've been meaning to share this video with y'all for a while. It went viral a month or so ago so you might have seen it, but if not you should watch. It really hit me straight in the heart, and I think you should experience it too. You need to listen to it because the words of the song make the video.



Powerful right?

So this morning I called the secretary at work and told her I needed to find a fresh turkey somewhere in the southeast and that I needed to take a vacation day to search one out. I explained my pressure, and how Tom very casually volunteered me without my consent. She thought it was all very hilarious, and I guess to an outsider it is.

Knowing that my straits were indeed very dire, I practiced my visualization exercise. Sound corny? Its not. Not when you are under real pressure. So I visualized that I would find a turkey today, and that it would be under two dollars a pound.

I started calling around. To every store I could think of. I was repeatedly told 'No' or that they were getting them in tomorrow. Or Monday. One Whole Foods about 3,000 miles from here had organic free range turkeys for 4.99 a pound, but gosh I've got to pay for my children's college in thirty years or something, and if you think I'm going to shell out that kind of cash for a bird you've gone plum crazy.

Three butcher shops, two Publix stores, six Whole Foods, one farmers market, and one Costco later, I was getting seriously stressed. Tears may or may not have been shed. OK they were. I'm not ashamed. "I have," I pouted to myself "quite possibly ruined Thanksgiving." I was so set on getting a fresh turkey for my brine that I never considered that I wouldn't get one and that it would be too late to get a frozen turkey.

Before losing myself to self-loathing, I decided to call a Trader Joe's across town. This was my friend Carrie's idea, and dang if that girl isn't a genius. I didn't have a lot of hope, mostly because Trader Joe's doesn't really even have a meat department, but when I called them up and asked about their turkeys the guy on the phone (Bob) says that yes they surely do have fresh turkeys, that they are already in brine, and that they've got a 28 pound one right now. I may have told Bob that I loved him, I'm not sure. I don't remember through all the happiness.

Of course after this conversation I had the intense panic that perhaps they only had one turkey in their store, so I hauled you-know-what right over there to lay claim. I walked in, and this is what I saw:


You know how in the movies a ray of sun comes down from the heavens and there are all kinds of angels Hallelujah-ing? That's what happened to me today. Thanksgiving? Saved. Assuming I can cook the darn thing.

Naturally I dug around through all the turkeys looking for the largest one I could find, but they only had a 20-pounder. Bob (yeah, phone Bob is also store Bob, and both of them were really helpful) went into the back and dug through all their boxes in the fridge until he found a 24-pound turkey (he must have been fibbing about that 28-pounder). Trader Joe's totally came through for me today, and I am all gladness about that.

Want to know the best part?


Operation Visualization was successful!! I paid 1.79 a pound, and the best price I had been quoted (for the turkeys coming into stores tomorrow) was 2.29 a pound!

When I got to the car I put the bird in the passenger seat.



I knew that the crazy had set in when I started to think about how funny it would be if I buckled it up. I was about to drive off when I realized that if I got in a crash this bird would become a projectile capable of killing a small army. So I buckled it up. I'm not even lying, I drove home the whole way like this:


The irony of the whole thing is that my turkey is already brined, so I don't even get to use that really cool brine recipe that was the inspiration for this wild goose turkey chase in the first place. That's OK, I'm pretty sure the TJs brine will be just fine.

So here are my pre-Thanksgiving thanks:

Thank you 24 pound turkey, for giving up your life for the enjoyment of a 30-person dinner.

Thank you Trader Joes, for coming through where every other store and butcher shop failed.

Thank you Tom, for signing me up to make a turkey for 30 people. I was scared, but I feel better now that the turkey is in my possession. And even though I think you should discuss these things with me beforehand (because lets be real: "we" are not cooking the turkey, even though "we" signed up), you are right: I do enjoy cooking, this is a good blog topic, and this will be a good experience.

And if any of you readers have turkey-cooking tips, please don't be bashful. Help a gal out.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

happiness

Today I read a post that made me happy, made me take a deep breath, and made me smile. How could I deny you that same pleasure? I couldn't. I can't. So I will share it with you. Here it is.
Gwen Bell's post reminds me of my 2010 mantra so far:

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."

I don't know who said this or where I first heard it, but I think it is very wise. It is not my intentional mantra, but after I first heard it I realized that many of the things I do day-to-day fit this definition of insanity.

Like when I don't pack my lunch the night before because I tell myself I'll actually wake up when my alarm goes off to have time to do it in the morning. Do I ever wake up when my alarm goes off? No. This morning I milked it for 21 minutes.

Like when I tell myself that I will someday start enjoying events where I need to interact with large groups of people. I do not. I will not. I don't like parties. Or large events. Both are tolerable for short periods of time, but they must be immediately followed by moments of alone. And that is ok. I don't have to start preferring parties to board game night. I just have to start saying no to parties and scheduling more game nights! Which is why I just bought bananagrams last night. Do you have a favorite board game? I am starting a collection and would love suggestions.

As you know, I love lists. I will end with one now.

A list of things that have given me great pleasure this week (and might make you happy as well!)

1. Family
    My cousin is in town visiting her sister (my other cousin), and our respective families got together to hike Kennesaw Mt on Sunday. It was chilly but warmed up quickly. The air was crisp. The view was perfect. I am far from so much of my family, and I relish the moments I do get.


2. A Change of Pace
    I sit at my cubicle for lunch every day. Lame, I know. Yesterday a coworker and I sat outside in the sun and ate our lunch and played bananagrams. The sun, the friend, the game. I cannot tell you how much this improved the second half of my day. Which brings me to....

3. Board Games
    After having so much fun at lunch yesterday, I came home last night and bought bananagrams. It will be coming in the mail in a few days. Along with something that I bought for Tom. Which brings me to....

4. Doing Something for Someone Else
    I don't know if anything makes me happier. The next time you REALLY want a piece of candy/new shirt/cup of tea/shoulder to lean on, you can be certain that someone you know wants that exact same thing. Offer it without being asked. Give something anonymously. Give a stranger a smile.

5. Do Something New
    I found discounted Cirque du Soleil tickets for tonight's Ovo show in Atlanta. I am excited. I will wear my fancy necklace that I bought in Ireland. I am looking forward to losing myself in the magic of the show. (And oh is there magic! If you've never been to a Cirque show, you must. The ones in Vegas are the best.)

6. Be Inspired
    I sit at a computer all day at work. When I come home I like to do something with my hands, something  physical, something creative. I suppose this is why I enjoy running, cooking, crafting. I search for inspiration in these loves of mine. Here are some of my inspirations this week:

             Running: I love New York (really, its an obsession). I love fall. I love marathons. I love these pictures.
             Cooking: These donut holes make me want to buy a deep fryer.... almost. I've never been too successful at deep frying anything, but this recipe makes me want to try again.
             Crafting: This craft looks so neat (and I love that they will use it to store their 'thanks'). I think I'm going to use the same technique to make 'flour' 'sugar' and 'coffee' jars.

7. Cuddle
    Its true, this face makes me swoon:


Its also true that nobody is ever gonna love you like your dog. She has cured many of my bad days.

Not a bad list for a Wednesday I guess. What gives you happiness? I'd really like to know......

Monday, November 8, 2010

cryptic messages.....


Ok got it............?


Just kidding. I just wanted to put that picture there by way of introducing you to one of my favorite things online. Wordle is seriously awesome if you love words (i do!) and if you like to leave cryptic messages for people or create cool art. You simply upload a whole bunch of words and then they are organized randomly (or by you) into neat pieces of art. You could give someone a scrambled letter or poem, and the message could remain secret to the two of you, even if you hung it on the wall. The one I did above is just a simple one, but check out the gallery for more inspiration. Cool huh?!

And if you're still wondering about that image above, I simply used some of the words from Thursdays blog post.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

thirsty thursday

*Disclaimer: these photos are super shady. Sorry about that. You can blame my cell phone.*

This morning (like all mornings) I was rushing madly to get ready for work. Part of this rushing stems from my loathing of "alarm clocks" and "getting out of bed at an ungodly hour." As I'm famous for telling people: I'm a morning person. I am not a 5am person.

Anyway, I digress. I groggily rushed to get my lunch out of the fridge before heading out the door

when what to my wonderous eyes should appear -
but a wonderous vision in the form of root beer.

I know I know. Too corny for the blog right? Thanks for putting up with me.

On to the goods:



See that perfection? Goodness in a bottle is what I say. I love rootbeer, but I rarely buy it. Tom likes to buy me things when he is at work (he is a manager at Walgreens). He calls them prizes. No joke. He'll come home from work some days and say: "I got you a prize." But my prizes are usually purchased because there is an insane coupon/discount that he can't pass up. So when I found out this rootbeer was purchased full price - well now that is a prize.

And the fact that it has no high fructose corn syrup makes it infinitely more awesome. In fact thats why he bought it, because he knows that I am practically president of the no high fructose corn syrup club. I can't wait to drink this at lunch.....


{I know its hard to read. For some reason the camera would only focus on the background.}

I wrapped it in a plastic bag and stuck it in the back of the fridge so no one would steal it. You think I'm lying but I'm not. People have taken my yogurt cups before, and I'm not willing to risk that today.

Do people steal your food at work? Because I was pretty shocked when it happened. Especially when I had written my name on it. It was so not a case of mistaken identity. It was flat out stealing. Of a yogurt cup. I guess thats how we roll here in the gov.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Weekend in DC

Last weekend Tom and I flew up to DC for the Marine Corps Marathon - me as runner and he as cheerleader. It was a whirlwind trip, but we had a great time.

Of course the rally was also taking place the same weekend, so the crowds on the metro and the Mall were crazy.


After picking up my race packet at the expo (and all the associated freebies), we headed on our merry way to the Mall.



We did the requisite tour of the most important sites.....



Visited the Air and Space Museum (yawn..... sorry Tom)



Saturday night, we had some delicious pizza....


...with friends.


Sunday morning, we got up before the sun to get to the start line on time.



Tom caught up with me around mile 17 and ran with me for a bit


He even captured a little video of the moment

video
{Can I please remind everyone that this is at mile 17? Please excuse my lack witty on-camera remarks.}


Here we are at the finish....



In all, it was a great weekend. I couldn't have done it without all of the support of my friends and family, and especially thank Tom for waiting on me hand and foot the whole weekend. While training for a marathon alone is doable, you definitely want to have the support of someone on race weekend. It makes the whole thing so much easier.

I finished at 4:58 (30 minutes slower than I ran it two years ago), which was ok with me considering my lack of adequate preparation and also considering my hip injury. I've also already crossed it off my Day Zero list (yay for crossing things off from lists!!). So that I don't entirely lose the motivation to run, I'm considering running the Atlanta Half Marathon on Thanksgiving Day. We'll see! My sister Laura is running the Oakland Half Marathon on March 27th (go Laura!!), so maybe I'll have to find the cash to take a trip out to NorCal in the spring!

Do you run? Bike? Swim? Have a favorite event? I'd love to hear good recommendations for runs if you've got them, or tips on staying inspired to train.
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