Monthly Archives: March 2009


So as you can see, the whole layout of my bloggy blog has changed!  And I love being able to put a photo at the header.  Of course I picked one from the Atacama Crossing – the coolest thing I have done, back in my heyday (a 7 day, 250 mile, staged race across the Atacama desert in Chile).  Too bad that was many moons ago.  Maybe someday I can do another Racing the Planet adventure…

Anyway, here are some snaps from that most excellent adventure!

2355874-dsc_8889Here we are, stepping off.  It was freezing cold (don’t ask me why I am wearing shorts), and we were at about 14,000 feet!  My pack was 24+ lbs – WAY too heavy!  My arms felt like they were getting ripped off.  I started chunking food at the next rest stop.  I was still delusional and thought I might be running most of the way… HA!

2355870-img_3927I didn’t shower for 7 days!  Carried all my food and clothes on my back, like a turtle.  They supplied water daily and had tents for us to retire to – nothing luxurious, that is for sure.  Just 8 of us crammed in a tent – most were men, and they sure were smelly!

2355873-ac06comps4ms109Don’t I look like a bad@ss?  There just isn’t a photo of the 70-year-old man or the blind man passing me, which they did.  Behind me is Team Save the Rhinos – they traded off wearing that huge rhino suit!  2355879-dsc00514The one day I made it to camp during daylight hours!  Quite a feat!  They have since changed it (thank goodness) but when I did the Atacama Crossing, it was during Chilean winter, so short days and NO moonlight the week we were racing.  Now I think it during spring or fall, so more hours of daylight.

So here is how the milage was spread out:

Day 1 – 25 miles

Day 2 – 25 miles

Day 3 – 25 miles

Day 4 – 25 miles

Day 5 – 43 miles

Day 6 – rest

Day 7 – 7 miles into the finish at San Pedro de Atacama

2355878-dsc00122Just running 7 miles into the finish was so easy-peasy!  Since I was not one of the leaders, I was allowed to start in an earlier wave, and it looked like I was the first woman to cross the finish line!  Well, I was the first woman to cross, but very far from being the ladies winner overall.  Each stage was timed. I was the 2nd place USA woman and 11th woman overall, but there weren’t many ladies doing this race.

2355875-dsc_1333Finish line – yay!  And I didn’t think Boom was going to be at the finish line, and he was!!!  Most excellent.

Sigh – what a great trip down memory lane.  Thanks for indulging me.

Catching up

Things have been hectic around here lately – esp. since I was (deathly) ill on Wed. Sure does put a kink in plans when one is totally out of commission for a day…

Last Friday, a bunch of us went to a Moroccan restaurant (that will remain unnamed) – company was superb, restaurant… not so much. and we were basically the only customers all night – very random and sketch. But it is always good to try new things – just email me if you are thinking of going to Moroccan – I can let you know it if was the place that we went to…

And, like I said, it was great company. So can’t complain too much. Here we all are:

img_2476(Hehehe – it looks like I took a panoramic photo! Remember when those were all the rage?! Anyway, I did not, just cropped in Photoshop)

Last Tuesday, Boom made appetizers for dinner! So yummy! he even made a ton of my favorite – deviled eggs! Look at this spread…

img_2504And the pièce de résistance…

img_2506I am not sure why I love deviled eggs so much, but I do!

Later that week were the Ovation Awards – at an Audi dealership! Kinda random, but it was a large space to accommodate everyone and a good time. Saw my 3rd fashion show in 2 weeks – at least I am getting lots of ideas of what I should be wearing. Too bad the buddha and my wallet don’t agree.

img_2507A co-worker and I with one of the winners (center). Love her dress – she looks so fabulous!

img_2508And my good bud, El, that I called that morning to see if she would go with me. And she obliged, thanks!!!

Enough for now… check back later…

Gimme a Q…

quinoa1As a pescetarian, I need to find foods that are high in protein.  One of the best kept secrets is quinoa – I wrote about it a while ago here.  Currently, I don’t really follow any fancy recipes to make it – I use it in place of rice or a starch of sorts.

I Tweeted the other night that I was eating it and got so many comments and questions on what my recipe is to make it… so here it is:

Ting’s Super Easy Quinoa Recipe

1 c dried quinoa (can be purchased in bulk  aisle at Whole Foods)

1 c veggie broth (I guess if you are not a pescetarian you can use chicken broth)

1 1/2 c water

Combine in a small pan.  Simmer until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender (20 – 30 mins).


That is is – so simple yet tasty and very good for you.  Yarbs clued me in (I guess Rachel Ray clued her in) that any sort of grains will taste much better if you use veggie broth to cook them in instead of just plain water.  So I will sometimes use veggie broth to cook brown rice – yummy as well.

Go forth and eat quinoa!


yarbsandtingbabyThe whole fam loves this photo so much!  Yarbs does look pretty freaking adorable – I just look like a blob.  Over all it is a really cute photo – I love it because Yarbs looks so happy to see me!  and we are all snug together.  I am so thankful to have a sister, and we are really lucky that we enjoy each other’s company so much!!!

Chock Full…

Last week I booked myself for many activities (some might say too many)… the only night I had “off” was Tuesday!

Monday night – dinner out with friends… read all about it here.

img_2440Wednesday – THE ART OF FASHION Fashion Show

I wasn’t really sure what to expect – it was a lot of fun!  Tons of folks – drinks – and some light munchies.  They had some adorable mac and cheese cups – which were so tasty!

img_2438Fun times with the gals!  And the shoes were awesome!  I just love shoes – and my adorable Gucci flats were there on display!  I am glad to see that they are not totally last season.

img_2443Got to see my new buddy W, who is a man about town!  He is everywhere!  And got to see some photos of his new g-friend (who could not make it) and also meet some of his friends.

Thursday – had two events to go to – the first was an Emerging Leaders happy hour at two model homes in a random part of downtown, the other side of downtown that I had never been to.  It was random, but good to 1) see that part of town, and 2) meet some of the other people involved in EL.

The second event was a ChildBuilders happy hour at Blancos.  I really like Blancos and had a great time there – got to know some folks involved with ChildBuilders.  and a new friend, K, met us there.  She is just FABULASH!  Excited to go to dinner on Friday with her and her hubby, along with E and T.  Should be good times.

img_2446Cute cute cute!  The JLH and HAWC brought us all together!  I am excited to go back to Blanco this coming weekend for LBW’s dad’s 60th birthday!

Friday – was The HOT Happening at Tootsies – and it was packed!  Tons of folks – and organic cotton candy from Ruggles Green! Yummy – it was apple flavored, and also green in color.


Tootsies carries a ton of great labels!  I love Alice + Olivia so much – I can’t wait until it is warm to wear my white and green polka dotted Alice + Olivia shoes out and about.  And they had some great Chan Luu bracelets and jewelry.  I am definitely shopping there next time I need a new frock!  Anyway, it was a fun event – great people watching.  All the usual suspects were there, which is to be expected.

A good, full week.  I think I am going to not be as busy this week.  By choice.  We’ll see how it goes… sometimes it is hard as the  week nights just seem to fill up!

Slowly but surely

img_1349To fill the bookshelves up (sorry for the old photo – the ugly ceiling fan is no longer!), we have been buying vintage and antique books.  Clearly we will need a lot of ’em!  Boom and I have recently gotten into a rhythm of going to thrift stores on Saturday morning.   I really never thought I’d see the day when Boom and I would “thrifting” together, but it has been fun!  and I think he has kinda gotten into it.  I know going to thrift stores is not his favorite thing to do, but since we have also been antiquing, he is used to seeing old things in sometimes messy places.

And he is pretty good at it – he spied this find last Saturday:

img_2431A set of 20 classics from the 1940s – aren’t they pretty?!  We got these guys for a mere $45!

And then Sunday we went by Half-Price Books (which is an amazing book store – books are cheap, and there are tons of them!) where we got this:

img_243219 (we are missing a few) Mark Twains from the 1900s – really pretty as well.  These guys were around $80. Still not too bad, as the books S and I were buying before this were about $10 a piece.  So anything less than that is a good deal to me.  And we were buying books based soley on their spine and how they looked – now Boom says he would prefer to buy books that we might actually read (a lot of the books S and I got were also not in English).

img_2433We thought these were hilarious – “The Handbook of TEXAS” – from 1952.  These were $10 a piece, but just too funny to pass up.  And also a very pretty blue.  Books look so much better with their dust jackets off!

Half Price Books also has a thing where you can get “Books by the Yard” – so a box of hardback books for $17.50!  We may need to start doing that, but I really like the older books.  We’ll get there, one Saturday at a time!

Dinner out… and H-town Celebs

Monday night we headed to Benjy’s on Washington – housed in a cool, new building, it is a bit hipper than it’s older counter part in the Village.  It really was doing a brisk business.  Boom and I were catching up with a couple we got set up with by folks in the RIC – Ryan and his girlfriend, L.  Ryan is the Executive Chef at The Grove – a hip new restaurant on Discovery Green downtown that I have mentioned many times before.

In the small foodie world, Ryan is a bit of a celeb.  He is often times in the local mags – for winning awards as well as being used in advertisements!  Too funny!  We really like them – they are just great peeps.  And it is so cute – you can tell Ryan loves L so much – she was a bit late getting to dinner (she is a doctor) and once she got there, he just lit up – just came alive a bit more.  It was really adorable.

So guess who else was dining at Benjy’s on Washington?  Some real H-town celebs (photo is not from last night):


Becca Cason and John Thrash!  She is always in the social mags, as she is one of the main philanthropists in town / the state / maybe the USA?  I never thought I’d see them in the flesh – Ryan had cooked at their house for a private party – he said it was a house just made for entertaining.  That they had more ovens in their kitchen than The Grove has – and a glass walkway above the kitchen so guests can see what the chef is doing – crazy!  John Thrash came over to our table (another guest with the Thrash’s was Ryan PR guy) – and he seemed pretty nice.

I actually don’t think I would have recognized them, as they look different in person than in a magazine, so I am glad that Ryan did.  All in all a great night – good food (Benjy’s Tres Leches is actually really good!  Not as good as Mommys from KubaKuba, but close), great company, and some people watching – what more could you want on a Monday night?!