Shiny and Bright

Saturday I made it to the gym!!! After being snowed/iced in for two days I braved the drive and made it. My little car would not have made it out of our street –which was a sheet of ice–but the Subaru did great and once I got on the main streets it was clear.


It felt SO good to get to the gym! I hadn’t been since Monday. I was also slightly sore still from Thursday’s at home workout. Squats and kettlebells ALWAYS get me.

At the gym I did some light body weight/ab stuff, went through a circuit of the weight machines and then did 27 minutes on the elliptical. It felt awesome!

Then home to clean up and get ready to go on a date. Michael’s mom and stepdad came over to spend some time with the little dude so we could go out to lunch and possibly get a Christmas tree.


The roads were decent but sidewalks were super icy still. We ended up going to Lardo on SE Hawthorne for lunch. It’s been years since I’ve been there. The place was packed when we arrived. We ordered and then sat outside in the covered and heated patio area.


We both got the Block 15 Sticky Hands IPA. For lunch Michael got the Grilled Mortadella:


I got the Lardo Egg Sandwich, smoked pork belly with a runny egg and cheese. It came with a hash brown patty on the side.


Michael got an order of their “dirty fries” –fries with cheese, pork pieces and pickled peppers on top. I nibbled on some. I didn’t love the fries. I did enjoy the pickled peppers, though!


We talked about getting a Christmas tree. We both had concerns, obviously. Logan is almost 9 months old (on the 22nd!!) and he is an ACTIVE little boy already. He’s been crawling for two months, standing for a month and he’s already “cruising” (walking while he holds on to things like the coffee table). He also goes right for all the things he shouldn’t have and big, sparkling, blinky Christmas tree would be a bad idea.

We talked about getting a small tree and putting it on a table, that didn’t really seem feasible, because we a) don’t have a table that would work and b) he could probably pull that down too. I floated the idea of getting a tiny living tree (something I’ve always wanted to do) and putting it on this one tall side table we have in the living room. So we went to Lowe’s to check it out and found the small living trees.


For about the same price as a large Christmas tree we got the living tree. It’s small and the needles are super spikey! That’s the only downside. But I like that we can plant it in the yard somewhere after Christmas and it doesn’t feel like such a waste.


It’s okay, it does the trick. Next year we’ll go all out and it will be great! And Logan will be old enough to “get it”.


Saturday night we were supposed to go to the Milwaukie Solstice Festival and then some friends were coming over for dinner but our friends were sick, I was still under the weather and we just didn’t feel like going back out. So Michael made dinner for us instead and we just chilled.

He made French Onion Soup!



Here’s the recipe:

French Onion Soup

Category: baby, calories, cheap date, Christmas, Christmas Presents, Date Night, Dinner, Eating out, Family, fitness, food, Food update, Friends, gym, Holidays, Low Calorie Recipes, Lunch, Memories, Michael, Portland, Portland activities, Portland Restaurants, recipes, Recommendations, Restaurants, Review, Snow, Weekend Update, Yule



  • 6 large red or yellow onions (about 3 pounds), peeled and thinly sliced root to stem (see How to Slice an Onion), about 10 cups of sliced onions total
  • 4 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • Salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups of beef stock, chicken stock, or a combination of the two (traditionally the soup is made with beef stock)
  • 1/2 cup of dry vermouth or dry white wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 teaspoons of fresh thyme (can also use a few sprigs of fresh thyme) OR 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp brandy (optional)
  • 8 inch-thick slices of French bread or baguette
  • 1 1/2 cups of grated Swiss Gruyere and a sprinkling of Parmesan


  1. Caramelize the onions: In a 5 to 6 quart thick-bottomed pot, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Add the onions and toss to coat with the olive oil.
  2. Cook the onions, stirring often, until they have softened, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Increase the heat to medium high. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the butter and cook, stirring often, until the onions start to brown, about 15 more minutes.
  4. Then sprinkle with sugar (to help with the caramelization) and 1 teaspoon of salt and continue to cook until the onions are well browned, about 10 to 15 more minutes.
  5. Add the minced garlic and cook for a minute more.
  6. Deglaze the pot with vermouth: Add the vermouth to the pot and scrape up the browned bits on the bottom and sides of the pot, deglazing the pot as you go.
  7. Add stock and seasonings: Add the stock, bay leaves, and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot and lower the heat to maintain a low simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes.
  8. Season to taste with more salt and add freshly ground black pepper. Discard the bay leaves. Add brandy if using.
  9. Toast French bread slices: While the soup is simmering, line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil and preheat the oven to 450°F with a rack in the upper third of the oven.
  10. Brush both sides of the French bread or baguette slices lightly with olive oil (you'll end up using about a tablespoon and a half of olive oil for this).
  11. Put in the oven and toast until lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from oven.
  12. Turn the toasts over and sprinkle with the grated Gruyere cheese and Parmesan. Return to oven when it's close to serving time and bake until the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.
  13. Serve: To serve, ladle soup into a bowl and transfer one cheesy toast onto the top of each bowl of soup.
  14. Alternatively, you can use individual oven-proof bowls or one large casserole dish. Ladle the soup into the bowls or casserole dish. Cover with the toast and sprinkle with cheese. Put into the broiler for 10 minutes at 350° F, or until the cheese bubbles and is slightly browned.

Dinner was great!


We missed the Winter Solstice but we did manage to go to Peacock Lane this year!

I told Logan we were going to see sparkly Christmas lights. He giggled:


We met up with a friend of mine who has a baby about 2.5 months younger than Logan. Peacock Lane was PACKED! You could barely walk there were so many people. But the babies loved the lights!


I’m really looking forward to Christmas this weekend!

Walking Like John Wayne

AKA… The Day After Hood to Coast

After sleeping for 14 hours, Sunday was spent working on my photos from Hood to Coast and trying to write blog posts about it while it was still fresh in my mind. I could barely walk on Sunday. It felt like every time I tried to walk my right knee locked up. It took about 2 minutes of maneuvering to try and lower myself down on the toilet or a chair. Michael was sweet and did my laundry, cooked meals for me and helped me with the computer stuff.

Even though I was tired and sore, I was feeling pretty good!

Before dinner time, Michael and I went for a walk. I was starting to loosen up and was feeling a lot better. We walked up and down our street and then walked down to the track I run on. We did two laps around the track and headed back to the house. I was feeling okay. I think the walk helped.

Michael grilled up a steak for dinner. It turned out really tender and delicious. I definitely needed the protein, too. He also grilled up the zucchini I got from a coworker.

It was nice that Michael took care of everything on Sunday. I was feeling scattered and emotional. I hadn’t fully realized how emotional I’d be during and after Hood to Coast.

I also did not realize how HUNGRY I’d be after Hood to Coast. As I write this post it’s now Monday and I’ve been starving since Saturday night. Literally. It feels like my stomach wants to eat itself. The steak dinner was really good but it barely made a dent in my hunger. After dinner Michael and I watched Mad Men, ate ice cream and I iced my ankle.

I was still hungry after eating all of that stuff! God! I ate a Fiber One bar and a glass of milk to see if that helped. Still hungry. I decided to just go to bed and hope it went away. Sunday night I used my Foam Roller for the first time since Hood to Coast. Parts of my body were fine: shins, calves and hamstrings. It felt good to use the Foam Roller. Then I did my quads and IT Bands. OH.MY.GOD. AGONY. I was practically crying and screaming as I did it and Michael yelled at me to stop doing it. I knew it would help my muscles so I had to just suck it up. What can I say? I’m really stubborn.


Monday and I was able to get out of bed, sit down on the toilet, walk around and get up and down from the chair with no pain. I think the Foam Roller worked!

I went swimming at the gym to loosen up my legs. First, the pool was broken so it was freaking freezing! That was not good. Second, swimming helped immensely.

Doing my laps I had zero pain or discomfort. It was almost as if I hadn’t run 17 miles! 😉 After swimming I sat in the hot tub for about 20 minutes. It felt heavenly and I didn’t want to get out of the hot tub.

I met my friend for lunch at Thai Lahnna in Sellwood. I was craving Thai food and I was STARVING. I could not eat enough food to satisfy my hunger. It must be because of Hood to Coast.

I got the spicy Thai soup to start. It came with mushrooms (yuck) but I didn’t eat them. The soup was hot and spicy and tasted great. It really made me feel better, too. I ate about half of it and decided to save room for the Pad Thai.

The Pad Thai was great and exactly what I wanted! It filled me up–finally!

Dinner was more steak. We had left over from the night before. I didn’t mind having steak two nights in a row. I know the protein is good for healing muscles–exactly what I needed.

I opened up a bottle of Pinot Noir we got on our anniversary trip to Hood River. It went great with dinner.

Steak, peas, garlic bread and wine! YUM!

Monday night we got 90 minute massages. It felt so fantastic. My masseuse really helped work out the kinks in my legs. I was able to walk just fine on Monday, too, so I know the healing is going well.


I’d been having chest pains when I breath since Sunday. Tuesday morning I went for another swim. The pool heater was STILL broken and the pool was just too dang cold. 🙁

I went to the doctor and she said I have costochondritis. It’s an inflammation of a rib or the cartilage connecting a rib. It is a common cause of chest pain. She said that it’s from running almost 17 miles and swinging my arms as I run. She said it should go away soon–just take Advil and use a heating pad on my chest. 🙁

All in all, if that’s the worst side effect from running Hood to Coast, I’m good with that!