a few of my favorite things

Visitors February 15, 2009

Filed under: Reflections,weekend,winter — Bridget @ 8:10 pm

I guess I should have clarified more about my last post…on Monday I was very ill and basically got rid of everything in my system.  I couldn’t eat anything.  On Tuesday, I was able to eat a few saltines.  Tuesday evening, I knew I needed nutrients to get my strength back, so I made a smoothie using a banana, frozen fruit and milk.  That upset my stomach again and led to a very rough night (the culprit was likely milk).  My system just couldn’t handle much at all.  On Wednesday, I decided to eat only the bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast I mentioned in my last post because I needed to start getting SOMETHING in my system and those things are very easily digested.  This “diet” is often recommended by doctors for patients recovering from gastro-intestinal problems.  Yes, it is very bland and does not contain many nutrients and it’s VERY different than what I typically eat, but it was literally all that my body could handle.  It allowed me to slowly re-build my system and my stomach until I could handle real foods, which I was able to do on Friday- YAY!

Saturday was really busy – I finally got my wedding album and also picked out some things for our new house.  My stomach behaved well (on normal foods), but I ran out of energy after a couple hours of shopping and had to take a nap! 

I felt a little ‘off’ all day today and I started to wonder if it was a lack of exercise.  I haven’t worked out for over a week due to the stomach flu, which is very out of the norm for me.  I didn’t have a ton of energy, so I walked on the treadmill for a while, which made me feel a little better.  I start my second-to-last MBA class tomorrow evening, so I did a little reading for class and took it easy for most of the day.

At least I had a pretty view while I worked…this is the view from my favorite room in my parents’ house, the sun room.  We got 6.5” of snow on Friday and the sunroom gives a beautiful view of all the snow:


Can you spot my visitors in this picture?



Transition Time February 4, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized,weekend — Bridget @ 6:27 pm
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The last few days and the weekend seemed to slip away from me, but I’m getting back on track now!  I headed back to St. Louis last weekend to celebrate my husband’s birthday.  After living in separate cities for almost a month, I’m definitely ready to get back to our regularly-scheduled lives, ya know, like living together and spending time together.  One of our favorite things to do together is to just run errands.  It might sound silly, but we both enjoy getting up on a weekend morning, getting some coffee, and hitting the stores on our To Do list.  What’s your favorite “little” thing to do with your significant other?

This transition time certainly hasn’t been as bad as it could have been and I’m thankful that I am able to stay with my family and that my husband has our dog and our St Louis friends to keep him company.  The end is in sight, though: we close on our new house in Omaha on Feb. 27 and move-in that weekend.  We have a contract on our house in St. Louis, so we just need to tie that up and we’ll move on.

Until then, I’ll just keep chugging along.  My days consist of work (I like the new job- hooray!!), exercising, eating, and hanging out with my family.

I just finished a class – Power Vinyasa Flow #2.  I really enjoyed this one and can tell I have improved since I started taking hot yoga classes a few weeks ago.  I set-up my mat in the warmest room in my parents’ house, which happens to be my old bedroom, now my niece and nephew’s room.  I’m still sitting in here because it’s so warm and cozy!

So, I’ll end this random post with some pics from my weekend.  Happy Birthday, Zach!!



Late Christmas January 4, 2009

Filed under: Baking,weekend — Bridget @ 5:00 pm

Happy Sunday!  Hope you’re all having a good one.  Yesterday my dad and I made it to the gym and it felt sooo good to just be at a gym!!  I really am a gym rat, I just loved it!  A couple hours after we got home all plans were canceled due to icy roads.   Oh well.

Due to all the traveling and house-hunting around the holidays, I didn’t get to share much of my holiday celebrations with you all.  I know it’s belated, so I’ll just share a few things.

First up, my favorite Christmas treat ever – Pistachio Nut Swirl Cake, otherwise known as Green Cake.  We make this every year to eat on Christmas morning (yes! cake for breakfast!  it’s so good with a cup of coffee).  I realize that I was too excited to eat it, so I never got a shot of the inside, but the actual cake is green from pistachio pudding.  Delish!


Next up are some food-related holiday gifts: an immersion blender and Giada’s new cookbook.


Haven’t used either yet, but I’m looking forward to it!


Moving January 3, 2009

Filed under: weekend — Bridget @ 12:16 pm

Here’s a quick re-cap of my current life situation:

After living in St. Louis for 7 1/2 years (college plus ‘real world’), I accepted a transfer with my company to a position in my hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.  I officially started the new job on Dec. 22, 2008.  Since we don’t have a house yet, I’m staying with my parents for a while.

Our house in St. Louis is for sale and my husband just left Omaha to go back to St. Louis to work for at least the rest of January.  If no one wants to buy our house, we will accept a buy-out offer from my company and be done with it.  For the next month or so I will be missing my husband and our dog very much 😦  But I’m grateful to have a place to stay that is free, comfortable, and welcoming.


Obviously we aren’t going to live with the ‘rents forever, so Zach and I have been house-hunting for the past week.  After looking at a gazillion houses, we bought one on New Year’s Eve!  I’m super excited about it – it has an open floorplan with lots of living space, a great kitchen, and is next to a lake/recreation area with 7 miles of trails and a dog park!!  We will close and move in sometime in February (the date is still TBD) and I can’t wait!

Two other things that didn’t necessarily make the decision, but made me feel good about it:

1.) The floor plan is called the “Degas“.  Degas painted lots of pictures of dancers that I have always loved 🙂

2.) The house number is 8614.  8+6=14.


Today I’m headed to the base gym with my dad.  I’m in serious gym withdrawl, so I’m excited!  Later I’m hanging out with my niece and nephew, then going to dinner with a friend.  Have a great Saturday!

Photo grabbed from Little Paper Dog on Flickr.


Update, Running, Sunday Soup November 23, 2008

Filed under: weekend — Bridget @ 8:33 pm

Hi Friends!  It’s been a busy week and it’s already time to gear up for another new week.  I am THANKFUL that I only have to go to work 3 days this week 🙂

I didn’t get to spend much time at home (or blogging!) last week due to school meetings, class, continuing to clean the house, and a candle party.  I also didn’t get to workout much last week, but I’m going to save my reflection on that for another post.

With Bells On

This morning I got up to run in the Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell Run!  A good friend of mine organized this year’s run, so I was happy to go out and support her and such a great cause.  Here are some facts about arthritis:

    • Rheumatoid Arthritis affects 1.3 million Americans.
    • 27 million Americans live with osteoarthritis.
    • 300,000 children have some form of juvenile arthritis.
    • Arthritis isn’t just something that happens to ‘old’ people- it effects people of every age. (facts from

Along with our race numbers, all participants were given jingle bells to tie on their shoes.  I kept mine in my pocket because I thought they might be a little annoying on my shoes, but it was really cool to hear all the bells jingling when the race started!

Despite it being 22* when I woke up and about 26* during the race, I set a new 5K personal record!  My chip time was 24:29, a 7:56 pace!!  I think I run faster in the cold because I’m motivated to get inside where it’s warm!  The run felt great, I definitely pushed myself but didn’t overdo it. 

Sunday Soup-day

After celebrating my great run with a Pumpkin Spice Latte and catching up on a few DVR-ed shows, I made a  HUGE pot of soup for lunch: IMG_1253 

Lentil Soup

I used this recipe, but modified the ingredients like this:

  • omitted onion (didn’t have any on hand)
  • carrots
  • celery
  • minced garlic from the jar in my fridge
  • dried oregano
  • dried basil
  • bay leaf
  • diced tomatoes- a little less than one can
  • dry lentils
  • 4 c. chicken broth; 4 c. water
  • spinach
  • dash of red wine vinegar
  • S + P

It was good!  I’ve never made lentil soup before, but this was pretty tasty.  I had a small mug with some leftover cornbread.


I think it will taste even better tomorrow, which is good, because that pot made all these leftovers (that’s 3 servings for the fridge to eat this week, 4 for the freezer to be eaten later):


So, while this soup did a good job using up things in my pantry, it didn’t really help out my “clean-out-the-freezer” mission!  Oh, well 🙂

I spent the rest of Sunday working on a project for school and enjoyed a nice long walk with my husband and dog!  Here’s a question: WHY do runs (like this morning’s Jingle Bell run) start at 8 am on cold November mornings??  It was 25* this morning and about 50* this afternoon!


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Celery Bog October 13, 2008

Filed under: travel,weekend,workouts — Bridget @ 5:43 pm

I’m back from a weekend in West Lafayette, Indiana for a friend’s wedding.  We had a blast and I had a little too much fun…I feel much better after a day ‘back on track’ and a couple meals prepared at home!

We got to Indiana a day early for the wedding because the Mr. was the Best Man and wanted to participate in Friday’s golf outing before the rehearsal.  I happily agreed to take an extra day off work 🙂  This obviously left me with some time to kill…I did a little shopping and a little studying and I was super excited when I found this trail right across the street from the hotel:



(NOTE: My little camera is broken- all we have is our nice big SLR- which is a little inconvenient for taking on a run or a walk.  I found some images online and on Flickr and have linked each photo to its source.)

I had spotted the entrance to the trail from the car and when I ventured over on foot, I discovered it went for a few miles through a very peaceful nature area.  On Friday, I was a little cramped for time so I did about 45 minutes of running and walking.  The fall colors were gorgeous – not quite as bright as the photo below, but they’ll look like this in about two weeks.


On Saturday I headed back to the trail and walked for about an hour and a half.  About 10 minutes in, I realized I could hear nature noises (bugs!) through the music on my headphones, so I took them off and communed with nature for a while.  I’m not really much of a nature girl (I usually get tons and tons of bug bites), but I really really enjoyed this walk. 

Here’s the actual bog, which used to be home to a celery crop:


This is what I learned on Purdue’s website:

“The Celery Bog is a wetland located in West Lafayette, Indiana.  For much of the 20th century the wetland was drained and farmed.  Celery, as well as other crops, was grown in the rich peat of the drained wetland.  However, the agricultural drainage system constantly failed, which resulted in the termination of farming in the wetland. Thus, part of the former wetland has gradually reverted to wet conditions.  The wetland and important nearby sites are now preserved as the Celery Bog Nature Area. This area is listed as a significant ecological site by the Indiana Natural Heritage Program and it has become and important park in the area.”



It was nice to enjoy a little nature and exercise amidst the frat boys and alcohol that filled the rest of the weekend…


Go Big Red! October 5, 2008

Filed under: Baking,Snacks,Social events,weekend — Bridget @ 8:35 pm

On Saturday night the Nebraska Cornhuskers played the Missouri Tigers.  I don’t know if I’ve exactly spelled this out on the blog before, but I grew up in Nebraska and currently live in Missouri.  Therefore, Saturday night’s game was a good excuse to host a party!  Unfortunately, Mizzou showed up in Lincoln and basically beat the crap out of the Huskers.  But we have a new coach, so technically, this is a rebuilding year for Nebraska;)

Anyways, our friends came over and we had quite a spread of food.  I didn’t get a pic of the whole thing, but it was your typical football food fare- chips, dip, salsa, mini-cheeseburgers, etc.  I made a couple things, including turkey and veggie roll-ups and the best red pepper hummus ever:


Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

1 roasted red pepper

1 can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1.5 T tahini

3 T lemon juice (juice of one lemon)

.5 t ground cumi

.5 t ground cayenne

dash salt

Put all ingredients in food processor and process until desired consistency.  I added a drizzle of olive oil and then processed again because it wasn’t quite smooth enough. 


Most importantly, I made red velvet cupcakes!  The Huskers are also known as the Big Red, so these were appropriate.

In progress:

  IMGP1836 IMGP1837 IMGP1839

Finished product:



YUM!  Definitely worth the splurge and the bottle of red food coloring 🙂

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