Weekend Fun + My Latest Obsession

Hey guys, we’re on our way to the airport to sunny LA! I’m looking forward to the great weather, food, and spending some quality time with Mike’s family.  We are also looking forward to a little time off from work and this weekend was extra relaxing with the knowledge that we weren’t going into work on Monday :)


Friday was our last day of work before our Christmas trip to LA! Mike had a really long week and lots of late nights at work, so we relaxed and celebrated the end of the week with our signature drinks.friday nightDirty martini for Mike (he’s gotten really good at making them!) and a hot chocolate for me.  With rainbow marshmallows to feel extra festive :) Speaking of marshmallows, I won’t eat them plain but I do like them in my hot chocolate and I feel like these would make for an epic cup of hot chocolate, no?


I woke up at 6:45 AM to join my running group for the first time in over a month – between Thankgiving, races, and my knee injury, I hadn’t been able to go so I grabbed this chance to go run with them on an absolutely beautiful day.  It did NOT feel like the middle of winter, and I was regretting wearing a long sleeve t-shirt about two miles in! I managed 8 miles, the longest I’d run since my knee started twinging two weeks ago.  It felt fine during most of the run, with a little discomfort around mile 4.splitsI met some new friends during the run, Allison and Marisa, who pushed me the whole way and made the miles go by fast! I love doing my long runs with a running group, so much easier than running alone.

If you’re curious about how I fuel for my long runs, I generally don’t eat anything during a run shorter than 10 miles, but I aim to eat 200-300 calories an hour before any run over five miles or so.  I usually eat a banana with peanut butter, but we didn’t have any bananas in the house so I ate a PowerBar Performance Blend (basically applesauce or baby food in a tube) and three Clif Shot Bloks before I left the house.  And I drank a bottle of water when I woke up to avoid dehydration headaches after the run!


After the run, I went home, showered and picked up some monkey bread from the bakery in Shirlington to bring to brunch at Courtney’s new place.  Her place was decorated so beautifully, it gave me all sorts of ideas for our place, which still looks like a dorm  =\ Despite years of watching HGTV with my parents, I still have zero design skills.  The food was all so, so good – Courtney made a hearty egg dish with turkey bacon and potatoes, her roommate, a former bartender, mixed up some legit Bloody Marys, and we also had real New York style bagels with smoked whitefish salad and the apple monkey bread we brought.brunchWe left completely stuffed and slowly walked back to the car, enjoying the beautiful day – it hit 70 degrees on Saturday in DC! I decided to leave my puffy winter jacket at home ;)IMG_20131221_134546_889When we got home, Mike had to work so I decided to start a new TV show and picked NBC’s The Sing-Off, which is another vocal competition, but this one features a cappella groups! I’ve always been amazed by the ability of a cappella groups to produce such powerful sound and interesting arrangements without instruments, so I was totally hooked by this show! I also loved the collaborative atmosphere and respect the groups have for each other, despite the fact that it is a competition.  Even if that’s the side they choose to show the audience, it made me love the show even more. I managed to catch up on season four in a day and can’t wait for the finale!012After several hours of listening to the amazing groups and googling “adult a cappella group auditions DC”, I met up with a friend from college, who recently moved to the area, at Kanpai in Rosslyn.  I used to frequent this place a lot when I worked in Rosslyn, but I think the quality of their food has gone down a little – their sushi was pretty chewy.  I think we’ll be looking for better casual Japanese dining options – any suggestions?


I did a weird thing Sunday morning and decided I really wanted ramen for breakfast.  Don’t judge, it’s my all-time favorite food.  I never make ramen with just water – I always add stuff to it to increase the nutritional content and flavor.  Here’s my recipe for miso ramen: boil water, cook noodles and veggies (I used napa cabbage) to al dente.  Drain the pot, boil more water and add the soup packet and a tablespoon of miso.  Once boiling, add an egg, wait a minute or two to poach and then add the noodles and veggies back in.

ramenTakes ramen to the next level.  I love the extra flavor from the miso!017After breakfast, we cleaned our place – we’re getting a renter in our second bedroom in January! – and I went to Dick’s to return some gloves I bought online, which turned out to be too big for my child-size hands.  I saw this knee support strap while I was in the store and decided to give it a try during my runs to reduce the pain I’ve been getting in my left knee after running. 020 021I wore it around the rest of the day and to the gym for a little light cycling, and it seemed to help.  It’s chafing behind my knee like crazy, but I can live with that if it supports my knee and makes the pain go away.  We’ll see how it does after a short run today.

I also couldn’t resist picking up two pairs of these cozy socks at check-out – they were buy one get one free! They’re VERY warm, cozy, and cushy on the bottom so I think they’ll be perfect for my mom; her feet are always cold around the house.018 019

Kitty has a new habit she developed this weekend of making a break for it whenever we come into the apartment.  We each got a little exercise chasing her down and corralling her back in.  Thank goodness she can’t get out of the apartment building very easily.

Kitty, the great escape artist

For dinner, I made myself a salad with the last of the lettuce and harvest meatballs.  Topped with dried cranberries, a hard boiled egg, and plenty of goat cheese!026 I still have a lot of goat cheese left – the giant log of goat cheese was on sale last week – so I wrapped it tightly in tin foil, sealed it in a ziploc bag and stuck it in the freezer. Hopefully the texture doesn’t change too much when I thaw it after we get back!024Do you watch any singing/ dance competition TV shows? Just The Sing-Off, but I like to watch clips from SYTYCD.

Any suggestions for casual Japanese restaurants in the VA/DC area?



4 thoughts on “Weekend Fun + My Latest Obsession

  1. aklimchak

    I hear renters can sometimes be an absolute nightmare. Have you done a sufficient background check and identified multiple references? All I can say is I certainly don’t envy you.

    1. Dawn H.

      HAHA we haven’t done a background check, but I happen to have at least one solid reference. I don’t think we’ll get murdered in our sleep :)

  2. Merry Christmas! I love reading your blog as I learn so much about things that I’ve never experienced in England. I’ve never heard of Monkey Bread before, but now I’ve googled it, I want some! Enjoy the holidays :-)

    1. Dawn H.

      Merry Christmas to you as well! We discovered Monkey Bread for the first time at this one bakery, so it’s pretty new to me too. It’s a sweet, sticky breakfast bread best consumed with coffee or tea, in my opinion :) Thanks for the comment and blog love!!

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