About Me...

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Cincinnati, OH, United States
I'm a scientist , yogi, book worm, scifi junk, and I'm a little obsessed with my pup. My life is full of discovery both in the lab and out of the lab. This blog is my place to share my experiences as a person trying to stay happy and healthy in this crazy world.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

New year, new possibilities

This year has flown by. I know that I start the year out full of hope of the new year's possibilities, and it seem to pass by so quickly. That being said, I've still achieved a lot this year.

The final week of December and first week of January are very reflective. I've yet to organize all my goals for the new year (next week for sure), but I fell proud of what I've accomplished towards my goals from last year. In the coming week I look forward to reviewing the past year and planning for the new year. Of course I will share my new goals, which will help me stay motivated to achieve them.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

New traditions...

It's Christmas morning and I'm sitting with a nice hot cup of coffee and a cinnamon roll thinking about how Christmas for me has changed in the last few years.  This year I've gained a husband and we've been creating new traditions that we can share with our family. Christmas 2011 is our first "married" Christmas and it has already been different than others.

Like most changes in life, creating new traditions is bittersweet.  My initial image of Christmas will always be the childhood Christmas's where I woke up way too early and waited patiently (or impatiently depending of what I thought Santa was bringing me) for everyone else to get up so we could tear into our presents.  Christmas afternoon was always spent at my grandparents home with our extended family.  Recently, we've spent Christmas at my Mom and step-dad's home about 3 hours away from here.  Last year and this year they have been traveling so we spend Christmas our home.

Our decorations are up, presents are wrapped, and the stockings are stuffed.  Our tree may be small but it still illuminates the room in wonderful white lights.  To make the tree special we bought an ornament to mark our first christmas together and plan to do this every year.  I think it will be wonderful when we are older to share the story of each ornament with our children as we trim the tree.  Of course, I also have the nutcracker sitting out that my grandmother gave me from her collection before she passed away.

We're making a ham and loads of veggies, and for dessert we have a french pear tart.  A big meal on Christmas is one tradition I can not change.  Another addition to our tradition, is giving presents to our pets.  Our dog has been trying to sniff his presents this year, but they are placed just high enough he can  not reach them.  He's getting a real bone, which is pretty much doggie heaven to him and a few other yummy treats!  (shhhh....don't tell him)

I hope all of you have a wonderful Holiday and celebrate being with the ones you love.  Rejoice in new and old traditions.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Paving the way to the Disney Marathon...

Yesterday I completed the last REALLY long training run in preparation for the Disney marathon.  Let's just say I'm paving the way with my blood, sweat, and tears.

After doing 4 hours of yoga at a yoga bootcamp on Saturday I was just a bit sore on Sunday, so I decided to put my 20 mile run off until Monday before work.  I set my alarm for 3:30 a.m.!! to eat something and head out bright and early.  I was out on the road by 5 am.

Hesitant is not even close to how I felt, more like terrified!  Earlier in the week my hip had been so tight that it was painful to run more than 13 minute miles for 3 miles.  After loads of massaging with lacrosse balls, foam roller, and yoga my hip finally relaxed.  I keep blaming my hip....really it was my back....I've said it before...I like to pretend I don't have a back problem.  I had to have a discussion with myself last week and face the music!

I completed the 20 miles averaging about 11 minute miles, although slower than I usually run I was just happy to get it finished.

Today all the physical activities have culminated into screaming quads and hamstrings.  I'm dreaming of my massage tomorrow evening!  Now, it's taper time the best and worst part of marathon training.  Tapering requires a lot of mental toughness and confidence in your training.

Less than 3 weeks until Disney, and I get to see Mickey in real life!!!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday snacks that are healthy and not....

This is my healthy go to snack...
Homemade chewy granola bars! These granola bars are inspired by the whole foods recipe for chewy granola balls.  
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup toasted coconut (toasted for about 5 minutes at 350F)
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup nuts (I used part peanut and part almonds, which is what I had on hand)
1/2 cup honey

Warm almond butter and honey in sauce pan and once the ingredients are warm and mixed then add the additional goodies. 

Spread the mixture out on foil/parchment paper and allow to cool.  Then, cut into bars and enjoy!

Now onto the yummy not so healthy holiday snack.  Peppermint bark!!! Peppermint bark is very easy to make.  

2 packages dark melting chocolate
2 packages vanilla melting chocolate/candy coating
1 package candy canes (crushed)

Melt dark chocolate in saucepan on low heat then spread out in a 1/4 layer sheet on aluminum foil/parchment paper and let it cool. 

Then, do the same thing with the vanilla candy coating and pour on top of the dark chocolate. 

While the top layer of melting chocolate is still warm add the crushed up candy canes. You can also add some of the very finely crushed candy canes to the vanilla melting choc  before pouring over the dark chocolate.  We found that using a blender to crush the candy canes works very well!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like christmas...

I respect christmas, but in it's proper time and place.  Thanksgiving deserves to be observed with our full attentions.  Therefore, christmas festivities are not allowed to begin until Dec. 1st at the earliest!  I know it's an arbitrary rule, but just humor me.

Several days ago I started to complain about christmas music being played while I was out shopping, then I realized we are well into christmas so my complaining would go against my own rule.  With that in mind, it also meant it's time to start decorating my own humble abode for the upcoming holidays.  Admittedly, I still have my pumpkins on display in the kitchen.  (We didn't carve them so they stayed fresh.)

I bit the bullet and put up our tree, garland, and tiny 2nd tree.  The tiny 2nd tree sits where the pumpkins are displayed, so I had to do some pumpkin seed harvesting.  The pumpkin seed roasting marked the definitive end to fall festivities and beginning of the winter holidays.
The tree and pumpkin seed roasting...
Loads of baking is in store for the weekend!  I may dabble in viewing some of my fave christmas movies such as elf and charlie brown christmas.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pinterest obsession....

It's official....I'm addicted to Pinterest.  If you love idea boards you will love pinterest.  Basically, there are tons of images (pins) that you can organize into pin boards.  Also, you can like pins and peruse pin boards of other members.

I love that you can see pins about any topic including fashion, fitness, humor, travel, photography, and TONS more.

It's my new favorite place to waste time on the internet.  Here are a few pins I'm admiring lately...

Monday, December 5, 2011

20 miler and other happenings last week....

Before I get to the run that consumed my Saturday morning, I wanted to share what else happened last week.  After battling a headaches for two days at the beginning of the week, I enjoyed some R & R by attending the performance of Trans Siberian Orchestra (TSO).  The concert rocked from start to finish filled with lasers, fire, and head banging (not by me).  Of course they played all of their holiday classics plus many more, making for an energetic nonstop 2 1/2 show.
Saturday morning I headed out on the first 20 mile run of this marathon training session.  I was very nervous before I headed out since my hip had been very tight all week, and it was causing a bit of trouble.  Running slow and steady got me through the whole 20 miles.  Fueling went well and I was able to explore a few new routes since I was using runkeeper to keep track of my mileage.  
I took a nice cold/felt like ice bath and stretched a TON, and my legs aren't too sore today.  The plan is to do another 20 miler in two weeks, and the other plan is to do lots of yoga to keep my hips stretched.  The disney marathon is about a month away, so naturally I'm excited and extremely nervous about it.  The plane tickets are purchased, the hotel is arranged, and the registration fee is paid for.  Time to get serious and try to stay injury free!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Snowmageddon...it's all just beginning...

Today has been a flurry (hehe) of images facebook status updates and tweets about snow!  It's snowing in Indiana and it's quickly traveling to Ohio!

The weatherman has been hinting and teasing about the possibility of snow since last week, and the day is finally upon us.  Supposedly, Ohio will get snow in the next 6 hours.  I'm surprised everyone hasn't ran out to stock up on the essentials, which  is the typical response to inclement weather.

Admittedly, I'm not a fan of snow, but  I live by a rule that if it's after Thanksgiving it's acceptable.  So, bring on the flurries and hysteria!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Today is thanksgiving, and one of my favorite holidays. Increasingly our society is overlooking day since its not as marketable as say Christmas. The Christmas decorations and store promotions are presented earlier and earlier every year.

I'm an advocate for thanksgiving. True, it's always around my birthday, but my love for this holiday goes beyond the superficial. Thanksgiving is about pausing to consider what you have received from the world, a family, steady work, happiness, and anything else that makes you who you are.

We don't automatically deserve to live plush comfortable lives simply because we exist. So we need to express thanks for the great things in our lives by thanking God (or the higher power you believe in) and generally putting our thankful energy out into the world.

Celebrate thanksgiving and take time today to consider all the large and small things you are thankful for this year.

This year I have a lot to be thankful for:
My husband, this is our first married thanksgiving.
My family
Our pup
I'm thankful that I'm able to personally develop and be ever evolving in a positive manner.
My friends and all the support they provide.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

One day a year....

Today I begin another year of life!  Birthdays have always been a big deal in my family. You were able to choose what we had from breakfast and dinner, and many times we were able to skip school and do whatever we pleased.  Being the birthday kid also allowed us a waiver from all chores on that day.  Maybe we were a little bit spoiled.  As I get older I appreciate the ritual of celebrating the passage of another year.  I still like to make a big deal of my birthday.  I think just thinking that you have one day a year to yourself can make that day special and have positive thoughts for the day.  

Jonah sent me flowers at work this year....

this is how they looked when they arrived...

and this is the final product a few days later...beautiful!

I'm hoping to spend some time considering all I've learned in the last year.  There have been quite a few life changing moment, including getting married.  I do have to say that I'm much happier on this far end of my 20s.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Well aren't you delicious...

New yummy vegan obsession....Grateful Grahams.  They come in cinnamon and sugar or chocolate.  Last week I tried chocolate and this week I'm munching on the cinnamon and sugar variety.

Highlights of these grahams:
-Vegan (great for those with a dairy intolerance, like myself)
-all natural
-soft, chewy texture makes them perfect to snack on, especially with coffee....mmmm
-Local Cincy company!

The only negative is that I could totally eat the whole bag at once.  I had one this morning with my coffee!

Check out their website.  In addition to the places they list to pick them up, you can also get them at Whole Foods in Rookwood.

As I'm writing this.....I wish I had a grateful graham here to munch on...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Louisville 1/2 marathon race review....

Post race pic...guess who's dog was uncooperative? 

The Louisville Sports Commission Half-marathon took place this past weekend!  I finished the race in 2:00:38.  I would have loved to have a 1 instead of a 2 at the beginning of that time, but there will always be more races.  

On Friday we picked up our packets/shirts with literally 2 minutes to spare since there is crazy construction from Cincy to Louisville.  We had a nice filling dinner at steak n' shake (we both got grilled chicken sandwiches...so not too bad) and some free froyo at orange leaf.  

Saturday morning we were up and at em pretty early.  The weather was a bit cold, but we knew it was going to be sunny and get much warmer.  The course was nice but they ran out of water at the 2nd water stop, and after the race you had to wait in line for about 15 minutes to get a bagel and fruit.  I'll cut them a bit of slack since this was the first race.  

The course went through the hilly area of Cherokee park not iroquois park like I mentioned on Friday (different park, just as many hills).  

Overall, it was a fun race and a wonderful time visiting Mo!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Racing around Kentucky...

 I'm off to Kentucky for another adventure.  First, it's off to Louisville (the 'ville) for a half marathon on Saturday with my bff Mo.  We'll be kicking the butt of the killer hills in Iroquois Park while participating in the inaugural Louisville Sports Commission half-marathon!  Also, I heard that one of my fave froyo places is offering some free froyo in the 'ville!  I'm sure we'll have a blast together.

Then, it's off to Lexington to have some fun with Jonah and friends eating sushi and watching football.  Maybe we'll venture to the puppy park.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

This dog is crazy...but we love him...

This week's trend in the Lee home is dog tantrums.  Philip is a constant attention needing chunk of a dog. He threw an all out tantrum this week because I didn't put my shoes on fast enough to go for a walk, I mean all out stomping feet and falling down in exasperation (see exhibits A1-3).  This also happened when I wasn't looking at him when I was petting him, and when after he got a bath.

As loving as Phil can be, he also has a temper.  One time he pooped in my shoe, no joke.  First, he made eye contact with me, then dropped a little nugget in my shoe to let me know he was not pleased with his lack of attention.  Also, if anything smells remotely disgusting or delicious in the trash (bacon grease is the main culprit) he will shred the trash bag and scatter trash about the kitchen.

Exhibit A-1
Exhibit A-2
Exhibit A-3

Although he has some serious flaws, he provides  loving companionship and brings joy to our lives (most of the time).  He reenforces the fact that no matter how flawed we are, whether it's seeking additional attention, incotinence, or letting our noses get us into trouble, we are all lovable and deserve to be loved.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that love is patient, therefore we should be patient with those we love.  (One day at a time.)

Trees are on fire

It's November and some of the trees in cincinnati are still putting in a colorful show. We traveled further northwest this weekend and most of the trees had shed their foliage. Enjoy some of the pics I snapped this week of the "fire" trees. Don't you just love the way the sun shines through the colorful leaves?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Bright and early....

This little nugget decided 515 am was a great time to wake up his owner. Guess it's time to start the weekend. We have a weekend filled with relaxing and a bit of shopping, great way to spend the first weekend of my favorite month.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Another week closer to the Disney Marathon...

Training for the Disney Marathon in January is in full swing.  Last week consisted of a few cross-training days, an easy run, a hills run, and a long run of 14 miles.

Saturday is my designated long run day and I headed out last Saturday to a nice crisp fall morning.  The running was slow going at the beginning, but about 4-5 miles into it I found my pace and was averaging 8:45 to 9:30 minute miles, depending on the hills.  The run felt great.

When I got home I was ready to jump into a nice hot shower and eat some food, but I had to wait since I LOST MY KEY!!!  During the run it had apparently stuck to my ipod as I pulled it out of my pocked and fell out.  I'm still not sure where it ended up, luckily a friend with an extra key to my place was home.  There was a lot of excitement/nerves for a few minutes.

This week's long run is 16 miles.  I'm going to try some new gels during the run to see if I can tune in my nutrition during the long run.  Hopefully it goes well.

Happy halloween everyone!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Loads of excitement this week...

I knew this week was going to be interesting at about 3am on Monday when....our apartment complex caught on fire.  The fire was contained the the stairwell of the opposite side of the building from where we live, but it was a bit startling none the less.

Then, for most of the week I was imparting knowledge to a fellow student.  (Basically she just observed a protocol, but it was interesting being watched.)

Thursday night I tried my first TRX class.  Previously I had played on the suspension cables a bit at the gym, but never taken a class.  I quickly realized that my balance is not too great, but I had a blast.  The class was upbeat and lively for an overcast grey evening.

Today is the Friday before halloween so the cafeteria staff is dressed up, and a coworker has a ridiculously funny mustache today!  Enjoyable.  And by far the best part of the whole week....the full lululemon store (within walking distance from home) opened and I stocked up on a few essentials.

This weekend is going to be just as exciting...we're going to a friend's halloween party!  We get to spend time with friends that we def. don't get to see enough of, and get to wear fun costumes.  We have our costumes all picked out and ready, what about you?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mustaches and running...

Our team Must-Dash Rides consisting of friends from Lexington and Louisville area took on the Tap n' Run 4K on Saturday.  We donned our matching shirts, staches, and glasses and ran 4K with 4 beer stops throughout the course.  The goal of the race was to take a 3-4 oz. drink of beer every ~1 kilometer or so.

There were teams and individuals competing, most of which were in costume.  One team ran the whole race in a giant box painted as the mystery machine and each member was dressed as a character from scooby doo.

Our team took home 2 awards, best T-shirt concept and one of our members won best belcher!  We are hoping to return next year and take several more awards.  Although there isn't an award for our overall finishing place (4th in our division!!!) we were all really proud of ourselves.

This is the last "fun" race I have until a half in Nov. and the full in January at DISNEY!

p.s.  The mustache did stay on while we ran...if the race was any longer they would have totally sweated off.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Stache stash

I have all the mustaches ready for the tap n run 4k tomorrow. It's going to be a fun time with a fantastic team in ridiculous costumes.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Food label revamp?

Today I ran across this article on MSN, which describes the governments proposal for new food labels.  Since americans are too busy to read nutrition facts and make up their minds on their own, they want to implement a system like energy start for appliance purchasing.  To me it feels like our society is getting close to a point where thinking about food isn't important and you buy/eat what is marketed as "healthy".

I have a better idea.....buy real unprocessed foods!  Take the time to prepare meals in advance.  You won't have to worry about transfat content if you use real unprocessed foods.  Also, I have to advocate for parents teaching healthy eating habits to their kids......it just has to happen.

I will now step down from my soap box.

Monday, October 17, 2011

It's the great pumpkin (patch) charlie brown...

By far my favorite halloween movie is "It's the great pumpkin Charlie Brown"  Since halloween is just around the corner I've been filled with thoughts of candy and pumpkins.

Usually Jonah and I will carve/paint pumpkins, but we've never visited a pumpkin patch together...can you believe it....6 years.

So, this weekend we ventured out of the city and to Shaw farm to pick our pumpkins straight from the patch.  We got an added bonus with all the fun kids activities that the farm had setup, and we got to watch a lot of farm animals.

Pony...the average size horse looked too moody to get have a photo op.
Just a little warning before visiting the animals....it is halloween season after all.

Check out the field of pumpkins!!!

We did not buy the HUGE pumpkin, but Jonah thought it was cool.

Fun day on the farm......we got 3 smallish pumpkins and lots of apple butter!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Some laughs for your Friday eve...

I've seen people who run like each one of these awkward runners.  I'm hoping I look a little bit more graceful, but let's get real....I'm sure I still look awkward.  This video gave me a giggle for the day.

The solitude of running...

Most of the time I run alone, and I rather enjoy it.  Heading out early before the sun and most of the city is up and buzzing is a quiet time between me, the cement, and my run.  Don't get me wrong, I love running with friends and catching up, but I consider those times a little treat.

During a run my mind can process nearly everything with more clarity.  When I was taking classes I used to work through possible exam questions in my head, sometimes I think of unanswerable questions I've encountered in the lab, contemplate ways to make myself a better all around person, or just sort through things I'm generally frustrated about.

As a child I attended therapy sessions to aid in the healing process of my parents divorce.  The one thing that stuck with me for all these years is to do something physical to exert the frustrated energy, and as I've aged running has been the outlet of choice.

I relish the alone time and the mental quietness.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Weekend adventures across the midwest....

Since I did my long run on Friday, I started the weekend with a pure barre class.  This class totally kicked my butt (literally).  It was challenging in a whole different fashion than running.  Needless to say, it was fun and I plan on taking a few more classes, especially since the studio is SO close.
fall foliage

After a great workout we headed to Delphi, IN for a chili cook-off!  During our drive we were able to admire the amazing colors of the fall foliage.  19 Chilis ranging from sweet to spicy entered the competition and 4 won prizes.  We also got to munch on hot dogs for the chili, fried biscuits with apple butter, and pie.  Tasty homecooked fattiness!  It was a great indulgence with the family.  

It's always nice to go home a

Up close view of lucky trying to eat my phone
nd see the family.  There are TONS of changes going on in our family right now.  Literally every one of my siblings is either expecting a baby or just had a baby.  Pretty soon our holiday get togethers will be filled with the sounds of child laughter.   

Fall is a season of transition, and it looks like our family is in a season of transition as well.  Oh, and Philip was once again picked on by my parent's cat, Lucky (which I like to call devil-cat since he attacks the feet of everyone!)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Disney marathon training plan....

Instead of a Friday favorite, this week I'm going to give an update on marathon training...

This week concludes the third week of the 16 week marathon training plan I'm following in preparation for the Disney marathon in January.  As I've previously mentioned, I'm following an intermediate plan from marathon training academy.  This plan, designed by Angie and Trevor at marathon training academy, focuses on three quality runs a week and a couple days of cross-training.  This plan looks like it will help me training well and reach the finish line healthy.

Training for this third week consisted of two 6 mile runs and a long run of 10 miles.  I completed the 10 miles this morning while the temp was still nice and cool.  I took my hydration belt with me with only one bottle.  While I don't really need too much water on a 10 mile run, I really need to get used to wearing the hydration belt again.  When I get hot and sweaty from running the last thing I want is something clinging around my midsection, but alas I must get used to it so I can stay properly hydrated.

So far, training has been going well.  I'm looking forward to doing my longest runs during the holidays, which will give me a reason to eat-up at work/social parties!

Next week calls for a 7 mile easy, 6 mile hilly, and an 8 mile long run.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fall Fashion...

In addition to the wonderful pumpkin and cinnamon flavored EVER THING during the fall season, I also LOVE the fall fashion.

The clothes are cozy, comfy, and stylish.  I've chosen a few of my fave fall looks and items to display above.

By far I wear the most scarves in the fall/winter.  Our lab area is generally freezing cold, even in summer, so I get to wear a lot of layers year round, but during the fall I break out the coordinating scarves.

In the midwest this week we have a little warm-up in the temperature so it's the last hoorah for all summer-ish clothes before getting packed away until late spring.  Seasonal wardrobe changing is like getting new clothes a few times a year without spending money!  It's time to unpack and rediscover all the fun fall fashion.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Adventures in baking....something simple

Ingredients for Chocopumpkin muffincakes

This weekend I took on a new baking challenge.  Since the summer was so stinking hot and humid in Cincy, my baking adventures have become less frequent.  Someone who works at Children's told me about a muffin recipe that one of his coworkers had made, so I wanted to give it a try.  

The ingredients are simple: 
1 box chocolate cake mix (I chose devil's food)
1 can pumpkin
pumpkin pie spice to taste (I used 2 tablespoons)
1 cup water

Put mixture into cute paper cupcake holders and bake about 20-30 minutes 
These muffin-cakes are tasty and will satisfy any need for fall themed chocolate baked goods.  

final product.....mmmmmm

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday fave....Cincinnati zoo!

I like to think that we all have an inner child that enjoys the simple things in life.  My inner child LOVES animals and visiting the zoo.  The Cincinnati Zoo is by far one of the best zoos I've been to.  Throughout the zoo are plants that constitute the botanical garden.  

The zoo has encounter events for many of the animals, a special festival of lights during the holidays, and a 4D theater.  They are also very active in educating people about animal welfare and conservation!

The Children's Hospital is really close, so when I had a membership I would walk down the street and have lunch at the zoo on nice days.  

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Scientists Anonymous....

Lately I've felt like I need a 12 step program to help me deal with scientific research.

So, I'm going to start SA, scientists anonymous.  I'll begin.....

Hi, my name is Mary and I'm a science addict. I'm addicted with to doing experiments and I'm hopeful that every time I perform a new experiment it will work, and I will get that euphoric feeling of accomplishment.  I like to do experiments in the lab and try to show that our complicated body is simple and define a linear pathway.

The first step is admitting I have a problem and I'm powerless over the addiction.  Clearly, I'm delusional since our bodies are designed/have evolved in a manner that is far more complex then a linear pathway regulating each cell function.

Here are the 12 steps adapted for scientific anonymous....
  • Step 1 - Admit we were powerless over our addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable
  • Step 2 - Come to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity (Usually your advisor)
  • Step 3 - Make a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of your advisor  
  • Step 4 - Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves, you have at least 5 years of soul searching while completing your dissertation
  • Step 5 - Admitted to your fellow labmates and yourself the exact nature of our wrongs
  • Step 6 - It's time to have your qualifier and to have your committee remove all these defects of character
  • Step 7 - Humbly asked your committee to remove our shortcomings and make you a PhD candidate, or permission to graduate
  • Step 8 - Made a list of all experiments you have failed at, and become willing to make amends with the fact that about a year or more of research is unusable.  
  • Step 9 - Make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others (apply this to reviewer's comments for grants/papers)
  • Step 10 - Continue to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it, or you may never graduate.
  • Step 11 - Seek  through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with our Advisor, praying only for knowledge of Advisor's will for us and the power to carry that out
  • Step 12 - Have a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, becoming cynical usually works, try to carry this message to other addicts/graduate students, and to practice these principles in all our affairs
Science is like yoda.  You can't get a straight answer and usually a question is answered with another question.  

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Autumn relaxation...

Last Friday marked the official first day of fall!!! Which I celebrated by having two pumpkin spice lattes during the week leading up to the first day of fall.

Since last week the fall weather has been in full swing.   This past weekend was just Phil and I, as Jonah was toiling away writing a grant.  We took full advantage of the change in season.  I had a bit of research to do, then we cleaned the apartment, walked, and took two naps.  We also watched 1/2 of the first season of dollhouse and a bit of Dexter.  We became couch potatoes.  The image below is what a professional dog couch potato looks like.  He wrapped himself in his blanket and created his own pillow from the blanket.....seriously a pro.

We continued our adventure on Sunday with a nice morning run, I love heading out early on a fall morning.  We spent more time lounging and had a dog park adventure, where Phil ran through the mud and played like a puppy.  However, it only took about 30 minutes before we sat down beside me huffing and puffing.

We're trying to get caught up on seasons 4 and 5 of dexter before the new season starts this Sunday.  Guess we'll just have to be couch potatoes a few more times this week.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday fave....places to run hills

This week marks week #2 of marathon training for the disney world marathon in January.  Luckily, I have a decent running base and the first three weeks aren't much different than my current running regime.
To train for my third marathon, I'm following a new intermediate training program from marathon training academy.  This week I was supposed to run hills.  My first impulse was "blah hills!", but as I thought about it more I realized that nearly every route that I take involves hills.  

Although Cincy is in the midwest, we're located close enough to the Appalachian mountains to have hills, and I mean serious hills in some parts of town.  I generally run through hyde park and mt. lookout which have their distinct hills, but by far the best hills I've encountered for running are in the cincinnati parks.  If you have hill training to do I would head to Eden Park or Ault Park.  

This week I didn't make it to the park to run hills, but instead took on the hills around mt. lookout which were still pretty killer.  During the week I like to keep score of me vs. the big hill of the running route.  Some weeks end up with a tie  (I win if I don't walk and the hill wins if I have to walk a bit), and other times I'm victorious.  This week was a success and so far I have a 2-0 record that I plan to keep a hold of while doing my long run tomorrow.  

I haven't attempted hill repeats, but I'm going to keep hill training in my running plan (I can't really avoid it).  A little fine tuning of hill training may be just what I need to add a little speed and take a little time off during the flat disney marathon.  

Monday, September 19, 2011

Brat, Beer, and Fish? All part of a great weekend adventure...

This weekend we went to Oktoberfest Zinzinnati.  The first thing we did upon arrival was to grab a beer and a brat. 

Then we headed over to the event tent to watch the defending champion, Joey Chestnut, attempt to eat as many brats as possible in 10 minutes.  Last year he was able to take down 42 brats (without buns).  
George Wendt who played Norm on Cheers joined the eating festivities.  
Check out the video of the 1st and second place finishers in this year's brat eating competition!
Of course Joey successfully took the title again this year with 35 brats.  
Oktoberfest is always a fun weekend here in Cincy, and we were able to meet up with friends and enjoy lots and lots of food (roasted almonds, pretzels, more brats, and beer).

How do you follow-up Oktoberfest Zinzinnati?  Well, spending the day at the Newport Aquarium and at the levee definitely nearly as fun.  

We were able to experience penguin palooza.....lots of new penguins and a cute show.  Highlights of the aquarium: Otters!!!  They were out playing, a tortoise that was trying to climb over rocks and fell and wash stuck on it's back...I know a bit sad, but still pretty funny.  All these adventures and I was still able to teach middle school students a bit about embryology and do a little experimenting in the lab.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Favorite...the bonbonerie

 This Friday as the weather turns more towards the chilly side, (Today the high in Cincy is 63F, very fall and I love every minute of it) I'm thinking of snuggling in with a warm cup of coffee or tea and a yummy baked treat.  Although I'm usually fairly health conscious there are a few instances when you throw all will power and caloric concern out the window.  One of those circumstances is when you get pastries or baked goods from the bonbonerie!

The bonbonerie is a small local bakery in O'Bryonville of Cincinnati, OH.  It's a very small shop and it feels very homey.  They also have a tea room for afternoon tea and the china is elegant, but mismatched creating a quirky feel.  Recently, the bonbonerie cafe opened for a quick coffee and danish and it's just as cute as the tea room.

For our wedding earlier this year we got both our cake (dark chocolate with raspberry filling and white chocolate icing) and cupcakes (basic chocolate and vanilla) from the bonbonerie, pictured to the left.  Delish!  I'm looking forward to eating the top tier of our cake on our first anniversary, there's no way that being in a freezer can take away from the awesome taste!

On another note, Oktoberfest is in Cincinnati (Zinzinnati, in german) and we are going to partake in the festivities.  Hope you have something planned to enjoy the weekend!