Yesterday was meant to be my long-run day. However, it was roughly 1 degree Kelvin outside. (about the same temperature as Santa’s balls) Also, PMS. My body wracked with cramps like an evil Clydesdale had kicked me in the lady region, paired with the aforementioned Santa balls weather, I made cookies and drank wine. I also indulged in a roast beef sandwich, and retail therapy.
Note to mothers: if you’re residing in your red tent, and have zero patience, this is not the best time to go to the Disney Store. I bought my daughter a Merida bow-and-arrows set. This, admittedly, was not my best parenting decision. Also, she appears to be a natural shot, unless she wasn’t aiming for my head just now.
Today shall be my many-miled day. I’m almost 100%, but not quite, so I’m not going to push it. I have two fistfuls of Midol, and chocolate chip cookies. I’m as prepared as I can be. Anyone who lives with Endometriosis (in my case, it’s joined by PCOS) knows just how painful it can be. It’s honestly crippling–sometimes narcotic worthy–pain. I do the best I can, and just endure. The way one endures calculus–or bagpipe music.
(ok, I actually like bagpipe music. tell anyone, and I’ll deny it.)
With my tent in mind, here is my schedule for the remainder of the week:
Today (Tues) 18 miles and foam rolling Wednesday-6 miles and Crossfit Thursday-SW (Yassos FTW) and yoga Friday-10 miles and Cross-training Saturday-8 miles and rolling Sunday-Crossfit
It’s less milage than I’d usually run this far in the game, but it cannot be helped. As it stands right now, I’m going to be forced to listen to Taylor Swift and then Kanye and then Beck and then Kanye again, just to be angry enough to force myself to do my speedwork. I also may need to give in and take my #3 Tylenol (or stronger) at night to ward off the worst of the pain so I may sleep. Or at least curb the pain enough that it doesn’t cause me to lose my lunch at mile 10–which is a thing that happens.
I’m curious about other marathon runners who have similar issues. How has it affected your training? Do you “give in” and take the narcotics? I realize most runners are leery of any pain killer that doesn’t come from fermented hops, malt, and barley.
I’m still working on the best solution. If I find a good one, I’ll let you know. And for the love of Pete, don’t tell me you rub ylang ylang essential oils over your baby maker and then chant for it to go away, because then, well, then I’ll just assume you’re batshit crazy, k?
I may be in a bit of a mood. So I guess it’s good I made cookies. Cookies help.
I made INSANELY delicious chocolate chip cookies. Different enough to be distinct, familiar enough to be crave-worthy, and fecking delicious. Salted, toasted almonds, browned butter toasted oats, dark chocolate chips, and all dark-brown sugar. INSANE.
Better than a Bakery Nutty Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies.
Ok, I know this is out of order, but today is a book review post, and Friday will be Get Series(ous). Why? I need better pictures of the food made for the post. Which means I’ll have to make it again. le sigh. (snicker)
Before I get to the meat of the post…RUNNING UPDATE!
Ok, I just finished (we’re in a blog time machine) my extra-super-long-run. Like, just this side of a marathon, long. It’s actually the longest distance I run pre-mary. 20 miles. It was a bitch, and I struggled. I felt good, and strong, but my headspace was all effed up. It was like one of those times when one is having sex, and enjoying everything, but they can’t help but remember that they missed that one spot while shaving on the back of their thigh, and DON’T TOUCH THERE. (here…I have boobs…you like boobs! DAMMIT, MEN WHO MARRY 6′ TALL WOMEN ARE LEG MEN! SHIT!) That was how my running headspace was going.
I wanted to just focus on the run and talking to my run partner, but NO. I couldn’t. I kept looking at my Garmin, and could not stop watching my speed. GAH! Here I was, running a score of miles with one of my very best good pals who has run a few sub-3 marathons, and I kept looking at my freaking GPS as though he wasn’t pacing me. He flat out TOLD ME he’d pace me. That we’d set up our splits in 5 sets of 4 miles, and I only had to worry about running.
I was tripping over my own brain.
However, with his excellent pacing, I set out (mostly) what I’d wanted to accomplish. Our average was no greater than 8 min/mi, with some miles significantly faster, including 3 sub 7s. Oddly, our fastest miles were the miles I felt best. Let’s face it, the shin-crushing, side-stitching, mucus-running miles are only the best miles when my head is shoveling out darkness. Thankfully, the pain and endorphins are a pretty good plow.
book cover is link.
Now, you scamps know I love me some LH Cosway and Penny Reid. I was over the moon when I received an ARC of this book. I received it with no expectation of a review, and I already pre-ordered it. Therefore, it was like a pretty little gift in my inbox with a pink bow.
Annie Catrel, social media expert extraordinaire at Davidson & Croft Media and clandestine celebrity blogger, can make anyone shine in the court of public opinion. She is the Socialmedialite, anonymous creator of New York’s Finest and the internet’s darling. Virtual reality is Annie’s forte, but actual reality? Not so much.
Ronan Fitzpatrick, aka the best hooker the world of rugby has seen in decades, despises the media—social or otherwise. The press has spun a web of lies depicting him as rugby’s wild and reckless bad boy. Suspended from his team, Ronan has come to Manhattan to escape the drama, lay low, fly under the radar. Only, Ronan isn’t easy to overlook, and he can’t escape the notice of the Socialmedialite…
When Ronan is sent to Davidson & Croft Media to reshape his public image, he never expects to cross paths with shy but beautiful Annie, nor does he expect his fierce attraction to her. He couldn’t be happier when her boss suggests pairing them together. What lengths will Annie take to keep her virtual identity concealed? And what happens when the hooker discovers who the hermit really is?
This book reminds me a lot of the confections featured throughout its pages, light, sweet, and too quickly gone.
When the book opens, it is immediately apparent that the tone of it is the quick-witted snarky humor that readers have come to expect from both LH Cosway and Penny Reid. Told in first-person, the story begins fast and that pace is held for the duration of the majority of the text.
What I loved.
The dialogue, both spoken and internal, was by far my favorite part of the book. Here’s a snippet.
Roses are red, violets are blue. I’m using my hand, but thinking of you.
How could I not love that, right? The banter between Annie and Ronan, or Annie writing as Socialmedialite, was spot-on hilarious. LH Cosway didn’t shy away from using UK sayings in her parts of the text to water it down for American audiences, and Penny Reid spouted ‘Merica fearlessly. Ok, I don’t know if she was writing this book while flying an American flag behind her head and drinking Coca Cola while humming “The Star Spangled Banner,” but that’s how I picture it happening.
Strike that, I picture her humming this:
I love that the characters were each strong and extremely well-suited to their occupations. In their professional lives, they take no prisoners. They are educated, intelligent, leaders in their field.
I love that two authors who depend quite a bit of the good word of bloggers did not pull any punches when it comes to the sort of banal trivialities that afflict social media and blogging. Because, let’s face it, the internet provides a great deal of anonymity for people hide behind. This, in turn, allows a great many a person to switch off their “good person” button, and become epic steaming shitpiles of douchebaggery.
I love that the “mean girl” trope was used, but not in the completely typical manner. Usually, I sort of hate the “mean girl” trope. It’s overdone, and to be honest, even though those women truly exist in real life, I feel like writing about them over and over again just perpetuates it. I’m way too feminist not to say “Hey, why must it always be the girl who is the asscandle?” This book featured an asshole *couple.* For some reason, that made the manipulative bitch pill easier to swallow.
I 100% realize that hating this specific trope is completely my own feminist hangup.
I loved the HEA. Of COURSE I did. *SPOILER ALERT* I won’t call a book a “romance” if there’s no HEA. It’s a romaybenot, or a bummermance, or you know, fiction.
The Hooker and the Hermit has plenty of chest–and other area–tingly bits throughout the text. I dare say this book is a bit more “in the sack” than Penny Reid’s other novels, but about on-par from what I’ve read of LH Cosway. (I’ve read four, and I think I’ll binge this weekend.)
I adored the chemistry between the two MCs. I thought the verbal tug of war was believable without being overly realistic. Because, duh. It’s a fucking romance. No one writes about how that one time your boyfriend once admitted to the fact he touched himself to images of his fourth grade gym teacher.
*that was a thing that happened.
I love that there’s enough rugby players on Ronan’s team from which to choose for sequels.
I love that the entire time I was reading, this is who I had in my head as Ronan:
Stuart Reardon…a real, live, just-look-at-that, rugby player.
This is him again…for comparison. Obviously.
I would not kick him out of my house for wearing boots indoors. I hear they’re good for knocking.
What I maybe didn’t love as much.
I really hate saying anything remotely negative about this book, because I truly believe you should read it. It’s fun, it’s engaging, and sessssy as hay-ell.
However, just a few, tiny things. GAH! I feel like dreck.
I thought the first 1/3 of the book was unevenly paced. It goes right into the action, great, hook us! Yes! But the romance felt less-genuine, a teeny bit rushed. The chemistry was there, all the fizzle and spark, but I had trouble connecting the two MCs and the reasons for their deeper attraction.
I felt as though the MC, Annie’s excuses and behavior in the final quarter of the book were in opposition to her inner dialogue, especially given how she purported to feel about Ronan. But! It does come to a satisfactory conclusion.
This last bit is again, 100% my own hangup…
The book was set in NYC. I happen to know a bit about NYC. I feel like the setting was very inconsequential, which saddens me, because NYC in and of itself can add so much to a story.
Again, that’s my New Yorker’s bias.
The Hooker and The Hermit 4, ball-kicking stars.
And guess what???
This book has a theme near and dear to my heart. If fact, I would argue it’s actually a bit of a motif–symbolism if you will. Annie loves herself some tea and desserts. The first thing we see of Annie, she’s having a bit at Tom’s Southern Kitchen. Then, we see her eating an eclair in the office, Ronan feeds her dessert, and even has one himself later in the book. Here’s the thing, only when she is dealing with inner turmoil does she turn to the sugary support beam. I don’t get the sense she’s eating her feelings as much as I do she’s using it as a substitute for stability. These things are always the same, even when I’m in upheaval. In the end, when she’s settled, there is no mention of cookies or donuts or eclairs or wine–anything. Just she and Ronan.
Obviously, I had to make eclairs for today’s post. It was that, or treacle tart, and eclairs won.
I also could not possibly be expected to make typical eclairs. Yes, I use the same Alton Brown pate a choux recipe everyone else does for the shell. Yes, I use the same epicurious recipe for pastry cream everyone else does. I make ganache exactly the same way everyone else does. HOWEVER, I folded peanut butter into the pastry cream. Because I could.
This is a process, not a recipe. Use THIS recipe for the eclairs, and pipe them into logs instead of dots. Same cooking time. Make THIS pastry cream and fold in 1/2 cup of Jif Natural PB. NOT the all-natural whole foods pb. This is not the time for that. Ganache is just 1:1 chocolate to heavy cream. I suggest dark or semi-sweet chocolate. Melt them together in the microwave in 20 second increments, stirring between, and stir until smooth. Cut open the sides of the FRESH eclair and pipe in the peanut butter pastry cream. Dip in ganache. Either eat immediately or freeze immediately.
This is my THIRD AND FINAL gift roundup post! You know, unless I decide I want to passive aggressively suggest more gifts I think the man should gift me. Because, obviously, I’m a CATCH. I deserve, like, at LEAST a cheese grater or new dustbuster. (For the record, I’d be totally ok with a cheese grater. If the man got me a dustbuster, I’d use the cheese grater on him.)
This selection of suggestions is for that really annoying person in your life who posts their workouts on instagram, facebook, twitter, daily mile, random post its that you find around the house, stands on street corners to tell everyone they’ve qualified for Boston. They eat Paleo. They have a designated sparring partner. They tell you all about these weird people that make them do awful things—Mitch, Fran, Isabel, and Roy– They count the macros of their nutritional intake and tell you at Christmas dinner that this is their “cheat day.” I’ve done most of these but qualify for Boston, eat Paleo—because, cookies–and have cheat days.(Only days that end in Y!)
I totally make post its to remind myself that I need to run or I’ll be forced to go more often to the head shrinker. And I don’t like talking about my feelings to anyone but the cold sterility of the internet.
I never said I was evolved.
The first group is fitness WEAR. These you would get for the person in your life who lives at Athleta, Dick’s, and prays to LuLuLemon. You haven’t seen them in jeans since they started taking yoga in 2008. You’re now certain they only have one large boob.
*click pic for link.
The 2XU contour sport bra. It is SO comfy, and has just enough padding as to hide your/their headlights. Thank all the gods. EYES ARE UP HERE, GUYS!
This tank from ReEvolve Clothing and this tee shirt from Bear Strength Fitness are not only funny, they’re functional. Combed cotton and not skin tight, it’s exactly what one wants wear when one is bitching at Mitch.
Wrist wraps for weight lifting. I have the world’s weakest wrists. I’d NEVER MAKE IT as a dude. I hear they need a lot of strength in theirs…to use on a daily basis. These wraps provide comfortable support and make me look more credible as a weight lifter, even though I basically just wing it.
Running tights from Oiselle and men’s “base layer” running gear from Under Armour (because dudes can’t POSSIBLY wear tights!) Are the perfect way to say “I’d love to see you in stretchy pants. That ass, though.”
Now? Gear. Because, the $100/mo gym membership isn’t enough.
Kettlebells. I think Stalin or, perhaps, Attila the Hun invented these instruments of torture. The bane of AMRAP (as many reps as possible) WOD-doers everywhere, of course people want them at home, too!
An activity tracker with extras, this combined HRM/step/sleep tracker, is a perfect extension for your fitness fanatic’s neurosis. Also, it finally gives people a chance to check their wrist again to get out of conversations. “Hey, would you look at that! I really have to run.”
I hate pull ups. I hated them in elementary school, I hate them now. Every time I step up to the bar at Crossfit, I can hear Bryce Lepley from my third grade class yelling “I bet you can’t even do one! You can’t even kickball!” Bryce Lepley was really bad at talking smack. I can SO DO THE pullups now, and he’s probably still bad at talking smack. This comforts me. I’ll use this to practice at home. HOW YA LIKE ME NOW, BAD BULLY FACE!?
And finally, for that person you hate. That person who got you a month’s subscription to Weight Watcher’s and a year of Of Course You’re Not Fat, magazine….
Happy Christmas, you smell awful.
And now…I DID IT ALL FOR THE COOKIES.
Today’s cookie is PERFECTION for the holidays. They’re like little mouth miracle.
Hellllooooooo! Well, here we are! Another Sunday Sweet! This one has a bit of a twist! It’s also my Foodie Gift Guide!
But first….the great and powerful OzCarla Birnberg posted a link today that is a ranking of the most stressed zips by rank. Unsurprisingly, my neighborhood falls in the top two thousand. Strangely enough, just a few zips over in crunchy munchy Park Slope, Brooklyn, the rank zips past 15k. *to give you an idea, The Squid and the Whale is set in the Slope. My only conclusion about why they’re so much less stressed is that THEY LIVE IN A DEN OF LIES.
Seriously. I love the restaurants in the neighborhood, and (here’s where I’m going to sound like a racist making excuses) some of my best friends live there!! But seriously, any neighborhood known for breaking into damn near hysterics over not being able to bring a baby to a bar *this is a thing that happened* is not without stress. I bet, if you started a discussion with any number of people at their gigantic food coop, they’d tell you how their children only drink organic, non-gmo milk that they themselves hand wrung from only the most precious of hemp nipples from Narnia.
Moving on! ooooooosaahhhhhh. Ok! First, gifts, then LIFE CHANGING COOKIES!
First! Gifts for people who like to make the food they stuff in their face holes. Click on pic for link to buy. I get zilcho money for this, so feel free to buy wherever you so choose. SUPPORT LOCAL!
This mixer is a BEAST for the home. Unlike other mixers (which shall remain nameless) this one doesn’t choke at a loaf of challah with 8 cups of flour. It whips eggs like the scads of women who read 50 Shades whip their husbands. Whip-chhhhh (sound effects!) Mr Gray (mixer) will see you now.
THERMOMETER GUN. These things are just cool…(bad pun alert!) I am tempted to take mine around rehearsal and check for fever before I have to kiss anyone. Or maybe their temperature is elevated because I make them SO HOT. yeah, doubtful. YOU HAVE THE FLU, AND YOU HAVE THE FLU!!
I love love love bacon. You love love love bacon. We all love bacon. Let’s make it ourselves. Add in some lox, a little schmear, and you have the least kosher bagel toppings ever. Tastes like sin….mmmm.
You can’t construct a rebellion without cookies.
NEXT! Winos. If they hate what you buy them, at least they’re too drunk to care.
A decanter for red wine. It really does enhance the flavor of the wine to let it breathe. Try it.
Seriously, you need shatterproof wine glasses in your life for your longer evenings.
This wine. This exact one. Buy it. Put it in that there decanter. Then in your unbreakable glass, because you’ll (I mean they’ll) finish the bottle in one sitting. I will forever love Caitlin for introducing me to wine at my front door. One bottle of this and a night with the man, and a Wes Anderson movie, and I forget I live in one of the top two-thousand most-stressed zip codes.
NEXT UP! Gifts for people who just like to stuff their face holes.
I LOVE AND ADORE these brownies. They just happen to be available by mail. Because encouraging others to eat their feelings is healthy. When I was pregnant with the Captain, I had TWO PER WEEK. The shop girl also did NOT give me dirty looks when I didn’t ask for decaf. (ONE CUP A DAY IS FOINE!) Wonder if she gave me unleaded, anyway?
This is, no lie, the best granola you’ll ever buy. It’s fecking amazing. The Peanut ate an entire bag IN ONE DAY. My Peanut, who IS THE PICKIEST EATER KNOWN TO HUMANKIND. Yeah. She poured it on yogurt, with coconut milk, homegirl crunched it onto her “bwead butta samich,” everything. SO GOOD.
Ok, honestly, I know I’ve talked about my favorite thing ever, shirtless coffee, previously on my blog. So you know, the man and I use a French Press. HOWEVER, recently, I discovered Chemex coffee, and I am trying to get the man to convert to this on weekends, holidays, and birthdays. (we allll know how accommodating women are to their husbands on these days!! wink wink) Tis only fair!
And now for the delicious and amazing and life changing cookies! I MADE OATMEAL SCOTCHIES THAT DON’T GO FLAT AND RETAIN A SOFT CENTER. Much like myself.
Oh, who am I kidding, my innards are like granite.
Ok, I am anything but a clothes hound, but I will admit to a certain love of dressing. It wasn’t always this way. When I was overweight, though I still adored reading about fashion and shoes, the ability to dress was out of my control. I was limited to what a few stores deemed appropriate for “a woman of size.” (Not something I just made up. When I went dress shopping for a friend’s wedding, the shoplady called me “a woman of size.” As opposed to “a woman of worth” or “a woman with size eleven feet to jam up her…”)
I remember the longing I felt for clothes I never thought I’d be able to wear. I’d flip through Vogue or Lucky or any number of magazines, and lament the fact there was seemingly nothing comparable available to women above a size 10.
Even now, at a size 6, I still feel big compared to what I see in the magazines and on television. I find it ridiculous. I know I’m healthy. I eat (mostly) right. I work out. I run. I spend hours at a time just milling about the house and cleaning so that I can listen to audiobooks to the finish. And if those audiobooks happen to steer into rated-R territory I do have earbuds thankyouverymuch. I’m NOT the stationary woman I was. No where close.
In fact, the only time I’m sitting down is when I’m writing or reading. I don’t really even watch my Netflix while seated. I watch it at the gym or standing in the kitchen.
But here’s the thing. EVERY FREAKING WOMAN ON THIS PLANET could find something to bitch about in magazines and on tv, and it’s EXPECTED. In fact, it’s so expected, it’s BORING.
“I’m too old for this.”
“My boobs are too big”
“My boobs are too small”
“My boobs fit in this bed just right.” (Little known fact–Goldilocks is a G cup. She used to bind them down, but then decided that DRESSING BY OTHER PEOPLE’S STANDARDS WAS SUPER DUMBFACE.)
GOLDILOCKS NO LONGER HAS ANY DAMNS TO GIVE.
I know that I am a tall, small breasted, sort of boy-shaped woman. I don’t always like it. I don’t like the fact that skater dresses are in style right now, because there isn’t a less-flattering silhouette on my frame. I love that leather leggings are still in style because they work well on me.
I’m never going to have Ariana Grande’s ass, and she’s never going to have my height. BFD. We can have the same manicure. I’ll bet we even wear the same size earrings. Again, BFD.
I’m done celebrating and lamenting one specific body-type over another. The ideal is in constant flux, anyway. I just want to celebrate STYLE. Personal. Style. Whatever effing makes you, YOU. Are you a fan of brightly-colored jumpsuits or pirate eye-patches? Great. A BOLD choice. I hope you have a parrot, or at least a peg leg. Are you a preppy and pretty southern belle who loves pearls like most people love coffee? FANTASTIC. I’ll be there with pie and very alcoholic sweet tea. I also might fall into a faint a lot around you saying things like, “I do declare!” and “I’d just like a mess of biscuits right now. Could you just?”
Let it be known my entire knowledge base of deep southern-language speak is from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, True Blood, and Django Unchained. Also, what I haven’t blocked of Paula Deen from my memory.
Or maybe, like me, you love clothes and shoes, and that just happens to include many tee shirts of the geek variety. Awesome.
Be your plus sized/mid sized/small sized/boobed/butted/toothed self, and have or not have your tattoos and belly button rings or fascination with the color yellow or looking like a bumble bee, and ROCK IT.
In celebration of rocking your own self. Your own style. Your own lack of giving a crap about what you put on your body that isn’t a special, organic, hemp-based, non-aerosol spray lotion infused with the tears of a pterodactylus. I have culled several of my favorite docs about or featuring personal style. Available on NETFLIX.
Betty Page Reveals All
Ever wonder what was behind the pinup icon of the 40s?
We don't lose ourselves just because we age. Style is like a fine wine.
Secrets of Selfridges
How one store in London became synonymous with style.
Bill Cunningham New York
One man with an eye for style takes pictures of it all over NYC.
Diana Vreeland The Eye Has To Travel
This woman WAS style.
We all know what my baking style is…it’s not precision frosting, that’s for sure. But it is YUMMY. Today, I felt like embracing the holiday season and making…
Soft Eggnog Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
Soft Eggnog Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
by Cat Bowen
Prep Time: 20 minutes + 1 hour chill time
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: bake dessert cookie
Ingredients (2 dozen cut outs)
for the cookies
3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp rum extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp baking powder
2 cups flour
2 tbsp corn starch
for the frosting
8 oz softened cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp rum extract
green food coloring-optional
cream butter and sugar
sift in dry ingredients
the dough will be a drier dough, like modeling clay
roll up in saran wrap and chill for an hour or more
Preheat oven to 350F
roll out dough to 1/2″ thick and cut out shapes and re-roll as necessary