Back in Business

Hi peeps!

How was your 4th of July? My brother stayed with us last week on his month-long break from living and teaching in Moscow (?!?!?!super cool right?) and then we had a rockin 72hrs in Guntersville, AL for the annual family reunion (for my fam). So this is our first ‘normal’ week since….early May? We have finally moved, traveled, met deadlines, visited family, traveled some more, and slept a lot.


Here we are all piled into my car for the 9 hour drive.

-side note I need to remind Steve to finish recapping our Europe trip, but we’ll see how that goes 🙂 –

Now is as good a time as any to get back to blogging on a regular basis right?

First off, LOOK AT THIS GINORMOUS STRAWBERRY! That is all. one. strawberry. How do you even eat that?!? Never mind, I’ll figure out a way 🙂


Summer is the best for awesome fruit and I have no shame about eating my weight in fruit, veggies, basil, and cilantro for the next couple of months. Fruit = happy Amanda!

In other exciting events I’ve had the energy and patience to start cooking again 🙂

Monday, I did up some pan-seared cod (seasoned with salt, pepper, and lemon juice) with some awesome strawberry salsa and cilantro lime rice….(insert heart-eyed emoji here for this crazy colorful dinner)



Hopefully, some new recipes will start coming your way soon! If nothing else, at least some food porn.

With this extra energy, I have also started working out again (for those not in the know, I kinda stopped working out for like, 2 solid months because ya know energy and busy and school and all). Since it’s 100000 degrees outside, running is not the best idea so I’ve been sticking to the indoor strength workouts for now.

Mainly, TRX -> check out Fitnessista for some great intros to TRX <-


-yes I took this picture with a potato….why do you ask?-

Aaaaand yesterday we threw in some P90x Shoulders and Arms since Steve officially tore his ACL  in Prague and can’t do much with his legs. Sometimes its really nice to zone out and follow the energetic people on TV rather than trying to come up with your own routine.

I gotta head back to work now, but just wanted to check in with you guys to make sure you haven’t forgotten about our shenanigans!

Have a great Wednesday!

I made cookies!

Well it’s been a while since I posted, things have been a little crazy. Let’s see if we can sum up what’s been going on. I’ve been continuing on my half marathon training and have upped my running schedule from 3 to 4 days a week. Amanda has been running too and also spent some time on her bike trainer.

wpid-20150201_122712.jpgWe went to see the Imitation Game about Alan Turing on Friday.

wpid-20150130_192123.jpgIt was really good and helped remind me that I like being a scientist. With my newly rediscovered inspiration and motivation I got back in the lab this week and made some good progress. More on that later.

On Sunday we went to a Superbowl party with some friends. We made sweet vanilla butter cookies (recipe below) and a delicious Thug Kitchen black bean and cilantro dip (after the turmoil of grocery shopping on Superbowl Sunday afternoon (which I will never recommend for anyone without a serious masochistic streak) in a store with NO FREAKIN CILANTRO! How does that even happen?


wpid-20150201_170537.jpgWe also took tequila shots for some reason.

wpid-20150201_211828.jpgAnyway, this week I’ve been pretty productive in the lab. I took a bunch of measurements and made some nice pretty graphs and it’s a good thing too because today I was asked to present my recent work to a new industry partner for our Research Center. I got a good 90 minute notice that my adviser wouldn’t be attending and I would be presenting. Do you see why I sometimes hate grad school?

Anyway, race training! It’s going well so far. My long run this week is 5 miles and then I have an easy week before increasing again. Week after next when I do 6 miles it will have been my longest run ever! I still haven’t cried any (well, maybe a little on that damn foam roller) and my legs don’t feel like they’re going to fall off despite how much I might like them to. I’ve been making great use of my GPS watch Christmas gift (thank you baby!) and logging my runs on Garmin connect. Even though I was a little off this week and my short runs were a little tough (read: made me want to barf), it’s nice to see my progress 🙂

Are you training for anything??

Sweet Vanilla Butter Cookie

  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached, all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed at 300K (room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract (get the real stuff, trust me)
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped*
  • 1 large egg
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Put flour and salt in small mixing bowl, whisk to combine
  3. In large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar with a mixer until light and creamy. Add vanilla, vanilla bean seeds (discard pod) and egg. Mix until combined. Add flour/salt mixture and mix on low until just combined.
  4. Make your cookies! We used a Cuisinart Electric Cookie Press to make nice shapes but you can do it however you like. They were pretty small, maybe the size of a half dollar and a quarter inch thick.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges. Keep a close eye on them since your cookie size may influence the cooking time.
  6. Cool before removing from pan (I didn’t do this, I just started eating them. I burnt my fingers a little)

* to get the seeds out of the pod, cut it in half lengthwise with a sharp knife, flatten it out and scrape the seeds out with the knife edge/tip