Weekly Recap

July 22, 2012 § Leave a comment


  • Monday – None
  • Tuesday – 3.5 mile run
  • Wednesday – 2 mile run
  • Thursday – 1.5 mile run to meet up with running group, 1.5 mile run with running group
  • Friday – None
  • Saturday – 90 minute vinyasa flow yoga class
  • Sunday – 5.0 mile run

Running followed my training plan exactly aside from being short half of a mile on Thursday.  I definitely lacked int he yoga department this week, only getting the one class in.  Could feel it while in that class.  My muscles were so tight!  My run today felt amazing though and I wanted to go even further, but being new I am a bit afraid of deviating from the planned runs.  Probably wouldn’t be a big deal at this point when all runs are under 10 miles, but I’m a bit stringent with plans to begin with.

Most memorable event of the week: I attended the WXPN XPoNential Festival this weekend (yet another item on the summer bucket list)!  So many great artists played over the three-day period, but the highlight for me was definitely The Hold Steady.  They are such a great act to see live.  Part of the magic of live music for me is feeding off of the energy of both the performers and the audience.  When either or both is lacking it makes seeing a live show a bit pointless personally.  With The Hold Steady that is never the case.  Both the band, particularly frontman Craig Finn who is quite possibly the most animated lead singer out there, and the fans are always so into every minute of it all.  The band played this same festival in 2009 but had to stop early due to a really bad storm.  Very lucky that this didn’t happen again this year, because at times I was very afraid it might.  It rained all night, but certainly nothing major.  Here is a video from that 2009 performance (Franz Nicolay, the lovely man in the white suit playing the keyboard, is unfortunately no longer part of the band):

Best thing I ate: Probably everything I ate when I went to my hometown on Monday for the Mt. Carmel Festival!

Best thing I drank: While I drank many beer this week, most were rather common for the area.  This definitely isn’t a bad thing.  I had beers by Flying Fish, Victory, Yards, Sly Fox, Weyerbacher, Philadelphia Brewing Company and McKenzie Brew House.  Actually, the only non-PA/NJ beers I had this week were a Founders Porter and a Tecate.  I think the last time I had a Tecate I was actually in Mexico (and a decade younger).


Philly Food Swap

July 21, 2012 § 2 Comments

On Wednesday night I participated in my second, and I believe what was the 4th, Philly Food Swap event!  If you have never participated in a food swap before the idea is pretty simple.  You bring a number of your homemade, pre-packaged goods that you want to trade one-for-one with others.  For this swap which had a maximum of 40 registrants I decided to bring 15 items, but it is up to the individual person in the end.  Each swapper sets up a station with their goods and usually some samples of the items up for swapping.  A sheet is filled out for each item stating what it is and what it might pair well with.  The first hour of the swap is setting up and testing out the goods.  This a group of amazingly talented people who all brought a variety of items.  Above is only a very small sample of some of what was offered.  It is truly impressive!  Anyway, once you have sampled the goods you can write on the person’s sheet what you might be willing to trade them for.  This is in no way binding, but gives everyone an idea of who they might want to approach come time for the actual swap.  Then it is announced that the swapping will begin and that is where it can get a bit hectic.  Everyone goes to up to the people they are most interested in swapping with and the goods end up going fairly quickly.

For this swap I brought three different things: peach mango jalapeno preserves, tomato basil jam, and pickles made with Troegs Perpetual IPA.  I adore the pickles and others seemed to like them as well.  The tomato jam is also a favorite of mine and it seemed to go over fairly well.  However the peach preserves didn’t really get much love I think and it is rather understandable as I honestly wasn’t too crazy about them myself.  I made them last summer and really enjoyed them but this year I decided to use Pomona’s Pectin which meant I could lower the sugar dramatically.  Thus last summer’s were more of a jam and this summer’s were more of a preserve.  While I certainly don’t think they tasted bad I wasn’t that thrilled by them and ended up with two still left after the swap.

I got some really fantastic items in the trade however: nettle pesto, hot fudge sauce, raw peanut butter and fudge balls, a whoopie pie, a vegan fruit tart, a vegan brownie, hot sauce, worcestershire  sauce, pickled red onions, pickled yellow beets, strawberry rhubarb jam, and balsamic black pepper strawberries!  So excited to find a use for all of them.  The tart, raw balls, and half the pickled beets are already gone though!

The setting for this swap could not have been more perfect.  It took place at the Wyck Garden in the Germantown section of Philadelphia.  It is part of a site that was the home to one family for over 300 years.  Such a great place, especially when you are used to a more modern urban setting.  The next swap will be held on October 4th  at Greensgrow Farm, which is a wonderful urban farm in the Kensington section of Philadelphia (and not far from where I currently live).  Go to the group’s Facebook page for more information and to stay connected!

Buona Festa!

July 17, 2012 § 1 Comment

Yesterday I decided to take the train into my hometown to attend the last night of the 137th Our Lady of Mount Carmel Festival, which is apparently the longest running Italian festival in the United States.

It all began in 1875 at 232 Pine Road, at the home of Antonio Capelli.  There, he, along with a small group of fellow immigrants, prayed in front of a painting of the Virgin Mary.  They also formed a procession in front of the home.  They prayed in thanks— for their safe journey to America, for a successful farming season, and for the blessings and good fortune found in their new home of Hammonton.

The procession still takes place on the feast day (the 16th of July), though is much smaller than previous years.  I was happy to make it into town on the train for the very end of it however, as I hadn’t seen the actual procession in many years.  As a kid the main focus was of course the fact that a carnival was set up in the middle of town for an entire week.  Yay, rides put together in a day!  But I rode them all hundreds of times and still live to tell the really boring tale.  At this point in time the only carnival attraction I had much interest in was the “World’s Smallest Horse” booth, but only because it reminded me of Li’l Sebastian (RIP).

My main reason for attending this event?  THE FOOD.  Food is however my main reason to attend most events, unless the beer is more awesome than the food.  This is NOT the case for the event, though I did have a Yuengling in the beer tent.  And I’m pretty sure Yuengling might actually be a newer addition to the beer tent, which from what I remembered only sold pitchers of Coors Light in the past along with some Smirnoff Ice.  Yeah.  Anyway, if you want some form of pork on a roll this is your place!  I had half of a roast pork, provolone, and broccoli rabe sandwich, which in my humble sandwich obsessed opinion is the Philadelphia/South Jersey area’s best sandwich offering and half of an Italian sausage, pepper, and onion sandwich.  I have not had either in years because I haven’t really been a meat eater much of my adult life (complicated relationship there) so I definitely enjoyed every bite of each.

I also had some Italian cookies and funnel cake.   Then afterward I went over to Royale Crown Custard with my mom, which is now another thing I can cross off my summer bucket list.  Royale Crown makes all kinds of ice creams in-house, but the main draw (again in my opinion) is the custard, which is creamier than you can possibly imagine.  I got a waffle cone with vanilla custard, rainbow sprinkles, and some crunchy things.  I wish I would have just gotten sprinkles as those crunchy things are not nearly as good as I remember them being.  Ah well, I’ll have to remember that for next year.  This is really the best soft serve I have ever had.  Nothing else compares and therefore I can’t really eat it other places (but I still might).

Overall it was a fun, nostalgic night back home.  I even got to see the fireworks display at the end of the night.  I was glad I made the trip down there, though I think my stomach might not have been.

Weekly Recap

July 15, 2012 § Leave a comment


  • Monday – 75 minute vinyasa flow yoga class
  • Tuesday – 3.5 mile run, 90 minute vinyasa flow yoga class
  • Wednesday – 1 mile run/walk with shelter dog, 2 mile run
  • Thursday – 1.3 mile run to meet up with running group, 2.2 mile run with running group, 0.66 run home from bus
  • Friday – None
  • Saturday – 2.5 hour yoga workshop
  • Sunday – 5.0 mile run

I tried to add in more yoga this week, including a workshop!  The runs were mostly what was called for in my training plan.

Most memorable event of the week: The yoga workshop I attended on Saturday was great (and is so far the only thing I can cross off my summer bucket list)!  It was called “Hands to Earth” and it focused on arm balances mostly with a bit of inversion practice.  This is where I am looking to evolve my practice the most as it has not been until recently that I have even been very capable of getting off the ground.  The workshop was taught by John Vitarelli of Dhyana Yoga and emphasized proper forms of chaturanga, upward dog, and downward dog as being the basis of any arm balance or inversion.  So of course this workshop was rather intense!  I definitely have never stayed in chaturanga for such a long time in my life.  Aside from the progress in more commonly performed arm balances like crow and firefly, I got to see some progress in others that are less likely to be thrown into the normal vinyasa flow class.  We did eka pada bakasana II and it felt amazing to find that I could actually go up into it and stay!  So amazing that I have just been doing it randomly around my apartment ever since.

Best thing I ate: I have been preparing meals a lot at home, but haven’t had the desire to prepare much so hardly anything seems to stick out.  Boring.

Best thing I drank: I went to a bottle share hosted by Philly Beer Scene and Philly Tap Finder and got to have tastes of many great beers.  I was pretty nervous about going as I really did not know anyone who would be there and I feel at beer events people kind of stick to who they know.  Then again it also tends to be heavy on the male presence, not that there weren’t some females there, but I just always feel a bit odd when I’m so in the minority.  Admittedly, I’m terrible at striking up a conversation with others and as much as I said to myself I would try I felt a little overwhelmed.  I realize this is turning into a story of my social awkwardness rather than a recap of the best thing that I drank.  Ah well.  Anyway, everyone brought some really great stuff, much of which you can’t find here in PA and/or stuff that has been cellared and held onto for a while.  I used to buy far more bottled beer and share it with others in the past, but lately I don’t really know anyone who is into it anymore so it was a great way to get to do something like that again.  There are talks of this being an ongoing even so hopefully I will participate in more in the future.  Here is a photo of some of the aftermath (I really need to get better with this photo thing, and blogging in general):

What I Ate Wednesday – Food and Fitness

July 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

Today was a pretty typical day in terms of eating well, but just sort of what I felt like eating at any given moment.  For the past few weeks I have been doing very well with losing weight while eating totally intuitively (within reason and limits).  While this excites me, I think some structure might be good for me for several reasons.  Anyway, here is what I ate today:  

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Letting Go

July 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

The subject of non-attachment has come up in several of the yoga classes I have taken recently and it couldn’t have been more perfect timing for me to hear it.  Non-attachment is precisely what I need to be practicing in my life right now.  If only it weren’t so difficult!  I am at this weird point in my life where I am feeling more confident than ever, looking better than ever, wanting to live life more than ever, yet I am so stuck fixating on things that I need to just let go of.  I say that I don’t want my past to define me, yet I continue to fear that it will.  I say that I don’t want to continue to make the same bad decisions over and over, yet I do.  Instead of just being ok with the moment that I am in regardless of how bad it might feel, I would rather let loneliness and envy take over and set myself up to be hurt (and usually look rather foolish while doing so) yet again.  Instead of taking risks and trying to change my socially phobic ways, I go back to projecting my insecurities about myself onto others.

When I went to google “non-attachment” one of the first things that came up was this post on zenhabits by Lori Deschene of Tiny Buddha.  Every word hit home with me.  Every.  Single.  Word.  I’m far too attached to feelings, moments, things, people, my past, silly fantasies, fears of the future, and so on.  And I know this.  Non-attachment is not a new concept to me and I like to think that I try to live in the moment far more lately, but truthfully I know I am not trying nearly as much I should.  Now has to be enough, as now is all there really is.

I have come so far in the past few years and while it is frustrating that still can’t seem to do things like find employment or find a social circle for myself, I know that I cannot let these things or my feelings about them define and control me.  I can’t sit around and think about what I could have done differently, as I will never have the chance to do it differently.  I need to be constantly opening myself up to new experiences, new people, and new ways of life.  Instead of being attached to the false notion that if X happens things will change, I need to constantly remember that change lies within me.  As said in a song by one of my favorite bands and as I have been saying to myself over and over again “They say the past must die for the future to be born.”  And from the end of the article linked above:

Just know you have the power to choose from moment to moment how you experience things you enjoy: with a sense of ownership, anxiety, and fear, or with a sense of freedom, peace and love.

The most important question: what do you choose right now?


Weekly Recap

July 8, 2012 § Leave a comment


  • Monday – None
  • Tuesday – 1.5 mile run/walk with a shelter dog, 2.5 mile run, 90 minute vinyasa flow yoga class
  • Wednesday – None
  • Thursday – 0.72 mile run to meet up with people, 2.48 mile run with group
  • Friday – 1 mile run/walk with shelter dog
  • Saturday – None
  • Sunday – 4.0 mile run, 75 minute vinyasa flow yoga class

Pretty similar to last week, though the heat switched things around a bit.  Felt ok with the runs I did get in though and the mileage ended up being what was needed in the end.  Again I have been feeling so strong in yoga class.  Such a wonderful feeling that I need more of.

Most memorable event of the week: Not something positive or that I really want to share.  I am struggling with interpersonal stuff lately and just need to let go of it.  Still in a funk and I feel as if I have little control over getting out, though that probably isn’t the case.

Best thing I ate: The Farmer’s Dog, which is a current special at The Hot Diggity. Description from the website: “The Xnipec Dog! Featuring all locally and organically grown Rainbow Chard, Xnipec (Mayan Salsa), Oregano Sour Cream, and Podding Radishes from Green Meadow Farms in Lancaster Co.”  It was as great as it sounds and looks!

Best thing I drank:  On the 4th of July I went out to TJ’s in Paoli where they were featuring several Hill Farmstead beers on tap.  I got to enjoy the Double Citra, Harlan, Nor, and Edward.  Double Citra was probably my favorite, though I always enjoy every beer I have by them.  I had tried the regular Citra before and the double definitely did not disappoint.


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