Weekend recap

Sunday night I received an email notification from Google letting me know that it's time to renew the registration for my website's domain. Holy moly, I can't believe it's already been an entire year since I purchased notablyneurotic.com, and I'm doubly bowled over by the realization that I've been writing this blog for over 3 years now.

Wow. That's 3 years of writing about my neurotic tendencies, cake and runner's diarrhea.

Yes, this is the contribution I'm making to society.

You're welcome, society.

How was your weekend? Mine was absolutely wonderful, and I went to bed last night feeling well-rested and prepared to take on the upcoming work week.

But this morning I woke up inexplicably angry that I had to go to work. I have no idea why. (Perhaps it's because no matter how much rest and relaxation you get over the weekend, you never EVER actually want to go to work? This is why I have aspirations to work from home again one day.) The early morning sun peeking through my bedroom window and the birds chirping their melodious wake-up call cheesed me off to no end. I was not ready to rise and shine. I was not ready to greet the day. I was ready to pull the blanket back over my head and jam my pillow against my ears to drown out my neighbor revving up his stupid Jeep at 7:00 a.m..

Fun fact: When I went outside for my run on Saturday morning, I was greeted by two squad cars parked in front of our building and a uniformed officer banging on that same neighbor's door. I took my sweet time stretching because I'm incredibly nosy and wanted to see what was going on, but my neighbor either wasn't home or refused to come to the door because after 10 solid minutes of heavy knocking, the cops gave up and left. As I was stretching my groin and pretending to admire the sidewalk, I kept one eye trained on the police officer and was secretly hoping they'd break into his apartment and arrest him so I could finally get some sleep during the week.

But no one was arrested this weekend, as evidenced by the roaring Jeep engine that interrupted my slumber like a bullhorn.

Anyway ...

What I did:
  • Friday night we had Justin and Jamie over for "game night" which consisted of several fast-paced rounds of Bananagrams (it's like Scrabble ... only not) and one game of Smart A$$ that proved, yet again, that I am seriously lacking in the geography skills department. All of the "Where Am I?" cards dealt with naming cities, countries, bodies of water or natural areas, and I dreaded each and every one of those green playing cards. All it took was for someone to read the clue, "I am an Asian country" for me to know I already lost that round.

    Then, to make me feel even MORE intelligent, Jamie and Justin brought over Lord of the Rings: Trivial Pursuit. That game wasn't even fair. Sure, I've read the books, but that was in EIGHTH GRADE. And sure, I've seen the movies, but that was almost 2 YEARS ago.

    Remarkably, I earned 3 pie pieces for my Frodo pawn, but that was only because I majorly lucked out by lamely guessing "executive producer" for a stupid movie question and because by the rules of statistics, if you answer with "Gandalf" enough times, it's eventually correct.

    Jamie straight-up dominated the game, and there were several rounds that she answered 4 or 5 questions correctly in a row. We were all impressed and/or jealous. It was like she had a map of Middle Earth tattooed on the backs of her eyelids. At the end of the night, Justin proudly declared, "My girlfriend is a dork!" :)

    But the day they come out with Mean Girls: Trivial Pursuit, I'm inviting Justin and Jamie back over so I can show them all who's boss.
  • Sunday afternoon I played hostess for our first book club revival meeting! Last summer, a few gal pals and I started a book club, but we only managed to meet a few times before everyone became insanely busy and the club totally derailed. Not to mention, none of us were exactly "inspired" by the books we chose to read and I personally have a hard time getting through anything I'm not interested in (college-level Calculus, I'm looking at you). However, I approached a few of the former club members several weeks ago and we all agreed that we enjoyed each others' company enough to give it another shot.

    The girls came over to our townhouse and after perusing a few ideas on Amazon, Krista came up with the brilliant idea to drive over to the Half-Price Book Outlet and look for titles. Maria contributed an awesome idea of her own by giving us the name HPC, or the Half-Priced Club.

    I contributed cookies.

    We're going to make it our book club ritual to meet at the coffee shop that's within earshot of Half-Priced books every few weeks to discuss our current read, and then march over to the book store to seek out our next selection together. Everyone saves money and there will be far less debate over which book to read next since we will be limited to books that have at least 4 copies currently in stock.

    Our first book club selection!

    I'm just tickled about reviving the book club because the girls in the group are voracious readers who all bring something unique to the table in terms of personality and book choices. I'm somewhat of a snob when it comes to the books I read, so I'm very much looking forward to broadening my reading horizons and being pushed outside of my comfort zone.
  • On Sunday night, Clayton and I watched the Oscars, but I quickly decided to bury my nose in a book instead because watching Seth McFarlane host the awards show was painful. His nervousness was obvious and as much as I love him and as much as I hate to say this, I think he majorly tanked. Family Guy humor does not mesh well with the elite Hollywood crowd. Luckily I also missed my girl, Jennifer Lawrence, tripping in her gorgeous Dior gown as she went on stage to accept her Oscar. Had I seen that live, I probably would have clutched my chest in agony and held my breath until her speech was over. But she's gorgeous and wildly talented, so I don't feel that bad for her.

What I ran: 
  • One of the biggest lessons I've learned as a runner is that it is virtually impossible to predict how well a run will go until you're on the road and already part-way into your first mile. Last weekend's 10 miles was, for lack of a better term, an abomination. I chose to run those miles on the flattest surface I could find, but I still struggled to finish. My hips ached and pulling my body along the trail felt like I was dragging a lead weight behind me. But fast-forward to this weekend, and I'm like a completely different runner. I tackled a super hilly route in preparation the elevated terrain of the Hoosier Half, but I felt like I was floating. It was almost, dare I say, effortless. I did absolutely nothing different to prep for this run, but it was world's better and rebuilt my much-needed confidence.

    All smiles before my run ... and trying to kill time so I can continue
    to spy on the police officers knocking on my neighbor's door.

    In a perfect world, all runs would feel as good as this one did!

    Post-run. Feeling good!

    I did some calculations for my goal pace for April's half marathon and according to those calculations, I ran these 10 miles about 20 seconds per mile faster than I needed to. I have the hardest time forcing myself to slow down, but I know I should. It took me forever to buy into the claims that long runs should be taken slow and easy (science be damned!). I'm such an over-achiever that it's hard for me to accept that "Faster! Faster! Faster!" is not the way to run.

    But I'm getting better about that.
  • I think Sunday's 3-mile run was one of my first true recovery runs outside, and its benefits were obvious almost immediately. Like I said above, slowing down is a huge challenge for me, but I know that if I want to fully repair my muscles and keep them fresh, I have got to take it easy after a long training run. Instead of looking at it like, "I need to go run 3 miles", I approached this recovery run as "I'm going to lightly jog around the block for about a half hour." I turned on the Pitch Perfect soundtrack and took off.

    And it was rejuvenating.

    It was the kind of run that reminds me why I love running so much. Not because I was setting personal records or crushing dozens of miles, but because I was outside in the sunshine, enjoy nature and appreciating what my body is capable of. It was stress-free.

    Running 101: If running is stressing you out, you're doing it wrong.

What I baked:
  • For Friday night's game night, Jamie and Justin provided the salty treats and I brought the sweet. I found a recipe that's a yummy twist on regular ol' puppy chow. Instead of using Chex Cereal, use a box of Golden Grams. Melt a cup of mini marshmallows into the peanut butter/chocolate mixture on the stove, toss another cup of marshmallows with the Golden Grams, shake everything in a large zip-lock bag of powdered sugar and ta-da! S'mores Puppy Chow!

  • Like I said, my friends contributed all the good ideas to our book club meeting and I just contributed the snacks. I made several dozen chocolate chunk cookies and now that I've finally figured out all of the quirks to my oven and stove, I feel like a baking diva. I hope no one interprets my comment as bragging when I say that the cookies turned out perfectly. I don't say that to be boastful. If anything, it's just pure delight that I can finally bake with full confidence.

    Mixie, my oven and I are like a sugary Dream Team.

    FYI: Using chocolate chunks in your cookie dough is way, way better than using semi-sweet chips. I'm actually surprised there was enough dough to make 3 dozen cookies because I sure as heck scarfed a lot of the dough while I was preparing it. I didn't even use a fancy recipe, just the one that can be found on the bag of chocolate chunks! It. was. heavenly.
  • This doesn't really qualify as baking, but Saturday night's dinner consisted of marinated chicken breasts with steamed broccoli and sweet potato wedges fries, and I'm only mentioning it because it was awesome! Simply peel a sweet potato and cut into wedges (1 sweet potato yields PLENTY of fries for two people), toss in a bowl with some olive oil and sea salt, and then pop in the oven at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes. Be sure to flip the fries occasionally!

    Also, I made a garlic mayonnaise dipping sauce that Clayton absolutely loved since he's not a huge fan of sweet potatoes and needed something to mask the flavor. Just mix 2 tablespoons of ketchup with 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise, add about 1/4 teaspoon of minced garlic and stir it thoroughly!

What about you? How was your weekend? Any fun stuff coming up this week? I have a date with my good friend Brittany at the Wine & Canvas studio and I am ecstatic about it! (because I mean, the art part sounds cool and all, but there will be WINE!)


  1. A suggestion I have for your book-club...all of you get on the free book lists from Amazon for the kindle. Then you all pick the same book and download it. You do not need a kindle to read - you can read on your smart phone, on your IPad, or on your computer. Just a suggestion for free books!


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