New Sweater

I started writing this post and then I trashed it because I got bored.  But then I decided my need for the world to know about my new polka dot sweater from Target was greater than my need to silence the message. Also, Marcus asked what I was blogging about last night and when I answered with, “My new sweater,” he sort of gave me the side eye.  I can’t blame him.

Anyway, I went to Target this weekend and I bought this sweater.

Sweater

It’s Merona and it cost $22.99.  I wore it to work on Monday because it was joyful and it was…Monday.  Also, my sunroof in that snap looks way more glamorous than it actually is in real life.

Along with the above sweater, I also bought another cardigan, a couple of t-shirts and a navy pencil skirt.  Which means I finally have something to match the brown pumps I bought on sale like three years ago.  There are a lot of questions you could ask there.  Like, why did you buy brown pumps?  Why didn’t you own anything to match them until now?  Why did you keep them for so long?  I don’t know either.  They have been occupying a spot on the shelf that could have been given to a much more deserving pair of shoes.

My winter wardrobe-building did not stop there.  I wouldn’t describe my attitude toward my closet as “completely over it,” but “bored by repetition” would probably come close.  There is a 100% chance that no one else notices what I wear on a daily basis, but I care.  You know?

Last week after Rosh Hashanah services, a girlfriend gave me a stack of to-die-for hand-me-down oxfords and I essentially owe her a life debt now because they were (1) adorable (2) perfect for winter (3) free.  Friends are the best like that.  I don’t want to say that I’m looking for more excuses to wear them, but I’m looking for more excuses to wear them.

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Race Week

It’s race week.  How thrilling.

Training last week was brutal.  My legs and feet felt like hell and it never got easier.  Long running on Saturday morning and proceeding to walk around for the next seven hours probably didn’t help either.  But who can say, really?

The one truly lovely part of the week (and my training) was my Thursday morning run.  I had Thursday and Friday off for Rosh Hashanah and I absolutely love having the opportunity to do a sunrise run (or two) during the High Holidays.

Running in the Morning.

This year was no disappointment.

I have my race outfit picked out.  I bought a gray running tank at Target two weeks ago.  It was on sale for $11 and is the perfect replacement for the gray tank that I had to lay to rest earlier this year.  Depending on the weather (it looks to be chilly in the morning) I may wear it with my long sleeved running top that gets cropped or I may not.  Translation: this race outfit will look like every other race outfit I have ever worn.

If you want to track me, you can sign up to do that here.  What’s a little bit tricky (and a bad deal for those members of the group who are tracking more than one runner) is that I’m listed twice because I never scratched my marathon bib.  You can’t tell which name corresponds with the marathon bib and which name corresponds with the 10 Mile bib.  I will only be running one race but I kept the marathon bib because I figured that for the amount of money I paid for it, the least I could receive in return is the free pair of gloves/ear warmers/arm warmers/whatever they hand out at packet pick-up.  From there it will go home and straight into the trash along with my starting chip.

My two race day goals continue to stay the same: 1. Finish the race in one, healthy, piece and 2. Finish in 1:30:09 or less.

Link Rodeo

Yes, we’re having two weeks in a row of Link Rodeo.  Can you believe how interesting The Internet is?  I never cease to be amazed.

From Salon - I never should have followed my dreams

From Rolling Stone - The Reinvention of Taylor Swift

From BuzzFeed - Seven Days And Nights In The World’s Largest, Rowdiest Retirement Community

From The Atlantic - How Gangs Took Over Prisons

From Gizmodo - The Online Legacy of a Suicide Cult and the Webmasters Who Stayed Behind

From The Washington Post - NFL’s elaborate security network is supposed to protect league from trouble

Friday Food Round-Up!

We cooked our way right into Rosh Hashanah this week!  What’s also remarkable is the fact that we cooked so many new things.  It’s rare that we do this much experimenting in such a short period of time.

Sunday Brunch – Apple Breakfast Crisp from The Smitten Kitchen and Sausage and Pepper Casserole from The Homesick Texan’s Family Table Sunday 1

Mom and Dad were originally supposed to host this brunch for some dear family friends of ours, however, they still hadn’t seen our place so I suggested that ours might be a venue more suited to the occasion.  Mom contributed the coffee cake and the fresh fruit, which was the right way to finish off this brunch plate.

For the “casserole” AKA egg bake, I used breakfast sausage from The Homesick Texan and a container of the roasted hatch chiles lurking in my freezer.

Sunday Dinner – Black Bean Sopes with Chipotle Crema from The Homesick Texan’s Family Table

Sunday 2

I actioned this using our favorite black bean recipe instead of the one for refried beans that Lisa referenced.

While you’re supposed to deep fry the sopes, after one round with the olive oil, I decided I liked the dry cooking method better.  I think it was much better for the flavor/texture of the sopes.

Monday – Simple, Perfect Chili from The Pioneer Woman Cooks

Monday

This meal completed me.  I had been craving chili for several weeks so, lo and behold!  I made a double batch so that we could store some in the freezer for a busy week.  For some reason this was an agonizing decision, but Marcus reminded me that Future Kat would thank Past Kat.

We ate our chili with the leftover sopes in place of cornbread.  Not too shabby.

Tuesday – Zucchini Fritters with Sour Cream and Chives from Dinner: The Playbook and Soft Fried Eggs

Tuesday

Truths: We did not serve this with any sour cream (even though it’s part of the recipe name) and we did add eggs, because otherwise this meal wouldn’t have come close to being a filling dinner.

When you grate zucchini, the liquid comes out and with many recipes you actually need to squeeze-drain it.  Marcus was quite shocked to discover how much water a zucchini really holds!

Wednesday – Jeweled Rice

Wednesday

My mother-in-law first tried this rice at a bridal shower and suggested that we might make it for a Rosh Hashanah side.  What I learned through the process is that I am a terrible rice decorator.  We steamed regular white rice and for toppings we used dried (rehydrated) currants, shredded/sauteed carrots, parsley, roasted pistachios and lemon zest.  It was a big hit both nights.

Landscaping, finally.

You have probably forgotten that back in May, I submitted a request to our homeowner’s association to have our landscaping repaired.  When I made the request, I (foolishly) assumed that by mid-summer, things would be back in tip-top shape.

Well, I guessed wrong.  100%.   But nearly four full months later, our yard looks…appropriate.  At last.  The edging has been repaired.  The rocks have been filled in.

Rock Bed

I think we can all agree that my project for Next Year should be learning how to prune/trim my bushes properly.  I want them to look healthy, but I also would prefer that they do not become hosts for sapling trees taking refuge.

Our massive dead tree has been replaced with a much smaller live tree.

Tree

How green and verdant its branches are.  Marcus takes issue with its curved trunk, but that’s not really a problem we can fix.

We’ve also done some fall decorating.  Our Sunday brunch guests brought us a pumpkin so I put it on the step!

Pumpkin

So festive.  I know other bloggers are doing printables and fall wreaths and decorative gourds, but we all know I just do not have the time.  I thought about doing a mum, briefly, but I couldn’t even water the basil plant that Marcus bought at Trader Joe’s this summer so that is out.  I would however, consider another pumpkin.

Before that time comes, I think this will be the best way for us to gauge the sort of reception that the neighborhood youths are going to give this.

 

Preparing for Yamim Noraim

Rosh Hashanah begins on Wednesday at sundown.

I feel like it really should not be quite that time yet, but this is actually fairly late in the year as far as holidays go.  Last year we started our celebrations several days after Labor Day and that was extremely early.

For those members of the group who do not observe, it’s important to note the following: Jewish holidays are always early or late.  They are never on time.

I know that in years past, I have gone to elaborate lengths to sort through outfits, determine what to wear on what day, etc.  This year, my problem is compounded by the fact that we will be celebrating Marcus’ cousin’s bat mitzvah the weekend after Yom Kippur.  So for those of you keeping track, I need 11 outfits instead of seven to be worn over the course of 19 days.  That is six formal (synagogue-appropriate) outfits and five party outfits.

My new goal is to start the week with a clean closet and just see how that goes.  This is me, reaping the rewards of a closet full of business casual and business professional clothing.

For many, Yamim Noraim AKA The High Holy Days AKA The Days Of Awe are a period of reflection and repentance.  If you’re looking for a way to reflect as a part of the New Year (Jewish or not), I highly recommend giving 10Q a try.  I signed up last year at Meredith’s behest and it is a lovely excercise.  They run this project annually, save your responses and then send them to you before the holidays begin.

Another thing to look forward to: I am reading Torah at Marcus’ cousin’s bat mitzvah.  I am incredibly touched that she would allow me to read and it will be the first time that I read from the Torah at our synagogue.  With the help of Marcus’ Uncle John (who provided the recordings of the lines spoken and sung) and Marcus himself, I now have a playlist on my iPhone called Get Your Pray On.  To practice, I listen to the recordings while I read the words on the page and do a sort of sing-a-long.  Every time, it gets just a little bit easier.

Link Rodeo

Can you tell that I’ve been saving up links for a while now?  I don’t know how it happens but one day, I log into my blog e-mail account and I discover that I have been overrun!  It is time to start sharing, clearly.

From The New Yorker – A Dating App for an Old Generation

From Babble - What I Learned After Taking A Homeless Mother Grocery Shopping

From Gizmodo - Antiques Roadshow Appraised My 2008 Toshiba TV

From GloriaSteinem.com - I Was a Playboy Bunny

From The Atlantic - The Law-School Scam

From The New York Times - In E-Sports, Video Gamers Draw Real Crowds and Big Money