Monthly Archives: July 2008

home is where the humidity is

I love Michigan.

I swear.

I do.

You see … growing up my parents did something for my sister and I which few other parents (with the exception of the Griswold’s) ever venture to try doing. For a few weeks each summer we’d pack in to our conversion van, a la the Partridge Family, and drive cross country.

One year it was Michigan to Florida, up the coast and back home. We covered Disney, the Fountain of Youth, Charlotte, a trip to the ER in Roanoke for my sister, Washington D.C., a tour inside the White House and 5374534 museums

Another it was Michigan to Colorado, MEXICO (& yes. My family really did drive to Mexico, and no I will never do it again) and back. Included was a drive through the smelliest town in America – Ogalala, Nebraska, Rocky Mountain National Park, Pikes Peak, Albuquerque, the “Very Large Array” (aka. a very large waste of time”), Mexico border crossing, family in Tucson, Meteor Crater, the Grand Canyon, Lake Powell, Bryce Canyon and Vail.

Then there was Michigan to New York City (when the love affair began) up to Canada, back down to the States and home. Also included were stops at Ben & Jerry’s in Vermont, Montreal, Quebec City, and Bar Harbor Maine.

In addition to those long trips we have been down and back to Florida countless times, New York again, as well as the Carolina’s. I have traveled to Puerto Vallarta, Dallas, Texas on my own, and LIVED New York City – which I will discuss at a later time when I have a box of tissues handy and have prepared my love-lorn heart.

… and you see … my travels around these wonderful United States of America, as well as our lovely neighbors to the north and south, have instilled in me an appreciation for HOME more then any cruise or day at the beach could. I have been lucky enough to see more of this land then most people 3 times my age. And if I had to choose one place to live for the rest of my life – you’d bet your bottom dollar it’d be right here:


Yes we have winter, and I hate it. Have I mentioned I loathe the snow?? Especially when it is falling in April, or worse yet May … BUT I also love waking up to a fresh blanket of fluffy snow on Christmas morning – even as an adult it is magical.

And the rain in the spring … eeeek – it can be horrific … BUT seeing the trees come back to life

and the transformation of my backyard from sleepy hallows into dense arbors is sensational.

And fall – ahhh yes fall. It is always sad seeing the landscape slowly slip into a deep sleep for the coming months … BUT It makes my heart flutter. The crispness of the air. Hearing the echos of the high school band drumline playing on a Friday night from my patio. Pulling out my favorite warm hoodie from deep within my closet and standing in a parking lot tailgating for 8 hours while drinking and eating in excess. Oh yes …

and the incredible crimson and burnt orange hues of the leaves. It is spectacular.

And finally I find myself, circa now, trapped in the dog days of a Michigan summer. Where the humidity pushes 100% by noon on most days, and you feel like you are stuck in an excruciating sauna from the moment you rise until … well until the next morning you rise, because even in slumber it doesn’t cease.

And for those of you runners who do not live in a sauna …

... running, in Michigan, in July/August is TORTURE. If I could do it naked, without getting arrested, gawked at, or harrassed, I probably would.

**Disclaimer: the following information is an honest, and gross account of my workouts!**

The sweat my body produces is ridiculous. I am dead serious. I could easily soak through 2 shirts. And my hair – ICK ICK ICK. After a run it looks like I submerged my head in water. And it doesn’t stop there! My feet (poor pedicure), behind my knees, between my boobs, EVEN MY PALMS FOLKS, are drenched! And although running on the treadmill is probably my least favorite form of exercise, in these tough times, I am often tempted to hoove it on rotating rubber in my air conditioned gym, because I JUST CAN’T TAKE THE HEAT ANYMORE. I am ready to get out of the kitchen!

And so you see … I love Michigan.

I swear.
Cross-my-heart-hope-to-die-stick-a-needle-in-my-eye. I do.

Great Lakes, Great Times

but on nights like the ones we’ve had lately, I wish I lived in Alaska. ๐Ÿ™‚


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“My name is Brianne …”

(all together now!)
“Hi Brianne!”

“… and I am a food blog addict.”

We all have vices. You know, those practices or habits that are considered immoral, depraved or degrading in the associated society (so says wikipedia) … more commonly referred to as a bad habit (so says Brianne). For some it is over eating, shopping at the mall, cursing … drinking, smoking, gambling – yah know – sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll!!

For me, it’s food porn.

Def: Food porn is a sarcastic term variously applied to a spectacular visual presentation of cooking or eating in advertisements, infomercials, cooking shows or other visual media.

Ahhhh I said it. I’ve come clean. I can’t help it though. It is an addiction. And honestly I blame google and their nifty little tool known as google reader. At any moment I can be updated about the latest and greatest cooking creations being cooked/baked in kitchens worldwide. What began in my google reader as a few websites I liked to check on occasionally, has now spawned 106 websites which are updated in real time for me. In fact just this morning there were 263 updated food blog posts in my reader.

Some are strictly baking sights:

Others prepare only “meals”:

And then of course there are those which have giveaways on a regular basis!! In fact Pioneer Woman is well known in the blogosphere for shelling out Kitchen Aid Stand Mixers, Canon cameras, $500 Target and Home Depot gift cards and new wardrobes from Lucky Brand Jeans! (and who doesn’t LOVE free stuff):

… and this month I was lucky enough to be selected to receive a box – yes an entire box, not just one! – YouBars from Blake Makes (what a generous guy he is!) YouBars are just like what you’d think they are. Bars designed for you.

You literally choose all the ingredients that will make up your very own nutrition bar. Sweeteners, fruits, nuts, grains, protein, seasonings, chocolate … you pick! And you even get to decide how much or how little of each ingredient you want included. Best part??? … it keeps a handy dandy tool on the side of your screen with a running tally of your ingredients which calculate all the nutritional information for you as you go along!!!

And they are good people. I’m talkin’ REAL good. So take your little wandering fingers over to their website and check ’em out … and be sure to stop by BlakeMakes too – you never know what you might me winning!

ps. Tastespotting was gone for a short time, and has since been remastered and is up and running again (although not to the same level as before). You may also want to check out foodgawker for your daily food porn needs!

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manic monday

Hello and happy Monday all! I hope you all had as enjoyable of a weekend as I did.

In the event that you have spent every moment since you awoke this morning concerning yourself with my whereabouts and the goings-ons of my life from the past 3 days – fret no more! – here are the highlights ๐Ÿ™‚

Friday night was one for the record books – literally. I had my best bowling game ever (besides the 265 I had on Wii bowling – I’m still working towards that perfect game!). You heard that right, and please, please, hold your applause until you hear my score. I started off slow … *cough* 6 gutter balls in a row *cough* but by game number 3 I was on fiiiiiirrrreee.

700 Bowl for those of you who are not familiar is the locally alley in South Lyon and on Friday nights they have $15 all you can bowl from 9-midnight, shoes included. Matt and I invited Dear along to join in the festivities – plus I wasn’t up for drinking and Matt wanted a partner in crime. As the two of them quickly discovered the pseudo bartender/cashier/owner/manager/shoe polisher/mechanic has a heavy hand when it comes to pouring drinks … and as their score got progressively worse … mine got that much better and by the end of the 3rd game I had posted a 109!! Oh yes – I broke 100 for the first time in my life – Papa would be so proud! ๐Ÿ™‚

By that time Casey had made his way out and they were ready to head up to the Hotel as per usual for shots, laughing and dancing. The rest of the night played out in usual hotel fashion and around 1 am I packed the boys in the car and drove them to Matt’s.

Saturday morning I rose with the sun and by 6:45 I was hitting the pavement. I had a really enjoyable run – I just love running in the morning when it is still quiet and a bit cool. I ran about 3 miles and then headed in so I could make it to my pedicure on time – priorities here people!

Now, as I mentioned previously I had never had a pedicure before in my life so this review may be skewed on account of having no prior comparison, but my pedicure??? – HEAVEN ON EARTH. Oh man. Nothing better. Visions spa is pure luxury. From the moment you arrive you are pampered. Warm shoulder wraps, comfy socks and robes, tea, snacks, etc. I am pretty sure I dozed off a handful of time just from total body relaxation. If you have the chance to have a treatment done at Visions – GO!

I spent the remainder of my morning/early afternoon relishing in the relaxation I was feeling and then it was time for the wedding. The ceremony was at the All Saints Chapel in downtown Howell. It is a wee little chapel and totally adorable. Emily looked beautiful and the ceremony was perfect. The reception was a lot of fun as well – the Naudi family never ceases to make a party! I volunteered to DD Matt, his sister and her hubby back to their house in Howell after the wedding. I really do love hanging out with the Firby’s and feel very lucky to have them in my life. We always have so much fun together (stay tuned for updates in regards to our upcoming rafting the Rifle River trip stories!) I didn’t take many pictures but here are a few!

The new Mr. & Mrs. Naudi!

… le sigh … I wish I knew how to properly work my wonderful Nikon

With the Naudi’s

The grooms Aunt and cousin who had had about enough ๐Ÿ™‚

Yesterday was very low key. I went with madre to Costco for a few things and then to Randazzos … I love Randazzos, it reminds me of the Union Square Green Market in New York. The food is so fresh and cheap. I will be returning very soon! Then later in the day Matt and I went for a walk in Kensington, got some ice creamย  at DQ and then wandered around the Bakers car show – as per many Sunday evenings.ย  We did make it to the gym for a quick workout of chest/biceps. Thankfully, Sunday is a rest day for running training – after an eventful weekend I needed last night off!

As for the rest of the today … after work I am going to look at a house which is for rent in “downtown” South Lyon – woo hoo!! I doubt anything will come of it, but I figure, why not just take a little look. After that Matt and I have a 3 mile run tonight for the training plan which we will most likely do onย  the same route we used last week.

I hope you all had an enjoyable weekend as well!!

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map your run!

Last night Matt and I decided to try a new route (well it was new to me!) for our run. Back in the days of .99 cent per gallon fill ups, when we were in high school, Matt spent his after school hours playing sports. If he wasn’t hitting the links then he was at basketball practice. Now, you’d think if he was at basketball practice he’d be … errr … playing basketball, you know dribbling the leather orb, swooshing 3’s … but ha! instead the entire team spent their “practice” time running. Everywhere. Suicides, laps on the indoor track and miles around town.

So when I explained my annoyance with the same ‘ol up and down Pontiac Trail run I have been taking since I started my training, he suggested the 3 mile loop the team would take in boot camp – ahem, basketball. And not that I didn’t believe him that it was 3 miles, but it just seemed too short. So off my fingers went typing, bringing me to the ever helpful and sure as the Pope is Catholic …

High School Loop
Find more Runs in South Lyon, Michigan

3.0 miles indeedy sweetie – and off we went!

The run was great – best one we’ve had together thus far in fact. It is almost all sidewalk which is a pleasant change from the half-in-the-road-half-on-a-beat-up-sidewalk run I have through town. There are a few changes in elevation, notably the large and steep hell hill on Pontiac Trail approaching the high school. It sucks. I hate it. However I did comment to Matt after the run how much I enjoyed the change in scenery.

Each half mile is broken down in to different backdrops if you will. The first is just along 11 mile, then you proceed on through the subdivision, then down the back road parallel with the trail, then le tour de “downtown”, hell hill and finally the home stretch! It’s nice to break up the monotony of a run and makes time pass much more quickly.

We were both thrilled with how we felt after the run – Matt only sweat through 2 shirts – a miracle indeed! We had ho’d and hummed about whether or not we’d continue on to the gym for weight training but we both felt great so we agreed to make it a quick one.

When we got to the gym Sharon was working. She loves us! No seriously. She does. We chatted a bit about the race as usual. Her enthusiasm is contagious and I love love love it! We worked on shoulders which was nothing short of torture … I was grimicing and grunting like a cavewoman. Did the usual ab routine and called it a night.

Tonights workout is still in the air – if anything it will be a light run at the gym and abs because … It’s Friday bitches – woot woot – so realistically I would rather just be a veggie-table and relax. The only condition is that at 8:15 a.m. tomorrow I will be pampered and spoiled the way I deserve to be ๐Ÿ˜‰ at Visions in Novi for a spa pedicure and then in the afternoon we have Matt’s cousin Jeff’s wedding … so a workout will NOT, I repeat NOT be in order for my Saturday.

**Special shout-out to my loving and generous man candy for purchasing the manicure (being saved for another day) and pedicure for me!

so on that note … I hope you all have a fabulous weekend and I will see you here on Monday with pictures from the wedding and other going’s on’s!

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go big or go home!

Here it is … in all its torturous glory … my training program!

Nike+ Human Race 10K – Chicago, IL – 8/31/08
Week Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
July 20th
Rest Goal: 3.0 mi Goal: 4.0 mi Rest Goal: 3.0 mi Rest Goal: 7.0 mi
Easy Run WU: 1.0 mi Moderate Run Long Run
RUN: 1 x 200
RECV: 200
Run: 1 x 100
RECV: 100
CD: 1.0 mi
July 27th
Rest Goal: 3.0 mi Goal: 4.0 mi Rest Goal: 4.0 mi Rest Goal: 7.0 mi
Easy Run WU: 1.0 mi Moderate Run Long Run
RUN: 1 x 1000
RECV: 200
RUN: 1 x 100
RECV: 100
CD: 1.0 mi
August 3rd
Rest Goal: 4.0 mi Goal: 5.0 mi Rest Goal: 4.0 mi Rest Goal: 8.0 mi
Easy Run WU: 1.0 mi Moderate Run Long Run
RUN: 1.0 mi pace
RECV: 400
CD: 1.25 mi
August 10th
Rest Goal: 3.0 mi Goal: 4.0 mi Rest Goal: 3.0 mi Rest Goal: 8.0 mi
Easy Run WU: 1.0 mi Moderate Run Long Run
RUN: 1 x 200
RECV: 200
RUN: 1 x 100
RECV: 100
CD: 1.0 mi
August 17th
Rest Goal: 3.0 mi Goal: 3.0 mi Rest Goal: 4.0 mi Rest Goal: 7.0 mi
Easy Run WU: 1.0 mi Moderate Run Long run
RUN: 1000
RECV: 200
CD: 1.0 mi
August 24th
Rest Goal: 3.0 mi Goal: 3.0 mi Rest Goal: 3.0 mi Rest Goal: 2.0 mi
Easy Run WU: 1.0 mi Moderate Run Easy Run
RUN: 1 x 400
RECV: 400
CD: 1.0 mi
August 31st
Goal: 6.0 mi
RACE: 6.2

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Filed under Running, Weight Training

A for effort

Okay boys and girls … I have a pet peeve (okay fine – I have many pet peeves) … but for time’s sake I will narrow it down to just one.

I cannot stand when people comment on my eating/excercise habits. It really irks me, deep down in my soul.

As a petite and fit woman I find it almost as insulting when others comment on my weight, or what is on my plate as I can imagine I would if I was obese. Because you see people – weight is personal.

It is mine, not yours.

It is something I carry (literally and figuratively) day in and day out.

Just yesterday as I was eating my egg whites on light multi grain wheat toast in the lunch room at work I had someone ask me – “what’s your trick for being so skinny?” And I think this quote from Madonna sums up my response perfectly …

“There are no tricks. Tricks don’t work. Discipline does.”

So tonight at the gym – discipline it is. On the schedule for this evening for me and Matt is …

  • 3.0 mi – moderate tempo run (outside if the weather permits)
  • Weight training
  • Abs

Ooh and I almost forget in my rant induced phase above to show you all the super-duper uber cool t-shirt (it is the red one) all of the participants will be receiving for the Nike+ Human Race. Our bib number (10973 for me!) will be printed on the front.

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Filed under Motivation, Running, Weight Training

put my money where my mouth is

It is OFFICIAL folks … while our tired bodies were deep asleep last night National City decided it was time for me to end my procrastination once and for all and moved my $35.00 registration fee from the pending debit column to the posted column.

I always thought it was silly to charge people to run a race … but now my frugal (read: cheap) self has 35 George Washington’s waiting for me to lace up and make the 10 kilometer trek along the lakeshore in Chicago with 14,999 other people and 1 million Worldwide.

You see … the folks over at Nike came up with this genius marketing plan to hold 25 10K races Worldwide on the August 31st, 2008 for those who use the nikeplus sensor. They have since named it the Nike+ Human Race and have modified the stipulations that you can run using your sensor in your own neighborhood if you’d like … but that isn’t very fun now is it??!

So … a few weeks ago I logged on to sign up for a race in Detroit, but alas, no such race existed (go figure). The closest location was Chicago and whaddayaknow I just so happen to have a very dear friend (Gina) who lives downtown who I was planning on visiting the following weekend anyway! I ran the idea by her (and basically told her that she would be letting me use her living room as a hotel room that weekend) and in a moment of insanity she agreed to join me.

My other cohort on the other hand … not so interested in my devious plan.

Matt – who has been my motivator, teacher, coach, fellow gym rat and personal David Beckham for months now – has taught me all there is to know about weight lifting and weight training (he is going to be the best dagdum teacher this side of the Mississippi someday!) but running … ah yes running … it’s not his strong suit. So when one day I turned to him and said

“wanna run a 10K with me??”

I wasn’t surprised to hear a chuckle followed immediately by a “uuummmm no” response!

BUT – I must be doing something right, or just bugging him enough, because he agreed! (bwwahahahaha!) And diligent he has been … racking up the miles on the treadmill, running back and forth through town, and even doing sprints and intervals on the track of our alma mater.

Which leads me to today … t-minus 38 days folks.

38 days to get my sh*t together.

And this … this little corner of the blogosphere … shall be my journal.

of progress


and success!

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