the rest of life

keto half-marathon training

[Apologies to my fibery friends - this post contains precisely 0% knitting content. Whole30 and health nuts, read on!]

As part of My Clean Year (#mycleanyear), going hand in hand with taking a break from alcohol, I've wanted to break my sugar habit. Doing several rounds of Whole30 (and non-strict, Whole30-inspired 'resets' afterwards) went a long way, but I kept finding myself sliding quickly back into a near-daily relationship with chocolate, sugar, baked goods...

And then our friend Dr. B was diagnosed with Lyme disease, and has been fighting the wee beasties with a ketogenic diet: super-low carbohydrates (around 50g/day), moderate protein, and lots of healthy fats. He's feeling so much better, and wow has he leaned up! As someone who's hovered at the Overweight/Obese line of body fat percentages, that leaning up sure caught my attention.

Then come to find out my stepdaughter and her husband have been going keto as well, and feeling and looking great too. That non-scientific cohort of 3 was enough to convince me to try it. (I had already committed to the month of June sans sugar altogether, so keto was a logical extension.)

But wait - what about that half-marathon goal coming up? (I'm doing the Pie High Trail Run in July.) Can I switch to running in ketosis while keeping up my training runs? Googling the question got me some anecdotal information from a few (über-geeky) (male) ultrarunners, but not a lot of real-life, I-did-this feedback from my fellow women half runners. So I thought I'd put myself into the mix! [Note: I'm not affiliated with Leanne (yet!) - all opinions are my own, and I don't make any $ from any links here.]

I'm working from the plan outlined by Leanne Vogel in her book, The Keto Diet. I've appreciated her focus on whole foods, especially the open door to vegetables! Old-school ketogenic diets (like Atkins) have eschewed all carbohydrates, even those from plants -- and as a big fan of Michael Pollan and his reasoned approach ("Eat Food. Mostly Plants. Not Too Much."), I like that we need fear no veg.

Step One: wholesale dive into 'keto-izing' my kitchen: a spiralizer (I like this one from OXO); bone broth, hemp milk, coconut creamer, various oils and nut butters, sea salt and mineral drops. (Many of which were based on Leanne's shopping list from the Healthful Pursuit website.)

Step Two: purge the kitchen. This wasn't a huge effort, considering that we were already pretty Paleo/Whole30 to begin with. Mostly, it was ditching the partial, opened and older boxes of mysterious pasta (pasta?!) on the upper shelves. But I did rearrange some things to put the oils close-by, and shift the less-used items (almond flour, etc.) to higher shelves. Oh, and putting my new food processor out on the counter, ready for action!

Step Three: Devour the book and plan for implementation. The first half of Leanne's book is background, information about how the eating plan works, and how to set yourself up (particularly appreciated is the 'roadblocks to keto' section, which includes some mindset resets that I found very reassuring during this first week of adjustment.)

As a planner geek (didja guess?), I knew I'd want to track my 'macros' - how many grams of the macronutrients fat, protein, and carbohydrate I was eating in a day - so I could know I was on-plan. I've loved using PaleoTrack so far; Marc, the creator of PaleoTrack, has done an amazing job to keep the UI streamlined yet supremely functional. It's rare for me to stick with a tracker so thoroughly, even ones I love initially, without losing focus or spacing out entering info. Marc's made it so intuitive and easy - I bit the bullet and subscribed for a full year. Since Boyhood & I aren't jumping on buying a ketone monitor (yet), I'm going to rely on how I feel and where my macros are to gauge when/whether I'm in ketosis.

Now for the interesting part: I'm in my second week of training for my half, so how is the shift to keto going to work with that? Shifting to burning mostly fats has a rough transition period, not unlike the first week to 10 days of Whole30. You may get the 'carb flu' in the first days, feeling grouchy and hungry and lower energy as your body shifts from its reliance on carbohydrates to burning fats. (I liken this to trying to start a fire with logs and no kindling - the carbohydrates were the fast-burn kindling in your system.)

I've found I can do quite well on 3 runs a week - that seems to give me the time on my legs that I need without risk of injury to my nearly-50-year-old joints. The past month, I've been cruising on 3-, 4-, and 5-mile runs, but this next week I up the ante to 4-, 5- and 7-. The ramp-up is beginning - right when I'm likely to be low-energy.

The good news is, I built in a buffer week to my training - when I laid out my run schedule, I had 11 weeks instead of 10 on the calendar. (Always a good move, in my experience - it lets you account for the vagaries of life and the strange weeks you get when you can't get quality runs in no matter how you try.)

I plot out my runs on my monthly pages in my planner with little sticky flags, so I can move them around if necessary without a lot of erasing or white-out.

So I shifted a few things around - mostly moving the long run stickies down a week - and did three runs per my slower regimen of the last few weeks. I started eating Keto officially on Thursday (June 1), so I've done two runs so far on the new eating plan!

Happy to report that, at least in these first few days, runs haven't been noticeably harder or more sluggish than before. Could be that I'm still digging through some stored glucose, of course, but so far so good.

Next run is tomorrow (Monday), and I'll see if I can't take on that 5 miler I have planned. Knowing the reason why I might bonk is keeping me calm - that, and a tablespoon of almond butter before I hit the road, that is.

My aim is to post here once a week to keep track of how this transition to keto during half-marathon training is working for me. Thanks for coming along for the ride!

Also, FYI: I'm on Day 4 and already down 2 pounds. Consistently eating around 2,000 calories, with carbohydrates at or under 50g. On the days I don't run, Boyhood and I tackle the stairs from Downtown to Uptown - 130 short steps in the full flight, and we do 7 sets. Good HIIT training, we think!

my latest Instagram posts...

new year, new paradigm

2016 is ushering in a lot of great new things over here at casa akabini!

I'm back to designing full-time, and looking forward to re-issuing some of my 2nd Nature patterns as akabini patterns...

And Unpatterns.com has found a new home here - see the tab up at the top of the page (where there will be more detailed content coming soon), and feel free to click the Patternfish link at right to see the whole collection for purchase over there.

And I'm looking forward to posting here again with my random thoughts about life, healthy food, geeky knitting tricks, and ALL THE MAKES!

 

Nice to be back.

#Whole30, Day 4

Day Four is done, and I did not want to Kill. All. The. Things!
(The joke is that by days 4 and 5 of #Whole30, you run into a serious emotional wall and get cranky. Co-workers will testify to waves of poutiness on my part, but so far no major crank.) 

 Breakfast used up the rest of the shrimp, with a shrimp-to-egg ratio that was truly thrilling (cut back to 2 eggs). Peek-a-boo from underneath was the rest of my bag o' spinach. Suprisingly tasty, even without the Parmesan cheese I would normally have been tempted to add!

Lunch was more leftover Thai curry (think I can go without making quite so much next week). I found I actually *missed* my salad - and ended up not eating more than half of it.

The poutiness occurred after lunch (see above re: possibly not eating enough), and was prompted by the thought that I couldn't have a comforting, satisfying cuppa Builders Tea. But two cups of Rooibos later and I was on a roll with work.

Afternoon spaciness combatted by the realization that I had nuts in my desk drawer. Almonds and cashews to the rescue!

An early dinner, so I could be in the shop by 5 pm:

 I sauteed up two turkey burker patties and set aside one for breakfast for Day 5. The last 1/4 avocado, and a BIG slice of heirloom tomato as an ersatz bun made for a yummy turkey burger! Some quick romaine and more tomatoes for a speedy side salad. It was warm out again, so a little spritzer with grapefruit juice and soda water sent me out the door to go back to work to finish my second 12+ hour workday.

Biggest revelation so far: I'm not hungry in the same way I used to be! I used to get sharp, searing stomach pangs if I didn't eat every 4 hours. Now I just notice a deeper, subterranean rumbling and notice that I'm slowing down and getting a little spacey. Is this what other people are talking about when they say they forget to eat? Hmm.

Friend T had her first round of chemo on Thursday. If she has to be strong for her stuff, I can damn well do this, too.

 

#Whole30, Day 3

Day Three is in the can!

I'm still coasting on the grace of relatively little internal struggle with this. Fingers crossed that I stay that lucky for a little while longer!

Less of a scrambled mess for breakfast yesterday, and more of a layering exercise:

Bottom layer: fork-mashed sweet potatoes with a bit of coconut milk to make a bit of a slurry; then slices of turkey breast on top. 

Cap it off with some scrambled egg (note to self: cut down to two! this is a lot of food!) ... and then add some tomatoes for extra veggie goodness. Oh, and steamed greens, too.

Kept me going until after noon!

 

 

Lunch: yup, salad.

This one was pretty mainstream: plain sauteed chicken, tomatoes, avocado over romaine and cabbage. But I thought I'd share what I'm doing to make my salad dressing:

If, like me, you're embarrassingly new to the process of homemade dressings (despite the fact that you've been told over and over again that they're easy), here's one to try.

1 part apple cider vinegar
1 part balsamic vinegar, or to taste (if you're using a strong one, cut back maybe)
2-3 parts olive oil (depending on how oily vs. tangy you like your dressing)
1/4 part Annie's Horseradish Mustard (a revelation! Horseradish delivery system with no sugar added!)
1/2-1 part diced fresh herbs (I've been using basil, since it's fresh now) 

(If you're making some to cover several salads, try 1 part = 4 Tbsp.)

I just shake mine up in a little airtight container - the little Duralex one pictured above is nice for dosing out a single portion to pop into my glass salad container to take to work. (Why do the French make all the best glass storage? Someone tell me why!)

Quickie to finish out, since I need to get to work early this morning: Dinner was leftover Chicken Curry from Monday night. (Work night, so had to plan for something grab & go).

Kept me going until 10:30pm, and only got a growly tummy in the last half-hour. Went to bed without extra snacking, either. On a roll.

Day 3 I realized I'm not eating the sweet potatoes in the quantity I expected to - not craving that form of carbohydrate. Think I'll cut back on those for my shopping next week.

 

#Whole30, Day 2

Day Two is done!

I got distracted at breakfast and forgot to take a photo, for the best of reasons - Boyhood was here! But for the record, what I made for both of us was an eggy scramble with shrimp, green onions, avocado, and a peach. Super-yummy!

The Lunch Salad reigns supreme:

I let some of my sauteed ground turkey marinate in my new-favorite, house-made dressing, and topped mixed greens with that, red pepper, and the ubiquitous avocado.

For some reason, I couldn't eat may way all the way through my salad (co-worker G, my salad guru, says "It takes work to chew!"), so I left it for an afternoon snack. Never got to it, but did take advantage of the other snack I brought along: an apple and some slices of turkey (which are quickly replacing my string cheese afternoon former snack position).

At about 2pm (bang on schedule), the first real pangs arrived: there's that afternoon 'grab some sugar' monster. After kvetching in the office and receiving rousing "NO!" support from my co-workers, it was off to the aforementioned apple and protein snack - stragely well-suited to the "apple pie and an iced latte" pang I was having.

(Friend T later told me that cinnamon is a great blood-sugar regulator - this, from her naturopath!, so perhaps a little jar of cinnamon in the desk drawer for that afternoon apple is in order.)

Second (and predictable) pouty-face occurred at the end of the work day: what's going to console me this evening if I don't have a glass of wine to look forward to? (This, the most dastardly of habits!)

Again, miraculously or strangely, the things I thought would be pretty insurmountable are non-issues (at least right now). I got in, popped my prepped items out of the fridge, and prepared a fantastic-tasting stir fry with shrimp, cashews, bok choi, and cabbage in less time than it used to take me to walk to the store for frozen pizza and Cabernet! 

Began with ghee and some grated fresh ginger in the pan, then added the hard vegetables (cabbage and the bulb of the bok choi), then the broccolini and shrimp. Tender greens and cashews at the end, and then (inspired thought!), a squeeze of Annie's Horseradish Mustard on the top and stirred in.

Tasted so good, I had to eat the WHOLE PAN. (Making up for lunch... at least that's what I'm telling myself!)

Sparkling water all through the night, a good Skype chat with friend T (she of the cinnamon tip), and to bed at a reasonable hour. An excellent result for Day Two! Phew. 

#whole30, Day 1

Day One is done!

I'd like to record every day here, (dearlordI'mgoingtobecomeoneofthosepeoplewhopostpicturesoftheirfood), for the record, and in hopes it helps someone craft menus or cope with working a Whole30 into their busy work week!

I've decided to keep one thing simple that's become problematic for weekdays: Lunches. I'm lucky to work with a bunch of creative, fabulous people, and G and C, two officemates at work, have been my inspiration for healthy eating for a while now - they bring Salad. Every. Day.

Day One's salad was lovely: fresh local tomatoes, spinach and kale and chard for greens, red bell pepper, some leftover bacon from the weekend's breakfast, and 1/4 of an avocado. My first attempt at making salad dressing was a success, too (why did I wait so long to try that?).


Breakfasts are often egg-based in Whole30, because it's the cultural norm and it's an easy platform for morning protein and veg. Day One I used some of the lean ground turkey breast I'd saut´eed up the night before, plus pico de gallo, wilted spinach, and the other half of the bell pepper that went into lunch. 

 On Day One, I went to the gym in the morning before remembering that I had a Kettlebell class that night (!), so I accidentally doubled-up on my workouts. (Boy, I love to overachieve early on!) Good thing I prepared for a pre-workout snack from work: the last 1/4 of that avocado, plus a few extra pieces of turkey.

 Dinner was some Thai curry I'd prepared the night before, because I knew I'd come home from Kettlebell class late, and because Boyhood was coming down for a date night! I added some cooked sweet potatoes to the curry, and made some more sauce. It was yummy - another first: Thai Curry paste! Hot, but not forcibly so. I surprised myself by eating less than I thought I would... Left quite a bit in the bowl. Surprising, after the busy day at work and the two workouts.

Two more things I learned just in this first day: a lot of my sweets-after-lunch craving has to do with wanting to refresh he taste in my mouth! I packed along a toothbrush and toothpaste and just hit 'reset' on the tastebuds. That, and a little walk to run an errand out in the sunshine, and I was more ready to go back to my desk without a cookie in hand. Also, mid-afternoon, rather than the black tea with milk & sugar that I'm used to, we cracked a box of Steve Smith's "Fez" tea: green tea with spearmint. Refreshing, tea-like, and a little boost from the green tea. A good workaround!

Day One can be deemed a success (though I dreamed of 'accidentally' eating pastries)! More on that next post.

on becoming whole

Updates must be in the air... I'm full of a sense of renewed energy (perhaps typical for this time of year?)

The wardrobe re-vamp has been joined by an interest in clean eating, and clearing out the junky habits that have limited me over the past few years (I'm looking at you, Pinot Grigio!). I'm a big fan of Allison's blog, Wardrobe Oxygen - if she recommends something, I'm rather prone to trying it. Her post a few weeks ago, and then its follow-up, prompted me to look into Whole30, and I very much liked what I saw!

The premise is pretty simple: cut out processed foods, sugar, alcohol, and grains and dairy for 30 days. Eat vegetables with lean protein most of the time, fruit sometimes, and get good rest. This is intended to re-set your taste buds, combat the cravings for sugar that plague some of us every afternoon (ahem), and reduce inflammatory responses you might not know you have to things like wheat and dairy.

Fridge Makeover, 'after' edition

Now, I don't think I'm particularly sensitive to wheat - I likes me my toast! And dairy doesn't feel like it's ever been an issue. But a renewed commitment to healthy eating, to feeding myself like I matter, is the crux of it.

I had a rare Sunday when I'm down in my work town, at the condo, with a bit of extra time to plan and prep. My planning went like this: study the sections in the book where they outline basic meal prep; figure out what combinations of protein and veg I wanted to eat this next week, and then plot it all out in a cute day planner I started using and then abandoned. Cute toys = guaranteed success in my book!

For future reference (or in case anyone is interested in diving in and wants some ideas about how to organize grocery shopping and meal plans): I started with the protein/veg mixes that I thought sounded good... and for simplicity's sake, kept workaday lunches to salads + a protein. Figured out which evenings needed easy meals (working late, etc.), and then moved stuff around until I had a menu for the week: breakfast, lunch and dinner, every day til Friday night (on weekends I go home up to PT, and Boyhood and I can shop for the weekend's meals together up there).

Then I wrote out a grocery list, writing down each ingredient as it came up in the plan, and tallying how many servings per item: 5 halves of avocado = 3 avocados, ground turkey used 4x... and that made my list.

Armed with my list (and packing my planner, for reference when my brain fell out in the store, as it always does), went grocery shopping! Veg veg veg and more veg, plus hunting for exotic new-to-me ingredients like Thai Curry Paste and ghee. Total damage, for the record: $135. A minor ouch, but considering it's sparing me the $40 margarita-and-quesadilla post-work meltdown, it's worth it. Plus, no alcohol in that ticket - that's been pushing up the grocery bills for the past few years, alas...

Sunday night meal prep: Thai Chicken Curry!

So here we go! My intention is to check in here every day, post my progress and revelations, kvetches and successes. Plus, daily menus in case that helps someone out there start their Whole30 with success!

 

 

always more tiny

Our move two years ago into this mildly smaller house (1200 sq.ft. down from 1400) was a great exercise in refining our lives and the things we lived with. When Boyhood and I were moving our possessions, we took advantage of the fact that it was a 5-block move to "high-grade" our stuff. We took the things we truly loved, and had a lull of a few weeks to consider everything we'd left behind in the old house. Did we miss it? Was it really great? If not, it's gotten purged.

Fast-forward a few years (has it really been almost 2 years since we moved into the Red Cottage?), and the steady creep of 'stuff accumulation' has led to fewer hangers in the (already tiny!) closet, a dresser drawer filled with socks, underwear, loungewear I can't identify....

And then once I watched "Tiny" on Netflix, it was settled. A purge was in order.

I've also been following Project 333, and while as a clothing maker I have a profound wariness of getting my wardrobe down to 33 items (all the sweaters! all the scarves! would I have to stop knitting?), I'm longing for a simpler wardrobe - especially as I move from space to space for work and weekends.

So, ladies and gentlemen, I give you: half my wardrobe. (The half that's at home - there's another load just like this in my work-week living space).

I'm about to pull out the things I know I love to wear, the things that are easy and a good expression of myself in the world. The things that fit, that fit with one another, and are fun to wear.

In another pile will go the obvious donation items: things I'll never wear again, things that really don't fit, or things I've just gotten over or worn out enough to let another person have a crack at them.

In another pile will go my off-season items (right now, that's winter) - we have a separate space upstairs where I can store these until they come into rotation.

And a third 'oh god, I can't decide!' pile will get boxed up, put under the eaves upstairs in deep storage, and if I don't miss it in a few months' time, it'll get donated too.

Will I get down to 33 items? Maybe for here, for my weekends/off time at home... Then I'll winnow the work clothes down to a similar number, and start sewing my ideal wardrobe to streamline even more!

Stay tuned. Excited to be documenting the process. (And glad to be back in the blogosphere!)

'High-Grade' Your Life

We interrupt our regularly-scheduled Ravellenic post forecast for a bit of real-life application.

The subtitle of this blog is 'Better Living Through Knitting,' in large part because I feel that the habits we get into as knitters really can be extrapolated into the rest of our lives, with great effect.

Witness the process of WIP Wrestling: whilst I'm in the midst of digging out UFOs and finishing up lingering projects, Life is handing me another lesson on a parallel track. Boyhood and I are preparing to move house!

We're moving into the dear, wee cottage that Boyhood was building for Dad to move into (sniff), and while it's a lateral move both geographically (it's only 5 blocks away) and spatially (it's nearly the same size as our current house), we're seeing it as an opportunity to 'high-grade' our lives – to take only what we truly love, and give away or sell the rest. It's a fabulous exercise, one I heartily recommend for everyone at least every ten years (the better to avoid ending up on an episode of "Hoarders: Buried Alive"!).

Take, for example, my "Candleholders and Vases" cupboard, the contents of which I disgorged onto the dining table Saturday morning:

What was now a full lower cupboard off of our kitchen has turned into a discreet collection: perhaps 3 vases of different sizes, and 4 or 5 candleholder options.

Photo of the new cupboard, with its few tenants, to come, as soon as we move it in!

 

the hardest entry to write

Hello, my lovelies.

It's been a tough few months.

We've been smack up against the realities of life and illness over the better part of 2011 here at Casa Akabini… Since last December, we've been back and forth to California to attend to Dad's growing health issues. The cancer he'd been peaceably co-existing with for 14 years finally decided to jump into overdrive. Radiation, ER visits, the stay in a care facility that became permanent rather than temporary...

My dad was my #1 blog fan. I knew that akabini was up on his set of main pages to watch in Safari, and he always had something to say about every entry, even if it was just to say "Wow - I have no idea what all that knitting stuff means." I had to be careful when I hit 'publish' on an entry, because I could always count on my phone ringing about 2 minutes later. "Hi Karini - nothing special... It's just me. That's a nice post!"

Me and Dad in the South of FranceA month ago, with every member of our little family around his bedside, he made his graceful exit. And the world is a little bit smaller without him in it.

Ready to cheer me on in the Seattle Marathon

He was my cheerleader, my champion. Every girl should be so lucky.

Okay, Dad... hitting 'publish' now. Got my phone right here…

a birthday wish

... to Madam, who  turns 23 today.

May all your goats be as easy to get in and out of their milking stands as this one: 

And, because the only thing cuter than a goat is a pygmy goat, and because the only thing cuter than a pygmy goat is a pygmy goat kid, the only thing cuter than a pygmy goat kid is a pygmy goat kid playing with a dachshund! 

welcome to the world, Baby Manya!

I'm happy to report that Nurse K and her sweetie have welcomed a daughter into the world.

Baby Manya and Momma are resting fine.

I imagine that Nurse K's looking even happier than this right about now:

Yay, team!

thud.

That's the sound of Fall. Falling.

Three days ago, we had temperatures in the '80s
(that's the high twenties for you Celsius types).
This morning's Dog Walk Forecast:
T-shirt, Cardigan, Rain coat with fleece lining,
Socks and Boots, Scarf, Mittens, and Hat!
Handknit count: 2.

Dang.

Good thing I'm knitting sweaters.
Pix tomorrow, peeps - I have one done already, with the second one up to the sleeves!

Running news: Taper. Need I say more? Gotta love the taper.

Knitting news: Just sold my first pattern in Malta! Gotta love Patternfish.

quickie

I know, I know ... I said we wouldn't have wi-fi at Camp.

I vow to forget its existence immediately.

… But I just had to share with you my favorite moment so far, from last night's instructor concert:

Guitarist to Bassist: "You can take a solo any time …"
Bassist to Guitarist: "I am!"

[Non-musical types: ask a musician friend why this is so funny.]

birthday birthday birthday!

It's July, which means the birthdays just come flying fast and furious … Two aunts, the Reverend Johnson, and some nearest and dearest all celebrate in the next few days.

 

A few special shouts out to today's birthday peeps:

Nephew J.P. turns 14 today! (Thank goodness for that - earlier I thought he was 15 already!)


I hope you have a great birthday weekend, and I can't wait to see what this next year brings out of your talented hands. (He's off to an arts-directed high school in the fall, which is only miraculous because I feel like it was just yesterday that I was pushing him in a stroller to the park).

[p.s. If your prezzy didn't arrive in the mail today, it'll be there tomorrow! Hope you like it!]

 

Second shout out goes to BlueGal, blogger and galpal extraordinaire. I tell ya, if it weren't for her, I wouldn't have a single clue what to think about what goes on on Capitol Hill. Writer, mother, friend, and all-around excellent woman who has a way with panties (don't ask - just go read). Here's to a great birthday weekend, and I wish I could be there to enjoy the fibery goodness with you and threadingwater!

To quote you back to you, my dear: I knew you when!

 

Third immediate birthday is still imminent as of this post: Herself's Right-Hand Man, E-Van-Van, has a birthday tomorrow. I'll raise a metaphorical glass to the man that makes our girl smile. Thanks for that, and I know you will enjoy your presents! (I've seen pictures - but no spoilers here.)

 

And lest we forget, in a few days Our Man Upstairs has a birthday. So, Lorenzo - as you launch into your new life year, remember that life is like planting tulips:

Keep the pointy side up!

mission accomplished!

If the aftermath of deadlines is this much fun...

... kinda makes you wonder why I procrastinate sometimes.

[Oh, and got a box in the mail today, containing the World's Most Perfect Slippers For Me Ever.]

Now I get to look forward to a summer of Knitting For Me!, full of fun little cardigans from someone else's pattern, and wee projects that were never associated with deadlines. Yay, summer! (Summer in a land where one can wear slippers, of course.)

back(b)log

My sister-in-law D, she of Mooseknits and now Running Water, said it best: blog entries about not blogging are bo.ring.

So.

I've realized I'm not blogging about today because I never finished blogging about the trip. And then today becomes yesterday, and another day goes by unblogged. So.

Here comes the rest of the story about Our Big Trip! I'll keep them up here in the July section for a few days, then file them down where they shoulda gone, under earlier dates, to keep the story in sequence.

Here we go! Back to Blighty...! (Pardon me while I pour a pint of cider to get the proper atmosphere.)

post-birthday beverage recap

Wow.
Sorta fell off the planet there – sorry about that.
Blame it on the Birthday Margaritas!

In the flurry of moving-back-into-the-office-and-trying-to-get-the-rest-of-my-work done craziness, we had a birthday party for little ol' moi…

At which I promptly forgot to take any photos at all.

Be happy that I remembered to scribble down Sara's Amazing Margarita Recipe!
(And that I can still read it, days later and sober!)

Sara's Birthday Girl Margaritas
1.5 oz. Cuervo or other decent tequila
.5 oz. Cointreau or Triple Sec
.5 oz. simple syrup
1 oz. grapfruit juice, unsweetened
.5 oz lemon juice
.5 oz lime juice

Shake all with ice and pour into an 8 oz. glass with a salted rim.

These went down so well that Sara eventually had to beg off bartending duty to give her sore shoulder a rest!

If the rest of my forties keep going this well, I can't even imagine what my fifties will turn out like!