• sisters on a mission.

  • Three sisters. One in Virginia. One in London. One in New York. None of whom wear shorts. Ever.

  • the mission?

    Taking delight.
    Learning Italian.
    Getting to Italy.
    Wearing shorts.
    In Italy.
    June 2011.

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Prosecco, Tanning Oil, Chia Seed Smoothie, and now this:

Green Foods Berry Barley Essence. I drank this.  And then I did my first 25 minute run on Tuesday.

The key word in this “energy drink” is Barley. It smelled like a field with a faint hint of strawberry to mask the grass. It’s a powder, you blend it with juice. 8 oz of it. I drank it, looking out my kitchen window at the field. The relationship between what I was consuming and what I was looking at was not lost on me. It tasted pretty good. Scott Jurek (ultramarathoner superstar, also featured in Born to Run) gave this mix to a friend of ours, he saw him speak at a race, and then he passed it on to us (he couldn’t get it down).  I guess there are a lot of health properties related to Barley, like wheatgrass. I don’t know. I just drank it.

And my run was really good. I don’t think it was related to the drink. But, it didn’t make me throw up. The 25 minute run felt like a milestone. My legs were tired afterwards. My face was flushed, like it used to look when I used to run regularly (over 10 years ago, holy buckets), and I felt good. The run wasn’t easy. I wish it had been. But the key thing — just keep going. Even if you want to stop. And your legs feel heavy. Just keep moving. The mind is a powerful thing.

Also, I just read an article about feeling creatively “dry”. The upshot of the article — you’re probably dehydrated. Drink more.


Today I did the second 25 minute run, Week 7 Day 1. And then I did the Tracy Anderson Workout. What? I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Maybe it IS the Barley.

I’m going to go take a shower.


beer pairings for the soul


Once a month my friends and I gather at a local pub for Beer Dinner. The dinners are three courses – appetizers, main and dessert – with two beer tastings for each course.  There are pop quizzes and prizes and someone from our table usually brings home the gold (tap handle, beer glass or t-shirt).

I’m not a huge beer drinker but I do love Beer Dinner if for no other reason than to marvel at how good beer can taste with cake if paired appropriately.   Last night we tried oak-aged tommyknocker.  It was strong and heavy and I thought no way am I going to be able to drink this.  But after a big bite of chocolate chai cake I was surprised by how satisfying the beer was after all.

The other great thing about beer dinner is that it’s an opportunity to trot out one or both of my two party tricks.  The first is folding a dollar bill into the shape of a collared shirt.   It’s really easy once you get the hang of it.   I never tell people my objective so it  builds the suspense as they watch to see what I’m doing.   And then voila!  I included one in the tip one night.  I wonder if our server unfolded it or kept it?  The only problem with this trick is that it gets old after you’ve seen it once or maybe twice.

The second, and more showy, trick is writing forward with one hand and backward with the other simultaneously to produce a mirror image of whatever anybody wants me to say.  If it’s early in the dinner I can do it in French or Italian. Later on there can and probably will be misspellings.   One of these days I need to do a video.  I taught myself how in high school but didn’t have much use for it after that.  So my friends and husband were shocked, SHOCKED, at my ambidextrous scrawl of “how now brown cow”.  Anyway, it’s my claim to fame.  Such as it is.

CHIA. not chai, CHIA. as in CHIA pet.

Week 3 Day 2 of C25K was my best day yet. Maybe it was the beyond beautiful morning we had here in Cold Spring, NY. Maybe it was my superior playlist selection on my ipod. Maybe it was my 4 hours of sleep.

Or maybe it was the Chia Seed Smoothie I had this morning.

The black dots that look like bugs are the Chia Seeds. Gremlin drawing by my son, Jonas.

I’m still reading Born to Run. The Tarahumara runners featured in the book, the super athlete mega runners from Mexico, consume Chia seeds. In the book, McDougall speaks of Chia Fresca — a drink of water and chia and sugar and lime, I think — like it’s a miracle drink. You can find stuff about Chia seeds and their miraculous properties all over the internet now thanks to the book. I got some yesterday and put mine into a smoothie. When mixed with liquid they cause it to get a bit gel like. But really, it’s not much different from flaxseeds in texture. Its my new morning energy drink. Placebo or not. I don’t care. I had a really enjoyable run. And I’m getting more used to running lightly on the balls of my feet without requiring more effort, instead of less.

Chia seeds in my smoothie. Same thing that grows a Chia Pet.

Silliest Run.

I really wanted to stay on track with my running plan and, having no time this week on my own, I decided what the heck I’ll just take the kids along.  There is a park (really a large patch of grass) at the end of our street called Stamford Brook Common – we call it Dog Poop Park, for obvious reasons.  But we love it there.  It’s grass.  So while the boys were playing baseball of sorts, I ran up and down and around the grass following miss lady’s cues and keeping an eye on the kids.

That was until the dogs decided to play baseball as well.  One swiped a baseball mit, ran off, then passed it to another dog, who ran off with it as well.  So we all ran after that dog trying to get the mit back…we finally did, although covered in slobber.  Then another dog swiped the baseball and my boys spent about 15 minutes running after this very fast and clever puppy.  Meanwhile, I was still trying to keep with my routine and also help with the chases…of course we were all cracking up.  Which made the chasing harder.  The dog walkers were probably wondering “Who’s the nutter with the kids?”.  I think they secretly don’t like to share the green space.  Well, it was very silly but I’m still counting it as job done!

Then I went home and made some linguine with braised garlic and balsamic vinegar from my old, favorite cookbook, The Splendid Table*. Followed that with a nice slice of Panaforte Margherita, Antichi Dolci Di Siena that I bought at the Italian shop.  And a nice cup of peppermint tea in my favorite cup.  Aaaaah.  Italy here I come.

* Lynne Rosetto Kasper is the author.  I just discovered she has a weekly show on public radio – celebration of food, recipes, cookware…all good stuff.  The companion website is here.

Couch Running.

Well, I have just realized that I have already started my running..although rather informally and sometimes holding a cup of coffee.  Everyday I take the subway from my house in west London to central London to take my kids to school.  Then I dash back on the tube straight back to west London to go to work.  And I always try to run (ok, more like that strange speed walking thing) from the tube station to my office.  Then I run back again to to get on the tube to pick the kids up.  And one more time back on the tube to get home.  It makes my “beginning” not feel so beginningish.  My life already is a marathon.

Hmmm.  Prosecco.

I recently had some yummy pink prosecco at this little restaurant called ffionas.  51 Kensington Church Street, if you are ever in the ‘hood.  Prosecco Rabosa Rose NV. Delicious. And the chicken kiev was to die for.

So, back to running.  Here is a good plan I found called “The Couch to 5K running plan”.  Like the title.


Before we run. I must walk.

Colleen’s plan.

I got this from Running Planet. But saw a similar thing in Runners World. http://www.runningplanet.com/training/beginning-runner-program.html


That’s me. I’m starting slow. Better chance for success. Cause, I really don’t like running. So, I’m going to have to learn to like it. And that means small manageable parts. And lots of success…acheived through attainable goals. And rewards of Prosecco.

I begin with walking. That’s what the program tells me to do. 30 minutes. This intro makes me a little sad. And feel a little pathetic. But. I’m okay with those feelings.

This 8-week beginners program is designed for individuals with little or no background in running. The workout starts out with only walking and gradually advances to walk/run workouts and finally to all running. If you feel you are a bit more advanced and would like to start with some running right away, choose your appropriate point in the program to start. Just remember not to start out too quickly.

If you have not exercised before, are over 40 years of age or have any injury or medical condition, you must get clearance from your doctor before beginning this program.

4o. Apparently is the magic number. One foot in cradle. One foot in the grave.

Is 10:35 am too early for Prosecco?

I’m starting on Sunday. Because it’s freezing in NY today. And raining.

[Villa Jaime Prosecco: My latest favorite Prosecco pictured here. And I buy it here. http://www.stewswinesct.com/r/products/villa-jaime-prosecco?id=9PVL3Qtu. Stew Leonards Wine’s. $9.99. They ship]