Monday, June 23, 2014

Weekend Review: Sick Sounds, Strength and Soccer

For some reason this old lady went out a lot last week. In my previous post, I told you about the Joe show I saw on Wednesday. It doesn't stop there! I went out the next evening to see A-Trak! My sister Jill turned me onto to A-Trak not too long ago. We saw him for the first time last year in Atlantic City and he knocked our socks off! Everything from his song selection, to his scratching skills and his awesome visuals make for a great show! For all of you jaded with DJ/EDM culture (although he spins more than EDM), I highly suggest you check him out! He will show you what true DJing is all about!

Here is a shot of the master at work!

They even tossed out 8-bit fatheads of fun!

Barbra Streisand!

Mr. Goldbar! The mascot for his record label, Fools Gold! Did you know that you can volunteer to dress up as Mr. Goldbar at his shows? Girls can even be t-shirt tossers!

Gahhh! Being a former member of the Nat Pack I knew I could have done that, but I didn't get the memo! That was my first #FOMO moment of the evening. Wah wah. But if I did do it maybe it would have looked something like this?


One of the lucky people that caught one of the fatheads let me take a picture with it!

My second #FOMO moment was that I learned that he sticks around after his shows to take selfies with his fans! And again I found out too late and they wouldn't let me back in after I left. :( Despite my #FOMO moments I had the best time! As he says on his Instagram, "Go to an A-trak show!" I say, "Go to an A-trak show! You won't be disappointed!"

That wasn't the only thing I did over the weekend. On Friday my crossfit box held its first Rubicon Smackdown. The Smackdown was a friendly competition of strength between other members of the box.

I got volunteered to judge a portion of the competition. Luckily, it didn't involve counting! I judged overhead squats so you either have it or you don't! Here is Kate going for max reps!

PJ lifting a sh** ton of weight!

The Smackdown wasn't without some tasty barbecue, dessert, and brews! Check out this Rogue bottle opener!


Prowler pushing time!

This event also served as a farewell party for Kendra, one of our crossfit coaches. After living here for about a year, she was moving back home to Oregon! I'm really going to miss her and I'm also going to miss her taste in music! Her dubstep selections really pumped me up during my workouts!

After all those fun filled events, the rest of the weekend was low key. We checked out this sub place in NE DC called Mother Ruckers

And then we watched U.S. Men's Soccer Team play Portugal. #WorldCup #IBelieveThatWeWillWin (on Thursday! :).

I hope you all had a fun weekend too! Have a great rest of the week! :)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

#LiveSessions with Joe Thomas!

I'm on a (bloggin') roll!

I am a lover of all kinds of music, but 90's R&B has always had a special place in my heart! Remember last Valentine's Day when we saw Brian McKnight? Well, last night a local radio station Majic 102.3 was hosting a free mini-concert/music session with a couple of up-and-coming artists and of course Joe Thomas (known of course simply as Joe).

Here is a shot of the first act, Lysette Titi, who has performed with Nikki Minaj. She was great and performed some of her original songs.

Next was MuMu Fresh who sang some radio hits with her own Afro-centric twist. 

Then it was time for Joe! He looking as cool as ever! The man is ageless!

Here he is getting interviewed by the emcee of the evening, Adimu. Do you remember him from BET's Teen Summit?!

And for the big finale, all the females in room (myself especially!) singing along to his hit, "I Wanna Know." You can really hear me at the end of this clip...Justin said I sound like a drunk white girl, LOL.

Anyway, I love shows like this...small and intimate, but it was too left me wanting more! I hope he comes back to DC soon to do a full concert! :)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Ruck Review: GoRuck Light Washington DC Class 326

The GoRuck gods couldn't have planned a better day. It had been raining the entire week leading up to our second GoRuck Light! It's funny how Justin thinks I'm crazy for doing these events, but I think he's crazy for not wanting to do it!
Here is a shot of our group awaiting our instructions.
Look at this sexy set of team weights!
Warming up with some PT! Doing the wheelbarrow with a ruck on is no joke! Holy ab-strength Batman!
Jill holding it down with the 20 lb sandbag.
Me buddy carrying the 120 lb.(?) sandbag. The important thing that you need to remember during these carries is that you need to share the load with someone the same height as you! It seems like common sense, but whenever someone needed to get relieved you needed to find someone the same height as the person carrying the weight or you were SOL.
Working on our people carries! Cadre Dakotah taught a few different ways to carry people. Although you can't see her face, we're carrying Jill. I got carried this way as well and it is not comfortable. I also got fireman carried (carried across the shoulders), even though I tried to hide! LOL! There were plenty of lighter girls than me! Come to think of it, none of the methods of carrying people are very "comfortable"...
Here's a shot of Aaron and his various weights! Can you believe he carried each of us? For what seemed like a really like long time...and uphill too!
We ended the day with a bucket of ice cold brews! They definitely hit the spot on a hot day.
So with two GoRuck Lights under our belts, the only thing left for us to is a GoRuck Challenge (basically twice as long and carrying twice the amount the weight). During the BOGO Buddy pass sale, Jill and I also signed up for the Challenge on September 12. And we get a special patch too! Woohoo!
We'll probably start training for it next month, but here are some things I want to accomplish with the
  • One-person carry someone more than a couple of feet - it's a strength thing. Enough said.
  • Step up my PT game - I need get my bear crawls, flutter kicks, etc. on lock--the key is to be prepared for everything!
  • Ruck a little faster - my little legs take twice as many strides as taller people so I need to learn how to take twice as many steps without wearing myself out
I think we might try to shadow (follow a group of ruckers throughout the duration of their challenge) another GoRuck Challenge before ours to get a feel of what it is like. But if we don't, we'll just have to have faith that we've been training right!
To see the review our our last GoRuck Light click here!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Merry Merry Month of May to the Third Power

Hello Everyone! Remember me? Yes, I know I haven't posted in a while but hopefully you'll be seeing more action from me. I have a bunch of half finished posts that need to be completed and this happens to be one of them!

Last month I performed with some of my Filipino co-workers for Asian Pacific Heritage Month. I still can't believe that I've been with at my current job for five years (longer than college! ;) and this is my third time performing with this group!

With less than two weeks of practice we somehow ended up doing one of the most difficult Filipino folk dances of all--the tinikling. For those of you not familiar with this dance, it involves dancing between fast moving bamboo poles. Definitely not a dance for the faint of heart, or those with weak ankles, LOL.

Anyway, this is a dance that I am somewhat familiar as I did it when I was younger. But even back then it was still hard dance to do!

Below is a video of our performance, sorry it's a little fuzzy but hopefully you can tell which one I am!

Okay. Did you watch it?

Yup. We messed up, but it's okay! :) In case you couldn't tell this is a pretty difficult dance all dictated on rhythm so once you're "off" it's hard to get back "on." I'm still proud of us and happy that we got the opportunity to show our company our culture! I look forward to redemption next year...possibly with a performance of an even harder dance--singkil! Of course we'll have to practice more than two weeks ;)

You can see my group's past performances here and here!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Race Review: Nike Women's Half Marathon - April 2014

Yes, I know the title says April and we're in June...don't judge me! :P
Random fact...did you know that my race/fitness related posts are some of the most read posts on my blog? I think it's kind of funny because I am by no means a fitness guru, but if you like reading about my attempts at fitness grandeur I'll keep writing about it ;)
The Nike Women's Half Marathon is one of those races you sign up for (months in advance via lottery), then it sneaks up on you when the race day finally arrives. I know I always say that, but I seriously think it's true in this case. It doesn't seem too long ago that I ran the first Nike Women's Half in DC last year. Anyway, this time around I was able to recruit my sisters and two of my friends to join in on the fun.
Although they had early packet pick-up at several suburban running stores, my sisters and I opted to go to the official expo at the Georgetown Waterfront (same as last year). And you know, it was glitzier than ever.
They had a lot of lcool signs like the one my sister's standing next to in this picture below.
They even had a light up map of the course, which was similar to last year's (with a few differences!). Instead, of tackling the U.S. Capitol at the end, it was one of the first stops of the race.

Of course the expo was crowded, but that is to be expected since we came on the last day (during the last hours too)! They had Nike outfit displays, as well as Luna Bar and Nuun tasting stations. They even had a booth where you could get your running supplies (e.g.: GU gels, hydration belts, etc.).

Can you believe we had to wait in line to take this picture? I guess it was better off because there was someone taking it for us and there were no other people blocking our shot.

Here is the wall outside of the Nike Georgetown store with the names of all the runners. It is always fun to find your name on the wall, but this time we just opted to drive by.

The morning of race day Judy and Jill decided to snack on some of the volunteers' food, LOL! I didn't actually take any pictures during the race, it's really not my style (AKA: I'm too busy huffing and puffing I can't focus!) but I can tell you about it!
First of all it was really organized! Although they didn't have multi-wave starts, they did have somewhat of a staggered start so everyone wasn't stampeding all at once. Of course, it got a bit crowded around Hains Point but that is to be expected with the number of runners and the narrow streets. I had to go to the bathroom within the first two miles *wah, wah* so that definitely slowed me down. Not like I was expecting to PR, but still...
There was plenty of crowd support and entertainment along the way. My favorites were the Chinese dragon dancers and the all-female drum band, Batala. There were plenty of snack stations along the way providing Luna Bars, Clif Bloks and even chocolate! I couldn't even think of eating anything while running so I squirreled away all my snacks in my hydration belt.
Speaking of hydration, water and Nuun hydration beverages were available at nearly every mile! You didn't have go very far to get a drink.
But of course the Tiffany's necklace is what makes it worth it in the end! Me and the famous box! 

I have to admit I wasn't as prepared for this race as I should have been. I did train as hard as I should have. I was thinking that this was going to be my last long distance race. But...with my terrible finish time, I feel like I need some redemption. I can't let my running "career" end on low note, can I? I think I might enter the lottery for the Nike Women's next year and if I don't get in maybe run the Marine Corp. Historic Half since they are around the same time.
After the race, the runners, our significant others and our supporters went out for brunch at Medium Rare on Capitol Hill. The tasty food and bottomless drinks were the perfect finish!

Team (minus Meaghan who was there in spirit!)

I really loved running this race. I really liked how they were able to keep it super organized despite the large number of participants. They utilized technology by personalizing video screens with your name and words of encouragement as your ran by. I liked all the hydration, snack, and entertainment stations along the course. The actual course can't be beat either! Since it is relatively flat I'm sure a lot of people were able to PR (not me this time). One thing that I didn't like was the shirt. Although, it was dri-fit, it didn't say "finisher" and only had one screen print color (white). One small negative, in an overall terrific race.

Monday, March 24, 2014

You Down With AirBnB?

Yeah you know me!

*sung to the tune of "O.P.P." by Naughty by Nature*

As the title indicates, Justin and I are "down" with AirBnB as we are hosts on this home/room sharing website. AirBnB stands for Air(mattress) Bed and Breakfast. Created as an alternative to expensive hotels, hosts on this website can rent out sofas, rooms and entire homes. Basically, as hosts on this website we open our home to travelers by renting a room out in our house (Yes complete strangers! Dun-dun-dun!). DC real estate blog, Urban Turf, provides a great primer on AirBnB here.

As discussed in the Urban Turf article, we had to get some licenses in order to rent out a room legally in the District (it varies by state). I also made sure we got the proper inspections done because that was the only way that Justin would let us participate--we had to be fully compliant with the DC laws of course. ;)

Click to see our listing

With our prime location in the Capitol Hill area of Washington, DC, we get a ton of inquires! We received so many inquiries that we have to decline some of them for various reasons (e.g.: Justin's exam week in school, family visiting, etc.) After all, we do want some time for ourselves every now and then. ;) We even get inquires about intern housing for the summer, but we aren't quite ready to host a young 20-something in our home for three months quite yet. ;)

Yes, there are some cons to this process, but to me they are minor. You have to sacrifice some of your privacy and obviously share your space. The language barrier between some of our guests got to Justin more than it did to me. Of course on the pro side we have gotten to meet some interesting people from all over the world, and everyone for the most part has been really nice! Additionally, I can't leave out the monetary benefit. For the few months that we have been doing AirBnB, we have earned enough money to remodel our upstairs bathroom. So if you ask me, I think the trade-off is worth it.

"But, Joanne! What about if they wreck your place or steal something?"

First off, we don't host guests without us being home ourselves. Thankfully, Airbnb has a really good insurance policy in those types of instances, and guests have to be verified though the website. As hosts, we are in no way obligated to accept every inquiry to stay in our home. As a general rule, if it doesn't feel right (listen to your gut feeling!) then don't do it!

It's pretty cool that this is a worldwide thing. Although hosting might not be an option for less metropolitan areas, I did see listings in Louisville, KY for Kentucky Derby weekend, with prices around $500/room (!!).

So what do you think? Is this something that you would do?  Of course, if you are our friend or family you get to stay with us for free! ;)

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Nom Nom Nom

One thing that I have been doing a lot of this fall/winter season is eating. Yes, I know I'm paying for it since I will have to be beach body ready in a couple of months, but Lord knows I  have been enjoying the good eats!
Justin and I finally made it to Toki Underground the day before Thanksgiving. I can't believe as a DC local and DC area native this is my first time dining at this place. We went during the day and still had to wait (about 20 mins) for a seat. Not too bad, comparing it to the multi-hour waits on the weekend evenings. So the key is come early and come during the day if you can!

Our server (I forgot her name but she had cute purple hair!) was friendly, informative and attentive. She gave us a great description of each item. We started off with the pork dumplings which were tasty and came with a sauce that had a little heat. Note: for lunch they only do steamed, not fried dumplings. My hubby ordered the classic (which I highly recommend you order if it's your first time) with pork cheek and extra noodles and I ordered the kimchee with pork cheek because I like things spicy!
Sorry I didn't take too many pics. I didn't want to seem like a huge dork/fangirl...LOL...

When our order came out it looked as if my bowl had the extra noodles instead of my husbands. Chef Erik overheard us (we were seated at the "chef's table"--in front of the kitchen :) and gladly made my husband an extra bowl of noodles on the spot. He was super nice and chatted with us for a bit, although I was a little shy and didn't want to bother him. In hindsight I should have chatted him up about the upcoming opening of Maketto, but I digress...

Anyway, I couldn't finish the extra order of noodles I unexpectedly received, but they packed it up. Btw, they separate the noodles and the broth so when you reheat it, your noodles don't get super soggy!

Lastly, I had a little bit of room for dessert and their fresh baked cookies were delicious on a cold rainy day. They come with a red bean miso which makes for the perfect combination of salty and sweet.

Another restaurant, I dined at was Water and Wall in Arlington. It is the newest creation from the team that brought you Maple Ave. (which I love!). I went with a couple of my crossfit gals and we definitely came with our appetites! Since it was all of our first time eating at this place, we decided to try a bunch of their appetizers. One of the apps we ordered was the shrimp and grits. They were so tasty and the grits made the perfect complement to the spicy shrimp broth.

We also ordered the bone marrow, which goes without saying. One of my friends hadn't tried bone marrow before...boy was she in for a treat!

Another appetizer we ordered was the steamed mussels. They were tasty and I enjoyed the Chinese sausage in the broth. However, between the bone marrow and the mussels the three of us didn't have enough bread to enjoy all the bone marrow-y and brothy goodness. Each appetizer only came with two pieces of bread. When I asked for extra bread, the server said it would cost extra (I can't remember how much). That was kind of annoying since you figure how cheap bread is and how much we were spending. We sucked it up and ordered the extra bread.
Now to the entrees!
I got the duck confit which was divine! Perfectly crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, with the delicious layer of fat in between. Served atop Brussels sprouts it made for a filling and tasty meal (which I couldn't finish since I had stocked up on the appetizers!)

My friend got the beef cheek which looked really good! We shared a bit of entrees with one another, and her dish was good too!

My other friend went with the meatless option, the sweet potato risotto which was good, but I preferred the meat dishes!

Although we had ordered a ton of appetizers and entrees we still made room for dessert. We ordered the mochi (which is a standard at Maple Ave).

And what I think were apple fritters with vanilla ice cream. I can't remember. Either way, both desserts were wonderful and the perfect was to end a meal.

Wow, I'm getting hungry just thinking about all these delicious dishes! Do you do a lot of eating when it started to get cold? For some reason, I find it comforting to eat good food and stuff my face the minute the temperature drops ;)