Thursday Randomness

Hi guys! Thank you for your kind words on yesterday’s post about why you’ll be seeing gluten free dinners (and meals) on the blog a lot more often for awhile. As for today, I’ve got a TON of random and unrelated things to share, so we’re doing it list style. I’ll get right into it!

1) The 3 musketeers/workout gang is back together!! I’ve been out of commission on the boot camp front for about 2 months due to Marine Corps Marathon taper and then recovery, and my friend Kathleen was out for a few months due to her new addition (her baby is now almost 3 months – time flies!), so we were really excited to get back to our workout gang yesterday morning with Chelsea!

urban athletic club

The three of us usually meet up once a week for an early morning boot camp and it’s always so much fun – a great workout doesn’t seem so hard when you have friends to chat with during it. :) We hit up Urban Athletic Club via ClassPass (<—affiliate link) yesterday morning, just like old times! It’s good to be back, ladies. Can’t wait until next week! Also, I’m not gonna lie, I’m so sore today from that workout!

2) Matt is trying his hand at making us some homemade kombucha! He got a make your own kombucha at home kit from the store (similar to this one) and started the magic on Sunday. I’ll keep you guys updated – will be a fun experiment if nothing else! :) Any tips from those of you who have made homemade kombucha before?! I’m kind of of the “ain’t nobody got time for that/let’s just buy it” mentality with this stuff but Matt really enjoys projects/experiments, so I’m looking forward to getting to enjoy the results!


3) Does anyone else get really nerdy and excited about buying a new calendar and getting it all updated/organized? I use my online Google calendar for day to day appointments and meetings, workouts, travel, etc., but I have a paper calendar (this one) to keep track of my blog editorial calendar and day to day to do lists. It makes me happy. :)


4) I’m obsessed with Le Pain Quotidien lately – I’ve gone twice in the last week for lunch with friends. One day I enjoyed their mix and match lunch with avocado toast, quinoa salad, and carrot soup. Another day I enjoyed my old fave, their lentil and avocado salad. So good!

le pain quotidien dupont circle lunch

Also loving: the kale and barley salad with salmon from Rustico in Ballston. I met my friend Hilary for lunch there yesterday and we both got the same thing! Yummmm. I love barley – so chewy. (And I figured I’d better have it out, since we won’t be eating it at home for awhile since it is not gluten free.) If you love barley too, here’s an old fave cold weather appropriate barley recipe: Turkey, Veggie, and Barley Chili. Or try my Spiced Raisin and Pine Nut Barley Salad!

rustico kale barley salad

5) My friends at Brooks sent me a couple new items recently to test out as part of my Run Happy Blogger Ambassadorship: the Dash Hoodie and the Threshold Pant (affiliate links).

dash hoodie brooks

I love both! The Dash Hoodie is perfect for those who are into the fit-fashion sort of look – it’s very “athleisure”. Super cozy and soft! I love the bright blue color, too (it also comes in other colors). As for the Threshold Pant, I haven’t run in them yet since it hasn’t been cold enough, but I’m obsessed with them and have worn them on a ton of walks, and at home around the house all day (wearing them right now, in fact)! I can already tell they will be my new favorite super cold/snowy day running pants – they are nice and stretchy and thin but have a soft and cozy inner layer that feels like fleece. Love. Put them on your holiday wish list!

brooks fall 2016 womens gear review

Thank you Brooks! Now, if you guys can just bring back the PureConnect (which I’m wearing in the photos and refuse to move on from), then all will be right with the world… :) Still mourning their loss big time. I wear the PureCadence some now but to be honest, they aren’t nearly as perfect as the PureConnects were and I’m finding them to be a bit too narrow for me now that I’ve worn them more consistently. Sigh.

6) Zara has taken to lounging/sleeping on our dining room chairs, which means that our guests can now have the pleasure of having a furry butt when they leave our house. It’s also awkward to not realize she’s there and almost sit on her! Lol. Oh, cats. :)


7) Have you guys heard of theSkimm? It’s a concise weekday email overview of the world news, but written in a very relatable and engaging way. I’ve been a subscriber for a couple years now and love it. Right now in honor of Thanksgiving they are working with FEED and for every new sign up for theSkimm email list today, FEED will donate one meal to a child in need through one of its global giving partners. I wanted to be sure to share and help support the cause – sign up here today!

8) I was featured in a cool article in the Washington Post Express (the free metro newspaper here in DC) on Monday about how moving overseas can be a good way to shake up/figure out your career. They interviewed me about my experience quitting my job and teaching English in Prague before coming back and applying to grad schools to become a dietitian! I totally forgot about the article and wasn’t sure when it would be out, so it was fun to be reading through the paper on my commute on Monday, flip a page, and see a photo of me! (credit for below photo that was taken for the article: Jason Hornick)

travel blogger

9) Speaking of teaching English, I’ve been thinking a lot over the past week and a half about how I feel there’s really more I could/should be doing on the volunteer front to be spreading more joy and hope to others. After debating what I could do to make a difference (besides setting up ongoing/monthly donations to some charitable organizations I believe in, which I’ve already done) and talking it over with others, my friend Karen had a great idea: volunteer to teach English here in DC!

I’m excited to be able to put those skills to good use again (I have a TEFL – Teaching English as a Foreign Language – certificate via my training course in Prague) and to help immigrants in the DC area to feel more welcome and at home while learning language skills that will be useful their whole lives. (If you’re local and interested, I’m going to be volunteering for the Washington English Center – it sounds like they can always use more volunteers to either teach or tutor!)

I know it’s a small part of a very big puzzle, but I think if we all do just a little more every day to spread positivity the world will be a much happier and more united place. <3 if you have any other great dc>

Have a nice day, guys – see you tomorrow for some tips on stress-free eating during the holiday season.

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  1. 1

    I love making kombucha! What my husband and I have enjoyed the most for flavoring is, after about 7-10 days of fermentation, we take out the scoby and blend the kombucha with a frozen fruit and then let it sit for a day or 2….I think that is called the second fermentation. We then strain it out and it is soooo flavorful! The only issue I end up having with making kombucha is I wait too long in between brews and the scoby has grown mold. It looks exactly like bread mold so it is easy to spot.

    • 2

      Yum – thanks for the tips!

    • 3

      Sara, this is exactly what we do! We have a continuous brew, so we’re always brewing and drinking. Right now, I have hibiscus tea fermenting with the SCOBY, and grated ginger will be added to it. I learned that during the second fermentation process, dried pineapple makes a great sweetener! (I then discard the solids.)

      • 4

        We were interested in adding ginger to ours – is that best to do via grated ginger, or as ginger juice via a juicer?

        • 5

          Anne, I always put ginger in my kombucha! I usually blend some of the ginger root with water and then add 1-2 tablespoons of that into each bottle. Delicious!

          • 6

            Cool, thank you!

          • 7

            I agree on the grated/blended ginger root. Make sure (Anne & Matt) that you add it to your second ferment bottle and not the original or you could kill your mother. Mothers are very picky and only like the tea & sugar they’re trained to feed on- most mothers feed on black tea and plain sugar unless you take the time to train it to something else like hibiscus.
            One of my favorite second ferments lately is mixing my kombucha with a little spiced apple cider (I just use basic Trader Joe’s cider)- such yummy fall flavor!
            & to piggy back on this comment more, one thing that’s key for me while storing a finished brew is putting it in a mason jar with a folded up paper towel over the jar and screw it on with the metal ring without the metal lid part. Does that make sense? That way it has room to breathe and the acidity of the kombucha doesn’t interact with the metal mason jar lids and make funky rust bacteria stuff.
            Home brewing kombucha is so fun- I hope you and Matt enjoy and have good results!

  2. 9

    teaching english sounds so fun! I volunteered at an ESL class once and would love to make it an ongoing thing – the students were so great to work with

  3. 10

    What’s the name of the day planner you use? I love the look of it. Cats and dogs always manage to find weird places to hang out.

  4. 12

    I make my own kombucha and I love it. It’s easy, economical, and flavoring it is really fun. My only complaint is I can’t figure out the fizz. Some bottles are super fizzy, which I like, and others are duds. Even within the same batch! My favorite combo is watermelon and ginger.

  5. 15

    I too am loving that hoodie – so cozy! I have been wearing it to and from morning workout classes!

  6. 16

    I’ve always wanted to try to make my own kombucha so if Matt has any tips from his experiences I’d love to hear them (I’m in fear of giving myself food poisoning). Wishing him lots of healing vibes- and let me know if he needs any gluten free craft beer recs (that would be what I would miss most when going gluten free).

  7. 18

    That Brooks outfit looks so comfy!

  8. 19

    Congrats on the article! That’s awesome!!

  9. 20

    I think it’s awesome you’re going to volunteer to teach English! What a great way to be apart of your community and make a positive, lasting impact!

  10. 21

    My favorite volunteer job was helping elementary school kids whose parents didn’t speak English with their homework. They didn’t have anyone at home who could help them, so while the parents came to take English lessons, we tutored (and played with) the kids. So, so rewarding.
    And I can totally relate to the planner love! I have no idea where I’d be without mine :)

  11. 23

    love love love your passion to help others!!! You radiate love and compassion! :) Would love to meet you in person one day.

    I love le pain quotidien’s lentil salad too, need to try their avocado toast next.

  12. 24

    Oh those lunches look so delicious! And I love working out with friends. My PT is a friend of mine so our sessions together always include a lot of laughter, which definitely makes those burpees better!
    THANK YOU so much for including my article on your list! You have totally made my week! Thanks Anne!

  13. 26

    Teaching English sounds like such a wonderful way to give back to the community. I hope you keep us updated on how it’s going!

  14. 27
    Jenny Paxton says

    I’m a huge planner nerd and it’s seriously my favorite part of the new year. This year, I cheated and started my new one in November, because it was a 17 month planner :) Also, isn’t it awesome to do whatever workout or run you feel like now that MCM training is over? I’m loving it.

  15. 29

    Wonderful random ideas/encounters, thanks. And great on teaching English!

  16. 30

    Loved reading your Thursday randomness :) So much good stuff going on!! :)

  17. 31

    Good for you for volunteering to teach english! So many of us are upset about last week and everything unfolding since, but we need to really take action. I do a lot of volunteer work in the DC area and would highly recommend Food & Friends, which serves meals to children and adults living with life threatening illnesses (I think you (as an RD) might enjoy seeing all that goes into the meal prep here!), as well as Everybody Wins! Power Lunch, in which you spend a child’s lunch period reading with them once a week or every other week throughout the school year at a public DC school. These students have been designated as behind the curve on their reading skills. I’m in my second year reading with the sweetest Hispanic girl and I just love her enthusiasm for the program. There are so many opportunities to volunteer and fit whatever your interests are <3

    • 32

      Wonderful recommendations, thank you! I’ll check them out. I kind of wanted to do something non-nutrition/work related, but I like the sound of the power lunch program. :) Thank you for spreading such positivity and joy to the DC area through your volunteering!

      • 33

        Thanks :) the power lunch program is always looking for new volunteers – they have kids on waiting lists so definitely check it out if you can! They’re pretty flexible with the schedule, too!

  18. 34

    That sounds great about teaching English! We haven’t quite settled yet so it is hard to get involved, or maybe that is just an excuse. In the past. I’ve loved teaching in junior achievement and teaching nutrition to kids! Thanks for shouting out my gluten free stuffing, it’s definitely a favorite in our house!

  19. 36

    You’re so inspiring, Anne! As a teacher, I’m so happy to hear about your plans to help teach English. Wonderful! I agree, we all can do a tiny bit to help make our world kinder and less scarier. <3

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