What’s Going On

Lots of exciting updates around here. Like this.

Justin and Dina Graduation

After three long years, J graduated from Law School. I am so proud of him!

Now the fun part begins where he spends the next 10 weeks studying full-time to take the bar in July.

The cats are also equally impressed by J.

Cats Are Impressed with J

(Something scary happened when I went to find the above picture on my computer. I typed in the word cat and thousands of pictures came up. I may have a problem.)

J’s parents came down from Connecticut to see the graduation which was nice. We do not get to see them that often because of the distance.

Family for graduation

We celebrated by finally eating at First Watch. J and I have meant to eat there for years but it is hard to get into Orlando for breakfast.

French toast demolished. Graduation day for my husband.

Even though I have not been writing about it much, there has been running. I am currently reading Run Faster From The 5K To The Marathon by Brad Hudson and Matt Fitzgerald.

Run Faster From The 5K To The Marathon by Brad Hudson and Matt Fitzgerald

I will be running sub-30 minute 5K’s this summer if it kills me (which it might, it is Florida.)

Lakeland Runners Club Watermelon 5K 2013

The first race is June 1st and I am ready to race.

Cover image taken from goodreads.

Keeping It Positive

J actually told me I am the second most negative person he knows the other day. Even being in league with the person he ranked as number one is frightening enough to force me to reevaluate how I think about things. I do not want to be negative nor do I mean to be but my mind really tends to skew that way. So in an attempt to be less negative, I want to focus on the positive at least once a week.

If You Change Nothing, Nothing Will Change


Game Of Thrones

Game Of Thrones Season 3 HBO


The Walking Dead finale and Game Of Thrones premier on the same night is really the best present TV could give me. J and I have already discussed which one we will watch on Sunday and The Walking Dead it is. I hope we get to see the Governor get his head chopped off.

Speaking of The Walking Dead have you seen this?

You Should Have Taken His Truck


So true. I would do just about anything to avoid being locked in a torture chair.

Law School

J is almost done with law school. After three long years, my husband is this close to graduating. Then comes the nightmare that is bar study but I just know he is going to do well.

Cold Weather

Not real cold weather but Florida cold weather. It gives the cats an extra excuse to cuddle and Tail loves to burrow under blankets. So freaking cute.

Tail Cat Stares At You

Cute Bed Cat

Cat In Shirt

The Best New TV Show For Fall

This post will contain a few things that I hold dear including fall TV, free stuff, and cats.

The number one show I am looking forward to this fall is Revolution which is premiering September 17 on NBC. This show is getting lots of Hunger Games comparisons (dystopian storyline and a heroine with a bow) but who cares because The Hunger Games is really good. Please watch the trailer if you have not seen it and I know you will be as excited for this show as I am.

Awesome right?

I was lucky to receive all this free stuff in the mail this week. As a long time BzzAgent , I have gotten lots of cool items over the years.

CoverGirl Plus Olay BzzAgent Kit

I received a CoverGirl + Olay Tone Rehab 2-in-1 foundation.

CoverGirl plus Olay Tone Rehab 2 in 1 Foundation Base

I was also sent a pressed powder.

CoverGirl And Olay Pressed Powder

Of course, if I am doing anything anywhere in the house a cat pops up. So curious and so in the way.

Tail The Cat In The Way

A few weeks ago I tweeted a picture of baked garlic squash.

Garlic Squash

Followed by a Twitter exchange with GE.

@ That looks fantastic, Dina! Do you enjoy making healthy meals?
General Electric

Then they sent me a basketball.

Spalding Basketball

I know nothing about basketballs but J assures me it is a nice one.

GE Healthy Share

GE recently launched HealthyShare which allows people to set health goals and share them with friends on Facebook. They have different apps on the site where you can track sleep, diet, and your moods. As someone who takes my health seriously, it is nice to see a place where people can get inspiration and motivation to create healthy habits.

Do you have a fall TV show that you are looking forward to?

J’s Birthday Extravaganza

J’s actual birthday was on Wednesday but we decided to celebrate over the weekend.

The party started on Friday when J opened his birthday presents from his parents.

Justin With Eagles Sweatshirt

The only thing he may love more than cats is the Eagles. (We even have Eagles fathead stickers all over our garage.)

I needed to keep my gift giving on the low-key side because of a serious lack of funds (and job). I got him a Ron Swanson bobble head from the NBC store.

Ron Swanson Bobblehead

Ron Swanson Bobblehead Box

Do you watch Parks And Recreation? If not, you should it is ridiculously funny.

We received a second package from the in-laws for Easter.

Dina with Easter Basket

(Yes, those are snowmen in the background. It being April, I probably should put those away.)

Easter candy! I love Peeps with a vengeance. (I can never decide which candy holiday is my favorite. Valentines, Easter, or Halloween? They all have really good candy but there are strong arguments to the merits of all three.)

Easter Basket Candy

If you like licorice, you have to try the Darrell Lea brand. They sell it at Target and it contains only natural ingredients. It is by no means a healthy snack but if you are going to eat candy, at least eat the kind with the most natural ingredients. Plus it is extremely tasty.

There was also a few little doodads included.

Pink Easter Chick

This little chick lights up like a disco ball. We also received some notebooks and a few plush Easter toys for the cats.

Friday night we saw Jerry Seinfeld perform at The Lakeland Center. It was a great show, Jerry is as funny as ever. For his encore, he took questions from the audience which was different. Most of the questions were mundane but someone did ask about the Superman references on Seinfeld. Jerry discussed all the reasons why he liked Superman.

On Saturday we stopped at the Track Shack and I picked up my new shoes. (Cannot wait to run in them. My old shoes are being held together by duct tape and hope, so the new ones should feel amazing.)

We had an early dinner at The Ravenous Pig, where we have eaten once before and loved.

To drink, I started with a Cigar City Maduro Brown Ale which was delicious and had zero aftertaste. J even liked it and he is not a big fan of brown ale’s. J had a vodka martini with blue cheese stuffed olives.

We shared a Gatherer salad (baby lettuces, avocado, pickled beets, radish, goat cheese, pistachios, herb vinaigrette) which was amazing. This is the half-sized salad but was still a sharable size.

J had the Seared Labelle Farms Foie Gras. It is served on ginger bread with apple butter, tokaji syrup, and cocoa nib granola. A really interested combination with the foie gras but J absolutely loved it.

We split the House-made Soft Pretzels. They come with a mustard and a taleggio-porter fondue that was incredible. The pretzels alone were wonderful and would be perfect with a nice beer if stopping in for a drink and appetizers.

For the main course, I had the Pub Burger. The last time we ate at The Ravenous Pig, burger after burger was ordered around us. Seeing that, I knew it had to be special and it was. The burger is topped with caramelized onions and buttermilk bleu cheese and the combination of these two items move it into otherworldly territory. Topped off with a brioche bun and served with truffle fries, it was impossible to put down.

J ordered the Colorado Lamb Leg which is served with a side of nettle and ramp gratin and topped with fried lemons, dill yogurt, and arugula. J is more of a rack of lamb person but enjoyed this dish. It was cooked to perfection and the nettle and ramp gratin was very unique.

We shared a Tomato Tart as a side. The tart was very summery and quite good.

There was one cocktail on the menu that we had to try, The Ravenous Pig Old Fashioned. The description for the drink is “bacon infused buffalo trace bourbon, vanilla maple syrup, and bitters.

Any drink garnished with bacon is after my heart. Neither of us are big fans of bourbon but enjoyed the drink. It is interesting to drink something that tastes so much like bacon.

Overall, The Ravenous Pig is two for two with us. Both trips had excellent service, unique and delicious food, and is not too pricey. I highly recommend if you are in the Orlando area.

Happy Birthday J, I had an amazing time celebrating it with you!

Looking Forward

I have felt kind of depressed and deflated lately. Being in the job market in a state with high unemployment is not ideal. Through this trying time, it helps to have something to look forward to.

Ascics GT-2170


My shoes are in and I am picking them up tomorrow. The current pair is being held together by string, so my feet, legs, and knees will be happy with this new development.

Game Of Thrones Show Season Two


This Sunday, season two of Game Of Thrones premieres. Based on the books in the George R. R. Martin’s A Song Of Fire And Ice series, this show has it all. I just finished the first book in the series, in which season one was based, and am dying to know how the story is continued. (If you have not read or watched this series, please do so. It is amazing!)

Howard Stern on America's Got Talent


The King Of All Media is coming to Florida! America’s Got Talent is holding their Florida auditions next week in St. Pete and I was able to get tickets. I have never been to a TV taping which should be exciting (what if I end up in an audience shot!) J and I love Howard Stern almost as much as we love cats, so the excitement is really overwhelming.

Like Banging Your Head Against The Wall

I am frustrated.

Frustrated Business Man

The job search is starting to feel hopeless. Sending out countless resumes and getting zero responses is irritating and depressing. I had to fight to collect my unemployment money because the state calculated my severance incorrectly and denied me a month worth that I was owed. That means I had literally zero money coming in for six weeks and kept having to ask J to transfer me money to pay bills and put gas in my car.

I had a slight chest cold last week which kept me from working out for a few days, so my running is way down. Two days of running and one of cross training.

Weekly Workouts Weekending 3-24-12

My long run on Saturday was strong and I actually did get out early enough that it wasn’t too hot. I enjoy getting started around ten so I can listen to Media Matters Radio which is one of the few new talk programs broadcast on Saturday.

I finished Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin.

Game Of Thrones George R. R. Martin


I was sucked in when J and I watched the first season of the HBO show of the same name last year. The book was amazing and impossible to put down. I am now even more excited to watch season two and read the other books.

The Hunger Games was wonderful and I am excited to get to see it again later in the week on the IMAX. Hopefully this time I won’t be seated in front of 40 teenagers on some kind of field trip who insist on talking and kicking my row of seats for the duration of the movie. I thought my plan of seeing the 11 AM showing on Friday would be foolproof.

Why? Big group of teens are here. Is this a field trip for school? http://t.co/Y8RgF4sn @ @

Anything frustrating you?

12 Random Facts

The lovely Carolina from Peas In A Blog tagged me in her 12 Random Facts post. Carolina picked the 12 questions below.

  1. LOST. The best or bestest show of all time? I kid (not really)! What’s your favorite show of all time?
  2. If you could take your celebrity crush on a date who would it be? Where would you take him/do?
  3. Favorite ingredient to cook with and why.
  4. What song are you most embarrassed to have in your iPod?
  5. If you could go anywhere in the world right now where would you go & why?
  6. What’s your favorite way to work out?
  7. Favorite nail polish color. Go!
  8. Best movie you’ve seen this year?
  9. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry & why?
  10. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
  11. If you could do the same thing every day what would you do?
  12. What’s the first blog you started reading?

1. Did you guys know I love TV? Well I do and lots of it. Picking one show as my favorite of all time is really difficult. With a gun to my head, I would have to say Six Feet Under. That show gripped me.

2. This is so cheesy and cliché but my most favorite place in the world is Paris. So if I could take my celebrity crush on a date it would be to some anonymous but completely fabulous restaurant in Paris. (In this fantasy, there would also be unlimited amounts of funds for the shopping spree that would start on one end of the Champs- Elysees and end on the other.)

This is not exactly part of the questions but I would probably take this guy (even though he turned out to be a bit of a cheater on The Lying Game and I am a little mad at him.)

Ethan Whitehorse The Lying Game


3. I love garlic and tend to double it in any recipe because it is delicious. It could be because I am Italian and used to eating it in lots of dishes.

4. I have a lot of Glee on my iPod.

5. I haven’t been back to Connecticut since my wedding in 2009 and would love to get up there to visit friends and family. As terrible as the winter is, I do miss seasons living in Central Florida and would love to go up in the fall.

6. My favorite way to work out is running. Shocking!

7. I am lazy and cheap when it comes to manicures but when I do paint my nails, I love “nice is nice” by essie.

nice is nice essie


8. I have not seen many moves in 2012 but the best one so far is Forks Over Knives. When I do use the elliptical at home, we have a small TV that has a Roku player to stream Netflix on. I love documentaries and stumbled on this one.

9. My engagement/wedding rings. They are the few pieces of jewelry that I wear and they have sentimental value.

10. Two Christmas’s ago, J gave me a family ring that his Great-Grandmother brought over from Poland. It is beautiful and his mother even wrote up her engagement story to go with the gift. I am actually really lucky that J is an excellent gift giver and always gets me thoughtful and creative gifts.

11. Listen to talk radio. I am a political junkie and need a news fix plus I love to listen to other people geek out over public policy.

12. My first blog would probably be a political one maybe Fire Dog Lake or The Daily Kos? I read a lot of blogs and have for a long time, so this would be my best guess.

There it is, 12 Random Facts you did not know (or did not care to know) about me.

Instead of tagging anyone, I would love it if you would answer one of the questions above in the comments.

My Week In Pictures

J and I have been sick this week. There has been a lot of coughing and sneezing plus some tons of tea and cough drops. Thankfully there is a ton of new TV on this week or I may have been bored out of my skull.

Not me but a reenactment of the week.

I feel sick


This happened while getting into my car this morning.

Broken Glasses

The glasses I need to drive, that I do not have a backup for.

I can't believe the drink stayed on the car bumper

This drink stayed on the bumper even when they drove over train tracks. Land Rovers have magic bumpers?

Tail jumped right into the dryer and laid down.

Cat In The Dryer_edited-1


Cat In The Dryer 2

Special delivery from England courtesy of my friend Dennis.

Crunchie Candy Bars

Crunchie! The most delicious candy bars in the whole world. Cannot wait to eat these.

How has your week been? Do you go stir crazy when you are sick?