Overrun with lampshades

This has been a long couple of weeks of P90X.  We just completed the second 3-week cycle, and next week is a rest week.  (And by “rest”, that doesn’t mean we don’t do anything… it means we do cardio and core instead of lifting weights.)  I still think it will be really good for us though… our bodies are TIRED!  Last night doing the legs and back (i.e. squats, lunges, and pull-ups) was pretty intense.  Mike is getting much better at doing unaided pull-ups.  I am getting a little better.  And by a little, I mean that I can do one or two unaided and then use the stool for support less than I used to.  🙂  The workout covers a wide range of pull-ups (chin-ups, pull-ups, wide-grip pull-ups swtich-grip pull-ups).  (I think I used all the hyphens I’m allowed to use in that single parenthetical statement.)  🙂  At the end of both this 3-week cycle and the last 3-week cycle, Mike and I were definitely pretty toasted.  It makes me wonder how this final cycle is going to go since it’s four weeks rather than 3.  I should have taken before and after pictures of us so we could clearly see if there’s any difference at the end, but of course I neglected to do that.

Friday night after P90X Mike and I were exhausted and just SO glad we had reached a weekend!  (I had also accidentally had some food with gluten in it, so I was not feeling well at all.)  So for a low-key way to celebrate the start of the weekend, we watched a Hercule Poirot mystery show (free on Amazon prime for the first several seasons!).  Mike said that he remembers his dad watching those late at night when he was a kid, so he views them as shows to be watched late at night when you’re at you’re most relaxed and ready for bed.  I was tired, but not too tired to watch a mystery show with Mike!  I got out my brand new crosstitch and started that while watching.  As soon as I took out the skeins of thread, Piper was at attention.  She proceeded to chase the thread every time I made a stitch.  Needless to say I didn’t get as much done as I would have hoped since I was trying to keep the thread out of Piper’s reach.  The Poirot we watched was really interesting.  It took place during Christmas time and the mystery was a little freaky and full of surprises.  By the time we finished that we were completely tired and went to bed.  All in all, a very relaxing evening, and I was glad to finally get started on the cross stitch.  I bought it a month or so ago and hadn’t actually started it yet.  I kept meaning to but never found the time.

Mike and I don’t really have room for a Christmas tree, so in the spirit of the season I’ve been looking up holiday activities for us to do in Seattle.  It turns out that there are lots of things to choose from!  The day after Thanksgiving there’s a big event downtown and the big tree in Westlake center gets lit and the Macy’s huge holiday star on the side of their building gets lit.  Additionally, there are lots of displays of Christmas trees around the city.  I also found a gingerbread village display!  Artists and architects collaborate to produce crazy gingerbread houses.  I’m already planning a lot of places for Mike and me to go this holiday season.  🙂

In other news, the drain in my bathtub seemed to be getting clogged because water was going down very slowly.  Mike fixed it, and discovered that there was a clump of hair tangled around a bobby pin in the drain that was disgusting enough that Mike probably wants me to get a pixie haircut so that he doesn’t have to deal with that again.  I’m happy to report that half a bottle of draino (and the removal of a bobby pin and a clump of hair) later, my drain is working and the water goes down at lightening speed.  Thanks Mike!  🙂

Next weekend Mike and I are running a 5k/10k race called the Green Lake Gobble.  It’s around Green Lake, so it’s less than a mile from our house, and all of the proceeds go towards buying Thanksgiving meals for Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission (which is a great organization as far as I can tell).  I’m looking forward to it!  Despite the name of this blog, I have hardly been running at all lately, mostly because P90X is so time consuming.  I did go for a run around Green Lake last Sunday afternoon, and it was amazing!  It felt so good to be out running again!

Green Lake on a cloudy Sunday evening

Green Lake on a cloudy Sunday evening

Mike and I have been experiencing Ikea struggles over the past week or two.  It all started with my yoga room.  (Technically the room was meant to be meant a breakfast nook kind of area.  However, we don’t have any dining room table so I ended up appropriating it for my yoga mat and exercise equipment.)  We decided that there should be a little cabinet in there to hold some of my exercise stuff so we went to Ikea to look for something.  We found a very cute little blue cabinet that seemed perfect.  We bought it and brought it home and discovered that there were TONS of pieces that all had to be assembled, particularly since there were two drawers that had gliders that had to be attached.  However, this was not a deterrent in any way.  Mike thrives on projects and building things, so he set to work assembling it.  Unfortunately one of the screws was cheaply made, and broke off when he was tightening it.  There weren’t any extras for that particular screw, so Mike drove back to Ikea to get another one.  I went on my run around Green Lake while he was gone.  When he returned, he found that one of the panels for the drawers was defective, and unfortunately he didn’t have time to get to Ikea before they closed, so we had to take a trip there after work and P90X one night last week.  Finally, with all of the needed parts, Mike finished assembling the little cabinet.  It looks great!  🙂

In other apartment news, how many lamp shades should you really have to go through before you get an un-dented one?  In the past four weeks, Mike and I have received seven lamp shades in the mail.  Seven lamp shades for three lamps.  I could go through all of the packaging stories detailing why each of the first four shades were dented and how we had to request new ones multiple times, but I think that would be excruciatingly boring.  Probably on par with the Ikea story I just told, and I think there’s a limit on how many boring stories I can share per blog post.  Suffice it to say that Mike and I have a variety of dented lampshades sitting around the apartment right now because apparently it’s not worth it to the companies selling lamps to have us send the lampshades back since they’re the cheap part of the lamp.  If there were a prize for obtaining the greatest number of lampshades in the least amount of time, Mike and I would win hands down.  As long as dented and damaged lampshades were allowed in the total count anyway.  The danger of online ordering I guess.   🙂

It’s been a little freeing not picking up CSA produce each week.  Last weekend I cooked up a chicken stew for Mike.  He really liked it… probably because of the thyme and poultry seasoning… that definitely gave the stew a little zip.  The recipe actually called for turkey, but I used chicken instead.

It had been a long time since Mike and I had tried a new restaurant, so last night we went to a restaurant called Cicchetti.  I had heard good things about it, so Friday night I went online to make a reservation for Mike and me on Saturday evening.  Shockingly we got the absolute last reservation!  There was one available reservation time listed, and after I selected it and filled in my info, there were no other available reservations on Saturday.  So we dressed up and went out on Saturday after doing our P90X yoga.

All dressed up and ready to go!

I had to crop this picture significantly to get our shoe rack out of the pic.  Hence the weird size.  🙂

The restaurant was gorgeous!  To get there you had to walk up a set of steps and through a little garden/patio area between Cicchetti and its sister restaurant Serafina.  (I would have been interested in trying Serafina as well except that it’s an oyster bar, and Mike and I aren’t super huge oyster fans.)  The restaurant itself was quaint, well-lit, and nestled among trees and shrubs.

At Cicchetti!

At Cicchetti!

Inside, we found that Cicchetti was TINY.  It was also completely packed, making it feel even tinier.  Mike and I loved the vibrant atmosphere.  There were a lot of old pictures on the walls, and candles and dim lamps everywhere that added to the ambience.  Mike and I were seated at a high-top table in the bar area next to a paneled window that overlooked a bunch of trees and part of the garden outside.  Lovely!  🙂

Lots of people at Cicchetti

Lots of people at Cicchetti

Our waitress was extremely friendly and nice, and was able to recommend both food and drinks for us.

Cicchetti is known for their cocktails and these didn't disappoint

Cicchetti is known for their cocktails, and these didn’t disappoint.  The Blood and Sand for me and the Aviation for Mike.

Particularly since work has been really busy for both Mike and me, we were definitely ready to just relax and enjoy an evening out.  The great thing about Cicchetti is that it has both mediterranean and Italian food.  Since Mike isn’t into mediterranean food much I typically don’t have it very often.  This way I figured I could get some mediterranean food and Mike could get some Italian.  As it turned out, though, they were having a roasted lamb special with roasted apples and shallots and fingerling potatoes that Mike couldn’t turn down, so he ended up getting mediterranean food rather than Italian after all.  I ordered the fattoush salad… it had been a long time since I’d had fattoush!

Mike loved the lamb

Mike loved the lamb

When Mike started eating the lamb, he sat back and said, “This is one of the best meals I’ve had in Seattle.”  Wow!  Quite an endorsement given how many meals we’ve had in Seattle!  The fattoush was delicious as well… seasoned very artfully.  Our waitress continued to be attentive and helpful despite how busy she was.  All in all, Mike and I were very impressed with the restaurant.

We got back to our car having parked in a two-hour parking zone for just under two hours, and we saw a parking enforcer driving parked and looking for parking violaters.  Seriously the parking situation in Seattle is barely maintainable.  The truth is that they want to make parking almost impossible so that they can ticket you for parking illegally.  This is the downside of living in a state (and a city) with no income tax.  We weren’t ticketed, however, since we were just under our two hours.  Thankful for the quick service we had received at Cicchetti’s despite their being extremely busy, we headed home.  The wind was cold and biting yesterday, so it was wonderful getting back to our nice warm apartment.  Piper hadn’t even changed positions from when we’d left several hours earlier.  I guess she had found the perfect spot and didn’t see any reason to mess with it.  🙂

This week is going to be busy again at work for both Mike and me, but the week after that is Thanksgiving!  I don’t get the following Friday off of work, but I might take it as a vacation day… a four-day weekend sounds so good to me right now!  I hope everyone else is having a great weekend!


1 Comment

Filed under Cicchetti, Cooking, Food, Hercule Poirot, Holidays, Ikea, lampshades, P90X, Pictures, Seattle, Seattle Restaurants, Yoga

One response to “Overrun with lampshades

  1. Lia K

    I love that you’ve been doing seasonal activities around town and I really believe there’s no better way of showing your holiday spirit than participating in local causes. The gingerbread village at the Sheraton looks spectacular–good for them in supporting juvenile diabetes research!
    I can totally relate to the hair-in-drain prob. A good friend of mine, also with long hair, deals with similar issues and recommended I use a “Zip-It”. It’s much like what you do with a wire hanger (or at least I’ve resorted to that trick) to pull out the gunk from the shower drain. It hardly costs a thing and it takes care of the problem without having to use harsh chemicals such as draino (which in my experience, doesn’t really help).
    Here’s a link: http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Zip-It-Drain-Cleaning-Tool/dp/B008P93GFE/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1388010984&sr=8-6&keywords=zip+it+drain+cleaning+tool
    You look amazing in that dress you wore to Cicchetti, especially with those stockings and heels!

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