my mom stayed with me last night before catching a flight from raleigh this morning. i wanted to make a nice dinner for us and my mind kept coming back to pizza! the pie i ended up making was a winner: peaches, prosciutto, goat cheese, basil, and a balsamic reduction drizzle. it was as delicious as it sounds — a great summer pizza! if you want to give it whirl, don’t skip the reduction. i mixed 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar with 1 tbsp honey and simmered it slowly [about 30 minutes] until it looked like syrup.

this morning’s run: hell yeah! i am having some real issues with a muscle between[ish] my right hamstring and glute. i’ve been stretching and foam rolling, but nothing has been able to keep it from feeling like a painfully tight rubber band. it’s been a hindrance lately to say the least. so this was a pretty tough run, but i really, really wanted to hit a time goal and i can’t believe it happened. i felt proud for pushing through on this one + it was a great reminder that we can always do more than we think we can. though i probably just earned myself a lot more time with the foam roller the next few days…

and last but not least, the sunrise was a very special treat. later today, off to the beach! happy friday, everyone.

summertime grilled bread, four ways.

[via how sweet eats]

neighborhood scenes.

golden hour | tobacco trail pup | looking up

i really enjoyed zoo animals and their discontents, the new york times magazine article about dr. virga and his work. some [mr. c] might call me crazy, but i’ve always strongly believed that most animals have emotions and can/do exhibit consequent behaviors. my feelings about zoos are another issue, but i was enthused + grateful to read that studies on animal behavior are starting to hold more credence in the scientific community and that zoos are utilizing some of these new findings to enhance quality of life for their animals. all of this to say, i’m really looking forward to listening to this interview.


As a veterinarian who specializes in behavioral medicine, Dr. Vint Virga has treated many household pets in his clinic. But for the past five years he has been working mostly with leopards, wolves, bears, zebras and other animals living in zoos and wildlife parks. He deals with such issues as appetites, anxiety and obsessive behavior.

In the interview he discusses how zoos have changed to improve the animals’ well being:

"I think the most important things that zoos have done in the past 10, 20 years, is that they [have] focused primarily on the animal’s well-being. And, depending on their feedback and responses, looked at their behavior, looked at their overall happiness and contentment and used that as the gauge for what to do for the animal.

They’ve also applied as much [as] science knows about the animals in nature. What that looks like is providing them with a space that’s a lot more rich and full than just a place that is an exhibit. So it’s really shifting from not a cage, because most zoos don’t even have those anymore, but from an exhibit to a habitat. The environment is much richer and more complex rather than flat and uniform, so that we can see them.

[Zoos are] providing [animals with] opportunities to escape from view of the public — and that can be difficult for a zoo. … Visitors complain to the zoo if they can’t see the leopard, the bear or the lion. But on the other hand, if the lion doesn’t have any choice of getting away from the public at times, particularly if there [are] crowds or noisy visitors, then we’re taking away their sense of control over their environment.”

a couple people asked/commented on my shorts in this photo.

i found them all lonely on the clearance rack at loft about a month ago + now i wear them all the time! i checked the website and don’t see them, but these look to be a similar cut. as with pretty much everything in that store, size down.

my mother-in-law just sent pictures from our beach week earlier this summer. love this cute family photo from bald head island.

one more skyline shot from the kayak.

the weekend.

i flew up to chicago to spend some time with kelly! sometimes the internet works in strange ways — we met on here and over the last 3+ years have become good friends via e-mail, phone, and snail mail. we got to meet for the first time when mr. c and i were in chicago last year, and now i made a solo trip up there visit + see the area through her eyes. it was a great decision — we had a blast!

on friday evening she, ryan, and i went to dinner at nickson’s eatery, which had great food + some good local brews to choose from. we also checked out buckledown brewing and brixie’s, which is one of their favorite neighborhood spots with an excellent beer selection. apparently it’s a pretty low key hangout earlier in the day, but at this hour it was full of youths for a punk rock show. we stayed anyway, had some tasty beers, and laughed at how years ago we would have loved the scene, but now we were just asking "can’t they turn that down a little bit?!" we finished off the night with their delicious home brews.

on saturday morning i got to tour kelly’s garden in person. having watched since winter time when she chose + started seeds, it was impressive to say the least! she has a jungle back there with all kinds of organic goodness. we went to the farmers market, where we bought a dozen donuts then made lap to check out the produce and taste samples. being so close to wisconsin, there is a lot of damn good cheese. once back home, we took sweet jasper for a long walk in the woods near their house. we cleaned up at went to quincy street distillery, which was founded by a chemist as his “hobby” job. they make all variety of liquors — gin, bourbon, moonshine, etc — and it has a very cool feel [old pharmacy diner, maybe?]. i loved the bourbon lemon tea punch i had, and they serve unlimited popcorn, which is obviously a plus. 

that evening, she + i headed into the city for a night on the town. we had dinner at irazu, a costa rican BYOB spot with amazing food. our next stop was billy sunday, where we enjoyed a couple rounds of cocktails. i really liked this place — it had a neat speakeasy feel, unique cocktails, and  unpretentious staff who were very friendly explaining the obscure ingredients + making solid suggestions for us. we finished the night at revolution brewing. i really loved all the samples i tasted here + i think my favorite was the coup d’etat saison.

sunday was for kayaking on the chicago river. our out + back ended up being about nine miles [!] and took us up to the loop and to navy pier where i could get a new perspective on all of the architecture + skyline. having most often kayaked in the intracoastal waterway, this was the most traffic-heavy place i’ve ever paddled with all of the river cruisers + motorboats. i really loved this outing — it was such a cool way to see the city!

after our paddle, we checked out the new lagunitas brewing center + taproom. that night, kelly cooked a yummy dinner, i got to enjoy a couple more of their home brews, and we watched the great outdoors on the backyard projector, complete with a fire in the fire pit.

kelly has become such a valued friend over the past few years, so getting to spend this time with her [+ ryan + jasper!] was a true treat for me. i loved being able to have wonderful conversations in person and to see what her world is like. and, she’s just so damn fun. thanks so much, you three, for opening up your home!

what a morning.

i got my long run in before work + it was [relatively] cool today, so that was a stroke of luck. it’s been a hot minute since i’ve done a long run on hills and i definitely felt it! looks like it’s time to get my groove back.

treated myself to a blackberry lemon cake donut. 

and bags are packed for the weekend. see you soon, chicago!

have a great weekend, everyone.


reading | still on the sound of things falling [by juan gabriel vasquez] + loving it. californina screaming [by nathan heller, via the new yorker], sixty nine days: the ordeal of the chilean miners [by hector tobar, via the new yorker], and ambient music: the working life of brian eno [by sasha frere-jones, via the new yorker]. bits + pieces in the 2013 edition of america’s best non-required reading.

listening tolittle chief, alice bowman, led zeppelin II, and nas.

eating | mr. c and i had a delicious meal at mateo on sunday evening. if you’re local and going anytime soon, don’t miss the andalusian gazpacho — so fresh! while packing monday’s lunch i made a huge salad of random things we had in the kitchen: arugula, kale, spring greens, sliced almonds, golden raisins, peaches, goat cheese, and balsamic vinegar. i sort of fell head over heels for it and have made it for lunch every day this week.

contemplating | a couple of long races [of the 13.1 and 26.2 mile variety] this fall. i haven’t made any decisions, but the bug is there.

having mixed feelings about | moving. for a number of reasons, mr. c and i decided not to stay at our current place in downtown durham. we’re moving to a different area of town next month — i’ll miss being in the heart of downtown, but we’ll be in a practical place for figuring out the next step. 

excited about | going to chicago tomorrow to spend the weekend with kelly

cocktail snow cones | via honestly yum

“keep your hat on. we could end up miles from here.”
— kurt vonnegut

walking in the woods with my best girl this weekend | eno river state park

the garden state soundtrack was one of my most steadfast [+ melancholy] musical companions when i was 19. and if we’re being honest, i’ve never gotten tired of it. 

happily, the collection of tunes for wish i was here, follow-up to the first movie, looks to serve up much of the same. 

you can stream it here.

[and i audibly gasped to see jump, little children’s mexico on here — it was one of my most favorite of their songs + i haven’t heard it in years! i am having a moment right now, you guys]