All posts by Marni Cooper

What’s for dinner?

Yesterday, I asked my kids what they wanted for dinner and my daughter said chicken piccata. At 12 years old, the extent of my chicken knowledge was fried or baked. Even though it was a week night, I caved in and made my favorite chicken piccata recipe from Williams Sonoma. Unfortunately, I lost my lemon between the market and home. No matter, the sauce turned out great without it (I added garlic and extra capers). I even threw in some homemade mashed potatoes because, let’s face it, mashed potatoes are great with everything.

This run is brought to you by mac & cheese

It’s that time of year where my input can potentially exceed my output – no more races, cold weather keeping me inside, and food galore. So in an attempt to burn off the sangria and homemade carrot cake, among other things, that I’ve indulged in the last two days, I got in a 3.1 mile run today. My time sucks (must be all this mac & cheese in my belly), but I did it.

image of sights on my run
A lovely day!

I stopped along the way to take in the beautiful day and snapped a few shots of things that I normally pass by. I saw an elderly lady tackling a hill on her afternoon stroll (I couldn’t flake on that hill after seeing that), a beautiful holly bush and how could I ignore what an incredible day it is. I feel amazing and ended my run with a smile.

Giving thanks

I had a bit of anxiety when I learned my Thanksgiving dinner for 20 would turn into an overflowing house with 37 people in it. I was worried about having enough space and food, and if people would enjoy themselves. I have to continuously remind myself that even when things don’t go as I plan, things can still turn out amazing because all that’s important is being in the company of family and friends. I had an amazing Thanksgiving with lots of good food and laughter (mostly from everyone watching me try to dance like Michael Jackson). What I was most thankful for was that my grandson could share his Thanksgiving with his great, great grandmother. That’s what Thanksgiving is all about.

Back on the grind

Sometimes it’s overwhelming to think about everything I have to do in every part of my life, but when I break those things down into smaller tasks, mentally it all becomes manageable.

I’ve been slacking on my workouts here and there, but this is the first week that I followed my workout schedule completely. Two runs, one swim and a spin class down. I stopped thinking about my compete schedule and took things one task at a time. I feel great physically, but more importantly, mentally that I accomplished my goals.

After each triathlon season, I evaluate my progress: what I could’ve done differently or what I need to change to be better the next year. One thing always remains the same: stick to my schedule.

My current schedule is light because I also want to incorporate some much needed yoga and strength training in it. I think flexibility and muscle tone go on a downward spiral after 40.

What is it like in your funny little brains?

Must be boring.

This is one of the best quotes I’ve heard in a long time. Humorous, condescending, and totally indicative of Sherlock’s personality, the main character from BBC One’s epynomus hit television series.

Mary Morstan: Gosh, you don’t know anything about human nature, do you?
Sherlock: Hmmm, nature? No. Human? No.

The series is cleverly written and keeps me guessing. It feeds my mystery lover soul.

As always, I’m late to the party, so I’m catching up on all the episodes on Netflix. Speaking of Netflix, other good shows I’ve found are Happy Valley, Orange is the New Black and Hemlock Grove. You’ll either find me interesting or totally weird with those selections.

Case of the Missing Shoes

My work day started off pretty exasperating. Seems like learning to play in the sandbox has carried over into adulthood for me. Rest assured, I was NOT the ringleader! Interpersonal skills training should be a requirement for some people in their formative years.

Not to let my day get me down, I decided to meet my friend, Yvette, for dinner, but I had some running around to do beforehand. I threw on a pair of flip flops for comfort until I caught up with her. When I arrived at the restaurant, I searched my truck for my cute Tory Burch stilettos to change into. After about 5 minutes, I realized I left my shoes at home. I searched the cesspool, otherwise known as my trunk, for a pair of shoes and found ONE Nine West pump. No bueno. I also found a pair of my son’s Nike Air Max. Things looked promising, except I had on black, brown and purple, and the shoes were black, gray, and orange. *sigh*. I really had no choice since I couldn’t enter the restaurant with flip flops and my house was too far away.

So I walked in quickly and hid my feet under the table once seated. Yes, I went to dinner in my cute outfit and my son’s Air Max. I guess that’s how you roll when you march to the beat of your own drum.

Ordinary is extraordinary

When people look at me they see a mom and wife. What many people wouldn’t know is that I’m also a triathlete. I’ve been a triathlete for almost two years. It’s taken me about that long to say those words because I was never an athlete. But I am now. I AM A TRIATHLETE.

Today I’m so excited to watch the Ironman World Championship. Yes, it’s exciting to watch the professionals dominate this mentally and physically challenging sport, but I’m most inspired by the stories of the many women and men who are like me: Everyday working people who take care of their families and carve out enough time to devote to a sport they love. I’ve never done an Ironman, but nonetheless, it is a difficult sport at any level. We’re all ordinary people doing an extraordinary thing.

Tastes of India

I love Indian food. The colors, the spices and the tastes are why it’s one of my favorite ethnic foods. I’m serving Indian food at a party I’m hosting Saturday. I tested a recipe tonight for a dish I’ve never made before – aloo gobi – and it turned out perfect! I’ll post more pictures of my dishes on Saturday as my Recipe of the Week, but I’m so excited about how my dish turned out, I couldn’t resist posting a picture. Anytime my kids approve of a dish, I know I have a winner.

Four is the New Eight

My friend, Kelly, and I attended a 50th birthday party yesterday. When she asked me to go with her, I was all in. Free food. Free drinks. A night away from the family. I was pretty amped up until the hammer dropped. The party was from 4-8, which meant I’d get home around the same time I would’ve left the house in my single, no kids days. *sigh*

Nonetheless, I donned a sophisticated black dress, stillettos, and we headed out. It was a pretty awesome party. The birthday boy, Teddy Douglas, is in the music industry, so a lot of the music played sent me down memory lane of my time on the Baltimore club scene. Hearing Baltimore club favorites, such as Crystal Waters’ “Gypsy Woman” and “100% Pure Love,” made me feel like I was at The Paradox again.

I had to remind myself the hours don’t make a party fun. I make it fun! The people I meet make it fun. The live band, deejay, and delicious crab dip didn’t hurt either. I even discovered yet another cabernet sauvignon to fall in love with and it all happened before 8.