We Run DC

NWM_WeRunDC

As if running the Nike Women’s Full Marathon in San Francisco last October wasn’t enough, we signed up for another race! This time it’s on the East Coast–Nike Women’s Half Marathon in Washington DC. We’re pumped and excited to run another race together and explore the sites of our nation’s capital.

Our goal is to finish 13.1 miles within 2 hours (sub 9-min mile). Wayne can definitely do it. I’m… hoping I can survive the pace for a LONG period of time. Ideally we want to average 8.5-9 minute miles. Either way, we’ve been in training mode.  I created a 11-week training schedule (below) with runs every other day, including a long run on the weekend. On our off-days we cross-train (xt) with spinning, circuit training classes, yoga and/or swimming. Our training runs aren’t too bad, but we’ll have to do speed intervals if we want to improve our time.

I had an awesome 7am spin class this morning. Now, I just want to eat. Pretty hungry right now.

# WEEK SUN MON TUES WED THURS FRI SAT
1 Feb 10-16 rest 2 xt 3 xt / rest rest 4
2 Feb 17-23 rest 2 xt 3 xt / rest rest 5
3 Feb 24-Mar 2 rest 2 xt 3 xt / rest rest 6
4 Mar 3-9 rest 2 xt 3 xt / rest rest 8
5 Mar 10-16 rest 2 xt 3 xt / rest rest 5
6 Mar 17-23 rest 3 xt 3 xt / rest rest 9
7 Mar 24-30 rest 3 xt 3 xt / rest rest 11
8 Mar 31-Apr 6 rest 3 xt 3 xt / rest rest 9
9 Apr 7-13 rest 3 xt 3 xt / rest rest 11
10 Apr 14-20 rest 3 xt 3 xt / rest rest 9
11 Apr 21-27 rest 3 xt / rest 3 rest rest rest

New Year, New Garden

After waiting 3.5 years for a community garden plot at Oceanview Farms, we finally got one June 2012.  The plot was located near a large eucalyptus tree that shaded the plot for a good portion of the day and made growing full-sun vegetables difficult.  Everything grew at a slow pace and took much longer than usual to ripen.  The only plants that grew well were lettuce and arugula, but it allowed us to get in to the garden and familiarize ourselves with how everything worked and make new garden friends.  We always had the intention of trading plots later, so we kept an eye out for garden plots that were located in full-sun and abandoned.  Lucky for us, the plot next to our friend’s plot wasn’t being used and after some investigation, we found out that the gentleman that owned the plot was planning on giving it up at the end of 2012.  So we put in a request to trade plots and as of January 2013, became the new owners of a plot in full-sun next to the green house and close to the compost bins.  But with the excitement of a new garden came lots of work to get it ready for planting.  Weeds had to be removed, walls had to be rebuilt, the ground had to be leveled and the soil needed to be amended.

First we removed everything in the garden, saving the plants we wanted so they could be replanted later on and throwing away the weeds and trash.

pre-garden 1
New garden plot after removing weeds.  The old walls were in pretty bad shape.

Then we set about rebuilding the walls so we could make the garden level.  This required us to first dig behind the old walls to remove them and then getting the trench to the proper depth and level before starting on the new walls.  Since Oceanview farms is situated on a slope, we had to build up the front wall of the garden in order to make it flat.  We built the walls using 2x8s of various lengths to try and minimize the amount of scrap lumber (mostly 2x8x8s with a few 2x8x12s).  The 2x8s were held in place by 2x4s that we cut and dug in to the ground as posts.  All of cutting was done with a handsaw and everything is held together with exterior screws in pre-drilled pilot holes.  After three Saturdays of hard work, the walls were done and the garden was all level.  Time for soil amendments.

progress 5
Digging behind the front wall.  The string marks where the new wall will go.

progress 3
Beginning to level the plot.

progress 2
Leveling two-thirds of the way done.  The front wall was built up in order to level the garden plot.

Since the garden soil is fairly sandy, we added 1-2 inches of compost over then entire plot to help it retain water.  Then we added a light layer of shredded horse bedding and mixed everything in.  Finally we covered the entire plot in 2-3 inches of shredded horse bedding to act as a mulch and gave the entire plot a deep watering.  The shredded horse bedding helps keep the soil moist which helps make the soil “alive” with micro-organisms.  It also provides food and shelter for soil amending critters like earthworms.

progress 1
Beginning to add compost over the garden.

To make the garden paths, we used old lumber from the community scrap pile.  The wood makes it easy to see where it is safe to step and it also helps to spread the weight out so the soil doesn’t become compacted while you are working in the garden.  After deciding on a layout that would maximize garden space, we cut the pieces of old lumber to the proper size and made our garden paths.  We were finally ready to plant.

Recipe: Pan-fried Panko Tilapia – jennifer

panko + pan-fried

panko + pan-fried

Last night I was craving some kind of breaded fish dish. (What I really wanted was tempura at SushiStop, but oh well) I thought about going healthy and baking a Panko-crusted Tilapia, but knew it’d be much more satisfying if I pan-fried it!

Pan-fried Panko Tilapia

Ingredients

3 T flour

2 t Trader Joes’ 21 Seasoning Salute (Use an ingredient substitute if you don’t have this. See below for ingredients)

1 t garlic seasoning

1 t salt

1 cup Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

1 egg

24 oz Tilapia fillets ( 4 fillets, 6 oz each)

4 T Vegetable oil

Directions

1.  On plate, place the flour.

2.  On second plate, place Panko and the mixed seasonings.

3.  In bowl, beat egg with fork.

4.  Cut fillets into 1”-1.5” width diagonal strips.

5.  Coat fish with flour, dip into egg and coat well with bread crumbs.

6.  In a skillet, heat 2 Tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat. Wait until oil is hot.

7.  Add fish fillets and cook 2-3 minutes. Carefully turn fish over with tongs. Reduce heat to medium and cook about 2-3 minutes longer or until fish flakes easily with fork.

8.  Repeat for remaining fillets.

9.  Tip: To keep the pan-fried fish fillets from getting soggy, place on a wire rack. Below the wire rack, place a towel on a plate. This way, it’ll absorb the residual oil drippings.

A favorite all-in-one seasoning of mine — Trader Joes’ 21 Seasoning Salute Ingredients: blend of onion, black pepper, celery seed, cayenne pepper, parsley, basil, marjoram, bay leaf, oregano, thyme, savory, rosemary, cumin, mustard, coriander, garlic, carrot, orange peel, tomato, lemon juice and lemon oil.

A Happy Hippo Tuesday

Happy happy Hippo

Happy happy Hippo

I’m not sure which came first, the Kinder Egg or Kinder Happy Hippo. Either way, I’m a super fan.

Kinder Happy Hippo is life changing to those who covet crispy wafers and hazelnut. The hippopotamus outer shell (isn’t it cute!?) is a wafer biscuit filled with two types of icing: milk-flavored & hazelnut creme. Think Ferror Rocher dipped in creme. The frosting/meringue-dipped bottom is crunchy and makes it look like its foaming at the mouth.

I first was introduced to Happy Hippos by my coworker. We get our daily/weekly fix from the gourmet gas station that carries these delights, among other Kinder goods.

DIY: crafting handmade baby girl card

handmade baby girl card

handmade baby girl card

I recently handcrafted this baby card (almost) entirely from decorate scraps & materials I had lying around. I like to repurpose materials.

Materials: 1 – Colored card stock paper (a lighter color works the best)
1 – Patterned paper (for card borders or other accent blocks on envelope)
1 – Another color (to cut out geometric shapes)
2 – 6″ string (for the stringed look with letters)
2 – Decorative cut-outs or stickers (like the magenta button on the card, or the pin on the envelope)
Other miscellenous items: White liquid glue, tape, letter stamps (or colored markers)

Card:This is a postcard-type card (no bend or fold).

1.  Take the colored card stock paper and cut dimensions that are slightly smaller than the envelope. Tip: Use a lighter color card stock paper because it’s easier to read the written message.

2.  Framed border: Take scraps of patterned paper and measured the length and width of the card. Glue the strips to the edges of the card.

3.  Words: Cut out square and triangle shapes and used letter stamps. (Handwriting the letters with markers work just as well, if letter stamps aren’t present) Make sure the shapes cut will fit on the card.

4.  Stringed Look: I used 6″ of flat colored string . Before taping the ends behind the card, first place the string on the card to see where you like the letters to be placed.

5.  Stamp the letters or write the letters on the geometric shapes. Glue them into place on the card.  It’s ideal to first space them out to see the overall look before gluing.

6.  Accents: Use your creative instincts to glue the cut-outs or stickers on the card/envelope.

7.  Write your message!

Envelope:
It’s always a nice touch to craft my own envelopes. I use this Paper Source template for envelope ($15) and liners ($12.50). Possibilities are endless.

Oystering in Tomales Bay

Life is complete.

Finally crossed this off our bucket list. Our good friends  graciously took us to Tomales Bay for some fresh oysters and BBQ feasting. We shucked ’em, grilled ’em and inhaled ’em! We learned from the oystering guru and Wayne quickly became pro status. He probably shucked 4 a minute. Me? 1 every 3 minutes.

Perfect weather, good friends, delicious eats.

Freshly caught Tomales Bay oysters. Grilled with the secret sauce.

A post shared by jennifer (@jenniferjou) on

These oysters were BBQ’d over the grill, shucked, seasoned with special bombdizzle Sartain’s sauce, and back onto the grill for infused flavor.

Welcome to It’s Jou Life !

couple wear

couple wear

{ Welcome to It’s Jou Life }

Hi! We’re Wayne and Jennifer, just two quirky people who found love in the most unexpecting place. This is our DIY / lifestyle blog–highlighting our smorgasbord of interests. Our friends always ask us how we grow our own organic vegetables, how did we make that cute zippered pouch, techniques for marathon training, what’s our recipe for zucchini bread, what to bring for a camping trip, what’s Jennifer’s favorite BB Cream brand? This is our way to share life’s loves.

Here’s a glimpse into our quirky lives.
~

Feel free to leave comments & suggestions, or even share this blog with others!