A quick hello :)

Hi friends,

I hope your week started out great! Here everything is pretty quite (literally!) … @dad_taleoftworuns returned to Greece yesterday after having a blast here with us for 10 days!

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Practicing our dancing skills!

Just one more picture of @dad_taleoftworuns and me practicing our dancing skills – but of course in public, what kind of question is that!?!? – 😛

Short funny story; I believe that @dad_taleoftworuns is probably the luckiest person… Just before he arrived the weather was pretty awful around here. Rainy, cloudy, cold… another day in London. And since he step foot off the plane till today the weather has been absolutely incredible… Sunny, not too cold and no rain! Like at all!! For the whole time he was here we were calling him “Sunny Nick” 🙂 LOL!

 

 

And now another – not so funny – story… During my race on Sunday at around mile 12.5, while I was running I felt a weird – in a bad sense…- “pinch” on the outer part of my left foot. It only hurt for a few seconds so I decided not to stop running. After I crossed the finish line and stopped running and still riding that high nothing really hurt… but since last night the pain did return… A mild case of plantar fasciatiis the doc said. Well nothing to serious thankfully that some rest and some ice can’t fix but no running for this lady for 1-2 weeks. So yesterday and today I very graciously limped to work and this is how most of my day looked like –>

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Yes, we do have a basketball ball in the lab’s offices along many other random things including some tennis balls (great for rolling your hurt foot), a plastic blow up dinosaur and a Darth Vader helium balloon…. Google offices who?!?!?! 😛

So this is all for today, off to get some exciting science done – and maybe ask dr. Google a bit more about why my foot hurts LOL!! You know how at the end you think it is probably better if you just cut it off???? :O Based on all the stuff dr. Google comes up with….

Have a great week everyone and … stay tuned because we have a great Q&A coming up this week, from an amazing elite athlete!!

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Birthday weekend shenanigans :)

Hi Friends 🙂

I hope everyone’s week started of on a high note! Things are about to get seriously busy over here for us this week. With @dad_taleoftworuns visiting, a very important time point for my experiments at work and my half marathon fast approaching this coming weekend, I am bound to get a little less sleep than usual 😉 But no complaints whatsoever! I don’t mind one bit being busy doing all the things I love! Blessing!

So, what went on here during the weekend??? Well quite a few things actually since it was @dad_taleoftworun’s birthday weekend! We had three special surprises planned for him.

*Surprise #1 *

Friday afternoon we had lunch at the aqua shard – the Shard is the tallest building in London and is located very close to my work. The service and menu was great value for money!!! I recommend the market place lunch menu – 3 courses!

Once you  get the express elevator up to the 32nd  floor you are amazed by the great views of London city and the calming – surprisingly not pretentious – but glamorous atmosphere!

Our reservation was for 2:30pm and we were led to our table right away! Our table was literally the best spot in the entire restaurant!!

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Our table and view – and dessert! 

We got the duck salad and chestnut soup for starters – bit were simply delicious!!! And a glass of rosè wine – my favourite! For main we both had the steak on a bed of puree shallots and for dessert we decided on the cheese platter and the orange chocolate mousse! The portions weren’t huge but for lunch they were just right alongside the complementary freshly baked bread and butter!

So, according to @dad_taleoftworuns who is a foodie with loads of experience, it was well worth it 😀 Now you can all see where I inherited my love for food and cooking from! LOL!

Saturday morning I went for a 5 mile run (last “long” one before my half marathon) and focused on speed and form over distance. Did a good 8:30/mile average pace 😀 The day was gorgeous and spiring was in full bloom! I also got to sport my new outfit 😉 Loved it! There is ALWAYS time to squeeze in a run!

and then…

*Surprise #2*

I met up with the boys for brunch at the nightingale cafe! Nothing better than yummy eggs Benedict to recharge after my run!

 

*Surprise #3 *

Sunday afternoon we had an incredible time at “Meantime Brewery” where we had the tour and beer tasting! The people and atmosphere were awesome and we had the time of our lives! We got to try 5 different types of their great beer – by try I mean actually drink quite a bit not just little samples – and also hear how each one is made. We go to try the barley the beers were made from and learn about the brewery’s history!

The tour was about 2 hours and we spent a little more than half drinking and learning all about beer.

 

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Different types of barley and hop 

Our tour guide “Big Al” was simply the best person for the job! He was extremely knowledgable and oh sooo funny!!!

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The rest of the weekend was pretty quite 🙂 We walked around Greenwich (yes the one where the actual time is set 😉 ) and took one of the Thames’ ferries on our way back – I have to admit I am not a huge fan since I got a little seasick…

Our Saturday night looked a little bit like that –>

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Celebrating @dad_taleoftworuns birthday the Greek way 😉

Apologies for the veeeery long post but I was sooo excited to share our awesome weekend with all of you that I might have gone a little overboard (is that even possible 😛 ) with the pictures!

Have an awesome week everyone!!! Stay tuned!

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Random Thursday thoughts

Hello everyone!

It is already Thursday, WOW! What happened to the week, right? 🙂

Well it’s been pretty busy around here, since everything is falling into place and I am about to start doing some really amazing science next week!! Woo hoo!!!

–> Random thought #1

Due to the time difference with Greece (-2 hrs) I usually speak to @mama_taleoftworuns just before or just after dinner. And of course every time I get the exact same questions. 1) how is the weather over here and 2) what are we having/had for dinner? Am I the only one that ALWAYS gets asked those questions?!?

So a few nights ago, here we are Skyping and the same two questions get thrown in the conversation (again…). Well, now the thing is, even though I enjoy cooking immensely and even though I am Greek, it seems like I can not cook greek food to save my life… Don’t ask why… all i know is that every (and I do mean EVERY) time I ‘ve tried it has been a memorable disaster! Apart from when it comes to assembling a “meze platter 😉 So my solution is to avoid greek recipes! And to get back to the “what are you having for dinner” question, as you can probably understand it is a little hard for me to explain to my very greek mum my very non-greek recipes. LOL 😀

And this is what we had for dinner the other night (i haven’t given it a name yet, any suggestions?!?!?!)

All you need is:

  • 1 chopped eggplant
  • 1 chopped zucchini
  • 1 choppoed pepper
  • 5 frankfurter sausages
  • 1 can tomato sauce (i like the one with mushroom or chunky veggies)
  • toppings; eggs and cheese

Mix all the ingredients together (apart from the toppings) and put mix in a pan and bake for about 40′. Then crack a few eggs over the mixture and add grated cheese (I like parmesan or cheddar) and bake for another 20′. Honestly, it is such an easy recipe and you can choose any veggies you might have in your fridge! (PS: left overs make an awesome lunch 😉 ).

Well I have to admit having this for dinner after one hour of pouring rain and cold wind during my track workout just hit the spot!!

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–> Random thought #2

As you all know by now i love (like really REALLY LOVE) running, and it makes me extra happy when i can put in a few good miles and have sometime where my brain just stop thinking and it gets all quite in my head (in contrary to its extremely loud and messy all-the-time state 😉 )… Well, even though I have run outside in every type of weather, from NYC excruciatingly hot and humid summers to butt-freezing Scottish winters, there is one thing I haven’t mastered yet since we moved to this side of the pond. And this is a morning run! I ‘ve had 6:00 am sweat sessions, yoga sessions, you name it… But I can not make myself get out there at 6:00 am… And as they say a picture worths 1000 words. Well here is an answer of about 2000 words as to why I am so reluctant to do it!

FYI the huge white patch on the back in the first picture it aint no lake…. It is a totally FROZEN field!

–>Random thought #3

I need to resupply on my running gels. This is what I have been using for the past few months.

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What do you guys think? Any suggestions on different ones?

Have an awesome Thursday everyone!

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Being Greek…

Hi friends 🙂

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

I had another post planned for today but i decided to write about something that accidentally popped into my head this afternoon. While i was cooking dinner, i realized that we had run out of olive oil – that would be nearly impossible in a Greek home but since we don’t live in Greece I kinda consider it acceptable (just don’t tell @mama_taleoftworuns 😉 )…

Walking to the grocery store my mind wondered off to when I was younger, growing up in Greece. All those Sundays that my “yiayia” (a.k.a grandmother) had everyone over for dinner, the smell of the food, the laughter… It was such a staple, Sunday family dinners.

There is something different with Greek food, some short of comfort to it. It is not only all these ingredients that have been put together to make a tasty meal, it’s all the love that goes into cooking it as well.

I know it is pretty crazy that a walk to the grocery store made me think of all this but I guess some things are just a trigger 🙂 for beautiful memories.

What it means to me, to be Greek?

Being Greek, to me means that you always have a few staples in the house, such as olive oil, feta cheese, olives, bread and of course oregano, hand picked from the Greek mountains (oh the smell…)

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Being Greek, to me means that running THE (original) marathon is one of the biggest dreams and honours.

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Being Greek, to me means that spending summers growing up and looking at views like these is a memory that will always be with me…

Being Greek, to me means that “mezes” (a.k.a. finger food platter), friends and a lot of ouzo is a summer staple 😉

Being Greek, to me means that I am and always will be proud of my ancestors, my history and my heritage… (many thanks to my good friend Dimitris Zografos for his amazing photo below).

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Being Greek, to me means that I am part of a country with amazing and welcoming people, who care. People who have the word “filoxenia” (a.k.a Hospitality) carved in their hearts and their way of living. People that no matter how much of a struggle their everyday life is, ALWAYS care and try to help others.

I ‘ve met many Greek people who don’t live in Greece anymore, and all of them have one thing to say in common. You can take the Greek out of Greece but you can’t take Greece out of the Greek… It is such a true statement. I have been away from my country for almost 10 years now and there is no future scenario of me ever going back… I do miss it sometimes and I am always proud to be Greek!

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An amazing announcement, no Sunday prep & Weekend eats

Hi friends!

I hope everyone had an amazing weekend!!! 😀

Things have been pretty busy around here the past few days and unfortunatelly that meant no Sunday food prep this week. I know I will be regretting it every time lunch or dinner hour comes around but sometimes when life happens planning goes out the window! @mymamus’s best friend is visiting since Saturday and this was an excellent opportunity for some relaxing and exploring around London. Also gave me the opportunity for some extra special cooking 😉

Butternut squash, sweet potato and apple soup and spinach, tomato and feta cheese quiche was dinner Saturday night (recipes will be up soon) . Oh and of course homemade dinner rolls are always a staple 🙂

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As for Sunday what else could we have… Homemade brunch and Bloody Marys! Yum yum yum! Poached eggs on mashed avocado – i used the dinner rolls and cut them in half and toasted them instead of english muffins – topped with bacon bits and a persimmon on the side – one plate is missing since the picture was taken just before all the plates were set 😉 . Just being pre-cautious since i really don’t think i ‘d have any pictures if i had waited for when all the food was there…. 😛

Then we hit the streets! I have to admit that London is a place full of surprises. Walking along the Southbank there were so many different things to see and it was beautiful, with all the lights and music.

But the highlight of the night was this A-M-A-Z-I-N-G hot chocolate trailer right by the river. Where you could either buy a drink oh hot chocolate (milk and all) or… Just have a cup of this runny REAL melted chocolate… Guess what I got! LOL! White bourbon chocolate it was a tiny piece of heaven in a cup! (Yes, that is a tap with running chocolate)

 

Now for my big announcement!

It is official in  Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 08.15.39  i will run my very first half Marathon!!! Let the countdown begin!!! I’ll share my training very soon. Wish me luck, no more short races for this gal for a while 😀 – also added bonus @dad_taleoftworuns will be around visiting when the race is on. You can never have to many cheers right?

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So this was all for today but stay tuned I have some pretty cool stuff coming up and very awesome people to introduce.

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Indian classical dance & wonderful memories

Hi friends,

It’s almost the weekend 😀  and  I am pretty sure everyone is as excited as i am for it! So what is in stock for you this weekend?

For now we don’t have anything fancy planned -even though you never know… I have a nice 11 mile long run in store for me on Saturday morning and then maybe try my luck with some yoga – with out falling on my face which seems to be the latest occurrence around these parts of the woods.

Speaking of yoga and other types of exercise, this incredible invitation popped up on my FB feed a few days ago and if any of my friends are in NYC at the time i totally recommend it. Indian classical dance is a very –very– old traditional type of dancing (and trust me when i tell you it requires an excellent physique!!). And of course the scientist inside me started doing cartwheels when i saw that it is paired with some good ol’ physics! I so wish i could be there!

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“Sunday, Feb 07 – 6:00PM
ENTERTAINING SCIENCE: THE DANCE OF MOLECULES
Roald Hoffmann, Dave Soldier, hosts. Venue: The Cornelia street cafe
Latha Venkataraman , applied physicist; Neela Zareen, Indian classical dancer
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Our program brings together a leading experimental physicist, who traps nanometer-scaled molecules and measures how their current-carrying capabilities are shaped by their microscopic form, and a wonderful dancer, who utilizes structure, representational and abstract, to convey meaning to her audience. Latha Venkataraman from Columbia University will show how one creates circuits where the active element is a single-molecule, an inherently quantum mechanical piece of this world. Neela Zareen will present a repertoire in Indian classical dance, one of the oldest and comprehensive styles of dance, where she will show how elements, such as intricate footwork, expressions and sculpturesque poses can be structured to weave complex events, ideas and emotions to tell a story. Join us in our annual victory over the Superbowl!”

Neela Zareen is an amazing, mesmerizing dancer.She has been training in Kathak and Kuchipudi styles of Indian classical dance and dance theory as presented in the Natya Shastra for the last 15 years with ardent dedication and she considers herself extremely fortunate to have trained with some of the very best exponents of Indian classical dance.

 

Neela is also a very close friend of mine from NYC that i miss dearly! A free spirited, kind hearted and beautiful person with the most loving and amazing family.

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Seeing this it reminded me of some of the most amazing times i ‘ve had while living in NYC. I got to help Neela, in two of her performances and had the opportunity to get a taste of this incredible culture and to be a part of a very warm and accepting community of people. It was an amazing journey to an old civilization through its traditions. Also a tiny opportunity to become a little famous in another part of the world 😉 – the fact that i have no clue what it says it is just a minor, tiny detail!

Neela and I after her amazing performance in Queens last year.

At the same time @mamma_taleoftworuns  and @grandma_taleoftworuns happened to be visiting from Greece and they also had the opportunity to see an incredible performance as well! They were amazed and ecstatic!

This post is also a way to show how NYC is a melting pot of different people, cultures and traditions and how there are no boundaries for friendship no matter who you are or where you are from! It also makes me think, how there are so many ways to keep active and healthy, so many different and intriguing forms of exercise, that all have one common denominator, they are all ways of expressing yourself!

And last, this is my way of supporting my dear friend Neela since i can’t be there to enjoy her – once again –  awesome performance.

Break a leg, Neela 😀 I am sure you will be amazing!!

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