Friday, February 26, 2010

Great Moments in Fashion

Yesterday was a lot more fun than I anticipated, although I was ready to leave about an hour earlier than we did. We followed Phil Mickleson for a few holes, had some great food, and had a couple drinks. All in all, a very nice afternoon.

There were, however, a few things I couldn't help but notice as we were walking around. I present to you, the Fashion Trends of the 2010 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Knee High Boots
Don't get me wrong, I've been wanting a pair of these babies (though I'm late in the season). They'd look cute with dresses or skirts and some adorable accessories. They're perfect for the office or a night out. But for a golf course? Um, no. I saw so many girls wearing boots similar to these yesterday:

Apparently, these poor girls had never heard of golf before and didn't realize that the game is played on grassy hills. What possessed these women to wear spikey heels of any sort is beyond me. I have to say, it was really entertaining watching them trying to look pretty while climbing hills to follow the action. Not to mention, it was very sunny and probably in the mid to high 70's yesterday. I can't imagine the sweating going on in those boots. Blech.
Plastic bra straps
I thought we agreed like 5 years ago that these were trashy, did we not? So, ladies, you've got some tatas you need holding up and you want to work on your tan line at the same time. I can appreciate wanting to get some color. But really, those bras with the clear straps are just not attractive. While I'm not well endowed, I have some friends who are, and they've managed to find some great supportive strapless bras that could really be helpful to you. They might cost a bit of money, but they're certainly worth it.
And what were these fabulous bras seen with?
Clubbing clothes
It was quite obvious yesterday that the draw for some ladies with this golf tournament is the prospect of meeting a golfer and seducing him in the hopes he'll throw some money or a steak dinner with a side of bragging rights their way. I swear, I saw some girls in outfits I wouldn't wear out on the fanciest Saturday night of my life. I totally get wanting to look nice while you're flirting and golf clapping and sipping on margaritas, but let's think about what appropriate attire is. There's really no reason to be strutting around in a sparkly top with a neckline that plunges to your belly button.
Maybe I just don't get it, or I've never wanted to snag a golfer badly enough. I honestly don't comprehend what would possess the girls I saw yesterday to wear some of the outfits I saw. I realize this is a golf tournament with a reputation for being rowdy. But since when can you not get your crazy on in clothing that doesn't run the risk of a peep show or shoes that don't turn you into a human lawn dart?
Ah well, at least I was comfy. But I did come back with a little sunburn... in the shape of the necklace I was wearing. Beautiful.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Let's NOT "go party"

So today I'm supposed to go to the Phoenix Open (it has some other name that we don't care about) today with my coworker and my boss. My company doesn't have a tent, so we're going as guests of a Big 4 accounting firm. There's something that irks me about the hype of this event that is conjuring up bad memories that I feel a need to get off my chest.

My coworker has said more than once that he's excited to "go party." First, the guy's almost 50, and call me judgemental, but I think he's a wee bit old to be excited to "party." Second, the phrase gives me the heebie jeebies. You see, I dated a guy who liked to "party." Only when he did it, it meant not only drinking, but usually using another illegal substance of some sort.

While I can't believe I'm admitting this, I don't necessarily look down on the use of drugs in all instances. I believe that adults can be capable of using them (okay, more like weed) now and then and be responsible functioning members of society. But this boyfriend was not necessarily responsible, and his use of recreational substances led to a lot of uncomfortable situations for me. And his choice word for his more out-of-control times was "partying."

I've let go a lot of things that happened relating to drinking with guys in my past. When I started dating Dan, I wouldn't even let alcohol into my home (I still don't keep much of it around) and the sound of ice clinking in a glass could send shivers down my spine. Dan's been amazing in his understanding of my issues and I've worked through a lot of things and turned a 180 on these particular peeves, but the word "party" still can make my heart beat a little faster.

I know my coworker doesn't know any of this, and he's just innocently expressing his excitement for a day away from the grind and couple of cold ones. But I'll be honest, I'm not necessarily looking forward to an afternoon with 20,000 (supposedly) drunk people. But I've also found that facing uncomfortable situations in a safe environment has been helpful to me. So I'll go and try to enjoy myself - it should be a fun day and it only comes once a year. But I won't be refering to today as a "party," thankyouverymuch.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I'm taking a quick break from taxing and spreadsheeting and saw a short and sweet survey posted by Shan at Fumbling Towards Normalcy. Feel free to join me in a mini-break

2 Names that you go by

1. Brookelyn - even though Lynn isn't my middle name, some friends still use the nickname

2. Li'l Buddy – that’s what Dan calls me. He's Buddy.

2 Things that you are wearing right now

1. My chic and sophisticated Vera Wang Glasses

2. Ballet flats, of course

2 Things that you did last night

1. Went to dinner with the boss, coworker, and auditors

2. Went to bed early - it was glorious

2 Pets that I have had - I'm going with pets other than Paisley and Clover, since they get lots of "air time"

1. Pumpkin – my first dog that I got when I was 5. We got him around Halloween, hence the name Pumpkin. He drowned in our pool my freshman year of college. My friends with a sense of humor asked if he was a sinker or a floater. Poor guy.

2. Forrest – my cat that still lives at my parents' house. The runt of the litter, I named him after Forrest Gump

2 of my fave things to do

1. Go out for breakfast on weekends

2. Play video games with Dan

2 Things that you want to do badly

1. Be a mom

2. Go on a vacation. At this point, I don't care where or for how long. A break would be nice. Plain and simple.

Last 2 things that you ate

1. Breakfast burrito - Bad Brooke!

2. Filet mignon and a baked potato - mmmmm

Last 2 people you spoke to

1. My coworker

2. I was IMing Mrs. ESPN at work - does that count?

2 Things you are doing tomorrow

1. Working

2. Possibly going to lunch with old coworkers to discuss LOST

2 of the longest trips that you have taken

1. Rochester area, NY - we used to go for a month at a time when I was young

2. I went on a weeklong business trip to Boise, Idaho. That was about the longest trip of my life.

2 Of your favorite beverages

1. Coke Zero

2. Pinot Noir

Have a Happy Tuesday!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Meal Plan Monday, Feb, 22, the Dan Edition

Tonight, I had a dinner for work, so my dear husband not only planned out our week's meals, but he also did the grocery shopping. So here's the Dan Edition of Meal Plan Monday.

Monday: Brooke eats steak, Dan eats hot dogs

Tuesday: Spaghetti with lots of fresh veggies

Wednesday: Enchilada casserole

Thursday: Pot roast (my mom is joining us and staying over Thursday night)

Friday: Tacos with leftover pot roast

Not bad, eh?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ode to Clover

Clover turned 6 months old on Thursday, and we've now had her for four months. So I thought I would do a special post about her and what we've learned out about our littlest furry girl in her first six months of life.

She's stubborn, tenacious, and persistant. Let me tell you, that girl is all beagle when it comes to will power. I think it's part of our house-breaking issue. She wants what she wants when she wants it. If she doesn't want to be held, she'll nip. Out on walks, if she finds something she wants and I make her leave it, she'll remember where it was and try to go for it when we come back around.

She's sweet, but not cuddly. She's a sweetie, but in a different way than Paisley. She'll stand by the door and wait for us, and she'll get excited when we get home, but she's not a cuddler. Though she'll snuggle up close when she's sleepy, she's not the lap dog Paisley is. She constantly loves on Paisley though, even if she doesn't love on us. When I'm up with them in the mornings, she's more likely to stay in the room with me.

She's smart and inquisitive. I read somewhere that smart dogs use their paws. She uses hers all the time. Like I said, she'll remember where things are on walks. She's more likely to explore than Paisley. She picked up on some commands much faster, too. She's figured out how to distract Paisley from a bone to steal it for herself.

She's funny. Just watching her, we can't help but laugh sometimes. She'll watch you and cock her head to the side. She loves to rip out grass and shake it vigorously. Because her tail has remained straight and therefore a visible distraction, she's always trying to catch it, and she'll try until she's dizzy.

Though she may have me frustrated at times with the house breaking and whining (she still hates that crate with a passion), she is a wonderful little addition to our family.

Happy belated half birthday, Clover! We love you!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Well, hello, Friday!

Good to see you, Friday. What took you so long to get here? It's been an interesting week. Work is busy with all sorts of projects. At home, we're just a bunch of bumps on a log with colds. I'm feeling a lot better, but Dan looked this morning the way I felt Wednesday. Poor guy - he's been such a great nurse to me despite feeling crappy himself.

On Wednesday night, Dan surprised me with a bootleg copy of The Lovely Bones. I loved the book, but the movie was kinda weird. If you haven't read the book, it's about a 14-year-old girl who was murdered by a creepy neighbor and her father's quest to find her killer. The weird thing is, she's kind of trapped in the In Between, a place made up of part heaven, part Earth and she can watch them. Part of it were very moving, but I'm not sure it translated well. The story itself was great, but the visual effects made it super cartoony. Interesting representation, 2.5 stars.

This weekend will hopefully have us both in good spirits. We ordered a futon for our spare bedroom that should be here soon. So we need to organize said room to make way for said futon. It's become the overflow space for boxes of my clothes, Dan's stuff and wedding gifts that don't have a home in the kitchen. We also have art stuff in there. So we need to figure out how to make the room functional for multiple purposes without being too cluttered.

On Sunday, we plan to go to Scott and Melissa's for Family Art Funday. We missed last week's event - they painted cherry blossom trees, and Melissa's 6-year-old, Dawson, was so literal, he painted a tree with bunches of three cherries like you'd see on a slot machine. Soooo cute! I'm not sure of the subject for this week, but I'm excited to get together with friends and paint and BBQ. So our weekend will have a nice mix of relaxing and productive.

And if you wouldn't mind, please send sunny vibes to Baltimore for the next few days. The lovely Lauren at Salt Says leaves for her destination wedding (yay!!) in Turks & Caicos on Tuesday morning and they're forecasting snow.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sick Day

After being my own pet peeve and coming to work sick for two days this week, I woke up feeling worse than yesterday and called in sick this morning. In my defense, there was a huge deadline at work on Monday that I felt I needed to be in the office for, and I felt better yesterday than Monday. At least I didn't visit anyone else's cube and attempted to keep myself in my own cube as much as possible, and warned people I wasn't feeling well. I didn't want to be that girl who wanders over to say "hey" to someone else while wiping my nose with my hand and coughing all over some one's airspace.

So today was a boring day. I did get a lot of sleep, but my head still feels foggy. I feel bad that Dan couldn't stay home as well. I know he's feeling crappy too, but doesn't have the luxury of sick days (especially on-your-honor ones like I have) at his job. So as soon as he gets home, I'm relinquishing the couch and taking care of him. It'll be like "the blind leading the blind" only instead of blind, we're coughing, hacking, and stuffy. We deserve a cold medicine commercial of our very own, the one with the people knocked out cold and the caption "for a better looking tomorrow." Yep, that's us.

On the Clover front, she's doing great. Her energy level is normal, her incision looks good and doesn't apeear to bother her. I can take her in as early as Friday to have her sutures removed. All in all, it's been a much better experience than with Paisley's spay procedure.

Hope everyone's having a good week.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A perfect Monday

Today when I got home from work, I had a very nice surprise: Dan was already home. For a second I was worried that he'd come home early because he felt sick (he's got my cold now, too), but when he came bounding down the stairs with both dogs' leashes in hand, I decided otherwise. It was so sweet to be greeted by my three favorite "people."

After we'd walked the dogs, we went inside and he asked "so what do you want to do?" It dawned on me that we've never both been home at 5pm before. We decided we'd go check out the apartment complex gym. Despite feeling crappy, being active sounded enticing. Unfortunately, it was closed, so we went back home, grabbed the dogs and took them on a nice long walk. It was so relaxing just walking along, talking and laughing. Usually we're both so tired when we get home, but today we felt so refreshed.

After our walk, I made our delicious (and I mean delicious) BBQ chicken pizza. Add a spinach salad, glass of wine for me, and a Heineken for the mister, and we had ourselves a perfect meal.

So this is kind of a boring post, but it was truly the perfect end to a ho-hum Monday. Now if only this darn cold would go away...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Meal Plan Monday, Feb. 15

Okay, so we're a little early, but we just returned from an ultra-romantic date to the grocery store, so I figured I'd post now. This week is mostly centered on Dan's suggestions.

Monday: BBQ chicken pizza. We've got to use up the last of our BBQ chicken from last week, and we're tired of sandwiches so... pizza pie!

Tuesday: Turkey taco salads a la Chipotle. Dan's been wanting to try to make Chipotle's famous cilantro rice, so this is a great opportunity.

Wednesday: French's fried onion encrusted chicken and asparagus. Another Dan suggestion. I'm willing to try anything new.

Thursday: Macaroni'n'Cheese with Hot Dogs. Dan's childhood favorite. It sounds icky, but it's very tasty. Not healthy, but if I eat well the rest of this week, it'll be my weekly treat while we watch The Office.

Friday: Honestly, we didn't get that far, but I have a feeling we'll have leftovers of something to finish off.

Our weekend has been good, although uneventful. I've been sick for about 4 days - I just feel run down and I'm plagued with a sore throat, cough, and general fatigue. Clover's surgery went well and hardly slowed her down. On Saturday, we were told by the dealership that our Murano needed 2 tires, a brake flush, transmission flush, and belts. Total cost: $1,275. No way, Jose. Dan spent Saturday afternoon and the better part of today buying parts and doing a lot of it with our mechanic friend, Scott, for a whopping $200. Take that, Nissan dealership! All we have left is the tires, and Scott thinks we've got a couple months left on them.

So, yeah, super exciting stuff. I just hope this week is easier on my nerves than the last two have been. Have a great week!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sweet Friday

Happy Friday!! This week has seemed so long. The days went by fairly fast (except yesterday, because I had a sore throat), but the week itself seemed to drag on endlessly. But it's finally Friday. I brought these sweet treats into work today:

I'm really happy with how my hearts and love notes came out. In case 6 dozen sugar cookies weren't enough I made 4 dozen Tollhouse break-apart chocolate chip cookies and mixed them in. I dispersed them around the office this morning - I hope everyone enjoys them and has a sweet Friday. I also dropped off a plate with Clover at the vet this morning. Our little girl is getting spayed today. Our vet is awesome and I really like the vet techs, so I added white paw prints to a few of the pink hearts and fixed them a plate.

This weekend will be lazy and uneventful. If Clover is anything like Paisley was after surgery, she'll be groggy and nauseous tomorrow. Except for an oil change, I plan to stay home with her all day tomorrow. Sunday, I have a haircut appointment and that's the extent of my plans. I'm still not feeling too well, but I hope that I'll be able to go for a run at least once this weekend. We're not doing anything Valentine's-y since we don't celebrate it, but we'll chill with the pups and probably paint or play video games. Sounds like a perfect and lovely weekend to me.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


There are two reasons I don't wear skirts often. First, I feel bare. I don't like to feel the wind down there. Ever. Second, skirts just don't look right with flats (my shoe of choice) and I look like the love child of a demented ice-skating giraffe and an amature street walker in heels. Basically, I just can't walk like a normal person and I feel like I hooker-walk everywhere. Dan could do a better job looking natural in heels than I can. But this morning I woke up and said "Brooke, I feel like wearing a dress." Gasp. All the girls in the office have been wearing cute tall black boots with skirts and black tights and I want to get in on that action! I can pull that off, right? Sure.

So I put on a dress and pulled out a pair of heels (because I don't have cute tall black boots) Dan chose for me the last time we were anywhere near a shoe display. I love them - he did a great job choosing them. They're cute and comfy and I can actually walk semi-normally in them. I didn't have any black tights or hose though (despite the fact that I used to own over 20 pair when I worked at a steak house in college), so I figured "no problemo, I'll pick some up on my way to work." So I hooker-walked to the car and drove to Walgreens, where I hooker-walked to the hose aisle and picked up two boxes of lovely black sheer control panty reinforced toe panty hose. Sweet. I hooker-walked to the counter to check out and then back to the car and we're on our way to work.

And then it dawned on me. Where the H am I going to put on my chic black hose and transform into the fashionista version of me? Crap. I considered doing it in the car, but no dice. Too hard if you can't stand up - after 2 years of wearing them daily, even I can't manage putting them on in the car. So I decided I would put them on in the lobby bathroom at the office before going upstairs. Perfect. So I parked my car and hooker-walked to the lobby. I slipped into the ladies' room and put on my sweet panty hose. Voila! Tres chic! Straightened the skirt of my dress, poofed the hair a bit, slipped my feet back into my shoes and... shit! My shoes don't fit anymore! They literally shrunk like a size and a half! Now what? I had to get to my desk, so I gracefully (read: barely managed to stay on my feet) ice-skate glided to the door, up the stairs and to my cube. I only stepped out of the damn things twice and made about a million faces at my shoes. Obviously, the only tranforming I did was into a demented-giraffe-amature-street-walking-ice-skate-glider. In a dress.

So I'm sitting in my cube thinking, "how the heck is this going to work all day?" I had to put my lunch in the fridge, so I demented-giraffe-amature-street-walker-ice-skate-glided to the break room, cursing at my feet, and passing at least 5 people on the way, all of whom looked at me like a... well, demented giraffe. On the way back to my cube, I noticed my coworker's box of tissues. A ha! So I grabbed about eleventy billion of them and went to my cube. It took me about 6 tissues, 3 trials, and two trips around the office, but I can now walk. Sort of. And let me tell you, 3 tissues balled up in the toe of each shoe is not comfy. But I did make it down to the caf to grab a bagel, so I'm doing pretty well now. I'm sure everyone who saw me trying to walk got a good kick out of it. My goal now is to stay at my cube and just look pretty. Until I have to hooker-walk to the copy machine, that is.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Ask and you shall receive... with a hint of sarcasm

Maple BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 c. ketchup
1/2 c. maple flavored syrup
2 Tbsp. yellow mustard
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 to 1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Combine everything but the chicken in a bowl and stir, then set aside. Place chicken in crock pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste (how you're supposed to taste raw chicken, I'm not sure). Pour the prepared sauce over the top. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.When ready to serve, remove and shred chicken. Put chicken back in with sauce. Serve on buns (duh).


Meal Plan Monday, Feb. 8

Ah, Monday. My favorite day of the week - not - the day I get to figure out what in the heck we're going to eat for the next five days. This week, I'm trying out some new recipes. I think Dan will be particularly excited for Wednesday...

Monday: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green salad. It's insane how much I like meatloaf. I'm actually going to make it with beef because even though I'm okay with subsituting turkey in recipes with seasonings and veggies and such, a hunk of baked turkey is just not appealing.

Tuesday: Spinach and cheese tortellini with red sauce and green salad (can you tell we have salad we need to use up?)

Wednesday: Tater Tot Casserole. I've been wanting to make one for a while now, and I finally found one that seems super easy and incorporates some other veggies. I'll be doing this with turkey since all the other ingredients will add flavor. Plus, I can trick myself into thinking this is somewhat healthy :)

Thursday: Maple BBQ Crock Pot Chicken Sandwiches with whole wheat buns. I'll have to figure out a side dish for this one.

Friday: leftovers. Between Wednesday's casserole and the BBQ chicken, we'll have our choice for Friday night as well as lunch on Saturday.

Hey, good lookin', whatcha got cookin' (this week)?

Letter to my teenage self

Dear 16-year-old me,

There are just some things I want to tell you. Important things. Things that - when you’re 28 - you’ll wish you’d heard and taken to heart.

Be more kind to your mother, she loves you very much and some day she’ll be your closest ally. I know she drives you bonkers about cleaning your room and asking where you’re going and if your homework is done, but it’s because she has big hopes for you and wants what’s best. I know you both say hurtful things at times, but try not to say anything you’ll regret. Your relationship with her will get better, I promise – when you go to college, you’ll feel lost without her in your day-to-day life. From then on, your bond will only continue to grow. So cherish your moments with her, and with your dad. He’s an incredible man, and he’s going to carry your heavy-ass bed and dresser up and down various apartment building stairs about 7 times in the next few years. He’s quiet, and doesn’t always know how to articulate feelings, so take the time to listen. It'll be good practice, because you have no idea how much your husband will be like him.

Same goes for your sister. She just wants to be around you because she looks up to you. Be nice to her, she really is an awesome person. One day you’ll ask yourself frequently if she’s too skinny because of your harsh words, and it’s going to hurt very badly. You’ll carry a lot of guilt for it. You’re very different people, but one day you’ll get along much better, and she’ll stand proudly beside you on your wedding day. She’s the only sister you’ll ever have, so make sure she knows how very much you love her. When she moves away, take time to talk or text (great new technology headed your way!) to her often, because she’s really homesick.

When it comes to boys, you’re going to make some bad choices, but it all works out in the end. That high school boyfriend you love so much is going to break your heart, hate to tell ya. It’s going to hurt something fierce and make your heart ache like nothing you’ve ever felt. But I assure you it’s for the best. He smells like boy funk anyway and his mom is obnoxious. When you meet a guy who you suspect might drink too much, run. You can’t save him. Actually, that’s hard to say, because you’re going to learn a lot. Wait, yes, RUN. You deserve better than how you’ll allow a few of them to treat you. The one before your husband will be the most difficult, because you’ll feel stuck and like you managed to make the same mistake as before yet again. Your pride with be bruised. But be strong, walk out. When your parents hesitate to think moving in with him is a good idea, listen to them. They’re not raining on your parade for shits and giggles. They know something better is in store, too.

Speaking of the high school boy, when you break up, you’re going to lose some friends. They’re young and they’re going to take sides. Don’t take the ones who side with you for granted – keep in touch with them. In fact, keep in better touch with all your friends – before you know it, they’ll be in different parts of the country and you won’t see a lot of them again. So when you find a good friend, put effort into those relationships. Sure, they’ll ebb and flow as life happens to you all, but there are some you will always be able to count on.

And when you meet a tall, sweet man with a kind smile and lot of tattoos, you’ll know you’ve finally found your home. You won’t believe me when you see him, but I assure you he’s The One. He’ll remember exactly what you wore on your first date, and he’ll try to tell you he loves you with red roses, but you’ll be too dense to read between the lines. He’ll ask you to marry him while you’re dancing in pajamas. And on your wedding day, you’ll know for sure that everything life has thrown at you has been to bring you to this perfect moment.

So it’s kind of a lot to remember. You’ll have amazing times and really rough times. You’ll make good decisions and bad ones. Just always try to be sure of your choices, even if the end result sucks. Be open in your judgment of both people and options. Live to have no regrets.


28-year-old you/Me

P.S. You’re not going to be an optometrist. You, my dear, are going to be a tax analyst. Isn’t that exciting?!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sometimes a girl needs a gadget

Today, on my lunch break, I ordered up a hot one of these:

It's a Nike+ and it works with my iPod. It'll track my distance, pace, calories burned, duration, etc. of my running. You can also have it be your trainer and it'll keep you encouraged or tell you to pick up your pace. It all links into both iTunes and Nike's website to track progress. Dan and I can even challenge each other to run a certain number of miles by a certain date. Pretty cool stuff. And hopefully it'll be highly motivating. I got one for me and one for Dan. We think it'd be pretty funny to hook one up to Clover. I can hear it now: "Hey, you're fast! ... Wait, slow down! What the hell are you doing? Stop running in circles!!" Wicked awesome.


Finally!! We had our first accident-free day with Clover yesterday! All week, she's been getting better and better and never once tried to mark her territory like she had been. After months of inconsistency, I think we've finally got her timing nailed down. She seems to get what I mean when I say "let's go outside!" and she runs toward the door. We're finally getting somewhere. Finally! I thought I was going to go nuts for a little while.

I'm excited for a fun weekend - we've got a lot going on. Since I didn't get to my cookies last weekend, I need to tackle them this weekend. On Saturday morning, I'm headed down to Tucson for a meeting. A family friend has been a member of the TTT Society for as long as I can remember, and I always thought it seemed really cool - probably especially because they fundraised (to send underprivileged girls to camp) by making and selling delicious candy and we sometimes got to help. A couple years ago, my mom joined too. And now I want to join, and I'm bringing my dear friend and bridesmaid, Rachel, along with me. So we've got our scope-it-out meeting on Saturday morning. We have a friend celebrating his birthday at Dave & Buster's on Saturday evening, so Dan and I will probably head out to that. On Sunday, my parents are coming to watch the Superbowl with us. So it's a busy weekend, but it'll be a fun one.

I don't know about you, but I am so ready for this week to be over. My work lap top is annoying me, it's month-end close, and I'm just ready to be done! What are you looking forward to this weekend?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Simple Pleasures

Last night on Kelly's Korner, Kelly posted a sweet post about her life's simple pleasures (complete with pictures of the adorable Harper, of course). As I've been stumped by her last couple of Show Us Your Life topics, I thought I'd bite. So here goes, my simple pleasures:


Clean sheets

Getting my hair cut

The season premier of a favorite show, like LOST last night (and lost, I am!)

Sleeping past 6

Wiggly puppies excited to see me when I walk in the door

Chai tea lattes from Starbucks

Nailing a cookie design so that it looks like it does in my head

Laughing before bed

Peanut M&M's

Pulling into my parents' driveway

Getting cards in the mail

I feel calm and happy just thinking about these things. What are your simple pleasures?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Run, run as fast as you can

Inspired in part by a dream in which I had to order a size "Jumbo" shirt and also by a fellow knottie, Brie, I've decided to register for some running events. I had a lot of fun doing the Mud Run a year and a half ago, and though I'm no great runner, it's something I can work toward.

Brie is a huge inspiration - she started out at 200 pounds in June 2008, and has lost 50 pounds and ran her first 10K this past weekend. She's signed up for her first marathon in October, and she chronicles her ups and downs on her blog, The Fit Bride. She talks about everything from nutrition to shoes to the challenges of getting in her training while traveling for work. In her post about her decision to sign up for the Chicago marathon, she talked about watching the documentary Marathon Challenge and thought to herself "if that fat lady can't even run a mile and she finished the marathon I definitely can." So I guess I'm thinking along the same lines - if Brie can go from couch potato to marathon runner in 2.5 years, I can certainly survive a 5K or two. I'd like to do the Dirty 6, a 6 mile mud run event on April 24th, and that's my goal, depending on how the 5K events go.

So here's what I'm going to be signing up and training for:

Walk for Wishes 5K benefiting the Make a Wish Foundation. The race is on March 13, what I feel is ample time to get myself up to the 3.1 miles. I remember preparing for the Mud Run and that was 4.2 miles. I'd never ran more than 3, so I was worried about the extra distance. But on race day, the adrenaline and my awesome team pushed me through, despite the fact that the entire course was in a sandy river bed. I wasn't fast, but I finished.

Pat's Run benefiting the Pat Tillman Foundation on April 17. Pat Tillman, if you're not familiar, was a graduate of Arizona State University (boooo, hiss) and played in the NFL. He left his fame and fortune as a professional athlete to serve our country and was killed in action (short story). This is a hugely attended race, so the task of racing with an approximated 20,000 other people will only add to the challenge of running the race. The race is loaded with significance: Pat was #42 at ASU (boooo, hiss) so the race is 4.2 miles and ends on the 42 yard line of ASU's (booo, hiss) football field. I'll have to wear extra layers so I don't get Scum Devil grass on me :)

And then there's the Dirty 6, a 6.2 mile obstacle course ending in a huge mud pit. This race was so much fun the last time I did it, but also 2 miles shorter. Hopefully, I'll be feeling up to running it a mere week after Pat's Run. Once I get training, I think I'll have a better idea of how running this one will go. What's fun about Mud Runs is that people tend to dress in silly costumes, so it's great people watching. Last time, there was a group of guys dressed up as hill billies and they actually drank a 6 pack each during their run. Not highly recommended, but entertaining nonetheless. Based on the website, this one sounds way more intense and fun than the one I ran before. Giant slip and slides?! Count me in!

Bonus: I told Dan about my new aspirations, and he wants to join me. So this will be another thing we can work toward together :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Meal Plan Monday, Feb. 1

This week's meal plan is focused on using up some meat we have: chicken and a roast. Dan asked specifically for veggies, and I'm craving potatoes (aka eeeeevil carbs). On top of the entrees, we've got more than enough salad to feed a small army, so hopefully he gets his fill.

Monday: Turkey Shepard's Pie

Tuesday: Whole wheat pasta with sauteed veggies and Greek yogurt pesto sauce

Wednesday: Chicken with potatoes au gratin and broccoli

Thursday: Baked potato bar

Friday: Pot roast

Looks like a yummy week to me!

I'm super excited for the season premier of LOST tomorrow - so Dan will be cooking so I can watch. He's best at sauteing veggies and he'll make it perfectly delicious.

Family Art Funday

We had a really fun couple of days this weekend. Obviously, my tattoo was finished, and though I'm pretty sore, I'm very happy to have it done. After my session was done on Saturday, my dear husband treated me to Chili's. Unfortunately, I was so worn out and tired - it's actually exhausting laying there still and tense for 4 hours - (and perhaps a bit tipsy from my edge-removing spiked Sprite) that I wasn't very hungry and slept most of the way home and then took a nap. But we did get in some Guitar Hero when I returned to the Land of the Living.

Yesterday was an awesome day. After sleeping in until 7 (thanks, Clover!!) we headed out to Scott and Melissa's for their Family Art Funday. Melissa is an amazingly talented painter, tattooer, and all around artist. She'd painted some simple skulls and it was decided that Scott, Dan, and I would try our best to replicate them. I have never been very good at realism or copy work, so I was a little anxious, but it was actually really fun. Scott's dad has gotten interested in Bob Ross style paintings ("happy little trees") and worked on his second canvas yesterday. Even Melissa's son, Dawson worked on painting his rocket ship (and then took 50 pictures on my camera). Melissa worked on an awesome large-scale Heath Ledger Joker piece that she's doing for a client - it's truly incredible to watch her work and transform a canvas into something amazing. I'll have to post pictures or our finished works later, but Dan already hung them proudly over his desk in the guest bedroom. We're excited to start painting together - it's really cool to share that artistic interest with my husband.

This week begins close week at work, so it'll be long and tedious, especially toward Thursday and Friday. Hopefully it goes by quickly and without too many complications. I didn't get to my cookies this weekend, so I'm going to fit them in either this week or Saturday.