Wednesday, July 28, 2010

And that's why they call me "Grace"

Anyone who's known me in real life for any good period of time knows that I'm challenged with coordination and gracefullness. I've fallen and hurt myself in more embarrassing ways than I care to count. Example: I once cut myself making Jello. Yeah, Jello. Another time, I managed to almost take out a small child or 7 while sliding face first down hill to catch a foul ball at a baseball game (and I was 21 at the time). But last night, I was really on top of my game and lost an epic battle against gravity.

The scene: boot camp, nearing the end of the work out. We paired up and were going to do partner activities. These have a lot of pressure for me, since one person is the lead. They have to do a set number of an exercise while the other person has to dome something else that's usually harder. So if the lead takes their sweet time, the partner is miserable. Any way, last night, the lead was to do step ups on wooden boxes while the partner did sumo squat thrusts with medicine balls. Brutal. I volunteered to be the lead and before we started, I notice my dumbbellwas right in front of my partner's exercise area. So I went to move it out of the way. As I did, Boot Camp Man started counting down to our start and I got all nervous and started to back pedal around to the back of the box. Well, stupid me, my foot caught on the box to my right and I tripped. In an ever so graceful coordination of flailing limbs, I tried to catch myself and instead managed to twist my wrist and land ass-first onto a 50 pound free weight. I did, however, save myself from hitting my head.

After I'd dusted off my pride and got up - I was going to go straight into my step ups, then realized I had a little too much adrenaline and didn't feel so hot - I moved my dainty and delicate self out of the way and rested for a minute. Everyone was very nice and asked if I was alright, which really I was, aside from a little bruised pride. I'm a little slow today - sitting, bending over, and walking all hurt. I have a pretty awesome blurple bruise on my behind that I'm sure will become even more beautiful - if that's even possible - in the coming days.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday Musings

A little touch of randomness to start the week.
  • Our little house guest, Max, has been sooooo good. He needs to teach Clover a thing or two about going potty only outside. After he ate this morning he ran to the door like a good boy! I was impressed. Paisley would rather he wasn't around. She'll start to sniff him when he's playing with Clover, and the second he turns his attention on her, she runs away. She spent a lot of time "hiding out" on our laps this weekend. Don't worry, Pais, only 4 more days. Here's Clover with her little buddy.

  • I've had weeeeeeird and vivid dreams lately. The most random things. Like about this famlboyantly gay manager in our office. I dreamt I was the only one who knew he was gay and had to keep his secret. I'm terrified of this guy - he's not the person you want showing up at your desk. Or at least my desk. If he shows up, something is terribly wrong. So having a dream that I'm keeping his secret is very odd.

  • Also, I woke up with "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina" stuck in my head. Totally random. I don't even really like Madonna that much and I've never seen Evita, the play/movie about Eva Peron that the song is from (for those of you living under a rock). I posted this on Facebook, and someone informed me that today is the anniversary of Eva's death. Can we say creepy? Perhaps I'm haunted.

  • I made almost 9 dozen pink ribbon cookies this weekend. A knottie friend of mine is doing the 3 Day Race for the Cure in Baltimore and is using bake sales to fundraise. I offered to donate cookies and figured I'd get about 6 dozen out of my recipe and was happy to get far more. I still have to package them so I can ship them, but I love them. Dan even helped fill them yesterday, then gave creative input for the overlapping lines. Cute, huh?

  • I also went to boot camp on Saturday. My arms and shoulders are still sore from all the over head weight lifting we did, but I'm excited to go today. I was pretty good with the eating this weekend, too. We did our Friday happy hour and I had my taco but avoiding eating too much shell. We ate Subway and at home on Saturday, and had another cheat meal last night. Other than that, I was good, and much better than I usually am on the weekends.

Meal Plan Monday is going to have to be postponed to tomorrow. There's no way I've gotten that far in my thinking yet. Hope you all have a great Monday!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

WTF Wednesday: Where's my hat?

Has anyone been watching American's Got Talent, also known as "We Wish We Were American Idol?" Sadly, I have. While I'm a huge reality TV fan, talent shows aren't really my thing. I do love me some audition episodes, but once those are over, I'm easily distracted by shiny objects. America's Got Talent is the only talent show for which I've managed to hang in there and watch the actual competition. It's pretty cool, actually. There's a huge variety of acts, from this crazy skinny couple who dances on a rock climbing wall, to break-dancing children, to some serious air guitarists, to this guy:

This is Hannibal Means. Only he doesn't say it Han-i-bul Means like the rest of us. No, no, no. Sistafriend says it "Hah-nee-bahl Mmmmeans." The best part is, the three judges on the show (Piers Morgan of The Apprentice, Sharon Osborne Princess of Darkness, and Howie Mandel of Deal or No Deal) all pronounce it like you or I would. Only Nick Cannon (bless his heart) pronounces it Hah-nee-bahl. AnyMr.MariahCarey, Hah-nee-bahl has this amazing opera singing voice, but he's a little freaking weird. The guy is from Oakland, but he talks like he's from high society England or something. He's all spiritual, which isn't a bad thing, but he talks about singing like it's a sexual act with God himself (forgive me) and it scares me. Last night before his performance, they recapped his prior AGT performances and showed a little of his home life. There was a brief clip of our singer walking along the beach in this:

Image source

He crocheted that unicorn hat, a head piece only a mother and a Salt could love. And he made others, too, an entire menagerie of animal hats. He handed them out to his stage dancers (who made the most awesome faces upon seeing them) for his rendition of "Circle of Life" from The Lion King. I had no idea that there was a unicorn in the movie, I must have missed that, along with the penguin and the frog. Ah well. Anyway, the performance was really lovely, even if he was odd. Howie Mandel summed it up perfectly: "I'm scared of you, frankly." Sharon Osborne asked for a puppy dog hat (which Hah-nee-ball says he already has) and Nick Cannon donned his Sea Dragon hat, which had a name I don't remember. What a good sport!

Image source

Tonight is the results show, so we'll see if Hah-nee-bahl Mmmeans makes it through to the next round. I have no doubt that if he does, there'll be another round of "WTF?!" from me.

Anyone else watching AGT? Who's your favorite act?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Well that wasn't so bad

For the second time, I've survived Day 1 of boot camp. Last time, I hyperventilated in the first 15 minutes and was a useless mess for the next half hour. Last time it was July and 110 degrees in the blazing sun. Last time, I didn't drink enough water before or during boot camp and pushed myself too hard. Last time, I almost lost my lunch in the bushes. Last time, I could barely walk the next three days and almost cried every time I shifted in my seat, sneezed, laughed, yawned or inhaled.

This time, I drank 72oz of water during the day and another 44oz during and after my work out. For those of you playing at home, that's 14.5 8oz glasses of water, almost double the recommended daily H2O intake. And that's less than I should be having. According to Boot Camp Man, I should be drinking an ounce for every pound of body weight when I'm working out this hard. This time around, I paced myself well, and kept moving even if I slowed down. This time, it was July and 110 degrees, but boot camp is now held in a warehouse. It's still hot and humid, but at least the sun isn't beating down. This time, I'm tight and a bit sore, but remarkably mobile. It doesn't hurt to live. This time, I knew what to expect and prepared well for it.

I'm also on Day 4 of no soda. That doesn't seem like much, but I fully intend to go the full month of boot camp without any. I was down to a 20oz bottle of Coke Zero a day and possibly a Sprite Zero. I now only have water and green tea throughout the day: hot tea in the morning, iced tea with lunch. I made cookies and cream cupcakes last night for a coworker's birthday and I did have one today, but that's it. Only one. And that's all I'll have. I know that saying I'll never treat myself is unrealistic and could lead to overindulging in more than just a treat, so I allowed myself a cupcake. Other than that, though, I've stuck to my eating plan. Even though I was late this morning, I made my breakfast sandwich. Even though Starbucks sounded better. I want to be proud of myself in 30 days and know I made the best possible choices.

There was one disappointing thing about my trip back to boot camp. All the water intake and over-exertion has me bloated. I looked in the mirror last night after my shower and noticed I looked puffy. Of course, my brain still felt like it was boiling, so I wasn't sure if I was seeing straight. I asked Dan if he saw it too. Hoping to avoid a "do I look fat?" landmine, my sweet husband tried to dance around the question and eventually relented that yes, the exercise could make me bloated. Not that it did, just that it could. Today, my fingers still look and feel a bit swollen, though they seem to be less sausagey as the day goes on. As my body gets used to the change in exercise and fluids, they'll hopefully get thinner again.

Even though it's only 2 days in, I'm happy with the changes I'm making. Though doing boot camp every month isn't possible, the rest of the changes are very capable of being permanent. As I see results, my choices will be reinforced. The challenge will be figuring out what to do when boot camp is over. I'll need to find something that both gives me a good work out and that is motivating enough that I'll be able to push myself to keep it up. For now, though, I'm just going to enjoy some thorough ass kicking.

What exercise do you enjoy? Give me some ideas for post-boot camp exercise!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bring on the pain!

Almost a year since my first trip to boot camp, I'm headed back today! While I feel sad and a little ashamed that even have to go back, I'm excited for a change. I've told myself it's just one month. One month as a jump start to better eating, more exercise, and feeling better about myself. I'm going balls to the wall with this one. I did my grocery shopping yesterday and I'm stocked up on lean proteins, salads, fruit and veggies, and the makings of my new daily breakfast sandwich (whole wheat bagel thins, 2 egg whites and turkey sausage). So while this won't be turning into a fitness blog, I will be holding myself accountable and my healthy yummy meals. If anyone is interested in keeping track of their healthy eating, I use SparkPeople. Also, if you're interested in a blog that shares recipes amd great healthy food ideas with pictures along with the every day life of a newlywed, check out Brie Fit. Anywho, we're moving on to...

Meal Plan Monday!!

Monday: I never made that roast beef last week, but I picked up one last night for a great price and popped it in the slow cooker this morning. We'll have it with steamed brocollo

Tuesday: Chicken with brown rice and veggies

Wednesday: Left-over pot roast with black beans and fajita veggies a la Chipotle

Thursday: Crock pot chicken with cream of mushroom soup and asparagus

Friday: Thursday used to be the splurge at Dos Gringos day, but it's probably being moved to Friday.

I also need to start factoring in Saturday and Sunday. We eat breakfast and lunch at home usually - cereal and sandwiches or left overs - but we need to be better about dinner.

And speaking of Saturday and Sunday, we had a great weekend! We'd considered going to Tucson for the weekend but instead decided to stay home. After 4 straight weekends of celebrating Father's Day, my birthday, 4th of July and then family in town, we needed a break. It was so nice to spend time with my husband and almost no one else after the last few busy weekends. We went to see Despicable Me on Saturday in the early afternoon. it was very cute - Dan had been wanting to see it since he first saw the little girl ask "does this count as annoying?" and smack her cheeks. There were some great jokes and the movie was sweet. After the movie, we went for sushi and a couple of drinks. After running a couple of errands, we were hot hot hot so we loaded up the pups and went to my in-laws' house to swim.

Sunday we had lunch out and then Dan treated me to ice cream, my "last hurrah" treat before boot camp. We took it easy and I took Clover to meet the puppy we'll be watching next week. While I was gone, Dan did some house cleaning and then I went grocery shopping and run a couple more errands. It feels to nice to start Monday with all that done. I'll only need to pick up some veggies later in the week, but other than that, we're all set!

Keep me in your thoughts later, please. Tonight is going to be rough. I feel that I have the advantage of knowing the pain I'm in for, but it's still going to be hot and miserable. I haven't been active in far too long and the hour of my life between 5:15 and 6:15 will be a tough one. It's all going to be very worth it, though.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Single ladies, meet your match!

Today’s Kelly’s Korner Show Us Your Life feature is Single Guys. I’m actually really excited about this one, and I’m very excited to attempt to sell the single girls who will be stopping by this quaint little blog one of my very dearest friends.

…is Andrew (and me, of course). You can't tell, but he's totally wearing suspenders, because he's classy. We’ve been friends for 9 years and have spent almost every birthday celebrating together since we met. He’s an awesome guy. He’s the 3rd of 4 brothers and his family is very close and has great family values. Andrew is a good Catholic – I asked him to perform my marriage ceremony last year because I respect his faith so much, even if I don’t share it. He did an awesome job, see?

He’s one of the most compassionate and open minded people you’ll meet. I’ve always thought that when Andrew finds the woman for him, he’ll love her like no other and an amazing husband.
Aside from spending time with his parents, brothers, and their children, Andrew loves comics, movies, and music. He’s got a quirky and loveable sense of humor. He brings the life to the party and doesn’t like to see anyone not having a good time. He’s the most loyal of friends and the best shoulder to cry on.

Here is my email interview with Andrew. If you don’t want him after this awesomeness, there’s no hope for you J His answers are a little choppy – if you knew what he did for a living, it’d make complete sense, but he’s also very to-the-point as a matter of being.

What are you looking for in a woman?-Funny, Spontaneous, Geeky

What are your family values like? close knit family. family very involved in each other's lives, woman who understands just how important a close family is.

What are your pet peeves? none, really

What physical attribute are you attracted to most? warm smile.

What personality trait are you attracted to most? Happiness

Name your 5 favorite albums of all time: Dave Matthews Band, Live at the Red Rocks. Band of Skulls, Baby Darling DollFace Honey. Muse, Black Holes and Revelations. Coldplay, Rush of Blood to the Head. The Raconteurs, Consolers of the Lonely.

Name your 5 favorite movies of all time: The Dark Knight, Amistad, Anchorman, The Empire Strikes Back, The Matrix

If you had to be stranded on a desert island with 3 things, what would they be? copy of the Great Gatsby, My Ipod, SPF 50 waterproof sunblock

Tell me about your ideal date: casual dinner, go-cart driving.

And lastly, name your favorite animal and how you like it cooked: I like a medium well New York Strip Steak. (I’m assuming he means a cow, but we may never know)

So ladies, if you’re interested in getting to know this awesome guy (who is 29 years young and lives in Phoenix, BTW), drop me an email at Happy Man-hunting!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Open Letter Thursday: Were you raised in a barn?

Dear coworker,

Did your wife teach you no manners? How about your mother? If either of them did teach you manners, it's clear that you've forgotten them, because you're being rude. They'd be embarrassed that you would ask someone 5 times in a week whether or not they're competing in the office's Biggest Loser contest. As the husband of someone whom I've heard has weight issues, I'd think you, sir, would know better. I'd think, but apparently I'd be wrong.

I know that I've gained a few pounds since getting married, and that's it's only about half of what I've gained over the past two years. I'm not happy about it. I struggle with self image and making good choices with diet and exercise. It's on my mind more than you'll ever know. I realize I'd be a good candidate for the quarterly weight loss contest. But it's still RUDE of you, Coworker, to ask me so many times if I'm participating. Asking once was alright, twice was forgiveable, and I laughed off the third inquisition; but I'm pretty much seething mad by now, after you asked when I'm weighing in. Uh, if I was in it, I'd have an answer for you, but asking that insinuates yet again that you think I'm doing it/should be doing it. You're really starting to make me angry and bring some of these super self-conscious feelings back to the surface after I'd managed to smoosh them down with promises to myself of healthy eating, meal planning, and a trip back to boot camp.

Perhaps I'm being too sensitive, but I'm pretty sure anyone would be bugged by this by now, even if only because of having to answer the same question so many times. Rest assured, I'm not sure I'll be able to be so polite to you the next time you mention it. And yes, I will be sabotaging you with cookies and brownies. You'll think I'm being super sweet and sharing with you, but I've got revenge in mind. Beware.



Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It's the return...

...of Meal Plan Monday (er, Tuesday)!! I haven't done MPM in quite a while and I need to get back in the habit. it makes grocery shopping easier and more efficient and we're less likely to be temped into eating junk because there isn't something laid out for us. I'm also hoping to go back to boot camp in the next few weeks here, so getting the healthy eating in line now will create less of a culture shock.

So, here we go:

Monday: I couldn't eat anything but mashed potatoes last night, as my mouth wouldn't open more than about a 1/2 inch

Tuesday: Stuffed peppers (should be easy enough to eat - my jaw is still sore)

Wednesday: Chicken and sauteed squash and zucchini

Thursday: Dos Gringos - we enjoy our weekly tradition of unwinding with tacos and Coronas. This will be my splurge meal of the week

Friday: Pot roast. We may or may not be going to Tucson this weekend. We're waffling on the plans. But if we do make it, pot roast is perfect since we can do so much with it over the weekend. Or, I can freeze it if we do go and use it next week.

Lunches will consist of salads from Fresh and Easy (love them!) and left overs (if we have them). I'm going to try out something new for breakfasts: turkey sausage with cheese and breakfast thins, possibly with the addition of scrambled egg whites. I'm trying to emphasize the protein in my meals and reduce bad cards where possible. Snacks will be protein and calcium-rich cottage cheese or Greek yogurt and fruit.

As always, if you have any recipes to share, please don't hesitate!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Wedding cake: check

Holy crazy weekend, Batman! It was a fun one though, as expected. Friday night, Dan and I went out with David and Alex and Dan's parents to the guys' favorite neighborhood bar to kick off the weekend.

In the morning, I went home (we stayed over) and packed up cake stuff, dog stuff, and my stuff. I headed over to Mrs. ESPN's house and finished the cake while Dan and his brother went and picked up the dogs and their accessories. Honestly, Mrs. ESPN saved my butt. The ganache was a mess and she helped me fix it. I really don't know if things would have gone over very well without her help. The drive to deliver the cake was the most nerve-racking 10 minutes of my life, but I got it there in one piece and the bride was very pleased. I think I'm done with melted chocolate products for a while though. Here it is all set for it's trip to the church.

We spent Saturday and Sunday swimming in the pool, eating good food, visiting with great friends, and drinking yummy beer. My parents came up Saturday night and it was really nice to see them. I'm really glad they came and had a chance to get to know my parents-in-law better and meet all the friends we talk about. Now it's back to the grind and I'm not quite prepared for the work week. Today is my dentist appointment to get my first of what will probably be 4 crowns and I'm feeling really anxious. I just hope it's not as bad as it is in my head.

How was your weekend?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Cake, cake, cake... cake balls!

It's like Duck Duck Goose. Get it? Oh, nevermind. Anyway, I had a very busy night baking last night. I baked the layers for the wedding cake tomorrow, along with extras in each size just in case and had a request at work for cake balls. Funfetti cake balls. The guy who requested them would get along very well with my husband. I also tried out Wilton Bake Even Strips. You soak them in cold water and wrap them around the cake pan before baking. They keep cakes from raising too much, which causes a lot of loss when you level them. Therefore, they also produce denser, sturdier cakes. I'd heard about them but hadn't tried them and I'm glad I did. I'm a huge fan.

Tomorrow begins a weekend of family fun. First, I've got to assemble and deliver the wedding cake. Mrs. ESPN is graciously letting me borrow her kitchen for the assembly and decoration. I was so nervous about driving someone's wedding cake from one end of town to the other, and she only lives about 10 minutes from the wedding. I'm so thankful for her taking that worry off my shoulders! After the cake is taken care of, the fun begins. My brother-in-law arrived yesterday and tomorrow there will be a BBQ at my in-law's house. Many of the guys' friends will come by throughout the day and we'll have all sorts of yummy food. My mother-in-law invited my parents to come up, too. It'll be nice, as the parents haven't had many opportunities to get to know each other.

What is everyone else up to this weekend?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

This week, the admin whose birthday cake I made last week asked me to make a cake for the admin who ordered her cake. Oy, confusing. In talking about what she wanted, she decided that she thought cupcakes would be fun instead. The birthday girl has been talking about how she's craving lemon cookies, so we decided on lemon cupcakes and I liked the idea of pink lemonade a a summery treat. So I made these:

I got to use my cute pink cupcake tower again. That thing is going to get a lot of use. I love the sugar pearl sprinkles. They remind me of bubbles, which goes well with the pink lemonade inspriation. All these babies are missing are an umbrella and a straw. In other news, there are about 32-67 sugar pearls under my oven. Oops.
So this is random, but it struck me as odd this morning. Does it amaze anyone else that there are still payphones in 2010? Anyone? I pulled in to get gas this morning and there was a woman using a payphone. It had me kind of surprised. I realize that not everyone in the world has a cell phone, but a payphone in 2010 is akin to an original Nintendo game console in my mind. The last time I used one, my sister and I were at the zoo with our babysitter. Our sitter called her dad collect to come get us. She must have spent all her money on Sno Cones or something. Mom, did you know about that? Anyway, I think it's very strange that they still exist, much less get used. Or maybe I'm just too Generation Y.
Is there something that the mere continued existence of baffles you?
And again with the spacing. Sorry folks.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The One Where I've Got Nothing

Okay, so it's been a while since I've posted. Whoooops. Not much going on though, so I would have just bored anyone with a lot of nothing. So you're welcome for not posting.

Last week was so long. It was seriously the longest ever. My friends at work took me to lunch again on Friday for my belated birthday, which was super sweet of them and very awesome. On Saturday, Dan and I were lazy. He hasn't felt too well and Saturday he pretty much stuck close to home. He did get out and wash both cars though. I can always count on him to keep my car clean. In the evening, he offered to take me to Native New Yorker for dinner. And then... I realized the UFC fight was on. Sneaky sneaky, Dan. As it turns out, our friends were headed to another bar to watch the fight so we met up with them instead.

Yesterday was American's birthday, and we celebrated with our friends Scott and Melissa and a bunch of other friends. Scott and Melissa's daughter Kadence is now 10 months old and it's amazing how much she's changed. She's waving and bouncing and cruising and completely irresistable. They surprised me with a birthday gift of a bunch of cookies cutters (yay!) and a delicious dessert. They're such wonderful people - we're really so fortunate to have great friends.

I'm stuck at work today while most of the office is at home. It's nice since it's quiet and lacking in distractions, but it's also a little too quiet. I've got cupcakes to make tomorrow night for a birthday (pink lemonade cupcakes!) and then the wedding cake is due in only 5 days! The bride is so excited, and talking to her is reminding me of all the anticipation before my own wedding. It really brings the mood up to be around someone who's literally glowing from head to pedicured toe.

At the end of this week - well, Wednesday actually - Dan's brother, David, and his fiance, Alex, will be here. It'll be a long weekend of swimming, BBQing and drinking. It's kind of a mess when they're here - with people visiting my in-laws' house all day, but it'll be a really fun Kingston family bonding weekend. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing them, and I know that Dan really misses seeing his brother.

Anyone have anything fun going on this week?