Take a Breather

May 9, 2010 at 7:21 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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All day yesterday I thought, “I really need to stop and blog for a minute.  I really need to take a breather.”

That moment NEVER came.

It almost showed up when we got home last night at 11:50 and I thought, “if I blog now, I can still count it as writing for today.”  Nope.  Sleep took over.  Sorry about that, gente :(.

Let’s back up a little, mmk?

Friday night, after work, Sam picked me up with a special visitor in tow — his Uncle John.  John was in town to give a guest lecture to the university’s business school classes and the three of us took the opportunity to have dinner.  It didn’t take much discussion — Stephen’s was hands down the winner for dinner (a little rhyming, no?).

I love Stephen’s — it’s one of the nicer eateries in our small town.  Sam and I had our first anniversary dinner there, so I’ll always have warm feelings for that restaurant.  Stephen’s serves amazing food with simple flavor combinations and excellent wines.  Yes, please!

Dinner got underway with a standard spinach salad…

And then really picked up steam with the Roasted Pork Tenderloin (marinated in an apple cider vinegar and brown sugar reduction with a strip of Applewood bacon), Asiago mashed potatoes (oh, Stephen, you are too good) and a corn salsa with green and yellow peppers.  The corn was slightly buttery and the peppers gave a nice kick.  An awesome meal overall.  I just wish the pictures had turned out better so you could drool a little more ;).

After a late night out, I slept in on Saturday morning — a rarity.  I got up just in time to make what was possibly the best oatmeal ever.  All this time, I had been preparing my Trader Joe’s Steel Cut Oats as the package directs — 3/4 cup water and 1/4 cup oats.  I was so naive.  I was such a rule-follower.  I was SO wrong.

Yesterday, I revolutionized my oats by using 1/2 cup milk and 1/4 cup of water.  What resulted were much creamier, smoother oats.  Love it.  I think the add-ins may have also helped up the “stellar” level on this baby:

That’s banana, tablespoon of chunky PB, a small palmful of dark chocolate chips and a small palmful of Trader Joe’s Oats and Bran Swirls crushed up.  This oatmeal tasted like a cookie.  I only wish I’d had more time to savor it, but I was in a rush to get dressed, drop Sam off at his soccer game (I felt slightly a-la-soccer-mom reminding him to use his mouth guard!) and then booking it to a Pilates class at the gym.

This was my first Pilates class and I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I arrived and the lights in the room were low, the music was soft and everyone was on a mat with their shoes off.  I’m going to get a hard workout from this? I smirked. Oh, please.

For the next 45 minutes, we worked through a series of controlled movements designed to focus on your core.  There were slow raise-ups, slow sit-downs, legs in the air, pulsing positions, rings were used — craziness ensued.  I thought if the instructor said, “last one” only to move on to a more complicated, longer set of exercises, I was going to throw my Pilates ring at her.

I hurt so good this morning.  I woke up and laughed at something Sam said and then immediately regretted it.  My “inner girdle” is howling — the sign of a good workout.  I’ll be back…this time, with a little more understanding and little less inclination to play ring toss.

Lunch was quick and delish: an egg sandwich with avocado and a scant bit of mayo.  Yes, real mayo.  Hellman’s actually.  Mayonnaise, in it’s original form, is natural.  I never feel bad using a little bit of something natural as opposed to a ton of something un-natural and chemically altered (*ahem* Miracle Whip *ahem* fat free Mayo).

Step One:

Step Two:

Step Three:

Step Three-B:

The rest of Saturday afternoon was spent trying to tame the wild beast that is our backyard.  We live on about 3/4 of an acre and much of it has a “natural” habitat feel to it due to mature pine trees and a plethora of wildlife.  The rest has a “natural” habitat feel to it because we’re not very good at keeping on top of weeding.  *shame face*  I know when they talk about us, our neighbors probably say things like, “oh, look, those neighbor kids are out taking care of their yard — ’bout time”.

Sam and I met our friends, Bob and Megan, for dinner and a movie.  We ate at the new Mexican restaurant in town and I ordered my standard usual:

Chicken enchiladas.  Not as good as the ones at that hole-in-the-wall our family found post-Flying Pig.  I ate ’em anyway.  I also imbibed a little:

I love those glasses.  The creator of the cactus-stemmed Margarita glass should be knighted.  So clever, yet so kitchy.  So universally accepted by female drinkers worldwide.

We split up for the movies, guys vs. girls.

The Backup Plan…

And Iron Man 2.

Can you guess who went where?  By the by, I don’t know that I would recommend The Back Up Plan as a date night movie — there’s a particularly graphic water birth scene I think only women are strong enough to view.

Just sayin’.

And that brings us up to speed.  I’m just chillin’ in my bathrobe, sipping coffee and noshing on some of those tasty Oat and Bran Swirls from my bud Joe, typing up my post.

I’ve got a little work to do on the blog today and four miles to pound out for my 10K training.  I officially registered for the race on Friday and I am so excited.  I think I’ll go check in with Roommate Rachel (who is running it with me) and see how she’s doing. 🙂

Happy Sunday.  Remember to take a breather.

Sense of Relief

April 23, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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*Whew*  My exam is over.  So glad that’s off my shoulders, now I can focus on getting packed up for vacation and enjoying a week of fun, friends and sun. 🙂  But let’s back up a little…

Last night, I became an NFL widow.  Sam watched the draft with friends, so I was on my own for dinner.  In need of something speedy, I looked in the fridge and saw leftover black beans, produce that needed consuming before we leave and eggs — the easiest food on the planet.

Boom!  A Southwest Omelet.

In this bad boy:

🙂 Green Peppers

🙂 Tomato

🙂 “Mexican” style cheese

🙂 Black beans

and and avocado on top…

I made up some “home fries” out of red potatoes for the side.  So delicious.  I was going to add onion, but when I pulled the onion bag down from the top of the fridge, I realized the onion had decided against being eaten in favor of starting a family.  Stay at home onion?

While  I studied, I baked up some goodies — oatmeal raisin cookies!  They’re a “thank you” for some special peeps who will be caring for our monsters while we’re gone.  It’s the least I could do, the monsters can be adorable, but a handful.

Yuuuum.  I made plain ol’ oatmeal raisin for the lucky recipients and set aside a few more for Sam and myself.  To that batch, I added a small handful of dark chocolate chips.  Try adding the dark chocolate chips to your cookies.  We all know dark chocolate is better for you and when baked into a cookie, you can’t really tell the difference in taste.

I had all these great plans to get up this morning and do yogAHHH before my exam.  I thought it would calm my mind and be a good way to squeeze in some exercise before the day started.  I stayed up too late studying and ended up just stumbling into the kitchen in time to slug back the coffee and make oats in a jar.

Into the empty Trader Joe’s Crunchy Natural PB jar went Trader Joe’s Steel Cut Quick Cook Oats.

I forgot to photograph lunch, but I know you’re smart enough to mentally picture a PB&J on whole wheat, apple slices and carrot sticks.  If it seems like a light lunch, it’s because it was.  I came home after my midterm and ate two oatmeal raisin cookies and the last slice of Sam-nana bread.  Yup, it was just that good of a test. 😦 Have I mentioned I am definitely an emotional eater?  It’s usually something I try and control by taking a deep breath, walking away from the kitchen/food and asking myself why I feel like I need to eat (emotions vs. hunger).  Today, though, I didn’t stand a chance.  I consider it a victory I stopped at just two cookies.  Sometimes, all you can do is recognize the behavior and stop it as soon as you can if you can’t stop it before you started.

*sigh* Back to the grind.  “See” you later!

Are you an emotional eater?  How do you handle it?

A Tale of Two Tails

April 16, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Let me set the scene for you:

Interior.  Living Room.  Early Evening.

A blogger finishes writing a *phenomenal* 😉 post, closes laptop and looks around room.  Sighs deeply.  The blogger gets up, walks around living room looking for Spanish homework.  She finds the book, the notes, the dictionary.  She pauses.  The blogger leaves the books, and her fatigue behind, as she walks toward the bedroom and does a face plant on the master bed.

END SCENE.

Yep, that’s JUST what happened yesterday after I finished writing my post.  I couldn’t fathom doing my homework in my current mental state, so I took a 45 minute nap and woke up raring to go!  It was the best decision.  Although, napping at 5pm meant I wasn’t ready to go bed when I should have (8:30) so I’m tired again today.

Darnit.

At least it’s the weekend.

I saved time by making a quick, delicious dinner.  If you’ve never checked out the Kraft Foods website, give it a whirl sometime.  I really like their healthy living recipes and appreciate they’re usually simple, quick and all the nutritional stats are listed right there for me.  Bueno!

Last night, I whipped up an old favorite: 15 Minute Tuna and Rice Primavera.  I’m sure you could “healthi-fy” this one by using instant brown rice, I just didn’t have any on hand.

I ate al fresco and did homework while watching the monsters play in the grass.  Win win win for everyone.

My evening rounded out with a nice walk with the monsters and then MORE homework.  Lucky I love Spanish.

This morning came way too early, but I was ready for it with oats in an empty PB jar.  So delicious.  I made a double batch of the Trader Joe’s Quick Cook Steel Cut oats, plopped some strawberry all natural jam in the bottom of the jar, poured in the oats and topped it off with some REAL strawberries.  It was amazing.

I worked without much of a break (except for leaving for class for 2 hours) the whole day and when I got back to the car, I was super ready for this bad boy:

A little spotty, but still perfect on the inside.   Don’t worry, I wasn’t driving when I took that picture.  I was at a complete stop in the middle of the parking lot.  I bet people were wondering who the wackadoo was taking a picture of a banana in her car. 😉

While I was walking around campus today, I noticed some interesting things:

Yep, that’s a student.  Wearing a tail.  No, she’s not asking for PETA petition signatures.  I don’t know what purpose the tail serves.

And that would be a tail of another sort — I don’t know if you can see it, but that’s a ferret.  On a leash.  Out in public.  The professor in the background was a little too into the furry friend.  I didn’t know you could leash a ferret.  Maybe he couldn’t afford a whole dog?

You see such odd things when you work on a college campus.  Just thought I’d share the sights of the day — a tale of two tails!

Lunch was just a repeat of dinner last night, so nothing exciting there.  I’m off to relax for a little bit and then get motivated for a little exercise.  What to do what to do?  Something different — something new! 🙂

See anything odd today?

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