Monday, March 9, 2015

Springing Forward

This is one of my favorite Daylight Saving Time jokes…

I actually transitioned really well on Saturday night. That probably had a lot to do with the allergy meds I took at 8:30pm. I slept like a rock for like 10 hours. Last night was a different story. I don’t know what was going on, but I could not stay asleep.

 I need to check the sensitivity on my Fitbit, because I was awake during those “restless” times. Needless to say, I’m dragging a bit today. And it doesn’t even have anything to do with the time change!  Oh well.

I’m still doing well with my early morning workouts (as you can see because of the time stamp on the screenshot). My workout partner gave up around Thanksgiving, but at that point I had made it such a habit it didn't matter I was by myself. 

Lately, I have been using that alone time to listen to podcasts. I have become obsessed with listening to sermons from Elevation church. Their senior pastor, Steven Furtick, just has such a way of getting the message across. I love it. Plus, I've discovered it really helps me put my focus in the right place at the beginning of the day. Win win win. 

Speaking of winning, I'm finally starting to see a difference in the mirror. I also finally changed my eating habits, so that helped quite a bit. You can't out-exercise a bad diet, right? I realized that it's an actual possibility for me to be at goal before next Valentine's Day. Somehow I had it stuck in my head I had close to 100 pounds to lose. I don't know where that came from, but it is not even close to the truth. Slight case of body dysmorphia going on in my head there! I need to work on that. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

All Quiet on the Blogging Front

I know, the blog has been the sound of crickets for a while now. I have had multiple posts written out in my head, but they've just never made it to the keyboard. I don't have much to say now, but I figured I'd better get back in the habit. :-)

I'm settling in to my new job. I think I'm finally starting to understand what it is I'm supposed to do. Not that I think I know everything, but I have fewer questions. Everyone kept telling me to give it a year before I really feel like I understand what's going on. A year??? I don't think I've ever had a job where I wasn't supposed to know everything about everything inside 2 weeks!

It's not that the job is that difficult to understand in and of itself. There's just a lot of product knowledge to absorb.  I'm getting there! It helps that they just hired another person in our department, and I was able to refine my focus. Our products are divided in two categories, and technically she's over one and I'm over the other. That makes it a little easier, although I still need to learn hers and her mine. We just don't have to know it all righthtisverysecond.

I started working out regularly again. I'm actually doing a pretty good job of sticking with it this time. I've been meeting my friend Leah 4-5 times a week for the past 10 weeks. I've discovered the keys to getting me to commit to it.
  1. I have to be meeting someone.
  2. I have to have a plan. 
  3. I have to do it at 6am. 
A fourth condition might also be that I have to have it sprung upon me. Leah asked me to be her Maid of Honor, and I told her the only way I would do it was if she was my workout partner. Then 5 days later I text her a pic of my new workout shoes and she asked if I wanted to meet her the next morning at 6am for our first workout. Uh... sure! That was September 2, and we've been going ever since. 

We started out with this plan, which was great until the donkey calf raises. That's a no. Now we're working through a different one, although we're probably going to change it up again soon. We're both seeing some great improvements in strength, but now we need to get some extra cardio for the weight loss. 

I've currently been without a "real" fridge for about a week. Ours just decided to stop cooling last Wednesday night. After multiple calls with Best Buy and Samsung customer service, they are finally coming to fix it this afternoon.

G was kind enough to take a lot of the stuff from our freezer and put it in his. Then we made an emergency purchase of a mini-fridge to get us through what turned out to be the next 6 days. It's been interesting trying to meal prep in a mini-fridge, that's for sure. But hopefully the real fridge gets fixed this afternoon. Then the mini-fridge will go live in G's garage. 

Ok, well that's enough rambling for today. I will leave you with this.
I might have been praying over this one last week. :-)

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Box of Sunshine

So this isn't anything new, but I decided to tell you about my incarnation of this project. I originally saw it on Pinterest (shock!) and after a conversation with my older brother I decided now would be a good time to send one out. I enlisted the help of Mr. Incredible and off we went.

Let me start by saying that Greg was not exactly into the idea at first. I told him I needed to go to the party store to look for yellow stuff  for John and he just didn't get it. Once we got there and I let him talk me into a yellow mustache he kind of took off running. Here's what we ended up with:
A banana eraser, a paddleball, a super bouncy ball, flip-flop keychain, rubber duck, silly bands, the moustache, a noisemaker, lip whistle, pencil topper, pencil sharpener, pencil...
suction cup ball, slinky, Frisbee, helicopter thingie, barrel of monkeys (I was very excited about that one lol), ninja, Mario star, koosh ball, hand puppet eyes, kazoo, squirt gun...
Angry Birds gummies, Dasani water enhancer, sixlets, monster finger puppet, Laffy Taffy, M&Ms, gumballs, lollipop, Airborne, Sour Patch Kids, Lemon Heads, Juicy Fruit, Charleston Chews, suckers, Starbursts, and Nerds. Whew!

I also wrapped most of the box in some of the coolest duck tape ever!
I don't know about you, but if I got a box in the mail that was covered in Mac & Cheese duck tape, I'd be pretty excite no matter what was inside.

Then I loaded up the box,
wrote a note to my brother explain what this was,
I already had this stationery, I thought it worked well!
and addressed the box.
I was having fun with Pic Monkey.
I didn't want to be a total jerk and wrap the whole box in the tape. Although, I did cover the top pretty sufficiently with packing tape. At least he'll know the top from the bottom! I got it off in the mail first thing Saturday morning. He should get it sometime today.

I had way more fun than I anticipated putting this together. My partner in crime probably helped. Anyway, I highly recommend doing this for someone special in your life. And they don't have to live halfway across the country, you could totally just leave this on their doorstep or their desk. I'm already contemplating who else might get a box of sunshine. :-D

Edit: John got the box yesterday and I was rewarded with this picture. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Happy Friday!

We made it to the weekend! I hope you've all had a good week and are ready to enjoy your weekend. My week has been pretty tame so far. The most exciting thing I did was rearrange my desk area yet again. Shortly after I started this job, my bosses decided to rearrange my office area to make room for another person we were about to hire. I already share the space with 2 other people, so when we were trying to figure out where to put a 4th person we decided to completely swap everyone's seating arrangement. I moved from the middle to the front, and I have moved my stuff around at least 3 times since.
Let's see if this works!
Even though I was only at my old desk for about 3 weeks, I was liked the set-up. I'm having a hard time finding good flow for my area. I think this might work best. We'll see.

My weekend plans have shifted a little bit. I was originally supposed to meet my niece, Brittany, in Chattanooga to pick up my mom and Tony, but yesterday she discovered she has to work all day tomorrow. It's not a big deal for me, really. I've lost count of the number of times I've driven to Alabama and back in a day. I just feel bad for Bee since she seems really upset about missing out on the visit. I told her we'd make it up later.

I don't know what my other plans for the weekend include. Greg and I had been talking about going to a demolition derby, but it's drizzling and gross today so I don't really want to sit outside all evening. And I don't want to stay out too late since I have a long day of driving tomorrow (also in the rain... yay!). I found a project I want to do for my oldest brother, so I may go pick up the supplies for that tonight. Maybe I'll tell G that tonight is a pizza and video games night? Do you think he'll go for that?
Fighting is healthy for our relationship. ;-)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

16 Reasons

Anthony turns 16 today! I can't believe it. Half the time I still picture him as a 9-year-old. He loves that. This will be the first time since the day he was born that I will not be with him for his birthday. He's still in Alabama visiting our family down there. It bums me out a little bit, but he'll be back this weekend, so I'll make up for it then.

Since I still wanted him to have something from me on his birthday, I decided to write him a letter and tell him 16 Reasons I think he's awesome.
  1. He's kind.
  2. He's funny. He has fantastic, if not unintentional, comedic timing.
  3. He makes brave hair choices. This kid recently colored his bangs purple... which then faded to some weird blond/fuchsia combination. And he just rocked it like it was on purpose. #pinkhairdontcare
  4. He's super creative.
  5. He has great taste in music... mostly. I have an odd sense of pride hearing him listen to songs I loved in high school/college. But every once in a while he throws some weird wrench in there.  
  6. He is incredibly smart. Too smart for his own good at times, but still.
  7. He's laid back. It takes a lot to ruffle his feathers, which is insane when you realized he grew up with a powder keg.
  8. He can be really helpful.
  9. He likes to try new food. He is one of my few sushi buddies. Lord love him
  10. He's fun to hang out with.
  11. He's got an interesting view on the world. He definitely sees things differently than I do, which is not a bad thing!
  12. He has more confidence in me than I do. I used to make his birthday cakes every year. At first it was simple, but eventually there was Spider-Man, an aquarium, and a dragon. I called it quits before I had to figure out how to make a working Ferris wheel.
  13. He likes to have adventures.
  14. He's forgiving. Remember that powder keg he grew up with? Poor kid definitely got caught in the fallout more than he deserved. But he loves me anyway.
  15. He likes to learn new tasks. He may never use them, but he'll look stuff up just to know it. Kind of cool, really.
  16. He's committed. When he was little, he would pick what he wanted to be for Halloween next year on November 1, and he would not be swayed. One time he decided to be a vampire and refused to eat garlic for a solid year.
Obviously, there are more than 16 things I love about him, but it was fun to sit down an think about the reasons he's a great kid.
This is a collection of all the photos I shared
online for his birthday. It was fun. :-D

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

New Restaurants

I have had quite the adventurous summer so far! In the past few weeks alone, I have gone to the lake, been kayaking twice, tried 5 new restaurants (and one new cuisine!), had fun mini-dates and all-day dates with G, and gone to a concert. Whew! I'm just trucking through my 30 at 30 list!

New Restaurants

I've tried 4 new restaurants with Greg and 1 with Amy and I have liked each and every one of them! See, this is why I needed to branch out!

The first restaurant Greg and I tried was The Egg & I. My mom went there with a friend a while ago and liked it, so one Saturday morning Greg and I decided to check it out. They are only open for breakfast and lunch, and we got there at prime brunch time. I got the Raspberry Granola Pancake. It was fantastic. I'm actually kind of drooling a little just thinking about it.

A few days later, we decided to visit Cazzy's Corner Grill.

Photo from Cazzy's Google+ page
We'd driven by a few times, and finally we decided to step in. I'm glad we did! I had the Cheddar Chutney Burger for a little sweet and salty flavor. I was impressed. Greg got the Smothered Chicken and said it was really good. I'm guessing so since all I got to try was a green bean!

The next stop on our culinary tour was Fulin's. This one is actually pretty close to Cazzy's. When they first opened there were dozens of little signs that said "Fulin's now open!" So the running joke with Greg and I was to say "no foolin'! Fulin's is now open!" Eventually we made our way in, though. It really doesn't look like much from the outside, so we were both surprised by how nice it was. I got the orange chicken and hot and sour and a split a sushi roll w/ G. Greg and I agreed that we'd go back and recommend it to people.

My last new restaurant with Greg was First Watch.
Like The Egg & I, it's only open for breakfast and lunch. I had to take a picture for Amy because they not only had hazelnut creamer on the table, but the also left the water and coffee carafes. Running out of beverages was not going to be a problem! I got the Chickichanga. As heavy as it looked, I really wasn't overstuffed when we left. And the fruit salad didn't have any cantaloupe (one of the few foods I don't like)! Winning!

My latest new culinary adventure was with Amy! We've both been saying we wanted to try Indian cuisine for about a year now and we finally did last night! We decided to check out Bombay Palace.
I was so impressed! They were pretty busy for a Tuesday, which is always a good sign with restaurants. As a matter of fact, we got the last open table. Our servers were all wonderfully attentive and the food was delicious! We'll definitely be going back!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Haphazard Deliciousness

I think I've mentioned a time or two how much I like to cook and feed people. It's one of my favorite things. That being said, I struggle to cook for just myself. I've been on my own for the past 2.5 weeks, and there has been a lot of eating out, random sandwiches, or just not eating dinner because I wasn't hungry and didn't feel like trying to figure it out. Not my proudest moment, but there you have it.

However, last week I found myself home alone on a Friday night and ravenous after mowing the yard. After a quick shower, I just started throwing things together until I got what might have been the most delicious meal I've had in a while.
I couldn't think of a real name for it, but it was so good I couldn't keep it to myself.

Haphazard Deliciousness
(serves 2ish)
     5-6 cherry tomatoes, halved
     4 mini sweet peppers, chopped
     3 button mushrooms, sliced and sautéed
     2 C raw baby spinach
     Mrs. Dash Onion & Herb, to taste
     2-3oz chicken breast, cubed and fully cooked
     3oz whole wheat Angel hair pasta, cooked and drained (I use Barilla)
     1 100-calorie pack Wholly Guacamole
     1.  Cook tomatoes and peppers in a large skillet over medium high heat.
     2. Add sautéed mushrooms, spinach, and chicken. Season with Mrs. Dash. Cook until spinach
     3. In a separate bowl, stir together pasta and guacamole.
     4. Add chicken/vegetable mixture to the pasta mixture.
     5. Enjoy!

*I had already cooked the mushrooms to make an omelet that never happened. Otherwise, I would cook those before the tomatoes and peppers.
* I also had pre-cooked the chicken for a salad and had some left over. I seasoned it with a Mrs. Dash Grilling blend.
* Next time I might add a second guacamole cup to make it a little saucier. ;-)
*Spicy guacamole would have be delicious here.
*It should have served 2, but like I said, I was ravenous after mowing the yard.

I got the idea for using the guacamole as a sauce after making an avocado pasta sauce a few weeks ago. It was a good decision. I will definitely be making this one again!
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