Monday, August 31, 2009

Free Mondays

Holy crap! I don't have bowling! Tonight is the first night I haven't had bowling in a year-minus a Monday here and there for vacation. Crazy! Although I miss it a bit, it was kind of nice to come home after a truly hellish day at work and relax for a bit without rushing through dinner and heading to the bowling alley.

So what did I do this evening? Nothing too exciting. I did about 25 minutes of hula hooping, but added a little twist tonight. See, sometimes to shake things up, I will do some squats while hula hooping, but tonight I tried to do some lunges. Now, these were not deep lunges like I would do at kickboxing (ugh) but still pretty decent seeing as I am hooping while lunging. Got to keep it interesting ya know! I managed about 5 of them before I went back to the normal swing of things. After that, I laced up the running shoes and went out for a 3 mile run. Even though I came back hot and sweaty, the run felt really good. I think I got out a lot of the work frustration...if only it would stay away!

Now I think it's time to relax, read a bit and maybe catch a little TV. Peace out

Sunday, August 30, 2009

New Recipe Sunday

Do you ever find yourself making the same meals over and over in the course of a year? Of course, some recipes are timeless classics and will jump in the menu several times over the course of a year, but I find myself making the same things over and over out of cooking laziness, lack of time (to prepare meals) and being stuck in my comfortable cooking rut. But I am trying to remedy this, one Sunday at a time.

Today was Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary/Garlic and Chicken with a Rosemary butter sauce. It was scrumptious. The potatoes cooked nicely in the oven and were a little crispy on the outside while being nice and mushy on the inside. The chicken was cooked nicely and the sauce had an excellent flavor of rosemary buttery goodness. The only thing was the thickness of the sauce. It turned out a little runnier than I would have liked, but something has to turn out less than perfect or there would be nothing to improve on! We also had a nice house salad with lots of veggies for a side. Overall, it turned out to be a very nice, simple meal to make (only took one hour prep/cooking time) and I think I'll put it in the "keeper" pile.

On another similar note, I read Julie & Julia by Julie Powell this weekend. This is such a cute book! It's so true that some recipes are simple while others are easy-yes there is a big difference. The reference to Silence of the Lambs was priceless, too. Just a great little read. I started it Saturday morning and finished it this afternoon. I think it helped me propel my recipe idea, although this thought had been brewing for quite some time.

Anyway, it's about time to tackle the dishes and enjoy some downtime before another work day approaches.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Starting to Worry...

The Race for the Taste run is approaching fast (Oct. 11) and I am still stuck at the 3 mile mark. I know what the problem is: it's too damn miserable to run. I think I have the ability to run more than 3 miles after all this time, but the hot, sweaty temps are holding me back. I am just miserable when I'm out there. At least I know Orlando is a little bit cooler than here and it will be early Oct. so hopefully the temps will be cooler, too.

I'm thinking I need to spend a couple days a week running on the dreaded treadmill. I know this isn't the best choice since it always feels like a run takes twice as long, but I really want to have the confidence of knowing that I can at least make the mileage without my legs giving out at mile 5 or so. Or finishing last. So, I think I'll try out the treadmill on Saturday and see how it goes. If I bring a book to read, the time should go faster.

As for today, I got my obligatory 3.1 miles in and I feel pretty good. Now it's time to relax.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wanna Swing?

Who says exercise has to be boring?




I stumbled upon this in some magazine. There's nothing like a flying trapeze workout to get the blood pumping! See, I love heights...especially jumping from them. So, what better way to get a good workout and play around in the air than the flying trapeze?!!

The only downside is it's in Miami, which is a bit of a ride, but maybe I can schedule a class on the weekend or something. I think it would be so much fun! Any takers?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

New Running Spot

Since I usually do my runs before work or after 8pm, I tend to run in my neighborhood. It takes about 4 times around to equal 3.5 miles, which means my scenery can be pretty boring, especially when I run it all the time. So, today I decided to expand my running horizons and took on a new location.

I decided to try out Tephford Park today since I've passed it many times on the way to bowling and it always looks like a nice running spot. It has signs telling you every quarter mile, which is nice if you don't have a Garmin with you, and lots of bench areas and a little play area for kids. The pathway runs in an oval and, if I remember correctly, it is 1.5 miles around, which was perfect for my 3 mile goal. The park was nice and clean and the canal runs right along one side of the trail-I love looking at water while I run.

The only downfall to the run was the time of day. I decided to head over there at 9:45...in August....when it's freaking 90+ degrees with a blanket of humidity. It was so hot out there I felt like I was running on the sun, especially when I was facing it directly. I've never been so excited to see a bottle of water in my life. I think my face is still beet-red from the experience and my whole body feels drained. Yep, sometimes I just never learn my lesson :)

So, although I will definitely head over there for another run in the near future, I think I'll do so either no later than 7am or after 7pm. Being that miserable just ruins the whole running experience...but at least it's done for the day. Now it's time for the pool!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Morgan Fever

Being the happy auntie I am, here's a couple of pics of my sweet little niece, Morgan. Miss her so much!

Just chillin in her chair like a big girl


Super Baby!


Taking a bath "old school" style


I don't want to talk about it!!


All better

I can't wait to get new pictures of her. She's already three months old and is rolling over, laughing and smiling even more. I'm one proud auntie.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hurray for Thirsty Thursday!

I am so happy Thursday is here. That means only one more painful day of work before the weekend. I can do it. Use the force...

It's been one of those crappy weeks where nothing seems to go right, more work piles up and a couple of my coworkers are being complete assmunches. Go be annoying somewhere else, please! I have work to do!! I am completely exhausted just from the stress level at work, which makes me feel lazy at home since all I want to do when I come home is park myself in front of the tv and be a zombie for a couple hours. I did have a little pow-wow with the boss yesterday about my work and he made it clear that he felt I could handle it all and he has complete faith in me. Good for you buddy! I bet if you pay me more, I will have a lot more faith as well. Let's try it out.

I've been MIA from kickboxing since I got back. I've been busy wheedling down my to-do lists and getting some other things done in the evenings so I haven't put the time in for any kicks and punches. I'm starting to miss it, though, so I hope I can get myself back in the game by next week. At least I've gotten in some running and swimming so I don't feel like a complete slug bug but I know I can do better.

So, I think I'm going to go straighten up the house, play with Wilson, take care of a couple things and then join my buddy for some refreshing spirits. Mmmm....bud light......

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday Tidbits

It is Tuesday, right? I feel like I've been through an entire week in just two days. How about a brief recap:

  1. We totally kicked ass in bowling last night and swiped 20 out of 22 points to clinch 3rd place. Last night was the last night of bowling and, since I have some other things planned for the upcoming months, I will not be doing the fall league.
  2. I got in a nice 2.5 mile run Sunday evening and did a 25 minute swim Monday morning. I was nice to get my butt back in the pool. I haven't swam in months and sometimes I forget how much I enjoy it. I'm hoping to squeeze in another swim sometime this week.
  3. Ah, work. You keep me amused. Yesterday the bosses fired someone so security has been there yesterday and today (just in case) and now even more work is piled on my plate cuz I am such a rock star. Then this afternoon, the ambulance had to be called due to one of my coworkers was having lots of chest pains associated with gastroenteritis-poor thing! So, it's been an eventful week at work. Then there was the voodoo letter one of our attorneys received. Love it!
  4. Brett Favre changed his mind and decided the Vikings were good enough for him.
  5. I just made tilapia for lunch tomorrow-yummy!
  6. I really need to start studying.
  7. Only 155 days to cruise and 53 days till race day.

On that last note, I think I'm gonna pull out the hula hoop and read for a bit. I can't decide if I want to run tonight or tomorrow morning so I'll decide after my hooping session. I have a feeling I'm going to choose tv over my running shoes tonight.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Weather Excuse

So, the weather worked out perfectly for me yesterday, in terms of using it as a good excuse to do nothing. I woke up ready to do lots of house cleaning (okay, some), running and going for a swim, maybe even some time left over to float in the pool. This was when the weather was nice and pretty outside; however, the blue skies changed quickly and we were left with crappy thunderstorms on and off all day due to all these "tropical disturbances" out there in the Atlantic.

So what did I do? Nothing! I shouldn't say that. I did manage to get the laundry done and make a good breakfast and dinner, but the rest of the day was pure sloth. I think I watched about 5 or 6 movies ranging from Disney classics to the movie Monster. There was no running (rain), no pool time beyond my 11 minute attempt (rain) and no swimming (um..it was raining too hard to drive to the gym?) so my exercise consisted of lifting the remote and getting up to pick new movies.

But, it was great! Although I like to be outside enjoying the fresh air and soaking up some sun on the weekends, a nice rainy day gives me a chance to chill in the house and hide out under the covers. Today is a beautiful day (so far at least) so I think I'll go hula hoop outside for a bit and plan my day. If it stays sunny, there will be pool time!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Time to Focus

Except for work, my mind and body have still been running on vacation mode since I got back nearly two weeks ago. It's a bit ridiculous...I know I need to be getting back into my regimen with exercise and eating but I just keep telling myself, "I'll start tomorrow." Okay, well I've been home almost two weeks now so that's about a dozen tomorrows, so I think that's enough now. I think today I will do some running and swimming and maybe a little bit of hula hoop time. I also need to make some meals for next week-it's so much nicer to have some stuff prepared for the week instead of foraging through the fridge every morning.

I have managed to get some stuff off my to-do list this past week so that was a pretty good thing. I've almost got the whole list completed..yeah! This weekend I would like to clean the car and do some house cleaning as well. So, I think I'll make today a busy day so I can really relax tomorrow. It's time to focus and get back into a routine again...although that pool does look inviting....

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hello 5am

I guess the third day is the charm. I had set my alarm for 5am everyday this week. Monday I shut it off in defeat and rolled over; Tuesday I never even heard the thing, thank goodness I woke up to Brian's alarm, but today I bounced out of bed when the alarm went off. I think I'm still on a to-do list high, since I plowed through quite a few things yesterday, and I want to keep my high going so I can finish my list by the end of the week. Either that, or my sugar high from eating too much chocolate cake yesterday is keeping me awake.

So, I think I'll go out for a nice morning run..that way I can feel smug at work knowing I finished my exercise already. Morning workouts also seem to help with my appetite, too. I tend to eat better and behave myself when I've had a morning workout; I guess since I started my day off on a good note, I don't want to ruin it with bad food choices.

Time to lace up the sneakers and hit the pavement!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

155/62

As some of you may know, I not only love my to-do lists (which have started to get bigger and bigger again) but I also love me some countdowns. I think countdowns are a good way to focus on a goal and keep yourself in check. Sometimes they work for me and sometimes, not so much. But I am determined and must persevere! So, I have two going on right now.

62 - This one is a running goal for me. Now, I have done a few 5K races and I have been running a nice, steady 3 miles or so for quite some time now. I can blame the heat, humidity, etc. for my stagnant mileage but the bottom line is I've been in my nice, cozy comfort zone for quite some time and now it's time to get moving again. So, along with a few friends, I have signed up to run Disney's Race for the Taste 10K in October this year. I think this is a great way to increase my mileage, it gives me about 2 months to do so and I have some good friends who are running it, too so we should have a blast. Plus the excellent food, wine and potential for rides keeps me in the Disney zone. That means I've only got 62 days to get my ass in gear and go the distance. It can be done...as soon as I find my running shoes.

155 - This one has a little more breathing room and it's mainly a weight-loss/get in shape kind of goal. After telling my parents about our great cruise for Mark/Meg's wedding, my parents got the cruise fever. So, on Jan. 11 of 2010, we are going on a cruise with them to Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay and Nassau for 5 days. Should be a great time and I really want to be in my best shape for this one. I have a cute black dress I would love to wear and, if I'm a good girl and exercise, I should be able to get into it without looking like a sea lion.

So, these are my two countdowns going on right now. Hopefully, they will keep me motivated to get my running in and keep my hands out of the cookie jar, except on rare occasions like parties, holidays, seeing friends/family, weekends....well, there's always hope!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Some Vacation Pics

Here's a few pics from the trip home. First is a family picture at the family brunch the day after the wedding. In the back is my brother Mitch, his girlfriend Becca, my parents, Brian and myself and the front is my sister Tiffany, her husband Brian and my niece Morgan.




Tiffany, Mom, Morgan and me at the wedding reception..can you tell we're related?



Morgan and I having a little chat



Cousin Dana and me. Miss you lots!



At the WhiteSox game



Wilson on the ride home. He's ready to be out of the car.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fun Family Trip

I was reading my last post and must correct the hours: it's actually more like 62 hours roundtrip, but at least there were plenty of stops on both ends of it so it really wasn't so bad. We headed out on 7-22 and made it to Cave City, Kentucky before stopping for the night. Just a cute little tourist town with lots of cave outings and little shops. The second day, we made it to Brian's family in Chicago and spent the night there before heading up the the Twin Cities for my cousin's wedding. The wedding was very nice and the reception was at an Irish pub in St. Paul where I had many Michelob Golden Lights. We celebrated until they kicked us out of the bar-it's always fun to see my dad dancing to Eminem.

Saturday was a little family reunion brunch and then we headed to my sister's place for a few days. I got to see my beautiful niece, Morgan, for the first time and had lots of good Auntie time. I would have packed her away and brought her back here but I don't think breast milk ships too well. While there, Morgan was baptised and we had a little party for her. Brian and I visited some friends and then we headed up to my parents' place near Mahnomen, MN. The house and farm have definitely had some changes done since the last time I was home. I got some good family time with my parents, sister, niece and the grandparents before we headed back to Chicago.

We spent the last 5 days of our visit with Brian's family. We went to the WhiteSox game, saw some friends and went to his family's summer place to chill for the weekend where they had a big polish dinner with all the fixins and we played lots of card games and hung out with his family and friends. As with most vacations, there was a lot of food, alcohol and laughs. It was a great time and, as usual, went way too fast. The weather was beautiful-it's so nice not to sweat when you walk outside! So, overall the trip was a big success and Wilson was a perfect little passenger the whole way there and back. I think he was just as tired as we were when we returned from all the extra attention lavished on him.

Now, it's back to the grind. Work hasn't been too bad this week, although only having three days helps. I have some household chores to do and I want to get a run in so I'm off. Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I'm Back!

After 42 hours and approximately 4400 miles round trip, I am back home from visiting family and friends "up north" in Chicago and Minnesota. It was a great trip and, although the driving was extensive, I enjoyed the excursion (granted Brian drove most of the time-what a trooper). The good thing is I'm unpacked, the laundry is half done and the dog is resting comfortably on his couch. Think I'll just relax and try not to dread the disaster that's awaiting me at work tomorrow.

I'll give more trip details later on...too tuckered today. Hope everyone has been well and I will be catching up soon!