A life where arts & crafts meets food & fitness


Thursday, July 29, 2010


This is a real conversation that took place in our house tonight....

Mr. CYSA: I thought you were making a small smoothie
Me: I am
Mr. CYSA: Out of what?!?? Bricks?!?!

(I used a bit too much ice.)

Back up an hour earlier....

I get home from work and we headed out to get groceries. This past week we've been trying to eat up misc stuff that we already had and hadn't gotten too many groceries since getting back from Colorado. It wasn't too too too bad, OK yes it was, since I had spinach but no bananas. That means no smoothies. EEK! You know you are a smoothie addict when not having bananas is a problems. Would that technically be "going bananas sans bananas?"

We come home, eat dinner (yes we eat pretty late most nights due to work schedules) and yet I need a green monster and finally can make one.

Fast forward to Whirrrrrrr whirrrrr WHEEEIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRRRR and the above convo. It's technically NOT my fault since he surprised me with a bag of fruit and this dual multi blender for my birthday one year.

I'm excited that today is the start of the new season of Project Runway. I always find it interesting how the designers portray the feminine silhouette. There is always that question whether or not one area is exaggerated or featured over another. I will never understand certain aspects of fashion like ill placed cargo pant pockets. I have passed up many a capri cargo/standard cargo pant due to pockets being situated on the ONE place I really don't want to accentuate. I technically don't have wide hips/thighs etc but there's always one spot that makes me think of the Oompa Loompa pants.

Speaking of clothing though, I can't believe that the Healthy Living Summit is approaching so rapidly! I need to go shopping! Well tehnically not for a dress, I have a dress for the cocktail party but if I wear that dress I need new heeled sandals. However, if I look for new shoes I know there's a chance that I'll find another dress....not that's that a bad if I do.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Doodoo... bebe... doodoo

I have remix dance music stuck in my head now. Caitlin @ Healthy Tipping Point was talking about movie trailer music. It got me thinking of stuff that I have included in my playlists to get me moving. I also need to make some new ones. They may not all be running on a treadmill mixes like before but with some stability ball and hooping music included too.

This one always works to get me moving.

I saw part of Transformers 3 being filmed downtown today. The little version of me who used to watch it as a cartoon and play with the cars (which I still have the Burger King versions of in a box) was totally geeking out.

I came home today, decided I needed a nap and proceeded to fall asleep for two hours. Oops. I guess I needed that but it totally messed up dinner. I'm not hungry but know if I don't eat something I'll be up at 2am with a grumbly tummy.

I'm thinking probably a salad since I picked up three bags of salad from Aldi this past weekend. I never knew they had butter lettuce so this was a good trip. They had an italian mix too. I've found myself becoming a lettuce snob. I can't just eat iceburg alone anymore!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Please remove the ice pick from my eyesocket, thank you

I was stuck home today with a migraine. Ugh. It is nothing new in that I have had them for about the past 10-12 years. I am lucky to not have them as frequently as others but 9.5 times out of 10 I'm stuck in bed as a result. Then more times than not I end up with what I call the migraine hangover, basically just feeling out of it.

I read years ago about various triggers and whatnot regarding migraines. I actually started food tracking a few years ago because of not knowing if it was food related or something else. Weight wise I was fine with where I was for the most part with only wanting to get in better shape. For the most part with me it is eating properly, temperature changes, sleeping enough, and that specific time of the month. Other times it comes completely out of the blue.

Today's was pretty annoying leading me to pop two Excedrin Migraines, have the heating pad on one side of my head and the ice pack on the other. When Mr. CYSA came home from work he couldn't help but slightly laugh at how silly I looked. I laughed too since I knew I looked silly. It took several hours longer than I had hoped for the magnitude of it to go away. I slept through breakfast which I know didn't help. If we had bananas I would have made a smoothie but alas, we don't. Plus my mini travel mug blender deal is mocking me by the bottom not unscrewing. (I was tempted to bang it on the cutting board but decided not to since it would have probably broken.)

The one scary thing though was that the last two times I have had migraines I've had crazy dreams. The time before last a guy that I knew in high school wasn't him but some sort of crazy attacker/assassin. I vaguely remember some sort of spy movie/tv show being watched around that time. The time today was reading something written on a ceiling (signatures on a wall/ceiling was mentioned in someone's blog not too long ago) and being in some sort of tunnel (tunnels are included in the most recent House of Night book I read) but I was trapped a few inches from the ceiling. When I woke up I literally had to swing my arms around and above my head to shake away that trapped feeling. I'm not claustrophobic but that still wasn't a great feeling. I wonder if it was my head being out of whack w the migraine that caused it or just not feeling well in general.

Has anyone else had weird dreams after a migraine/being sick?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

(Almost) back to your regularly scheduled programming

I am finally feeling back to normal. While it is not the normal rested, normal menu normal, it's pretty close. I've never been one to pull all nighters but the past few days have been a bit wonky. If I hadn't had the standby/overnight in the airport adventure I think it would have been a bit better especially since I always make sure I have an extra day of vacation. While this one was absorbed by an overdue flight and then sleeping in (in the middle of the day as well) it still helped. I cannot imagine people who flight everything and don't give themselves a day to recoup. Super people I guess. I need my sleep!

Friday, July 23, 2010


Mr. CSYA and I just back got back from Denver and Boulder. It was a great trip and I am worn out. He got home yesterday and I was stuck on standby til EARLY this morning. EEP! I am not a morning person and definitely not a 4 am person in terms of lining up for a flight. I slept a little bit but for the most part it was napping and reading. Today is a bit wacky now even with take a good sized nap when I got home. I know by tomorrow night I'll be back to normal if not close.

This is my second time to Denver and Breckenridge but first time to Boulder. Compared to the Chicago area, I think Boulder was much much MUCH more laid back. The less, if even recognizable, humidity there helps too. We walked all over all three cities and several places in between as well as tried some local places to eat. I took a ton of photos - Rocky Mts! How can you not?!?!

I've recently started the House of Night series and am totally loving it. A friend called it Harry Potter but with vampires and that is a legit comparison. It is not totally the same but the basic concept of a vampire finishing school makes sense. I don't want to give too much away but for a YA novel it's fulfilling. I read the first book and half the second while I was waiting to come home.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

single single, double, single single, travel

Tonight was the first class of the latest session of Zumba and WOW it was intense. It was a good intense though. The first class of last session I had no idea what I was doing. It wasn't quite what I had expected and I wasn't sure if I'd take it again. Funny how a few weeks can change things. There is one song Crazy by Pitbull that she uses and the title of this post is part of the routine from it. I found myself w her instructions in my head one day when the song was on the radio. Real proof that the class is a keeper now.

Plus I've found that a weeknight class is better for me than an early weekend class. I get a better workout and then have my entire Saturday for housework, yard work, errands and whatnot. Then I don't feel guilty for skipping one or another. An hour of yard/housework may not be an hour of aerobics but I can still feel it the next day. That's especially the case when the weeds put up a fight. The only thing though it that I'm not super tired now. Hello DVR-ed TV!

I made Apricot Chicken on Sunday night and it turned out amazing. I looked at my plate, thought wow, and didn't think "camera" until it was almost gone. OOPS! I used low sodium chicken broth instead of wine (as mentioned in the reviews) and part of a regular onion rather than a scallion. I couldn't find fresh apricots so I used canned but rinsed them twice to get rid of most of the syrup. I couldn't find low sugar/no sugar but sometimes the lite canned fruit tastes funky to me. The recipe page suggested spinach and quinoa. I stuck w the quinoa but added a yellow/green bean/carrot mix. Yum yum yum. Next time the plan is to keep the same modifications but try adding some garlic.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Day Late and (Several) Dollars Short

I was lost in Target yesterday. Not literally lost in the sense that I couldn't find the exit, but more so because they are remodeling and becoming a Super Target. I had my plan of attack, aka the list of what I ACTUALLY needed, so that helped keep me from falling into the "ooooh preeeeeeeeetty"trap. I swear Target pipes something through the ventilation system that makes you happy and want to spend more money. Overall, I got my full list completed, tried on TWELVE things only to end up with a nice casual yet can be dressed up dress, and found a box of asiago, rosemary, pepper crackers. Crackers and a dress being the only things that weren't on the list is pretty good.

I went on out on my first run yesterday. I had been putting it off for silly reasons esp what if I don't do well. Redonkulous! I don't know where I became so hard on myself with this but enough is enough. I busted out the sunblock - kids spray version which I love because I always manage to rub it in my eyes something, laced up my shoes and got ready to go. I did about a 20/30 min run walk combo. Afterward it was a all call for running help since my shins hurt. The consensus was a combo of new shoes and not stretching enough. I'm still learning and getting advice from people who run for fun as well as people who ran a ton because they were in the military really helps.

I tried the Trudie Styler Warrior Yoga yesterday. Tried being the key word since it was much more advanced that I had anticipated. I've done yoga on and off for a good 15 years so I knew what she was talking about but not having done it lately made me turn it off. I'll stick with some easier stuff first to get more stretched out and then go back to it. The music is by Sting and the person speaking is pleasant to listen to so that is a plus. I just don't want to jump into it and hurt myself.

I'm modifying my fitness classes and just taking the tuesday Zumba class. It's a mix of wanting to save some money for awhile and that the tuesday class is the one when I feel I get the best workout. The group is great. We laugh and there is good energy.

Yesterday's food listing:


  • Double Green Monster - (had made some for Mr. CYSA which he tasted and liked but didn't want to mix with his coffee pre-work which was understandable; half pre-run + wait, half after) banana, OJ, 3 handfuls spinach, 6 strawberries, slice of pineapple, handful of ice
  • English muffin, 2 eggs, cheddar cheese, 2 shakes crazy salt


  • Giant bowl of brown rice, mixed frozen veggies, 2 shakes McCormick Kick n' Chicken (my fav), tablespoon of Country Crock, 3 shakes parmesan cheese
  • Chochip cookie dough ice cream (having this in the fridge kept me from stopping for a shake on the way home from target)
  • Water

Afternoon snack:

  • AB & J sandwich (never PB & J since I have a peanut allergy)
  • Cherry Pepsi

Dinner: Out since Mr. CYSA worked late and our plans to grill didnt work out :(

  • Slice & 1/2 sausage pizza & 2/3 of a Coors Light (not a big drinker) @ our fav local sports bar

Today's beginning food listing:


  • Green monster - same as yesterday but 2 slices of pinapple and two bananas instead of one
  • Egg mushrooms and cheese on english muffin

One thing that I realized is the lack of natural light in my kitchen has me hunting for a new place to try. Some of my recent food photos end up all washed out or just blah. If I don't like looking at it, I know others won't. This has also gotten me motivated to straight up various areas of clutter in case they end up being the new photo area. Funny how one thing changes another when you don't even realize it!

Other than some straightening up, today is a yard day - in parts since it is supposed to be warm/humid. I am thinning out one flowerbed/weeding so that it looks a bit less crazy. I have two extra tall plants that are making the rest look tiny. Those definitely need to be scaled back.

Other a different note, I am seriously loving the Gavin Rossdale w Apocalyptica song. I've been a fan of Bush, Institute and his other work. I think this showcases his voice very well. It also doesn't hurt that the man is gorgeous. :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Big (Green) Gulp

This morning I had a bit of a problem. I couldn't find anything big enough for my Green Monster other than a Super Big Gulp cup. In the end it ended up being a two smaller glass but I did get a good laugh and thought perhaps to just put a straw in the blender.

I'm watching a recorded episode of Losing It With Jillian. With it only being a week that she is out there helping a family, I think it is much more intense than Biggest Loser at times. I tried watching it the actual day but it was pretty intense so I figured it would wait til the weekend. Here are these families willing to admit that they are not healthy, go on television, and be scrutinized by millions. I give anyone willing to be televised while doing that credit esp if it involves standing in front of the camera in little clothing.

One of the big reasons that I am making good eating/fitness a big part of my life and as a result part of Mr. CYSA's life as well, is that we do want a family in the future. I want to be in good shape when we do decide to get pregnant so that the risk of pregnancy related complications is lessoned. I've also read that being in good shape before, keeping moving during, will help me bounce back afterwards. Plus I want to raise healthy kids.

I'm planning a great dinner tonight - Asian style stir fry w shrimp, zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, water chestnuts and whatever else I drag out of the fridge on top of brown rice. I'm going to make some quinoa as well as a side dish/something for later.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Pedal to the meddle

The bike is out and it feels so great to be riding around the neighborhood. Better late than never with a "better late then stung" included as well. We have had hornet problems in the shed this year and last year. I have never been stung by anything other than a horsefly as a kid and the run of the mill mosquito. Anything else creeps me out.

Mr. CSYA and I went to a friend's house to watch the fireworks last night. It's a short ride, about 3 miles, and worked so much better than fighting the traffic. The show was really good and the weather cooperated. I was worried it would rain since it drizzled when I was out riding earlier in the day.

I've decided to work in a combo of Zumba, Shred, biking, and stability ball work. If it is not a class, I get antsy after awhile so Shred will be interesting. I like the workout but the music is annoying. I'd love to mute it once I get the hang of the routine and set it to my own playlist.

Today's food listing:


  • English muffin w Country Crock (w calcium & vitamin D)
  • Green Monster (spinach, splash orange juice, 4 strawberries, 2 bananas, ice)


  • Grilled cheese w green chilies (mild cheddar, mozzarella on oat bran bread)
  • Scoop of potato salad
  • Passion fruit tea

Afternoon snack:

  • 1/2 wrap with hummus, onion salt, cumin, paprika
  • Crisp apple w Maranatha almond butter
  • Cherry lime-ade
  • Coke


  • Pulled pork sandwich (slow cooked in a smoker by my cousin = NOM NOM NOM)
  • Veggie Medley
  • Twix ice cream bar

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July

Today is also panic puppy day.


Cosmo is not, and has not been, happy with the fireworks this week. He insists to smush himself up against me if I am sitting or walk right next to me if I am moving about (when he has full run of the house.)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

What's with today, today?

I just realized that it's later than I thought and I need to get my Food Network watching butt up to bed. EEK! In my attempt to be a better/more frequent blogger....

  • Today's food listing:
    Breakfast: 2 eggs, 1/2 orange bell pepper, 1/4 white onion, cooked in olive oil & seasoned with mixed up salt; mangosteen green tea in my Harry Potter mug from when the exhibit was at the Field Museum - the "good guys" are on the other side.


    Lunch: Extra large "ugly salad" 2 kinds of lettuce, 1/4 medium tomato, 1/8 orange bell pepper, 3 tablespoons shredded sharp cheddar, 1 can tuna (in water, don't like the oil kind) shaken with 2 tablespoons Fit & Active light ranch dressing. Water water water
    Afternoon snack: Cherry limeade (YUM) & choco-chip cookie dough ice cream
    Dinner: whole wheat spaghetti w homemade meatballs (80/20 ground beef, egg, onion salt, black/red pepper shot, garlic powder, 1/8 cup non-seasoned breadcrumbs), sauce made w one med zucchini, remainder of orange pepper (from the day), olive oil, red pepper flakes, plain tomato sauce, water
    Evening snack: Cinnamon struesel soy/multi grain crisps, cherry limeade
  • Not thrilled with trying to explain my current weight to people. Outside people in my life will see me as thin/good weight yet people close to me see it as I have "put on a noticeable amount of weight in a short time." This frustrates me especially since I have never actually known what my ideal weight is/should be. I have some ranges that work well with how I feel and that number is not much less than what I am now. Using past ranges when I was super critical, dealing with self-caused stress and general anxiety, as well as skipping breakfast unless it was fast food take-out or an energy drink, eating fast food lunches at least twice a week, a 2+ can of Coke a day habit, and not doing anything in terms of generalized workout routine isn't really that legit. I will find a good range where I feel good, eat well yet still indulge at times, and have a somewhat routine workout schedule. Then if I get comments, the only other option is a bone saw. (This is clearly a joke.)
  • Neighbors have been shooting off fireworks all day. Cosmo has turned into a big furry shadow/scaredey dog. Molly keeps jumping. Of course Frankie and Bond, being cats, aren't too worried. Tomorrow will be the true test especially since Cosmo wanted to escape the fireworks last year and kept giving us the PUHLEASE puppy dog eyes.
  • I've discovered Cupcake Warms on the Food Network. I'm living vicariously through the people on the show. I like to bake but don't bake often since we waste a lot when I do or I end up taking it to work. There IS a small batch baking book that I got from the library ages ago that I need to actually buy. Cupcake batch meaning 8 cupcakes is much better number for two people.
  • Banana bread muffins are another story. Those can be a full batch. I have a few leopard bananas that need to be removed from the fruit basket soon. Perhaps I'll bake if the weather is willing in the morning. I hate turning on the oven when it's super warm.
  • No Zumba class today. I ended up doing the first day/first level of 30 Day Shred today. I was warned that tomorrow I will hurt. Perhaps this may be the case w the crunches since my neck is always tense but overall I did it but didn't overdo it. With it being anything new, I never go in full steam ahead. I did that once and was in pain from overexerting myself.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

That's a wrap.... and a concert... and a lot of traffic....

I've gotten hooked on wraps again (and I am not talking Fresh Prince though now I have the theme song stuck in my head) which is working well with leftovers. Tonight's later than normal evening snack is a whole wheat wrap with sharp cheddar cheese, a shake of McCormick's Kick n Chicken seasonings, and leftover mixed frozen veggies. Awesome! I need to get to Aldi though soon since I am now out of them. Not awesome!

I am having a what day is today (...it's Rex Manning Day!... or now) since my normal schedule is pretty messed up in terms of actual planned out plans. Tues was no zumba due to the concert and my hooping class was cancelled tonight. In a ways though it is good since I managed to hurt my ankle this past weekend.

Hurt ankle was a result of falling off an edging brick. An EDGING brick around a flowerbed led me to hobble around for three days. It was pull weed, step back, wobble wobble, ankle turns, foot turns and down I go. I am super lucky though that I didn't break anything, tear anything, or cause serious harm. My plan was that if today it hurt when I walked slowly I was going to go into the clinic to make sure it wasn't serious. Luckily when I woke up today it felt much much much better.

It is also a sign that my running shoes are still on vacation in their box. Perhaps next week. I am not giving up, I just need to actually START. (I don't know why I am all capitalize-ey today.)

Tuesday night was Offspring and 311 w opening band, Pepper, at Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island. Basically it is near the Museum Campus in Downtown Chicago - Planetarium, Field Museum, etc. I had been there years ago to see The Goo Goo Dolls and was impressed by the location. The sound was good, the skyline is right there and you had that lake breeze (when there was actual fresh air since 311 WAS one of the bands playing - seriously people do you need to smoke up to enjoy this band??? yuck yuck stinky!) Best of all parking was included in the ticket and there were trolleys w funny drivers.

I have never seen Offspring even with one of my oldest and best-est friends being a super giant fan of theirs. 311 I have seen a few times. Basically, I knew they wouldn't disappoint and in my opinion, they didn't. True they stated a bit radio song heavy but there was energy in the crowd with everyone dancing. Offspring is now on my to-see-again list rather than my to-see list.

Years ago I used to go to concerts all the time. I had friends in bands, friends that were friends w bands, band that were local and just plain amazing as well as the touring/larger bands. Lately it has died down especially with large scale concerts being so expensive in terms of fees. I'll still go but now I am more selective.