Tuesday, August 31, 2010
I had one of those ah-hah moments today. The bus was running late due to road construction and a overpass bridge being redone, three areas causing delays to be exact just in my route. There are a good three other places all torn up as well. Basically it is nothing new and I deal with it and read. (Today I just had a knitting pattern book. Pretty pictures but after awhile I couldn't read patterns.) I could have easily jumped in the truck and headed out for fast food but I didn't. Other times when I've been running late and tired that was the quick fix. The thought of making something from scratch was more aggravating.
Super late dinner tonight = red pepper chicken enchiladas in salsa verde (made in store not via a jar) + stewed tomatoes. This is day two of "I just wanna go to sleep yet I cook." I know if I don't eat well I will get sick. True, I may end up getting the cold that has been annoying me/hinting every now and then but it won't be as bad.
I picked up Needles and Pearls by Gil McNeil at the library today. The Beach Street Knitting Society & Yarn Club is one of my favs so I'm hoping the sequel is just as good. It'll help me stay awake on public trans tomorrow morning as well.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Charlie St Cloud - book not movie = crying while reading on public trans
Panzanella attempt #1 a la http://blackcatkitchen.wordpress.com/2008/08/15/barefoot-bloggers-panzanella/- it will be repeated
Firefly w Hubs
Tuna Mac w peas
Brownies from a box
Climbing Mt Laundry
Mexican Takeout w the BFF
UP! - Look a talking dog! aka Molly's new favorite movie
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Saturday morning walk in Grant Park
Free outdoor group fitness
Bean-ey bloggers Jessie, Stina, & Mary
She blinded me with
Hello mini croissants! I love you!
Bagel thins & fresh fruit... mmmmm fruit! NOM NOM NOM!
Step #1 in how to eat like a
Almond butter on bagel thin, brown sugar oatmeal, fruit, plain Greek yogurt, OJ & water
Ham and cheddar sandwich thin, edamame/carrot/quinoa salad, chickpea salad, green salad, water
Sadly my stomach wasn't super happy before lunch and I didn't get to enjoy this as much as I wanted. If I was 100% I would have gone back for seconds of the salads!
I lost my phone aka "How to be late to the Time Management session." I dumped my swag bags in a pre-panic mode move. The phone ended up under my lunch table. PHEW!
Swag nicely arranged post lunch and pre-nap. I missed the fitness sessions and the last snack break but napping to Legend of the Seeker w all lights on - no creepy stories gonna get me w a quiet room! - helped me feel better.
You know you want a fries close up!
Sunday breakfast fruit NOM NOM NOM
YAY razzberries! Not the same as picking them from the yard but they were excellent.
Dramatic bagel thins...think piano music in some sort of cabaret, they are all staring at each other....ok maybe not.
Cream cheese station toppings
Such a good idea!
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
And the baby is also mocking me since Rice A Roni hates me and takes 3x as long to cook.
Tonight is a glass of wine and one of those microwave cake/brownie deals.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
I am a walker.
I am less afraid to actually run.
Yes, you read right, afraid.
Part of the Healthy Living Summit that I thought was extremely good was a panel/presentation on time management. It wasn't preachy or scold-ey. It just made sense. One part including why something wasn't being done. I thought of this with running. I'd want to run but I was embarrassed that I didn't know what I was doing. For some reason the thought of running then stopping and walking would have random people and to be extra extreme local squirrels and whatnot staring at me. I didn't want to be the center of bad attention. I didn't want to fail.
I honestly don't know why this mindset got associated with running. I ran track in junior high and loved it. For random reasons, I didn't in high school. College level didn't even come to mind especially since I hadn't seriously run in ages.
This morning I met up with Stina and we headed out to a local trail. She didn't laugh at me when I said I had to walk, not that I had thought she would have though. I felt fine running slowly then walking and swapping between the two. We did about 4 miles of this combo. I say about since the distance I had tried to find online and this was the only option given and she didn't have her Garmin with her.
We already have talked about heading out again. While exact time, date isn't set I'm looking forward to it.
Fervent Foodie had a recent post w fast dinners. I commented there as well but thought to share it here. This was something I just threw together one night in a pinch but it worked well and therefore I wasn't running out for past food or defrosting a frozen thing.
A fast done -in-10-mins dinner that works well for me:
green beans (leftovers heated up or frozen/defrosted)
whole wheat pasta (whatever is in the pantry)
spoonful of country crock (w calcium/D) amount depending on actual serving size
2 shakes MCcormick kick n’ chicken spice mix
2-3 shakes Parmesan cheese
Saturday, August 21, 2010
What I should have done was stop, eat breakfast, then finish all of this. I can be a jumpy edgy person in general at times and this was a standard one. If I don't eat, I get frazzled. When I get frazzled, I get annoyed esp since that is when things fall, cats go bonkers, dogs start barking like crazy, and in this case, the printer flips out. It's a "win-win" situation if worn out and twitchy is the goal.
Now that everything is set, breakfast time (even though I had a Green Monster (1/2 prior to craziness, 1/2 after), that technically is first/early breakfast since just that isn't enough for me.) I've lost time to work on other stuff since I have set plans for this afternoon. I'm trying to not let it bother me.
Laundry can wait to be completely done. The dog barf (again) is cleaned up and hopefully Cosmo is done eating random stuff from the yard. The dishes can wait. The dishwasher can stay full for a few more hours. I only have plans tomorrow morning - a rescheduled run w Stina if everything works out - so it all can be taken care of then. I am going to make my lunch, sit my butt down and watch some recorded television to recenter myself.
What gets you frazzled? Not enough to eat? Not enough sleep? Do you have any tricks to fix it or things that you just decide to do rather than your to-do list?
Thursday, August 19, 2010
After the bus adventure turned Blue Line adventure, Lisa and I met up with Stina. Our room was nice and clean yet you could tell it was an old hotel. (The hotel logo was everywhere too which was both amusing and a bit all over the place.) We headed over to the Red Line to get to the party and ran into Haya and Mary (That was two off my Twitter list. Yes, I had a Twitter list of people to meet,) as well as Andrea and her cute dress with the bright fabric flower attached. I love that after awhile it was easy to find the bloggers heading to the event. Female 19ish-35ish, adorable dress, cute shoes, big grin, travels in small groups. :)
I loved that they had marquee set up welcoming us. I have seen band names of friends done up in the same way but never was it this exciting for me.
After a crazy metal scare-case climb, we made it up to the top floor where the party was being held. The place was gorgeous but I don't do well with heights and stairs that you can see through, be it railings or the actual steps. I actually went down them barefoot on the way out.
The menu was "heavy appetizers" and I could have easily ended up with a heavy plate of the mini turkey burgers. They were extemely good even with no condiments added. The red pepper hummus was exceptionally tasty (must try this at home) and the spinach/artichoke dip was a good mix of both. I ended up using my drink ticket for a Coors Light, though I drank water while I ate. Overall, I was pleased and satisfied and ready to find people.
I was on a mission (insert Blues Brothers banter here) to find people especially Jess and Erin. After awhile, "Have you seen A Girl & Her Mutt and/or Black Cat Kitchen?" became "Haveyou seenAGirl&HerMuttandorBlackCatKitchen?" since I have a tendency to talk a lot and quite rapidly when wired especially happy wired.
One happy shrieky introduction moment later, I found Jess and "made" her take a picture.
The rest of the night was a blur of talking to misc bloggers and readers. I didn't realize how late it had gone until the photobooth was being broken down - without Stina and I realizing it and not getting a pic, and the "thanks for coming" was announced. I hadn't found Erin but figured I'd run into her sometime on Saturday.
We headed out not too long afterwards with mutterings of fro-yo and a small group headed in the drizzling rain to the Red Line. While technically a cab works in situations like this I can't help but lean towards public transportation when there is a group. If I was alone then it would have been a different story. The fro-yo place ended up closing within minutes so that didn't work but it was still a good idea.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Mellie sent me an email today about the 2010 Walk for PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease which is something she has dealt with personally.) On Sunday, September 26th she is participating in the 2 mile walk again this year and was asking for support to reach her goal. Her personal goal is $300 and team goal is $700. I plan to donate soon and thought she'd get a kick out of meeting her goal super fast and then beating it.
To donate, visit:
http://www.pkdcure.org/tabid/1727/Default.aspx and click on the orange box that says "Donate to a participant" Her name is Melissa Apple.
If you can donate, thank you so much for all of your support!
If you can't but know someone who would want to help, please pass along the info to them.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Other than Zumba, tonight was chicken tacos w the works including bell peppers and a short nap that almost made me miss class. All the go go go from the weekend is catching up to me! I'm planning to bring a small notebook so I can work on my recaps on the bus.
So for tonight I leave you with some old school, or should I say Old Skool dancing....
Monday, August 16, 2010
Since it was too early for me to technically be up and running amuck since 4:45am, I wasn't super hungry but knew I'd better eat or I'd feel sick later. I had a blurry bagel w lowfat cream cheese, blurry in that camera didn't like the settings it was on and I didn't realize it until later. (I will save your eyes and not post.)
I boarded the giant bus after mingling in the lobby with other tour-ees for awhile. Part of me felt like it was a blogger rockstar tour bus but all the craziness was a game of Catchphrase that Caitlin from Healthy Tipping Point started. It had brackets and my team won the first round. Sadly, we didn't get to proceed to greatness due to lack of time. Perhaps there will be a continuation at next year's HLS.
During our trek to Wisconsin, I got a chance to meet a bunch of other bloggers including Emily from Relishments (who was also my "buddy" for making sure we had everyone all on the bus before leaving rest stops), Sean from Learn Fitness, and Lisa from Cupcake Breath.
Upon our arrival to the Frito Lay plant in Beloit, WI we all were greeted by a snazzy orange fellow in shades (I bet he wears his sunglasses at night too.)
They gave a really informative presentations about the healthy and environmental changes and goals for the company. Sean took notes so I recommend reading his post.
A great spread awaited us as well.
All recycled materials including utensils which I had not seen before.
An assortment of wraps including a veggie option
COOKIES and MILK! My inner 5 yr old was happy but I split a cookie with...
I haven't been in a cookie mood lately otherwise there'd be two plates and not just this one.
Turkey, white cheddar wrap, fruit salad, salad w french dressing, and a glass of iced tea that is hiding just above my plate.
The plant people, as in FL plant not the kind like Audrey II, originally split us into two group. After the first presentation, half went on the tour while half ate and then we switched. We broke into smaller groups from the original two groups and headed out on the tour. It was loud and smelled amazing in the seasoning sections. The salting area was one where you could taste it in the air. I thought being able to see everything from the potato to the seasoned chip to the packaging and shipping was very interesting.
I also really enjoyed watching the reactions of the people working there. This was their first food blogger group (AWESOME!) and some didn't know about food blogs.
We all picked up our swag bags and headed back to the bus. What we didn't realize though was that we were also headed to a traffic jam. Around O'Hare the traffic stopped and you could start to feel a bit of tension in the bus since the majority of us were all heading back to the cocktail party. Sean suggested taking the Blue Line and I totally agreed with him. I take the El all the time and while it does start and stop, unless there is a breakdown, you do move. While it would still take time, it'd be actually moving. A vote was taken and a good number of us, red swag bags, decided on the EL. One smushed car, several stops, and a few bags of chips given away later we all made it back to the Loop and back to the hotel.
Luckily Stina had already checked in so all I had to do was grab my key and jet off to get ready for the cocktail party...
Sunday, August 15, 2010
So happy to have met so many amazing people
So glad to have attended some great presentations
So stuffed, well was stuffed, with great good
So looking forward to next year
So needing to do laundry and take a NAP!
HLS posts/reviews/photos coming soon!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Whoossssshhhhhh there goes today!
I am one that when I get super excited or super stressed about something I go in fast paced mode. That's when I have to remember that running on adrenaline is not a good idea and that while being a woman I am supposedly able to multitask, doing 5 things at once as I race around the house is not a good idea. Obviously with this weekend being the Healthy Living Summit the whoooshhhhh is happy/excited related and not stressed out related. I've made a point this week to try to get to bed at a reasonable time. That has definitely helped.
I may not be technically packed but the majority is all together or freshly washed. I've gotten much better at packing the last few years. Worse case I can always run home, while it'd be a bit of a pain w the traffic woes from road construction lately, it is possible to get something if I forget something.
I'm really looking forward to seeing others who aren't from the area's perspective on Chicago. I've been going downtown as long as I can remember and way back memories were when the bus steps were HUGE. True, there are some things that have changed or been renamed - SEARS Tower... I miss Marshall Fields! It may be Macys but the famous clock is still there.
Nothing exciting or really interesting food wise today or yesterday. I take that back, mac & cheese bites - think breaded mushrooms but mac & cheese inside - are amazing. Can't eat them every day but every now and then = YUM!
Ok back to not-quite last minute planning/plotting for this weekend pre-"get your butt to bed" time!
Monday, August 9, 2010
- Bad almonds, yogurt, coffee drink, or combo of = sick all day
- Surviving off pretzels, Revive Vitamin Water, regular Coke and AB&J sandwiches & tea
- Road construction adding hour and half to my usually long commute
- Eyebrow threading really hurting this time
- New yoga pants missing, aka absorbed by the closet and hopefully not the vortex that has claimed one brown shoe and Mr CSYA's good black hoodie
- Cough is back aka "are you sure you aren't dying"
- Eyebrows looking awesome from threading
- Healthy Living Summit is THIS WEEKEND!
- HLS = new reason to go to Target for cute new shirt
- Giant knot in neck is 1/2 gone
- Bond, the kitten, is grumpy but not freaked out from being trapped by our dogs yesterday
- Taking different route to work tomorrow morning = no insane construction
- Wearing cute dress tomorrow since it's supposed to be 90 & humid
List is how my brain is working more so than sentences today. It also keeps channeling the old Muppet shows where Kermit yells while running around flapping his arms above his head. I tried finding it on YouTube but ended up with some creepy options in the search results. EEK!
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Even though I know it will be super cheese-fest, I want to see Step Up 3D. I've seen the first two, but not in theaters. The recent resurgence of 3D movies is intriguing yet I haven't gotten out to see one. (I was told that Avatar was supposedly superb in 3D and my lack of utter wow-ed-ness was due to seeing it at home. )
So yes, here I am wanting to see the dance movie. I have a soft spot for dance movies from years of dance training as a kid, two years in a swing troupe as a teenager, and part of my early twenties when "going out dancing" was actually going out dancing and not just giggling/sticking my chest out while trying to pick up a guy. If someone was interested in me after dancing my butt off for several hours to the point where only I knew I left the house wearing makeup and desperately needing a shower, so be it. Please note that I met my husband not at a bar/club/et al but through a mutual friend in high school but that's a story for another time.
This weekend I've been in lazy mode which is good. Between a migraine attack and my sinuses being a bit off I am not pushing it to get sick for next weekend. I'll be heading to bed early all week, or as early as possible, this week as well. I just have to make sure I give myself enough time to pack. I'm pretty good at packing up what I need and this time I can technically run home if need be even though it will be annoying to do so. The only thing is I treated myself to a new workout outfit for the yoga class and now that I know a good amount of people are wearing yoga pants at HLS on Sat I need to find out where I put them. It'll be in the one place I didn't look more likely than not, the drawer they actually as supposed to be in.
I have been watching Hoarders: Buried Alive and it makes me want to clean and go through to donate stuff. While I am not the neatest person, I am far from that extreme. I do have clothes that barely don't fit and keep asking myself if I should just keep them or get rid of them. Knowing that if I am 5lbs smaller something will fit, and it is in good condition, makes me question donating. My goal is to get in better shape which will more than likely either end up in a loss of pounds or a loss of inches.
Tonight's dinner was a steal of a deal since most of it came from Aldi. I am a firm believer in Aldi, which is a low cost grocery store. The packaging isn't fancy and some things are pretty basic. They do have a health-centered line Fit & Active which has nice whole wheat pasta, amazing low fat key lime pie yogurt, and ground turkey for about $3 a pound including tax. Some stuff is kind of "ih" like their version of Coke which, to me, has a peppery aftertaste.
Dinner for 2:
Three cheese & spinach stuffed tortellini ($1.69)
Tomato sauce ($0.25)
Yellow bell pepper( 3 peppers for $2.79 = $0.93)
1/2 package frozen precooked medium tail-on shrimp ($3.49 = $1.75)
From home/already in cabinet/fridge:
Red pepper flakes
Italian herb blend
Olive oil (used to cook the peppers before adding the tomato sauce)
1/4 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese
Total cost from Aldi: $4.62
I've been paying more and more attention to prices of food. If it is good quality and deserving, then I'll pay more money but if it is average run of the mill stuff why should I spend so much?
Saturday, August 7, 2010
So this week it's back to making sure everything is the norm. We ate out a bit too much last week and I wasn't sleeping too too well even though I was getting sleep. The bit thing that I know it's the TOM which is an obvious hormonal shift. I am not a PMS beast nor do I suffer from horrid cramps during so I cannot complain that much nor do I. I just get super sleepy. I have known girls/women who are pretty much stuck in the house with a hot water bottle, some sort of OTC painkiller and the tv remote. so I'm one of the luckier ones.
I had hoped to go to the eye doc today. It wasn't an appointment but rather just to see if I need a mild prescription. At times I don't know if my eyes are tired or my vision has lessened a bit. I've never been one to need glasses so if this is the case, going almost 30 years sans them works out pretty well.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
I got soaked en route to the bus stop today. SOAKED! It was funny watching the lady on the bus try not to watch me wringe out the bottom of my dress. The weather keeps going from ok to humid to crazy humid to RAIN - which of course makes sense in terms of grade school science class. I just am not a fan since my sinuses go wonky. So the plan is extra sleep since it's almost a week to Healthy Living Summit DAY!
Ok I know it's more than just one day but it's easier to yell - in my head of course - a la "BUT IT'S REX MANNING DAY!" I love Empire Records so it works. :)
I was on a mission today to try one of the new salads at Potbellys today. Their advertising - cute chalkboards - always make me pay attention and this time they sucked me in. Well, rather they tried to suck me in but there was no room. I ended up at Quiznos which was good but not the same. I need to just get to the store since we are out of all salad making items of the green leafy sort. I also need to find a decent cucumber. Sadly the last one was pretty bland. I'd love to grow them in the yard but right now I don't have the space.
Speaking of the yard "garden" aka the pots on the patio, it is still alive and somewhat well. The bell peppers are tiny but we were able to get one so far. I'm getting some sort of a tomato crop if I get them right away as they start to ripen. If I leave them to fully ripen or get large-ish then they start disintegrating/mushy on the bottom or get eaten by something, more than likely a squirrel. It is a bit aggravating since last year we had no problems. Perhaps the furry-tailed chatterboxes realized there is a salad buffet this year in the same place as last year. Nonetheless I'll continue planting my veggies. I grew up with a garden and so it's just natural to have one since I have the space.
Did anyone else grow up with a garden and have one now or feel that they have to grow something veggie wise now?
Sunday, August 1, 2010
It has been a weird few days. I don't know if it is the weather, though it has been hot/warm/rain/looks like rain combo. Or if I need more sleep, though I have been napping and catching up on sleep. Or if I need to make sure I'm not getting sick. I've been camped out on the couch napping/watching TV with my head on the heating pad for a good part of the day. I know you are technically not to lay on it but it helps when my head/sinuses are congested.
Even with feeling out of it today, I was determined to not eat junk food/fast food. It's the easy way out but in the end I know it's not the best idea. I made a giant green monster to start as well as use up my spinach. We are really trying to make sure all of the produce is eating before it goes bad. There is usually a small part of it that doesn't get eaten. While it isn't a giant amount, it's still better to put it in something/plan out before it is wasted.
I've had a taste for french toast for a few days now and decided to make some for brunch. I use a modified version of a recipe that was in a cookbook (thinking Joy of Cooking) where you add vanilla to the egg mixture. I added some cinnamon as well. It turned out perfect and I topped it with strawberry preserves since we are out of syrup.
Late lunch was ham, cheddar cheese, yellow mustard and horseradish mayo on a roll.
For a good amount of time Sundays were Crock Pot days. We found a good sized one on sale at Target awhile back and figured to make the best of it. Plus with our work schedules it really helps.
Today's Slow Cooker Sunday:
- 2 chicken breasts, cut into medium pieces
- 1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
- 1 orange bell pepper, coarsely chopped
- approx cup frozen corn
- 8 large to medium white mushrooms, chopped
- 1/3 white onion, finely chopped
- 1 jar mild salsa
- handful black olives
- 1/4 cup water
I didn't measure the spices/seasonings which is usually the case. It was 1 - 2 shakes of each: paprika, garlic powder, mustard powder, cumin, red pepper flakes. I set it to high for about 5 hrs. I defrosted the chicken in the microwave so it was semi cooked when I put it in. I usually wait until it starts to break down/shred for it to be "done" even though it is usually cooked all the way through prior to that.
Yesterday I ended up hooping for awhile to clear my head as well as work on the knot in my back. I've found that the hoop works well in not hurting it yet getting rid of the tightness from sitting funny. I've decided to start keeping playlists with it so that I can make a master list on my itunes eventually.
This was from my Sam Sparro station on Pandora. It worked out that the Moby song was last since I wanted a slower song. I usually try to not let the hoop drop for the entire song. If I don't try to chest hoop too much and keep it hip/waist level that ends up being the case.
- Teardrop - Massive Attack = also theme song for House
- In the Waiting Line - Zero 7
- Bonafied Lovin' (Tough Guys) - Chromeo
- 21st Century Life - Sam Sparro
- Aerodynamic - Daft Punk
- Porcelain - Moby