A life where arts & crafts meets food & fitness


Sunday, May 22, 2011


Please update your readers and misc accounts of awesomeness.

Can't Surive on Yarn Alone has moved - http://cantsurviveonyarnalone.wordpress.com/

Old posts are remaining here (+ need to read on how to transfer but didn't want to keep waiting!)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mini hiatus

CSYA is going on a mini hiatus.

Why you might ask?

It is getting a makeover!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Hi Bob

After the debacle in getting a deal with my kettlebell kit, I was determined to find a kettlebell DVD that first and foremost got my attention and was challenging yet able to be done with lesser reps if needed. Having just a demo of the moves and a poster of them doesn't work for me. I need to be "distracted" by someone talking and telling me what to do or even just counting. As long as the music isn't too irritating, all is well.

We were at Target today and I picked up Bob Harper Inside Out Method Cardio Kettlebell Shred DVD. The price was good so that helped since I didn't have a lot of money to spend. I've watched The Biggest Loser for years and know I can listen to him. (Since I already have Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, I have my BL section of DVDs now.)

So I have been watching the DVD for a little while and plan to finish watching it before I go to bed. Watching? Why am I not DOING the workout rather than sitting on the couch? Watching fitness DVDs work for me. I like being prepared both mentally and physically when I start something. If I've watched it first, I know the best mindset to be in when putting in the DVD to actually do it.

So far I know that I want to be awake when trying this at first (so no first thing in the morning) so that I am not in full on zombie shuffle with being a newbie. I know if I want to do all the reps I can't be too worn out/ready to fall asleep on the couch if I turn on the TV.

Am I looking forward to doing this routine, or what I've seen so far? Yes.

Will I be worrying about the dogs being in my way for awhile? Yes.

Will I post something about it when I start? Of course.

Will I post photos? Maybe. I'm still not to sure about posting anything workout wear wise just yet.

Do you watch fitness/exercise DVDs before you actually do the routine?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Take (it) Out (side)

Years ago (when I was single) I had a pretty big take out/fast food habit. It was breakfast and lunch at least twice during the work week - for each. Otherwise I did eat well but I had the finances to eat out mixed with being lazy too often. Too easy. Now we have to watch our food budget but still get things from time to time. Sometimes it is a bit too much but I would rather find a good cheat recipe and make it at home. Today was one of those days.

One thing I got often was the Asian Chicken Salad from McDonalds - either grilled or crispy depending on my mood. (That was actually how I first tried edamame. True, it wasn't as great as steaming it myself but I had NO idea how great it could be at that time.) Then they got rid of it. I swapped it out with the Southwest one but it was never the same. Eventually I just stopped getting it and brought a salad from home.

Fast forward to the end of April - they brought it back. True it is JUST a salad but it got me pretty excited. Good memories of fast food lunches... yeaaaaaahhh. So I picked up a grilled version this evening as half/early dinner portion. While successfully not dumping the entire thing on my lap or in the train (though who wouldn't love the smell of sesame ginger dressing on their ride home right?), I realized DUH I can make this at home! Years ago I never thought that. Such a simple idea but it was considered a fancy salad. Weird.

So now the plot...errrr... plan is to find a cheat recipe or a general sesame ginger recipe we both enjoy since we already have too many bottles of light dressing in the fridge/pantry already.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

One of those days

Today was one of "those days" when things just seem, well, there but slightly off.

I knew this:

About 3 am when a thunk in the kitchen woke me up. SOMEONE was protesting the "inadequate" amount of food issued earlier by launching magnets off the fridge. The orange meowing suspect will remain nameless.

When I woke up from a dream where someone was telling me that the proper way for grilled cheese is to FOLD the bread over then cook, not use two pieces. Hmmmmmm... ohhhkaaaaay?

When I decided sleeping in a few minutes would be a good idea leading me to throw together a lunch of misc leftovers - brown rice, sauteed green peppers, parm/garlic instant potatoes, pineapple/coconut yogurt.

When all I wanted was a bagel yet the lines at two places were insane, one CVS did not carry bagels (another does), and I ended up at DDonuts.

When I decided McDs coffee is superior to DDonuts where I had gotten coffee with my everything bagel that surprisingly wasn't burnt - their toaster is evil

When my fav pair of mary jane style shoes decided to start making bicycle pump pfffft pffft pfffft noises due to a small crack. It also made my walk lopsided since one shoe was then technically taller than the other.

When Cosmo has horrible dog gas and I keep chasing him/telling him to go away bc he is a stinky dog. Of course he insists to sleep below my chair right now.

Safe to say waffles were a smart idea for dinner. Too much would have probably ended up being a disaster.

One thing though that was a GOOD thing = NO RAIN!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

And exhale....

HLS 2011!

As I go back to happy squeaking!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hello? Is this thing on?

I think the Internet finally fixed itself.... and then FitBlog breaks Twitter. I can't help but laugh and say that it is due to the greatness of this particular blogging community but since it is a technical thing I hope it all works out for Katy.

I was doing the "let's sit on the train and ponder but forget to actually write it down" lately. With this year's Healthy Living Summit in the AHHHH NEWS SOOOOOOOON! mode, I can't help but think of last year. I have technically been blogging for over a year now (April 2010) in this incarnation. (I had considered myself a craft blogger before and did have a blog of that kind yet still had this account since October of 2009. I guess the name was so stuck in my head that I had to hang onto it even if on hold.)

I recently met someone new via a friend of mine. She and I hit it off pretty well and spent a good part of the night chatting yet not ignoring the large group of which we were both part. It was a mix of what do you do, where are you from, pet talk (surprising right?), random misc and whatnot. This night, however, was the first night I mentioned that I was a blogger to someone. Odd right? Maybe. By "someone" I mean someone who I had no idea if she was a blogger, knew a blogger (ended up she knew a Mommy Blogger,) or even had any interest in it. Hmmm.

So it was out there and she asked that question that before made me go "Ummmmm?" for a moment - the topic of my blog. Without much of a pause the response was food, fitness, newbie running, arts and crafts and of course pets, basically life in general too. I think it was a genuine response. There are bits and pieces of everything included though I know my future plans is to get things a bit more settled with each as well as have a general misc category. (How else can I talk about the weeds trying to take over a section of a flower bed, the squirrels digging tiny little holes in our front lawn, or how annoying it is to have damp clothes on the clothesline attack me when I'm taking stuff out of the dryer?)

So a belated Happy Birthday to my darling CSYA and best wishes for many posts to come.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sure it makes no sense

I am sitting in the living room, sneezing and sniffling my way through the evening while Hubs is watching the Hawks game in the family room. Why you might ask? It is due to the fact that I have not watched a full winning game this playoff season - either finishing something up, reading something online, or falling asleep mid game (yes I know but when I am tired it happens.) I will be joining him in a few minutes. Fingers crossed that they win (and this cold goes away!)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Or a jar of glitter works well too...

"All you need is faith and trust... and a little bit of pixie dust!" --Peter Pan

Friday, April 15, 2011

Run YARN Run

Lately I've been smacked with a cross between writer's block and writer's ih (aka when nothing you write looks good enough to post), being worn out and a general funk that needs to be shaken off. PLUS the formatting issues I have been having have really been annoying. "Have" through "annoying" should each be on their own line. If they are not, you understand. Ditto if one paragraph is all that results in this post. If so I am leaving it to prove to others I am not going crazy. All that aside, I know I just need to get out and burn off the extra whatever. We took the dogs out for a nice walk one evening and ended it w a bit of a run with them. Molly loved it. Then we get cold and rain and haven't been out since. I know others run in the rain/cold but fighting yet another headcold/allergy annoyance makes me not want to go out in it more than I need to right now. My MiL texted me this morning about doing a 5 k run/walk with her. WOOHOO! Even bigger WOOHOO is that she offered to pay my registration. I have not been able to afford any races recently as well as that feeling that right now spending $35-$50 to run with a group of people is not too responsible when there are bills and whatnot. SOOOOOO we are participating (not yet sure if it will be a walk or a run or a combo) in Running for Hope in June! It is benefiting Advocate Hope Children's Hospital and the nearby Ronald McDonald House. This will actually be the second time I'm running to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House. Last fall's 5k benefited them as well. I am thinking about setting up a fundraising page once I read up more about it. I don't want to get locked into a specific amount and then get stuck if it is not raised. HOWEVER if it is a self set goal it'd be done so at something low like $50 so that it can be beaten like crazy! Ok, question for you all: Have you set up a fundraising page before? If so, what were your experiences with it? Are pages like this esp if blogged/tweeted too pushy?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

When I

  • When I haven't been sneezing my brains out when I haven't been too stuffed up to do so, I've been going through things I don't need - clothes, books, misc accessories, house stuff all to be donated

  • When I haven't been going through things, I'm been napping - good w dealing with the sneezing and the tiredness from going through things

  • When I haven't been napping, I've been paying attention to size labels on things I have been keeping - a great jean skirt is a great jean skirt when it realistically fits or will in the near future ie keeping a sized 2 skirt from years ago will just result in being annoyed when trying it on and realizing it does not fit AT ALL since you did not look at the size

  • When not reading size labels, I've been reading in general - House of Night: Awakened & 666 Park Avenue = both amazing

  • When not reading, I've been working in the yard to unbury, clean out, and cut back misc trees, plants and misc whatever in the yard

  • Above and beyond all, the formatting problems I've had in the site have been making me incredibly frustrated and so I have numerous drafts/handwritten drafts but not having spacing/formatting makes it look like all I can do is write smush. Fixing that all....soon.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Is THAT what I think it is??!?!?!?

The fantabulous Jess from Black Cat Kitchen and I did a "Spring Swap" recently. Not surprisingly AT ALL we both included tea in our boxes to each other. After eating a sandwich on the homeward bound train tonight, I wasn't super hungry for a more standard dinner time dinner. Rather than making something and just picking at it, I decided to have a cup of tea and then eat a bit later. This is Jello Bello tea from Fava Tea Company. It smells AMAZING. I had done no research other than read the bag - it's loose tea - and think "oh Appleton, WI - family of mine used to live there." Safe to say I hadn't planned to say this out loud.... Holy Sh*t that's a jelly bean! It's a JELLY bean! (*not swearing on the blog or at least not for now) Please note the pink blobby thing toward center right. That is a Jelly Belly jelly bean. I clearly need a teaball/steeper/that squeezy thing you put tea in so you don't have to use the mini strainer. It does fit perfectly though size wise w one of my fav mugs. I've had this since '98 and while I usually am not a hearts person (STARS all the way!) I just love this mugggguh. I just happen to loooooove this tea as well. THANKS AGAIN JESS!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

What lies beneath

Earlier today....

  • Scale: pssst.... Psst..PSSST! Hey you!

  • Me: (looks down) Yes?

  • Scale: You know you haven't pulled me out lately. It is getting pretty boring in this corner. PLUS the cat hair is making me sneeze.

  • Me: The floor was washed last weekend. You had a mini-trip to the hallway. No complaining to me about cat hair if you let Frankie sit on you.

  • Scale: Whatever! C'mon you know you are curious. Plus you have had a few good weeks lately (snickers softly)

  • Me: Ok, fine (getting annoyed - takes scale out of corner, puts in center of bathroom, steps on)

  • Scale: ERROR!

  • Me: Seriously?!?!

  • Scale: Sorry (calculates current weight) Ohhhhh...

  • Me: Excuse me? It was less than last time so that's good.

  • Scale: True but not that much. I guess I wasn't correct about the past few weeks.

  • Me: (glares are scale) I have had a good few weeks. I am walking 13 miles a week. THIRTEEN miles is awesome. You don't even have real feet so you wouldn't understand. Those little metal nubs would be worn off in no time!

  • Scale: Piff!

  • Me: I've been eating well and keeping things balanced. Plus I was sick recently and didn't go into fast food mode as a result since things didn't taste the same. I'm back to my yogurt a day as well.

  • Scale: Oh, well...

  • Me: PLUS the skirt that looked a bit too inappropriately tight fits amazingly well now. So THERE!

  • Scale: But but!

  • Me: No buts! Quit trying to make me feel bad! If you don't watch it I'll put tuna on you and then BOTH cats will be sitting on you! (puts scale back in corner)

  • Scale: (pouts)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Throwing my weight around

I decided to stop procrastinating and take out the kettlebell this week. I picked up the set/kit/box o' super heavy a ways back but for some reason was hesitant to try it. I am thinking it was a mix of sick/feeling better/semi sick/repeat plus over thinking the effort it would take to start. Silly, I know but overall not feeling well was the major reason. While I am not feeling 100%, a little extra activity will always make me sleep a bit better. I expected the DVD in the box to be a workout dvd but it ended up being a 10 minute demo. Routine fail! Clearly it was showing the proper way to hold and the specific moves but I found myself thinking that they should have at least had it as a 10 min routine - ie both sides not just one. I did learn the basics which is good but I do foresee myself looking for a full out routine based DVD eventually. I ended up doing a mix of

  • marching warmup aka watch the cats freak out

  • short set of squats - or at least what I was calling that since I don't know technical jargon w the 5 lb kettlebell

  • short period of fast hooping

  • back to the kettle bell w more squat-ish stuff - that is my technical term for now

  • another period of hooping but mid tempo

  • short set of curls w kettlebell

  • another period of slow hooping

  • slow march to mid temp walk cool down w stretching

Overall it was less than a half hour. I was worried I'd be sore but so far so good. I think it was because while I did do something I kept it simple, a small amount of time and did not overdo it. Plus I am now walking a total of approximately 13 miles a week. Walking a mile now feels like barely anything to me now which is a great feeling. I know this will eventually help when I am able to run another 5k. Right now finances is making me wait but I know there will be one that is a mix of good registration cost, great charity, and overall fun.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Is it fast enough to...

Every time I hear this song, no matter who is singing it, I am back in 6th grade roller skating at the local roller rink (That spot is now a car dealership and a Hooters.) with one of those glow stick pendants swinging dangerously around my neck though never managing to crack my teeth and getting one more lap in before getting a neon blue snowcone.

I found this girl by chance when looking up Rebecca Black spoofs. She did a cover of Friday - with actual music and singing (crazy thought right?)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Finish strong

Today was one of those finish strong moments. While it did involve putting one thing in front of another, the things weren't feet. While it did include finishing touches, it wasn't frosting on a cake. It was binding off a scarf and weaving in the edges. If you knit, these are some of the moments before you get that moment when you hold up whatever you had been making for days/weeks/months and have that dopey smile on your face. It is that happy feeling that two little movements result in two kinds of stitches that can result in something beautiful.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Like Groundhog Day but minus Bill Murray

Perhaps it is due to my being a kid in the 80s and having the cassette tape singles with the paper sleeves (still have my copy of Every Rose Has It's Thorn) but I have a tendency to play a song on repeat until I am sick of it. While I am still listening to Heavy in Your Arms, I had added Home by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros.

I was singing this today. Please remember that I am the kind of person that when you hear me singing along w the radio you turn up the radio. I'm serious. This happens. Then, after awhile and/or giving up, they just bear with me... for awhile. Ok I am not that abso horrible but if I am doing karaoke, it is usually later in the evening and singing a hair metal song with a female friend. Safety in numbers + old school stuff that people will start singing along with as well is the bar equivalent to turning up the radio.

I sang.

I sorta whistled.

I did keep myself from doing the 7 Dwarfs march along though.

Thunk thunk... thunk thunk.....

Friday, March 18, 2011

My love has concrete feet

As I had mentioned before when discussing hooping, I am a Florence + the Machine fan. I pretty much have been listening to my cd via itunes or the cd itself and haven't look at her/their website in a long time. So when I found out there was a new song of course I was excited!

Heavy in Your Arms is both a great song and a great video. It has been played on repeat for quite some time.

The "New CD!?!?!?!?!" kicked in. Nope soundtrack song for the latest installment of Sparkle Sparkle Wah Wah aka The Twilight Saga. They do put good music in the movies, I'll give them that. I just didn't like the first book at all = almost threw it across the room a few times. The second was better than the first but I won't be buying it anytime soon. I know that MILLIONS of people read/watched/loved/obsessed these books. Not my cup of tea.

Now the soundtracks - those won't be thrown across the room.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Oh baby baby bubububaybeee

First and foremost I am not preggers. (If that word offends you, m'apologies but "eggers" sounds better than "NANT" to me.) I swear it is baby-land lately. Between real life and blogland (of the ones I follow more regularly) there are a good half dozen couples expecting!

I found out last night from a life long friend that she and her hubby are expecting. She's one of those people that I don't remember life w/o since our fams were/are close and her sister is The BFF. I am SUPER excited for them especially since this is their first baby. A new little one to spoil!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

You spin me right round like a.... hoop?

I had numerous hula hoops as a kid. There is probably at least once somewhere in the shed at my parents place. I found one on top of our shed that was left by the previous owners. The elements got to that one though. Did you know that if you clip the edge of a bench with a plastic hoop it will explode into several large-ish pieces? Honest, truth. There are pictures.

Back when I was part of a craft group/online circle, I was introduced to hooping, hoop dance, and the general resurgence of it being more than just for kids or some sort of "hippie festival thing." Some of the people started posting pictures and videos which made me stop and think why not? I was the kid who would start up and not let the hoop drop for at times a good twenty minutes. It was fun before so it'd be so now as well.

I ended up buying a handmade hoop from a coworker of a friend, dragging it home on public transportation (wishing I had a camera that day!) and got started. While it is the same elements as the kid ones, adult hoops are larger and therefore a bit heavier. I have seen actual weighted fitness hoops as well. While there was the fitness aspect to it (hoop at a fast tempo for a long time and you will feel it in your butt and hips,) I was thinking of the dance part as well.

I took a hooping class last summer. It was a mix of fitness and dance but heavier on the dance which was fine with me. I did learn a few tricks but also that it is easy to throw a hoop across a room, whap yourself in the head but most of all that I loved it once again. This summer I am hoping to work on my tricks a bit more in the safety of my backyard. (No worrying then will happen about hitting the TV in our living room!)

Florence + the Machine is a fav of mine to hoop to and while I have no videos I found a few to share. It shows how different it can be done as well.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Paws button

I mean PAUSE button though both are somewhat fitting. I didn't realize it had been a week since I rambled a bit.

I've been vegging out with my knitting recently.

We had some people in town this past weekend.

My mom made corned beef and cabbage on Sunday for that entire side of the family (grand total of 6 = leftovers.... well not this time!)

I wandered Target and ended up buying ONE shirt and nothing else which was quite shocking.

I wandered Hobby Lobby and managed not to bring home 800 garden decorations and misc house decor incl a large mirror nautical style star.

The mirror star will be mine.


When I have $50 to waste spend on a mirrored star that I really don't need.

Monday, March 7, 2011


I woke up this morning and realized I hadn't posted the winner to the giveaway!

Congrats to Nicci - "Okay, favorite movie is still ''Girls Just Want to Have Fun'' favorite SJP movie! remember dancing around to it when I was young."

Friday, March 4, 2011

Damn the Man, Save the Empire!

One of my abso fave movies is Empire Records. It has become one of those movies that The BFF and I cannot watch without saying lines along with the actual movie dialogue. It shows that dancing around to AC/DC like a goofball works well in stressful/aggravating/bothersome situations as well. (Seriously, try this if you can stand listening to/enjoy AC/DC. It always works for me.)

This leads me to the clues that I had been using directly or indirectly in my recent posts - THE GIVEAWAY! The giveaway will be a $30 promo code for CSN Stores.

Post a comment that includes a movie that you know by heart or just one of your favorite movies.

I am going to leave this open until Sunday and use a random generator to pick the winner. I DO want to be as fair as possible! I was also told to note that this code will not cover international fees.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A is for Apple, B is for Blogger

I saw this on A Girl and Her Mutt and then on Daily Garnish. I'm pretty sure it was a few other places too probably but they are escaping me at the moment.

So since I am once again channeling Lorelai Gilmore and my brain is like the clip below, I'm sticking w the ABCs.

A. Age: 30
B. Bed size: Too small for two people and two cats, one that likes to sleep on my head aka a queen
C. Chore you dislike: Sorting socks is the first that comes to mind
D. Dogs: Molly & Cosmo
E. Essential start to your day: Check for location of cats so I don't accidentally launch one off the bed when getting up
F. Favorite color: misc blues
G. Gold or silver: silver
H. Height: 5 foot, 7 inches
I. Instruments you play(ed): flute & guitar
J. Job title: personal servant to the furrballs
K. Kids: Not at the moment
L. Live: Illinoize
M. Mom’s name: Mom
N. Nicknames: too many to name
O. Overnight hospital stays: None since I was a baby & hoping to not have to have one until Hubs & I start having kids. Hospitals creep me out.
P. Pet peeves: People who play chicken and refuse to walk on the right side of the street is my current one. One day I will start screaming "RIGHT SIDE!" like a crazy woman.
Q. Quote from a movie: “Well, Sinead O'Rebellion, shock me shock me shock me with that deviant behavior” – Empire Records
R. Righty or lefty: Right
S. Siblings: only sibs-in-law
T. Time you wake up: first alarm on work day = 5:57, non-work = varies
U. Underwear: Monkeymonkey underpants? ok silly question NEXT
V. Vegetables you dont’ like: raw onions - cooked are fine, cauliflower
W. What makes you run late: I get distracted too easily at times - oooh look at the cat!
X. X-rays you’ve had: none
Y. Yummy food you make: chocolate covered caramel marshmallows
Z. Zoo animal favorites: Havent been to the zoo in years but there used to be a loud mouth tiger years ago that was always part of the to-see list. Now I just have a loud mouth mini-tiger here at home to laugh about.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Gimmie a giveaway

I was given another opp from CSN to do a review OR a giveaway. Since I did a review last time, it is more than fair that a giveaway happens this time! I am planning it to be a themed giveaway response to choose a winner for the gift certificate. (I'll be using a random generator too to be fair) For now I'll give you two clues: Lights! Camera! Action! and popcorn is only optional.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sort sort pitch

I have been in a straightening mood lately which is a good thing. There are some places that got out of hand, mostly my fault in terms of millions of cut out/printed out/handwritten notes and whatnot. Basically an idea board sans the board took over a two shelf area in the house.

The cookbooks are all straightening which makes me feel good. The clippings and smaller paperback (think Taste of Home holiday books in the checkout aisle) are away for now. I plan to get some sort of cheesey folder next time I am out at Target. (We have Bumblebee from Transformers as our take-out menu folder - gotta have fun with the little things when you can.) I found about $1.50 in random change, a gas card for $10, and a Sears giftcard with $14.09 remaining.

It was all crammed into that area. I know I had given up on it because it didn't seem as important as other things. The thing is, it is important. Now that is is cleared out, I feel better mentally that the mini chaos is done. I do try to be organized but at times it goes into my own system or runs away from me. Especially when things get crazy, busy or things go off plan, it gets pushed to the side. Clean bathroom becomes more important than a shelf of cookbooks and misc stuff. It was out of balance and now I'm getting back to it.

Balance was included in FitBlog this past week. While, true it means food and exercise, I think it is generally everything. I used to use the word moderation before but I've found balance seems to be a better word choice for now. Moderation, which does work, is going on the back burner for now.

This past week I balanced 25lb weighted squats with sitting on the couch w a cat on my lap. I balanced cup after cup of tea with orange soda. I balanced sleeping in for a night out at the pub to watch some live music with Hubs.

I know that I am not perfect with it but overall it is a good goal.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Hello Vindaloo

I have had Indian food a few times. While my general tolerance to spicy foods has increased esp since Hubs likes spicy food, I am hesitant to make too much on my own.... for now. While planning the shopping list from last trip to Trader Joe's, I decided to see what they had in terms of frozen dishes.

My plan was some sort of single serving frozen Indian meal but to pay less than $5 for it. That way if I didn't like it, there would be at least 2 results: a.) I pass it along to Hubs as leftovers if he was interested or b.) I throw out the rest which isn't fun since I had to waste food but it would be left in the fridge and not eaten. Option c.) was that I inhaled it and loved it.

The end result was more of an Option C.2. I liked the taste at first, then the heat kicked in. Rather than putting it away, I put it aside for a few minutes. When I started it again, it was perfect. It did have the spice kick it it as I had anticipated. I think I just ate too fast so when the heat did kick in, I wasn't ready for it. I can see buying it again and perhaps even one for Hubs. Next time I'll remember to take a picture too.

*Please note that I purchased this with my own money and received no coupons or discounts towards the purchase. While it is technically not a review, I still felt it was a good idea to include this.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Who are you calling Pumpkin?

I had pumpkin on the brain. Being February and not Fall anymore, I am a little behind the other bloggers who posted amazing pumpkin related posts not too long ago. It didn't matter though. I kept walking around thinking of the canned pumpkin in the pantry. It wasn't like it was going bad any time soon. (Seriously this stuff lasts over a year.) Now the three carrots in the fridge were about to be on their last leg.



Ooooh I have GINGER!


Heart-y SOUP

I searched online to see what recipes I could find with the ingredients I had on hand. I found a great one on Cafe Liz - Carrot pumpkin soup with ginger and cilantro - which was also an excuse to use the coconut milk that had about a month and a half of shelf life left. (This was part of a past "OOOH this and THIS and THIIIIIISSSSS is what I HAVE to get." Safe to say at that moment, I didn't need it.) Due to my allergy, I omitted the peanuts. I omitted the cilantro partially because I didn't have any as well as that I find it takes over at times. I added more garlic and ginger. The additional ginger was about a 1/4 of a teaspoon that was left in the container. I didn't have enough garlic in the bulb I was using up and rather than breaking open a new one I added powdered garlic to balance it out plus about a 1/2 teaspoon more. I thought it needed something else and added about two shakes of nutmeg. PERFECT! Then it sat and cooked a bit more and ZING hello ginger and savory goodness. I like ginger so that was fine for me. If someone wasn't a huge ginger person it may be a bit too much for them.

A pumpkin related side note:
I had a friend in junior high who hated being called "Pumpkin." A teacher, I believe a substitute one, called her "Pumpkin" as a way to be cute not realizing this was something she hated. I remember her muttering something along the lines "Pumpkin? Am I turning ORANGE? Do I have green SPROUTS coming out of the top of my head????" A good amount of anything pumpkin related makes me think of this. I can't help it even though it has been ages since it happened. Some things are just too funny to forget.

The Great Thaw has begun since today is was over 40 degrees outside. WOOHOO! I have a feeling though that everything will be especially soggy for quite some time. We had and still have so much snow that is needing to melt.

Crazy snow drift

Just one of the crazy drifts around our house. The top of it was above my waist.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

No schlumpy!

This frigid weather has been getting to me. Correction, was getting to me. Ok, realistically I want it gone but I have decided to combat it as well as I can. Look cute.

Cute, not cutesy.

Cute. Strong. Put together. Part diva, part sweetheart - all heart.

I know I sound like some sort of cheeseball as well.

I found myself falling into the winter trap of bundling up to go out and layering up when inside. Please understand that poor Hubs is forced to suffer through some pretty bad pj pants - butterflies anyone?

I am not looking to not be warm or comfy but in the midst of it all adding something special or fun or totally not expected is helping me beat these winter blahs. (I will be painting my fingernails bright blue sometime in the near future.)

Foto Furrsday: Cold Weather Edition

This morning when I checked the temperature it said "0.4" so technically not zero but still.

Cosmo's expressions says it all.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Toooofooooo Round two

TECHNICALLY it is round one since the last I bought went bad in the freezer. Well, it may have been fine but never making tofu made me hesitant to risk it. I'd rather waste $2 than get sick.

I decided to make Caitlin's Perfect Baked Tofu since it looked simple to make but not blah in terms of spices. Wait, I said simple. That never ends well.

I ended up not being able to use the honey in the cabinet. What do you do when you have bad honey but all the spices already measured and ready in the bowl? IMPROVISE! Either way you are going to get something to talk about. I ended up using the sweet and sour packets from our local Chinese food place. I guesstimated four to be about the same as the honey though it ended up more like a dry rub in some places. OOPS!

There will be no photos since it ended up far from photogenic - think charred marshmallows with right corners. Taste wise = YUM! It ended up more with more of a spicy element than a sweet one but it worked. I had some sweet corn on the side to balance it out.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Things that make you go ouch

I managed to throw out the left side of my neck/shoulder/and upper back (think shoulder blade) while shoveling.

If you haven't been living under a rock the last few days - say the last week even - you know about the crazy snow. The Blizzard of 2011 is technically the second that has happened to this magnitude since I have been alive. I do remember part of the one in 1999 but more so that stuff was closed and the giant drifts in pictures.

So we got hit like mad and basically had to dig ourselves out. Yup. Silly me thinking I was Superwoman left to me hurting myself. Luckily it is a nice mellow weekend where I can spend quality time with three of my new best friends - heating pad, Icy/Hot and recorded/remodeling TV.

I'll post pictures once I am able to sit at the desk with the laptop for a decent amount of time. I edit my photos using a mouse - yes a mouse on a laptop - but that works best for me.

Snowpacalypse 2011 as per my cam - I almost said digi cam but that's prob from thinking of '99 when actual film wasn't outside the norm.)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The accent vlog

I had initially hoped to have been able to either make an edit of this or redo it. I figure why not keep the flubs (like forgetting exactly who I know that says "pop") and goofs. Plus this is a pretty good image of one of my blogging locations - sitting in the chair in our family room in comfy clothes and semi crazy hair. Gotta love cold weather!

Emily at Relishments posting hers gave me the push to get this up!

Annnnd here we go!

The words: Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught
  • What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
  • What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
  • What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
  • What do you call gym shoes?
  • What do you say to address a group of people?
  • What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
  • What do you call your grandparents?
  • What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
  • What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
  • What is the thing you change the TV channel with?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pretty flowers since it is ugly outside

For the longest time I was not fond February. It was super cold and super dreary. I was never a big fan of Valentine's Day.

February is much much much MUCH better now however. True it is still super cold and super dreary. (Add crazy Midwestern storm to the mix this year and it is only the FIRST day of the month to the mix.) This month is the month when Hubs and I first started dating (though we had known each other beforehand)and ended up marrying the February of the following year.

Yes, you read correctly, one year. We actually planned a wedding in four month. Yup, FOUR! I am no professional wedding planner, nor did I need one, but we were able to plan what we considered a perfect wedding for about 100 people on a great budget. Did we totally luck out at times? Of course! Was it stressful at times? Yes but not hair pulling levels. Was it expensive? At times, but overall we were technically in the "budget wedding" cost bracket.

Since it is gloomy outside I thought the best way to start would be with flowers. People like flowers right? (Unless you are seriously allergic I guess.)

The ribbon at the bottom is from my bouquet. It was the part that trailed below the flowers. The orange gerbera daisy is part of mine as well s the white spray roses. The flowers moving up and towards the left are a bridesmaid bouquet and part of another.

The flowers were all based on flowers Hubs surprised me with one day. The original didn't include roses but he wanted a white roses for his boutonniere. Not a prob with me and so we added the spray roses to tie it in. The florist used the alstroemeria flowers as groomsmen boutonnieres - white sprayed blue but from BEHIND the petals (then it is a hint of color and not painted on) as well as ranges of pink ones for other corsages.

Ways we saved $$$$:
  • No special order flowers: florist had no issues w getting them = no extra shipping costs
  • Minimal roses: If you LOVE roses, go for it! If you can do with less of them, you'll pay less money (or as in my case w my florist)
  • Picking flowers that last a long time: When I buy flowers (and keep them way up high so the chomping meow meows can't get them) alstroemeria and gerbera daisies are a go-to flower. The don't wilt as fast as others.
  • Bows instead of flowers for church pews: light blue & white layered ribbons/tulle were low key yet still lovely. (PLUS they became head table accents at the reception.)
  • No sparkly bits in the bouquets. IF this was going to be included however, I was going to go to a craft store and purchase them there.

One huge perk that my bridesmaids told me was that their bouquets lasted a super long time (in the fridge.) I guess mine would probably have lasted awhile as well. I have no idea though since I didn't keep it.

That sucker got launched over my head at the reception with Andrew WK's She is Beautiful blasting from the speakers.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Adventures in Happyland

Yesterday I went to a place that always puts me in a good mood - Micheals. I love craft stores and have loved them as long as I can remember. I have yet to meet one that I did not like.

This one ended up being right in the area of other errands so it totally worked. I needed to get some new yarn for an upcoming scarf project. I ended up finding a nice navy that ended up being on sale as well as in multiples of the same dye lot number. (For the non knitters, dye lot numbers basically help you make sure you have all of the same color. Mixing numbers especially in the middle of a project can lead to a slight difference in color that may end up being quite noticeable.)

I know several people who are expecting little ones sometime during the next year as well. That means baby knitting. While I can be a fast knitter, when it is baby knitting you are knitting both against time and the growing baby size increase. It makes me feel like I am knitting at turtle speed (and I am not talking the TMNT kind.) I am thinking of a different approach to making things this time. (When it is decided upon, it will be another blog post.)

I may have only been in the store about 30 mins max but it was a total zen moment in the yarn section, staring at all the racks. It is a knitter thing - that moment of peace with skeins and skeins of yarn in front of you. I think I have settled upon at least one gender neutral color scheme that can be modified to focus on one gender slightly more than the other if I so desire. Being stuck with light pink and pale pale yellow baby yarn in the past, I am trying to branch out from the gender specific only yarn colors. Pink is nice but adding a chocolate brown or an amber orange makes it so much nicer. Same goes with mixing blue with a grey or a forest green.

That's a mat, errr, a wrap!

I was contacted not too long ago about doing a product review from CSN Stores. I was given a $35 credit towards a purchase of my choice. The final cost including shipping was over the credit. I paid $2.94 of my own money. While this purchase was predominately covered by the credit, this will not impact my review. I like reading review posts to get additional opinions on things and so I hope this will help someone else make a choice.

After a lot of looking and looking and looking, I decided on the Sunny Health & Fitness Tri Fold Mat. I had been needing a thicker exercise mat for some time. I have used two yoga mats but being layered on hardwood floor doesn't give me enough cushion. (If it is just yoga, it works fine.) When I take group classes I always like to use the thicker mats rather than the foam style ones. This is what I hoped to have found.

Ordering was a cinch. Shipping seemed a bit longer than other items but this was around the holidays so that made sense. Overall I had no problems with the store's website.

The black in the photos isn't as dark as it is in person. I edited it slightly in PhotoShop. Think of it is as black black, not grey black. The mat is made of a nylon material that has a slight texture but you only notice it IF you are deliberately looking for one. It didn't stick to me so that was good as well.

The mat stands up well when folded. We have been keeping it next to a dresser and it doesn't really lean up against it. It is lightweight and the handles make carrying it easy. One improvement regarding the handles would be some sort of snap or Velcro closure. If this is going in my trunk or the back of the truck I think I'll tie the handles together to ensure that it doesn't unfold if it slides while I am driving.

Each section has a zippered side and the edges fit together well when unfolded. You can barely feel the slight dip and it is not an annoying deep gap like other mats I have used.

The inside foam has a good amount of squish factor and for now it springs back quite well. (Both Hubs and I have used it for about a month now.) The nylon does have a crinkly noise. This has been there since the day it arrived. I notice it before and afterward but not necessarily while I am exercising. (Having music on at a normal level makes it unnoticeable.) If the foam smushes outward after awhile the crinkle will probably go away. This might be a good thing in terms of not blowing out a seam if there was no give.

When unfolded it gives me enough room so that I don't feel like I am about to fall off the edges. (I'm 5'7".) The wrinkles in the nylon were not there when it arrived and have occurred since it has been used. I can smooth it out for the most part but there are always a few remaining.

Overall I like the mat. The lightweight/carry aspect, nice squish factor of the foam, easy storage and size are the positives. The noise factor and the wrinkling are negatives. The price was slightly less than other places that were offering this mat which is a definite PLUS.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

No duh so-duh

Give me a can of Coke - plain fully leaded stuff, not the diet/zero/free stuff - and I am a happy girl. Put several fridge packs in the house for the holidays and then let there be leftovers and I'm over carbonated and sugared. EEK! While I am not giving up soda all together, it is smarter not to have a default grab in the fridge be a soda. It was a bit too much and I could start to feel the blah that I get as a result.

I think drinking less soda will help my running once the weather remembers that I live in the Midwest and not the tundra. While tundra may not be the best word to use, it works well when your eye lashes are frosty. (There was also a poor girl on the bus recently who had raccoon eyes from her mascara dripping in the cold.) Hubs and I are planning to run a few official races, budget allowing, as well as just run more on our own. (I really like the "we" part of this since I know it will help us motivate each other. While I do have friends who run, having the person bugging you to go or if you went as you had planned living in the same house as you makes it more of a kick in the pants.) I need to research IF less sugar/caffeine actually will help but for now why not.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Football Zzzzzone

I am literally worn out from watching football today. Seriously.

We had friends over for the Bears/Packers game. It was a full house including two kids under the age of ten. This meant extra attention since the pups are just getting used to kids being around. Molly usually gets confused for awhile but then is fine. Cosmo gets a bit too rambuncious and decides that head butting is the best option. That gets him locked up in his crate for the rest of the day then (with bathroom/water breaks of course.)

One of our friends brought crock pot pepper beef with rolls and cheese. Another brought cupcakes and others brought chips. We ended up ordering pizza too. I'm getting to the point that with all the sport viewing I'm getting sick of pizza. While it is good, I can only eat so much.

Football is a new thing to me. Hubs is a huge Bears fan. It's not that I haven't been exposed to enough football. My high school was a huge football school. While I didn't go to a large college, there was a football team and I did attend a few games. It was always more of a social outing than one to actually watch the game. Details? What details? I'm just here to hang out!

So the next huge football shindig, of course, is the Super Bowl. It is a potluck so of course I will be bringing something. I am planning something veggie based. Something NOT pizza like or chip based. I foresee lettuce and bell peppers and tomatoes...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dee Mun Vee

I recently had to go to the DMV. Every time I have had to go it has been a long drawn out process even if I go right when they open. The old local location had a horrible parking lot as well which made no sense. (If you are trying to give people a test that includes parking, it shouldn't be annoying for someone driving 10+ years to park a SMALL car.) The waiting room always smelled a little funky even when practically empty. Everyone there was some level of cranky.

After some grumble filled researching I discovered that some locations included "express" in their information. If you make a silly high pitched noise, our dogs will both tip their heads to the side with this "What??" expression. (Yes, I am comparing myself to my pets.) I did the dog head tip. Express means less stress, less time waiting, and an overall better mood throughout the trip. I was in.

I was in and out in a reasonable amount of time. While I did have to wait, it was reasonable. The clerks were in a good mood. One was actually singing. Singing. It was funny but I don't know if I would want to be listening to show tunes style music all day. (It's just not my style.)

I am not too thrilled with my new license photo. I was ready for the first take. I made sure not to tip my chin down which is a bad habit I've always done. I made sure my underbite (which is usually subconsciously kept in check) wasn't showing. I smiled a happy smile since I was almost done and out of that place. The second take I had smushed chin, a slightly off kilter smile, and that "ok when are you gonna take the next picture?" look in my eyes. Realistically it isn't horrible but it still makes me go "ih."

For the most part I have never been anti-camera. I have had the same squinty eyed wide goofy grin since I've been a toddler. I do my best not to do the duck face. I never really hated pictures of myself other than the 8th grade era but everyone has that awkward phase.

A few years about I thought it would be fun to try a 365 project. If you aren't familiar with this, it is where you take a picture every day. Some are based on specific subjects while others are whatever you feel like photographing. I decided to try a self portrait one. I never really mastered self portraits and having both a camera with a self timer that worked properly and a gorillapod I thought why not. While I started mastering the camera and the timing, I started hating the photographs. (The other people in the group were really cool though.) I was too often feeling rushed since I "had to take a picture EVERY day" to keep with the project. It was a question then of taking a picture to take a picture or not taking one so that it would be interesting. (I think it makes sense in the blogging world too with how much, when, what and whatnot regarding posts but that is a topic for another day.)

I was also doing this during a time when there was a bit more stress than normal. Money, health, routines, and misc other things got shaken up. We got through it all but it was tiring. It started showing in my pictures. You can only see so many photos you have taken of yourself with dull skin, tired eyes and dark circles before you start getting discouraged. I had put on a small amount of healthy weight (keeping me within my good BMI range for my frame and moving me from the lower end closer to the middle of it) but yet wasn't totally used to it. Hearing others make comments about me "putting on weight" was something new too esp when I had been asked "Don't you eat?!?" for years. (My fav was when I was enjoying a lunch that I ate frequently in front of the person asking the question.) I was starting to not like pictures of myself for the first time in over ten years. That wasn't cool.

I quit the project. It made me upset. It became a source of stress that wasn't worth it. There is supposed to be some sort of positive return when you are doing something that you choose to do. It doesn't need to be monetary. It is more that sense of "I did that and I am happy about it." I wasn't getting that.

Right now I am in the middle of where I was before that time and where I was during that time. I don't shy from pictures but at times I really am a mixture of reactions. Sometimes I absolutely love it. Sometimes it is just that "ih" like the license photo. Other times it makes me annoyed. I think back to when this never crossed my mind. I don't know if it was that project that changed my way of thinking but I equate that time with that change. Perhaps it is just being used as a scapegoat.

I want to get back to that point where I look at a shot of myself and even if I am making some silly face, I think I look pretty good. I know it is a mix of thinking, doing and taking care of myself. I know I am not alone and that others have dealt with this at more extreme levels.

This is actually one of the first posts that make me really pause before hitting publish. I totally respect other bloggers who are extremely open and honest about their lives. It's not easy even when it is just the first baby step into that area.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Bean Me Up Scotty!

This weekend is a big deal if you are from the Midwest (especially Illinois and Wisconsin) and have not been living under a rock the past few weeks. (Honestly with it being -1.3 and beyond this morning and throughout the day that would more so be an ice block.) Sunday is the Bears/Packers game and so Sunday will be football football FOOTBALL.

When I think of football food chili is one thing that always comes to mind. I was discussing this with Hubs earlier. Chili that is, not football since I'm just getting it now in terms of more of the rules and whatnot. (For the longest time football was big guys in tight pants crashing their heads into each other. Just pause and think about that. It is true in at least some element, right?) I like chili with several types of beans, usually two to three cans and at least a pound and a half of ground meat. Sometimes I add corn, diced tomatoes, or bell peppers (non green ones) to the mix. Hubs is more so one kind of beans and more meat.

I keep forgetting this when I make chili. I get all in the zone and next thing I know there is a big crockpot simmering. Then I forget to freeze part and I am eating chili for a week. Ooops!

I might still make chili this weekend but using the smaller crockpot if I do. There are always other kinds of football food to make - nachos, baked potato skins, and whatnot - if we all decide to do a potluck. I just need to wait and see what the vote is from everyone menu planning wise.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Up to something

On the way home from dinner I was in Hmmm mode. So I knew something was up from Hubs being in super cleaning mode - like pre-party cleaning - as well as just getting the feeling something was up. Overhearing a friend say something about getting situated didn't help either. I know I am a horrible person but after seeing The BFF's car several blocks away - bad choice on her part since it was clearly there and seen from the cross street that we had to use to get home.

There were people there but the true surprise was how many. About 95% of our friends were there all smashed in the back corner of our backroom yelling surprise. It was an amazing feeling to know that they all were there to celebrate my birthday. (It was also amazing that they managed to keep a 2 yrd old quiet in the process - pingpong balls work wonders so I was told!)

It was a night of pizza and wine and hockey and laughing and talking and watching my niece get super excited to play with the Fisher-Price house that was mine when I was a kid.

Putting words to a great night at times are easy. This time is was super hard. Being surrounded by people who mean a great deal to me is a great feeling. It was a night I won't forget.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Where do you want to go for dinner?

My MiL asked me a simple question earlier this week, or rather it should have been an easy question. They wanted to know where I wanted to go for dinner to celebrate my birthday. If this was years ago, the answer would have been easier to decide on. We don't eat out too much anymore so it was a bit of a difficult decision. We've gotten to the point where trying to make a restaurant item at home is a fun challenge. (Hubs makes a version of the cajun chicken shrimp and pasta that I think is better than TGIFridays.) I looked at this more so of a learning experience while trying to figure out a restaurant. If I go somewhere that I can learn an idea for a future recipe, meal, or recipe hunt then that is totally a plus.

We ended up going to a local cajun/BBQ place. It is a place that we all have gone to over the years and the quality is always there. We had a slice of cheddar jalapeno cornbread and a loaded potato skins each for an appetizer. I had a grilled chicken sandwich with Jamaican jerk mayo topped with tomato, lettuce and red onion with fries and cole slaw. The sandwich was amazing and now I need to figure of how to make the mayo. Hubs & my FiL had ribs. My MiL had a grilled portabella sandwich that looked amazing and I am planning to try in the future. A piece of key lime pie followed me home as well. Of course, I had to keep it.

One of the best parts of dinner though was no singing waitstaff. No sparklers in a cake. No pomp and circumstance in the restaurant with everyone starting at us. I was very happy. While at times I do like being the center of attention, I don't like it as birthday centered in restaurants. When I was younger it as cute. Now just give me a slice of cake/pie etc and I am a happy girl!

We planned to watch a movie or something mellow that night but that didn't happened...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

So much so much

GOING ON! Once my mind goes back to normal speed, lots to say. Now it might not all makes sense!

Plus I have a handwritten post that I need to find!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Back to the 90s

Technically it is back to the 90s since that was when the "My favorite animal is a" etc emails ran rampant. I used to fill them out send them to the friends who basically knew the answers already due to a.) they were already good friends of mine or b.) this was the third email of the sort in the past month.

Emily tagged me when she filled it out and of course I have to fill it out since she is my Frito bus buddy!

1. Four TV shows that I watch

  • Greys Anatomy
  • Bones
  • One Tree Hill
  • What Not to Wear

2. Four things that I’m passionate about
  • My family/friends
  • Knitting
  • Rescue animals adoption- as in shelter/stray animals
  • Music education in schools

3. Four words/phrases I use a lot

  • “Okee”
  • “Minus the fact”
  • “Hi-ti-buh” (instead of wtf)
  • “Anywho”

4. Four things I’ve learned in the past

  • "Will it matter in five years?" is a good question to ask for trivial things.
  • Emotional vampires will only drain you if you let them.
  • Stand up for yourself but don't start it unless you are in a situation where you must do something to help.
  • True love will find you when you stop looking.

5. Four places I would like to go

  • Seattle
  • Maine
  • Ireland
  • Alaska

6. Four things I did yesterday

  • Almost cleared out my share of the DVR
  • Read the new Women's Day
  • Painted my nails - part of my resolution to do little things for myself
  • Looked up new recipes

7. Four things I’m looking forward to

  • Watching The Lost Boys: The Thirst
  • My new laptop battery arriving since I am stuck plugged in if I want it live for more than 30 mins
  • Spring so I can work on my garden
  • Reading the newest book of the House of Night series

8. Four things I love about winter

  • Watching the dogs play in the snow
  • Peppermint everything
  • Lighting our fireplace
  • Sleeping under the cats and not melting

9. Tag four people to play along (if you did this, I read it and yet I forgot - sorry!)




Tuesday, January 11, 2011


It is five days until I turn 30. Like I have mentioned before, I am not freaking out. No whatever life crisis. I am working on a 30 before 40 list.

Here is what I have for now:

1. Run a 10 k.
2. Travel to both coasts.
3. Be a mom.
4. Learn to sew.
5. Have a garden that I dream of and keep it looking great

It is just a start and I know there will be more.

Do you have a # before # list? If so what are FIVE things that are part of it?

Monday, January 10, 2011


Hubs and I have been discussing running more since Christmas. With the uber present of the Garmin, which needs to be named eventually since I name my electronics, it makes sense that we are focusing on fitness even more so this year. Yesterday he let me know about a radio program discussing winter running. I caught part of it and am planning to listen to the podcast version of it in the near future.

Then he surprised me with discussing running next month. Next month is February. Febrrrrrrarary! While I will have more time in the evening since the home bound transit method is changing, I don't know if running in the cold at night will be detrimental to my excitement about running. The plan, if it sticks, is to stay small and around 20 mins or so. I get cold pretty quickly especially my feet and my shoes are pretty well vented. It is the question of is is worth wearing an old pair of shoes or will that ruin my running/step later?

On a better note though, with all the discussion of negative influence caused by a spouse in various media outlets here and there, I'm happy that we are being a positive influence on each other in terms of health. When I started paying more attention to the sodium levels in boxed food, he did too. He was the one who noticed I was downing a full bottle of Coke in a day and a half Now with Eat in Month in progress, we are working together so that if one of us falls a bit behind, the other is right there playing catch up.

Speaking of Eat in Month, dinner was chicken fajitas and tamales. Lunch was leftover veggies & BBQ chicken with a roll from dinner last night. Snack was blueberry pie yogurt. Breakfast was toast with almond butter.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Back to The Good Life

Hubs and I went to see Weezer at the Aragon last night. This was night two of the Chicago stop. Friday was Blue Album + greatest hits setlist. Our show was the greatest hits - ie one song from each release as well went on a trip back in time in the"time machine. - and Pinkerton. The set list was a great mix and I totally love that they played b-sides. I need to find the setlist posted because I was rocking out too much to write it down.

I have been a Weezer fan since jr high and have my Blue Album cassette tape that I actually had them sign when I met them back in 2001. It was an amazing moment. I have attended almost every concert in the Chicago area since (I want to say I missed maybe two that were a quite a ways/over an hr as the base of the drive and wasn't able to get there) was a great time and last night didn't disappoint.

The show was sold out in terms of general tickets and the place was packed. If you aren't from the Chicago area and/or never been to the Aragon, it was an old ballroom built in the 20s. My Gram remembers it back from when she used to go dancing. (The Trianon that is mentioned in the linked article is actually where my grandparents met!) While it is not really the same kind of dancing, people were totally rocking out during the show. I was lipsynching along - minus whoah ohs - to save the poor girl in front of me from listening to my off key renditions. (I've had to deal with that before and have since tried not to ruin someone's time.)

If you are a Weezer fan who hasn't attended a concert and have the chance to see them live, I highly recc it.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Case of the Dontwannas

Frankie has the right idea today - rest, relax, and nap (though maybe not in the window for me) because I have a case of the "dontwannas."

Go away I'm napping!

I don't wanna finish putting away the tree and reorganizing that section of the living room.

I don't wanna go through the sales papers and misc stuff to rediscover the top of the coffee table.

I don't wanna clean the bathrooms.

I don't wanna do laundry.

I don't wanna straighten up the pantry so boxes stop falling off the top shelf and almost hitting me in the head.

I have a good reason though.

I just wanna go to WEEZER tonight!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Back from my trip to NYYAAHH NYAAAHH land

I was a serious cranky angrypants last night. In the grand scheme of things the stuff that was going wrong or that was annoying me wasn't that big of a deal. Plus I had had a good day prior to getting on my homebound bus. I just couldn't fully shake the grrrr. Tonight is going so much better. I managed to catch a fast moving train which then let me catch the earlier bus that I usually miss. No being stuck waiting 40 minutes in the cold and the snow today! (Being a high of 23 today made that a super great deal.) Molly is not limping and hopefully the puppy injury scare is over or at least on the way to being healed. No boxed stuff on a trial run for dinner as well. The leftovers that I had as part of my lunch actually ended up better today than yesterday too.

I had forgotten to set up the coffeemaker last night and Hubs was just starting the coffee when I was almost ready to leave this morning. It was cold this morning and I really wanted a small cup so I went to DDonuts since it is cheap. $1.48 = small hazelnut w skim milk & sugar. One dollar bill and two quarters always worked when it was more of a morning routine. While it does add up, it was not as expensive as Starbucks. This morning I was lucky to have an extra quarter since the price increased to $1.75. It's yet another sign that I should have just brought something from home!

Otherwise, Eat in Month went well for today everything but dinner. Tonight is date night with Italian take-out and Inception which I have heard mixed reviews about but overall good ones.

Breakfast = the earlier mentioned price jumping coffee, oatmeal, and Mixed Berries Fruit Naturals which Hubs found on sale this week (Yay to good new easy fruit addition and to saving money at the same time!)

Morning snack = key lime pie - the thick n creamy version that is still my current fav

Lunch = leftover couscous/mushroom/onion adventure, chicken and rice soup, juice and one of the chocolate thingys

Dinner = italian beef sandwich w mozzarella, fries and pasta salad from a local place that we both like (We had significantly cut down out most eating out for dinners prior to the challenge so this ends up more like a treat during the week.)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Super Hubs & EIM

Hubs was up way before me today and managed to surprise me this morning. I included "managed" on purpose because I am a hard person to surprise. I can no longer count the times I have ruined breakfast in bed because I'm dragged halfway down the stairs by the smell of breakfast esp bacon (which we rarely eat so it is more of a treat.) His being up also meant I had one more alarm adjustment that could be made resulting in about 12 more minutes of sleep. Since I am one of the lucky ones who can wake up/fall back asleep generally, this works. This morning I especially needed it since I wasn't feeling that great lately. On a normal day, the extra time would result in a mad dash out of the house fueled by the fear of missing my bus. Today he gave me a ride which rocked since it was probably about 10 degrees out this morning. If not, it sure felt like it.

The actual surprise was that there was an egg/mushroom/sausage sandwich on toast waiting for me. I ended up taking it with me to eat later. PLUS my lunch was packed. Packed, as in completely packed in my lunch bag, zipped up, ready to go. Gumbo, bread/butter, key lime pie yogurt - whipped this time & not as good as the thick n creamy but still good, Odwalla strawberry C - to help w getting rid of this cold, cheddar cheese & black pepper Triscuits, mixed berry fruit bowl - which I didn't eat but will tomorrow since it looks super good, and those chocolate things I adore and am not looking forward to being gone. The blogger in me wanted to line it all up and take a picture or of my lunch bag but the realistic part of me knew it was time to get to the bus stop.

Dinner was a couscous mix that Hubs found for me. While I have had plain couscous before I don't think he has.... yet. We've had bulgar before. Ditto w quinoa. I like both. He just needs more exposure to them in different recipes but I know eventually he will like it too. He just needs to stop calling quinoa "spider eggs."

The mix was in a box and pretty simple - boil water w oil or margarine, add spice packet, add couscous, take off heat and cover.

I got this which wasn't very promising.

This was mushroom and herb. I could smell the herbs but the dried mushroom pieces got lost.

That's fine though since I had planned for this ahead of time.

Extra prep/cooking time means mini snack so I don't end up chewing on the mixing spoons or raiding the pantry for some sort of chips or the fridge for something that would cause a stomach ache.

Black pepper Triscuits and red pepper hummus
(This photo does not do the bowl justice - blue is more aqua. I have three of these that were my great aunt's.)

This was perfect and just enough to tide me over while this cooked.

Mushrooms, garlic, onions, paprika, and cumin cooked in olive oil and a touch of margarine (usually not mixed oil/marg but it was almost burning even on the lowest setting = nonstick pan needed help)

That mix-in saved dinner.

Will I make it again? Yes, since we have a different flavor box already. Will I add some sort of protein to it? Definitely. I can see chicken working well but that is more so since I've made something similar with bulgar and chicken with veggies.

I didn't have the most relaxing dinner though since Molly managed to hurt one of her front paws. There is a good chance it was from playing with Cosmo since they doggie roughhouse play but I can't say for sure. She is moving around and puts some weight on it. I tried seeing what was wrong earlier and she got freaked out and actually peed on me. (Good thing is was my aroudn the house jeans and not my work ones.)Hubs and I figured out it is the side of her outside toe that is hurt. Nothing seems to be stuck in it but she's still not happy. I, being the pet momma, of course is a bit worried. She is dozing on the pet pillow below me now (in the living room to rest on the "doc orders" of the BFF.) She did this once before and it was more so she pulled it/stepped funny. I'm just hoping it is that and nothing more serious. If she was wailing/crying all the time, I would have her at the emergency vet right now.

Please send Molly happy healing vibes!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Eat in Challenge #3

I was good again today. The donuts, yogurt, and juice were bought but it was technically a grocery style run since I planned this ahead of time.

Breakfast:Choco mini-donuts (lovingly called "the plastic donuts" due to the waxy chocolate), hot chocoffee (my new word for my coffee/hot chocolate mix, cherry yogurt

Lunch:chicken soup (awesome food when you aren't feeling well), juice juice and more juice,

Afternoon snack: popcorn - and not the light butter stuff = wow I haven't had this in ages = fake butter stuck to the roof of my mouth. I still inhaled it though.

Dinner: brie/apple chicken kiev (boxed but will definitely be the basis of a future recipe adventure), mashed potatoes, corn

Post dinner snack: Sixlets, twizzler, ginger peach tea

Bond says it best

I figured out today that my caffeine headache wasn't just a headache. It was the beginning of a cold.

While I was able to focus/concentrate for the most part today, there were times that I felt like this.

It also makes sense why I haven't slept well the past few nights. Plus Hubs said I was tossing and turning as well as being a bed hog last night.

The plan for tonight is hot tea and early to bed.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Eat in Challenge #2

Today was a total success for the eat in challenge!

Oatmeal, super dark roast coffee/hot chocolate mix/caramel macchiato creamer = cheap foo foo mocha!

Leftover pasta & taco w salsa, cheddar, black olives & corn, tea, chocolate thingy


Turkey sausage, french bread & country crock, double baked potato, spinach/broccoli pasta - mix/pouch thing that will not be repeated = yuck, green tea

We are currently out of fresh fruit and yogurt. While we have canned, it is not the same. Need to go to the grocery store!

Warning warning seriously?

There was a warning label on my microwave popcorn today. It was an actual warning and not just the general "this side up" and whatnot. I wish I had written it down so I could blog it verbatim but it was something along the lines of not giving the popcorn to infants or small children because it is a choking hazard. If the person who decided it had to be on there could hear me, I would have yelled "DUH!" at them so loudly they would have fallen off a chair. I know it is to prevent lawsuits by at the same time is is common sense. Some people won't even care about like the cake mix w the warning on the box not to consume raw cake batter. (It was delicious. I am such a rebel at times especially with the teeny tiny amount eaten.) Oh the excess of warning labels. It one of those things that I shake my head at and sigh.

Though if the toy cape actually permitted the wearer the ability to fly (going against the printed warning I've also seen before) that would be really cool.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Eat in Month: Actual day 1

So when Diana tweeted me about taking part of Eat In Month it was kind of iffy. Hubs and I had already cut back eating out to save money. When we did/do eat out it was usually more as a date night in than a fast dinner. Takeout + movie = much cheaper than dinner out + movie tickets.

I decided to do a modified version - no eating out for breakfast/lunch during the work week. I know this will save money and save food since leftovers won't get lost in the back of the fridge as easily. During the weekends I usually eat breakfast/lunch at home so that won't be too much of a challenge.

I don't usually post all that I've eaten in a day so this is new to me.

Today was so so. I planned ahead and packed most of my food ahead of time.

My usual breakfast is oatmeal w cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar (microwaved with water.) My oatmeal always looks like goop so I never thought to take a picture. I did not sleep well at all last night (too warm, too caught in blankets, too covered in cats/being purred in my face by Bond) and thought a Red Bull would help. I forgot mine on the kitchen table so I grudgingly bought one. I should have saved part of that money and just gotten a small cup of DDonuts hazelnut coffee because I ended up later with a caffeine headache. It was like a dull ache that kept saying "told ya so told ya so, told ya told ya TOLD YA SO!

Morning snack was key lime pie low fat yogurt.

Lunch was whole wheat rigatoni w California medley veggies and turkey meatballs topped w a bit of Country Crock, parm cheese and about two shakes of garlic/herb medley; a small bag of popcorn (popped at home), and a chocolate thing similar to a Lindt. Adding to the caffeine headache was not even a third of a Diet Coke. I usually don't drink diet soda but it was an attempt to not crack open the remaining fridgepack of Coke. (I should have just opened the box.)

Snack was a mini caramel Santa.

Not bad for first day since all but the Red Bull was from home.

Dinner tonight was chicken tacos that Hubs had ready when I got home.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Zone zone zzzzzzz

This weekend was set as a lazy one. I slept and slept and slept, lost track of time online, knitted, read, and stared at the tv. I did it on purpose with the holiday season coming to an end. If I don't catch up on my rest and relaxation, I pay for it later. Plus, Hubs then has to deal with me being tired cranky or falling asleep at the drop of a hat. (I once fell asleep 10 minutes into Quantum of Solace and work up 10 minutes before it ended. Hubs wouldn't tell me what I missed other than that I had slept through an airplane based fight scene. Ooops!)

I am not looking forward to the drop in the temperature in the Chicago area this week. With it being so warm, and oddly so, lately it will be a shock. Living in this area my entire life, I do whine about the cold but I know what is coming when it actually makes sense. Plus it makes me need to rest more for another reason.

If the weather changes too quickly I am at risk of a migraine. It is a trigger that I have realized over the years when mixed with lack of sleep. Sometimes it does it by itself but I still like to be careful.

Time to get off the computer since Frankie is Hungry Cat and refuses to stop circling like a shark. I'm afraid he'll close out IE soon with his keyboard stomping.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Seriously, January 1st?

My brain doesn't want to compute that.

Where did the last few weeks go????