Sunday, January 30, 2011
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
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
- One Tree Hill
- What Not to Wear
2. Four things that I’m passionate about
- My family/friends
- Rescue animals adoption- as in shelter/stray animals
- Music education in schools
3. Four words/phrases I use a lot
- “Minus the fact”
- “Hi-ti-buh” (instead of wtf)
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!
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
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
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.