Category Archives: lamentations

Baking, Cars, and Comfort Food

It’s Monday. I think I’ve got something that will put a big ol’ goofy smile on your face:

(Source)

Isn’t that cute? It kind of makes me want an otter . . . I wonder if anyone actually has one as a pet? Besides zoos that is. I am sure someone does. I mean, one guy here in Ohio had a whole bunch of exotic animals. Unfortunately, he released them and there ended up being a massive hunt to track them all down. Can you imagine? You wake up one morning and, “Hey, Mom! There’s a lion in our backyard . . . “ Crazy.

Anyway, Friday seems like light years away now. I had a pretty packed weekend. Of course, there was some baking involved!

Banana Bars with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

 

Some sad, brown-spotted bananas that had been chilling in the kitchen for some time inspired these babies. What’s a girl to do with super ripe naners? (Is that really even a valid question?!)

I was tired of making banana muffins, and when I saw that I had all of the ingredients for these bars (rarely ever happens), I knew it was fate. I just had to make them.

This recipe comes compliments of Jaclyn at Cooking Classy. I highly suggest that you go check out her blog if you are looking to whip up something delicious.  These bars are a testament to the utter deliciousness you will discover!

Now, the banana batter to this recipe is relatively healthy (no butter and I used greek yogurt instead of sour cream); however, the flavor is in no way sacrificed. It is perfectly banana-y and moist! Yet, in my opinion, it’s the frosting that really stole the show here. I am a cream cheese frosting gal with a cinnamon obsession, so I went crazy over this frosting. It was also the perfect texture for these bars—fluffy, but with just the right touch of gooeyness. I think I could have licked it all off the top of the bars if no one was looking.

Take a look at that sugar-infused wonderfulness.

Speaking of wonderfulness, my Saturday ended up being unexpectedly delightful. After a quick trip to the gym to get my cardio on (I still can’t strength train), I met my friend, Lori, to make a very important trip.

That’s right! She bought a new car! She was able to get a pretty good deal through a friend who works at a dealership about 2 hours away. So, Saturday afternoon we headed down to get her new baby.

I was really thankful that she asked me to accompany her. It gave us some solid catch-up time that was desperately needed. Plus, I got to check out her new ride: a Hyundai Elantra

That’s a good lookin’ pair!

I loved the heated seats and iPod compatibility. Oh, and 41 miles to the gallon highway?! I want one!

The rain snuck up on me on the ride home, and with a sick Madre to boot, the rest of my evening was devoted to chilling inside and watching The Descendants. It was pretty good, not outstanding but good. I can see why it was nominated at the Academy Awards. But, I mean, you can’t really go wrong with George Clooney. 😉

Compared to my Saturday, my Sunday was less than thrilling. I spent the bulk of my day swapping out my summer clothes for my wintery ones. Doesn’t that sound like jumping for joy fun? I know you’re jealous. Thankfully, Madre and I did take a break to walk Ellie and enjoy the exceptional fall weather. Ellie was quite appreciative, too.

She wastes no time hopping in your lap whenever you sit down. I think she’s part feline . . . except she is so much more loving than a cat. (And not allergy aggravating!)

Due to Madre’s continuing sniffles and sore throat, when dinnertime rolled around, we decided it was a perfect night for soup.

Chicken Chowder

I found this soup in a Penzeys catalogue awhile back, and it has become a hit with my family. It packs a great amount of protein for a soup, and the milk also provides a great source of calcium. Madre and I enjoyed this with a toasty baguette we had purchased from Krogers.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ C butter
  • 1/3 C finely chopped onion
  • ½ C finely diced carrots (I just chopped up some baby carrots we had in the fridge)
  • 1/3 C finely diced celery (I did not include celery this time and it tasted great still)
  • ¼ C finely diced green pepper (about ½ of a pepper)
  • ¼ C flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper (I used a little less)
  • 1 C boiling water
  • 1 28 oz. can of diced tomato (I didn’t look close enough at the amount, and only bought 1 can of diced tomatoes . . . which is 14 oz. It still tasted fine, but make sure it’s a 28 oz. can!)
  • 1 apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 T parsley
  • 3 C milk
  • 1 C diced cooked chicken

Directions:

  • Melt butter in stock pot over medium-high heat
  • Add onion, carrot, celery and green pepper. Cook until tender (2-3 min.)
  • Sprinkle with flour, salt and pepper. Stir gently until combined.
  • Gradually mix in boiling water.
  • Stir in tomatoes.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and add apple, thyme and parsley.
  • Simmer for 30 min.
  • Add milk and chicken. Cook until heated through (5-10 min.)
  • SERVE!

(I like to add a few . . . or 10 . . . shakes of hot sauce to mine!)

Nutrition: (1 C) Calories 170, Fat 7g, Carb. 17g, Protein 11g, Fiber 3g, Sugar 10g

Gotta love comfort food! It’s even delicious reheated for lunch or dinner in a hurry.

Well, I have to cut this sort-ish! I am off to bed for a good night’s rest, because I have my third interview tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed again!

Leave a comment

Filed under lamentations, recipes

Fingers Crossed

Happy Tuesday everyone! I am finally back from my brief blogging hiatus. I wish I could say that I am refreshed, brimming and bursting with news; however, I think that would be stretching the truth a bit.

My bum hand is largely to blame for my absence. Again, it is quite the task to type with one hand. Fortunately, I am slowly healing. My fingers are still puffy and purplish, but I think the swelling has gone down. Fingers crossed for a speedy rest of recovery, eh? Your fingers, not mine. I can’t yet. 😉

My computer has not helped maters either. Freezing on me, crashing, losing battery power at rapid speed . . . same ol’ thing. I know you are just as tired of hearing about it as I am with dealing with it. However, there is a light shining up ahead! I met with my bro, Gage, yesterday to take a look at some PC options. Maybe this one?

Image

That’s the ASUS R500VM-MS71

I love my Mac, but they are way too darn expensive. Anyway, I am hoping to have a new laptop in the next week or so. This will be such a relief to the small tech-loving side of myself. My wallet, on the other hand, will not be so jubilant.  Oh well, c’est la vie!

My week did kick off with some excitement, though. (Of the non-digital variety). I had my second interview with elitefts.net for their content editor position!

And . . . (drum-roll, please) . . . it went fantastic!

As soon as I showed up at the elitefts.net corporate office, I was immediately welcomed by several of the staff members. Everyone’s warm smiles made me feel at ease, and it was encouraging to see that everyone really seemed to be enjoying what they were doing. The atmosphere was incredibly down to earth—with everyone laughing and joking, eating lunch together, etc. Yet, with a 20% growth history each year since its inception, I know these folks still get it done!

The interview itself was actually really enjoyable. I know, an interview being enjoyable? I was surprised as well, but it didn’t feel like an hour-long grill-session. (Like most of the interviews I have been in before).  It felt like an actual discussion—a learning experience for both of us. Which is how it should be, shouldn’t it? I mean, yes, they are trying to find the best person for the job, but you also need to decide if what they are offering is the best fit for you. I think this is forgotten these days, but unfortunately there’s not much we can do, because of the sheer desperation for employment and all. :/

Anyway, I could truly see myself in that role. The scope of work sounds right up my ally- editing, proofing, AND fitness all combined into one crazy good editorial position! Heck yes! Here’s to hoping for a third interview!

I wish my Tuesday was as exciting and jam-packed as my Monday, but I guess I’ll take what I can get.

Ellie was certainly not thrilled this morning. When I grabbed her harness and leash, announcing that it was time to go get a hair cut and a nail trim, she hunkered down and gave me the pouty look.

Image

She needs it though. Look at that fur ball! And her nails are like daggers. Whenever she jumps on my legs to give me a hug, I am left with red scraps down my thighs.

Too bad dogs can’t have dental work. Ellie also has a mad under-bite.

Image

Haha! When her lip gets caught on her tooth it is even more pronounced. That silly goose.

 Image

Oh! And I need your opinion. I saw doggie costumes at Target the other day, and I think I may have to get this one for Ellie Boo.

Image

What are your thoughts?

Decisions, decisions.

Well, I’m off to make the most out of this rainy day! I might even try to bake something one-handed for tomorrow’s girls’ night . . .

Question of the day:

  • Do you have any good (or bad) interview stories?

Leave a comment

Filed under lamentations

One-Handed Adaptation

I have a new found appreciation for being able to use both of my hands.

I really, really do.

Remember yesterday how I said that I was typing one handed?

Well, that was because I took a little trip to the hospital in the morning, and I said goodbye to this:

Image

That little bump has been with me for seven some years. However, after a brief period of time where it caused me some pain, I decided it was time for the two of us to part ways. So off to surgery I went!

Don’t I just look dapper?

Image

What can I say? It was an early morning filled with lots of waiting.

The surgery itself went smoothly . . . at least as far as I can remember. I was under some anesthesia mind you. However, it turned out that my little bump wasn’t a cyst like everyone, even my doctor, thought. It was something called a “giant cell tumor.” Sounds gross, doesn’t it? No worries, though. It is most likely benign. Still, tumor . . . the word in and of itself gives me the creepy crawlies. Yikes!

Another bright side of the surgery: I don’t have to wear a splint. Originally I was told that I would have to sport a cumbersome splint for about two weeks, but when I came out of surgery my doctor said he thinks I will be okay without one. I still have to keep it well-bandaged though, and clean and dry.

I think I will be sporting some swelling for awhile too. (Warning: graphic images below!)

Image

Have you see my left knuckles? They seem to have gone missing . . . It kind of looks like a fake hand. Or a dead one . . . maybe I should paint each of the nails a different color and go around telling people that I had the Ice Truck Killer’s first victim’s hand surgically implanted onto my wrist. (Dexter, anyone? Dexter? Sorry, it’s on the brain.)

I have been slowly adapting to my one-handed lifestyle today, especially since I am on my own this weekend. Let me just throw this one out there: have you ever tried putting deodorant on with only one hand? It’s harder than it seems, my friends. Harder than it seems.

I did make it to the gym this morning, despite my gimp-ness. I just had to DO something.

Workout

After asking an old man to tie my shoes (he seemed oddly surprised and scared when I asked . . . I don’t know why), I did an easy 20 minutes on the elliptical. My hand/wrist held up alright through the warm-up, although it did get kind of hot and tingly, so I decided to complete this workout I saw on pbfingers.

Image

I wasn’t expecting this workout to be particularly challenging, but WOW was I wrong! I don’t know if it was the surgery/time off from vacation OR because this type of movement is out of my normal routine, but I was sweating and feeling the burn with this one. That incline kicked my booty! I had to even decrease my speed to 3.8 by the second incline.

I will definitely be incorporating more walking incline workouts into my weekly regimen, especially as I begin to plan my half marathon training!

Speaking of feeling the burn, my right hand is getting a little tired from all this typing. Haha, just kidding . . . well, kind of. How about you try typing a “)” or capital “P” with one hand. Streeetttchhhh!

Here’s to a great Friday evening!

Questions of the day:

  • Have you ever faced a time where you were physically challenged? What did you glean from the experience?

Leave a comment

Filed under lamentations, work outs

Riviera Maya!

¡Hola! ¿Cómo estás?

That’s right! I am back from Mexico. (Or as it is pronounced there: MeHico). Madre and I had an excellent trip, and as you have gathered, I left my trusty laptop at my casa. (I think I have used all my Spanish knowledge up now. Wait! I know baño (bathroom) and agua (water). Okay, now I’m done!) It’s a good thing I did not lug my Mac across the border, anyway. Getting Internet was a pain in the you-know-what. You had to buy access- in increments of 30 minutes, but just doing that turned into quite a venture. So let’s just say Poppa only received one quick email during our entire trip!

Okay, now let’s get down to business!

Our flight down went pretty well- no major blips to report. We did have to get up early to make our flight though. And I’m talking waking up at 2:15am early. Yeah . . . Madre and I didn’t get much sleep on Tuesday night. Yet, I can’t say we cared too much. Not when sun, sand, and margaritas were awaiting us! Plus, we were able to make a Starbucks pit stop in Dallas/Ft. Worth (Dallas in Dallas! Hahaha!), and we both caught a few zzzzz’s on the last leg of our flight.

When we arrived at the airport in Cancun at around 11:30 local time, it was HOT and sunny! Our hotel was about 40 minutes away, but we had already booked a shuttle service when we purchased our trip via cheapcarribean.com. Oh! And remember when I said I was really pleased with their customer service a few weeks ago- when I purchased additional insurance? Well, I am going to second that and give them another two-thumbs-up for service! Cheapcarribean.com is known as Olympus Tours in Mexico, and they really took good care of us. They acted as our “travel agency representatives” and were there if we ever had any questions.

Oh, and for you future travelers out there: when you are waking out of the airport in Cancun, KEEP WALKING! Don’t stop for any of the people lined up along the walls. They are most likely selling time shares and will talk your ear off to get you to buy something- whether it be an excursion, tickets to an event, etc.

After the overwhelming expedition of keeping those vendors at bay, I was more than relieved we had booked the shuttle. I honestly don’t know if I would have been able to tackle driving there. Let’s just say it involved traveling at very high speeds and weaving A LOT. Oh, and did I mention the police check points randomly peppered along the highway? With the officers wearing large automatic weapons strapped to their chests, the black, shiny metal flashing for all to see. Yeah . . . not intimidating at all . . .

Ah, but look what welcomed us when we arrived at out destination:

That’s the view from the main lobby at our hotel: Occidental Gran Xcaret.

That’s the view of the stairs leading up to the check-in/lobby, taken from the lower deck of the main building. The tables and chairs shown are used in the evening as a nice place for guests to sit and chat while they enjoy a drink from the nearby bar. Although, many guests found this to be just the right place to enjoy a cigarette (or two . . . or forty). I felt like I was walking through Stephen King’s “The Mist” when I went by at night. The smoke was so thick I wasn’t sure if something was lurking in the thick grey clouds, ready to snatch me at a moment’s notice. Okay, okay . . . maybe that’s an over-exaggeration, but it was pretty caustic.

Anyway, what was pretty neat about our resort was that it was like its own secluded little city. Along with the main lobby building, there were around 22 building villas which housed guests.

Our room was on the third floor, the second two last (farthest) window. And yes, we did overlook the pool. Winning!

The view from our room!

I can’t forget what was awaiting us when we got to our room:

Yup! Kickin’our vacation off right!

Pretty good looking room if I do say so myself. However, I could have gone for a bit more fluff in terms of the bed.

Haha! Sorry, I just had to to it. It was too perfect, kind of like those classic “that’s what she said” moments. Love it.

And, in an attempt to bring out that green little monster of envy in you, may I present what made up the remainder of the all-inclusive resort:

Pool numero uno. (Aha! More Spanish!) See that waterfall? You can swim under that and order a drink. Oh yeah! Swim up bar, yeah!

Oh, and if it’s too hot to tan alongside the pool:

You can lay-out on the little island. Personally, I spent as much time in the water as possible. On top of it being suffocatingly humid, the sun was HOT! This time I am not exaggerating. They didn’t have to heat their pools . . . and the water was WARM in the MORNING.

Next to this pool lay yet another smaller pool which Madre and I enjoyed the most. It was just far enough away from all the hoopla and loud music. Plus, we made friends with the bartender, Jesus. You couldn’t swim up to this bar, BUT it had swings!

Image

Side note: My computer crashed yesterday as I was writing this post, and I just got the program up and running again . . . after much stress and tears. I am also typing one-handed now (will explain more later), so the remainder of this post will involve a little less text! Okay, back to Riviera Maya, Mexico.

Ah! Look what we have here. Yet ANOTHER pool!

Image

This one was also a little quieter than the big one in the main area . . . but of course it still had a bar.

Image

However, Madre and I started most of our mornings here:

Image

The beach! Look at that beautiful blue/green water! And let me tell you what, so so so very refreshing from the blazing sun rays. The icy cool drinks from the bar only 5 feet away didn’t help, either.

Image

Although I certainly enjoyed this little sandy cove, I did miss the open-ness of a regular beach. I suppose that would be one of my biggest cons about this resort. I missed being able to take walks on a beach, particularly in the morning. You know, feeling the warm sun as it rises, the sand beneath your feet . . . the tiny bit of rejuvenating exercise. Plus, the wide open coast would have provided more of a relieving breeze!

However, there was a fun snorkeling pool just outside the beach cove:

Image

And a pretty walkway leading up to it:

Image

Picturesque, don’t you agree?

It’s funny, but one of my favorite aspects of the resort was not a place or an activity, but the people. The guests themselves. Everywhere you went, you were surrounded by a plethora of different languages. Quite a few beach-goers had strong English accents, but I also heard French, Spanish, Aussie (yes!), Eastern-European sounding- tongues, etc. One group had even traveled all the way from Russia!

Madre and I made friends with some dashing fellas from Espana:

Image

:

Oh yeah, we know how to pick up the men. 😉

We also kept running into the cutest family from Oklahoma. The mother always looked like she had just walked out of a page in a fashion magazine, and the dad was quite handsome. They had two little blond-haired girls and a little boy who was always trailing a few feet behind the pack. He reminded us of that little boy in What to Expect When You’re Expecting– Chris Rock’s cute but klutzy toddler. On our second to last day there, the dad finally came up to me and introduced himself. He (Shannon) told me that him and his wife both thought I looked like Ann Hathaway!

Image

I don’t know . . . do you see it?

How about now?

Image

It made my day, though. I was extremely flattered.

It was truly an incredible trip! Just what Madre and I needed- we seriously were asleep by 9:30pm almost every night! Yet, as Monday rolled around, we both agreed that we were ready to go home and be back in good ol’ ‘Merica!

Guess who was squeaky with joy as we came into the door . . .

Image

Love!

Well, I will fill you in on more later. It’s time for this girl to rest up!

Questions for the day:

  • Where is your favorite vacation destination?
  • Who is your celebrity doppelganger?
  • Do any of you have laptop recommendations?

1 Comment

Filed under lamentations, travel

Bananas for the Weekend

Well, it’s back to reality today, eh? Back to the routine . . . work, school, etc. I hope you were as ready as this kiddo.

Get it little guy! I am so going to make one of these for my future kid(s). (I have plenty of time though, don’t you worry. That won’t be for quite a few years).

I hope everyone had a fantastic Labor Day weekend, Mine was pretty good, but most importantly, it was pretty laid back. I spent quite a bit of time preparing for my VACATION! Madre and I leave tomorrow, and I couldn’t be more excited. Oh, and when I wasn’t packing, I was caching up on lost time with Michael C. Hall:

Who else is addicted? I swear I could watch the entire season in one sitting . . . if I had the time. The mystery, the morbid excitement, and the dark humor are fantastic. I also personally love Deb. I find her foul-mouthed, blunt reactions completely refreshing. She basically tells it how it is, although brutally. There are many times that I wish I could do that, but I don’t have the guts . . . or my conscience takes over. Anyway, if you haven’t experienced the utter brilliance that is Dexter, I am giving you full permission to go indulge. At this very moment. Seriously, go. Rent it. You will thank me later.

Among my packing and TV watching, I had planned to squeeze in a blog post; however, things did not work in my favor. Things meaning my computer. It’s the grandpa of MacBooks I do believe.

I am not even sure how old it is, but it is dying a slow and very painful (for me) death. My Uncle purchased it used off ebay several years ago and made some fixes/adjustments. After lending it to a friend for a period of time, he lent it to me when my Dell crashed during my sophomore year of college. It then turned into a graduation present once I was finished at the U of A in 2011. So, how many years is that? I’m not exactly sure, considering we don’t know how long the previous ebay owner had it. Let’s just say that this baby is a testament of Apple’s products. (My Dell lasted 2.5 years before crashing). However, it is getting to the point where I need to move on . . . if only I had enough money to buy a new MacBook.

(Source)

I’m really not exaggerating about the dying a slow and painful death part. Last night, I went to upload the pictures from my phone . . . it took 2 hours. Then, I got an error message telling me that the photos I supposedly uploaded, well, didn’t. Hmmmmm . . . Oh, and with every other click, I have to wait for an unknown amount of time watching this:

(Source)

What I like to call: The CIRCLE OF DEATH

The two of us are not friends. I have called it a variety of other colorful (no pun intended) names. It seriously takes FOREVER.

(Source) Oh Sandlot! 🙂

Sometimes, I wait so long that I have no choice left but to force shutdown and restart. And don’t even get me started on how many times I have been filling out job applications and my Mac just freezes, refusing to move. Oy vey. Deep breaths. Very deep breaths.

Thankfully, I did succeed with uploading my pictures this morning. You should be very thankful too. Why? You may ask? Because I did whip up a tasty treat this weekend. Once again, over-ripened naners were calling to me. Begging me to make their lives useful. I couldn’t refuse their pleas.

Go Bananas Whoopie Pies

I have had these tagged in my recipe book ever since they appeared in an issue of Food Network Magazine. Since I had the ingredients, AND since I it would be a great treat for Madre to bring to her non-chocolate-loving coworkers (gasp!), I couldn’t help but call it fate.

I pretty much followed Food Network Magazine’s recipe to the T, except for two minor alterations:

  1. I used reduced fat cream cheese (that’s all I had)
  2. I threw a few chocolate chips in the batter at the very end (for my last pan), because some of us just need a little chocolate in our desserts!

I give these guys a thumbs up! Ummm . . . how can I not? Peanut butter and banana are quite a pair. Although, I was a little surprised at the filling. I expected it to be more fluffy and frosting-like. This filling is definitely more of a thick, peanutty spread. You won’t be disappointed though. No worries!

Go Bananas Whoopie Pies

By: Food Network Magazine

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C butter, softened
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1/4 C packed brown sugar (I used dark, again it’s all I had on hand)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla ext.
  • 1/2 C mashed very-ripe banana (about 1.5 naners)
  • 1/2 C buttermilk (I put 1.5 tsp white vinegar in a measuring cup and then filled it up with milk up to the 1/2 C mark)
  • 2 C AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 3 T butter, softened
  • 1 C creamy PB
  • 1 C powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla ext.

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in egg and vanilla.
  • In a separate small bowl, combine banana and buttermilk.
  • In another bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
  • Gradually add dry mixture to creamed mixture, alternating with banana/buttermilk mixture.
  • Drop by tablespoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes (or until set).
  • Cool for a few minutes on pan, then transfer to wire rack.
  • For filling, cream peanut butter, cream cheese, and butter until fluffy. (Mine wasn’t that fluffy . . . )
  • Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.
  • Spread onto bottom of one cookie; top with another cookie.
  • EAT! (Oh, and store in the fridge!)

For the love of peanut butter. Are you drooling yet?

How about now?

Did you know that these are called Gobs in Pennsylvania? I coworker last summer brought chocolate cookie with vanilla filling whoopie pies to a function one time, and when I exclaimed, “Yes! Whoopie Pies!” I was met with a dozen quizzical-faced colleagues. It took awhile for me to live that one down. I’m still calling them whoopie pies though. Gobs sound ugly.

Speaking of oddly-named things. Look what Madre and I found while browsing Kroger yesterday:

Snacks on a Stick Maker

It gets better. Look at all the delicious, high-quality and nutritious food you can make:

That’s steak, corn dogs, OMELETS???, pizza, pancakes, and cookies. On a stick . . .

Madre came up with the product’s new slogan: “You may never have to use silverware again!” I think it’s fitting.

Before I go take care of some other vaca preparations, I will share my workout with you.

Workout:

I began with a nice 40 minutes on the elliptical machine. You know, to get my sweat on. The weight room was pretty packed after I finished, so I headed upstairs to complete a Plyometric workout I found.

I only did the entire circuit one time through, but I was still a sweaty fiend. Loved it! Those Hamstring Sliding Curls and Split Jumps are killer! I will definitely be revisiting this one again, and no worries, I will step it up and go for at least two rounds.

I finished with some random exercises to hit my arms and back:

  • Seated Narrow Grip Cable Rows (3 sets of 10)
  • Inclined Dumbbell Curl (3 sets of 10)
  • Back Extensions (3 sets of 10-using 10 lb. weight)

Told ya it was random!

Well, that’s it for me today. I haven’t decided if I will be lugging my Mac to Mexico with me, so I may not be back until the 11th! Have a great week!

Questions of the Day:

  • If you were to purchase a new laptop, what would you choose?
  • What’s your favorite TV series?

Powered by Qumana

1 Comment

Filed under lamentations, recipes, work outs

Getting Motivated

As you know, I have been following Jamie Eason’s LiveFit program for a little while now. In fact, today was slotted to be Day 23- Back and Biceps. However, after I rolled out of bed, I was just not feeling it. I wasn’t actually feeling the gym at all today. With achy, sore muscles, the last thing I felt like doing was “pumping iron.” Vegging on the couch sounded fantastic. I mean, it is officially football season.

(Source)

OSU vs. Miami kicks off game season, baby! Can I get a O-H-I-O!?!?

Even Ellie tried to convince me to stay home today. She crawled on my lap while I was putting my sneakers on, and it took more than just a little coaxing to get her off.

It’s so hard to say no to that sweet little face.

I did manage to get myself moving, though. I am a firm believer that getting going is one of the hardest things about working out. Plus, I can’t say that I’ve ever regretted a workout.

Workout:

I began with a solid 30 minutes on the elliptical machine. I decided to forgo the intervals today, but I did want to work my quads, so I set my machine for a steady climb workout. I know ellipticals vary, but I set my incline at 10 and my resistance at 10-11. I was feeling the burn!

By the time I was ready to lift, I was still not feeling it. I’m not sure if it was the arm soreness or that I am getting a little bored with the repetition of the program, but I just wasn’t excited to do it today. So I did something that did interest me. (Why do something you don’t really want to do, eh? Working out should be fun!)

I stumbled across the blog Back On Pointe the other day, and I found some workouts that look interesting. I gave this one a shot today:

The verdict: I think I might have to complete 2 or 3 rounds of the entire circuit next time to get its full benefit. I was really feeling those Russian twists and planks, but I definitely didn’t get as sweaty as I usually do during circuits. Still, I think you might be seeing a few more of Back On Ponite’s workouts on here in the future.

I finished off with some stretching in the Y’s aerobic studio. I was secretly very excited to see that Yoga was canceled this morning. For once, I finally got to feel like a dancer again. Ballet barre, polished floors (no marley, but I’m not complaining) . . . I felt at home again.

I love that photo. 🙂 I think that’s how I will always feel. Dancing is more fulfilling than walking for me!

The rest of my day was spent getting things done around the house. I vacuumed, mopped, organized, returned emails . . . but I won’t bore you with all of that. However, I did do something that just might strike your fancy.

Muddy Buddy Rice Krispy Treats

We have had marshmallows in our cupboard for ages (and we are not a marshmallow eating family), and since no one has been touching the box of Rice Krispies, I put two and two together: Rice Krispy Treats! Yet, regular ol’ rice krispy treats weren’t gonna cut it today. So, I found the perfect recipe on Pinterest.

Muddy Buddy Rice Krispy Treats

(Source: Cooking Classy)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 C butter
  • 1 (10.5 oz) pkg. mini marshmallows
  • 6 C Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 C chocolate (I used semi sweet, but milk can also be used)
  • 1/2 C creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 C powdered sugar

Directions:

  • Butter a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium/low heat.
  • Add in marshmallows, stirring constantly until melted.
  • Remove from heat and add in cereal. Stir until well coated.
  • Spread “batter” into prepared baking dish. (Use a buttered spatula to smooth and even everything out).
  • In a microwaveable bowl, combine chocolate and peanut butter. Microwave, stirring every 30 second, until melted.
  • Spread over Krispy Treats.
  • Using a fine mesh sieve, sprinkle powdered sugar over top. (I didn’t do this because I don’t own a sieve. I just threw it on!)
  • Cut into squares and enjoy!

Told ya it would strike your fancy.

Enjoy the rest of your Saturday!

Question of the Day:

  • What do you do to help yourself get motivated to go to the gym?

So Powered by Qumana

Leave a comment

Filed under lamentations, recipes, work outs

Simple Pleasures

I started my day off right today: I met one of my very best friends, Kelly, for a workout at our old high school track. We are both running in the Santa Hustle this December, so we wanted to make sure to pencil in a workout together while she is in town. However, this morning was more than simply running laps on the track. No, no. Kelly’s a power house. We did circuits. I wasn’t complaining, though. I must say I’ve grown to really love circuit workouts in terms of exercise regimens. They are faced paced and really keep me on my toes.

“Circuits are so monotonous and boring,” said NO ONE EVER.

Here’s a recap of our morning wake-up workout:

Spending time with friends and the wonderful endorphin-filled happiness you get following a great workout are just two of the small, rewarding little pleasures in life that I adore.

Speaking of little pleasures, I saw Julie do an “A to Z” survey on her blog awhile ago, where she would use each letter in the alphabet to list something that brought her joy, and I have been wanting to do it for myself for some time now.

So, why not today? It’s Friday. It’s sunny. AND we are all just about to enjoy a nice, long weekend! Why not celebrate the good things, eh?

Here we go!

Simple Pleasures: A to Z

A- Adventure. I love finding adventure in life. It’s what makes life thrilling and interesting. From exploring a new culture to something as small as trying a new food, I want to experience all that the world has to offer.

B- Blogging. Although I only began blogging (regularly) a little while ago, I absolutely love it. It gives me a chance to write (and keep those muscles working!), and it has also become a great way to reflect on my thoughts/random ponderings. Plus, it gives me an excuse to cook and bake! Yuuzzzz!

C- Christmas. It’s my favorite holiday. The season just brings me the warm fuzzies! It’s so jolly- the music, the decorations, the cute made-for-TV movies, abcfamily’s 25 Days of Christmas, the family time . . . ahhhh! I’m getting so excited just thinking about it!

D- Dancing. It is my form of self expression, besides writing/blogging, of course. I have always felt at home in a dance studio or on stage. I actually really miss doing it every day.

Look at little me! That’s a dance costume, don’t worry.

E- Ellie. My little goofball princess of a pup. She brightens my day every time I see her. How could she not? As soon as I walk through the door she is wiggling and wagging her little furry body. All she desires in life is affection, and she always returns the favor.

F- Faith. I’m still working on growing in my faith, but it brings me so much comfort to spend time with others who have fully given themselves to God.

G- Gage . . . or gum. No, I’ll have to go with Gage. 😉 As different as we are, he is my big bro, and I love him dearly. He has always looked out for me, and he was quite the awesome playmate when we were younger. He would actually play with Barbies with me! (He’s gonna kill me for revealing that . . . I love ya Gage!) Although he doesn’t say it much, I know he loves me back.

We are at a Renaissance fair. Hence, the pirate costume. At least I don’t think he wears this garb everyday . . .

H- Honey Bunches of Oats with Cinnamon Clusters. Best cereal of all time. Enough said.

I- Ice Cream. I think all of you know by now that I have an undying love for ice cream. It is, by far, my all-time favorite dessert. If I am eating it at home, I always opt for Edy’s. My personal specialty is mixing a scoop of cookie dough with double fudge brownie. It’s ALL about the chunks of baked morsels for me. So good. However, Ohio is the bomb diggity for superb ice cream parlors. Ummm, hello: Graeter’s and Jeni’s. Yes, be jealous.

J- Jokes. I love to laugh- it can cure a multitude of things. (Well, that and ice cream)

He he he 🙂

K- Kisses. Some of my favorites come from this little bit:

L- Learning something new. There’s so much out there to learn and so much to explore. As one of my teachers used to say, “If you ever need to humble yourself, go to the library and walk through the aisles.” It just goes to show you how little you know and have read.

M- Madre. She’s my best friend. We get each other’s crazy quirks, and we love each other no matter what. Always and forever.

N- Netflix. I am a big fan of their TV show offerings.

O- Outside. I love the smell of freshly cut grass and the soft, squishy feel of soil beneath my feet. I love the way the sun kisses my face with its warming rays, and I love the sound of rain lightly tapping on my window. Believe it or not, I also love snow and seeing how my breath can hover in the crisp, cold air.

P- Poppa. With a contagious, warm and hearty laugh, my Poppa never fails to make me smile. He has always been one of my greatest support systems and has never stopped believing in me.

Q- Quirky conversations. These are always in full supply whenever I hang around my friends Katie, Sarah, and Emily. I love them. I get an ab workout just from laughing.

R- Recipes. With my love of cooking and baking, I am always down for trying out new recipes. Maybe someday I will begin creating my own!

S- Spinning. I am a spin class addict. I love to feel the burn and work up a sweat!

T- Texting. I’m sorry, but I have to come clean. I am a texting lover. In fact, I am a much better texter than phone talker- I can never sit still and keep my full attention on the conversation. I pace and fidget and doodle . . . Plus, nothing puts a smile on my face like a random, funny text from a friend. 🙂

U- Uncle B. Best uncle EVER. I admire him so much, and he has been such a great support system these past few years. I miss him every day.

V- Vacation! Madre and I leave for Cancun this Wednesday- I’m pumped!

W- Wine. Nothing beats a nice glass of red wine after a long day. Oh, maybe if you add a bubble bath or a chick flick.

Best Riesling ever!

X- uhhhh????? X is such a silly letter. Let’s just go with X-tra comfy sweats and t-shirts. It’s what I wear almost everyday.

Y- Yummy yummy PEANUT BUTTER. Sorry, that one is a stretch, but I couldn’t forget the sheer delight pb brings to my life!

Z- ZONA! As a U of A grad, I have to give a shout out to my alma mater. Bear Down!

(Source)

Questions of the Day:

  • What simple things bring you happiness?
  • Do you have a favorite circuit workout?

Powered by Qumana

Leave a comment

Filed under lamentations, work outs