Baby Steps!

Running shoes

Well, I had a 60% success rate with my plan for last night. I was going to:

1. Workout (running at the gym).
2. Make the Oh She Glows salad for lunches the rest of the week.
3. Dishes.
4. Make tuna pasta salad and hard boil eggs for Tim’s lunches and breakfasts.
5. Play more FFXIII-2.

Here’s how that turned out!

Workout
On Sunday, the weather here was GLORIOUS and I had my first outdoor run of 2012. I only went two miles, but they were a fast (for me) two miles! My intention yesterday was to go to the gym and run on the treadmill because of how awesome Sunday felt.

Then I remembered.

Last year.

I had a great start running last year. I was going into it in March and April mentally off of my half marathon finish in the previous October. And I went too far, too fast and ended up with an injury that took me months of training and therapy to overcome. I was NOT going to do that again this year. Thus, I forced myself to rest yesterday and I will run tonight.

Make the OSG salad.
Success! I made tweaks to the dressing and it turned out great! At least it did last night. Now as I’m eating it for lunch, the dressing is all wrong. Perhaps I just hate sweet dressings…if this had a soy-ginger-sesame dressing instead of the orange-ginger dressing, it would be better. I should see if Tim likes it…otherwise this one might be deemed a “failure” since I put all the dressing on last night. One thing I’ve learned: you can’t undress a salad. :(

Anyway, back to last night: between the chopping and the cooking and the mixing, it took a lot longer to put together than I had anticipated…more on that later.

Dishes.
I can’t understand how two adults can dirty so many dishes. Walking into the door after work last night, I was so personally disgusted with the stack of dishes, I had to tackle them right away. One full dishwasher and one sink full of cookware and 45 minutes later, I was done! Until I started cooking, that is.

Tim’s breakfast/lunch.
Big fail. The pan I boil eggs and pasta in was tied up cooking the wheatberries for the OSG salad because I forgot it takes an hour and fifteen minutes to cook wheatberries! By the time they were done and I got the salad put together, I was starving and needed to make myself some dinner (fresh mushroom ravioli, chicken sausage and broccoli I needed to use up). After I ate, I was sick of cooking/cleaning (and by then it was 8:30pm).

Video games!
Of course I did this one!

It’s my sit-on-the-couch and unwind-from-the-day activity when Tim’s not home. If he’s home, we watch the TV shows that have built up in our queue. My job is stressful and has been extremely busy lately, so when I need “down time” I need to take it.

My “plan” for tonight:
1. Run! (doing right after work)
2. Dishes! (the ones I dirtied making all the stuff last night)
3. Dinner! (I probably should figure this one out)
4. Make tuna salad and hard boil those eggs.

We have so much to do before we move next week. And now, after a nearly snow-free winter, they’re forecasting 1-2 FEET OF SNOW in the next two weeks. Awesome.

Help Me, I'm Drowning!

Pieces

Fabric swatches.

These have been a big part of my life as of late.

Also lots of boxes.

And stuff.

Is this all my stuff?

(from when I moved into my place over 6 years ago)

My life has been monopolized lately by:

1. Packing.
2. Moving logistics.
3. Exploding workload at my job.
4. Working on our first tax return as a married couple!
5. Picking out furniture and paint colors.

That last one has been a huge source of stress and fights. The cost, the fabric swatches, what furniture to get – it’s all been a pain in my butt.

However, this weekend I think Tim and I got a handle on everything and we reduced our furniture budget by about 30% of our original plan! Girl loves saving money!

We get possession of the house on the 1st, but we’re not doing the big move until the 3rd when my awesome family can help! Then, I’m taking two weeks off to paint, unpack and deal with the various furniture deliveries. It will be a much-needed vacation.

Did you notice what was missing from that list? Healthy eating and exercise.

Tim and I are in “cupboard cleaning” mode, which means we’re trying to eat as much stuff we have in the house so we have less to pack/move. This has resulted in a number of meals of mac and cheese, pasta with red sauce, and pizza. Not a whole lot of veggies in there.

Also absent has been any sense of meaningful exercise. Over the past month – between being sick, my trainer being sick, and having to work late – I’ve only been able to get to my trainer 1x a week. The rest of the week, the normal stuff I could do at home – Nike Fit, yoga DVDs, etc. – I don’t have room to do as there’s boxes everywhere!

(Did I mention we’re moving?)

Getting to the gym has been tough with all the errands we’ve done after work, plus continuing to pack and sort through things. Thus, without that stress relief of exercise, I’ve turned to wine and comfort foods more often than I would like. And I’m feeling it in my pants. Ugh.

Before I started going through this journey, now would be the time when all the self-loathing and negativity would creep in and make things worse. Now, I’m trying to be thoughtful and mindful with my feelings and what my body is telling me.

So while all this other stuff going on is important, I also have to remember to make myself a priority.

Tonight, while Tim’s going to do guy stuff* with his friends, I’m going to get to the gym for a long run, then hit the grocery store to pick up the few items I need to make Angela’s Whole Foods-inspired salad for lunches this week and more fresh veg to supplement meals throughout the week.

And finish those damn taxes!

And play more Final Fantasy XIII-2**. :)

Right now, I’m not feeling it – but I’m determined to shake things up and make it better.

—–
* they usually watch nerdy movies or talk about A/V setups. Or both. ;)
** I’m ~25 hours in! That may sound like a lot, but I’m estimating it’ll take me at least 80 hours to finish the story. If I wasn’t a completionist, that might be true…but I have to do all the side quests too!

Ten Days

I realized today that I haven’t posted in ten days.

What the what?

To say life has gotten in the way is an understatement. Preparing to move, picking out paint colors, picking out furniture and other related items are making my head spin! Add in some work-related stress and it’s a mix made in hell!

Plus, there is the fact that it’s winter and my feet look like this:

Sexy.

Instead of like this:

Footsie Friday

What’s a girl to do?

Lose her mind?

Weirdo

Or roll with the punches, rain or shine?

Before the Race

There’s a lot I would love to share with you all, but it’s all stuff that I just can’t get into right now. Not yet, anyway.

I will, however, love it if you send me some “good luck” vibes to help make one of the dreams I’m working on this week a reality!

Plus, you’ll make me happy!

You'd think I just scaled Everest.

Hope to not be so quiet in the future!

Although, now that I think of it, Final Fantasy XIII-2 comes out tomorrow. OOOOHHHHH BBBOOOYYYYY!!!!! *dances*

So, you might not see me until May… ;)

Thirty Nine

Happy Birthday cupcake

This weekend I turn 39.

I’m trying to wrap my head around it because there’s no possible way I’m that old! But the dates don’t lie.

So I’ll suck it up, put on my Big Girl Pants and rock that birthday out!

The “plans” – if you can call them that – are sort of set up as follows:

1. Go out to eat with friends at my favorite Indian restaurant Saturday night.

I think that’s it.

I work at my part time job Saturday morning, and I need to get to the gym for a workout sometime that afternoon. Sunday, my actual birthday, I’m not sure what we’re doing. I would love to go out for breakfast to Hell’s Kitchen, but with going out to eat Saturday night, I’m not sure it’s a good idea to drown myself in Mahnomin Porridge and Lemon Ricotta Hotcakes (and bacon!). But you know, I might just push for that anyway…instead of having birthday cake.

‘Cause you all know I lurve cake.

Seriously.

Me and cake have a thang. Cake shows up, I eat it.

But cake and my midsection have a tumultuous relationship. Cake adds bulk onto my midsection and makes it very, very unhappy.

Thus, I have cake very rarely. Same with Oreos – can’t have ‘em around otherwise I’ll hoover them like I’m underwater and the Oreos are my oxygen supply.

Otherwise, I’m having a pretty low-key birthday. My days are tied up with house planning and moving planning and work, and with having just got a bunch of presents for Christmas, there really isn’t anything I want or need right now.

I think this year will be the year I start celebrating my half birthday. Having a birthday in January in the depths of winter stinks. I want a July birthday that’s full of sunshine, HOT weather, grilling, drinks, friends and hijinks.

Did I mention hot weather and sunshine? ‘Cause that’s what I really want for my birthday and sistah isn’t going to get it.

Stupid winter.

Shut Up, Brain!

(Click the image to buy the inspiration t-shirt)

“Over-thinking ruins you. Ruins the situation, twists things around, makes you worry and just makes everything much worse than it actually is.”

I saw the above quote on Pinterest today and it struck me.

The past few days have been tough mentally for me. Bad enough that I didn’t get much sleep Sunday night and was in a funk all day yesterday.

Talking to my amazing husband helped, but I still feel like there’s a cloud following me around raining on my parade.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes a trigger that comes out of left field gets my brain (a.k.a. Brain – not to be confused with this Brain) thinking and puts a laser-sharp focus on things in my life. Usually things that are “wrong” with it.

When that happens, Brain transforms into Hyper-Analyze Mode and doesn’t stop thinking (and over-analyzing!) about whatever it is that I’m focusing on for days on end.

Thus, I don’t sleep much.

Rationally, I keep telling myself that everything is just fine and that I’m nitpicking over idiotic first-world problems.

Too bad Brain is completely irrational.

But!

I’m not going to let Brain get the best of me! I’m going to keep talking to the hubby, doing some yoga and possibly some journaling to help reinforce positive things I have in my life to Brain. Because my life IS pretty damn awesome. I just gotta give Brain a reason to shut up and let me live it.

With that, I need some more coffee.

Recap of 2011 Un-Resolutions

Last year on my other blog, I put forth four goals (or un-resolutions) that I wanted to do in 2011. I called them goals instead of resolutions because I don’t like doing New Year’s resolutions.

Since it’s now 2012, I feel I should do a recap of my 2011 Goals:

1. Do a triathlon.
Fail. Major fail. Getting an injury pretty much sidelined my training this year, which was a big disappointment.

2. Do my second half marathon.
FAIL. I was both bummed out and relieved that I had to drop out of the Mankato half-marathon in October. Instead I ran the 10k race at the same event. This year, I’m doing that goddamn half come hell or high water!

3. Get married.

Went to Vegas in May and got married. An amazing trip with good friends, great adventures, and AMAZING food. Eloping was the best thing EVER. :)

And as far as that goal is concerned, I knew I was getting married in 2011. It’s not like I woke up Jan 1, 2011 and said “you know, I think I’ll make it a goal to get married!” That would just be weird.

I mean I’m weird, but not THAT weird! ;)

4. Embrace the good things and let the bad stuff slide. Life’s too short for that monkey business.

I would love to think that I succeeded in doing this, but I know I let bad stuff get under my skin and allowed worry and stress to affect me more than it should. Think I’ll strive to be more conscious of this in 2012.

Tomorrow: My 2012 Un-Resolutions!

Writer's Block

Writer's block

I was suffering from a bit of a block these past few weeks.

Writer’s block.

(Yes, this is the post I started a week ago that I alluded to yesterday!)

I finally had an epiphany when I read two posts back on December 30th that really opened my eyes: one on my friend Justin’s blog and one from Kailey over on SnackFace (a blog was new to me as of last week). But both struck chords as to why I’m having such a hard time writing lately:

I’m trying too hard.

Trying too hard to be the “perfect” blogger writing Important Stuff™ that would Change People’s Lives™. Trying too hard to be the next friggin’ Martha Stewart with innovative recipes and perfect photography and everything else that woman manages to do in a day.

Martha Stewart
(I love you, Martha, but we should just be friends)

Continue reading Writer's Block

Waaaaaaah!

“Dammit, Carolyn, where have you been?”

Carolyn
(Um...doing stuff...you know....stuff...)

Well, working. And socializing. And freaking out about things.

You wouldn’t think freaking out about things would take over a lot of your time, but you would be wrong.

I missed Christmas posts.

Missed New Year’s posts!

I was going to shoot for my look ahead to 2012 post, but I fear by the time I’ll get some time to do it, it will be my birthday.

(late January, for those keeping score)

BUT!

(heh…said butt…*snort*)

Things are looking up! The things I was freaking out about are turning out pretty friggin awesome (more deets to come!) and I can finally finish my “here’s what I got for Christmas” post that I started on December 29th.

Carolyn 2
(Yeah! Rawk that shiz out!)

So no whining about it: 2012 is going to be the Best Year Ever™!

100 Foods To Eat Before You Die

Durian

I’m working on another post for today, but I got the idea to do this from a friend of mine on Facebook: the 100 Foods To Eat Before You Die.

On Facebook, it was an app/game thing, but I don’t use apps (the lack of privacy for one reason) so I did a Google search to see what the list was. This is what I found.

The items I’ve done, I’ve bolded. My comments, if any, will be italicized.

Without further ado:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue - There’s a fondue restaurant less than 2 blocks from my office. Yum.
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes - dandelion wine counts!
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
Continue reading 100 Foods To Eat Before You Die

Holiday Survey 2011

o' christmas tree

It’s a few days before Christmas and all through the house, the kittens were sleeping dreaming of mouses…

Ok, so that was a bad attempt at a parody of a classic Christmas story. My creativity isn’t the best at the moment, so today’s post is “borrowed” from Angela over at Eat, Spin, Run, Repeat: a holiday survey!

25 Holiday Questions

1. Eggnog or hot chocolate?
Hot Chocolate, definitely. Adding a bit of peppermint schnapps doesn’t hurt either! ;)

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
When I was a kid, “Santa” left the presents in piles for the six of us kids in the living room. Now, I give “Santa” the night off – he’s got enough houses to visit without having to come to mine.

christmas lights.
3. Coloured lights on tree/house or white?
Always white. I was never a fan of colored lights unless they were the HUGE bulb kind.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
No, because it’s poisonous to the kitties. Same reason I don’t have poinsettias at home: kitty health comes first!

All on the bed at the same time!

5. When do you hang your decorations up?
Never before Thanksgiving. Typically I get them up a few weeks before Christmas.

Now, taking them down is another story! If I get them put away by my birthday (mid-January), I’m on top of things! ;)

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
I don’t know if you could consider it a “dish” but I love having crescent rolls and the ubiquitous jellied cranberry sauce!

Cranberry In A Can

With ridges!

I really don’t eat either one during the year, so it’s my favorite holiday treat!

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child?
Playing ice hockey on the river with my siblings and cousins. Too much fun!

8. What is on your Christmas wish list?
I have a ton of books, a Kindle, a small point-and-shoot camera, and that’s pretty much it. I have simple tastes.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Since my family doesn’t do Christmas Eve – we celebrate the holiday the weekend before or the weekend after (this year it’ll be January 14th!) depending on everyone’s schedules – Tim and I open all our gifts on Christmas Eve. Christmas day is for being lazy and eating too much! ;)

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
I have a bunch of silver, pale blue, and white metallic sheen glass bulbs, shiny silver teardrop “garland” and a couple of random ornaments that don’t fit the color theme (a Vikings football ornament, for one!) and the pre-lit (white lights) artificial Xmas tree.

The tree

This year, I was feeling lazy and just put the tree up sans-ornaments/garland. Surrounded by presents, it’s still festive in my book!

11. Snow? Love it or dread it?
I really like the snow, but I hate the cold. If it stayed between 15 and 35 degrees Fahrenheit all winter, I’d be a happy camper. But, since I’m in MN, I can look forward to a January and February of below-zero temps for weeks at a time. Oh boy.

12. Real tree or fake tree?
Fake. Never had a real one (see #4) as I’m sure it would turn into a messy, kitty playground.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
When I was a kid – I think I must’ve been four years old – I got the Weebels Micky Mouse Clubhouse.

I was SO EXCITED when I found that from “Santa” in my gift pile! I need to dig out the photo of me playing with it in the midst of Christmas morning chaos. I was a cute kid. ;)

14. What’s the most important thing about Christmas for you?
That I no longer work retail.

Seriously, it took me YEARS to enjoy Christmas again after working many years of retail full-time. People can be horrible to retail workers (the stories I could tell!) and the rampant consumerism soured my view about the holiday and I was very much “Bah Humbug!” about it for many years.

Now, it gives me the opportunity to reflect on how lucky I am to have such an awesome life: I’m married to the love of my life, my family is awesome and we have such amazing friends. Life is pretty damn good.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
Cheesecake. Always.

16. What is your favorite tradition?
I don’t know if you could consider it “tradition” but I strive to not take off my pajamas Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Most years I’m successful!

17. What tops your tree?
Nothing.

18. Do you prefer giving or receiving?
I prefer to give. I’m not a materialistic person and I tend to be practical when people ask me for gift ideas (books, power tools, etc). I never want to ask for anything frivolous because I feel I don’t need it. Which makes it hard to buy gifts for me. :)

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?
Oh, this one is a toughie, because of past retail experiences I don’t like Christmas music. You try to listen to Christmas music 40 hours a week (starting mid November!) while being yelled at by uptight shoppers and see how much you like it!

But, I love the Canadian Brass Christmas album and my favorite track is “The Carol of the Bells.” I tried to find a video clip of the song, but my Google-Fu has failed me.

20. Candy canes, yuck or yum?
In theory, yum. However, they’re too unwieldy and sticky once you start eating one.

21. Favorite Christmas movie?
I love A Christmas Story!

(You'll shoot your eye out, kid!)

22. What do you leave for Santa?
I don’t leave out anything since he doesn’t stop by.

23. Do you have a Christmas morning tradition?
Pajamas. Coffee. Some sort of fancy egg-bake. Movies.

24. Do you prefer to shop on-line or at the mall?
Online, definitely. (see prior retail employment)

25. Christmas letter or Christmas card?
I always strive to do Christmas cards, but somehow time slips by and I end up not sending anything. A letter would just take more time that I seem to not have!

Merry Christmas!