Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. I'm excited for New Year's Eve and, almost more so, New Year's Day - so I can have another day off!

And to give you something to look forward to, I'm planning to get back to blogging more in 2010 - so be ready!

I'll leave you with some cuteness :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has a wonderful day filled with great food, loved ones, and comfy pants!

We're spending today with Doug's parents and grandma. She's making the main dish and we're bringing the sides and sweets (my area, of course!). And I'm hoping to catch some of the parade, I adore the parade - especially the big balloons. My favorite is always the Snoopy balloon

What's your favorite part of the parade?

Have a great day!!

Image from

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Things I Love About Fall #2

What else do I love about fall?

Today!! Because it's my birthday!

That's right. I'm one of those annoying people who love their birthday. Now, I'm not one of those people who tells everyone (ummm, minus this post I suppose, lol) and expects to get a happy birthday back. But I just love this day. My favorite number is 18, so that makes it even better.

Besides, my birthday equals getting mail that doesn't require me to send back a payment (yay for cards!), cake (mmmm, cake), and Doug making dinner (woot!). So what's not to love about birthdays? And if I come home tonight to find the New Moon cd waiting for me? Even better! Also, Sarah's taking me to see New Moon as my gift - yay!

Ok, off to justify a bite of birthday cake with breakfast.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

What I Read in October

October was not a very good month book-count wise. Because An Echo in the Bone was so big and it took me a while to read it I only managed to get 3 books read. I've got to kick it up in November! I've surpassed my original goal of 50 by I'm still shy of my second goal of 75. I'm up to 58 now.

In October I read

The Outlandish Companion by Diana Gabaldon. This talks about the first 4 book in the Outlander series: the characters, the history, her research methods, and what led her to writing these books. I thought it was very interesting.

An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon. The most recent book in the series. Totally loved it.

Twilight by Stephanie Myers. This was a re-read. I'm getting ready for the release of the New Moon movie. So that book is next up for me I think. This one is my second favorite in the series (I like the third one best) but I think it's really good.

Here's to more reading in November!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Yep. That's right, we dressed up the dog.

It's something we both never thought we would do - ever. But we were at Target and it was there and so cute... so we bought it. Grux is not exactly thrilled.

The body part fits him perfectly but apparently he has a small head (unlike his mama), so I had to pin the hat to the body so it wouldn't fall into his eyes.

We're taking him "trick or treating" this afternoon to our parents' houses, so hopefully I'll get a couple more cute photos to show of him.

Have a fun (and safe!) Halloween!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Day as a 4 Yearold

Last night about an hour before I left work I got a call asking if I was supposed to cover at another location today..... I wasn't. Then I was asked if I could.... umm, sure, thanks for the notice.

This location is about 35 minutes from home, as opposed to the 10 I usually drive, and required me to be there 3 hours and fifteen minutes earlier than I was supposed to be at work today. Lovely.

Needless to say I was not in the best mood this morning. And it doesn't help that I've worked at this location before and know that it is incredibly slow most days, oh and did I mention that I'd be all by myself. Yep, all alone. I despise working alone. Had I known that would happen I never would have taken the job.

Anyway, jump ahead about 2 hours into my day. I have everything that needs to be done up to this point done, and had it done for about an hour, and had had one customer.... that's it. This is the point when I snapped and started to act like I was 4.

First, I grabbed the crayons and color sheets we have for little kids and colored.

I'm not really sure why Rabbit and Pooh are on a stripper pole....

Then I snacked on a couple loops out of the container of generic fruit loops I had brought.

Then I had my oh-so-grown-up lunch: PB&J.

I couldn't remember if this location had a microwave, and we can't really leave for lunch, so it had to be this pretty much.

And finally I had a few Sweetarts.

Then I read a lot of the book I smuggled in with me (this is a no-no but I would have lost my mind otherwise). Tomorrow I'm back at my normal location (at least as far as I know). Which, while I dislike it, it is better than being alone.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Things I Love About Fall #1

I love Fall. It's my absolute favorite season. There are so many things I love about this season. So many, in fact, that I thought I'd start a little series of posts on Things I Love About Fall. Some will be random things about Fall in general and some may be specific to Fall 2009.

So, for my first favorite thing I thought I'd share something that is partly responsible for keeping me from blogging right now.

An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon. It's the latest in the Outlander series and I'm completely absorbed in this book. I love it. I want to take it with me everywhere - except that it's huge and weighs as much as a small baby basically, not exactly purse friendly.

This came out last month and was definitely one of my favorite things about September - and Fall 2009.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What I Read in September

Since I was so late with this for August I thought I'd do September before the month even ends.

So, in September I read:

Along for the Ride - Sarah Dessen

The UnDomestic Goddess - Sophie Kinsella

Dead and Gone - Charlaine Harris

From Dead to Worse - Charlaine Harris

What's It Like Out There? - Mario Andretti

All Together Dead - Charlaine Harris

Definitely Dead - Charlaine Harris

and a chunk of An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What I Read In August

So I totally missed doing this! I can't believe it is the 15th already, where has this month gone?

August was a good reading month for me because I got my number count back up, but it didn't have much in the way of variety.

I finished The Other Boleyn Girl by Philipa Gregory. It was good and I liked it.

Then I read first 6 books in the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris, aka the books that inspired True Blood on HBO (which I need to see!). They were: Dead Until Dark, Living Dead in Dallas, Club Dead, Dead to the World, Dead as a Doornail, and Definitely Dead. Obviously I really liked these books, ha! I definitely recommend them.

Hopefully I'll be on time with my September post!

Monday, August 24, 2009

New Job Update

The new job is going really well. I'm really liking it, although it's kinda strange not having any Internet connection at all. We had a couple of nasty storms last week and I really would have liked to be able to jump onto the net and check the weather - but thank goodness for the radio and all the weather updates there.

I promise there will be more updates soon, as soon as I get used to this new schedule!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Last Day

Today is my last day at this job. I'm starting a new job on Monday.

I'm really excited for this new job. It's about 10 minutes from home, versus the hour each way that I have now. Plus I'm going to have full benefits and a 401K, things I don't have now. Yay!

Plus, since I'm not going to have to get up at 5 a.m. anymore I won't have to have the same bedtime as an 8 year old. The even better part about this is that it means I will have time to blog and write at night. I've decided that I really want to take this writing thing seriously so I'm going to treat it kind of like a job, I'm going to make sure I carve out time in the evenings to write and I hope I will have something substantial to show.

Another benefit of this new job is that I'll be able to workout in the mornings now I think. I won't have to leave nearly as early anymore, nor get up as early, so I'll have plenty of time to walk the dog and get in a good walk/jog now - maybe I will finally turn into a runner.

So in honor of my last day today I'm bringing in some donuts. I figured that my coworker needed to try the super yummy donuts from my local grocery store - love them!

Have a great day everyone!! I know I will!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

House Update

So I was all set to do this last night but the Internet has been acting up.

We haven't gotten too much done with the house yet but we are slowly making progress.
Last weekend I worked on putting all of the basics away in the kitchen. We still need to paint it but it's going to be last because we know it is going to take the longest due to the wallpaper and boarder that we are going to have to remove. So almost all of the basics are put away now - I just have to go out into the garage and find the boxes with my pans in them - I kinda need those! Once the room is painted everything else will be put away. And since the kitchen is functional I finally got to bake something! I made next week's Tuesday with Dorie recipe, so watch Central Cooking for that next Tuesday!

Sadly that room has had about the most work done to it of any room so far. The other rooms are functional but don't have much put away yet. The basics are in every room, and for the most part they are in their official spot, the rooms just need to be finished. But really we're at a point where there is no point in putting anything else away until after we paint.

Which makes it a good thing that painting will be starting this weekend! We're going to paint the living room/dining room and hall on Saturday. That's the biggest area and once it's all painted we will be able to put a ton of stuff away. Then we will do the bedroom and office and finally the kitchen.

I promise to post lots of before and after pics very soon!

Monday, August 10, 2009


Meet our furbaby, Grux.
Doug and I met Grux the Wednesday before we went to Indy, so July 29, and officially adopted him when we got back on Sunday, August 2. This is what has kept me so busy the last week and kept me from updating.

It's been a very fun but challenging week. We've been trying to get him used to going outside, hanging with us, not running after every small animal outside, and (most importantly) going to the bathroom outside. It's taking a lot of work. But it's totally worth it.

We found Grux (or, the pup formerly known as Sparky) on Petfinder (by the way, I totally recommend Petfinder!). He was at a nearby Humane Society and we could not resist his picture. He looked like such a happy, fun dog. We actually looked at it before we moved and were surprised to see that he was still available. We weren't planning to get a dog quite so soon, but we just could not resist him.

We went to meet him and the second they let him out of the room he ran right to Doug. Then he ran around saying hi to every person and animal (a cat and a bunch of brand new puppies) in the room. We were instantly smitten. We told them that we wanted him and asked about picking him up Sunday - the lady was more than happy to accommodate us because she was so happy that he was getting a home.
Even before we got him he was the most spoiled dog ever. We found a Petsmart near our hotel and bought him some toys, Doug's mom bought him a toy, and so did Doug's aunt who was up from Alabama. Seriously, this dog is not lacking in toys.

We picked him up on Sunday and learned his tale: he was rescued by the HS from the local pound (they are sure if he was picked up or abandoned), where he was about to be put down. It makes me so sad to think of my little ball of energy being so close to being gone, he's just too sweet! So we brought him home and took him on the tour of town to both of our parents' houses. Then that night Doug's bff and his fiance (aka the puppy uncle and aunt) came over to see him. Less than a week later he's also been to my bff's house (puppy aunt also). This dog loves to meet people and absolutely adores car rides. He's a great fit for us!

Oh and a lot of people have asked about the name. Grux is actually part of the title of the newest DMB album: Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King. We think it's a cool word, and it was the nickname of a cool man, and it seems fitting since we got him around our DMB trip. The name seems to fit him and he already responds to it.

So, that's why I've been MIA lately, but now that he's settled in a bit I'll be back more. And expect to see lots of Grux in the future.

I'm Alive!

I promise, I am still alive. Last week was crazy. And I know, I totally suck at blogging frequently.

I'm hoping to get updates from DMB/Indy, how we're doing with the new house, and what has kept me so busy here soon!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

What I Read in July

Wow, packing and moving really hurt my reading list last month. I only managed to finish two books; that's really bad for me! Although, I am currently reading The Other Boleyn Girl and it has taken me forever to get through it, I actually started it right before we moved - so I've been reading it for over two weeks now. But I did manage to read two good books last month:

Such a Pretty Fat: One Narcissist's Quest to Discover if Her Life Makes Her Ass Look Big, or Why Pie is Not the Answer - by Jen Lancaster. Not my favorite of her books, but still very good. You can read my review here.

The Duggars: 20 and Counting!: Raising One of America's Largest Families - How They Do It - By Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. Yes, those Duggars. The ones from TLC. I actually really liked this book. I didn't think that I would. I put a hold on it at the library back in March after watching a Duggar marathon and didn't get it until July, so apparently I'm not the only fan! I figured that I'd just skim the book but I almost completely read it cover-to-cover. There were some great tips and ideas in it about money saving, moving, organizing, some incredible looking recipes, and even some good tips for raising kids (ok, right here let me say that I don't totally agree with the Duggar lifestyle and wouldn't raise my kids the way they do, but there are some good ideas here, especially for how to get you kids to enjoy quiet time). Overall this was a really good book, and a quick read too! I'm glad I read it.

Hopefully August will be better, if I can ever finish TOBG!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Where Are You Going

this weekend?

Cause we're going to see DAVE!!

Dave Matthews Band is playing near here and we have tickets to both nights! Woohoo!

I am so incredibly excited. I love DMB, I love the city they are playing in, I love the venue they are playing at, and I love outdoor concerts, so this is awesome. Plus, I think that their new album is possibly the best they have ever released, so that makes it even better.

I have a few songs that I'm really hoping for, to the point that I've been tweeting band member Stefan Lessard basically begging for a particular song. I hope it pays off! Oh, and I know for a fact that I am not the only person doing this, lol.

Doug loves DMB too, and this post from Central Cooking kind of explains why we love them so much. Last year they played "our song" and we sang along at the top of our lungs, it was awesome.

We have better seats this year than last year (well, we had lawn last year so we didn't actually have seats). And I discovered today that our seats are better than I thought- awesome!

So, that's where I'll be this weekend..... stalking DMB. So if you hear about some crazy woman arrested in Indiana for stalking a musical group....well, send cookies, ok?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Move

Oh where to start :)

So, Thursday night we signed all of our papers for the bank and had a final walk through of the house, where we learned that the seller still had a few things there but that they would be getting them out Friday. We were also told that we weren't closing at the same time as the seller, no big deal. So that night we raced home and tried to finish packing - it was a long night.

Friday morning we closed, which seriously took like 5 minutes. Then we made our way to the new house to get the AC going and check it out. While we were there we realized that the seller had been there because some of the stuff was gone.... when all of the sudden the side door flies open and this man comes flying in asking if he can help me because he owns this house. I stammer that I was one of the new owners and that we had just come from our closing to get the house opened. About that time Doug came in the room and the guy backed off a bit, but then said he didn't know we'd have keys yet since we hadn't closed, apparently no one told him we weren't closing at the same time. He then tells us that the water department had just been there and turned off the water. Crap.
Doug had talked to the water dept. before and they had said that we would need closing papers to put it in our name, which we didn't have yet since the seller hadn't signed. But we were worried about what time they would close and had a major fear of having no water all weekend, so we took what few papers we had and went to the water dept to beg for service. The woman there was so nice! She went through all the papers we had and found something that would work. We started telling her about the run-in with the seller and she laughed and said he had seemed kind of high strung. They were so helpful, they had the water back on within an hour!
Doug's dad had foot surgery two days before our move, so we were a mover short. However, the help we had so more than made up for it. My uncle and Doug's bff were total lifesavers. They carried big heavy items out of the rental (down the 6 steps) like it was nothing. They took our bed apart in the blink of an eye and had the box springs out before I even knew they had started on the bed. Those two guys were incredible, and we sooooo owe them. My dad helped too, he was awesome about stuffing a million things into their van, mainly breakable items or things we thought wouldn't travel well in the multiple trucks. My dad totally rocks.
Doug was awesome about getting everything packed up incredibly quickly and whisking it out of the way, that boy moves quick! And I suppose it's ok to toot my own horn a little. While the guys were busy getting all the big stuff ready to move I literally stuffed my SUV so full that there was barely room for me in there! I literally could not fit anything else in. And Saturday night Doug told me that he was really impressed with me because I had no problem jumping in and helping with moving the big stuff, carrying a million boxes, and crawling around on the floor unplugging and unhooking things. Go me! lol
And our moms and my grandma were awesome too. My mom and grandma went to the new house while we were all at the old one and vacuumed and cleaned everything. Then after we brought over the first load of stuff they started unpacking stuff in the kitchen, because they know how important that room is to me. Doug's mom was great too. She had a crazy job of helping us out and then running home to check on Doug's dad. She was great about bringing over a few things, helping for a little bit, and then running home - and she always brought stuff back every time - like Pledge for my incredibly dusty furniture, or DQ for the starving moving crew.
For the most part the move went really well. We had been really worried about moving the fridge and stove out of the rental but that part didn't go too badly. The fridge rolled off the dolly halfway down the stairs and the door of the stove flew open on the stairs but the incredible moving duo saved the day both times. They had to take the feet off the couch to get it out and then it had to go partially over the railing to get outside, but they made it work.
The bad part came at the new house. When my uncle tried to unhook the stove that was already there the gas line did not want to come off. It took some WD-40 and a ton of elbow grease to come off and then our stove did not want to connect. I don't totally understand the problem but basically our line isn't the right size for the gas line and the connector my dad bought didn't want to fix on. We have a guy coming this morning to hook it in, thank goodness! I'm sick of fast food!
And the big issue: the fridge doors. We had to take them off to get the fridge out of the house. Well, the doors were held on by a couple brackets. When the doors came off one bracket got stuck back onto the fridge and the other went into a bag with all the screws and everything. Well, at one point on the way to the new house that bag spilled and came open and apparently the bracket came out. We all hunted through the truck for it, paced the yards at both houses looking for it, checked every box we thought it could have gone into, I even took every.single.item out of the trash bag that had been in the kitchen at the old house to look for it (and that was extra fun because the water had been shutoff - ick) - no bracket.... anywhere. Luckily Saturday morning my dad went up to the appliance store in town and found out that they could order it and that they had a similar bracket that could hold the door in place until the right one came in. So right now there is a backwards bracket and some packing tape holding the freezer door on so that we can use the fridge side. It's a pain, but considering how bad it could have been we aren't too upset.
The only other casualty was my dresser. It was already falling apart and the move just made it worse. So last night my dad brought over a spare dresser they had for me and took the old one away to use in his storage room. Have I mentioned that my dad rocks?
So that's pretty much it. Saturday morning we brought over all of the boxes that we had taken to Doug's parents' house and got them stuffed into our garage until we paint. Then Doug grilled out for everybody who was still hanging around and then Doug and I decided to go clean up and empty out the rental. Two hours, 5 trash bags, 2 truck loads/trips between houses, and a ton of sweat later we were totally done with that house. Yay! I started taking out nails and screws last night and we're going to start filling holes to get the house ready to paint after our concerts this weekend. So look for some before and after picks to start popping up in the next few weeks. I'll try to get some pics taken of the house so you all can see it. And once we get settled I'll be back to blogging more, promise.

Hello World!

We survived the move! I'll have a full recap of the move soon, promise! Two teasers: I've had no stove since the move and my freezer door is currently rigged to stay closed. I'll explain later.

And this weekend is our DMB concert! So be prepared for lots of DMB awesomeness coming up.

And finally, check out Prior Fat Girl's awesome cookbook and apron giveaway. I want that apron sooooo bad!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Current Workout

So I've been so busy with packing that I haven't had time for a regular workout. But what I have been doing has resulted in me being a tired, sweaty, sore mess. This is my current routine:

Acquire multiple cardboard boxes. Pack your belongings in them, go lite on number of books per box, but really stuff everything else in. Tape closed. Repeat until you have packed everything you own, or you run out of boxes.
Move all boxes onto your front porch.
Run each box down stairs to the ground, lift and shove into vehicle. Run back up stairs. Repeat until all boxes are placed in vehicle and you are sweaty, worn out, and slightly sore.

Fill more cardboard boxes with items you want but don't have room for upstairs. Place in basement, allow to get very dusty.
Pick a very hot day and go into basement, it's best if there is little to no airflow there.
One by one, carry each box over to stairs, lift over head and place on platform of stairs where your partner (husbands work well) can grab it and throw it outside. Continue until every last box is out. This is best if you can find many (lets say 7) boxes of books that your husband packed incredibly full and if you have some heavy and awkwardly sized camping supplies.
Drag self up stairs (oh! added cardio!) and then proceed to help carry each and every item to awaiting trucks, lift onto insanely high tailgate. Repeat until all boxes are in trucks and you are sweaty, tired, and slightly sore.
Now go to your inlaws home and help unload every single box and place in their garage. You will again be a tired, sweaty mess.

Yeah, so that's what I've been up to. What about you?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Water, Baby

Did anyone else have a Water Baby growing up? I got one for Christmas one year. I totally loved it but hardly ever put water in it, and the material it was made out of smelled funny.

Um, anyway. I have a point here, promise.

So, I've realized that I need to drink more water. Up until recently I had a major soda problem. We're talking multiple cans a day. But a few months ago I really started thinking about what I was doing.

First of all, soda is expensive! Cases of Coke are around $7 right now at Wal-Mart (we switched to the generic brand a while ago, but that's still over $2). Second, there are a lot calories in a can of Coke which would be way more enjoyable to consume in solid form, in my opinion. Third, soda can make you feel like crap. You get an energy boost from the sugar but then you slump, hard. Finally, that ingredient list? Scares me.

So, I've been trying to cut way back on the soda and drink other things. Real quick let me explain something: I can't totally quit soda. I get really bad migraines and the only things that ever help are a soda and/or Excedrin Migraine. And I'm pretty much guaranteed to not sleep for two days if I take EM, so I try the soda first.

But I've been doing really well with the water thing. I have a glass here at work that is just shy of 20 oz and I usually make it through 2.5-3 of those. So, yay me! I need to work on it at home though, I'm still way too inclined to reach for a soda or tea, but I am down to 1 soda a day, if even, on most days.

But I've gotten a little encouragement here recently. Jen, The Prior Fat Girl has been talking about water consumption lately and has a little contest going on to drink only water for the rest of the month. I'm going to try my best to do this!

Also, Amanda, Another Prior Fat Girl, is getting into this too by giving away an awesome reusable water bottle. And I could totally use this because I do not have one that is BPA free, so I'm totally entering.

So, what do you usually drink? Any tips for getting in more water?

Also, Jen is giving away a subscription to Health magazine, so go enter that too.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I Am My Biggest Roadblock

So Doug's at work and I'm sitting here getting inspired by some of my favorite blogs when I think to myself "hmm, I want to workout but there's nothing on FitTV that I want to do..... oh, I know! I'll do one of those workout dvds I have and never use."

So I start to get up and head to the living room. And then I remember that I just packed up all of our dvds.... including my workout dvds. Into multiple, very full boxes. Crap.

Book Review: Such a Pretty Fat

Such a Pretty Fat is Jen Lancaster's third book. In it she chronicles her efforts to go from someone who "sweats when they eat" to a healthier, fitter person.

I really liked this book. It wasn't as laugh-out-loud funny as Bitter is the New Black and Bright Lights, Big Ass, but Lancaster's honest wit and sarcasm come out perfectly in this. Diet and exercise are topics that are often not handled well (they are either a beat-around-the-bush or a let's-make-you-cry kind of thing quite often) but I think she handles it perfectly. And the scene where she weighs herself at home had me cracking up, mainly because of the honesty of it (read the book, you'll love this part too).

I think part of the reason I liked this so much is because it fits well with where I'm at in my life. I'm trying to really make fitness an integral part of my life and to make better food choices, so I could totally relate to what she was going through. And I absolutely love how she repeatedly mentions that food is not bad, it's not something to fear or avoid - food is what allows us to live, to run around with our loved ones, to dance around our house to our favorite crappy 90s song (I never do this, nope, never). I loved that she pointed this out, and pointed out how diet companies often push this idea and then pry on the fear that their clients have about food by pushing tons of "better" food on them, aka the food made by their company.

So, I'm really glad I read this; it's a really great book. I'm looking forward to Pretty in Plaid, but it will probably have to wait until after the move since I have to switch libraries.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Newest Famous Monster

Move over Cookie Monster, there's a new top monster in town!

Angela at Oh She Glows started a new blog for all the green monsters she was getting emails about and she has a super easy system for submitting them. So I submitted mine and here it is!

My monster was so ready for its time in the spotlight! :)

Check out the shrine to the GM at Green Monster Movement. And I really do like it green :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Important Packing

So I packed a few boxes while Doug was at work tonight. I boxed up some of my cds (Doug's planning to do the rest tomorrow), put aside our DMB cds because I figure we'll want to know where those are because of the concert, packed some books, and then packed this box of very important items:
My Harry Potter and Twilight books! I finished my re-read of the HP series last week so that I could be sure to pack them all together. This is the first box of books I'm planning to unpack, I've mentally had these placed on the bookcase in our new house pretty much since we got the offer approved, lol.

Oh and don't worry, this isn't very heavy. It's a fairly small box, these are the only things in it, and 2 of the Twilight books and 3 of the HP books are paperbacks. And I also rearranged a little after I took this pic, I flipped the paperback Twilight and New Moon so they were spine down so the pages wouldn't get bent. Don't want to hurt my books!

Monday, July 6, 2009

SGBC: Goal Setting

Today's focus for the Summer Glow Boot Camp (see the picture link on the side) is Goal Setting. I'm really great at setting goals but pretty crappy about reaching them. So I figured that I might do a better job if I wrote them out and posted them. So, here is my "homework" assignment for the SGBC.

A. Write down 3 accomplishments that you are proud of in your life. Beside each one write down how each of them made you feel.
- Graduating College (and high school!) in 3.5 years. This made me feel like I could do anything I set my mind to.

- Starting to write a book. This is something that I've always wanted to do (I want to be a writer!) but I could never actually bring myself to start writing. So last November I signed up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) with some friends from my book club and I actually started writing! I'm not anywhere close to being done but actually starting it made me feel like this wasn't some crazy dream and maybe I really could do this.

- Our personal, yet not too expensive wedding. This is kind of a crazy accomplishment but I really am proud of it. We pulled off a nice, small (ish) wedding with (mostly) our good friends and family. We had everything that we wanted (a Mad hatter style wedding cake, a great photographer, big family pics) without going into debt or owing any huge bills. Whenever I watch Bridezillas or something like that I wonder how on Earth someone can spend that much on a wedding. Ours was perfect and the perfect price! (Not to mention we planned it while I was finishing up school and that was a crazy time, see accomplishment #1!).

B. Write down 3 goals that you want to achieve in the month of July. Also write how they will make you feel!
- Do yoga at least 3 times a week. Relaxed, happy, and healthy.
- Get back to writing. Happy, accomplished, and talented.
- Pack up everything in an organized fashion and then do the same when unpacking. Organized (duh), calm, and happy.

Write down ‘terminals’ for each goal. In other words, write down how you will know when the goal is completed or ended.
- When I can look back at the past weeks and see that I took the time to do something good for myself.
- When I get my page count up!
- When the last box is packed (and then unpacked) and everything is carried out of our rental (and then put away in our new house).

Now comes the planning part. Write down what you need to do to achieve these goals!
- Schedule in time to do this (both the yoga and the writing). It will be hard with packing and moving (and our trip) but worth it!
- Make sure I stick to that schedule. Write it in my planner and put it on my google to-do list.
- For packing/unpacking I need to make sure I do it right the first time! Sort and throw away/make a donate pile as I pack so I only touch things once.
- When unpacking put everything in the box away from the start, don't make new piles to get to later.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Dear Pandora,

Ok Pandora, you know I love you... usually.

But I'm slightly concerned about you tonight. Pandora dear, do you know what year it is? No, scratch that. Do you know what decade it is? No, scratch that too. Do you know what millennium it is?

How on Earth do any of the bands I've entered get me 'NSync??!? I used to love them.... when I was 13! At 23? Not so much.

Oh, and if you must insist on them, how about some of the good songs?!? The ones I used to sing at the top of my lungs with my friends. The ones where there is a good chance I may remember some of the words. Stop with the crappy filler songs, please.

So, we'll just pretend this never happened, ok? Good.

No Longer a Teenybopper.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Getting My Glow On

Do you see the newest edition to the sidebar over there --> ? That cute badge will take you to the main page of Angela's (from Oh She Glows) Summer Glow Boot Camp (SGBC), which is her second boot camp. I started reading her blog about halfway through her first boot camp, so I didn't get to do it. So I'm super excited to do this one.
The boot camp features a handy calendar that tells you what days to do what exercises, when there is a new giveaway (and there are some awesome ones!), and what the main theme is for the week (among other cool things). This is a very cool way to spend the month of July.
Now, you might be thinking that I'm nuts for doing this during the same month I'm going to be packing and moving, but I think it's a smart idea. It will be really nice to have something to focus on other than the upcoming move, and really that will only make the last week difficult, and I figure by then I'll be so addicted to this program that I will find the time. Not to mention the added moves for SGBC aren't that time consuming.
So, click the button and check out the SGBC and Angela's site. And let me know if you're getting your glow on too!

What I Read In June

It's crazy that June is over, it seemed to fly by. I didn't read too much this month but I'm not surprised considering that we started to pack recently. Also, I had a little trouble focusing on a couple of these books, I think I was still just really wrapped up in A Breath of Snow and Ashes and just had trouble going to something other than an Outlander book.

Bright Lights, Big Ass by Jen Lancaster - This is her second book (after Bitter is the New Black) and I actually liked this one even more. It's really funny and I think her personality really jumps off the page at you.

Danica - Crossing the Line by Danica Patrick - Yes, that Danica - the Indy Race Car Driver. I kind of got into an IRL kick after watching the Indy 500 in May and decided to give her book a shot. I took this on the camping trip and it was a great book to read while sitting around the campsite. I thought it was really interesting to read about how she came up through the racing circuit and to read about her life. This was a nice easy and entertaining read.

Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin - I actually need to review this book still, I won it through Goodreads and they ask you to review the books you read. I really liked this, I thought it was fun and pretty entertaining. However, it is one of the two books that I had trouble focusing on. About halfway through this I just got really bored and just wanted it to end. I did get back into it toward the end and really liked it. I think I just had trouble focusing on a romantic story involving someone other than Claire and Jamie.

Little Lady Agency by Hester Browne - I really liked this one too. It was actually the book for June for my online book club and I was excited to read it because I've owned it for awhile now (I got it really cheap at Borders). I thought this had a slight Bridget Jones' Diary (which I loved) and a slight Confessions of a Shopaholic (which was ok) feel to it. This is the other one where I got slightly bored in the middle, but it turned out ok.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling - This book ended my HP re-read. I had read it when it first came out (literally, like within hours) but it was kind of a blur in my mind, so I was really excited to read this again. I had forgotten just how great of a book this is. I absolutely love everything about it, even the tear-inducing moments. JKR is such an incredible author and I adore Harry's story. This also got me even more excited for the movie - not much longer now! And this re-read cemented these books as some of my favorite ever - and DH seriously rivals Pride and Prejudice as my favorite book ever.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Is This What You Want To Teach Your Daughter?

When Caitlin started Operation Beautiful I thought it was a great idea - I even blogged about it. Having dealt with body image issues during my life I really think that this is an incredible idea and I love that it has taken off so much. And I think that this could be a really great teaching item for young girls. Now, I don't have any kids yet but I do watch tv with my bff's daughter and buy her gifts, so I've seen the items that are marketed to kids (Bratz doll anyone - side note for future reference: these will NEVER be allowed in my child's toy box, just fyi). But today I saw something that totally drove home the point that Operation Beautiful is a very needed project.

I was in the infant section at Wal-Mart looking to finish off a gift for Doug's cousin's baby shower. She's having a girl so I was looking around with girls in mind when I spotted two purple onesies stuck at the back of a rack of bright pink ones. So I went over and grabbed one off the rack and saw this:

In case you can't read that it say "Does this diaper make my butt look big?"

Really? REALLY?? This is the question someone thinks should be worn by a small child? I'm sure that the person who came up with this shirt thinks it is funny and, yes, I realize babies can't read, but do we really want to put this image on our daughters? Aren't we supposed to raise our children to know that they are worth more than the size of their butt, or any body part for that matter? Don't we want to raise strong, self-confident children, so that one day maybe there will be no need for Operation Beautiful because everyone will know that they are perfect just the way they are?

Now, maybe I'm overreacting, but there is no way I would buy this for my child, or anyone else's (after I snapped the picture I stuffed this back to the end of the rack in disgust). And this is the first time that I really wished I had some paper with me to write an Operation Beautiful note to stick next to this stupid shirt. You can be sure I'm adding some post-it notes to my purse today.

So, what do you all think of this shirt? Is it horrible? Funny? Am I overreacting? Would you buy it for your child?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I Have News!!

But first, let me catch you up on the house hunt.

- Two weeks ago we went and looked at a house - 2 bedrooms, eat-in kitchen AND dining room, laundry room, 1 bath, mud room, awesome deck, enclosed porch, detached 2 car garage with an indoor/outdoor dog run. But it also had - a huge (apparently) attic that you could only reach from a tiny little hole that was located in the top of the tiny little closet in the second bedroom, those odd/old cabinet "closets" on the wall in the master bedroom (I have no idea what these are actually called) where you could hang your clothes in a three foot box, a tiiiiny sink in the bathroom that didn't even come close to waist level and was crammed in between the wall and the front of the tub, a laundry room that slants - yes slants, I walked into the room and immediately noticed that the floor wanted to throw me into the opposite wall (anyone seen the episode of Mad About You where they flashback to buying their apartment and Jamie keeps saying that the floor slants and doing the slide with her foot? that was me).
But with all that we were still considering it (some of us more than others).

- Then last week we went to see a three bedroom I had been looking at online for a while. Oh my gosh you guys, I cannot explain this house to you well enough so I'm not even going to try. Let's just say: fridge wedged under the stairs, tiiiiiny kitchen, decent bathroom, no central air and it would be really expensive to put in, and let's just say you could really tell that they had cats. This did not make the list.

But.... when we saw the 3 bedroom house the realtor (not ours, she had something come up and someone else filled in) showed us a paper for a house that had literally been listed that morning that she said our realtor thought we would love. So we figured, why not go look.
So we went and looked at it. Two bedrooms - but these are nice and big, a huge living room, a huge eat-in kitchen, detached garage, nice backyard - almost totally fenced in, just needs a gate by the garage, nice front porch, and so many closets! Closets every where! It's in really nice shape, the owner had lived there for a really long time and had recently gone to a nursing home. So we looked around and checked everything out and then went home and talked about it.
We liked it - a lot. It's a great price, incredibly great neighborhood, way better than that other two bedroom. So we decided to make an appointment to go see it again the next day.
So, we went again - this time with both of Doug's parents, my mom (my dad was at work), and 3 of the kids my mom watches (including my bff's 2). Doug's dad had been with us the day before but his mom had skipped, so she and my mom were checking everything out and they really loved it, they couldn't believe the closets either, lol. And having the kids there was actually pretty helpful, we got to see what it was like with a toddler running around (not bad, you knew where she was but yet you weren't right on top of her) and she loved the porch and the yard (although she asked where all the "stuff" was in the backyard, silly girl).
Our realtor told us that she knew we wouldn't like the 3 bedroom but that she thought of us as soon as she walked through this one she thought of us. She also informed us that there was another showing of the house right after ours and another right after that! And that they seemed pretty interested.
So Doug and I looked at each other (we'd already pretty much decided the night before) and said "let's go make an offer." So we did. We played it off real cool when leaving because the next showing was already there and we didn't want them getting wind of our impending offer. So we went up to the office, made our offer, gave them a check for earnest money, and then left to go wait it out.
We went home and sat around for a while waiting for Doug's cell to ring..... finally about 8pm we gave up on it. But around 9pm it rang.... it was our realtor saying that she had called the son of the owner who has Power of Attorney and given him the offer and he had verbally said yes but they had to fax him the papers. So Friday morning Doug called me at work to say that the papers had been signed and it was official!
So Monday we had our inspection and it went really well. Just a couple of really small issues, mainly just things where code has changed from when the current owners bought the house. And the inspector said we were getting a really great house. And then last night I saw on our bank account where the earnest money had gone through, so I guess it's official!
So, prepare for lots of posts about packing and moving (this will be only the second time I've ever had to move! So expect lots of complaining!!) And then lots of posts about getting the house in shape - mainly painting and organizing. And if anyone has any packing, moving, or unpacking/organizing tips I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Really Cool Giveaway

Just wanted to let you all know that Kristin at Iowa Girl Eats has an awesome giveaway going on right now.
You can enter to win a Real Simple & PURE Bar package. There are some really cool Real Simple items in the giveaway, like Magnetic To-Do and To-Buy lists, Multi-Purpose Bags, and a Memo Sheet Mousepad.
So check out the giveaway and Kristin's blog, it is really great! And, I love that she's a fellow Mid-West girl :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

My Legs Are Like Jelly

Ouch, I'm really sore right now! I did 30 minutes of Namaste yoga this morning and then 30 minutes of Shimmy - FitTV's belly dancing workout. And seriously you guys my legs hate me!

The yoga workout was all floor work basically - lots of cat rolls and downward dog. It also included a one-legged downward dog, which I seriously surprised myself by being able to do! This is the description for the episode (the Sunbird episode) from FitTV:
The Sunbird sequence wakes up the spine, and energizes the limbs. All levels will enjoy this energy-freeing sequence, which includes Cat rolls and Dog poses.

I really did enjoy this workout. It was probably the hardest yoga workout I've done to date but it felt so incredibly good! My shoulders are starting to hurt too, I have a feeling I'm going to be very sore tomorrow.

Apparently the Shimmy episode was Episode 17, this is the description:
Dancers teach a new sequence of moves including head-slides, hip-circles, and the more challenging shimmy-layered hip-circles, tremor figure-eights and sa'idi turns. The combined moves are demonstrated in a choreographed dance.

It was hard too! Not really strenuous but just difficult to get down. The tremor figure-eights really are hard! I love this workout though, it is so much fun, which I think is really important when you are trying to add working out into your life. If you enjoy what you are doing you are much more likely to do it often, at least in my opinion.

And luckily I am really loving both of these workouts! Now, if you'll excuse me I'm off to make my legs hate me some more by running to the basement to get the laundry (ouch).

Friday, June 19, 2009

Camping Trip Part 3

Part 1 and Part 2.

So Sunday morning dawned bright and beautiful. It was Doug's actual birthday, so like any loving family we immediately put him to work making breakfast.... I'm not kidding.
But don't worry, I was his trusty partner and helped as much as I could...... and he's just better at cooking outside AND at cooking breakfast.

After we ate and Doug opened the rest of his gifts we relaxed and watched almost everyone else leave. Usually Doug's parents leave on Sunday but we all had Monday off so we were staying for another day, so we just watched almost everyone else leave. It got really empty there.

Later in the afternoon we went geocaching. Are you familiar with this? Basically you look up caches in your are online, put them into your handheld gps, and then go find them. Doug had programed in ones that were nearby, so we set off in the truck to go find them. We looked for 4 I think and had no luck with any of them. There was just nothing to be found for 2 of them, we couldn't easily get to 1, and the 4th one was supposedly in an area that was incredibly overgrown. So we ended up just driving around.

After we got back to the campground we saw on the weather that storms were expected, so we ran around getting everything put away and a tarp on the tent...... and then it didn't rain for about 5 hours.

I made dinner that night and Doug made his cake - a pineapple upside down dump cake, which I hope to have up on Central Cooking soon. It was really good and it's a fond memory for Doug- they used to make it at Boy Scout camp.

It ended up starting to rain around 9pm and rained pretty much all night. We sat in the camper for a while watching the Tonys because it was raining so hard outside.

It was a challenge getting into the tent to go to bed because the added tarp made it really hard to open and close the flap - so midnight bathroom trips were totally out of the question - lol. But we made it in and I fought the zipper and actually won!

We all woke up Monday morning to gray skies and incoming storms, so we hurried to get everything taken down, totally skipping breakfast in favor of just getting the heck out of there.

In a rare moment of genius I suggested we take the tent down so we did - and literally as we finished rolling everything up it started to poor. So yay for not having to set everything back up in our basement to let it all dry!

We got everything thrown into the trucks and then Doug's parents got the camper all hooked up to the truck in the pouring rain, then his dad got all the tanks emptied in the pouring rain, then they played the back-and-forth game of backing the camper into it's storage unit in the pouring rain (fil backs it up, mil shouts directions at him from the back end)..... and as soon as it was finally in the garage the pouring rain stopped and the sun came out - figures.

After that we went back to the inlaw's house, sorted out all our stuff and we finally came home, where we proceeded to take showers, unpack and just generally try to not smell like a campfire any more.

Overall it was a fun trip and Doug really enjoyed it, so that's all that matters :)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Look at my Morning

Have a look at my lovely morning. We woke up about a quarter to 5 with horrible thunder and bright flashes of lightening - lovely. By the time I got up a little later it had calmed down, but the weather channel said more was coming. I tried to check with the local news channels but every single local station was off the air, I had the 2 stations from just inside the Indiana border, but we're just on the edge of their area.

So I left the house knowing I was probably going to hit some storms. It wasn't too bad in our area but I could quickly see clouds and lightening up ahead.

This is what I see at first.

Then this. And lots and lots of lightening.

Then this. Do you see the slightly darker gray there in the middle of the sky? That's a cloud, a very long and scary cloud. I watched many lightening blots split right through that cloud.

Right after this is got incredibly dark, like couldn't even see my hands dark, and then it started to pour. I had my wipers on the fastest speed possible and could not see anything out in front of me. If I looked down toward the ground I could just barely see the lines directly in front of me. I ended up slowing way down, like barely 20 and sometimes less, turning on my hazards and finally at one point attempting to pull off. Except I had no idea where I really was and couldn't really see the side of the road, so I didn't want to pull too far. So I sat on the side of the road for a few minutes while my car got battered with rain, a little hail, and horrible wind and, total truth here, I just prayed that it would stop soon and I'd be ok.

Finally it let up just enough that I could see a little more and I started going again. I quickly passed a stop sign ahead sign and realized that I was farther than I had thought. Luckily once I turned onto the next road it had stopped raining so hard but there were small limbs everywhere and a few flooded areas. The poor cows I drive by did not look happy (side note, one of my favorite Jerry Seinfeld jokes is about his leather coat and how it can't get wet and then how cows don't freak out and go up to the farmhouse yelling "let us in! We're suede!!").

Thankfully by the time I made it to the interstate it was much clearer and I only had to deal with a little rain and wind for the last 20 minutes of my drive. Right now it's getting darker again, I hope we're not about to get slammed again!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Getting in on the game : Operation Beautiful

A little while ago I posted about how Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point was trying to end fat talk and how I thought it was such a great idea. Well, the genius girl has struck again. Caitlin just posted on her blog about how she is starting a thing called Operation Beautiful.

She is going to go around and leave notes on the mirror in public bathrooms telling whoever sees it affirming messages, like "you are beautiful." She has a pic of one she did on her blog.

I think this is such a great idea and so I wanted to spread the word. So, check out Caitlin's blog and then go out and do it! She wants you to send her an email with pics of your Operation Beautiful notes (and totally feel free to post them here too).

So, I'm in, are you?

And for good measure, here is her blog again :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Camping Trip Part 2

You can check out part 1 here.

So, we went to bed Friday night about 10pm.... but I didn't fall asleep until after 1am. And then I literally woke up at the crack of dawn. All of a sudden I just jerked awake and the tent was bright and the birds were chirping. I looked at my phone and it said 5:25.... I later saw on the news that sunrise was... yep, you guessed it, 5:25. grrr

So I grabbed my flip flops, threw myself through the tent flap and decided to walk to the shower house, the one you couldn't shower in because there was no hot water. Then I walked back to the site and tried to go back to sleep.... no such luck though.

So I got up, threw on my tennis shoes, threw myself out of the tent again and went for a 40 minute walk. It was really quiet still... not sure what I expected at 6 am. There was one older man setting up for breakfast and a father and son out eating with the little boy asking why they couldn't go do something yet and the father responding that no one else was up. Then I went back to the site and did some yoga.

I've never done yoga outside before and I felt kinda dumb, but I just kind of hid between our trucks to where no one could see me. It felt awesome to stretch out after trying to sleep on the air mattress. My back was so stiff :(

Then I tried to figure out what to do since everyone else was still asleep. I read a magazine for a little while before I decided I couldn't take it anymore and I needed a shower - stat.

So I crawled back into the tent, grabbed my stuff, told Doug where I was going and headed to the truck. I threw in my shower bag, my wallet and my keys and set off.

Ok, did anyone catch that. Think about this. I took with me: 1. my wallet 2. my keys 3. my shower bag with shampoo, soap, etc in it.

What didn't I take?? Go ahead and think, I'll wait.

::Jeopardy music plays::

Anyone? That's right, a towel or a washcloth. Yep, I went to take a shower towel-less. Wouldn't have been so bad except I didn't realize this until AFTER I had gotten under the water. I have never felt so dumb. So I quickly finished my shower and then ended up drying myself off with my shirt.

I drove back over to the site and proceeded to tell Doug what I had done. I'm not sure he has laughed at me that much in a long time :)

The rest of the day was fairly uneventful. We ran into town, sat around and read, and fought the crazy wind that was trying to blow everything away. I took a little tour with my camera for you :)

Doug's parent's camper and our picnic table.

Our tent.

The other main thing we did was play bags. This is a set that we (mainly Doug) actually built. I think I'll do a big post about bags and how we built this later, since I know at least one person who reads this isn't familiar with the game :)

Do you see the bag up at the top? Oh and those are Doug's parents.

There it is again. Our game is in the University of Illinois Fighting Illini colors. They're Doug's (well and everyone around here) favorite team.

That just left making dinner and Doug making his cake. I hope to get these posts up on Central Cooking soon, but here's a teaser for you.

Basically the rest of the night we just sat around the fire. After it got too dark to read I turned to my trusty cell phone to pass the time. I had signed up for a 24 hour Internet pass earlier in the day because we thought the weather might get bad. So I used the phone to get on Twitter and follow the DMB concert playlists and the IRL race. I get bored really easily and there was really nothing to do, so the phone and Twitter totally kept me from going crazy :)

Ok, I think there will be one more camping trip post. Not sure when though, probably Thursday because we're going to look at a house tomorrow!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Camping Trip Part 1

So I've been really bad about getting this up! The first weekend in June we went camping to celebrate Doug's 27th birthday. It was us and his parents, we stayed in a tent and they stayed in their camper.

I was kind of worried because I've never really been a camper. I had been 4 times in my life before this trip: twice with Girl Scouts and twice with Doug and his parents. So needless to say I still have a lot to learn.

Doug went over early on Friday afternoon and I rode over with his parents after we all got off work. We camp at a park next to one of the bigger lakes here that is about 20-25 minutes or so away from our hometown.

Doug already had everything set up and had dinner going. We had burgers, coleslaw, and potato salad, then we had a chocolate cake with peanut butter icing that I had picked up.

Funny story on the cake. Doug's mom and I both had asked him what kind of cake he wanted, he told us he'd make his own in the dutch oven his parents got him for his birthday. Cut to 4pm Friday, I'm on my way from work to the inlaws' house talking to Doug when he asks if I have a cake. I reply "no, you said not to make one" and he responds "oh, ok" in a super sad voice. So I felt bad and made a stop by the grocery store before meeting the inlaws. I grabbed a cake I knew we'd all like because it was really similar to the groom's cake from our wedding. As we ate the cake we both told Doug that if he ever pulled this again he'd be sol and without a cake, lol :)

After cake Doug got to open a couple presents (his birthday was actually Sunday but we stretched it out). I got him Lewis Black's latest book, Oh Me of Little Faith. He loves Lewis and I wanted him to be able to read it over the weekend. He totally loved it :)

The rest of the night was pretty uneventful. I did have to get a lesson on how to open the tent, I've never stayed in a regular tent, just the big ones at camp. I felt pretty dumb.

Doug and I took a little walk down to the shower house and discovered that our campsite had no hot water. That made me totally sad :(

We sat around the campfire and just relaxed the rest of the night, while I went back and forth between freezing and sweating.

We went to bed about 10pm......and I proceeded to stay awake for hours. It was just too quiet, I'm so used to cars going by and semis flying over the train tracks. Geese "talking" and deer walking around outside freaked me out!

Around 12:15 I realized that I needed to run to the bathroom, this was not going to be fun - the inlaws have a small bathroom in their camper, but it required getting to it. So I struggled out of my sleeping bag/sheet combo, flipped myself off my air mattress, had a fight with the zipper and flung myself out onto the ground, grabbing my flip flops on the way. So then I managed to make it across the site without running into the picnic table or stumbling on any deer. I opened the door, stepped inside, started to walk to the bathroom and suddenly Doug's mom goes "hi". I seriously almost peed my pants, I had not expected any one to be awake! I somehow managed to make it back to the tent, unzip the flap, launch myself inside and get it zipped up. And then I was awake for another hour :(

More to come tomorrow, with pictures! I'll show you all what bags/cornhole looks like. Is anyone else familiar with this game?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My First Green Monster

This has nothing to do with the Red Sox (sorry Jess) :)

So I've seen these Green Monsters (started by Angela at Oh She Glows) around on a lot of blogs and was always kind of grossed out by the thought. Spinach? In a smoothie? No thanks.

But then Jenna started posting about how she got her boyfriend (who used to be a Taco Bell nut) to try a GM and he is now begging for them. So I figured if he could try them and like them then maybe I should just one sometime.

Well, last night I bought some spinach for tonight's Sausage and Spinach stuffed shells and I ended up with a lot of the scary green veggie left over. I say scary because I'm pretty sure that up until my first bite of pasta tonight I had never knowingly eaten Popeye's favorite food.

I was an incredibly picky eater as a kid (I'm still working on it) and pretty much refused to eat anything green. I'm happy to say that I now love many green items, but I do still have a hard time eating leafy greens. So I figured a GM was a good way to try it.

And guess what: it worked! I was really afraid to try this scary colored drink but it's actually really good! I always thought everyone was so full of it when they said "you can't taste the spinach at all!" but they were telling the truth!! My first taste all I thought was "too much banana" and then I thought "really? that's my first thought?" lol.

My Green Monster consisted of:
about 1 cup of Organic Vanilla Soy Milk
1 Small Banana
1 Teaspoon of Simply Skippy Peanut Butter
2 Frozen Peach Slices
a Handful of Spinach

I just mixed it all up in my Magic Bullet.

And it's actually really good! I think I could even add more spinach next time. I will definitely be having many more of these. They seem to be a great way to get in the foods I'm so bad about eating during the day.

And the other day Jenna said that a GM helped her headache, well I've got a killer one right now, so I'm waiting to see if it helps. I'll let you know!

I was watching Enchanted off and on tonight (after I watched Princess Diaries), so I thought I'd see if Patrick Dempsey wanted to try a GM :) This is what happens when Doug is at work all day and I'm all alone, lol.

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Lesson From Mother Nature

About a week and a half ago I noticed some big popsicle wrappers flying around our neighborhood on a particularly windy day. They flew off before I could grab them and I didn't think anymore about them. Until this morning.

I walked out our front door and noticed that a nest had fallen out our tree in the wind and rain we had yesterday. Then I looked a little closer. The bird had apparently tried to use one of the popsicle wrappers as the base of its nest and I guess the bird learned that, when wet, popsicle wrappers are slick and like to move around. Hard lesson for the bird, I hope it can rebuild. I didn't see any eggs or anything, so hopefully it wasn't too big of a loss.

So, what have we learned here? Garbage makes a poor choice for home building. And plastic is slick. And that my mind is mush this lovely Friday morning. :)

Some random things for this Friday morning.

- I have a post about our camping trip last weekend coming soon, promise!

- We found a house we might like, although it has a few things I'm not thrilled about. But I'm going back to look at it again tomorrow with my parents. And I found another one I want to look at.

-My bff Sarah started a blog! I've finally corrupted her! ::evil laugh:: Check it out. She has an awesome story on there right now. And her daughter is 1. the cutest and 2. freaking hilarious, so I'm confident there will be lots of great stories on there.

- Watch for another book review sometime next week. I'm current reading a book I won from Goodreads and it's really good.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Book Review: Bright Lights, Big Ass

Bright Lights, Big Ass is Jen Lancaster's second book. I ended up really liking Bitter is the New Black, so I was really excited to read this one.

And I have to say, this one is even better! This one follows Jen as she finishes up Bitter, gets ready for the book to come out, and ultimately sees her finished product in a store. It's full of the same wit and insight as Bitter but in my opinion is even funnier.

I think I liked this one better because there isn't as much meanness (for lack of a better term) as there is in Bitter. She's much happier and has realized how evil she used to act and makes sure she doesn't do that again. There is still some snark though, so it's not boring - promise!

I thought this book was so funny that I ended up reading parts of it (ok, huge chunks) to Doug. At first I think he was a little hesitant but after the first few parts he really got into it, at one point he actually tried to get me to just read out loud because I had literally read him everything I had already read!

I'm really excited to read the next book and then the one after that, and I was really excited to see on Jen's web site that she has signed for 2 more books, yay!

So read these both, I promise they are great!

Monday, June 1, 2009

What I Read in May

May looks rather disappointing if you just look at this list quickly. I think this may be the fewest books I've read in a month so far this year. However most of these books are pretty long and took a little while to read.

Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster. I loved this book. It was so funny, witty, and smart. I'm already reading her second book, which I hope to review in the next day or so.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling. I love this book. This was actually the second time I have read this but the first time was right after it came out and I flew through it so fast I didn't remember a whole lot (which is true for the next two books also).

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling. Again loved this book. I love moody Harry, it's perfectly accurate of a moody teenager, just magnified because of everything he goes through.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling. Love this one too. This book is so intense and good! I read it the first time in about 2 days I think and tried so hard to take my time on the re-read but still flew through it in about 4 days.

A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon. This is the last of the books in the Outlander series so far, An Echo in the Bone is supposed to come out in September. I loved this book. It is now definitely one of my favorites in this series. It's action-packed, intense, well written, and just one of those books that will suck you right in. I read this with Jess and Jenny and had so much fun talking about it with them. I already miss the characters and cannot wait for the next book.

So that's it, a pretty short list right? These put me at 33 out of my goal of 75 for the year. I have some fairly quick reads in mind for this month and have two (at least) planned to take with me on our camping trip this weekend (including one I won from Goodreads!). So watch for those reviews in the near future. And hopefully June's list will be longer.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I ate leather

So last weekend Doug was off on a little vacation (yay!), so we spent the weekend running around and cooking a ton of food. Saturday we went shopping up in the "big" city north of us and found the local food co-op that I didn't know existed until recently (I'd wanted to hit the farmer's market but we were too late). The co-op was so cool, filled with bulk bins and shelves full of products I can't find in our little town, like coconut milk yogurt (like what Meghann's been talking about) and fruit leathers like I've seen all over the blog world but can never find.

These were so good. I got strawberry and Doug got raspberry. Mine was really sweet while his had a nice tartness to it. I definitely think I'll be getting these again. I haven't tried the yogurt yet, but I need to.

Saturday I also got an armband for my ipod, so I don't have to carry it or try to shove it in my pocket anymore. And it has a handy little pocket for my key, so no more putting my key onto my shoelace! I used it tonight and the key fit perfectly. I hadn't gone out for a walk/jog in almost a week because it just kept raining, so I left out the jogging tonight to try to get back into the routine without overdoing it. We're going camping next weekend for Doug's birthday and I've been hoping to use the paths and roads of the campground for some awesome long walks/jogs with a few little hills thrown in, so hopefully I'll get back into the routine soon.

The only other thing we really did last weekend was watch the Indianapolis 500. We both love the 500. We actually both went there in 2001 with our school's marching band (yes we were both band geeks). But it wasn't the most enjoyable experience. 

We stood in the rain and then the humid weather for hours before the parade they have on Saturday, I ended up having an asthma attack about halfway through the parade because we were practically running, so I had to dropout and then my director had to fight with the Indy EMTs because they wanted to take me to the hospital but I was fine after my inhaler (also they had a film crew with them, I think it was COPS, so thank goodness a 15 year old having an asthma attack isn't that interesting, I'd have hated to have been on tv in our horrible uniforms). Then we had a horrible dinner and were forced to stay for a "dance party" (even though we'd all been up for hours) at a restaurant in Indy that is no longer open, then we had a horrible long drive back to our hotel (on plain ole school buses) because they didn't want to pay to stay closer, where we got in late and had to leave early the next morning with horrible breakfasts that totally sucked. Then there was a parade around the track (which I didn't do because my asthma attack the day before had left me incredibly dizzy), but I heard it was hell because of the pitch of the track. And then the race, which was great....except I had a migraine for most of it (worst experience ever). So needless to say we are both very eager to go back and do the Indy 500 right :)

We don't have anything planned this weekend, Doug has to work, so I'll just be getting ready for our camping trip and I'll be busy being really jealous of Jess because she gets to see DMB at Fenway this weekend (lucky!).

Thursday, May 21, 2009

End the Fat Talk!

Hey all! Just wanted to throw this link out here for anyone interested. Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point did some posts yesterday on ending fat talk, you know: when females talk about how fat they feel after eating, in their jeans, etc. She's set up a page on her (awesome) blog where she'll have all this set up for good because she got such a great response.

I think this is a really important topic. Women do tend to talk negatively about their appearances (myself included) and we're not only hurting ourselves but also our children (or any child around us really). There's no reason to say mean things about ourselves, if we can't love ourselves exactly how we are how do we expect anyone else to?

I don't have a daughter (someday I hope) but I see all the toys, commercials, and shows that are aimed at all my friends' kids and it makes me sad. My friend Sarah has a no Bratz dolls rule for her daughter because they are such bad examples (in her - and my- opinion) and I fully intend to have the same rule. I think that there is really no reason to show the idea of beauty (and even more so sex appeal) to little kids, just let them be!

Sarah (not my friend - though I so wish I knew her!) at LoveIn My Tummy has mentioned how she always makes sure to give her daughters a non-appearance based compliment whenever she gives them an appearance based one so they know they have value beyond their looks (though her daughters are some of the cutest kids I've ever seen). I think this is such a great idea.

So, check out Caitlin's site and read all the great comments from all her readers and be sure to give yourself the compliment you deserve!

Monday, May 18, 2009

House Hunt Update

Does anyone want to live in an 830 some square foot 3 bedroom house right next to (darn near on top of) a railroad track?

What about a house that had pretty much every room completly gutted and then.... nothing?You'd pretty much pay the same as you would for a move-in ready house but you'd have to put this one back together.





Yeah, us either. So this is my way of telling you that there hasn't been anything new with the house hunt for a while. Everything that's come on the market in our price range has been really tiny, or really old with a lot of problems, or really tiny & really old with a lot of problems.

So the hunt continues.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I Didn't Blow Away!

Well we survived the storm last night. After all that waiting for it to get to us it was actually fairly weak when it finally did. We had some impressive lightening (which we watched out the window for about 20 minutes) and a lot of (unneeded) rain that came down fast. But that was about it, thankfully! This is what we saw from our porch, it's hard to tell but this is rain pouring down so hard it turned our road into a river.

This morning we woke up to a cloudy day but it quickly turned bright and sunny, but a little cool. Doug worked a later than normal shift today so I got up, read for a bit and then made us
breakfast instead of heading out first thing. After he left for work I ran to the grocery store to get some mangoes for the Fresh Mango Bread I'm making tonight for Tuesdays with Dorie and then came home and got ready to head out for my walk.

It was cool enough out that I actually dug around for some long pants to wear instead of my capris or shorts. I'm happy to report that I even threw some jogging into my walk! It felt great to really get moving, although I think my form needs some work, who wants to come teach me? :)

It was so nice out I thought I'd snap some pictures with my phone to show you what I see. 

This is near the start of where I get on the walking trail. It's hard to tell but it's where the railroad next to our house splits off to head north or northeast. The walking trail was actually placed on what used to be a railroad track. The train went through the middle of our hometown (about 15 miles away from us now) years ago but those trains had long since stopped, so a few years ago they turned the path into a walking and biking trail and parts of it even allow horses. The part I walk on is paved but parts of it are just gravel. 

This is a pretty tree (bush?) that crosses into the path. See, it's not just a trail, it's an obstacle course!

You can't really tell here, but this is me looking up from the trail to the road above. This part of the state is where you start to get some hills and the path is no exception.

Interesting note, right after I took this picture I happened to look off to the other side and saw a very mean looking pit bull looking at me from one yard over. He was sitting down but right after I saw him he stood up and I think I saw another one behind him. Now, he was chained up, I do like dogs, and I know dogs are only mean when they are trained to be that way but I kinda got freaked out. I was really close to where I had intended to turn around and head back and I really wanted to reach that goal but I had to think. I was close enough that I was going to pass back by the dog very soon and the yard the dog was in was open to the path for quite a while. So this is when I decided to be a chicken and just turn back now. I didn't want the dog to think I was teasing it (or trying to play with it) by walking back by very soon, so I just turned around and casually started walking back the way I had come.

I'm sure the dog was totally harmless, I just didn't want to chance it. 

Finally, this is how I've been carrying my house key. I'm often out when Doug's at work and I don't really have anywhere else to carry the key. I've been wearing a jacket (today a fleece even) that has pockets but 1. they aren't very deep and 2. it's going to be too warm for that soon. My shorts have a pocket but it's shallow and my capris don't have any pockets. I still need an arm band for my ipod and saw one at Target that had a little zipper pocket on it that might hold my key, but the day I saw it the only one on the shelf had been sliced into and the clear cover on it was ripped.

So question, how do you runners/walkers carry your keys?

Now I'm off to read A Breath of Snow and Ashes, I've caught up with Jess, last I knew, but knowing Jenny she's probably done. And Father of the Bride is on, so I might watch part of that, even though I've seen it a million times. Maybe I'll catch the hot dog part, so I can commiserate about the ratio of hot dogs to buns

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