Saturday, January 30, 2010

Happy 101

Aw, StCA got its very first blog award courtesy of the lovely Bre at Bella Vita! (Central Cooking got one too :) ) Bre and I actually met because of a shared love in books (we met on a national book club board) but it turns out that we actually live fairly close to each other, it was totally crazy to "meet" someone online from this area, I thought I was the only one -lol. Anyway, if you've never checked out Bre's blog do it now! She's incredibly smart (she was recently on Jeopardy!!), also just started a new job, and has the cutest little baby. So go read it!

Anyway, on to the award. Bre gave me the Happy 101 award and the idea is to stop and take a minute to list 10 things that make you happy and then give the award to 10 other bloggers.

So, here are 10 things that make me happy (I'm just using the same ones for Central Cooking too).

1. Doug and Grux - love my boys :)
2. My family - I have the best family
3. My friends (both irl and online)
4. My new job - it's seriously the best job I've ever had
5. Dave Matthews Band - blasting DMB makes me totally happy and their concerts are the most fun I've ever had
6. Dancing around the house and singing - especially to DMB, oldies, Broadway songs, or old school pop songs
7. Blogging - I love having someplace to express myself
8. Running - this is really new to me but I think I'm hooked already
9. Reading - books are my favorite thing to buy, Borders is my happy place, reading is my favorite thing to do, and I can navigate the library's site in my sleep
10. Baking and cooking - my second favorite thing to do, it's my other creative outlet

Now for the 10 bloggers I'm passing this on to: may this make them as happy as their blogs make me!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

G Loves Harry

One of my big loves is the Harry Potter series... books, movies - I love them all. My love is so strong (nerdy?) that I even have a Harry Potter blanket. I've had it for years, I think I got it when the second or third movie was just coming out. It's just a small fleece blanket from Wal-Mart, but I love it and curl up with it on the couch every night now (we're trying to keep our heating bill down, which is hard with all the cold temps we had recently).

Know who else loves Harry? Grux. When I'm not watching he loves to grab the blanket and curl up with it. He chewed a small hole in it one day, which you would think means he hates it but he loves to chew on anything he loves: toys, his blanket, his bed, us....

I snapped this one day while he was napping. Isn't it cute? Maybe this weekend we'll both curl up with it and watch Half-Blood Prince.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Not a Brazilian Dancer

So apparently at the start of the year Fit TV launched some new shows. I set the dvr to record some of them that sounded interesting. The first one I recorded was an episode of Bollywood Dance Workout.... and I quickly deleted it. It had all these facial moves and funny grunts and sounds right at the beginning and I knew I couldn't do it. I can't feel stupid while I'm trying to workout (even though the only one here was the dog), I just can't do it - I just totally shut down.

The other one was an episode of Dance and Be Fit. It featured a Brazilian dance called the Capoeira. This was sooooo hard! I took dance lessons when I was a kid but nothing can prepare you for this. I really think the instructor was on something with the way she was going soooo fast and was jumping soooo high and kicking soooo much. I could.not.keep.up. It was fun and was definitely a great workout, but I felt so completely uncoordinated and geeky, as if I was in high school and was trying to keep up with the dance team while in my color guard uniform (don't laugh!) - but seriously I just felt completely in over my head!

So, lesson here? Brazilian dancer is coming off the list of potential things I want to be when I grow up. And I think I'll stick to walking/running and yoga... and the occasional episode of Shimmy (I've got to keep in touch with my totally uncoordinated side somehow!) ;)

Friday, January 15, 2010

New Job - Take 2

So remember back in August when I was all excited because I had gotten a new job? Well, I just got another one.

Let's backtrack. I started that job in the middle of the month and by mid-September I was pretty much over it. When I got the job I was hired by someone who was just filling in, the regular manager was on leave. Well, this person apparently did not know a few important things: like the fact that it was a 6 day work week for my position (I was told I'd be asked to work an occasional Saturday) and that I'd have to cover other locations at the drop of a hat (an example of this is here). Also, the benefits are horrible - no doctors here take the insurance (the company is based in another state where doctors take it), the pay sucks, and I hate working with only 1 person or (even worse) by myself.

Plus, and this is really my own fault, I didn't know exactly what the company did - I had an idea but didn't know everything - and I really disagreed with the company's rules and procedures. For example, there were certain words you weren't allowed to say and anytime one of those words would come out I'd get lectured by my manager and my coworker (more commonly known around here as "the evil one"), it's just absurd to me that simple words are "forbidden", maybe that's just the journalist in me (three cheers for freedom of speech!). Also I just had some major issues with the way the company works, basically the parts of what they do that I didn't know. I think they screw people over pretty badly and I hated being a part of that.

So I'd been looking for a while now but hadn't had any luck.... until last month! A job appeared in our local paper and my mom and my mother-in-law encouraged me to apply for it - so I did. It's not in PR/marketing/or journalism (what I went to school for) - but those jobs are pretty much nonexistent here and it does use the skills I learned studying those areas. Anyhow, I applied for it on a Wednesday night and had a call Thursday morning asking me to come in and test, so I did the following Tuesday. I finished testing at 9:30 am and had a call to set up an interview by 1 pm that day. I interviewed right before Christmas and had to wait until the first full week after New Years to find out - but it was worth it because they offered me the job! It's a customer service type position at a local branch of a major company and from what I can tell it sounds like an incredible place to work. I start at the end of this month!

So back to the job formerly known as my great new job. That company doesn't allow 2 week notice because they think you will steal from them if you are planning to leave (at least according to the evil one), so I had planned to wait until right before I started my new job to give my notice. But, Doug reminded me of how long it's been since I had any real time off - our honeymoon more than 2 years ago! - and said I should take a little time off before the new job. So, I gave my notice this morning and will spend the next week relaxing, working on our house, and getting ready for what I'm really hoping will be a great experience. Oh, and catching up on blogs too - I'm so behind! And maybe looking for some freelance writing gigs.

So, cross your fingers that this job is better!

Monday, January 4, 2010

My Current Playlist

I know playlists are always popular on healthy lifestyle blogs, I know I love seeing them. So I thought I'd post mine, although I'm about due for a new one - and the Itunes gift card I got for Christmas will help with that!

So, here's my list. What's on yours?

Stand Up For It - DMB

Long Way to Happy - Nelly Furtado

Lala - Ashlee Simpson (don't judge!)

Hey Mama - Black Eyed Peas

Aphrodisiac - Bow Wow Wow (Marie Antoinette Soundtrack)

Don't Cha - Pussycat Dolls w/ Busta

Who Knew - Nelly Furtado

Heartbreaker - Danity Kane

Louisiana Bayou - DMB (studio version)

The Rockafeller Skank - Fatboy Slim

Natural's Not In It - Gang of Four (MA soundtrack)

Supermassive Black Hole - Muse

I'm Not Dead - Nelly Furtado

Hello Again - DMB

Toxic - Britney Spears

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Starting the Year off Sick

It always seems like I have the best intentions when I set out with new goals but then something pops up to get in my way. In this case it's a nasty cold. So long plans to start the year off with a weekend spent working on the house, reading, and getting a good workout in. Hello weekend spent feeling like my head is going to explode.... or at least like I want it to.

I started feeling kinda crummy on Thursday, but I was really hoping it would go away. But as Friday went on I knew I was officially, without a doubt sick. Boo.

I know it is possible to workout while sick, but I can't breathe through my nose at all and my chest is so congested that I feel like someone is grabbing my lungs and squeezing - so I'm pretty sure working out is not a good idea (plus I have asthma and currently don't have an inhaler - so definitely not a good idea to start breathing heavy right now).

I have gotten some work done around the house though. I have all the decorations off of the tree and just need Doug to get home from work to help me put the tree away. And I also have a blog post written for Central Cooking (watch for it in the morning), so that's a good step in terms of my 2010 Pledges. Now I'm off to work on bills and meal planning (two things I'm not very good at staying on top of and that should have probably been addressed in my 2010 pledges.... although maybe they can go under the health one - keeping up on those things reduces my stress! lol). Then I'm off to pass out on the couch again.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year! And 2010 Pledges

Happy New Year! Hope everyone had a great night and that no one feels too awful this morning. I feel pretty great - although I started taking little cat naps on the couch about 9 last night! lol. But I did manage to stay awake long enough to ring in the new year though.

And now on to the fun part. I'm not a big fan of the word resolutions (just like Meredith), so I prefer to call these my pledges for 2010. So, without further ado, in 2010 I pledge to:

* Take my health more seriously. This encompasses the usual eat more fruits and veggies, drink more water, get more sleep, and workout more - it's just a more streamlined way to say it :)
In 2009 there were quite a few health issues for people in our families and they really served as wake-up calls. Watching so many people I know go to the doctor (and even the hospital) so much really made me realize that I need to take better care of myself, I owe it to myself! A big part of this is to do yoga at least twice a week.

* Blog more! I really love blogging and both blogs are like my babies - except at times I'm a horrible parent and leave my babies unattended for long stretches of time. But not in 2010! This year I want to be like parent of the year for my blogs. My goal is to blog on both blogs at least twice a week, but hopefully it will happen even more than that.

* Finally get a job I like. You know, one that doesn't require me to work 6 days a week, drive all over at the drop of a hat, and actually gives me health insurance that doctors here will take. I've had a few interviews lately, so I hope that I may be able to call this one done soon.

* Read 1 classic book a month. In 2009 my goal was to read 75 books (it was 50 at first then I bumped it up) and I actually did it (77 finished actually - woohoo!). This year I don't want to set a number - one because I don't know what my work situation will be like, two because we've still got a lot of work to do on the new house, and third because when I thought I wasn't going to hit my goal reading got a lot more stressful - and that's no fun. Plus I think I skipped some longer books toward the end of the year so as not to hurt my goal - and another goal of mine is to finally read Gone With the Wind. I'm not planning to be too strict here, a classic is whatever I deem one to be (within reason, Dracula = yes, Twilight = no).

* Finally get the house how we want it. It's hard when you only have 1 day a week off and it doesn't always line up with your husband's, but I really would like to get the house totally done (well, for now at least) within the next few months. We only have a few things left to do (but that includes stripping the wallpaper in the kitchen and then painting), so we should be able to knock everything out without too many problems.

So, those are my pledges for 2010, what are yours?

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