How Am I Not Myself?

The title is a quote I just happen to love from I Heart Huckabees, and I think it goes great with my thoughts on what’s been going on the last few weeks.  Because it relates to this fantastic Runner’s World Quote of the Day (yes, I get those- I’m motivated by daily emails, what can I say?):

“As every runner knows, running is about more than just putting one foot in front of the other; it is about our lifestyle and who we are.”  – Joan Benoit Samuelson

So that’s where I am.  Still haven’t been out running since the Shamrock Shuffle.  Don’t have any intention of doing so this week.  Thinking about making an appointment to see my orthopedist again next week if I can’t jog in place without feeling it.

All this makes me feel like a lazy bum as I sit on my couch.  Or maybe spend 20 minutes here and there doing abs and arms stuff.  I don’t pout (what’s the point?), but I’m not happy about it.  I think what bugs me more is the weather is starting to turn.  When I got on crutches a few months ago, I didn’t mind nearly as much.  I watched the snow fall with my leg propped up and only shrugged my shoulders slightly.  This nice weather is just becoming torture.

Running is what I do.  And I like it.  And I’m sort of decent at it.  And like the quote says, it’s part of my lifestyle.  I have an active lifestyle.  So when I can’t actually be active, I feel like I’m just not myself.  You know what I mean?  The energy level plummets along with my perky mood.  I just don’t feel “normal”.  Grrr….

Ugh.  Ok, so this is my whining post.  I’m just going to say that.  I allow myself that- just to get all the frustration out in one post.  Negativity doesn’t help the situation- I’m aware (I should be aware- I’ve given out advice to people who have gone through worse injuries).  Tomorrow I’ll be better.  Promise.  :)

How appropriate is it that I’m writing this on a Tuesday- the ick day of all days?  Ha ha…

Because Tuesday is what it is, my friend Mon and I decided to attempt to counteract that with a trip to see a movie.  Hooray! One thing I do have to say I’m excited about!  (see?  My mood is lifting already…)

Also, I got a little gift via snail mail from my friend Ashlee who visited a couple weeks ago.How cute is that?  And how sweet is she?  She knows my love of cupcakes- and even though she isn’t a big cake fan, we both appreciate making baked goods adorable.  :)  On the inside, she wrote “never forget how fantastic you are”.  This is why I love her.  She’s been there through my ups and downs and is always great about sending me a mid-day text to crack me up.  Love her!

I also love her because she said her fiance was trying to get her to memorize Fergie’s part of “Imma Be” (he likes random songs like that) to rap at their wedding.  I said no to the song, but yes to the rap- and suggested something with a bit better of a beat.  Like something by Coolio… Yeah… awesome, right?  ;)  Our hometown wouldn’t even know what hit them!

Ironically, this is one of my more “moody” posts, but Brit over at Working on the Fab Life gave me this sunshine award!  She’s a total sweetheart and is right when she says we have a similar humor- us sarcastic girls kinda rock…

I decided to hand this one out to a few peeps this time.  Just a few random ones with random reasons of why I enjoy their presence in the blogger world:

Kelly at My Verbal Vomit because we share the same love of vodka clubs.  And it’s somewhat eerie that we are often share the same train of thought…

Jess over at The Process of Healing because she is currently the coolest chic on crutches I know!

Marie at Cheaper Than Therapy because I never read her blog without cracking up.  Which may or may not have almost gotten me in trouble at work a few times… ha!

The Marathon Maiden because she is just rocking out her training for Boston!  She’s in the homestretch, so go cheer her on!

Leah over at Why Deprive? because she’s chillaxin’ Canadian-style as our neighbor from the north…  :)

I could go on and on (it’s almost obnoxious how many of you kids I have in my google reader- apparently I’m nosey and love keeping up with everyone!), but I’m keeping it short to highlight a few of you kids…

Oh and thanks for all the comments yesterday- it seems we’re all a little weary of how effective vitamins actually are, but most of us take them “just in case because it couldn’t hurt”.  Isn’t it ironic that we’re not sure of how good they really are, but we take them and put them in our bodies anyways?  You’d never do that with actual food, would you?  Just an observation…

Let’s make this Tuesday a non-crappy one, shall we?

Perks of the job…

Without getting too into detail about everything I do under the title of “marketing coordinator” (which seems to be the go-to if there’s a random thing in the office that needs to be done), one of my favorite things to do is to help plan things that go on around here.  Events and promotions are my thing.  So I have a lot of fun even doing the silly things like the catering of meetings.  Mostly because I enjoy dealing (flirting?) with the catering managers and vendors.  Don’t judge.  And scoring free food.  Like yesterday for lunch (and yes, I get a little more Chelsea Handler reading done):If you’ve been reading for a while, you know my obsession with Jason’s Deli.  And since we use them for a lot of catering (a decision I really pushed for instead of the standard Jimmy John’s- which I can’t stand for numerous reasons), I get my Jason’s fix often.  I paired it with some veggie goodness from home- going off an assumption that it would be a better balanced meal than with tortilla chips. 

Ok now it’s time to name your favorite perk of your job.  Aaaaannnnnnnddddddd GO! 

Is it sad I get such great joy out of the free food and unclaimed magazines I snag (ESPN magazine- holla’!)?

Oh and don’t pat me on the back for my healthy lunch just yet.  I baked another round of Car Bomb Cupcakes for a girl who ordered them from work… needless to say I tasted my way through every step of the process… including the final product.  Went to bed with a tummy ache.  Ugh.  This is why I can’t be a baker on a regular basis.  My nickname would go from the more sophisticated “Miss Bax” (yes, my guy friends are soooo original with that one- but I like it all the same) to Roly Poly Amy.  No good can come from that. 

So this morning, my taste for my regular Friday “dessert oatmeal” was a no go.  Feeling more savory… just sunflower seed butter, flax, and pumpkin seeds (won them in a giveaway, felt like throwing them in for kicks).  Oh and black tea- where did that one come from?!?!  My green and various herbal teas took a backseat today.Hello weekend!  I’m not sure what it has in store for me just yet.  I had plans to attend a drink special downtown benefiting an upcoming Breast Cancer Awareness walk (I’m representing the small titty committee- we’re still just as important!), but I’m thinking I might pass.  The leg is kind of my reason/excuse- I’m feeling a little “off” (saying I’m “down” is kind of overdramatizing, I’m just not my usual chipper self at the moment and it’s most likely the reason to blame).  And if I’m feeling not so excited and my usual self, I just feel like it may be better to stay in and not be a downer to others around me.  “Off” is just an icky way to feel in a social setting, you know?  Again, I cannot stress enough that I’m not “down”, I’m just not “myself”.  If that makes sense.  Does anyone else ever get that way?  And how do you snap out of it?

Besides, if I’m planning to buy furniture in my near future, a weekend off would justify the expense of delivery.  Cause I’m sure not about to get something stuck in the stairwell like I did with my futon in the last move- click here to read my post about that one.  Good times…

Ok kids, I’m out.  Let’s have a good weekend.  Happy Friday!

Productive Saturday

After the last post, I definitely got moving!  I had to grab some stuff at the grocery store, go to the bank, etc.  You know how it goes.  Then there was time for this:No, I wasn’t drinking at that point.  I really don’t like Guinness that much. 

I had cupcakes to make!  Jaime’s bridal shower is tomorrow night and she raved about the Car Bomb Cupcakes I made for Mardi Gras last month.  Since I still have a lot of the materials (aka untouched liquor), I decided to do a repeat (which I don’t normally do).  Since it’s for a shower where people were asked to bring appetizers, I figured there’d be a million different things to choose from and went for mini cupcakes.This was rough.  Mini cupcakes from a regular-sized cupcake recipe = a crap ton of cupcakes.  Probably should have halved the recipe.  I wasn’t thinking.  I just got home from running errands and started up the work in the kitchen.  I had planned to have a few around for Ashlee’s visit and to give away here and there, but the amount I ended up with was endless. Dozens upon dozens.  At least I know they freeze decently well- I’m probably going to hold some back for my parent’s visit next weekend.  And take some to friends.  And take some to work.  And feed half of China….

So I’m sure you’re wondering about the run?  I ended up doing a 5k in a little over 26:30.  I spent alot of time at the 9:00 pace just feeling it out before I started into my normal stride.  I also hit the elliptical for a 12:00 cooldown.  So far I’m feeling just peachy.  :)  I also did The Shred.  Because I was feeling like a hard ass.  I iced the cupcakes between running and The Shred.  This was a no-no.  Being as how I’m a taster as I’m creating pretty and chocolatey goodness, I was a little on sugar overload for the dvd.  Tummy aches develop when you do this.  Just a warning.

Now I’m getting ready for a trip to see some college peeps with my friend Annie.  So excited!  I’ve been playing it pretty low key when it comes to the bar scene, so I’m definitely ready to get a few vodka clubs in me and enjoy the company of fellow Mizzou kids and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago properly.  Holla’.

Heavy on the Baileys

All I had on my grocery list was Guinness and cupcake liners when I went to pick up the last of the baking necessities yesterday during lunch.  Fine, I probably would have stared, too.  And wondered, “what the hell is that girl doing with cupcake liners and Guinness at noon in the middle of the work week?”.

Yesterday I probably could have gotten away with it- rough morning.

Preparing myself for a Mardi Gras Baking Extravaganza!  Randomly, I would like to point out that I really like the word “extravaganza”.  It makes everything seem that much more spectacular when you put it at the end of something.  Try it.  Like today, when I got up, I participated in a “Pimp Your Oatmeal Extravaganza”!  Really, I just added flax and a little cereal.  But I bet you got really excited about my breakfast for a minute, didn’t you?

But my breakfast is not the reason you’re reading this.  I know you all are dying to see what was the end result of my stockpiling butter, sugar and liquor all week.  Well here you go.

I adapted this recipe from Smitten Kitchen.  And started out with the Guinness:

I had never tried Guinness before.  I’m not the biggest beer person and when I drink it, I’m a bigger fan of pale ale and such… so I definitely made the face- didn’t really enjoy it.  But to each their own!

It worked well in the cupcakes, though!

And then I added the whiskey caramel:

Holy cow, I almost died in sugar heaven right then and there after I was done. But then came the icing.  Ididn’t quite follow the original recipe on that one.  I used a very heavy hand with the Bailey’s.  Heavy hand as in I had the mixer in one hand and started giggling as I continued to pour liquor with the other.  I had a glass or two of wine while doing this, so that explains that decision.  But it worked out well: 

My friend Mon was there to experience it all.  We were both giddy with excitement at this point.  Then we shared this:

After that, we were both cracked out with sugar and wine.  Not pretty… especially because it was nearing midnight and I knew sleep would be difficult. 

I made blondies in the middle of the cupcake assembly as well.  They’re not nearly as pretty to take pictures of.  But I did use all this:

I have a feeling the boys will be content.  Here’s the final outcome chillin’ in the refrigerator:

Yep.  Amazing.  I’m taking some to my friend Annie this morning as well.  I’m sure they’ll go over well…  Feel free and try to lick the computer screen as you’re reading this.  I almost did while writing it, and I’m still on sugar overload. 

Have a good Thursday, kids!  I’ll be roadtripping through boring ol’ Illinois soon.  Good times…

Oh and just so we all know- I hammered out the 2.5 miles no problem last night.  Had to wait for a treadmill, so I just did weights there instead of also doing The Shred.  But this morning I was able to fit in a little time with Jillian and also pull out another 2.75 miles!  Like either one of those runs will make up for the baking damage, but hey- I’m done consuming.  Time to share!

Let’s try this again

This morning needs a do over.

Apparently there was an earthquake at 4:00 this morning and the Chicago area could feel it.  I slept through it.  Good to know how aware my body is.  But that’s not the only thing I slept through.  I woke up wondering how it could be so light in my room.  Oh- it’s 7:30, that’s why.  Wait- 7:30?!?!  OMG.  I’ve never jumped so quickly out of bed in my life.  Well, that’s a lie- but I was up in a flash, nonetheless.  Somehow the earthquake must have turned my alarm clock off and made me sleep in 45 minutes later than normal.  That must have been it.

Then came breakfast.  So after my first oats in a jar fail, I decided to try again.  Because I’m not a quitter! 

Ignore my super dry hands- this winter has been a rough one for my delicate skin…

And yes, I got through my almond butter in lightening speed.  Don’t judge.  So I got it all  in the jar and threw it in the microwave…  I wasn’t really watching it.  It didn’t explode like last time, but there was a bit that escaped from the jar and all over the bottom of my microwave.  Awesome. I ate it anyways. 

Back off Vince, this one’s mine.  Make your own.

Yes, I was able to sit down to enjoy it because I had made up a considerable amount of time (or so I thought).  On my later week, I wake up earlier than I actually have to so I can watch the news and piddle a little bit.  This morning was not as relaxing, but I was still able to listen to the news and have a word or two with Vince as I checked my email really quickly. 

So when I walked out the door, I was only about five minutes behind schedule.  Not bad.  And then I get outside and see my car.  Damn.  That is my car, right?  I think so, I’ll just start digging…  Yep- my car!  Good… that only took 15 minutes… blah.

Luckily, I still beat my boss in because he got stuck in his alley and had to recruit people to push him out. 

Moving on to a happier note… Happy Hump Day!  Not to rub it in- but yesterday was hump day for me.  Ok, maybe I am just a little…  Today is like my Friday- last day of work for the week!  So yes, the Friday dance will be happening as soon as I get home.  But not for too long- I have 2 1/2 miles to  pound out at the gym along with my fav new 20-minute work out, The Shred.

Then what, you ask?  The baking madness begins.  I originally was just going to make the Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes.  But then realized how many people I had promised to bring them to.  And since I’m making the majority of them for boys with bottomless pits for stomachs, I figured I might as well throw something else in there.  So I’m revisiting the blondies I made with Snickers and Reeses Pieces.  Just to make sure they don’t go hungry.  I love to bake.  And I love having people to bake for.  So even if I’m going to enjoy them in moderation (of course), I want to make sure I’m not the only one…  Adam’s hosting quite a few guys at his place over the weekend.  And he may be able to cook up a few mean dishes, but I think he’s pretty much lost to what the inside of his oven can do.  So hopefully they’ll all appreciate it a little to have something to munch on as we all party it up in St. Louis.  :)

My parents and brother are coming up on Thursday to hang out with me my first night in St. Louis.  Which is really nice because I haven’t seen them since Christmas.  We’re staying at a casino.  Yes, my parents have a hobby they enjoy so much that they get free rooms on occasion.  I don’t mind.  It’s also nice when they actually win a considerable amount- I get a little cut of it in the mail.  :)

I’m really not a gambler- can’t say I enjoy it at all really.  But I won’t stop them from doing it so I may reap the benefits from time to time.

Have a good day!  Hopefully my streak of luck won’t get much worse.  Knock on wood…

It’s harder than you think

That’s what she said.

Ahahaha.  Sorry.  It’s Monday morning.  I haven’t gotten regular sleep in a few days.  It was bound to happen.

Moving on…

Yes.  Hellooooooo Monday!  :)  This is 2/3 of the alcohol I had to acquire for the festive cupcakes I’m about to make.  Any ideas of what I’m doing yet???  And, for the record, I went out of my way to a liquor store specifically so I could get pint-sized versions of these bad boys.  Of course, he didn’t have the smaller version of either.  Ugh.  Because I don’t drink either one of these on a regular basis.  Seriously.  Jameson is bad news in my book.  And a select group of people who were in a select bar in St. Louis at a select time probably remember why as well…

Moving on quickly…  I bought those last night before Annie came over for the Super Bowl.  Jaime sadly couldn’t make it.  She had too much chili and food at Super Bowl spot #1.  But that’s ok.  Remember that note my dad sent me with money for deep dish pizza?  We finally used it!  Medium sausage and mushroom Lou Malnati’s Deep Dish.  YUM.  And Annie also provided a delicious salad (which she was so kind as to leave some behind and I have a wonderful lunch planned now).  And we had Goose Island 312.  Because it’s the best.  :)

So for these crazy cupcakes, I wanted to make this caramel sauce I found.  But you have to light a 1/3 cup of whiskey on fire to burn off some of the bitter alcohol taste.  Others just added a teeny tiny of whiskey into the final mixture, but I really wanted to try this because it looked AWESOME. 

Obviously I have all the right culinary tools needed.  We used the deepest pan I had (thank god Jaime gave me that wok a few months ago) and were ready to go with a wet rag and baking soda ready.  I stood back and pondered for quite a while.  Annie had to ask several times if I was ready and she said, “Amy, we’ve read the directions three times.  We’re ready if anything happens.  You can do it.” 

Kids, do not attempt this at home.  Like we did.  Because we’re not right in the head.  Clearly.

We both attempted.  And failed.  Again and again.  Apparently whiskey does not light on fire nearly as easily as you would think.  At one point, we got a little blue flame started on one side, but it was out just as quickly as it started.  And didn’t go over the entire area of whiskey. 

So yeah.  Disappointment…

But I figured I’d attempt a make at the caramel anyways and see what it would taste like with just a little whiskey (not even a shot) mixed in.  I really didn’t think the caramel would work out.  There are a crazy amount of steps in making it.  So imagine my surprise when it actually did!  It’s got some tiny lumps of sugar mixed in, which was on the spoon and hadn’t dissolved completely.  Whatev- it’s homemade.  It’s got character that way…

Oh and on a side note- I knew caramel was bad for you.  But what the crap?  It’s like you mix all the things you shouldn’t eat into one and that’s what you get.  The stuff I made had butter, sugar, whipping cream, and corn syrup in it.  Woah…  Holy heart attack!

Actually, I want to see how it keeps before I use it in a couple days.  And I learned how easy it is.  So I can always make more.  It was quite delicious when we tasted it last night.  I would have licked the spoon if it wasn’t so late- and bounced off the walls for a while instead of going to bed.  I’m not sure if heart palpitations would have been a positive way to end the night, though.

Big thanks goes to Annie for helping.  And we had a lot of fun having a girly football night… 

On to tonight- 2.25 miles to run.  The Shred to do (since I ignored doing it yesterday).  And I’m throwing in some plyos.  Gotta perfect that form…  ha ha.

Happy Monday.  I guess if it’s a crappy one, I have “assistance” for when I take a break this evening, huh? 

Seriously… what am I going to do with all this Jameson?  eek.

I’m Doing It!

So I woke up today feeling fantastic!  Surprisingly, considering I should have had a carb or wine or combination of both hangover…  But that’s not the point- I’m talking about the leg.  No pain.  And I’m still being cautious.  But I decided I was ready.

Sooo…..

Yeah, I forked over my money.  I may not be where I was a few months ago.  I may not be fast at all.  But I’m gonna finish this thing either way.  Hooray!  Otherwise, heaven forbid I re-injure myself, I may just have to call on Courtney again to pick up another race for me.  ;)

I’m very excited.  I think we’re going to make it a little family weekend- my parents said they’d come up with my aunt to watch Niki and I run it.  My friend Annie also said she’ d be there to cheer me on!  Ahhhh- I just really hope it doesn’t snow this year!!!

And thank you everyone for being SO supportive and just completely awesome as I moped through my stress reaction that seemed to take FOREVER to get better! You have no idea how  much it was appreciated!

I’m already done running errands for the day.  Just finished cleaning up around the apartment for tomorrow- we’re having a little impromptu girls get-together during the Super Bowl.  No worries- it will still include pizza and beer (whereas any proper Super Bowl get-together should).  :)  One reason the whole idea for our little Super Bowl night is I was talking about the cupcakes I’m going to make for my upcoming Mardi Gras trip.  I’ve been DYING to make them- I’m not giving away too many details yet (just in case they turn into an epic fail and I’ll have to whip up something less exciting (although equally delicious,  of course).  But the filling is a caramel filling.  And I want to add whiskey.  Well, let me tell you, it’s hard to just try and search out “whiskey caramel sauce”.  But the best filling I’ve found, which is giving me serious anxiety, requires me to actually start a 1/3 cup of whiskey on fire in a saute pan.  ON FIRE.  This is a whole new level for my mediocre baking skills.  EEK!  But this looks like the yummiest out of anything else.  So I’m going to attempt it.  And have another recipe on backup in case this one doesn’t work out.  Which only requires dumping a teaspoon or two of whiskey in after you’re done making the caramel. 

So I was discussing how I’m a little scared to do it, and really feel like I need adult supervision.  And someone to hold a fire extinguisher.  Because getting arrested for arson would really be a buzzkill to my upcoming weekend.  So Jaime volunteered.  And then Annie came on board.  So we’re making whiskey caramel tomorrow (the recipe says it will keep for a while in the refrigerator until I need it).  Hopefully.  Stay tuned for that one…

I gotta go- just because I’m not running today does not mean I’m completely taking the day off.  I did yoga this morning before my running around getting errands done.  And now Jillian’s giving me the stink eye from the dvd case on my tv console.  FINE, Jillian- I’m getting up…  Here goes another day of the 30 Day Shred!

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