Getting Three For One

Good morning.

My extended weekend sadly came to an end. It was fun while it lasted.  Mostly because I had way more down time than originally anticipated. Not a bad thing. My couch is very comfy.

Confirmed this yet again Saturday night. After dinner out with the girls Saturday night, I made it home just in time for Saturday Night Live. It was being hosted by Jesse Eisenberg and I was making a point of watching it. I have a little crush. I’m aware he’s super short, but if he’s cool with it, I’ll be cool with it… Heeeey Jesse…

Super excited for the show. Fell asleep about halfway through it. Fail.

But I woke up with a bang. And did No More Trouble Zones with Jillian for my strength training (according to plan). Followed up by 15 minutes on the elliptical and a 2-mile jog. The cardio wasn’t according to plan, but I felt like doing it. See above paragraphs for the reasoning (#notmuchgoingon).

Now let’s go back to that discussion about the Mexican dinner I had with the girls:Did I mention this came after a bowl of soup as well? And free chips and salsa?

*It needs to be mentioned here that I don’t always take part in the free chips and salsa. But oh man… whatever is in that salsa should be illegal.

Needless to say, I came home with leftovers.

And because I’m a recessionista (which sounds so much nicer than “cheap”, don’t you think?), I took a page from Megan @ Braise the Roof and did a leftover remix.

My entire Sunday has a mexican spin to it.

Like lunch:Sure, the leftover enchilada is straight-up ugly.

Oh wow. Looking at it again, it really doesn’t look appetizing at all.

Don’t judge a book by its cover, people. It was perfect just the way it was. Until I inhaled it.

Dinner required a little more creativity. All that was left was a ton of fried rice and a good portion of the black beans. So I broke out a wrap, added some cheese, and called it a burrito.Almost as good as the night it was served.

Three meals out of one. Thank you, Salsa 17.

Now if only I still had leftover frozen margarita…

Seriously. It would be appreciated this week. Chicago is being prepared for a little thing called a blizzard this week. And the tequila would double as a way to keep me warm.

Seems to be we were feeling left out with all the crazy weather going on in the northeast that we demanded to be in on it. Good times.

That probably means I should hit the grocery store. For eggs. Some frozen food. Wine.

You know… The essentials.

500 Miles

Thanks for cheering on our climbing efforts, guys!

And now that I look back on it, laying on those steps may have been the most unsanitary thing I’ve ever done. 

Guess I got caught up in the moment.

Anyhoo, I’ve gotten really good at this whole lazy Sunday thing. The only time I really ventured out of the apartment complex was to go with my friend and neighbor Bailey to pick up my car from the bar we went to the night before. We had cabbed it home after the show (safety first, kids).

We giggled a little bit about the ordeal- Bailey mentioned how sad it was that the only number we got was the cab driver’s (he was awesome and should probably be around every time we need to be taken home).

I reasoned that it was for the best that we didn’t get or give out any digits.

One thing I love about the particular bar we went to is that it attracts a huge variety of people.

One thing I dislike about the bar is that it attracts a huge variety of people.

It’s a blessing and a curse.

Last night was not a good scene for me.  I mean… unless you’re into 35-year-old men with Justin Bieber haircuts.  Seriously dude- even Justin Bieber hates his haircut.  And he’s 16. Don’t do it.

No I’m all off track… where was I?

Oh yeah, that was the only time I left the complex…

Which was fine.  I had stuff to do.  Like make a grocery list and not actually go grocery shopping. And start laundry, but leave the folding for today instead.

It’s really a surprise that I even made it to the workout room in my complex.

That’s not true.  Considering I was only doing half of everything else I planned to do yesterday, there was some energy that needed to be burned.

An intense 40 minutes on the elliptical. Sweatin’ all those toxins out. ;) Throw in some resistance band work and a 30-minute walk. 

That may actually be considered as a productive Sunday afterall.

I’ve been stepping it up on the elliptical a lot as of late. My training for the St. Louis Half Marathon starts next week and I’m trying to save my excitement for running.  I love it. And it’s my favorite way to exercise.  BUT, 12 weeks are a really long time. And there are a lot of miles to be ran. I have no problems with chillin’ out on it for a week before all that happens.

Anyone else deal with training slumps?  And how do you fix it? Other than just saying to yourself, “shut up and run”? The “shut up and run” technique does work, but I’m sure it’s not the most positive reinforcement choice I could be using.

Hopefully my happy song will get me through quite a few of the runs.

Seems like an appropriate run song, yes?

I just realized that connection (running while listening to a song talking about 500 miles- in case you’re as slow as I am with catching on). Which is hilarious because it’s been a frequenter on my playlist.  As in, it’s used during almost every workout. And it’s currently on the office music playlist at work. My boss laughs because I’ll take a break and sing when it comes on.

I think he realizes it’s a necessary in order for me to keep calm and sane on some days. Like Mondays.

Oh… today is Monday, huh?  Well… let’s break out those itunes, shall we?

Sorry if this song gets stuck in your head for the rest of the week.  Actually, no I’m not. You’ll appreciate it. And you’re welcome. :)

Coming to a Stairwell Near You…

Megan and I met up around noon to walk over to her friend’s apartment building.  We needed the tallest building we could get access to.  22 stories?  We can make it work!

There’s really not much to climbing a stairwell.

You just sort of walk into the stairwell.  And start going up the stairs.

Basically, Megan and I thought it may be a good idea to practice a couple of times- make sure there’s no claustrophobia or dizziness that might sneak up, see if we’ve got the right muscles ready for it, use it as an excuse to hang out, etc…

We made it to the top (22nd floor) and rejoiced:It didn’t take much of a debate to decide to take the elevator back down instead of actually walking down the stairs.It’s training to go UP, not DOWN, afterall…

Although twice we did have to ride the elevator down with people.  And twice it was pretty awkward.  Heeeeyyyy… just hanging out in your building’s stairwell… don’t mind us…

In total, we climbed three times.

And it wasn’t hard!Well. That may be a little overly dramatic.  Or a lot overly dramtic. But we felt it.  And noticed that we relied on using our arms a little more towards the end. Guess I should start doing some more curls… :)

But I think it’s safe to say that we’ve SO got this.

We rejoiced with the consumption of bar food. I heart sweet potato fries.  And am such a nerd when it comes to how excited I get when I order them.  Fact.

It was a good day.

And a good night.  My neighbor Bailey and I went out to see a local band at a local bar last night. I like to think we’re doing a good job of supporting the community this way. It’s very important to do so. Even if this means having to buy a few beers.

Gotta do what you’ve gotta do.  Ya know?

Either way, it was a good night.  With a lot of socializing.  And a little dancing.Any morning that you wake up with a hand stamp is usually evidence of this.

Ignore the pancakes.  They were bad.  Even with the white chocolate chips.  I tried a new recipe for whole wheat pancakes and added my own spin to it.

It was a bad spin. And they were almost rubbery?  Not ideal pancake texture.  Unless you’re into that kind of thing. Which would be weird.

You know how I was complaining about all the bad movies I’ve seen recently?  Well, I watched The Other Guys during my bad pancakes this morning.

The movie was quite the opposite of the pancakes.  I really really liked it. Classic Will Ferrell. I’m honestly surprised more people haven’t talked about this one?  There are soooo many good lines from it!

I should probably get that movie back to Red Box. And just get out of the apartment in general. Sounds like a good idea…

Have a great Sunday!

Static

Do you know what happens when the internet is down for a good chunk of your Sunday evening?

You go to bed early.

It’s absolutely amazing how much I depend on it.  Maybe even a little embarrassing.  I seriously had  nothing to do.

Except for that HUGE pile of dishes that piled up in less than 48 hours.  And the laundry I didn’t touch.

Funny how I’m crazy about picking up after myself and cleaning up any messes all week long when I’m busy, but on a weekend when I have loads of free time?  It can wait…

Either way, since I like to write at night, this may be a little short.  Which is sad, because there was so much going on yesterday.Like this sandwich.  I decided I was a little obsessed with how good my zucchini sandwich was last week and wanted to remake it. So I did.  With onions and mozzarella.  Still good.  Not as good… but I wasn’t crying about it by any means.

Exciting,  yes?  ;) And I love how my weights/resistance bands are in the background of this pic.  Unused yesterday- but still representin’.  Heeeeeyyyyy!

No workouts yesterday.  My cardio came in the form of holiday shopping.  Lifting heavy shopping bags, dodging unruly children, endurance training (standing in lines- that counts, right?)…

I’m happy to report that I at least put a dent in all that needed to be done.

Next weekend’s focus? Baking! 

That’s a holiday tradition I’m a little more into.

Get your sweat pants ready.

And one more exciting tid bit of news today.  I am definitely a walking ball of static electricity.  Sparks are starting to fly and it’s making me nervous.  Because now I am no longer just a hazard to myself- but a mild annoyance to all who come in contact with me.  Great…

Any ideas of how I can use this new power for good and not evil?Happy Monday everyone!

Lazy By Any Other Name…

…would still be the definition of what I was yesterday.

After running around without a care in the world on Saturday, Sunday was a struggle.  My energy was at a steady low (as it usually seems to be on most Sundays, if we’re going to be completely honest). 

That didn’t bother me so much.  Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, right?  So I took it easy on a few of the things I normally do.

Like my running.

I did an easy 3 miles at an 8:47 pace.  My lingering headache was still there, so this was the pace I found acceptable and didn’t change it at all the entire run.  No pushing at all.  Just… going.

I also didn’t feel like being in the kitchen.

So I made a detour to Subway on my drive home after running some errands.Believe it or not, I still had a gift card to Subway from the Healthy Living Summit in August.  I like Subway- it’s just not visited often.  I rarely go out to eat anyway, and then when I do, I prefer going to local spots.

Or Buffalo Wild Wings.  Because I’m a sucker for some decent wing sauce.  The sandwich was actually the Buffalo Chicken.  It was much better than how dull it looked. Promise.

Although I do not suggest getting jalapenos as part of the mix.  I wanted spicy.  But they didn’t quite go with the rhythm of everything else going on. 

You win some… you lose some.

In other news, I only have three days of work this week!  And hopefully one of those days won’t be a full 8 hours- cross your fingers for me, people!

Thanksgiving baking commences tonight.  Holla’.

And if you’re not ready for Black Friday just yet, make sure to read up Danielle’s guest post, How to Attack Black Friday.  She’ll have you in tip-top shape for the event in no time!

Still not sure if I’ll be doing any shopping on Friday.  Judging from the crowds last night and my reaction to them, I’m just not mentally ready for professional shopping yet.  I have this thing about personal space.  As in, I like having it.  So when 3 or 4 strangers took turns breathing on my neck yesterday during a 20-minute run to Target, I got a little agitated.  Imagine that.

Either way, it’s over now and Monday is here.  Let’s make an attempt at a legendary one, shall we?  :)

Everywhere and Back Again

I’m going to be cheap and use a shot of Jake Gyllenhaal naked to catch your attention:I’m not ashamed.  He is quite the handsome man.  And has come a long way from his Bubble Boy days. ;)

But yes, I just made this late breakfast. Yesterday was a whirlwind and I’m all out of whack it seems.

That can sometimes be a good thing. 

I got up early for a coffee date at O’Hare with my fantabulous friend Ashlee.  She had a 4-hour layover and we were determined to take advantage of it.Hey girl… heeeeeeyyyy!

 O’Hare is a huge place.  And I have no sense of direction.  So it took a bit to finally come together.  Which is sad, because I had a plan.  And a sign for when she walked out from the gate:Totally didn’t get to use it.  But it’s the thought that counts, right?

And yeah- we have nicknames.  I call her monkey and she calls me penguin.

You can try to understand our crazy if you want to.  But I don’t really even know how we became so weird…I already had breakfast, and Ashlee’s not a big breakfast person, so we split a cookie from Starbucks.  The white chocolate icing was fab.  But we both said the same thing.  Crunchy sugar cookies are not nearly as good as soft ones.  Truth.

After a couple hours, she had to leave for her flight home.  I’m being mischievous and am already coming up with ways to sabotage her next layover so she’ll have no choice but to stay in Chicago.  For good.  Muhahahaha…

I also had another friend who was in the area for the weekend from Philly.  We went to college together and there was an MU game on last night, so it only seemed natural that we made our way to The Spread (my favorite Mizzou bar in the Lincoln Park neighborhood).The three of us slowly and randomly worked our way around the city. It would have been faster had we not had a cab driver who hated life and decided to tell us why and then the other cab driver who seemed more lost than we were. 

My favorite spot of the night was at Cubby Bear just outside of Wrigleyville.  The big Northwestern vs. Illinios game was played inside of Wrigley field yesterday and ESPN College Game Day had been there.  Needless to say, the streets were packed.  The bars were full.  The drinks were flowing.

The pizza was also ordered.  And demolished.

We crashed at a friend’s house (drinking and driving should never be mixed, kids!) and I woke up with a bit of a headache.  Which is somewhat surprising considering how much we ate at the end of the night.  I’m not a big believer in Advil (seriously- I’ve only stashed one or two sample packets of Advil at home from work for worst-case scenarios), so my cure came in the form of this: They should really come up with a bigger size for their iced teas.  Like a pony keg.  I’d dig it. Because this was obviously not enough (refer to coffee in the first picture that was immediately consumed after my tea was gone).

I think I have a caffeine addiction.

I also think that is not a surprising revelation.

I also think it may be time to lounge some more.  It’s Sunday.  Sundays are lazy.  Truth.

Chili Sunday

Why good morning!  Here we are again.  It’s Monday.

Did you all have a good Sunday?  I did.  Probably because it was spent being incredibly lazy.  I’ll admit it.  I didn’t get nearly as much done as I had originally set out to do. 

However, the main thing did get done.

Make chili.Just a few things above are what goes into it.  What I like about my chili is I refuse to do it without two things- the hamburger and canned tomato juice.  Both have to come from my parent’s farm.  I won’t make it without.  And am very picky usually about when I order chili elsewhere.

As for what exactly goes into the stuff I make, it’s usually a little different each time.  For example- I was running extremely low on chili powder.  So I used taco seasoning while browning the meat.  I don’t care exactly what goes into the meat part,  it just has to be SPICY!  I also have a pretty heavy hand with parsley flakes, garlic powder, red chili pepper flakes and onion.  Because I want the flavor to stick with you for a while…  ;)

I also only make chili in my crock pot.  Last year I refused to make it until I had actually gotten a crock pot at Christmas.  It’s quite large.  My mom must think I feed armies in my spare time.  But whatev- it gets the job done.  The main reason I like chili in a crock pot vs the stove top is because it simmers for a few hours- and all the flavors meld together into something wonderful.

Also, I searched high and low for a good cornbread recipe because it is one of the first attempts at making cornbread completely from scratch!  Finally, I found one I figured I’d like at Smitten Kitchen for the corniest corn muffins.  The reason I went for this one simply was because I wanted to use actual corn in the recipe.The corn was sweet corn also from my parents’ garden.  I was definitely channeling my farm girl roots yesterday… Cornbread mini muffins!

Because I really did have enough chili for an army and forgot to half the cornbread recipe, I called Mon over to watch the Bears game and feast.

The game was ugly.  The food was not.Don’t forget the chedda’!  It makes everything betta’.

Afterwards, we watched a little more football while feeling like beached whales on the couch.  Just how a lazy Sunday should be, right?  ha ha…. ;)

I currently have mini muffins coming out of my ears and chili that will be transferred into the freezer for later days. 

Do you have any “rules” when it comes to your favorite chili/soup?  I could probably be relaxed about the ingredients, but the crock pot is non-negotiable.

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