Blame It On The Rain

Gotta blame it on something…

Nothing like starting your day with getting Milli Vanilli lyrics stuck in your head… am I right?

That’s what I said yesterday when my boss asked if I ran yesterday morning (we often compare workouts and such- this isn’t weird by any means).

The alarm went off. I did not get up. And fell back asleep to the lull of steady rainfall…. ahhhhh…

Looks like someone switched up their rest day… ;)

It didn’t help that it was just so cold and gloomy. The whole day. 

I thought it was spring?

This seems to be the complaint of the week.  I’ll hush up about it now. And try to bring a little color into your life.Better? Just a little? Fine. Be that way.

It made me feel better…

Anyway, the idea for the pepper and onion combo came from when my dear friend Mon gave me some focaccia flatbread to try. She wasn’t too hot on the garlicy butter flavoring it had.  And since I’ll try almost anything once (*almost* anything), I accepted the challenge!

After sautéing the peppers and onions in olive oil and balsamic, I piled them as high as I could on the focaccia flatbread. And covered them with mozzerella.And snuck in some chicken sausage I had leftover from a few days ago. Why not?

My mistake here was forgetting to toast the focaccia a wee bit before piling the sandwich. Why do I always do that???

At least I broke out the big guns to warm it up and smash it together like a panini.In case you forgot or don’t know, this is what a George Foreman knockoff looks like. With a sandwich in it. Woot.Melty cheese. It’s a beautiful thing.

And that would be organic broccoli from the Trader Joe’s freezer section peeking out from behind my panini. Yes, organic. What happened to their regular frozen broccoli? This has been causing me stress for weeks.

Seriously. It has. I love that people make a point of eating organic. But until there is a little more spending cash in my wallet (ie a little less debt in student loans), I don’t make a big deal out of eating either way. We’ll reassess this viewpoint in maybe a few more years… mmmk?

Until then, I’ll just have to remember to put it on the list of things I get at my local grocery store. Whatev.

And before we leave, I feel there are a few notes on yesterday’s post:

- I’m such a nerd for not even thinking to call them “taco cupcakes”. But I like it. So go make some…

- I followed up with my friend on if he was feeling better yesterday during the day. He did (because I know you were concerned). He also asked, “did I mention the whopper I had like an hour or two before the wings?”.

Damn metabolism.

Happy Hump Day, everybody! Unlike the night before, last night didn’t include much sleep. There’s a little stress. No worries- it’s good stress. But stress nonetheless.

What else does one expect? No one said growing up was easy. ;)

Defending My Lunch

I do not diet.

I would not. I could not. I will not.

I will not diet on a whim. I will not diet in to get slim.

I will not diet for a trip. I will not diet because it’s hip.

I will not diet for a wedding. I’m starting to think  you know where this is heading…

Besides being bad at dieting, I’m also no good at rhyming (one last one!) and that just took way more effort than I thought it would.

Anyway, my point is that it really frustrates me when I’m putting together a salad in the break room during lunch (for the millionth time) and someone asks why I’m on a diet. For two reasons.

One being do you really have to be on a diet to eat salad?  Apparently I’ve been misinformed at some point when I was told vegetables are just a generally good thing to eat on a regular basis?  Weird.Maybe I’m just wrongfully bothered (and greatly annoyed) by the thought process of people who say such things?

Because I happen to  like salads. Just as I also appreciate pizza. Or candy. After a weekend of alcohol and meal after meal of food I don’t normally eat, it is actually sort of refreshing to be eating a little more “clean”. Please, Mr. Coworker, don’t judge me for having an actual craving for it. It may be hard for you to understand, but I’m not judging your craving of Dr. Pepper and a bag of cheetos for lunch.

I’ll admit I’m intrigued by the combination, but will not pass judgement. Partially because a diet coke and snickers was my go-to breakfast my first year of college. And partially because I might even ask for a cheeto later. Unless you think my “diet” doesn’t allow for such things.Furthermore, I don’t do diets.

No, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with them. And no, I don’t think I’m above them, or some other silly assumption people would make in response to that statement. 

Quite the opposite. I think they’re great if you’re trying to jump start a new routine. I will encourage anyone who is doing one.  But they really don’t work for me.

I’ve tried. Oh how I’ve tried. Bikini season is coming and I’m just like every other girl in wishing I could shed a couple before I break out the pool wear.

But time after time, I’ve failed. As soon as I feel any little restriction at all, I’m that girl who’s gonna say “screw it, I’ve been good all week, I’m taking down this entire box of cereal and carton of ice cream over the weekend and you can’t stop me!” The week I start a diet is the week I order late night pizza after a night out. The week I cut back on sugar will be the week I end up in fetal position on my kitchen floor with a mixing spoon in one hand and a smear of icing across my face. 

Do you see where I’m going with this?

*Oh and all those things have happened. Except for being in sugar coma on the kitchen floor- it happened on the couch instead (gotta be able to see the tv).

That’s just  how I roll. Tell me I can’t do something, and I’m sure as hell going to turn around and do it anyways. Just to prove you wrong.  I’m stubborn. I’m also a Leo (so you can understand how this happens).

There’s a really good chance this also explains how I ended up with a navel ring.

Anyway, the phrases “cutting back” and “everything in moderation” do not work for me. Unless I’m using them with a sarcastic tone.So after all this time, I’ve just learned to go with the flow. Yes, I may be aware of what I eat and put in my body. But that’s because I know that eating a slice of pizza is going to kill my chances of getting a good run in (unless you count the run to the bathroom I’m gonna make about half way through it). So I may wait until another time or just have one versus two. And the sugar in ice cream/cookies/etc will keep me up all night at a time when I really need my sleep.

So that’s why those things may not be as regular in my daily eats as salads are. Not because I think they’re “evil”. 

But your accusational tone (and seriously- what is up with that?) is making me feel bad about just having a generally healthy lifestyle. I exercise. I eat. I repeat.

Thank you for listening. This has been your public service announcement for the day. (Cue the music and shooting star…)

Can I have a cheeto now?

*Oh and before I go… a few things/shout outs:

- My friend Bailey let me borrow her dress. I’ll have to let her know you all approve. And also find out where she bought it…

- If you’re going to Vegas soon (and some of you are) or have never been, my top recommendation would be the Bellagio fountain. Hands down. It’s a huge, cheesy touristy thing. But there’s a reason for it.

- I’m excited about this weekend because I’m meeting up with Miss Kelly while she’s in the city on a mini vacation!

- BIG shout out to my brother- it’s his 24th Birthday!!!  :)

Happy Weekend, everyone!

Time Wasted With a Sweet Potato

Thanks for helping me welcome Cecil in my life.  I don’t think he realizes all the adventures he has ahead of him.  ;)

On the training front, everything is still running smoothly (like my pun?!?!  ahahahaa). I made it to the gym in the AM for a 3-mile run and was not bothered with the overcrowded nonsense I dealt with on Monday morning.  Thank goodness.

So “yay me!” for going in the morning, but the first mile was ROUGH.  I may have still been half asleep.  Turns out maybe a warm-up on the elliptical may be a good idea versus the  usual walking I do. At least when it comes to the morning running.

After that initial mile, everything was fine.  Maybe even great if you don’t mind my bragging. 3 miles at 8:20 pace. It was the last mile that did that- I started it at 8:07 and worked my way down to 7:47. Truckin’.

Wednesdays are a running and strength combo, so I did The Shred later after work to make sure I took care of business for the day.  Nothing new to report there.

After all that, I did one of the most stupid things ever on a night when I worked later and also exercised before eating.  I made a new dinner. That took longer than average (i.e. 10 minutes). What was I thinking???

Sweet potato bites.  Because I don’t want to use the term “balls” for fear that my readers really will think I’m obsessed with making balls jokes.

Trying to keep it classy up in this joint for once…

It was already decided sweet potatoes would be on the menu. Because I wanted them. And wanted to try something new for some reason.  Being as how I’m not the most gourmet gal in the kitchen, most things that sparked my interest required a trip to the grocery store.  And that was not happening.

Then, I ran across about a million different varieties of this sweet potato “ball” thing.  Again, I didn’t have the exact ingredients for any one of the recipes, but the idea stuck.  So I just sort of read a few and decided to wing it.

This must be how to live dangerously on a Wednesday night. 

Firstly, let’s just say I need to invest in a potato masher. And peeler.

Actually, nix the peeler.  I have a feeling that would only end in bloodshed.

The mashing was the hardest part. Mixing in the pecans and a little brown sugar was easy.I didn’t overdo it on the brown sugar. My reasoning was that I didn’t have regular corn flakes and had to use Special K. So there was plenty of sweet going on already.

I didn’t know if they would keep their shape, so after I rolled the sweet potato mix in the Special K, I used my mini cupcake tin to bake them. (350 degrees at 15 minutes)Cute, yes? One semi-large sweet potato worked almost perfectly for this.

And here’s what I really learned…It was a lot of work for something that would most likely have been just as good as mashed sweet potatoes.

However, I would assume it would be more fun for kids to eat this way? And it looks pretty. So if that’s something you find important or if you’re planning a party, it could probably be worth it. And I say to go for it (and also to try them rolled in coconut).

But I probably won’t do it again. Don’t get me wrong- they were delicious, they just took too long! I like my 10-15 minute meals during the week. Rachel Ray can eat my dust.

Sandwiches and Runways

It all started when I decided to buy a 2-lb bag of asparagus at Trader Joe’s over the weekend.

This is a good idea, Amy.  Surely you can breeze through 2 whole pounds of asparagus.  No problem.

To give you an idea of how much asparagus I usually go through, a 10-oz pack of it will be used randomly here and there over a week before it starts to get a bad.

Needless to say, I’ve been working on getting creative.  :) 

Enter a new favorite veggie sandwich…Every good sandwich needs good bread.  (thanks for the coupons, Brownberry…)Layer One= Zucchini roasted with greek seasoning in the oven-a-roo (technical term the professionals use).Layer Two= the star of the show.  Also roasted with the slices of zucchini.  (I think they took about 5 or 6 minutes at 350 degrees?)Layer Three = death to your breath.  Onions sautéed in a pan with balsamic vinaigrette.

Plan to make this for dinner.  At a time you’re not doing anything afterwards.  Just a thought.Cheese!!!  Because everything else was warm, it melted pretty easily.  Otherwise, you could probably pop it all in the oven-a-roo that is still warm from roasting the zucchini and asparagus.  It’s totally necessary to use the cheese to bind it all together.

Don’t tell me it’s not.  I won’t believe you.  Cheese is a must.Baller. 

Moving on…

Guess what’s on tonight? (Source)

Now here’s my question…  Do you like watching?  Don’t care?  Appalled beyond belief? I know the issue of body image is brought up often.  I’m just curious of your thoughts?

I think I’ve watched it almost every year.  Other than seeing really cute lingerie that I probably can’t afford and will never buy, I love how these chicks strut their shiznit on the runway.  There’s something to be said about the confidence they exude.  Not that I don’t see the other side of the argument.  As a mother, maybe I would view it differently. If I were a little more self-conscious about my body (ahem- my teeny tiny boobs might be something to discuss here), maybe it would bug me. 

I guess I just don’t take the show in such a serious light.  But that’s why I want to here YOUR thoughts.  :)

Because that’s just my opinion.

I’m glad one thing that isn’t just my own opinion is my feeling towards T-Swizzle and my man, Jake.  It’s just weird.  And doesn’t make sense.  Maybe I’m just saying these things because I’m not jumping on the Taylor Swift fan bus.  Who knows…

Either way, it’s a rainy Tuesday here.  Let’s hope this isn’t a sign of how the day will turn out.  Fingers crossed!

Something For Everyone

I’m all over the place today.  But hopefully there’s at least one thing that will entertain you…

Workout…

Well, I’m back on the strength training kick.  I did a round of The Shred before hitting the gym to elliptical and stair climb my way to exhaustion. After spending 20 minutes on the elliptical, exhaustion is located on floor 46 of the stairmill, in case you were wondering. 

I finished with a few exercises with free weights.  I did them in front of the mirror so I could keep a watchful eye on the man who tends to talk to himself while working up a sweat.  I’m not sure what he says (insert ipod), but he does it often.  Sometimes shaking his head.  I assume it’s in disagreement/agreement to whatever is coming out of his mouth.

Needless to say, he makes me nervous.

Food…

Turns out I’m not the only one who goes for the peanut butter sandwiches as a meal backup option.  I guess we’ve all got the kid inside of us, huh? 

The kid inside of me was still in carb comatose from the day before, so the adult had the final say on yesterday’s eats.

Yep, salad for both dinner and lunch yesterday.  Hello green… I’ve missed you.

Thought I’d also make mention of what I’m currently reading at the moment.  I finished Chelsea Handler’s My Horizontal Life what seems like ages ago.  I loved it just as much as the other two books of hers. 

Seriously Chelsea, where’s book 4?!?!  Because this book I’m currently reading is NOT cutting it.  After listening to the “recommended reading”, I checked out Tucker Max’s I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell.  I’m almost too embarrassed to say I’m actually reading it.  I thought it’d be amusing- which it is.  Because I cannot believe that anyone can be that obnoxious.  He’s horrible.  And raunchy.  And over the top.  And ridiculous.  But I can’t stop reading the stupid thing. 

I do NOT recommend this book.  Let’s make that clear.  But I hate not finishing something I started.  So until then, I’ll keep blushing while reading it at the lunch table.  Because until I’m done with this book, it looks like my mind will reside in the gutter.

Fashion…

I ran to Target yesterday to pick up a couple things and ended up strolling through the women’s section (yeah, I do clothes shopping at Target- holla’).  Even tried some stuff on.  But this is where the frustration begins.  I am a half size.  In everything.  My favorite shoes?  A perfect 8.5 glides on like I’m Cinderella.  My ring size is 6.5.  Hey boys- remember this.  So you can imagine my frustration in the small/medium/large sizing.  I’m a perfect smedium.  Do they make that anywhere?  I’d pay good money for it…

Because I’m a sucker for endcaps at Target, I picked up a new nail color while I was there.

Funny, because I could usually care less about my nails.  The fingernails are never painted.  Ever.  And if they are, it’s clear.  So why did I do this?Maybe this is how I decided to communicate my quarter-life crisis?  Sounds about right.  Some people travel… buy cars… jewelry they can’t afford… I buy nail polish. This is what a quarter-life crisis on a budget looks like.  Take note.

I did my toes, too.  But I hate feet and refuse to show you how they turned out.

What do you think, Vince?  Yeah, I know the edges still need to be cleaned up.  Don’t be so critical.

My big fail was painting them in the middle of doing laundry.  Way to go, genius…

In Other News…

The one thing that has made my week just awesome?  They reopened a lane of traffic on the interstate I use daily.  What does this mean for me?  10 minutes less spent on the road on my way home.  10 minutes.  For the 1-2 mile stretch that was being worked on.

It’s the little things in life…

Alright kids, I have a lot to do before the end of the day.  That way, I can enjoy play time tonight a little more without having to worry as much about what’s going on tomorrow.

That’s right.  Play time. We’re breaking up the week a little.  It’s like a throwback to the good ol’ Thirsty Thursdays in college… yes?

Not Cute

Well.  I’m much more chipper today.

Probably because I got my cookie yesterday.  ;)

Totally needed it.  Considered it pre-workout fuel.  Because that’s how my thought process works.

Thanks for all the kind words on how my speed work session went.  I’ve spent all this time dreading it, and think I may have built it up into something that is much worse than it actually was.  Don’t get me wrong- it was challenging, but in a good way. 

I was asked a few things about yesterday’s post, and here are my answers:

1. I walked a minute between each interval.  Is walking a no-no?  Should I have jogged? I’ve heard debates on it.  Seriously, I need to Google this situation more.  Because Google is my answer to everything.  And I believe it will someday take over the world.  Don’t ask me how, I know it’s simply a search engine, but it’s gonna happen.  You saw it here first.

2. The Samantha Bee book is going fabulously well.  I really like her.  I think because I’m one to appreciate dry humor.  It’s a collection of essays,  basically, about how she grew up.  Some I love more than others, but they’re all generally entertaining.  As a warning, she can be crude at times.  So if that’s not your style (I don’t judge), don’t take my recommendation.  If it is, go check it out.

3. And it is beyond me how people cannot smell themselves when they reek and are affecting the productivity of those around them.  No clue.  If you have the answer, please inform us all.  Thanks.

Last night was killer, too.  My plan called for 2 miles and cross training.  Which I consider as a free-for-all at my gym- last night that meant the run, elliptical, crunches, and some arm weights.  And there was a lot of energy bursting out of me (afternoon coffee?), so I was ok with the long session.  I even decided part of my arm workout would be my resistance band dvd workout.  It has three circuits: front body, back body, and core.  I’ve done them all together in a row, but like it much better to do one session (each is about 15 minutes) as part of a bigger workout.  Last night I chose front body.  And I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m crushing hard on the band workouts.  They don’t feel like that much of a strain compared to free weights, but I always feel the resistance and break a sweat (or continue sweating, in this case).

Last night I made something different.  I sort of took a few of the things I’ve liked over the last week or two and threw them together.  Spinach base?  Check!  Sautéed veggies with a curry seasoning?  Yes!  Peanut butter dressing?  Holy yumminess. All together?  Eeeehhh… Totally not cute.  Downright ugly-looking salad, if we’re being honest.  But did it taste ok?  Considering I can’t say “YES!” right away, that should probably be my indicator not to make it like this again.

Another look?Yep, still ugly.  I think what kills it is that the curry powder totally turned the veggies a semi-neon color.  And that the spinach is a bit wilty as it happens to be on it’s last leg.  Oh well… 

What’s the last “eh” creation you’ve made?

Today is my rest day.  I’m excited about this not so much because I want to rest (kind of indifferent on that one), but because I’ve got plans.  Mon and I are having a spa night.  I’m an avid Groupon gal, and when a spa near us advertised on it one day, we swooped.  I need a massage.  It’s out of control.  I’m tense.  So when I saw 60% off for a salon gift certificate?  YES PLEASE.  My muscles cried tears of joy.  It’s kind of pathetic.

Assume that tonight I will be a mellow ball of happiness.  Now the question is will I have enough leftover on the gift certificate to cover a pedicure for my friend’s wedding that I’m in next weekend?  If not, I may be in trouble.  Who’s got ugly feet?  This girl!  Seriously… not cute!

Eggplant First-Timer

Over lunch yesterday, I got a phone charger almost immediately.  I really do get anxious without it. It looks like I ripped into the package like a mad man.  When really, I was just trying to get it open the best that I could without slashing my fingers and bleeding to death.  Does anyone have a secret to opening these things?  I swear they’re dangerous!

And yes, that’s my ghetto-fab phone with tape on it.  Still need to get that fixed from when it broke a second time a couple weeks ago.  Is it sad that I barely notice the tape on it anymore?  Yeah, I agree…

Thanks to being sucked into a Power Point project the entire day, I kept pretty busy and found myself heading home and in the gym in no time!  Not that the project was exciting by any means, but hey- it kept me focused.

I did a 4-mile run with no music because, like my cell phone, I accidentally let the iPod die with no efficient way to charge it until I got back to my apartment.  Apparently I’m just a mess.  But the run went well with no incidents.  I kept a little under 8:15 pace the entire time.  FYI- the treadmill runs are always approximate.  I figure it in my head because I don’t see a need to wear the Nike+ while on it.  I accomplished the pace by starting out at 8:40 and slowly made my way down to 8:00-minute pace for the last mile and a half.  I was pretty satisfied with that!

Dinner was a new experience for me.  Why?  Because in a random moment, I picked up eggplant at the grocery store.  I’ve never done that.  I like eggplant, I just didn’t really know what I’d ever do with it in my own kitchen.  After much consideration (or contemplating my options while showering off after my workout), I went with my own quickie version of eggplant parmesan.  But with feta instead of parmesan.  Eggplant feta? I dipped the slices in an eggwash and coated them with breadcrumbs.  Then, while the eggplant was baking, I sauteed mushrooms in oregano and pepper and mixed in the tomato sauce.It was fab.  I’m currently a bit cocky about how it turned out considering it was my first time.  And let’s face it- the first time is never good.  You can put that in any context you like.  The rule still applies.

Things I’d do differently for next time?  Spice up the breadcrumbs a little more.  Possibly make my own breadcrumbs… they were a bit bland.  But that’s about it!

Here’s something I bet you didn’t know (or at least I didn’t know, so give me a pretend shocked face to make me feel a little less ridiculous about it)- eggplant is actually a fruit.  And here I was spending all this time thinking it was a vegetable… crazy!  So yeah- add that to the very very small list of fruits that I will actually eat.  Baby steps… :)

On a completely random note (hello- remember the name of my blog!), Mon texted me last night.  She saw one of our newest additions to the apartment complex community outside riding around.  On a unicycle.  What? 

I thought you’d enjoy that one…

Oh and my feel good tune of the week happens to be “Magic” by B.o.B. featuring Rivers Cuomo (quick Weezer shout out inserted here!  Weee!).  You can catch me rocking out to this tune while driving, running, and possibly even in front of my mirrored wall in my dining room.  Let’s see how long it’ll take for me to overplay and hate it, shall we? 

But for now, it just makes me happy.  And since it’s Tuesday, and I greatly dislike Tuesdays, I gotta have my something that gets me through.  So I’ll keep it on repeat for now…

Try and have a good one!

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