New to Me

Something that doesn’t happen to me very often?  Sitting at my desk for an hour or so, then going, “what a second, where’s my coffee?  did I really forget to get coffee?” 

This was new to me. I take in a decent amount of caffeine in the morning- there’s no getting around that.  I’ve played with the idea of weening myself off of it, switched from coffee to tea, etc etc.  But I always go back.  It’s my drug.  And I’m not willing to kick the habit.  So when I realized I hadn’t grabbed a cup yet, I was surprised.  I mean sure, I still got some later on, but I was impressed with how long it took for me to want it.

When it comes to caffeine, what’s your poison?

I think some of it has to do with the morning workouts.  They really wake me up.  Sure, the first 5 minutes of shuffling around the apartment blows, but after getting to the gym and starting my routine, it’s hard to tell a difference of what time of day it is.  Yesterday, I did random cardio cross training to switch it up from my running routine.  I still did a mile on the treadmill, but started with 20 minutes on the elliptical and 10 on the stairmill.  The stairmill and I haven’t hung out as much as of late.  Sorry dude.  I’ll remember you from now on.  Do you ever notice how you may start to ignore one workout or the other?  Lately it’s been yoga and the stairmill for me.  Oops.

Since I got my cardio activity done in the AM, I did some strength in the PM by breaking out The Shred.  I won’t go into detail.  At this point in the game, you know I’m obsessed with Jillian’s workouts.

I’ve started to really go for spinach salads.  This is new to me, too.  I still prefer spinach sautéed and “in” dishes (vs being the main part), but it’s cool.  Plus, I’m still trying to get through all the leafy greens that I compulsively bought without letting it go bad. This time it was sautéed tuna, mushrooms, feta, and cauliflower on the side.  Yes, cauliflower may be weird to add to this particular mix, but I don’t care.  I wanted it.  Another homemade salad dressing was created and I’m pretty sure I’m hooked. The dressing is not actually in the pic because balsamic makes spinach look sadder than a dirty wet dog. 

I made a honey balsamic dressing (who can tell I just bought honey recently?!?!  ha) by combining olive oil, balsamic, honey, dried chopped onions (I only have them in the pantry- not fresh) and a little garlic powder.  Again, it seemed like a strange combo, but recipes online said to go for it.  So I did.  Initially I was a little put off by the strong taste of the balsamic, but once you mixed it all up, it was pretty decent. 

It was supposed to go with a sweet potato sandwich.  But I cut into my sweet potatoes and they were definitely rotting.  I pouted.  And cursed a little.  Then proceeded to have a peanut butter sandwich instead.  That’ll show you, stupid sweet potatoes…grrr…. (I fully intend to make up with the SP’s after this post and go purchase more pretty much as soon as I get a chance.)

I also finally got my butt in gear and picked up some new books.  It took me a while to travel with Russell Brand through all his addictions, but I finally finished the book last weekend.  (I raved about his story here-  and like I said, it’s a good read if you are not easily offended.)  Since every single book I want to read is currently checked out and I’m on hold for each one of them until god knows how long, I browsed a little.  I ended up with these:Samantha Bee was recommended for Chelsea Handler lovers.  She’s going to be first up. She better be aware that I have high expectations being as how Chelsea is my girl.  Holla’.

Oh and there’s oatmeal under there.  That’s definitely how much cereal I put on top of it to mix in.  I’m like a kid.  :)

Anyways, let’s end on that.  And get our day started!  :)

Keeping Busy

Aaaahhh… sleep.  You’re just so illusive, aren’t you?

I’m catching up slowly.  A lot of yesterday was spent with some seriously droopy eyes.  Which was a bit annoying because I was extremely busy.

With what you ask (besides work of course)?

Well… I finished Love the One You’re With by Emily Griffin over lunch.  This was the first Emily Griffin book I’ve read (I hear she’s quite popular).  I really liked it.  Even though the main character entertains the idea of having an affair (tsk tsk), you really feel for her and the dilemna she’s faced with.  Oooohhhhhh… drama!  Anyone else have any thoughts to add on this one?

I also had cross training to get in.  Which proved to be difficult since I didn’t get done running errands and back to my place ready to work out  until 7:30.  :(  I really hate going that late (because I didn’t get done until 8:45), but I wanted to go!  I don’t think it messed with me too bad last night (I was THAT tired), but sometimes working out that close to bed time will keep me from sleeping.  Oh how times have changed- I used to be the late night gym rat while I was still in college at Mizzou.  Often, my roommates and I wouldn’t even get to the gym until 9:30 or 10:00.  But to be fair, I didn’t go to bed until closer to 1:00 or 1:30 every night, either.  No wonder I refused to sign up for classes that started before 9:30 in the morning…

Does anyone ever work out that late?  Or late-ish?  Do you like it?  Do you find it affects your sleep?  Do you think I could ask any more questions right now?  :)  I’m just curious in case I ever start doing longer training during the week…

I was also busy cleaning out some leftovers from the refrigerator:I guess you would call this bbq nachos?  I took some leftover chips, baked bbq chicken, corn, and mozzarella to make a mean post-workout meal.  Late night dining at it’s finest.  Clearly.

I’ve been revisiting the steel cut oats again.The trick really is to soak them overnight.  Like overnight oats.  But not eaten cold.  I can only do hot oatmeal.  So I have to warm them up and cook them for a few minutes.  Any other way just gives me the heebie jeebies.  *shudder*

Yes, I’m weird.

But I prefer to call it quirky.

Well, Tuesday is here and is going to start getting away from me if I don’t keep this short and get on it!  It’s another day that I need to be productive, so let’s hope it goes by quickly…  ;)

Thursday Randoms

As the title (and the name of my blog) suggests, it’s going to be just that.  Hold on tight and try not to get lost.  :)

I’m glad you guys liked some of the tips for not overdoing the sweets last night.  I was somewhat nervous about posting it since diet choices/lifestyles can be such a personal and sometimes touchy subject.

New google search terms that people used to get to my blog that are worth mentioning:

What are the seats like at second city?  I assume you mean the Second City Theater.  I can answer that for you.  It’s tight seating and cabaret-style.  Please don’t let this deter you from going.  It’s a great time and they’re nonstop hilarious.  You’re welcome.

Saw Russell Brand walking down the street. I’m sort of  jealous of you mystery google-search-person…

Bug Went Up Nose.  I’m sorry.  That sucks.  I’ve been there.  We actually had the debate a few months ago here on the blog.  That’s still not as bad as having a bug fly into your eye.  I promise you.

It’s Friday Bitches.  Sounds like someone’s pretty excited.  One more day… woot woot.

Ok, enough of that and moving on…

Lunch yesterday was spent at a nearby grocery store.  We were having a meeting that included pizza and adult beverages and I was more than happy to make the beer run because it gave me an excuse to get out of the office for a bit.  So I got out and tacked it on to the end of my lunch. Didn’t mind a bit!  The grocery store next to me has a seating area for all of us lunchers who need to escape, so I hit up the salad bar and settled down there for some down time.I’m still working through the book I won from Leah a few weeks ago in a giveaway.  I really do like it so far- but I’m still only a little over half way through it…

The salad bar is an issue that Low also just discussed.  The grocery store salad bar is a definite step up (and considerably cheaper) than the one in the cafeteria in my office building.  My fav salad bars are the ones that include more than just “standards”- you know what they are- wilting lettuce, cauliflower, croutons, tomatoes, suspicious-looking pasta salad… 

I was considerably happy with my salad today.  Some of that had to do with the fact that I had the sense to buy a bottle of salad dressing beforehand.  Everything offered at the bar is cream-based except for olive oil.  And I’m not a huge fan of just oil.  So that was a good idea on my part.  Also, I never get my carrots.  And check it out!  They’re so cute hanging out in the corner… :)  Finally, sometimes I like onions.  Red onions in particular.  Take note- please make sure to have an adequate amount of gum after eating said red onions.  Don’t be that person… (this has been my public service announcement of the week)

My only thing is that they have a crappy selection of containers.  I had to fill my, for lack of a better word, TUB with salad and make sure to not go overboard at the same time.  I have no idea how people can fill and then eat the entire thing.  Whew!

Ok- I’m feeling goofy, so do we have any really good salad bar horror stories? 

I ran last night.  Yes.  Yes I did.  As you may have read yesterday, I was a little nervous.  The shins are throwing some fits and we’re having issues coming to an understanding.  Not so much an understanding, but a realization of who’s boss up in here.  I wore my new shoes and let me just say- running in those babies is like running on the clouds.  Wonderfulness.  Hey Fleet Feet dude- I don’t remember your name, but you ROCK.  I may love you.  Just a little. No restraining order necessary.  Promise.

Anyways, I got lost for a minute there… So I ran three miles.  And then I slowed down and walked to feel out the situation at hand.  I felt ok.  Not winded at all.  But, most importantly, the leg felt ok.  So I breezed through another mile and called it a night.  This morning I feel fine.  We’re still being diligent about icing and listening to the legs.  But I’m hoping this means I’m in the clear. 

Happy Thursday everyone!  I’ve got a day of work and then am picking up my friends at the airport!  I still have to work tomorrow, but having visitors here will hopefully make it go by quickly!  :)  See ya later!

Inquisitive Minds Want to Know

Hey kids! 

Let’s talk about the library, shall we?  A lot of you said you’ve thought about it, but never go.  I think I wouldn’t read nearly as much as I do if I didn’t use that versus buy the book.  Because I’m cheap like that.  Seriously- look into it!  Because it’s free (if you’re good about returning on time)!  You can also rent movies and work out dvds- that’s even cheaper than my $1 Red Box rentals.  Just a thought… 

My only issue is that popular items (aka the new Chelsea Handler book that I’ve been dying to read) are usually out and you have to put yourself on a hold list.  And I’m not overly patient.

Anyone else have any good recessionista tips when it comes to finding entertainment?  I also go to budget theaters if the movie we want to see is available.  Because let’s be serious- $10 is sort of excessive for a ticket.  Especially if the movie ended up sucking (see my thoughts on Kick-Ass).

The heat and humidity seem to be a common theme across the blog world.  And I’ll also bring it up.  Because it sucks.  And it makes me a sweaty mess post-workout.  I started out my cross training on the stairmill tonight.  Some intelligent being had left a window open, letting in all that awesome, muggy 88-degree weather.  So I stepped down from the machine feeling like I had just gotten out of a pool.  Why did someone open the window?  The temp was set at 70 in the work out room.  70 inside and 88 outside… this does not make sense. 

After 25 minutes on the elliptical, I got out of the sauna gym.  I bypassed the arm machines and did Level 3 of The Shred instead in the comfort of my own home.  With a fan.  Because I’m a pansy.

Actually, I’m not.  I just didn’t want to melt into an Amy puddle.  Which I almost did anyways in my living room by the time Jillian was done kicking my ass.

I’m once again going through a broccoli phase.  Surprised?  Don’t be.  It’s happened before, it’ll happen again.May I present a veggie scramble and broccoli?  Helloooooo green.  It seems to be my color of the week.

Today is going to be an interesting day.  I have a dreadful 4:00 AM wakeup call tomorrow morning so I can catch the Blue Line train and meet my boss at a stop (have to be downtown super early for our big work “event”).  Soooo… I’m trying to keep the caffeine intake at an all-time low.  I’ve cut back on coffee in recent months, but still go for the tea.  So we’ll see how this works out.  I am publicly apologizing now to any friends/coworkers who may come in contact with me today.  I am not responsible for my possible mood. 

Hopefully that combined with my 4.5-mile run tonight will do the trick in knocking me out by 10:00 tonight.

And speaking of crazy times… I have a super busy July ahead of me.  All of you that have done training- how do you keep up with that and everything else that goes on?  I’m that girl who totally stresses out about how I’m going to fit in an hour of cross training or an 8-mile run while I have people at my house.  I am soooo excited to have people coming in all summer, but let’s face it- my training plan workouts aren’t getting any shorter!  And I think the idea of skipping a workout would stress me out to no end.  That’s the truth.  I really thought I’d be straying away from my plan by the end of it.  But I’ve been diligent and stuck with it.  And now I want to see it through (and have even been adding miles here and there).  Either way- back to my question.  How do you do it?

Now that I’ve bombarded you with questions, I need to go get to work.  These marketing materials aren’t going to print themselves…

Let’s talk about hair.

As my disclaimer, let me just say I’m awful with hair and makeup.  I’m no artist.  But you guys are so sweet and keep asking about how I do my hair in the mornings.  So I’ll show you- even though I still can’t believe I’m posting these pics.  What I do for you guys…  ;)

I’ve been doing the same thing for a while now- I find something that works and stick with it.  It’s not trendy, I was just looking for volume.  And this actually takes me less time than when I do the whole straightening thing (because my hair’s so thick and has some wave/pretend curls/kink to it).  And because I’ve been doing it for so long, I’ve got it down to a science at under 10 minutes… woo hoo!

Here we go.  All frizzed out (don’t judge- I really need a haircut).So basically, you take whatever size curling iron barrel you’ve got (I’ve got a 1 1/2-inch and a 1-inch that both work awesome, it just depends on how curly you want it).  Grab a large section of hair (I usually divide it into eight or nine sections) and shoot it with a little hairspray on the underneath.  Then you just wind it under all the way up and hold it for a few seconds.  Just like you normally do… Turns out you need three hands to take pics of yourself and do this.  Notice the upside-down camera.  At least I still got the shot before I burned a chunk of hair off of my head.

But the tricky part is this… Slowly release the curling iron but DON’T release the curl.  Just wiggle the iron from out of the curl and keep the loop of hair intact with bobbypins.  And then you’re gonna end up looking like this:Again, my personal photographer is out today, so the crap shots will just have to do… Now quick!  Bobby pin that!  And repeat!!!I look so old school, right?  ha ha…   But yeah, I just let the curls set for at least five minutes or so while I’m finishing getting ready.  Then take out the bobby pins and voila!  Throw your fingers through it and go!  :)  Easy, right?Back to more important things…I started a new book recently.  This one’s called We Thought You’d Be Prettier by Laurie Notaro.  So far it’s ok.  I’m having a harder time getting into this one compared to I Was Told  There’d Be Cake by Sloane Crosley (which I finished last week). Both are just a collection of essays of random moments.  Sloane was just a really fun writer- she had a really dry humor (which I loved) with a slight tone of self-deprecation.  Laurie definitely has the self-deprecation down, but I still haven’t enjoyed her stories as much. It’s still early, though.  I’ll give it more time.

I got home to a very unpleasant surprise and am so pissed!  Yoga Meltdown is no longer on Exercise TV!!!!  I got home and did some shred and was all ready to stretch myself out, but I couldn’t find it!  I’m actually somewhat devastated.  This may mean I’ll have to breakdown and just buy it.  I’m curious about Level 2 anyways… sort of.  I know I’m not ready for it, but I guess it’ll be nice to have when I am.  Grrr…. And I checked Fitness Fusion yoga is no longer on Exercise TV, either.  What are you trying to do to me, Comcast?!?!  WTF????

This had me down and  out for about a minute.  Then I stopped pouting, threw on my shoes, and ran to the work out room to do some elliptical work.  That sort of made up for it.  And I guess it’ll do… until I hit up Target in search of Jillian’s intimidating face on dvd boxes.

Here’s dinner:Told you I’d be using those wraps often!  I pulled a breakfast for dinner move again with a veggie scramble… burrito… thing.  And cottage cheese.  Just go with it…

My Hump Day was less than stellar.  Sometimes work just doesn’t go well.  Not that anything was bad, but not that anything was good either.  It was just “blah”.  Hopefully today will be an improvement!

Restored Energy Levels

Ok, so I’m feeling much better!  Nothing that an overabundance of coffee and H20 can’t cure…  Hopefully today I’ll need a little less of the “hard stuff” to get to hyped cheerleader perky levels.  Ok, maybe a few notches lower.  Let’s not overdo it.

Since my mood was “iffy” at best, I decided it was the best for everyone around me that I take a quiet lunch on my own with my current new read.It’s a book I picked up at the library last week before my trip.  I was concerned I’d finish “Are You There, Vodka?  It’s Me, Chelsea.” before the weekend was over, so I snagged a few backups- which included “I Was Told There’d Be Cake” by Sloane Crosley.  I did finish Chelsea’s book (and I love you that much more Chelsea Handler!) but didn’t get to start this new one until today. 

So far I love it.  Her first chapter is dedicated to her weird collection of plastic toy ponies.  Quirky.  Yet fantastic.  Just like me.  And what else is fantastic?  That salad.  Yep.  I’ll throw that word out there.  Cauliflower made a guest appearance today thanks to a sale at my friendly neighborhood grocery store.  Thanks Jewel Osco!  Leftover turkey from Easter also got thrown in.  My mom was disappointed I didn’t load up on candy, so what I lacked in sugar, I made up for in protein.  It’s Thursday and I’m still trying to get through it all!  I don’t usually stick turkey in salad, but whatevs.  It worked.

Yoga went fabulously.  Is it sad that I’m a half-step in front of the girl on the video?  I should probably switch it up, but I’m nervous I’ll end up not liking the next one… I wish there was a “Fitness Fusion Level 2″ or something like that.  Because I really enjoy that it’s not the traditional yoga.  I’ve heard good things about Jillian Michael’s yoga dvds.  Maybe it’ll be something to try?

Jess over at Process of Healing is so lovely and handed me the Stiletto award the other day!  I just wanted to give her a little shout out and say thank you!  I know I’m supposed to tag a certain number of people, but I really suck at this so I’m just going to highlight a couple peeps:

Ten.Eight.Six.Four because she is working her butt off for the race she just did and ones to come!

Simply Shaka because she’s my “go to” for fun posts of life and pop culture and the two combined…

It’s a Great Day to Be Alive! because she’s a fun read everyday!

Low… and Behold! because I’m often a huge fan of the random musings she likes to bring up…

So those are some girlies to check out if you haven’t already.  Now back to business…

I’m skeptical about the planned run today.  The weather doesn’t look like it’s going to be on my side.  I’m bringing the workout clothes to change into right after work, but I’m pretty sure rain is in the forecast all day.  Last night Annie and I talked about the race.  I told her I’m 90% doing it.  We also discussed other important things such as leave time, what to bring, and of course where we’re going to eat afterwards…  I’m looking into that one.  Any Lincoln Park breakfast/brunch spots I’ve just got to try?  I’ve been to a few in that area because that’s where a lot of my runs happened last year.  But I’m open to suggestions!

Annoyance of the day?  This zit that popped up to say hello for the weekend.  What the hell?  Get off my FACE!!!  Honestly now- I have bangs.  Why can’t you hide out under there?  I don’t understand.  Grr…  Was I the only one who thought when you got older, zits would stop happening?  And I have some issues with whoever told me that… Not cool!

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