Big Plans

Hello everyone! 

So no one actually likes pants.  Hmmm.  We should start a movement.  Yes?

Anyhoo, I feel like it’s been too long!

Not just because I didn’t post yesterday, but because I’m still trying to catch up with how everyone else’s holidays went… :)

Anyways, the story left off in St. Louis.  I spent the night at my friend Mary’s house, not only to break up my trip back home, but to spend some time with two of my best friends over the holidays.Another wine night. We had originally talked up a big night out.  Drinks flowing… dancing… cute shoes…

We went out to pick out a bottle and get a red box movie.  After agonizing for 10 minutes over a selection, we ended up deciding on watching Entourage reruns instead.  We’re wild like that.

And reruns of Entourage turned into an episode of South Park that was about the shake weight and people’s ridiculous obsession with the Food Network.  I think I laughed the loudest.

All three of us got up around 9:30 yesterday morning.  Yes- 9:30. After we all said we would probably “naturally” wakeup by 7:30.  The long holiday weekend has clearly taken a toll on everyone.  Anyone else suffering the “holiday hangover”?

Getting up that late only means one thing.

Time for BRUNCH!We hit a local joint just down the road from Mary.  Last time us girls were together, we all ordered the same thing (it’s ok to roll your eyes here- we were just as embarrassed about it as you’d think).  This time wasn’t any different. Omelets for everyone! Like the “Bacado” pictured above.  Mine was stuffed with avocado and bacon and I couldn’t have been happier.   

We’ll discuss how this triggered my avocado obsession (again) at a different time.

We sat there and chatted over free refills of coffee for way too long.  Not too long because I needed to go (which is probably true), but because we were rivaling all the old people with time spent there and the waitress was getting annoyed.  Oops.

Do you ever overestimate how productive you’ll be during the day?  I do- all the time.  Original thoughts were to leave St. Louis by noon or so, get a good run in (I’ve been dying to- that’s not a joke), grocery shop, unpack, etc etc.

Yeah…

I didn’t leave until close to 1:00.  Hit some traffic.  Lost any energy to workout.  And the ONLY reason grocery shopping happened was because it happened before I got home- I knew I wouldn’t drive back out to do it otherwise. And a girl needs to eat. 

And if you think any of my stuff is unpacked, you’re just crazy.  Who was I kidding?  I usually live out of my bag until it’s all been used or it has to be repacked.  True story.

However, it should be noted how thankful I am for fantastic driving conditions to and from Missouri.  That never happens.

And I would also like to note my favorite road trip tune came from a station somewhere in central Illinois.  Chumbawamba?  YES PLEASE!

Because I got to bed early, getting up to work out this morning wasn’t that big of a deal.  I figured this work week should be started with a BANG. Tuesday won’t take me down that easily.

I did my new Jillian Michaels “No More Trouble Zones” dvd.  It left me a little sore the first time I did it, so I’m assuming it’ll let me know once again where all my underworked muscles are. 

On that note, I did “feel it” from the P90X “Ab Ripper” cd.  Just not as badly as expected.  Maybe it was because people were building it up to such a horrible thing. Maybe because it should be combined with other circuits (really have no clue how that system works).  But I had planned to crawl out of bed. And was pleasantly surprised when I didn’t have to. Awesome.

Let’s pretend Tuesday doesn’t suck and focus our attention on how it’s yet another holiday (aka “short”) work week!

Off To St. Louis…

Whew.

It’s been a whirlwind of family, friends and food.  After yesterday being a long day of running around and visiting family, I pulled an old school move and invited some of the kids over the ‘rents’ house.Yes- this time even a baby was involved!  :) 

M is a pretty awesome little kid.  And got even more awesome when she decided it was time to celebrate No Pants Saturday.

Who can blame her?  I don’t like pants much, either.

The last two mornings, I got smart and did my workout when everyone was sleeping.  Jillian Michaels and her dvd “No More Trouble Zones” were waiting for me under the tree this year, so I broke that one out first.

It’s a much longer dvd than The Shred.  Yikes.  But I loved it because I now have some new circuit training to add into my life.

She’s a fan of squats.  I am not.  But I feel like this is going to benefit me. 

Actually, I know it will- my butt is crazy sore.

Jillian wasn’t my only awesome gift.  My family really knows me way too well.You can never go wrong with baking or running gear.  Fact.

My aunt even said when I opened the bag with the mixing bowl, “well I saw on your blog that you had to use a pot to mix something in and figured I should help you out”.

Thanks RB.  ;)

And yes, those were 8-pound weights.  No, I haven’t tried them with my dvds yet.  I’ve been talking big game.  But now that they’re actually in my possession, I’m a wee bit scared.

When putting my new Jillian dvd in to get started yesterday, I noticed the copy of P90X my brother had sitting there.

I’ve heard horror stories about how difficult it can be. Even my bro warned me about it.

Naturally, I wanted to dominate.

The abs section.  Or, what it’s so unassumingly called “Ab Ripper”.

15 minutes.  It was a solid workout.  People weren’t kidding.  I’m nervous as to how I’ll feel tomorrow.

Hurts so good… riiiight?  Yikes.

My last meal in Mid-MO was a mixture of new and leftover.Can’t beat soup and salad. 

And I told you that wasn’t the last of my overnight salad fixation.  If I only get it once or twice a year, I totally make it count… :)

Time to sneak in a cat nap before I head off to my next adventure on my Mid-MO Holiday Road Trip- St. Louis!

Are you done with the holiday travel?  Get anything good?  What are your general thoughts on pants?  :)

Enjoy your Sunday!

Made it by Midnight!

Can I just say I find your answers to the elevator question hilarious?

My favorite would have to be Oprah.  Oliepants has her head on straight- because not only would you get out right away, she’d probably give you a car just because.

And we all like cars, right?

Speaking of cars and driving (do you like how I did that?  ha ha), I made it to Mid-Missouri by midnight.  And didn’t hit any snow- so it was in much better time than expected!

A little over 8 hours is still quite the drive.  Before you take a road trip such as this, you should probably ask yourself some questions like I did.

Such as, what’s the proper way to fuel yourself for a drive? Before I left, Mon took the time to stop by work with lunch and she brought Buffalo Wings! Specifically, the Buffalo Ranch Chicken Wrap. And I had them give me the Caribbean Jerk sauce instead of just the medium.

I needed the spice. We had been going back and forth the other day on email and I expressed my desire to have the “most opposite of sweet I could find”.  Smart girl, that Mon.As soon as I say that, she pulls out a “common sense” ticket she received from the rent-a-cop in our apartment complex.  Nice work on forgetting to lock your door, Mon. And Happy Holidays, rent-a-cop! 

After that, it was a matter of waiting for the signal from the boss and I was off…

When driving, you should ask yourself, “I wonder what songs I’ll get sick of on this trip?”

Definitely not this one:

I’ve had a recent obsession with “Spaceman” by The Killers for months.  It won’t get out of my head!  For future reference, you can sing it 4 times in a row before moving on.  But you can go back to it every 2-3 hours and still be fine.

On another note, how many Rihanna songs can I listen to before she gets boring?

That would be zero. Zilch. Nada.  Sorry Rihanna. You were everywhere and you drove me nuts.  I can’t talk to you right now.

How many times will I have to stop?

Three.  In all honesty, I could have done it in two, but the second place didn’t have any coffee except for some being made by a questionable looking gentleman who was missing teeth.  That was the stop where I was the only non-trucker.  Oopsies.  Should have slowly backed out of that station as soon as I realized what was up.

A stop elsewhere was necessary.Which was fine.  I mean come on- can you see what’s in the corner of this pic? I even had a machine in the bathroom that guesses my accurate weight and tells my fortune all at the same time.  Can you believe it?!?!

And yes, I’m bringing Rod Tuffcurls and the Bench Press love to Missouri.  Sort of.  My “And The” came off in the wash.  So now people just think I’m advertising some sort of fancy pants bench press.  Sigh.

And if you’re wondering, gas station coffee isn’t that bad.  Sure, this is coming from the girl who won’t go out of her way for Starbucks.  But still. The mixture of gas station english toffee cappuccino and gas station coffee is quite lovely.  Try it…

Ok ya’ll, I’m outtie.  Be safe out there and have a good holiday!

Stuck in an Elevator

 Sarah Palin?!?  Really guys?  I looked like Sarah Palin in my sweater and fake glasses?

My vision is 20/20, but if this ever changes, we can safely say I’ll be getting contacts.  No need to be associated with the crazies.

And that’s probably the most you’ll ever hear me speak on any political issue.

I’m just giving you guys a hard time.  I will say she is semi-attractive, and there are worse political figures to resemble.

Like Janet Reno.

Kelly tagged me in this little survey the other day, and since I’m spending a good amount of time wrapping up loose ends and traveling (ie not much writing going on), I thought you could get to know me a little better. :)

1. Vacation: beach or mountains?  This could not be an easier choice for me.  The beach.  I crave the sand and sun. Anyone want to take me on vacation soon?  This winter crap is really wearing me down.

2. Luggage: check it or carry it on? Carry on. Or at least I’m going to attempt that with my overstuffed bag before I pay the fees.  Unless my shoes are also being served a meal, I don’t think they should pay to be on the plane. 

3. Bed: make it or leave it a rumpled comfy mess? Are my parents coming to visit?  If so, I make it.  Otherwise, it’ll most likely be a “straightened mess”.

4. Races: smaller or bigger? A happy medium.  Bigger can get annoying because I hate playing the “dodge all the other runners and try not to get stepped on” game.  Just make sure I have room to run.  Then the size isn’t as big of a thing.  But not small enough where it’s not chip-timed.  I’m way too obsessive compulsive about my race times.  I need exact splits! 

5. Toilet paper roll: over or under? Being as how I spend extensive amounts of time thinking about this as I change the roll, my answer is… oh wait.  I don’t.  Um.  Probably under?  I couldn’t even tell you what it is in my bathroom right now.

6. Pancakes: thick and fluffy or thin and crepe-like? Thick and fluffy.  The closer to the consistency of cake it is, the happier Amy is.  Too thin makes it a crepe.  Then it’s not a pancake.  It’s a crepe.  Get it straight.

7. Alarm: get up or hit snooze? Get up. Snooze is way too dangerous. What would most likely happen is that I would turn it completely “off” instead.  And that’s a world of trouble.  If we’re being honest, I rarely ever get to the alarm part of waking up, anyways. I hate the sound so much, it’s like my body purposely wakes me up a couple minutes beforehand.

I’m not going to tag people, but I do want you to answer a question anyways (because I do what I want).

You’re stuck on a broken elevator.  What celebrity do you want in there with you?  And why (remember, there ARE cameras in elevators)? I’m gonna go with Chelsea Handler on this one.  Assuming we’d pass the time with an extremely entertaining conversation and that she is equipped with adult hydration of some sort.  This is logical to me because if I’m on an elevator, it’s most likely in my office building and I’m in no hurry to get out and go back to work.  I’d rather wait it out…

Well I’m about to jump into work and get this show on the road.

Mon has today off, so she’ll be popping in with lunch at noon.  I couldn’t be happier about this. Firstly, because I get to see my friend before I go home.  Secondly, because I had slimmed down the food to the point where the only things laying around that are fresh are half a red onion in the refrigerator and two pieces of bread on the counter.

Take a guess at which one of those items I had for breakfast.

And yes, I’m THAT good at meal planning before a traveling weekend.

Anyhoo, I’ll catch you tomorrow when I’m in Missouri. Maybe if you’re lucky, I’ll even throw in a couple “ya’lls” and such to match the accent I’m sure to pick back up.  I’m horrible about copying the people around me.  Since moving a few years ago, I’ve dropped some of my southern drawl (where I’m from, it’s not heavy, but still present) and do have a bit of a “Chicago accent”. Then I go home and a bit more of that drawl creeps back in. 

The combination of the two just make me sound like a lost soul.  *Sigh.

Stop rambling, Amy.  Time to go.

Where’s my giant travel mug?

Holiday Hangover

Does anyone ever have a “holiday hangover”?  Usually my first day back to normalcy is a sluggish one.  I have a feeling today will be no different.  With good reason- yesterday was another long one. 

We started out with a casual Sunday Brunch:It was just the immediate fam and my aunt from my dad’s side of the family.  I like it this way.  :)  Mom made her awesome breakfast casserole and we had some leftovers from the day before.  I’m not a ham kind of gal, but hello breakfast casserole.  I love you.

After brunch, I packed up and pretty much was out the door a little after noon.  I didn’t make it to my extended family’s Easter gathering on my mom’s side- we have a HUGE family on that side.  I figured it would be too hard to do a “quick” stop through.  And it can always be somewhat overwhelming because there’s just soooo many people (my mom has 12 other brother and sisters- holy crap, right?).  So I just headed towards Chicago after I left my parent’s house.Ya’ll come back now, ya hear?  :) 

And in true St. Louis fashion, as I was going through, I heard J Kwon’s “Tipsy” AGAIN.  What is that about?!?! (Jill knows what I’m talking about!)  I thought it was funny the first time I went through, but I had no idea it was still in heavy rotation?  Or that was one hell of a coincidence!

Everybody in the club getting tipsy…. anyone?Ahhh… I’m baaaaacccccckkkkk!

The majority of the drive wasn’t too bad.  I made awesome time for most of the way.  And even was able to time it out so that I stopped at the same Panera on my way back- I think I found my default pit stop from now on.I approve of the clean bathroom vs. the gas stations I’ve been frequenting.  Clearly.  But the salmon club?  Not so much recommended… Plus it’s easier to eat the panini’s and drive. Not that I would eat and drive at the same time or anything…  And no I do not want to participate in your new promotion.  I’m aware that I bought a drink and entree and that qualifies me for a 99 cent pastry or cookie.  But I just ate my weight in chocolate Easter candy and you can ask 10 more times after the last 5 that you just did and I will still say no.  Thanks. Yes I’m sure.  No really, I’m totally aware it’s a really good deal.  NO I DON’T WANT IT, JUST BACK OFF. 

I still heart you Panera.  Promise.

I drove straight into a huge thunder and lightening storm.  I saw it coming about an hour away.  I think that may have been part of the reason I had to deal with serious traffic on the last leg of my trip.  Lame.  Nothing says welcome back home than getting completely soaked as I try to unload my car and drag my soaked luggage up three flights of stairs…

But all in all, it was a good weekend.  I like getting in quality time with the fam.  Especially at my parent’s house, since I don’t get to go back as often as I used to.  Just for kicks, here’s an oldie of me and my younger bro:Is that not the sweetest picture of all time?  We were pretty sassy looking kids.  That’s my brother- but he’s grown up a little since.  And I don’t really call him my “little” brother anymore:I like to think we’ve grown up nicely.  :)  And if you’re wondering, we were pretending to be the weather man (the forecast was up).  And I’m not sure how I can bend my leg that way… weird.  But yeah, that’s us.  I heart my little bro- he’s so grown up and became such a gentleman! 

I also just recently told him about the blog- so if you leave a comment, feel free to say hello!  :)

I’m doing yoga today.  And am running at some point this week to test out the leg.  Cross your fingers!  I’ve supposedly got that 5k next weekend with Annie and it’s time I figure out if I can feasibly do it or not.

Have a good Monday everyone!

Holiday Road

Yep… as you’re reading this, I’m doing one of two things…

Stuffing my face with these:Or I’m on the road again (cue “Holiday Road” from the National Lampoon’s theme).

I have to say I didn’t overindulge ALL weekend until the above pictured candy came along.  I can’t help it.  I can’t stop at just one… or five…  All I can say is that I’m happy my mom (for some reason still unknown to me) didn’t pick up the mini milk chocolate Cadburry eggs that I love.  Maybe because she knew I’d start inhaling them as I laughed manically, all balled up in the corner rocking back and forth? 

Well that’s probably a good reason now that I think about it.

Either way, good bye Easter candy- you were fun.  I’m going to probably have a sugar hangover this afternoon because of the little incident that just happened when I tried to pick up one piece of candy to tide me over until brunch… oops. 

Now all I have to get through is the little tiff with my mom about how much of the candy I should take back with me.  I always say none.  She always pulls out a gallon-sized ziploc bag for me.  Usually we compromise.  My only issue is I’m about to embark on an 8-hour drive.  That candy will be gone by the time I get home.  I know myself too well to have it any other way.

Anyways, all in all, it’s been a good weekend.  Yesterday there was more family time.  I also saw my two friends and their new (as in two week old) baby girl.  Honestly, I’m not around babies often.  So holding this newborn was pretty fascinating to me.  So small!  And cute!  And then I got the “poop face”.  So I handed her back over as to not get stuck with that whole situation…  And my brother and I visited with some peeps after church.  And then up at the local bar.  Needless to say, I got plenty of face time in.  And I always seem to have this conversation:

“So Amy, where are you these days?”

“Chicago.”

“Chicago?!?!  Whatcha doin’ up there?”

“Living the dream.”

“Too damn big if you ask me…. Chicago.  You a Cubs fan now?”

“No, I still like the Cards.”

“Well you better be.  Chicago… all those damn buildings…”

This was pretty much the conversation I had with someone last night.  And I’m positive I had a similar conversation with that same person before.  Twice…  Whatev.  I probably asked him the same questions last night as I did before… works both ways.

Anyhoo, I’m off to shower and such before brunch.  Otherwise, the lingering smell from the bar (which would be cigarettes and deep fry) would make me no fun to sit next to…

Enjoy the end of the weekend!  I’ll have more about the weekend later, but I have got to get moving.  I always miss my fam, but I’m looking forward to being back in my own space.

And seeing what the boy next door is up to… ha.

All The Small Things…

I spent pretty much all day yesterday thinking it was Friday.  Yes, some of it had to do with I have today off, but I really think a lot of it had to do with the weather.  80’s?  And I’m leaving for the weekend?  I say that’s just crap. 

The day went pretty fast and I went to TJ’s over lunch after talking to my mom to see if it would be ok if I cooked dinner on Friday night.  I stocked up on the good stuff- including almond butter.  I used the almond butter in my oatmeal this morning.  My parents won’t even touch the jar.  Fail…

Anyways, because I had completely cleaned out my refrigerator at home in preparation for this trip, I didn’t have much of a selection and brought one of my Lean Cuisine standbys for lunch.  This was a new one I decided to try.  Roasted Garlic Chicken and spinach:I think when I eat them, my favorite Lean Cuisines are the pita wraps.  And butternut squash ravioli is pretty good- no lies.  But I saw this one with all of it’s 180 calories and said “hey, why not?”.  Well I’ll tell you why not.  I can’t tell if the 180 calories is the whole meal or what you think you’ll actually eat.  Or maybe there was a shortage of spinach and they dug into the baby food reserves to compensate?  Hey magic eight ball- should I eat this?  All signs point to “no”.

I ate the chicken.  I think it was about the same as eating one and half chicken tenders.  Bullshit.  I’m sticking to the pita wraps from now on…  had to dig into the snack drawer for some pretzels and a Clif Z Bar.  My boss felt sorry for me.  He tried bringing up some chocolate from the cafeteria, but had decided to sit outside for awhile and enjoy the sun- so the chocolate melted in his pocket.  So nice that he tried, though… 

I was out of that office and changing into “driving gear” at 4:30 on the dot.  Hooray for hitting the road!  So excited to go… so excited to go… so excited to SIT IN TRAFFIC.  I knew that traffic report earlier in the morning was only reporting badness.  But once I got about an hour or so out, traffic was moving pretty steadily and my view turned to this:So I’m not sure which is actually worse- the traffic or the nothingness?  Did I mention I dislike this drive?  At this point I was tired of the rush hour music (I like Lady GaGa, but after the 10th playing of “Telephone”, I’m kind of over it).  After a couple of you mentioned throwback music, I decided to try and find some.  Which was a task because the middle of Illinois seems to enjoy country music.  Blah…  But I did!

Meatloaf told me he would do anything for love.  But he won’t do THAT.  Now all I can think about what “that” really could be.  Does anyone know?  I’m a fan of the song- but know absolutely no history behind it.  So maybe I’m just a poser… I really need to read up on my Meatloaf history.

Then I found a station that played some Sophie B. Hawkins.  And was singing “damn… I wish I was your lover”.  I was getting really vocal, too.  Then decided to lower the voice a little bit because I was on a stop for food and people were starting to stare.I won’t lie- I wondered a little off the beaten path for this one.  The entire week I had pretty much just figured I’d have Subway and call it a day.  Subway is seriously ok and I still eat it, but I’m still a little shaken up by that “something crunchy that shouldn’t be in my chicken” from one of my drives out during the Christmas holidays.  Because really, it’s not like Panera is the uber healthy option (I’m sure my Sierra Turkey had just as many if not more calories than the option at Subway I would have gone with).  But when it comes to quality of some of the food, I like to think it wins out.  And I’m pretty sure my panini I had was THE BOMB.  So I’m totally happy with my choice to drive an extra mile or two off the highway into unknown territory for it. This stop is about three hours into the trip.  Still a bit of daylight.  Still smiling- even though my makeup had melted off because the air was kind of thick and humid and gross but I still wanted to keep the windows down because it was obviously that instead of 20 degrees (which I am thankful for every day until November).  See the problem in this picture, though?  It would be the obnoxiously large iced tea I have in my hands.  What was I thinking???

Into about the third chorus of “na na na na na na na na na na na na na” from Blink 182’s “All the Small Things” is when I crossed the state line into Missouri.  It was lovely seeing St. Louis- I was so over those cornfields… and I had to pee and was not about to stop on one of the smaller exits outside of STL.  Last time I did that late at night, there was only one teeny tiny gas station and two farmers in overalls with no teeth stared unapologetically at me the entire time.  Deliverance, anyone?  (cue creepy background music)

As I was pulling into the gas station in St. Charles, MO, I stumbled onto a junior high dance favorite- KC and JoJo.  You know the song- sing it with me “I will never find another lover sweeter than you, sweeter than you…”  To this day I remember how intense it would get at the dance as soon as a slow song came on.  You were one nervous little child until you saw a boy walking your way…  I still have issues.  Thanks 8th grade.

I put a little more gas in the tank and bought some ice for the cooler of TJ’s wonderfulness:Are you curious as to what I’m making tonight yet?  Hmmm… nothing too fancy, but I’m still very excited.  :) 

I also picked up some coffee.  Yes, it was pretty late, but I had reached six hours of traveling and needed a pick me up.And in St. Louis style, I found a station that was playing some J Kwon.  Deja vu to freshman year in the dorms… One, here comes to two to the three to the four…

Once I got off the actual interstate and hit the “backroads” all the way home, fatigue starting setting in.  I rolled up to my parent’s house around 1:00.  Said hello.  Passed out.  And here I am.This is part of the back yard.  I’m waiting for the sun to come out to play.  Until then, I’ll be catching up on my google reader.  Which will take longer than usual because this internet connection blows.  And surfing for a new pasta sauce recipe.  Anyone got anything kind of light?  No creamy stuff preferably- I got kind of turned off by the cheese sauce I made last week…

Enjoy the rest of the day!  And drive safe if you’re traveling!  I’m off the road, so overall safety of the roads just improved.  You’re welcome.

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