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.

I won’t be your friend. But I appreciate you.

I’m talking about yoga.  Yes I hated you.  But I get it.  I know now that you help me.  You help make my core stronger.  You help my flexibility.  You help me cross-train and become a better runner.  So thank you.  But I still don’t like you.

I went back and forth for a while when trying to decide if I should break out the yoga.  The leg is hanging in there.  I’m feeling pretty good about it.  Not good enough to run- I’ve become way too over-cautious to do that.  But good enough to do yoga.  So I turned on Exercise TV again and hit up the Fitness Fusion.  My only worry was the warrior series, but the leg hung in there and didn’t complain!  Progress…

Although it had been a little longer than I’d like to admit the last time I actually did it.  I’m sorry yoga, I know I started to ignore you when running came back into my life.  But you have to understand- running and I go way back.  And we’re in love.  No hard feelings… k? 

It’s not cardio- but I’ll happily take it!

So I made sure to have a good breakfast for LOTS of energy today.First of all because I’m somewhat short on sleep (I swear the full moon brings weird dreams- what is that about?!?!).  Secondly, because I have a super long road trip to Mid-MO to spend Easter weekend with the fam.  And the discussions of new construction on the news in the background of that picture will most likely screw me over in some way or another… blah. 

Before I continue, can I just say that now every time I have oats in a jar, I think about this cartoon my friend Ashlee sent me?  She seriously did crack up at my nut butter addiction…So basically, I’m stirring it in the jar going “megggggaaaaaa butttteeeeerrrrrr!!!!!!” in an unnatural sounding voice (high or low pitch, whichever works for you).  Yep.  It’s the little things, kids.  Just remember that…

Oh how I enjoy this trip.  Not.  Interstate 55 is the highway to nothingness.  At least last time I had some of my fav boys to keep me amused on the way to Mardi Gras in St. Louis.  I’m doing this one alone- and traveling about two hours longer… Ugh! 

But it’s aight.  I usually do ok on keeping myself entertained- the playlist has been updated.  There are people to call and catch up with.  I should be good!  But am always open for suggestions if you have ways of making long trips seem shorter (that are not drug induced anyways…)?  Originial plans were to leave after work and stop for the night in St. Louis.  But one of my fav girls, Laura, has to work pretty early on Friday.  So I think I’m just going to try to speed through StL, give a shout out to Busch Stadium on my way through (a little over 3 days until opening day, kids!), and be on my merry way into more highway and hills.  And not much else.  Peaceful… Almost too peaceful… ha ha

So there you have it!  Maybe if you’re lucky, I’ll have some sweet stories of random occurences that happened in the middle of Illinois.  Don’t hold your breath, but there’s always hope…  And cross your fingers that there’s no Children of the Corn incident that goes down if my car breaks down.  It’s a reoccurring concern of mine.

Have a good Thursday!  :)  I’m excited because I found an excuse to get a Trader Joe’s trip in today over lunch- figured I’d pick up some wine and a few unique TJ items as a nice thing to bring home tonight since my fam doesn’t really get exposure to a store around them.  Not that they really care so much about that, but I still like bringing home fun things.  :) Can we make nut butter an Easter tradition?  Let’s try it…

Mardi Gras Weekend 2010

Sigh.  I think I just caught up on sleep.  Almost 11 hours last night.  Thank goodness I have today off- it was a life saver.  St. Louis was a lot of fun, but the fact of the matter is I didn’t get proper rest one night while I was there.  A small price to pay…

We made good time to get there (always better than when I drive- I still have a ticket or so on my record that I’m waiting to drop off and my insurance doesn’t need to get any higher).  My parents picked me up pretty much as soon as we pulled up.  So I had said a quick hi to Adam, threw the cupcakes in his general direction, and off I went again.  Like I said, my parents love the gambling and so we stayed at Harrah’s.  All the sudden, my brother and I found ourselves standing alone in the casino entrance feeling like we just got sucked into Vegas Vacation.  Our parents had already bolted toward their favorite games.  I stayed for a while, but was tired from the trip and knew I had a long couple days ahead of me, so I snuck into bed earlier than most.

Apparently, Sammy Hagar was making his way to the casino.  So I got to “meet” him.

So Saturday… when the shenanigans begin…

Laura, Mary, and I met up and made our way to Soulard around 11:00.  Traffic was a mess, but we parked about a mile away from the action (not bad).  Mary had her trusty watter bottle of vodka, so we carried our bottles of vodka sprite and started our day (hey, it’s 5:00 somewhere).  We realized once we got to the gates, that they weren’t allowing us to bring anything like that in (something forgotten from years before), so we had two options.  Throw it away, or drink it before we go in.  Something to note for next year- THROW IT AWAY.  Instead, we hung out and drank it:

After meeting up with some of the guys, we went to McGurk’s for a few hours.  Luckily, they let me bring in my beer I had only gotten 10 minutes earlier (maybe not so luckily?).

Things escalated quickly.  At some point (I lost track of time), I wandered back out into the street to meet up with a few other people.  Something to note- never ever walk by yourself at Mardi Gras when you’ve been drinking.  That was stupid and I realize this now.  But luckily, I found everyone again.  I ended up just spending the rest of the day with the boys- Laura and Mary went to a house party after the bar. 

The streets were packed.  I think even more so than last year (last year was obnoxiously cold and windy).  I didn’t see the parade this year.  Oh well.  But I still saw plenty of costumes, debauchery and bad decisions being made.  So I doubt I missed much.

Another thing to remember for next year?  EAT something while you’re there.  I had toast at Laura’s, and a Cliff bar on the way there.  Ten hours later, I needed some food.  And anyone who knows me, would be shocked I let this happen.  Because I don’t.  Ever.  I let the beer and vodka (and the shot or two we took at the bar) get away from me.  Someone mentioned pizza.  Being as how I live in Chicago and have found myself becoming quite the pizza snob (for the record, there were three other boys there who were the same), we finally settled on Pizza Hut.  Who knew we could have a heated argument about pizza?  I actually love Pizza Hut, though- it reminds me of when I was little.  My parents would bring it home as a surprise for when they went to Jefferson City to go grocery shopping (obviously, in my small town, the local convenience store was really all we had for basic necessities- not ideal).  So three pieces of pizza later, I was feeling back to my old self.

Yes, I'm embarrassed, but I did drink that Busch Beer in the corner. Gross...

Another couple hours of hanging out there, our friend Adam picked us up to hang out at his house for a while.  Soon it’s 4:00 in the morning, we’re all struggling to stay awake, and a taxi FINALLY makes it there so we can go back to Jeff’s house to sleep.  Adam already had two other people there who had claimed the couches.  And I was not about to share the hardwood floor in Adam’s “bachelor pad”.  Jeff at least had extra bedrooms and couches.  So if you’re keeping track, I didn’t make it back to Laura’s, but she was already very much asleep and it would have been quite the ordeal for me to try and make it there.  Apparently, I slept around all weekend…

That’s what she said.

And just to be clear, that’s a joke…

Seriously, let’s make sure that’s clear.

The next morning, Laura picked me up and we went to a breakfast spot called Gingham’s in South County.  My one complaint?  We got seated in the smoking section.  Not that it really mattered- it was just one big open restaurant.  And it’s like this in most bars/restaurants in St. Louis.  It’s rough to be hungover and enjoy your omelette and pancakes (see below!  mmmm) when you’re secondhand smoking a pack of cigarettes while you’re there.  And yes, I smoked.  And yes, I do occasionally partake in enjoying one with a good cocktail.  But even when I smoked on a regular basis (in my crazy college days), I would prefer to happily go outside to do so.  I absolutely hate having to wash my hair and clothes twice the next day to get the smell out.  Especially when I’m not the one smoking.  Thank goodness for the smoke-free cities becoming a much more regular thing. 

I was downing the liquids at this point.  But it wasn’t enough.  Dehydration was an issue for us all.  We’re not in college anymore.  This is always a rough realization for us all- that we generally tend to ignore.

Laura and I bummed it out at her house while we waited for my departure time to arrive.  She was treating an injured foot.  Hopefully it’s just a sprain.  House party injury.  Happens to the best of us.

We arrived back in the lovely ‘burbs around 8:15.  The entire drive back was a struggle.  Drivers got switched up because the fatigue was really setting in for everyone.  Dinner wasn’t Wendy’s (like I had predicted), but Taco Bell.  So… uh… a step up or down- not sure, you decide.  My chicken quesadilla was surprisingly yummy.  But I’m pretty sure my foot may have been just as tasty at that point.  So far, no “Taco Hell” incidents to report.  I think I’m in the clear.  I stayed away from the burritos.

All in all, a successful trip.  I got in family time, girl time, friend time, drinking, gambling, good eats (and bad), shopping, and other little bits of trouble here and there…  no wonder I didn’t have time for sleeping.

Now, all I have to say is, “thank goodness we got today’s holiday off.”  That was seriously CLUTCH!  Well, that and I am glad I stayed away from the Hurricanes this year.  No one needs to be drinking those…  I’m going to be a lazy bum for a little while longer, then make my way to the gym.  And Monica and I have plans to catch up about our weekends.  Happy Monday!

Exciting News!

Ok, so I’m not actually able to blog at the moment- I should be somewhere in the midst of St. Louis.  But I do have news that I got before I left!  Since I am officially registered for the Shamrock Shuffle as of last week Saturday, I found out I qualified to start out in the first wave of runners in a seeded corral! 

This was one of the reasons I wanted to do the Chilly Chili 5k last December- to improve my time to make sure this would happen.  But I still got there, anyways!  So I have even more motivation to keep going slow and steady with this running recovery stuff.  And hopefully I’ll do well where I’m at.  My parents are coming up because it’s a good reason to visit and see what I’ve been all excited about.  I can’t wait!

And, just so you know, I’ll be catching up with all the good reads about how the end of your weeks/beginning of your weekends went!  It’ll be good for my Sunday night/Monday morning when I’ll be feeling very sluggish. :)

Have a good Friday!

Oh and how jealous are you of me?  I’m spending my Valentine’s Day hungover in a car in the middle of Illinois with three very hungover boys (this is my strong assumption).  Sooooo romantic!  ;)  I hope you guys have bigger plans than me!  ha ha…

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!

So you’re trying to tell me snowfall is likely?

I think I’m officially stressed out.  This snow is not helping.  I am a busy bee the next couple of days, and taking twice as long to get places is something I’m sooooo not cool with.  I was late for work today because traffic was a disaster.  I coasted at 60, slowed down to 20, back up to 40, down to 10 mph the whole way.  It was like a mean game people were playing.  Let’s see how much we can mess with Amy until she slams into the back of another car…

I leave Thursday at 1:00 on my little roadtrip with the boys to St. Louis for Mardi Gras weekend. In case I’m not excited enough, two of my guy friends text me the countdown every day to remind me.  Thanks for always looking out for me, guys!  :)

Here are my issues with prepping for the trip:

1. Being as how I’m the one who usually drives, my attitude towards packing is, “I have a big car, I’ll pack what I want” and there’s never been too much of a problem, even with a full car of people.  And I’m not the most efficient packer- so several bags or just throwing stuff in is always fine.  Not so much this time around.  Four people are throwing stuff into one tiny car trunk.  I’m going to have to reassess my packing habits.  And think compact.  For a girl who likes to have shoes for every possibility, this is going to be a challenge.

2. I have a few more workouts to fit in.  Now that I can actually get up off my butt again, I don’t like to miss a workout.  So I’m not complaining and saying it’s a problem.  But it’s just making things tricky.  I had gotten used to coming home and just staying home.  Getting things together, working the later shift at work this week, and making all the planned goodies I’ve promised to bring are all leaving me with little time for anything.  So far, I’ve  cut into my sleep schedule.  Probably not the best idea.  But coffee hasn’t let me down yet.

3. The baked goods.  It’s always a little stressful trying something new because I don’t know how it’s going to turn out.  And my cupcakes usually are a multi-step process.  Time consuming (as stated above).  Although I’m very excited for these.  I’ve been told the Bailey’s Buttercream I’m about to attempt will change me life.  Soooo ready for it- ha ha.  As long as I don’t get intoxicated while making them.  That could hinder the process and only make it longer than necessary.  Discipline, Amy… discipline…

4. We’re going rain or shine.  Or in this case- blizzard.  The drive could be a rough one.  Whoever’s sitting next to me will hopefully not mind my nails digging into his arm if we hit ice patches.  It would probably be polite to warn him of this.

So anyhoo… last night’s workout was a good one.  I got the whole 2.25 miles in without too much of a problem.  I had to wait for the good treadmill, though.  Which sucked.  Because the guy on it is one of those who seems to wear the same thing to the gym.  Everyday.  And he apparently smokes an entire pack beforehand.  So there’s that lovely body odor/old smoke smell just radiating around him like one stinky gross invisible cloud.  I held off of jumping on the treadmill for a few minutes after he got off of it.  As to let the air clean itself a bit.  No one smells overly pretty at the gym.  But there’s this thing called hygiene… did you miss that day in 5th grade?

Where’s the reset button?

Yeah, my crabby Monday mood just got worse as the day progressed.  I had to deal with two completely unrelated customer service issues (my own personal things that have gotten all screwy) and not one of the calls helped me or made me any happier about the day.  Without getting too detailed about anything, various people just bugged me today.  Add that to my lack of sleep and you get an Amy you want to avoid.

Where the hell is the reset button on this day?!?! 

4:30 finally came.  Get in car (which is out of gas- but at this point, it’s not like that much more could actually bother me) and drive home after going out of the way to fill said car with gas.  Mental health break happened somewhere in the car ride home.  And a call from Annie really helped…  I usually don’t like long phone conversations.  I’ve adapted to the trend and am a much more avid texter.  Which can be difficult at times- sarcasm doesn’t translate nearly as well via text.  Either way- hearing my bestie’s cheery voice calmed me down back to normalcy.

And thank goodness for the gym.  Otherwise I would have resorted to a wine night- which would have led to another bad night of sleep and the vicious cycle would have continued.

I ran my allowed mile- a little under a nine minute pace.  I know I’m very well-equipped to be able to go faster.  It could be the fear of an injury repeat or it could just be I want to drag out my running as long as possible that keeps me from speeding up a little more that keeps me from speeding up.  No clue.  I’m not questioning it at this moment in time.

I also spent my time doing weights.  Then went home to do plyos in the privacy of my own home (sorry downstairs neighbors!).  Maybe next time, I’ll tackle the plyos first- after extensive arm attention, my form was lacking.  It lacks anyways (if I’m being  honest about it) but they were rough…  So I only took down 40 last night for the Core Challenge.  My focus is situps tonight after I add another quarter mile to my run.  It really is time to get outside soon.  I’m craving it.  This girl also needs a good dose of vitamin D that doesn’t come in the shape of a pill.  To get rid of some of those winter blues (which may have contributed to my crabby Monday).

After my killer plyos, I settled onto my futon for the end of the CBS lineup- which left me giggling, texting “Bazinga” to my friends during Big Bang Theory, and giggling some more.  I really do heart Sheldon.  

I also started finalizing plans for my trip to St. Louis for Mardi Gras.  I’m making the car ride down with three boys.  Things could get interesting.  I believe this will be the time that I learn how to become an efficient packer.  There’s only so much room when we’re traveling in a sedan and two of those boys are well over 6’4.  Believe it.  A pair or two of shoes may have to be left behind.  Also, I know exactly where they stop every time- it’s this Wendy’s along the interstate.  Don’t laugh because I am totally going to their website to check their menu to find something that I may consider edible.  I did not grow up on Wendy’s and never grew accustomed to it.  My stomach is not made of steel.

To sum up, Monday ended up not being so bad after I got away from the office.  I’m glad I figured out where that reset button was…

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