Spring Routine

I know a lot of people have already said “Oh happy day, spring is here!” and things of the like. Most said it yesterday. I’m saying it today. Because way back when, I was told the 21st is the first FULL day of Spring. I remembered this because it is also the birthday of a friend that I have known longer than any other (happy birthday, Nathan!) and it just stuck. Don’t tell me otherwise. It’ll be in one ear and out the other.

However, due to confusing weather and efforts to keep myself out of the winter blues, some of my Spring Routine has started early.

What’s my Spring Routine?

So glad you asked. The agenda includes:

1. Walking being added to my normal exercise routine. Whether it be on the trails or around the neighborhood. An extra mile or two a few times a week is rejuvenating. Make the comment “isn’t today just glorious?!?” to your roommate/friend/strangers no less than 5 times during your stroll. It doesn’t count if you don’t.

2. The hair becomes lower maintenance. Whether it should or not. Blow dryers and curling irons are “like oh my gawd totally super hot”. My coworkers have learned to expect to see me with either a natural wave that happened with a little towel drying and gel or blow dried (but not curled) straight. Time, energy, and money are conserved while not sweating my makeup off. BAM.

3. My toes get prettier. Relatively speaking.

It’s no secret I hate feet. Especially mine. They are runner’s feet and they are fugly. But because flip-flops are just so much more comfy (and cute), out comes the pumice stone and bright toe nail polish. We’ll at least make an attempt at sexifying the built-up calluses.

4. I drink better beer. Mostly on patios.

The best part of living in a so-called walking neighborhood is the access to so many bars within a one-mile range that have patios for when you’re looking to have a drink on a warm and lazy evening.

And no bud or miller light allowed. Treat yo’self.

5. The sunglasses stash goes up. Mine are super cheap because I lose at least 2 pair within the spring/summer seasons. By losing one pair over St. Patty’s weekend, I’m already ahead of the curve.

Pretty sure I made fun of my mom for half of my childhood for glasses that were of the same design. Turns out she was just ahead of her time. Touche, mom.

H&M $9 shades? Hellloooooo…

6. Ice cream once again becomes a part of my life.

Like duh.

(This is where the extra few miles of walking every week helps.)

7. I start taking a peek at two schedules. One being the upcoming races in Chicagoland. The other being the Cubs and Sox schedules to see what kind of fun will be involved in my weekends.

8. Eating becomes “cooler and lighter”.

My couple of days of the week of salad for lunch turns into an all-week thing:

Hmm... what's all in this? Um... shredded carrots, peas, corn, sweet potato, cauliflower and brussels sprouts. Also, I've worked my way through the first half of The Girl Who Played With Fire (second book in the series). I'm officially obsessed.

Asparagus and pepperjack cheese is an interesting new combo I've started to like. And yes, asparagus will be in every other meal I have until the season is over and the prices go back up. Sigh.

In other words, the garden is my friend.

9. The start of apartment hunting.

Oh wait… that last one isn’t necessary.

My roommate and I just signed an extension to our lease to stay put for another year! As a girl who’s house-hopped almost every year since the beginning of college (ahem 8 years ago…), this is a welcome change to the routine. Looking for a new apartment is stressful and moving is expensive. So I’m happy to not deal with THAT.

Plus, now we can take all the money we saved in moving expenses and use it towards more productive things.

Like good beer and ice cream.

But not both of those things together. Obviously.

Not what I expected.

I made my way over to the forest preserve for a run yesterday afternoon.  Being the gorgeous day that it was, it was crazy crowded.  But I was determined to run- dodging the walkers, children, bikers, rollerbladers, dogs, scooters… am I missing anybody?  Please holler if I am.

I ran a little under 2.5 miles at about an 8:35 pace.  This was the most I’ve ran since the last 5k I did.  So I guess it’s not bad.  My leg feels good.  But I was a little disappointed with the pace considering I had done 8:09 miles for the race.  I understand it’s a little different atmosphere and running by myself doesn’t quite give me that competitive attitude.  But still.  I just always feel like I’m having to start completely over!  I just hope that I’m not going to have any more leg problems from here on out.  I have a half to train for!

I also stretched it out with some Fitness Fusion yoga after the run.  But that was pretty uneventful.

Dinner, however, was not.  I broke out the chicken for this one.  Most of my days have been meatless as of late (with exception to the tuna), so I figured it might be time to get a different source of protein in my life.  Since I don’t have a grill, much to my dismay, I have to improvise.  Baked BBQ chicken sandwich anyone?I also threw in some aged white cheddar for good measure.  Other than feta, white cheddar is one of my favorites.  I like cheese that has a really strong flavor- otherwise, what’s the point?  The one exception is blue cheese.  Even though I’ve tried many times to like it, we just don’t get along.  Anyone else have a good favorite?  Or one you despise?

Mon and I decided it was high time we had a Sunday Funday.  We had been counteracting the suckiness of Tuesdays as of late, but we really wanted an excuse to see Kick-Ass sooner than later.  Usually I don’t participate in funding Nicholas Cage’s horrid acting quests, but the fact McLovin’ was in it balanced out my decision.

Um… wow.  The movie… uh… Do you know how Pineapple Express looked like it was going to be just a funny, light-hearted comedy about two dumb but lovable stoners then actually it was bloody and just weird?  That’s how Kick-Ass was.  I expected it to be about this nerdy kid who tries to fight crime.  With laughs.  And silliness.  Um.  Nope.  I’m hoping that’s what all the parents were thinking too when they brought their little boys with them to see the movie.  I’m actually judging a little that they even did that because the movie was rated “R” and called “Kick-Ass”.  Curse words don’t really bother me too much- but when I’m aware of younger ears in the theater, I get a little upset.  Same with when people’s heads are getting shot through.  I can’t even watch it- so why is an 11-year-old able to?  I dunno.  The movie itself was ok.  And there are funny parts.  But overall I didn’t really like it- not my thing.  And Nicholas Cage is still just creepy.  But that’s just my opinion.  Take it or leave it.

Today is the first day Jaime is back from her destination wedding.  I hope that means low stress at the office.  But it’s Monday, so I guess that would be wishful thinking.  We shall see…

Microfiber Dreams

Even though I was up right after the sun was yesterday, I had an awesome energy level.  Probably all the carbs. Most of my morning was spent with Jillian.  She took me through yoga meltdown and Level 1 of The Shred.  I pulled it old school with the Level 1- but I like doing that every once in awhile.  Mixes it up.  Keeps the muscles guessing.  And it always feels so good to feel the progress I’m making.  It’s so much easier now than when I first started!  Awesome! My arms are somewhat sore today- probably the chaturanga pushups from yoga. Killer.  But I’ll do it again.  Hurts soooo good.

After all that, I entered the time frame of my furniture delivery.  It went wonderfully.  The delivery guys were soooo much nicer.  And the whole thing took maybe 20 minutes.  No problems with the stairwell. They put it together and voila!You like?  :)  I sure do.  It’s huge.  And comfy.  And I’ve already gotten quite a bit of quality time on it.

Mon came over to check it out and also gave it her thumbs up!  It turned out to be a gorgeous day, so she also brought this:I know it’s been out a while, but neither one of us had ever tried it.  Loved it!  So we caught up a little while hanging out on the balcony and enjoyed the sun…What is going on with my neck in this picture?  I’m  not sure… and would have retouched it.  But then I thought about it and really didn’t care.  :)Clearly Mon was looking way cuter than I.  I was bumming it out… In those jeans I was talking about yesterday (don’t worry, I was wearing underwear and they are in the laundry basket now).

Later in the day, I hit up the elliptical, too (can you believe how much physical activity I got yesterday?  That’s a rare thing these days.).  I’m hoping to hit the trail near my place today… it’s been nice so far this weekend and I want to get another outside run in!  Slow and easy, of course.

This morning involved another go at steel cut oats.  I’m getting better, but I think I’m ruining the bottom of my little pot by doing so (since I use milk when making them).  Anyone have any more great tips for using steel cut?  I could use them….Now this doesn’t mean they weren’t some morning deliciousness.  I also added coconut, an unusually large scoop of pb, and a little honey for kicks.  Thumbs up!

This morning unfortunately came just as early as yesterday’s did.  This time I blame those damn geese that walk around like they own the place.  Not that it really was keeping me from sleeping much more.  I was even staring at the ceiling at 3:30 wondering why I couldn’t fall back asleep.  Ironically, I got a text at about the same time.  Weekends are the only time I keep my phone in my room- during the week it’s the whole “the room should be free of all distractions” thing.  Anyhoo, it was one of my guy friends who just makes me smile because his actions are just amusing.

Him: WAKE UP!

Me: What? Enjoying a late night out, are we?

Him: Maybe.  Sorry for bothering you, you can go back to bed.

Um… ok.  So uh… thanks for the “WAKE UP!” then.  What was the point? Clearly you have my attention at this point.

Me: It’s fine, I was actually awake because I can’t sleep tonight it seems.

(a few more texts happen).  Apparently he was back from the bars and thought of me?  Who knows…

Him: Sorry for waking you up at this obnoxious hour.

If you insist on apologizing repeatedly, why did you text me at 3:30 in the morning in the first place?  He didn’t tell me anything of urgency. I have no idea why this conversation even happened.  Really- it revolved around him thinking he woke me  up.  Ah the era that we live in- one of pointless texts and late night conversations…

I got another yummylicious blog award from Ayla at High on Healthy!  Thanks lady!  Since I’ve done a list of random things about me here, I’ll just give you two more.  Since you asked for it.  ;)

1. I broke my toe once.  I was at my parents house in my bedroom just hanging out (watching tv or something).  I overestimated how much “bed” was left when I was rolling over.  Down I went and I completely jammed my foot into the heat register, and my pinky toe suffered the worst of it.  I was 20 years old.  The awkward embarrassment didn’t happen until the next day when my brother had to ask, “Amy, did you fall off your bed last night?”  Uh…yes.  Yes I did.

2. One of the craziest things I’ve ever done at a wedding is jump into the pool afterwards.  Don’t worry, this was after we left the reception and were back at the hotel.  My friend Krista and I got the idea in our heads and decided to go for it.  The gate was locked, so a couple of the guys were nice enough to give us a boost over it.  And in we went! The wedding was in a small town and we were at the only hotel- so if we had gotten caught and kicked out, I’m not sure what we would have done.  Of course we didn’t worry about that at the time, though.  Nor did we realize how heavy a bridesmaid dress can be after getting soaked.  Hold on tight to the top of it if you try this at home!

Enjoy your Sunday, kids!  I’m outtie…

One last sugar rush!

A few of us girls at work have made multiple plans for when the days start actually feeling like spring. Jaime and I have a nice relaxing afternoon planned after she started talking about some of the cafes and stores we could go to some afternoon. She told me about this really cute little candy shop called Ethel’s, where they make the chocolate in-house. This sparked my interest- I am a big fan of chocolate.  I have a sweet tooth that never stops.  But today we found out that Mars Inc. (who owns the various locations) is closing all of the Ethel’s Chicago spots by the end of this month. Now, that leaves us with two options. Wait until later and make a trip out to Vegas to visit an Ethel’s (tempting, but slightly inconvenient) or fit a trip in for sweets in the city by the end of April. It took us all of five minutes to work a trip into our schedules.  We think we’re going to manage to squeeze it in sometime before a game in the Ethel'sCards/Cubs series in a couple of weeks.  Maybe not an ideal time or weather conditions, but we work with what we’ve got.  I don’t want to miss out on this place! It looks yummy…

Stupid economy…

Ethel\’s Chocolate Lounge

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