Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Another Year

It's hard to believe that in just a few days, 2010 will come to a close. It's been quite a year...mostly turbulent, sometimes hard to deal with, but always interesting.


Unfortunately, I've dealt with two deaths...both my grandmothers. A mere 6 months apart. My family and I just got through our first Christmas without them, in combination with hubs being away, it wasn't the best of Christmases. 


Nile's been away for 9 out of the last 10 months. And when this thing is all said and done, he'll be gone practically a year. I've surprised myself in dealing with his absence. I thought I would be depressed all the time, but having an abundance of family and incredibly supportive friends around has helped me SO much. I've truly been blessed with the best friends and family I could ever ask for. 


And to complete the circle of life, two beautiful baby girls entered my world! My baby niece Lena was born in August and she's absolutely precious. I can't wait to watch her grow up. And, one of my very best friends, Amanda, had a baby girl just a month ago. I still haven't met her in person, but I'm planning a trip for February! Babies have been on the brain for me. Likely (and hopefully) Nile and I will have a little one on the way in 2011.


My sister got engaged in September, which is still hard to imagine. She went from a girl that swore she'd never get married, to suddenly being engaged and step-mom-to-be to four young girls. June 11...she'll be a Mrs! My next few months will likely be consumed with wedding planning and Matron of Honor duties.


Speaking of weddings, almost all of my college friends made the trip down the aisle this year. From Ohio to New Jersey, we've hit them all! I even served as a groomswoman in one :) One of my best friends and college roommate got engaged last week, so I'm already booking up my wedding calendar for 2011. I'm just waiting on one more...ahem...Katie.


I haven't yet sat down to write my resolutions, but I'll surely be doing that tomorrow. I need to go back in time to the day I started this blog and have a look at what I resolved for 2010. I know I didn't complete some of them, but I definitely checked off others. Some people say it's pointless to have resolutions. But it gives me something to strive for...completed or not. 


Stay tuned!



Monday, December 20, 2010

Just Dance!

Last week, I bought the first video game for myself that I have in a long time...with no prompting from Nile. I was over at the Seiler household recently, and they had Just Dance2 for the Wii. I didn't have high hopes for it at all...buttttt 4 hours later I had obviously been proven wrong. 


Not only was it a fun party game (you can play with up to 8 people), but it was a good workout! I was all kinds of sweaty after playing it. 


So I ordered it for myself...not only for fun, but to add to my workout routine. The concept? You follow the people on the screen to learn the dance moves. The more accurate your moves, the higher this score.




The playlist isn't bad either. And luckily, you can download songs as they become available. Some of the songs that come to mind are:

  • Firework - Katie Perry
  • Holiday - Madonna 
  • The Austin Powers Theme Song (I forget the real name)
  • Toxic - Britney Spears
  • Hey Ya - Outkast

Did I look like an idiot dancing around my living room? I have no doubt about that. But I worked up a sweat. I can't wait to make Nile dance to some old school Madonna. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Raunchy Reality TV

Rare is the occasion that I am so disgusted by a reality show that I actually turn it off. Take right now for instance, I have Jersey Shore on in the background. This show tends to make me extremely angry and feel dirty just for watching it. Snooki makes me physically ill sometimes, but do I turn it off? No. 


This past weekend, things changed. Not only did I turn off one show, but TWO! Oh, the humanity! 


First up was Bridalplasty on E! This show is just plain shameful. Contestants compete to win plastic surgery in order to be picture perfect for their wedding day and the winner is revealed to the groom right before their wedding. I watched approximately 7 minutes,  before I hit my limit. After I saw the first, perfectly lovely looking bride, being wheeled into surgery...I turned it off. I can't honestly believe that women are actually competing to surgically change their bodies before the day they're supposed to commit their life to a man that's already promised to love her unconditionally. Un-freaking-believable. 


Next up was Sarah Palin's Alaska on TLC. Now, it's not the show itself that horrifies me. I actually find it quite interesting and fairly enjoyable. It was the episode on Sunday night featuring none other than Kate Gosselin and her 8 children that pushed me past my reality show breaking point. I was actually looking forward to this episode, because I usually like the drama that Kate tends to create. I was fully engrossed in the Kate/Jon divorce drama and even took her side for a hot minute. 


In this episode, they went tent camping in the Alaskan wilderness. Newflash to Kate...Alaska is cold. Really cold. And there's bears. Lots of them. I watched it long enough to hear her start whining like an infant. Usually, it doesn't bother me. But it could have been my already existing headache, or perhaps a touch of PMS, but whatever it was, it drove me to change the channel. Even Wiggles couldn't watch. And he loves his reality TV. 



Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Photos of Christmas Past

Here's a few photos from some previous Christmases:


Christmas morning 2005 - Nile proposed!




Our first real Christmas tree 2007:



Nile and I last Christmas 2009:




Christmas Fill-in-the-Blank

I got this from another blog I follow...it's a Christmas fill-in-the-blank. Since it's my fave time of year, I thought I'd answer the questions.

1. Holiday spirit is: a warm fuzzy feeling that takes over me come Thanksgiving. It's a time to spend with family and friends, shopping, eating, decorating and enjoying each other's company. 

2. The holidays are incomplete without: Christmas decorations! I thought I might feel Scrooge-like this year without hubs, but when it came down to it, I couldn't have a house without Christmas lights, a tree and decor. 


3. My favorite thing about the holidays is: this is a really hard question. I love everything about Christmas. I love the smells, gingerbread, cookies, spices, evergreen. The lights! My parents used to take us out for drives when we were kids to look at the lights around town. Shopping. I love making lists of presents to buy for family and friends and get really excited when I find a good deal. And, yes, I'm done Christmas shopping. It's Dec. 7th. 


4. A holiday tradition my family and I have is: We have a lot. Gathering together Christmas Eve is our big one. Nana always hosted a big Christmas Eve at her house with lots of food and family. Everyone showered her with gifts, and every year she would say, "Oh my glory...I hope these aren't all for me!?" Every.single.year. I know she secretly like it :) This year, we'll continue the tradition. It's going to be sad, but we're doing our best to honor her memory.



Also, my sister, mom and I have a tradition of eating cookies for breakfast on Christmas day. We've been doing that for as long as I can remember. Not the healthiest, but it's only once a year. 


I also don't shower before opening gifts. The only exception to this was the year that Nile proposed to me on Christmas Day. Him and my mom INSISTED I shower...and I was PISSED. Buttt, it was worth it in the end :) Thank goodness I wasn't all crazy-looking for the pictures my mom took as he proposed. 

5. Holiday music is: a necessity. I didn't start listening until after Thanksgiving this year, but I've been known to bust out some music beforehand. Luckily, since I moved from PA, there's always been a radio station around that broadcasts only Christmas music during the holiday season. This year was no exception. And it's programmed into my radio presets in my car. Also, and I'm just putting it out there, one of my favorite Christmas CDs of all time is New Kids on the Block: Funky, Funky Christmas.


6. This year, I'll be spending the holidays: with my parents. Hubs and I go there every year, because Christmas is a special time for my family, rich with tradition. This year is no exception...but I'll be minus hubs :(  


7. Holiday wish list: The unrealistic wish is for hubs to come home. But that won't happen, so we'll have to have Christmas in February for him. Material stuff...I definitely want a new digital camera. Mine is at the end of it's miserable life. It's been dropped more times than I care to admit. On more than one bar bathroom floor. It's captured a lot of great memories, but it's time for something a bit newer. 



Happy holidays!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

How Clean is Your House?

This weekend, my mom and sister made their way to MD to pay me a visit. 


My mom got here a little early, and spent the day on Thursday with the puppies while I went to work. I came home to a spotless house. She claims it's her duty as a mother to come to her kids' houses and clean. Her mother did it. Her mother's mother did it. And so on. 


Now, I consider myself a good housekeeper, but my mother took cleaning to another level. She cleaned things I wouldn't think about touching. Her first task was vacuuming my stairs. Do I hate this chore? Yes. Do I do it anyway? Yes. Butttttt, only every once in a while. Then she started asking me things like:


"Do you dust your stair banisters?"


Ummmmm...no.


"Clean your light switch covers?"


Does spraying Lysol on them after I'm sick count? No? Then, nope.


"Scrub the front of your cabinets?"


Yep. If you count the one time my sister did it for me when I moved in over a year ago.


"Scrub the fronts of your appliances?"


You get the idea. Perhaps I wasn't the housekeeper I thought, but let's get serious here...who has time for that? 


I'll see you later...I'm going to dust my ceiling fans.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Down a few

Somehow, some way, unknown to me, I managed to lose weight the week of Thanksgiving. I would like to say that I counted my points...but I didn't. I definitely had a piece of apple pie, cherry pie and a pumpkin whoopie pie (you know them...deliciously buttery icing sandwiched between two cake like cookies...yummmm) within 3 days. Though I did work out and count my points leading up to Thanksgiving. It was just that day and the 3 days following that were bad news bears.


Anyway, I got on the scale this morning and weighed myself and sure enough...down 2 pounds. I even picked up Peanut and weighed her with me (she's 19 pounds) to make sure the scale was accurate. 


I'll take it! Or perhaps maybe the calories haven't caught up with me yet. 


For workouts, I'm currently enjoying Exercise TV On Demand and Amy Dixon's bootcamp workouts. If you have Verizon, they're definitely worth checking out. Find them in the "Don't Gain a Pound" category when you look up Exercise TV. Then think of me while you're looking like a fool.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

It's finally Christmas time again! 


And yes, I put up decorations before Thanksgiving. Not too much before though...just a few days. But seriously, when you think about it, putting them up after Thanksgiving gives you less than a month to enjoy them. Why not give it a few extra days?


The last two years, hubs and I got a real tree. However, with him being away this year, I figured it would be way smarter for me to put up the artificial, pre-lit, kind of sad-looking tree we bought the first Christmas we lived together. Usually, we go tree shopping and he dutifully shakes out and stands up at least a dozen trees until I finally pick the one that suits me. Then, we tie it to the roof of my car. Last year, we almost lost it in the middle of the highway. True story. 


He helps me decorate when I ask him to...usually with at least a little bit of whining. The first year in our house, we spent hours putting up lights all around the outside of the house. We lit them up and were so proud...it was a very Clark Griswold moment. Cut to the next day when we came home from work and ALL the lights we worked so hard to put up had been blown off the house by the wind. We gave up. 


I put a few around the door last year, but this year I think I'll just stick with the wreath. 


Happy holidays!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

WW Update

It's time for another Weight Watchers update. 


Good news: I'm still down overall.
Bad News: I yo-yoed over the past several weeks, so I'm still down only 7 pounds. 


My hang-ups? Weekends. Seriously, they're my downfall. When hubs was home for a visit, I ate and drank  in celebration and didn't make very good choices. So I gained. Then I had to lose what I gained. So I evened out. 


More good news though. I've got back into a workout routine. I was lacking there for a few weeks. I've been trying to mix it up because I realize I've been boring myself. I'm lucky enough to have Exercise TV On Demand, so I have a lot of options for days that I don't drag my butt to the gym. When I do get to the gym, it doesn't seem like the same old cardio/weight combo. 


Tonight, I found out there's a Billy Blanks Jr. And, yes, he's a fitness-crazed freak like his dad. He does this cardio/dance type workout. And thank God I'm doing it at home, where the only audience is my pups. Because I'm pretty sure I look like a GIANT idiot dancing around my basement.
 





Billy Blanks Jr. led me on quite the adventure tonight. I did Cardioke. Yes. Cardio. Karaoke. Combined. I'm really not sure I'll ever do that one again. Even the dogs were looking at me like a crazy person when I was belting out "Let's Get It Started" and shaking my hips. 


In summary, WW is working. I just need to keep my dedication and motivation. We're entering the holidays, which means copious amounts of food and temptation...so I need to keep it in check. Godspeed.

Angel Giving Tree

My favorite time of the year is right around the corner. It's the holidayyyssss!


Though Christmas will be different this year, with the absence of hubs, Nana and Grandma, I'm going to try really hard to make the best of it. 


I've definitely already started Christmas shopping. Like...before Halloween. What can I say? I find a deal and I roll with it. 


And since I'm minus a few people to shop for this year, it's left me with a little extra cash. Other than spoiling my parents and sister, I decided to help someone in need that might not otherwise have something under the tree. 


With the Internet, it's become ridiculously easy to help give back to your community. The Salvation Army has partnered with JCPenney to launch the Angel Giving Tree.


www.jcp.com/angel 


It's seriously the easiest thing ever. You enter your zip code, the age of child you want and the gender. Then wishlists of anonymous kids in your area pop up. You can peruse and pick the angel you'd like to sponsor. JCPenney even allows you to order online and ship for free to the local Salvation Army donation headquarters. 


So, if you have a few extra bucks this season, consider giving back to a child in need!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween in the 80s/90s

As a kid, Halloween was definitely a fun holiday. In my earlier years of life, my mother would bust out her sewing machine and make our costumes. There were the years, however, that we sported the plastic bag type costume and plastic mask. You know the ones...kind of like this kid:


This kid is sporting an 80s style Chuck Norris costume. I don't remember that being popular, but to each his own. I remember Strawberry Shortcake, Heman and Shera, Barbie, Rainbow Bright...those sort of things.

I also remember the reflector stickers that they handed out at school. You were supposed to put them on your costume so some crazy driver didn't run you over on Halloween night. 

Then, mom always dumped out our candy and inspected it. Any candy that looked like it could have possibly been open was thrown out. And apples were thrown away because there was always the threat of razor blades. I was never bothered by my loss of apples.

I also remember taking such joy in going to a relative's house and thinking I tricked them into not knowing who I was. "Ohhhhhh...who could this be hiding underneath the clown makeup? I have nooooo idea!" Yeah right. They knew it was me all along.

Then I remember the neighborhood mischief. Goody two-shoes (that's me) never participated in any trickery, but my friends did. There were the classic tricks...egging your house/car, soaping your car windows, TPing your front yard, smashing pumpkins, but the Central PA trick was corning people's mailboxes or houses. You take a giant handful of dried corn and shove it in mailboxes so when the unsuspecting postal worker or resident opens it, out came an avalanche of corn. Or, you could throw handfuls at someone's house making a terrifying noise. Yep, definitely a Central PA thing. 

And this weekend, as I greet the kids in their non-plastic costumes, I'll think about the way Halloween used to be. 

No Halloween for Me

It's Halloween weekend and sadly, I will not be participating in shenanigans this year for a few reasons. First, it's just not the same without hubs around. He and I LOVE Halloween and always dress up as a couple. Without him here, it's just not as fun. Second, I have to work all weekend, so I require my 8 hours of sleep to be functional. 


I will be receiving trick-or-treaters for the first time in MD. We were at a wedding last year, so we missed the neighborhood trick-or-treat fun. I bought 4 big bags of candy, but I was told today that my supply would probably not last me the whole night. I'm rationing it. I'm not going to be that house where you can take 2-3 pieces of candy. You get one. If I see kids reaching into my plastic pumpkin bucket grabbing an obnoxious handful, I'm not going to be happy. Although, I'm pretty sure that attitude is going to get my house egged or TPed. 


I know you're probably wondering, "What delicious candy treats will you be handing out?" I have purposely not purchased any chocolate confections because I will consume them. And they're way too many WW points. 


So, if you bring your kids to my house, they can have their choice of one of the following treats:

  1. Skittles Fun Size (Original, Sour and Crazy Cores...whatever that means)
  2. Starburst Original
  3. Gummysavers...Sweet AND Sour
  4. Nerds
I was thinking of going the non-candy route and handing out fun size packets of Goldfish crackers, but then I was really putting myself in danger of being egged. 
I bought these candies because they're all only one WW point in the event I indulge. Plus, I was sure I'd have leftovers, but I don't see that in the cards. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Awkward Moments

I, like everyone else on the planet, hate awkward moments. Awkward silences and situations make me cringe. That's why I always hated firsts (first dates, first kisses, first days of school, first days of a new job). Of course, now I look back on them with fond memories, but in the moment I want to run away. Nile and I, however, never really had any awkward moments. Except the time I first farted in front of him by accident. That was awkward. But he married me, so I guess it worked out.

Anyway, I digress. Today I experienced one of those awkward moments I hate. Someone randomly singing in a random place. Like walking down the grocery store aisle and someone starts belting out Amazing Grace. Or someone waiting on you at a retail counter and they start singing some Rihana.

When that happens, what are you supposed to say?

"Wow, you're a great singer. You should audition for American Idol."

"Why are you working at the (grocery store, Old Navy, bank), when you should clearly be on Broadway."

Or, do you take my approach? Try to diffuse the situation by making yourself look busy doing something else. Becoming super interested in the tabloids while in the grocery store line or becoming incredibly engrossed with my cell phone. And I always avoid making eye contact. However, in instances where I can find an escape route, I briskly remove myself from the situation.

So awkward. Maybe it's just me?

Monday, October 18, 2010

WW Update

It's been a while since I've given a Weight Watchers update. Things have been going well! The plan is definitely easy to follow. It was hard to get used to at first. Measuring out portions was a pain, but now I've got it down. I definitely had my portion sizing allllll wrong. What I thought was one cup, definitely was NOT! 


I'm in about week 4 and I'm down 7 pounds. That's a little less than I wanted it to be however, I had a wedding (drinking/eating/drinking some more) and a trip to Texas (drinking/Mexican food), so I overindulged a bit. I think if I would have stuck to it on both occasions, I would have been down 4 more pounds. Sometimes, when I drink a glass of wine, it ends up as 2, then 3, then the entire bottle. Not so good for the waist. 


Anyway, I also haven't been too great at my workouts. Today I started fresh at the gym on the treadmill. I decided to go with the treadmill today because of this article:


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39721749/ns/health-fitness/

It weighs which is the best machine...treadmill or the elliptical. Treadmill won. 


I also watched 2012 while I was working out. That's what happened to be on at the Cardio Theater. Not such an uplifting movie. 


My current favorite Weight Watchers friendly food is the Tomato Basil Parmesan Boca Burger:


I had never tried a meatless burger before and didn't have high hopes, but these are fantastic.  If you put them on an Arnold's Sandwich Thin, it's only 2 points for the whole thing. And for someone on WW, that's music to your ears.

Overall, I'm giving WW a two thumbs up. 

The First SU Baby

This weekend, I made my way up to Pittsburgh to attend one of my very best friends' baby shower! Amanda Joy is preggers! Here's a little shot of Pam, Amanda and I with her baby belly:


She and her hubs have decided not to find out the gender of the baby, so she did get a whole lot of yellow and green. However, when this kid decides to show his/her little face, he/she can expect lots of cute little outfits from Aunt Heather. Baby shopping is way addictive. God help my bank account when I have a baby of my own. 

Anyway, the baby is due 3 days after Thanksgiving, Nov. 28th. So we've been referring to the baby as the "Turkey". 

It's hard to imagine that a mere 6 years ago, we all drank 99 Berries out of the bottle and stayed up until 2 AM. Saturday after the shower, we took a napped, went to the movies, then grabbed a bite to eat at Eat n' Park, and headed to bed. My, how we've changed. It's hard to believe that the next time I visit, there will be a baby in the mix! 

Monday, October 11, 2010

How Much Is That Puggy in the Window....FREE!

Normally, I love my dear, sweet puppies. However, this evening, I'm thinking about opening the front door and letting Wiggles out. 
Pug Thug


Not really. He's too dumb to survive on his own.


They've been staying with my parents for the past 2 weeks, while I took care of stuff here and there. Now they're back, and I'm very happy they are. However, Wiggles is getting on my last nerve. 


He's been irritating me with the following behaviors:



  1. Barking at every stink bug he can find in my house. Which right now, is more than I'd care to admit.
  2. He then proceeds to kill and then eat said stink bug. 
  3. No pillow in my house is safe. He's going from couch to couch removing all the throw pillows and attacking them like they're demons.
  4. Whenever Peanut comes near him, he snaps and goes nuts, grabbing the nearest thing in sight with his little mouth. Usually, it's my slipper. I like to call this "Wiggle Fury". 
  5. He's also coming up to where I'm sitting, and looking at me with his most pissed off pug look, and barking as loud as he can. If he was human, it would be equivalent to a teenage temper tantrum. 
  6. Since Purina One has so graciously changed the formula of their food to include moist little meaty bits, he's been eating only those pieces of kibble and spitting the crunchy ones out on my floor. 
I know what you're thinking. I did this to myself. I know. I carried him around when he was a puppy. Catered to his every puppy whim. Spoiled him rotten. I regret my actions. But at least I screwed up on a dog, right? It better prepares me to raise a human. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Halloweeeeen!

Besides Christmas, Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Hubs and I usually take this as an opportunity to dress up in crazy costumes, have some drinks and fun times with our friends. We've been dressing up in costumes as a couple for most of the years we've been together. Last year, we had a wedding to attend, so we didn't get to dress up. This year, hubs is away, but I'm fully planning on getting decked out. I'm still trying to figure out what that costume will be...

Let's have a look at some of our costumes through the years...

This is our white trash costume, circa 2004. One of my faves.
 
For some reason, I can't locate a photo of us together from this year. It's 2007...the first year in our house. I'm Princess Peach...
...and he's Mario. And Seiler is Captain Morgan. And this photo pretty much sums the two of them up.
 
And here's us in 2008. A 1920's ganster and flapper couple. 
 This year, I'm flying solo. But I still have to decide what to be!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Things I Don't Miss...

You know, I don't like a whole lot about hubs not being around, but I've come up with a list of things I do like:

1. No one is asking "What's for dinner?" I can eat cereal if I want to...no one will care. 

2. My toilet is amazingly cleaner. No pee pee stains in places they shouldn't be...ahhh...so nice.

3. Actually, my whole house stays cleaner for a longer time. Not that he's messy, but he creates a whole lot of clutter. He comes with a lot of accessories and parts.

4. I can watch the news in the morning while I get ready for work. I usually get up at least a good hour before he even thinks of opening his eyes. It's nice to have some noise surrounding me instead of the silence.

5. I can go to bed at 8:00 if I want to and no one will haggle me about it. I usually get a fair load of crap when I go to bed at 9:30. I'm not old and boring, I'm just TIRED.

6. It's way easier to stay on a diet. No one is saying "Let's get a pizza." It's so hard to refuse that!

7. My laundry has been cut in HALF! WOOHOO! I hate laundry with the burning passion of a thousand suns. Not having to wash an entire hamper of underbridges and socks makes me smile.

8. I can watch my brain-rotting reality TV without the haggle. "Why do you watch this shit? Oh my God...TURN IT OFF!" 

Yes, it sucks for the most part, but at least I'm finding the positive, right? 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Josh Ritter - Here at the Right Time

Also, another one of my new favorite songs. It also happens to be my friend Chris and his wife Ashley's wedding song. Makes me tear up. Awwwww...

We The Kings - We'll Be A Dream ft. Demi Lovato

On the way home from PA today, I belted out this song about 1,000 times. I realize that one of the many Disney-made pop singers, Demi Lovato, is featured, but the band, We the Kings, is great. Check out the video...especially the lead singer's carrot top.


Weight Watchers Update

It's officially week 2 of the Weight Watchers plan and it seems to be going pretty well! I'm down 5 pounds, my sister is down 6. Our daily email conversations involve talking about what we had for dinner the night before, what we're having for lunch, and what foods we've found out have 1 point. It's like a little game.


Last weekend was bad because I consumed a lot of alcohol, which is fine in moderation on WW, however I wouldn't say that I really used "moderation." I only gained 1 pound back, so it could have been worse.


I just got home from the grocery store and I decided to buy some Boca burgers. For those of you that don't know, these are veggie/soy meatless burgers. I tried some of the sausage at my sister's place this morning and it actually tasted like meat. I figured I might as well give it a try because each burger is 1 point! Woohoo! It better be good. 


I also came home from my sister's today with an ironing board. Ew. I didn't buy it...because that would be silly. My sister gave it to me because she had an extra. Obviously, she got the "I like to iron my underpants" gene. Really...she and my mom iron things like pillow cases. WHO HAS TIME FOR THAT? I obviously don't take after my mom because my definition of ironing is throwing everything in the dryer for 10 minutes. It works perfectly fine. Takes much less time. But, the ironing board was free...and if it's free, it's for me.


Anyway, I'm wrapping up my weekend watching brain-rotting reality TV. A Bridezillas marathon is on. Obviously, I have to go immerse myself in the drama. 



Friday, September 10, 2010

Cancer Doesn't Care

Tonight, I was channel surfing and stumbled upon the Stand Up to Cancer telethon.


Now, I'm not one for telethons. They usually bore me. But as you all know, cancer is close to my heart. The theme of the telethon is "Cancer doesn't care." It went through all the reasons that cancer doesn't care who you are. It doesn't care what you have going on with your life or what you have planned. 


Cancer didn't care that Nana had grandchildren to watch grow. Great grandchildren to hold. Weddings to attend. It didn't care that we cried on her shoulder, laughed at her quirks, or shared gossip from around town. Instead, it took her life...and didn't care who it left behind. Sometimes, I still pick up the phone and almost dial her number. If it wasn't for cancer, she'd still be here. 


Someone dies from cancer every minute. How scary is that? The cure has eluded the smartest scientists and physicians in the world. It requires research, time and most of all, money. I'm proud to say that my family and I have raised almost $1,000 since January for cancer research and awareness. We're ready to raise more. 


I miss my Nana. It makes me sad that she won't be around for my sister's wedding, or the birth of my children. It's not fair. But it's time to stand up and fight. And that's what I intend to do. 

Homemade BBQ Potatoes

I love potatoes. In any form, really. French fries are one of my weaknesses. But with the new Weight Watchers plan, French fries are obviously not on the menu. So I came up with this little recipe to satisfy my craving.


Heather's Homemade BBQ Potatoes


1 medium baking potato, thinly sliced into chips
1/2 tablespoon, olive oil
1 tablespoon, McCormick BBQ seasoning
1 teaspoon, salt


Preheat oven to 400. Toss potatoes in oil and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with seasoning and salt. Bake for 20 minutes until crisp.


Points Value: 4...for the whole serving! 

Weight Watchers

After a few months of not having any kind of weight loss success, I've decided that it's time to give Weight Watchers a try. 


I'm doing it with my mom and sister. Since her wedding will be in 6 months-ish, it's probably a good idea to start now. First thing I did was made an Excel spreadsheet with foods I eat and the Points values attached to them. Yes, I did. And yes, it's hanging on my fridge. It's totally amazing how many points are in some foods that I would qualify as healthy! 


It will most likely be easier to do without hubs around. He is a really bad influence on my eating habits. Maybe by the time he comes home, I'll be all skinny! Wouldn't that be something! It's really sad how excited I get right now when I find out something is 1 point. It's like discovering buried treasure. 


I started on Tuesday, and I'm sure y'all will be hearing all about this process. I know so many people that have done it and lost a lot of weight, so I need to keep my eye on the prize and stick to it!


I also need to revamp my workout. I need to try something new because I'm getting bored. Running did not work out for me. Besides the fact that I'd rather poke a fork in my eye than run a mile, I'm having some ankle issues that I should probably get checked out. Perhaps it's time to throw Spinning and Yoga back into the mix. I miss my spandex wearing instructor Tom anyway. We should really rekindle our Spinning love affair. 



Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Slacker

I realize that, as of late, I've been a total blog slacker. My posts have been few and far between, which I can only contribute to my oddly busy schedule. 


Let's get some life updates, shall we?


Fitness: Ugh. I've been working out, yes, but nothing seems to be happening. Looks like I need to switch things up. I'm thinking about embarking on the P90X journey. We'll see. Something's gotta give because I'm losing motivation.


Family: My baby sister got engaged this weekend. Pretty funny that someone so against marriage..."I'll never get married. I'm going to live in mom and dad's attic..." is now planning a wedding for Summer 2011! Holy crap!


Hubs: He's been everywhere but here! We're dealing though. Skype has become my friend. For some reason, his communication skills vastly improve when he's not holding a cell phone. Who knew? I thought he was hopeless.


This past weekend, I went on the annual family vacay to Ocean City, Maryland. We had some good times. This is when my sister got engaged (on the beach). Hurricane Earl, unfortunately, gave us a late start, rough waves, and ridiculous hoards of flies on the beach, but all in all, I can't complain. 


Some photo evidence:


My sister, Momma and me at the beach house before our celebration dinner.


Newly engaged couple


Momma and Dad. Yes, he dyed his hair and beard. It's a midlife crisis thing I think.


Sunset over the bay

This weekend should be a calm one, but next weekend is Seiler/Lewis wedding extravaganza!  Stay tuned. I'm sure there will be many stories/photos to be shared. 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Go Team Nana!

This weekend, my family and I participated in the inaugural Free to Breathe 5K Run/Walk in Harrisburg in honor of Nana. All the proceeds from the walk and the funds we raised go to awareness, education and prevention of lung cancer in Pennsylvania. 


It was a great way for my family to get together and honor Nana. We stuck out pretty well...we all had bright yellow Team Nana t shirts on...and Natalie and I sported sweet bandannas. 


The walk was around the riverfront on City Island in Harrisburg. It brought out some serious runners, like the guy who finished the race in 17 minutes. He was about to cross the finish line before we were finished with mile 1! 


As you recall, I was supposed to run in this thing. However, along my running journey, I discovered one thing. I hate running. I'm perfectly fine sticking with my elliptical, bike and Jillian Michaels routine, thank you very much. 


We all walked, except for my Uncle Kevin and cousin Ryan, who happened to take 2nd place in his age division! Here are some photos of Team Nana:


Team Nana (Left to Right, starting in the back):
Nat's boyfriend, Anthony, Natalie, Aunt Wendy, Aunt Chris, Uncle Kevin, Cousin Kaylin, Cousin Ryan, Yours Truly (and Team Captain), Cousin Keenan


Sisters with braids and bandannas. We've got lots of team spirit. 


Memorial board with Nana's name :)


Heading over the Walnut Street Bridge


My favorite shirt: Pop Pop Loves Mimi...melts my heart


Big winner! Ryan with his medal and new backpack. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Year of the Wedding

I've deemed this year, the Year of the Wedding. It seems like all my friends have decided to tie the knot in 2010. 


This past weekend, the SU crew made our way to North Jersey to watch another one of our own take the walk down the aisle. 


It may have been one of the best weddings I've ever been to...and a lot of it had to do with the amazing food. I walked in, saw the sushi bar, and questioned whether I'd made my way to Heaven. 


But then, I saw more. Shrimp, pasta, calamari, roasted meats, cheeses, a GREY GOOSE MARTINI BAR. And that, my friends, was only the cocktail hour. Yes, there was a dinner to be served after we consumed this massive amount of appetizers. 


Richard sampling portions of the feast.


Monogrammed ice sculpture surrounded by fine meats and cheeses.


Hubs and I before stuffing our faces.

We consumed many martinis during cocktail hour, then took several lovely photos of ourselves.


Awkward prom photo with Julie and Funk...it just seemed right.

Super awkward prom photo with me and Funk. 

Then, we went in to eat more...because we clearly didn't get enough food at the first feast.


Grumpy Chris...probably before throwing tantrum #26 of the day.


Rich's weapon of choice? Butter knife.

Anywayyyyy, we ate, drank and were certainly merry dancing to the band and DJ. Everyone was out on the dance floor, sweating out all the alcohol and food. 

Then, we woke up the next day, ready to head home and crisis struck. Rich (seen above) had Julie's car keys. Fine, we'll just walk to his room and grab them. WRONG-O! Rich is in the middle of Pennsyltucky, 4 hours from NJ, when we call him at 10:00 AM. With the keys. Joy.

Triple A had no locksmith on call...everyone else had a $500 charge. So, what did we do? Piled into Funk's SUV for a super fun family road trip back to MD. 

After about 5.5 hours navigating the Jersey Turnpike and sitting in God awful traffic in Delaware (or Hellaware as Chris calls it), we made it home. 

Too bad Chris and Julie had to turn around the next day and go back to pick up the car. I was way happier to be at work than drive back up 95. 

All in all? Success! We had a joyous time celebrating Ashley and Wat's nuptials. 

Next wedding? The Seiler Wedding Extravaganza!!!! 



Saturday, July 31, 2010

Central PA Nostalgia

Sometimes, I have these crazy moments of insanity and nostalgia where I miss my life growing up in Central PA.

When I first moved out of the area, I couldn't get out of there fast enough. What would it be like to have a mall...or 3 malls, 10 minutes away?? How about a wide variety of restaurant selections? Entertainment?

Don't get me wrong, I love the convenience of living somewhere more urban than where I grew up. However, when I go home to visit my parents, the sheer tranquility of waking up with no noise, a giant plot of land, and...nature...makes me miss home.

Now, obviously, we're much better off in Maryland than the concrete jungle they call New Jersey. But there are many things I miss about my hometown in PA:

1. Space: It's nice to be able to walk out your back door and not be forced to talk to your neighbors. Let's face it, sometimes I just want to walk outside in my underpants and not worry about who's going to see me.

2. Hartley's Potato Chips: The only people that will ever understand this obsession are those that grew up on these treats in Mifflin County. I have never found a chip that will compare. When I give them to friends and they aren't completely floored by their deliciousness, I get personally upset and offended.

3. No traffic: Minus the drive through Harrisburg, my humble hometown in PA boasts NO traffic. NONE. I thought there was traffic when I lived there...then I moved around a city. You don't know traffic until you've been parked in the middle of a highway for hours, or sat at a green light...through several light changes.

4. Family: I think this is pretty obvious. I wish I could pop over for dinner, or host a dinner at my house. Or even call my sister to run into JCPenney's with me.

5. OIP (Original Italian Pizza): This is one of the only restaurants in my hometown. Little did I know, when I gathered there with my friends in high school, that I'd be longing for their homemade bread dipped in ranch dressing some day in my future. Or a sub. Or pizza. Or a grilled chicken salad.

There are plenty of other things I miss. Will I ever move back? Probably not. As much as I miss it, I would probably move back for a month and complain about the same stuff I did before. I'd much rather cherish my visits.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Garden Update

I haven't posted anything about my deck garden recently. Some of you have asked me how it's going.

My herbs are doing great! They pretty much grew out of control and I've used them in a lot of cooking...and gave some to everyone who has stopped by my house.

As for the veggies...that's another story. All the plants are alive and well. They actually are growing fantastically and are sporting plenty of blossoms and veggies.

So what's the problem?

The problem is the overgrown tree rat that calls the tree in my backyard home.

My tomatoes, peppers and jalapenos were growing splendidly. Several were ready to be harvesting. I came home one day from work and went out on the deck to look proudly upon my garden...and I was horrified.

The jalapenos ready to be harvested (about 7 of them) were gone. GONE! I saw little claw marks in the soil. Squirrel sized claw marks. Then, I looked to my right and there was a jalapeno laying on the deck with squirrel sized teeth marks in it.

I can only imagine that the little rascal ate all the jalapenos and had the worst case of heartburn a squirrel could possibly imagine. I was so raving mad. I worked so hard to get those little peppers to grow! I contemplated rat poison, beebee guns, traps...but Nile talked me down.

Oh well, at least I still had my peppers.

Wrong-o! The next day, the bell peppers were gone. I'm convinced it was the same offending squirrel. Same with my tomatoes. I swear I saw the furry culprit one day, hanging out on our deck like he owned the place. We had a 5 minute stare-off, until I busted through the door scaring him away. He was fat too...with a pudgy little belly. Probably because he eats so well.

Looks like my plants will be making their way to my parent's house this weekend.

Food Reviews

I've happened upon some delightful new food finds recently in my local supermarket. Let's have a look at what it is currently in my kitchen.

Barber Foods Fit and Friendly Broccoli Cheese Stuffed Chicken: I happened upon these in the frozen foods aisle one day. I had their other varieties many years ago, but they are usually high in fat, sodium and calories. This one has some pretty impressvie stats and comes in at only 190 calories per portion. They're indiviually portioned, so they are great for single diners, and they take only 30 minutes to bake fully frozen. They are a little smaller then I expected, but then again, it's probably the right portion size for meat.

Dole Fruit Crisp Bowls: These are a great addition to my cubicle lunch. They have several flavors, but my favorites are the Apple Cinnamon and Apple Pear. The sauced fruit is topped with an oat and brown sugar crumb topping that you mix together to make a delicious dessert. You can find these puppies with the applesauce.

Hidden Valley Harvest Dill Dip Mix: I actually happened upon this by accident. I really wanted the ranch dip mix, but Giant was all out, so I picked this up instead. I mixed it with low-fat sour cream and kept it in the fridge for veggies. Definitely a winner...it just might replace the ranch. Look for it in the salad dressing aisle.

Those are my new favorites! Bon appetit!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fitness Update

It's been a little while since I've posted a fitness update, so here goes.

Today, I received Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred in the mail. I found Workout 1 On Demand a few weeks ago and did it a few times, so I decided to order the full package online.


I thought that I could be able to move to Level 2 (there are 3 levels)...so I attempted it today. I got through...barely! I'm pretty sure walking and stairs will be an issue tomorrow. I think I'll go back to Level 1 for a little while. 

The workouts are quick...20 minutes with a light warm up and cool down. Her method is 3 minutes strenth training, 2 minutes cardio and 1 minute ab work. You do 3 of these 6 minute circuits and during that time, have your butt completely handed to you.

Anyway, I give it 2 thumbs up. I've heard good things about it, so I'll check back on progress.

As far as my 5K training is concerned, it's going as well as can be expected. I started running outside, so I'm set back a few weeks because it's way different from the treadmill. Since Baltimore is currently experiencing a record-breaking heatwave, running outside in the evening has been impossible. It was 106 when I got in the car to come home from work yesterday...enough said.

I have it in my plans to get up in the morning and run to avoid some of the heat. That was my plan today...and yesterday. Tomorrow...it's still my plan. We'll see how it goes. I like my sleep a whole lot.

As far as going to the actual gym...I haven't been there in a while, since most of my workouts haven't needed gym equipment. I'm keeping the membership though because it's my idea to run in the morning and strength train at night.

Anyway, I'm headed to take a long, hot shower. And take several Advil.