Friday, December 30, 2011

Holiday Detox Soup

For the most part, hubs and I tried to stay away from too many treats this holiday season. However, over the few days we were visiting his parents and mine, we got a little overindulgent. 


Come Wednesday, we were ready for a bit of a detox. We needed some vegetation, not in the form of a creamy casserole. 


My mind immediately went to vegetable soup. Filling and full of veggies and fiber. This time, I decided to use barley. I've had soups with barley before, but had never made it myself. It offers the bite and heartiness of pasta, but without the refined carbs and too many calories.


So, my Vegetable Barley  (aka, Holiday Detox Soup) was born. Just a note, there's literally no method to my madness (like why I used chicken and veggie stock...or soy sauce.) Go with it. Embrace it. And trust me, you'll like this soup.


Vegetable Barley (Holiday Detox Soup)


1 container chicken stock (Those big cardboard containers, not the cans. I'd look up the ounces, but I'm too lazy to go upstairs to the kitchen.)
1 container vegetable stock
1 onion, diced
3 celery ribs, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 zucchini, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups green cabbage, shredded
1 can of mushrooms
1 can petite diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3/4 cup barley 
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt
Pepper


Heat oil in a large stock pot. Add onion, celery and carrot. Cook until softened (about 7 minutes or so.) Add zucchini, cabbage and garlic, cook until softened (about 5 minutes.) Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer for an hour. 


It cures what ails ya. Trust me, I got my degree from WebMD. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Hangover

I can't believe the holidays are over and we're headed into 2012. I said to hubs today that it feels like I was just putting up all the holiday decorations, and now I'm about to tear them all down. 


Santa was VERY generous this year. Perhaps a little too generous. Wait until my dad sees my mother's credit card bill ;) She definitely spoiled my sister, myself and both of our husbands. 


My favorite gifts this year were my Kindle Fire from hubs. I've pretty much been holding onto this thing nonstop since he gave it to me. I just finished my first book on it...The Hunger Games. If you haven't read this book yet, it's a must! Definitely one of the most captivating books I've read in a long time. 


Momma got us a Keurig, which we've been wanting for quite some time. There's something  to be said about brewing your coffee one cup at a time. 


She also got us a sherpa throw that it so warm and soft, I've been practically carrying it around the house like Linus's blanket since we brought it home. However, right now, Peanut has claimed it's cuddliness and is curled up in a tight ball taking a nap.


I also got some great jewelry from Lia Sophia. My momma certainly knows my taste! And we both got lots of clothes and odds and ends.


And my dad? He outdid himself this year and got my mom, sister and I all matching necklaces made from diamonds from my grandmother's ring. Definitely a special gift. 


The puppies? They got some bones. Plenty of snuggles and a Christmas bath. I'm sure they were grateful for everything but the latter. But at least they smell nice! 


Now that we're back in town, we're pulling the house back together. I've reorganized my kitchen about 5 times to fit the Keurig in just the right place. And my laundry pile? Rivals a small mountain. But hey, at least I'm off until Tuesday. I can tackle all the choirs...or waste time on my Kindle :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Fitness Friday

Merry Almost Christmas! I can't believe Christmas is here...it really snuck up on me this year. 


We're gearing up to go to my parent's house for the weekend. And there's going to be plenty of food to be had. I've been trying hard to keep myself in check this season, and so far, I've done pretty well. I haven't completely denied myself holiday treats, but I've certainly limited them. If I had eaten all the cake, cookies and treats in my office right now, I'd weigh at least 50 pounds more. 


Plus, I've been keeping up with my work outs. The treadmill has been awesome. I'm so glad we decided to get one. Except we're going to have to get some kind of heavy duty air freshener because our basement smells like a dirty sweat sock after hubs or I are done. 


I've been trying to increase my running bit by bit. Hubs challenged me to start with 10 minutes straight running, then increase a minute every other run. Today, I'm up to 12 minutes. I'm working towards 30. 


I also got some great workouts from my friend Jen who used to be a personal trainer. They look intimidating, to say the least, but she says they'll torch calories. So I plan to add those into the mix starting in January.


I haven't done too well getting up in the morning this week. Sleep seems to win out. But I did manage a few days. It makes it easier to get 60 minutes in when I can split it into 2, 30 minute sessions. 


This week:


Sunday: Nothing
Monday: 60 minute run/walk
Tuesday: 60 minute run/walk
Wednesday: 45 minute run/walk
Thursday: 45 minute run/walk
Friday: Nothing
Saturday: I might get up and use my parent's elliptical. It's all up in the air. 


Have a very, very Merry Christmas! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I'm Not Bad Driver, I Just Hit Stuff

Monday morning started out like any other. I was thrown into the chaos of the Beltway at 7AM that was a mess of stop and go traffic. I was cruising along just fine when the lady in front of me slammed on her brakes, causing me to slam on mine. But guess what? I didn't get stopped quite in time causing me to catch her right in the bumper. 


I got out of my car dreading what I was about to see. Lucky for me, and the lady in front of me, damage was minimal. A tiny scratch on my front bumper, that's really only noticeable to me. And her car? I took some of the paint off around the license plate. No dents. No serious damage. She took my info, but I haven't heard from my insurance company yet. I'm hoping she decided it wasn't worth it to file a claim.


But my biggest fear was telling hubs. Because I've had a track record with hitting things. Mostly inanimate objects.


1. Age 16, the same week I got my license, I backed into a fellow team mate's car leaving field hockey practice. My dad was none too pleased with my performance. 
2. Age 18, I backed into a Lincoln Town Car in the parking lot of the Bon Ton. Luckily not enough to damage either car. 
3. Age 24, I hit a the ticket booth at a parking garage. With the ticket lady still in it. Yep, she was a little shocked. No one was injured. My car had a scratch on the bumper, no dents. The only thing bruised was my ego.
4. Age 25, I pulled out in front of a Jaguar on the way to my sister's college graduation. To my defense, he was booking it down the road and I didn't realize how fast he was coming. That was my biggest accident. My front bumper came right off in the middle of the road. Again, no one was hurt, thank goodness. 
5. Age 27, I took a turn too wide in the Giant parking lot and sideswiped a huge truck. Injuring the bumper on my 2 month old car, but again, no damage to the other car.


Now this one. You can imagine why I'd be a little reluctant to tell hubs. I've got a bit of a track record. 


I crafted an email to him describing the incident, confirming the fact that it was no big deal. One of those things you can't prevent. I sent it and hoped for the best. He emailed me back:


Hubs: Nice work, Ricky Bobby.
Me: That implies that I was speeding, which I was not.
Hubs: Heather Accidents: 3 (<---Clearly he wasn't counting correctly)
          Me Accidents: 0
Me: This was not an accident, it was an "incident."
Hubs: Semantics.
Me: The Beltway is a dangerous place.
Hubs: With drivers like you, it sure is.


Touche. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fitness Friday

Phew! Here we are. Friday again. My favorite day of the week!


You all know that I've been a tad down on myself this week. Hence the sad face posts. However, once again, my incredible family and friends have come to my rescue to help me get my shit into perspective. A very special thank you to my dear friend Katie, who not only showed me immense support, but also brought just the right amount of sarcasm. She never disappoints. And to my momma and sister? You're amazing. I love you both. Thanks for keeping me sane.


This week's fitness has, once again, focused mostly on cardio. The treadmill and are have become real good friends. I've decided, after much deliberation, that I'll be focusing mainly on cardio from now on. My goal is to shed fat, not gain immense amounts of muscle. Which is exactly what I've been doing. And that's great, and eventually that's what I'll want, but first I need to get rid of the flubber. 


Also, although I've not lost weight persay, I've lost some inches. Which is fabulous. Some on my thighs and about 3/4 inch on my waist (which is what I really need to lose!) So that's good motivation.


Here's my week:


Sunday: Nada. Recovering from the party.
Monday: Treadmill - 40 minutes run/walk
Tuesday: Kickboxing and Treadmill 30 minutes run/walk
Wednesday: Treadmill - 40 minute run/walk (13 minutes straight run)
Thursday: Nothing.
Friday: AM Treadmill - 20 minutes run/walk (10 minutes straight run), PM Treadmill planned -  30 minutes incline walk
Saturday: Treadmill - 40 minute run/walk




Now? I'm going to enjoy my weekend before the holidays. Perhaps go to a comedy club with hubs and friends and have a good belly laugh. Happy weekend to you all!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Currently...

Today, I'm linking up with Jen over at Perfectly Imperfect for:



currently . . . 


current book(s): Deep Down True and The Non-Marathon Runner's Guide to Running a Marathon for Women (PURELY for running inspiration, not because I'm going to try and run a marathon. Plus, the author is hysterical!) 
current playlist: All Christmas music, all the time. I'm still trying to figure out if I like Michael Buble's version of All I Want for Christmas. You really shouldn't mess with Mariah, you know?
current drink: Alcoholic? Champagne. There's just something about the bubbles. Makes me giddy. Non? Coffee with Peppermint Mocha creamer
current food: I'm currently back on my Chiobani kick...Black Cherry and Mango.
current favorite show: The League...it's absolutely hysterical. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it! And Army Wives. I just started Season 1 on Netflix while working out on the treadmill. Love.
current needs: Serenity. A few days off. A nap. Oh, and new cushions for my dining chairs since they've seen better days.
current triumph(s): Running for 13 minutes straight and not dying.
current bane(s) of my existence: By the same token, running. I want to love it, I really do. But I hate it.
current celebrity crush: Ryan Reynolds. Always.
current #1 blessing: My family. They're always there to listen. I'm very blessed to have a wonderful mom and sister that listen to my crazy ramblings and bring me back to reality.
current indulgence: Dove Dark Chocolate Promises
current outfit: Black pants (standard), magenta long sleeve top with ruffles from the Loft, black boots.
current excitement: Christmas! It's my favorite time of year, you know.
current mood: Pretty good, actually.
current favorite holiday decoration: My mantle and all that it entails. Garland, berries, lights, snowmen.

current #1 item on your wishlist: Kindle Fire
current new year's resolution: Oh...where to begin. I really haven't put too much though into it yet. Details later.



Go check out Jen's blog and see what she's doing currently! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Life Plan

For the most part, I'm a pretty Type A personality. I like to have control in all aspects of my life and it gives me some serious anxiety when I don't. 


I, like I'm sure many of you, had a life plan for myself. And for a long time, I was right on track. Married by my mid-20's, had a job in my field, owned a house, owned a dog (plus 1), etc. 


However, I've been recently struggling with said life plan. Because by now? I wanted to be in a managerial position at my job, have a baby and lose the weight I set out to lose so long ago. And guess what? None of the above have been accomplished. 


My weight? Ugh. It's a struggle. I'm not sitting on the couch eating cake. If I was, then I would deserve every ounce of chub I have. Instead, I engage in an active lifestyle (workout 5 times a week), count calories and overall try to make healthy decisions. But my weight? Doesn't reflect that. Hubs is telling me to work harder. I should be working out longer, harder, faster. And perhaps he's right. Clearly whatever I'm doing now isn't helping me lose the pounds. 


My career? I'm just not where I want to be. I should be a manager. I should be making more money. I'm doing none of the above, and I only have myself to blame. 


A baby? Well, that's also directly related to my weight. I wanted to lose weight before putting a baby inside my belly. Because I didn't want to have to lose the baby weight on top of the extra weight I already had to lose. Plus, I know my time will be constricted once I have said child. Hubs and I haven't been "preventing" pregnancy, but we also haven't been "trying" too hard either. I guess when the time comes, it will come.


It's all been weighing pretty heavily on me lately. And in turn, making me anxious and depressed. I guess I just need to accept that everything doesn't always happen as you've planned. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The No Show-ers

This weekend we had ourselves a holiday gathering. This brings me to a rant, that I've definitely had before on this blog. The RSVP.


For this gathering, people actually RSVPed. And early. We had a head count of 18 people. Checked in with everyone a few days before, to confirm, then went out to shop for food and beverages. And if you've ever thrown a party, you know it's not cheap. From beer, wine, food, etc, it adds up pretty quickly and before you know it, you're spending triple digits. And taking time to make delicious cake pops complete with festive decor, like so:






Saturday comes. 8:30PM rolls around, and approximately 4 people (the old faithfuls :)) are still the only ones nomming on my food and drinking le Miller Lite (and some delightful mulled, spiked cider.) We had a drop in of 2 others, but with a baby, we knew they couldn't stay long.


We got a text from one other couple saying they couldn't make it. And the rest? Just didn't show. That Saturday I spent busting my ass in the kitchen, cleaning my house, making room for nearly 20 people? Kind of a waste of time. Although, our friends that did come had a lovely time and certainly enjoyed my food and drink, I was disappointed and mad that everyone else decided at the last minute not to show. We're all adults here, you know? The days of college parties with a case of Natty Light and a few bags of chips are out the door. We're a little classier in our shindigs.


Hubs was pissed. I was steamy. Sunday, I submitted myself to the couch for a day of Food Network, puppy snuggles and iPhone games. After all, I busted my ass on Saturday. 


The lesson? If you're ever thinking about not showing up to a party that you RSVPed "Yes, Plus 1" to...think about me. 



Friday, December 9, 2011

Fitness Friday

Happy Friday!


This week has been different for me, fitness wise. I decided to focus mainly on the treadmill, getting my cardio in and concentrating on running. Because, guess what? I still have barely lost any weight. After being on the Lose It app tracking my calories for a few weeks, I've only lost 3 pounds. And that goes back and forth. 


Let's take yesterday for instance. I stepped on the scale in the morning, right after my workout. I lost 3 pounds since the last time I stepped on...about a week and a half ago. 


But then, today, I decided I wanted to see that number again, so I stepped back on. Guess what? It says I gained 2.5 pounds since yesterday. Which simply cannot be the case, because not only did I work out for over an hour yesterday, I stayed below my calorie count. And I refused birthday cake...AGAIN...for the second time this week! 


So, if I gain weight refusing the birthday cake, can I lose weight eating the birthday cake? That is, indeed, the question. Because we have birthday cake at the office AGAIN today. For the third time this week. 


Anyway, my week panned out like this:


Sunday: Nothing
Monday: 40 minute run/walk
Tuesday: 45 minute run/walk
Wednesday: Nothing (it was a bad, bad day)
Thursday: Shred Level 2, 45 minute run/walk, and some serious furniture lifting/moving
Friday: 40 minute run/walk
Saturday: This is going to be up in the air. I have a party to get ready for at our house, so I'll either have time to get a run in or be running around like a chicken with my head cut off.


Any advice? I swear, some days I feel like a skinny chick walking around in a chubby chick's body. People would never look at me and think I exercise OR watch what I eat. Le sigh.



Monday, December 5, 2011

Joy Sign Project

What would Christmas be without a little arts and crafts time? Just par for the course in this house. Me and my glue gun...us against the world.


I got myself some letters at Michael's to spell "Joy." I planned to do a similar treatment to that which I did for Halloween...scrapbook paper and Mod Podge.


I had one off letter (a little scissor mishap) while I was cutting, which gave me a fabulous idea. I traced all the wooden letters on holiday scrapbook paper. 



Cut them out and adhered them to another piece of green cardstock using a thick coat of Mod Podge. 


Paint a cheap thrift store frame white and add some Christmas ribbon with my trusty glue gun. 


End up with a cute little sign for the cost of the $1 frame and $2 ribbon! 

Happy Christmas Crafting! 



Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Pups

Hubs and I started a tradition long ago, when Wiggles was a wee Pug puppy, to take a photo of him and send it as the Christmas card for that year. 


That first year, he was in a Santa hat. Cute, simple, easy. 


Then we added Peanut to the mix and things got a bit more complicated. We dressed them up in silly Christmas costumes and somehow got them to sit still for a few minutes while we snapped their photo. 


This year was no different. My mom and sister were here this weekend, and my sister was kind enough to help me distract the dogs while I took their photo. Therefore, leaving hubs out of the frustrating process. 


I had many ideas for this year's card. None of which required the silly costumes we've used in the past. The first involved Christmas lights. Fail. Here's an outtake. 



Failed idea. Neither would stay still. And it looked like I was torturing them. 

Here's the winning idea...cropped. I don't want to reveal the card before they're out! I just wanted to show you all that I caught Peanut mid-yawn. Hysterical.


Talk about unflattering photos. If she could talk, she'd make me take that down. And untag it on Facebook.

I'll be working on placing an order with Shutterfly today! Which I'm especially excited for because I won 25 free cards from Cole


Friday, December 2, 2011

Fitness Friday

Wow, I've been a bad blogger. Not only did I miss Fitness Friday last week, I just haven't been around much. I guess that's what happens when life gets in the way. I've been busy decorating for Christmas, visiting friends, working, trying to keep my house in some semblance of order.


Anyway, I'm loving the fact that we have the treadmill in the house. It certainly beats going to the gym. I'm still getting used to trying to run on it. It's much different being forced to go at one speed the whole time. 


Hubs gave me another pep talk last night about running. I still hate it. I still suck at it. Even though I want to like it and be good at it, it hurts! My legs are screaming when I'm running and I feel like that will never go away. I guess I can only work harder, right?


Anyway, let's recap this week:


Sunday: Nothing
Monday: Cardio intervals, 30 min run/walk
Tuesday: Shred, 30 min run/walk
Wednesday: Kickboxing
Thursday: Cardio intervals
Friday: 30 minute run/walk
Saturday: My momma and sister are coming for Christmas shopping extravaganza, so I doubt working out will make it into my schedule.


Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving - The Good, The Bad

Let's talk Turkey Day. Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that's really changed for me over the years since I've been married. 


When I was single, it was a day when my grandmother, Nana, sister, mom, dad, 2 aunts, 2 uncles and 4 kids would gather around the table and dive into my mother's turkey with the trimmings. It was loud. It was crowded. But it was what I knew and loved. 


Enter marriage. Becoming a couple means that holidays now have to be split. So, Thanksgiving is now dedicated to hubs' fam. Christmas is my fam. 


Thanksgiving to me now means:


1. Traveling over 3 hours in one day to see hubs' family. It's exhausting.


2. Gorging myself on hubs' sister's pumpkin roll. 


3. Pouring over all the Black Friday sale papers directly after turkey consumption.


4. Coming home after a long drive and trying to pass out on the couch, while two crazy, cooped up dogs want to play.


5. Fighting with hubs on who gets the leftovers.


6. Debating on whether or not I should muster up the energy to get up at the ass crack of dawn and head to snag some Black Friday deals. Sleep usually wins.


7. Getting out all the Christmas decorations and going to town. By the time I'm done, it looks like Santa threw up all over the house. 


8. Dragging hubs to get a Christmas tree. Making him hold about 10183 of them and "shake them out" so I can get a good feel for what they'll look like in my living room.


9. Starting my yearly tradition of slowly converting hubs from his scrooge-like state to enjoying every minute of the holiday season. This is complete with all holiday activities like cookie-baking, music-listening, gift wrapping, light putting-up.


This year? We're chopping down our own tree. As in, heading to a tree farm, picking the prime pine, hacking it down and dragging it to the car. I can only imagine this trip will end up like a scene right out of Christmas Vacation. 


You know what though? I'm very, very thankful that hubs is back in the country. Because this time last year? He was overseas for work. And I was missing our Thanksgiving and holiday traditions. Now that I'm married, the holidays will always be where he is. <3 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Have Yourself a Slice of Pie

Today, Nana would have been 76. It's hard to believe we're nearing two years since she's been gone

She's the reason I started this blog.
And the reason I ran a 5K.
And the reason raised my family and I raised over $2,500 for lung cancer research.

Happy birthday, Nana Banana! We miss you every.single.day. 


Have yourself a slice of pie :)



Friday, November 18, 2011

Fitness Friday

Happy Friday, friends! It's the weekend before Thanksgiving, which means next week only consists of three glorious days at the office. Hells to the yes!


This week has been pretty mundane as far as fitness is concerned. Pretty standard, except there was no running. Daylight savings, rain and a busy schedule has made it hard to get outside. This is also week two of using Lose It. I haven't weighed myself, because I've decided to shun the scale for a few weeks. It tends to frustrate me and makes me want to quit, so I'll weigh in in a few weeks.


However, in exciting fitness news, we bought a treadmill! So, that means, running three times a week is back on. And guess who's going to set up her DVR for even more trashy reality TV to watch to pass the time? This chick. Nothing motivates me more than watching the anorexic-looking Real Housewives of *insert your city*. 


The treadmill we got is pretty nice. Nothing too crazy, but we walked out of Sears about $700 poorer. It's a Nordic Track that has all the fun features like iFit, which allows you to train with my fave celebrity trainer, Jillian Michaels. Plus, you can use Google maps, to load an actual route onto the computer in the treadmill and it will adjust the elevation while you run so that it's just like you're running outside. Pretty cool feature. Especially for hubs who is training for another race in the Spring. 


Delivery is set for Wednesday. Hubs has the day off, thank goodness. Although, with my recent experiences with Sears, I'm not exactly holding my breath for an on-time delivery.


How is this week shaping up for me? Let's have a look.


Sunday: Nothing. I got back from a weekend in Philly and had to clean. No time for workouts.
Monday: Kickboxing
Tuesday: Cardio circuit
Wednesday: Shred Level 2
Thursday: Nothing
Friday: Kickboxing
Saturday: Run/walk and core work


Have a great weekend!



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gamer Husband?

When I met hubs about 8 years ago, I knew he was a video game addict. From the minute I walked into his dorm room and saw his Xbox and strewn about games like NBA Jam, I figured if I liked him it was something I'd have to get used to.


Now? We're the proud owners of almost every video game console out there. Because, hey, the man does now discriminate when it comes to gaming.


Many women ask me "How do you deal with a husband that plays video games all the time?" Well, ladies, it's really not that bad. And honestly, over the past few years, he doesn't play nearly as much as he used to. He usually keeps it in moderation (except for this Fall, when apparently, all the most awesome games of all time were released.)


Here are the negatives:


1. Nodding and pretending to hear every word you say while he's playing a game. I've learned to try and not tell him anything of importance while he's playing, or else it gets lost in his brain. My messages typically get boxed out by Gears of War. If I really MUST communicate with him during game time, it's wise to make him pause. Which brings me to my next point.


2. Online gaming can be stopped for no one. If dinner gets done in the middle of him playing Madden online, then dinner waits until his game is done. Because he can't simply just stop, right? That screws up all his points (and stuff.) Good thing we have a microwave to nuke his cold food.


3. Noise. Now that we have the surround sound back, I can hear gun shots echo throughout the house. And when he's playing online with other people? The yelling and screaming can be downright irritating. 


4. Ignoring you for games. That doesn't happen too often, but with the influx of new games that were just released? I'm being ignored pretty regularly. And, yes, I've tried the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" routine. Not my cup of tea.


The positives:


1. He's made some amazing friends through video gaming online, which in turn means I've made some pretty amazing friends myself. You can laugh and judge and call us super nerdy and weird, but these are some of the most fun, hilarious, genuine people I've ever met.


2. His time playing games equals time for me to spend doing stuff I want. Like watching reality TV...or making crafts. Sometimes it's nice to go to our separate corners of the house for a while. 


3. I can nap on the weekends and he doesn't bitch about it. Also a plus. 


4. I can go to bed at 10PM on a Friday night, and he has something to keep him occupied. Yes, I go to bed at 10PM on Friday. It's usually been a long week. Give me a break.


5. There's always something to get him for Christmas/Birthdays. 


In reality, it's a rare occasion that I bitch about him playing games. It's his hobby. Something that he loves and relaxes him. And who am I to take that away, right?


Well, ladies, do you all have gaming husbands? How do you deal?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fitness Friday

It'ssss Friday! *Insert happy dance*


This time change is really bumming me out. And it's definitely affecting my running at the end of the work day 3 times a week. By the time I get home, get ready and head out the door, it's well on the way to being pitch black. And, unlike my husband, I don't enjoy running in the dark. 1. I don't want to trip on myself. 2. I don't want to be attacked by zombies. 3. I don't want to be attacked period. Not that we live in a crazy neighborhood, but you never know who's lurking in the dark.


Hubs and I are going to be heading treadmill shopping pretty soon. The one we had from my parents has given out. The belt is busted and the motor doesn't sound pretty either. So it's time for a new one. And, damn, those things aren't cheap! 


This is my first full week of using the Lose It app for my iPhone, and wouldn't you know it, I lost a pound! About damn time. Clearly, I was taking in more calories than I thought. Who knew? But I do have to say, I've been starvin' all week long. Guess my body has to adjust.


Here's my week breakdown:


Sunday: 30 min run/walk
Monday: Kickboxing
Tuesday: Cardio intervals
Wednesday: Shred Level 2
Thursday: Kickboxing
Friday: Cardio intervals, 30 min run/walk
Saturday: In Philly visiting Katie! No workouts. Just wine and sushi :)


Have a fabulous weekend!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

iPhone App Crazy

I may have mentioned recently that I finally ditched my old Samsung phone and got myself a sweet iPhone 4S. Needless to say, I'm in love with it. Besides my iPod Nano, this is really my first experience with an Apple product and I have to say that it's lived up to its name. 


What did I do the first day I got it? Well, other than asking Siri a million different questions, I went right to the App Store and started downloading like crazy. 


I have a few apps right now that I LOVE, but I'm also looking for other suggestions for worthwhile, useful and fun apps. 


Here's what I'm working with now:


Lose It: This has really helped me keep track of my calories. And here's to hoping it helps me lose some weight. It's so easy to have all of the calorie counts and records at your fingertips. It's much better than when I was on Weight Watchers because for one it's free, and for two, I don't have to be near a computer (although I do realize they have an app now too.) Plus, my most favorite feature, I can scan the barcode on my food and it appears in the log. Convenience at it's finest.


Pandora: I had always listened to Pandora on my computer at my last job, however this job blocks all streaming radio. So I was psyched to have it back in my life. And you best believe I'm hooking myself up with a Christmas station.


Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest: Duh. I'm a social media whore, remember? Of course these three were the first to be downloaded.


Family Feud: Yes, remember that game show? I can play it on my phone. And I do. Every day. And I kind of kick ass. Just saying.


Words with Friends: I love this game, however hubs is the only person that I've connected with. And he brutally kicks my rear. Who knew an engineer could have such a great vocabulary.  So for the love of God, hit me up. I'm Heatherjp12 :) Let's play!


Skee Free: Skee ball! All I have to say about this is it's addicting. Don't say I didn't warn you. Say buh-bye to at least an hour of your life.


World's Hardest Game: See above. Seriously, I just spent an hour on this game. It's a series of mini games that get harder the farther you go. Disclaimer: there's math involved. Numbers. Some addition. Be prepared.


All of these apps were free (except I did upgrade World's Hardest Game.) However, I'm not opposed to paying for apps. So, give me your suggestions! I'm all ears :)


And if  you don't have an iPhone? Get it. Do like I did and wait until your upgrade rolls around and spend the $199 on the 16GB. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Missing the Fam

When I was in high school, I couldn't wait to peace out of my hometown the minute I got my diploma. 

Then I went to college only 45 minutes away. 

After college? I knew that finding a job in public relations and marketing in a tiny town was going to be a big issue. I had just spent four years of my life busting my butt to get my degree and I wasn't about to settle for a mediocre job that had nothing to do with my studies. 

Hubs (then boyfriend) got a job in New Jersey, and I took this as my best opportunity to escape. I packed up my crap a mere two weeks after graduation and headed to the Garden State to start my adult life. 

That was the day I knew that I would never be moving back to Hometown, PA. I discovered a life of convenience. Malls just down the street. So many restaurant choices, my head was spinning. Options for places to start my career in PR/Marketing. A big city within my reach. 

Four years in NJ was good enough for us. We found out it was a little too crowded for our taste. When hubs got his job in Baltimore, we were happy to start a new life in a new city. Although we hated saying goodbye to friends we made, we were ready for something new. Not only that, but we were moving 2.5 hours closer to my family. Which, in my mind, meant more visits.  

But, I might as well live in California or the other side of the world. I only see them when I can make the trip home. Which I tend to do once every 2 months or so. But as far as anyone visiting me? It's unfortunately not a priority. Life gets in the way. Everyone is busy. Seeing us is a chore. And I miss them. Not only that, but there are a lot of days when I yearn to just stop over for dinner. Or call up my sister to go shopping. These are the days when I wish I would have stayed. When I would have opted for a more universal career that could be found in towns big and small. Same goes for hubs. Engineering jobs are usually plentiful in small towns. 

My feelings are stirred up from a canceled visit from my parents this weekend. Unfortunately, life got in the way. It's been nearly 6 months since they've been down. We've changed a lot in the house and I was excited to show it off. Take them to dinner. Spend some time chatting. But? Dad's work got in the way. Sigh. 

But I'm the one that moved away. I had dreams of a different life for myself, outside of Hometown. So you could say it's my fault for leaving. And I shouldn't complain. Just cherish the time we do spend together. Most people would love not seeing their family often. Me? I'm not that person. 

Guess I'll be planning that trip "home" soon. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fitness Friday

Happy Friday!


It's finally the weekend again. And thank goodness for that. We're finally have a streak of decent weather here in Maryland, so it's feeling like Fall.


Once again, a week has passed and I still haven't lost any weight. I've decided I need to start tracking calories more...as much of a pain in the ass as it is. I think maybe I'm taking in more calories than I think I am. 


Lucky for me, now that I have the iPhone4S, there are a crapton of apps out there that help you track your calories and exercise. I've decided to use Lose It! because 1. It's free and 2. I've heard good things. But I'm open to other suggestions!


On to the the fitness. This week:


Sunday: 30 minute run/walk
Monday: Core workout
Tuesday: Kickboxing
Wednesday: Cardio video and 30 minute run/walk
Thursday: Shred Level 2
Friday: Cardio Intervals and 30 minute run/walk
Saturday: Parents are coming for a visit, so it's a rest day!


Have a great weekend!



Monday, October 31, 2011

Vote for Me! Please.

This here little 'ole blog is up for a Baltimore Sun Mobbie award! Exciting stuff. But, obviously, I need your help!


You can vote once a day...and I have some stiff competition! Won't you show your support for my little slice of the Interwebs? Pretty please? Voting ends November 11. 


Ok, enough begging. Here's the link:
http://data.baltimoresun.com/mobbies/2011/voting/?vote_for=79#79

I'd appreciate your vote! You're the best! 

Button Monogram

Recently, my place of employment had a huge consignment sale. It's a really big thing every year, and this year was the first time I decided to check it out. 


Thank goodness I did. 


My love of Pinterest and all the ideas I've gotten from there made the trip very worthwhile. My first purchase was a big bag of buttons. Lucky for me, they had them all broken down by color. Amazing. So I snatched up a big bag of blue buttons (and then immediately felt like my Grandmother, who hoarded buttons in her day.) But I had an objective for them. Actually, several objectives. The first? A button monogram. 


There have been several ideas that I'd taken off of Pinterest, like:



Source: etsy.com via Ruth on Pinterest




Source: etsy.com via ReneƩ on Pinterest




Source: etsy.com via Jill on Pinterest



I also found, on a recent trip to Goodwill for craft supplies, these metal and wood hanging frames. There were $1 each, and they looked like something that I could use. So I picked them up. Not sure where you'd be able to find them, but I'm pretty sure canvas or a wood block would work just as well. The metal part, I painted white (it was a gross rusty color before.)



Then, I painted the frame blue and free handed a script A. I put the buttons down first to create the pattern before I glued them to make sure they were exactly how I wanted. Once the pattern was good, I took my trusty glue gun and glued those suckers down. Now, it's hanging in my hallway amongst some photos!


I still have half a jar of buttons, so it looks like I'll be perusing Pinterest for more projects!


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

First off, I see that I have some new followers! Hi! Thanks for stopping by my little slice of the Interwebs. Hope you enjoy your stay. Leave me a comment and introduce yourself!


Second, yes, you read that title right. Yesterday morning for breakfast, I decided to bust out my culinary skills and whipped up the hubs some seasonal pancakes.


When we were first married (you know, almost five years ago...we're so old), I used to make breakfast every Saturday. But then, life got in the way, and it felt like Saturday breakfasts suddenly weren't a priority. 


But this weekend, I decided it was time to bring that back. There had been a pumpkin spice pancake recipe floating around Pinterest, but I decided to put my own spin on it. Plus, I used Bisquick. Because it's convenient. 


Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Spice Pancakes


2 cups Bisquick (I used the Heart Healthy mix to make it a little healthier)
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk (I used skim)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (I like Libby's)
2 tbsp sugar 
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup chocolate chips (or more, if you're a chocoholic like myself)


Pretty simple, really. Mix all the ingredients together. Spray a hot griddle/pan with nonstick spray. Flip when the edges are firm and the middle starts to bubble. 



Finished product. You can see the "mistake" pancakes are on the bottom. I swear, it was the pan's fault. Hubs consistently makes fun of me because my pancakes never, ever look good. Not like you'd get in a restaurant. But they always taste good, and that's what counts.


If you ask me, I don't think these even need syrup. But that's just me :) Enjoy!


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pumpkins!

Happy weekend! Got any plans? Mine involve cleaning and organizing. Kinda lame.


However, some good news. First, I ordered my iPhone4S! Woohoo! It's back-ordered, of course, but it will be on its merry way on November 4th and I can't freaking wait. My Samsung Rogue is really crapping the bed lately. Not only does it shut down for no reason, but the touchscreen has decided to take a personal hiatus. 


Also, today my pumpkin lanterns are being featured on Mod Podge Rocks, one of my favorite crafting blogs! Go check it out, will ya? Thanks to Amy for featuring me :)


Speaking of pumpkins, we carved some this week. Our bestest friends, Chris and Julie, headed down to our place to take a look at the new basement, have some dinner, wine, beer and carve away. 


Here are the pumpkins...can you guess who carved each?



There are several with pretty intricate patterns. And one? Not like the other. It even still has Sharpie lines. Can you guess who's that is?


Yep, it was the hubs. He said, to Hell with patterns. He used his creativity. 

Did you carve pumpkins this year? Did you roast the seeds? We sure did. And in honor of Maryland, we added some Old Bay. Yum.