Friday, September 30, 2011

Fitness Friday

Happy Friday! It has, thankfully, been a quick week!

This week, I definitely didn't do all that well with fitness. Painting/traffic/rain all seemed to get in the way. But I did fit some in!

Sunday: 2 mile walk with my sister!
Monday: 30 Day Shred
Tuesday: Nothing (Out with friends)
Wednesday: 2 mile run/walk
Thursday: Nothing (picked up my Craigslist purchase!)
Friday: Today, I'm headed to Pittsburgh, so I'll be driving rather than working out
Saturday: Tomorrow, I'd like to get up and do some running. We'll see if I actually follow through with this :) There's much wine drinking and girl talk to be had.

Not one of my finest weeks, that's for sure. And I'm definitely feeling it. Not working out for a few days makes me feel like a fat slob. Speaking of fat, I haven't lost any. You'd think my working out and eating well would result in weight loss. No. It hasn't. Not these last two weeks anyway. Le sigh. 

Have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursday Randoms

This week has flown by, which is good, considering I was bitching about it on Monday. Tomorrow's Friday and I only have a half day of work before I'm off to Pittsburgh. 

I'm leaving my husband alone for another bachelor weekend. Which means beer, pizza and video games. Followed by annoying little messes. Maybe at the very least he'll get out to mow the lawn. If it doesn't rain for the 40 millionth time this week. 

Today, I'm picking up my first ever Craigslist purchase on the way from work. A bookcase which will be perfect for the one of the rooms that I'll eventually get in order when the basement is done. I've also picked up a quart of espresso looking paint to refinish it with. And at the same time I picked up yet ANOTHER gallon of paint for the basement, along with a quart of a delightful grey/blue for an accent wall I've just decided to paint in the dining room. 

Looks like in another 2 weeks I'll be able to get the house in order and get some more pics up!

Happy Thursday (Grey's Anatomy night!)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

You know how you have those weeks where you're counting down to the weekend even though it's only Tuesday (or Monday)? Well, I'm having one of those. 

I think a good portion of it is due to the ungodly amounts of rain we've been receiving over the past few weeks. It's seriously affecting my mood. I'm a sunshine girl and the lackthereof, has been making me irritable. Wah. 

Here are some things that have been making me smile though:

  • The Walking Dead is On Demand. I're probably asking yourself "Heather, why do zombies make you happy?" I have no idea. But that show keeps me on the edge of my seat. 
  • The basement is so close to being done I can taste it. Or maybe that was the paint drippings I got in my mouth. Or my eyes, or hair... Hubs and I are not the prettiest painters, but we're getting the job done. We just need some carpet after all the paint is up and we're ready for action.
  • Speaking of flooring, I'm getting a quote to have our laminate flooring extended into the dining room. Currently, we have white carpet under the dining table. You can imagine how much of a hot mess that is...especially with my eating habits. Hubs is arguing with me that it's not essential. I beg to differ. After all, my sanity is essential, right? Happy wife, happy life.
  • I'm headed out to Pittsburgh this weekend to see Pamela, Amanda and my favorite 10-month old (Amanda's daughter, Becca.) I haven't seen her since she was 3 months and now she's crawling all over the place. I can't freaking wait. 
  • I'm going Yankee candle shopping with my friend Julie tonight. It's out semi-annual trip. We get coupons in the mail twice a year and then we make a trip to stock up. Looks like I'll be getting some new fall/holiday scents. Then we'll be hooking up with our husbands for some dinner, since they haven't seen each other in 2 weeks. Their bromance sometimes scares me. 
In the meantime, I'm going to go drink some more coffee to put a little pep in my step. And do dance to make the rain go away.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fitness Friday

I don't know about you, but all this rain is really cramping my style! Since one of my pet peeves is being caught in the rain (I do, however, like pina coladas because I know you all just started singing), I certainly can't bring myself to run in it. And since it's rained for a good portion of this week and will continue ALL weekend, my workouts aren't going to be very run-filled. Plus, I'm headed to my parent's place for the weekend. A new video game came out this week, and hubs is obsessed. So I'm going away so he can play 24 hours a day without me bitching in his ear. 

Let's review this week:

Sunday: 3 mile run/walk (I felt good this day and ran a good portion.)
Monday: Nothing
Tuesday: 2 mile run/walk (I felt like a pile of dog crap this day and walked most of it.)
Wednesday: Nothing
Thursday: 30 Day Shred/6 Week 6 Pack
Friday: Today I plan to either do a run or 30 Day Shred - weather pending
Saturday: Same as Friday

Now, I'm off to cow country USA, aka my hometown, for a weekend with the fam and some much-needed quality time with my sister <3 

How'd you do this week?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I Baked...For the Dogs

Who makes their dogs homemade treats? Seriously? 

Oh yeah, that's right, I do. Ha! 

Now, this isn't something I typically do. I don't bake for humans a whole lot, so why would I bake for my dogs? Well, of course, it was inspired from a variation of a recipe found on Pinterest and the half can of pumpkin I had in my fridge. 

Pumpkin Puppy Treats

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup pumpkin
2 eggs
2 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 tsp salt

Heat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients until it forms a dough. Roll out as you would sugar cookies.
Cut with cookie cutters. I just so happened to have a dog bone.
Place on a greased baking sheet in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Until crispy.

Cool. You don't want burned puppy tongues.

Try to get your dogs to do something good. Like sit. Demonstrated nicely here by Wiggles.
Then "sit" goes out the window when he's rendered impatient. NOMS!
"More please!" I'd say they were a hit. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Night Randoms

Why can't the weekend be three days? Two just doesn't seem to cut it. I'm having a serious case of the Sunday night blues. You know what that calls for? A random blog post.

  • I just got done treating Peanut for another hot spot. The poor thing can't catch a break. She's always got a ton of skin and allergy issues. As we speak, she's sitting and watching me with a resentful look, as if to say "Why, mommy? Why do you hurt me?" Heart-breaking.

  • Hubs and I had a master plan to stain the deck this weekend. Then it went ahead and rained. Can't stain a wet I took a nap instead.

  • I busted out my Fall decor, including Halloween. I know it's not October yet, but it's close enough.

  • I baked. Yes, baked. Pumpkin cupcakes with pumpkin cream cheese icing via Skinnytaste. They are ah.may.zing. And guess what? Only 3 Weight Watchers points.

  • Wawa now has pumpkin spice coffee. I drank 24 ounces of it Saturday morning. Tonight, I'll have sweet coffee dreams about it. I can only hope that I wake up early enough to stop by and get a cup in the morning.

  • Hubs has been in a state of depression all day because the Kansas City Chiefs are pretty much the worst football team on the planet. I'm pretty sure my little cousin's Pee Wee team is better. Not only have they been blown out of the water the last two weeks, today their star played collided with the Detroit Lion's mascot and tore his ACL ousting him for the season. Le sigh. Here's the replay...from 4 different angles. The horror.

    Well, I guess it's time for me to suck it up and go to bed. The only thing that will make Monday better is that pumpkin spice coffee, so I must beat my alarm.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fitness Friday

TGIF, am I right? Except I have to work an event tomorrow, so my week isn't technically over. Oh well, at least we're supposed to have some beautiful weather here in Maryland this weekend. Bring on Fall, that's what I say! 

I also realized that I never did Fitness Friday last week, because I'm a slacker and totally forgot. Whoopsies! This week has been a good one for fitness for me. Not only did I lose 3 pounds (say whattt??), but I've been hitting the running/walking hard. And I'm not nearly as miserable. Why? Because the good folks at Charm City Run recommended new shoes for me. And $130 later, my shin splints are finally starting to die down. Totally worth the money.

So, what did I do this week? 

Saturday: 5K run/walk around the neighborhood
Sunday: Nothing
Monday: 5K run/walk
Tuesday: 5K run/walk
Wednesday: 30 minutes of yoga/pilates
Thursday: Nothing
Friday: Today I plan to either do some 30 Day Shred or the 5K run/walk. It all depends on timing.

As you can see, I've doubled my usual mileage to a 5K. Why? Well, because it's more cardio for me, and also because hubs and I are planning to sign up for another race. And this time, I'd like to be able to run longer and finish faster. 

How did you do with your fitness this week? 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Walk Down Wiggle Memory Lane

You know how sometimes you just come across a bunch of old photos that you completely forgot existed? Tonight, while updating my iPod with the new Muppets album (obviously...what, you didn't download it yet? Liar.), I came across a slew of photos of Wiggles. From baby to present. And I thought I would share a few of my faves. Because, darn it if he wasn't a cute puppy. He was a BAD puppy, but he was cute. Therefore he got away with way too much. Because really, look at that face. Hard to resist.

 First night home. Proud new puppy mama. Terrified Wiggle face.
Another one of terrified Wiggles. This was after his first bath. 

  One of many puppy naps. We caught him with his tongue out. 

Puppy's first Christmas - 2005. The same year his mom and dad made things official and got engaged. 
 He got a hold of this watering can and pranced around the house with it for days. Yes, pranced. Yes, he might have effeminate tendencies. 
 Hide and seek. 
 First snowfall. 
Happy pug. 
 One of my all time fave pics. Just chillin' on the couch. No big thing. 
Adorable raincoat from Auntie Katy that we got him to wear for all of 5 minutes. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Chicken and Biscuits

This is one of my favorite recipes to come out of Weight Watchers. And it's hard to believe that it's actually a WW recipe. I've made a few tweaks here and there to make it my own. Mostly veggie substitutes because hubs would rather eat rat poison than touch a pea. I made one big pot tonight that we had for dinner and leftovers will be lunch all week. 

This week, I'm linking this recipe up with Cole at All the Small Stuff for Tuesdays at the Table. Go check out her recipes...especially this week. Ranch Mac and Cheese? Yes, please.


For Stew:
1 pound chicken, diced
3.5 cups chicken stock
1 bag frozen mixed veggies
2 tbsp oil
1 small onion, diced
1 large potato, diced
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

For biscuits:
1 & 2/3 cups Bisquick Heart Healthy mix
2/3 cup skim milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh sage

In a large stockpot, brown chicken in 1 tbsp oil. Remove from pot and put in a bowl for later. Add remaining oil and saute onion. Add potato, mixed veggies, bay leaves, spices and stock. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.

Mix all ingredients for biscuits. Drop spoonfuls of dough on top of simmering stew. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Then cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes. 

Voila! Chicken and biscuits that doesn't go straight to your thighs.

Bonus tip: If you live in an area with a Giant Food and you clip coupons, you can get the new Knorr Homestyle Stock for $.79! It's on sale at Giant for $2.79 and there's a $2.00 off one coupon in this week's paper. Stock up! Ha - pun intended. 

I was reluctant to try this, but I used it tonight and loved it. You just boil 3.5 cups of water and add stock. Much more budget friendly than buying the big boxes because you get 4 packs which equals 14 cups!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Basement Renovation

It's been 5 months since we moved into the new house, and we're finally getting around to getting stuff done. More specifically, the basement ("man cave") is now being renovated. 

When we first moved in, it housed a small stage in the corner which took up huge amounts of room. Hubs, 2 friends, and the help of a power saw ripped that thing right out. Here's where it used to be. 

We still really haven't figured out it's purpose. The people before used the basement as the playroom for their kids, so the stage held a tiny table and chair set. Perhaps the people before them had big dreams of stardom? Broadway? Stand up comedy?

You'll also note the lovely shade of salmon carpet we're dealing with. Oof. It's U.G.L.Y. We'll be getting that ripped out and replaced when this thing is complete. 

The design of the basement is weird. It houses a fourth bedroom and has a HUGE laundry room. Way bigger than is needed. And it ate up a lot of room. So we had that whole wall taken down and new one built.

Those cabinets in the middle were all in the laundry room. We'll be reusing them for storage and a bar! 

And, although the paint color isn't too bad, it's too dark for a basement. We opted not to have the wood paneling removed/dry-walled over (to keep the budget down), so we are painting it a nice off white. Officially called "Silky Bamboo." 

This was before I got paint all over me. Hair, clothes, arms, face. I'm so messy. 

I can't wait until this reno is done, so I can banish hubs to the basement for video game playing. And I can get back to watching copious amounts of trashy reality TV. And I can FINALLY get my house back. Right now, everything is just spread out upstairs until we can give it a permanent home. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pumpkin Lanterns

When I decided to take two full boxes of mason jars from my grandmother's house, I just knew they'd come in handy. No, not for canning. Silly. For crafts!

Again, with the aid of Pinterest, I found the inspiration to make these "adorable" pumpkin lanterns. And I use the word "adorable" in quotes, because my that's what my husband called them. I wasn't sure to be flattered or scared. 

To make these, you'll need:
  • Mason jars
  • Orange paint
  • Black paint
  • Mod Podge
  • Spray sealer
  • Floral wire 
  • Ribbon
Glass can be super tricky to paint. There is paint formulated specially for glass, but I found that mixing Mod Podge with acrylic paint makes it stick pretty well. I made a mixture of one part of each. 

Step 1: Paint the outside of your jar orange. The number of coats is up to you. I just did one.

Step 2: After the paint dries, paint on a pumpkin face using your black paint.

Step 3: Attach floral wire around the rim and over the top to make a handle. This is tricky and I actually ended up hot gluing it down. 

Step 4: Spray with sealant.

Step 5: Tie a bow with your decorative ribbon on the handle.

Step 6: Add a tea light and enjoy! 

Are you all making any Fall crafts? 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Mod Podge Madness

Do you know what happens when I have a long weekend AND unlimited access to Pinterest AND my power back? Many crafty hours, that's what. It looks like Martha Stewart threw up all over my kitchen table. 

First? I had fun with letters from Michaels, scrapbook paper, Mod Podge and my hot glue gun. 

I made this for my fireplace:
Hubs said to me after I put it up, "Thank God you made that sign. I'm always wondering what season it is. Now all I have to do is look at the fireplace." Smartass.

I purchased the letters from Michaels, along with the scrapbook paper, and single piece of plywood located conveniently next to the letters. 

To make, trace the shape of your letters on paper and cut. Apply a layer of Mod Podge to the letter and apply paper. Then cover with another generous coat and let dry. I also used the same technique using strips of leftover paper to cover the base. Then, I just arranged the letters and hot glued them to the base. Super easy.

Next up? Something for Halloween:
I had problems taking this picture for some reason, but you get the idea. I used the same technique here for the letters, tied them together with ribbon and added some ghosts. For these letters, I did paint the edges black. In hindsight, I should have simply spray painted them before starting, but since I wasn't smart enough to think of that first, I hand painted the edges. 

You thought that was all I got? Heck no! But I'm saving that for another post. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fitness Friday

Happy Friday! I hope you'll agree that this has been a L-O-N-G week. This time last week? We were hunkering down to deal with that beyotch, Irene. Thank goodness for this long, Labor Day weekend. I've desperately got to restore order to my life. 

Let's talk fitness. This week got a little hairy without the power...mostly because of the lack of hot showers around these parts. And the fact that my shins felt like they were on fire.

Sunday: I was called into work to deal with hurricane crises, so no workout. But this was a rest day from the 5K I did the day before.

Monday: No formal "workout." Instead? We sawed giant limbs off our downed trees. And I found out that hand-sawing gets your body sweating and your heart pumping.

Tuesday: I hit the trail near work for a 2 mile run/walk.

Wednesday: My shins felt terrible, so I headed home. Then, when the power came back, I went on a crazy cleaning spree.

Thursday: 30 Day Shred and 6 week 6 Pack

Friday: Today, I'm headed for some new running shoes, so I can save my shins.

And tomorrow? I'm planning a morning 5K for myself. The weather has finally turned lovely, and the scorching heat and humidity seem to have hit the road for a while. So I'm taking advantage of it.

How did YOU do with fitness this week?

PS - If anyone has any tips on shin splints, help a sister out, puhlease!?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Free to Breathe 5K

After over 4 days of agony, our power finally returned last night around 6:30PM! About 2 minutes after it came on, you could hear all the neighbors outside cheering in celebration, followed by the simultaneous shutting off of all the generators. Thank you, Lord for hot water, a cold fridge, TV, dishwasher, washing machine...

In other news, last Saturday, right before Irene swept the coast, my family and I participated in the Free to Breathe 5K. Yes, that's correct, I completed my first 5K. I didn't run it all, but I ran enough. I finished in 40 minutes, which I know is horribly slow, but I'm signing up for another very soon!

In addition to the glorious feeling of crossing the finish line, Team Nana had many a cause for celebration. We raised $2,393 for lung cancer research, awareness and education. We got this sweet trophy for being #1:
Me accepting our team trophy.
Julie and I before the start of our first 5K!
Left to right: Aunt Chris, Uncle Kevin, Momma, Uncle Dan, Aunt Wendy
Left to Right: My sister, Cousins Ryan, Kaylin and Keenan
Hubs after the race. Yes, that's a pool of butt sweat. Ew.
Big winners for Team Nana! Chris with second overall, Keenan with first in his age group and Kevin with third in his age group.
Kevin, the top fundraiser for the entire event.

I'm SO proud of my entire family for participating! This is our second year and I can't wait for the third!