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

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 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.


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


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'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 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!