Monthly Archives: January 2013

WARNING: Contains Nuts

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This is an optimistic blog, and I want it to stay that way, but man, I am having one of those days. Insert winey-voice here. I must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed this morning because my mood was sub-par all day. Work was blah and I didn’t have the energy to get myself to the gym come 6:00. I have always been the type that uses a good long gym session to make everything right in the world – there’s nothing like it to focus on what’s all jumbled up in your head and try to make sense of it. But it took a village to get me to the gym tonight. And to top it off, all the treadmills were taken (shocker – it’s still January) so I once again settled on the bike. I watched “King of Queens” to get me through the interval workout again, and just felt tired the whole time. Just goes to show how much my dad was right when he said “Attitude is everything”. Tomorrow, I will go to work a happier gal (albeit a colder gal ’cause Boston is expecting some snow tomorrow) and make the best out of any less-than-ideal situation that comes my way!

On my walk home from the gym, I started listening to Beyonce. She can really get me pumped up and out of any kind of terrible mood! I was walking to Whole Foods listening to “Countdown” and literally feeling like this with my sweaty hair, sneakers, and sweatpants under my big puffy jacket:

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If I was braver, I would have belted out the words in the middle of the street! It was like I was her backup dancer in Single Ladies, Bootylicious, and Run the World all in one! Channeling my frustration into SMIZEing (thanks for the lessons Tyra) and stomping like a Diva is really quite effective! From there on, my night was looking up.

At Whole Foods, I got some ingredients to make this delicious dish I adapted from a recipe I found in Better Homes and Gardens. I just stir fried chicken sausage, onion, mushrooms, and spinach in a bit of olive oil while the pasta boiled, and voila! This was sooooo yummy!

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IMG_0992Yum.

Tomorrow, I’m having dinner with some very dear friends, and one new sister! (well sister-in-law-once-removed kinda). Anyways, I have salad duty, so my plan is to make a goat cheese, cranberry, and candied walnut salad. I couldn’t find any candied walnuts at Whole Food tonight, so I decided to make them myself. I found a really easy recipe using just 1/2 cup white sugar and 2 cups pecan halves. Combine them both in a pan on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar melts onto the nuts.

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They turned out great! Can’t wait to show off my skills at dinner tomorrow 🙂

Hope you’re looking at the good points in today, even though they may be small. A positive outlook can change the way your whole day goes. Find your Beyonce and get yourself happy!

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Update:

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Attention: I found my library card. Operation Competent is still a go. Now if only I could figure out how to do my taxes….

Disclaimer, I just watched the (2 hour) first episode of Downton Abbey season 3, so I’m reading this post to you with a most becoming English accent. I wish you all could hear 🙂

Spirit Fingers!

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There should be a separate gym for people getting a membership on January 1. I get it, and I’m very happy that people make it a resolution to lose weight or get healthy in the new year, but it really crowds the gym for those of us that are there all year and I’m not big on waiting for machines. This messes up my work out plan, and I end up settling on something different than what I was looking forward to. Like today: I planned on a run but the treadmills were packed, so I decided on the bike. A little disheartened, I strapped in, lowered the seat to level “way shorter than average”, and switched the TV to “How I Met Your Mother” to keep me occupied during the next 30 minutes. Then I remembered a hardcore interval workout a friend at work had mentioned to me a while ago.

  1. Warm up for 5 minutes
  2. 8 seconds of giving it your all
  3. 12 seconds of resting pace
  4. 8 seconds at 100%
  5. 12 seconds recovering…

And so on….for 20 minutes. I did 7 minutes, and my thighs and butt were on fire! It’s such a good workout, and since the intervals are so short, the time goes by quickly. But it’s hard, my friend. HARD.

I finished up my workout Wednesday with an upper body workout I found on Pinterest. Oh Pinterest, how can you use up so much of my time with craft ideas I’ll never get to, wedding tips I’ll forget about, and 1001 ways to use a mason jar? Sometimes I actually go back to my pins and find workouts like this one. I want to “Tone it up girl!”

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A short bus ride later, I was back at home craving something healthy for dinner. I had some leftover tofu that I wanted to use, so I whipped up a simple marinade I found on Never Homemade and let the tofu chill in it while I showered. I steamed some broccoli, covered it in cheese, and after a little stir fry action with the tofu, had a meal!

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Marinade prep

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A little light reading during dinner 🙂

 

So easy, and so healthy! Feels good.

Now, after watching the classic Bring It On with Rosie, I’m just about cheered out and can’t wait to get to bed. Everyone seems to be getting sick, and I have a big weekend planned, so I’m drinking lots of water and sleeping as much as possible to keep the bug away. Stay healthy this winter!

Let’s Make This One Count!

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You should be proud of yourselves. You’ve made it through 2012, including the Patriots losing a Super Bowl, the birth of Snooki’s baby, another exciting and opinion-filled presidential election season, and record-breaking performances at the Olympics in London. Not to mention the apocalypse. Damn girl, you’re looking pretty good. Personally, I’m happy to have 2012 behind me. It was the most trying year of my life, as I know it was for so many others. Our nation sustained a great deal of injuries last year, so we’ve got to make a swift about face and tackle the ever present issues – big and small. I’m talking about cancer research, gun control, the almost 12 year war overseas, gay marriage, finding a career to make you happy, being self-sufficient, finding a bike safe route to and from work. It may seem intimidating, but as my always-right mother always says, just put one foot in front of the other and we’ll get there. We have to.

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(that is my attempt at symbolizing “the road ahead” and “one step at a time” but now I’m questioning that foot picture)

I don’t know if I have any New Year’s resolutions per se (other than the obvious ones of learning the Single Ladies dance, buying a horse, and marrying a man with an English accent), but I’m trying this new thing called “organization”. Over the holidays, I spent a few fire-sitting, wedding craft-making, tasty food-eating days at my sister’s house in Virginia where everything has its place, and in its place it lives. Now, she has been organized ever since her Crayola markers stayed in their original rainbow order, so it doesn’t surprise me that her house is in tip-top shape. Except now that I am officially in “adult” status, it makes me feel like a bum with a very low cleanliness threshold. Thus, I counteracted this unfriendly thought with a productive weekend cleaning out my room, hanging pictures that have been leaning on the wall behind my hamper for months, and finally bringing order to the pile of paid bills I kept because I think that’s what I’m supposed to do with them…In any case, it’s giving the new year a feeling of competency, something hard to come by at my point-in-time.

So far this year, I’ve gotten (and potentially already lost because it’s not in my wallet but we’re going to keep that one on the DL) a library card, updated my GPS maps, finally made it to the gym, had a great girls night this weekend, and even had time to watch the first episode of the Bachelor (oh Sean, Sean, Sean…). Yes, I am a bit easily amused and excited, but I’d say it is a success!

Hope you’re staying warm – my hands are in a constant state of mild frostbite. Happy Wednesday!

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Motivational Monday

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Happy lucky ’13 everyone! I’m starting this first Monday of the new year with an inspirational quote by Helen Keller:

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.” 

I think it’s pretty fitting to begin the new year (albeit 7 days late) with a new message. After a very tough year, I want to be more optimistic in life, start believing in myself, knowing that it will all turn out well.  

I rang in the new year in style – at my sister’s winter wonderland wedding! We had a great group of friends, lots of pairs of boots, and an exorbitant amount of beer to help us end 2012. I couldn’t be happier to welcome this shmo into my family, although he pretty much already has been his whole life! That’s right folks, their story is almost too cute to tell, so I’m going to sum it up but saying “they started sleeping together when they were 2” 🙂

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ImageImageImageThanks Meg for some of the pics!! Love you mean it