Sunday, August 30, 2009

Easy Like Sunday Morning

Morning! Last night's festivities did not get too crazy, which is a bit of a relief. As much as I like to go out and have fun with a few drinks every once in a while, I really dislike feeling like poo the next day.

We started off our night meeting Josh and Chelsee at the Vierling for dinner.
The Vierling brews it's own beer, so I ordered a seasonal peach wheat.

I wasn't feeling extremely hungry after my huge lunch, but I ordered the cheese tortellini pesto since none of the appetizers really jumped out at me.

We also split a slice of peanut butter pie for dessert that was pretty awesome.

After dinner, we went over to a friend's house for a mini beer pong tournament.
Scott is very serious about these kinds of things.
Keith and Scott were the undefeated champs of the night. When the two of them play any type of drinking/bar/yard game, they are pretty unstoppable and very competitive.

By the way, we played with water in the cups and just drank from our own drinks. Much more sanitary and far less dangerous.

We went out to the bar for a little while, and Keith and I called it a night a little after 1.

I definitely slept in this morning, and all I could think about when I woke up was hot oatmeal. Shocking, I know! :)

I have been trying to mentally prepare for my 8 mile run today, but I really just need to buckle down and get it done! It's sunny and bright outside, and around 60 degrees, maybe, so it should be perfect weather for a run. I'm off to grab a pre-run snack and then tackle those miles!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Incredible Lunch!

Hello again after a few days hiatus! Now that I'm in the working world, I definitely need to learn how to balance work with all of the other aspects of my life!! The last time I did any sort of exercise was Monday!!!!! I was so excited to get in a good night's sleep last night and get in a great workout this morning!

After 9 hours of sleep, which was uninterrupted by a certain cat, I woke up to this:

Lovely!

It's actually still raining right now, and it's almost 4!!

I had a quick bowl of cereal with some tea, and then headed over to the gym to crank out a tempo run and some strength training. Oh how I love physical activity!! Especially after having such a long break!!

My tempo run was great! I did the first mile at a 9:51 pace, 2nd and 3rd miles at 8:57, and the 4th mile at 9:41. I finished 4 miles in 37:36!!

I squeezed in a bit of strength-training, too:

*planks
*biceps curls
*lunges
*triceps push-downs
*lateral shoulder raises

I quickly showered and got ready to meet my mom, aunt, and grandma for lunch. We took my grandma out in celebration of her birthday next week! I was going to ask the waiter to take a picture of the four of us, but I forgot! Doh!

We lunched at Elizabeth's Chop House and it was, again, FAB!!!!

I started with their house salad.

Field greens, apples, walnuts, and an apple champagne vinaigrette.

My aunt ordered onion rings as a side and shared them with the rest of the table. These were amazing.

I had this + a small one.

The onion rings came out with ketchup, and the bottles were too cute.

Only about half the size of a coffee cup!!

For my entree, I ordered the chanterelle and gorgonzola stuffed chicken breast with panchetta and blue cheese grilled asparagus.


Wow wow wow. It was all so amazing. I definitely ate everything except maybe half of the mashed potatoes. I also don't really like mushrooms, but I figured I could just take them off if I didn't like them with the chicken. Turns out, they were so finely chopped and mixed with the gorgonzola, I didn't even notice them! The husband would be so proud of my mushroom eating!

Of course, I come from a family with a huge sweet tooth. I really blame my ice cream addiction on my genes. We ordered two slices of cake to pass around the table for dessert.

The first was my grandma's choice, a carrot cake. This was so delicious. Moist and a little spicy...just how I like it!

The second choice was a 12-layer chocolate cake. It was very rich and extremely delish. We were so busy digging into dessert, I almost forgot to snap pictures! Thus, the half demolished cakes you see now!

Elizabeth's does not disappoint. I am so stuffed, but all of the food was amazing and totally worth it. I have a big ol' food baby incubating right now, and I am feeling a tad drowsy. :)

The hubby and I are supposed to meet a group of people for dinner and drinks to follow. I'm pretty sure I won't be eating much for dinner tonight! Hopefully I will have many pics of the evening festivities.

On another note, a big reason I haven't updated in the past few days is the horrendously slow uploading that I'm experiencing with Blogger lately. It can take 4-5 minutes just to upload one picture! Lately I've been so tired that when I come home, I make dinner and try to read through the usual blogs I follow, and when I finally get around to posting, I'm just too exhausted to take the 45 minutes to an hour that it takes to put up a post right now. I'm hoping to do some research tomorrow on a possible switch to WordPress or other ideas for how I can make it easier to update the blog.

The blog isn't as much fun without the pictures, it just takes wayyy too long to upload!

Hope you all have a fantastic evening!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Lotta Enchilada

Hi everyone! Today has been a pretty busy day, and I cannot wait to curl up in my bed again tonight! I think it will take a little while to get used to having a regular work schedule again. Throughout the summer, I made an effort to wake up at 6:30 or 7 to hopefully make this transition to a full-time job easier. However, most of the time I didn't wake up until between 7:45 and 8:30. Still early, but that's about the time I have to BE at work now!

I am also trying to figure out how to best fit in my workouts around my work schedule. I would must rather get my exercise done in the morning, but it's already hard for me to get up as it is! I just get too lazy when I come home from work, and I find that I get more frequent stomach cramps during runs in the afternoon. I just have to stick it out for a couple weeks and make waking up early a habit!

End rant. :)

Breakfast was boring cereal because I didn't have much time to make anything, and it felt a little too humid for oats.

Lunch was a slice of leftover pizza from last night's dinner, as well as a big baggie full of grapes. My grapes are starting to get a little dried out, so I need to gobble these up fast!

I considered a speed workout this afternoon, but instead turned it into a rest day and will push back my speedwork to tomorrow. Hopefully in the morning, but we'll see! ;)

I had a hankering for chicken enchiladas tonight. I've never made them before, so this was a fun experiment.
Mmmm they were good!

I also made some spanish rice as a side. The blob of sour cream really put these enchiladas over the edge, I must say!

I love when I cook a successfull meal. I also love when I can have leftovers for lunch the next day!

I have to apologize for my boring posts as of late. Once I get into my routine, things will be picking back up!

Monday, August 24, 2009

First Official Day as a PT!

Hey everyone! I am super exhausted right now, and my bed is calling my name, so I'm going to make this one quick!

The only thing that could get me out of bed this morning was the thought of warm, gooey oatmeal.

Heaven in a bowl.

I didn't bring a lunch to work with me, because I had no idea where I could put it or if there would be a fridge or microwave or anything. Luckily, the SNF I was working in has a small employee and guest cafeteria with a salad bar. I had a big, delicious salad and a small carton of milk. Those little cardboard milk cartons remind me of school.

After my workday, I inhaled a banana in the car and came home to make pizza dough.

***Blogger is taking foreeevvvvveeeeerrrr to upload my pics. I am about to fall asleep waiting for these suckers.***

The recipe for the dough is courtesy of Jenna. While the dough was rising, I finally got my butt out for my long run. I ran 6.5 miles along the beautiful lakeshore!

OK, I tried to figure out my running time by adding up the times for the songs I listened to on my iPod (umm...does anyone else think I need a watch to do this instead??? haha), and I calculated the time at 59:43 with and average pace of 9:11. Umm, I'm pretty sure that's a lie. I had even tacked on an extra two minutes for the times that I was skipping through songs on shuffle. I should at least buy a cheap athletic watch at Target so I can get a little more accurate times on my outside runs!

Anyway, when I came home, I split the dough in half, spread it on a cookie sheet, and added toppings.

I used pizza sauce, spinach, turkey pepperoni, tomato, and fresh mozzarella.

This was definitely a success! Much tastier than my last attempt, and the homemade dough was FAB!!!

I enjoyed my pizza with a nice, cold brew.

Yum.

On that note, I'm off to spend some quality time with my pillow. Goodnight!!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Introducing.....

My mom and step-dad's new kitty!! He kind of has a name, but I don't think it's for sure yet, so I'll just leave it up in the air for now.

He is a new companion to Chloe.

My parents have had Chloe since February, and my mother thought she was in desperate need for a friend. Needless to say, a trip to the humane society usually ends up with an adoption!

He is so sweet and a big cuddler. He kept trying to lick our faces all afternoon.

Unfortunately, they are still a bit unsure of each other. Chloe is more curious than anything else, but the new kitty is hissing and crying and freaked out by the other kitty.

I spent the afternoon and evening with my mom and she had a weird craving for tuna casserole for dinner.

It sounded a bit sketchy and I was a little nervous about it, to tell you the truth.

Luckily, it was pretty good! It is also really quick and easy to make. I think I might have to snag the recipe for future reference.

I have to admit I have another big ol' goose egg on the running front today. My poor planning skills definitely hindered any thoughts of a run today, so now I have to make it up tomorrow.

I am so exhausted right now, and my bed is calling my name. My first official day of work as a physical therapist is tomorrow!!! I'm so excited, but pretty nervous, too!

Have a great night!

Sunday at the Tee Box

I slept horribly last night, but managed to get myself up early to go golfing with the husband. This is the first time I have been able to actually use my birthday present, and the first time I've golfed in about 6 weeks. Pretty ridiculous, if you ask me!

I woke up really craving oatmeal, but unfortunately, I didn't have time to make it. I had a bowl of cereal and then took a banana with me in the car.

My golf game was also pretty awful this morning.

Awkward action shot.

Right now I feel like taking a nap on the couch, but I definitely ignored my run yesterday, and I really need to get my long run in today. The long runs are the most important! It looks like it's going to rain soon, but the weather forecast says it will only be cloudy. Hopefully I don't get rained on! It's also only about 58 degrees out.....fun!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Second Breakfast

Happy Saturday! It's always so nice to have a weekend, but today I am feeling exceptionally bored and have no clue how to spend my day.

Last night's dinner was fab!! Three of us Micro Repair wives got together for lasagna soup, garlic bread, and dessert! No pics, but trust me, everything was amazing! Melissa made two different desserts: raspberry bars and chocolate cake (of which I had a large slice of!). I was very spoiled with the delicious food!

This morning I woke up a little late and had a bowl of cereal for breakfast.

I wanted oatmeal, but I was feeling lazy.

About an hour later, Keith got a phone call from our friend's Josh and Chelsee who asked if we were interested in meeting for breakfast! We weren't going to meet up for another hour and a half, so I figured I would be a little hungry, and there's nothing wrong with second breakfast every once in a while!

We met at Perkins at 11, so it was more of a brunch. For about half a second I considered getting a salad or sandwich for lunch, but I was still craving oatmeal! I also ordered a fruit dish on the side, which was surprisingly very small. :( I mixed a little brown suger and apricot syrup in my oats and wolfed them down. Yum yummy!

My shoulders and upper back are a little sore from yoga yesterday, but it feels great! I have to get in a 3 mile run and some strength training in today, so I'll probably do that in about an hour after I've more fully digested.

Have a great Saturday!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Bad News Bears

Last night I prepared a breakfast cookie to eat before work:

I added some vanilla yogurt on top, because that's how I like it.

My boss offered to buy lunch this afternoon, so I picked up a tuna sub from Quizno's, which was surprisingly delicious. I have only been to Quizno's twice, and each time they put way too much sauce/dressing on the sandwich, so I have to remember to ask for less next time. I don't like when my sandwhiches are drippy. I also have no pic, because I wasn't expecting to have lunch at work and did not bring my camera. Just close your eyes and picture a tuna sub with tomato, lettuce, banana peppers, and vinagrette.

This morning I finally heard back about my exam. I was debating if I wanted to say anything or not, but I might as well just get the bad news over with....













    I PASSED!!!!






So the bad news is that I actually have to work full-time now!! Hahaha! Did I trick any of you?? ;)

I am now enjoying my afternoon in my pajamas drinking a beer in celebration.



Tonight I have plans to have a "Distribution Widows" party with a few other wives who have husbands working the laptop distro until late tongiht. We are having an Italian feast and I get to play with a ton of little babies!! I might have to bring my teddy bear so I can fit in with all the other mommies. :)

Not sure about my other plans for the weekend, but I definitely am hoping to do some major celebrating. No more studying!! Ever!!!

Today's Question: What are your plans for this weekend?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Blast From the Past

This afternoon I went back to my old undergrad (NMU!) for mentor orientation for the Student Leader Fellowship Program. First of all, I feel like a bit of a fraud, because I am 25, haven't actually started my career yet, and don't really have any volunteer work or leadership roles in the community as of right now, so I feel like there is no possible way I could be considered a good mentor! I remember how much I liked having a mentor when I was in SLFP, and I just hope my student doesn't think I'm lame!!!

Secondly, all the students are coming back to campus since classes start on Monday. I've been to campus a few times over the summer to study in the library and it's also where my hubby works, but it was so weird seeing it start to get crowded again....and I am no longer a part of that. Some of the students with their families looked so young, which made me feel old (even though I look like I'm about 18, haha). To be honest, I'm a little sad I'm not going back to school this year. I mean, I have had been a student for 20 years of my life. It was a main part of how I identified myself for years. Now I can't even say I'm a physical therapist, because I feel like I'm still in the in-between phase. Ei-yi-yi.

Thirdly, my husband is currently working the laptop distribution this week, so I decided to pick up dinner for myself on the way home. This is relevant to my "blast from the past" topic because a) I worked Dome Distro for 3 years of undergrad when I worked on campus and b) I picked up dinner at The Pasta Shop, which always reminds me of working with my 3 best friends from college. I have to admit, I am getting a little sentimental and a wee bit teary thinking about this! The whole experience of the afternoon really made me miss the good ol' days of undergrad with Chera, Chena, and Kelly working at Micro Repair and laughing hysterically pretty much every day. Doesn't it seem like life was so easy back then??

Anyway, that's enough of my reminiscing for tonight. If you've made it this far in my post, congratulations and thanks for sticking it out!! :)

I really adore The Pasta Shop. It's kind of a hole-in-the-wall Italian eatery where you can dine-in or take-out. Every time I go in, I look over the menu, but I always end up ordering the same thing.

I start off with a small Italian salad. It has romaine and iceberg lettuce, tomato, pepperoni, and I think parmesan cheese, and their house dressing is so amazing! It's hard to choose between this salad or an antipasto salad from the Casa, but this one might win. :)


For my entree, I order gnocchi with meatless sauce. It blows my mind every time. There is also an amazing slice of garlic bread that is unphotoed. I always save it for the end and dip it in the leftover sauce. DELISH!!!!

I was one stuffed cookie when I finished this meal. I should have divided the gnocchi in half and saved the rest for lunch tomorrow, but I was up to my neck in chow mode and didn't even think about it until I had maybe two gnocchis left. Ooooh well!

Earlier today I painted my nails a new shade that I purchased way back in April and hadn't tried yet.

It kind of looks like fungus. I'm not very impressed. However, I am too lazy to take it off, so maybe I'll get used to it over the next day or so. I think this shade may work on my toes and maybe with a 3rd coat instead of just two in oder to make it more lime green and less...well, fungus. :)

Okay, I'm off to bed! I am going to work in the morning (boo!) and want to get in a yoga sweat sesh beforehand! Have a great night!!

One Month Away

Holy moly! This morning I realized that my half marathon is exactly one month from today! I'm getting a little nervous, since the furthest I've run is only 5 miles so far. I really shouldn't be too worried, because I'm following a similar training program as the last time I did a half, and it turned out just fine!

It is quite rainy and dreary here today, which made it a little hard to get out of bed. Plus, I slept like crap last night for some reason. I kept waking up and rolling over throughout the night.

However, I was very happy to finally get up, because nothing starts a rainy day better than a delicious, warm bowl of oatmeal!


This isn't the greatest quality photo, but I like how you can see the steam coming off the oats on the bottom. :) I usually just make my oatmeal straight-up like the directions say, but today I used vanilla soy milk instead of cow's milk, plus some cinnamon and a dash of vanilla. I think it took a little longer than usual for the oats to cook, but maybe I was just being impatient. Once they were done, I added a little brown sugar and a big scoop of pb. Amazing! I also had another small bowl of strawberries, but the oatmeal was really the star of the morning!

I hit the gym again today for my first ever tempo run. I ran a total of 4 miles today in 37:39!!! I am highly impressed with myself! :) I ran the first and last mile at a 9:50 pace, and the middle 2 miles at 8:57. I can't believe I ran a sub-9-minute-mile! Like I have mentioned many times, I am not a fast runner. This is the first time I've ever really tried challenging myself with speed, so these little victories are exciting for me.

For lunch, I heated up a leftover pepper from last night.


Pepper innards! I forgot to mention yesterday that I added Texas Pete to the mixture, and then of course doused it with hot sauce again after coming out of the oven.

Side of grapes that I am currently munching on.

I have a pretty long to-do list that I wrote up last night, but maybe I'll just read for a little while. I have SLFP Mentor Orientation in a few hours! I'm excited, but a little nervous!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Stuffed Pepper Experiment

I'm not sure why, but the last few nights I have had NO CLUE what to cook once dinner time rolls around. I think I'm having trouble finding inspiration, or maybe it's just laziness?

Anyway, I decided to do something with some of the leftovers in my fridge (beans, rice, ground turkey) and came up with......stuffed peppers!

I've never made a stuffed pepper before, but there's a first time for everything, right? I had 3 green bell peppers that I sliced the tops off of and gutted. I mixed together leftover cooked brown rice, black beans, ground turkey (with pasta sauce from yesterday's lunch), chopped green pepper from the tops that I cut off, salsa, and a bit of minced garlic. I had just enough mix to stuff the peppers to the brim!

I baked the little beauties for about 25 minutes and topped them with shredded colby-jack cheese when they came out of the oven.


Ta-dah! These were really tasty and fresh. I love the thought of eating a meal out of a big vegetable! I would make a few tweaks next time such as: leaving out the chopped pepper from the mix (it was a bit of green pepper overload) and letting them bake a little longer to soften the pepper (these were a bit too crisp for the hubby's taste).

For dessert, someone may or may not have polished off the remaining birthday cake. I won't point any fingers or name any names. I'm just sayin... ;)

Hills and Goat Cheese

Happy afternoon! I feel like the day has been flying by!

For breakfast I had a repeat of yesterday:

Cereal with vanilla yogurt, strawberries, and caahfee. I think the strawberries are really making breakfast phenomenal. On a side note, it is taking for-ever to upload pictures the last couple days. Anyone else having these problems??

Like I mentioned earlier, I scheduled a hill workout today (I updated my weekly training schedule on the right side of the page, btw) and was not looking forward to it. However, I am ecstatic to report that I had a great run this morning!

Instead of cranking up the speed and the incline today, I stuck with the same speed and concentrated on climbing the hills while maintaining my pace. Here's the info on my workout:

Distance: 3 miles
Time: 29:30
Pace: 9:50

Warm-up: 5 min
Incline: 2 min
Recover: 3 min
Repeat incline/recover x4 (or until you hit 3 miles!)

I felt that the workout was definitely still challenging, but I felt much better not huffing and puffing until my lungs burned and I keeled over. My booty is already a little sore from those hills!

I love thinking about what I'm going to eat on my way back from a run! Today I threw together an AWESOME salad. I am telling you, it rocked my socks off. I basically filled up a small mixing bowl and inhaled the entire thing. If I had more, I would have continued to eat it until I exploded!

Isn't it pretty?? I took the leftover penne from dinner (we ate all the shrimpies, so there were only noodles left), and tossed it with spinach, a diced tomato, lemon, S&P, and GOAT CHEESE. Wowwwww. The goat cheese really put this sucker over the top! It made for a perfect summer salad. It reminded me of something you could make a huge batch of and bring to a BBQ. This is definitely a must-make-again.

I washed it down with the remainder of a POM Tea I purchased while grocery shopping.

It was good, but not great. I bought it because I was so thirsty at the time, and this looked like an interesting option. It was a little more tart than I was expecting.

After running a few errands, I had a sweet snack.

My grandma gave me quite a few little bags of saltwater taffy for my birthday. So delicious!

I'm thinking about curling up with some green tea and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Happy Hump Day!

We've already made it to the middle of the week! I had a hard time rolling out of bed this morning, but I guess it's okay because I'm on "vacation!"

Recap of yesterday afternoon/evening:

Snack of Puffins and green tea.

And a few TJ's dried apricots. One of the last Trader Joe's products I have that remain from Chicago. Oh, Trader Joe's, I miss you........

I had no clue what I wanted to make for dinner tonight. After looking in the fridge for a while, I pulled out some shrimpies.

I boiled some penne pasta while sauteeing the shrimp in a little butter, EVOO, green onion, red pepper, garlic, and lemon juice. At the last minute, I added a few handfuls of spinach.

Then I mixed it all together! It turned into a pretty nice, light summer-y dinner.

Of course, there had to be dessert.

You can't let good birthday cake go to waste!!

After dinner, I went over to my mom's for a girl's night. My mom, aunt, grandma, and I went to see The Time Traveler's Wife. The book is one of my favorites, and I figured it would be difficult to translate it onto the screen, but I think they did a pretty fair job. I would have liked to see more of the beginning of Claire and Henry's relationship, both when Claire was younger and when they meet in the present, just to help show how deep of a relationship they have. It really was a nice movie, overall. My grandma really liked it, and she had not read the book. My aunt and mom both said they enjoyed the movie as much as the book. I don't know if I quite liked it as much as the book, but I did appreciate seeing the story on the screen, and think the actors did a great job. I would definitely recommend it if you're in the mood for a love story. Plus, you get to see Eric Bana's booty! :)

Giada is currently showing me how to cut a mango on Today. I picked up a mango at the store the other day, so this will be handy for later. :)

I'm off for a workout! Today's training includes another hill workout...groan. The last time I did a hill workout, I was not a happy camper. I don't want to skimp out on my workout, but maybe I shouldn't push myself as hard as last time. I don't want to be a wimp!! I'll let you know how it goes!