Wednesday, January 27, 2010

You know those friends where the conversations are so long and engaging that by the end of the night you don't even remember where you started, but you know that you wish you had a few more hours because there is still so much you want to talk about. Isn't that the best?

Thanks Mickelle, it was exactly what I needed.

Friday, January 22, 2010

My View



Taken just a few minutes ago outside of my apt (on your basic camera mind you, so it's really only an ok image, but I just wanted to give you a feel).



No flash for the first two - shows how light the snow has made the sky so that I can even take a picture at night without flash.


Here's one with the flash (again average camera here - but I kind of liked how it caught the snowflakes)

Sometimes, just sometimes, the snow may be worth it - even if it's just for a little while.
Keep warm!

Blah Blah January

I think January should be only 28 days - then it could be over sooner.

Don't get me wrong, things are going well. Work is much less crazy, recovery from Christmas and December extravaganzas is done (Tangent: I always feel like January is meant for recovering from Christmas, especially when I was a college student. January meant I hadn't worked for two weeks cause I was home for the holidays, I just spent a bunch of money for Christmas, rent is due, books to buy and tuition to pay - I think that's where my resentment towards January started . . . back to this current January), apt is clean (somewhat), weight loss is underway, Craig is home more (yay!). So for all intents and purposes January is great! . . . but also it isn't. It's blah.

January is gross weather with gross air (we've been suffering from major pollution inversion this month) and lots of lots of cabin fever. My body feels like it's time for picnics, hiking, outside BBQs, reading in the sun, etc. . . but the weather never cooperates. This time of year I wish I was in FL (right Sara Lyn?).

I know you're all thinking "oh, it's S.A.D" maybe it is, but I'm not depressed about anything, but not excited about anything either. Not down, but not up - I'm sure you know that feeling.

Anyways, just my way of saying everything is great, but my body is craving sunshine and that means I'm feeling "meh" and ready for January to be done. Anyone with me?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

So Over/Can't Get Enough

Here are just a few things I am so over:

1. Flu Vaccinations - I just don't need it pushed down my throat all the time, and I don't believe that getting a flu vaccine makes me a "flu fighter". Somehow I can't get over the feeling that the only thing the flu vaccine does is make pharmaceutical companies richer and taxpayers poorer.

2. Drive-Thru Diets - Seriously Taco Bell? Seriously?

3. Those ridiculous "Can I do it with my brother or my dad? What about with Angie? No Angie only does it with her boss" commercials on the radio. You know the one for the ski passes where two can go skiing and transfer the passes to whoever they want. I can't stand that. I mean I know you're just trying to make it sound dirty and that's suppose to be funny, but somehow it just makes me think these advertisers are still in Jr. High.

4. Lady Gaga - Girl I was ok with you until I realized that you take yourself seriously, just laugh about your ridiculousness and then I would feel much better about you. Also all your music is synthesized. I'd love to hear something more real.


5. Bread Crust on Sara Lee breads. I love the 100% whole wheat bread that's only 65 calories, but it has the worst crust ever. All Sara Lee wheat breads have bad crust. I always peel the crust of, and then I feel like I'm about 7. :)

6. Dusting - Why is it when I dust I feel like I'm just rearranging the dust patterns instead of actually getting rid of it?



Things I Can't Get Enough Of:

1. Pearls. They are classy and elegant and perfect (right Katie?).

I'll take them seed size, a little messy, perfectly round, on the chunky side and on a chain. Pearls cannot be beat.


2. Herbal Essence Color Me Happy shampoo and conditioner. I've played with lots of the varieties of Herbal Essence (and Pantene and Fructis and off-brand). This one smells the best and lasts the longest at least for me.

3. Finding awesome recipes or cooking techniques.

4. NieNie - She. Is. The. Best.

5. Cherry Print Anything - I'm pretty sure a whiteish kitchen with cherry print accents would be my ideal (cough: Shaina :cough). I don't know what it is - but it's so refreshing, so cheery. I love it.


6. Biggest Loser (I've even got Craig to enjoy this one), Glee (even with all the inappropriate stuff on this show makes me happy. If you haven't seen it don't start. You'll love it and hate it at the same time and will be torn like I am.), 30 Rock (funniest show on right now)

Want to share anything you're over or can't get enough? Love to hear!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lesson Learned: No Junk

A continuation from yesterday (thanks for all the comments! I'm going to reply soon):

This is pretty much what I eat for lunch everyday (sorry for the poor quality, display and lighting). Sometimes I'll have snap peas or cauliflower instead of carrots and sometimes grapes instead of clementines (which if I had snap peas or grapes in this picture would make it look more appetizing). But there it is: my Five A Day, all for lunch and a snack or two during the day. Anything else for breakfast (although usually it's just oatmeal) and dinner is an added bonus. The sandwhich is 100% whole wheat and natural peanut butter with honey (Adam's brand, the kind you have to stir. It doesn't include the extra oils or sugar that are often added to most peanut butters. Ideally I would make my own. one day, one day).

Also I went to a Rock Band party last night. It was fun and I enjoyed everyone's company and even the pizza, but they had Starburst there. I haven't made it a goal or conscious to not eat candy, but I honestly haven't candy in months (last time was around Halloween). Well I ate those Starburst (how can you turn down a pink Starburst?). Later that night I regretted it. I just didn't feel good, I just felt blah and ugh (not sick, but not good). I started wondering if before when I would pretty regularly eat candy if I felt that way? I'm not sure. But I know now that when I eat candy I don't feel so well. Junk is out.

P.S. I do not count dark chocolate as junk candies (so many health benefits involved, this is just one page of basic info, but there is so much out there about dark chocolate. Serene that's for you).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Progress!

So Craig and I have been really working hard at the losing weight thing. It wasn't a New Year's resolution, we've been working on it for the last few month, minus the few weeks around Christmas. I've been feeling a little discouraged because the scale hasn't gone down very much.

BUT . . . I measured myself today. I've lost 4" off my waist and 2" off my hips and the girls (sad for the girls). Progress!! I was thinking that my "skinny jeans" were fitting better, but just attributed it to the jean stretch, but I guess they really do fit now -just right. Still about 15lbs to go, but good progress and motivation to keep on going.

I've been loosely following the WW plan, but mostly going with the eat real foods (limit processed foods), lots of fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts (all that good stuff) , whole grains, fewer meats, limit the sugars (NO artificial sweeteners or fats), and lots and lots of water plan. Basically the kind of diet I want to adopt on a permanent basis. The problem training your body to want that kind of a diet is a challenge. Craig and I get hungry a LOT.

I've also been walking to work whenever possible and doing some regular exercise (walking with Craig and biking, etc). It feels good!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The three most exciting sounds in the world

One of my favorite lines from It's a Wonderful Life:

George: You know what the three most exciting sounds in the world are?
Billy: Uh-huh. Breakfast is served; lunch is served, dinner...
George: No, no, no, no! Anchor chains, plane motors, and train whistles.

We live a little over a mile away from the train tracks, just far away that we don't hear the trains rushing by, but we do hear the train whistles. Almost every night just after going to bed, but before sleep comes I hear whistles from the train. It's one of my favorites things (if I was going to sing about My Favorite Things train whistles would be in the lyrics, Craig would have to add a ships horn to the lyrics as well). There is something so romantic and even calming about hearing the train go by.

Whenever we do move it will be one of the things I miss the most about our little apt.

If you want to head down nostalgia lane you can listen to some train whistles here and here, and, just for Craig a ship horn's here and here. (and one more Craig found, ok one more)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Born To Run

Ok I normally don't do book reviews - this is a first. But it's worth it.

I just finished this book Born to Run. It was a really, really interesting. Basically the author goes through all these different stories, experiences and research to tell us that mankind is born to run (shocking I know, as if the title didn't give it away). Basically the idea that running leads to lots of injuries and is very hard on our knees, joints, backs, etc is all wrong. He talks about these ultrarunners who run for 100s of miles at a time and suffer virtually no injuries (actually it's really cool). There's a lot of fluff in his book and the author takes a little too long to really tell his story, but there is a lot of interesting information that has taken me to researching things online (one of the them being how running was an essential part of man's evolution, actually that was the most interesting part of this entire book).


I think one of the reasons that it holds interest for me is that I've always looked at running as the thing beyond my reach. Like I'll never really be able to achieve being a "runner". But this book helped me to realize that running, and running well, is within everyone's reach, we just have to learn how to approach it differently. That is a cool feeling. (Not saying I'm going to be a running star, but instead "hey I can do it").

I've been walking a lot lately, but I may soon be adding a little jogging, or slogging as one friend likes to call it. But hey there is nothing wrong with that. :D

It's worth the read, check it out, borrow it or buy it.


For any of you who have already read the book you can find some pictures of the "greatest race the world have never seen" here, including the picture above.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Let there be cake

So I've been playing with recipes lately. I've decided that I just want one really good recipe for whatever it is I'm making (cookies, pies, roasts, spaghetti sauce, etc.). It takes a lot of trial and error (thank goodness for a patient hubby).

I made some white bread (much too salty, I'm going back to my original one that I use - why did I try something new?). But I want to venture into the world of whole wheat bread. I'm looking for a good and delicious recipe, any one? Mickelle I'm looking at you.

I have one that I'm happy with for cookies (thanks Katie!) and I have my spaghetti sauce that I like (every time go a different direction I'm disappointed). And I discovered my fav apple pie (Pioneer Woman you're the best)!

But there is one recipe that remains elusive: cake.



I mean from scratch, using cake flour, add your own sugar and vanilla kind of cake. Most every from scratch recipe that I've tasted are really dense and/or dry. I'm looking for a delicious light, moist cake. To this day I prefer cake mix cakes - but I really really want to find a from scratch recipe that's delectable.

I just tried one recipe that whipped the egg whites and folded into the cake batter. It certainly was light enough, but surprisingly didn't rise very much, and dried out very quickly.

Any suggestions or recipes?

Also what do you top your cakes with? I have a problem with most frosting being too sweet and thick (can you tell I prefer light textures?). I've used powdered sugar, whipped cream, pudding, pudding mixed with whipped cream, fruit, and ganache (which certainly was less sweet, but much more thick, I actually like the taste of the ganache better the next day, but the cake dried out too much overnight).

So folks, any brilliant ideas? I'm looking to you now. Comments highly encouraged.

image found here

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Walrus

This is mine and Craig's new favorite cartoon:

It is awesome!

Friday, January 1, 2010

2009 in Sum

2009 has been a wonderful year.
Probably one of the most important ever.

Engaged in January
On the Queen Mary

Went to NC in February
had my first pig pickin'!!

Craig's beloved Grandmother passed away in March
A great, great woman.

Married in April!
he is so handsome!

Honeymoon in May
Cruise down to Mexico (where we got to see the Mexican coast, but couldn't go ashore because of swine flu)

June: Craig was working out of town a lot this month and Megan came to visit!

July:

Shaina graduated from BYU-I and I went up to Yellowstone with my family. Beautiful!!

August: out of DEBT!!
Also I turned 27.

September:
Craig made me cookies (second time he's cooked since I've known him) and he left to stay in NC for almost 2 months.

October:
Craig's still in NC and turns 27! I sent him an awesome birthday package.

November:
Visited my family for Thanksgiving! So much fun!! Being with family is the best. But we didn't take any pictures.

December:
Merry Christmas!! And I got my Kitchen Aid - Yay!

We've had some really great experiences, some trials as well, but that makes us stronger.
I'm looking forward to see what 2010 will bring!
And I'll try to take more pictures throughout this upcoming year.

Hope 2009 was good for you as well (although I know this year has been a struggle for so many) and best wishes to you for 2010.