Friday, January 28, 2011

Some Random Thoughts

Silence broken. By me. I was reminded that it is a two way street.

In other news while traveling to LA for work this week I had time to kill between a meeting and a dinner I had to attend. I went to see No Strings Attached. While the ending is a total cliche I couldn't help but love this line:

That is a terrible self destructive plan and we are behind you 100%.

As I have talked about ad nauseum 99% of the time I am content being alone. Then there are times that I hate it. For instance, waking up alone on Christmas? Not fun. The prospect of waking up alone on my 30th? I could do without. But I read this article and was reminded once again why being single is great.

I do not need anyone in my life to complete me. I make my life whole.
The LA trip also meant that I finished my first book of 2011. Since I am turning 30 this year I am setting a goal to read 30 books.

The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium, #2)The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent book. Much more engaging than the first in the series. I am excited to read the third.

View all my reviews

Walking Contradiction

I think I want silence.

I receive silence.

I refuse to break it.

I hate it.

That saying? Be careful what you wish true.

Eventually the silence will be broken.

Things will go back to the way they were. Unresolved but our normal.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

An Explanation of Sorts

A 3:30 a.m. wake up coupled with 5 hours flying time gave me a lot of time to think.
Time to write the raw thoughts as they go through my head.
Sent from my phone due to travels.
There was no big event, just a manifestation of thoughts.
As I've said before, it was about him then, its about him now.
A situation that may never go away or be resolved.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Silent Goodbye

I'm contemplating going away without a word.
Simply fading away without explanation. Declarations of the end have been made and revoked, rinsed and repeated to no avail.
Perhaps just not being there anymore is the answer.
I say it now after an exchanged look, a small silence.
But when silence is shattered will that same strength be there? If it were; would you care?
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Greek Cooking Class Night 2

Last night was our second Greek Cooking class and I must say - it did not disappoint. I learned that I really like Moussaka, the Greek version of lasagna. Traditionally Moussakka is made with potatoes but we opted to use eggplant and it was very yummy.

I think I enjoyed it most because, not being a fan of tomatoes, the amount of sauce used in this recipe is very light.

Below are links to the recipes that we made:

Horiatiki Salata (Greek Salad)
Moussaka (Greek Lasagna)
Spanakopita (Spinach and Feta Cheese Pie)
Saganaki (Fried Cheese)
Loukoumades Me Meli (Greek Donuts with Honey Syrup)

Love that this class is forcing me get out of my comfort zone and try new things.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Perfect Saturday - And Then...

This past Saturday I woke-up, rested and relaxed.

The start of a fabulous morning.

I went to the gym and completed a 4 mile run, my Thursday weight workout and 20 minutes of abs. In total I spent an hour and 40 minutes at the gym.

It was heaven.

Fast forward to a shower, freshly made cinnamon rolls and a great cup of coffee I am now having a perfect day.

Me and my coffee jump in my vehicle to run errands and meet my sister for lunch.

Seriously. Could there be a better Saturday?

My coffee travels in style. I have a stylin' Jonathan Adler for Starbucks cup benefiting the (Red) foundation.

I am on the highway and I reach down to grab my coffee. As I grab my pretty cup, by its pretty lid, the lid manages to pop off about halfway up.

And coffee goes EVERYWHERE.

Somehow it manages to swirl behind me. Soaking the back of my white shirt.

Actually it isn't mine. Its my sisters' shirt.


I'm too far from home to turn back because I would essentially have to get where I am going to turn around.

So I stop at a rest area and turn my shirt backwards so that I can wash the affected areas in the sink.

That took my amazing, relaxing, picture perfect day from heaven to hell in point 2 seconds.

The day rectified itself later but sitting through lunch in a half wet shirt was not my idea of perfection.

Finding my birthday party shirt that I imagined in my head and found at a local boutique? Made it all worth it.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Signs of an Exciting Friday

  • Your home
  • You have The Girl Who Played with Fire open to page 352
  • You have 6 magazines surrounding you
    • Glamour
    • InStyle
    • Real Simple
    • Successful Promotions
    • Shape
    • Health
  • You get a text from a friend asking if you drink on Friday's. That is the thing about a small town. If you don't go out people notice.
  • You have 6 episodes of Criminal Minds on DVR and are hoping there is at least 2 you have not seen
  • You deep cleaned your house
  • You are doing laundry
I have to admit. I am in by choice.

I am sure I could make the jaunt to the local watering hole but there is a lot I would like to get done tomorrow. For instance I need to run 4 miles and lift, go to the pool & spa store to purchase some chemicals and get a cheat sheet for hot tub maintenance, list some items on eBay (if you are a size 4 in need of jeans, dresses or dress pants let me know) and CraigsList, touch-up paint my cabinets....I could go on and on.

So I am in.  I hope to get half that stuff done tomorrow morning (mainly the workout and spa store) so that I can play in a poker tournament in the afternoon. What was that about being effective all weekend? I think I may have gotten distracted...

A Workout

So remember when I was deciding between doing a double or just doing yoga?

Yeah, I went with the double.

I may very well be certifiable at this point.

So last night I went to the gym for 2 hours. 2 hours. Do you know why I can go to the gym for that amount of time?

A. I have no life.
B. I am single.
C. I don't have small human children (only small furry kids).

The double workout was tough.

I did a full weights workout which begins on the machines. I start with 2 moves back to back beginning with 2 sets of leg reps and then 2 arm reps. After that you circle back to do your heaviest weight set on your legs and then arms.

This is the workout I do 2 -3x per week. Typically Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Leg Press - 10 reps at 120 lbs, 10 reps at 140 lbs
Lat Pull - 10 reps at 55 lbs, 10 reps at 70 lbs
Leg Press - 10 reps at 165 lbs
Lat Pull - 10 reps at 85 lbs
Leg Extension - 10 reps at 45 lbs, 10 reps at 55 lbs
Overhead Press - 10 reps at 30 lbs, 10 reps at 35 lbs
Leg Extension - 10 reps at 60 lbs
Overhead Press - 10 reps at 40 lbs
Leg Curl - 10 reps at 45 lbs, 10 reps at 55 lbs
Vertical Row - 10 reps at 50 lbs, 10 reps at 60 lbs
Leg Curl - 10 reps at 60 lbs
Vertical Row - 10 reps at 70 lbs
   Abducter - 10 reps at 65 lbs, 10 reps at 70 lbs
   Adducter -  10 reps at 75 lbs, 10 reps at 80 lbs
Chest Press - 10 reps at 40 lbs, 10 reps at 45 lbs
   Abducter - 10 reps at 90 lbs
   Adducter - 10 reps at 90 lbs
Chest Press - 10 reps at 50 lbs

Tired yet? Because we aren't done!
Once I am done with machines I move into the free weight portion of my workout. The free weight portion of my workout changes each week. The focus shifts between arms, chest/back and legs/glutes. Right now I am focused on legs/glutes.
On the ball I did:
  • 3 sets of 10 bicep curls using 12 lb dumb bells.
  • 3 sets of 10 overhead triceps moves using 10 lb dumb bells
  • 3 sets of 10 glute flexes using weighted ankle weights (10 lbs per foot)
I then do 3 sets of 20 (10/per leg) traveling lunges with ankle weights on and 12 lb dumb bells in each hand.

I also do a 3 sets of 10 Pilate's kicks. There are 3 moves per leg a total of 90 reps when finished.

Finally to round it out I finish with weighted crunches. I put about 25 lbs on my chest and then do ab work from there.

So you would think when I was done with all of this I would go home and relax. Instead I went to an hour long yoga class.

And it was heaven.

I reached nirvana when I got home and soaked in the hot tub before a quick shower and cuddling on the couch with my furry kids. 

I am taking today off from working out and giving my body a rest. Well, except for the dressage lesson this evening. Tomorrow I will do a 4 mile run and the above weight workout.

Fun, Fun!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Best Laid Plans

So the plan was to come home from my girls night of bowling, grab my fancy new camera and shoot some cool pictures of my new best friend...aka my hot tub. 

Of course I figured since I was going to be out there I might as well get my suit on so I could jump in right away. Had I of been smart I would have changed the camera settings for the optimum snowy night shot before stepping outside.

But I didn't.

Instead I walked outside in my robe and furry boots, turned the camera to auto and shot a quick picture before jumping in for a 45 minute soak.

I could have stayed there forever.

If it weren't for the icicles forming on my eyelashes.


So there it is in all its glory. The one thing that keeps me warm at night. My hot tub. I don't know how I went this long without one.

I'm really not sure how it doesn't make Oprah's list of favorite things.

I need to get a table to set next to it so that I have a place for my towel and robe. I also need to add light kits to my outdoor ceiling fans so that I can read while relaxing.

Does anything sound better than that?

In other news I am ridiculously sore today from yesterday's workout that I didn't make it to the gym this a.m. I am debating between a light jog followed by lifting tonight before yoga or just simply enjoying yoga.

Decisions, decisions.

I'm also going to try and have an insanely productive weekend which means I am going to be a hermit. It means no visit to the local watering hole. I can't even walk in because we know that I won't leave after a couple. Especially not if friends husbands go out and turn your vehicle off to keep you there.

So in I will stay. There will be items placed on CraigsList and eBay. Rooms organized. Cleaned. Purged.

What are your weekend plans? Anything fun or boring like mine?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hits and Misses

In keeping with the theme of food this week I went to a cooking party last night that featured Homemade Gourmet products. Say what you will about home parties but I like them. Yes, its often a free hard sell but you are a big girl and should be able to say no. If you don't find anything you like at minimum you had a fun evening out of the house with a group of women who are likely your friends. At best, you find products you like.

The premise of the company is to make simple meals using a meat (fish, chicken, pork or beef), one of their seasonings, a veggie and perhaps a canned good. Some recipes only required their seasoning and one other item. Basically you prep the meals and freeze them and then can throw them in your slow cooker, on the grill or in the oven when hungry. After thawing of course.

I found a dip mix I loved so I was happy and a few spices I can see myself getting a lot of use out of. Double bonus that I now have several meals ready and waiting in my freezer when I want a real meal. I'm excited to try Grandma's Sunday Roast, Beef Burgundy, Asian Pork Lion and the Garlic Basil and Sausage.

The nice part is that I often cook this way so the concept was not foreign to me. Being single it is sometimes hard to just cook for one so I make a big meal and then portion it out into single servings for future use. It works for me.

So all in all. The evening was a success. A hit.

The miss came when I arrived home. I was so excited to relax in the hot tub and take a pic of it with the new camera using one of its fancy night enhancing shots. Not of me in the tub. Just of the tub. No one wants to see that.

But then I stuck my leg in and realized the water was only luke warm when compared to the zero degree temperature.

A quick check of the control panel told me the water was 84 degrees. F....

Off to find the manual I went and it was then I discovered that I put the hot tub in sleep mode. Which, when searching for the silver lining, I realized this is a good thing to know how to do when I travel.

Sadly that meant no hot tub time for me. Major miss.

This morning I tried something new. I went to a TRX class at the fitness center and it quite frankly kicked my ass.

SO very hard. And this is coming from a girl who runs 3x a week, does yoga 2x per week and lifts 3x per week. Really, really hard.

The entire premise is that if you have these straps you can do the workout anywhere using your body weight as the resistance. It was developed by a Navy SEAL. Halfway through the workout I wanted to find that Navy SEAL and kick his butt.

So after the 30 minute workout I wanted to die. During my prayer for death I walked to the front desk and signed up for a 6 week session of classes every Wednesday morning.

Hello? Swimsuit season will be here before we know it.

Then I ran 2.5 miles in 24 minutes (and I walked the first 3 minutes).

Another hit.

I started my day off feeling challenged and was excited to dive into work. Especially when I finally got a much sought after meeting.

I'm thinking my batting average is going to be pretty high this week.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Greek Cooking Class

The single most important thing I learned last night....

Making homemade pasta is really not hard.


Do you know what the ingredients are?

Flour, salt, eggs, milk and butter.

Um, yeah. That is it.

I am definitely going to start making my own pasta and a pasta maker is now on the list of things I want. NOW.

Our instructor used recipes found on the Ultimate Guide to Greek Food site. So what did we make?

Kolokythokeftedes aka Zucchini Fritters
Riganatha. Basically the Greek version of Bruschetta
Makaronia me Bouturo. Greek spaghetti in Brown Butter
Kotopoulo Founou. Roasted Lemon Garlic Chicken with potatoes
Karythopita. Walnut Cake

The a die for!

Okay, maybe that was 3 words.

Seriously the food was great. Something I would eat all the time. I'm not even a fan of lemon flavors and I loved the chicken.

We made several substitutions to the recipes. For instance, we used dried ingredients instead of fresh. We broiled the chicken instead of roasting. But the flavor? Ah-maz-ing.

I even loved the Walnut Cake and I am not a dessert person. Thankfully I didn't eat before class so I was able to enjoy our meal at the conclusion and even had leftovers to enjoy later in the week.

Very glad this was on the 29 Before 30 list.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Big Day

Side Note: Today is the first day in 6 years I haven't had MLK day off. It was very strange to be working while all my friends were off enjoying their day.

But don't worry. I made the most of it.

On today's agenda:
  • I made it to the gym for a 30 min run and 20 minutes of abs.
  • Worked a full day.
  • Returned $190 worth of house stuff to Lowe's (3 boxes of extra flooring) and Target (candles that didn't turn out to be the right color).
  • Purchased the Olympus Stylus Tough that I have been lusting after. By the way, the camera was $80 less expensive on but the store was happy to match the price! Always check the website first!
  • Attended my first Greek Cooking class scratching #19 off the list.
Tomorrow I am going to a Gourmet Cooking Party. Apparently the theme for this week is food. Lots and lots of food.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Weekend in Review

I headed south this weekend to celebrate the 30th birthday of my best friend.

It marked my first real return to the place that I resided for 17 years without ever feeling at home.

There was a celebration. A fun, exciting, dancing filled evening of celebration.

Dinners at favorite restaurants.

A movie.

Visits with old friends.

All the while I experienced the strangest mix of feelings.

At times it felt as though I never left. The ease at which I navigate the city. The visit to my old employer. This time on the other side of the table but at the table nonetheless.

But that whole time I was overwhelmed with the feeling that I made the right decision. This wasn't home. While it was nice to be there, I was happy it was temporary. I couldn't wait to get back.

Even B, when asked about my weekend, probably put it best. How was my weekend away? That is all it was. It was a weekend away spent with great friends.

I returned today to my home. To the house, that although I have only lived here a month is truly home.

There were 2 dips in my hot tub. One upon my return and one after my 6 on 6 basketball game.

I sat there.




Because I was home.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Conversation

Me: And I mean this...If you would be happier with me out of your life, just tell me. So let me know.
B: No, never!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Life

So what does a girl who lives in a small town in America's heartland do when she isn't traveling around the US and Canada for her career?

...I have no idea if you want to know this or not but I feel like writing it...

My morning routine is fairly simple. Its the standard wake up, brush my teeth, let the dogs out, start the coffee, feed the dogs and cat and walk into my home office and ensure I am still attached to the VPN.

Once I'm online and take that first sip of coffee its on. I settle into work; calling, prospecting, setting up conference calls, having conference calls, making travel plans. All day. I only stop when I break for the afternoon workout and to make lunch.

And maybe occasionally check FB or update this blog.

The only variation to this is when I work out in the mornings. Morning workouts are my favorite thing in the world.


If I don't have anyone to meet at the gym, and I haven't lately, there is no way I am going there in the morning.


However, if I were to go in the morning you can insert gym between brushing my teeth and letting the dogs out. Otherwise you can catch me at the gym around noon so that I can use All My Children as a distraction to the fact that I have no workout buddy.

My workout routine is fairly standard.
  • Monday - 30 min run & abs
  • Tuesday - double day! First its a brief cardio warm-up followed by 40 minutes of lifting using machines and free weights. At night I go to an hour long Power Yoga class
  • Wednesday - 45 - 60 min run & abs
  • Thursday - repeat Tuesday's double
  • Friday - repeat Wednesday
My workout hour is also the perfect break in the middle of the day

Pretending there wasn't a giant snow storm ravaging my state this week my evenings would have looked like this:
  • Monday - Junior League General Membership Meeting - canceled because of snow
  • Tuesday - Gourmet Cooking Party - canceled because of snow but that meant I made it to yoga!
  • Wednesday - bowling league. Don't knock it until you get to sit around and have drinks and dinner with your girlfriends every week. 
  • Thursday - yoga
  • Friday - make the drive south for the bff's 30th birthday but generally this would be drinks at the local bar after my dressage lesson.
  • Saturday - House projects & drinks
  • Sunday - basketball league
That is pretty much my life every week. Next week I start a 3 week Greek cooking class on Mondays.

I love having this much planned.

I love being on the go.

I love there being something to do most evenings.

So if anyone tells you there is nothing to do in a small town? Send them to my blog. I'm always busy and I live in a town of 2000.

I chose to move here from a quasi major market with an NFL team and a MLB team.

I am more active here. Because in my compact little area I can do all these things; the workout, the social time, the cooking class...

It is all in what you make of it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Let There Be Hardware

Disregard my messy kitchen as this makes Phase 1 complete!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

And Then I Quit

I'm not sure what I was thinking when I signed up for online dating. Once I did it I knew I wasn't going to like it.

So today I quit.

I tried to close my account online and found that I couldn't. I had to call.

(((insert free hard sell)))

I very patiently kept repeating, "I appreciate your offer/suggestion. However I am not pleased with my experience and I would like to cancel."

Read that 100x and you know how my conversation went.

Luckily I got my $45 dollars back and will never receive another message like this:

Subject: u r pretty

Body: wanna go 2 prom?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Kitchen Updates

Remember we started with this:

Three different paint colors later it now looks like this:

From the dining room you used to see this:

But now you see:

My cabinet hardware will be on this weekend (fingers crossed) and then phase 1 will be complete.

Phase 2 will include new countertops, sink and light fixture. The island will become one level with a row of cabinets added underneath. The island size, 8x5 will stay the same. Hopefully that phase will be complete by May.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day 1: Online Dating

I truly don't know why I signed up for online dating. As you know I am actually rather opposed to it for me.

Partially because I don't like things being forced and there was that bit about B.

But now B is part of the reason why I am signing up. Not that he knows.  

So I took the hour or so to develop my profile, answer their questions and select my pictures.

I had 7 matches.

Immediately I discarded 5 for various reasons.

I am not real enthralled with the remaining 2.

One has two children and I am not sure that is something I can handle.

The other has this hipster, too in touch with his feelings vibe I can't quite shake.

So I asked for new matches...

And was told there are none.

Um, really?

I want my $45 back already!

As If

As if I don't have enough going on I signed up for an online dating site today.

I already don't like it.

I already wonder what I am doing or why I am doing it.

I think its a preventative measure to keep my friends from nominating me to be a contestant on the Bachelor.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Finding Balance

When I have days where I start feeling overwhelmed it helps to do a few things.

  1. Take a deep breathe
  2. Workout
  3. Make lists
Yes. Lists as in plural.

The new house has me feeling a little overwhelmed. Partially because the flooring guys aren't done so there are things. EVERYWHERE. Dust - everywhere. I went from being settled to unsettled. I just want it wrapped up so that I can go on with my life.

So there is that to deal with.

Oh and I have a hot tub I don't know how to run.

Every room in the house is a project. Whether I just want to paint or if I want to do a complete overhaul. Overhaul as in paint, new light fixtures, window treatments etc.

This gets my brain cranked into overdrive.

And then I stress.

So I made a spreadsheet that lists every room in my house and everything I want to do to it.

The best part is that now it isn't rattling around in my brain. Its on paper. Its a plan. It also helps me see that I have a lot to do but that I don't have to do it all right now. It will come. With time.

Its okay.

Take it day by day.

Step by Step.

Light fixture by light fixture.

It doesn't hurt if you physically exhaust yourself by throwing in a double workout. Just sayin.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Feeling Uninspired

Maybe its the fact that I haven't left my house in several days. Or the fact that my entire life for the last two weeks has been consumed by the house but I am feeling rather uninspired.

I am surrounded by people with a new year zest and I am well... I am the Eeyore of the group it seems.

Perhaps because I don't make resolutions?

Maybe its been the lack of a routine. I'm feeling stagnant.

Today is my first day back at work, which as you know is still within my home. I need to get back on the road, both for my own sanity and more importantly for my success at work.

Today I was at the gym at 7 a.m. and returned about 7:40 to meet the flooring guys...because I AM GETTING NEW FLOORING in the kitchen. TODAY.


No more 80's blue and white laminate. There is a God.

Getting the routine back, doing something other than paint all things I need. That will renew my spirit.

If this was a glimpse of life as a retiree I am going to need far more structure in my golden years.