Wednesday Wackiness…if the wackiness stands for exhaustion

I’m so tired. I got up early (didn’t want to) went on a long walk with intervals of pretty intense jogging/sprinting (zombies, you know). Took my vitamin, ate some yogurt, went to work (am now typing this at work, shh). Had healthy breakfast, drinking plenty of water, everything I’m supposed to do.

I’m just…tired. Part of it is stress, we have a big camping trip coming up over Labor Day weekend, and after my last therapy session (yes, I’m in therapy now and still trying to make myself be okay with it) I’m feeling more than ever like I need a change, something or someplace new. We’ve been talking about getting a kitten (have to check with the landlady first) or possibly pulling up roots altogether and moving to Idaho or someplace. Or both. But in the meantime, everything just goes by like normal.

If we did move, one of the things I would miss the most would be my choir. I love to sing, and I especially love to sing the challenging, beautiful music that we sing in my choir. So for a little pick-me-up, here’s one of my favorite new a cappella groups, Pentatonix:

My choir doesn’t sound like this, of course. We’re a church choir! We sound like this (yes, this is my choir):


Friend Makin’ Monday: Awkward!

It’s an interesting week for FMM, for sure!

Inappropriate Questions

1. Will you vote in the upcoming presidential election? Of course I will. At times it feels useless, but that’s when it’s most important to exercise my freedom to vote.

2. Do you say curse words? Occasionally, but it doesn’t come naturally to me at all.

3. Have you ever kissed a stranger? Yep, back in my crazy (late) teenage years.

4. If you could choose to meet only one fellow blogger in person right now who would you choose? Since I just read her book and she’s something of a hilarious inspiration to me, I’d have to say Jenny Lawson, the Bloggess. Of course, then I’d have to overcome my anxiety about talking to strangers (which would be enormously ironic in this case) and try not to come off as a creepy fangirl stalker.

5. What is the most inappropriate pick-up line that anyone has ever used on you? Not the line, specifically, but I was at a restaurant by myself, eating and reading a book, and a potential Romeo came over and used the old, tired, “What are you reading?” line. I turned the cover of the book to show him the title, and kept reading. He kept trying to engage me in conversation and started to get a bit threatening, so I finally had to shut him down with a threat to call the police if he didn’t leave me alone.

Dude. No stranger (and sometimes no friend or family member) is important enough to get between me and the book I’m reading.

6. Do you sing in the shower? The shower, the car, the street, my office, the living room, etc. Oh, and choir practice. I sing there, too!

7. How often do you get drunk? I generally have a drink with dinner, more than that and I just get sleepy and curl up in a ball on the sofa.

8. Have you ever been fired from a job? Oh yes. It was a combination of creative salesmanship (involving using coupons to help customers save money, the horror), and the insinuation that I was dating my boss. I was (we’re married now, and have been for almost 9 years), but c’est la vie! I hated the job anyway, and I’m in a much better one now.

9. Were you popular in high school? Not really. I was a drama/choir geek, though, so I always hung with those groups. Plus I was in mostly honors/AP classes so I hung with the little clique of smart kids too.

10. Who is your current celebrity crush? Joseph Gordon-Levitt. And Chris Evans. And Chris Hemsworth. And Hugh Jackman.

Monday madness and a workout for your brain

Well, it’s been kind of a whirlwind weekend! First, a couple of announcements:

First, I was super hyped to get my monthly Audible credit on Saturday, so my current soundtrack for any non-zombie-infested workout is now Turn Coat by Jim Butcher (book #11 of the Dresden Files).

If you want to hop on the Audible bandwagon, go ahead and click the link over thataway in the sidebar (at the top, under the search box) to get half off a regular subscription for 3 months. That’s a great deal, especially since the audiobooks are around $30 each, normal price. That’s three audiobooks for less than the price of one! And even when your subscription goes up to the normal rate of $14.95/month, you’re still saving money on each book!

And now for the madness part…I’m still trying to figure out what type of thing to do with this, so for now, let’s go for some mental fitness. If getting the body in shape is good, getting the brain in shape is even better. So here’s my new favorite way to whip that gray matter into shape:

A Google A Day: You get a puzzle every day and have to use Google to help you figure out the answer. You’d think it would be easy, especially with a search engine to help, but half of the challenge is figuring out which questions to ask!

Friday Roundup: Eating cheese and lighting water – for science!

Well, good morning, campers! It’s Friday, so here’s some things I found lying around the web. They’re all at least tangentially related to health or fitness!

Working Out:

3 Moves to Make You a Better Runner – A lot of workouts/stretches for runners focus on the muscles being worked when you run, but this one gives you some workout tips for overall alignment and balance. Plus? Toe yoga!

The Angry Birds Workout Plan – I’m sorry, do I even need an explanation for this? Angry. Birds. Workout. Plan.

Anywhere Workout – Get rid of the excuses about not being able to go to the gym or not being able to afford workout equipment. This is a great circuit you can do at home with no equipment at all.

Eating Right:

20 Superfoods for Weight Loss – Deprivation diets don’t work; I can tell you that from experience. Here’s a list of foods compiled by Self magazine that you can eat shamelessly, including some oldies but goodies (apples, blueberries) and some surprising picks (parmesan cheese)!

Donutmania! – Hungry Girl’s low-fat solutions and recipes if you really want some donuty goodness.

How to Cook: Salmon and Asparagus – The nerds over at Nerd Fitness put this easy-to-follow recipe together for honey-soy salmon and asparagus. Yum!

Random Roundup:

Pi cake pan – Yes, technically this is a cake pan. But you can make all kinds of healthy desserts in a cake pan! Plus? Anything round with pi on it gets my vote. What can I say? When you have a math teacher for a father, these are the kinds of things that find you.

Water bottle ice cube tray – Make ice cubes perfectly sized for your water bottle! Is there anything ThinkGeek can’t do? Don’t answer that.

Solar-powered water bottle cap – Turn your water bottle into a solar-powered lantern! Recycling and geekily cool!

Thursday, August 16 – Journal

Today’s weight: 215 lbs

5:15am: Morning walk – 41:54, 2.35 miles (using Zombies, Run!)
6:00am: Banana
7:30am: Jimmy Dean Delights turkey sausage egg muffin
11:30am: Healthy Choice steamer: Asian-style potstickers
2:00pm: Weight Watchers mini ice cream sandwiches (2) (they’re so tiny!) (and I have to go to the grocery store after work so this will help me stave off hunger-impulse buying!)
5:30pm: Salad (mixed greens, half an avocado, a few cherry tomatoes, some waldorf topping: raisins, walnuts, dried apples) with champagne vinaigrette
6:30pm: Pork chop, Stovetop stuffing
8:00pm: Klondike 100-calorie ice cream bar

So I’m trying a sort of live-updating process with this today, rather than posting everything at the end of the day. Possibly having an ongoing public record will help me with snack-decision-making throughout the day.

OMG so precious

Discovered: tiny ice cream sandwiches!


I picked these up at Target today. They’re so teeny! And only 2 WW points each!

Listen? To a book? (Wednesday Wackiness)

So it’s Wednesday! Time for something a little different to switch it up in the middle of the week.

One of my passions is reading. I learned to read when I was about 2 and have been devouring the printed word ever since. Growing up, I read what my parents had on the shelves, which was mostly classic science fiction (Asimov, Heinlein, some Harry Harrison). And now, I have books on shelves and piled in corners and stacked in boxes under the kitchen table…still mostly science fiction and fantasy, but I try to branch out every once in a while.

For the longest time, I was a book purist. I turned up my nose at audio books and ebooks because they weren’t “real books”. And then, a few years ago, I discovered the joy of going on vacation with about 30 books downloaded to my (at the time, very fancy) Palm cellphone. Now, I have a Kindle and absolutely love it.

But the biggest change for me was discovering the Audible app for my phone. Now, I can download an audiobook and have it read to me when I do my walks. I can read while walking and not be afraid of bumping into things! Plus, I get to hear things like Wil Wheaton reading John Scalzi’s latest book, Redshirts: A Novel With Three Codas. Sidenote: the book is fabulous, and there’s even a theme song by Jonathan Coulton:


One of my favorite ongoing series is Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. (Quick summary: Harry Dresden lives in Chicago as an openly practicing professional wizard. And private investigator. Hijinks ensue.) And then I found out that James Marsters (Spike! From Buffy!) narrates the audiobooks.


True story.

Long story short (too late!), I am now an enthusiastic ebook/audiobook convert. And if you haven’t tried either, go ahead! Give it a whirl! There’s a Kindle app for iPhones/Android phones as well as the Audible app.

Wednesday, August 15 – Journal

Today’s weight: 215 lbs

5:15am: Morning walk – 30:53, 1.67 miles (using Zombies, Run!)
6:00am: Banana
7:30am: Tall skinny vanilla latte and ham breakfast sandwich from Starbucks
10:15am: Nonfat blackberry yogurt
12:30pm: Healthy Choice steamer: barbecue steak and red potatoes (omg so good)
2:00pm: Weight Watchers mini ice cream sandwich
3:30pm: 1/4 cup trail mix
6:30pm: linguine with tomato sauce, 2 slices french bread, 6 oz chicken thighs
9:00pm: Drumstick ice cream cone

Still working on the whole sweets thing…I think I’m going to try subbing in fruit again for some of those desserts.

Tuesday, August 14 – Journal

Today’s weight: 216 lbs

5:15am: Morning walk – 41:12, 2.26 miles (using Zombies, Run!)
6:00am: Banana
7:30am: Oatmeal with skim milk
8:30am: 2 chocolate-chip cookies (well, I needed to take my daily vitamin and you’re supposed to take it with food. Nausea averted!)
9:00am: Nonfat strawberry-banana yogurt
12:00pm: Smart Ones szechuan chicken and noodles and a Diet Snapple (lemonade/iced tea flavor)
1:30pm: 2 chocolate-chip cookies (I had 4 total left over from the batch I made last night, and I can’t just WASTE them!)
5:30pm: 3 oz penne pasta with tomato sauce and albacore tuna, salad, 2 slices of French bread, and a glass of iced tea
7:00pm: (yes, planning ahead) 1 cup Dreyer’s slow-churned mint cookie crunch ice cream with a tablespoon of lightly salted peanuts (yes, I’m weird)

All in all, a little dinner/dessert heavy, but I think a good place to start!

Rules, schmules (Friend Makin’ Monday)

On a Tuesday. Hey, give me a break, I was on vacation last week and the days all start to jumble together.

In the Kitchen

1. How often do you cook at home? Me personally? Rarely. Fortunately, my husband enjoys cooking so he cooks pretty much every night. Win for me!

2. Do you eat more fresh produce, frozen or canned produce? It’s about half and half. Fresh potatoes, carrots, onions and fruit, and frozen corn/green beans/veggie mixes.

3. What are a few unusual staples that can always be found in your kitchen? Unusual? Hmm. If olive oil and garlic are unusual…(did I mention I’m Italian?)

4. Look in your fridge, then tell us about the healthiest thing in there. Either the carrots or the nonfat yogurt.

5. Now share the most unhealthy thing in it. My husband’s cans of Coke.

6. Do you eat leftovers? Sure, I’ll have leftovers if we make enough; normally we only have enough for the one meal though.

7. Do you use coupons at the supermarket? I notice them in the paper, and I save them when I get them with my receipt, but I always forget to bring them with me.

8. How often do you try new recipes? Well, given that I’m not the cook, I hardly ever try new recipes. My husband improvises sometimes, but we do tend to stay in food ruts.

9. Do you make grocery lists? Do you stick to them? If it’s a planned grocery trip, I have a list. And a system. There may or may not be route planning involved.

10. If you could buy one food item that would magically be calorie-free, which item would you choose? Strangely? I think cheese. Sharp, delicious cheddar.