Archive | July, 2012

Random Musings

29 Jul

It’s been a pretty busy week and a half since I’ve posted anything, and I have so many things floating around in my head at the moment. Sounds like a great time for some random musings.

I painted Juliette’s toes for her first birthday party. I’m sure there’s a danger there due to the toxicity of the nail polish and the chance she could put her toes in her mouth, but I did it anyway. Judge if you must, but it was darn cute! She looked like such a little princess. I ended up taking it off right before her one year check up a few days ago for fear the doctor would yell at me.
Image

Just in case you were wondering, this is what Barbie and Ken would look like planking in yoga class. Hardcore, on fingertips. And if you look closely, Ken is rocking it three-legged! Yes I was playing with them. My kids were around somewhere, so it’s ok. Say, when did Ken get Suze Orman hair? He’s supposed to have plastic hair molded to his head. His underwear is still plastic and flesh colored, thank goodness.
Image

I bought Kale on a bold whim and tried it in a green smoothie. I have heard Kale is not for the weak, so I added as many sugary fruits as I could find in my fridge. Handful of strawberries, banana, blueberries, and I think maybe some grapes. It wasn’t so bad going down but upon finishing, and for about a day afterward, I felt like I had slammed the buffet at Golden Corral. I had no desire to work out, or even get up from the couch really. I’ll spare you the details, but suffice to say I didn’t exactly feel at the top of my game. I’ll be leaving the Kale on my grocer’s shelf from now on. Organic baby spinach and romaine, Mama’s coming home!
Image

Does anyone else have a front door with no peephole, or was it just me? Seriously, who builds a house without one? It’s like call waiting. I would never answer my phone without knowing who was calling, and I’m definitely not opening my front door if I can’t see who’s on my porch. Asking “who’s there” is out – we’ve all seen the old SNL sketch with the shark. I’m not falling for that one!  Anyway my dear husband and Father-in-Law finally installed one for me! Yay! Feel free to come by and knock on my door but fair warning, I will be spying on you from the inside and sizing you up before I open the door. Persons carrying gifts or food will be favored.
Image

Advertisements

Cricket Match

17 Jul

Are fearless crickets a Texas thing? Or have they developed a need for diplomacy with the humans over the last several years? Until I moved here, my only contact with crickets was hearing them chirp from afar at nightfall during summer. “What’s that? Aw, the crickets are chirping! Let’s go roast s’mores!”

Then I laid eyes on one. I am embarrassingly terrified of bugs, and was not at all pleased at what these things look like. One tiny step up from a roach, basically. You’d think I’d be able to handle my bugs better since I grew up in the palmetto bug capital of the world, but no. I know they smell my fear a mile away, and think it’s just hilarious to taunt me. “Hey look, she’s scared! Let’s jump in her hair!’

I’ve posted before about being cornered and harassed by crickets. It was gang violence at its worst. Well it happened again (twice) at the gym. The first time I was in a group exercise class and a cricket comes jumping up to my mat. My mission at this point becomes to kill it without getting close enough to touch it (or to give it access to my hair). I swipe it with my towel which gets me nothing but a few pleas to not kill it from bug lovers in the room. Why me, nasty cricket!? There were 25 other people in the room! Jump over to one of the bug lovers and lay in her hair, she’ll probably let you do pilates right along with her. The instructor tried to stomp it with her shoe, but was stopped by more cries from the gallery to let it live. Some bug activist finally got up and removed the thing, with her bare hand, UGH. The same exact thing happened in the same class about a week later. This time the instructor quickly squashed it with her shoe before anyone was the wiser. You go, girl! No word on whether it was the same cricket as the week before, but if it was, you have to agree he had it coming to him, being back in that same room.

Well today I was hunted again. I was in the car, after taking my son to his dentist appointment, and he said “Mama, look! A bug!” Those dreaded words. Somehow instead of running the car off the road and melting down, I keep it together. “Oh, where?” (Keep it casual, the kid’s watching) He points up. “There!”

I look up to the sunroof and see this.

Image

There was a long moment of sheer panic while my brain struggled to determine what side of the glass he was on. Outside. Heart rate slowing. I’m going to live. We ride for a few minutes while my son chatters away with Mr. Cricket and I try to pretend I’m cool with him being there. We stop at a light and I look up. Is he…glaring at me? Has he come to avenge the death of his loved one from the gym?

I decide rather than going straight home and letting Gym Bug’s Avenger corner me in my garage, it’s safer to take a detour and try to lose him. We drove to the grocery store and ran inside. By the time we came out, he was gone. I know this stare down was a horse-head-in-the-bed message from the crickets. “Watch your back, we know where to find you.” Shudder.

UPDATE: So apparently this guy is a grasshopper, not a cricket. Great, now I’m gonna have the Grasshoppers mad at me too.

My New Toy

14 Jul

20120714-195531.jpg

I’ve been obsessing about the FitBit for weeks, as I often do with things right before I find a way to purchase them. Just as I was starting to believe I couldn’t live one more minute without knowing precisely how many calories I’m burning at any given moment, it arrived!

It’s cute! It’s pink! It spells my name correctly! I’m in love.

20120714-200015.jpg

The arrival was Thursday afternoon. Friday morning at 8:26 I was front and center in spin class at the Y, ready to burn an excessive number of calories and finally know for sure what that number was. Not knowing exactly how many calories I burn during spin frustrates me. Calorie estimators will give you anything from 500 to 1000 depending on your level of intensity. “Vigorous” versus “highly vigorous” can mean a difference of hundreds and hundreds of calories. How the heck do I know?! Yes, there are times in spin where the vigorous is so high I’m sure I’m going to realize my great fear of falling off the bike while my feet stay attached to the pedal straps. There are also times (many) where I choose to completely ignore the instructor’s suggestion to add tension in favor of a few minutes to catch my breath.

So Friday morning I was so ready to put an end to the mystery. I rode with all I had, and even participated in (most of) the tension increases. I resisted checking my FitBit until the end of stretching. Fully expecting, knowing, I reached a burn of at least 700 calories. The grand total?

208 calories.

Shock. Betrayal. Adorable little gadget of lies!

208! Impossible. I burn 208 just getting myself and the kids ready and to the gym!

After a quick conversation with the instructor and confirming my rage is well placed, she suggests maybe I’m wearing my FitBit in the wrong place for cycling and it’s just not picking up my pedal strokes. I had it clipped on the waistband of my shorts. Had to be.

Further research at home reveals cycling is one of FitBit’s least accurate activities when it comes to capturing calories burned. Great. I did read in the online community section that a few users had good luck clipping it to their sock, so I’ll try that next time.

Ok, so even though I still don’t know exactly how many calories spin class burns me, I’ve made peace with FitBit and have really enjoyed its benefits. I have made a conscious effort to reach 10,000 steps in a day (though I’ve yet to), and I like seeing how a few minutes running around the house playing with the kids translates into calories burned. I absolutely love the sleep tracker. Every morning it tells me how long it took me to fall asleep, the efficiency of my sleep, and how many times (and when) I woke. Though when I woke up this morning my readout said I had taken 52 steps since midnight. A tad alarming. Where did I go? I’m definitely a crazy psycho sleep talker, but sleep walking? A whole new thing. At least I’m getting added exercise, I guess.

I imagine I’ll learn tons more about my new toy as I continue to use it. In the meantime, let’s hope I don’t walk out the front door in my sleep.

Almond Milk

9 Jul

I wasn’t aware this was a food blog, though it seems to be turning out that way.

I’ve always been a hardcore drinker of cow’s milk. I was vaguely aware that other milks existed, but knew absolutely nothing about them. Only vegan hippies buy almond milk, whatever that even is.

But as you may know, I’ve been getting brave in the kitchen lately. So on a hot tip from a friend who said it would be good in a green smoothie, I bought a small carton of almond milk. Spoiler alert:: it’s delicious!

I have a problematic tendency to fall into obsessions with products, foods, places…anything. I’m a salesman’s dream. Two minutes into a schpeel and I’m ready to throw down the money and sign. My husband has to shoo them and steer me away every time. It’s the same with things I read on the internet. “The internet says almond milk is best, dairy is propagated by lobbyists!” (Yes, I actually said that yesterday) So I might just be obsessing about the almond milk, but as of this moment, I’m all about a permanent switch from cow’s milk to almond milk. It seems to have mad benefits like being high in antioxidants, vitamins & minerals, and lower in calories. The only cons I could find are that if you have a tree nut allergy, this stuff will really mess you up. Plus did I mention it’s ridiculously delicious? Wilson asks for “the amazing milk” every day.

So naturally this week I looked for a larger carton. Yep, it’s twice as much money as cow’s milk, of course. Because hey, you want decent nutrition and organic grass fed meat? Get ready to spend. If not, we have some very edible pink slime and animal by-products over here for an affordable price.

20120709-132244.jpg

p.s. – Note in the background my adorable owl coffee mug cozy. Made by my mom and her infinite talent!

Now here’s miss Juliette enjoying some nice almond milk! Although I think I seriously confused her by calling it “milk” when I gave it to her. She only knows that word as it relates to breastfeeding. She seemed to enjoy it, but the whole time kept looking at me like “um…no.”

20120709-132751.jpg

Pesto Pizza and Meal Planning

3 Jul

Since I’ve stopped wasting a good portion of my day working a job, I’ve gotten much more creative with meal preparation. I never really enjoyed the process of meal planning, shopping, and cooking before. It’s very hard to enjoy that stuff when you’re trying to cram it in around an already busy schedule. When I was working I would run to the store whenever I had the chance and do a mad dash grab. It was usually the same stuff every week. Box of Mac & Cheese, bag of frozen chicken nuggets, package of tortellini, jar of sauce for torts, box of jambalaya mix, sausage for jambalaya, ground beef, taco shells, salsa, milk, cereal. I’d leave the store thinking, “eh, good enough, we’ll eat out the rest of the nights”. Seriously, that was the extent of my meal planning.

Now it just so happens that my not working has somewhat dovetailed with our decision to live in a healthier way. Yes I stopped working a year ago, but we also had a newborn and no desire to make healthful choices. Simply preheating the oven and dumping a bag of frozen nuggets on a cookie sheet was a feat of culinary genius. While baby screams at the very idea of us doing something for ourselves, rather than her. These days I always have a meal plan and a list when I shop. I discovered where the organic section of Kroger is. No joke, I had no idea it was there. Also, just in case you didn’t know, the grocery store before noon on a weekday is a downright amazing experience. It slowly morphs into a nightmare the closer you get to 6pm.

Anyway, one of my favorite things in this world is pizza. Unfortunately commercial pizza is about as good for you as a kick in the face. That’s why I make my own. I came up with this little gem last night:

Image

I found this Afghani Roti flatbread in the bakery section. I’ll never buy regular pizza crust again! Basil pesto sauce, diced tomatoes, chicken that I shredded in my KitchenAid chopper, and 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese. It doesn’t look nearly as good in the picture as it did in real life. That’s because my knowledge of photography consists of “point, shoot, instagram”, and I didn’t even bother to run this one through instagram. Anyway, 390 calories, 13.9g of fat, and I ego-maniacally thought it tasted like something I’d get at California Pizza Kitchen.

Could it be? Am I beginning to enjoy…cooking?

Jane Started It!

Classic characters with a contemporary twist

mommywiferunner

my quest to establish the new "me"

Daily Crave

Daily Crave By Chef Natalie Lewis

The Good Greatsby

Paul Johnson's comedy blog: I didn't get into comedy to be rich or famous. All I've ever wanted was to be loved...by somebody rich and famous.

Simon C. Holland

some things are awesome, some not so much.