Tuesdays are like Vanilla ice cream

I always said that Tuesdays are like vanilla ice cream.  It is no one’s favorite flavor but if it is all you’ve got people would have a scoop anyway.  That is exactly what today is like for me, it may not be the weekend but it isn’t Monday, so I can’t complain.  I had a super long day because it was day 1 testing of MCAS reading and the rain just made the morning drag.  Good news is I got to talk to a colleague about my blog (I’ve been putting it out there to test the waters and see how people react) and I got an idea on how to organize my About ME!! section.  I did have a chance to start getting it written so hopefully I will be able to work on it this weekend and get it posted by Monday!

Rewind to Jamaica for some Warm Weather Thoughts..ahhh

As you could see from my previous post, I have Ray ADD and got side-tracked in my day.  Also contributing to this ADD is the fact that my bathroom ceiling is leaking and was told by my landlord not to turn on my bathroom light until it stops raining.  With all of this nonsense happening at my self-scheduled gym time of 4:30ish my early gym day turned into a late gym day.  I didn’t get ready to go until 7 (but I went nonetheless!)

anyone else jot their thoughts in a journal?

Skipping the gym yesterday really limits the choices for my other skip day this week (which is why I try hard not to make Monday a skip day).  In assessing the activites and such I have going on this week I really couldn’t not go today.  Here is my plan:

Monday- Skip (4 minutes on the treadmill doesn’t count)

Tuesday- Cardio/ Day 1 (Chest) Weights/ Abs

Wednesday- Tomorrow night I am going to the Celtics game and have a meeting after school so I am going to give going in the morning a shot. The plan?  Get to gym at 6 a.m. to do Day 2 (legs).

Thursday- Outdoor run/Day 3 (Back) Weights (and a wedding shower for three lovely brides I work with, I love my cowworkers!)

Friday- Outdoor run/ Day 4 (Shoulder) Weights (dinner with Kristin and some last minute Easter shopping for Nicholas)

Saturday- Off (hmmmmmm..what to do??)

Sunday- Outdoor run (got to work up an appetite for all that Easter candy I plan on devuring all day)

Before the gym I had a Luna Protein Bar cookie dough flavor, it was delicious and chewy.  It gave me plenty of energy through my 30 minutes run but I tarted to get a little shakey as I started abs.  By the time I got to the end of my weights I was completely drained- and it was almost 9:00.

pre-workout snack

post workout snack

My verdict on late night gym is as follows:  it will do if it is my only option but if I had my choice, I’d rather do it earlier in the day.  So far my favorite gym time is 10ish in the a.m. because the day is just starting, I have enough time to sleep in a bit and eat breakfast, and then I have the whole day ahead of me.  Most importantly- the gym is empty, and I heart an empty gym a lot!

Trying an early a.m. gym sess. tomorrow so I gots to be gettin’ to bed peeps,

Peace out

~L

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Ray ADD

I am writing this post just after finding out the news of the century..are you ready for it?  Ray LaMontagne and David Gray are coming to Boston this summer to play at the Fleet Boston Pavillion!  B E S T  N E W S  E V E R!  I now have Ray ADD and won’t be able to think of much else until August (I am posting this now as I should be gymming it).  Now is a better time than any to get you guys acquainted with my obsession, so listen up!

1) I have seen Ray 2 times in concert and he is so mesmerizing. His voice is soulful and so soft (he is a shy guy) that the entire audience listens in complete silence.  The most current time I saw him, last October, it was an acoustic set and he played songs off his newest album Gossip in the Grain and his older albums, Trouble and Til the Sun Turns Black, in the dark 🙂 .  He even covered some Bob Dylan songs!  He joked a lot with the audience and talked about how when he dies he wants to go to Monkey Heaven and eat bananas and swing from trees.  This interaction is so out of his character, it was great to see him open up a little!

(My future wedding song <3,the lyrics give me the chills)

2) He lived in Lewiston, Maine and worked in a local shoe factory until one morning he woke up and heard a Stephen Stills song and quit his job to become a musician.  I went to college up there and have found videos of him playing in small college auditoriums around Portland.  I didn’t find him until a few years after I moved back to MA which bums me out because I wish I would’ve seem him play in such an intimate setting and before he was famous.

3) He is the perfect 5 o’clock music.  I listen to his songs when I have those emotional days and just want to cry (come on ladies, we all have those days) as well as days I am cooking or cleaning, or days that I have a long drive, or days that I have a short drive.  Basically, every day I breathe is a good Ray Day.  His 3 cd’s are in my car cd player at all times (disks 1,3, and 4) and he is a beep beep on my Sirius radio.  You get the point right?

4) Now, about the music and lyrics.  He is categorized as folk rock and I love all his cds (and can listen to each all the way through).  You would be surprised where you hear his songs: a commercial, One Tree Hill, The Devil Wears Prada, Grey’s Anatomy, etc.  Here are a few of my all time favorite songs (in order of awesomeness):

  • Jolene
  • You Are the Best Thing (acoustic)
  • Empty
  • Can I Stay
  • Burn

Are you already a fan/have you seen him live? If so, what do you love about Ray? No? Google him and check out some songs and performaces, then go out and buy all his cds!  When that isn’t enough (and it won’t be), get tickets to his show.  I’ll see you there!

Monday, Monday

Ah Monday…it never seems like I get a chance to miss you because you always come so damn fast!  Rainy Mondays are the worst, especially because I did not have a great sleep at all this weekend!  I was up Saturday and Sunday morning before 7(that really should be illegal).  The upside to waking up early on weekends is not being jolted awake with the sound of the alarm clock, but it is somewhat worse knowing that my body woke up so early on its own.  I mean, I couldn’t get out of bed for the life of me THIS morning, why was it so easy yesterday?  The only thing that makes you tolerable today is the fact that it is a short week.

I am happy to say that despite the sleepiness the rain brings I DID make it to the gym after family math night today.  I made it to the gym long enough to run 4ish minutes and decide that today is not my day.  Luckily Amy and her brother (my fitness guru) Aaron were at Reginas.  That was reason enough for me to leave the gym, he is visiting from Montana after all!  I had a couple beers while they ate pizza.  Then I went home to make myself some Velveeta Mac and Cheese.

I added in some jack-cheese to give it a kick!

Yesterday I celebrated Jack’s birthday with his parents and his brother.  Per his request I made Mojito Chicken and baked potatoes.  I think I woke up so early in anticipation of all the prep work that goes into the meal: the potatoes needed to be brined for 2 to 8 hours then cooked at a much higher temp than the chicken, and the chicken needed to sit with the dry rub for 30 minutes then marinate for a couple of hours.  I also was making a big salad, rolls, and I had to tidy up the house a bit.  And before you think I am complaining about cooking- I AM NOT!  I love entertaining (especially while I am cooking), but the problem is that I am so methodical about how and when things need to get done that I sometimes lose sleep (in a good way!?).

I woke up at 7 and switched on Food Network, SCORE!  Giada was on and her whole episode was about cooking with lemon, I LOVE the flavor of lemon in food.  I got a great idea for lemon-smashed potatoes that I can’t wait to try.  With Giada in the background I brined my potatoes (soaked them in salted water) and de-goobered my chicken (haha, that’s Lisa for took off all the weird fatty parts).  For the potatoes I accidentally read the recipe wrong and liberally coats the skin with salt and garlic powder BEFORE I baked them, instead of after.  The result was amazing!  A nice crispy, flavored crust with a mushy inside- these “bomb bakers” are a must try.

blurry, oops!

While the potatoes soaked and the chicken marinated I had some cinnamon roll oatmeal and decided to gym-it  I had planned on taking Sunday off, but after missing Saturday I was dying to sweat it out!  I ran for 50 minutes on the treadmill (which is now so boring compared to outside!).  I skipped weights and opted to stop at Starbucks instead.  I got a grande skinny vanilla latte, iced..mmmmm!

When I got back I started cooking the potatoes and the Mojito Chicken.  Let me tell you, the first time I made this chicken I remember the feelings the aroma brought:  they inspired me to sip Corona and listen to Jimmy Buffet (despite the fact it was pouring rain and freezing cold).  This chicken is definitely my definition of summer.

is this the scent of summer??

The food was fantastic!  If you check out the recipe it may seem really involved and includes some spices/ingredients that you may not have available (I got them cheap at the Christmas Tree Shop).  Jack’s mom brought me a delicious bottle of Pinot Grigio that I sipped while I cooked, ate, and chatted after.  I finished my meal with a small piece of vanilla cake and a scoop if ice cream!  It was a perfect birthday celebration!

Peace out

~L

The race to thirty is on….

Happy Saturday! and Happy Birthday Jack!  Now that you are 29 I can officially say the race to 30 is on, and you will definitely win!

I woke up insanely early for a weekend (6:45!) and couldn’t fall back asleep so I started my day pretty early.  Today is actually a great example of how far I have come from my beginning gym days.  I had planned to gym-it then head to Jack’s to spend the day with him since he had to work tonight, and ended up skipping the gym to have some lunch with his family.  Two months ago I would’ve said no to lunch in favor of the gym, woo hoo for finding balance!

Anyways, we went to a local place called The End of the World Tavern, which was pretty cute from the outside.  The menu was your standard pub food: burgers, wings, sandwiches.  For an appetizer we ordered some wings (I had a couple dipped in buffalo sauce) and spicy chicken quesidillas (I split one with Jack).  For lunch I ordered a pesto chicken sandwich that came on toasted bread with brie and was served with fries.  Unfortunately our service was so terrible that my meal was never put in! The kicker? When I asked the waiter where my food was (since the other 7 people had already gotten their meals) he said I never ordered it!  Huh, imagine that? I am not one to believe the customer is always right (I did waitress for a couple years myself) but to tell them outright they are wrong is a whole other story!  in the end he did check the order and realized that he never sent it in, and with no apology, brought the sandwich out to me a few minutes later.  The sandwich was OK but they served it with some potato salad that I don’t eat (I ended up waiting half of Jack’s fries).  I didn’t even bother to take any pictures of the food because I was pretty irritated (tip: never let Lisa get hungry!).  I mean, this time last year I was still waitressing part-time after school and I usually excuse bad service, but this was beyond what I have ever experienced before!  The upside was the good company I had while eating.  The table was full of conversation and laughs the entire meal.

After lunch we came back to Jack’s place and I poured myself a glass of white wine which I had forgot I left in his fridge (SCORE!).  I brought my book “Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang” to read this afternoon.  I just finished chapter 2 which is about her begging her parents for a Cabbage Patch Kid.  It made me laugh out loud a few times, especially remembering that my Cabbage Patch Kids Jackie and Eileen are still in my closet at my parents house.

For the rest of the day I am going to do nothing at all.  After the wine and a little blogging I suspect I will take a nap.

How do you handle terrible service at a restaurant?  Does it depend on where you are eating or do you expect all service to the same whether it is an expensive steak house or a whole in the wall pub?

Until later

~L

It’s 5 o’clock Somewhere

Well lovelies, I said it before and I will say it again:  it is Friday, and though I am not sure how we got here, I will take it!  I woke up (unhappily) to that nasty rain/snow mix that I was hoping I wouldn’t see again until next winter.  Crappy weather=no recess= a LONG afternoon.  Good news is that I did actually make it until 2:40, but let’s back up to the beginning of my day.

This week I decided to try out a new food shopping plan.  This new plan was inspired by my desire to NEVER have to food shop solely on a Sunday.  My new plan ivolves me shopping for the first few days of the week  on Sunday and then sometime midweek picking up food for the end of the week.   As I have said before I am a planner and on Sunday I basically know what I will eat for breakfast, snacks, lunch, and most dinners during the week.  This week while beginning my new “plan” I never provisioned for the thought that I wouldn’t feel like picking up groceries midweek(I should’ve known better). Result?  I had no food to make for breakfast this morning, had a half cup of yogurt and 3 (THREE) strawberries left for snack, and only had celery/carrots/cucumbers left for lunch.  Not very satisfying!

So, what DID I eat?

For breakfast I had a medium french vanilla iced coffee with extra skim milk.  While I was at Dunks I decided to have a corn muffin.  I haven’t had a muffin in a looonnnggg time and soon figured out why: after eating it I was just as hungry as before I ate it!

Snack was a half-cup of low-fat vanilla yogurt with 3 (literally) strawberries and a chocolate-chocolate chip Vita Muffin.

After school I met some coworkers at a local restaurant for “book club”.  I had a few tasty beverages and pita crisps dipped in the most creamy spinach and artichoke dip.  I have such a good time every time I am out with my fellow teachers 🙂

I had a few of these babies...

and split this tasty app

Around 5:30 I headed home feeling quite content.  The sun was low in the sky and sitting in my car with the heat on I imagined that it was summer outside, ahhhhhh what an amazing feeling.  I turned on my favorite 5 o’clock music: Ray Lamontange.  For those of you who don’t know him, you MUST check him out.  He is amazing and his lyrics are so beautiful.  Today I listened to the “Til the Sun Turns Black” album, and it really hit the spot music wise, do you know what I mean?  I have grown to love all the tracks on the record but my first favorite is track 2, Empty.

Mo called me as I was driving home and we decided to meet at another tavern to have a few drinks and some more food.  She had just gotten out of the gym (I took today off, Fridays are my usual skip day) and I wanted to catch up with her because our schedules are oppositely crazy.  While chatting I had one more Mic Ultra and split and order of potato skins (which I dipped in ranch dressing, mmmm).

I am in the process of writing my “About ME!” section and I was bouncing ideas off of her, just trying to verbalize what the whole point of this blog is!  To be honest, I don’t think I can yet verbalize what I envision.  I can picture it my head but can’t quite get it out in the right words just yet.  I talked about personal goals, especially in regards to food and exercise and balancing it while LIVING life.  I know that at some recent points in my life I have focused more on one than the other.  I have yet to find that perfect balance between eating, exercising, and living (and that is what I am leaning toward when writing this blog).  I think I am doing this to share my struggle/success with living as healthy as I can, while trying to find my balance.

Anyone have any suggestions or thought-provoking questions that can cure me of my writers-block? Help a sista out!

Well, I am looking forward to curling up on my couch and catching up on some reading this weekend.  The book I am currently trying to read is Chelsea Handler’s newest book.  I have read her first two and am going to see her when she hits Boston in April.  I have heard that it really isn’t as good as the other two but we shall see (and I will let you all know what I think!).

Peace out

~L

Saggy Pants and Sore Legs

Saggy Pants

OK, so I have been on this mission since October.  You know, the “Get Healthy and Be Fit Mission”.  It has been challenging finding a perfect balance between being healthy (eating and exercise-wise) and living a happy, fun life (it is something I am still working on).  Between then and now I am about 15lbs lighter and 3 sizes smaller.  I have finally begun to get rid of the chub that hangs over my jeans and the flub that hangs under my arm.  It took 28 years, but I finally have a body I am comfortable in!

When I started losing weight I tried to get away with wearing my fat pants for as long as I could.  Someone (who shall remain nameless) called me out and basically said I looked like I was swimming in my clothes.  I thought that since the clothes were baggy it would make people notice I lost weight, I guess it had the opposite effect!  For the next few months I was on a jeans buying mission like no other (I still haven’t bought any work clothes that are an appropriate size but I’m working on it).  All the while I held on to my fat jeans, scared to give them up “in case I need them again”.  To make it clear (if it isn’t obvious) I don’t want to ever need them again. And aside from the fact that they were limited edition Gap jeans I wondered why I had a hard time giving them away.  Did you ever have a hard time giving away ill-fitting clothing?  Why do you suppose they are so hard to get rid of?

Sore Legs

Just as I suspected yesterday my body was super sore and SUPER tired today.  The soreness makes my legs feel fantastic though.  After school I did make it to the gym for Abs and Day 3 weights (Back) but I felt like I was running on empty.  Sometimes I hear my body telling me to take a day but I don’t listen (today being one of those days) and it ends up being an unproductive workout.  Oh well, it happens to the best of us!

My unproductive workout did have an upside: it inspired me to cook dinner.  It isn’t often that I am done with my day at 4:30 during the week so I decided to cook for myself.  I went to the store and bought all the stuff to make Spicy Velveeta Macaroni and Cheese only to get home and decide I wanted to make risotto.  Even though Easter is next week and I am planning on making my famous homemade arancini (which uses this risotto as its base) my taste buds told me the risotto would hit the spot.  I even added some asparagus and lemon juice to give it a little kick.  Ahhhhh, so delicious (I am actually eating it as I type this post).  Cooking is also my favorite way to relax so I poured a glass of Cabernet, threw on some Herbie Hancock music (perfect cooking music), and got started.

Risotto:

4 cups chicken broth

3 tblsp butter

3/4 cup finely chopped onion

1 and 1/2 cup Aborrio rice

1/2 cup parm cheese

In a medium sauce pan bring the broth to a simmer and keep over low heat.

In a large, heavy sauce pan, melt 2 tblsp butter over medium heat, add finely chopped onions, saute until tender (but not brown).

Add rice, and stir to coat with butter.

Add 1/2 cup simmering broth at a time to rice and stirring until almost completely evaporated.  Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time until the rice is tender and the mixture is creamy.

Remover from heat and stir in parm. cheese and the remaining tablespoon of butter.

Everything else I ate today is going to be completely put to shame by my dinner, but in case you are curious:

For breakfast I ran out of waffles (bummer) so I had to resort to my old standby: the bagel.  This is a Thomas’s Bagel Thin, everything flavor, with 2 tablespoons Philadelphia cream cheese and sliced strawberries.  It was also a large ice coffee kind of day so I had a large mocha iced from Dunks. Oh, and don’t forget the banana!

Today, for the first time in a loooonnngg time, I had NOTHING planned for lunch.  I was in panic mode while rummaging through my fridge and cabinets.  I finally decided on some pizzas made with Pepperidge Farm Thin rolls, a few squirts of Contadina pizza sauce, and a small pinch of cheddar jack shredded cheese.  They were not as filling or as satisfying as I hoped they would be, but whatever.  I also had a pear.  Does anyone have any fun lunch suggestions that don’t involve cold-cuts?


Dessert tonight will be Haagan-Daaz coffee ice cream.  I am not an ice cream lover but for some reason I am craving it (and spent more time in the ice cream aisle deciding on the flavor than I did in the gym today).

I am so happy tomorrow is Friday, and even if the week seemed to fly by, Friday never comes fast enough!

Peace out

~L

What a Pleasant Surprise!

Wow! As I sat down to start typing this post I couldn’t believe that it was already 2:52 in the afternoon.  I usually like to get a head start on typing during my prep or before school but since the second I got to school at 7:15 I have been going, going, going.  I literally didn’t even get a chance to use the bathroom until 12:30 (and I had to go since 8).  I run a tight ship so I guess that is the price I have to pay sometimes 😉  Plus side? It finally stopped raining (what a pleasant surprise!).  The sun is pretty deceiving though because when we went out for recess I was expecting warm weather, and it was cold!

I started my day out with my new fav waffle sandwich made with Nutri-grain waffles, peanut butter, and banana (in an attempt to not get sick of this amazing concoction I am committing to finding a new breakfast for next week).  I also had a medium mocha iced-coffee with skim milk from Dunkin’ Donuts.

Greatness in the making...

Snack was low-fat vanilla yogurt with blueberries and strawberries.  Today I was daring enough to put the blueberries on the bottom, layer some yogurt, add strawberries, and top off with yogurt.  It was a perfect solution to my usual situation of eating all the fruit then having a bunch of plain yogurt left to eat.  This way each creamy spoonful would have some sweet berries, all the way to the last scoop. H E A V E N!

For lunch I really changed it up today (haha).  I had a Lean Pocket 4 Cheese Pizza Pocket with some Special K tomato basil crackers (they complemented my pizza pocket so well).  I love the Special K crackers, but didn’t try this flavor until recently.  I had bought a box and they somehow found their way to the back of my snack cabinet.  Finding them this morning was a PLEASANT surprise!  I finished off my lunch with a juicy pear.

Do you want to know the BEST part of today? I RAN 4 WHOLE MILES, OUTSIDE, WITHOUT STOPPING in…get this..37 minutes!  37?! Woooooo!  It was the same route from Saturday that I didn’t have the energy/stamina for, but today I ran the WHOLE thing!  In my hurry to get running, I clicked on the stop-watch on my itouch but didn’t hit start (I took a picture of the 0:00 to show you, ooppps!).  I did happen to look at my cell as I was walking out of my apartment and it was 4:00 on the button and after my run I looked at my itouch and the time was 4:37!  That’s 37 minutes right?

The wind was blowing pretty hard and for the first 2 songs I was quite chilly (and my nose was running, and my eyes were watering, and my hat almost blew off several times).  After songs 3-4 I really got into a groove.  I decided that I would be running the Harpoon 5K in June so I pictured myself running in a race the entire 4 miles.  I figure if I can get good at running 4 miles then I can work on my speed a little (and easily run 5k).

Oooppss.. won't make this mistake again!

Anyway, I have a few theories about what motivated me to run today:

1) The unexpected sunshine

Since it has been raining I have been Captain Gloom and Doom so I just assumed it was going to rain forever.  I gave up on watching Dylan on channel 7 because it was so depressing.  When the sun started coming out I got instantly happy.  I wasn’t even planning on running today (I was going to do the elliptical at the gym), but boy I am glad I did!

2) Food that sustained me throughout the day, and a small snack before my run.

You saw what I ate throughout the day, add in a Kashi Dark Chocolate Coconut fruit and grain bar 10 minutes before you run and you’ve got yourself lots of energy!

3) A Mixed-Up Playlist

I doctored up my March playlist with the new songs I downloaded yesterday and carefully changed the order of the songs so the BPM would mesh (I’m getting good at this).  It was just enough of a change to keep me interested through my run and the songs with higher BPM (160-180) had me running faster than ever!

The plan for tonight is to meet Amy at the gym.  Today is Day 2 since I didn’t do weights last night, and Day 2 is leg day.  I am going to reserve the right to complain for a minute because we made our leg day HARD, really hard (but we can only blame ourselves).  Actually, I find the exercises I hate the most on any weight day are the ones that hurt the most (and those are the ones that gets results!).  I already anticipate not being able to walk up/down the stairs tomorrow, but you know what the say-no pain no gain.

Enough about me, get out there and enjoy the sun!

Peace out,

~L