Six days to go!

I realize my post titles have been a bit redundant lately, but blogger secret: I hate thinking of post titles.  I am just not that clever.  So I’m milking “X Days/Weeks to go!” as much as possible.  Bear with me.

We FINALLY heard back from our last delinquent RSVP-er!  (She’s not coming.)  Meaning…we now have a final count (95 guests coming) and finalized our upgrades.  Here’s the final menu:

Passed Hors d’ Oeuvres

  • Bruschetta
  • Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Crab Cakes with Red Pepper Mayonnaise
  • Mozzarella Marinara
  • Chicken Saltimbocca Roulade


  • Italian tossed salad
  • Spinach salad


  • Chicken Marsala
  • Beef Braciole


  • Rigatoni D (rigatoni in a cream sauce with chicken, mushrooms, veggies)
  • Ziti marinara


  • Fresh asparagus
  • Garlic mashed potatoes


  • Wedding cake (red velvet with cream cheese filling; vanilla chiffon with chocolate and strawberry mousse)
  • Profiteroles with vanilla ice cream
  • New York style cheesecake with strawberries

And four hours of premium open bar.  So, yeah.  There will be no shortage of food! 

But, of course, this meant I had to revise my menus.  Balls.

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Also, the daily weather check:


Hmm.  Colder.  Windy.  Not ideal, but at least the rain is still gone.  Can we get sunny and at least low 60s, pretty please?

This morning we went to church, and as soon as I got home, I began non-cooking.

Chicken in the crockpot (I specifically made enough for us to eat tonight, tomorrow, and Tuesday, so I hopefully won’t have to cook again until after the wedding):0502 003

All that’s in there is chicken, chicken broth, a little water, and a little bit of butter to keep it from sticking.  Tonight we’ll eat it with some whole wheat pasta, EVOO, and parmesan; tomorrow we’ll toss some of it in salsa for quesadillas, and Tuesday we’ll toss it in BBQ sauce for barbecue chicken sandwiches.  Easy!0502 004

I also made bread in the wedding gift breadmaker from Tim’s co-workers.  (They requested I make a loaf this weekend to share with them!)  I made basic whole wheat.  The house smells AMAZING right now.

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About 3:30, I decided to go for a run, even though I wasn’t planning on working out today because I thought I’d be super busy.  The weather was beautiful and I was bored!  So, out I went.  My Garmin battery died about two minutes in, but according to Map My Run I ran about 2.5 miles.  Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon!

As far as exercise goes this week—I’m going to be pretty conservative.  I did a 2.5 mile run today.  Tomorrow I’m planning an upper body weights workout at the gym over my lunch hour, and Tuesday I’ll be either running or doing some light cardio.  Wednesday we drive up to Chicago, so the madness starts and I probably won’t be doing too much exercising.  The last thing I want is to injure myself or be sore for the wedding!

I’ll leave you with a lazy Sunday photo.

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Have a good one, everyone!

What do you think of the menu?  Would you be happy?  (Note: there will be special accommodations made for vegetarians!)

Foot help is on the way!

Happy Monday!  I usually feel pretty cheery and well-rested on Mondays.  It’s Wednesday and Thursday I find it hard to get going!

Anyway.  Went to work.  Lunch:

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Whole wheat bagel with 1 T. natural peanut butter, peach Chobani, strawberries, and granola.  And I forgot my Camelbak bottle today, so I had to buy a bottle of water at work!  And I (gasp) refilled it!  Hopefully I’ll live.

Anyway, my lunch break was significant because…long story short, I’m going to a podiatrist on April 1st!  I spent the hour calling around and checking my insurance benefits, and they will cover everything except for a $25 copay and orthotics over $1000.  I figured I might as well schedule it now, because I thought it would take a long time to get in, but not so!  Next Thursday, I might have some answers!  Holy cow!

The poor secretary asked what my problem was.  I was like, “Well, I’m a runner, and I have these giant blisters all over my feet, and now I have a huge knot/bruise above my right arch, oh and I have a black toenail too…” and her response was “You’re a mess!”  Yes, indeed I am.  At least in the foot area.

I also scheduled my annual pap smear.  It’s important, ladies.  Get it done!

Anyway, I tried the cushiony new orthotics in my running shoes today.

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They felt pretty good.  I like that they have less arch support than the regular sockliner.

Anyway, I ran 5 miles in 46:45!  This is pretty epic for me.  I am really enjoying running faster lately.  I think less, and it’s over faster.  Yup.

Hey, look what came today!  A passport…and an assport.  0322 003

Heh.  So, folks, we’re all paid up and ready to take a honeymoon!  I can’t wait.  I’ll be doing a lot of traveling the next few months—in the next 3 months, I have trips to Vegas, Napa Valley, New Orleans/Mexico, and south Florida planned.  Whee!

Here’s what roasted chicken does on the second day at our house:

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Whole grain white tortillas (they were out of wheat) with garlic & herb Laughing Cow cheese and leftover roasted chicken.   Delish.

Anyway, I’m in a great mood—three workdays left until I’m on a plane to Chicago, a great run, and foot answers are on the horizon!  Hoorah!

I’m currently watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on Hulu.  It’s definitely interesting. 

Anyone else watch?  What did you think?

Silent Sunday

I am, shockingly, not feeling very talkative tonight.  Here’s what I’ve done today, mostly in pictures.

Our four-year-old printer decided to stop working today.  Every piece of paper jams.  I think it’s done…of course, when I need it most.

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I started packing for Chicago.

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I made and wrote thank you cards for my awesome shower hostesses! 0321 003

Laundry.  This is our laundry room.  It’s upstairs right next to the bedroom, which I love.

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Buckley was a whiny baby today.  He was kicked out of the bedroom while we washed the sheets, then got mad and started eating dog food.

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Packed my gym bag for the week…

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Did some closet organizing.

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And played with my new straightening iron.  I am in love.  I can’t stop stroking my hair.  I’ve been dying to cut my hair, but this is so great I might actually keep it longer.

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I roasted a whole chicken and some taters for dinner (lots of leftovers!).

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Made tomorrow’s breffist cookie.

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And caught Southie hiding her eyes from the paparazzi.

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And I worked on my marathon training plan, which you can preview here.

Happy Sunday, all.  What was the highlight of your day?  And can you fix my printer?

Getting ahead of the game

Oh, Sunday.  The day where I attempt to accomplish everything so I can spend evenings at home all week long being a bum.

Tim and I went to church this morning and then to Target to pick up some groceries.  When we got home, I made a double batch of Milhouse’s favorite dog treats.

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He pretty much turns his nose up at regular treats now.  I created a monster.

All day long, I wore my new running shoes around the house to get used to the arch supports.  It’s weird feeling so much support there, but I would really try anything at this point.  I did laundry, I ironed, and I roasted a chicken.

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The star was this seasoning my mom got me awhile back.  It’s really salty, so I use about half what the jar says, but it’s delicious!0228 005

I also tried to hit up Macy’s to look for a dress for my shower again.  I actually contemplated buying this one.

photo-1 And then I realized I couldn’t be sure if I would look like a cupcake-y bridal asshole in such a frou-frou dress, got mad, took it off and pouted in the dressing room while I e-mailed a picture to my mom and called her.  You know what sucks?  Not having any friends to go shopping with. 

I didn’t buy it because my mom said the color made me look pale.  (Newsflash: I am pale.)  She suggested going tanning, and I suggested that I do not have the time, money, or desire to do that.  Back to the drawing board.  I think I’m just going to buy something online and cross my fingers.  (Even though the more I look at it, the more I like this ridiculous, frou frou dress.)

I also attempted to make some kind of tomato soup with lentils in it today and failed.  I put too much water in and it tasted gross.  Fail.  I think I just work better with a recipe.

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I did, however, paint my nails with my new favorite nail color (Essie “Lilacism”).  I’ve had a weird aversion to painted nails (they made me really self-conscious) for years, so I’m determined to break it. 

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And, finally, some interspecies love:

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Milhouse and Southpaw have been caught curled up together napping a lot this weekend! 

Nail polish—yay or nay?  What are your favorite beauty products?

Costco Trip

I am SO glad it’s Friday!  Working last Saturday just wore me down and put me behind on all kinds of nitpicky little errands, so I’m glad to have two full days off.

My legs are also glad to have some time off running.  Four days in a row of running is pushing it!  My Zensah sleeves have been making my legs feel so great lately, though—I really love them so far.

After not eating much at all post-run last night…I more than made up for it today.  Eep.  My body was craving food, any food, all day long.  I was hangry, constantly.  But, this is the perfect example of everything balancing out in the long run.  Yesterday, I didn’t eat much at all and ran a ton…and today, I ate a lot and didn’t run!   See?  Balance.  Kinda.

Work was really busy, so I don’t have any pictures of what I ate.  Frankly, it was not fantastic.  Instead of eating the can of soup I brought for lunch, I had some chips because they could be eaten while working.  Whoops.  I also had a yogurt mess, a cookie, a Western bagel, and two clementines.  And homemade pizza for dinner.  And I’m not sorry! 

I got out of work a little early and headed to Costco.  The haul?  New grain-free salmon and sweet potato dog food for Milhouse…

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Another giant box of oatmeal, goat cheese, and a book for me…

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And a massive package of chicken for everyone!

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I also got my passport photos taken.  I hope they work, because Tim saw something somewhere about how you’re not supposed to smile in them?  But we looked it up and didn’t see anything official about it, and they didn’t say anything about it at Costco, so….I hope we’re okay.  Because passport hoopla nonsense makes me cranky.

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Tomorrow’s plans: running store to be a difficult customer, shower dress shopping (AGAIN OMFGMAKEITSTOP), and dinner out with Tim.   Oh, and MAILING OUR WEDDING INVITATIONS!  Holy crap.

What do you buy in bulk?

Speedwork the Beagle

Today has been one of  those lovely days where I’ve been able to get lots of stuff done around the house.  Nothing significant, really, just little piddly stuff.  It’s nice.  This is going to be a travel-heavy week; I’ll be on the road from Wednesday morning through Friday afternoon for work, so two nights away from home!  Sad.

I did a little decorating for Christmas.  T and I painted these stockings our first Christmas together in 2007!  I love that we did this and saved them.  We’ll put them up every year, even if we have other nicer stockings (which we do).

We’re not doing much other decorating–we’re going to buy a pre-lit tree (hopefully) on clearance right before Christmas or right after.

I did manage to make some holiday foods though.  A giant bag of cranberries was $.60 at the store, and I was tempted…so I made cranberry sauce.  I haven’t tasted it yet, so no promises if it’s good or not!  I basically reduced the pound of cranberries like I do for applesauce in 1 cup of water and 1 cup of orange-pineapple juice (it was what we had!).  I added a healthy dose of sugar and let it simmer.  We’ll see how it turns out.

And I had some leftover sugar cookie mix and icing, so I said “what the heck” and made frosted sugar cookies to take to work:

And for dinner?  Roasted chicken in the oven with carrots and taters.

I really did not feel like working out this afternoon but I knew I’d feel great about it once I did.  So, I pleaded on Twitter for motivation and Lauren and Susan gladly kicked me in the pants.  I decided to run, but to make things fun I thought I’d take Milhouse along.

I’d written him off as “not a jogger” when we first got him awhile back, because he was not great on a leash and was prone to stopping and sitting on the sidewalk.   He’s gotten much better now that he’s settled in his new home, and he’s definitely attempted to run a few times on walks together.  I went in with low expectations–hey, even a brisk walk is better than nothing–and I was ASTOUNDED.

I should have known better, I guess.  Beagles are meant to hunt rabbits, so obviously, they have to be FAST.  (look on YouTube for “beagle running” and you’ll see what I mean.)  And Milhouse didn’t disappoint!  We ran 3 miles together–I didn’t pay attention to the time, because we stopped for a few doggie sniff and bathroom breaks, but it was a lot of fun!  I’ve also firmly landed on the “no iPod” side of running–I think I run faster and smarter without it.  He is a speedy little devil, and was actually pulling ME about half the time!  (Note: he weighs 20 pounds and is 13 inches tall.)  I definitely see some more running together in our future!  I had a great time and I think he did, too.

Here’s me and my running buddy.  He’ll get extra dinner tonight!

Anyway, have a great night.  I have a new food giveaway starting tomorrow and some cool reviews to do this week, plus hopefully a wedding update later on.

Have you done any holiday decorating yet?

A productive Sunday

Since T and I spent all day yesterday doing fun stuff, today was all business!  (Still fun, though.)

First, I went grocery shopping, and to Petsmart.

Since I’m going to be traveling this week again for work (Chicago this time–home sweet home!  Yay.), I decided to get in a workout today.  (I don’t usually work out on weekends unless I’m running a race.)  I kind of wanted to go for a run outside, but it’s been POURING rain all day.  I’d go if it was sprinkling, but this was full out, chilly rain, and the roads were slippery and muddy.  No thanks!  Instead I spent 50 minutes with Jillian Michaels, doing her “No More Trouble Zones” DVD.

Tangent: I believe in lifting HEAVY weights and I do not believe in “toning” with light weights.  HOWEVER, I will enthusiastically recommend any of Jillian’s DVDs that use tiny 5 pound-ish weights.  Why?  Well, they all involve awesome compound moves that are great for your body, like squats, combined with smaller isolation exercises, like a tricep kickback.  The larger move, like the squat, will skyrocket your heart rate, with the added benefit of the smaller exercise making it a wee bit more challenging. I don’t consider these DVDs weightlifting–I consider them cardio exercise, and I view the light weights as just adding a little extra level of difficulty to the cardio.  So, they’re kind of like cardio plus, I suppose?  Nonetheless, I give every single DVD by Jillian Michaels 5 out of 5 stars, and I’m pretty sure I’ve done them all.   They are challenging, require minimal equipment, and are effective.  Most of her workouts can be broken into two shorter workouts as well, which I like.

Then, after lunch and a shower, I threw in a load of laundry and hit the kitchen.  First project?  Chicken Corn Chowder, which I first saw on Heather’s blog.  I borrowed the recipe pretty much verbatim from her and Cooking Light, except I used garlic instead of green onion.

I made this last year and T wasn’t a fan, but I liked it.  So, I made a batch to freeze, heat, and eat for easy lunches.  I will honestly say that this soup is good, but not great, but I love soup and it is great and healthy for lunch paired with a nice salad.  Mission accomplished!

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Tomorrow at work is our official Thanksgiving Dinner.  The university provides us with a turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese and everyone else brings in sides, desserts, and drinks.  I volunteered to bring a dessert, because I love nothing more than making baked goods…and then getting them out of my house.

Enter brownie balls, the cousin of the cake ball:

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Directions: make brownie mix and bake.  Crumble.  Mix with frosting.  Ball.  Freeze.  Dip in chocolate.  NOM.

Then, I decided to roast another chicken with some veggies.  I just love these–tomorrow’s dinner will be quesadillas with leftover chicken, Laughing cow cheese, and wraps, and T will take some for lunch.  I am a big fan of meals that can stretch and stretch into several!  This time I added not only potatoes and carrots, but sweet potatoes to the pan.  I don’t think it could hold another veggie if I tried!

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We are waiting for it to cook now with some Chateau Ste. Michelle cabernet sauvignon.  T and I recently discovered our love of cabernet, and so we are going to try to work on our wine knowledge without becoming snobs about it.  Next up is this bottle of Deep Purple red zinfandel!  Any suggestions for us?

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Needless to say, after all this cooking, I’m exhausted, but alas, I have piles of laundry to iron.   Sigh.

What are your favorite recipes that can be re-invented throughout the week?

Just another day at the crazy farm

Tomorrow I start my new job.  In an attempt to keep myself sane, I’ve been doing little odds and ends all day long to keep myself busy.  After my run, I had lunch and then ran a few errands.  I went to Ulta to get some beauty essentials, Archiver’s to experiment with vellum for our invitations, and Hallmark to get a card.

Then, I decided to try a recipe I’ve had bookmarked for awhile–Jenna’s roasted chicken.  I am pleased to announce that it turned out great!  I added some potatoes to the pan to roast with it.  Next time, I’ll add some carrots and mushrooms as well, but hindsight’s always 20/20, right?

He’s pooping a lemon!

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It was fabulous.  Dinner tomorrow night will be leftovers!

Then I started plotting.  Nothing makes me feel worse than being hungry, so I needed to develop a strategy for my first work day.  First, I packed a lunch in my awesome Fit and Fresh container I’m excited to finally have a reason to use again.

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Keeping it simple–turkey and cheddar on a multigrain Arnold’s sandwich thin, yogurt, strawberries (frozen–they’ll defrost by lunchtime tomorrow), and granola.  I’ll have the apple for a snack and maybe one of those awesome Trader Joe’s trail mix baggies (that giant bag contains 10 snack sized little bags).

I love the Fit and Fresh container because it all folds up so neatly and there’s a special ice pack that keeps everything cold.  See?

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But then, of course, I have to prepare for the inevitable snack attack.  I took a cue from Meghann and decided to form the beginnings of a snack drawer for my desk.  In it will go the entire bag of TJ’s trail mix, plus this divine assortment:

chicken 005Contents:

  • 2 Kashi TLC Peanut Peanut Butter granola bars
  • 2 Kashi TLC Trail Mix granola bars
  • 4 mini Luna bars (Nutz over Chocolate, S’mores, and Caramel Nut Brownie)
  • Banana Bread Larabar
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Larabar
  • White Chocolate Macadamia Clif bar
  • packet of almonds
  • packet of Planter’s Energy Mix trail mix

I obviously won’t eat these all tomorrow, but I feel better knowing I’ll have a stash at work should things go bad.  When it gets low, I’ll just take the bag home and refill!  (Yes, I’m obsessed with bars.)

I also packed my absolute favorite hand lotion.  No, not just my favorite hand lotion, the best hand lotion in the entire world.  It is by OPI, the nail polish company, and it’s called Avojuice.  They have all sorts of scents and they all smell incredible.  They even have a Pumpkin Butter scent, which I love even though I’m a big grump when it comes to the blog-related pumpkin craze.  I chose the Crisp Apple scent, and this will sit on my desk.  (I’m a stress moisturizer.  When things get bad, I hit the bottle.)  Anyway, this lotion is a must buy–it leaves your hands silky smooth but not greasy and smells great.  Even T uses it!  I am dead serious about this.  It will change your life, especially with winter coming!

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All of this stuff went into my pretty new work bag, a “good luck at work” present from my mom:

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Nope, totally not wearing makeup.  Sorry, guys.

Speaking of crazy farm, our animals have all gone a little batty today.  Milhouse has decided his favorite hobby is gently picking up a shoe in his mouth, and moving it from one room of the house to another.  So, I can’t find any of my shoes.  But it is pretty cute to see him trotting around the house with a sneaker in his mouth!

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And Southpaw’s decided she likes the dog’s crate:

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Anyway, I go in bright and early tomorrow.  I have a university orientation in the morning and then I start my job in the afternoon.  I’m excited to find out all the little things–will I have a desk, or a cubicle, or an office?  Will people be nice or mean?  What exactly will a day in the life look like from now on?  Will it feel weird to be in a school and NOT be a student for the first time in twenty-five years?

Any first day of work advice?  I’ll be back tomorrow night with the day in review!