Hey, Florida!

Today was spent traveling, traveling, traveling!

This time…for work.  Not  quite as fun as the honeymoon, but still, not bad!

Tim dropped me off at the airport around 8:30 for my 10:30 flight.  Unfortunately, said flight was delayed until noon, so I spent quite a lot of time sitting around doing nothing!

Before I knew the flight was delayed, I bought a carryon lunch—turkey and cheddar from Quizno’s and a bunch of fruit.

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Unfortunately the fruit was kind of gross.  KCI doesn’t have the best healthy options.  Oh well.

I ate the sandwich about 11:30 before I boarded, and the fruit at about 2 mid-flight.  Got in to Fort Lauderdale around 5, and was happy to see my hotel accommodations were pretty fancy!  See, for example, awesome balcony on my room:

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  Flatscreen TV and plenty of room to spread out…

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And a beach view in the lobby!

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After yesterday, all I wanted to do was run.  Well.

The comments yesterday seemed pretty split on “keep trying the orthotics” and “ditch ‘em.”  After thinking about it—I confess that I probably did not break them in perfectly before running in them.  I’ve been SO busy lately, and they don’t fit in my work shoes, and the weather’s been sucky, that I did a bit of walking in them and then immediately went running.

So, my plan for now: try my new wide, neutral New Balances without orthotics for running.  Once I get back to KC after this trip, I’m going to start from scratch and break these in with WALKING and daily wear.  I may even ask my boss if I can wear sneakers a few hours a day! 

Anyway.  The hotel gym was nicer than my regular gym!0602 014

I am a sucker for individual TVs at each treadmill.  I watched Cash Cab!

0602 015Final result was 5K in 29:20.  Not at all shabby, and I was only a little sore afterwards—definitely no stabby pains.  I felt triumphant!  I can do this.

Also, this gym was awesome because they had ice water with orange and lemon and lime in it, and a FRUIT BOWL!

0602 016You know I decimated an apple.

I ran back to my room, showered and dressed quickly, then went to dinner.  Conference food can be sketchy, but I was happy with the options here!

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About half my plate was mixed greens with carrots and ‘shrooms and vinaigrette, and the rest was steamed carrots, wild rice, a small slice of beef, and a wheat roll.

And a Sam Adams.  And, okay, when I found out there was no dessert…a glass of Cabernet. 

I’m off to take a sunset beach walk—have a great night!

Do you like to travel?  I love airports, strangely, and seeing new places, but I tire of it quickly and miss home!  I’m a homebody!

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Good eats

I feel like I spent all day in the kitchen today!  But it felt GREAT.  I’ve been gone from home and busy the last several weekends, and it was nice to do some baking and cooking again.  I can’t wait to use all my new pots and pans, though!

Lunch was leftovers from last night.  I’m usually a plate cleaner, so I’m glad I saved half this time!  (It was shell pasta with marinara sauce and about half a meatball.)  Please note the floor plan for our reception in the background!

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Re: the seating chart.  We’re still waiting to hear from ten people, but our count right now is 94 yes, 99 no.  We got a surprise “yes” from one of Tim’s old college friends today, which I’m really happy about.  I’m antsy to hear back from everyone else so we can run some hard numbers and figure out our final upgrades!

I stopped at the grocery store for a few things, and they were out of my beloved cantaloupe.  But, giant pineapples were on sale for $2.99, so I risked it!  I got a ton of chopped up fruit out of it for us to munch on all week.  It was really good!

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I also had to do some baking.  I work at a university, and during finals time, the faculty and staff all bring in treats for the stressed students.  I decided to bake two things, and send some to work with Tim.

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And the return of the infamous cake balls!

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All day I simmered a giant roast in the crockpot.  This couldn’t be easier—about a two pound roast, some beef broth, a few cloves of garlic, and let it go on high for about 6 hours.  Pull the roast apart with forks as soon as possible!  We made sammiches out of it.  This was Tim’s.  (Mine was smaller, on a sandwich thin!)

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And now we have dinner for at least the next two nights!

I decided to be a little creative with the side dish.  The other day when I went out with my boss, we had wonderful Portabella “fries.”  I tried to make my own version today, and it turned out pretty good!  We only had regular mushrooms, and they were about to turn, so I’m glad I got to use them.  I didn’t measure—I just grilled them on a griddle with a little EVOO until they softened up, then dipped them in an egg wash, then dipped them in a mixture of Italian breadcrumbs, whole wheat flour, garlic powder, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper and put them back on the griddle until they’d crisped up a bit..  They turned out great!  Tim even asked for seconds.   I’ll definitely make these again!  I love all things mushroom.

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I also managed to finish up a last minute DIY project for the wedding.

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Directions: raid Michael’s cheap flip flops.  Buy lots of ribbon.  Remove ugly tags and tie together with pretty ribbon.  Spray paint clearance basket from Michaels.  Attach ribbon and sign with glue dots.  Enjoy.

I don’t know why I did this other than that I think it’s cute. 

Anyway.  I’ve got a fridge full of delicious shredded beef, pineapple chunks, and sweets.  I’m a happy camper.  Normally, I’d at least try some of the sweet stuff, but I’m on my absolute best behavior until the wedding—it’ll be a scoop of fro-yo for dessert for me tonight!  Also, I’m happy to announce I’ve been coffee and Diet Coke free for…four days now, I think?  Not going to lie, I’m craving both here and there, but it helps not keeping it in the house.

I got really excited today when I realized that by the time our gallon of milk expires…we’ll be married.  See?

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I’m off to finish getting ready for my last full work week before the wedding—we’re officially getting married next week, y’all!  I can’t wait to get back to the gym this week—I hope hope hope my leg feels better so I can get some running in.  I feel lazy!

What things do you bulk cook? I love making a full roast or chicken on Sundays to eat all week, and usually cut up fresh fruit too.

Viva Las Vegas

Hello from sunny Las Vegas, Nevada!

This morning I went into the office for a few hours, but left around lunchtime to head to the airport.   Our food situation at home is a little off—I didn’t shop for the stuff I usually eat this weekend because, well, I’m going to be gone more or less until next Tuesday.  So, there was nothing for me to pack for lunch. 

Enter…airport food!  KCI doesn’t have a whole lot of healthy options, so I opted for Starbucks—iced  coffee with a splash of skim milk, a yogurt parfait (I ate about 3/4) and a bagel (ate about 3/4, no cream cheese).  Not half bad.

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Planes!  I love airports and flying more than I probably should.

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Of course, I fell asleep immediately, but woke up to find that the flight attendant had left me some snacks on my tray!  How sweet—peanuts and some kind of cheese cracker things.

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I ate the peanuts when I woke up.  I loathe Cheeze Nips/Cheez-its generally speaking, but by the end of the flight I was hangry and knew dinner was a ways off so I ate them anyways.

I landed and took a cab to my final destination—Caesar’s Palace!

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Unfortunately, the line at check-in was ridiculously long.  Like, half an hour long.  At least they brought me water in line!

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But when I got to my room…oh yeah, it was all worth it.  Check out my view!

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Yup.  That’s the Bellagio fountains, right in front of my room, and hey!  I happened to catch the show for you.

 

So, yeah, my suite is pretty sweet.  Easily the nicest hotel room I’ve ever stayed in.

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The BATHROOM.  I have a full marble jacuzzi tub with a… 0413 009

FLAT SCREEN TELEVISION.

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Oh yes. After this posts, I’m getting in a bubbly jacuzzi bath and watching Glee.  Luxury.

I was starving after finding my room, and I wanted a cheeseburger.  So I found one.  And I ate it.  And it was delicious.

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Unfortunately, it didn’t really agree with me.  But it was lovely while it lasted.

After dinner, I explored…

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Basically, there is an entire fancy pants shopping mall in the hotel.  I actually needed to buy something—my purse strap broke, so I replaced it!

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I got a great deal—this was on sale at the Gap, and I had a $10 off coupon, so I think I paid $13.99 for it?  Fine by me!

Anyway, Caesar’s Palace is absolutely incredible.  Everything is insanely ornate.

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I went into the Nike store and salivated for awhile over their running gear.  I very nearly bought a t-shirt that said “Runners have the best buns” with a picture of a running hamburger on it.  But I refrained.

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After I shopped, and walked what seemed like ten miles, I decided, hey, it’s Vegas, I have to try my luck!

0413 016Of course I pick the one with cats on it.  Of course.

Unfortunately, I accidentally bet $15 instead of $0.15 and that was the end of my gambling for the night.

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Unfortunately…EVERYTHING is extra here.  Internet is $15, and it’s $25 to use the gym!  Ick.  And I already miss Tim.  But, obviously, this is a pretty awesome set-up and I’m totally excited to see Vegas.  I’m pretty sure I will spend most of my time in Caesar’s, but still…awesome. 

Anyway, I went down to the “hospitality suite” for awhile but I felt exceedingly awkward so I left.  I had half a glass of wine and two tiny desserts and watched the flair bartenders and naked-behind-a-screen dancing ladies for awhile.  Everyone in my field seems to no each other and I feel like the awkward newbie.  The only people that approached me were guys that I think were trying to hit on me!  I am just not good at talking to strangers.  I always panic and the conversation ends randomly.

I’m off to the bubble-cuzzi for some Glee and then BED.  I’m exhausted and the time change is killing me!

Any tips for making friends with people who already seem to know each other?

Getting shit done

Yes, boys and girls, that was the theme of the day.

Hey, look, the wedding bracelet I ordered from White Aisle came.  Mysteriously, there was also a green soft case for a Droid phone in the package.  Not sure how that happened, but…whatever.  It’s pretty.  I like it.  0402 001

I went grocery shopping and spent major cash.  Our house has been pretty barren lately, and I’m sure I’m not going to want to shop a lot next weekend after the half. 

Speaking of the half…I am getting more and more optimistic about finishing every day.  I’ve had no knee, shin, ankle, or calf pain to speak of since I started taking the anti-inflammatories.  I am going to run again on Monday—nothing crazy, since it’s supposed to be the official start of my taper—but I would like to get a few runs under my belt mostly as a confidence-booster before the big day.  Cross your fingers and toesies, people.

Now, if only my allergies would stop making me want to throw up everywhere, I’d be 100% psyched for domination.

Thank goodness for our new printer.  With a rewards certificate, we ended up getting it for $40 at Best Buy and it scans, prints, copies…you name it.   0402 002

I finished my bouquet charm by just printing a contact print.  Easy peasy.  Not the highest quality, but it’ll do.0402 003

Then I finished printing the brochures for our out-of-town boxes.  And folding them.  (Tim helped.)

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That leaves two more DIY projects to do—programs (which I’m holding off on to print) and escort cards (which we can’t do until the seating chart is made).  I don’t have a ton going on the two weekends before the wedding, so I think those can get done then.   I think programs are expendable, and if they don’t get done they don’t get done.

Milhouse and Southpaw have become cuddle buddies.  We found them snuggling in various positions today.

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We have found Southpaw grooming Milhouse and Milhouse licking Southpaw as well.

Tim and I went out for tapas for dinner.  He was curious about the concept because he’d never been and I raved about them after my bachelorette party.  So, we went to La Bodega for dinner.  I had white wine sangria, of course.

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Everything was really good, except the service, which was pretty slow.  We shared four different tapas and two desserts and I’m full, but not overstuffed.

Tomorrow we’re heading to church and I’m going to make a yummy pork tenderloin, green beans, Christmas rice, and brownies for Easter dinner for just Tim and me.  Hooray!

Any exciting Easter plans out there?

Spring Forward

Whatever I did yesterday must have worked, because my hamstrings and glutes are killing me.   It is seriously painful to sit and stand.  Guess that’s what I get for not doing any strength training for, oh, a month.  Hmph.

Today was nice and chill.  The dog let me sleep in, which was nice,

Last night I made Susan’s protein bars.  

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They were super easy.  It was basically like making a big breakfast cookie!  (Click the link for the recipe.)  The hardest part was cutting them into 8 and wrapping them in foil.  I stuck them in the freezer to pull out one at a time.  I ate one today and wowza, are they good!

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The animals and I had a pretty lazy afternoon.  I did a bit of grocery shopping, but we mostly watched a True Life marathon on MTV.

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The birthday boy got home around 5:30 and requested Chipotle for his birthday dinner.  I gladly obliged!  We got his and hers burritos:

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Tim also brought me a gift back from Vegas—chocolate peanut butter eggs!

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(I’m sharing with him.)

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It sounds like he had a fun weekend of eating, drinking, and carousing with the boys.  Hopefully he’ll stick to his word and write a recap for the blog!

For later, we have Tim’s birthday cake!

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It’s called Gooey Butter Cake, and I swear this is the best thing (besides Tim) to come out of the state of Missouri.  Here’s the recipe I got from Tim’s mom:

Gooey Butter Cake

  • yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 t. vanilla

Mix together the cake mix, softened butter, and 1 egg until crumbly.  Pat in a 9 by 13 pan.   Blend the remaining 2 eggs, powdered sugar, cream cheese and vanilla with a mixer until fluffy and pour over the first layer.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Top with sifted powdered sugar.

This stuff is insanely good.  Not at all healthy, but a worthy treat.   I’d never heard of it until I started dating Tim, but man, I’m glad I know about it now.

What are your favorite regional foods?

Mental Health Day

Today I woke up feeling much better (thankfully).  I’m so glad I took today off (and Tim had the day off) as a mental health day!  I needed it.

I had been planning a short 2 mile run and cross training today, but I figured I wait to see how food sat in my stomach before I went out.  I had a small bowl of cereal for breakfast and I was okay, but after lunch…bleh.  The nausea returned–not as bad as yesterday, but I don’t think running would have been advisable.  I hate skipping out–I feel like I’m making excuses, ESPECIALLY since I’ve been off for about a week now, but sometimes it’s just necessary.  I’m hoping everything is back to normal tomorrow.

Anyhow.  Unrelated, but I caught all three of our animals in one frame today, which is unusual.

Buckley was unlucky enough to get a bath today due to a mysterious poop odor surrounding him wherever he went.  Southpaw helped him dry off.

I post too many animal pictures, don’t I?  I should stop that.  Sorry.  We’re obsessed.

Anyway.  This afternoon I decided to finish menus for the tables at the reception.  I like knowing what I’m eating at plated dinners!   I’m just planning on putting one or two on a table.  Unfortunately, Michael’s only had seven sheets of vellum left, and I messed up a few, so I only ended up getting about ten done.  I’ll have to stop and get more next time I’m there, but I think they turned out well!

That menu makes me drool just looking at it.  Too bad I’ll split my wedding dress if I eat any of it!  (Our venue coordinator will be under strict instructions to pack us a full doggie bag for the honeymoon suite after the reception.  Yup.  Sexy.)

Oh, and also?  My poor laptop is broken again.  I’m using Tim’s.  The screen started flickering and going totally white, and the mouse button stopped clicking.  I have one month left on my Best Buy service plan, so it’s back in the shop, hoping they’ll fix it.  I could really use a new laptop!

For dinner, I thought I’d try this soup that Leah sent in her care package.

It smelled and looked so good!

Cheese tortellini and Italian chicken sausage in a tomato-y broth with lots of spices!  Yum.  Unfortunately, due to my tummy issues, I had a few bites and stopped because I knew it would be too spicy for me to handle tonight.  I had a few pieces of French bread instead.  Tim, however, gave it two thumbs up and plans on eating the rest of it for lunch this week!  He REALLY liked it.  Thanks, Leah!

I also made some peanut butter brownies for Tim to take to work.  Unfortunately, I underbaked them, so they’re almost raw in the center.  Grr.

Anyway, hopefully my stomach and shins will cooperate and I’ll be able to run tomorrow!  I felt great on Friday…so here’s hoping I can get back on track.  I’m starting to get a wee bit nervous after missing almost a week of half training!

Animal pictures: more, less, or just enough?

Dog Jog

Hi from the road!  I’m shacked up in a nice hotel for the night.

Thankfully, I got to sleep in a bit this morning because I was traveling.  I needed it.  Last night I had a bit of a breakdown–I’m stressed about working a lot, about running, about money, about the wedding…it’s just a lot for me and I tend to deal with it by sobbing dramatically for awhile.  God bless Tim.

Anyway, I didn’t feel like running this morning, but I did anyway.  I figured hey, it’s just two miles, piece of cake.  And it was!  I ran outside with Milhouse, and it felt so good.  He slows me down with his sniffing and peeing on things, which is exactly what I needed.  The two of us happily jogged around our neighborhood for about 25 minutes.

My running buddy was tired out.  I let him off the leash, he drank some water and went right to sleep!


Then I showered and got on the road.  I stopped for lunch at Subway.  I usually travel on fairly desolate stretches of highway, so it’s clearly the best option by a mile.  I love their roasted chicken subs!  I never eat chips at home, so they’re a nice treat when I’m on the road.

Then, I drove some more, did my work thing for a few hours, and then stopped at a Panera on the way to the hotel.  Turkey and gouda on tomato basil bread…yum.  (I may or may not have a brownie for later too.  Shh!)

As much as I hate being away from Tim and the animals, I think a hotel night is exactly what I needed.  If I was home, I’d be trying to clean things and do laundry and pay bills and pack my lunch.  I’m here in my room now, and seriously, I’m just going to chill…watch some TV, read some blogs, and relax.  After five days in a row of running, I seriously need to veg a little.

In other hilarious news, my race photos from Sunday are in.  Check out the series of three finish line shots.  Hilarious.  I swear.  I am not photogenic AT ALL.  I should probably be concerned about this for the wedding.  Thank god we have a great photographer.

Also, I got a few more questions about my heart rate monitor, so here goes:

  • Do you wear it below your bust every time you use it? Yes, that’s where it picks up your heartbeat.  You can’t really put it anywhere else!
  • When do you wear it as a watch? I don’t, because I’m usually dressed up for work, but you could wear it without the chest strap as a regular casual watch it you want.
  • Do you input your weight? Yes.  When you initially set it up, you input your gender, weight, and height.  You can change it at any time.
  • Does it count calories burned AND heart rate at the same time? Yes.  The display shows your current heart rate with a tiny “kCal” followed by a number in one of the screns.  You can also toggle between screens: time of day, duration of workout, and heart rate/calories.
  • Does it work for swimming? Yes!  I used to swim a fair bit and wore it without any issues. You’re just not supposed to push the buttons underwater.
  • Have you ever had the battery changed?  Was it difficult? I haven’t, but I have heard it’s pretty easy–I think you just send it in to Polar.

Anyway, I’ll be back in KC tomorrow night–I just hope the snow holds off long enough for me to get home!

Anyone else have a question for me/something you want me to talk about or show you in an upcoming blog post, fitness-related or not? Leave a comment!