There’s never enough time

I feel like Jessie Spano in that episode of Saved by the Bell lately.  You know, the one with the caffeine pills, where she freaks out because she has to simultaneously study for geometry and perform with Hot Sundae (was that their name?) and whatnot.

I’m not pill popping.  But I’m-a stressed.  Being gone for a week this close to the wedding was probably not the best plan.

My lunch was the opposite of local.  I got this salad at the San Francisco airport last night before my flight, but didn’t feel like eating it (or anything, really), so it became today’s lunch.  It was delish.

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I jetted home from work and immediately hit the grocery store.  I was thinking about the gym, but getting SOME food in the house seemed like a more immediate priority.  Tomorrow. 

Anyway.  Generally speaking, I drink a cup of coffee a day and a Diet Coke a day.  But, I’m broadcasting here (and Tim, hold me to this)—no more of that until after the wedding.   It stains my teeth and I always see an improvement when I stop.  I don’t drink enough of either to have caffeine withdrawal, so it won’t be an issue, but I’m sure I’ll be craving them here and there.

I bought Crest Whitestrips and whitening toothpaste.  I’ve done them before with good results, so hopefully they’ll come through for me this time!  I took a “before” picture tonight and will hopefully do a “before” and “after” later on.

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Our fridge is finally happy again.  It was literally bare today. 0420 004We also got a wedding gift—four of our place settings!  We now have all 12.  Hooray!

Anyway, I have to go do laundry, and write thank you notes, and make breakfast/lunch for tomorrow, and our house is a mess, and…..ack.  A million other things. 

Also, why don’t people send back their RSVPs?  Our RSVP date is Saturday and we still haven’t heard from 50 people.  Come on now.  It’s not that hard. 

How do you prioritize your to-do list when everything seems incredibly pressing?

Grocery Innovations

I slept super late yet again today.  Weekends are for sleeping, what can I say?

I decided to try a new grocery shopping system today.  My mom did this when I was little, and I just remembered it and I think it’s a great idea.  Basically, I mentally went through the grocery store by aisle, and put down everything we usually buy.  That way, when it comes time to go shopping, I just need to grab one of the pre-printed lists and highlight what I need.  I tend to forget things, so I’m hoping this will cut down on the brain farts.

I got irrationally excited at the grocery store today because they had two new kinds–Bear Naked Peak Flax Oats & Honey with Blueberries and Feed Cranberry Coconut Crunch.  I’m excited to try them!  I’m a sucker for granola.

In other news, I wore my new running shoes out shopping today and to the movies last night and they feel like slippers still.  I don’t want to take them off.  I hope the magic extends into running.

Speaking of movies, last night we saw Up In the Air.  We both liked it!  Not the best movie I’ve seen all year, but worth watching.  We try to see all the Oscar best picture contenders every year, so we’re trying to get a jump on things this year.  We’re both in agreement that A Serious Man is the best we’ve seen this year–go see it!

Today was otherwise uneventful.  We’ve been watching the NFL playoffs (Go Colts, I suppose), and I’ve been ironing.  And Buckley somehow discovered the ironing basket.

Not sure what’s going on tonight other than a shower and a self-manicure–I feel like baking, but I don’t know what to make.  Any suggestions?

KC Masterpiece

I live in Kansas City.  Kansas City is known for barbecue.  Like this.

Arthur Bryant’s, baby.  I run to eat.  Specifically, that is a combo platter with half barbecue beef, and half turkey, and fries.  NOM.  I ate about 2/3 of what’s there (with a lot of added barbecue sauce).

Anyway, backing up, we were AT Arthur Bryant’s because my good friend from college (and blog reader!) Mary was in town visiting her fiance, Matt, who is deploying to Iraq this week.   Mary will hopefully be moving to KC in about a year when he returns–I’m so excited!  They are planning a February 2011 wedding, so there was lots of wedding chat going on.

We had time to kill before our movie and it just happened to be next to a bridal store.  So, I ran in and bought a mermaid crinoline to try under my dress.  We’ll see if I like it or not!

After that, we went to go see Avatar in IMAX 3D.  I was surprised at how much I liked it!  The screenwriting wasn’t great, but it wasn’t terrible, and the music and graphics were excellent.

We said goodbye at about 6:30 and neither of us were at all hungry.  Our giant lunch held us over, definitely!  I decided I was going to hit up Super Target for some grocery (and other) shopping.  The highlights?

Clementines!  I wish you could buy smaller packages, but oh well.

And also lots of footwear: pantyhose and knee highs for work, non-cotton running socks, and fuzzy slipper socks.  (Tip: buy your pantyhose a size too big.  They’re less likely to run and the crotch will fit properly!)  I’m addicted to my Balega running socks, but they’re getting old and worn and stinky, and at $9.99 a pair, I figured I’d give the $3.99 3-pack a shot first.  (And the slipper socks are just for lounging.)

We’re going to chill at home the rest of the night.  Tomorrow, we’re going to (finally) finish our registries!

In other, random news…I feel like I have the marathon bug.  I want to run a marathon.  I’ve never really felt compelled, but with all the Disney-marathon-mania going on in the blog world lately, and watching Spirit of the Marathon, and some other stuff…I suddenly really want to register for one.  I think I put the thought aside in the fall when I started having asthma troubles, but now that I’m feeling like it’s under control the idea’s back.  I realize how silly this is, because I haven’t even run my 10K or half yet. I did some researching, and it looks like I’d have plenty of time to do a full training program before the Kansas City Marathon in October.   Either way, I’m going to wait until after my half, or at least until I’ve gotten up to double-digit mileage.  We’ll see.

Marathon people: how did you know you were ready?

I’m back! Part two

Sunday

Sunday was a lot of fun.  T and I randomly woke up early, and we didn’t have to be anywhere until 12:30, so of course what does my mind automatically go to?  Grocery shopping, of course!  Chicago has Trader Joe’s, my absolute favorite place to buy groceries, but Kansas City doesn’t.  So, we stopped at Starbucks for a quick breakfast and then headed out to TJ’s.  My mission?  ALMOND BUTTER.  It’s $9.99 for a small jar here, and $4.99 for a big jar there.  I stocked up! Here’s my “I love grocery shopping” face:

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Here’s the loot:

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I ended up with:

  • TJ’s low sodium creamy tomato soup (SO good)
  • Pecan praline granola
  • four jars of almond butter
  • two jars of peanut butter
  • a Clif white chocolate macadamia bar (haven’t seen this flavor around here)
  • “Just a handful” of cashews, cherries, and almonds trail mix

That’s it.  I tried to behave!

Then we went to Petsmart, where we bought a harness and leash and tags for our dog, because we thought we’d be picking him up today at 4:15.  😦  Long story short–our rental agent represented one thing to us, our lease says another, and ultimately the property owner will decide if we get him or not.  We offered to extend our lease for a year if they allow him, which we think is a pretty appealing offer, so we are just waiting (on pins and needles) to find out what the decision is.  Hopefully we will have something to fill the harness and collar soon…but anyway.  Sorry for the tangent.

After getting lost all over the place, we met with our awesome florist!  I am so, so excited about our floral stuff now.  She is incredible and creative and modern–I just love her.  Here’s the rundown of what we’re getting:

  • My bouquet: White peonies with white and pink dutch tulips and white and pink ranunculus, round and fluffy shape, hand-tied, handle wrapped in champagne satin with ivory or white organza criss-cross overlay and pearl details, skinny ivory plumage around rim
  • Bridesmaids: Mostly light & medium pink and some white dutch tulips hand-tied and simple, with lace accent around handle. Handle tied in champagne satin.
  • T’s bout: white ranunculus w/premium greens, stems wrapped in black with gold wire wrap
  • Groomsmen: light pink ranunculus w/premium foliage, stems wrapped in black with gold wire wrap
  • Altarpieces (reused at reception): tall and showy hurricane-shaped vase, curly willow, white hydrangea, cream french tulips, peach stock, light pink snapdragons, pink and white peonies, minimal foliage
  • Centerpieces for reception: short & full mixed arrangement in square vase with mixture of white hydrangea, white and light pink peonies, and white and light pink tulips; ribbon wrapped around vase in aqua and aqua stones in bottom of vases
  • Plus, assorted flowers for parents, grandparents, petals for the flower girl, and peonies for atop our cake!

I’m really excited about the flowers now.  I never thought I would be, but it’s going to be springy and lush and full of texture.  Our awesome florist thanked us a few times for not using roses (apparently she’s sick of them), and laughed at T a little bit because he is very insistent about his ranunculus for the boutonnieres.

THEN, we did a little shopping (and I got a great black leather bag for work) and headed to our cake tasting, also known as HEAVEN.

T and I picked our cake design almost immediately.  We love the unique shape of the tiers and the awesome piping:

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However, there was some consternation about the color.  I was concerned about an all-blue cake, but I thought an ivory cake with blue piping would look like a sink with toothpaste in it (yes, I’m weird).  Then we thought about a white cake with pink piping, but we didn’t think we’d get the contrast we wanted on that.  Eventually, we saw an ACTUAL blue cake and I was satisfied that it will not look like the Cookie Monster, so we are going with blue fondant and ivory piping.  Like this cake, but in the design above:

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Then, the tasting.  Also known as the happiest day of my life:

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Can I just say how much I wanted to stick my face in that plate of frosting?

We tried all the cakes first and immediately ruled a few out (carrot, banana, plain white).  T and I had the same two favorites, so that was pretty easy–we both loved the red velvet cake and the vanilla chiffon.  Normally, I’m not a white cake person, but the vanilla cake is very french vanilla-y and rich.

Then we tried all the frostings.  There were a few immediate vetos (lemon, mocha, jams) and we pretty quickly decided on the classic red velvet cake with cream cheese icing for two of the tiers.  I was infatuated with their strawberry mousse (it tasted like strawberry ice cream) and T loved the chocolate mousse.  So…we had the genius idea to make a Neapolitan cake!  Two tiers will have vanilla chiffon cake, with two layers of strawberry mousse filling and one layer of chocolate mousse.  Taken all together, it really does taste like Neapolitan ice cream!  Yum.  (The mousses are the big fluffy piles of frosting on the bottom of the picture.)

After the cake tasting was done, we drove to my aunt and uncle’s house and had a lovely dinner with them, my cousin and her husband and son, their friend and their dog.  Steaks, asparagus, and potatoes were on the menu and we brought a cake for dessert.  So good!

Then we rented Marley & Me in anticipation of getting our dog today (sigh) and I snotty ugly cried through the last half of it.

Monday

Today, we got up at  6 a.m. to leave Chicago and drive home because we were supposed to be picking up our dog at 4:15 until the shelter called and revealed all this with our rental place.  So, it was a very stressful drive home and now we’re waiting on pins and needles to find out what the owner’s decision is.  My fingers are crossed so very hard.

And that is my weekend in review!  How was yours?  I hope you enjoyed Leah and Susan‘s guest posts!  Aren’t they fabulous?

My (not-so) secret hobby

I love grocery shopping.

We go every two weeks for a big shopping trip, and I get so excited I start making the list a few days beforehand.  I clip coupons and prepare menus.  And when I’m there, I read labels and compare prices and calculate how much things cost per ounce.  My favorite time to go is late in the evening, when it’s almost empty and I can take my sweet time and nobody cares.  T used to go with me, but for his sanity now I just let him stay at home.

So, today I took pictures while I shopped!  My first stop is the produce department.  Today I got honeycrisp apples, bananas, Bartlett pears, carrots, mushrooms, and sweet potatoes:

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We shop at Super Target.  Our other options include Wal-Mart, Hy-Vee, and Price Chopper.  Wal-Mart produce and meat isn’t very good in my experience, so that’s out.  Hy-Vee has a nice health food section and bar selection, but they’re far more expensive.  Price Chopper just seems kind of dirty and is a little bit more expensive.  Plus, I like that I can pick up non-grocery things at Target–today I bought two Champion running shirts!  It’s getting a little chilly here, and the temperature for my race next week is probably going to be in the 40s-low 50s.  I generally hate having fabric on my arms when I work out and only have tank tops, but I broke down and got a short sleeved shirt and long sleeved shirt with some mesh ventilation in them.  Hopefully I like them.  But anyway, back to grocery shopping–my cart’s full at this point!

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Close ups:

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At the check-out:

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And all packed up in the trunk.  I have a motley assortment of grocery bags, most of them freebies for various things (blood donations, attending a baseball game, charity walk) but they do the job.  Bonus: I get $.05 off my grocery bill for every bag I use:

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Here’s what we wound up getting today:

  • 4 honeycrisp apples
  • 4 bananas
  • 2 yams
  • 1 pound baby carrots
  • 1 pound mushrooms
  • cashews
  • Gatorade mix (I’m going to try drinking this on runs)
  • frozen green beans
  • 2 boxes of risotto
  • 1 pound lentils
  • contact lens solution
  • egg noodles
  • spaghetti sauce
  • crushed tomatoes
  • lasagna noodles
  • skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 pounds extra lean ground beef (on sale! I stocked up.)
  • 2.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (ditto!)
  • 1 pound stew meat
  • 1 pound round steak
  • 1 loaf whole wheat bread
  • 1 loaf cinnamon swirl bread (not a usual buy, but I’ve been craving it)
  • multigrain bagels
  • 1.5 dozen eggs
  • cheese of various kinds (mozzarella, Mexican blend, string)
  • 1 gallon milk
  • orange juice
  • 2 large containers of yogurt
  • granola
  • laundry detergent (the cool new sheet kind! I’m excited)
  • ziploc bags
  • biscuit dough
  • beef broth
  • tomato paste
  • deli meat
  • frozen yogurt
  • Annie’s mac and cheese
  • teriyaki sauce
  • 2 running shirts

This stuff should last us roughly the next two weeks.  Sniff.

Bonus!  Check out my guest post on Susan’s blog, The Great Balancing Act, about some fitness-related things I’m thankful for!