A Photo Every Hour {6/14/2013}

I decided to copy Chelsey’s post, which was actually Katie’s idea. This way you can all see the ridiculousness of my life at the moment. Yes, I know it is all about to change drastically in ways I could never imagine, but for now, please appreciate, scoff, or relish in the supreme laziness that is my current life.

7:00am

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After a decent night’s sleep (read: four trips to the bathroom), I arose a little after 6:15am. I made Brody’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich, ate a toasted cinnamon and raisin bagel, drank an iced coffee, watched the news, and at 7:00am, was getting the dogs ready for the park.

8:00am

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The three of us met up with my favorite dog park people, all of whom are over the age of 60. Not sure what that says about me – I’m an “old soul”? I walked about two miles with them, and here we are on our way back to the car.

9:00am

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I took a quick bird bath (aka a shower where you don’t wash your hair) and plopped down for some Today Show entertainment and blog reading. A snack of cheese and Triscuits happened around this time too.

10:00am

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I left the house for the second time in one day – woot woot! While browsing the clothing section of Target would normally take at least twenty minutes, I had no reason to even glance in that direction. As I’ve been told, I shouldn’t expect to be wearing my normal clothes for a while. Sad face. Instead I bought interesting things like printer ink, crackers (on sale), Manwich, and yogurt covered raisins (for Brody). Also, if you are wondering, 9:30am is prime time for pregnant women and moms with newborns. We were everywhere in that store!

11:00am

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Back at home, back on the couch. I did a little reading about induction methods and going beyond your due date and watched TLC’s What Not to Wear.

12:00pm

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Post-lunch, I moved my pregnant butt outside to the back deck. I finished Gone Girl yesterday (so good but quite eff’ed up characters) and started a YA book called If I Stay. I randomly found half a bag of M&Ms in the lazy susan with my cooking supplies – how I forgot they were there blows my mind. They were a perfect sweet treat for my sweet tooth.

1:00pm

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Still outside and still reading. I was also doing quite a bit of texting with Brody and various friends. It seems like everyone has a life and stuff to do as no one was able to come hang out with me or meet me somewhere.

2:00pm
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My pregnant college friend, Tina, called and we chatted for a while about pregnancy and baby things. Her due date is approaching and she was planning on getting reflexology done. This is one “natural” induction method I hadn’t read about. I did some research and found a massage clinic that also does reflexology just a few miles from my house. They don’t open until 4pm, though, so I need to wait to see if they can fit me in soon (like this afternoon still – ha!).

3:00pm

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Frankie and I spent some quality time on the back deck together. I moved into the shade and ate a grapefruit.

4:00pm

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I worked on this post for a while before calling the reflexology place. Good news! She got me in at 9am tomorrow!!!

5:00pm
I failed to take a picture this hour but was talking to Brody who had just gotten home from work.

6:00pm
Again, no photo. I was getting ready to leave the house for the third time in the day.

7:00pm

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Brody’s involvement in the United Way brought us to a charity event, Berry Bash, at Heritage Hall in Camp Randall. I ordered a club soda and cranberry juice.

8:00pm

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This is the same dress I wore to last year’s Berry Bash. Obviously it’s not a maternity dress but is big enough (or had enough stretch) to fit over my pregnant belly.

9:00pm

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I actually remembered to get a picture of us.

10:00pm
No photo – we were still at Berry Bash, and I was probably eating a piece of cake.

11:00pm
No photo – I was in bed soon after this time.

There was my Friday, June 14. Although labor didn’t happen, it was a good day.

Not a Weekend Warrior

My weekend update is a little late, but I have a good excuse: last night I judged a Forensics tournament at the high school I teach at and didn’t get home until 9pm. As they say, better late than never.

Brody was MIA this weekend (aka bachelor party in Chicago). He was gone from Friday to Monday and had a great time with his college buddies.

Knowing I’d be home alone, my mom and sister came to hang out. We had no definite plans, and that was fine by me.

As the title states, I was not especially productive this weekend, but I did still did stuff; plus, I actually remembered to take some pictures!

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Already on Friday night Moose was missing Brody, staring at the door into the garage, waiting for him to walk in. I was missing him too, but I didn’t lie down on the tile floor and stare at the door.

I was super lame-o on Friday night, but it was awesome. My mom and sister weren’t coming until Saturday, so I’d turned to Netflix for some entertainment. I watched Goats and Hungry for Change. Bridget, via text message, challenged me to watch three documentaries this weekend, but I failed. Instead, the movies became less “intellectual” as the weekend continued: Knight and Day, Mirror Mirror, and The Five-Year Engagement. Maybe next weekend Bridget!

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The walk into the dog park was like an ice rink. Inside the park wasn’t much better.

The sun was out both days this weekend, and the temperatures weren’t bad at all. Saturday I went solo, but my sister joined me on Sunday. Some parts of the park are very dangerous right now, and a dog park lady and fellow Golden owner scolded me for coming while pregnant. I was careful, though, and walked off the path in the snow or shuffled slowly over the ice.

Along with walking for forty-five minutes each day, I also made it to BodyPump Saturday morning. My hope of getting to a yoga class did not happen. Can I say “Maybe next weekend” for that too?

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A Food Fight gift card was burning a hole in my wallet, and I rarely go out to eat when my mom is in town. I took my mom and sister to Monty’s Blue Plate Diner, where I hadn’t been since right after college. We had to wait for about thirty minutes, and my hunger pangs told me I needed something stat.

Insert image in mind of a massive cranberry muffin.

My sister had a bite, and I had about half the muffin. Luckily I had some self-control and saved room for lunch.

My mom had a grilled sandwich with chicken (still makes me want to gag), bacon, and goat cheese; my sister chose the Florentine (two poached eggs over sourdough toast with spinach, tomatoes and a mornay sauce); I ordered the “hippie” sandwich with grilled tempeh, mushrooms, onions, and avocado.

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We were all very happy and left with full bellies.

The weekend also included shopping (Home Depot, Marshall’s, hair supplies store, and the Dollar Tree), eating (frozen pizza, burgers, salad, and potatoes with sour cream), baking (macaroons), reading (I finished The Good Soldiers), and even a little grading (sonnets written by my freshmen).

Very proudly, I’ll also admit that I was sleeping by 9:30pm Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Before I turn in for the night, I’d like to give a shout out to my friends Jess and Brad who welcomed their baby GIRL (they had kept the gender a secret), Hadley Grace, into the world. She came two weeks early, but considering she was 8 lbs. 10 oz., I think she was ready!

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Photo posted on Facebook and Instagram by Jess

Pregnancy Update: Week 23

Happy hump day! Checking in quickly with a pregnancy update and a little venting about a trip to the dog park. Hope all is well with you. :)

How far along? I started week 23 yesterday.
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Yet another embarrassing selfie – it’d be even more embarrassing to admit how many shots it took to get this quasi-acceptable pic

Baby’s size? One website says grapefruit, and another says spaghetti squash. I think she’s more of a grapefruit.

Weight gained? I haven’t weighed myself for over a week, so maybe around 6 pounds? I’ll find out tomorrow at the doctor’s.

Stretch marks? No. :)

Sleep? I had a few nights of crappy sleep last week, but since Friday it’s been better. I still keep waking up on my back. I don’t think this is problematic now because there’s not a lot of weight pressing on that major vein, but eventually it will be.

Best moment this week? Besides movement (see two below), getting my clothing order from Gap Maternity today was awesome.
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Even though they screwed up my order and sent me the wrong pants (the red ones), I am still happy. And actually, the red pants fit great, are cute, and were the same price as the khakis I wanted. Score! I also ordered a pair of their black leggings, which I am wearing now.

Miss anything? Not really.

Movement? I felt a clear kick/punch with my hand on my belly last week, and just this morning, my hand actually MOVED when she kicked/punched. So cool!

Food cravings? My sweet tooth is back but not crazy intense. I still am into salty foods but am getting in my servings of fruits and veggies.

Anything making you queasy or sick? Last Friday, I got super car sick on the way to school. I had a plastic bag ready, my jacket off, cold air blowing on me, and the seat reclined. Even though I was in the front seat, it was a rough ride: back and forth, up and down, fast and slow. It makes me nauseous thinking about it.

Gender? Girl.

Labor signs? Nope.

Symptoms? The belly is definitely out there now – one pair of dress pants and one pair of jeans (both non-maternity) still fit…but barely. I also have started to feel some round ligament pain (which is a dull ache for me, not sharp pains).

Belly button in or out? In but coming out slowly.

Wedding rings on or off? On. I haven’t noticed any water retention (knock on wood).

Happy of moody? Happy!

Looking forward to? We have a monthly appointment tomorrow; I’m excited to hear the heartbeat again and ask my doctor some questions. Brody and I will also be making our first (of many, I am sure) trips to Babies R Us. My fabulous coworker gave me her old stroller to trade-in and receive 25% off! The car seat we want is there (Chicco Keyfit 30), and we’ll save almost $50.
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On a non-pregnancy note, I had a very stressful, anxious trip to the dog park with my friend Jena tonight. Normally we keep a good pace and our dogs run around. We got caught up walking with a person who I know, and then a group of people and dogs, and it made me nervous.

I am totally fine walking with a group of people if I know them, and more importantly, know their dogs. Moose and Frankie like to play and wrestle with each other, but not with other dogs.

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“We are exclusive – please don’t try to join in on the fun.”

Sometimes their playfulness excites other dogs, and most of the time when a new dog tries to join in, they will run away from the other dog. But if that dog doesn’t get the hint, both of them will make it known they are not interested. They’re not being aggressive but setting boundaries. Anyways, today Jena and I were surrounded at times with new dogs, and the energy levels were a little too much. Now with my growing belly, I also get nervous with dogs, including my own, rough-housing around me and knocking me down. We both left feeling frustrated, with high blood pressure, and like we didn’t get a good workout in ourselves.

Oh well. Mini-rant from dog park lady over.

Have a good night!

Ten Facts About My Life Recently

I can’t believe break is almost over. Even with those two extra days, it has flown by. Good thing I’ve got a couple big things to look forward to!

Today I have lots of random thoughts and pictures to share.

1. We had a nice Christmas with my mom, my sister, her boyfriend, and Brody’s mom. It was pretty low-key and we barely left the couch or kitchen table. Brody cooked two rib roasts (long story) Christmas Eve. We opened gifts Christmas morning while eating Sara Lee butter streusel coffee cake.
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After presents, my family (except me) went to church, and we spent the afternoon watching movies. Oh, and we ate – a lot and often. ‘Tis the season!

2. Brody got me a fabulous gift: a babymoon! Over my Spring Break in March, we are going to New York for four days!!! We’re staying in Soho, and the only thing set in stone as of now is we’re going to see The Book of Mormon. Any restaurant recommendations?

3. Moose and Frankie have been loving the snow. Those first few days were hard on their paws, though. Snow packs easily between their pads, so every few minutes, they are licking at them (which only makes it worse). Both dogs also LOVED the bull pizzle (aka bully stick aka bull penis). Unfortunately their stomachs didn’t love the pizzle, and we’ve been dealing with some nasty bathroom issues. To let everything work its way out, we switched the dogs over to rice and boiled chicken.
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Frankie was not happy about his rice breakfast.

4. Our friends, Barret and Kelly, parents of Owen, sent us our first official piece of baby clothing: a Blackhawks onesie!
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It is so adorable – even Brody said so with a big smile on his face. Whether this kid is a boy or girl, it is already determined he/she will play hockey and will be a Blackhawks fan.

5. Real Simple failed me. I know – I am still in shock.
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Normally their recipes are great, but this one (pasta with sausage, arugula, and bread crumbs) missed the mark. Brody thought the arugula was too strong, but I tasted lots of thyme from the toasted bread crumbs. We both didn’t even finish our meals. I had a small bowl of Cedar Crest vanilla ice cream and Brody made nachos. Healthy alternatives around here.

6. I went to yoga yesterday! It was my second class at Bliss Flow Yoga on University Ave. Groupon had a deal a while back: $20 for 20 classes. Even if I only make it a few more times before it expires in April, that’s still a good deal. I felt comfortable doing just about everything as my belly isn’t getting in the way yet.

7. Post yoga, I met Brody for lunch. We went to Gates & Brovi, a newer restaurant on Monroe St. We both started with soup: roasted cauliflower for me and clam chowder for Brody.
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For the main course, I chose the chick pea tuna sandwich. Obviously it had tuna and chick peas but also included slices of hard boiled eggs, pepperocini, capers, kalamata olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce. It was salty and delicious.
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Brody had a classic burger and was very happy with it. Besides the good food, the decor is very inviting and casual with lots of reclaimed looking wood and high ceilings.

8. Real cream in coffee is SO much better than milk or flavored creamer. I bought half and half for the mashed potatoes on Christmas Eve (which you need to have with a roast), and there is at least half a container left. Yum!

9. It hasn’t all been eating and relaxing around here. I made it to work for four hours on Thursday and got lots of work done. My teaching license is set to expire in June, and in order to renew it, I need to finish my PDP (professional development plan) and submit it to DPI (Department of Public Instruction). Sidenote: The number of acronyms in education is incredible. I worked on my PDP for two hours and then planned lessons and emailed parents for the last two. At home I finished lots of grading on my two snow days and then yesterday I began grading research papers my juniors wrote. My goal for today is to finish one class, which has only seven papers left. I can do it!

10. My weekend plans involve the dog park (of course), the gym, Best Buy (to pick up a camera, a new point and shoot, Brody and I ordered), grading, watching a video about Huck Finn, seeing Django Unchained, and definitely some couch time.

Have a fabulous Saturday!

Questions:
What was your favorite gift? The best gift you gave?
What good restaurant have you been to recently?
What do you have planned for the weekend?

Snow Day Part Two

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On Wednesday, I thought there was no way we’d have a snow day on Friday, but here I am, at home, and I will be home now until January 2 because of winter break. A thirteen day break is quite long, and sometimes these longer breaks make it even more difficult to go back. I hope that doesn’t sound like I am complaining, though, because I very much appreciate this perk of being a teacher.

My morning started off like yesterday: toast, a hot beverage (coffee this time), and grading.

Then I worked out.

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After 65 minutes on the elliptical, my feet were sufficiently tingly and I had worked up a light sweat. I hopefully will be able to get to yoga one day this weekend and maybe start running again next week after Brody’s bronchitis clears up.

Grocery stores make me happy, especially empty ones.

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A few key buys: kombucha (for $3 each), orange juice (for Brody’s vitamin C needs and my love), and dates.

You know what doesn’t make me happy? Dog poop…in the house…on the carpet. Moose must be having some tummy troubles, which I feel bad for, but I also feel bad for me because the house smells bad and it takes at least twenty minutes to thoroughly clean it up. I’ve heard that dogs can tell if you’re pregnant and sometimes act out. I don’t think that is necessarily the case here, but I do think that’s an interesting notion.

I made plans this morning to meet my friend Jennifer at the dog park this afternoon. She was a little late, but the dogs had fun playing in the deep snow and I liked sitting on a bench under a tree taking in the winter scene.
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Normally, without snow, I can make it around the dog park loop, which is 2/3 a mile, in 12 minutes. It took Jennifer and I at least 30 minutes to do one lap. The snow was deep, up to my knees in some areas, as no one else had been crazy enough to go there and forge a path for us. Jerks. We actually took a few breaks, and at one point sat down in the snow to rest for a couple minutes. This was definitely my second workout of the day!
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It’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe, so I’d like to share what I’m making for dinner tonight. This was a Wine and Recipe recipe by Kathy from Mel’s bar food theme night. I loved these and hope they turn out.

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
By Rachel Ray

Ingredients:
-2 tbs vegetable oil
-4 tbs (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
-1/3 cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce
-1 pound ground chicken, preferably thigh meat
-1 large egg
-3/4 cup bread crumbs
-1/2 celery stalk, minced
-1 tsp salt

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 450 and evenly drizzle oil over baking dish.
2) Combine butter and hot sauce in a sauce pan, and cook over low heat, whisking until butter is melted. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
3) Combine chicken, hot sauce mixture, egg, celery, bread crumbs, and salt in a large bowl by hand.
4) Roll the mixture into round, 3/4 inch balls, making sure to make the meat firmly. Place balls on baking sheet, touching one another, to form a grid.
5) Roast for 15 to 20 minutes. The center of the balls should be 165 degrees.

Serve these with celery stalks and dip in blue cheese or ranch dressing.

Have a great Friday night, and to all you teachers or students out there, happy winter break!!!

Questions:
Do you enjoy or despise grocery store trips?
What was your workout today?
What is your favorite meatball recipe?

Epiphanies

Epiphany #1
I swear to God that when I left last Friday morning, it was still “summer” in Wisconsin. Warm temps, green trees, and flip flops. Now this:

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Driving back from MN Tuesday.
And this!

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Heck, even my dogs match the colors.

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The last few CSAs have also included squash.

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Butternut squash soup is coming up!

Epiphany #2
BodyPump hurts after a couple weeks off.

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This is EXACTLY what I look like at BP at 5:30am. It is uncanny, I tell you.
A minor epiphany occurred this morning when I realized it wasn’t Tuesday. Last night I looked at the group fitness schedule and apparently looked at Tuesday. Excited, or as excited as I can be before the sun comes up, I asked for my BodyCombat ticket. The front desk lady looked at me like I was silly and told me I could choose between RPM (spin) or Pump.

BodyPump went well, and I am already sore. Tomorrow is a rest day luckily, as I see challenges in walking, stairs, and sitting.

Epiphany #3
I like salty dinners.

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ThIs disgusting looking yet delicious recipe is from a recent issue of Real Simple. We got collards in our CSA last week, and when I saw this soup, I wanted to try it. Instead of andouille sausage I used pork and chicken sausage (I had a coupon and it was double coupon day yesterday!). Although there is no added salt, this soup is salty! Maybe it’s from the dried beans? The chicken broth? The sausage? Regardless, I am totally into it, just like I love me some teriyaki meatballs (also salty and also a Real Simple recipe).

Epiphany #4
My Costco Asics were not working for me. After a few long runs resulting in blisters on both feet, I realized it was time to return to my beloved Gel Nimbus 12s.

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Oh how I missed you.

I ran in these yesterday afternoon on my teacher run, and not surprisingly, they felt incredible.

**********

So I guess you may have noticed my lack of posts recently, especially during the weekdays. Being back at school is kicking my butt! I don’t want to force posts, and when the day is done, sometimes I need the couch, Brody lying next to me, and The Voice. Hopefully life calms down a little in these next few months, though. It’s been go Go GO!

Have a wonderful night!

Question:
What epiphany have you had recently?

Thursday Photo and Word Dump

Good afternoon! I hope your day is going well. I initially planned on just dumping a bunch of photos into this post but the English teacher in me begged me for words, explanations, and useless details. Obviously she won.

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I bought a new shower curtain because the last one I bought was way too long. This new one was meant for a stall shower which is basically what we have. It was also too long.

Seriously? I just had to laugh. And then I got creative.

What you see in the photo is some smart, innovative problem solving. Three safety pins to the rescue.

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I killed this plant. It’s been under my care for at least eight years. After moving from the spare bedroom to the master to the other spare bedroom, I think I put it through too much. RIP plant.

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Brody and I met for lunch today. He had an intense craving for Mexican so we hit up Pasquals. The seasoning they out on their chips is delicious, and the wrap I had was so fresh and veggie-filled. The Sedona Veggie Wrap gets an A from Angie.

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Woodman’s is officially open. I was a little upset when I found out they had been open for the last two days unofficially (soft opening) because I would’ve gone. Kombuchas were only $3! At Copps you pay $4.50. #kombuchahighwayrobbery
Now my fridge is stocked with kombucha and margaritas from last night.
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If your mouth is salivating over the margaritas, you are in luck. Here’s the recipe:

1 cup tequila
1/2 can frozen limeade
1/2 can frozen lemonade
1/2 can frozen cran-raspberry juice
1 liter white soda (I used diet 7up)
1 can beer (like Corona)

Mix together and drink.

P.S. It is probably easier to double the recipe like I did so you don’t have half cans of frozen drink mix left.

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Because of the storms this morning, we didn’t get to the park until later. Instead of walking the loop, I ran it. Three times around is just over two miles. Killing two birds with one stone. Or in this case, two dogs…and they’re not dead. Just tired.

Tonight is Wine and Recipe night so expect some fantastic recipes, including one for the tres leches cake, tomorrow.

Peace out!

Weekend Recap

Is it really Sunday night already? I tend to scramble a little every Sunday night: laundry, dishes, baking, grading…all things I could’ve done in the last forty-eight hours but didn’t. My excuses, though, are credible. Want to hear them?

Thursday was Brody and my fourth wedding anniversary, and to celebrate in style, we went out to dinner at Ruth’s Chris. If we want a good steak, we normally go to Delmonico’s or The Tornado Room, but we had a gift card for Ruth’s Chris.

It was delicious! We both started with a salad; the Ruth’s chopped salad for me and a special salad with arugula, bacon dressing, prosciutto, and orange wedges for Brody. For the main course, I had the petit filet and Brody had the ribeye. They offer family-style sides, so we shared the potatoes at gratin and sautéed broccolini. We were planning on sharing the cheesecake when our waiter informed us a dessert would be on the house in honor of our anniversary – score! Brody and I had a great time enjoying wine, dinner and each other’s company.

Saturday morning I had my last long run before the marathon on Sunday. Yes, I was “here” two weeks ago getting ready for the Madison Marathon, but because of the cancelation, my sights are now set on completing the Eisenbahn Marathon.

My confidence took a major hit after the half marathon, so I needed a good long run…and I got it. This run felt amazing: strong legs, easy breathing, and beautiful scenery. I ran down State Street, along Lakeshore Path, through campus, and around Monona Bay. Here are a few pictures I took (with my new iPhone!!!).

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I made a pit stop at the Union for water and got to see the blue chairs for the first time.

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I love running by water.

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Last time I ran on John Nolan, I was not doing so hot. I made peace with John on this run and forgave him for being such a jerk last weekend.

The rest of the day included Chipotle, the dog park, an hour and a half nap, and some reading on the back patio. We had a charity event to attend in the evening, so it was a late night.

Bridget suggested I take a yoga class to help get me out of my head – she is a genius. My last class from the Groupon I bought for The Studio was used up today unfortunately. Luckily, it was a great class and I sweat out the toxins, both physical (wine) and psychological (doubt).

Sunday afternoon included grocery shopping, the dog park, and grading. The baking I mentioned in the beginning will be explained tomorrow with a link to the recipe.

So you see why I was a little frantic Frannie tonight?

Now I am off to bed where I will likely be asleep a minute after I close my eyes. Goodnight!

Monday Musings: Time and Baked Ziti

I found myself thinking about time this morning. Time is such an important part of my life, and I’m not sure how I feel about that.

What does time do? It escapes us; we waste it; it goes by too fast; it can’t go by fast enough; we use it wisely. I typically feel all of these different ways about time in one day. When I walked into school at 7:30am, I thought, “I can’t wait until Friday.” During my hour-long prep, I wrote a to-do list for myself and “used my time wisely.” After work today, I had just a little bit of time to get home, let the dogs out, and get to BodyPump by 5:00pm. Because it is Moose’s birthday, another concept involving time, I wanted to get him and Frankie to the dog park tonight as well before “time escapes” us and it got too dark.

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On the weekends, though, I am more relaxed with time. I often do not set an alarm, obviously have no bells ringing at certain times of the day, and don’t worry as much about being productive every minute.

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Even when I am less stressed, I still get stuff done. On Sunday, I made it to the dog park, picked up some groceries, and cooked Brody and I breakfast…all before 10:00am.

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French toast and coffee for me and an omelet and Dt. Mountain Dew for Brody.
I must’ve had one too many cups of coffee because I set off on a cleaning rampage, and much to Brody’s protests, he became a part of it. We also ran to Endurance House (I needed GU and GU Brew) and Home Depot for my vegetable beds. See…productivity without time constraints. And don’t worry – we also relaxed by watching That 70′s Show and I read fifty pages of Fahrenheit 451.

Honestly, I haven’t drawn any conclusions about time. It just popped into my head this morning, and after pondering it for the day, I realized how important and controlling it is to my life but how differently I treat it on the weekends versus the weekdays.

*****

Last week at Trader Joe’s, I picked up a carton of two fennel bulbs specifically for this Emeril Lagassi recipe. Years ago, I was looking for a recipe I thought Brody would like. I stumbled across this gem and have since made it at least ten times.

Through trial and error, I have perfected the recipe and can basically make it without the recipe. If you choose to make it, which I highly suggest you do, consider these suggestions:
-Cut the fennel into small pieces or thin slices (they take a while to soften)
-Cook the sausage and fennel at the same time
-When making the Mornay sauce, heat up the milk first before adding it to the roux
-Take the pasta out earlier than you normally would
-Serve with baguette to sop up the remaining sauce

If you wanted to make this a little healthier, you could use turkey sausage; I think Jennie-O makes a hot Italian turkey sausage. You could also add spinach to it for a nutritional kick with little to no change in flavor. Lastly, whole wheat pasta would up the fiber. However, I really make this dish for Brody because he loves it so much, and I would hate it taint his memory of it by changing it this late in the game.

I hope you all had a great Monday!

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Yard Work Rewarded with Meatballs and Ice Cream

Happy Wednesday! How was your day? Mine was surprisingly good for a Wednesday. And who could ask for better weather? I don’t know if it’s possible for me to have a bad day when it is 80 degrees.

After my hair history post, I thought I would share a picture of how my hair looks curly now.

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I took this in the backseat of my coworker/carpooler’s car on my iPad without him noticing. It isn’t nearly as curly as it used to be, but I wouldn’t call it wavy.

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After a fun day at school, I had a list of to-dos that began with the dog park. Today was a rest day for me because my quads and inner thighs were killing me from Monday’s BodyPump and yesterday’s run. The pups and I did two laps which was about one and a half to two miles. It felt good to get the blood flowing in my legs and further enjoy the beautiful weather. The dogs’ tongues hung out of their mouths after one lap; if these temps continue, I’ll need to start bringing water to the park…for the dogs and me.

Yard work was also on my list of things to do tonight. Two years ago I planted two tall grasses on each side of the front steps to our house. They look great (IMO) and add height to the front landscaping. Unfortunately, they require a little trimming every year. I like plants that are very low (or no) maintenance, and cutting these grasses tonight took more time than I had expected. So, I only did one side of the house.

Here is the finished side:

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Here is the unfinished side:

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It is supposed to rain tomorrow afternoon and evening, so it looks like the overgrown and dead grasses on the left side of my house will have to wait until Friday.

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Brody got home from Crossfit just as I was starting dinner. He requested something healthy, and I chose to make Chicken Teriyaki Meatballs from Real Simple. Normally I use turkey but chicken was on sale. No pictures, though – I inhaled my dinner faster than you could say meatball. I did take a moment to capture this image of my dessert.

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I have to say I wasn’t that impressed with Ben and Jerry’s frozen Greek yogurt. The texture was a little chalky, and I found myself only enjoying the chocolate chunks. Compared to the Cinnamon Buns flavor I got for Brody (which has 80 more calories and 5 more grams of fat), the frozen Greek yogurt leaves something to be desired. I would rather eat less of the full fat stuff than more of the yogurt kind. I am glad I tried it though. You win some, you lose some.

Questions:
Do you enjoy yard work, planting, or gardening?
What ice cream or fro yo did you last eat?