Thursday, February 25, 2010
This past weekend while I was chatting with a few friends I found out they were just starting the same running program with intentions to run a 5k May 1. They talked me into jumping back on the band wagon and I'm proud to report that today I finished week one of training (only eight more to go!).
Of course, it also snowed today. (Realistically, it's still snowing.) I feel like the snow is some kind of cruel joke at this point. I've lived in this part of the state - more or less - for about seven years now and I can count on one hand the number of snow storms we've had an accumulation from. This is our fourth major storm of the season.
I don't think I'd be as bothered by it if I didn't grow up by the ski resorts. We were so used to snow up there, school didn't close unless you were facing down a blizzard. (Although, I remember one fantastic storm that dumped a little more than three feet of the white stuff - we got off for a week!) Here, though, just a few inches seems to shut down things. The grocery stores are absolute mad houses and the roads become treacherous - not because they're overly icy but people just don't seem to know what to do with themselves when it's snowing.
The storm was just starting to build steam when we woke up this morning so I headed out for a pre-work run. On one hand, it was really pretty - like running in a snow globe. On the other hand, it was more boring than usual; I ended up running circles in the park down the street because I didn't trust the cars enough to share the road with them.
Maybe the universe is telling me I shouldn't run after all.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
What really struck me about this piece was that they came right out and said that they, for the most part, weren't well-balanced meals or enough to sustain you. Along with picking the best, they let you know what to add to them to make it a better meal.
This was an idea I could get behind, so I decided to try some of their suggestions. I picked up two of their top five and put them to my own little test: Did they really taste any good and could them hold me over until dinner time?
The first one I tried out was the Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers Roasted Beef Merlot which clocks in at 230 calories. The Consumer Reports suggested add-ons were whole wheat bread, an apple and a granola bar (which brings the total calories up to 470).
My take: This meal was good. Really good. I was truly pleasantly surprised to not only enjoy it, but find myself full before I finished. I ended up skipping on the granola bar because I really wasn't hungry for it after the meal, bread and apple and I had no problem not snacking until dinner. This is definitely something I'll buy again - it gets an A+ in my book.
My other choice was the Smart Ones Santa Fe Style Rice & Beans. It clocks in at 310 calories and Consumer Reports suggested adding on a tossed salad with reduced fat dressing and strawberries with two tablespoons of whipped topping (which would bring it to a total of 430 calories).
My take: I got together a small salad with what we had lying around and topped it off with a low-fat vinaigrette. We didn't have strawberries (or whipped topping) around the house, but just these too made for a decent lunch. When the mid-afternoon munchies set in, I went for a frozen banana and a drizzle of chocolate sauce (my sub for the strawberries). All together, it was more than enough to hold me over until dinner. The rice and beans weren't my favorite, but they were a good alternative to heating up chicken fingers or a cheeseburger and much easier. I'd go for this meal again.
Overall, I was pretty pleased with this little experiment. I found two new go-to lunches and it sort of opened my eyes to the fact that a box isn't a full meal. I think in the future I'll do some more experimenting with adding fresh accompaniments to frozen entrees.
What are your favorite frozen entrees? What are your go-to lunches?
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Thursday, we set up an appointment with the realtor.
Friday morning, we went to see it.
This morning, we took my Dad (aka, Mr. Handy) back to look it over.
It's not perfect, but it'd be perfect for us. Just the right amount of space. Just the right amount of redecorating. There are window seats in the kitchen (for the kittens to sleep in) and the master bedroom (for my reading nook). All of the vanities are raised a little for tall people (like us). There's a perfect spot for a little vegetable garden.
I could probably go on all night about how much I love this place. Mark loves it too. Our hopes were sky-high.
And then, we let my Dad loose on the place. We wanted him to use his handy-ness to tell us it was a great house and we should bid on it. Instead, he noticed the ceilings were sagging. In a few different places.
A few inches off.
And it could, potentially, be the deal breaker we were hoping we wouldn't have to face.
We're going to bring a contractor back for another look sometime next week in hopes that he can give us a better picture of what's wrong and how much of a project it would be to fix. For now we can just sit and wait. And hope.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
So I can officially knock another goal off my 101 list:
5. Get a passport.
It's beautiful. I've never seen such an intricate government document. It's holographic and colorful and the pages are filled with beautiful pictures.
I can't wait to get some stamps in it!
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Mark sent me flowers on Friday (so I could have them for last night's dinner party) and he gave me a big box of chocolates this morning.
We also have these beauties for later:
Ice cream cupcakes from Cold Stone!
We're going to a baskeball game this afternoon and then planning to spend the rest of the evening lounging around and making Chinese food for dinner. (Today is the Chinese New Year, too!) I'm really excited to just have the whole day before us to spend together.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
This was the scene out our back door this afternoon:
And this is what it looks like now:
Granted, he's standing in an area that's been shoveled so the snow right around him is a little higher, but we've added at least another foot to our snow totals today. And it's still coming down.
I think it's going to be a while before the park path is clear enough for me to run again.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
I've got a batch of pulled pork in the crockpot to take to a Superbowl party later and have been passing the day helping Mark clean the apartment and playing Farmville.
I'd really like to be in Oklaholma.
One of my best friends from high school is getting married this afternoon. Mark and I just weren't able to swing the trip, so I'm here in snowy New Jersey, sending good vibes and anxiously awaiting pictures.
Adar and Philip, I wish you both the best of luck today! My heart is with you and I hope you have an amazing day.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
Thursday, February 4, 2010
By 1:30 I was heading home to work for the afternoon because I started feeling sick.
By 3:30 I was curled up in bed with my work laptop willing the last hour of work to go faster so I could go to sleep.
I hate when sick just creeps up on you like that.
Today was a sick day. I hate sick days. Whatever bug I'm brewing has kept me from reading or being on the computer much of the day - unless I'm at the height of Dayquil, it gives me a headache. Ditto with the TV.
So, what does one do all day? I spent about five hours cutting and sorting coupons for the next Overseas Coupon Program shipment and I made a sweet potato casserole. Exciting, no? Although, I must say I'm insanely thankful that Dayquil perked me up enough to do those things.
I don't know what people did before Dayquil.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
It's a project I've really grown to love. Something about all of that sorting is soothing to my brain - and knowing I'm helping someone in the process is doubly good.
To date, I've mailed about 60 lbs of coupons over to the US Army base in Okinawa.
There are things you can do to your packages so you'll know they got there and are being enjoyed - delivery confirmation or sticking a self-addressed postcard inside for them to easily mail back. I skipped them all. I figured that a) I'd trust the USPS to get it there and b) I didn't really need the recognition.
Yesterday in the mail I got a letter from the base in Okinawa thanking me for my continued support. I was touched because I really didn't expect any kind of recognition. I'm glad they're enjoying their coupons.
The more and more I think about it, the more and more I want to find a way to continue this project after we move. I'll have to find a new place to stick my box.