Thursday, March 29, 2012


for coconut water!

Did you think I was going to say Cocoa Puffs?  I do love those - especially when they turn the milk chocolatey - but I haven't had that much sugar for breakfast in for-ev-er.

I have been obsessed with coconut water for several months.  It is ridiculously refreshing, and it's coined as "nature's sports drink" for its added benefits to athletes.

First, it boasts an average of 569 mg of potassium, which is nearly twice the amount in a banana.  Inadequate supplies of potassium cause sore muscles and muscle cramping, so consuming appropriate quantities is super important, especially for hardcore athletes.

Second, it only has 160 mg of sodium, whereas sports drinks like Gatorade have almost 200.  (Some health experts believe that traditional sports drinks are better in this regard because the body loses so much potassium during strenuous exercise.)

Third, it's just a nice break from plain ol' water.  :)

However, it is quite pricy at $2-4 per bottle.  Considering I take down the whole thing in approximately 15 seconds, that's an expensive drink.

Oh well: for a treat every once in a while, it's not bad.

But, when you have two cans in one day (like I may or may not have done today), it's just straight-up silly.

Let's recap, shall we?

This morning started bright and early: I had to be at school a bit earlier than normal because I was participating in "Instructional Rounds" today.  Essentially, a group of us went around to several different classrooms to take a "snapshot" of what was happening in regards to student/teacher engagement.  It was a really cool thing to be a part of, as I got to observe my colleagues in addition to reflecting a lot on my own practice as an educator.

But I digress.

Because I had to be at school early, I started the day at Bruegger's with - you guessed it - a Skinny Zesty Egg White Sandwich and a large hazelnut coffee.

For lunch, I inhaled another serving of crab cakes with mango/avocado salsa.  While it's definitely better the first night (i.e. while hot and crispy), it was still delicious two days later.  I also had coconut water numero uno.

After school, I (finally) worked out.  The boys and I headed to the weight room for CrossFit.  While the guys did today's workout (2000m row), I did the workout they did on Tuesday: 25 burpees, 400m run, 25 pull-ups, 400m run, 25 push-ups, 400m run, 25 pull-ups, 400m run.  I ran each mile at 6 mph or higher, so it was quite killer.


I'm pretty sure I was sweatier today than I have been in a very, very long time.

I don't know if you can tell how sweaty I truly was.  Hint: my shirt is not supposed to be that dark.  In fact, when I went to wipe the workout slobber off of my mouth (come on: you know what I'm talking about), I couldn't find a dry spot with which to do so.

Again, how do I not have a boyfriend?!

But enough with the sweat: how sweet do my shoulders look?  Yeah, I know.

(Side note: my foot still hurts like crazy, but it's not too much worse from running, so I figure if I just dope up on Ibuprofen and ice-up like it's going out of style, I shouldn't be too bad - especially since I'm running a half marathon in 37 days!!!)

As soon as I stopped sweating (like 18 hours later), I took a shower and headed to a Planned Parenthood meeting.  I just have to say: I love the women with whom I work.

On the menu for tonight was mahi-mahi with a blueberry mango salsa.  Unfortunately, my dinner date (one of my girlfriends, don't get too excited) had to cancel, and I didn't want to thaw out $7 of fish for just me.  So, since I was at Gateway for the PPYL meeting, I decided to grab some sushi (and coconut water numero dos):

Does that look like a lot of food, or what?!  I thought I was going to eat it all because I was starving when I picked it up, but when I got home and actually sat down to eat, I wasn't hungry at all.

It was weird.

So, I left three of the huge blurry pieces from the back, a piece of sashimi, and a piece of the rainbow roll for lunch tomorrow.

For dessert, I picked up a specialty bar of chocolate from Gateway.  I was hoping they had something with sea salt and caramel because I am officially addicted to those two things together, but alas, I couldn't find anything and settled for this:

Dagoba Organic Chocolate - Chai flavored.  It is "milk chocolate, crystallized ginger, and chai essence" and, obviously, sounds quite interesting.  I haven't broken into it yet, but I'm thinking I'll take a nibble before I crash for the evening (in T minus two minutes).

I hope y'all have a good night and a very happy Friday!

Peace out.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wicka Wicka Wednesday

Happy Hump Day, y'all!

Today started with an Almond Joy smoothie, but I was in too big a rush (and too hungry) and completely forgot to take a picture.  Again, you've seen it before: it looks like a big ol' glass of chocolate milk - nothing extraordinary.

Thankfully, it kept me full a lot longer than a glass of chocolate milk.  Because I was being so productive (and stressed) this morning, I didn't eat until about noon - and had an apple.  About an hour later, I finally ate lunch: leftover scallops and pasta.  Again, it was not my favorite meal.  It was entirely too "fishy" for my taste, and it was much blander than expected.  My mom (let me reiterate: the best cook I know) suggested using sea scallops instead of bay scallops, but I sincerely doubt I'll be making this one again.

It's super frustrating having a recipe fail after so, so many have gone so, so well.

Oh well.

During my meeting this afternoon, I had one mini Three Musketeers and one mini Snickers, both of which MB (hey, girl!) threw at me.  If someone throws you food, you just have to eat it - right?


Sadly, I skipped my workout for today.  Again.  I had Y-Pump on the schedule, but my dear and wonderful bowling friends invited me out to dinner beforehand, so I just didn't have time.  One of the guys had a gift certificate to use up, so we headed to Cooper's on Fifth in Historic Valley Junction.  I guzzled several glasses of water and inhaled the maple-glazed salmon:

Seriously: I ate everything on this plate, aside from the bread and butter.  I tried to opt for something healthy (i.e. salmon and vegetables), but I know that the maple glaze likely had loads of sugar, and I think that the beans were doused in oil or butter or some other cooking agent.  And, I ate that ball of rice.

And I was still hungry.

Clarification: I am still hungry, four hours later.

I was really tempted to hit up Dairy Queen on the way home from bowling this evening (what is with my ice cream cravings lately?!), but believe I will instead head to the kitchen and scrounge up something small to tide me over 'til morning; otherwise, I'll be up in the middle of the night scrounging for food.


Tomorrow: I WILL WORKOUT.  But it will probably be something pretty darn easy.  And by "easy," I really mean something killer like CrossFit, or maybe a spin class, or maybe Y-Pump.  Something that doesn't include running.  My foot is still a wreck, and it's really starting to tick me off.

For now, though, I'm going to go scavenge and then crash: I am pooped.

G'night, y'all!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Exciting Announcements

Before we get into the daily grind, I am super pumped to tell y'all about two new projects in which I'm going to be getting involved.

First, I was invited to participate in WEGO's Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge.  For 30 days, I will be posting 30 entries that follow the themes/questions/ideas that WEGO Health puts forth.

I've had a preview of the writing prompts, and some are really, really great.  There are a couple that are, um, going to be interesting.

So, starting April 1st, I will post my WEGO Health updates in the morning, and I will post my normal blogs in the evening.


Great.  You really didn't have a choice anyway.  :)

Second, I was invited to participate in Monica Leonelle's blog tour for her new book, Socialpunk.

In mid-April, I will be writing an honest review of that book, interviewing Ms. Leonelle, and posting an excerpt of the novel.  It's supposed to be futuristic, and I've been told that if readers like The Hunger Games (and who doesn't?!), they'll like Socialpunk as well.

Regardless, it should be a good experience.  Stay tuned.

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for: Emily's Exciting Adventures.

I had an all-day training today that didn't start until 8:00 and took place right across the street, so I actually got to sleep in a little bit.  And THANK GOD.  I was so sleepy and waited until just about the last possible minute to crawl out of bed.

In fact, I dawdled so long that I - again - ate breakfast during the training:

How disgusting does this look?  This is the Stoke-Your-Fire Cereal (from the Abs Diet) that I've been telling you about for months.  Remember?  The breakfast that grosses out my kiddos?

Yep.  That's it: one cup of plain yogurt (I use Chobani), a half cup of all-bran cereal, and a mini scoop of vanilla protein powder.

It's so tasty.

During the morning session, I also ate one mini Payday bar and two fortune cookies.  I'm a sucker: if food is sitting in front of me, I'm going to eat it.

For lunch, two of my friends and I headed to Star Bar, and - as you can pretty much guess - I ordered the blackened catfish tacos with a salad, balsamic on the side:

And as always, it was delicious.  Not as always, I devoured the entire plate full of food.  Generally, I take one taco to go and have a meal for later, but today, I was starving.

So hungry, in fact, that when we stopped at Bauder's on the way back to the training, I got - and inhaled - a scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream.  And was pretty much in heaven.  (Thanks, MB!)

During the training I received some disconcerting news, and without going into too much detail, it pretty much consumed the rest of my day.  (Don't worry, Mom: I'm a-okay.)

I didn't work out today because my tendon is screaming at me, and due to my 90 squats yesterday, my quads aren't too thrilled either.  I am hoping to get something in tomorrow, whether that be CrossFit, Y-pump, something.

After spending the majority of the evening writing, I whipped together dinner for me and BFF, courtesy of one of my mom's recipes (that I believe she snagged from someone else): scallops and pasta.

My mom is an amazing cook, and I've always loved everything she's sent to me, but this one...not so much.  Did I do it wrong, Mom?  Seriously.

I boxed up one tupperware to have for lunch at some point this week because I'm trying to conserve money and not waste food, but I tossed the rest - and will likely douse the leftovers in some sort of spice to make it not suck so badly.

After spending more quality time dealing with that aforementioned disconcerting issue (and watching The Biggest Loser and that new fashion show on NBC since I'm too lazy to change the channel), I did some more writing, and that pretty much takes us to now.

There wasn't really anything too crazy to report today.  So, you just spent the last two minutes reading about my doldrum affairs.  You're welcome.

G'night, peeps.

Monday, March 26, 2012

An Anatomy Lesson

I already wrote you a somewhat entertaining (at least to me) post today, so for your Daily Recap of Emily's Life, be prepared for boring.

Well, as boring as I can be.  I tend to think I'm quite fun.

This morning came far too early.  I mean, it's the first time I set an alarm clock in 10 days - aside from those days I had to, you know, catch a plane and get off a boat.

But, instead of hitting snooze 18 times like I normally do, I hopped right out of bed (after three snoozes) and threw some stuff in a blender:

Looks beautiful, huh?

Well, it took forever to liquify.  I think I need a new blender.  (How boring do I sound?)

As you can see, I brought the Mango Tango (courtesy of the Abs Diet) to school with me for breakfast/mid-morning snack.  It was pretty darn tasty.

After a productive morning and noontime (and, okay, about ten peanut M&Ms), I realized I had totally forgotten to eat lunch.  So, I chowed down my salad - topped with black bean and corn salsa (that my family calls Bev's Salsa for our lovely friend who introduced us to it) and a sprinkling of cheese - during a meeting.

Because, you know, I'm classy like that.

After PROUD, I headed to the weight room to do the Crossft WOD with my work-brother.  Today we had a 21 and then 15 and then 9 reps of kettlebell squats and kettlebell swings.  While we were in the weight room, I didn't really think it was that great a workout.  I mean, I was sweaty and everything, but my muscles didn't feel super fatigued.

That was until, however, we started walking the stairs to our classrooms.


Apparently 90 squats really do make a difference.

Then I made a mistake: I ran.  HLM and I were supposed to get in 4.5 miles, but I told her I wanted to do more like two since my foot was an absolute wreck.  Like, it hurts to put pressure on my foot, and it also hurts to release that pressure - if that makes any sense.

Since I'm totally qualified to diagnose myself, I'm pretty sure I have peroneal tendonitis (affecting the peroneus longus and/or peroneus brevis tendons).

Tendonitis is pretty much my favorite injury to get, and since that area is extremely point-tender and is quite swollen, making it look like I don't really have an ankle bone - a lateral malleolus, if you will - I'm pretty sure that's what it is.

I bet you didn't know you were in for an anatomy lesson, did you?  (Well, unless you read the title of this post.)

You're welcome.

So, I probably shouldn't have run at all.  Oh well.  Nothing a case of little Ibuprofen and ice can't fix.

As soon as I had Round One of icing, I started dinner.  I was having two girlfriends over for our favorite meal: crab cakes with an avocado-mango salsa.

No wonder groceries are so expensive: check out the produce needed for just the main course tonight.
I had nearly everything ready to go by the time Mags rolled up, and when Kiara said she couldn't make it, threw everything else together (with Mags concocting the side dish) and came up with quite the masterpiece.

Seriously.  How delicious does this look?  Oh, and it's healthy: 400 calories for that mound of deliciousness.  And really, the picture doesn't do it justice: you all need to make this meal.  Stat.

Side note: I substituted Greek yogurt for the mayonnaise in the crab cake mixture.  Also, I approximated all of the measurements because I was too lazy to take out the measuring spoons.

It was such a great night with Mags.  We had sooooooooo much to catch up on and, as always, had a blast doing it.

And now that I've spent the better part of two hours writing, I had better hit the hay.

Check ya lata, yo.

Bahama Mama

I don't even know where to start with this trip, as there are far too many stories to tell.  Leaving out all the gory details, suffice it to say that it was entirely too much fun.

We flew out of Des Moines bright and early on Sunday morning.  One of us (ahem, not me, ahem) decided it would be a good idea to just not go to sleep after St. Patty's Day shenanigans.  That type of attitude pretty much carried us through the next six days.

Around 2:30 p.m., we boarded the Carnival Sensation, our "home" for the next four days.  I knew that cruise ships were big (duh), but I didn't realize how big they really were.

See those portholes on the very, very bottom?  Yeah: our room was across the hall from those.
We were absolutely famished, so we immediately headed to the Lido Deck for a quick lunch, some drinks with umbrellas in them, and a little sunshine.

After we headed to our muster station for our mandatory safety drill (super boring and sans alcohol), we took a quick nap, showered up, and got ready for a night on the town ship.

I can't remember what exactly we did each particular night, but I can tell you that a comedy show, karaoke, and the club were involved nearly every single night.  (And believe it or not: I even sang belted out Don't Stop Believing one night.  Turns out it sounds a lot better in my car than it does with a live band and in front of a real audience.)

On Monday, we rolled out of bed around 10:00 (maybe? it's so hard to tell when there's no sunlight coming into your room - or clocks) and headed to breakfast on Lido.  And of course we looked out the windows at the beautiful Bahamas as soon as we could.

And saw a construction zone.


There were no sandy beaches, no palm trees, no crystal-clear water.  There were cranes, cement loading boxes, and lots of steel contraptions.

One of the comedians called Freeport the "Flint, Michigan" of the Caribbean.  I don't think this was his first rodeo.

But, we wandered far enough from the boat to find one of these:

This was a mango-flavored Bahama Mama, and I'm pretty sure it included nearly an entire bottle of rum.

And my oh my: it was delicious.  (I'm pretty sure all of the locals thought we were absolutely bonkers: I mean, really: who drinks out of a coconut like, ever?  Tourists.)

After quite the interesting taxi ride (where we learned that Freeport has a 6:1 ratio of men to women and that women have to "work for it"), we wandered through the straw market a bit and were asked nearly 18,000 times if we wanted our hair braided.  Finally, Kiara responded that she had extensions that could not, in fact, be braided, and I, um, went along with it.

Finally, we hit the beach.  But, we didn't lay out for long.  Instead, we paid $25 and hopped aboard one of these:

Now, on the side of this thing, it says that it can't go any more than 15 miles per hour.  So, as we boarded this banana boat with a family of four (including a five-year-old and a tween boy), we thought we were in for a leisurely cruise around the ocean to visit some dolphins, the Pirates of the Caribbean ship, etc.

Oh no, no, no.

I'm pretty sure my biceps and quads got a better workout trying to hang onto that damn floating banana than they do in a Crossfit workout.

And, my attempts at staying afloat failed miserably anyway: upon hitting quite the wave (since I swear the boat driver tried to hit it at just the right angle), Kiara flew off the back of the stupid thing, and the rest of us capsized, with me clawing over this poor 13-year-old as I attempted to reach the surface of the Caribbean.

As Kiara can tell you, it was quite the graceful picture.

And as a result of this dramatic experience, I lost my sunglasses.  And had to buy a pair of hideous ones from the straw market.

Oh well: it was totally worth it.

After the banana boat excursion, we headed back to the boat to clean up for the fancy night.

If the professional photos didn't cost an arm and a leg, Kiara and I would've come back with the most ridiculous portrait ever.  He positioned us in the silliest ways ever - like, worse than old prom photos.  It cracked us - and everyone watching us - up, hard core.

I'm not going to regale you with photos of food - especially since most of you have likely already seen these directly from my camera or via Facebook.  Just know that it was delicious.

On the third day, we again rolled out of bed super late.  Let me tell you how great it is to sleep in a room that is completely, 100% dark and, as I already mentioned, clock-less.  We had no idea what time it is, and it didn't matter.  And it was wonderful.

But I digress.

The third day was spent in Nassau.  We were whisked away on a ferry to Paradise Island.

(Side note: if you ever want to kidnap someone, appear to be a Bahamian local and offer dumb tourists a ride anywhere.  As long as your mode of transportation looks semi-legit, you can take them wherever you want to, and they would be none the wiser.  Seriously.)

Once there, we wandered around the crazy-huge resort of Atlantis - and got yelled at a bazillion times because we were trying to get places only the "hotel guests" could go.  And by "trying to get places," I really mean "trying to find our way out of that maze of a place."  It was ridic.

Finally, we made it to the beach and just camped out for the entire day.  We were accosted another several thousand times by people who wanted to sell us turtles made out of coconuts, jewelry made out of seashells, and drugs made out of plants.

Don't worry: we were not persuaded by any of them, although Kiara did buy - and fail to properly light - a Cuban.  It was quite the spectacle.

I was also told - by a nice, gray-haired Rastafarian - that I now had a Bahama Papa.  Am I a lucky girl, or what?

At the beach, we also hitched some jet ski rides with random dudes.  That was fun and, again, quite the workout in trying to stay aboard.

Back on the boat, we got ready for our night on the town island.  Unfortunately, we were having entirely too much fun, and I forgot to take a picture.  Honestly, it's probably best that that night goes undocumented, as we had a little too much fun at Senor Frogs and back on the boat with some of our new friends.

The last day on the ship was spent lounging all day on the Lido Deck.  It was amazing.  And I got so dark.  I believe I am literally one giant freckle.  And I love it.

When we had had a bit too much sun, we actually hit up the gym.  I ran two miles, and despite my week of binge drinking, felt so, so good.  It was one of the best runs of my life.

After, we got ready for our last night:

After laughing through three comedy shows, we hit the club and danced until it closed.  We had an absolute blast.  We headed back to the room to change, and then a new friend and I explored the ship at night.  It was so cool being on the deck in the dark: let me tell you how many stars we could see from the middle of the ocean.  It was unbelievable.

We actually stayed out for way too long - maybe 4 a.m. or later.  We were out there so late that we saw the lighthouse and the city lights of Port Canaveral.

It was by far the best "last night" a girl could've had.

And I was so sad to have to get off the ship - which is quite interesting since only a few days prior I had been wondering how much a plane ticket from the Bahamas would've cost since I felt so darn seasick that first night.  :)

When we disembarked, we rented a car and drove to Ormond Beach (Daytona) to stay with BFF's family.  It was so, so nice to see them.  I'm starting to think of Daytona as my second home since I've spent a lot of time there the last three years, so it was especially nice to be back.

But, as always, it was nice to get back to Des Moines.

I just can't wait for the next trip.  :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Back to the 515

Hello!  :)

I know you are all waiting with bated breath for a recap post of our cruise to the Bahamas, but you are just going to have to wait a bit longer.  It is going to take too long to sort through what is appropriate write tonight, so stay tuned.

For now, I wanted to fill you in on what has gone down this weekend.

We got back to Iowa Friday evening, and after hauling my cargo upstairs, emptying my mailbox of a week's worth of junk mail, and paying attention to two very needy kitties, I headed out to dinner with BFF.  I know it seems weird wanting to go out to dinner after a week of "going out to dinner," but I had no food at my apartment and was entirely too exhausted to cook.

So, we headed to Saints in Beaverdale and split an order of the jerk chicken eggrolls, and then I had a turkey-bacon panini - with French fries.  I know.

After, I dropped BFF off at another friend's house, and I met a new friend (a date?) out for a drink and to watch the basketball game, and very shortly thereafter, I headed back to our other friend's house to recap the Bahamas and to catch up with everyone there.

On Saturday morning, I finally rolled out of bed around 11:00 (it felt so good!) and headed out on a bike ride with BFF.

Seriously.  Does anyone look good in a bike helmet?
We only went about eight miles, but it was a really nice ride.  It was an absolutely gorgeous day to ride through the trails:

And I was really excited to see the new signs that the city has installed to tell you exactly where the heck you are:

I swear: some of the trails in this town are just too confusing and really stress me out.  So to see that there are now clear markers (and even arrows with mileage to the next stopping point) is quite relieving.

After our short ride, I went home and crashed - and stayed crashed for the majority of the day.  As I mentioned about a month ago, I get major headaches about once a month, and that was yesterday (and today).  It pretty much rendered me unable to do absolutely anything, so I literally laid on the couch in the dark and slept.

Finally, I woke up enough to realize I was a bit hungry, ordered Thai take-out, and then crashed again.

This morning, I woke up and went on a six-mile run with KW.  We did a great job, especially considering our decision-making over the last week-and-a-half.  We started at Gray's Lake and headed north to the MLK trail (or whatever it's called) by downtown, and then we looped around downtown to the east side, and then took the back trail behind Mullet's and headed right back to the lake - where we did another mile.

One of the bridges we crossed downtown - how beautiful?!
We ended up finishing in 1:09, and we were pretty pleased with ourselves.

It was a gorgeous day outside but really, really, really hot.  We were sweating buckets and actually felt the need to rehydrate with Gatorade - and generally we only save that necessity for the middle of July.

Once my electrolytes were seemingly back to normal, I whipped together this week's meal/exercise plan:

I need to start using my real camera: this is some not-so-great quality.  Ugh.
As you can see, I left Friday night blank: I figure I'll make fish tacos, eat leftovers, or grab a bite with friends.  And I always leave the weekends blank - although that needs to change.  It is so hard for me to stick with something if I'm not on a routine.  During school, it's a piece of cake.  On the weekends, not so much.

On the docket for workouts:

  • Monday: Crossfit; 4.5-mile run
  • Tuesday: Crossfit; 3-mile run
  • Wednesday: Y-Pump
  • Thursday: Crossfit; 4.5-mile run
  • Friday: Crossfit
  • Saturday or Sunday: 7-mile run
Right now, though, I'm sitting with an ice pack on my foot.  (Is it possible for me to ever not be injured?!)  I pulled something during the run today, but I didn't feel it hurt until afterwards.  I'm crossing my fingers that it was just a muscle and that it will be better tomorrow, but it's on the ankle that was badly sprained, so I'm really hoping it's not another ligament (or tendon) issue.

Oh well.

Family dinner tonight was great, and we discussed this book:

It was an interesting discussion, and I'm still not sure where I stand on the issues of gender identity, commercialism, Disney being bad, etc.  It was a thought-provoking book that created thought-provoking (and humorous - you know our group) discussion.

But for now, I am going to head to bed.  I. am. wiped.

And as I said before, stay tuned for the highly-anticipated Bahamas recap.  :)

Saturday, March 17, 2012


I realize that I haven't posted since Tuesday, and that wasn't even a remarkable post but rather just a goofy photo of a cat.  (Don't worry: today's crazy-cat-lady picture is coming at the end of this post.)  But when I look back on the week I've had, it's been insane!

First, Wednesday was a normal Wednesday of teaching from 7:40-12:30, followed by a meeting until about 1:45, followed by parent-teacher conferences from 4:00-8:00.

I look like a real professional.  :)

After conferences, I headed out a with a good friend/colleague who received some not-so-great news, and I did damage control we talked it out over tequila and beer.

On Thursday, I fully intended to run four miles, but...that didn't happen.  Instead, I slept in and kind of lounged around before heading to parent teacher conferences from 12:15-8:00.

Interestingly, this is probably going to be my St. Patty's Day outfit as well - minus the yellow heels, plus some black flats.

After conferences, I headed out with some of my good work friends, including ERB, my running buddy.  I wasn't going to go because I knew how busy my Friday was going to be and I kind of just wanted to go to sleep, but I'm so glad I did: we had entirely too much fun.

Yesterday, I headed out to the nail salon and - just as I suspected - was there for the majority of the morning.  I love, love, love this place because they always do the absolute best, but they are not super speedy.  Check out my new nails:

They are peach polish topped with glitter tips, a la this inspiration from Pinterest:

I think it probably looks better with gray polish, but I. love. it.

Right when I got home I went out on a 4.5-mile run with HLM and my friend Amber.  It was a run-walk, which I was totally okay with, especially since it was approximately 8,000 degrees out and we didn't have any water.  The lack of hydration wasn't bad at first, but by mile three, I was dying.  And because it's March and supposed to be freezing rather than steaming, none of the water fountains downtown were on.


But it was a beautiful, beautiful day.

After the run and a quick lunch at Star Bar (where I had French fries!!! Apparently I forgot that I'm going to be in a bikini tomorrow!), I took a quick nap and then ran some errands.

BFF came over with dinner and helped me pack - along with this little guy:

I'm so glad she was here to help.  I think half of my closet would've been packed otherwise.

So now I'm all ready for the Bahamas.  And I can't wait.  We leave tomorrow at 6:30 a.m for the airport and should be lounging with an umbrella drink in hand by 4:00 p.m.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tee Hee

I'm too tired to write a real post, but I'll leave you with a funny picture this evening:

I mean, after all, I promised you a crazy cat lady photo in every post, didn't I?

You're welcome.

And sweet little kitty-cat dreams.


Did anyone else just launch into the Beatle's song?  No?  Just me?  Okay.

Well, let's talk about yesterday.  I did not like the time change - not one bit.  I couldn't fall asleep until past midnight on Sunday (largely due to talking to an old friend who just so happens to be two time zones away), and 6 a.m. came way too soon.  So, I jump-started the day the best way I know how: with a trip to Bruegger's.

I wish I hated that place.

I know I don't have to tell you (or the Bruegger's employees) my order anymore, but humor me: a skinny zesty egg-white sandwich on five-grain everything plus a large hazelnut coffee.  K thanks.

As usual, that hearty breakfast kept me stuffed until lunch - when I finished off my calamari bibimbab.

Side note #1: seafood dishes are generally much tastier the day they are prepared.

Side note #2: there wasn't a whole lot of protein in that bibimbab, which caused me to be quite hungry later that afternoon.

Crossfit yesterday was seemingly easy.  We had a 21-15-9 set of handstand push-ups (and by "handstand push-ups" I really mean normal "girl push-ups"), triceps dips, and regular push-ups (again, by "regular push-ups" I really mean normal "girl push-ups").

Initially, we thought that we only had to do 21 handstand push-ups, 15 triceps dips, and 9 normal push-ups.  Then we realized that no, we had to do 21 of all three, 15 of all three, and nine of all three.


Side note #3: I believe I am going to have to try and incorporate crazy cat lady photos in every blog post.  You can thank me in advance.

(But that's pretty funny, right?!)

After working out with S-man, I headed to Gray's Lake for a four-miler.  It was absolutely gorgeous outside - but quite windy!

Clearly I need to start bringing my actual camera - not just the crappy one on my iPhone.
I made it around the lake once (two miles) pretty easily, but there were two very brief walk breaks.  The second time around was a bit more difficult.  I made it another mile, and then thankfully, P called to say that she and her son were on their way.

Let me tell you what makes running wayyyyyyyy enjoyable: "racing" a six-year-old who's on training wheels.  We were jetting around the lake like crazy people.

And, I ended up doing about 4.8 miles in a little less than an hour.

Also, we saw bald eagles.  Check this out:

Seriously: a real camera would come in very handy in times like these.
If you look on the branch sticking out into the blue (descriptive, I know), you can see a dark brown speck.  That's the bald eagle.

I swear it was a lot closer in real life.

Fun fact: bald eagles' nests are approximately five feet in diameter.  I demonstrated this to the six-year-old by lying down in the middle of the trail and telling him that the nest would stretch from my nose to my toes.  He was pretty impressed.  Or at least a good actor.

For dinner last night, I whipped up a double batch of white chili.  A good friend had a loss in the family, so I brought him dinner and kept two servings for myself.  It was, as usual, delicious.

And that, my friends, was yesterday.

Stay tuned, and in another couple of hours you can see a recap of today.  It will be - of course - hugely entertaining.

Monday, March 12, 2012

There's No Place Like Home

It took Dorothy a massive twister, a trip through Oz, near captures by the winged monkeys, and countless run-ins with the Wicked Witch before she realized the truth.

There's no place like home.

And that is exactly why I headed hOmaha for the weekend: I was a psychotic mess for a couple of weeks, and I straight-up needed my mom and dad.

And they were there.

With booze.

On Friday, we munched on cheese and crackers and wine - lots of wine - while my parents tried to figure out what exactly was wrong with me.  (I'm not sure we really came to a conclusion, other than the fact that I'm just a hot mess.)

And then my mama made ruebens, courtesy of the Abs Diet, that were delicious.  I think I'm going to need to invest in a griddle...

We drank yet more wine, and then I suffered through my taxes.  My dad may beg to differ, but I did them mostly by myself.  It turns out that they were a lot easier to do when I only had one job - and zero glasses of wine.

On Saturday morning my mom and I headed out to Zorinsky (it's a lake again!) for a 3.8-mile jaunt.  It was a beautiful day:

We mostly walked, but we did quite a bit of running as well.  I'm so proud of my mom and how fast she's recuperated from various injuries.  She'll be running miles upon miles before we know it!

I was starving when I got home, and my dad took me out to lunch.  It was really nice: we don't get a lot of one-on-one time, so it was really special that he asked if I wanted to go out to lunch.  I have the best pops in the whole wide world.

We headed to a brand-new-to-us place: Bailey's, on 120th and Pacific.

The entire menu looked absolutely delicious, but my dad and I both opted for eggs benedict, which seemed to be their speciality.  My pops ordered the Guerrero Benedict, that came with chorizo, refried beans, cotija cheese, and chipotle hollandaise.

I had the special, which was a typical eggs benedict topped with hash browns, avocado, and what was supposed to be turkey Canadian bacon.  Unfortunately, it was actual ham (which totally grosses me out), so I tossed that to the side.

After lunch, we ran a couple of errands and then headed home.  I took a brief snooze, met our friend's new pooch (so cute!), and then my favorite shopping buddy and I headed to the mall and to World Market.

I wasn't going to buy anything, but as usual, I succumbed to Express - and bought pretty much the most beautiful maxi dress ever.  Unfortunately (and due to Express's horrible website), you'll have to wait for pictures from the Bahamas before you see it.

Don't worry: that's only five more days.


Speaking of the Bahamas, that was the reason behind the trip to Whole Foods: I needed a supply of ginger to alleviate the motion sickness that I'm fearing.  I bought ginger mints (four packs!) as well as Ginger People candies.  I might have to go track some more down, though, because I'm fearing I may not have enough to tide me over for five days asea.

I guess we'll find out!

For dinner, the 'rents and I headed to Maru, an amazing Korean grill.  My mama and I started with a couple of spinozas (pictured above), and the three of us shared a couple of sushi rolls:

Spicy California & Dynamite
For dinner, I opted for the calamari bibimbab:

This meal is served in a granite stone bowl that is super hot and literally still sizzling and cooking the food as it is set at the table.  The rice bakes onto the bottom and gets brown and super crunchy, so the servers recommend mixing it up immediately.  It's also served with three side dishes:

I believe these were some sort of spicy potato, kimchi, and another type of slaw.

It was - as you can see - a phenomenal meal.

After dinner, we headed home and watched the world's worst movie.  Dead Like Me is an absolutely amazing TV show that I highly recommend to everyone (seriously: it's clever, endearing, and hilariously snarky).  The movie, on the other hand, was ridiculously stupid.

My mom and I quickly tuned out the whole thing and started Pinterest-ing, but my dad was bound and determined to finish the entire thing.

Pops headed to Vegas early Sunday morning, so my mom and I headed to brunch after lounging around for a few hours.  We hit up the Jackson Street Tavern in the Old Market.

(Funny story: we had to call the hostess from outside the restaurant because their front door was locked!  And they were wondering why business was slow!)

For brunch, I ordered the California Omelette: mushrooms, avocado, spinach, and havarti.  It was served with wheat toast and a side of fresh fruit.

It was oh, so good.

After brunch, we headed to the Joslyn, my mom's art museum, to see the Egypt exhibit - To Live Forever.

Ever since I was a little bitty girl, I have been absolutely fascinated with Ancient Egypt.  I took an Egyptian art class in elementary school and made my own cartouche, the Field Museum in Chicago has always been my favorite, and my first tattoo was even an Egyptian hieroglyphic.

Needless to say, this was an awesome exhibit, and I loved it.

Also, we had to stop and see my Little Dancer - my all-time and forever favorite piece in the museum:

A load of laundry later, I was headed back to Des Moines - but with a much happier heart than when I last saw it.

My mom had this bookmark waiting for me on my bedside table.  My nana made it, and that is a flower that she pressed and a beautiful sentiment written in her calligraphy: "Home is the place of renewal and safety, where for a little while there will be no harm or attack and, while every sense is nourished, the soul rests."  As soon as I got home, I framed it and put it next to my bed as a constant reminder of how lucky and thankful I am that my parents are so close, so amazing, and by far the most wonderful human beings I know.

There truly is no place like home.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Before anything else, I have to tell you about my workout for today.  It pumped me up.

First, I did Crossfit with the boys.

Side note: I absolutely love these guys.  S-man has always been my brother-from-another-mother, and O and I have been friends for several years, but we've definitely been bonding a lot more over these crazy workouts.  Today when we were getting ready and stretching and wandering down to the weight room, S-man said that I was pretty much his third sister, and since O said he didn't have any siblings, we decided that we were a good little trio.

Today we did five rounds of the following:
  • Seven dumbbell clean squat thrusters (squat to pick up the dumbbells, thrust them to your chest as you stand up, squat again, thrust them straight over your head as you stand up)
  • Ten pull-ups
For the first exercise, I used 15-pound dumbbells for the first three sets, and then I moved up to 20-pound dumbbells for the last two.

I was a sweatin' girl!

For the pull-ups, we first had our hands super wide, then we gripped underhand, then we gripped overhand, then we gripped central (there were bars that were perpendicular to the normal pull-up bar that we used), then we gripped wide again.  We used the machine that assists, and for the first three sets, I did "eight weights up" from the bottom, and for the last two sets I did "nine weights up" from the bottom.

(Clearly, I have no idea what that means, but I know that the higher you have the stick-thing, the harder the pull-ups are.  I think I need to actually keep going up, though: while my pull-ups definitely weren't cake, I don't think they were hard enough.)

Someday, I will do an unassisted pull-up.

After Crossfit, I went to Y-Pump with HMA.  It was a tough class, and I know I'm going to be sore tomorrow.

In case you were wondering, this is pretty much the hardest hamstring exercise ever:

Don't believe me?  Go.

Now, let's rewind.  I started my day bright and early by heading to Bruegger's for a Skinny Zesty Egg-White Sandwich and a cup of hazelnut coffee.  I'm telling you: try one of these sandwiches.  They are so, so good - and, they keep me full forever!

Instead of teaching today, I had an all-day training provided by the grant that I coordinate.  And that's all I have to say about that.

I will tell you, however, that lunch was disgusting.  We started out with a decent Caesar salad that was pretty much swimming in watery dressing (wow, I must've been a bit hungry if it was "decent") and a Fazoli-ish breadstick.  Then we got the main dish: bow-tie pasta topped with plasticky Alfredo sauce and pan-fried chicken.  I ate about three bites before deciding that I did not want to waste that amount of calories on something that tasted like that.

Note to self: always bring a Kind bar, an apple, some almonds, something - and a book.

After, my principal (who is pretty much a rock star and one of the most amazing women I know - and I'm not just saying that because she gave me a Dove chocolate after lunch) and I headed back to school for a faculty meeting.  Thankfully, there were treats - you know, since I basically didn't eat lunch.  I ate a chocolate cookie and a bite of a pumpkin bar.


Then there were the two workouts to burn off those sweet treats, followed by a trip to Palmer's for my Wednesday night meal of salad and fruit.

From there, I immediately went to bowling - for my Wednesday night drink of Bud Light.  Tonight was fun, largely since I bowled really well.  I got my average all three games and bowled almost my best game ever.  (I can't believe I just typed those last two sentences: I am such a nerd.)

Also, we play cards while we bowl (there are lots of rules that I'm not going to go into here), and check out the last hand in poker:

Mark and I had the exact. same. hand.  I'm pretty sure that happens, like, never.  So, we split the winnings and each won ONE DOLLAR.

Be jealous.

Today, I did not step foot in my house for 14 hours.  I am exhausted.

So, I am going to sign off and hit the sack.

Peace out, yo.