Monday, March 31, 2014

Just a Ramblin' Away

I. am. tired.

First, I got to sleep pretty late last night since I was so jazzed about Jillian Michaels. (Who says jazzed?! Me. Okay.) Second, I woke up at 4:30 a.m. (A.M.!) to head to Farrell's.

And, I'm so glad I did. It felt good to be back getting my butt kicked. I feel like I'm in decent shape since I was able to run eight miles with little problem, but I always forget how running takes different muscles than kickboxing and plyometrics. It turns out that I have lost all of my strength -- every single ounce is gone.

I may be able to run forever, but I have zero muscle.

I need to get that back. I may amend my workout schedule to include resistance training as well: I'm going tomorrow for upper body for sure.

Lookin' super hot at 5:45 a.m. after a super-sweaty
workout. Be jealous, y'all: be jealous.
Probably yet another reason why I am hitting the wall hard is that I took a double-dose of allergy medicine about an hour ago, and I am definitely feeling it. You guys are probably in for a treat tonight -- which means I should probably be passed out right now instead of trusted in front of a keyboard.

At least I'm on Blogger instead of Amazon.

Ooooh, Amazon...

I kid, I kid.


Aside from working out this morning and then working all day, I didn't do a whole lot: I wrote about Jillian Michaels (will post tomorrow morning -- get excited), did dishes, and cooked dinner. I'm pretty sure that I'll be asleep by about 8:30.

And, that'll be good. Tomorrow, I'm waking up super early to workout, then teaching all day, and then heading out for another two-miler with the dude that made me almost die last week. It'll be a good workout, that's for sure.


I think this is a horrible picture, but Instagram didn't seem to think so: everyone loved it. For breakfast this morning, I had two eggs scrambled with jalapeno and mushroom, one link of chicken sausage, and a small avocado.


For lunch I had leftover Shrimp Fried Rice along with an apple that I cut with the jalapeno knife -- mmm, spicy! (I know it's weird, but I really like when the apple gets a bit of a kick to it, too.)

I also didn't eat all of the leftovers, so I ate a Larabar around 4:00 to tide me over until dinner.


Dinner tonight was Buffalo-Ranch Chicken Meatballs with a side of sauteed asparagus. YUM.

I don't know how she got 20 meatballs, though, because my pound of ground chicken only made ten. Hers must've been tiny.

The sauce had great flavor and was pretty darn spicy. (I used Frank's Hot Sauce -- not the buffalo sauce but rather just the original hot sauce.)

I highly recommend giving it a go. It was delicious, pretty inexpensive, and very easy.

Well friends, I apologize if this post is all over the place. I just tried to proofread and realized I said the same thing in 18 different places. Hopefully I caught all of my craziness before hitting publish.

Ah, allergy meds: you're a good time.

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Tips for Eating Out (and Still Being Healthy)

When I first started eating truly healthy (i.e. Whole30), I was hesitant of eating anything that I did not cook for fear that it would be non-compliant. I was so terrified of eating out, in fact, that I only did so three times: once on Day 19 and twice on Day 26.

It turned out that restaurant-eating was not quite as troublesome as I thought it would be -- since I followed a few guidelines that I set for myself. Because they helped me so much, I thought I'd share them with you. You can thank me later. :)

1. Do your research.

As soon as I set up a date with friends, I look up the restaurant online and check out the menu right away to figure out the options from which I can choose.

I know that the first restaurant to which I ventured (Palmer's) would be fairly easy, as it's a deli where you can essentially create your own meal. So, I built my own salad with Whole30-compliant ingredients, ensuring that I did not order lunch meats (for fear of added preservatives), raisins (for fear of added sweeteners), or pre-made dressing (for fear of all of the above).

2. Don't go to the restaurant starving.

If I know that I am going out to eat, especially somewhere that serves chips and salsa (my weakness) or bread beforehand, I make sure that I am not starving when I arrive. First, that means that I stay well-hydrated throughout the day, drinking tons and tons of water, which definitely helps to stave off hunger. Second, if I'm even a teensy bit hungry, I grab a snack -- a small handful of macadamia nuts, a Larabar, an apple, etc. -- before I head to the restaurant, just so that I'm not absolutely famished (and therefore tempted by everything) when I sit down to order.

3. Don't be afraid to ask questions.

If you are unsure of what a particular ingredient is or are curious as to what exactly a certain dish contains, ask. The restaurant staff should be knowledgeable about their product, and if they are unsure, they should be able to ask the chef.

When I ventured out the second time (to New World Cafe), I had pre-selected my meal, Cauliflower "Cous Cous" Salad, but wanted to be sure that their lemon-garlic vinaigrette was compliant. So, I simply asked if it had added sweetener (and the answer was no).

If you are ordering a "house salad" at a larger restaurant, definitely ask what ingredients it contains, as often it will be filled with cheese, croutons, and other less-healthy options.

It's also totally fine to ask questions about how your meal is cooked: for instance, what type of oil is used to saute the veggies, whether the meat is grilled or fried (if it doesn't already say), etc.

4. Ask for omissions and/or substitutions and/or additions.

After doing research to eat out at my third restaurant (Gusto), I decided that the Fromage Bleu salad looked delicious; however, it contained blue cheese. So, I kindly asked for the blue-cheese salad without blue cheese. (I got used to asking for the such-and-such hamburger without the hamburger when I was a vegetarian many moons ago, so this was nothing.)

When I head to a fancier restaurant with friends, which is bound to happen sooner or later, I will likely ask for substitutions: a second side of veggies instead of mashed potatoes, a house salad with oil and vinegar instead of soup, etc.

5. Make conscious choices.

While I maintained a very strict diet while completing my Whole30, I will not be doing so forever. That being said, eating -- even at restaurants -- is no longer a "free for all" but rather a time to make conscious decisions rather than "slip ups" or "exceptions." For instance, if I have a nice dinner planned, I may consciously make the decision to have 1-2 glasses of wine prior to going. I will not "accidentally" order a bottle of wine -- or even a glass of wine -- without consciously weighing that decision.

Additionally, if I order an appetizer or a dessert, it will be because I made that decision prior to heading to the restaurant. It won't be simply because everyone else is or because it just looked good: it will be a deliberate choice.

The list could go on and on and on, but five is a good number to start with. :)

What are your tips and suggestions for making healthy choices while still enjoying a nice restaurant? What do I need to add to this list?

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Quickie

I am all about the awesome post titles this week, huh?

As long as I crack myself up...

This morning, I left you all waiting with bated breath regarding the cost of groceries this week. Wait no more, friends: I spent a total of $103 at Trader Joe's and Hy-Vee. Truthfully, I thought it was going to be a lot more since I had to grab quite a bit of meat as well as some staples (spices, arrowroot powder, etc.), so I'm pretty pleased with just over $100.

Today was good:

  • I was interviewed (by a Drake journalism student) about this ol' blog
  • I went grocery shopping with BFF
  • I lounged around this afternoon and caught up on Parenthood since I passed out in the middle of it last night
  • I went out to dinner with Mags
Oh, and I did this:

Mags, Linds, and I went to see Jillian Michaels at her Maximize Your Life tour. (This was pretty much the best data team meeting ever. I love those girls so much and am so thankful they're in my life.)

I know this may surprise all of you, but this is what I did during her two-hour presentation:

Both Mags and Linds made fun of me for being that girl, but Mags totally asked me for my copies of my notes. Yessssssssssss! I seriously think I took about 10 pages, and I'm so thankful I did: say what you want about Jillian Michaels, but she was so inspirational, so motivational, and so real.

I got a lot out of her speech, and I promise to share it all with you sometime in the next couple of days.

Also, I totally have a girl crush. She has the most smokin' hot bod I've ever seen, and I want her perfect hair. That is all.

Since I am going to wake up at 4:30 tomorrow for kickboxing, I'm going to wrap this up quickly tonight.


Paleo Oatmeal. Yum.


Leftover Shrimp Fried "Rice." Yum.

Apple with almond butter. Yum.

Side note: I was quite hungry today. I wonder if my lack-of-appetite-after-working-out hits me the next day. I hardly ate anything yesterday for the amount of running that I did (simply because I wasn't hungry), but today I was quite famished.


Sesame-Crusted Tuna Salad w/ Spinach, Cashews, Oranges, & Spinach (from Star Bar). YUM.

I have frequented Star Bar more than any other restaurant in Des Moines, but I have never gotten this salad (probably because I'm always so focused on ordering something that comes with Star Fries -- seasoned tater tots in the shape of stars).

This was seriously ridiculously good (the citrus vinaigrette was to die for), and I envision myself going there much more frequently (if that is even possible) now that I know that it exists.

I hope you all had a wonderful and restful weekend, and I will "see" you bright and early tomorrow morning!

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Weekly Menu & Workouts

Good morning!

I wanted to continue my Sunday tradition and post my weekly meal plan and grocery list, but I also wanted to add something new: my workout schedule for the week.

Get excited.

Without any further ado, here's the plan:

If you are new to the blog (welcome!) or new to Whole30 or Paleo, please check out some helpful posts:

(And, while we're on a let's-check-out-old-posts kick, if you're considering trying out Whole30 or Paleo, please check out Why I No Longer Hate Paleo.)

But back to the meal plan. I was able to get by fairly inexpensively with last week's groceries, and this was because I had a lot of leftover produce to use up. In addition, I ran out of a lot of spices this week. So, this week's list is a bit long (especially the pantry section, which is usually quite short):


  • Parsley
  • Jalapeno
  • Mango
  • Avocados
  • Apples (7)
  • Asparagus (2)
  • Green beans
  • Bananas (3)
  • Blueberries
  • Lime
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet potatoes (5)
  • Mushrooms

  • Eggs
  • Ground chicken (1 lb)
  • Pork chops (2)
  • Flank steak (1 lb)
  • Chicken tenders (1 lb)
  • Pork ribs (3-4 lbs)
  • Crab (8 oz)
  • Coconut milk
  • Chicken broth
  • Wing sauce
  • Dill
  • Onion powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Arrowroot powder
  • Honey 
  • Cashews
  • Chinese Five-Spice powder
I have not yet done my grocery shopping for the week (that's on the agenda for today), so I cannot hook you up with the total cost. I'll get back to you later on that. :)

As I mentioned, I am also going to post my workout plan for the week:

Since I ran eight miles yesterday, I decided to make today a rest day. I might do a short walk around the lake or the neighborhood, but I'm not considering today a "hardcore workout day."

I am going to start going to Farrell's again this week, but I probably won't go every single day: I don't want to burn myself out, and I need to be focusing on running right now due to my upcoming race schedule. So, the plan right now is to go to the kickboxing class on Monday and Wednesday at 5 a.m. for sure. I may also throw in a strength-training session (at Farrell's as well) on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, but those days are also my running days. So, right now I'm considering the strength-training optional.

As you can see from the schedule, next Friday is a rest day, followed by a long run on Saturday. Next Sunday will also be a rest day, as I think I like the "days off" sandwiching my hardest workout. If I find that I don't actually like that sort of schedule, I'll readjust for next week.

So, that's the plan, friends!

What are your nutrition and fitness goals for the week?

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

I'm Waking Up to Ash and Dust

When Radioactive came on during my run today and I heard the opening line, I thought it was so apropos to today in Des Moines: last night, the Younkers building, a famous Des Moines landmark, caught fire and burned to the ground. Apparently the fire's glow could be seen from nearly halfway across town. Firefighters from all over the city worked tirelessly to put out the fire, and when I ran downtown this afternoon, they were still there.

And the scene was nothing but destruction:

I have never seen a fire truck "in action," so it was really quite disturbing to see, actually. I know it's tough to see from the pictures (the road was blocked off, obviously, and the Des Moines skywalk system, which is usually awesome, obstructed the view), but the ladders were extended and the hoses were still spraying away, nearly 13 hours after the fire started.

I don't know if I saw this correctly or not, but it looked like the building had partially collapsed onto Walnut Street. It was crazy.

The scene was just utter destruction.

As you can imagine, the air was full of smoke, of fiery fumes. And, I saw the aftermath of the fire before I even got close to the scene:

I was running from Gray's Lake to the East Village via MLK, and the street was littered with ash and soot and remnants of the Younkers building.

I am so, so thankful that no one was hurt, and I am so grateful for the firefighters who protected (and who every day protect) our city, especially my good friend Cindi's husband, Ahman. 

Now that I've rehashed the fire, let's chat about the run.

I absolutely love running through the city (as opposed to on a trail, around a lake, etc.). First, there is always something to look at, and second, I get to see my city, the streets that I drive and the buildings that I pass every day, from a completely different vantage point. It's awesome.

I mean, just look at some of what I saw today:

A super cool mural (even larger than what you see here) in the
East Village -- 4th and Locust.

Awesome architecture, the river, the lake, the bridges.

Some dude wearing a box on his head while
he circled Gray's Lake. Weird.
I had eight miles on my training plan for today, but I told myself that I was going to run between seven and eight, as the most I'd run this year was six (last weekend).

I drove down to Gray's Lake and then set off not around the lake but toward downtown. As I mentioned already, I ran down Martin Luther King to E. 4th Street and then to Locust, where I ran until about 5th Street (maybe?), up to Walnut, and over to 6th (as far as I could go due to the fire). I then headed south to MLK and ran back to Gray's Lake where I circled the lake and ran a quick out and back (the way I had originally started my run) to get an even eight miles.

I am really, really proud of myself. Check this out:

I know that this is not a fast pace (12-minute miles) for anyone else. I get that. I am a slow runner. But, this is a really, really good pace for me. I am really proud of myself, especially since this is the furthest I've run in a long time and since my weekday runs have not been what they should be (i.e. relatively non-existent). I am not in wonderful shape right now, but I was still able to crank out a pretty steady (and pretty fast-for-me) pace.

Here are my splits:

Mile 1: 12:54
Mile 2: 11:44
Mile 3: 12:17
Mile 4: 11:52
Mile 5: 11:55
Mile 6: 12:29
Mile 7: 12:15
Mile 8: 12:16

The first mile included a five-minute warm-up, which was why it was a bit lot slower than the others. Obviously the last three miles were the toughest: I felt awesome for the first five miles, and then my legs started getting a bit heavy, I got back to Gray's Lake (not my favorite place to run since there's not really anything to look at), my Achilles started hurting quite a bit, and I was just kind of ready to be done.

Interestingly, when I got back to my car, I had only run 7.3 miles, so I just kept on going. I obviously wasn't hurting that badly, as I really wanted to hit eight miles after my overall awesome run.

Here's what I did: walked for five minutes as a warm-up and then ran for three minutes and walked for one for the entirety of the run. (Funny how I just said that I don't like that method, huh?) I discovered today that that is exactly what I need to do for every training run, every race. I killed it. I felt so good. I liked running for three minutes, knowing that I'd get a quick reprieve (you can do anything for three minutes). And after my one minute of walking, I was rejuvenated enough to keep on going.

It was awesome.

And, I was kind of dreading the run! Last night, I had some tummy issues, and this morning, I had even more tummy issues, so much so that I had to pop a couple Immodium. And if that wasn't enough, I had to pee pretty much from the get go -- although that sensation did subside the further I ran (and no, not because I just let it go -- it wasn't that bad).


Today I had a big ol' plate of carbs for breakfast, as I knew I would need energy for my run. I sauteed a huge sweet potato with jalapeno and a bit of salt and then mixed in three scrambled eggs. It was so tasty -- and a bit spicy today!

Before I hit the road for my run, I had a meeting for See-Us Run Des Moines that lasted about an hour, so after that, I ate a Larabar.

Lunch: I had a hardcore workout today, so obviously I wasn't in the mood for lunch. (Seriously, what is wrong with me?!) Instead, I stopped by The Juice Company for a huge Mean Green juice (kale, celery, apple, cucumber, lemon, and ginger root). It got better the more I drank it, but it definitely wasn't as awesome as the green juice I had from New World Cafe.

I also had a small handful of mixed nuts (walnuts and macadamia).

So while it wasn't a real lunch, I don't think I did too shabby: I had a shit-ton of vegetables, a bit of fruit (with the apple mixed in the juice), and some healthy fats. I was obviously lacking a protein, however.


For dinner tonight I made Shrimp Fried (Cauliflower) Rice. It was amazing, and I seriously had to keep myself from eating the entire pan.

Instead of peas (which are a no-go on Whole30 due to their status as legumes), I chopped up some snow peas (which are, interestingly, Whole30-approved since they're mostly pods). Also, I didn't add any seasoning whatsoever, and while it was still ridiculously delicious, I may experiment with different spices -- or coconut aminos -- next time.

Go make this, friends. Seriously. It's super easy, super fast, super good. (In fact, had I waited to post my Five Favorites -- Whole30 Recipe Edition until later, this may have made the cut.)

Well, it's Saturday night, so I'm off to dance the night away at the club catch up on the last three weeks' worth of Parenthood and wait for the drain people to come and fix my kitchen sink (yet again).

See you tomorrow morning with my weekly menu, weekly workout plan, and grocery list.

Sleep tight, friends!

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Five Favorites -- Whole30 Recipe Edition

Welcome back to Five Favorites -- the highlight of your weekend. :)

My sister-in-law gave me a great idea: since my Whole30 is technically over, I should give a quick rundown of my five favorite Whole30 recipes. This was a lot more difficult than I originally anticipated, however, as I ate so much good food during the challenge.

But, I narrowed it down for y'all. Here they are!

1. Slow-Cooker Korean Short Ribs

First discussed on March 3, 2014
This recipe from Nom Nom Paleo is amazeballs. First, it could not be any easier. The first time I made it, I whipped everything together before school, which left me a bit stressed because it did take a little time. The second time I made it, I blended everything together and kept it in the fridge until the next morning -- when I broiled the meat and then dumped everything in the crock pot.

That, my friends, is the way to do it.

I love this recipe served with broccoli and green beans. Nom nom, indeed!

2. Moroccan Meatballs

First discussed on March 11, 2014
This recipe from The Clothes Make the Girl is also super, super good, and while it takes a second to chop everything up and a while to let it simmer, it's also super, super easy. And, since it's taking "a while" (i.e. 60 minutes) on the stove, it gets super, super flavorful.

Serve this over cauliflower rice with a side of veggies (such as my favorite, spicy green beans), and you're good to go!

3. Chili-Garlic Shrimp

First discussed on February 27,  2014
While I was inspired by a bazillion different Pinterest postings, this recipe was all mine, friends. And, since it was "all mine," it's pretty haphazardly thrown together with very, very, very approximated ingredients:

  • 1 lb peeled, deveined shrimp
  • 1-2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 T crushed red pepper (I really have no idea -- that just sounds good)
  • 4 (?) garlic cloves

Saute the garlic for a couple of minutes, add the crushed red pepper, and throw in the shrimp. Cook until the shrimp is done.

This is definitely my go-to quick-and-easy meal, as it takes all of five minutes to throw together. I had it more times than I care to count during my Whole30.

4. The Best Breakfast Ever

Step-by-step recipe posted on March 8, 2014
As you know from reading 18,000 blog posts about it, this (or a variation of it) is pretty much what I ate most every morning. The pictured version contains sweet potato, mushroom, green pepper, jalapenos, avocado, salsa, and an egg. Sometimes, it doesn't contain some of those ingredients, sometimes it contains chicken sausage or bacon, etc.

There are a few consistencies: there's always protein, there's always veggies, there's always healthy fat, and it's always ridiculously delicious.

5. Sweet and Savory Blueberry Breakfast

First discussed on March 3, 2014
While Stupid Easy Paleo somehow manages to make this recipe in tortilla form, I have perfected it in scrambled form. I know that the thought of eggs and blueberries mixed together sounds absolutely repulsive, but you guys: it is soooooooo good.

I whisk four eggs, a handful of blueberries, a teaspoon-ish of coconut aminos, a dash-and-a-half of cinnamon, and a sprinkle of black pepper. Then I dump it all in a skillet greased with coconut oil.

It's savory and sweet and perfect for a quick, easy meal.

What are your favorite Whole30, Paleo, or generally healthy recipes? Hook me up with some inspiration!

    Find previous "Five Favorites" here:

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    Friday, March 28, 2014

    Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll

    If that title doesn't get you to read my page, I should just quit this whole blogging thing right now.


    Tonight, a group of friends and I attended Sex Trivia: What They Didn't Teach You at School, a fundraiser, at the brand-new Des Moines Social Club (a pretty rockin' space).

    We walked in and found our assigned table, decorated beautifully with little gifts -- Blow Pops and condoms, how apropos.

    We were a little nervous after the first couple of rounds, but as the night progressed, we were pretty darn confident that we had this one in the bag.

    Sure enough, Team Cer Vix-A-Lot was crowned victorious: first place winners, y'all!

    We received a pretty sweet swag bag, including a week of free yoga, a candle from Liberty Gifts, a gift card for a free t-shirt from RAYGUN, and a few smaller items.


    I am still getting used to the regime of drugs my doctor has me on. Seriously, that hydroxyzine knocks me out...hard. And, I feel like I still haven't caught up on sleep after Sunday night's whole three hours. Those two factors are kicking my butt, and as a result, I decided to skip the after-trivia-party and come home to just chill.

    I'm so boring.

    Rock & Roll:

    So, I impulsively signed up for a half marathon today -- the Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon, to be exact.

    Yesterday, Aly mentioned that it would be fun for the two of us to sign up for a 10k this summer. Today, I started looking up races and wasn't having a whole lot of luck for that particular distance, so I decided to change my parameters to include half marathons.

    And then I saw the Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon. I have always wanted to run a Rock 'n' Roll race, and Chicago would be the perfect spot for Aly and I to meet up. And, the race isn't until July 20th, so we have plenty of time to train.

    In a timespan of two hours (tops), Aly and I decided to run a half marathon, opted to travel to Chicago, reserved a way-too-expensive hotel room, and registered for a way-too-expensive race.

    And I could not be more excited.

    So, here's my updated race schedule:

    Seeing that I have five half marathons in five months makes me think I might be a bit crazy.

    The only race I am unsure of at this point is the Minnesota Half Marathon: I may be out of town for that and unable to race. Also, I am assuming I will be running the Capital Pursuit 10-mile race, but I have not yet registered.

    In summation, there is nothing like an impulse buy, especially when it's for a long-distance race. :)

    Breakfast: Today for breakfast I ate sweet potato hash with three eggs, mushrooms, and jalapenos. I totally forgot to snap a picture because I inhaled it. I had a meeting first thing this morning at work, so I had to wait a bit to eat, and I was starving by the time I got to it.

    Lunch: Lunch was leftovers from last night's random dinner (Paleo Oatmeal, which was shockingly good left-over, and Kale Salad). It was tasty tasty.

    After school, I ate a Cherry-Pie Larabar because a.) I didn't have my normal apple for lunch, and b.) I was unsure if dinner was going to be super filling.


    Prior to trivia, two of my girlfriends and I went downtown to Django for happy hour. They are one of the few restaurants in town that has a raw bar, and for happy hour, oysters and shrimp are only $1 each.

    Sign. Me. Up.

    I had six oysters and six shrimp (no cocktail sauce for either -- just a squirt of lemon) and a soda water w/ lime. I also had two Marcona almonds from my friends' cheese & charcuterie platter.

    While the food was delicious and kept me full for a while, it was not a substantial dinner. Yes, it had protein, but it didn't have adequate fat and obviously contained no vegetables. So, by the end of the evening, I was pretty hungry again. (So hungry, in fact, that I was tempted to eat a piece of pizza at trivia. I am really, really glad, though, that I refrained.)

    I came home and had Second Dinner: three pieces of Whole30-compliant bacon and two eggs. Yum.

    Well, friends, I'm off to succumb to the drowsy-ing effects of the drugs. Since I took 'em before I started writing this post, I should probably apologize for its content? errors? confusion? lack of sense?

    I'll make up for it tomorrow with my Five Favorites: Whole30 Recipe edition.

    Peace out.

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    Five on Friday

    Today, I am linking up with The Good Life BlogHello! HappinessCarolina Charm, and A. Liz Adventures for "Five on Friday." Randomness is always a fun way to end the work week. :)


    Before I do that, though, don't forget to join me and Aly for our very first link-up: Three Thanks. You still have six days to enter until the adventure starts all over -- no excuses! :)


    I have been ridiculously obsessed with two things: jalapenos and crushed red pepper. Seriously, I think everything I eat contains one of these ingredients. I always add jalapenos to my breakfasts, and crushed red pepper is the best seasoning for asparagus, green beans, broccoli, shrimp, etc.

    My family used to make fun of me for being such a weenie in regard to spices (I used to think black pepper was spicy), but I am becoming quite a fan of those two flavors.



    When I think something is funny, I generally think it is REALLY funny, and I most often crack myself up, even when I just think of it.

    That's how it has been for months with this image:

    It kills me. Every time.

    However, this image that I found a couple of weeks ago might take the cake:

    If you're not busting a laugh right now, there is totally something wrong with you.

    I mean, no offense but...that's hilarious.


    I bought cribbage for The Boy, thinking it would be a really fun game for us to take on vacations, something easy to cart around to hotel rooms or airports. We both liked cards and we both liked board games, so this should've been a sure bet.

    He hated it.

    Now that we are no longer together, I'm totally fine with that. I kept cribbage. Now, I just need someone to play it with me, as it gets a little boring -- and a lot confusing -- trying to play it by yourself.

    Any takers?

    (Also, I swear that I'm 30 -- not 85 -- years old.)


    Guess who I get to see on Sunday?

    When we saw a Groupon for her Maximize Your Life tour, my two super-close colleagues and I knew we would be there. Linds, Mags, and I are crazy-pumped.

    I just hope she doesn't make us do jumping jacks since, you know, "You don't get this for free, people!"

    Anyway, I've always thought Jillian Michaels is so inspirational, and I'm thrilled to get to see her in real life. I love a good motivational speaker. :)


    For the past couple of days, my students have been watching Romeo + Juliet. We finished reading the play prior to spring break, and I thought it would be fun (and kind of a nice break from the crazy amount of reading and writing we do) to watch the modern version of Romeo and Juliet and analyze Baz Luhrmann's take on the story.

    Plus, who wouldn't want to see this five times over and over and over and over?

    This movie came out in 1996 -- when I was in middle school. It was so popular, and I loved everything about it. I bought the soundtrack and listened to it until the CD got too scratched, I collected the postcards that came in every YM and Teen magazine, and I thought I was so cool when I memorized the prologue and other famous lines.

    My students weren't even born when this movie was released. They think it's stupid that the script is still in Shakespearean language when the rest of the movie is modern.

    I cannot express how sad this makes me. So, every year I try to force my kids to like it. Maybe I'll actually succeed one of these times.

    I hope you all have a wonderful finish to your work week, and I look forward to seeing you back here tonight for a recap of the day and then tomorrow for some more Five Favorites!

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