Monday, August 31, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Getting to Know You Questions
Use these questions to spark conversations at the dinner table with your friends and family. You can even put them on little paper cards and have people pick them out of a basket—so it's completely random!
· Who was your favorite celebrity as a child?
Joey McIntyre. I was such a huge New Kids on the Block fan and just thought he was perfect. I would dream about how we would one day casually meet and I would be super cool and fun, not at all a crazed fan, and he would fall in love with me. He’d go on tour, but we’d talk every day. Yes, I was 6-10 years old having this fantasy.
· What type of pets do you have?
I love a miniature daschund named Comet that is technically my brother’s. He is the absolute best cuddle buddy ever, and I sing him a song that goes, “He’s the sleepiest daschundddddddddd in all. the. world.”
· What is your favorite color?
I really don’t have one, but I love anything that sparkles or shines.
· What is most memorable about your high school years?
Never, ever having in gas in my car and scrounging up spare change to get at least a dollars worth of gas to get wherever I was going!
· What word describes you best?
Effervescent. A professor told me this one and I was taken aback, but it is the absolute best compliment I’ve ever received. Who says stuff like that? I hope I come across that way to others.
· What is your greatest accomplishment?
Finding a good balance between health & fitness and indulgence. I’m still getting there...
· What drives you every day?
The opportunity to learn or experience something I hadn’t known the day before.
· What is your favorite food?
California rolls with super hot wasabi in my soy! I could eat it every day!
· Where do you want to retire?
Maybe I’ll finally want to live out in the countryside on a decent amount of land. Some place to take long walks, garden, see stars.
· What is your business goal this year?
Get my teaching certification!
· Where do you like to vacation?
Any place with good site seeing, that’s historic, that has a unique activity to experience. I’m all about having some downtime during vacays, but I also hate feeling like I didn’t get to really experience or come to know that particular community.
· Who do you admire?
My mother. She was young mom, but was able to finish college. She took Girl Scout cookies with her to school to help me be the top seller in my troop (418 boxes!). She’s incredibly giving, instilled in me a desire to help others, knows a song for everything, and is an incredibly hard worker.
· What is your mission?
Love God, embrace beauty, and live life to the fullest.
· If you were invisible, where would you go?
I think I’d spend the day peaking in on people. Complete strangers. Get a glimpse of their lives for 30 mins. or so and then move on to the next person of interest.
· What traits in others are you attracted to?
Warm and kind, confident, passionate about one particular thing (at least), generous, sense of humor, always the gentleman—to both me and others. I just realized I interpreted "others" as men. Clearly I am on the prowl.
· What is the kindest thing anyone has done for you?
My friend’s mother sent me money specifically to buy a pair of glasses with. I was a bit overwhelmed by her generosity and the fact that it came with such explicit instructions to be proactive about my poor vision. I love my glasses and I always think of her kindness and intentionality each time I put them on and see things more clearly.
· How do you want to be remembered?
I come from a family of good storytellers...I’d like to leave behind a few tales for folks to share with others.
· What would you do with a million dollars?
Pay off all debt, pay off immediate family’s debt, buy a modest house in my dream neighborhood, indulge in some exquisite chocolate truffles, and travel, travel, travel!
· If you were on an island, who would you want to be with? Why?
Oh, who’s that guy on that show Man vs. Wild? Bear Grylls! Yes please! I’ve only seen that show once but I have no doubt that hunter/gather could keep us safe, fed, and housed…and he’s not too shabby on the eyes either!
· You have a 10 minute speech to give at a high school, what is it about?
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” e. e. cummings. If you’re not happy with something in your life, know that you have the power to change it. Set goals and do something every day to get a step closer to accomplishing them. Never doubt for a minute how fully capable you are.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Also, I've decided that I'm addicted to 24SET, the step/weights class. I went twice this week with two different instructors and I'm enjoying the challenge. It's definitely still hard and I'm trying to figure out the correct weight to use on different moves, and I did take away one step which has helped a lot with my knees. But I think this is the perfect way for me to get in my strength training since I'm so incredibly intimidated by the machines, and I feel like I get a complete workout in 45 mins. I think next week I'll try to add the step back.
The weather has cooled a bit, and the warm summer nights are becoming more enjoyable and less oppressive. Though my fashion magazines are featuring the fall trends of sweaters, tights, layers, and new coats, I'm going to search for a few light and flowy dresses to enjoy our extended summer season.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Today after my run I quickly changed, switched my running shoes for sandals, and ran across the gym toting my purple yoga mat to get to pilates. The ladies in there did not look like they were about to do pilates, and so I knew right away I had gotten the times mixed up again. I asked what the class was and they said 24SET. I remembered from the website that it had something to do with lifting weights, and since I have been telling myself I need to do more strength training I decided to stay. Everyone had steps out, and I didn’t think this was a big deal since you usually use the step to lay on and work your chest and triceps. I got all the equipment everyone else had, and even opted to use some lighter weights since I knew I hadn’t done a sculpting class in months. So I’m ready to pump some iron.
Tell me why we were working our biceps with handheld weights while doing step aerobics? Laura Borrego does not do step classes! 1. I am soooooo uncoordinated. I do not know how to dance, and when I do I’m usually in one place and just throw my hands in the air and sometimes shimmy down to the floor and right back up. If I’m really feeling the song maybe I’ll turn around in a circle. But that is it! So all this step up with one foot, but then jump around, back up, and then step down with the other foot—no, I do not know what you are doing.
2. Step classes kill my knees. I know running is really bad for my knees too, but I try to rest between runs. I had just ran a fast 4 miles and already felt my knee throbbing, so I knew I was in trouble (hello, that’s why I was going to pilates!) I looked like I mess trying to figure out how to get on and off that step and trying to stay on beat, and when I finally got it they were already working on something else. I was super behind. And then my arms were throbbing on top on that. Lady, why are you so happy and perky and able to give clear instructions as you’re doing this?
This is what I can say. That class is killer. I loved the instructor and I loved the weights part. I may even go again but I won’t do any of the step stuff. I have a feeling I am going to be super sore tomorrow, but at least I’ll know that the strength training has officially begun.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
In the middle of the Fartlek Psychedeli-Disco Mix are three songs in a row that I have dubbed my “power tracks.” The first few songs are good, but I’m still focusing on my pace or stride—still very aware that I am running, you know what I mean? Like you are fully aware every step, every minute, every tenth of a mile. But at about minute 23 of this mix I hear “Volver,” a song sung in Español , and I just start bopping my head to the beat. I let my mind wander, envisioning car racing montages from 80s movies. Up next is Ida Maria’s “Oh My God” which evokes the same emotion as Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone.” You know what I’m talking about. I start singing the song while I’m running. Not only that, but this track gets me running faster. I have to bump up the speed on the treadmill. So it ends and you think, OK, now it’s time to slow down, but no! "Hold The Line (DJ Edit)" by Major Lazer comes on and this makes you keep the same pace and lengthen your stride. By the time this song comes on I feel like I look like a runner. And it’s a little bit awesome and I bop my head to this song too. If I could run and drop it like it’s hot at the same time this would be the track I would do it to. Don’t worry, the people in the gym can tell I’m grooving when this track comes on. I purse my lips as I move my head from side to side.
Anyway, these are my power tracks, what are yours?
Sunday, August 16, 2009
As soon as I started mashing and mixing everything I realized we were out of flour! Luckily there was a bit of wheat flour left that I had brought with me from Waco. I knew it would probably be a little more dense, but it actually complimented the bread. Banana bread is dense and hearty and comforting, and the wheat flour added just a bit more texture. My father usually frowns upon my wheat flour, but he devoured the cake and said it was good!
Now, the recipe calls to brown the butter. I did, but I'm not sure how much of a difference it made. I'll definitely make this again, but I think I'll just use unsweetened applesauce instead.
Brown Butter Banana Bread
Makes 1 loaf or 12 muffins
3 large, very ripe bananas
¾ cup sugar
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon dark rum (optional) (I used vanilla extract)
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1. With cooking spray, lightly grease a loaf pan or muffin tin (or use muffin papers.) I usually line loaf pans with a bit of parchment paper too just to make it easier to remove from the pan. Set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
3. In a small saucepan over medium-low melt the butter and then let slowly cook until the milk solids begin to brown and the mixture smells nutty. Let it go until the milk solids become a very dark brown. Take off the heat, strain into a bowl to remove the darkened milk solids and set aside.
4. In a medium bowl, mash the bananas.
5. Add the sugar, egg, browned butter and rum (if using) to the bananas and mix to combine.
6. Add the flour; sift in the salt, baking powder, baking soda (just to eliminate any lumps), nutmeg and nuts.
7. Stir to combine.
8. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan or fill muffin cups ¾ full.
9. Bake: 20-25 minutes for muffins or 40-45 minutes for a loaf. Test for doneness – a toothpick or skewer inserted just off center should come out clean with no traces or wet batter and the top(s) are golden brown.
10. Banana bread will keep, tightly wrapped, for a few days or freeze for up to 1 month.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I just wrote down the mins and inclines on a little sheet of paper and placed it on the treadmill. Easy shmeazy.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Ok, so I find it very interesting when people at the gym come in looking perfect...and then leave looking perfect. I'm like, what just went on? I look like a hot mess when I leave, and when I'm running I look even worse. Straight up pouring down sweat, ugly face, breathing through my mouth in weird patterns and clearing my throat. Does that happen to you? I get like phlegm or something and have to clear my throat, I sound like an 80 year old man.
Then there are the people who are wearing regular clothing...like, cargo shorts or khaki pants? Tonight a girl was in super short shorts that had a camouflage pattern. They weren't gym shorts though, they were regular shorts, or however regular tiny camouflage shorts are.
Also, today there was a season 2 marathon of Mad Men! I was behind so I DVRd all of them and am making my way through it. Season 3 starts in a few weeks. I love this show, it's just so interesting. The 60s weren't that long ago, my parents were born in the early 60s. But these people are driving around without a seatbelt on and are eating red meat and Jello molds at every meal and washing it down with whole milk--all while holding a ciggy in their hand!
My favorite part is the fashion. The women just always look so glamorous and put together. They always have their hair done...how did they do that? I can only Chi my hair. The curves of their bodies are amazing, and you get to see all of the body shapers they wore everyday to help them squeeze into those form fitting dresses! Clearly a little shift dress should be a staple in every girl’s closet.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Last night was a very unsuccessful shopping trip. Even though the dress I had been eyeing for a while was officially on sale at an amazing price I thought it through and I really didn't have any place to wear it, and I had just bought a dress the week before. I left sad. Then I went to Sports Authority to buy my Fuel Belt, but they don't carry it or any good hydration gear, and I left sad. So then we went to HEB to get something for dinner. Of course by this point I'm sad and starving, and you know you're not supposed to go to the grocery store in that condition. I definitely needed a snack, and I was at the point of getting something gross in the checkout lane when I found this:
These little crackers were perfect! Doctor Kracker is certified organic and made in Dallas, TX! At first I thought they wouldn't be very filling, but they totally were. They are very thick little crackers, full of yummy seeds, and the "uber crunch" they boast about is no joke! You really have to bite down on these bad boys, but that's good because it took longer than eating, say, a bag of potato chips. I'll definitely be on the lookout for more of their products!
Seedlander Snack Chips
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Over a year ago I came across Pacific Natural Foods Creamy Soups. I was most excited to try the Butternut Squash, but to be honest that ended up being my least favorite. My #1 is the Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato followed closely by... Creamy Tomato! These soups are so tasty and--despite being pureed smoother than silk--really fill you up.