Light bright


I have a feeling this is going to be a very light week, blog wise. I know I just posted about how I’m not in my usual funk this year, but I have been feeling a little lackluster when it comes to, well, doing things. I have let my home become a messy, scattered space. I am barely getting around to doing laundry today, but only because I had to in order to have clean sports bras and running tights for my workouts. Writing a blog of substance and worth, something that requires copious amounts of Google and weheartit searches for pretty pictures of hair, totally out of the question in my malaise.

I don’t attribute it to a funk as I usually would, instead I think maybe the gloomy weather may be a factor. It has been raining like crazy, and when it’s not raining, it’s cloudy and dark, in other words, perfect weather to curl up on the couch, watch TV and do nothing that would actually be helpful. I’ve been ensconced on my couch, with the Christmas tree lit up and Bones playing in my Netflix instant queue. every. single. night.  Really not conducive to getting anything done, and being 5 days before Christmas, there is much that needs to be done.

I had to practically tear myself out of bed to go for my Monday run. I gave Nicole, my running buddy, the day off because she completed a half marathon yesterday, that rock star, so there was no real need to get out of my warm, comfy bed to run in the cold, dreary outdoors. But I managed to push through and find some willpower somewhere, that made me drag my butt out of bed and hit the creek trail. It didn’t make me want to accomplish much else though.

While feeling extremely lazy, I still managed to be quite productive. I must express my thanks to the Palo Alto school district for planning a 2 week holiday break for the kiddos I nanny for. They are out of school this week and next, so my hours are very flexible the next few days, and today I was off work at 2:30pm, making my commute home fabulously quick, and thus allowed me lots of extra time to lounge on the couch. I got tired of sitting for so long, so I made dinner. Grilled chicken (yes I grill even in the winter, my covered patio is a perfect grilling spot), with grilled zucchini, and baked sweet potato strips I made with olive oil, seat salt and pepper. Then I baked cookies! My favorite chocolate chip cookies in fact. I am back on the couch and plan to stay here until bed.

Now enjoy your week, productive or otherwise!

 

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No funk?


Wow this month is flying past me! I’m glad I have had a few moments to sit back and take it all in. This is one of the best times of the year, and to miss it completely because I was too busy, overwhelmed, or caught up in the chaos of Christmas would be a shame.

Marlo had her weekly bath, so I wrapped her up in a blanket and cuddled my 40 pound lap dog on the couch for a bit. She loved it. Even though she tried to get down a bunch. Billy didn’t complain, as he said it was an artful way to get around our “no dogs on the couch” rule, since she was on my lap, not the couch.

My Christmas shopping is done, the gifts are wrapped under the tree, and my Christmas goodies are made, cut up and stored in the fridge for later tonight when I will assemble holiday goody bags for my sweet clients, lovely friends, and family. This year I made rocky road and fudge. I think every other year or so I attempt to make fudge, and every time I am mystified how I could have forgotten how labor intensive and tough it can be. I followed the fantasy fudge recipe off the jet puff marshmallow creme jar, and stirred a pot of fat free evaporated milk, lots of sugar and butter FOREVER, then spilled chocolate chips on the burner, made a mess out of the marshmallow creme, and didn’t let the sugar mixture boil long enough so the fudge set a little on the soft side. The rocky road, however, was easy and delicious, so I will continue to make it long after this fudge recipe has been retired.

I just finalized my 26th birthday plans! I will be having dinner at the fabulous Burger in Santa Cruz, CA. It’s actually called “burger.” with a lower case b and a period. Funny right? Billy and I have eaten there a couple of times and were thrilled with our food both times. I am not a red meat fan, so I opt for a wood fired pizzetta or a turkey burger instead. They even make these awesome beer shakes. They have an entire wall menu dedicated to different burger creations, and tell you that’s just he beginning, they can literally do anything you want with your burger, you just have to ask. The restaurant is decorated with a zombie theme, but instead of thinking of eating brains, the zombie all have thought bubbles with burgers in them, very creative. They even project old horror and monster movies on the lobby wall, and play sports on the large TV above the bar. I am excited to eat there again and share this lovely gem with all of my valley dwelling friends who haven’t made the trek over the hill to SC to try out this awesome new installment.

The most interesting thing is happening this year surrounding my birthday. I am not in my usual funk that always makes December an unhappy month for me. I usually become withdrawn, moody, introspective and anti-social in the weeks leading up to my birthday on December 28th, and I never really know why. I get very excited for my birthday early on, usually in August, and start making plans for what I think would be a fun way to celebrate, but starting in October my enthusiasm wanes and I enter the funk right after Thanksgiving. I’m not sure why this year is different and I am my happy cheery self days before my birthday. The only major change that could be contributing to my happiness is my 3-5 day a week I workout, run, or go to spin classes, and the healthy eating I am trying to keep up. Maybe endorphins really do have that much going for them. I accept.

Hairapy sessions: Bob’s the word


Bobbed hairstyles have been in style since the 20’s, when Louise Brooks the silent film star first made them popular. We recently saw a resurgence of the bob style when Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham cut off her hair into a severe bob and thus, EVERYONE and their mom decided to follow suit. The bob, and the “lob” (long bob, when your bob starts to grow out), are classic styles that will always be popular because of the universally clean and flattering lines.

 

 

Let’s go Monday!


It’s Monday, you know what to do! Head on over to Life of Meg and get involved in Mingle Monday! I just love all the ladies that participate in MM, I get to read awesome new bloggers each week and sometimes I even get new readers here too!

I had a really nice weekend. Saturday I worked at the salon, but got off work early, so I took a 12+ mile bike ride. It was awesome actually riding outside. I normally ride inside at spin class, so feeling the wind in my face, and checking out the gorgeous scenery was a nice change. Check out this beautiful photo I snapped at sunset on my way back near the lake I am going to be swimming in at my triathlon next June!

I love Almaden lake. I run there a lot because the creek trail is so pretty. Here is another photo Billy took on a walk at the lake this past summer. So amazingly gorgeous, right?

I got to see my great friend Sharon at her Holiday House Warming party. It was nice being social and seeing some old friends. I like to consider myself a homebody, and tend to stay in most weekends, so this little excursion to the social side of life was a welcome respite.

Sunday was a quick day at the salon, so I made a trip to Target, one of my most favorite places the shop. How can you not love Target, they have everything! I got a package of 4 rolls of wrapping paper, a whole mess of bows and name tags for $9! I took my bounty home and wrapped gifts. Normally, people would listen to Christmas music and drink hot cocoa while doing this. I however, watched old episodes of Bones and ate Wheat Thins. Ahhh, gift wrapping with serial killers and their dead victims, now that’s the stuff.

So that was my weekend, what was yours like?

Santa baby…


I hate surprises. I don’t like keeping secrets that later become surprises, and I especially hate, no, let me capitalize it so you get the full effect, HATE when people say “I’ve got a surprise for you!” and then won’t tell you what it is. You are better off just surprising someone without ever having mentioned the surprise in the first place. Sort of sets them up to be angry. Or maybe that’s just me.

Christmas shopping is no exception. I tend to create “the list” from which I ask for gifts. You stray from that list and I won’t be the happiest camper, just ask Billy how my mom fared a few years back when she just had to surprise me. Let’s just say is wasn’t pretty. In the last few years I have even gone so far as to buy all the gifts I had on the list, wrap them up, stick them under the tree and then tell Billy or my family member what they got for me. Sometimes I even give them the receipt so I can be reimbursed. What, did I go too far?

There are many ways to create a Christmas list. My personal favorite is the written list, usually on a scrap of paper, that gets tossed around and lost several times before completed.

Billy loves the techie list that gets put in his phone and referenced throughout the buying experience.

My sister-in-law enjoys the Amazon.com wish list, and creates and sends one out every year.

This year, I want to get a little savvy on you and put out a “blog gift list”….hopefully my family members will at some point see this and use it to purchase awesome Christmas gifts for me. If they already picked up a gift for Christmas, then they can just use the list for my birthday, which is 3 days after Christmas! So without further ado, here are the gifts you can get me for either Christmas or my birthday!

A diamond cut paper shredder. I am so stinking tired of hand ripping up my monthly bank statements and bills. It would be awesome to have a machine that did it for me. This is just an option, I would take any diamond cut shredding machine.

A beautiful and functional road bike to use for training and competing in triathlons next year. I honestly don’t have the first clue about bikes and couldn’t tell you what I am looking for, but this Mercier Elle matches all the new cycling gear I just loaded up on at Pearl Izumi on black Friday. What can I say, I’m a girl when it comes to matching.

Kitchenaid mixer attachments. I LOVE my Kitchenaid mixer. It completes me in the kitchen. It makes everything so much easier. I particularly want the shredder and slicer attachments, but I will take any attachments that might make life easier.

Under Armour running gear. I love their compression, cold, and hot weather gear. I made an Amazon.come wishlist full of UA stuff. It’s a little pricey, so the only piece I own is a pink running visor. Won’t you make my Under Armour collection complete?

An unlimited shopping spree to Ann Taylor Loft. Every time they get a new collection. And every season. Can we handle that request?

The complete Audrey Hepburn DVD collection, preferably on Blu Ray. My favorite movie of all time is Breakfast at Tiffanys. I put it on when I am home alone, when it rains, or when I just need to hear something magical while I putz around the house. Her whole collection of movies would be ideal, but I’m not picky and will take any you offer! Also, where on earth can I find that sleep mask?!

A personal trainer for the next year to get me through my triathlon training, my first (then second, and possibly even third) triathlon, get me down to a very healthy weight while still being strong and fit, and give me the motivation to keep going after my goals when it seems futile and just. so. hard. How about a nicer Jillian Michaels or Bob Harper from the Biggest Loser?

A fully stocked makeup kit full of MAC and Make Up For Ever products. Love that stuff.

Annnnd I’m out of ideas. I am very sure given a longer amount of time I could come up with a much lengthier list, but I will save you that pain 😉 Happy shopping!!

Monday, funday!


Hey friends, it’s that time again- MINGLE MONDAY!! Meg is once again hosting, so head over to Megnificent Life and join up 🙂

I had a very busy weekend! I took a quick road trip to southern California with Tiffany for the NPC Excalibur fitness competition. She was competing, I did hair and makeup. The show was great, Tiffany looked her very best, posed amazingly, and totally rocked her time on stage. She came in 6th, which is very respectable for her 2nd ever competition. She also had a photo shoot on Sunday with Natalie Minh, a super great photographer who was an international figure competitor herself, so she really knows fitness. The shoot was for a catalog for Powertec fitness equipment, so we got to go to the Powertec headquarters and see their 2011 equipment. I can’t wait to see the finished photos and get my tear sheet for my portfolio! Road trips, and most travel in general, always exhausts me and makes me stick very close to home for a few days afterward. I am so OCD that the packing process makes me anxious, and snappy, so poor Billy always gets the raw deal whenever I go anywhere. He is such a good hubby for putting up with my cranky pants. All in all, I am so happy to be home, doing laundry, running errands and getting back to my normal schedule.

Hope you have an amazing Monday!

Holiday weekend…from hell?


Whew, what a weekend! Between a 10k turkey trot race, two thanksgiving dinners, broken kitchen appliances, and major car issues, it has been quite a long weekend. I know you are just dying to know all about it, so I will indulge you with a recap, including pictures!

But first, happy Mingle Monday!! Head over to Life of Meg and join in the fun to gain some followers and read some awesome new blogs!

Thanksgiving morning, bright, cold and early, I dragged Billy to one of the local high schools for the Almaden Valley Run, Turkey, Run 10k race. This was my very first 10k race, and my longest run to date. I finished in 60:20, giving me an average of about 9.7 minute miles. The race started at 8:30am and it was so cold!! I was all bundled up, but ended up shedding my running jacket just before the race started because the adrenaline had me warmed up. Lately I have been dealing with major IT band issues from over training in the week I was back to running after my egg donation cycle, so I used KT Tape to help support my knee and get me through the run, as well icing and using a foam roller before and after to help with tightness and inflammation. It really did help!

The hubs sat nice and toasty warm in the car. He laughed at me as I was warming up because I was outside in the 30 degree weather, while he was watching episodes of Raising Hope on his HTC Evo phone, lucky guy. KT tape is my new favorite running accessory, it goes with everything, didn’t you know?

I FINALLY have a good shot of me running! I usually look like Quasimodo or some horrible troll in the photos from my races, so this was exciting to see. The hubby makes a pretty good paparazzo! Marlo was super excited about my run and gave me lots of kisses when I got home. I recovered from the race with hot cocoa and chocolate covered pretzels, and tied a cold pack to my knee with a dish cloth so I could immediately get to work on Thanksgiving mashed potatoes and of course Grandma Ople’s apple pie!

Unfortunately, I broke the garbage disposal and backed up the sink by peeling 5 pounds of potatoes and 9 apples into the sink…it’s Sunday night and it still hasn’t been fixed by our apartment maintenance team. It stinks. Literally.

We had our first Thanksgiving dinner with my family at 3pm, and then headed over to Billy’s family’s for second dinner at 7pm. We ate a lot. It was delicious, but oh, so filling. Turkey really got to us, so we went home to sleep at 9:30pm and woke up around 9am the next morning! That afternoon we did a little black Friday shopping, mainly getting some DVDs and video games for Billy, and I scored big time at the local outlets getting cycling and running gear for me so I can start training for the 2011 triathlon season. I really can’t wait for Christmas!

Unfortunately, my car started acting up on our way home from shopping, and long story short, it died of the death, or in other words, everything a car could die from. Think computer failure, all the electronics failed, alternator died, and my engine started seizing. This left me without a safe or functioning car, so we traded it in for a 2008 Honda Civic coupe at our favorite dealership, Capitol Honda. It’s way cute, and God was really opening up a window after closing a door, because we got hooked up majorly with friends and family discounts on everything because our family has bought five cars from this dealership! It sucked having to deplete my savings that was already spoken for for 2010 taxes (ugh, no fair!!) but we got the most amazing deal so it worked out. My little Honda already fits me better than my Jeep ever did. I named her Sylvie!

And that folks, was my crazy, hectic, food filled, and savings depleting weekend! Whew!