Thursday, April 7, 2011

It's a Thursday Miracle...

I never really blog anymore and I people may not even read this, but I thought I'd give a "me" update. CrossFit is really freakin' hard, but I am determined to stick with it even though the scaled down version of the workouts (for a weenie like me) often barely resembles the workout the CF veterans are doing. I'm just trying to "try" and not be too hard on myself. Even though it's tough, I still enjoy it. Lately, I've been hitting a lunch workout and then a run after work...two-a-days should help me get to my weight loss goal even quicker.

About my weight loss goal, this is where I'm at. Starting weight was 228 (Oh. My. Word. I hate even typing that, but I'm nothing if not open about all this). I have lost a grand total of 51 lbs and I now weight 177!! I have 27 lbs to go before I reach my goal. Want to know what the Thursday Miracle is? Today, I wore a size 8 skirt to work. I can wear single digit sized clothing!!! I basically floated into work I was so happy about that. Now, here is an interesting tidbit about this skirt situation. In 2006, I lost weight the unhealthy way, with prescription diet pills (Adipex/Phentermine) and no diet changes (other than calorie starving myself because of the appetite suppressant) and no exercise. I got down to 165 lbs and that is when I purchased the size 8 skirt I wore today and I remember it being tight then. Today, the size 8 skirt was lose and I weigh 177 lbs. This goes to show that the scale doesn't matter, true life change trumps quick-fix diet pills, and exercise combined with healthy diet improve body composition and result in lost inches.

What's next for me? Starting April 18-May 27th I am doing a Nutrition Challenge at the CF gym where I workout. I already follow the Zone Diet pretty strict. The kicker is that most CrossFit people take Zone to the next level by eliminating all grains, dairy, and beans/legumes. What does this mean for me? Although I already limit my grains and dairy, I cannot have my half-sandwich of roast beef with a slice of swiss in the morning. Instead, I'll have to do meat or eggs, fruit, and almonds for breakfast. Here comes the most painful peanut butter. Seriously? Are they trying to kill my soul? All I can hope is that maybe this will be an amazing way to get closer to my ultimate goal. I just hope I can 86 peanut butter without going crazy in the process. Stay tuned.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Week 1 of CrossFit

So, I finished my first week of CF 101 fundamentals class. My body feels like one huge bruise...ouch. That Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS, yo!) is no joke. Even though I can barely function, I have enjoyed it. I have one more week of CF 101 and then it's on to the regular workouts. I am excited (and scared to death, but I am managing). Tonight I am going to give the P90x Ab Ripper X a shot...since my abs are the only muscles that aren't in major pain.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Making strides

So, I haven't blogged in awhile. Now that I don't have a garden theme, I forget about it. I am really going to miss that garden this year!

Moving along...I am doing great! I have lost 47 lbs. Woo hoo! I have 31 more to go to get to my goal weight. I have really been enjoying's drug status now, I crave it. I think as the weather continues to warm up, the weight will fall off more rapidly. Also, I start CrossFit this week. I am nervous, excited, doubtful, positive, scared, bold, determined, and chicken. I have no idea what to expect, but I do expect results...hopefully this will get me to my goal even quicker with nice muscle tone.

That's all I've got. Things are great and I am so focused it's scary. Watch out! ha!

Monday, February 7, 2011

What I'm diggin' right now...

In no particular order:

#1 - Anything roasted. Roasting makes everything better. Toss it in olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and roast at 450 on a foil lined cookie sheet until it gets all happy and it's pretty much the best thing ever. Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, Rutabaga, anything...try it.

#2 - Days that are warm enough for jogging outside...I've become addicted. It sure beats the heck out of the treadmill.

#3 - I love that "Airplanes" song by B.O.B with the chick from Paramore.

#4 - While we are on the subject of songs, I also love Taylor Swift's "Back to December" although I do not want to go back to December...bring it Spring!

#5 - Tanning in moderation. No judgment please.

#6 - Just Dance for Wii(I think Just Dance 1 is better than Just Dance 2, but both are awesome). Best if played with fun friends and pinot grigio.

#7 - P90X Core Synergistics...I don't want to do all of the DVDs, just this one. Is that ok?

#8 - My up, "Water for Elephants"

#9 - Cleaning out my closet. Anything that is even "kinda" big has been bagged up and will be removed from the premises. I almost have no clothes left...I need to go shopping but I have more weight to lose so I don't want to buy too much.

#10 - The Zone Diet/clean eating/no fast food/shopping only on the perimeter of the grocery store - I feel a million times better since I've cleaned up my diet. A MILLION TIMES.

#11 - Jersey Shore. I never want anyone to use the grenade whistle because of's a huge motivator.

#12 - My Nike running shorts - Since I've been working on my fitness, I've trimmed up my thighs a little so the workout chafing (aka. Chub Rub) hasn't been happening like it used to. It's a fitness miracle.

#13 - Winter vacations - So excited to go to South Florida this week to visit my Aunt Glenda....the temps are in the 70s, nice! You can guess I'll be a runnin' fool while I'm down there!

#14 - Roasted red pepper hummus with celery sticks...eating it now. Yumm!

#15 - Once-a-week "cheat cookie" from Earth Fare. Chocolate chip, oh-so-good.

#16 - Medicine Balls. I've been doing a few medicine ball drills after I use the treadmill (on non-warm days) and I always wake up sore the next morning. Must be doing something good, huh?

There are plenty of other things, but for now this is what is making me smile (aside from awesome family and friends...that's a given!).

Monday, January 31, 2011

Taking "selfish" to an all new level.

I think I used to be a giver. Have a baby? I'd like to bring you a casserole. Football Saturday? I'm making white chicken chili and cornbread, come on over! Need a babysitter? I'd love to!

Well, I have been so incredibly selfish lately. I've been through a lot so I am cutting myself some slack about it, but I hope to share my life with someone special someday (sooner rather than later, where are you at mister?!?) and I hope the giver in me makes a comeback. Although I need a better balance next go-round with the give and take ratio.

Maybe I am not really selfish, but bored. It just seems that all I ever do is stuff for me. Saturday, my mom and I walked the Green Mountain Nature Trail so I guess that wasn't totally selfish. Yesterday, I ran a couple of miles, grocery shopped, cooked for myself for the week, and then went to tan for the first time in a long time (I swore it off, but I needed some color so I caved). Today I went to work, but when I got off work I ran a couple more miles, tanned again, and then went and got a mani/pedi. Tomorrow I plan to run and then go get my eyebrows waxed. Wednesday is wine/painting with my favorite gals. Thursday I'll run and tan. Friday I am getting highlights and another Brazilian Blowout (and heck, let's just throw in some more running and tanning). See, kinda all about "me". Am I being selfish, or is this just what single people do?

Here's the other thing. If this is all completely selfish, I don't give a rip. I'm really enjoying it (insert evil laugh). So there!

One more silly note: My blog is a year old! This whole blog thing started with a totally opposite theme, but I'm still Season and so it continues...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sometimes you just have to keep it light.

So, I've been doing a lot of reading. I'm really all over the place with my book selections. I did finish The Shack last weekend and it was really good.

Next, I needed something a little lighter/funny/guilty pleasureish (new word). I am now reading another one of Jen Lancaster's masterpiece memoirs, Such a Pretty Fat: One Narcissist's Quest to Discover If Her Life Makes Her Ass Look Big, or Why Pie Is Not the Answer. This book is HILARIOUS! I feel like she steals my thoughts and writes them (and makes a lot of money for it probably...if I could find a way to prove it I'd press for royalties). There is only one book left by Lancaster that I haven't read, Pretty in Plaid: A Life, A Witch, and a Wardrobe, or, the Wonder Years Before the Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smart-Ass Phase and that one is next (although I wonder if I need to save it in case I come upon some hard times and need a pick-me-up...Jen - get to writing more! I need you!).

I'm off for a cold run outside. This new year is already awesome! Oh, and even though I TRIED to run the NYE 5K, it was canceled while we were all standing soaking wet at the start line. Apparently lightening is a party pooper. Oh well, I tried.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Setting my New Year's Resolutions

One of the great things about blogging is the permanent record of things you want to hold yourself accountable for...once you put it out there, you just have to do it. I have several goals/resolutions for 2011, all mostly selfish:

1. Outdoor Adventure - I want to go hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting, and possibly even ziplining again. I want to spend a lot of time outdoors, getting fresh air, and seeing new places.

2. Running/Jogging - I want to run the Cotton Row and the Ribbon Run 5K's without stopping to walk once.

3. Work - I haven't really felt on my A-game with work lately and I want to improve that (we'll blame that on the divorce, but that excuse will no longer apply in year, new and improved me).

4. Reading - I would like to read at least 2 books per month. I'm always taking suggestions if anyone is even reading this.

5. Beach - I will make time to dip my toes in the sand on at least 2 beach trips this year.

6. Diet and Exercise - I don't plan to make any changes because I am already doing really good in this department, but I want to stay on the same path that I am on now. I hope to lose 25 lbs by my birthday in May and 25 more by the end of 2011. Lofty goals, but I mean business!

7. Denim - In 2011 I WILL fit into a pair of European-sized designer jeans (I'm thinking Joe's Jeans).

8. Relax - I plan to totally get my money's worth out of my apartment pool. I'll probably look like Snooki by the time September 2011 rolls around. I plan to wear sunscreen, no lectures needed.

9. Friendship - My friends have all been so supportive of me, and lately I really haven't been the kind of friend I normally like to think of myself as being. I haven't done anything bad to anyone, but I just haven't really done anything. I want to be more thoughtful in 2011 and show my dear friends how much I care about them.

10. Dreams and Expectations - I can't remember where I read, heard, or saw this, but I am going to stop praying for the end result (the loving husband, 2.5 children, and a white picket fence)...I am just going to pray for the next step. In 2011, I would like to go on a date with a nice guy...that's it.

Ok, so I just put it all out there. Starting tomorrow, I've got a lot of work to do. Technically, I'm starting tonight with the midnight 5K run.

Happy New Year to everyone!! Best wishes for the best year ever!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Goals, Goals, Goals, Goals...

I just hopped on the scale and my New Years Goal has been accomplished! Yippee!!! Now, it's on to the next one (Freeze! Somebody bring me back some money please).

I make no apologies for any Jay-Z references, I'm happy!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Top 10 Moments of 2010

Now that 2010 is almost over, I wanted to recap my top 10 moments/events of the year (in no particular order).

1. Gardening - This was so much fun and I am so glad to know I can grow food. I will definitely revisit this once I buy another house (which I hope to do's on my 1-2 year plan). Oh, how I will miss those German Johnson heirloom tomatoes this year, and the squash, and the zucchini, and the strawberries, and the get the point. I'll have it all again one day, mark my words!

2. Ziplining - This was so intense and challenging! I hated every minute of it in the moment, but would do it again in a heartbeat. I just can't explain it.

3. Babysitting - I did a lot of babysitting in 2010 and had a blast. My friends all have the cutest glad they trust me!

4. Walking - I saw a lot of greenways/trails this year. I didn't walk as much as I would have liked but I did walk at least once on every greenway in Huntsville. I think my favorite is the Aldridge Creek's so pretty and I love sitting on the benches when once you finally make it to the Tennessee River!

5. Cake making - Although it is a huge messy pain in the bootay, I am glad I conquered a tiered fondant cake. Marking that off the bucket list! Duff from Ace of Cakes, you have my respect man!

6. Kayaking - My happy hour Girl's Night Out float on the Flint River was hilarious! Must revisit this again in 2011.

7. Dipping out of the Cotton Row - Not my proudest moment, but definitely funny. I was at home eating a hot dog off the grill before my friends knew I was missing. ha!

8. iPhone - Shout-out to technology, but getting my iPhone was a definite highlight of 2010. It may be lame to get that pumped about a phone, but I love it so there!

9. Roadtrip to Florida with my mom - Even though the death of my dear Uncle Al was not the best scenario for a roadtrip, my mom and I enjoyed ourselves on the roadtrip from Huntsville, AL to Deerfield Beach, FL. Sure, 13 hours one way sounds grueling, but my mom is a hoot and we laughed and laughed and laughed the whole way down and back. I am so thankful for that time with her.

10. Independence - My life is so different now at the end of 2010 vs. the beginning of 2010. However, I am kind of proud of myself for getting through it all with a smile on my face. Today while out on a jog, I totally had one of those stupid Oprah "ah-ha" moments. I'm strong and tough and happy. Can't beat that, right?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Making New Year's Eve a little less awkward

It's no secret that I am 110% ready for 2011 (I mean seriously, it's all I talk about these days). I've been thinking about how I would ring in the new year and I have been stumped. I wanted to do something fun, but most all of my friends are coupled up. This isn't usually a problem because I can hang with the best of them, but on New Year's Eve there is always that midnight kiss and I am just not up for the awkwardness this year. Maybe it's not a big deal, but the thought was giving me the hives. My friend Kari had mentioned a midnight 5K run for charity a few weeks ago and I dismissed that idea...I can't run in the cold (heck, I can barely run in comfortable temps). Well, fast forward to the week of New Year's Eve and the weather is going to be in the 60s on Friday!!! So, I will be doing the midnight run!!! I am so excited! What a wonderful way to begin what I hope and pray will be a wonderful fresh year for me!? Added bonus - since the race doesn't start until 11:30pm and I am a total slow poke, I will still be running at midnight...translation: there will be no awkward kissy moment. Ahhhh, relief!

Because I like to assess my skillz (ha!) before I publicly humiliate myself, I left work a little early today because I wanted to run/walk 3.1 miles just to see where I stand. Of course I can't run all of it, but I surprised myself with how much I pushed myself. I went on the Indian Creek Greenway (the Providence stretch) and there was still snow on the ground. It was beautiful (even though my lungs were burning). I even had to take a couple of pictures because I love the colonial look of the homes in Providence with the snow on the ground.



Saturday, December 25, 2010

A White Christmas

Today I woke up to beautiful snow. When I went to bed, the weather folks (who are mostly inaccurate in this area) were talking about some winter precipitation, but I usually never take them seriously. It was a nice surprise to wake up to, and it continued to snow all day long! It's actually still snowing!! This is the picture from my balcony, I think it looks like a Christmas card.


Although I just want it to be 2011 (and better yet, I'll take Spring!), I had to admit this was beautiful. Right now I am reading The Shack by William Young, so that entertained me today. So far, it's a great book!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Screeching Halt

I am at a weight loss plateau! It's got me a little bummed out, but I have to remind myself that I've already lost so much and that I'll get there. I am off work for the next 4 days, so I plan to get in some major cardio to kick my butt back in gear.

I am so ready for 2011 I can hardly stand it. I don't want to wish away Christmas, but I'm human and I'll just admit it...I'm over it. I try to reflect on the birth of Jesus Christ when I am feeling tired of all of the Christmas hoopla...just to force myself to remember the deeper meaning. Even so, I just want it all to go away. I don't want to see Christmas trees, ornaments, cookies, candy canes, Santa, stockings, elves, jingle bells, mistletoe, garland, stars, tacky outdoor decorations, wrapping paper, bows, casserole dishes, etc. Bah humbug, right? I just REALLY want 2011 to be here...who doesn't want the feeling of a fresh new year?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Positive reinforcement for bad behavior...and I like it!

These recent blog posts are self-indulgent to the max, but I'm just excited so I can't help it. I am now only 1 lb away from my year end goal. The funny part is that it keeps falling off despite semi-bad behavior. Here's a breakdown of recent awesome results after behaving badly:

1. Two beers with the girls at the Nook on Friday; 2 lb weight loss Saturday morning

2. Bottle of wine at my sweet friend Lori's house on Saturday; 2 lb weight loss Sunday morning

3. Dinner/drinks with the girls on Friday; 2 lb weight loss on Saturday

WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GOING ON? Please tell me why I shouldn't become an alcoholic?!? I kid, but wowzas! I'm just excited I guess. I am almost there!! It would be so cool to get started on my next weight loss goal early and bathing suit season is just around the corner.

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's the final countdowwwwwwwwn!

This will be the shortest posting ever. I am officially only 3 lbs away from my year end goal. That's all.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Banana Rolls

A few months ago, Banana Rolls would have been some awesome dessert I whipped up. Well, now they are this awesome little series of moves on my P90x Core Synergistics DVD. This little move is fun but wowzas it hurts the next day. My core is sore (ooooh, that rhymes). I still haven't really dedicated myself to the P90x program. I need a little more willpower. I think the winter weather is dragging me down. I need to start looking at the pool from my patio/deck and maybe that will get me going just thinking about bathing suit season. Plus, I know it will make me feel better. I am offically down 23 lbs...only 4 lbs to go until I reach my New Years goal. I will still have a ways to go after that, but I'm getting there. I can really tell in how my clothes fit...some are getting too big and that's awesome. I've been trying to wear smaller sizes just to make things uncomfortable (so I'll step away from the chocolate).

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Hope it keeps coming off!

Last night I went to a local bar called The Nook with some gal pals. This place isn't one of those wild and crazy's a calm place for beer snobs (and it is smoke-free which I LOVE). I don't drink a whole lot, a glass of wine here and there but the older I get the worse I feel in the morning...with me, one drink can make for a mild hangover. Anyway, I actually had 2 beers last night and they were very good! I don't remember what the first beer was (it was good, but no lasting impression), but the second beer was a peach lambic and it tasted like peach juice. Very tasty. Their menu is's worth going just for interesting conversation. I left feeling like I learned a little bit.

So, I woke up this morning down 2 more pounds! I am now only 6 lbs away from my year-end goal...all in all I've lost 21 lbs since the divorce. I'm not stressed anymore either so that is not reason for the weight coming off. Know what I think it is? For years (even though my ex and I did have some good times), I masked everything with a casserole. I know that sounds silly, but when things at home are not right it seems as if you can repair things with a good meal. Cooking made me feel like things were normal.

Feelings hurt? Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole.

Losing trust? Sausage Cream Cheese Squares.

Argument with tears? Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, Sister Shubert rolls, and a sour cream pound cake.

It all adds up and in the end you look in the mirror and wonder what the heck happened. I'm glad I can look back and see this so I never do a repeat. I think I am now finding my happy weight...the weight I should have been all along had I not been looking for Paula Deen's cure.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I've been a reading fool!

Ok, so any and all workouts have completely gone out the window in lieu of reading. I have been reading so much! I blame it on the awesome book suggestions I've been getting from all my friends (Facebook provides a wonderful opportunity to share recommendations of all kinds). I know these blog entries about reading, books, etc. may be a little boring...I'm sure my garden pictures/captions were a little more entertaining. BUT, the last two books I read were so profound that I just want to "go tell it on the mountain" and beg everyone to read these books. First, Same Kind of Different As Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together by Ron Hall, Denver Moore, and Lynn Vincent was such an inspiring book. Just when I was ready to declare it my favorite book of all time (which is pretty amazing in itself...I've read my share of wonderful books), I started another book. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers was also an extraordinary book. I don't want to give any details of these books because my synopsis just won't do them justice, I just plead that everyone read them ASAP! God's love is so powerful.

Not to take away from any of the above, but I guess diet alone is working and I am only 8 lbs away from my year end goal. I even lost weight over Thanksgiving (crazy, I know!). So, I've got to get down to business. I actually recently purchased P90X (brand new, off Craigslist, whoop whoop!) and I have yet to start it. I've just got to suck it up and get to it. I hope it doesn't make me beef up...eek!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Reading Detour

I am still reading Decision Points by George W. Bush but I had to take a temporary detour and read Patti Stanger's Become Your Own Matchmaker: 8 Easy Steps for Attracting Your Perfect Mate. The book recommend came from a very sweet high school friend that sent me a very thoughtful message. Anyway, it was a very good book. Most of it was obvious information, but it was helpful for getting me in the mindset of dating again.

The thing about dating after a divorce that I think will be weird is not bringing up the past. Granted, I know that it wouldn't be healthy or productive to dredge up old relationship issues and discuss those on the first (or second, or third) date. BUT, how do I let someone get to know me without occasionally mentioning the past 10 years of my life. Seems weird. I'm sure I'll figure it out. On a funny note, a co-worker told me the other day that I am a real catch. Wanna know why he thinks I am a catch? I come fully equipped with health insurance. ha! So, if my cheery personality doesn't reel them in I guess I have something else to sweeten the pot. Nice.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Still boycotting all things domestic, in a happy non-bitter way.

It's so weird that I still haven't cooked. I did fry an egg the other day and I'll make a piece of toast every few days, but that's as far as I've taken it. I have been following the Zone Diet (when not dining out, which I need to stop doing so much of) and my protein is usually deli meat, my carbs are fruits and veggies (uncooked), and my fat is almonds. Sounds kind of boring, but when I stick to it I end up feeling like a million bucks. It is by far the best way to's not really a diet, just how we all should be eating in the first place.

Even though I am watching what I eat, I am still getting excited about my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving (although I will be forced to make sweet potato casserole to take to our family dinner, which totally breaks my non-cooking trend). I am normally thinking about my Christmas shopping now, making my list and checking it twice. I am usually already itching to get my Christmas decor/tree up (which I have no interest in this year). I haven't really thought about it much. Funny though, I am not dreading the holidays like people may expect. Maybe this new single lifestyle that I am getting used to is helping me relax a little bit. My future is unknown and I can't really be the annoying list-making planner that I've always been. Plus, after Christmas is the best thing ever...a brand new year! I am definitely not wishing my holidays away but I am looking forward to an exciting 2011. Bring on the turkey and dressin', the Christmas music, and a festive cocktail to start the new year!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Now currently reading...

Decision Points by President George W. Bush. It is a really good read so far and I like the structure of the book. Whether or not you agree with his political decisions, he is a likable guy (and actually pretty funny). I think history will be kind to him.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Blessings of Friendship

Sometimes when one is going through a major life change, it is easy to focus on the negative and scary aspects of transition. While I have my moments, it is really hard for me to have a pity party because I am surrounded by so many wonderful friends. Sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky.

Friendships come in varying degrees of closeness and purpose, but all are meaningful in their own way. Some friends are great if you need a good cry and want to show vulnerability. Some friends tell it like it is, force you to realize your worth (and even tell you when you are dead wrong). Some friends are great for a good time...when you don't really want to have a deep talk. Some come out of the woodwork to share a similar experience just so you know you aren't alone and offer some encouragement. Some just pray for you.

There are people in my life that represent the above descriptions. A few of my friends have many or all of these qualities. So, I am thankful for all of the dear friendships I share.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What am I reading?

Ok, since I now only have 2 hobbies (working out and reading), I thought I would post what I am currently reading and make updates every time I start a new book.

So, I am now reading Jen Lancaster's Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office. It is hilarious and I recommend Jen Lancaster to any girl wanting to read a funny chick-lit type book. I have also read Lancaster's My Fair Lazy: One Reality Television Addict's Attempt to Discover If Not Being A Dumb Ass Is the New Black, or, a Culture-Up Manifesto, which is my absolute favorite, and Bright Lights, Big Ass: A Self-Indulgent, Surly, Ex-Sorority Girl's Guide to Why it Often Sucks in the City, or Who are These Idiots and Why Do They All Live Next Door to Me? . I think this lady is my soul sister as I often read and wonder if I wrote the book myself.

Monday, November 8, 2010

You may be going through a divorce if....

This is all you buy on a shopping trip to Target.


These items in their individual form represent nothing, but when grouped together they scream divorce. Of all the things I left with my soon to be ex-husband, the scale shouldn't have been one of them. I am in the weight loss mindset so I need the scale to keep me on track. I needed the wine to help me unwind, and don't even get me started on the skin firming lotion...just know it's needed (and I am crazy enough right now to go get liposuction...I'm trying to stop the madness by buying some cheapie lotion). So, there you have it.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Turning the page

During 2010, I have done so many new things in the homemaking realm.  I've sewn, gardened, cooked, baked, made jelly, tried my hand at a fully decorated cake with fondant icing, and the list goes on.  I am so thankful that I now know I can do all these activities.  I definitely hope to pick it back up someday.  Unfortunately, Kevin and I are divorcing...I am soon going to be a single girl on my own (and with my sweet dog Stoli of course).  I need to do what the single girls do.  Know what?  I have no flippin' clue what single girls do.  I guess that is what happens when you meet your husband at age 20, get married at 23, and divorce at age 30.  I've spent the last 10 years in a committed relationship and to say I am a little lost is an understatement.  I'm just going to do what I always do...I'm going to figure it out.

Here's what I do know:

1. I'm done being Suzy Homemaker.  I have no desire to do anything domestic right now.  I don't even feel like making Kraft Dinner.  

2.  Laundry for one is something I am currently enjoying.

3.  Moving from a 2600 sq ft house to a 755 sq ft apartment is scary and liberating.  

4. I'm going to miss my garden grown tomatoes.

5. My new activities are reading and working out.  I've always enjoyed I'll just do more of it.  Working out is important because I need to take care of me.  Dating is not even close to being on my mind right now, but one day it probably will be (eek!) and of course I would like to look good.

6.  I am blessed with the best family and friends a girl could ask for.  Everyone has shown me so much support, it is truly amazing.

7.  I am thankful for a friendly divorce (if that is possible).  Kevin and I have been so kind to each other throughout this process.  I wish more people would try to have civil divorces.

I guess that is it.  Life, even when it is really sucky, is pretty awesome.  I am going to get through this (that is what I keep telling myself) and come out on the other side a stronger person.  Clearly, my blog theme will be changing a little but I still hope to keep things interesting.  Much love to all!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

What's going on?

This is a pretty random blog post of what I've been doing lately.  I've realized an unintentional benefit of blogging, photo recovery.  My hard drive crashed recently and I lost all of my pictures from this year, or so I thought.  All of my important pictures are on my blog, so all is well in the world.  This blog entry isn't very interesting and may seem a little self-indulgent, but I really want to blog about my life...that way, if/when the hard drive crashes again I'm covered.  So this is what I've been up to:

One of my favorite happenings as of late is our (Kevin and I) idea to get out and go walking on Sunday.  So far, we've done the Wade Mountain Greenway, the Indian Creek Greenway, and the Green Mountain Nature Trail.

Kevin on the Indian Creek Greenway:

Pictures of Kevin and I on the Green Mountain Nature Trail:


My friends and I continue to participate in Extreme Sports (ha!)...this week was a fun kayak trip down the Flint River:

My $7 CVS river shows make another appearance

Group shot in the dark with freaky eyes

The funniest thing happened while we were on the river.  Us semi-uncoordinated ladies made an accidental dam with our kayaks.  Kari, trying to avoid the mayhem created her own incident...she got stuck in a tree.  It was HILARIOUS!  Maybe you just had to be there (I got a picture of the action in between violent laughter).

A couple of weeks ago, I hosted a Scentsy party at my house.  It was a lot of fun to hang out with friends (some of which I hadn't seen in ages).  This is the smelling station.  It was so much fun to compare what other noses liked and disliked.

Back to the kitchen.  I recently made my first lattice top pie.  This is a picture of the pre-oven pie.  It was peachy and tasty!

Last night I made a Blueberry Dream Pie (my mom used to make these when we were growing up and I love it!), and recipe is as follows:

Using homemade or a store-bought roll-out pie crust, line the front and sides of the pie plate, poke all over with a fork, and bake at 425 until golden.  Cool.  Prepare 2 envelopes of Dream Whip (found on the baking isle of the grocery store) according to the directions on the package.  Mix in one 8oz block of cream cheese and a cup of confectioners sugar and blend until creamy.  Put mixture into pie crust and refrigerate for a few hours.  Lastly, add a can of blueberry pie filling on top and spread carefully.  Enjoy!  Yum!

Perhaps the coolest thing I've done is fulfill a jelly destiny (I'm so cheesy and dramatic).  A little brainstorming session with my little sister, Scarlet, gave me the best idea ever...jelly made from Capri Suns!  I would now like to introduce to you, Surfer Cooler Jelly.


Disturbing side note - This is the amount of sugar that went into the pot.  Eek!  Eat Jelly sparingly.

And, the finished product, TA-DA!!!!

Happy Fall Ya'll!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fun Times Outside of the Garden: Part 2

We left for Chicago on our 7th Anniversary, August 21st, to see the Windy City and a BRAVES/Cubs game at Wrigley Field.  A few things I learned in Chicago:

1.  Hotel Parking is $50 per 24 hour period...are you kidding me?
2.  Public transportation is $5.75/per day for all of the bus and "L" riding your heart can handle...SCORE!
3.  Everyone rides bikes in Chicago (even ladies in heels).  Re: #1, I am not surprised.
4.  Everyone seems skinny in Chicago (with the exception of #5), it made me want to lose weight. Re:  #3.
5. All Chicago Bears fans look like Dick Butkus, even the lady fans.
6. The hot dogs are all I dreamed of and then some.
7. The pizza isn't all that, but I am glad I tried it.
8. Dunkin' Donuts are all over the place.
9. People are pretty nice and I felt completely safe walking around the city.
10. When we go back I want to do a boat tour, see Millennium Park, go to the Sky Deck at the Willis Tower, and eat at many more places.

Here are some pictures of our adventure!

The Midlife Crisis Museum a.k.a The Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY

A cool barn in Indiana

 Crazy Windmill Shot...these things are HUGE!

More Super Freaky Windmills in Indiana

View from our room at the Hyatt Regency Chicago on the Chicago River

Chicago Skyline from the Navy Pier

Chicago River

Kevin and a super tall building

These buildings had really neat parking garages

Headed to the Red Line

Kevin drinking a New Castle at Harry Caray's before the game

View from our seats...not too shabby.  Ending Score:  Braves 16 Cubs 5, such a spanking!

My 2 Favorite Things, Kevin and a HUGE Kraft Dinner noodle.  Amen.

Marking one off the bucket list...Kevin in front of Wrigley Field

View of Chicago from our room at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place

View of Soldier Field from our hotel room

Lake Michigan is so pretty.  I felt like I was at the beach with water as far as the eye can see!

My love.

Awesome (and cheesy) Segway tour of Chicago.

Fun Times Outside of the Garden: Part 1

Remember my friend Cheryl that was trying to steal a watermelon out of my garden (I kid, I kid!)?  We'll her little bundle of joy was born on August 11th...and Miss Mona Catherine is so precious!  This is a picture of me squeezing her tight!

That following weekend I, along with 21 super crazy friends went on a ZIP LINE ADVENTURE and had a blast (a very physically challenging blast!).

All 22 of us!!

Leeann and I

Super Scary Bridge

Saturday, August 7, 2010

All for $76

Recently I decided to stock my freezer for the Fall/Winter with soups and casseroles.  For $76 bucks I was able to buy everything I needed to make it happen.

I cooked all night (Melina kept me company) and I made the following:

Baked Spaghetti 
Mexican Casserole
Mulligatawny Soup (recipe link)
Taco Soup
White Chicken Chili
Beef and Lentil Soup (recipe link)

I ended up with 4 casserole pans and 22 quart-sized freezer bags of soup.  Mission accomplished!

My First Year of Gardening: A Summary

It's been a while since I've blogged and I want to talk about my garden...lessons, successes, and bloopers.

First, I'll start with the lessons.  One, I am going to do much less variety next year.  Things I will not plant next year: corn, pole beans, onions, okra, carrots, butternut squash, beets, radishes, spaghetti squash, pumpkins (that sure was a fiasco!), and cantaloupe.  The corn and beans were too bug ridden for me.  The root vegetables just weren't worth it.  The large squash type veggies were just too aggressive.  Secondly, I am going to give a few things another chance even though i didn't have very good luck.  For example, instead of ever-bearing strawberries I will plant June-bearing in my topsy turvy...maybe that will give me a better yield.  Also, I am going to try watermelon again even though it didn't work out (I'll share that story below in the blooper section).  Bell Peppers are another one that I didn't have good luck with, but I think it had to do with crowding so I am going to try again.

On to the successes...tomatoes, squash, zucchini, and cucumbers!  These all did very well in my garden this year.  Next Summer, I would like to do one entire bed of zucchini and squash, another bed of tomatoes of many varieties (especially the German Johnson!) and bell pepper, and a third bed consisting of watermelon and cucumbers.  That's all folks...not much variety, but I'll focus on growing a few items consistently.

Lastly, the bloopers.  I think I covered most of these along the way (the pumpkin fiasco, the corn ants, etc.), but I haven't yet shared my watermelon story.  Bless my husband's heart, men never seem to listen...except when I casually and jokingly say, "Yeah, I'm over the garden this's so hot outside!"  I guess he took me seriously, because he mowed over all my watermelons.  He said, "You told me you were done!"  Just when you think men don't listen...they do.  That is the day my garden ended.

I still have a couple of tomato plants going, but I'll be honest and say they have pretty much crapped out because of my neglect.  We have had a stretch of triple-digit temps and I can't get motivated to do much in heat like that.

Back to the watermelons for a minute...I have a quick story to share.  My watermelons never got big...they looked softball size for a long time.  I was waiting on them to grow and they never got bigger.  They must have been full grown because when Kevin mowed them over they were completely ripe!  I found one that he didn't get with the mower so I opened it up and tasted was perfect!  Next year I will try a different variety.

We had my dad and sister over for dinner in July to celebrate my dad's birthday.  I wanted to share a couple of pictures from that day.  My dad's dog Sugar also makes an appearance...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Put some South in yo' mouth!

Today I went and checked on my garden.  My corn hasn't been looking that great and I decided to take a peek.  As I began to peel back the silk on one corn ear after the other, I became broken-hearted to discover that ants like Silver Queen Corn too.  Chalk it up to another gardening fail.  Check out the little buggers.

No sense in keeping it around...when I get mad, I start ripping stuff out of the ground.  Maybe I need a little gardening anger management.

Refusing to let the corn get me down, I went to the grocery store and purchased 18 ears of corn.  I was determined to put up some corn this year (not sure what happened, but 2 yellow ears wanted to play).

After shucking the corn on my back deck (which totally made me feel like an awesome Southern girl!), I boiled the ears for 10 minutes.

I learned this nifty little trick online.  Using a bundt pan to secure the corn cob while cutting all of the corn off...all the corn falls neatly (well, almost) into the pan.  Nice!

I ended up with 4 quarts...I wish I would have made more!  I will probably get more corn this week.

Tonight for dinner, we had an ultimate Southern meal.  Purple Hull Peas from Smith Farms, greens, creamed corn, macaroni and cheese, and cornbread.  Mmmm Mmmm.

Lastly, I have to show off my cute little dog, Stoli.  He just got a haircut!  Happy Weekend!