Friday, August 19, 2011

'Twas a Successful Friday

Indeed it was.
I slept in late. Typed up a new post. Went into town with my mom and youngest brother, Dawson. We had  few errands to run, but mainly we went here:

I kinda love Hobby Lobby. Like, love LOVE it. They have so much cute stuff. Unfortunately for me (but fortunately for our bank accounts), we don't really have a need or space for any stuff right now, since basically everything except essentials are in a storage building right now. I hope they haven't melted in there because of all this crazy heat. I remember the first time I went into HobLob after our wedding last summer and how weird it felt to not go directly to the bridal aisles to see if they had anything new (they never did, not sure why I kept trying).

But the goal of this trip was to get some silk flowers for my mom's job. She and I picked out some awesome bouquets, but Dawson was just there so he could go to the "kids' aisle". After a while he was pretty bored, so he snatched up a feather and did an interpretive dance for us.

And then he decided his feather was going in the basket.
I love that kid. He was born when I was 13, and everyone thought he was my baby. Seriously. Even the lady who checked us out at Walmart one time when he was still an itty-bitty baby asked if he was mine or my mom's. Rude.
Usually he instantly puts on the pout and hides when I take out my camera, but some days, like today, he hams it up. I need to get a close-up of his eyes- they are so beautiful. And his lashes, holy cow. Wish I had inherited those.

After Hobby Lobby I drove him and my mom to his elementary school where he was able to meet his new teacher before classes start on Monday. While they were visiting, I went to Hastings to pick up a few books I'm required to read before my classes start on the 29th.

Thankfully I've read both of these before, so I just need a refresher. I also have to read Frankenstein and there's one other, but I can't remember off the top of my head. The goal is to finish Huck Finn and get half-way done with Hamlet this weekend. The class I have to read them for is Intro to Lit Crit. I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty scared. I attempted the class my second semester in college, but quickly realized I was in wayyyy over my head. For one, I was a freshman attempting a 3000 level class that was taught with the assumption that you were familiar with a lot of apparent "classics", which I was not. I was barely 18 years old and just wasn't ready for the class, so I dropped it. Best decision ever. Now I get to take it with one of my best friends who's awesomely-smart, so hopefully it will go a little better this time.

Speaking of books, I love reading. I was the best reader in my entire elementary school, and in the 6th grade I had the most AR points in the entire junior high.  After 6th grade (and having already proven I was the best), I didn't worry about making it to the top again, but I was always in the top 5 or 10. My name is even on the little plaques in the library.

I would really love to read more these days, and I did read 2.5 books for fun this summer. But for one, books are expensive. We already have to pay ridiculous amounts for textbooks, fun books just really aren't in our budget right now. Second, I just don't have time to read for fun during the school  year. Being an English major means a lot of required reading that eats up all the time I would use to personal reading. I look forward to next summer. I see a lot of books in my future.

Later in the afternoon I went to meet with the mom of the student Will and I will be tutoring/teaching this school year. I am in charge of ELA and Will is doing Science. I'm pretty nervous about this as well; it's a fantastic opportunity for me (gives me an ease-in and trial run for teaching a class full of students), but I figured they would have picked out a curriculum. Nope. They have some books and have a general idea of what they want him to learn (needs to be ready to enter public school for 9th grade next year), but it's pretty much all up to Will and me to decide what and how he is going to be taught. Talk about pressure.
I'll be spending a lot of the weekend doing research and making a "grand plan" for the next several weeks.

This is what we have to work with....

And this evening I managed to talk myself into going on a run. I almost didn't because I kinda had the whole "you did so well yesterday, you deserve a day off" thoughts running through my mind, but I kept telling myself that's how I got to where I am today in the first place. There are no days off when you're trying to loose weight and get back into shape. Everything you put in your mouth matters. Every minute you spend moving matters.

I did take another route with no hills. It was AWESOME.

Finally had some cloud coverage that cooled off the air a little better.
It took me about 21 minutes to run the out and back, with about 10 minutes for warm up and cool down.

Look ma, no hills!
When I turned around I was running against the wind, which was great for evaporating the sweat, not so great for the the mental part of pushing against it.

I saw some rabbits, and the horses from a pasture were coming in for the night on my way back.

Sorry for the crappy iPhone pic. Those ARE horses.
A few other pictures from the day:

This is Freska, Will's baby.

After their house burned down about 2.5 years ago and they lost all three of their cats, he felt like he needed another cat. He wanted a white one. So his mom got on the SPCA website and found Freska. She is a "special needs" kitty; when we got her her back left leg was cut off at what would be our knee. We took her to the vet and he said she was fine, but it was probably a trauma wound because a vet would have cut it off at what would be our hip. Eventually we would need to have the rest of the leg removed because it could easily become infected. That time came much sooner than we expected, not more than a month or two later (around Christmas time) she started limping around like she had a Charlie Horse and the vet said it was time. So a 3 day stay at the vet and $800 later, she was perfect as can be.

Did I mention she was at the SPCA in Oklahoma City, 4 hours away from us? His aunt picked Freska up and drove her halfway and met my MIL, who brought her back. Talk about a high maintenance kitty.

Don't feel sorry for Freska though. She can run and play with the other cats just like any of the rest of them. I'll have to tell you more about her later; she is so funny.

And this is a happy/sad picture:

Happy because something in the Panhandle is still alive, despite the incredible heat and drought.

Sad because you can tell it didn't produce any corn and the farmers just let weeds take over.
It was so hard to come home for my family reunion and see all the beautiful farm land that should be covered with crops almost ready for harvesting filled with nothing. Just brown and dead. It usually doesn't look like that around here until November or December. It breaks my heart to think about all the people who have been affect by the heat and drought. Not to mention the insane wildfires we had all spring/early summer that destroyed millions of acres of land and a lot of residential houses.

What do you wish you had more time for?
If I had more free time, I would read more. If I had more time and our own house, I would definitely craft more :)
Yesterday, I went to gym after work, just like any other day. I walked into a locker room full of wet children Apparently they had just come in from the pool and they had no idea what a towel was. And they filled every bathroom stall, so I had to wait to change (no way do I change out in the open with everyone. Awk.ward.) So finally a stall gets free and I have to change while holding on the door for fear of slipping and falling into the toilet because the floor is so wet. I'm sure it would have been a comical sight.

Anyway, as I was putting on my shoes, I was trying to decide what I wanted to do: elliptical or treadmill. I decided it was time to run since the last time I was at the gym I did the elliptical. Plus, I kind of hate running outside here because my route is basically a slow descent of a hill, then a loooong, painful ascent of hell a hill. By the time I'm done with the loop, I think I could probably lay on the floor for half an hour, which sucks because in Houston two miles was our turn around point, and after that we probably ran another 1-1.5 miles with a lot of walking breaks.

So I got on a treadmill, set the incline to 1.0, plugged my headphones on to HGTV, and decided my goal was a 5k.

I got to 2 miles and had to hop off to go to the restroom, but after that I kept running. No walking breaks. Every time I wanted to stop, I asked myself "are you just bored? Can you really not give any more?" And the answer was always "no." So I ran 3.5 miles.

It was awesome.
I felt so awesome. Like, on top of the world awesome. I just wanted to text Will and Megan, but I forgot my phone so I had to wait until I got back to the car. I understand runners high, now. I want to do that again. 3.5 miles is a drop in the bucket for some people, but I haven't run that far in over a year. I realize treadmill running isn't exactly outdoor running, but that's ok with me. I set the incline up a little to help even out the differences. And right now, it's just too hot outside to run until 8:30 or 8:45, and it gets dark pretty soon afterwards. It's not a safety thing as in "I'm afraid someone will kidnap me" because our town/ neighborhood is completely safe. It's more of a safety issue because there are so many hills and winding curves that people sometimes don't slow down and may run over me with their car. And since I usually run with my music, I can't always hear the cars behind me.

The one bad thing about the run was that I decided to wear my running skirt and the shorts underneath kept riding up, making my legs chafe. It sucked. Like, I almost stopped running several times because that hurt so bad. I have the Mission Skincare Anti-Chafe cream stuff, but I forgot to bring it to the gym. Plus there's only so much some cream can do when you've got thighs that like to rub each other. So after I went home to shower I went to Target with the mission of getting some running tights.
I ended up getting what are technically yoga capris, because I don't like that the actually running tights are so thin. I feel like I "bounce" a little to much in them. Plus, the yoga capris aren't quite as form fitting and are therefore a little more flattering, which is a plus in my book. Some other goodies from the sale rack may or may not have found their way into my arms as well.

Annd in other boring news, my MIL is awesome. I really lucked out in the "in-laws" department. They are so supportive of me and treat just like one of their own kids. I got to spend the evening with my MIL yesterday, and it was so nice to just be able to talk about anything and everything. We see each other really often (because, um, I'm living with them), but those times when we actually sit down to talk are so nice.

Around 9 pm Brandy came over and we picked a recipe from Pinterest to make. I freakin' love Pinterest. I've turned everyone I know onto it. We decided to make these:

Holy Yum. I restrained myself and only ate 2. Or maybe it was 3.

Are you on Pinterest? Find any good recipes lately?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Happy Hump Day

It's Wednesday, which means tomorrow is my Friday!

Let's catch up from the weekend: Sunday morning I woke up surprising early and was browsing my Pinterest to find something yummy for breakfast. Brandy called and said she was at the grocery store, so I invited her to join me for some cinnamon roll pancakes.

                                               I got the recipe from here, originally from here.

My cinnamon filling was a lot more runny than it should have been, so it wasn't really pretty to look at, but it sure tasted awesome!

With the "icing"
They were delicious. A good alternative to regular pancakes or when you want cinnamon rolls but don't have the time.

Next up, my toe nails! I lurve the way they came out from my pedi last week, so obviously they must be shown. Sky blue with white zebra and sparkles. 

Don't make fun of my fat toes. That's one bad thing I inherited from my mom :)

Yesterday I forgot my phone at home. It was so hard to not be able to text Will throughout the day. He's in Virginia right now at a conference and will go back to Houston for next week before finally joining me at home for the semester.

I did finally make it to the gym after work with all the needed essentials: running shorts, t-shirts, sports bra, socks, tennis shoes, and headphones. I did leave my water bottle in the car, but that doesn't count ;) I did 50 minutes on the elliptical on a new program that was super hard (I had to adjust the levels several times), and then did about 30 minutes of upper-body strength. I know I'm probably in the minority of women, but I soooo prefer strength over cardio... I feel like I could lift at least twice as long as doing any kind of cardio.  Maybe I'll take a day a week where I just lift instead of trying to fit it all in.

While I was on the elliptical and watching TV I saw someone on another TV station making pizza casserole. It looked awesome, so after I was done at the gym I went to Walmart and got the ingredients: whole wheat pasta, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese for the top, and marinara sauce. I made it when I got home and after I took a shower, and you guys, it was delish. I had it for lunch and dinner today as leftovers, it was so good. I didn't use a recipe, I just estimated: 3 cups uncooked pasta, a little more than half the bottle of marinara, and about half the small container of ricotta cheese, sprinkled with mozzarella. After cooking the pasta, mix it all up and put in a 9x13 pan, bake at 350 degrees from 20 minutes, add salad, and done!
Funny thing though, I saw on Pinterest today that my SIL Megan pinned a pizza casserole! I commented that I made it last night, and from there we had a conversation about how we hate buying stuff for new recipes that will just get wasted if the recipe doesn't turn out. Here's picture of the one she pinned:

This recipe calls for about twice the amount of stuff I used, plus fancy things like oregano and onions. And meat. But I didn't need any of those things to make it just as tasty.

Annnd I came home today to find this:

Fish food. On the floor.

She was not like this when I came. So not necessarily the guilty one.
The cats must have heard me talking about how some people give their cats the shrimp fish food for treats since it's much cheaper than cat treats.

One more thing.
I grew up only eating ranch dressing on salads (not that we ever ate a lot of salads). But when I got older and started eating healthier, I quit eating it because I learned it was bad for you. So I ate salads with no dressing. (Still, not like I ate a whole lot or anything). In high school, a  friend introduced me to Italian dressing. I'm a pretty cautious/ non- adventurous eater, so it took a bit of convincing me to try it. But I liked it, so Italian dressing has been my go-to since then. Whenever I order salad at a restaurant, I get a Caesar salad with Italian dressing on the side. Yes, I got a ton of crazy looks. Then one day, I forgot to specify the "with Italian dressing on the side" part, so I got a normal Caesar salad. Holy. YUM.
So then I started getting regular Caesar salads, but I hardly ever order salad when we go out to eat, and I still did Italian dressing at home. But yesterday while I was at Walmart, this jumped in my cart:

And I want to eat a huge salad just so I can have it. Like, every couple of hours. WHY does it have to be so good?! My game plan is to actually measure out 1 or 1.5 T of it for each salad I make. The actual serving is 2 T, but I find that is general way too much for me. That way I don't have to worry about the butt-ton of calories in it. Plus, during the school year when I typically take salads for lunch this will help up the calories so it will keep me fuller longer, since I'm not putting chicken in them anymore. See, win-win.

***Side note: You guys. I just had to stop and think about how you spell "during". 'Cause in my head when I say it, I pronounce it "dueering". Oh em gee. I promise I'm not that big of a hick. ******

So that's the ridiculously long saga of how my new love is Caesar salad dressing.

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