Yearly Archives: 2010

Problem/Solution

I’ve had a rather contemplative sort of day. I got upset this morning about how messy our house is. I pitched a small fit, pouted heavily and did some cleaning. And then, after I read more of The Happiness Project, I realized that I need to stop being annoyed and instead take charge. So I made a list of things that take away from my happiness and how I can fix them. Granted, some of the things, I cannot fix, but most of them I can.

This is what I came up with:

Problem – my camera and equipment are always on the dining room table, adding to the mess. Solution – find a place to permanently keep the camera when I’m not using it. Maybe buy some sort of end table or shelf that I can stick in the corner.

Problem – the mail is always all over the other table. Solution – once a week, go through the mail and throw away everything that’s not needed.

Problem – the bathrooms are dirty. Solution – once a week, do a deep clean. I’ll tackle one bathroom and Jason will tackle the other.

Problem – I feel isolated from my friends and lonely on the weekends. I’m at the age where the large majority of my friends are married or in serious relationships and some have kids. I know, I am married too, but my situation is different. Most of my friends spend weekends with their significant others. In my case, I can’t spend Saturday or Sunday with Jason because he works. I have a habit of just staying at home with the dog instead. Solution – call my friends! Make an effort. First of all, they are not all coupled up and even if they are, they don’t do exclusive couple things every weekend.

Problem –

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This is my kitchen light. And it’s awful. One of the lights has burned out but it’s a weird bulb that I don’t know how to replace. The kitchen gets very limited lighting. Plus, see that cabinet in the back? It’s the only cabinet that we have! Our kitchen is pretty big and has a lot of potential. Solution – buy a new overhead light and channel my inner Young House Love to get some cabinets going on.

Problem – I feel achy and have a sore throat. Solution –

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I have a “recipes to try” folder on my computer. I perused it for a bit and came up with Magnificent Minestrone from Kath Eats. I followed her recipe to the T except I doubled the amount of broth. I like a soupy-soup. I also added a little bit of cauliflower that I had leftover in the fridge.

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All those veggies definitely made me feel better.

And this doesn’t go along with my problem/solution theme, but I wanted to show you the nice Blogger Gift Exchange gifts that I received from Kate at For the Love of Breakfast.

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She got me a nice smelling soap, some sea salt dark chocolate and a cute mug. Since I stopped drinking soda, I’ve been drinking the hell out of some hot tea so I’m very excited to bring my new mug to the office tomorrow. Thanks again Kate!

Sushi Chefs

I did something fun and different last night.

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What’s so fun and different about eating sushi, you ask? We made it ourselves! Our friends Emily and Brian invited us over to have a sushi making party.

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We had tuna, salmon and imitation crab as well as green onions, zucchini, cucumber and carrots. Brian cooked some sushi rice in his rice cooker and then put some vinegar on it and let it cool. After it cooled, we patted the rice down on some seaweed, put our fillings in and rolled it up.

We took turns making the rolls and I think they turned out great, especially considering Jason and I had never done this before. Take a look at our handiwork.

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Pretty professional looking if you ask me! I really enjoyed doing this. I find that most of my social life involves going to restaurants and it was a really nice break to actually cook in someone’s house.

In other news, In My Tummy got a bit of a makeover. Please click over if you are reading in a reader to check it out. I decided that since I’m a graphic designer by profession, there was no reason that my blog needed to be so ugly! So I switched it up a bit. I’m happy with the results. Looks much friendlier.

Third Time’s a Charm?

Even though I try to hit all my muscles when I’m lifting weights, I think that I’m pretty much clueless. So, for the third time, I took my New Rules of Lifting for Women book to the gym with me at lunch. I’ve had this book for at least a year and I’ve tried to do the program twice. There are six stages and completing the entire program takes roughly six months. In the past, I’ve never gotten past Stage 3. I’ve either simply burned out or, more likely, I started training for a race and strength training took a back seat to running. But hey, third time’s the charm, right? In order not to bore my readers to death, I’m not going to chronicle every single NRLFW workout that I do. But I will post my beginning stats and then my stats again when I finish each stage for comparison. By stats, I mean how much weight I can lift, not how much I weigh.

Today was Workout 1A which looks like this:

1. Squats – 2 sets of 15 reps – 20 lbs

2. Push-ups – 2 sets of 15 reps. I used the Smith Machine and did incline push-ups which are easier than regular. NRLFW recommends doing this instead of knee pushups.

3. Low Row – 2 sets of 15 reps, 40 lbs. I think this was a little too light.

4. Step-ups – 2 sets of 15 reps (each leg), 25 lbs

5. Prone Cobra – 2 sets of 8 reps

Since I was able to do my workout at lunch, I felt like I had enough time to make a proper dinner and finally make the Skinny Bitch Quinoa Stuffed Peppers with Tomatillo Sauce that I’d been dying to make all week.

What I didn’t realize, however, was how much of a pain in the ass this recipe was. First, you had to broil the peppers.

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Then I stuck them in a bag and let them sweat for half an hour, then peeled and seeded them.

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While the peppers are doing their thing, the tomatillos also needed to be broiled.

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Did you know that tomatillos are sticky when you peel the papery skin off?

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The next step was to make the filling. This was relatively easy, but time consuming since the quinoa had to cook first.

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And then I made the tomatillo sauce.

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I was already annoyed at this point because it was taking SOOO long to make this. I wasn’t happy when I realized that my peppers were totally flat and not easy to stuff. I’m not sure why these were cooked first. They’d be much easier to stuff and much quicker if you stuffed them before cooking. I managed to stuff them as best I could.

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Of course, they totally fell apart when I put them on a plate.

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The peppers tasted good but it honestly took me over an hour to cook them and it wasn’t worth it. I liked the filling and the sauce, so I think that if I omitted the peppers altogether, this could be an easy, weeknight recipe.

Spring Races

Even though it’s really, really cold out and the last thing that I want to do is run outside, I’ve definitely started to think about spring races. Despite this major cold snap that seems to be taking over the state, winters in Georgia aren’t usually too brutal and training for a spring race is a lot easier than training for a fall race during the summer.

First things first – races that I’ve signed up for. I’ve done a spring half-marathon every year since 2006. Charlottesville and three ING Georgias (which is now called Publix Georgia and is completely throwing me off since I used to refer to the race not as the GA Half-Marathon, but as the ING.). I’ve tossed around the idea of running a half in the DC area, where my parents live for a while now. I thought long and hard about scrapping the GA race and doing the National Half instead which is also in March, a weekend after the GA. But when it came time to register, I decided against it and went with the old standby – the GA half. A friend of mine wants to do it with me and apparently, I get some special shirt since this will be the fifth year that I’ve done it (I did the full the first year). So, yes, a shirt won me over. Not that I don’t have enough running shirts. And the GA Marathon shirts are awful. They’re shaped all wrong – like an upside down triangle if that makes any sense. Super unflattering even if you don’t have bigger hips and I’m kind of hippy. So, that was my long-winded way of saying that I’m signed up for the 5th Annual Publix Georgia Marathon on March 20th. I’m definitely thinking about doing a different half in the DC area after April though. Any suggestions?

Then there are races that I’m thinking about but haven’t signed up. The first is the Charles Harris 10K. This race starts less than a mile from my front door. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end in the same spot, which would have been nice. It’s a boring race but it’s fast and flat and a good Peachtree qualifier. Aside from the Charles Harris, my sister and I have talked about running the Tar Heel 10-miler in Chapel Hill, NC. She goes to school in Raleigh and I’ve been meaning to go visit her up there anyway.

Then there is the Peachtree which I do every year. And that’s all I have planned so far. Granted it is only December!

With running on the brain, I braved the icy roads and went to the gym for a treadmill speed workout. I did a short and sweet run. 4 x 400 with runs at 6.5mph and recovery jogs at 5.0mph. Then I did some ab stuff.

I’d planned on making something from the Skinny Bitch Cookbook for dinner, but traffic was an absolute nightmare and I didn’t get home until almost 7:30. The thought of not having dinner until nearly 9 by the time I got everything together was not appealing, so when Jason offered to pick up some Chinese take-out, I was all for it.

I grew up eating a lot of Chinese food. Through the years, I’ve learned that eating healthy at a Chinese restaurant is super easy. In fact, I’d venture to say that it’s one of the easiest cuisines to make healthy choices. I always start off with a soup.

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Most Chinese restaurants have a healthy section right on the menu. Sometimes it’s labeled “diet” and sometimes “spa” but it’s always steamed veggies with your choice of protein with sauce on the side. I chose tofu with mixed veggies.

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This is, in fact, not steamed because Jason ordered me the wrong thing, but pretend it is!

A lot of Chinese restaurants now-a-days offer brown rice. Unfortunately, the one that Jason picked up food from did not. In my opinion, white rice isn’t bad for you if you watch your portion size (same with brown, really) and is something that you can definitely have with your entree. I’m not a huge fan of rice with Chinese food for some reason, so I usually don’t eat it.

My Happiness Project

For my mom’s birthday back in June, I bought her a copy of The Happiness Project. When I was home for Thanksgiving, she lent it to me and I started it last night. I only got through a few pages, but I started to really think about it. I wouldn’t consider myself an unhappy person, but, like Gretchen Rubin, I’m not as happy as I should be. I have a pretty sweet life – a husband who loves me, a great dog, a 3 bedroom house, a pretty cool job, why don’t these things make me happier?

I came up with a list of things that I can do to enhance my life. Of course, I have put it in handy dandy bullet form.

• eat better
• work out regularly and don’t, as Jillian Michaels is fond of saying, phone it in at the gym
• limit alcohol
• keep the house cleaner

1. As I briefly mentioned in last night’s post, for the past 2.5 weeks, I’ve been really focusing on eating better. I haven’t had any diet coke and I’ve really limited the amount of processed foods that I’ve been eating. I don’t know if I have more energy. If I do, it’s a negligible amount. But, I have noticed that I’m not craving dessert after dinner as much and not craving as many sweets in general. Since I don’t eat that badly to begin with, I don’t know if making any dietary changes is going to do anything physically. But mentally, I know it will. I just feel better about myself when I eat better.

2. I’m pretty good at working out regularly. I go to the gym at least 4 times a week, if not 5 or 6. But I am guilty of not giving it my all while I am there. If I’m running, I will, but I’ve been known to half-ass an elliptical workout and not lift to exhaustion when I’m lifting weights. Yes, it’s easier, but it’s sort of like I’m wasting my time at the gym when I do that.

3. I’m a shy person for the most part. I think I started drinking because it helped me come out of my shell. And that was fun for a long time. But, it’s not so fun anymore. After a night of partying, I always get really, really upset with myself and feel horribly guilty. It’s just not worth it to feel that way. Plus, hangovers suck when you’re in your 30’s. Trust me.

4. Once a month, at a time that happens to coincide with when I might get PMS, I get really upset about the state of the house. It’s just so damn messy all the time. Jason and I are both messy people, but we need to find a way to reign it in. The messy house really does add lots of unnecessary stress to my life. It seems like an easy thing to fix. Well, maybe.

I just realized that I pretty much laid out New Years Resolutions without meaning to. If we’re on the topic of New Years Resolutions, we might as well add another one – yoga. I think that adding yoga to my fitness routine will be helpful in many ways. It makes me feel good and hopefully, it will make me a faster runner. I don’t really believe in starting resolutions on the first of January, so I started tonight. I went to a hot yoga class and enjoyed it. I really just need to keep going.

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