Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Midway Touchpoint

Where has the year gone?!  Wow, I can't believe it's July already.  Those adults really aren't lying to you when they say that years go faster the older you get.  No fun.

Time to check in on how the good ol' New Years Resolutions are going eh?

Here's what I had planned:
-Maybe run that half marathon? Eh. I wouldn't bet on it. At least do 4 runs.
-Maintain weight loss and maybe get in even better shape.
-Continue home improvements.

And here's where I stand:
- Maybe run a half marathon.  - Uh yeah.  That didn't exactly work out.  I thought I'd be more upset about it than I am too, so I guess I'm happy where I stand with running.
- At least do 4 runs. - 3 down, one to go!  Shouldn't be a problem.
-Maintain weight loss and maybe get in even better shape -  This one is sketchy. Have I maintained my weightloss? Sort of. Ok, not really. A little bit.  Honestly, I've gained back about 5-7 pounds since the fitness challenge (lost 15). While upsetting, I still feel like I'm in really good shape!  Right now I'm working on tweaking my fitness routine to keep the cardio up and take the weights down just a smidge. I feel like I was lifting to heavy of weights. I think I'm going to focus more on pilates and yoga types of resistance training. I'll still lift weights, yes, but maybe not as heavy. We'll see how it works. I also need to stop eating sugar. It's still my biggest weakness.
-Continue home improvements - Random.  I guess we are doing that? We did quite a bit of work out in the yard and I'm very slowly working on "decorating" the inside of our house. We had planned on having a patio by now, but we grossly underestimated the cost of concrete. Outrageous. I still hope to have one by the end of the year though. :::nudgezachnudge:::
-TBD - I like how I kept things open! ha!  Always room for more resolutions! 

This is what else I want to do: (all of the above PLUS...)
- Focus on saving money, not spending it.
- Go on more dates with Zach. Doing whatever.
- Take more pictures that aren't of my dogs (but still a few of my dogs, ok).
- Take Hot Yoga
- Enjoy Christmas. People, you have no idea how much my job makes one hate Christmas. I work on Christmas stuff every. single. day. If I see one more snowman, poinsettia, candy cane or santa, I might shoot someone. However, this also makes me really sad. I used to LOVE Christmas, LOVE it.  I want to get back to that. I We had a shitastic Christmas last year so I really, really, really want to have a good one this year.  We'll see how it goes.

So there we have it. Pretty attainable. Here's to a great second half of the year!  How are YOU doing on YOUR resolutions!?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Love it List Wednesday Edition!

Ah yes, another installment of the love it list.  I've been kind of boring on the blog lately. Hopefully this holds you over till I can think of something more interesting to say. 

Laughing Cow Light Cheese Wedges

I love cheese. Love it.  A lot. Ever since I got on the diet train I've been on the constant lookout for a good cheese substitute. Fat free cheese tastes like rubber, 2% is okkkk but mostly I just like regular ol' cheese!  So, I was thrilled when I discovered laughing cow cheese wedges! Each wedge packs a measly 35 calories and it actually tastes really good! I mostly use them on sandwiches as a spread, but also use them on tortillas which I then eat with a few slices of turkey. YUM!  I've also chopped up some and sprinkled it on salads. It makes dieting so much easier!

VV Brown - "Shark in the Water"

Oh man, I love this song.  I got satellite radio when I got my new car last year and have since expanded my musical tastes (even though Zach would totally disagree). This song came on one day and I was hooked! I downloaded it right before the Hospital Hill Run and it came on my Shuffle right as I was about to head up the first big hill.  It has a great steady rhythm and it was perfect for getting up that hill.  Ever since then it's been my favorite workout song.  Check it out!

 Kong Wubba
Another Ted-Approved dog toy.  This has currently taken over as "favorite toy" for now. Whenever we come home from being gone Ted always greets us with a toy in his mouth.  He will carry said toy for at least 15-20 minutes after we get home and just prances around the house with it. Right now that toy is the beloved Kong Wubba.  It has a hard Kong like middle and a heavy canvas covering and straps. Perfect for slinging across the room at a moments notice. Fun! He goes into full on prancing mode whenever we say "You gots your Wuuuuuubaaaaa!?!?"  We are losers.  But, whatever. This toy rocks.

So You Think You Can Dance
Yay! Summer means a new installment of So You Think You Can Dance!  In a former lifetime, I was totally a dancer. Totally.  I have always been obsessed with any sort of dancing show or competition. Heck, I still watch any and all college dance competitions whenever I catch them on ESPN! This year So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD for us fans) has changed the format and has invited "all stars" back to pair up with the contestants. Kind of like that OTHER dancing show.  I'm not sure I like the format, but whatever, I'm still watching. Bring on the booty shaking!

That is all.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Candy Bars

I was told to bring some bar cookies to my moms party last weekend. Instead of just finding a recipe that I'd made before, I set out to find a new one!  I knew that I'd be able to find something for sure over at Sugar Plum's blog. She's super cute and from Missouri too! These imediately caught my attention. I love candy! I love chocolate! I love bar cookies! These were it!

Too bad these took me 3.5 trips to the store because I kept forgetting ingredients. Note to self: do not buy mass amounts of candy bars at the gas station. Wow! Expensive.

Here's the recipe from Sugar Plums blog.

Candy Compost Bars
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus an additional 1/2 teaspoon
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened, plus 2 tablespoons
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips, melted, plus an additional 1/4 cup, melted
1/2 cup finely chopped peanuts
1/2 cup finely chopped mini candy bars (such as Snickers)
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup corn syrup
2/3 cup peanut butter chips
4 cups popped popcorn
1/2 cup finely chopped mini candy bars (such as Twix)
1/2 cup M&M's

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter bottom and sides of a 13x9-inch baking dish and line with foil; butter foil.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt; whisk in oats until combined.  In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together 1/2 cup butter and sugar until creamy, about 1 minute.  Beat in egg and vanilla until combined.  Beat in 3/4 cup melted chocolate until combined.  Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually beat in flour mixture until combined; beat in peanuts and candy bar until combined.  Dump the batter into the prepared dish and flatten evenly into one layer.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until set and golden brown around edges.

To make the popcorn layer, melt the additional 2 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; stir in peanut butter, corn syrup, and additional 1/2 teaspoon salt, and bring mixture to a simmer.  Remove pan from heat and stir in peanut butter chips until melted; stir in popcorn until well combined, followed by chopped candy bar.  Spread and pack popcorn over chocolate cookie layer.

Pipe or drizzle remaining melted chocolate on top of bars, then sprinkle and press M&M's into the surface.  Cool completely before slicing into bars.

Now, I "finely chopped" the candy bars in my food processor. That probably wasn't the best idea because it completely demolished the candy bars and I would have preferred some larger chunks.  Overall I think the bars were really good! I'd almost rather have marshmallows instead of the popcorn, but ah well.I'm pretty sure they were a hit at the party, but really, nothing can compete with my mom's Italian cookies.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hospital Hill Run 2010 - 10K

Saturday was the Hospital Hill Run 10K. This was my third year doing the run and as you know, I had been planning on doing the Half Marathon. However, a few weeks ago I decided that it probably wasn't the best idea. At packet pickup I nearly got suckerd back into doing the half by someone I didn't even know and someone who wasn't even running! They nearly talked me right into being completely insane! THANK GOODNESS I didn't listen to them.

I can describe this race in one word. Humid. Ok two, HOT and HUMID. Me oh my, it was tough race! Its still my favorite though. It's just such a challenge and such an accomplishment to finish, no matter the distance! My goal was to finish at or under my time from last year. As you'll see below I missed it by 2 minutes, but I'm ok with that. I was not used to running in that sort of heat. We've been lucky and have had a really nice spring this year, so I was totally not ready for that heat and humidity! Oh, and the hills.

I met up with my brother's girlfriend, Sheena and friend Ashley before the race. It was nice having someone to talk to before hand and line up with. I usually go solo. The race started off a little frustrating for me. This year they had both the 5K and 10K start at the same time. If I remember correctly they had different start times the past two years. I made the mistake of lining up near the back of the pack because I got in the gate a little late. It was SO crowded! So, for the first mile (which should have been a really fast downhill) I had to fight my way around a bazillion walkers and super slow runners. Note to walkers/slow runners: LINE UP AT THE BACK, YOU JERKS!!! Sorry, it was really, really frustrating. But, like I said, partially my fault. So, the first mile was probably a little slower than I would have liked. All the miles kind of blend together after that point. It was just so stinking hot. I remember constantly having to tell myself to just keep moving, don't stop. I feel like I walked darn near half the race. Every hill, I walked. It was just so hard to breathe. I was frustrated, but tried not to get down on myself and not look at my watch too much. Much to my surprise mile 5 came and went and I was pretty close to my goal time! I was so shocked! Looks like all my speed work paid off and even with the extra walking, I still made pretty good running time! I knew I wouldn't beat last year, but at least I was going to come close! I saw my brother right before the finish line, which was fun! I usually push myself super hard to cross the finish fast, but I just didn't have it in me this time. I just ran normally. I'm glad I did, I totally would have passed out after stopping had I gone all out.

Afterwards I met up with my brother, Sheena and Ashley and hung out for a bit. I've never really stayed after a race either. I always just go. The past two years I've had to practically run off to make it to puppy school in time. Ah, the joys of a summer with out having a puppy! It was fun seeing all the people! Everyone looked pretty much as glad it was over as I did. We were going to get the free beer and food, but the lines were too long. So I headed home and got some Sonic breakfast instead. Note to self: Sonic after running = no bueno. Blech.

The rest of the day I tried to rest and tried to eat, but I was just so flipping hot and felt so bad. So, I hardly ate anything. Then I went to my mom's party. And had a little too much fun. But it was my mom's party and my birthday weekend, so it was all good! Yay!

Here are the stats:
Distance: 10K (6.2 miles)
Overall: 830/1528
Female: 393/918
Division: 86/180

What's next?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Creamy Chicken Burritos

 I love me a good burrito! Yum, yum!  There are a zillion ways out there to make a chicken burrito and I think everyone has their own style. I know my mom has a couple varieties and my brother apparently has a famous recipe (that I haven't been privileged enough to try yet) and I have mine. I've adapted this recipe from various burritos I've tried so I like to call it my own.  Most of the measurements are just "thrown in", so there's no exact science here.  

Creamy Chicken Burritos

1.5 lbs or 3-4 big chicken breasts (I didn't have enough chicken this time and I used two huge breasts, so my burritos were a little heavy on the "creamy" side of things.)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 small carton of sour cream
1 can rotel
dash of cayane pepper
dash of chipolte spices
dash of cilantro
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (aprox)
Package of 10 flour tortillas
1 can refried beans (I love the spicy chipolte ones)
1 can green enchilada sauce

Cook the chicken (I like to grill mine) and then shred with a fork and place in a large bowl. Mix in cream of chicken soup, sour cream, rotel, spices and about half the cheese. Grease a 13x9 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Take one flour tortilla and spread a nice spoonful of the refried beans on it.  Then spoon a decent portion of chicken mixture on top. Roll like a burrito and place in the baking dish. Repeat.  I usually can squeeze about 8 burritos in a pan, depending on how big they are.  Use a smaller baking dish for the others or simply assemble and then freeze (first time I did this, haven't tried the frozen ones, so do this at your own risk!)  After all the burritos are in the pan pour the can of enchilada sauce over the top and then sprinkle with some more cheese to taste. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake some more until cheese starts browning, around 5 minutes.

I will warn you. The leftovers get a little bit soggy. However it doesn't bother me! I am weird.

*Note: If you use reduced fat cream of chicken soup, sour cream and cheese plus fat free beans, you have yourself quite the healthy meal here!  Bonus!

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Greenwood, Missouri, United States