Thursday, July 12, 2012

37 Minutes

I finished the 5K just under 37 minutes. Not the most impressive time, obviously, but I met my goal of running 2/3rds of the race. I also met my cousin's goal of finishing under 45 minutes. She came in about 3 minutes ahead of me. She'd been working out for 15 weeks and I'd been training for 5, so I don't feel too shabby about my results. We've already chosen our next 5K, the Color Me Rad run. It's September 8th, so I've got 8 weeks before this one. I'm still having trouble with my shins. I'm going to start adding some strengthening exercises to my routine. I'll alternate run/strength days. Right now my current plan is to do this "rear" routine, followed by something like this arm routine, then my 20 minute Pilates workout, followed by another go at the arm and butt workouts.

The rest of our trip up north was filled with family visits, dinners, picnics, and one late night at the local bar on Main Street.

Today I finally got a peek at the volunteer work I'll be doing at the National Archives starting next week. In just a cursory examination of the information I'll be indexing we stumbled across the story of a free colored woman buying her sister and then petitioning for her freedom in the Provisional Court of New Orleans. Very exciting stuff! It won't be all that as intriguing, but there's bound to be more gems among the typical court cases.

Josh unfortunately didn't get that job I mentioned in my last post. I guess it was indeed too good to be true. But he's got some good job listings to look into and another freelance project came his way last week, so things aren't looking too bad.

Friday, June 29, 2012


I can't believe how awesome I am at this blogging thing. Months between posts, it's like a I'm a total savant.

Anyway. Schools been out for awhile and I've been picking up some more hours at the furniture store doing non-internet things like learning how to process purchase orders, etc. This week the first of my photography went up on the blog.

I've been to our new Trader Joe's twice, and plan to make regular trips from here on out. Although I'm thinking I might limit myself to one or two a month, just to stock up on the things we really love. The prices are great, but there is so much to try!

And, finally revealing the reason for the title of this post, I've been training for a 5K. My family up in Iowa is doing a 5K challenge as a memorial and fundraiser for my cousin who was killed in action in Afghanistan last August. I've never done anything like this before, but I felt like it was important to participate. I've been getting up about dawn most days of the week to train. I found this plan on Pinterest and used it as a starting point. I've definitely had to make some adjustments to it, due to limited time (I decided I was going to do this just 5 weeks before the race) and my poor physical state. Sure, I've got a black toenail, shin splints, am wearing knee supports, and typically feel like I can take two or three naps a day, but I've made a lot of progress for starting at zero. And by zero, I mean I spent almost every night curled up on the couch watching "Murder, She Wrote" on Netflix. Today I ran 2.25 miles in 30 minutes. My workout totaled just under 5 miles. Tomorrow marks one week until the 5K and I'm feeling good. Aside from the aforementioned runner maladies. My cousin Angie is going to run the 5K with me, and some of my other family members are going to walk it, hopefully including my mom. Angie, my mom, and I are going to road trip it up to Iowa for everything, so we're excited about our summer adventure.

So, think good thoughts for me and my tired feet next week. And if you have some goodness to spare, send some of it to my Joshy, who should be hearing back about a job opening soon. It sounds too good to be true, so we're just hoping that isn't the case!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Now that I'm out of school and going in to work in the morning I'm trying to be better about what I'm eating. I used to bring a salad to work for lunch every day. That idea was much less appetizing when I started school and had to carry the salad around in my back pack until noon. But my pants are pretty tight these days, so I decided it was time to try and pay attention to what I'm eating again. This week has really been the first and the biggest weapon in my arsenal seems to be fruit. Breakfast this week has included oatmeal, greek yogurt, bananas, and a variety of berries. I made a fruit salad of kiwi, pineapple, and mandarin oranges that I keep in the fridge and snack on in the afternoon. I'm also loving pretzel crisps and red pepper hummus together at lunch. I also brought some zucchini sticks to go along with that. And I made a salsa-type bean salad that I had with tortilla chips for lunch Monday and Tuesday. Dinner hasn't been as tip-top, but it could be worse. Monday we had shrimp tacos with Mexican rice. I also made cookies that night, but as cookies go they weren't too bad since the recipe included some whole wheat flour, mashed banana, and oats. Last night we had whole grain linguine w/ alfredo sauce, peas, and roasted broccoli. I've greatly reduced the amount of coffee I'm drinking, having cut back to only a cup on weekend mornings, and I'm now brewing sun tea with one of my favorite varieties of green tea. We'll see how long I'm really able to stick with this. I'd like to do a weekend juice/smoothie cleanse at some point too. Now if I could just find the energy and willpower to add exercise back into my life, I might actually get somewhere with all of this.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Outside, In the Shade

I spent, oh I'd say, 90% of this past Saturday on a patio of some sort. And it was wonderful. I'm determined that I'm going to have a summer this year. It doesn't have to be fancy, it just needs to be fun. And frugal. Saturday I had my morning coffee on the lounger on the deck while flipping through the latest issue of Traditional Home.

After a lazy afternoon of painting my toenails and such, Josh picked me up and we met the Calhoun boys up at The Boiled Owl, where I spent several hours sipping several beers with our musical pals. Holly eventually met up with us over there too.

We abandoned our patio roost when it was time to check out the new Live Oak Music Hall & Lounge, where Calhoun was playing the soft opening. Free beer and a free show = two thumbs up.

We quickly made our way back outdoors afterward, when we headed over to Shaw's for burgers on their patio. Service was poor, food was very slow in coming, and I had to sort several things out with the bill, but the pleasant company made it tolerable for all of us.

To cap the evening off we went back to our friends' house for more beers on their beautiful back patio. There was lots of laughing late into the night. We finally packed up and headed home, happy to crash into our comfy bed.

If I can keep this up it will be a lovely summer indeed.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Copy Cat Savings

Let's play catch up, shall we?

Survived Spring semester with my 4.0 intact
Joined the Student Government Association
Became an aunt again, second nephew due in November!
Chosen for an inaugural peer leadership program on campus
Husband laid off at the end of April
Really need a vacation

That about covers it, I think. In between all that stuff I ate some food, read some books, watched some movies.

Can't really do a lot of shopping, what the the husband not currently being employed, but I did have a couple of gift cards stowed away in my purse that I put to good use yesterday. I've been eying this $70 bedding from West Elm for some time now.

This weekend I spotted this bedding from Target in the Weekly ad for a measly $25.

And while I was picking up the bedding, alright, and some nail polish, I saw these cute sandals for $14.99. I decided to think it over.
Thinking it over included Googling for pics to show some gal pals on twitter. Which lead me to discover that they're a decent copy of these Dolce Vita sandals that are, ironically, $70.

And I just so happen to have about $18 left on those stow away gift cards. Me thinks I'll be stopping by Target on the way home tonight. :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Recent Addition

No, no babies or new pets in our household, but there is a small bundle of joy making us smile in the living room. I haven't blogged in ages (that is to say I haven't blogged for ME in ages, since I'm most definitely still working over at Simple Things), but I had to pop in to share our new addition. We moved the law office to a smaller space as we distribute client files and start shutting things down, so there was a LOT of purging going on. One thing we definitely didn't need anymore were the ancient client information cards stored in small card catalog drawers. When we emptied them and stacked them on the floor, inspiration struck and I knew I needed to take them home with me rather then chuck them in the Goodwill pile. Yesterday I finally found the time to arrange them just so and now we have a nice, new, old side table. I'm over the moon with how well they tie in to the gray wall color, and how they even out the height difference between our IKEA chair and shell rocker, unifying that side of the room. Now all it needs is a terrarium. Right?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Birthday Weekend

Tomorrow is my birthday and I'm hoping to have a lovely day. Josh asked me what I wanted to do and I replied that I'd like to go to my favorite museum, the Amon Carter, and have a game night with my family. So, that's what is on our agenda. There are two photography exhibits at the Amon Carter I want to see- one focusing on landscapes and the other on work. I've picked up all my favorite snack foods for game night and Mom is going to make some German chocolate cupcakes for me. I don't know if I'll do it on my actual birthday, but I'm also hoping to use some gift cards to pick up a few items I've been eyeing. There are some nude flats at Payless that I want, and a scarf at Old Navy that's piqued my interest. I'm also planning on getting a new necklace, to replace a duplicate Christmas gift that was returned. And Josh's mom got me one of the necklaces I asked for at Christmas, but didn't receive. It's shaping up to be a stylish birthday this year!

Skeet McAuley (b. 1951)
Navajo Housing Project, Chinle, Arizona, 1984
, 1984
Dye destruction print
Courtesy of the artist and Barry Whistler Gallery, Dallas
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Gift of M. Lee Hutchins

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Favorite Snack

I have very little time to refuel during my school day. I start on one side of the campus, run to the opposite, and then run back to where I started. Luckily my Spanish teacher doesn't yell at me for shoving a few snacks in my mouth during class. One of my new favorite snacks to take in my bag is grape tomatoes and Kashi Original Seven Grain crackers. I just toss a handful of tomatoes and handful of crackers into a container and then pop them in my mouth when my teacher is asking someone else to habla espanol. :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sarah Lawrence Siren Song

When I was in high school my dream was to go to college at Sarah Lawrence in New York. I had an old, wrinkled pamphlet that I'd found amongst a crate full of college brochures and catalogs in a summer school classroom. Eventually, I realized that this dream wasn't going to come true. Depression continually derailed me from my educational track, and the public school system did what it could to help it. I became apathetic, at best, and resentful, at worst towards the idea of any type of formal education. Clearly since I didn't start my college adventure until the age of 29, that mindset lasted for quite a while. I don't even know what happened to that old brochure.

Last semester I was able to join our campus's chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, which is a two-year college honor society. Now I occasionally get e-mails and mailings from colleges looking to recruit PTK members. Imagine my surprise when this weekend I got a packet in the mail from Sarah Lawrence College. After getting the mail I climbed back into bed, and started thumbing my way through it. At first I was thrilled to receive it, even though it was just a bulk mailing. By the time I'd turned the last page, I was a bit depressed. A little sad to think about what I might have missed out on all those year ago.

Yesterday I got an e-mail inviting me to Sarah Lawrence's Transfer Days coming up in February. I'm starting to feel like my old dreams are just flat out haunting me now. The cost of attending this school is astronomical in comparison to my plans at UNT. And they don't have the same degree plan that I've been planning on. And I'd have to move to New York. And when I bemoan feeling stalked by things I can't have, Josh suggest that I can have whatever I want. But that ship has sailed, in all logical and realistic ways.

It's only $60 to apply.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Weekend Bits

This weekend I took things fairly easy. Who am I kidding, I take most weekends easy. Sleeping in is always featured heavily, as is plenty of couch time. But I did manage to get 30 minutes of driving practice in on Saturday, and without crying- bonus. I also reorganized the kitchen pantry, and as a result the spice cupboard got a little tidying up as well. Falling under the "Use What I Have" resolution category I made good use of spare containers I had in the kitchen for my pantry reorganization. I had two large plastic containers that I had bought ages ago for freezing leftovers, but had decided I didn't like very much and since then had only occasionally used. I transferred my powdered and granulated sugar into each of them which makes for much better storage than the bags I had them in, and is much easier to stack and keep track of on the shelf. I also got rid of some old cake flour that I never seemed to finish using, and I'll use that jar to hold my corn meal now. I dumped out some old flavoring extracts, slowly peeled the labels from them and had Josh wash the little bottles up. I'm looking forward to trying my hand at making my own vanilla, or maybe a small amount of flavored oil. Whatever I make, I'm sure I can find a cute use for them. And of course, now that everything is much more organized I can actually SEE what I have, making it much easier to USE it.

That was the most productive part of my weekend. Sunday I caught a $5 matinee of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy with my pal Holly. It was an excellent mystery; they gave nothing away until the very end. I'm hoping I can go see it again with Josh, or maybe my mom. After an afternoon of grocery shopping my cousin Angie came over and I made a quick version of Shepherd's Pie and some Pumpkin Bread Pudding for our little Downton Abbey premiere viewing party. We had such a good time she's going to come back next Sunday to watch the next episode again. I can't wait!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Twenty Twelve

I didn't put much too much thought into resolutions for the new year. Really I just jotted down a few things that I'd like to work on. Things that were already on my mind, and I had already been starting on. So, here are the things I'd like to accomplish in 2012:

.Drink 40 ounces of water a day: The number sounds a little random, but I have a 40 ounce plastic bottle that I take water to school in. I've been having headaches and breakouts lately, and I think dehydration might be a key part of the problem. One bottle a day is the goal.
.Drive: With the changes in jobs and school I need to work harder on getting my license. I signed up for an online Driver Ed course which I'm almost halfway through; passing the test for it will exempt me from the written test at the DMV. And today I spent about 30 minutes practicing my driving with Josh. Sure, I am so tense during it that my whole body aches now, and I might have had a small cry when I got home, but I guess stuff like that is normal when you're trying to conquer one of your worst fears.
.Be more involved on campus: With the changes in work I'm hoping I'll have some more time available to be more active on my campus. I have enjoyed working for DSS so far, and hope to be able to go to more Historical Society and Phi Theta Kappa events this semester. The vice-president of our campus told my TX Government professor that he thought I was one of the strongest students on the campus, and I'd like to do what I can to earn the high opinion he's bestowed upon me.
.Use what I have: I have so many things that I don't use when I could, and yet I'm always looking for something new. So, one of my goals this year is to use what I have. I mean that in reference to many things- from getting creative with the wardrobe I already have, to cooking through my freezer and pantry instead of constantly stocking it. Last night Josh and I pulled out the Beatles Rock Band instruments to enjoy something we already have. Today I finally cooked a chuck roast I've had in the freezer for quite some time. We had delicious shredded beef tacos and there's another dinner's worth in the freezer for the busy school nights ahead. I want to make use of the resources I have at hand, not constantly look for new resources.
.Read 20 books: This goes hand in hand with the last resolution actually. I have easily 20 books around the house that I've bought or received, but haven't read yet. I honestly don't know how attainable this goal will be on top of school, but there's no reason I can't try.

via pinterest