Sunday, January 30, 2011

winter hike

Today I decided to go to my favorite shuffling park trails and check out if they were passable or not. I dusted off my hydration pack and hiking boots. I was working on a theory that some kind of path would be packed down seeing as though the nearby stable used these routes for trail rides. I know from experience that winter trail rides a great. I pulled into the parking lot and there were a couple of cars; a cycling group was meeting and some people were going cross-country skiing. I checked out the situation and noted that there was a path. I knew that my hiking boots were water resistant but I had never actually tested them in the snow. I decided that I would just go for it and if my feet got wet I would turn around. In the beginning I was having a ton of fun. My feet were dry, I was having a hard workout, and the scenery was beautiful. It was fascinating to see my favorite stream decked out for winter. The air smelled cool and crisp of winter and musky and wet from the stream. It was quiet, peaceful, and perfect. Now I'm going to be honest, about 15 minutes into my hike I began to get bored and really sick of the snow. You see, the conditions were difficult. The snow was packed and therefore kind of slick. I could not take my eyes off of the path which is why I started to get restless. I slipped and slid and had to pick my steps carefully. If I went off of the path the snow was up to my knees. I decided to keep going to my 25 minute turn around. On the way back I thought about how as little as 2 months ago I would not have been able to do this. As little as 4 months ago I could barely walk up the 2 flights of stairs to my door after work. Subsequently, I picked up my step and enjoyed my walk back. In the end, I walked for 2 miles in 47 minutes. In addition, my feet stayed completely dry so I guess my boots are more hardy than I thought. Please enjoy my amateur photography.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Winter Wonderland

You can skip the first paragraph if you so choose and go straight to my fabulous narrative of my snowy walk.

We were hit with another big storm Wednesday into Thursday which dumped over a foot of snow. Our truck seemed to be running on time which meant that I would have to arrive to work at 5am. I have 2 employees that walk to work so I knew that I would have someone to open and receive the truck with. I knew that several inches of snow were expected so I set my alarm for 2:45 am. The hardest part was shoveling out behind my car and cleaning it off. Luckily, I live in complex that is responsible for plowing our drive and they really do a great job keeping things clear. It was slightly difficult actually getting my car out. The plow had left piles of snow in the roadway while he was clearing out a lot. Fortunately, he saw me and plowed the road for me. I made it to work on time and had a long day of unloading and processing the truck. Needless to say I did not feel like going for a walk/shuffle when I returned home. I was cold and exhausted. I took LG for a walk, ate a delishous piece of baguette, and just sat and read for a while.

Then, all of the sudden, I got the urge to take to the roads. I geared up and hit the pavement. I didn't feel like being sodden with slush from passing cars so I meandered over to a beautiful neighborhood nearby. The sun was sinking lower in the sky casting dancing lights on the snow covered trees. It was absolutely lovely. Continuing on, I went past a park where a family was sledding down a huge hill. The mom was pushing the children from the top of the hill and the dad was taking pictures at the bottom. I stopped to watch them for a moment with a smile on my face remebering all of the times I have been sledding. Towards the end of my trek the low light cast an almost blueish glow on the mountains of snow. A group of giggly, screatching girls was scalling a heap of snow left from a plow. A mom and three children were making a snowman. I arrived at my door with a sigh of thankfulness of life's simple, beautiful, blessings.

Monday, January 24, 2011

adventures in cooking :)

Let me tell you a secret, I don't cook. I guess that it all started with my parents. You would be hard pressed to find better people than my parents, but we ate the same few meals day in and day out, over and over. They comprised of the following: pasta, Ragu sauce, and bread, pork chops, pizza, some kind of steak, meatloaf, hamburgers, mashed potatoes, and corn. This was the majority of what I ate. In addition, I hate meat so I ended up just sitting at the table and pushing food around my plate. As a result I was never trained to cook. To date, I have learned the most from cookbooks and James. Did you know that I never even put pepper on my food until I started cooking with James? Isn't that crazy?

Therefore part of my 21 day vegan challenge was to cook out of my comfort zone. So far I have made three dishes, two of which were a great success. I even used my food processor for the first time! I literally had to dig it out of storage.

Below are pictures from making Curried Chickpea Patties. Soooo yummy!
Food processor brought up from storage
I fought my fear of using the processor, put it together, and prepared to dive into the unknown
So far so good. At least I got the ingredients in the thing.
WOAH it's blending!!
sauteing some patties
Golden brown on one side
My plating skills leave much to be desired

The recipe makes 10 patties so I will enjoy these again tonight! Success!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

14 degree shuffle

It's cold out, very, very cold. At 14 degrees it was the coldest day I've shuffled outside so far. Last year I distinctly remember doing a 6 mile shuffle on a 16 degree day. I thought my legs were going to fall off they were so cold. Anyway, I got out all of my winter gear. This is my cold weather attire: knee high socks, knee braces, warm fleecy pants (not a fan of running tights), super tight Under Armor Cold Wear long sleeve shirt, long sleeve high neck looser fitting Nike garment, Under Armor Cold Wear hoodie, gloves, hat, and I tighten and tie my hood. Most importantly I slather my face with Bag Balm which is like Vaseline. I get my keys, shoes, gum, and tissues in place so once I layer up I can get out of the door quickly.

I was thrilled to get out all of my running gear and I even charged up my Garmin. Oh how I missed my Garmin! It was like hanging out with a beloved friend. He's so good at tracking my mileage and time.

Once I got out there I was only cold for like the first 5 minutes. I move my arms really fast and try to quickly generate some heat. The good thing is that I am just so happy to be out there I don't really care how cold it is! The surface conditions were less than ideal. We were hit with a snow storm Thursday into Friday, about 7 inches, so there was limited shoulder space for me to be on. In addition, the sidewalks were treacherously covered in a thin layer of snow and ice. I was relegated to the road for my shuffle and had to keep an eye out for cars on turns.

Overall it was a pretty fantastic shuffle. I stuck with my plan and shuffled 1 minute for every 5 minutes of walking and I did this for 40 minutes. Garmin told me I went for 2.70 miles. I think turtles are faster. I started to feel poorly at the end of my run but I think that was because I had given like 8 viles of blood to be tested this morning. Don't worry mom, the lab tech said that I could workout when I went home but that I should wait an hour and eat something, which I did.

The rest of my day will be comprised of more cleaning, laundry, and maybe a trip to the mall! Stay warm!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

NJ Housewives

Last Friday night we went out for Heather's (Bebe) birthday. James had work the next day so we arrived to the bar early. Somehow we missed the sign on the door that said they were filming an episode of NJ housewives. Upon entrance we thought things seemed weird. First of all the place was lit up with a blinding amount of lights. Obviously we saw cameras but I thought that they were interviewing the band that was going to preform later in the evening.

(Bebe and I early in the night- notice how bright the place is)

Then recognized one of the bartenders but could not quite pinpoint where we knew him from. James thought it was someone's brother that he had previously worked with and briefly spoke with him. As he was talking to him I realized that we knew this guy because we watched him on TV! DUH! James realized the same thing as he turned back to me and we couldn't stop laughing at our stupidity. We started looking around and recognized other housewives and husbands from the show. It also dawned on us that we were smack in the middle of where they were filming! Luckily a table across the bar, away from the action was vacated and we moved to safer ground. So we could be in the background of an episode of the next season of NJ Housewives. On one hand I kind of get a kick out of this. On the other hand, I'm sure we look pretty stupid standing around like dummies behind the "celebrities".

(James later in the night- haha)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

i am determined to start running!

I won't keep everyone waiting- Yes, I'm still vegan loving it!

The winter blahs have really been getting to me. Everything is cold, dreary, and boring! I started using my light box this week and I began doing my lame-o Turbo Jam dvd's but nothing was really doing it for me. Then, the other day my cousin Krystal left me a FB post about how I haven't updated my blog in a long time. This comment got me thinking (doesn't happen often!) and I realized that I'm not totally smitten by blogging and in fact don't like it when I'm not running. You see, when I spent hours upon hours a week running I was outside with nothing but my thoughts. I had plenty of time to clear my head and think about what I wanted to write. When I don't have that outlet for thinking I have nothing to write. I would just sit in front of the computer, stare at it, and ultimately log onto FB. All of this made me realize that I absolutely, positively miss and love running. I just do not feel complete without it. Some people run for health or weight loss, I ran because I truly loved it. So I decided today that I was going to start running even if it kills me. Don't worry, I'm taking baby steps. I went for a 40 minute walk, only 8 minutes of that were shuffling, I wore ACE braces on both knees, and I am icing them as we speak. Baby steps. Can I tell you, those 40 minutes were everything that I dreamed they would be! Definitely in the Top Ten things that I have done in the past few months. Sounds weird but it's true. My game plan is to keep that up for 3 days a week and slowly increase my shuffling time. My other days will be XT probably using Wii Active 2 or Turbo Jam. So that's it! All your prayers for a successful entrance back into the running world are greatly appreciated!

A quickie vegan update:
I have been having a great time being vegan! I dropped the 5 pounds I gained over the holidays with no trouble at all. The weight just fell off. Plus, my skin looks great! I have cooked a few things and they actually tasted good. Will I be a vegan forever? No. I will continue through January though and most likely continue to eat like this most of the time. We will just have to wait and see!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

mac again!

He is seriously cooking mac and cheese again! It smells so good. He hasn't even started eating and I already know that their will be leftovers. This is rough! But I digress...

It's only day 3 so I obviously haven't seen any remarkable results. I did sleep pretty well last night, only woke up once, and fell back asleep which was nice. It may sound weird but I am having a hard time eating lunch. In the past I have had a shake or fruit for lunch. Since my overall calorie count is low and food craving high I have been making it a point to eat lunch. I enjoy my veggie sandwich, it is actually amazingly yummy, but I just do not want to work after I eat lunch. I have always had this problem and in the long run I know getting in a habit of eating lunch will be good for me.

Another good thing I have been doing is having veggies or something around to eat when I get home. I made a quinoa salad when I came home with plenty of leftovers so I can have some for a snack for the next couple of days. It came from a recipe for couscous salad that I modified and could not follow so it's just quinoa, veggies, and Bragg's liquid aminos (I'll write more about this later) *I have to interrupt here because James is yelling from the kitchen about how amazing the stupid mac is* I think I am going to do some dishes whomp whomp

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

21 day Vegan diet

Those of you that know me or have read my blog know that I am almost always following one fad or another. This usually only lasts for a few weeks, maybe a month. Therefore, instead of fighting my natural instincts I have decided to follow a 21 day Vegan diet. While I was googling nonsense I stumbled upon this website It seemed really cool so I signed up for the newsletter and started the diet yesterday. Why start on a Tuesday? Well, I had leftover cheese, dairy, and pizza from my binge over the weekend. Let's just say that giving up cheese and things with dairy (ie chocolate), even for a short time, is going to be quite a challenges. For example, yesterday James made a big pot of mac and cheese and of course could not finish it. He then continued to beg me to eat the rest. AHHHHH! It was only the first day and already I was going crazy. But, I stayed strong and did not eat even one bite of that cheesy goodness. Hopefully it will all pay off and I will see measurable changes in my health!

this is the embarrassing part-LBS: 118.4

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Collin Asher Little

Collin getting his hair combed

Welsh Wedding Rehearsal Dinner

Welsh Wedding

Our best friends Ken and Monica were married! James was the Best Man and I was a bridesmaid. Ken and Monica looked fabulous and the wedding was amazing. It was a very special day and were so happy to be a part of this joyous occasion.
Going to the chapel

Carolyn had to feed Monica so her dress and make-up would not get ruined. Note the napkins covering the front of her dress.

Giants Game
Mary's parents have Giants season passes and were unfortunately unable to attend this game. Mary was very generous to invite us. James is a huge Giants fan and after many years I have finally come to enjoy watching football as well. Going to a game is one of our favorite things and the Mclaughlin seats are Amazing! They are a few rows from the end zone which makes things really exciting. Although the Giants played pretty poorly and lost the game the four of us had a great time.