Not for the faint of heart

Friday, February 27, 2009,166,141184-243196,00.html

Un. Be. Lieve. Able. Well worth the consequences of eating cake every day since Tuesday. *drool*

I am in the mood for a countdown.

2 days until the Golden Girls marathon on the Hallmark Channel

3 days until I leave for Charleston (where it's supposed to be snowing when I arrive. Grrrr.)

3 days until I know whether my proposal got accepted for the Nashville conference.

10 days until I have a paper and an exam.

14 days until the last class day before spring break

19 days until we leave for our Tawakoni camping trip

2 months until Nashville, if it happens.

2.5 months until finals.

3 months until our Colorado trip, if it pans out.

And finally, 10 months until I graduate. Did you forget I was in school for a reason??? I know I do...

Will probably post again before I leave. Have a great weekend everyone!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Yesterday since I was at school all day, I did 30 minutes on the elliptical. This time, I did a program instead of just going at one level the whole time. It was tough! We had to study for an exam, so we didn't do anything other than the elliptical. But still, check us out! Not skipping a workout just because we had a test. Woot.

Today I was feeling a little overwhelmed by my to-do list when I got home, but I still pulled it together to do the 30-day shred. Pushups are getting easier every time, and today, lunges were easier. I couldn't believe it because that's been the hardest part so far. I was going down pretty low on the forward lunges but still not as low as possible on the side lunges. But it's not that the workout is getting easier, it's just that I can work harder. Today I felt like I got the best workout so far because I was able to put more into it. I'm bringing the DVD to Jessica tomorrow since I have that conference all weekend, so hopefully she'll be able to burn it and I'll have a 30-day shred buddy. I feel good. I probably shouldn't weigh myself anymore because it's discouraging - I'm building muscle, losing gut, wearing my "skinny" jeans, but sitting right at 155. UGH.

I am pretty excited about the conference. I won't be doing that great on my diet, but I get fed all weekend. No cooking, no buying groceries. Tomorrow we'll probably have fajitas and BBQ - they do Texas food since a lot of people come in from out of state. Breakfast Saturday and Sunday are ridiculous - eggs, bacon, sausage, fresh fruits, pastries, pretty much everything you can think of except an omelet bar. Then, Saturday night, another nice dinner, this time it's banquet style with full service. I love being waited on. Last year's speakers were great, so I don't have high expectations for this year because no way it will be as good. In fact, if they are HALF as good, I'll be super impressed.

I am not excited about how unprepared I am for my presentation. Oh well, I'm going to make some notecards and flip through them all weekend. My presentation is the last one in the afternoon, so probably no one will be there. But I have to be prepared because I invited both my mentors and have no idea if they are coming. They are the ones I have to worry about.

So anyway, I should be out of pocket this weekend, but I hope it's good for everyone.

Another day

Monday, February 16, 2009

Today was my 3rd day on the 30 day shred. Technically, I started Thursday, then again yesterday since I visited my grandma this weekend. But anyway. It is so fast! Seriously, anyone can do it.

It was harder today in some ways. I noticed I could do more pushups. Modified pushups, mind you (you know, from the knee instead of the toe), but I got a lot more done today than yesterday. Had a hard time with all the lunges, though. My legs are jelly. They have been sore, especially my calves. The first day, it was all these weird muscles around my knee I didn't know I had and couldn't figure out how to stretch. At least I know how to stretch a calf muscle.

(Edit 1 hour later: my calves hurt BAD. OMG. Edit Tuesday morning: I spent every spare moment last night stretching my poor legs, and they feel better today. A little stiff but no pain)

I made my own peanut butter today. 2 cups unsalted roasted peanuts, 1 tbsp peanut oil, and 1/4 tsp salt (or to taste, or use salted peanuts) all in the food processor for 2-3 minutes. It's yummy.

I got done with a lot of my list today. The big items are still there, but the small ones are done. Life will be easier with that nitpicky stuff out of the way. Tonight we are having whole wheat spaghetti. Yummo.

Have a good night!

Working the system

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Twice this semester (that's going into its 4th week this week), I have gotten 2 bottles of water out of a particular vending machine even though I only paid for one. The first time, it wasn't a big deal. I figured I might have accidentally hit the button twice. They take debit/credit cards, so it would be pretty easily for me to hit the button more than once and they just charge me $2.50. But since it happened again this week, I decided to check my account, and nope, I only paid $1.25. Cool huh?

I made a to-do list for tomorrow. I have mucho going on. But tomorrow is just one day, and here is what I need to accomplish - it doesn't look nearly as intimidating on paper as it feels in my head, so it helps to write it down:

Wake up 5:30, get dressed, have coffee and oatmeal, head to school (Monday morning edit: sleep til 6 since the coffee won't come on til 5:30, realize it's cold, so have coffee and oatmeal in bed til 7, then get ready. Hey, I aim high so I don't end up behind.)
Work on AmHighEd paper
Finish McNair conference powerpoint
Print 3640 and 4610 notes
Work on 3640 study guide
Work on 4610 study guide
Price GPS units for grant
Turn in timesheet
Meet with Twila
Meet Shaneka after 5pm to workout
Help cook spaghetti, eat, and study

Also, I need to go shoe shopping this week. I am still on my neverending quest for black dress shoes that don't hurt my feet. I want to get some before Friday, which is when the McNair conference starts. I am really looking forward to it - last year's was so nice, a lot of work, but a great conference.

I need to remember my favorite advice I was given last year. Put out the hottest fire first. The hottest fires are those exams on Wednesday. But still, I have been sitting around stressing over that stupid AmHighEd paper. In reality, I need to tackle those tests first, then I won't feel like crying because I am working on a paper when I need to study for tests. Same goes with McNair. AmHighEd is a bigger deal, but it's not due til AFTER McNair stuff. So I need to reorder my priorities if I am going to get anything done. Hottest fires first. It works.

My weekend

Friday after class, I headed to my Grandma's house for a visit. This seemed to be the last weekend that would really work out because I have a lot coming up. We had a great visit. We went to Bealls, then Wal-Mart later. I met that guy that's been trying to get with her for a couple years Buzz. He is fishy...he was nice enough and I'm glad he comes to visit her, but no means no, and he needs to quit trying to get her to live with him or marry him. He wants to meet family members so we can try to convince her that he is OK. I think it's rude for him to keep trying to chip away at her resolve.

I came home, took a shower, and waited a few minutes on Tom. He brought me red roses and a card. I did more than usual since he bought me that awesome camera a couple weeks ago. He got a book about physics (I would explain more if I understood...but it is over my head), John McCain's "Faith of my Fathers", the book about his time as a POW, and the Xbox 360 game Left4Dead, with zombies. I don't like zombies, but I knew he really wanted that game, so I got it. My grandma got him funny boxers - one with Homer Simpson and with Batman. LOL! He loved them. I guess she is officially his grandma now that she bought him underwear. She seems to really like Tom (everyone does) and I am really grateful that he gets along well with my favorite family members.

We went to Alfornos in Flower Mound and it was pretty good. We had a bottle of chianti, crab cakes for an appetizer, and a salad. I got the osso bucco, and still have a lot of leftovers for lunch. I can't wait. It was a veal shank, basically like a roasted veal butt, really tender, cooked up with a great sauce with carrots, onions, celery, etc, served over pasta with sauteed broccoli and asparagus on the side. Tom got a seafood pasta dish and asked me to remind him not to order seafood in the future unless he's on the coast. He was pretty jealous of mine. LOL We got dessert to go, 2 orders of tiramisu, stopped at Tom Thumb for champagne, picked up some Valentine's treats for the pets, and watched The Princess Bride. We had a nice time.

Today we slept in til 9, he made coffee (really, the ultimate luxury to me is having someone else make coffee), and now a couple of his friends are over to play the new video game. I wanted a shower, but figured I should do the 30 Day Shred video beforehand. Again, it was a great workout but totally easy to make it through because of the way it's set up. I think it will be easy for me to set aside 20 minutes to do this regularly. I felt fine, but now that I am out of the shower, I wonder if working out with a stomach full of coffee the day after after sharing a bottle of wine and champagne was a good idea. I am not feeling so hot now. Oh well. Gotta sweat it out. LOL

So, now it's time to get some school work done. Got steaks out thawing, need to make a grocery list for tomorrow, but mostly, I am just going to sit here in bed or my office and get stuff done! I have 2 tests this week.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

I am so glad tomorrow is Friday. I was in a bad mood most of this week, but it's ending well.

Survivor has started tonight, woot!! I love it. Brazil looks gorgeous.

I am stressed...but it will be OK. I just have a lot of catching up to do on Sunday. About 1 hour of work, and a few tests to study for. Two are next week, one is probably the following week. That's not so bad when you see it written, right? A little work, a lot of studying, but nothing a pitcher of tea and a husband to go grocery shopping can't fix.

I am thinking about taking something herbal for mood/stress/anxiety. I figure it can't hurt. I have been really high strung lately. For those of you who know me well, I mean more high strung than usual. Anyway, just a random side note. It can't hurt, even if it's just a placebo effect.

I worked out last Wednesday and this Wednesday. I got the 30 day Shred DVD in the mail today. I was going to wait til Sunday or Monday, but I was thinking about all the crap I am going to eat this weekend, and I figured I would carpe diem. I really liked it. Seriously. It's a 20 minute circuit workout. 3 minutes of strength, 2 cardio, and 1 abs X 3, with a quick warmup and cool down. 20 minutes. I can do anything for 20 minutes. Well, almost. I couldn't quite keep up, but I saw it through to the end. Every part of my body got a workout. I am definitely going to be sore tomorrow. Heck, I am sore already! In a good way. I think I can commit to 20 minutes here and there. I have Jessica to workout with me Wednesdays, and next week another friend is coming on Monday and Thursday evening.

I am going to visit my grandma tomorrow. I was a little worried at first because she was in a bad mood when I called her, and she basically thinks our family is going to hell, but the last couple of days, she seems excited that I am coming over. I am looking forward to it, too.

Finally, Valentine's Day. We made a reservation at Alfornos, an Italian restaurant in Flower Mound. I am so ready to eat some bread.

And speaking of that, I am doing Phase 2 of South Beach starting next week. Whole grains and occasional fruit can come back into the diet. I am really craving some blueberries and oatmeal. And whole grain spaghetti will make my life easier. I can always use some easy.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Where should we eat for valentines day?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Well, since Clint is back for a few months, I don't think Tom and I are gonna sit around the house naked eating fondue, as was our original plan for Valentines Day. OK, we weren't really planning to be naked, but we were going to recreate our traditional fondue night out at home this year, and there is a good chance that we'd end up naked at some point. TMI? I'm sorry.

Anyway, we are planning to go out now, and I think we really need a nice night out. I don't want expensive. I want normal priced food (like, we spend way less than $100 including wine and tip). But I have mastered the enchilada, the salsa, and the margarita, so it isn't as fun to go to Cristina's as it used to be. That was our go-to date.

Sushi is too fast... and not romantic where we normally go. But super tasty. But not what I am thinking...

WHERE?!? Keep in mind we will probably eat dinner at 5pm or maybe Friday because VD is a Saturday and I hate crowds. We need a no-reservations kinda place. What do you think??? What sounds good to you right now? Where would you go to dinner to get exactly what you are craving? Please offer multiple suggestions. Thank you. Or what would be fun? Should I make him take me to the Magic Time Machine? What do we DO?!

Playing with Coffee Shop Actions

Saturday, February 7, 2009

If you couldn't tell, I was pretty excited to figure out about "actions" in photoshop after seeing Pioneer Woman's actions (that aren't compatible with Elements), and finding the Coffee Shop actions I posted in my last blog that ARE compatible with Photoshp Elements. Now, I don't have to LEARN anything. I just have to CLICK a button. Love it. I am tired of learning all the freakin' time.

Original from the wedding spectacular.

With the vintage attic action. (Edit: I keep coming back to look at this one. It is definitely my favorite. I didn't like this picture before because we look funny because they had fed us 2 bottles of champagne, but now we are vintage drunk, and that's OK. It reminds me of an old Coca-Cola ad. Hey, maybe I should photoshop a coke bottle into our hands!)

With the regular vintage action


Muted colors

Muted colors with vignette


With 50% opacity vanilla glaze

Glazed with vignette


With color pop decaf

And with color pop regular.

Easy enough for me! I am sure free actions exist elsewhere, but this is plenty to keep me busy for a while. It's my new favorite blog.

A big fat OMG

Check THAT blog out. The actions work with Photoshop Elements, too. Yay.

I am past my point of productivity on this paper, and this is the motivation I needed to GO HOME. And play with actions.

To whom it may concern

Friday, February 6, 2009

i.e., Tammy & Heather.

Sorry Tammy, you'll have to wait til I croak! :-) I am not really thrilled about the fact that ANYONE is reading it, even a stinky TA I may or may not know.

Heather...that is exactly what I would like to write about, right about now. I don't feel like going outside to take more pics in the wind, but pretty much what you saw in this picture is what you get.

Cabbage up top, broccoli in the middle, and brussel sprouts far right. The broccoli is doing great and tastes amazing. The cabbage and brussel sprouts are a little slow - I may need to water more. Hopefully we will get some rain this weekend. But they are all healthy. I have plenty of brussel sprouts, they just aren't very big yet.

And SPRING. I have a lot of ideas but who knows if I will have time...

One almost-for-sure thing is, I want Tom to make me some shepherd's hooks so I can hang some upside-down cherry or grape tomatoes. I am not dealing with tomato plants in the ground this year. They didn't even put out last year, and it was a huge pain the butt.

I want my okra to go somewhere other than my tiered bed. They were like trees and ended up shading my smaller plants.
I want to find a spot where I can grow flowers (wildflowers?) for cutting. I don't know where yet. But it may be here....(damn, OK, I'll go take a picture.)
To the left - that is our back porch. I think I could put 2 raised beds. See that stepping stone walkway? (It is hard to starts by the waterhose.) That is the middle of our back porch. The walkway is centered on the porch, not between those posts. I would like the beds placed based on the porch, not the posts. If that makes sense. I think it would be an easy day project...well, easy in that it would only take a day, but probably a big pain.
Then I spotted this spot in the yard I haven't messed up yet. I may or may not do raised beds here, but I could definitely try some long pots mounted under those windows. Hmmmm.
I don't know what to do in my tiered beds...probably the usual, bell and jalepeno peppers, some herbs, whatever looks good at the time. I have shade issues in that bed, so I need to do some research. I might grow garlic, too...
BUT - I have the busiest semester of my life, so we shall see how it goes. :-S

Today was a good one

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

It was a long, full, productive, good day. Here is a peek:

8-9am: drove to school, stopped at McDonalds for a $3 south beach friendly breakfast and coffee, and enjoyed it in the parking lot.

9-10am: Psych of Death and Dying class. This is becoming one of my favorite classes because the professor is extremely knowledgable. Our first assignment is a lengthy reflection on death, including our obituary, funeral details, will, eulogy, and a picture representing death. :-S It is good to think about this stuff, but it was harder than I thought it would be. I think of myself as pretty desensitized when it comes to dying, but writing in my obituary (I was 101 when I died) that I was preceded in death by my husband and sister was sobering. UGH. I am not ready to lose any of these folks.

10-11am: History and Systems of Psych. Professor went over the same thing he went over last time. Oh well. I had him last semester and he did the same thing. As a result, we were always behind and our tests were always easy. I'll take it.

11am-12pm: MY LEAST FAVORITE CLASS. Adult Development & Aging. OMG. $900 for a class so I can sit and have a powerpoint read to me by a grad student. I try to have a good attitude toward grad students because I hope to be there someday, but damn. Don't read slides to me. PLEASE.

12-2pm: Worked while Jessica was in class. Ate almonds and a cheese stick. Met an instructor of one of my boss' online classes I hadn't met before, which was nice.

2:30-3:30pm: Jessica and I worked out. 30 minutes on the elliptical while I watched the end of General Hospital, which was hilarious today, followed by stretching, ab exercises, and rowing. Good times.

3:30-5:15pm: Farted around in my office, didn't feel like working, didn't have to, so I didn't. Ate the salad I brought for lunch. Couldn't find a fork so I ate it lettuce-wrap style.

5:15-6:00pm: walked to class. Slowly. We weren't doing much very quickly after the workout.

Class til 9...UGH. And with that, my battery is about to die on this sucker, so I am out of here. I am tired but had a great day. I have to write a conference paper this weekend, but I am sure I'll need a break from it this weekend, so I'll come whine about it later. LOL

Super Bowl Sunday

Monday, February 2, 2009

Had a great day at John & Kimberlee's house yesterday. They recorded the UFC fights Saturday night, so we got to watch them before the big game.

You'd think the Cowboys were in the SuperBowl!

John & Tom in the loooooveseat.

John manning the ribs.

Greg waiting on ribs.

I don't know why it looks like I'm lactating. I'm gonna end up on one of those "I didn't know I was pregnant til I had the baby" shows. LOL

They are freakin' cute.

See what I mean?

Awwww, Greg & Pal.

Pal was being all kinds of adorable yesterday. Sweet doggie.

And me, always behind the camera unless Tom steals it for a minute.

Was sad at the outcome of the game. The Cardinals were SO close, and their QB was SO cute. Oh well!

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