All Mondays Should Involve a Two-Hour Delay {MIMM}

It finally snowed here! Well, ok, it snowed for a couple of hours (we picked up a whopping .5″, which is better than nothing) before transitioning to freezing rain.

I’d normally complain about freezing rain, because I feel like it’s the worst possible combination of weather patterns (if it’s going to be frickin’ freezing and there’s going to be precipitation, I want snow) but today it has brought us the next best thing to a snow day: a two-hour delay. I woke up at my normal time to see this beaut on the website of the office that makes the call on weather-related closures/delays:

Snow & Dismissal Procedures Current Status

Washington, DC, Area

Applies to: December 9, 2013

Status: Open – 2 hours Delayed Arrival – With Option for Unscheduled Leave or Unscheduled Telework

Huzzah! Mondays should always start with a delay, in my opinion. I’m adding it to the list of policies I’ll implement once I’m a benevolent overlord. It’ll be part of the “ease back into the workweek” plan I’d mentioned last week. All in favor, say “Aye”!

I particularly needed this delay after a busy weekend — a weekend that involved my plan to Christmas-ify the apartment. Operation: Holiday Spirit was a success, y’all.

I really wanted to get a tree, but our space for it is pretty darn small. I thought we’d have to go hunting far and wide for a small-ish tree that would fit in our apartment, but lo and behold, as we were en route to lunch on Saturday we drove right past a place that had a veritable cornucopia of small trees. Win! We picked one up yesterday, took him home, and dressed him up. I’ve named him Melvin.

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The folks at the tree stand also let me take some cast-off greens that had been cut away from other trees, so I also got my decorating on around the living room.

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And, for one of my favorite pictures, I’d like to introduce you to Wine Bottle Burqa. She was a wedding gift from a friend who’d been deployed to Afghanistan before our wedding, and she is exactly what her name implies: the exact same type of burqa approved by the Taliban, but designed to fit nicely over the necks of wine bottles. I’ve thought about doing a series of Wine Bottle Burqa still life shots throughout the year, which would depict her doing things like enjoying the springtime amidst the flowers. This is the first installment in that series: Wine Bottle Burqa gets in the holiday spirit.

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On a separate note, I slept like crap last night and am trying to gear myself up for a trip to the gym. I know I need to get ‘er done this morning, because shoddy sleep means I’ll be too wiped out this afternoon to drag myself to the gym. Oy. I clearly needed this weather delay.

And, as always, thanks to Katie for hosting MIMM — here’s to getting through Monday!

MiMM

WIAW: The Great Crock Pot Experiment Continues

Good morning, y’all! Being that it’s Wednesday, I’m super-excitedly rounding the last corner of the workweek into the home stretch before the weekend…as usual, it can’t get here fast enough!

Before getting into my WIAW offerings, I want to give a quick update on Operation: Time Management and the Great Crock Pot Experiment. Yesterday was a bit (ok, a lot ) of a fail. I had a ton of trouble trying to publish yesterday’s post, since WordPress kept deleting the content. (Thank God I’d written it all in Word before pasting it into WordPress! If I’d lost all that content for good, I would’ve been weeping my eyes out, rending my clothes, and sitting under my desk in fetal position.)

Anyways, it took me a full hour to finally get the post to publish properly — and by that point, there was no time for me to do even a quick workout. I was late to work again, and while dinner (chicken with 40 cloves of garlic) was a-cookin’, I knew I’d need to stay late and then come home and work out. C’est la vie!

Once I got home, I tested out my new fitness ball (!!); I got said fitness ball because TNROLFW calls for a number of exercises (i.e., the prone jackknife and the stability ball crunch) that rely on it. With that in mind, I decided to invest the $15 in this beauty:

Brandon was, um, a bit wigged out by the fact that it’s pink. We share the study, and I’m the proud owner of a pink desk chair — so when this baby rolled up (pun intended), he looked worried.

B: Wow, dude. It’s really pink.

Me: *Giggles, claps hands in excitement* I shall make my half of the study saturated in pink! Muuuahahahahaha!

Once I was done informing Brandon of my diabolical plot to pink-ify my portion of the study, I did the Fitness Blender Cardio Bootcamp and Cardio-Infused Standing Abs Workout while the veggies for dinner roasted away in the oven — and hooooooly crap, was it ever a hard workout! It was only 30 minutes, but I was sweating like a wildebeest and breathing harder than I’ve ever breathed during a 45 minute elliptical session.

 

A super-sweaty post-workout selfie, replete with the pink stability ball!
A super-sweaty post-workout selfie, replete with the pink stability ball!

 

Then we had dinner, and I’m sorry to say that the chicken with 40 cloves of garlic was no bueno. The garlicky taste was great, obviously — but I added white wine to the mix so it would have some cooking liquid, and I think that made it taste weird. I also cooked it for waaaaaay too long, because it was incredibly dry. Fail!

This morning, though, I’ve turned the page on yesterday’s blunders and am ready to start anew with this recipe for Beef Crock Pot Carnitas from Eat, Live, Run. The meat is marinating as I type this, and soon I’ll throw all the veggies into the Crock Pot. We’ll see how things turn out this evening!

Anyways, with all that being said, it’s time for What I Ate Wednesday — thanks, as always, to the lovely Jenn from Peas & Crayons for hosting!

 

Peas and Crayons

 

Breakfasts: There’s my ever-present coffee and GF toast before my workout — and while during the week I’m incredibly consistent with my post-workout fruit and kale smoothie, I tend to mix it up on the weekends. I’ve shown y’all a bajillion smoothie pictures, so I’ll focus on the weekend breaky foods: GF blueberry waffles served with a side of scrambled egg whites, spinach, and reduced-fat cheddar cheese.

 

Van's GF Blueberry WafflesScrambled Egg Whites with Spinach and Cheddar

 

Lunches and snacks have included Greek yogurt with GF granola, Pamela’s bars, apples with almond butter, cantaloupe, salad with chickpeas plus a creamy dill dressing that I whipped up over the weekend, and one of my favorite concoctions: Thai cole slaw (made with cabbage, carrots, romaine lettuce, cilantro, and GF peanut sauce).

 

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Dinners have been all about the Great Crockpot Experiment, and thus far they’ve included enchilada casserole and the aforementioned uber-fail (le sigh!) of chicken with 40 cloves of garlic with roasted veggies. The chicken may have been no bueno, but the roasted carrots were delish!

 

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Oh, and then there’s my Friday night dinner: I broke every rule in the healthy living book — I’m a big proponent of the theory that all healthy food and no crap makes Jack a dull boy (or, in this case, Lillian a dull gal) — and had wine (in my super-sophisticated regular glass, because I didn’t feel like having to hand-wash a wine glass…Friday nights are my nights of laziness and sloth) and home-made pizza on GF pita bread. Laziness and sloth FTW!

 

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Desserts have had a bit of a change-up, too: we ran out of fro yo (gasp, horror!), but I want to use up all the food in the fridge/freezer before we get more. With that in mind, my desserts have consisted of mango sorbet and cherries — both are absolutely delicious, and it turns out that I don’t miss my beloved fro yo at all. 🙂

 

Bowl of cherries
Life is just a bowl of cherries, y’all.

Gluten-Free Mango Sorbet

And now, of course, I’d love to hear from you lovely folks!

Do you indulge a bit more on Friday nights and/or weekends?

What are your go-to indulgence foods?

Have you ever been disappointed by a recipe that you were all kinds of excited about?

Do you mix up your breakfast routine on the weekends?

Friday Fun Times: Five Things I’m Diggin’ This Week

Good morning, and TGIF! (*Does Friday-induced happy dance*)

In celebration of the fact that it’s Friday, I figured I’d do another post to highlight all the things I’ve been loving on/excited about this week.

1) Although the tote I bought from Target a few weeks ago managed to break and thus meet its demise shortly after I bought it (booooo), I was able to return it without any problems. I then picked up this bag as a replacement, and I also replaced my old wallet, which was starting to fall apart a bit. To say the least, I looooooove both the new bag and the new wallet — the blue and turquoise are so pretty, and they seem so seasonally appropriate! I may or may not get a bit giddy every time I look at them.

 

Bag and wallet

 

2) The Firestarter Sessions is blowing my mind, people. This book is seriously awesome. I also recommend checking out Danielle LaPorte’s website (she’s the author of this wondrous tome); as Taryn put it (quite perfectly, I might add), it’s like reading a conversation with your best friend.

Apparently Danielle LaPorte is launching a magazine in September and is accepting writing submissions — and as you might have guessed, I’m itchin’ to submit something for their consideration. (*Starts wiggling in desk chair out of sheer excitement*) It’s scary, and the “Oh God, I can’t possibly be good enough – there’s no way I’ll get anything but rejected” voice of fear is acting up like nobody’s business — but I’m just going to channel my inner Kanye and tell that voice that “Imma let you finish, but I can write the best submission of all time!” Ok, it won’t be the best submission of all time — but it will be from the heart, and that’s the best kind of writing I can possibly do.

3) Fitness updates: I ran 2.5 miles on Wednesday afternoon and donated my Charity Miles to Every Mother Counts (an organization I greatly admire). In my quest to do something meaningful with my life and to feel like I’m making a contribution — albeit a small one — to making the world a better place, Charity Miles has become one of my favorite go-to sources of action and inspiration. Being able to get my sweat on while helping to raise money for causes I believe in has, for me at least, been seriously awesome.

 

 

I also did more FitnessBlender and Yoga Downloads workouts this week. I did Yoga Download’s Yoga Sculpt class last night, and then I busted out Fitness Blender’s cardio kickboxing this morning. I loved them both!

I’ve also recently decided to embrace a standard of fitness that has more flexibility than I’ve allowed myself to have before. I was kicking myself for not having enough time to cook meals, work out for 45 minutes a day, and blog in my spare time — but all that scheduling insanity started really wearing on me. In light of that, I came to the conclusion that it’s ok to keep my workouts around 30 minutes each.

The fact is, blogging makes me incredibly happy, and writing brings me more joy than any job ever has — so I want to make time to do it. If it comes at the expense of those last 15 minutes of exercise, then so be it.

 

 

4) ELF cosmetics: While I was at Target, I was doing some reconnaissance in their cosmetics section as part of my hunt for new eyeliner and new eye shadow. (My collection has been rapidly diminishing, but I hate spending moolah on obnoxiously overpriced cosmetics, even at my beloved Target.) Lo and behold, I saw that ELF products are between — get this — $1-$2. I’m not kidding. I just about had to scrape my jaw up off the floor. I got two eyeshadow sets and one eyeliner pencil for $5 total, which felt like the cosmetics coup to end all cosmetics coups. It was astonishing.

 

ELF

 

5) A mailbox full of goodies: This month’s InStyle and Birchbox arrived on the same day. If that isn’t worthy of a whoop of excitement, I don’t know what is. A certain someone — whose name may or may not be Lillian — might have also picked up a bottle of rosé at Costco yesterday (because this person is super classy like that, and she obviously has really high-brow taste in wine). This person might be really excited to read InStyle while drinking a glass of vino after work, possibly while deep-conditioning her hair with one of the Birchbox samples. #SorryI’mNotSorry.

 

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I hope y’all have an awesome day — and of course, I’ve got questions for you lovely people:

What’s your favorite way to unwind on a Friday night?

Do you have any big or exciting weekend plans?

{Obviously, this is the really important question} Do you like cheap wine from Costco or Three Buck Chuck from Trader Joe’s? (Please tell me yes and that I’m not the only one around here who’s the total opposite of a wine connoisseur?)