Life has been changing and moving quickly lately. On Saturday, we spent all day at the Handmade Cavalcade craft fair, then on Sunday we took an all-day trip to New Haven, Connecticut, to sell our car. Boohoo. I feel sad about it. We bought our 2004 Subaru Imprezza WRX about two weeks before our wedding in 2003. (The photo above is us driving off in the car after our wedding ceremony.) It felt like our kid, or maybe our home. We drove it across the country twice, and it had been our only car for five years. But for the last year here, in New York, the poor thing just sat parked on the street. We hardly used it (maybe driving 200 miles in the last six months) and Travis had to move it to a new parking spot twice a week. Yuck. Plus, the insurance was expensive. So, it is on to a new life via CarMax and we are car-less. It is a relief to not have to worry about it any longer, and after one last trip to the DMV we will be able to cancel our insurance. I do love extra money!
Early Monday morning we headed to the hospital (by hired car and driver) for Travis’ ACL reconstruction knee surgery. The Hospital for Special Surgery was fabulous and everyone there was very professional. You can read Travis’ thoughts on the experience on his blog. The surgeon said that the surgery went perfectly, and it seems like it did because Travis is recovering quickly. My only complaint is that it now falls solely on me to take Crusher down and up the three flights of stairs to our apartment every time he needs to go outside….
Life is good and all of the recent excitement has gone as smoothly as we could expect, but I am definitely ready for some downtime! If you need me, I’ll probably be taking a nap.
Today’s “new creative thing” is this healthy salad that I made for dinner. It is Bob Greene’s Black Eyed Pea Salad with Turkey Bacon recipe from today’s Oprah show. It was extremely tasty considering that it is part of a “managing diabetes” diet. The whole Oprah Show was about diabetes, and even though I don’t usually watch, I tuned in today. My grandfather had diabetes and I am just generally scared of it. I should be more concerned about heart disease – and I am- but it doesn’t hurt to have even more motivation to eat healthy. The salad consisted of romaine lettuce, tomatoes, black eyed peas, turkey bacon, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar. Bob Green (Oprah’s health guru) was touting apple cider vinegar as some sort of miracle liquid that decrease the glycemic index of any food it is paired with. …but I guess it wouldn’t taste good on donuts.
…sent me these beautiful flowers to cheer me up while I am sick. They worked! I love them. I really enjoy having fresh flowers, but it is a luxury that I don’t often indulge in. So, it is extra-special when they arrive on my doorstep as a surprise! Thank you so much, dad! I love you.
Crusher thought the package was for him, so I had to let him check them out…
(update on the flu: I think I am almost recovered, but I did something kinda dumb today. I went to an online advertising convention for about an hour with Travis… I hope the added excitement doesn’t push back my recovery time. I have a lot of work to catch up on tomorrow!)
From the ages of about 4 to 14, I was pretty intensely involved in classical dance training. When I hit high school (maybe 8th grade) I wanted to be involved in just about EVERYTHING else – sports, student government, yearbook, friends, boys, etc – and I ended up quitting dance cold turkey. It is a little sad to think that I completely gave up on something to which I had devoted so much time, but I was young enough when I made the decision that I know I was simply being honest with myself. I just wasn’t passionate enough about dance to continue with such a huge commitment.
I did some extracurricular dance in college and have taken random dance classes over the years, but I have always wanted to get back into it in a more meaningful way. Recently, I stumbled on a Ballet Strength Workout on FitTV and I love it! I am so glad I DVRed it. I think I have done it five times now. It is an hour (or, actually 40 minutes when you take out the commercials) of ballet moves, light weights, yoga, and pilates exercises. I seriously think the workout has made my body remember how to stand up straight. My posture actually feels different and stronger. (I have also been doing the Total Body Sculpt workouts on FitTV almost everyday, so I am sure that has added to the results I am feeling from the Ballet Workout. But, still! The Ballet Workout is a great addition to my routine!)
Usually, I have a hard time convincing myself to devote time to slower workouts, like yoga. I appreciate yoga and know it is good for you, but I still always feel like I need cardio workouts more. The Ballet Strength Workout is not really cardiovascular, but it does get my heart rate up and it makes me sweat. It is taught by Jennifer Galardi and I am really interested in checking out her Ballet Body workout DVD. I would also love to take a weekly class at a real dance studio at some point…. but I don’t know if I have the guts to wear tights and leotard again. hmmmm…
Summer is zooming by. Between getting a little sick (sore throat and cough, not H1N1) and preparing for an upcoming trip to California, there has been no time to blog. Today, however, I have a little bloggy gem for you! I have been completely obsessing over a few things lately that I feel the need to share:
- Madewell – My new most favorite clothing shop ever! Madewell is a sister company to J.Crew, but I found out about it through a blog that I can’t seem to find at the moment… I signed up for the email updates a while ago, but it took me until last weekend to venture out to the Madewell store in Soho. I am in LOVE!! Such laid-back, cool, perfectly-on-trend-but-not-trying-too-hard style and everything seemed to fit me perfectly. I went a little wild in the store! I bought a pair of “rail straight” jeans made with some sort of fancy Japanese denim. Of course, they were the most expensive pair in the store, but the sales lady gave me an extra 20% off just because! I also got some t-shirts, a pair of shorts, and a very awesome cardigan. If I were a celebrity or fancy-pants rich person, Madewell is the store where I would say “give me one of everything in my size” each season.
- Coach Spotlight bag – I do not have this bag, but it is the one I keep returning to when dreaming about my ideal fall bag. I want (need?) a super-big, cross-body, black bag for fall. I feel the need to branch away from Coach because I have really already given them way too much business, but this bag just seems to fit all of my criteria… I can’t stop thinking about it! What is wrong with me?!
- NARS Orgasm Nail Polish – I have been coveting this nail polish for years, and I think I picked the best time to finally break down and buy it. Neon orange polish is totally what the cool kids are all wearing on their toes this summer, but neon is a little more than I can pull off. This NARS nail polish is a summery orange-peach color with a little sparkle that I think is a more subtle substitute. I was a little disappointed with it at first because you have to put on three coats to make it opaque, but I am really digging the color.
- Philip B. Russian Amber Imperial Shampoo – Ok. This is absolutely ridiculous: $140 shampoo. I do not own it, I have never tried it, and I am trying hard to resist it. BUT, supposedly it is a miracle. I try not to blindly trust the reviews in fashion magazines, but the consensus on this product is that it is worth every penny and that it grants you your every hair wish – shiny, healthy, bouncy, beautiful hair. Oh man, I am a sucker. I want to try it!
- J. Crew Linen shorts – I bought these linen shorts a few weeks ago and I have worn them almost every day since. They are slouchy and they get a little wrinkled, but they are easy and comfy and just the right length. I didn’t know if I would ever buy shorts again (I am not thrilled with my pale, less-than-toned legs), but these actually look good on me – wow! It seems that they are sold out on the J.Crew website, but these striped shorts are very similar.
- Sam Edelman sandals – I bought these gold sandals in April because I thought they were cool, and New York-y, and kind of gladiator trend-ish. I had not bought Sam Edelman shoes before, but I would highly recommend them now. The sandals are all leather, comfortable, and I have worn them just about every day walking all around the city this summer. I have worn them on the subway, shopping in Soho, touring museums, and walking for hours at a time exploring NYC. They have held up amazingly! I am truly impressed. They still look shiny and nearly new. (I did almost loose one of the gems when I tripped on a Subway stair, but it easily slipped back into place.) I never expected a pair of sandals to survive this long in this city – and if they can stand up to New York, they can survive anywhere!
Those are the material objects that I am obsessing over this summer, but I should probably add one more thing: Gilad Bodies in Motion. I have been sticking with my commitment to do the TV workouts every weekday for over ten weeks, and I think I am actually starting to see some nice results. I am still a long way from wanting to get my photo taken in a bikini (but really, why would that need to happen?), and I still need to work on my eating habits (isn’t that a perpetual battle?), but I feel stronger and more fit. And – as stated above – I am feeling comfortable in shorts, which is a small miracle! Thank you, Gilad!!
So, what are you digging this summer? Anything awesome that I shouldn’t be missing?
So, it is day three of my no-coffee lifestyle. It is going ok. I am already on my second cup of tea because I woke up with a very slight headache. Although, I actually don’t have any cravings for coffee today, so I am still feeling quite confident. The only problem with my grand plan is that we are taking a trip home to Kansas City for the holidays and I do not plan to restrict my coffee consumption during the trip. I’ll just have to get back on the wagon in January after we return home… no worries.
That is a photo of poor, little Crusher today laying on his doggy bed. He had some baby teeth pulled yesterday and he is still recovering. They sent home some pain medicine, but it really makes him feel weird. He runs around all confused and whines a lot when I give it to him… so, I don’t think I am going to give him his next dose. The vet said it was optional and that I would be able to tell if he was in a lot of pain. We’ll see how it goes…
Sometime today I am going to take a trip to Michael’s or JoAnn’s to get supplies for making homemade doggy toys. It is for a Swap-bot swap. Should be fun! I also have lots of work to do today – emails, emails, emails! I better get moving!
Day two of my attempt to quit coffee has gone surprisingly well. I had just two mugs of black tea today, which seems to be enough caffeine to keep any headaches away… but I did some (very minor) research and discovered that both coffee and tea contain a chemical which relaxes esophageal sphincter above your stomach and causes heartburn. That is a bummer because I don’t know if I can cut caffeinated beverages out of my life for good. I don’t have heartburn today and I think that tea will help me transition into lower and lower levels of caffeine consumption… if I can stick with it. Tomorrow will probably prove to be a tough day – I usually get the worst caffeine withdrawal headaches on the third “no-coffee” day. Anyway, that is too much boring detail, but I am still feeling optimistic. I think that quitting coffee will give me a stronger sense of control over myself and my life… like I can control my own destiny! ha!
I love coffee. Really love it. I love it so much that it was becoming the reason I woke up in the morning — basically, my reason for living. I say “WAS becoming the reason” because I have decided to quit coffee. Today. So sad, but so necessary. I have been having some heartburn trouble and some over-consumption-of-sugary-hot-cocoa-mix trouble (I love putting it in my coffee), and I just feel that my body needs a break from coffee. I want to fuel myself with healthy food instead of sugary caffeine. I want to feel healthier and have legitimate energy. Except I don’t think I can go totally cold-turkey off the caffeine…
I have decided to give tea a go. I sometimes drink green tea at work in the afternoons for a little pick-me-up and for the health benefits, but my favorite tea is Earl Grey (omg! just like Captain Jean-Luc Picard!). I am currently working on my third cup today (it is 3:30 pm) and I am feeling great. I also picked up a green/earl grey combo tea and a holiday chai tea at the grocery store last night that I need to try.
Today I feel confident about my attempt to cure my dependence on coffee… although, it is usually the third “sober” day that is the toughest. I will let you know how I fair and whether or not tea is working as a comforting alternative.
I finally went to the doctor and had my blood work done to check for cholesterol problems. (I am high risk in that area due to a strong family history of heart disease.) The results are in and I am NORMAL in all areas! Sweet! Because I am high risk I still want to raise my HDL count (it is currently 56) and lower my LDL count (currently 121). I would like to get my LDL below 100 which is recommended for high risk peeps, but I heard (from an unreliable source) that diet and exercise can only affect your cholesterol count by about 30%. Any doctors (or doctors-in-training) out there know what it would take to really get my LDL count down and HDL up? I already take fish oil supplements, use olive oil, eat red meat less than twice a month, eat only non-fat dairy products (except cheese), and eat high fiber, whole grain breakfast cereal almost every day. I am a moderate exerciser, but could always improve. The big problem is that I sit all day at work… but check this: I have stopped buying sugary coffee drinks! I make coffee at home and use soy milk as creamer. That is a huge change for me, but I have been keeping it up for over a month. What other changes should I attempt?