Posts tagged ‘dating’

Another anti-dude tirade

Sometimes, everything sucks.

—-pause—-

I’m giving you complete permission to skip this post if my opening line proved to be too cheery for you. I don’t think this will turn out to be a total Debbie Downer, but it’s at least gonna start that way.

A good friend (okay, a very good friend — like best friend) of mine just had a short but intense relationship end. She was under the impression that all the good things it had brought were just beginning (as was everyone else who was witness to this twosome), and didn’t see the abrupt end coming. Her birthday is tomorrow.

source: Texting My Pancreas

That just…that just sucks. I’m concerned for my ability to comfort and be there for her, because this reminds me all too much of my fading but still-recent-enough-to-be-painful breakup, and the best things I can come up with to say do not do a very good job of masking my intense disdain for anything with a penis. Dudes are awful.

This dude doesn’t suck that much, but as whole, most dudes still suck tremendously. I don’t like that this happened so close to her birthday, and I don’t like that he ended things only after pulling both of them past the this-could-still-just-be-a-fling point.

Of course, he still wants to talk to her and like omgletsbefriends.

source: someecards.com

We all know how I feel about that.

I’ll be joining her tonight to hopefully drown some of our sorrows in a messy alcoholic haze, but I’m going to have to do my best to keep my man-hating rants to myself. Bitching about a dude that hairline-fractured (not broke) my heart isn’t gonna do her any good, but it’s hard not to want to scream SEEITOLDYOUSOAREN’THEYALLHORRIBLEOMG

(To clarify, I don’t really hate men. I just think they’re mostly worthless putzes at the moment. This may just be temporary.)

it's fun to break up with people over text message!

This week I was also stood up by a freaking OKCupid date who I had not yet met. I’m having a little trouble understanding this logic, seeing as he asked me out, sent me several nice, normal-sounding conversational emails, set up a date, then went to the trouble of emailing me asking if we could postpone (major eyeroll and air quotes here, people) the date — did he Google me and find some horrific picture I don’t yet know exists? Shocker shocker, he was never heard from again (which is slightly awkward as his full name sits prominently at the top of my gchat list now). But clearly he’s an asshole and seeing as I didn’t even waste a leg shave or a swipe of overly expensive lipstick on the bastard, I’m almost glad he showed his true colors this early. But really, guys — what gives? Someone needs to lock these kind of idiots in a cage before they reach breeding age.

source: Street Knowledge Media

On a cheerier note, I got some new glasses! After paying an arm, a leg, and my pinky toe (for a copay, obviously), I am the proud owner of a pair of Oliver Peoples hipsta-nerd glasses. I kind of love them. Everyone may just be being nice, but I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on them as well, which makes me feel a little more secure since they were outrageously expensive and not exactly…neutral looking? A certain dude who shall not be mentioned (and yes, I know you’re reading this) asked me, however, if this was a situation where he had to lie just to be nice. And said that they mask my sweetness, or something along those lines.

Big middle finger.

I like them, so I stick my tongue out at you, sir! I’m a sweet pea, and my glasses ain’t gonna change that.

In conclusion, men are giant babies who deserve to be locked in cages. And I’m getting drunk tonight.

August 26, 2011 at 3:19 pm 5 comments

Weekend dance, half naked men…wait, what?

I just read the best line on a guest post from Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diares on Life of Blyss — “So instead of being a picky eater, I’m a pack-y eater.”

Ahhhh, I love this. I love this!

Can I marry this quote? Okay, sorry — I’m being a creep (my creepiness is something my dear love Ali loves to point out when I suggest sleeping in her walk-in closet).

Anywho…

Guess what? It’s Friday. You know what that means? It means that in approximately 6 hours, I am going to have a beer in my hand. And then after that, I’ll have another. Maybe I’ll sneak a Captain and diet in there, but it’s mostly gonna be beer. Ooooh, I am so excited.

I love beer. Oh god, I am such a creep.

I have some seriously crazy plans this weekend, and I am totally thrilled. If you haven’t noticed, I am a totally social person. I love being around people all. the. time. I tend to get lonely really easily, so when I have plans lined up for the entire weekend before it’s even Friday, I’m a pretty happy girl.

I’m planning on grabbing drinks with coworkers today after work (or rather, begging on the sidewalk for change so I can drink despite the sorry pre-payday state of my bank account), which is one of those things that always makes me feel like some sort of fabulous city dweller. What are you doing tonight? Oh, I’m just hitting up some fabulous happy hour on some fabulous rooftop with fabulous views of the fabulous skyline drinking fabulous cocktails. What about you?

So I’ve somehow miraculously stayed in touch with a dude that I dated briefly while living in Madison. My general rule is no friends with exes,  but enough time (and distance) is between us and I rarely see him anyway, so I have no problem keeping in touch. Plus, he’s pretty cute, so he’s not bad to keep around ;) Anywho, he is in Chicago this weekend for a work trip (I have no idea what this guy does but they are always flying him all over the country and he texts me from random hotels in random cities from time to time) and asked if I wanted to meet up.

He invited me to to go to the Arlington Race Track with some of his buddies on Saturday, but uh, yeah I turned down that invitation. When he asked me why, this is how the conversation went…

Don’t you love my honesty? Hah … What! I didn’t want to go! :X

So I’ll be meeting up with him at some point this evening and it should be fun to catch up. I won’t be joining for the “sport of kings,” however. Oh, boys.

Saturday I’ll be wandering around the Northalsted Market Days festival…it’s basically a street fest with a whole lotta gay. Like…a lot of gay. I live in a neighborhood in Chicago aptly named Boystown, which is the largest and I believe oldest official gay community in the country. AndIloveit. Pride Fest passes my front door. Love me some rainbows and glitter! Market days is a little more toned down than Pride, but it’s a street festival in Boytstown, so there is a lot of booze and half-naked insanely attractive men going on. And that means I’ll be there.

at first glance, just a normal street festival...

BUT…

so. much. gay.

gay Twister

 

gay Jersey Shore?

 

I ....YES. Yes. Just yes.

I love my neighborhood. It ain’t no secret, but in case you were wondering now, I am a big advocate of gay pride, marriage equality, and I am an ally. None of these images are meant to be in mockery, so please, no disrespectful comments.

I was also just thinking — it will be interesting to see what sort of new traffic these photos bring to the blog, no? haha.

Later in the day/earlier in the evening on Saturday, I’ll be going out on a second date with a guy I met recently. We had a great time on the first date and had so much to talk about and lots of things in common. I also got to drink one of my favorite types of beer — a Flemish Sour — when he suggested we get some drinks at the Map Room, a super neat watering hole in Bucktown. It also happened to be $5 draft night, which..yeah. Awesome.

I think we’re grabbing dinner then either seeing a movie or hitting up a bar — whichever one seems to fit best at the time, I suppose! I told him how much I love documentaries, and he was like well we could go see a documentary…Planet of the Apes is a documentary, right? Hahah. Zing!

LATER Saturday night, I’m meeting up with my loverbutt Laura, who is hosting some sort of hipster-chic poetry reading at her apartment (Hi Laura!!). I’m sure I will be out of place and awkward, but hey — what else is new in my life?

Sunday morning, I’m meeting up some fabulous (there’s that word again!) blogger ladies for brunch after Paige @ Running Around Normal does the Chicago Rock n Roll Half Marathon!!! Holy smokes, will I ever feel inadequate, haha. Amy and Nikki will also be there — so if any other Chicago ladies want to join, by all means, Tweet me!

Oh, and I have no idea where exercise is going to fit into this whole schedule thing. Yeah, I gotta work on that part…

Happy Friday, loves! What fun things do you have planned?

August 12, 2011 at 12:46 pm 2 comments

Night owl

I couldn’t sleep, so I’m up late working and putzing around on the computer.

Three different people I have dated throughout a very long span of time all contacted me within about five minutes of each other tonight (weird), and it is completely distracting me.

And now…I’m looking back on the butterflies and feeling sad. Sigh. I wish things like this got easier. I know I’ve grown up a lot in the past few years, but every time I get my heart broken, I feel like a 15 year-old girl all over again.

Can I send a message out to the Universe — to that wonderful, kind, patient, hilarious and perfect-for-me man out there who is waiting for me, specifically — to hurry up and find me already? This sucks.

August 10, 2011 at 3:27 am 8 comments

Linked: A Tale in Forgiveness

This is one of the best posts I’ve read in a very long time. Hell, it’s one of the best essays — not just on a blog, but anywhere — that I’ve read. I fear Heather is going to think I’m going a little cuckoo over all the compliments I’ve paid her over Twitter today, but that’s okay — any girl loves a bit of ego stroking, right? Haha.

When you have a few moments in your day to sit down and really open up to something great, read this. I swear, it was more effective than a $150 therapy session. And it warmed my heart. And I’m gonna read it again right….now.

Linked: A Tale in Forgiveness (& accolade, & giving up, & following your heart)

July 13, 2011 at 1:42 pm 5 comments

Grocery woes + Greek quinoa salad

Hi friends — happy Thursday!

pretty, huh?

I had another impossible time waking up this morning. I stayed up late talking to the guy I just ended things with for a couple grueling hours. He informed me yesterday afternoon that he may be moving to Portland in a month and I was completely flabbergasted. He is still intent on becoming friends, and while I really do care about him, I’m just not sure I can do it. We’ve been doing this awkward back and forth for awhile now, and it’s getting exhausting, so I’m really not sure what to do. I think I still see him as someone I dated, and don’t know if I could maintain the distance to be okay with being just friends. You know, not kissing or holding hands…etc. :(

Have you ever decided to become friends with someone you dated longer than a quick fling, but not long enough for a full-fledged relationship?

Anywho, I’m totally exhausted. We finally got off the phone at 1:30 in the morning, and after that I proceeded to tackle the horrific mound of (stinky) dishes in my sink. I don’t like this living alone thing — I’m turning into a freaking slob! I’m rarely home these days because who wants to sit home by themselves in the summertime when you could be out having fun? But that means I’m dashing in and out, and never spend any time cleaning up. Who wants to come over and help? :)

After getting the news about the guy’s potential move, I was totally bummed out, so naturally, I went grocery shopping.

You guys, I am a food hoarder. Some people stockpile shoes (although I do tend to do this too…) — I stockpile groceries. I have enough food to feed 50 people for a week. It doesn’t help that it’s nearly impossible to leave Trader Joe’s without spending at least $50. I left with lots of tasty produce, some quinoa (theirs is always cheaper), some frozen fruit for smoothies (ditto — you won’t find cheaper pineapple and mango anywhere else), their amazing chicken meatballs, some Kona coffee (!!) and a few other random things that I can’t remember. I think the bill was something like $83….ugh. But I can’t help myself!!!!!

I also picked up this nifty reusable insulated bag, even though I already have like 38492340239450 reusable grocery bags. Again, friends — hoarder, I tells ya. HELP ME STOP.

After feeling crappy about everything all day (despite being able to work from home – aka Starbucks), I headed home, noshed on a small banana, cleaned up a bit, and tossed on my gym gear after winning an internal battle of whether to go or not. It was absolutely insanely gorgeous out last night, so it would have been the perfect time for a run, but I’m starting to think that I overtrained and gave myself shin splits.

I’m not exactly sure how one can overtrain for a freaking 5K, but I guess these legs are not ideally suited for running on hard surfaces. This totally bums me out, because for the first time in my life, I’m actually enjoying running outside. I’m considering asking my GP to refer me to a physical therapist so we can take a look at what is causing my knee pain, as well as this shin-splint-y feeling. Have any of you guys ever had shin splints?

I got on the scale this morning for the first time in ages. I’d been avoiding it because, due to my total (okay, not total, but certainly not up to par) lack of exercise commitment, I was almost certain that I had gained some weight. I’ve also been feeling pretty down on myself, self-image-wise, and my clothes have been feeling a little snug, so I really haven’t wanted to stare those numbers in the face. But I think it’s important that I know so I can get myself back on track.

Bad news: I had gained some weight, as I thought.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Good news: It wasn’t that much. If I can hop back on the exercise train and get my freaking act together, I think I should be okay. Right now, I just want my goals to be about eating and feeling better (e.g. getting more protein so my hair stops clogging up the drain in the tub — ugh, gross) and fitting comfortably (and feeling fabulous) in my clothes. Eventually I think I do need to set a general poundage goal, but I’m still unsure of how I feel about that. We’ll have to wait and see.

So, um, I’m kind of thinking I need to get myself out on some dates again. But I’m tired of meeting morons and jerkface buttheads (I’m so mature). Chicago ladies — where should I go to find some eligible bachelors that aren’t of the John Barleycorn persuasion? I live in the ultimate no-man’s-land, straddling Wrigleyville and Boystown. To the east, there are gay — albeit gorgeous — men as far as the eye can see. To the west, it’s the land of the Bro-skis, a class of men so undesirable that I’d rather spoon my cats for the rest of my life. Waaaaah.

I’m crazily excited for my lunch today. I packed a salad consisting of butter lettuce + radicchio, a Greek quinoa salad I threw together, tomatoes, leftover avocado and some organic pea shoots. I grabbed a banana to have on the side. Here’s how you make the Greek quinoa salad (makes about 4 servings):

  • 1 cup dry quinoa, cooked
  • a bunch of full-fat feta (as much or little as you want)
  • 1 cucumber, sliced/diced
  • 1/2 can cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • drizzle of red wine vinegar
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste

Mix everything together in a large bowl and keep in the fridge, covered. It should stay good about 4-5 days. This stuff is great because it makes packing a lunch SO easy. I topped my salad with it today and can’t wait to try it out with some olive oil vinaigrette as a dressing. Lots of fiber and protein, too — yum! Feel free to tweak the recipe as desired — you can add onions, olives, whatever floats your boat. I recommend using the full-fat feta for two reasons: 1) I think low-fat cheese is disgusting, and 2) low-fat cheese doesn’t have enough flavor, so you end up using more anyway. If you really like the low-fat stuff though, go for it.

I’m off to finish the day. Have a good one!

June 30, 2011 at 1:37 pm 5 comments

Flip flop

I’ve been doing just that…flip-flopping…a LOT lately. But it’s all gonna stop today. Take a deep breath and prepare yourselves, ladies..

…cause the gym clothes were packed and brought to work today.

Yeah.

What’s that? You’re not really impressed? Well, hmph. I know Carrots ‘n Cake and FoodFitnessFashion are talking about signing up for marathons, but can’t we just be the tinest bit excited that I got my ass up off the couch?

Please?

In slightly more exciting news, I hit up the new Trader Joe’s on Diversey yesterday. I figured the crowds might have died down after being open for a little while, but the 15-deep line at each register proved me wrong.

source: Nibbles of Tidbits

Trader Joe’s Begins Tradin’ in Lincoln Park – Now Open – Racked Chicago.

Regardless, having my beloved purveyor of all things goat cheese in a much more convenient (and bus route-friendly) spot made me a happy girl. I walked out with just shy of $100 in loot, and can’t wait to scarf down every bite of it.

Well, except for the package of organic strawberries that had mold on them when I opened the package at home! Have you guys ever had that happen? I never know what to do, because I often throw out the receipt, or forget to bring the stuff back before it’s pointless and/or too late. But really, shouldn’t somebody be checking this stuff? I don’t think I should have to make sure the fruit I buy isn’t moldy, but maybe I’m wrong…

I also picked up some of these:

source: Girl with the Red Hair

In case it wasn’t obvious….these are. so. good. Omigod.

I have a pseudo-date tonight with my aforementioned fella. We’re still seeing each other, but have yet to reach that ever so elusive “title”… yet we talk every day, have confirmed we are seeing each other exclusively, and see each other very regularly. I don’t understand men. What the hell?

Anyway, this certain fella has several close friends that are ladies, and I will be meeting one of them tonight. She seems to be concerned that he does not spend enough time with her lately (although she has a boyfriend, as I’ve been told). I can’t help but worry that my eyes will be clawed out.

If they are, expect some really awesome typos in my next post :D

June 1, 2011 at 12:59 pm Leave a comment

Mama’s date night steak!

Hi loves!
So for a date night awhile back, I made flank steak.

It had sugar…

Spice…

…and everything nice…

Mama’s Date Night Flank Steak

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (you can use bottled but it won’t taste as good!)
  • 1 cup green onion and tops, chopped
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder (I didn’t measure this, just poured it in)
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger (I’ve used both fresh and dried – I think fresh tastes better though)
  • 1 flank steak (mine was just under a pound)

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients (except steak) and mix well. Place steak and marinade in rectangular dish or large ziploc bag and marinate for 24-48 hours in refrigerator.

chillin'

I had a little helper

Can I have steak too?

To cook on the grill, cook for 4 minutes, turn 90 degrees, flip and repeat. To cook indoors, heat a cast iron grill pan slowly over medium heat. Grill steak for 6 minutes, flip and grill for 5 minutes. Let rest on a plate covered with tinfoil for five minutes (both methods), then slice against the grain at a slight angle and serve. Bravissimo!

I didn’t take a picture because…well…it was date night! ;)

And remember my crazy caprese?

That’s some pink Himalayan sea salt right there!

Is that gorgeous, or what?!

Here’s the maple mustard chicken I had with it.

On the side, I had a New Glarus Spotted Cow.

And some strawbs + dark chocolate for a little sweetness :)

I have another dinner date tomorrow, and I’m still up doing laundry and cleaning — and have NO idea what I’m going to make! Any ideas?

Night, all!

April 4, 2011 at 11:45 pm Leave a comment

(She hasn’t fallen off the face of the earth…yet)

Hi friends!

I am so so sorry for neglecting PLW recently! My life has been in a bit of a shambles, and I just haven’t had it in me to post much. I highly doubt you’d want to listen to me moaning and groaning. Life is stressful, and while it really (really) sucks when it is, you just have to take a deep breath, look yourself in the eye and keep movin’ forward.

I decided to do a little self-therapy last night and watch “How Do You Know?” (with Reese Witherspoon) in bed curled up with a kitty or two ;) It didn’t make things suck less, but it sure made me feel better — the movie was surprisingly good! It was also much less of a chick flick than I thought it would be. I loooove Reese Witherspoon (did you know her first name is Laura?) and I think I love Paul Rudd even more.

He is just so damn cute.

swoon

My eats and workouts have been a bit all over the place lately, as tends to happen when stress comes into the picture. Regardless, I’ve been making a strong and conscious effort to do my best and stay on track because I know that when I eat well and exercise regularly, I feel 1000x better, and it keeps the stress from getting out of control.

A funny side effect of having a roommate that you don’t get along with at all is that I go to the gym more often…since it’s just 2.5 blocks from my house, I can head over there whenever I don’t want to be home! Great solution :)

I’ve been continuing to do my Women’s Health workouts and they have been fantasic! They are so comprehensive and well-put together, I never feel like I’ve missed something. I am also feeling seriously strong. Yesterday I did:

  • 3×8 dumbbell step lunges
  • 3×8 underhand grip reverse flys
  • 2×10 Swiss ball Russian twists
  • 3×10 alternating shoulder presses
  • 2×60 sec hold planks (split into segments bc I am still not very good at these!)
  • 2×8 Swiss ball hip raise and leg curls (these are KILLER)
  • 2×10 back extensions (in place of 90 sec prone cobra hold because I really really hate that move for some reason!)

If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend going out and getting your hands on the Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises! It is the cheapest personal trainer you can buy!

Speaking of the gym, I had a verrrrry interesting run-in yesterday. Remember my two-timing ways? Well thankfully things sort of resolved themselves on their own…While one guy seemed to be making more effort in showing that he was interested, I happened to be more interested in the other — you know, the spark. I was unsure of what to do about the situation when one day, Mr. Interested suddenly became Mr. dis-interested — we had plans, he canceled at the last minute, and I never heard from him after that! I was angry and thought it was very immature of him, but also relieved because it left me to focus on the person I really wanted to get to know.

Well isn’t the Universe a jokester, because guess who I ran into while stretching on the mat! After our first date, I knew that Mr. Dis-Interested and I worked out at the same gym because he lives very close to me. I also thought I had seen him there once before we had gone out. After he fell out of touch, I often wondered if I would ever run into him at the gym and how awkward it would be…Sure enough, yesterday I saw him saunter up to the treadmill line a few feet away from me! Naturally, I speeded up the ‘mill (to look super badass, obviously) and kept my head down, hoping to avoid eye contact.

I thought I had escaped the situation when I saw him walk past me again, this time over by the free weights. I was pretty sure at this point he had noticed me, but I didn’t want to let him know that I had seen him. I kept my eyes on the prize and completed the killer workout you see above. Just when I thought I was in the clear and stretching out on the mats, I noticed him walking toward me.

Cue mental panic.

Was this jerk really approaching me after blowing me off?

“Hi Laura…how’s it going?”

Cue awkward 30-second small talk conversation.

Him: “I’m sorry I haven’t called you…I’ve been really busy and just working like crazy.”

Me: “Uh huh.”

Cue more awkward small talk.

I wasn’t nice, but I wasn’t rude. I didn’t feel I needed to be nice. After he seemed to get the hint that I didn’t want to talk, he told me he was going to go finish his workout and I said I would “see him around.” Right.

Men are such stinkers! I hope he realizes that he messed up a chance with a truly incredible chick.

——————————-

Anyway….so I am still using the Livestrong calorie counter and I feel like it’s been extremely useful in helping me keep my calorie intake in check. This morning, for example, I made an oopsie:

It wasn’t from Sprinkles, but that was the closest thing I could find :)

I had a doctor’s appointment early this morning and didn’t leave myself time to make my normal steel cut oats for breakfast, so I grabbed a cinnamon roll Larabar. Well, I should have known better that those are only good for post-workout snacks because I was starving by the time I finished at 9:30! I stopped in Starbucks to get something a little more substantial and walked away with a (decently tasty) egg white, turkey bacon + cheese sammie on a whole wheat English muffin and a grande soy latte with a Splenda. It hit the spot, but I immediately realized my breakfast had way too many calories!

Of course when I got to work, there were 96 cupcakes waiting for everyone in the office. One of our main clients is a very large food brand, so we are constantly in communication with everything from cupcake trucks to daily enchilada recipes. One of our coworkers won some sort of prize on Twitter, and they came and covered her entire workspace with aluminum foil! To soften the blow, they left more cupcakes than I have ever seen in my entire life. I had to try one of the red velvets because it looked so darn cute, but I only wanted half of it — it was far too sweet and just not worth the rest of the calories. I was still accountable for it though, and I’m glad I was! Looks like my lunch will need to be a light one today…

image

I’ll try to post some more pictures today or tomorrow, but a few recent eats have been: Annie’s aged cheddar mac w/fresh green onions & shredded chicken, chicken avocado salad (AMAZING — see picture below, I’ll post the recipe this week) and leftover flank steak & roasted potatoes from a date night I had last week :)

image

Unfortunately, I was supposed to have a follow-up date tonight and just got word that he had to cancel. I am seriously bummed, and was really looking forward to it after a week from hell.

Oh well. Keep calm and carry on, right?

March 31, 2011 at 1:28 pm Leave a comment

Never enough hours in the day [+ pasta rosa verde]

Why, hello there.. *bats eyelashes*

I hope your Tuesday was a lovely one! Mine sure wasn’t, but I’m trying to get myself into bed and move past it…

Remember how I wanted to get plenty of sleep last night? Yeah, that didn’t happen =/ I got caught up making my lunch for today and the stinkin’ pearled barley took for-EVER to cook — even in the rice cooker! After waiting for that to finish, I still hadn’t wound down for bed and couldn’t get myself to go to sleep. I didn’t end up passing out around 2am.

Needless to say, I was tired and a big cranky pants all day.

But I still didn’t work out. What is going on with me? I feel like I’m in a funk :(

At least my lunch was delicious — with the pain-in-the-ass barley (not really, it was super easy) I mixed in some chicken thighs that I popped in the slow cooker with onions, veggie broth and poultry spice on high for about 3 hours. When I reheated it this afternoon, the chicken just fell apart and mixed in with the barley. Super tasty! (Make sure to sneak some of the chicken slow cooker juice though, or else it will be too dry). I also had a side salad. I would have taken a picture, but to be honest, it was pretty boring looking. How about a picture of a puppy instead? ;)

this is what I feel like right now

After work, I had another appointment with my chiropractor’s assistant (or colleague? I’m not really sure of her title) but she does more massage work than the crackin’ stuff. I saw her because I’ve been having issues with my sinuses, and boy did she help. I’m still feeling a little skeptical because I can’t figure out why my health insurance would pay for weekly 30 minute massages…because that’s what these are! Okay…maybe not JUST like a massage, but I always walk away feeling incredible, loose and refreshed. She spent a good amount of time massaging my face [that sounds super weird, doesn’t it?], concentrating specifically on my sinuses and temples — it felt amazing. I was honestly trying not to melt into the table…

As I was leaving, she told me that I need to be wearing a hat when it’s cold out to prevent headaches [I’m not really sure I understand this part.] I laughed and told her my mom would agree with her, to which she responded that I must be the same age as her grandson. The natural jokester that I am (hah), I laughed and asked if he was cute. Apparently that was the magic line, because within seconds she had me writing down my Facebook information and told me she would have him contact me…and she was dead serious! Bahahah! I tried to hold the laughter in and finally burst through the door outside to laugh my ass off….oh my.

Unfortunately when I left to run a few errands afterward, my hair and face were a big greasy mess from the lotion she used. I was a sight to behold, let me tell you…

On the trek back home, the weather dipped a few degrees cooler [and it was already cold, crummy and windy] and started drizzling a bit — just as my tummy was starting to grumble. The icky weather [and relative lack of all things carb/cheese loaded] had me craving something gooey and comforting, but I didn’t want to bust my calorie goals (more on this in a minute), so I decided to play around with a few things hiding in my freezer.

image

frozen shrimp + frozen broccoli

See my Misto hiding in the background? ;) I sauteed about 3 oz. [this is a complete estimate] of frozen cooked shrimp in some olive oil, garlic powder and sea salt. I know you are supposed to thaw shrimp before heating it, but I always just toss it in the pan — is this bad? I don’t see the point in taking 2 separate steps!

image

cheese and pasta -- now we're talkin!

After cooking about 3/4 cup of whole wheat rigatoni (my favorite pasta shape, next to orrechiette), I poured 1/2 cup Whole Foods marinara on top and mixed in about an ounce of WF goat cheese, then popped it in the microwave for 30 seconds to melt. I then mixed in about a cup of broccoli florets, mixed it all together and sprinkled some parmesan on top. Oh goody!

cheesy

I love the combination of colors in this dish — the red and green look so tasty together!

image

shrimp time

This may not be quite restaurant quality, but it’s close enough, easy as pie to put together, and pretty healthy to boot. Win!

For dessert, I had a few small squares of Green & Black’s 85% cacao dark chocolate and a bit of Malbec rose. I had thought about hitting the gym, but by the time my food had digested, it would have been at least 9pm — and that just sucks.

I talked a bit yesterday about how crummy I am feeling lately about my self image…One of the great things about living in Chicago is all the incredible restaurants + bars that are a hop, skip and a jump away. But that is also one of the worst things about living in Chicago as well — if you go out to eat/drink regularly, you are taking in a lot of extra calories!

I thought I was doing a good enough job keeping my intake in check, but apparently I have not, as I am feeling very uncomfortable in my skin lately. Add to that the jitters of dating someone new, and, well..you have a recipe for anxiety. So, dear friends…I have begun counting calories again.

BLEGH. I despise counting calories. It is so tedious, so time-consuming and so….sucky! I don’t want to know that my favorite foods are veritable calorie bombs because that means I can no longer eat them! But as any “dieter” will tell you, it keeps you accountable for everything you put in your mouth, and therefore it works. I don’t plan on doing it for long, but I feel that right now I need to get my food priorities back in check and re-learn calorie estimation and budgeting so I can still splurge on dates or weekends [or simply when I want to!]

I’ve been using Livestrong.com because they seem to have the most comprehensive list of foods. Here is a snapshot from my tally today:

This isn’t my usual intake of calories, but since I am trying to slim down, I’ve set it so I can drop a certain amount of weight per week [whether that actually happens or not remains to be seen]. The thing that I don’t understand is their goals for protein and fiber — why on earth would they imply that it’s bad to get more of those things, especially if you’re trying to lose weight?! I mean, they keep you full + satisfied — how the hell would someone eat a low calorie diet without adequate protein and fiber and still stay full? Kinda makes me laugh…silly Livestrong app, I know more about nutrition than you! ;)

The only reason I’m over on cholesterol is because of the shimpies I had for dinner, and I’m okay with that :)

They just released the Android app for Livestrong’s calorie tracker, but since it is so new it has horrible reviews and costs a whopping $2.99! I think I will wait until they drop the price and fix the bugs, thank you very much!

If all goes according to plan, my original goal of hitting the gym 3x a week (minimum) should do just fine in combination with calorie reduction for weight loss. The real trick now is going to be sticking to the numbers and getting enough sleep.

Speaking of which, lately I am really feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day. How do you gals do it, between working full time, errands, gym time, showers/prettying up, dating, friends, cooking dinner, prepping lunch….my head is spinning just writing this. It’s only Tuesday and I feel like the rest of my week is completely planned out, with nary a second to spare =/

More details to come, but some of said plans involve butterflies and pencil skirts.

I’m hitting the sack early for real this time. Night kiddos!

March 22, 2011 at 9:01 pm Leave a comment

I *don’t* have a case of the Mondays!

Hello friends!

How was your weekend? Lovely and fun-filled, I hope — whether fun for you means vegging on the couch or out and about all day.

I had an interesting morning today; get this — I didn’t wake up feeling crabby.

I know — where did the real Laura go, right?!

A good part of yesterday was spent cleaning and attempting to reign in the complete organizational chaos that is my bedroom. I have never been an organized or particularly clean person, and when I don’t have proper space and storage capabilities, that mess is increased TENFOLD. My room almost always has stuff all over the floor (which is a paltry 5×10 little spot next to my bed) and if something isn’t on my nightstand, windowsill or dresser, it’s probably lost and gone forever.

Do you ever feel like your head is a mess when your living space is a mess?

The problem is also compounded by these guys:

https://prettylittlewords.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/img_0643.jpg

Translation? Cat hair is everywhere. I feel like I am constantly picking and sweeping up little black tumbleweeds everywhere in my apartment, and especially in my room. Since it is so tiny, the fur has nowhere to go so most of it CLINGS desperately to my area rug and the rest clumps up together in corners. I kid you not, it is seriously gross.

Anyone have any suggestions for keeping pet hair/dander at bay, especially in small spaces? I brush them regularly, but with all the petting these little attention-seekers get, the hair is always coming off. (I vacuum and sweep frequently, of course).

Anyway, my long preamble was to explain why I felt so nice falling asleep and waking up after tidying up. I also have some squeaky clean sheets and a freshly made bed (you know, replacing the top sheet so it’s no longer bunched up on one side of the bed), which really makes for a deliciously luxurious night’s sleep, no? Maybe I should do that more often…

What I found made the biggest difference, however, was a surprisingly simple fix…

I opened my curtains!

I wish my view was this beautiful

source

Not only was I able to sneak in some fresh air since Chicago’s weather has been so nice, but the difference having a little sunlight in the morning really astounded me. It was easier to wake up on my own (although I still needed the alarm clock to actually get out of bed) and I just felt..well, happier! *facepalm* Duh, Laura…

My weekend was also full of good things. I got my first outdoor run in for the year, and was able to do so in a t-shirt and running capris. Talk about a mood booster! My mileage was average for indoors (for me, anyway) at 2.5 miles, but pretty darn good for outdoors! The pain in my knee is always an issue, so I have to be very careful when running outside, which is why I was so thrilled to make it all the way through my standard treadmill mileage! The sunshine didn’t hurt either ;)

I also spent most of Saturday with a certain someone and had the best time. I am almost afraid to talk about for fear of jinxing anything…as you may have noticed, I’m a total worry wort and overthink things way too much sometimes. But for now, I’m just trying to enjoy every second and try not to get too stuck in my head!

We went to dinner at a Japanese barbecue restaurant that I had never heard of before…it was so good! The best way I can describe it is a mix between Korean barbecue and fondue. There is a small grill in the middle of your table, then you order whatever combination of meats + veggies you want (they are served a la carte) and cook them yourself with a little set of tongs. It was so much fun, and I tried beef tongue for the first time…I was so nervous because, well, obviously it sounds nasty, but it was actually quite good.

There is a fun review of the restaurant here.

We went bowling afterward, then spent some time with his friends playing drinking games. My kind of night!

After some serious cleaning, I decided to hit up the gym yesterday with my Women’s Health book in tow. It had been a few days since I had really done any strength training (okay, five) so I really wanted to get back into it and feel the burn, baby.

And holy cow, am I sore!! I have slowly increasing my push up skills and can not only do many more than when I first started, but I can also do them better. Proper form really does make all the difference, and I have found that simply squeezing my glutes while doing push ups really improves the stabilization of my core (blegh, that was a mouthful). But you get the point — squeeze your buns and tighten your abs (whatever that means) while you’re pushin’, and your torso will stay straighter! Fun little tip from a newbie like me!

The rest of the workout included:

  • body weight squats with shoulder raise
  • single leg dead-lift with dumbbells
  • standing supported dumbbell row
  • hip raise with feet on a Swiss ball
  • Swiss ball roll-out
  • Swiss ball crunches

I think I’m missing one move in there after the squats but can’t remember what it was…Either way, I love these workouts. I really can’t endorse the WH Big Book enough — BUY IT!

My post-workout dinner last night was a delicious oven-fried chicken recipe I cobbled together from several online — I’ll post the recipe soon, because it was mighty tasty! I also picked up loads of veggies from WF, along with a few other things, so I’m excited to put together some fun meals this week…one of which will have an extra guest! :)

Adieu for now!

March 21, 2011 at 2:50 pm 1 comment

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