yup, it's still there

thanks for all the well-wishes and congratulations... i'm still in a daze (having some issues with sleeping too, wonder why) but am extremely happy, and honestly - quite giddy... i keep looking down to make sure i'm not dreaming and yup, it's still there - pretty breathtaking... :)

3 months after meeting eric (back in april 2005), we were going to pittsburgh for the weekend (which also happened to be around my bday)... on the way, the snow began to fall and then for some stupid reason i said, "my sister doesn't live far from here, we should stop by and surprise them"... the snow was piling up pretty fast and yet there we were - in his little chevy S10 pickup, charging up hills, sliding all over the place, and having trouble seeing the road... we stayed at my sister's for like 15-minutes tops and then hit the road again, only to be faced with 1 open lane on the highway and snow coming straight at us... cars were spinning-out in the median, traffic was crawling, and i was a mess - but he was steady as a rock and said everything would be okay... i sat there crying at times, with my eyes closed, and he just keep talking to me and trying to make me laugh... by the time we got to morgantown, wv - the snow had finally stopped... when we got out of the car to get something to eat, i think i bent down and faked kissed the ground - i couldn't have been more happy to see concrete... by the time we made it to pittsburgh - it was pretty late so we didn't get to meet rigel and austin until morning... his brother had his hands full, to say the least, so eric and i took turns holding and feeding them... at one point, eric had them and he began singing to them - that was the moment that i knew he was the man i was going to marry... i have always wanted to get married and have children and seeing this, well - it was like icing on the cake for me... it was sort of like seeing into the future, if that makes any sense... :)

fast-forward to sunday night (4.5 years later)... we went out to dinner for eric's birthday - he had mentioned that he could go for some seafood, so i suggested this place mccormick and schmick's... it wasn't that crowded so the service was good and we had a nice, corner booth - i had salmon stuffed with crab, shrimp, and brie (yes, it was yummy) and some wine... i gave him his smoochy-noise birthday card and one from the cats (signed, of course), and as i was putting them into my purse - i turned and noticed the ring, in the box, on the table... he goes, "how did i do?" and i think i said, "are you kidding me?!" and just stared at it... sort of like - is this really happening, is that really sitting on the table, did he really just do that? and then he goes, "well, are you going to put it on?" and i said, "aren't YOU going to put it on me?" so he did and i was crying because it was so beautiful... then he asked me to marry him, so i jumped up and said yes, and we kissed, and then lived happily-ever-after... okay, we're still working on the last part but everything else is accurate... :)

after things settled down - we had some champagne and dessert (on behalf of the manager), and then headed straight to my mom's house... she was thrilled, of course, and was anxious to start calling my relatives... we also stopped by my oldest friend's mike's house (on the notion that i needed to get our depeche mode tickets) and ended up staying for a few hours, drinking, and talking... they were thrilled too since every time i saw them, i got a lecture on why 'it' hadn't happened yet... anyway, it was a totally unexpected evening but one that i will never forget... I LOVE YOU DARLIN! :)

needless to say, yesterday was a blur - between the lack of sleep, a terrible headache (which i still have remnants of) - i can't tell you how many people emailed and called... i haven't had this much attention EVER, so it's weird and cool at the same time... my other close friend stopped by last night to get a glimpse of the ring in person (which she approved) and told eric, "it's about damn time"... :)

tonight is the depeche mode concert (can i get a HELL YEA) and then my mom and i are leaving for NC bright & early tomorrow morning... i'm not sure what kind of internet service my cousin will have but i will post, if i can, and if not - i'll talk to you when i get back next week... thanks again for all the well-wishes... so does this mean i'll have to start a new blog? oh, how exciting! i can't wait! :)

happy tuesday...


so i wasn't expecting THIS yesterday (eric's birthday)... not that i'm complaining by ANY means...

i love you, darlin... i am THE luckiest girl in the world... xoxoxo

what kind of juice

so my coworker just finished a 10-day fast (juice, tea, etc.) and says she feels amazing... she had spoken to her doctor about not feeling very energetic, bloated, and tired so they gave her some recommendations... granted, she's 23 and not overweight by any means, but still managed to lose 7 pounds (she thinks more since she didn't get weighed til 3 days after the fast ended)... it makes me wonder though what exactly is lost during those 10-days besides water - how many toxins, etc.... are they safe? have YOU tried one? are there really good benefits to fasting? thoughts/comments appreciated...

diet/exercise have been okay - nothing stellar by any means... it's time for a new weight workout but i haven't done enough research and w/vacation looming next week - i see no point in starting something til i get back... i WILL be taking exercise clothes for sure because i know my mom goes walking every day and my cousin, at one time, was running so that shouldn't be an issue... i will bring my blender/ingredients to make green monsters, but as for everything else - i have no idea... since my cousins live in/near a shrimping village - i'm hoping to have seafood a few times at least... there's nothing better than getting fresh shrimp straight from boat, my friends... :)

weekend plans: eric's bday is on sunday and (1) i have no idea what he wants and (2) have no idea where he wants to go for dinner... guess he'll be making his choice at the last minute so stay-tuned... other than that - the usual chores, grocery shopping, and cleaning... our beans and tomatoes will need picking, so i'll have to spend some quality time in the garden... i'll also need to start gathering things for my trip, paint the toenails, and help eric put together the stuff we got at IKEA last weekend (it's still in the box and driving me nuts!)... :)

i'm ready for this day to be over - only 4 more hours to go...

have a great weekend and happy friday... :)

i'm alive

ugh, so sorry that i haven't posted since last week! between work and a very busy weekend - i just haven't had the time to sit down and write (or catch-up with everyone either)... i was finally able to take a breather today, but have to leave early for my 3-month dermatology appt. so the work day will be short... and what could be better than meeting mom later at kohl's to do some shopping... :)

so work has been extremely busy - since i'm out-of-the-office starting next tuesday - i have two big projects that have to get into review mode while i'm gone... one being an annual pub that is 300+ pages (and boring as hell)... i've gotten that pretty much in the bag and then will start working on the other project tomorrow - fun fun...

this past weekend was quite a blur - saturday we ran a bunch of errands and then one of eric's friends had a party saturday night... eric ordered a cap for the back of his truck so now we'll be able to sleep in style while at the beach (we stick a futon in the back so it's nice and comfy)... then we checked out this architectural restoration/recycle place that had all sorts of stuff dirt cheap... like sinks, doors, windows, tiles - you name it, they had it! we'll probably go back once we have a handle on what our 1st big project will be (bathroom or kitchen)... IKEA was next on the list and even though the items i wanted had been sold-out since 10:30 - we still managed to find a nice, walnut-colored tv stand and matching shelf for above it... i'm very excited since right now we sort of have a mish-mosh of stands and this way - everything can be in one unit and organized! yay! as for the party - not much to say besides it was a lot of fun and i played my first game of beer pong (not too shabby either)... i was the DD so it was fun people-watching... ;)

on sunday - my mom invited me to go w/her to the charlestown races... one of her friends was in the hospital and wasn't able to go, so i said, "what the hell" since i had never been... we had a nice lunch (buffet) where i tried to take small portions but ended-up overeating anyway... it was a beautiful day regardless though the most i won, at one time, was $2.80! i also didn't win anything on the slots but those things are fixed anyway... ;)

so that's what i've been up too... i'm still doing the green monter thing in the morning and have to say my newest combo is the best so far:

- handful of spinach
- 1/2 c. soy milk
- 1/2 c. coconut water
- 1/2 c. blueberries
- 1/2 c. pineapple
- 1/2 banana
- 1 tbsp. salba

happy hump day...

calories in, calories out

green monster (day 2) > today's smoothie consisted of the following ingredients and it was mucho-tasty... i also included the calories for each item (as listed on myfitnesspal.com) in case you're curious...

  • 1/2 c. light orange juice (50)
  • 1 1/2 c. spinach (10)
  • 1/4 c. blueberries (20)
  • 1/2 banana (53)
  • 5 frozen strawberries (20)
  • 1 tbsp salba (32)
  • ice
total calories > 185

bodybugg > eric sent me this link yesterday and i have to say i'm very intrigued... if it wasn't so expensive, i really think i'd buy one just so i could see how many calories are being burned during a workout... it also keeps track of how many calories your're taking in, which could be a huge help if you're the type of person who doesn't like tracking or using an online service... so my question is - would you use a tool like this? just curious...

exercise > i didn't go to the gym today (stupid work) and am thinking about finding another workout for my non-cardio days... i've thought about going thru my current workout routines and creating new ones, but i'm feeling bored for some reason... i was on prevention's site earlier and saw a few that looked pretty interesting - guess i need to sit down and start planning...

food > has been good so far... we grilled some chicken breasts on sunday so for dinner last night - i made enchiladas... i used the whole wheat mission brand tortillas and you couldn't even tell the difference between those and the regular white flour kind (eric agreed)... we also made brown rice and these great refried pinto beans from trader joe's - talk about yummy! i could just those by themselves! and the best part - leftovers tonight! :)

happy tuesday...

not quite THAT green

today i started another 30-day challenge, but it won't be as elaborate as the one last month... i'm trying to keep things simple since i don't want to feel overwhelmed or really bummed if i can't do something on my list (is that bad?)... i'm also going on vacation at the end of the month, so that will throw a wrench into things anyway... here's what i'm going to do:

  • start each day with a green monster
  • do at least 45-minutes cardio 5x week
  • do at least 2 belly-off workouts a week
  • do a better job at tracking my food
  • lose 5 pounds
this morning was my first attempt (see pics below) at making a green monster - i bought nonfat, vanilla soymilk but am not sure how much i liked it... tomorrow i will try low-calorie orange juice and see if that makes a difference and if not, i'll go back to using skim milk... overall, i really liked it but can't say that it kept me fuller, longer - i was hungry around 10:00 and had my usual snack which was a piece of fruit... eric even participated and agreed that it was rather tasty... i'm excited about trying different fruit combos and using peanut butter since that and bananas is my top smoothie flavor... yummy! :)

i read an interesting article in women's health about why people fall-off the workout wagon... i can definitely say that i've been there, done that more than once and thought i'd share what they had to say... what are your thoughts/comment?
  1. take charge of your fitness decisions
    find an exercise that you enjoy because if you force yourself to do something you hate (running, spinning, aerobics, etc.) you probably won't last very long... the more your invested in the exercise, the more you performance will improve and the more you'll want to keep going... and don't let someone else (family/spouse) talk you into doing something you don't want to do...

  2. give yourself props for progress
    the longer you stay w/an exercise because you're comfortable, the longer it will take to see improvement... mixing things up (intensity and/or type) trains the muscles differently and results will show quicker... and keep a work out log so you have a record of how far you've come and what you've achieved...

  3. make it social
    a study has found that working out in a congenial atmosphere helps people stay motivated, and provides a source of encouragement... sign-up for a kickboxing class, join a running group, or start walking with a neighbor - they'll provide support and you can push each other to reach certain goals... plus if you're having a bad day, exercising w/a friend might be just the thing you need!
well, i'm off to finish dinner - we're having chicken enchiladas with brown rice and refried pinto beans... i can't wait - me love mexican food... :)

happy monday...

lazy sunday

it's been a great sunday, considering it's our first one w/out having to go anywhere, in over two weeks... the yard needed mowing, the laundry needed to be done, groceries had to be bought, and the house needed to be cleaned - sounds fun, eh? we managed to get the majority of things done by 1:00 so the rest of the afternoon was pretty lazy - i read some of my woman's health and watched some triple-D on the food network... for dinner - we'll be grilling shrimp (and chicken for later this week) and having a complete salad from our garden, as well as some green beans that are coming-in like gang busters... we'll have plenty to eat in the next few weeks, as well as freeze... :)

our quick trip to pittsburgh was nice - we stopped to see a friend of eric's from college on friday night, who recently bought a bowling alley from his parents... he's in the process of fixing it up and though there's much to do, i can see a lot of potential (remember that show 'ed')... from there, we headed to eric's brother's house and then stayed there for the night, before heading to the anniversary party on saturday... his parents were under the impression that this party was for eric's sister so when we yelled "surprise" for them instead, they were quite shocked! all of the kids and grandkids were there, so it was a nice afternoon... we hit the road after it was over and made it home in about 4 hours (i even got to drive the mini for a good portion)... :)

here's a good deal > amazon.com has a 1-year subscription to real simple for only $5!

anyway, here are some pics from today's harvest... enjoy the rest of your sunday! :)

turnpike, here we come

it's been quiet here all day and i'm glad because my boss is on vacation next week and i have yet another big project coming my way... this one isn't as exciting, unfortunately, but it's an annual publication and it must be done (300+ pages)... :(

since my boss left early and my in-box is empty - i'm hoping to scoot out a bit early... eric & i are heading back to pittsburgh tonight and we'd like to get ahead of the traffic (which is really impossible on a friday afternoon, in DC)... his sister is throwing his parents a surprise party for their 50th wedding anniversary tomorrow, so we're staying at one of his brother's house tonight, then will come home tomorrow after the luncheon... i know eric will want to come straight back, but a tiny part of me wishes we could stop by the fair again so i give all those horses one more hug & kiss... :)

as for the rest of the weekend - sunday will be packed with the usual stuff: yard work, grocery store, laundry, and cleaning... i'll need to map-out my green monster recipes and think eric will be joining me as well... i picked more blueberries the other night so they're in the freezer and ready to go - how exciting! :)

did i mention we finally watched 'the wrestler' last week while on vacation? i was pleasantly surprised and think mickey rourke did an amazing job - you sort of couldn't help feeling sorry for the guy... and let me just say - for a 45-year old, marisa tomei is SMOKING HOT... if you haven't seen it - i highly recommend it... :)

have a great weekend, everyone... :)

grow baby, grow

i have to be honest with you guys, esp. since kathleen over at pink bunny foo foo mentioned me in her post today... i haven't been following WW or any other plan, as of late - perhaps i would've lost more on my 30-day challenge if i HAD... and i know this will sound lame, but a part of me was like "i can only do so much at a time", so i chose exercise over food... granted - i didn't go hog-wild the whole time, but i didn't track anything either and i know it makes a difference (how long have i been at this again?)... once i get my next challenge firmed up - i'll sit down and figure out what my next step will be - count calories, go back to WW, who knows...

i also wanted to comment on something kathleen said...

"i honestly believe that the best thing for me is non processed foods and moderation. i just simply can't follow a specific program. i don't want to be on a program for maintenance, i just want to continue to read blogs, magazine and books that teach me about nutrition and what healthy eating means and looks like - i am a visual person."

seriously - this could be me... it's not that i hate following a plan - it works when you follow it perfectly and we all know what happens after a few weeks/months/years... you get bored, or tired, or maybe you've lost the weight and now you're ready for something else... a plan, to me, is a guideline/tool - it shows you what to do, how much to eat, how much to exercise, how much to drink, what you should avoid or cut-back on, how much to exercise, etc.... it's not rocket science, but for some people - they need structure/order... i have to wonder though - maybe i'm not that type... after all the years that i've been struggling to lose weight, i can definitely see a trend/cycle - i do really well and then i stop... i know we all have cycles but have you ever stopped and asked yourself, "why?"...

ugh, sorry to get heavy there - just thinking outloud again...

now onto some fun stuff! hilly posted some funky hairdos on her blog today, so of course i had to try this nifty tool myself... i'm not sure why i chose the styles that i did, but everytime i have a dream and can see myself - my hair is much longer... weird... don't get any ideas, eric - i like my hair short (though the first one is quite nice!)... ;)

happy thursday...

more recipes

thanks to all that shared some of their green monster ideas yesterday... if you check-out angela's website - she has posted a ton of recipes from other bloggers... i also read about salba and ordered two bottles last night so i can use that in my smoothies (amazon had the best deal)... here are just a few of the healthy benefits it offers:

  • nature's highest source of omega-3s and fiber
  • controls food cravings
  • supports digestive health & detoxification
  • source of natural energy & stamina
i promised to post the results of my 1st 30-day challenge - here are the results:
  1. 30-min cardio (min) daily - 29/30 days
  2. do the "belly-off" program 3x/week - check!
  3. take a class at the gym 1x/week - check! most weeks i took 2 spin classes
  4. do better at tracking points (esp. sat/sun) - didn't track anything :(
  5. cut-back on sugar - check!
  6. lose 5 pounds - lost 3.8
  7. not feel guilty about putting myself first - work-in-progress
starting weight: 164
ending weight: 161.2
loss: 3.8 pounds

starting measurement (total): 160.5"
ending measurement (total): 157.5"
loss: 3"

i believe my next 30-day challenge will involve a different smoothie, every morning - there are endless possibilities as far as ingredients go, so that should be an easy one... then again - i'm going on vacation at the end of the month, so that may pose a problem, but we'll see... i also may sign-up for a kick-boxing class - i just need to look at the gym calendar (as well as my own) and see if it will work... :)

happy hump day...

the green what?

so i keep reading about these 'green monster' drinks and finally found the website where it all began (see below)... i know a lot of you have already tried them and i'm curious to know what you think... did you follow her recipes or have you come up with your own? do you use the wheat grass powder too? just curious - i printed off a few recipes and am anxious to try one... anything that is healthy AND tasty can't be a bad thing! ;)

so anyway, i found a few new websites/blogs and thought i'd share... enjoy! :)

happy tuesday...

proof of vacation

as promised, here are some pics from my vacation...

seneca rocks, wv... people actually rock climb down the side of this thing...

this is the road to the top of dolly sods, it went on forever and ever and ever...

top of dolly sods, notice how flat it is... this plateau used to be covered with trees as large as redwoods but then it was deforested and all was lost...

i spotted this guy in my sister's driveway...

we can't go to the farm w/out taking the go cart for a spin (rain & mud included)...

the cows just LOVE to eat apples...

meet mr. bunny (there were 5 of these little guys)...

meet mr. belgian, isn't he beautiful? i'm 5'7" so you can see how large he was...

his nose was so soft, i just wanted to nuzzle him forever... :)

what do you mean it's over?

it was hard getting up this morning considering i haven't used an alarm in over a week... it's good to be back at work though, and i'm glad it's been a quiet morning - it makes going thru email and catching-up that much easier... we finally got home last night around 7:30 after taking some alternate back roads to dodge some pretty bad 4th of july traffic - we like doing that sort of thing because we always pass some really nice houses and farms... and somewhere along the way - we lost the license plate on the motorcycle trailer, so now eric has to get a new one (wasn't even a week old!)... :(

the week started off great - had an adjustment and a wonderful (but hard, in a good way) massage on monday... we left for my sister's on tuesday and stopped by to see my dad - got to spend a few minutes w/him before he took his afternoon nap... on wednesday, we took the bike down to seneca rocks in WV, then back up to dolly sods which was this amazing U.S. wilderness area that has the climate of canada (it's the highest plateau east of the mississippi)... the roads were questionable, but we made it and then the rain came - my first time experiencing rain on the motorcycle... it was fun and interesting, but i'm not sure i would want to go thru it again anytime soon... we had made it back just in time too because the downpour started and didn't stop til a few hours later... on thursday - we were driving to go see my dad before heading to pittsburgh and saw a black bear alongside the road... he was trying to climb over the guard rail and though it was too late to stop and get a better look - we watched him dip-dop to the middle of the road behind us, and then carry-on to the other side... he was crazy big too...

as for the rest of our vacation - we spent a lot of time w/his family... got to help move the cows one day and meet the new additions - they are just too cute for words when they're that small... because of the crappy weather, we didn't get in another ride til friday afternoon and then went to a nice, neighborhood get-together at another farm down the road... having drinks around a beautiful pond is something i could definitely get used too! on saturday, his family had a cookout at the house and all the siblings and kids were there - we had thought most were going to go to the butler fair later but it ended up just being eric and i... the fair was a LOT of fun - we got to see lot of animals including my favorite - the huge belgian workhorses... the ones that we could actually pet were so sweet - their heads just towered over us but i still managed to get in a good nuzzle or too... one was quite the nibbler too, so we had to be careful not to get too close... i wanted to just go around and hug them all, but doubt my arms could reach far enough to do so - i'm telling you, they were enormous! and to cap-off the night - we went back home and set off fireworks in the backyard (shhh)... there were also a lot of other shows going on in the area, so we sat on the porch and watched those for a good hour or so... can't complain - it was a great 4th of july! :)

as for diet/exercise - that was pretty much null & void all week... i have the results of the first 4-weeks of my challenge and though they are not as good as i was expecting, it's still progress i guess... i will post those later since i forgot my organizer today... i will also post pictures from vacation later so stay tuned... :)

hope you have a great monday...