Friday, August 30, 2013

First Days in Buffalo

I arrived in Buffalo around dinnertime on Wednesday evening, and Terry met me at the airport after work. We headed straight to Jim's Steakout, which I mentioned in my last post.

Jim's is a small chain around Buffalo, apparently most famous for their steak hoagies. But my friend and Buffalo native Jenn has always said the real specialty at Jim's is the chicken finger sub. I ordered mine on a whole wheat roll with medium-spicy sauce, and it also came with bleu cheese dressing, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, and of course breaded and fried chicken fingers.

Oohhhh, my goodness. Jenn did not oversell the deliciousness of this sandwich. I loved the combination of textures and flavors: crisp, refreshing lettuce with spicy Buffalo sauce; juicy chicken with a soft roll (I kept commenting on how delicious the bread was--it actually comes from Costanzo's Bakery, another famous Buffalo food destination); creamy dressing with crunchy breaded chicken. I know it was just a sandwich, but I had heard about this masterpiece for years and was so excited to finally try the real deal. On the other hand, I told Jenn afterward that she really does a phenomenal job creating a copycat recipe; I'll have to ask her to do a guest post for me with the recipe so you can try it too!

Terry has to work almost every day that I'm here, so we headed back to his hotel and tried to get to sleep early Wednesday night. Unfortunately, my second cup of tea at 5 pm was a terrible idea, because I tossed and turned until at least midnight. Still, I woke up at six with Terry so we could eat breakfast together, and I was pretty bummed about the hotel breakfast options. They do provide a hot breakfast, and the eggs and potatoes were decent, but the produce options left a lot to be desired. More on that later.

After breakfast, Terry headed off to work and I got ready for a day at the lake with Jenn. Conveniently, she's in town visiting family for several days, so we met up at Starbucks and drove out to her aunt's lake house at Lake Erie. It was my first time at one of the Great Lakes!

We spent the day chatting with Jenn's mom and aunts, later joined by her cousin and three little kids. We took a long walk down the beach collecting sea glass, colored or clear pieces of glass that roll in from the lake. Jenn's aunt has a large collection that looks beautiful, and I picked up a couple of pieces to take home, along with some cool bright orange rocks.

Jenn and her mom also let me help them make stuffed peppers for the first time, which was ridiculously easy and far less intimidating than I thought. We scarfed them down after our walk, and I am already excited to make them again once Terry's back home.

After my fun day in the sun (I know the East Coast humidity has a terrible reputation, but I've been lucky to never experience it in Buffalo--80 degrees with a slight breeze and no cool down at night makes me so happy), I headed back to the hotel for a shower and scooted back out for a quick grocery trip. Wegman's is gigantic, like my favorite Whole Foods, and I grabbed a few essentials in hopes of making Terry's last week here a little healthier and easier--and more delicious! Like I said, that breakfast at the hotel was sufficient, but after several weeks I'm sure I'd be tired of it. Here's what I bought:

  • a bag of clementines
  • strawberries
  • blueberries
  • whole wheat bread
  • bottled water (we normally fill water bottles, but we don't have a filter here and opted for bottled water to ensure that we drink a lot)
  • eggs
  • peaches
  • an avocado
  • bell peppers
  • cucumber
  • hummus
  • pineapple
  • Greek yogurt 
  • Havarti cheese
  • butter
  • Honey Nut Cheerios, for a special treat (wild, right?)
I wanted to buy nut butter and maple syrup, but they were too big and expensive for just a week. But I think that list ought to do the trick for a decent few meals.

As for dinner last night, we met up with a few of Terry's coworkers for wings at Duff's, one of the most famous places for wings. The table ordered medium-spicy wings (which, for me, were already pretty hot, but they also have famous "death sauce"--Terry tried those once and declared that they are aptly named), 

which came with celery and carrots and blue cheese, but I also ordered a Buffalo chicken wrap for myself. None of Terry's coworkers had ever ordered anything besides wings at Duff's, so I guess it was weird, but I thought the wrap was delicious! I reluctantly sent half of it to work with Terry today, but I would totally go back for another one of those. They even used a whole wheat wrap and piled on plenty of lettuce and tomato--PLUS they grilled the chicken instead of breading and frying it! Awesome, huh?

Terry and I also made it to downtown Buffalo last night for a quick drink at The Blue Monk, a popular gastropub on Elmwood. I really liked the huge menu and loved the whole downtown area. I can't wait to go back another night to take our time walking around and maybe checking out some other restaurants. But last night at 10:30 we needed to get back to the hotel to sleep for Terry's early wake up call again today. Plus, I was still exhausted from my terrible night of sleep; at one point I meant to say, "We'll cross that bridge when we get there" (in reference to our future plans of where to live), but instead I said, "We'll solve that problem when the bridge is there." Um, time for bed, Julie.

Alright, that's plenty for now. Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow with more fun in Buffalo! Who knew this place was so awesome? Happy Labor Day weekend to you!

Check out Buffalo Part II: The Rest of Buffalo--and a Ton of Food Photos

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Blogging from BWI + WIAW

Hello from Maryland! I'm currently chilling at the airport in Baltimore before my (slightly delayed) flight to Buffalo.

Before I continue, I just want to say thanks for the response to the "chaotic" graphic and super tough workout yesterday! Sometimes we need a tough workout to feel awesome about ourselves, and I think that one did the trick!

I can't help but be impressed by this airport! I stepped off my first flight to find a plethora of dining options. Good thing, because I totally ignored all my normal travel rules and brought NO food with me today. I usually pack meals--or at least snacks--to keep myself feeling good throughout the day. But not this time. I was already on the freeway this morning when I realized I forgot to eat breakfast.

To be fair, I had to leave the house at 4:50 this morning, and it was a miracle that I even woke up, since falling asleep just was not what my body had in mind last night. (I didn't mind too much, because Scout crawled on top of my chest and settled in for a snuggle right around 11 pm.

 I'll take that over sleep any day.) Luckily I had packed everything last night and just needed to throw a few more items in my bag, make my tea, and feed the kitten before leaving.

I also can't complain about the 405 at 4:50 am. Home to the airport in under 20 minutes! Thankfully, things moved smoothly from there. I parked, hopped on the shuttle, and made it through security with plenty of time to spare. So naturally, my first priority was breakfast.

(It's blurry because the lighting sucked and I didn't want to take eight pictures to get a good one, but you can pretend it's because I was in a rush. Adds to the drama!)

A KIND bar did the trick, though the single bag of peanuts I had at the beginning of my four hour flight to Baltimore probably could have been supplemented with a piece of fruit.

As I mentioned, I found plenty of choices for a late lunch at BWI, but I chose Chipotle because I know the quality is consistent. Plus--bonus I discovered at the end of the line--free water!!! I packed my water bottle to refill, but chilled water is so much more refreshing, so I gulped down about 24 ounces with my lunch.

I'll land tonight around 6:30 (as long as the flight doesn't get delayed further), and Terry is taking me to one of his favorite Buffalo dives (my friend Jenn, who is from Buffalo, also loves it), Jim's Steakout. I obviously don't have a photo yet, but Terry went a couple times while he's been out there, so here you go:

I've only had Jenn's homemade versions, which are utterly delicious. I'm actually a little worried I won't like the original as much, but I'm willing to try. The things I do for the sake of research, I tell ya.

I haven't done my usual snacks and small meals today, but I'm sure I'll be back on track tomorrow. Traveling days are always tough, even when I'm 100% prepared. But I'll continue chugging water (thanks, Chipotle!) and hopefully I'll find some fruit along the way. I'm off to grab a tea and board my flight. I hope you had a spectacular Wednesday!

Be sure to check out the other WIAWs!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Learning the Tools of the Trade

I don't--never have, likely never will--consider myself an expert blogger by any means. I publish five times (ish) per week, and usually my posts take at least 45 minutes to write, edit, and publish. If I create some sort of graphic, like I did tonight, I can count on closer to 90 minutes to publish. Some days it takes all day to finally get a post up, and I don't find myself moving any faster even after almost two years.

I'm slow on my computer. No matter how many times I edit (usually using PicMonkey), I still feel like it takes me forever to create something I'm happy to post. And often times I'm not even that thrilled with the end result (tonight would be an excellent example), but I'm too tired to go back and make changes.

I'm also overly critical of myself, especially in my writing. I delete, revise, edit, and rework most of what I write. I take about 15 photos of each meal to get one I actually like (I imagine this number will change if/when we move to an apartment with some natural light). I am almost always too lazy to edit said photos, unless I make time for a collage or graphic. And often when I do edit photos, I hate the outcome more than the original.

But the truth is, I still enjoy this blogging thing, learning a new trick or two along the way. It will never be a full-time job (or even a part-time job), but it's fun and challenging, much like my book project, and I'm going to keep on doing it.

To show my lack of talent but bountiful willingness to publish imperfect graphics, here's the workout I designed for Terry to complete in his hotel room tomorrow. It looks pretty challenging--I may try it myself while I'm out visiting him!

It's pure chaos, right? Oh, well. It only looked chaotic when I got to the last ones, and by then it was 10 pm. I actually have plans tomorrow (shocking!), so I'm going with it!

Some notes:

1 min 180 Jump Squats + 1 min Pendulum Lunges (complete 2 times)

25 crunches of choice--choose something challenging, like legs up or bicycle crunches

1 min Star Jumps + 1 min Tricep Dips (complete 3 times)

2 min Side Walking Planks -- in a plank position, "walk" sideways, moving right arm and leg together, then bringing left arm and leg back to a plank, continuing as far as your space will allow, then reverse the other direction

50 Jumping Jacks + 1 min Down Dog Split Switches (complete 3 times) -- for the second exercise, start in Downward Facing Dog, lift right leg straight up into the air, hold 2-3 seconds, then lower and switch

1 min Wall Sit -- aim for right angles at your ankles, knees, and hips, with your full spine as flat against the wall as possible (to increase the challenge, place a stability ball behind your back and against the wall)

25 crunches of choice

10 Wide-Arm Push Ups + 10 Tricep Push Ups (Complete 3 times)

Let me know what you think!

What's your hobby? Do you work hard to improve, or is it just for fun?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

30 Days to Write 50,000 Words

Well, folks, Sunday has come and gone. Of course, for me, this fact simply means that I am one day closer to seeing Terry (I fly out to visit him this week!). In the meantime, here's what I've been up to:

Visiting with friends. I'm realizing how easy it is for me to slip into a routine where I stay home most of the time, hang out with Terry if I want to go somewhere, or just relax on my own. But lately I've been blessed with many invitations to hang out with friends, and it's been wonderful to get out, see some of my favorite people, catch up on their lives. Today I met my friend and former coworker Courtney for brunch in Santa Monica at Cafe Montana. The neighborhood is adorable! I immediately fell in love with the sidewalk cafes, local shops, and tree-lined streets. And our meals were delicious!

I had the eggs Florentine; Courtney went with the huevos rancheros. We loved them both. Plus she tried the bloody mary and I got a glass of champagne. Courtney teaches at the school where I used to teach and starts school this week! Here's hoping for a great year.

I also get to have dinner with a different friend/former coworker tonight, and I'm hanging out with my friend Katie and her sweet baby girl tomorrow during the day.

Soaking up some great workouts. I have been trying to push myself outside of my normal routine this week. Yesterday I threw on a Zumba DVD for 30 minutes, and twice this week I've completed GPP Fitness workouts (<--FREE workouts published! just be aware of your limitations and consult a doctor before making major fitness changes). Today I tried a legs workout from GPP Fitness:

  • Run 1/4 mile (400 m)--I ran at 6.0 mph
  • 30 jumping lunges (the website calls for R + L = 1 rep, but I almost died the first round and switched to 30 total instead)
  • 30 squat to box jump (I used a step)
Repeat as many rounds as possible for 35 minutes. I took SEVERAL rests and was happy to complete five rounds total I tacked on another 400 m run at the end to get to an "even" 1.5 miles. But I was dripping the entire time and definitely felt my heart rate through the roof. For the third round, I even  skipped the jumps and did plain walking lunges + regular squats, and then went back to the jumping for the last two rounds. Despite wanting to pass out a few times, I really liked this workout!

Missing Terry. This one's obvious, but I'm counting down the days until I visit him. Then once I get back, he'll be home just a few days later. I always hate these long trips, but I think I'm getting better at dealing with them. I find creative ways to keep myself busy, and I'm essentially unafraid of being alone in my apartment day and night. When I was young, and even for a few years after college, I was terrified of being alone. But I've grown comfortable with this apartment, and of course I have a very reliable guard cat to watch over the house.

Isn't he ferocious?

Writing a novel. What?! Well, over the summer I read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. In it, she mentions a novel-writing project started by Chris Baty where thousands of people take on the challenge of writing an entire novel in 30 days. I bought Chris Baty's book, the how-to of undertaking this daunting task, and decided to go for it. 

Despite being an English major and English teacher, I've done very little creative writing (aside from sappy poetry in high school, which my parents thankfully don't tease me about too much now). And honestly, I've never really thought about or wanted to write a novel. But this challenge seems fun and difficult and something new to get my creative juices flowing. So don't be surprised if I start to throw in more flowery language here on the blog.

Note the sarcastic file name.

So, how does it all work? Here are the basics:
  1. Write 50,000 words (about the length of The Great Gatsby) in 30 days. That's 1,667 words per day.
  2. Think quantity over  quality (my inner critic is having a tough time with this one)--even character development and plot don't matter--they will develop as you go.
  3. Tell people about the challenge and push yourself to really do it. Chris Baty provides some funny ideas for how to convince yourself to keep going, such as writing a check to an organization you do NOT support and mailing it if you aren't done on the 30th day. I'm doing a similar "bet" for myself.
  4. Don't tell people the specifics of your story, and don't let others read it. Criticism from others will make you doubt yourself, which will delay the project. 
  5. No editing along the way. When you finish, if it has the potential to be a masterpiece, you can edit and find a publisher. Otherwise it was just a great accomplishment and something you can revisit later. Or throw away.
I started yesterday (3,929 words done!), and I am expecting to finish the day before we leave for Europe, September 22. Here we go!

What have you been up to lately?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Technology Rocks!

Cheesy title, I know. But isn't it true? I know social media often gets a bad reputation for overtaking our lives and the false sense of intimacy it gives us. And while there may be truth to those arguments, I have noticed lately that technology--including social media--does far more good in my life than bad.

As I've mentioned several times, Terry has to travel for work for extended periods of time. He usually leaves for three or four weeks, sometimes coming home for a break and leaving again. He travels to the East Coast, so the time difference plus the extra work make life rather difficult for us. Aside from barely getting to speak to each other--when he finally finishes with work and dinner it's usually time for him to get to bed--Terry's also under a lot of extra pressure because his work is time-sensitive (obviously, the longer it takes to complete the work, the longer they have to stay!). Plus I'm back at home, lonely and trying my best to keep up with everything out on this end--car maintenance, cat care, shuffling the cars around for street cleaning day, etc. I think if he was gone for only a week at a time it wouldn't feel so bad, but the extended absences make things particularly tough.

I have to pause here and commend all the spouses and partners of military members who go on deployments for months at a time. I struggle with even a few weeks of long-distance; I can't imagine how difficult it would be for much longer. Kudos to you if you deal with long-distance! (Also, HOW do you deal with it??) One of my best friends and her now-fiance did the long-distance thing (3,000 miles apart!) for quite awhile after college, and I'm still in awe of how they made it work!

Thankfully, technology has made these long work trips far more tolerable. Terry and I still keep up with our daily e-mails (we always e-mail each other throughout the day, so it's nice to be able to maintain at least one of our usual routines). We also of course text and call whenever possible. But I'm most grateful for Google Hangout. We usually just talk on the phone, but once or twice a week while he's away we'll actually video chat. It makes such a difference to be able to see each other and interact like we normally would at home. Those short conversations make all the difference in keeping my sanity.

Besides keeping in touch with my very favorite person, I'm amazed at how technology has affected so many other aspects of my life. For example, I'm helping to organize my ten year high school reunion, and the invite list grew from just over one hundred to almost four hundred in a matter of days. Way to go, Facebook!

Social media also makes it easy to stay up to date on people's lives. I'm notoriously terrible at remembering and acknowledging birthdays, and I'm thankful to social media for at least providing the opportunity for me to double check when my friends' birthdays are. Then I am fully aware that I am missing the birthday instead of just being oblivious. 

Plus--maybe this isn't a problem for you if you don't stress out when you see people you haven't seen in awhile--I find it helpful to be able to check up on what people are up to. I know, I know, I should ask them and be aware of it already, but I'm just going to be honest: I have no confidence in my memory. It's not that I have a bad memory; I just don't trust what I remember. So I might remember that you recently started a new job, but for some reason I panic that maybe that was someone else. Or maybe that was a year ago. Or maybe you actually just quit your job. So social media allows me to confirm (or relearn, as is sometimes the case) what I think I know. Trust me, the conversations would be far more awkward on my end otherwise.

Social media also provides a phenomenal motivator for me fitness-wise. Just today I completed a GPP Fitness workout that Bobbi posted to her Instagram account. (30 seconds squat + press, 30 seconds bent rows, repeat for 20 minutes--hello, sweaty mess!) Reading other people's fitness blogs or even just seeing that a friend went for a run makes me more excited about my next workout. I think I imagine us all holding hands and working out together. Is that weird? Okay, ignore that last part. Also, most workouts would be really difficult to do if we were holding hands. 

While I'm on a roll, let's talk about some other fun uses for technology:
  • Teaching! My students crave variety, so I throw in YouTube clips, PowerPoints, you name it. 
  • Knowledge. I love to learn; I constantly find myself on random websites that teach me strange, superfluous facts about subjects in which I really have no business being interested. Wikipedia is one of the modern wonders, if you ask me.
  • Organization. Terry and I share a Google calendar and have not had a scheduling conflict since 2007. (Date unconfirmed.)
  • Travel. Terry loves maps and public transportation systems, so he downloads apps of each city's metro or subway. We never get lost! Plus, we use Rick Steve's free iTunes walking tours wherever we go and learn a ton.
  • Oh, and who can deny the awesomeness of ecards? 

What's your favorite use of technology? 

(I would have loved to add far more photos to this post, but I am--yes, ironically--experiencing major Internet issues tonight. Ah, well.)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

WIAW and Summer Tabata

I know school has already begun for many school districts, but technically we still have another month before fall officially starts. To celebrate, I created a quick and sweaty Tabata workout!

Here's how Tabata works for each set:
  • Complete the first exercise (in this case, the first exercise in the first set is lunges) for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • Complete the second exercise (in the first set, jumping lunges) for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • Repeat those steps with the same exercises three more times--four minutes total
Then you'll move on to the next set (in this case, push ups and reach 'n' rolls), repeating the 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off pattern for four minutes. Continue with the third and fourth sets--and then you're done! All in just 16 minutes of work (though, if you're like me, you'll take a minute or so between sets to breathe!).

Here are some links to help with the moves:

Push ups - on your knees or on your toes; just keep good form (shoulders, hips, and knees/toes in line)

Side lunges - alternate R, L

Squat with front kick - alternate each time you squat

Terry will be testing this Tabata in his hotel room in Buffalo. He hates jumping lunges, so I'm sure I'll get an earful about those. If you try it, let me know what you think!

Today's WIAW started pretty pathetically; we had a sad, empty fridge this morning and I had to roll with just two eggs topped with a little maple syrup, plus tea.

I grabbed a spoonful of peanut butter late morning

And then I headed to Terranea in Palos Verdes to meet some of my former coworkers for lunch at Nelson's. I went with the mahi mahi tacos, which were absolutely delicious.

 I also most certainly enjoyed a little of each of the three desserts we all ordered (there were seven of us, so it's not as bad as it sounds)! Oh, and can we talk about the views at Terranea?

For dinner, I whipped up some marinara sauce, roasted eggplant, and brown rice pasta--I had to wing it, but it was surprisingly delicious

For dessert, a banana with peanut butter and honey

Not a bad day! Hope your Wednesday was awesome. We're inching closer to the weekend!

The Long Road Home

I loved reading all your comments on Sunday's post, Last Weekend in My Hometown. I, too, said goodbyes yesterday when I drove away for the last time. Lots of tears and hugs from Mom and Dad made it easier (or harder?), and I was thankful for Scout's presence because focusing on him proved a valuable distraction.

Scout has always hated car rides, but being away from him for several weeks while I was helping my parents just wasn't an option. So we brought him along, and I knew I would have to drive back with him on my own (Terry is still on a business trip). But he actually did alright and even snoozed a little on the way down. We tried using a ThunderShirt, recommended by a few other pet owners I know; I'm not sure if it worked, but it certainly didn't hurt, so we'll keep trying it. (If you're curious, the ThunderShirt is supposed to help animals calm down during thunder, travel, etc.)

Don't worry; once we got home he managed to calm down juuuuust fine

On the way back to LA, I stopped at the jeweler who crafted my engagement ring (<--you can read Terry's version of his proposal!) because I had somehow managed to twist not one but two of the prongs around the center stone. Amazing. But the jeweler polished 'er up real nice and now my rings sparkle like new! I joked with the jeweler that I was worried I'd get distracted by the shine on the way to LA.

After the long drive (about five hours, not including a super quick stop in Kettleman where I scarfed a KIND bar and ran to the bathroom--I didn't want to leave Scout alone in the hot car for more than a few minutes),

Okay, apparently it would have been longer in the other direction

I hauled in my luggage, showered, and turned right back around to grab dinner. Given the lack of groceries (which you'll also notice in tonight's WIAW), cooking sounded ridiculous. Chipotle to the rescue!

The traffic gods smiled upon me, I got into the parking structure before the flat-fee started at 6 pm, AND there was no line; when I walked into Chipotle five workers were lined up at the service bar to greet me and make my bowl--it was hilarious. I told them I felt like they were a little welcome committee and that I was tremendously impressed with the 30 seconds it took for them to make my meal.

I went with The Food Babe's suggestion for Chipotle--lettuce, black beans, tomato salsa, cheese, SO MUCH GUAC, and sour cream (on the side). I usually get brown rice, but the meal was still delicious; the only difference was that I ate the whole bowl instead of half like usual.

I'm off to get the day started! I created a new Tabata workout and tried it this morning--super tough but quick and efficient! I'll post it tonight along with my WIAW. Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Last Weekend in My Hometown

For the last week or so, my parents and I have been packing up and getting ready for them to move out of my childhood home in Fremont, California.

The process has been rough: packing, taking loads to my parents' temporary apartment (where they'll stay while their new house is being built), cleaning, and dealing with how to say goodbye to this place. It's a huge undertaking, and I'm exhausted. But the movers will be here tomorrow and the next day to take a few big items to my parents' new apartment and the rest to storage to await the new house.

Despite the sad prospect of saying goodbye this week, we're certainly taking advantage of all our city has to offer. Of course, I've lived in LA for the last ten years (holy smokes, time flies), but Fremont will always be a huge part of who I am. Here's what we've been up to the last few days:

Several long walks through our neighborhood and all the gorgeous hills around our house

Finding old belongings and maybe putting them on just to see...

(There's a chance that my turnout isn't what it used to be)

Hitting up our favorite restaurants in Fremont

Deeelicious Mexican--it even rivals the best places in LA! (I'm enjoying leftovers as I type this post)

Our favorite pizza spot, Mission Pizza

Hiking Mission Peak, a super popular hiking spot in Fremont

A lot of other people had the same idea...

Today, I met up with a friend from high school to discuss our ten year reunion (again, how am I already ten years out of high school?) at a restaurant in Pleasanton, Jim's Country Style Restaurant. I just mention it because it appears to be a typical diner but has truly fantastic omelets. I ordered the "Dustin" with bacon, avocado, Jack cheese, onions, and bell peppers. Most restaurants tend to be skimpy on the veggies, but this place LOADED my omelet--I swear there was an entire avocado in there!

Tonight's our last night in this house, so I'm off to sleep. Hope you have a good start to the week!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Upper Body Mini-Circuits

Today's workout may not have been the best idea before a few hours of packing and moving, but it certainly felt good after several days without upper body work. I started with an upper body workout, including three mini-circuits:

Arm Circuit
Upright Rows - Use dumbbells or a barbell

Overhead Press - Increase the challenge by standing on one leg

Chest Press - Increase the challenge with an unstable surface, like a stability ball

Dumbbell Pullover - Increase the challenge with an unstable surface, like a stability ball

Fatigue Challenge
Challenge yourself to max out on pushups, then pullups. For an extra challenge, complete two or three rounds!

Ab Circuit - 3 rounds of 25 reps each

Dumbbell Crunches - Lay flat on your back with your feet straight up in the air. Holding a dumbbell with straight arms above your chest, lift your shoulder blades off the ground, reaching the weight toward your feet.

Twisting Crunches (with or without a weight)

I also took a Zumba class, which was really fun. The instructor called volunteers up on stage to dance  and even got me up there for one song. I'm liking Zumba more and more, especially as I see different instructors' styles!

The rest of the day--which obviously included a lot of packing and moving with my parents--moved pretty quickly. Most entertaining, of course, is Scout, who has found plenty of opportunities to sleep in strange places, jump into boxes, and even take a little walk in the backyard.

Off to bed to gear up for another day of helping pack and move.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sore on a WIAW

Happy What I Ate Wednesday! I'm still suuuuuper sore over here from this madness:

Looking back at the original post for this workout, I now realize that I only used weights for the deadlifts. No wonder yesterday was so hard! We used weights the entire time: 10-lb. dumbbells for me for all exercises except the Romanian deadlifts, for which I used 15 pounds. (Terry, champ that he is, used 20-lb. weights the entire time.) Yowza. Walking today is a little rough.

Now I'm back up in Northern California again to help my parents finish packing up their house. We moved a few items into their apartment today and will continue packing and moving throughout the week. Here's what I ate on this day of travel, moving, and relaxing.

Breakfast: leftover pancakes from last night with peanut butter and maple syrup, plus berries on the side and some tea

Lunch: a small sandwich

And a peach!

Snack: salami, cheese, and crackers

Dinner: steak, half a sweet potato (baked with butter and salt), and half a corn on the cob, plus a glass of wine

Dessert: shortbread cookies

I'm already looking forward to a solid workout tomorrow, since I took it pretty easy today. Mom's taking me to a Zumba class at her gym, and I'm hoping to squeeze in an upper body workout before that. Like I said the other day, hanging out with my parents usually means I'm in the midst of a fitness retreat. And I kind of love it!