Tuesday, February 26, 2013

a year in the making.

on Sunday, i finally made time to finish hand-tacking mark's tshirt quilt togther. yes, the one that my sister helped me with almost exactly a year ago that had been sitting in a mostly-finished but still unusable state of being since then. its finally all sewn together and is no longer held together with giant safety pins. but i'm thinking i should have looked into adding a thimble to my sewing kit before this project.

finish mark's quilt. totally worth the bruised thumb to get to cross it off the list.

Monday, February 25, 2013

meal plan monday: feb 25.

im on week 3 with my meal planning board and i have discovered its tragic flaw: as quick as it makes meal planning, it still doesnt just do it all for me. i had every intention yesterday of taking 15 or 20 minutes to throw together a plan and a grocery list, but instead i finished mark's quilt and washed dried and folded 4 loads of laundry and did 90 minutes of yoga and made dinner and watched three whole movies and parts of a fourth.

the chicken noodle soup that we survived on for most of last week.

on a normal week, this would make me feel like a failure. but i had the pleasure of having an extra unpleasant monday morning to give me a little bit of perspective about the whole thing. you see, in the 7 short minutes that i spent in the kitchen this morning to make coffee and pack my lunch, i somehow managed to fall off the stool and punch myself in the head with a bowl. so really its kind of impressive that i ever actually accomplish anything in the kitchen ever. so there. compared to the complete mess i am very capable of being, even this fail of a meal plan is still really a win.

Monday: lazy lasagna. (didnt eat it last week)
Tuesday: soup from a can.
Wednesday: crock pot chicken enchilada soup. (recipe)
Thursday: frozen raviolis. (also from last weeks plan)
Friday: burgers. (recipe)
Saturday: i declare a date night.
Sunday: fish, rice, and a veggie.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

just dont even ask.

it all started with termites.

i first noticed a steadily growing hole in the floor near our sliding glass door. this was very curious. what could be causing our floor to just disintegrate like that? so i went outside to investigate.

as i was crouched down inspecting the foundation of our house just outside the door, Mark came up behind me to see what i was looking at. so i pointed out the horrific sight of what had once been a major supporting timber of the house but was now looking more like a bunch of toothpicks. he reached to stick his hand through the beam, but i stopped him, as i had just sighted the culprit. the termites. we had a live infestation on our hands.

by the by, termites are creepy and ugly.

mark seemed surprisingly unconcerned about this whole nasty turn of events. when i asked him why he wasnt worried about the structural integrity of our house and the fact that we were going to have to rip down our whole deck, he pointed out that it was not our house. and he was right. it was one of the cabins at a church camp.

i went inside the cabin to warn everyone that they should probably evacuate the premises before the entire building collapsed because of the extensive termite damage. but no one would listen to me. the entire youth group was too busy having a birthday party, and they insisted i take a group picture for them.

i stood on a rocking chair to get a better angle, but commented that the lighting inside the cabin was terrible. so one of the girls helpfully started lighting the decorations on fire to provide more light. i asked her if that was a safe plan, but she assured me that since everything was plastic, the fire would burn slowly. it took a couple tries to get a picture that wasnt blurry, thanks to the combination of the low light (which got better as the flames grew) and the fact that i was standing on a rocking chair.

after the kids were satisfied with the picture quality, i walked outside to check on the state of the termites i had just remembered, when i stumbled across the youth pastor attempting to seduce his wife by performing some sort of intricate dance involving a lot of outfit changes. it didnt appear to be working, so i moved on just as my boss walked up to my cubicle and asked if i had a minute to talk about something. so i followed him around the corner into his office.

just as he was about to tell me why he wanted to talk to me, my husband lovingly shook me and told me it was time to wake up and get ready for the day. he claimed to know nothing about our house being eaten by termites, so i'm 95% sure it was all just a dream and i wont have to tear down the deck anytime soon.

my brain is a strange place to live.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

non-resolutions i have done.

finish reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy & watch the movies with the hubs. i kind of sort of really lost myself in this series. if you have never read these books, GO READ THEM RIGHT NOW. they are fantastic. the movies? eh. they followed the storyline pretty closely, but they also left out a lot of my favorite parts, and the ending was a little disappointing. also: where exactly in the books did i miss that whole Aragorn/Arwen epic love story that was such a major plot point in the movies? i felt a little cheated because i read all four of those books and still managed to be confused and clueless during those parts of the movies. overall, i'm really glad i made this a priority.

go skiing. did it. rocked it. would go again sometime this winter if i could find time and friends to go with at the same time.

clean out my closet. quick story: last weekend, i had a spur of the moment girls day out with my friend Nadine who i am SO glad lives in Maryland. we checked out a little furniture rehab/antique store, shopped the clearance racks at the mall, and went out for dinner somewhere new. it was a fantastic way to spend a day, and we both came away with some really good deals, housewares, (you should see her new dresser!) and new clothes.

the problem with me buying new clothes is that i didnt really have anywhere to put them. i had run out of room in my drawers and hangers in my closet, and my wardrobe was already overflowing into a second closet in the guest room. so i decided that before i could put away any of my new buys, i would have to clean out what i already had to make room for it. so thats what i did. i went through my closet and got rid of anything that no longer fit or that i no longer wore. and then i did the same thing to my dresser. and my second closet. i even went through my "extensive" (according to my husband) collection of shoes.

my side of the closet post-purge. 

there is no 'before' picture, and its even kind of hard to believe that this is an 'after' picture since it isnt super amazingly organized, but do you see all those empty hangers on the right side between my blue hoodie and the blue bag? those are all the hangers that i managed to empty. my drawers look a little more organized and close a little easier. and my second closet looks virtually the same. but believe it or not i managed to glean two trash bags full of clothes out of my wardrobe that are ready to donate. (thats not even counting the stuff that wasnt good enough to donate) that bag in the middle? shoes.

mark still thinks i have too many shoes. and clothes. and of course, now that i put my new clothes away my closet is just as packed as ever. but its packed with good stuff that i like, so i see that as a blessing. i am tempted to add 'reorganize the closets' as a followup nonresolution, but i dont want to get ahead of myself. for now, lets just cross it off the list!

three down, twenty-three to go.

Monday, February 18, 2013

meal plan monday: feb 18.

happy Monday y'all! i have absolutely nothing interesting to say today.

i guess i should probably mention something about my weekend - it was a good one. it was informative and productive and fun and frustrating and way too short. mark had to physically stop me from crawling back into bed this morning before work. too bad my company hates the presidents, otherwise i could have slept in today. (just kidding, my company is wonderful and loves america. please dont fire me!)

also, its week two of meal planning via the board i made last weekend and i still love this. it took me all of 18 minutes last night to pick out meals for this week, rearrange the board, and make my grocery list. there are still a few kinks to work out in the system, but the basics are all there, and they are awesome.

so without further boring, rambling ado: this weeks plan:

Monday: chicken parmesan with spaghetti. (recipe-ish)
Tuesday: chicken fried rice. (recipe)
Wednesday: crock pot chicken noodle soup. (recipe)
Thursday: frozen raviolis.
Friday: Meg's fish packets with veggies and rice. (recipe)
Saturday: lazy lasagna.
Sunday: angel hair w/ zucchini & tomato. (recipe)

Friday, February 15, 2013

post-p90x (workout) plan.

i've had this post bouncing around in my drafts folder for a few weeks now, so i guess i should probably take the time to finish it up so i can actually share it with the world. and then i promise i wont mention p90x anymore. probably.

so now that p90x is officially over and done with, now what? how can i ensure that i dont gain back all the pounds and inches i lost during that 90+ day workout extravaganza now that i'm back to occasionally snacking on chocolate and chips? i put in the work and have seen the results, so now to make sure that all the blood sweat and tears were not in vain, its time for a maintenance plan.

but before i get into the details of my workout plan as i move forward, lets take a quick look at what got me here. this what a typical week looked like while i was doing p90x:

Monday: Legs and Back with Ab Ripper X (1:16)
Tuesday: Jazzercise and Kenpo X (2:00)
Wednesday: off day.
Thursday: Jazzercise and Chest and Back or Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps with Ab Ripper X (2:16)
Friday: Plyo X (1:00)
Saturday: Shoulders and Arms or Back and Biceps with Ab Ripper X (1:16)
Sunday: Yoga X (1:30)

total time per week (max): 9 hours, 18 min.

that was a lot of working out. tuesdays and thursdays were especially rough, what with keeping up my typical jazzercise schedule and then adding another intense workout right afterwards. so with that in mind, i knew i had to cut back a little (a lot!) if i wanted to make this into a sustainable long-term workout system.

fingers crossed, this is what i plan on doing post-p90x:

Monday: Shoulders and Arms with Ab Ripper X (1:16)
Tuesday: Jazzercise. (1:00)
Wednesday: off day.
Thursday: Jazzercise. (1:00)
Friday: Legs and Back with Ab Ripper X (1:16)
Saturday: Cardio X (0:45)
Sunday: Yoga X (1:30) or X Stretch (1:00)

total time per week (max): 6 hours, 47 minutes

its really pretty similar to the p90x schedule, just with more flexibility. and less extra workouts on tuesdays and thursdays. fridays and saturdays are pretty fluid - if we have a date night or a ladies night planned for one or the other, then cardio will get cut and i will do fridays workout on whichever day i have the time.

on Mondays and Fridays (weight-lifting days) i reserve the right to switch out the workouts for any of the other ones. these are the substitute workout candidates, in decreasing order of likeliness of being subbed in:

Chest and Back (Fridays)
Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps (Mondays)
Back and Biceps (never)(ugh, katie just stop talking!)

i doubt that i would ever switch out both Monday and Friday at the same time, because that would result in WAY too many pushups in one week, and i'm just not ok with that.

Mark has also adopted his own post-p90x workout plan. it involves lots of heavy weights, blasting Metallica, and doing pullups with extra weights strapped around his waist. because he is crazy. there are some days that we get to work out at the same time, so on those days i also work out with blasting Metallica. its kind of new, and kind of fun. i dont think i'm supposed to describe Metallica as 'kind of fun' but there it is.

its been a few weeks since i officially implemented this plan, and i think its going pretty well so far. i like having a plan, but i also like knowing that i can change it whenever and however i need to so that it fits within my schedule on any given week. and that's really all i have to say about that.

if you made it this far through all that boring detailed workout regimen talk, congrats! thanks for reading! here, have a picture of a baby squirrel as a reward! Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


you know those moments when you think to yourself, "self, i wish i had a camera built into my brain so that i could take a picture of what i'm seeing at this exact moment," because that moment is either so hilarious or strange or just so stunningly beautiful that you dont want to forget?
driving to delaware this morning.

these moments are the exact reason why i am so glad that i almost always have my camera right with me.

Monday, February 11, 2013

meal plan monday: feb 11.

planning this week's meals took even longer than usual this week. but it was only because i spent a good chunk of time on Saturday and Sunday putting together our new meal planning board!
i know i told you i would have more details for you later, and in my head that meant i would end up with a detailed tutorial-type post about how i made this little lovely, but my "creative process" on this project was a little less than linear. and i didnt take time for any process pictures. i was practicing some hardcore trial and error crafting, just making it up as i went along and hoping i would like it at the end. good news: i love it.

in case you are only still reading because you are hoping for some helpful tips for making your own board, i guess i can oblige and share what worked for me. i bought some clothespins, a big pack of scrapbook paper, some glitter letter stickers, and a roll of ribbon for this project. i scrounged everything else i needed and used from around my house. as for how i put it all together? lots and lots of double-stick tape and a little bit of hot glue.

but seriously, i bought the paper in a big pack so that i would have coordinating options without having to spend hours standing in the paper aisle at Michael's trying to find paper i liked. i painted the clothespins because i had the paint, and i sealed them with an acrylic sealer to give them a less rough finish. i made the paper pockets by googling "paper pocket template" and scaling their measurements to work for my project. the pockets are still a little small, so if i ever want to add more meal cards, i might have to rethink the pocket situation.

for the meal cards, i compiled 30 of my favorite meals from the past year or so (including 'let's eat out,' 'special event,' and 'leftovers') to write on the cards, which i made by spray-adhesiving a piece of scrapbook paper to index cards and cutting them into 1-inch strips. on the back of the cards, i wrote the main ingredients for the recipe, which should help with making the grocery list.

i still have to put in a little more time to figure out the best way to manage the recipes and links i have gathered so that they are all more easily accessible, and i still have to actually hang this bad boy on the wall, but ive definitely taken a few steps in the right direction already.

once i had the board made, it took me about 15 minutes to pick out 6 random meals and make my grocery list for this week, so here's whats on the board:

Monday: grilled chicken penne pesto pasta.
Tuesday: taco night.
Wednesday: crock pot beef burgundy. (recipe)
Thursday: grilled chicken on spinach salad.
Friday: winter bbq at a friend's house.
Saturday: chicken parmesan. (recipe-ish)
Sunday: chicken fried rice. (recipe)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

an ode to the end of football season.

'twas a great year in Birdland and all through the town,
not one single sports fan was wearing a frown.
the birds really brought it this year in charm city,
it was very exciting, though not always pretty.
The O's went and gave us all a nice shock,
when they ended their season in a playoff spot!
when there was no more baseball, to all our surprise,
football had started! my how time flies!
the dirty birds played their way right to the top,
they brought home a trophy, now can all the talk stop?
the ravens are champs and ray lewis retired,
at this point the commentators are just undesired.
so ditka and billick, bradshaw and brennaman;
boomer and jim nantz, dan, coach, and shannon.
the season is OVER, so let's make this clear;
how 'bout we take a break, and we'll see you next year. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

meal plan monday: feb 4.

thank you for all your great ideas and encouragement about this whole meal planning process thing. i still dont have it all figured out yet, but i do have a little bit of a direction, and i'm getting kind of excited about it again. i plan on starting to compile all my meal plans into one easily searchable document. i am going to try harder to better utilize my food board on pinterest. and over the weekend i started gathering ideas and materials for a little meal-plan board to hang in my kitchen and be cute. and also fun and functional.

i promise i'll share more details about it once i actually figure them all out. until then, here's what we plan on eating this week:

Monday: baked fish with roasted potatoes.
Tuesday: chicken and veggie quesadillas.
Wednesday: crock pot chicken enchilada soup. (recipe)
Thursday: grilled chicken penne pesto pasta.
Friday: pasta with meat sauce.
Saturday: taco salad.
Sunday: frozen raviolis in jar sauce.