Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Because We Can: Cat Breading

Genghis and his Bread helmet
There's a trend on the Internets (yes, I meant Internets) now where people are putting slices of bread on their cats heads. Why? Who knows or cares. If Anne Geddes can make all those horrible pictures of babies popular for no reason, why can't these pictures of felines with no fear of Atkins be just as popular?But I threw the question out as to who of our cats would be the first and Chef quickly and definitively answered: Genghis.

He tried with a piece of regular bread but as Genghis is not a regular cat, it did not work. His dome was way too large. So instead, Chef made him a helmet from Italian bread. I was super impressed with the cuts for the ears. Very nice.

Helmet or yarmulke? 
After he sent me the picture, Chef replied with "You'll need to buy a large loaf of bread if you want to continue this insanity."

Well, I'm heading to the grocery store because I DO want to continue this insanity. And apparently others do too. Check out the Facebook page with more than 9000 fans. Hilarious.

Chef has the brilliant idea of trying to construct bread armor for our cats, which makes sense  because we only wanted to get a Pixie Bob because we wanted a battle cat. So really this is just an end to our original quest. Normally, I'd be against anything that wastes delicious carbs like this, but this time I'm all in. I'm on board.

Now if we can get Mila's little furry face in a piece of wheat bread. . .

Monday, January 30, 2012

Birthday Goodness

Word of the birthday: indulgence. Yesterday I turned, well, older. And after a long but productive week at work hosting some coworkers, I was ready to relax and kick if on my birthday weekend. Chef started it out right. He got me a 90 minute massage. 90. 9-0. Every minute was wonderful. Afterwards while I waited for my ride (Chef wanted me to be as relaxed as possible), I indulged more in a cream puff. That I ate outside. In 70 degree weather. Did I mention it's January?

Birthday Beach Trip
I took my annual birthday trip to Sephora where I got my birthday freebie (Fresh lip moisturizers--not as good as last year's "Birthday cake" scented shower gel, but hey it was free). Chef and I went out for dinner, and had a steak with some delicious ahi tuna and cheese laden side dishes. The next day--my actual birthday--we went out to get waffles for breakfast. Then what is now a tradition--we did a birthday beach trip. Then we lounged around drinking mimosas and eating chinese food. Chef got me a copy of Breaking Dawn that I ate up like nobody's business. I also got a special dessert from Chef--SKOOKIE (aka skillet cookie). And to top things off, he got me tickets to see Amy Poehler in conversation with Jane Lynch next month in Santa Monica. I'm super excited.

The birthday wishes continued today where my office had a birthday bomb go off in it with streamers and decorations. Plus my team had flowers delivered to my office. It really touched my heart and I felt lucky to have them.

Flowers from my team
All in all, not a bad start to the year. I'm lucky to be able to get older, learn more, have more experiences, and look forward to another year of adventure. I made two birthday goals: 1) that next year I will be firmly planted in a single digit dress size and 2) I will have been rejected by at least one literary agent.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Dallas Exploration

The former Texas School
Book Depository
I've been busy in Dallas. I always get a little wound up trying to get stuff done before an event and I had my event this morning. It's my first big event at this job so it was really important that it went it perfect. And it went pretty well--not perfect, but pretty well. Two hitches: 1) the hotel would only let us rent so many microphones because they were hosting multiple events for the same conference at the same time. So our panelists had to pass them back and forth which drove me (and them, presumably) nuts, and 2) We are at a HUGE conference with three hotels that are "official" headquarter hotels. But none of them are really within walking distance of each other so our guests had to take shuttles to the convention center and then another to this hotel to get there. Basically, it meant that of our 296 RSVPs we had about 230 or so guests. That's a much bigger dip that at my usual events, but it's been duly noted.

However, despite all that, the event was lovely. The panelists were engaging and our staff rocked it out in helping. Overall, I was happy. . . and relieved. I took materials to our booth after the breakfast, unpacked what I needed to and then walked the convention floor. One BIG bonus of this convention is that publishers are often giving away uncorrected proofs of books and I scored six new novels. I probably could've taken about 6 more, but I have limited suitcase space. After the walking, I decided that I needed a break. I've been working since Thursday with convention stuff during the day and playing catch up on actual work at night. So I took another stroll around Dallas and decided that I couldn't leave town without visiting the sixth floor museum at the former Texas School Book Depository. I obviously wasn't alive when Kennedy was assainated,  but those pictures are so ingrained in America's history that I was really touched. The place is really well done with lots of photos, video and a self-paced audio tour. Very awesome. If you're in Dallas, check it out.

Here are some pictures from my time here:
The sixth floor --I'm at the turn of the motorcade looking up at the School Book Depository.

Another from the sidewalk in front of the grassy knoll up at the school book depository.

The School Book Depository is the brick building on the far left.
You might be able to see the "x" on the street on the right side of the picture that marks the spot of the first hit.

From under a tree on the grassy knoll looking at the spot where President Kennedy was shot.

What I love is that they actually do have a banner that reads "Grassy Knoll" on the grassy knoll.
It's like walking into live map.
Some art outside an office skyscraper that I thought was kinda cool.

A snapshot from the event this morning. Yay!

I did do some work while I was here :) Me at the booth

That's How Dallas Rolls: Christmas Decorations still out.
The city was taking them down when I was walking today.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Day 2 in Dallas

I'm still in Dallas for my second of 4 1/2 days here for work. I've been trying to take pictures as I find the things that are kinda cool. Here's my favorite picture from today's Downtown Dallas adventure.

Not too shabby from an iPhone camera.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Carnitas with a Side of Delicious

Carnitas Tamale from Wild Salsa.
This is probably going to be a tough stretch weight loss wise. Any hints or well wishes would be greatly appreciated. Why so tough? I'm travelling for work until Monday and then hostessing my UK work counterparts all next week. I'm actually psyched they're coming in, but also know that there might be a few lunches and dinners involved. And my will power has clearly always been my Achilles heel. You don't get to be 229 lbs with an iron will. But you do get there with an iron stomach. I'm trying to swap those out. How can I be so determined in one aspect of my life and so lax in another?

Watching a Project Runway
rerun from the elliptical.
Anyway, I ONLY ate the carnitas tamale that I ordered tonight and not chips, guacamole, rice, and sopapillas. I will say that if they had had fried ice cream, it would've been game on. But their loss of my money will ultimately equal my loss in ass size.

After dinner, I walked from the restaurant to FedEx office to pick up some things for our event on Sunday then I walked from FedEx back to the hotel. Three miles in real time, then I hopped on the elliptical and did three more. And then I decided to cave to my sweet tooth and get a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich. Who says you shouldn't reward with food?

This week:
  • Days per week that I worked on my novel: 7
  • Calories burned per week: 2175 (a pound is 3500)
  • Days per week at or under my daily calorie goal: 5
  • Weight loss/gain: -1 lb.
  • Cumulative loss/ gain: -6 lbs.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Paula Deen and Diabetes? You Don't Say!

Paula Deen's favorite ingredient
Paula Deen announced today that she has Type 2 diabetes. Shocker. An obese woman who advocates pounds of butter in her cooking and smokes developed diabetes.

What ticks me off is that she waited 3 YEARS to announce this--and ONLY after she had already inked a deal to hock diabetes drugs. Why did she wait? She says that she wanted to become more knowledgeable about the disease before taking a lead out front. Seriously? It takes three years to learn something? One more year of "learning" and she could've gotten a college degree in it.

Chef argues that she has a right to keep her illness a secret if she wanted to. I would probably agree, but she's a celebrity. The rules are different. Especially when you make your money on selling fattening foods in a restaurant or a cookbook or a TV show. The moderation she now says she preaches? Where was that when she was developing her recipes or picking things for the show? Could she not have shown a regular and a healthy version? NOW her sons are doing that. Now. After three years.

Why does the three years bother me? Because Forbes estimates that Paula Deen makes $4.5 million per year from her cookbooks, products, TV show and restaurants. So, that's $13.5 million that she made by keeping this a secret--but it wasn't for the money.

Paula Deen doesn't just sell her recipes. She sells her personality and skills too. And for me, her personality took a big hit today. Maybe I'm the only one.

What do you think?

Monday, January 16, 2012

If You Gain Weight, Dress For It (I'm talking to you, Kelly Clarkson)

When I'm trying to lose weight, I tend to notice other people's weight a little more. This could be the same thing that happens when you notice things you're involved in; like an actress on a TV show and you start seeing her everywhere. Or noticing weight could just be a girl thing.

I used to get pissed about girls talking about other girls' weights. Mostly because I was overweight.When a girl said that another girl was fat, I would've taken that personally. If the person she was calling fat was bigger than I was, then I assumed she thought I was fat too. Which could've been the case, but honestly, the older I get the more I realize that comments like that have little to do with me. It's that person's feelings and they're not necessarily transferable to me. Yup. I'm in my 30s and I've finally realized its not all about me.

I'm 5'2". Why the hell did I think I could
pull off gauchos?
(Yes, Chef. You were right. . .again)
All that aside, I've come to feel a little sympathy to celebrities who gain weight in the public eye. That is, unless they pull an Oprah and decide to preach to me about weight loss and then gain it back. That's to be expected. I'm talking mostly about people who get photographed in their late teens and early 20s, and then gain weight later in life.

Here's where I feel sympathy: Can you imagine having a picture of you at your thinnest that is put next to a picture of yourself looking your heaviest and then having them plastered in front of millions of people? It's like the feeling of dread when your pants won't button and so you use a safety pin or move up to the fat pants. And then knowing that you look like crap. Once you know you look like crap, it's a feeling that you can't shake until something changes.

That being said, I have some advice--hard-earned advice-- for those celebrities that have gained weight (Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Britney--I'm talking to you!): Stop wearing the shit you wore when you were skinnier. Or thinking you can wear it. Let go of the stylist you had when you were thin and hire a new one; one that has styled heavier bodies. Embrace the curves, don't ignore them. Dress for where you are--not where you wish you were.

Even if you are trying to change or changing, be the weight you are now. Dress for it and you'll be happier.

(Yes, I'm still trying to take my own advice. some days more successfully than others. But check out the pic--that's what happens when you dress for a different size--bigger or smaller).

Friday, January 13, 2012

Nakedness---on my Garlic Chicken

Garlic Chicken minus the sauce
I'm trying. Even if I am eating out, I'm still trying to make better choices. As evidence, the picture to the left.  That's what Chinese food looks like when you take the sauce off. It's garlic chicken -- steamed goodness. Add some soup and yes, an eggroll and BAM! You knock some off the calories and still get a good lip tingle from the spice. 

But it's just another day in the battle of the bulge. Chinese food and The Firm, Project Runway: All-Stars on the DVR and Chef to keep me company. Not a shabby Friday night.

This week:
  • Days per week that I worked on my novel: 9 for 9 since my last update
  • Calories burned per week: 2700 (a pound is 3500)
  • Days per week at or under my daily calorie goal: 3 (can't count today yet)
  • Weight loss/gain: -1.4 lbs.
  • Cumulative loss/ gain: -5 lbs.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Day Trippin'

A bird hanging out on the coastline
There are many benefits to living in LA, but one of them is that there's a lot of day tripping opportunities. Yesterday was a bonus one. I was asked to give a presentation at our company's sales meeting that is being held in San Diego. Because it's only a few hours away and because I was only a part of the meeting for a few hours, I decided to take advantage of the day trip opportunity. And because Chef was also available, we got to go together. We took a long way down and stopped at some sights. He went off to take some pictures and then we met up for dinner together. The only bummer of the entire day was at the restaurant. I had seen them on Food Network and picked them because they have famous fried ice cream. I have been craving fried ice cream for a few months. We had a really good dinner--it was great Mexican food. The hitch was that they had RUN OUT OF FRIED ICE CREAM. How does that even happen?!?! I had a giant pouty face for at least 10 minutes. But I got over it. Here are some pics from our trip (my presentation not included, but yes, it went well):
Chef taking a picture. Military helicopter in the background.
Birds hanging out at the view point on the scenic route.

More birds

End of the day Skinny Margarita

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Help Settle a Debate

This is a motorcycle that is parked regularly in our lot at the apartment. Look at this photograph for a moment and then help settle a debate Chef and I have. 

Done looking?

Okay. Does that license plate mean:
  • Bard's Word
  • Broadsword
  • Or something else altogether.
Please enter your opinion in the comments here or on Facebook. Thank you.

Monday, January 09, 2012

The Firm Express: Week One

Who else works out in t-shirts with a
Cheeseburger on them?
This is the official end to my first week of The Firm Express. I have to say that so far, I'm pretty happy with it. Chef and I ventured to Target yesterday to grab weights because I apparently threw out my 1980s monstrous 6 lb weights in the move. Those things had SAND in them. SAND. They'd slosh around when you were working out, but I have to say they never leaked one grain of sand in their tenure.

Now with weights literally in hand, I can do week two at full capacity. That being said Week One was a good workout. Twenty minutes each session and you don't stop at all. Some cardio, some toning and a lot of heavy breathing. I will say that this isn't for the newbie or at least the uncoordinated because I was having a hard time keeping up with the warm-ups. They got a little complicated for me. Of course, part of that could be that I'm one of those uncoordinated people,  plus I have to switch orientations because our living room is not big enough to fully do the moves AND I did the first week in the wrong order so I wasn't building off the previous days' moves.

All that aside, in the first week I've lost 4.6 lbs. I can't credit all of that to The Firm Express though. I kept my 30 minutes daily of elliptical and just added this as extra. Plus I was counting my calories again and I think my body just wanted to shed some of this holiday blubber. If I lose the promised "15 lbs in 30 days!" then I'll be more likely to give The Firm some props. All in all nearly 5 lbs isn't a bad start though.

What program had the quickest result for you?

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Not a Bad Way to Spend a Sunday

From the Venice Beach Pier looking
at the shore
Sometimes when I've had a rough week of commuting, I feel the urge to go out in LA to make sure that I remember the reason why I live where I do. I decided when New Year's hit that I was going to get out and explore more--even if I had to force myself. Clearly I got out a lot when we first moved here. I had to figure out where things were, go on interviews, find a grocery store, and just generally do more things.

A year later, I'm a little more set in my patterns. I love the area of town I'm in, but how do I know that I don't love another side of town more? Despite a good week commute-wise, I felt it was time to get out. Plus Chef got a nice new camera for Christmas that needs to have some lovely scenery to capture. All that said Chef and I went out to Venice Beach today to go poking around. I will confess that I suspected I was more of a Santa Monica girl than Venice and that certainly is the case, but Venice was a lot of fun. Plus it was just nice to get out of the house with Chef and not have a certain time to be somewhere or anyhting particular to do. Just be out and enjoy ourselves. So, here are some of the pictures from our adventure (these are mine--Chef's would be much better! He's a really talented photographer):

I counted more than 70 sailboats that were out today.

Walking from Marina Del Rey to Venice. Beautiful shore-front homes.

The famed Muscle Beach.
Not so busy today, but I can totally picture Arnold Schwarzenegger here years ago.

There was not only a skateBOARD park, but a ROLLER skate park, too.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Just the Picture Freaks Me Out

Look what Chef saw today on our PATIO! (or at least near our apartment). I'm not usually scared of snakes, but this pic freaked me out. I also thought it was a HUGE snake until Chef told me it was actually a small lizard. "More specifically an Adult Western Skink," he wrote. I couldn't believe it. 

Between the skink and the possum (Pete the killer possum from college's brother, apparently), I'm beginning to wonder if living in the DEAD middle of one of the largest cities in the world is even slightly a deterrent for fauna. This is freaking me out.

On a side note, Chef has always been a good photographer and just got a new camera for Christmas. He's got a real talent for making even creepy looking skinks look good, so I'm kind of excited to see him take my "after" pictures in a few weeks. Make this SKANK look good :)

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Reuniting with Some Old Friends (Or Habits)

Sunny and 80 in LA
When you start doing something again that you haven't done in a while, it's probably a good idea to do what you did that made you successful in the first place. Long story short: I'm eating and doing some of the things I used to when I was losing weight.

With that as the case, today I had Kashi's Mayan Harvest Bake lunch for the first time in at least a year. I forgot how much I loved that lunch. And how much I love plantains. I'm a sucker for a plantain. I order them every time I see them on the menu. Seriously cannot help but order them. Which is weird to me because they're really similar to a banana but I never order banana stuff in restaurants. Odd.

Anyway, the picture was from another daily walk that is helping in more than just exercise. It's nice on days when I eat at the office to just get outside for a few minutes (especially because I'm window deficient) and remember that I live in California. Where it's 80 degrees on the 4th day of January. I need to take advantage of that every day and not just on my days off.

Even though it hasn't been a full week, here are my goal updates (my first for 2012):

  • Days per week that I worked on my novel: 4 for 4 this week
  • Calories burned per week: 1411 (a pound is 3500)
  • Days per week at or under my daily calorie goal: 3 (can't count today yet)
  • Weight loss/gain: -3.6

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Back in the Health Saddle Again

From my lunch time walk
Here's the bad news (or at least bad for me): I gained 11 lbs since hitting my lowest weight in LA. 13 pounds! And six of that was over the holidays. The rest was just the sheer laziness of being me.

The good news: 4 of those pounds came off in the last week of watching what I eat. So I'm only at a 9 lb net gain. Not great, but not the worst thing that's ever happened to me.

I watched an old episode of Oprah last night that was her "last show about weight loss." I recorded it because my friend Mandy was a guest on the show (she was one of the invited that had lost more than 100 pounds--and kept it off). She looked fabulous on the show as she's fabulous in person, as well, but the more I watched the more I realized just how delusional I like to be. I have to face the fact.

I am going to battle my weight every day of my life, for the rest of my life.

That sucks. I wish I was one of the lucky people who never have to think about it, but after seeing so many Facebook pics of people who I thought were "those kinds of girls" in high school ("I don't know why I don't gain weight, I just don't!") and seeing that the calories they packed in back them have come a callin', I realize I'm not alone. I've got plenty of other attributes and skills that I can fall back on in the mean time. But this is something, and not even that unusual of a something, that I'm going to have to face.

So, in honor of that, I started a new workout routine to spice things up. I'm still doing my 30 minutes of elliptical each morning, but I've added The Firm Express taped workouts (Thank you, Chef for getting them for me because I ASKED!) to my repertoire three times a week. I did the first one yesterday morning. Each workout is only 20 minutes and I knew my heart rate was up, but I didn't think I was working anything out until this morning. My butt and legs are achy. that good kind of achy you get when you've worked something you haven't stretched in a while. I'll let you know when I see some results. I'll probably even share the "before" pics that I made Chef take of me. But the thing about "Before" pics is that they only look good in context of the "after" so I'm not just going to post those willy nilly.

I'm back to counting calories and trying to eat smaller meals/snacks more frequently. I even took a walk at lunch today. Although to be honest, that had less to do with exercise and more to do with a study I read about how sunshine at noon helps stop the post-lunch crash. Plus it's like 80 degrees and beautiful today, so how could I not?

Monday, January 02, 2012

Goodbye Harmons, Hello New Haunting

Apparently Ryan Murphy did a conference call with entertainment reporters after the finale and said that that was the end (literal and figurative) for the Harmon family. The story arc for them is over, as is the LA mansion plot line. Some characters are coming back next season, but not everyone. Which made Chef and I get a little nostalgic for the awesomeness that was this season of American Horror Story

I felt I needed a little more closure. yes, I'm a little crazy, but the story was really good this season and how many times in my life have I lived so close to the set of my favorite show or movie? (The correct answer is NEVER). So we had a field trip to the location of the Murder House aka the Harmon House aka the Rosenheim mansion

The Rosenheim mansion is for sale and can be yours with the chapel and recording studio for a mere $17,000,000. In a crappy neighborhood. Let's just say that when Constance sends the Boy Dahlia to the "Korean" to get cigarettes on several occasions, that's probably the most true thing said in the whole series about the neighborhood. 

Nevertheless, it was fun and we capped off our visit with an American Horror Story marathon of season one. I think I've properly said goodbye to the Harmons. Tate and Constance, on the other hand, still have some unfinished business. Wherever the next round of Horror takes place, I hope that Jessica Lange and Evan Peters come back to help fulfill the creepy quotient of the show. They're fabulous.

What are your predictions for season 2? If you aren't watching the show, why not?!?!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

I Resolve To. . .

More time with these cuties
(and Chef of course)
Happy New Year everyone! I am excited to start the year. Clearly every day is actually a new beginning. And every month another one, but you don't really notice time moving so much until it's been a year. So I can see the feeling of renewal for New Year's but not so much the hype. I was asleep at midnight and set my alarm to wake up and get a smooch from Chef. It was totally worth it.

I'm not much for making resolutions, but since I have weekly goals, it seemed like a good time to revisit what goals I was measuring and see how they were really making an impact on my life. I narrowed down all my big wishes to three main goals for 2012:

  1. Make better use of my time.
  2. Concentrate on what makes me happy in the long term, not just the short term.
  3. More quality gym time
  4. Make at least one of my big dreams come true.
Why do I need these goals? Well, I play too many online games when I should be working on my novel (which is one of my big dreams--finishing this puppy before 2013).  I don't use my commute to think about important things or call important people. More wasted time. I make some decisions based on what's easiest at the moment or provides instant gratification instead of my bigger goals (who doesn't right? But I want to be more aware of this). And my "big dreams" are numerous, but two important ones include finally hunkering down and getting to my goal weight which would be put me firmly in a single digit dress size for the first time ever. I also want to finally finish the novel I've been working on FOREVER. It needs to be done before I can mentally move on to something else. If I ended up getting an agent, then all the better. 
More writing
What's it gonna take to make this happen? Good question. I'm not entirely sure and most of these goals are interconnected, but I've got a few ideas on what to measure. Because I've learned and firmly believe that you only manage what you measure. At least in my case.  I've also gotten the Firm Express to add to my workout routine and get re-energized about my diet habits. Chef took some "before" shots of me today. 

Here are a few goals that I'll be tracking each Wednesday in 2012. My promise in tracking these and writing about them is that I will be honest. Even when it makes me look like an asshole or lazy or ridiculous. Here goes:
Kiss 2011 Goodbye!
  • Days per week that I worked on my novel
  • Calories burned per week
  • Days per week at or under my daily calorie goal
  • Weight loss/gain
  • Take at least one significant action towards making a big dream come true


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...