Monthly Archives: November 2011

A First

This morning, I woke up thinking I’d do a nice run after school.  Maybe a couple miles outside before it got dark even.  But, when I got to work, my PiC invited me to a cycling class with her. 

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned the one time I tried to go to a cycling class before.  About 2 years ago, I decided I wanted to try something new, so  I went to the 5:45 am cycle class at the gym I belonged to at the time.  I figured it’d take a lot more energy so I ate a banana before class.  Well, I got there and immediately the instructor called me out for being new and made me feel like an idiot because she kept telling me everything I didn’t know.   Hey lady, let me sit in the back this first time and figure it out. 

Anyway, after feeling like an outsider (that class was like a super-club), about 8 minutes in, I felt a terrible queasy feeling in my stomach.  And I promptly threw up my banana (luckily I made it to the bathroom).  And then I walked out of the gym.  Embarrassed and feeling awful.  And never trying the cycling class again. 

biking

Until today.  I decided, hey, it’s a new gym, I’ll have a friend and maybe I need to get over my fear of cycle class.

And it was great.  I really loved it. 

Which is shocking, because for one thing, I hate bikers. HATE THEM.  (I mean, no offense, again (Heather!) ) The bikers who live in my area aren’t real bikers… they’re hipster bikers who wear really tight cords and talk on their phone.   So, what I see might not be reeeeeeeeeeal bikers… but I don’t like them 🙂

Back to class- I LOVED it.  It was difficult, I was a sweaty monster, and I am already sore.  The instructor talked the whole time and was super encouraging, and she didn’t call me out, and I got to be in the back and I didn’t feel like an idiot.  And, I didn’t throw up.  Always a win.

I’m going to go back.  Thanks, PiC for giving me something new to do at the gym!

Prior to class, I did a quick two mile run and my foot really didn’t bother me too much at all.  I think I’m going to keep this whole ‘water bottle massage’ thing up for awhile.

The rest of my day was full of soup, meetings, planning and stress.  Really not much to talk about there.  Except I have about 200 papers sitting next to me that need to be graded.  Ugh.

grading papers

So, I guess that’s what I need to do tonight.  Welcome to my exciting life. 

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Soup Day

It’s a half day at school today.  Half day for the kids… not me, unfortunately. 

Each month we have a potluck with a different theme… so I signed up for Soup Day… because I figured I wanted to get it over with early in the year, and, I can just use my crockpot (my favorite gadget ever). 

Last night, at about 7, after I had gotten home, went to the gym and grocery, and gotten home again, I remembered I’d signed up for Soup Day. 

It wasn’t an option to leave the house again, so I had the few ingredients at home to make homemade lentil soup…. boring, yes… but I didn’t have to brave the grocery again, so it was a win in my book.

Veggie Lentil Soup

  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 1 cup each of chopped carrots, celery, onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 2- 14 oz cans of veggie broth or chicken broth
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1- 14.5 oz can of Italian style tomatoes

Now, throw all the ingredients in the crock pot and let it cook for 4-5 hours on high or 8-10 on low.  Easy peasy.

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Thank God for Christmas Music

I am pretty sure the Christmas music station was the only thing keeping me from driving my car off the road this morning. 

Why, besides the fact that my job has turned me into a stress ball and that’s where I was headed?  It could have been the downpour of rain.  It could have been the two accidents on the interstate on my route.  It might have been the decision I made to not take the highway because of the accidents.  It may have been the paving that was happening on my detour.  It even might have been the dumb a-hole drivers acting like idiots.

Thank goodness there was Christmas music on.  I never thought “The First Noel” would save my life, but it very well might have this morning. 

christmas-songs

Luckily today I was a tiny bit less stressed at work.  Well… not really, but I only have 13 days until break… so that helps.

This afternoon the fave and I made the run to the gym in the newly chilly weather.  I had a good five mile run and did abs.  I’m currently rolling my foot on a frozen water bottle (thanks, Mag!) and trying to get the kinks out.  I hope it works, because I’d like to do a long run this weekend… gosh it’s so hard to motivate sometimes.

So, right now I’m watching the last episode of RH of Atlanta.  Um, did anyone else watch this????  Holy Mother. Did you see the part with the stripper?  For real.  I am a little disturbed.  Does this make me a prude?  Maybe.  Yes.  I don’t know.  I’m so confused right now.  Please tell me you watched this too!

RHOA Stripper

Yes, that’s a happy face.  Note to self:  Never order a stripper who is going to do things to himself when your mom is around.  Or ever.  Ever. 

Now I’m disturbed.

Think of something else Kathleen, think of something else…….

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Okay, I’m better. Whew.  That was a close one.

And after eating half a box of cereal (Lucky Charms nonetheless), I’m going to go lay on my stomach and watch some house hunters.  They’ll be no strippers on there, right?

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Cyber Monday. Clever Title.

I know it’s a little late, but BicBands has free shipping today only!  Enter the code CYBMON11 when you checkout!  Of course I just bought yet another one…. coupon codes get me every time.

bic band

So today was Cyber Monday.  It’s funny… I barely even had time to check my email I was so busy.  It was a really overwhelming day, with a lot of changes at school that are stressing me out big time.  I said to myself yesterday, “No wine for a week.”  I doubt I’ll be able to make it that long.

Although, I’m not as stressed as Derby. 

I told you last week she’s figured out how to sneak her food out of the feeder (part of her next meal, poor girl) with her paw.  Well… sometimes it drives me a little crazy, plus, I get nervous she’s not going to have any food in there come mealtime.  Yesterday I decided, after dinner, to hide her feeder in the bathroom.  In the tub.  Where she couldn’t see it.  I’m so smart.

Not as smart as her, that little pea brained rascal.  She found it eventually, so I had to close the bathroom door to prevent her from shoving her grubby little paw up the chute to pick out food one at a time.

food

food2

Derby literally threw herself at the door for a good twenty minutes before finally getting distracted by her reflection in the window.  I am raising a nightmare.

Enough about Derby… more about me. 

This afternoon I ran to the gym and had a nice 5 mile run, plus a 15 minute bike ride.  I have added a few things to my abs routine, so it’s taking me a bit longer to complete and I’m huffing and puffing by the end of it.  Oh, and I’ve been a sweaty monster lately, so that’s always attractive. 

I think I may have done something to the arch in my foot- has anyone had problems with that before?   It started bothering me a couple of months ago, but I just ignored it because I was going to do nearly anything to run in the marathon.  Now, I will run a few miles and it will start bothering me a little, but later in the day if I’ve been off my feet for awhile, it really starts to hurt.  I read something in Women’s Health yesterday about stretching using a golf ball to roll under the arch- does anyone have any other ideas on how I can get the pain to go away?  I’d rather not waste my time at a doctor… I’m still paying my bills for the crutches and boot. 

Also, I’d like to spend any money I have right now, since it’s Cyber Monday.  I can’t resist a good deal.

Speaking of presents (not really, but if you didn’t buy yourself anything at all this weekend, I’m impressed- all I got was a new headband… good will power)… what is anyone asking for for Christmas??  My PiC is getting a Kindle Fire, and I have to admit, I’m a liiiiiiiiiiiiiittle tiny bit jealous.  I really want one so I can watch movies while I run on the treadmill…. but I already have a Kindle, so not sure I can have both.  Or can I?   Any other good gifts out there?

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Grand Cayman Trip!

If you like beaches and don’t want jealousy seeping through your veins, don’t read this post. 

If you like beaches and are a better person than me and don’t get jealous… then keep reading. 

The fave and I decided about a month ago to take a trip over Thanksgiving weekend, and chose Grand Cayman because the fave has a crap ton of Marriott points so we could stay for free (remember, I’m a teacher, I love free stuff). 

Once we booked our tickets, though, we decided that the Marriott resort on Grand Cayman Island looked only slightly better than the Courtyard Marriott in VA beach (no offense to VA Beach… just pointing out that it wasn’t very resort-y).  So, we decided to use more points to stay at the Ritz Carlton, which was dubbed the best hotel in the Caribbean by Conde’s Nest the past three years.  Duh, I’m a five star kind of girl.  Obvi.

By the way, we were told that one of these 35,000 square foot villas are $30,000,000.  THIRTY MILLION DOLLARS for basically a condo.  So, we’re buying one.  See ya, America.

ritz

The Ritz was beautiful.  Definitely the most attentive staff at any hotel I’ve ever been to.  Example: They accidentally left our bag of duty free alcohol we bought at the airport (classy) in the cab on the night we got there… don’t worry, it showed up in our room the next day. 

I’d love to take you through each of our days, however, we are people of habit, and that might get old to read.  We woke up, went to the gym, had breakfast, went to the pool, drank, went to the beach, drank, went to dinner, bed early.

On Tuesday we decided to be a bit adventurous so we rented a jeep, drove to the turtle sanctuary and people watched, drove to Hell and sent postcards, and finally took a day long drive around the island.  The island itself is 22 miles by 16 miles (I think), so you’d think it wouldn’t take too long to drive around, but it actually took awhile to get to the farthest point. 

Some pictures from our drive:

Alfrescos

Georgetown (You could not pay me to go on a cruise, by the way… no way.)

Kaibo 

Other than our one adventurous day, we spent the rest of our days relaxing.  Most of the dark circles are gone from under my eyes, so that’s a plus.

Some highlights:

1.  There were roosters everywhere.  When I say everywhere, I’m being serious.  We saw like 50 in a day. 

rooster

2.  The fave’s favorite meal on the trip- lunch at Alfresco’s- Curried Shrimp.

DSCF0064Can anyone tell me why they leave shrimp tails on in every dish I’ve ever had?  It just confuses me… extra work to eat.

3.  After dinner at Seven, the steakhouse at the Ritz.

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4.  Watching the sunset on our last night there…

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5. …with these babies in our hands (which, by the way, were strooooooooooong).

Pina Colada

For one thing, I felt very safe in Grand Cayman.  I knew I wasn’t going to ‘go missing’ like the girls in Aruba.  Also I’m pretty sure my boyfriend doesn’t want to kill me, so maybe that was their problem.

Also, for the girl who took Latin in high school, it’s nice to be in an English speaking country where you can read signs and communicate with people.  And, everyone there was extremely nice- not just the staff at the hotel where they have to say yes to anything you ask, but all the cab drivers, servers, random people we met- everybody was super friendly.

Yes, things were more expensive than you’d get in America, but that’s just how it is being on an island- everything is imported (except for the Caybrew beer, which was not great by the way), so if you ever go, expect to spend some moolah…. but that’s what you do on vacation, right?

Needless to say, since we saw a million for sale signs on beach houses (seriously, like 2 out of every 3 were for sale), we checked out a little real estate.  Way more than you’d think, for having so many to choose from…. but beautiful.  Maybe one day someone will just give me a house in Grand Cayman.  Here, Kathleen, take this house.  Yeah.  Maybe.

It was such an amazing trip, and we’ve already decided to go back.  There were a ton of great restaurants to choose from and I feel like we didn’t even make a dent.  Also, I could never get tired of this view…

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Why is it

… that I get depressed after a vacation because I have to work?   It’s been a wonderful 9 days off of work.  But now it’s Sunday night, and I’m starting to get that blah feeling about this whole ‘job’ thing.

Of course I miss the kiddies, as I’m sure they miss me 🙂 They’ll be very excited to see my tan and Cayman dollars I brought back for them.  And, they’ll be even more excited to find out they have a benchmark Tuesday.  School isn’t just fun and games, people.  There’s learning happening too. 

Oh how quickly I forgot how to wake up and put on work clothes though.  Thank goodness it’s been October-like weather here though.  It makes it a liiiiiiiiiiiitle bit easier to get up.

This morning, after laying in bed for at least two hours after waking up, the fave and I decided to enjoy the 70 degree weather and run to the gym.  I wore my congratulatory marathon shirt (from my marathoner friend Kelly). 

marathon shirt

judith

The back says Judith M. (marathon-er) Earlmeister 11.12.2011

Judith’s real full name is Judith Muncher Earlmeister.  I love how Kelly was clever enough to throw in marathoner instead.  So clever.

Today was the last day of relaxing/ binge eating for awhile.  So, why not go out with a bang and order a delicious pizza?  Great idea, Kathy, great idea.  And that’s just what we did. 

Large Margherita hello.i.love.you.

marg pizza

Regular eating habits resume Monday morning.

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Thanksgiving and… Thanksgiving

Well, as you know the fave and I spent Thanksgiving night traveling back to the good ol US of A.   Unfortunately, the Miami airport doesn’t prepare a home cooked turkey and stuffing for all the wary travelers who just spent an hour going through customs (seriously, a nightmare in that airport… if you’ve ever been you know it is a confusing mess of non- English speaking people trying to follow colored dots… nightmare).  So, we spent our thanksgiving night eating…what else, Chinese.

chinese airport 

As delicious as the airport Chinese food was, we decided it wasn’t enough and that we needed to continue our binge eating into the weekend.  So, on Friday it was time to prepare a ‘real’ Thanksgiving feast. 

In my family, every Thanksgiving my mom puts out the ‘turkey head’.  What’s a turkey head you wonder?

turkey head

The turkey head sticks into the pineapple to make a turkey… Clever, right?  Mine is very old and falling apart… but still presentable.  If you’re thinking that the fave is not as excited about the turkey head as I am, you are correct.  I think he rolls his eyes when I talk about it.. but secretly he kind of enjoys it.

So, for our feast, we cooked a turkey, made crock pot mashed potatoes, healthy stuffing, green beans, and gravy. 

thanksgiving turkey

My plate x 2, including one of those delicious looking turkey legs.

thanksgiving plate

And of course, we couldn’t forget dessert, could we?  Which is why I spent about 2 hours making this pie:

Grandma M’s Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

In a sauce pan combine until boiling-

  • 2 packs of gelatin
  • 4 cups of canned pumpkin
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1.5 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cloves

Chill in fridge until it can hold soft mounds when you stir.

Meanwhile, beat until it is thickened-

  • 6 egg whites
  • 2/3 cup sugar (slowly being poured into egg whites)

Next, take out pumpkin mixture and fold in-

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp grated orange rind
  • egg white mix

Spoon all of that into a pie crust (this made 2 pies for me)…and don’t forget to cook the pie crust first.

Now, make the frosting by beating-

  • 1 pt heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup of sugar

Spread all of that on pie.  If you’d like to make it more amazing, make the topping  by cooking-

  • 1.5 cups walnuts
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Let topping cool on greased foil and then sprinkle over pie. 

Yes, it’s a lot of steps and yes, it’s calorie free… and this is what you get:

pumpkin chiffon

Did I mention how delicious it tastes?  So amazing.

So that’s how I spent my Black Friday/ real Thanksgiving dinner day.  Thank goodness I went to the gym before to work off .23 bites of the pie. 

And now that all the fun is over, I’m back to my normal schedule on Saturday of gym time and football watching.  This morning I did a nice and easy 6 mile run and abs.  The run was my longest since the marathon 2 weeks ago, and my ankle is still in recovery mode.  My bruise is not completely gone and I’m a little wary of running outside for fear of tripping on yet another stick.  I’m trying to slowly up my mileage again so I’m running a few 10+ mile runs per month.  The next race I have scheduled is in March, so it’s really tough for me to keep up motivation.  I’m also hoping to start the kickboxing classes this week, so that gives me a nice little change in my workout.

How are you spending your Saturday?  More productive than me?

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