I Tried

Another one bites the dust…

Ok, I tried.  I honestly love to blog and feel like I have been “introduced” to so many wonderful people through it.  Unfortunately I can’t keep up.  I have either been out of town or had visitors in town for a month now and honestly blogging has been the last thing on my mind.  I didn’t even realize how long it had been between my last two posts until I got a few e-mail questions about where I was.  Oops!  Well, here I am again saying sorry for my absence and thinking maybe it’s time to call a spade a spade.  I love reading blogs.  I love commenting.  I no longer love writing them.  It feels like pressure.  I made a deal with myself that I would write when I felt like it and not feel obligated, but since then I have barely written anything.  I feel like that’s a sign. 

I will still be around reading and commenting because I love the connection to people who often have similar views on the things I’m most interested in.  I just can’t keep up.  That’s all. 

I leave you with some pics from our trip to Boston.  It was awesome and we celebrated our 30th birthdays in a city we instantly fell in love with and topped it all off with a Red Sox win in extra innings at Fenway against the Yankees.  It was perfect!  Sorry to any Yankees fans, but as a Red Sox fan and Texan (Rangers against Yankees in the current playoff series), it was the perfect icing on a cake of a trip.

Red Sox game

Trinity Church

FenwayThe Green Monster in Fenway

The Finish line for the Boston Marathon

Tortoise and Hare statue in Copley Square at the Marathon Finish

Day trip to Portland, Maine


Paul Revere's House


So sorry!

Oh ma goodness!! I knew I had been a tad neglectful but was not aware I had been a total blog delinquent. So sorry! I’m writing from my phone, so this will be short, but here’s an update on the goings on during my absence.

1. I have a new baby nephew! Just hours after my last post on the 13th the first baby of our our generation was born to my little sister-in-law. I’m already in love though I haven’t had the priveledge of meeting him in person, yet. Can’t wait!
2. I took a work trip to Salt Lake City, Utah. I had never been there before and thought it was a beautiful and pristine city. Very clean and the weather was perfect. It was a nice mild 60s and 70s and a much needed break from austin’s 90-100.
3. I turned 30! September 22nd brought me into a new decade of my life that, though I approached with hesitation, is so far going really well.
4. I am headed up to Boston. Trip number 2 for the month, this time for pleasure. The hubby turns 30 on October 13th, so we decided a celebration trip was a must to mark our big 3-0s. Birthdays in Boston!

Alright, I can only handle so much typing on a tiny phone keypad, so that’s it for now. I promise to give you a full Boston recap when I return.

Girl Crush

You know who I have a crush on?  Carrie Underwood.  Something I have in common with my husband 🙂  I have read and seen several interviews with her and just read another in Women’s Health.  She just seems down to earth and  normal.  She is famous, of course, so normal is relative, but I like her. 

One thing I like about her is she admits to working out and eating healthy.  She’s not one of those stars that acts like it’s all natural and makes the rest of us hang our head.  In the article she says “I’m very health conscious.” and explains that exercise and good nutrition aren’t luxuries, but imperatives that pay dividends.  Another favorite quote: “There’s just something sexy about feeling strong.”  STRONG, not skinny or waify.  STRONG.  She is a vegetarian and keeps a food journal and also works our 5-6 days a week.  Granted, since she is a huge star, she has a personal trainer that travels with her, but she still does the work and pays attention to her health. 

Side note:  I told Jensen as I was reading the article that if I won the lottery, the first two things I would do for me (after charitable contributions, helping out family, and paying off loans) would be to go on a shopping spree at Anthropologie (where I currently generally only buy things on sale) and get a personal trainer 5 days a week.  It just takes the thought out of it.  Just do what they tell you.  I like to be challenged and its easier to get that when someone else is pushing you and changing up the routine.  Haha!  Keep dreaming.  The hubby would buy a ranch. 

Final note on the Carrie article.  She says that she thinks her legs are her best asset.  Point blank.  “I think my legs are my best asset.”  I like that she is confident in saying so.  It seems like it’s often more acceptable to put yourself down or talk about the things you don’t like.  It is often considered conceited to say that you like something about yourself.  You know what?  It’s not.  It’s called self-love and it’s OK.  Check out more on the subject over on Tina’s blog with today’s 30 Days of Reflection:  Outward Beauty.  

Question:  If you won the lottery, what would you do for YOU?

Killer Hills

On Wednesday I tried a new type of HIIT workout.  I have been cutting back on longer cardio sessions for several months.  I still do 2 or 3 longer cardio workouts, but 3 days a week I replace them with these shorter, more intense workouts.  They are typically around 30 minutes (examples here, here, and here).  Those examples have some incline work, but usually a HIIT for me is solely speed variation.  1 minute at max speed and another minute at a recovery speed repeated 8-10 times.  This month, though Self magazine provided several other ideas.  They had one for the elliptical, one for the bike, one for the treadmill, and one for the rowing machine.  I chose the treadmill  one called the calorie torcher to try out on Wednesday and it focused on incline rather than speed.

Here’s how it went (I changed the speed a bit from the magazines suggestions just for an added challenge):

Minutes     Speed     Incline

        5                 6.5                0

         1                 6                     5

         1                  7.5                5

         1                  6                    6

         1                   7.3               6

         1                   6                    7

         1                   7.1                 7

         1                   6                    8

         1                   6.9                8

         1                    5                    9

         1                    6.7                9

         1                     5                    10

         1                     6.5                10

         1                     5                     11

         1                      6.3                11

         1                       5                    12

         1                       6.1                12

         1                        4                   13

         1                        5.9               13

         1                         4                   14

         1                         5.7              14

         1                          4                 15

         1                           5.5            15

         1                           4                 0

         1                           7.0            0

         1                            7.5            0 

Total:  30 minutes

I ran the half mile to the gym and then hopped on the treadmill and started right in.  I was jogging even at 4.0. I had to just to stay on the machine!  It got me to about 3 miles of HIIT.  I ran a final mile between a 7.0 and 7.5 and finished with a 1/2 mile walk  between 4 and 4.5 to catch my breath.  I walked home, too.  In the rain.  Even with the downpour, I couldn’t make my legs run.  They were jelly.  I bow down to the hill.

The speed demon in me would have had a bit of an issue with the 4.5 miles in 45 minutes (I usually do between an 8 and 8.5 minute mile depending on the day), but I couldn’t hear him over the screaming of my thighs.  “I’m on FIRE!”  Wow, this was a workout!  I plan to try to get this variation  in once a week and leave speed for the other 2 HIIT days.  I honestly couldn’t handle this more than once a week.  I respect (and somewhat fear) the incline.

Dream On

This title is applicable to many things for me today.  This morning when my alarm went off, my first thought was “NO”.  Usually I’m pretty good about getting out of bed.  Same time pretty much everyday and off to the gym.  I like my morning workout and once I’m out of bed, I’m good to go.  Not today.  It rained all day yesterday.  HARD!  We got 14 inches in some areas and even got a shout out from Sam Champion, GMA weatherman, for the extreme conditions.  Back at ya Sam!  I was able to snap this pic since I was chillin on the couch in my PJs with coffee rather than knocking it out on the treadmill as I caught up on my morning news.   

National News

The rain continued all night (and will for most of today) and I was so cozy.  Also about 4am there was a cat attack on our cat door.  It was my cat, who has been banished to the outdoors due to some urination incidents.  He has been out there permanently for about 6 weeks, but due to the great flood and the fact that his favorite hiding spot is a storm drain, we allowed him a reprieve for the duration of the rain.  He had gone out his door (we only have it locked coming into the house) and into the garage where his food is for a late night nosh (or since he’s nocturnal, I guess it’s lunch) and got stuck.  He was incensed and began throwing himself against the cat door.  I got up to let him in and had just settled back in bed when our blue heeler, Tucker, decided to throw up.  Seriously?!   You see where this is going.  Dream on is what I wanted this morning and what I did.  I’ll be doing my workout this afternoon instead. 

Dream on number two:  Today’s 30 Days of Insight.  Today’s topic is PERFECTION.  Tina did a great job writing about it and how our constant quest for it actually makes things less so.  Constantly reaching for a perfect body makes the wonderful one you have seem even less perfect than if you just loved yourself flaws and all.  If you are always wishing for a perfect life your focus will be on what you don’t have and want and not on all the enjoyable things you do have.  If you are searching for perfection, I say DREAM ON.  It’s not going to happen.  There is no such thing.  That may seem discouraging, but it’s actually freeing.  There is no such thing as perfect.  Say it with me.  THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS PERFECT.  It is not attainable and would be boring anyway.  If everyone had perfect lives, perfect bodies, perfect personalities, there would be no uniqueness.  No color.  Remember Pleasantville?  Perfection (or perceived perfection) was life in black and white.  Once they became individuals with individual actions and ideas, straying from the “norm, the world brightened.


I find myself much happier when I appreciate what I have and who I am and not what I want.  I have hopes and goals and I reach for them, but I don’t compare my life to someone else’s more “perfect” one.  I don’t think we need to just settle in and be content and not change things that we want changed either, but it is about your best life, not a perfect one.

Finally, I didn’t watch Glee when it was on last season, but with all the buzz I have been catching up this summer in reruns.  LOVE IT!  Lastnight they sang Dream On by Aerosmith and I realized it may be my favorite song.  I have always loved it.  Not sure why.  It doesn’t speak to me or contain any words of wisdom, but I like it.  I just simply like it.  Introducing Mr. Will Schuester, hottie, nerdy teacher and Brian Ryan (or is it Bryan Ryan) former Glee club star singing Aerosmith .  Glee somehow makes it all work. 


I am planning to do a new type of interval workout today.  This one is incline based instead of speed, so I’ll let ya know later how it goes.  I like interval workouts.  I was always a distance person before, but now I find the variation a challenge and it makes the workout go by so fast.

Birds on the Barbie

I mentioned earlier that my hubby was gone this weekend.  Where was he?  Hunting.  Now I know that hunting can be a bit of a dirty word in some circles, but I wanted to give my opinion.

My dad and my brother were also hunters, so I grew up around it.  BUT, there were rules.  There is such thing as ethical hunting.  Don’t shoot more than you can eat or anything that you wouldn’t eat.  Don’t shoot a “sitting” bird.  They must be in the air not chillin on a fence, in the road, or a tree.  Though hunting is admittedly a pastime for them, it is not “sport”.  They respect their kills and again, we eat it all.

I am a meat eater, but also an animal lover.  I do consider where my meat comes from and want it to have had a humane life prior to my consumption.  The birds my husband (or dad and brother) bring home have a had a wild life.  They were born in the wild and lived in the wild not some pen somewhere.  They were not fed hormones or “fattened” up.  They lived a natural bird life.  They are native to our area and would be a part of our natural diet.  They also have a chance to get away.  This is more than I can say for most commercial meat.  They are not killed just for their skins, tusks or horns (which would be weird since they are birds) and they plentiful around here.

Lastnight we had a Labor Day bbq featuring  the dove from this weekend’s hunt. 

Birds on the Barbie

I have nothing to do with the cleaning, preparing, or cooking of game birds.  That’s the man’s domain and he ROCKS at it!  He took each breast, cut a slit in it and stuffed in a sliced jalapeno.  He then wrapped it in bacon secured with a toothpick and got to grillin.  I made a side salad of spinach topped with goat cheese, berries and raspberry vinaigrette.  It was the perfect holiday meal.

Oh, as for the post title.  I’m sure everyone had heard “Put another shrimp on the barbie.”  (said in an Australian accent).  Well, barbie is simple what they call a grill or barbeque in Australia.  So we had birds on the barbie.  That kinda makes me laugh a little.  And now you’re laughing AT me.  S’alright.  I’m ok with it  🙂 

Hope you all had a great long weekend and are feeling rejuvenated (more likely a little bummed to be back at work 🙂 ).

Girls Night In

Kelly (formerly of My Healthy Passion) and I had a girls night in lastnight.  Both of the husbands were out of town doing boy things, so we curled up at her house with a couple of movies.  Obviously, chick flicks reigned. 

The Bounty Hunter


Ok, I wanted to like this movie.  I love Jennifer Aniston.  I was Team Jennifer during the whole Brad Pitt War, though honestly it was mostly on principle being against cheating and all.  I actually like Angelina, too, and think she is one of the most beautiful women ever.  A little dark (remember the vile of blood thing?  What?!), but now that she’s left the Morticia Adams-style behind she’s gorgeous. I digress.  Back to the movie.  It was terrible.  I don’t really know what else to say.  It was kinda of poorly written even as RomComs go and really all over the place.  Kelly and I both decided that we weren’t invested in the relationship, so we didn’t really care what happened to them.  That’s a death sentence for a romance movie, comic or otherwise.  Neither of us recommend this one.

The Backup Plan

We really liked this one.  It was hilarious in parts and ooey gooey in others.  Perfect for what we were looking for.  It scares you a bit on the pregnancy and kid front (I’m having slight heart palpitations for my near future), but it was all around a great chick flick.  4 thumbs up from lastnight’s audience.

Anybody seen anything else good lately?  I still want to see The Kids are Alright, Eat Pray Love (once I finish the book) and Inception in the theaters, but I may need some more video ideas for tonight.