Friday, April 29, 2011

Summer Tires.

It's finally, finally spring here in Canada. While that does not necessarily mean the weather will be warm, it does mean no more snow. You know how I know? Because my summer tires were put on my car today. They may not be clean, but darn it there pretty.

I made an appointment two weeks ago for a tire exchange this afternoon. I was promised a 3:00pm appointment that should take no longer than 20-30 minutes. When I arrived the nice tire man told me they were running behind and that it would be about 20 minutes before they started work. I told him that was fine and went to sit in the corner and bust out their Readers Digest. 

After 45 minutes my car was still sitting in the spot where I had left it. I was starting to get annoyed and began mentally plotting all the comments I could make. I considered, "If you don't have time I can come back", which isn't all that offensive, to "Can I have my keys because this is ridiculous and I'm outta here," with a nice foot stomp thrown in for good measure.

I was thinking about my line as I continued reading the cute anecdotes at the end of the Reader's Digest articles. One in particular caught my eye as I was about to stage my stomping scene. It went something like this:

My wife's plane was delayed due to foul weather causing her and several other passengers to miss their connections. As they waited in line to speak with a airline representative everyone remained calm and courteous. Except one man who was rude to the clerk and demanded he be reassigned to an aisle seat since that was what he had originally requested. The rest of the stranded passengers didn't care where they sat as long as they were permitted to board the next flight. Finally the clerk called the angry man up and gave him an aisle seat in coach on the next flight. He took his ticket and headed for the gate. As soon as he left the clerk announced that everyone else would be rebooked on the same flight first class.

As you can guess, I decided to maintain my composure and continue waiting like a good little girl. 

And you know what? An hour and a half later, when my car was finally done, the nice man called me to the counter and said he wasn't charging me since it took so long. 

So, thank you Mr. Tire Man. I can't get that hour and a half back but I sure do appreciate the $62 I kept in my pocket. 


Wednesday Workout: Cardio - 40 minutes, Weights - biceps, shoulders, abs

Thursday Workout: Nothing. Rest day. Plus my stomach doesn't like me today so I decided to take it easy.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Little Engine That Could.

It's Tuesday -- which means it is weigh-in day. Things could have been worse, I could have gained weight. They also could have better, I could have lost weight. But instead I stayed at the exact same weight.

This is fine considering I was expecting to gain weight for the following reasons:
1. There have been three sets of baked goods made in the last week and I have eaten them all. Shamelessly. 
2. Rover Bill was in town which meant late night pizza, eating out for every other meal, and way too much wine. It couldn't be helped.
3. I stuffed my face with turkey, mashed potatoes and delicious stuffing last night. And don't regret it for one second.
4. I've been miserably sick with terrible sinus congestion and a hacking cough for almost two weeks, thus logging lots of hours on the couch.
5. While I had a sore throat I took to eating mint chocolate chip ice cream every night. And not just regular ice cream, I'm talking milkshake style. 

So while I remain sitting at a loss of 12 pounds I will keep staring at my closet full of work pants that don't fit yet.

I refuse to buy more too. In a moment of weakness I went to the mall today to find a new pair of work pants but ended up with two new shirts. Why? Because I can't bring myself to admit defeat. I am going to continue embarrassing myself by rotating through the two pairs of pants that fit right now. You think I'm kidding? I'm not. Two pairs. If that isn't motivation than I don't know what is.

And don't even get me started on all my workout shorts that don't fit. There are six pairs of fun colored shorts lying in the drawer just calling my name. But until I can shed a few more pounds I'll keep rotating through the three pairs that fit.

Do you understand how much laundry I have to do to keep up with this rotation? It's a sad situation.

So as week 8 comes to a close I remain at 12 pounds lost and at least 8 pounds to go.

But I'm not down on myself...not at all. You can't not feel good about losing weight. I can feel a difference, even if it's not obvious to anyone else.

It's funny that 12 pounds doesn't look like anything when I've worked so hard at it. No one has noticed. Hell, I can hardly tell when I look in the mirror. There are some differences -- slightly more toned arms and a slightly flatter stomach. But that's about it, nothing worth writing home over.

The photo on the left is Week 1. The photo on the right is Week 8.

Don't feel bad that you can't see a difference. Because for now I'm completely happy with feeling the difference instead of seeing it. How I feel in my own skin is just as important as how I look, if not more so. Right? Right. (Nod your head and agree with me for Pete's sake)

Anyway, we're 2/3's of the way done! Four weeks until my 30th birthday. Four weeks until I head to Maine for the summer and bust out the bathing suits.

I can do it. I can do it. I can do it.

Just call me The Little Engine.


Workout: Cardio - 45 minutes, Weights - biceps, shoulders, legs, abs

Week 8 Weigh-In: 0 pounds lost

Total Weight Lost: 12 pounds   Remaining: 8 pounds

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Monday.

Just so we are all clear, I made the cutest cake ever for Easter Monday dinner at my in-law's house. And, might I add, it was The Canadian's idea. I showed him a photo of Easter basket cupcakes and he twisted it into an Easter basket cake made from my giant cupcake mold. He's such a genius. I think I'll keep him around.

The cake making part went fairly well. It's hard to screw up a box cake. Although, I've done it before and I'm sure I'll do it again.

The real challenge was creating a handle for the Easter basket. My bright idea was to braid pieces of licorice together to create support and structure. 

Note: licorice can NOT be melted together using a hot pink hair dryer. 

I poked and prodded with toothpicks forever...and it just wasn't working either.

Finally (miraculously) the idea of lollipop sticks popped in my head. They sort of worked...but I was out of ideas so that's I went with.

The whole 'basket weave' thing was no easy task either. Thanks to our good friends at google I figured out that the key is to create the weave in sections. And have patience. And cool the frosting halfway through because my sweaty hands were making it melt. Sexy.

Anyway, finally all the icing was in place and the grass was added. It only took enough green jimmy's to cover an entire country.

So I loaded it with Easter basket fillings and added the precarious handle...

TaaDaa! A completely edible Easter basket. Not bad for a mornings worth of work.

Oh, then there was the matter of cleaning up the disaster I call a kitchen. But I only did a half ass job because I had to get to the gym and frankly, I didn't feel like it.

Totally worth it -- my niece certainly enjoyed her piece.


Workout: Cardio - 20 minutes (I was in a hurry. Stupid basket handle.) Weights: legs, abs

Weigh-in tomorrow. It's NOT going to be pretty. Brace yourself.

Happy Easter!

So, we didn't exactly have a normal Easter Sunday. The only Easter-y part of today was the fresh blueberry pancakes I made for breakfast.

This is because Rover Bill was still staying with us trying to finish up work on The Canadian's Land Rover. Somehow Friday's work turned into Saturday's work...which then turned into get the idea.

Thankfully my in-laws were accommodating and moved Easter dinner to Monday. Which, by the way, is a national holiday here in Canada. It's called Easter Monday. Creative, I know.

The Land Rover has been out of commission for months. Apparently gasoline is not supposed to be this color. But that was only one of the issues.

I'd love to tell you all about the other things they fixed, tweaked and replaced but I was too busy hiding inside watching cinematic masterpieces like The Wedding Planner and Bring It On: Fight to the Finish. 

Somehow, even without my expertise, they managed to get the Land Rover running. And for that I will forever be in Rover Bill's debt.

Instead of an Easter egg hunt Maple had a tennis ball hunt...and was quite successful. Who knew how many balls had been buried under the snow?

I was impressed with her retrieving skills until she began staring me down and barking...

Do you want me to throw this??

You do?!

Well, tough. Next time don't bark at me. hmph.

I really showed her who is boss. 

Happy Easter!


Satruday Workout: Cardio - 45 minutes, Weights - triceps, back, legs, abs

Sunday Workout: Cardio - 30 minutes, Weights - biceps, shoulders, legs, abs

Friday, April 22, 2011

Boredom. And Insider Information.

The Canadian and I have been waiting all day for our house guest to arrive. Like, we haven't left the house except for breakfast this morning. Rover Bill is coming to stay with us for the weekend and hopefully work his magic on The Canadian's Land Rover. You see, the truck has not been running since January and I'm getting a little sick of having one car for the two of us. Since the Land Rover is 40 years old it breaks a lot and can't be taken to a normal mechanic like a normal car. That would be too easy. Instead, The Canadian does most of the work himself...except for big problems. For those he calls on Rover Bill, the godfather of old Land Rovers. Rover Bill doesn't exactly know that I call him Rover Bill either. Apparently he prefers to be called Bill, but I've really taken a liking to the nickname so I'll keep calling him that and hope he gets used to it.

Anyway, Rover Bill was coming into town this 'afternoon' so we made ourselves available (It's now 11pm and we're still waiting). It's not like there is anything better to do anyway. Apparently all of Canada shuts down for Good Friday. No work, no grocery store, no Starbucks. I can't really remember but I'm 90% sure it's not like this in the States.

With all this free time on my hands today I spent way too much time fiddling on the internet. Much to my surprise I discovered my lovely sister felt the need to broadcast my blog on Facebook. I know that by writing a blog I'm putting myself out there but I definitely wasn't anticipating Facebook broadcasting. So that being the case I now feel the need to write something tonight even though I have nothing to write about because I spent all day waiting on Rover Bill. Fortunately I found this lovely email spam that I filled out in order to amuse myself this afternoon. So I'll share it...just in case you wanted a little insight on the chaos I call my thoughts.

How cute was I? I loved that strawberry dress...

Okay, here we go:

I am: desperately trying to get back in shape.
I think: that I need a new car because mine is possessed. Seriously, after two years of the beep-beep not working when I locked the car it has suddenly come back to life.
I know: that I’m a little crazy.
I have: a monster for a dog. But she’s my monster and I love her.
I wish: I didn’t ever have to worry about money. And that it was hot outside.
I hate: mushrooms and green peppers. And stupidity.
I miss: all things Southern. Mainly grits and sweet tea.
I fear: fire.
I hear: music in my head all day long. Usually rap or bad 80’s.
I smell: gasoline and think of summers on the lake.
I crave: good sushi and Indian food.
I search: google all the time. It’s how I learned the proper way to cut an avacado.
I wonder: when it will be my turn to win a Pioneer Woman contest.
I regret: not going to Grad school after college.
I love: The Canadian. And wine.
I ache: after attempting to run.
I believe: that Karma can be a bitch. As well it should be.
I dance: in the car, much to The Canadian’s amusement and embarrassment.
I the top of my lungs with the windows down all the time. It goes well with the dancing.
I cry: rarely. The world has to be ending. Or I have to be really frustrated.
I fight: as little as possible. I’m not a big fan of confrontation. Used to be, but not anymore.
I lose: my mind all the time. Let me know if you find it.
I win: nothing. Not even scrabble or dominoes. Let alone the lottery.
I never: want to shovel snow again. Ever.
I always: have coffee to start my day and wine to end it.


Workout: Cardio - 20 minutes, Weights: biceps, shoulders, legs, abs. Short and sweet since the gym closed early for Good Friday and I didn't get there in time because I would have never guessed in a million years the freakin' gym would be closing for Good Friday.

Easter Bark. Like Christmas but Pastel.

Okay, so I feel like we're about to enter Easter candy overload but it can't be helped -- I got a little excited. I promise we'll move on to more exciting things tomorrow.

I'll spare you the gory details and just give the basic rundown. But first I must insist that you make this and bring it along to Easter brunch. Or just eat it all yourself. It doesn't matter to me, really.

Real quick, while I'm thinking of it, don't forget to go to Starbucks and grab your free coffee tomorrow. Bring your own mug to save the Earth and your wallet.

Where was I?

Right. Chocolate.

Melt 2 boxes of Baker's dark chocolate and pour it onto a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. Simultaneously melt colored chocolate. Spoon the colored chocolate onto the dark chocolate.

Take a knife and get in touch with your inner hippie by dragging the knife up, down and sideways.

Pick out 4 or 5 of your favorite Easter candies. I went with Oreo's, candy corn, robin egg whoppers and m&m's. Use whatever you the Easter basket or pick up something in small packages at the grocery store (or the big packs so you can eat the leftovers).  

Place a handful of each all over the chocolate before it hardens. Next, either pop it in the fridge or leave it on the counter. It all depends on how long you can handle the suspense.

Once the goodness has hardened break it into small jagged pieces. You may now kiss your weight loss plan goodbye. Bikinis? Who needs 'em. I'll be wearing a muumuu for the rest of my life.


Workout: Cardio - 40 minutes, Weights - triceps, chest, abs, legs. I'll be hobbling tomorrow.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter Bunny Food.

I saw some similar carrots in a small candy shop in Iowa a few weeks ago and thought it was the cutest and most simple Easter treat ever. Since I'm all about minimal effort and cute results I decided to try it in honor of the upcoming Bunny Day. Besides, it was snowing this afternoon and I needed some spring in my step. 

You heard me. Snow. Today. Awesome.


I tried to just run over to the grocery store to buy Snyder's pretzel rods but there were none to be had anywhere in the store. I'm thinking 'Is there a run on pretzels because everyone is making carrots like me?' but no, they were just hidden in a place on the manager knew of. That's right. I asked the manager for pretzels. Desperate times call for desperate measures, people.

This is so easy. Ready?

Put orange chocolate chips (??) in a bowl in a pot of water on the stove (aka double boiler). And keep the heat on low, for God's sake. 

Have patience. Just because it's easy doesn't mean it's quick.

Once the chocolate is melted and smooth go ahead and dunk most of the pretzel in. My bowl wasn't deep enough so I poured the chocolate on the pretzel instead. Much easier. 

It's really helpful if you can get a helper to hold the pretzel for a second after dipping to get the final drips off. Your helper could be a 5 year old or The 33 year old Canadian. Either will work.

Once the drips are off have your helper lie the pretzel down on parchment paper. The bottom side of the pretzel is going to be flat -- that's just the way it is. Move on.

Let the orange set for at least 30 minutes. Then begin melting the green for your carrot tops.

Be careful! If you turn up the heat too much or accidentally splash water in the chocolate you'll end up with a clumpy mess. Then you'll have to send The Canadian out in the snow and hail to buy you more green chocolate. And then you'll be forever in his debt and owe him a batch of cookies.

Attempt #2. Success.


Dip the top in until the green meets the orange.

Be sure to dip the broken pretzels too. Mini bunnies like mini carrots. Or so I heard.

Let the carrots set on parchment paper. Or wax paper. Or wherever. Just be sure it's out of the dog's reach.

And there you have it. The perfect food for an Easter Bunny. 

I've almost convinced myself that it's healthy and good for my eye sight.

See? I told you it was snowing today. I wouldn't lie to you.


Workout: Nothing. I'm sick. I'm sick of being sick. I would like to order a new respiratory system. I'll even pay the extra shipping to overnight it. Thanks.