Liebster Award…I Confess Creepy Things

liebster

So I was nominated by the fair Kendra to participate in the Liebster blog tag.  I’ve already won this a few times, but I love yakking your ears off in response to surveys (and–thanks K–you gave me a blogging topic for this weekend, and I wasn’t coming up with anything, so you SAVED ME); I will happily and humbly accept your nomination.rihanna rising gif

1. When you find an insect or arachnid in your house, what is your immediate response? Do you scream? Rescue the bug and let it outside? Kill it? No, I will not judge you (too harshly) for your response.   Depends on how big/hairy it is.  If it’s longer than an inch or so, it goes underfoot.  Otherwise I try to put a cup over it and slide an envelope beneath that and dump the whole package outside (UNLESS IT CAN JUMP OH GOD THAT’S THE WORST WHEN THEY CAN JUMP AND THEY JUST RAM THEMSELVES AGAINST THE GLASS OH GOD OH GOD).

2. What is your opinion on so-called “white lies?” Are they necessary in certain cases to avoid hurting someone? Or should they be avoided at all costs?  Hmm.  This is too dang deep for a blog survey…how do I say this without sounding awful..? I tell a lot of lies.  Storyteller by nature, et cetera…I just really like embellishing stories to get a reaction out of people.  I add harmless little details that I think’ll make it funnier or something.  I don’t even realize I’m doing it, which is the scariest part.  I’ll actually convince myself that the embellished version was the actual course of events…if I’m ever telling you a really fanciful story, you should ask me if I’m lying.  I’ll probably blink dazedly a few times and respond with “Oh…I guess I am!”  I DO STRIVE TO AVOID THIS on the blog, though, because it’s much harder to accidentally type up a lie than speak it.

Hmm, what was the actual question?  Oh…white lies.  I don’t think you should lie to avoid hurting people, but don’t deliberately tear someone down either.  Honesty is always the best policy…like if they ask for a critique on something that sucks, just point out the flaws along with the good points.  There’s always good points.

3. What is one of the most bizarre/detailed/vivid dreams you have ever had? Have you ever had a dream that predicted something in the future (yes, this was inspired by the aforementioned dream I had)?  Well…heh.  Do I ‘fess up here?  Every dream I have is extremely vivid and bizarre.  Extremely.  My most recent dream (meaning last night) was that my brother and I had accidentally murdered Shrek the ogre.  Also, my brother was Remus Lupin, from the Harry Potter series, except he was wearing a bra, patterned with oranges.  (It was quite a lovely bra.)  The big oak tree in our yard was actually the Whomping Willow, and we stowed Shrek’s corpse in the Shrieking Shack which was nearby, through a tunnel.  (Realization: it was actually supposed to be Snape that we killed, but I guess my brain subbed in the image of Shrek because it couldn’t picture a dead Snape..?) Then the police showed up, saying there had been a reported attempted break-in at our house.  I had this really awesome grandma who didn’t resemble any of my actual grandmas but she could do kung-fu and she took out two of the cops with her walker.  Then the rest of the police force showed up, but it turned out to be my childhood Taekwon-do class, so there was a brief happy reunion before our living room turned into the PE gym and we lined up on opposite sides of it, getting ready to square down.

That was actually kind of a tame dream for me.

4. Do you eat food that you’ve dropped on the ground? Or throw it away in disgust? Do you follow expiration dates on all packaged food, or only with dairy products and other mold-prone food? This was inspired by the fact that I recently threw out a tub of almost-empty yogurt that had expired a month ago. Even I have my limits when it comes to expired food.   Depends on the type of food.  Is it good chocolate?  I’ll eat good chocolate off a toilet seat.  (I’ll, like, rinse it off first…)  I eat most foods off the floor.  I’m exceedingly ignorant-by-choice of the types of bacteria that thrive in carpets.  It makes life so much simpler.  I am kind of obsessive about expiration dates though…I have an awful nagging fear that I’ll get food poisoning and die if I eat something even a day past the expiration date.  It just looks so final…it’s scary, man.

5. Do you have one or more social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc…)? How has it affected your life, both positively and/or negatively? Or do you prefer to stay off of such websites?  Yup.  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest; check, check, check and check.  I’m a really big fan of social media.  It allows me to connect with others, like my old Wyoming friends, stay in touch, and promote things.  And I love the tiny windows into other’s lives.  (I’m the kind of person who cranes their neck to see into people’s houses when they’re driving past, not because I want to, erm, see anything explicit, but because it really fascinates me to see the kind of spaces other people spend the majority of their lives in.  Is this another thing I can attribute to just having a writer-brain? :D)  I don’t really think they’ve had a big negative impact on my life.  I don’t think they’re interesting enough to get addicted to…only blogs and Tumblr have that power over me.

6. Why exactly are there warning labels on things such as bottles of hairspray stating “Do not use near heat, flame, or while smoking.” “Avoid inhalation.” “Avoid spraying in eyes”? Do these companies think we are idiots, or are they simply terrified of being sued by a person who says “You didn’t tell me that it’s dangerous to use my hair dryer in the bathtub!! How dare you do such a thing!!” Yes, this is somewhat of a rhetorical question, so instead of answering it, feel free to share the most absurd warning labels you have ever seen.  Yeah, I think it comes of the companies being afraid of sue-age.  (Haha…)  Why would you even use your hair dryer in the bathtub anyway?  Are there really people that hellbent on multitasking?

7. Did you have an imaginary friend as a child? If so, what was his/her/it’s name? Was it human, animal, vegetable, mineral, or alien?  I…well, I did.  Her name was…*cringes* Plecostomus, because that was a type of fish I had in my fish tank.  I just called her Platty for short.  I’m not sure she wasn’t human; she was humanoid, but she had green skin and red hair and in the world she came from capitalization was reversed so she wrote her name pLATTY.  I was…a special child.

8. Do you talk to yourself on a regular basis? Or perhaps to your pets? Have you ever engaged in a fascinating discussion or argument with yourself? (Please tell me I’m not the only one who has done this…)  Well, I journal daily, which is essentially an elaborate written conversation with myself.  Sometimes if I’m alone (or in math class) I’ll make snide little remarks to myself, but I don’t know that I’ve ever had a fully-fledged self-argument, a la Eleventh Doctor in Nightmare in Silver.

nightmare in silver

(photo credit the BBC)

9. When was the last time you sent an actual pencil-and-paper letter to someone? Do you think handwritten letters are always more intimate and personal than an email or text message, or does it depend on the situation? Speaking of which, can you write in cursive (I can’t, so don’t worry about being judged here)?  I probably send more snail mail than most people, but I still haven’t sent a letter in a long time.  Maybe it was…a year ago??  People don’t do it nearly often enough, but I love getting handwritten letters.  I feel so shpecial upon receiving one, and I definitely feel like there’s a stronger interpersonal connection there than with email.  That said, I also love email, since it’s so much more practical and speedy and allows me to keep up with friends whom I don’t see on a daily basis! (Love ya, Cleo!)

can write in cursive.  Pretty well.  I’ve got a fancy fountain pen and I spent a lot of one summer trying to make my script as pretty as possible.  My normal, note-taking, paper-writing printing is somewhat of an ugly lovechild between printing and cursive…teachers hate it, I hate it sometimes (all the letters are nondescript lumps), but it looks vaguely artistic.

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10. Do you feel as though TV or magazine advertisements actually make you more likely to purchase the product being advertised? Or do you simply enjoy mocking them and/or laughing at them? Feel free to mention one of the strangest, best, worst, most sexist, or most creative advertisement you’ve ever seen.  I mean, I’m sure they do influence my purchases.  I try not to let them, but if they weren’t effective, advertising wouldn’t be the multi-billion-dollar industry it is now, right?  I do like to mock them; and a lot are selling naked women, rather than, um, the actual product.  BUTBUTBUTBUTBUT–the Phillipines version of Pantene made this really awesome commercial about negative labels that are applied to women vs men and how we can break through them, and it’s one of the coolest commercials I’ve seen in a long time.  Worth a watch:

My 10 questions time!  I’m upset that no one did my sock drawer survey.  (Except for TeenieYogini.  She’s just better than all of you.  *sniffs haughtily*) That hurts, you guys.  SOO I’m just going to steal the some of the questions from there and TAG people so they HAVE to respond, mwahahahaha…

  1. Show us your sock drawer.  *PEERpressurePEERpressure*
  2. Favorite type of workout?
  3. Favorite type of cheese (or cheeze)?
  4. What would your last meal be?
  5. Favorite outfit?
  6. Favorite caffeinated beverage?
  7. One of your favorite fictional characters has shown up on your doorstep ready to take you on the adventure of a lifetime. Who are they, and where do you go?
  8. Any tattoos you’d like?
  9. Hair color? Would you ever dye it? Chop it all off?
  10. Favorite smell?

And I tag:

1. Kris @ Plants & Pages

2. Andrea @ I Run for Donuts

3. Cleo @ The Literary Flaneur (yes I’m going to keep tagging you for these things; as your sassy clumsy friend I’m just going to pressure you into doing more and more surveys and stepping away from your insane TBR pile)

4. Kailey @ The Caffeinated Runner

5.  Lacey @ Life Hands You Limes

6.  Joelle @ On a Pink Typewriter

7. Alex @ The Run Within

*counts names on fingers furtively* Crap, that’s only seven.  All the other blogs I read (that haven’t been tagged already) are either too topic-specific for this kind of thing, or are too BIG (in terms of follower count), and nominating them sort of feels like yanking on an upperclassman’s sleeve to ask where the bathroom is.  I AM NOT WORTHY.  If you’re reading this, consider yourself nominated, I guess!!  I am so totally stoked you are reading this!  Congrats on your life decisions!

Y’all should recommend some more blogs to me.  Any other ramblers out there, either fitness-, food-, or literature-related?  ALL THREE?  I must meet some more of my kin.  We must form a tribe.

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I’m back! Have a health survey.

Insert fancy and outrageously witty intro here!  We have just returned from our weeklong Wyoming stay, and my brain is the happiest sort of mush.  It has been a whirlwind of a week, not to mention the drive home (have I told you yet that it’s 17 hours??) but I was left with lots of wonderful memories and mementos.  Time to resort to the oldest blogging trick in the book–it’s SURVEY TIME!  😀  No, they never end up being as easy-breezy as they seem, but at least my frazzled neurons don’t have to bother with the creative strain of coming up with a post topic.  I saw this healthy-living survey on Run2YourOwnBeat.  But first, since we have just returned from Wyoming, the obligatory horse picture:

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Whew.  Okay.  Onto survey!  This is such a brilliant transition.

1.  What did you eat for breakfast?

Grape-nuts and chia seeds.  As I’ve said before, my body is shunning oatmeal lately and I woke up too late to really fix something “fancy”, so cereal it was.

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Yay for recycled pictures! 😀

2.  How much water do you drink a day?

Too much.  A gallon or more, plus milk, fruit and veggies, etc.  I’m not sure why I’m so thirsty (we’ve done the diabetes testing, yes) but it hasn’t had any adverse side effects so far.  Other than constantly-full-bladder syndrome.

3.  What is your current favorite workout?

Running medium-distance, around 3 miles—I just wish I was better at it and that my knees favored it more.  I’m also looking into CrossFit…although at the moment, I am epically non-fit, cross- or otherwise.

4.  How many calories do you eat per day?

Heck, I don’t know.  A lot, probably.

5.  What are your favorite healthy snacks?

Carrots + peanut butter, pita + hummus, fruit, air-popped popcorn, cheese sticks, nuts, nut butter, etc.  The standard.

6.  What do you usually eat for lunch?

Carrot & peanut butter sandwich?  This seems to be my go-to lately.  #thebomb

7.  What is your favorite body part to strength train?

My wonderful legs, because cardio kind of counts as strength training them and also it hurts very much less than upper body.

8.  What is your least favorite body part to strength train?

Arms.  Back.  I’m weak.

9.  What are your “bad” food cravings?

Chocolatewhyisthisevenaquestion.

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First time ever trying Kona (coffee) Cake...I did a lot of worshipping the Dark Lord over this trip.

as is an Oh She Glows' Iced Mocha Green Monster

Cheesecake 091

Anti-inflammatory!  Anti-inflammatory!  Woot!

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MY handiwork!  MY handiwork!! (happy dances)

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I am woman, hear me roar.

10.  Do you take vitamins or supplements?

Often a multivitamin, a B-12 occasionally, and an acidophilus/probiotic supplement ever since my trip to Costa Rica and the ensuing gut bug. 😦  Bleh!

11.  How often do you eat out?

Rarely.  I think this is more based on lack of planning on our family’s part than disdain for outside eateries, however.

12.  Do you eat fast food?

Nope.  Actually, wait, hold on, I can’t really say this, can I, when I stopped at Burger King on our road trip just yesterday??  I ordered a veggie burger, sweet potato fries, and a large water.  So I guess I do—but once a year, or even more rarely than that.  I was hungry, you guys–beyond that, I was hangry.  You must really process this, understand how pressing the situation was.

🙂  (Source)

13.  Who is your biggest supporter?

Mah bad self.

14.  Do you have a gym membership?

Nope.  But I have a makeshift home gym in the garage!  It suddenly occurs to me that I’ve never showed you a picture of this, so here you are.

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It’s a bit roughhewn… 🙂  There’s a yoga mat in front of the TV for yoga DVDs, a few dumbbells/reistance bands, a dreadmill, a rowing machine, punching bag, weight cage, and pull-up bar.  Plus…a couch…for the Y-chromosome-havers of the house to play video games on (sigh).

15.  How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

Oh, 9, at minimum.  Coffee the next morning is a given if I’m up past 10 studying or something. Smile with tongue out I sure wish I could be one of those people who just lights-outs for like four hours and then pops up ready for a new day (pretty much every other teenager I know), but I likes my sleep.  I’m a zombie without it.

16.  Do you have a “cheat” day?

Not consciously.  I eat a lot of chocolate.  I’m not cheating on anybody with it, though, so my conscience is clear…

17.  Do you drink alcohol?

Hahahaha.  I’m younger than you think I am.  I have been known to get a little heavyhanded with the vanilla extract, though.

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35%!!!  What can I say, I’m just a rebel grrrl like that.

18.  Do you have a workout buddy?

Mah bad self.

Also, as aforementioned, Daddio and I are running a 5k this month and participating in next year’s Seattle-to-Portland bike ride.  We shall see how training intensively together goes.

19.  What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a healthy lifestyle?

To be honest–I’m still working on that commitment thing.  I was really good for about two years, then with my knees, I fell off the bandwagon for 8 months and even though I’m not loving all the…changes…this forced exercise break put my body through, I’m finding it extremely hard to get back on said bandwagon.  You feel me? :/  I’ve tried multiple times to get back to my pre-fooey-knees exercise and health regimen, but no luck so far.  Lately I have discovered some new highly inspirational healthy living blogs, though, and they’ve helped a bit–also, my impending upcoming 5k is a huge motivator.  (I’m a competetive chickie.  What can I say.)  All I know is that I definitely want to get back to my old level of fitness, but it’s going to require a lot of mental stamina to do so.

20.  What was the last healthy thing you did?

Oh, I inhaled!  Inhalation is actually a really beneficial practice, providing oxygen to your entire body and providing a low-grade ab workout, while also serving to calm the body by reassuring it that it is not in a state of suffocation.  Winking smile  I jest, I jest.  No, once I really get up and at ‘em this morning, I plan to incorporate some form of strength training into my workout.  Been missing out on it lately in favor of running/exploring! Smile

Your turn!  Pick a question and answer it in the comments, or do the survey yourself! 🙂  Maybe you’ll be my healthy magic motivator.  Also, does your brain tend to turn to mush after travel?  I must confess I haven’t been exactly productive in the time we’ve been back…

MIMM: Hatchday, Pretty Light, Knees, and Insane Decisions

Hey everyone!  How’s your Monday going?

DSCN3124 DSCN3127 DSCN3137 DSCN3143 DSCN3160 DSCN3159Mine’s been pretty…pretty, to say the least.  As a Washingtonian, such flagrant displays of sunshine are something of a rarity, and you can bet your bottom dollar I’ve been taking full advantage of these picture-perfect summer days by frolicking about, soaking up the Vitamin D.

I’ve never really been one of those people who need an extra boost on Mondays to get through the week, even when school/activities are in session–I’ve just never hit the “Monday wall” that I guess so many people run into.  I’ve already confessed my nerdship to you guys–Monday is basically my favorite day of the week!  Not only is it usually pretty light on homework because teachers don’t like to take the time to concoct elaborate assignments over the weekends, school STARTS UP AGAIN and I know it’s going to be the beginning of a (potentially gruelingly) glorious week!

Still, it never hurts to get a little extra boost, even if your biggest worry right now is that the hammock that’s callin’ your name is gonna get lonely.

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The weekend was pretty enjoyable marvelous.  I hosted Citrus’ third hatchday party–I made sad-looking but still (IMO) cute cockatiel cookies and we bopped around outside.  There was a sleepover and we all got very slap-happy.  We were tired in the morning but there were muffins (with both lemon and seeds–perfect for a bird named Citrus!) made by me and a frittata made by Mother Dearest (with potatoes inside–tasted like hashbrowns!!).  I do so love hashbrowns.

Alas, we did not have a circular cookie cutter, so I had to shape the sugar cookie dough (nomnomnom) with a beer-can chicken prop-thing.  (My culinary vocabulary falters when it comes to meat…)

To make the cookies, I used the Savvy Vegetarian cookie dough recipe, this recipe for coconut whip as a frosting (tinted yellow with food coloring), Craisins for eyes, chopped up Watermelon Laffy Taffy for the beaks, and mangled “orange slices” candies for the orange cheek circles.DSCN3042 DSCN3052

This totally didn't happen what are you talking about.  Not straight from the beater, never.

This totally didn’t happen what are you talking about. Not straight from the beater, never.

I wouldn't recommend using A Taste of Thai coconut milk (pretty popular brand) for the whip--it has some sort of stabilizer added that prevents it from working too nicely.  I used...whatever this brand is.

I wouldn’t recommend using A Taste of Thai coconut milk (pretty popular brand) for the whip–it has some sort of stabilizer added that prevents it from working too nicely. I used…whatever this brand is.

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Beaks!  Haha

Beaks! Haha

Aaaaand the final result.  Bit homely, but that’s okay! 🙂

Citrus approves.

Citrus approves.

Other marvelous things today…

Can we talk patella bracing for a sec?  I’m in love.  I don’t think that’s hyperbole.  Anything that was enough to lift me out of the forced 8-month running break thanks to these dang knees is virtually a Messiah in my eyes.  (I think it was probably the braces in adjunct with my rest, stretching, physical therapy, orthotics, supportive shoes, and therapeutic ultrasounds, but hey, whatever works…)  To my surprise, I haven’t lost all of my (nonexistent to begin with) running prowess, and the braces allowed me to attend my first *OFFICIAL* XC practice last Friday!  I hope to attend two more this week!  We’ll see how that goes…alas, my mileage maximum right now is approximately 3.  (Maybe four on the hamster wheel?)  By the end of the summer we’re supposed to be easily running 8…

This brings me to my first INSANE DECISION OF THE DAY!  This one is way less insane than my other one, but it’s still a big thrill for me.  I signed up for another 5k!!  This one’s on August 24th, and, while running in the heat ain’t exactly my cup of tea, I’m beyond stoked!  If I can even get close to my time on my first-and-only 5k, then it will be a huge reassurance for me that, though my knees doth plague me, I can get my kickassery and (somewhat) speed back with enough motivation.  (To any “serious” runners out there reading this:  I know a 5k is not a huge distance.  It’s kind of a menial race.  But, alas, my body is NOT DESIGNED FOR RUNNING WHATSOEVER [sitting and blogging is more my speed, how ’bout you?] and a 5k is a big deal to me!)

Sweet Potato Chocolate Pancakes 009(Throwback to the morning of my first 5k, waiting in the starting line.  Pay no attention to the ominous disembodied hand on my shoulder; someone else is cropped out.  And notice the fear hiding behind the forced smile–the glazed eyes, the overall absent disposition.  I was convinced I was going to die that day.)

Incidentally, you know what’s harder than running a 5k?

………………………..Biking two hundred and two miles.

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Yeah, it’s insane.  We’ve covered this.  And it will require buying a new bike, and/or some road tires for my current trusty steed mountain bike.  But recently (yesterday-recently), la madre de una de mis amigas (I’m not sure why I phased into Spanish here, but I couldn’t think how to word it in English) participated in the Cascade Bicycle Club/Group Health Seattle-to-Portland bike ride, a one- or two-day event that spans a total of 202-point-something miles.  Which gave me a sudden and intense burst of inspiration.  It’s a recreational ride, not a race, but from my extensive Googling of the thing last night it looks. epic.  And everyone says you need to dream big and set high goals to keep your morale buoyed, right?  So.  I’ve got a year to train.  I post this to the internet so I can’t back down–next year, Daddio and I will be participating in the 2014 Seattle-to-Portland ride.  And we will rock that epic $#*@.

Much moreso than for running, my body (and quads) like biking.  While the farthest ride I’ve ever taken to date was just 40 miles with lots of hills, and I died afterwards–I’ve got a year.  Best get on this.

Ahh.  The inevitable foot selfie.  (For some reason I just tried to spell “foot” as “fut”…)  Daddio and I went on a short (10 mile?) ride today, and I plan to get some running on the hamster wheel done as well.  Fitness, here I come!

****************************************************************************************************

And arrachgha, yes, I need to do a poemography post today, since I’ve skipped out on that for, what, three weeks?!  Problem is, I only have one line to work with… #poetictrialsandtribulations

“Rather than people who shine–

I like people who glow

is the line, but I’m not sure how to weave that into a poem.  Would it be all right if poemography was extended to flash fiction?  I know I made the rules, but you guys can change them.  I’ll luv ya forever 😉

July

(oh, wow, look!  such an intriguing title! :P)

Remember how I alluded to the fact that things gon’ be changin’ around these parts?  (“These parts” being my life and the way I manage it…)

This is gonna happen now, folks.  Forrealzies.

I’ve made a lot of promises in the past and entertained myself with visions of productive grandeur–every time, the things, whatever they were that I pledged myself to, had a habit of…not getting done.  Oh yes, I would set goals, write out lists, lay out my workout gear and my fountain pen and my planner and whatever crap I thought would rocket me to success…then I would log into Bloglovin’ or WordPress or Pinterest and it was game over.

What can I say?  I’m easily distracted.  (I’m choosing to believe it’s a sign of brilliance.)  I can hardly ever clean my room, because I get so engrossed in the objects I’m picking up off my floor that I forget the task at hand entirely.  I get distracted by my own feet.  Clearly, my brain is no match for the multiple-tab-wielding, infinite-destination vortex of my internet browser.

distractions

Oh, but this sounds like a “Goodbye, internet” post!  I promise you that this is not the case!  (I don’t think I could manage that anyhow…)  More of a warning/notification of sorts…of impending changes around these parts.

I am DOING STUFF this month, and next.  I intend to put the rest of my summer vacation to very good use.

So I’ve compiled a “Daily To-Do List” for the rest of the summer, which reads thusly:

  • 1 chapter TLOTR

Yes, this is something of seemingly no importance in an odd position of priority on my list.  For some reason, though, I’ve devoted myself entirely to the task of mowing through the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy over the summer (mainly because I feel like it’s something I should have read by now), and if I ration it out this way, it ends up being just over 60 days’ worth of reading.

  • 1667 words or 1 hour revision in Thaw (at minimum)

Camp NaNoWriMo is here today! =D  I’m all stocked up with Scrivener, and a writing nook–I’ve gussied up The Shed for maximum comfort and reclusivity as I bang away on the keyboard–an inspiration jar, and coffee.

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productivity palace

No one ever hire me as a graphic designer.

Technically it's a button jar.  But I like to scatter them on the ping-pong table and pick out buttons to suit different characters' personalities.

Technically it’s a button jar. But I like to scatter them on the ping-pong table and pick out buttons to suit different characters’ personalities…

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Frog Slippers & Connect4--also necessities

Frog Slippers & Connect4–also necessities

  • 1 hr exercise (save 1 weekly rest/active recovery day)

Workouts have fallen to the wayside over the past month or so, due to knees and an odd bout of travel (three trips in a month…)–but, over the summer, there is no excuse not to cram in this USDA-recommended amount!  (Why does the Department of Agriculture tell me how much I should work out?)  I’ve started compiling a Summer Shapeup Pinterest board, I’m somewhat-participating in the Fitnessista Summer Shapeup 4-Week Plan (which I can repeat for a 2-month circuit) and am dabbling elsewhere in the blogosphere for similar plans.  While I know I’m mainly going to be forming my own routine, one that works for me, I think these plans will be good guidelines for the eventual regimen, even if I don’t follow them verbatum.

  • Physical Therapy

Boo.  I wish my knee problems could just vanish.  7 months is a long time.  But nothing is going to happen unless I keep doing those leg lifts…

(ugch–Instagrammed this picture way back in March.  Still toin’ that line…)

  • Cooking/Recipe Experimenting

A new challenge I’m embarking on this month is called Feed the Parents.  😉  Sort of like a Meatless Monday, in effect (except it’s going to be happening on Tuesdays…)–on a suggestion from Mother Dearest and in an effort to rationalize vegetarian eating in the parental minds, I’m going to start cooking a family dinner once a week.  (Usually I’m the only one who will even go ten miles near my food…)  This is probably an opportunity to ramp up my cooking skills, too!  (I’ll eat anything :), but when cooking for others one must be more discerning)  Still, if anyone has any family- and Standard-American-Diet-friendly vegetarian recipes they’d like to recommend, I’m all ears!

I’ll probably chronicle this thing on the blog as well, taking note of successes and flops.  🙂

  • Blogging!

You will notice that I do not, currently, blog every day. *pauses for effect*

This is mainly because my blog has never really been one of those “log blogs” that goes like “Oh, hey guys, I woke up this morning so that’s a plus! and then I ate this for breakfast and then I went and exercised and then we went to this movie and then for dinner we had this and I made this dessert…”  I have nothing against those types of blogs, it’s just not hasn’t been my thing.  You know me.  I post when I have something to say, something to share, something to recap, a linkup to join, a challenge to embark upon.  My daily life is tucked neat and tidily behind the curtain.

But with all this stuff I’m going to be doing for the remainder of the summer…

I need someone to keep me accountable, right?

*wink**wink* Well, who better to do this than all of my loyal followers?  (All 56 of you…) At least over the next month, I was thinking bumping up the posting rate to a daily post–undoubtedly they’d become much less lengthy than my current standard, and nothing earth-shattering would be discussed; but, just a log of the accomplishments of the day, as a way to keep myself on track.  What do you guys think of this idea?  TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS; I LOVE HEARING YOUR BEAUTIFUL VIRTUAL VOICES 😀

I hope everyone is having a Marvelous Monday…

(And congratulations to Katie, the host of this loverly partay, on her new baby boy!) 🙂

I am, ‘cuz I’m pumped to get…SHIN done. ;P

Starting My Fitness Journey…Over Again

It’s a painful journey, this.  It’s hardcore enough when you take it on the first time, but after bum knees have forced you to sit on the sidelines for 5 months?  Getting your fitness groove back on is hard.  Especially when you were getting really good pre-injury, and you remember how easily all these exercises used to come to you, before you stopped doing them all…it’s really enough to make you cry.

DSCN1656

But “re-fitting” myself needs to be done, sometime.  And “now” is always the best time to start those sometime-things.

SO.  Because I like to plan things and because I like nice, neat little starting dates for all my antics, a while back I designated May to be the month of getting my badassery back.  Selfishness aside, I want to look awesome in my Carnegie Hall dress at the end of the month.  I want to look okay in my swimsuit during my Costa Rica vacation (!!) in June.  I want to put in some good, hard, sweaty work I can be proud of–I have missed exercise SO MUCH.

In terms of exercise, I’d like to take my own advice and start following some of the tips in this post for working out with my knee issues.  And putting into practice some of the moves from The Bum Knee Workout.  I LOVE cardio, so it’s harder for me to work up the chutzpah to bust out a strength-training-session, but that needs to happen more often as well.  I want to move more on a daily basis–this will include the more simple stuff like pacing during a phone call, taking a stroll outside with free time rather than surfing the glorious YouTube, indulging in little childhood things (like hopscotch and swinging and jumping rope and trampolining–because Spring has finally, finally hit here!).  You know, as opposed to living on the internet.  Though that’s fun, and by no means am I abandoning the blogosphere for any length of time.

I also want to make really-super-extra-sure I continue my physical therapy and put my focus into it, rather than just zoning and rotely doing leg-lifts.  Though it keeps being pushed back, the tentative date for a running assessment and a reintroduction into the world of human propulsion is about 3 weeks from now.

And, of course…

This apple has little apple abs. It’s “hard”-“core” 😉 Get it..?

This graphic is from an older post on Sprint2theTable…yes, it’s older, but it’s exactly what I need right now.  Healthy eating and regular exercising often go hand in hand for me–if I’m not consistently working out, for some whacked reason it makes more sense for me to overindulge and lounge around on the laptop popping dark chocolate into my mouth by the bar.  (Somehow I’m not obese…)  As I work to redefine my body, I also want to clear up my diet; for me, this will mean changes including:

  • amp up vegetable levels!

Yeah, I’m a vegetarian.  Yeah, I eat reasonably healthy.  But yeah, I NEED to bump up my veggie consumption!  Come on, TGITO…girl cannot thrive on only one serving of the green stuff a day.  I want to broaden my vegetable horizons, eat more salads (it’s summer now; yay! farmer’s market here I come!), and cook more veggie-centric dishes.  I want to play with variety and spices.

  • no (processed) sugar except for weekly cheat

This is important for me, since I know that personally once I have some sugar it is all too easy to just stick my face in a bag of C&H and just snort the stuff.  (Erm…not really…)  Point is, it’s a slippery slope.  I just want to make a point to avoid empty calories in my diet, that don’t really enrich my life beyond the taste experience.

  • replace refined grains w/ whole

‘Nuff said.  Bye-bye, pasta, white tortillas, baguettes.

  • reduce grain consumption overall

I’d like to experiment with eating more on the paleo side (haha…paleo vegetarian, haha…); macronutrient-wise, at any rate.  I want to see how I perform, feel, and look on a diet that’s higher in protein and fat; I’d like to gain muscle, and I feel like I listen to my natural satiety cues better with proteins and fats.  Carbs are all too easy to overeat!

  • weekly meal prep so no “emergency” disasters

THIS is the BIGGIE, folks!  I always tell myself I will get my week of meals prepped out on Sunday, and it is never so!  Really, I’d like to develop a system that I actually carry out that would enable me a whole-grain source, lots of chopped-up veggies, some prepared protein sources, and some homemade frozen meals (e.g. soups, rice/quinoa dishes and the like) for when the time crunch gets really dastardly.  I’m drawing my inspiration from here and here and fixin’ up a Pinterest board for weekly recipes and tips as well.

Grab button for TGITO

<div class=TGITO-button style=width: 400px; margin: 0 auto;>
<a href=http://thegirlintheorange.com/2013/05/04/may-shapeup/ rel=nofollow>
<img src=https://thegirlintheorange.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/may-shapeup-button-1.jpg alt=May Shapeup width=400 height=300 />
</a>
</div>

Behold, the official “May Shapeup” Button!  ^^I am becoming a veritable HTML coding master. 😉 I’ll be Instagramming and Pinning my way through my moves and meals this month–if you’d like to join in, use the hashtag #mayshapeup on pins, instagrams, and tweets, and link up any “proof” posts with the button!

Updates

I’ve had to make the difficult transition from Black Friday to food before, but that’s really nothing compared to what I now  have to do here.  I have to shift from talking about a horrific tragedy…to talking about myself.  This makes me feel rotten as a person…but there’s really no way to blog without talking about yourself.  I still send my deepest grievances and prayers to those affected by the Sandy Hook shooting.

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Isn’t it so annoyingly nondescript when a blogger titles a post something like “My life now”, or “Things Happening”, or “Updates”?  I hear you.  You just want to scream at them, you’re writing a blog here!  The least you can do is come up with creative titles for your posts–they’re ALL updates!  I share in this vehement loathing of unoriginal post titles, and so I apologize; but I didn’t feel that this post better fit any other title.  It is quite literally a random hodgepodge of Updates.

First Update:  Exercise is back in my life!

Stripey socks, meet kettlebells.  I love it.

Stripey socks, meet kettlebells. I love it.

I still don’t trust my knees or ankles enough to run again, but I’m starting strength training in earnest now, as opposed to  treating it as just something I do on the side of my running regimen.  I have decided that it’s cool that I finished a 5k but extremely uncool that everyone (all 6 people) in my math class can beat me at arm wrestling.  Grr.  At the moment, I have bony, skinny little bird arms (please excuse the fact that birds do not actually have arms) and couldn’t do a full push-up if my life depended on it; this needs to change.  Thus, I have begun working with kettlebells, Daddio’s weight cage, resistance bands, and good old-fashioned (erm, modified) pushups and pull-ups.  Maybe injuring my legs was just the wake-up call I needed to let me know that I’m very fit, but my upper body…needs help.

Guess what came yesterday??

100_1015

Tee-hee!  Protein powder makes me a very happy girl.  Yes, I blew what little birthday money I received on this bad boy–$50 for the canister!! 😦  But it’s worth it.  I’m slowly becoming obsessed, and must keep reminding myself that I need to eat nuts, legumes, grains, and eggs for protein as well.  Can’t just spoon the Vega into mouth all day.

And I will fully admit that I did the “weird-foodie-waiting-for-new-food-to-arrive” thing (anyone out there that can relate??), which goes a little something like this:

1.  Constantly refresh your Amazon order status, waiting for that precious Delivered tag to appear under the picture of your glorious impending food.

2.  Browse blogs and cookbooks extensively and bookmark new recipes you will be able to make once you receive (insert new food here).

3.  Make the half-mile trek to your mailbox (if you live in a hole like I do) in pouring rain just so you can retrieve The Package.

4.  Joyously, unceremoniously slit the tape on The Package and marvel at the contents.  Covet your new foodstuff, hug it, take it to the breakfast table with you so you can thoroughly read the label and product description as you eat some Lesser Food.  Immediately shove New Food into your mouth as soon as you terminate your regularly scheduled meal.

I was really excited for this protein powder, mmkay?

In other news, I am journeying to Seattle tomorrow to meet with the aforementioned literary attorney.  This is so foreign and so exciting–it makes my heart speed up whenever I think about it.  I have no idea what will come of the meeting, but I am of the optimistic sort (when I have food in my stomach, at least) and have high hopes.

But…

There are a million potential pitfalls and possible pratfalls.  Does the outfit I’m choosing to wear look professional enough?  Or does it look too old for me?  Is my posture okay–am I exhibiting the dreaded “teenage slouch”?  And, oh, yeah, what if I realize that everything I’ve written is the quality of the type of stuff you would find in a sewer?  Gah, the stress; the opportunity.