Tag Archives: life

Hot Mess o’Life

I got my Erin Condren life planner and wrote out a whole two week editorial calendar and had all manner of high hopes and aspirations for these last few weeks. And then work got busy and our house got messy and our cat got sick and we had to put her to sleep and I became an emotional hot mess. So, in a nutshell:

I love my Erin Condren planner, though I’m still working on using it to its full potential. I managed to jam it into my purse so I pull it out whenever I have a moment to organize my life through the day.

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I joining the Runner Chick training group based out of my local Roadrunner Sports store (with friends, obviously, because I am codependent when it comes to exercise). It’s been fun to get with a big group of people and run on Saturday mornings and I’m looking forward to continuing with the half-marathon group and HOPEFULLY register for the local Rock & Roll, because the medals are legit and pay tribute to the famed Portland Airport carpet (RIP #pdxcarpet). Plus running with pacers and trying to keep up with friends is very helpful for my split times. Stay tuned for more…I have to pay money for this group to ensure I stay dedicated.

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Work has been crazy busy (end of our fiscal year, what what to my fellow accounting types!) but we make time weekly to order crazy noodles from the Vietnamese place down the street and my tummy loves it. Picture pad thai without the fish sauce plus the bok choy and some bigger noodles stir fried to ultimate deliciousness. Seriously I think I’ve had these once a week since I started my new job. Worth the splurge. Plus the bok choy makes it feel slightly healthier than it is.

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Our baby girl, who’s been with my husband for something like 13-14 years, recently was diagnosed with Feline Cushing’s Disease (on top of diabetes, arthritis, and a benign tumor in one eye) and we made the excruciating decision that it was time to put her down last week. She wasn’t getting better with her medication, and her quality of life had decreased, but it was definitely the most difficult decision we’ve had to make as a family. I was in tears at my desk all day Friday, especially when I got this text message:

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All the tears in the world every time I look at this.

Now we are loving on our furry baby boy who clearly misses his sissy and keeps running to her room looking for her. Time heals all wounds but this one is deep for us. We definitely lost a member of our family and it was a tough weekend for us. Aka I skipped my run (which, in hindsight, was a terrible decision) and we drank beer and ordered Chinese food and barely left our house.

These looks.

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Now, it’s a fresh week, we have a clean house, and we are well rested after being forced to sleep on our couch for a week while we painted our bedroom. Clawing my way back onto track for 2015…still feeling the promise and still happy with all we’ve accomplished so far!

Now, your turn:
-How do you cope with the loss of a pet? How do you help your pets cope with the loss of a pet sibling?
-Are you in a running group?
-What do you think about the #pdxcarpet hysteria? (See examples here: http://pdxcarpet.com) As a lifelong Oregonian, this carpet has always signified coming home, and I have ALWAYS loved it, but I think the new pattern pays tribute in a fresh way that is not infested with 30 years of bacteria.

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Thankful Thursday – Fattening Friday

I think I’ve come to understand Thanksgiving more as I’ve grown. I’ve always loved Thanksgiving for the food (since my two main food groups are bread and potatoes), but the last few years especially, I love thinking about all I have in my life to give thanks for. This year, I feel like my list is especially long. First of all, I’m thankful for the new job I’m about to start (more on that later) but I’m also thankful for my little family and funyons, my health, my happiness, and everything about living in the northwest! Also for stuffing leftovers.

Stay tuned over the next few days for updates of all my latest life happenings, as well as a few tasty recipes (I was in charge of dessert this year).

I’m thankful for YOU, for reading this blog!

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Chicken-Noodle Stoup: A Warm Dish for a Dreary Night

Stoup Title

 

It was just a blah Thursday. Work was quiet, it was rainy, I had a headache, and hubby and I were just in a funk. So I suggested it may be a good night for chicken-noodle stoup. For those of you who don’t follow Rachael Ray, stoup is a delicious combination of soup and stew. Think soup, but with LOTS of STUFF in it, more stuff than broth. It’s delicious. Once you start making stoups, regular soups will seem like dinky little child’s play. Shayne requests this dinner multiple times per winter, and occasionally in the summer just because. It’s easy to make, and is just a feel-good meal. There’s lots of veggies, it doesn’t leave you bloated, and it always feels like a well-rounded meal.

Also, just as a warning – I was experimenting with PicMonkey tonight.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients

 

-two to three chicken breasts

-two carrots

-shallot

-2 cloves garlic, minced

-1 c frozen peas

-1.5 c dried pasta

-1 T butter

-4 c chicken broth + 2 c water

First, season the chicken breasts with your choice of seasonings (this will impart a lot of flavor into the broth, so choose wisely). I used salt, pepper, and my trusty Greek seasoning. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil into a deep pot, and cook the chicken over medium heat, turning a few times to get a nice golden color on both sides.

Chicken

**Alternately, if you want to go a little healthier, you can bake or poach the chicken breasts. I’ve tried all three methods, and I prefer the stovetop grilling method because I think it has more flavor**

While the chicken is cooking, dice the shallot into a fine dice, and thinly slice the carrots. Normally I throw in 2-3 stalks of celery, but we didn’t have any tonight, so I did without.

Veggie Dice

When chicken is fully cooked, remove to a plate and let cool. Melt 2 T butter in the same pan and swirl to coat. Toast the pasta in the butter until it gets a touch of that nice, brown butter smell without getting burnt. If you’ve never had brown butter…you’ll know it when you smell it. You will also be tempted to just dip anything you can find into the brown butter and eat it right then and there. Refrain.

Browning Pasta

You can use any pasta, though I imagine any straight, stringy pasta would be hard to brown. I had these multi-colored guys in my pantry and wanted to use them up. You’re just looking for the pasta to get a toast on it, you don’t want to try and cook it. It won’t work. When it’s decently toasted, remove from pan.

Next, saute the diced veggies in the same pot. Drizzle additional EVOO in with them if need be. Cook for 10 minutes or until the carrots start to soften. Add the garlic, and stir until fragrant.

Saute

Sometime during all this sauteing, dice the chicken into small bites. I like to ideally have chicken in every spoonful.

Chicken Dice

When everything is sauteed, add the chicken broth and water, then return the diced chicken and pasta to the pot. Bring to a rolling boil, and then simmer until the pasta is fully cooked. I periodically sneak a piece of pasta to check.

When the pasta is just about cooked, add the frozen peas. Continue to cook until the peas are soft. Tonight, I also threw in some parsley for garnish, and a splash of lemon juice at the very end of the cooking process.

Rolling Boil

 

Ladle into bowls and enjoy! Your tummy will be happy. I got hungry again just writing this up.

It seriously feels like winter tonight. Last week, the Oregon weather was a big tease, and we had a few beautiful days…I even got to pull out a sundress! Now, forecasts are calling for a weekend full of rain. Nothing like a good indoor Easter egg hunt.

How do you like to celebrate spring? A big Easter dinner? Frolicking in the sunshine? Dancing in the Pacific Northwest spring rains?

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Life, Lately

I was looking forward to a delightfully relaxing Saturday, and that’s just what I’ve gotten today. First of all, I slept in until the absolutely horrid time of 11:30 (I don’t think that has EVER happened before. When I woke up, I was pretty sure I was dying), when my husband finally came to check on me and inform me that I had missed almost the entire Hawkeye game. Then, a trip to the biannual library book sale. If you know us, you know that we have amassed an insane collection of books. We NEED a library, but right now we are surviving with five or six bookshelves packed to the gills, along with a few more boxes full tucked into the garage somewhere. We managed to only spend $18, and we found a first edition of The Fountainhead. I thought Shayne was going to pee his pants in excitement. Then, a trip to Home Depot, which seems to be our new weekend haunt, and a dinner at McMenamins. Now, HGTV, laundry, and snuggling with the dog on the couch. I love it.

Life lately has been delightfully hectic. We are still getting rooted down in our home, and are finally getting started on some projects to really make it our own. Up until now, it has felt pretty much like a rental, as we haven’t painted, upgraded, or really done anything with the interior. We spent most of our summer outside, throwing together enough of a vegetable garden to get some kale, tomatoes, and bell peppers. Now that the real Oregon weather is returning, it’s time to turn our focus indoors. Shayne has been laying plywood flooring in the attic, so that we can clear some boxes out of our garage. We’ve picked a new front door that actually has some style. We have paint colors picked for downstairs (I’m excited to get that project going, the colors are bold, and I look forward to sharing photos). And, with all the HGTV we’ve been watching, we are getting grand visions of knocking out walls and expanding our master bedroom and etc. etc. etc. But we are taking it slowly. Trying to, anyways.

Exercise-wise, I’ve been failing. I did go on a little run the other day, and survived, and hope to do it again this week, because I’m sick of my pants being tight. There’s a new Planet Fitness going in near our home that we are debating joining up with, because I still haven’t been able to bite the bullet and pay for another CrossFit membership (and Shayne won’t let me buy a rowing machine and put it in the garage).

I’ve also become somewhat of a Goodwill maven. I’ve always been a little grossed out by Goodwill, but there is one near our new place that is both clean and awesome. Also, it’s like someone with my identical body measurements goes there weekly and drops off barely used designer clothes. I have scooped up three pairs of designer jeans for no more than $12/piece, plus a lot of cute shirts, AND an accounting book I had been looking for. I can spend hours there. I’ve been good about not buying new clothes, so I hope here instead

I’ve also been cooking more, since we are trying to save money by eating out less (ignore the fact that I mentioned we went out to dinner today). Here’s some of my latest meals:

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Feeling Productive

This last week went by in an absolute blur. Lots of work projects going on which kept me up to my eyeballs in Excel spreadsheets at work. A restless dog who managed to tear up a 1099 we got in the mail, then spread it across the living room. He also ate a bandaid, AND attempted to eat a plastic spoon from Wendy’s.

This frantic week also meant cobbled together meals and a lack of trips to the gym. It meant chicken strips at the bar on trivia night (one habit I don’t think I can EVER break). We redeemed ourselves this weekend, at least from the food perspective. And we still are going strong on our month of sobriety…thankfully we only have to make it through one more weekend and I will be able to have beer during the Super Bowl.

I finally finally FINALLY got to the gym at lunch today for a little cardio sesh with my work BFF. It showed me how freakishly out of shape one can get in a few months. We wanted to ease back into things after dropping off the face of the crossfit planet a few months ago, so we did 25 minutes of intervals on the treadmill, which left us enough time to shower after, pick up lunch at the local organic grocery store, and get back to work and still have jobs.

I remembered that the treadmill is effing boring today. I would NEVER get bored during a 25 minute AMRAP but shoot, pounding the conveyer belt next to a bunch of other sweaty people was NOT fun. I’m going to force myself to learn to tolerate it. I decided I need to put together a good, efficient routine of machines/weights and treadmill, something I can tackle quickly, that will get me back into shape and rebuild some muscle. My goal is to get in there three times this week! 2013 Marge is going to kick some ass.

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