Non-Baby Topics (No Lie…Not Even One Picture)

Let’s chat about something other than sleep, breastmilk, and all other baby-related topics.

First up, TV! Now that I’m home full-time, I’ve been watching more TV (should I be ashamed?), or at least having it on in the background. Brody and I also continue to watch our shows at night.

My daytime TV starts with The Today Show. I was embarrassingly excited when they announced that Carson Daly is joining the team!!!!
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I always defend Carson when Brody pokes fun of him on The Voice and thought he was fantastic when he was a guest host for The Today Show a month ago.

I also regularly watch What Not To Wear and The Chew, both of which I DVR. Sometimes I’ll see an episode of Long Island Medium or The Dr. Oz Show.

At night, Brody and I have a handful of shows we’re into. This section demands a list:

1) Have you seen The Newsroom? If not, you have to watch it.
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It’s in its second season and is SO well done. The writer and producer, Aaron Sorkin, also created Sports Night and The West Wing. The show gives a (fictional) behind the scenes look at producing a nightly news program. The characters are well-developed, and the plot is just smart.

2) Sons of Anarchy started up again, and we watched the first episode the other night. I forgot how violent that show is: anal rape, torture porn, drowning in a tub of urine. Oy! And I’m sure all of the S.O.A. and Fifty Shades of Grey fans out there heard that Charlie Hunnam will be Christian Grey in the film version of the very popular trilogy (which I never read).
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3) The Food Truck Road Race is another one we keep up with. Quite a 180 from S.O.A., right? Tyler Florence hosts this show, and I’m guessing the title gives away the premise.

4) Brody started watched Revolution on Netflix on his own, and I got sucked in a couple weekends ago about ten episodes into the first season. We enjoyed Lost, and this is by the same writer, JJ Abrams. It’s a slightly futuristic setting in which the “lights went out.” No power, no electricity…well, sort of. This is the perfect lazy weekend show.

Second non-baby discussion point, FOOD!

Last weekend, Brody was gone, and a kind friend brought over soup for me. One less meal to figure out? Awesome! The soup (with kale, ground turkey, and carrots) was delicious, and with the cooler temps, I’m ready to start making more comfort foods. I found the recipe my friend used (link above) and made myself a batch. Instead of rice, I added some potatoes that were on their last legs. It was the perfect quick and healthy lunch for me last week.

I was craving something sweet (no surprise) I found this protein powder peanut butter cookies. They were what you’d expect from a healthy cookie, but I actually prefer this protein powder cookie dough. Brody came home, saw the cookies thinking they were “real”, and got excited. I quickly intercepted his reaching hand – he would’ve spit the cookie out and given me that “I can’t believe you eat this” look. Because I’m an awesome wife, I made “real” cookies for him this morning…with peanut butter, and butter, and sugar. Smitten Kitchen has the best cookie recipes, so I followed hers. Peanut butter cookies for the win! I broke my rule (more of a guideline) of not eating chocolate before noon and had two. Then I had two after lunch. I’ll probably have more before the day is done.

This is kind of food related: a commercial was shot at my house on Wednesday. Like a legit commercial that will air on TV (only on the east coast, though). How did this come to be? A neighbor of mine knows the woman who was responsible for finding locations for breakfast sausage company’s commercial. My neighbor suggested my house since they were looking for a kitchen space with a breakfast bar. Out of a handful of houses, mine was one of three selected! A crew of thirty some people arrived at 7:30am and occupied the entire first floor of my house. Lots of cars and an RV lined the streets around my house, camera and lighting equipment was set up inside and outside, and there was a food buffet outside…cause that’s when you know it’s the real deal.
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They left at 8:00pm (after doing a very good job of cleaning my house) and handed over a nice check. Plus, they left a package of breakfast sausage in the freezer for us! It was a very cool and unique experience.

Third and final topic, exercise. I’m kind of back on that horse; this past week I went to kickboxing on Tuesday, Zumba on Wednesday, and ran three miles on Friday. My body feels good, but I can definitely tell something is different with my knees. They ache when I crouch down and stand up, even if I hadn’t recently worked out. Also, I don’t notice it’s any worse after running. Pregnancy can affect ligaments, and I’m guessing that’s what is going on. I also need new shoes. It could be that.

I didn’t even mention “she who will not be named” once. Bet you didn’t think I could do it? It was hard.

Questions:
What show(s) are you into?
What’s the best thing you’ve made recently?
What’s been your go-to way to exercise recently?

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I Got 5 On It

I often have the urge to title my posts after song lyrics or titles. “I Got 5 On It” by Luniz came out in 1995 but I remember hearing it when I was a sophomore in high school, which was 1999. My friends and I listened to inappropriate rap and hip hop songs, and my music still leans in this direction (especially when running). Anyways, upwards and onwards…

1. I love a good deal, and 79 cents for all of these bananas equals one amazing deal.
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During a quick trip to Woodman’s this morning (which may be an oxymoron since the store is gigantic), they had bags of reduced produce. I wonder if they do this every Thursday morning? I should’ve asked. #smoothiesandbananasoftserveforlife

2. Today was my last chance to take the incredible kickboxing class with my favorite instructor ever for the summer. So sad! It was, as always, a great class. I realized two new reasons why I love kickboxing: 1) It feels like dancing to me with choreography to music – it’s been so long since I’ve really danced, and this gives me a similar feeling, and 2) I feel really badass, like I could seriously punch someone out – as a peaceful, nonviolent, non-confrontational person, this is a unique experience. Jab, cross, hook, roar.

3. My best friend, Susan, from high school lives in Iowa but was visiting her family only an hour away from me. After nannying, I drove to see her and her family. It was so nice catching up, and it made me sad how we are not able to see each other more often. Her little boy, Aidan, is two years old and a little spitfire. As with many of my friends, I love how we’re able to pick up where we left off.
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4. Dinner for tonight cooked the whole day, and it felt good to not have to worry or stress about it when I got home after babysitting this afternoon. What’s in the pot?
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Pork and root beer. When cooked, I drain off the liquid, shred it, mix in BBQ sauce, chopped up pickles, jalapeƱos, and banana peppers, and serve it as a sandwich with shredded cheddar cheese.

5. There’s a pretty good chance I’ll be signing up for the Tyranena Beer Run half marathon on Nov. 3. I figured out a ten week training plan yesterday which starts on Monday. To get my butt in gear for running in the morning before school and/or running outside again, I did four miles yesterday morning in my neighborhood. Moose loves when I come home sweaty and tries to lick any available skin.
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This is fine for about ten seconds but then I get grossed out and annoyed that his tongue is hot. In case you’re grossed out, I shower immediately after the Moose “bath”.

Questions:
What’s your easy, go-to slow cooker meal?
Did you run today or have a race coming up? Let’s hear the details!

This Week’s Sweat Sessions

While walking Tucker, the dog of the family I nanny for, I realized how I was a cross-training rockstar this week. Not sure what I’m training for (maybe the Tyranena half marathon?), but I was happy with how I pushed my body this week.

Workout Round-up
Saturday: Five mile run (outside with friends)
Sunday: BodyPump Express
Monday: Hot yoga (Power Flow at Inner Fire Yoga)
Tuesday: Kickboxing
Wednesday: Three mile run outside and forty minute incline treadmill walk
Thursday: Two mile “trail” run and thirty-five minutes of a Jillian Michaels circuit training DVD
Friday: RPM (a.k.a. spin) and fifteen minutes of free weights

This week I definitely kept my body guessing. No elliptical-for-thirty-minutes-every-day kind of girl over here. Although I wish I could’ve gotten a second Pump class in, I am very proud of myself for doing some new or rare workouts, like the “trail” run at the dog park, the workout DVD, and even lifting weights on my own. Also, please remember I am basically on vacation and have lots of free time. Once school starts, I do not have the luxury of time to create such a diverse workout schedule. I also have normally two rest days a week.

While I am not sore or fatigued from working out every day, I need to give my body a rest, and Sunday is the day for that. Tomorrow I am joining my friend Mel for about five miles in the middle of the Madison Mini half marathon. Should be fun!

Next week’s workout goals:
1) Run at least twelve miles
2) Get to BodyPump twice
3) Have fun doing the Color Run 5K in Milwaukee on Friday (that will not be hard)

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Questions:
Did you try something new this week?
Have you ever done a color run?

I Do What I Want

Normally I have a purpose, theme or topic in mind before I post. Today we’re going to play a little game called I Do What I Want (which was kind of a catchphrase during our European vacation). Basically, think stream of consciousness. Obviously my fingers cannot keep up with my brain so this isn’t a true look into my brain (that’d be scary and my readers would drop to just my sister, Bridget and maybe Brody), but let’s see where this goes!

When I’m not working, albeit still getting a paycheck from my teaching job and nannying, I like to help out financially by selling stuff on Craigslist. Currently I have a blender, a deep fryer, and a red car bow for sale (know anyone in the market for those?), and soon a 62″ tv with a stand will be added to that list. I also like to sell stuff to Half Price Books. Unfortunately, I end up finding more books to leave with which kind of defeats the purpose.

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Young adult books for my classroom library – both a success and a failure

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This morning I worked up a killer sweat by first running three miles. I set a simple goal for myself: run ten miles this week. In thirty minutes I ran at a 0.5% incline at 6.1 for ten minutes, 6.2 for another ten, and 6.3 to finish out the half an hour. After a five minute cool down, I booked it over to my favorite class ever – BodyCombat/kickboxing with Christina. Lots of roundhouse and front kick repeats will give me major red face.

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Natalie’s post about starting school again sums up my feelings exactly, but unlike her, I still have a few weeks of summer left. Here’s how my life changes:

Summer: Wake up between 6:30 and 7:00am
School year: Wake up between 5:00 and 5:45

Summer: Work out in the morning around 9:00, often taking a class
School year: Work out at 5:15, either running or BodyPump

Summer: Eat breakfast while leisurely watching The Today Show
School year: Eat breakfast while driving or carpooling to work, often grading or reading at the same time (not while I am driving)

Summer: Eat lunch whenever I am hungry and decide at the moment what I’m in the mood for
School year: A schedule tells me when I eat lunch (either at 10:45, 11:45, or 12:45) and eat whatever I packed for myself the night before

Okay, you get the idea. It is a huge shift in my lifestyle going both ways. Although the summer’s freedom is fantastic (i.e. I literally do what I want), by the middle of August I am ready for a routine again. I am also ready to instill the love of literature and the English language in my students (sounds sarcastic but not meant to be).
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Did you know that if you stick your tongue out while chopping onions, your eyes won’t water? My other onion trick for you comes from Bridget: stick your face in the freezer to stop onion tears. Both work quite well. I used the tongue trick while preparing dinner for tonight. Check back in tomorrow for the recipe and whether or not it will make the regular rotation of dinners.

Have a great Tuesday! I am off to Target, the grocery store, and Half Price Books. I need to take advantage of the freedom to spend money whenever I want before it’s gone (my freedom, not money).

Questions:
Do you sell or buy things on Craigslist?
What was your workout today?
What cooking tricks do you have up your sleeve?