Sunday, December 02, 2007

I stole this fabulous quote from Amy

Theodore Roosevelt, 1910
"It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly...who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at best, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

I thought it too precious not to pass on.

Do you know where your food comes from?

Do you know where your food comes from?
If not, you should. There are major corporations encouraging inhumane conditions for the animals you eat, introduction of synthetic hormones into these animals you eat, widespread use of pesticides and chemicals that affect the nutritional value and composition of the food you eat, and an overall attack on free speech in product advertising which affects EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US. Because of it, one day, you might just find your choices being taken away from you to decide what food you buy at the market.

I've been doing a lot of reading about this tonight and think you should get educated, too. Start here:
Chews Wise and follow the links in the articles. Join the revolution and get smarter about the things you put in your body.

If you don't want to do the research, here are some tips:
**Buy organic - who cares if it costs more - we're talking about your health here!
**Buy from local farmers - support your local farmer and your local community
**Don't be lazy - stop eating fast food and make real food for yourself and your family
**Read product labels and buy food that you can eat the way nature intended it to be
**DEMAND accountability from our politicians to ensure our safety with legislation they pass for healthy food and let them know you are a smart American that supports sustainable agriculture

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I love this time of year

I love when Autumn is right around the corner. The change from hot and lazy Summer to the crisp and cool Fall makes me go all tingly inside and gets me really excited for snow adventures in a few months.

It's also the time of year when I do my purging. Not the gross kind, people, but the good kind. It's when I go through every single closet and drawer and clean out the things that I haven't touched in a year and give it to charity or send to recycle. Doing this makes the house seem less full and new in a way. I'm a big fan of simplicity and this is one way to accomplish that goal.

I think we all have too much stuff for the sake of having stuff. If you haven't done this in a while - or ever - you should all give it a try. Reduce, reuse, and recycle. When you get down to basics and resist being a slave to consumerism., a completely liberating feeling takes over and it's wonderful.

That is all:)


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sunday Roast - featuring Nigella Lawson's recipes

Since I've stopped training for triathlon, there's a void in the routine-craving side of my brain. I've decided to fill that void with something food related and yummy rather than more exercise...because I already get quite enough of that!

Starting this week, I will do a Sunday Dinner featuring a renowned chef's menu. Since I was nursing a hangover this morning and flipped the t.v. back and forth between Food Network and TLC for approximately four hours, I decided to do Nigella Lawson's Weekend Wonders menu. I'me not normally a fan of Nigella, and I'm not sure why. There's just something about her that puts me off. But, this particular episode caught my attention because it was such a simple thing to put together.

I went to Whole Foods. I forgot how expensive things are there. I am a Trader Joe's shopper and will continue to be after today's grocery bill exceeded $100 to feed five people. I've never spent that much on cooking one night's dinner at Trader Joe's. TJ, I'll never stray again, I promise. Yes, I am a tightwad with money.

Things I learned for each course:

Onion and Sage Chicken and Sausage Roast
Marinade this for at least two hours and pour all of marinade into roasting pan
Thighs and drumsticks tasted better than the breasts
Leave skin on chicken

Petite Peas
Don't walk away from this while the stock is reducing! Find busy work by the stove, because it happens quickly and will burn. Then, like me, you'll have to start over;)

Heirloom Tomato and Cucumber Salad
The longer this marinates, the better. It was great the next day.

Honey Bee Cake
It may not look perfect, but it's soooooooooooo delicious!
If you can't find yellow marzipan, yellow food die works fine.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Fennel and Heirloom Tomato Salad

I introduced fennel into the house last summer and Les hated it. I tried to sneak it in again, by mixing into a salad, but he didn't fall for it. He picked out all the fennel, but ate everything else. This salad is coated with my standby red wine vinaigrette. I rather enjoyed it but know a third try with the hubby isn't going to happen.

Mendocino Flower Seeds All Grown Up:)

Les and I went camping on the Mendocino Coast last November. While we were there, we went to the Mendocino Botanical Gardens. It was a beautiful experience and I bought some seeds to plant at home. This is the outcome of some of the Nasturium seeds I planted. She's gorgeous!

Roast Lamb and Vegetables

Les, my English hubby, has a special place in his heart for a proper roast dinner. I'm not 100% in love with lamb because it makes me think about a cute, fluffy baby animal...not dinner. But alas, he likes it, so I make it every once in a while.

Homemade Pizza is the Best

You just can't get better than homemade. Food that is made by hand is full of love and shows the people eating it that you cared enough to spend time making something that would make them happy. I found a recipe for pizza dough in No Need to Knead by Suzanne Dunaway, the book that Sheri gave me last year.

This recipe is very simple and you can't screw it up. Les has always enjoyed my homemade pizza, but that was when I used Boboli pizza crust. Now that I know how to make my own, he loves it even more.

I heart buckwheat pancakes

Sunday morning always means breakfast in bed. For the past two weekends, I've made buckwheat pancakes with blueberries. Love them! Enough said:)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Fourth of July

Photo Courtesy of Jon Cates

Today is about patriotism and remembering how we separated from the stoggy and unkind British Monarchy and forged our own culture and identity as Americans. We are a group of hard-working, industrious, generous, and proud people. Of course, we have our share of lazy do-nothings, as well, but we don't want to concentrate on that!

It's unfortunate that the American Indians had to endure much hardship at that time of our history, but it was bound to happen. We can't honestly think that this country, with all of it's resources and opportunities would not have been exploited and left untouched at some point. That is just not realistic.

I digress.

Happy Fourth of July everybody. Relax, enjoy life, drink a beer, have some cake, and don't forget to show your country you appreciate her beyond bounds. Americans enjoy freedoms that most of the world only dreams about. Don't ever take these stars and stripes for granted.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Carter's Eats

The past two months, for the most part, I've stayed in compliance with the South Beach diet recommendations. As I've mentioned before, the plan is easy and makes mealtime much less stressful because it's all mapped out for me.

There are some days when I must have something a real pizza or some cereal. I've fallen off the wagon a little bit lately because my school, work, and training schedule didn't allow me to do much shopping or planning with my food. I eat on the go and whenever I have time. That usually means something hand-held and quick - tasty morsels wrapped in bread. The almighty sandwich is what I'm talking about.

Here's some food that we've been consuming over the past several weeks.

Breakfast in Bed - egg whites with cheese, turkey bacon, and "white" wheat English muffin

Spinach and ricotta stuffed salmon, mashed cauliflower, and salad

Sirloin steak with peppers and onions

Sour cream waffles - not SB approved!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Semester, please end already!

Work, school, and training have kept me so f-ing busy these past two months that I have no life. I don't like not having a life. I like being able to slack-off a little bit and just live. I like to drink a beer without feeling it's damaging effects on my motivation. I like staying up late and not worrying about being up at stupid o'clock to make it to school on time. I am so ready for this semester to be over. I have one more final and one last presentation to make for my research report in the other class. THEN I will have a life. Until then, my fellow bloggers, I will continue to be MIA. I know, one day, I will be able to read your blogs and chuckle at your clever remarks. Not yet...not yet.


Sunday, April 29, 2007

Highway 9, Saratoga, CA - I OWN you!

Oh yeah baby. I had a two-hour ride scheduled tonight and was wondering if I should do my normal route through Los Gatos or if I should be brave and climb. Of course, I chose to climb. We all know I love it climb...perhaps not while it's happening, but I do absolutely adore the exhilaration of an extremely satisfying downhill.

I decided to ride straight down Saratoga Ave, from my house and rode into Saratoga. I decided to get onto Highway 9 - a billy goat climb - and it took just over an hour to climb all the way to the top where it ends at Skyline Blvd. 2135 feet of climbing for 7.3 miles. Oh what an amazing feat that was. On the way up, I realized something...and this is going to be quite profound, so pay attention.

Climbing difficult roads takes three things to accomplish: two legs and two hearts. Two strong legs to turn the pedals over, one heart - the primed cardiovascular machine that pumps fresh oxygen and blood into those legs that are pushing and pulling your ass up the hill, and the other heart. The one that makes you dig deep and removes all thoughts of quitting out of your brain. This is the heart that gets you up the hill, if you don't have heart, how do you get up that hill? You don't, you quit and go back down from whence you came. And that's no good. That does not feel good at all.

Highway 9, I really do own you today. My hearts and legs totally took advantage of you and we won. Thank you for the 42 mph max speed going downhill, too. You have replaced Bernal Road as the MOST satisfying downhill in the South Bay!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Dove Evolution

An ad campaign every woman and man should see!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Hills that kick my a$$

Normally, I pride myself in being somewhat a billy goat on hills. Riding GB through a steep course is what gets my blood moving and sense of accomplishment...accomplished. However, I did something really stupid on Saturday. I started up a road that I had never been on and had no idea where it ended. OMG. Bohman Road, you officially suck!

I do enjoy finding new routes but need to know what I have in store for myself so I know how hard I'll have to work. This road was steeper and had more switchbacks than any road I've been on. It was painful. It was a stair-stepper ride, for sure. I can usually climb comfortably at 5-7 mph on a steep, but this one reduced me to 2mph! After every turn, I kept thinking, "This has got to be it, I have to be at the top already!". But, NO! It took me ONE HOUR to climb ONE STUPID MILE! Like I said, it sucked.

I never made it to the top. I met a cyclist that said I was only halfway to the top and my legs responded to that comment with a resounding, "We're done, KT, we're totally done with this road. Take us home now.". Of course, the downhill was not satisfying at all because of the switchbacks, narrow road and cars. Brakes were engaged the entire time.

It will be quite a while before I attempt this climb again. I will conquer it, but not until my brain returns to normal.

Total ride was 2.5 hrs and 26 miles. Hard rides are worth it, though, in the end. It's that accomplishment thing.

OK, it's really not placebo, SB works

Y'all know this is my second week on the South Beach diet. From the very first day on it, I've felt amazingly good. I've been sleeping better, have more energy, am friendlier (as if this was possible;)), and have a clarity that's been missing for a while.

I spent Easter weekend at Mom's and blew the SB out of the window. The first night we had spaghetti with meat sauce AND garlic bread and I had a horrible night's sleep. I kept waking up every hour and tossing and turning. I was also terribly bloated the next day. Easter Sunday came and was a day of excess....full of candy, chocolate and bad/sugary carbs at dinner (brown sugar sweet potatoes, anyone?). This night's sleep was just as restless and I had that creepy/crawly thing going on in my legs and was getting very irritable because of it. When I woke up this morning I was groggy and bloated again.

The moral of the story is that sugar is most likely the reason I'm not sleeping well and can't shake this 20 lbs off of my body no matter how much I exercise. It affects the way I sleep and my mood during the day. Being on SB has made me realize this and I will not fall off the wagon again. It's just not worth the aggravation. I felt great without those irritations, so today, I'm back to clean eating without processed carbs or any sugar.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Cycling South San Jose

Sheri and I finally hooked up for a bike ride. For being training parters, not a lot of with-partner training has been happening in the past several months. She's busy with work and other grown-up things and I've been left to my own vices, which has worked out fine, I just miss her company.

After an hour of searching for the Gilroy Hot Springs ride, part of the Tierra Bella course, I gave up. The place where I usually get my routes has not been kept up and has broken links and doesn't work properly anymore. What's up with the Bikemaster?? Sheri, in her infinite wisdom, did a clever thing and went to G-Maps Pedometer and mapped out a route for us herself.

I will eventually get all of my rides onto my site, but that will be a slow process. For the sake of people like me, though, that live to find new and exciting routes, it must be done:)

We finished our ride in 2.5 hrs and did around 25 miles. It was a perfect day and an excellent ride.

Monday, March 26, 2007

7 mile run in a snap

Yeah, weird. I haven't run in about a week, but today was amazing. My coach told me to stay in zone 1-2 for 1:20:00, but I forgot what made up my zones for running, so I was really in Z1 the entire time! Hence, I should have done 8-9 miles in that time, but it was good to go slow. I'm still building my aerobic base so slow is perfectly fine. Aside from that, I had my doggie with me and she doesn't do well past five miles.

I feel fantastic today. I'm not sure if it's a placebo effect from going on the South Beach diet yesterday, but for some reason not eating any sugar or refined carbs is definitely agreeing with me. I love the fact that they give me a meal plan and a shopping list each week. It's what I've always wanted. I don't like having to figure that stuff out on my own. I'll keep you posted on my progress:)

Blue Sky Bike Ride

Sunday was bike ride day. I met a new friend through the tri club and we met up at Lake Almaden to do a 33 mile ride through the South Bay. Gorgeous day, sunny and cool. As usual, the wind behind the foothills toward the reservoirs was present, but not as bad as it is during the summer. I can tell that my fitness has improved greatly over the past two years because certain hills on this ride that kill me, did not phase me at all yesterday. It totally rocked:)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Nutrition fair brings out students - News

My good friend Lawrence is working hard toward his MBA in Kinesiology at San Jose State University. He is diligent about enriching the lives of children and young adults by teaching them about the importance of good nutrition and exercise. SJSU had a nutrition fair this past Wednesday, March 21 and he was interviewed for the Spartan On-line newsletter. Here's a link to the article - Nutrition fair brings out students.

I even used my very limited HTML skills to create a website for him - Intro to Sports.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Why Lazy, Why?

People, I ask you....why am I so lazy? I can keep up about two weeks' worth of workouts and then it all falls apart. Hectic work schedules and tiredness kick in and I just stop doing it. Why must it be this way? After this happens, I takes another week to get back into the swing of it.

This is not very productive for me because I am doing ALCATRAZ and I NEED to TRAIN. The caps are not for you, my dear reader, they are for my own motivation.

I wonder if I can just get off my butt right now and get my swim and run in today. Yes, I wonder if this will happen RIGHT NOW! Okay, I will...but only after I comment on the blogs I've been neglecting - GreenPea! Your motivational posts usually work. I'm coming over right now!

Wish me luck, I need to get out of this house, it's a gorgeous day to be in the pool.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Saint Patrick's Day

Some days, on my way to work, I stop by a quaint little place called Lowry's Irish Coffee House in downtown San Jose. I always have a latte and a veggie bagel and reveled in the fact that it's a little-known gem. Lately, though, quality of food has gone down and I notice new owners. As if the obvious changes weren't enough, these new owners are not paying attention to even the littlest details. They speak very broken English and are not very friendly. So, when I walked in on Friday morning, they posted their St. Pat's menu and it looked like this:

Happy San Patrick Day. This weekend we serve:

Corn beef hash and eggs
Corn beef and cabbage
Irish stew with bread

I mean come on people! What the hell is corn beef and who is San Patrick? Let's put some effort into your attempts at business and at least try to make it look like you care about those of us that are rooting for cafes to stand on their own in a Starbucks world. It was disheartening.

What it did, though, is remind me that I needed to go to the store and pick up a beef brisket and veggies. This was the first time I made it but Les said it's the best cabbage he's ever had:) My gravy was lumpy - no surprise there - but it was still good.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon

In December, TriCalifornia sent an email announcing the lottery they were going to hold for the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon and I said, "What the hell, I'll sign's not like I'll win a slot or anything." Welp, I won! I have secured a spot at this insane race and have been training my butt off, literally:) It's 92 days away and I have coached workouts going on.

Today, I went to Santa Cruz with the Silicon Valley Tri Club and it was an amazing day. We did a 1000 yard swim at Seacliff Beach and then followed it up with a trail run at Nisene Marks State Park. Then we had breakfast and headed home. It was the best training day I've had in a long time and I was glad to meet some new friends.

The swim showed me that no matter how long it's been, you never lose the feel for the ocean. I immediately warmed up - after peeing in my wetsuit! If you didn't know that little trick, you should seriously try it. Your pee is sterile and it's not gross if you don't think about it:) After about five minutes in the water, I got my groove on and swam my little heart out.

Today was a good day.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I really am working for "the man"

We have a new-ish boss. She's making ripples, changing things, focusing on "moving the dial", making us deal with more damn spreadsheets, and basically making life more than a little uncomfortable. She's worked with us for a long time and I do like her a lot. BUT...after my annual review yesterday, I know she had something to do with the fact that my bonus was small, raise was small and my ego is much smaller than it should be.

I worked my ASS off last year. I was out of the office and pounding the pavement to make sure I blasted my sales goal out of the water and barely have anything to show for it aside from habitual migraines and a few thousand dollars. I worked harder than I should have. The German blood coursing through my veins tells me to work my fingers to the bone to make 2007 better and just suck it up. But my shattered ego tells me to say a big FUCK YOU very much and skate by like the rest of the world.

I don't normally complain about things, but this just pisses me off because I feel severely under-appreciated right now. Lame.

Sorry for the negative post. I'm sure I'll be happy KT soon enough. Right now I'm just not me.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Naughty din dins

Yes, this is ribs and fried zucchini. Les asked if I was feeling okay after serving a dinner like this! I don't know what got into me yesterday, but I had a hankering for ribs and something fried. I put together a moist (not dry,not wet, but moist) rub and cooked some pork ribs. They turned out perfectly tender.

I sliced two zucchini squash lengthwise, laid some sliced fontina on one zucchini strip and topped it with another piece of zucchini. Then I dipped in egg and coated with seasoned flour and then fried the heck out of it. This is a modified version of something that Michael Chiarello
did a while back on his show.
I dressed up some standard cornbread mix with a can of creamed corn and a can of sweet corn. I totally pulled a Paula Deen and buttered the top as soon as it came out of the oven.

Talk about naughty and going against my KT was worth it though.

Amgen Tour of California - Stage 3

Amgen is a biotech company that specialized in cancer research. They are the sponsors of the Tour de California. This is a 700 mile road race that started in San Francisco and will end in Long Beach. San Jose hosted the finish line for stage 3 - they started very early this morning in Stockton and rode in around 3:30 p.m. It's not very often that world-class cyclist like Levi Leipheimer come into town so Huggy and I perched ourselves in the middle of stage 3.

Jens Voight
Jens Voigt (GER) came across the finish line first. Of all the pictures I took, I think his came out the best. I had my camera on the continuous setting with a one second delay, but these guys were riding so fast, they were past me in about one second! I captured really great photos of their support vehicles though:D

San Jose's finest were on patrol on their own bikes as well as their horses. I love the horses, so I got as many photos as they would put up with. It was a fun day.

Here is a link to the rest of the pictures.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

what the Carter's did for Valentine's Day

Hubby and I decided to make dinner together tonight as we did for our anniversary. This means much more to us than going out because it's special and more personal. Anyone can sign a check at the end of a meal, but when you cook together you're sharing time and effort with each other. That is much more special in my mind.

We made chicken roulades, sauteed spinach and potatoes fondantes. These are old standbys that are so easy but always turn out satisfying. We stuffed the chicken with prosciutto and fontina and parmesean cheeses. Fontina is one of those versatile cheeses that you can use for most anything. I especially like it on a grilled cheese with ham. Yum. The potatoes turned out nice and crispy on the outside. I love that.

For desert, I found a recipe in the latest Martha Stewart magazine. I don't remember the name because I promptly threw it out in disgust after I was done with it. We were to make chocolate pâte à choux cookies with cream filling. They were supposed to be similar to a cream puff, but not really. Although it was fun attempting this dessert, it did not turn out as it should have. While following the "stir vigorously" prompt of the recipe, I added the eggs too early and the curdled. We stayed the course and finished the job. They were edible, but not fantastic like they should have been. It was fun, though, to see Les piping pâte à choux onto the cookie sheet though!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

San Jose Museum of Art

We met our friends Trish and Andy for brunch today at Lowry's Irish Coffee Shop. This is my very favorite place for coffee. On the days I have time, I stop by for a latte and veggie bagel before heading to work; that is just one block away.

Trish and Andy are two very special people that have bold characters and definitely stand out from the crowd. They don't look bold, but their personalities are strong and both have a comic delivery that makes you chuckle for days after you've talked to them.

Andy is Les' oldest friend from England. They grew up in the same small town, ended up going to the same university and ultimately moving to the Bay Area at the same time...all the while the other didn't know. They just bumped into each other while out one night. Kindred spirits, they are.

Trish is Andy's fiance and she's a lawyer. She's extremely smart and has a matter-of-fact way about her. I like her a lot and think she and Andy are completely meant for each other.

Anyway, enough about them. After lunch, we decided to walk around downtown San Jose. We ended up at the San Jose Museum of Art and went in for the M.C. Escher exhibit. This was mind-bending Op Art. I enjoy the weird, abstract kind of art. I think my favorite was, Rippled Surface. Les liked Puddle the best.

Due to copyright laws, I cannot post pictures of either of these works, I think I might be channelling Sheri and her moral values through me right now because I never would have had a problem with that until she mentioned how vehemently against it she is, but you can view them on The Official M.C. Escher website.

We walked around some more and talked about how San Jose needs more parking. They are building four high-rise condo buildings that have made accommodation for more retail and restaurant space, but no mention of anymore parking structures. Parking is already a problem, I hope they rectify that. It will end up being like San Francisco if they don't put in some parking plans. And we all know how irritating it is to find parking in The City.

Now I'm thinking of taking a nap. Yep, it's definitely nap time:)

workouts and work

Welp, this week was a total loss when it comes to workouts. I did a time trial on the trainer for 1/2 hr on Monday night to establish my LT on the bike...but it hardly counts as a realy workout. That was it. I had other workouts planned but real work just about blew me right over the edge and I almost had a nervous breakdown because of it.

Because I am in sales, I have a sales goal to meet. Because of this sales goal, I have a hard time saying no to clients when they ask me to visit them. Because of this out-of-office-visit-with-clients-to-keep-the-relationship-going time, my other work backed up. Because of this work back-up, my brain feels like it wants to blow out of my head. I like things to be closed and tidy and that was just not happening for me.

We have a new boss and she is changing a lot of things. Making us maintain more spreadsheets and focus on littler details. I'm sure in the long run, this will be good because data is power when used properly. But for someone with barely any spare time, it's a nightmare to meet the deadlines of what she's asking for with these piddly, little, stupid-ass worksheets!

A long-time client has put a bid out for other bank business and gave me a seriously unrealistic deadline as well. They gave me this request for proposal (RFP)on Tuesday and is due next Tuesday! For crying out lout people! Give me a break, throw me a damn bone, let me catch my breath! So, I finished the RFP on Friday at 7pm and turned it over to my coworker so he can present the report to the client.

While on my way to a client call on Tuesday, I got in an accident. I was making a left turn into a nose-in parking spot and some guy hit me from behind because he was following too closely and not paying attention to my blinker. I was all shaken up but still went to my client meeting.

I was out of the office three of the five days last week on client calls, so you can imagine what kind of bottleneck that created in my workload. We have no assistants to turn the "little stuff" over to. I'm in charge of all of it and it's the reason I almost needed a one of those stylish/modern straight/white jackets with the silver buckles;)

Now it's the weekend and I swear all I want to do is sleep. I'm going to try very hard to make that happen.

Serenity Now!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

so the Feds found me

It was fairly uneventful as well. The Federal Investigator met me at my office and I saw his badge - it was very heavy and very official. He asked me a lot of questions about my past relationship with my ex. He's in the Navy and applying for some kind of top secret clearance but no other details than that. He kept asking me questions about my ex in the present tense. I kept reminding him that I've not talked to him in over seven years and felt uncomfortable answering questions about my ex's character because I just don't know him anymore.

The interview reminded me of the INS interview the best hubby and I went through when he was applying for his green card....Questions like this:
Have you ever or do you plan to engage in drug dealing?
Have you ever or are you now engaging in prostitution?
Do you plan to plot any terrorist acts against the US? Something like that anyway....
And it just made me wonder if anyone actually answers 'yes' to any of these questions.

Weird. That is all. I told ya - uneventful and yawn-inducing.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Feds are looking for me

Seriously, they are. I used to be married to a guy in the Navy....long story. But we divorced, I'll always be thankful for that. On Saturday, while I was at the spa getting my mani/pedi done a federal investigator knocked on the door. Husband answered and the guy asked for me. He said he needed to do a face-to-face interview with my previous involvement with my ex-husband. Apparently, the ex, is applying for some kind of top secret clearance with the military and since I'm part of his past, I'm also part of his background check.

Oh how much fun can I have with this? A lot. This seems to be a karma situation. I have the chance to wreck his chances of a career move and it would be such sweet revenge for all of the horrific things he did to me (now that I'm a grown woman I realize I was just as responsible for allowing those things to happen...but when you're young and stupid you just don't see it that way, do you?). But I'll behave and watch gleefully as my karma account builds up:) I do have a very full karma account already, you see? ;)

Les checked out all of his credentials and made sure he was legit before sending him on his way. We watch way too much Court TV to ever be taken advantage of weird schemes that involve robbery and murder. I need to hook up with the guy at some point this week or the next. I'll keep you posted.

Blogging is hard to keep up with....

....especially since work is totally busy right now. I'm sure I'm not complaining about work because when you're in sales you pray to be busy. But DAAAAAMN...I've been at work past 7pm most nights and even after 10pm one day last week.

In a nutshell, I'm busy at work. Just got started in school again. My first class was this morning. Remember that I'm not a morning person? Right. Still not a morning person even though I have to be now. My workouts were intermittant for the past three weeks due to a) my period b) working very late and c) my cravings for peanut butter cookies outweighed the want to workout:)

Keep rockin' everyone:)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

What the Carter's have been eating

Chocoloate Chickpea Cake I really wanted chocolate, but didn't want the guilt associated. So, I made this version of cake that camoflauges itself more like an after workout snack:) It's made of chickpeas instead of flour, and cocoa/cardamom rather than chocolate. I have the recipe here.

Chicken and Sprouted Wheat Parpadelle Pasta I bought this pasta at Trader Joes with very little expectation of taste....I was wrong. It's not your typical cardboard-like wheat pasta. It's got a very nutty and pleasant taste. This pic isn't wonderful, but it thickened up a bit after some more freshly grated parmeseano reggiano. I think I mirrored a Giada De Laurentis recipe from a recent show of hers.
Sausage and Onions This is another take on a Giada De Laurentis recipe. Hers is Sausage and Onions and Peppers....but I don't love bell peppers and didn't feel like going to the store...I had everything else on hand. I used Chicken & Apple sausage, so they lent a sweet factor to the tomato-y onion sauce. This turned out really good. I will make it again.

Ulitmate Chili I was craving some comfort food and this is the quintessential comfort food for me. Thick, meaty and rich. I served it with cornbread muffins and some grated cheddar cheese.

We ate really good this past week, for the most part it was healthy. I have gotten more interested in cooking again because of my new knife set that hubby bought me for Christmas:)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Spin Class Atrocities

OMG. Tonight was attrocious. A spinning debauchle, if you will. There was a sub for the normal instructor tonight and he was aweful. Here's the laundry list:

1) No ALL...none
2) Straight into a high-energy track and made us do 5 seconds in the saddle 5 seconds out...for the entire length of the song.
3) Every subsequent track skipped through the ENTIRE song...and he never attempted to fix it.
5) Just lots of up in and out of the saddle. No sprints, no endurance, no alternating techniques....just up and down out of the saddle!
6) His cleats kept getting stuck in his pedals and he'd disrupt the class while he sorted himself out.
7) No real instruction, just some whispering into his headset and we'd have to follow his lead.
8) There's more but I'll stop here.

I'm not exaggerating about how bad it was....the class started with 10 people....and it ended with 4. I never quit a workout unless I'm at my vomit zone, but I came really close to walking out. I felt sorry for the guy though, so I sucked it up and finished the workout.

Spin - 60 mins
Upper body and abs - 30 mins

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Sunday Boot Camp

Since I'm designing Lawrence's website, we have an agreement that he trains me once a week. We needed more pictures for his site so we got a group of people together to do the boot camp class. I LOVE this class. Even though I was mostly picture-taking, I still did a modified version of the exercises. It's so much damn fun. It was a hard workout, but so worth it. Lots of drills, sprints, plyometrics and groundwork. I wish I knew more active people that cared about these types of things so they would go with me. All of my friends and husbands friends are lazy bastards. I need new friends! Just kidding, I love my friends. Here is our group photo at the end of our super-sweaty day:)

1.5 hrs boot camp (average HR - 160)

Saturday AM Spin Class

My friend Melinda is a spin instructor and I she invited me to take her class on Saturday. I asked her what time and she said, "8:15"! WTF? Soooooo early on a Saturday. But I did it anyway...reluctantly...hit the snooze on the alarm only one time:) I was so glad I went because it she is a fantastic instructor. Really great music - friends will all the house DJs we know...of course it would be great music!

After the workout we went to Le Boulanger for bagel and egg sammies. Totally hit the spot because that class drained all the food out of my muscles.

Spin - 1hr (moderate intensity, average HR 165)

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Jerk Chicken

I made jerk chicken tonight, first time ever. I found the recipe at Yahoo Recipes. I noticed that most of the reviews complained that there wasn't enough heat in it. Well I know how to fix that...urm....just add more pepper. Geez. I added lots of pepper and it was HOT. I normally underestimate the power of freshly ground black pepper. But not anymore after tonight.

I served it alongside some polenta and carrots. Was a marginal dinner. Nothing fantastic.

On a separate note, today was a day of reckoning for me. For the past month I've been feeling a bit stir crazy and it seemed as though the house was closing in on me. I realized that's because our christmas tree was taking up half of our living room. So, tonight I took it down. And took down all of the other decorations. And now I feel much better. I feel like I can breathe again. The house is bigger and I'm already more organized. I really thought I was going crazy.

I don't normally do any resolutions, but what I would like to do this year is simplify. Just get back to basics. We have too much stuff. We're always getting more stuff. Stores and TV are always manipulating me to want more stuff. Enough already. I plan on getting rid of all of the "things" in the house that serve no functional purpose. There is no need to have so many candle holders or extra bottles of lotion or so many damn towels in the closet. Enough! This crap must get out of my house and the money must stay in my pocket.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Getting back to it

I swear this holiday season has been the worst in terms of being too busy to find time for anything. It was all about running around and being stressed. So much stress all I wanted to do is eat. And I did eat. I ate without working out to keep up with it. Stupid delicious desserts and food all over the place! My workouts suffered in a major way but now I'm back to it.

I had the most awesome day of snowboarding on Friday at Kirkwood. I wasn't even sore. Thank you traveling lunges and jump squats!

Today I took Huggy out for a four mile run and came back in the house for some abs and push ups. It felt fantastic to get a nice workout in. I need to learn to wake up early because when school starts I won't be able to worko out after work. Work work work. Geez.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year

Life is good. Seriously good. Let's all keep it that way:) Happy New Year to everyone, I wish you the best in 2007.

We spent NYE in Tahoe with our friends. Did some snowboarding, lots of eating/relaxing and had some really tasty champagne. While hubby and friends were at Sierra Ski Ranch, they apprehended a drunk driver by pulling him from his car in the parking lot. This drunk guy almost hit many people getting into their cars and rammed his truck into a few other cars. Once the cops showed up, they arrested the guy and took him away. Hubby and friends were given the royal treatment at the resort and didn't have to pay for anything all day:)

Here they are in action - My hubby is a total bad-ass!