Sunday, February 27, 2011

Snow Surfing

About 2 weeks ago, when the weather was in the 70's, Elphie and I took a nice long walk around the neighborhood and she was in heaven. The weather was warm, there was still snow, and she was able to snow surf! Snow surfing is much like her carpet surfing, where she starts with her nose on the snow or carpet and uses it to glide on the surface and then continues to glide her entire body. The best possible way to describe this action was surfing, so I went with it. Here is a glimpse of her snow surfing:

video

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

As Promised...

I never found the USB cord for my camera and I needed some quicker shopping gratification than what Amazon.com could offer, so I headed on down to Micro Center and got myself a reader for my memory card!

And as promised, here's a visual of my Valentine Day surprise :)

The bear's name is Jonas and I've had to control myself from nom'ing all the chocolates in one sitting. I am one lucky girl :o)

True Life: I'm Addicted to Carbs.

Hello. My name is KG, and I'm addicted to carbohydrates.
I...need them and I CRAVE them. All. The. Time.
I force myself to eat fruits and veggies, grains and dairy, but its just not the same as my carbs. And I won't even begin to talk about starches - that's a whole different blog post.
It's not like it's a problem for me. In fact, I very much enjoy cooking and consuming my precious carbs, specifically in pasta form. Although, I can't help but wonder if most 5'5", 130-ish pound, young females also slam down two plates like this in one sitting?


That's totally normal, right? ....Right?

I tell people I have a hollow leg, but that hasn't always been the case. College was when the carbs actually became a problem. Slowly, but surely I packed on the Freshman 15 times 2 (literally) in the form of a spare tire and no muscle definition in my legs. Yuck.
But I didn't care. I knew I needed to exercise to balance my 'Carb Intake' to 'Energy Burned' ratio. So I worked out, but not regularly. I fluctuated one the scale and with my routine, meanwhile the carbs were always there for me before and after a nice hardy work out.

Since college, I've thinned out to my healthy, normal self and with my working two jobs for quite some time, I had no problem immediately burning off everything immediately following consumption.
But now, I have a real job where I sit at my desk most of the day, so I wonder if the food I'm eating will start metabolizing like a "normal" person. But with a real job, comes a real paycheck! (hoooray!) So I can finally enroll in a workout class. But not yet...not until that nice paycheck rolls my way so I've got to stay active some how.

And just how you may ask?
I'm getting back into running.
Gross.
I ran Track and Cross Country in Jr. High and loved it (probably because I was encouraged to eat pasta 24/7) but once I hit high school, I lost interest. Eight years later when I graduated college, I tried getting back into it but I would always get a sharp pain in my shoulder blade area that made it hard to breathe when I ran, so I thought "F that". From then on, I LOATHED running and only did so after feeling "fat" from a week of eating hamburgers every night or when bikini season rolled around.
Surprisingly, though, once I started receiving massages, the pain began subsiding. I'm not absolutely pain free in my shoulder when I run now, but it has improved immensely. And now that the shoulder pain is less, the weather is getting warmer and my dog is getting better at making me feel guilty for being gone all day, I have no choice but to run, with the promise to myself of limitless pasta. But ONLY on the condition that I workout at least 3 days out of the week.I'm managing and balancing my addiction with a forced exercise and an attempt at a balanced diet. But I will never stop loving my carbs.

True Life: I, KG, am addicted to carbohydrates.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hope all is well and wanted to wish you a happy Valentine's Day :)

I was going to upload a picture of the adorable gift boyfriend got me for Valentine's Day, but my camera chord is no where to be found so I guess I'll have to show you another time.
But it's late now and if I don't go to sleep before 11pm, I'll turn into a pumpkin!

Have a love-filled and joyous remainder of your holiday!

Love, ME

Sunday, February 6, 2011

One Hell of a Weekend.

Let's start with...

FRIDAY:
Boyfriend had the day off so we watched a lot of TV, ran some errands and made a fantastic dinner. In order to make our delish meal, we made a stop at the Wal-Mart to grab some steaks and a portable grill (ONLY $25!! and it works like a charm!) along with some veggies. Wal-Mart was packed, more-so than normal, but we figured this was due to a week of STL being snowed in. So didn't think much of it, went home, assembled the grill, and cooked away! After grilling and devouring, I made some cupcakes!

The box of cake mix turned out to be angel food mix (confetti, of course). I accepted the challenge and baked away. Making angel food cake/cupcakes is not a task I've ever done before, so I wasn't expecting perfection on the first try. I whipped up the batter, which was surprisingly fluffy and light (and definitely not as tasty as regular cake batter), filled the cupcake pan and popped them in the oven. They baked quickly - almost too quickly - and some of the bottoms burned (eek!), but all-in-all, they were not too shabby for a first time angel food baker, but I made so many that I couldn't possibly eat them by myself, so I took some with me to Jeff City on...

SATURDAY:
I woke up to see MORE SNOW falling. Last time I checked, the radar did not indicate snow for Saturday. This wasn't just an inch. It was at least 3 inches and more falling at 7:30 in the morning!

Never fear - 4 wheel drive did not delay boyfriend and me from getting to the train station on time. We hopped on the Amtrak and headed to Jeff City to visit the Stokes clan and welcome their newest addition: Elizabeth!

The train ride was beautiful and relaxing. Once we got to Jeff City, we grabbed some grub at Daisy Delight (and old school dairy queen-like place), and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon.
[The ketchup at Daisy Delight was exceptional]

I did get a call from Amtrak letting me know that they switched the train number we'd be on, but I didn't think much of it at the time. After making our own pizzas for dinner, we headed back to the train station to head home. Or so we thought.

We arrived to the station, but there was no Amtrak train. Just a cargo train sitting on the tracks - not moving at all. After talking with the volunteers manning the station, we realize that we won't be getting on a train at all. A cargo train derailed just east of Jefferson City and they were still cleaning up the mess. Meaning, no train :( We were told that a bus would be taking us back to STL, but they had NO idea when the bus would be arriving. So we waited....and waited....and waited. Finally, a bus arrived! But it wasn't our bus. It was a bus taking passengers to Kansas City. Shit. So once again we waited....and waited...and waited. After 3 hours of chit-chatting with other people waiting in the station, playing Oregon Trail, and staring at the floor, our bus arrived!!!! Hooray! It was a shaky old charter bus (the kind we used to take on school trips) but the ride took FOREVER and to top it all off, I was motion sick, on this shaky charter on the back roads on Missouri. Awesome. We had to stop in Herman and Washington, for other passengers so it took 3 hours to get back to our train station.

It wasn't in a terrible experience. It was more of a trying experience. A very long day with much time spent in a train station or on a bus - it can make anyone crabby. So when we got home, I start climbing out of the car and bashed the back of my head on the door frame. Don't ask me how I did it, cause I still don't know, but I decided that I was done with Saturday. I had some hot tea and passed out.

SUNDAY:
Today has been much better. My head still hurts a little, but I've got some Tylenol and some time to take a nap later. I've also got a Superbowl party to attend this evening and I'm going to a try an awesome Spinach and Artichoke dip recipe to bring with me :) And then I'll be getting some great shut-eye for my first day at my new job tomorrow. Hooray for Sundays!
Happy Superbowl Sunday everyone :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

February Confessions

Happy February everyone! I can't believe we're starting month TWO of the new year. Before I start my confessions, I must say that January and the new year have brought quite a few changes my way!
Drum roll please......


I GOT A REAL JOB! YAAAAAY!!!

No more working two crummy jobs, no more tight rations during the month to make sure I make through, no more abnormal work hours. Yes friends, I have a REAL job. An 8-5, one hour lunch, competitive salary, excellent benefits, use of my wonderful degree job, and I am SO excited to start! I start on Monday and last Friday my receptionist job told me they found a replacement for my position so I didn't have to work this week. EVEN BETTER! A week relaxcation the week before I start a real job and getting "snowed in" so I forced to sit around and watch tv and play with Elphie in the snow? Yes, please! This could not have worked out more perfectly :) Thank you to everyone who was pulling for me and talking to the big guy upstairs. I am eternally greatful!


And now, the confessions:

1) I don't why, but the winter months make me want to bake, all the time. I have more brownies than I can eat, I made bread last night and I can't stop thinking about making and eating delicious cupcakes. I also made some killer chili Monday night - perfect meal during the freezing rain and fantastic left overs on a snow day. Winter makes me want to bake and eat ALL THE TIME.

2) To go along with the food making, I love watching cake shows. Love it. I just finished watching Cupcake Wars, I watch Cake Boss, and there are probably 4 other baking/cooking shows on the DVR right now that I need to watch. With all this time on my hands, I have no choice but to catch up on these wonderful shows.

3) Something about the winter time makes me want to cut my bangs shorter. Perhaps its an instinct to keep my big forehead warm? Or I'm just really stylish and don't realize it. But when I can't fight the urge and pull out the scissors, I regret it once March rolls around and the weather warms up.

Ze bangs

4) I'm going to teach myself to crochet this year. I really enjoy knitting, but my hands are starting to hurt and I hear crocheting is much quicker. I'll give it a shot this year and if I hate it, I can always go back to knitting, or I can just double dip!

5) Missourians make me laugh. "It's too hot", "it's too cold", "BLIZZARD WARNING". They can never make up their minds about the weather and if more than 6 inches of snow fall at once, they issue a blizzard warning. Really guys? Now, I'll back off a little bit because we did get freezing rain for a good part of the day and night with a light dusting of snow in a 24 hour period, followed by a blizzard warning for 6-12 inches the very next day. But as usual, the blizzard never came - just snow! Most businesses shut down Tuesday and Wednesday due to weather, and it was nice to not hear a lot of traffic. And for those of us with 4 wheel drive, getting around the Lou was no problem. Donuts were done in various parking lots, discovered Dunkin Donuts is open 24/7 even in "blizzard-like conditions", and learned that Lowe's has $18 portable grills in case the power and/or gas went out from all the ice.
My car, after the "blizzard"

Frozen tree limb with berries

6) Yes, I have been terrible at blogging this year, thus far. I'm hoping to update more often now that the craziness of January is done.

Happy February, my friends!