Getting closer...

The flour from Italy arrived day closer to my Eat Pray
Love event:)

Pink and Fabulous

The shipment has arrived...bring on the celebration...9 days and
counting :).

Workout Plan

Here. we. go.

I am officially on Day 4 of my goal to work out (in some way) every day for 30 days. Walking the dogs does not count but I am still doing it.

I used the Body Fat Calculator and as of Sunday had 30% body weight. Ouch.

I did the Tracy Anderson Mat workout today for the first time. It was different. Unlike any other workout I have ever done. Very dance inspired which made it more fun. The reviews were right though...she makes these weird faces trying to be sexy. I can get over that though.

Monday: 2.5 mile run (my first one since the Derby Half Marathon/knee injury)
Tuesday: Jillian Level 1 30 day shred/3 mile walk with dogs
Wednesday: 2.75 mile run
Thursday: Tracy Anderson Mat workout (possible dog walk later this evening)

My Plan for Friday is ambitious--Jillian and Power Yoga class followed by a much needed massage and visit with my favorite chiropractor :)

Can't wait for the weekend...celebrating a birthday here:

and here: maybe the patio doesn't look exactly like that. Get over will be really close once that retaining walls are put in :)

Headed to work...anticipating lots of sore muscles tomorrow.

Kindle Update

Finished three more good grateful for my Kindle. I like it more every day.

First up:


As mentioned before, I have followed her blog for a few years and was very much anticipating this book. I held off on reading it because I was convinced there would be no new information since I was a such an avid reader of her blog. I was wrong.

There are so many great tips for getting happier in this book. Some of my favorites:

"All he asked was that I put on my running shoes and shut the door behind me. My father's deal got me to commit to a routine." She took her father's advice as a young adult and has included running in her exercise routine for most of her adult life.

Exercise is definitely a great argument for increased happiness with the added benefit of helping us think more clearly. Gretchen reminded me that "people should aim to take 10,000 steps per day--a number that also reportedly keeps most people from gaining weight."

Must get a pedometer.

And my personal favorite....Gretchen terms her tendency for "preparty jitters" as "hostess neurosis". I am extremely guilty of this. I love to entertain but can make the people closest to me miserable in my striving to put on the "perfect party". Many of my friends have taken to calling me "Martha". Not just for my quest for perfection but my reaction when that standard isn't met. Sigh.

Here are some other tidbits I took from the book:

1. Know what makes you happy. I have taken Gretchen's advice of keeping an "Interest Log" so that I become more aware of what "naturally catches my attention."

2. "The pleasure of doing a thing in the same way, at the same time, every day, and savoring it, is worth noting. If you do something once it's exciting, and if you do it every day it's exciting. But if you do it, say, twice or just almost every day, it's not good anymore." This theory brings my 30 Day Shred to mind :)

3. "people who give money to charity end up wealthier than those who don't give to charity." Researchers have found that charitable giving actually causes higher income due to the brain activity that changes with this activity and the likelihood of being offered leadership positions. Fascinating stuff.

On to the the next one:

Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard

This one was a delight only complimented by the extra satisfaction of reading it on a white sand beach in Mexico. Oh to be back there....

Anyhoo, I discovered this read on many of the blogs I follow. It combines a true love story of an American woman who falls in love with a Frenchman and includes actual recipes of all her cooking adventures along the way.

In addition to bookmarking molten chocolate cake, tabouleh, strawberry-rhubarb crumble and other recipes with ingredients I will be hard pressed to locate in my small town, I did take away some words of wisdom:

"There are many things that will tell you the true measure of a man--the way he kisses, the way he holds a fork, the way he talks to his mother on the phone. For me it was something else: we'll call it the infamous bird-pooing incident." You can see where this leads. But how true that you can tell the true character of a person by how they handle the most inconvenient of circumstances.

"Nobody decides her whole life in a single moment. But you can decide what you are unwilling to do without, and it was impossible for me to give up on this happiness." Love. that.

"The French have always known what I've long suspected; there is nothing sexier than watching a woman eat. Men love this. I'm positive that I owe many a second date in New York to a chocolate cannoli or a late-night coupe of rice pudding with whipped cream. It's simple: Women who pick at their food hate sex. Women who suck the meat off of lobster claws, order (and finish) dessert--these are the women who going to rip your clothes off and come back for seconds." This book was worth reading for this passage alone. I now feel so much more justified in my obsession with all things shellfish. Who knew it made me sexier? Ha!

And on to our last read of this triumvirate:

An Italian Affair by Laura Fraser

This was a fun read with lots of romance and discoveries of tiny Italian villages. After an ugly divorce, this woman heads to Italy to just "get away." She meets a professor who becomes a wonderful and mysterious companion. The descriptions of the small towns are really driving me to save for that Italy trip....

What's up next?

The Art of Extreme Self-Care by Cheryl Richardson
And this one:

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

And the last one (hard decision):

Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

I love the way Amazon gives you free samples of most books on the Kindle. After reading a few pages, I am able to decide whether I want to buy the book or not. And it is kind of like being a book store and reading a few passages before committing to buying the book. The Help came highly recommended by a friend but I know I wouldn't have bought if not for the free sample. Now I'm hooked.

Happy Reading!

Whew. That was a long post.

The Wagon Broke

Did you miss me?

I didn't just fall off the wagon this time, it ran over me.

Don't worry. I am just fine.

Note to self: DO NOT take on a new exercise program during the most intense two work weeks of the year.

Well, today I get back on the wagon.

I have taken measurements and EVERYTHING.

Whew. That was oooogly.

Not brave enough to post them yet so don't be askin'.

New book report coming right up :)

Falling off the Wagon

Well, I am officially on Day 9 of the Shred. As of tomorrow I will have completed one third of the program. I have a confession to make....I didn't do the video on Saturday due to an unexpected opportunity to go shopping but I did take the dog on a long walk and got back on the wagon Sunday. I don't intend to let it happen again :(

I am happy to say I am no longer sore but I still get very shaky during the workout and it definitely hasn't gotten any easier. The push-ups still make me scream and the last circuit requires side squats that elicit grunting sounds that can probably only be compared to giving birth. Sorry, that's just the ugly truth.

I weighed myself Sunday and have lost 1.2 pounds. It was registering a 3.0 pound loss on Friday but then happy hour came and so did the inability to resist the temptation of fried food and cocktails.

I indulged in a hefty breakfast sandwich on Saturday morning at the coffee shop and then in thai food for dinner last night. Roasted Duck Noodle Soup...yummmm.

Doing better today....a green monster for breakfast and the leftovers of the noodle soup for lunch. Plus a few pita chips with red pepper hummus thrown in there and a Forest Berry Honest Tea.

21 more days to go!

Still Shredding

Day 4 of the Shred went well but difficult to get up this morning knowing that's what was coming. The video mysteriously turned off during the final 3 minutes but I kept going. The side squats and push-ups are getting especially painful, making the cardio part more challenging. I am proud of myself for doing it in the morning because my work schedule has been going until about 7:30pm, making it so easy to make up excuses when I get home.

Today I have kept a good distance from the Oreos and ice cream but they keep creeping into my brain. I think I may suggest that the someone who bought them hides them and distributes them very sparingly.

I had a green monster shake for breakfast with 3/4 cup almond milk, 1/2 bag baby spinach, 1 scoop chocolate protein powder, and a frozen banana. It made me feel super energized after the workout.

For lunch, I made a mediterranean wrap with one chicken breast (seasoned with Emeril's Essence), spring greens, spicy red pepper hummus, and some shredded cheddar cheese. It was very good and filling.

For dinner, I am sharing my favorite (and easiest) taco recipe. I have shared this with many friends and every one of them has called or emailed me raving about it. It was a definite hit on Bunco night. Long live Martha :)

I hope to get back to posting pics very soon...the boyfriend dropped my camera on hard tile while in Mexico and its not working now :(

Have a great day!

About Me

This blog is a place for me to explore the things I love in my own little corner of cyberspace. Those things mostly being food, wine, yoga, travel, style, and my own little home improvement plan. I am a small town gal with big city cravings, a therapist by day, foodie-wino-yogi by night, and a lover of all things French, red, and tasty. Grab a hot cup of coffee and come sit by my fire....