Monthly Archives: May 2012

I took a pregnancy test this morning.

SPOILER ALERT: It was negative.

I mean, I knew it would be. Like I said in one of my previous posts, there’s like less than zero percent chance I could be preggers right now. But still. Last week I was nauseous and had killer heartburn. This week my boobs are huge and super sore. Usually they only get that way the week before my… um… you know, special girlie time. (Period.)

Uh, sorry if that’s TMI.

But I’m still having bouts of nausea. And I’ve also been way more emotional than normal…

It just doesn’t make sense. Well, maybe the emotional part, since we’re about to move and it’s a little stressful right now… I guess… I actually don’t really feel all that stressed about the move, but I probably am, right? N certainly is. But mostly because he has to replace our blinds before we can rent out our current house and those things are a bitch. So maybe it’s some sort of sympathy-based emotional time?

In looking at the calendar, I just realized the past week is when I probably ovulated. And maybe these are also symptoms of ovulation? I have no clue. I should probably look into it. But even if they are, I’ve never FELT them like this before. Which leads me to wonder this:

Now that I’m starting to get ready to BE ready to start the baby-making thing… Am I just somehow more in tune with my body and how it functions along those childbearing lines? Did my body pick up on what I’ve been thinking about and start readying itself as well?

Is that even possible? Hasn’t my body been ready since my first… girlie time screw it, period? So why the change in how noticeable the symptoms are (if that’s even what these things have been)?

Also, if you do the math, you’ll get to the place where you think I’m an idiot because pregnancy tests can’t tell until you’re six days away from when you’re supposed to get your period, which if, as I’ve already stated, I’m probably currently ovulating (or just finished), I’m clearly way further out than that. But I couldn’t make that sort of logic prevail this morning.

~S

I’m Not An Arts and Craftsy Type of Person, But Damn if JoAnn Fabrics Didn’t Almost Convert Me

I do not have artistic hands. Baking/decorating baked goods? Nope. Drawing or painting? Nope.

Nada.

Well, okay. I’m halfway decent when a keyboard’s involved, creating fiction. Sometimes. (Most of the time I feel like a hack–but I’m slowly coming to understand that this is a normal feeling among writers.) And there was a time (a zillion years ago) when I could express myself through dance with the best of them. (Now? You should see me in Zumba. If I’m expressing myself at all, it’s to say that I’m a moron. Ha!)

Anyway. I went to JoAnn Fabric today to buy scissors because I broke my current pair trying to cut through bubble wrap (don’t ask), and they hadn’t had any at Bed Bath and Beyond (where I was to pick up some of my favorite hangers). But when I walked in?

I wanted everything.

It was all so pretty and frilly. Cake decorating kits. Thread. Jewelry making thingies. Stationary and scrap book stuff.

But I refrained.

Mostly.

I’m actually pretty proud of myself for only coming back with the following things:

How CUTE are those scissors? And they came with the pink thread snipper thinger. I doubt I’ll ever use it, but I liked the pattern on these scissors the best, and they were a package deal…
BIRDS! I love birds. My entire family does. And the ones on this tray aren’t even properly aligned, but I don’t even care. I’m obsessed. 
And, my FAVORITE THING:
More birds! And a mini-chest. I love every single thing about this. Can’t wait to find a place for it in the new house!
Do I sew? Nope. Do I need this needle pillow thing? NOPE. But… It reminds me of my grandmother, Kiki (miss her so freaking much), who had one–and my mom, I think, had one, too. They’re two of the best women who’ve ever graced the Earth, so it only makes sense that I felt so sentimental as soon as I saw it. Had to have it. (Plus it was under $2… So, you know, basically free. Right?

No?

Fine.)

The chest was alone was originally $99.99–but my entire purchase was barely $60. So, total WIN right there. 

Oh and these are the hangers I was picking up from BB&B. I’m obsessed with how thing they are and have been slowly switching out my entire closet with them. I buy a new box every 4-6 months and give all my bigger plastic ones to N. This box should complete the transition!

I love the hanger clips, too. 

And look how much progress I’ve made with the closet! Remember last time? Even though I’d packed three wardrobe boxes full of stuff, the closet still looked pretty functional. It’s finally starting to look like, yanno, hey–I’m moving!

That jar contains half of my current LUSH bath collection and it smells so freaking good. I lift the lid to sniff like twenty times a day.

Also, in unrelated news, two days ago I was super nauseous, yesterday I had really bad heartburn, and today I’m back with the nausea. No idea what’s going on with me. Because there’s seriously a negative percent chance that I’m preggers. And I don’t even know if there’s such a thing as a negative percent. Because percentages deal with wholes, and the lowest you can get is zero. Unless maybe you say, it’s 100 percent chance of -1 on the scale of whether or not I could be pregnant right now.

I should probably know these things, considering I used to teach math…

~S

Burning Fat vs. Cardio Workouts

My trainer told me something interesting the other day. Cardio workouts are GREAT. But if you want to stay in the fat burning zone, your heart rate should be much lower. 

Here’s the equation: 220 minus your age = max heart rate. Target fat burning heart rate should be somewhere between 60-80% of that target rate. (Basically shoot for 70% and you’ll be perfect.)
So for me? 220 – 30 = 190. 190 x 70% = 133. 
133!!
I’m usually between 155 & 175. I usually last no longer than 20 minutes. (Which, let’s be honest, is a stretch.) (Of course, that’s unless I’m in an hour long cardio-based class.)
With 133, I can set the treadmill to an incline of 11 and walk at a 3.2 pace for half an hour. (Which is the minimum length of time to get a decent workout in.) I try to go for at least an hour, actually. 
I get hot and sweaty and tired–but never so tired I can’t keep going. I feel like I’m cheating because I don’t end up wanting to puke from pushing myself so hard–but at the same time, I can go so. much. longer. 
And my trainer? He’s an ultimate fighter. He’s totally ripped and went to school for this and knows his shit. And yes, the fat burning zone is mostly to help build endurance. But still. It gets me to do MORE than I would usually do, so I consider it a win. 
I’m not giving up zumba or body step or body pump, because those classes are great cardiovascular workouts and definitely burn way more calories–and definitely chisel pounds away–but I’m also going to be at the gym for at least an hour additional a few times a week to hit the treadmill for the fat burning workout. 
It’s just really great to know. So on those days where I’d rather sit and watch TV and veg out, I can at LEAST push myself to hit up the gym for a treadmill workout. Because the treadmills at our gym have personal TVs and are basically my new favorite things. And I can lose myself in a show for an hour and not feel sick after the workout. 
No more excuses.
~S

The BEST Chicken Salad Ever. (With Poppyseed Dressing!)

When I was visiting my sister, Liz, in Colorado Springs over Christmas last year (2011), she took me to this adorable little cafe downtown. And introduced me to the best. chicken salad. ever.

I’ll admit, at first I wasn’t sure about the poppyseed dressing. I like my chicken salad with mayo. Always have. And what the heck was up with pimentos? Don’t get me wrong, I love them in olives. Especially in olives in dirty martinis. (Unless those olives have blue cheese stuffed in them instead. Because holy yum. But… that’s a different post for a different day.) So. I was skeptical.
Then I took my first bite.
And my mouth had an orgasm. 

My mouth has the same reaction with my homemade version, shown here!

The cafe didn’t give out the recipe, but through my high powered deduction skills I managed to recreate the deliciousness. (Read: There aren’t many ingredients and they’re simple enough that a five year old could probably figure them out.) I’m sharing it here so I never lose the recipe–and for anyone else searching for chicken salad that’s freaking out of this world.

The things I love about this recipe: Besides that it makes my mouth feel so good. It’s ridiculously easy to make. And there are cheats for every ingredient.
Exhibit A:
(Ignore the onions–don’t know why I bought them, as there are none in my recipe. I mean, you could probably add them though!) 
Everything is pre-made!
Some people might cook their own chicken (in which case, I recommend poaching chicken breasts with bone and in skin, because it cooks the chicken thoroughly while maintaining all it’s moisture), or buy stalks of celery (or hell, maybe even grow it?) or make homemade poppyseed dressing.
NOT ME.
That is not me now. It will most likely never be me. I like shortcuts. I LOVE working with chicken that’s already been cooked whenever I can. Because raw chicken? Um, gross. (Which is funny because Liz blogged about that today, too.) Pre-sliced celery? YES I WILL. Less cutting for me. Yup.
The recipe is so simple I don’t even have real measurements to share.
  • Two rotisserie chickens. I just use the white meat from them. Sometimes I give N the dark meat, but mostly I toss it. Which I DO feel guilty about. But it’s the truth and I don’t want to lie on here.
  • Half a jar of Pimentos–make sure they’re SWEET pimentos. I’ve made them with regular ones before and ew. 
  • Almost an entire jar of Brianna’s Poppyseed Dressing. (It doesn’t have to be Brianna’s–I’ve used others and the salad’s turned out fine. But Brianna’s is the best, in my opinion.)
    • When you first pour almost the full bottle on the chicken, you might think it’s way too much–but as it settles in the fridge, some of it soaks in. I’ve tried using less, and the chicken salad’s turned out a little dry.
  • Celery. As much or little as you’d like. If you’re not huge on celery, I still wouldn’t make this without it, because I love the crunch. But that’s just me.
  • Croissant rolls. I like the cheapo ones at my local grocery store (Giant). I’ve tried fancier ones, but they’re all flaky and not fun to eat with the chicken salad.
I slice the celery into tiny pieces. Then shred the chicken by just pulling it apart into bite size pieces. Add everything else and mix with my hands.
And that. is. it. 
So easy!
SO DELICIOUS.
I let it chill for a couple hours before eating any. And I let it sit in the fridge for 3 days-ish before I toss what’s left. Maybe it would stay for longer, but I’m not well-versed in how long food stays good–and after a nasty bout of salmonella last year, I’m not taking any chances.
OH and it makes… um… six or seven servings, if your croissants aren’t huge? Maybe more? It always varies depending on how huge I make my sandwiches. 🙂
~S

And Piper gazed at me through half lidded eyes while I made the chicken salad. The quality of the picture is shit, but I still don’t want to forget it.

And though she be but little, she is fierce.

The title is a Shakespeare quote and if we have a baby girl, there’s 100% chance that quote will be somewhere in her room. Because if I have a daughter? One thing I’m determined to do is raise her to be fierce.

And I don’t mean warrior ninja kicking bad guys’ asses fierce. (Though if that’s what she wants, good for her!) I want her to grow up believing in herself. Standing up for herself.
Knowing that she’s deeply loved, and not afraid to take chances.
Of course the same goes if we have a boy. I just… can’t use the Shakespeare quote. Maybe something like this from The Giving Tree:
and
she loved
a
little boy
very, very much
-even more
than
she loved
herself.
The thing is, I can’t quite see us having a boy. I mean, God, if we do? I’d be through the roof. Sex of the baby doesn’t matter to me at all. Healthy is all I care about. And then, happy. It’s just that I’m pretty girlie these days. And (in a totally non-creepy way) Nelson has an easy going manner that  reminds me a bit of my dad, so I know he’d be great with a daughter. But he’d be great with a boy, too. ❤
It seems the baby craze bug has finally bitten me. Which is weird because I didn’t think I’d ever feel ready for a baby. And I’m not completely ready now, either. We’ve got this move coming up and I still want to get in better shape before we start trying. I mean, I’ve gained more than 30 pounds since college. (Excuse me while I go slam my head against the wall.) Not that I care about getting back in college shape, but I’d certainly like to slim down/get healthier before we start trying. 1) It’s probably better for the baby. And 2) I’ve always heard it’s easier to lose the baby weight if you were in shape beforehand.
We’re going to the outer banks in August for two weeks. I’m thinking we’ll start trying after that. (So I can still drink and stuff at the beach!) But, even with all those reasons to wait, there’s a part of me that wants to start trying RIGHT NOW. Because I know it could take a long time to get pregnant. And… Like I said, I’ve been bitten by the baby bug. (Alliteration FTW!) Everything’s suddenly screaming in me to get started. I can’t wait to feel another human being form in my belly. How freaking crazy is that, when you think about it?
We make human beings.
Whoa.
When I was younger, I figured I’d have my first kid by age 25. Now? Thank God I wasn’t ready then. I look back at the past five years and think of everything I’ve been able to do that there’s no way I could have, had I been pregnant or with a kid. Especially the past three years. I didn’t even get married until I was 27, and in these last three years we’ve done so many things. On the fun side: Trips. Me quitting my job to become a writer. Buying this new house. And on the downside? Fights. Marital downturns that lasted sometimes months at a time. Personal issues (drinking and depression). Things we desperately needed to get out of our system/deal with before bringing a child into our family.
I know there will be fights and downtimes and trips and big changes in the future too, when we have a family. But the things we’ve been through already? They’ve somehow led us to the happiest place I’ve ever been in a relationship. And they all would have been different if we’d already had a child.
Holy crap. This entry is super long and I haven’t even gotten to the point of why I started. Which is (and ha, it’s so shallow compared to the rest) this:
I can’t stop picking out nursery colors.
I’m a little nervous that I’m majorly jinxing myself here, considering the pea is SO not in the pod yet. But that’s just me. Once I start getting excited for something, I can’t stop thinking about it. Planning for things. Hell, I’ve had tentative names picked out for over a year. (Kiernan  for a girl, and Connor for a boy.) Of course if I get preggers and the little pea feels like a different name, I’m totally flexible. Mostly.
For a girl, I’m really loving the thought of gray painted walls with teal and coral accents.

And birds. There will definitely be birds incorporated into the theme. Just like they’re incorporated all over my house 🙂 
If we have a boy, I’m thinking still gray paint, with navy and yellow accents. Or maybe green instead of yellow.
I don’t know. These are what I’ve decided on for now, but it’s still so much fun to come up with different ideas.

Clutter whore or room-filling genius?

We’re closing on a new house (yay!) in ten days. So I’ve started packing. Which was SUPER fun for the first day, and now I basically hate it.

And the worst part? I’ve only made progress on one room. ONE ROOM. The guest room. (AKA my room–I mean, obvi I sleep in our master bedroom with the hubs, and have a dresser and stuff in there as well, but otherwise? Yeah, this is my room). And believe me, I’ve been working my ass off on it.

Well… Mostly I have been, anyway.

You know. In between watching TV season finales (still having trouble getting over Grey’s Anatomy…) and making this new blog and stuff…

Ahem.

Moving on.

So this is the room I’ve been working on. (And I didn’t clean before taking the pictures… Shocker.)

Exhibit A:

My cat, Lilah, is resting on the futon after a particularly grueling battle with the leg warmer in the hall outside the bedroom door… 

Yeah, the bookshelves are empty of books, but the rest of it?

STILL LOOKS LIVED IN. 

So maybe you’d think I hadn’t really done much. But, um, no.

Exhibit B:

Yeah. See? I’ve packed a LOT. Like, in there are three huge wardrobe boxes. And boxes and boxes of books and cosmetics and trinkets and candles and shoes and… SO MANY OTHER THINGS.

And all of this? It was in our guest room. All. of. it.

I mean, I look at it now and wonder how the heck it was even possible. At least I understand why it was so hard to keep that room clean. Because HOW could you keep that many things neat and orderly in one not-even-very-big room?

Clearly it’s time for me to get rid of some stuff. Except… Um… I already got rid of some stuff while I was packing. And by some, I mean a lot. Everything that’s there? I still want.

Whoops.

~S

Here I am…

So yeah. This is me. About to move into a new house. About to start trying to make a baby.

I already have a writing blog, which I should be writing next week’s posts for. I should be packing up my house. I should be revising my novel.

But nope.

I’m starting this personal blog instead. And that right there tells you so much about me. I am a master procrastinator. 

🙂

Really, though, I’m starting this blog because I want something solid to look back on. My memory is such shit these days–I’m hoping this will help me remember things more clearly after they’ve grown a little foggy in my mind.

Plus, I met a girl recently who said she has her blog printed in book form once a year, and I love that idea–but I don’t think I want to do it with my writing blog, so here we are instead: Welcome to Saradise City! 

~S

(PS I found my header picture here.)