I’m just stopping in to say I’m sorry for suddenly being so MIA. Things have been absolutely crazy lately and blogging just fell by the wayside. I’ll be back soon to explain! Love to you all. 🙂
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1. If you could be one bird, what would it be?
A hummingbird! When I was a little girl, I spent some of my early summers at my grandparents’ house in West Virginia. During those summers, I used to love watching the hummingbirds coming to the feeders on the back porch . It’s actually one of my fondest childhood memories.
Also, I think I actually would be a hummingbird. They’re so busy and buzzing all the time, always off to the next thing… just like me!
2. PB or chocolate on a desert island? You can’t have both.
As much as I love chocolate, I couldn’t choose it. Firstly, it gives me a stomachache (I know. Terrible.). Secondly, I just can’t make as many arguments for it. Peanut butter serves as a protein source and as a healthy fat. It could serve as a main course in a meal if it had to. So, really, no contest.
3. Mountain or ocean? You still can’t have both. haha!
Mountain, hands down. I’m not actually a huge fan of the ocean. I do, however, love lakes… and I’m assuming I get both the lake and the mountain here!
Once I got to be a little older (about 10), I spent my summers at a camp with the most stunning view of the mountains over a lake. It remains the most beautiful place in the world to me.
4. If you could live in a different era, which one would it be?
I love this question! I have so many different answers. I think I’d really love the 60s. I love the clothes and I find the politics/ history really compelling.
Look at that. I managed to come across as both superficial and intelligent in once sentence.
5. What president, dead or not, would you like to have lunch with?
Obama. No time like the present.
6. What is your favorite book of all time?
It’s a seven-way tie between all of the Harry Potter books. Actually, it isn’t — I definitely have books in the series that I love more than others. However, it’s the series as a whole that I cherish and return to almost yearly. I can’t help it.
7. You win the lotto, who do you call first?
Ooh, tough one. I’d normally say my mom, but I’m pretty sure Will, one of my best friends, would have gone into it halfway with me… so I guess I’d have to call him!
8. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV? To watch live?
None. Unless we’re counting the football portrayed on Friday Night Lights.
9. What was your favorite cartoon to watch growing up?
I didn’t watch cartoons, really! So I’ll tell you what my favorite childhood movie was, which I watched over and over and over: Peter Pan with Mary Martin.
10. How long have you been best friends with your best friend?
I have a few best friends, which makes this a little tough…
Will, my best friend who lives back on the east coast, has been one of my best friends since I was a senior in college, but we were friends starting my freshman year.
Mark, my roommate, has been one of my best friends also since I was a senior in college — and we were best friends just about immediately.
Lauren, one of the best friends I’ve made since moving to California, has been one of my best friends since we worked together at one of my old jobs — so, for about two years now, I think?
And Tara, whom I don’t speak to all that often but will always count as one of my best friends, is also my oldest friend — we’ve been close since second grade but haven’t actually gone to the same school or lived in the same town since 7th grade. And now we even live on two different continents!
11. What is your favorite comic from the Sunday paper? Come on…I know you still read it!
I don’t. 😦 Sorry! What a lame way for me to end.
Good thing there’s another set!
1. Would you change anything about your high school experience?
Hmm… I’d give myself more confidence. I was awesome. I just didn’t know it yet.
2. What was your first car?
A black Jeep Grand Cherokee. RIP, even though it tried to kill me.
(That’s not mine, it just looks like the one I had.)
3. Did you have a secret hiding place when you were a kid?
Nope! I’ve always preferred being around other people. Pretty sure my parents hid from me, though…
4. Do you know any other languages? Do you wish you could speak any others?
I’m conversational in French, though it’s been a while. I’d really like to refresh myself and then become fluent. I’d also like to learn Spanish (so important now that I’m living in LA!) and Italian (since I’m half Italian).
5. Name the top five things on your bucket list.
- Get married
- Have children
- Achieve success and happiness in my career
- Get to a fighting weight and stay there
- Become a regular runner without injuries
I’m simple, but those are probably the top five goals I have in my life right now.
6. Ever have 15 minutes of fame?
Hmm… nope. Not that I know of. This blog is the closest I think I have to that. Totally fine by me.
7. If you could excel at something you currently don’t, what would it be?
I wish I was a better dancer. I’m totally awkward.
8. Would you ever want to write a book? What would it be about?
To be honest? Not really. I have a lot of big goals and a writing book just doesn’t make the cut.
9. What’s your greatest fear?
My family dying. What a downer. Also, fires. Like — the scary ones, not the ones in fireplaces or campfires.
10. What was your favorite grade in school and why?
Probably my senior year. I was most myself that year.
11. Twilight or Hunger Games?
You all know the answer to this! HUNGER GAMES!
I won’t bother with 11 questions of my own, especially since just about all bloggers I know have already been tagged with this.
But I will ask you — choose one question from above and answer below!
I know I’m really focusing on healthy foods right now (as I should usually), but I can’t not share these recipes with you. They’re too good.
Remember how, on New Year’s Eve, my mom made a Chocolate Bundt Cake? [EDIT: I originally said that I made it by accident. Boy, oh, boy did my mom jump on that one. So, to be clear: my mother made it. Hope that clears up any confusion.]
Well, today, you get the recipe for this Chocolate Bundt Cake. On Thursday, you’ll get the homemade whipped cream to go along with it.
The recipe for the cake comes from Debbi Fields’ Great American Desserts and wasn’t changed much, other than taking out one of the flavors (orange) and replacing the glaze with some amazing homemade whipped cream.
I know, right?
Chocolate Bundt Cake
- 6 oz unsweetened chocolate
- 16 tbs (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus 1 tbs for buttering the pan
- 3 cups sugar, plus 2 tbs for sugaring the pan
- 1 tbs pure vanilla extract
- 6 large eggs (at room temp)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup sour cream
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and sugar the 10-inch, 3 quart bundt pan.
In a microwave-safe bowl covered in plastic wrap, heat the chocolate in a microwave on high for 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until smooth.
Cream butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add vanilla and beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating for 20 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the bowl and add the warm chocolate.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in thirds, alternating with the sour cream. Beat for 45 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the bowl and scrape the batter into the pan. Smooth the top.
Bake for 55-60 minutes. The top of the cake should feel soft when pressed and a cake tester should come out moist when inserted in the center.
Cool the cake, still in its pan, on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then turn int out of the pan and cool to room temperature.
I’d be willing to bet you could get a proposal out of a guy on Valentine’s Day if you made this for him. 🙂
Check back on Thursday for the recipe for the homemade whipped cream to go along with the cake!
So. I gained some weight over the holidays. I think a lot of us did, but I took it really personally. Like, I got mad at my body and mad at myself.
The weight I gained was largely gained in the month of December. And, my friends, it wasn’t pretty. As I rang in the new year, I felt really weird about how I looked and felt.
Sometimes, though, hitting a point like that can be a good thing. It’s a good way to reflect on your habits. And, with some awesome New Year’s Resolutions in place, which I have fully kept up with since I started on January 3rd, I’ve already lost all of the weight I gained in December.
Thank the lord.
You see, I allowed myself two full days of moping. When I realized that my pants were more than a little snug and that the chubby cheeks I kept seeing in the mirror were not a fluke or a result of flawed mirrors but, in fact, how I was looking, I started feeling kind of sorry for myself and then a little angry at myself. But then, I realized that I’m human, it was the holidays, I hadn’t been able to work out, and moping was going to get me absolutely nowhere.
You know what does get me somewhere? Eating healthy. Treating my body right. Exercising (when I can). I know. Revolutionary blogging right here, folks.
I’ve decided to write out my new (but not really — just re-established, other than a few new ones) healthy living rules. I thought I’d write them out here for you and in case I ever need a reminder.
My (New)(ish) Healthy Living Rules for 2012:
- Try to stick with clean foods
- Eat lots of fruit and lots of vegetables
- Avoid preservatives and chemicals when possible
- Avoid fake foods when possible (no more Splenda!)
- Avoid processed foods with words I don’t understand
- Eat organic when possible
- Continue to be a Vegetarian (for as long as it makes sense, anyway)
- Eat lots of beans, eggs, fish and protein powder to keep up my protein sources
- Avoid soy at see how my body responds to it for a while (this has been new for me!)
- Desserts are a treat for once in a while, not for every night
As for fitness, I need to be a little more flexible, considering my circumstances. That being said…
My Fitness Goals for 2012:
- Do my PT exercises at home every day!
- For as long as I’m running around at work for 11+ hours a day, I don’t need to worry about cardio. But on the days I’m not doing that, the bike has been a really great cardio exercise for my knee.
- Regularly do strength training for my arms and abs
- Start doing yoga with Mark on a regular basis.
- When I can afford it, take Pilates. The classes I’ve taken so far have been so wonderful, but it is really expensive!
- When I can, I’m going to go back to the gym with the same consistency I used to (which sounds like HEAVEN right now!!!). Realistically, I’m thinking this will be in March or April.
- Once I’m back in shape, I’m going to start P90X as long as I’m allowed to. This will likely be a summertime endeavor.
Dare I say that this year might be my fittest year yet? I’m getting my body back, damnit. Maybe even better than before.
What are your healthy living rules?
Remember how one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to figure out a better and more consistent format of blogging?
Well, good news. I think I’ve figured out how to do it.
Here’s my tentative structure:
Mondays: Posts about my life/ Snapshots from my phone
Tuesdays: Recipes/ Exercise/ Healthy Living Posts**
Wednesdays: What I Ate Wednesday, which is something I’ve seen on other blogs. I’m also definitely going to be including workouts.
Thursdays: Recipes/ Exercise/ Healthy Living Posts**
Fridays: Friday Fun mixed in with other thematic posts
**When I say “recipes,” I don’t necessarily mean my own (more on that later). And by “exercise posts,” I mean I might post about my workouts, And by “healthy living posts,” I mean I might be posting about new healthy practices that have worked out for me or that I’m trying. I am definitely planning on posting at least one new recipe per week.
What do you think? I think this has elements of KWH throughout the year and a half I’ve been doing it – from when I was one of the bloggers who needed to post every morsel of food that went into my mouth, to my recipe blogging side, to my workout-loving side, to my lifestyle posting side, to the side of the me that sometimes posts about funny videos or that new beer that Hanson is making.
Basically, this allows me to show all sides of KWH while providing a little structure.
So, if you’re on board, I’m on board. And I think we all know I tend to break my own rules when it suits me, so I’m sure I won’t always stick to this. But I’m intrigued to see how this new format suits both me and you guys.
So, next Wednesday, you’ll be seeing the first WIAW!
Let me know what you think? Are there any other thematic posts you’d like to see?
P.S. — Don’t forget to enter the Chobani Giveaway!
In my family, Christmas Eve is as much as a holiday as Christmas itself is.
It’s also arguably one of my busiest days of the year. Case in point: I made an effort, that morning, to capture photos of all of our Christmas decorations. It looks like this is the only one I got.
Thank goodness for coffee, right?
My last Christmas cup of the year! I love these cups. I got my regular holiday drink — a grande soy latte with one pump of peppermint. I’ll miss those.
So, why did I need all of that caffeine? My family had lots and lots of last-minute Christmas shopping to do. 🙂
This year, we actually finished early because we’d gotten a lot of shopping done the day before — something new for us!
Good thing, because it let us start our cocktail drinking early. 😉
This year, our drink of choice was orange vodka with fresh-squeeze orange juice and orange slices.
And they allowed for lots of family affection.
We spent our evening with my Dad’s side of the family for dinner, for which my mom made her traditional and amazing lasagna. This was my first year as a vegetarian, which means it was my first year having just the vegetable lasagna. I felt in no way, shape or form deprived. 🙂
After my dad’s family left, we started a new tradition: decorating the tree on Christmas Eve! This is something we usually have done weeks ahead of time, but now that we’re all around the world, my mom waited for us to do it.
That way, we each get to hang “our” ornaments. This is one of mine:
And then, it was bedtime! The stockings were hung with care…
… and from there, it was time to simply anticipate Christmas. 🙂
I realize I haven’t posted about how I’m doing, post-surgery-wise, in a while.
That’s also a good thing because I very much wanted to post today but find myself away from a computer all day today! This post will be brief and nearly picture-less, but whatever.
So, overall, the recovery has gone well — as in, I’m recovering. The surgery was successful and now I’m just focusing on getting back to normal (whatever that is).
That’s meant lots of physical therapy, for sure.
Here’s what you may not know about PT: it’s painful. Seriously, it feels so counter-intuitive because you have to keep doing things that feel painful.
I was kind of bad about doing my exercises for a while, but I’ve gotten a lot better about it — even when it’s meant staying up late and waking up early to get them in.
Be proud of me. This is a big step in the right direction!
Speaking of exercises, I’ve moved up in the world. I’m now doing squats. Squats! Oh, how I’ve missed them so.
Squats are also, perhaps, my most important exercise right now. Why? The clicking. Allow me to explain.
You see, when it’s not one thing with my knee, it’s another. Now, one of the many reasons I went into surgery in the first place is because I hate the damn clicking. I hate it. I hate it So. Much.
I think you get how I feel.
Anyway, I got really upset a few weeks ago when I started walking up stairs again and found that my knee was still clicking. I actually started to get very nervous that my knee hadn’t been fixed.
Thankfully, my ever-wonderful PT again came to my rescue and assuaged my concerns. As it turns out, the clicking is not a sign that the menisectomy failed, but instead that I had something else wrong with my knee.
So, the bad news is that there’s more that’s wrong. But the good news is that it’s totally fixable through physical therapy. It’s just going to take a little while and some work. It’s okay. I can handle that. But anyway, that’s what those squats are for.
And thus, I have been a squatting machine. I will do anything to rid myself of the stupid click I hear and feel with every step of my right leg on stairs.
I’m sure you can understand.
Anyway, overall, I’m good. I actually doubled my recovery time because I have a job in which I stand a lot and like to run around, so… Whoops. Oh well. I should be back to normal in January.
In the meantime, I’m just glad to be wearing normal clothes and cute shoes again.
I cannot wait to wear heels again. Don’t tell my physical therapist.