the thoughts in my head

  1. I think fashion education should be part of basic education. Like, there are certain styles that don’t look good on certain body types. Everything in the photo above is wrong (I love that I found a reason to post this picture). Nylons (stockings, pantyhose, whatever you want to call them), should not be worn with sandals and socks should not be worn with pumps, and pumps should not be worn with sweat pants (especially cropped ones) and tube tops should not be worn with…anything. And knee highs always make a statement, and that statement is usually, “What the hell were you thinking?”
  2. I forgot how much I love that I speak French. And when I say love, I mean love. Seriously. I’m only taking one class this semester with all of the grad school applying that needs to be happening, and that class is French for Business. I started to get really nervous yesterday, before class. It’s been 6 years since I took any kind of French class. Sure, I have the occasion to speak/read/hear it now and then, but not for 75 minutes straight and not the parlance of business. So, while introducing myself and sharing my background made me really, really nervous, I was so pleased to discover that I understood my professor perfectly…jokes and all. I don’t know how many of you speak a foreign language, but there is something so amazing about getting jokes in another language. I love it. I love speaking French. I love that, because of my GMAT score, I might be able to go to a school that offers an exchange with a French school. I love that I might be able to go work in France for a few years. I’m just excited.
  3. The world is such a small place…especially when you’re taking an advanced language course at the university I’m at. There’s a girl in my class who went to Madagascar on a mission for my church. I was curious to know if she perhaps knew Cropstar, as that’s where she went on a mission, as well. Turns out she’s really good friends with her.
  4. I have a work crush. It makes my daily life much more enjoyable. And the best part is, he will never become a possibility because I’m not only not interested in him (I don’t know him well enough, nor will I, to ever be truly interested and I have no intention of sharing with anyone who it is because, well, that’s the only way to ensure that my work crush doesn’t turn into an awkward and uncomfortable situation…as they are wont to do when you tell someone), but I am also not interested in a relationship period, which brings me to number five.
  5. For the first time in my life (okay, not life, but the last, oh, 15 years), I am really not interested in dating. At all. It’s a strange feeling. I wish I could explain it. It’s peaceful, and happy, and calm. With this whole grad school thing, I have felt really strongly that that is where my focus should be. Period. And I’ve also felt that there won’t be any boys during the next three years of my life (and yes, I will always refer to them as boys…it’s a family trait…but I do mean “men”). Well, there will be boys, but not in that sense. I know that might sound weird and I know things can change, but for right now, that’s how I feel. I love it.
  6. I went to a religion class last night. It’s a bunch of single people from several different wards/congregations. It was fantastic. My former bishop is teaching it. He is amazing. My favorite thing about him is that he is real. There’s no sugar coating. There’s no pretending that life is always sunshine and roses. But he’s not a Debbie Downer, either. He’s just real. He was talking about reading the Old Testament from cover to cover tonight and basically said it was an excruciating experience. How could I not love a class taught by this man? I so value real.
  7. While I’m excited about my prospects in the school department, I’m also terrified. I’m scared of being a little fish in a big pond. I’m scared of failing. I’m scared of not getting into the school I want to go to, but I’m also scared of getting into it. Basically, I’m just scared. But fear has never stopped me, so onward I go.
  8. I was driving around yesterday thinking about how much I enjoy driving and then thinking about how much I will miss having a car if I move to New York or Chicago. While I have lived without one and I actually really enjoy public transportation (when it’s good and convenient), I love the solitude of driving. Then I thought about going to the Met and just sitting for hours in front of a painting. Perhaps I won’t miss driving as much as I think I will.
  9. I’m not going to WWs today. Not because I don’t want to. Sure, I’ve had a week full of crappy food consumption, but for the first time ever, I just don’t care. Not in an “I don’t care if I’m fat” way, but a “Yes, I am human and I am finally willing to admit it…for five minutes” way. I just have something to do that supersedes the WW. I do have some thoughts, though, so I’ll go ahead and share those during my regularly scheduled post.
  10. I’m going to be auntie…again. Which I already knew, but yesterday was the ultrasound and they found out that “it” is a “she”. I’m going to have a new niece. They have a name all picked out. I won’t be sharing it because it’s not mine to share, but it’s very cute.

www – week 4

Another week down…and it was a good one!

First, a few little tidbits about the things I am learning and loving.

1. Skinny Cow Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Sandwiches. I am loving these. They are three points, which may seem like a lot. But, for a girl who LOVES ice cream, I think these are fantastic.

2. My salad spinner is my new best friend. Oh, how I miss the days of my Williams-Sonoma discount. And yes, it is just Williams-Sonoma, not Williams and Sonoma. The salad spinner makes washing all types of lettuce (or herb) ├╝ber convenient and ensures that you won’t have water logged produce. Every household in Europe has one, so I’m not sure why they haven’t caught on here…although I have a few theories, most of which include fast food.

3. Good knives are also hi on my friends list. Seriously, they make such a big difference. Since I’m cooking a lot more than I have in the past year, and cutting up lots of vegetables, herbs, etc., having good knives is key. Even if you can only afford one, do it. And then guard it with your life and whatever you do, do not wash it in the dishwasher. No. Matter. What. As a first (and possible only) good knife, I highly recommend a santoku. The link takes you to a particular one, but really, Henkels, Wustof, or Global are all good brands. I also recommending purchasing that knife at Williams-Sonoma, not just because I worked there. Their customer service is amazing. I’ve had two knives that had some rust issues, and they exchanged them, no questions asked. And it wasn’t at the store where I had worked, either.

4. Cold Stone makes me happy. I went twice this week. How can I go to Cold Stone twice in one week and think that I’m going to lose weight? I just adjusted. Cold Stone has these Healthy Indulgences, as they call them. I love the Sinless Sweet Cream ice cream with strawberries and coconut. It’s absolutely delicious. And now I get a “Like it!”, instead of a “Love it!”. It’s amazing how the little drops in the bucket add up…or, in this case, taking the little drops out, helps.

5. I tried really hard to stop eating at least two hours before going to bed and that seemed to work well. Plus, I don’t like going to sleep with food in my stomach.

6. Instead of making caramel corn when I was craving it, I made some light microwave popcorn and put a little (very little) butter on it (spray butter would probably have been ideal) and then tossed a couple Tbsp’s of brown sugar on it. I got the salty and sweet without all of the calories.

7. When I got home from the grocery store on Saturday, I went Sharpie happy. What does that mean? I went through every packaged food item and wrote the serving size and the point value on the package. That way, I don’t have to mess with my calculator every time I want to eat something. I can just look at the package. Very, very helpful.

8. I have learned that planning to eat out with friends is essential to my success. I think part of the reason I have failed in the past is that I have altered my lifestyle to the point that I am miserable. Not only am I an emotional eater, I am a social eater (pretty much, I just really enjoy food) and I love that social interaction. I love sharing a good meal with good friends. So, I make sure to plan at least one meal out with friends during the week. This helps both my waistline and my budget. How can eating out help my budget? I’m only doing it once a week (okay, sometimes it’s twice) instead of daily, or sometimes twice a day. And by making sure I have that experience, I don’t feel deprived at all.

9. Buying good ingredients and planning good meals has also been very important. Part of the reason I often like to eat out is that a meal at a restaurant is often more appealing than a tortilla and cheese, or whatever I can throw together. If I actually have meals planned and I make something from a recipe (I’m a good cook, but I struggle without a recipe), I get excited about them, which totally minimizes my desire to eat out. I actually look forward to the cooking experience, because I know my food will taste good.

10. Which leads me to my last tidbit before the reveal…Tandoori-Spiced Grilled Shrimp with Mint-Cilantro Chutney*. This was my favorite meal of the week, which I ended up eating on two separate occasions because it was so good. I just added some grilled tortillas (because I don’t keep a supply of naan on hand) and my meal was complete. It was delicious! As both an Indian and seafood fan, I loved this. And the chutney tastes just like what you get at the restaurants. So, so, so good. And yes, cooking is time consuming, and it feels even more so when cooking for one (which is what I am often doing), but it’s totally worth it when you make good food. Plus, all that time spent in the kitchen makes me feel like I’m doing more eating than I actually am and it allows me to construct new posts in my head and contemplate the meaning of life.

Okay, so now to the good stuff (although I think I lost this much partially because of the puking episode on Wednesday)…I lost 3.6 lbs this week! Bringing the total to…13 lbs in four weeks. I have to say that I am feeling pretty good about things and have not felt deprived at all…but maybe that’s because when the World Class Chocolate was calling out to me last week, I just gave in.

*If you decide to make the shrimp, don’t be intimidated by the whole toasting/grind of the spices. I substituted pre-ground spices for their freshly ground and it still tasted great. I like to cook, but I’m not crazy.

training tidbits

1. Seven mile run in Arizona in June = bad idea. It doesn’t matter that I was up at 6:30 or that most of the run was in the shade, or that I had a water bottle with me. At 6:30, it was already 95 degrees, I don’t care how shady it was, it was still 95 and one water bottle was not enough. Not when it’s gone by mile four because I drank half and poured the other half on my head and the last mile and a half were not in the shade and the temperature had gone up by five degrees in the hour I was running.

2. New shoes are a bad idea for a seven mile run. Granted, I had done a six miler in them, but that was in Utah, where it wasn’t 95. I have my first blisters of the training season…and I was even wearing my lined socks, the ones that have two layers, the ones that are never supposed to give you blisters. Well, I came home with four…two on each foot.

3. I loved the running skirt…for the first two miles. I just need to purchase some anti-chafage stuff and then it will be fantastic (I would love any recommendations). I highly recommend trying one out! I was surprised by how much I loved it, even if it isn’t the cutest thing on me…which brings me to number four.

4. I love that, when I’m running, the last thing I think about is what I look like. I may think about it while I’m getting dressed, but once I’m running, I just don’t care…well, not beyond wanting to make sure I’m not flashing someone.

5. If you are going to run with a dog, make sure it’s one who is used to running as far as you are going. I took my brother-in-law’s dog, Nevica, with me the other day (it was only three miles). He laid down after about two and a half miles. Just stopped cold and laid down. So I dragged him the last little bit (not literally, he got back on his feet) and then he threw up promptly upon arrival back at my sister’s house, the poor thing. And just so you know, my brother-in-law was the one who told me he’d be fine. I never would have taken him had I thought it would cause him to vomit…and yet I have a feeling puking after running is very likely in my future and I keep doing it. Hmm, what does that say about me?

6. I am going to really miss being at my sister’s. She has a pool that I can jump into as soon as I get done running. It’s fantastic! That’s all I thought about during that last mile of the seven.

7. Music really does make a huge difference when running. A few of my recent favorites:
Sexy Back – Justin Timberlake
Find A New Way – Young Love
Hyperlink – Eiffel 65
Don’t Matter – Akon
Freedom 90 – George Michael
Give it to Me – Timbaland feat. Nelly Furtado and JT
Feel Good Inc. – Gorillaz
The Sweet Escape (Konvict Remix) – Gwen Stefani
Where Does the Good Go? – Tegan and Sara
Too Young to Fight – Young Love
Say it Right – Nelly Furtado
Living in a Bubble – Eiffel 65
Irreplaceable – Beyonce

8. And, on the whole music thing, I am once again going to advertise for Nike and Apple. Seriously, the Nike+ with the iPod nano is the best purchase I have made for this whole marathon thing. It’s so nice that I don’t ever have to look at my watch (or the clock on my iPod) because, at every mile, a lovely voice comes on and says, “one mile completed”, or “halfway point”, or “two miles to go”. I love it!

9. If you are a female nonrunner who is thinking about running a marathon, you need to get this book. Anne sent it to me (she’s also training for St. George) and I am loving it! It is informative and hilarious.

conversation

My feet were killing me because I wore my old running shoes yesterday for a five-miler, which was not smart, and then I felt the need to wear pink pumps to work that are normally only slightly uncomfortable. However, today they were completely unbearable.

Cast
Me: Office Manager
Naomi: Former Student Receptionist turned Temporary Head Receptionist
Britney: Student Receptionist

It’s 4:20. We’re at work.

Me (after walking to pull papers off the printer and seeing multiple people on my way there): I’m totally barefoot and no one has even noticed.

Naomi (in British): That’s totally fine.

Me: It’s really not. I’m your boss. I wouldn’t let you walk around barefoot.

Naomi (always in British, because she is British): Seriously it’s fine.

Britney: Except that it’s against the Honor Code.

Me: I should probably put my shoes back on. I don’t want to lose my job.

Naomi: I’d be more concerned about losing your honor.

One of the many reasons I love my job…and my employees.

tuesday tidbits

1. I woke up this morning from a horrific nightmare; kissing someone who a) I never want to kiss and b) is married. It was a horrible way to start the day. How come the only kissing dreams I ever have are nightmares? It’s so not fair! Not to mention the fact that I got very little sleep due to this horrendous cough that I have that will not go away.

2. Both my receptionist and I were in bad moods…and somehow we played off each other to the point of feeling better. Don’t ask me, but something about the emails we sent back and forth…emails that are totally unnecessary since we sit across from each other, made the day much, much better.

3. I had J-Dawg’s for lunch…for the second day in a row. Of course, I didn’t tell any of the people I met there that I had eaten there yesterday. Where’s the fun in that? And for those of you who have yet to eat there, you should really try it. The dawgs are delicious and a great value, I think. I like mine with special sauce, a little bit of mayo (which normally I find kind of repulsive) and kraut. I know, it’s weird, but sooo good.

4. I “met” two very cool bloggers (Cropstar and Annie) today. They are both training for different races, so we got to exchange some running tips. You should check out their sites. I love the way the blogging world works. I get to “meet” and interact with people I might otherwise never meet. I love it!

5. I hired someone today for an open, part-time position, which is nice since I will be down two employees come Tuesday. But then I had to call the other five people I interviewed and tell them they didn’t get the job. That part sucked. There two of the “rejects” that I wish I could have hired. The other three? Well, they were all good. I just wish I could have said to them, “remember when you told me that you have a problem with this or that? Yeah, that’s why you didn’t get hired.” Or, “You know how you didn’t make eye contact with me through the entire interview? That’s why you didn’t get hired.” Not only that, but most of their resumes were turned in on plain white paper and the formatting was pretty bad. Why don’t they teach interviewing and resume writing in high school as a required class? I think that would be a lot more useful than several of the classes I took, like calculus, for instance.

6. I couldn’t wait until work was over so that I could head up the canyon and take some pictures before going on my run. Taking pictures was the motivation to get me up the canyon so that I would go running…and even then, I almost didn’t.

7. While I have almost no control when it comes to spending money, I really enjoy my “toys”, so I guess I’m okay being out of money all the time (even if it does keep me up at night on occasion). Today I was all about my camera and my iPod, although, technically I didn’t spend any money on the latter since I used points from my credit card to get it (I guess I did spend a lot of money to get the points)…but the Nike+ I did purchase, which is 90% of the reason I love my nano.

8. My dad emailed me to give me the confirmation on my motel room in St. George for Friday night (I have an extended family reunion). My dad is hilarious. He listed the info, and the price and then he put in the discount, the “Good Ol’ Dad” discount. Basically, I pay nothing. I then emailed him back and whined about being broke and asked if G.O.D. (yes, that’s the acronym) might want to give his daughter some money for gas. And, surprisingly, he said ‘yes’. I don’t know what his deal is lately, but I’m definitely appreciating his generosity. And, while you all may be thinking about pathetic is for a 29-year-old to ask for gas money from her dad, I have no problem with it.
9. Today, I was loving that fact that I live in Utah. I know, weird. While I wasn’t necessarily loving the “happy valley” aspect, I was loving the fact that I can drive 10 minutes and be in a beautiful canyon with a river and waterfalls and a great biking/running trail . It’s amazing!

10. I attended a forum today on campus. The lecture was entitled “Coaxing the Muse: Thoughts on the Creative Process.” It was fantastic. I love working for a University that offers devotionals and forums and I love that I get paid to go to them. The lecturer gave several pieces of advice for writing, but the two that stuck with me are that you need to read voraciously and write regularly. I wish I had the lecture recorded. It was just that good. He also shared a quote from Picasso that I absolutely love, “I don’t know what inspiration is, but when it comes, I hope it finds me working.” Part of why I love blogging is that it gives me an opportunity to write almost daily.

11. Veronica Mars is now over and I now have no reason to ever watch the CW again. And, while I did enjoy the episode last night, because the CW just decided to cancel it, there was absolutely no closure, zero, zilch, nada. Seriously disappointing. And I loved that they were just calling it the “season finale” and not the “series finale”. Who are they kidding? I loathe the CW. The CW is dead to me.