Saturday, July 30, 2011

Moving Isn’t Easy

Today was the day!  I moved to a brand new city!

The day started out at 7:30a.  Jack and I got up and stripped the bed.  We packed up the bathroom and some odds and ends before Joshua arrived with the trailer.  We started by moving the big furniture like the couch, mattress, and box springs and followed that with boxes and somehow we still couldn’t move fast enough.  We ended up being a half hour late for the move-out inspection though the apartment passed with flying colors.  It took another hour to strap everything in and finally get on the road.


Confession: I broke down as we were driving away from my old apartment.  Our caravan passed the city limits and I lost it.  Tears, sobs, puffy red cheeks, you name it.  I suppose it was time.  I hadn’t really let myself feel the loss, persay, of the move so it was only a matter of time before all the emotions welled up beyond what I could suppress.  I was reminded of my mom who always told me she cried her way to Ohio when we moved when I was six years old.  I finally get what she was going through.

The trip down was eventful in the worst way.  Eight miles down the highway, Jack spotted that the blue tarp had ripped so we had to stop and retie everything.  At this point we decided this was not going to be a happy highway trip so we switched to back roads (and consequently added 20 minutes to the trip) and didn’t go over 50mph.  At one point two clothes carrying boxes flew out of the trailer.  This gave me a heart attack but Jack stopped and ran back to get them.  Thank the Lord.  In all, I’m fairly sure I aged two or seven years in those 75 minutes but in the end, we got everything to the new apartment in more or less one piece.

We unloaded the whole kit and kaboodle in 2.5 hours!  Keep in mind it took us four to load everything so this “short” amount of time was a God-send.  Jack had to depart in the middle for a bachelor party on the outskirts of the city so Joshua and I finished off everything and then to celebrate being fully moved in (and by that I mean the boxes are on the 10th floor…not unpacked) we headed to The Cheesecake Factory.  After all, even though today was moving day we weren’t about to miss celebrating National Cheesecake Day!  Oh no, certainly not.


The restaurant was running a special: half price cheesecake slices, one per person, dine in only.  As a result, they had a major wait (we were standing around for an hour) but we were dead set on this meal.  When we sat down, we were greeted with a much needed bread basket.


Can you tell we largely preferred the dark honey wheat bread?  It was great.  We left the sourdough (I think that’s what it was) alone after trying a bit each.  After perusing the extensive menu, we decided on entrees.  I got the Boston House Salad: boston lettuce, bacon, egg, bleu cheese, croutons, and ranch dressing.  I subbed goat cheese for the bleu and had them hold the croutons picked out the croutons.  Also, I went with their mustard vinaigrette instead of the heavier ranch choice.  Ladies and gentleman, this was an APPETIZER salad…


…and it was easily the size of my head.  For real.  Seriously though, if you get the salad, sub in goat cheese.  It made the whole thing beyond stellar.


Joshua got one of the specials on the night: Pecan Encrusted Catfish.  It was served with garlic red mashed potatoes and some kind of corn succotash with zucchini and squash.


I could have easily downed a whole plate of the succotash and probably would have asked them to replace the potatoes with it.  Also, hint, a squeeze of lemon on the catfish takes the whole dish to another level.  It was awesome.

We took our time with dinner and finally made it to the dessert menu.  After careful, careful, thoughtful deliberation we chose the following decadence:


We were originally caught between two versions of the classic peanut butter and chocolate combo and our server was very helpful in our final decision.


Oh. My. Wow. Get. In. My. Tummy.

You would think these babies would have disappeared in ten seconds but no, we restrained ourselves and took it bit by bit.  We savored every bite.  And yes, they were well worth it.  The Adam’s was nice and peanut buttery with hunks of candy bits.  The whip cream didn’t add a whole bunch but the peanut butter fudgy icing on top was fantastic.  The White Chocolate Macadamia was a refreshing change.  It was lighter than the Adam’s but the caramel made it feel insanely rich.  The white chocolate cheesecake base wasn’t a great stand alone but with the nuts and caramel all together, it was a bite of goodness, for sure.

We parted ways after dinner and I came home to make the bed and blog.  I have decided to tackle everything tomorrow.  It can all wait.  I’m not sure how breakfast is going to work without dishes but we shall see.

G’night one and all!  Sleep tight!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Rest Days and Farewell Fondues

Before I launch into the day’s events, something has been on my mind for a while so I figured I would get that out there for you all:

Rest days are hard for me to take.  I admit I have to force myself to not exercise at least once a week because I know it is better for my body to have a day to recover.  However, I don’t always rest on the same day or even after the same number of days of activity.  I normally plan my rest days around big meals out at restaurants or events like weddings.  If I know I have a few days in a row that I am going to be consuming presumably more than normal I choose to make those days when I get a bunch of physical activity in.  If I’m just hanging out in my normal routine, eating my own stuff, I am a bit more at ease with taking a rest day.

For instance, this past week with graduation and parties and dinners out with friends has been fairly caloric (and just wait until you see what’s in store tonight!) so I have been working out every single day.  I realized today that my body was really tired and sore and it had been 8 days in a row without a rest day.  With that in mind, I decided tomorrow, the day of my move, will be a rest day and I won’t fret about getting up super early to run before packing up the trailer and hitting the road.  As you can see, my rest days are necessarily sit around and do nothing.  They typically involve a walk with Jack, or in the case of tomorrow, a move where I am toting boxes around and such.  Being still slightly active makes me feel a bit better about taking rest days so that’s how I choose to roll.

In the end, yes, I do need rest days.  They are super important in the grand scheme of things.  My muscles need time to repair and my body needs time to recuperate.  I get that.  I also acknowledge that its hard for me to do this.  It is something I am working on a bunch and I have made significant progress with it.  So tomorrow I won’t run or hit the gym but I will move myself into a great new apartment and spend time with my friends.  This is not the end of the world, it’s only the beginning of something new and the road will still be there the next day.  It’s not going to disappear.  In fact, the roads I’ll be running on after tomorrow are brand new to me.  I have never run in this part of the city, or in any part really, so I’ll take my rest day and then wake up and hit the town fresh to start my explorations.  Sounds like a plan to me!


To kick off the day I ran to the gym, did 20 minutes on the elliptical, some weights, then 15 minutes on the stationary bike, then ran home.  Now hungry and sweaty, I downed my breakfast which consisted of oats, yogurt, milk, chocolate protein powder, chia seeds, and really ripe bananas.  I topped it with chocolate crispy oats cereal and peanut butter sauce (yay for Bell Plantation PB2!).  It was a great way to refuel and get me pumped for packing.  Well, it did the first part of its job, let’s be honest.


After a quick shower, the kitchen was calling “PACK ME!” so we taped up boxes and got going.  We made great progress and eventually the whole apartment was packed.  It’s amazing how everything can be packed up and put away yet the whole place still looks so darn messy.


Can you tell I’m a compulsive labeler?  My thought: if you know exactly what’s in the box, unpacking is so much easier.

I can’t wait to get it all into the cars/trailer so it won’t be piled everywhere.  However, once everything is out, that means it’s cleaning time.  From what I remember of last time, cleaning wasn’t too terrible and didn’t take too long.  Hopefully the same remains true about tomorrow.  The move out appointment is at 12:30 and we have a moving elevator scheduled for 2:30 down at the new place.  If we leave on time we should get down just in time to sign the lease, get the keys, and start moving things up to the 10th floor.  Yay for the view!

Well, that isn’t my exact view but its pretty close!

Lunch fell by the wayside amidst the packing and the boxes and the clutter but apples were consumed and Jack had some leftovers from the fridge.  Dinner, however, mooooooooore than made up for the lack of afternoon sustenance.  That is because tonight was Fireproof and Farewell Fondue night!

The first course was the cheese course.  We made a goat/italian blend cheese fondue and had all sorts of veggies and bread for dippers.  The goat cheese’s moisture caused some gelling issues in the fondue but it still tasted great.  The chives and shallots gave the whole thing a great flavor.  Plus, we’re not picky about how it looks as long as what goes in our mouths is yummy.


The second course consisted of proteins.  We cubed chicken, mahi mahi, and lamb for boiling as well as broccoli and potatoes.  The broth was a homemade veggie broth mixed with merlot and some italian seasonings.  It turned everything purple!!!  Like I said, we didn’t mind the color because the broth conveyed a great flavor to the main course.


The final course came in two parts.  The first was a milk chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter, and maple fondue.  Sounds like a lot but it was nice and fudgy almost.  Our dipper array was terrific featuring everything from animal crackers to Reese’s cups. 


The second part of the final dessert course was a coconut cajeta chocolate fondue.  Sadly we didn’t read the recipe close enough to make it properly so it ended up very watery.  I added more dark chocolate (which we replaced the bittersweet with) and that helped though it was markedly more liquidy than the first chocolate fondue.  This was probably for the best because having a heavy part two would have been disastrous being so late in the night.


In between courses we watched Fireproof and let our tummies settle.  All in all it was a fantastic farewell dinner.  The winning creation of the night was this tasty monster:


I devoured mine.  Faster than you can say “Holy yum!” and got a little messy in the process.  I honestly couldn’t bring myself to care.  I was too far on my way to Heaven.

S'more Collage

And with that, I say goodnight.  Tomorrow is going to be one heck of a day and it starts early.  See you on the other side.  I’ll be reporting from a brand new city!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Last Day of Work

I cannot believe it was my final day of work at the hotel today.  You know I swear that the world just knows when you are having “too good” of a day.  I got through seven and a half hours, yes I was almost DONE with work here forever, and the shift crumbled.  A guest wanted to play a gaming console through a certain input on the TV, an input we couldn’t get the TV to produce.  After trying 8 different solutions, I had to change the TV with another one from a separate room.  Ugh.  It took forever, it was heavy, and it was at 10:55p.  Lordie!  Thankfully it worked and that resolved the situation.  Also, all night I was getting complaints about the internet speed being crap and there was nothing I could do about it.  Our provider was having problems.  Its amazing how many people don’t accept that is isn’t our problem.  I can only apologize so much…

On a happier note, packing went really well today.  The art came off the walls (man, its incredible how much less lived in the place feels with bare walls) and the wine bottle collection got packed.




Odds and ends from the kitchen also found their way into boxes though the majority of that haul will happen tomorrow.  Bits and bobs from various cupboards and such also got packed up.  All in all progress was made and the apartment continues to look like a hurricane has swept through.


Before all this got going, we woke up to UPS dropping off Comcast equipment return boxes.  After getting up and popping an unsulphured apricot, I did a two mile run.  It was slow and sluggish and sore.  A rest day is in order in the form of a no-run, no-gym, just-moving-boxes Saturday.  When I returned home, I was greeted with a smoothie of frozen banana, pineapple, mango, papaya, and strawberries with Life’s Basic’s 5 Fruit protein powder and almond milk.


I love that the smoothie basically blends into the bowl.  It makes me feel so matchy-matchy.  This concoction was in the freezer during my run so it sort of looked like deep-ice fishing while I was eating it.


For lunch, Jack and I took a break from the messy apartment and went to Panera.  I had been craving a bread bowl filled with french onion soup so that is exactly what I ordered.


Jack got a chicken caesar salad and a ham and swiss (which was initially devoid of either of the two main ingredients until he took it back and got some slices of each) sandwich on rye bread.  I’ll admit the best part of the bread bowl experience is the soggy soaked-with-soup bread that you get to pull apart and chew.  Love.  <3

At work I snacked on green peppers, celery, and carrots with baba ghanoush to dip and then had a dinner of a cereal mess (chocolate crispy oats, Fiber One Honey Squares, wheat puffs, chia seeds) mixed with plain yogurt.  On the side were some honey roasted peanuts, peanut butter filled pretzels, and dark chocolate covered espresso beans.


For dessert, in the midst of the crazy TV crap and believe me this timing was essential to my sanity, I had another piece of delectable homemade fudge from my best friend.  Yes, I still ate it with a spoon so I would draw out the experience.

With that ladies and gentlemen, I am off to finish Burn Notice and head to bed (its calling me pretty loudly).  Tomorrow we tackle the kitchen and start to pack both of our cars.  With everything being completely put away, we are doing dinner over at my Joshua’s house (he’s the fudge maker) to save a bit of money and avoid going out the night before the big move.

G’night all!

Food for Thought: You know how if you break a mirror it’s seven years bad luck… So does that mean that if you drop a mirror and it DOESN’T break, its seven years good luck??

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pancake Powered Packing!

Like normal, I started the day off with a workout.  I jogged to the gym and was pleasantly surprised to be allowed in again.  The graduate school hadn’t shut down my ID yet so I jumped on to the elliptical for 25 minutes and then hit the weight room.

  • Oblique Twists: 3x70lbs
  • Tricep Press: 3x50lbs
  • Overhead Press: 3x40lbs
  • Seated Leg Press: 3x55lbs
  • Dead Lifts: 3x20lb free weights

I jogged back from the gym, totaling 1.5 miles, and made pancakes because I was hungry and my muscles were screaming PROTEIN PLEASE!!!  I obliged them with these babies:


Chai Protein Pancakes for One
A DNA and Dessert original recipe.

45g white/wheat flour mix
15g chai protein powder (Spiru-tein works great!)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp Stevia
1/2 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)

How to:
1. Combine all the dry ingredients and mix well.
2. Add milk.  The batter will be a bit lumpy and fairly thick.  If you like thinner pancakes, add water.
3. Using a 1/4 cup measure, drop batter onto a medium-heated skillet and flip when the batter looks congealed.  It will most likely not bubble.
4. Enjoy!  Top with your favorite things.  I used three kinds of homemade peanut butter, some maple syrup, and some chia seeds for extra nutritional oomph.

Now that I have you salivating…how about an ever pressing packing update?!  Just what you wanted, I know, I know.

All lamps with boxes have been taken down and boxed.  The bathroom has been cleared except for those things we use on a daily basis (toothbrushes, etc).  My room is all boxed up and is also playing host to a variety of boxes and such.  I can’t even get out of bed on my side that’s how crowded it is!  The kitchen table has been semi-cleared (kitchen packing en masse is happening on Friday since we need to be able to cook and eat right up until we leave).  All knick-knacks from the top of the entertainment center, minus the wine bottle collection, have been packed.  Living room odds and ends are boxed.

So far so good, though I admit I was not Miss Sunshine while doing all this…

Besides my stellar breakfast, eats for the rest of the day while packing and while at work (second to last day!!!) included a turkey, bacon, and Italian blend cheese melt sandwich; a cereal mess with wheat puffs, Fiber One Honey Squares, rice Chex, and chocolate crispy oats (it was supposed to be mixed with yogurt but I forgot it at home and had to use 2% milk from the fridge at work); a repeat meal of 3 Cheese Hamburger Helper with ground turkey and cauliflower; and homemade fudge.

IMG_2305  IMG_2307

IMG_2308   IMG_2309

It amuses me that I eat mac and cheese with chopsticks and fudge with a spoon.  I think I do it because it makes me eat slower and savor eat bite a lot more.  I will say that guests at the hotel come to the desk while I’m eating dinner and often make funny comments about the chopsticks like “Man, I can’t eat with chopsticks.  You must be so coordinated!”  These at least, if nothing else, make me smile.

Now readers, I’m off to finish up Royal Pains and Necessary Roughness before bed so I can repeat today starting tomorrow morning.  I shall leave you with my fun fact of the day: You can forward your mail by changing your address online at!  You don’t have to go to the post office.  How’s that for convenient?

Change of Address

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mac n’ Cheese Kind of Day

What a day…in both a good and a bad way.

Funnies first, shall we?  [Source]

I woke up and started my day with a pickle and a 5K.  The temperature was decent though checking the forecast made me glad I was up running before 10am.

7_26 Weather

This was my third 3+ miler in four days and boy does it feel totally awesome.  I have challenged myself to turn my half-marathon into a full marathon within the same deadline period.  I am at 18.2 miles with an average pace of an 8:49 minute mile.  At this rate, a full marathon shouldn’t be a problem.  I’ll admit it will be cool to do the latter half of it in my brand new city after the move on Saturday.

When I got home I was sweaty and ravenous.  Breakfast was my favorite thing recently: cold oats!  I used chocolate protein powder and the remainder of the strawberries from the fridge.  For some crunch I topped it with cereal and two kinds of peanut butter for protein.  <3


By the way, that awesome orange cup in the background is indeed as big as it looks.  It holds 32 ounces and I drank two straight after coming back from my run.  Helped to wash down breakfast and rehydrate me after my 3.1 miles.

The rest of the day consisted of some pretty deep talks and some tears.  Emotions have been running really high around here in part due to the move.  Everyone is stressed and things looked bleak today though I recognize it was probably blown out of proportion because of impending events.

Continuing in our mission to clean out the freezer, fridge, and pantry, Jack and I made lunch together.  I had to work at 3p so on days like this when we can’t make dinner as a team, we try and still get a meal in.


Ground turkey + 3 Cheese Hamburger Helper + broken up raw cauliflower = mac n’ cheese number one on the day!  I spiced it up with chili, garlic, and onion powders and some paprika.  I used to be able to eat meals like this as is but since I’ve been cooking more spices are pretty much my best friends.  Can’t live without ‘em.

I left early to mail a book and get to work on time.  My whole shift was quiet except for feeling sick/hungry pretty much straight from 4-7:30.  I even drank a banana mixed berry smoothie at 5 and it didn’t help.  I hate times like that when you just can’t manage to assuage your stomach.  Finally when it settled on its own, I sprung for dinner: mac n’ cheese number two.


Let us just say that Jack has a thing for doctoring up boxed Kraft and I have a thing for eating his creations with chopsticks.  This mix had sautéed onions, spinach, and chicken sausage along with a whole range of spices for flavor.  I’m fairly sure sautéed and slightly burnt onions are my FAV addition to cheesy pastas…or anything probably.  It was great though with my stomach being stupid, I was still slightly hungry afterwards.

The quietness continued and after I mopped the floors, I treated myself to a block of my best friend’s signature fudge.


Confession: In order to make it last longer, I ate this piece in >15 bites.  I savored every single second it.  And promptly wanted more.  Good thing I only packed one piece.

On the whole, today was difficult and little packing progress was made but sometimes you have to go through the hard times to get to the good times.  Let me just keep saying that to myself.  It’ll sink in, I swear.  Have a lovely night everyone and I will catch you tomorrow for Humpday Wednesday!

P.S. This is my first post composed using Windows Live Writer at the recommendation of Miss Julie and her Blog Talk Tuesdays.  At the moment the jury is still out.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Things About Moving You Forget

Packing, packing, packing.

Boxes, boxes, boxes.

Those are the things you always think of when moving.  You forget that there are utilities to be taken care of and addresses to be forwarded.  That is what I tackled today.

Technically number one was addressed today too but I can't actually schedule a cancel of service for Friday on a Monday (aka today).  Ergo, I shall call on Friday and have it cancelled the same day.  I have yet to set a forwarding address because I'm trying to be economical about my trip to the post office and I'm saving it for tomorrow when I have to head there anyways to mail a book for PaperBackSwap.

Number four involved loans, money, grrr.  In order to go to the school where I'm going to study genetic counseling I have to take out loans like so many other students.  I hate the idea but I also want this degree more than anything.  Hence, I am doing everything in my power to get the best interest rates and make this as painless as possible.  I'll admit, that makes one of us.  Discover Student Loans called me this morning asking to check in and it turns out that they have been missing critical information for almost a month! To make matters worse, their online interface which is my only means of tracking their progress...

...was apparently WRONG!  How incredibly unhelpful is that?  If this is honestly going to be the singular way of letting the applicant stay up-to-date with their application, to have it be incorrect seems a crime.  I was less than happy for sure.  Apparently my school certification was delayed and not "completed" as advertised.  Never-the-less, I managed to get them straightened out today so I put that in the DONE column.

Before all of this phone work began I kicked my behind at the gym.  Because I was a graduate on Saturday I wasn't sure that I would be able to use my school's gym.  Hoping that my ID wasn't deactivated quite yet I jogged to the gym and thankfully I was allowed in.  25 minutes on the elliptical later I went down the weight room and did the following:
  • Chest Press: 3x40lbs
  • Hip Abductor: 3x45lbs
  • Hip Adductor: 3x20lbs
  • Oblique Twist: 3x65lbs
  • Rows: 3x40lbs
  • Fly: 3x55lbs
After finishing this baby up, I headed home at a nice 7mph pace.  All in all I ended up jogging about 1.54 miles to and from the gym.  This coupled with the in-gym workout meant that my day was off to a great start. It also meant that I was famished when I arrived home and was ready for some eats!

Breakfast consisted of a big bowl of cold oats.  In the mix: 1/4 cup oats, 1/2 cup almond milk, 40g (a little less than half a 1/3 cup) nonfat plain yogurt, 5g chocolate protein powder, 7g (heaping half tbsp) chia seeds.  I mixed in blueberries and strawberries and topped it with regular and coconut white chocolate peanut butter. Cool thing about the latter, the coconut butter in the peanut butter makes it seize up when the peanut butter hits the cold oats.  It produces a really cool texture.

Lunch was a sampler plate eaten among boxes on the floor while figuring out how I wanted to pack away my desk materials.

I enjoyed the cauliflower, celery, carrots, grape tomatoes and hummus mixed with a bit of curry and garlic powders.  To finish I had two unsulphured, dried apricots and then it was back to the grind of getting ready for the move.

To cancel out the humdrum of packing, Jack and I took a walk and my best friend from Ohio called me.  Boy did we have a lot to talk about and speaking of catching up, my best friend got home from vacation the day before my graduation and we went to dinner tonight to spend some time talking.  We picked out Teppanyaki, a Chinese buffet, and had wayyyy too much though we did spend two and a half hours there.  To start off we tried something neither of us had ever had before:


All you could taste was the hot pepper flavor of the cold sauce on it and it was terribly chewy.  To be honest it was like chewing rubber.  Perhaps it was overcooked, perhaps that is what it is supposed to be like.  Who knows?  I don't.  To lift our spirits after that we tackled the sushi bar.  This was hands-down the prettiest part of the meal.  Like I said earlier, sushi is art.

When we arrived back at my apartment my best friend gave me a graduation gift for my new apartment.  It was wrapped in Christmas paper so we just said it was Christmas in July like so many people randomly celebrate.  It worked for me especially since I just ripped off the paper in order to get to the gift beneath.

I am always cooking, thinking up recipes, figuring out the calories in certain dishes, etc so this white board for the fridge was the perfect thing.  I can keep everything right in the kitchen and the cork-board side will give me a place to put important stuff like invitations and coupons.  =D

Tomorrow I work in the afternoon so the morning will be filled with, you guessed it, packing more boxes.  I keep reminding myself I just need to get through this week and the fact that I can't see the floor is not a condition that is going to last forever.  I'm coming to find that it's not the packing that is super stressful, it's the fact that everything looks cluttered all the time!  Oh well, just 4 more days until the move.

Have a great night and a fantastic Tuesday until we meet again!
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