Friday, August 31, 2012

My Advice - Buy a Canon

Well, it would seem that my camera luck is finally turning around.  

When I was on vacation, my camera started taking really weird look pictures, like I had messed with the color / white balance settings.   

I tried resetting everything.  I tried schmoozing with the guys at Best Buy.  I tried asking my camera-expert friends.  Nothing helped.  

I was so close to buying a new camera (and not telling Dan about it).  

My one last option was to ask Canon.  I went to their website, which was really easy to navigate, and emailed them a description of my problem.  

They sent me a list of things to try in 30 minutes.  I was shocked.  I tried all of their trouble shooting tactics, and again nothing helped.  They said if nothing worked, the next step would be to mail it in.

I figured I would probably get an email 3 months later telling me there wasn't anything they could do to fix it, but at this point I had nothing to lose.  

I mailed the camera in last Friday night (a week ago today).  They emailed me on Tuesday saying they couldn't fix my camera, but they would send me a new one at no charge.  When I got home from work yesterday it was on my front porch.  In less than a week I had a new camera in my hot little hands!  Now that is customer service.  

The moral of the story - if you buy a new camera, buy a Canon.  

Since my trip from Boston, I have been taking pictures with this old camera with the broken screen.

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It works fine, but I can't see what the picture is that I am taking, so I sort of guess and click the button.  Most of my pictures looked like this:  


You have no idea how amazing it is to be able to actually see the picture I am taking.  It is the little things, people.  


Breakfast was a delicious and nutritious greenish bluish brownish monster smoothie.


In the mix - 2 frozen bananas, handful of frozen blueberries, 4 strawberries, a scoop of chocolate protein powder, a cup of milk, a handful of kale, and a tbs of almond butter.  Sipped deliciously on my way to work.

My lunch was leftovers from the first time I had cooked in a while, so it tasted extra good, with a peach and carrots for my afternoon snack.


On my way home from my mid-wife appointment (more on that later), Dan called to ask if he could have friends over for dinner.  

How could I say no to the boy who wants to show off his broccoli for the picture?  (If our daughter is half as cute as him she is going to get whatever she wants.)

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Dan grilled pork chops, baked some potatoes, and put some cheese on top of broccoli.  Chessa brought an awesome quinoa salad.  

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I made brownies for dessert and the boys went on a Blue Bell run.  

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A good night with great friends.

Thought for the day

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Feeling the Pressure

I am sure you have noticed that I haven't ran, walked, or moved off the couch this week.  If you haven't, God bless you.  

For the past few weeks, when I stood up for more than an hour, I would start to feel a slightly painful pressure in the baby area.  If I sat back back down, it went away.  However, last Sunday after the 5k it didn't go away for a loooonnnng time.  I spent the day trying to get up to play with Kauffman or rock Hallaway and quickly regretting the decision and sitting back down.  

I talked to my sister about it and I know it is a very normal part of pregnancy that I should be getting more used to as the baby grows.  However, we had this conversation in front of my grandma.  Not the smartest idea.  

(me - Grandma June - sister Jessie)

My grandma (naturally) worries about me, and even though my sister delivers babies and gives many women prenatal care, she still wasn't happy until I promised her I would talk to my midwife about it before I ran again.  

I have a midwife appointment today - Hallelujah!  

Other than that Margaret is doing wonderfully.  She is still kicking, wiggling, and growing.  I can't wait to take my next bump picture.  Every night before we go to bed I show Dan how much she has grown and he says, "Stop sticking your belly out so much!"  Maybe I was sticking it out just a little, but she is still growing so well!

A Wonderful Day of Food

I want to start with dinner because I tried not one, but TWO great recipes.  Dan said it was the best dinner I have made in a long time, but that wouldn't be hard because he has pretty much made dinner for the last 6 months.  

I made skinny chicken cordon bleu (using *this recipe*) and quinoa mac and cheese (using *this recipe* and adding shredded zucchini).


The quinoa mac and cheese changed. my. life.  Even if you don't like quinoa, you will like this.  Add some hot sauce and  you will never look back.  

Now back to breakfast - very delicious kale and swiss 2 egg omelet with some leftover fruit that I brought to dinner the night before and fruit dip made with crème fraîche.  


While shopping at Trader Joe's I asked a lovely Trader Joe's worker if they had any fruit dip. She said no, but if I mixed the carton of crème fraîche with a carton of flavored Greek yogurt (I chose strawberry) and added some honey it would be amazing.  And it was.  It almost tasted nutty - you should try it.  

It tasted so good that I repeated it for lunch, along with a ham, swiss, and mustard sandwich and a kale salad.


Afternoon snack - carrots and peanut butter.  


Yep, my belly went to bed pretty happy last night.  

Thought for the day




Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Eat like a Caveman?

Last night Dan and I had dinner at a 5 - star restaurant.  



Actually, it was really Courtney and Eric's house, but it felt like a 5 star restaurant because of how fancy and delicious the food was.  


The best mussels and salmon I have had in my life.  And I brought fruit for dessert.  That I forgot to take a picture of.  A definite fail in the fancy and blog department.

For those of you who don't remember, Courtney and Eric are our neighbors, and I ran a half marathon with Courtney a few months ago.  

Their family has recently started eating a paleolithic diet.  I had never heard of this way of eating until I started reading blogs.  


In a nutshell, by following this diet you eat what cavemen ate.  Yes on meat, eggs, fruit, veggies, and nuts.  No on grains, dairy, or beans.   That is the extent of my knowledge of the subject (other than what I read in this post - plus the great debate in the comments section) so of course I asked Courtney a million questions while eating dinner.  

The concept is so interesting to me and I love that it focuses on fruits and veggies.  I wonder if long distance / endurance athletes follow this?  There would obviously be no carb loading - sadly that is what usually motivates me to run.  What about coffee?  Did cavemen have coffee?  The list of questions goes on and on.  

For now I have concluded that a life without bread and ice cream (in moderation) is not a life worth living, but am looking forward to learning more on the subject.

Eli likes me so much that he wanted to look like me.  


Smart kid.  

Other Food

Breakfast was another all bran-peach-Greek yogurt parfait.  While updating my iPad.  PS - I LOVE my Mac and am going to stand outside Best Buy and try to convert anyone on trying to buy a PC.  


Lunch + snacks - leftovers from Monday's dinner.  Cantaloupe and carrots.  


Plus a little Trader Joe's popcorn to tide me over until dinner. 

Thought for the day


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Eating Clean(er)

Dan and I often have talks about how we want to raise our children.  We have talked about this for years, but obviously the topic is a little more important now.  One thing that was and is important to both of us is the concept of eating healthy.  It was easy for us to say that we didn't want our children to only eat chicken nuggets and hot dogs because we didn't have a 2 year old in front of us refusing to eat broccoli.  Now we will need to form a strategy to put that plan into action.  

Unfortunately, I am not starting out on a very good foot.  

I used to pride myself in eating around 8 servings of fruits and veggies per day.  That was before I got pregnant.  Now, I am good to get in 3 or 4.  In the first trimester, nothing that resembled a vegetable sounded edible, but that phase is over and I haven't kicked the habit. 

I also have been eating more junk food, because it sounds good and it is easy to use pregnancy as an excuse.  The fact is that junk food has always sounded good.  Duh. 

The other day I was thinking:

If I wouldn't want my daughter to eat this way, why am I eating this way with her growing inside of me?

So I have decided to clean up my eating.  I am not going to go crazy, and of course I will allow myself some treats (as I would my daughter).  My goal is 80% clean.  That is, 80% fruits, veggies, dairy, whole grains, protein, etc.  I think that is reasonable.  The other 20% will be ice cream.

What better day to start than Monday?  I would count yesterday as a success.

Breakfast was a yogurt parfait with bran flakes, plain Greek yogurt, and a sliced peach I bought from Mr. Sombrero.  


For lunch I had a kale salad (kale + parmesan cheese + 2 tsp olive oil + 2 tsp of lemon juice) and cottage cheese and pineapple.  


I snacked on some watermelon when I got home from work.  


Dinner was a Trader Joe's success story that came together in less than 15 minutes.


If you like goat cheese you will love this ravioli.  The chicken sausage was also very tasty.  Combine with broccoli and you have yourself a winning dinner. 


Then, of course, I had some Blue Bell ice cream for dessert while watching the season finale of The Newsroom.  Why oh why did it have to end?   I am considering canceling my HBO subscription out of protest.

Thought for the day

Monday, August 27, 2012

Margaret's Last Race

Yesterday I jogged / fast walked Margaret's last race - the 10th annual Head for the Cure 5K.  


I jogged with Julie, my friend I met through Weight Watchers and blogging.  It was her first 5K and she rocked it out!  I was super impressed.  

I hope that Margaret as a person (as opposed to Margaret as a fetus) will join me in many races in the future, but this is the last one I can force her to.  

This race was wonderful, despite the crummy weather!  It was such an intimate setting, with just the right amount of activity.  There were many families there, and I imagined what it would be like to return next year with a stroller.  They had complimentary food before and after the race, a great band, and many wonderful ways to commemorate loved ones lost to cancer.

We laid low this weekend, but we did have some visitors Saturday night.  


Dan made breakfast pizza while I chatted and played with the babies. 



I am starting a baby girl collection at my house.  Donations are accepted. 

My sister's family spent the night on Saturday, so it was extra hard to leave for the race Sunday morning.  But I  knew that after I crossed the finish line I would get to come home to this:


Totally worth it.  

The rest of yesterday was spent at a family reunion then I came home to watch a movie with Dan.  I picked Friends with Kids because I thought it would be light hearted, cute, and funny.

I was wrong.   I have not cried that hard in a movie in a long time.  Dan even got up half way through and said he couldn't take it anymore.  I still thought it was a great movie, but waaaaayyyy more serious than I expected.  My favorite part was when the guy said the most romantic part of a relationship is raising kids together.  This  means I have a lot to look forward to in the romance department!  

Brown chicken brown cow.  

On that note, have a great Monday!

Thought for the day

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Is that Guy Holding an Alligator?

When I am driving to meet my friends for dinner, there are very few reasons I would stop on the side of the road and be 15 minutes late.   I can think of three.

  1. A flat tire
  2. A car accident
  3. A guy wearing a rainbow poncho and a sombrero and holding an alligator like a baby

Guess which one happened last night?


Dan and I were driving to dinner chatting about our day when I drove by that guy, did a double take, and asked, "Was that guy holding an alligator?"  

Dan screamed, "Yes, I think he was.  Turn around!"


Turns out this isn't just any alligator.  Her name is Snuggles and she is quite famous.  According to her owner (Mr. Sombrero who owns 5 alligators), she has been to 78 different countries, had numerous movie appearances, and is a regular on Animal Planet.

I was starstruck.  

For those of you in the KC area who are interested, Mr. Sombrero told me that Labor Day Weekend he is having a show with all 5 of his alligators in Martin City.  You don't want to miss it.  

The rest of the drive Dan continued to talk about how awesome it would be to have an alligator for a pet.  I told him he would be getting a baby instead.  Fair trade, I think.

We went to dinner at Thai Place - a favorite.


Meg - Nigel - Brad - Chessa -Danimal

I ordered ginger fried rice.  Hot.  Look at all of that red pepper deliciousness.  


Dan ordered his Thai hot and then piled on the extra spices they provided, so after dinner he looked like he ran a marathon.



After dinner we walked to Murray's, the ice cream place down the street.  


Delicious ending to a wonderful day.  


Thought for the day

Friday, August 24, 2012

Gone Girl

Good morning and Happy Friday from my back patio!


I absolutely love when the weather turns nice enough to sip on my coffee and blog / work / read outside in the morning.  Sun rises are such a great way to start the day.

Today I am going to review Gone Girl, my most recent treadmill / before bed read.  (I read this for the Peanut Butter Fingers virtual book club.  Joining is easy - just vote for and read the book of the month!)

From the author's website: 

Marriage can be a real killer. One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn, takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. As The Washington Post proclaimed, her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit with deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick Dunne’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick Dunne isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but hearing from Amy through flashbacks in her diary reveal the perky perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister Margo at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was left in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

Employing her trademark razor-sharp writing and assured psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

This book was wonderful - in a really creep sort of way.  I don't do horror, so this was as close as I get to scary.  Without spoiling the ending, here are a few things I loved about the book:

  • The majority of the story is based in Missouri!  I love when books are based in my neck of the woods, and when the author described Carthrage or Hannibal, my own memories of the towns helped to set the scene.  Unfortunately, the female lead didn't like good ol' MO that much, but it was entertaining to read a New York Citian's view of the Midwest.  I giggled when she poked fun of things we do, like make casseroles or call "outdoor spaces" "decks."  Apparently they don't say "deck" in NYC?
  • This book made me think about life while reading a good story.  The narrator would make some assumption about people, men, women, marriages, life, etc. and for the rest of the day I would be thinking, Do I really do that?  or Are we really like that?  As this book was about a marriage gone wrong, it particularly made me wonder about my marriage and how what I was doing was being perceived by Dan.  
  • It kept me guessing.  More than once while reading the book I said What?  out loud.  The author kept taking the story in the one place I didn't expect and that kept the pages turning to the ending, which of course surprised me again.  It was somewhat anticlimactic, but tied all the lose ends up nicely, which I always appreciate.
  • My one dislike - the excessive use of the b-word.  I am not a huge fan of cussing, and that word in particular, but I understand it was needed for character development in the book.  Still, I hate reading it, especially out loud, as I had to when reading to Dan before bed.  Instead I just started saying, "b-word."  Yep, I am still in 5th grade. 

All in all, a good book that I would recommend.  Thanks PBF Book Club for another good read! 


I bought breakfast and lunch at work - nothing too exciting.


However, dinner was exciting, and not just because we didn't have leftovers.  I saw an idea pop up on my Facebook page that I knew I had to try.  

Craving corn dogs?  Cut up hot dogs and combine them with corn bread mix for a mock version that everyone will love!


Corn bread and hot dogs are not really what I would call healthy.  But healthier than fried corn dogs?  Yes indeed. 



I walked 3 miles while finishing up my book.  I haven't ran since before vacation due to my ankle problem / growing belly.  I have a feeling this 5K on Saturday may be more of a walk than a run.  

Thought for the day




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