Friday, June 25, 2010

Things: Installment 48

Things I Love About Summer - A Photo Essay
(click on the links to go to the original posts)

It's time for some of my favorite critters to start hatching. Did I ever tell you about my childhood collection of the cicada "shells?" Oh how I loved plucking these babies from the trees (or wherever else they chose to hatch)!!!

These lovely jewels (rainbow beetles a/k/a great horned beetles to some a/k/a doodoo rollers to the rest of us (I kid you not!)) are also summertime roamers. We don't see many (if any??) of these in The Big City, but I used to see them a LOT on the farm. Fascinating little buggers.

Another summertime fave of mine. Used to watch these guys buzz around while fishing in my grandparents' pond. Dragon flies are so entertaining. Have you ever really watched them?? Good times!

For the most part, I can say with absolute certainty that I don't really miss The Country Life. I like living in The Big City. Close to everything I want to partake of, whether it's shopping or eating or enjoying leisure activities. I certainly don't miss the malodorous wisps of Dairy Barn floating on the summer air. BUT I DO miss the smell of fresh-cut hay. And I'm sorry, but you just can't find much of THAT here in The Big City!

Oh how I LOVE home-grown tomatoes. Is there anything better than a yummy E. Texas tomato fresh-sliced & covered with salt & pepper? I can't think of anything myself.

And while we're talking about vegetables, I love summer veggies cooked on the grill. Oh my! Don't get me wrong, we grill veggies all year, but they're so much better when you can get local-grown squash and zucchini and cook it fresh. Delish!

Wanna know my other favorite thing about summer??? I get to look up all of the cool creepy crawlies in the Texas Field Guide to Common Insects. LOVE!! (And it just happens to be available online now. Score!)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Restaurant Review

Several of my co-workers took me out for a little appreciation lunch yesterday. I got to pick the restaurant so I suggested one of the restaurants that mom & I have talked about trying for quite some time - Kozy Kitchen. It's received quite a bit of press over the last several years and particularly in the gluten-free community. You see, one of the owners/chefs in the restaurant has gluten sensitivity, so 98% of the menu is gluten-free or has gluten-free substitutions. They buy local, farm-fresh ingredients - everything from fresh seasonal farmers market veggies to grassfed beef to free-range chicken. They bake all of their gluten-free bread in-house, and every dessert at Kozy is gluten-free. I opted for the beef burger on gluten-free bread with grilled summer vegetables. The thick burger was cooked to perfection and the bread held its own against the tomato and thick sandwich. The seasonal veggies, consisting of summer squash, zucchini, onions, a variety of bell peppers, finger-thin asparagus pieces, and mushrooms, were well-seasoned but a tad al dente for my liking. But that didn't stop me from eating most of them. *grin* We opted for the Oh My God cake for dessert, and OMG was it good!!! It's a chocolate cake with layers of peanut butter mousse, a brownie center, topped with cream cheese frosting, powdered cocoa, and fresh-shaved white chocolate. It was surprisingly light and even more delicious than even I could have anticipated. We took some macaroons to go and I had one later in the afternoon. It did not disappoint either. It was delectably crunchy on the outside and soft, sweet, and slightly gooey on the inside. It was like having the perfect (coconut) truffle.

I give Kozy Kitchen 2 BIG thumbs up, and I cannot WAIT to go back & try their gluten-free breakfast menu (which is served every day until 3 p.m.)!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Weekend Roundup

The weekend went by in a whirlwind for us. What about you guys?

Saturday was my brother's birthday. My SIL planned a surprise party for him, and it was Derek's job to keep David occupied all day. They played golf & had a late lunch and then Derek took him home to meet his fate. LOL! Poor guy, he was all hot & sweaty from playing golf and was looking forward to a shower & a nap. Little did he know what awaited him. But he took the surprise like a champ and enjoyed the festivities with friends & family.

I headed from the surprise party to an outdoor wedding that I was hired to sing. You know, the thing about sunset weddings is that they're better when it's not so damn HOT! Lordy, lordy. We about melted into grease spots until the sun sunk below the horizon and even then it was steamy. But all survived and the bride & groom are now happily wed.

I got a reprieve from Ye Olde Church Job on Sunday so I spent most of the day cleaning house. It had been a while since I'd cleared out the dust bunnies, and OH MY. They were no longer bunnies. They were two-ton gorillas with attitude! But me and the Rainbow beat those puppies into submission and all is well with the world again. haha

The inlaws came over later in the afternoon to celebrate Father's Day. We enjoyed a wonderful steak dinner compliments of Chef Derek and a lovely visit. They were finally able to see some of the improvements we've made to the house, and they really loved them. We've been thoroughly pleased with the patio and the new floors, and it's always good to hear when other people enjoy them as much as we do. Of course, we didn't get to enjoy the patio to its full potential that evening b/c it was so bloody hot (the patio gets the hot western sun). So we'll definitely have to have them over in the fall when the weather is nicer.

Albeit a busy weekend, it was great to get to spend it with both dads.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Things: Installment 47

So last week's post generated some interest in what kind of exercises my trainer has me doing. I thought it might be interesting to take a little looksy at some of my harder workouts from the last year that left me *ow, ow, ow-ing* the next day.

Things I Do in My Workouts
  • Legs 09/26/09 (3 sets of ea.)
    • Step-ups: 1 min.
    • Lunges around gym: 1 lap
    • Box pushes (10 lb weighted box): back/forth twice
    • Box jumps: 15
    • Sit-ups w/ bar: 20 w/ 8 lbs
    • Wall sits: 30 sec.
    • Squats w/ bar: 20 w/ 8 lbs
    • Calf raises: 100
    • Leg lifts: 30
  • Back & biceps 10/20/09 (3 sets of ea.)
    • Rear fly: 15 w/ 5 lbs
    • Back flutters: 25
    • Arch ups: 20
    • Good morning sunshines: 12 w/ 40 lbs
    • Standing obliques: 30 w/ 10 lbs
    • Bicep curls: 15 w/ 10 lbs
    • Assisted pull-ups: 12 w/ 125 lbs
  • Chest, triceps, & abs 11/20/09 (3 sets of ea.)
    • Tri pull-down: 15 w/ 20 lbs
    • Elevated push-ups: 12
    • Jumping jacks: 25 w/ 2.5 lbs
    • Bar push-ups: 15
    • Dips: 20
    • In & outs (abs): 25
    • Alt. crunches: 20
    • Reg. crunches: 50
  • Legs 04/30/10 (3 sets of ea.)
    • Leg press: 12 w/ 140 lbs
    • Wall sits: 30 sec
    • Lunges: 50
    • Step-ups w/ punch: 15 w/ 5 lbs
    • Squat w/ press: 20 w/ 5 lbs
    • Up/downs: 12
    • Box pushes (70 lb weighted box): back/forth twice
    • Kneeling leg curl: 15 w/ 10 lbs
    • Jumping jacks: 25
    • Hip adduction: 25 w/ 50 lbs
    • Hip abduction: 25 2/ 65 lbs
    • Hip raises w/ bar: 10 sec w/ 25 lbs
  • Back & biceps 06/03/10 (3 sets of ea.)
    • Bicep curls: 15 w/ 10 lbs
    • Bent over row: 12 w/ 60 lbs
    • Ball throw: 25 w/ 10 lbs
    • Plank w/ lat raise: 10 w/ 5 lbs
    • Assisted pull-ups: 15 w/ 120 lbs
  • Chest, triceps, & abs 06/17/10 (3 sets of ea.)
    • Bar pushups: 15
    • Dips: 20
    • Skull crushers: 12 w/ 30 lbs
    • Pec fly: 12 w/ 30 lbs
    • Jumping jacks: 20
    • Shoulder press: 12 w/ 30 lbs
    • Tri pull-downs: 12 w/ 25 lbs
    • Plank: 30 sec/ 45 sec/ 45 sec
    • Crunches: 25
    • Tuck-ups: 20
    • Leg lift (incline): 15 
So ... what do you guys do in your workouts???? Let's commiserate. *grin*

Friday, June 11, 2010

Things: Installment 46

So ... one of my fellow bloggers Tess is on a Health Kick. And after squeezing myself into my swimsuit by means that are appropriately known as the Swimsuit Wiggle Shake Shuffle Readjust the last two weekends, I must admit that I have quickly joined her. With the ol' Swimsuit Dance displaying vividly in my mind, I thought it would be fun to see where I was when I started training more than a year ago compared to where I am today.

Now. Before I put all of this out there, let's be clear about one thing. I may be thin, but there are a multitude of sins hidden under my clothing. So don't go straight to the I Can't Believe She's Even Going There eyeroll. Safe to say that it's gonna be a while before this bod goes anywhere other than the backyard blow-up pool in a two-piece!!! Jiggles & cellulite ... nuff said!

Drumroll, please ......................

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cutie Head Moment #5,213

Today's Cutie Head Moment is brought to you by .... The Traveling Sewing Kit:  Never leave home without one!!! So have you ever had this feeling that there was just a little too much wind blowing up your skirt?? Yeah, so my walk from the bus stop to the office building this morning was a bit more "aired out" than I would have liked.

It all started with my choice of wardrobe. I put together this cute little number with a knee-length pencil skirt & cute tweed jacket & some of my favorite animal-print heels. Now, the skirt has a slit up the back. I knew this when I put it on. When one wears a pencil skirt, there naturally has to be a slit in some part of the skirt to allow freer movement. Otherwise, you look like a penguin waddling around with your itty bitty baby steps. Anyway, point is the skirt has a slit up the back. I think you can see where this is going, but for your entertainment, let's continue, shall we?

Aside from said slit, this particular pencil skirt has this annoying tendency to ride up a little bit as you walk b/c of the way that it's cut to sit at the hips and b/c it's got a little stretch to it. So you have to watch The Ride, as I like to call it, otherwise you look goofy with your skirt creeping up to your boob pits from its appropriate place at the hips. I, of course, got to stand at every stop light this morning to wait for it to turn, which should have been a good thing, right? I did my little Get Back Down Here skirt adjustment ... in a casual kinda way so as not to draw attention to the fact that Yes My Skirt Is Riding a Little High Thankyouverymuch. Still, things felt a bit ... exposed, but sadly that didn't really register at the time.

So I get into my building, go through security, walk through the office lobby, talk to the security guard, and head to my desk all the while thinking, gee, something just Doesn't. Feel. Right. So I put my stuff down & decide to check things out. And that's when I realized ... the slit in my skirt is no longer the 4 inches it was intended to be. Oh no, it had come unhemmed ANOTHER 4 inches. And oh yeah, you guessed it, my arse was clearly & plainly visible for all the world to see. Nice. And how many people did I see on my way from the bus to the office this morning?! Again, I'm just thankful that I listened to that Little Voice in my Head that said, 'You really should wear the little boy shorts today.' Of course, I was thinking that was a good idea from the standpoint of my tendency to have Shoe Mishaps. Little did I know that it would save me a tiny bit of humiliation once I discovered that I'd been airing my arse to the world!

And that's why I'm very glad to a) have a sewing kit in my desk and b) have a vague knowledge of how to fix my Slit Up to the Cheeks problem. The slit in my skirt is now back to its appropriate length ... if not a wee bit shorter, you know, out of an overabundance of caution & all. And now you have yet another ridiculous story to tell about my crazy wardrobe malfunctions which ultimately lead to my flashing the entire world. You're welcome.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Catching Up

Various & assundary things have kept me from sitting down to write about everything we've been up to in the last two weeks. And since things aren't going to slow down at least for another week or two, I figure there's no time like the present. Right?

We have to go back to Memorial Day to get you all caught up. Gosh, has it really been that long? Whew. We made the most of our long weekend. Derek played in a charity golf tournament on Saturday morning and then we headed out on the boat w/ my brother, SIL, and nephew that evening. We had a great time tootling around Ray Hubbard and just getting to visit. Since Derek's birthday fell on a Tuesday this year, we opted to have his annual birthday bash over the long holiday weekend rather than the traditional weekend after his birthday. So...twenty(ish) of our closest friends came over on Sunday for a cookout. Lord, was it HOT! But the beverages were cold and we had a good time anyway. It's always nice to spend time with family & friends - some of whom we had not seen in a loooooooooong time. Monday we loafed around & did a whole lotta nothin. And I spent part of the afternoon in the white trash pool with Kelli. Did I mention that it was HOT?!

Last week went by in a slow blur (is that possible?) and we were already at the weekend again. My brother & Derek played a round of golf on Saturday. They left bright & early (before 7 a.m.!) while I spent the day at a scrapbook convention in Arlington with my mom. Oh my. That was an experience! Never have I seen so much product all in one place. Impressive. I actually exercised some pretty good self-restraint. I know you're surprised! (And so is Derek!!) *wink* It was bloody hot on Sunday so I got out my own white trash pool for the first time this summer and Kelli & I sat and soaked in the nice cool pool all afternoon. And that led to conversations about how our yard would be perfect for a pool & since we are already planning on building an outdoor kitchen/entertaining area wouldn't it be perfect to do both at the same time. So yeah, we're considering the idea. But I make no promises, people!

Happy Anniversary

Please join me in wishing my parents a very happy 36th wedding anniversary today!

Friday, June 04, 2010

Things: Installment 45

I admit it. I'm doing a total give-up this week on a topic and totally stealing this idea from my friend. I thought it would be fun to see if I, too, have interesting friends. Can you figure out who they are??

Things About the People I Know
  • A singing CPA who has scuba dived in just about every major body of water on the planet
  • Spent a year in Italy
  • Part of orthopedic practice specializing in podiatry
  • Dating a multimillionaire
  • Lived in Spain
  • Gave birth to twins in Naples
  • Met Rob Pattinson
  • Has almost as many shoes as I do & just happens to wear my size (in both shoes & clothing...score!)
  • Will trade wife for good IPA
  • Is a classically trained pianist
  • Has been published in a scrapbooking magazine
  • Leaving on six-week tour of Europe
  • First-generation American with a voice (and the looks) to launch ... well, you know
  • A retired professional gymnast
  • Geneticist who worked on breast cancer research at UT Southwestern
  • Married to a nuclear physicist

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Open Letter

Dear Network Execs at CBS:

You suck! I realize this is nothing new. You're very well used to hearing that by now. But it doesn't make it any less a fact. You're cancelling my favorite Friday night show: Numb3rs. No more Colby. No more Don. No more interesting math facts. Why???!! I realize that ratings have slumped a little, but it's not a true reflection of your fanbase. And you left so much of the storyline hanging. Why not wrap it up? Or at least wrap it up a bit neater. I mean, it's not like you didn't know this would be the last season. I'm sure you probably knew from the get-go this season.

I don't hold out much hope for any type of quality replacement. About the only things you have going for you now are NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles. Sink those two shows and you're sunk!

Rest in peace, Numb3rs. You will be missed!!!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Happy Birthday, Derek!

Happy birthday to my sweet hubby who turns 30-something today! Love ya, babe!

(P.S. I thought this picture was appropriate since we're all roasting here in DFW! Definitely dreaming of winter skiing about now!!!!)