Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More Veggies

Ken and I also love these chips... Terra Chips. Try them! They're good for you!

Also, last night we had to say goodbye to another one of our plates. We're down to two and one has a giant crack. It's getting desperate. We need some 70s-style plates and we need them now!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Eat your vegetables. And lamb cake.

I have a new food that I am loving. I adore the Morningstar Asian Veggie Patties. Has anyone else tried these?! They don’t taste a thing like meat, but are absolutely delicious. I’ve tried the regular Garden Veggie patty and they’re good, but not as good as the zingy deliciousness of the Asian ones. I wonder which to try next…

Last weekend we headed home to see some friends, watch some high school baseball, eat chicken salad sandwiches and ended up hanging with the ‘rents for awhile. Brooke is getting married and Mom and I pored over the websites checking out gowns and getting excited for Brookie’s wedding!  Yesterday we faced snow --- lovely --- and went through old photos in anticipation of….

Ken and I are speaking next week at an “International Day” at a high school. I thought we’d be chatting together with groups of 20, but we actually found out that we are members of a 3-person panel (separately) and will have about 100-120 students each hour. Right now we’re scrambling to put together a couple of PowerPoint presentations and trying to think about how to make it nice and flashy.

The good news is that because the presentation is on Wednesday and we have Good Friday off, once I add in a vacation day on Thursday, I have a five day weekend to look forward to. Mom and I are totally making a lamb cake again and I have a couple other cute little cake-related things that I’d like to attempt for Easter. I’m trying to figure out how to top last year’s lamb cake extravaganza. I need some cute candy and actual cake decorating supplies…

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The New Face of Spinning?!

It has been a very traumatic week for me.

On Sunday (on a whim and feeling regret at how much junk I ate on Friday night), I started considering a bit of old-fashioned workout punishment for myself. I thought, “Hmmmm….maybe I should do a spinning class with Ms. X at 5:15 a.m. and start the week off right…” (Ms. X is not her real name. Obviously.)

So I pop on the computer and visit my gym’s website, bringing up the month’s schedule and I see that Ms. X is not teaching at 5:15 a.m. but some completely random name is there instead. I found this to be a bit startling and then when I realized that Ms. X’s name (which, again, is not Ms. X) was nowhere to be found on the schedule, I started to freak. I mean, FREAK.

You see, Ms. X is the most hardcore, craziest, most motivating spinning instructor ever. She makes my Thursday evenings both horrible (as I almost puke into my towel) and amazing (as I leave in triumph after surviving). She is the reason that I have to get dressed at work for class, drive like a lunatic and run in to claim a bike. She is one popular lady.

I was hoping against hope that she just decided to take the rest of the month off because her daughter is returning from the Peace Corps.

There were whispers at the gym and I kept trying to find out what exactly happened on Monday. And then yesterday the ax fell. A letter explaining that Ms. X has taken a different career path and they tried to retain her. (Doubtful.)

And now we’re stuck with mediocre instructors who smile during spinning and who think it’s really fun to know everyone’s names and keep saying, “You can do it! Don’t quit on me!” when the reason I want to quit is because I’m bored and not being challenged.

It has been a sad week. The question is… do I stalk Ms. X and switch gyms if I find her somewhere else?!

In other gym news, I have taken up Zumba which is a mixture of Latin dance (salsa, cha cha, etc.) and hip hop. It’s not the best workout and I look the fool, but they dim the lights and everyone looks just as white as me out there on the floor. It’s a mood-lifter and I’m starting to look forward to my Wednesday evening release through dance moves and Shakira music.

But it’s still not Ms. X.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Girl Time

On Friday, I headed over to Valpo for some girl time with Tammy, Carly and Laura. We gorged ourselves on junk food, decided that mojitos and sangria can now substitute for candy, and got out "Girl Talk." And --- OMG --- Tammy had to call a boy (oooooohhh!!!!) and tell a joke. And then we had to whisper secrets. And I'm pretty sure at some point in the evening I was hee-hawing like a donkey.

Yes, it was classically fun and it was decided that these evenings should really become a staple in life. And wearing the plastic zit stickers is still superfun.

I'm at work a bit early today because my car is in the shop. I think it's time to get cracking.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wanted: Awesome vintage-y mod plates with lots of orange, yellow, brown, etc. Would love doves, apples or peacocks. Or paisley. I love paisley.

Anyone have parents with such plates lying around?

The ones we use (direct from the parents and the 70s) are cracking and falling apart. We need new plates! But we want to keep with the vintage vibe.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ring of Kerry - Dear to my Heart

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I’m wearing green, I’m sporting my Ireland socks, I blared some Chieftains on the way to work, and I briefly considered having lunch at the Irish bar next door. I love Ireland!

Of the places that I’ve been, Ireland still holds a magical place in my heart. Maybe it’s “Foxy Mike,” perhaps the little leprechaun man on the boat, or the live music and Baileys at the pub… Whatever the reason, I still consider Ireland to be near the top of my list. I was thinking yesterday that I should really send a letter to the study abroad office at Valpo and explain what a difference studying in England made in my life. I know that most of my fellow Cambridge-ites still have the travel bug and I really should warn the students that I send to Australia that going abroad can be damaging to all future career goals and general direction in life. But, I consider myself blessed to have been where I’ve been and to have the desire to trek to more places.

Back to Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day, though. We’re living here in the Land of the Fighting Irish and it’s 70 degrees out. Ken and I were originally planning on having a quiet evening in because from what I hear, the pubs and bars are madness. We plan on celebrating on Saturday when things have died down a bit and I fully intend to hit the restaurant next door and enjoy some lamb stew with a big pint of cider and maybe a couple of hits of Ken’s Guinness.

I made Irish soda bread on Sunday and although it was edible directly out of the oven, it wasn’t fantastic and I knew it would be a weapon once it cooled down. I’m not feeling lofty enough to try to make corned beef and cabbage at home.

Hope everyone has a great day and enjoys a bit of luck and magic!

Friday, March 13, 2009

I blame the leprechaun for the missing posts...

So if I borrow a cute background "a la Kimi," I guess I better put an actual post on my blog! How in the world did 2 months pass so quickly?

What's new? I'm back from Oz and surprisingly, I still really enjoy my job and plan on keeping with it. I'm not even itching to do anything new, although getting a permanent position in Sydney would be nice. :)

I had a great time in Australia as was to be expected. Besides working with 200+ students, I also spent time with my colleagues who are based in Sydney. It was a nice mix of being really busy and stressed and then having a few hours here and there to sit by the Harbour, eat a baquette, sip on an Orangina and watch boats come in and out. Or catching up with Ken's old friend, dining on 1 kilo of prawns early in the morning and chatting about this and that. Then there was the delicious Japanese food available near the student's hotel. I really love Sydney. It's an amazing city.

Being back with Ken in the States is great too, though. We haven't done anything very exciting as of late, but we're ready for some great weather. This weekend I'm at home dog-sitting The Izzy and have plenty of time on my hands. I'm going to start planning our first-ever herb/easy veggie garden. I'm thinking ... Basil.... Cilantro... Tomatoes... hot peppers.... But what other herbs? Anyone had any success with anything? Remember, we're dealing with a small little deck off of an apartment.

We've been spending a lot of time at a local cafe, eavesdropping on conversations and drinking lukewarm coffee. The evenings are spent watching Rambo and weirdo documentaries. Is warm weather on the way or what?!

I've been updating my 101 list here and there and am crossing off some more items soon, including the slumber party one, the dress-up dinner (thanks to 1/2 gift certificates through the radio), some more recipes, and maybe breakfast with Grandpa this weekend. I'm going to try some Irish soda bread this weekend, I think, as a test run. If it works, I'll make it again for Tuesday.

This was a random entry.