Monday, February 27, 2012

Why can't cheese sauce be good for you?

You may recall that about 10 weeks ago I decided to give up french fries for awhile.  After the initial annoyance wore off, it has actually worked really well.  I haven't had french fries since before Christmas and now automatically start looking for substitutes when a dish comes with fries.  Except at Steak N Shake because damn those are good.

mmm cheese.

About a month into the french fries experiment I realized what the next item was going to have to be on the "give up for awhile" list.  And I was dreading it.  It's been a staple in my diet since I was old enough to eat it and is a quick go-to dinner option for me at home.

Macaroni and cheese.  Specifically, Velveeta Shells and Cheese.  No milk or butter required, just cheesey goodness out of a packet that I might as well be painting on my ass.  Why can't cheese sauce be good for you?!


So I gave up boxed mac and cheese for awhile.  I can still eat it if I make it from "scratch" (i.e. not a box) or order it somewhere (as long as it doesn't come with fries, ha) but no more will I be eating it from the yellow or blue box.  As you might have guessed, I had plenty of it in my house and had to give it to a friend so I wouldn't be tempted to make it.  If you're wondering why just the boxed kind, the idea is to change the habit of eating it because it's easy.  If I am willing to go through the effort to make it, then I probably really want it so why deprive myself.  Same with the french fries - if I want to order them that's one thing (read: SNS) but no more eating them just because they come with the sandwich or whatever.

We'll see how this goes.

I decided to do the couch to 5k - again - to get back in the habit of working out regularly.  Last time I did it (summer/fall of 2010) I was really good about sticking to the 3x a week schedule.  I'm hoping that is the case again.  I did my first workout with it today and it went well.  I am doing it a little different this time - instead of starting outside at whatever pace I want, I'm doing it on a treadmill and running at a 6.0 when it says to run.  My plan is to get used to this pace on the treadmill and how that pace feels and eventually take it outside.  Maybe I'll sign up for a 5k sometime this spring/summer.  I was thinking the one at the Zoo but it's the day after MuckRuckus MS (aka Mud Run), meaning that either I will want no part in a run and/or the people I'm planning to make do it with me (I'm looking at you Cyndi and Nellie) will want no part in it either as they are running in the event.  I'll think find something I'm sure.

So there you go.  That's where I am on the health front.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

It's funny

It seems like I spent most of January at home by myself and February has been the complete and total opposite. I have had something going on almost every day for pretty much the last 2 weeks.  It's cool - I like being busy but it's just funny to me.  
Someone might have been feeling a bit neglected. 

Tuesday was Kimber's going away happy hour (even though her last day is tomorrow) as we send her off to her new job (jealz.)  It was a lot of fun and funny to see almost more people who don't work there anymore than people that do.  Mmmm margaritas.

Last night I went over to Nellie's for dinner and to hang out.  Dinner was really good and I enjoyed seeing my babies.

And I finished my little project for her new baby - a bunny hat for Easter.  Coincidentally it matched his baptism jacket perfectly so obviously it was meant to be worn for both.  I was pretty pleased with how the ears turned out.  

Today I had dinner with Stephanie and Sara - people I spent a lot of time with in elementary school at the lake and stuff.  So fun to see them.  Then I cam home and these continue to make me happy:

Thanks Kristen!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mardi Gras 2012

Saturday was Mardi Gras in St. Louis complete with parade in Soulard.  Paige and Bryan came in as usual and Danielle and her boyfriend Seth joined us this year too.  I was sooo excited to see them and spend the day together.  We started the day at Denny's as usual for breakfast to get some food in everyone and get in one last bathroom stop. :)

Paige and I at breakfast

After breakfast we condensed into 2 cars and stopped at the grocery store for some supplies.  Then we headed down to the parade.  

Adults piles in a car going to a parade?  Must be Mardi Gras.
You may remember this picture from last year.  


We made our way down Russell and hung out at the parade catching some beads and drinking. 

Me, Andrea, Paige and Rebecca

Group shot - LOVE Paige's face. :)

With a group of 10, it's easy to get lost.  Luckily we had Bryan to keep us together.

Follow the banana!  

We trekked over to 9th and Lafayette to stop by Dan's booth and saw him, Suzanne and Chris.  Somehow I failed to get a picture with them.  

Danielle, me and Paige checking out the booths

B and Paige.

Of course, there was some awesome scenery.  

STL does love a party.  

After Soulard we went to Applebee's for dinner because everyone was starving.  We weren't sure if the food was that good or if we were just that hungry but everyone left happy.  We did a few drop-offs, etc then a few of use headed to Paige and Christopher's uncle Larry's house for poker.  Their family plays Texas Hold'em together regularly at different family member's houses and it's lots of fun.  I didn't do too well this year but it was still a good time.  Pretty good day considering I was with a bunch of kU fans lol.  

Mardi Gras = success.  

Party Party

Friday I had my birthday party at Jive and Wail.  I love piano bars and was really pleased that several people were able to come out and celebrate with me.

We started out with dinner (mine was free - score!) and just hanging out and talking before the pianos started.  This was more by accident than design but it worked out pretty well.  I got tulips (my fave!) from Kristen and presents from Nellie.

Presents from Nellie included a crown.  I wasted no time putting it on.  
I know, you're all shocked.


As I said, lots of cool people came out to celebrate with me. 

Taylor and Sam

Nellie and I 

Kim, me and Sara

Time out for Dan?
Apparently the walls were really interesting. 

Dan and KC

I told Mike to get in close.  He worked it out so I didn't cut off his head.  
Chris, me and Mike.  

Tucci and me. 

Aimee, Andy, Kristen and Cyndi 

Eventually they called me up on stage for my birthday song.   
Please note I got my ass up on that piano on the first try.


Birthday serenade.  

Then, you know, I had dinner, a few hurricanes and rum & cokes and the phone pictures started.  

Dan, Nick and me

Tucci and I 

Love the Ericsons

Andy and I

Mike was super jealous of my tiara.   


It was a really fabulous evening.  Since most of us were either getting up for Mardi Gras the next day or pregnant or had small children it was a pretty early night.  But that's what happens when you get old :).  

I am so lucky to have such awesome friends.  

29 is Divine


It's strange to be the age that adults claim to be when they don't want to admit their real age.  I get it - 30 sounds kinda scary.  :)  

I started my extended (5.5 day) weekend with getting a new license (it needed done) and getting my hair cut/colored.  Thank goodness Katie came back from maternity leave that day because my hair was looking a little crazy.  After getting my hair done I went to see my grandma for a little while then headed to Biggie's because, well, it was Wednesday after all.  I hung out with everyone, did a shot with Sara and of course watched the Tigers win.  Kim was the first to wish me happy birthday a little after midnight and that kicked off a pretty awesome day.  

Thursday was my actual birthday and after sleeping late I woke up to lots of birthday texts and Facebook messages.  It was a lovely start to my day and the start of my birthday ritual you may remember from last year.  After getting dressed I stopped by YoMyGoodness for some ice cream and then went to get a pedicure.  I wore flip flops because that's what you do when you get a pedicure but it was not nearly as nice as last year when it was in the 70s!  

I went straight from my pedicure to get a massage.  It was quite lovely.  Even better because due to the program as Massage Luxe I had enough "luxe bucks" to not have to pay that day!  (You pay $5 a month and then can cash it in like a gift card.)  After I was all nice and relaxed I went home to get ready for dinner with Mom at Concetta's.  It was delicious and Mom and Dave (her bf) sang Happy Birthday to me when they brought me my cake.  

After dinner Mom and Dave took Devin to a movie and Kristen and I went over to BWW for a few drinks.  We had fun.

Sister birthday drinks

I also went to lunch with my dad and his wife on Sunday.  It really was a pretty good start to 29.  Hopefully it's a good one!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

I offered to babysit for Valentine's day again this year so Sam and Taylor could go out.  It's makes it easy to offer when Max is such a good boy for me and does cute things like bring me his mom's flowers and say "Happy Valentine's Day!"  He's pretty cute.

I enjoyed hanging out with him - he'll be 3 in May so his attention span is not the longest so we did a lot of stuff.  I left Sesame Street on in the background and he would randomly stop to watch it.  Sometimes he had a personal dance party too.

He's a pretty cute little valentine.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I just spent a lot of time writing a new post for you with pictures and everything but it is now gone and I don't feel like re-writing it so here are some pictures from the last month.  

Me and Hayden Koeltzow (parents: Emily and Paul) who I got to play with twice.  He's a sweetie and loved seeing himself in the camera screen.  Who doesn't love this feature on the iPhone? 

Chocolate chip cookie dough + oreoish cookies + brownie mix = awesome.  Thanks Pinterest.  

Cauliflower bites that with ketchup tasted like french fries.  For real.  I was skeptical too until I tried them.  Again, thanks Pinterest and Danielle!  

Roar and Pounce Bembower are finished (finally!) and ready for little boys.  
Note Mizzou beating Kansas in the background.  
I will post the pattern for them later when I'm not so irritated with my post vanishing.  

More crochet projects: baby hat with ears

Plus a flower in case it's a girl.

I also made a black one with gold ears (Mizzou colors) and Sally wanted to play with the yarn.  So I made her model the hat.  She was quite pleased as you can see.  

Super Bowl was spent at the Niethe's - Dan entertained us with pillow humor during the dull parts.  (This is also where I took the Slutty Brownies mentioned earlier.)

Went to Chicago for a day yesterday and was in an exit row by myself - legs crossed with room to spare.  Airplane or cruise ship?!  LOL

Celebrated Nellie's birthday at Fast Eddie's.  I got her the crown and scrap book paper she'd been eyeing at Hobby Lobby.  

Love her. 

Got to see Tyler while he was in town for some work stuff with the Army.  Obviously this picture is not from dinner that evening but whatever.  

I've been doing some staying home lately to save money and have therefore read a lot of books this month, gotten some crochet projects done and tried a few Pinterest recipes.