Friday Five~ Totally Random

I thought about a few different things that I could cover in today’s blog but ended up just picking five completely random things to tell you about myself…

1. My bedroom is chronically messy! I will spend a day and get my room 100% clean (swept, laundry put away, desk cleaned off, etc.) only to have it become a total mess again a day or two later. I blame it on the fact that I am very busy, so when I’m home I have other things to spend my time on rather than cleaning my room. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!!

2. If there is one single food that I miss from living in San Diego its Limon Lays potato chips. I have looked everywhere for them here in Seattle and can’t find them. I’ve even dropped hints to my parents and friends back home to send me some in a care package. I think that I might just have to order them online in bulk soon, because I really need a fix (it has been over a year now!).

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3. I used to play the flute and piccolo in my high school marching band. In fact, when I went away to college after graduation, I entered UCLA as a music major! I haven’t played in almost 20 years but I still miss it!.

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4. I have no tattoos and only my ears are pierced (twice), but I have been toying with the idea of getting a tattoo for some time now. I can’t seem to make up my mind what tattoo I want or where I want it to be. But the real reason I haven’t gotten a tattoo yet is I’m afraid of the pain involved! I’m kind of wuss!

5. My favorite magazine is Whole Living by Martha Stewart’s publishing company. And that’s saying a lot because I LOVE magazines in general! Right now its the only magazine I subscribe too and I get so happy when my new issue arrives in my mailbox (I just got one today)!

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So those are 5 totally random things about me this week!

What would you like me to reveal about myself next week?

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Day Off

Today I had an outing planned with a friend in downtown Seattle. I have only been downtown a few times and really don’t know my way around very well.

I started my day by paying some bills online, then walking into the commercial area by my work to run some errands before catching the bus to meet my friend downtown. Not only were we just spending a fun day together, but it was also his birthday, so that made it even more special in my opinion.

We met down by Pike Place Market, which is one of my favorite places in Seattle. I had been there twice before, so this time we checked out the shops along the street including the original Sur Le Table. (The original Starbucks is also across the street from the Market). We had a great lunch overlooking the Market at the Pike Place Bar and Grill before strolling through town and making our way to one of my other favorite places in downtown.

We did some window shopping and stopped at Macarena Bakery for some treats before continuing to the Space Needle. We spent about an hour up in the Needle, checking out the views of Seattle, sharing bits of the history of the area and just chatting in general. After checking out the gift shop, it was time to catch the bus home.

I didn’t want to worry about changing buses, so I walked the rest of the way home after stopping for a bottle of water and a couple of lottery tickets (gotta try, right?) All in all I walked almost 7 miles today (6.96), which is a good thing considering when I got home, my roommate and I decided to go out to The Ram for dinner! Then it was back home to watch Captain America on DVD.

All in all I had an amazing day and I really enjoyed myself. Of course, eating out for all three meals plus a treat and dessert did not make for the healthiest of days, but as I always say, it’s about balance. One day of indulgence isn’t going to throw me off track. And I did split my dessert with my roommate…

When was the last time you had a day that was dedicated to fun?

Photo Walk

Its Wednesday so that means its time for a photo blog of my walks for the week!

*(I am having some technical difficulties trying to get this blog written, so hopefully everything turns out ok)

Here are some highlights from this week:

Tree

There are more varieties of evergreens here than I have ever seen before (in Southern California at least).

Flowers

I love these, they are so beautiful! I have seen various colors of pink as well as white growing along my walks. These are definitely my favorite color!

Wildlife

While this guy was not the most exciting wildlife I saw while walking this week, he was one of the few I was able to get a photo of. I would have loved to have gotten a picture of the chipmunk I saw, but unfortunately the dog spooked him before I could get close enough to get a shot.

Place

Yup, 7-11! Considering there is a 7-11 on almost every street corner in America, it only makes sense that there would be one somewhere along my walking route!

Sign

Youth soccer sign ups are a sure sign summer is coming! These particular signs are posted all over the place by the elementary school I pass.

Random

I love old fences, they are so incredibly beautiful to me, I don’t know why.  And I think this one is especially beautiful along my walk to work everyday.

Sky

I saved the best photo for last this week. How can you beat that sunset? Simply amazing!

What draws your eye during your daily walks/ runs?

Adventure Monday Deluxe!

Today was an awesome day!! I have mentioned before that my roommate and I have decided to embark upon Adventure Mondays whenever we both have the day off.  Well this week our Adventure Monday actually started on Sunday and carried over for the entire day today!

First, on Sunday evening my roommate picked me up from work and we headed to Log Boom Park in Kenmore to eat a picnic dinner on the lake with her son and the dog.

They have these long piers with a bunch of different moorings that you can sit on and fish, sunbathe, relax, eat or whatever. We sat out on one of the moorings and enjoyed our dinner, then took a short walk along part of the Burke-Gilman Trail.

This morning I made pancakes for breakfast to start the day. I am really bad a cooking anything that requires flipping~ pancakes, eggs, etc~ so I was quite pleased that I was able to flip them without making a mess. After breakfast Joanna and I headed out to Discovery Park for a hike. I will tell you that the pictures just do not do justice to how beautiful this trail is!

You can see snow-covered Mt Rainier in the distance!

We hiked a total of 5 miles today which included about 500 stairs as well (ok maybe it was only 200, but it felt like 500)

We also got a sneak peak of where we were headed this evening while on our hike. You can just see the beach in the distance.

Once we finished our hike, we stopped at a fisherman’s wharf type area and had a couple of beers before heading home to get ready for our barbecue at Golden Gardens Park with some of Joanna’s friends.

There were so many sailboats on the water, it was incredibly beautiful. We were also able to look back at where we hiked way across the water behind the boats.

It was a beautiful day capped off with an utterly gorgeous sunset!!

Also of note today, Monday also means my Full Circle delivery arrived.

Today’s box included yams, peaches, onions, spinach, rhubarb (something completely new for me), bell pepper and mushrooms. I also added a loaf of sourdough bread, salad greens, raspberries, bananas, a box of pasta, a jar of peanut butter and some caramels to the order.

I also received my box from my Foodie Pen Pal, which I will be blogging about later this month and stepped on the scale to discover I am down another 2 lbs… I am less than 1 lb away from the 40lb lost mark!! So yes, today was definitely a great day!!!

 

Re-Working the Network

This weekend I took a hiatus from my two main social networking sites while I figured out just where I am stuck and what is missing from my life right now. I spent Friday morning in a bit of a funk that had been coming on for a few days. I had been feeling disenchanted and unenthusiastic about my training, my diet and pretty much everything for a few weeks. I decided to take myself off of Facebook and Sparkpeople for the weekend and spend the time I would normally be using those sites to focus on figuring out what is going on in my head.

For the most part, things in my life are awesome right now. I have made some really healthy changes and have started moving on the right path for me. But I have been feeling that there is something missing and I think I finally figured out what it is… connection!

Most of my interaction with friends and family is through technology now. Aside from my roommate and one friend from work, I rarely see my friends any more, even the ones here in Washington. And when we do communicate it’s through social networking sites, texting, instant messaging and emails. I need to make an effort to connect more with people on a regular basis and open myself up more.

I did take some time to venture out this weekend. I went out with my roommate and some of her friends to a club on Friday night to see the band Boxer Rebellion. I had a lot of fun, got a little trashed, and felt a lot better Saturday. I will be working spend more time with friends and to meet new people to get that in-person connection happening.

I am also missing connection on some other key levels… namely intimacy and spirituality. I had been exploring my spirituality for a while and was feeling some connectedness with a few different aspects of different schools of religious thought. Unfortunately I let that slip over the last several months and am really feeling that lack of connection to a higher purpose. I need to refocus on my explorations and return to meditation.

The final area of connectedness that is missing from my life is definitely intimacy. It has been a while since I have dated, even casually, and I am missing that feeling of closeness with another person. I have recently started considering exploring the world of on-line dating sites again, though have really had NO success with them in the past. For a long time I have said that if its meant to be, I will find the right person, but lately I have been thinking that I need to do just a bit more to bring that someone into my life.

Now that I have identified what’s missing, I need to find it and bring it into my life. To start, I am altering my use of social media… using Twitter and my blogging networks as my primary sources. I will remain a member of Sparkpeople.com, but will be using it primarily for encouragement and motivation and less as a tracking site for my workouts as I have been. I will keep my Facebook account open in order to share my blog and keep in touch with some people who are special to me that I communicate with primarily there, but I will not be spending a lot of time on the site and will primarily be checking in with just those people. I will also be getting together in person with my friends here in Washington as often as possible. Our work schedules do get in the way, but we should still be able to find a way to get together once a month or so. I am also going to start attending some local Meet-ups and see if I can find some connections that way. I will be returning to my spiritual pursuits, including meditation. And I will open myself up to the possibilities of dating… still not sure if I want to do the online thing again, but haven’t ruled it out…

How do you find connections in your life?

Friday 5- Food Revelations

So its Friday and that means 5 more things about me…

1. I am a carbaholic! I love carbs, especially breads!  I would rather eat the rolls at Thanksgiving than the pies (aside from pumpkin of course) and one of my favorite snacks is crackers. I try to keep control over my carb cravings and keep my diet balanced out as much as possible. But I always tend to overload on the pastas!

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2. Speaking of pastas, Italian food is by far my favorite cuisine! I have a dream of going to Italy and eating my way through the country. Whenever its my choice for a restaurant, I will probably choose the Italian one (though if  I ever get to go back home for a visit, I’ll be hitting up some real Mexican food as well!).

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3. Might as well keep the food trend going and admit that I don’t like mashed potatoes! Most people are blown away by this admission! I love potatoes prepared pretty much every other way but mashed. And I have tried a few different types as well. My palate has been opening up a lot more lately and I am eating a lot of things that I didn’t enjoy before, but I still can’t do mashed potatoes!

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4. Or coffee! I don’t drink coffee at all. I just don’t like the taste of anything coffee or mocha flavored… ice cream, candy, lattes, anything! When I first got to Washington and saw little coffee huts on every corner, I wondered if I would be run out of the state when I admitted that I don’t like coffee. I mean Seattle is known for its coffee and the home of the original Starbucks after all. So far they’ve let me stay…

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5. My final food related revelation… I live for peanut butter! I have been known to sit with a jar of peanut butter and a spoon and call it dinner on occasion (not the entire jar). Thankfully I love peanut butter on toast, apples, carrots, celery, crackers, chocolate, etc, so I am able to fit it into my healthy lifestyle rather effortlessly. Especially since finding CB Nut’s Peanut Butter whose only ingredient is peanuts.

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So those of 5 food related things about me.

What are your food revelations?

Weekly Walking

Last week I posted pictures from my walks over the week. This is something that I definitely want to continue, mostly because its fun! It also opens my eyes and makes me appreciate the things I see every day a little bit more. I am noticing things that I never noticed before and seeing beauty in simple things. Here are my pictures from this past week…

Trees

As I mentioned last week, there are so many different varieties of trees here in Washington! I just love the shade of red on these trees, I pass several of them every day (we even have a small one growing in our backyard).

Flowers

These lovely flowers are all over in a few different colors… blues, lavender and white are the most popular ones.

Places

Last week I showed you my favorite church from my walk, this week’s place is a park. There are so many different parks in Washington, its awesome. I haven’t actually stopped in at this park yet, I just walk by every day. I think I will be coming here on my day’s off with a book and a picnic lunch in the summer though!

Wildlife

One of my walks this week was along the beach in West Seattle with a friend. I was able to catch a shot of this guy playing in the waves. This shot kind of reminds me of home even though the beaches here are very different.

Sky

Our weather has been all over the place this week. I have walked in the sunshine, wind, light rain and torrential downpours on different days. But this shot of the sky was on one of the prettiest days of the week!

Signs

This is the sign from my bus stop. I pretty much only ride the bus on the days I get off work late now, but when I do take the bus, it’s the 346!

Random

And finally a random shot. There is a gravel area along my walk that fills with puddles (large puddles) every time it rains. As you can tell from this shot, it was raining when I took this one. I have walked by on cold days in the winter and the puddles will be completely iced over in the middle of the afternoon.  At least now they disappear every few days when the sun shines!

So that’s this week’s walks in pictures!

What types of things do you see on your walks/ runs?

Not Quite the Day I Planned

So Mondays are now Adventure Mondays for me and my roommate when we both have the day off and today we had planned to go to the Ballard Locks for a picnic. Unfortunately, I woke up with a terrible migraine that threw a wrench into our plans for the day. I’ve suffered from migraines for over 20 years and average about 2 a month. Most of the time they aren’t too bad and I am able to work through them. Other times they are pretty bad and I have to rest through them. Today was one of the bad ones sadly. So instead of a picnic by the water, I spent most of the morning in bed. The day was not a total loss however!

Once I started feeling better (about mid-afternoon), I took advantage of the day and got some much-needed cleaning done in my room, plus went through and cleaned out my dresser drawers. I pulled some stuff that’s just too big now or unflattering to send to Goodwill and organized what was left. I still need to go through my closet and my filing cabinet, but I made some definite progress on my projects around the house.

Disney and Tonka “helped” me with the dresser. This evening, my roommate, her son & I all watched Thor on DVD. They hadn’t seen it yet and are catching up on all of the movies in order to go see The Avengers (I saw it Saturday night, awesome movie!!!). After the movie, my roommate and I did a yoga routine. We really need to do this more often! Especially since my plan to put the fun back in my workouts has not produced an increase in exercise as I had hoped. I need to work on a new strategy there! I also got caught up on my emails and did some reading, so it really turned into a productive day, even though it started off rough. AND today was my Full Circle Farms delivery as well! (http://www.fullcircle.com/)

Todays order included radishes, romaine lettuce, zucchini, apples, oranges, peaches, onions and avocados. I also added multigrain bread, a dark chocolate salted almond bar, tomatoes, pancake mix & banana chips.  Then I received a free bag of coffee as a gift. I don’t drink coffee, but my roommate does, so it’s still a win! At this point, I have tried almost all of the different breads that they have to offer from local bakeries. There is still a sourdough left that I haven’t tried, but I am trying to stick with the healthier bread options. Because my schedule is a little crazy this week, we didn’t do our menu planning, but did make use of some of the zucchini and onions with tonight’s dinner, along with some carrots that we had left from last week. Well, this blog has been a little all over the place, it’s after midnight and Disney is demanding I get off the computer and snuggle with her, so I will bring things to a close now… How do you make the most of the days that don’t go according to plan?

More About Me

Ok, so the title of this blog makes me seem a little self-centered, but really I’m not. And yes, in a way all of my blogs are about me, but this particular blog picks up where last Friday’s left off with 5 more things about me. Last week I revealed that I have a cat, I love country music, I am a writer, I enjoy NASCAR & baseball, and I will read pretty much anything. Here are this week’s revelations:

1. I love all things Disney! As you may have guessed by my cat’s name, I am a pretty big fan of Disney. I grew up in Southern California and went to Disneyland often as a child. As an adult, I had an annual pass and would go pretty much every 6 weeks. I always referred to Disneyland as my “happy place.” I have been to Walt Disney World in Florida once, and didn’t want to leave. I have almost every Disney movie made (and have no children). My favorite characters are Eeyore and Cinderella. And I really want to go on a Disney cruise!

2. My favorite color is pink. Yes, I know I said that pink is Disney’s signature color, but really that’s because I love it! I don’t wear a lot of pink, but if pink is an option color for anything from pens to folders to tote bags, I am probably going to pick the pink. What can I say, its my girly nature coming out!

3. I am a career retailer. While I am working towards a career in the fitness industry now, I have worked in the retail industry for twenty years. Part of that time was customer service behind the scenes for retail companies, but most of it has been on the sales floor, in the store, hard-core retail. For most of those 20 years I have been in management positions, which means lots of headaches, but also a lot of challenge and diversity. This is especially true considering I have worked for a variety of companies including a department store, historic hotel boutique, major greeting card franchise, occupational footwear company, pet supply store corporate office and (currently) a supplement store.

4. Last week I mentioned books, music and sports, but I am also a movie addict. I have a huge collection of DVDs ranging from romantic comedies to suspense with just about everything in between (including the Disney movies mentioned earlier). I love to see movies in the theater and also at home curled up in front of the TV. I prefer to have a bag of popcorn with me when I’m watching movies, but can go without when necessary. But I need to get to the theater early to pick a good seat and see all of the previews. I hate getting into the theater after the previews start!

5. I miss my car… desperately! I have not had a car for just over a year now and I really miss it! While I am able to get around using public transportation or walking, I miss the freedom having a car gave me. Now I have to plan in extra time to walk where I need to go or plan my trip around the bus schedule… this makes it really hard to be spontaneous. Plus waiting 30 minutes or more for the bus at night when I get off work gets really tiring when all I want to do is go home. I am really hoping that I’ll be able to afford a used car by the end of the year, even if it’s just a beater, but we’ll have to see how things go…

So there you have it, another look into the parts of my life aside from fitness and healthy eating. As I mentioned before, it is these little pieces that help to give my life balance and make me who I am. I’ll share 5 more pieces with you next week.

How attached are you to your car?

Furry Family

I mentioned last week that I am the proud mama to a fluffy kitty whom I adore and spoil endlessly. What I did not mention is that my roommate also has furry bundles of love to adore as well. With the combination of her three cats and  dog, our household is full of four-legged love!! I thought that I would take the opportunity today to introduce you to these darlings as they will probably crop up in my blog a time or two.

First is my angel-faced demon…

This is Disney, or on formal days, Disney’s Magic Princess. She is the light of my life, and loves to cuddle up with me. In fact, she absolutely hates it when I leave the house and runs to greet me everyday when I come home. She also loves to terrorize the boys (my roommate’s cats) and tears through the house like she’s insane on occasion. She came into my life when she was 10 weeks old and just turned 4 last month. I cannot imagine my life without her. If you couldn’t tell by her tag in the picture, her signature color is pink.

Next is Pico, he is the oldest of my roommate’s kitties, coming in at 10 years old. He is known as the grumpy kitty, because he prefers to be left alone, unless he wants attention. He also feels that he should get any food that no one else is eating. He absolutely loves popcorn and ice cream and seems to spend most of his day curled up on my bed asleep, unless his mama is home.

Then comes Tonka, also known as Disney’s boyfriend. Tonka is around 3 or 4 and is a very special kitty. He loves to play with Disney and hangs out in our room as much as possible. He is a total love and is always trying to climb into my lap when I am working at the computer. He also talks to himself, chatters to the birds outside and sometimes seems to have a few loose screws. There has been talk that when I eventually move out on my own again,  Tonka may join me and Disney in our new place.

Meet Rivers! He is probably the sweetest of all the cats in our household. Of course he is also the one who Disney loves to terrorize play with the most. I am not sure exactly how old he is as he was a rescue. He keeps to himself most of the day and will wrap up in anything he can find, a blanket, sweatshirt, whatever. He has tons of personalityand will carry on a conversation with you if you talk to him! If you scratch the places he can’t reach (had a leg amputated due to injury and infection), he will be your best friend for life!

And finally we come to Maddy, the other female and only canine in the group. She is 8 years old now and spends most of her time curled up on her pillow when she’s not basking in the sunshine (when we have some). She absolutely LOVES to ride in the car and go with us wherever we go, even if she has to sit in the car while we go grocery shopping. She is probably the sweetest and most well-behaved dog  I have ever met. It may be difficult to tell in this photo, but she is a Boxer.

So there they are!! All five of the furry, four-legged “people” who share their home and love with us. There is will an upcoming blog devoted solely to Disney soon, but I as I said, the others will make appearances here and there as well. As a matter of fact, Maddy already appeared in yesterday’s blog!

Do you share your life with furry family members?