Saturday, January 21, 2012

Dear Piperlime,

Stop tempting me, you harlot!

I already ordered a new purse from you yesterday. I don't need to be constantly reminded of your "Sweet deals," or how I can "Save on [my] faves." I love you already! The ad underneath EVERY SINGLE QUESTION I've answered on FreeRice tonight is a little overkill.

In other news, the enormous mess that is ASU still is totally swamped with the 300,000 other students trying to reset their passwords, and I haven't been able to get on in over two days. At first it wasn't a huge deal. Now it's starting to become an enormous pain in the ass. I would like to be able to access syllabi. I would like to know what homeworks are due when. I would like to be able to turn in homework that was due over the last week.

But no. Instead I sit here with an angry "high request volume" error message, unable to access Blackboard or check my email. You would think a school - particularly the largest school in the nation whose number one goal is not scholarship, but is apparently to recruit more students - would better protect supposedly "secure" information.

I hate the politics surrounding ASU. Rather than launching on a tirade about how instead of starting a petition to pay them more money, I should be chalking up this incident as yet another on their shitlist.

But alas, I still have another year here. And since I only got three hours of sleep last night between staying up in an attempt to get back into the ASURITE system and boot camp this morning, it's time for me to pass out. Maybe I'll dream sweet, sweet dreams about how Michael Crow's income is slashed by 90%. Or maybe dreams of how I, too, can be compensated upwards of $800K annually to poorly manage a university.

May all your camels be fertile, and may ASU be blessed with a competent president.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I'm going!!

You may recall from my list of 2012 Resolutions that one of them is to fit in a dress I bought for the boyfriend's brother's wedding by February 19th. Well up until Sunday, it was still just a plan. I officially have my ticket now, and I'm going to meet his family! I'm terrified and thrilled all at the same time.

I'm also thrilled beyond words that I will be seeing my sorority mama for the first time in five years! She lives in Orlando, and her birthday is the day after I arrive, so there will be some sort of shindig necessary. I miss her like crazy, and I can't wait! She is also getting married there in May, but I can't expect her to spend much time with me when I'm there for her wedding, so I'm really glad this worked out the way it did!

I'm about to head to bed with my Hot Pants on for the first time. They're supposed to make you sweat like crazy, so I turned the heat down 7 degrees from where I usually keep it. I'll definitely update in a few weeks on how I like them. They seemed gimmicky to me, but I know someone who has tried a similar product and really liked them, so I thought I'd give 'em a try. They were on sale, so I'm not out a whole lot if I think they suck.

Kyle seems to think that we'll have an answer one way or the other with this whole apartment collections nonsense later today, and I'm hoping that's true! I'm ready to get this nonsense over with. We did nothing wrong, and while we did chat today about getting an attorney and suing the pants off them, I'm really hoping the collections agency will recognize that we were within our legal rights to terminate the lease and are not responsible for any of what they claim we owe.

Morning comes early. Ciao!

(P.S. I made some delicious mac & cheese today. Check it out! I think it's my new favorite.)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

365 Questions: 176 - 182

176. What are the primary components of a happy life?  Doing what you love, and loving what you do. That doesn't just apply to employment; it applies to everything. 

177. How would the world be different if you were never born?  I like to believe I'm just a ray of sunshine. I know I've definitely made an impact on some people, and certainly their worlds would be different if I wasn't around, but I certainly haven't made an enormous impact on the world. 

178. What is your favorite song and why?  Oh yikes. All-time favorite song? I've never been able to choose one. Favorite Top 40s song right now is "It Girl," by Jason Derulo. Favorite folk song is "Danny Boy." Favorite Indie/a capella song is Ben Folds' cover of "Sleazy." 

179. With the resources you have right now, what can you do to bring yourself closer to your goal?  Make the calls I need to make. The only thing holding me back is fear. 

180. What are your top three priorities?  School, success, and fitness

181. Why do we idolize sports players?  I certainly don't, and I don't understand the mentality of people who do. 

182. What is the nicest thing someone has ever done for you?  Veru took me in when I was stranded in the Czech Republic this summer. Most all of my important stuff had been snatched, and she took me in for three days so I could get back on my feet. I truly don't know what I would have done without her. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

I fixed that shit.

Maybe it's just my house, but it seems like it goes through phases where everything goes wrong - the shower leaks. The dishwasher drainage line is clogged. The heating unit is acting funny. Every light in the house is dead. The fridge is dripping. You know the drill.

Well this week was one of those weeks. The shower wouldn't turn off. When you'd finally think you had it, it would drip all day. The shower drain was clogged, because I have so much hair. And the dishwasher had standing water in the bottom of it. Fantastic, right? Just what I wanted to deal with the first week of school.

Thursday afternoon I'd had enough of the dishes piling up on my counter, so I fixed that shit. I'm still impressed with myself.

In other news, Kyle came over Thursday to pick up copies of the paperwork from/involving our old apartment that is currently in collections (because we broke the lease legally and just haven't gotten around to taking them to court). Things went smoothly and I'm really glad. I think it was good (at least for me) to have some mostly-positive interaction with him, and leave the negative feelings behind.

I went to the Olive Mill today, and it was the first day of their Spring First Press Festival! (Or whatever they called it. Something like that.) Free wine tasting, live band, private press olive oil tasting, and a vendor table set up that was tasting bbq sauces (holy cow, yum!) and wine jellies/jams. It was pretty wonderful! I also walked out spending exactly what I had planned on when I walked in, which was pretty pleasing.

I'm having breakfast with friends in the morning, so I should probably start heading to bed pretty soon. Sorry for the lack of updates lately! I have been busy with school shenanigans and homework. I'll try to show my face a little more often, though. Ciao!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Holy sheet.

The weigh-in for boot camp was yesterday morning. They take your measurements and all that, so you can see how much progress you've made at the end of the month.

Total weight lost on the juice cleanse?

11.5 lbs.

Wow. Bring on another one!

I can definitely tell already that this early-morning bootcamp thing is going to be brutal. Aside from the obvious 5:30, she makes us do push-ups with your weight rocked forward onto your toes, and your butt up in the air. Your shoulders take your full body weight instead of your lower back. Yikes. And she ends every session with burpees. I apparently slept on my wrist wrong, so those were incredibly unenjoyable for me.

In other news, my sister and I went out to lunch today, and she asked me to be her maid of honor! I am simultaneously thrilled, shocked, and nervous. We don't really talk that often. I feel like I don't really know her that well anymore, and yet now I'm the one whose shoulders it falls on to plan her bridal shower and bachelorette party. I am hoping this will strengthen our not-super-close relationship.

I'm going to attempt to get five hours of sleep before boot camp again in the morning. Ciao!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Words of wisdom:

Don't eat seventeen* ginger chocolate dream cookies two days after finishing a juice cleanse and expect your body not to throw a fit.


In other news, my first boot camp class starts in less than five hours. I'm going to bed. Ciao!!

* small exaggeration 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Another goal down!!

Wow; it's been a long time since I've said that. But yesterday morning, at 12:01, I crossed off another goal! I have officially completed my 5-day juice cleanse.

I have also been slowly plodding away at my FreeRice goal. I'm averaging 1,500 grains a day this month (1.5 times what I need), and have donated more than 263,000 grains of rice since March. I dropped way behind this summer with all the vacationing I did, but I've made excellent progress and am almost completely caught up. (I should be at 300K grains, and am close!)

The other thing that's been taking up way too much of my time lately is Pinterest. Holy wealth of recipes! I have found SO many tasty-looking things there. It has given me so much inspiration!

I think I'm going hiking in the morning with Prince Charming and friends, so I should perhaps head to bed. Sorry for the crazy lack of updates lately! I'm buckling down now that the semester has started, so I can be as successful as possible. :)


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Some questions for my Paleo pals!

Friends, followers, and devoted fans! Please make sure you're sitting down for this one, because the Carb Queen is about to make a big announcement.

This whole crazy juice cleanse thing I've been doing? It actually has me thinking about eating healthier. I've (loosely) followed the Eating Clean plan for several years now, but this is an even bigger step.

I'm looking into the Paleo diet.

Yep. You read that correctly. Miss I-could-live-off-nothing-but-pasta-and-cheese has been researching coconut flour, almond meal, and actually contemplated buying seafood at the market yesterday. (Don't worry, guys! I'm not crazy enough to actually do it yet.)

I know the general gist. 6 - 8 oz. of lean protein with every meal, all the veggies you can eat (the leafier, the better), fruits are best in moderation initially. No starch and no gluten. Basically none of the carb-packed foods that I love. No more pasta. No more bread. No more potatoes.

The thought of that is a little scary. I love me some pasta. So much so that I have a pasta machine at home. My pantry is stocked with quinoa, couscous, barley, and whole-grain pastas. In my four-shelf pantry, two of them are devoted solely to grain products. That doesn't count the spill-over into the other two.

Anyway. My point is that while I'm making a more conscious effort to get the protein I know I should, I'm not totally thrilled about not having pasta or baked goods anymore. I've found a few paleo recipe blogs that use coconut flour and various nut meals for recipes and I'm more than willing to experiment, but I was just at our farmer's market yesterday (sorta like our local version of Whole Foods) and there was no coconut flour or almond meal to be found.

That's just not going to work for me.

So my questions!

  • Other than coconut flour and nut meals, are there other acceptable flour-substitutes that I can still use to bake with?
  • If I'm not able to come up with a suitable homemade alternative to pasta using nut flour, is there a reason I shouldn't use store-bought GF options? (Other than the "eat only natural stuff" mantra?) I've heard when you have to eat out, to ask for gluten, dairy, and soy-free meals. Since GF pasta is all of those, wouldn't it work?
  • If by some chance I can find cheese from grass-fed animals, why is that also a no-no?   

If there's something I'm missing, or reasonably inexpensive resources you would recommend reading, please let me know! There are a plethora of cookbooks out there so if there's one you find handy, please point it out.

And if anyone cares to share their story (I know I'm not the only carb addict out there!), I think it would help to know I'm not the only one struggling with the decision. This juice cleanse hasn't been too rough, because I know there's an end in sight. I only have one more day. With a lifestyle change, knowing that I'm eating a little more healthily than before is probably going to be poor consolation when I'm really craving some brie.

I really appreciate your feedback!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Day 2, and I'm going crazy.

Yesterday, as I promised to myself, I started my five-day juice cleanse. (Recipes and more on that here.)

I'm. going. insane. I had a dream last night that I ate cookies, or a muffin, or something bread-y and delicious. I woke up SO angry that I would have to start this whole thing over.

I'm really not all that hungry, surprisingly. However, this whole not having anything to munch on is really getting to me. I would sell a child to be able to cheat and crunch some cookies. Or an avocado. Or even some blueberries, rather than squeezing all the life out of them.

I've been chewing gum occasionally, attempting to curb the madness. It doesn't work. Something about chewing your food apparently is a huge deal to the brain.

So, in an attempt to get my mind off what I can't do for the next several days, I've been trying to stay out of the kitchen. I took a nearly-30-minute shower. I called ASU to get information on auditions for the women's choral group, and then emailed the guy in charge. I emailed a boot camp place to register for an upcoming class. I cleaned out my inbox of all the recipes I could find. I did some miscellaneous work things. Read up on "tricks" to keep your resolutions for the year. Then stared at my calendar and wished more time had passed, so I could go into work.

I'm not sick to my tummy (yet), which I certainly appreciate. I remember that as being the hardest part of my oral surgeries. The liquid diet that follows for the next week means your stomach over-produces bile, and terrible things happen. Mostly you're sick to your tummy all the time.

I'm already planning what to eat on Saturday. Maybe some steel-cut oats with blueberries (if I have any left) for breakfast. An avocado as a snack. Dessert is definitely going to be some chocolate pudding made with avocado. I might toss in some super-unhealthy homemade stovetop mac & cheese for good measure.

Ohhhhhhh, food. How tempting you are! I will make it through these four days, and I will come out a slightly thinner version of myself. This will be the jump-start I need to eat healthier. I'll just keep my eyes on the prize. Steel-cut oats for breakfast Saturday morning. Oh, boy. Ciao!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year! I chopped off all my hair.

What better way to signify a year of change than to make a big change to one of the ways I identify myself? I am a redhead and always will be, until the old and grey days. But since the day I chopped all my hair off for donation in 6th grade, I have rarely done more than just trimmed it.

New year, new 'do!


And after!!:

The shortest layers are about 4 - 6" off, and the long ones are 10" shorter than before. I love it! 

This is a year of change, of goal completion, and of fitness! I am starting a 5-day juice cleanse today, just made a phone call to ASU to audition for some music classes, and kicked this year off exponentially better than last year. I'm excited to see what 2012 brings!