The Off(ish) Week(ish)

So what did I do while on my technology sabbatical?

1.  I sucked at taking a technology sabbatical, but each day got better (until I gave up altogether and ended it early) and I think it will be easier to lessen my use day-to-day now. And I know better what it will take to truly take an unplug week when I’m ready to try again.

2.  I totally drained my legs with the 12-miler on Saturday + a 6-miler on Sunday so switched around my training for the rest of the week (keeping the distances and runs, just exchanging rest days) and rocked out my peak week of training.

3.  I fell in love with my Garmin Forerunner 305.

4.  I had my first fight with Rebel.  Catalyst: Me still holding out (actually, for him I do believe it was about sex, for me, I was attempting a DTR talk because sex and the R – relationship – go together).  I learned that he’s a horrible fighter.  He wasn’t much for listening to or attempting to understand what I was saying and super-awkwardly left before any real discussion could be had.  Outcome:  Validation of my decision.   

5.  I realized there’s a difference between someone with whom you want to hang out and someone with whom you want to combine lives, which I guess I knew, but again…validation.

6.  Had another date with Mr. No Name on which he was determined to prove he wasn’t conservative and could be more than a friend.  Fail, first of all, but then he got post-date balls.  Via text he was all, “damn we should still be hanging out,” and I was all, “well then you should have stumbled your way through some kind of awkward invite to a phase two because now it’s too late and I’m on my couch in my ugly single-lady PJs and my tummy is happily full of sushi and vodka I didn’t have to pay for.”

7.  I had another first date with another POF guy. I found out that someone who has “non-douche” as their headline IS, in fact, a douche, but of a weird variety.  I deleted the last batch of “[insert rando’s name] pof”s from my phone because the ratio of guys who do online dating because they are socially retarded to guys who do online dating because they are normal, but busy/new to the area is about 5:1 (from my research) and that’s just a numbers game I’m sick of playing. 

8.  I heard from TGISWOTSD again.  Re:  hot dogs.  Again.  His interests seemed much more diverse when we were dating, I swear.  Again, maybe he’s testing the waters of friendship, but seeing his email addy, my heart flutters and wonders if he misses me and realizes we were great and it’s worth an actual try.  Ugh.

9.  I packed my fridge and pantry with real food so my apartment no longer looks like a bachelor lives there.  And yes, this is packed for a single girl.  I spent way too much time thinking about how to use it all!

10.  I totally blew my food budget (but that’s why I built in flexibility elsewhere).

11.  I ate well. (This is homemade pizza amazingness, part 2!)

12.  I accepted that I will never be a photog or foodie blogger (but I started a wellness blog that will have a food aspect)!

13.  I added some big dreams to my bucket list because I’ve really seen the power of writing down and going after some of the things I want recently and I’m in a big WHY NOT mood.

14.  I actually wrote down THE list (of traits I’m looking for in a man).  Again, why not?

15.  I went out on a school night.  As in like, don’t even start getting ready until 9 kind of out.  It was a friend’s last night in town and I’m glad I did, but I’m paying for it today!


Alternate title:  Bring It On

It’s week #2 of the Winter Wonderland Warrior Challenge.  Check out my first Winter Wonderland Warriors post here

Life's Journey with a Smile

Or, if you’re feeling lazy, don’t move an inch, I’ll bring my goals to you.  You’re welcome.

  1. Lose 5 pounds in January and maintain (starting is 122.6).
  2. Sign up for a new dating site in February (assuming Mr. Amazing doesn’t waltz in before that).
  3. Climb the seven summits of Phoenix in seven days.
  4. Make a real meal at least once a week.
  5. Adopt a pet.
  6. Get a bike and decrease my gas usage.
  7. Write my guest post for The Chick Lit Bee.
  8. Roll over my 401(k)s.
  9. Do six things with friends (happy hours, game nights, etc.).
  10. Find and participate in a volunteer opportunity.

This week, the warriors are answering:

  1. What have you done this past week to help you achieve your goals?
  2. Are any of your goals repeat offenders (i.e., have you made them before and not succeeded)? If so, what do you intend on doing this time to ensure you achieve them?
  3. Do you have a support system in place to help you achieve your goals?
  4. Are you a planner when it comes to meeting your goals, or do you tend to “wing it” and hope for the best?
  5. Fun Question of the Week: Who knows about your blog? Are you on blogger lockdown or do the “real” people in your life know about your blog/read your blog?

I am a big time planner (4), so immediately when I set my goals, I mapped out when I would be completing most of them, mostly in January and February.  A few others I’m winging, the idea being with March largely unscheduled, I’ll fit in the rest. 

Some of the things are things I’ve had on my to-do lists or my I’ll get around to it lists forever (2) – specifically 1, 5, 6, 7 and 8.  Damn, I’m a procrastinator.  Putting them on THIS to-do list gives me a deadline, but these are the ones I had to jump on right away. 

So what have I done about them? (1)  I opened a Roth IRA account that I will transfer my 401(k)s to.  I just got an email this morning that it is approved and ready, so now my next step is actually moving the funds.

I also attended a Meetup for a new group I just joined and RSVPed yes to a few others.  My intention behind “do six things with friends” was to make an effort to see my friends who I recently moved 30 minutes away from (and I spent time with them once last week too), but I’m excited about shaking up my social life and meeting new friends closer to where I am as well. 

I signed up for a new dating site.  It sucks and it’s not THE dating site I had in mind, which I still plan on joining in February, so I’m not sure if it counts.

I holed up in Barnes and Noble and “researched” my Chick Lit Bee post and started writing it.  This is my positive picture because I love that this is how I spent an afternoon:

I made my first real meal last night – alfredo pizza piled HIGH with garlic chicken, bell peppers, spinach, baby bellos, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese, yum!

And I found and signed up for a volunteer opportunity that I’ll be doing next weekend!

Not too shabby, eh?

I don’t really have a support system (3) because I keep my blog private from people in my real life (5).  I do have a good friend who’s staying on top of me about the adopt a pet thing, I think because his roommates don’t want a pet, so he wants to live through me!  I love the support I received from other warriors on my first post though and have added everyone to my Reader so I can support them as well!

Eating Like a Grownup

Ugh, enough with the relationship crap, am I right?  I really am not always thinking about exes and future-exes and boys, boys, boys, I swear!

Case in point, today I wanted to switch gears and talk about wellness and food and all that good stuff.  One of the themes running through my many lists for 2011 is wanting to cook more and ensure that I’m eating healthy meals.  Yeah, we’re only a few days in, but so far, not so good. 

What types of things am I passing off as meals lately?  Christmas turkey leftovers, mustard and swiss on a Wasa cracker.  A Full Bar followed by string cheese and yogurt.  Coffee.  A crab cake and a handful of M&Ms (kind of separately).  PB&J (um, delicious, but I feel silly taking it to work because I am not actually 4).  McDonald’s.  Cereal for dinner.  Ugh.

And that’s all SINCE the new year started. 

Um, boyfriend?  Anytime now…I’m STARVING over here and need you to a. take me to dinner and b. come over so I can cook for two.  Oh, that’s right, we’re not talking about boys today.

You see, I’m not good at eating real meals.  It’s a convenience thing, a money thing, an impatient thing, a history of my relationship with food thing, a not wanting to eat the same leftovers for days on end thing.  It’s also an immature and unhealthy thing.

Even though that’s what I grew up with, it’s unusual for me to eat a vegetable if I’m not at my mother’s house.  My meals are usually more one-dimensional.  A burrito is my pièce de résistance and I don’t do sides. 

Generally I start snacking  and have a hard time stopping because there’s no real plan.  I really wouldn’t consider it a binge because I’m not stuffing it in mindlessly until discomfort.  It’s just a handful here, a snackie there and there’s no signal to my brain that I’ve had dinner. 

I’m 26 and I’d like to eat like a grownup now please.  Thank you. I’d like to plan meals, not munch while preparing them, sit down to eat, package up my leftovers for a thoughtful lunch the next day, maybe have a simple and small dessert and then move on with my evening.

I started small last night with pasta, zucchini and garlic rolls (although I did snag a roll once they were done).  I’m lusting after the delicious, but simple and healthy meals I see my foodie blog crushes making and eating and take note, collecting recipes for my once a week goal for the Winter Wonderland Challenge.  My body wants real foods and I’m going to be better about obliging that request.

When Try is Fitting

Reverb 10, Day 18 Try What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it?

I don’t really like the word try, I like the word do.  I surprised myself by making a list last month of “things I want to try,” but try really was fitting of the things on this list because they’re things I think would be a fun/nice/good experience, but I’m aware they might be challenging and that I might not like them, either way I want to try them in 2011.

Be a yogini for a month. I’ve never been into yoga, but I’d like to try more than just one class every six months.  One month of practice may not make me like it anymore, but it would make me appreciate it and mixing up my workouts is not a bad thing.

Be a vegan for a month.  I was a vegetarian for about 10 years, now I only eat poultry and fish and it’s not out of the ordinary to go a week or so without meat at all, but I’ve never been a vegan.  I think it would be a good experience.

Zumba and Crossfit.  They are both just so all the rage.  It took me about a year of wanting to try spin before I worked up the balls to do it and found out I loved it.

Sleep for eight hours a night for a week.  Can’t see how I won’t love this, but it will take a concentrated effort to do it.

Unplug for a week. This one might be the most challenging AND rewarding.

As for something I wanted to try in 2010…

I wanted to try one more time with Mr. If-Only-He-Were-Right.  That ended up about as awesome as expected.  Not at all, that is.

I wanted to try to make bread pudding and it came out!

I wanted to try to make sangria.  Worst idea ever.  It was okay, the next day was not.

So I guess, despite my intial aversion to the prompt and the idea of trying, sometime it’s just fitting.

Thanksgiving Traditions

[I shared this Thanksgiving post on The Coupon Project’s Thanksgiving Mr. Linky…did you share yours?]

We’re shaking up our Thanksgiving traditions a bit this year in the Jaye household, but not too much.  Mostly it just means welcoming more people to our usually very small celebration…my parents, my sister, her fiance, his parents and potentially his sister + potentially her boyfriend. Surprise, surprise, Em is the seventh or ninth wheel. What else is new?

We’ve actually been shaking up our traditions ever since my sister and I moved out of the house because growing up means more responsibilities, obligations and other distractions.  I’ve had to work on Thanksgiving, my sister has had to work on Thanksgiving, our parents have traveled and we’ve had Thanksgiving on a Sunday, one wonderful Thanksgiving, we had a three-course meal at a lovely little trattoria in Italy.

But, traditions are traditions damn it and when I think of our Thanksgiving traditions I think of: 

Cranberry Orange Bread.   My parents are of the mindset that on Thanksgiving you eat the Thanksgiving meal, usually around two or three o’clock and that’s it.  Maybe around seven or eight it might be time for more dessert or a mini-plate.  Little ones can’t NOT eat all day until two or three, so we would always wake up to freshly made cranberry orange bread.  Yes, it was from a box (obviously, there were much more important things to be making from scratch) so it’s not anything special, but any other time, it would be blueberry muffins, but COB is for Thanksgiving.

Please excuse the diatribe on healthy eating + Thanksgiving that follows…

I realize now this is actually pretty unhealthy.  It sets the precedent that it’s okay to starve yourself if you’re going to binge later. And that it’s okay to binge.  Thanksgiving is a meal of relatively healthy, at least more natural and wholesome foods than most of America eats on a daily basis.  That will not do for Americans.  They find a way to make this wholesome food unhealthy – marshmallows in sweet potatoes, deep-fried turkey, and A LOT of EVERYTHING. 

Even if the food is delicious, who really likes to feel STUFFED afterward? No one. That’s who.

Eat like a normal person, eat a normal breakfast, eat enough at “the big meal” to taste everything and feel satisfied and have leftovers to enjoy again. They’re just as good the next time around. Enjoy the people you are with.

Forced Family Fun.  Everything about Thanksgiving screams forced family fun, which sounds worse than it actually is.  I love my family and enjoy spending time with them, but during requisite events, I have no choice but to enjoy it.

Hiking.  We used to hike every Thanksgiving morning. I hated it. Now I’d love to get my family out there. My mom will be too concerned with making everything perfect, even though our guests are just as relaxed as we are, like us and are mostly stuck with us at this point. My dad might not be healthy enough for it and I don’t want to be the one responsible for trotting him around a mountain trail to find out. Oh, and my sister will no doubt have popped the champagne upon waking up, okay, maybe she’ll wait until she’s at least showered, but drinking and hiking just don’t mix.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  I love it.  I don’t think anyone else in my family does.  I sneak it on the TV.

Ignoring football.  Hate the Cowboys.  Enough said. (I find it funny that I managed to work in my distaste for America’s football team in back-to-back posts.  Go me.)

Being banished from the kitchen.  I’m the baby of the family and I’m just not as into food as the rest of my family is, so generally I get designated as the table setter.  I think last year I got to put the rolls in the oven.  This year we’re doing a quasi-potluck and I’ve been put in charge of appetizers.  I’m pretty sure they’re expecting a cheese tray and a bag of baby carrots.  Little do they know I’ll actually be busting out a smoked salmon and creme fraiche hors d’oeuvre and stuffed mushrooms!

Board Games.  Again, this might be just a me thing, but with even more participants this year, I am so making this part of the forced family fun.

T-minus four days.  Can’t wait!

Naked Chef

While I sometimes lament being single and sometimes wish I still had a roomie to make In-N-Out runs with and come home to watch Say Yes to the Dress with, I really like that I’m on my own.  I’m an introvert and need my alone time and I like the freedoms that come with living on my own.

Also, I may or may not be kind of competitive with my sister and every time she’s over she comments that she wishes she had lived on her own instead of going from our parents’ to college to living with her best friend to living with her fiance.  Point, emjaye.

I like having total control over how to decorate, singing loudly in the shower and having parties without checking someone else’s schedule, but the freedoms truly culminate in the kitchen.  While cooking naked. 

It’s not that I love cooking naked, it’s that I love that I can. I don’t do it often, but if I’m not dressed and I’m hungry, I’m not getting dressed to walk 15 feet across my – and only my – apartment to my – and only my – kitchen.

I found myself watching a show called “I’m Pregnant and…” over the summer. Each episode follows a pregnant woman in an nontraditional situation. This particular episode was called, “I’m Pregnant and a Nudist.” It made me wonder if I was a nudist (I’m all about the power of suggestion), but in my defense, it was the middle of summer and I was quite frugal with the A/C, so taking my clothes off while I hung out around the house by myself just made sense. 

Now it’s winterish and getting cooler (and I’m frugal with the heat) so I can safely say I am not a nudist.  However, I really do enjoy the “I’m not wearing pants” dance that my sophomore year roommate taught me (that sounds much more like a college any guy’s fantasy than it actually was). 

And someday I will find a man who will thank his lucky stars that I have held on this quirky habit from my single days.