Hard Exercise Works, Yummy Salmon, and Lazy Days

Happy Friday! It’s not really feeling like Friday for me since I work all weekend, but I’m having a nice relaxing day off! I go into 16 hours of overtime this week, so I’ll just enjoy my lazy afternoon. I had planned on going to a CrossFit class this afternoon, but I’m not sure if I’m feeling the gym today. Undecided. I won’t be able to work out till Monday though because of work tomorrow and Sunday, so I’m thinking I should go, but then again, my PJs and couch time is feeling fantastic too!

I want to start with a quick dinner I made on Wednesday night! When Jon and I were in Florida, we stopped to get Publix subs and tried a sample of some salmon that was delicious! They were giving away cards with the recipe so I grabbed one. Jon and I finally made it when I got off work and I was extremely pleased with how it turned out!

salmon with capers and golden raisins

I already ate half of it before snapping a picture to show his sister, but if any of you out there like salmon, I recommend trying this! It was super easy to make. My tip: Buy golden raisins from Trader Joe’s. They have the best golden raisins out there by far. Also, we made about 1lb of salmon with the topping and that was good, so I’d make extra for more salmon. Oh, and I didn’t have herb garlic butter, so I added a heaping tablespoon of minced garlic (from the jars) to 4 tbspns of butter and heated it up on the stove and then just combined that with the rest of the topping. And I didn’t zest any lemons. Let’s be real. I’m too lazy for that.

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I tried a new ClassPass class yesterday! I actually really had fun there and will definitely go there again! It was one of the Hard Exercise Works classes. The only really off-putting part of the class was that we started with clean and jerks and the coach didn’t even go over how to stand up out of a jerk! She demonstrated a split jerk, and then when she stood up, she brought her back leg forward, all the way even with her front leg. On a split jerk, the front leg comes back, then the back leg comes forward to meet it. I know it’s small, but if you want to teach olympic lifts, then know how to teach them properly. This was definitely a CrossFit-esque gym, but they said their difference is that they don’t go into heavy lifts as much (strange that I went on a day where we found a 1 rep max on C&J). It made me grateful for the good CrossFit coaches I’ve had that ingrained proper technique into me.

After my workout, I stopped home to shower and then met Laura out for sushi! I have really been craving sushi lately, so I was super excited to get some! Sadly, my shrimp tempura roll tasted a little strange. I’ve had the same thing from there many times so I know it’s not the norm, but it was a little disappointing. I also stopped by Costco after since sushi is right next door and was super excited to find that they have organic strawberries out now! 2 pints for $7.99!

Jon and I watched two episodes of House of Cards last night. I’ve heard really good things about it, but I’m just now getting into it after 3 episodes. I’m not really into politics so it can be kind of hard for me to follow at times. I think it’ll be easier to follow once the full storyline develops, but we had to pause it a few times for Jon to explain the first few episodes to me. And the way Kevin Spacey speaks in the show drives me insane. (Fun fact: I apparently had no idea who Kevin Spacey was. I’m not a movie watcher nor do I care about famous people, but that is totally not who I imagined as being Kevin Spacey. He kind of reminds me of my dad too, even though I assure you that nobody has ever looked at my dad and thought “woah, you really look like Kevin Spacey.”)

I slept in till 10 today (holy moly) and decided to start my day with making pancakes for work mornings. I really despise making pancakes for work, but I spent well over an hour doing it.

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All I used in these were protein powder, sweet potatoes, and eggs. Too lazy to add anything else (for one baked sweet potato, I add 4 eggs and 1-2 heaping scoops of chocolate protein powder- this was 3 sweet potatoes here).

Then I made myself some brekkie of hash browns, chives, cheese, and sour cream (baked potato style) and it was so dang good. I don’t know why I’ve never thought of this before! I was inspired apparently since Jon and I made potato pancakes to eat with out salmon the other night so I had everything available. Pretty sure I’ll be making this regularly.

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I had planned on cleaning the floors this afternoon but totally sat down on the couch to eat breakfast and file my nails and then got started on the new Real Housewives of Melbourne and my productivity has gone down the drain. I think soon I’ll have motivation to either clean the floors or go to the gym. Not both. But definitely one or the other.

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Off to enjoy some more company with this guy before Jon gets home from work. Have a great weekend, everybody!

Hashbrown Crust Breakfast Pie

I had a pretty fantastic Thursday off work with Jon today! I’m hoping he ends up with a full time gig soon, so I’m trying to enjoy our midweek days off! We slept in a bit today and once we rolled out of bed, I decided to try making the breakfast pie I’ve been thinking about for the last few weeks! It was a major success!

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I basically heated up about 4 cups of frozen hash browns on the stove, then smashed the excess water out and lined a buttered pie bowl with the hash browns. I baked the crust at 450 for about 20 minutes until it was a little browned on the edges. While that was in the oven, I had Jon cut up my veggies and sautéed 1/2 a white onion with 8oz of chopped up baby bellas, and then I added in a couple of handfuls of spinach at the end and wilted that. Jon cut up and cooked about 6 slices of bacon. We added all of that to a bowl and mixed in 4 eggs, 1/2 cup of milk, and 1 chopped up roma tomato that we smashed the excess water out of also. Add some cheese (maybe 1/2 cup) and as much pepper as you want and bake at 350 for about 35 minutes! (Like how fancy my “recipes” are?)

Seriously, this was the shit. And I made it all up on my own. I was pretty proud of myself! I think this is going to end up becoming a breakfast staple and I have a feeling the leftovers (though there aren’t many) will make a nice morning snack at work tomorrow!

After our breakfast, we worked on adding me to Jon’s new insurance plan so now we have decent coverage again with Coventry and if I get pregnant now, it won’t be the end of the world! Hallelujah!

We headed out for our routine coffee date and enjoyed our nice cup of joe. Then we looked at some more Jeeps and found a fairly decent price on one! Once Jon gets a new full time job, the new Jeep will be a done deal! We walked around downtown Roswell for a bit after and enjoyed the sunny (but cold) day!

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We ended up going home after our little walk and then it was time for me to go meet up with Crista for some PM coffee! I had already had some, so I just stuck with a hot chocolate that was seriously delicious!

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They had a pretty killer sugar free carrot cupcake that Crista enjoyed! It was really nice to have some one on one time with her since I’ve only hung out with her and our guys since I’ve been home! We can’t really catch up 100% in the company of the guys. Hopefully this will happen more often so she works so close to our house! I don’t think she realized how close we are to each other!

After coffee, I came home and then Jon and I headed out for our nightly driving lessons! I’m definitely getting much better at driving his Jeep! I learned a trick to manage hills without rolling back so much and I even drove on one of the “main” roads to go take out our trash (we missed trash day today). Our lesson lasted about 45 minutes tonight, which is longer than we’ve been able to go so far. I tend to get stressed out easily when cars are around because I’m really not used to driving a manual yet, but it’s getting way easier now! Luckily the road we live on is really calm at night and has plenty of hills and side streets to practice on, so we’re able to get a good lesson in without going far!

This was the first day off work in a long time that I skipped the gym! I had a pretty killer CrossFit workout last night, including 150 back squats and 150 hand release push ups and a 2000m row (I despise rowing). I only used a 35# barbell on the squats and definitely couldn’t go down as far as I’d like. I also noticed that I leaned to the left since that’s my uninjured side. But I had no increase in pain today so that’s a relief! I may add in squats to my normal workouts, but still at a really low weight and low reps until my form is able to improve again. Today I wasn’t feeling the gym at all and took it as a sign. Besides, I have been wanting to let my hip get a little more rest, and I’m going to ClassPass classes on Saturday and Sunday morning so I think having 2 days off the gym totally will probably be good.

Alright, time to go wind down before bed. I took 50mg of benadryl almost 2 hours ago and am still not tired. WTF. I need to go to sleep for work tomorrow! Ahhhh!

Yummy Recipes, Cannon Beach, Oswald West State Park, and Bye Bye IG and FB!

I’m now 3 full days back to healthier eating and I already feel so much better! I’ve actually ended up cutting coffee out for these three days as well but I don’t plan on that going on much longer! I’m already feeling an urge to get all the Dutch Bros and Peet’s in that I can before I leave Portland in less than 2 weeks!

It helps that I made the best dish ever though…

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I know the picture sucks because it was night time and it’s super dark in the house, but for real- so good. I bought a bag of frozen, cubed sweet potatoes and one of butternut squash and stuck them in the oven at 400 while I cubed 2 apples. I also had walnuts cooking on the stove in maple syrup and cinnamon on medium heat. Once the walnuts seemed like they were all glazed and yummy, I added everything to the dish and threw on some nutmeg and cinnamon to all the rest of the stuff and put it back in the oven till everything was somewhat soft. I’m pretty sure this is one of the best things I’ve ever made. And thanks to the freezer section, it was also really simple.

Pretty sure that has helped me stay sane on this no bread/sugar kick (I’m not counting maple syrup) because it’s just so delicious.

Yesterday I headed out to the coast to Oswald West State Park! It was a little snowy going through the north end of the Tillamook National Forest and the snow makes me so nervous! I did get an awesome view of Mt St Helen’s though! It’s kind of cool cause while I was getting a photo, a woman asked if it was Mt Hood or Mt St Helen’s. You really do get to know what they look like though! Mt Hood is much pointier and the summit leans to the north. Mt St Helen’s is a lot more flat!

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You can see some of the snow that was on the trees right in the front. Mt St Helen’s is gorgeous too, but just doesn’t have the same appeal as Mt Hood for me! I’m still dying to see Mt Rainier though! I bet it’s magnificent (I can’t believe I used that word, but that’s what I picture!)

The drive put me out just north of Cannon Beach, so I decided to make a quick pit stop! The rocks were just massive coming out of the water! I stayed away from them for the most part since it just looked really crowded up close, but it was still beautiful! The town of Cannon Beach was adorable too! I wish I had decided to spend the night there!

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I kept heading down to Oswald West but over the side of the road saw a little area that looked really awesome! The next few photos are from Hug Point!

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Hug Point

I almost went back to my car but decided to walk up the beach a little! So glad I did, cause I found this waterfall!

Hug Point

Hug Point

I finally made it down to Oswald West and started out on the Cape Falcon hike! It seemed easy and the elevation gain was under 200 ft, but it was 5 miles round trip! I decided I didn’t want to get sucked into a 5 mile hike since I was already seeing such amazing places and my daylight was getting limited, so I walked back to the car and drove on. I came to this very short hike next, which led me to some breathtaking views! Reminded me of Australia!

Oswald West State Park

Oswald West State Park

I just sat out there and enjoyed the view for awhile. It was just absolutely amazing to see the ocean from up so high and all the rocks and whirlpools! I love the PNW! I love being near the water and love being near the mountains and I tell Jon all the time that we need to live near one or the other in the future, but you win living up here! (Except for the m’f’ing RAIN!) After my mini hike, I drove further down the coast and saw another beautiful view!

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After getting back in the car and making one more quick stop in the town of Manzanita (also cute, but not as cute as Cannon Beach), I decided to head home! I was getting nervous about the roads icing over at night even though it hadn’t rained at all, but the roads were still wet in the mountains because of the shade. Instead of heading back north to where I came from, I headed way south in hopes of roads with no snow! Good call- I made it, despite an added hour of driving time! And I got to enjoy some new views as well!

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Today I headed to the Japanese Garden in Portland. I’m sure it’s beautiful in the summer, but all the leaves were gone and it was a bit of a disappointment! The Lan Su Chinese Garden wins for my Portland gardens!

I managed to get a great upper body workout in tonight and 16 or 17 minutes of going backwards on the elliptical (gotta work that butt sometimes). My hip only bothers me rarely these days, but still am not pushing the lower body workouts! Although I can’t wait for some leg workouts that just fatigue my muscles again! These baby leg workouts will do for now though.

And for my last news, I decided last night to deactivate my Facebook temporarily! I also deleted Instagram off my phone. I’m sure both of them will come back sooner than later, but I’m going to try to keep off of them until Jon and I head back on our road trip at least. It feels strange not picking up my phone and browsing through there, but I find Facebook to be kind of boring anyway and it’s just a time filler. I do like posting what I do cause I know mine and Jon’s parents follow it so it’s fun for them to connect with me while I’m away, but I won’t be doing anything other than working over the next week anyway! It’s probably good to disconnect for a bit and I’m hoping to start filling my time more productively for a little while and break the habit of just getting on Facebook out of boredom. What did I do before my iPhone, anyway?!

This was definitely long enough! Have a good night, everybody!

Best foods, travel nursing, Braves, and no workouts.

Since I missed my exercise recap last week, let me get that out of the way:

SMTWTFS: Nothing

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Whew! Glad we got that out of the way. I did go on a few walks with Jon and enjoyed all of them (as shown above with his fancy new iPhone 5s- taking clearer selfies than the iPhone 5c POS). I didn’t step foot in the gym once or in my running shoes and I just don’t care one bit. But I am pretty excited to get back to it tomorrow. I have a dentist appointment at 10 but am really hoping to make it to CrossFit at 12, either at my old gym or at the one I go to now. I do miss being a regular at CrossFit, but there just isn’t a way for that to happen right now!

I created this masterpiece in the kitchen:

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That little bowl may not look like a beauty, but I sauteed some organic hashbrowns, threw in some chopped up Applegate Farms chicken & maple sausage, an egg, and some cheddar cheese, and that was like, the best breakfast ever. The only thing that would have made it better was topping it with syrup, but let’s be real, I eat enough syrup already.

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My favorite foodstuffs numero dos is my kale salad with kale (duh), strawberries, garlic powder, lemon infused olive oil (Galantino is my favorite, but let’s be real again guys, not everybody can be as awesome as me and have legit Italian olive oil- J/K, I’m almost out of it too), and the very best partgolden raisins. I’ve had golden raisins in salads before and loved them but I’ve never seen them in the store. Lucky for me, Trader Joe’s had them! I have had more salads since finding these babies than I have ever had in my life. Oh, and yes, I do eat my salads out of tupperware. Ain’t nobody got bowls big enough for that. (By the way, yes I talked about this in my last post- but I’m doing it again with a picture! That’s how you know I mean business.)

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And then there’s this fella. I haven’t spoken much about my love for Golden Star Coconut Milk, but it’s a real thing. It was 80% coconut cream and only 20% water, and those were the only two ingredients, nothing else. And it sold for like, $1.75 a can at Wal-Mart. But then the dreaded day came that Wal-Mart stopped carrying it and I have never seen it anywhere else. I’ve tried so many other coconut milks in hopes of finding a match to Golden Star and it’s always a crying shame. It never compares. But then! I found this can of goodness! I actually had overlooked it a time or twenty because it has like, two other ingredients in it and I’m a coconut milk snob, but I went for it in a moment of coconutmilk-mixed-with-strawberry desperation and I’m so glad I did. I ate this on strawberries today and it was like the coconut heavens rained down on me. I would like to say that I’m exaggerating, but I’m not. And the whole can is thick and creamy! Not even just 80% of it! I forgive the xantham gum in it! In fact, I love you, xantham gum, for making such a delicious treat!

This was totally not meant to be about food.

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As part of my #100happydays on instagram, I shared this today. I have finished my application for my Massachusetts nursing license! $275 later, of course. I also applied for graduation! The registrar confirmed receiving my form, and now all I have to do is become $130 poorer tomorrow and I will be holding that stupid $15,000 BSN degree in my hand in May! And possibly applying for the GRE, but I’m still undecided. Ask me after my final on May 2nd. Until then, I’ll just dream about Boston and all the other awesome sights and cities I’m going to see over my travel nursing career!

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To end on a totally random note (in case this whole thing wasn’t random enough), we’ve managed to make it to two Braves games in the last week (hence my lack of working out). Tuesday was the home opener and it was a snooze. Friday night was exciting and went into an extra inning and then the Braves ended up winning! I wish baseball was always exciting, but sometimes all the players do is strike out nonstop. Even Uggla’s plump rear can’t make up for that many strike outs in a row.

Alrighty, I’m actually supposed to be writing my essays for my biology test tomorrow, so I should probably go ahead and finish that.

Workout plans no more :( Sick week!

I’m actually a little bummed to report that my Fitness February didn’t start yesterday. While I was working on biology in the morning, I noticed that I was starting to feel increasingly worse. I ended up napping from 11:10-12:15 and finally dragging myself off the bed to go grocery shopping. After that, I was going to run and head to the gym. Nope. With every hour that passed, I continued to feel worse.

The good news is that I had time to cook yesterday since I was feeling too sick to work out! I also decided to get a picture of what $127 worth of groceries buys me:

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Enough wild caught cod for two people and two pounds of chicken included.

I still hate cooking but was actually excited to be making our food again! I hate getting into the habit of eating out because when you always eat out, it’s just so hard to want to eat at home. I used my new kitchen stand (/super old but recently brought home from the storage unit) as my recipe/Pandora stand:

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I’m excited to stain this darker!

 I made these amazing breakfast muffins:

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Bacon, egg, cheese, hash brown! SO GOOD!

I also cooked up some shredded chicken in the crockpot, some sweet potatoes for breakfast, cooked chicken for stir fry, and cut all the stir fry veggies up.

By the time I finished, I had about 45 minutes until I had to go to class. I did a quick workout with 10# weights at home first since I had skipped the gym. Then I managed to get to campus early enough to study two chapters. I got home and was feeling exhausted and lazy so all I did was watch TV and go to bed.

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Tom has been so cuddly lately! He just laid in my arms while I watched TV.

I didn’t get much sleep cause of congestion and my sore throat, unfortunately.

I just got home from work today. As a quick lesson I’ve learned in my years of nursing, it’s that IV drugs are really never a good idea. Nothing like dragging an unresponsive, totally blue young kid out of a car, presumably due to overdose. But there’s nothing quite like the excitement of somebody running in the front door and saying they need help and having it actually be a legitimate need, either.

My original plan was to go to CrossFit tonight but I’m really not feeling it at all. As much as I want to get back into the gym, I spent most of my day nauseous and now I’m blowing my nose every ten minutes and coughing and sneezing a ton. So instead, I think I’m about to shower and nap and then start on my biology.

Hopefully by this weekend I’ll be able to get back to working out and running. Maybe I won’t set any fitness goals anymore because clearly once I do, my body feels the need to intervene.

Run day! Finally sunny!

I woke up today to another dreary day. I made Jon breakfast before he headed down to campus to take some finals and then I started studying. Around 12:30, I decided to head out to the gym. I live in a pretty dark house surrounded by trees, so I don’t typically have a great indication of the weather when I’m in my living room. I went to open the door and look what I saw!

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This is the first day there has been any sun in so long! I was immediately super excited! I planned on going to the gym and then running after, but decided to skip the gym entirely. I have a final tonight and wasn’t sure I’d have time for both and I really wanted to at least enjoy the weather!

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This is my favorite place to run! The river runs along most of the trail for this section so it’s really nice! It was pretty chilly out and my nose kept running, but I felt really good for the whole run. By really good, I mean I actually kind of felt like I was dying and couldn’t breathe very well, but I was so excited about running in the sun that I completely ignored that feeling the entire time. I also ran in my Minumus shoes again and it felt so much better! My ankle had pain as always, but went away immediately when I quit running, as always. The bottom of my right foot was a little tight, but I’ll lacrosse ball it out. I haven’t gone running in these shoes lately but it was like my feet were at home again.

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I was surprised to keep my pace at 8:33 for that whole time but happy. I’m going to run the Hot Chocolate 5k on January 28th and I’m sure it’ll be freezing and first thing in the morning (I’m not a morning workout person), but I would really really really like to get one of my miles into the 7 minute range at least. It can be 7:59. I don’t care. I just want to see a 7 on there!

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Told you I was happy. I never take pictures of myself after exercising. It’s kind of weird. But do you see the sun shining behind me?! Glorious!

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I even love the parking lot area in this weather. Can anybody else tell how much I’ve been needing a sunny day? I really wish I didn’t have a final tonight or I would go hike Stone Mountain since I have an annual pass now and it’s not very far from my house. I’m really hoping to wake up to some sun tomorrow so I can enjoy the entire day off outside before heading back to work Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

After I left the park, I went to check out a CrossFit gym. It’s the one that Jon used to go to. I must have been feeling motivated today because I hadn’t even decided for sure that I was going to go back yet. But I told the owner that I’d come by for a WOD tomorrow. I’m a little nervous. After taking 6 entire months off, I can guarantee that my form will be shaky and pathetic. Normally I wouldn’t mind this, but it’s at a completely new place so the coaches have no idea what I do in the gym normally! I remember going back after taking a few months off in the past and my clean and jerks were just sad. I had to actually remind myself to have fast elbows and it was only like, 55# too. The only downside to this gym is that they have a really competitive nature. I mentioned to the owner that I wasn’t sure I wanted to get back into very heavy lifting because of my thumb and he seemed to think I could work on its strength. I probably can work on it a bit, but I also am not risking my thumb. People with thumb injuries often have residual effects for the rest of their lives and I need my thumb. So I’m not pushing it. I honestly don’t care if I never compete again. Competitive CrossFitters are too competitive. They like to win. I don’t care about winning. I like to beat my times. So why pay $80 to compete, come in last, and do 3-4 WODs in a day when I really don’t want to do more than 2 in a day, ever? No reason.

When I got home, I ate this beauty.

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I only bought the bread for Jon to have last night, but then I ended up eating it on bread too and let me just say, it’s worth it. This sandwich is amazing. I very loosely followed this recipe that I found on Pinterest for a chicken pesto sandwich. I used walnuts instead of pine nuts because pine nuts were $14 a bag (are you kidding me?!) and I definitely used way more nuts than the recipe called for. I almost never follow recipe measurements (unless it’s Paleo bread or something cause I’m not that good at baking) because I hate having to clean up so many tools in the kitchen. There’s just no reason to ever have to wash measuring cups or spoons. So I eyeball it and add things as I want. I also made three chicken breasts worth. But anyway, if you need a new sandwich idea and like basil, make this. Also, if you don’t own a crockpot and food processor, you’re missing out. Crockpots make the best chicken (throw in some broth and water and you’re done!) and I use my food processor for almost every recipe I make. Best $40 I ever spent. (Also, I left off the lettuce and tomato and ate it on a ciabatta).

Anyway, I better get showered and back to studying! I ended up making an A (a 90.8, but it’s an A) in my biology class and an A in my computer class (which was only worth 1 hour), and tonight is my lab final. I’m actually really nervous about it, but I think I only need a 50 to pass the class. But still, I’m nervous about making a 50 because sometimes the things we have to find using a microscope are impossible and I always get horrendous headaches and really impatient and discouraged when we use the microscope.

Everybody have a great day!

 

 

Newtons No-Go & Pumpkin Roll Fail

I ended up getting called into work yesterday! I had just pulled up to the gym and was going to run to retry my Newton Energy shoes and then do a leg workout. As I was parking, our scheduler called me and asked me to come in. 32 people in the waiting room and short staffed. I made it there by 2:30 and worked until 7pm, which ruined all my plans for my day but I did make 1 1/2 times my normal pay per hour. Since Jon and I are seriously talking about doing the floors in December, I definitely need the money. I tried to look at the positive side of things but I really wanted to just relax.

I woke up this morning to make Jon breakfast before he went to school. I did a little bit of studying and attempted to make a Paleo pumpkin roll. Since I was out of wax paper (or just never buy it because who uses it?!), I decided to make the roll on tinfoil. Of course, I forgot to oil the tinfoil so my pumpkin roll was a fail, but it still tasted really good! That’s really all I care about anyway since I’m the only one eating it.

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That’s the fail. Still looks delicious. It was.

After “studying” (mostly just cooking and playing with the cats), I decided I needed a nap after my exhausting morning. Actually, I get to a point at times where I am just so burnt out that I just want to sleep all the time. I’m there right now! I crawled into bed at noon and crawled back out at 1:30 and that was hard to do.

I ended up finally going for a run in my new Newtons! I went two miles and noticed in the last .2 miles that my feet were feeling a ton of friction again on the bottoms. So I switched back to my New Balance Minimus shoes for my leg workout. Legs were good. I did a few deadlifts at the gym but doing them in a globe gym with solid plates was hard. Too loud. It was a fairly short workout but my legs are tired. I swapped out my Newtons for some New Balance shoes, which have a 10mm drop so I don’t know how I feel about that. Then I bought another pair at Marshall’s that are similar, but I think I like how those feel better. I’ll try them out and see. Maybe both will be horrible. I also bought this jacket:

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Jon hates it. I can’t decide. Laura like it. Yes, I text her pictures of my new clothes to ask what she thinks. She probably has more pictures of me in dressing rooms than anything else. I can’t shop without her. She’s the best. End of my side note… Oh wait, I don’t always stand so gangster-ish.

I came home to shower and head to class. Lab was impossible tonight. I hate it. I hate the work that I have to do this week for it even more though. I also noticed the tops of my feet hurting (I probably focused on this more than my lab)! Back in the day when I first started running at 19 (I still use running loosely, since I never ran more than about 3 miles), I just threw on shoes from 7th grade and ran in those. Clearly not a good idea. I got tendonitis in the tops of both of my feet and it was extremely painful. Similar feeling today. So I guess I won’t be running again tomorrow if they’re still hurting.

I got home from class at 10 and made Jon and I a pork dinner. Pork was a little dry but the rest was good. I also got to listen to Jon clean out the fridge (he dictated everything he took out and where he put things back). For a man who can’t clean up after himself, he sure is set on stupid things (like leaving one piece of food in the sink when there are clearly dishes piled in the other side!). But for him, the man that I just love so very much, I will do my best to put things back in the fridge in an orderly fashion.

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Pork dinner, topped with mushrooms, spinach, bacon, and cheese.

I took Benadryl to help me sleep since I took such a hefty afternoon nap and drank coffee in class, but wasn’t tired when Jon into bed a little while ago. It’s definitely kicked in now, so I’ll be headed to bed soon. Yup, like now.

Learning how to cook!

My mom is a really fabulous mother. She loves me unconditionally and I’ve never once felt like I was disappointing her in my life decisions. She did once tell me three years ago that she didn’t think I should take a job working in Gwinnett County since it was so far from my house, but she still supported my decision. (By the way, she was wrong to think I shouldn’t have taken it, since I’m still employed by the same place and worked days just out of nursing school in the ER.) She has also taught me a lot of really important things about life over the years. She taught me that you have to pay taxes every year (surprisingly, not everybody knows this). She taught me not to buy things you don’t have money for (and I still won’t buy anything on a credit card unless the money is in savings). She taught me to work hard and that you’re never too good for a job, whether it be scrubbing floors or serving fries (I clean the bathrooms at work to this day if I have time, because there’s no point in calling housekeeping when I can clean them myself). She taught me to be independent and not to have to rely on anybody else. She recently even taught me how to caulk my bathtub!

However, my mother didn’t teach me how to do my hair or makeup (luckily, I’ve learned a thing or two over the years) and she never taught me how to cook.

I was a vegetarian for 13 years, so I learned how to make a mean grilled cheese and some fantastic spaghetti, but that was really about it. I can’t recall ever making fresh vegetables during my vegetarian years and the first time I ever cooked meat on my own was probably only 1 1/2 years ago. My mom made all of our dinners in my elementary school days, and in my middle school years I spent every single afternoon over at my neighbor’s house, where we ate Goldfish and drank Coke like it was our job. In high school, we mostly fended for ourselves with a bowl of cereal, and once I could drive I was working 30-40 hours a week at Arby’s so I was never home for dinner.

When Jon and I were together the first time around, we did cook some. But we mostly made the same things over and over again. He would make chicken on the stove and we would saute a bag of frozen veggies. I kept telling him that I’d learn to cook when I got out of nursing school and had time.

I finished nursing school and was eating out for most of my meals or making really simple things. Once I started eating Paleo (May of 2012) was when I really started experimenting because you can’t eat Paleo and not cook. It’s impossible, unless you’re rich and order premade meals for every meal.

I’ve pretty much mastered chicken. I can cook up pretty much any type of veggie, although I love squashes, zucchini, and sweet potatoes mostly, and Jon likes things like green beans and broccoli and not much else, so he really limits what I make. I’ve mastered the crock pot and pork is so easy in a crockpot. Well, I use “mastered” loosely. I’m pretty good at it. I’m sure I have room for improvement somewhere in there. I know how to make steak, but Jon usually does it. And I haven’t tried to make fish lately, but whenever I tried before, I failed miserably. Then I got tired of wasting money on ruining fish, so I quit trying. And now Jon makes all of our fish, and that’s how I’d like to keep it.

I still don’t like cooking. I don’t dislike it quite as much, but I still would never say that I enjoy cooking. That’d really be a stretch. I hate baking, but I still only cook Paleo (moo Paleo- I do cheese) and am not a huge dessert person anyway, so I don’t really need to bake. But I do cook because I like knowing what’s in my food and there’s also something nice about being able to serve somebody you love a nice, warm meal. And once you start eating only wild caught fish and grassfed beef and cage free chicken with no hormones and nothing is preserved, you really stop wanting to eat out so much. Oh, and I guess once you hit a certain age, you really should just know how to cook (with or without your mother’s help).

Yesterday I made this.

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It’s chicken baked with creamy spinach and mushrooms. It was delicious. And that’s why I’ve learned how to cook. Even though it’s a pain to make things and I get tired of chopping onions and killing my eyes or peeling 2lbs of carrots or wasting an hour of my day just so I can eat dinner, it’s nice knowing how to make decent food.

Besides, when this is all you buy

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you really have to know how to prepare it. (PS- How nice would my kitchen look with a backsplash?! I WANT!)

So, Mom, even though you taught me a lot of things, I guess I just had to teach myself how to cook! But I succeeded. Except for fish. And I will never independently cook fish again either, cause I’m bad at it and it’s expensive.

(By the way, all that food is from the DeKalb Farmer’s Market. If you live in Atlanta, GO THERE. It’s insanely busy and a serious pain in the ass and it’s -45 degrees inside, but all that food was $92. The produce is all hidden in the bags, but that $92 included pure maple syrup and organic cashews (that accounted for $18 of the bill). It is so cheap and they prepare your pineapple for you! All the chicken is raised without hormones, the eggs are so cheap compared to the store, and they don’t use preservatives in the baked goods and they look delicious, but I’ve never tried them cause I don’t buy bread…)