Burgers, Life Decisions, and a Dramatic Makeover

Happy Monday to you! We had a pleasant weekend over here. Lots of running, a little adventure, and a makeover filled our day planners.

I had planned on switching my long runs to Saturday so I could get it over with early in the weekend and not have it hang over my head while making more fun plans. But Friday night we hung out with some friends until late, so by the time I finally rolled out of bed Saturday morning it was already too late to beat the throngs of tourists along the Embarcadero. So I did my usual 4-miler and called it good.

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Which was probably a good thing. My foot is still hurting. I took Karen’s advice and rolled my foot with a frozen bottle. But I don’t think she had this kind of bottle in mind. Well, you use what you have available, right?

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I’m actually pretty bummed that Hulk left this wine in the freezer. It’s my favorite – Benziger Sangiacomo chardonnay. We intended to drink it Thursday night as part of a little celebration, but someone forgot about it and opened up another bottle. I found it Friday while putting groceries away and was impressed that the bottle didn’t break. The frozen liquid just pushed out the cork. It made for a good ice pack. A very expensive ice pack.

While I was icing my foot with the world’s most expensive ice pack, Squish received a makeover. He was getting shaggy.

Before:

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The distinguished after:

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Then we headed south to San Jose to look at apartments. We had to make a decision this weekend if we were going to renew our lease at our current place or move, and where we would move to if that was the decision. All that apartment touring made us hungry, so we stopped at Billy Berks in downtown San Jose for some refreshing burgers and brews.

And sweet potato fries for #TheSquish.

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Burger-riffic. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was to be burger #1 for the day.

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Then we met up with a friend in Palo Alto and explored a few residence options there. It’s right in between where Hulk and I will both work, so we wanted to check it out. We wandered University Ave and I resisted the lure of the Palo Alto Lululemon store. Then we picked up (or, I picked up) some iced coffee.

Armed with all of our research and decisions, we headed back to SF. On our way home we found ourselves hungry again and while stopping for gas picked up some Burger King takeout (burger #2!), parked on a sweet spot on Potrero Hill, and munched our burgers as we gazed at the view of downtown SF and weighed options.

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The verdict? With a view like that, why would we leave? We signed our lease and will stay in SF another year.

And I’m glad we did, since my 10-mile run through Crissy Field Sunday was glorious.

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Followed by compression socks, Netflix, and celebrating Interational Coffee Day with more than one well-crafted beverage.

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Did you honor International Coffee Day on Sunday?

Any big life decisions made lately?

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Five Things Friday

It’s Friday! *happydancehappydancehappydance*

I’m feeling very creative today – okay, not really. I drank too much wine last night and don’t have the brain cells to put together a normal post. So I’m doing a cliche “Five Things Friday” post until my head heals enough to remember what I’m doing in life.

  1. The Folsom Street Fair is this weekend. Just another reminder on why I love San Francisco. If you prefer not to Google it, Folsom Street Fair is the largest BDSM and leather lifestyle festival in, like, the world or something. Unfortunately, I seemed to have misplaced my assless chaps in a move, so I will not be attending this year. The good news is the fair takes place just a handful of blocks away from me, so we should be able to spectate from afar and experience all of the colorful SF characters running around the neighborhood.2. We are one workweek down from Alexis’s 30-day Self-Care Aventure! How are you doing? Drop by her blog and check in when you get a chance.

    3. On Tuesday, KERF posted about a new service called CookSmarts. It’s a meal planning service that sends you weekly menus, recipes, and shopping lists to help get your home-cooked dinners organized. I cook almost all of our meals at home, and as much as I love the idea of meal planning I can never seem to get it together to execute it well. So I’m testing out CookSmarts next week with a free 4-day trial. We’ll see how it goes!

    4. We’ve lost our TV remote. Again. I really hope it didn’t go out the window.

    5. I start my new job on Tuesday! Woot!

How is your Friday going? Do you have any fun weekend plans in the works? Anyone attending Folsom?

And just because:

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Thursday. Yup.

This is my 104th published post! I didn’t even notice that I hit a triple-digit milestone on this little bloggy. I shall plan a special milestone edition post. Or not. We’ll see if I can come up with something good, then find the time to realize my idea to maybe half of its potential because I tend to procrastinate and I’m lazy.

Anyway, I’m at the Sausalito Cafe waiting for my breakfast burrito. I was a good girl and made breakfast at home, then I forgot to eat it. In my defense, I was pressed for time. When I wasn’t paying attention, Squish tried to stir the bowl of scrambled eggs that we’re sitting on the counter waiting for the pan over veggies to heat. He spilled the entire bowl all over the counter, floor, and in the utensil drawers. I probably could have been mean and left it for the new babysitter to take care of, but I’m not normally mean unless it’s for significant political or monetary advantages. Or if it’s just really, really entertaining.

Speaking of entertaining, I had a kick ass run this morning. After my usual loop up the Embarcadero, I decided to cut back through Soma and hit some of the little hills there. I hadn’t worked hills very much, and since I was feeling really great and the race will be a hilly race I decided to go for it. Totally wasn’t a bad morning for a run.

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Yeahhh.

Okay, I’m tired of typing on my phone. And my breakfast burrito is ready. So toodles for now!

Treat Yourself Tuesday #3 – Coconut, German Beer, and Self-Love

It’s another Tuesday! Another Treat Yourself Tuesday from Olives ‘n’ Wine, that is!

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And another opportunity to spill all the self-love beans I’ve been holding onto from the week! Okay, some of this you may already know about. But here it all is, abridged.

So, I still can’t find the coconut Chobani yogurt that Ashley keeps talking about. And that makes me sad. But I did find that Chobani Flip yogurt in coconut. Well, Almond Coco Loco, which has coconut AND chocolate chips, so it’s pretty much better. I snacked on that Friday at work with a coconut water. Then I went and got some Blue Bottle coffee, which is pretty much the best coffee in the world. #justsaying

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Saturday night we accepted an impromptu invitation from some new friends to check out Oktoberfest. The venue was at Pier 48, just behind AT&T Park. We indulged just a tad.

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I have such a freakish evil expression in that photo. But in context, it makes sense. I mean, you had me surrounded in tasty beer, delicious food, and polka music. The German in me couldn’t contain herself. That’s probably why this is all I was really up for doing on Sunday.

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I was the mom on the playground with disheveled hair, massive Starbucks, and a general glazed look of malaise. Oh wait, we’re all parents. Everyone looked like that. Also, the teeter-totters these days require a surprisingly little amount of effort to make entertaining. I could launch Squish in the air and barely slosh my coffee.

Finally, I received contact from two of my dear friends yesterday. One was in town and had time to meet me for happy hour at a nearby restaurant. I indulged in postponing my post-work parental responsibilities to hang and gossip with a bestie. Even though it was brief, I was sooo happy and grateful we could fit in a little time in our schedules to get together.

My other dear friend, Alexis is launching a “The Self-Care Adventure Series: 30 days of wholehearted self-love” challenge, open to anyone who want to join in developing a new habit(s) of self-care and destressing. It can be whatever works for you – journal, bubble baths, taking time to breathe, talking to a friend, or anything that helps you decompress and reconnect. Make the time to savor in some self-love, and Tweet, Instagram, or post it to share with everyone. We’ll be using the hashtag #selfcareadventure on social media (follow her on Twitter at @alexis_marbach), and commenting on Alexis’ blog, alexismarbach.com to share and hold each other accountable as needed. Feel free to check it out and join in. It might give you some additional ideas on how to treat yourself. (Side note: I am so excited!!)

And now, I leave you with another Squishy dance jam.

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What I Ate Wednesday #3 – Dine and Dash

Good morning!

This is going to be yet another “dine and dash” post, as my alarm just told me it’s time to leave for work but I am not dressed yet. Typical Wednesday!

Any-hoo, I had sort of a distracted day yesterday. Had a banana with almond butter “sandwich” to fuel my almost-5 mile run in the morning. Followed by some foam roller lovin’. Complete with awkward gym pics.

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But in true self-care style, I made the effort to get my stretch and foam roll on, since my leggies handle the weekly running pounding so much better that way. I skipped my long run on Sunday (forshame.) so I was really anxious and raring to go yesterday morning. My legs, however, were not. All day at work they were super achy, stiff, and I spent a good chunk of the afternoon sitting on my tennis ball to relieve the sharp pains from my hamstring. Plus, my foot is starting to get these shooting pains that feel like knives stabbing me in my heel. I’m not sure if I need to do more yoga/foam rolling/ice baths or not. Time to experiment with some recovery methods to see what helps me survive in one piece through December. Because, you know, it’s just pain. There’s no way I can stop running or anything.

Breakfast was on-the-go. I picked up a breakfast burrito and coffee from the Sausalito Cafe on my way to the office. I love this place for on-the-way-to-work breakfast. The owner is super nice and loves to chat, and the food is outstanding.

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(Ugh, I hate pics of half-eaten food. But I keep forgetting to take a shot before my hunger overcrowds my senses.)

I went home for lunch and (as usual) tried to get too much stuff done on my lunch break. So I had to pack up my pork chop and celery to eat back at work.

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Again, with the half-eaten food! I tried to hide the bites with the celery. Eww.

Dinner was a glorious experiment making shepherd’s pie, but my phone was in the other room and my brother came over so through the chaos I never took a picture. But I had a modest square with a couple of beers. Because I believe in balance.

There was also copious amounts of coffee with half & half and cups of tea thrown in sporadically throughout the day.

And now I am very late. Have a happy Wednesday!

Weekend Recap, Wordless Version

Happy Monday, my friends!

Things are about to get 1000x more crazy busy over here. This is my last week at my current job, so my to-do list is filled to the brim with all of the close-out activities in anticipation of my departure, not to mention all of the nagging personal tasks I’m going to be tackling to prepare for having a real commute again (real commute = less time, must be more organized). Long story short, this is a quickie post as I dive into the thick of it, so here were some of our weekend shenanigans for you to indulge in and seethe with jealousy as I spin in circles over here.

Have a great week!

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Lunch at One Rincon

Happy Friday to y’all! Who else is doing the Friday dance?

Speaking of dancing, Squish busted out some moves last night while we were playing Pandora after dinner.

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It’s blurry because he wouldn’t stop. Can’t stop the music.

Anyway, I had something new (*gasp!*) for breakfast after my run yesterday. A delicious grapefruit:

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And the pumpkin “cereal” that Tina from Carrots ‘n’ Cake mentioned in her eggless breakfast ideas post the other day. I used up the last half of the can of pumpkin with a dollop of almond butter, honey, coconut, sesame seeds, and raisins.

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It was okay. While it was nice to change up breakfast, I didn’t find it horribly delicious or life-changing. I’ll do it again if I have some pumpkin to use up.

I had to tour another potential day care for Squish in the morning, which took twice as long as I thought it would. Good thing I picked up a Starbucks short latte ahead of time.

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Since the tour took longer than expected, I was in a crunch to grab lunch. I was nearby the Rincon Center I went to with my boss the other day, so I decided to sneak some pictures while I grabbed some take out.

All right, so I do not have a vast lexicon for describing architecture and style, so bear with me while I do this. The Rincon Center was an old post office back in the day but has been converted to an office complex with a huge food court. The design is really cool; they kept a lot of the original post office features.

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The food court has a huge ceiling with a fountain that rains down from the top, surrounded by windows. It’s soooo light and airy! I love light.

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The fountain falls from the ceiling,

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To a pool on the ground. So cool. I don’t think I’ll bring Squish here; he’ll want to repeatedly run through the fountain puddle.

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Anyway, I was craving some Indian, so I picked up a chicken tikka masala lunch special to go. On my way out I found this place tucked in the corner:

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And when I passed by, I saw that they serve Paleo options! I haven’t seen that yet, how crazy. Maybe next time I’ll check it out.

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These are sort of crummy pics because  I had to cut through the line of hungry customers to get a shot of the food, and it was a little awkward. #bloggerproblems

Anyway, here’s lunch. Chicken tikka masala with no rice and a salad, naan, and meat samosas.

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I was soooooo stuffed from lunch. Uncomfortably stuffed. Definitely a treat for the week.

Dinner was already prepped to go. I marinated frozen chicken breasts in the Best Chicken You Will Ever Eat, Ever brining chicken recipe from Well Fed. Then I baked them with some pepper and fresh squeezed lemon.

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We have, like, no veggies left in the fridge so I scrounged frozen bags of butternut squash and okra. I have never had okra before, but I’ve heard it’s slimy. To be honest, I was really scared to try it (I’m a texture wimp sometimes). But veggies with dinner we must had, so I heated up half the bag with copious amounts of butter. Because everything is better with butter.

Squish POUNDED the okra. Like, hand-over-fist plowed it down. I guess he likes okra. Mom win! I didn’t think it was too bad. Definitely the slime factor took some mental happy place to get through, but the taste and texture was all right. Especially with Squish’s encouragement I think I’ll include okra in our veggie rotation in the future.

It’s Gym Day, so I’d better get my fitness on and get the morning started. Have a most wonderful Friday, and weekend if I don’t see you later!

All The Workouts

First of all, happy stinking birthday to my little brother, Pete.

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(This is the only photo I can find. I might need to hang out with my family more often. Bwahahaha!) My wish to you is that Squishy treats your computer better than he treats ours.

We are having some weird-o technological issues over here, so I’ll see if I can scrap this post together.

I don’t understand how we can have a fridge full of food and nothing to eat. Wait, I do understand. It’s because we went to Costco for cheese, sausages, yogurt and nothing else. Well, except for the ginormous 4-lb bag of kale. That’s now turning yellow in the crisper drawer. So I put together green smoothies for lunch yesterday in attempt to get the kale used up.

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Along with a grilled cheese and some sausage that Squish and I split. It went down okay.

I knew my lunch wouldn’t hold me over until I got to the gym, so I picked up a pumpkin spice latte before I left work for a quick snack. Then I got to ALL THE WORKOUTS:

Warm-up:

10 minute core progression, everything 30 seconds or 30 reps as needed, for 3 sets:

  • plank
  • bridge
  • sit-ups
  • bird-dogs (I still do them on my knees)
  • superman

Le Workout:

  • Bench 3×10 @ 30 lbs
  • Incline bench 3×10 @ 25 lbs
  • Shoulder press 2×10 @ 20 lbs, 1×10 @ 15 lbs
  • Bent over rows 3×10 @ 35 lbs
  • Shoulder flys, 3×10 @ 10 lbs
  • Bench flys, 3×10 @ 10 lbs
  • Dips, 3×10 bodyweight
  • Lat pulls, 3×10 @ 35 lbs
  • Curls, 3×10 @ 35 lbs
  • Pull-ups, 5 pitiful ones, jumping to get up there

Cool-down: 20 minute yoga podcast, Qi Yoga for Runners (yogadownload.com)

I may have worn mismatched socks to the gym.

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For dinner, I found one sad little burger patty left in the freezer, so I made as epic of a burger as I could with cheese, ketchup, mayo, and some massive pickles.

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Then I made a treat of a slice of toast with almond butter, raisins, coconut, and a few chocolate chips.

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So gooey.

This morning, with my legs feeling fabulous from my massage the other day, I couldn’t wait to get out to my 5 mile tempo run. I think I finally figured out a good 5-miler route when I cut my loop back from the Embarcadero by swinging through Union Square.

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Perfect.

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And my legs felt INCREDIBLE. Seriously, why don’t I get massages more often? I foam roll several times a week, but there’s nothing like somebody grinding your hammies without mercy to work out the knots and make you feel like you can finally touch your toes again.

I hear a certain Squishy-man stirring, and it’s time to get me my breakfast on. Duke is encouraging me to do these things as well.

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“ARE YOU MAKING BACON?!?”

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“Your sure? No bacon?”

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“Fine, then.”

Do you ever go for sports massages?

What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW) #2

It’s Wednesday already? This week is just flying by. I still feel like I’m trying to get caught up from the weekend.

Any-hoo, here is attempt #2 at What I Ate Wednesday, from Peas and Crayons. To be perfectly honest, yesterday was sort of a weird day, and I didn’t happen to catch everything that went in my face. Oh, the horror. But here’s how it all went down:

I pre-gamed for my run with an egg. Again. You’ve seen eggs. I’ve posted my eggs. There was nothing particularly special about this egg. Plus, my phone was in the other room and I didn’t want to grab it because I was in a self-imposed rush to get out the door.

When I returned from my run, I had my usual fruit and yogurt, this time with mango,

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And another 2 eggs topped with a sprinkle of cheese.

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I also had 2 things of coffee with half and half. Ooh, and I got to start a new notebook today! I love the first entry in a new notebook. It’s like the first day of school all over again.

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Later at work, my boss invited me to lunch with her in between meetings. My boss is super cool, so I ditched going home to join her at a new-to-me food court nearby. I’m definitely going there again, it was in one of the downtown office buildings that used to be the old San Francisco post office. The architecture is very art deco, with a lot of the original post office features incorporated into the design, and in the food court atrium there is a giant fountain that falls from the ceiling. Super cool. Anyway, since I was eating with my boss I felt weird photographing my Korean noodle soup with beef, chicken, and pork. But it was yummy. And surprisingly filling. I couldn’t get enough of the beef broth.

I had my massahhhge after work, and man did she go to town on my bum hamstring. I’m sore today, but that was exactly what I needed. Then I zipped home because we had a meeting with a nearby family to look into a nanny share for Squish. So I slammed a can o’ tuna and a few unpictured crackers before we shot out the door.

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Once you go tuna in olive oil, you can’t go back to water-packed.  I can eat this stuff straight out of the can, it’s so flavorful and doesn’t get that dry texture that water-packed does.

After our appointment it was starting to get a little late for Sir Squisherton, so when we came home I put him to bed. Then Hulk and I teleconferenced with another nanny candidate. We may have been drinking a glass of unpictured wine while interviewing the potential nanny. Because we’re classy parents.

Then Hulk and I tag-teamed dinner. He boiled the pasta and cooked the sausage while I mixed in butter and parmesan to make the sauce.

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I didn’t actually eat it sideways. That would have been messy.

Then I had another glass of unpictured wine. So much for no drinking on school nights.

Time to get the Squish up for the day and head off to work. I hope all of you super awesome people have a super awesome Wednesday!

Why Don’t I Work Out? A Reply.

“Oh, dear. Did she put out another wordy post AGAIN?”

Yes, yes she did.

So, I stumbled upon this post by Linz over at Itz Linz today, and I had so many thoughts about it that I had to write a response.

From the post, Linz is currently on an exercise sabbatical for some health issues. As she is going on long walks and taking it easy, she is CRAVING some real working out. And it’s driving her nuts how she so badly wants to run, lift, do SOMETHING. Meanwhile, there are so many people out there that choose to do nothing even though they are perfectly healthy and able to do so. How annoyingly crazy is it that she wants to work out so badly but can’t, and there’s all these people that totally could get a sweat on, but don’t?

A little background about me (for those of you reading who are not my mother or my sister; Hi, Mom! Hi, Amanda!), my husband is an ex-professional athlete who loves to work out and be fit. I’m an ex-couch potato who’s always struggled to get moving. I tell you, Hulk could have written Linz’s post for me! He’s always gently (and sometimes not-so-gently) poking me to get up and go to the gym.

So I am definitely one of those people who, from time to time, choose to do nothing. You probably wouldn’t know it from my blog, but for years I’ve struggled with finding my fitness groove. I go in spurts, sure, and did a race here or there. But until recently, exercise and fitness has always been just a nice idea for me, not a lifestyle. It’s only since I started  taking my health seriously this year that I’ve been digging deep and committing to finding my inner fitness guru. So, from the couch-potato-trying-to-be-fit perspective, here’s my list the excuses people (um, I) use and what I think they (*ahem* I) really mean:

  • “I don’t work out because, well, I’m just too lazy.”
    The real story: I don’t really know what it feels like to be fit. Hulk is always saying if I could just feel what it’s like to be really fit and healthy, I would never want to go back to the couch. And since I don’t know what I’m missing, it’s natural to think that it’s not worth the effort and time if I’m not seeing immediate benefits.

I imagine that it’s especially hard for people that have never really exercised before save for some unfortunate dodge ball experiences in middle school gym class. In the beginning days of a new workout program or training plan, it’s so easy to get discouraged when you feel wimpy, or feel like people are staring at the slow/fat girl running down the street, or you can’t do what you used to back in the day (“Seriously? I can’t even do one push-up?”). Plus, you know what it’s like the day after your first day back in the gym after a long break. Life hurts for several days. If you don’t have an idea or example of how awesome and fun an active lifestyle could be, or you don’t really have any motivation or goals besides the fact that your doctor told you to start exercising, then what’s the point? This is hard. I like life better when it’s not so hard. As if life is easier when you’re out of shape.

It kind of goes hand in hand with making goals, but if you lack the understanding of all the good you’re doing to yourself and how much easier and better life is when you’re fit, then that’s one huge motivational tool you’re missing. At least, that’s what I’m told. I am not really there yet, but I’m getting there.

  • “I don’t have the time.”
    The real deal: Finding time isn’t always the real issue. Realizing that for me, exercise is a priority deserving of time currently devoted to other activities is the real issue. To be honest, it’s taken me months to figure out how to fit working out in my schedule. Months. It was a total trial-and-error process of seeing what works and weighing the pros and cons of each plan. It wasn’t until I realized that working out was important enough to me that I was willing to put other stuff off to make time for it that it became easier to make time for working out.

I have to be okay with waking up earlier and missing out on sleep, or turning down an impromptu invitation to hang out with friends, or putting off laundry or dishes or making fancy-pants dinners so I can work out instead. I’m not saying I always skimp on sleep and ignore my friends because I have to be at the gym. But if there’s a choice to make – work out or go to dinner with friends – and I want exercise to be a priority for my lifestyle, then I sometimes need to make choices how to fit it in if I am not planning properly.

  • “I’m bored. Exercise is boring. I don’t know what to do.”
    The real deal: I need a goal. And not just any goal; a goal I care about. If I don’t have something to work for that I want to work for, I get really bored and burnt  out really fast.

Before my half marathon training started, I dreaded going to the gym. I had been lifting to get stronger and for the bragging rights of hitting impressive (to me) numbers, but I was just so bored with it. Now, I have a new goal to finish the race and finish strong. If I’m going to do it, I need to stick to my training plan. I know if I don’t, I won’t be ready come December. So that pushes me to lace up the sneakers four times a week and hit the road.

My goals don’t necessarily have to be events, either. Generally I find that whenever I invest money into something I see it through. Last year I took a bootcamp class for a couple months. Since I was paying for it, I made sure to go to every single session to get my money’s worth. But everyone’s different, so the trick is to keep trying stuff until you find what works for you. I’ve also crashed and burned trying to do 30-day yoga challenges, following the TurboFire training plan, and training for two previous half marathons. Those were goals that I thought were a nice idea, but just didn’t “light ze fire in ze belly” for me. If something lights your belly fire, then embrace it and use that energy to make it a habit. But not Fireball. I mean, a physical activity of some sort.

I’m sure there’s more reasons, but these were the ones that always impacted me. Activity just has to be come part of your life, just something that you do, to be consistent. These are just a few pearls of my wisdom I am able to share as I venture forth on this self-imposed fitness journey. Maybe you can relate. Maybe you can’t, but now you have some insight on why these silly people don’t take care of themselves. Everyone needs their “aha!” moment at times to figure out the right path, and everyone’s path is a bit different. Somebody’s “right” will undoubtedly be somebody else’s “wrong” so you have to do what makes you happy right now, unless you’re sort of kidding yourself (like my old play-Sims-and-eat-jelly-beans-marathon habit from college) 🙂

How about you? Does it drive you crazy when people don’t take care of their health, or do you kind of understand where they’re coming from?