Birthday Bash

Last weekend we had a birthday party … For me!


My birthday is the day after Halloween, so it made sense to have it a bit early, because who wants to party the day after Halloween?

That might have been a silly question when I think about who my friends are.

I can’t remember the last time I had an actual birthday party with, like, people and stuff. I think I was 12? 

Anyway, we all donned our party dresses and enjoyed a fun evening with friends. Buttercup won the “Can’t Even Cuteness” award.

And now that I’m done with my 33rd spin around the sun, it’s time to start planning Buttercup’s first! Stop growing. Just stop.

33 is going to be a great year.

Playing Catch-up: Parenting Rites of Passage and a Standing Desk Update

Greetings! I haven’t blogged all week, and I feel like I have so many updates now.

Filed under “parenting rites of passage achieved,” Buttercup threw my phone in the toilet last week. In the upstairs bathroom. Yes, while I was taking a nap, she crawled up the stairs, in my room, took my phone from the nightstand (which I had no idea she could even reach), crawled into the bathroom, opened the lid to the toilet (I think Squish just taught her how to do that one) and tossed my phone in. To quote Ron Burgundy, “I’m not even mad; I’m impressed!” This happened Thursday afternoon and thanks to a loaded schedule and me not being an authorized user on our phone plan, it took until Sunday night for Hulk and I to replace my phone. I actually really liked the unplanned electronic vacation, but I wish it wouldn’t have costed me the equivalent of a real vacation.


The standing desk continues to work for me. It’s been a bit of an adjustment, mostly because I’m an idiot as usual very good at overestimating my abilities and figure I should just stand all day. And start up running again. My joints are very much “no, thank you” these days to put it politely. But it’s been very interesting to learn more about how my focus works. When I’m productive, I’m laser-focused. But when my brain just isn’t into it, since I’m standing I tend to get fidgety, and it’s very obvious that I need a break. When I was sitting, it’s easy to just sit and do nothing. It’s hard to stand and do nothing. So my productivity has gone up even though I find the need for more frequent breaks, which research shows isn’t necessarily a bad thing.


Oh yeah, I’m trying to run again. Again. I keep going through this cycle of thinking, “I’m in rough shape, need to start working out again,” followed by an insane plot to do All The Workouts, and they only count if I do it at the crack of dawn, and I need to do them every day, then I burn out and can’t figure out why this isn’t sustainable. So I decided to take a step back and start small. What exercise makes me happy, do I enjoy doing, can be done whenever I have time, and can I see a lot of benefits from? For me, that’s running. So I’m committing to running three times a week to get back in the habit. Ideally, I want to add lifting and some yoga to the plan, but for right now my 30 minute runs three days a week is all I want to try to manage. So yesterday after work I went for a jaunt around the neighborhood to break in my new shoes.

And now we are sufficiently updated on the goings-on. Go make it a great day!


The Brew Day Weekend

So, I’m doing exactly what I hate to do, and that’s staying up late to blog. But I’m finding that sometimes you gotta find that time to squeeze into a day, and staying up a few minutes once in a while for a worth cause never hurt anyone. Let’s hope this post is a worthy cause!

Last weekend was brew day! And what a lovely day for a beer making session.

  It was really damp and foggy, but since we don’t know what I’m doing yet I have no idea how the weather will affect my beer. And as it turns out, we didn’t make every mistake in the book, but we certainly blew through a few chapters.

I think the one thing we did right was added hops. Yes, we remembered the hops. Oh well, nothing to do but wait for it to ferment (if we didn’t already kill the yeast).

Do not expect Farnham Ale Works to hit your store shelves any time soon.

At least I had a salad while waiting for the boil.

Hey, look, cute kids in pumpkins!


We took the kids to the local pumpkin patch, since that is what you do on October weekends in America when you have kids. Squish loved running through the hay maze and climbing the hay tower, though you wouldn’t think so the way he poses for pictures.

Later Hulk went to Home Depot and took Buttercup with him. Apparently she is really into driving.

Driving and climbing. The other night I was chopping some cauliflower for dinner, and as usual Squish pulled the stool up next to me so he could “help”. I guess I was so distracted with the chopping, I didn’t notice him leave and Buttercup climb up in his place. Then a pudgy baby hand kept sneaking cauliflower chunks from the bowl, and I realized that Buttercup now adeptly climbs things. And eats raw cauliflower, with both of her teeth. These are now things.

Stop growing up. Just stop.

That’s all for tonight, go make it (tomorrow) a great day!

A Bad Example Day

Yesterday was quite the “bad example” day. I started out by doing Week 1 Day 2 of the “Champion” Spitfire Athlete workout. I don’t remember the details, but there were a lot of squats.


Of course I did it on an empty stomach, and only drank coffee with milk afterwords.

Once at work, I felt hungry so “Second Breakfast” was a side caesar salad that I found in the fridge, a granola bar, a handful of Cashew Clusters, and more coffee with milk.

Blogger trick: only photo the salad, not the Cashew Clusters. That way, it's healthy!
Blogger trick: only photo the salad, not the Cashew Clusters. That way, it’s healthy!

So of course that meant Lunch was a burger and fries. Grass-fed, of course. We’re all about health here.


I had an appointment in the city, and afterwords felt really “ugh” about everything. So I picked up some cookies from Whole Foods as a snack for the ride home. Turns out that was dinner, because when I got home Hulk was getting a new beer batch ready and the stove was commandeered for mashing. That was fine, so I had a couple beers to wash down the cookies.

I’m starting to feel kind of foggy in the head and tight in the pants, so I think the “consume all the carbs” phase needs to move on now. I haven’t slept well this week, and I’m very certain that’s a huge part of it. It’s time to reclaim the bedtime and get back where I prefer to be.

That’s it for now, go make it a great day!

Ralph the Bear says, "Cheers to that!"
Ralph the Bear says, “Cheers to that!”

Brew Like a Boss – New Site!

Hi Guys!

I’ll put up a real post soon, I promise, but in the meantime, I started a new blog! Come visit me at Brew Like a Boss, where I will bore you to tears about beer and my homebrewing adventures. Since home brewing is starting to become an obsessive little hobby of mine, I figured it’d be best for it to have its own home. Don’t worry, I’ll still post all my nutrition, workouts, and deep thoughts over here (hopefully) regularly!

See you over at BLAB (oh my gosh, I love that acronym)!

Some Days are Like That, Even in Australia

Yesterday was one of those terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad days for me. I can’t even explain it. Monday I went to bed feeling all the gratitude and warm fuzzies about the world. Tuesday I woke up and felt like Kill All the Things. And I’m not even on Day 5 of a Whole30!


Since I was all grumpy, I skipped out of the house as soon as I could after the usual kid-wrangling to avoid making the rest of the family miserable, and grabbed a sausage breakfast sandwich from the deli by my office. Their breakfast sandwiches are magical, being hand-made on a toasted croissant. It’s a nice food-treat to start the day. I also downed a couple of coffees with milk.


I was still feeling sort of reclusive, so I went to a nearby cafeteria where I knew it was chicken tandoori day. Some chicken tandoori, curried veggies, and rice were some good soul food. I also walked to and from the office, so it was a good sunny mile walk each way.



I wasn’t hungry in the afternoon, but I did indulge in some mood-eating. A KIND bar and a few Andes mints were a decent distraction, washed down with a couple Diet Cokes.


I came home to some good family news, so that perked me up. No public announcements yet since it’s not quite a done deal. True to my “no beer before barbells” rule, Hulk offered to put dinner together while I worked out in the garage. I started the Champion program on the Spitfire Athlete app. I didn’t have time to get through the whole workout, but I completed most of the weight lifting and skipped out on core work.

  • Assisted pull-ups, 3×12
  • Cable pulls (I modified with a band since I don’t have a cable to pull), 3×12
  • Bent over barbell rows, 3×12 @ 45 lbs
  • Reclined dumbbell arm extensions, 3×12 using a 10lb plate
  • Inclined reverse dumbbell flys, 1×12 @ 3 lbs (yes, 3. It was either that or 40)


Hulk outdid himself for dinner: hamburger patties topped with cheese and fried eggs, with a side salad and peas. We ate on the patio again, and I showed Squish how to angle his fork through the patty to make a sort of meat-on-a-stick method of eating the hamburger, rather than cutting it into bites. Then we drank some beers on the porch while watching the sun set. Hulk took care of the domestic stuff while I went to bed early and read my book. I’m almost done with “The Art of Racing in the Rain” and I have only cried twice so far.

I know I’ve been succumbing to emotional eating lately, and I just have been allowing it. It’s hard not to have Whole30 rules to fall back on when things are difficult. I know what’s wrong – I want to do all the things and am frustrated that there are only 24 hours in a day –  but eating just seems easier than fixing it. There are also a couple other health-related things I’ve been meaning to explore, such as maybe giving myself a caffeine holiday.

I’m also really trying to figure out how to get more exercise in, and I’m caught in “mom guilt” whenever I take time out for myself, which was part of why I was so grumpy yesterday. I had planned on working out in the morning, but then children/life happened, and it didn’t get done. I’m so sick of falling victim to excuses, but I just can’t get myself together. I know I need to take care of myself in order to take care of everyone else, but it’s so much easier in theory than in practice. I think I’m going to get up at 6:00 for a run, but then at 5:58 I have a tearful preschooler climbing in my bed after a scary dream, and while I’m getting him settled I then have a baby that’s all “IT’S [6:17 in the] MORNING WHY AREN’T YOU ALL READY TO PARTY YET? And why are my pants so squishy?” and by the time I’m done with her diaper blowout the preschooler is now awake and asking for “milk and chocolate toast” and my window of opportunity to scrap together any time for myself this morning is firmly shut. Fortunately this phase of life is temporary and I’m doing my best to appreciate the little things involved with taking care of small children (stop growing up!) but it’s hard when I know I need to exercise and rest and keep myself sane above it all. But tomorrow is always another day.

And that’s it for this day. Go make it a great one!


New Beginnings and New Rules

Here’s to fresh starts and new beginnings! Today’s the first of (maybe) many really captivating, inspiring updates of everything I ate, drank, and did workout-wise yesterday. With no pictures, because no one wants to see pictures of food. And by that, I mean I am totally out of the habit of meal photographing and didn’t want to post a bunch of empty plates full of crumbs. Either way, you’re welcome.
You guys, I just wrote YOUR welcome. I’m losing my mind. Or is that how it’s supposed to be written? Yup, mind lost.

Breakfast yesterday was two fried eggs, a simple swiss chard salad with raspberry walnut dressing, and the last of the canned sweet potato puree. I ate with Squish before carting him off to preschool. He had “chocolate toast”, which is toast and Nutella. Because I am a conscientious, caring mom who only feeds her children the best. And I didn’t feel like fighting him from his beloved chocolate toast on a Monday morning pre-coffee. Pick yo’ battles. I also had a couple cups of coffee with milk.

Halfway through the morning, I had another work coffee with milk. But the fridge was empty of cow milk, so I tried this Silk brand of almond-coconut milk that was pretty awful and I dumped out half of my coffee I just couldn’t do it.

Lunch was amazing. I found out the grocery store nearby went through a huge remodel, and they have a carving station. Carved meats. Sold. I bought a lunch box of roasted tri-tip, steamed veggies, and this sort of orzo and squash risotto thingy. It was amazing.

Back at work, someone put cookies in the break room. I could lie and say I was not tempted and enjoyed drinking my peppermint tea, but in reality I ate three with a Diet Coke. 

Later I needed a break, so I wanted to Starbucks and got one of those hibiscus iced teas. It was really good, that might be a new thing.

After work I picked up Squish from preschool and we dove into the madness that is evening grocery shopping, since we were now out of all the food at home. He helped me pick out veggies for the week so I could justify grabbing a frozen pizza for dinner. It’s all about balance, you know. Hulk sautéed some green beans that were amazing, and I also grabbed an Italian chopped salad at the store that was pretty good. We ate outside on the patio table, which is Squish’s favorite place to eat everything.

I also had a beer with dinner (Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA), and by the time dinner was over I didn’t feel like working out anymore. So I had another beer and put the kids to bed. “Kids” includes me. New rule: no beer until the workout is done. I want to start a new Spitfire Training program, so I need to make sure to leave some time in the day for it.

My Jawbone report for the day was 12,902 steps on 8h 10min of sleep, so that’s not too shabby.

That is all for now, go make it a great day!

Catching Up on Beer and Stuff

Ahh! I have SO MUCH to talk about! Mostly stupid stuff, of course. But yes, let’s get to blogging, shall we?

First up, my first batch of home brewed beer is bottled for second fermentation! Woo-hoo!

I really hope it doesn’t suck. Because it takes almost a month to brew beer, and that’s too long to wait in most beer-related circumstances.

Second, we have been having some crazy gorgeous weather lately. Fall has always been my favorite season, and this year it doesn’t disappoint. We’ve been enjoying some epic sunsets with dinner, since our dining area faces west.


Sunsets, and children looking confused. Of course, it was so cute, they both were looking out the window together. But then I pulled out the camera and magic moment destroyed.

Then we woke up to Karl the Fog eating the neighborhood. Is it Karl in the East Bay? The signature fog that routinely engulfs San Francisco has been affectionately christened “Karl” and has its own Twitter following. But I don’t know if Karl extended over the bay or not.

Anyway, it was pretty cool.

Speaking of pretty cool, I finally put my standing desk together!

It still needs a few tweaks. Like a chair. Turns out that standing for 8+ hours doesn’t feel much better than sitting for 8+ hours. I know you’re not supposed to stand for the whole day, but my plan B for sitting (sit in a spare conference room) didn’t work when they were all booked. I survived anyway.

Meanwhile, in State of the Blog news, I’m going to start going back to posting daily eats and workouts, good and bad. After doing a bunch of pondering, I came to the conclusion to stop trying to force my blog into some predefined mold (that I never followed through on anyway) and to just let it rip with whatever I want to talk about. Which seemed to be what I ate and how much I ran and/or lifted. And maybe a personal rant here or there.

I also owe a post on our Alaskan Adventure part 2. I’m done writing it, but on the day we took lots of really good pictures my phone died, so I keep meaning to pull the pictures I took off of Hulk’s phone, and it hasn’t happened yet. And it probably won’t happen until I find some time that’s not already booked with a paying job or keeping small humans alive. But it’ll happen one of these days!

That’s all I got for now. Go make it a great day!