Here it is! My Easter floral arrangement. As I have no flower arranging skill whatsoever, I was quite pleased with the way this turned out.
It was inspired by this and another post from somewhere that gave me the idea for the square vase.
Forget the Rest.
It’s one of the catchphrases of P90X, and one I love. Why? It conquers the evil perfectionist voice in my head that begs me to push stop if I don’t have great form, or if I can’t do everything the people on the video do. In reality, I think, “Of course I can’t do that, those people are professional athletes, trainers, and P90X regulars!” But there’s still a little voice inside that says, “Oh, just give up. It’s okay. You did enough.”
But enough isn’t my best. I’ve been working at this P90X journey with everything I have. For the first time, I’m bringing EVERYTHING. Diet, exercise, and as much heart and energy that I can muster for the workouts. Sometimes I fail. Sometimes, I’m sure I look like an injured elephant trying to flail about at some workout move the DVD peeps do effortlessly. But sometimes, on those sweet wonderful days, it all comes together. I feel good, the workout feels good, I eat what I should, and I succeed beautifully. But the truth is, every day I’m at it, pretty or not, I succeed. Every day I eat celery instead of Girl Scout cookies, I succeed. Every time I go to the grocery store and don’t buy that bottle of wine, I succeed. I know that I will stumble along this journey. I know that on at least one occasion I will fail so miserably, so completely that I will go to bed convinced that I am done with it. But success, I’m finding, isn’t about perfection. It’s about waking up the next day, lacing up the tennis shoes and pushing play all over again.
One of my favorite poems:
WILD GEESE, by Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
I had forgotten.
I attempted a round of P90X a couple weeks ago with no forethought, no preparation, no planning. Nada. I am an idiot sometimes. In the last two weeks, I completed exactly four workouts and ate total garbage (though I am proud that I ate relatively little candy this year!). Now here I sit, feeling like a failed mess, and that’s okay. Did I mention, ever, that I have these perfectionistic tendencies? And if I can’t do something exactly, perfectly right, I generally don’t do it at all? That’s one reason following a plan like P90X is tough for me. Because I know, 100% know, no matter how hard I try and plan and prepare, it won’t be perfect. And I have to figure out how to make that okay. (It’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay)
So today I dug out the actual book, and read up on how to get ready for this journey. This weekend I will clean out my cupboards (Sorry, B, you’ll have to keep your candy stash in the garage!), do some yoga, order my meal replacement shakes, and get my workout gear ready. I will plan my meals and grocery shop for this new way of eating. I’ll psych myself up in every way I know how to psych myself up for anything. And Wednesday, November 9th I’ll begin. (Now you’re wondering, “Why Wednesday, of all days?” That’s so I can make Tuesday my workout free day, as it’s the day I have the least time to do anything extra.)
If you’re my friend on Facebook or on my email list, well, get ready yourself. I plan to inundate my social network with motivational inspirations and updates. You’ll know far more than you ever cared to know about my health, fitness level, workouts and diet by the time this whole adventure is over. But, as you are on my friends list, you’ll read it and comment and love it. :)
Autumn is here, and I’m loving it. I used to dread this time of year…back to school, back to work, playtime over…you know. But somewhere along this treacherous path to adulthood, I started to appreciate and enjoy the energy of Autumn. What once meant the loss of that beautiful feeling of freedom only to be found by schoolchildren in the summertime, now means something completely different. There is no drastic switch, or change of events, but there are changes still. Fall is slower, easier, less harried. Obligations to friends slow to a trickle, and life becomes about hearth and home, and those that make up your immediate family. The days get cooler and slower paced, and eventually, shorter. The magnificent colors of autumn cannot be topped in this little section of Wisconsin where I live, and you can feel – really feel – the energy in the air shifting. Everything is getting ready for winter – the animals, the trees, the people. Everything.
I blinked and a month went by.
1. 30 for 30 Challenge at Kendi Everyday: Kendi has created a fun challenge: To take 30 pieces out of your wardrobe and mix and match them to get 30 outfits. I don’t think my wardrobe is quite there yet, but it’s fun to look at her past mix-and-matches.
2. Make your own pumpkin spice latte (from Daily Nibbles): You know you wait for it. That first crisp fall day, strolling down the sidewalk, a hot Pumpkin Spice Latte in hand. Who would have guessed you could make your own without the sticky sweet pumpkin syrup at the coffee shop? I have yet to try this one, but it might be worth it to dig the espresso machine out of storage to give it a go.
3. Autumn Fruits and Veggies (from calorie count): As much as I love my veggies, I get a little lost as summer switches over to fall. What to cook? What to buy? Well, here is a handy list of what’s good this time of year. (And here’s another).
4. It’s Okay to Not Like Things: I have watched this little video obsessively in the last few weeks!
5. Hiding Under Water, live performance by Beth Hart: What an unbelievably powerful voice this girl has!
Food this time of year is so beautiful. Lush, rich colors and plump, shiny fruits and vegetables make it my favorite time of year, food-wise. Life has been busy, busy, busy around here, with summer coming to a close, last minute gatherings and outings and everything else there is to see or do or worry about. The end of summer being what it is, I’ve had no time for proper cooking, or blogging, or anything, really. But we’ve has some fun times with family and friends, and are still working on fixing up our new little apartment. I thought, since I’ve had no real entries in a while, I would compile a list of what I eat when I’m not “cooking.” These meals are all about quick and easy, veggie-heavy meals that mean more time for fun and less time for clean-up.
Meal #1: Potstickers and broccoli. This is the ultimate cheat meal for a quick fix. Walmart brand frozen chicken potstickers, that come with their own sauce, and frozen broccoli, steamed in the microwave with butter, salt and pepper.
Meal #2: Tuna Melt with Veggies. I was hungry on this day! Tuna melts with tomato and smoked provolone on a Thomas’ bagel, served with pan-fried yellow squash and North Fork Sweet Potato Chips.
Meal #3: Tomato Sandwich with Roasted Eggplant. The tomato sandwich is a staple of my diet from mid-August to mid-September, as the tomatoes start rolling in from the garden, and it’s just what it sounds like – sliced tomatoes on toast with mayo, salt and pepper. Sometimes basil, sometimes bacon, but usually just good old garden-fresh maters.
That’s it, five days of meal ideas for quick and easy end-of-summer lunches. Hopefully, I’ve inspired you to go get some garden veggies for the week, or maybe I’ve just made you hungry. Either way, enjoy! This time of year never seems to last long enough.
What do you get when you mix a giant zucchini with a random box of cake mix? Pure deliciousness, that’s what.
A friend of mine gave me the biggest zucchini I’ve seen, ever. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to snap a picture until I’d already shredded most of it, but, oh well. The thing was well over a foot long. Shredding it scored a 2-cup glass measuring cup full to the brim…so closer to 3 cups from one zucchini. When the vegetable gets that big, usually they are too woody to be any good cooked plain, and since I’ve had no time for baking lately, there it sat on my fruit stand, waiting.
Finally, I knew it had to get used up or go to waste, and I got to shredding. I had a marble cake mix in the cabinet, and some cupcake liners, and so, voila…easy zucchini muffins. The actual recipe I used was here: Super Easy Zucchini Bread, but I modified it slightly. I omitted any chocolate chips or nuts, and followed the directions on the cake mix to get the “marbled” effect.
The actual process couldn’t have been easier, and even with the extra steps required to do the marbling, the whole thing took less than 15 minutes, not including cooking time. In the end, I had to dash off to work before the second batch was out of the oven, so hubby indulged me and snapped this last shot:
Looks yummy, no?