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Weekly roundup: staycation edition

19 Aug

Last week, I had a staycation. I took the week off from BOTH jobs – haven’t done that in the four years I’ve been working two jobs. My goal was to not be a sloth and just sit on the couch all day every day. I wanted to be deliberate in what I did each day. I also wanted to try to break my TV habit.

I set out a plan of things I would do every day: Run, yoga, read, knit, and dance practice. Then I figured out the other things I wanted to do. Because I’m nerdy, I made a list.

staycation-list

So what did I do?

*I ran four out of five days. Including my first two-mile run without walking since I broke my foot!

*I did yoga four out of five days.

*I read. A lot. All I have left on my reading to-do list is finish “A Passage to India” and reread “Anna Karenina”.

*I purged. Took a bag of books and bag of CDs and DVDs to Half Price Books and made $30 on it all!

*I packed. My parents and nephew came over on Wednesday morning and helped. My mom packed my kitchen, because she ROCKS at that. My nephew (with some help from my dad) hauled everything out of the basement for me. I was afraid to do that because hauling my bike out of the basement is how I broke my foot.

half-packed

*I finished packing everything I own except my clothes, my bathroom stuff, and my furniture. This is everything:

all-packed

I’m trying to decide if that’s still a lot of crap or if it’s a minimal amount of stuff to own.

*I practice my school figures for dance. A LOT. Sometimes I went to the studio, sometimes I did them at home. But I practiced. Four dances down, six to go! (Six? Seven? I can’t remember. That’s my teacher’s job.)

*I listened to podcasts. I was so far behind on mine. I added it up (again, because I’m a nerd), and it was about 20 hours of podcasts. I still have 3 hours left. But I used the podcasts instead of the TV all week – yay!

*I caught up on Game of Thrones. I had watched season one on Netflix. A very kind friend gave me her HBO log on so I could watch the rest. And I did. OK, so I did watch some TV.

*I knitted. Again, I’m up against a deadline, so I’m frantically trying to finish this. I’ll show you it when it’s done. But I made great progress on it!

*I did some strength training on two days.

*I biked. Twice for fun, but four or five times as a mode of transportation around the neighborhood. I biked to meet friends, I biked to the studio, I biked to the co-op.

*I had breakfast with LS, lunch with NA, dinner with MK.

*I purge my closet and took a garbage bag full clothes and shoes to Goodwill.

*I refinished some toddler chairs I had.

refinished-chairs

*I did NOT look at my work email. Not once. I kept the notifications on, so I could see if anything came through that needed my attention. But nothing looked like it did, so I didn’t open it ONCE. Proof:

emails

Yep, 88 unread messages. Sweet. Only about 30 of those are ones I had to deal with when I got back today. Thank you, awesome boss man, for dealing with the rest! I know it’ll be payback when he’s gone for two weeks next month.

*I lost three pounds!

*I got a cold. After all that, a summer cold showed up Wednesday night. Luckily it’s a minor one, so I feel OK. Just a little coughy.

All in all, it was a great week. I feel refreshed and rested and ready to resume my crazy schedule!

Weekly roundup

15 Jul

Last week, I…

*Got the all-clear from my doctor on my wrist. I can now resume all normal activities! Strength training, here I come!

*Started the yearly big project at work I get to do every July. But this year, I found a trick that will save me about 10 hours of work on it. Yay productivity! Or just yay, less stress!

*Broke bread with friends: Dinner with ND and CD, brunch with SP and DF, dinner with LS…all good friends and good food. Makes me grateful for those people in my life. And for good restaurants.

*Went to a ballroom dance competition. My very first non-Arthur Murray one. And really enjoyed it. And decided to just go for it.

*Almost completed my free time list. More on that soon.

*Danced. Two lessons, during one of which we did full run-throughs of the smooth opens. I had very low expectations for them, both in terms of remembering choreography and in terms of how well I would be able to dance them since I hadn’t dance them since before I broke my foot. (Oof, run-on sentence!) And they went well! Even Viennese waltz. So happy. Oh, it felt so good to just DANCE. Next up, the rhythm opens! Oh dear, that means mambo. And neither me or my teacher can ever remember the mambo choreography. I guess we’ll find out Saturday how that goes.

*Almost baked. It’s so hot here right now – highs in the 90s – and I hate using an oven during that kind of weather. (I don’t have central air conditioning, just a little window unit.) But I miss baking! So I might try it this weekend. Maybe. If it’s not too hot.

*RAN. Three times. My endurance is getting better each time! It better be, because I signed up for a 5K for the end of August. Eek. I think I’ll be 100% by then. I hope. That’s the goal anyway!

Weekly roundup

8 Jul

Last week, I…

*Had breakfast with a work friend of mine at one of my favorite breakfast places. We’ve been trying to get together for lunch for months now, but something always come up for one of us. So since it was a holiday week and therefore a quieter week, we met for breakfast! What a great way to start the work day. Although with that much coffee, it was hard to concentrate for a while.

*Enjoyed the 4th of July, but the next day, I really wished I had taken the 5th off. There were 4 of us in the office out of 30 or so. Oh well, I got to leave after lunch. And I did get a ton done.

*Had an exchange dance lesson as my teacher was on vacation last week. It was great. Just not as great as a lesson with my regular teacher. But he’s back this week. So bring on the lessons!

*Worked out THREE times! Yay me! I went Tuesday and Saturday, but the gym was closed on the 4th. So that day I went for a bike ride. It was about a mile and a half. Let’s not talk about how it went. Let’s just acknowledge that I haven’t been biking since last fall and I am still out of shape from breaking my foot. But I did run that day too, and that went better. Still not up to where I was pre-break, but I can see progress. (Oh my god, I’m seeing progress! I am actually noting progress. Someone write the date down.)

*Met my parents for breakfast. (See the theme? I LOVE BREAKFAST.) Again, we went to a favorite place of ours that interestingly was where my mom worked in high school when it was a sweet shop. (Yes it was in the ’50s.)

*Magically turned a $50 oil change into a $430 one. Not really, but at the oil change place, they pointed out to me that one of my tires had a bubble in it. Consensus on Facebook was that I needed to deal with it right away because it meant the tire could blow at any moment. So I ended up getting two new tires (thankfully, not four!) that same day. Stupid car expense. When’s the light rail starting?

*Started a list of good coffee shops in Minneapolis and St Paul. Local, non-chain coffee shops. My friend SP and I get together on Saturdays on a pretty regular basis, and we always try to do cheap things. So I want to start a coffee tour with her of these shops! So if you know of any, let me know!

*Realized that I’m not good with free time. I’m so out of the habit of having free time that when I do have free time, I tend to sit and watch TV. And while that’s not a bad thing, it’s not how I want to spend ALL my free time. So I’ve been making a list of things I can do when I have a few free moments, and I’m going to try to force myself to look at it and do something on that list. Although I will still watch TV occasionally; I just need (and want) to limit that. But I am in the middle of yet another awesome BBC show…OK, OK, I’ll pace myself!

Weekly roundup

7 May

Last week, I…

*did nothing. Oh wait, I broke my foot. And spend the rest of the week on the couch with my foot elevated to bring the swelling down.

And that was about it.

 

Weekly roundup

15 Apr

Last week, I…

*Had dance lessons with a different teacher while mine was on vacation. It’s always interesting to work with another teacher. But it makes me appreciate how well my regular teacher and me work together. Not that the exchange lessons weren’t great – they were, just not as great as my regular lessons.

*Started dog-sitting for a friend of mine. My two companions:

bailey      meg

More on our adventures soon.

*Practiced at the studio again with my friend SH. I really enjoy that. It’s like having a workout buddy. But for dancing. But it’s not a dance partner. You know what I mean.

*Wondered what I should be writing about on my blog.

*Watched “The Count of Monte Cristo” with my book club. We had just read it for book club, so we watched the movie as a group. That was fun! We’re reading “The Great Gatsby” for this month, so maybe we’ll watch that when the new movie version comes out in May.

*Went for frozen yogurt with SP because it’s spring. Kinda. Because this is totally a spring forecast:

spring
I don’t know why it says Mendota Heights when I’m in St Paul.

No? Oh well. It is what it is. I want it to get warmer just so people stop complaining ALL THE TIME about the weather.

*Worked out A LOT. Which felt great. And tiring.

All in all, a pretty awesome week!

Weekly roundup

2 Apr

In the last two (sheesh, I’m behind) weeks, I…

*FINALLY shared some of the amazing recipes I’ve made lately, including a super one for homemade peanut cups.

IMG_0675

My friend LG read about them and tried them the very next day and loved them.

*Had a book club meeting where we finished “The Count of Monte Cristo”. It was a loonnnnggg book, and I had the abridged version (by mistake.) I’d like to go back and read the full version someday because I do feel like I missed some details. Someday.

*Went for coffee with my niece LB who was home from college for spring break. So fun to see her!

*Enjoyed a very lovely day off, including a long run outside. Well, long for me…about 2 miles. Slow (about 10:45 per mile), but still, I ran them all!

*Was all fancy and had dinner with my friend SH at a private club in St Paul. So posh.

*Saw the hand surgeon about my wrist. Surgery is scheduled for the end of May.

*Had dinner with my friend SP. And we tried a fantastic place for dessert. SO GOOD. And I could feel the diabetes setting in just walking in the door.

*Practiced at the studio. I do dance homework at home, but some things you just need the studio space for. But I hate practicing at the studio. Which is silly and ridiculous but true. My friend SH feels the exact same way, except I don’t think she practices at home. So we made a pact to meet at the studio once a week to practice. We did it last week for the first time, and it was great. Like having a workout buddy but with dance.

*Caught up with the fabulous KB over coffee. Alas, it was way too short – we didn’t cover everything!

*Took a knitting class with DF. It was great because she had never knit, and I learned some basic things (cough cough cast-on) that I never really learned properly.

*Had Easter dinner with the family.

Weekly roundup

18 Mar

Last week, I…

*Got a Kindle Fire!

kindle!

And it’s awesome.

*Went to the doctor and learned I need to have hand surgery soon to remove a cyst on my wrist. Luckily it shouldn’t interfere with my life too much. But still annoying. I find out more next week.

*Waged war on the mice.

mouse-war

Cotton balls with peppermint oil on them in tea defusers. And dryer sheets. Our house smelled like peppermint linen for a while. Then the smell dissipated, and we saw signs of the mice again. So more peppermint oil, more dryer sheets, and refresh both more often.

*Had dinner with MH and heard about her amazing trip to Belize.

*Saw “Searching for Sugar Man” with SP. It is a great movie – well deserving of the Oscar it received. Go see it. And then go listen to the music.

*Made these…

most-awesome-cookies

More on those soon!

*Finished “The Great Gatsby” for book club.

Weekly roundup

11 Mar

So last week, I…

*Ran outside for the first time in a long time to prepare for a 5K. Not as bad as I thought it would be. Except for when the jog interval on the program I used started over halfway through. And I ended up running for 50% longer than I had planned to.

*Babysat for a friend. And learned very interesting things from the oldest child.

*Saw this fantastic picture on the Facebooks and remembered that we’re all awesome in different ways.

dont-compare

*Gave up on online dating.

*Had great dance lessons. So much progress still being made. Did lots of dance homework too.

*Declared war on the non Gus-Gus mice in my house.

gus-gus

*Ran a 5K! In 36 minutes – the exact time of the last one. Except that this means I was faster than before, because we lost about 2 minutes traipsing through a snowbank to walk around a ginormous puddle.

*Did a dance group class and a lesson after the 5K. Yep, met my quota of physical activity that day.

*Had brunch with KC. (No sunshine band, though.) We tried a new restaurant that was so good. So yummy. Must go back soon.

*Made these:

IMG_0675

Homemade peanut butter cups. SO GOOD. More on these soon!

*Realized that my body now wants a certain level of physical activity. Whoa, that’s new.

All in all…a very FANTASTIC week!

2012 roundup

31 Dec

2012 was a good year for me.

*I moved out of my parents’ house and back to my beloved city.

*I went to my first Dance-O-Rama. It was a great experience, although difficult at the time, and I can’t wait until I can do another one.

*I had a rhythm dance dress made for me.

*When 2012 started, I was 3 weeks into a new job, which I really liked. And I still like it a lot, and I’m still learning a ton.

*I started knitting much more. And have made some nice things.

finished-cowl

baby-blanket

*I started running, and ran two 5Ks, including this one.

*I found an old cocktail book and have been making great old cocktails from it.

burkes-cocktail-guide

I did the same with some recipes from my grandmother my dad found.

*I made some crafty things, and they turned out OK.

jewelry-holders

wall-quotes

hair-dryer-storage

*My dancing has improved A LOT this year, especially in the last three months.

***
In terms of the goals I made at the beginning of the year:

*Better physical health? Yep. I lost more weight, getting within 10 pounds of my goal. (I have gained 5 in the last month, but we won’t talk about that yet.) I was eating a lot better (until the last month, but we’ll ignore that for now.)

*Better mental health and a most positive outlook? I think so. I’ve tried to be more positive and to not go thinky. A few people have commented that they’ve noticed a difference in my attitude.

*I went to a Dance-O-Rama, I’ve not been as thinky about dance, I’ve done more creative things like baking and knitting, and I’ve continued with my blogging.

***
Speaking of my blog, here are some interesting stats.

*In the past year, most of my views came from the US with England, Canada (Hi DG!), and Australia (Hi KP!) next.

*My most viewed post is one I did on Quicken vs Mint.com, followed by infusing vodka, and pear chocolate cake. Money, alcohol and food.

*The most common search term used that drives people to my blog is “mint.com vs quicken” (or some variation of that) followed by “pear chocolate cake”, and “handle of Svedka”. Money, food, and alcohol. Sense a pattern yet?

***
Tomorrow, I’ll tell you what my goals for 2013 are. Til then, be safe tonight!

Weekly roundup

3 Dec

Last week, I…

*Got back to doing yoga in the mornings. OK, so it was only 3 mornings. But still, that was more than the few weeks prior to that. And it felt good, so I’m going to try to do it more this week.

*Realized that for me, dancing is so much more than just dance.

*Started getting excited for the holiday season.

*Watched “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

it's-a-wonderful-life

And cried. Again. Don’t judge.

*Started working on a new header for my blog. Stay tuned!

*Got stood up by two friends on two days. Both for good reasons, but still. Oh well, at least it was a cheaper weekend as a result.

*Made an egg bake for dinners this week with an ingredient I haven’t used much before…chorizo!

egg-bake

It’s fantastic.

*Made great progress on knitting for Christmas presents. But I can’t show you those til after Christmas. Wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise!

*Finally saw the Gangnam style video. Yes, I’m way behind the times. Just call me old and out of touch, thanks.

*Made those chocolate-covered pretzels again. And haven’t eaten TOO many of them…yet.

*Read. I finished “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” for book club and “The Lost World” just because. Now I’m on to “Jane Eyre” and “The Alchemist”. I love reading.

*Went to my first dog agility trial. A friend of mine and his wife run their two dogs – miniature poodles – so cute! Their dogs are really good.

That’s a random shot of the course. Sorry, IPhones aren’t real great for taking action shots. Or close-up shots.

dog-agility2

The black blurry ball in front of the tunnel? That’s one of their dogs. It was a very interesting experience and tons of fun. Because at the end of the day, it’s still a dog event. And how can that be bad?

*Had two great dance lessons. Huge progress being made here, people!

*Received what might be the best text message ever.

If you don't watch TBBT, you don't get this.

If you don’t watch TBBT, you don’t get this.

Made me laugh out load and almost spit out my coffee. Thanks, AD!

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