Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Most. Awesome. Ever

Today's Leadership Conference was awesome. Looking at our 2011 accomplishments and hearing the strategy for 2012 - good stuff. Very good stuff. I always leave a lot motivated and a bit overwhelmed by the work ahead - but mostly motivated.

The icing on the cake? Flash mobs via "live" video feeds from the airports of ATL, DTW, JFK, and even Tech Ops!!! The In-Flight Service and TechOps folks ROCKED IT!

I think it should be posted on Youtube in a day or two so I will share then.

When did Delta get hip? Love it.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Work is in the Prep

Jeff and I spent the whole weekend prepping for our living room and dining room renovation. The whole weekend. We never anticipated it would 1) take 2 full days; 2) require such thorough work and re-work; and 3) the scope of work would expand as we revised the project plan.

As I am sitting here, preparing to write you the summary of our weekend - and truly how much work it was - I am struck by how REAL this real-life example applies to my WORK life right now.

You see, I partially messed some things up this week at work (the other partial was out of my control but not sure if people are remembering that part). I actually messed it up way back a few months ago, and it is just coming to pass that there was a problem. As I am now doing damage control and clean-up this week, I am practicing the arts of humility, admitting when I was wrong, and acknowledging I was over-worked and skimped on details. I skimped on the PREP. And just like with our house project, things turned out poorly (but our house project won't because I have a great perspective-giver named Jeff who makes sure our prep gets done).

Anyway, I digress. Back to the renovation stuff.
GOAL: Three-Room Renovation: Dining Room, Living Room, and Entry / Foyer.

TASKS: Paint ceiling and walls in dining room and living room. Install hardwood flooring.

PREP: Move furniture. Move piano. Relocate and rewire the cable modem and router. Remove non-essential fish tank equipment. Drain fish tank 3/4s and move it on sliders. Re-install everything on fish tank. Apply crabgrass preventer, spray clover weeds, and fill bird feeders (ok, not part of prep but still necessary). Pull out carpet. Pull out pad. Remove tack strips. Remove carpet staples. Scrape up plaster and any other imperfections in the subfloor. Fill nail holes. Wipe up excess putty after drying. Repeat if necessary. Sweep and clean ceiling. Clean light fixture. Wipe down all walls with TSP solution. Wipe down all baseboards, molding, and chair rails with TSP solution.


P.S. - this was only in the dining room and living room. We haven't started prepping the foyer yet.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

That light? It's a train

Whoa, nelly.

We have been going 12 million miles an hour since Jeff started working. It's like we had been stuck in neutral and now are moving faster than we can (comfortably) keep up with. Even with a housecleaner!

New job, new responsibiliteis, new learning, certifications, bald car tires, failed a/c, saving for the future, getting healthy, cooking at home 95% of the time (yes, B-L-D except 3x per week), Maddie getting sick, Jeff getting sick, sticking to our budget, putting in new flooring, painting 3 rooms, working out, going to the therapist, going to the nutritionist, counting points, tracking on weight watchers, struggling at work, succeeding at work, spraying weeds, cleaning gutters, fixing the leaky roof, mourning my kitty, lamenting that I'm 30 and haven't accomplished what I intended yet...

I know these are all "just life"...but we have never been able to successfully do it ALL at ONCE. Now I know why. Cuz it's REALLY HARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But we're doing it! Somehow, someway. Which means, it can only get easier as we 'practice more'. But please understand if we cut your phone call short.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

In defense of Paula Deen

I am disgusted by the way the media is treating Paula Deen's disclosure that she has Type 2 diabetes.

Yes, her style of cooking is fatty. And salty. And rich.

Yes, she has made a lot of money and fame by showing people how to cook 'southern style'.

Yes, her Gooey Butter Cake is so good you want to eat it all (until you calculate the nutritional information).

But the way the media has been reporting Ms. Deen's diabetes and subsequent endorsement of a medication is appalling. To publicly blame the patient entirely for 'causing her diabetes' is unfair.

Her style of cooking is not diabetes-friendly. However, it can be eaten in moderation with almost everyone. Additionally, while a diet high in fat and sugar can contribute to Type 2 diabetes - so can a lot of other things, like genetic factors, waist size, and activity level.

I'm not saying that this cooking style is healthy - it's not. But stop PUBLICLY blaming Paula for making herself sick. Don't you think she has already had that conversation with her internal demons???

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Weight Watchers Meetings vs One on One Help

I am going to try to answer this question: Do I still need the one on one coaching of a nutritionist, or will Weight Watchers meetings fill the gap?

Jeff and I re-budgeted this weekend for 2012, in order to set ourselves up to accomplish our goals. While improving our health is at the very top of the list, so is improving our financial position (these are everybody's 2012 goals, right?).

So - I definitely don't want to sacrifice the nutritionist for Weight Watchers exclusively if it will derail me...but it would be nice not to have to pay for both. It would likely cut my monthly expenses in this area in half.

And I don't want to give up WW because I love, LOVE the eTools options on my computer and phone. I know for a fact that I do not want to relearn something new with just calorie counting, and I like the progress reports, and all of the recipe tools (I really cannot say enough good things about eTools).

Those of you who have tried these (and other) methods - what do you think???

I will report my thoughts on this further tomorrow after I go to the meeting!

PS - I miss Bella terribly. Still.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Adult-ness, and Cleanliness

This is not an XXX post (contrary to the title).

I am happy to report we took two more steps forward on our way to adulthood (nevermind I'm 30).

1. We have hired housecleaners.
2. We purchased a safe.

Over this past wonderful 3-day weekend, we spent an entire day deep-cleaning the master bedroom and closet. Curtains down and sanitized, walls washed, baseboards swiped, carpet edges dug out, all furniture moved, ceiling fan cleaned...and we did all the normal vacuuming and dusting as well.

Two things: One, the room smells amazing. (Does dirt smell? I think it does. Indistinguishable, but present.) Two, Jeff decided our time together and our continued focus on getting healty(er) is more valuable than devoting an entire day to cleaning one room. Especially given that several of his days are now occupied with his new job.

As he said, "Something's got to give."

So we have housecleaners coming tomorrow to finish cleaning the rest of the house we didn't get done (which would be everything except the master bedroom).

And we decided it was time - we got a bolt-down safe to secure all of our important papers and especially valuable stuff (ok, mostly just papers). With new people coming in and out of the house, it was the final push to get all of that identity stuff secure.

YIPPEE for outsourcing!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Plain Yogurt Revelation

Um, HELLO? Why didn't I think of this before?

Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt + Lois's homemade strawberry jam = DELISH...and way less sugar than a normally flavored greek yogurt.

Also, it's a nice change from my regular greek yogurt / blueberry / honey combo.

What do you all eat for breakfast? I am soooo over cereal.

I would like to point out I made the following for us for breakfast this morning, in honor of Jeff's first day of his 2nd week of work:
1/2 cup egg beaters
1/8 cup diced ham (you know me - of course I bought it already diced)
1/8 cup Kraft Reduced Fat 4-cheese mexican blend
2 slices Sara Lee Delightful bread
1 Tbsp of previously referenced Lois's strawberry jam

All equal to 6 points. Eat your hearts out.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

My Yummy New Brunch

The Hungry Girl always inspires me...and a few weeks ago she recommended a french toast to try...so I did. It turned out great! And the whole meal - 2 slices French Toast with a side of cheesy scrambled eggs - is only 6 points plus:

Make on the griddle (or a large skillet pan if you have one big enough):
2 slices Sara Lee 45 calories and Delightful wheat bread (2 points)
1/3 cup Egg Beaters plain plus dash of skim milk (1 point)
2 Tbsp Aunt Jemima light maple syrup (1 point)

At the same time make in a skillet:
1/2 cup Egg Beaters western style (you buy it pre-flavored) (1 point)
1/8 cup Kraft Fat Free Cheddar Cheese (1 point)
2 Tbsp salsa (free)

Add fruit (apple, banana, orange) if you want...also FREE points.

I added 3 slices of bacon...which was 3 points...but I LOVE bacon so I was ok with that (and we were having this for breakfast AND lunch). I also added 2 cups of coffee and a half cup of soymilk, so that added another point. I think all told, my total meal this morning was 10 or 11 points - which is fantabulous for a totally indulgent-feeling brunch!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Daily Dairy Servings

I am following the "Good Health Guidelines" (ok, TRYING to follow) and I continuously get messed up by what constitutes a serving of dairy. I am hoping by reposting the information here, it will help me get it ingrained into my brain!

The daily recommendation is to consume TWO SERVINGS. All of these options are 2 Weight Watchers points (except the yogurt, which is 3 PPV).

Skim Milk - 1 cup
Soy Milk - 1 cup
Fat Free Greek Yogurt - 1 cup
Hard / semi-soft cheese - 1 1/2 ounces (which is 2 cheese sticks)

Ok, now that I've put it all down...I don't know why this is so hard for me!!! I'm committed.

Now - go out and try it!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Kinect Dances my butt off

So...we bought a Kinect. We had so much fun playing at Christmas with my family that we finally bit the bullet.

I should say, "I" bit the bullet. I really, really, really wanted it for 2 reasons: Dance Party 2 and Your Fitness Evolved.

As a continuation of our healthier living goal, I have been working out more (ok, well not over Christmas because, well, it was Christmas, plus I was sick) and have been looking for other fun ways to fit it in. DANCING seemed perfect - and after I had a blast with Amy doing just 2 songs at Christmas, I was hooked!

Jeff has called me an idiot savante at this Dance game. I can do a lot of the songs on hard and still get a pretty high score. (Although I can't do Justin Bieber. My body just won't move correctly.) I would like to think it's talent - but even though I am 'technically' doing a lot of the moves correctly -- I don't look 'good' while doing them.

I am no Heather Morris. But for 30 minutes at a time, I can pretend I am!!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

Good-bye 2011!!! You were kind of a bitch at times, and kind of awesome at others.

We had a great time ringing in the New Year with some friends...a quesedilla dinner with black bean salsa and grape salad and scotcheroos for dessert, munchies of shrimp cocktail, and cheesy sausage dip, and plenty of champagne made for a great night.

All of that combined with a LOT of Kinect playing (and dancing) made me REALLY tired and grateful for the day off.

And I am so excited for the new year - finally, in my thirties, it appears like I might finally get my act together and live the life I've been meaning too.