Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Yum-Yums and Cravings

First off, whoa!  Blogger updated their posting section!  So forgive me if this post is haphazard.

Yesterday I felt like a weight was lifted from my shoulders!  

Last Tuesday, I got the sh*t knocked out of me by a cold/flu.  Funny how that happens the week I have a final!  Oh, and it was final with a time-crunch. I had less than an hour and a half to take it (it usually takes about two hours), as I was going back to Ohio for a very special occasion for a very hot minute. 

This lady:

With her handsome fiance!

is getting married in a few short weeks, and we were celebrating her bridal shower.

Though we went to the same high school, Sara and I didn't become friends until college.  Then it was "love" at first site, and after freshman year we were inseparable. It also didn't hurt that telling people our names, Sara & Tara, made us very memorable, so I think we had to stick together to get people to recognize us.  I don't have a college memory that doesn't involve Sara. 

(p.s. Homegirl got engaged after my wedding reception!  Since we called each other "Wifey" in college, I think it only appropriate that the night as I became someone else's wife, she was on her way too!)

I felt like a bad bridesmaid being all the way down here.  Luckily the MOH, Cara, asked me to take care of favors and game gifts, so I felt I was somewhat involved. 

With my mind swirling with acupuncture points and herbal medicine formulas, it was nice to get to be creative.

I didn't get to Cincinnati until late Friday night and the shower was on Saturday, so I needed something easy and supplies I could transport via carry-on.  So I came up with these:

So fun and so easy to make! 
Marshmallow pops!
The inspiration for the cakes and cupcakes

My mom helped late into the night on Friday, and I was very pleased with how they turned out. 
And I did eat any of them (in full contest prep!)! 

The game gifts were these:

Though you can microwave the cakes (which is what I did) I think I want to try it by baking, as I think it would taste better.   Though with the amount of icing in the jar, I don't know if you'd care what the cake tasted like.  :)

It was a beautiful shower and it's always nice to be around my friends and spend some QT with family.

The beautiful bride-to-be awaiting her gifts :)

Especially since I had to come back to a new class (my herbal medicine board review class, which I have to take the exam a week early for, so its a bit scary considering I need to review 75 weeks worth of notes in 4 weeks!), and an exam yesterday.

But the exam is done and I feel like I am handling the study load okay for right now. 

Plus, I might have blinders on since I have a show coming up next weekend (man, and I CRAVING frozen yogurt and potato salad right now ... Bikini competitors crave strange things during prep).

This show, only a national qualifier (which I since my third place win in March), is huge.  A lot of my team will be there, as well as my coaches.  Whether I place or not, it's a big deal to get in front of national judges, as well as possibly get direct feedback from my coaches.  So far I look better than my last show and I get to meet/see a lot of my teammates.

Oh yeah, my last show!  I decided to do a second show a fews ago.  It was last minute and it was suppose to keep me on track for this show (dieting for 6 weeks seems like forever, so breaking it up with another show helped.) 

 Again, lucky number 3, because I placed third (out of 9 competitors).  It felt good to get first call out and to beat out 6 other competitors. 

So here's to Pittsburgh! 

Prayers appreciated!!!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Childless & Celebratory

Okay, I know Easter posts should be over and done with, but I am late, and I want to post it.
Especially since it will involve a gratuitous cute dog photos.

I had mentioned on the last post how Easter snuck up on me. I had mentioned this aloud later in the day. To which a women responded, “Well since you don’t have children, you wouldn’t really be celebrating holidays.”


First off, this woman is Buddhist, so no offense to Buddha or any Buddhist reading this, but Easter, really isn’t your holiday to begin with … (just saying)

Second, how about the fact that my friends and a majority of my family are 1,000 miles away, my hubs is 1,000 miles away on some island that may or may not have Internet and/or phone service, and if I’m not studying or gymin' it, I'm passed out ... on the couch, the floor, the bed ... these days I'm not particular.

(... These are also all reasons that BY CHOICE the Hubs and I have decided to not have children.)

I don’t lead an exciting life. It’s pretty routine, and sometimes in that routine gives you blinders that make you forget about things that are more important … like holidays!

For the record: I didn’t forget Easter, it’s just that those 40-days were really short.

And I’d like to think that despite being childless, I do a pretty good job of celebrating holidays. Granted, moving a lot has limited how much tangible décor I have at the moment, but I decorated for Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Easter (even though I was all by myself). Not to mention I properly celebrated each holiday, whether it was in a church pew, with family and friends, or in the case of Halloween, a few celebratory bevvies.

I like to think that when I do have kiddies, I will be the mom to make green pancakes for St. Patrick’s Day, force my kids to make elaborate Valentines (I don’t do store-bought), hide Easter baskets (my mom still does this and my youngest brother is 21!), gorge on King cake for Mardi Gras, and make tacos & virgin margaritas for Cinco de Mayo (though mommy’s may have a side car), make a flag cake for Fourth of July (my favorite holiday), bake fun Halloween desserts and create really memorable moments for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

(... and lets face it, with Pintrest, I will NEVER be out of ideas!)

But alas, I have dogs.

Martini-dog enjoying a coffee at the park

Morgs just chillin'

I did, in fact, celebrate Easter, and with family. I spent the day in Naples with my grams and aunt and uncle.

Grams loves me so much she invited the dogs, but I thought they better stay on her good side, which meant relaxing at home. Martini & Morgan appreciated the Grandma's gesture and sent along a basket for her:

Meanwhile, they stayed at home and enjoyed their goodies from the Easter Bunny:

I don't think she was upset about not sitting in the car for 2 hours ...

But Easter isn’t quite over for me.

I have a show this weekend, so I was not able to indulge in any candy. However, I have a Cadbury Crème Egg sitting in the fridge, waiting for Saturday night (and hopefully I can enjoy it next to a trophy ...and my fur-babies!).

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Could I really like where I live?

Um, why didn't anyone tell Easter is Sunday?! I feel completely out of the loop!

As if the move and a competition wasn't enough stress, I had my very first apartment guest this past weekend! My bestie Kelly came down for a long-weekend.

but from the time Mark left last Sunday to Kelly arriving last Thursday, I thought I was going to lose my mind.

I had been posting on FB about not feeling well and then getting strange cysts on the back of my head (so gross!). They were SOOOO painful and itchy, and burned!

It turned out to be shingles. Gross!

It’s so frustrating when you do EVERYTHING healthy (diet, workout ... I have even been going to bed earlier and prepping everything the night before so my mornings are stress-free ... well as much as a morning can be) and your body fails. Granted it could be worse, but just knowing that there is no rhyme or reason for the shingle outbreak except an immune-system compromise, is annoying.

Last Tuesday was spent trying to find a walk-in clinic (since the one in front of our apartment complex was open, but had no doctor, WTF?!) when I should have been studying for a midterm, which happened to be the morning Kelly arrived. I was trying to finish the putting boxes away (finally my clothes are hanging ... my shoes ... are a different story) and get the guest bedroom set up by the time she arrived.

The Bestie Suite

Come Thursday afternoon, I was in desperate need of a drink.

… but I am still in competition training, so there is no fun bevvies for Miss T.

These classy bevs will just have to wait ...

Thankfully Kelly just wanted to relax too, so it was really a low-key weekend. Plus, I got to try new restaurants in my new city.

Mark and I always go out in Fort Lauderdale, but we usually go to the same places. We had a dinner and a lunch with some of Kelly’s friends/family that live down here, which meant a new restaurant on Las Olas and a lunch on Fort Lauderdale Beach (which was WAY more pleasurable than Miami Beach, even with spring break in full swing!)

On Sunday, I took Kelly for a ride on the Jungle Queen (a must if you visit South Florida). It’s a tacky-touristy river cruise. On it we past one of the major parks in Fort Lauderdale, packed with people. Apparently every first Sunday of the month the city holds a free jazz brunch.

And I found a place nearby that offers the Barre Method classes, something I have been dying to try! And down the street from me is a vegan/raw restaurant that I am itching to stop in (Seriously?! You can take the veggies away from a girl but you can't veggie outta her.)

… I might actually learn to like South Florida after all.