Category Archives: Thoughts

Hers: Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder?

Oops.  It’s been quite a few days, and this blog has fallen by the wayside.  Of course, it hasn’t been forgotten.  Greg likes to remind me every day that we need to write.  He also likes to remind me that we need to clean the bathroom and buy a house, among other things.  In the spirit of productivity, we’ll cross one thing off that list at a time.  Right now, let’s get this blog up to speed.

The thing about blogging is, more often than not, you’re just talking about your life.  And sometimes, life is boring.  Or aggravating.  Or a little bit depressing.  No one wants to read about those things.  At least, I don’t think you do.  If you’re interested in hearing about this week’s violations at the “lady-bits doctor” or how I locked my keys in my car, then by all means, call me.  We’ll talk.  Otherwise, I’ll favor a little absence over transparency any day.  I think most would agree.

The other thing about blogging about your life is, sometimes, life just gets in the way.  Take Greg, for example.  He’s been working several industry trade shows a week for the past few weeks.  This usually means he’s out of the house by 6:30, on his feet all day, and walking back in the house around 8, exhausted and smelling like a tortilla chip.  After a shower and a snack, it’s off to bed.  If he makes it to 9, it’s a late night.  Blogging has not been his top priority.

(Something to know about Greg, though, is he that loves sleep.  If given a choice between a solid 8 hours and ME, I’m not sure I would win.  I’ve actually come down in the middle of the night to find him sound asleep and smiling.  It’s not the early bedtime that’s been unusual lately, but the grunt work preceding it.  I live with an old man.)

So there you have it.  A little bit of an explanation on where we’ve been, and why it hasn’t been here.  Hopefully, we’ll have something fun and exciting to report.  If not, it’s likely the dog will eat something he’s not supposed to, and that’s always fun to talk about too.  Either way, we won’t be strangers any longer.  How about you do the same?

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His: Tired, Lazy; Here’s A List

Sorry guys, but I don’t have it in me tonight.  We’ll just say it was a long day.  I don’t want to make excuses so I won’t.  That IS mine.  I didn’t make it.  Instead of trying to be funny or ironic or anything else, I’m going to give you a list that may give you a better idea of who I am.  More lists will follow when I’m too tired to think about anything else.

Favorite Foods:

1. Pizza-Cheese, bread, tomato sauce and additional meat oriented toppings…what could be more delicious?  My favorite Pizza ever in NYC deserves its own post so I won’t get into it now.

My Favority in DE, not in NYC.

My Favorite in DE, not in NYC.

2. Chicken- I know it’s generic, but there isn’t a chicken dish out there that I won’t enjoy.  If I had to pick a favorite, it would be chicken parm.  And you can even put it on pizza.

Kenny Rogers Roasters....Best Seinfeld Ever...This Is Ally's Though

Kenny Rogers Roasters....Best Seinfeld Ever...This Is Ally's Though

3. Pierogies- So Ally’s grandmother (Babci) is straight off the boat from Poland and makes some killer pierogies (just a bit better than Mrs. T’s).  I’ve also had the privilege of going to Poland and trying them there so these delicious little Eastern European Dumplings were an easy choice for my top three.

Not Exactly Babci's But Close Enough

Not Exactly Babci's But Close Enough

4. Pretzels and Peanut Butter- Yes, it has to be together.  I don’t remember the last time I went to bed without eating this combination….enough said.

Not Even Close To Joking About This

Not Even Close To Joking About This

5. Beer- It’s liquid bread…think about it.

Real Men Drink Bud Heavy.  Wait...Am I A Real Man?

Real Men Drink Bud Heavy. Wait...Am I A Real Man?

Troeg's Dreamweaver Wheat; Light, Crisp, Refreshing

Troeg's Dreamweaver Wheat; Light, Crisp, Refreshing

Smuttynose Pumpkin; A

Smuttynose Pumpkin; A Great Fall Treat

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Hers: A Sorry Attempt

I wanted to write something clever and interesting tonight, something that will make you keep coming back to this blog.  I wanted to be witty and entertaining and intelligent and original.  I also do not want Greg to yell at me in the morning because I said I was going to write and then fell asleep watching “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”  This happens more than I would like to admit.

Here’s the deal: my brain is fried, and my body is soon to follow.  So, in lieu of a nonsensical post about nothing at all, I will leave you with a picture that makes me happy.

Liz Padilla Memorial 5K

Liz Padilla Memorial 5K

This is my “official” race photo from my 5K a few weeks ago.  I received it in my email this morning, and it was a nice reminder on an otherwise dreary Monday.  I like that I am smiling like a lunatic, mostly because I am glad that I can stop running, but also because Greg, my sister, and my friend Lindsay are a few feet away and cheering for me.  My form is probably all wrong, and I’d like to shave a minute off my time at the next race, but I still really like this picture.  Look, Ma, I did it!

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His: Find Your Motivation

So one might assume that, because we are bloggers and give our opinions on many different things to many different people, we are narcissistic and take ourselves very seriously.  While Ally is quite the opposite, in my case, you’re probably right.  I don’t at all mean that I don’t care about anyone else or that I look at myself in the mirror all the time because, in all reality, it’s only some of the time.  JOKING!

Oh, hello, are you looking at me?

Oh, hello, are you looking at me?

I know, I know, I just posted about how getting fit is good for your mind.  But seriously…I’d be lying to myself and to you if I didn’t say that being fit can be just as much about health as it is about looking awesome. And I’m here to tell you that it’s OK.

Of course, I’m not recommending going crazy about it.  There are more important things in life, and being obsessed with being healthy doesn’t make you healthy. But, if you’re single and trying to impress a new mate (yes, I said mate), or if  you’re in a steady relationship and want to keep up appearances, it’s ok to use that as motivation.  I exercise and try to eat right because I want to feel good and like what I see in the mirror, but I also want Ally to like what she sees.  Physical attraction is part of what makes a relationship work, and these chiseled features don’t come without a little sweat, you know? (Again, I kid!)

Like Adonis, I am.

Like Adonis, I am.

Relationships are a lot like exercising.  You’ve got to give a little to get a little, if you know what I mean. And if you can’t get up off the couch yourself, then you’ve got to find something (or someone) that will make you do it.

FIND YOUR MOTIVATION!  Maybe, for you, it’s watching “The Biggest Loser,”  which we just started doing.  You might tape a picture of David Beckham to the fridge to remind yourself to watch it with the beer.  Work out with a friend or significant other and remember that you’re doing something good for your body and for theirs.  Don’t use Madonna as a role model….she’s GROSS.

I have creepy Man-Arms.

I have creepy Man-Arms.

I’ll say it again….I don’t take myself too seriously (most of the time).  BUT, I do take being healthy and staying fit seriously, and I think you should too.  You’ll feel good about yourself, and the benefits go way beyond.  Motivation doesn’t always have to be something deep and full of meaning.  So long as you’re being smart and not taking it to extremes, it’s ok to be a little full of yourself.  You’re working hard, and there’s no shame in taking a look in the mirror and humming “I’m Too Sexy.”  If it gets you off your ass, then just do it. (Hi, Nike!  Please send me stuff!)

How do you stay motivated?  Let me know!

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Hers: Creature of Habit, or How To Cook a Spaghetti Squash

For as long as I can remember, my father has woken up by 6:30am every morning and sat down to one of two breakfasts: 2 pieces of rye toast with butter or a bowl of maple and brown sugar instant oatmeal, accompanied by a strong cup of coffee, black.  Sometimes, if he’s feeling saucy, he’ll have half a grapefruit.  Now, there may have been mornings where a bialy with cheese appeared, or maybe even a donut, and there was that affair with the South Beach Diet breakfast frittata,  but for the most part, my father is a toast and oatmeal kind of guy.

In this sense, I am very much my father’s daughter.  That’s not to say that I won’t try new things; in fact, I enjoy new flavors and dishes very much.  However, if I find something I like, there’s a good chance it will stick around for a while.  I am a creature of habit.

In the summer, I wake up every morning to a bowl of Greek yogurt, lightly sweetened and flavored with cinnamon.  Sometimes, there will be some cereal or fruit mixed in, but the yogurt is always the same.  When the weather cools down, yogurt gives way to warm oatmeal, still sweetened and cinnamon-y delicious, now with the addition of vanilla bean and a splash of milk.

Whole Grain Goodness

Whole Grain Goodness

I drink my coffee the same way every day.  I prefer to drink it out of the same mug, the one with the A on it from Fishs Eddy on Park Avenue. (Have you been here?  It is the greatest store in the world.)  The coffee must be hot, and I will only use skim milk.  Anything else makes my coffee taste like butter.  Butter is good on toast or a baked potato, not in coffee.

A-mazing.

A-mazing.

In the winter, Sunday dinners are for roast chicken.  Sometimes, I think it might be nice to make a pork loin, or maybe even a steak, but in the end, it’s always chicken.  Greg and I will sit down to a great Sunday feast, and the leftovers will make excellent sandwiches and salads for weekday lunches.  I make my chicken the same way every week: nestled on a thick bed of onions and seasoned liberally with salt, pepper, and lemon zest.  Remind me to give you my recipe for roast chicken one day.  It is fantastic.  Roast chicken is the best thing about Sundays.

chicken

Roast Chicken with Lemon and Rosemary

I ate the exact same dinner 4 nights last week.  Spaghetti squash, topped with homemade tomato sauce and parmesan cheese, with some tofu or white beans thrown in for protein.  It was a busy work week, Greg wasn’t home one night, I was lazy, and it was just good. It was healthy, it was what I wanted, and that was fine.

So I leave you with something I wish I would have learned before the 4th night of this dinner: how to microwave a spaghetti squash.  Prior to this useful bit of knowledge, I roasted the suckers, and it took forever.  Now, I have been enlightened, and I’m happy to share my squash-nuking techniques with the rest of you.  After all, I’ll probably eat this again very soon.

Take your clean spaghettie squash (approx. 3 lbs.) and pierce the skin in several places with a sharp paring knife.  This allows the steam to escape while it is becoming delicious.

Poke Poke.

Poke Poke.

Microwave on High for 10-12 minutes, or until the skin gives slightly when touched.

Squash, Meet Your Doom.

Squash, Meet Your Doom.

If you haven’t poked it sufficiently with the knife, this will happen.  You don’t want to clean this up, so be generous with your poking.

Insufficient Poke-age.

Insufficient Poke-age.

Let the squash stand about 5 minutes, or until it is cool enough to touch.

Slice in half, remove the seeds, and then begin the business of removing the flesh from the shell.

Stick a fork in it.

Stick a fork in it.

And there you have it…Spaghetti Squash for Dummies.  Don’t feel bad about eating it (or anything else)  several nights in a row.  I don’t.

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Hers: TMI, or Eat Your Vegetables

Greg and I are, by most accounts, relatively modest people.  That’s not to say that we’re ultra-conservative or stiff; as a matter of fact, it’s quite the contrary.  We just feel that certain subjects are better left behind closed doors….most importantly, the subject left behind the bathroom door.  Full disclosure?  No, thank you.

Let’s keep the romance, shall we?

Not so romantic?

Clearly, we are in love.

Suffice it to say, a surprisingly large amount of people don’t agree with me.  Every time I turn on the TV, I’m bombarded with commercials for foods that will “improve your digestive health” and “cleanse your system.”  Pardon me while I change the channel.  I’d rather think the woman serving me my morning coffee is smiling because she’s a warm, friendly person, and not because she had a party on the john a few hours earlier.  (Yes, this commercial exists!)  For someone that finds these sorts of topic taboo, flipping on the TV is a virtual minefield lately.  What happened to the dog food commercials with the little puppies?

Puppies make for good commercials.

Puppies make for good commercials.

My general revulsion to this public announcement of business came to a head this morning while picking up a gallon of milk at our local grocery store.  As I stood on line, I couldn’t help but overhear the cashier and customer in front of me having a lengthy discussion about….what?  Am I hearing this right?

It went something like this:

Cashier: “No, it happens to me all the time.  This is what you have to do: Go buy a package of chocolate pudding, make it on the stove, and then eat it hot right out of the pot.  You’ll be going in no time.  Sometimes, I go twice in an hour.”

Customer: “Really?  I never tried that.  I haven’t gone in days.”

Cashier: “Works every time.”

Excuse me while I try to stop my ears from bleeding.

Now, I’ve just about broken every personal rule I have for myself by sharing this with you; however, there is a reason. (And I do apologize if anyone lost their lunch.  I assure you, it was far worse in person.)  While trying to peel my jaw off the floor—yes, my mouth gaped open that wide—I couldn’t help but look into this customer’s basket.  A bag of Oreos, a rib-eye steak, a 2-liter bottle of Pepsi, and 4 (four!) blocks of cheese.  Now, doctor I am not, but Houston, I think we’ve found our problem.

I’m not sure how the above conversation started (thank you, Jesus, Allah, and all things holy, for saving me from that), but it did make me think twice about the contents of this woman’s basket.  And aside from the cashier’s less-than-stellar-health-advice, I had one thing I wanted to tell them both:

Eat a salad.

A diet filled with fresh fruits and vegetables is nutritious, delicious, and will do more for your body that just alleviate your….issues.  Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that may help protect you from chronic diseases.  Compared with people who consume a diet with only small amounts, those who eat more generous portions of fruits and vegetables as part of a healthful diet are likely to have reduced risk of chronic diseases, including stroke, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers.  Eating a varied diet full of fresh ingredients will make you feel great and look even better.

Fresh and organic.

Fresh and organic.

Some of my favorite ways to sneak 5 servings a day into my diet are:

  • Mix fresh berries with your morning oatmeal, yogurt, or dry cereal
  • Swap sliced zucchini or cucumbers for the chips with your favorite dip
  • Enjoy 4 oz. of 100% fruit juice mixed with seltzer for a refreshing drink
  • Start your meal with a cup of broth-based vegetable soup
  • Keep single-serve portions of dried fruit in your bag for a mid-day pick-me-up
  • Toss equal parts spaghetti squash and whole wheat spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce and parmesan cheese
Two at a time!

Two at a time!

The more fruits and vegetables you eat, the more you will crave them, and the more your body will thank you.  What are your favorite ways to enjoy 5-a-day?

And in the meantime, for God’s sake, please keep your “issues” to yourself.

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Hers: Think Like A Man

Good morning!

Before I begin, and because I know you’ve all been waiting on pins and needles (or haven’t checked the sports page), the Steelers won last night.  Alright, everybody, big sigh of relief….

Greg, I may or may not have used your Terrible Towel to clean up the dog’s drool this morning…

I love to slobber.

I love to slobber.

Alright then.  After reading Greg’s post last night, I started thinking about balance.  While my favorite sports fan might not always have the healthiest habits (ahem…the corn in tortilla chips does NOT count as a vegetable!), he does have a healthy attitude about food and diet. Eat good, nutritious food 80% of the time, exercise often, and if you fall of the wagon, get right back on it the next day. Don’t stress.  There are more important things in the world (like the Steelers’ record) to worry about.

This is such a simple, smart concept, but one that I know plenty of women struggle with.  We’re so consumed with how we’re going to look in our jeans that all of our actions revolve around that singular goal.  Instead of eating real, wholesome food because it’s good for our insides, we eat to mold our outsides (and backsides).  Exercise isn’t about getting your blood pumping and letting out steam, but about burning off the peanut butter sandwich from lunch.  Of course, we all want to look in the mirror and like what we see, but if that’s the only motivation for living a healthy life, is it even healthy any more?   We’ve got to remember to keep a balance.

So this is my challenge, short and sweet, to all calorie-counting, cardio-pumping, strong, beautiful women ….Think Like A Man. Go out tonight, eat some wings, have a beer, and enjoy yourself.  Leave the guilt at home.

Greg was just fine this morning.  You will be too.

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