Friday, May 30, 2014

Literary YouTube

It all started with the Lizzie Bennet Diaries.  A classic story updated for modern time and told across a variety of media platforms.  We all saw it.  I even gave money to the Kickstarter!

Unfortunately, it ended.

But it spawned a new trend!!!

Classic novels told as modern vlogs!!!

I've been watching Emma Approved, brought to you by the same people that brought us the Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

The production is high quality and I'm interesting in actually seeing Jane Fairfax!

But now, there are some new entries into the fold.  And I think they are all from Canada.

Green Gables Fables.  It's Anne of Green Gables.  This happens to be my favorite series of books ever.  (Yeah, I'm a red head).  I just started this series.  It has more of a homemade look, but since Anne is vlogging.. I totally get it.

The Autobiography of Jane Eyre.

It's another Canadian series.  Also, it's very home-made-y.  But I'm enjoying it.  This series I am actually caught up with!

And I stumbled across The March Family Letters about five minutes after I stumbled across Green Gables Fables.

So I don't know about it yet..

I'm astounded!

Are there any more out there?

(Next post:  What vloggers do you follow?)

The Fault in our Friday

It's been quite a week.  

I must admit that I've been down all week.  A quick look at the calendar showed me that "shark week" is fast approaching.

So I know that the whole me being down is largely hormonal.  It helps to know that this to shall pass, but that doesn't make this feeling suck any less.

Of course, I added insult to injury, I listened to the audio book of The Fault in Our Stars.  We have tickets to The Night Before Our Stars.  I've already read the book, but I wanted to read it again before we saw the movie.  (Why an audio book?  So I can "read" a book during my commute and when I run.  It's as simple as that.)  While the story is a wonderful story, it's a tad depressing.  Not a great choice for the week before "shark week."

Listening to the book was a wonderful experience.  I had gotten my hands on an earlier version, narrated by a woman, so it wasn't John Green actually saying his own words.  But I could hear his cadence, and almost familiar sentences in the lines of prose.  I apparently watch too many of his videos.

In other news, I've been linked to a few other Lizze Bennet Diaries type YouTube Channels... so I'm off to explore them!  I'll report back is anything is good!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Make Ahead Dinners

This week the Spousal Equivalent is working a whole lot of overtime.  This means that the dinner turn around will be tight.

So what did I do?  I pre-made some chicken!  Want the recipe?

Crock Pot Shredded Chicken


  • one onion, chopped
  • a bag of frozen chicken tenders (you know... from the store's freezer section), thawed
  • chopped garlic
  • 1 can low fat, low sodium chicken stock
  • spices
  1. Place the thawed chicken in the bottom of a crock pot.
  2. cook the onion and garlic in a skillet over medium heat until they soften and brown a bit. 
  3. add some spices (salt, pepper, spice blend... I used Mrs. Dash) to the onions and cook it for a minute more.  
  4. deglaze the pan with the chicken stock
  5. add the whole skillet full to the chicken
  6. slap the lid on the crock pot and cook on low for 3-5 hours
  7. When the chicken is done, remove the chicken, shred it, and put it back into the broth.
Easy Peasy!

If I wanted to make it Mexican themed, I'd swap out some of the stock for tequila, use a packet of taco seasonings and some lime juice on the chicken.

Currently sitting in my fridge is a LARGE bowl of shredded chicken.  I plan on adding it to stir fry, or making chicken tacos, or putting it on homemade pizza.

but because it's already cooked, it saved me a load of time!

I have 2 years....

(This post is heavily edited... because I had an epiphany at my Weight Watchers Meeting just now)

.... to lose this 20 some odd pounds (if not more)

I got the wake up call this weekend when Monday happened and I got the email:

( Below is what they are refrenceing)

What you see is over 450 West Genesee Band Alumni.  In 2016 they hope to have 500 (it's the 50th anniversary of the founding of the band)

Today in my Weight Watchers meeting we talked about anchors.  Those ideas, objects or memories that you can go to when you need to be reminded of why you are doing this.

That right there is my anchor.  I was significantly lighter the last time I marched.  I need to be lighter.  I need to be healthier.  I need to work as hard as I did when I marched in High School.

So tomorrow I remember to wear my FitBit.  Since I've pre-made a lot of dinners, I can work out when I get home.  (A long walk at the least, running or a workout video at the most).  I can use the guide on my fridge door to choose a healthier dinner.  I can pre-pack my lunch.

I can do this.  I need to.  Because I was once a part of something great, and in two years I again will be a part of something great.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

A 5K and the Food and Wine Festival

Today started WAY too damn early.  I got up, and dressed in my official shirt and ran the Chick Fil A 5K through beautiful Mariner's Museum park.

I also got my picture taken with Anna and Elsa.  (Elsa is a friend of mine)

While running I made the decision to become a millionaire and live over near the park.  BEAUTIFUL houses over there!!

I got my bling, decided to skip the line for the free chicken sandwich and went home.

We had better things to do!  We were going to Busch Gardens for lunch!!


It's the Food and Wine Festival!

I had some eating to do!

We got through the gate and were immediately asked if we wanted to see the next showing of London Rocks.

Of course!

The show is amazing!  I already love the music, but there is this amazing projection that adds so much to the show.
See this?  It's all projection

The Spousal Equivalent took these pictures.

At the end of the show I thanked the tech crew.  That job can't be easy with all the moving lighting and projection parts.  And who ever thinks to thank the crew?

Then it was off to eat.  We started at the new drink place across from the theater:  Union Snacks.  They have a Freestyle machine y'all.   Yes, that was a choir of angels singing.  Vanilla Diet Coke for 99 cent refills?  Yes please!!!

Then it was off to Ireland.  I got lunch at the Ireland Booth:
Bangers with Colcannon  Irish sausage with potato cabbage casserole & Guinness® brown sugar gravy ($5, I happen to love this dish and it didn't disappoint)

The SE got Lunch at the Scandinavian Booth:
Smørrebrød  Open-faced roast beef sandwich on dark rye bread with horseradish & pickled red onions (I didn't catch the price.He wasn't impressed)

We then went to try the American South West Booth:
Chicken Mole Adobo Southwestern marinated chicken with chili chocolate sauce ($6.  Can I have a vat of that sauce?  Seriously... it was amazing!)

I got dessert in Belgium:
Huis van Lum Chocolate Wafel vegetarian_logo House of Lum’s rich, chocolate walnut brownie waffle with berry compote ($4 This was heaven.  the waffle was light ans the berries weren't too sweet.  Heaven!)

And he got dessert in France:
Tartelette au Citron vegetarian_logo  Lemon tartlet (There were raspberries on this too.  I had a bite.... and got whipped cream up my nose... but it was wonderful!)

What I love is that they give you a book to check off what you've tried.  I know were going to be going back again and again before this is over at the end of June.  The portions are small, and a little pricy, but honestly, where can you get food like this?  Each booth has a costumed person there giving directions.  We want to get pictures at each booth when we are there next time!

I also have a desire to eat in Canada
  • Macaroni & Cheese with Peameal Bacon Creamy mac & cheese with cornmeal-crusted Canadian bacon
  • Venison Sausage & Corn Porridge Wood-fired venison sausage & creamy polenta with apple cider & caramelized onions
  • Pumpkin Caramel Mousse vegetarian_logo Crème brûlée-style custard, flavored with pumpkin & caramel

 and the Caribbean 
(Jamaican Jerk Chicken  Jerk-marinated chicken drumsticks with guava barbecue & grilled pineapple salsa)

and have the dessert from the American Southwest.  
(Chocolate Lava Cake vegetarian_logo Fudge brownie cake with molten Ancho-spiced chocolate filling)

I think we also want to do a wine tasting! ($14.95)  I haven't done one at the park before!

Do I have pictures of my food?  Hell No!  I was too busy eating!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Win some, lose some

Awful weigh in today.  I was bad for like a week and gained 2 pounds.

I actually expected it.  My dad visited, and we had good food and fancy dinners.  With wine.

What did I do in retaliation?  I signed up for a few races...

Living Social had an amazing deal for the Bay Days 8K.  Half price!  It looked like a good race on a beautiful course... and it was half price!  So why not?

I informed the Office Manager of this, she signed up.  Then she mentioned a glow run in a few weeks.  I signed up for that one.

Of course I told everyone in my Weight Watchers group about the Living Social deal.  They in turn told me about the Wounded Warrior 8K.  

I'd sign up for it, because I'm a glutton for punishment... but I ran out of money.

But I think I've slacked off enough.  Time to get back to work... I have a race on Saturday and I haven't gone running in a week!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Aahhh, Saturday

This week has been truly crazy.

We had Monday off, a comp day due to commencement.  I worked on Tuesday and Wednesday.  And on Wednesday night my dad and his partner came into town.  Thursday and Friday we hit all the tourist sites and I walked a million miles.

And today is Saturday.  It doesn't
feel like a Saturday though.

This weekend feels odd.  I have a metric load of housework to do.  I have a race I should be training for.

But I don't want to do any of that.

I'm torn between wanting to hang out with people and waiting to stay home alone and marathoning a show.  Going out isn't an option.  the Spousal Equivalent took the car for the afternoon.  (There was a moment of panic when he left, and I was outside with the dog- sans phone and house keys.  Thankfully the door was unlocked, so he got to live)

I need to exercise, but after my shoulder injury, that holds NO appeal.  (WebMD says I injured my rotator cuff... and the cure?  Resting it!)

I think the word of the day is compromise.  I'm going to stay in, just me and the puppy.  I might marathon the new YouTuber that I just subscribed to, and do some housework in between videos.

As for exercise,  I think I'll take it easy today and rest my shoulder.  I'll run first thing tomorrow.

As for hanging out with people.... I am lonely... but also housebound.

So I'll clean as if I'm having company!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Books on my Nook..... Many of them unread...

I subscribed to a bunch of Book-Tubers on YouTube yesterday and I got me thinking...

It's no secret that I haven't bought a paper book in YEARS. I have amassed quite a few books on my Nook.

Unfortunately, I've only read some of them....

  • P.S., I Love You- Wonderful book.  I've read it a few times
  • The Hallows Series, By Kim Harrison-  I have most of the books (They were going for $1.99 so I picked them up.)  It's like Anita Blake, but not a erotica novel...  I'm about 4 books behind on the series
  • Eat, Pray, Love- I've read this one a few times... highlighting it and bookmarking inspiring passages.
  • Multiple books by Charles deLint- His Newford series is amazing.  It's books and short stories that all take place in the same town.  Urban fantasy.
     Seriously... check it out!
  • The Hunger Games Books- of course
  • The Divergent Books- of course
  • Let's Pretend This Never Happened- laugh out loud funny.  Read this now!
  • The Parasol Protectorate Books, by Gail Carriger- steampunk... I really enjoyed these books
  • The first two books of the Gail Carriger Finishing School series- wanted to read her new stuff... haven't yet...
  • Hyperbole and Half- I'm about halfway through....
  • The Travelling Pants Books- wanted to finish the series.... haven't yet....
  • Many Women of the Otherworld Books, by Kelley Armstrong- great supernatural series.... still need to finish it.
The "I need to read it before the movie" collection
  • The Fault in our Stars- read
  • The Maze Runner- unread
  • City of Bones- read, but haven't seen the movie
  • Beautiful Creatures- read
  • Austenland- read
  • The Giver- read.. multiple times
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower- read
The "I loved it so much, I needed an eBook" list
  • Surviving the Applewhites, and Applewhites at Wit's End- read them.  HILARIOUS!
  • Ghostlight by Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • Over Sea, Under Stone and The Dark is Rising, by Susan Cooper- I need to pick up the rest of series.  I love those books

I think summer I'm going to make time to read!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Come on ABC.. CBS???

In December, NBC broadcast The Sound of Music.  Did I watch it?

With wine in my hand and popcorn in my bowl!  Hell Yes!!

Was it good?  Kinda.  Maria was VERY miscast.

But before you go and badmouth the live filmed musical, let's me point out some things:

  1. The stage musical is different than the movie
  2. it got HUGE ratings
Why is number 2 important?  It means there will be more musicals!!

Next year, NBC is staging Peter Pan.  It's not my favorite show.  Tinkerbell is played by a light... the title role is almost always played by a woman...  But it's getting done.  I'm DYING to see who they cast.

Succumbing to the pressure, FOX is going to stage Grease.  I just about fell out of my chair with glee!  I'm exceited to see what they'll do with it.  

Then NBC did it again.  They announced The Music Man!!!  I LOVE that show!  I've also seen some wish lists Harold Hill.  Seth McFarlane?  YES!!

So much better than Matthew Broderick!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Anyone want some cookies?

I went out to run this morning. I haven't been out to run in over a week.


The new morning routine. I'd have to be up at 4am if I wanted to run. This may be an option in two weeks, closer to my race Memorial Day weekend.

I need a new plan! My new plans is thus:

1.) take Misty on a run when I get home from work. Move the run to the morning when the Spousal Equivalent works normal hours.

2.) if it's nice out and way hot: run what I can, and walk the rest

3.) during crappy weather, a 20 minute or longer workout video.

I also desperately need some willpower. Have you seen the cookies in my freezer??

6 bags total.  Anyone want to have a tea party, to eat all these cookies?

In other news: I'm scared to see my weigh in tomorrow.

Post-Commencement fatigue

The hardest 4 hours of my year is commencement.  It's a little like a sprint through barely controlled chaos.  With a lot of people.

Let me take you through my day.

Commencement day for me starts at 6am.  That's the earliest I can get my hands on the graduation lists.  I then spend a few hours comparing the three other lists that I have been sent over the last week, adding information, taking away information.  Praying that it's all correct.

After a leisurely breakfast, and dog walk, we left for Williamsburg.  In past years we were able to make it to the department ceremony site in the hours between the end of the church service (We have our ceremony in a local church) and the ending of the main ceremony.  No such luck.  This year the had pushed up the main ceremony so much that people were done with time to spare before we were even allowed in the church.

Of course there were people inside when we got there.

taken by the Spousal Equivalent
That started the sprint.  I had to help set up the sanctuary (moving parents that had camped out in our reserved seating area), hang signs that pointed people to rest rooms, help an ill parent into the building and to her seat, get the other diplomas, prizes and other things to the proper people, help decorate the fellowship hall....

taken by the Spousal Equivalent
Thankfully I wasn't alone.  There were a team of us working to make the day run smoothly.  While I went to hand out programs and give directions to the graduates (this is why I always wear a dress), the others poured drinks and set out trays of cookies.

The ceremony went.....   All too quickly.

But before I knew it, things were over.  I had walked almost 3 miles, much of it at a sprint.

We cleaned up the Fellowship Hall (which took longer than anticipated.... round tables roll....).  We had WAY more cookies than we through we'd have left.

Anyone want some cookies?  I have tons!

As quickly as it started, the parents and students and faculty were gone.  The hall was put away.  The dishes were washed.  And we went out for dinner.

The 4 hours of controlled chaos were over.

And man am I sore!

Today's plan?  Cleaning.  I'm having company this week!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

My guilty pleasure

Oh, I have many.  But I have one food guilty pleasure.


It's a simple recipe

  • 2 boxes of shells and cheese
  • 1 pound of ground turkey
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning
Make the taco meat as per directions.  Make the shells and cheese as per directions.  Mix the two together.  Enjoy!

I know, super healthy.

So when I made it on Sunday, I added something.  Vegetables!

A few weeks ago I got a variety box of Green Giant Veggie Blend Ins.

I figured that it couldn't hurt.  The carrot in pasta sauce?  Amazing!  So this time I put the spinach in the taco meat and the butternut squash in the shells and cheese?

Does it make it healthier?  Marginally.

But I do this all the time.  Remember my 2 ingredient cake trick?

Dinner tonight?  Chili-mac leftovers!!

Monday, May 5, 2014

We don't appreciate routine until we lose it.

This morning my routine was shattered.  The Spousal Equivalent has started working 12 hour days.  6am to 6pm.  Ouch.

What does this mean?  Well, the buses start running well after he has to be at work, so I need to drive him to work every day.  Every.  Single. Day.  Since along with 12 hour days, he can also work weekends.

Now my morning includes getting up, tossing the puppy in the car, driving the SE to work, coming home, walkies, breakfast....

Did you see exercising in there?  Nope.

My current plan to to take the dog out running when I get home, before I start dinner.  I have a race in a few weeks and need to get out running again.  Today is the perfect day to start.  Let's hope that everyone and their cousin isn't outside to distract the dog!

This has also forced me to step up my game.  I need to pre-plan my meals!  No more trying to figure it out when I get home.  I won't have the SE there to help!

In the good news department:  I found my FitBit!  It was in the front pocket of my work bag.  I have NO idea how it got in there.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Motivation, where is it?

This time of year is stressful. We have to prep for commencement. Finals is happening, which means finding testing rooms and directing students where to hand in papers (using many, many, many signs). All departmental spending has to stop in the beginning of May, which mans that I've been doing a lot of financial paperwork.

Thanks to this, the TMJ has been flaring, I've had headaches almost every day, I'm exhausted and have no motivation to do anything.

Also I want to eat everything in sight!

And exercising? Nope.

Today I went home early from work with a pounding migraine. After many, many, many episodes of Veronica Mars I'm feeling better. Tomorrow I have plans to do work workout video!

Unfortunately, my FitBit is missing. I've looked everywhere! And it's sad.

This weekend I hope that I can de-stress a bit and rest.  As well as exercise.  Maybe we'll hit Busch Gardens for a few hours on Sunday....