Thursday, February 26, 2009

Our Big News

'kay, I know you've all been waiting with bated breath, so here it is: we're moving to Florida! Yeah, I know, we're moving...again. ;) We can't help it. I think we're addicted! In truth, I had hoped that this move to Albuquerque would be our last for a long while, and while we have truly enjoyed every second we've been able to be near my parents, nothing else has lived up to what I thought it would be. My job, while interesting and satisfying in its own way, is not exactly what I was sold on coming out here for. There is no room for me to move up the corporate ladder here, no opportunity to manage, and there is little funding for an real increase in salary. Hubs has been working for his old CA company as an independant contractor; however, they're not doing so hot in this economy so the work has kind of dried up over the last few months and there is nothing out here for him to do. The one job that he found that was suitable would not even have paid enough to cover daycare (and was less than half of what he was making in LA). Anyway, my new position is a step up (I'll be managing a team of 7-8 analysts) both in position and in salary. I love the atmosphere, the work environment seems amazing and everyone I talked to there seems to really love it.

In fact, we've already got a house to rent. Hubs found us a gorgeous little place right on the beach...with a pool! :) I was hoping to push out our move date, but my new company wants us there by April 1st, so we'll be leaving in just a few weeks. Hubs will be flying out next week to make all the arrangements & sign the paperwork for our new house, so hopefully this move will go a little more smoothly than our transition to Albuquerque. Anyway, that's our news in a nutshell. Once we get settled in, you all are welcome to come by and visit any time! :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Celebrity in our Midst

I may have some really exciting news in a day or two, but, for now, you'll have to content yourselves with C on tv! In case the link doesn't work, she was on KOAT Channel 7 here in Albuquerque. The story is called, "Pen Pal Soldier Sends Gift To Students." C is so proud to be a celebrity! ;)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Letting You All In On My Vidiocy...

Okay, so I've gotten a few questions about P90X, so I thought I would write a quick review of the system. P90X is a fitness DVD series led by Tony Horton and produced by Beachbody (the same people who produced Chalene Xtreme). It focuses on muscular strength and endurance, and it is definately advanced! I did a full rotation (90 days) a couple of years ago before I had my last two kids, another one after I had J, and Hubs and I did a rotation a few months back (Oct-Nov), although I only made it about 8 weeks before I threw in the towel. So here are some quick impressions...

- These absolutely live up to their hype. If you are willing to put in the time and effort (and watch what you eat!), you will definately see the results you are looking for. I have never looked so buff in my life!
- I feel incredible when I do these workouts. It makes me feel awesome to know that I can lift that much weight or do dive bomber push-ups.
- This system has everything you need. You can sub in different cardio if you want, but it really has all the components you need for a well rounded rotation.

- These workouts are looooong. I mean they're about an hour each (plus a 90min yoga DVD), which is fine on some days, but I am a working mom of 3 who has reserve commitments as well. I just don't have that much time.
- The music is awful. This can be easily countered, though. I generally wear my nano on my arm and listen to my own music. The workouts are insanely tough but not difficult to pick up, so you don't necessarily need to hear what Tony is saying.
- Tony is a wierdo. Okay he's not that bad, but he is a little overly enthusiastic. See the above comment for how I deal with that.
- You need heavy enough free weights to challenge yourself and to grow with the program. This wa snot an issue for me, as I have free weights ranging from 3lb-50lb (I have been obsessed with fitness videos for many years!), but if you don't have very many weights, it may be a bit of an investment.
- For the ladies: you will see muscle growth before you see fat loss, which means you will start to feel like your clothes are tighter since you are increasing your muscle mass without losing the layer of fat on top of it. You must keep clean with your diet to lose the fat!
- For me there wasn't enough cardio. Again, this may be a ladies only thing, as Hubs doesn't seem to need/crave the extra cardio. This also helps with the fat loss.

Okay, so it may look like there are more cons than pros, but I think the pros actually outweigh the cons. This is one workout system that really does everything it says it will, but you have to be commited and willing to stick with it. This is for truly dedicated people who want to take their fitness levels and physiques to the next level. My own personal goals right now do not include building more muscle mass (I feel like I have plenty thanks to P90X and my Cathe Friedrich obsession), and I am really enjoying the barre workouts I am doing right now. I am pretty happy with how my body looks/is shaped, I just want to lose a little extra fat on top which, unfortunately, means working on the diet and upping the cardio. My favorite P90X workout is Plyo X, which I still reach for about 1x a week. I am always on the lookout for true interval workouts like this one.* I also like the Core Synergistics one, and I reach for that sometimes. I really dislike Kenpo X and Cardio X** so I always substitute other cardio when I am doing a P90X rotation. Okay, now that I've totaly geeked out on you all, I hope you at least got something out of it!

*so if you know of any, please comment below!
** I just find them really boring and not all that difficult

Monday, February 16, 2009

Bloggin' Wit Luv

I know, it's been forever since I posted, but we are going through some family stuff right now, so I haven't had a whole lot of extra time lately. My extracurricular activites mainly consist of my fitness stuff, cooking, and, of course, Lost ;) Valentines ay came and went pretty uneventfully. My wonderful Hubs got me some Sees Chocolate (my absolute favorite!), and this really sweet card that he made on Shuterfly that has pictures of all the kids. I, on the other hand, got him a card that said "If our love were a garden, I would be your hoe." What can I say? I thought it was hilarious ;)

In addition to Lost, I have also been watching Top Chef, as I do every season. Can I just say that I freakin love Carla! Hootie Hoo! She has really grown on me. She and Fabio totally make the show (although it's pretty obvious that the win belongs to Stephan). And thank god they kicked Leah's nasty, skanky butt off this week. Who goes on national television and cheats on their boyfriend and expects to be taken seriously? It's hard enough for women to be taken seriously as chefs without her schoolgirl antics reinforcing stereotypes. And don't think Hosea escapes my realtiy-tv wrath. I think he is even worse than Leah since he seems to think he's better than everyone else despite the fact that he hasn't won anything in weeks and, oh yeah, he cheated on his girlfriend on national television! I hope he goes home next week with his tail between his legs and gets his pompous ass dumped.

Whew, got a little carried away there ;) Anyway, I made an Indian-inspired dinner tonight so here's some yummy recipes for ya:

Almond Chicken:

1 red onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 lb chicken breast, cubed
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup plain, non-fat yogurt
1 tsp red curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp oil, any kind

Saute the onion and pepper in oil over medium heat until soft. Add chicken and the spices and cook until chicken is seared. Add the chicken broth and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Add almond butter and plain yogurt to the sauce and simmer for another minute or two until the sauce thickens. Serve over basmati rice.

Curried Corn & Peppers:

1 bag frozen corn
1-2 red peppers
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 red onion, diced
1 avocado, diced
1 tbsp curry powder (I prefer red)
1 tbsp butter
salt & pepper to taste

Saute the onion and red pepper in butter over medium heat until softened. Add the curry powder and other veggies (except the avocad) and saute until heated through. Season to taste and remove from heat. After it has cooled a bit you can add the avocado if you want (it tastes just as good without it, but I love avocado!).

I have been doing really well with my workouts. I've upped the intensity (I did Plyo X from P90X again today; I have been trying to do this at least 1x a week) and the length of my workouts and the scale is finally starting to budge! I've also started a fitness log. It's just an excel sheet with day and workout done, but at least now I can track what workouts I'm doing and when. I've also started adding in more core and flexibility work. I do at least two weekdays of Squeeze or Tracy Anderson, which include a lot of core work inherently. But on the weekends I've been adding on segments of Sara Ivanhoe's Yoga Makeover series, which are each about 20min long. So my weekend workouts are actually coming in at about 90min per session. The kids love when I do anything other than cardio because I let them come into the room with me and play around with my mat or swiss ball (when I do cardio it's just too dangerous to have them underfoot). They like doing somersaults on my yoga mat, and A and J like to push the kitchen chair around (I use this as a stand-in barre).

Things I'm Thankful For:
- Lost - truly the most cerebral show on television, and the only show that makes me want to tune in week after week
- School counselors who care - C is fortunate to have a school counselor who really cares and has been such a wonderful influence in her life. It is the one truly positive thing I can say about her current school.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Random Tidbits

Sometimes it pays to be a history nerd
So my office has several retired naval officers that like to swap sea stories during our morning meetings. Today they were joking around about the poor state of the Russian and Chinese navies, and how neither country had a history of seafaring. So I felt compelled to bring up the stories of Zheng He (thank you Chinese Studies degree) and Pyotr the Great (thank you History Channel ;) just so I could look smart, hee.

Went a whole week on SB, and I didn't lose a single pound! *sigh* I'm feeling really discouraged right now because I've actually gained since starting Chalean Xtreme 4 weeks ago. I know it can take 6 weeks or more to see results from a new routine but to gain weight!! WTF?? Also, trying to stick with the extreme Phase 1 is really difficult when no one else in your family is eating the way you are. I have to cook two separate meals, and the preparation is unbelievable. Anyway, that's my way of weasling out of it! ;) I'm just going to stick with eating less and trying to eat as clean as possible. Speaking of which, it's been a while since I posted a recipe, so here's a good one for some yummy & good for you muffins.

Apple Raisin Muffins:

1 cup low fat buttermilk
1/3 cup no sugar applesauce
2 egg whites
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup brown sugar

1 cup oat flour
1 cup wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1 apple, chopped
1/2 cup raisins

Combine wet ingredients & oats in one bowl and the dry ingredients in another bowl. Then comine the two and add in the chopped apple and raisins and stir just until mixed (add some additional buttermilk if the batter is too thick). Bake for 20 min at 400 degrees or until you cna insert a toothpick and remove it cleanly.

Today I dd Squeeze with Tracy Effinger. I love these barre type workouts. I broke down and bought Tracy Anderson's Mat Workout, and I got the new Exhale Core Fusions in a trade* so I'm going to try a rotation with barre workouts and maximum cardio effort. I plan on doing HIIT (high intensity interval training) at least 2x a week and some other form of cardio (probably kickboxing) 3x per week. Hopefully the extra instensity will help me sed these stubborn pounds before I head off to Mexico!

Things I'm Thankful For:
- Eb5 facial cream and eye cream. I got these as samples from Walgreens (samples which I have made last for over two weeks, so imagine how long the 4oz jar will last!), and I am in love! I have pretty oily skin, but I live in an extremely dry climate. Eb5 is the first facial cream I've found that makes my skin feel soft and smooth but doesn't clog my excessively oily pores. It is my best beauty find ever!
- VH1 realty one of these things, seriously, you will feel so much better about yourself!
- Having a good, stable job that pays the bills...that means a lot these days

*I am such a nerd!!