Friday, May 27, 2011

Office Tour

Why would anyone want an online photo tour of my office? Because it's where I make my magic happen, baby.*wiggling eyebrows*
And by my magic, I mean how I stare at computer monitors and type stuff about... stuff. Wow that is really boring.
But stay with me, because I do have a point to make near the end...

Here's the little art gallery in my cubicle, currently featuring Carly's "I'm Three" period. We'll be debuting pieces from her next line soon, starring my favorite and aptly titled: "This Is Mommy When She's Mad."

Back to work, people.

Here's my kitchen. Well ok, it's everyone's kitchen, but immediately upon arrival I crowned myself the Kitchen Police, which means I have a bottle of cleaner and have charged myself with the very serious duty of keeping the microwave clean. I also make sure that nobody makes coffee without first rinsing the pot and the filter basket. I'm very popular around here.
Here's my breakfast:
It's chopped tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, fresh spinach, and mozzarella with scrambled eggs. I make a batch of veggies at the beginning of the week and divide them into tupperware for each day. Then I can nuke the eggs in the tupperware and stir in the veggies. It's really delightful.
And here's my desk. Why is the business end of my desk on the wrong... end?
Because. First I was slightly intimidated by this article. And I think I paid attention to it more because it is illustrated. Now if only these new program manuals came illustrated and bound as Little Golden Books. Anyway, the idea is that sitting for eight hours a day is really terrible for our bodies. Who'd have thought? And then my brother sent me this article about the solution to that problem.
At first, I was only mildly concerned about being at a 64% higher risk of dying of heart disease. But then I read a key observation near the end of the article:
Week 2 update: Weighed in at the end of week 2 of standing desk plus eating well, and I'm down 3 pounds—no gym, just standing and doing my regular walking about town. Pretty happy about these results so far.
WHat?! So you're saying, that by simply standing at my desk instead of sitting, I could reach my goal weight in only...
divide by 2.... carry the one... "x" equals the variable...
10 months!!!

Ten months, what? Lame. But still, it's an interesting concept. And then I remembered that I had my Skechers ShapeUps getting dusty in the closet. I could burn even more calories if I wore those all day!
So last week I decided to give it a try. My desk set-up was already perfect, all I had to do was put my monitors, keyboard, and mouse on the ledge and walk around to the other side. This way, if I decide it's too difficult or I'm sick of people pointing and laughing, I can just put them back down on the desk without any trouble.
Ok, so nobody has actually pointed and laughed yet. But I do get some weird looks, and some snickering from my Coworker Who Shall Not Be Named. CWSNBN is a health fanatic. In fact, that book laying on top of the giant foam finger is a Biggest Loser guide. So you would think that he'd be all for my new plan of standing instead of sitting all day, but no, he'd rather tease me relentlessly about it. Just between you and me, I think he's just jealous that he didn't think of it first. Mainly because this is what he sits on most days:

Yeah, a rubber ball. Nothing against the rubber ball, but just sayin.
Also, points to whoever can find ten things in this picture that don't belong.

Anyway, I thought it went pretty well. All the articles and posts I've read about this say it's pretty painful the first week until you get used to it. And it really was, but not as bad as I thought it would be. I think the Skechers made a huge difference for my feet, because they hurt the least of all. My lower back, calves, and the backs of my thighs hurt the worst. I think the Skechers caused a lot of that muscle fatigue, but the pain in the lower back is when I get tired and shift my weight around in awkward positions. Standing with good posture eliminated the back pain, but is pretty exhausting after a few hours. My fourth day is when it really got painful, so I did a lot of laps around the office, trying to walk it off. It's amazing how much more exhausting it is to just stand in one spot for hours on end instead of walking or constantly moving, like when I worked at a restaurant. I do think I'll get used to it, but I'm going to have to start all over because I've been so sick this week that I didn't do any standing at all.
I know this won't be a miraculous weight-loss plan, but if I can gain some muscle tone in my legs and make a habit of good posture, then it might be a kick-start to waking up my metabolism. The first couple of days, I felt like I had more energy when I got home from work, strangely.

Has anyone else tried the standing desk set-up? I'd love to hear how it's going!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Snot Game

Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about. 
The Snot Game is when you're trying to sleep, but you only get 15-minute intervals because you have to keep rolling over to avoid having your cheek cemented to the pillow because of, well... Snot. And you can't just sleep on your back, because then you'll become evenly stuffed up in both nostrils and you'll have to sleep with your mouth open. Which is just. The. Worst.

I'm not really puking. Yet. But the comic is still appropriate because it's hilarious.
I'm pretty sure I have/had/am recovering from The Flu. Which shall furthermore hence whence be referred to as Influenza. Because it sounds so much worse. But really, what can be worse than every inch (or millimeter, for my European readers) of your body on fire, your nose pouring snot,  your head pounding and your back aching from the constant coughing, and nearly all the clean laundry in your possession covered in dried blobs of green slime because every time you open your mouth, that's what launches forth and lands in your lap. Don't pretend to be grossed out. You know the kind I mean, the mucus that is SO slimy and heavy that it won't stay on the kleenex but instantly slides off and lands somewhere embarrassing. And you try to nonchalantly reach down and blot it up, but too late! Your husband is already staring, his mouth open in sheer horror, cringing at the knowledge that he's the one who will have to do that laundry and scrub that carpet and peel all those soaked kleenexes off the coffee table.
What could be worse than that?
Ebola. Maybe. I haven't entirely ruled that out yet as a diagnosis.
Oh and on top of that, now my left ear hurts. Not just hurting, but intensely throbbing. Also, it's making me very dizzy and I keep typing one space over, like this:
yjod od jpe o y[ur ejrm o
, dovl
(Which, when translated, means This is how I type when I'm sick)

I tried to eat a banana, but it sounded like I was in my own mouth. I don't know how else to explain it. Like a tiny microphone was inside my mouth to amplify the sound of my chewing to one gazilitrillion gigiwatthurtz.  Guess I'll have to go back to my sole source of SickTime nourishment, the frappe. I had nine this weekend. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, baby.
Anyway, I'm thinking there are three diagnostic possibilities here:
  1. I've contracted a fatal strain of voracious bacteria that are eating away at my brain.
  2. A Star Trek sand creature has crawled into my ear while I slept and is on his way to my brain stem, where he will clamp on and respond to commands via a remote control possessed by an evil villain.     * See Fig. A.
Apparently this is officially called the Ceti Eel. (Knowing that little tidbit of science fiction trivia will no doubt make us very attractive to the opposite sex, ladies. You're welcome.) After wrapping itself around my cerebral cortex, it will respond to presumably sinister commands, forcing me to commit heinous acts against my will. Then I will go bonkers and then die.
But wait, there may be a money-making tshirt opportunity to be had from this tragedy:

I seem to remember the actual creature that comes out of that eel looking more like this:
Fig. A
Which makes perfect sense because I'm pretty sure I saw one of these in my bathtub a few weeks ago. Hmmmmmm.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Favorite Food Blog

A few months ago, my friend Talaya introduced me to a food blog called Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice. Just go there. It will change your life.
The end.

Oh wait. Not enough for a post hmm?
Then let me just show you what my fantastic husband has been feeding me for dinner when I get home from work:
(photos used with permission of author)

Taco Soup

Black Bean Soup

Chicken Florentine Soup

White Chicken Chili

I might have a thing for soup.
I couldn't even pick a favorite. The chicken florentine is creamy, and then when you serve it with grated parmesan, it melts only enough to coat the ingredients with a fantastic cheesy coating. mmmmm.
The taco soup and the black bean soup are amaaaazing with tortilla chips. And I don't mean Tostitos. I mean the thick, crunchy, authentic kind that you get in the international food aisle.

We've tried a couple desserts too:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

Homemade Marshmallows
The cookie pie tastes like.. a pie shell filled with cookie dough with a decadent chocolate coating. I don't even use the shell when I make it. I just spray the dish and load in the cookie dough. I've made it four times and it's always turned out phenomenal. I also like how easy it is to remember, it only takes a few ingredients. And if you follow the Never No Cho-Chis rule (never be without chocolate chips in the house), you'll probably always have the ingredients on hand. Friends drop by for a visit? Pop this baby in the oven and viola, a fresh and hot dessert coming right up.
Might be getting a little carried away.
Now the marshmallows were interesting. I loved the taste and the texture, but I don't know how she managed to make hers so beautiful! Mine were.. well, wonky. We made some for a party that were strawberry-flavored and dipped in chocolate. I had a bag of frozen strawberries thawing in the fridge for my yogurt, so I just drizzled the juice into the marshmallow mixture. Perfect taste and color. We tried to put the marshmallow "squares" on pop sticks and dip them in chocolate, but.... we ended up standing around and eating them out of the pan with a fork haha! Still tastes great anyway.

And here's something I haven't had a chance to try yet:

Fried Pickles
Man I ate a ton of those at Applebees when I was pregnant. I think these would be great to make for parties.

And something dear to my heart:

Nutella Pots De Creme
Pots De Creme apparently means baked custard. I don't know that I would like custard, but if it contains Nutella, that's all I need to know.
Oh Nutella.
Speaking of which, I have been collecting so many Nutella recipes lately that I had to put them on a separate Pinterest board! Check it out: All Nutella All The Time

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mexican Movie Night

My girlfriends and I try to do movie night once a month, but lately everyone's been too busy. Finally we got together over the weekend for Fools Rush In. The food theme, of course, was Mexican. Which was actually the whole point and then we had to come up with a movie that had Mexican food in it.

I always tear up at the part when he sees the little girl named Isabel at the helicopter airport thingie. I'm such a baby. Also, if I ever had another kid I would want to name her Isabel. Although the chosen name for my future imaginary child usually centers around the last movie I watched. Leia, Scarlett, Greta, Lex, Eleanor. Ten points to anyone who can guess my favorite movies ;)

Anyway, we had a great time.

That's Aunt Melissa, Jamie, Stephanie, Courtney, and the back of Jessica's head. Isn't it a cute little head? Talaya and Nichole were there too, but I was probably making them work in the kitchen. Actually I know that's what happened, because they were making these:

 Sopapillas! Which means fried flour tortillas with honey and chocolate sauce made with brown sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder, and cinnamon. I could pretty much just drink the sauce.

I made Mexican Truffles, which were ok. They were wonderful when I first made them, but I served them cold from the fridge and I think that made them not smooth and creamy.

Jessica made her famous chicken enchiladas, and Talaya made these indescribably fantastic tacquitos. I didn't get a photo because we ate every single last one.
Talaya also made these cookies:

The idea was to make them look like tacos, with a lemon poppyseed sugar cookie as the chip or taco, and tinted green frosting as the guacamole, and chopped fruit as the salsa. They tasted amazing, anyway.

Oh and we had Nutella shooters:

Sorry for the terrible photo. They may have already been taking effect by this time ;)
The recipe calls for hazelnut frangelico (I have no clue what that is), but I used hazelnut Kahlua with Godiva liquor and cream, and then the Nutella goes around the rim. They were pretty awesome. And I didn't have any appropriate barware, so we ended up using my Fiestaware tea cups and juice glasses haha!
We need to find more Mexican-themed movies so we can have Mexican food night more often!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Coupon Code!

Yesterday Zoe posted my interview on her beautiful blog, Blessed Bee Apothecary. There I blather on about myself and my shop, but at the bottom there's a free shipping coupon code.

Also, I listed this today:

I picked up that awesome button at the bead shop last week in Lebanon. I'd love to stare at it all day. Hmm maybe I should keep it for me :/

Monday, May 9, 2011

Haikus For Working Out

Burning evil sun
You make my armpits sweaty
Please bring winter back

Exercise is bad
My body does not like it
Wanting more Danish

Parking lot walking
You would think was good for you
But really awful

Danish taste so good
But make my butt super huge
I don’t really care

Now writing haikus
New favorite thing to do
You’ll all regret it

People say whatnot
Even though it's not a word
Make me so stabby