Welcome!Hey there! I'm Holly. A 40+ year old insurance-nerd wife, mom, beauty lover, and about a million other things in between. This is the place where I share about our lives, what I'm currently loving, books I'm reading, plus-size style, beauty recommendations, health + fitness endeavors and anything else I'm finding interesting at the moment. Thanks for stopping by!
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Monthly Archives: March 2013
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I love me some productivity hacks, but I often find that when I read about how to improve my time management, the solutions always seem to be conflicting or involve things that just aren’t realistic for my life. “Set Your Alarm 30 Minutes Earlier” — Uh, I already get up between 4:30 and 5am. “Only read emails twice a day” No thanks, I’d get fired. “Multi-task” oh wait, no “Don’t multitask” The advice out there is infinite. And maybe that is part of the problem.
You can’t manage time. Time is finite. You hear this all the time but it is true: There are only 24 hours in a day, and there will always be a laundry list of things that need to get done on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. This is a reality that has hit me like a ton of bricks in my new job. I am someone who measures my success by what I achieve so obviously I’m a big fan of Goals and To Do Lists — this shouldn’t be a shock, you can take one look around this blog and see that. But despite making them day in and day out, and checking things off regularly, As of a week or so ago I wasn’t feeling super accomplished.
Maybe I should be writing better To Do Lists. Maybe I should be using a different system. Maybe I should be working harder. Maybe I should be working smarter. But here is the epiphany I had this week: No productivity hack is going to eradicate the tedious tasks of life or work, and nothing you find on Pinterest is going to magically turn you into an organized, pulled together person who has always gets everything done in an orderly fashion. Time Management is a myth. It is physically impossible to manage time. You cannot manage your time, but you can manage your energy.
If you want to get things done, you must have the energy to do.
And for me, that was like a light switch. I’m still not at a place where I feel like I’m balancing EVERYTHING yet, but for now I am balancing the important things. And spending a lot more time doing this:
And slowly but surely, things are feeling like they are getting back to normal. Whatever else I can do on top of that? Icing on the cake!
Last night over dinner Garrett and I watched To Live and Die in LA. Despite feeling a little ripped off that there was no 2Pac in the soundtrack 🙂 (HELLO, the world can always use more 2Pac) I thought it was awesome. Garrett has been hounding me to watch it since I loved Drive so much and so finally after almost 2 years of persuasion, I sat down to see what it was all about.
Here’s the thing with me and movies — I really like going to the movies, seeing good movies, quoting random dialogue from movies — but if you ask me if I want to sit down and watch one? The answer is no – I am never in the mood. They are so LONG and they take so much investment! I’d much rather just watch something quick like a tv show (no commercials, GAH!) or do something entirely different. But there are a few exceptions. I got a chuckle reading this post over on Cupcakes and Cashmere the other day about movies you can’t say no to. It made me think of my own list of movies that no matter how busy I was, I would make time for. So I thought I’d share it.
In no particular order:
1. Dirty Dancing
2. The Sound of Music
4. Sleeping with the Enemy
5. Top Gun
6. The NeverEnding Story
7. Reality Bites
8. Basically ALL of Tori Spelling + Valerie Bertinelli’s Lifetime Movies (what?)
9. Sixteen Candles
10. Teen Witch
(Listen, I never said I was a movie critic. :))
I asked Garrett to make the same list and he rattled off these:
1. Citizen Kane
2. A Christmas Story
3. Lawrence of Arabia
4. The Bridge on the River Kwai
5. Die Hard/Die Hard 2
6. Fiddler on the Roof
9. The Great Escape
So…Is it any wonder we hardly ever sit down to watch movies together? 🙂 Are you judging us?
I know you must have a few irresistible movies up your sleeve too.
Well, your finger crossing worked! No box jumps in the first CrossFit Games Open workout. Hooray! Here’s what I’m up against:
Proceed through the sequence below completing as many reps as possible in 17 minutes of:
45 pound Snatch, 30 reps
75 pound Snatch, 30 reps
100 pound Snatch, 30 reps
120 pound Snatch, as many reps as possible
While I’m super happy it’s not box jumps, I have to say I’m not that thrilled with all the burpees — especially since there were 70 at the end of our workout on Tuesday. YIKES! 🙂
But I’m happy that I can even participate, and this year that is a win. I’ve been thinking a lot about this year vs. last year recently. At least once a day actually, thanks to Timehop. I have a love/hate relationship with that app. You are probably using it too, but in case you aren’t it’s an app that gives you a daily update of what you were doing a year ago based on your facebook/twitter feeds. Sometimes it is awesome and makes me think back on good times and get all warm and fuzzy.
On the flip side, sometimes I read what I was doing a year ago and I think, “Man, my life looks very different right now.” And then I kind of miss my old life. I had that feeling the other day when my timehop linked to my tweet about this post which coincidentally, was the day I made my CrossFit Games Competitor Profile last year.
I read through it and realized that so many things look different now. I am no longer working out on that schedule. My work schedule has made it practically impossible to workout in the mornings these days, so that workout efficiency isn’t possible. I’m also working out less. I’m not lifting as heavy as I was last year and well, I STILL have that 40lbs to lose. When I reviewed that post the other day it kind of bummed me out.
But I’ve thought about it and thought about it some more and talked myself into the idea that viewing life as a singular snapshot doesn’t always reveal the complexities of daily routines. And likewise, sometimes when we work on many goals at once our efficacy changes. What it takes to get to ALL of our goals isn’t just easily cross-off-able lines on a black and white list. I have spent the last year traveling and busting my tail at work to get a promotion. A promotion that was a bit of a financial game changer for my little (and hopefully soon to be growing) family. That was a purposeful decision and it took sacrifice. Part of what I sacrificed was how much weight I can snatch, you know?
Was it worth it? HELL YES. Do I still fret over things like that when I’m in the gym though? YOU KNOW IT. But I also think I’m getting ready to let that go. And I think letting that go will actually help me feel a greater appreciation for where I am presently. And where I am in the present IS A REALLY GREAT PLACE TO BE.
We’ve all seen this quote floating around on the internet and I know it is a common touchstone for people when they are feeling envy of others. But I also think it is important to acknowledge that when you compare versions of yourself you are also doing a disservice. Life is not lived in a vacuum. The variables of today are not the variables of yesterday. The only constant is change, right? And as long as I’m evaluating, adapting and acting — I am succeeding.
And let this be your little daily reminder that no matter where you were a year ago, you are succeeding too.
Oh the important things we have to discuss! 🙂 Well, that may be setting the bar a little high. How about just some fun things?
First, food. Obviously.
*I have been eating a really AWESOME frittata for breakfast and I have to tell you about it. If I was a good little food blogger I would blog about it, but aaaaah, as I’ve mentioned I’m sort of running around like a chicken with my head cut off as far as the day job goes, so. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know about this act of deliciousness. It’s a little kitchen-sink-ish and it involves a vegetable I don’t even really like (mushrooms!) and I’m still LOVING IT. Here’s the un-recipe, recipe: Brown a pound of ground beef, season the hell out of it with salt, pepper, garlic powder (yeah, garlic for breakfast. Get started early!) and if you are really super cool add some dehydrated onion flakes. I don’t know why I’m into these right now but I am. You could also use FRESH onion, I’m sure, but hey. Then throw in a metric ton of kale and let it wilt. In another pan sautee some white mushrooms in ghee (OMG, or should I say OMGHEEEEEEE…see what I did there? :)) until they are browned and really crisp (this is key) then throw them into the meat/kale mixture, add some sliced olives, and if you have like cheese or happen to have a little bit leftover, add just a few sprinkles of parmesan (see, I told you it was kitchen sink.) Pour it all into a casserole dish, add 12 eggs, bake at 350 for 30 minutes and BAM! Morning bliss. God, it is good. So good I may just go back for a second piece. Now let’s pretend there is an artsy photo attached to that recipe, ok? Great.
*Because my cooking time has been sort of limited (BOO, not into that) I’ve been making my crockpot do some of the heavy lifting lately. I made an Italian Pot Roast the other night that was basically life-changing. It was a beef chuck roast and I used this method and you all, I will never go back to browning my meat before I put it into a slow cooker! It gets THE BEST crusty outside. From a crockpot! And the meat was fall apart tender but still moist. Anyway: DO THAT.
*Oh, one last note about cooking: If you are local I am teaching a Paleo Cooking Class over at the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op on April 18th. I’ll mention it again because it appears you can’t register for spring classes yet, but I’m super excited about it! Come down, hang out, and eat some delicious food. It will definitely be a good time.
*Do you know what is NOT a good time? The fact that my knee is still not 100%. I have been seeing a chiropractor who does active release and it has been so helpful (I will eventually write a whole post about that because it has been FANTASTIC) but I have a ways to go until I will be able to do all of my favorite things. I find this to be the most frustrating thing in the world! I’m back to CrossFit (I took most of last week off) but doing a lot of scaled things and I HATE THAT. HATE HATE HATE.
*This knee business is not only bad timing for The Relay but also, The CrossFit Games Open start TOMORROW. Now listen, I’m not a super competitive athlete with dreams of “making it to the games” and all that…UM, NO. But it is a fun time at the gym and I’m hoping that I am able to at least participate in a few of the workouts before I have to start scaling. So what I need from you is to cross your fingers that box jumps aren’t in the first workout ok? 🙂 Yeah, box jumps right now are just not my friend but they always show up in the Open. I’m hoping it’s later and paired with some other crazy stuff I won’t be able to do anyway (hi, muscle ups.) So…your fingers are crossed right? Awesome, thanks!
So…what is going on in your neck of the woods? I feel like it’s been so long since we chatted! So tell me…any new recipes you are loving? Any good advice for dealing with injuries aside from just feeling REALLY sad? Are you competing in the Open? Anything else you feel like sharing? Let loooooooooooooose! TALK TO ME.
On Saturday I spent most of the day at the Everyday Paleo Seminar that my gym hosted listening to Sarah Fragoso and Jason Seib speak about the science behind Paleo and real life strategies for incorporating it into your life. Since I’ve embraced Paleo living for almost 3 years now I wasn’t expecting to go in and have my mind blown, but I was hoping to get a little re-energized.
For about 6 months I’ve been feeling stuck, health wise. I guess you could say I’ve been in a little bit of a rut. Mostly, to me, this means that I am making less forward progress than I would like and instead am doing more floundering than usual. But every time I start to feel upset with myself about all the floundering I’m doing, I think of this:
This is so true, right?
When I feel like I’m just spinning my wheels I try to realize that it is all a part of the process and then I just look for an opportunity to re-energize myself to move forward. This seminar really helped me do that.
It is a pretty great introduction to Paleo if you are not super familiar with it, but like I said, I already came pretty armed with the basics. I did write down a few notes and found myself evaluating a things I could do a little differently moving forward so I thought I’d share my random list of things that made me say “Oh, really?” This isn’t chronological in any way, or even good cliffs notes, but rather just a few facts I learned and bullets that got me thinking:
*I should to get back to my Vitamin D supplement
I used to be super good about this and then I got a little lazy. It’s pretty important though, so I’ll probably start supplementing again. I’m actually mostly anti-supplements (unless they are targeted and temporary), but this is an exception – and the dosage I used to take was recommended by my Naturopath so it wasn’t arbitrary. Jason recommended Liquid Vitamin D drops as the bio-availability is far superior.
*Chicken/Pork and Turkey are slightly higher in Omega 6s than Beef & Seafood
I thought this was interesting. Their recommendation for the best protein sources were good beef and wild caught cold water fish. Of course they weren’t saying ONLY eat those two things, but to just consider that when selecting your variety.
*Selenium makes the Mercury in fish inert
This was kind of a fun fact too, I thought. If you are getting enough selenium, you really don’t need to be fraught with worry about mercury in your fish.
*Focus on Fat Loss and not Weight Loss
I’ve mentioned this sentiment numerous times here but the more I hear it, the more I want to pump my fist in the air when people say it. And Jason walked through the science of why lifting weights is so good for your body and why “cardio” does a lot more harm than good when it comes to getting healthy. Of course I can’t explain it in an articulate way, but it did make me feel a little more energized to lift.
*Skinny is not the opposite of fat. Healthy is the opposite of fat. Healthy is also the opposite of skinny.
Pursue health over aesthetics and the aesthetics will come.
*You can eat super clean and work out really hard but if you are not managing stress and getting good sleep, none of it matters
This was especially powerful for me to hear. It is something I know, and something that I have worked hard on in the past (especially getting good sleep — and now I’m a pro! haha) but definitely with this new job I need to make sure I am keeping my stress in check! Jason recommended this book and I ordered it from Amazon while I was still at the seminar. I love technology!
So, like I said — not great cliffs notes or anything, but just a few of the things I left thinking about. It’s nice to get re-energized about your health and this definitely gave me some new food for thought. It’s nice to be thinking about some of this stuff again.
I have so much to say — and surprisingly (since I’ve HARDLY been reading the internet) I also have a lot of links to share, but it just ain’t gonna happen today.
I’m wrapping up my second full week of this new job, dotting i’s and crossing t’s and on top of it we are in the middle of buying a car! I know it’s not stressful like buying a house or anything, but there are a lot of moving parts, ya know? So my free time is…well, not readily available just yet. But it’s coming, I can see it. I can’t wait to get back to blogging regularly. I miss this space and all of you!
Garrett is finally home and I am so looking forward to spending some quality time with him this weekend. I missed him a RIDICULOUS amount while he was gone. Saturday my gym is hosting Sarah Fragoso of Everyday Paleo and Jason Sieb for a workshop, so I’m excited to be spending my afternoon checking that out. Afterward, it’s just all relaxing from there. My mind is blown. I am VERY very excited about it.
Speaking of being excited, guess what today is? Six months, to the day, of when Buster adopted us. (Yes, that sounded really obnoxious. But if you’ve read the story you know that is exactly how it went down!) Six months??!!??? I can’t believe it, actually. That’s HALF A YEAR. We were snuggling him last night and I just kept saying to him “I’m so happy you found us.” I hope he feels the same way.