All The Articulate Ladies!

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This has been a week of good reads on the internet for me, and it’s only Tuesday. Sweet! Don’t you love when that happens? I thought I’d share some of the things that were speaking to me.

The first was an article by Jennifer Weiner on The Pressure to Look Good.

This is one of those coincidental articles where days before I had trying to articulate my thoughts on this exact issue when talking to Garrett but couldn’t find the right examples. It all started when I was getting ready to go Scottsdale with my cousin for her Bachelorette party. The entire week leading up to it I told him he was on his own for cooking dinner.

One night I was heading to the nail salon to squeeze in a manicure and a pedicure. The next night I was returning the bathing suit cover up I had purchased because I had found one that was more flattering and squeezing in a quick brow wax. The night before I left I was having a lovely stranger come over while I stripped naked in my living room to give me a spray tan. (That one really freaking him out LOL) And he just kept saying “Dude, this relaxing ladies vacation sure seems like it’s a lot of freaking work!”

Then there was Spanx-gate. For reasons too long and humorous to explain, Garrett has only recently realized how prevalent Spanx are among all women and bless his heart he just can not comprehend why anyone would try and squeeze ten pounds of sausage into a two pound casing. (My words, not his.)

“Because foundation garments are game changers” I told him, “Duh.” But he still couldn’t wrap his mind around why someone would do something so uncomfortable.

Then one night we’re sitting on the couch watching Real Housewives of Orange County together (as you do) and there’s this scene where Shannon is in the bathroom discussing how she is wearing 8 pairs of Spanx so it’s going to take her a minute. Garrett again just can’t believe it and he basically says something to the effect of, “Wait a minute — she is only two pounds of sausage to begin with? Why would she be wearing 8 types of Spanx?” So I tried to explain why I understand that she would take all precautions, being on a reality show and all of that. And yet, he was still confused.

This article did a great job of articulating what I had been reaching for.

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Second was Rashida Jones and her Guide to Happiness at Work

The entire article was funny and true and I could relate on may levels. But the nugget that spoke to me the most was this “Happiness is not the endgame.”

Sometimes someone will say something to me and the perspective it gives just zaps me light a bolt of lightning and this was one of those things. (The last one I can remember was when someone said to me “Balance is a moving target.” I can’t remember who that was, but man — I LOVE THAT.)

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Last was my pal Melissa Joulwan who recently linked to a 2009 post she had written that sung to me like a personal anthem. It was all about the power struggle that sometimes happens between being fun vs. being happy.

This gets back to that brilliance about balance being a moving target, but after weeks of fun! things! on our calendar — I have never been so damn happy to eat grilled chicken and vegetables and to be working out twice a day.

You can call me crazy, but I just call me BLISSFULLY BLISSFULLY happy. Mel articulated exactly how I’ve been feel about this delicious phase that I am in right now.

“…this state of being is not forever. It’s just for a while, so I can re-charge my batteries and emerge feeling strong and happy.

You like me more that way, don’t you? I know I sure like me more that way.”

A hearty YES to that, my friends! A hearty, hearty yes!

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Have you come across any super good reads on the internet this week? Please share!

The Mojo Search Is Off + My Grilling Favorites + Weight Loss “Journeys”

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Is it weird that this hand-me-down grill from my mom has brought my kitchen mojo back in a major way? I’m not exaggerating when I say we are using it at least 5 nights a week. NUTS. I wasn’t joking when I said that grill is my happy place!

Some of my favorite things to grill lately:

*Trader Joe’s Uncured All Beef Hot Dogs – Holy Crap you guys, these are the best hot dogs ever, hands down, end of story.

Speaking of Trader Joe’s – have you hopped on the frozen cauli rice craze yet? Our TJ’s has been sold out of it for weeks, and last night when I stopped in for some other groceries I spied the (tiny) bags in the freezer section and snatched up a few. I’m excited to see if it’s #worththehype

*Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip — OMG, tri tip in the oven is good, but tri-tip on the grill is WHERE IT’S AT! That rub recipe is just a great, classic seasoning to have on hand. It’s good on anything you want to grill.

*Grilled Salad – If you haven’t ever grilled your salad, it’s just one of those things you’ve got to try. It’s so fun, and tasty!

Anyway, that’s what we’ve been grubbing on. I am not unhappy about it. It’s amazing how easy it is to just enjoy meat + veg in the summer time. The abundance of produce, the smell of the grill — I’ve been looking forward to cooking dinner just about every night.

So I hear this week is The Girls Week. Thus far, Isabel: ✔️ #crossfit

And not to jinx it, but I may have gotten a little workout mojo back. I’ve worked out 5+ times in the last 3 weeks, and am on track to do the same this week. My sanity stays in tact so much more regularly when I am up and working out every morning.

I don’t know if it is the time of day, or if it is just the regularity of a consistent routine, but the other day Garrett told me that all this exercise has made me visibly mellowed. Ha! I think sometimes when I’m not in a good workout routine I start to act like a caged animal. (Don’t you wish you lived with me? heh 😛 I’m really selling it here.)

I know it’s kind of weird to call fitness a hobby, but man — I just really enjoy spending time getting stronger, and healthier. Call me crazy, but the pursuit of those things actually makes me happier. I need to start treating my fitness like I treat my career.

bosses don't cancel

Tangentially related (and still a little stuck in my craw) – I thought this article called “Let’s Stop Calling Weight Loss A Journey” was really thought provoking. Especially this part:

Still, I swore I’d never “let myself” get fat again. Like many people in our culture, I’d always regarded people who gained back the weight they’d lost as failures. After all, people who successfully lose weight are supposed to have made “permanent lifestyle changes” — which is a weight loss cliché, because it’s what we all claim we’re making when we embark on a diet. It’s what we all really believe we’re making. In reality, new exercise habits and subtle palate changes developed during a course of deliberate weight loss might last a lifetime (hooray!), but few among us can continue eating a highly restrictive diet — whether said restriction is focused on calories, carbs, fat, or whatever else is fashionable at the moment — for the rest of our natural lives.

After a couple of years, I started realizing I might not have as much choice in the matter as I imagined. The pounds started coming back, not because I sat on the couch eating cheeseburgers all day, but because I’d allowed myself to focus on things like my career and relationships instead of obsessing about my body all the time. I blamed myself for the regain, but I also didn’t seem to have the power to stop it.

Anyway, this topic is so interesting to me as someone who has lost weight and gained a lot of it back. I haven’t processed all my thoughts on the topic, or on this article, but I did find myself nodding through quite a bit of it and it has definitely struck a chord.

I’m just going to leave that link right here if you’re interested.

Monday Musings

Lately we’ve been here, there and everywhere and this past weekend wasn’t any different. Mucho full, but also mucho fun!
Someone doesn't understand that it's 100 degrees out and no one is looking for a fur blanket. He's lucky he's so darn cute!

Friday night we hunkered down and enjoyed the air conditioning. Maybe that doesn’t sound too fun LOL but tt was a little too hot to do much else. Buster doesn’t quite understand that no one wants a fur blanket when it’s a bazillion degrees out, but he’s darn cute so we usually cut him some slack. (See Also: TURN UP THAT FAN!)

Summer has arrived here in Sacramento and it doesn’t look like it is fixing to be mild. I even went so far as to buy a pair of shorts this year. (I generally hate shorts, but this year I DON’T EVEN CARE.)
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The AC is clearly getting ready to work overtime this week and I’m just rolling with it, I guess.

Saturday morning we were up an at ’em early to get chores done and tidy up the house before we were off on a mini-road trip up to Chico. If you’re not local, Chico is a little college town about 90 minutes north of us, and it happens to be where my aunts and cousins live. My cousin Kate graduated high school last week (CRAZY how time flies — *I* was in college when she was born!) and so we were heading up to go to her graduation party. More on that in a minute!

One of the errands we were running was stopping to look at some model homes out towards my mom’s house. She lives about 30 minutes from us, but on the way to Chico so we picked her up and took her with us. Garrett and I have been checking on model homes and keeping an eye on local-ish real estate because we are starting to seriously consider buying a house next year. AFTER the wedding of course, because man — I don’t think I could handle the stress of weddings and home buying and moving and decorating all at once. So! It is very far off into the future, but we’re trying to get a feel for what we like, don’t like, where we want to live, etc. ALL VERY PRELIMINARY. But exciting nonetheless.

sp homes
This is the kitchen/family room of my dream house front runner. I mean, let’s get cooking, right??? :) Oh wait, focus on the wedding girl! FOCUS FOCUS.

We got up to Chico in the late afternoon and it was a pleasant 105 degrees. Thank god for Estee Lauder Double Wear I tell ya, but man there is only so much that long wear makeup can do in that heat! :) Despite the heat it ended up being a blast and so much cooler than I remember parties being when I was in high school.

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My cousin Sara’s fiance DJed the event, a grilled cheese truck was parked in the driveway, and there were custom ice cream sundaes being scooped poolside. How cute is that? I mean, not cute enough to make me want to be 18 again, but it was really fun to see Kate there celebrating with all her friends and family. We’re really proud of her and excited for her next chapter.

Sunday morning back at home I was up early to go to a spin class. I’ve been popping in pretty regularly at a local studio about 5 minutes from my house (hello, convenience!) since October of last year and I’m really enjoying it. It’s good cardio and I’ve been doing it in conjunction with CrossFit so it has been fun to switch things up.
Cycle In

Sunday afternoon I headed back out to my mom’s house because she was in the market for a new TV. She moved recently and has been slowly redecorating her new house and she has been totally ready to chuck her old TV and get a new flat screen! We went to Costco to pick it up because I have an SUV and then went back home to put it all together.
Mama's first flat screen! (And of course she wanted to see what HSN looked like in HD.)
She was so thrilled when we got it up and running! I mean, we haven’t mastered the SmartTv capabilities yet, but all in good time. :)

Sunday night I was just ready to relax and have a little kick-back time before work started today. I may have poured myself a little bourbon while meal prepping, and boy was that on point! We cooked up some rib eyes for dinner and some chicken for lunches next week, and I man I can’t say it enough I AM SO HAPPY TO HAVE A GRILL BACK!

Summer sure does taste good so far.

Ours died in February and so it wasn’t really an emergency at the time, but as spring and summer have approached we have really missed it. I didn’t want to run out and grab any grill because we have our eyes on a grill/smoker sometime in the future but didn’t feel like plonking down a bazillion dollars while we are planning this wedding. But having NO GRILL? Has been the pits.

Luckily my mom just got a new one and so we took her old one and are BACK IN BUSINESS. Standing outside by a grill with a cocktail in hand is my summer happy place, and I plan to do it as much as possible this year.

All in all a super fun and busy weekend. I guess now that it’s Monday it is back to the grind, eh.

A little light Monday reading. Weekend, where did you go?

OOF!

My New Mantra

Love these boys.

The other night Garrett looked over at me in the car on the way to see our wedding DJ and said “Man, do you remember when we had hobbies?”

Ah, yes. Hobbies. Hobbies like writing this blog? And reading books? And drinking pinot noir on the patio while looking at our backyard garden? YES I DO REMEMBER THOSE DAYS, I DO. I DO. I DO!

It appears that “I DOs” are actually what’s causing the problem here though.

Life has pretty much become the cliche sum of working, wedding planning, and those other sundry things that are required to keep our lives and household running. I have replaced pinot noir drinking with toilet scrubbing and errand running — well, that’s not entirely true — I am still drinking the pinot noir. It’s more the patio sitting and gardening and relaxing that have gotten replaced. WOE!

We have all but started a construction paper chain link countdown to the wedding, not because it’s the wedding (which, I mean, of course – YAY!) but more because we have decided it shall be THE RETURN TO NORMAL LIFE! And man, I can see that up ahead as clearly as a desert oasis.

The thing is, a construction paper countdown isn’t necessary because every piece of wedding related organization that I am currently using has a practically real time countdown of “days until the wedding!” In fact, this morning I was reminded that there are 97 DAYS LEFT! As much as I would like to panic, I’m looking at this number as 97 day countdown to getting our lives back, which I am totally looking forward to.

Beyond wedding and work stuff, which make for suuuuuuuper boring blog posts — we’ve just been doing a lot of running around and traveling lately for other weddings, graduations, and other friend commitments. Guess who is unimpressed with all this travel?
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On the upside Buster hasn’t been sick since March ::::knocks wood:::: which has been a blessing on both our stress levels AND our bank accounts. THANK GOD FOR SMALL FAVORS. We also had to leave him with someone other than my mother for the first time in the 3 years he’s lived with us, and I didn’t die of anxiety! YAY! I mean, it did expose a propensity for helicopter parenting that I need to get in check before we have actual children, but we have time I tell ya…we have time. (But maybe not much. We shall see. ;))

My workouts have been inconsistent for the first half of this year and my diet right now is crap; however, after a huge work project/transition that ended on June first (HALLELUJAH) I think I just may have the energy to get my butt in gear during this home stretch before the wedding. I’ll let you know how that goes. Well…maybe. Promises are not my strong suit right now in the blogging arena.

While I don’t anticipate any type of supermodel transformation and I’m not planning on adopting any new regimens or throwing a Whole 30 in the mix, I’d just like to go into my wedding feeling energized — which for me that requires a good balance of diet and exercise. I say that like it is unique piece of information. HA.

Anyway…97 days until normal. 97 days until normal. 97 days until normal.

It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAFACEPALM.

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