A Dilemma: The Gym

I was just sitting here, as I drink my beer at work at 6:20pm, of how I had planned to go work out after work tonight.

I hate going to the gym after work. Actually, I can't really say I hate it since it has only happened a few times in the last year. You see, I much prefer working out in the morning. I have no problem getting up early and going to the gym at say, 6:30am (except when that problem is sleeping over at the bf's house because then I don't get back to my house til about 7am, but that's a whole other dilemma). I've already been having issues with my gym opening at 7am because that just isn't enough time. I get there, get going, and have maybe 20-30 minutes of cardio before I need to leave again to get ready for work.

Please do not point out to me that I could get ready for work at the gym. If you are saying that you are either (a) a boy or (b) have really short hair. I refuse to lug shower stuff and makeup and a blow dryer and clothes with me to the gym every day. And that coming from a girl that only half-dries her hair and doesn't have to dress too nice for work! It's just a pain in the ass. And I would have to plan my outfit ahead of time.

Anyway, I have been blaming my not going on the gym lately on the fact that it opens at 7am and that gets me home around 7:50 and that gets me to work around 8:50am. And while I don't have to be there til 9am, I would much rather get in at 8:30 or so everyday.

So there's that.

But what prompted this blog post is that my gym just called me and they are now not opening til 9am on MWF. 9-freaking-am. Can you believe that? The only days they are open at 7 is Tuesdays and Thursdays.

So do I cancel? Or does it really matter because I can still go to the gym T/Th in the morning, which is more than I go now anyway.

The issues is I LOVE my gym. It's women's only. It isn't too far from my house. It is small. IT is never crowded (hence, probably, the change in hours). They have TVs on the treadmills and elliptical. The staff is nice. I just love it. I've actually been meaning to write a blog post about how much I love it for the past few months I've been going there.

So again, I ask, do I cancel? Or do I just plan my workout around these new hours? Work out in the mornings T/Th, and the evenings the other days..... as if I'd actually work out that much anyway.


No good, very bad morning

My house still smells like bleach. I spilled fruit juice all over my purse. Somehow, it even got inside. A giant moth attacked me in my bathroom. I defeated it with a combination of hairspray, water and loud shrieks. A bird flew into my front door. I literally saw the shadows of its wings as it fell. The stem of a broken wine glass is in my sink and I'm terrified to reach down and grab it for fear that the garbage disposal will magically turn on and slice my hand off. I got a flat tire. And my trunk is filled with firewood, a sleeping bag and Jenga pieces, which makes getting to the spare tire rather difficult.

Yep, I deserve two Splendas in my Troy and Abed in the Morning coffee mug this morning. Happy Tuesday.


Morning Musings (5th Ed.)

Will someone start a Tumblr called 'Iced Coffee Chronicles' and just pool together photos of iced coffee? I would do it, but I don't have time to manage such a vast project (I'll be glad to contribute regularly though).

I'm wearing this dress today and I'm pretty sure it beats even a t-shirt at work. I feel like I'm in silk pajamas.

Everyone in my family is happy and healthy and it helps me sleep at night.

How do people manage work and a social life and TV-watching and still have time to have a clean, decorated house? I'm dumbfounded.

This morning, I woke up earlier than usual, despite a hangover, and took a shower, got ready for work, packed for the weeekend, went to Target and stopped at Starbuck's. I think I'm done for the day.

I have a jam-packed, grown-up weekend ahead - going to Columbia for graduations and then back to St. Louis for a bridal shower and birthday party. Sunday, it's still a toss up between a wedding reception, the winery, and kickball games.

I really do have the best job (and best coworkers) ever. I know I shouldn't brag, but it's true. I hope every one of my friends and family that is either unemployed or in only so-so jobs finds something they love to do with their life.


Hummus and Spinach-Stuffed Chicken

I rarely cook, and when I do, I struggle. But I've been trying t cook at least once a week. Practice makes perfect, right? 

I've actually made this hummus and spinach-stuffed chicken before, and this time I used feta cheese on the inside instead of parmesean. It turned out really good! I think the secret is the sauce you get from the orange juice/chicken broth. 

I also made some red cabbage the same way I did last week (with apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar), but this time tossed in some carrots, broccoli and chives too. 

Added some garlic bread and we were good to go! Another delicious dinner!


Pantheon and Trevi Fountain

Last day in Rome! Last post about Rome! It felt bittersweet then, and it feels bittersweet now. Alas...
The Pantheon, in terms of construction and its legacy, is pretty impressive. Those columns in front are made from 40 foot, single pieces of granite, quarried in Egypt, shipped on the Nile to the Mediterranean to Rome.
The floor of the Pantheon is 1,800 years old, and 80% is still the original stone.
This is Raphael's tomb. I've been to some famous cemeteries in my lifetime, but it is weird to think Raphael is buried right there. He lived so long ago... it's like he is some mythical figure.
The concrete dome of the Pantheon is it's most important feature. 23 feet thick at the base and just five feet thick at the top, it opens up to oculus, the buildings only light source. It's completely open and almost 30 feet across. This dome inspired buildings around the world.
Rick claimed that it took the outstretched arms of four large tourists to reach around them. Psh. We must be extra large, because we did it in three.
Like most of Rome and Morocco, pictures of the Trevi Fountain do not do it justice. It is... majestic.  Rome was showing off all the water in their city because of their aqueducts. And it's true - there are fountains all over Rome. This one is just gorgeous. I probably took 20 pictures of it.
And most importantly, you've got to throw a coin in and make a wish to return to Rome!

And so concludes my trip to Morocco and Rome... just four months after I went on the trip. It's been fun reliving the experience on the blog, and to be honest, I'm kind of sad it's done. I look back at these posts, these pictures, and it seems like a distant memory. It's a world so far off from the one I live in everyday. It was like a dream.

I'm convinced that there are some moments in life that really do stop you in your tracks and leave you breathless. So many of those moments in my life happened on this trip. Rounding the corner in the Marrakesh airport and seeing Cara waiting for us. The first view from the rooftop in Essa. Walking into St. Peter's. I get a lump in my throat just thinking about it.

It's my hope for many more moments like these in my life, and that all my friends and family get to have moments like that, too. Moments that blow you away.

Click here for links to all my Rome and Morocco travels!


Splurge or Save?

I've had my eye on this J Crew striped blazer:
But recently, my mom gave me an old striped knit cardigan, that happens to have a collar and buttons so it kind of looks like a blazer. It's a little more boxy... and the top half of the collar is solid, which is weird.... but it was free. And that one from J Crew is $118. 

Chicken Tacos with Red Cabbage and Chipotle Aioli

Made these the other night for dinner and they were delicious! I will say, they were missing something. I had bought black beans to make to go either inside or as a side, but couldn't find a can opener. Fail. We had them with grapes, which was not only a great healthy side, but also a fresh break from the spicy sauce on the tacos. 

The chicken: 
I had actually made this the weekend before for camping and had it in my fridge ready to go, so that was easy. It's just grilled chicken with salt, pepper, chili powder and then pulled. 

The slaw:
I used half a red cabbage, which made approx 5 tacos. Heated a little olive oil in a pan and tossed in the chopped red cabbage. Let that wilt a bit, then added some apple cider vinegar and stirred. Sprinkled with salt, pepper and sugar and stirred again. Pretty good for me just guessing!

The sauce:
Disclaimer - I have no idea if this qualifies as an aioli or not. I just mixed mayo, garlic, chopped chives, lime juice and chipotle powder until I got the taste I wanted. 

Camping at Meramec State Park

The other weekend, our new Marmot tent finally made its debut! We went down to Meramec State Park for a little fishing and camping adventure. It's not exactly roughin' it - there's an outhouse, a shower house, cleared spaces for parking and fire pits.... but hey, you've got to start somewhere.

If you recall, last summer, we went fishing at Meramec State Park, and then camped there again in the fall. It's just an hour south of St. Louis, so it's really easy for us. Far enough away to feel like a trip, close enough to not waste a weekend driving.
Yes, this was the weekend of the big storm in St. Louis. And yes, it rained on us. But that was it. I'm actually glad that we were camping and not at home. There was no hail, no strong winds, barely any lightning or thunder! Just heavy rain! Lucky for us, we ate dinner pretty early and, of course, recently splurged on that nice new tent and ponchos... and I brought my rain boots, because I'm a genius. 


The Last Couple Weeks {5.4.12}

Alternate title: 'Food and Coffee'
{crawfish boil at Broadway Oyster Bar} IMG_0255
{treating a hangover} 
{new mug that makes me smile} 
{breakfast at the desk} 
{iced coffee chronicles}

Why I Love Food Trucks

This really should be a 'Part 1' or something, because I love food trucks for tons of reasons. They encourage/require outdoor eating, they are part of super awesome events, and the food is pretty kick ass.

But one of the reasons I most love food trucks is how amazing the service is. Every food truck I've ever been to has been a positive experience. The people working them are so nice, so friendly.

In fact, just this week, I was making some chicken tacos at home and really wanted a sauce similar to Cha Cha Chow's cha cha sauce. I tweeted them, asking what was in it and even though they didn't give me all the details, they pointed me in the right direction with a mayo-base and chipotles. My sauce wasn't nearly as good as theirs, but it was pretty good.
I then went to the Cha Cha Chow truck for lunch on Thursday, and they (a) recognized it was me and (b) started joking with me about stealing their recipe. They're awesome.

Then today, I had this exchange with the Holy Crepe truck. Can you believe it?
Please, I implore you. Find a food truck. Go there. Find an event with food trucks. Go to it. 

Thank me later. 


Once Upon A Time: Storytelling in Business

In business, storytelling is all the rage. Without a compelling story, we are told, our product, idea, or personal brand, is dead on arrival. 
Guber argues that humans simply aren’t moved to action by “data dumps,” dense PowerPoint slides, or spreadsheets packed with figures. People are moved by emotion.
Guber tells us that stories can also function as Trojan Horses. The audience accepts the story because, for a human, a good story always seems like a gift. But the story is actually just a delivery system for the teller’s agenda. A story is a trick for sneaking a message into the fortified citadel of the human mind. 

from Why Storytelling is the Ultimate Weapon.

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