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January 12, 2011 / thevegmeg

Icemageddon

As you have probably heard about by now, the Southeast was slammed this week with a pretty intense winter storm. I’ve heard that this is the worst snow/ice storm the Upstate of SC has seen in over a decade, which um… yeah. They had been calling for snow since sometime late last week, and again, I didn’t really believe it, though I thought it’d be neat to have the first day of classes be a snow day. But surely enough, very early Monday morning it began snowing… and snowing… and snowing. When Hippo woke me up at 5:45am, I looked out our window and there was at least 6 inches of snow already on the ground. Wow! School had been cancelled for me the night before and it was obvious Alex wouldn’t be going in, either, so we got to have a nice snow day. We did almost nothing. Millionaire Matchmaker was watched and beer was consumed.

Yesterday was more of the same – except that now there was a quarter-inch thick sheet of ice covering all the fluffy snow!

We managed to get out of the house for a walk down to the gas station, mostly to see what the conditions were on the main road.

This is the parking lot in our apartment complex… a sea of ice.

And the street our complex is on… definitely not doable. It’s hilly, too! No way.

But at least the snow is pretty, right?

Today Alex had to go into the office, even though everything that melted during the day yesterday refroze with the 16-degree temps last night. I can’t tell you how unexcited I was about it. All of the news reports have been calling the main road we live off of “treacherous.” Treacherous! Like the ice is out to get us! We spent about half an hour, maybe a little more, smashing and scraping and brushing the snow and ice off the car. After he left I made some pb&j&cinnamon toast to occupy myself until the time he should be getting there, and luckily as I was eating it he called me to say he was in and safe and hadn’t smashed any cars to bits. Whew.

All of my professors (and everyone else’s, too) seem to think that although both the bookstore and the post office are closed, we should still be able to get our books and start reading. And you know what? Even if the bookstore was open and I could get there, I wouldn’t buy my books from there. My chemistry book is $150 from the bookstore, USED, and I bought it on Amazon for $25. There’s just no contest! My chem professor’s email Sunday sounded like we can expect a QUIZ on our first day of class, whenever that will be. I’m really hoping the two chem classes I took in high school and the for-non-majors class I took two years ago will get me through!

I’m starting to get a little stir-crazy and I have no idea if we’ll have class tomorrow or not. I’m really hoping to be able to get out of the house tonight or tomorrow and get a yoga session in — unfortunately my studio is a thirty minute drive in normal conditions, meaning at least an hour now, and I don’t know if I have the nerves for that, so it’s probably not likely. I’m really wishing I had a treadmill at home right about now, but nothing’s stopping me from doing a yoga podcast besides myself, is it? :]

December 31, 2010 / thevegmeg

Farewell, 2010!

2010 was a very big year for me. I mean, every year is probably a big year for everyone, but a lot of exciting things happened to me this year:

– I got married to my best friend. This one takes the cupcake, and my 2010 wrap-up post can almost be complete with nothing else!

– (Before I got married), I didn’t move back “home” for the first time. Having “my own place” that wasn’t directly owned by my university has been AWESOME. Yay, cats!
– Shortly after the wedding, Alex and I got our first dog. He’s had dogs, but I’ve only ever had cats. Luckily we got a cat-sized dog :]

-Earlier in the year I felt moved to do a fruits-and-veggies-only fast. I didn’t last more than a few days, but it had the long-reaching implications of me eventually becoming a vegetarian and cleaning up my diet a LOT.
– After several years of dabbling off and on with Couch to 5k, I finally committed to actually becoming a runner….and completed my first race without walking!

-In November I finally got to try hot yoga because of a ridiculously cheap Living Social deal. It really is changing my life and my body, albeit slowly, and I LOVE it.
– This is something I’ve been hesitant to talk about, but as a result of my new diet and my new activities, I’ve actually lost 15 pounds this year. This is by far the most weight I’ve ever lost, ever, and I wasn’t even trying. Living healthy is worth so much more than the numbers on the scale, but it does feel pretty awesome to fit into my senior prom dress even better than when I bought it!

I’ll be back with my goals for 2011 tomorrow… after Alex and I start our first New Year together with a little home vinyasa yoga session led by yours truly! I hope this year has been as rewarding for you as it has for me, and that 2011 brings you every happiness. Have a happy and SAFE new year!!

December 25, 2010 / thevegmeg

Our first Christmas!

Hello, and a very happy Christmas to you! This was Alex’s and my first season of holidays as man-and-wife, and it’s been a very exciting, joyful time for us. And stressful, but mostly happy.

We started yesterday with about 18 presents under our tree — some of them had to be hidden from the pets, though (namely, the pets’ presents!) — and it made maneuvering through our tiny apartment a little difficult. We were very happy to take six of them over to Alex’s parents’ house last night for Noche Buena dinner!

We had Cuban food, including black beans (which mom-in-law and I decided at last minute to turn into more of a chili, with the addition of peppers, onions, carrots, and tomatoes!), rice, pork (none for me of course), and tostones! Tostones, if you’ve never had one, are green plantains, sliced about an inch thick, fried in oil til golden, then smashed and fried a second time until crisp. They are amazing, and I got to take over the production of them – yum! I’ve got no pictures of dinner (my camera doesn’t do well in low-light, at all) but it was delicious. After the massive amounts of m&ms and crisp rice treats I prefaced dinner with, I had zero appetite for actual dessert — Alex’s mom’s traditional almond cookies, fudge, or his uncle Jules’ famous “Chewy Cake.” But we got to take some home in a cute Christmas tin!

We started Christmas morning with chewy cake and almond cookies for breakfast! It’s not often we do that and it was fun and holiday-ish. Then we packed up the car again for dinner with my family. We’re lucky enough to live within thirty minutes of all of our family except for some extended family members, so we do holidays with both. We only brought three presents this time (my family is much smaller than Alex’s) and again, no pictures of dinner. Oops.

I did, however, manage to give my grandparents a gift which I had received one of the night before…. a JUICER! We got them theirs with the hopes we’d be receiving one from Alex’s parents, and they did not disappoint! So when we got home tonight, it was time to set it up and get to work on the tangerines in “my” stocking from my parents’ house!


Ingredients: two tangerines.

I had five, but I didn’t want to use them all in case I didn’t like it… and I wasn’t really sure how much juice they’d produce, either.

Peeled, sectioned (roughly), and into the juicer they go. Whirrrrrrr…

…and out comes fresh juice! Only a little juice, but that was fine. This was just to get my “I WANT TO PLAY WITH MY NEW TOY!” shakes out :] Verdict: Yum, although there was a little tangerine “kick” I’d like to try cutting with something else.

 

Some more highlights from the gifts I received, other than the juicer, are…

…a Lululemon Yogitoes towel from Alex!!, a new super-heavy, oven-proof, super-high-sides skillet from my Gramma (definitely the nicest pan I own), a VACUUM CLEANER! (so now I can give my old roommate Aly hers back!) from Alex’s parents/grandfather, these cute and easy-to-detach-from-each-other measuring spoons also from my Gramma which I actually squealed over when I unwrapped them:

…And three pairs of teal earrings.

Guess you can tell what my favorite color is, huh? :]

Now I’m sitting on the couch next to Achilles, who is sleeping in his Christmas present (a new fuzzywuzzy bed), chomping on some Christmas snacks – almond cookies with a little blueberry pie filling – and hoping Alex will go out and play in the snow that’s been falling since 2 o’clock this afternoon! Yay, our First Christmas is a White Christmas!

Hope you all have had as merry a Christmas as we’ve had, and that you feel even a fraction as blessed as I do. Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

December 23, 2010 / thevegmeg

Oops

This kept me from getting to a yoga class today – The Hubs picked me up when he got home from his half-day of work and we finally finished up our Christmas shopping! Except for that extra roll of wrapping paper I need to get in the morning…we have more presents than we have room for under the tree! :]

Have a great Christmas’ Eve Eve night!

December 21, 2010 / thevegmeg

Yoga challenge…

Today I had signed up for a 10am Bikram-style class at my studio. Normally I attend the vinyasa style classes, which are only heated to 85 degrees, but I really need to try the 105 degree-Bikram style. So when I got home from taking the Hub in I ate a banana and got ready to leave. And then I chickened out and changed my reservation to the 12pm flow-style “Power Hour” class with my favorite teacher. It’s still something new, but not nearly as scary. My body’s been feeling kind of weak and dumb the past few days so I’m going to give it a little time to get back to normal before I thrust it into a 105 degree room. Plus I’ve been awful at hydrating lately, so I’m going to work on that first. So, with two extra hours to go until I needed to leave, I made a teeny tiny bowl of oatmeal.

So, if you’re like me, you signed yourself up to do Katie’s 25-days-of-yoga challenge and then realized that it’s the end of the semester, you’re buried in work, and you’re too tired to go to yoga. And you try to do yoga at home, but you fumble through it and feel kind of dumb. Okay, maybe I’m only talking about myself, but anyways the last 21 days have included a grand total of five days of yoga, only one of which was at home – and that one lasted for about thirty minutes. Sometimes our goals for ourselves don’t work out because of circumstances – something I’ll be expanding on in the next week or two – and we need to change the goal. With that in mind, I present to you…

the Ten Days of Yoga Challenge!

What’s that? Only ten days? That seems kind….lax.

Well, today is the 21st of December, and I have 10 classes of yoga at my studio that expire on the 31st. My studio is closed for Christmas (as it should be), so that leaves me a total of ten possible days to use my ten classes up. I only lose a dollar for each class I don’t attend, but I’m kind of a cheapskate, so I’d like to use them all up. I don’t really have anything else going on until almost mid-January so there aren’t really any excuses to not go. I know some of you maybe go to yoga almost every day already (you’re crazy), but the most I’ve ever gone is about 3 or 4 times a week, for one or two weeks..this is going to be intense for me. I hope I don’t die of dehydration.

Oh yeah, I’ll also be running three to four times a week throughout this period of yoga madness, which means on about half of my yoga days I’ll be doing two workouts. If I get through this I’ll be amazed at myself. If you see me, tell me to go drink some water.

Tonight is the Christmas party for Hub’s office, and we’re going to a restaurant downtown that’s known for its steak. We’ve been assured there will be vegetarian and vegan options available, so let’s hope it’s more than just a pile of side dishes…not that I mind side dishes. Potatoes? Happy tummy. Time to clean up the kitchen and go off to day one of yogatime!

December 20, 2010 / thevegmeg

Happy birthday Hippo!

Hello, little blog. It sure has been a while, hasn’t it? On Wednesday I finally wrapped up my second-to-last semester as an undergrad (wooo!) so the past few weeks have sure been crazy in my life. Last week was ideal, though… all of my final projects were turned in and all I had to do was show up and take exams. In between I cleaned, cooked, ate, worked out, and slept. It was really nice!

This week is more of the same, plus shopping, present-wrapping, Christmas parties, church, Christmas Eve with The Hub’s parents, and Christmas with mine. I’m ok with that :]

Breakfast today was oats in a Sunbutter (mmm!) jar and a mug of hot lemon water. In the jar:

1/3 c oats

1/3 c water

1/3 c almond milk

1/2 banana

big sprinkle cinnamon, pinch salt, teeniest tiniest pinch nutmeg

drop or two vanilla extract

apple butter (on top)

I think I didn’t let the oats cook long enough because they were runny and kind of gross. I may have put too much apple butter in, too. Oh well. That mug is my favorite — I got it in a “Secret Valentine” swap on my sophomore year hall — but it’s on its last leg: the handle is cracking off! Boo. Luckily I ordered a new favorite mug for myself in order to get a discount on Alex’s Christmas presents – double yay!

It says “forever and a day” on it, and the pennants on it are similar to ones we had at our wedding! My shipment should be here tomorrow and I can’t wait to drink cider out of it :]

Please excuse me for the annoying “parent” tendencies I’m about to exhibit… Today is the first anniversary of the day we adopted Hippo! She was between three and four months old when we got her, so we’re just going to pretend this is her birthday from here on out. She enjoyed a plate of organic chicken-and-cheddar canned food after we sang happy birthday to her. She’s my sweet little baby muffin and I’m so glad everything worked out and we got to keep her. She gives me so so much joy (and cuddles). Here’s a little taste of how she’s grown over the last year…

This was her first night home – a year ago today. She fell asleep on my chest and stayed there for hours.

She still does this – lets me pick her up (sometimes she cries just to be picked up!) and then nuzzles against my face and neck! It’s the most adorable thing ever!

She’s put up with being leash-trained, being toted from my no-animals-allowed on-campus apartment to the theatre every night, being on stage every night for two weeks straight in front of big scary audiences, moving, being taken on walks, being left at my parents’ house with two big boy kitties for a weekend while Alex and I were on our honeymoon, and getting a new big brother who just so happens to be a dog. She sure is a good baby and I’m kind of angry at her for being so big. Stay a tiny baby kitten forever, little muffin. I love you.

December 6, 2010 / thevegmeg

Weekend’s joys

I had the skeleton of this post written early yesterday evening, saved it and closed my computer down to make dinner and decorate the tree (and watch an Anne Frank’s Diary movie – Hubs and I couldn’t find any Christmas movies on Netflix or cable!), and when I came back to my computer at 11 I just didn’t care. I was tired. I think that’s because I got under four hours of sleep Saturday night, woops! Here it is. This Weekend’s Joys…

Saturday, Alex came along with me to yoga. He did great! I didn’t fare so well. My wrists were acting up and my legs were very easily fatigued, probably from my run on Friday. [8.]

When we got home from yoga I took a short nap and woke up with my little Hippo sleeping on my butt, which hasn’t happened in, uh, weeks. She used to sleep with us all the time, and I’ve missed it! [9.]

Saturday night one of my best friends and I got to reconnect over drinks and a good movie! [10.]

When I got home from the movie I tried on this dress, which I made to my exact measurements a year and a half ago. It is now roughly two sizes too big! [11.] I also tried on my senior prom dress (fits waaaaay better than it did when I wore it) and my wedding dress, which was loose just FOUR MONTHS after I wore it!

Sunday morning, even though i’d only gotten about three and a half (hmm, maybe four) hours of sleep, I was excited to get out of bed, [12.] to start  the Advent reading plan I was going to start on December 1 (oops) on YouVersion. While Alex was practicing with David Walker at CrossRoads, I went to Starbucks and started reading with a soy latte. [13.]

At church (which I don’t talk about a lot on here, for lots of reasons, but I’m realizing those reasons aren’t necessarily right or good…) I was able to, for the first time in a long time, completely disconnect myself from my life and give myself up in worship. [14.] I think it is due, in part, to yoga teaching me to be present in the moment and not think about other people or what I’m going to make for dinner. And part to a small, personal discovery I made this morning. And all to God doin’ his thing.

We went to Red Robin for lunch (you can sub veggie burgers on all of them! but I don’t have any pictures) and our waitress was a girl from my freshman hall that i haven’t seen in a while. She was so happy and easygoing. It was so non-awkward like a lot of situations like that could be. It cheered me to see a (however small our friendship was) positive person from my (however recent) past feel secure in her future. [15.]

Lunch was followed by another nap with the entire family in the bed, including Achilles sleeping by my belly and Hippo sleeping on Alex’s legs. [16.] I love our little furbabies!

(photo from from clgamer.com)

My phone just told me I have a text (from Twitter, of course…). My text noise is the sound from the communicator watches on Power Rangers. [17.] “Go go Power Rangers…” Yeah. It makes me smile every time I hear it. Best little decision I’ve made!

And finally, last night Alex and I got around to buying some ornaments for our tree and hanging them up. It looks so pretty: our first Christmas tree. [18.]