Hump Day Reflections and Recipes

Tons on my mind today, so I’m going to try and make this somewhat organized. If you’ve ever seen my desk at work you know this is a difficult task for me. I like to call it organized chaos. I know where everything is, but I don’t recommend anyone else trying to find things. Without further rambling, here goes:

  1. BILLS, BILLS, BILLS (and not the football kind): Writing checks has become a daily occurrence since buying the house. Does this give anyone else anxiety?!? It seems I’m writing away each paycheck before I even receive it. I know, I know everyone worries about money and I count my blessings that Ry and I were even able to buy a house. That’s the American Dream, right? Well, this dream is really freaking expensive. Sometimes I wonder if we were better off in our apartment paying a whole lot less money each month or if I should find a more lucrative job. My paychecks come from a nonprofit… need I say more?
  2. Puppy Love?: Ryan has been begging me to get a dog since the second we moved into the house. I pleaded with him to at least wait until Spring when we could see our grass again. No such luck. SheWhoHasNotBeenNamed is a husky mix and will arrive this Friday night from her foster home in South Carolina. What the Hell are we getting into??

    She's gonna be a BIG girl.

    She’s gonna be a BIG girl.

  3. Self Reflection on an Angsty Teen: I recently dug up my old LiveJournal password and read all entries circa 2004-2005 and had a pretty great laugh at myself. I thought everyone either hated me or was a dirty skank. No joke; I used the word “skank” in probably 50% of my posts. This is highly amusing to me because I can’t remember the last time I actually used that word in real life. Probably around 2005. Maybe my next post will feature some original works from my teenage years. I bet you’d get a kick out of them.
  4. Pole Fitness: This week Mel and I will be graduating from our beginners’ class and transitioning to a mixed-level group. We’re both feeling a little nervous about it and hope we aren’t that much worse than the other girls. We are also supposed to bring a song around 3 minutes in length that we can put moves together to in order to make pole a cardio workout as well as strength. I have NO idea what song I want. I’m thinking something by Metric, Lykke Li, or Lana Del Rey. It has to be something that makes me want to move. Only two more days to figure it out. Gahhh!
  5. The Foodie Life: Lately I have been pretty bored with my go-to recipes and my dad made this fantastic butternut squash last week when I was visiting. I liked it so much I couldn’t wait to go grocery shopping Monday to pick up some ingredients. I made a huge batch, as per usual since I don’t know how to cook for two, and can’t wait to have some with lunch tomorrow! Next up, the recipe and some pictures that will make you drool. Disclaimer: since I don’t measure a damn thing when I cook, all quantities are estimated.

Cranberry Cinnamon Butternut Squash

  • 1 butternut squash halved, gutted, and cubed
  • 3 tbsp vegetable/canola oil
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Toss butternut squash cubes in oil then add dry ingredients and cranberries. Roast in the oven 45-50 minutes or until desired tenderness. Voila! We had ours with smoked pork chops. Deeeelicious!!

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What’s on your mind this hump day?

– C

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Wanna be friends?

imageThis question is so appropriate for my kids at work, but all kinds of creepy when it comes to adulthood. Making friends is a whole new ballgame is an adult and it often feels just as intimidating as dating. Why do we have to “date for friends” as one of my coworker buddies put it?

I’ve never had much difficulty making friends in school, but now that I am done with grad school and those friends have moved away along their own paths to successful careers and love lives, I am left wondering how to make friends. Of course there is the work place- my coworker buddy I previously mentioned is pretty awesome (and also blogs! Check her out at readrunrepeat.wordpress.com) and it’s nice to have a friend who is at a similar place in life. The ladies in my department are pretty fabulous, but they are all married and most have several children. It’s hard to have a girls’ night when everyone needs to get babysitters. In fact, I had dinner with these wonderful women last week and it took over two months to plan!

So where else can you make friends? And how do you turn a great acquaintance into a real friend? I find that there’s plenty of women I know, but very few I would call up to say, “Hey, want to go shopping?”

Here are some of my ideas to develop friendships and cultivate those I already have:

  • Celebrate happy hour at least once a month with coworkers. Lord knows I can use a drink after many of my days.
  • Reach out more to the other girls in my weekly dance class.
  • Hang out without the significant others once in awhile.
  • Possibly do the dreaded and join a gym. Gah!!
  • Join the local kickball league for spring- sports and beer always bring people together.

What are some of the ways that you’ve made new friends in your post-college life?

– C

Get Fit, Get Sexy, Pole Dance!

Over the years I have tried countless ways to exercise, but, inevitably, I get bored and quit. I always manage to come up with some excuse- I can’t afford a gym membership, no one will go with me, it’s too cold out to run, etc. Really, if I’m completely honest with myself, I’m just gosh darn bored.

So back in September my friend Mel and I decided to buy a groupon for a Pole Fitness class at Lorraine-Michaels Dance Centre. After forgetting several times and putting it off for months, we finally sucked it up and went to our first class in late December.

Puppy pole dancing. Could it get any cuter?

Puppy pole dancing. Could it get any cuter?

Our instructor prefaced the session by saying she has never nor will ever be a stripper and has only performed in the studio. Then how good could she…. Holy crap she’s spinning upside down on the pole. Yup, thoroughly impressed.

She asks us to begin walking around the pole. You have to understand how awkward I am. I don’t have a sexy bone in my body. I am a tall, gangly white chick who moves like one. There is no sexiness when I shake my booty, only a fit of giggles because I’m uncomfortable. This class is a HUGE step outside my comfort zone.

Once we got to some more technical moves I had a fantastic time! I was so excited about my new moves and great workout that I told a whole bunch of friends and family. Who knew it would be such a huge deal?!

Seriously!

Seriously!

One of my sisters commented, “Well, I can’t say as I’m proud.” Someone else advised me not to share my new hobby.

WELL GUESS WHAT, WORLD!! POLE FITNESS IS AWESOME! Probably one of the best workouts I have ever gotten. Watching me walk up and down stairs at work after my first class was comical. And don’t get me started on trying to sit down on the toilet. Quads? Whats are those?

Pole Fitness has so many benefits!

Pole Fitness has so many benefits!

Each week I find new muscles that I never knew I had and can hold my body weight against gravity a little bit longer. The BF swears I can’t possibly make progress only working out once a week, but there are definite lumps in my biceps where there used to be nada. Regardless, I’m having a fabulous time each week and look forward to my Wednesday nights with Mel.

Check out one of my favorite pole videos and go sign up for class at Lorraine-Michaels Dance Centre with Heather 🙂

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFPqqtIuNKQ

– C