Archive | March, 2010

Moi? You Like Me! You Really, Really Like Me!

OHEMGEE, I occasionally Google myself (SHUT UP) and I did this time and I was amazed to find out that I was nominated by a fellow blogger for a Beautiful Blogger award!

Thanks to Katie of The Mustachioed Penguin for the nomination! I was both flattered and gobsmacked by the love.  Which?  PRETTY AWESOME, DARLIN’.

The rules for the above badge-y award are as such! (For there are always rules.)
1. Thank the person that nominated you for this award.
2. Copy the award and place it in your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4. Tell us 7 interesting things about yourself.
5. Nominate 7 bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs that are nominated.
Wellllll, I just knocked out 1-3 without even trying.  Guess I am pretty awesome.
Seven interesting things?  That you HAVEN’T already heard?  Hm.
  • I eat one food at a time on my plate. I TRY to start with the healthiest stuff first so I’m stuffed by the time the not-health (i.e. “good”) stuff comes around, but .. anyway.
  • I am, in fact, a natural blonde.
  • I was once a “specialized dancer” in a dream sequence.  Which is, like, the ULTIMATE in theatre.
  • My left foot is a half size smaller than my right. (OHMYGOD, SO IS TONY’S.)(RANDOM EPIPHANY.)
  • I can’t swallow pills.  True story.
  • I believe more strongly in karma than most Baptists do in Jesus.  ‘Nother true story.
  • My name is a combination of my grandmother’s and grandfather’s mothers’ names. (whew)
Seven bloggers that I believe to be beautiful?  Oh, the pressure.  First of all, I think EVERYONE is beautiful.
.. wait, why are you laughing?  STOP LAUGHING, I DO SO THINK EVERYONE IS BEAUT… okay, you know what?  Here’s seven people that I know.
They may or may not be beautiful.
See, your jaded attitude ruined this for everyone.  I hope you’re happy with yourself, mister.
Comments { 4 }

The Revolution of Food, via Jamie Oliver

On Friday night, as I was exhausted and cranky from having a crap day with food and sleep, I reminded Bryan that Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution was scheduled to premiere that night.  We flipped over a few minutes into the first hour (it was a two-hour premiere event) and already, I could see that this guy was speaking my language.

I might have talked about how we’re revamping food in my house once or eleventy times already; we’re trying to get back to cooking our own food (vs. eating out) and making organic, smarter choices about what we put into our bodies.  I started on this path because of a movie called Food, Inc, and if you haven’t seen it, you should .. it will make you rethink everything about food.  Once we started down this path, it was easy to stay there (for the most part) because.. we liked it.  We feel better.  We’re not nearly as sick as often.  Our energy is better.  All in all, we’ve seen nothing but good things from it.

Now.  Having said that, we’re not forceful about our children adapting to it.  Sure, the only milk in the house is organic, whole milk.  And instead of goldfish, we’ve switched to Annie’s Organic Cheddar Bunnies.  But for the most part?  Tony lives on “BARS” (Nutri-Grain or generic cereal bars), and Jack lives on .. well, Jack lives in a different house altogether most of the time, and I don’t know how/what they eat there.  Bryan is a notoriously picky eater, so I’ve got to be very selective about what new stuff we try.

But Food Revolution kicked even the pickiest eater in my house into overdrive.

Perhaps the most jaw-dropping was the man-behind-the-curtain inside our school systems.  Jamie went into the elementary school of Huntingdon, West Virginia, known as the Most Obese City in the US.  And although the findings were appalling and intriguing at the same time (they serve pizza for breakfast AND it counts as two servings of grain/bread), this school is not alone in the creation of its menu.  The USDA dictates these standards, and ALL SCHOOLS must live up to them.  This means chicken nuggets using filler and not even Grade D meat, mashed potatoes formed entirely of “potato pearls”, and milk that contains more sugar than soda does.  That’s just the caloric concern; can you IMAGINE the processing that must take place to even CREATE that food?

And the most eye-opening was that when Jamie walked into a kindergarten class, the children sat with blank stares as he held up a potato and asked, “Who can tell me what this is?”.  Same thing with a tomato.  Corn.  Lettuce.

Jack had joined us in the tv room by this point, and he scoffed.  “That’s a potato,” he laughed.  “Duh.”  But by the time the cauliflower or eggplant came around?  He had no clue.

There was a moment that contained the creation of “school lunchroom” chicken nuggets and .. I feel comfortable saying I will never let my child eat them.

How can we do this? How can we allow our children to eat this way and sentence them to a lifetime of health problems?

Dude, not only does Jamie have a loyal viewing household in us now, he has even made our children rethink how they choose their meals.

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And In Other TMI News about Sarah’s Life

So, I’m doing this bootcamp thing.  I may have mentioned it once or nine times.

I’m doing it because, last year, AndreAnna had this amazing promotion during April where we tracked how many minutes a day we worked out and she gave that amount to charity, because she’s a freaking goddess.  Anyway, last year, that movement inspired me to start running.  And as a result, I lost 20-30 lbs.  My body became more MINE than it had been in recent memory.  I was immensely proud of that accomplishment and couldn’t wait to keep building on it.

Except.. I didn’t.  I stopped entirely.

Running got too boring, and even though I ended up running tons of 5Ks, I hated them.  Every single minute of every run, I hated.  HATED. So I stopped.  When I started my second job, time was too valuable for exercise.  Then we took a vacation.  Then it was my birthday.  Then it was The Holidays.  And then I just figured I was too far gone.  And while I didn’t gain the weight back, my body’s tone definitely disintegrated.  My “fat pants” became my “all the time pants”.  To see all of that work backslide?  Dude, took a MAJOR toll on my confidence.

It’s funny how that works.  How, on paper, I can and should still be tickled pink that I lost that weight.  I can and should be thrilled with my success.  But all I saw was my more immediate failure.  Ah, womanhood.  You bitch.

So, since I’m, like, abundantly proud of myself for this Boot Camp thing, I did something that was .. well .. it was something I had not done for many, many, MANY years.

I took a picture of myself, totally naked. (Well, save a towel on my head.)

And because even I couldn’t stand to look at the wrinkles and sags and sadness that is the post-partum body (I get to claim that forever, right? because technically, my body is still post-birth?), I did it when I stepped out of the shower this morning and the mirror was still foggy.  So you get a vague idea, but THANKS BE TO JEEBUS AND STEAM you don’t get the full pic.  It’s like having the Barbara Walters interview dream-lens on.

Anyway, so I took this pic, and then I went and had my Lexapro and some oatmeal and thought I was finally ready to actually LOOK at the pic.  I took a deep breath, opened up the “Pictures” icon on my phone, and..

.. heeyyy ..

I wasn’t entirely repulsed.

Did I see the things that I hate about my body?  Why yes, I did, because they are (SURPRISE!) still there.  But did I see a .. different .. view of my body?  I totally did.

I saw a body that is STRONG.  Strong enough to get up every morning at 4:30 a.m. and work HARD for an hour, doing exercises it didn’t think it could do.  I saw a body that birthed a baby bigger than most, pushing in full labor for 2.5 hours.  I saw a body that’s pushed past two breast tumors.  I saw a pooch that reminds me that I am a mommy, hips that remind me I’m a woman, and breasts that are fighting gravity harder since a week ago.

While I wouldn’t say I’m ready for a poster or a three-page spread yet, I was able to look at that picture without wanting to toss my phone across the room in total denial.

I was able to look at that picture and be proud of what I saw.

Yay me!

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Quarterly Grade of 2010 Resolutions

Did you realize that we’re almost in month 4 of 2010?  Doesn’t that just BLOW YOUR MIND?  Seriously, guys.. it’s insane.  You know what I should do?  Take my son to his two year old well-exam.  I should TOTALLY do that.

(In my defense, he’s plenty well.)

ANYWAY, on to things less judgmental (STOP GLARING AT ME I’LL TAKE HIM BEFORE HE’S THREE, PROMISE), I thought I’d talk about how I’m doing so far in my list of accomplishments for 2010.  I’m going to list the titles and our current progress, but if you’re curious about the history and/or backstory, you can find the whole shebang here.

1. Eat Less, Move More. I’ve done REALLY well with this one.  I started running again, I started visiting the gym frequently, and I’m definitely eating less.  This boot camp thing is definitely kicking it up a notch, which is a welcome occurrence.  Have I seen a drop in weight?  No, but I haven’t seen an increase either, and I just plain ole feel better (more about that on #2), so win-win thus far.

2. Stop Feeding the Diet Machine. This one?  Dude, this one we have embraced whole-heartedly and have NOTHING but good things to say about it.  Like I said in number 1, I have not gained any weight in eating REAL food again.  If nothing else, I enjoy food more, I eat it more slowly, and I’m far more careful to pick up quality ingredients.  I’m cooking again.  We (knock on wood) have avoided our usual rounds with the flu this year.  We eat almost entirely organics, or at the very least, we’ve cut out HFCS and refined sugars.  And while Bryan was a tough cookie to crack, our child noticed no difference.  “Ice ceeem” is the same to him if it’s organic frozen yogurt or a $1 sundae from McDonald’s so might as well go for the good stuff.

3. Money.  MONEY. We’re actually okay.  Not great, but surviving.  Business is picking up, so although we’ve had a recent change in income with my new job, we’re getting by.  We’re open about our cash flow, and we’re making sure all necessities are paid off before we splurge.  Also, we’re actively taking care of our cars when we can, doing proactive maintenance instead of reactive.

4. Be a better pet owner.  This is my current failure on the list.  We have had a spell of two months where Bryan and I have had MAYBE one night a week at home at the same time, so we just haven’t been able to do anything with Beau.  But the time has changed; we’ve got tons more daylight, we’re both at home more often now, and I’m thinking we’re in a better place to do more with this.  Also, we spent AN ASSLOAD of money getting Beau and Lola spayed in February, and they’re better pets as a result.  So I’ll count that as a small success, but all in all, we’ve got work to do here.

5. Make any endeavor worth doing.  I feel like I’ve earned a freakin’ medal for this one.  Not only have I lightened my load in most areas of life, I’m now pursuing a career in the field I want to spend my time in.  I’ve cut out things that were toxic in my life (theatre, as much as I love the good side of it .. and there is MUCH good .. was becoming a dark cloud)(oh, and also, high heels. I cut those out.), I’m spending two nights a week with my BFF to create Southern Fried Snark, which actually has .. like .. a following now and shit, and y’all?  I’m just .. I’m REALLY LOVING MY LIFE AT THE MOMENT.

6. Go back to school.  Oh. Yeah. Forgot about this one.  Well, so my old employer had a fabulous program that provided 100% tuition.  My new one does not.  So .. um .. 2010 may not be the year of The Education of Miss Sarah Brown.

7. Give $25 a month to a charity organization.  This, we have done, and I can’t tell you how proud I am of us and the fact that we’ve typically gone above and beyond the $25 we set aside.  January, we gave to WorldVision who, at the time, was running a benefit for the children of Haiti.  February brought a donation to our local Arts Krewe, an organization who promotes visual art around town.  And March, we will be donating a great deal of stuff to Goodwill as part of AndreAnna’s Spring Giving 2010.  We still have ::counting on fingers:: eight more months to fill, though, so if you have a charity you work with or believe in?  Lemme know!

8. Cut myself some slack.  Although I’ve got two firm failures on here, this one has BY FAR been the biggest challenge of all.  It’s been über hard to just let go.  I’m trying to make myself loosen my grip on my now wildly independent child, letting him venture more than a few feet from me before I demand his hand in mine.  I’m struggling to be more adaptive when Bryan says he’s got to spend more time at the theatre again, because I know that in his heart, he’d rather be home with us.  I’m working to stop second-guessing everything I do at work, because I just don’t know what I’m doing. And that’s okay.  I’m honestly very proud of the stuff I’ve accomplished in a few short weeks, and I think I’m where I need to be. (I just hope my boss agrees.) I made myself an inspiration board (I am such a ghetto crafter.. y’all should see this thing) and on it I have the following quote that I have to remind myself every day:

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination.” – Albert Einstein

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Another List of Stuff I Purchased In My Attempt to Hoard

I think you read these lists and think that all I do is shop.  Well, that’s only PARTIALLY true.  I do shop, but it’s because my family insists on these things called “groceries”.  They’re so needy about these damn “grocery” things that I’m forced to go at least once a week.  And you’ll notice that 95% of what’s in my lists can usually be purchased at a magical place that contains not only “groceries” but also STUFF.  FOR ME TO BUY.

Also, I’m going to tell you a bit about why I cried at work today.

This?  Is what the kids call a “tissue tee”.  For YEARS, I have walked by these racks and determined myself too fat to wear them.  I don’t know why.  It didn’t make any sense.  Then I caught a bunch of them on sale at Target and thought, “Why the hell not?” and I bought two.  Then I wore one and it was like the heavens parted and I was all YES, THIS IS MANNA FROM THE HEAVENS IN COTTON FORM and I immediately went back and got one in every color they had.  I would still buy more.  And?  Right now, they’re $8 a piece, and totally worth it.  They’re amazing for layering, so whisper soft, and .. look, if I can wear them, ain’t no one too fat.

I don’t own this yet, because my Target only has it in stock in the obnoxious coral (which, you know, if you love coral, that’s GREAT for you, but please don’t stand next to me) AND in the wrong size.  But I want this because I love the detailing around the neck makes it a stand-alone piece, but the close-to-the-body cut makes it great for layering. (HAVE I MENTIONED MY LOVE FOR LAYERING TODAY?)

Psssst.. layering.

I have been an Amazing Grace girl FOR YEARS.  I started wearing it when I started dating Bryan, I restocked when I delivered Tony, and I still order the AMAZING QVC deal on body wash and bath lotion.  But when I reordered my wash/lotion combo, I just kept eyeing this roll-on perfume for Baby Grace.  I had always wondered about the scent, since it was the only Grace I hadn’t tried, but I didn’t want to invest the $50 in the cologne to find I didn’t like it.  So, I figured spending half of that to see if I like it was a worthy investment.  Turns out?  I LOVE IT.  OMG.  I put it on, like, a hundred times a day (which tells you that the cologne would last longer, but whatevs), and the smell is just .. it’s just cashmere in a bottle.  Warm, inviting, comfortable, slightly dark, it’s just .. mmm.  LOVE LOVE LOVE IT.  MAJOR HINT TO BRYAN.

Now, on to why I cried today at work:

MY OFFICE IS ON THE SECOND FLOOR.

Ronda and I started doing this local bootcamp thing yesterday and … WOW.  Seriously, y’all.  You can read about our first day at Southern Fried Snark and .. WOW.  Y’all, I THREW UP, it was so freakin’ intense.  I literally went home and told Bryan through waivering lips and tearful eyes, “I don’t think I can do this.”  To which he was all, Pssh, you run 5KS AND SHIT. So anyway, this was morning two, and while I woke up sore, Ronda and I actually ENJOYED this morning’s session.  We weren’t crazy tired like yesterday and we got to do some great yoga while the sun came up.  THAT’S SOME INSPIRATIONAL SHIT RIGHT THERE.

Then, it hit.

The SORE.

Right at noon, she called me.  “PLEASE tell me you hurt too,” she whimpered.

“I can’t sit down to pee,” I cried.

“Everything hurts..” she moaned.

“I cried going up the stairs to my office,” I whined.

“I HAVE STAIRS IN MY HOME,” she countered.

Anyway, we are totally loving this.

Some stuff I’ve found that rocks my world for working out:

It’s like regular Febreze, but it’s SPORTY.  And seriously knocks odor on its ass.

Ditto.

I have an .. issue .. where if I drink something that I have to tip up, it immediately splashes me on the face.  This Camelbak bottle is not only BPA-free, but it has a bite-straw so you don’t have to tip it up.  I literally get half of my daily required intake of water before 6:30 a.m. due to this thing.

Lastly, the C9 running shorts found at Target.  I’m sorry, but I just refuse to believe that there is a better running short out there.  This one has a built-in brief, which is awesome for gals like me who don’t wear underwear, it’s not crazy short like some running shorts, and it’s cut generously for ease of movement.  There’s also a little pocket sewn into the inside of the waistband for a key or some change or something small.  Also, it’s like 1/9th the price of any other running short.  LOVE.

Here’s the part where I ask you what you’ve bought lately, so that you can enable my addiction.

Comments { 8 }