Tuesday, November 23, 2010

And the running begins again... with an injury.

Come on, are you serious?

Day 1 back to running and training for my half-marathon and I injured my darn knee.

I made myself run the mile from home to my meeting today, convinced that I would not have run otherwise. Once the meeting was done and I had only 15 minutes to get back home in time to shower and leave for work -- I had to run back.

Halfway through my return run, I started getting sharp pains along my right lateral knee. I tried not extending so much, putting more weight on the left... but I ultimately just pushed through.

By the time I got to work, parked and tried to walk down the ramp, I was completely limping. Unbelievable.

Yes, I had on kitten heels which arguably did not help the situation. But, by the end of my 9-hour stint, I was hobbling and praying some nice security guard would offer me a ride to the garage, dreading the walk and flight of stairs that awaited me. Both were excruciating by the way.

I iced the disappointing knee for 90 minutes on my drive to Jersey. My disability improved from hobbling back to limping. I am really beyond irritated. It reminds me of my ridiculous ankle injury in month 2 of training for my 5K earlier this year. But, the rest of that training was a success, so hopefully there's good luck for me the rest of this training, too.

1.03 mi, 11:29 going to meeting
1.03 mi, 10:53 on the way back

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

25 Down... Now the real challenge begins

This is my first picture at goal (during a girls + kids trip to Boston).

I'm currently 25 pounds down now. I lost 3 more pounds since October 15th. 

Now the biggest goal: to keep the weight off for an entire year. 

October 15, 2011. 

Here we go!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Me @ 30: 22 Pounds Down!

Today, I did my usual early morning routine...

Wake up, strip naked, pee, then (and only then) step on the scale.

But, today, my scale said 130. Not 130.2 or 140.7 like it said 2 months ago. That means that I have now lost 22 pounds since I started this blog. I couldn't believe my eyes. It's been over a year now since I saw that number or anything close to it.

Remember me 22 pounds heavier??

In true award-show format... I'd like to thank God... and:
- 100-calorie packs
- Healthy Choice steamers meals (250 calories each!)
- Atkins shakes
- Crystal Light
- Nutrition facts
- My running blog buds who kept me motivated
- My gym, for having childcare, my favorite barbell class and TVs on each treadmill
- Dr. Scholl's for making these really cheap running shoes that have held up through all 150 miles of my running and walking
- All the low-carb products out there in the world

Enter the "get off the stage" music...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My First 10K!

On August 29th, I ran in my first 10K.

I ran this 10K after only running 5.5 miles in the 7 weeks prior.

But, I had signed up for it, so I decided to run it.

All I can say is... I finished. I didn't run fast. And I met another not-fast friend with whom I ran most of it with.

I finished #407 out of #427 people at an 11:57/mile pace. I told you I didn't run fast. I'm terrible at pacing myself and I didn't want to start out too fast and not be able to finish. Who knew I was running at a walking pace??

So I went from running almost a 9-minute mile to this. Guess it serves me right for not training anymore.

But, you know what? I still finished! Next up... a half-marathon.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Me @ 30: Food!

As I mentioned in my Week 3 recap, I'm trying to eat better.

Earlier in the year, I used a low-carb diet to lose half of the 30 pounds I had gained last fall. It was effective, but then I hit a plateau and couldn't lose any more weight.

In hindsight, I think some of it had to do with my portion control. I would eat as much as I wanted, stuffing myself, so long as it didn't have carbs. But, I'm sure I was taking in 2,000 calories, if not more, with those habits.

So, now, I am interested in counting calories. The other pet peeve I have about a low-carb diet, is I found myself eating a lot of processed, fake sugar foods. Don't get me wrong, I still love and will always love my Splenda, but I was not eating much "living" foods.

Friday I gave my kitchen a makeover. I bought snacks in 100-calorie packs to start teaching myself about portion control. I bought fresh fruits and veggies. I fell in love with Naked's Green Machine -- tons of fruits and veggies in one smoothie-type drink. I'm also keeping a food diary and counting calories throughout the day. It's been rough. I keep eating smaller portions and finding myself ravenous afterwards. My 100 calorie Pringles had like 7 chips in there. Ahh!!!!!

My trick so far? Drinking water or Crystal Light until I feel full. Even still, I've been so hungry this past weekend. When will this get easier??

Friday: 1,370
Saturday: 1,420
Sunday: 1,355 (got in a 5.5-mile run, which burned 712 calories)
Monday: 1,310 (lifted weights for an hour)

My basic metabolic rate (the amount of calories I'd burn if I stayed in bed all day) based on a few calculators is anywhere between 1,400 and 1,700 depending on the website.

Calculator 1
Calculator 2 - also tells you how many calories will lead to fat loss.
Calculator 3  - pick sedentary to see you how much you can eat if you did NOTHING all day.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Me @ 30: Goals for Week 4

Here are my goals for the upcoming week -- (thanks AM for the idea!)

Physical Activity
  • Go to the gym twice
  • Run 3 miles
  • Get outside and play with my son
  • Truly enjoy my week alone with him
  • Allow myself to get lost in his kiddie world a few times
  • Treat him to someplace he really likes (Chuck E. Cheese, maybe?)
Personal Growth
  • Journal at least 4 times
  • Meditate at least once
  • Don't fall behind on my work and studying
  • Work on stress reduction strategies
  • Start working on my list of things that make me happy (see this post by one of my blog pals)
Nice thing for myself
  • Do something off of the happiness list (see above)
  • Limit to 1500 calories a day -OR-
  • Aim for 60 grams of carbs or less
  • Try to eat fruits or veggies every day
  • Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day
  • Unpack and arrange my closet
Fun/"Me" Time
  • Make it to my sailing course this weekend.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Me @ 30: Week 3

Physical Activity
I ran 5.5 miles today... my first physical activity since dance class on 7/20. I've just been so tired between driving to/from Jersey and working that it's been hard to motivate. But, I got a good look at my scale today. I need to get back onto my workout routine!

I haven't been running since early July. I registered for a 10K that's two weeks from today. I know I'm out of shape, but I knew if I didn't put money down and commit to this race, I would never get back into running. In general, I feel like I've been letting myself down and breaking so many (running) promises to myself. Truthfully, running is getting lonely, and I lost my love for it.

I got to watch the kiddo swim at his swimming camp earlier in the week (I love his camp). He couldn't swim a lick before this camp and now he's swimming in 9 feet of water. He really wanted me to watch what he can do, so I went an hour early to pick him up so I could watch. It was fun, especially to see him jump off the diving board! I picked him up today, and I have him 24-7 for a whole week. This should be fun.

Personal Growth
I have been very introspective. I journaled a few days this week. No meditating (sorry). I've come to harsh realizations about my deficiencies, both personal and in my career, and have been working overtime (literally) to remedy those.

Nice thing for myself
Can't think of anything.

Still traveling to/from Connecticut every week, I did eat at McDonald's twice this week, but both times I got a salad, sliced apples and fresh fruit smoothies (an improvement). I was doing great regulating sweets and aiming to stay under 1500 calories a day. But, Thursday night while working overnight, I raided the snack closet and had 12 Oreos and 1 Fig Newton. Terrible, I know. But, one day at a time.

I started keeping a food diary. It is amazing what one can eat in a day. It's also amazing how small "serving sizes" are. When's the last time my overflowing bowl of cereal had only 3/4 cup of cereal in it? Why does my salad dressing have the same amount of calories as my salad? Why was my sizzling chicken and shrimp dinner at Friday's 1200 calories? It's no wonder that we Americans are overweight. Our portions are out of control, and I'm the biggest culprit.
My scale puts me at 140 pounds today (yes, I gained 5 pounds since Cancun -- 3 weeks ago), and I've lost a lot of muscle in the last 2 months, so it's actually more than 5 pounds.

No moves in the unpacking department.

Fun/"Me" Time
The girls and I went to see Eat, Pray, Love and had brunch afterwards to unload our thoughts.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Me @ 30: Eat, Pray, Love

Three girlfriends and I met up in Jersey to watch "Eat, Pray, Love," a book we all read (or, in my case listened on audiobook while I ran). The movie was great. It was interesting to compare the movie scenes with the images I imagined while listening to Elizabeth Gilbert read about her experiences. We finished the day off with dinner at Bertucci's and dancing in a Jersey nightclub.
The movie put me into a state of deep reflection though, making me long the freedom she had, traveling to those three places, becoming more spiritual and in tune with herself along the way. I've been nonstop since I was 5 years old. I was a student from age 5 to age 26. Since age 27, I've been a resident physician. In between, I held a part-time or full-time job since I was 13 years old. I took time off from medical school and got another degree full-time (my master's in journalism) while working full-time for an OB-gyn. While a student, I worked in news, I got married, had a son, wrote a book.. and now I'm on the brink of finishing residency and looking for a new job. But, I'm feeling like I want to get off of the treadmill at some point.

So, I've been deep in thought lately, trying to figure out how to allow such freedom, and still pay my bills and my school loans. I haven't found a solution yet, but I'm searching.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Me @ 30: Registered for my first 10K

Yea... so I ignored the fact that I haven't run more than once a week since May, and registered for a 10K which takes place in *gasp* two weeks. I know, I know, but a girl's gotta have a dream, right?

So, it's back on a training schedule:

Week 1 5.5 + 3 = 8.5 miles
Week 2 3 + 4 + 2  = 9 miles

I'm not planning on breaking any records there. I'm probably going to aim for an 11-12 minute/mile pace. My usual pace is low 9's anyway and but there's no way I'm keeping that up for 6.2 miles.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Me @ 30: Riding the Mechanical Bull

For my pal's bday -- Style Scrybe of Shoes N Booze -- on Saturday, she decided to ride the mechanical bull and (lightly) twisted my arm to do the same.

It was an adrenaline rush. I stayed on for a while, but honestly, I realized it was never going to end and sorta let myself fall off. My inner thighs are still aching. Does that count as a workout??

Me caught in mid-blink with the birthday gal:

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The First Ten Days of 30

30 started out with a sense of calm.

But, upon returning to CT last Wednesday, I was met with much drama and stress. I did, however, catch up on most of my to-do's by the weekend, with my list shrinking from 2-3 pages to a half-page.

Following in the footsteps of one of my blog buddies, AM’s blog, Goals for the Week, here are the things I wanted to work on this week. Some I scored well on, others I flunked.

Physical Activity
I danced for a couple of hours on the night of my birthday. None since.

Continuing to improve. I brought the kiddo to camp last Tuesday morning and put him to bed Tuesday night before going back to CT on Wednesday morning. Then, I came back on Saturday and spent the weekend with him, being there when he lost his first tooth!
Personal Growth
I meditated for a whole five uninterrupted minutes last Friday, in an effort to keep my utter disorganization and overwhelmed feelings from making me bawl my eyes out.

Nice thing for myself
I bought myself a (real) fruit smoothie from McDonald’s on Saturday.

Speaking of McDonalds, I have been terrible in the food department. I ate out at both McDonald’s and White Castle. I ate pastries and ice cream. I had two types of carrot cake today - one slice of cake and the other, I cupcake. Not to mention the gelato earlier in the day. Some of it is because I haven’t even unpacked my apartment in CT (including my kitchen), and I have been spending most of my days in NJ, hence the eating on the run.

I just made a dent in the disorganization, but still haven’t unpacked most of the apartment. My trunk is still full to the top (and I have a truck) with stuff I haven’t bothered to bring into the new place yet. Plus, there's junk that had been inside my car that I threw back there in order to get my car detailed on my birthday.

Fun/"Me" Time
I carved out a few hours and finally watched Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 and Madea Goes To Jail (thanks Netflix!) while I chilled out on my couch in CT. It felt good to sit still for once.

I managed to dress up, do my hair with or without makeup almost every day in the past week and a half. I'm a firm believer of Look Good, Feel Good but it's hard to keep it up sometimes, especially when life gets hectic.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Year In Review (Jan until July 2010)

Since starting this blog and picking up running as a hobby, I have:

- gone from being able to run 1 minute without getting winded to running three 5K's (link, link and link)
- run a total of 136 miles (my best month was February at 39 miles)
- run a total of 30 hours
- burned off the equivalent of 107 donuts (thanks dailymile.com for that statistic)
- gotten my fastest pace down to 9:08/mile
- run 4.07 miles (my farthest run)
- turned 30 (why 30 is so important)
- lost 17 pounds
- done something special for myself on each of the 25 days leading up to my 30th birthday
- started dancing again (ballet and tap)
- learned valuable life lessons, included greater insight into myself and those around me

Then: Now:

What I didn't do (yet):
- Run a 10K or a half-marathon
- Get back down to my pre-baby weight

But, the year isn't up. It's only the beginning. My birthday marked the true beginning of my "year." Join me on the journey that is to come over the next 12 months.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

30th Birthday Celebration(s)

It has taken me a few days to recover from my 30th birthday celebrations.

My mom started the day off buying shoes and a necklace to go with my dress. Then we got our hair done and nails mani'd and pedi'd.

Mom all rolled up:

Then, we ran home to finish the party favors I made for each of my guests -- cards with my favorite thing about them, or my favorite memory, and a nip-bottle of various types of liquor.

The dinner was fabulous. The service and food were excellent -- from the cocktail hour to the actual dinner to the tasty Tiramisu dessert that I plopped my 30 candle in (yes, I brought my own candle).

After I gave a speech to my dearest friends -- ones that I have known since age 2 on up to age 24... so minimum 6 years -- they decided to toast to me one by one, sharing touching remarks and funny stories. I love these guys. They are my inspiration, and to hear the warm remarks were just what I needed to hear after this tumultuous year and as I step out into 30.

Our next stop was a nightclub in Jersey, dancing until 2am. Then we finished the night at our favorite JC diner, talking until our waitress packed up and left, giving us a hint.

I couldn't have asked for a better birthday, honestly. Thanks to everyone who played a part.

Monday, July 26, 2010

I'm 30!!!

I'm finally here.

I woke up on the flight after nodding off while reading Heart of the Matter. At first, I was disoriented. The customs form had been mysteriously placed on my seatback tray. I had no sense of time. Then I heard,
"Prepare for arrival."

Ahhhhh! That means, it's probably close to 2am. It's July 26th! I'm 30! Oh my gosh... as tears began welling up in my eyes.

I'm finally here.

The last ten years have been one heck of a journey. I have learned a lot about life, about myself, about the people in my life. I wish I could say it was all fun, but it was rough for a lot of that time. But, I'm here. At 30. With my fresh start. With my chance to do things differently. With my chance to be better.

And I feel different. I wonder if I even look different.

My first pic at 30:

Sunday, July 25, 2010

1 Day 'Til 30... And we're delayed

**Now that my countdown to 30 has officially begun, I've decided to do something extra special every day until I turn 30.**

July 25th was a long day. Shonda and I woke up to room service breakfast. We packed, dilly-dallied, then spent the hours before her flight poolside yet again, reflecting on life while intermittently reading our books (Her: Lipstick Jungle. Me: Heart of the Matter).

She left at 1:30pm for her 4:30 flight. I got picked up a little later at 3:45pm for a 7 o'clock flight. So, the shuttle drops me and the other 7 o'clockers all going back to Jersey off a little past 4. Well, guess what? The flight was delayed. First to 7:50, then to 9:20, then to 9:40. We took off at 10pm.

Let's do the math. Not only were we originally 3 hours early for our flight, but then we ended up spending a total of 6 hours in Cancun's airport -- hours that could have been spent on the beach. And it was freezing! So all of us in our tank tops and beach attire eventually broke down and bought Mexican blankets. This is a group shot of random passengers with our blankets on.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

2 Days 'Til 30... Dueling Rub Downs

**Now that my countdown to 30 has officially begun, I've decided to do something extra special every day until I turn 30.**

First order of business today was the post-wedding brunch. So yummy! Me with the big (married) cousin:
Following brunch, we took our usual positions - poolside, facing the water, under a couple of umbrellas, book in hand.
In case you forgot where we are... and I included my toes as proof!
Today's special treats were full-body massages (plus steam room and jacuzzi) at the resort spa. This is me feeling loose and serene after my rub-down.
We ended the night at a family dinner at the resort's seafood restaurant. I ordered Mahi Mahi (which I must order from any restaurant that actually offers it) and it was terrible! The fish was so dead and dried out that when I cut it with the knife, it shed into crumbles. Such a letdown. The saving graces, however, were the mixed vegetables and the yucca & vanilla creme brulee.

Our last adventure of the day was finding a lizard in our room.
We called maintenance to free us of the infestation and he laughed at us, showing us the lizard in a towel saying, "Godzilla" in a Mexican accent. Nice, dude. Make fun of our terror.

Friday, July 23, 2010

3 Days 'Til 30... I do!

**Now that my countdown to 30 has officially begun, I've decided to do something extra special every day until I turn 30.**

Today started out as any normal day should -- lounging at a pool at an all-inclusive resort with a swim-up bar and many waiters and waitresses happy to take your 25th (all-included) drink order. Rashonda and I in our respective posts.
We even got a little swimming in and spent time with the family:
Then, it was time for a quick change and off to the wedding. The wedding ceremony was amazing. The beautiful bride was brought in by a horse-drawn carriage. The sound of any hooves may actually make me misty for at least the next year.
Once the carriage stopped at the front of the gazebo, I couldn't contain myself. She was gorgeous. I'm already Misty Molly, but that lump in the back of throat let loose and I started pouring full-on tears all down my recently-applied makeup. This was my big cousin getting married. My closest male first-cousin, my sounding board on most things, my voice of reason some days, my inspiration on others. And he just hadn't found the right one until now. If anyone deserves the amazing woman that his bride is, it's him. And for that reason, I lost it, and most of my MAC foundation. The vows didn't help the makeup cause either. 

I can't think of a better way to approach 30 -- this journey that has left me so introspective and appreciative of life -- than to be surrounded my so much love.

Then of course, we partied the night away at the reception until Rashonda and I called it a night... no afterparty for us (Gasp... are we getting old? I don't wanna know the answer).

Thursday, July 22, 2010

4 Days 'Til 30.... Bienvenidos a Cancun!

**Now that my countdown to 30 has officially begun, I've decided to do something extra special every day until I turn 30.**

I am in MEXICO! I was completely knocked out on my 9:40am flight to Cancun and according to my cousin's boyfriend, my mouth was wide open and I was leaning on the lady next to me (sorry Ma'am, but you never said anything). This is likely due to being awake for 38 hours from Tuesday into Wednesday. But, nonetheless, I am here, in one piece, and ready to relax.

Me, newly arrived, in the lobby with my aunts and little cousin:
So yes... this means I will be spending the last 4 days of my 20's staring out at clear blue water, sipping fruity drinks poolside with my friend, Rashonda and my dad's side of the family. I can't wait. Check out the view from my balcony:
Oh yea -- how could I forget... we're all here for a wedding! The view must have distracted me. A pic of the soon-to-be wed at tonight's welcome dinner.
And me in my Cancun-inspired welcome dinner attire (with the new summer-y hair)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

5 Days 'Til 30..... A Bedtime Story

**Now that my countdown to 30 has officially begun, I've decided to do something extra special every day until I turn 30.**

Change of plans. I didn't run the 5K on my schedule tonight.

First of all, it downpoured. I'm dedicated, but not that dedicated.

Secondly, I wanted to make it back to NJ to read my kiddo a bedtime story.

So, after being awake for 38 hours (minus a 2-hr nap), packing and running errands, I hit the road at 6, making it to NJ at 8:30pm -- just before bedtime.

That was a special something to beat out all the other special somethings.

Cancun tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

6 Days 'Til 30... Letter to the Older Me

**Now that my countdown to 30 has officially begun, I've decided to do something extra special every day until I turn 30.**

So, I have this countdown to 30 -- an age that some people hide from, lie about, or bawl over. Yet, I'm celebrating it in full force. But, why is 30 so important? It's just a number right? Life doesn't drastically change because some invisible clock turns it's big hand to 30. Or does it?

For me, turning 30 is a chance to start over. A chance to do things better. Be a better me.

I get to leave the tumultuous 20s behind me and settle into the peace of being more mature, more secure in who I am as a person, and more importantly -- actually knowing who I am as a person.

Think about someone at 20... then 23... then 27... and finally 29. Each of those phases are so very different. The life lessons, the heartbreak, the drama, the killing yourself to plant your roots into a career, the ignorant decisions just because you don't know any better... I'm over it.

I want to leave the drama behind, feel settled for once, all while embracing those people and those experiences that helped me arrive at this point.

Eight years ago, I wrote a letter to myself while in Paris alone for New Year's Eve. It talked about how I needed to be more confident and strong. When I read that letter now, it reminds me that this is always a battle -- coming into your own at 22, now at 30, and I'm sure it will happen again at 40 and 50.

So, today, my special something was writing myself a letter. Hopefully, to read another 8-10 years from now and be able to say I accomplished everything in it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

7 Days 'Til 30... Birthday Suit!

**Now that my countdown to 30 has officially begun, I've decided to do something extra special every day until I turn 30.**

...no, not THAT birthday suit. I finally found the dress I plan to wear to my birthday shindig (you know... that totally unimportant birthday we're counting down to...).

I absolutely hate, hate, hate shopping. The split decisions, always afraid I'm not getting the most for my money, trying everything on because my proportions are so non-traditional, the crowds, the racks after racks, the either neglectful or overbearing salespeople. It's just not for me.

Knowing this, I split this process up over two days. Yesterday, I just went to browse -- no pressure. I saw this dress at Marshall's, but I wasn't sure, so I snapped some pics and looked elsewhere. Well, nothing beat out this dress, so here we are. I went back to Marshall's to get it. It seems a little prom-dressy, but you know what? I'll make it work with some shoes and accessories. I'm working on being (an almost-30) diva anyway, right? (see yesterday's post) So here we go!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

8 Days 'Til 30...

**Now that my countdown to 30 has officially begun, I've decided to do something extra special every day until I turn 30.**

So since I colored my hair, I've been really insecure about it. I felt like the hair was either overpowering me or washing me out. Then, today I realized -- it's because I'm letting the hair wear ME. The (almost blonde) hair definitely says unique and dare I say it -- DIVA. Yet, my (frumpy) clothes and my attitude the past few days have not been anything close to diva. So, today I jazzed it up. Put on a full face of makeup, wore cute clothes to work complete with my best flats and favorite dangly necklace and finally felt like the hair looked good on me. Not to mention, looking good boosted my ego and made me a lot closer to diva than just 24 hours ago.

So, my special thing today was a physical and attitude makeover (hehehe).

By the way, 8 is my favorite number.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

9 Days 'Til 30... Time with the Munchkin

**Now that my countdown to 30 has officially begun, I've decided to do something extra special every day until I turn 30.**

We're in single digits now, people! The big 3-0 is getting closer and closer.

Today's special something was surprising my kiddo, who didn't know I was coming to NJ and spending 5 hours with him before having to drive back to CT for work.

Him on his scooter and the slide at Liberty State Park in 90-degree weather even at 9 in the morning!

Me sweating and donning the new 'do:
We finished off the day at IHOP and brought my mom along -- the same IHOP I worked at during my summer between freshman and sophomore years ('98), that Christmas break ('98) and the following summer ('99). I really enjoyed waitressing and racking up on tips. I was pretty good at it, plus I got to talk to different people all the time. It was fun.

Oddly enough, the same people own and manage it and some of the same waitresses are there. It's a head trip to take the flash to the past when I go there 12 years later, and bring my 5-year-old son with me? Crazy.

Friday, July 16, 2010

10 Days 'Til 30... A New Look

**Now that my countdown to 30 has officially begun, I've decided to do something extra special every day until I turn 30.**

I got out of work early today and hit the road back to NJ and made it 5 minutes before the time my hairdresser takes her last client.

Today is special because I decided to highlight my hair for the summer, and for turning 30 and for the new changes that are happening in my life now.

What do you think?

It's taking some getting used to, but I like it so far.

11 Days 'Til 30... Rest & Relaxation

**Now that my countdown to 30 has officially begun, I've decided to do something extra special every day until I turn 30.**

Today was a hard day for me. Very emotional. The weight of everything that's been happening hit me hard and I had a good cry -- twice. Once in the morning and once in the evening. In my quest to be a better me, I'm coming to some harsh realizations about who I've been for the past five years, and the things I could have and should have done differently. It's intense, but it's putting me on the road to improvement.

With the type of day I had, my special something was skipping my barbell class, going home to watch the first half of my latest Netflix delivery -- Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 -- before drifting off to sleep well before my usual bedtime. I definitely needed the rest (and sleep).

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

12 Days 'Til 30... Dinner Party & Girl Talk

 **Now that my countdown to 30 has officially begun, I've decided to do something extra special every day until I turn 30.**

Two of my fellow residents came to my new (still packed in boxes) apartment for dinner, drinks and girl talk. It was nice being in good company, especially in CT, when most of my base is still in NJ. And they didn't mind me pulling bowls and dishes and forks out of a huge packing box throughout the night.

Anne brought hand-made guacamole which was delish with the italian bread, and fresh fruit for our appetizers. Oh and the most important appetizer -- wine!

I made chicken skewers in the oven with onions and red, green and yellow peppers. I used a little seasoned salt on the chicken and McCormick's Mediterranean marinade over the fully-loaded skewer. I've never actually made chicken skewers myself before. They were tasty (if I'm allowed to compliment my own cooking). The yellow rice and carrots rounded out our plates, and we ate much, talked much and it was exactly what I needed.

By the way -- My most recent article for MSNBC's thegrio.com went up today: Cough 'sizzurp' is dangerous drug of choice for stars, youth