Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Biggest Loser Update

I was watching Biggest Loser tonight (OMG, how AWESOME was Nicole's transformation? I hope she makes it to that size 8 she wants), and I realized that I never provided an update on the final results of MY biggest loser competition! The whole thing finished 3 weeks ago, and the results were veeeeery interesting!

*drum-roll please*

I lost 5.84% of my body weight and finished in 6th place overall. Not super impressive - my lowest point in the competition was not during the last week, so that was especially disappointing. BUT! All is not lost! RACHEL did amazing and finished in second place! It was pretty awesome to see how much she transformed in just 10 short weeks. You should all go congratulate her when you get a chance!

The whole competition was not a loss for me, despite not winning anything. It gave me a good reason to focus on fitness and overall health for a little while - something that I need to continue doing - and got me in pretty good shape again! For proof, here's a picture of me finishing a half-marathon earlier this month:

I don't know if you can see that, but it's a 1:45:20 time - only 20 seconds away from my PR from when I was 18!

We'll see how this whole thing continues in the next few months. I've decided to try some new things in the near future - one of which is exercise DVDs. The blogosphere has been blowing up with 30 Day Shred praise, I decided to purchase that first! It arrived yesterday, and I'm going to try it out later this week. I'm also looking into new fitness classes to try, and considering getting into dance classes again. So much to do, so little time!Italic

Monday, March 30, 2009

Getting Rid of a DVD Collection

DVDs got me through college - on my good days I popped in Legally Blonde and thought of all the things I could accomplish against the odds; on my bad days I'd pop in Legally Blonde and yell "EFF YOU!" at the TV when Elle got dumped, and then turned Warner down at the end. Let's face it: Elle Woods is responsible for my college degree. And for driving every one of my roommates/housemates crazy in the past 6 years. HA!

Well, now that I've been out of college for almost 2 years, and I've discovered the joy of watching movies on my iPod (or on the TV when Matt sets it up), I decided it was time to get rid of the DVD collection. And let's be honest, not many people want a collection of teen- and 80s-movies into their late (post college) 20s.

Well folks, I have to tell you - the power of eBay and Half.com are wondrous things when it comes to getting rid of DVDs. I started posting them on Half.com in February, and have less than 10 left! I've made $107.01 (minus shipping costs) on 27 DVDs - which is way better than the $1 average they go for at garage sales. I'll be putting that extra money towards some California clothes (YES!) and that extra space towards some more effective storage of other media items. The only downside is that it's kind of time consuming to mail off 27 DVDs individually - not for people who are super busy or out of town a lot!

I used Half.com to sell of text books in college, and I'm happy to report that it's pretty cost-effective to use for selling off unused or unwanted DVDs these days, too! Give it a shot if you've got some extras!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I am so excited for Matt to be back so I can cook again! I mean, obviously I could cook for myself if I wanted to, but I have a hard time getting the energy up just for that. I'm lazy when I'm alone. :) Nothing too special this week, but I'm pretty excited for Monday's recipe. Check out Org Junkie's website for more menu-planners!

Monday: Honey and Orange Tofu, served over brown rice.

Quesadillas! I'll probably throw some bell peppers in mine, Matt can have some sausage or chicken in his.

Leftovers, or soup and grilled cheeses.

Goat Cheese and Arugula over Penne with some wine on the side.

Stir-fry or curry with left-over veggies, served over brown rice.

Appetizers for dinner! I'll make up some bruschetta with goat cheese and tomatoes, and some fresh guac or something.

Leftovers. No cooking on Sundays!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Go Zags!

It's no secret that I live in Spokane, and that I moved here for college (and got stuck afterwards, for better or worse!). But as a proud Gonzaga alumnae, I am so ridiculously excited for the game tonight!

Josh Heytvelt is getting ready to PWN some Tarheels.

This is the first time we've been in the Sweet Sixteen since 2006, and I intend to soak it up with the locals in festive style. I actually considered going to the game (in Memphis, Tennessee) for a little while earlier this week - it would have cost $1,000 and required flying to Seattle last night, then flying from Seattle to Nashville, TN, at 6am this morning, and then driving the 213 miles from Nashville to Memphis. I'm a committed fan, but that was too much even for me. I'm hoping watching it in a sports bar with hundreds of die-hard Zags fans will be just as good - and who knows, maybe ESPN will be filming or something (it's happened before!).

Get ready for a beat down, Hansbrough!

If you're looking for something to do tonight, it's going to be broadcast on CBS at 9:57pm Eastern/6:57pm Pacific, and it should be awesome. I'm going to go invest in a new Gonzaga sweatshirt just for the occasion.

P.S. In case you missed how Gonzaga got to the Sweet 16, watch this ridiculously awesome video of the last 30 seconds of the second round game against Western Kentucky.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Everyone has one chore that they hate...

The house-woman in me is ashamed to admit this, but: I hate vacuuming. With a passion.
We don't get along.

There are several reasons I don't like vacuuming. First, it's extremely hard to multi-task while doing it. I can't work and vacuum. I can't email and vacuum. I can't even talk on the phone and vacuum. Which brings me to my second point. It's loud. You can't hold a conversation and vacuum. You can't hear the tv while you're vacuuming. I could be dying, and no one would ever know because the vacuum is running.

When the vacuum in The Brave Little Toaster runs over his cord and nearly dies? Heartbreaking. And terrifying.

Plus, there's so much that can go wrong with a vacuum. Vacuums are complicated machines that make me uncomfortable - is that noise that sounds like the world being sucked into a bag normal? I don't know, it's an eff-ing vacuum. Bags explode. Circuitry goes bad. Outlets catch fire. Cords get vacuumed over. Therefore, I don't vacuum.

For now, I'll let Matt handle the vacuuming. Or maybe look into getting a Roomba so I don't have to be home for it. :)

What Irresponsible Becca Would Do With a Tax Refund

I got my tax refund at the end of last week, and the sweet, sweet government cash hit my bank account yesterday morning. Of course I'm doing the responsible thing and putting most of it towards my student loans, while the rest is going into savings/rainy day-funds. But it's just so much fun to play the "what if?" game and see what I could possibly use it for instead... so here goes:

If I were an irresponsible person, here's what I'd spend my $800 on (these are mutually exclusive):
  • Entrance and travel to the Maui Marathon. I've always wanted to run a full marathon, and I've always wanted to go to Hawai'i - wouldn't it be pretty cool to do both at the same time? Someday, island running and I will meet and fall in love...
  • Buy a killer outfit (or three for $800, let's be honest) for a trip to California I'll be taking in a little bit. I'm liking this look specifically (Adriana Lima - by ThinLizzy on Polyvore.com):
Adriana Lima
  • Hit the spa. With $800, I'd only have to pay a little over $120 to go to the spa three times and get the 5.5 hour package each time. That's 16.5 hours of services, yo. And I really love this spa - I went there about a month ago with a gift certificate from work, and enjoyed every second of it.
  • Register for Yoga Journal's Colorado Conference in September. I love yoga, and I've always wanted to learn more about it. Plus I've never been to Colorado, and there's a first time for everything!
  • Visit the Motherland for the first time ever. By Motherland I mean Sweden, of course! My sister is in Europe until June, and it'd be the perfect time to go. I could even stay on the farm with the relatives if I played my cards right.
Alright, I have to stop. I feel like I'm talking myself into all of these options... and that's not what I want at all. I do sense a trend though... all of my "irresponsible" choices center around trips of various sorts. I think this means I need to make an effort to travel more (cheaply, of course!). Guess it's something to consider as I plan - and budget - for the future!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Project 15: Ticket Storage

Those who know me (and Matt... well, mostly Matt) in real life know that we go to a ton of concerts because we are music fanatics. Seriously, we go to anything and everything, from local shows to reunion tours to big name acts of the moment. And we have aaaalllll of the ticket stubs to prove it. They've been scattered all over the place for far, far too long, and I am thrilled to finally have a way to store them

The new storage solution with a random sampling of ticket stubs.

While visiting Portland (Oregon) a few weekends ago, we wandered into Powell's Books (which you absolutely must visit if you are ever in Portland because it is ridiculously awesome) and found the Ticket Stub Diary. It has a ton of pages, and three different sizes of sleeves that hold most standard ticket stubs. Awesome! I'm working on cataloging our tickets as we speak.

Project 14 - It's Springtime!

Nothing says Spring like a bunch of flowers!

I'm really proud of myself, guys. These flowers here have been in my kitchen since Valentine's Day, and they're still alive and going strong! Obviously they've been replanted into my permanent pots that I have on my kitchen ledge, but I like to think they're doing so well because I've taken such good care of them. My black thumb might just be getting a little green!

Well, it better be, because I made an investment in some outdoor (exposed to the elements) flowers for spring time! My luck with outdoor flowers last year was great until it got hot - and I forgot to water them for a week - and they all died. But I have faith! I can do it this year!

I spent a good part of Sunday planting these babies.

We had gone to Costco on Sunday to stock up on some essentials (laundry detergent and toilet paper), and surprise! Costco had a great little garden section with tons of flowers, bulbs, and gardening supplies! I found the bag in the picture pretty quickly - I like pink, which definitely goes for flowers as well! - and thought that those blooms would look great on my balcony. 18 bulbs for $13, which is only a few dollars more than the plants in my kitchen! I planted all 18 in the two big pots shown there, and then also in 2 hanging baskets that I didn't take pictures of. Honestly, until the flowers bloom, the pictures just look like big pots of dirt that are completely uninteresting!

Anyway, you with green thumbs, check out Costco if you're looking for some bulbs to plant - the selection was great and the prices were amazing!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Tina Fey is Brilliant

I love 30 Rock. I think that Tina Fey is hilarious, and now that I have a DVR, I can actually catch Liz Lemon's antics every week. And that usually has nothing to do with this blog, but...

Did anyone else watch the intro to last week's episode of 30 Rock and feel like they were staring at themselves in Tina Fey form? Seriously, just watch up until the opening credits. Liz Lemon goes to a new container store and buys all kinds of ridiculous things that are going to make her life fantastic and wonderful, and then it's not. It's the story of my life, and it makes me love Tina even more.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Check out Org Junkie's website for more menu planners this week!

Monday (last Monday class night EVER):
Grilled Cheese and Soup (probably Amy's Organic Lentil Soup)

Tuesday: Baked Polenta with Fresh Tomatoes and Parmesan and some steamed veggies

Wednesday: Fried Rice with some baked tofu (marinated in a little bit of whatever I've got lying around)

Thursday (last Thursday class night EVER): Ravioli from the freezer with some steamed veggies

Friday: Falafel wraps and (if I can get to the store) this baked eggplant recipe

Saturday: Dinner out or leftovers

Sunday: Spaghetti with steamed veggies and garlic bread

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

It's been a while since I've done one of these! And honestly, it's been a while since I've been both home for a week, and in a position to plan out my meals. Gotta love those out-of-state trips! As always, check out I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu-planners and recipes!

Monday (class night): Vegetarian Chili

Tuesday: the couscous from this acorn squash recipe with some baked tofu (and sausage for Matt)

Wednesday: Burgers and spinach salad - veggie burgers for me, sausage or lamb/beef burgers for Matt!

Thursday (class night):

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Ravioli from the freezer with steamed veggies

Leftovers, or take-out thai food

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Back from my travels!

This has been my closet for far too long!

I've spent the last 10 days or so either preparing to travel, traveling, or trying to recover from my travels. My first trip was to Portland to visit Matt's family and a few college friends, and it was so nice to be in a big city with a lot going on. I really love Portland and Seattle, and with airfare being as cheap as it has been on Southwest, you really can't beat it.

My second excursion (back to back with Portland) was to the city of Houston, Texas. I'd never been to Texas before, and had to go for work. And let me say, no offense Southern girls, but I so much prefer the pacific northwest! We stayed at the really interesting Hotel ZaZa, which had all kinds of strange decor and things going on. Our work kept us from doing fun stuff, though, so we didn't get to the rodeo or out at all other than to dinner around Rice University a few times. I also befriended a man named Charlie, who is the night manager of a bus management company for the bus that I left my (work) blackberry on basically as soon as I got to Houston. Epic fail.

Anyway, I'm back, significantly less stressed out, and will be posting regularly again!