The Little Things

Yesterday while I was driving to the gym I saw an old lady walking her cat on a leash. At first I thought it was a monkey but it indeed was a cat. For some inexplicable reason this put me in the best mood.

Manic maybe?

Since I’m in this mood I feel it is a great time to share some of the things that make me happy. The following are listed in no particular order.

1. Groundhog Day– Punxsutawney Phil is a celebrity at our house. For as long as Bridget could remember we would wake up early on February 2nd to see if Spring was on its way.


The beauty of relying on a groundhog to do the predicting is that if he doesn’t say what you want then you can disregard it because he’s just a groundhog. What does he know anyway? He’s scared of a shadow for crying out loud!

2. Cupcakes– I know this is a weight loss blog and we shouldn’t speak of such things but moderation is the key. Cupcakes are even better when you can use them to celebrate random holidays like Groundhog Day…


or co-ed golf themed bridal showers…


or poolside birthday parties…


3. Sparkly Snow- I like snow on sunny days for a few reasons. First, if it’s sunny then the likelihood of it melting before it gets annoying is high. Second, it sparkles…duh. And third, it’s probably warm enough to play in.


I woke up to this beautiful scene this morning and this view reminded me of all of my failed attempts at a vegetable garden, which brings me to the next…

4. Gardening– I said it makes me happy, I didn’t say that I was good at it. We’ve been in our house for two summers and both times I have tried and failed to have a vegetable garden.


The first year I managed to hoe up all of the weeds and I was just about to plant the seeds when I had to go out-of-town unexpectedly. My grandmother died that summer and I was gone for almost a month. We came back to a jungle of weeds… it was awesome.


The second year I was extremely pregnant and hoed up half of my yard in some peasant form of nesting. My friend Cate worried about me and came over to help.


The bulbs she planted here were the only things that were actually planted. Once Penelope came along my dreams of a garden were replaced with poopie diapers and endless breastfeeding.

But if you’ve been reading for long enough you know that if at first I don’t succeed I try and try and try again… It borders on lunacy.


 So far I have successfully kept an herb garden in my kitchen and I’m so excited for spring this year so that I can try again.

4. Avec Eric- I stumbled on this little gem on New Year’s Eve. It’s on Hulu and I sat down with steamed lobster tails, a salad and a glass of wine and had the best time watching this show. This may have been attributed to the wine (I’m a cheap date) but I watched it again sober and have quickly developed a celebrity crush on Eric… he’s French.


I love his outlook on food and life in general. I’ve already watched both seasons since then. I like the first season best but you should check it out.

5. Sum Sum Summa Time– Summer is by far my favorite season of the year. As soon as the Christmas decorations are taken down I pine for the day that summer will begin. It’s just made up of so many of the little things that make life enjoyable like riding your bike to the pool…


evenings spent sprinkler hunting…


backyard campouts…


and hiking of course…


6. Tacky Holiday Decorations– Speaking of which I STILL need to get the Christmas lights down from my roof. Whenever the weather is great I’m home with the baby alone, then when I do have someone to watch Penelope the roof is covered in snow. Plus, I have a bad track record with roof tops. You can ask my brother-in-law Bryce, his neighbor had to rescue me one time because I was laughing too hard to get down. Then there was this other time when I had to borrow a ladder from my brand new neighbor so that I could climb on my roof in my purple bathing suit… in November… (long story). My lights are red and white so I’m tempted to play it off like I’m celebrating Valentine’s Day with lights. I did say TACKY decorations after all…holiday

7. Library Treasures- There is nothing like just randomly grabbing a book off of the shelf at the library only to find that it was the best read you’ve had in years. I don’t know if it’s the fact that you have no expectations going in that make it so great or what, but here are a few of my favorite library finds…

Angry Housewives Eating Bonbons by Lorna Landvik

angry housewives

That led me to Oh My Stars by Lorna Landvik which was even better…

oh my stars

Then, I found the rose trilogy by Jennifer Donnelly. (She wrote back to me on Facebook one time… I was star struck.) I happened to pick up The Winter Rose first which is actually the second book in the trilogy. The next book I read was The Wild Rose which is the last one. Finally this winter I read The Tea Rose which is supposed to be the first book. If you love strong female characters, mystery, scandal and a dash of sex with a lot of romance you will LOVE this series. Each book highlights a different female character. What I love about it is the fact that 1) they are strong enough to save themselves and 2) they’re lives are connected so you get to check in on the characters that you’ve come to love.

rose1 rose2 rose3

8. Hot Air Balloons– We are fortunate enough to live close to a popular hot air balloon launching spot. There are many times I’ll be sitting on my back deck drinking coffee and one will fly overhead. Bridget loves it when they are close enough to see us wave at them.

hot air balloons

9. Music- I especially like to find music that no one else has found yet… Okay, who am I kidding? I’m not cool enough to discover this music but my best friend is. She’s that cool “aunt” who climbs Machu Picchu, founds a television festival in Austin (ATX) and discovers awesome music. She then passes it along to me. It’s my life line to the person I was before kids. (Not that Radio Disney isn’t awesome.) Because of her I have been introduced to numerous artists of all kinds of genres and through this music I get to experience all kinds of perspectives.

10. Long Runs With My Dog– Sir Scout is our knight in shining armor. Sure he interrupts my running occasionally to sniff a butt or two but he’s a great running partner. Plus, he kind of pulls me along when I need a little encouragement.


11. Old Ladies Walking Monkies Cat’s on Leashes– I’m just as baffled as you are as to how this could make me so happy but for some reason it does.

cat leashes

It really is all about the little things in life… What makes you happy?


Yeah… so, do you remember that one time when I got cocky and decided to get all “bossy pants” on you guys and tell you all of the things that I’ve been doing to stay on track? Well, that may have been a bit premature.

I have worked out a total of ONE time this week. I could give you a list of excuses because there are plenty (aren’t there always?) but that would just be boring so we’ll skip that part.

Since I hadn’t worked out I was going nuts! I had been craving a good outdoor run all week and finally today I got the chance to do it.


Ahhhhh… those are angels singing

Today was gorgeous! It was a whopping 50 degrees outside so I strapped my baby in the jogging stroller (when she decided to go all Rosa Parks on me during nap time) and thawed out a little in the sunshine.

To be honest, I only really like to run when I’m in shape… and I’m not. But there is something to be said about putting in your ear buds and having a little afternoon dance party in your head.

What I like about running is the uninterrupted amount of time I get to spend daydreaming about how hot I will be in a few months. During these runs I’m no longer a 32-year-old lady with two kids but an 18-year-old whose milkshake brings all the boys to the yard and they’re like it’s better than your’s, damn right…

Okay, I’ll quit.

Another reason I have to listen to music while I’m running is so that I can’t hear myself gasping for air. This is a key component.

One thing I’m sure of is that pushing a stroller while running isn’t as easy as it looks. So if you ever see some scrawny little lady pushing a double stroller at mock speed give her a high five… or don’t. That could get awkward because she won’t know it’s coming.

Up until this point, the weather had been so cold that you couldn’t stand to be outside for more than two seconds. I could feel my pores screaming for some vitamin D so I bought a ton of mushrooms which is supposed to be super high in it.

I got white button mushrooms and Portobello mushroom caps.

Yesterday, I smothered some grilled chicken in sautéed mushrooms and onions, topped it off with some shredded swiss cheese and broiled it until it was gooey and delicious.


Today, I stuffed one of the Portobello caps using this recipe. I made half of the spinach filling that the recipe calls for. After I removed the gills, I stuffed the cap with the mixture and baked it at 400 degrees for twenty minutes.

It looked like poop.


Well, at least in that picture it did. But it was SO yummy and filling too.

Wait… is this better?


Anyway, I’m a bit nervous about this week’s weigh-in since I haven’t worked out like I should have. Plus I’ve been stressed out, which usually translates into elevated cortisol levels which translates into belly fat. (Can you say poster child?) I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. Wish me luck… I have a feeling I’m going to need it 🙂