We have instituted a temporary spending freeze for all unnecessary items, here at the Team Soell Headquarters which means no new Easter dresses this year. But if I were looking for some cute outfits for me and Lu, these are the ones I would choose.
A couple of years ago I signed up for personal training at my gym. To be honest, it really really sucked. The first trainer they gave me was awful. I won't bore you with the details, suffice it to say he was inappropriate and completely clueless. The second trainer dropped a 65 pound weight on my head, and then I got pregnant and then the workouts got so watered down I hardly saw the point. After I had Lucy I decided to take a stab at coming up with my own workouts. I did some research online, had a Biggest Loser marathon, and enlisted my sister as a workout partner.
I lost forty pounds over the last eight months and while those aren't Biggest Loser numbers, I'm still happy with my progress. As anyone who has attempted to lose a significant amount of weight can tell you, IT IS HARD. Some weeks after busting your ass you barely see the scale budge. Sometimes you do. This time around, I've done a lot of mental work as well. Instead of thinking about what size my jeans are, I have been working on thinking about how strong my body is. Am I a size six? No. Not even close. I probably won't ever be. Am I winded when I get to the top of the stairs? Not any more.
I used to obsess over how much I hated my body, how it looked, how it felt, and what I felt like inside it. After I had Lucy I had a whole different perspective. My body did something completely crazy and wonderful. It grew and nourished another human being for nine months at the end of which it was cut open to bring that life into the world and then it put itself back together. Somewhere along the way, I realized I was fighting a battle with myself that I couldn't possibly expect to win. Hating and hiding weren't going to get me anywhere. I needed to find a way to take care of my body so it could be there for me when I needed it.
I've spent the last eight months putting one foot in front of the other, weaving my way through sleepless nights, hormonal cravings, and depression. My progress has not been fast, but it has been steady and when I fall off the wagon, I do my best to get back on and not just give up. My body is now able to do things it couldn't before and I feel stronger. I'm happy with that.
Every month I try to come up with a new playlist for working out to keep me interested. A good playlist is really important to me because I use the music to push my pace and give me a second wind when I get tired. Andy can listen to podcasts or books on tape when he runs, but I have never been able to do that. I get bored so quickly. I swear the minute I start a workout the monkeys that live in my brain go berzerk. I typically shuffle the list so I don't know what's coming. It keeps me on my toes. I tend to be a pop/rap only girl when it comes to working out. I believe strongly that this is why pop music exists. Maybe some of you can listen to your supercool fancy music when you work out, but I need a strong beat and a loop, dammit. Oh, that reminds me, this playlist is not meant for all audiences. There are some bad words. You have been warned.
Andy travels to DC for work about four times a year and I try to accompany him on at least one of those trips to spend time in the city and the amazing museums. Some of my favorites are the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, The Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.
This time we tried to time our trip so we could see the cherry blossoms in bloom, but with the unseasonably warm weather of the past few months they bloomed early and we barely caught the tail end. Most of the blooms were already gone :(. Oh well, next year, I suppose.
Lucy accompanied us on this trip so I planned an itinerary meant to keep her entertained. We ate a lot of fun food, visited the National Zoo chock full of "PUPPIES!!!" (Lu's word for animals of all kinds), and spent a lot o time jumping on hotel beds. All while Andy slaved away at his office in Arlington.
I had also planned to visit the National Museum of Natural History, but Lucy was having a rough day on day two so we just took it easy taking walks and visiting a nearby park full of actual puppies and a playground.
We are heading back to Columbus this afternoon and looking forward to sleeping in our own beds away from the exceptionally loud slamming doors of the Ballston Holiday Inn.
*All photos taken with the iPhone 4s and processed with Instagram and Camera+
Since we have been trying to avoid grains in our diet, breakfast has been hands down the most difficult meal for me. Grainless breakfast ideas are hard to come by when you aren't the biggest fan of the good old egg. I want to like eggs. They are so pretty. But the truth is I just don't, much to my omelet loving husband's dismay. Recently I've been grabbing something simple first thing in the morning, like an orange or berries but then mid-morning I roast some brussels sprouts with sliced bacon to get some protein in my system. It's easy and delicious and I stay full for a long time.
To start, I preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Next, I chop off the ends of the brussels and slice them into discs. Then I cover a cookie sheet with foil and drizzle some olive oil. From there, I spread the discs out as evenly as possible. I drizzle a little more olive oil and sprinkle some kosher salt over the entire pan. For the last step I grab some kitchen scissors and slice the bacon into half inch pieces and spread out on top of the brussels sprouts. Throw them in the oven for 15-25 minutes and breakfast is served! If I'm in the mood for something a little extra, sometimes I'll mix together some raw honey and balsamic vinegar and drizzle it over the dish after it's done cooking.