Monday, February 27, 2006

Super Full

I ate too many chips at the Mexican restaurant. I was only able to eat 1 fajita... so I have leftovers for later this week... but for now I'm super full! Ugh!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Short Day

I have a lot I want to do today, in a small amount of time, as I have to leave for the airport at 5 today. I still have to get to the gym and hem some pants, finish laundry and pack. But I have already made some cookies (to take with today). I tested out the Nestle Toll House recipe with Splenda and Splenda brown sugar. They didn't flatten as well, and taste a little lighter (not so chewy) but still good. I also said goodbye to Karin and Jackson. They visited yesterday and spent the night.

Yesterday Karin ran some errands with me (the library and Byerly's) and then we watched some Oprah and What Not To Wear that had Tivo'd during the week. Last night we watched Sideways. I fell asleep, but I had seen it before so I know it was a good movie! It was nice seeing Karin, we are always good at just doing whatever when we hang out and it's very relaxing! All in all even though it is short it has been a very good weekend!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Undomestic Goddess

I just finished reading The Undomestic Goddess, by Sophie Kinsella. She also wrote all the shopaholic books. Fun book. Very quick read. Not very realistic (much like the Shopaholic books) but light and enjoyable. Great airport/airplane reading!

I have a book I got for Christmas and then I need to get to the library to see what is up next!

Home Today, Gone Tomorrow

I got in late last night. Our flight was over 2 hours late getting in. It was not fun. Traveling is not fun when the flight is boarded 1+ hours late, and then after the doors are shut, they ask people to get off the full flight, because the plane is too heavy. We then flew into a head wind which made us even later, and then landed at the furthest gate from the terminal. FUn fun... the good news was that no one opened a can of tuna.

Of course I am on Eastern Time, so I have already been to a WeightWatchers meetings (with not so good results), spent 30+ minutes on the Elliptical Machine at the Y, and cleaned my bathroom, and started laundry!

Today Karin is coming, and I need to get laundry finished as I fly out again tomorrow. The site I am at is going live on Monday on the new system that we have been training them on, so we want to be out there right away Monday morning. Short weekend. But I am working hard to make it enjoyable still!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Jane

Random, but fun. Found this in my blog surfing this evening:

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Jane!

  1. A rhinoceros horn is made from compacted Jane.
  2. The Jane-fighting market in the Philippines is huge - several thousand Jane-fights take place there every day.
  3. Antarctica is the only continent without Jane.
  4. It takes a lobster approximately 7 years to grow to be Jane.
  5. If you break Jane, you will get seven years of bad luck!
  6. It's bad luck for a flag to touch Jane.
  7. Jane can give birth ten days after being born, and is born pregnant!
  8. A Janeometer is used to measure Jane!
  9. Jane can only be destroyed by intense heat, and is impermeable even to acid.
  10. On stone temples in southern India, there are more than 30 million carved images of Jane.
I am interested in - do tell me about

National Air and Space Museum

Today we had a slow day at work. Unfortunately they were having major network problems, and we were unable to work for most of the day. Unfortunately, we had a lot to get done, but since we couldn't and they didn't have any estimates on when the problem would be fixed, the team lead sent the rest of the team to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum which is just a few miles from where we are working out here.

It was very interesting. It houses a lot of interesting planes, that we got to see up close, such as a Concorde jet. Also the Space Shuttle Enterprise. And the plane that dropped the bomb on Hiroshima, I wish I could remember the name of the plane. All in all it was nice to get to spend some time there since we drive by it everytime we go to and from the airport. We then had a long lunch at Damon's and then a shopping excursion to Target before heading back to spin our wheels on the slow network...

Now back in the room... trying to decide if I should run tonight or tomorrow morning... I'm thinking tomorrow morning, but I'm feeling like I need to do something as our Target excursion produced chocolate...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Travel Time

I'm back in Virginia. Short week with a lot of work... so it'll be good...

I'm camped out in front of American Idol right now. :) I don't know if I knew it was the start of the 3 nights a week... that's going to be tough with Survivor on Thursdays! At least when I'm at home there is TiVo!

I just finished my new Pilates dvd: 30 Minute Quick Start - Pilates for Weight Loss
Very similar to my old video, but more updated... same instructor. but I like this one much better...

And Jennie- I do think the chimichangas will be good without the dairy products. And you could always just top the chimichangas if some people wanted cheese or sour cream...

That's it.. off to watch the girls perform!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Review of Baked Turkey and Jack Cheese Chimichangas

OK. Dinner was great! The chimichanga's were awesome. I will definitely make those again!

Chad approved too! He thought they tasted like my enchilada's, but the only common ingredient was tortillas and sour cream... so maybe it's just been awhile! :)

Baked Turkey and Jack Cheese Chimichangas

Here's the recipe I made for dinner. I'll update the post later on how they tasted! The picture is from the newsletter. Mine don't look quite that good! :) I put half in the fridge to bake for dinner and the other half in the freezer to eat at another date.

I originally found the recipe in a newsletter from Weight Watcher's, but it's also in this book: Weight Watchers Take-Out Tonight! : 150+ Restaurant Favorites to Make at Home--All 8 POINTS or Less

Baked Turkey and Jack Cheese Chimichangas

POINTS® value: 5
Servings: 8

2 serving cooking spray (5 one-second sprays per serving)
1/2 pound uncooked ground turkey breast
16 oz fat-free canned refried beans
8 oz salsa
4 1/2 oz canned green chili peppers, mild, drained and diced
1 tsp chili powder
3 Tbsp scallion(s), thinly sliced
1 cup shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese
8 large burrito-size wheat flour tortilla(s)
1 cup salsa
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a large skillet with cooking spray. Coat a 13 X 9 X 2-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Add turkey to skillet and cook over medium-high heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Drain any excess liquid from pan and then add beans, 8 ounces of salsa, chili peppers, chili powder and scallions. Cook until heated through, about 3 minutes; stir in cheese.
3. Meanwhile, wrap tortillas in foil; warm in oven for 10 minutes.
4. Assemble chimichangas by spooning about 1/2 cup of turkey mixture onto each tortilla; fold in sides and roll up.
5. Place chimichangas in prepared baking dish. Bake uncovered until tortillas are crisp and brown, about 20 minutes. Serve each topped with 2 tablespoons of additional salsa and 1 tablespoon of sour cream.

Just Trying to Keep Moving

I am so sleepy right now, but I do not want to take a nap as I have a plane to catch at 6 am tomorrow. Which I realized earlier means I need to leave home at 4:30 AM!

I ran some errands this morning (aka shopping!) and got groceries for Chad to survive another week without me. I then made dinner which I froze half of (recipe to follow) And in a little while I am going to go get a haircut and color. And then I'll be home to pack for another 4 days! Hopefully I can get packed quickly and I'll have some time to spend with Chad before I have to go to bed.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Good TV!

I am loving Grey's Anatomy. Since I visited Karin in October I am hooked! Plus it's great being able to stay up and watch it without feeling like I'm staying up past my bed time!

Happy President's Day!!!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

In Her Shoes

I just finished reading "In Her Shoes", by Jennifer Weiner. Really good Chick Lit. I know I am stuck on this genre right now, but it's so perfect for traveling! I really enjoyed this. If you liked her book "Good In Bed" you will also really like this. In fact there is a reference to a couple of the characters too.

Now I will have to add the movie to our Netflix queue. Chad's going to love that! :)

Home Again

I got back yesterday morning from Virginia, so I headed into the office for a few hours. Mainly to get my expense report turned in...

Got home, watched a couple episodes of Oprah that had Tivo'd during the week. Yesterday's was very interesting. It was about her push for the "Great Debt Diet". I learned yesterday that according to the expert's on the show that 70% of all American's live paycheck to paycheck which means they generally have enough money to last them for 2 weeks. Pretty crazy. And I know that I have friends who are somewhat in that situation, but it's not like some of the people they had on the show who had 5 cars or who ate out 3 times a day and always used disposable dishes because they didn't like to cook, or had outrageous cell phone bills because they were on their phone 1 of every 4 minutes! It was crazy. It was the first of a series, I believe it will be every Friday that they are going to follow these families and their new "coaches".

Last night I spent switching my phone to Verizon... then realizing I got really poor service in my house, so switched it back to Cingular. So I will have to pay 25% of my bill, but I'd rather do that and be able to use my phone in my house!

Not much else. I'm just looking forward to the 3 days I have off now! Yea, for President's Day!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Back in Virginia

I'm back in Chantilly. but staying at the Marriott Residence Inn. It is much nicer. I am sharing a 2-bedroom suite with another team member, Leah. We just met yesterday, but seem to get a long fine so far (at least I think so).

It is so much nicer, and the sheets don't make me sneeze. Plus the breakfast is sooo much better. Unfortunately our internet isn't working in our room, so I am in the lobby using the wireless right now... Although I did think I found a way to work around the gmail problem on the work internet, because my email works so I can forward my gmail to that and check it... super sneaky... but it's easier to check email at work at the end of the day then come to the lobby... anyways, I'm going to go see if I can get some Pilates in before American Idol!!!!

Sarah- You are still allowed to watch. I was just kidding. I think it's established enough that they won't cancel it this season! :)

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Slow Cooker Chicken-Barley Stew

Yum... I got this in the crockpot right after church today and let it simmer all day. Very good. And only 3 points per serving (1 1/2 cups).

It was also my first experience cooking with barley... although not hard, I did have to figure out where it was in the grocery store (by the beans and rice)

Slow Cooker Chicken-Barley Stew
from Betty Crocker Simple Healthy Recipes (magazine found at the checkout aisle)

3 large carrots, sliced (2 cups)
2 medium stalked celery, sliced (1 cup)
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
2 bone-in chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 lb), skin removed
5 cups water
3/4 cup uncooked medium pearl barley
2 tsp chicken bouillon granules
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp dried thyme leaves

1. In a 4-5 quart slow cooker, place carrots, celery and onion. Place chicken breasts on vegetables. Add remaining ingredients except parsley and thyme.
2. Cover; cook on low heat setting 8-9 hours.
3. Remove chicken from cooker; place on cutting board. Remove meat from bones, and chop into 1/2 to 1" pieces; discard bones.
4. Stir chicken, parsley and thyme into stew. Increase heat setting to High. Cover; cook 10 to 15 minutes longer or until chicken is thoroughly heated.

Makes 6 servings.

Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married

I finished Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married this week. Good book. More chick lit, but I do enjoy that! I have loved all of Marian Keyes' books so far, I think I only have 2 (maybe 3) left.

It's longer, but I was into it enough that 30 minutes on the Stairmaster flew by when I was reading! So I recommend! It's an older book, so check for it at the library.

Classic Chicken Panini

Back to cooking. As I was gone all week, and then we had a holiday party on Friday and lunch with Chad's parents yesterday, I've been out of the kitchen. Last night I made a homemade pizza, as we haven't had pizza since December. I made a "light" pizza. I made low sodium pizza sauce, added sliced tomatoes, green peppers, and turkey pepperoni.. plus kept it light on the cheese. It was really good!

Today I made these sandwiches for lunch. They were very good at around 7 points each. And they were easy. I used my George Foreman grill, but I think you could make them in a grill or frying pan too. Possibly even broil them open faced and then put them together. I have a small George Foreman, and put 2 on at the same time. It probably would have been easier to make one at a time. I just put the rest of the ingredients away, so Chad could make himself the leftovers while I'm gone this week.

Classic Chicken Panini
from Betty Crocker Simple Healthy Recipes (magazine found at the checkout aisle)

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (4 oz each)
1/2 tsp salt-free seasoning blend (aka Mrs. Dash)
1/4 cup fat-free mayonnaise or salad dressing
2 tsp white or flavored vinegar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
4 whole wheat English muffins, split
4 slices (3/4 oz each) mozzarella
4 thin slices of red onion
1 plum (Roma) tomato, cut into 8 slices

1. Heat closed medium-size contact grill for 5 minutes. Sprinkle chicken with seasoning blend. Place chicken on grill. Close grill; cook 4-5 minutes or until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix mayonnaise, vinegar and garlic powder. Spread on English muffin halves. Place chicken on bottoms of English muffins. Top with cheese, onion, tomato and tops of muffins.

3. Place sandwiches on grill. Close grill, pressing to flatten sandwiches; cook 2-3 minutes or until sandwiches are toasted.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

My Google

I discovered this morning, that gmail users can "personalize" their Google page, much like My Yahoo! but it's cooler, because I was able to add blogs (both MSN and Blogger), and the Star Tribune, and a Yahoo! Groups page...

Last Night at the Hampton Inn

I am flying home tomorrow afternoon. It is a pretty early flight, so I should be home by noon, and hopefully won't have to work tomorrow afternoon. Today I rebooked the next 3 weeks here at the Residence Inn. I am sharing a 2 bedroom suite with a team member, so it will be about the same price, plus we will have the room over the weekend, so we won't have to bring home everything week after week...

We'll see, as I haven't met the girl I'll be sharing the suite with, but everyone assures me that we will get a long. And if I'm not sneezing all night it should be good...

We went to Texas Roadhouse for dinner tonight. It was pretty good.

I'm very excited to go home tomorrow. We're going to go to the Hearth and Home holiday party tomorrow night. Should be a good time to meet more people.

That's about it. Time to get back to Survivor!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Day #3 --- A Long One

I just got back to my hotel room about 1/2 hour ago. We went out to a nice dinner a ways (maybe 20 miles) away... Only 3 on my team (the 3 of us here this week) are stationed out of Lakeville. We met up with another team member who works out of Annapolis Junction. It was nice to meet another "face". But it made for a long night. Sitting at dinner was ok, but they talked a lot about work and people I don't know (and may never meet)... so it was a little long for me. I'm sure it wouldn't have been so bad if I wasn't so new. (But now I know how Sarah would feel when her, Steph, Jodi, Lisa, Rebecca, and I would get together and talk about Retek!!!)

It just kind of makes me nervous for more traveling. Plus we only have 1 car, which is hard as it makes me feel like I'm stuck to a schedule... I either have to eat with everyone, or wait until they are back... Maybe when there are more people here in the next few weeks it'll be different.

I'm super tired, and only griping, so I am going to log out and go to sleep.
(Allergy covers seemed to help, but I still asked at the front desk to have everything changed. I can't tell if they did. They did tell me it may be the detergent, so we'll see.

Can You Read This?

Olny srmat poelpe can raed tihs.

cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch! at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a! wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Week #1, Day #2

Last night I went to bed and realized I'm allergic to something in my room. I notice it when I'm mostly on the bed... Today I bought an allergy cover for the pillow, but I'm noticing now that I'm getting stuffed up already.

I also booked weeks 3 and 4 for my work out here. Unfortunately when I booked Week 3, I had to start over as my hotel wasn't available, and then when I rebooked it, I forgot that Monday was a holiday! Luckily the service we use for booking was able to change it for me!

What really sucks about being on the East coast is that the news doesn't start until 11 pm. I wanted to watch the local news too, because Bo Bice was going to be on tonight... oh well... I should be on Eastern time soon for the next few weeks!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Traveling - Day 1

Right now I am in Chantilly, VA. I am here with my boss, and another co-worker. Flew into Dulles this afternoon, checked into our hotel, and then found some late lunch as we flew over the lunch hour. We found a Red Robin. Food was very good. Service was horrible, but still good. and I learned from my co-workers that there is one in Apple Valley.. just don't tell Chad... After lunch we headed to the Fireside Location where we will be doing our training this week. It was a very nice location, and I'm looking forward to learning the business process and the software.

After work we ran some errands and then back to the hotel. I spent 35 minutes on the Stairmaster. Then grabbed some microwave popcorn and a banana, since we didn't go out to dinner as we ate lunch between 3 and 4. Now I'm just enjoying television.. it's weird that How I Met Your Mother was on at 8:30. We're meeting at 7:15 tomorrow morning (which will feel like 6:15, so as soon as Chad calls, I'm calling it a night.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Superbowl Sunday

I know I am going to be tired tomorrow. I was up late last night, and although I wasn't up super early, I didn't have much down time either.

We got up and headed to church, as Chad had told the Pastor's wife that we would be there today, so there were no excuses! :) Then home quick to get some laundry sorted and the first load in, before I headed to meet Nicki to try on some wedding dresses. That was very fun. Of course she thinks she liked the first one she found in WI, but you have to look! :)

Then home again to get the house cleaned up and continue on laundry. I didn't watch much of the football game tonight. I got packed and laundry put away. And the house cleaned up, so I wouldn't come home to stuff hanging over my head. I can kind of see how traveling week after week will get easier.

And I updated the music on my MP3 player and I have a book packed, a Pilates DVD (that I can play on my laptop), workout clothes, and my Soduku book, so I am in travel mode! :)

And now I'm just waiting for the game to be over, so I can watch Grey's Anatomy before I go to sleep!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Short Weekend

The weekend is almost half over. I'm a bit nervous for traveling with my job.. but we'll see. I'm heading to Chantilly, VA this next week. Washington D.C. to be exact. I found myself really crabby this morning, and I finally decided that I'm probably just a little anxious about traveling. As I don't know the people that I'm traveling with real well, and not sure about what we'll even be doing when we're out there. Then there is just being away from Chad and home. And knowing that I go back the following week.

Yesterday, I actually felt like I had a somewhat productive (read: "busy") day, although nothing super challenging, it was better than reading training documents. Last night, Chad went to a work sponsored Happy Hour, and everytime they have one, I always think he'll be home around 7 and we can spend the evening together, but I'm always wrong and then I get mad, because I just sit around. He made up for it today though. He went shopping with me, and I dragged him through the Mall of America and Southdale. He was a good sport. It helped that I bought him things I'm sure!

Tonight we're heading to Hangge's for a party. Should be fun. I'm guessing we'll see how many people his loft can hold...

Friday, February 03, 2006

Happy Belated Birthdays!

Yesterday, I did not post... and I should have, because there were birthdays!

First of all, Happy Birthday to my Mom!!! I won't say how old she is, but she is less than twice my age! So I'm over halfway to being as old as my mom :)

And Happy Belated Birthday to Lisa! She turned 30!!! yeah!!! it's not so bad. I hope she agrees!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Quick Check In

Just a quick check in. Today was day #3 at my new job. So far it is good... A little dull at times, but good. It just takes time to get up to speed! Weird that I am meeting people this week, but now I'm wondering if I will remember all their names as I will be out of the office the next 4 weeks...

We spent the evening at Chad's parents. Today is his dad's birthday so we had cake and ice cream. And some good entertainment from Jana!