Archive for April, 2010


Back to the Secret Stuff

I’m back up in Northern VA doing some seriously fun secret stuff.  I really can’t believe I get paid to have fun – and look what I get to drive –

A 2010 Dodge Charger.  Oh yes.  But, of course, when I told hubby how fun it was to drive, he only said “because it’s new.”  I suppose, as the professional car guy, he would know 🙂  It was definitely a bit nerve-wracking since I have to be so careful driving this (on top of navigating a city that I don’t know and communicating on radios while important folks listen in), but it’s worth it!

Some other fun things about being up here –

  1. They have WEGMAN’S and it has the biggest gluten-free food section that I have ever seen!                                         Aisles & aisles of pure magic!
  2. I am a mere 45-minute drive from my BEST FRIEND! I have not seen Dana bug in months, so I am looking forward to catching up with her.  She has a new house and a new pup since I last saw her.  Ch-ch-ch-changes…   We were so snazzy back in 2003, weren’t we?!  I just love her!
  3. I may not be able to stock the fridge (since this one is broken, but I am too lazy to repack and change rooms), but there’s a Subway within walking distance of the hotel (Ooh.. and a Tropical Smoothie!) and I can get great dinners like this –  Yes, I must use a hotel towel as a   and the bed as my dinner table, but I don’t mind.  They have free wi-fi and I can blog my heart out.  Go Wyndham!
  4. I have my very own “On Demand” freebies including exercise videos!   After tonight’s cardio, chest and tricep session in the hotel gym, Rock Hard Abs and Bootylicious Buns were on the menu!  I anticipate much soreness in my 48-hour future. 
  5. The tv in my room rocks a good selection of channels, including ABC and Dancing with the Stars, which I’m now missing…  so I must take leave.

What’s the best amenity that you could ask for in a hotel?  The gym?  A fridge to hold good eats?  Free exercise on tv?  Or something else?



Yes, I hate it when people say that word as a replacement for “vacation” but as someone who is less than 2 months from departure date, I will say it as much as I want.  In 52 days, I will be on an airplane with this destination in sight:

That beautiful, beautiful island is Kauai, Hawaii – also known as the Garden Isle.  Not only did I get lucky in marrying such a hunky man.  I also married a man whose grandfather lives in Princeville.  His backyard:

And what we looked like at the last visit (back in 2003):

It will feel so amazing to go back with Steve’s family and be in much better shape.  7 years ago, there was no way I would have hiked toward the Na Pali coast in my chubby state, but I am so amped to see it all this year – to hike, run and just enjoy the Hawaiian air and fabulous views.  This time, I’m doing it with my husband, my in-laws, 2 new sisters-in-law, a new brother-in-law, their lovely friends/significant others and my new grandpa! 

In my excitement, I have done a little shopping.  A new body has required new clothes and while I love that my older things are too big for me now, I really hate spending money on clothes.  Luckily, we have a plethora of consignment stores nearby that I can scour for dresses, shorts and tanks.  So far, I’ve found 2 new pairs of denim shorts and 3 dresses for less than $100.   I have to wait for the next paycheck to do anymore shopping though.  Sad, I know!  I still need some new bathing suits.  Apparently, they are not as easy to alter, so new ones are on the list!  I don’t think I have bought a new bikini in at least 3 years.  I’m overdue!

Do you have any vacations planned this summer? 


Here, there, everywhere

I just haven’t been here.  I have been a sucky blogger, no?  I have not, however, sucked at life!

I finished one of my April goals just a few days into the month – I ran a 5k at Mt. Trashmore in the beautiful weather that we have been blessed with.  Despite the icky layers of yellow, the sun has been shining and the birds are singing.  Everything is blooming or, by now, turning green. 

There’s far too much to rewind and chat about so I’ll just hit the highlights –

*Easter was spent with my family having a yummy dinner and catching a flick with my hubby (Clash of the Titans, to be precise, and I highly recommend it!)

*I switched up my work schedule at the gym while our opener was on Spring Break.  It was nice to spend some evenings off!

*I bought a fancy new cooler to take my healthy food to work.

*I filled it with some yummy snacks

*I made some rockin snacks like these Wasa crackers topped with tuna and Laughing Cow.

And I tossed together some Tofu Shirataki noodles, mushrooms, spinach and marinara for a tasty Italian bite.


* Mom’s birthday was this past Sunday, so I tried my hand at baking – and made a successful angel food cake, courtesy of Betty Crocker’s plaid cookbook.  I think this was my proudest baking moment EVER. 12 egg whites makes a whole lot of foam and once I mixed in the cake flour and sugar, it was a beautiful pile of clouds!

When I pulled it out of the oven, the aroma and appearance made me giddy – I couldn’t wait to de-pan it, but I had to cool it upside down to set. 

According to Betty Crocker, for 1/12th of this cake, there is only 161 calories, no fat and 4 grams of protein.  Let me just tell you that 1/12th is a TON of cake.  It was amazing with fresh strawberries but, most importantly, my momma had a wonderful birthday cake.  It was loved by all – even my picky hubby!  Thanks, Betty Crocker!

* I also spent mom’s birthday catching up with my furry loves –

Cuddly, loving Jack

& sweet, soft Norris

* I got an amazing package last week as well and must send many, many thanks to Lara of Thinspired for having an Amazing Grass giveaway that I could win 🙂  Check out the goodies! Chocolate SuperFood powder, individual Green SuperFood packs for my on-the-go adventures and 4 bars 🙂  I haven’t been able to try the bars but the Chocolate powder is amazing!  I was a bit skeptical about how “green” it would taste, but it gives a great, extra boost to my pre-workout shakes. You’re the best, Lara!  Thank you so much!

* Steve & I had another new activity to add to our lists this week – we ventured to a giant pet/supply store called Animal Jungle in Va Beach.  We have been discussing pets recently and were hoping to see some Sugar Gliders.  Sadly, they had been sold just days before, but they had some adorable Chinchillas to giggle at, as well as many birds with fabulous personalities.  We were shocked to see a $10,000 Hyacinth Macaw.  Who knew birds could cost the same as a car?!  He was quite beautiful and seemed extremely intelligent, but man oh man..  That’s a costly pet!  The store could be part zoo – they had one of these guys hanging around:

He was definitely not for sale, but he was being housed here.   We could have spent hours in the store looking at all of the unique creatures.  It was quite a day and I am glad that we are doing new things – including visiting pet stores!

I’m stuck at home now, in bed, after another round of skin biopsies.  At least it gives me an excuse to catch up on my Google reader 🙂



The joys & pains of a gym job and April goals

On most days, at most times, I really like my job.  I get to see many of the same faces each day and I have taken a genuine interest in their lives.  I like to discuss our weekend plans, keep up with what’s going on with their family members (the college moms and dads are the best!) and, of course, discuss their progress with health and wellness.  When a regular member comes in in an obvious funk, I want to sympathize with them and lend an ear if they need it.  I love these members and they make my days so much better!  Many of them keep up with certain aspects of my life as well and offer sage wisdom on occasion – especially when it comes to better job opportunities.

Then, there are certain members whose very presence makes my skin crawl or whose personalities drive me completely batty.  Needless to say, tonight brought in one of those members that fall in the former category, which inspired me to create a list of my most-annoying traits in gym members (when I happen to be working).

  • Members who don’t return the “Have a great day!”, “Enjoy your weekend!” etc. that they receive from me upon completion of their workouts, thanks to the earbuds still blasting tunes in their ears.  It leaves me feeling like an idiot.
  •  Members who insist that it was my fault that they missed a payment and were refused entry into the gym.  I’m not your mommy!  Make your damn payments on time – they come at the same time every month.  How hard is it to write it on a calendar or schedule your Blackberry to remind you!  No, I will not call you to remind you a few days before you are due.  If I did that for all members, I would spend my ENTIRE shift on the phone.
  • Members who complain about the hygiene of other members to me, expecting me to take care of the awkwardness that comes along with telling them.  Grow up!  If you have a problem with someone, tell them (unless, of course, it isn’t really a problem and you are just overly sensitive).  I will not be your mediator!
  • Members who insist on telling me when one paper towel holder has run out of towels, even when a full paper towel holder is  feet away and there are multiple automatic blow dryers (this usually happens right in the middle of peak hours).  I will not stop what I am doing to refill paper towels at the expense of customer service.  Use the automatic dryers.  Save the planet.
  • Members who share the same joke with me every time they come through the door.  For example, I always ask members how they’re doing on that particular day.  There are those members who always say something along the lines of “well, I’m here, but I don’t want to be.”  You’re alive and healthy enough to be mobile and active.  Take care of that gift because one day, you may not have it!
  • Members who show up at 30 minutes to closing, fail to heed my announcements – “The club will be closing in 15 minutes.”  They shower at 5 minutes to closing and make me stay 30 minutes past closing.  It’s already late.  Is it really that hard for you to shower at home and show me some consideration?  I do have a husband waiting at home for me and would love to get some sleep!

After many, many years in customer service, I am well-practiced in doing everything with a smile, even when I am being yelled at.  I grit my teeth and move on with my day, but it always helps to vent and laugh a bit in the process.

Vent over.

I am a bit shocked that it is already April 1st.  For some others, that means a celebration of April Fools Day and much prank-pulling.  I’ve done a couple of April Fool’s Day jokes, but I had nothing planned this year.  Many moons ago, when deciding between graduate schools, I chose April 1st to tell Steve (we were in year 4 of dating at the time) that I would be attending GMU in Northern VA.  He was wonderful and accepting, although clearly downtrodden.  When I finally told him, he was pretty upset – more than I thought he would be.  No more “serious” jokes for my hubby.. at least not for a while.

Last year, just 2 months before wedding day, I think my facebook headline read something like “Heidi guesses she may have to let out her wedding dress in the waist just a bit.”   I could not believe how many people actually fell for that one.  Isn’t pregnancy one of the most common April Fool’s jokes?!  This year, no pranks, but I will celebrate the 1st of the month by looking back at last month’s goals and setting some new ones for myself.

1. Eat less fruit – I’m not quite sure how well I succeeded on this front.  On days that I don’t work, I don’t munch quite as much mid-afternoon.  My word evenings still involve at least 2 servings of fruit after 6pm.  My tummy/digestive system still doesn’t agree with me on most days (if you get my drift), so that really leads me to believe that the fruit is not involved.  I just began taking a digestive enzyme supplement by Now.  It’s only been about a week, but I haven’t yet noticed a difference.

2. Change up the Workouts – I have lessened the amount of warm-up cardio and am incorporating more weights with some  circuits.  I have not had my body fat checked to say for certain that it is decreasing while I am increasing muscle (and quite frankly I am not ready to), but my arms have felt much stronger this month, so I have high hopes!

3. Incorporate New Activities – I am so proud to say that I got hubby out of the house and shocked myself this month.  Steve and I took an afternoon off to check out the Virginia Aquarium which we haven’t done since I was in college!  I also found my way back to a park that I haven’t been to since high school and begin an outdoor running regimen.  I have never had much endurance with running, but on my first trip to the park, I knocked out over 2.5 miles without stopping – my longest run ever!  I was so excited and loved being able to celebrate the return of beautiful weather!

So, of course that leaves me with some things to accomplish in April. 

1. Set an appointment for body fat testing – Yes, it scares the poop out of me, but I am eager to see how I am doing on fat loss and increasing muscle mass.

2. Snack before 10, period!  – I am notorious for popping a bag of popcorn and munching on it between 10 and 11, or later on nights that I close the gym.  Yes, I eat it VERY slowly!  Not only do I not need the carbs/calories right before bed, but I also want to make sure that if I do snack late, it includes a bit more protein.  Perhaps it will aid the digestion issues… (On a side note, I am not doing so well on this goal since I am sitting here, at 11:06 pm, eating popcorn.  Fail.)

3. Run a 5k distance outdoors without stopping – I am definitely distance-driven and not time-driven and I want to participate in at least a 5k and 10k this year.  This seems a good starting point and should be aided by the great temperatures!

4. Participate in another new activity with hubby – I don’t ever want to become complacent and I love the feeling when we experience new things together.  It’s like opening another new chapter or checking something else off of the to-do list. 

I love this time of year and the association of spring with “making things new” or “freshening up” and there are many aspects of my life that need refreshing.  Did you have any March goals or make any new goals for April?  I’d love to hear about them!

Hi Ya’ll!

Hiya! I'm Heidi, a 28-year-old "retired" student living in Virginia. I am a newlywed and currently on the hunt for a full-time job that will use either my Biology or Secondary Education degree. In the meantime, I work in retail and at an event venue part-time. When I'm not working, I love to kill hours at the gym, scrapbook, and act as a domesticated diva to keep my hubby happy!