Saturday, December 31, 2016

Last Workout of 2016 and New Year's Eve

9:30 AM CrossFit, check! The last workout of the year was a partner one.

Partner A completes 3 rounds of the following circuit:
10 Thrusters (55 lbs)
5 Pull-ups (with bands)
10 Push-ups (with bands)
15 Air squats
20 Burpees

While Partner A is doing that, Partner B does the following until A is finished and the switch.
400 m run
25 Sit-ups

Oh boy, this was tough! My sister did A first while I did B. She got through almost all 3 rounds before time was up for the people that decided to do A first. I got through 2 complete rounds of A before time was up for me, and the next class was coming in. Whew!
I’m closing out 2016 on a positive note:
  • Baked a loaf of chocolate chip banana bread.
  • Vacuumed the house, scrubbed down the bathroom, and did a load in the dishwasher and washer. Ah, a clean house to start 2017 with! 
  • Tried out my new Urban Decay Vice lipsticks that came in the mail today: Alpha and Moshpit.  
  • My sister and Robyn came over to make dumplings and EAT ALL THE FOOD and watch Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince as we waited for the ball to drop. I could barely keep my eyes open, heh.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

12 Days of Strong WOD and Merry Christmas Eve

9:30 AM CrossFit, check! It’s the 12 Days WOD at the box. Last year we had to partner up to share equipment because there were so many people, but this year, the owner asked that you signed up to make sure we had enough space so everyone could get their own equipment. Like the song, you had to do 1 and then 2, 1 and then 3, 2, 1, etc.

WOD, for time, 40:00 time cap:
1 Thruster (55 lbs)
2 Push-ups (on my knees)
3 Box Jumps (18 inch box)
4 Power cleans (55 lbs)
5 Lateral burpees
6 Push press (55 lbs)
7 Walking lunges each leg
8 Wall balls (8 lbs)
9 V-ups (sit-ups)
10 Pull-ups (with red and green bands)
11 Front squats (55 lbs)
12 Barbell step ups (55 lbs)
Time: 39:33

I think I was the last or second to last person to finish, but I finished…and within the time cap! I’m really proud of myself because I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to do it as the final minutes were ticking down. Everyone cheered and went to get a snack (Coach Melissa brought homemade Rice Krispies treats and homemade peppermint bark). RJ was in the same spot that he was in when I left the house.

Christmas Eve dinner was at my parents' house. Several people brought dishes, so Mom wouldn't be stuck making everything herself: Mom made fried noodles, Aunt made vegetable and chicken dishes, my cousin brought a salmon lasagna and another cousin brought potatoes and a sticky rice dish. I finished everything off with my plain cheesecake with blueberry topping.
Then it was time to open gifts. The cousins did a white elephant exchange. I ended up with what my sister contributed: a Regal movies gift card and a pack of gummy bears. My cousin's girlfriend ended up with what I contributed: a nice red blanket. The cousins all chipped in for a new tv for my uncle and aunt. This was the year of cat presents for me: Julie and I gave each other cat t-shirts, Mom gave me a cat mug and cat flannel sheets, and my friend Suzie sent me a stamp with cats on them.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Cards from Crafty Friends

After I went to CrossFit this morning, I checked my mailbox and found 2 Christmas cards from crafty friends: Jen gave me the cat card and Louise gave me the snowman cards. Thanks, ladies!
After I got somewhat cleaned up from the gym, I headed to the office because my friend Reggie said that he left my Christmas present at my desk. It was a large bag with something wrapped in tissue paper. OMG, it was 2 Harry Potter coloring books (that I don't have but have seen at Target) and a set of colored pencils. How nice! :) Ok, he gets extra cookies next year, oatmeal raisin ones (I rarely make those because they aren't my favorite, but I can make an exception!).
I had some bananas that were going to go bad soon, so of course I made a loaf of chocolate chip banana bread. I also made a plain cheesecake for the family Christmas Eve dinner tomorrow. I hope it's fine, since it's not really brown on top like the pumpkin one turns when it comes out of the oven. We'll find out tomorrow!
Julie ordered Five Guys burgers, which I picked up on the way to the house. We watched Zootopia on Netflix (well, I watched half before going home and Julie watched the rest when I left). Check out that Christmas ambiance! :)

Monday, December 19, 2016

Office Cookie Exchange

Last day of work for 2016! I had to make it through a few conference calls and of course, the office cookie exchange today and now, YAY, I'm free!

The office cookie exchange was a huge success. I'm so impressed with the amount of cookies that people brought and the variety: spritz, oatmeal raisin, ginger, orange shortbread dipped with chocolate, sea salt chocolate chip, etc. One of my coworkers even bought milk, as I requested, and not just regular milk, but chocolate milk, almond milk, etc.

One minor thing that happened...I'm not even sure I feel that guilty about it. When I reminded folks last week about the cookie exchange, I was tempted to say "Please please please don't buy anything. If you are not able to bring something homemade, I'd rather that you come and enjoy the treats so that I don't have to bring any of mine home." But I didn't want to come across as a baking snob. At noon today, the treats started trickling into the breakout area. I made an off-hand comment to the few people that were there. "Wow, guys, I'm impressed that there isn't anything store bought here. I was going to mention this during program reviews, but I didn't want to come across as a b*tch." My coworker Michelle whispered to me later to say that the cookies in the glass bowl were store bought and the person who brought them heard me say it. Oh. Wait, what?! (Insert foot into mouth...) A part of me felt badly that I had said that, but the majority of me wanted to be like "I didn't bake my little heart out in my kitchen for over 2 hours to get store bought cookies. Like the ones from Safeway! You even tried to make them look homemade by taking them out of the original packaging! That's SO LAME!" Someone else brought cookies from Potbelly across the street and put them at the end of the table. Like, really? Even if you made cookies from a mix or you brought slice and bake cookies, that would have shown some sign of effort.

Sigh. I guess I am a baking snob.

Anyway, on a more positive note, I'm glad that so many people participated and that there weren't many cookies leftover. Everyone went home with a full tummy and baggie of cookies to share (or not share, ha ha).

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Moana and Rolo Cookies

My coworker Jennifer said that she went with her family to see Moana over the Thanksgiving holiday and that it was really good (both movie and music). My coworker Reggie was going to go with me today, but bailed at the last minute because his cousin's holiday party was last night and he was pretty sure that it was going to be a late night. Meh, no biggie. My sister went with me instead. The movie and the music WERE good. It was nice to see a female character that wasn't chasing after some guy like the typical princess movies. The Rock as Maui was the best! I was also really impressed by the way they were able to make the water and everyone's hair look realistic!

My evening's activity was making Rolo cookies for the office cookie exchange that's happening tomorrow. Initially, I was going to start my Christmas break tomorrow, but with the program review presentations last week, that wouldn't have been a good time to do them. Since I was the one that organized this event (aka sent out a calendar appointment to the office), I figured I had to show up with goodies. The Rolo cookies got quite a few compliments the last time I made them, so here they are again. I made 2 batches so that I could bring some for the coaches at CrossFit tomorrow. I know that sounds counterintuitive...CrossFit and cookies?  Yeah, we're not that kind of gym. For example, when I posted a picture of these cookies on Facebook, the owner commented "Drool" on the photo.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and New Lip Products

I figured since I got my grocery shopping done this morning, I'd reward myself by going to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It's been out for almost a month now, so I was a little surprised that I was not the only person in the theater. I loved the movie!  The baker in me really appreciated that aspect of the film and the last 20 minutes totally made me tear up. I could feel the tears welling up, and when I heard someone sniffle somewhere next to me, I figured it was fine to let the tears fall.

I went to Sephora and Macy's earlier tonight to use my Sephora coupon and get some chocolate for my boss for Christmas. I came out with a hand lotion sampler (to give to my boss in addition to the chocolate), a lip product sampler (that way, I can try some new formulas and brands and I don't have to commit to a full size), and a concealer that's better suited for my yellow skin tone. I find that the drugstore ones aren't yellow enough. I had one of the Sephora ladies help me, and she was super nice about it.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Zoolights 2016

After CrossFit this morning, Julie and I went to Target (came out with 2 tubes of wrapping paper, some fast food ornaments for the tree and chocolate for my office). I came home to shower and then start working on making my Christmas cards.

Tonight. Robyn and I went to ZooLights at the National Zoo (2010, 2011, 20122015) and because she's a member of the zoo, we were able to take advantage of some of the perks. Metro was having issues on Robyn's end so I hung out at McDonald's to stay warm (and use their wi-fi). And then I started to get hungry so I bought a 10-piece chicken nugget box. When Robyn arrived, we munched on them as we walked up the hill to the zoo. The first stop was the Elephant House were the members and their guests could walk through and get snacks and see 2 of the elephants. Some of the freebies we got were a fun size bag of plain M&Ms, apple chips, fruit juice pouches and Nando's Peri-Peri Chicken was there to give away sangria, brownies, and small bottles of their sauces (garlic or hot). Then we went to the carousel. We were lucky to be the first in line when it was our turn, so Robyn took the ferret and I took the bison that was next to it (animals not to size...).

Then we went to the tubing hill. And then it was time for dinner at Open City. I got the hash brown bowl. OMG, it was so good. Nice and filling and warm for this cold night. :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

New Shoes: CrossFit Nano 6.0

A $20.00 off coupon magically showed up in my email recently and I figured this was a sign to invest in some lifting shoes. I've been wearing regular running shoes to CrossFit in the 1.5 years I've been doing it and the extra cushion isn't the best for lifting. One of the most frequent pointers I get is to keep my weight in my heels. I'm hoping that it'll be easier to do that with these new shoes (CrossFit Nano 6.0). I was so excited to put these on when I got home from work! Size 8.5 fit perfectly!

Here's to smashing PRs and keeping up with the boys in 2017!

My Victoria's Secret order arrived yesterday and my Black Friday Ulta order arrived today, so it's been nice to have packages waiting for me at the door when I get home from work (free and fast favs!).

Friday, November 25, 2016

Black Friday Activities

10 AM CrossFit, check! My sister and I went for the Turkey Burner workout. The owner split us up into 4 groups and we rotated through 4 different stations, 7 minutes each. One random thing: I saw one of my former coworkers there, so it was nice to briefly catch up!

7:00 AMRAP: 100 m run, 15 Box Jumps, 30 Air squats
- 2:00 REST-
7:00 AMRAP: 10 DB Push Press, 20 Walking Lunges, 30 Mountain Climbers
-2:00 REST-
7:00 AMRAP: 7 Wall Balls, 7 Burpees
-2:00 REST-
7:00 AMRAP: 400m run/row, 15 Push-ups, 20 Sit-ups

Afterwards, we went back to my parents’ house to eat. We enlisted the help of my cousins and cousin’s girlfriend to help set up our Christmas tree and lights. It only took us 20 minutes since Hugo is pretty tall and with his help, I didn't have to drag a chair along the floor to hang the lights on the columns and up high.

I went home to take a shower and proceed with a productive afternoon!
  • Hung up my Christmas wreath
  • Turned in my mortgage check
  • Got bubble tea
  • Got new Nikes to replace my current workout shoes (25% off!). The afternoon coach gave me a hard time the last time I was at the gym. "Tina, you need to get new shoes. You've been wearing those since I've started coaching here." 
  • Got cardstock and paper to make this year’s holiday cards
  • Sat at the dining table and did some online shopping for Christmas presents for other people and myself, heh. I couldn't help it!  Some of the Black Friday sales were too good to pass up, especially with free shipping deals! I placed an Ulta order and a Zappos order for bright blue Reebok Nanos (CrossFit shoes).
  • RJ watched me from the couch. Maybe he is using telepathy to get me to buy him lots of treats for Christmas.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Whoo hoo, one of my favorite holidays of the year is here! We had a total of 15 people at my parents' house, and fortunately everyone pitched in so that no one person had to slave away in the kitchen, making all the food.

Per tradition, Mom made a turkey for us to eat and my cousin Hugo made a turkey (and flan) so that we'd have some for leftovers. Hugo's girlfriend made some green tea/red bean cakes for dessert. My cousin Peggy brought pies and salad. I brought the pumpkin cheesecake that I made last night. Julie made stuffing. My cousins Emily and Andrew and Andrew's girlfriend brought rolls, mashed potatoes and drinks. My cousin Erick and my uncle and aunt brought green bean casserole and broccoli salad and a cranberry sauce. Yum!
The tripod that I bought at a yard sale a few years ago has really come in handy!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

A Blustery Unproductive Day

I took a shower and put on makeup with the full intention of going window shopping and getting bubble tea and Potbelly, but it was so windy outside! Mmm, nope, no thank you!  Hey, at least I looked good in the comfort of my own home. I did some window shopping online instead. Hooray for the internet and a Harry Potter marathon on tv, bah ha ha.

By dinner time, I figured I should put my best effort to do something productive today. I baked some Rolo cookies to bring to the office tomorrow (I'm glad that I bought a few bags during the post-Halloween clearance sale at Target), cleaned up my kitchen and ran the dishwasher.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Holiday Craft Fair 2016

Whoo hoo, it's that time of year again! :)

This is the fourth year I've done this craft show (2012, 2013, 2015) and by far, the best one!  I was so grateful for the nice weather outside to encourage folks to be out and about. Everyone that stopped by my table was so nice. Most of the comments I got were "OMG, so cuteee!" Ha ha. I recouped my table fee in the first 30 minutes and then $149 after that. Look at that, people DO still care about snail mail! :)  The other awesome thing is that I didn't really make that many cards to prepare for the craft fair; I had lots of inventory left over from last year. I will definitely have to restock to prepare for next year though!

The wind definitely picked up at the tail end of the craft fair, so I retreated back into my introvert bubble...complete with a bowl of ramen, a Harry Potter marathon on tv and kitty cuddles on the couch.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Welcome Back, Mom and Dad!

I stopped my telework day early so that I could pick Mom and Dad up from the airport. They've been in Taiwan for the past 3 weeks, visiting friends and family. Julie asked me if I could pick them up since it was too early for her to leave work and she knew my boss would probably be more flexible. I stopped by the house to pick up the minivan. OMG, driving the van, ugh. Mind you, it's a 2001 Odyssey. It has seen many trips back and forth from 2 colleges and several family vacations. I felt like I had to mash my foot on the accelerator to get anywhere. I'm hoping that my fellow drivers were somewhat forgiving! Heh.

Oh, look, I found a creeper.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Food Prep and Flannel Sheets

My sister found this Balsamic Chicken and Veggies Sheet Pan Dinner recipe online. She shared some with me the past few weeks, and I wanted to make a batch for myself for the next few days. Super easy to do since the oven does a lot of the work for you. This would have been perfect for the fall CrossFit healthy eating challenge except the sauce you pour on top has honey in it. Anyhoo, yay for not having to cook for the next few days. :)
I caved this week and turned on the heat in the house. I also switched my comforter and my sheets (from regular to flannel). It felt so cozyyy! RJ approves.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Life Update

Oh boy!  Whew, wow, is it dusty in here!  (Takes a Swiffer cloth to the blog). 

Hello out there!  I've recently had some folks (thank you, Louise and June) reach out to me to the tune of "Tina, are you okay? You haven't posted on your blog in a while!" Yeahhh, sorry about that! I guess a part of me wondered if my content was getting stale since my day-to-day life doesn't really change that much: CrossFit, crafting, work, food...RJ. And I was just feeling meh about blogging, but the kind messages I received have reenergized me, so I'd like to get back to posting every now and again (as opposed to dropping off the face of the planet).

CrossFit is still going strong. New news: I did cancel my regular gym membership at the end of October because I found the combination of CrossFit and spin class very draining. The relationships that I've made with the people at CrossFit are much stronger than the very few I've made at spin class. Plus, my sister holds me accountable for going to CrossFit, whereas I didn't have that at the regular gym. I just needed to be honest with myself about where money is better spent, and yeah, it's great having that gym membership money not be taken out of my paycheck anymore.
One of my friends asked me to make some topiaries for her parents' wedding anniversary party. One down, one more to go! It's kinda nice to do something new!
We had a fall potluck at the office this past Monday. My contribution was a pumpkin cheesecake. Other people brought green bean casserole, turkey enchiladas, sweet potatoes, stuffing...yum! I got several compliments on the cheesecake and came home with an empty pan. 
My sister and I went to Target this past weekend. I walked by this shirt and was like "Ok, let's not make an impulsive purchase. Let's think about this overnight and see how we feel about it in the morning." Yeah, heh, I went to another Target the next day and thankfully they had these shirts there too, so I bought it. Harry Potter fan for life!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Bench Press Womp

6:30 AM CrossFit, check! Test week: 1 rep max for bench press. I was really hoping for 105 lbs (+5 from my last PR of 100 lbs back in May) but alas, it didn’t happen. However, I was able to do a 1 RM of 100 lbs today with one try, so at least I didn't regress. Sigh…grrr, next time! One of the guys did 235 lbs (?!).

WOD, 7:00
3,6,9, etc. ladder
Hanging knee raises
Dumbbell thrusters (25 lbs per hand)
I got through the 12s and then completed 5 of the thrusters. Whew!

Today's my last day off of my 4 day weekend, and it was good timing because I was feeling discouraged and down about the workout this morning. It's only a 5 lb increase, why couldn't I do it? Maybe it's more of a mental block? It kinda sucks to put in the work for a 6-week strength cycle and not really have anything to show for it (at least I PRed yesterday on squat cleans!). I took a shower and then did some organizing (threw away some beauty products that had expired, collapsed some boxes, put some plastic recycling together) and after a nap and some food, I felt better. Heh.

RJ also smacked me in the face when we were playing peekaboo. I was laying down on the edge of the bed and he was on the floor. Grr, you jerk!  At least he didn't use any claws.

Oh, and my Milani Cosmetics order came in yesterday (ordered TH, delivered MON, wow!). I didn't know because I hadn't checked my mail box yesterday and then when I got an order complete email and checked the tracking, it said that it had been delivered! Yay, I can't wait to try this new stuff out.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Testing Squat Cleans and Custom Wedding Card Order from the Office

6:30 AM CrossFit, check! It’s test week, and today we tested out 1 RM for squat cleans. After 3 tries, I was able to do 100 lbs. It was down to the last possible minute, but I did it! I had to sit down on the mat right after because my body was like "Ok, let's take a little break, right now."

21 push presses (55 lbs)
15 front squats (55 lbs)
9 pull ups with green and red bands
I got through 2 complete rounds, and 8 of the push presses in the 3rd round. The goal was 5 rounds. I don’t think anyone was able to hit that, so I don’t feel bad.

When I got home, since I was already sweaty, I trimmed the bushes outside the townhouse, vacuumed, and scrubbed down the bathroom. Not bad for a day off and before 9 AM. I also went to deposit a check and run by Ulta (I bought a few lip liners using my 20% off coupon, 3 from NYX and 1 from Rimmel).

Before I went to Jacksonville for vacation, one of the girls at work asked me if I could make a custom wedding card for her friends upcoming nuptials. I was thinking she'd want something flowery, but nope. She had a specific request.
I was wondering if it might be possible to have the two main characters of the card be a marmot and a bear. That would be a very personal card for them! Front of card: “Whoever thought that a marmot and a bear would get married?!?” Inside of card: “Best wishes in your new den.”
Ummm...ok, sure. Internally, I was thinking, "What's a marmot?  Like a groundhog? I had to google it first to double check.  Here's the card that I came up with. I sent this picture to my coworker, and she really liked it, so mission accomplished! :)

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Performance Review

On this year's annual performance review, I received an "exceeded expectations" rating! I was hoping for that because when my teammate left last summer, I took on some extra work on top of the work that I currently do. It was nice to have the hard work pay off.

A celebratory shopping spree was in order, of course:
  • New cat mug.  Bah ha, it even looks like RJ. I think he'd have the confidence to rock some pink sunglasses.
  • New makeup and make up brushes from Milani and ELF (purchased online, hopefully it'll be shipped out soon!).
  • New crafty items: ink pads and liquid pearl pen for Joann's. The ink pads were already 50% off and then I had a coupon for 20% off your entire order (sale and original priced items).
  • New underwear from Victoria's Secret. The sales associate gave me one of those tickets that you tear off to reveal a coupon/deal. Mine was for a free full-sized lotion. I've never tried their lotion before, and yikes, they have quite a selection. I didn't want to take forever trying to pick one out, so I went with something safe: vanilla. And now I smell like cake! :)

Monday, August 22, 2016

Payment in Challah

Ugh, first day back from vacation. I got my CrossFit workout in this morning. We worked on our overhead squats and I had to decrease my load by 5 lbs to 50 lbs because 55 lbs was hurting my wrists. For the WOD, we did Fran and even though I took longer than I did when we did the workout last year, I was able to handle more weight.

I had 2 loaves of Michelle's challah bread waiting for me at the office, as payment for watering her vegetable garden the week of August 8. She made two smaller loaves, one for now and one for the freezer, but truthfully, it's so delicious that I don't think either loaf will last very long.

My brain must still be on vacation. I went to CVS to get some candy to refill the communal candy bowl at the office. I had 2 coupons to use, but the self-checkout machine didn't want to take them. What the heck? The CVS employee asked me if I had scanned my card yet. Oh. Um, no.  Heh. Blah.
I had just a good time in Jacksonville, so I thought it would be the right thing to do to send some snail mail to Page, her brother and her father for being such good hosts.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Jacksonville, Day 4

On my last full day in Jacksonville, Page and I wanted to host a dinner. On our way back from St. Augustine yesterday, we stopped at some grocery stores to get what we needed for dumplings. And we spent the majority of the morning wrapping them while watching the Olympics. Her cat provided moral support.

When it was time for dinner, Page's dad, brother (he brought sangria) and grandfather came as well as 2 family friends (they brought a salad). We had quite a feast. Her grandfather had never had dumplings before, but it looked like he really enjoyed them because he kept going back for more! It was a really great way to cap off the vacation. I'll be sad to go home tomorrow.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Jacksonville, Day 3

Layla, Page's part-time cat, was outside to hang out with me and Page as we waited for Brightman to pick us up so that we could go to St. Augustine.

In St. Augustine, we decide that the best way to see everything was to take the hop-on-and-off trolley tour and not have to walk in the oppressive heat. While we waited at our first stop, we checked out the first drugstore, which had all kinds of weird stuff behind the glass. It was cool to hear about the history and the widespread influence that Henry Flagler had in the area.
About halfway through the tour, we decided to hop off and find some lunch. The Columbia Restaurant was suggested by Page's friend, and what made it even better is that they served some awesome sangria, which we had to try of course. Page was clearly very excited.
I ordered the ropa vieja (Page got a salad and Brightman got something with mussels). The sangria was so good that Brightman bought the mix to make some for the family dinner that we're hosting tomorrow.
We went to an Asian grocery store and Publix to get some supplies for the dumplings that we are making tomorrow. I made sure to give Lilly some cuddles when we got home to relax and watch the Olympics on tv.
One cool thing that Page showed me was a Winnnie-the-Pooh box of all the cards that I've sent her over the years, starting in 2008 (I think). It was funny to read the stuff I reported on as I took a trip down memory lane. The bird card in the bottom right is card #50.