Honey, I’m Home (almost)

Well, not yet.  But the house search is going really really well!  I honestly can’t believe the amazing homes we’ve found in our price range; such large square footage, very close to Steve’s work, turn-key ready.  Seems almost unfair, given that our “starter house” will be better than any house either of my parents have ever lived in.  What we’re sacrificing though, is location.  To get such a great price per square foot, and to get a large modern home, we’ve stuck to looking in the northern edge of Austin.  The closer you get to downtown, the more expensive and the more updating that needs to be done.  So we’ll still be about the same distance from downtown as we’ve been the past three years, but we’ll have a great house we can be proud of right off the bat.

The next step is to get a pre-approval letter from our broker, and we’re meeting with her tomorrow over lunch to get that done.  Yeah!  We plan on being moved into our home by the end of April.

As of today it’s 24 days until our wedding.  The final payments for vendors are stacking up FAST.  There’s still a list of about ten things that HAVE to be done by the time the wedding rolls around.  I’ve also decided I would like to even out my coloring with some tanning sessions, so I have to try and fit that into my already jam-packed schedule.  There just isn’t enough time to go around these days, but it’s all because of really great reasons!

House Hunting

Steve and I are having our first meeting with a realtor in just a few hours!  Our budget isn’t very large though, so they’ve definitely got their work cut out for them.  We sorta came to this decision all of a sudden.  Our lease is up soon, the tax credit is ending soon, and Steve is really tired of paying rent and not building equity.  So on Tuesday I called a realtor recommended by some friends of ours that bought a home recently, talked with a mortgage broker that night, and now we’re gonna go over what our parameters are and look at some areas today.  It’s a big leap!  Our price range puts us in the fixer-upper category, but Steve seems nervous about having to do repairs and upgrades.  And my work is based here in the apartment complex we live in, so I’m not sure how that’ll be managed when/if we move.  Still exciting though!  I’ve been looking at properties online for about 2 years now.  I know enough to know we can’t afford what/where we’d like.  That’s about it.

In other news, I ended my South Beach Diet Phase One yesterday with oatmeal.  I lasted 12 days.  And I had NO energy.  Today?   I feel like running outside, and I haven’t felt like doing anything but nap for almost two weeks!  I even took a nearly three hour nap yesterday afternoon following that bowl of oatmeal.  I’m looking forward to being able to work out hard again, and do Bikram.  Really missed the Bikram.

Tonight we’ve got a housewarming an hour’s drive north of here, and then hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to convince/guilt Steve into going to a core class with me.  I plan on telling him to think of it as our “date”.  It’s free, after all!  Plus, got some reading for school (boo) and cleaning and errands to do.  33 days until the wedding!

I Fel Pretty, Oh So Pretty

On the agenda for this weekend:

- go shopping for wedding bands

- get an oil change

-buy a gift for a baby shower I’m attending

- go to said baby shower

- gym/jog on Saturday, and Bikram on Sunday

- pick my youngest sister up from the airport and take her back to her dorm in San Marcos

- a new client interview

- laundry

- clean the bathrooms

- other random things that need to get done before I go back to classes

I tried out Lara bars today, the apple pie flavor (yum) and the cashew cookie flavor (eh, I didn’t finish the bar).  Do they really only have, like, two ingredients in them?!?  The box we bought at Costco has those two flavors, and also cherry pie.  Now I want to try the other flavors I’ve heard of, like key lime pie and coconut cream.

Breakfast was pretty big today.  Kellogg’s Special K fruit and yogurt flavor, 2 protein pancakes from http://www.heathereatsalmondbutter.com with some pumpkin cream cheese spread on them, and cantalope.  Then a packet of Quaker instant oatmeal before going to see my wedding dress that had arrived, and Sonic mozzarella sticks and low-cal cherry limeade before it was yoga time.  After yoga, I was certain to drink the full serving of Gatorade I had brought with me, then had Progresso Chicken Noodle soup for dinner with 1.5 Lara bars.  My after-dinner snacking consisted of 3 unfrosted strawberry muffins and some pretzels.

I felt so much better after my yoga having had the Gatorade.  Thinking Gatorade was just fancy sugar water, I used to only have one or two sips after class to clear the sweat taste from my mouth, and then I would switch to all water to rehydrate.  And I was getting soooooo tired within an hour of finishing class.  The kind of extreme fatigue that would extend into the next day.  I finally brought this up to Steve, and he asked how much of the Gatorade I was drinking.  Bingo.  So this time, I felt like myself an hour after class, when normally my energy would be crashing.  I’ll be drinking the full eight ounces from now on!

Today was not only the day my wedding dress arrived, but it was also my first time wearing those short shorts that so many of the girls wear to Bikram.  And I felt fine!  I thought I would look so bad, and be so self conscious, and that wasn’t the case at all.  In fact, it made the poses a lot easier to do because there wasn’t any material restricting my thighs when I had to get in squat position, like for awkward pose and tree pose.  Before class I hit up the Academy near me and bought a whole slew of workout gear.  I went in there intending to buy just a sports bra (rather than do laundry), but then a pair of shorts on the sale rack caught my eye (they were only $2.88!!!), and then the beast was unleashed and I started grabbing things to buy without even trying them on.  Two pairs of shorts, a sports bra, and 7 sweat wicking tops later, I got home just in time to pack up my yoga bag and jet off to class.

48 days until my wedding, and 50 until Paris!

The Final Countdown

50 days until my wedding!  Still a ton of things to do (and make final payments on), but we’re moving along and I’m confident everything will be done on time.

My classes start up again on Tuesday. *sniff sniff* I have to make the drive from NW Austin to San Marcos FOUR days a week!  I really don’t know how I’m going to fit in healthy eating, wedding planning, managing the business, studying, AND working out, but somehow it all has to be done.  While I was on break I planned my workouts a week ahead of time, putting them on my iPhone calendar, my Google calendar, and on my spark people page, so I could see at a glance, wherever I was, what I had coming up.  I’m just going to have to schedule the workouts, which will have to now predominantly be in the morning – and I don’t like working out in the AM but for these next 50 days I’m gonna have to grin and bear it!

I found my perfect pair of brown leather riding boots for Paris!

They’re Cole Hann with Nike Air technology, rubber soles, and have inside zippers for easy on and off.  Love them so much, I bought them last night and already wore them out.

Today I woke up s-t-a-r-v-i-n-g, so cereal was my fast answer for that.  Kashi Go Lean crunch, almond vanilla flax flavor, along with the usual cup of coffee.  Still on the fall spice flavor.

Lunch was a new recipe for me, from http://www.heathereatsalmondbutter.com.  Her protein pancakes are very tasty, and very filling.  I highly recommend them.  The recipe is on her website.  I spread a thin layer of  pumpkin flavored cream cheese on the two pancakes that I got out of the recipe.

And for dinner, leftover tostada pizza from California Pizza Kitchen (this was Steve’s Wednesday night dinner, I had my current obsession – their tortilla soup!).  We got CPK on Wednesday at the mall location before heading over to Nordstrom.

Then a late night snack before heading over for the last 40 minutes at the gym:

These are extremely tasty and satisfying.  Good thing, cause we bought them at Costco, which means we’d have a lot of nasty bars if we didn’t like them.  We’ve done this before with raisins, 100-calorie pack snacks, and a few other things, but that’s all I can think of right now.  Time to go get a few miles in on the treadmill before the gym closes!

Shake N Bake

Been a bit absentee this weekend, but that’s because I was super busy getting wedding stuff done (and doing the dog biz thing.  That’s me bundled up for weekend dog walks).  I LOVE crossing things off a to-do list, and I make lots of them.  There’s lists for the business, list for weight-loss, lists for projects around our home, errand lists, lists for school, and now lists for the wedding!  So it’s good to know the wedding planning is moving along and it’s not going to end up being just a really expensive afternoon (this was a legitimate fear because until yesterday we didn’t have anyone to marry us!).

Moving on to the food . . .  I’m still not very good about taking pictures.  In fact, just about the only times I take pictures of my food is because Steve reminds me to photograph it!  We had some yummy pizza this weekend from my new favorite pizza place, Austin Pizza.  We were going to try their gluten-free crust, until we saw it can only be done for the personal size, and costs $5 extra (50% of the original cost).  I’m not officially a celiac, I just know I get sick when I eat bread-type things.  Oh well!  Love me some pizza anyway.  That was Friday night.  Even though we have a pizza stone, we needed something quicker.    That’s the only restaurant food we got this weekend (yeah!).  I even resisted when we met the officiant at Starbucks, and we even have Starbucks gift cards.  I just don’t need the calories!

I got an app for my iphone over the weekend, called Lose It!.  It’s free, and it helps you see your calorie deficit for the day.  You decide how much weight you want to lose each week, and it tells you how many net calories you should consume each day to reach that goal.  It tracks your food and your calories and keeps a running total.  Sparkpeople tracks each of those too, but it doesn’t put them together to tell you your net.  It’s also  not as easy to use for tracking as sparkpeople, but I like that net calorie feature.  I’m currently using both.

We’re coming out of the chill that’s been over Austin for about a week now.  If it would just get a little warmer, then I could go back to running outside.  With my asthma, I really don’t like to run in temps lower than 50, or when it’s windy.  And the treadmill is so boring!  I have to play mind games with myself just to keep going, or I visualize that I’m outside.  If you see me staring straight ahead at nothing, but it seems like I’m looking at something and you can’t figure out what, I’m visualizing myself running outside.

Tonight Steve and I are trying a plyometric class offered at our gym.  I’ve never taken a class focused on that, and it lasts an hour.  Hope it’s not too impossibly hard, I’m really not in the mood to be embarrassing myself!

Breakfast today was a banana, 3 turkey sausage links, an Activia yogurt with fiber added, and (not pictured) two sliced of Sara lee low-cal wheat bread with butter and blackberry jam.  Lunch? Coffee, pretzels, and three mini Heath bars.  Dinner was sweet baby greens with carrots and ham, with a side of steamed broccoli with a slice of  kraft american melted on top.  When we got back from the gym I had some 1% milk with Nestle Quik (I hear chocolate milk is one of the best things to have after a workout).

A Snackaholic

Yep, that’s me.  Addicted to always having a little somethin’ somethin’ before my next somethin’ somethin’.  I love eating, and I fool myself into believing I’m spreading the calories around by having a little here, a little there.  Because inevitable, I always cave and have something BIG.  Breakfast is usually good, then the snacking begins.  Lunch usually still isn’t too bad, but then about an hour after lunch I get into that borderline area of leaving myself with very little calories for what is usually my biggest meal, dinner.  I’d say about a third of calories are consumed after 6pm.  I’ve come up with low-cal snacking options, I’ve tried having larger breakfasts and lunch.  It’s more about the amount of time I go without the actual act of eating something.  Gum has proven helpful, but I don’t want to chew 5 pieces of gum everyday.  So what to do?  For now, I’m trying to counteract the extra calories with lots of exercise.  That’s how I used to deal with it when I was at my most fit point.  But truthfully, I need to be snacking smarter – healthier. It’s a daily struggle, my ongoing inner battle.  I’m open to all suggestions of low-cal, tasty, pre-packaged snacks.  Stuff I can buy, since I’m not really into food prep!

My Sushi Has a First Name

Steve and I decided to skip core class in favor of going out for sushi.  Our favorite place here in Austin for sushi is Kenobi.  While there we realized we haven’t gone to a restaurant for sushi in over FOUR months!  We’ve definitely cut down on the going out to eat since I started in July trying to shape up for our wedding.  Here’s some pics from the restaurant:

To start: Rib eye maki – this will become a regular thing I order.  It was rib eye wrapped around sweet potatoes and avocado and cooked to medium with teriyaki glaze.

Then we split two rolls.  Here’s the seven and a half, with spicy tuna, salmon, yellowtail, avocado, unagi sauce, spicy pepper paste, and jalapeño mayo, served tempura.

The Don #2 is what I always order.  It’s crab, whitefish, avocado, baked with masago sauce and served with ponzu (whatever that is!).

Here’s our spread:

They have these neat flower looking lights I really like

Yummy!

I can’t remember what our dessert was called, but it was little tiny balls (about the size of a golf ball) of ice cream in rice gummy-ness.  All of the flavors tasted exactly like their descriptions.  From left there was dark chocolate strawberry, dark chocolate eggnog, mango, and pumpkin.  My two top favorites were the pumpkin (which tasted  like pumpkin pie) and the dark chocolate eggnog.

Whose that handsome couple?