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Monthly Archives: June 2011

sh*t my spin instructor says

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So I’ve gotten to where I actually like spin class, and I’ve been trying to go at least once a week, if not multiple times. I like most of the teachers, with the exception of one who shall remain nameless. She’s just not motivating, and she talks way too much during class.

She’ll say things like, “You should be dying to stand up. You should really, really want to, but I’m not going to let you!” Or “Your quads should be burning right now…like, really on fire!” I mean, yes, my muscles are burning, but usually with other teachers I’m so into it that I’m not focusing on the pain. Another thing: She uses the same playlist. Every time. Even if the music is bad in a spin class, as long as it’s not the same damn thing every time, it’s not so bad.

There’s another instructor who isn’t necessarily a favorite but is still…entertaining. He plays a mish-mash of music and says the strangest things during class. For example, one class had a Michael McDonald-heavy playlist followed by two gospel songs at the very end, followed by some elevator music that sounded curiously like “The Girl from Ipanema.” Other times he’ll play R&B/pop hits from the 80s/early 90s. I feel like I’m riding a bike while watching Splash or Mannequin.

And as for the things he says…it’s always interesting to see what’s going to come out of his mouth (TWSS). Here are some of my favorites:

“Are you wet? Mmm-hmm, I know I am; I want you wet!” (during a particularly sweaty spin session)

“Oh, you know I have to get you all wet and then take you to the bedroom!” (while playing a sexy slow jam as we stretch post-class)

“This is the kinda music you play down in your basement, when you’re with someone special and you’ve got the red light bulb on.” (more slow jams)

“I’m so excited! Are you? You know I’m wearing these bike shorts so I really can’t hide it when I’m excited!” (singing along with the Pointer Sisters during jumps)

“During this next track, you’re really going to be sucking it down.” (referring to “sucking in wind” during sprints)

And another favorite from Body Pump:

“Squeeze those buns! If you don’t, no one else will!”

“Work those glutes! Do you want jelly or do you want jam?!?”

Needless to say, the class is actually pretty fun/funny and goes by fairly quickly. It’s almost worth it to go just to wait for the ridiculousness to come spilling out.

Does anyone else have any exercise instructors who are as, um, entertaining?

my father’s daughter

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I know, I know…it’s not Father’s Day. But Sunday was, and I didn’t get a chance to blog about my awesome dad—I was too busy having dinner with him and thanking him for helping me track down tires for my car!

Christmas...dad had an unlimited supply of those scratchy plaid shirts.

That’s my dad in a nutshell. He does so much for me, and most that come to mind immediately are automobile-related. Oil change? Call dad. Engine running hot? Call dad. Horrible wreck on the side of the road involving an overturned Sunfire and a disfigured magnolia tree? Uh…call mom, and then have her call dad.

Dad has an eye for fashion. Fun fact: He STILLS owns that shirt he's wearing.

My dad is also the one with all the answers. This bothered me when I was younger, because he thought he knew everything, and only now do I realize that he kinda sorta does. It’s hard to admit because I am just like my father: hardheaded, stubborn, and yes, smart. I call my dad for the final word on most everything, because I just need him to tell me it will be alright. He’s talked me down in a lot of situations, and he’s gotten me out of many scrapes.

Like that time he saved me from that bear...or is that a gorilla?

Other things my dad has given me? My green eyes (his are more brown), a great head of hair, a (sometimes) short temper and a strong work ethic. He’s worked very hard to build a good life for himself, his wife, and his two girls. After the steel mill in our town (which supported many, many families in our community) shut down, my dad was forced to find something new after almost 25 years in the same job. But he did it.

My grandfather, my dad’s dad, passed away unexpectedly when he was only 71. My dad was 46. I remember seeing him break down in a way that I didn’t think dads were capable of; I thought dads were too strong for that. Dad always told me that he never got enough time with his father; 46 years just wasn’t enough.

No, no dad—YOU'RE number one 🙂

My dad will be 60 this year. I find myself striving for his approval more and more these days. I want him to like me. I want him to be proud of me. I want him to see me, and know that he was a positive influence and that he’s been the best father I could ask for.

I love you, Dad.

bok and roll

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If you’ve ever read my friend Mandy’s blog, you might know that she actively supports local farming by participating in a CSA. Last year, she bought the Grow Alabama box, but after disappointment regarding some foreign avocados, she decided to make a switch. Lucky for me, she asked me to split a CSA from Snow’s Bend in Tuscaloosa, a farm that my friend Jason also supports.

The first few weeks were a little sparse, but still delicious, with strawberries, lettuce mix, green onions, radishes and greens.

But the last few weeks, the crop has been both bountiful and beautiful. Mandy and I alternate weeks, and for my last few pickups, I’ve received quite the haul.

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Spring onions, carrots, broccoli, radishes, lettuce mix, butter crunch lettuce, baby bok choy and strawberries.

I can’t get over how precious these carrots look! I remembered to follow Sarah’s advice and cut the tops off immediately after I brought them home so as not to let them dry out.

The bok choy really interested me, and Jason informed me that it was one of the best veggies they produce at Snow’s Bend.

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(That’s the bok choy off to the right.)

I wasn’t sure how to cook it, but I was anxious to try it out. My first experience involved stir-fry, but it didn’t turn out quite how I wanted it to. The leaves were a little rough-looking, and I don’t think I chopped it up in the most efficient manner.

From what I recall of the way bok choy tastes, I lump it with celery or cabbage, though I’m sure some would disagree. After a little thinking, I knew just what I wanted to do with it: egg rolls.

In fact, every single thing I put inside these egg rolls, barring the seasoning and the celery, came from the CSA loot.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Egg roll wrappers
1 small baby bok choy
approx 4 medium carrots
one green onion, chopped from tip to almost the base of the root
one rib of celery
finely chopped broccoli, approx one small head
olive oil
ground ginger
soy sauce (I used lower sodium)

Preheat the oven to 350.

To start, make sure all your veggies are chopped and ready to go. For the bok choy, I cut off the base, just enough so that the tender leaves separated.

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It’s the Russian nesting doll of vegetables—at the end is the itty bitty baby bok choy. So cute!

You may need make additional cuts as you get closer to the inside. Inspect for dirt and wash thoroughly. I then cut the leaf from the heavier part, using diagonal cuts, separating the leaves.

2011-05-31 19.01.30On the left, the first cut; on the right, the second cut to strip away the rest of the leaf.

I then stacked several leaves and cut them up into strips; set them aside. You can also roll them up tightly and then slice.

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For the rest of the veggie, dice much like you would celery,and  make a few extra chops so that there aren’t any pieces that are too big.

2011-05-31 19.13.10 Peel the carrots and grate in a food processor (the best time saver EVER). Chop the green onion and celery. (Tip: I cut the celery into strips length wise, making about three cuts, then diced.) Chop the broccoli into small manageable pieces.

Heat about 1-2 tsp olive oil in a skillet or wok (preferably one with an accompanying lid). Toss the bok choy (but not the leaves) in, along with the carrots.

_SC09504Add the celery, then the onions, then the broccoli.  Sprinkle approximately 1 tsp ginger and about 1 tbps soy sauce over the veggies.

When the broccoli is bright green, add the bok choy leaves, remove from heat and cover.

To make the egg rolls, separate one wrapper from the stack. Moisten the edges using your fingers and a little water. (That’s what she said.) Make a small pile of the filling in the center of the wrapper.

2011-05-31 20.42.05(Camera was out of commission for a while; hence the fuzzy cell phone pictures.)

Pull one corner up and over, and fold the edges in (it’ll look like an envelope), then roll upwards. Continue on until you run out of filling.

Spritz a foil-covered pan with some olive oil, then line the egg rolls up. Give the rolls a another mist of oil, then pop in the oven for about…ten minutes? I just kept an eye on them. Then flip over (they should be a crusty brown) and bake a few more minutes.

_SC09510 Served with your favorite dipping sauce or plain, like I did! Soooo good.

I think that spinach and mushrooms would have been a good addition to these. You could even add meat, if that’s your thing. (Please know that amounts are all approximate, and I mostly tried to make sure everything looked balanced in the skillet.)

I suggest you head to your nearest farmers market this weekend and get rollin’!

oh, yeah—another April milestone

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I almost forgot another big moment in April when I was doing my whirlwind month recap

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Three years with this guy.

Hard to believe, but Jonathan and I have been dating for (over) three years.

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It all started back in 2007 at JSU, where we first *really* met. Emphasis on the really, because we’d had two brief encounters before we actually had a real conversation. Oddly enough, we went to college together for four years, in the same department, and we never met.

167877_583242127509_156801544_32707603_3596102_nWe were a pretty unlikely couple, he and I. To some, we couldn’t be more opposite, our biggest division being political: he, a staunch conservative; I, a tree-hugging liberal.

5611_536395084359_156803730_31533254_3954110_n  But we make it work. Our differences are what bring us together; he is my Mr. Right (Wing).

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I never was the relationship girl, and I feel like I’m living proof that love hides in the most unexpected places, and it truly does happen to you when you least expect it.

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Because honestly. Who would have put the journal-toting, tree-hugging, can-recycling liberal lady with this straight-laced, clean-cut conservative “fraternity man”?

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Well, maybe he’s not as straight-laced as he looks.

155157_576983080689_156803730_32566427_6612795_n Differences or no, it’s been a good three years, never short on surprises and fun times. I love you, babe.