Tag Archives: exercise

It's finally spring

After flirting with the 40s and 50s all through the month of May, Chicago seems to have finally decided that tomorrow it will be springtime–Saturday is the beginning of an 8-day stretch (according to weather.com) that will be solidly rooted in the 70s and 80s. It’s a good thing, because I turn 28 this weekend and I did NOT want to celebrate in a near-freezing drizzle.

Skirts and shorts and capris, welcome back to my life! Furry winter legs, begone!

This weekend my plans are as follows: I will be getting my very first pedicure with my friend and bandmate Carrie, going on a birthday date with my husband, dealing with the overflowing laundry baskets (before they mutate and become a monster named Shrork or a monstress named Shrorquette), shimmying over to my in-laws where the word ‘grilling’ has been mentioned, and exposing my ivory skin to as much sun as possible so that ‘ivory’ can slowly transition to ‘pasty’, and ‘pasty’ can slowly transition to a mere ‘white’.

Did I ever tell you that a few weeks ago, when I wore capri-length yoga pants to my Capoeira class at the gym, a woman pointed at my pale, pale legs and burst into laughter? Then she started speaking loudly in Polish to her group of friends, who all turned towards me and laughed their heads off too. True story.

Adios amigos! I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend!

A candy drawer and a Keurig

I have a candy drawer.

Ok, well, not ‘me’ personally.

There is a candy drawer at my job. Here it is:

Let’s take a peek . . .

Mmm, look at this little guy. What a tempter.

This candy drawer is kept fully stocked by my boss. The kind of candy that lies therein varies, but my downfall are the Snickers and Reese’s–and recently, the Almond Joys. This drawer has held me in its thrall on and off throughout my employment. Right now, I’m happy so say the thrall is off. Off, off, off! Perhaps because for the past couple months I’ve been bringing homemade cookies with me that satisfy my morning sweet tooth?

Cookies such as these . . .

or these . . .

And even this delightful quickbread (recipe coming tomorrow), which kept me going all of last week:

I only experience the sweet tooth in the mornings–really. Just look at my recipe collection for evidence: it is dominated by savory fare. So if I can make it past about 11am without giving into temptation, I’m usually home free.

I’m glad I’m in a non-candy drawer phase in my life, because almost a year ago I realized this drawer might have been involved in some . . . weight gain. The weight gain that caused me to no longer fit into various and sundry skirts, jeans, and pants. The moment I realized that my most favorite and basic black business pants had gone from a comfy classy fit to a skin-tight version in a matter of months, I chose to start saying: NO! to that drawer. I wanted my pants to fit in the old way. “I’m sorry, honey,” I said to my husband, “I know you don’t mind my new butt, however I like my old butt. I like looser jeans! I want to have a tiny tush again!” So I plugged my ears to the siren call of those crackling little packages of sweetness and I joined the gym, where I worked out on the elliptical 3 times a week for 2 months. Every other week, with hope in my heart, I broke out my black suit pants. And interestingly enough, over 2 months time, the fit of those pants didn’t change one bit.

Let’s pause and take a moment to reflect on the tiny tush that was.


The small derriere to which I will probably never return.


Now why the elliptical didn’t burn off some of the jigglies, well, it’s still a mystery the likes of which I may never decipher. Never mind though–even if I didn’t lose weight, I had the chance to discipline my mind. Right? And isn’t my mind more important than my tush anyway? Right? Yes? Right? Okay.

So in order to keep my current wardrobe viable, I stay away from the candy drawer. Except for every now and then, when I have a piece of chocolate with my morning coffee. It’s all about balance anyway.

The guys in the plant (yes, there’s a factory attached to my office) go through the candy pretty fast, and since there’s no knowing what may take the place of my favorite treats, I have a second candy drawer at my desk.

Hidden behind the tub of tacks is my ‘in case of an emergency’ stash.

Those candy bars have been in there for a good 6 months, folks. But it comforts me to know they’re waiting, just in case. Just in case what? I can’t quite say. In fact, my secret candy stash is starting to sound eerily familiar. Like I’m in the middle of some kind of deja vu. Like maybe this isn’t the first time I’ve hoarded candy. Huh–weird.

But enough about candy and bottoms. Let’s make a journey to the kitchen area of my little office, where a new treat awaits.

It’s this Keurig coffee maker.

My boss was tired of disgusting office coffee and comissioned me to order something fancy. Thus, the Keurig.

I used it at the Pioneer Woman’s Lodge thinking I would never enjoy its delights again, and now, lo and behold, I have access to it every day. Its flashy blue lights make me feel so . . . sophisticated. Classy. Like maybe I’m wearing fancy pointed snake-skin heels and going to the spa, instead of shuffling around the office in my socks.

Yes, I do that. How else am I going to feel the comforting effects of the foot heater I keep under my desk??

We’re in the process of trying out all the different flavors of coffee, and identifying our favorites. The coffee comes in these cute little pods:

Then there’s figuring out ideal temperature settings, and the perfect brew-size-to-creamer ratio. So much to be analysed.

When I turn it on in the morning, it takes a good 5 minutes to tell me ‘ready to brew’ on the display screen.

I’ve been using those precious 5 minutes to do pushups against the wall, squats, and lunges. Give me a few more months with the Keurig and I’ll be the friggin’ buffest coffee drinker in the office!

Okay, I’m usually the only one in the office. So I guess I’m buffest by default.

Wow! I’ve never been ‘buffest’ before, and I’ve got to say–it feels good!

The exercises continue as I access my stash of creamer:

15 seconds in the microwave is good for at least 5 deep squats.

Why hello little lady! I think I’ll call you ‘The Jenninator.’ Or do you prefer ‘The Jenninatrex’?

Goodbye old and gross coffee pot that we always neglected to wash.

Mr. Coffee will never again have me cringing as I drink my A.M. java.

What are your morning coffee routines and temptations? And how does that relate to the fit of your favorite pair of classy black business pants? I’m all ears.