Monday, March 12, 2012

A Week in the Life - Day 3

* I know I'm crazy behind on posting these, but I did keep up with taking my daily pictures and jotting down notes of what I did. I just got behind on posting them to my blog due to being busy over Spring break, going on a mini-vacation, etc...*

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I woke up to a dreary, rainy morning and trudged on into work at 8:00am where it was time to get back to work on those dreaded annual preformance reports:

For lunch, I had more of the same leftover chili and in the afternoon I finally turned in the finished version of the report. YAY! Around this time, Jason called me to let me know his dad (who is a truck driver) was going to be driving through the area in a few hours and would be stopping by to have dinner with us and spend the night before he got back on the road (this happens once or twice a month and is awesome that we can see him so frequently now).

When I got off work, I ran home and changed the sheets on the guest bed and then did some vacuuming in the living room in anticipation for John's arrival:

Our living room. I love my Dark Tower prints and the bad ass 1970's floor to
ceiling lamp my dad recently refurbished and gave to us. So awesome.
Later that evening, me, Jason and John went out to our favorite local Mexican restaurant, Casa Fiesta, for dinner and stuffed ourselves with delicious Mexican food and plenty of Margaritas.

After dinner, we went back to the house and sat around chatting for a bit.

Jason's dad, John. The best father in law I could ask for!
Not long after we got home, my Grandma called to tell me that the woman with the nursing service who was supposed to take the night shift with my Great Aunt, called in sick. My Great Aunt Millie is 94 years old and recently hurt her back. She's in terrible pain, and has needed assistance with going to the bathroom, etc...My Grandma hired a service to take care of her because she wants to remain in her home, but with the call-in, there was going to be no one there overnight to help her in case she needed to use the bathroom or get up. My Grandma asked me if I would care to sleep on her couch and just be there for Aunt Millie if she needed me. She said she'd pay me $15/hour, which is what they pay the nursing service. I of course would have done it for free, but she insisted on compensating me.

After saying goodnight to Jason and John (and Gimli!) I drove over to McCreary Manor where Aunt Millie lives. She was already in bed asleep, so I stayed up until about 11 PM reading Brisingr, then went to bed. It was an uneventful night, but I was happy I could help out.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Week in the Life - Day 2

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Today I woke up to a beautiful day in the Bluegrass state:

It was warm and sunny, so I headed into work. I am one of those people that absolutely cannot eat right when I wake up, so I usually wait until I get to work and eat my breakfast there around 9:30 am. A few weeks ago, I made a large batch of breakfast burritos and froze them. This morning I heated up an egg, black bean, red pepper and salsa burrito and had it with some water.

Next, it was time to get to work. Back to updating our 2011 annual reports on our courses.

Are you jealous?
I stopped around noon and ate my lunch which consisted of water and some of the delicious chili Jason whipped up on Sunday night for our weekly lunches. He used one of Guy Fieri's recipes and it was awesome.

Then, it was back to work until 4:30 pm. When the clock struck time, I was out of there as fast as I could move in order to soak up some of the gorgeous weather. I literally live 5 minutes from my job, so I was home sweet home in no time.

After doing a few chores, I went outside with Gimli and did some reading in the sunshine.

By 6 pm, it was yoga time! On Tuesdays, my mother-in-law, Cheryl, and I go to an hour and 15 minute long yoga class. We've been doing it for about 2 years and love it. Tonight we had a wonderful vinyasa-style class with plenty of sun salutations.

I got home from class around 7:30 and my wonderful husband had dinner on the table waiting for me. Tonight we had baked chicken, sauteed spinach, and potatoes with mushrooms. Tasty!

After dinner, it was time for lazy time. Jason and I browsed the internet together looking at prices on cabins in Gatlinburg, TN for a possible trip.

After about an hour of searching, we found the perfect cabin at the perfect price and booked it for a few days for next week during our Spring Break from EKU. It's going to be awesome. :)

After booking the trip, we watched the new :

Then it was time for bed. We went upstairs around 11:00 pm and I read in bed until about 11:30. Then it was lights out. :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Week in the Life

I'm stealing this blog idea "challenge" from my friend Daggers. The idea is you document a week in your life with pictures and words. Fun! So without further ado, here is my week, February 27th - March 4th.

Monday, February 27th, 2012

On my usual Monday's, I get to my job at the Stratton Building on Eastern Kentucky University's campus at 8am.

My office!

Other side of the office
I work for the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium as a research analyst. We are an organization that provides  rural first responders with free disaster preparedness training all over the U.S. Today at work, I was super busy running the numbers for our 2011 Annual Performance reports. Fun stuff. :P It was probably a boring day to begin this blog challenge, because while I normally get off work at 4:30, I had to stay late until 6:30 today in order to get some things done with these reports.

When I left work, I ran over to the other side of campus to pick up Jason who was just getting off. When we got home, we spent a few minutes playing with this little man:

Then, Jason went over next door where he is currently painting the neighbor's laundry room for them while I got started on making dinner. I tried out a new recipe tonight called "Unstuffed Peppers Casserole". Imagine making the stuffing for stuffed peppers, but then chopping the peppers and mixing them into it and pouring it into a baking dish. Cover it with bread crumbs and bake. D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S. This is going to go into the regular rotation.

Nom Nom Nom
After dinner, it was time to get in our pajamas and veg out on the couch after a looooong day at work for both of us. We watched the most recent episode of:

We're crazy about this show. I want to go on it so badly. I'm telling you, Jason and I can win this thing. With my travel experience and his competitive streak, we'd be a force to reckon with. Couples on this show always fight like dogs and sabatoge themselves with their poor communication. Jason and I literally NEVER fight and never take our stress out on each other, so I'm sure we could avoid that common pitfall. Now I've gone off on a tangent, but the point was, I REALLY want to audition for the Amazing Race. :P

Around 10:00 PM, we both went upstairs to get ready for bed:

I <3 my bedroom
Jason was passed out by 10:10 pm (I swear I've never seen anyone fall asleep so quickly in my life as he does). I got in bed with my booklight, a cup of tea and:

Currently obsessed with these books. I want to be a Dragon Rider, dammit.
....where I read until 11:30 pm and then it was off to dreamland, bringing an end to my thrilling Monday.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post and do your own challenge if you're so inclined.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Kangaroos in Kentucky

This morning I called into my favorite radio program, the Z-ROCK 103 Morning Show. The topic being discussed was "Things you tell people that they never believe". On my whole drive into work, I debated calling with my story and then finally broke down and called in with my famous Kangaroo sightings story. Quite a few people have asked me to go into detail, so here it goes:

When I was a senior in high school (9 years ago...I can't believe it's been that long, sheesh I'm getting old), I was driving home from my boyfriend's house one Saturday night around 1am. I was driving down Barnes Mill Road going back to my mom's house (Richmond folks - this was the in-town Barnes Mill Rd., so I was literally a half mile from campus when this happened) when I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. I looked over and saw a large animal HOPPING through yards next to my car. All of a sudden it darted from a yard out into the road right in front of my car. I slammed on the brakes and stopped in the middle of the road. The animal stopped as well and I got a perfect look at it for around 10 seconds as it stood illuminated in my headlights. It wasn't a dog, it wasn't a deer, it was a freaking kangaroo. It looked exactly like this:

Hellooooo Erin. I'm a kangaroo.
 We both stared at each other and then it hopped off behind someone's house. I immediately went home and woke my mom up to tell her. She totally didn't believe me and neither did my sister. They both insisted I had seen a dog. Trust me, if you see a kangaroo, there is no mistaking it for any other animal.

A week goes by and again, it's Saturday night and I'm coming home at 1am from being out with friends. I see the kangaroo again! This time it's hopping around in yards near my mom's house. The next day, I tell other members of my family and friends. No one believes me and jokes around that I must have been drinking.

A few weeks later, I get a call from my mom one evening. When I answer, she immediately says "I will never doubt you again. I just saw a kangaroo in the backyard". It turns out, she was taking my dog outside to use the bathroom when Ginger started going nuts, barking near a large bush. My mom said the bush started rustling and shaking and the kangaroo hopped out, looked at her and took off hopping in the opposite direction. This helped reassure me that I wasn't crazy. Haha.

That was the last we've seen of the Richmond, KY Kangaroo. However, in the years since, I've done some research and found information such as this that discuss kangaroo sightings in Kentucky:

Also, while called into the radio show this morning, the host Twitch did some internet research while I was on the air and talked about how he found other reports of kangaroos in Central Kentucky and even an article about a circus train that derailed in the late 1800's. I further looked around about this and found 3 different circus railcars that derailed or crashed in Kentucky during the 1880's. I'm currently doing some more research and will post with any updates I find.

Have any other Kentucky people out there seen a wild kangaroo?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Newfound Passion....Bikram Yoga

I have found a new love in my life...Bikram Yoga. For those who don't know, Bikram Yoga is a 90 minute long series of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises, each preformed twice. This series is done in a 105 degree room, kept around 50% humidity. Does that sound miserable to you? Well, I'm not going to lie, it is. 105 degrees is freaking hot. You pour sweat, get dizzy, mentally curse your teacher and would do anything to just get out of the heat. However, once the 90 minutes is over and you've stepped out of the hot room (what Bikram Choudhury himself calls the "torture chamber"), you can't deny just how amazing you feel. Plus the benefits of practicing this form of yoga are numerous.

Benefits of Bikram Yoga

• Tones and strengthens all major muscle groups down to the bone
• Increases balance, strength, and flexibility
• Builds cardiovascular strength & respiratory balance
• Promotes weight loss (the general consensus states that one class burns around 700 - 800 calories)
• Strengthens and restores all systems of the body
• Reduces the risk of sports injury and accelerates recovery time
• Heavy sweating helps detoxify the body
• Increases concentration and focus power
• Improves productivity & energy level
• Reduces the effects of stress
• Makes your skin glow
• Brings all systems into perfect balance, mind, body, and soul

With benefits like those, how could you not want to try it? :)  Anyhoo, my journey with Bikram began when I bought a Groupon to the Bikram Yoga Lexington studio for a month of unlimited practice for only $30. After a little bit of Internet research, I convinced my sister, Lindsay, to go with me and we went to our first class on March 8th. Man oh man. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. When the teacher tells you at the beginning of your first Bikram class that your only goal for the 90 minutes is to just manage to stay in the room, you know you're in trouble. LOL.

I managed to preform the different asanas for about half of the class and spent the other half sitting on my mat and towel, dripping sweat. Poor Lindsay just laid on her mat for about 80% of the class with her eyes closed, looking like she was about to die. However, about 10 minutes after class ended, we both noticed we felt wonderful and, surprisingly, invigorated. We came back the very next day and it was remarkable how much we both improved and how much more of the class we were able to complete, even after a mere 24 hours.

We've been attending Bikram yoga classes together for over 2 weeks now and I have already started to see some benefits. I have always had extremely dry skin and needed to apply lotion several times a day. Since practicing Bikram, I've noticed that my skin is much softer and far less flaky. I'm now only applying lotion once a day, in the morning after I shower. I've also noticed my posture is improving. The 2nd half of a Bikram yoga class is spent on the floor, doing different spine strengthening and stretching poses. I can tell these are really paying off and are reshaping my spine. I'm normally terrible about slouching while sitting and standing, but I'm beginning to notice that my back is beginning to ache when I'm NOT standing up straight now.

However, last night during my "regular" weekly yoga class, I noticed the my most remarkable improvement to date. When we went into our first downward-facing dog of the night, my heels sunk right into the ground. I was blown away. I've been practicing yoga for several months now and my super tight hamstrings have always been an issue for me. In downward-facing dog, my heels always hovered about 2-3 inches off the ground, no matter how much I stretched and pushed back my hips. We did several more down dogs throughout the class and each time, heels on the ground. I even tried another out on the living room rug when I got home just to make sure. Yep, still happening. I'm super impressed that just 2 weeks of Bikram yoga has helped loosen up my hamstrings so much.

Downward-Facing heels now look like this. Haha.

There is a lot of controversy surrounding Bikram yoga and it's founder, Bikram Choudhury, such as the fact that he patents and franchises his brand of yoga, his type of yoga doesn't focus on enough on the spiritual aspect of the practice, etc... I for sure do not agree with all of Bikram's principles (I'll save that for another post), but I can assure anyone who is looking for an intense workout that makes you feel amazing afterwards...Bikram yoga is where it's at.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water: A Trial

Wow. I'm horrible at blogging. Like really, really terrible at it. I promise to write more, then don't. One of my plans for the new year is to really try to document more of positive changes (mentioned in the earlier post) that I have planned for myself.

Anyways, today I want to talk about something small, easy and yet incredibly beneficial, that I've started doing for my health. For the past few days, Jason and I have both drank a glass of warm lemon water immediately upon waking up. Lemon is a type of "super" fruit as it is a rich source of vitamin C and it also contains vitamin B, riboflavin and minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium as well as proteins and carbohydrates.

Here are a few of the health benefits of drinking lemon juice:

- Good for stomach and liver

Lemon can help relieve many digestion problems when mixed with hot water. These include nausea, heartburn and parasites. Due to the digestive qualities of lemon juice, symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, bloating and belching are relieved. By drinking lemon juice regularly, the bowels are aided in eliminating waste more efficiently. Lemon acts as a blood purifier and as a cleansing agent. The intake of lemon juice can cure constipation.Lemon juice acts as a liver tonic and helps you digest your food by helping your liver produce more bile and flush out more toxins. It also eases the amount of phlegm produced by your body. It is also thought to help dissolve gallstones.

- Beneficial for skin
Lemon, being a natural antiseptic medicine, can participate to cure problems related to skin. Lemon is a vitamin C rich citrus fruit that enhances your beauty, by rejuvenating skin from within and thus bringing a glow on your face. Daily consumption of lemon water can make a huge difference in the appearance of your skin. It acts as an anti-aging remedy and can remove wrinkles and blackheads. Lemon water if applied on the areas of burns can fade the scars. As lemon is a cooling agent, it reduces the burning sensation on the skin.

- Good for Weight Loss

Lemon water can act as blood sugar stabilizer that keeps metabolism up and weight loss moving along. Drinking lemon water first thing in the morning upon rising can stimulate the body’s natural cleansing and detoxifying processes.

- Controls High Blood Pressure

Lemon water works wonders for people having heart problems, owing to its high potassium content. It controls high blood pressure, dizziness, and nausea. While lemon is an acidic fruit, once it interacts in the body it becomes very alakaline, balancing acid levels throughout the body, creating a more stable enviroment, which in turn lowers many ailments such as high blood pressure.
- Good for treating Rheumatism

Lemon is also a diuretic and hence lemon water can treat rheumatism and arthritis. It helps to flush out bacteria and toxins out of the body.

- Acts as a blood purifier

The diseases like cholera or malaria can be treated with lemon water as it can act as a blood purifier.

Anyhoo, after much research earlier in the week, I decided to give drinking lemon water a go. Yesterday morning, immediately upon waking up, I stumbled down into the kitchen and squeezed the juice from one whole lemon (my research indicated that those weighing 150lbs and over needed to use the juice from an entire lemon to achieve the maximum benefits while those under 150lbs only need to use the juice from 1/2 a lemon) into a warm glass of water. Then I chugged it down. I really like the taste of lemon, so that wasn't a problem for me, but I was gagging a bit, mainly due to the fact that I'm not used to drinking a large amount of water that early in the morning. Today, it was much easier drinking the lemon water and I'm sure it will only get better from here on out as it becomes routine. Be sure to drink the lemon water on an empty stomach and wait about 30 - 60 minutes before eating breakfast. Oh, a quick tip if you start doing this, after drinking your lemon water, immediately brush your teeth as the acidic juice can be damaging to your tooth enamel.

Since I'm only on day two, I can't report if I've noticed any significant changes or not from drinking the water, but I can say that I really have felt less bloated (TMI?) than I ususally do throughout the day. So who knows, I'll report back more as I get further along.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Geez, I went more than a year without a blog post. FAIL. I get on here all the time to check other blogs I follow, but haven't even glanced at mine in forever. Well, today I've decided to resurrect it from the dead. First I went back and read over my old posts. W.O.W. It's amazing to me how much my life has changed in the past year. Notable ch-ch-ch-changes that have taken place:

  • I mentioned in a previous post that Jason and I were house hunting way back in April 2009. In late October of the same year, we found our dream house. I had mentioned that we were looking for "with at least 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a decent sized yard. Also, we'd prefer a basement, but that's not a necessity". Well, we found all that and more at an amazing price. On December 18th, 2009 we became the proud owners of a 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom, 2 living room, 2,400 sq. foot home with an enormous backyard, huge double-leveled deck and a full basement. LOL. Being a homeowner has proven to be a massive amount of work, but let me tell you, I wouldn't trade it for anything. Good riddance landlords, rentals and throwing away money!

  • Also in December of '09, Jason proposed to me. :) It was completely unexpected and my exact first words to him when he got down on one knee with a ring were "What? Really? Are you serious?" Haha! We both knew we'd like to get married at some point, but I never expected it to be anytime in the next couple years. Now the big day will be October 9, 2010....only 46 days away!

  • Looking at another old post, I no longer work 4 jobs. Haha, I can't believe I did that as long as I did! Actually, later that fall, I was in fact working 5 jobs at once when I taught a class at EKU. Fortunatly, all that ended in January of 2010 when I was hired by the Justice and Safety Center at EKU as a Research Analyst. I quickly quit all the other jobs (except the teaching) and now work M-F, 8-4:30 and make much more with one job than I did with all 5 other jobs combined. It's a wonderful job that I've been at for almost 9 months now with great people, work, hours and benefits. I couldn't have asked for a better way to begin my career.

Anyhoo, I want to use this space to begin tracking my progress with big changes I've been making in my life over the past year and new goals including, but not limited to:

  • Work we're doing on our new house

  • Up-coming married life (wow, that trips me out just thinking about it!)

  • My new healthy living lifestyle and weight-loss

  • My continued spiritual journey of finding love and happiness in myself, my family, my friends, the world, the environment and the Universe

  • My on-going study of astrology.

  • My future plans to pursue a law degree.

  • Up-coming travel plans we're working on

  • And any other randomness that enters my head.

Stay tuned...I have big things eventually planned for this blog. :)