Sunday, January 29, 2012

Our Next Home...

Looks like a normal house in Winter Park only this one is on Key Biscayne. $8.5 mil!

Bowl o' Rum

The cups weren't big enough for 'Chryle' sized rum'n'cokes....

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Jimmy Buffett Miami 2012 Set List

List of songs played on 1/28/12:

1. The Wino and I Know
2. License to Chill
3. Cuban Crime of Passion 
4. 5 O'Clock Somewhere
5. Grapefruit Juicy Fruit 
6. Come Monday 
7. Jamaica Mistaka
8. Pencil Thin Mustache
9. Everybody's Got a Cousin in Miami 
10. Volcano
11.  Cheeseburger on Paradise
12.  One Particular Harbor
(break) Creola
13. Knee Deep (cover Zach Brown)
14. Havana Daydreaming
15. Get Drunk and Screw
16. Margaritaville
17. Last Mango in Paris
18. Changes in Latitude Changes in Attitude
19. Son of a Son of a Sailor
20.  Pascagoula Run
21. Pirate Looks at 40
22. Back Where I Come From (cover of Mac MacNally)
23. Southern Cross
24. Fins
25. We Are the People our Parents Warned Us About
26. Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season

Last Mango in Paris

Last night our friends Kyle and Rachel arrived for our Jimmy Buffett weekend. Last night we enjoyed 4R followed by Kyle's Key Lime Pie and margaritas.

Now we're about half way to Miami. The concert starts at 7pm, tailgating at 5pm. Rachel is trying to get as much studying done as she can since she has to take a big exam on Monday. The rest of us however plan to chill in Miami until Monday afternoon.

I love mini vacations and maybe after tonight I'll love Jimmy too.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Another Manic Monday

Tonight we felt like being chefs. Earlier Chris went to a new local butcher shop and got some naturally raised and fed, local ground Chicken.  While I made red sauce Chris made us some meat balls.

I started with chopped onion and lots of garlic, added chili oil, salt, pepper and dried spices, once those flavors had mingled (and delightfully filled my house) I added a large can of pureed tomatoes and let the whole thing simmer for an hour.

Chris mixed the ground chicken with some spices and bread crumbs, then placed them in a pan and rolled them around until crispy. Then he covered the pan and left them on low for a bit to ensure the poultry had cooked all of the way through.

We added both of our masterpieces to a bed of linguine and topped it off with a side of garlic sunflower seed bread.

For dessert we made 'ice cream' again. In the afternoon Chris slided a ripe banana and a few strawberries, placed them on wax paper and in the freezer. After dinner we dumped them both into our blender and patiently pureed them into Strawberry Banana 'Ice Cream'. Yummy, though I will say that this combo did taste more like a smoothie. Next time we plan to try Banana Peach.

We paired the meal with the movie Larry Crowne which Chris rolled his eyes through but I thought was great. It was funny and cute, Tom Hanks is such an amazing actor though, it's hard for him to make a bad film...overall not a bad Monday.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Paddling Away a Sunday

We spent a couple hours kayaking around Lake Ivanhoe in the shadow of downtown Orlando today. Since it's more like three connected lakes there's plenty to explore in theory, our challenge was that we really enjoy the wildlife and since Ivanhoe is so polluted there really isn't much. We did spy plenty of birds though, I even managed to capture several in flight.

Even without any gator or turtle spottings it was still nice to get outdoors and get moving. Next time I think we'll take the time to drive out of the city though where wildlife is more abundant.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Guess what I made tonight... It has a kick this time! Recipe is here.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Banana Goodness

Tonight we tried Banana "Ice Cream", a recipe from the Esselstyn cook book.

  • Take super ripe banana (we used 1.5 larger) and slice.
  • Place slices on wax paper and freeze.
  • Place frozen banana in a blender and blend.
  • Result is Banana "Ice Cream".

We were quite dubious, as I'm sure you can imagine. It was AMAZING! Creamy and sweet, almost too sweet for me. We at it with sliced strawberries and it was devine. The 1.5 bananas made just enough for us to split.

Next time I'll freeze some peaches as well and try adding other fruit flavors in. Apparently any fruit that is softer (peaches, berries, mango etc) can be mixed in to add flavor.

I highly recommend trying this. It's awkward to blend, you'll want to add milk or water or something, but just stick with it - it's well worth the effort.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Pilot's Diet for Him

I am so proud of Chris. Being a pilot eating well is an incredible challenge. He's constantly in airports and hotels which means eating at restaurants. But with on new commitment to a lifestyle change he's had to really step it up.

We committed to get meat out of the house, but he does still eat chicken while on the road occasionally. He's nixed the cheese all together though! For the most part he's been getting salads and veggies, wraps and he's even been taking fruit and trail mix with him when he leaves.

Since he's spending a lot of time in his crash pad, being on reserve, he's also been taking left overs from home, life the veggie chili I'm sending him off with this trip. Last trip he took a huge ziploc full of salad and the time before that a bag of curried cabbage.

Being surrounded by other pilots who eat poorly, and with things like a TGIFridays deal of a $5 to-go burger for pilots I know it's not at all easy to stay committed. But he has and it shows, he's pants are all hanging on him, he's out of belt notches and his collars all loose.

As for me, I'm quite annoyed at my body, I lost 20lbs in the first two weeks and nothing since. It's been nearly 3 months! BUT my pants are all loose, my shirts fit better and I can actually see the slight outline of my clavicle again so there's definitely some sort of shift going on. I just wish it would make itself apparent on our scale!

On another note, while Chris and I may be moving toward a healthier lifestyle, Roger has become quite the addict. He actually sleeps with his catnip filled Christmas mouse doll...he's licks it until it's a soggy mess, it's quite disturbing.

Friday, January 13, 2012

New Home Away from Home

I started a new contract mid-December which came with a new office. It's a really cool building and I'm lucky enough to sit on the ground floor right near the lobby. Not only does this mean I have a short walk to my desk, but I also get super duper vaulted ceilings. I sit in an area referred to as The Fishbowl because it is just a mini cubicle farm encased in glass. Above the fishbowl is a massive skylight and the backside is all windows that are literally on the water of the lake.

The fishbowl is inside the smaller box to the left, the red box is the skylight. I can walk about twenty paces and be on the back patio which leads to delightful walk around the lake. If I skip the patio and walk to the end of the building there is a full cafeteria with very reasonably priced food which includes a salad bar, sushi, sandwich bar and two hot meal stations.

I went through the building as a child with my grandfather and for school my mom had us sketch the building so it's nostalgic as well. Add that to the fact that I have several work buddies who sit in the building AND my consulting firm has a strong presence so I have firm buddies now it's an overall nice working environment.

Now if I could only wrap my head around my new job I'll be set! :) The new job is intense. I'm a Program Manager, managing the release schedule for a team that provides services to a massive composite of applications which support all of the reservations and sales for the business segment. There are so many moving parts and teams involved, I have much to learn. But I'm excited to have the challenge, it's like my brain is working out every day. The upside is that I can put in a solid 45 hours and be done (vs my last contract where 60 hours was a standard week) so I've actually had time to go to the gym, ride my bike, do Pilates and knit again! We'll see if this lasts but I'm really hoping so.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Childlike Men

My mind is a scary place and goes down all sorts of random tangents. Often I find myself trying to envision those around me as children, partly because I enjoy the challenge of seeing through their current features and partly because I find pleasure in picturing adults as wide eyed, innocent, energetic children. It seems that this is easier to do with elderly folks, and some people are nearly impossible to do this with.

I've recently discovered (and I hope this doesn't sound racist because I truly don't mean it that way) that when I look at people from the middle east it's incredibly easy. In fact most Indian men look like little boys with mustaches to me. I really like this quality.

Just a little window into my wacky mind.

Monday, January 9, 2012

My life on a tree

For a long time I've joked about opening or joining a commune. For the past year or so I've talked more seriously about it and those around me have begun joking about joining me.
Since birth my mother has bought all her children an ornament each year. Typically something with a link to their life theme for the past year. The original idea being that when each child reached adulthood they could take their ornament collection with them so their own tree wouldn't be barren. Now that I have my own collection on my own tree she still gives me, and now my husband, an ornament each year to adorn our own tree. I have ballet slippers, a piano, a teddy bear life guard and snorkeler, a secretary, flip flops, a suitcase and more. If you line them up by year you can see my life's story on my Christmas tree.
This year, of course, she managed to find me a commune themed s'more ornament!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

2012 - The Year of the Vegetarian?

Over the past few months Chris and I have managed to enact a lifestyle change.
It started the week after Thanksgiving when we both committed to a Raw Diet Cleanse. We agreed to eat only raw fruits and vegetables for as long as we could. After some research we decided that at least 7 days was required. We found some quick and easy raw recipes on which got us started. For me I had a headache on day 4 but suddenly on day 5 I had tons of energy and felt amazing. After 7 days we decided to allow cooked fruits and vegetables, but still no meat dairy or really any carbs. After 14 days I had lost 20 lbs, I was more clear headed, I was sleeping better, waking up easier and felt great.

Some friends recommended that we check out the documentary Forks Over Knives. We always try to be subjective when watching documentaries, keeping in mind that they have a natural bias etc, however we found the studies and evidence presented to be very persuading. They suggest that consuming a 'whole foods plant based diet' is not only healthier but can prevent and even reverse heart disease and cancer. That combined with the dietary changes we'd already made led us to decide to give the whole foods diet a chance.

So for Christmas Chris bought me the book by one of the scientists featured in Forks over Knives, Dr. Esselstyn, in it they outline the dietary 'Rules' and about half the book is recipes that fall within the Rules. However, we believe strongly in the 'moderation' philosophy and the Rules are pretty darn extreme.

We've been watching other documentaries as well such as Food Inc and Ingredients. All of which also have us thinking about where food comes from and the amount of energy used to get it to us and the hormones and pesticides used on our foods.

My brother and his wife took on a food experiment about a year ago and started a blog - - and I think over time we're growing more toward a slightly moderate version of their way of thinking. Stuff we've learned from them, combined with reading, documentaries and simply how we feel on our new diet has convinced us to make the following changes in our house going forward.

  •  Meat has been rare in our house for years, ever since I went back to a vegetarian diet, however going forward our house will be entirely vegetarian. On rare special occasions I will get meat for Chris from local sources only.
  • Carbs are now a treat, especially complex carbs like bread and pasta, when they make an appearance we stick to wheat or whole grain
  • Whenever possible leave fruits and veggies raw
  • No more milk or cream - we've both switched to Almond Milk
  • Cheese is now a rare treat - we thought about no dairy but yogurt and cottage cheese have stuck around

Because we've cut back so drastically on carbs and meat is gone, most of our meats are completely vegetables. We keep trail mix around for snacks, and have experimented with lots of new recipes and spices.

It's been fun in some ways though it can be challenging when I've worked a 10 hour day and just want something easy. But we're learning new tricks and recipes to fill the gaps we find.

I got my parents to watch ForksOverKnives and they surprised everyone and decided to cut out all meat and dairy as well. John and Laura only eat local, happy meat so now the whole family is basically vegetarian which makes it even more fun since we're all on the same adventure together.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Digressing from Facebook back the 'Old Fashioned' blog

I think the use of social media is astounding. It's endlessly amazing to me how I can click around Facebook and see photos and details about the life of someone from India or Australia. I think the fact that it has become so common place to use social media to stay connected is a positive thing for theory.

Twitter and Facebook have become commonly used verbs. People 'check in' at Loews and Wal-Mart. Teenagers bully their peers on each others 'walls'. There are clear downsides to having a virtual world to play in.

You log in to Facebook and are bombarded with advertisements based on photos you've uploaded, movies you have mentioned. The amount of data about you sitting on their servers is mind blowing.

To me, though, all of this is just the price of technology. They are all simply tweaks to life that we have to adjust to as the world around us changes and moves more and more virtual.

What I am not okay with is the rapid move away from true and meaningful communication. To look at it from the most extreme perspective, writing in cursive is becoming a lost art. People don't hand write letters or even notes during classes or meetings any longer. With the flood of increasingly abbreviated communication avenues, even the idea of sitting down to type out a well worded and fully formed thought is becoming more distant. As a society our ability to write, even type correctly, use our language to it's fullest and most eloquent extent and ultimately truly connect with one another is fading.

I'm just as guilty as the next of falling prey to this 'easy and quick' mentality. For the past year, rather than taking the time to formulate my thoughts or stories of my travels into intelligent paragraphs I've been distilling them into one liners with a photo taken on a mobile device to post on Facebook.

I don't usually make New Year's resolutions, however this year I think one is necessary. I'm going to commit to myself to go back to using this space to document (and share if anyone cares) my life, my thoughts, my rants, my photos and even my one liner quotes etc.

Let's see how I do...