Whine about Wine

Friends… let me tell you something.  Everyone has their unique struggle when it comes to maintaining a nutrition program (short or long term).  I eat pretty healthy most of the time, I like healthy food, I can even go without chocolate for short periods of time.  I have peanut butter almost every day along with English muffins, fruit, a chocolate shake, etc.  So, what could I possibly have to whine about?

Wine.

I like it.  I like drinking it.  Which, isn’t a problem… everything in moderation, right?  However, I don’t know about you… but once I have one glass of wine, the wine gremlins come out… and they don’t like only having one glass.  They certainly think that cheese curds are a vegetable… and that dropping like it’s hot at 34 is not only necessary, but also counts as my evening leg workout.

I think it’s a constant struggle trying to balance “living the good life” and “living the life that meets my goals… that I set to live a good life”.  I want to live a healthy and active lifestyle.  I also want to drink the wine.  So, where is that line… and how come the line moves once I’ve had one glass of wine?  I have had many people tell me that life’s too short, so drink that wine!  Yeah, well… if I drink the wine every time I want to drink the wine… my waist on my pants will be too short as well.  Life… pants…

Sigh… first world problems, I know.

Anyways – all that to say that I am currently doing a (reluctantly) good job at not drinking the wine… and am trying to figure out what MY balance is.  Similar to how I tweak my workouts as I get stronger, lift more weights, jump higher, sweat more… I also am finding out what MY nutrition plan looks like.  What MY body will tolerate.  My goal is to eat and workout to meet my goals, both short and longterm goals.  My goal is NOT to diet and deprive myself unnecessarily… only to then eat ALL THE THINGS once I am done with the diet.

Alright… I’m done with my whining now!

What’s your struggle with nutrition plans?

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Let’s Play Catchup… Go Long!

Where does the time go?  I don’t know, but I can tell you how it goes… fast!

Tattoo

Jason and I both have tattoos and both have talked about adding on to them off and on.  That happens to many people with or without tattoos I know.  Well recently we were discussing it again and I went the extra step of reaching out to my tattoo artist here in town.  Not only did he have an opening for a consult Monday (last week), but also had an opening the next night for the real deal!  Could this be a more perfect situation for a patient-impaired person such as myself?  No.

The concept: I love to communicate.  Talking, writing, anything that connects me to those around me.  It’s how I cope, learn, and generally get through life.  What better way to visually represent this than a quill.  They are old, classy, aesthetically pleasing and something I found a quick peace with being on my body for the rest of my life.

The big difference: This tattoo was for me.  And me only.  I love all my other tattoos. I’ve loved them since the day I’ve gotten them, never had a second thought about having them (accept my foot tattoos in time of crisis in the bathroom where it is unfortunately obvious who I am… but that’s another story).  However, they were each significant to me because they reminded me of someone dear to me.  My Mom, my Sister and my Dad each contributed inspiration to my previous tattoos (willing or not… ahem… Dad).  This one was all me.  Which was surprisingly personal, emotional and extremely special.

The result?  1 freehand drawn quill which received immediate approval from me. 2 hours of tattooing and this…

My quill. Right forearm.

Being Sunday now… it has already peeled once and is close to looking “finished”.  It has some itchy tendencies at the moment, but I love it.

Training

Tuesday through Friday last week I spent trekking to Verona (just over an hour commute) to attend training at Epic.  Through work I am going through the process of becoming certified in some software that they offer.  8 hours a day of training.  Checking work email during that time.  Learning all kinds of stuff and loving every minute of it.  Lunch prepared by Epic’s master chef and cook staff daily.  It was a mixture of luxury (location and food) and pain (melting my brain and pushing it to the limits).  And the obvious discomfort of having to go to the bathroom every time there was a break to either brush my teeth and clean my invisalign braces or wash and treat my tattoo.  I was feeling pretty high maintenance by the end of the week!

Training went really well and all my exams are scheduled during the next two weeks.  I spent a good 8 hours at least this weekend studying at home.  I enjoy learning.  I have discovered that it really doesn’t matter what it is… the process of learning and troubleshooting is gratifying on a deep and soulful level.

I dig it.

Some fun decor at the Epic Campus

Book cases

Oh, those darn book cases.  I’ve been waiting and waiting for them to appear… be built… be purchased… flown by magic fairies… constructed by book elves… or pulled from someone’s buttocks…

And finally I caved and purchased 4 from Wal-Mart for a price that made it seem like a steal.  Free shipping and super cheap price?  Sold.

I ordered them on Wednesday evening and they arrived on Friday.  Once again, for the patient-impaired this could not have been a more ideal situation.  We put them together as soon as I got home (HE put them together while I watched and organized the screws into pretty little plastic organizers). Then he went off to hockey and I was left with the blank canvas of empty bookshelves to fill my time.  His parting words were “don’t finish this all tonight babe…”  Foolish.  So foolish.

Several hours later, some good jams on the radio and finally my books seeing the light of day… and we have this wondrous masterpiece in our living room:

It looks a million times better in person, but it still makes me smile in this blurry little phone picture.

Girl bonding

Today was not only Veterans Day, but also a day I decided to drive up to Milwaukee to surprise my sister with a visit.  I got to hang out with my hilarious nieces, help everyone eat breakfast, get ready, catch up with my sister.  Talk about how happy we are.  Talk about how crazy babies can be.  Took a bazillion funny pictures and just enjoyed each other’s company.

Getting ready is a team effort.
Note: The water did “accidentally” come on and new socks, shoes and tights were needed before we left.

Note: When Jason asked how my day was, I responded, “It was great, but I’m pretty sure my uterus shriveled up a little”.  It was likely an over share, but there is nothing about trying to get a 2 year old and a 1 year old dressed, clean, dry, good smelling, with all their blankies, binkies, bottles and booties out of the door in under 1 hour that screams to me, “Wow, this is so cool… I’m going to go make one right now!”.  Nope.  

We all went out to lunch at Noodles and Company.  This was a treat in itself because Lily is in a definite stranger-danger mode and wouldn’t eat when people walked, talked or seemed like they might do one of those things anywhere near her.  Which made lunch not a reality for her at that time.

Stranger. Danger.

We spent the next few hours at the Johnson Creek outlet mall where the girls found a new fascination with the mannequins and my sister spent a good deal of time rolling them around to each mannequin so the girls could pet their hands.  It was a little weird but kept them really quiet. So we approved.

We also got some free truffle samples.  It’s good to know that at a very young age chocolate is important enough for them to each have a taste for something different.  Lily likes white chocolate.  Evie likes minty milk chocolate.  I love them and their chocolate ways.

I may or may not have left with an obscenely large bag of chocolate that was on sale.  I cannot confirm or deny this at this time… nom nom nom.

Wrapping up the wrap up…

There was more!

Jason and I had a lovely dinner out Thursday night that included sweet potato fries and a birthday shot for a friend.

Jason did win his hockey game on Friday night.

Saturday night we had dinner and drinks at the Grumpy Troll in Mount Horeb for my cousin’s 30th birthday party.  During which I also ran into long lost friends Meghan and Misty.  Who knew?

An important distinction between the phrase “lover butt” (cute) and “butt lover” (graphic and creepy) was made.  They are not equivalent and the latter should not be used.  Ever.

Our roommate who is so in love and so engaged found another place to live so shortly we will be without a renter for the first time since we have been dating.  A whole new world of running around with free reign and clothes-optional evenings is in our future!  (maybe or maybe not… but I like having the option)

And most importantly I got to have a lovely relaxing evening on the couch with my friend, lover, and pretty much one of my favorite people.  AND I got to have wine, beer bread, cheese and honey… and some chocolates after a dinner of pizza burgers.  I’m even jealous of my night and I experienced it!

Perfect beginning to a perfect evening.

I know there is still more… but I’ll save that deliciousness for another day!  I hope your last week/weekend was full of really good stuff! Or at least not full of crappy stuff!

Visions of Italy…

I found this absolutely wonderful website that I’m guessing will become more than a slight obsession.  I’m going to have to start making a lot of coin jars in order to save up for this kind of fantastic adventure.

I found this article in Budget Travel magazine (which Amy so kindly gave me a copy of since she gets the subscription at her house).  It is a fabulous article.  By the time I got done reading about the experience of the author, I wanted to immediately book a trip and start taking my italian studies seriously.  The idea of spending the mornings walking from town to town and really getting to see the countryside just sounds so awesome!  It’s at your own pace, you have the comfort and security of a guide to call if you’re lost, hurt or just too tired to go on.

The other options of walking less and learning to cook also sounded just amazing.  Maybe you could make it a two week trip and do a little of both.  Walk a few days, eat yourself stupid, walk a few days, eat yourself stupid, and repeat.  Check it out, maybe you’ll be inspired to dream of a vacation too!

Even if you don’t go to Italy, you should check out the issue because it also lists every state and a little about the wineries in each one!  Something in this country, or something in that country.  Whatever floats your boat.

Self-Guided Walking Tours of Tuscany

Painting / Wine / Food Party: The Breakdown

I uploaded our finished products last night as we were moving from the paint/wine/mumford and sons portion of the evening into the campfire/ash dashing/story telling portion of our evening… thus I did not have time to go into detail on the evening and its wild success.

This idea all started from another blog I had read where someone had done a similar event.  I sent the post to my lady friends and suggested that we do a similar kind of party.  Turns out the boys did not want to be excluded from the fun, so it became a coed painting and wine evening.  Amy set the ground rules with this list:

Guests to bring: 1 bottle of wine, 1 snack to pass, 1 fancy color (basic colors will be provided), 1 canvas to paint on.

The party was scheduled to commence at 6:00pm sharp.

The Preparation:

Wine Contributions (totally un-planned pattern to follow…) ~

  • Wollersheim Prairie Fume (Laura and Dan)
  • Wollersheim Riesling (Laura and Dan)
  • Wollersheim Prairie Blush (Amy and Andy)
  • Wollersheim Prairie Blush (2) (Amy and Andy)
  • Wollersheim River Gold (Ingrid and Jason)
  • Relax Riesling (Ingrid and Jason) — yup we broke the pattern and brought a non-wollerwheim wine.

Food Contributions:

Canvas Bringers:

  • 5 flat 8 x 10 canvases (Ingrid)
  • 2 large box canvases (Ingrid)
  • 7 square box canvases (Amy)
  • 3 rectangular box canvases (Laura and Dan)

Amy, flashing her canvases… again.

Paint Supplies:

  • Many, many paint brushes (Everyone)
  • Large squeeze tubes of the basic colors: white, black, red, yellow, green and blue (Dan, Laura and Amy)
  • Fun Martha Stewart Colors (Ingrid)
  • Small styrofoam/paper plates for palettes (Laura, Ingrid)
  • Paint box supplies from college (Amy)

Some Sexy Looking Supplies!

Paint Area of Awesomeness:

  • Amy’s Backyard
  • 2 folding card tables (Amy)
  • 6 folding chairs (Amy)
  • 1 hammock for use while paint dries and inspiration strikes

Dan, modeling the hammock.

Attire:

  • Anything we didn’t mind getting paint on.

The Painting Process:

Laura, Dan and Andy:

Getting started with their base coat of paint.

Serious contemplation on next steps…

Masterpieces being created!

Jason, Amy and I

Let’s get this party started!

Amy with her fancy little artist (say it french) palette

Jason rocking out with his paint brush out

Well… hello there!

Proud Artists! {say cheese and smile with your eyes}

Andy: Self Portrait
(yes, he is secretly a blue alien… don’t tell the MIB)

Andy: Phallic Fruits
(aka self portrait number 2)

Dan: Door Number 1
{this is his supermodel pose… he is smiling with his beer}

Laura and Dan: The Doors

Jason: Brick House with Bushes and a little Pie in the Window

Amy: Pretty Bird

Amy: Owl at Night

Amy: White Tree

Ingrid (me): Heart with Wings and Tree with Heart

Ingrid (me): Sunset
{appropriately the picture was taken at sunset}

Ingrid (me): Peacock
{this was the inspiration that started the whole event}

Ingrid (me): “Love is patient, love is kind”
{it’s just a solid saying… and i always need a reminder to practice patience… and probably kindness too}

I’m so very proud of us.

The wrap up:

This was a creative exercise for some and a courage exercise for others.  These paintings didn’t just roll off our fingertips.  We had encouragement, supplies and paint smears given to each other throughout the process.  I always think of my friends as magnificent and talented in everything they do, so when I see them be shy or nervous about something… I’m astounded.  I have the upmost faith in them and think they should have the same kind of faith in themselves.  It was the perfect evening shared with the most perfect group of people.  We ate, laughed, ate, painted, drank, ate, and singed our leg hairs off by the fire.

Thank you to Laura, Dan, Amy, Andy and Jason for taking my idea seriously and helping me schedule, prepare and actually follow through with this idea.  I absolutely love the paintings everyone made and I am so happy to get to hang mine in the house because every time I look at them I will think of our brilliant evening of creativity and friendship.

My tree has a new home… amazingly enough it’s next to our wine.

Friday – Monday Recap: Catchup Blog

Okay, let’s tell a tale through words and pictures that will recap my last few days. 

Friday was Studley.

Friday was a long workday (as are all Friday’s I think).  Once 4:00pm hit, I hit the roads.  I was headed to the craft store and to Target.  Mom had requested NCIS Season 2 for her birthday.  We really enjoy crime dramas and refer to them often in our real lives.  “You should touch that, you know they will dust it for fingerprints”, “Remember that one episode where the wife got away with it because she buried the husband in the backyard…. Remember it well”.

After acquiring the crime drama series, I headed over to Michaels to get crafts for our much-anticipated Paint + Wine = Awesomeness party next Friday at Amy’s house.  We are to bring 1 canvas, 1 fun paint, 1 bottle of wine and some snacks to share.  We are also to bring an inspirational piece of art/jewelry/saying, etc that will help to spark our created flair on that day.

I find that Michaels has Canvases on sale, so I get 7… because that’s how I shop.  Then I find the paints… and get about 8 of those.  They are so pretty and now I’m imagining all the stuff around the house I can paint and “up craft” in order to meet my current visual stimulation needs.  I also get some new brushes because the 12 I have at home might not be enough.  I finish it all up with push pins in order to complete my 007 (as in secret agent) coaster making project at home.

I got done with my craft-a-licious shopping and headed home to meet Jason.  We had a date night and were headed out to Hooker’s Resort to grill ourselves some Ribeyes.  Well, he’d be grilling the steaks and I’d be grilling the bread.  It turned out that he grilled it all and I just sipped on my very summery rum drink.  Che sara sara.

We headed over to the Thirsty Moose where our roommate, her bf, her sisters and friends were all having dinner and a couple of beverages.  Also there was our friend’s Sarah and Mike.  We met up with everyone and had a drink down by the lake at the tiki hut.  Jason’s back was bothering him so we decided to go home and relax there.  Which was fine with me because I knew I had a chocolate bar waiting in my purse and crafting supplies for the weekend.

Saturday I get up and do my normal morning Zumba routine.  50 minutes of jumping and salsa-ing my way into an extra slice of pizza and 2 brownies when necessary.  I work out so I can eat more of what I want.  And look sexy while I do it.  I ate some cinnamon raison toast for breakfast and then grabbed the husky and took him for a walk.

Tyson: Losing his mind as usual on the beginning of our walks. OMG, OMG, I’M FREEEEEEEEE!!!! SQUIRREL!

After our walk, which is 3 miles long… consisting of 1 mile of Tyson trying to walk me, 1 mile of him walking nicely besides me, and the last mile of him looking at me with something along the lines of doggy disdain.  I lead him to water after and let him pass out on the cool tiled kitchen floor.

I head over to the Piggly Wiggly (grocery store) for some much-needed lunch items and get a text from Dad and Jean that they are headed into town for the Farmer’s Market.  This is great news as I was trying desperately Friday to wrangle some friends to accompany me there, since Jason had to work all weekend, and much to my dismay it just didn’t align with my friend’s schedules.  So, I practically skipped out of piggly wiggly with (Jason’s) Mayo and (My) Kiwi’s and ran home to get ready to head out.

The Farmer’s market was wonderful.  We walked around, soaked in the beautiful weather, got to see and hear all the local Madison flavor and culture.  Got to spend time together.  It was just great!  Dad picked me up some fun food goodies.

Spicy Cheese Bread from Stella’s (the 6 mini-loaf pack), 2 quarts of organic strawberries and some cheese made for grilling/warming and serving with Wine. (Okay, maybe that’s not what it’s for…. but that’s what I made it for).

After the Farmer’s Market, we headed to Quivey’s Grove for lunch.  That was delicious.  I had a large salad and then their mocha fudge ice cream dessert.  A-maz-ing.  We stood outside afterwards and watched a wedding while we talked and plotted about my future wedding. 

The fact that Dad and Jean are so on board about talking “weddings” with me makes me happy.  They have high expectations and expect me to be with the best partners.  That they approve of Jason and our life together, while not necessary, really means the world to me.  Especially because Jason also means the world to me.

After this we headed to West Towne mall for some more chocolate, courtesy of Godiva, and some sparkly shopping.  I got some wonderful shoes, a pair of earrings and a few bracelets at Charming Charlies (aka best store for accessories EVER).  I also scored a seriously lovely set of rings from Swarovski Crystal.  They are called, “The Double Wide”.  I know that sounds like trailer, but they look like mansions… so I don’t care.  Plus it’s fun to tell people who Dad bought me a double wide.

Behold… the double wide.

We parted ways after the mall and I went home to make Jason and I dinner with my farmer’s market finds.  I made sandwiches and strawberries, and accompanied them with the cheese I fried up, some venison sausage and crackers… and wine.  Gnarley Head, Pinot Noir (As Jason would pronounce it, Peanut Norway).

Classy Ingrid Dinner Creation. Complete with Paper Plates and Flowery Wine Glasses.

I ended the night with some much-needed crafting time.  I finished up my 007 coasters.

Sewing the batting to the coasters.

28 Random Coasters made with Love… and a little blood because there was a lot of sewing pins in there.

Sunday I woke up with my normal Zumba routine, and then woke Jason up for a breakfast of Lunch with Elvis coffee, eggs and toast.  All courtesy of me.  So, they eggs were a little goofy looking, but the toast and coffee turned out great.  I went to work with him at my friend’s house in Cottage Grove.

Picture from Work Van side mirror. Notice I’m wearing the double wides. Oh yeah.

I spent the morning pulling nails out of baseboard that had been removed in order for him to install their new wood floor and was now needing to be re-installed… sans nails.  I’m not going to lie, after a couple of blisters and uncooperative nails, I was a little grumpy.  However, he did just gorgeous work. 

New Wood Floors in Foyer and Hallway. Courtesy of Jason.

We got done around 1:00pm and headed home to rest and relax by the pool.  Our roommate had family over to enjoy the pool and their children.  We all ended up hanging out, splashing, sun bathing and eating by the lovely pool.  Jason makes a good pool boy too.  I took about a 1.5 hour nap after that and Jason made some phenomenal Chicken Parmesan.  Mmmm Mmmm Good.  With squiggly noodles, which are my fav.

After dinner I found some old quilt(ish) projects that I had started and decided Sunday evening was as good a time as any to finish them.  So, I had at it and completed them.

The yellow backing on the pretty kitty quilt is super soft. I think Jason almost cuddled up with it.

Shortly after finishing these projects, we trotted off to bed like good little boys and girls to be well-rested for our Monday.

Monday was an uneventful day at work, but I got to leave early to go get my retainer which I have to wear for 6-8 weeks until my invisalign aligners arrive.  Goody goody.  I wore it last night, until we started drinking wine.  Yeah, wine on Monday… it just seemed like that kind of day.  We re-heated the chicken parmesan leftovers… equally as delicious on the second day.  We went for a quick shopping trip to get brownies, because not only was it a wine-monday… but I really needed it to be a brownie-monday also.  So Jason drug his tired butt with me to the store and we were able to fulfill that request.

I finished the evening off while Jason watched the Stanley cup with some crafting.  I had gotten the idea to create cube decorations inspired by another fun blog I follow.  I gave one to Mom in her birthday gifts… which was almost (but not quite) a week late.  I’m sure the anticipation made it totally worth it.

 

Cube-Flags of Awesomeness

Probably the best (most adult) decision we made was to NOT finish the bottle of wine and go to bed at 9:00pm.  We were both exhausted from our Monday’s and needed a fresh start for our Tuesday (Terrific Tuesday as Jason often texts me in the morning). 

 

It’s been a good few days.  Tonight is Vince’s first baseball game of the season.  I’m super excited to get to cheer him on and watch him progress in this endeavour.  I’m proud of him.  He’s a pretty cool little dude.