Potlucked

Whew! What a weekend! Not only did it start off with an exciting giveaway (you can still enter to win a skirt or necklace from Shabby Apple!), but the rest of the weekend was full of vampires, food, dogs, and emotional drama. Winning!

Friday night was both excellent and terrifying, mostly because of seeing Breaking Dawn. I am only slightly ashamed of my extreme love for all things Twilight, and I was really excited to see the movie. Don’t judge me! While I fully acknowledge that it wasn’t exactly quality cinema, I was thoroughly entertained the entire time. My only real disappointment was that I didn’t get to see the Hunger Games trailer up on the big screen! And hey, there’s nothing like vampire-werewolf-human love triangles and hybrid-baby-mama-drama to put your own issues in perspective, right?

Wheeee!

Saturday was the busybusybusy day. After completing a 6 mile training run/walk (PDR!) and meeting up with my friend for lunch at Sweetgreen (best salads evaaaar!), my roomie Erin and I headed to the dog park with the pups. Not just any ol’ dog park, either, no sirree. Shirlington Dog Park!

Brothers

I think I’ve mentioned it before, but this park is fantastic! It’s further from my house but so worth the drive. There are always so many dogs, and such a great mix of sizes.

Running with the DogsPack

This means there are always at least a few pals for Harry & Daxter to play with that don’t make me seize up in fear due to their enormousness, haha… ha.

Daxter

Good times were had by all!

On the Hunt

Post-dog park, it was time to finish up the dish I made for Panda’s Thanksgiving potluck. It was partly a pre-Thanksgiving celebration, and partly a Bon Voyage party, since she’s moving away for a little while. I decided that my contribution had to be extra adorable to try to make up for the sad part, hence:

Pumpkins Pies

Mini Pumpkin Pie Tarts! Topped with cinnamon whipped cream. I’ll be posting the recipe for these tomorrow, so stay tuned. They were a precious supercute huge hit!

Just a Bite

I couldn’t go to the party without putting my face on first, of course.

Mustachio

My espionage-ready face, that is. Hehe.

Tiny Pie MeFaced!
Rachel & ChadDrank.

I’m going to assume I don’t need to spend much time detailing how much fun it is to get together with friends, eat food, drink, and play Rockband. We all know it’s pretty much always awesome.

ErinRockbanded

Although my epic failure at Super Smash Bros deserves an honorable mention.

Gaming for One

As does awesomely running into fellow blogger Amanda!

IRL

More blog-life colliding with real-life awesomeness. Running-on-Waffles-Amanda knows Panda-Amanda from work/grad school, and happened to be at the potluck too! Small world, no? We had a lot of fun reflecting upon how creepy/awesome it is to feel like you know someone without ever having met them before. Instant friends!

BuffetTaters

Oh yeah, and the food. Oh my, the food! I don’t think I’ve eaten that much in, well, a looooong time. And I won’t be eating that much again until… Thursday. HA.

Cider MeWatergate
Dang.

My plate was literally bursting, and I didn’t even get to try everything! There was hash brown casserole, chicken, stuffing, mac & cheese, sweet potato rolls, squash souffle, asian slaw, meatballs, and not one, but two different kinds of mashed potatoes! It was a beige wonderland of deliciousness. I also had my first encounter with Watergate “Salad”, too, courtesy of Erin’s contribution. Who knew so many processed ingredients (pistachio pudding mix + cool whip + crushed pineapple + marshmallows + walnuts?!) could combine to create such epic tastiness?

Pilgrims

And on the dessert table, alongside my mini pumpkin pies, were these pilgrim hat cookies that Amanda made, funfetti cupcakes, brownies, cookies, and an epic-looking coconut cream pie that I was sadly too full to consume.

Oof, so many noms. It definitely set the mood right for Thursday! Speaking of which, I have luckily coerced blog-reader-turned-friend Ania, who is also on her own this Thanksgiving, into having dinner with me! So if you are similarly orphaned this holiday, please email me if you’re like to join in! There will be turkey, taters, and other deliciousness.

Happy Monday!

The Little Things

On days like yesterday, when the weather is dreary…

Dreary Day

And you’re sick at home, yet again

Self-Portrait

And you’re still a passenger on quite the emotional ride

Drizzle

And you’re feeling like you might be stretching yourself just a little too thin…

Raindrop

You have to focus on the little things.

Nutcracked Coffee

Like the barista spelling your name correctly.

Snuggle Buddy

And puppies snuggled in blankets.

Puppy Paws

And puppy paws, more specifically.

5 More Minutes

Sometimes you have to focus on the little details so you don’t get overwhelmed with the big picture. You have to take a step back, take a breath, and reboot. Or at least, you need to try.

What’s one little (or big!) thing you’re trying to focus on right now?

Feelgood “Friday”

All right, all right. Enough wallowing. Well, enough public wallowing, at least. Enough public wallowing for now. Instead, let’s try to focus on happy things. Like the sushi that I got to eat last night in the company of a great friend (Hi Lizzie!). Like how I got paid today (w00t!) And like the fact that even though today is Thursday, it feels like a Friday since I have tomorrow off for Veterans’ Day.

Also, puppies. PREPARE FOR CUTENESS OVERLOAD!

Schnauzer Sigh

RegalI'mma getchuuu!
Watch it...Mine!

Tug-O-War

RAWR!

Noms?Winner & Loser

Poor Harry. Always getting one-upped by that sassy little fluffball. By the way, how do you like their haircuts? Ben did Harry’s, and I did Daxter’s. He actually looks like a schnauzer again! A, um, BIG step up from some of my past grooming attempts, I’d say…

What?
I just love it when you pin me down and shave my hair against my will.

And since I don’t have any actual content of substance to share with you, so concludes another completely pointless (but hopefully aesthetically pleasing?) post. But hey, at least I made an effort today, right? Baby steps. And in keeping with my plan to try to stay busy, I’ve got weekend plans up the wazoo. So stay tuned!

Is today your Friday? (Columbus Day deja vu!) Or are you secretly seething at me for bragging that I have tomorrow off? If it’s the latter, fret not. You probably get the day after Thanksgiving off, don’t you? Now who’s bragging, HMM?

Greetings from the Great White North!

Ahoy-hoy, ya hosers! Salutations from America’s friendly upstairs neighbor, Canadia!

Right now, I’m up in Ottawa doing… something. No way of knowing exactly what that is, of course, since I pre-wrote this post before I left. (I’m clearly using the term “post” very loosely here, haha.) Hopefully I’m up to something fun and super Canadian, eh?

I couldn’t just leave you totally hanging. It’s Friday, after all! And between debt confessions and discouraging weight gains, it’s been a bit on the depressing side here this week. So in addition to yesterday’s pumpkin-carving awesomeness, I’ve also cued up a little cuteness for you to make up for it. Hopefully it gets you through to quitting time!

Preface: Daxter actually knows quite a few super adorable tricks. He’s a great little dancer, high-fiver, and roll-over-er. However, getting him to perform them with consistency is the real challenge, as you’ll see.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

The Ultimate Frustration (Weigh-in)

All right: first things first. Thank you all so, so much for your comments on yesterday’s post on debt. I was more terrified publishing that than I have ever been about posting my weight (though that may have changed after this morning’s weigh-in…) and I was blown away by your willingness to share your own financial stories as well. It is, as always, very comforting to know that I’m certainly not alone in my struggles.

So what better way to recover from the emotional stress of confessing my financial woes to the world than by spending even more money on my favoritist thing ever?

Suuuuuushi

Oh, c’mon, I kid! I kid! Don’t worry, this guy paid:

Tag Along
And he was super psyched about it, too!

Yep, even amongst all my preparing for my upcoming Ottawa trip (I leave tomorrow!), Steve and I managed to find time for a quick but awesome (as usual) sushi dinner at Koi Koi. Well, sushi for me, teriyaki for him. Getting his sushi-resistant self just to take me to the restaurant is progress enough for me though!

Onlookers

And before dinner? A smile-inducing trip to the dog park!

Leader of the Pack
Gimme!

Daxter, ever the social butterfly, managed to make friends with the big dogs…

Big Dog, Little Dog

… as well as the even-smaller-than-he-is dogs.

Who's the wiener?

While Harry, reporting for duty as the fun police, was quick to break up encounters with any of the aforementioned big dogs that could have possibly roughed up his little bro.

Roaming Free

It’s actually pretty cute that he’s so protective of Daxter, though somewhat obnoxious. I guess Harry’s just a family man dog, through and through.

Family

And now for the main event. I hope you have the above images of happy puppies deeply ingrained in your mind, ’cause it’s weigh-in time. And I’ve already alluded to the fact that this morning did not bring pleasant news (which is just what I wanted right before taking a trip to the land of beavertails and poutine!) There’s no use delaying the inevitable, so here it is:

Starting Weight: 246 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 186.0 lbs
This Weigh-in: 188.3 lbs
Difference: +2.3 lbs

WOMPITY WOMP WOMP WOMP.

*Deep breath*

Okay, so perhaps you can see why this is, er, mildly frustrating. Like, back to the 5 Stages of Grief type-frustrating. The last time I stepped on a scale, albeit unofficially, I was down to 183 lbs. Of course, this was in the wake of my latest kidney stone episode and my eating & drinking had been totally out of whack. Since I hadn’t been eating much, I knew that weigh-in didn’t count. Still, I couldn’t simply forget about that three-pound loss, “real” or not. And now I’ve actually gained two pounds from my last “official” weigh-in, which actually puts FIVE extra pounds on the scale from what I had last seen!

WTF?

This isn’t necessarily an “I don’t know what happened!” kind of situation. It’s not like I can’t guess at some of the probable factors that contributed to this gain: My body trying to regulate itself after three days of barely eating and haphazard fluid consumption. Sushi last night, which means soy sauce, which means sodium, which leads to water retention. Celebrating my dad’s early birthday Sunday. Emotional tensions running high in my house leading to emotional eating. And so on, and so forth.

But it isn’t as if these things (aside from the kidney-stone-induced loss of appetite) are that out of the ordinary for me. And part of what makes this gain particularly frustrating is that I’ve actually been exercising, running, and legitimately TRYING in terms of physical activity, which, as you’re all aware, is certainly NOT the norm for me. I’ve been sticking to my race training plan surprisingly well, and the miles are starting to get easier. But evidently, the scale doesn’t really seem to care about how hard I’m trying in the fitness department. Ugh.

It’s just so difficult, because the truth is that I often feel quite happy at the weight I am right now. I feel accomplished for having lost as much weight as I have. I feel beautiful most of the time, and sometimes, if I’m dressed just right, I even feel–gasp!–thin. But acknowledging that, I still KNOW that I want to lose more weight, that I can still be much healthier, that I have further to go. I know that I’m still overweight, though VASTLY less so than I used to be, and I want to continue to make strides in the right direction. It sometimes feels as if I am battling myself, almost as if being in any way happy with my body means I can’t make progress in my weight loss. And that kind of thinking borders very dangerously on the self-loathing mentality that I swore never to return to. Like I said: it’s frustrating.

Sorry to be ending this wit a bit of a downer. Just scroll back up to the puppies and everything will be okay! I mean, it’s not like I’m not giving up (aw, HELL no!), I knew from the beginning that I was in this for the long haul. So I let myself deal, I get it all out here, and I press on.

So say we all.