I ride the train, I crave beef... a daredevil indeed!

Do you ever overhear conversations and feel yourself legitimately losing brain cells the longer you pay attention? If you have not had the pleasure, I invite you to take public transportation. The train is nothing, if not the source of entertaining and stimulating conversations.

It is also a germalicious hotbed in which I'm sure one could contract a most fatal disease upon direct contact with the hand-pole, but why go there, right?

I digress. My daily commute consists of leaving our place around 7:20, stopping for coffee and Brian dropping me off at my train stop by 8, where I take the fashionable Red Line one stop and transfer to a shuttle that brings me all safe and cozy (in my own cushioned seat thankyouverymuch) to the front door of my building by 8:30... and then I do it all over again at the end of the day, only in reverse.

I hate commuting. Truly. Hate is a strong word, and I was raised to not use it in even the most dire situations, but again-- if you are not privy to public transportation, I invite you to commute with me for a day and oh, the horrors you will see. Frighteningly enough, I no longer look twice at the man who has obviously visited half the bars in Boston and is just now heading home as I head into work, although the infamous Red Line breakdancer never ceases to make my day:

(I've seen him. He's seriously so good, although it is terrifying when you're on the train and someone starts shouting about needing everyone's attention. I'm not gonna lie-- my instinct is to avert my eyes and duck.)

There are some days when riding the T is tolerable, and some days when I think I just might lose it if one more person enters my personal bubble space. This morning was definitely an "I might freak out today" kind of thing.

After waiting for 15 minutes as two jam-packed trains passed through my stop, I finally squeezed into one of the cars, only to have the pleasure of balancing my coffee, my lunch bag and my purse while holding my phone and keeping my balance by grasping a bar (multitasking at its finest, my friends) next to two late-teenish girls clutching binders and carrying on the following riveting conversation:

Blondie: And I was like "ohmygod, hi Mark!" only I wasn't really because, like, he was in his car and his windows were up. So like, I didn't really say anything at all because he couldn't hear me, but I totally thought it.

Gothy (dressed in black from head to toe): Mark is the best guy but I felt so bad for not inviting him when we went out. I was going to invite him, but then I'd have to invite Janelle and her friend Kristine and I don't think I like Mark enough for having to deal with that.

Blondie: I know Janelle- she's the best.

Gothy: Yea, I guess... but then I felt so bad because their friend Chris wanted me to highlight his hair...

Blondie: I know Chris- he's the best.

Gothy: Yea, totally, but like, I feel so bad because I totally just didn't want to. I mean, I felt really bad, but I don't even really know him, so why should I highlight his hair for him? He did say he just needed his roots touched up, and doing hair is obviously my thing, and I do feel really bad... but I'm not going to do it.

Blondie: Yea, but like... Chris is known for his highlights. You should totally do it. He might bring his friend James- he's the best.

CUT MY EARS OFF, PEOPLE. I usually keep to myself and just zone out into a book or checking FB on the iPhone, but when a conversation is as loud as these girls were making it, and as mind-numbingly dull as it was... there's no other option but to stand next to the jumbling words and take it. If anything, bless these girls for seeing THE BEST in people and for havin' the heart to FEEL REALLY BAD about something, even though you don't want to do it in the first place.

Other than this, today is just your average Tuesday. I'm trying a new concoction for lunch today:

I present you with black beans (cooked with jalapenos and diced tomatoes) and frozen corn kernels on a bed of broccoli slaw, with a side of tomatillo dressing (hello, tomatillo salsa and fat free sour cream). Riveting, right? Delish and enticing.

Have I mentioned that I gave up meat for Lent? Have I mentioned that I'd give my left foot for beef right now? I took a nap on Saturday and apparently woke up mumbling "steak taco". I actually woke myself up from my mouth saying the words, so I know it really happened. Brian died laughing and I, instead of being embarrassed, made a vow to swing by Taco Bell on the Easter Sunday for my own little post-Lent treat:

I don't know what's more pathetic-- that I'm dreaming about meat, or that the most satisfying thing I can think of to curb that craving is a stop at Fake Meat Central.

Have a fabulous rest of your Tuesday! If you're out and about and chitter-chattering, make your words worthwhile :)

'Til later, my lovelies!!

Nothing says Friday like BritBrit and wine!

Girlfriend is performing in Vegas tonight. It was JUST announced. I am only the tiniest bit jealous/depressed/low and let down that there is no fathomable way that I can be there. After all, BritBrit invited me (and her seven million Twitter followers) herself:

"Looks like my little secret isn't a secret anymore. You're all invited.
Be there or be square bitch!"

Le sigh. She's nothing, if not eloquent. And smart. Nothing says "IT'S FRIDAY!!" like an open to the public performance at midnight tonight. I'll be there in spirit (and scouring YouTube tomorrow morning!!), dear Britney...

Anywho, if y'all are as happy as I am that today is Friday... well, then there's a lot of giddiness spreading around out there. Even though I'm stuck at my drab desk today, I feel like the Welcome Wagon for the Weekend (how about THAT alliteration?) and intend to kick it off in style! Interestingly enough, tonight's version of "in style" for me will most likely mean relaxing with wine, yoga pants, and The Boy's family (which, let's be honest, is never all that relaxing to begin with) but I am delightfully looking forward to it all the same.

To cover the part of the week in which I did NOT blog, I shall take the easy way out and bullet away to my heart's content.

*Why on earth does Mother Nature dislike Boston, MA so much? Yesterday it snowed. SNOWED, people. Snow at the end of March does not make sense to this Texan. I'm so ready for warm weather, blooming flowers, grilling yummy foods outside and finally getting to take my runs back out into the fresh air and out of the gym/off of the dreadmill. Plus, while I'm walking into strong northern gusts of wind, my Mama's on the phone telling me how they've already turned the AC on. Alleluia, Texas, I miss you.

*A much-needed date night is in store for me and The Boy tomorrow night, and I could not be more thrilled. Just us-- no family, no friends, no "we have to go due to ____ obligation"... nope. I fully intend on heading to dinner, picking up fancy beers for Brian and a bottle of wine for me, and settling in to watch a movie. Twenty-five at its finest, my friends.

*I'LL BE HOME IN TEXAS ONE WEEK FROM TODAY!! One of my BFFs is getting married in June and I'm flying home next weekend for her bridal shower/to see my family AND MY DADDY FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE HIS FRAME CAME OFF!!/to eat non-meat Texas deliciousness that Boston cuisine has/will/could never compare to. In the meantime, girlfriend has to find a dress to wear to the aforementioned shower. I am currently adoring this little number:

Thoughts? Comments? Tips on how to make my hair do THAT EXACT THING next Saturday in the Texas humidity?

*Keegan (the engaged BFF) has also enlisted me to help her younger sister plan her bachelorette weekend. While I will reveal more details at a later date, I can say this: there will be wine, there will be lingerie, there will be fancy dresses and high heels... and I will be so glad when it's here so I can sit back and take a breather. Trying to keep a big group of gals happy and coordinated is HARD, y'all.

*I am officially recommitting to Weight Watchers tomorrow morning. Rebel that I am, however, I will not be following the new PointsPlus plan. Nope, I'm going back to Momentum (which doesn't mean much to non-WWers, but I'll just say the plan had a complete overhaul in mid-November and I was not happy with the changes one little bit) and I'm just fine with it. For an entire year, the Momentum program worked for me and helped me to lose (and keep off. KEEP OFF!!) forty pounds, so why fix what's not broken? While I have certainly been conscious of what I'm eating and drinking, I've definitely been off-plan since Thanksgiving. Now that I have totally normal and realistic women modeling swimsuits bombarding my inbox, it's time to get serious. Between getting my healthy eating in check again and refocusing on my running training, I really want to figure out a schedule for working in weight resistance (may it be staring creepily at myself in the mirror while I do it alone, or with a class, where I enviably stare at everyone else), as well as more group classes. No time like the present to make changes (especially since summer and bathing suits are juuuust around the corner, right?)!!

*While I'm not a night snacker at all, there are times when I do like a little something sweet. Pretty much since Christmas, Brian and I have fulfilled those little cravings by indulging in our NEVER ENDING SUPPLY of Christmas candy... and then Valentine's candy... and then we finally had to be grown ups and throw it all out because, well... you'd be surprised at how just one little candy cane Hershey Kiss can turn into 4... or 10. I tried to think back to what I'd done when I first started WW and was very strict with my daily points, and I remembered my love:
WW must have missed me terribly, because these things brought mama home! I'm not kidding-- these Weight Watchers Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake ice cream bars are sinfully good. I would link to the official website, but I can't seem to find them through the Weight Watchers ice cream page-- I promise they're out there! In my local grocery store (and in my freezer, duh) The downside to these treats are that they can definitely be pricey-- I know they run between $5-6 per box at my grocery stores. If you search for coupons on The Internet before you head out though, you can sometimes get lucky and find a printable coupon. My bars were marked down $1 (store sale) and then I had an additional $1 off coupon that I found online! So worth it, especially with the savings (love that frugalness!). I know people complain about the ingredient list and the artificial sweeteners and so on, but people, let me be frank. If one of these sweet little bars can prevent me from indulging in this:

... then sign me up, please! In observation of all things PMS-related... that does look awfully, sinfully tasty, right? Just checking.

'Til later, my lovelies!!

What are your plans for the weekend? Anything exciting happening? Or are you opting to be perfectly relaxed, like moi?

Wet kitchen floor-1, Katie's knees-0

Do you ever have those days where you just feel all moody and irked and irritable? You pray, at the mercy of all those who surround you, for people to just hit the "easy" button today and not ask a million and one questions about things they should already know the answer to, such as why the copier is beeping (feed it paper, friends) or whether you mind doing X in addition to the fifty-two things you're trying to catch up on after being out of the office at the end of last week (yes, I DO in fact mind, but yes, I will of course still do it anyways).

Today, that is me.

There are zero sufficient reasons why I should feel all bothered, BUT even though I do and would rather just kind of mope and be annoyingly whine-tastic... I'm trying to shake the funk. Honest. Venting is a form of shaking the funk and, sadly enough for y'all, I vent via the blog. What made me want to change my ways and not carry on, all "woe is me"-like, as crummy as my day might seem... it's not all that bad. In fact, I'll translate for you...

And I'm done. I was feeling cheery and like my day was starting to look up and I was going to put a positive spin on everything... and then I fell. On my knees and down to my face. After being out of town and me making it my mission to empty the fridge before we left, I had the option of hunger or a SmartOnes frozen dinner for lunch. Off to the kitchen I went, with my empty 1.5 liter bottle in one hand and my dinner in the other. I nuked it, filled my water, and went to walk all confidently back to my desk and then BAM before I knew what was happening, I was face down on the kitchen floor. The kitchen floor at my office. The kitchen floor which is currently the lunching place of just about every guy in our lab (I love Brian to the moon and back but seriously-- nobody wants to wipeout in front of a bunch of guys). The first thing I saw were pasta rigatoni noodles at least four feet away from me, and my water, glug-glug-glugging on its side.

Sadly, the next thing that registered in my head, other than "Oh my freaking goodness, my knee! The pain! In my knee!" was "This is SO going on the blog."

That has GOT to say something about my sanity.

A member of my audience/a guy from the lab jumped up and got so many points-- he was on his knees wiping up saucy rigatoni noodles with me. Everyone kept asking if I was okay and, as I legit swallowed the lump in my throat, swore I was good. Minus my dignity, as I wiped melty cheese off of my black pants.

I was trying so hard to put a positive spin on today but the whole body meeting the floor of the kitchen thing just took it right out of me.

Actually, I take that back. Since my lunch is at the bottom of a trash can, I'm treating myself to a Bolocco burrito bowl.

Amen and happy Monday.

I wrote a post about a 5k... and it deleted.

I had a fabulous post all typed and ready to share... and then I hit publish and it deleted. Here's me after the 5k I ran on Sunday. We're in Chicago until THIS Sunday. I am livid.


Cold weather run- 0, Katie- 1

Something tells me that perhaps I should have started running outside a little farther in advance than ONE DAY before my first 5k of the year.

This past winter in Boston has, in all honesty, SUCKED. So much snow, ice, cold winds, freezing temperatures... in other words, the place as a whole completely rocked against my outside running. Any running that I've done since mid-October was done on the treadmill at the gym and, ohhh how I despise the DREADmill. Every once in awhile is fine, but when you know that your workout for the day is going to be hopping on a belt and staring at the wall for 40 minutes or so, it makes it so less exciting to prep for.

Anywho, the big 5k is tomorrow morning, and it occurred to me yesterday afternoon that I should perhaps entertain the idea of an outside run this morning, just to see how the cold might affect my body.

Y'all, it was UGLY. I was literally maybe a quarter of a mile into my three and a half total when I was gasping for air. The wind was whipping around (and against) me, I felt like my lungs were on fire, my nose was drippy (it happens), and my legs felt like stumbling pieces of lead. I kept going and figured out the spots on the track where the wind was at my back and made it through the first mile, after which I WALKED. One mile into my run. This was so frustrating because I know that my body is PHYSICALLY capable of running consecutive miles, but MENTALLY things just weren't connecting. Walking during a run plays with my head big time, as if I've completely blown the run and let myself down because I didn't push myself to keep going. In my defense, pre-cold weather, I was running 4-5 miles around my old faithful track without stopping. I'm aware that that's a warm-up run for many of you antelopes and cheetah-esque sprinters, but that was a big deal for me, and about as far as I got into my training before I slacked off. My motivation for my runs lately has been my dad and how far he's come with his leg, so I mainly tell myself that I'm running for my dad each and every time I have a workout.

As I walked my quarter mile around the track, I came up with my little game plan-- jog the curves and sprint the straights for the next 2.1 miles. Not only did it make the time fly by, but the slower jogged parts really let me up the ante for the sprints... and that felt really good. At one point I caught a brief glimpse of my shadow... and I TOTALLY looked like a runner! Like good form and everything! Giddy, indeed! I finished 3 miles ran in 31 minutes and had my half mile worth of walking, which I don't count towards my miles ran.

All in all, I was glad that I got out and did it. Tomorrow morning would have been one heck of a rude awakening if I just showed up in my Kiss Me I'm Irish gear, expecting to sprint off through the pack (pack, 6000 people... whatev), only to be walking a quarter of the way into it thinking "What in tarnation is up with this cold?! And my lungs! They are on fire! Why can I not feel my toes!?" (and no, not once did any/all of these questions run through my mind today). I'm pretty pumped to get this first race of the year under my belt and keep training for bigger and better things. I'm hoping to run several more 5ks throughout the spring, and hammer down a 10k at some point this summer, with my first half marathon following up this fall.

In other news, one of my fav celeb couples have some pret-ty exciting news...


Oh, don't give me that look. Everyone has their vices and one of my mine is celebrity gossip. You've gotta give the girl some credit. She's married to the ultimate man's man (oh, how I sigh, Mr. Beckham) and has produced THREE adorable boys for the man. It's about time girlfriend has someone else on her side.

After all, when your boys' soccer games become the place to rock outfits like this:

... it's obvious that girlfriend CLEARLY needs a little girl to tote around to dance class and baby fashion shows. Baby Posh will come out wearing Louboutins, mark my word.

Since I've already jumped from running to Posh, I might as well talk about the Meat Sacrifice. So far, so good. I haven't really craved any meat yet, but I AM feeling really hungry, like my body is 100% aware that it's not full all of the time. My mission this weekend is to start trying to figure out how to fit more protein into my diet, avoid tofu, and not survive wholly on beans. Brian has been supportive, although I've only cooked a vegetarian dish once, and he ordered his own takeout the second night. While excited, I'm also mindful of the fact that we're only 3 days in. Tomorrow I have a mushroom rigatoni dish planned, and veggie fajitas for Monday night. Tuesday is leftovers and then as of Wednesday after work we're off to Chicago for the weekend!!

My lovelies, I leave you with this:

Have a happy rest of the weekend! I'll be back tomorrow with a full report from my 5k/pub crawl.

Where's the beef?

After much deliberation, inner self-talk (hmm...), and countless GChat debates with a fabulous co-worker/runner/healthy eater (most of the time), I have decided to give up meat for Lent, with meat being all forms of beef, pork, and chicken (I tremble as I type this...).

This is coming from a girl who grew up in Texas eating meat every night of the week, and who, although I love vegetables in all shapes and forms, loves for my protein to come well-done and consumed with the appropriate condiments. It is for this reason, that giving up meat is an absolute sacrifice for me. Several/tons of thoughts accompany this sacrifice:

-I'm interested in seeing how different my body might feel over the course of the next six weeks.
-What if I don't eat meat for 6 weeks and decide I like it better that way!?
-What if The Boy doesn't like all of the veggies that I make for our meals?
-How in the heck am I supposed to find enough good vegetarian recipes to keep me interested for six weeks?
-Will I break my record for how many bean and cheese burritos can be consumed in X amount of time?

Adios, you gorgeous roasted chicken, you.

Cheeseburger, my love... we shall reunite so soon. Sort of. Not really. Mwah.

Today, my appetite fully embraced my sacrifice, asking me to indulge in every possible meat-related item I could find. My fellow temp-veggie friend and I decided to embrace not only our last day of eating meat, but the purpose of Fat Tuesday as well. In short, we booked to Boloco and said See ya! to the burrito bowl. No sirree, it was all flour tortillas, white rice, and MEEEEAT.

Feast your eyes, my friends.
It was DE-LISH for sure, and so worth the calories. Since I made it 4 miles on the treadmill, I came home and ate a leftover hamburger patty, along with Lean Cuisine's Fajita Style Chicken Spring Rolls. I basically opened the freezer, saw the three tiny little spring rolls, and thought "Yep, I'm sure gonna want THOSE before 40 days are over!" and so they were nuked. I then made a pork tenderloin and red beans and rice for supper. It was fab and comforting and lovely and easy! Sadly, I also covered all of my meat bases over the course of 38 minutes.

On an opposite note, my first 5k of 2011 is rapidly approaching! As in, I'm running this Sunday. Holy schmolies. Caitlin and I are hiking over to pick up our race packets tomorrow after work (!!!) and we plan on being fully obnoxious and having photo shoots with our packets and race numbers before we part ways for the night. This should be a really fun time (I mean the race, but picking up race packets should be a barrel of fun as well!)-- it's an Irish/St. Patrick's Day-themed 5k and 6000 people run it. Again, holy schmolies. I'm feeling pretty good, conditioning-wise, and am hoping that my race time will shorten down a bit once I get on the course and my adrenaline kicks in. Regardless, we'll both be outfitted in sparkly shamrock tattoos (courtesy of Caitlin) and will be pumped for the pub crawl afterwards!!

Alright, my lovelies. I'm off to bed. There's a craving for bacon-wrapped filet pounding through my head/tummy, so I'm brushing the teeth and tucking in for the night. T-minus 47 days before I try out the meat again!

G'night, y'all.

Baby Colin, here we come!!

I cannot stop staring at the little digital time ticking away on my computer screen.

In three hours I will be leaving the office, and in five hours Brian and I will be on our plane, flying off to Baltimore for the weekend to meet Colin!

Little Man, start practicing the smile that I've yet to see--
Aunt Katie No Ring and Uncle Brian are on their way!!

Why yes-- I do in fact advise that you continue your duties of sleeping like a little baby in preparation for our arrival.

I can't wait to meet this little lovebug! I'll be back with approximately 972 pictures at some point this weekend/Monday. Have a fabulous weekend, my lovelies!!