Sunday, July 29, 2012

Charleston Eats

We are truly spoiled by the abundance of delicious, unique, and high quality food in Charleston. It is the reason we cry over our bank accounts at the end of the weekend and the main contributor to our lack of weight loss. I tend to take more pictures of food items than actual people, so when I was going through my camera roll earlier today I decided it was time to share a few.

Earlier this month Carl and I went to Mustard Seed on James Island for my birthday dinner. We enjoyed a half-price bottle of wine (yay!) while I drooled over their impressive selection of vegetarian entrees. Moments where I scan a menu and realize that there is absolutely nothing meatless for me to eat are few and far between these days, but it's still refreshing when the vegetarian section of the menu consists of more than just a handful of overly cheesy dishes. I decided to order the sweet potato ravioli and it was truly life changing. It was served in a creamy sauce with goat cheese, pecans, and spinach. YUM. I got giddy when I went to pack my lunch the next day and remembered that I had delicious leftovers.

This picture was sort of an afterthought once I took a break from shoveling raviolis into my mouth at lightning speed, so I apologize for the bad quality. It comes nowhere near to doing it justice. 
My sweet tooth has been somewhat out of control lately, so I have it to thank for leading me to the discovery of the Closed for Business ice cream sandwich. During a recent happy hour there I happened to notice that a homemade ice cream sandwich was featured on their specials board. I immediately ordered one and I know that it's only a matter of time before my taste buds lead me back because it was so stinking good. Here's a really flattering picture of me digging in:

Manners seem to fly out the window when good food is involved. It's just so much more effective
to bring the plate to your face!
Speaking of delicious desserts, I have a pretty serious love affair going with King of Pops, a fun little popsicle company that has stands set up at various events and locations in Charleston. I'll be here waiting while you follow the link to their list of different flavors.

Clearly these popsicles are far superior to any others. The best part is that the ingredients are all natural, making it the ultimate guilt-free snack. The only way I can think of to improve them would be to use the sticks with jokes printed on them. So far I've only had the chocolate sea salt, bluegrass, and key lime pie, but I'm making it a personal mission to try as many flavors as possible before the summer ends.
Here's the key lime pie. It even had graham cracker crumbs!
I've made myself hungry in writing this post, so I'm off for a little bedtime snack. If only I had a personal supply of those popsicles...

Monday, July 23, 2012

Taking Time to Smell the Roses... and Baby Goats

As far as 40 minute work commutes go, mine could be a lot worse. Most of my drive is under a gorgeous canopy of oaks and other trees that I don't know the names of, passing farm fields, marsh views, and an interesting mixture of enormous houses and shacks, expensive cars and hitch hikers. It gives me time to clear my head after a long day or drink my smoothie in the morning (if, of course, I've woken up early to make one- not going to lie, it's been a while). This is my most recent smoothie fiasco:

I was glad that the mess was confined to my center console but holy cow, that was hard to clean up!
This morning as I was driving to work, wallowing in my Monday sorrows and the fact that every radio station decided to go to commercial concurrently, I looked up just in time to notice a field full of dozens and dozens of baby goats- kids, if you will. I think I like the term baby goat better. Something about those baby goats was just so breathtakingly cute that I knew I couldn't possibly have a bad day. On the way home I planned on stopping to snap a few pictures, but those goats had been moved to a different field further away from the road and I wasn't really in the right mood for trespassing. I'm hoping they'll be back out tomorrow. My lack of goat pictures prompted a half hour long Google search of baby goat images and I think I've almost convinced myself to go into animal husbandry... minus the animal killing aspect.

Look at the baby!

Here's to finding a way to escape the pressures of our days- whether it's smelling the roses or getting a little too excited about young ruminants. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Oh, Friday Night

Hello, all! I hope everyone had a wonderful week and has exciting plans for the weekend in the works. Nick and Caroline are coming in to town tomorrow for a little wedding planning fun, so I'm looking forward to living vicariously through Caroline as I fondly relive all the thrills that go along with the process. We're also going to be paying a little visit to the farmer's market downtown in Marion Square, which I'm pretty excited about. It's so easy to avoid the downtown like the plague, but it also means that we miss out on a lot of the events that make Charleston such a cool city. If we don't have to battle a half hour to find a parking spot I might be tempted to go two weeks in a row!

Meanwhile, tonight I am a walking, talking feminist's nightmare as I sit and watch Grey's Anatomy, shovel chocolate cake into my mouth, and get embarrassingly weepy-eyed. What is it about this stupid show that makes me cry before the theme song even plays? Clearly it's not because of the way that I so easily relate to struggling young doctors or dramatic romance. Who knows- at any rate, Carl is off fishing so I figured a little girl time was in order. Next up: a workout video to round out week 3 of my 16-week workout binge. Things are still going really well, and I'm actually starting to notice a little more definition in my arms and legs. Everything but my pesky tummy. Curses.

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Workout Plan #36,518

Since about mid-March I've had little to no motivation to work out. Or eat healthy. Or be a productive human being in general. I was doing so well with the ABC's and then I hit a wall and quit doing anything remotely good for myself. But something about swimsuit season and my ever-growing love handles made me decide it was time for a change. I cooked up yet another new plan that will hopefully be easier to succeed with than the ABC's, and is a little more structured than a plain old workout tally. Check it out:

Admittedly, I probably went a little bit overboard. Carl walked in on me cutting out 64 little colorful squares and made fun of me for about 10 minutes for finding a way to involve arts and crafts in my workout program. Make all the fun you want, but it really does help motivate me and I think that's what matters most. Here's the plan:

16 weeks of workouts-
Week 1: 7 workouts
Weeks 2-3: 6 workouts
Weeks 4-6: 5 workouts
Weeks 7-10: 4 workouts
Weeks 11-13: 3 workouts
Weeks 14-15: 2 workouts
Week 16: 1 workout

Every week has a square with the name of a workout video, and I get to put a color square on top of each one as a means of checking it off once I've completed the workout. Once I reach the end I'll have a beautiful hodge podge of colorful squares! Let's not talk about the fact that I have enough videos for a 16 week program... in my defense, some of them are included twice.  The weeks with less squares have harder, more muscle-intense workouts (those killer Jackie and Jillian videos), whereas the longer weeks in the beginning involve more cardio than muscle training. Since it seems like I start to lose motivation to work out hardcore once I start seeing any sign of results I decided to make the program get progressively easier in terms of time commitment. As you can see, I'm 1/3 of the way into week 2, and so far things are going great. I'm thrilled to already have the hardest week behind me. Wish me luck, and I'll keep everyone posted on my progression. I've already lost 5 pounds!

Okay, that's not true. But I feel like I've lost 5 pounds, even if the scale is a stupid jerk. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Allison Bussells

This afternoon was a pretty big one for me. I said goodbye to almost 25 years as Allison Wonus and finally got switched over to Bussells. That's right, I'm officially a Bussells! I bit the bullet and paid a visit to both the Social Security office and the DMV. Let me take a moment to discuss the fact that the SSA office in Charleston is only open between the hours of 8:30 and 3. What the heck!? That's all well and good for all the retired elderly folks out there collecting their benefits but for anyone with a job it's really the pits. Luckily, I had the afternoon off and rushed on over to stand in line and make this marriage official. When I took my ticket and the estimated wait time was 100 minutes I got somewhat discouraged, but they kept things moving at a nice pace and it only took about a half hour. I figured I'd try my luck and hop on over to the DMV to get my license changed while I was still feeling motivated and again, it was miraculously quick. I didn't get yelled at, spat upon, or anything! (I'm always a little intimidated by the disgruntled employees at these type places).

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th!

Happy 4th of July! Aside from the sweltering heat wave that typically comes along with it, July is one of my favorite months. For one thing, it's my birth month- I'll be 25 in 5 days, yikes! Plus there's usually lots of trips to the beach, cookouts, fireworks, and tomato sandwiches:

I've had a least one of these every day of the past month. They never get old!
July 4th is also pretty near and dear to me because on this day 5 years ago I brought Melman home. I gathered up some of my best Melman pictures to share, so enjoy!

Melman was born May 12, 2007. Here he is with one of his sisters, just a few weeks old.
I'll be honest, I'm not really sure which one is him...
This was maybe two weeks before he got to come home. What a precious little angel. 
Melman and Liz- best friends from the start!
He came home and quickly started a lifelong tradition of stealing other dogs' food. 
Look how little he was!
He's lucky he's cute...
...because he frequently finds his way into mischief.
This is one of his lesser offenses.
Melman and Riley have always been best buds. I think they would have been devastated
if Carl and I hadn't gotten married.

Ah, true love.
Here's to another 5 years with Melman! I promise not to dress you up in silly costumes anymore.