Monday, January 26, 2015

snowmageddon it

The snow has already started here at Casa de Lesleygirl. Snowmageddon 2015 is here! There will be no survivors!

Three things.

1. I need to find a way to be more productive on the weekends. Although, now that I typed that sentence out, I realize that I probably needed the lazy weekend that I had. See, often when I have a respiratory infection like the one that's currently on its way out, I'll start to feel better and think I'm back at 100% and go back to my usual routine when I really should be taking it easy, and then I end up sicker. So hey, I didn't make that mistake this time. And I am feeling better, thanks for asking. It only hurts a little tiny bit when I take a deep breath. Major improvement there. I still have about a week left of the medicine, too. And then look out, world!

2. I didn't do a whole lot this weekend, but I did feel inspired to cook. Yesterday I made a yummy stir fry, and today I made a pot roast with lots of vegetables. I put that on this morning and let it simmer all day, so the whole house smells like a home-cooked meal. I also made some sugar free peanut butter cups for myself, and a batch of low carb cookies that turned out shockingly well. I had never baked with coconut flour before but now I'm a fan.

3. I have to do something brave this week. I'll be a tease and tell you that I can't say too much about it right now, but I'm putting it out here to give myself a degree of accountability about it. I mean, it's in the blog, so now I'd better be brave and do it, right?

I have more to say, but I need my sleep. Good night and stay safe out there, kittens! xo

Monday, January 19, 2015

and the cat's in the cradle with the silver spoon...

In my new job, I send out a report to the Giant Client every day called the HealthCheck Report. So hey, tonight, I'mma give you my very own HealthCheck Report!

- It still hurts to cough and I still have that weird burning in my chest when I take a deep breath, but it's not as bad. Plus I figured out that if I press on where they told me the infection is before I cough, it's not as painful.

- Just in case my respiratory fun wasn't enough, my eczema has reappeared. This time it's all over my left eyelid, left eyebrow, and forehead, which is pretty much the most attractive look EVER, you know. I'm sure that very soon your local Sephora will be selling flaky skin pink eyeshadow so you can look as cool as I do right now. And no, sadly, there's really nothing very good for eczema. Well, there was one ointment that worked but then it got a black-box warning, and ya know, I'd rather having pink eyelids than whatever the black box was warning me about. Cortisone helps and so does coconut oil, and so does giving it a couple days to clear up. Funny how that works.

Other than that, no complaints from me. And actually, even some good news in that this year I'm noticing that my usual seasonal affective crap hasn't hit me as hard. I don't know if it was the tropical vacation in November, the excitement of a new job, or my fancy new alarm clock that wakes me up with a simulated sunrise, but whatever it is, yay! Next winter I'm sure I'll still have the same job and the same alarm clock so I think this means that I have to go back to Mexico next November. For my health, of course.

That's all for now. Time for sleepy-bye. Good night, kittens.

Friday, January 16, 2015

schmeurisy

Okay, so officially, my official answer is that I have a "respiratory infection," but really I have the pleurisy. This a rather revolting development. I had a bad cough for two weeks and then earlier this week I was coughing less (yay!) but had a weird burning feeling (boo!) when I took a deep breath and it hurt like a bastard when I coughed, so I decided to suck it up and see the doctor. As I was driving to my appointment, I thought maybe I didn't need to go, because maybe the painful deep breaths would go away, but one chest x-ray later, and I was sent away with some prescriptions.

Meh. The weird part is I really don't feel SICK-sick, I just feel kinda weird. But enough about that.

So apparently, the respiratory infection make me feisty. Last night, as I was driving home from CVS there was a car behind me with their high beams on. And since I'm in front of them, there's really no way for me to tell them to knock it off, and their car was bigger than mine so the high beams were reflecting off my side mirrors, and it was really quite annoying! So when we stopped at a light, I hopped out of my car and walked up to the driver's side window and said "Hi! Could you please do me a solid and turn off those high beams? Thanks. I knew ya could."

There have been other times I've had to get out of the car to do things like this. Once it was to ask a tailgater if my ass tastes good, and another time it was tell the person in front of me that if they didn't pull up the sensor that governs the light won't know we're there and won't make the light turn green, since it had already been red for a good five minutes. I wish I had a tray of hors d'oeuvres in my car for such occasions. It just seems like it would be so much nicer if I could say "Please turn off those high beams. And would you care for some crudités?" So civilized, right?

Time for more of the good cough medicine and some soup. Yay!

Monday, January 12, 2015

be my, be my, be my baby carrot...

I think January should be renamed Baby Carrot Season. Wait, what? I'll explain.

First, I'll tell you that I mean, of course, I'd never judge what anyone else eats. Never! Except for when I totally do just that. In the last few offices** in which I've worked I've noticed a trend that January brings about the inevitable New Year's resolutions, and many of those resolutions pertain to eating healthier and/or losing weight. And the one panacea that everyone has decided on in order to achieve these goals? BABY CARROTS.

I've noticed this before, but this morning was the first time I really put it all together. By 9:00 this morning, three different coworkers had bragged along the lines of "I'm being good! I brought healthy snacks!" and then produced a bag of baby carrots. One of them had polished off the entire bag by 10:00 AM and was running out at lunch time to get more. Seriously? Baby carrots?

I'm not sure when these things got the reputation for being health food, but I'm not a fan. Never have been. There's always at least one "ugly carrot" in the bag (as described in the movie "Bridesmaids"), and that's under the best of circumstances. Often there's a stinky carrot, too. The less said about the stinky carrot, the better. And while the baby carrot is a better snack than many other typical workplace snacks, I'm pretty sure that consuming an entire bag of them kinda defeats the purpose.

Oh and baby carrots are neither babies nor carrots. Wait... that's not right. They're carrots, but they're not baby carrots. Some farmer was looking for a new way to market carrots and came up with the idea of putting them on a spindle-type apparatus and paring them down into little logs, at least two per carrot (oh, and they're given a chlorine bath before they head off to the little bag they come in). So I guess if carrots were to reproduce by asexual fragmentation, then it's possible that they're the babies of a big carrot. However, from what I remember of A.P. Biology***, I don't think that's the case.

Based on the behavior of most of the carrot aficionados I've known, it seems that the only thing one must do in order to keep one's lose weight / eat healthy resolution is to carry around a bag of baby carrots, and also to make sure you mention to everyone in your general vicinity that you've brought carrots to snack on. But then, if that worked, I would have been a Skinny Minnie years ago myself.

Now, I won't hate on all the carrot eaters. Some of them seem to be making an effort, and packing a healthy lunch and hitting the office gym, along with crunching on their ubiquitous carrots. Others, though, appear to have not changed a thing. This is where I get judgey. There's more to eating healthfully than just adding a bushel o' baby carrots to your daily intake. And frankly, I feel a little alarmed when I see people who have some insulin / blood sugar issues chowing down on the baby carrots. Their glycemic index is rather high. Moderation is your friend here, kids. As in all things.

Oh and I don't hate the carrots, either. When I make bone broth, they're in the mix of root vegetables that I add for flavor. When I make stew, they're right there with the potatoes, onions, and cubed meat. In fact, I feel a little insulted when I make stew and people go out of their way to avoid the carrots. But I digress...

In other news, the cough is getting better, but unfortunately it has begat my least favorite office game ever and I had a few people today say that they had caught my cough. Never mind that their symptoms were totally different than mine, obviously I had some Exotic New Jersey Virus that I infected the whole office with. Hey, my mother taught me to share, so why wouldn't I share my germs? I'm so generous like that.

Time for sleepies. Good night, my little evil baby carrots. xo


**Just typing that sentence made me sad. The fact that I've worked in four different offices in the last four years, when I thought I had signed on to be a lifer at the first. Oh well, it is what it is, and it ain't what it ain't. And I'm quite sure now things have worked out for the best for me.

***The other thing I remember from A.P. Bio was that someone spray painted "END VIVISECTION!" on the door to the bio lab, on the same day that someone else had apparently stolen a whole bunch of stickers from the butcher section of the local supermarket, so along with "END VIVISECTION!" there were about 50 stickers that all said "BONELESS." Good times!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

weekend by the numbers

Bowls of soup consumed: 7

Hot toddies consumed: 5 (NB: this will make for a very good story for me to tell at hot toddy rehab!)

Hours of movies watched: 1,000 (approximately)

Trips to Starbucks: 3

Trips to Starbucks in which I enjoyed a free beverage: 3

Hours spent dozing on the couch: 1,000 (approximately)



That's enough numbers for now. Still coughing but feeling better. This is one badass virus, I have to say.

And now I should get some sleep. There's some freezing rain in the forecast so in the morning I'll have to decide to either work from home or brave the roads. Not looking forward to that latter option, truth be told. But I shall do what must be done!

Good night, my wee chickens.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

we three kings of orient are...

And thus endeth Christmas. I got my blessed chalk and wrote the Epiphany blessing on my front door. I was going to take down my wreath, but then I don't have one to put up in its place just yet, so my wreath will live on until the weekend. As will the Christmas tree, although I've already warned the felines that the tree is going away soon so they'd better get in as many of their under-the-tree naps as possible the next few days.

It snowed here today. The first real snow of the season. It was supposed to start around 7:00 AM and thus ruin the morning commute, so in an effort to avoid that clusterfuck, I left my house at 6:30 AM. (Yup, I did that. Me. I'm like practically a morning person now!) It was flurrying like a snow globe as I drove and I kept thinking "The turnpike is so pretty with the snowflakes! And with no traffic on it!" I got to the Valley Forge exit at 7:10, swung by Starbucks for some free coffee and a breakfast sammich, and then strolled into my office at 7:30. Not bad at all, and actually it got even better because everyone who drove through the snow ended up being very late, so there was lots of quiet time when I could get some actual work done.

The evening commute was rather pleasant, since my early start meant I could leave early to drive home. Then I came home and cooked myself a fabulous dinner: grilled lamb, mashed cauliflower with roasted garlic, and creamed spinach. Yum.

In other news, my cough had gotten better, or so I thought, because now tonight I'm back to hacking. It's true. I would be asleep already, except that when I tried to lay down it made me cough. So now I'm back up, the kettle is on, and there's a hot toddy in my future. This cough really needs to go away. I'm running low on rum and lemons. And I don't want to go to hot toddy rehab.

Good night, loves.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

ten lords a-leaping

Just in case you forgot, it's the 10th day of Christmas. Yes, my tree is still up. And yours should be, too, at least until Tuesday.

I didn't do much this weekend, other than rest a LOT in an effort to rid myself of this junky cough. So I slept much more than I normally do, and ya know, I really think it helped. I also drank more hot toddies than I ever have in my life, but seriously, they were the ONLY thing that stopped my constant coughing. I can't take any cough suppressants because they interact with my thyroid medicine, so instead it's hot water, lemon, honey, and rum for me. Oh and a lot of Mucinex. What a life.

In amongst all the napping and hot toddy drinking, I did manage to do a few other things. Yesterday I took an arm-knitting class with Chairrish. It was the best ten bucks I have spent all year! Like the name says, this is knitting with one's arms, so you basically cast the stitches onto one arm and then knit them over to the other arm and back and forth.

In no time at all, I made a huge infinity scarf for myself (that's the one to the right there). I actually made it a little too long, as it can wrap around my neck three times, but hey, once I got into the rhythm of arm knitting, I really didn't want to stop.

Then, last night I made this gray and black and silver infinity scarf to the left. And it only took me about a half hour, which is good because while making it my arms are all tied up in yarn and if it took a long time I'd be concerned about possibly needing a bathroom break. I'm not actually going to wear it like that, though, nor will I make that crazy face while wearing it. Except if it gets really, REALLY cold. Then it's totally going over my head so I can stay warm. I don't care about looking ridiculous. I care about staying warm.

Today I went to the gym for the first time since Tuesday, if you can believe that. It felt good to work out once again, and I only did a little coughing, so it wasn't too bad. It was hot as hell in the Zumba studio, which at first made me worry I was running a fever I hadn't been aware of, but after class I found out it was actually due to the crazy warm weather we had today making it hot as hell in the gym. Good to know.

And now I must bid you good night. I have to be up early and I have some big, BIG kick-offs starting at work tomorrow, so I have to get myself all caffeinated and enthusiastic and ready to get my project teams totally on-board with the work we have for the first quarter of 2015. This is the part of my job that I love. In about two months when it's down to the wire for the end of the quarter and I'm chasing people down for their project tasks, I may not be feeling quite so jolly about my job. But hey, you never know. New company, new culture, and all that.

Good night, kittens. Be well. xo

Thursday, January 01, 2015

should old acquaintance be forgot...

Okay, I know that the song is more of a "should this happen, then that" but I had to laugh last night when I heard it and thought of a few old acquaintances from 2014 that I'm glad did not make the cut for my 2015. Should those old acquaintances be forgot? Oh, hells yeah.

I'll tell you straight-up: 2014 got off to a very bad start for yours truly. In fact, if January 2014 were one of those old acquaintances that I could forget, I totally would. I would really rather not ever remember again how awful I was feeling and how fucked up the start of 2014 was for me.

However, by the end of the year, I can say that 2014 was one of the best years ever. I have a job that I love in a really cool field, I have my health (despite this horrible cough that makes me sound like a tragic minor character in a bleak Russian novel), and I'm surrounded by wonderful people in my life. I had not one but TWO fabulous vacations at all-inclusive resorts in Mexico, I made some wonderful new friends, and there are a lot of things that make me feel very hopeful about 2015.

So despite any low points, I'll remember you fondly, 2014. And now onward to kick 2015's ass. But first, I need to get rid of this cough...

Sunday, December 28, 2014

four calling birds

Is anyone still reading this? If you are, much love on yas.

How about a weekend wrap up? Or a week wrap up? Or just three things I feel like telling you? Let's go...

1. Christmas was all sorts of fun, but really how could it not be when you have a fun bunch like the LesleyFamily to hang with? By the end of Christmas day, Bear (my younger cousin -- I only have two cousins) and I had made plans to take Oldest Nephew out for his 21st birthday in April. Not sure if that will actually happen, but at least on Christmas night we had him convinced. Hey, it'll be the end of the semester and all his friends will be broke, while Bear and I both have jobs. That will make us look like some pretty fun 21st birthday companions!

2. I finally watched Silver Linings Playbook this weekend. Yes, I realize the whole world has watched it by now, but as those of you in the inner INNER circle of Lesleydom know, I didn't need to see this movie because I caught the live show earlier this year. Overall, I'd say it's good. Bradley Cooper is very convincing as a bipolar, with the way he gets fixated on things or does things like wake people up in the middle of the night because he's angry at Ernest Hemingway or keep insisting that he's going to write a letter in which he'll "explain it all," but this movie should really come with a disclaimer letting the viewer know that things in real life are not going to end up like this. Not even close. Also, I realize that Hollywood can't discern one mid-Atlantic accent from another, but really, couldn't the actors have at least taken a crack at a Philadelphia accent? They all sounded like straight-up Nuuu Yawk to me, which has some significant differences from the Philly accent.

3. I feel like I'm getting a cough. Again. UGH! I feel like I've had the same stupid cold since October and it's enough already. I was going to make myself a hot toddy tonight, but I have no lemons in the house and also the only booze I have in the house is either Pinnacle whipped vodka, Fireball, or Rumchada, and really none of those would be very good for a hot toddy. I prefer rum, honey, and lemon. So instead, I'm settling for tea and Mucinex. Oh and an early bedtime, wild woman that I am.

Good night, my sweet ones.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

weekend wrap up

I'll tell you four things...

1. There are some Christmas songs that never EVER should have been re-made. "Do they know it's Christmas?" OMG NO. Actually, that song should have never been made in the first place, so there's that. And why, oh why, did Taylor Swift remake "Last Christmas" by Wham. The original is awesome, but her version is creepy. I always picture her singing it to John Mayer while he's tied to a chair in her basement. Just me?


2. Tonight I made these. Not sure what to call them, but they have eggs, cheddar cheese, ricotta, and of course the magic ingredient that I add to everything I cook: LOVE! I sorta made the recipe up as I went along, but they smell really good. In an effort to get out of the house as quickly as possible in the mornings, I was at first making breakfast casseroles and dividing them up. Then I figured out that using a muffin tin would be even quicker because I wouldn't have to do pesky things like take the casserole out of the fridge and cut it every morning. This way I just grab a muffin and go, and then nibble on it as I drive across the Turnpike.

3. Every year I say I won't wait until the last minute for Christmas shopping, and well, this year once again I waited until the last minute and I pretty much want to shoot myself. And for added fun, it turns out that my new office is one of those offices where people give gifts, so I made a trip to a nearby chocolate factory and picked up a case of wine. Yup, they're getting wine and chocolate from me. This will make them like me even more!

4. On a sort-of related note, this week I learned that just because someone gives you a tin of cookies doesn't mean you have to eat said cookies. I received four tins of cookies at work, and of those, I'd say only one was great, another was somewhat edible, and the other two, well, if you can't say something nice...


That's four. Once I get more into a regular rhythm with the new job, different schedule, etc I'll update this thing on a more regular basis. I miss you my dear readers when I don't write. Oh and I miss the writing, too. It's my cheap therapy, you know.

Good night. Be well, my loves.

Monday, December 15, 2014

so yeah

Okay, so between starting a new job, the Lesleymas season, and the Christmas season, I really have not had the time to blog. It's true. I've been one poor correspondent, I've been too too hard to find, but it doesn't mean you ain't been on my mind...

Wait, what? Where was I?

Anyway, I am going to tell you three things today. Three for the Three Kings, I suppose.

1. I had a most excellent weekend, yet again. Ugly Christmas sweaters wear worn, apple cider sangria** was consumed, and Christmas light shows featuring pyrotechnics set to Transiberian Orchsestra music were observed. Yeah, that last one? Only in New Jersey, my friends. And it was so Jersey, it was beautiful. 

** I have discovered that the sangria is much better when I substitute Fireball for the caramel vodka. But then again, everything is better with FIREBALL!

2. I am still loving the new job, especially now that I have received my first paycheck. Some of you know about the implementation that I'm managing, and I will tell you that I'm still amazed at how much faith they have in me. I'm the fourth implementation manager to come along, but I'm determined that I'm going to be a success where the others have failed miserably. I was going over procedures this morning and realizing that nothing -- and I mean, NOTHING -- is documented, and that I really have to make documentation a priority. This is good news because it means that I get to write it and I get to decide. But then it's also bad news because it means that I get to write it and I get to decide. Yeah, quite the conundrum, that. And you know, I am glad that they have so much faith in me. That kind of thing is very motivating.

3. If you haven't finished your Christmas shopping, don't feel bad. Because I haven't even STARTED mine! Yes, I realize that several of you just broke out in hives from reading that. Meh, I'll get to it. I have time, and besides, I work down the street from the biggest and nicest mall on the east coast. So I have access to the shopping, I just don't have the will to do the shopping. I'd better scare it up soon, I guess. 

That's all for now. Be well, kittens.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

you're all that i need... underneath the tree...

So yeah. It's been a while. But I miss you, my dear ones, so I will tell you three (3) things tonight.

1. New job is my employment soulmate. I can't really blog about what I'm doing but if you're in the Inner Circle of Lesleydom, send me an email and I'll be happy to tell you! But trust me, it's way cool. I'm still shocked at how much faith they have in me. I guess I made good impressions at my many interviews! So starting very soon, I will have to do things like put on going-to-business clothes and meet with clients. I'm very excited about that.

2. This job may make me into a morning person. It's amazing how easy it is to wake up early for a job you love. Most days I'm out of the house before 7:00, mostly because if I cross the bridge into Pennsylvania before 7:00, then I can pay the off-peak price and save two whole dollars! There are quite a few people who come in early, and it's kinda nice to get there early and deal with emails and stuff before the office fills up and clients start calling me.

Except on Monday I had a minor incident. I was one of the first ones there, and I thought I was all alone in the kitchen so I was washing out my coffee cup while singing "Shawty Got Moves," as I had just danced to that song on Sunday in Zumba. I had just gotten to the part that goes "She move it, her body, so sexy, can't hide it" when two of my coworkers walked in and said "good morning." We all laughed about it, and you know, I figure this is my second week, they might as well meet the real Lesley. Besides, this shawty got moves.

3. The Christmas tree has been up since Sunday, and so far the score is Luna 1, Christmas Tree 3. Not bad at all. Both cats have taken to sleeping under the tree, which is pretty much the cutest thing ever. I need to get a picture of that action. We've had a few ornaments go missing which are then later found in different places around the house, but I'm not sure that's the work of the pack of Clementine and Luna. It could be the Elf on the Shelf, you know. And I'm pretty sure he's not in their pack. It's a pretty exclusive pack!


Good night. Be well, my loves.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

no blog tonight

Except to say this much: birthday weekend ROCKED!!! And thus, I am too tired tonight to write much.

But I will return tomorrow with some stories to tell you, and some Advent-themed photos.

Good night, my loves.

Friday, December 05, 2014

so this is lesleymas... and what have you done...

I'm way too tired to post pictures or tell you much about my day, but I will say this much: I had the best birthday I've had in YEARS. And you know what? I deserved it!

Good night, my loves.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

lesleymas eve!

Lesleymas Eve has been a very good day. Work was amazeballs yet again, and then after work, I met up with Nuel and his girlfriend and they treated me to a birthday dinner. Awwww! So far, it looks like Lesleymas 2014 totally has the edge on Lesleymas 2013!

Today's Advent theme is alert:

That's yours truly, prepared for the wrath of Hurricane Sandy. I remember taking this. The hurricane hadn't quite arrived here yet, but I know that several glasses of oh-shit-we're-getting-a-hurricane wine had already arrived by the time I took this. Shocking, I know. But hey, I was ALERT!

Good night.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

are you ready?

New job continues to go very well. Oh and I've discovered two more reasons why this place is my employment soulmate.

1. Unlimited supply of seltzer! The water filtration machine distributes sparkling water. How cool is that?!!

2. Unlike the last two places I've worked, this job doesn't just provide a Keurig machine, they provide the actual K-cups as well! And cream, too! This is a benefit I haven't seen since early 2011, let's just say. And, what kind of K-cups do they provide? My all-time favorite: JET FUEL!!!

I know that at least one of you reading this found those last two items amusing, as I seem to remember you mentioning that the Jet Fuel consumption around the office decreased greatly after my departure...


Today's Advent theme is "ready" so here I am ready for some travel! Good night!



Tuesday, December 02, 2014

so cruel a rule...

I got home late so this will be an oh-so-short blog.

Tonight's Advent theme is rule:


Good night. And much love to you.