Archive | March, 2013

Home Owner Adventure: Bum Water Heaters and 3 Things You Can Learn From Them

29 Mar

Last week, Ike and I had an adventure! But unfortunately it involved cold showers and a $400 bill. So, we didn’t save Middle Earth or anything, but there was a learning experience nonetheless. Drumroll, please! The borrowed time we were living on with a 9-year old water heater trickled out two Tuesdays ago.

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We upgraded to a 50 gallon heater, life in the fast lane. Woo hoo!

We are lucky enough to have a brother-in-law in the contracting business who volunteered to do the installation work the next week. Cheapskate that I am, I gratefully accepted his offer and entered the Ice Age at the Peters house.

During that week, (our garage door also went out, by the way) I learned several deep life lessons. And in awesome blog style, I created a numbered list for your readin’ pleasure. You’re welcome.

I'm also thankful for this little guy:)

I’m also thankful for this little guy:)

1. Hot water and garage doors aren’t controlled by magic. They take time and $$ to fix, but you can live without these amazing modern conveniences…barely. Their momentary absence from my life taught me to stop and appreciate these wonders, and other “fancy” things I don’t usually take the time to notice and be thankful for (electricity, cars, new Justin Timberlake albums). And (newsflash) being a homeowner is a lot of responsibility.

2. I couldn’t be real pioneer woman unless I could keep my Nook. I spent an electricity-less evening at home as the men worked on the water heater. I was perfectly happy reading Life of Pi on my Nook with Buster on the coach. Backlit screens, another modern marvel.

3. I’m very thankful for all the family we have living so close! Ike’s dad came by our house the next day while we were at work to get his friend to fix the garage door. So wonderful! And our brother-in-law did successfully get rid of the bum heater and install the new one in our home, saving us a pretty penny. Not to mention all the times Ike’s sister lets Buster out when we are running late at work. We are lucky!

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Here’s a little preview of my kitchen/dining room curtains. More pictures to come if I ever get them all hung!

Sorry to skip last week, but I was too busy sitting in the dark and not showering! Here’s to an adventureless weekend!

Drink It In: Why Vampire Dairies is Perfectly Entertaining*

15 Mar

*Yes you read that right.**

** No, you haven’t accidentally stumbled on some teen, fan-fiction, vampire-obsessed blog. You are exactly where you want to be. Believe it.

As cable-less adults, Ike and I have only Netflix and Hulu to rely on for a little after-work TV (poor us, right?). With Hulu, I get my fix of Bunheads and with Netflix we tackle slightly older shows with tons of episodes.

Enter Vampire Diaries. Honestly, the word “Vampire” or “Diary” is enough to turn me off of a show, but VD has taught me not to judge a show too harshly by it’s title (sorry, Carrie Diaries, you’re still out).

Here’s 3 reasons why you should fill your next empty 45 minutes with a little visit to Mystic Falls.

 Mile-a-Minute Fun

Do you hate shows that belabor plotlines, will-they/won’t-they relationships and stupid minor character action? Then stop watching them and start watching this vampire-filled roller coaster. This show resolves fun mysteries at a thrilling pace, no waiting for the finale for cliffhanger thrills here.

 Solid Support Cast

Stefan and Elena, the show’s central lovebirds, are great. But like many of my favorite shows, Vampire Diaries has a rich cast of supporting creatures to share the spotlight. My 2 faves are Damen, Stephan’s narcissistic older brother, and Caroline, Elena’s overachieving friend.

 Escapism at its Best

I love literature. Over Christmas (brag alert) I finished Anna Karenina. But sometimes, I like reading Stephen King novels. I just need some good, page-turning fun in my life. So sure, I like watching hard-hitting documentaries or thought-provoking dramas, but after a long day at work, sometimes I need some mindless yet engaging programming.

Let me know if you check out Vampire Diaries. You won’t be sorry! This is the part when I tell you to have a good weekend. Have a wonderful one!

Swimsuit Hunt

8 Mar

It is human nature to want what we don’t have. (Pretty deep opening line for a swimsuit post, huh?) Lately, I‘ve wanted it to be spring. I even tried boots, no tights on Tuesday. If that’s not wanting spring, I don’t know what is.

CremieuxSwim

I like the color combo on this collection. AND I’m pretty sure you don’t have to have a strange expression when wearing it.

For the most part, I got my wish. This week has been filled with clear skies and plenty of sun. Ok, there was also a healthy dose of chilly wind, but who’s counting.

All this weather talk (sorry) leads to my spring shopping mission: find a swimsuit.

Right now I have retro swimdress from Target. I love the style, but I’m not comfortable with the…lack of coverage (I’ve had a few indecent exposure close calls). And with the whole having to strip down to go to the bathroom issue, one-pieces are out.

Swim

Love the color and the flattering shirring on this one.

And with my wonderful 8” scar and (ok, ok) my age, bikinis are also out.

That leaves me with tankinis.

Flattering points to look for:

KCR_Swim top

  • for the “smaller” ladies such as myself, ruffles and embellishments add flattering volume up top

AM_Swim top

  • for the paler (read: ghostly) demographic, look for corals, teals or neons to enhance whatever sunkissed glow you can muster

KCR_SwimBottom

  • for those of you self-conscience about your…lower back area…check out skirted bottoms, a fun new trend I saw cropping up on Dillards.com
  • for chic sun protection find a floppy hat, shades and flowy caftan for poolside cool

I’ll let you know if I ever pick a lucky suit. Until then I’ll keep hoping this beautiful weather lasts. Have a good week!

Jillian Michaels 90 Day Revolution Phase I

1 Mar

This week, I’m giving you the lowdown on Jillian Michaels’ 90 Day Revolution, especially Phase (I didn’t know how good I had it) 1. Or could this just be a sneaky way to brag that I’m like, totally working out a lot? Either way, I’m really enjoying this program.jillian

General Program Schedule

Phase I establishes the pattern that you’ll follow for the entire 90 days.

  • The first 2 weeks, you’ll alternate between workout 1 (front of the body) and workout 2 (back of the body) and cardio one.
  • The next 2 weeks, you’ll do workout 3 (front of the body) and workout 4 (back of the body) and cardio one.
  • Then you graduate to Phase 2. (Woo hoo! Don’t eat cake because Jillian will hunt you down.)

Get it? I think Jillian has the crazy idea that I’m supposed to workout six times a week. I’m going to use my stale “I broke my spine” excuse 1 more time, and continue my four-a-week schedule.

ji

The Nitty Gritty

As I said (and you’ve probably highlighted in your copious notes), each workout focuses on either front of the body or back of the body muscle groups. But the general flow is the same.

What You’ll Need

  • 30 minutes
  • Yoga Mat
  • Hand weights (ok, this is the last time I’ll use my spine excuse…I stick to my 2 pound set, but Jillian often tortures the 90 day gang with 8s.)
  • Resistance Band (I believe this comes with the program)
  • Room to run suicides
  • Happy Thoughts
  • Shower facilities afterward or friends/co-workers who don’t mind BO

Workout Outline

jillian-michaels-body-revolution-new-workout-dvd-set-7b81

The dreaded crescent pose.

  • Quick warm up
  • Four 5 minute circuits that consist of:
    • Four 30 second weight, resistance band or body weight moves
    • 1 minute of cardio
    • Repeat the four weight, resistance band or body weight move intervals

Cardio 1
Eight  1 minute intervals (repeat 3 times, pick self off floor)

The Good

Although there are certainly moments of pain, I never felt like I was going to barf or pass out or gargle my heart. I’d say that Jillian keeps it low impact enough for even you apartment dwellers to workout without your downstairs neighbors plotting your untimely demise.

The Coping Mechanism

Mimi, the "jokester" of the group.

Mimi, the “jokester” of the group.

If I ever did get to the end of my rope, I found a fun game I play to distract myself from the pain. I try to memorize all the backup worker-outers names. So far I know all but one: Omar, Kenta, Kent, Natalie, David, Terri Anne, Anita, Haley, Mimi, Lana. I haven’t figured out the dark-haired girl’s name who’s waaaay too excited about “showing off what her mama gave her” during fast feet. If you know, please share. It’s killing me.

The Results

I’ve noticed more toning in my arms, legs and (ahem) back side. Plus, since I started the program, 2 people have told me that I “look healthy.” I’m guessing I look so much better than that sickly ghost who came home from the hospital. I consider finally working out the last step in my year long recovery.

Ok, you’ve spent way too long with me today. Get back to work!