Nov 28, 2010

Giving Back

I actually just wrote and scrapped a whole blog post because as writing so often does, it inspired me to write another one. One I hope you'll give me feedback on.

I'm reading Raising More Money a la my boss, Bonnie. Great read. Highly reccommend.

One of the first chapters discusses how people tend to give to the same organizations year in and year out. (Interesting tid-bit, 75% of American households have at least one donor living in them.) This got me thinking, yup, I'm consistent.

I've been a girl member, camp counselor, volunteer, donor and finally, staff with Girl Scouts.

Every time a closet is cleaned out, the goods go to Goodwill.

I'm working on my fourth fundraising event with the American Cancer Society.

Ah but that opened a new door. I'm a donor/volunteer with the ACS. (Fabulous organization.) But I've also been at least a little active with a lot of other cancer organizations: MD Anderson Cancer Center (best Xmas cards money can buy), Jori Zemel Children's Bone Cancer Foundation, The Jimmy Fund, The Cancer Council Australia and Susan G. Komen.

So while we tend to give to the same organizations year after year, partly because it's easy I'm guessing, might we also just be addicted to a cause? How many of us make a point of supporting a particular cause and are just as happy to do it through almost any organization with that mission?

Do you tend to give to the same cause regularly or do you give to the same specific organization regularly? In either case, who do you give to and why?

Deck the Halls

Our little home is finally decorated for the holidays!

DSC00729The tree situation just got funnier. Ross also couldn't find the tree stand and was just about to say we should buy a new tree when he asked how much trees are. The minimum price of $50 really turned him off. So we ended up Liquid Nail gluing the tree into the stand. Then to help straighten the tilt, he tied strings to a few back branches and the stand to give it the right angle.

Awesome right?

The skirt covers it up so no worries.

DSC00731One room over in the kitchen/dining area I have a tablescape that I am just in love with. It really represents why I love the holidays. Because not only are you allowed to mix glitter, shimmer, metallic, candles and beads, but it is in fact, encouraged.

Also note that I love how a table runner dresses up my Craigslist table yet lets the fabulous stain job Ross did on it a couple years ago shine through. It really is the perfect tabletop linen.

We also have some kick ass LED lights on the house. I love how LED lights have this blue tint...well I love it for the multi-colored ones like we have on the house. Some neighbors have LED white icicles and that just looks weird. But our house, it looks fantastic.

And finally, because it is just too cute of a picture, I'll leave you with this: Me & my fur baby ready for Christmas!

Lexi Xmas

PS I know Lexi's eyes look wierd in this picture. The "red eye" was more of a glowing white-puppy eye reflection thing and made her look mildly possessed. I'm still fiddling with photo editing options to figure out how to best remove the demon eyes while not making her look like a pirate as she kinda does here.

Nov 26, 2010

The Tree & Me

We took a 2 day jaunt out to H-town for Turkey Day. Ross got his first taste of a Lowe Thanksgiving - tables oddly joined together, 15 and 1/2 peopl and just as many side dishes to compliment the always delicious Grandma-cooked turkey.

Back in Austin today he's at work and I'm having my own Black in the halls of the Black home got all decked out for Christmas. After starting the day off with a power breakfast of hot chocolate and pineapple upside down cake, I got crackin'.

Mistletoe in the entry way, reindeer welcome door mat outside, silver bell wreath in the guest bathroom, holiday "floral" arrangement on the living room endtable, lasso-ing Santa candle-holder thing. All the little signs of Christmas.

Time for the tree. One piece, two piece, three piece, tree. But mmmm, tree without a stand.

We thought Ross had taken all Christmas related things out of the attic before we left for Houston but somehow, there is no tree stand. So up into the attic I attempted. I didn't actually get off the ladder but I got torso-deep into the attic three times thinking I could find the tree stand. What I did find was lots of dust on my black pants.

I ended up going to Walmart and buying a stand. For $7.50, well worth not waiting for Ross to return from the fire station. Except when I got home and tried to put my tree together, I discovered pieces were missing. Critical pieces. Back to Walmart, make the exchange and finally, home again for an evening of tree decorating and red wine.

Tree in stand, pieces together, lights on. Stand back to admire my handiwork/determine areas of further need....and discover great tilt. A nudge this way, a push that way, a wall for support on this side. But alas, I could not straighten out the darn tree!

Now I'm a fairly independent gal. But at this point I did just break down and call my hubby. And I whined. I have boxes of ornaments desperate to go on the tree which at this point, is in three pieces on the floor.

He's coming home tomorrow morning and making it all better.

Nov 23, 2010

Shutter Island Review

US Marshalls Teddy and Chuck head out to Shutter Island (off the coast of Massachusetts) to help find a lost patient for the psychiatric facility housed on the island. She seems to have disappeared into thin air. Things get even more bizarre as the unfold secrets about experimental treatments of varying degrees of ethical responsibility. And when attention turns to Teddy, the plot really goes crazy.

That's the synopsis. I enjoyed the book but I'll admit, it was slow to get going. It begins with a lot of character development and learning about the demons in Teddy's past. In retrospect, very important but at the time I got a little impatient with his grief over the passing of his wife three years prior. Push through this slower part with my promise that it will play an important role later.

Also know that being based at a psychiatric facility, things can get confusing at times. Its not like the characters are always making sense when they speak or anything like that. Make sure you can really get your head into the book. No Monday Night Football playing in the background for sure.

The last 50 pages or so were amazing, especially the final 10. I won't spoil the end for you but I was blindsided in a great way. Now I'm dying to see a movie as I'm very curious to how they'll portray this on film. And upon a Google search that informed me of Leonardo DiCaprio's starring role, I am that much more interested in seeing the movie. So glad Ross promised to rent it with me ASAP.

Verdict: Prep for a slow start but definitely read.

Nov 22, 2010

BBC Book List

Inspired by Jane
Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here. Instructions: Copy this into your blog. Bold those books you've read in their entirety Italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read an excerpt. Tag other book nerds. Tag me as well so I can see your responses!

1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien

3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte loved this one so much I dragged my little cousin to see the play at Wellesley College one summer

4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling

5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

6 The Bible

7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell

9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare

15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch – George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell

22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald

23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens

24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh

27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis Ugh but I hat these. Read against my will, thank you Miss Phillips

34 Emma – Jane Austen

35 Persuasion – Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis

37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Berniere

39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne

41 Animal Farm – George Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving

45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery

47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding

50 Atonement – Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel - on my must read list very soon

52 Dune – Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens Also excellent

58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding

69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens I read every third page for the whole book. Does that count?

72 Dracula – Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses – James Joyce

76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal – Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession – AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad

92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

94 Watership Down – Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl Ha! I only read this like 100 times.

100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

At first I thought the BBC must massively underestimate us. But on second thought, I think they need to clarify. Do they mean most people in the whole world? If so, they are spot on - since many of these probably aren't translated into multiple languages and since so many people in third world countries are fighting for clean water, not good literature - then yeah, it probably averages out to less than six a person. But if they mean most people in the industrialized English-speaking world...then I sure hope it is an underestimation. Or we seriously need to up the ante on English Lit classes.

Nov 19, 2010

Delta Sparkle

There's a special thing that a gal has called Delta Sparkle. It means she rocks. She's super nice, fun and caring.

Yesterday when I got home I had a small box from TriDelta executive office. A new pin! Very exciting since during Shitstorm 2010 I lost my pin.

DSC00727Of course, I had no idea where this pin came from (other than EO, duh). It had to be someone who loved me very much and I had three suspicions: hubby, mommy, deltas. Hubby was out so I couldn't confirm or eliminate him. I got Mom on the phone and confirmed that it was not her. I called many a delta but couldn't connect with any. Until Emal called me back. IT WAS THE WONDERFUL DELTAS!

My big, Jane, orchestrated a Cheryl Pin Replacement Operation post Shitstorm 2010. She, Emal, Age and Margo made it happen for me. They all said they knew that 1) being without my TriDelta pin was very sad and 2) with everything else I had to deal with (new laptop, etc) they could probably get around to ordering me a new one before I would do it.

They were so so so right on all accounts. They have lots of Delta Sparkle.

Today I am walking on TriDelta Cloud 9. I love these girls and am so giddy with happiness and love that they went out of their way to make sure I had a TriDelta pin. And I am totally wearing a TriDelta shirt to work today in their honor.

Thank you so much to the best sisters in the world!

Nov 17, 2010

Since last time

Since my last post, here's the scoop:
  • Kevin called! Monday afternoon Kevin called from boot camp. It was fab. He is doing well. Learning weapons training, working out, other stuff. One luxury he gets is every Sunday one of the commanders (or whatever the people in charge are called) shares the week's sports scores with them. From what I gather, this is pretty nearly all they know about the real world.
  • Kevin's coming to visit! And in our conversation Kev said that he wants to make an adventure out to Austin during his 10 days of liberty around the holidays. I think he and Bry will be here at the same time. Hurray!
  • Ross cooked dinner and did lots of cleaning. Meatball sandwiches. Yum. And then when I said I think we should take turns cleaning the bathrooms - because let me tell you, he did a bang up job on the master bathroom today - he told me he'd be in charge of the guest bathroom...and still help with the master when I'm busy. I'm wondering who this bathroom cleaning fool is that wandered into my house because it certainly isn't the man I married. (But I love this version too. He can stay.)
  • I traded in happy hour for Theraflu tea. Sad huh? But probably wise. I'm already feeling better actually. Could I possibly have trumped a cold in just one afternoon? Oh God, please let it be so.
  • Just two more days of work til Thanksgiving break! Sometimes I'm amazed that I'm not a student, given all my fabulous holidays. I'm taking Tuesday & Wednesday off next week to give me a grand total of 10 days off for Thanksgiving! God bless Girl Scouts! Maybe I'll even get really crazy and take my Girl Scout email off my phone for the week...ok probably not, but a girl can dream.

Nov 14, 2010

Exceptional Productivity

Ross was/is at work today/tonight and since I'm terrible at doing nothing, I've been terribly productive. I won't bore you with the laundry list of what I did all day but I will share two with you.

DSC00724I finally did the photo display thing I saw in Real Simple magazine months ago and loved. Good timing too since we're going to have a guest (Bryanna!) for several nights next month. Her guest room is now done.

I think I'm diggin this new look. I also think that the kinda messy photo display requires the rest of the room to be very neat so it doesn't look like a torando just went through it. Still have a couple things to do - like trim that one oddly tall flower in the vase. (Floral cutters are at GSCTX office. Will do this soon, promise.) Oh yeah, also need to clean off the bed which is behind where I'm standing to take this photo. It is covered with all the things I "cleaned" off my desk in order to take the pic.

And now, way more importantly:

We have plane tickets and a hotel for Ben & Anna's wedding! 


We fly to Charleston at 11:30 a.m. on April 29 and land at dinner time. I got an amazingly good deal on the hotel we're staying in our first two nights: the Courtyard Charleston Waterfront. (Photo: view I'm expecting/hoping to have.) I went through for the first time to get this hotel. I have to say it was a little scary letting a non-refundable charge go onto my credit card without knowing the hotel for sure first. But it let me narrow it down to the neighborhood in Charleston and star rating first. And let's face it, that's about all I would have been able to go off of myself. Might as well let William Shatner negotiate for me. It turned out superbly I believe.

After our two nights in Charleston, we'll frolic over to Folly Beach for a couple nights. I've picked out our hotel for that part of the trip but won't book it until tomorrow. I want to call and see if I can negotiate half as good as old Bill Shatner did for me but I'm not willing to be so flexible with this location and thus cannot use Anyways, we'll be staying at Tides Folly Beach aka Folly Beach Holiday Inn. I can't really figure out which name the hotel goes by as I've found it under both and it is definitely the same place. Whatever it's called, we're staying there May 1 and 2. And I fully intend to soak up the beautiful South Carolina seashore for the full two days.

Now I know Ben & Anna's wedding isn't for nearly six months. And you possibly think I am crazy for just about having everything booked. Let me tell you though, I am not crazy. Ross' Aunt Kathy gave us a magazine article this summer that highly recommended booking vacations really far in advance. The logic was that once you book a vacation, the happy-go-lucky-I'm-going-on-vacation feeling begins. And you get to enjoy it for all the months leading up to your adventure. I am definitely a subscriber to this logic. I would share this article with you if I knew what magazine or what month it was from. Since I don't, you just have to trust me.

Try it for yourself. Book your trip to their wedding and see how happy it makes you. I am for one am over the moon.


The November Plan was stupid and I take it back.

Thursday night Brittany came over and we had wine while we ate dinner and watched Grey's/Private Practice. Friday night we had dinner with my in-laws and I had a cocktail. So last night when I wanted a glass of wine while I cooked dinner on a very lazy Saturday I went through an internal conflict because I pledged to only have alcohol two nights a week.

That was when I decided The November Plan was dumb.

The whole point of "alcohol two nights a week" was to consume less empty calories and nothing deeper or more profound. But obviously the number of evenings that include alcohol doesn't automatically monitor the calories - heck I could have pitcher upon pitcher of maragaritas and if I only did it twice a week, would be sticking to The Plan but probably consuming a few unnecesary calories.

So I threw The Plan right out the window and had a lovely glass of wine while I cooked. I'm done monitoring how many times in the week I consume empty alcoholic calories and am switching to how many empty alcoholic calories I consume total. That seems to really be more addressing the issue anyway.

The part of The November Plan that was not stupid though was my increase cardio. Last week I did 205 minutes of cardio exercise. Way to go me!

Nov 13, 2010

Puppy Pictures with Santa

Many moons ago, summer 2008 to be exact, Ross and I volunteered at Relay for Life together. I was the committee chair for the Survivor Dinner and he was by default a member of my committee. We had a great time volunteering together. I decided we should do something volunteer together every year.

In 2009 we didn't totally hit the nail on the head. I was busy with YNPN Austin and he was busy at Sam Bass FD as a volunteer. So we we were still giving back, just not together at the same place.

Now in 2010 the year is rapidly ending and I really wanted to get back on track. Volunteering together is so fun and its great how you both get that warm-fuzzy feeling. We talked about it a little this week and Ross really wanted to help puppies. So I took on the task of finding a one-time puppy volunteer opportunity.


Yup, on December 4 we are spending our afternoon helping Blue Dog Rescue at the Pictures with Santa fundraiser. It meets our puppy criteria, is a one-time opportunity (meaning we can successfully commit) and sounds like a whole heck of a lot of fun. What's not to love about puppies and Santa?!

I'm very excited. We'll be sure to share our pics of Lexi and Santa in a few weeks.

Nov 10, 2010

Wonderful Foolish Hubby

He did himself in on this one. He did TOO GOOD of a job cleaning the kitchen and his game room. Now I know he can do it and do it well. Ah, hubby. So wonderful and foolish of you. I love you for it.

Nov 9, 2010

Save the Date!

Ben & Anna at Jess & Rob's wedding
We just received our formal Save the Date for Ben and Anna's wedding! It's a darn good thing too because I was getting nervous that I had been cut.

But rest assured, Jane and I decided if we were cut from the guest list we were crashing the hell out of that wedding. Invitations or no, we were going to South Carolina!

Although I must say, going with an invitation and attending the wedding of two of my closest friends will be much more fun. I'm really looking forward to it. How soon do you think Ross will let me buy plane tickets?

Nov 8, 2010

S'more Soiree!

This weekend I had my first ever fundraising event (as a professional fundraiser as opposed to as a volunteer). I don't mean to brag but it went great!

I went out to camp on Friday to get the set-up underway. That was when I began to fully understand the glorious-ness of our camp staff. Through every word of this post if I say "we" I mean "90% was done by camp staff and I did a measly 10%." Camp staff rocks.

So anyways, set up Friday night and at 9 a.m. on Saturday the very first people began to arrive. By noon 90% of our 120 participants were on site. We had lunch in the dining hall - delicious - and then at 1 p.m. workshops began. I can confidently tell you now that the hardest part of the weekend is 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., the initial check in and kick off of workshops. During that we're all still wondering how its going to go, participants have lots of questions, there's lots of last minute details to scramble for, etc. Once workshops begin, piece of metaphorical cake.

Our workshops were many and varied but to give you a sampling we had high ropes challenge, horseback riding, massages, facials, a style show by Neiman Marcus, 2 cooking classes, jazzercise, yoga and much much more. It's a combo of traditional and non-traditional camp activities, most with a grown up twist.

During workshops my biggest challenge was to ensure that the volunteer facilitators arrived at camp in time and got set up. We had one hiccup here: an acupuncturist had to cancel last  minute due to a family emergency. The participants were great though. They just rolled with the punches and enjoyed other activities instead. Otherwise we had a few run a little late but all that meant was a quicker set up than initially planned. Thank goodness for working in a time cushion!

At 6 p.m. we had cocktail hour. We were really fortunate to have a caterer donate all the appetizers for this - really took some pressure off of our kitchen staff/volunteers. Then dinner at 7 p.m. and a live concert at around 8: 30 p.m. The concert was one of the best parts. Sara Hickman, a local musician played, and had everyone dancing for more than 2 hours. We had ladies dancing on chairs, conga lines and more. Obviously a big hit. Even our few male staffers got pulled into it - I mean what else could they do when the singer asked them to take the stage with her? Of course they obliged!

Then a late bedtime, breakfast at 8 a.m. and a final workshop at 9:30. Everything wrapped up around 11 a.m. 24 hours of fun and beautiful weather. (Btw, we could not have possibly had better weather! Sunny and in the 70s without a cloud in the sky!)

I haven't totally finished counting the pennies yet but I expect us to hit $70,000 in total funds raised. At my last rough count we were at $69,500 so I'm confident in $70k. The previous record for this event was $62,000 so I'm feeling great! When I have photos, I'll be sure to share them.

It was a long (though wonderful) weekend. I'm taking today for some much needed rest: hair cut, pedicure, blogging, couch-sitting, etc.

PS Last week The November Plan was 50% a success. I did exactly 200 minute of cardio but with S'more Soiree and the bar results, I required 3 nights of celebratory cocktails.

Nov 4, 2010

Don't know how she does it

Today Brittany was put in charge of discovering the results of her hubby's bar exam results. The bar association thingy posts a list of names to their website of the people who passed the bar. So you just keep refreshing that webpage, every few minutes...or every few seconds.

Ken, her hubby, took to distracting himself today. A reasonable thing given that those results would be life-changing. So Brittany was the team rep in charge of checking the results. I don't know how she did it.

I would have lost my mind.

There are good reasons why I didn't know the websites for Ross' EMT and firefighting test results. I would have been compulsive. Hats off to Brittany for being on top of that today and still maintaining her sanity.

Oh and right...
Two new lawyers in the fam. Woohoo!

Robin at our wedding

Britt & Ken at our wedding

Nov 2, 2010

The only thing I love more

DSC00718The only thing I love more than Christmas music is terribly tacky festive holiday decorations.

Hence Mr. Multi-colored Sparkley Candle-holder Metal Turkey.

Ain't he lovely? I think so...except when I light a candle in him it's weird. It's like he has a glowing butt; a turkey with a glowing butt. Weird right?

But he has his claim as my first ever strictly Thanksgiving decoration, as opposed to a generic autumn decoration. And for one month he lives on the shelf of rotating seasonal decor.

Welcome to your month of stardom Mr. Multi-colored Sparkley Candle-holder Metal Turkey. The pilgrims would be so proud.

Nov 1, 2010

The November Plan

Before Blogger and all my blog readers, I am committing to The November Plan.

The November Plan stems from my session with a personal trainer today. A 24HourFitness member perk gave me a free session today and my trainer taught me all kinds of tummy-toning and butt-building exercises. And it ended with a Cheryl-requested body fat evaluation. Uh, not so sexy.

Body Fat: 30.2% This translates into obese. (OBESE! Can you believe it? I fluctuate between a size 4 and a size 6. Those are not the sizes of an obese woman thankyouverymuch.)

Four-ish years ago, I was heavier than I am now but I dropped that to reach my ever-consistent 130-ish weight. 130 and I are very cozy. Thus you can imagine my surprise when I learned that what I consider to be my sexy healthy adult weight and body make-up actually pushed me into the obese category. FYI for a chica, 18-25% is healthy, 25-29% is overweight and 30%+ is obese.

Now I'm not going on some crazy spinach and watermelon diet or anything like that. And obese or not, I still think I look pretty damn hot. But what does make me a little nervous is all the health risks of being obese or overweight. I certainly didn't think of myself as needing to worry about those but based on the definitions of obese and overweight, well, I might need to.

Hence The November Plan. Here it is, in all its glory:
  • At least 200 minutes of cardio per week. As recommended by the trainer I met with today. I think this will average out to about an hour more per week than I currently do.
  • Alcoholic beverages two or less days per week. I do kinda feel like a lush with this one so I am going to clarify. I probably drink 3-4 days per week now. Usually a little heavier on Fridays and Saturdays and, during the week, one or two nights when I just have one drink at either happy hour or with dinner. Note: I am usually the driver so even "a little heavier" rarely means actually drunk.
I think if I can achieve both of these this month then I'll burn more calories and reduce my caloric intake by about 200-300 calories per week. Not to mention just have healthier habits.

Things I am not concerning myself with on The November Plan:
  • Chips, queso, guac, salsa and Chuy's jalapeno dip...though I will admit, this would probably cut calories a lot faster than anything else. But it would also cut into my quality of life and I am not into that.
  • Starbucks
  • Sit ups
  • Lots of other stuff that I'm just going to keep doing (or not doing in the case of sit ups) as I've always done
I'll try to report each weekend how the week has been. And maybe by December I'll have shed a couple pounds and the "obese" label and can be proudly overweight.

PS Doesn't this shed some light and perspective on the obesity epidemic we always hear about?