Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

Merry Christmas to all my loved ones. Wishing everyone a very very happy holiday. May you all be blessed with love in 2012. Near and far wherever you are, my heart is with you.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My heart is wherever you are...

Today is a funny day. Its just a weird day. My heart is in many places and my mind is everywhere. I want to be in 8 places at once and I want to see and hold every person in my family.

Today my heart is everywhere and anywhere my family is, my home is wherever I'm with you, you crazy people that I love.

My heart and home is here in Austin, TX wishing I was elsewhere. I want to be in Nebraska, Amarillo, Tennessee, Virginia, all over Pennsylvania and anywhere else my family and friends might be.

My day is filled with hope and strength for soo many people that love, I want to hug them all!

My heart is with Kim aka Marmi and I'm vibing all my strength and love and hope for a quick surgery and speedy recovery in her battle with breast cancer. My heart is with all those fighting cancer, I wish you all health and happiness in 2012.

Today my heart is with my Grandpa John. In my very large extended family, all of our hearts are with him each and every day. I sent my love in a hug via Lauren earlier today, I hope he knows how much we all love and care for him. I wish I could be there with him today in Knoxville.

My heart and mind are with my Grandma when she didn't think there would be much of a Christmas to celebrate, I hope the love of our family showers her this season. I wish I could be there to spend the holiday with all of them.

The newly minted 8 year old part of my heart is in Nebraska today celebrating the holiday with her Mother's family. My heart and mind are missing her like crazy and I can't wait to see Kendall soon.

To all my friends and family who I won't be able to hug and love on this year, I love you.
Eyes open, breathing normal we'll make it through together no matter how far apart we are this holiday season!


This is why I Bikram...

"When you spend 90 minutes with a lot of people in room that's over 120 degrees, everyone's too hot. It doesn't matter if you're a celebrity, a marathon runner or a 250-pound woman on Food Stamps, the room levels the playing field. No matter how smart you are, how much money you make, we're all the same. You're going to become more aware of others, more aware of yourself, and eventually start to see yourself as no different from anyone else. Even if you don't know why you came in, you come out nicer." ~Tricia Donegan

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It's the MO'st Wonderful Time of the Year!

Eight is Great

So Kendall turned 8 over the weekend. We had a drama free birthday party with mom and Kendall had a great time gymnastics-ing with her buddies. Due to a cake ordering malfunction or misunderstanding by mom we almost had a meltdown. What Kendall had requested as a Strawberry Shortcake flavored cake turned into a Strawberry Shortcake themed cake. She was a tad bit upset after finding this out.  In order to save the day I stopped at the brand new Cupcake place on the way home and low and behold Saturday was not a strawberry day (who knew that cupcake places had daily menus, so smart but so inconvenient in a Strawberry emergency), so naturally I went home and whipped up some Strawberry flavored cupcakes just in case I needed to prevent a complete meltdown at the mature 8 year old party.  Luckily the now extremely mature 8 year old shrugged it off and enjoyed her Walmart cupcakes with her friends as my cupcakes created a la "Cupcake Wars" waited in the car.
On the way home after the party we surprised Kendall by stopping back at Gigi's Cupcakes to let her pick out her own birthday cupcake flavor. I fair warned her that they did not have Strawberry that day. She picked out a Banana Pudding Cupcake which was AMAZING. Highly recommend Gigi's Cupcakes!
As an extremely mature 8 year old Kendall got to choose where to eat her birthday dinner and naturally she chose Cheddar's. We had a nice dinner together as a family and went home to enjoy our dessert. En route we stopped at Dustin's favorite new store to purchase some items to go with our Christmas Card photo accessories. We prepped for a photo shoot and made the greatest Christmas Card photo ever! Can't wait to share it with you. Look for it in your email inbox soon...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

If that makes me rich...I wanna be poor

I've learned a few very important things over the past week:
1. My husband is a natural born 'picker'.
2. He's just like my father.
3. I will never underestimate what he may bring home and in turn make money on.
4. I'm turning into an old person, the 'back in my day we used to ________ in bare feet in the snow, up hill BOTH ways.' kind of old person.
Last night Kendall didn't know how to talk into a regular phone handset. I got my new pop phone which I love and handed the phone to Kendall to say hello to my dad and she started talking into the listening end of the handset. Dustin and I were shocked that she had no clue how to use the regular phone. Weird...My new plan is that we must get a rotary phone and she what she thinks it does, she might think its a calculator or something.
Back to 'Picker Nation' or 'Craiglist across America' my new idea on a TV show featuring my husband and father and their buying random stuff to resell business. Of all things for Dustin,  it started with a vintage Barbie case full of Barbie clothing. Yes, my husband brought home Barbies and told our 7 year old that she wasnt to play with them at all and he has since turned them around and is still making money off of the different pieces he's sold.
This morning I went downstairs during my morning routine and found an ugly as sin belt on the table. Being an ass I put it on and walked up stairs and flaunted it for him. "Oh honey you really shouldn't have" He in turn told me that I should take off the belt because its worth a lot of money he's just not sure how much. Standing in the way of his picker profitability I quickly removed the belt and said "It's ugly as sin. If wearing one of these makes me rich then I want to be poor." Who knew famous people had horrible fashion sense. I'm utterly confused by Judith Leiber, but I guess there's something out there for everyone. I'll still stick with the poor people and my basic leather belt or no belt at all. Thanks!
Now I have two new nicknames for Dustin:
1. Master of all things Vintage Barbie.
2. Ugly Belt Salesman
New products I love:
Native Union Pop Phone - I like to refer to it as The Bat Phone.
S'well Bottle

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hokie Haters...Learn to Love you Some Beamer

"I don’t think we have to apologize to anyone," he said. "When you’re the winningest football team since 1995, I don’t think there’s any apologies necessary. When you’re the only team to have won 10 games [eight] straight [years], the only team in the country to do that, yeah, I don’t think there’s an apology necessary. When you’ve been to 19 straight bowl games, I don’t think there’s an apology necessary." -- Frank Beamer
"Those people criticizing, that’s why they stay on TV," he said. "They’re making statements, and if they’re not getting your attention, they’re not going to be on TV. I don’t worry about that. ... I think what we’ve done since 1995, we don’t have to apologize to anyone." --Frank Beamer

Hot Peppers and Hot People

It was super cold last night. The only natural thing for me to do was to get to yoga. So I did. It was delicious in the hot room. Deliciously Juicy! The front windows of the studio were dripping from the humidity and hotness on the inside and the cold air bearing down on the outside. It was disgusting and awesomely delicious at the same time.
I have a new favorite ritual before and after yoga. If I drink a plain coconut water before class then I barely have to drink water during class. Of course I hydrate throughout the day beforehand but as long as I have a coconut water right before I am juicy enough to last through the class without overdosing on water. Drink too much water during class and you feel kind of sloshy. When I get back home from class, I shower and then I make myself a smoothie with frozen fruit and coconut water to replenish. Blackberry, Apple & Coconut Water smoothie -- yes please! I complimented that with some leftover Roasted Beets and Quinoa Salad from last night and I was in heaven.
Last night I also started the Holiday Batch of LayCock Sauce. Some good ole Sriracha (Rooster Sauce) is on its way. I started with an entire case of Red Fresno Chilis - yes I bought an entire case. Roughly chopped ten pounds of Chilis last night and they are currently brining in a Rubbermaid Bin in the refrigerator until I finish off the process tonight.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cold, Wet Rainy Days - Favorite in the Hot Room

Apparently cold, wet, rainy days are also a favorite for many others to voyage to the hot room. Especially in the CP. I went to class last night at 4:30 anticipating a few people here and there and it was packed. Actually had to take class in the front row. I usually prefer the second row...Not too close to the mirror but close enough to focus on myself and locking the knee. I started off in the second row when I first arrived but when I sat up and noticed how many people had come in to the hotroom since I had. I offered to move up in the front row so the two newbies behind me could have a little bit of space. It was nowhere near as crowded as 'Free Day of Yoga' back in September when we practiced Sardine-asanas but moving up a row aleviated some scrunching.
The best part about Cold, Wet, Rainy Days in a Yoga Room with a lot of people...the more people, the more humidity - the juicier the room, the more I sweat and the better I feel!
In other news I finally made my roasted beet and quinoa salad last night. In Dustin's words, "What was I doing in my life before I ate this salad?" Yea, its THAT good. I adapted the recipe with Quinoa instead of Farro as I had a package of Quinoa on hand. I'm sure its awesome either way but we will be making this again, as soon as I get some more Farmhouse Delivery beets. YUM! Much like Radishes, Farmhouse Delivery has introduced and re-introduced me to some of my new favorite foods and recipes. I never ate a Beet (correction Roasted Beet) before last night. In my mind Beets always came in a jar full of purpley pink pickleyness. Highly recommend this recipe!
On Saturday night when I had roasted the beets for the salad I had to use the beet greens instead of throwing them away. Edible and quite delectable, beet greens are delicious and healthy. I chopped them up and threw them in a saute pan with some bacon. Naturally everything is better with bacon. While those were cooking up I also was roasting a spaghetti squash and could not help but think how delicious some Pasta Carbonara would be with my beet greens and spaghetti squash. Mixed up some of the egg and parmesean mixture and voila. Ready made, healthy, low carb meal that the entire family enjoyed. Every morsel! Don't ask me about my recipe. It just happened and it was delicious.
My list for next years garden: Radishes, Beets, Spaghetti Squash

Friday, December 2, 2011

Peed Myself...

Normally needles, injection needles - just the thought makes me pass out or at least feel woozy. Typing about needles makes me a little light headed already. For whatever reason last night I ran into the show Whitney on television by accident and I laughed sooo hard I almost peed myself.  The entire show was hilarious but this clip really did me in...and I didnt pass out, I just laughed my ass off.

Maybe Humphrey might like a Bubble Bath...

This is all you...

Let me know how it works out...

Paving Paradise with Sweat, Laughter & Tears

Paradise: 3.26.2011
No Parking Lots here. I'm going to pave my own paradise in 2012.
Get ready world...Amanda's signed up for another 60 in 60 challenge. For real this time, with the group, in the cold of winter. I'll use the hot room, my support system and my 'english bulldog determination and bengal tiger strength' to get it done...AGAIN...60 days...every day...Eyes Open, Breathing Normal...sweating like nobody's business.
Pure Bikram
Here's to December 2011. Wishing everyone a fantastic holiday season and 31...err...30 days to create New Years Resolutions that stick... Lets rephrase...Resolutions doesn't have the same ring to it as 'Paving My Own Paradise'. Resolutions fall to the wayside easily. I've often given up on those in a matter of days. Lets revolutionize resolutions and not make them, lets decide on challenges and goals to achieve, not peasly resolutions to stick to. Hold yourself accountable and do something brave in 2012. Challenge yourself. Challenge your mindset and make a difference in yourself, mind and body. That hobby you've always wanted to try, do it.
My mom has inspired me. Last year when she set a goal to achieve 55 miles by 55 on her bike I started Bikram yoga, something I swore up and down I would never try. Never, not me, too sweaty, too uncomfortable, I may die right there in class. And now here I am facing another 60 in 60. No sweat really ;) , I did it in the heat of the summer this year, 2012 should be easy peasy. I'll have a lot of others sweating it out right along with me to give me the extra boost to make it through.
Not only am I sending an end of year Wishing you and yours Happy Holidays for 2011. I want to challenge everyone to look forward to 2012 and Paving their own Paradise. Decide today to try something new in 2012 that you've always thought "Well that could be a challenge."
2012: Love your Life and Pave your Paradise.

Onion Lover: Cooks

Last night Kendall had to make sure that our Christmas lights were on to attempt to compete with the rest of the neighbors. Our block has turned into Griswald lane, there's even a lit up outline of Texas that says 'Merry Christmas Y'all!' and a Bevo. At any rate, County Cork is definitely festive this year. Here's a couple pictures of the Laycock Christmas inside and out.
Christmas at 706 County Cork:

Kendall and I cooked dinner together last night.
Braised Greens with Tomato Sauce and Eggs
As you can see my little Onion Lover, loved posing for a picture with her 'sweating' onions.

When asked why I always cook with Purple Onions instead of White I told her that I like the red/purple onions better. She said "Me Too."
When we finally sat down to eat she announced, "I can't even taste the Onions!"
She may become my little mini-me after all...