Monday, March 4, 2013


Hello friends and family (And random readers? Do I have those?)

I'm not moving physically, just electronically! And not actually really moving, more like downsizing. ANYHOO...


I've been keeping two blogs, which have essentially had the exact same content. I've decided to downsize to just one, which will help me to blog more!!

You can find new and updated posts HERE! The actual web address is

Set it as your bookmark, in your reader, or whatever cool thing you do to make reading about my life part of your your life (which is awesome, by the way).

OH. One small issue that some of you won't like. I will no longer be able to send my blog posts directly to your email. You'll need to actually go look. However, you can download tumblr as an app on your phone and follow me (and other cool people), in which case you can see me when you log on to check Facebook, Instagram, play games, or take selfies in your undies.


I originally started blogging on this here site several years ago. A few years ago, when I took up running and started trying to make some healthy changes to my lifestyle I also started a  blog on tumblr, which ended up just being a mirror image of this one.

Essentially, I've been posting here, and then copying everything over to tumblr. This poses a problem because:
  • I can't copy from tumblr and post here due to the formatting (it makes my words invisible to some people), which is a pain in the ass
  • I have to upload the pictures separately for each blog, which is a pain in the ass
  • Although my original intent was to keep the fitness/diet stuff over there and the funny stories here, I feel like they both add up to make a more complete and satisfying story, therefore I'm literally doing the exact same posts twice, which is a pain in the ass
  • The above reason is time-consuming, so I end up not blogging at all, which gets you guys all pissy
  • tumblr is generally easier to use, especially from my phone
  • If YOU are looking at my blog on your phone, tumblr will be easier for you to read (here you have to click on each blog post individually). 
So see? It's really for you. :)

Hope to see y'all over yonder on the tumblr.

Friday, March 1, 2013

A little recap...

Things I've been eating, doing, instagramming, case you missed it (or me).

Having dinner at Legal's last week: mahi mahi, cauliflower puree, olives and sun dried tomatoes, with fried artichoke spear thingies. Terrible picture of the most delicious thing ever.

 Taking artistic pictures of my brick wall and new orange fuzzy blanket.

 Taking cheesy kissy photos with this cute boy while shoveling out my car.

 Noticing how many different directions kitten fur grows, particularly on kitten noses.

Getting spoiled rotten and having this delicious dinner cooked for me after going to the gym.

Finding this awesome mug.

 Trying to figure out what this awesome animal is.

 Waking up to this frightening sight.
Having it pointed out that my cat with no ears looks more than a little like Scar from the Lion King. 
Having this stunning bouquet delivered to my work, just because.
Playing cards with my closest ladies.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Swass and Swoobs: Real Talk

If you don't know what swass and swoobs are, shit's about to get REAL up in here. Let me preface the subject by saying that I think sweat (mainly referring to the workout variety) is sexy. It's a natural bodily function, a pretty little sheen of sparkle that coats your body while you bump and grind your way to a bangin' boday.

However, sweat isn't cool enough to just hang out on the 'pretty' places...wouldn't it be nice if it did? Sparkly shoulders, collar bones, maybe a little bit on the upper cheek bones? But no, not so much. Sweat likes to hang out and accumulate in your 'hot spots'. We're talking your pits, your lower back, and we know it doesn't stop there.

Ladies, let's chat. One of the hottest spots on our bodies is obviously the zone between our waists and our thighs. If we just walked around or ran at the gym (or otherwise stayed standing), this conversation would be over. However, I had a situation happen in the gym yesterday which made me wonder what all of my fellow gals were doing about the dreaded phenomenon of the swass (sweaty ass). I could use more explicit words, but this is a family show it's kind of embarrassing.

I've been going to the gym with my boyfriend for a couple of weeks now, and for the most part we do our own thing. I've mainly stuck to cardio and body weight exercises, while he does some cardio and then goes to the weight machines. I've been wanting to try out some of the machines, but there have been groups of young guys all over them when I've wanted to explore, and I was a little intimidated. Yesterday was the perfect scenario: early on a Sunday morning, and we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves. I asked if he would mind walking me through a few things (again taking advantage of him being a personal trainer), and we first spent 10 minutes warming up with cardio. I hit the elliptical, and hit it hard. High resistance, hills, speed, all of it. Including SWEAT. I didn't think much of it until I had just completed my first set on the bicep curl machine and had to stand up. As I rose, I looked down with complete mortification to see the imprint of my ladiest of parts outlined in sweat on the seat. Ugh. I tried to do the maneuver where you slide off the seat and wipe it with your butt cheek (that's my move on the stationary bike), but to no avail...I just ended up looking like my legs went out on me. I then tried to distract him for the 5-10 seconds it would take for the imprint to dry (look! over here! a UNICORN!!!), but he bent over to adjust the weight for him and spotted it. He looked up at me and immediately started laughing, presumably at the mortified expression on my face. I mean, we haven't been together for too long--I'm trying to keep it pretty here. I kind of mumbled 'uh...that's my butt sweat' (no shit, Sherlock) and awkwardly laughed. 

Luckily, he's awesome and laughed it off. But seriously ladies, how can we prevent this totally normal but not remotely attractive situation? Any tips?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


One of the perks of living in the complex where I live is that a gym membership is included in my rent. They just finished renovating the gym and it looks beautiful, although it's kind of small. Whatever--I'll take it! It's literally next door to my apartment, which makes "I don't have time to go to the gym" an invalid argument.

Pretty fancy, huh?
Last week I got back into gear with working out, and after 3 days in a row of running and body weight exercises I could barely walk. Another perk I'm enjoying lately is having a boyfriend who is a former personal trainer, who not only provides me with daily programs as needed, but is sweet enough to show up with nice presents like this eucalyptus muscle soak when I'm complaining about my ass hurting from simply sitting still.

( read that right. I am now somebody's girlfriend and couldn't be happier about it. My apologies to those of you who were living vicariously through my horrible online dating experiences.)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Is it too late to change my vote?

No one told me about this option.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Ok listen...

Sometimes people consume bags of kale that are larger than their actual heads, and other people do not need to be the judge of that. (Not that I know of any such person...I read it in a magazine.)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

4.9 seconds

Also known as the amount of time it takes for a cat to piss in a freshly changed litter box.

Paleoary (that's an all-Paleo January)

After losing 15 pounds the first time I did the strict month of Paleo, I kept most of it off in the following few months by keeping to a 'mostly' Paleo diet. As the holidays came and went, the 'mostly' became 'mostly not' and the scale showed it. More importantly, I felt icky. 

So January is my second strict month of Paleo. Yesterday was Day 1, and although I had two meals and they were both at restaurants I managed to stick with it (this of course is pretending they don't secretly load butter and/or other un-Paleo ingredients into my food). 


Tomato, onion and mushroom omelette with no cheese
Side of fruit
Black coffee
No home fries, no toast


Chicken BLT flatbread sandwich with avocado, which I removed from the bread
Side of salad instead of fries

This morning I woke up starving and had to scavenge through my empty fridge. I came up with an ounce of pepperoni, some mushrooms and 2 scrambled eggs. Not awful!

Now it's time to plan and go grocery shopping because the next thing I eat is a spoonful of coconut oil and/or the cats.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


A couple of days before New Year's Eve, I woke up at 9am to two texts, one missed call and a voicemail from my mother. 

The first text: My kindle is broken. I can't even shut it off. It's making a stuck noise. What can I do?

The second text: Call me.

The voicemail: I got a call from Canada--Uncle Albert died. Please call me.

I took a deep breath, trying to shake the sleep from my head and to understand what I was hearing. The Kindle was a new Christmas gift, and although she didn't really know how to use it I didn't either. Uncle Albert is my mom's brother, who just turned 80 last fall. I gathered my thoughts and called her back.

What happened next is the magic that always happens when my mother and I are faced with adversity. Either of us could be at the very highest level of how much stress we are capable of handling, but as soon as the first word is passed between us, that first shaky breath drawn in and let out, we begin to get stronger. Without saying a word, our inner gumption picks itself up, dusts itself off and says, 'that's enough panic, we've got a job to do here.' I told her I was sorry about Uncle Albert, and as is her usual way she was quick to point out the positives. He wasn't ever going to get better, he was up and about the night before he passed, he had just had a wonderful Christmas with his kids and grandkids, and he had been found in his bed. Best case scenario if you think about it. I also noted that we had just had a wonderful visit with him in October, probably the best visit I've ever had with him. I took this picture at that time of him and his Bella. I don't know which one is cuter!

With that being put into perspective, we moved on to the details. The wake and funeral would be just as soon as everyone could get there, which meant for us driving the 9 hours north to New Brunswick first thing on New Year's Day. She needed to be there, and I made sure I did what I could to make that happen. The next problem was the Kindle. She held it up to the phone--it was indeed making a terrible racket. I told her to just pack it up and come over. We could both use a cup of coffee and a hug. So over she came, we hugged it out and then the laughs started. We fixed the Kindle, we called Canada and made travel plans, and we otherwise made things right. 

I realized later on that our ability to do just what we did, which comes so naturally to us, is something I take for granted. I know there are a lot people who would spiral out of control and dwell on the negative emotions when faced with that situation. People that would always talk about the New Year that started with sadness, and death. Who would return to work and when asked about their holiday break would answer, 'oh it was just awful.'

But not Noella and me. We went up there and were thrilled to have the whole family all together, and to receive the kind of hugs that hold on, and mean it. We laughed on the way up about my hangover, and we laughed on the way back as the temperature dropped to -13 F. Of course there were sad moments...tears were shed, and comfort was given. Respect and love and help were offered to the five kids who lost their beloved father, and to his three grandchildren and three great grandsons who were all so close to their Pepere. But as is the way with loving families, there was more laughter than tears and more of a sense of being grateful for what we have than sadness for what we lost. 

Like me, my mom may shed a tear or two around people here and there, but the majority of our tears are shed in private. It's not that we don't cry and grieve, we just choose to keep our sadness to ourselves and not to burden others with comforting us. If we are reaching out with teary eyes to someone else for a sobby hug, it's because we really really need it. (For the record, if I ever do that to you--please hold on as tight as you can, no need to say anything.) My mom has been through more in her life than I'd wish on anyone, but the strength and determination to deal with bad things in a positive manner is something she passed on to me and for which I'll be forever thankful. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Accidental Dong Sighting!

I got stopped by someone in the office to chat, and what did I spy over her shoulder in the conference room but THIS:

(Well hello there, fella.)
I of course rushed through the conversation, crossing my legs and awkwardly putting my hand near my crotch in the universal "I really have to pee" symbol (is that still applicable when you're older than 5?). When at last I was released, I bolted into my office to grab my camera. 

I've submitted it to Accidental Dong...fingers crossed it gets in! (Don't worry, that site is safe for work!)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Not cool, Runner 4

As you could probably could tell from my post about my dad yesterday, I've been in kind of a sobby mood recently. It's a combination of the holiday season, and the fact that I'm generally an extremely optimistic, upbeat person, but sometimes tears just build up. If I don't have a legit reason to cry, I get a leaky face. No one likes a leaky face.

So I got home from work last night determined to either kick my run's ass, or cry out my (basically nonexistent) sorrows on said run. (Ever cried on a run? It's one of the most cathartic things if you can really get it going, but it's difficult...endorphins + sadness don't work well together.)

I fired up 'Zombies, Run' and headed out to do my Week 1, Workout 2 training run. The story now is that I'm safe in the township now, and the doctor is training me to be a 'runner', i.e. go out into the zombie lands to retrieve things for the humans. They mentioned at the beginning that I might have a surprise or some company during the run, but after about 10 minutes I forgot all about it. 

I ran the route with the big hill behind my house, taking a couple of extra side streets to get some more distance. It is pitch black out there with no streetlights, so I was wearing a headlamp. It was also freezing out, so my breath came out as fog, lingering in the air in front of me (also where my headlamp was aimed) and making for an extremely spooky atmosphere.

So I'm in the last 10 minute "free form run", where you can do whatever you like, and getting all into my Taylor Swift tunes (don't you dare judge me) when all of a sudden in my left ear I heard a zombie sound. Just as I was saying "oh god no" and picking up speed, the 'zombie' yelled, 'BOO!' then started giggling. It was just Runner 4, playing a little prank on me.


Once my heart resumed normal beating and I finished planning Runner 4's slow death in my mind, I ran (wee wee wee wee) allllllllll the way home. 

Here's the summary (I laughed when he told me to pick up sports bras for the girls).

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My Dad

Yesterday was one of my favorite days of every Christmas season:

Tammy and Dad Go Christmas Shopping!!! (i.e. Tammy prints and tracks stepmother's Christmas list, coordinates with other siblings as to what has been bought or spoken for, and guides Dad towards the remaining items...but THEN Tammy and Dad get lunch or dinner or ice cream.)

My dad left the house when I was 2, so I don't have any actual memories of him living at home with me. I did go and stay with him and my stepmother on many weekends, and I always had my own room at their house. He went on to have three more children (who are the best brothers and sisters ever), and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit jealous of them getting to grow up in the same house with their mom and dad. However, as a positive flip side of that, I have always recognized Tammy/Dad time as special time. He's a pretty quiet guy and we're a pretty loud bunch, so it's always a treat when I can meet him alone for lunch or shopping and we can catch up with one another. Usually, I start by telling him what's going on in my life superficially, and he nods and smiles absently. I'll run some things by him that I'm thinking or feeling, and he listens, but he never offers advice. I find this to be a very rare and refreshing trait. Sometimes through telling him one story, he'll share a story of his own that is usually completely random but sometimes stops me dead in my tracks. I'm not always sure what the connection was in his head that made him share a particular story, but I don't care. I just love hearing about his life and his memories. Another thing about my dad is that he's not really one to say 'Hey Tam, I love you' (although he says it on the phone always), or 'You did that? I'm so proud of you!' However, I have a very solid knowledge of his pride in me thanks to his little random stories. Here's an example: 

Yesterday we were talking about college while wandering around Target (two of my siblings are still in school), and this conversation happened:

Dad (absently): I was looking all of yours the other day...they're under my desk calender..
Me:  All of my what, Dad?
Dad: Your grades, and letters, and awards.
Me (flabbergasted): You have those? You kept those?
Dad (like it ain't no thang): Of course!

(literally just paused while writing this to go to the bathroom and mini-sob...)

Another thing he does is when I leave his house, he always walks me out to my car so we can chat for a couple of minutes. Then, when I leave and drive down the driveway (which is ridiculously long) he stands there, hands in his pockets, perfectly still and watching me drive away. I've never seen him move before I turned onto the road, no matter how cold or rainy it is.
(annnnnnnnd I'm crying again)

So anyway, after the shopping portion of our date yesterday, we went for ice cream. He looked at me out of nowhere and said 'hey...this is why I do this, this is my favorite part. The lunch or ice cream or whatever with you'. Ugh...the cutest. Then he asked me if I had ever heard of Guitar Center, and if it was close. Somehow, as a lifelong musician, he had never been!

Of course I said we should go right then, and oh. my. god. was he happy. Just gazing up at the walls of guitars in wonder. Never mind when the associate came over and handed him a cable and said 'the amps are all plugged in, grab whatever you want off the wall and knock yourself out!' Knock himself out he did...he tried a bass violin, a 5-string bass, a 6-string bass and a 12-string acoustic. Just sat on a stool and was completely oblivious to the world around him (including me, the sneaky paparazzi).

We finally left, but only because we were on a schedule (he would have stayed for days). When I dropped him off at his truck, he proclaimed that he had '12 string fever' and couldn't wait to take his brothers from Canada there when they next came to visit. 

That man, who I love and admire and respect so very much, makes me smile. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Moving Right Along

After Saturday's 'getting chased by imaginary zombies' run, I was appropriately sore on Sunday. You know when your quads are so sore that your legs do a sort of mini-collapse and bend backwards when you walk rather than being able to support you? Yeah, I was that.

However, I was still feeling good about getting back on the exercise wagon. I went for brunch with a friend (Jewish bagel? Impossible...I had half of one). We then decided to go to the movies to see Silver Linings Playbook (quite good, mainly because I want to hump Bradley Cooper's leg). 

I got home at around 5:30, feeling bloated from popcorn and salt and kind of wanting to go to bed. BUT I DIDN'T. I put sweatpants and sneakers on, and did a fast walk up and down the 6 floors of my building, doing jumping jacks at each set of stairs. It took 30 minutes exactly, and I was so glad I did it.

Yesterday was supposed to be a run day, and as luck would have it the Patriots were on Monday Night Football. I mishmashed my plans of running and cooking dinner at home with going to a friend's house for sushi, and ended up going to her house, running in her neighborhood (which happens to be my old neighborhood and one of my favorite running places), and picking up sushi on the way back to her place. 

The run this time was less scary...I (Runner 5) am in the township now, which is safe. I worked with 'the doctor' on training in the township (see training plan below: the 'run for 15 seconds' thing was frustrating, but probably the best way to start). I liked the way it was set up (a little different than C25K), because by the time you get to the 'free form run' at the end you're all warmed up and wanting to move:

I'll tell you this: the spicy tuna and spicy scallop maki, beer, and football combo at the end was about 200 more satisfying after having worked for it. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Zombies, Run!

Relevant background information:

When I am chased, I have neither a fight nor a flight response. I simply sit down, essentially presenting myself as bait. I believe it was my brother who summarized it so eloquently: 'So, you basically have no survival skills at all?'

I'm not proud of this fact (nor amused when people try to test the theory), so I decided to work on it. I downloaded the Zombies, Run! app on my phone, the 5K program. I've been sidelined from making any progress due to the toe situation for a few weeks, but by this morning I was itching to get out into the fresh air and get back on track.

At first it was a disaster. I woke up at 7am wide awake and ready to rock and roll, but then thought that since I had 4 shots of tequila last night I MUST be hungover (I wasn't) and therefore should return to bed for a bit. 'A bit' turned into four hours. Whatever, I'm more than rested now. I got up, took a quick shower, chugged some V8 and water and put on my running clothes. Toe felt good in the sneakers. Phone had just enough charge to get me through the run. But then I couldn't find my headphones, my new iPhone holder strap-on thingie was too big and awkward, and I couldn't get my house key off the ring. I spent 20 minutes looking for the headphones to no avail, then just said screw it and grabbed the buds that came with my iPod (which I hate). I also said screw it to the iPhone holder and shoved the phone in my bra instead. Got my ass out the door. SUCCESS.

It's damp and slightly rainy and chilly today--my favorite running weather! I started up the app, which incorporates a story into your run in between songs from your own phone, and headed out. The story is essentially that you are in a helicopter, heading to a human town in a zombie-infested post apocalyptic land or something to that effect. The helicopter crashes, and people from the human town are speaking to you over the radio. They guide you back to base, letting you know when to speed up because zombies are chasing you (they tell you not to turn around and to run as fast as you can, all while zombie sounds are fading in and out--CREEPY.) I had my Garmin on, along with the heart rate monitor, so it was kind of funny to see my heart rate spike throughout the run when the voices came on.

The chart above is my elevation (in green) overlayed with my heart rate (in red). I basically walked/ran up a giant hill and then turned around and ran back down. The amusing part is that the heart rate elevation at the end where the elevation is decreasing is sort of because I was running rather than walking, but  mainly due to the fact that I was running FAST because that was the part where the zombie was right behind me. I got all panicky and I would have loved to watch myself, silently chanting 'ohshit ohshit' while I ran home. At least I didn't sit down, right?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The best laid plans...

I like to set little goals for myself each morning. I might say that I'm going to do 10 pushups against the bathroom sink every time I go in there, or that I will drink 3 giant bottles of water, or that I will NOT eat any of the sweets around the office. 

Today my goal was based on this cool new water bottle I snagged:

Since it's not that big and can easily be chugged, my goal was to refill it every time I got up to go to the bathroom. Can you spot the flaw in my logic? 

Hint: I may as well move my desk into the ladies room.

Perk: Significant steps taken in an otherwise sedentary job.