Square Life Round World

I'm navigating through this round world while living a square life, and it fits exactly as it should.

Into and Over It Part One, Into

There’s this new show on the Food Network called The Kitchen.  It’s sort of a talk show meets cooking show hybrid hosted by several Food Network personalities.  At the end of the show the stars each share one thing they are “into” and “over”, which may or may not be food related.  I always find their “intos” and “overs” interesting, and this has inspired my post for today.

Things I’m Into Lately

My Dog–I love my little 7.5 pound maltipoo Jasmine!  She keeps me company, loves me unconditionally and is wildly entertaining.  She has a part of my soul, and I truly cannot imagine life without her.

I love my baby girl, Jasmine!  Yes, I named her after the Disney princess.

I love my baby girl, Jasmine! Yes, I named her after the Disney princess.

Pinots from Oregon and Washington–I’m talking about Pinot Noir here.  I took a wine class a little over a year ago featuring wines from Oregon and Washington, and fell in love with the Pinots.  I’ve been buying them ever since, and I’m still very much into them.

I'm also into drinking my Pinot Noir from Oregon out of my Disney Princess Half Marathon 2013 glass.

I’m also into drinking my Pinot Noir from Oregon out of my Disney Princess Half Marathon 2013 glass.

The Olympics–I love the Olympics!  I’ve been watching every night and on the weekends.  I’ve even been Googling for spoilers because I can’t stand the suspense.  So far I’ve determined that the snowboarders are having the most fun and would be the ones I’d most like to hang out with.  I’ve also noticed there are at least 3 USA athletes with the last name Gold.  Go Team USA!!!!

Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games

Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games

Grinding Coffee Beans–I never used to be a coffee drinker at all.  I got a Keurig machine about two years ago and started drinking it.  I got tired of buying the K-cups all the time so I got a coffee grinder and some beans.   Now, every morning I grind my own coffee beans.  I use the reusable filter that came with the machine, and the quality of my morning coffee has improved exponentially.

Coffee Beans ready to grind for my morning coffee

Coffee Beans ready to grind for my morning coffee

S’mores–Without fail, every fall I start to crave these little nuggets of chocolatey, marshmallowey yumminess!  They couldn’t be easier to make in the oven.  Usually, I make them once or twice and I’m done with my craving for the year.  This time, however, I’m still into them.  It’s no secret I have a major sweet tooth, and just one graham cracker, a quarter of a Hershey candy bar, and two marshmallows more than satisfies it lately.  It’s much lower in calories than a whole candy bar or a cup cake, so I can feel relatively ok about it, too!

Ready to make some S'mores!

Ready to make some S’mores!

Organizing My House–I don’t really do New Year’s Resolutions, but in spite of this I’m very much into home organization this year.  I didn’t really make a conscious decision to do anything differently.  I took two long weekend trips in January, and to stay ahead of unpacking, packing, laundry, etc. from those, I started doing things every day.  The trend is continuing, and I really like it!

My New Contact Lenses–What I’m about to tell you may shock some of you.  I have been wearing the same contact lenses for ten years!  They are not disposables, rather daily wear, which means they are supposed to have a one year lifespan.  I extended that by more than a few years.  It’s terrible!  I know!  See, I hate going to the eye doctor!  I’ve had problems my whole life (reason enough to actually go more often) and my prescription is difficult.  No doctor I have ever seen since my childhood doctor has been able to get my prescription and fit right.  It took my last doctor 5 months of tries to get it acceptable.  He never did get it exactly right.  I’ve just been dreading and putting this off.  Well, I broke my glasses the day before I left for my most recent trip.  I only wear them around the house, but that still ended up being the catalyst to make me schedule an appointment.  I loved him!  He got it right!  One try!  And they are comfy!  Yes!

Making My Own Salad Dressings–I intensely dislike store-bought salad dressing.  I can taste the preservatives in it, and can’t stand it!  Homemade salad dressings are so easy!  A little oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and a few more additions depending on what I’m making and in very little time,  I can have fresh, homemade dressing that is better for me anyway.  It costs less, too!

This is the beginning of homemade salad dressing.

This is the beginning of homemade salad dressing.

Check back tomorrow to see what I’m totally over!

What are some things that you are into lately?

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The Olympics Are Coming!

Well, actually, they are already here.  Today is the official start of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games!  I love the Olympics!  I have for as long as I can remember.  What’s not to love?  Ordinary people being extraordinary athletes, inspiring viewers world-wide once every four years (well, two really since the Winter and Summer Games alternate every 2 years) is about as exciting as it gets.  It’s been a life-long dream of mine to get to participate as a spectator or a volunteer (not as an athlete because I know I’m not that awesome).

Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games

Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games

I find so much inspiration in Olympic athletes.  Apolo Anton Ohno is partly responsible for my starting to run.  Four years ago, I was preparing to do my first 5k.  I remember Ohno saying in an interview how much he enjoys training for the Olympics because every day it gives him the opportunity to be his best.  I carried those thoughts with me in the days leading up to my 5k, and those thoughts helped me finish.

Without fail, great stories always come out of the Olympics.  I’m pretty sure Mary Lou Retton was my first hero when she became the first American gymnast to win all-around gold in 1984 with her perfect 10 on the vault.  Who can ever forget the 1980 US men’s hockey team’s victory over the Soviet Union to win gold?  I’ve sat on the edge of my seat more than once or twice every four years as I’ve cheered for winter athletes and held my breath, almost willing them to win.  Brian Boitano, Kristi Yamaguchi, Apolo Anton Ohno, Lindsey Vonn have all been athletes whose victories I’ve shed a tear or two for.  Then there are the ones who have fallen short but are no less inspiring.  We all were behind Nancy Kerrigan as she came back from injuries sustained from an attack.  Her silver medal was nothing short of amazing considering the circumstances.  I followed Michelle Kwan throughout her entire competitive skating career as she became the most decorated woman in US skating history but never could land Olympic gold.  I also can’t forget Bode Miller’s first Olympic attempt.  He was to be THE athlete of the games.  The question wasn’t will he win gold, but how many?  The answer turned out to be zero as he was a complete flop.  I recall an interview with him toward the end of the games in which he said he did what he came to do, which was have fun and “mingle on an Olympic level.”  He redeemed himself four years later, though.

I love the stories of the games.  The dedication of these athletes and their families is inspiring and amazing.  I can’t even begin to imagine what it must feel like to spend every ounce of your existence working toward something and finally see it come to fruition.  At the same time, for every athlete whose story we learn, there are dozens of athletes who were just as dedicated, whose families sacrificed just as much, yet who didn’t make it.  I think about them, too.  I think about what it must feel like to sit at home, watching people you know and have competed against live out your dream.  How do you ever move forward from that?  I’d love to hear their stories, too.

In just a few days, the Sochi games will be well under way.  New athletes will become household names.  New stories will unfold.  The feelings they will invoke in me will be the same.  So, let the games begin!  I’ll be watching!

Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games on NBC

Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games on NBC

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