Feb 112014
 

It’s not secret that I’ve been feeling a bit burned out, tired of my job, disappointed in missed opportunities, and my manager (who is awesome, love him!) is fully aware that I’m looking for something else within the company. He understands and supports it and has wished me good luck with every interview I’ve had thus far. But this feeling of dissatisfaction, constant to-do lists that never get resolved, stress and fatigue at work has been making me feel lethargic. I don’t like feeling this negative about my job and wish I could get out of this funk!

The forced break for a few days has most definitely helped me out of this funk, even if it’s temporary. I’m sure you can all relate–stressful, exhausting work weeks lead to weekends packed with chores, errands, wedding planning details, etc etc…I never had down time. It’s rare that I have an evening off just to myself and I can’t remember the  last time I didn’t have at least four things planned on a weekend. Mother Nature stepped in and said “REST. STOP WITH THE SCHEDULE.” And She piled on about 6 inches of snow to force her point! I get it!

Friday was a snow day from work and I got a lot of stuff done, then Michael and I binge-watched part of season 2 of The Shield (totally late to the party, but wow, what a great show!). It was nice just laying around in my pajamas, cuddling with Bella (who was exhausted from all her playtime in the snow) and just relaxing.

Friday evening the snow was coming down steadily. It looked so beautiful as it fell. I had the urge to bake something but didn’t think baked treats would be a good idea when we were trapped in the house for four days. Baked goods + cabin fever + boredom = recipe for failure. I decided to make some comfort food for dinner instead.

Tater Tot Casserole

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Calories per serving: 421

From: http://www.food.com/recipe/tater-tot-casserole-421306

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 10 1/2 ounces Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 12 ounces frozen corn
  • 15 ounces southern style hash browns (Ore-Ida)
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and spray a 9" x 13" glass or corningware casserole with pan spray.
  2. Saute beef and onions until the beef is browned and the onions are softened. Remove from heat. Stir in the soup, salt, and pepper; spread mixture evenly in the bottom of the casserole dish.
  3. Next spread a layer of frozen corn and finally hash browns on top. Bake until heated through and the hash browns are slightly crisp.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=41753

I used the recipe as a jumping off point really. I saw a few recipes that I liked but didn’t like something from each of them, so I kind of made my own. I didn’t have cream of mushroom soup so I used condensed cheddar soup. I used a small can of corn, about 1 cup of frozen peas, and 2 cups of the hash browns. With my alterations the calories came out to 337 calories as opposed to the 450+ the other recipe said.

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The dinner turned out to be really delicious. It was hearty, filling, homey; we both thought it was tasty and hit the spot on the cold night. It may not look pretty but it tasted good, that’s all that counts. I guess I’d describe it as kind of a white trash casserole/hamburger helper creation.

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On Saturday I got to SLEEP IN. Don’t get me wrong, I am loving the Warrior Room workouts and I’m happy that I’m fitting in yoga once a week…but the Saturday kettle bell class is at 9am (which means I’m up by 8am) and yoga is at 10am on Sundays (so up by 9am) and I haven’t had a chance to sleep in late on the weekends in months. I miss it. I miss not having a structured time that was forcing my schedule. Weekends were the only time I got to languish in bed–even if it was just for a little bit! Thank you snow, once again, for giving me a little bit of that pleasure.. :)

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It was another at-home workout since it snowed a few more inches over the night. I did an ab workout on the Nike Training Club app and also did a short spin workout on the bike trainer. I haven’t been on my bike since October. While I’m happy that I have options at home to still get my workout in, after a second at-home workout I’m ready to get back to the gym.

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After lunch (the tater tot casserole was just as great as leftovers), Michael and I took Bella outside to play in the snow. We walked over to the school near the house and there were tons of kids out! Even more than on Friday. There were kids snowboarding, sledding, inner-tubing; dogs running around chasing each other, everyone was out!

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It was so cool to watch them.  If you follow me on Instagram, I posted a few short videos of Bella spazzing out in the snow. :)

On Sunday I did some home yoga. I actually like doing yoga at home over the gym. I can do it at the pace that I like it. I know that the point of most yoga is to slow down and relax but for me it’s more about the stretching and doing it a snail’s pace makes me crazy. So I just did it on my own in the living room.

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It was a good break being snowed in all weekend long but I tell ya, by Sunday afternoon I was starting to go stir crazy and was ready to get out of the house and (gasp) and actually go back to work! 

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Feb 102014
 

My East Coast and Mid-West readers can feel free to roll their eyes with this…but SNOW!!!!!!!!!!!

On Thursday Michael and I went into work together like normal and the weather reports predicted some snow flurries but I was skeptical. It doesn’t really snow in Oregon. And when it does it’s the extreme–either the piddly little stuff that doesn’t stick or it’s a full-blown snow storm that shuts the city down (like the snowstorm in 2008 when Michael and I first started dating and I was snowed in at his house with him and his roommate Shoe for a full week). Snowmaggedon ’08 Evidence:

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Boys. Yeah, so being snowed in for 5 days with two guys who decided to sword fight with sticks in the snow was interesting but nothing like that has happened in here in years. Well the snow finally came! On Thursday I was working at my desk and saw that some little flurries were coming down outside. I checked periodically but downtown seemed fine. Yet half the office was leaving. Portland Public Schools shut down at noon (when there wasn’t any snow yet) and I decided to stick it out at work for awhile in hopes that they’d shut the office down officially (which means we get paid for the whole day).

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Didn’t happen. By 2:30 the snow was coming down even more and so I decided to leave. Glad I did! The 10 mile drive home that usually takes 20 minutes after work took Michael and 1.5 hours. Traffic was ridiculously slow. It was like people completely forgot what the rules of the road were.

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That is a cyclist in front of us. They were out in droves. I guess I should be surprised, but I’m not. This photo is from BikePortland.org. It’s a great picture of the city! Reading through the comments on the post apparently people think we’re ridiculous for being excited about snow (one commenter said “in Minnesota this is just called Thurday”)–right right right. But it never snows here!

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We settled in for the very long and slow drive home and made one stop to pick up a Papa Murphy’s pizza. When we got home I took Bella outside for her FIRST SNOW! OH MY GOD SUPER SPAZ!! She loved the snow. She ran around the yard at full speed, turning in circles, jumping and rubbing her face in the snowy earth. It was so much fun to watch–it was like experiencing the very first snow experience of a child.

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I took Bella outside to play in the snow about every 30 minutes or so. It was so dang cold, even in a jacket, scarf, hat and gloves I was frozen to the bone and I worried about Bella getting frostbite since her hair is so short. She seemed cool with the short increments of snow play. We all settled in to relax next to the roaring fire with some hearty beer and pizza for dinner. :)

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I had 2 slices of the Papa Murphy’s deLite pizza (around 400 calories total) and then later we had some popcorn as a snack. For a rest day, I definitely indulged and went over my calories for the day. I think I got overly excited about 4 days off in a row in the snow!

Friday morning I woke up to discover the office was closed! Yay!!! The possibilities for the weekend were endless. There were so many things I wanted to do–catch up on my Netflix DVD I’ve had for three weeks, finish a few books I’ve been reading, do my taxes, play in the snow with Bella…..

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I was so happy and so excited to see how much she LOVED THE SNOW. Totally obsessed with it. She loves the snow more than food, that’s huge. So I started my Friday off with an at-home workout. I used the Nike Training Club App that I’ve used many times in the past. The app has changed formats since I’ve used it–now you have to download the workout to use it. But it was super simple and took two seconds to download on my phone from the app.

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After my workout I cleaned the house, did laundry and finished my taxes. After lunch Michael and I took Bella for a walk in the neighborhood. We got bundled up in our snow gear like we were going snowshoeing. The street was pretty quiet, just a few people were out and mostly it was kids pulling sleds heading over to the school in the neighborhood to go sledding. It seemed like ALL the neighborhood kids were out, young and teenagers, sledding down the hill on the school field. It was so fun to watch.

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Bella made some friends on the street, too. Several neighbors were out with their dogs. Bella met a few dogs and made some friends–she especially loved the little 4 month old puppy also named Bella! What a cutie! Puppies!!!

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Even after playing in the snow for two days, Bella still loved it. She was not getting tired of it all and she’d race to the sliding door whenever I said the word “snow.” It was such a nice break from the normal routine!

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