|Swordfighting, Wedding Anniversary and Mother's Day?|
Every year, Paul attends an international European swordfighting convention (yes, one does exist) in Michigan. Unfortunately, the show is not only scheduled for Labor Day weekend, it also lands on our 10th wedding anniversary. However, it is an important event for Paul and Fearless Fitness, so I understand the need for him to go.
I'm placated by the fact that we are celebrating together with a trip back to Las Vegas in October. In the meantime, I plan to make the best of the holiday weekend.
I invited my mom and her long-time boyfriend Gary to come up for the weekend. I'm looking forward to spending the next few days planning out the holiday. The one thing I do know is that I will be taking them to LaSallate in Sonoma to celebrate Mother's Day as written about in my entry: There are Many Ways to Celebrate Mother's Day.
I realize I am celebrating Mother's Day four months late and my wedding anniversary one month late. For my family, it has never been important to celebrate on specific days. We make the best of whatever time we can, whenever that time may be.
|I'm Giving Myself a Time Out|
One of the few downfalls of really enjoying what you do for a living is the potential to overwork. After we finished writing Living the Savvy Life, I promised myself that I would slow things down. I broke my promise.
About a week after submitting the book, Coach Erika and I had a meeting and calculated that in order to meet the demand of our FFIT@home students, we needed to film more workouts, immediately. After figuring out how many new workouts we needed, we reviewed our old workouts and decided that we wanted to replace about 10 of them. After doing some additional calculations, we realized we needed to film six workouts a week over the course of a month to meet the needs of our clients.
And so, two weeks after meeting my 90 day deadline for the book, Erika and I challenged ourselves to film 24 workout videos in four weeks. We had to work around Fearless Fitness' schedule and so we decided to film three workouts on Wednesday nights after the school closed at 7:00 pm and three workouts on Saturday mornings beginning at 7:00 am, so we could finish before the first class at 9:00 am.
Moving into the final week, both Coach Erika and I had to cry "Uncle" as our bodies and our minds were exhausted. We gave ourselves a week off and were finally able to finish the last of the workouts. We will continue to film new workouts on a regular basis, but will reduce filming days to every other Saturday morning. No more Wednesday nights.
The pay off of writing Living the Savvy Life and getting the workouts filmed make it worth it. But more importantly, the pleasure I get from working on both companies is pay off in itself. The Savvy Life allows me to pour my creativity onto "paper". FFIT@home and Fearless Fitness allows me to pour my creativity into the creation of fun and inspiring workouts. In a way, they give me balance… except when I try to cram too much productivity into a 120 day time period.
And so, moving forward, I have given myself a permanent time out. From now on, unless something urgent comes up that cannot be done on another day, I have dedicated Wednesday nights to sit at home, hang out with Dante, Harlan and Spur and just chill. No housework. No computer. No Blackberry. Since Fearless closes at 7pm that night, Paul gets home, pizza in hand, by 7:30 pm, so Wednesdays become a true family night.
Inevitably, urgent items will come along and various deadlines will need to be met, but I am going to do my best to covet my Wednesday nights.
|"Sun" Dried Tomatoes|
Paul regularly makes several dishes that include sun dried tomatoes. For years we have talked about making our own as store bought jars can be pricey. Also, we enjoy trying out little challenges like this. Experimenting in the kitchen makes cooking so much more fun.
I found Roma tomatoes on sale at Safeway over the weekend for $.99 per pound. I decided to pick up a few and try drying them in the oven. The process was simple. I sliced them in half and lightly salted them after placing them on a cookie sheet. I then put them in the oven for six hours at 200 degrees. Paul pulled them out last night after I had gone to bed. He let them cool overnight and this morning, I placed them in a jar (see the photo below) and covered them with olive oil.
Typically, home-made sun dried tomatoes will last for 2 - 3 weeks. I don't think we let this batch dry long enough, so we will try to use them over the weekend. Next time, I will keep them in the oven for 12 hours and see how they do.
|Overdue Trip to My Favorite Thrift Store|
My poor wardrobe has been in need of an infusion. I'm stuck in that funky place of not wanting to invest in fall clothing just yet, but desperately needing to add some life to my clothing repertoire. I decided to pay a long overdue visit to my favorite thrift store on Sunday. The Goodwill on 25th Avenue in San Mateo is big, but not too big. It is also well cared for and organized. I don't get overwhelmed there like I do at a lot of other thrift stores.
It had been at least a year since my last visit. I walked into the store with an open mind and purposefully picked up and tried on items that I may have normally passed by. I don't typically enjoy wearing skirts, but I find that I have been appreciating them on other women lately so I was thrilled to find a fluted grey skirt that I can pair with a black sweater and tights this winter. I found a beautiful, brand new (tags still on it) black sleeveless top that will go perfectly with a pair of black and red silk pants that I picked up in China. I scored a gorgeous green velvet jacket that will look great with jeans, boots and a camisole. I also found a long sleeved camouflage shirt to wear for fun on weekends.
After going through the racks and choosing my clothing, I walked through the house wares department to see if there was anything that caught my attention. Nothing jumped out at me so I then spent an enjoyable 15 minutes going through the bookshelves. Finally, I headed to the front of the store to see if there were any accessories that were worth taking home.
I walked out of the store only with the skirt, jacket, sleeveless black top and camouflage shirt. The total came to $21. Not bad for adding four, fun new pieces to my wardrobe.
|As Seen On TV: The Butterfly Garden|
Have you seen the commercials on TV for The Butterfly Garden? After months of seeing the commercials, I finally decided to purchase one of the kits for our family. I am so glad I did! Who knew five fuzzy caterpillars could be so much fun? I should clarify. Who knew five fuzzy caterpillars could provide "moments" of so much fun. There is a lot of them doing nothing interspersed with moments of fascinating metamorphosis. Even Paul got excited about the process. The butterflies emerged while I was at work and I received calls or emails from him as each of the them popped out of their cocoon. Paul dubbed them, "The Beasts" and took on the responsibility of feeding them every day.
On Sunday, we decided it was time to let them go and released them in the front yard. It was a very cool experience. I told Paul that I would like to buy new caterpillars next year. We still have the butterfly habitat and can purchase just the caterpillars. I think it will be a fun and fitting way to celebrate spring.
Dante and one of "The Beasts"
|Birthdays and Ultimate Fighting|
Buying Paul birthday presents is one of the most difficult tasks I face every year. He is very particular about what he reads, isn't really into clothes and doesn't talk about wanting something. He just buys it or saves up for it and then buys it. It makes gift giving very difficult.
This year, I lucked out. A month before Paul's birthday, The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) announced they were doing a show in Oakland, CA on August 7th.
When I read the news, I didn't even think about trying to surprise Paul. I immediately called him and told him I was taking him to the show for his birthday. Since Mixed Martial Arts is our family business and a sport we love, we were both really excited about the event.
I am a big fan of Dana White, the President of the UFC and a celebrity himself. The man knows how to put on a show. Between the music and the pageantry, it was an amazing night. The event was filled with great fights, but the last fight of the night was a perfect example of why I find Mixed Martial Arts so exciting. You just never know what is going to happen. The middle weight title holder was defending his belt for the 7th time. No one has been able to touch this guy. When the bell sounded for the first round, his opponent stunned the crowd by soundly giving him a beating for the entire round. The champ continued taking a beating for the next four rounds until with just 1:50 seconds left in the fifth and final round, the champ saw an opportunity and submitted his opponent. The crowd went nuts. Paul and I went nuts. It was one of the most exciting fights I have ever watched.
When I have the opportunity, I love giving adventures to people over material gifts. It gives us a chance to share in a memorable experience and spend time together. Now I have just nine months to figure out what to do for Paul's birthday next year!
Earlier today I posted an article titled On Not Collecting. I'd like to think that I am a minimalist who married a sentimental collector. Among other things, Paul is a collector of books, and historical weapons (mostly swords).
He also likes to hold onto video games, although I talked him into getting a subscription to Gamefly.com a few years ago. He now only buys games he knows he is going to want to keep, which has saved him hundreds of dollars a year.
Last week he went through his old games and purged about half, which we will try to sell on eBay or Amazon.com. We picked up a clear plastic bin at Target to house the remaining games which will go up into the attic. If he decides he wants to play one of them, it will be easy for him to find.
I hope to go through the same process with our movies. Over the years we have collected (yes, I admit to contributing to the movie collection) favorite movies, but many of them are on VHS. We need to decide if we will invest in a VHS player again as our previous one died several years ago, or if it is worth repurchasing our favorites on DVD. I am leaning toward replacing the ones we truly love with DVDs. Sadly, once you go DVD, it is so hard to go back to VHS.
|An Adventurous, Yet Restful Weekend|
A perfect weekend for me entails the combination of:
This weekend, we managed to accomplish three out of four.
Our adventuring took us to Felton, CA where Thomas the Tank engine was there with all of his train friends. Dante is a fan of Thomas and I love trains so this was a highly enjoyable few hours. Felton is in the Santa Cruz mountains so we not only enjoyed hanging out among the engines, but the scenery was gorgeous. The event took place at the Roaring Camp Railroad. They offer many different types of events throughout the year. We definitely plan on going back.
The morning of our Thomas the Tank adventure, I had filmed 3 FFIT@home workouts starting at 7:00 am. By the time we got home from Felton, which is about an hour from our house, I was wiped out. We spent the rest of the evening eating popcorn and watching Tuesday night's episode of America's Got Talent.
I slept in on Sunday until 10:00 am and just never really woke up. I really wanted to take care of a few projects but had the hardest time getting started. I finally decided that I really needed to just spend the day resting. Paul was in a similar state so we picked up two movies, made popcorn and spent most of the day relaxing as a family in front of the TV. We rented Astro Boy and Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. I'm not a huge fan of the Alice in Wonderland story, but I really did enjoy the movie.
As far as cooking and baking, we harvested some of our basil for Paul's famous pesto. We enjoyed it over ravioli. We also made homemade chocolate ice cream.
The only thing I had to let go of this weekend is the idea of getting a project done. I had high hopes to reseed the front and back lawn. Hopefully, I'll have more oomph this coming weekend and can take care of it then.