Sunday, January 6, 2013

Pinterest Project Update

So, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about my Pinterest Project. In fact, I haven’t written an “update” since I launched it. Let’s just say time got away from me and I haven’t had a good chunk of time to hop on the old laptop and write something. I’ve been taking full advantage of the fact my hubby was home from work this week and my son doesn’t go back to school until tomorrow. Plus, I actually started a new class this week, so I’m back with my nose in the books. Luckily, it’s a nice quiet Sunday morning so I can give you a full update. Here goes nothing!

Day 1 (Tuesday, January 1st)
As I mentioned during the first day, I was trying a DIY microdermabrasion using baking soda. After re-reading the directions/tips, I decided to try it in the shower. Otherwise, I might have baking soda gunked up in my eyebrows and that just isn’t cute. I’d post a picture of me doing the microdermabrasion, but this isn’t an X-rated website folks! Sorry! ; ) But here’s the picture of the container of baking soda on my bathtub…

Overall, I liked the DIY microdermabrasion. I felt like my skin was definitely softer after I used it. However, I’d save it as something to do once or twice a week. It’s personally too rough for me to use on a daily basis.

Day 2 (Wednesday, January 2nd)
It was my first day back to work after the holiday break, so I wanted to see if I could be inspired by my “My Style” Pinterest board. I came across this picture:

This photo is courtesy of the blog Leather & Lace. She posts tons of super cute outfits. I had the gray dress pants, and a sort of ruffle white button-down shirt. I also have a purple cardigan, so I did my own interpretation of this outfit with what I have in my closet. I LOVE her hairstyle and am desperately working on growing out my short inverted bob…maybe in like 5 years or with 10 pounds of hair extensions my hair can look like that! Anyhow, here’s my look:

Day 3 (Thursday, January 3rd)
I had the day off with the hubs and my little man. I was feeling kind of sassy that day and decided to bust out the skinny jeans. I wanted to see if I could pull off another outfit interpretation via my “My Style” Pinterest board. Lo and behold, I came across this pin:

This photo is courtesy of someone’s Polyvore board.  I’ve never tried it before. From what I gather, you can create different outfits off of items of clothing, accessories, etc. from other websites. Has anyone else tried it? I have everything but the beret in my closet. But after looking at it, I’m secretly hoping my sister-in-law and her knitting skills would be able to make me one…especially after I accidentally put the last hat she made me in the washer/dryer and now it might fit a Cabbage Patch Doll. Then again, she has her hands full with my 2 adorbs nephews, so I might be shopping for a beret on my own. So here’s my interpretation of the Pinterest ensemble:

Day 4 (Friday, January 4th)
This day I pulled a recipe off of my “Hasta Pasta” Pinterest board. Yes, I like pasta. A lot. Deal with it. The hubs had been craving some pad thai for a while, so I pulled up this little gem:

Easy Pad Thai (Serves 4)
 (courtesy of; adapted from Everyday Food)

8 ounces dried, wide and flat rice noodles
2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus wedges for serving

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 squirt (about 1/8 teaspoon) Sriracha (optional)

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

3 scallions (green onions), white and green parts, separated and thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, minced

2 large eggs, light beaten (optional)

1/2 cup fresh cilantro

1/4 cup chopped roasted, salted peanuts

1. Soak noodles according to package instructions. Drain.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, lime juice, soy sauce, and Sriracha.
3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.
4. Add scallion whites and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add eggs and cook, scraping skillet with spatula until eggs are almost set (about 30 seconds). Transfer eggs to a plate.
5. Add noodles, scallion greens, and sauce to skillet. Cook, tossing constantly, until noodles are soft (about 1 minute). Add egg mixture and toss to coat, breaking eggs up gently.
6. Serve noodles with lime wedges, topped with cilantro and peanuts.

We added chicken to the pad thai and skipped the peanuts. We also used the lime juice that comes in the little plastic limes vs. real limes. And since the hubs and I like things spicy, we added a little extra Sriracha….here’s our final result:

It was DELICIOUS! It’s definitely moving its way onto my “Tried and True Recipes” board!

Day 5 (Saturday, January 5th)
So this particular Pinterest project is going to be an ongoing thing. I got a sewing machine for Christmas and with the help of after Christmas sales, I scored for Christmas fabric at Hobby Lobby and Hancock Fabrics for dirt cheap. I knew I wanted to make some sort of Christmas quilt for my mom for next Christmas, but had no clue how to go about some sort of fun pattern that would be easy to handle. I found this pin on my “Sew Smart” board:

The fabric I chose for the 16x16 squares has super precise squares on it. I had to adjust those squares to 14x14 to capture the squares and not have extra fabric. I’m hoping my math doesn’t totally suck and I didn’t mess up the measurements for the rest of the squares. Luckily, I bought some plain cranberry red fabric remnants to fill in some squares, just in case. (I’ve already used it to fill in a “hole”. I need to go back to school and work on my math skills…) Anyway, here’s what the quilt looks like so far:
Please excuse the "Bob-O-Pedic"'s laundry day in the Hall household!
I’ll keep you all updated as I progress with my quilt. I also found another cute quilt pattern that I’m planning on using to make a quilt for my mother-in-law as a “Get Well Soon” gift. She’s getting a hip replacement later this spring…so stay tuned for a future Pinterest Project post on that!
I’m still trying to decide on what I want to tackle for today’s Pinterest Project. Decisions, decisions. Oh well. The day is still young!

Happy Sunday all!
- Angela : )

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year and Introducing the Pinterest Project...

Happy New Year all! Here's to a clean slate and starting off the new year right! I got my run on today and started a month long squat challenge. A special thanks to my fellow fit camper Arlene Grant for posting this back in December and my other fellow fit camper Nikki Deal for creating a user friendly document for January! Thanks ladies! If you want to follow along, here it is. Here's to some better booties by Valentine's Day! ; )

January 1 - 20
January 2 - 25
January 3 - 30
January 4 - 35
January 5 - 40
January 6 - 45
January 7 - 50
January 8 - 55
January 9 - 60
January 10 – Rest Day
January 11 - 65
January 12 - 70
January 13 - 75
January 14 - 80
January 15 - 85
January 16 - 90
January 17 - 95
January 18 – 100
January 19 – 100
January 20 – 50
January 21 – 55
January 22 – 60
January 23 – 100
January 24 – 65
January 25 – 70
January 26 – 100
January 27 – Rest Day
January 28 – 80
January 29 – 85
January 30 – 90
January 31 - 100

Some of you may know that I'm absolutely OBSESSED with Pinterest. I've got well over 5,500 pins. Well, I've decided to combine my love of Pinterest and my love of the movie "Julie and Julia". For those who haven't seen the movie, it's about a woman who cooked all 500+ recipes in Julia Child's cookbook, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" and wrote a blog about it during a one year time span. With that being said, I'm pleased to announce the Pinterest Project! I will be attempting at least one pin from my Pinterest boards every day for a year, starting today. These pins will come from a number of different categories, from fitness, to recipes, to fashion, to decorating, to crafts. I'll post the orginal pin so my loyal readers and try the pin out for themselves if they choose. I'll also post a picture of my attempt and how it went.

You actually get 2 pins today! Here's the first from my "Fitsperation" board. I thought it was appropriate given that it's the start of a new year:

The next one comes from my "Oh Make Me Over..." board. (Bonus points if you know what song/artist inspired the title!) It's a board of beauty tips, makeup ideas, nail colors, hairstyles, etc. I'd like to try. It's a DIY microdermabrasion using baking soda and water courtesy of the website "One Good Thing By Jillie". It's a cute website with a number of things/ideas I've pinned on my Pinterest boards. Here is the link if you'd like to check it out: microdermabrasion in a box. I'll be testing this out tonight as part of my nightly routine and I'll report back my review tomorrow...

If you want to follow me on Pinterest, I'm angelabanangela. Does anyone out there have any pins they're curious about and want me to try? I'm willing to be a human guinea pig...sort of.

- Angela : )

Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

So today is December 31st. This is usually the day that people come up with a list of New Year's resolutions. I'm usually not one for New Year's resolutions since I know I'll usually break mine by February 1st. But I feel like this year is different. There are a lot of changes I need to make in my life and I need to start somewhere. I truly believe I need wipe the slate clean and start 2013 fresh. With that being said, here's my New Year's resolution list for 2013. I'm putting it through the intewebs in hopes of keeping me accountable. I'm hoping to update my few readers throughout the year with how I'm goes nothing!

Angela's New Year's Resolutions for 2013:

1) BE MORE PATIENT - This one's definitely going to be a challenge. As you may know, I've got a 3 1/2 year old son who tests my patience on a daily basis. Over and over again. Seriously. Like a broken record. I feel steam coming out of my ears thinking about it and typing this...

2) RUN MY 1ST HALF MARATHON - I'm really excited about this one. I really believe I'm going to check this one off my list and possibly a second half marathon as well. I ran my first 10K race yesterday. At first, I was panicked because I didn't feel like I was prepared. I ran my first 10K "practice run" only 2 days prior. Before that, I had about two weeks of really short runs (1-2 miles a piece). But I felt REALLY good running yesterday. Even in 25 mile per hour winds! My next big race is a 10 miler in early March and then I'm planning my half marathon for the end of April.

3) GET ORGANIZED - Yes, I realize this particular resolution is pretty freaking vague. I haven't really pinpointed the hows or whats, but I know something's gotta happen. My apartment is a freaking pigsty and I feel like I'm picking up the same shit over and over again. And I keep getting myself into crazy piles of laundry and desperately trying to climb out over and over again. Like a broken record...

4) EMBRACE STRENGTH TRAINING - So far in my weight loss journey, I haven't done any strength training. If I want to take my weight loss to the next level, I know I've got to bite the bullet and do it. There is a BodyPump class at my school's fitness center on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. I'm gonna give it a go.

5) GET IN THE DAMN KITCHEN - I'll admit it. I'm not a big fan of cooking. The hubby usually cooks our meals. I'm more of a baker. But I need to take charge. Plus, the hubs is going on a business trip in a couple of weeks. I can't rely on Wendy's to feed the little guy and I. Also, Cameron is one heck of a picky eater. His 4 food groups consist of chicken, pizza, peanut butter & jelly, and grilled cheese. I'm hoping to pull him into the kitchen with me in hopes of him eating new foods. But I'm sure this will test resolution #1...

6) GET A FULL-TIME JOB - I know I can't control the job market. Nor can I control the decision making process of hiring committees. I've been pretty discouraged since moving down to Maryland. I've been on a ton of interviews for both full-time jobs and graduate assistantships and could only swing a part-time job. Many of the full-time jobs I interviewed for went to internal candidates. While I'm thankful for my current job and I'm learning a lot, I know a full-time job would mean so much for our family. We're living paycheck to paycheck right now and I know I'm going to have a mess of student loans once I finish school. A full-time job means more stability. It means being able to save to buy a house. It means exploring the possibility of having baby #2. So I'm putting all my eggs into the landing a full-time job basket.

7) GET THIS BLOG FULLY OFF THE GROUND!! - I see the potential in this blog. I know I can take it somewhere. Where that somewhere is, I don't know. But I'd love to finally post photos, get more readers, maybe some sponsors, and actually have a product I'm proud of.

I guess that's it for now. I promise to keep my few loyal readers updated with my progress. What are your New Year's resolutions?

- Angela : )

Friday, December 14, 2012

Why does losing weight SUCK?

Why is weight loss so darn hard? Seriously. I've been at this since the beginning of August. My starting weight was 221 pounds. I got down to 203 pounds the middle of last week. I was SHOCKED. So freaking close to ONEDERLAND. Then life happened. I got stressed out about dealing with the retreat I'm planning for the Mama Laughlin Fit Camp. Then the eternally shy girl in me went to a cookie swap with a group of mothers I barely know, and followed that up with a Christmas party filled with my husband's colleagues and his students. You what I did? I ATE. Like there was no tomorrow. I ate every gluten free food I could shovel into my damn pie hole. I got on the scale this past Sunday morning and I was up to 206.8!! WTF! Well, me, being obsessed with that damn scale, even though it's a dirty lying whore, I've been weighing myself every freaking day. As of this morning, I'm back down to 204.4. FML. One bad weekend and I'm STILL paying for it.

I'm in a weight loss challenge called DietBet. You put in $20 and you have to lose 4% of your weight in month. I have to get down to 197.6 by January 2nd to get my money and split the pot with the rest of the people participating who hit the 4% lost target. The pot is up to $7,280!!! I could sure use a piece of that pot! I've got 19 days to lose almost 7 pounds. And Christmas is right around the corner. I already feel freaking defeated. I'm going to give it my all between now and then and pray for some type of weight loss miracle. WISH ME LUCK!

I will say that even with the less than stellar weight loss since August, I am seeing some wonderful non-scale victories (NSVs) lately:

1) Dress pants that were super tight on me (even while wearing SPANX) are now fitting me perfectly. Some are even starting to get loose.
2) I'm NOT wearing SPANX anymore! YES!
3) I have a pile of clothes that are too big on me and I'm looking to sell/give away/donate.
4) My hubby says he can tell I'm losing weight and he says I'm looking sexy! (That's ALWAYS a nice thing to hear and I can't get enough of hearing it!)
5) Running is becoming soooo much easier. When I first started running back in October, I was around a 13 minute mile and change. I went on the dreadmill (yes, I hate the treadmill) last night and I ran at 5.5 miles/hour. That's a 10:54 pace. Even then, I thought it was a little too easy! I'm so freaking excited for my 5K race tomorrow it isn't even funny!

I can't wait to hit the 20 pound weight loss mark and actually post "Before" and "During" pictures. It's so close I can taste it!

Anyway, I'm off to prepare a nice healthy lunch for my son and I......bye! : )

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Why Can't We Be Friends?

I went to a "Moms Night Out" a while ago with the Mothers Club I was part of when I lived in MA. One of the other mothers that attended mentioned she was reading a book called “MWF Seeking BFF”. The book is about a married woman who loved to Chicago for love and is now on the search for a new local best friend as an adult. As she was telling the group about the book, I kept thinking to myself, “This sounds like a great read! I’ve gotta download this to my hubby's iPad this weekend!” But more importantly, I thought, “This sounds like me!”
Naturally, most of us have close friends that we grow up with. When I got married four years ago, there was no doubt in my mind of who would be in my wedding party. My best friend/roommate from college was my maid of honor and I was a bridesmaid in her wedding last June. My two best friends from high school were my other two bridesmaids (and I was one of their bridesmaids two summers ago). But I don’t see these ladies that often any more. Especially since two of them live in MA, I'm in MD now, and the other is in TX. I’m lucky to see them two or three times a year. Getting married, going to graduate school, having a career, and having a child will tend to do that. Now don’t get me wrong. I do treasure the time I do get to see them. We always pick up right where we left off and reminisce about the “good old days”. But if I’m having a lousy day, I can’t just pick up the phone and ask if I can come over to their house or meet up for coffee. 
Of course most of us in committed relationships claim our significant other is our “best friend”. Yes, my husband is my “best friend”. But I can’t really turn to him with a problem if he’s the problem to begin with. And trying to consult with him over what kind of haircut/highlights I should get is like talking to a wall. His response is usually, “I don’t know. Your hair looks fine the way it is.”
Making new friends seemed so much easier when we were younger. You’d meet someone in your class or at recess and get to talking.
You: “Do you like peanut butter and jelly?”
Potential Friend: “Yes!”
You: “You do? Me too!”
Potential Friend: “Do you like Fashion Star Barbie?”
You: “I love Fashion Star Barbie! I just got her for my birthday!”
Potential Friend: “Do you want to come over my house to play after school?”
You: “Sure! I just need to ask my mom if it’s okay.”
And just like that, you were attached at the hip.
Now, as an adult, the process seems so daunting. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the most outgoing person. If I’m in a completely new social situation, my first instinct is to head straight for the food/drinks and then pretend like it’s my job to hold up the wall.
I had to take the making new friends thing to a whole new level when my family moved to MD from MA. New unfamiliar territory where I don't know a soul. I've been in MD since the end of July. There are a couple of women I'm “friendly” or “acquaintances” with. But when do you decide to take that “acquaintance” status and move it to the “friend” or even “best friend” level? If only there was a book out there with straight forward guidelines for everyone to follow!
My requirements for a best friend are pretty straightforward. First, I want a best friend who is willing to be one of my biggest cheerleaders. For example, if I decided one day I wanted to train for a marathon ( I am with the Boston Marathon...), her natural response would be one of the following: “Do you need a training buddy? I’ll train with you!” or “Sounds great! I’ll start helping you collect donations,” or “Awesome! I’ll be at the finish line with a sign and balloons!”
Second, I want a best friend who is going to be honest with me. Let’s say we’re at the mall and I’m trying on jeans. If I come out of the dressing room wearing a pair and they make my butt look big, then tell me so! Don’t sugarcoat it!
Third, I want a best friend who gets along with my husband and I get along with their significant other (if they have one). Our significant others and our children could be friends too. Going out on double dates or having my BFF and her other half over for game night or dinner would easily be an option.
Finally (and probably most important), I do not want a best friend who tries to one-up me. If you have a child, I'm sure he or she is amazing. I think my son is pretty amazing too. But I don’t need to constantly hear about how he/she can speak 5 languages, reads 3 levels above his/her grade level, was full potty trained in a day, did a replica of the Mona Lisa with finger paint, and won a “cute kid” magazine contest. I also don’t need to hear about how much of a “supermom” you are. I get it. You worked all day, made a three-course gourmet meal for your family, made sure your house was immaculate, went to the gym, baked 5 dozen cupcakes for the PTO fundraiser, and led your daughter’s Girl Scout troop meeting. You’re supermom and we should all bow down to you. Don’t get me wrong. I can at times have a competitive streak. But I don’t want to constantly battle with you over who is better than whom. We should just celebrate that we’re amazing women with wonderful families.
I’m officially putting myself out on the market for a new best friend. If you think you might fit my requirements, let me know. I am currently taking applications.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Run, Forrest, Run!

So, I mentioned in a previous post that I was training for a 5K. Well, it's been a while since then and I've got QUITE the update...

1) I ran my 1st 5K ever on November 3rd. I actually survived and kept running without stopping. Going into the race, my goal was to finish in under 40 minutes.....try 39:13! Not too shabby for my 1st race! And on top of that, I met two new running buddies, Amy and Kim. They both have kids around the same age as my son and they're both super inspirational to me. Amy is training for a half marathon and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for her that she gets selected for the Nike Half in D.C. Kim is training for a full marathon. Both of them have been supportive of me and me getting into running. Every time I post a run via Charity Miles onto Facebook or post something regarding running, they're ALWAYS the first two to "like" my post. They both rock!

2) 5K race #2 came 2 weeks later. It was a Turkey Trot my the local high school. Kim ran this race with me. Unfortunately, this race didn't end as well as my first one. This particular race had a bunch of high school students that can run like the freaking wind. And the path wasn't marked well. I know, I know. Excuses. I was in a bad mind space during my run, but I kept trucking. Then around the 2.5 miles mark, my son, being the adorable litle cheerleader he is, ran out in front of me while I was running. That put me to a screeching halt. Didn't finish. Kind of a bummer too, because my hubby was tracking my time and I was kicking ass and taking names!

3) 5K #3 came on Thanksgiving Day. I ran the Feaster Five while visiting family in MA. This race was NO JOKE. Over 10,000 runners. And freaking Boston area race legends like Joan Benoit Samuelson, Bill Rodgers, and Dick Hoyt. AND a huge MFing hill on the 1st mile. Well, silly me hate a solid amount of oatmeal, and drank 2 glasses of OJ and a cup of coffee. Around the halfway point, I started feeling like I was going to hurl. Now running with 10,000 other people, there really isn't a good place to, you know, pull over and hurl. So I had to stop and walk for about a half mile. But I finished in 37:53, despite the walking, the MASSIVE hill, and trying to dodge bullets of people.

4) Last weekend's 5K race. It was my favorite race of all. It was a small group of runners, all friendly and in the holiday spirit. Heck, there was a runner dressed as an elf, pointy ears and all. Even Santa Claus walked the race route. The course route was nice, smooth, and mostly flat. But once again I made the rookie mistake of eating a big old bowl of oatmeal and drinking a vat of coffee before the race. Around mile 2 I started feeling pukish again. Had to walk for about a quarter mile. But I finished strong and came in with a personal best time! 34:35 baby! And....I got a medal! WOO HOO!

5) On my last run, I ran for 4.5 miles straight. In under an hour. HOLY BALLS. Definitely an accomplishment from someone who could barely run for 5 minutes a couple months ago.

6) I've got another 5K this Saturday and I get to reunite with my new running buddies! And breakfast will be looking more like a banana or granola bar and NO coffee. I'm so gonna kick ass and take names.

So after all these 5Ks, I'm ready to take it to the next level. I've got a 10K race on December 30th. In a vineyard. And your ass had better believe I'm drinking some vino at the end of that sucker! And I'm signing up for a half marathon at the end of April. And....wait for it....wait for it...I'm going to train for the motherload. And not just ANY marathon. THE BOSTON MARATHON BABY! It's not until April 2014, so I might sneak in another half or full marathon between my half this upcoming April. But   Boston is no joke. Can you say Heartbreak Hill? Seriously, Google it. Now. I feel so ready to train and get my booty out there hitting the pavement. I feel embraced by the little running community I've met so far. Alright kids. It's on. Like Donkey Kong.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

My first blog post EVER!

Hi everyone!

This is my first blog post ever. Why did I decide to jump on the blog bandwagon, you ask? Well, I used to write a weekly opinion column for my college's newspaper. I loved getting my voice out there for people to hear/read. I miss that feeling and want it back!

I think this blog is going to be a little bit of everything. I'm a wife and the mother of a three-year-old son named Cameron, so I'll definitely be sharing some stories from being a wife/mom. I'm also on a weight loss journey so I'll definitely be writing about my triumphs along the way. I am also majorly obsessed with reality television, so be prepared for some colorful commentary. In addition, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Pinterest. I'll more than likely be sharing some outfits I created, recipes I tried, crafts I made, tips that either worked or failed miserably, etc.

So, that's my blog in a nutshell. I hope you enjoy it! If you ever have any questions or want to know me a little better, please email me at I hope to get enough questions to post on a future FAQ blog post.

Talk to you all soon!
Angela : )