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A New Life

Hey there!

Lots of changes have been happening in my world—I’m not ready to talk about everything quite yet, but some I’m ready to shout from the rooftops!

Monday marked my first day NOT working during the day. I was sure I would feel some sort of regret about leaving a job, that I did not love but that has yet to happen. I’m pretty proud of myself, actually. It took a TON of courage to quit, but I am so very happy that I did.

That being said, I have quite a bit of free time these days. I’m working about four nights a week as a server, but my days are very open. Because I have a history with depressive tendencies (I’m hesitant to say full on depression), I’ve set some rules for myself so I maintain structure and productivity in my life. The truth is that I could easily sit on the couch and watch reruns of Las Vegas on TNT and get sucked back into Days of Our Lives. Yes, I said “back”…another story for another day.

1. Maintain a reasonable bed time and wake time.

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(One of my favorite morning shots, courtesy of Tom Panko.)

This is pretty easy for me to do because I love the morning. My natural alarm clock never lets me sleep later than 8:00 or 8:30, but I’ve been getting up these last few mornings at 7:30. Oh, and I’m usually falling asleep on the couch by 10:00 pm, like the elderly lady I am, so don’t expect me to turn into any kind of night owl now that I don’t technically HAVE to get up in the morning.

2. Stay away from the TV during the day.

I plan on enjoying a day here or there enjoying some quality couch time—everyone deserves this kind of relaxation once and a while. But, I know myself. I know if I put that television on during the middle of the day, all productivity will be completely over. So, you’ll find me watching some of the Today show in the morning and then shutting the tube OFF. We have an IPod speaker system, so I have Pandora wired up on speakers, it does the trick just as well. Now if only Pandora could come up with some sort of stream for this…
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3. Making a List for everything.

My list from yesterday has kind of run into today as well…some of the things require loose ends get tied up. Simply, write it down, do it, check it off, feel accomplished. Nothing makes staying on task easier than an old fashioned list.

4. Shower.

Yes, I have to say it. No one likes a girl who lays around on the couch all day while watching Days of Our Lives..especially one who doesn’t bathe.

Do you spend days at home? What are your tips for maintaining mental sanity? I’m sure I’ll be needing them!

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The Weekend Rush

Hey There!

This was the first weekend since June that I haven’t had a single thing planned. Nope, you heard right, not one. And it was glorious. Beyond glorious. Except it is over and I’m already feeling the Monday Blues. Anyway, here are completely random eats from Friday.

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Look familiar? I have an addictive personality, breakfast foods included!

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An apple snick-snack while I waited for lunchtime.

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I try hard to at least bring my lunch to work 4 out of 5 days for all of the usual reasons (money saving, calorie control)—the other 1 day is reserved for delicious takeout cravings–ie:Chicken with broccoli and white rice. Confession: I have a sticky white rice obsession. The stickier the better. Right, Mom?

Don’t be alarmed by the following “dinner”:

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Yes, that is a piece of bread. Yes, it has butter. And yes, it was a part of my Friday night dinner….
This piece of bread x 2, one bite of carrot cake, one handful of French fries, and one spoonful of risotto. Cleary not healthy, but when I waitress at night, sometimes this is as good as it gets. I do make an effort to order something healthy or eat before I go, but with a crazy, busy night like I had, this had to suffice!

When my alarm went off on Saturday morning at 7:30, my body very much wanted to stay in bed. I ran my butt off waitressing on Friday night and these bones really needed some extra rest. But, I knew that I would be disappointed in myself if I didn’t get up and go to my 9 AM Hot Vinyasa Class.

My favorite instructor was back from a three week hiatus. While I really liked the two instructors who filled in for her, Jenilee has an incredible way of pushing you mentally and physically outside of your comfort zone in the greatest way. I was very thankful to have her back. And she kicked my butt! I am so today, in that good, “I earned these sore muscles” type of way.

After yoga I came home and scrubbed the apartment from top to bottom! Having a clean house makes life so much better! I even sat on the floor in my bathroom and cleaned all around the edges of the floor. So rewarding to have a sparkling house!

The rest of the day was spent lounging, catching up on mindless tv, and napping. Since John won his first trophy as a XC coach yesterday, we went out for a mini celebration. We went to Applebees…which is really not the greatest, but as long as you know what to order you can have a good meal. We started with spinach and artichoke dip, and I had an Oriental Chicken Salad. It was just okay. My standard there is a Chicken Fajita Roll Up, but I was looking to get in some greens. Unfortunately the salad was mostly just coleslaw mix without any dressing. From there, we met some friends out for drinks.

I think I’ve talked about this before on SSL, but my body cannot handle alcohol the way it used to . Over the course of about 6 hours last night, I had one beer with dinner, one glass of wine shortly after, and I took about a two hour break before having two vodka and club sodas. I didn’t really feel drunk or buzzed when we went to sleep at 1 am. But I was mad at myself when I woke up at 6:30, wide eyed. Regardless of how tired my body is, my sleep is always interrupted when I drink. Now that I’m almost 25, feeling like crap and not sleeping is not worth having the few drinks I did. Don’t get me wrong, I love socializing and catching up with friends over a few drinks or enjoying the perfectly chilled beer or crisp glass of wine. But even with a slight hangover, my ability to make healthy choices is definitely compromised. This is all part of getting older, I suppose.

Today has been filled with football and more relaxing. The highlight of my upcoming week looks something like this…

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I. CAN’T. WAIT.

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At a Loss.

I started this blog in April. I was in the airport on the way home from a spring vacation with John when it dawned on me that I could actually be apart of the community that I so actively followed. I realized I could actually have a voice again–something that had once been so strong but had been lost in shuffle of my post-graduate blues (that I still can’t seem to shake).

While See Sing Live is still a work in progress, I didn’t expect to feel so strong again or to make blends or to travel halfway across the country to be apart of something bigger than myself.

That being said, recently, I have been at a loss for words. I cannot seem to find my niche in this big blog world. Each time I set out to author a post, I write a few lines, delete them, and shut my laptop.

When life doesn’t flow, the words don’t flow.

So I’m hoping that if I just find the way to start to type–one finger in front of the other–it will come. It may not be pretty, but at least it will be.

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My Heart

Meet Miss S.

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I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion that I don’t have a big immediate family. I have no first cousins, but was blessed with a big extended “family” of friends that are just as close as the real thing. Miss S is a very big part of that.

I remember when she was born–I was 16 and visiting a friend during Spring Break near Easter time. I remember thinking that I couldn’t wait to get home to hold such a sweet little girl.

I remember when she was two and when I was feeding her chicken soup for dinner she reminded me that “I do not like chicken, Sarah, you know that.”

I remember her 3rd birthday party when she cried because her cake was made to look like a ballgown on her favorite Barbie, that was placed right in the middle of the cake. She wanted “Barbs” out of that cake.

And I remember the night in January of 2006 when I got the call from my Dad telling me that Miss S. was in the hospital and had been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

Just like that, her young life was forever changed.

But please don’t think for a second that she doesn’t swim everyday in the summer or misses out on kid birthday parties or can’t ride her bike or get dirty or torture her little brother…because she does all of these things with a lovely smile on her face. She just has to do these things and take into account when she eats, what she eats, how hot it is outside, how hard she is playing and about 100 other outside factors that determine how how high or low her sugar is.

What will really make all the difference? Finding a CURE. And until we find a cure, we will walk.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation raises money that funds research to find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. And we NEED to find a cure…for my little Miss S and all of the kids and adults that live with this everyday.

On Sunday, my friends and family and I will be participating in a Walk to Cure Diabetes in Glens Falls. I’m asking you to do one of two things.

1. Donate to the cause. As a walker, I’ve pledged to raise money to help find a Cure. You can click on this link to learn more or to make a donation. I would be so grateful, but trust me, I understand if this isn’t possible for you right now.

2. Educate yourself about this disease. Type 1 Diabetes is a VERY different from Type 2 Diabetes, do you know the difference? Type 1 is an autoimmune disease–autoantibodies attack the pancreas and make it impossible for it to do its job–produce insulin. Type 2 occurs due to insulin resistance, which is generally directly the result of obesity and is quite frequently associated with heart disease. Type 2 can often be regulated with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Type 1 Diabetics will ALWAYS have diabetes–until a cure is found.

Thank you so much for reading about this cause that is so close to my heart—Miss S. and I really appreciate it.

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Confessions

I’ll just get it right out there in the open…I am NOT a good cook.

There, I said it.

I grew up in a restaurant owned by my parents, watching my father create and plate delicious comfort food—sandwiches, soups, burgers, and hearty Tex Mex dishes—-that people STILL rave about to this day. He says it himself, he is amazingly talented at what he knows, and what he knows is homestyle cooking, meatloaf with mashed potatoes, chicken pot pie, chili, etc..you get the picture.

I will go on to add that what my dad lacks, my mother makes up for. She creates the most beautifully put together, gourmet meals–pretty much the opposite of how my father cooks. She pays complete attention to detail, creating food that bloggers would die to get pictures of.

So, together, my parents are the powerhouse team of the culinary world…okay, well maybe not THE culinary world, but definitely MY culinary world.

I have never felt the need to learn to cook. It is not as though I can’t fend for myself in the kitchen–I can generally wing the process and end up sauteing vegetables with some type of protein over pasta or rice–but I am not a natural.

So, this is your invitation to come along for the ride as I attempt to broaden my kitchen skills. I can’t promise it will be a caterpillar to butterfly type experience, but I can say that I will try to improve, and learn to cook with my own two little slicing and dicing hands.

Here we go…

Tonight for dinner I was craving Chinese takeout–I really wanted some chicken with broccoli, lo mein, and sticky white rice. Unfortunately I don’t always feel the best after I devour this, so I decided to make my own version.

Shrimp and Veggie Spicy Stir Fry

I started out with what I had in the pantry:
Low Sodium Chicken Broth
Low Sodium Soy Sauce
Rice Wine Vinegar
Corn Starch
Garlic
Crushed Red Pepper
Dried Basil
Sugar

Then I went to Price Chopper for:
Shrimp (I decided to go with frozen pre cooked to save some time and money)
Mushrooms
Red & Green Peppers
Zucchini

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I let the shrimp thaw while I cooked some Uncle Ben’s Brown Rice and chopped my veggies

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I then mixed:
1/2 Cup of Chicken Broth
1/4 cup of Rice Wine Vinegar
1/4 Cup of Soy Sauce
1 tbsp of cornstarch
three shakes of red pepper flakes
I spoonful of sugar (makes the medicine go down)
I let that mixture sit aside while I heated some garlic in some vegetable oil on high and heated my shrimp for about 3 minutes. I removed the shrimp and added a shot of chicken broth before sauteing the veggies. After they were soft, I added the sauce and it quickly thickened over the heat. I put in the shrimp mixed it all together and voila!
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Verdict: It was good to know what exactly was in my stir fry, opposed to ordering from Peking Inn, but I was definitely hoping for a better flavor. Next time I will add a touch more sugar, less vinegar, and definitely take the tails off the shrimp (I wasn’t thinking about this before I cooked them!). I would also make less sauce all together. I’m happy to have enough leftovers for my lunch tomorrow, though.
So there you have it, my first meal under my new commitment to teach myself to cook. It wasn’t a total fail, but not as tasty as I had hoped. It will definitely be a process of trial and error!

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A Love Letter

Dear Hot Yoga Saratoga–(more specifically Jenilee and the 10:00 Saturday Hot Vinyasa Class),

Thank you for being awesome. No, really, you are awesome.

You have no idea how excited I am that I am just a mere 45 minutes away from your hot, sweaty, hardcore amazingness. While I wish you were right in my backyard, the fact that you are a bit of a drive makes you even more special, even more of a treat.

And Jenilee…wow…you kicked my ass. You challenged me to push passed my “vulnerability” with partner yoga and played “Philidelphia Freedom” by Elton John.

See you on Saturday.

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xo,

Sarah.

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