Trying to fit multiple things into the blog today, so hang in there kids. My feedback on French Women Don't Get Fat is indeed around the corner (as in, hoping to post it in before the end of the day because I finished the book yesterday and cannot wait to blab!), but since I had some other bits to share, I thought breaking everything into two posts would be a better fit. This week is going by a little too fast for me, which has been good in some ways (see: typical work week), but a bit unforgiving in others (see: blogging stuffs).
First: I haz a new domain name!
I suppose it wasn't a necessity, but the original URL (http://thestretchjeanincident.blogspot.com) was hideously long and buying a shorter version was cheap, even by my standards, so there ya go. Update your feeds and bookmarks if you'd like, but if you don't want to bother, the old URL will still remain active.
I don't foresee any major changes resulting from the new URL, but it has motivated me to plan a possible blog face lift and more pages, particularly some dedicated to recipes, DVDs and maybe fitness. Yes, I realize all of those topics are incredibly unorganized currently and yes, I promise to fix it. Slowly, but surely.
Second: New Favorite Food Links.
I'm a bit reluctant to label myself a "foodie," because I don't feel I meet the requirements (or can even define them) and the idea of such a label is relative, arbitrary and at times, a bit silly. However, I'm finally moving closer to a place where I just love and appreciate good food (rather than fear or struggle with it) and I love that there are some decent blogs running wild with that same appreciation. That said, there are a bajillion food blogs these days, but I've found a few that I just really dig and wanted to shamelessly promote:
Serious Eats. They publish regular restaurant/product reviews, recipes and special food features (tips on preparing testicles, anyone?). I've found it to be a great resource, not just for my palate, but for my brain as well. It's a site that not only makes me want to continue trying new things (without necessarily making me a crazy hungry maniac every time I read it), but also fascinates me, from a general education standpoint. I'm a nerd for new knowledge these days and what better subject to hold my attention than food? Eeeeexcellent.
The Kitchn. This site features a mix of kitchen designs (geared toward small apartments primarily, but the ideas could easily be adapted on larger scales), recipes and general food Q & A. It's a great resource for some cooking/meal planning basics and of course, great kitchen design ideas, should you be in the market.
Doug is all about design (he friggin' BUILT our platform bed and made his own desk with floating shelves, for example), so his ability to recognize the importance of stylish, yet incredibly functional design within all aspects of the home has indeed rubbed off on me. We don't own a home yet, but when we do, we intend to customize the shit out of it. That said, I plan on using The Kitchn as a resource, as they have some great ideas for storage, appliances, colors, textures, etc.
Food Network Humor. Just for fun, obviously. If you watch Food Network regularly and find yourself mocking the hosts, this is a good site to vent your frustrations and/or encourage your mocking. I personally love the Food Network Drinking Game. One of these weekends when I'm feeling bold (and not planning on leaving the house), I might just open a bottle and play along.
Third: Fitness Notes.
Still rocking the strength training and noticing MORE bitchin' results. I know it'll make me sound like a narcissistic bee-yotch, but I totally spent approx. 10 extra minutes (not all at once) looking at my body in the mirror, lovingly, this morning. Seeing some definition come back in certain areas and enjoying the disappearing of flab in others. But the best part? I haven't been beating myself up at the gym and I've been enjoying wine & chocolate. I know, punch me in the gut for sounding like a total douche-y informercial. But it's true. And I'll expand on that when I write about the French Women... book later.
Monday, I did Jari Loves's Slim & Lean DVD. Tuesday was 24Cycle class at the gym. Yesterday, nothing. Today, I busted out an oldie that I haven't touched in mooooonths (possibly a year? I dunno):
Jillian Michaels' No More Trouble Zones. I must admit, even though I hadn't done this DVD in forever, I was still feeling a bit cocky and thought, "Yeah, I'll just bust through this and will probably use heavier weight the whole time." Psh. I suppose I did bust through it, but not without struggle. And I used heavier weight for maybe like, 2 moves. The rest of the time, I was rockin' the 5 lbs. weights.
Best move that I totally forgot about that made me say "Oh, Jillian, you dirty bitch!" out loud? Plank rows. Granted, they're easier for me now than before, but they still snuck up me. Hell, I can say that for any move performed in plank position. Buh.
Last time I did this DVD, I still felt like giving strength training the middle finger. But now that I don't totally hate it, it was a great workout to re-visit. I still prefer Jari Love and Jackie Warner for strength workouts, but it felt good to throw in Jillian's routine, for old time's (and variety's) sake.
My cramps aren't totally kicking my ass today (well not now anyway), so I think I might make it to Zumba tonight, after a 2 week absence. But if not, I'm not going to beat myself up. I totally go through phases with my workouts and easily become obsessed with certain trends, eventually burning myself out (including, but not limited to: Zumba, 24 S.E.T., incline training, sprints and running). That's not to say that I no longer think Zumba is totally awesome, I'm just trying not to be so strict in my workout schedule these days and settling into the same routines. Going on a different night is always an option, as is just listening to my body and doing what feels the most welcoming at that particular moment. The only exception to this new philosophy is 24Cycle, because I have to reserve a spot and I expect to be tortured a bit. I'm starting to build a somewhat sick relationship with that class; I signed up for the Saturday class this week as well.
Fourth (and last):Hall & Oates Week.
Between gals on Twitter, Doug, our housemate James and I, Hall & Oates seem to be on regular rotation this week, so I decided to officially declare this week Hall & Oates Week, or "H.O.W.", if you will.
You have between now and Saturday to rock this shit out. Enjoy!