Friday, May 31, 2013

I Went For a Walk

Two nights ago, out of the blue, I developed a cough.  I don't have any sinus issues or congestion, just the persistent cough.  It kept me up most of that night.  Last night I coated myself in Vicks and slept a little better.  Running didn't seem like a good idea but I didn't want to just sit around either.  Originally I was going to do yoga then I remembered that yoga revolves around breathing and deep breaths make me cough.  Instead I headed to a park down the road and walked. 

I only coughed a couple times so that is good.  It was actually really nice and peaceful but I also felt like I got some exercise.  I went about three and a half miles.  It smelled really good, the birds were singing like crazy and there was a nice breeze.  Half way through my walk I realized that this was just as nice as the other park (with the Fit Trail) but this one doesn't cost $5 so I think I'm going to move most of my outdoor running to this one instead. 

The nice thing about this park is that it is surrounded by subdivisions, apartments, businesses and a school but when you are on the path, it feels like you're out in the middle of the country.  Today is garbage day so the truck sounds invaded every so often to remind me that I was only a couple streets from my house!  On my last lap, I took some pictures to try to capture the calmness.

This is my favorite spot when running - the point when you switch from the wood bridge (or cement coming from the other direction) to that sponge track surface.  It always gives me extra energy to keep going!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Interviewing Tips

I had my first interview today with a local bank.  I'm very happy with how it went but I'm trying not to get my hopes up because I've been down this road before.  Here is a picture before my interview:

That is the best I can look!  It is humid today and I was very concerned about my hair but it stayed somewhat tame.  I was also really stressed out picking something to wear because my nicest clothes are all winter.

This morning I was thinking about everything I know about interviewing and a few things really stuck out in my mind.  The first is from my former boss.  He said that no one gets a job based on their resume.  The point of the resume is to get you a first interview, the point of the first interview is to get the second interview, etc.  That was a really good reminder and it takes some of the pressure off.  At this point I wasn't trying to get the job, I just needed to make them want to talk to me further.  I feel like I accomplished that.

The second piece of wisdom came from my friend after I didn't get the last job that I interviewed for.  I went through three interviews but in the end they picked someone else.  I was really happy with my interviews and thought I represented my skills and personality well.  I had commented to her that I wish I knew what it was that made them not choose me.  She said it didn't matter because if I knew what it was and changed that part of me, I wouldn't be true to myself.  If they saw who I was and didn't think I was right for the job, then it wasn't the right job for me.  Even though I was very disappointed, this really made me feel better.

The final thing was e-mailed to me by another former employee.  His job was eliminated several months before mine and he hasn't found anything yet either.  He said we just need to be patient and the right position will come along.  I think this is possibly the most important reminder.  I always say that everything works out in the end but sometimes I get so wrapped up in my day-to-day issues that I need someone to remind me of that.

So now I'm going to try to remain optimistic and wait to see what happens.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Eggless Experiment #1 - Hemp Seeds

First of all, that workout yesterday didn't even feel like exercise but Kayleigh and I are both very, very sore today!  My arms hurt the most but my back, legs, shoulders, basically my whole body, is feeling the pain today.  Now on to the real post.

I am always writing down various egg replacement suggestions as I come across them.  I decided to pick a recipe and try several of the options to see which one works best.  Kayleigh is going to help and Bill volunteered to be a taste tester (what a sacrifice!).

I selected this chocolate chip cookie recipe because it doesn't make too many cookies and it calls for only one egg.  Usually with egg substitutes, the more eggs you are replacing, the less effective they work.  We might take the top two from this experiment and try a recipe with more eggs in it.

I'm not sure where this recipe came from originally.  When I moved into an apartment for my junior year of college, my mom typed up several recipe cards for me and this was one of them.  These are chewy cookies, not cake-like.  Here is the original recipe:

Chocolate Chip Cookies - Original Recipe

2/3 C margarine
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 C flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 C chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix margarine, sugar, brown sugar, egg and vanilla thoroughly.  Stir dry ingredients together.  Blend in.  Mix in chocolate chips.  Drop by rounded teaspoonsful about 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake 8-10 minutes.  Cool before removing from sheets.

First of all is "teaspoonsful" a word?  That is what is on my card.  Anyway, you get the idea.  Also, we used parchment paper on the pan.

We get these from amazon.

So this time we chose to substitute the egg with 1 tablespoon of hemp seeds and 3 tablespoons of water.  We used room temperature water (it is freezing here right now so our room temperature is a little colder than usual).  We mixed the water and seeds together in a bowl and left them sit for a couple minutes but I don't think this is necessary.  The seeds didn't seem to soften during that time.

In case you don't know what hemp seeds look like.
First we tasted the unbaked dough because that is our favorite part.  We all agreed that the taste, texture, and appearance of the dough was the same as always.  After baking the cookies, we didn't notice any difference in the appearance.  The taste of the warm cookies was a little gummy but once they cooled, we couldn't tell any difference from a traditional chocolate chip cookie.  

Overall we rate this as a success.  They were easy to substitute, didn't change anything about the cookie and we always have hemp seeds on hand because I use them in my morning smoothie.

Here are some pictures of the process (although I'm pretty sure everyone knows how to make chocolate chip cookies!).

I love these blue bowls I'm using to pour the dry ingredients into the mixer.  They collapse so that you can pour everything into that small space without it going all over the counter.  I don't know what they are called but I think I got them from

Next week we are going to try chia seeds.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Fit Trail

This year our local park put in a Fit Trail so Kayleigh and I headed over there this afternoon to try it out.  I was really excited because they used to have this when I was young and I really enjoyed it.  Kayleigh wasn't so excited but she went along and humored me!

First off, they weren't supposed to start charging to get into the park until Memorial Day but they charged us today.  So we probably won't be back much in the future since it wasn't really worth $5.  Also, we were a little irritated that there were so many workers in there driving all over the place so you had to keep watching out for them.  Still we made the best of it and had fun.  Here are tons of pictures.

 First, an exercise I could actually do.
 Then one I couldn't do.  Seriously, look at my face - I'm really trying!
 Here were the instructions.
 And here is Kayleigh actually doing it.  I was very impressed.  I was happy that, judging from her face, at least it wasn't real easy for her!
 As payback here is an exercise Kayleigh couldn't do.
 But I could!  Just to prove it, I did extra reps!
 I was really excited to see a balance exercise and thought it would be really easy.  Kayleigh was nice enough to take a video to show how bad I did! 
 But do you hear all that wind?  I'm sure that is why I did so bad!
 Now for something neither of us are good at.  This is seriously as far as either of us could stretch!
 Look at my face.  I'm really trying.
 After completing the whole fitness trail, we walked around the lake again so we went a total of almost 2 miles.  For the last quarter mile or so, I ran so that Kayleigh could tell me how my stride looked (she said it is getting better).  This was a nice, fun, active afternoon.

 By the way, the weather is as cold and miserable as it looks.  It is about 60 right now but has got down into the 30s for the past several days.  And our furnace isn't working!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Changing perspective

I thought I had a really bad day yesterday.  It started off good but around 7 AM my stomach became really upset so I ended up sitting around watching TV all morning.  I finally drug myself off the couch and made a terrible lunch.  I ran in the evening and was very disappointed that I could only run 20 minutes and then I couldn't even walk to finish the 3.1 miles. 

But when I look back through the whole day, there were actually a lot of good things, too.  In the afternoon I got all the housecleaning and laundry done.  I planned out meals for the next week and fixed dinner.  My parents came over and my mom commented that I had "really slimmed down" which is always nice to hear (although I think it was just a flattering outfit).  Then we went to Kayleigh's final orchestra concert.  It was sad that this was her last one but the concert was really enjoyable.  They performed a lot of fun songs and I always enjoy the spring concert because all the students (6th through 12th grade) perform "Ode to Joy" together.  Then even though I could have come home and watched TV, I chose instead to go downstairs and run.

I was letting a few bad points in the day overshadow the good.    First I was upset that I didn't run in the morning.  But does it really matter if I sat around in the morning or in the evening?  In the end, I still managed to workout.  Then I was really disappointed with my run but my husband was very nice to point out that "you can't PR every time".  A few weeks ago I would have been thrilled with 20 minutes running. 

So I am going to try to remember that just because a few things don't go as planned doesn't mean that the whole day gets a negative mark against it. 

Here is Kayleigh in her orchestra dress (which she hates) for the last time.
I tried to get pictures at the concert but they all came out like this!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Thai Tofu

Today has been one of those days where I feel like I didn't accomplish anything when actually I did.  First of all, I got my workout in so that is always a good day.  I also did some laundry and cleaning, read a little bit. The best thing is that I was called for a job interview- hurray!  Those have been few and far between.

Tonight we had a thrown together meal but my daughter was happy because it was one of her favorite tofu recipes.  Several months ago I made a stir fry and she didn't really care for it but loved the tofu.  I experimented and came up with a way to make the tofu as a side dish.  It can also be combined with vegetables or eaten on top of rice or pasta. 

We usually call this Kayleigh's Tofu but I wanted a more universal name so she came up with Thai Tofu.  I think she came up with the name because she was offered a summer job today at our friend's Thai restaurant.  We're being flooded in employment opportunities today!

I think it would be good with cilantro sprinkled on top but Kayleigh doesn't like cilantro so I leave it off.

Thai Tofu

1 pound tofu, drained, pressed, and cubed
1 T cornstarch
1/2 T oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp fresh ginger
1 T tamari or soy sauce
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp ketchup
1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil

In a medium bowl, toss the tofu in the cornstarch.

In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, ginger, tamari, vinegar, ketchup and sesame oil.

Heat the oil in a wok over high heat.  Add the tofu, spreading it in an even layer.  Leave for 2 minutes.  Toss, scraping the bottom,
and let set two more minutes.  Continue until the tofu is nicely browned on all sides.

Add the ginger mixture to the wok.  Cook while stirring for 3 minutes. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Breakfast Smoothie

I am currently reading "Salt Sugar Fat" by Micheal Moss.  I'm only about a quarter of the way through but so far it is very interesting.  Yesterday I was reading the section about sugar and a researcher he had interviewed was talking about how sugar has been added to many foods in the United States that weren't traditionally sweet and that, "there is absolutely no tolerance now for foods that are not sweet."

I have been cutting the sugar in baked goods in half for several years now so I was feeling pretty good about myself until I started to think about this quote.  Then I realized that I also add sugar to foods that shouldn't really be sweet such as spaghetti sauce and pizza crust.  I'm going to have to start rethinking some of my recipes.

But I have managed to remove the sugar from my breakfast.

A long time ago I used to have Instant Breakfast and then over the years switched to several other powdered drink type things.  My stomach is usually funny in the morning so I do better with drinks that I can eat very quickly and get something in my stomach before it realizes that I am fully awake!  Plus I take one tablespoon of flax seed oil every day to help with my IBS.  It was easiest to add it to a drink in the morning.

I always felt a little uncomfortable with the purchased powders though because they have many ingredients which I didn't recognize plus lots of sugar.  So I experimented for a while and came up with this smoothie which I now drink every single morning.  It is quick and easy and the only sweetness comes from the banana (if you get unsweetened non-dairy milk). 

Breakfast Smoothie

1 frozen banana, slightly thawed for easier blending
1 tablespoon hemp seed
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
1/2 tablespoon chia seeds
3/4 cup non-dairy milk

Blend everything until smooth.  Enjoy!

I don't have a picture but it looks just like chocolate milk.  Instead here is a picture of the same flowers from yesterday.  This is only a couple hours later.  The heat and humidity made me feel just like these flowers look.
We're all better today though!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Using goals as motivation

I had planned a completely different post today but then on the spur of the moment, I decided to go for a run and came up with this post as I was suffering!

It is really humid here today and I did not sleep well because of it.  This morning I cleaned the house and started laundry as quickly as possible so that I could head out to the porch where it was more pleasant. 

Although I'm not very strict with my exercise schedule, I do have a basic order for my workouts.  Today I thought I was going to do that dreadful elastic band workout again.  The idea of heading into the family room did not appeal to me at all.  Then I considered doing some weight training since that is in the basement where it is a little cooler.  As I sat there thinking about these options, I noticed that it was actually pretty nice outside.  That's when it hit me - I should run outside today. 

I'm working on running longer and longer each time and I was afraid that if I ran outside, I would run at too fast of a pace and wouldn't be able to match my last time.  After a few minutes, I decided it was worth giving up all my monitoring to just get a run in so I headed out to our local park/lake.  The last bit was a big push for me (at one point it felt like I was running in place) but I ended up running 25 minutes straight and about 2.25 miles.  I walked the rest of the way and ended up going 45 minutes and about 3.6 miles.  Hurray!

During the run I was thinking about my whole new outlook the last week or so.  I finally realized that the change came around the same time that I decided to run an upcoming 5K in August. 

There are several important things to keep in mind when setting a goal.  First it should be a challenge but still be achievable and something you have control over.  My goal is to run the entire 5K.  I have a general time in mind but the main goal is just to not walk.  The goal also has to be measurable so that you know when you've achieved it.  Finally, it needs to be specific.  I want to run an organized 5K.  Originally I had planned to just run 5K but when I changed it to a named race, it gave me more focus. In my case I picked a specific race for proving that I've achieved my goal. 

These guidelines can be followed for any goal.  But for me, there have been some additional steps that have made me more focused and dedicated to reaching my goal.  I've had the idea of running a 5K in my mind for awhile but I became much more committed when I started telling people about it.  First I told my daughter and husband, and then this last weekend my best friend.  Knowing that there are people out there expecting me to complete this race in August not only got me up off the chair this morning, but kept me running until I reached my 25 minutes this morning (I really wanted to stop at around 21 minutes!).

I've also found it helpful to vary my training.   This is a good idea for any physical activity so that you improve your overall fitness and not just one specific aspect but for me it has also helped me focus more on each run.  Since I'm now only running 3 times a week, I really try to make each run productive.

Finally I've started logging my workouts.  I'm the kind of person who is motivated by lists and checking items off those lists!  Since I've started recording my workouts on Twitter, I'm more likely to workout every day.  Yesterday my husband had a race so we were gone all day and I didn't work out (although I did quite a bit of walking!).  I really didn't want to have two days in a row without a workout so that was extra motivation to get up and do something today.

Although my main goal is running right now, I think these ideas can help with anything.  For example, if you want to write a book, tell people about it, record how many pages you write a day, and take time to work on other writing projects to give yourself a break from the book.

These pictures have nothing to do with this post except that they were taken today right before I went for my run.  It is so beautiful, I couldn't resist including it.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Who am I?

I realized recently that I've really defined myself by my job.  If you were to ask me a year ago who I was, my first response would have been "an auditor".  I really enjoyed my job and I was good at it.  I am very proud of my success.  But if I define myself through my professional life, then who am I now?  It all falls apart now that I no longer do that job and there is a chance, as my job search stretches on, that I may never do it again.  Do I really want to be known forever as a former auditor? 

Several months ago I wrote down everything I could think of that I'm good at or enjoy doing.  I made the list one night while watching TV.  I didn't think about it too much and just wrote whatever came to mind.  My idea was that through identifying my strengths and what I enjoy, I may be able to think of new professions I could look into. 

I have 40 items on my list.  While auditing is actually on the list (because I really do think it is enjoyable!) I noticed something interesting.  There are several other things that contributed to me feeling right at home in that profession such as organization, time management, research, and logic puzzles.  It isn't the auditing that necessarily made me happy, it is the fact that it involved many of my interests. 

But that is only a small part of the list.  Most of the things have nothing to do with auditing and actually bring me more happiness.  So this seems like the perfect time to focus on those other items.  Last night I realized that is exactly what I have been doing.  I've been creating new recipes, exercising, reading, spending time outside just relaxing. 

The last couple weeks I've been focusing on moving past all the things I've accomplished in the past and just focusing on the person I want to be, not the job I used to do.  There are things that I can be proud of but it isn't the position that accomplished those things.  I did them using my strengths and abilities.  The main thing is that I want to be happy and that doesn't have to include auditing.
I was thinking about this and wondered what my husband's answer would be to "Who are you".  I didn't get a chance to ask him but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have anything to do with his job.  He would probably say a cyclist!  I did ask my daughter.  I asked, "What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of who you are".  Her answer was "funny".  I guess it is a good thing I listed laughing as something I enjoy doing! 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Leafy Greens

Green leafy vegetables have so much nutrition packed into them.  In case anyone forgot, I'll remind you that they provide plenty of the following:

B vitamins
Calcium (not spinach and Swiss chard though)
Essential fatty acids

They are also a great source protein and carbohydrates.  Furthermore, they are alkaline forming to help balance out the acidity in our bodies that leads to disease. 

 Beet greens

We are supposed to eat more green leafy vegetables.  But vegetarians and vegans all know this and we always eat plenty of them, right?  Well, maybe not.  I was always more than willing to eat greens but I struggled to prepare them in a way that I truly enjoyed.  I didn't give up though and a couple months ago I came up with this recipe.  Now I eat them almost every day with my lunch.  I haven't tried this technique with the more bitter greens like mustard and dandelion but I plan to.  My favorites so far in order are collard greens, beet greens, spinach, and Swiss chard.

It is easiest to clean all your greens as soon as you get home from shopping.  I use a salad spinner and then leave them all over the kitchen on towels to dry completely.  I pack them in Ziploc bags wrapped in paper towels.  They will keep in the fridge for about 5 days but they will be more nutritious the sooner you eat them.  If you've already cleaned them, it only takes a few minutes to cook them up and start eating more greens.

Collards drying

Leafy Green Saute

For one serving:
1 teaspoon olive oil1 clove garlic, sliced
2 cups chopped leafy greens
1/4 teaspoon pepper
pinch nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon sambal oelek
1 teaspoon tamari
1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Place the garlic and olive oil in a cold skillet.  Turn the heat on low.  When the garlic starts to sizzle, add the greens.  Stir to coat.  Add pepper and nutmeg and mix.  Add sambal oelek and cook about 1 minute.  Add the tamari and cook until greens are softened and cooked to your liking (2-3 minutes).  Stir in the balsamic vinegar, moving your head away so you don't breathe in the vinegar fumes (I forgot to do this today and spent the next several minutes coughing!).  If you aren't eating them immediately, cover the pan.

Lunch today
Collards, lemon asparagus, breaded eggplant, noodles, and homemade bread 

This recipe is for one serving because I usually make it for myself for lunch.  The amounts are all estimates and depend on your taste.  Make sure not to add too much vinegar though.  It will overpower it completely.

There are endless varieties to this recipe.  Here are some possible substitutions:

Sambal Oelek - crushed red pepper flakes, Sriracha, any hot sauce you prefer, fresh hot peppers (added with the garlic)

Tamari - soy sauce, salt (but then you will need to add some water)

Balsamic vinegar - any vinegar will work. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Breaded Eggplant - In the Kitchen with Kayleigh

If you've read my "about me" page, you'll know that my daughter and I had a food blog for several years called "Besides Pizza".  Since I had her in the kitchen with me basically since birth, when she was about 10 years old we decided to blog about the recipes we cooked together and then give her opinion of how they tasted.  As she got older, her school activities started taking up more time until we got to the point where not only was she not around to cook with me, she rarely even had time to post a comment.  

Her last track meet was last Saturday so this week she has started getting home at 3:30 instead of 5:45.  I decided to take advantage of it and pull her back into the kitchen with me!  It was fantastic to have her back helping again.  I didn't realize how much I missed it.

We tried to come up with a name for this recipe but really struggled.  We call it "Eggplant Parmesan" even though it is vegan.  I used to follow a basic recipe that involved dipping the eggplant in egg and breading it with Parmesan.  We adjusted the recipe years ago to make it vegan but never changed the name.  We couldn't come up with anything interesting though so I'm going with Breaded Eggplant, because that is what it is!

Breaded Eggplant

Eggplant (about 1 large or 2 small), sliced
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 T hemp seeds (optional)
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup non-dairy milk

Place the eggplant slices on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet.  Score the top of each slice and then sprinkle with salt.  Turn the pieces over and let set one hour.  (You can skip this step if you are in a hurry but it is worth doing).

Place each slice between paper towels and press to remove excess water.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place milk in a bowl.  Mix remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and mix to combine.

Dip each slice of eggplant in the milk and then into the breadcrumb mixture to coat.  Place them on the baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes turning once half way through.  For extra browning, switch to the broiler for final 2 minutes.

We eat these on pasta with spaghetti sauce but we've also been known to eat the leftovers cold out of the fridge!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Personal Cheering Section

Unlike almost everyone else in the world, I actually prefer running in my basement on the treadmill to running outside.  Even on nice days like today (68 degrees and no humidity) I would rather run inside and then spend my outside time relaxing.  And it isn't as if my treadmill is in an inspiring location.  Here it is:

And this is my view from the treadmill:

Still, this is where I get my best runs.  I credit this to my ability to trick myself into imagining that I'm running outside with tons of people cheering me on.  I picture my husband and daughter, my parents, my brother and his family, and my best friends.  I also picture my daughter's cross country team and my husband's cycling team.  All these people line up along the made-up course in my head.  They give general encouragement such as "You're doing great" and "You can do it".  But there are also other people assigned to remind me to lengthen my stride and telling me that this is the time to sprint. 

Is this a sign that I'm insane?  Maybe!  But it gets me through my runs and makes me fell fantastic once I'm done. 

I was telling my husband about this earlier and he immediately recognized where I learned this - Wii Fit.  As soon as he said it I knew he was right.  When I first started exercising, I used Wii Fit.  My daughter had randomly made Miis for various people we know.  Our family members are out there, several of her friends, one of my best friends, and another friend's son.  It would make me smile every time, especially when running (which is actually running in place), as I would pass someone I knew.  While my husband and brother would obnoxiously pass me throughout the run, my dad always seemed to be at the end to cheer as I finished.  I loved it.  It made me feel like I was on some fantastic island with everyone I love and we were all super healthy.

So apparently without realizing it, I've taken that aspect of Wii Fit and internalized it so that I can have my own personal cheering section  no matter where I go! 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Seeing the Positive

I am generally a positive person.  I thought I better get that out there right from the beginning because I can hear my mom saying, "Not everyone is like you, Dana"!  BUT, even if you don't naturally look to the bright side, I believe that everyone can train themselves to stop focusing so much on the negative. 

This idea first came into my mind last week when we were still enjoying nice weather (we are now back into the 30's and frost warnings).  I was taking general pictures of our yard and realized that I might be able to get several of my favorite things in one picture.  Here it is:

It is hard to make everything out because it is still early in the year and it is not a very good picture but it contains:
  • Stepping stone made by our old neighbor
  • Soon to be blooming rose I received for Mother's Day a few years back
  • Buddha who we stumbled across on a different Mother's Day after searching for years
  • The very bottom of a hummingbird feeder
  • The pots that will soon hold my herbs
  • Waterfall
So many of my favorite things are right in that one corner of the yard.  When I looked closer at the picture I also noticed other not so beautiful things such as:
  • Garden hose and exposed pond tubing
  • The unfinished porch
  • My husband's old bowling balls that he keeps trying to insist are art
The important thing is that when I was standing outside taking pictures, I didn't even see those ugly things.

A similar situation came up the next day when I was sitting on our porch relaxing (this is actually what I was doing a few weeks ago when I came up with "Pondering Happiness").  I was listening to the birds and the waterfall and I noticed that you could really smell the lilacs.  When I really started to pay attention to the sounds, I noticed there was also the constant sound of traffic, garbage trucks, sirens, and a dog barking.

The important thing is to find the good, happy, beautiful things.  Even if they aren't what you notice first, train yourself to quit focusing on that barking dog and hear the birds instead.

I use this all the time, especially lately.  When I'm frustrated about not having a job, I think of all the things I've been able to do with my time off.  Of course that means I actually have to do something with my time, not sit around feeling sorry for myself!

I recently received an e-mail from a friend who is also out of work.  She had asked how I was staying motivated in the job search.  I ended that e-mail with "Whenever I get frustrated or overwhelmed I just think, this is life.  Every little moment.  You can enjoy it or not.  Why waste it being miserable, sad, depressed, overwhelmed, etc?"  I prefer to be happy and content. 

Here are a couple better pictures:

On a side note, I've decided to use my twitter account to record my workouts.  I thought that would be extra motivation to exercise daily!