Happiness Advantage Challenge: Day 14

3 things I’m grateful for:

  • Daylight savings time. It sucks that’s it’s already dark outside as I type this at 4:35 p.m., but I gotta admit—I love that it’s bright and sunny when I wake up in the morning. It’s a tradeoff I’m happy to make.
  • A new gym in my office building. For a one-time fee of $25! Hooray for two gym memberships.
  • This morning, I threw some pork and seasoning into the ol’ crockpot and let it ride on low. Easy breezy.

Positive Experience
My life is one big positive experience (read: I’m too lazy to write anything)

15 minutes of exercise?
So much exercise lately (not sarcasm).

Happiness Advantage Challenge: Day 13

3 things I’m grateful for:

  • My big, curly hair. I went as a cat for Halloween last night…meaning I wore black pants, a black shirt, and cat ears. But, my ability to make my hair va-va-voom big really saved the “costume” I think. I looked like a lioness.
  • Museum discount days. We explored the Field Museum for 3 hours yesterday without spending a dime, thanks to it being a “discount day” — Illinois residents got in for free. Yay learning.
  • Marrying a weirdo like me. Yesterday, it was soooo windy that Lake Shore Drive was temporarily shut down due to waves from the lake flooding the street. Let that sink in for a minute.
    Because of the closure, we bobbed and weaved throughout the Gold Coast/north Michican avenue area, where there are a ton of hotels and tourists…whom we had the pleasure of watching STRUGGLE in the wind. Inside-out umbrellas, slanted walks, car doors that wouldn’t open, newspapers in the face, etc. And while the wind truly sucked yesterday — as did the 40 minutes of traffic — watching these people was pure COMEDY GOLD for my and Tristan’s depraved humor. I won’t bother quoting things we were saying because they won’t make sense out of context, nor would they be funny to anyone but us (i.e. “Barb, what will we do with the babies??” See? Not funny.). But damn. I got a good ab workout during that car ride.

Positive Experience
Halloween has historically been a hit or miss Holiday for me and T-bag. Last night was wonderful though. We spent the eve at a very very empty piano bar in Wrigleyville, where we pretty much provided all the requests for the night. We tipped the pianists well, and they appreciated it and played 90% of the songs we request. The only ones that didn’t make the cut? The Family Ties theme song, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (they didn’t know it???), and Shewolf. Best song of the night was a tossup between Lou Rawls’ “You’ll Never Find” and “All That She Wants” by Ace of Base.

15 minutes of exercise?
Yes! We played a couple games of racquet ball…which may be my new favorite activity.

Happiness Advantage Challenge: Day 12

3 things I’m grateful for:

  • Fresh fruit in the office. A company called The Fruit Guys delivers fresh fruit every week (or maybe twice a week), and damn do they bring the goods. I’m talking apples, bananas, pears, oranges, grapes, peaches, nectarines, the list goes on and on.
  • Being a morning person. It’s nice that as soon as I wake up in the morning, I’m pretty much roaring and ready to go.
  • Keurig. Good god how did I ever live without you?

Positive Experience
I went home to Algonquin last night and enjoyed a homecooked meal and some A++ TV watching. Very relaxing and comfortable and for some reason I get the best sleep there. Probably because Tristan is a snorer/tosser and turner

15 minutes of exercise?

I have plans to remedy my life soon. I swear.

Happiness Advantage Challenge: Day 11

Sticking to this everyday just isn’t happening lately. Here’s a secret: I hate this challenge. It’s stupid. I will finish it though.

3 things I’m grateful for:

    • My mom. Look at this. She is a saint.


  • Tristan’s penchant for being unintentionally hilarious


  • My day off this Friday! Counting down the hours

Positive Experience
Last night, Tristan’s sister hosted a pumpkin carving contest, which was pretty ridiculously fun…even though it proved to everyone that I’m a no talent loser. Can you guess which of these is mine?

Spoiler alert…it’s this beauty.
In the end, we ended up snapping a picture of each pumpkin and sending them out to five different people for a vote. Needless to say, I did not win.  Tristan’s sister took it home with the one in the front row with the big, creepy smile.

15 minutes of exercise?
I don’t want to talk about it. I’ve been leading a sinful, terribly unhealthy life this week.

Happiness Advantage Challenge: Day 10

Looks like I skipped a few days, huh? Oh well, picking it up again…now!

3 things I’m grateful for:

  • My condo—and it’s location. We live within a 10 minute walk of the Lincoln Park Zoo, the beach, Weiner Circle, and a zillion other cool places. I’m appreciating it more and more lately, as the realization that we’ll likely be moving to the suburbs in the next year starts to sink in.
  • Vick’s Vapor Rub. In the words of Leann Rimes: “How do I breath without youuuuuuu?”
  • Dog parades. We went to a Halloween dog parade yesterday, and oh god I could’ve died. Here’s just one of the several dogs we admired:


Positive Experience:
On Saturday, Tristan and I met my parents at for lunch and it was a gay ol’ time.  But, the best part was definitely Tristan and I joking that my parents would bring me a birthday gift (on HIS birthday)…and then it actually happened. They literally brought me a gift, too, so I wouldn’t feel bad. What is my life.

15 minutes of exercise?
Yes? We’ve been walking around an awful lot lately. And given this post isn’t about a specific day, I’m gonna stick with yes.


Happiness Advantage: Day 9

3 things I’m grateful for:

  • Troll 2. We just watched this, and all I can say is wow. A movie about a family being pursued by vegetarian goblins. Beautiful.
  • The beautiful weather. it’s significantly warmer than usual this week, and it makes me very very happy.
  • Ping pong. Nothing breaks up the work day like a good game of pong.

Positive Experience
Tristan and I went bowling last night to celebrate his birthday. We ate pizza, we drank sangria, and we bowled 3 games in the most ridiculous style ever. I’m talking balls through our legs, overhead throws, etc. Wonderful night.

15 minutes of exercise?
Walking and bowling?


Happiness Advantage Challenge: Day 8

I’m a little late with today’s post, and I’m writing this on on the bus so I’m sure I’ll vomit from motion sickness by the end, but here goes.

3 Things I’m Grateful for:

  • The multitude of public transportation options. It’s nice being able to leave whenever I want for work, and still make it there without having to worry about missing a train/bus.
  • Sudoku puzzles. How else would I stay so sharp? Riiiight.
  • The phrase “whip smart.” Some foolish person called me that a few weeks ago, and now I can’t get the damn term out of my head. It rolls off the tongue so nicely. (Sidenote: if I’m so whip smart, how come I had to look up how to spell whip?)

Positive Experience:
At lunch yesterday, I talked at my dad for 15 minutes about wedding invitations and he didn’t get up and leave.

15 minutes or exercise?
Checkadoodledo! Walking. Lame but it counts.


Happiness Advantage Challenge: Day 7

3 Things I’m grateful for:

  • The first-annual “Fun Day” at work. Yesterday, the marketing department skipped out of work early (11:30 a.m.!!!) for lunch and bowling…with an open bar. Not bad for a Tuesday afternoon.
  • The internet. How did people plan weddings before Google?
  • My job. Saying this because I’m trying really really hard to talk myself into this one today. I have a good job that pays really well and has excellent benefits and pretty cool co-workers and for all that I am grateful. Even though I just learned that I could’ve been a “Pinterest specialist” had I stayed at my old job…

Positive Experience
During the aforementioned “Fun Day,” I had the chance to bond a bit with one of the new(ish) girls on my team. Turns out, we have quite a bit in common. I had fun talking with her and didn’t even find it all that awkward or uncomfortable to commute home together one-on-one.

15 minutes of exercise?
Big fat fail on this one yesterday. Unless you count bowling? Let’s count bowling.

Happiness Advantage Challenge: Day 6

3 Things I’m Grateful For

  • My mom keeping me on track. Without her reminders/scare tactics, I’d probably completely forget to order wedding invitations.
  • John Oliver. The last few minutes of the latest “Last Week Tonight” changed my life. Four words: All-dog Supreme Court.
  • Frank Underwood. Actually, I hate Frank Underwood because he’s an evil evil (fictional) man. But I am thankful to him for getting me into rowing. Had I not watched House of Cards, I never would’ve thunk to try it out.

Positive Experience
My sister and her boyfriend (fiancé?) are on the prowl for an engagement ring, so I went with her yesterday to scope out a few jewellery stores. There were quite a few positive outcomes from this experience—1) I think I’ve finally gotten used to/accepted her decision to do a courthouse wedding; 2) the jeweller (a Greek, of course) taught me that using toothpaste on my engagement ring is a no-no and that I should never (never!) listen to Pinterest and that young people are so dumb. He also steamed my ring for me, which was nice. And 3) no one thought my sister and I were lesbians. Not that there’s anything wrong with it. But, I was wearing a leather jacket and felt pretty butch, so it was nice that no one said anything like, “How long have you two been together?”

15 Minutes of Exercise?
Check. See the previous post.

WOD – Monday, October 20

I just realized that “WOD” (workout of the day) is apparently only a Crossfit thing? Funny that I label my workouts with it considering I don’t do — and never have done — Crossfit. Eh, oh well.

Walking Incline Workout – 20 Minutes @ 4 mph

  • 5 minutes at 3% incline
  • 2 minutes at 7% incline
  • 2 minutes at 10% incline
  • 1 minute at 12% incline
  • 1 minute at 10% incline
  • 2 minutes at 7% incline
  • 1 minute at 10% incline
  • 1 minute at 12% incline
  • 2 minute at 7% incline
  • 3 minutes at 3% incline


  • 12×3 pec fly
  • 12×3 pec fly on a Pilates ball thingy
  • 12×3 chest press on a Pilates ball thingy


  • 12×3 alternating bicep curl
  • 12×3 hammer curl


  • 12×3 overhead extension

The gym was really really crowded tonight, so I didn’t get to do as many weights as I wanted because I’m scared of people. Good thing I did a lot of chest work though because really what I need is for my B cups to turn into straight muscle and become even smaller.