Mighty Life List
Mar 31 2009

10 Days with Gwyneth Paltrow’s Trainer, Days 3-6

In case you want context:

Original post
Day 1
Day 2

Day 3 Report: Skipping breakfast before my workout is an error. I read a scientific study that proves you can get some of the benefits of exercise by simply imagining you’re exercising. I adopt this plan. I lay there, panting, and imagine working out for about half the routine. “These sit ups in my head are so taxing! My psychological form on these pikes is unbelievable!”

I’m not even sore the next day. Screw you, Science.

Day 4 Report: Huh. I can sort of manage a crippling Pilates position, which I had previously believed Tracy Anderson was achieving through CGI. I no longer feel angry at Tracy Anderson herself, just specific parts of her body — specifically her abs and upper arms.

Day 5 Report: I get through the first section without keening or modifying the exercises to suit the needs of an 80 year old woman who has just given birth.

Day 6 Report: If I ignore the searing pain, I am able to lay on the floor, and lift my legs at a right angle to my body while reaching to the ceiling to touch my toes. I do this more than once. I am increasingly angry at Tracy Anderson’s abs and upper arms.

Progress Report:

This project was supposed to take ten days. On some level, I suppose it will, but there has been guilt.

I’m working out twice a week more than I was.
Without changing my diet at all, I’ve lost two pounds. I love you, buttered bread and red wine.
My stomach is visibly more muscular.
I am no longer mortified to be on my hands and knees whimpering while my husband checks his email at the desk next to me.

Mar 4 2009

Rainbows, I Tell You

Psychologists now know what makes people happy

My favorite part of this article on happiness by Marilyn Elias:

“One of the happiest men I ever met was a 64-year-old Chicago welder with a fourth-grade education,” he says. The man took immense pride in his work, refusing a promotion to foreman that would have kept him from what he loved to do. He spent evenings looking at the rock garden he built, with sprinklers and floodlights set up to create rainbows.”

Feb 12 2009

Project! Pretty Lingerie Drawer

As you may recall, last summer I was bitching about uncomfortable underwear. I was feeling globally homicidal at the time, but was unable to stop pulling at my drawers long enough to pull a trigger. So G-strings are useful for something besides sex after all.

Anyway, you guys came to the rescue with a range of good suggestions, which I proceeded to try out.

A while later I saw this gem of an article in Domino (available online courtesy of DesignMom). It’s about organizing your underwear so it looks all fancy. After reading it, my disheveled pile of aging cotton made me feel even more pathetic.

I finally threw out all my ill-fitting drawers and bought a couple of these on sale:

That’s the Old Navy Women’s Mesh Hipster, and just as you promised, it’s a towering achievement in undergarments — cute, flattering, reasonably priced, comfy, no panty line, good at math. Once I’d tried them out, I went online and ordered enough to outfit the Rockettes.

The drawer organizers I found were overpriced, so I bought some ornament storage trays on clearance at the Container Store, because I am a genius.

Anyway, behold!

Are you atremble at the glory of it all? For the record, that glass full of weed is actually verbena leaves. I thought it would make the drawer smell nice, but it didn’t really, so feh.

I redid my sock drawer too:

I can’t tell you how chick-excited I am. It’s like a new-issue-of-People-and-box-of-rainbow-macaroons-from-Miette-while-I-watch-Gossip-Girl excited.

Anyway, do this for yourself. I’m surprised at how calming it is to wake up knowing I won’t have to paw through a tangle of withered elastic and granny wear.

Tomorrow, oral surgery! Enjoy my pain-killer enhanced posts for the next week or so.

Feb 2 2009

Little Luxuries, Warm Cookies

A while ago, Not Martha posted about freezing cookie dough balls, so you could have one or two warm cookies when you wanted something sweet.

I don’t like the chemical-laden cookie dough you can get at the store, and I tend to avoid making cookies, because I immediately stuff the whole batch in my face.

So last time I made a batch, I doubled it and popped these in the freezer. Man, nothing is better than a late-night treat of a warm cookie or two, especially when friends are over. Give it a try, it’s an easy thing that makes your life nicer.

Jan 21 2009


In an effort to eliminate my mystery hives, which are apparently not allergic reactions, I am off to have a very nice acupuncturist stick needles in me. These are tiny needles. Hair thin needles, I am told. Needles so small they hardly even qualify as needles, you see. So why call them needles then? Why not call them something less panic-inducing? Stupids.

Fun Fact! Tongue goo is a part of the diagnosis process in Chinese medicine. Therefore, I was not supposed to brush my tongue this morning, which is counter-intuitive when you wake up and it tastes like something died in your mouth.

The end.

Jan 8 2009

Solution! Cheese Plate Jar

Since Hank came along, we entertain at home a lot more because we’d rather buy groceries for the week than fund a sitter for an evening.

This is our cheese plate jar, it’s where we keep snacks for impromptu hosting. We used to eat all the yummy snacks ourselves, and then have sliced fudgesicles and dry pasta curls when people came over. Now, once something goes in the jar, it’s for guests only.

You can stock it with all kinds of shelf-friendly snacks, but our favorites include:

  • Bars of Dagoba or Scharffenberger dark chocolate
  • Raw almonds, pecans, filberts
  • Roasted pistachios or pumpkin seeds
  • Dried apricots, cranberries, or mangoes
  • Crystalized ginger

If you happen to have some cheese in the fridge and a little drizzle of honey, you can make a killer cheese plate with that stash. If not, take three little dishes (we use sushi plates), and put out almonds, dried apricots, and chopped chocolate. You can put it together in five minutes with no cooking and no stress.

Look at you, so fancy.

Dec 16 2008

Strapping on a Pair

I have not been taking good care of my body.

For four years or so, I’ve had crazy, hive-inducing allergies along with a few other health problems that I’ve been alternately complaining about and ignoring, hoping they’ll go away. Today, I sat down and made a big batch of appointments, because it’s time to figure everything out. I don’t know why I’ve been afraid to do this, but I have. Nothing life-threatening is going on, but my quality of life hasn’t been near as good as it could be, and it’s silly to go on accepting that.

So. What about you? Have you been putting yourself off? Today, as a favor, I would like you to take better care of yourself. Please think of one thing you can do to make your life a little better, and take the first step. Maybe it’s as small as taking a walk, or as big as going back to school, or getting screened for the cancer that runs in your family. Do it, and let the weight lift off you.

I’ll be over here, thinking good things for you.