February 29, 2012

Up for another challenge?

After hours (ok, maybe a minute and a half) of thoughtful deliberation, I have decided to do Fat Mum Slim's Photo a Day Challenge for March. I mean, why not? February went really well and I managed to pull-off a perfect month without a single missed day. Yay me!

I don't know that I am any more motivated than I was last time, but I have found that doing everything on Instagram makes it SO much easier than having to download the pics, edit them, and then upload them to my blog. I can do everything in 3 or 4 clicks on my iPod, so there are literally no excuses* not to complete and post each day's challenge! I'm going for an uninterrupted 31 days here...wish me luck!

*Except maybe a dead battery or a lack of inspiration or a plague of locusts or two broken hands or the dog ate my list or... Gosh! I hope I didn't just jinx myself.

Day 29 - Something I Am Listening To

The first time that I heard this song was during an episode of SNL and I was instantly hooked. Two days later, I was still humming it to myself, but never actually got around to looking for it on the iTunes or the YouTubes. Then, as is often the case, it was out of sight (or sound), out of mind.

I didn't hear it again until 5:57 this morning. It was playing on the radio as I was driving to the gym and, although I knew that I had heard it before, I just couldn't remember the name of the song OR the artist. Thankfully, the radio station's website keeps a running list of "just played" tracks and, even though it was about 4 hours later that I got around to checking, there it was! Without skipping a beat (ha!), I found it on iTunes and clicked "buy". 

So, for your listening pleasure, I give you "Lights" by Ellie Goulding. Enjoy!

February 28, 2012

Day 28 - Money

The Queen might be on the twenty, but I'll bet she doesn't have a Starbucks gold card.

February 27, 2012

Day 27 - Something I Ate

Cauliflower, baby carrots & snap peas... affectionally known as the "vegelanche". Portioned-out, packed in ziplock bags and stored in the fridge for the week ahead, this has been the mainstay of my lunch for years.

Other veggies may have come and gone (I'm looking at you, zucchini), but these three have remained.

Day 26 - Night

When the mascot was little, he used to get a bath, a book and a snack before bed. Any little interruption in that routine could have spelled disaster, although I don't know that we ever tested it. (He was such an easygoing baby that I am sure we could've... but I think I enjoyed the ritual as much as he did.)

Now that he's older (and is responsible for his own bathing and reading), every night around 10pm, before I wish him sweet dreams and send him off to bed, I make the mascot a cup of hot chocolate. And, every night when he comes into the kitchen to take it from me, I get a thank you, a big smooch on the cheek and a big "I love you". Those are my sprinkles-on-top.

February 25, 2012

Day 25 - Green

My fella has what you might call a green thumb. He comes from a long line of botanically-gifted people and I think his very first email to me was about his perennials.

In the almost 4 years that we've been together, he has been very patient with my attempts at gardening, but I think I still have a long, long, long way to go. (Which is why I am sticking to things that will basically grow themselves in my 4 little gardens... Hostas, anyone?)

While I have completely given up on trying to keep houseplants alive, and switched to faux-foliage (fauxliage?), my fella is literally growing ORANGES in his living room.

This stunted orange tree has been in my fella's family for more than 40 years (remember what I said about a long line of green thumbs?) and currently has over a dozen oranges on its branches. It's a pretty impressive crop, but as you can see from today's challenge picture, they're not *quite* ready for mimosas.

February 24, 2012


Three hours of Zumba madness at the Reh-Fit Centre? Yeah, buddy!

This will be me tonight:

Well, the hair, anyway.

Full report on Monday. Have a muy fabuloso weekend, chicas!

Day 24 - Inside My Bathroom Cabinet

Do people really snoop in bathroom cabinets? Apparently so. I once had an especially nosey (and frank) guest remark that I had "nothing interesting" in my bathroom cabinet. I'm not sure what he was hoping to find, but unless he was looking for overpriced face masques and abandoned hair products, he sure didn't find it.

The first thing that you might notice is the lack of medicine in my "medicine cabinet". There are two reasons for that: first of all, everyone knows that you shouldn't keep medicine in the bathroom (it's too warm and humid in there), and, in all honesty, other than some Advil and vitamins, we aren't really big pill-poppers. 

So, that leaves dental-care supplies and the aforementioned "hope in a bottle" (or a tube). If you didn't know me, the only info that you might glean from this little peek inside my cabinet is that I have cloggy pores, curly hair and somewhat less than 20/20 vision. I think the most exciting thing in there might be the baby bottom cream and I'm not even sure why I have that. 

Top shelf: Tiber River foot scrub, Rosebud Salve, countless Vichy and Biotherm samples, Yes to Carrots! eye cream (too rich). 
Middle shelf: Burt's Bees lip balm, contact lenses, toothbrush, floss, Tiber River bar soap.
Bottom shelf: Origins masque, AG Re:coil, Rusk drops, contact solution, Aveda toner, Aquafresh, Bliss masque, Vichy Normaderm face wash, Rusk Wired, Tiber Baby Bottom lotion, Tiber Pomegranate face wash, PC Unscented lotion.

And, that's it. No incriminating tinctures, potions or cures. No fungicides. No anti-psychotics. No wart removers. No nothin'. Sorry, snoopers.

February 23, 2012

Day 23 - My Shoes

Three things make this picture awesome:

1. These are my shiny black Bass Mary-Jane Oxfords (with herringbone lining). I had forgotten what today's theme was, so it was a happy coincidence that I was wearing them on "take a picture of your shoes" day. (God forbid I should be stuck documenting icky winter boots.)

2. I am wearing a curious, yet delightful combination of beribboned, slouchy black socks and cropped jeans.

3. This is a self portrait, taken with my iPod. Can you tell I did yoga this morning?

It occurred to me this morning that we've got less than a week to go in this challenge. I realize that it's a short month, but it really has flown by at warp speed. I think I am going to have to join in on March's challenge as well, if just to give my mother something nice to look forward to every day. (Hello, Mumji!)

February 22, 2012

Day 22 - Where I Work

Technically, I have two jobs, but seeing how this is where I work AND where I work out, the Reh-fit Centre gets to be my photo-of-the-day.

Plus, it's weird when I invite my coworkers at McKim to "the gun show".

February 21, 2012

Day 21 - A Favourite Photo of Me

This may not be my all-time favourite photo of myself, but it is still a gooder. 

I mean, c'mon... just look at that attitude. Will ya just let the girl hunt for her Easter eggs in peace? Geez, people. Was it not enough that I showed up in the appropriate Easter-themed nightie?

My parents were champions when it came to Easter egg hiding. A good hunt would take about 30 minutes, while a really good hunt would take months. No, really. It wasn't uncommon to find a lone chocolate egg resting on the top of a picture frame in July, or another perched atop a book in December. (It's a good thing that they didn't do pre- and post-hunt counts, or we would have driven ourselves mad to find the last egg.) Once the small eggs were all (or mostly) gathered, I would move on to the stereo cabinet* to find the big prize - a large chocolate bunny or, even better, a hollow egg filled with even MORE candy.

I'm sure you'll be happy to know that I have continued the tradition with the mascot. And, yes, my mad hiding skills have resulted in random chocolate discoveries throughout the year. (Although, I do have to admit to a small amount of coaching during the hunt. It kills me to see chocolate go to waste. Even sub-par Easter chocolate.) I'm not sure that it will ever be something that he will out-grow. After all, I am always up for a good egg-hunt, even at my age. I may no longer have the nightgown, but I still have the attitude.

*one year the big-ticket item was hidden in the microwave oven. That was back when microwaves were large enough to hold, say, a 16" stuffed rabbit named Lester B Pearson, so named for his penchant for sporting a bow-tie.

February 20, 2012

Day 20 - Handwriting

Amongst the treasures that I inherited from my father was his high school autograph book. Its pages are filled with poems, quotes and "advice" from my dad's friends and classmates circa 1954.

This is one of my favourites; not just because Sheila had such lovely penmanship, but because of the hilarious (and inexplicable) footnote...

"You Stink".

Day 19 - Something I Hate to Do

The dishes. Or, specifically, putting away the dishes. I really, really hate it.

Thank goodness for teenage kitchen slaves and how willing they are to pick up the nasty chores in exchange for a little pocket cash.

Day 18 - Drink

I should have waited until dinnertime, when my fella and I witnessed the mascot drink a $6 bottle of "designer" water like it was, well, water.

When the kid and I go to Starbucks this is our standard drink order: a venti Pike Place (no room) and a grande chocolatey-chip blended creme. I would never order a frapp for myself (500 calories what?), but that doesn't stop me from tasting the mascot's beverage. Strictly in the interest of food-safety, of course.

February 17, 2012

Day 17 - Time

5:20. Just to be clear, that's a.m., not p.m.

It's a time that, if you had asked me 4 years ago, I would have been completely unfamiliar with*. Now it's my usual wake-up time from Monday to Friday... and, surprisingly, I don't even really hate it. Not much, anyway.

So, what am I doing up that early? Monday and Friday are spinning days (6:15 - 7:00), Tuesday is either rowing (6:15 - 6:45) plus a run OR Moksha (6:00 - 7:00) OR I teach a Group Power class at the Rady (6:10 - 7:10), Wednesday is "my" Group Power class at Reh-fit (6:15 - 7:15), and Thursday is Moksha (6:00 - 7:00). 

With that crazy schedule, 5:20 is the perfect time to wake up. I always listen to the clock radio for 10 mins (because I refuse to actually get up before 5:30) and then I swing my legs out of bed and start looking for a clean pair of yoga pants. If I am really with it the night before, I will have everything I need hanging over my footboard, ready to go. If not, there is usually a moment or two of panic as I search for my strangely elusive sports bra. (Why can I never find it??)

And, just for the record, I try to sleep in on weekends. I really do. Every Friday night the 5:20 alarm gets switched off and the 7:00 alarm gets switched on. If I am feeling especially decadent, I will even change it to 7:30, but let's not fool ourselves here. Try as I might, the likelihood of actually staying asleep for that long is pretty slim. Sigh.

*except, of course, for my days of being up at the ass-crack of dawn with the baby mascot. Has it really been almost 15 years? 

February 16, 2012

Day 16 - Something New

There's a brand new naughty-shop in the Exchange District and, although I have yet to summon up the guts to go in*, I like that they've moved into the 'hood.

First of all, the street that it's on, Albert Street, used to be known for its "ladies". Back in the day, they would hang out on the cobblestones, drumming up business in their stilettos and full-length furs. If you wanted a companion for an hour or so, this was the place to go. These days, the street is much, much tamer (which is why I think it could use just a little spicing up.)

And, did you notice the address? 88? That's like lucky times two! ;-)

*It's not that I am afraid of entering such an establishment... it's just that the prospect of coming out, laden with shopping bags, and running into my boss is enough to keep me from venturing in. I suppose we'll have to make it a weekend activity. Right after Costco, but before naptime. Oh, my!

February 15, 2012

Day 15 - Phone

Ring, ring! Is this a picture of a phone, or an excuse to show off my new piece of jewelry? 

Assuming that it's a picture of a phone (today's challenge subject), I should tell you that it's the phone on my desk at work and I captured it in a rare moment of silence. There are some days where it never stops ringing, but it took this shot before 9:00 am when I have the luxury of letting it go to voicemail. Unless, of course, it's an important call...which is anything that doesn't come from someone trying to sell us Google front-page placement or office supplies.

But, if you think that this is all about me showing off my Valentine's present, then I guess you know me better than I thought. And, judging by how perfect this ring is, my fella knows me best of all. It's gutsy and bold and just flashy enough to get attention. Sound like anyone you know?

February 14, 2012

Day 14 - Heart

Hearts... lots of 'em on this bag of Valentine's candy. If you consider Chinese milk chews and a Big Turk "Valentine's candy", that is.

It just goes to prove the point that packaging is everything. Just ask the Valentine's cat pictured on the card.

Love, love!

Love is... lamb chops? 

With Valentine's Day falling on a Tuesday this year, we decided to celebrate it over two days: a sushi date (for two) on Saturday night, and dinner at home (for three)on the 14th. Since the loves of my life are both carnivores*, I decided to make lamb for them and a sans-agneau option for myself. 

Preparations for this most-fancy of meals started on Monday night. While the mascot whipped up a raspberry version of his signature "Dreamsicle Mousse", I busied myself with chopping fresh rosemary, lemon zest and garlic. Or, to be more accurate, LOTS of rosemary, lemon zest and garlic, which I bravely rubbed into the six little lamb chops. 

The scent that filled the kitchen was heavenly, so I can only assume that the finished chops will be as well. I have to admit, I haven't cooked much lamb in my lifetime, but what I have made has always been very well-received. And, really, how can you go wrong with ingredients like that?

As for my own entree, I am doing a simple vegetarian "chicken" scallopini with oyster and crimini mushrooms. The rest of the meal will be rounded out with baby potatoes, asparagus (too obvious?), fancy baby carrots, salad and, of course, the Mascot's lovely dessert. Start to finish, it should only take me about 30 minutes to pull it all together, which will leave plenty of time for present opening and unbridled declarations of love. But mostly present opening.

The Menu
Grilled Lamb Chops with Garlic, Rosemary & Lemon
Vegetarian Scallopini with Oyster & Crimini Mushrooms
Pan-roasted Baby Potatoes   Mushroom Gravy
Asparagus    Baby Carrots    Salad
Raspberry Mousse

Watch my blog, Relish, for recipes and more photos.

*...but tofu-friendly carnivores!

February 13, 2012

Day 13 - Blue

Am I blue?

No, but 201 Portage is... and check out that clear blue sky!

February 12, 2012

Day 12 - Inside My Closet

My step-sister has an entire room filled with garment racks that she calls her "closet". It's Disgusting(ly awesome).

Conversely, there is nothing awesome about my closet. It's small, dark, awkward and small. To get everything to fit, I have to double-up on hangers; cardigans over blouses, dresses under blazers, and skirts over skirts. As you can imagine, finding anything takes twice the time that it should.

One day, I will have the room...er, closet...of my dreams, but until then, it's either make the best of tiny closet of get rid of some clothes.

Yeah, like that's an option.

Day 11 - Makes Me Happy

Saturday night aka "date night". My fella and I went to Wasabi on Broadway for an early Valentine's day celebration.

We sat in our usual spot at the sushi bar, ordered all of our favourites, and had an absolutely wonderful time.

I think we took this picture after a round of martinis, but that's not why we're smiling. Not entirely, anyway...

February 10, 2012

Le Weekend... le finally!

My goodness! Yet another weekend is upon us and, frankly, I never thought it would get here. 

As far as weekends go, I think it will be a busy one, but I have scheduled some much needed R&R into the plan and hopefully that'll be enough to recharge my batteries.

Friday: By the time you read this, I will be ass-over-teakettle at Moksha Waverley's Hot Hatha class. Some weeks are hit or miss, depending on the instructor, but I hate missing what is usually the perfect outro for the week. Bring on the OM. After yoga, I will be heading home to whip up a little Chinese/Japanese fusion dinner for my fella and the mascot. On the menu - black bean and veggie udon, sesame broccoli, salad, and mochi ice cream treats for dessert. Oh, and fortune cookies, too. You didn't think that I'd forget the fortune cookies, did you?

Saturday: Up early (but not too early) to do the weekly Costco run, then off to Rady to teach the noon Group Power class. After that, more grocery shopping and (hopefully) another yoga class before it's time to get ready for my big date. Because Valentine's Day is on a Tuesday this year, my fella is taking me to Wasabi on Broadway for a little sushi and a little canoodling. He has reserved our favourite (and rather private) spot right by the sushi chefs, so we can watch the magic happen (flaming volcano rolls!) right before our love-struck eyes. I'll be the one in the festive red dress.

Sunday: Up a little less early (but still kinda early) to prep the week's breakfasts and lunches before hitting the Reh-Fit for a "double" (aka Group Power class followed by spining). My bestie, KK, is teaching both, so it should be even more fun than usual. My goal for the rest of the day is to spend as much time idle and/or horizontal as possible. (This is where the recharging of the batteries comes in...)

Day 10 - Self Portrait

Yeah, yeah... I know. 

It's just that the picture-taken-at-arm's-length, picture-taken-in-bathroom-mirror, and countless self-timer pictures just weren't working for me.

Plus, I am a sucker for a sunbeam. (I could be part feline.)

Deal with it. 

February 9, 2012

Day 9 - Front Door

This picture of the Mascot, taken at dawn through the window of our front door, is, for lack of a better term, creepy-sauce.

If you look closely, you can see the reflection of the trees on the boulevard reflected in the glass.

I took this photo when I returned home from an early morning hot yoga class and it really wasn't half as scary a sight in real life. In fact, the kid was rather nice to come home to.

February 8, 2012

Day 8 - Sun

As soon as I saw the sun come up this morning, I knew that we had the perfect challenge topic for today.

Winnipeg is known for its crisp, clear winter days and it just doesn't get any clearer than this. We may be colder than, say, Vancouver, but I would trade blue skies and -15 for grey skies and +2 any day. 

This was our view as we drove into downtown this morning. We couldn't catch them in the shot, but the sun had a perfect pair of sundogs flanking it, too.

February 7, 2012

Day 7 - Button

Going down? Lord knows I love my job, but at the end of a busy day, this button is a welcome sight.

Map My Run

We have a saying–or, rather, I have a saying–"If you don't blog it, it didn't happen." 

The "it" in this case is referring to a workout. Whether it's a run, a spinning class, a bike ride, or yoga, if you don't blog it, tweet it, or put it on Facebook, it doesn't count. 

Of course, I am being somewhat facetious here, but there is a tiny bit of me that holds tight to this. It's not that I have a need to be a show-off, but I do like to log my activities...and it keeps me motivated. The time that I was off with my sprained ankle was made even worse by the lack of things to record in my workout log. All of those blank spaces staring back at me. Gah! I was so happy once I could go back to filling in the details of my daily activities.

At the time, I was using a site called "Voomaxer". It was a pretty straightforward application that allowed me to enter the time/date/duration of my workouts, plus it kept track of my equipment* for me. Voomaxer met my basic logging needs for almost 3 years, but it has recently been changed to a less user friendly format and, to add insult to injury, has apparently eaten all of my old logs. So much for monitoring my progress. 

It's not all bad news, though; today I started using Map My Run (and iMapMyRun on my iPod) and after logging my first three workouts, I think I have found my new obsession. Despite the name, Map My Run isn't just for runners. The exercises available on the site and in the app cover all of the bases (including s-e-x), whereas Voomaxer only allowed me to log running, walking, cycling and swimming. There's also plenty of room for customization and with MMR, I am even able to do crazy stuff like break-out my road cycling from my spinning. Not a big deal in February, but it's going to be great when we are back out on 2 wheels in the summer!

Once we're back outside, I think I will also get lots of use out of the route-mapping feature. I've used it in the past to measure my runs and bike rides, but it'll be neat to see how it integrates into the logging. In the meantime, to keep myself busy and extra-motivated, I have signed up on the site for a Shape 30-day workout challenge. All I have to do is log 15 workouts in 30 days. Piece of cake! Speaking of cake (oh, I remember cake...), MMR also figures out your calories burned for each workout, summarizes your stats for the week, categorizes your longest/furthest/hardest workouts, and gives you nice little, encouraging messages like "Good job!" 

And, to satisfy my "If you don't blog it..." tenet, it will even post to Facebook for me. Ok, so maybe I am a little bit of a show-off.

*Yes, I name my shoes. And my bikes. 

February 6, 2012

Day 6 - Dinner

Dinner was one of my favorites - a huge pile of roasted veggies with almond satay sauce, steamed green beans, and a salad the size of my head. To top off my vegan feast and further gild the lily, coconut chia pudding with berries for dessert.

Check it out! I ate a whole rainbow (and then some) tonight:
Red grape tomatoes
Orange butternut squash
Yellow carrots
Green Brussels sprouts
Indigo carrots
Violet lettuce
White cauliflower
Black poppyseeds

February 5, 2012

Day 5 - "10 a.m."

This morning at 10am, I was getting Studio "A" at the Reh-Fit Centre ready for my 10:45 Group Power class - turning on the lights and fans, tossing a CD into the stereo, and unlocking the equipment room doors.

I know it's kinda cheesy, but every time I come in and see that rack full of bars and weights, I really do start to get excited. I know that in a few minutes, my class will start filtering in to set up their stations and it will be up to me to get them fired up and ready to work hard for the next 60 minutes. And have fun in the process.

That's exactly what I see when I look at these plates - hard work and FUN.

February 4, 2012

Day 4 - "Stranger"

This was a tough one to complete, but I suppose that's what makes it a "challenge".

I don't know what was the hardest part - choosing a target, or snapping a pic undetected.

I'm sure that using an iPod rather than a camera made it a lot easier to be stealthy. Plus, this lady was awfully wrapped up in her produce.

Maybe next time I'll be more daring...

February 3, 2012

Day three - hands

Today's challenge is "hands". Or, in my case, "hand". I wanted this to be a self-portrait, but I gave up on trying to take a picture of both hands at once. So, here's a photo of the left one*. (The right one is pretty much the same, but with a perfect, half-circle shaped scar over the first knuckle.) 

I have a love-hate relationship with my hands. I am a very tactile person, so I am always trying to touch stuff. I love feeling shapes and textures and even temperatures. When we are out shopping, I have an innate need to touch or pick up everything, which I am sure annoys my fella. Not the touching or picking up part, but the fact that I have an epic, life-long case of the dropsies. And a tendency to try to hold more than I can handle. I suppose it's a bit of a metaphor for everything I do - I am always taking on too much, trying to keep things from hitting the floor, scrambling to pick up the pieces... gah! That could be a blog post in itself. 

Our hands are also our way of soothing, healing, stimulating, nurturing, and forming a connection. It's a proven fact that babies who do not receive enough human touch will fail to grow and thrive. I believe the same to be true for people of all ages. I once knew a single woman who had almost zero physical contact with other people in her day-to-day life. As soon as she became stressed, she would book an appointment to get her hair or her nails done. I think looking good was secondary; she just craved touch and once she had her weekly fix of it, she was back to good. I think we're all like that, to a degree, and when I am faced with a situation that needs to be fixed, my first thought is to reach out with my hands, either to offer touch, or to request it. Sometimes it's all you can do.

As for the "hate" that I feel towards my hands, it's really more of a frustration with the fact that they aren't as pretty as I would like them to be. Right now they are dry and cracking and hurt where the skin has split. They don't have the best circulation, so sometimes my fingertips turn white and go numb, and they are as far from graceful or elegant looking as can be. (Although, did you get a look at that middle finger? I can flip the bird like a champion.) If I had one wish to make to the beauty gods, it would probably be for better looking hands. 

*It's also a picture of my shoes, right before they were clipped into the pedals of my spin bike at 6:10am. Too bad the subject for today wasn't feet. Feet I can do.

February 2, 2012

Day two - Words

The theme for today's photo challenge is "words". 

As I was trying to come up with an idea for a photo–no word (ahem) of a lie–these words fell right into my lap. I don't know that I necessarily agree with them, but I certainly like the font in which they are written.

This picture also gives me the chance to show off my new Benefit lipstick. I didn't set out to buy a lipstick today, but was free with purchase! 

Free is a word that I can definitely agree with.

February 1, 2012

Day one - My View Today

Today's blog challenge topic was an easy one for me. I am lucky to work in one of the coolest buildings in one of the coolest neighbourhoods in town, so it was a no-brainer that I would choose this to be "my view today".

The Exchange district is one of Winnipeg's oldest neighbourhoods and has even been designated as a National Historic Site. Nestled in the heart of downtown, it is literally a living movie set, which often doubles as other major cities at the turn-of-the-(20th)-century. I am constantly finding new, surprising vignettes and vistas as I venture out and make my way around the 30-odd blocks that make up the Exchange.

The view you see here is what I see every day from my desk* on the fifth floor of the Crocus Building. It is quite foggy today, so the taller, more modern buildings that sit just outside the exchange are obscured. As much as I like seeing the juxtaposition of new against old, I love this picture for its gritty, industrial, from-another-time appearance. If it weren't for the newish cars in the parking lot, I probably could've convinced you that it was from another era.

*Well, if I stand up and walk 7 paces to the window, that is.

Lights, camera, plank!

Well, it was close, but I survived my big photoshoot unscathed!

After working one of the shortest days in recent history (2 hours), I raced to the Reh-fit for the shoot. Traffic was definitely on my side, so I had lots of time to primp and prep before my 11:45 appt. I am sure that the other ladies in the locker room were surprised to see me get dressed in workout clothes and then start putting on mascara and lipgloss (and my secret-special hair glosser). One I was fairly satisfied with the "look"––somewhere between "ready for the treadmill" and "ready for the catwalk"––I packed up all of my tools and, using my spidey senses, found them getting ready for me in Fitness Studio A.

While the photographer, Brian Gould, was getting the shot set up, I sat down and did a little interview. The questions were pretty standard "How long have you been coming to the Reh-fit?", "What brought you here in the first place?", "Why do you work out?". I don't know that I gave the most interesting answers (and I made sure not to mention my bizarre addiction to group fitness classes), but I am sure that they'll craft it into a nice, little piece. 

Once the gabbing was out of the way, it was time for me to get in front of the lens. One of my gym friends had warned me that I would have to plank and, boy, did I ever. Straight-arm side planks off the BOSU, to be exact. Kinda like this:

I don't know if I was as elegant or focused as the girl in the picture above, but I was certainly smilier. And, yes, even while trying to balance on that crazy thing. Brian was great, though, and made it lots of fun. I think we managed to get the shot after only three times up into position, so my form (and my arm) didn't suffer. In fact, it might have even gotten better. "Legs straight...feet stacked...arm up...higher, higher...reach for it...look up..." All of that, plus my internal monologue "Tummy in...tummy in...tummy in...smile...tummy in...", and before too long, we had a winner. 

I got a little glimpse of my picture on Brian's laptop, but I won't see the final result for a few weeks yet. The magazine is scheduled to come out in April and I still have to OK the story before it goes to press, so I am hoping to see proofs of the pics by the end of next month. If I can post a sneak-peek at that time, I will definitely get one up!