Friday, April 30, 2010


Well, I did it. As of today, I have met my first goal of the weight loss challenge. Yes, I have lost a total of 21 pounds...Yes, I know..embaressing. I am now back at the weight I was when I first arrived here in Italy. My celebration consisted of going back to the gym, and having an extra snack of cucumbers and poppy seed dressing.

Now, that is not it. I have a second goal on this weight loss challenge. My next goal is to get to the weight limit I was when I got married. Can I do it? We will see!! Thats about 5 more pounds!

If anyone needs help, this is what my gym routine consists of:
30 minutes - Try to run at least 2 miles to 2.5 miles
30 minutes - Try to get to 2.5 miles to 3 miles on elliptical
15 minutes - Ride bike as fast as you can!
Sometimes back on the treadmill to do another mile
Then go stretch to cool down.
3 reps of inner thighs
3 reps of outer thighs
4 reps of crunches
and if I am really in the mood, I do some situps as well.

Every now and then, I will switch up my day and go to a class at the gym. Zumba and Cycling really kick my butt, but I love it because it makes it a fun workout. Anyways, wish me luck! Hopefully, I will be back soon to give you the next goal update!


Sunday, April 25, 2010

I'm a TRUE Italian Now.

Hi guys, I guess its time for another update on whats going on. The week back has been an interesting one. At the beginning of the week, my job had me go over to work at the Homework Center since the lady that usually works there is gone. The Homework Center is a nice place for me to get things done, but the kids in there like to talk back too much. Apparently, they get away with it before, but not with me. I don't think they are liking me too much since I make them stay quiet, and they can't give me excuses anymore. I know I would not be able to do my homework as a youth if other people where talking around me. However, on Thrusday and Friday, I went back to my Youth center where I usually work. The kids loved me being back which made me feel really good! On the down side, I think my hours are getting cut. I mentioned to them that I am hired on as part-time, and I shouldn't have to work full-time hours without getting the benefits. Well, they won't hire on another full-time person, so I am just going to deal with shorter hours. Oh Well! Next week, I have to be back at the Homework Center, so wish me luck!

On Saturday, I had pretty much the best relaxing day ever! I got up and met up with Natalie and Manuela and we went shopping. And, I did manage to invest in one paticular item. You will see pictures another day! After that, I did one crazy thing I never thought I would do. And, I can truely call myself an Italian! I went to a small cafe, and drank a cappuccino and ENJOYED it! I absolutely HATE coffee! Manuela said this place had the best cappuccino's in the world, and I should start there. So, I did. Here, I am with my finished cappuccino!

After the cappucino's, Natalie and I said bye to Manuela and started our day. We went to Post for some quick errands and lunch, had a doggie playdate, went to the thrift store down from my house I have been dying to try, and then went for a walk downtown. It truely was a relaxing day! And, Natalie couldn't be more fun to spend it with. Next on our list is to either get her car fixed, or find her a new one!

After I got home from my day with Natalie, my friend Jessica called me up and asked me to come to Customs to celebrate Melissa's birthday. So, I went. I was already getting ready to settle in, but I was still dressed, and thought I needed to at least make an appearance. It wasn't my best night at Customs, but it was still fun!

The Chosen Ladies: Me, Melissa, and Jessica
All the girls that came out!

Me doing the Cupid Shuffle on the Dance Floor

The Girls Dancing

Now, today I am going to TRY and tackle the garage, but the idea is slowly being pushed to next Later on today, I meeting up with Natalie and Dana to go see Valentine's Day. I missed it last time it was here, and I don't want to miss it again. I'll update again soon. Until next time, later!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ooh La La Paree...

BONJOUR!! I hope everyone is in good spirits because I sure am! As I told you guys before, I got the chance to go to Paris, France for work. We took 24 youth on this week long trip for their Spring Break. It was amazing, except for the weather. I thought Paris was going to be lame and some clique' place. However, I was completely wrong. Paris has the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen, and the people were friendly. It seems as though contractors actually took their time in figuring out how a building should look like, and it truly was romantic. The weather, however, was cold and wet. I did not have warm enough clothes, and was having a hard time enjoying being outside.

On the first day, we toured the city of Paris. I think this was my favorite day! I love to walk around and see old buildings even though everyone else seems quite bored of this activity. I was completely in my moment. I just wish my pictures turned out better than what they are due to the weather.
Happy I saw the Headquarters for Louis Vuitton
We saw the Arc de Triomphe
If you actually pay the money to go own top..You can see that the traffic circle and the roads make a star which I thought was pretty cool.
The North Pillar was the Pillar I took to go up the Eiffel Tower
Me and one youth, Torri, holding on for dear life as we go up the Eiffel Tower
Me on the second level of the Eiffel Tower looking out into the city. I was too scared to go up to the very very top!
A picture overlooking the city
An artistic picture of the Eiffel Tower that will be photoshopped and printed out for wall art in the house.
Me with the Eiffel Tower in the background
I absolutely loved how the buildings looked in Italy. These are definately loved by any girl. There is so much detail and I could not stop staring. I also loved how all the balconies had rod iron, and the doors were huge with a big knob.
Pyramide du Louvre
This place houses the original Mona Lisa.
Of course, we made it to Euro Disney. And let me tell you, the parade they had here was much better than the one in the states! I am so glad I decided to go back and watch it! However, the states has better landscaping.
I had to get a picture of Ratatouille since I was in France! Too bad I couldn't be in the picture with him.
We also drove to Normandy, France to look at the American Memorial there. It was gorgeous, and France did a great job of making it look nice. I was very impressed with al of the history and artifacts this place housed.

Anyways, there are a COUPLE of pictures from my time in Paris, France. I had tons of fun with some teens, and I can't wait to spend more time with them in the center. I can't believe I left Paris because it was so beautiful and I would have loved to spend more time there...especially with my hubby. If I ever make it there again, he will be with me, and I would go see the light show at the Eiffel Tower. I hope many of you decide to make your own trip to Paris soon!
Now, I need to go do some school work that I missed while I was gone. I have A's in both classes so far, and I intend to keep them that way. Until next time, later.
"Bounjour...merci. Bounjour...merci. Bonjour...merci. Bounjour...merci."
Can anyone guess the movie?


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Zumba, She's Back, and Fun!

Okay, so I guess I will update you guys on my boring life without Gregg here. On Thursday, I went to my weekly class of Zumba! Zumba is a style of intense dance-aerobics workout with pulsating latin music. Basically, I get to have a workout dancing like I would in the club's but I don't have to deal with the sticky floors, cigarette smoke, and nasty pick-up lines men, excuse me, boys try to use. This picture is the class one week minus my friend Nicole that didn't go that one week. I'm sure you can tell which sweaty person I am!

Also on Thursday, I picked up my good friend Dana and her little one Jericho that came back to Italy from the states. I was soo excited to see them because that means I have more fun that can be put on my agenda. When I got her back, her car wouldn't start and we came to the conclusion that it was her battery. So, the determined girls that we are...We took care of it. Well, Dana took care of it...I just provided transportation and a learning eye. Dana use to work in a battery store and has changed multiple batteries before. And man, I think she broke the world record for switching out car batteries. Her car is doing great now!

On friday, I went shoe shopping which was a last minute impulse I should never do here. Italian shoes are expensive, but I managed to find two really cute pairs for GREAT prices! On friday, I also went to a work party to celebrate Richard's going away...he is pretty happy about it...thats why we were celebrating. After work, two co-workers and a sister of one of those co-workers decided we should go out for drinks since we are already downtown. And let me tell you, I had the best time that night! We had many hilarious moments that are just too embaressing to even post to the world..but, I'll give you a sneak peak into the night with a few pictures!
Me, Natalie, and Nicole

Natalie holding me up so I could touch the sign..Everyone thought it was funny I just couldn't reach it.
Me and Nicole. We asked the bartender to make us a girly drink, and this is what we ended up with. It was like pop rocks in your mouth, but way too sugary..I couldn't finish it.
Today is spent at the house tidying up a bit and getting ready for the week. I will be MIA for a week or two beause I will be going to Paris this week for work. I am so excited. Some nights, I will have to stay up all night and continue to work the next day, but it's worth, right?


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

*NEW Purchase*

Anyone care to see my NEW Purchase?

I have been carrying around the same ole wallet for about 5 years now, and I thought it was about time to upgrade! And, I upgraded to this very cute and stylish vera bradley wallet! I love it!! There is a clutch that matches this wallet, but that is going to have to come another day! I was so lucky to have found this wallet at the PX too! If I was to buy it in the states, it would have cost me $35.00, but I got it for $28.00!

Isn't it cute?


Monday, April 5, 2010

Tuesday's Lists: Favorite Crock Pot Recipes

I wanted to make sure I got my Tuesday's List in for this week, so I am doing mine a day early. I can't wait to see what everyone else puts on their list of Favorite Crock Pot Recipes. I only have a few, but I want to bump up my list because the hubby, Gregg, is always begging for a Crock Pot meal. And well, I am just new to the whole cooking in one pot for 6 hours or more...And plus, I always forget about setting it in the morning. I think if I get a few more recipes under my belt, I will be become more likely to turn that baby on!

[1] Easy Salsa Chicken Recipe
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 jars medium or spicy salsa
1 can of black beans
1 can of whole kernal corn

Pour the salsa, black beans, and corn into the crock pot and stir to mix.
Add the chicken breads to the mix and pour some the liquid on top.
Cook on low 8 to 10 hours.
Serve over rice or eat with tortilla chips.

[2] Mushroom Chicken Pasta Recipe
5-6 chicken tenders (or 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
1 box ziti or rigatoni
1 can Cambell's Cream of Mushroom Soup
4 oz. sliced Portebella Mushrooms
1 large onion, sliced into wedges
1/2 cup white wine
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fresh Thyme

Arrange chicken flat at the bottom.
Season generously with salt and pepper.
Cover with mushroom coup, wine, mushrooms, and onions.
Mix liquid slightly without moving chicken.
Cook on low 3-4 hours.
Add fresh thyme towards the end of cooking.
Cook pasta according to package on stove, and serve with mixture on top.

[3] BBQ Ribs
3 lb. boneless country cut ribs
1 onion sliced
1 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
Pepper to taste

Place meat on bottom of pot.
Add onions and pepper.
Top with BBQ sauce.
Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

See, those are super easy, but I do not have that many. Sorry, I also have no pictures to post because, like I said before, I don't use the Crock Pot too often, but have always wanted to. Can't wait to see what everyone else posts!

My friend, Jessica, did her ABC's and I thought I would join in as well...seems like fun!

A. AREA CODE: *9*3*
B. BED SIZE: Queen
C. CHORE YOU HATE: Doing Dishes
F. FAVORITE COLOR: Dark Purple or Green
H. HEIGHT: 5 foot on the dot.
J. JOB: Child & Youth Program Assistant
K. KIDS: None, but Gregg and I would love two in the future.
L. LIVING ARRANGEMENTS: Apartment in Vicenza, Italy with husband.
N. NICKNAME: Mandi and Mnda
P. PET PEEVE: Chipped Nail Polish
Q. QUOTE FROM A MOVIE: "Shake and Bake!" Haha that was the first one that popped in my head.
S. SIBLINGS: Chris (older big brother, RIP), Sarah, Katie, and Melissa (all younger sisters)
T. TIME YOU WAKE UP: Around 7:30 a.m.
U. UNDERWEAR: I love the Boy Shorts
V. VEGGIE YOU DISLIKE: Its a toss up between cauliflower and brussel sprouts
W. WAYS/REASONS YOUR LATE: I'm never late.
X. X-RAYS YOU HAVE HAD: Left elbow.
Y. YUMMY FOOD YOU MAKE: Manicotti and Enchiladas


Sunday, April 4, 2010

At Work

Taken while I was working on Friday night. We had a busy night..26 kids at a Lock-In. We had a blast! And, I am not going to lie, probably my favorite one yet. We played many activities that involved skill, water, and food! I actually can't wait until the next one now. However, next big thing at work is...Spring Break Trip to Paris!! We have 24 kids going with us..Should be fun!

And, I also want to wish everyone a very Happy Easter. Be sure to go to church for me...I missed the 7:00 o'clock one here...very upset about that! Love y'all!