Archive from May, 2010
28 May

#27: Try a New Class at the Gym – remix

Pipe Cleaner Muscle Man by Bob.FornalThe purpose of my 30 before 30 list is to complete 30 different items, not just the same one 30 times… but I wanted to try another class at the gym! This time it was 24Lift, a 60-minute basic strength training class at 24Hour Fitness.

24Lift: This is a group class and everyone starts with a step/risers, a bar bell and two sets of hand weights (I chose a 15-20 pound bar, 3 pound weights and 6 pound weights).  The class focused on legs/lower body first, then arms/upper body and finished with some core work.

My Review: This was a great class and I can’t believe I’ve been missing out for so long. I’ll definitely be back. Getting set up was really easy… just copy what everyone else is doing! I would never think to do a strength training routine for a full 60 minutes so it was a great way to push myself to stick with it. There’s no fumbling around with the Nautilus equipment and way better than having your number of sets/reps and routine scribbled on a piece of paper or ripped out of a magazine… you just watch, listen and follow. The group format made strength training very approachable. A+

My only negative thought about this class was that the teacher was kind of goofy and kept making up moves like “scramble forward, scramble forward” and he’d take off on his hands and knees. Only a few people followed him and then he totally made fun of them to the rest of the class! I was glad I wasn’t together enough to copy him on those moves…I would have been really embarrassed, especially since it was my first class. And, yes, I suppose I feel a tad bit guilty for laughing at those who did copy him. 😉

26 May

Made it: Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna from Everyday Food magazine

Here's the simple, yet beautiful masterpiece produced by Martha's minions

While I’d love to be posting fresh summer dishes, it has been RAINING non-stop in Portland this week so hardy winter fare is sounding a bit more comforting. 🙂

Here’s a really great vegetarian lasagna from Everyday Foods (Dec 2009 issue). The lasagna features a homemade sauce and layers of roasted squash, wilted spinach and a mixture of ricotta, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Start to finish it takes about 2 hours so it’s best for a weekend meal!

For me the best part was the squash, spinach and sauce so you could probably turn this into a super-healthy vegan recipe by replacing the cheese mixture with tofu and substituting the regular noodles for whole wheat lasagna noodles.

First you toss the tomatoes with olive oil, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. Then you roast them for 40 minutes. (Notice how sad and pale these tomatoes look. I can’t wait to make this again with fresh garden tomatoes.)

Roast the tomatoesThen you toss the butternut squash slices with oil, salt and pepper and roast them for 20 minutes.

Roasting the squashAfter sauteing the garlic, you add the spinach and cook until it is wilted… about 4 minutes… and then chop it up a bit.

Wilting the spinachHere are the roasted tomatoes before they are pureed into sauce.Roasted tomatoes

And the finished sauce. …let the layers commence.

Fresh tomato sauceTa-da — thank you Martha Stewart. Here’s my sloppy and slightly out of focus (but just as tasty!) finished product. I would definitely make this again and if I was short on time I’d use sauce from a jar, which would really cut down on the prep time.

Comma Happy's Lasagna

24 May

Reading: The Happy at Work Manifesto

Change This: The Happy at Work ManifestoAnybody have a case of the Mondays? Bwahaha… Here’s my favorite fix – The “Happy at Work Manifesto” from Change This. It’s an excerpt from Alexander Kjerulf’s book Happy Hour is 9 to 5: How to Love Your Job, Love Your Life and Kick Butt at Work.

Even though the manifesto was written three years ago, it is still one of my favorites and I read it a few times per year. It’s funny that after all this time, I still haven’t read the book, which apparently sucks (just two Amazon reviews). I guess it’s one of those cases of a book that should have been a chapter.

This isn’t something that’s going to blow your mind and make you think radically different, it’s just a fun reminder to choose happiness. Cheesy, but in a nice way:

Because the future belongs to the happy!

1: I choose to be happy at work.

2: I can be happy at work.

3: My happiness at work is my responsibility.

4: Knowing what makes me happy or unhappy at work is my responsibility.

5: Letting others know what makes me happy or unhappy at work is my responsibility.

6: Something will happen when I do something.

7: I know that my happiness at work affects my happiness outside of work.

8: I know that happiness at work affects my health.

9: I may end up spending most of my waking hours at work—I want to make those hours count.

10: It’s OK to have a bad day at work.

11: I do my best work when I’m happy.

12: There’s no such thing as too much happiness.

13: I recognize that happiness at work also comes from the time I don’t spend at work.

14: I recognize that happiness at work is different for everyone.

15: Happiness at work is something I create now.

16: I recognize that happiness at work doesn’t come from the absence of bad things in the workplace.

17: Happiness at work is infectious—I will be a carrier.

18: The best way to make myself happy at work is by making others happy at work.

19: I will take time to do this.

20: I will fix my job or quit.

21: Happiness at work ain’t rocket science.

22: I give first.

23: I recognize that a higher salary will not make me happy at work.

24: I recognize that power, status symbols, a corner office or even access to the corporate jet won’t make me happy at work.

25: Happiness at work comes from the things you and I do here and now.

If you enjoyed those points, go check out the whole thing on — a super cool website that publishes short 10 to 20-page manifestos (which are basically well-designed, illustrated book excerpts).

23 May

Top-of-mind: J. Crew’s Dahlia Bead Tee

And now for my t-shirt work top of the week. J. Crew Dahlia TeeI think the Dahlia Tee from J.Crew would look adorable with a crisp summer skirt like this pleated one from the Gap. My favorite is the shadow color because it seems less “t-shirty” than the lighter shades.

On the weekends I would wear this with a distressed denim mini or my new linen short shorts.

20 May

#14: Do a 30-day yoga experience – 30 before 30 list

Showoff! Do you think I can learn Pincha Mayurasana and Tittibhasana in one month?

I can check off step one of a 31-step process — I’ve figured out the location for my 30-day yoga experience. Today’s Groupon is for One Month of Unlimited Classes at Yoga Union for just $30. Sweet! I was researching yoga studios last weekend and had (almost) settled on Yoga Union for my 30-day experience, but this seals the deal.

Yoga Union is one of the only Portland studios with a variety of styles, including hot yoga (plus!), daily classes, and an eastside  location (double plus!). Initially I was hoping to do my 30-days at an official “Bikram Yoga” studio but the ones in Portland had mixed reviews.

Now if only I can determine the best time in the next 13 months to redeem my membership so as to not show up at the same time as the other 689 people who bought it.