CARILOUIE   83,599
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I am so lucky.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My honey is a chef. A very good chef. And lucky for me, he likes to cook at home.
His birthday was yesterday - we spent Sunday and yesterday celebrating with some really delicious food. Sunday night was striped bass (YUM), cauliflower soup, baby potatoes, candied parsnips, fig nut cake, a bottle of bubbly... last night was pork sandwich, pan-fried potatoes... OMG SOOOOO good. ( I *did* help a bit - I made the cake.)
So anyway, I am very glad that I spent last week carefully tracking ALL of my food. I think it helped lessen the effect of the last two nights' dinners. But really, I think the worst thing was all the bubbly we drank. We like to talk about our "omentums" - a word from Dr. Oz that we saw on Oprah once. The omentum is the part of you that stretches out when you eat too much... if you keep eating too much, it grows. When you eat just enough, it shrinks. We like our small omentums.
So back to goal-setting and tracking for the week.

Today's goals:
- drink at least 4 Siggs full of water
- do a little class work
- Plan dinner (I'll probably do this before I leave for work today)

Yesterday I enrolled in my final two grad classes. Wahoo! It's going to be a lot of work - the session is only eight weeks long, so doing work for two classes in that time is going to be a little crazy. But I think with a lot of planning and goal-setting, I can do it. It's going to be super important for me to keep my end goal in sight.
Another good thing - we are starting to get some stuff done around the house to improve it - window is fixed, heaters are fixed, planned to look at new sinks and faucets on Saturday morning, going next Monday to look at new flooring... it's getting to be a very exciting time around here. Lots to do before the summer!
Happy Sparking!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOSINGITALL4ME 1/13/2010 7:19AM

    You are so lucky. I'm the main cook in our house and I don't enjoy cooking. But I do the best I can. Spark recipes sure help!

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HELLAVAHC 1/12/2010 7:42PM

    I want a tiny omentum, too! Congrats on your good gym session.

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ROGUE_1 1/12/2010 5:52PM

    All that delicious food - sounds fabulous! You are definitely one lucky lady :)

Only 2 more grad classes left? I am so proud of you! I'm looking into schools and programs now. It's hard for me to narrow down exactly what I want to study...But I know I must do so soon.

Great work on getting things taken care of around the house. It sounds like a fun project!

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ETTEZEUS 1/12/2010 1:48PM

    I'm the chef in my house...hubby is the food connoisseur....LOL

Good luck with your last two classes! Study hard! Finish strong.

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BOBBYD31 1/12/2010 1:41PM

    can you send him our way for a while or at least prep the food, freeze it then fed ex to PA. that would save me so much time

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EATNBOOGERS 1/12/2010 12:21PM

    Yes, lucky for you to have a personal chef! ;-) Enjoy your classes.

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SOUTHGOINGZAX 1/12/2010 10:53AM

    A quick note about ways to inexpensively upgrade your house - check eBay for things like faucets, door handles, drawer knobs, etc....for a fraction of what you would pay at a store, you can get some really nice stuff that improves the overall "feel" of your house.

You are lucky to have your own chef - how nice for you! Good luck with the grad school classes!

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GSDMIKE 1/12/2010 9:09AM

    I probably cook 80% of the meals Sherry and I share, but with me being vegetarian and her not, that's to be expected. Good luck with the compressed graduate schedule. Sounds like a lot of work, but getting through it quickly will be nice. Careful with that home improvement stuff. It gets out of hand quickly.

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RUNTRILAUGH 1/12/2010 9:03AM


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2010TRIATHLETE 1/12/2010 8:47AM

    Wow those meals sound delicious! My hubby loves to cook, too. And he actually cooks some delicious meals. Neither of us cook much during the week, but weekends are always a treat!

Congrats on getting enrolled for your last 2 grad classes! I'm sure you'll be thrilled when they're all done! Only 2 more to go! WooHoo! You can do it!

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PINKCOCONUT 1/12/2010 8:01AM

    What a fabulous spread! Yum! Glad you were able to make it "fit"!

Have a great day hon!

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    My hubby likes to cook,too, but isn't home enough.And when he is he uses the excuse that 'I hate this kitchen. if we had a nicer kitchen I wouldn't mind." HAHA!! Thanks alot,pal! I HATE this kitchen ,too, but the kids would have all passed away from starvation years ago if I hadn't used this awful kitchen. LOL!!! Sounds like you've been eating high on the hog but know when to get back to the proper omentum size!!!

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LEARNING2LUVME 1/12/2010 6:58AM

    Your hubby is a chef? That's so awesome!! My hubby claims to love to cook, but boxed mac and cheese seems to be the extent of his culinary abilities. We've been married almost 8 years and he still hasn't cooked much more than that. lol.

Have a super healthy day!!!

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No more Spark Guilt!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

I just read a Spark Buddy's blog about goals; one of those goals was to stay active on Spark. This goal got me thinking about my own activity on SparkPeople. Toward the end of 2009, instead of seeing Spark as an essential tool to getting healthy and fit, I started looking at it as more of a fun website that just happened to be about healthy lifestyles.
I *just* had this breakthrough (really, *just*. About 15 seconds ago). SparkPeople is NOT just a fun website for me, it's absolutely essential for me to reach my goals and to be a healthy, fit person. Replying to blogs, entering nutrition, making fitness minute goals, giving Spark Goodies... these are not just fun things to do (although it *is* fun), they are the actions that I NEED to do to take care of me and make ME my first priority.
When I slacked on checking out other blogs and Spark Pages, I missed out on seeing other people's successes. I missed out on being part of this community that is so devoted to a healthy lifestyle. I missed out on the encouraging words that keep me going even when I sit at a weight plateau for months. When I read about someone with fibromyalgia (SP?) going to the gym and doing a painful workout, I realize that I need to stop my moaning and get my rear to the pool. When I read about someone who was once addicted to sweets now being able to resist a cupcake, I realize that I need to be strong and not eat those extra, mindless, crackers.
So Spark People is NOT a luxury for me anymore. It's going to be a guilt-free part of my day. It's something I HAVE to do if I want to continue on this journey to a healthy lifestyle.

I feel so free!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HALOSUN 1/9/2010 11:24PM

    What a great insight! I feel the same way - reading others' blogs and messages and seeing successes spurs us on to do our best. Good luck - sounds like you've got quite a grip on it!

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CFMOSS 1/9/2010 6:00PM

    Great post -- sparkpeople is a wonderful tool which makes even better connections - providing support for others while motivating me/us onward. Thank you for your insights and expressing them so well. Have a great evenign.

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EATNBOOGERS 1/9/2010 2:20PM

    The thing about SP is that it's about mindfulness. Yeah, it's fun (and positive), but all that stuff serves to keep the goals front and center.

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PINKCOCONUT 1/9/2010 2:03PM

    Totally agreed. I couldn't have made it this far without SP and I believe it to be essential in my current, and future, success!

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ALTHORP 1/9/2010 1:39PM

    That's a really interesting perspective--thinking about it as a need instead of a luxury. Unfortunately for me, when grad school starts up I really have to cut my non-school activities down to essentials and spark gets little attention, but maybe I shouldn't look at it as being so expendable.

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    It is a great tool for learning a healthy lifestyle. I'm hooked for life here.

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LOSINGITALL4ME 1/9/2010 1:05PM

    I so agree. I crave to get on Spark. I have to listen to my family complain about how much I'm on it, but it's worth it to me. I have threatened to get my own laptop - just for me to use. That quieted them up. Keep sparking, I know it helps me to hear encouraging messages from you. emoticon emoticon

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Day 2 - New Plan

Friday, January 08, 2010

Today I got that wonderful phone call - "We have a two hour delay today." I don't like snow days so much, we have to make them up in June. But delays? Give me a delay anytime. Wahoo!
Here's how Day 2 went.
- Woke up at 5:00, got a ton of stuff done.
- Went to school; met a friend for coffee (stayed within my plan!), and then went to the gym for two classes. It was so nice to not have to worry about everything I had to do when I got home. I actually really enjoyed my classes!
- Came home, took a warm bath, made some dinner (again, within my plan. Life has been so much easier now that I know exactly what I'm planning on eating...). Did some Sparking, relaxed with a cup of tea and some crosswording, went to bed at 9:30ish.
Did I feel stressed last night because I didn't pack my lunch or my workout clothes for this afternoon? Not at all! I knew that because I wake up early, I'd have plenty of time in the morning to get all that done. And I did! Lunch is packed, clothes are packed, and I did some dishes, folded some laundry, cleaned up the kitchen... no stress.
I allowed myself to "sleep in" until 5:45 today because of the delay. It's a little fun part of having a delay - getting to sleep in.

So today's plan:
- Leave a little early and get some errands done (the nice thing about a delay is that I can finally get to some places that I can't usually get to during the school day i.e. the bank)
- Go to school for a short day
- Chiro appointment for some physical therapy
- Home
- Swimming (?) - haven't committed to this one yet; I've had a pretty full week of working out. I may call it a day after the chiro.
- Work on my grad paper
- Relax!

It's amazing how accountable stay when I blog... just having my goals written out, no matter how small, makes me really want to accomplish them.

Happy Friday!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SMILEE_EYES 1/9/2010 11:29AM

    That's awesome that you are seem more in control. I just started trying to plan out my meals for the whole day and it is helping a lot. Good job, you are doing great! You're words are encouraging. Thanks

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HELLAVAHC 1/9/2010 9:43AM

    I agree- if I write it out for all to see, I stick to it! I love delay days. We RARELY get them, so it is a treat! Have a great weekend.

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    Hi Carrie,

You have a great attitude, you know? I bet people tell you that all the time. it's really fantastic for me to know I can check in with you and have some of your positive energy rub off on me.

You know, I have three *morning* workouts at the gym (MWF) and two evening workout days (karate) during the week (T/TH). I really like sleeping in on those two days! But lately I have been sleeping in every day....I think I logged 10 hours of sleep last night - one of the dangers of working from home is that it can be tough to set a strict schedule, I guess. But anyway, I'm glad your new schedule is working out for you, yay!

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TABBALOOSA 1/8/2010 8:38PM

    School was canceled here today, but it didn't change a thing for me!! Ha ha. I so hear you on the blogging - it's a really good tool.

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EATNBOOGERS 1/8/2010 11:47AM

    Good job! Sounds like it's working well for you. I was just thinking today that I, too, feel more accountable when I blog about stuff.

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CFMOSS 1/8/2010 7:42AM

    Extra time is great - my son is disgusted that we have a cancellation instead of a delay - he didn't want to have to make the day up - you've been doing a great job of getting up in the AM - blogging, greeting people, supporting people, getting on with your day, being accountable, making more healthy choices than unhealthy choices, getting to the gym or doing soome exercise. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done. Happy Friday to you too.

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Day 1 - New Plan

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Last night was my first night of evening gym time in quite a while.

I wasn't thinking about what I had to do at work while I was at the gym
It wasn't 6:00am
Got to see a different crowd
When I got home I could relax and have a really nice evening

After work, I thought "shoot, do I really have to go to the gym?"
Had to pack my gym clothes before school

I really rather enjoyed going last night. Although the yoga class was packed, it was still a great workout. I also REALLY enjoyed coming right home after the gym and not having to rush around to get ready to go anywhere. I put on my sweatpants, made today's lunch, and relaxed with a good dinner and a cup of tea. Another good thing is that I didn't want to overeat at dinner - I had my soup (which if it had not been for the lamb, would have been hardly *any* calories), and when I was done, I really thought about it, decided I wasn't hungry anymore, and had my cup of tea. No overeating, no remorse about a random piece of bread... Wahoo! Went to bed at my regular time of 9:00...

Got up this morning at 5:00. I knew I wasn't going to the gym this morning, but I wanted to see if I could be productive in the morning so I could enjoy another night at home tonight. So here's what I've done since 5am -
got some job materials taken care of
cleaned off the kitchen counters
packed my gym stuff for tonight
ate a leisurely breakfast
wrote a blog
entered my food for today (and may enter some for tomorrow, too)
Put school songs into my iPod for my classes
put some shrimp in the fridge to thaw out for my dinner tonight

Wow! So far, I think I like this... we'll see what happens after a few more days of this. This afternoon I'm meeting a friend for coffee (I've already checked out the nutrition facts of what I'm going to get and entered it in), going to Power Stretch class and then a Core class at the gym. Yesterday I went to an evening class - but I know that if I go home first, I won't want to get off the couch and go to the gym. So straight to the gym I went. Did a little running and some upper body ST before my two classes. Phew! But it was much better than sitting on the couch! And since I got so much done in the morning, I didn't feel like I should be at home doing something else.

I still have a whole hour before I need to leave for school... this is pretty wonderful. I can get a little bit more done and then I *really* am going to have a relaxing evening!

Happy Thursday!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRANKLYN22 1/7/2010 9:49PM

    Awesome job! I'm the same way when it comes to evening workouts...if I go home first, I have no motivation to go to the gym, but if I go straight from work, its much easier!

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TABBALOOSA 1/7/2010 7:53PM

    Sounds good so far, but wow, you're doing a whole lot of fitness minutes! Whew! When DH and I were working out in the evening, I noticed I had a very light appetite for dinner. Nice.

I'm like you for the hours. I get up around 4:30 or 5. Usually hit the sheets by 10. Love that early morning time, but not for exercise.

Keep it up, m'dear, your progress and commitment are such inspiration.

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RUNNINGWILD 1/7/2010 1:52PM

    bed at 9? up at 5? I wish! I'm not nearly committed enough. I'm more of a 12-7 kind of sleeper. Not really condusive to productive mornings =(
I bow down to you!

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GSDMIKE 1/7/2010 9:27AM

    Your 9 to 5 sleep schedule is impressive. I can never seem to get on a schedule like that. I'm up late one night, and later the next. I guess it helps that I have a flexible work schedule so it can move with mine.

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AEFILK 1/7/2010 8:45AM

    Great job! I've been working on getting up early too. I've gotten up early each day this week. It really makes a difference in the evenings. Keep it up!

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JWENZEL723 1/7/2010 8:42AM

    haha girl your days are so packed!

i too have to go to the gym directly after work bc if i go home first i know that is a death sentence for working out!

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RUNTRILAUGH 1/7/2010 8:35AM

    Good plan! And I see you discovered another benefit of pm workouts - curbs your evening hunger!

Keep going!

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EATNBOOGERS 1/7/2010 8:02AM

    Hooray for you! Good job!

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PINKCOCONUT 1/7/2010 7:34AM

    Now THAT is a plan! Great job!

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DARKANGELKISS88 1/7/2010 7:26AM

    Good job!

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LMURRIETA 1/7/2010 7:22AM

    wow, I'm gonna have to try it

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    Sounds great! Hope it continues to work for you-and it will if it remains the priority.

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HELLAVAHC 1/7/2010 7:17AM

    Whoa! You put me to shame, girl. I especially like how you picked out what to get when you go for coffee. That is planning ahead!

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Rethinking the plan of attack

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

This morning I was all ready to go to Spin class... had my gym gear on, had the car warming up... got in my car and it had trouble getting up the hill in the snow (just flurries, but they were those slippery flurries). My spin class runs until 7:15 and I usually have to zoom home so I can make it out the door on time for school - didn't want to zoom in the snow, so I came back inside with my car keys and decided to not go this morning. Since I already entered in the minutes, I will make it up tonight after my yoga class (there is a spin at 6:15 this evening).
So this whole experience got me thinking - maybe I need to shake it up a little bit. I LOVE waking up early and getting a workout in, but I do not love being rushed in the morning. I like to sit with my coffee and my crossword - the morning is my "me" time. I also get a lot done in the morning - bills, dishes, schedule for the day... the 6:30 spin class does not allow me to get that "me" time, which is important to me.
I think I'm going to start going to more evening spin classes, maybe get back to going to the gym after school. I'll still wake up early, get some morning workouts in (I love the energy it gives me for the day!), but I will def be looking at evening spin classes. I don't do anything in the evening anyway except for eat and sit on the couch, so I may as well be productive. The mornings can be used to work on other stuff - even classwork and writing papers.

And I think that's what this whole Spark journey is all about - figuring out what works best. For me, it *was* going to the gym at night (like 8:00 at night). And then it was going to early morning spin class. Now, maybe it will be going after school and in the early evening. Who knows... I guess I'll find out!

My gym clothes are packed for this afternoon... I'll change at school and head right up to the gym. My journal tonight will be filled with how this change of schedule made me feel. I already know that I got a lot done this morning... I even scheduled my chiro appointment that I meant to do last night!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TABBALOOSA 1/6/2010 8:28PM

    Yup, that early morning 'me' time is a treasure. I'll be interested to hear how switching things up goes for you.

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HELLAVAHC 1/6/2010 6:56PM

    Always changing it up is a great idea. I really love working out in the am but have to be at school by 7am, so I record workout shows from Fit TV.

Haven't been motivated so far this week, though... trying for tomorrow!

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EATNBOOGERS 1/6/2010 6:10PM

    I definitely think that flexibility and shaking things up are important. I always feel better getting my exercise "out of the way"--I'm curious to watch how this goes for you! Have fun in the class! (And maybe *I* should be more flexible, too... sometimes, I'm just farting around in the evening, too...)

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GONE2014 1/6/2010 4:19PM

    Sounds like you are on the right track ... flexibility and figuring out what's right for you is key!

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CFMOSS 1/6/2010 1:52PM

    Glad you can be flexible - i value my morning time when i get it. Helps prepare me for the day ahead. On the other hand early morning used to be my only opportunity to work out - now it's mostly evening. Oh and I'm glad the spinning you prefer to do is on the bike and not the tires on the road (yikes) Happy day to you.

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MALIBUPRES 1/6/2010 10:12AM

    The beauty of being in charge of you! :) I think it's totally fine that you are changing things up. Sometimes evening workouts recharge me for the next day. And I find that I have better runs at night as well. Anyhow, way to take care of you!

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ALTHORP 1/6/2010 9:51AM

    I love how you said that this spark thing is all about figuring out what works best, and that what works best can change over time. It's a good reminder (for me right now, anyway) that if one thing isn't working, it doesn't mean you've failed, just that you haven't worked out what works best for you right now yet. Thanks!

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    You know, it really is about what works for where we are right now. I had to chuckle because three weeks ago I made the decision to move part of my workouts to the MORNING! HA!

I think its all about maintaining variety to keep us motivated. Shakin' up is definitely a good thing.

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GSDMIKE 1/6/2010 9:15AM

    My schedule changes with the season and the day. In the summer, I'm up early to get out and run before the heat, but on a riding day, I'll wait till it warms up. In winter, it's the middle of the day for running, and often I'm spinning in the basement in the evening, though I'm not sure why. Most of the time that I go to the gym, it's in the evening.

If you are committed to get the exercise in, I don't think it matters what time of day you decide to do it. I guess planning for early in the day does give you more chances to adapt though. If you'd spun your tires tonight, it's not like you could've decided to go this morning instead...

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RUNTRILAUGH 1/6/2010 9:11AM

    Absolutely!!!! Switching it up is good, and heck, you may even make some new friends in the evening classes!

Enjoy the changes!!!

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JWENZEL723 1/6/2010 9:09AM

    i'm the same. i love taking it slow in the morning - i can't stand being rushed! i always do my workouts after work in the evening, but whatever works for you is exactly what you need to do!

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SWAL0701 1/6/2010 8:48AM

    You have to have a plan that works for YOU. I love the quiet mornings with my coffee. I get up extra early just to make that happen.

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JOPAPGH 1/6/2010 8:13AM

    It's great to be flexible.

Since the holidays I have had a hard time getting up early, so it has been mostly evening workouts, with an occasional lunch.

As the days get longer I anticipate getting back into a morning groove.

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PINKCOCONUT 1/6/2010 7:35AM

    Sounds like a great plan! I'm the same, mornings are my "me" time. It's nice and quiet and I just take my time, if I'm rushed in the morning it sets me up for a cranky day!

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