Thursday, January 27, 2011

Taste Of Austin

Tonight Jeff and I went to the Taste of Austin, a place where tons of Austin Restaurants make food for us and we gorge on it until we cannot walk to the car to drive home. It was delicious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As you can see, we had a lot of fun together in the photo booth as well... My hubby makes a cute Wendy's girl, don't you think?

Anyways... I wanted to let you know this is my last hurrah. Starting Sunday, I'll be calorie counting my way back 8 lbs down because that's what I've gained in the last 2 months :(. I won't say it was all fat... I probably gained a few lbs of muscle, but I'm thicker around the middle, so it's back to behaving myself again.

Check out my fitness blog if you want to see how I am going to take those 8 lbs off safely and effectively, through science and pre-planning meals.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thai Cooking Class

On Thursday, Jeff and I went to a cooking class I got through Living Social Deals. It's a great site for deals in your community at great prices!

Anyway, we went to Satay restaurant in Austin, and were taught by the most amazing woman, Dr. Foo, who is a Food Scientist with a doctorate and everything! She is quite the entertainer, as well. Here's a link to her site

At first, Jeff seemed a little hesitant because he thought he would be the only man there. He almost was. But we got there, and the restaurant was beautiful and Dr.Foo was very sweet, funny, and you could tell she was incredibly knowledgeable in her field. Not only does she own Satay, she also owns one of our favorite places to get Dim Sum, Get Sum Dim Sum. It's good stuff... always fresh and never off the cart... I digress.

Anyway, we sat in a class of about 14 people, and all had a seat with a plate and utensils and wine and water glasses. She was set up at the front of the class with a slide show projector showing photos of Thailand and many different dishes from Thailand. She taught us how to make spring rolls (delicious spring rolls) and emphasized that all of her dishes are carefully created to include as many nutrients as possible, because, as a food scientist, that is the most important. She also emphasizes texture, making sure you include many textures in a dish makes it more satisfying. The spring rolls were easy enough to learn and we did some hands-on training.

Then she taught us how to make a beef-tip salad, pad Thai, a dish called the DWI, which is a spicy version of pad see ew. I may not be spelling these correctly. Lastly, we learned how to make a dessert smoothie from Thai tea leaves. We got to eat all of the dishes she taught us to make and took home the recipes and instructions to recreate them at home. I am so happy with what I learned, and Jeff LOVED the class! We had a lot of fun in there together. I wish I had taken some photos, but I was too enraptured to do anything but listen and take notes.

I am really proud of myself for making sure that Jeff and I continue getting out of the house and learning and doing new things. I think it's very important for us to do that, especially because we are inclined to stay home and just be lazy. I don't want to waste my life sitting at home and doing nothing every single day. Even though we don't have a lot of money, there are always ways you can get creative and get out of the house. Which is why I want to share with you guys my favorite sites that help me get out on a budget, Living Social and Groupon, they are in almost every large city and many small ones as well.

Yes, there is something in it for me if you join, mostly just credits towards my next daily deal, but that's not why I'm sharing it with you. I know a lot of my friends are in the same boat, and everyone is looking for a good deal! They have half off at delicious restaurants, they have fun outings (like my flying trapeze class, horseback riding, etc). You never know what deal is coming next!

Not much else going on. Next week we have our Taste of Austin event, which should be fun, and then I start my 30 day balanced oxidizer diet to take off 5 of the 10 lbs I gained recently. I only meant to gain 5. Ugh. It's for the best, it's an eating plan that helps you eat for your body type, and you get to regulate the calories. I'm going to do that through the free website, which is SUPER helpful for those of you who want to count calories.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Big Life Questions You Never Really Know How To Answer

When I was single, the question was always "When are you going to settle down?" (or in my family's case, they made bets on how young I would get married).

When I was dating, the question was either "When are you going to dump that loser and find someone worthy of you?" or "When are you going to get married?"

When I was married, very quickly into my marriage, I started getting "So, when are we going to have little Hoketungs running around?" or "When do I get grandbabies?" you get the picture...

I've never been good at answering these questions. You cannot really plan these things. I mean, to some degree you can. But my mind changes on a regular basis... regular enough to give me great pause in deciding to do something as PERMANENT as bringing a child into this world. I've been giving it an exceptional amount of thought lately. I don't want to get to an age where having children is a more difficult task, but I also don't want to rob myself of my own youth by having a baby prematurely. I'm selfish, and I enjoy being selfish and focusing on Jeff, Me, and my baby kitties who fulfill me very nicely. I don't want to rock the boat anymore than the shift in careers, the purchase of a new (sexy) vehicle, and the prospect of growing my business is rocking it. But last month I thought I was ready.

Last month I was all about it. Let's have a baby! They are so cute! They bring so much to your life.. blah blah blah. And then I saw it for what it really was. I went and took FLYING TRAPEZE lessons. We are talking dangerous stuff! Ok, it's not like I was in any real life-threatening stuff, but I could not have done that if I had children at home. You cannot be a responsible parent and risk your life like that. It's just not OK. Not till the kids are grown. This Thursday, my husband and I are going to take a Thai cooking class... also something you can't do till your kids are older or you book a babysitter. $cha-ching!$ There are so many things I want to do still. So many goals unreached.

I have so many dreams, hopes, and wishes... and I don't want to give those up. I don't want to lose myself, or any of the things I have on my wish list to have a kid, when I have at least 5 good years that I can wait. Give me 2 or 3 years to chase my dreams before I have to put them on the backburner for what could be forever. Does that make me immature? Selfish? Maybe... but I think the alternative is worse. Say I have a baby. Say I RESENT that baby (who did not choose to be born) because I felt it held me back from my dreams. That's not fair. That isn't right. And I don't want to resent my babies. I want to love them and charish them.

I want to be in a place in my life where I can provide for my children, comfortably, without losing that precious quality time with them. I want to be in a place where Jeff doesn't have to be gone all the time just so Jeff Jr. can play peewee soccor. I could change my mind tomorrow.

But I wanted to put this out there, and I have TONS of friends with babies, and I am in NO way saying you made the wrong decision. This is about ME and ONLY me. My personality is such that I may not be ready yet. And if it happens on accident, I would welcome it with open arms. I just... I just don't have the answer to the question, "when will you have a baby?" It could be never, and it could be this year. Who knows?

Blog Out.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Flying Trapeze Lessons!

Today I took a Flying Trapeze lessons! It was AMAZING!!!

I realize I am an adrenaline junkie. Today I crossed one more adventure off my bucket list (though I may return for more!). Ever since I saw Cirque Du Solei, I was jealous of the trapeze artists, the contortionists, and those who obviously got an earlier start at doing such awesome things with their lives. A few years ago, I decided I am NEVER too old to try new things, thus I started Gymnastics, and making a mental list of all the things I needed to do.

Learning to do the Flying Trapeze was NOT on the list, because I had no idea you could even take lessons! But thanks to Living Social Deals, I found that the lessons DO exist, and they exist right here in Austin, TX.

So today I went, and I learned, and I was cold and scared, and exhilerated!

1st off, I was late. I had to drive all the way south to Slaughter Lane and Manchaca, which is about 45 minutes away from me. I made, though, and after I signed the waiver, the teacher got right into the lesson, teaching me how to swing my body and get my legs over the bar so I can hold on with my hamstrings and calves. It's hard to explain. It was nice, though, cause the teacher kept commenting on how light I was! Made me feel good about myself.

Then we had to climb this ridiculously huge latter, hang half of our feet off the edge, arch our backs and pop our hips out, and hold the bar straight, and then jump. After the jump we were supposed to get our knees in the bar, and let go and then do a backflip off the bar. It was pretty terrifying, but it was so awesome. Here's my 2nd try at it:

In the end of class, we tried to do catch and releases. I never actually got to the catching part because I kept messing up the knees part due to some of my gymnastics training working against me, and some of my fear keeping me from keeping my eyes on my hands like I was supposed to. Here's the 2nd video (my last turn on the bar):

I feel so ALIVE!!!!! Class was from 4-6pm today, so I've only been out of class for 2 hours now, and I just stopped shaking! Mostly I was shaking because I had so much adrenaline going through my veins, but I was also freezing in there! It was so cool, I may just have to do it again!

And finally, a picture of me with my instructor and the people who made sure I didn't die.

Flying Trapeze Thursday

Guess where I'm going to be today?

Flying on a Trapeze. That's right. BE JEALOUS, BE VERY JEALOUS!!!!!!

That's all. I'll come home and blog about it tonight :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Yesterday, my husband and I went to the Korean grocery store in Austin. We went there with the purpose of obtaining a few ingredients to make REAL miso soup, ingredients hard to come by at HEB or Sprouts. It was really cool, like stepping out of America and into Asia if only for a brief moment. Then I saw the price tags and reality slapped me back into America.

They sell all kinds of cool things in there, you really should go check out an Asian marketplace some time. I've been to Taiwan, and I can say from what I remember, the grocery store I went to yesterday was nothing like a Taiwanese market, but it's still closer than you can get anywhere else except maybe NYC.

So we picked out some cool foods. We got some rice cakes filled with sweet red bean paste (I LOVE sweet red bean paste, you seriously have to try it before you judge how gross it sounds), some frozen rice and bean paste steamers (kind of like Dim Sum), and our miso paste, seaweed, bonito flakes, etc.

Afterward, I needed to pick up a new Cerulean blue for my painting, and on the way we saw this Korean BBQ and Sushi (odd combo? yeah...) place and decided we had to try it after our experience at the Grocery store. My sister lived in Korea for a few years, so I remembered her telling me about Bimibop. She said it was amazingly delicious. I tried it. It was pretty good. But probably not as good as what she had. Jeff told me it wasn't as good as he's had in the past. But it was really fun. They give you all these tiny appetizers and their miso soup was really tasty.

What I realized after that fun cultural experience, was that I really can explore other cultures without having to travel. Now I cannot get the full experience, I can't see it without some sort of American influence, but I don't have to resign myself to never expanding my horizons. I've been waiting to get the money so we can go explore other worlds, when I haven't explored the worlds in my own backyard!

So from now on... I am going to start venturing into other cultural venues, trying out new places, and new tastes. I'm going to start cooking more diversely. I want to learn to make sushi at home, and find out where I can get the freshest ingredients. I am going to try out new Farmer's Markets, and attempt growing my own veggies. I am going to become a more well-rounded person with more skills and more knowledge.

After our very filling lunch, Jeff and I made it home. I was so full, I realized I needed to go for a walk to get some of the food to digest a little faster. It really helps. At this point, I was going on less than 5 hours of sleep. I had pulled a late-nighter, and had to get up at 6 am to train my Sat. morning. I was exhausted. So instead of a walk, I laid on the couch and commenced my reading of Stephen King's IT. Side note here - IT is the most engrossing of the Stephen King novels that I've read so far. IT really captivates my attention. I love IT!!! hehe.

Jeff had to go fix his mom's roof before the rain started. So while he was off being a slave, I decided that despite my exhaustion, despite my absolute stubborn will to NOT workout, that I was going to go do Sprint Intervals. I forced myself off the couch, forced my shoes on, and made myself go outside.

The minute I was outside, I felt this rush of happiness. Sunlight! People were out, too! Out at the park, and walking around, messing with their yards. It was nice! I had several old people smile and wave at me... enough that I was a little worried I had something on my face. I had my headphones in, listening to some inspirational Linkin Park music (I'm not being sarcastic, the music they make sends adrenaline through my veins at warp speed). The minute the song hit the peak of the emotional high, I took off! 30 seconds at full speed, 60 seconds of recovery. I found this great road near my neighborhood that no one drives down, I went up and down that thing for 8 sets, then did the last 2 on my way back to my house. It was amazing! It was harder than normal due to the tiredness, and probably the food wanting to come back up, but it was WORTH it! It felt so good!

I loved it so much, I went home, got some water, and took back off, outside, for 2 more sets, and then a long, bouncy walk, to more fun music, such as "Jeffe" by Daddy Yanke. It's a good song. I had a spring in my step, and I felt amazing. Exercise is something that makes you feel whole with your body, and when you do it outside, you feel like you're finally part of the world that God created just for you. I don't spend enough time outside.

By the time I got back home, it was almost dark, the winds were picking up, and sprinkles had started. Jeff got home, brought some friends over with him, we ate the roast I'd started in the morning and played Rock Band 3 with a real keyboard and a real drum set. I love our friends, I love our home, I love my job, and I love being outdoors. I am truly thankful for such a perfect day on so little sleep.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I want to blog... but I haven't much to blog about

So, the New Year's Resolutions are going well. I did slip up yesterday in a waiting room and eat a breath mint that had sugar in it (oops) but I will not let that get me down. All it does is make my resolve not to eat sugar stronger. I've also been doing better about working out, and not eating artificial sweeteners (even though I ate some artific. flavored gum the other day on purpose). I am growing stronger and will fight my baser instincts.

I started back up in my Oil Painting class yesterday. I am so excited about my next project. At first I was really overwhelmed, which is why I need to be in this class, but John helped me out a lot, and helped me look at the painting with a better perspective. It's going to be gorgeous. I plan on giving this painting to my Dad. I promised one to him first, on his last birthday, which was in July... sorry Dad. I started one for him, but realized I am not a tree painter, and scrapped it.

Next week is my Flying Trapeze lesson!!!! I am scared, but more excited than anything else. We actually have a good line-up of things to do this month. Wanna know what I have in store for us? Of course you do!

1. Doing my hair tomorrow
2. Oil Painting once a week till I'm famous
3. Flying Trapeze lesson next week
4. Taking a Thai Cooking Class in 2 weeks!
5. Starting up a Bootcamp... if you want info, click here, or here
5. Going to Taste of Austin where we get to sample the best restaurants' food, and decide where we want to start going more regularly! YUM!

I think that's enough for 1 month.

In other good news, I am finally insured this month, health-wise! YAY! Now I can go to the doctor and find out what's going on with me.

Not that anything is.

But if it were... you know...

I have insurance.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

I'm ready for 2011, the question is.... is 2011 ready for me?

We rang in the New Year with Friends and Family. It was fun. It was tame. But it was fun. As is tradition in my family and many other families that are non-alcoholic, we drank Sparkling Apple Cider, Sparkling Grape Juice, and I found Sparkling Strawberry Juice. Delish!

We also played some fun games, including "Loser" and another game who's name slips my memory.

That's not the purpose of this post. The purpose is to write down my New Years Resolution list. Because it is the year 2011, I will be writing 11 resolutions. I promise only 3 are dietary :)

1. Completely cut out Cane Sugar for the Month of January, and allow only VERY limited amounts after a full month off. I cut it out for 90 full days last year and I felt better than ever, and I just want to feel that way again.

2. Completely cut out artificial sweeteners/artificially sweetened sodas (Diet drinks)/any man-made chemical sweetener. This does not include Stevia or Xylitol.

3. Cut out all carbs but Rice and Quinoa, most of the other's just simply aren't nutritionally dense enough to be worth the calories.

4. Work out at least 5 days/week, preferably 6.


6. Visit my Mom in DC and take a painting class with her.. if possible

7. Join a Kickboxing Gym or take a Pilates Class just so I can work out with other people for a change... it gets lonely working out alone.

8. Resume Oil Painting Lessons and stick with them until EVERY person I deem worthy of a Caitlin Hartung Original gets one

9. Expand my business/Grow my business

10. Come to a good compromise with Akira and her peeing problems.

11. Force the Calderwoods to become my Neighbors >:} Bwuahahahahahaha!!!!