Sunday, June 30, 2013


Well this week didn't turn out as planned.

So remember all the goals that I created for myself on Monday? They turned out harder to achieve than I previously thought, because Mom ended up getting really ill with pneumonia, and yours truly has been trying to keep the house and nerves together! Luckily she's feeling much better. :)

Here's a refreshment of all the goals I had decided upon:

  • Find a recipe/craft on Pinterest I did lots of cooking and baking, but no recipes were from Pinterest, so does that count or not?
  • Bake bread
  • Do a self-care activity
  • Get through 4 chapters in my book
  • Complete the workouts on my plan
  • Do 5 things for somebody else
Not too shabby, all things considering. There was no way in you-know-what that I felt like baking bread, it just wasn't happening. 

Here's how it all went down:

On the food front, I did a lot more 'creating' than I normally do. I used up the rest of our veggies in a super duper easy peasy quiche with a 100% whole wheat crust.

Mmmm it tasted like Mom's squash casserole she always makes on Thanksgiving - it had sauteed zucchini, onions, and, duh, squash.

Le kitchen looked lovely afterwards:

Mhm. I got my third OIAJ in 2 weeks since I snagged the last few spoonfuls again! Bwa ha ha ha. This one was technically OIASBJ, which made it extra super special.

I got to make dinner a couple of nights and go grocery shopping which made me a happy lady. I didn't take many pictures, but I made black bean, corn, and cheese enchiladas; quiche; Tex-Mex seasoned baked chicken with a bell pepper relish and sweet potato fries; and lemon pepper tilapia with Parmesan-sprinkled brown rice and green beans.

Self Care

Rebekah, Jonathan, and I headed out to see Monsters University after being cooped up in the house. Some day I will have a license!!

It was a completely adorable movie, and I loved all the easter eggs hinting at the first movie!!!

Friday, my sister, friend, and I went to see Now You See Me. It was a really good movie, and not too suspenseful, but enough to keep you guessing. I'd honestly be willing to see it again.

Zen we headed out to Brainfreeze for some froyo.

I got my whole plan in! Woo woo!

Monday: Strength training, full body

I set up a little area downstairs, complete with my yoga mat, 5-lb dumbells, and an episode of Friends. It was a 15 min workout, and yes, it left me sore.

Tuesday: 3 mile run

Ohgaw this run was HARD! I overslept (I was planning on getting out there at 8), and left the house at 10:15. Physically it was difficult - heat and running too soon after breakfast again - but I kept my pace steady and it ended up being one of my faster runs! Even though I say times aren't important to me, a 10 minute pace made me feel pretty good, considering a I walked more than usual and it was super hot. 

Wednesday: 35 minutes on the stationary bike

Woo I got a sweat sesh in on the biiiiikkkee. I have this habit of calling anything that I love to hate "stupid" out of hateful affection. For example, when I'm on the bike, I'm on the "stupid bike". When I run up Mt. Doom, I allow myself to walk up the "stupid hill" (the other hill in my neighborhood). I have this theory that this is because I wasn't allowed to say the word stupid when I was younger, so now this subconscious rebellion in me feels the need to refer to anything relatively unpleasant as, ya know, stupid. Maybe that's not the best mindset?!

So yeah. I got through 4 chapters on the stupid bike, which was knocking out two of my goals in one!

Thursday: 2.5 mile run, 10 minute arm routine

Yay for good runs - it ended up being really nice! Rather than going in the morning as originally planned, I waited until the evening. I liked it better than the morning, especially as a stress release of the day.



Saturday: 35 minute run with speed intervals

You guys, this morning reminded me of how mental running actually is. If your mindset isn't in it, then no matter how prepared you are physically, you aren't going to perform your best. Physically, I was good - I fueled and hydrated well before, but man - sometimes overthinking gets the better of me. I was going noticeably slower than I had planned on, my legs were sore, and I'm still adjusting to the heat that has sort of all of a sudden hit. So I got upset and frustrated at myself because after all, isn't this plan supposed to be helping me get faster and stronger? I was feeling pretty crappy!

Then I stopped abruptly, stretched out my legs, and cleared my mind. The rest of the run was wonderful! Nike's got it right: stop thinking, and just do it.



Let's be real here and say that no ab workouts were completed because I hate them and decided that running engages abs and therefore counts as ab-strengthening. I'll work on it.

Even though there were stressful parts of the week, I know what to change, how to change it, and it was a mostly good one! Froyo, mmmmm...........

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

WIAW: Rain, Rain, Go Away

 Good morning, loves! How's your week going?

It has been crazy weather around these parts - one minute it's storming and knocking down trees, the next it's sunny and warm. And humid. It's always humid.

But, I haven't let that dampen my spirits or rain on my parade (see what I did there? yah.) Any chance it's sunny I get outside and grab my bike, or go on a walk or run, assuming it's not wicked hot.

Anyways, let's get on with WIAW, as always hosted by the lovely Jenn. Yayayay for summer foods! I've said that before!!


A recent yogurt bowl: blueberry Oikos, Trader Joe's O's, nectarine, blob of peanut butter, sprinkle of cinnamon. This bowl is bursting with vitamins, minerals, and not to mention flavor! Great way to start of the day.

The best thing about being almost done with the peanut butter jar: overnight oats, holla! This one was oats, greek yogurt, a chopped nectarine, topped with sweet, plump raspberries. 

Look at all that peanut buttery goodness. Swoon.

It was so yummy it required 3 pictures. :) This kept me full for almost 4 hours (!!), which is rather unusual for me - I think it had to do with the fact that I took a run a leetle too soon after breakfast, and a little too late in the morn'.

My favorite lunch as of late has been a salad topped with a combo of vegetarian baked beans and brown rice. Dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream, and crunchy pepitas. Gah I need avocado!

I've eaten this 3 days in a row and the love is still going strong. Is it just me, or do none of my meals actually involve a recipe of any sort?!

Another recent lunch was a couple slices of a tragically beautiful quiche I made - first attempt! I didn't flute the crust out of pure laziness, but it tasted heavenly anyhow. Hey, look a recipe!

Veg out. Notice the bite taken out of the first piece. ;)

It was an eggy week! A dinner one night was whole wheat spaghetti, tomato sauce, squash, zucchini, onion, and fried egg on top (I don't do runny yolks). We were trying to use up what was i the fridge!

Sensible snacks:

Chobani Flip - Chocolate Raspberry, which was awesome! Me like chocolate.

More raspberries....

Oh look, more chocolate. Chocolate Cherry Torte Larabar eaten whilst watching Friends.

Aaaaaannnnnd a couple of freshly baked Apple Oatmeal Muffins. No savory snacks over herr.

So before I go, I have to mention these David's Tea flavors. I am completely and utterly in love with David's teas - the flavors are so delicious and they're full of awesome ingredients. Last night I sipped on their popular Forever Nuts, and it tasted like a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Ingredients: Apple, Cinnamon, Almonds, Beetroot (<---adds sweetness and makes the tea a light rosy pink!)

I bought a sampler so I could try a bunch of flavors, and so far my favorites are Coco Chai Rooibis (coconut chai with vanilla bean and cinnamon), Chinese Long-Life Oolong (sweet peach and mangoes in an oolong tea), Cranberry Pear (cranberries, pears, and spices), Oh Canada (maple, cinnamon, vanilla, and sprinkles), and Jessie's Tea (coconut, vanilla, and hints of lavendar.) And those aren't even half the flavors that I have to try!

Adios, amigos!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday Goals

I'm already almost halfway through summer break. What the what.

Today I want to lean more to the fitness side of my life and talk about what the dealio has been. 

Because I enjoy reading a lot of healthy living blogs, there are often times where I'm not really sure what kind of physical activity I like to get into. Everybody is different, and that changes activity habits, food preferences, nutritional opinions, so on. Being rather young in the blogging atmosphere can be hard at times, because sometimes rather than being inspired by blogs, I try to do what other bloggers are doing, even if it's not entirely working for me. 

That's the beauty of what I'm trying to accomplish right now - what works for me. I'm not going to feel guilty for not being able to (or frankly, wanting to) run a 10-miler or complete a Crossfit workout. I want to do what's best for my mind and body.

That being said, my runs and workouts have been really mediocre for me lately which is odd because I generally enjoy them, despite their difficulty level! I think it's 5% physical and 95% mental. I haven't been liking when I get too uncomfortable on my runs, and pshya, you can't get stronger/faster if you're too comfortable. I also don't really know how to get to my goals.

Hookay I'm getting long-winded as usual, so let's cut to the chase: I've been doing some research on how to be a stronger runner (mentally and physically), looking up training plans, and finding workouts that I know I would enjoy. I've also made a list of reasonable goals that I would like to accomplish during the week, and I'll update ya'll on Friday. So here goes:

  • Find a recipe and craft to complete on Pinterest
  • Bake bread 
  • Find a portrait to begin drawing
  • Do a self-care activity
  • Get through 4 chapters in my book
  • Do 5 things for somebody else

Those seem pretty reasonable, right?


My goals for fitness right now are really just to be stronger. I really just want to feel more difference in my strength, speed, and mentality. I never thought I'd use a plan, they just always seemed unappealing and rigid to me (the opposite of what I want my daily activity to be), but I found one that I'll follow and see how it turns out.
  • So I've looked at all sorts of different training plans and I really like this 5k training plan that involves a mix of running, speed workouts, strength, cross-training, and rest days. It's flexible, and it involves all of the ways I like to stay active, as opposed to a plan such as Couch to 5k which focuses mainly on running. I think this one is the best option to get stronger all around. I talked with my Mom about it, and she's good with it, and it totally fits into the guidelines of what my nutritionist is okay with. I'm excited!

In my research, I found a great post from No Meat Athlete on 7 simple ways to be a stronger runner. They're all really great and I think that I can follow through with them!

Above all, I need to keep my mentality in check. If I find myself getting discouraged, I need to realize that nobody's perfect. If I notice I'm getting obsessive or anxious, I need to step back and remember why I enjoy being active in the first place. If I'm feeling tired or run down, I need to remember that the plan is just a guideline, and if I need to rest on a day designated for a run, it's okay to just skip that day. And I also need to remember that this is all mostly because I enjoy it, not because I feel the need to exercise. 

Well this ended up being a more serious discussion than planned. All this to say, I'm super excited to reach my goals this week! Bring it.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Saturday Chat

Hey heeeyy.

Since I've been doing a bunch of recaps lately, I figured I'd just sort of babble talk about whatever. Let's chat, shall we?

1. I've been noticing that I'm waking up earlier and earlier, even without my alarm. I've kind of trained my body to just naturally wake up around 8ish, and now my eyes have been popping open 7 or 7:30, but I normally make myself stay in bed. I guess I'm just a night owl/early bird at the same time?

However, it does make me feel productive to actually get stuff done in the morning. This morning I got my run in before breakfast, which is practically unheard of!!! However, the temperature was waaayyy more ideal than when I wait later in the day.

2. While in New York, I mentioned visiting O&Co a couple of times. Mom ended up going back and buying some merchandise, but we didn't want to take it on the plane, so had it shipped to our house. Long story short, it's here! Excitement.

3. Another treat came in the mail for me:

I predict a marathon in the future.

4. Lately, I've been in kind of a weird rut. I'm still in the proverbial teenage "who am I?!" stage in life, and meh, sometimes it hits me hard. Also, college has been on the brain as of late. Sigh. Growing up.

5. Going along with #4, I've decided to start setting reasonable goals at the beginning of the week, and at the end of the week, assessing how many I was able to accomplish. I'm thinking about posting the goals on a Monday, and the outcomes on a Friday, just to keep myself accountable. I think it'll be fun!

6. Running this week has been kind of off for me. I keep having really so-so runs, so I've been thinking it's time to come up with a training plan to become a stronger runner (and just stronger overall). Post on it later!

7. Random, but the combo of nectarines and raspberries is completely divine. I've been putting them together at breakfast for the past three days!

I need to brighten and lighten my pictures more often - the colors on this one are so vibrant! Me like.

6. My current author obsessions are Michelle Moran and Lavender Ironside, who both wrote trilogies about ancient Egypt that I read. Right now I'm reading another Michelle Moran book about Madame Tussaud, and it seems to be the cause of my lack of sleep!

7. I'm getting a little cabin fever and have found myself outside more than last summer, even though we haven't gone to the pool nearly as much. I used to think outside was just for exercise, but I find that just swinging on the swingset, jumping on the trampoline, or sitting on the porch chatting with Rebekah are all fun things to do - it brings back a lot of good memories!

8. I tend to write 2 or 3 blog posts at a time - it's major ADD. I start on a post, and then while writing it get inspiration for another post, and while writing that one remember the topic I was going to use for another post. I really need to clear out my draft box.....

9. Sooooooooooo I really need to get some of my Pinterest stuff done. I have almost 3,000 pins and have completed maybe 2 crafts and 2 recipes. But most of my pins look more like this than anything:

10. As if there wasn't enough I love about summer, summer attire has now been added to that list. Slipping on sundresses and sandals, not worrying about makeup - it just makes life feel a little bit more relaxed.

Peace out, girl scouts!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

New York: The Last Day

Sigh. Today marks the day of my last recap, 6 in total. Hang in there! 6 days, 5 nights in New York.

I slept in about 30 minutes later than I had been, because we had only two places we were planning on going: back to Greenwich Village again to go to Rafele for lunch, the Met after, and then to the airport. Our flight wasn't until 8, so we had a good chunk of the day to get everything done.

Mom, Rebekah, and I actually had to run some errands to get some more luggage; we didn't have enough room in our carry-ons for souvenirs and our clothes, so we walked down a couple of blocks to get a couple of suitcases. I picked up a vanilla soy latte from Starbucks because it was chilly, windy, and rainy - I guess my body is just more accustomed to Georgia's hot, humid climate.

Use your imagination that this is my cup. :)

We took the subway to Greenwich Village, and for the third time, we ended up on another part of the neighborhood! We had to walk around a little bit to figure out where we were, but it was fine because Greenwich Village is just so scenic! I love the architecture and historic buildings.

When we finally found Rafele (thanks to Reibs who had been our navigator), we were all huuuunnnggrry.

The service was very quick, and we were seated and given slices of bread with olive oil for dipping. :) We gobbled the platter up we were so hungry!

Since we hadn't gone to many sit-down restaurants (I know, a shame in NYC - but mainly due to the fact we were so busy all the time), I challenged myself to order something I'd never had, and something I wouldn't ordinarily make at home.

The product was a salad course of "Insalata di Finnochio" - a shaved fennel salad with a light anchovy vinaigrette. 

The anchovy element might turn some people away, but it didn't bother me at all, and I honestly couldn't taste anything fishy! The main flavors that came through were lemon, olive oil, and definite spicy notes. It was a really good, and I shared some bites with the other chicas. ;)

Ever since the food tour, I had been thinking of the eggplant rolitini, but it wasn't on the menu!!!!! So I opted for the melanzana, which was essentially the same thing - eggplant, mozzarella, and tomato.

I mmmmmmm'd my way through this whole dish. It was perfection! I would have licked it clean, but I decided it would be more appropriate to use a piece of bread to soak up the remaining sauce and cheese. :)

Grammy ordered the same thing, and Mom and Rebekah ordered pasta dishes. Mom got spaghetti carbonara, and I can't remember what Rebekah got - it looks like a tomato sauce with breadcrumbs on top?

I had a bite (or two) of both, and they were delicious as well. Pancetta and house made pasta, yum.

Our waiter was really nice, and brought us a free slice of cheesecake because we came back from the food tour!

It was vanilla bean ricotta cheesecake finished off with a drizzle of strawberry sauce - SO DELICIOUS (I'm still thinking about it!), but it had no business being split between four people. ;) At least a couple bites are better than no bites!

On our way to the Met, I picked up another one of the white bean sandwiches from Amy's for the airport. Officially obsessed. Avocado, yo.

So we took the subway and ended up by the Museum of Natural History, which was the closest station to the Met. Which meant: walking through Central Park! I could have easily spend hours just leisurely walking through the park - it was a perfect day for it.

Dang I love that girl. We got sort of lost and ended up at seemingly random street - which headed right towards the Met! We took the scenic route apparently.

Unfortunately, getting lost caused us to be low on time so we had to pick up the speed through the museum.

The Met was amazing and my favorite place we went to. I felt so connected to history and culture. I took probably 200 pictures alone there, so here's some highlights from each exhibit - I hate to pick favorites, but I think that the Egyptian gallery might be my top, with 18th century European paintings in close second.




And the last exhibit we made it to was Greek and Roman art, and as you might guess, it was mostly
sculptures! It was very fascinating. I spared you the larger than life-size male sculptures...

We only stayed for 2 hours, which was not nearly enough time. :( There were so many more galleries that we wanted to get to, and we would have spent more time on each gallery that we actually did make it through. But alas, we had a plane to catch.

Traffic was horrible. It took over an hour to get to the airport, which was double the time it took on Sunday! But from what the cab driver told us, it was just normal Friday rush hour!!

At le airport....

On le plane....sandwich! I'm a hoarder so I also had a banana, apple, trailmix, Biscoff cookies, and a dark chocolate raspberry Pure Bar stuffed in my purse among other things.

I kid you not when I say I got a bit emotional looking at the skyline off in the distance!

Bye, NYC. I'll be seeing you again soon!