Monday, November 23, 2015

Life Lately 11/23/15

Hey hey, everyone!  How's it going?  It's been quite a while since I've regularly blogged, so let's quickly catch up, shall we?

-This fall has been busy, busy, busy (as always)!  I absolutely love everything going on in the fall, but we've sure had a busy one around here!  We took a trip to Athens, GA in late September,
had visitors in early October for Baby Fish's baptism,
attended quite a few high school football games on Friday nights,
With my co-worker Erika
traveled to Gainesville for our friends Chris and Taylor's wedding,
Beautiful background for their vows
got dressed up for Halloween,

went up to Richmond for my 10-year high school reunion and to see Kristie, Joe, and their baby!!,

and my mom came down for a visit.

Phew!!  Busy, busy!  But lots of fun, of course.  Things aren't slowing down any time soon, either, with Thanksgiving travels next weekend, and then all of the Christmas excitement!  Maybe we'll rest a little in January?

-Having a child and teaching is a lot harder than I imagined.  I knew that going back to work after having Baby Fish would be hard, but I was NOT prepared for just how different and challenging it is!

When I come home now, all I want to do is hang out with Baby Fish after not seeing her all day.  Then, after she goes to bed, I have chores to do and preparations for the next day (bottles, lunch packing, etc.).  Once all of that gets done, it's right around my bedtime!  I don't have much relaxing time, much less time for any grading or lesson planning.  

At first, it was really affecting my job.  I wasn't getting my lesson plans done until the night before, and grading took over a week sometimes!  Thankfully, I finally feel like I've gotten more efficient with my home/family responsibilities and can get some school stuff done in the evening.  It sure has taken a little bit to get there, though!

Side note: I do all of this with my wonderful husband, and I feel like I'm running around crazy.  This makes me have mad respect for all the single parents out there!  How y'all do it and keep it all together, I have no idea.  You really are super heroes!

-We're in the process of buying a house!  Looking at houses is taking up our evenings now, and we sure have looked at a bunch of them!  I think we're finally honing in on what we want, so hopefully this process will be over soon.  It's taken a little longer to find one than I expected, but as our realtor said, it's a big decision and a lot of money to invest, so we should take as long as we need!

-I finally joined a gym and have a gym buddy.  One of my coworkers and I got a buy one-get one membership together and have been going to some gym classes together.  She's also a new mom, so we're doing a good job keeping each other accountable!  It feels great to be back in the gym and working out again.

I'm also now in training for the runDisney Glass Slipper Challenge in February!  I haven't done such a good job keeping up with my training plan, but I have at least gotten in about 2 runs a week over the last two weeks.  

Aaaaaand I think we're all caught up!  I should be back on the blog tomorrow and Wednesday before enjoying Thanksgiving with family.

Have a great Monday!

Question for you: What have you been up to during my blogging break?

Friday, November 6, 2015

Hemp Hearts Review + GIVEAWAY!

Disclaimer: I was sent one package of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts in exchange for an honest review as a Sweat Pink Ambassador.  All opinions are my own.

What do you use to add nutritional value and staying power to your meals?  There are a lot of different ways to do this, but a common answer is increase your protein.  In my mind, I hear that and think "add meat", but there are a lot of other ways to add protein to a meal.  One of those things is using seeds or nuts.  I recently was sent Hemp Hearts (aka raw shelled hemp seeds) from Manitoba Harvest to try, and they were a fantastic way to add nutrition and staying power to my meals!
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I decided to try this product at all three meals to see how versatile they are.  Spoiler alert: they were easy to incorporate and added value to all three meals!

At Breakfast
I first tried my Hemp Hearts during breakfast time.  I topped my morning oatmeal with a sprinkle of hemp hearts in addition to my normal peanut butter and really enjoyed it!
They didn't change the taste, but they really did add to the staying power of my oatmeal, keeping me full for an additional hour.  After I first tried it, I've been using them at breakfast time ever since.

At Lunch 
Next up, I decided to incorporate Hemp Hearts into my lunches.  I started packing salads to take to school for lunch, and I added a sprinkle of hemp hearts for a week.

They added a slight crunch to my salad, which was a nice change of texture.  It also added staying power to my lunch.  Without changing anything else about what I packed, and I wouldn't need to eat my afternoon snack until I got home when I used Hemp Hearts on my salad.

At Dinner
I needed some inspiration for how to use Hemp Hearts during dinner, so I turned to the Manitoba Harvest website.  They have some great recipes that incorporate Hemp Hearts into every meal or snack possible!

The verdict on Hemp Hearts: I love them!  This is definitely a product I would use in the future, particularly because of the staying power they add to each meal.  As a teacher and a breastfeeding mom, I need my meals to fill me up as much as possible.

And now it's YOUR turn to try Hemp Hearts!  The people at Manitoba Harvest are gracious enough to offer one package of Hemp Hearts to one lucky reader.  All you need to do is enter to win below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends at midnight on 11/15.  One prize per person. If you win this giveaway, and have already won another prize from Manitoba Harvest through another blog, please disclose that you have already won so we can choose another winner. 

Question for you: Have you tried Hemp Hearts before?  What do you add to your meals for added health benefits and staying power?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

2015 Goals: Three-Quarter-Year Check-In

Hey, everyone!  Long time, no talk!  I've been busy with life and getting our routine down.  Now that things are finally in a groove, I'm starting to add "extra" things (like blogging) back in to the schedule.  Plus, I've missed y'all!

I'll do a catch-up post here soon, but for now, let's reflect on my 2015 goals.  Believe it or not, we are in the second to last month of 2015!  I started reflected on them at the end of September, but never finished this post.  So, let's talk about progress toward those goals today!  Better late than never, right?.

1. Memorize 24 verses of Scripture through the Siesta Scripture Memory Team.
Unfortunately, I have not made this goal a priority since mid-February.  However, I'm not going to give up for the rest of the year!  I'm going to commit to keeping up with this goal for the remainder of the year.  While I may not memorize 24 verses of Scripture over the year, I can still equip myself with about 12 verses this year!

2. Be the mother God would have me be.

I sure do pray that I am being the mom that God will have me be!  I know for sure that being Baby Fish's mom is definitely my #1 priority right now, and I have really adjusted my daily activities to reflect that.  It has taken some time, but I really feel like we are in a groove with getting things done and still having fun together!
She's definitely a blessing to us, and I am so thankful that I am her mother!

3. Run the Richmond Marathon in November*.
Well, I haven't been talking about marathon training on the blog, so I think this one is pretty obvious: I decided not to sign up for the Richmond Marathon this year.  I wasn't keeping up with my running when it was time to start training, so I knew that properly training for my first marathon was probably not going to happen.

I also have not signed up for a fall half marathon, which is probably a really good thing after falling and spraining my foot.  My running focus for the rest of the year is going to be  training for the runDisney Glass Slipper Challenge during Princess Half Marathon weekend in February.
I started my training plan last week and will focus on sticking to that plan for the rest of the year.

4. Take care of daily chores first.
While they may not be the very first thing I take care of every single day, I am definitely getting chores done around the house!  I usually get them done while Baby Fish naps when we get home and after she goes to bed at night.  I'm definitely doing well at meeting this goal!

5. Meal Plan to ensure healthy eating and saving money.
Since school started at the beginning of August, I've been doing a really good job of this!  I'll make a rough plan of what we'll eat during the week and grocery shop according to those plans.  It's made making dinner each day so much easier because I know exactly what I'll be making and am able to prepare for it beforehand.  It's also helped us use up the perishable items before they go bad, which makes me happy because we aren't wasting food or money!

Overall, I'd say doing well with 3 of my 5 goals for the year is doing pretty good, considering all of the life changes this year has brought.  Making progress toward those 3 goals will hep me be able to focus on the other two, which are goals that pretty much put me first,, for the rest of the year.

Question for you:  What are your goals for the rest of the year?

Friday, October 2, 2015

Friday Five: Favorite Fitness Bloggers

To say I've been lacking in the fitness-related posts (or any other type of post, for that matter) lately is an understatement!  I have, however, continued to read my favorite fitness blogs while I've been on my maternity leave/getting back in the groove hiatus.

Today's Friday Five topic is Favorite Fitness Bloggers, so I thought I'd share mine with you!
While I read many more fitness blogs, I chose these five bloggers because of how awesome they are.  They're all so different, too!  Hopefully today's post will introduce you to some new fitness bloggers that will also strike a chord with you!

Julie from Peanut Butter Fingers
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Julie's blog was one of the first fitness blogs I started reading and ultimately inspired me to start my own!  Her commitment to and consistency of working out has always impressed and motivated me.  She also posts great workouts that meet a wide variety of needs (treadmill, at home, cardio, lifting, etc.)!  Julie just had her first child about 3 months after I did, so I'm hoping that her return to fitness will help me get my butt back to the gym (literally and figuratively!).

Annette from Enjoy Your Healthy Life
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Annette is another great influence in my fitness journey, as she is also consistently working out and super positive about it!  She is a Les Mills instructor and shares some great reviews of the program releases, which I love reading after taking the classes myself.  Another thing I love about Annette's blog is her posts about faith and family.  Her faith in God is so evident, and I love that she is a positive light for Him while also sharing about her health and fitness journey.  She's also just had a baby (her second), and I've used her blog posts as references quite often while preparing for and dealing with Baby Fish thus far.

Kathryn from From Dancing to Running
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Kathryn's blog is a favorite of mine because of her focus on running.  What drew me in to her blog is that we were at a very similar running pace.  I loved reading about her training, because it was so relatable!  Since then, she's done an excellent job of training and increasing her pace, and it's been great proof of what can happen if I were to stay as committed to my training!  Fun fact: Kathryn is also pregnant with her first baby and has kept up with her running while pregnant!  You go, girl!

Chelsea from Chelsea Eats Treats
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Not all the blogs I read feature new or soon-to-be moms!  Chelsea is a 20-something living in DC who does a great job of keeping her fitness routine fun and interesting.  She's always trying out new workouts that sound like so much fun.  I love reading her reviews of these workouts, as well as seeing how well she balances her healthy living with plenty of fun, as well.  Something that makes her blog unique is all the travel she does.  I enjoy living vicariously through her travel reviews (and watching how she stays active all over the world, as well!).

Erika from MCM Mama Runs
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Erika writes another running blog that I love!  Her goal is to run a half marathon in every state, and it's fun watching her meet that goal!  I also appreciate her honesty and willingness to admit defeat.  Life gets in the way of fitness and running, and I love that Erika shares everything with her readers--the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I have to say thank you to three other ladies that also have pretty awesome fitness blogs (Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia) for the Friday Five link-up!

Question for you: What are your favorite fitness blogs?  What do you like about them?

Hope you have a great weekend, everyone!  People on the East Coast, please stay safe with all the rain and the possibility of Hurricane Joaquin!