Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Five: Favorite Fall Foods

I apologize for my lack of posting this week!  I had some ideas for yesterday's post, but they never came to fruition.  Hopefully, this weekend, I can put those ideas together and have them ready to go for next week :)

Anyone else excited it's Friday?  Joe and I have a weekend of no plans, so I'm looking forward to some relaxation these next two days (oh, and some Virginia Tech football, of course!).  But before we get to the weekend, let's talk fall foods today!

I'm linking up with the DC Trifecta bloggers (Eat Pray Run DC; You Signed Up For What?!; and Mar on the Run) today for the Friday Five.  Today's theme is "Favorite Fall Foods."  How appropriate with Thanksgiving right around the corner!

1. Hot Apple Cider
Image Source (links to a recipe!)
Not only is this temperature perfect for the weather, but the apple flavor and the spices are the epitome of fall!  I love warm drinks, and apple cider is my go-to during the fall.

2. Casseroles
Fall makes me think of Thanksgiving, and casseroles are my favorite dishes in the spread!  There's a great mix of vegetables in casseroles with some sort of tasty topping.  Some of my favorite casseroles: green bean casserole, broccoli casserole, and this pineapple casserole!

3. Stuffing
Image Source (another link to a recipe)
Speaking of Thanksgiving, stuffing is another traditional food that tops my favorite fall foods.  I love bread, and stuffing is essentially flavored bread.  I'm a big fan!  Plus, there's so many different ways to make stuffing.  I actually had some quinoa stuffing the other day at Joe's clinic's pot luck, and it was really good!  I'm trying to get the recipe, and I'll share it with you if I can.

4. Soup
Image Source
It must have something to do with the cooler weather, but I always want hot foods in the fall.  Soup is one of those foods that I never really want during the rest of the year but always crave during the fall.  Nothing like a bowl of chicken noodle soup or tomato soup to warm up when it's cold outside!

5. Hearty Crock-Pot Meals
Again, continuing the warm foods trend: I always want something warm for dinner during the fall.  Crock pot meals with meat, veggies, and some rice are perfect for sticking to you, as well as warming you up for an evening of snuggling on the couch with a blanket!  Some of my favorite crock pot recipes can be found on my crock pot challenge recap post.

Thanks to Courtney, Cynthia, and Mar for hosting the link-up!  Click over to their blogs to see other bloggers and their favorite fall foods.  Have a great weekend :)

Question for you: What are your favorite fall foods?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Insta-spiration #2

Hey everyone!  Hope your Wednesday is off to a great start :)  It's a cold one down here in Florida--it was 38 degrees when I got in my car!  
Now, I know those of you up North have much colder temperatures, but going from lows in the 60's to lows in the 30's is a drastic change for the Floridians!

Anyway, let's get on to today's post.  Between being really tired and busy this week, I just needed a little inspiration to get moving this morning.  Thanks to a search of #inspirational on Instagram, I found these images and just wanted to share them with you!  You can see my last Insta-spiration post here 

(All of these images were found on Instagram, and I do not know the original post-er to give credit.)

Good point!
Need this as my running pace slows!
Yup...needed to hear that!
True story!
Why wait?  Today is a good day!
Good philosophy for life!
Truth!!
I liked this image :)
Side note: It's funny to me the differences in the images I chose for my first Insta-spiration post as compared with these.  Obviously, I'm in a different stage of life, and I know I'm much more reflective about choices that I'm making and how they affect Baby Fish and the future of our family!  We all need different things at different times!

I hope some of these resonated with you if you're feeling a little down today.  Have a great Wednesday!

Question for you: What are some of your favorite inspirational quotes?  Anyone I should follow on Instagram that posts a lot of good ones?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pregnancy Update: 21 Weeks + Second Ultrasound!

Pregnancy Update: 21 Weeks
How far along? 21 weeks (and two days)

Baby Bump progress: sorry for the blurry picture :(


Baby's Size? a pomegranate!  About 7 inches long and around 11 ounces in weight

What's happening this week?  
  • Baby is tasting what I eat when swallowing amniotic fluid
  • Arms and legs are in proportion
  • Bones and neuron connections are developing
Total weight gain/loss: up 8 pounds as of yesterday since my first doctor's appointment

Stretch marks? just the two around my armpits :( They still aren't deep (they really just look like an indention created from sleeping on a clump of shirt/blanket), so I'm doing my best to prevent them from getting any worse!

Sleep: still sleeping well!  I have had some very strange dreams lately, though...I wonder if that's from the pregnancy, or just a coincidence!

Best moment this week: First, we got to see Baby Fish moving around during the ultrasound yesterday!  Then, I got some news this week that is really exciting, but I can't share that yet!  Third place would go to getting back to a more regular workout schedule.  While I still didn't fully meet my goals, I was really happy to get back to BodyPump, especially.  I took it easy, since it was my first time going in about 10 weeks,but I still definitely got a good workout!  The muscle soreness was definitely a feeling I missed!
Miss anything?: my normal running pace, not going to the bathroom so often, and wearing pants comfortably!

Movement: yup, I know for sure now that I'm feeling baby movements!  He/she feels pretty active when I sit for long periods of time and after I eat anything sweet :)

Food cravings: Chocolate!  Now there's none of that in the house, so I can't eat it any more!

Anything making you queasy or sick: some scents from the trash/things going bad in our fridge--just some nausea though, no sickness *knocks on wood*

Gender: our ultrasound tech knows, but we don't!  We'll find out when Baby Fish is born :)

Labor Signs: none (thankfully!)

Symptoms: 
  • Emotional--TV and reading articles online have gotten to me this week!
  • "nesting"--I've started wanting to organize and deep clean the whole house!
  • some cramps due to my stomach-area growing
  • indigestion/gas
  • still a little forgetful, but luckily I still have energy!

Belly Button in or out? in

Wedding rings on or off? on

Happy or Moody? Happy, but reading certain articles and/or watching some things on TV have made me emotional!  Thanks, hormones!

Funny moments this week: this weekend, I watched Fin, the dog that we call Tequila's boyfriend.  The two of them just play non-stop, but every now and then they'd take a break and come over and lick me.  
Tequila seems to know not to step on my stomach now when she jumps up on the couch with me, but Fin does not!  He's about 80 pounds, and a few times he'd jump up and step right on my stomach!  It was kind of funny trying to get two dogs off of me, but luckily everything is fine with the baby!

Looking forward to: beginning to shop for/register for baby stuff this week!  My plan for the weekend is to start looking around for some baby items.  When people ask me what I want for Christmas, really all I can think to say is baby stuff!  I guess that means it's time to register for some things :)  This should be fun!  I guess while I'm out, I may as well as go ahead and get some maternity clothes...

Exercise this week: I've done a pretty good job of exercising this week!  Let's take a look:
Tuesday: 2.34 mile run around the neighborhood

Wednesday: hour-long BodyPUMP class 
Thursday: rest day
Friday: 20-minute walk with Joe and Tequila
Saturday: Take Stock in Children Strides for Educaton 5K + walk with Tequila
Sunday: rest day
Monday: planned for a walk, but it was so rainy until after dark :( bummer!
This coming week, my goal is to run 3x this week, walk every day that I'm not running, and get in at least 1 strength training workout (hopefully BodyPUMP on Wednesday).

Baby Fish Feature: Second Ultrasound!!
On Monday afternoon, Joe and I went in to the OBGYN for the second ultrasound!  During this scan, they check the anatomy, take measurements for the current growth, and you can find out the gender if the baby cooperates!

The ultrasound tech showed us the vital organs (you can see the brain through its head! Weird!) and said that everything looks good.  She also said that based on measurements, Baby Fish is probably 13 ounces right now. The doctor told us everything looks normal and that the due date is accurate based on all the measurements they took!
Baby Feet!
It was also really cool to get to see Baby Fish in action.  He/she was curled up in a ball with his/her hands around the face, and at one point it looked like it could be talking on a cell phone!  Too cute!  Unfortunately, Baby Fish was hiding behind the hands and we couldn't get a the 3-D picture of the face.  Bummer!  We did get a profile picture, however, and you can see a little fist just past the face.
Seeing Baby Fish just makes this all the more real, and I wish I got ultrasounds more often than I do!  I can't wait to meet the little guy or gal in late March!

Question for you: have you ever had an ultrasound done on anything?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Disney's Wine and Dine Half Marathon Recap Part 2: Race and Finish Line Party

Yesterday, I recapped my experiences from the expo leading up to the start of the Wine and Dine Half Marathon at Disney World this past weekend!  Let's pick up right where we left off with the start of the race.
When it was time for my corral to start, I took off the trashbag poncho I was wearing and realized the full extent of the rain.  It wasn't pouring, but it was a steady rain.  I was nervous to run in the rain (as I've never done it before), but we were off and I had 13.1 miles to run through the parks of Disney World!

After leaving ESPN's Wide World of Sports (they were blasting the ESPN theme music as we left that area--so fun!), we headed toward Animal Kingdom.  I ran for about 7 minutes at the start of the race to let the crowd thin out and the course to widen before starting my 3/1 run/walk intervals.

The first 5K was kind of a boring stretch, as we just ran along Osceola Parkway toward Animal Kingdom.  They did have a DJ with a sweet light-up car along the way, and there was a character stop with the Country Bears (though they walked away as I was running by).  I'm sure the rain changed the plans for the entertainment along the way, so that wasn't really anything Disney could control.

After reaching the 5K mark, we made our way in to Animal Kingdom!  I have never actually been to this park, so I was really excited to run through it.
There was jungle-themed music playing over the speakers and a few characters along the way.  I stopped to get my picture taken with Timon, since Lion King is one of my favorite Disney movies!
The one downside in Animal Kingdom: the course got VERY narrow.  There wasn't a lot of room to get around slower people, and I felt bad doing my walking intervals while in such a tight spot.  We all kept moving the best we could, but I did enjoy checking everything out in the park!

Leaving AK (about the 10K mark), we headed back down Osceola Parkway toward Hollywood Studios.  Another boring stretch of race, but again, I know the rain probably changed some of the planned entertainment along the course.

Around mile 8, they had the Toy Soldier from Toy Story there encouraging the runners.  It was the perfect spot, as we were running up an overpass and right about the point where most of us hit a wall.  He did the same thing during Princess, so the encouragement was welcomed!
From this year's Princess Half
I was really excited to get in to Hollywood Studios!  I knew it was the last 1/3 of the race, and they had a lot of cool stuff in there.
The sorcerer's hat was lit up really cool, and they had a DJ playing music and encouraging us as we ran by.  They also had a tunnel set up with disco balls and music that we ran through.  I couldn't help but dance!  But, to top it all off, we got to run through a pretty spectacular display of Christmas lights!
I've read multiple accounts of this race talking about how awesome the Osbourne Family Lights were, and they were anything but wrong!  It was pretty breath-taking, and I enjoyed looking at all the lights and dancing to the Christmas music running through that part of the course.
We then exited Hollywood Studios and began running toward the Boardwalk area.  This was another highlight of the course!  It was a little tight, but we ran by some water and some of the gorgeous Disney resorts.  Everything was lit up, and it was just beautiful!
Before I knew it, we were in Epcot running toward the finish.  I'd finally completed Half Marathon #9...in the rain....while 19 weeks pregnant!
I finished with a time of 2:55:17.  Not my best by any means, BUT I never go in to Disney races expecting a competitive time.  I'm just looking for having fun on the course, and I certainly did that!
After getting through the finisher's area, which was a logistical nightmare, I made my way in to Epcot and met up with Joe for the Finish Line Party!
We rode a few rides and sampled some of the food at the International Food and Wine Festival.  We stopped by Hawaii and Scotland before deciding it was time to go home.  Just FYI: the potato pancake with smoked salmon at the Scotland both was DELICIOUS!  Before heading home, we made a stop in to ride Spaceship Earth (the ride in the big ball) and had a fun little photo op afterward.
So funny!  I'm glad Joe convinced me to go on that ride--I had no idea they did those funny photos at the end!

Some final thoughts about the Wine and Dine Half:
  • The course was GREAT!  I loved running through 3 parks instead of just 2 at the Princess Half.
  • It's hard to prep for a nighttime race--I had to stop at the porta-potties 3 different times during this race.  I didn't know how much water to drink throughout the day, and I'm sure being pregnant didn't help that situation!
  • I was so thankful that I brought my short-sleeved tech shirt and a hat to wear to keep myself warm and dry.  The hat (which I brought thanks to recommendations from the Team #runDisney Facebook group) kept the rain out of my eyes and helped hold some of my heat in, and the tech shirt kept me warm by keeping dry (for the most part) the tank top I was wearing underneath.  The other clutch rain gear: non-cotton socks.  I wore the Feetures! I received at the ZOOMA Chicago Half expo, and they kept my feet dry despite running through puddles the whole race!
  • I'm sure it was just the rain, but the finish line was a mess.  Normally, Disney has the logistics down pat, but it took forever to get my checked gear bag!  Plus, when I got it, the jeans I brought to change in to were wet.  I know there were a lot of us, but the Princess Half finish was much more smooth (and there were about 12,000 more runners at Princess!).  Also, I didn't even mess with the free beverage area!  I was going to get my free drink and give it to Joe, but it was such a mob scene, that I just left to go ahead and get in to my (semi) dry clothes.
Despite the rain, I loved this race!  I'm thinking I might have to do it again next year to get the full experience of wine and (hopefully) no rain :)

Question for you: Have you ever run a race in the rain?  Or a night race?  What Disney character would you have to stop for if you saw them along the course?