Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Five: 5 Necessities for Healthy Habits at Work

I'm constantly trying to maintain my healthy lifestyle at work, but sometimes that's really hard to do.  It's easy to get wrapped up in my work and let my healthy habits go by the wayside.  Lately, I've been skipping my snack, and then when I see donuts in for the break room, it's really hard to say no!

I know I'm not alone in this feeling, so for today's Friday Five, I thought that I'd share five necessities I keep at work to help continue my healthy habits.  As usual, I'm linking up with Courtney, Cynthia, and Mar.  Thanks, ladies, for the Friday Five party!

1. Water Bottle (20 ounces or more)

To make sure I'm drinking enough water, I keep a water bottle around and try to fill it up at least 2 times each day.  I like it to be able to hold at least 20 ounces, so that way, I know I'm having at least 40 ounces of water before heading home.  Check out some more tips for drinking more water that Stephanie shared recently!

2. Healthy Snacks in a desk drawer

I always keep a healthy snack (usually almonds or dried fruit) in my desk at work.  That way, if I don't have time to pack something in the morning, I know I've got something nutritious to eat between breakfast and lunch.  I also love bringing NatureBox snacks to have on-hand for something healthy but delicious!  Another idea would be to keep a box of granola/protein bars in your desk for a quick, easy, and healthy snack (like these Special K Snack Bars Kathryn reviewed recently).

3. Packed Lunch (in a cute lunchbox!)

I try to pack my lunch every day to ensure that what I'm eating is nutritious.  If I have to go pick something up (though I really can't do that very often), I try to get something healthy like a sandwich or salad.  Some ideas of packing lunch: make a large, healthy dish on Sunday and each a portion of it each day; put together a giant salad and each part of it each day (or make mason jar salads!); or slice up some fruits and veggies and bag them for "side items" each day of the week.

4. An activity goal
To make sure that I'm staying active at work, I set a daily step count goal during work hours!  My normal goal is to get 5,000 steps on my FitBit before I get in my car to leave each day.  I periodically check in using the app on my phone, and if I see that I'm nowhere close to that goal, I'll walk to the further restroom or run a few errands around the school that I've been putting off.

If you don't have a FitBit or other activity counter, you can set goals like "get up and walk down the hall once an hour" or "take a 30-minute walk on my lunch break."  That will help you make sure that you aren't just sitting at your desk all day long.  It just might give you some extra energy and brain power, too!

5. A gym bag (preferably packed with gym clothes!)
It's really easy to head straight home after work and skip the gym.  However, if you have your gym bag at work, you eliminate one excuse!  In the past, I've changed in to my gym clothes before leaving work so that I can head directly to the gym.  I know this really helps me get my workout in!

I hope y'all find some of these helpful!  These are things that I've tried and have worked for me, but I'd love to hear your ideas, too!


Question for you: What are some of YOUR necessities for making healthy choices at work?

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! :)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thinking Out Loud Thursday

Good Thursday morning!

I've been feeling a bit all over the place this week (a Monday off will do that to me), so I think that calls for a Thinking Out Loud post today.  I'm linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons.  Head over to her blog to check out other bloggers' random thoughts!
Image Source
So, let's just jump right on in to some random thoughts that I have today.

1. I was really, really excited to go home this past weekend, and I had a great time!
From the left: Mom, Joe, me, Sara (sis-in-law), Eric (brother), Dad
I don't think I've been so excited to go up to Virginia as I was this past weekend.  Maybe it's the pregnancy hormones or me getting all sentimental, but I've been missing my family lately and wishing I was closer to them.  The visit up there was at the perfect time, and I really had a lot of fun!

I also got a really cool sunset picture from the plane on Friday.
I meant to Instagram this as soon as we landed, but how cool is this picture of the sun setting from the plane?  It lasted for a while (probably because we were heading west), and I think Joe and I both really enjoyed looking out the window at this beautiful site.

2. I'm not sure why, but blogging has not been on my list on things to do in the evening.
I think I'm "nesting" because the only things I want to do when I get home are take care of Tequila and get things done around the house (oh, and relax on the couch of course).  My regular routine has been a little off since getting back to school this January, so maybe that's contributing to it.  Hopefully, I'll get back into a regular blogging schedule soon!  Until then, I will definitely try to get three posts a week up (at the very least).

3. My first baby shower is this weekend!
My boss is throwing me a baby shower on Saturday, and I'm really excited for it!  She's really kept it hush-hush, so I don't know what to expect!  In fact, I don't even know when I'm supposed to be there, or where I'm supposed to be exactly.  I'm going to figure that out today, though :)

4. When shopping this weekend, I had a random craving.

That's right, walking down the cereal aisle, I spotted my childhood favorite cereal and had to buy it.  Fruity Peebles!  I've been enjoying them as an afternoon snack and dessert after dinner.  I know they aren't the best for me, but there are certainly worse things I could be eating!  Plus, Baby Fish has been wanting them, so who am I to say no to his/her wishes (at least, I'll blame it on him/her!)?

5.  There's a race in Daytona this weekend, and it's making EVERYTHING packed.
I went to Starbucks this morning, and I waited in there for about 15 minutes when normally I'm the only one in there!  I was wondering why it was so busy, and then I noticed all the car/racing jackets.  I guess we'll just be staying in this weekend to avoid all the craziness!

6. A math teacher resigned at one of my schools this week.
I came in Wednesday morning to the news that a teacher up and resigned effective immediately!  I did a lot of scrambling around yesterday trying to figure out how best to handle the situation.  Hopefully we'll be able to find someone to fill the vacancy ASAP, but until then, I just might be teaching a section of Pre-Calculus (exciting!) and doing some grading.  I just feel so bad for those kids!

7. I made my return to BodyPUMP last night and got to do the new release!
I LOVE the first time that I try the new release of BodyPUMP.  I really, really love the moves that we do in this release.  Plus, the chest track is a song called "The Phoenix" by Fall Out Boy, and it rocks!  I love running to this song, and it is PERFECT for the chest track.  I was singing and dancing to it the whole time I was laying on my bench.  If you haven't done the new release (I think it's 92), get to your gym ASAP!  It's really fun stuff!

8.  Tequila has been getting a little more territorial lately.

Just looking all cute :)
If anyone is a dog whisperer, can you give me suggestions to help this stop?  She's been getting a little more territorial when with other dogs and with Pablo (our cat).  Normally she gets protective of her food by just going over to her bowl if something gets close to it, but recently, it hasnt' necessarily been food-related.  This weekend, the people watching her said that she was growling at Fin, her boyfriend, and she's never done that before!  Any tips or suggestions would be helpful :) 

Ok, time to head on to work!  Feel free to think out loud in the comments below with some of your random thoughts!

Question for you: How can I get Tequila to stop being so territorial?  What are some of your random thoughts today?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pregnancy Update: 30 Weeks

Good morning, everyone!  Did you have yesterday off from work?  I did!  Because of that, Joe and I went up to Richmond, VA this weekend to visit my family.  It was so much fun!  

I'll tell you a little bit about the weekend in today's post, as well as give you the 30 weeks pregnancy update.  I can't BELIEVE that I'm at the three-quarters mark.  How is this going by so fast?!?

Pregnancy Update: 30 Weeks

How far along? 30 weeks (and two days)

Baby Bump progress: taken in my parent's living room--no blank walls there really

Baby Fish continues to grow and grow!

Baby's Size? a cucumber!  About 17 inches long and 3 pounds

What's happening this week?  
  • Baby Fish's brain is growing and getting more wrinkly, taking on tasks like temperature control
  • Continuing to grow and gain body fat
  • Skin is getting smoother
  • Baby Fish is now strong enough to grip a finger!
Total weight gain/loss: 17.2 pounds since the first appointment as of last Tuesday

Stretch marks? no new ones!

Sleep: I haven't slept as well this week, but I'm still doing better than some of the stories I've heard.  I've just been waking up multiple times a night, but luckily I can get back to sleep rather quickly.

Best moment this week: Going to Richmond this weekend and hanging out with my family!

Joe and I got to spend a lot of time with my parents, brother and sister-in-law, and my aunt and uncle (not pictured).  We had belated Christmas, and it was a lot of fun to get to see everyone.  I also got to see my friends Catherine and Andrew for lunch one day, and my friend Krista stopped by briefly.  So glad I got to go up to my hometown!  There's no place like home :)


Miss anything?: fitting in to my normal clothes--my tops are starting to get too short! and being able to reach down comfortably

Movement: Lots of movements going on!  In fact, last night on the flight home, it felt like he/she was having a dance party in there!  

Food cravings: No particular cravings, but I sure did enjoy having Cookout milkshakes, Northern Neck ginger ale, and Martin's/Ukrop's White House Rolls while in Richmond.  If you've never had any of those things, get up to Richmond, Virginia and try them!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Fortunately, no!  I'm very thankful for that.

Gender: We'll find out when Baby Fish is born :)

Labor Signs: none (thankfully!)

Symptoms: 
  • growing belly
  • itchy/dry skin on my belly and back
  • some issues sleeping
Belly Button in or out? in, but getting more shallow and flat lately (it's really weird!)

Wedding rings on or off? on!

Happy or Moody?: This was actually a really happy week!  I think I was so excited to go to Richmond and really enjoyed my time up there.  Home always makes me happy :)

Funny moments this week: I guess the funniest moment this week was when my mom took Joe and I around to her work.  Apparently some people she and my dad have worked with for a long time didn't know I was pregnant, so it was pretty funny to see their reactions!



Looking forward to: my first baby shower in Saturday, going to the Teacher of the Year banquet to support my friend, and my first race of 2015 on Saturday!  Basically, this weekend is going to be fun :)

Exercise this week Well, I did not meet my goal of weight training during the week.  Let's see what I did do:
Tuesday-1.52 mile run with Tequila
Wednesday-1.32 mile walk with Tequila
Thursday-rest day
Friday-rest day/travel day
Saturday-rest day/busy day in Richmond
Sunday-1 mile walk in the park with my brother and his dog + 2 mile walk with my mom and neighbor
Monday-rest/travel day

Question for you: What's your favorite thing to do when you go to your hometown?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Dubai Trip 2014: Deserts and Dinner Cruises

I'm back today with another recap of part of our trip to Dubai!  So far, I've recapped our first day in the city when we took a bus tour and saw many of the sites.  Read the other recaps here:
Today, we'll cover the second and third days of our trip.  Both days were "free days" with our travel group with some optional tours we could sign up for.

We started the second day with a leisurely breakfast and sitting by the pool.  What was neat was that there was a mosque right in front of our hotel, so while we sat at the pool, we actually got to hear the broadcast of the noontime prayer up close and personal!  I had no idea what was being said (all in Arabic), but it did sound very pretty.
The big thing we did on Friday was a desert tour!  At first, I didn't think we'd be able to go; the first part of the tour involved "dune bashing," and the travel company said that pregnant women weren't allowed to do that.  When I asked if there was another way out there, the travel company said no.  Luckily, we were able to talk to the desert tour director, and he worked out a ride for me to get out there (Joe came with me, too)!  I was so thankful because this was something I REALLY wanted to do, whether or not I got to do the "dune bashing."

The drive out there was rather interesting.  We quickly saw the transition from an extravagant, vibrant city to nothing but sand.
Once we got to the right spot in the desert, we got into a Jeep and rode out to the campsite where all the activities were taking place.  The driver didn't realize I was pregnant and gave us a little taste of "dune bashing," which involved driving sideways along the dunes, getting air, etc.  Let's just say I was glad we only got 2 minutes of that!
We pulled up to the campsite, and this was the first thing we saw:
Camels!  The big thing I REALLY wanted to do was to ride a camel, so we got right in line for that.
The ride was short, but it was really neat!
Someone who worked there guided the camels out and back, and Joe and I had a good time riding our camel.  He seemed like a nice one!
The scary part was when they sat down.
It's quite an incline!  I'm SO glad we got to do that, though.
Once that was over, we caught some of the sunset over the desert before heading in to the campsite.
There was some local food and Arabic coffee to sample, a tent set up for Henna tattoos, and a booth where you could get your picture taken in traditional clothing of the region.
 Joe and I opted to sit in a little "lounge" area with some people from our group.
They also brought out the sheesha (aka the hookahs), and Joe and the others enjoyed partaking in that.
We had a great time just relaxing and getting to know our travel mates better!  After that, it was time for a desert barbeque dinner buffet.  There were lots of options, and everything was delicious!
After dinner, we had some entertainment!  First up was a Turkish dancer.
I don't know what his style of dance is called, but he would spin around and around (seriously, for about 10 minutes straight!) and do different things.  At first, he had some light-up plates that he would arrange in different patterns as he was spinning.
The picture is really bad, but I wanted to give you a little idea of what he was doing.  Next, his skirt lit up and came apart into two pieces.  He would move the pieces around, and it was really interesting to watch!
This dancer was lots of fun, and after spinning pretty fast for AT LEAST 10 minutes, he walked away like he wasn't dizzy at all.  It was crazy!  Next up was a belly dancer.
She did a few different dances with various props, then at the end, she got some people up to dance with her.  I actually got up on stage and participated, it's kind of hard to belly dance while pregnant!

Our trip out the desert was a lot of fun.  On our way back into the city, we saw a lot of locals who had set up campfires out in the desert just hanging out.  It was a great way to experience another part of Dubai!

We started our third day in Dubai with a leisure pace, as well.  I actually went to the hotel gym in the morning and ran on the treadmill!  The funny thing was, the treadmill was in kilometers, so I was constantly trying to do the conversions in my head to see how many miles I'd run so far.  Yes, I am a math nerd :)

After breakfast, we ventured out into the city and took the metro to the Mall of the Emirates.  Dubai has a ton of malls, but Mall of the Emirates is the "more affordable" mall in the city.  I was surprised at all the Christmas decorations all over, especially at the mall!
The reason we were there was for the indoor skiing!  While I didn't get to participate, Joe got a 2-hour pass to ski on the three indoor slopes at Ski Dubai.
It was really fun to watch Joe ski (well, he actually snowboarded), and I enjoyed hearing how much fun he had while doing so!
We grabbed lunch at the mall, shopped around a little bit, then took the metro back to the hotel.

That evening, we met back up with our travel group for dinner.  Before heading to dinner, we went back to the Dubai Mall for the fountain show.  On the way there, it was really fun to see the city of Dubai at nighttime.
There's a fountain show every 30 minutes.  Our tour guide told us that the show changes each time, so we stayed to see two different shows.
The first show was to "Hero" by Enrique Iglesias, and the water coordinated really nicely to the music.
 The second show we saw an energetic Arabian song.  The water was a lot more "energetic" this time and lots of fun to watch.  It was really cool to see the show with the Burj Khalfia as the backdrop!
After the second show, we went back to the bus and drove to the Dubai Creek for our dinner cruise!
Our boat took us from one end of the creek to the other and back, and we got to see some new views of the city.  The skyline is really pretty and colorful at night!
In addition to eating dinner, there was a Henna artist on the boat.  I decided to get some Henna done while we were there.
Here's the finished product!  I was really proud with how it turned out.
At the far end of the creek, we passed by the souk again.  It was really bright and lit-up at night time!
We went up to the front of the boat for a different view (and a picture) after we finished eating.  Nice view from up there!
The government buildings were really pretty at night, as well.  They were still celebrating their independence day, so everything was really UAE-spirited.
We all had such a great time that we were docking before we knew it!  The dinner cruise was a really great way to see the city in a new light (literally!), so I'm so glad this was included in our tour group!

Next up in the Dubai Trip recaps: our tour of Abu Dhabi, one of the other emirates/cities in the UAE.  We visited a mosque, ate traditional Emirati food, and learned more about the culture and government.  Look for that recap very soon!

Question for you: Have you ever been to a desert?  Have you ridden any animals (horses count!)?