Wednesday, May 28, 2014

WIAW #34: Bottomless Pit Day

Good morning!  Anyone else loving that this is a four-day work week?  With the school year winding down, I'm finding myself very busy wrapping things up at both of my schools, along with some additional projects I signed up to work on!  I'm just counting down the days until June 6th (last day of school AND my birthday!).  At least I get to come home to this adorable little thing who knows exactly want to do to make me smile.
Puppy Burrito!
Oh, I just love her!  Well, it's Wednesday, so it's time once again for the blogland tradition...
Do y'all ever have days when you feel like a bottomless pit?  Like, no matter how much you eat, you just aren't full?  That was me yesterday.  Let's take a look at Tuesday's food, and you just let me know if you can figure out why I was a bottomless pit!

Thank you to Jenn for hosting the link-up!  Head over to her blog Peas and Crayons to learn more about WIAW and check out the other participants :)

I had a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios for breakfast.  I forgot to take a picture, but that certainly wasn't my most interesting meal of the day.

Morning Snack #1
I had my usual morning snack: a cup of Chobani.  Tuesday's flavor was pineapple--one of my favorites!

Morning Snack #2
I was still pretty hungry before lunch (and it's later at the school I was at), so I had a handful of this Tart & Tangy Fruit Medley from NatureBox!  This stuff is really good (just dried apples and cranberries) and filled me up until lunchtime.

We grilled Chicken and Veggie Kabobs on Memorial Day and had plenty left over!  So, for Tuesday's lunch, I topped a couple handfuls of lettuce with two of the kabobs.  The chicken and veggies tasted great as my salad toppings, and I look forward to having this again for lunch today!  I also had an orange and some baby carrots as side dishes.

Afternoon Snack #1
It was about this time in the day that I realized I was having a bottomless pit day.  I was hungry again about an hour after lunch!  So, I ate this Nut Delight KIND bar as a snack before leaving work.

Afternoon Snack #2
I was STILL HUNGRY about an hour after my first afternoon snack, so I stopped by Dunkin' Donuts for a coffee cake muffin and some iced coffee.  Luckily, after this snack, I was able to wait until dinner to eat again.

We had a pretty early dinner (Joe had to meet up with a friend, and I was hungry already).  We had salmon pinwheels (stuffed with spinach and feta) with some steamed carrots on the side.  I love getting these salmon pinwheels from Winn-Dixie!  They are so tasty and satisfying.

I mixed in some Upper Body Supersets from Peanut Butter Fingers with some running.  There's a loop near my house that looks like an 8, so I ran around the larger part of the block (about 0.5 miles) first, completed the first two supersets, ran around the complete block (about 0.7 miles), completed the second two supersets, then ran around the larger part of the block again.  Tequila wen with me on the runs, and it was a nice little workout!
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Plus, I'm sticking to my ZOOMA Chicago training plan (modifying it a little) AND I'm 2/2 on the #RWRunStreak (run at least a mile each day from Memorial Day through July 4th).

Post-Workout Drink/Snack

I had some Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator after my workout to fight the shaky-muscle feeling and prevent super soreness today.  I'll have a full review of the product up very soon--stay tuned!

I also had some Veggie Straws and some Ritz crackers to satiate my hunger after working out.  I actually went to bed full and happy--good end to my bottomless pit day!

Question for you: Any idea why I was such a bottomless pit yesterday?  Do you have bottomless pit days?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Eric's Wedding Weekend

Was it hard for anyone else to get back to reality this morning?  I snoozed my alarm this morning (something I NEVER do)!  Must be because I had a 4-day weekend, since I was up in Richmond on Friday.

Eric (my brother) and Sara got married on Saturday, and I had a great time celebrating with my family throughout the weekend.  Instead of posting a full recap, though, I'll just do some pictures from the weekend's events.  It was a lot of fun celebrating their marriage, as well as seeing lots of family and old friends.
Short Run on Friday before the festivities
Bridesmaid's Luncheon--me, Laura, Sara, Ashley, and Elizabeth
Bridesmaids' Luncheon--the moms and Sara
Rehearsal Dinner--Eric with his VT cake
Eric's groosmen with their gifts--priceless excitement!!
Wedding Day Hair
Playing around before the ceremony
My Family
On the way to the reception--bridal party limo selfie!
With the bride and groom
Bridal party elevator selfie!
Eric and me before the reception
View of Downtown Richmond from the reception
First dance--so coordinated!
The Clarks and their spouses!
Dad giving his Best Man speech (check out the sunset behind them!)
Elizabeth and me--finally sisters!
With Forrest, my youth director (he gave a great homily at the wedding)
My parents and aunt breaking it down!
Newlyweds off to their honeymoon!
Sunday was spent traveling, and Monday was a beach day with some errands and grilling thrown in.  We got to enjoy our back porch with some lovely weather and tasty kabobs!
I also watched the Bachelorette before getting to bed relatively early to be ready for work today.

Hope y'all had a great Memorial Day weekend, too!

Question for you: What was your favorite thing about this Memorial Day weekend?

Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday Five 5/23: Eric's Getting Married!

Hello from Richmond!  Joe and I got in to the great state of Virginia last night around 10.  I have to say, it's great to be back :)

As I've mentioned before, we're up for my brother's wedding!  Eric is marrying is high school (well, really childhood) sweetheart Sara tomorrow!
From Eric's graduation last year
Eric and I have grown up knowing Sara and her family (her sister Elizabeth is a year older than me) because our parents were in the same Sunday school class.  It's going to be a lot of fun to see all of these people I've known since I was a kid!

In honor of Eric and Sara's wedding, I wanted to share five things about my brother that you may not know.

1) My brother and I have always been close.  

It's been great to have a close relationship with my sibling.  I know many people don't have that, and I'm so thankful that I do!  We never really fought when we were younger (except the occasional I-was-on-the-couch-first tussle), and throughout high school and college we hung out pretty regularly.

2) Eric played on the VT drumline and was the captain for two years!
Eric (on the right) meeting Erin Andrews after practicing on the field at the Sugar Bowl
Eric is a fantastic drummer!  It was so much fun to watch him play in the stands when going to the football games, especially when I knew he was the one "tapping off" the fight song when we scored.  Eric still plays drums at church now, and I hope he'll continue to play throughout his life!  Fun fact: he played on the drumline in high school while Sara was on the color guard!
High school Eric (white shirt in the front)
3) He is very knowledgeable about all things sports (particularly Virginia Tech sports).
Eric on the grill at a VT game in Pittsburgh--made it on ESPN!!
Eric is always reading sports websites, watching SportsCenter, and talking to people about sports.  I'm sure this love of sports come form my dad and our growing up around Virginia Tech football.  It's something that he and I like to talk about, too!

4) He is one of the nicest, most genuine people.
I'm not just saying this because he's my brother, either.  Throughout life, I can't tell you how many people have told me how much they like Eric, how incredibly nice he is, and how they feel like he cares about them instantly.  The reason is: he is and he does!  One example: when he got Joe and me a wedding gift, he found this grill and just thought it was the coolest thing and had to get it for us!  He was so excited to watch me open it, and we make sure to tell him whenever we use it.  So thoughtful and nice!  He really is quite a catch, and Sara is lucky to have reeled him in when they were young :)  Speaking of that...

5) I predicted the Eric and Sara would get married long, long ago.  
Sunset Beach group pic--Eric and Sara are both on the far right
I can't remember exactly when this happened, but at some point, after watching Eric and Sara hang out, I turned to my mom and said "I think those two are going to get married some day."  I also remember, after spending time on Sunset Beach with our families, turning to Sara's mom and telling  her the same thing as they were playing together in the ocean.

Eric and Sara have always been inseparable, so much so that I started calling them "Saric."  They say the best marriages start out as a good friendship.  If that's the case, then Eric and Sara are in for one fantastic marriage.  Eric, I wish y'all all the best, little bro!  Sara, I look forward to having a sister now!

And with that, it's time to go get ready for all the wedding festivities!!  Happy Memorial Day!  Thank you to all of our military, past and present, for your service to our country!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Operation: Healthy Stress-Busting

May has been a very busy month for me.  Between Joe's grandfather passing, having to help both of my schools get their kids ready for the math EOC tests, changing up my work routine for a week to write curriculum, starting some additional projects, and my brother's wedding this weekend, I've just been so thrown off!

Unfortunately, when I feel stressed and my routines are thrown off, I tend to exercise less, eat more sugary foods, and want to drink more alcohol (particularly wine--which is sugary!).  Quite honestly, all I've wanted to do for the past two weeks is sit on the couch, overeat, and drink.  

According to this article from Harvard Medical School, I'm not the only one that this happens to!  In fact, the corisol in our brains that is released during prolonged stress is what causes those desires to overeat.  Additionally, the sugary foods seem to inhibit the feelings of stress, which really does make them comfort foods for us!

While I have felt very happy when I'm eating sweets and drinking wine in the evenings lately, I've noticed a little added cushion on me, particularly in the waist area!  And now I'm frustrated with myself for not taking care of myself.  So yesterday, I decided it's time for Operation: Healthy Stress-Busting and got right to it!

Attacking the Sugar Cravings
I came home wanting something sweet (no surprise!), but I bypassed the Dunkin' drive-thru in favor of a healthy snack that would satisfy those cravings.
I mixed some vanilla Chobani with some cherry vanilla granola I received in my latest NatureBox.  I've gotta say, this was DELICIOUS!  My sweet tooth AND my desire for something crunchy were both satisfied.  In addition, I got in some protein and the sugar was natural, non-processed.  Satisfying and good for me?  I'll take it!

Other healthy snacks I plan to have that'll satisfy the sweet tooth: Nature Valley Protein Bars, making overnight oats with a little sweetener, and fruit smoothies.

Attacking the Laziness
I know how great I feel after a workout, but when I'm stressed, the last thing I want to do is go somewhere else (the gym) rather than just go park it on the couch.  Yesterday, I decided to put on some new leggings I bought myself and head to a BodyPump class.
Yes, those are Lululemon!  I bought them at my yoga studio as an early birthday present to myself, and I've gotta say, they make me smile.  Plus, after the class, I felt great!  BodyPump certainly helped reduce my feelings of stress and got me a little relaxed.

I have a few ideas on how to continue attacking the laziness as I mentioned yesterday when I shared my ZOOMA Chicago training plan. I plan to do a separate post on those ideas after seeing how they work.  I do know that exercise will help reduce stress (and keep off those pounds due to stress eating), so I plan to make that a priority through the end of school and beyond.

Reducing Additional Stress
Housework is a huge source of added stress for me.  Joe has been SUCH a huge help since he's been in clinic getting a lot of the chores done when he's at home, but there's still my usual chores and general cleaning to deal with.  Instead of being overwhelmed with all that needed to be done, here are some of the things I started to do yesterday (and plan to continue):
  • Getting laundry started right when I get home.  That way, it'll be ready to go to the dryer once I've taken care of other things.
  • Putting clothes in the hamper/hanging them back up right away.  I usually let them pile up either on the bed post or in front of the closet, but it's been so nice to have the clothes put away!
  • Washing dishes as I go.  It makes for a faster, more stress free clean-up after dinner when the dishes aren't all piled up!
Plus, getting things done right when I get home helped me make it back out to the gym for BodyPump last night!  Score!

Oh, and lots of cuddle time with these guys will certainly help reduce my stress! 
I'm excited about my plans for Operation: Healthy Stress-Busting, and I hope that I'll develop habits that will continue even when the stress is gone!

Question for you: What are some healthy ways that you beat stress in your life?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

ZOOMA Chicago Training Plan

Good morning, everyone!  We're halfway through the week, and I hope everyone is having a good one.  I've still got a lot to finish up before my flight Thursday night, but I'm trying to stay positive and get it all done!

When I get back from my trip home, it's time to start training for another half marathon!  On August 2nd, I'll be running the ZOOMA Women's Half Marathon in Chicago!
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Fun fact: I actually won an entry to this race thanks to a Twitter chat!!  I was so, so excited, and I can't wait to run this race!  I've heard nothing but good things about the ZOOMA race series and am hoping my experience is just as great.

I've come up with a training plan for this race and will start it on Monday (Memorial Day).  I wanted to go ahead and post it so that I can keep myself accountable and actually get started with the training when I say I'm going to.
20+S=20 minutes of running with a strength workout.  This will most likely be the BodyPump class that I regularly attend with a short run either before or after the class
3 m SW=3 mile run with some speedwork.  The type of speedwork will vary week to week, but I do want to incorporate that more in my training
S/Yoga=Strength/Yoga.  I might to do both, I might do one or the other.  Depends on the day!
2 m/CT=2 miles and/or cross-training.  Nothing too heavy, though, considering the next day's work
LR=Long run.  I'll start with a 5-mile long run and work my way up to 12 miles, increasing 1 mile a week

I may be switching some of these things around, but we'll start here and just see how things go.  My main goal for training is to stick with it!  A lot of times, I make a plan for myself and don't follow through.  I have some ideas of how to motivate myself to do so, and I'll share those with you throughout the training process.

Keep in mind that I AM NOT a fitness professional/running coach.  These are things that have worked for me in the past, and I already have a running base to work from.  Ideally, I'd like to train for longer, but this is the time frame I have to work with (due to my own recent laziness).

Question for you: Do you have anything that you are training for right now?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

God's Timing > Our Timing

Well, looks like this is going to be another week where the blog posts will be sporadic.  I've got some projects I'm working on that are due by Sunday!  To top it all off, I'm trying to wrap everything up by Thursday, since that's when our flight leaves for my brother's wedding this weekend!  Crazy!

Ok, enough about my busy week.  Let's get in to today's topic: God's Timing.

A few Sundays ago, I was in the car going to church with Joe and my mother- and sister-in-law.  We started talking about musicals, how I used to be a theater major in college, and how I missed acting and being in plays.  As I was reading the bulletin, I noticed a casting call for a five-act play at church!
Isn't God's timing funny?  I contacted the associate minister, and it turns out I'm going to be the main character in the play!  It seems there was a reason I'd been getting the acting itch lately.  It's crazy to me how sometimes you can be thinking/praying about something, and you seem to get an immediate response in one way or another.  This part in the play at church is certainly an example of that!

But sometimes, we get all bogged down by seemingly unanswered prayers or frustrations about something not happening right away.  But God knows what he's doing.  Gods got everything figured out for our lives and answers prayers when it's the right time for us, just as one of my favorite Bible verses says:
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As much as we may want something right here and now, it may not be in God's plan for our life.  Toe enjoy His will for our life, all we have to do it wait for His timing.
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In my life, there are times where I've had to wait for something.  And boy, was it challenging!  But, much of what we learn in those times makes us a better person and helps us grow spiritually.
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What do we do while we wait?  It certainly doesn't hurt to pray.  Continuing to present our requests to God will give Him the control and remind Him of our trust in Him.
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Reading Scripture and doing what it says certainly doesn't hurt, either.  Plus, who knows?  Maybe God will lead you to a verse that tells you exactly what you need to hear! :)

Question for you: Have you had an interesting God-timing moment lately?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Favorites 5/16

How's everything going, y'all?  Boy, have I had a busy week!  I'm sure you've noticed, due to my lack of posts this week.  I've been working on curriculum maps all week, and blogging was just not exciting to me after looking at a computer screen and typing all day.

Now that that week is over, I'm looking forward to being back with ya :)  Since it's Friday, let's catch up on my week with some of my favorites of the week!

Favorite Workout: BodyPump

I've been really loving BodyPump this week!  I went on Saturday and Monday, mainly because this release is awesome.  Les Mills really changed it up with the rhythms.  It's good stuff!

Favorite Routine Change-up: Later Wake-up

This week, I got to sleep in for a whole hour!!  We didn't start working until 8, and the school we met at was only 15 minutes from my house.  I tell ya, waking up when it's light outside is so much easier!

Favorite Delivery: NatureBox
(referral link up there!)  I got my second NatureBox in the mail (check out my full review here)!  So far, I've only tried this snack so far--Bruschetta Pretzel Pops--and I'm LOVING IT once again.  I got all different snacks than the box before, and I'm so excited to try the rest.  So far, pretzel pops are the BEST!

Favorite Afternoon Activity: Reading on the Patio
After spending ALL DAY in a small window-less room staring at the computer screen (I feel for those of you who do that every day), I decided to spend some time outside not looking at a screen.  Tequila enjoyed having someone watching her running around, and I enjoyed the fresh air, beautiful weather, and getting in to a good book.  Definitely planning to keep this trend up!

Favorite Picture of Tequila

She and Pablo (the cat) have been getting along a little bit better.  This picture was taken when Tequila was trying to play with us and decided to try giving Pablo her toy.  Even though there's a death stare going on from Pablo, he didn't swat at her, so that's a plus!

Question for you: What's one of your favorite things from this week?