Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Big Announcement!

So remember how I said I've been in a bit of a rut and out of energy lately?  Well...now you get to find out why!
(Our last name is type of fish)
Joe and I are expecting our first child!

We started telling our family and closest friends a few weeks ago, but I wanted to wait until after the first trimester to post it on the blog (and after I told everyone I wanted to tell over the phone)!

There are a lot of questions we get when we tell people, so I'll answer a few of those for y'all!

How far along are you?
14 weeks, as of Sunday!

When are you due?
March 29, 2015!  Ironically, Joe graduates on March 27th!  I guess the end of March is going to be a very busy, life-changing time for us!

Are you going to find out the gender?
I think we're going to wait until he/she is born to find out!  Everyone we've talked to has said it's so much fun to wait, so I think that's what we'll do.  I kind of want gender-specific stuff, though...so we'll see :)

Were you guys "trying"?
Haha...no.  I actually didn't find out I was pregnant until I was about 8 weeks along.  HOWEVER, we have always talked about having kids, so this must be God's timing for us to start a family.  We are very excited!

How have you been feeling?
Overall, very good.  I have had a little bit of nausea/morning sickness, but I think I could count those days on both hands.  The nausea is normally bad-smell-induced.  Taking out the trash has been ROUGH the past 6 weeks!

The main thing I have been feeling is SUPER TIRED when I get home from work.  That's why I haven't been blogging much--I've been falling asleep on the couch between 8-9 each night!

Do you have any cravings/aversions to food?
Not really.  I have wanted sweets a lot more, and there are some times where nothing looks appetizing to me.  Overall, though, I've been able to eat my normal diet and not have any issues!

Are you showing yet?

I think so!  That, or I'm getting fat due to the fact that I haven't been exercising as regularly!

And a question that y'all specifically might have...are you going to blog about your pregnancy?
Yes, probably.  I will probably post something once a week about things that I've been feeling/that have been happening.  Nothing too graphic, don't worry!

If you have other questions for me, leave them in the comments :)  Back tomorrow with a review of a cool fitness app!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Book Review: the Selection series

Happy Thursday, y'all!  How's everyone's week going?  Mine has been great, minus finding out that Starbucks won't be sending out the garnish for my favorite fall drink, the Salted Caramel Mocha.
Why aren't they sending the sea salt anymore?  I'm very disappointed.  I feel cheated since I'm not a PSL lover.  Hey, at least I still get the caramel mocha flavor :)

Anyway, off to the purpose of today's post.  One thing I've been doing lately is actually reading a fair amount!  Between a few days off over the summer, some traveling, and free time over the weekends, I've had a lot of time to get in to some good books.  Some of those books made up a series of young adult novels that I loved and wanted to review for y'all.

The best way to describe The Selection series by Kiera Cass is dystopia-meets-The-Bachelor.  Two things I love merged into one?  I knew I'd love it.
Here's a synopsis of the first book, The Selection, from Amazon.com:
'For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.  But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.  Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined."
The next two books in the series, The Elite and The One,  I don't want to spoil anything for y'all, so here are some of my general thoughts of the series:
  • The characters are very interesting and relatable.  I found myself reading chapter after chapter because I couldn't wait to find out what decisions they were making and what would happen next.
  • The series was a little predictable, but how it got there involved lots of twists and turns.  I did NOT see some of the things that happened coming!
  • I experienced such a range of emotions reading this series.  I laughed, I was stunned, I cried, and I cheered.  I'm not even kidding--I'm one of those people that actually reacts to books out loud (much to the annoyance of my husband when we're in the same room).
  • Even though this was a young adult novel, it wasn't crazy simple.  Some of it was, but there were also some deep things that were brought up in the books.  For example: the deep roots of the caste system in the society of the kingdom made me think about our society and how our economic status can take root and determine the way people are treated in the US!
  • The series was lots of fun!
As if I didn't already love this series, when I read about the author, I fell even more in love!  Kiera Cass went to Radford, a small university just 30 minutes south of Virginia Tech.  She also currently lives in Blacksburg, VA, where Virginia Tech is!  Gotta love Virginia gals that live in my college town :)

These books are quick, fun reads, and I highly recommend the series to you!!  There are also two short stories/novellas that go along with the series, but I didn't read those yet.  If you do, let me know how they are :)

Question for you: What good books have you read lately?  If you've read The Selection series, what did you think about the books?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Life Lately

Hey everyone!  How's it going?  I keep disappearing.  I'm working on it--sorry, guys!

Since I really haven't done much posting in the last little bit, I thought we'd catch up a little using a "Life Lately" post.

Work has been going well this year!
It's so nice to not be new to my role and my schools this year.  People are coming to me already with questions and asking for help, which makes me so happy!  Feeling needed and feeling like I'm doing my job is always a good thing :)

Fall=Football Season!
...and Joe and I are fully enjoying it!  Our Saturdays are filled with College Gameday, then football games all day, and I love it!  Plus, we've had people over for college football games two of the last three weeks, which is always a lot of fun.  One of those weeks, we grilled some new-to-us burgers and they were delicious!
They're just Wal-mart brand seasoned burgers, but boy, whatever they put in them is just yummy!  I may have to check that ingredient list and see if I can make something similar at home.

We went up to Virginia last weekend.
My parents had extra tickets to the Virginia Tech vs. Georgia Tech game last weekend, so Joe and I went up for the game and to get in some family time!
We need to work on our selfie skills
Ahh yes, back in Blacksburg :)
We enjoyed our time at the game (despite the VT loss)

and we also enjoyed getting to see lots of friends!  I wasn't very good at taking pictures, but I did get one with Krista and Josh when they stopped by our tailgate after the game.  We also enjoyed getting to spend time with my grandparents, since we stayed with them on Friday and Saturday night.  Good times!

It's crazy how God speaks to us sometimes.
I'm currently doing a Beth Moore Bible study called Children of the Day, which works through 1 and 2 Thessalonians.
Well, at my grandparents' church on Sunday, the sermon discussed topics that came from 1 Thessalonians 4!  I'm not sure exactly what God is saying yet, but I'm excited to continue the study and see what Thessalonians has in store for me!

Tequila is cracking me up lately.
She is adorable sometimes.
At other times, she's very needy and must lay right on top of me.
And at other times, she's just too stinkin' cute that I have to let her like my ice cream bowl when she gives me the sad puppy eyes :)
She's so cute, I love her :)

It's finally time for me to get back to working out!
So, one of the reasons I haven't been blogging is that I've really been off my fitness game.  I feel like I don't have much to post about because of it.  WELL, I'm getting back to business thanks to Your Trainer Paige's Online Bootcamp!  In fact, last night, I got out and completed my first run since the ZOOMA Chicago Half.
Not sure why my lip is blue...but I'm concerned about the rain!
The run was cut short thanks to some heavy rain and the fact that I had my phone in my hand.  However, I felt great during the run, and it was just what I needed to kick me back into my fitness routine.  I'm so excited; I've missed working out!

Well, that's about all that's been going on lately!  Now that we're all caught up, I think I can get back to regularly posting :)

Question for you: I've missed y'all--so tell me, What have YOU been up to lately?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

WIAW #41: Sprucing Up Canned Foods

Oh my, I DID NOT mean to disappear on y'all again!  Things at work picked up, and I just pushed blogging to the back burner again.  Plus, our weekend was much like last weekend (minus the wins for our teams), and I haven't been taking many pictures lately.  Bad, bad blogger.

HOWEVER, I'm back today with one of my favorite traditions in the blogging world....
Brought to you by Peas and Crayons

This week's What I Ate Wednesday post is going to be a little bit different.  Instead of looking at a day's worth of eats, we're going to talk about how to make something I eat rather frequently much more tasty and exciting!  As always, thank you to Jenn for the link-up!  Head over to Peas and Crayons to find out more about WIAW and to check out what other bloggers are eating!

How many of you buy canned vegetables?  How many of you LOVE the taste of them right out of the can?

Not many of you?  Yeah...I don't either.  So today, I wanted to share with you some ways that I use to spruce up canned vegetables to make them taste better (and more them more healthy, too)!

Mix them in to another dish

I've shared this tip before, and it works well for making canned veggies taste better, as well as hiding vegetables from picky kids and/or non-vegetable-loving husbands (like mine!).  Whenever I make a boxed dinner, I'll mix in a can of vegetables to up the nutritional value of the dinner AND mask the taste of the veggies.  It's really a win-win situation!

Season them

This is a pretty obvious one, but I wanted to share some of the things I personally like to do!

One of my favorite things to do is to mix dried chopped onions I found in the spice aisle into the canned vegetables as they are cooking (as seen above).  It makes the canned vegetables actually taste a little more like fresh vegetables, plus I love the flavor of onions.  

Other times, I'll try to match the flavor of the main dish with various spices and seasonings added to the veggies.  Examples of those spices/seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic salt lemon pepper, onion powder, basil, and oregano.  Over time, you'll come to find out which seasonings you prefer on which vegetables.

Mix in some fresh vegetables

I tried this recently, and both Joe and I loved it!  If you have a can of vegetables you plan to use, see if you have a fresh vegetable that you can cook with the can.  

For example, I'd previously seen canned green beans with red peppers mixed in at the store.  One night, I had a can of green beans I was making and a fresh red pepper I needed to use.  So, I sliced up the pepper and sauteed it in a little olive oil.  After doing that, I mixed the pepper pieces in with the can of green beans and let them simmer for a few minutes.  I had a great veggie mixture to serve for dinner after a few minutes!

Other good combinations I thought would be good to try: canned peas with fresh steamed carrots, canned spinach with sauteed peppers or onions, and sauteed onions with canned green beans.

Question for you: What do you do to make your canned veggies taste better?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Football Weekend Recap

Hey guys!  I hope your Monday is off to a wonderful start.  I can't believe the weekend's over already, but what can you do?  We had a pretty goodweekend around here, so let me tell you about it!

This weekend, we were dog-sitting for one of Joe's friends.  Tequila was so happy to have Finn in the house.  We like to call him her boyfriend since, when they are together, they play and love on each other ALL THE TIME.
It was pretty fun to watch them play, but we also had to give them a break by physically separating them.  Funny puppies!!

After work, Joe and I went to our usual Friday night dinner spot for some Mexican food!  We hung around for a bit with some friends and had a good time.

We decided to have a low-key evening (Joe has boards to study for, and it was raining so I was feeling lazy) and so we watched some Dexter.  For those of you who have seen it--we just started Season 6.  Not to spoil it for anyone else, but this snake thing going on is just weird!

I started the morning a little early and began with working on my Bible study homework!
I'm already a little behind, but I'm glad that I'm still getting it done this time around.

After that, I made my return to BodyPUMP!
It was a great workout, and I'm so glad I went.  But, I am QUITE sore still, which made me realize I need to keep going regularly so it doesn't hurt this much!  It's a good hurt, though :)

The rest of Saturday was spent watching football, running some errands, and cooking for the evening.  We were having people over for the Virginia Tech vs. Ohio State football game, so I tried two new recipes (this pesto pasta and chipotle black bean dip) to feed our guests.  Both turned out really good, and I plan on enjoying the leftovers for lunch this week!

We had a great time with our guests, and to make things even better, THE HOKIES WON!  Now, if you are not an avid Virginia Tech football fan, you might not know that we always struggle when playing these big games.  HOWEVER, we looked AWESOME on Saturday night, and I was incredibly proud of the way our team played!  I'm still kind of in disbelief that we actually won, and I'm really excited about the rest of the season!
Tequila was excited, too!
Ok, done with football talk :)  After celebrating the win, Joe and I cleaned up and went to bed.  I continued to dream about the win.  How awesome!

As Joe and I were heading to church, the sky opened up and continued to rain pretty hard all day.  It's been quite the rainy weekend!  Anyway, we had a good time at church, and afterward, we headed to the grocery store.

The rest of the afternoon was spent watching NFL games, doing laundry, and basically being lazy.  The rain always makes me so unmotivated to do anything but sit around the house and watch TV.  I wasn't the only one that seemed to feel that way!

Well, that was my weekend!  Lots of football, puppies, and rain.  Good times!

Question for you: Did your football team win this weekend?  What was the weather like for you?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Back to Blogging!

Hey guys!  I'm back!

I really didn't mean to take almost three weeks off from blogging, but quite honestly, I needed to.  Blogging started to feel like a chore to me, and that is NOT what I wanted to feel when writing a post.

Plus, I was personally in a little rut over the last few weeks.  I was bummed out that my knee was bothering me again after the ZOOMA Chicago Half Marathon.  Instead of working to get that injury taken care of, I let my disappointment get to me and that resulted in being lazy.  Also, getting back in to the swing of school proved to hinder my workout and healthy eating routine.  Instead of using the set schedule to help my healthy living, I used it as an excuse to sit around and eat poorly.

So, what have I been up to since I last blogged?

-Well, I went sky diving in Seattle.
Speaking of being in Seattle, I had a GREAT time visiting Kristie and Joe and getting to see other friends from college Brad and Marie while I was out there!  I LOVE getting to see those people that I spent so much time with back in college.  I miss them so much.

-My mother- and sister-in-law came to visit for Labor Day weekend.  We ate Mexican food, spent time on the beach, watched some baseball, and just enjoyed some catch-up time.

-Joe, Tequila, and I are loving that it's football season.
Both of our teams (University of Georgia for him, Virginia Tech for me!) won their games.  I LOVE watching college football and can't wait to watch this week's game where my Hokies take on #5 Ohio State.  I think we have a shot...but maybe I'm just being overly optimistic :)

-I started another Bible study on Wednesday nights.  We're actually doing the Beth Moore Bible study I started this summer but only completed one week of.
I'm excited to be back in Bible study with this group of great women!

-And I've been enjoying my do-nothing time when I get home from work.  So has Pablo.
School always wears me out the first few weeks, but now that I'm really back in the swing of things, I'm ready to kick myself back in to gear as far as being healthy goes.  My focus for the rest of the week is to get food prep done this weekend, get in at least 3 workouts before Monday, and get back on the whole drinking-water thing.  I'm also going to plan out next week's workouts in my planner so that I can schedule them around meetings and other commitments.

I'm happy to back here on the blog with y'all!  Hopefully I won't fall off the blogging train again any time soon :)

Questions for you: What have YOU been up to since I last blogged?  How do you re-start your healthy lifestyle after being in a rut?