Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Win for Halloween and utter fail for healthy living!  I have consumed my weight in chocolate and peanut butter today :)  I had been able to steer clear of the candy dishes in the office until today.  It just didn't feel right not tempting a diabetic coma on Halloween. 

Julia was totally excited about trick-or-treating.  I explained to her that the houses with front porch lights on had candy and the dark houses did not.  I didn't have to tell her twice!  In no time at all, she was running down the sidewalk saying "No light, no candy!"

It was so much fun seeing her so excited about it.  It really made me think about the great times that I had trick-or-treating.  When I was young, we lived in a townhouse community and there seemed to be a million kids my age.  Our community had a Halloween party complete with a cake walk and costume contests.  We always had SO much fun!

Does Halloween seem better or worse than when you were a kid?

What's your favorite Halloween memory?

Forever Obese

If the lounging around in sweat pants all day is too cumbersome for your lifestyle, try the new

They truly appreciate your need to lounge around!  Don't worry, you won't be bothered with annoying waistbands AND your belly can increase by 30 inches without ever having to go up in size!  To ensure that you don't get too much physical activity from answering nature's call, we have installed a state of the art zippered hatches that allow you to go to the bathroom without ever needing to bend over and pull your pants.  Amazing!

Be comfy has never looked so good.  Forget about your pajama jeans with a restrictive waistband or the snuggie that leaves you breezy in the back.  Forever Lazy has a look for every event:  workday blues,  asleep on the job gray, and hanky pinky fuschia (I did not make these up.  These are the actual names!).  Don't wait, order now! 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Idle hands do the Devil's work

Forgive me.  I have sinned.  No one should ever cut their own bangs.  I'm walking proof.  I just got my hair cut but the change wasn't dramatic enough to satisfy me.  Now the change is so dramatic that I think I regret it.  What do you think?

Alex's face kind of says it all
It's been a crazy but fun weekend.  I'm so exhausted!  Alex and I started our weekend off with our TGIF bowling league.  I bowled a 131, 166 and 87 because consistency is not my strong suit.  You would think coming from a family of bowlers, I would do better but I still suck. 

The next morning, Alex and I went to Howl-o-scream at Busch Gardens.  It was freezing.  The haunted houses didn't start until 6pm and it was waaaay too cold for roller coasters so we started out with our favorite meal at the Festhaus!

I tried sauerkraut for the first time this summer at the Festhaus and it was love at first bite.  It is totally normal for me to get just a side of sauerkraut and devour it.  And yeah, that's a giant dill pickle on our tray too. 

After lunch, we decided to try out the Mach Tower.  I had no idea how windy and how much colder it was going to be at the top of the tower.  It would have been a great ride if my teeth weren't chattering the whole time.    It was the epitome of your stomach being in your throat feeling!  I loved it.  After being up in the frigid air, it was time for some apple cider....mmmmm.....

The clown scare zone
Howl-o-Scream was overall a lot of fun.  It was perfect that it was just Alex and me.  I don't think I will take my daughter until she is much, much older.  They don't start the really scary stuff until 6pm but even the shows were a different caliber for Howl-o-Scream.  The actors were much more scantily clad and the dancing was more provocative too.  It's not for kids but it's a good time for adults.

Julia's party, however, was a blast for the kiddos :)  Sunday was full of kids, sweets and fun (in that order).  I made a dirt cake for Julia.  I was supposed to make cake pops to go on top of the cake but I didn't have any sticks and I didn't feel like driving to the store to get some either.  I like to call them cake truffles.

The party was a hit!  I got the kids all sugared up and sent them home to the parents ;)  

What was the highlight of your weekend?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Baby, it's cold outside!

For some reason, I thought Summer would never end but Fall has come and gone without me knowing it!  I worked from home yesterday and went out for a run during my lunch break.  I knew it must be cold out because I actually turned the heat on in my house. 

I decided to wear these socks that my dad picked up for me from the Annapolis Running Expo.  I was hoping that these socks would be warmer than my other socks, but that wasn't the case.  They have additional padding on the heel and toes but that's it.  I'm hoping the toes are more durable than my other socks:

Only time will tell!  It took me two and a half miles before I felt like I was fully warmed up.  I am now aware of how much I am lacking in good winter running gear!  I need some gloves for the first bit of my runs anyway.  Do you just take the gloves off and put them in a pocket when you start getting too hot? 

Here's another question for all the runners out there: do you have trouble breathing for the first couple miles of a run because the air is so cold?  What do you do about that?  Once I was half-way through my run and warmed up, breathing was not a problem thank goodness.  It was just the initial couple miles that made me feel like I couldn't catch a deep breath :(

Despite being cold and my shallow breaths, I had a really good run!  I completed 5.25 miles in 49 minutes!  On average, I ran nine and a half minute miles.  I was super excited with my run.  This only reconfirms my need for a Garmin. 

What are you winter running essentials?

How do you feel about snow in October?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Five reasons why it is great to be five years old

Good Morning and Happy Birthday to my wonderful daughter, Julia!  I got up this morning to bake cupcakes for her class and make cinnamon rolls for her special birthday breakfast.  My mom always served us breakfast in bed when we were growing up.  Since I was doing all that and still trying to get ready for work, she had to come to the kitchen for her breakfast. 

So, we have been doing the old fashioned paper chain to help Julia count down the days to her birthday.  Last night I asked her how many links were left and if she knew her birthday was tomorrow.  Once she figured out that her birthday was the next day, she began to whimper.  I asked her what was wrong and she said "I don't want shots!"  I have no idea if she has figured out that turning a year older means getting shots or if someone was so kind as to explain that to her.  I told her she has nothing to worry about; she will not be getting shots on her birthday.  Am I a bad parent since I didn't let her know that she will be getting them at some point, just not on her actual birthday??

Here are some reasons why I miss being five years old:

1.  Going to some one's birthday party meant YOU got a treat for attending
2.  You got a million presents because even things at the Dollar Store were cool and acceptable gifts
3.  You can stuff yourself silly with cake and ice cream and you don't even know the meaning of guilt
4.  Energy is not something you get from a drink
5.  You don't need two breaths to blow out all the candles ;-)

Is there a reason why you would want to be five years old again?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

For Anyone's Eyes ***EXCEPT for Alex's!***

Busy Saturday!  I had my second to last appointment with Patrice this morning.  We really didn't work out the legs that much but put a good hurting on the upper body.  We also worked the abs pretty good too. The real test is always the day after so I will fill you in later :)

After a good workout and a shower, I was off to David's Bridal with my mom and future mother-in-law :)  It was a day of several dresses....some more interesting than others....

I'm pretty sure I'm the anti-bride.  Of course, I came out of my dressing room and immediately told everyone that I hated this dress.  "Look at me, I'm a mushroom!"  You see, it's a convertible dress.  A longer version for the ceremony and a shorter one for the reception.  The convertible dress I had seen previously had the lower part of the skirt that zipped off under a ruffle.  It was a humbling moment when the sales woman came by and told me the short dress goes under the long skirt.  WHOOPS!  It's even more hilarious that when my mom was helping me into the dress she said "That's so weird, the long skirt seems so much bigger than the dress."  Oh my....

This is what the dress looks like when put on the right way.  Much improved!  It's so funny how when you are trying on wedding dresses, everyone has an opinion.  I had the mom (?) of another bride telling me I had found the one and another girl suggested that I try on this beaded belt with the dress.  Good choice :)

I don't like tiaras and don't think this counts as one
Nothing was purchased today but it was still a lot of fun to go out with both of the moms!  After David's Bridal, it was off to Julia's friend's birthday party.  In true kiddo party style, there were tons of sweets.  I didn't want to be rude so I sampled all of them :)  Good thing I have a run scheduled for tomorrow morning!!!
How was your Saturday?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Federal Pacific

Ever heard of Federal Pacific?  I never had either until the breakers in my house started shutting off an refusing to turn back on.  I had an electrician come over last night to take a look and his exact words were "oh yeah, it's cookin' in there."  Great.  Apparently, Federal Pacific breaker boxes are huge fire hazards and mine is ready to go at any minute.  The proposed fee for fixing this problem a mere $1100.

This is potentially the inside of my box
WTF.  Welcome to real home ownership. 

So currently half of my house is without power and the other half is ready to go at any minute.  Has this inspired me to go out and get flashlights?  Nope.  Instead, I have perfected brushing my teeth and locating items by feel.  The other thing is that the treadmill isn't working without electricity either.  No thanks, I'm not going Fred Flintstone style or attempting to run out in Dale City at four in the morning.  Maybe I'll get lucky an get home early enough tonight to run outside???

Do you know a good electrician that is buying his way into heaven through pro bono work?

Would you have someone do electrical work on your home without obtaining a permit?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Running late from lunch....literally....

Good Evening!  I had a wonderful day :)  I teleworked, which was lovely, and even fit in an almost 5.5 mile run.  I didn't get up this morning to get my run done so instead I went out during my lunch break.  I'm so glad that I did because it was an awesome run but I thought the route was shorter than it was and came back from lunch about ten minutes late :( 

I love that I got my run done.  It's true that you will never regret the time you spend exercising.  It's such a mood lifter too.  Even though it was raining, it was magnificent to get outside.  So since I was late coming back from my run, I literally walked in the door and sat at my computer;  I was unable to eat until my next break at nearly four o'clock.  I was starving!

Actually, I'm still starving.  That's the glory of being a runner, I guess.  You get to consume a few extra calories.  I made a weird but enjoyable snack this evening.  I took some pumpkin puree and warmed it up with some sunflower butter, vanilla protein powder, and cinnamon.  I think I need to lay off the pumpkin a little before it wears out it's welcome.  Haha.

Do you over do seasonal treats?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It's like drinking Pumpkin Pie :)

Good Evening Everyone!  I hope your week is going well :)  Today I ran two miles on the least it was something.  I had the hardest time getting out of bed.  I think my body just needs more sleep.  Tomorrow I am teleworking from home so I am planning on doing a four mile run outside before I start work. 

Julia and I had a delicious treat this evening :)

Healthy Pumpkin Smoothie

3 heaping spoonfuls of pureed pumpkin
3 tbsp agave syrup
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp all-spice
2 tsp cinnamon
6 ice cubes

Put everything into a blender, blend and enjoy!

This was definitely a great way to get Julia to eat another vegetable for the day.  I still have pumpkin puree left so maybe we will have pumpkin pancakes tomorrow morning!  Mmmmm!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Last Week = FAIL

This week has been a complete failure for good eating and working out.  Don't get me wrong, it has been a fun-filled and delightful week but not one that makes me feel healthy.  I have spent much of my time working on a few gifts for a friend who had her baby shower this weekend.
Guess who's daddy is a Hokie?
I really love being crafty but I'm really a jack-of-all-trades but master of none.  They weren't bad for a first attempt but they were also perfectly imperfect.  I also made a diaper changing pad for her that was VT colors too.  I did the changing pad without a pattern and many lessons were learned.

I worked out with Patrice on Saturday morning.  I felt like it was an "ok" workout but I didn't think it was stellar.  Well, I changed my mind when I woke up the next day!  My abs are sooo sore and my hamstrings are dying too.  I really think the move that did me in was the rotating push-ups.  You start by doing a regular push-up, then raise one arm straight up to the ceiling while rotating your body and putting your body weight on the arm that is still on the floor.  Make sense?  Maybe I will take pictures of that later...  It was a killer core workout.

To ensure that no calorie deficit was attained, I went over to Stacy's to help her make some lemon-curd cupcakes and chocolate covered strawberries for our friends baby shower the next day.  YUM!  Quality control happens to be one of my specialties.

Later that night, Alex and I met up with some friends to play pool.  Any benefit that I gained working out with Patrice earlier that day was negated for sure by the time we went home. 

The next day Alex, our parents, and I went over to Bristow Manor for an open house.  We were able to try some of their food as well as see the centerpieces that are available with the package. 

This would be nice with a scented candle
The table runner is one of the colors I am using :)
I'm so incredibly excited to marry Alex but I hate parting with money, especially large sums of money.  It frustrates me that one single day is going to cost thousands of dollars.  I might upset family members with this thought but I wish eloping wasn't so frowned upon haha.

Was your week a PASS or a FAIL?

What was your biggest expense at your wedding?  Was it worth it?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Triple Chocolate Delight

I've been operating on very little sleep, the weather has been ugly, and I got suckered into buying an $18 bag of popcorn. 

This isn't even half as good as a Girl Scout cookie but that hasn't stopped me from eating my weight in triple chocolate delight popcorn.  Let's just call it carbo-loading.

Happy Jerzday!

What's your carb of choice?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wednesday Recap

So today I tried something new and split my run into two parts.  It's a simple thing really that has never occurred to me until I read Kara's blog.  I actually liked breaking the longer run into two mini-runs.  Both of the mini-runs were done on the treadmill and I kept myself at a 10 min/mile or better the entire time.  I was pretty pleased with my performance.

To celebrate a run well done, I decided to make some delicious pumpkin bread with Julia.  It's a recipe that I saw on the Fitnessista's Blog and modified it a bit.

Pumpkin-Almond-Chocolate Bread

-2 cups whole wheat flour
-2 teaspoon baking powder
-1/4 teaspoon sea salt
-3 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
-1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
-1 cup pumpkin
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1 cup milk
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1 teaspoon molasses
-2 eggs
-1/2 cup chopped almonds

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sea salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Add the chocolate chips and almonds and stir.  Next, add in the remaining ingredients and mix to fully incorporate all the goods.  Bake in a loaf pan at 325 degrees for one hour.

Julia is a fan
It would have been soo much better with walnuts instead of almonds but I didn't have any :(  Oh well, perfect excuse to try the recipe out again!  I now have a big can of pumpkin that needs to be used up so I see some pumpkin pancakes in my future too.

I am finally feeling like the start of the holiday season is upon us.  I put up my Halloween decorations, cooked some pumpkin bread and made some circus squash for dinner.

I absolutely love baked squash with a drizzle of honey!  This was a circus squash that I got from the farmer's market last weekend.  I don't think I cooked this one quite long enough so it still had a bit of crunch to it.  I liked it and Julia seemed to like it too.  I served up some chicken pasta and squash for dinner and the only thing left on her plate were a few bits of pasta :)

Today was overall pretty good.  I felt like I got some stuff accomplished and got to spend some quality time with Julia too.  Now it's off to bed!

Do you split your workouts into multiple parts? 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Preggo Marathon Running

No.  I'm not pregnant.  I was reading on another blog and read about the woman who ran the Chicago marathon almost 39 weeks pregnant and had the baby later that day (DUH!).  I have always thought about the possibility of running while pregnant and it just doesn't make sense to me.  Running is NOT the only form of exercise that will keep you fit.  Don't get me wrong, exercise ANYtime during life is very important.  I fully expect that when I have children in the future that I will continue to be active all throughout the pregnancy, however, marathons will not even be a consideration.

Seriously, how do you feel like
the baby is not going to fall out?
I do not understand the choices that some people make when they are pregnant.  I feel that being pregnant should be a self-less act.  You should be putting the child's needs before your own.  Now, I realize that I am probably in the minority for how extreme I take that sentiment but for me it's worth it to ensure the health of my child.  For instance, when I found out I was pregnant with Julia, I had been drinking alcohol, smoking, and living on coffee.  Once I found out that I was pregnant, all of that was immediately over.  I was cranky and mean for a while but I got over it because I knew my baby didn't have a choice about sharing the things I was putting into my body.  I wanted to be fair to her.  I wanted her to have the best possible start to life that I could provide.

I had gestational diabetes while I was pregnant too.  It was a breeze for me to watch what I ate, count my carbs, and test my blood sugar levels.  Again, it was my child that kept me on the straight and narrow instead of making love to a pint of ice cream each night because I was allowed to eat for two.  ***Hmm, possibly I need to pretend to have gestational diabetes again to inspire me to be more careful about what I eat now haha***

Back to the woman who ran the Chicago Marathon, I'm sure that it was no coincidence that she gave birth later that day.  It really makes me mad to see that in the news article she admits to having contractions in the second half of the marathon and KEPT GOING!  Are contractions reason enough to stop?????  I guess not because she finished the race, got something to eat and then headed to the hospital.  Ridiculous.  Please take your time.

Is a marathon an appropriate form of inducing childbirth?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Columbus Day!

Good Morning!  It is a wonderful day to work for the government!  I'm writing to you in my pajamas on my cozy couch and I'm loving every minute of it!  I'm even more thankful that I have the day off because after destroying my legs on Saturday and my 7-mile run yesterday, I can feel every muscle that I use to just walk around.  Ouch!

I met up with the Lake Ridge Runners for a great run through Occoquan Regional Park.  After the first loop, we had completed 4.5 miles.  I was fully prepared to wimp out and do the run in two installments but luckily there was another person there that was signed up for the Hot Chocolate 15k, who wanted to add on some miles.  All in all, we completed seven miles!

In other exciting news from the weekend, Alex and I went to see another potential wedding venue :)

Bristow Manor Golf Club
It's a historic 1800's manor house with wonderfully landscaped grounds.  There is no site-fee and plenty of freebies to go along with your reservation for the day!

Chiavari chairs and linens, gratis!
Napkins, mirrored tiles, tea lights and centerpieces are included too
There is a tasting next week at the manor that Alex, our mothers, and I are going to attend.  I hope the food is really tasty because that's all I am waiting for to make the decision.  We haven't looked at a lot of places but this one really seems to give us a lot for our money.  It also meets my desire to have it a historic location with an outdoor ceremony.  The other reason why I am encouraged to book this space sooner rather than later is the Saturdays in September are all booked and so is the first weekend in October!  So this place fills up very quickly and I feel like we need to act now to be sure we can get married on the weekend we want!

All in all, it was a great weekend!  How was your weekend?

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Good Saturday morning!  I hope everyone is enjoying this amazing weather :)  My morning got off to a wonderful start with some delicious veggie sausage and scrambled eggs with onions, peppers and topped with chipotle goat cheese.

Paper plates are a busy mom's best friend
After breakfast, I went to the gym and had an amazing workout with Patrice.  She attacked my legs pretty hard.  The last set I did on the leg press was 240lbs and of course, that was followed but four-step lunges with 15lb weights in each hand.  We shall see if I can walk tomorrow!

My mommy can lift more than your mommy ;)
Originally, I had a 7-mile run scheduled for today and 60-minutes of cross-training tomorrow but I am going to put off the run until tomorrow.  I'm going to try to catch up with the Lake Ridge Runners, which is always a lot of fun. 

So, I have been getting down about myself and my progress and I think that I have lost sight of the purpose of this blog and my real goal.  I want to be a better role model for my daughter and I want to show her how to be fit, strong, and happy.  I don't want to constantly worry about being a certain weight or dress size because that's not a healthy way to live.  I need to refocus on the right decisions that I am making, instead of beating myself up over the poor choices. 

Remember, positive affirmations?
I also think that I have  been focusing on my running more than I should be too.  Don't get me wrong, I love running and what it does for me mentally and physically.  It was just devastating when I had to stop running last year and then gained 35lbs.  Now, I am trying to cross-train more and discover more ways of being fit rather than just running.  This also reminds me of the goals that I set for myself when I began working out with Patrice.  I only have three sessions left with her!  It's probably a good idea to do a test-run of these to see how I am progressing before the second assessment.

How do you refocus on your goals?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Confessions of Silence

It's often the case that when I don't tell you what I am doing to work out, I am simply not working out.  For a while, I was doing an amazing job getting up at 4am and logging miles on the treadmill.  The lazy switch is apparently suck in the "ON" position, as I have not been able to get up that early to save my life.  The unfortunate thing is that if I don't exercise in the morning, the likelihood of exercising at all that day is slim to none.  Yesterday was a none day...Oh well.  I will make sure that I get on the treadmill for the five miles that were scheduled!
Why don't I own this???
I really have no excuse for not working out in the evenings.  Alex is wonderfully accommodating when it comes to me working out!  I'm sure tonight will be no exception!  Tomorrow I will do another three miles, Friday will be a 30-minute tempo (?) run, and Saturday is a seven mile run.  Woo!  Of course, the weekday runs will be logged on the treadmill but the Saturday run will be alfresco.  I will be planning it out ahead of time so I know exactly where I am going.  I do much better mentally when I know where the finish line is located!

Other fun plans for my weekend will include hot yoga :)  I know where to go now so I should be able to attend without any further incidents.  I'm thinking about hitting it up a couple times this weekend since we have a long, holiday weekend and Julia is going to visit her cousin in South Carolina.  Better start drinking extra water now....

Do you have Columbus Day off?  How are you spending the weekend?


Monday, October 3, 2011

Belts are Non-Negotiable

So I'm starting to feel a little sloppy when I go to work....

I think it's time to invest in a few outfits for work.  It's a great thing that I get $10 coupons for Fashion Bug all the time and that my Banana Republic card gives me rewards too!  I won't be investing too much (I have a wedding to save for after all) since I still have great lengths to go to before I will be in a healthy range for my height.

Rockin' the Maymont 8-miler shirt
I still have four sessions with Patrice left.  I do not think that I will renew my personal training with her.  It's been tough to find time that works for both of us and let's face it, it's a lot of money!  I have decided that I might be better off continuing to train for different runs and investing in some weights for my home.  Tonight I did three miles on the treadmill and tomorrow I have another five scheduled!
In other news, I was super-excited when I went shopping at Bloom yesterday.  They were having double coupons up to $1.99 and I did pretty well!

My favorite purchase was the People Style Watch magazine.  I had a coupon for $1.00 for People from the Sunday coupons and then the magazine itself had a $1.00 coupon on my next issue.  F that, I'm using it now.  So double the first coupon and double the second, that makes four dollars off a $3.99 magazine!  Yay!  I finally feel 1/100 of the joy extreme couponers must feel :)

So a little off topic and just for fun, I thought I would pose a question to my readers to get some feedback on an issue that my friend is dealing with. The little girl is very rough and tumble and loves Spiderman.  Should the little girl wear the classic Spiderman costume for Halloween?  Or should the four year old girl wear a "spider girl" adaptation of the costume?  Does it matter what the girl prefers?

What costume would you let your own child wear?


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hi October

So I can't believe that it is October!  I love it and hate it all at once.  I have been busy keeping up with life in general but have still been able to complete my 15k training.  I think I ran four miles the other day.  I only say that because my Nike+ has been MIA.  Surprisingly I made this discovery in my make-up bag:
I have no idea why I stuck it in there; it makes no sense at all.  I'm very glad to have it back :)  Today I met up with the Lake Ridge Runners at Burke Lake Park.  There was an organized event and for the majority of the run, we were running through on-coming race traffic.  It was enough to keep me entertained and the miles seemed to fly by.  In total, I ran 6.5 miles and when I finished, I felt like I could have done more :)  I have three miles scheduled for tomorrow....can't wait!

Have you misplaced something in the most unlikely spot?