January 2, 2013

A little bleary eyed this morning, sipping on cup #2 (back to decaf, scandalous!).  

Its been a deliciously awesome 1.5 weeks of family, late nights, coffee in my pjs, a few movies, college football, WAY too much food, friends and some fun DIY projects (mostly crocheting). 

Our Christmas was as crazy as it always is and we spent New Years Eve in our (now traditional) favorite way, with our friends by a bonfire and a big dinner.  I was sad to see Christmas go, but by the time NYE rolled around, I was ready to keep moving on.  2012 was an interesting year – it had some major ups and major downs:

I lost a job that I needed, but hated BUT I found a new job that I needed and love. 

I trained for and successfully ran a half marathon and a handful of other races, but didn’t really keep up with it during the summer and subsequent months. 

I shifted from a pretty (self-imposed) limited vegetarian diet to embracing and exploring a whole new set of food options and turned Vegan in the process!

I experienced what was probably one of the happiest days of my life and married a good guy who does a lot for me (despite my snarking) – I am lucky.

I got to watch a TON of baseball, including a Playoff game for the O’s.

I got serious about my cc debt and got my finances in order and have kept them in order.

And now the obligatory “look back”- I made a few resolutions last year and its time to see how well I did, especially before I figure out how well I need to do for 2013 😉


Looking back on how I felt about 2012 and comparing that to how I wanted 2012 to go, I’m really happy with how I’ve surprisingly grew as a person.  I can also look back and giggle a bit about how there are somethings that are clearly hard to change:

Its really funny for me to see my resolution for balance.  I can remember being so unhappy at that point in my life, especially with work.  My constant struggle to find “balance” finally ended when I left and started a new job.  I still put in long hard days at work, but I come home and do things that I want to do project wise.  I think balance is still an important thing to strive and work for, but I truly believe that a lot of that comes naturally when you’re in a good place.

With last year’s relative success, its time to turn forward to 2013.  I’m honestly pretty excited about the potential this year has.  I have a blank slate on the horizon, which leaves room for new goals.  Last year, most of our time and efforts were dedicated to planning, paying for and experiencing our wedding, finding a new job and getting my finances in order.  This year, those three things have (mostly) been taken care of.  So now what do we work for?  Here goes!

1.  Save save save! I am really starting to enjoy seeing the accrual of money each month in my checking account.  It took me forever to get where I’m at today, but I feel so much more like an adult for having gone through what I did to get there. I really want to take a serious look at my spending in the future and try to save money when and where I can.

2.  House!  We’re to the point now, where we’re a little sick of living above or below someone.  A lot of the money saving this year will be directed towards looking for our first house.

3.  Books:  I am firmly resolving to not buy any more books until I’ve finished the (near million or so) that I already have.  This will be a near Herculean task, as I have a slight obsession with books.  But I’m determined to make it through at least January.

4.  Projects – My sewing machine still has yet to see the light of day in Baltimore.  So shameful.

I have so many other thoughts swirling around in my head about what I want to work on, get better at, do more of, do less of.  But I think I’ve set some really good goals for myself for 2013.   All day yesterday and NYE, I had this feeling of anticipation and excitement for this upcoming year.  I hope it turns out to be a good sign!

Sorry for the book of a post – but these types are mandatory every now and again, no?  🙂

Raising a virtual (and day late) toast to everyone to wish them a wonderful new year!



Oh weekends

October 29, 2012

This weekend Brandon and I took full advantage of a gorgeous Fall Saturday before settling in for the rainy windy hurricane weather we’ll be enjoying for the next few days 😉  You can tell we’re adults now, because the first thing we get annoyed about is how we may not be able to get things done at our respective jobs. 

Anyhow, I enjoyed an early morning workout, some antique browsing and a walk through one of our favorite parks to watch the dogs play.  Who knew a tennis ball could be so much fun??  I also picked up some resistance bands to add to my “at home” gym and enjoyed a few crochet projects, more than a few dishes that incorporated kale (its my new happy drug, I swear) and a fantastic bottle of wine. 

Lastly: a HUGE shout out to my friend Mike (you’ve seen his guests posts here before) for completing his FIRST half marathon – and he’s only been running for about a year!

Oh weekends!


Good moods all around!

October 12, 2012

Warning: I am in a ridiculously awesome mood.  From a good workout last night, ruining dinner, then saving dinner by improvising (SUCH a great feeling), the O’s coming through and making this a 5 game series against the Yankees (lets go Os!) all the way through to this morning, an early morning feel good workout (Bodypump!), a bright and chipper outfit and a cup of decaf sitting in front of me. Oh.  And its FRIDAY.  No big.

That’s a lot of chipper so lets take it a few at a time shall we?

Last night:

Since I’m not actively training for a race (does the Color run count?), I’m trying to focus on workouts that I want to do rather than the workouts on my training schedule (such freedom!).  It took a few weeks to break out of the routine and the mental bashing if I didn’t get in a sweaty hard and fast run 3X a week, but now I’m in a much better place when it comes to workouts and I’m looking forward to them again.  Earlier this week I hopped on the treadmill for a hilly 30′ walk and hit up my yoga class on Wednesday night. Yesterday, coming home from work I wanted a workout, but my knee has been a little sore lately, so I started off with 20 minutes of hills and resistance on the bike before switching over to the treadmill for 10 minutes of incline walking, 5 minutes of running and a 5 minute cool down.  Was it a full 40 minutes of solid running? Nope.  Did I feel great at the end? Yup.

So.  Lets talk what else happened last night.  Dinner happened.  My original plan was to make some stuffed poblano peppers.  In theory it worked, but I left them sit in the oven a little too long (oops) and since my husband had a rough day at work, I opted to admit defeat on this one and offer to run out and pick him up a frozen pizza.  The tough thing about eating Vegan is that you’re a little limited on frozen pizza options at the smaller grocery shops.  Womp Womp.  So instead of grabbing a frozen vegan burrito loaded with salt, I opted for an improvisation of my semi-failed dinner.  What I ended up with was a delicious version of a personal pizza (vegan) and used up some of dinner (the rest for lunch today!).  Not only did I have a meal that even B said looked pretty good, I felt pretty awesome about not wasting food.

Has anyone seen or tried the foldit breads from Flatouts?  I grabbed the 5 grain flax variety which are 99 calories, deliciously soft and vegan! Perfect for sandwiches or you know…failed dinner fixes.  I just spread some tomato paste on one, chopped up one of the stuffed poblanos and threw it on top.  Into the oven to crisp up (which it did perfectly, I might add) and boom!  DIY impromptu vegan pizza. 

I finished off the night with one of these puppies.   I can and have made my own, but these are like a slightly richer version of a reeses.  And sometimes convenience just wins out.  So good. 

This morning:

I had my usual 5:45 Bodypump + CRX workout class.  It wasn’t as crowded as usual this morning, which made it nice for some more interaction with the other girls. 

Afterwards I felt so great that I thought about it long and hard and opted to indulge in a cup of decaf coffee for the morning. 

You may think this is no big deal, but here’s the thing.  Since last Tuesday, I’ve been trying to filter out the coffee and caffeine consumption, trying to learn to make the distinction between wanting the coffee and being addicted to caffeine.  Surprisingly ( to me) the detox hasn’t actually been that difficult.  I went for green tea last Tuesday and switched to herbal teas for the rest of the week.  I haven’t really missed the coffee OR caffeine (and mint tea is so envigorating anyhow!).  I indulged in a small cup on the weekend and it definitely made me a bit more jittery than usual.  So this morning, after not craving coffee at all, the weather was crisp, I was in a great mood and just felt the need for something alittle richer and cozier.  But I wasn’t tired, I was wide awake and I in no way wanted the caffeine.  So with all of that in mind, I felt great in indulging in a steamy cup of decaf (who AM I?!) with some creamy hemp milk.  Its the perfect way to jump start my weekend!  Well, that and a bright pink scarf

bright colors make me smile!

and this adorable face:

Seriously.  Kills me every time. 

Speaking of weekends, I’ve got a semi-busy one planned with an evening of kitchen goodies, baseball games and a day trip up to Lancaster on the books.  How about you??  Anyone else trying to cut back the caffeine and coffee?


Happy Friday, Indeed!

August 31, 2012

Its FRIDAY! 🙂 And what makes Friday even better?  A three day weekend folks – yup!  Does it seem like the week before a holiday weekend are always just a little bit harder to get through for anyone else too?  Jeepers.

After a two days of solid work in the beginning, my week settled out pretty well, so I took advantage of the extra breathing room to bring myself back up to speed on the workout routine.  Like I said yesterday, I haven’t quite kicked myself back into early am running, but I’ve managed to fill my week with a workout each day.  Here’s how it turned out:

Monday: Got my butt out of bed and to a second consecutive week of Bodypump.  I really have missed starting my day with the girls in the class and the instructor.  Even though I don’t know them personally, there’s something about the motivational comments, the mutual grimaces, sighs of relief and blood pumping music that screams “best way to start a week” to me.  This was also the morning that I realized I am sadly out of practice with green smoothie makings.  Clumpy and tasteless, but it held me over until lunch.  Yikes.  Bonus?  I could walk like a normal human being afterwards.

Tuesday:  Here’s where I almost gave in.  The idea of hitting the gym after an exhausting day of work with only myself to motivate me through a simple 30 minutes of cardio.  I gave myself until after dinner to relax a bit, get back some energy from dinner and walk out that door before I could decide to “wait until tomorrow” to get back to it.  I ended up with something closer to 35 minutes (I’m a weirdo and HAVE to finish my workout on an even time and mile).   

Wednesday: Wednesday pushed myself to get out the door and a little early so I could fit in a 20 minute elliptical session before my yoga class, which felt great.  I think when its possible, I’m going to try for this more often.  Especially with a forced 1 hour stretch session afterwards.  Yoga this week had a KILLER downward dog series that if you follow me on dailymile, you’ll know had my shoulders screaming at the end.  I am in awe of anyone who considers that a rest pose.  Yow.zas.  But the core workout was great and I felt stronger than I have in weeks. 

Thursday:  Just another simple 30 minute session on the elliptical.  I’ve focused on a cardio exercise with less impact to start back up again with this week.  I want to get my body reacquainted with endurance and cardio workouts before I start filtering back in the running.  Happily, I’m starting to feel that urge to work a little harder, so I think I may incorporate some runs next week.  This go-round though, I tried out the “reverse workout” function.  5 minutes forward and 2 minutes in reverse.  It starts out ok, but 2 minutes of reverse on an elliptical can get ROUGH, especially when you up the resistance.  Rounded out the workout with a cooldown, totaling 35 minutes and 4 miles.    I topped the night off with a big bowl of bulgur wheat, grilled veggies and tofu (FINALLY). 

Friday:  The last big test of the week, the 5:45 am Bodypump+CxWorks gym class.  45 minutes of lifting and 30 minutes of core work with resistance bands and weights, etc.  First things first – I WENT.  Secondly, I think I held a plank/hover today for the longest I have ever done (with toe/knee taps mixed in!).  I kind of wanted to throw up a little afterwards.  But I’m ridic proud  of doing it.  Oh and one more thing?

(holy bad angle, batman!)

I’m getting a lot better at those smoothies…round 2 was green and delicious.  Thank you, ripe banana, thank you.

Smoothie: Almond milk, handful of spinach, flax seeds, Maca root powder, hemp protein powder, P2B Chocolate PB, a dash of vanilla and 1 bananananananana.  Werd.   (I followed with a coffee chaser 😉 )

I am happy, I am awake and kind of excited that my abs are finally coming back out to play.  So lets start the countdown for the holiday weekend, kids!  We have lots of plans for friends, cookouts, breweries and fun. 

Since we’ll be on the go a bit, I think i’m going to whip up these little beauties tonight, so we can have something healthy to enjoy with our coffee or just grab and go for the drives.   

Who’s got fun weekend plans??


ps – Check out these photos from CNN.  I think numbers 3,6, 11 and 15 are my favorites.