Monday, April 30, 2012


Happy Monday, Everyone!!! Ok, I know you all want me to cease and desist with the cheeriness, right? Well, I can't. Not only do I have the day off, #bestscheduleever, but 2 wonderful people are celebrating their birthdays today. I love celebrating things. It makes me happy. I really hope you feel the same way too.

To my baby Brother William:  Regardless of height, you will always by my "little" brother.  After 24 years, I would hope that you would be used to it by now.  I can't believe how quickly time has gone by, sometimes I expect to still see you looking like this:

And instead, you're a grown up who doesn't need his big sister sticking up for him on the playground anymore.  Happy Birthday, dude.  Hope it's an amazing one for you.

Next up on the celebration roster, we have one of my favorites!  Miss Nay from Cover to Cover & Everything in Between.  


 If you haven't happened by her bloggy before, or you don't read it regularly, you are seriously missing out on one of the best blogs that the interwebs has to offer.  So guys, please don't hesitate, go birthday bomb Nay with well wishes for this next chapter of her life!

So that's what I have for all of you party people today.  I'm trying to get caught up on school work today, but tomorrow we'll be wrapping up April in some pretty paper, and welcoming May with a great big hug.  Can't wait to talk to you then!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Better than Birchbox?

Ok.  I know I've written stuff before that I was afraid might lose me a reader or two.  But today, I might just be blowing it.  I found something that, in my opinion, is better than Birchbox.

I KNOW.  You all are scoffing, and getting ready to close the tab.  I get it, you love yourself some Birchbox.  I know it is beauty sample heaven.  But guys, since I quit doing Mary Kay, I pretty much stopped putting on any make-up.  99 out of 100 times you see me, I have no make-up on.  And I can't bring myself to order monthly skincare and make-up samples I'm not into using.

So when I found out about Klutch Club I knew I had found my own personal Birchbox.  It's a little more expensive at $18/month, but oh so worth it.  I signed up for a 3 month membership, and got my first box last Friday.  Wanna see what I got?

Are you seeing all of that goodness?  Yes, that is a FULL LENGTH yoga dvd with 3 different routine options.  A bottle of Omega Swirl fish oil (so good for you, and pretty pricey to buy at Whole Foods), some coconut water, an awesome all-natural exfoliating face wash, lentil chips, seed and fruit trail mix, a KIND bar, a powdered energy drink, skin detox tea samples, and a $25 off coupon for a hyde yoga clothing purchase.

You can't even buy the yoga dvd for $18.  If you are into learning about the latest and greatest in health, wellness, and nutrition, this might just be up your alley.

So is it really better than birchbox?  That depends on you.  But I guess you never know unless you know that it exists in the first place, right?

**Klutch Club is not paying or compensating me in any way.  I'm just super impressed with my haul and thought you might like it too**

Friday, April 27, 2012

Something's missing

Something is missing in my life.  I didn't even realize it was missing until recently.  Do you ever hate how that happens?  You feel like there's something you want to be doing, something you SHOULD be doing, but you don't know what it is.  You can't put your finger on it.  I started feeling this way a couple of months ago, but brushed it off.  I mean, between a job, school, blogging, boyfriend, cat, working out, and meal prep, I figured it was general laziness that I was lacking.  Turns out, that is not what it is, my friends.

Once I realized something was missing I started to worry.  How in the world am I going to balance these needs?  I am struggling right now to keep my head above water with my current schedule.  I find myself vegging out more and more, because I am so overwhelmed.  Will this "something" actually be relaxing?  Or would it be something (like sewing or cooking), that, while fun for me, does not inspire zen vibes?

I am type A at just about everything.  But there is one area that I am absolutely, 100% psychotic about.  And wouldn't you know, it just so happens to be the "thing" that has been missing from my life.  Eff.

My mom is most likely simultaneously groaning and cheering right now (hi mom!).  Music, particularly flute and piccolo, were a massive part of my life growing up.  I was in band from 6th grade until I graduated high school.  I picked up the piccolo in 8th grade, and found true love in that cute little instrument. 

But I don't like for others to hear me.  So much so, that I would rarely practice at home, because I knew my mom was listening from the other room.  I hate for people to hear me play something that is less than perfect.  Which is also why I've only played a handful of times in the 9 years since I graduated from high school.

Yeah, I've talked about picking it up again.  But the urge has never been so great as to get over the overwhelming anxiety of people hearing me make mistakes.

And this is where I realize that I'm really thinking about something much deeper, much more important than if I ever play the flute again.  I'm really thinking about letting my best at that moment be enough.  My best might have breathy tone, poor rhythm, and sloppy fingering.  My best might not hit those same notes it used to.  My "best" might be a little shrill even.  But it must be better than not doing anything at all.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Sometimes, when all the homework is done, when all of the blog posts have been read, there exists a few minutes for crafting.  Last week I had a little extra time, and decided to stitch up a little something:

Sorry about my foot in the front corner.  It's late, and I don't feel like editing pictures tonight.  So obviously, this project was not about perfection.  I free-handed the phrase and hearts on in pen, threw it on a hoop, and went to town.  And, as you can tell, I threw it in a frame before I even bothered to press it.  I'm a classy crafter, don't you know?

Despite it being thrown-together and wrinkled, we love it.  It is proudly displayed in our bedroom now.  I suppose at some point I should take it out of the frame and press it, but that seemed like too much wok given how little effort I put into the process in the first place.  The frame is one I picked up at ARC for a dollar.  It's gaudy, and that makes it even more fun.

So there you have it.  Proof that every now and again, I manage to do a little crafting.  And even further proof that even the laziest busiest people have time for a little creativity in their life.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Someone found my blog using the search phrase "my love of cow" this week.  You'll remember that I used that particular phrase here.

For some reason, I can't help but laugh hysterically.  Whoever you are, you rock my socks off, and I love you.  So in honor of that, I'm leaving you with this image.  I hope it makes your Wednesday infinitely more awesome:


Have a wonderful day, y'all!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pumped Up Kicks

This post isn't about school shootings, it's about another kind of kicks.  Shoes.  Running shoes, to be exact.  When I was in college and doing ROTC, my parents bought me a pair of running shoes, in hopes that having proper fitting shoes would minimize my risk of injury.  While it was a great hope, it didn't always work out that way.  I still had some problems with arthritic knees and such, but I know it would have been worse if I had bad shoes.

This is back in the ROTC days of 2003.  That's Becca next to me.  She's amazing.
Fast forward 8 or 9 years to 2012.  I decide to start training for running again.  I pull out my trust running shoes and get to work.  At first, everything is going fine.  The running is slowly increasing, and it looks like the shoes are going to work.  And then, about 4.5 weeks into the training plan, I start noticing some knee and ankle twinges popping up after runs.

I look at the bottoms of the good ole' shoes, and they are completely worn.  The rubber is peeling off in places.  Crap.  We're 2.5 weeks away from the pivotal 5k I have been working towards.  I was hoping to wait until afterward to buy new shoes.  I'm not going to make it unless new shoes come into the picture.

So last night, after a yummy dinner at Smashburger, A and I headed over to Runner's Roost to get me some new kicks.  I was pretty dialed in on what I needed.  My knees are bow-legged, and my ankles tend to roll inward a lot, so I knew I needed something with a lot of medial (toward the midline of the body) stability.  After chatting with the sales guy about my needs, he had my try on a few pairs and take them for a test jog outside.  I love going to running stores for shoes, because the sales people know their stuff.  They brought out shoes that were right on target with what I needed, and encouraged me to go run outside in them.  Try doing this sometime at Famous Footwear, or a big sporting goods store.  It probably won't happen.  After a couple of test runs, I settled on these babies:

They're by Brooks.  They have high arches, and lots of medial support.  The one drawback is they have a really firm sole, and I feel a jolt when my heel comes down.  The sales guy encourage me to run in them on a treadmill for a few days and see how I do with it.  He said I could just be used to a softer sole, and that I will probably adjust to the firmness.  The best part is, if I don't adjust to it, I can bring the shoes back and swap them out for something different.  How cool is that?

Welcome to my world, new running shoes.  May we have many blessed days together.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Moving forward

Happy Monday!  I m so glad you guys made it by today.  Last week was great for me, how was your week?  Did you accomplish everything you wanted to?

Last week I managed to workout 5 out of 7 days.  My goal has been 6 days, and I have consistently doing 5.  I find it hard to be down on myself about it, considering how difficult it is to wake up at 5:30am just to go exercise before work.  I did all 4 of my scheduled runs, and one swimming workout.  I also did a 70 minute yoga class on Monday, and a quick 25 minute yoga workout on Sunday.

Moving forward this week I am really going to challenge myself to make it to the pool for both of my swimming workouts this week.  It's such great cross-training for the running, and I feel so amazing when I'm done.

I also want to start working on integrating more yoga into my life.  I've been doing really well at stretching after my runs, which has helped immensely with injury prevention and muscle recovery, but I know I could be taking it further.  My hips have been really tight lately, and I want to get that sorted out, since I am gearing up for bike training in a week and a half.

Last week I admitted that I ate some foods that are not on my cleanse, and I forgave myself and moved on from it.  I am so glad that I did not let that one decision stand in the way of doing what my body needs!  I did have some frustration though with not feeling like I am getting the results I had initially anticipated. 

This week, I am glad to be on track and being my best!  I still need to meal plan and grocery shop, but the plan for this week is to pack in as many veggies as possible, and start to re-introduce small amounts of wheat into my diet.  I want to see if gluten is something my body is tolerating well, or if it is something that could give me trouble.  I am hoping gluten is okay, since I have all of this yummy bread at home!

This week I need to keep calm and move forward with what needs to be done.  There are 2 more weeks in the semester.  2 more weeks of my running training plan.  Everything is coming to a head, and instead of getting bogged down, I need to make a plan.

I need to accept that I may not be able to put up 6 blog posts a week, no matter how much I enjoy it.

What is up with you this week?  Do you have things that are coming to an end that you're trying to wrap up?

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Guys, I realized something, just now as I wrote the title to this post.  Before I wrote the title, I didn't know where to go with this today.  But as I wrote the word "Uplifted" in that white title bar, I was flooded with things to tell you.

I have had so many happy love notes pop up in my email browser this past week.  So many people sharing good news, joys, and happiness.  And I have to tell you.  I feel so uplifted by all of it.

First off (and by far the most important), my mom officially "ended" chemo on Wednesday.  I say "ended" because her last infusion was 3 weeks prior, but it takes 21 days to work its way out of your system.  My family was so fortunate that she got through chemo with minimal side effects.  So minimal, in fact, that she and I went on 4 skiing trips during her chemotherapy.  4!!!!  She is a total bad-ass.  She starts in with setting up the radiation treatments next week.  Those will be 5 days/week for 6 weeks.  After that, she'll have anti-hormone therapy for 5 years... I guess this is just a pill that she will take every morning, because they suspect that her breast cancer was hormonally linked.  Either way, the road is not over, but the end is in sight.  I really don't count taking a pill each day for 5 years as being nearly as challenging as chemo and radiation.  Sorry, I just don't.  She's almost through it.  I know that if I am half as tough as she is, I can conquer the world (if I feel like it).

I have to thank you all for the support you showed for Thursday's post.  I wrote it for all of us.  I kept reading the things you all had to say in your blogs, and I felt like we were all at this same place.  And like we all needed some sweetness.  What surprised me most was how much it helped me, just by writing it.  By writing it, I started to believe it.  And that made me so impossibly uplifted.

These did not permanently ruin my life.
 I am uplifted that I did not get really down on myself for eating meat Thursday night.  That Friday morning, I got back on the detox train, and kept on like nothing had happened.  I worked out Friday morning, like I was supposed to.  I didn't let one not-so-great decision derail everything I've been working towards.  It must seem impossibly small to some, but to me I could have just climbed Everest for the amount of triumph I feel for this accomplishment.

I feel uplifted that I am almost at the end of this semester in school, and not only did I survive it, but I've ROCKED it.  It has been an adjustment to say the least, having a full time job, going to school, eating right, working out, blogging, and having A and B in my life.  Yet I'm looking at 2 solid A's, and 1 B that I have a chance of converting into an A when all is said and done.  I feel like Rocky, yo.

Thank you for stopping in today.  Please take a second to share with everyone, not just me, but this community here, how you have been uplifted this past week.  Whether you comment regularly or not, we would all love to hear your great news.

Friday, April 20, 2012

I cheated

So, A's brother came to visit us unexpectedly last night.  A and his brother grew up in a very meat and potatoes household.  They spent a good portion of their lives in Texas; their blood might just be barbecue sauce, I don't know.  So anyway, A's brother Erin (who I call Bil) decided he really wanted to take us out to dinner.  And only one place would do for him.

Yup.  Barbecue.  I thought about lobbying for some alternative that had vegan options.  I decided that it really wasn't worth it.  Bil (which stands for (future)Brother In Law) doesn't get to come up that often.  We like having him visit, and if we can encourage that by letting him treat us to our fave barbecue place, I really should not complain.  I knew straight off there was no way I would be getting a salad.  I knew I would be taking one meal off from detox.

Guys.  I LOVE barbecue.  Like, a lot.

So, you can imagine my shock when it didn't taste good to me.  I know that is was exceptional, because the boys kept telling me so.  The food was moist and tender.  But really, the only things that tasted good to me were the pickles and the waffle french fries.  Those tasted like heaven.

Moral of the story:  my body is so happy with my choice to cleanse right now.  It is very angry that I am trying to do something else.  Point taken, body.  Sorry for disrupting your flow.

I did get some fun pictures though to show you!

We like to pose silly for pictures.  It's just the way we roll.

A and Bil.  We have debates sometimes about how much family resemblance is there, but they both look somewhat similar to their dad.  I've never met their oldest brother in person, but from pictures I can tell that unless you see all three of them with their dad at the same time, it isn't the most obvious family resemblance.  More like cousins.  Speaking of cousins, my cousin Chey and I look more like siblings.  Proof?  Happily:

And all 6 of us on my dad's side.  I think people notice first that all of us girls smile the same:

Okay, you're probably sick of the family photo session.  I'll just leave you with the most notable exchange of the night last night.  Only brothers could say things like this to each other:

A: "Hey, I bought your balls today, okay?!?!"
Bil:  "Yeah, and then you let me use your long stick to hit them.  Your long, metal stick"

They were, in fact, talking about going out to the driving range.  They only mentioned this fact after this particular exchange.  Men, I tell ya.  Well, on that note, have a fabulous Friday, and a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

You CAN do anything

This has been on my heart for a few days.  I really just need to tell you this, because I know you need to hear it.

You can do anything you want to do.  You are good enough, you are strong enough, you have what it takes to make your dreams come true.


I am astounded each and every day by the things you are able to accomplish.  I read them, and I celebrate with you.  I really get excited for you over your triumphs.  I see how hard you work, and I sympathize when you write yet another post about pulling yourself up by the bootstraps to try again.

The fact that you choose to try again makes me smile, and cheer "You Go Girl!" loudly in my head.

When you stop believing in yourself, I just want to build you up again, and help you find what makes you so special.  Because we all see that special in you.  Every day.  Let us build you up when you're down.  Please.  You really do deserve it.


And most of all, you deserve to accept praise and rewards.  I believe wholeheartedly in rewarding myself for a job well done.  My goal this week is to have over 11 miles of running completed by Sunday.  When I meet this goal, I'm going to get a pedicure.  Do you reward yourself for a job well done?  Are your rewards in line with your goals?  Or do you find yourself in a situation where you don't meet your goals and so you "punish" yourself for missing the mark?  If you punish yourself, please resolve today to get rid of that habit.  I don't care what they show you on the Biggest Loser.  I don't care that Bob uses the phrase "I will punish you" every. single. episode.

That is tv people, and this is real life.  If you can afford to have a full-time trainer who lives with you and refuses to let you fail every day for the rest of your life, you can have whatever inner monologue you want.  But if you're like me (read 2 people living off of 1 medium-small paycheck), you're never going to have this.  And the only way you are going to stay on that train to awesome-town is by being kind, loving, and understanding.

There will be times when you fall down.  There will be times when your goals seem too far off.  If you can realize that this is okay, and that you are on a lifelong journey, not a 6-week self-betterment bender, you will do just fine.

So let me tell you one more time, because I know you like to hear it.  You CAN do ANYTHING you want to do.  Don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise.  Especially yourself.  Love Always.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

First Ever Guest Post

Hi everyone!  Today, I'm really excited to have Jan on my blog for my first ever guest post!  Jan and I both participated in the Covert Robin gift exchange.

the covert robin button

I feel so lucky that Jan drew my name, and is here today to share with you what she made!  Take it away, Jan:

(Kristen here) Yup, that's my dresser.  Proof that the gift is really up and appreciated!

When I received your name in the covert robin swap I immediately went to your blog and looked around. I notice the quote you pinned from Pinterest "If nothing goes right, look left" and the comment on the colors you wanted to redo your bedroom in and I got the idea to make you a wall hanging. I love the dresden plate pattern and it seemed to fit with the quote so that is what I made. So happy to hear it is on your wall in your bedroom and I hope it is the beginning of the bedroom redo. Enjoy. Jan


As you can see, Jan is a VERY talented quilter!  This is hanging on the wall in my bedroom now, right where I can see it every morning and remember that if things are going wrong, it is important to remember that there's always another option you haven't tried.  You should certainly go check out her blog, where she's posted even more of her amazing work.  You will not be disappointed.  Have a great day, lovelies!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sometimes I'm too practical

Sunday night, A got around to doing his taxes.  Yeah, he put them off quite a bit.  Shame on him.  We found out that he was getting quite a bit of money back... far more than either of us had anticipated.

My sweet man started talking about what he wanted to do with his tax return.  He had a twinkle in his eye.  I mentioned that his refund would go a long way towards paying off the loan on the car we got him a year and a half ago.  The interest payment on the car is sky high, and standing in the way of being able to do some other really cool things (like replacing my car).

He deflated a bit.  Told me he had something more round in mind for that money.  More sparkly.  More all about this girl right her. I know some of you are downright giddy right now, because you know what I'm about to say.  Homeboy was thinking something along these lines:

And ladies, I'm not even going to lie.  I was pretty darn tempted to be selfish, and to get me the pretty, pretty ring on the double.

And I told him not to.  Why???  We are living together, we know we're going to get married, why on Earth would I tell him not to buy me the rock?  Because I'm insane practical.

We don't want to get married until he's done with school, and I think being engaged for the next 2 years would really make me want to push the wedding up... by a lot.

His funds and resources as a non-working full-time college student are limited to say the very least.  He needs that extra cushion in the event of unexpected expenses.

I really want our debt paid down.  I know that we are accruing student loan debt, but that is debt with a purpose, debt we are confident is worth it.  The 12% interest rate on his car loan is just PAINFUL, and not purposeful.

Please guys, leave some love telling me I did the right thing.  It made me sad to tell him he couldn't lavish me with the engagement ring of my dreams.

Hope that your Tuesday is fantastic!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Field trip

Everyone, we're going on a field trip.  You see, I had the opportunity to do my first ever guest post.  And I want you to go check it out and learn some new skillz at the same time.  Because it's a crafty post.  I hope you enjoy it, go on over to Jennifer's Place and check it out!

Last week

Sunday Oatmeal

Last week was better than the week before.  I was bad about procrastinating on my homework, but other than that, an all-around okay week.

I still wanted coffee, but I drank less tea, so I'm doing well with that.

I skipped one workout, because Flo came to town, and I really didn't feel like practicing flip-turns with all that crampiness going on.  I was back in the saddle the next day.

I got through all of my runs, and only had to drop my running pace from 6.0 down to 5.5 to do it.  Yesterday I was running for 8 minutes at a time!  This week I'm doing the same runs at 6.0, and I'm hoping they'll feel pretty good too.

My food was mostly on par with where I wanted to be.  There were a couple of moments where I had a few bites of something I wasn't supposed to, but overall it went great.

My weight is down 3.5 pounds from where I started out the month.  Even more important, is people are starting to comment that I am looking healthier and more fit.  Not the main goal of this month's detox, but a fabulous side benefit.  I'm hoping that I continue to see results from eating right and regular exercise.

Sunday I wanted lots of diet coke and candy.  It was odd.  I took a nap, and that seemed to help with my cravings.  I think I might have just been tired and looking for a fix.

How was your last week?  Is there anything you're looking forward to most this week?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Springtime joy

Some pretty spring pictures to start your Saturday off right.  Hope that your weekend is full of joy!

Friday, April 13, 2012

5 more randoms

Guys, you have made me feel so loved these last 2 weeks.  I want to bring you all to Colorado, and move you into my apartment complex so I can see you every day.  Is that strange?  No, I didn't think so either.

Miss Nay was so, so, so, sweet and decided to join Mrs. Robinson in nominating me for the Liebster.  I wanted to cry, y'all.  I never expected this blog to mean this much to me, or to find such amazing women who seem to get me in the blogging world.  I am so glad you are here.  I am so glad you comment.  I am so glad we email back and forth.  I am so glad you are more than strangers.

And since you are more than strangers, I felt compelled to share with you 5 additional random facts about me.  After struggling to think of 5 last time, these 5 were right there in an instant.  I realized that I don't think I'm very random, but only because I live with myself.  Everyone else seems to find me... different.

-- I have a very good memory.  Tell me something about yourself, and I will remember it 15 years from now.  You can ask my childhood best friend.  I can remember every detail of some of our sleepovers down to what we did, what tv shows we watched, and what we wore, and what we talked about.

-- I have a ton of stuffed lions.  They're the mascot for my sorority, and I couldn't bear to part with most of them when I graduated.  So I kept them, and we display them on top of our bookshelves.

--I was born in Central California, and lived near San Jose until I was almost 6.
--The first time I ever visited Colorado before we moved here, my parents took me to the local mall.  They had a carousel there, and I got to ride it a lot.  When my parents asked if I wanted to move to Colorado, I said yes only because of that carousel.
--I thanked the guy I was dating right before A and I started dating for maneuvering me into the life path that led me to find A.  Yeah.  I'm awkward.

So there you go!  5 more entirely random factoids about me that you might never have known otherwise.  I hope you are having a fabulous Friday!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Work Conversations


I love where I work.  My company is a SMALL business, with only 14 employees.  We're pretty tight.  Especially the 4 of us in leasing.  For some insane awesome reason, they hired four young women, all the same age to work together.  Can you feel it coming?  I can!

BUT (see, there it is) sometimes the conversations get a little awful, even for me.  I could probably transcribe tapes of what goes on in our office every day for your reading pleasure, and you would either be horrified, or rolling on the floor laughing.  Yesterday, even I was horrified.  The girls brought up my least favorite subject:  The pimples on their husbands' backs.  And how they pop them.  And the matter that comes out.

Did I mention that it was 9:30 in the morning?  And that I was trying to eat oatmeal at the time?  Yeeeeah.  I worked in health care for a long time.  I can talk diarrhea and eat rocky rad ice cream at the same time without batting an eyelash.  But for whatever reason, the lack of my blessed nectar (coffee), oatmeal, and oozing puss just doesn't work for me.

I have a feeling I probably just lost a reader or two.  Sorry guys.  This is really how I am.

And if you could only hear the things that our Residents say to us on a daily basis.  We work hard to maintain good relationships with our Residents, and it definitely shows in how deeply they like to delve into our personal lives.  Just over a week ago, one Resident was surprised to find out my boss had her first child at 20.  The Resident asked, "Were you WILD?"  To which my boss replied, "I got married at 19!"  Ad then the Resident repeated, "So were you WILD?"  She and I laughed for a solid 10 minutes about that one.

And then there are the small things that amuse us.  Right now, we're scanning all of our old files onto our server.  Since we've been in business for 18-some years, and manage nearly 344 apartments, that is A TON of files.  Part of the job is taking all of the staples out so that the documents can be scanned.  This is what I do with the staples when my brain hurts too much to go on for another second:
We're competing to see who gets the longest, skinniest train of staples.  There's definitely an art to getting the perfect staple stack sculpture.  Yeah, I know.  We need lives.  Badly.

Do funny things like this happen at your work?  I can't be the only one with crazy co-workers.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A solution

My Solution to high gas prices, mundane commutes, road rage, and just general mediocrity.  I heart you, scooter.  Thank heavens it's Scooter season.  Ride on, little People 50cc.  Take me where I need to go on the cheap, please.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


So, I hear that confession is good for the soul.  I'm willing to give it a try, so here is what I'm confessing to:

I didn't really give up caffeine when I started the cleanse, I gave up coffee.  I've been drinking tea like it's going out of style.  In spite of this, I still had horrible withdrawal symptoms and felt terrible for the first four days.  Now that I'm feeling better, I'm cutting back on caffeine containing tea as well.  Slowly but surely, I might get there just in time for April to be over, and for me to declare open season on coffee (just pretend this sentence ended with the word "there").

I've had a couple of bites of food that contained dairy.  Personally, I'm cool with it.  They were delicious.  But it was kinda deviant.  I guess I'm a rebel that way.


My running plan may be waaaaaay too hard for me.  The first 3 weeks were fine, but it seems like in week 4 they decided that I'm much more fit than I really am.  I miscounted weeks between the two 5k's and there's 7 weeks in between, not 6.  So instead of stressing, I'm going to do my best this week with the plan, and then repeat this week again next week.  This will take the plan all the way through to the 5k, and (hopefully) make the rest of the plan more manageable.

When I realized that the plan was too hard, I said some not nice things to myself.  I regret that.  While I may not be where I want to be, I am working hard, and I am progressing.  I need to do better about honoring that.


I did absolutely nothing on Sunday, and slept in way too late Yesterday.  I didn't even do my scheduled workout on Sunday.  Yes, I know lazy days are supposedly good for the soul, I've just never seen any data proving it.

So that's what I'm confessing.  Overall, I am pleased with the way things are going, and my ability to handle this cleanse amidst my daily responsibilities. 

If anyone has any advice on making running plans work better for you, I would love to hear it!  I am at a loss right now on what to do...

Monday, April 9, 2012

Wrapping it up

So, last week there was some stuff I wanted to tell you, but kinda, sorta ran out of time.  School has been kicking my butt.

First up, the wonderful Kristen over at Whiskey Tango Foxtrot designed all of this, and made it all bright and shiny.  And, I feel like I should mention, that in addition to having a totally rad name, her prices are very reasonable, so if you are in the market for a new look, go see her.

Next, welcome to all of the new followers! Holy Tomoley, there are so many of you, and I am so glad you are here. I can't wait to get to know you better! You all make me feel like a winner. Speaking of being a winner...

The last piece of business I have to share is that the beautiful and sweet Mrs. Robinson nominated me for the Liebster award!

Each Nominee Should:
1. Choose five up and coming blogs to give the Liebster award to. Blogs must have less than 200 followers.
2. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
3. Post the award on your blog.
4. List the bloggers you gave the award to with links to their sites. Leave a comment on their blogs to let them know they've received the award.
5. Share five random facts about yourself!

I am so honored to even be considered in the list of people she nominated, and feel really blessed that you all are such great, supportive women!  Thank you soooo much, Mrs. Robinson, you have been so supportive of me along this blogging journey, and I really enjoy all of our chats.

Now, on to who I am passing this award on to.  The five people who I think are super deserving are: Lindsay, Karissa, Anna, Kelly, and Natalie.  Now pop on over to their blogs and show them some love!

Now I'm supposed to tell you 5 random facts about myself.  Oh gosh...

--I was in the Air Force ROTC for my first year and a half of college
--I hate ketchup.  I think it's disgusting.   Ditto on mayo.
--My best guy friend in college periodically models half-naked for Abercrombie & Fitch
--If Diet Coke weren't so bad for me, I would switch to drinking only the DC and coffee
--I like to flop onto the bed at night.  But like, the running leap kinda flop.  My goal is for my head to hit the pillow in one bound.

So now that all of those things are out of the way, I am heading off to do some gardening!  I hope you all have a glorious day!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

This Woman

Easter is a very special time for me.  Not necessarily because I am particularly religious.  I'm not.  Like, at all.  This is where I hear you all gasp, and then crickets chirp.  #Awkward (See Mrs. Robinson?  I'm learning Twitter!).  I do love the religious concepts of Easter.  I love the formal Episcopal Holy Week and Easter services.  I love the psalms.  But mostly, I love Easter because of This Woman:

See, that's us.  Grandma and I, circa 1985.  Homies from the start.  My Grandmother loved Easter something fierce.  She loved Jesus, God, and the Church, and devoted a good chunk of her life to their service.  She was one of the first women to be ordained a Deacon by the Episcopal church in California.  They released balloons in the Sanctuary, and danced down the aisle with the Bishop.  I was sad to miss that party.

A party I didn't miss.  Don't worry, she didn't drink all that herself
Grandma was born on New Year's Eve, and was notorious for hating Christmas.  It was a big joke in our family, and I inherited her belief that Christmas music is only appropriate on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (and even then, only barely tolerated).  But Easter.  Easter was so special for her.

Her church sets off Fireworks, and has big parties for Easter.  They celebrate the resurrection in style, yo.  It's all about rejoicing.

I can't help but know that this rejoicing is because of her.  She was known as "The Churchlady", as she worked full-time for the church after retiring from being a teacher.  She worked for the church until a few years before she passed.

It doesn't really surprise me that Grandma passed the day after Christmas, after all, she was never a fan.  But every Easter is that much more poignant now.  She isn't around to tell me about the hootenany that she's planning for the evening celebration.  She isn't around to sigh when I tell her that I didn't have time to make it to Maundy Thursday service.

But I hear her voice in my head even more at this time of year.  I hear the things she said, the things that she would be saying now.  And my Easter is extra special, because I know she's with me.  Happy Easter, everyone.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Down and Dirty

I want to tell you all how this detox is going so far.

I am eating like a hippopotamus.

I am having sugar withdrawals.

I am having caffeine withdrawals.

I am trying really hard to not take my frustration with said withdrawals out on others.

On the bright side, I know that if these problems exist, then I really needed to do this, and I am doing something wonderful and needful for my body.  While that doesn't help when I'm reaching for my 6th or 7th cup of tea for the day, I know that making it through this week is the worst.  Next week will be better.  Sorry that this week has been so... informative.  I didn't want my grumpy detox vibes leaking on any of you, so I scheduled most of my posts in advance. 

I hope that you had bright and shiny weeks, and are looking forward to a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A challenge

**Warning:  This is a soap box post.  I am really passionate about people eating whole foods.**

Can I offer up a challenge today?  Oh good, I'm glad you wanna play!  I want to challenge the way you think about food and dieting today.  So many people equate nutrition with calories, when the two have absolutely NOTHING to do with each other.  Ever watch biggest loser?  Yeah, me too.  And every season I am disgusted by the way they talk about calories, and by how low-calorie the diets the contestants are on.  I listened to a podcast of Jillian Michaels explaining how she would put 400 pound men on a 1200 calorie diet.  Wow, that is very, very low, kids.

Calories are a measure of energy.  A calorie is defined as the amount of energy it takes to heat one ml of water by one degree Celsius.

Nutrition refers to the breakdown of food, and what impacts it makes to the body.

You will not get thinner, healthier, stronger, by following a low-calorie diet.  You might get thinner for a while, but I bet that you might get sick.  Or tired.  Or feel starved.  Or just really hate it and quit.

Instead, I challenge you to to consider the nutrients that the food contains.  Pick foods that are yummy and rich in nutrients.  Pick foods that haven't been processed so far that your great-grandparents* (I'm assuming here your great grandparents would be over the age of 90.  If not, adjust accordingly) wouldn't know what the heck they are.  Try ignoring calories, and eating a diet full of the foods that your great-grandparents would recognize, for a few weeks.  Eat those fruits, veggies, whole grains, and maybe some meat even, and see what happens.  I imagine that you'll start to feel good.  I imagine you'll have more energy.  And when these things happen, imagine what you'll be able to do.  What would you be able to accomplish with even 10% more energy?

I know that I'm talking about something radical here, folks.  Asking people to give up convenience foods, sodas, twinkies... It's a major transition.  But how many crash diets have you tried?  How many times have you read a diet book, bought their expensive supplements and shakes, and tried it for a week or two?  The great thing about this is it really isn't expensive.  You don't need anything fancy, except maybe the family cookbook/recipe box, and pinterest (because you would be amazed how much GOOD food there is on pinterest!).  You can find great quality food at a farmer's market, or even at a local natural foods grocery store (Natural Grocers, Vitamin Cottage, Sprouts, Sunflower Market, and Trader Joe's are a few examples).  These stores usually emphasize produce and bulk foods, making it easy to spot the best choices.

What do you think?  Will you accept my challenge, or is my soap box too darn high, and I need to get off before someone kicks it out from under me?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A isn't vegan

At A's urging, I'm writing a post about what he'll be doing while I'm detoxing.  I have tried, more than once, to cut down on the meat in A's diet.  It doesn't work.  The boy loves meat, milk, and cheese.  Which is ok, as he seems to get pretty loopy when he doesn't have enough protein.  It does mean that I have to do some additional planning though when I choose to skip the meat.  Sure, he eats the occasional vegetarian meal, but he doesn't like to make a habit out of it.

In order to accommodate his needs, I bought some chicken, steak and pork that I individually wrapped and stuck in the freezer.  Now I can pull out one at a time (since he doesn't do leftovers), and he can have some of what I'm having for a side dish, or he can have a salad.  While I don't believe that women should be short-order cooks, I think it's important to honor the different dietary needs that a household can have.  I believe strongly in the concept of bio-individuality, and that every person has different dietary needs that must be met in order for them to live up to their fullest potential.
What A's dinner looks like now

What my dinner looks like.  Thank goodness he likes veggies!

So while A won't be eating vegan, we'll still be able to eat together.  Relationships are all about compromise, and supporting each other.  I support the fact that A eats meat, and he supports the fact that I need a lot less of it to feel good than he does.  We still aren't positive on how we will work things out if I keep eating this way after April, but we have made the commitment to support each others' needs and to make sure they are met as best as we can.

Do you and your mate have different dietary needs?  How do you meet them?  Would you consider being with someone who had a different diet than your own?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tenderly Healthier

Friday night I was kinda stumped on what to do with chicken.  A lot of times, I find chicken to get boring.  Especially chicken breat.  So... blah.  But what did I have that needed to get used up before the detox started?  Chicken Breast Tenders.  I stared at them for a good 5 minutes before I made the decision to do breaded chicken tenders.  Then I debated on how healthy I wanted to go.  I could do the egg, flour, breadcrumb, fry method.  Or I could be sensible.  Surprisingly, I chose sensible, and now I want to share with you too how you can clean up your tenders.

What you need:
Chicken breast tenders from the refrigerated meat case at the store (not breaded or seasoned).
1 cup Seasoned Italian Bread Crumbs
1 cup spaghetti or pasta sauce, not chunky
cooking spray

What you do:
1. Set oven to broil
2. Prepare 2 plates.  One should have your sauce on it, one with your bread crumbs.  It will look like this:
3. Coat your chicken pieces first in the sauce, then in the seasoned bread cumbs.  Arrange them on a tray that has been lightly coated with cooking spray.

4. Once all of those bad boys are layed out, broil for about 4 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.  Because you're broiling, they'll stay super moist and tender.  Ours looked like this when they were done:

I served these with a salad.  While they don't have your typical "Chicken nugget" taste, they're tasty, quick, and comforting.  Plus, they're a good way to sneak in some extra veg.

If you get the chance to try these, please let me know what you think, and have a fantastic day!