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Thankful Every Day.

23 Nov

I hope your Thanksgiving went well! Mine sure did, everything went really well. ¬†I took Wednesday off of work to prep for the big day, and I sure am glad that I did! Thursday was pretty relaxing, up until right before the meal. After I put the turkey (15 lbs) in the oven at 11:00 AM (anticipating a 4-4 1/2 hour cook time), Zach and I just relaxed and watched Sons of Anarchy repeats. My beast of an oven managed to cook my entire turkey in 3 hours, however, so I panicked a little! The internet told me to wrap the turkey in several layers of aluminum foil and a towel to keep the warmth in, so that’s what I did. It worked out pretty well.

The rest of the meal was great. I actually didn’t eat very much, I had a bit of a nervous stomach. I did get to have two desserts though:

I wish I had more photos of the meal itself, but between running around to get everything on the table and cooking, I didn’t stop to snap many photos, so here is a collage of some of my photos from yesterday:

 

I read a lot of posts yesterday listing what everyone was thankful for, and they were great! It’s inspiring to hear all the positive things in people’s lives. I have a few things I’d like to mention that I’m thankful for, even though it’s a day late ūüôā

My family. I have the best family there is, and I don’t get to see them nearly often enough, but they are the best, most supportive family a girl could have

Zach. I never knew what it truly meant to be “in love with your best friend” until he came along. I couldn’t be happier that I get to spend the rest of my life with him.

My kitties, even the fat, grumpy one !


My health. Sometimes I’m down on my body for various reasons, but it’s good to remember that I have my strength, and that’s all that is important.

My friends! I have the best friends around, truly! I got so many supportive texts, tweets and Facebook messages yesterday, because everyone knew how nervous I was to cook my first full Thanksgiving meal. I appreciate it so much!

I’m thankful for a billion more things, but I think I’ll stop there for now.

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In other news, I’m still going strong on the Jamie Eason LiveFit Trainer, and I’m happy to report I’ve dropped a few pounds. I’m a cardio junkie, it’s true, and I’ve always heard that if you keep the cardio to a minimum, you can actually lose more weight (if you do it right). I think the fact that I’m lifting heavy and not focusing on the cardio (although I did do some light cardio here and there) is really showing me that I don’t have to do cardio every single day to see results. This is really helpful for being able to stick with the plan!

I signed up for Lindsey and Ella’s Elf for Health, which sounds SO fun! Basically, they are hosting a six-week challenge that starts the Monday after Thanksgiving. I really love blog challenges, but I don’t always stick with them (ahem, the October Yoga Challenge — although I did do WAY more yoga that month, and Carrots n Cake’s plank challenge), I’m¬†really¬†going to try to stick with this! It may be easier because the coolest part of this challenge is that you get a buddy to pair up with for each round! If you think you might be interested in participating (you don’t have to have a blog to participate!), click on the button below:

 

 

Question of the Day:
How was your Thanksgiving?

What do you do to stay on track with your health and fitness over the Holiday season? 

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What’s your favorite Olympic sport?

27 Jul

I’m having a little trouble concentrating this morning, and it’s not because the local coffee shop was giving away free Red Bull smoothies and now I’m bouncing off the walls in a sugar and¬†caffeine-induced frenzy.

It’s because today is the day:

I seriously can barely contain myself.

The real¬†excitement¬†starts tomorrow, when the events begin, but the Opening Ceremonies are tonight. Typically, I watch about an hour of the Opening Ceremony before I get bored, haha. Let’s talk about the different events I’m excited for:

Track & Field
Obviously,¬†as a runner, I like to watch the running! The event I’m most excited about in this category is the Women’s Marathon (Sunday, August 5th). Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher have apparently trained together every step of the way. Although Shalane won the trials, I know Kara says she is feeling really strong, so it will be interesting to see how these two ladies do.

Does this photo bring tears to anyone else’s eyes? How inspiring.

Women’s Gymnastics
I’ll be¬†sexist here and say that I’m¬†much¬†more interested in women’s gymnastics than the men’s version. Do you remember the 1996 Women’s Gymnastic team? I will never forget the scene of Kerri Strug being carried off the floor by her coach, after she nailed a perfect vault with a broken ankle. Ok, I know, performing while injured isn’t the best idea, but you have to admit that was inspiring. How about Dominique Dawes? Do you remember her floor routines? She would do a tumbling pass and then just bounce in the opposite direction. Crazy.

One of the best Olympic moments of all time.

I’m excited to watch this year’s women perform. I don’t know if they will live up to the glory the team had in 1996, but I sure hope they do!

Men’s and Women’s Swimming
I’ve saved the best for last. I adore the swimming events. I can guarantee that I will be glued to my television set, watching Michael Phleps, Ryan Lochte, Kara Lynn Joyce and then rest of the team do their thing, but the lady I really want to talk about is Dara Torres.

Wowza


Dara has been on the Summer Olympic team in 1984, 1988, 1992, 2000, 2008 and now in 2012. Yes, she will be making her 6th Olympic Appearance (her Olympic career has spanned 28 years), at the age of 44. Dara is a true inspiration. She has won a total of 12 Olympic medals, she is the first women in the history of the US Olympics whose Olympic career has spanned past the age of forty. In 2000 Olympics (age 40), she was the oldest member of the US Olympic team, but won 5 more medals than anyone else.

Uh, yeah. Inspiring. Dara has recently had reconstructive knee surgery, so I’m really rooting for her to perform well this year. I’ll definitely be keeping my eye on her.

I’ll leave you with this¬†adorable¬†video of the US Olympic Swimming Team doing their version of the infectious hit “Call Me Maybe”

Call Me Maybe, US Olympic Swim Team version

How adorable is that!? You can have your Kardashians or what have you, I’ve got hero worship for these amazing athletes.

Question of the Day:
What’s your favorite Olympic event?¬†

My favorites, from A to Z

19 Jul

I’ve seen a lot of the blogs I follow doing this lately, so I thought I’d jump on board.

P.S. This is a total cop-out by the way. In the interest of full-disclosure, I was out really late last night celebrating a friends birthday and maybe had one too many beers, so I don’t have any workout to share with you (I promise I’ll run after work!), and I had a bagel for breakfast (I’m definitely not sorry, and would most likely eat a second bagel if I had one).

A:¬†Accounting. Despite the fact that I have two college degrees, I’m working towards a third degree in Accounting, because I decided I liked that field more than Science. Since I refuse to spend any more money on school, I found a loophole: I can take classes at the local Junior College for free because I work at the Library.

B:¬†Will you judge me if I say Beer? Because I really like beer, a lot. I’m not picky. While I love a good microbrew, I’m just as easily pleased by a fizzy yellow ‘light’ beer, which is what I prefer anyway. It’s delicious if you add some lemonade. Try it.

C:¬†Cream Cheese. I really love cream cheese. I went through a brief period of time when I wasn’t eating dairy, and I don’t know of anything I missed more. When I was a kid, I used to eat Ritz crackers piled high with cream cheese. Now I try to use it sparingly! I discovered Neufchatel recently, which is exactly like cream cheese but with 1/3rd less fat, so I can pile it a little higher ūüôā

D:¬†Dogs. I want a dog so much. When Zach and I buy a house, a dog will be the first thing we get. I want to adopt a homeless dog, not a puppy. Zach wants to buy a dog from a breeder. This will be our first major conflict. I can’t imagine buying a dog when there are so many who need homes.

E: Electricity. I never knew how much I depended on it until this summer. I hold my breath every time a storm rolls in now.

F: My friends! I know everyone says this, but I have the best friends. There is never a shortage of fun when they are around.

G:¬†Leafy greens. I love Kale more than life, I think. I put it in and on everything. Plus, it’s super cheap ūüôā

H:¬†Halloween! It’s my favorite holiday. In fact, just around the time I start getting sad that the summer is ending, I get excited for pumpkin carving, cool evenings and costumes.

I: Ice cream. Obviously.

J:¬†I’m going to do opposites on this one and say something I hate: Jump Rope. I hate jump rope. I’m too short, I’ve yet to find a jump rope that is short enough for me, and I just can’t do it. I’ll never join Crossfit because I’m afraid of double unders. If we have to do jump rope in a group fitness class, I just pantomime the rope.

K:¬†Kickboxing! Last summer, Zach’s sister, Courtney, and I would go to her photography studio early every morning to do old-school Tae-Bo videos. I learned to love all the punch and kick combos that summer.

You remember this guy, right? We probably burned a bunch of calories just cracking up at his outfits and some of the things he said.

L:¬†Legs. Runner’s legs, in fact. My thighs aren’t tiny, and I have trouble finding tall boots that are big enough to fit over my calves, but I’ve learned to love that muscle. Strong trumps skinny, every time.

M:¬†My family. This is a copout, but I had to include them. They are the best. I don’t see them enough, and if I think about it, it makes me very sad.

N:¬†My Nike Free Run 3’s. I’ve never been fitted for a pair of running shoes. I know I should, but these shoes are pretty great.

O:¬†Orange kitties! In particular, my friend Susie’s cat Pete:

He’s a dog-cat.

P: Pittsburgh, PA. My hometown and favorite city!

Q: Quinoa is pretty good. It’s the only grain that is a complete protein, right? I think.

R:¬†Running. My exercise of choice. I have a love/hate relationship with running. I love the way it makes me feel and look, but sometimes we just don’t get along. That’s kind of the fun of it though, no?

S: This is a new one, as of about 45 minutes ago: Starbucks Cool Lime Refresher. Have you had one of these yet? SO good.

Refreshing is right.

T:¬†Tone It Up! Those ladies are gorgeous, and I love their workouts. I wish I could afford their meal plan, but it’s just not in my budget. I know many people say it’s worth it, so if you can afford it, I urge you to go for it.

U: The unconditional love that my cats have for me. I had to put them in here somewhere, they are my babies!

From L-R: Tuscany, Penny and Posey

V: Vitamins! For obvious reasons.

W:¬†WOD’s. I said above that I’d never join Crossfit, but I love looking up WOD’s that I can do at home. They have saved me many times when I can’t make it to the gym and don’t have a lot of time for a workout.

X:¬†This is totally cheating, but I’m replacing X with another P. I love push ups!

Y:¬†YMCA! My gym of choice. It’s not as new as the Rec Center at my Alma Mater, but it’s really close to my house, and it really has grown on me. I know the Group Fitness Class schedule almost by heart, and I know the people there.

Z:¬†Of course, Zach, the love of my life. I don’t want to be a total sap here (I could if I wanted to be, trust me), but he is pretty much the best thing that has ever happened to me, and the best person I know.

And right now, I’m patting myself on the back for choosing a mate with a name that starts with a “Z”, because this is a great ending to this post, no?

Most of the above photos were taken by Zach’s sister, Courtney, who is a very talented photographer. The link will take you to her blog, which she started when her Doberman, Lexie, started to go blind. I really admire her for all the energy (and money!) she has put into saving Lexie, and I urge you to read her blog.