Friday Five: Favorites

This week has been one of a kind. No really, I hope this week only happens once in my life.  In the grand scheme of things, it’s no big deal, but it has sure made for a long week.  Let me tell you a little story.
Monday work was a little dumb come 5pm, I was more than a little grouchy.  I had plans go to go an event at church with the future in-laws, and had some time to kill before hand so the fiance and I took my car to get an oil change and hang out for a little while in an attempt to cheer me up.  We got to the oil change place and they informed me that over Thanksgiving weekend there had been a run on oil changes, and they didn’t have any of my filter in stock.  We said no big deal and went on our way.
Anyway after a half an hour with the fiance, he had me laughing and smiling which was really the point (oil change, hot date, I know), so off to church I went.  And it was a very nice evening with a big group of ladies at church to kick off the Advent season. Afterwards I went to head home, and my car gave an odd lurch.  Whatever, it’s cold.  I don’t move so well either when it’s 15 degrees outside.  I made it a few miles down the road… another odd non-car-like move.  OK call fiance.  Of course as soon as I called him, it stopped acting weird (isn’t that how it always goes).  And it didn’t do anything odd for a while so we concluded it was just cold.
Then all went wrong at once… the car was NOT working right.   And it all clicked in my mind.  They must not have put the oil cap back on.  My first car back in the day had many oil issues, so I am well acquianed with oil-related car problems… it just took a while for my mind to catch up.  I started screaming on the phone (classy moment), pulled over, and popped the hood to confirm my suspicions. Thank goodness for those iPhone flashlights.  They rock.  Of course in the light I could confirm that there was no oil cap, and what must have been all of the oil that used to be inside the engine was now spewed all over the outside of the engine and every other thing underneath the hood.  BAH.
Driving it any more was simply not an option…. soooo…. called a tow truck, police came (just to ensure no one ran into me as a sitting duck), dragging fiance out of bed to chauffeur me, tow truck took my beautiful blue baby to the dealership to be fixed and cleaned up.  All in all, it worked out fine.  I got my car back after a few days, the oil change place has been really cool about it.  It’s all fixed, so no harm, no foul.  But MAN, was that an adventure I could have done with out.  However, it makes for a hilarious story (now that it’s over).
So moving on.  It’s FRIDAY.  Thank GOODNESS.  This week’s Friday Five link up with the DC Trifecta is Friday Favorites.   Thanks to Eat Pray Run, DC, You Signed Up For What and Mar on the Run for hosting!
1) My CAR. I do love my car, and I’m so glad she’s back and good as new. I had two cars before this one that both had a lot of problems. I worked hard to buy it so I could escape constant maintenance (and fear of not ever arriving at my destination!). And she is blue and adorable, those don’t hurt either 😉

Christmas jams in the car!

2) This week brought to you by… Coffee. Sleep was a little sparse this week, starting with Monday when it should have taken 30 minutes to drive home but instead took a few hours and then involvement of two trucks. Luckily I had a free drink from Starbucks that I fully took advantage of. My normal drink at Starbucks is pretty tame, grande skim latte. But when I have free ones? Treat yo’ self! Venti! Extra shots of espresso! Feeling wild? Add some vanilla!
3) Thanksgiving, part deux. Fiance was on doctor ordered liquid diet over Thanksgiving weekend. Ummm? Worst Thanksgiving ever! So on Tuesday we re-made Thanksgiving. It was good, but I have some work to do in the homemaker department. Thanksgiving at Grandma’s is infinitely better. Good thing he already agreed to marry me.
4) Treats!  Thursday after work we went to an outdoor mall close by.  They have a mini outdoor German Christmas market.  Some shopping, some potato pancakes, a brat and a cake pop treat.  Yum!
5)  And lastly, this guy.  He’s pretty great.
Hope you all have a great weekend planned!  I’m hoping to find some time to relax! What about you?  What do you have planned?

Friday Five: Staying on Track During the Holidays

It’s always challenging for me to stay on track with working out and not eating all-the-things during the Holidays. It’s dark when I leave the house, it’s dark when I get come. It’s cold. There is snow. And that’s all before we get to Christmas. Then there are cookies. And wine. And more food in my eyesight than I should ever considering trying to consume in one sitting.

Every year I go into the holiday season with good intentions, and come out feeling like I ate my weight in cookies (which is probably because I did). This year is a little bit different though. I’ll be entering the holidays coming off half marathon training (three days to go!), and not to toot my own horn, I’m in pretty decent shape right now. I’d like to keep it that way instead of backsliding like normal.  And on top of that, this girl is getting married come spring, and I don’t want to be working on losing Christmas-weight (yep, it’s a thing) while I’d really like to be working on toning up for my wedding.

My half marathon is this Sunday, and I’ve been catching myself thinking how nice it will be to not have to run all the time. Of course I will have to give myself a break, but I just need to make sure it’s not a 2 month break. I’ve been thinking about ways to not fall of the wagon after my race, so this weeks’ Friday Five link up with Eat Pray Run, DC, You Signed Up For What and Mar on the Run has come at a perfect time. How to stay on track during the holidays!

Staying on Track

1) Yoga! My favorite yoga class meets on Wednesdays, and I haven’t been able to go because that’s when my half training group met. I’m excited to get back to the class after the race.


2) The treadmill. I mentioned on Instagram how much I hate the treadmill. How does it make 2 miles feel like 8? But it’s a necessary evil for an Illinois resident who will not run outside if it is a million below zero. I did the first few months of training for my first half on a treadmill and I’m still here to tell the tale. (Barely)

3) 7 Minute Workout app. I mentioned before how much I like this app, but I tend to forget about it. I’ll have to work on remembering to use it. I know there are similar apps out there, so I’ll have to investigate those, too.

4) Keep the focus on good food. During the winter the last thing I want to eat is cold veggies. I need to work on finding food that is comforting in the winter, and still fuels my body with good things. However, there will still be cookies to eat and cocoa to drink, just with a side of some veggies.

5) Weight training. I like to do weight training at the gym with the fiancé. One, so I don’t drop the bench press bar on my head, and two because I’m kind of new to free weights and still don’t know what I’m doing. I used to avoid the free weight section like the plague (the men over there have biceps bigger than my head!), but I’m getting better provided I have an escort to tell me what to do. And it’s a fun opportunity to get to do something together, which is always a plus.

As a bonus item… setting a plan. I need to focus on actually DOING all these things. During the winter I never want to do any of the above wonderful things. I put it off for “one more day” and the next thing I know it has been 3 weeks since I did any sort of physical activity. Though trying to keep warm during polar vortex time has to add up to some sort of calorie burn.

What do you do to keep on track during the holidays?
Do you have any favorite work out apps? I need more! I like the 7 minute workout app like I said before, and my Fitbit app! Wanna be friends?

Friday Five: Bloggers!

Happy Friday!  And can I say FINALLY?  Wowza this was a long week.  Work was hectic…  they’re rearranging our cubes at work so I was evicted to a conference room with a couple other ladies.  Which hasn’t been too bad, it’s just a little extra stress.  Ah well. Weekend!  And there is FUN in store! Yay!
But before we get to the weekend, here is some fun for Friday.  This week’s Friday Five hosted by the ladies of Eat Pray Run, DC, You Signed Up For What and Mar on the Run is all about bloggers!  It was SO HARD to narrow it down to five!  So without further ado… in no particular order… some new blogs for your feed!
1) Back to Her Roots.  I first started reading Cassie’s blog back in 2011 when a friend sent me a link to one of her A Day In My Life posts.  After that, I never looked back.  I’ve been an avid reader of not only her blog, but it was a gateway into all of my blog reading (and eventually blogging myself!)  Cassie shares great stories about her adventures living in Southern Indiana with her family, growing her own food and taking gorgeous photographs of all of it.  She introduced me to overnight oats!  On her blog along side her delicious recipes focusing on real whole foods, she shares fun DIYs and has great thoughts on life.  She is all about seasons of life, and understanding that priorities and goals change along with these seasons.
2) Pearls & Scissors.  Hanna’s blog is on a completely different note!  I also quite enjoy reading DIY blogs.  Hanna lives in Estonia and sews and refashions adorable clothes like this.  And this.  Also, she just got married and you can read about Estonian wedding traditions (which was really cool).
3) PreventionRD.  Nicole blogs about food.  Lots of it.  My love of baked donuts is because of her blog.  She always shares nutrition stats, and I love it when she gives a “husband approval.”  Some of my favorite recipes of hers are Spicy Thai Noodles with Shrimp and Parmesan Lemon Orzo which we made along with chicken.  Seriously, I will never run out of recipe ideas with her site.  She has published two cookbooks; I have the Everyday Healthy Cooking and love it.  Also, she is currently adorably very pregnant.
4) Olives’n’Wine.  Becky both cracks me up, and motivates me.  She is basically a rock star.  She’s training for the Chicago Marathon, just completed Body Pump training, and has the cutest wardrobe.  Her antics running around Chicago (soon to be Florida! Jealous!) are never ending fun.
 5) Life Half Full.  Katie’s blog’s tagline is “living a balanced life with a positive attitude” and she strives each day to live this out.  Throughout each post she shows how she works towards balance in her life.  She posts Weekly Refresh posts, to reset and set goals for the week, which has inspired me to set mini-goals each week as well.  She has a lot of fun in Chicago too, and I enjoy reading about here new adventures and new workouts!
Fave Blogs

2014 Goals – The Originals

As I mentioned last time, I made some New Years goals for 2014.  I still can’t find the notebook I put them in, but I did manage to dig them up from the depths of my iPhone notes app.

1) Plan my meals.  When I do, I eat better and feel better.  And it’s so much less stressful.
2) Eat at the table. Come on, you’re an adult.  And stop eating when you’re full.
3) Find a new job.
4) Half Marathon. Ice, stretch, repeat. Follow the plan.
I vaguely remember these 🙂

So how’s it going?

1) Meal planning… some days are better than others.  Sometimes I plan on the weekend for a week full of delicious meals.  Other days, like last night, consist of crackers and cream cheese with an egg on the side.
2) Eating at the table… This is harder than it should be.  I live with a roommate, and sometimes after work I need to be by myself.  If she’s already at the table or watching TV I head into my room.  And, sometimes an episode of West Wing during dinner is perfect.
3) Find a new job… done!  That was a long time coming, but I did it! And I love it!
4) Half marathon… done! And it was so exciting (sarcasm) that I signed up for another! Icing and stretching got a little questionable during training.  As did following the training plan.  I got all my long runs in, but some of the week day runs fell by the wayside.

Considering 2014 is over half over (whaaaaat?), I’m going to have to re-work these, both to reevaluate the ones that need help, and work on the ones that are completed! Come back soon!