Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
As someone who listens to music on the run, in the car, at work and nearly everywhere else, I get so sick of the same tunes. Although I resisted at first, I’ve been getting really into Spotify lately (I thought Pandora was the best thing ever). Since joining a month ago, I’ve discovered some great new artists and CDs that are perfect for working out.
Warning: Do not judge me for this list! The variety of what I listen to can make me look insane. I can easily switch from country to rap to broadway musicals (like 9 to 5-my fav!).
1. Lana Del Rey’s “Born to Die”
They say she’s like a self-styled gangsta Nancy Sinatra. It couldn’t be more true. Her voice is so soulful but her lyrics are a little disturbing (with an album name like “Born to Die,” it really isn’t a surprise!). But I’m loving this music lately, especially songs like “Radio,” “Dark Paradise” and “Blue Jeans.” Plus, she’s a total fashion maven. #girlcrush.
2. The Black Keys’ “Brothers”
I am obsessed with this album. It is the best running music that you can just zone out to. Brenton has had the CD on our iTunes for years, but I didn’t start listening to it until recently. One of my favorite songs is “Everlasting Light.” Oliver likes that one too :)
3. The Nashville Soundtrack 1 and 2
And the judgment begins :) I love this TV show, so it’s no surprise that I think the soundtrack is amazing. The whole cast is filled with great actors and they actually sing their own parts. Some of these songs, like Hayden Panettiere’s “Telescope,” are good enough to be on country radio. I can’t wait for Season 3 of the show this fall. And more music, of course.
Question: What are some of your favorite artists to listen to while you’re running/working out?
I’m not so much about New Year’s resolutions and I am about continuously striving for improvement throughout the year. Sill, there is one thing I really want to work on and this pin says it all:
My biggest flaw is caring too much about what people think. Let me rephrase that. I care too much about what my mother thinks. If I get excited about something and she makes a negative comment, it sends me into a tizzy. Whether it’s an outfit or a life decision, I must have this subconscious desire to please her and be the perfect child. This year, I need to learn to let go. I am my own person and need to make my own choices — whether she agrees with them or not. I want to feel more confident in my beliefs and not feel the need to justify my every thought and action.
Here’s one choice that my mother would die over but I am completely in love with.
I finally bought the Lululemon Astro Pants that I’ve been coveting for years! (or so it seems) When they went on sale for $79, I knew I had to jump on these (they are originally $98, so $20 off is a steal). Most people, my mother included, would think spending that much on yoga pants is an absolute sin, but these are the most comfortable, luxurious yoga pants I have ever slid my butt into. It’s like I’m sitting on a cloud. Here is the side view:
This falls into my next goal: Take out more time for me and not feel guilty about it. Whether it’s meeting with my personal trainer or getting a massage, I need to take time for me in order to feel sane. I feel that it helps to schedule “me time” or else it won’t happen. This isn’t to say one should be self-indulgent all the time, but if you work hard, you deserve it. Plus, it helps keep your goals on track. I feel it’s finding balance between the two, which I still need to work on.
It’s funny how each of my resolutions center around guilt :)
Question: What are your goals for 2013? AND What do you spend a lot of money on that would make others think you’re insane? Other than these yoga pants, I’m a strong believer in good purses (I used to work at Coach, so I’m trained well). Coach and Kate Spade are my go-to brands. I also believe in buying the best running shoes I can afford. Proper footwear is key to preventing injuries.
I’m baaccckk! I was so happy that so many bloggers yesterday took a day of silence. I found myself thinking about the victims before bed last night. You never know when life can be taken away from you. Although this event shouldn’t have happened, things like this make me grateful for everything in my life.
To lighten things up a notch and make you smile, I thought I’d share some of my real-life funnies.
Remember this news clip, “Hide Your Kids. Hide Your Wife“? Well I was connecting to the internet at home and one of our neighbors was obviously inspired.
Our lease is up this summer and Brenton and I are looking for a new place is various towns around Milwaukee. While looking at Craigslist for duplexes, I came across this picture. The kitchen was even worse, just piles of dirty dishes. If this place isn’t sold already, I’d be really surprised :)
Brenton and I received our first piece of mail as a married couple. I must be really busy to have missed my own wedding! (by the way, the sender did not write Mr. and Mrs. twice – that’s my wonderful Photoshop job to remove our house number!)
Oliver is never allowed in our bed. We bought new furniture and a mattress last spring and everything was too expensive to risk Oliver scratching/shedding/peeing on our bed. After I caught him on there one Sunday morning, he didn’t look one bit guilty.
My nephew Tristan peed on Brenton a month ago. I just found this photo and couldn’t stop laughing.
Don’t Forget to Enter the Giveaway!
Question: What have you been laughing about lately?
I scoured the ads on Thursday with one goal in mind: new running shoes. Most people would just head to Kohl’s for something like this, but the wrong shoes can affect your whole body and even cause injuries. I’ve been to Performance Running Outfitters in Milwaukee and they do a great job fitting runners with shoes that work.
It’s because of them that I got hooked on Brooks Adrenaline. My oldest pair is from my first half marathon in 2010 (the blue ones at the bottom). I got my red ones a year later and then went manly with all-back about 6 months ago.
Although I like Brooks, I figured you could always get something better. Anyways, back to the deals. I’m obsessed with bright shoes and Saucony was offering 20% on their site (which you can still take advantage of through Cyber Monday with code 20HOLIDAY).
I pretty much had my mind made up when I visited Run Away Shoes in Appleton on Friday. I know, I know. You cannot and should not buy a shoes based on looks, but their ads in Runner’s World completely sucked me in (which is surprising considering I work in this industry and know all the tricks).
But after trying on about 9 pairs, I finally broke free of my Brooks addiction. I settled on the Mizuno Wave Inspire 9.
I loved how the Mizuno hugged my heels so they didn’t pop out during runs (which sometimes happened with my Brooks). My feet also felt very secure without the shoe being too bulky.
At first I thought the color was little out there, but the electric blue is growing on me and now I love it. But hot pink with green would be even better (are you listening, Mizuno!?) I bought these on Black Friday at Run Away Shoes in Appleton for $113 with 15% off. I thought this was a pretty good price considering some of their shoes can run up to $140-$150.
Question: Did you buy anything on Black Friday? Are you loyal to any brand of running shoes? And what do you do with your old ones? I’m hoping Pinterest can help me with that last one, but I doubt anyone is crafting with old sneakers.
Today I write this post with a heavy heart. I was so excited to sign up for The Lean Green Bean’s Foodie Pen Pals this month. For those of you who don’t know, this is how it works: You get assigned another person (a reader or a blogger) to send a foodie care package to. A different person will send a package to you and all the bloggers blog about their experience on the last day of the month.
For August, I had to send Janet, a reader from NY, a package. Another reader, whom I will leave as anonymous, was assigned to give something to me. Janet was an awesome recipient. She took some awesome pictures of the stuff I sent her and even wrote a mini-post that I could show my readers. It just makes my heart melt that she enjoyed everything so much and took the time to do that. Even Brenton lit up when he saw the picture of her German Shepard with the goodies (he grew up with them and that’s his favorite breed).
Here is what my pen pal, Janet, wrote about the package I sent her:
This month I was excited to receive my foodie penpal package from Alysha. I was thrilled to see my mail carrier bring me my package when I was sitting outside for my yard sale. What a great time to get these snacks. I told Alysha my love for chocolate and was thrilled to see the Chocolove candy bar. My daughter and I were only going to take one bite but we finished it. I never had that kind of bar before oh so tasty! The fruit crunches did not make it in the house either. We finished that off too!! I didn’t even tell Alysha my love of lemon. She made some fabulous lemon curd. In her letter she mentioned how she spread the curd on zucchini bread. That night I made some zucchini bread and enjoyed the lemon curd.The granola and bars were great too. I am going to use the dip mix this weekend. Thank you Alysha for being such an awesome foodie penpal!
I thought it was awesome that Janet baked zucchini bread that night to go with my homemade lemon curd.
A Cautionary Tale
But this experience is only half of what happened. See, I don’t have anything to show you guys today because my foodie pen pal did not come through at all. When you sign up for Foodie Pen Pals (which is completely voluntary), you have to abide by many rules. One is contacting your pen pal within 72 hours. After 4 days, I still hadn’t heard from my pen pal (the girl who had me) so I contacted her myself and the organizer. Anonymous finally emailed me and said she was having computer issues. I gave her my address and said no worries.
According to the rules, you have to mail your pen pal a package by August 15 so they have enough time to blog about it. On the 16th, anonymous emailed me and said she was getting married in 9 days, she was so stressed and overwhelmed and didn’t have my address anyway (which was a lie, she did have it). I then emailed her back and said it was fine she was going to be late, but I still needed to blog about the experience (keep in mind she is just a reader, not a blogger herself, so she didn’t have to do this part). I then emailed the organizer who said maybe it would still come.
It didn’t. And I knew it wouldn’t. I sympathize with her because I bet this is a stressful time for her, but she signed up for it. No one asked her to over-extend herself. And because of her, I will never sign up for something like this again. It’s just not fair to others who go to all this trouble only to get nothing in return. And yes, I think the light at the end of the tunnel was Janet. It really makes me happy that she enjoyed her gift so much, which makes this whole experience easier to handle.
I keep thinking, what would Carol do? She blogs over at Lucky Zucca and she is the most positive person I know. She’s definitely a person I look up to in the blog world and I think she would focus on the positive (making another person happy) over her own dismay (not getting anything in return). Still, the little girl inside me is disappointed and I’m still coming to terms with whether or not it’s right to feel this way. Does it make me selfish? Should I be happy enough just doing things for other people?
I don’t know.
I actually wasn’t sure if I wanted to share my story about Foodie Pen Pals with the world. But I also don’t want to lie to my readers and pretend everything is roses and sunshine when it’s not. In no way do I want to disrespect Lindsay at the Lean Green Bean because I truly think this is a cool idea. I just happen to be the 1 in 1,000 where it went totally wrong. For those who want to participate in something like this in the future, just be cautious that this could happen.
On a lighter note, I hope everyone has a fabulous holiday weekend. I cannot wait for Brittney and Ryan’s wedding on Sunday. I met Brittney through the blog world and I’m so honored to be apart of her special day.
Yesterday was my longest run this season – 8 miles, baby! Unfortunately, my knee starting aching after mine 6 so I stretched, iced and took some pain meds when I got home. It was an absolutely perfect day in Wisconsin…and then I turned on the news.
Just 10 minutes down the road from my house, 6 people were killed at the Skih Temple in Oak Creek, WI (not including the killer). It is such a safe neighborhood and so close to home, so this is just devastating. Tonight a few us us girls are seeing Magic Mike at the movie theater in Oak Creek. It’s a little scary to be so close to the tragedy while so many people are in pain. My thoughts are prayers are with those affected by this horrible event.
Now back to the original subject. Besides the knee pain, it was the best run I’ve had all summer. About 76 degrees and sunny with a slight breeze, it was just gorgeous out.
I finished 8 miles (including a .3 mile warm-up in 1:23:11). My average splits were about a 10-minute mile. My goal for race day is to run a sub 9:05 minute mile. But I don’t want to push myself too much and make this knee injury worse.
This run was also fantastic because I am running with my new Nike prescription sunglasses. Those rubber grips on the nose keep them from sliding down my face when I sweat. They are absolutely awesome.
Since I am in full training mode, I have less time to cook. Adapting traditional stuffed peppers into a casserole saves a bunch of time and gives me leftovers for days. The rice on the bottom supplies some much needed carbs for my runs and lean ground beef and low-fat cheese offers a healthy dose of protein. You only need 1 pound of meat for the whole recipe, which serves 6-8. Not bad!
Stuffed Pepper Casserole
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups prepared rice
1 lb 90% lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium bell peppers, seeded and chopped
One 14-ounce can tomato sauce
1 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Boil broth and pour over rice in a greased 9 x 13-inch pan.
Brown meat with pepper and onion. Drain well.
Add sauce and pour over rice. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 45 minutes uncovered.
Question: What are your favorite recipes for busy weeknights? Feel free to link up!