My first bad experience with a group fitness class

Yesterday was a bit of a doozy! Why is it that in a crazy week, each day seems to ends up getting fuller and crazier??

Work was a little crazy because we threw our admin not only an administrative professionals day party – but also a bridal shower! So we had to be sneaky all day to get things set up and surprise her!

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This was followed  by my favorite bi-annual event (please not the sarcasm), a trip to the dentist. I unfortunately have really horrible luck with teeth, so I always managed to end up paying money for SOMETHING. This time it’s a new crown because I clench my jaw in my sleep.

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Can’t you tell my enthusiasm for the dentist?

The dentist was followed by the spin class that wasn’t (prepare yourself for this epic rant), grocery shopping, and then a super-fast throw together dinner. Which thankfully was probably one of the highlights of my day!

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But let’s get back to the spin class that wasn’t.

My First Bad Experience in Group Fitness

So I know that this is a little bit random for a Thursday (and it wasn’t originally what I planned to talk about today), but it was just so crazy I felt that I had to share it with you all!

Yesterday I had my first ever bad experience with a group fitness class.

It all started innocently enough. I am trying out a new studio in Fredericksburg (where I had a great experience on Tuesday, mind you), but it is one of those fancier studios where you have to register for the class online. So as I was deciding what to take on Tuesday evening, I saw a 6pm cycle class that looked good. I’ve always wanted to take a spin class in a studio setting, so why not? So I signed up.

I arrived about 5:45pm, which (I thought) would give me plenty of time to change into gym clothes and get settled on my bike. But when I opened the door, I noticed that there were a bunch of people already on their bikes (cool), that music was playing (weird) and that the instructor was already talking (very weird).

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So weird that I closed the door, walked back over to the locker room area and checked my phone to make sure that I had the class time right. Yup, 6pm.

Back into the class I went, and just found a bike in the back. At this point, it was about 5:55ish, and since they seemed to be in the middle of a song, I just kind of hopped on a bike with very minimal time to get it set up properly. The instructor didn’t seem to take any notice of me – there was no introduction, no “are you new?” or “does anyone need any assistance with their bike?”

Instead, we went straight into a climbing track. I’m not sure how long these people had been riding, but I know that I need a little bit of a warm up before I just start climbing! But nope, we were off to the races. By the time the song ended it was 5:59pm.

Because I never got set up properly on my bike (my fault – I should have taken more time to do that even if they were in the middle of a song), I felt like the entire ride I was still trying to figure out exactly where I was on my bike. Then the instructor started throwing out directions with no explanation (like apparently “attack” means stand up and sprint – who knew?).

Then at 6:32 the instructor goes “good ride everyone, let’s cool down!” Ummm… isn’t this an hour class? I was even MORE confused. But I’m an instruction follower, so I went through the cool down motions.

But when I was cleaning off my bike, I asked the woman next to me what time the class normally started. Here is how the conversation went:

Me: Excuse me, what time does this class normally start?

Lady: 6pm.

Me: Oh, weird. Did we just start early today? I got here at 6pm and he’d already started.

Lady: Yea, I guess we did. I didn’t think he started that early though.

Me: And is it an hour class?

Lady: Yes.

Me: Oh, strange. Because it’s only 6:40.

Lady: Oh yea. Huh.

Ummmm… who starts a class early AND ends a class early with no explanation? This isn’t even a gym where you have an unlimited membership. It’s a pay-by-the-class kind of place. So poor, unknowing me looked at the schedule online, saw 6pm, and PAID to go at 6pm. Only to arrive, find that the class had already started, and then ended early.

That’s not exactly what I paid for.

Unfortunately, there also happened to be no one for me to mention this fact to at the desk. So I just went home and fumed while doing some at-home workouts. Since clearly I didn’t get the workout I was planning on.

Hmph!

So there is my little rant for the day. I am just so frustrated! If the class had at least been good, it maybe would have been more excusable. Instead I just felt like I was a fish out of water the whole time – and I am pretty familiar with spinning. I can’t imagine that kind of experience for someone who has never been to a spin class before! I’d never go back if I were them!

Ok, I promise my rant is over now. I was just so frustrated with the experience and felt totally jipped! It’ll definitely make me think twice about considering taking additional classes at this studio!

Phew, so that was long and random. I apologize. I’ll be back with more normal content tomorrow, I promise!

So tell me: Have you ever been disappointed in a group fitness class before? Did you complain or just let it go?

WIAW: Chocolate Edition

Well hello there, Wednesday! You snuck up on me a little bit! This week has just been so jam packed so far, I completely forgot what day it was!

So far this week has been just a little bit crazy! I feel like I’ve hardly seen my house, other than to come home and fall into bed at night. I’ve just been running all over the place all evening after work and have had almost no time to myself! Crossing my fingers that it should slow down after tonight, because I’m flat out worn out!

Thank goodness I have What I Ate Wednesday to keep me on track, otherwise who knows what day I would think it was!

If you’re not familiar with WIAW, I highly encourage you to head over to Jenn’s blog to learn more, and see what others are eating!

Without further ado, here are my eats from Tuesday!

Breakfast

Oatmeal Breakfast

Same old, same old. My favorite peanut butter and jelly oatmeal (plain oats topped with frozen mixed berries, peanut butter, jam, and cinnamon). This combo never, ever seems to get old! Although once this Advocare challenge starts next week, I’ll finally have to change up my breakfast routine! So stay tuned for that!

Lunch

Giant lunch salad

Another gigantic salad, which I’ve been obsessed with for the last few weeks. Although this one might be one of the most epic yet! Kale and shaved brussel sprouts topped with tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, and tomato basil feta. I could barely finish this sucker!

Snack

Hummus and Carrot snack

I forgot to take a picture while I was actually eating it, so I did my best to recreate it for you – carrots and hummus. Pretty basic, but it was nice to change it up. I’m definitely trying to prepare for this whole “no dairy” thing on Advocare. Bye bye to my usual afternoon greek yogurt!

Dinner

Red Pepper Pesto and Chicken Sausage Pasta

So I have to admit, dinner was a bit random. I didn’t get home until 9pm, so by that point I was literally ready to eat the first thing I could get my hands on. I was really tempted to grab a bowl of cereal, but decided that I probably needed something mildly more green than that. So I just threw together the fastest things that I could think to make into a pot and crossed my fingers.

I ended up with egg noodle pasta topped with chicken sausage, onions, mixed peppers, and a roasted red pepper pesto. Random, but it got the job done!

Dessert

For some reason (aka hormones), I could not keep my hand out of the candy jar today. I just wanted to eat all.the.chocolate. And not even just all the chocolate. All the DARK chocolate. I seriously could not get a grip on it today! One day wont kill me, but man I need to get that under control! I was like a crazed person!

Workout

3 Mile half marathon training

I actually managed to do double duty today (which was probably good considering the insane amount of chocolate I consumed)! Thanks to budget cuts (and lunch break cuts), I’m no longer able to make it to the gym near my job during the work day. But now that the weather is nicer, I’ve decided to start using my short lunch break for a run instead! I got in about 3.5 miles, which was definitely a nice way to get out of the office for a bit!

After work I headed over to a new studio in Fredericksburg called Fly Fitness to meet up with some friends and try it out. We started with a CXWorks class (30 min core class), followed by a 60 minute barre pilates class. Phew, I’m feeling it today!! Barre always seems to hit muscles that I forgot I have!

There you have my eats and sweats for the day. Not my healthiest day every, especially thanks to all the chocolate, but life is all about balance so I’m ok with that. Just can’t make it a habit!

So tell me: What did you eats and workouts look like today? Ever tried a barre class before?

Why I’m doing the Advocare 24 Day Challenge

If you’re a big healthy living blog reader, you may have seen the Advocare 24 Day Challenge pop up all over the place in the last year. I know I’ve seen at least 8+ bloggers try it (and inevitably fall in love) in the past 6 months alone.

When I first started hearing about it, I kind of just figured that it was another one of those cleanses or diets that people go on for a month or two, get great results with, and then can’t sustain past the next holiday. And while that may work for some people, that’s definitely not my healthy living or weight loss mentality. I’m more of a slow and steady kind of believer – put in the work and you’ll get the results.

But the more I saw it popping up everywhere, the more curious that I got. Why is everyone raving about it? What is so different about this program than any other fad diet trend? And HOW much do you want me to pay for that???

So I did some research, and asked Becky from Olives ‘n’ Wine a million and one questions, and decided to give it a go! It was intriguing enough to strike my interest, and although I’m not sure I 100% believe in it, I’m firmly of the “don’t knock it until you try it” belief. Maybe 24 days will drastically change my mind about using supplementation to aid in your healthy living efforts!

But before we get into my reasoning behind deciding to take the plunge, let’s take a quick look at what the 24DC is all about, for anyone who hasn’t seen it pop up ad nauseum on people’s blogs!

What is the Advocare 24DC?

The 24 Day Challenge is a clean eating and supplementation program that’s part of the Advocare line of products. Which means that throughout the challenge, they place a big emphasis on eating clean and eliminating irritating foods, such as alcohol, dairy, and sugars (and fake sugars). The 24DC includes 2 phases – the cleanse phase and the max phase.

Advocare 24 Day challenge

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The Cleanse phase is 10 days longs, and focuses on cleaning out your digestive system and replacing it with good, healthy bacteria to improve digestion and absorption of nutrients. On top of the clean eating, the supplements include a Fiber drink, an herbal cleanse and a probiotic to clear our your system and replace it with good, healthy bacteria.

The Max phase is days 11-24, and focuses on fueling your body for maximum performance and results. The supplements focus on sustained energy (as opposed to your normal energy bursts from coffee or soda), appetite control, and overall wellness. They include products like multivitamins, an omega complex, a probiotic, thermogenic components and additional wellness supplements.

Advocare products

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The idea is that paired with clean eating, the system can help reset your system and revamp your eating and supplementation for long term effects. It’s not considered a diet or a weight loss supplement (although many people experience some weight loss), but more of a jumpstart to a healthy lifestyle and more balanced system.

Why am I doing it?

So if it’s not something I’m not 100% convinced about yet, why am I doing it? Good question.

Advocare 24 Day Challenge

1. To form an opinion

As I said, I firmly believe that I can’t really provide an educated opinion on it until I give it a try. So many other bloggers have absolutely raved about it, so I figure that there must be something to this!

2. To break a plateau

The truth is that I’ve been stuck on a bit of a plateau for the past 4-5 months. I just haven’t really seen the scale move one way or the other despite making some changes to my fitness routine. My endurance level is WAY better, so I know I am making progress, but I would kind of like that to reflect on the scale (or in the way my clothes fit) too! So I’m hoping this will break me out of my plateau.

3. To aid in digestion

One of the major benefits I’ve heard of from some bloggers is that it can really improve your digestive system, especially if you have digestive issues. Well, TMI time, but I definitely have digestive issues thanks to my lack of a gallbladder. My poor system is so sensitive to everything that I had kind of just resigned myself to the fact that it was never going to be happy. So if this can make a difference, then I certainly think it’s worth a try!

4. To prepare for a vacation

This is the most vain reason of them all, but I’d be lying if I didn’t include it. I have a cruise coming up in May, which will conveniently fall right after the challenge ends. Bathing suit season is definitely not my favorite, so anything that I can do that feel a little more comfortable is worth trying!

That’s kind of where I am now. I’m going into this challenge both excited and a little bit skeptical. But I thought it would be worthwhile to document my reasonings before I get things started and I begin to share updates with you all. I’m going to be completely honest as this challenge begins, and let you know what I think so that you all can also make an educated decision yourself if you’re considering it. I hope you all found this helpful!

My official start date is April 28 (the day after Chris’ birthday, because I figured it would not be fair to deprive him of cake), so cross your fingers for me! I’ll definitely keep you updated as things begin! And please follow me on Instagram and twitter to see even more documentation of my journey!

So tell me: Have you ever tried the 24DC? What did you think? Have you ever considered it?

Keeping it Real for Easter

Well hello Monday! You snuck up on me a little bit there. I was enjoying my weekend so much, I kind of forgot about the whole getting-up-early-and-going-to-work thing.

Not a fan, Monday, not a fan.

It was a pretty awesome weekend though, so inevitably Monday is not going to be fun compared to that. Poor Monday is kind of fighting a losing battle! I’m not sure that it will ever compare to the awesomeness of the weekend, no matter how much you love your job!

Anyway, let’s jump right in and take a look at my weekend!

Friday

Thanks to some afternoon meetings, I actually got out of work a bit early on Friday! Woohoo! To celebrate, I started off with some shopping! We’re going on a cruise next month, so I’ve been trying to find some more cruise-appropriate outfits and stock up on bathing suits. Mostly it just gives me an excuse to go shopping, which I’m ok with!

Post-shopping (sadly, not a ton of luck this time!), I decided to get my butt into gear and get a workout in, since I’d been fairly lazy all week. So I sucked it up and did an Insanity max workout + a Blogilates arm workout (since I’ve also been slacking on working out my arms lately!)

Insanity Workout

Definitely kicked my butt! I was a sweaty mess at the end!

I really didn’t have any plans for dinner, so I kind of scrounged around my fridge and freezer to come up with something. I ended up making pork chops with a mustard tomato sauce and carrots over egg noodles. Not the best name, but it was pretty delicious!

Pork with Mustard sauce

Sorry for the slightly blurry picture. I’m guessing the glass of wine I was drinking while cooking may have contributed to that… haha. I promise there is a pork chop under all those tomatoes and carrots!

Saturday

Saturday was all about our half marathon training. We were up fairly early (for a Saturday at least), and out the door before we got sucked in to doing other things. We completed 8 (hilly) miles around our neighborhood, and then hopping into the car and headed over to the dreaded Hospital Hill and got in a mile of insane hills there. I don’t care how many times I run that thing, it still kicks my butt every time! It’s going to be a killer at the end of this half!!

9 miles half marathon training

Next we hit up the farmers market. Since it’s still so early in the growing season, there wasn’t a ton there, but we did pick up a squash plant for our garden, and our favorite hummus guy slipped us some free chocolate chip hummus. ALWAYS make friends with your farmers market people – you never know what fun treats you’ll get!!

I basically spent the rest of Saturday afternoon lazing around the house. I got a few cleaning projects done, worked on some blog stuff, spent some quality time on Pinterest, and just generally lazed around, which is my kind of Saturday!

Saturday evening I had to play at our church’s Easter Saturday service (the one where all the little kids sing their Easter songs), so we met up with my in-laws for dinner at Applebees since we had a gift card to get rid of. Not my first choice of restaurants, but not terrible!

Sunday

We were up super early on Sunday morning to make it to church in time for 8am service. We go to a fairly large church, so they were running 5 services today! Which also meant we had to get there super early to scope out the parking situation!

After church we hopped in the car with my in-laws and headed about 2 hours southwest to Staunton, VA to meet up with my sister-in-law for Easter brunch at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel! Holy cow, there was so much food!

Easter Brunch

I started our with this mini plate of breakfast foods – eggs benedict, fruit, smoked salmon and potato casserole.

Easter Brunch

Before moving on to this larger plate of lunch food – grilled veggies with goat cheese, orange quinoa salad, macaroni and cheese, chicken with tomato and avocado, virginia ham, shrimp, and scallops.

Sadly I didn’t get a picture of my dessert plate, which is probably good because it was gigantic! They had so many good desserts! My sister-in-law and I split some cheesecake and carrot cake, and I also managed bites of key line pie, chocolate macaroons, and coconut cake. AMAZING!

Afterwards we took some time to walk around Staunton (and walk some of our food off!) and get some pictures.

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We took about 100, but honestly most of them ended up looking like this, because it was so bright outside!

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Keeping it real here, folks!

We also saw some of the most beautiful, and gigantic, tulips I’ve ever seen! This pictures doesn’t quite do it justice, but most of the blooks were about the size of my hands!

Spring Tulips

Eventually we said our goodbyes and headed back to Fredericksburg, where we went on a major house cleaning spree. Which included an HOUR of laundry folding. Yup, and hour. It’s our least favorite chore, and Chris and I both end up putting it off until we have no other option. But now I have a ton of clothes to choose from, so that’s awesome!

We closed out the night with some True Detective (we just started and it’s a little slow – does it get better, all you True Detective people?) and Game of Thrones.

Move It Monday

As always, as a way to get Monday started on the right foot – let’s take the opportunity to focus on the ways we got our moves on this weekend! Share with us here how you got your sweat on! And make sure to check out Rana and Erin’s pages as well!


So tell me: What did you do this weekend? Did you have a bit Easter meal?

Five Favorites Friday: Beards and Thrones

Well, we’ve made it through this week. And all I can really say is Good Riddance!

This is definitely a difficult week for me all around, so I’m just happy to wave goodbye as we move into the weekend. I’ve been low on sleep and high on emotion all week, so I’m hoping that I’ll finally get the chance to relax (and sleep) this weekend and get back to my normal self!

Even in a week with a lot of lows, there were still some awesome points, so I thought we could focus on those instead!

FFFold

Yup, it’s that time again for Five Favorites Friday – where I talk about 5 completely and totally random things that I’m loving this week! I’m also linking up with Katie for Friday Favorites!

Favorite New Drink: Detox Water

Detox Water

I saw this recipe on Blogilates last week, and I was so intrigued that I just had to give it a try. It basically included 2 slices of lemon, 2 slices of orange, 3-4 slices of cucumber, and 3-4 mint leaves. I am not really sure how much I believe in the whole “detox” concept (I haven’t don’t enough research on it to really have a solid opinion), but regardless, it tasted AMAZING!

It was like fancy spa water! I let it sit overnight to really infuse all the flavors, and it was SO tasty! I went through like 3 water bottles full at work! Definitely a good way to get your water in! I loved it so much, I’ve actually started a Pinterest board with a ton of different detox water recipes, just because I’m intrigued to try new flavors!

Favorite Way to Spend Difficult Times: With Blends

Roasted Vegetable Pizza

Wednesday was a rough day. And during those times, it’s always nice to have people that you can spend time with (and stay distracted with) who understand what you’re going through. On Wednesday both of our husbands were otherwise busy with other obligations, so my blend (and fellow Hokie) Lindsay and I got together for dinner and general distraction.

We went to a new-to-us restaurant, and both declared that we now have to come back at least 20 more times to try everything on the menu that sounded delicious! It was a small Italian restaurant, complete with a gelato and cannoli counter. Does it get better than that? I ended up with the roasted vegetable pizza, which was AMAZING! The eggplant truly made it! I’ve been eating leftovers for lunch the past 2 days, and it’s equally amazing reheated.

Favorite New Mail: Advocare 24 Day Challenge

Advocare  Mail

Yup, I jumped on the bandwagon. I’m going to go in depth next week about why I decided to do the 24 Day Challenge, and what I’m hoping to get out of it, but the exciting thing this week was definitely getting all of my stuff in the mail. Although don’t be deceived, those boxes are full of a ton of packing materials! Why people insist on using giant boxes + a ton of packing materials instead of just using a smaller box, I’ll never know!

I’m so pumped to tear these babies open and scope out what’s inside!

Favorite New Sunday Night Activity: Watching Game of Thrones

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Guys, I can’t even tell you how obsessed I am with this show. Chris and I started watching this past summer because of all the hype it got, and we got caught up just in time to start this season. We even caved and got HBO, because we couldn’t bear to wait for episodes to come out online! I highly recommend this show to anyone who likes… anything. haha. It’s full of drama and mystery and swordfights and dragons and crazy outfits.

It is HBO though, so I’ll warn you that there are also a lot of boobs. So probably not suitable for small children. But worth it anyway!

Favorite Ridiculous Picture of the Week: Chris as Andrew the Disciple

Living Last Supper

I’ll leave you with this gem. Our church put on a production of the living last supper last night, and Chris had gotten pulled in to play Andrew, Peter’s younger brother. Complete with the robes, wig and ridiculous looking beard. I told him he was never, EVER allowed to rock this look in real life. Although it was pretty hilarious to see him walking around like this all evening! He looks like he’s amish!

Well there you have it – a week filled with a lot of lows, but definitely some good points too. Sometimes you just have to focus on the glass being half full, right? So here’s to it finally being the weekend, and getting back to normal! I have a ton of fun things happening this weekend and next week, so I’m just excited to move forward!

So tell me: What are your favorite things from this week? Any exciting weekend plans? Any other advocare people out there?

Boys Behind The Blog: Facebook stalking and 90s shows!

First of all guys, I wanted to thank you SO much for all of your kind words yesterday. It’s always such a difficult day for me, but getting such kind and caring words from you guys really meant a lot to me.

I don’t like to make things too dark and depressing around here, so I thought it would be fun to bounce back today with something a little bit fun: A new Boys Behind the Blog!

Mal Smiles

If you’re not familiar with Boys Behind the Blog, it was an awesome idea created by the lovely Mal and Stephanie so that the boys that support us along the way could have a few minutes in the spotlight.

It’s such a fun way to get to know the guys, and here a little bit about their experiences as they support their blogging wives/girlfriends. If you want some laughs, I highly suggest you head on over and check it out!

So without further ado, here’s Chris!

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1. Your significant other’s blog- a blessing or a curse?

I like to think it’s a little of both. Getting to enjoy all the delicious treats she makes for all of you to see is definitely a plus. It’s also helped me to branch out and learn to like new foods. Maybe that’s because of the blog, or maybe that’s just her obsession with Pinterest. But sometimes I just want to eat the food and not wait for a picture to be taken! I also think I’m still getting used to the slightly judgmental stares that happen when the camera comes out at a restaurant or a public event. Many people just don’t understand the importance of WIAW.

Truth – WIAW is definitely important!


2. Do you read your wife’s blog?

I’m pretty sure Stephanie thinks I’m skewing her page statistics by how many times I view her page. Honestly, I like to read the comments everyone leaves just as much as I like to read the posts. Since most of the online communities I’m involved in revolve around comments and discussions below the post, I always find it interesting to see everyone’s opinions. So I’ll check in at least 3 times a day just to see what the new post is and what everyone has to say.

So sweet. But still, stop messing with my page views! ;-P

3. What is one thing you can do better than anyone you know?

I have to say that I’m probably the best Facebook stalker I know. If Stephanie were to ever talk about the story of how we met, it would start with me making fun of her. Well that evening, I went through a mutual friend’s Facebook and found her and the rest is history. Oh and she then gave me the nickname “Facebook stalker boy.” At least that was better than “that kid that was making fun of me.”

Hahaha, this one had me dying laughing. It’s absolutely true though. Although I’m not sure that’s something to be proud of… haha

Back when we were BABIES!!! Circa 2008!

4. What is your favorite TV sitcom from the 90′s?

There really is only one correct answer to this question. Hands down, the best sitcom of the 90′s was Boy Meets World. Home Improvement is definitely in the top 5 as well, but BMW was a valuable show. It taught morals. It contained valuable life lessons. It had one of the best TV couples of all time. To this day, I still laugh anytime I see a scene with Feeny and Eric. I can’t even begin to describe the excitement I’m trying to contain as they finally make a follow-on show for it. I have very high expectations for Girl Meets World, but the fact that so many of the original cast are still around gives me hope that it will meet the bar I have set for it.

He is really this excited about Girl Meets World!

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5. If you were opening a small business or shop, what would it be?

There are times when I’m watching Food Network that I really wish I could run a restaurant/bar. Despite the fact that I try not to steal the spotlight from Stephanie in the kitchen, I really do enjoy cooking. I rarely fall into any particular style of cooking, but I love to know that what I cooked made someone happy and that they enjoyed it. Plus, chefs get to wear those big hats which look like fun.

He is actually quite the good chef. He’s just more of the “fancy meal” kind of guy, and less the “crap it’s 8pm and we should probably throw something together” kind of cook.

 

There you have it – some fun answers from Chris! I hope you got to know him a little better!

So tell me: What does your significant other/family think of your blog? What is the best sitcom of the 90s?

neVer forgeT 4.16.07

7 years ago today was the worst day of my life.

It was one of those days where a mere 24 hour period felt like it lasted a week, every second stretching out for what felt like hours.

7 years ago today was a day that changed my perspective on the world, and how I live my life. When my safety and security were ripped right out from underneath me when I was least expecting it.

7 years ago today is when I encountered true evil, and it shattered my heart.

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7 years ago today was the horrible shooting at Virginia Tech that took the lives of 32 of my classmates and professors, and changed the lives of thousands.

It might as well have been yesterday.

This is always a hard week for me. My emotions run high and my heart aches to be in Blacksburg where it belongs. 7 years later and I’m still grieving for my classmates and the futures that they could have had. For the lives they could have changed.

Time has healed many wounds, but every year on this day it opens up just a little bit again, as I watch everyone else go on about there day like it’s just another chilly day in April. But I always remember what snow in mid-April means to me.

So on this day, I encourage you to spend a few extra minutes thinking about your loved ones. Take the time to say an extra “I love you” or do something kind for someone else. Help a stranger. Give a little something back. Do it to continue to spread love in this world,  instead of the hatred and evil that seems to run so rampant. Do it for those who will never get the chance.

Today I’m spending my evening working at the Food Bank. Not because that’s my idea of a perfect Wednesday night, but because many of my friends and classmates made a point to make volunteering and helping others a major part of their world. So I’m doing it for them.

So to Stack, Leslie and Madame, and all of the others who were killed, injured or affected on this chilly day in April in 2007 – today I’m living for you.

 

329 Strong. Je me Souviens. Springfield love.

neVer forgeT. <3

Typical Grocery Haul

So if I’m being 100% honest, spring is actually my least favorite season.

Now don’t get me wrong, right now I’ll hands down take spring over more snow, but as a whole it’s just not my favorite. It’s just so rainy and temperamental! And while I love all the pretty new blooms, it also means that the pollen is out in full force. I don’t know how it is in other states, but here in Virginia, the pollen is especially bad this year!

Normally I get pretty lucky and don’t feel too many effects from seasonal allergies, but man this year has it gotten the best of me already!

According to Chris, I was up several times last night coughing or sniffling. No wonder I feel so out of it this morning (not to mention the fact that my throat hurts like a bear!). That’s what we get for trying to enjoy the nice weather and sleep with the window open!

Anyway, I’m struggling a little bit this morning, so please bear with my fuzzy headedness! Any other allergy sufferers out there?

Grocery Haul

So I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m pretty nosy. I love seeing pictures of what other people buy at the grocery store, or what a typical weekly shopping trip looks like for them. It just always gives me some good ideas!

When I was putting away groceries this weekend, I realized that this weekend was a pretty perfect example of the kind of stuff we normally buy. It is going to be a really busy week for us, so we mostly just went with the staples to get us through – nothing too fancy or out of the ordinary.

So I thought I’d share a typical grocery haul with you today! For this trip I went to Wegman’s and Costco, although most everything came from Wegmans (unless noted).

Drinks/Dairy/Protein

Healthy Grocery Shopping Haul

\- Unsweetened Almond-Coconut Milk

- Orange Juice

- 1% milk for Chris

- Roasted red pepper & spinach chicken sausages (Costco)

- Organic large eggs (Costco)

Grains

Healthy Grocery Shopping Haul

- Buttermilk pancake mix (with no funky ingredients)

- Frosted Mini Wheats (Costco)

- Quick cook oats

Produce

Healthy Grocery Shopping Haul

- Multipack of mixed bell peppers

- 1 orange

- 1 lemon

- Mint leaves

- Frozen mixed berry blend

- Frozen mixed tropical blend

- Cherry tomatoes

- English cucumbers (Costco)

- Bananas

- Kale mixed salad (Costco)

- Pomegranate blueberry vinaigrette

 

Total = Approximately $75

 

Overall, this is a fairly typical grocery haul for us. We try to keep a lot of stuff stocked up in our freezer, so we’ll usually only buy 1-2 kinds of protein a week, whenever we start getting low, and we typically buy it in larger quantities to freeze. So this week was the chicken sausages, but on any given week in might be chicken breasts, ground turkey, pork chops or fish.

I also like to watch sales and pick up items like greek yogurt and whole wheat pasta when they go on sale at one of the 3 grocery stores near us. I’m not a huge couponer, but I do try and keep an eye on the sales for anything major.

There you have a typical weekly grocery haul for us! I’d love to hear what your cart looks like!

So tell me: What is in your typical grocery haul? Do you go to one store, or multiple?

Move It Monday: Skipping right over spring

Happy Monday!

Normally this statement is quite the oxymoron, but for whatever reason I jumped out of the right side of the bed this morning, and I’m in quite the chipper mood. Maybe it’s the fact that we had beautiful weather all weekend, or that I knocked several things off of my to do list.

Or maybe it’s just because life is good.

But I’m definitely feeling the Monday love today, and I hope to pass it along to you guys too!

Let’s take a look at my awesome weekend!

Friday

Friday ended up being such a beautiful evening here in Fredericksburg. It’s like spring has finally decided to come to stay!

I arrived home from work to this wonderful sight:

Building a Home Garden

Chris spent the day building our new garden!

Last year we did a small container garden, but we decided we wanted to step it up this year and get some real produce!

We had no major plans for the rest of the evening, so we basically lazed around, cleared out some shows on our DVR, and ate fajitas and guacamole. Aka basically my version of a perfect Friday night. I’m such an old lady.

Saturday

Sadly there was no sleeping in for me, as I had to be up bright and early to reprise my role as Mary for the children’s Easter party at my church (remember the time that I got to ride on a donkey and a small girl told me she spoke sheep?). You know you’re jealous of the costume.

Mary for Easter Children's Party

I basically got to sit around for a few hours and tell cute kids about Easter! Although most of them were afraid of me, in the same way that kids are scared of characters at Disney world, and hid behind their parents. Who knew that Mary was so frightening?

After the party I had a little bit of time to kill before my next church-related event (this is a super busy church week for us – so many Easter services and events!), so Chris and I met up in Old Towne Fredericksburg at a new-to-us restaurant that came highly recommended – Amy’s Café!

Lunch at Amy's in Fredericksburg

I wasn’t super hungry, so I ended up getting the veggie wrap with a balsamic pasta salad on the side. Sorry for the horrible photo, we were enjoying the sunny day on the patio. Great atmosphere, horrible for pictures.

Next up I headed over to a local retirement community to for a handbell choir concert. I’m honestly not a huge fan of old people (I know, I’m a horrible person, but it’s the truth), so this is not my favorite event of the year, but it makes them all so happy so it was definitely worth it for that fact alone. Even if old people kind of scare me in the same way that some people are scared of babies.

Anyway, after the bell concert, I ran home to meet up with Chris, and we headed out to a BBQ with his boss and some of his work buddies. We played a ton of different lawn games (cornhole, ladder golf, bocce, etc), ate hotdogs and burgers, and built a nice bonfire. Not too shabby for a party with a bunch of my husband’s nerdy engineer friends!

Although seeing all the engineers trying to fix the placement of a cornhole board was quite entertaining for all us non-engineers!

By the time we got home it was pretty late, so we watched an episode of Veronica Mars (almost through season 2 – I’ll have Chris caught up before you know it!) and hit the sack.

Sunday

Sunday was another church-filled day. I was up early to make it to the morning services to play bells, and didn’t end up getting home until about 12:30. I knew we had a run planned, so I made a half of a ham and cheese sandwich to hold me over. Probably wasn’t enough fuel, but I didn’t figure that one out until halfway through my run!

8 mile half marathon training run

It ended up being a ROUGH 8 miles. Miles 1-4 weren’t too bad, but after a little while the sun and the heat started wearing on me! It’s like we skipped right over spring and went to summer with this 80+ degree weather! I definitely wasn’t mentally prepared for this hot run, and ended up having to take a few walking breaks near the end to get through it.

Not the best run ever, but I got it done and I’m definitely proud of myself for not giving up and turning in early (like I thought about for pretty much all of mile 5).

Luckily when I got home I had a nice pineapple peach protein smoothie waiting for me!

Pineapple Peach Protein Smoothie

Definitely a nice way to cool down!

Once I cooled down and cleaned up, I spent the rest of the afternoon running errands and cleaning the house. Typical Sunday!

Dinner ended up being leftover fajitas (you can never have too much Mexican food!) before we settled in to watch Game of Thrones. I wont spoil it for anyone who hasn’t watched it yet, so all I’ll say is: AHHHHH!!!!!!

If you watched it, you’ll know what I mean. If you’re not watching it, you should get on that immediately!

Move It Monday

Once again I wanted to invite you all to join up with Erin and Rana for our new Move it Monday linkup. Tell us how you moved it this weekend, whether it was outside on the pavement or inside the gym!

Please make sure to visit all the co-hoster’s links, along with at least 1 other link from the linkup. As a community of bloggers, we think it’s important to spread the love!


So tell me: What did you do this weekend? Anyone else Game of Throne lovers? Anyone else training for a race in this heat?

Five Favorites Friday: Glamour Shots and Running Tunes!

Today’s post is coming at your SUPER late!

Why? Because I’m running on like zero sleep over the past few days, and have been running around like an chicken with my head cut off trying to get everything done. I may have overextended myself a teeeeeny bit. Oops!

So I’m not even going to give you a full intro – we’re just going to jump right in! Speedy Friday!

FFFold

Here are 5 totally random things that I’ve been loving this week!

Favorite Morning Treat: REAL Breakfast

oatmeal pancakes and eggs breakfast

Most of the time, I live off of cereal or oatmeal for breakfast. Maybe an egg sandwich if I’m feeling really adventurous. Don’t get me wrong, I love breakfast, but I always just choose sleep over making something fancy.

Except this week. I was able to stay home to work on a project on Wednesday, so I decided to get fancy in the kitchen and make some oatmeal banana pancakes with 2 fried eggs. I am so in love with these pancakes – recipe will definitely be coming your way soon!

Favorite Food Re-Discovery: Sweet Potatoes

Pesto salmon, sweet potato and green bean clean eating dinner

I go through total food phases. One week I’ll be obsessed with something, and then I’ll forget about it for the next 3 months (anyone else??). Sweet potatoes is one of those foods – I have completely forgotten about these wonderful orange beauties for some reason! Well let’s just say that they’ve made a reappearance in a big way this past week, and I’ll definitely be loving on some sweet potatoes for awhile again!

Favorite Thing About Spring: Outdoor Running!

Spring half marathon training

(For some reason, as soon as I wrote that, I wanted to start saying “horizontal running” – pitch perfect, anyone?)

Now that spring has finally decided to show up for good, I have been absolutely LOVING running outside. The weather has been perfect (minus the pollen – yuck!), and it has made my half marathon training runs a million, kazillion times better than when I was having to get them done on the treadmill.

Plus I get to soak up some vitamin D, so it’s a double win!

Favorite New Podcast: High Impact Blogging

Speaking of running, I’ve been absolutely obsessed with listening to the High Impact Blogging podcast while I’m getting in my runs during the week!

This podcast was created by Laura Williams from Girls Gone Sporty. And while I am a GGS ambassador, I actually came across this podcast accidentally while looking for some new podcast options on iTunes. And let me tell you – it is awesome! Laura interviews a lot of the big name bloggers, youtubers, podcasters, etc in the fitness and healthy living field, and they talk about their stories, their tips, their blogging resources, etc. It’s an awesome listen for bloggers and non-bloggers alike!

Favorite Puppy Pic: Maddie’s Glamour Shots

Foster Dog BARK Va

I know, no Laney pic this week!

We’ve had our foster dog Maddie for a few months now, and while we’ve had some people come to look at her, no one who has quite been a good match. So now that the weather is nice and we’re able to actually spend sometime in the sunlight, we decided to have a little photoshoot to update Maddie’s pictures for the website!

How adorable is she?? Such a ham. Then again, you should have seen me practically crawling around in the grass to get these pictures! haha.

 

Well there you have it – 5 completely and totally random favorites that I’m loving this week! I’m also linking up with Katie for Friday Favorites, because she’s awesome!

So tell me: What are you loving this week? Anyone else go through food phases?

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