Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The weekend

We are in "get-ready-for-school" mode. I am torn between panicking and crying my eyes out. I'm so nervous for a multitude of reasons for this kid to go to kindergarten. Growing pains for both of us right now. But I'm this close . to being finished with school shopping.

This weekend was mainly running errands. We bought her uniforms for school. That was a pretty penny and wow, wowwwww so expensive. But they do look sturdy so I'll give them that much.

Stopped at the Nike store. She either wants to be a headless model or a runner. Hopefully runner!

We bought this Easy Bake Oven for E. It's how can I say ... weird? Like so, so weird. I never had one of these growing up and honestly, it's a bit amateur for her since I've been baking with her with real recipes for about a year now. 

The cookies came out to be the tiniest of cookies you'll ever see in your life. I don't know, I'm not sold on this Easy Bake. The taste was not great and even E agreed it was "yuck." 

Sunday we went to church and to my friend's house. I just realized I didn't take one picture. That sucks cause E came to play with my friend's dog who is a female Snoopy.

Imagine a small girl and Snoopy jumping by her. 

I ordered the Racing Weight cookbook. I think this will be excellent, but beware: lots of grains and wheat. So that could be a digestive problem. We'll see.

Matt Fitzgerald wrote Racing Weight and the cookbook. He's written several books so I ordered this one about nutrition. This talks about the importance of carbs, BUT they need to be from plants as opposed to chips, sodas, pastries, etc...

You may have to zoom on this, but this was fascinating. It's what the Kenyan elite runners eat. It actually doesn't sound all that bad except I'm not sure I could handle copious amounts of tea.

I'm still fighting my cold, but it's significantly better. I was ready to start running today. I took it easy and only ran one mile. But, truth be told, my time isn't much better when I'm not sick. Bwahaha!!

I also saw two falling stars while waiting for my GPS to load. It was amazing. Too bad they don't send you a memo saying when these will occur so you can take a pic. If it didn't happen on social media with a pic, then it didn't happen right? ;)

I have a few more runs planned for this week so I'm playing it by ear. Base building has officially begun!

Have you ever seen a fallen star? Do you think the headless models are creepy? Did you have an Easy Bake Oven and did you think it was the most bizarre kitchen appliance ever?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

What's up?

It's been a while since I've written. I've been pretty busy and sick. This really sucked because I had made such good workout progress the week before. But, I've turned lemons into lemonade and had some nice positives the last few weeks.

I received an upper respiratory infection from my little girl. It comes with the territory of being a parent. She's able to bounce back a lot quicker than me, thank goodness! But I had to get antibiotics from the doc and a nice cortisone shot.

I followed the "above-the-neck" run rule regarding workouts. My problems were below the neck. My lungs specifically. So running was off the table. I'm giving this sucker four more days and then it's back on!

Here's a wrap up of the past few weeks:

I bought a new phone case since the one I first ordered was a bust. I have no idea why in my 40s I'm drawn to evil characters. But I really am fond of the wicked witch and how she has her flying monkeys do her bidding. She's probably the smartest one of all of us.

Playdate for Emily. We had a good time with my friend and her 2-year-old daughter. These two get along famously and we always have fun.

In the pretend cafe

Me and Rich took her to see Minions. It's pretty funny, but not as funny as Despicable Me.

We had a nice rainbow to kick off the weekend. I said on Instagram we have a rainbow, now we just need a puppy or a unicorn. (Get it? Puppies and rainbows or Unicorns and rainbows?)

I went on a mini road-trip to my cousin's baby shower. It was great seeing her and my grandmother.

I was doing some serious Pretty Little Liars binge-watching until our cable/internet went out this week. This has actually been a good thing. I've taken time to clean the house nightly and read.

While waiting this morning for the nonexistent cable guy I re-read parts of the Hansons Half Marathon book. I took the time to read and finally figured out my plan for the Louisiana Half Marathon which is about 26 weeks away. (Sounds long, but trust me, it's not)


I've been waffling on how should I build a base? Which plan should I use when it is time to start an "official plan?" Should I incorporate cross training? Should I continue to use the Black Fire series? What about diet? Where can I improve on that?

The book states if you want to be good at something, you do that thing. A. Lot. The Hansons' team wants you to run. Only run. This is a tough one because when I look on Instagram and read the running blogs, people are doing the opposite. They are running some miles, but they are also doing weights, swimming (I won't do that since I have no access to a pool), biking, yoga, hardcore things.

I do believe proper stretching and some strength exercises involving the core are necessary. They believe that too and give a few exercises to incorporate throughout the plan. BUT, they believe running is so taxing on your body, you don't have the time or physiology to do it all and meet your running goals.

This goes against the popularity of the people. But, I'm going to follow them and the science on this one. So my main base building will be running. Once the program starts it will be running. I will run so much I'll probably run in my sleep.

In other news, I'm still in a book funk. The last time I was like this I was pregnant. (not pregnant now). But I think what's happened is I've read 50-something books in the first half of this year. I was feeling pressure (from myself) to start another one immediately. I like to marinate on a book after I read it for a few days before starting another one. So I think I'm just burned out.

I also instituted a "do not buy any more books until you read at least 20 of the 100 that you already own" rule. This one is tough too. I definitely have #firstworldproblems when my biggest pressing issues are about a running plan and having too many books. :)

What about you? Any topics you want to discuss? Running plans? Antibiotics? Rainbows and unicorns?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Dollhouse by Anya Allyn


Partial overview from Goodreads: 
"An abandoned mansion, deep in the woods. A dollhouse, filled with life-sized toys. A doorway into other realms. And girls who keep disappearing...

When Cassie’s best friend, Aisha, vanishes during a school hike, Cassie sets off with Aisha's boyfriend and their friend Lacey, determined to find her. Instead, the three teens fall into a carefully-laid trap—deep into the surreal nightmare and dark secrets of the Dollhouse.

Now, Cassie must uncover the mysteries of the Dollhouse and her own connection to it-- before it's too late."

I bought this book because it was on sale for $1.99 or so. I also bought it because I am totally in love and totally creeped out with stories about dolls. I'm reviewing this book because I know others like stories with creepy dolls.

This book was a bit of a mess. The plot was all over the place. There were creepy dolls - who are actually human?!?! The story involved kidnapping, a mansion, time travel, a clown with a limp, etc ... I could go on here.

It turns out this is a series. Believe it or not, I want to read the rest of the series. First, I need to let my mind rest from all the WTFery. 

If you like horror, gothic mansions, the circus, cults and dolls with red cheeks - this one is for you!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Review of Black Fire workouts by Daily Burn (Part 1)

I'll have a couple of other updated reviews as the weeks go on. But we'll start with week one. I'm not affiliated with Daily Burn or Bob in any way. These thoughts are my own, however I am on a 30-day free trial with Daily Burn. This free trial can apply to anybody.

My main goal for using this series was to boost my cardio ability. It is/was pretty bad. As soon as I would start a nice running warmup, my heart rate would shoot up and I could feel my lungs were getting ready to be on fire. Yeah, pretty bad for a "warmup."

I'm using this series while I build a base. For sure I will finish out the 30 days free trial and depending on where I am physically I will most likely pay the $12.95 for next 30 days. After that, I'll have officially started the half-marathon training and I will be running almost daily. I plan on trying to incorporate some strength training, but by then, I'm hoping my fitness will be better to focus on goal paces. #hopefully

This past week my plan was to work out six days, with the last day being a one-mile run. My one-mile runs have been very slow.

Sure enough, I used the dvd five days.

Monday: Strategic endurance - 3 rounds, 3 exercises, 2 minutes each. Sounds simple right? Nope. These included lots of burpees. The WARMUP was burpees. So you can imagine how that went.

Tuesday: Bodyweight tabata - 4 body-weight moves, 8 rounds per move. This was that whole tabata thing where there is no rest between each move. That feels so long ago, I can't remember much about it.

Wednesday: Full mobility - This was labeled as "easy" and I wondered if I should even do it. I figured it would be yoga and I'm working on cardio yo! But holy crap, this was exactly what I needed. You work every limb to the bone stretching and feeling the burn. I did not particularly like the host (not Bob) and the guy doing the moves, but I thought it was excellent. Honestly, this workout alone would be worth the $12.95 itself.

Thursday: ABC - I can't even remember what the ABC stands for, but I know it was core and abs.  4 moves, 5 rounds of each, 30 seconds of exertion. The hostess was a woman and she was pretty hard core. 

Friday: Power 10 - This is the official description which is spot on - "One of the most challenging workouts in the Black Fire series, you'll sprint through 4 rounds of 10 exercises, for 30 seconds each...with no rest." This was torture. I really thought I would either vomit or die. 

So, how did my run today go? It was at 5:45 a.m. on a Saturday and it was allegedly only 73 degrees. I was dying from the heat/humidity. But, I improved by 50 seconds! I was super excited because it felt like I had slowed down compared to the week before, but I shaved a good bit of time off! And having my Soleus watch that shows my pace is extremely helpful, yet habitual. I'm OCD about checking my pace which I need to quit doing as much.

Here are the pros and cons so far in this series:
* Bob Harper
* Very intense
* Workouts are around 35 minutes so you can fit it in and even do two in an hour (I've seen this on the message board and will try this further down the line)
* Can do it easily in your home - always need a mat, some days weights
* You keep counts on each workout. Some workouts area a total count while others you count your lowest score so you can build up each week.
* Lots and lots and lots of different workouts. 12 Bob/Anja workouts with another half dozen or so of the "easy" recovery workouts. I have not had time to totally explore, but I think you can also use different programs of Daily Burn.
* There is a good deal of nutritional information which I haven't had time to look through. The recipes look good and easy. 

* Very intense - this is too advanced for me. They do make modifications for beginners, but if I would not be training for something, this would be out of my realm for sure. It will be interesting to see how I end up after the 60 days.

Yeah, I won't be doing this one.

* The equipment - the main issue I've had so far is some of the workouts use a box. The box is like $100 dollars. Um, no. I've modified it and honestly it hasn't been a problem because I'm so dead anyway I know I wouldn't be able to jump on the box even if I had it. I do need to buy a medicine ball and it seems a type of broomstick is needed for a couple of other ones. Again, something they try to sell you which runs around $30. Nope.

DailyBurn Plyo Box
* There is a supplements section - I know a lot of people use supplements and protein powders. More power to them! For me, I'm trying not to because that stuff kills my stomach, usually tastes like shit, is overly expensive and I can make most of the same stuff and get my protein from greek yogurt, chicken, nut butters, etc ... 

This week's plan is to keep up the program, but run every other day for one mile. I'm going to see how this week goes to figure out next week's plan.

If you are reading on my actual site, sorry about the font discrepencies. I've tried to fix it and the fonts are not cooperating. They are off the job for the weekend I guess. :)

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell


From Goodreads:
"Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It's company policy.) But they can't quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O'Neill can't believe this is his job now- reading other people's e-mail. When he applied to be "internet security officer," he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth's and Jennifer's messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can't help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late to introduce himself."

OK, so I really did not like this book as much as I wanted to. It's a good book. The plot is endearing. There are Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks references. What's not to love? 

This story is told by way of emails. Back-and-forth emails. I did not like this. I should have because I've engaged in many email exchanges with girlfriends and I like that. But, I found this perspective daunting. Am I a lazy reader? Yes. Do I like to stop and think about whose email I'm now reading? No. Am I the world's worst Rainbow Rowell fan? Most definitely.

By the end, I really did like the plot. I liked a few of the characters and I was rooting for them. 

Rainbow Rowell is now quite popular. I believe this was her first book. Most people love another book of hers "Eleanor and Park." Honestly, I am not ready to read it because I feel like if I don't like it then I'm committing a book sin. Is that weird? Yes. Am I too focused on liking books others like? Yes.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Soooo excited!

Reading that title you may think I got a raise at my job or get to go on a trip. NOPE. I got a good medical report! My sugar, thyroid and cholesterol numbers are P.E.R.F.E.C.T.

Big Dancing Banana animated emoticon

This is important because six months ago the numbers were all in the shitter. The deal was if in six months I didn't get the numbers better I'd have to go on prediabetes medicine.

However, I still have a long, long way to go. I still need to drop weight. I still have to follow a low-carb diet. I still have to commit to a long-term workout regimen.

But just knowing that what I've done for the past six months is helping gives me lots of motivation.

I try to follow a healthy diet, then usually something will trigger me and I fall off the bandwagon. As the doc said I need to chain myself to the bandwagon so I don't fall off.

The things I've done in the last six months that may help you as well:
1) Eaten a LOT more vegetables. This is a struggle because some I just flat out do not like. I've done a couple of Freevive detoxes which taught me the importance of REAL whole foods.
2) Cut way back on eating outside the home.
3) Water, water and more water. I aim for a gallon a day, but usually fall between 80-100 ounces.
4) Really tried to incorporate more fish (cod, tuna, sardines) and whole eggs (not just the whites).
5) Cut back on the bread, flour, sweets, etc...
6) Got back into working out and signed up for two half marathons to help keep me on track.

Now I have not been perfect with any of these. There are lots of days when I flounder around. I have a lot of trigger foods that send me in a junk-food spiral. But I think I'm making progress, even if it's in small amounts.

I've definitely learned you can't out-train a bad diet. I've tried and tried and it doesn't work.

Cheers until next time. I'll have a book review to post. Woot! Over the weekend I'll post my review of the BlackFire workout series. I'm on day two and it's kicking my butt!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The weekend

I had a fun three days off. Somehow, unintentionally, our weekend revolved around electronics. This is probably bad, but it was fun. Our weekend involved no fireworks. I hate those things in neighborhoods. If you have dogs, cats, babies, toddlers or kids who need to go to sleep I'm sure you can guess why.

First off, my upgraded phone came in. I finally have emoticons!

I am particularly fond of the animal ones.

I actually ordered this phone case from England (pretty cheap on Etsy btw) and %#$%@#$ it did not fit the phone. It's soooo adorable that was disappointing. #firstworldprobs

Friday we went bowling. Rich had a family emergency so we didn't get to finish our game. However, This girl was beating me when we had to leave, so there's that. I brought E back to the alley to play at the arcade.

Saturday we saw Inside Out.

I really don't know what to say about this movie other than I cried the entire damn movie. It was like being pummeled minute-by-minute. Shhhh, Rich cried his eyes out too. It is something about babies and blonde-haired blue-eyed little girls in movies that just rip us apart. E loved the movie and I just thought it was too heavy for kids. What with characters like "Sadness," "Disgust," "Fear" and "Anger." I get they were trying to stress that all of our emotions are important, but wth??

After that onslaught of tears, we played with Rich's remote-controled car. We bought this for part of his Father's Day gift and you can imagine who is having the most fun with it.

Thanks to the rain, rain and more rain we spent a lot of time indoors. Emily found this game for the ipad. I actually won an ipad in a raffle! 

Teen Beach Movie game - I loveeee that movie.

I promised her we would buy her an "electronics" game. Apparently kids bring ipads to daycare. Um, she won't be doing that. I ended up finding this Lexibook at Toys R Us for $30. Gotta say, it's quite the find. It has 85 games. So now she can be one of the cool kids with her knockoff. muhahahah.

This is an Aladdin game.

We also watched the Scooby Doo movies while Rich watched baseball.

Now we are going to watch Gus. 

Remember that movie? The one about the mule who played football.


Hope you had a good July 4th and maybe yours involved fireworks - I do like sparklers!