Tuesday, December 3, 2013

In a Slump

I'm not sure if it's the time change, the fact that it now is dark when I leave for work in the morning and dark when I leave at the end of the day, or if I'm still a bit sluggish from all the pie I ate over the Thanksgiving weekend, but I have sure been feeling like I'm in a bit of a slump this past month. Heck, maybe it's even the chilly weather we've been having, which is nothing like my family and friends have been enjoying in the great white north, but is still chilly for this area. A couple days is good, but weeks of this? Come on. Give me sunshine and 60 degree days! It's why I moved south! 

Moving on...

To sum it up, I kind of feel like this guy:

In fact, that's almost a spitting image, besides the fur of course.  Good times.  So there you have it, I am in full-on slug mode.  Maybe I need a good workout or to go for a run to snap out of it. Maybe a new goal or challenge to achieve this month. Or maybe I should just relax, enjoy a few more days of sloth and then get back on the to-do list/goal-oriented/challenge-filled bandwagon. Yes, that sounds good.  Time for eggnog.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Weekend Update and December Goals

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend! Brian and I enjoyed ourselves and kept it pretty low key around here.  We had a nice turkey dinner with all the fixins and way too much pie...I swear I ate my weight in French silk and pumpkin pie while watching football.  The rest of the weekend was spent catching up on tv shows, watching a movie or two, putting up Christmas decorations and getting our tree.  Today, I spent most of my day watching episodes of Boardwalk Empire and reading. Got to soak up these last few hours of leisure time before another work week starts up again.

As for December goals, they are very similar to November's goals, seeing as I didn't put much effort into those at all.  So, December looks like this:

  1. Read 3 books.
     2.  Exercise 3 days a week for at least an hour. I would like to           
 push for 4 days a week, but with 3 days of swim classes, it can get to be a bit much.

     3.  Visit a new place in the Charlotte or surrounding area.  Show my family around the Charlotte area when they visit for Christmas.

     4.  Make 2 new recipes.

     5.  A new 30 day challenge?

Keeping it simple for December since there is so much craziness with the holidays coming up and I have a feeling this month is going to fly by just like November did (no wonder I didn't accomplish much)! 

Until next time...

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Friday Favorites

Running - Even though it has been a battle these last couple of years with an ongoing injury and never-ending starts and stops, I have come to love running.  Last night, I decided to get out there and do 1.5 miles and enjoyed every minute of it.  I know it's not much for distance, but it felt good anyway. 

Wine  - Ah, so delicious on, well, any day.  Now that fall is here, I find myself enjoying more wine than I did over the summer months. Summer was beer time, fall/winter are my wine months.  Last week it was a sweet red, this week, a delicious moscato.  Love...

My sister - I love my little sis! I always enjoy every moment I get to spend with her and her beautiful girls and miss the times when we are far apart.  Looking forward to our next get-together down the road.

The library - I stopped by the library and spent a good half hour browsing through the isles and picking out 4 books for the month.  There's just something about peacefulness of the place that I enjoy...that and free books!

It's Friday! Need I say more?  Happy weekend everyone!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Weekend Update

This weekend was pretty laid back and the majority was spent either at the pool or at home, which was a nice change from the running around we have done the last couple of weekends.

Friday was kind of a cool, rainy day so we stayed in, ordered some Chinese food, and vegged out on the couch watching episodes of Dexter. I think we got through four or five episodes before calling it a night. 

Saturday morning I was up early and spent a good hour and a half reading and enjoying a cup of coffee before heading off to teach swim lessons.  Some days I am excited to be at the pool, this weekend was not one of them. Since I've been battling a nagging cold all of last week and into this weekend, all I wanted was to stay home and be lazy...but duty calls and my swim kids were ready to learn!  At least I have good classes on Saturdays and get to end with a fun adult class with a great lady learning more difficult swim strokes and technique (my favorite stuff to teach).  Plus, she is also a runner so we chat about our running experiences and races during class as well. After swimming, hubby and I went out for a nice soup-n-salad lunch and, after grabbing coffee for the ride home, we headed back where I got some weekend chores done and read a few more chapters before we returned to our Dexter marathon.

Today was all about cleaning and I got lots of deep cleaning done on the house.  It was beautiful outside today so after chores were done, I enjoyed some reading outside on the patio before I headed back to the pool for swim training. I'd love to say I enjoyed that extra hour of sleep this morning from Daylight Savings time but I am an early riser so I am up at the crack of dawn no matter what so 6am was my wake up time today.  Now, a couple hours of down time before another work week starts up again.  Oh, and my football lost again. Go Vikes! Ugh.

Friday, November 1, 2013

November Goals

Ah, November...a month filled with pumpkin pies, turkey dinners, a nice long weekend, and our anniversary...it's a busy month in general and I plan to squeeze in some fitness here and there.

I'm thinking just a few goals for this month, a little something here and there to keep me accountable for the next four weeks. I'm thinking:

  1. Read 3 books. Since I reached my 52 book goal, I've started slacking with my reading.

  2.  Exercise 3 days a week for at least an hour. I would like to            
       push for 4 days a week, but with 3 days of swim classes, it        
       can get to be a bit much.

  3.  Visit a new place in the Charlotte or surrounding area.

  4.  Make 2 new recipes.

  5.  A new 30 day challenge?

I think that's enough for one month. Here's to another productive month of goals and challenges with some good food and fun sprinkled in as well. Anyone else have plans for November?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

3,295 - Booyah

The squat challenge is officially over and I now consider myself a master of the universe...okay, maybe just master of this challenge.  After 30 days of squats, do I feel any different?  Not really.  I can tell the squats became easier over the weeks, but I don't notice anything beyond that. Maybe if I would have added a little more cardio into the mix, I would see some additional changes. All I can say is, I have steel under all the fluffiness now!

Total number of squats completed: 3295.  I started out with 50 per day and finished with 250 on my last day.  The first couple weeks were pretty easy, but the last week or so was difficult just trying to get in the total number of squats I needed to complete each day. If I ever did another squat challenge, I would probably do a smaller range of squats consisting of 100-150 in 3 day increments over a month instead of the increments in this one, but it was fun to complete anyway. 

So, what's in store for November?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Grandfather Mountain and the Swinging Bridge

As I mentioned yesterday, we spent Sunday in the mountains, cruising along the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Along our journey, we came upon the entrance to Grandfather Mountain (on my NC to-do list) and had to stop.  Now, unlike many of the sights along the way, this area is not free.  There is $18.00/person charge for adults and $8.00/kid or you can purchase a season pass.  We went with the single day admission since we never know when we'll be in the area again.  Well worth the money, peeps.

 The sign for Grandfather Mountain
 Brian standing under The Sphinx Rock

 They had animals up here.  Here's one of the otters...
One of the bald eagles...they were a bit camera shy
 The black bears, just hanging around
 A view of the winding road halfway up the mountain
 Pic from halfway up the mountain
As you can see, there are quite a few visitors here.
There is also a fudge shop and museum where the animals are located and then you continue to the top of the mountain where the gift shop and Swinging Bridge is located.
 See it in the middle? That would be the Swinging Bridge from far below
 A view from "almost" the top
A pic with my nemesis
Side shot of the bridge...don't be fooled by it's tranquility

So, you can hop in the bridge and cross on over to the other side, where there are trails and great views for more pics.  I'd love to show you some but, alas, I never made it across.  Want to know why? Cuz it was windy as hell up there.  There were 30+ people crossing it most of the time. And, the damn thing swings. 5282 feet in the air. Swinging. 80 foot fall before you would hit rock below.  I tried peeps, I really did.  I made it about a quarter way across and when I felt and saw how bad it was swinging, I bolted back to safety.  Yep, that's right. The girl who can jump out of an airplane was bested by a bridge. I know it is all in my head, but that damn thing was scary.  I also know I'll be back and will get across it in the near future.

Other than my traumatic moment, it was a great visit and worth the money to see it.  I figure we'll return when some of our family members make the trip here for a visit. Then I will be ready for a rematch, and next time, I'll win.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cars, Wine, and Mountains...oh my!

I'm a little behind with this but seeing as I was feeling a bit under the weather yesterday, I chose to spend my free time with a nap and some shows instead of computer time so here we go..a couple days later.

Friday night was pretty laid back, as usual around here.  After work, we went out for some delicious Mexican food (super sized chicken burrito for me and beef burrito for hubby) and then came home and caught up on some of our tv shows.

I chose to take the day off from swim lessons on Saturday so I got to enjoy some early morning quiet time reading and enjoying a cup of coffee before Brian and I headed out to the Good Guys car show at Charlotte Motor Speedway.  This year didn't seem as crazy busy as last year, maybe the "cold weather" deterred some people.  Some of the sights there:

 The big and small version of this one
 I could ride around in this limo
 Got to love a shiny black truck...
 A little pastel never hurt anyone..
Best. Hood ornament. Ever.
After about 4 hours at the car show, we decided we'd had enough (that and I was hungry) so we stopped for lunch where I enjoyed some delicious chicken tortilla soup and a lettuce wedge

This was so yummy and just the right amount of food
After a full stomach, we drove around a bit and ended up hunting down one of the many vineyards here in the Charlotte area, Rocky River Vineyards, and stopped in for a drink.  This place is very low key compared to some of the other vineyards I've been to, in fact we thought it was just someone's homestead when we first pulled in the driveway.
Brian's wine slushy: peach bellini (scrumtastic) 
 Several of their award-winning wines
 Everyone needs a wine bottle tree...
 The barn area
The pavilion
There was a wedding taking place later in the evening and we got to see the bridal party take some of their pictures while we walked the grounds.  We also walked through the orchards and got to taste some of the grapes which were fantastic and tasted exactly like the sweet red wine I chose.  Overall, this place was pretty cool and is located right next to a golf course, which clearly works to their advantage as one group of guys stopped their golf cart to pick up a handful of wine slushies as well.  They are delicious! I'm sure we will make another trip out there sometime.
Sunday was a long day as we decided to head to the mountains to check out the leaves, and it's a good thing we did because the further north we got, the more bare the trees became.  Some sections were already bare but the cool mountain air and the gorgeous views were still worth the trip.

These are the days I enjoy living in North Carolina.  The mountains and waterfalls are truly beautiful to see and only a couple hours away!  We also made a special visit to Grandfather Mountain, which I will save for another post.  Needless to say, we were tuckered out by the time we got home.  Busy but very enjoyable weekend.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Weekend Update

Although it feels like it passed by like a flash, we had a pretty good weekend here.  Friday night we went out for dinner at Chili's where I scarfed down some delicious chicken fajitas along with chips and salsa.  Afterwards, we stopped at the store for my Friday cupcake treat (scrumtastic) and headed home for some wonderful couch time catching up on all the shows we haven't had a chance to watch during the week.

Saturday morning I took Wilson for a walk around the neighborhood and did some blog reading before heading to OWA to teach swim lessons.  I teach eight classes on Saturday mornings, so by the time I leave around 1:30pm, I am giddy with chlorine fumes and downright famished.  Brian and I usually grab something to eat when I get home and then I did some laundry, cleaning, and reading while he put up the Halloween decorations (pics to come later).  He did a great job this year and it looks spooky and a bit scary, just the way we like it!  By the evening, we were both pretty tired so we stayed in and caught up on Season 4 of Dexter.

Today, after a hearty breakfast of Belgian waffles, pancakes, eggs and coffee, we visited two different flea markets in the area, one at the Metrolina (not much to talk about) and the other just across the border in Fort Mill, SC which was crazy busy and had everything you could imagine buying from fresh vegetables to appliances, household products, clothes, shoes, etc., probably similar to The Swap Shop in Florida, but in a better neighborhood.  After our flea market excursions and a stop for coffee at McD's (I just can't help myself!), we headed to Aw Shucks Farm to check out their pumpkin patch.  It is definitely a fun place for kids to hang out...my nieces and nephew would love it!  More on that in a later post.  After a couple hours there, it was back home where I left Brian to his football and Wilson and I headed to a park nearby for a 3.5 mile walk.

Now, after a stop for some fall beer flavors and the Sunday paper, I am ready for some down time before another work day approaches.  Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

For the Love of Squats - Halfway Done

A wee bit late on the post but it's better late than never.  Week 2 got me into the triple digits, starting from 100 going on up to 140 a day.  The pattern is good for me: 3 days on, 1 day off, rinse and repeat.  Each day increases by 5 squats and after a rest day, they usually jump either 10 or 20 and continue on.  This evening I have 150 to do and the biggest thing with this number is just getting them done.  Today, I split them up into groups of 50 and did 50 this a.m. followed by 50 when I got home and I have my last set left this evening.  After a couple weeks doing squats, I can say I do feel pretty good about them. Little bit tighter here and there, and most of the initial soreness has vanished, so now I focus on improving my form, making sure to do deep squats (otherwise they're kind of pointless) and have started adding some weights to the sets.  A little over halfway done and still getting them done!

Unfortunately, I haven't had much time (or desire) to get a whole lot of cardio done.  Work has been bru-tal these past two weeks with lots of "firm restructuring" (yeah, I've heard that one before), so between the stress and craziness at work, plus swim classes 3 days a week, I have found myself enjoying some tv time and snacks in the evening a little more than I should be.  I think a good run is in store for this weekend or at least some extra time on the exercise bike.  At least tomorrow is Friday!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Five on Friday

Happy Friday everyone! Here's my five for the day:

1.  Did half of my squats this morning and will complete the remaining of them this evening. Now that I'm in the triple digits, it's nice to split them in half and do some in the morning and evening.

2. I got out and ran 2 miles yesterday then followed it up with a walk with Wilson for a total of about 3 miles. The weather is so nice right now that running is enjoyable again.

3.  Today I should finish my 52nd book of the year which means I completed my 52 book challenge ahead of schedule. Yeah! Now I can spend my spare time doing other things I love, or just read more.

4.  It's coffee and cupcake Friday! Woo hoo!  I started cutting down on my iced coffee in the a.m. but always allow for one on Fridays. I get a cupcake for getting through the week without punching anyone :-)

5.  Nascar is in town this weekend so our area is madness already.  Hopefully it doesn't affect the commute home too much. And hopefully they all leave early on Sunday...yeah right.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

For the Love of Squats - Week 2

I have made it through the first week of the 30 Day Squat Challenge. What do I have to say for it?  Eh...that wasn't so bad.  At first, I thought 50-100 squats would be difficult but it wasn't that hard at all. Most of the time I either had some music playing or was watching a show while doing them so it never really felt like it took that long to get through them.  Plus, behind all my fluffiness lies legs of steel. I do feel the soreness from working the glutes and quads most of all, but it's been a pretty good challenge so far.  Maybe 200+ squats in one day won't be so bad after all.

I have also been enjoying riding my exercise bike again. I usually spend my time reading while I'm cycling but every once in awhile I prefer to watch a program instead. I've been watching Homeland lately, which works perfectly as I like to cycle for at least 45-60 minutes and that equals about one episode. Catching up on tv programs and cycling...such a multi-tasker!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sunday Pool Time

This afternoon, I had to head to the pool for some swim training. It being a Sunday, I was not happy about spending several hours in the pool but figured I had to show up regardless so I could either be pissed about it or just suck it up and get through it. So, I stopped off for an iced coffee and headed to the pool.

                                             Pic of the pool at OWA

Once I got in the water and swam a few laps, I was ready to get on with it. This training as all about swim team training and going over all the minute details within each swim stroke as well as IM racing, flip turns, starts, racing dives, and working on endurance swimming.  I look at this as another way to build on my previous training and continue to grow as a swim teacher.

I have some other training planned in the near future and am also looking into some dive training as well. Yep, I am definitely a water baby for life!

*Picture courtesy of Open Water Adventures

Saturday, October 5, 2013

TV, Cupcakes, and Running...oh my!

Since we have switched over to Direct TV, we received the 3 months of free HBO, Showtime, etc.  So, of course this means new shows to enjoy such as Homeland, Boardwalk Empire, the remaining seasons of Dexter we haven't watched yet, and a few others I haven't even had a chance to look into yet. Some of these shows are great so I'm trying to get in as many episodes as possible before our 3 months are up since I really don't want to pay extra to keep these few channels...yet.

Last night, after a delicious dinner of chicken flautas and chips/salsa, I picked up a cupcake for the fall evening. I am such a cake person, I think I could eat one of these every day if I allowed myself to as I just love a good cupcake after, well, anything.  I went with the fall look to go with the season:

So Pretty...

As usual, it was magically delicious, although I don't think I have found a cupcake that I didn't enjoy.

To burn off some of those residual cupcake calories, I was up early this morning and ran 3 miles before the sun came up.  The air was still chilly and there was no humidity so it was easy to knock out those 3 miles.  I kept a very slow pace, but it wasn't about speed so much as just getting out there and getting the miles in.  I'd be happy to incorporate some running a couple days a week if the injuries remain in hibernation as we are now approaching the best running months of the year. 

This afternoon, we are headed across our backyard to join our neighbors in a pig roast and picnic complete with pool table, corn hole (bags), and volleyball.  My only wish is that the 70 degree weather from last week was still here as we are climbing close to the 90s for today. If we only had a pool....but at least there will be plenty of beer! Speaking of beer, we picked up some Redds Strawberry Ale today and, although not quite as tasty as the apple ale, I do think it is a good contender for a warm fall day like today.   Happy Saturday everyone.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

For the Love of Squats

Because a fitness plan always deserves challenges along the way, I have chosen to start with the 30 day squat challenge. Cuz I love squats. And it pairs nicely with doing my biceps and triceps exercises. And I can do them in front of the TV too....multitasking!  Here's the plan:

Day 1 and 2 are complete. A look ahead at days 2-12, not so bad. Days 13 on (minus the rest days), ummm.....yeah. That's gonna hurt a bit.  The key to squats is, of course, good form.  That I have down pretty well and can handle doing the reps with weights. Enjoying 100+ squats a day and more? Hmm...we shall see.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Focus on Fitness

I don't have a whole lot to say about September. Mainly, I spent the majority of the month focusing on learning my new job responsibilities, reading, teaching lessons, and watching tv/movies.  Not a really productive month in terms of any goals or big plans, but sometimes it's nice to have those months too.

But, alas, we are in a new month again (damn!) and with cooler temps creeping in our area...finally...I feel the need, the need to sweat.  That's right, peeps, I don't exercise for summer swimsuit season, I exercise for fall and winter wonderland season!  The temps are now getting cool enough to enjoy some long walks in the neighboring parks, which Wilson is totally loving, and some upcoming hikes on the trails. Maybe there will be a trip to the mountains coming up at the end of the month...giggity!

So, after months of sloth (for the most part), I am going to try and embrace fitness once again.  Ah, sweat, tired legs and sore arms, I miss you! Okay, maybe not so much the sweat part but the rest sounds good to me.  Since I'm still watchful of the foot injury, I am starting slow with lots of long walks and working up to some short jogs, hopefully getting up to a 3 miler at least.  I also have some DVDs that can be resurrected and, oh yeah, a gym membership that's been collecting dust somewhere I think.

Today, I did some stretches, biceps and triceps curls, exercise bike for 30 minutes, and a 2 mile walk with Wilson.  Not too strenuous but beats my recent couch time!

Replace Girl Scout cookies with cupcakes and it's me!
Time to enjoy a couple shows and some reading. Until next time...

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fall Favorites

With fall's arrival and the temps finally cooling down a bit, I figured it was A good time to post some fall favorites of mine...

Pumpkin everything! Pumpkin pie, spiced lattes, room fresheners, hand soaps, the works. Love me some pumpkin smells!

Going to the pumpkin patch in search of some great finds.

Hot apple cider.

Crisp mornings and evenings.

Beautiful changing leaves...i think another trip to the mountains will be necessary.

Long hikes on the trails...it's also Wilson's favorite time of year.

Seasonal beer flavors

Halloween decorations and buckets of candy...for the kids of course :-)

Sitting by the fire pit with a glass of wine.


Good running weather.

There are probably many more I could think of but these are definitely my favorites.  What are some of your fall favorites?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Busy Week

It may only be Wednesday, but this week has exhausted me so far. Long days both Monday and Tuesday with regular job followed up with swim lessons and last night my boss and I also went out for some dinner after lessons, so it ended up being a good 16 hour day. Wilson was not appreciative!

Today was better as I only had work till 4pm so home before 5:30     with a couple tasty beers already enjoyed. We are hitting up a taco food truck for dinner with our neighbors in an hour. Love me some Mexican grub!

Only two more days till playtime...yeah! Hope everyone is having a happy hump day!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Saturday Tidbits

Happy Saturday!

  • My new job is crazy busy and I've been soaking up new info like a sponge these last few weeks. I'm sure in a couple months things will level out but until then, thank goodness for drinks after work.
  • The weather has taken a turn from hot and humid to super awesome! Wilson and I are chillin on the patio with the nook and an iced coffee enjoying the cool morning temps. I think a long walk in park is necessary today.
  • So how's the running going…well the foot has still been giving me problems so I've been focusing on walking and my exercise bike, plus swimming of course. I really hope this heals soon.
  • At the rate its going, I may not be able to do the five or so races I wanted to do.  Injuries are so stupid.
  • With it already being mid September, I am finding myself thinking about fall activities and the approaching holidays. Hoping we can plan some fun things to do in the upcoming weekends. I think Oktoberfest is fast approaching, bringing many delicious beers for me to try :)

Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying a beautiful morning as  well. I still have to catch up on reading blogs and i hope to start posting a bit more. Later gators!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Tidbits

  1. I found a new love in almond butter. I am not, however, in love with the price. Nearly $7 for a small jar? Really?
  2. I've made it through 8 days at my new job and so far so good. I enjoy most of the people I work with and several are fellow survivors from firm we were laid off from last year. Seems like a good start so far.
  3. Lays chicken and waffles chips are gross. Tastes like syrup gone bad. Blech..
  4. We had a nice afternoon running around the Charlotte area and enjoyed some great tacos at Cabo Fish Taco (blackened mahi for me and beer battered shrimp for hubby). Delicious! Followed by some beer tasting at NoDa Brewing Company. Thank goodness for beer samples!
  5. To complete the afternoon, we drove into South Carolina to check out the area just south of the border.
  6. Now I have a homemade pizza in the oven and we are enjoying the last bit of Sunday Fun day before we head back to work tomorrow.
Happy Sunday everyone!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Back to Running...Again

And here we go again with the running attempt...so I did some stretches, dug out the Garmin, dusted off my running shoes and headed out the door. After walking about a quarter mile, I started with a slow jog to get the blood pumping and see how the foot was going to react. Not too bad. I only ran a half mile on Monday and 3/4 of a mile yesterday and did the rest of my 2 mile loop walking just to make sure I didn't overdo it this first week and I must say I feel pretty good today.

Okay, part of that is a wee bit of a stretch. It's true that I wanted to take it easy but I was also hoping to jump right back into a mile or two of running before I started walking again. But alas, I am out of shape! Ya know, swimming is one of the best forms of cardio but running is always what takes the wind out of my sails the most. Of course, it being August and the temps are in the mid to high 80s with a lot of humidity, that doesn't help the lungs out much either.  Needless to say, even with the less than stellar beginning (again), it did feel good to get out there and get some mileage under my belt. Although I have always found running to be difficult, I really enjoy doing it and love when I see my mileage add up and my times get faster. Hopefully I can keep it up for the rest of the year so I can do some races next year. It's been too long!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Life Lately

Another month has gone by and here we are in August already! July was a busy month with working both jobs, keeping myself busy reading, and our trip to Minnesota for my family reunion which passed by all too quickly.  I do have some pics I will try to upload this weekend (I hope). Other than a very chilly boat launch, the weather was great and devoid of humidity...and mosquitoes. Bonus!

So, it's August. What are my plans for the month you ask? Well let me tell you...

First of all, I quit my job. Friday is my last day at my current law firm. After 5 months there, I knew it wasn't going to be a permanent fit and got the heads up from a former coworker about a new position at a different firm so starting August 14th, I will be starting a new job with a new firm.  I know what you're wondering...is it closer to home?  Of course not! That would be too easy.  It's about the same distance as my current one.  I've basically resigned myself to accepting that if I plan to work in law firms or in corporate, it's going to be in Charlotte. The only way for a closer commute is to move closer and that's not happening any time soon. So, more audio books for the ride I guess. I really should look into some Spanish tapes, I could have been fluent by now!

Swimming is going well. Just realized one of my coworkers there also moved from West Palm Beach to here about 2 months after we did. Small world.  Classes are going pretty well, just wish I could exchange my paycheck for scuba lessons so I could get certified my the end of the year (yes I asked and no they said). Maybe next year though.

The boot is gone, and has been for a few weeks now, and I am actually cleared to try running again as early as next week. So I went running tonight cuz I'm cool like that and like to be an overachiever. It felt pretty good just to get the legs moving again and nothing hurt so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  I'm eyeing up a race in Charleston for next year so let's see if I can keep this running thing up for a month or so.

So, that's what's been going on here lately. I'm hoping to start writing more again, especially if I can get back into running. Guess I'll take baby steps on both endeavors.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tuesday Tidbits

I am trying to wean myself off McDs iced coffee (the longest I have gone is 5 days), and have found a replacement that is a fraction of the cost. These are pretty delicious and a good substitute, plus a big saving, which is always good in my book.

We picked up some movies from Redbox this weekend and have enjoyed some movie time. We watched Stand Up Guys with Al Pacino, Alan Arkin, and Christopher Walkin, which was a little slow moving but overall pretty good; Snitch with Duane (The Rock) Johnson, which turned out to be a great action-packed movie; and Hansel & Gretal.  We haven't made it to the theater in several months but I kinda want to see Despicable Me 2 cuz it looks awesome. Maybe next weekend...

It's funny how much you want to get out and exercise when you know you're not supposed to. I really hope my next appt goes well so I can start doing some cardio again. I actually miss running and long walks and would love to start doing some early morning running again.

It's going to be a busy work week. One of my team members had her last day on Friday so some work responsibilities are going to be shifted around and new things learned. Good times. Here's to another productive start to the work week!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Life Lately

There hasn't been too much going on around here other than a lot of routine for the month of June.  To start, let's recap on my June goals:

So, for the month of June, my goals are:
  1. Exercise 3 times a week for at least 1 hour.  (Fail.  Because of the boot and being sick for the entire month of June, this one was pretty much a wash, other than a couple of walks and my stretches. Better luck next month).
  2. Read 3 books. (Completed)
  3. Take a day trip somewhere we haven’t visited yet. (Nope, didn't get anywhere this month. Don't really feel like doing much feeling when feeling blucky).
  4. Make 2 new food dishes. (Fail. Although I did do a lot of cooking at home, just nothing new).
As for July goals, I have decided not to make any.  I am still trying to battle this back-to-back colds that will not end (stupid pool) and since the month is already six days down, I think I will just sit this one out and just work on things as they come up and get back into the goals for August.
We enjoyed a pretty laid-back 4th this year.  Had a barbecue with some neighbors, went to a festival in town and checked out the sights, then came home and watched the fireworks from the backyard. I had to work yesterday so it hasn't been a nice 4 day weekend for me, but a day off in the week is always a nice bonus.
We are planning a trip up to MN at the end of the month for my family reunion so I am anxiously awaiting that.  It will be great to hang out with family, see my parents, sister, brother, and my nieces and nephew again.  They are getting so big! Hopefully I will be rid of the boot by then because, either way, it is not coming with me up north!
Other than that, June was spent working, resting, reading, movie watching, lots of grilling.  I'm sure there will be more of that for the rest of July as well.  Hope everyone else is doing well!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Demon Colds and Stress Fractures

The title basically states what I’ve been dealing with lately. The body has taken a hit in the health department and I have been just going through the motions with work until I can get home and rest a bit. Since starting swim lessons, I am on my third cold in two months. This latest one I have named the demon cold as it is definitely the cold from hell sent to take me down for the count! I’ve been miserable for about 5 days with this one and hopefully I can kick it in the next couple of days cuz I have no time for these shenanigans!
As for my foot, I had a follow-up appointment with the doctor and he was not impressed with my lack of progress…or me showing up wearing flip flops (which he previously banned). So, as punishment, I received the dreaded boot to wear for the next month to see if that will quicken the healing process. This way I can still teach lessons since it’s non-weight bearing, but the rest of the time I’m stuck in this stupid thing. Hate. It. So. Much. I guess it’s better than a cast, though.
Other than that, the weekend was pretty low key. We both worked a bit on Saturday and then chilled at home for the rest of it. Those quiet weekends are always nice and I was able to get a lot of reading done on the patio so bonus for me!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Summer Lovin

The mornings start early...

The evenings end late...

The trees are in full bloom...

The pool is warm enough for a swim...

Shorts and tank tops...

Ice cream in the evenings...

Baseball games...

Barbeques and bonfires...

Sunkissed hair and tanned skin...

County fairs, music concerts, food fairs...

Catch up time with family and friends...

I love summer.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Work. Swim. Repeat.

That about sums up how my days have been going lately.  I head to work bright and early and sit in my cell cubicle for 8 hours. After 8 mindless hours in front of the computer screen, I head home for a bit to let Wilson out and grab something to eat before heading to the pool to teach all my swim monkeys...and there are a lot of them. I teach 17 classes a week with kids ranging from 2-12 years old as well as several adult classes. Needless to say, I am keeping very busy with this second job, along with all my extra certifications I am getting as well. Keeps me out of trouble and extra scrilla is always nice too.

We had plans to go to the Taste of Charlotte but we both worked Saturday and it was hot and humid Sunday so we ran some errands and relaxed at home instead. Also watched a couple of movies, Broken City and Jack Reacher. Both were pretty good but Broken City could've been a bit more action-packed.

I finished Jen Lancaster's book this weekend and have to say this one had some tear-jerker moments in it which I wasn't expecting. Overall, a pretty good read with some great sarcastic comments throughout. That brings my total book reads to 30. Only 22 more to go to reach my goal...giggity!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Thursday Tidbits

Happy Thursday! I am looking forward to the weekend and can't wait to finish this week up. It's just been one of those weeks that drags on and you feel like you don't get much accomplished. Monday and Tuesday were long days since I worked both my regular and swim jobs. Last night I was tired so I caught up on some of my saved shows, made a delicious Italian dinner (spaghetti madness baby) and just relaxed. Hopefully I can get some things done this evening and also get a workout in, as my gym key chain is getting a little dusty.

I started reading Jen Lancaster's new book and so far it's pretty good with lots of sarcasm and wit...just the way I like em! Got my new wet suit this week too. It's a little baggier than I would have liked but it will do for now, unless I really start exercising and get in shape quickly...yeah, it should fit for awhile.

 The Taste of Charlotte is this weekend so we plan to hit that up. Last year we had the best sea bass cakes with a wasabi sauce and coleslaw for crunch. To. Die. For. I hope they are there again this year.

I'd like to check out Crowder Mountain State Park too if the weather is nice and not too muggy. It's nice and close, maybe a half hour drive from the house instead of a couple hours away and supposed to be pretty.

* What are your plans for the weekend?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

June Goals

Wow, we are starting the month of June already. These past 5 months have flown by and I’m sure the next 7 will follow in the same way. I haven’t had a list of goals for the past few months because, well, I’ve been kind of lazy. Ok, maybe that’s not quite it…completely. Actually, I think it’s nice to take a few months off from goals now and then. It doesn’t put a stop to my weekly to-do lists though!

So, for the month of June, my goals are:
  1. Exercise 3 times a week for at least 1 hour. 
  2. Read 3 books.
  3. Take a day trip somewhere we haven’t visited yet. 
  4. Make 2 new food dishes.
I think these are all manageable goals and a good way to get back into the swing of things again. I must say the hardest one will probably be the exercise. I am still having a lot of foot pain, which I am getting checked out again in a couple of weeks. I actually think swimming may have exacerbated the pain…damn flutter kick)! But until then, I will do what I can until the doc tells me otherwise, which I probably won’t listen to anyway, knowing me.
*  Do you have any goals for this month?

Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Favorites

Fitness magazine. I enjoy the success stories, new recipes and different exercise ideas they give. The only downfall is the magazine only publishes 10 times a year instead of 12.

Sipping wine on the patio. There's just something peaceful about enjoying a glass of wine outside after a busy day.

Trail hiking. Probably one of the best reasons to live here in NC is there are actual hiking trails near my house, not to mention all trails one can hit in the mountains, which are only about 1-2 hours depending on where you're going.  Walking through a forest surrounded by nature will always beat the concrete slabs of sidewalks in my book!

Speaking of books, these are always a favorite for me.  I could spend an entire weekend enjoying a good book or two.  Looking forward to Jen Lancaster's new book coming out next week. She's always a fun one to read.

Swimming. My zen workout.

And let's not forget ice cream! My two favorites are banana cream pie blizzard from DQ and cake batter ice cream with M&Ms from Cold Stone.

~What is your favorite magazine, product, or thing to do?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Shakin Things Up

I don't know if it's because summer is right around the corner (ok, it's pretty much here) or if I'm just bored and need a little shake up but I'm feeling like making some changes around here. Since my foot injury, I haven't been very diligent with that whole working out concept and am thinking it's time to get back on the bandwagon again. Truthfully, other than a couple times on the bike, some dog walks, and swimming, my days have been mostly devoid of exercise. Now that the days are warmer and the nights are longer, it just feels like a good time to get physical. Cue Olivia Newton-John...

Picture courtesy of fanpop.com

Okay, maybe not the leotards and tights but you get the idea.

Second, I feel like a new hairstyle or color is in order. I haven't cut my hair in about 9 months so it definitely needs a trim, maybe even some layers, and I was thinking of adding some highlights or just changing the whole color scheme. This can be a bit more tricky because of all that pesky chlorine I swim in weekly, but I think I can work something out.

Lastly, I could use a good summer challenge or goal to work towards for the next 3 months. Maybe a push up or sit up challenge, running challenge, something to get me motivated. Or maybe something like this?

 tough mudder pics

Hmmm....it's a possibility.
 Although something else I've been checking out is right up my alley and I'd have over a year to prepare...
with this swimsuit of course  haha!
So, basically I am looking to shake things up a bit and try to break out of my rut a bit. How about you? Any plans for this summer or fun activities you are planning to do? 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wednesday Miscellany

Not too much time to write since I'm only home for a bit before heading off to swim lessons but figured you guys probably missed me these last few days so I better make an appearance ;-) haha!

So last week or so I mentioned that I have been on a pancake kick (which explains the battle between me and the scale) and have enjoyed them with cool whip (thanks Meg!), PB & J, french vanilla cream, honey, and several other ways. Today, having run out of pancake mix, I switched it up to french toast. They are so easy to make and require so few ingredients, just some nutmeg, cinnamon, egg and milk, and after a few minutes cooking on each side, I had an easy and delicious dinner which will keep me full through my swim lessons. Yummy!

Been listening to a lot of Dave Ramsey while at work and have learned quite a few good money tips.  Too bad I didn't start listening to him about a decade ago cuz I would be a financial guru by now!

I can't wait for the long weekend. I didn't take any extra time off but just having three days off with no swim lessons either will be glorious!  I'm sure one half day will be spent cleaning the house and doing all those fun grown up chores but then the rest of the weekend is for pure relaxation and enjoyment.  We don't have anything special planned, but maybe a day trip somewhere will be in order..we'll see how the weather holds out. I do need to get a wet suit so that's one thing on the list. Plus Nascar is here again this weekend, all the more reason to get out of town and away from the craziness.

Alright, time to get ready and hit the road. Someone has to teach these kids how to be superstar swimmers. 

~Got any plans for the holiday weekend?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Five on Friday

1.  Last night was the series finale of The Office. Even though it lagged a bit in the past few years, especially since Steve Carell left the show, it has still been one of my favorite shows. I'm gonna miss it..thank goodness I have most of the dvds to enjoy!

2. I have been dealing with a nagging cough all week. No other cold symptoms, just the stupid cough leaving the voice a little worse for wear. The swim kids will probably get a kick out of it.

3.  It's Nascar time here in Charlotte. With two races on back-to-back weekends, the race track area is a small city right now. It's like WeFest around here. Since we are only a few miles from the track, my thoughts circle around one theme...thanks for visiting but when do you leave?

4.  My cousin Dana gets married this weekend. Happy wedding day to her! Wish we could be there to enjoy her special day.

5.  Everyone got their powerball tickets?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Weight Loss Edition

Summer's here again! Crap...I forgot to get in shape and lose weight before it arrived. Dang it!  Another winter's worth of good intentions down the drain.  Looks like I'm going to have to start getting all healthy and shapely with the heat and humidity. I suppose sweating can only help in the long run, right?

I've been on again-off again with the whole exercise-eating healthy plan.  As is typical of so many, I get myself fired up, do really well for about 2-3 weeks, and then remember that cupcakes are a gift from the heavens, and I'm back to warming my butt on the couch and catching up on the Real Housewives Whatever edition.

I'd like to say this time will be different. That I have a new desire to get in shape that will keep myself motivated and constantly in motion for the near future, but that's just not realistic. So, I'll just say that I'm going to get back on the exercise bike, start doing some morning or evening runs again, and maybe dust off that yoga dvd and see what happens.  I'd like to say being in a swimsuit every week should be motivation enough but we wear sleeveless shorty wetsuits so no skimpy suits to worry about. Score!

2mm Women's Roxy SYNCRO Short Jane WetsuitOoh la la!!

So much better than just a swimsuit and much warmer when you're teaching for several hours on end. However, it would be nice to drop a couple sizes and find my biceps and triceps again so I'll give this whole exercise thing another chance.  To help keep me accountable, I am going to try and give weekly weight loss editions to map my progress. Maybe even pictures of my strongs when they finally make an appearance.