Let’s Do the Card!

My four day break is officially ovah. Which is actually fine with me because I had a great couple days off! Friday was my 27th birthday and, as you know, Black Friday. I don’t usually go out to the stores because I prefer not to deal with those crowds and the traffic. So, instead I parked myself on the couch for a hour or two and perused the online deals.

I received some money from my dad for my birthday. I decided to use the money for a new winter coat. I can’t tell you how old my winter coat is because it’s been that long. I’m guessing maybe 5 years old (?). I checked out some different retailers and ended up purchasing this Columbia Women’s Kaleidaslope II Jacket from Amazon. It has really good reviews and looks cute/warm, so I’m hoping it fits!

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Now that I’m getting older, I usually don’t have many gifts to open for my birthday, which I am completely fine with. I prefer money to purchase things that I really want! Hubby purchased some presents for me though, which was really thoughtful.

bdaygiftsHubby got me Runner’s High 2014 Day-to-Day calendar which I love! It has quotes every day that are inspiring or funny and related to running. What could be better? He also got my a new Camelbak water bottle. I’ve been using a metal one from Walmart that has seen better days. We have a slight obsession with New Girl, so it was fitting that he got me Season 2 on DVD. We’ve pretty much watched the entire second season in a day.

For my birthday dinner, we went to a restaurant I had’nt been to in a long time, the Stone Cellar Brew Pub in Appleton. It’s a great place for beer lovers, as they brew their own beer and have many varieties to choose from. For me though, I went with a glass of White Zinfandel.

2013-11-29 17.24.28This restaurant uses local ingredients, which I’m always a fan of. They also cater to the gluten free crowd. I decided on the Navarino Farm’s Elk Pastrami wrap with sweet potato fries. I typically do not eat much meat, but this wrap ended up being soooo good. The menu noted the pastrami came from Navarino Farms in Shicoton, WI. Yah for local ingredients!

2013-11-29 17.39.17Saturday morning I tried something I’ve been contemplating for a while- Group Power! It was intimidating at first because I don’t regularly lift weights. Typically, I do body weight exercises for strength training. I have previously done Body Pump, which is the same class just under a different name. Group Power is a part of Body Training Systems while Body Pump is part of Les Mills. I really enjoyed doing something different! The class was challenging, but I took it pretty light on the weights so I could work on my form. I’m definitely going to incorporate this class into my weekly workout routine. Watch out, gettin’ buff over here. 🙂

2013-11-30 08.32.14Saturday night, hubby took me to see Hunger Games: Catching Fire. I read the Hunger Games books last year, but it’s been a while. I was pleasantly surprised with how invested in the movie I felt. It met my expectations and stuck to the book pretty well. I’ll be interested in how they do the third movie, as the third book was  a lot different than the first two. I enjoyed the first two books much more than the third. There is no District 12. BOOM. I remember audibly yelling “WHAT??” when I read the end of book two.

We took our family photo for our holiday card. One of my favorite Friends episodes is “The Creepy Holiday Card” where Ross and Mona send out their own holiday card against Ross’ reservations. Hubby and I always make a joke of it every year and say “We’re not there yet.” 😉

DSCN1009-1Hope you guys enjoyed a wonderful holiday weekend. Only three more weeks of work before our winter break! I’m guessing it will go by fast. Have a great week and check out other marvelous Mondays at Healthy Diva Eats.

Get any good Black Friday deals? Anyone try a new workout lately? Do you send out a holiday card?

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Five Things I’m Loving This Friday

I’ve contracted a sinus infection and thereby, lost my voice. As a speech language pathologist, it’s kinda a necessary component to have my voice. It was only slightly pathetic to “yell” to my speech kids yesterday and have it come out sounding like a whisper. I’m trying to rest my voice and crossing my fingers it gets better soon! Today I’m linking up for Fitness Friday with JillFive Things Friday with Clare, and Five on Friday with Darci! Go check out all the link up parties!

1) With the holidays coming up {quicker than I expect, as always}, I’m looking to maintain my level of fitness and nutrition. In the past, the holidays have been an excuse to make and eat all kinds of ridiculous sweets and treats and not think about my health. I would gain some weight around the holidays and it never really affected me. The past couple years my outlook on health and fitness has changed immensely. I know I could get through the holidays no problem, but it’s always nice to have a little support. This year, I will be joining the Elf for Health 2013 challenge put on by Lindsey at The Lean Green Bean .

The challenge runs November 25th-December 22nd. Challenge categories include Food, Fitness, For You, and For Others. Each participant will be paired with another “elf” and send twice weekly emails to support each other and share recipes/workouts. You can win some awesome prizes from Mizuno, Nature Box, Bondi Band, and Nuttzo among others. Sign up by today at noon if you want to join! Do it (it’s free)!

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2) I am in love with my new workout pants from American Eagle. These are the AEO performance striped crop legging in size S. I saw these posted on Instagram and had to check them out. I love workout capris/pants that have patterns or color to them. Black is so, well, boring. I heard through the grapevine that AE uses the same manufacturer as Lululemon for their workout gear. Not sure if it’s true, but they do feel really nice! They’re on a great sale right now, too!

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3)  I’ve never been a tea drinker and believe me I’ve tried to like it. I took a gamble and ordered some Peppermint Tea from Twinings on Amazon. I’ve read reviews that peppermint tea may help in calming the stomach during an IBS attack (not evidence based), however, that wasn’t my sole reason for purchasing it. I was also looking for a hot, caffeine-free drink for before bedtime. I’ve drank it every night so far this week and am really loving the taste!

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4) My dream has come true…I’m becoming a BTS Centergy instructor! I’ve posted about my love for Centergy many times. It’s no doubt something that I am extremely passionate about, so I am very excited for the opportunity to become a practicing instructor! The training is in the middle of January and spans over 3 days..so pretty much like a dream for me! The owner of my gym inquired about my interest a while back, so it will be nice to instruct at a gym I’m already familiar with. Centergy for three whole days! Woohoo! 

5) I was happy to see my prizes I won recently came in the mail yesterday! You wouldn’t know it by my voice (since it was nonexistent), but trust me, I was excited. I picked out the argyle marathon sock from Pro Compression in XS and won a sample pack of Larabars from a #vegrunchat twitter chat (Sundays @ 8pm central if you wanna join!). I usually don’t win much so I’m hoping this streak keeps going! And if not, well, I’m still going to participate because I love chatting about all things running!

2013-11-21 15.51.18Have a great weekend everyone! Take time to enjoy yourself and those around you. I’ll be testing out my knee again, seeing as I’m running the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. Here’s hoping for the best!

Do you “go all out” during the holidays or keep yourself in check? Black or colorful/patterned workout pants? Anyone else a fitness instructor? Any advice for a soon-to-be?

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Cold Weather Running Gear Must Haves

runninggearAs the weather has made her switch to colder, frosty mornings, I have had to change up my running gear. This is my first fall/winter running, as I’m still a newbie. After reading up on cold weather running gear “must haves”, I’ve come up with my own list. These are the items I swear by and run with religiously in the cold!

1) Asics PR Shelter Headwarmer

In my opinion, a headwarmer is the way to go since it keeps your ears warm while allowing heat to escape through your head. Even though the air feels chilly when you first step out the door, your body warms up quickly and you don’t want to be sweating 2 miles into your run.

2) Asics Women’s Quinn Jacket

I ordered this jacket a while ago from Amazon when it was on sale. It’s really warm, but not heavy feeling. I have been loving it for chilly morning runs.

3) Flipbelt 

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(under my jacket) Not necessarily a “cold weather” accessory only, but it’s a product that I truly love! I’ve had one since last spring and I never run without it. I’m weird about having too many things on my wrists and arms, so the fact that this allows me to have my arms free is awesome. I also love that I don’t have to worry about it falling down. I had a hard time finding an armband that wouldn’t slide down because my arms are kinda small (workin’ on it 🙂 ). This is the perfect solution. It comes in lots of fun colors and fits my phone, money, FOB for my car, and fuel for long runs. (P.S. Fashion tip: Please don’t wear this over your clothes. It looks hideous that way. It’s meant to mimic the band of your pants or a belt people!)

4) Garmin Forerunner 10

A must have for any running weather really. I love my Garmin Forerunner 10. It’s simple enough, yet tells me exactly what I need and want to know! It does take usually 2-3 minutes to find the satellites before a run, but I’m usually warming up then anyways. This has been essential in improving my pace. When I started seriously running this past spring, I remember thinking I was “comfortable” at a 10:30 min/mile pace. Now my “comfortable” pace is around 9:00 min/mile. It’s amazing what training with a GPS watch can do for you!

5) Nike Women’s Epic Run Tight

I absolutely love these running tights. They’re so comfortable and keep me warm in cold weather. I can picture myself logging many miles in these tights. I see they’re $85 now. Believe me, I love running gear, but did not pay that much!

6) Fingerless Gloves

I picked up fingerless gloves at the Dollar Tree for the Fox Cities half marathon in September, thinking I’d toss them along the way. However, I ended up really liking them! I tend to get hot then cold, then hot again so these are perfect for cold weather running. They keep my palms warm while letting some heat out of my fingertips. And if I lose them or toss them, I don’t care because they’re so cheap!

7) Mizuno Wave Exlixir 8s

These are my very first pair of running shoes. I curse the day I will have to retire them. We’ve been through a lot of miles together and hopefully there are a lot more miles in our future. Unfortunately, I forsee myself needing a new pair in the spring. I’ll continue to love them this winter while I still can, as they’ve been discontinued. 😦

I could ramble on about my favorite running things for hours, but I’ll spare you and leave you with this- Invest in yourself this weekend. Be a #WeekendWorkoutWarrior. Be thankful to MOVE, SWEAT, and just BE. {have a great weekend!}

What are your running must haves in the cold?

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Last Long Run & Fall Fest {MIMM}

What a beautiful Saturday! The weather here was finally more bearable for running. This weekend was my last “long” run in preparation for the half marathon on September 22nd. I decided not to run with the group since it was only 6 miles. I slept in an extra half hour and then hit the pavement.

sep14I felt great during the run. It was nice to break out my running tights for once. It was in the low 40s when I left, but in sun it definitely felt warmer. I took the run at an easy pace, trying to practice my goal pace of 9:30 min/mile for the half and not start too fast. At the end of the run I felt I could’ve gone farther. High five because I’m feeling mentally and physically prepped for next weekend! Bring it on half marathon!

2013-09-14 09.30.54After my run, I headed to the gym for group core. After I learned of my weak glutes, I am making more of an effort to attend core regularly like I used to. I love that the class is only 30 minutes and it’s always a great workout!

fallfestThe rest of Saturday was spent at Fall Fest, which is an amped up version of the usual Saturday farmer’s market. The market had lots of handmade crafts, music, veggies, and some delicious Caramel Apple kettle corn (pictured above). Where did half the bag disappear to already? No idea 🙂 . I first thought it was “Packer” popcorn because of the colors, but happy to discover it’s a new kind of kettle corn!

2013-09-14 12.24.27I picked up this cute, crocheted hat from Fall Fest for $5! Not quite cold enough to wear it yet, but I know that weather will be here before we know it.

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Hubby ordered this pizza from a local vendor, Firefly Woodfired Pizza, at the farmer’s market.

Firefly Woodfired Pizza is a mobile wood-fired brick oven that serves fresh, made-to-order pizzas at private catering events, festivals and farmers’ markets. Ingredients are from local sources.

He chose the breakfast pizza with scrambled eggs, bacon, green pepper, and cheese. Within 5 minutes of waiting the pizza was ready. I stole a piece and it was so good! Loved the eggs and cheese on a crispy crust.

For lunch we headed out by the mall and stopped at Panera. It’s one of our favorite lunch places, but unfortunately there’s not one too close to our house (about 20 minutes). I’m still on my salad kick and decided on the Fuji Apple Chicken Salad. I’ve previously tried the Thai Chicken Salad, which I love. I still on a mostly low-FODMAP diet (read more about the diet here), so I try to limit the amount of apple I consume in a sitting (apples are high in fructose). This salad went over fine, but I have felt stomachaches after eating too many dehydrated apple chips at one time.

2013-09-14 13.27.45The salad was lightly dressed with apple vinaigrette, which I appreciate. There’s nothing I hate more than when a restaurant douses a salad with too much dressing. I prefer my veggies with dressing, not my dressing with veggies swimming in it. After trying both salads now, I prefer the Thai Chicken Salad because it’s something so different that I wouldn’t make at home. I might throw something together at home that is similar to the Fuji Apple Chicken Salad. It was still really tasty though!

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After lunch we stopped at TJ Maxx and JanSport Factory Store. I love the JanSport Factory Store because they have super cheap tshirts and sweatshirts. The clothes are technically “misprint” items, but usually you can never tell!2013-09-15 09.37.26

I bought this off-the-shoulder sweatshirt from JanSport for $10 (anyone know where the U of Richmond is? Love that their mascot is the spiders!) and I picked up these comfy, cotton lounge leggings from TJ Maxx for $13. I just had to get the leggings because of this sign in the dressing room…

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Talk about suggestive retail.

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Sunday was mostly a rainy, dreary day. I started the day with Centergy (yoga+pilates class) with my favorite instructor. I’ve been doing this release since July so I’ve memorized pretty much the whole thing. I loved that the instructor gave us new suggestions to make it more difficult. This class feels so wonderful after running! I hope to get certified soon, just waiting on the gym to host another training weekend. 🙂 Rest of the day we watched the pack take home a win!

Hope everyone else had a great weekend! I’m looking ahead to a marvelous week (check out other lovely ladies marvelous Mondays here) and trying not to fret about the half marathon this coming Sunday too much. I put in the work over the last 5 months, now it’s time to just get out there and enjoy it!

What’s your favorite food/drink to order at Panera? How was your run this weekend? Anyone racing soon? What’s your favorite local festival?

What happened to Misses?

Let’s talk shopping. By “let’s” of course I mean me and I hope you chime in!

Last Friday I went to Kohl’s, one of my favorite stores. I can remember shopping at Kohl’s during my childhood countless times. My mom frequented the place like no other. So, of course, it’s one of my favorite places to shop. They have such good deals! My shopping had a purpose this time, which should, in theory, shorten the amount of time I was there {in theory}. I was on a mission for capri pants that would be appropriate for work (school setting) and compression shorts for running.

Shopping-with-girlfriends

This has NEVER happened happened with my hubby and I 😉

Here’s my dilemma. I’m 26 and still have a hard time finding clothes that fit me well outside of the Juniors department. I’m not about to rock a Hello Kitty or Mickey Mouse sweater to work, so I usually stick to buying shorts and solid tanks/t-shirts in the Juniors department. For classier, work type wear I’ve ventured into the Women’s department the last couple years. But guess what?! Nothing fits me right! I’m 5′ 5” and usually a size 3-5 in Juniors, which puts me in about a 2 in Womens. However, most of the women’s clothes are not flattering to a 26 year old with my body type. I’ve had a really hard time finding work clothes at Kohl’s. Usually shirts are too short or boxy. I wish they catered to all types/sizes for women.

But wait, what about the Misses?? Didn’t there used to be a Misses department at Kohl’s? Is there still? Because I sure can’t tell where it’s located. I’m also realizing that I may need to switch from looking in Women’s to Petites, even though I thought Petites was technically for women 5′ 4” and under.

I did end up finding some great items once I looked hard enough. It finally dawned on me to venture over to the Petites section and what’d ya know? I found the exact same pair of capris I currently love in a different color! Score! And it was on clearance. Double score.

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Simply Vera Wang Petite Capri pants $11.22 after extra %15

I also found the perfect pair of compression shorts for running. I had been debating whether to order a pair on amazon and risk them not fitting/having to return. I just hadn’t gotten around to committing to a certain pair yet. The inseam measurement was also throwing me off, as I wasn’t sure how long of an inseam I needed. I was specifically looking for longer shorts that would come just above the knee so that I wouldn’t have to worry about chaffing. So elated I found this Nike pair! They are perfect for chafe free running!

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Nike Filament Dri-FIT shorts $32.12 after extra %15

Other finds included a pair of shorts (below, Rewind) I found on clearance in the Juniors department. They feel silky and are very comfortable. Another find included a Simply Vera Wang pencil skirt that is made out of the same material as the capri pants I found above. Overall, spent about $65 and received $10 in Kohl’s cash.

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Rewind shorts, $6.12 after %15

I sometimes find I’m still in this “in between” area where the style I’m going for is older than what you find in Juniors, but younger than what you find in Women’s clothes.

I need your help! What stores do you frequent for work wear? 

Have a great Thursday! Weekend is almost here! 🙂