Thursday, February 27, 2014

February in Review

Oh February, for being the shortest month of the year, you sure seem to have taken your sweet time this year.

Anyone else feel like the beginning of the month was a very long time ago? No? Just me? Well, I wouldn't say that February was particularly bad. Just long.

We still did some pretty fun things. Like going kite flying for the first time. We also met up with a childhood friend of mine who was in town for a convention, and had a surprise visit from my stepmom and her sister! Like I said, definitely not a bad month. :)

Time to check in on my 2014 goals.

Individual Goals

Fitnesss goals - Run Faster and Train Harder
The month started out strong. I got a PR during the 5 by the 5th virtual 5k and kept up with my fitness goals for the first week and a half of the month. And then I got a cold and decided the best thing would be to get some good solid rest. And rest I did. This week I slowly started to get back to it. It's amazing how much can be lost taking 11 days off.

Blogging goals
Time to make some adjustments. I did pretty well keeping up - even when I was sick, but I think all the themes are taking away some of my voice on the blog and getting a little tedious. I ended up skipping my Monday Listicles and Tuesday's Tip posts this week. I needed a little blogging mental break.

And a little flexibility. So, starting in March, I'm going to change to doing Tuesday's Tips only twice a month instead of weekly. Monday Listicles will become optional as well. I'll try every week, but I'm not going to beat myself up if I miss a week here or there.

Goals with Jeff

Run a Triathlon. No news on this front yet. We haven't chosen one or started training specifically, but Jeff has really started to focus on getting more active. He's been doing a LOT of yoga, and yesterday he even went for a short run around our apt complex. We have to tackle this goal on our own terms, but I'm still confident that we'll get one in this year.

Read 3 books together. Haven't started this one yet, either. But the year is still young, as they say. Perhaps we'll start in March. Who knows? :)

New in 2014 and Enriching Activities. We went kite flying! This was both a New in 2014 activity AND an outdoors activities. :-D
Enjoying the Course | New in 2014

Enjoying the Course | Enriching Activities

I'm definitely OK with how February turned out - even if it felt a little long and slow going at times. :)

How was your February? 
Did you try anything new and fun?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Let's Go Fly a Kite!

I can't believe it's taken me so long to write this post about our little adventure.

Did you know that Feb 8th was National Kite Flying Day? I had no idea! But I decided it would be a perfect opportunity to try something New in 2014 and bonus that it could also count as checking off one of our outdoor activities for the year, too!

I've never been kite flying. I can't really ever remember going as a kid - and definitely never as an adult, so we ordered a kite from Amazon and eagerly awaited it's arrival.

I'd read that Ivanapah Dry Lake was one of the best places to go kite flying in the country, and it was just over in Primm - less than an hour away. So, we grabbed a few snacks and headed out for a kite flying adventure.

Driving with a Dog
Sallie is the most comfortable when sitting on the driver's lap.

Primm, NV, is barely a town. It's more like a couple of casinos and an outlet mall right on the border of NV and CA. There was no official entrance to get to the Dry Lake - just a little break in a fence. No sign. Nothing to indicate that we were there. There happened to be a security guard in the parking lot of Whiskey Pete's, and he told us that he sees lots of people entering through that break in the fence. So weird!

But once we were inside, there were definitely Bureau of Land Management signs, so we knew we were in the right place.

Putting the kite together is a bit more complicated than I expected, but it's a breeze once you've done it a couple times.

Kite Flying Las Vegas Nevada

Unfortunately, Mother Nature apparently didn't get the memo that it was National Kite Flying Day. THERE WAS PRACTICALLY NO WIND! Which is obviously something very important when it comes to flying a kite.

We were able to get it airborne a couple times.

Kite Flying Ivanapah Dry Lake

And had a total blast running around and trying to fly our new kite.

Sallie did not agree. Twice she ran back to the car to escape the huge flying creature in the sky that kept dive bombing. It hadn't really occurred to us how the kite would be perceived by her.

She sought the safety of the car and even jumped inside for protection!

Scion iQ and Border Terrier
She's all smiles now that she's in the safety of the driver's seat.

Here's a little video I shot of our adventure.



And here's a little Auto Awesome video that Google put together for us. Gotta love Google! :)



We felt kind of bad about freaking out Sallie so much, but we had a total blast! We definitely hope to do it again, but we'll leave her at home next time. And make a day out of it by checking out the rest of Primm (i.e. the roller coaster at Buffalo Bill's).

Have you ever gone kite flying?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

What's for Dinner? Week of 2/23

This is going to be the shortest weekly workout and menu planning post EVER.

Sunday - Saturday - REST

Yep. You read that right. I didn't do one ounce minute of exercise this past week. This little cold is kicking my pa-tootie. Ugh! I've been so wiped out and tired, and I'm not seeming to get much better, but I'm going to try to start up again tomorrow anyway. We'll see how it goes...

menu planning

Instead of breaking down meals for each day, I'm just going to make a few soups this week. Each one will probably last us about 2-3 days.

Here are three I'm thinking about making. Or using for inspiration.



I'm linking up with Laura over at Mommy Run Fast and Jill at Fitness, Health, & Happiness. Go check out what everyone else is cooking up this week. Probably something more exciting than my 3 soups.

Friday, February 21, 2014

5 for Friday

I hate that I'm being so whiny about this stinking cold. In some ways, it's gotten better, but in other ways it's gotten worse. I am really looking forward to the weekend, so I can sleep and rest and consume a LOT of liquids. :)

For Fitness Friday, I thought I'd share a few of the blog posts I've pinned in the past week. Click on the pics to go to the post.

Kristin at Exploring Domesticity shares her thoughts on week 2 of the Move, Nourish, Believe Challenge. I loved this image that she created. I know I need to remember this more often.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Three Things Thursday - 2/19

Even with a sick day on Monday, this week seems to really be dragging. Maybe because I'm still sick?? It's been a little slow at work, which I'm counting as a blessing, because I know it never lasts very long.

I've got 3 really exciting things to share with you today.

1. Lora over at Crazy Running Girl chose me to be one of the 50 Faces of Fitness!


How awesome is that?! Head over to her blog to read a little more about ME. LOL. And check out the other Faces of Fitness.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tuesday's Tip #7

Taking a sick day yesterday was just what my body needed! I'm definitely not 100%. I still have a sore throat and some congestion, but my head doesn't quite feel like it's going to explode. Yay! I'm heading back to work today, so hopefully the worst truly is over. :)

Since I was sick over the weekend and yesterday, I didn't really plan ahead for this post. But being sick gave me an idea to share a few tips to getting over a cold quickly.

Monday, February 17, 2014

10 things I have memorized

Good morning! Just wanted to say THANK YOU for all the get well soon wishes I received yesterday. I wish I could say I was on the mend already, but instead I stayed home from work today to let my body rest a bit more. Hope to be feeling much better tomorrow after a solid day of rest. :)

Now, for Monday Listicles....



When I first heard the topic for this week's Monday Listicles, I thought, I don't have anything memorized! Then it occurred to me that I have a LOT of passwords memorized. The tricky part is remembering which password works for which application.

10 PASSWORDS I HAVE MEMORIZED

1. Work computer
2. Work email account
3. Billing software
4. Billing applications
5. Ad server password
6. Voicemail
7. Personal email accounts
8. Social Media accounts
9. Financial accounts
10. Jeff's accounts

What are some things you have memorized?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

What's for Dinner? Week of 2/16

Happy Sunday!! I hope everyone had a lovely Valentine's Day weekend, and those of you who have tomorrow off for President's Day, I'm super jealous enjoy your long weekend.

I got hit with a nasty cold around Thursday, and it's continually getting a bit worse as the weekend has progressed. Let's just say that's why my workouts really petered off towards the end of the week. I'm sure it wasn't laziness at all.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!


Valentine's Day + Friday = AWESOME

Well, except that I am getting sick. Sucking on a cough drop right now to soothe my scratchy throat. :-( Booo.

We don't really have any plans tonight. Just gonna make dinner and have a nice low key evening. Maybe watch a movie. We're all kinds of crazy, I know.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tuesday's Tip #6

If you haven't linked up for Wear Red Selfies, we're leaving the linky open for a few more days.

For today's Tuesday's Tip, let's talk Easy Ways to Be Active Everyday.

Exercise is very important for a healthy heart. It helps in weight loss, reduces blood pressure and bad cholesterol, and relieves stress. Obviously, I'm a runner and that's my go-to exercise of choice, but let's face it. We all get busy at times, and sometimes we just can't squeeze in a run or a workout.

But you know what? You're probably still getting some exercise and doing what you can, when you can totally counts!

Enjoying the Course | Easy Ways to be Active Everyday

Sunday, February 9, 2014

10 Things in Our Apt Which Needed to be Fixed

When we moved into our apartment, they let us move in 10 days early. Even though we'd been watching the progress by the maintenance men, we were assured that it would be in move-in condition.

We were wrong.

Here is a list of the top 10 things that weren't fixed when we moved in:

1. Toilets wouldn't flush properly
2. Broken window
3. Cabinet under kitchen sink was broken and hanging askew
4. Walls needed to be painted
5. Water damage in spare room
6. Stove has mismatched oven racks and burner pans
7. Dishwasher was mildewy and wouldn't drain properly
8. Screen door to the patio was missing
9. Weather stripping was worn and incorrectly installed
10. Window pane needed to be sealed in place

And it only took SEVEN months, and a LOT of follow-up from Jeff, to get everything fixed or replaced. :-)



The theme for this week's Monday Listicles came from Christine. Now, why not head on over to Stasha's to read everyone else's lists.

What's for Dinner? Week of 2/9

Thanks to everyone who suggested I keep track of my workouts old school - with pen and paper. Brilliant! I picked up a cute little calendar last Sunday, and it worked pretty well.


I still hope to log my workouts in DailyMile, but now if I don't have time to turn on the computer after my workout, I can still jot down a couple notes in my calendar and update DailyMile later

Monday - 3 mile run. Time - 27:03; Pace - 9:03.  This was Day 1 of my new training schedule. Just took it easy and enjoyed the run. I'd intended on hitting the treadmill, but I couldn't get into the workout room. :( I had to come back to my apartment and add some additional layers to run outside.

Arms - 15 dips; 15 countertop push-ups; 15 overhead presses (no weights).  I forgot about doing an arm workout until I was about to jump in the shower, so I did just a couple super quick reps right there in the bathroom.

Tuesday - StrongStride DVD. Program 1.

Wednesday - #5bythe5th 5k. Read more about it in this post.

Thursday - 15 minute partner stretch yoga. 2.5 hours shopping. I skipped yoga in the morning in favor of doing yoga with Jeff after work. Unfortunately, I also decided to go shopping for some Red for National Wear Red Day after work, so by time I got home from my little shopping trip, we only had time for 15 min of yoga.

Friday - 3+ hours walking the Strip. I was supposed to do StrongStride this morning, but blogged instead - Red Wear Selfies for National Wear Red Day. My evening didn't go as planned, but we finally met up with my friend around 9-9:30 and walked a LOT through several of the casinos. I did not wear appropriate walking shoes, so I was in a lot of pain by the time we got home.

Saturday - REST. We did drive to Primm, NV, in the afternoon for our first attempt at kite flying. {post coming soon} It wasn't really windy enough, so there was a bit of walking/running involved. More for Jeff than for me.

Sunday - 4 miles. Yoga. Since I didn't get in my run yesterday, I'll be heading out this morning. Just after I publish this post. Jeff and I will do some yoga together this afternoon. Yay!

So, that's how the week went. Could have been better, but definitely nothing to complain about.

Now, let's check out what I'm hoping to eat this coming week.

menu planning

I finally remembered to order Bountiful Baskets for pickup yesterday. It was getting ridiculous. Our fridge was so bare, and I needed some fresh produce. We got lots of yummy stuff yesterday, and I'm excited to try it out for dinner this week.

Sunday - Baked penne with leeks and cheese



Monday - Leftovers

Tuesday - Zucchini burgers



Wednesday - Penne with asparagus. I'm not a fan of asparagus at all, but we got two bunches in our Bountiful Basket. Jeff loves asparagus, so I'm hoping this recipe with be tasty for both of us.



Thursday - Leftovers

Friday - Slow Cooker Lasagna. I didn't get around to making this last week, so I thought it would be perfect for Valentine's Day! We're going to have a date night at home. I'm hoping to make a couple sides with this, too. Asparagus for Jeff; Zucchini for me.

Saturday - TBD

I'm linking up with Laura over at Mommy Run Fast and Jill at Fitness, Health, & Happiness. Go check out what everyone else is cooking up this week.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Wear RED Selfies

Happy Friday and Happy National Wear Red Day!

National Wear Red Day is in its 11 year. Wow! I first heard of it back in the beginning years. I can't remember which year, but there was a big deal made about it on General Hospital (one my of guilty pleasures that Jeff doesn't share). That year, all month long they focused on heart disease awareness. Well, focused might be a strong word, but it was mentioned a lot. :-)

That's honestly when I first started becoming aware of the problem of heart disease. Crazy, right?

So, today I'm wearing red.


Why?

#1 - Red is one of my favorite colors. So bold. So powerful. Oddly, I didn't have much red in my closest, so I went shopping last night for something new. What do you think?

#2 - Heart disease is still the #1 killer of women. Too many women are unaware of their risks and the facts. By wearing red, I can help by raising awareness and starting the conversation. Plus it gives me something to blog about.

I don't really have a great story. I don't have a history of heart disease in my family. None of the women in my life have been affected by heart disease, to my knowledge.

That doesn't mean I'm risk-free and safe. It doesn't mean my loved ones are either.

I'm wearing red to remind myself to make healthy choices. And hopefully inspire others to take their health into their own hands as much as possible.

Wear Red Selfies


Don't have a blog? Just want to share a picture instead of a whole post? You can still join us for Wear Red Selfies. Just upload a picture to your favorite social media platform using hashtag #wearredselfies. Then come back here to add your photo to the linky. Most likely the linky won't be able to pull the image from the URL of your photo, so you'll need to either upload your image or enter the URL of the image (not the post). Let me know if you have any questions or have issues adding your link/image.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Three Things Thursday 2/6

This week seems to really be flying by! I can hardly believe it's already Thursday. Yay!! Almost Friday. :-)

I've got a few exciting things to share!

1. I ran the first race for this round of #5bythe5th virtual race series and GOT A PR! I waited until the 5th to run it because I had a tempo run on schedule for the 5th and thought that would be perfect! Turns out it was! It was only in the 40s, so I wore my new Crazy Compression sleeves and a LS shirt. I was still cold, but I think that made me run a bit faster. I was listening to one of my favorite Rock My Run mixes - Grrl Power. I tried to use the music to push me faster instead of just singing along. Whenever I was tempted to sing, I thought, If you can sing, you can run faster. So instead of singing, I'd run faster.


Here are the numbers:
Total Time27:04
Avg Pace8:49 min/mile
Mile 18:38 min
Mile 28:45 min
Mile 38:41 min
3.1:59 min

I was pleasantly surprised - not only with the PR, but with actually pushing myself to run a tempo run. This is probably one of the few races I feel like I actually raced. With a goal of getting a sub-25:00 5k, I need to keep up with the tempo runs (and other speed work), but I feel like I'm heading in the right direction.

2. Don't forget that tomorrow is National Wear Red Day! Katie at From Ice Cream to Marathon and I are co-hosting a little linky party to celebrate - Wear Red Selfies. Be sure and stop back by tomorrow to share your selfie and why you're wearing red. For more information on heart disease and National Wear Red Day, visit goredforwomen.org.

Feel free to snag this little button for your post.

Wear Red Selfies

If you're not a blogger and still want to link up with us, you can still link up. I'll tell you how in tomorrow's post.

3. Jeff and I have some exciting plans for this weekend! I posted a teaser pic on Instagram last night. Can you guess what we'll be doing? Hint: I has nothing to do with the bikes in the background of the picture.


What's exciting you today?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tuesday's Tip #5

How to Customize Blockquotes in Blogger (pt 2)


In last week's Tuesday's Tip post, I shared with you how to customize your blockquotes by adding borders and background colors.

This week, let's tackle adding an image.

How to Add an Image to a Blockquote

In my Tips for Drinking More Water post, you may have noticed I added a little bell and a question mark to my blockquotes. You might want to add something similar. Or a quotation mark, if your blockquote is actually a quotation. :)

1. The first thing you'll want to do is find the image you want to use. Or create something of your own. I'd suggest an image no more than 40px by 40px.

2. Upload the image to wherever you usually host your images. Or to a post to have Google host it for you.

Now for the coding of the blockquote.

<blockquote style="background: url('http://yourimage.png'); background-repeat: no-repeat; min-height: 45px; padding-left: 45px;">Enter your text here.</i></blockquote>
You can add a fun image like quotations marks or a bell or whatever would fit with the blockquote and your post.
3. Copy/paste this coding into the HTML tab of your post.

4. Replace http://yourimage.png with the URL of the image you uploaded earlier.

5. Depending on the size of your image, you made need to adjust the min-height and/or the padding-left.
Increase the min-height if the image you're using isn't fully showing.
Increasing the padding-left will move the text to the right, so it doesn't overlap the image. Unless you want it to, of course.
You may need to check the Preview of the post several times to get it looking just how you want it.

6. That's it. You're ready to publish. :)

NOTE: Do NOT switch back to Compose mode!

For some unknown reason that I can't figure out, Blogger moves the background-repeat: no-repeat; attribute to the beginning of the coding. When it's in front of the background: url('http://yourimage.png'); attribute, it disregards the no-repeat command and repeats your image over and over again. No bueno.

To avoid this, I'd suggest composing your entire post and adding the image to your blockquote as the final step.

I find the easiest way to do this is to write your post in Compose. Click on the Quotation Mark (3rd icon from the right) to begin the formatting of the blockquote. When your post is all finished, and you're ready to add your image, switch to HTML mode. Do a Ctrl+F for <blockquote class="tr_bq> to quickly find where your blockquote begins. Delete class="tr_bq" and replace it with the coding explained earlier.

Be sure and Publish from HTML mode.

If for some reason, you need to switch to Compose after adding your image, just be sure to Publish from HTML mode after you've moved the background-repeat: no-repeat; attribute after your image URL, so it matches the coding above.

It seems a bit complicated, but once you try it, it's really pretty simple. Give it a try! If you do, please let me know. Feel free to leave a comment with the URL to your post or share it with me on Twitter, Facebook, or G+.

Monday, February 3, 2014

9 guilty pleasures

It's Monday! Time for another listicle. This week we're talking guilty pleasures, as suggested by Phoebe over at In Momopause.

Don't deny it. We all have at least a few guilty pleasures. Here's a list of 9 that Jeff and I share.

9 Guilty Pleasures


1. Chocolate. Really any form will do.

2. Driving Genie. This one is more me than Jeff, but we both really love driving our Scion iQ - even though we know we should bike more often and to more places.

3. Bread. Pretty much the same as chocolate. We could easily eat bread in just about any form. Sourdough. Whole wheat. Oat. Banana. Muffins. Dinner rolls. Etc. Etc.

4. Sallie. We love everything her. Her big black eyes melt our hearts. We snuggle with, and dote on, her more often than we maybe should.

5. TV. This one is a little more Jeff than me, but we both get sucked way too easily into TV and suddenly the night or weekend is over.

6. Shopping. Not together, but it's a weakness of both of us. He prefers to shop online; I prefer to go to a store. Either way, we can get sucked into browsing and spending money.

7. Travel. We LOVE to travel, but it's not without a little guilty. Guilt at spending money, but also guilt at leaving Sallie behind.

8. Dinner and Drinks. Pretty much the same reasons as for Travel. It's fun while we're out, but not without a little bit of guilt.

9. Fast Food. We've gotten much better about this over the past month or so, but sometimes those fries are just irresistible.

That's all we could come up with. We each have a couple guilty pleasures on our own, but nothing too crazy.

What is your #1 guilty pleasure?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

What's for Dinner? Week of 2/2

Did you notice that I didn't include my weekly workout recap in my Friday post? It had a good run in January, but I've decided to move the workout recaps to Sundays. Just makes more sense to me. :)

Last week wasn't the greatest, and I've definitely got to get my act together this week!

Sunday - A little yoga.
Monday - 20 sun salutations. 1.91 mile run. 2 moon salutations.
Tuesday - 28 sun salutations.
Wednesday - 2 mile run.
Thursday - I wanna say I did some sun salutations in the morning, but I'm having trouble remember back that far.
Friday - REST
Saturday - REST

My Sun & Moon Salutations challenge didn't go quite a well as I'd hoped. I really started slacking on it as the reps got into the double digits. Not sure why I have so much difficulty sticking to month-long challenges.

Also wanted to give a huge THANK YOU to everyone who attempted even a couple days of the challenge with me. If you took the challenge, I hope you enjoyed it and got some benefit from it.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I've got to figure out a way to track my workouts better, so when Sundays roll around, I can remember what I did that week! I used to used DailyMile pretty avidly, but haven't been lately. Maybe I need to get back to that.

As I mentioned on Friday, tomorrow starts the beginning of a new training cycle. I really, really want to be diligent with this, so I've got to make the commitment to workout 1st thing in the morning. I've got some pretty big blogging goals this year, but working out is probably more important.  I'm going to try to keep up with both, but blogging might have to give a little.

That said, I've got a lot of great ideas for blogging in February, so hopefully I'll be able to manage both. :)

menu planning

Since I'm starting my new training cycle tomorrow AND it's the first week of the month, which means work will be crazier than usual, I'm keeping this week's menu super simple!

Sunday - Beans and rice. I may experiment trying to make this in the slow cooker.

Monday - Out for dinner. An old friend is in town for a convention, and I'm super excited to meet up with her. Let's just say it's been MANY years.

Here's a picture of the two of us back in 1989.


Tuesday - Leftovers

Wednesday - Slow Cooker Lasagna. This recipe comes from Katie at From Ice Cream to Marathon. I tried it earlier this year, and it was delicious. I might tweak it to make it vegetarian this time around and maybe add in a little squash that needs to be used.

Thursday - Leftovers

Friday - Leftovers

Saturday - TBD

I'm linking up with Laura over at Mommy Run Fast and Jill at Fitness, Health, & Happiness. Go check out what everyone else is cooking up this week.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Celebrate American Heart Month

Did you know that February is American Heart Month? I've always found that to be so fitting for the month of LOVE. :)

Here are FIVE easy ways to CELEBRATE this month.

Celebrate American Heart Month


Educate yourself. There are a lot of resources out there to help you better understand disease and how to reduce your risks. I wrote a couple helpful posts last year (here and here) and hope to have a few more out to you in 2014. Check out these websites for lots of great info and tips:

National Wear Red Day. This is the first Friday of every February. Feb 7th this year. It's been going on for more than 10 years now. Visit goredforwomen.org for more info. It's really a small thing, but it can help start a conversation about heart disease. Macy's is actually a pretty huge sponsor of Go Red for Women. Check out their page for tips and, of course, a Go Red Sale - complete with a 20% off coupon.

#MyHeart28. Join The Heart Truth for 28 days of challenges to help you reduce your risk of heart disease. Check them out on Facebook and Pinterest for the daily challenge + more tips and inspiration.

Taken from their Facebook page

Heart of Style Tour. Women Heart and Burlington Coat Factory have teamed up for a Heart of Style Tour. Check their calendar to see if they'll be stop in a city near you. The tour starts in February and runs until the end of March. They're not coming to Vegas, so I'll be following along on Facebook and Twitter: #HeartOfStyle

Be active. Walk, run, bike, hike. Ski, snowboard, snowshoe. Just get outside and get moving. Go on a Healthy Challenge Scavenger Hunt. Laugh. Play. HAVE FUN!!

These are just a few of the things I've found this morning with a couple quick Google searches.

What's your favorite way to celebrate American Heart Month?


Note: This is not a sponsored post nor does it contain any sponsored links. Macy's and Burlington Coat Factory have no idea I'm writing this nor do any of the other organizations mentioned in this post. All information was gleaned from what I could find on Google and then visiting websites and social media.