fun finds & penguins

Here are a few of my fun finds.  This is the third time I’ve typed this sentence as my stupid thumb brace has somehow magically hit all of the buttons in tandem to erase what I’ve typed.  Maybe it was the blogging gods giving me a hint…

Anyway, here we go:

First and foremost this most fabulous gif ever:

I know, I can’t help it, I’m in love with these penguins and their sort of sack race fun!

Yep, rewatch it as many times as you need/want to.  I’m in total and absolute love!

2.  At the expo this weekend I found this sweatshirt:

yay! run MI friends!

A “Run MI” hoodie!  I love me a good hoodie, or long sleeve t so this was perfect.  Not to mention it was only $25 AND it’s a decent color that won’t show too much cat hair.  Oh and Michigander pride!

3.  Honey Maid Grahamfuls.  These probably aren’t the most nutritious snack out there but it reminds of when we used to put frosting on graham crackers as a kid.  I got the peanut butter/chocolate flavor but there are a bunch to pick from.  They are tasty.

4.  Adding mini chocolate chips to my Chobani snack size yogurt.  Mini chocolate chips are too fun so I’m compelled.

again, any reason to have dean on my blog

5.  Have you seen these Procompression socks?  Oh goodness, I LOVE polka dots!  I’m getting the sleeves.  They are the sock of the month so they are cheap (use coupon code BRD).

procompression sock of the month

6.  Did you know ants hate cinnamon?  I didn’t either and I’m hoping it’s true.  There must be an ant nest outside of my apt because I’ve been seeing a few of these bad boys.  They aren’t giant carpenter ants (vomit) but they aren’t the itty-bitty ones either.  I think they are the middle children of the ant family.  I’ve lined my window sills with cinnamon as it isn’t dangerous for Simon.  Fingers crossed this works and doesn’t attract other critters, which I didn’t even consider until office mate suggested chipmunks might like it.  Just something else for me to worry about when lying in bed at night.

7.  New sunglasses.  I ALMOST bought the white polka dot ones (see the above proclamation of love) however, they were just a bit TOO big.  Settled on another gem that are still bigger but don’t completely eat my face up.

I sent this pic to my sister and friend for opinions
I sent this pic to my sister and friend for opinions

8.  Yuengling – as I may have mentioned, I’m not a huge beer fan but more and more it’s growing on me.  Sometimes I find it odd that the running culture does include quite a bit of beer consumption… just a thought… I had one of these puppies the other night before the race and it was very drinkable.  I will definitely purchase in the future.

9.  Head scarves!  I’m wearing one in the above sunglasses pics and I adore them.  Headbands give me headaches and these are perfect.  I haven’t gone to bohemian in the styling quite yet but the option is there.  Target, friends – they are a bit shorter than the neck scarves although you can still wear them in this fashion as well.

10.  Some good songs.  Office mate is my personal DJ and he has great taste in music.  Many of my new favorite songs on my running mix I hear first at work.  Unfortunately, they are on my ipod which is currently somewhere so I can’t give you any names.  More to come…

11.  I guess I didn’t really find this per say, it’s more like I put it into action.  I’m trying to make working out more of a habit as opposed to something I do my best to wiggle out of on a daily basis.  I don’t want to THINK it’s optional.  I took mini post-its, numbered them 1-21 and get to remove one each day I do a work out.  I’ve also established how many days I can actually miss during this period before I have to start completely over again.  Like a reverse advent calendar, I’m loving ripping one of those suckers off the wall.  I missed 3 days in a row this week though so it’s time to start over.  I was going to give myself one more day to hop back on the train but time to be more honest with myself.

is it just me?  or does this 21 look a little smug?
is it just me? or does this 21 look a little smug?

Here I go again…  That’ll do for now me thinks.

9:30 pm is a great bedtime

I am a night owl.  I have been my whole life.  Mornings are the pits.  Nevertheless, since starting school way back in the day, I’ve had to adhere to the standards of society and start the day before 10 am.  Ideally, I would sleep until 9:15 am and then hang out for a bit in my sweats with coffee.  Maybe in my next life?

Work has been exhausting this week!  Monday was hectic and I started training a new supervisee.  Tuesday I hosted a candidate, which meant being “on” all day/evening.  At one point, I thought to myself, “what am I even talking about?!”  I still have no idea – poor candidate.  Then yesterday, I was helping with an event involving over a 100 people all day, who had a ton of questions.  Oh and work into the evening as well.  Since getting older, I’ve gone from pure extrovert to borderline introvert.  That being said, it was tough having to be “on” for all of this time.

shoot… my hair isn’t long enough…

Hence my 9:30 pm bedtime on Tuesday.  Why haven’t I ever done this before?  I recognize there are benefits to going to bed early and even attempted to stick with a 11 pm bedtime in the recent months.  But it hasn’t exactly stuck.  I didn’t realize that even earlier could be better!  Who knows if I will keep this up but it’s worth a shot.

Unfortunately, due to my hectic schedule, I haven’ t run at all this week.  I’m hoping by the time I hit “publish” a run will have occurred – so can we all cross our fingers?  There hasn’t even been an opprotunity to run at lunch since a traditional lunch break either wasn’t available or I was entertaining guests.  This isn’t a normal week so I should stop whining… but I’m cold… and tired… and whiney…

OH!  Some healthy stuff!  I made my first smoothie this past weekend!  I love the idea of making a smoothie every morning for breakfast but so far this hasn’t happened in my lifetime.  Sunday I rounded up all of the ingredients and made a smoothie with strawberries, some oats, yogurt, almond milk, a banana and honey.  It was tasty!  Next time, I will blend the oats even more to make it less chunky but it was a yummy first attempt.

first smoothieI also found this blender cup, Fitlosophy Blender Bottle, (I got the 16 oz) at Target the other day.  I remembered on a whim I wanted to look for one and sure enough I found one on clearance.  It has one of those round whisk balls in it and today I gave it a shot with the Click powder.  Wowzers!  It worked so much better than I could ever have imagined!  It mixes it so well!  No slimy chunks at the bottom or that come up through the straw!  I also like that it’s now a one cup deal – any time I  can do less dishes is a happy time for me.  Over the last few days, I’ve found I only use a scoop and half of the powder and then a splash of chocolate/caramel creamer.  This was a good choice.

Despite the 7 inches of snow that fell in about 4 hours yesterday morning, I’m staying positive!  The weekend will be here soon, I will get a chance to run and on my walk to work yesterday morning I saw this!  A frozen little “heart”!  It brightened my morning.

frozen heart

“lazy, lazy, lazy, lazy, lazy, lazy jane.

She wants a drink of water so she waits and waits and waits for it to rain.”  For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Shel Silverstein, the poem “Lazy Jane” is his (it’s in Where the Sidewalk Ends).  I’ve had it memorized since third grade.  Impressed with my skills?!

you shouldn’t be… I was too lazy to look up the poem and thought I had it memorized correctly. I definitely missed a few “lazys” along with some “waits”. Classic me.

Yesterday I said I was going for a run.  Well, I didn’t.  I feel a bit guilty about this considering I know there are others out there who WISH they could be out running but can’t for some reason or another.  But I didn’t want to.  And I was feeling lazy.  I didn’t want to  get all sweaty.  I was productive around my apt and then sat around for a while.  Then I was productive again and by that time the running motivation left me.

This probably wasn’t the best life choice since the 1/2 marathon (that I mixed up the dates) is this Sunday.  And get this – it’s supposed to be in the balmy range of 6-17*.  Eww.  For the record, I hadn’t even looked at the 10 day forecast until now and I’m thinking I shouldn’t have.  Good thing I’m giving one of my friends a ride to the race or there is a chance I would skip it.  I also convinced another friend to run it so how crummy would it be if I didn’t show up?!  Amy… REMEMBER THE T-SHIRT AND MEDAL!  And the feeling of accomplishment of course – can’t forget that when I’m feeling like a human popsicle.

seriously Rose – there was totally room for both of you. It was a decent size piece of wreckage and with a bit of kicking could have supported you both! And Jack – c’mon dude, you don’t need to be a martyr!

I need to get over the aforementioned guilt though.  It was my choice and feeling guilty only makes me resent running a bit.  Like it’s something I’m obligated to do rather than something I enjoy doing.  I feel guilty about a lot of things so it’s something I need to work on… Anyway, there are miles on the agenda today and although my motivation is wavering I’m looking forward to it.  I’ve also decided to commit to Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred and some cross training.

Beginning tomorrow (hopefully in the morning!  I am going to give up my snooze button – ha!  My snooze button and I are in a long-term relationship so it’s going to be a tough break up.) I’m starting the 30 Day Shred.  Here is the current state of my arm muscle.

I didn't take a crappy pic for a "whoa is me". The heat is broken in my apt and it was all I could do to bare my arm even this much!
I didn’t take a crappy pic for a “woe is me”. The heat is broken in my apt and it was all I could do to bare my arm even this much!

Yes, I am flexing…

This is the only picture I will post of the current state of my muscles.  I think I have one muscle in my stomach and possibly another one in back – maybe.  I’ve also taken all of my measurements so I can actually feel and see some progress.  I do much better with knowing progress is happening.  During Dopey training I didn’t put any effort into strength training.  I find I undervalue it and don’t pay much mind to the positive effect it would have on my running.  I know, people are screaming about the benefits from the rooftop about the benefits but I am good with denial.

So there it is.  Running the miles tonight and Jillian tomorrow morning.  On my training plan, I also have speed work which I will be doing in the eve.  If my calculations are correct, it is going to be painful considering Jillian will have kicked my booty.  If I live to tell the tale, you will be the first to hear about it!

hmm… the first two are definite possible options!

Are you good with cross training?

Do you feel guilty when you don’t run because you simply don’t feel like it?  Or do you push your way through the feeling and go?

measuring matters

Great scott, I have to stop watching HGtv!  Actually, what I am really obsessed with is Rehab Addict.  Nicole Curtis is basically awesome and I wish I had her skills.  I would have built a mini mansion at this point.  Well, the mini mansion would be for Simon but I would definitely have some shelves!

I wish I had a dog to blame my mess on!

She talks a lot about salvage yards and they always look incredible.  I found one online here in Kzoo and headed down there yesterday.  I wanted to price out an old door for a possible headboard, some storage crates for my bathroom and possibly some for shelves for my kitchen.  Or some reclaimed wood for those shelves.  From a barn.  Natch. (Can I even express how much I HATE the shortening of the words?!  I’m still not sure why I wrote that)

I got it in my mind that “salvage” meant “cheap”.  Nope.  In fact, this is not the case at all!  I did find a cool door but it was almost $200.  There was a mirror that had possibilities but even that was expensive.  I did get this nifty crate (and a sliver) for $20:

someone painted the inside pink - lame.  But I can put my dvds in there along with a decoration
someone painted the inside pink – lame. But I can put my dvds in there along with a decoration

I headed out for wooden wine boxes next.  A local liquor store has them for $20.  They were all out so I drove to another one and they gave me two – FOR FREE!  I was beyond excited and celebrated by buying some alcohol.

What did I actually accomplish this weekend in regards to some DIY?  I created my masterpiece!

I love it!
I love it!

I wanted a white trash can to blend in but could only find black in the style I wanted.  A serious moment of inspiration and my polka dot garbage can was born.  I’m in love.

these were my two ingredients
these were my two ingredients

Next, I decided to give my cords a makeover.  I don’t have much of an option of hiding the cords so I took some washi tape to them to make them less ugly.  They are cuter for sure.  I have a little white box that I’m going to hang then they won’t dangle quite so much.

ew - ugly
ew – ugly
much prettier cords!
much prettier cords!

Then I took three trips to my storage.  The stuff that went in was mostly items I want to keep – Christmas and Halloween decorations.  Two other bins are things (scrapbooking supplies) I want to sell but don’t have time at the moment to organize it.  Also, I wanted it out of my living room.  I basically added over 3 feet to my living room by getting it out.

“there’s so much room for activities!”

My super epic plan for the weekend was to take one of my very bland walls and add some pizzazz.  How?  Temporary wallpaper!  My original plan was to washi tape it but I don’t know dimensions and ended up with little tiny, skinny rolls of tape.  Apparently, size matters when it comes to DIY and so does learning how to read dimensions.

I went onto the Sherwin-Williams website and fell in love with a few different prints.  I headed to the store ready to purchase a roll – yay!  Wah-wah… you have to order it.  They don’t have any on-hand in the store.  I feel I should have had that info in my brain already but whatever.  Since we have established I am not a patient person, I figured I should re-imagine what to do with this wall.  I’m still thinking.

A couple of other projects are in the works (yes, I do start several at once!) but they aren’t picture ready just yet.  This week, I’m looking forward to my maint guys hanging my curtains along with my wine boxes (as shelves) in my kitchen.  I feel like it will then look like I’m actually making progress.

Oh yeah, and a long run on the docket today!  OUTSIDE!  Wahoo!

Are you in DIY?

Do you start a number of projects at once?  Or concentrate on one?  Tell me about your projects!

like a wrecking ball

Tuesday came in like a wrecking ball.

this cracks me up – his little bum is so funny!

I felt really ill and ended up losing my breakfast.  Sorry for the TMI but it this has a point (sort of).  Wednesday morning I still didn’t feel very well but much better than the day before.  After work I went for a fantastic run, came home and seriously, the endorphins were running wild!  And I was hungry for the first time in two days.  “I know!” I said to myself, “I’m going to have chicken taquitos!”  They are homemade but still, what is wrong with me?!  My poor tender tummy was quite displeased with me.  (I used this recipe from Annie’s Eats and I strongly recommend it!)

Alright, onto my fabulous run!  Like everywhere, MI has seen better winters.  In fact, this is the worst winter since 1996 or something.  Snow.  Snow EVERYWHERE, ALL DAY!  I came to a conclusion yesterday – like my T-Rex ancestors, I would not have survived the Ice Age.  On Monday I was so cold I just curled up in blankets and sweatpants/hoodie for a couple of hours.  My bones hurt.  Essentially, I would’ve been the weak link.

I couldn't find where this originated!  I'm sorry artist
I couldn’t find where this originated! I’m sorry artist

Anyway, when it got up to 40* yesterday I knew I wanted to run outside.  Apparently, I wasn’t the only runner with this thought – we were all over campus!  The first 2 miles weren’t great.  Campus is cleared really well but outside this radius sidewalks are still nasty so I just zig-zagged around as many dry sidewalks as I could find.  This included so.many.hills.

this was under the search “running hills”

At mile 2.45 I started to get into a groove and I didn’t want to sit on the side of the street hoping someone would pick me up anymore.  At mile 3.88 I realized I needed to start pushing the pace.  It definitely hurt but in that, “I’m a strong runner!” kind of way.  I finished out the run with 5 miles and negative splits.  I tweeted about it and my friend/coworker sent me this – I couldn’t stop laughing!

we share an office too - I laugh a lot
we share an office too – I laugh a lot

I forgot how happy running outside makes me.  I also forgot I had a 1/2 marathon in a week and half.  Truthfully, I thought it was March 15th and then I got an email on Monday saying it was March 2nd.  This is sooner than March 15th.  Oopsie.  It won’t be my best 1/2 ever.  However, I’m doing it with friends, it’s the 2nd year of this local 1/2 and a ton of area runners will be there.  It will be like a mini runner reunion.  Essentially, a really fun day with some pain!  Oh and a t-shirt and medal of course!

actually, I have no idea if there is a medal or not but this was sparkly… I liked it

Oh and my wish for a Twilight marathon came true!  Thank you FXX!

Do you ever get race dates mixed up?

reshuffling priorities

As I mentioned, my birthday was a couple of weeks ago.  Naturally, this means I get fairly introspective.  I am approaching this introspection differently this year, which is good – I’m not overanalyzing!  Or I’m not focusing on what I’m lacking in life rather what I feel is important and how to better focus on this.

I didn’t want to say but yeah… these are true, too!

I’ve been de-hoarding and reading some minimalist blogs.  MissMinimalist is a good one – I like how she says minimalism looks differently for each person.  This is nice to hear since I am never going to live in a 25 sq foot house.  Nevertheless, I know I want less stuff than I currently have.  Watching HGtv has driven this home even more.  Some participants say things like, “I need a bigger house for all of my stuff!” or “I need giant closets!”.  I’ve said these things too – in fact, in the last year even!  But I don’t want my belongings to dictate my future house/apt.

Then there are the larger life decisions – do I stay in MI?  Do I stay on my current career field?  I know, these are definitely the “biggie size” questions and I don’t focus on these everyday.  Although, I do keep them in the back of my mind.  I won’t make any of these changes for a year or so but since change is tough for me, it’s better that I think about these in advance!

My health is also my priority.  I made a lot of progress this past year and I’m looking forward to what I can accomplish/gain/learn this year.  Yes, running is included in this and getting a running coach was the first step in this area.  Also included is healthy eating and continuing to lower my anxiety.

Budget-smudget.  Why can’t I find budgeting exciting?!  While I do enjoy watching my bank account grow the urge to spend seems to hit once I see the progress.  Curses!  Many of my friends are very savvy with money.  Talking about money seems kind of taboo in our society but I’ve started asking friends how they do it.  I really do find it fascinating.  I also pin/read a lot of budget suggestions and tips.  Some of them definitely do not jive with my personality and others are decent ideas.  For me, setting these priorities is a great way to start.

friends and family! don’t thank me now but look what you’re getting for birthday/holiday gifts!

I feel good about these priorities.  They are spurring me into action!  Last weekend I realized my apt is completely lacking inspiration.  So, I’ve taken some action on this front – my home should be a place I enjoy not one I just exist in.  Not to mention, I have some nifty ideas that I can’t wait to share with you all!  And I dropped donations off, have the “sell” items in the car and have another “need to get rid of” pile started – yay!  Progress!

How do you go about setting priorities?  Do they change?

Are you good with a budget?  What are your secrets?!