No lamb, no garden, no immaculate conception but there IS something about me.


Extreme makeover bedroom edition

I've been reading a lot of house design blogs lately. And by lately I mean the last year or so because some of you may remember that I was supposed to be moving in May. If you didn't know that please feel free to ask my customers about it because I had told roughly 25% of the 400-500 hospitals I cover that I would be moving so not a week goes by that someone doesn't ask me when I am and if I'm excited about it or if I need boxes. It's kind of like Groundhog's Day but with a bunny and less money in royalties.

Anyway, I'm not moving anymore but am still obsessed with changing my space all the time. It makes sense since I used to play with Barbies and Fisher Price Little People a LOT when I was small but I never really acted any story lines out. Instead I would spend hours constructing the perfect layout for their living spaces (usually in a toy wagon so that they had more of an open loft feel) and bartering my cousin (who went to the same babysitter as I did) for the coveted Fisher Price Little People toilet. Seriously people, if this doesn't prove that my nerdiness is buried deep in my double helix I don't know what will.

Photo credit
Back to the decorating, I was pretty excited to move for many reasons but one of them was because I was going to get to start all over from scratch. I recently finished my living room and although I love it it was far too girly for when I moved and I was really excited about the prospect of having a grey living room. I've wanted a dove grey room since the very first time I logged on to Pinterest because it's just so...awesome. And perfect. And versatile. But my living room is a wonderful color right now and decorated just how I want it so I don't want to change it.

Enter: my bedroom.

It's dark because I'm not a photographer. Sorry, kids.
A few things about my bedroom:
-I love that color and it's been that color for 5.5years in this apt and a year in my last. However, I need a change...I think. I might wake up screaming one night because my beloved Lucy Blue is gone but only time will tell.
-I bought my glorious bed a year ago after I was sleeping better at hotels than at home. Before then I was sleeping on the same bed that I've had since I was 15. Yikes! And I am NOT one of those people who are into low beds. I prefer a step stool, thanks. But my room was decorated around my old bed, not this one.
-I love my duvet (Pottery Barn) but it's really heavy and scratchy.
-I hate how the ceiling fan looks but I can't sleep without it. Plus my landlord would probably be ticked if I put up the chandelier of my dreams.
-Everything is just mismashed here. I need some cohesion.
-Oh, and yes, that is a teddy bear and his name is Henry. He remains one of the only things that I have from my life before my house burned down when I was 24 so he will stay with me until the end of time. It's funny the things you get attached to when you lose everything. I'm as equally attached my rock hammer.

What are my plans?
1) Dove grey walls with white trim (after 6 years the trim needs a redo).
2) White coverlet and a grey and white striped duvet for my comforter
3) Those sheets are staying. They're my world and WAY more pink in person.
4) Another night stand for the left side to balance things
5) Artwork above the bed. I have a lot of ideas, maybe framed lace? I love lace.
6) New lamps for the nightstands, I am thinking light turquoise glass but haven't found the right ones yet
7) Maybe new carpeting? My mom has been obsessed with putting a new carpet in since I moved in even though she's only been in my bedroom twice for 30 second intervals but I might let her win.
8) A new dresser. Mine is cherry from my 15 year old furniture and doesn't fit my stuff in it (it's on the other side, you can see the top of it on the right). I'd like to get one from a thrift store and paint it light turquoise maybe? We'll see though, our thrift stores aren't stellar around here.
9) Maybe another piece of DIY art. I have an idea but it depends on how it turns out.

So there you have it. Hopefully I will start painting next weekend although moving that bed is going to be a challenge. I'll keep you update as it goes :)

Also, since we were talking about 80's toys, want to know what still gives me nightmares?
Photo credit


Am I crazy? Don't answer that.

I'm sick. And I'm not happy about it.

I haven't been sick in at least a year. I attribute it to running all the time and getting an annual flu shot. Oh, and eating pretty healthy. Seriously. But I could feel this coming on since Tuesday and tried to fight it, unsuccessfully. I was exhausted all week and instead of getting up early every morning to run I just laid in bed until the last possible minute before I had to get up. Last night I started feeling really miserable and it hit me like a Mack truck this morning. I drove 4 hours home instead of actually doing any work today (I was in overtime anyway) and I'm worried that I'm not going to have it in me to run the race I wanted to do tomorrow.

Anyway, I'm writing about it because I have no one else to whine to. So you're welcome.

I had two major things that happened today. Things that blew my mind and I therefore expect them to blow yours.

1) I realized that I actually like the treadmill. I know, I'm shocked too! I've spent so long hating them but it's because I kept putting them in the mindset of distance running but I really needed to just pigeon hole it into speedwork and kicking the snot out of myself for 3 hard miles vs working on 5 or 6 easy miles. When I haven't been on a treadmill for a few days I start to itch for a good hard run that makes me sweat like a beast and lay on the floor of my hotel room gasping for air once I manage to make my way back there. This is epiphany is making me think that I might need to join a gym and not rely on the 2-3 days a week I'm at a hotel. Pure crazy talk.

Even crazier?

2) I am seriously thinking about doing a marathon. I don't want to. I haven't changed my mind about that. But I might need to for reasons that I will go into at some other point if I do it. And if I do it will be a purely selfless act (because I don't WANT to do it) and I will need to raise about $4000-$5000 in order to do it. It's something that presented itself to me today so I'm kind of kicking it around my mind right now but I am giving it some decent consideration. And because of it I am 100% positive my badass Marine cousin Todd who runs marathons barefoot is sitting somewhere in the Philippines chewing nails while sitting on broken glass and cheering that he may get me over to the dark side yet.

I wouldn't count your chickens just yet though, buddy.

Last weekend I ran a race in Maine that my company sponsored and it was easily one of the most fun races I have ever done. I ran with SO many people I knew and there were so many people cheering us on that it was like a huge race made out of my family. For an inaugural race it was really well organized and the 5k route was mapped out so that part of it went through the woods on a trail which was fun. To be honest I didn't really want to make the 12 hour round trip drive just to run 3.1 miles but my friend convinced me to since she was coming from St. Louis and it would be her first race. So I gave it and I'm glad I did because it was AWESOME and hanging out with my coworkers slash friends slash family for a whole weekend was exactly what I needed. I miss those crazy Mainahs already.

So does the honey badger even though usually he don't care.
In the last month I've messed around with what I've been eating a lot and settled on no carb/no refined sugar except for carbs on Thursdays and Fridays. As a result I've lost 3lb which would typically discourage me but it's not. My body is on to me from the first weight loss round when I lost a Bertha's worth of chub so it's hanging on for dear life and I'm ok with it coming off slowly because it's not going to win. No flippin way. Plus to be fair the amount of calories I consumed in Maine were enough to gain a pound or two and I've been sick all week and not exercising more than my remote finger so it's ok. Plus I lost an inch in a few places so it's coming from where it matters! And I will win.

And I fit in my blazer again! Yahtzee!! Although let's be honest, I'm not wearing that baby buttoned for any extended period of time. Like ever.

I guess I can't have a post without a bun update. Last weekend I ordered her a toy called an Einstein toy from a seller on Etsy that makes bunny toys. It has little wooden pieces that she has to lift up to find treats under to keep her occupied. I haven't tried it with her yet but it (and the other toy I ordered her) came in a box stuff with hay instead of packing material and it was like her Christmas, Birthday and Bunday all rolled into one. She burrowed in that box for at least 45 minutes and kept popping up to stand on her hind legs and then dive back down under the hay. As a matter of fact she's back in there right now. It's the simple things, I guess.


Panera, why have you forsaken me??

Today, my heart broke. Literally.

I've been wondering why I haven't lost much weight this week even though I've been off refined sugar for 4 weeks and have been almost completely off carbs (other than fruit and vegetables and other than Thursdays and Fridays) for 3 weeks. The only sugar I've been eating has been Panera strawberry smoothies of which I have probably had one every day this week (today was once...because it was 4:00 and I had missed I don't wanna hear it, desperate girls make desperate decisions).

So on my 2.5 hour drive home today while sipping my gallon of smoothie I got to thinking...and then I got to googling...and then I found out how many grams of sugar are in one smoothie. Are you ready to hear it?

53 grams.


Be. Still. My Heart.

Now it's safe to say that you'd be hard pressed to find someone that loves Panera more than I do and I probably eat there almost every single day, no exaggeration (just ask my supervisor, she's the one who approves my expense reports). That being said, I also know how dirty they can be with advertising themselves as being healthy. My favorite sandwich of ALL TIME is their Italian Combo. Care to guess how many calories in that baby? 1100. Want to know how many calories a day I try to stick to when trying to lose weight? 1200-1300. *sob* Therefore I know better than to not check labels but I trusted them on this one and that trust has been broken!

With this new discovery of mine I'm thinking that that combined with the 2lb a grapes I am eating every two days (literally) isn't working out so well to me so....they're gone. I'm having a nervous breakdown just thinking about it but sugar is my gateway drug and it just has to happen.

Pray for me.

Anyway, check your labels and check calorie counts online! Restaurants are required to post nutritional information at least online if not on their menu so don't just check the calories, find out what else is lurking in there. You can eat healthy in any restaurant as long as you put a little effort into it, even if it involves threatening the waitress if she comes anywhere near your table with the dessert selection (that may or may not have happened on Saturday...)

On a funny note, remember my crock pot adventure last night? I turned the box into a fort for the girls and there has been a power struggle for it...aka Archie is in it and Trixie keeps hissing at her out of frustration but don't mess the bun, she always wins.

There was a staredown first...

Doesn't Archie look just like a Moray eel?? Kills me.

And then Trixie grabbed her feather toy and started kicking it, I think as a threat. The bun wasn't impressed though because she recently fought a vicious Macbook cable and won so she's kind of a big deal around here.

In her own mind, that is. She gets it from me.


What I mean when I talk about speedwork

A couple of months ago I cut all of my (really long) hair off up to my shoulders. I thought I was ready to but I've been miserable about it. Such a girl move. However, today I re-perfected curling it with my straightening iron and all is well with my world.

Thank the Lord.
In other news, I cooked tonight and it worked! Which I'm ridiculously excited about, you have no idea. If you remember from a previous post I made it pretty clear that I couldn't cook even if I wanted to (which I do) because baking is my thing. However a few months ago I got a crock pot and haven't used it yet so I busted it out tonight and threw a bunch of stuff in it and it turned out pretty darn good! And no carbs! Unless you count the beans which I do not.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: Cream Cheese Chicken Chili. I'd put up a picture but 1) It looks exactly the same as hers and 2) The kitchen is two entire rooms away and 16 & Pregnant is on so I'm sure you can figure out the priority in this equation. Just trust me that it tastes delicious.

And know that I washed a bowl of it down with a pound of grapes. I'm trying to wean myself off but it's not working out so well.

This morning I was at my hotel down near where I was going to be moving in May so I knew that there was a really good trail to run nearby and I plans to get up early to run outside. I didn't make it though because I had a lot of work to do so I just did some speedwork on the treadmill.

When I say I do speedwork I use that term pretty loosely. I can't run straight through miles on the treadmill because I get way too bored and when I get bored my stride gets sloppy and I fall.

Off the treadmill.

Not joking.

Stop laughing.

The most I have ever run straight through on the treadmill is 4 miles and I still have no idea how I did it. Probably a lot of Britney Spears. What I do now is usually start at a walk, then push it to my normal comfortable running pace (it was 7, now it's But I'm almost up to 6!) and then I will usually push the speed up higher then lower then walk then high then middle etc etc. This not only keeps me from being bored, it also helps me get faster overall and it burns more calories (when you bring your heart rate up and back down over and over it makes your body work harder).

Most people do speedwork on a track or during their runs, timing themselves and then pushing themselves hard alternating with recovery periods. I run too consistently though so I have a hard time pushing myself to go faster unless I have a magic button that forces me to.

Doing speedwork is also when I noticed I was having heart issues over a year ago so be careful if you do this to not push yourself too hard. My heart issues and my speedwork were completely unrelated but it's easy to push yourself way to hard without realizing it on a treadmill and potentially injure yourself.

I had more to say but I'm totally falling asleep sitting up so that's all I've got. Happy tax day!


Sometimes you feel like a run, sometimes you don't.

This morning I almost died because I had gone over 12 hours with no grapes. Closer to 24, actually. I didn't buy any last night because I wanted to use it as a motivator to get up and run this morning which did and didn't work. I did get up, I did put on my running clothes and I did get in the car....only to discover it was raining. I. Don't. Do. Rain. I made a valiant effort in actually driving to the lake, sitting in the car for 5 minutes and then saying to myself, "I'll run on the treadmill when I get to my hotel tonight" (so hold me to it!) and then went to Wegman's to buy 2lb of delicious awesomeness. Point being, sometimes a workout happens and sometimes it doesn't but that doesn't mean you can't redeem yourself later...if I actually do, that is.

Oh, and I also couldn't run this morning because I did 60 squats yesterday, 30 with weights and 30 without, so my legs are like walking on stilts. I'm in a constant state of OMFGOW these days but I'm cool with it, I deserve it after months of Olive Garden and couch surfing.

Overall this low carb thing is going ok. I have a ridiculous resolve when I decide I am or am not doing something so I haven't been craving much. I'm not even sure that I want to eat any complex carbs tomorrow but I know I need to or else I won't have any energy for my long run Saturday. I'm probably going to slowly start adding them back in next week anyway though so I need to get used to them again. But I've been two weeks without sugar! (I don't count the weekend when I ate frosting and two inches of cake though, it was a holiday). I don't forsee it coming back any time soon either.
Fast forward several hour and a couple hundred miles later and it's tonight! And I did run, I did some speedwork on the treadmill in the fitness room and my motivator was that I wasn't allowed to eat dinner (Panera chopped chicken cobb salad, yum!) or read my new books until I ran. It wasn't a glorious run by any means, my legs hurt and I actually called my ipod some unsavory names for playing two of my power songs in a row when I was doing speedwork but I did it and now I'm on my bum so it was worth it. Back at it in the morning.

And can I just interject to say how unhappy I am that Hilton seems to think that two ESPN channels AND a GOLF channel are more important than having Bravo?? I am so not happy. Sososososo not happy. But I am watching Survivor and I like the little guy and I found a super big comfy blanket in the closet that I'm burritoed in right now so my rage has slightly subsided.

But back to the real awesome part of that paragraph, new books, you say? Yes, new books. So Panera was right next to Target and I got to my hotel early so I went over to get another pair of cheap running pants...and ended up with books instead. Typical. But the books I got are both really great, I got:

I used to have all the Eat This, Not That a couple of years ago but I lent them to a guy and then quickly learned that until I am married I will never let another man touch my books. You heard it hear first, folks. I'm pretty excited about this one though, I saw a list of snacks that they rated with grading like a high school test. These books are a must have if you travel or eat out a lot, I love them.

The other book is a new release by a woman who's blog I read, Kelle Hampton. Her writing is so beautiful and true and I can't wait to read her book. I hope it lives up to my lofty expectations. It's a hardcover, which I hate, but I think this book might be best purchased as hardcover. I'll let you know how it is though.

For anyone wondering, the bun is doing ok. She's been quiet and wanting to be around me more (when I'm not dragging her out of her cage to give her her pain medication and check her mouth) but she's eating well so I'm happy about that. I hate being away from her tonight though, I changed my whole schedule to go back home with her tomorrow. Spoiled bun...

Finally, a use for my phone book!


Bunday (she tried to kill herself) Monday

I had two things on my agenda yesterday (besides cleaning my car and avoiding chocolate at all costs): take a picture of the bun for Easter and to put up a post since I want to try to blog daily.

Guess what didn't happen?

Guess why?

If you are a Facebook friend of mine or follow me on Instagram or Twitter then you know a bit of what happened but if you aren't subjected to my daily ramblings on any of those outlets here's the story:

I was sitting on the couch last night when I heard a pop, saw a flash of light and then smelled burning hair. It took a second to register but I immediately looked for the bun who I found cowering behind the couch. I picked her up and smelled burning hair accompanied by all of her whiskers being singed off, a big patch of burned hair on her normally white paw and ash around her mouth accompanied by a blackened tooth. I immediately freaked out and forgot all of my emergency medicine skills for about 30 seconds but after a hysterical phone call to a friend who also has a bunny, I checked her out and couldn't find any signs of a wound. Her mouth looked a little swollen and she was definitely spooked but appeared physically ok otherwise. I put her in in cage and offered her a dried strawberry which she ate. Then I offered her her favorite fling toy and she reluctantly took it to throw but then threw it several times after. I gave her some pain medication and checked on her all night long with no issues. Today I took her to see her veterinarian to make sure she didn't have any burns in her mouth that could ulcerate and require antibiotics. Other than a bad burn on her lip and a less severe one in the back of her mouth she appears healthy to him. She needs a week of pain medication but otherwise she is ok, thank goodness.

Archie was NOT happy about going to the vet but that's what she gets.  And she's lucky I let her have one of my Hello Kitty blankets.
And what, pray tell, did my perfect little princess of a bunny chew through? My MacBook Pro power cable, waaaaaahhhh!!! To everyone who keeps asking me YES, my living room is bunny proofed. This was entirely my fault as I frequently have my computer plugged in while she is out and usually have the cord out of her reach but she was able to get to it and almost burn my house (and herself) down. At least she is ok though which was my main concern. I get that most people don't get why I love my pets so much and that's ok. Just know that I do and I just want them happy and healthy and free of singed hair.

That paw should be entirely white. As should that power cable. 


-My mother was more excited over that sheep shaped butter than any other gift I have given her in the last 10 years. She even HUGGED mom is not a hugger or an affectionate person in the least. Therefore I believe the butter can go down as a success.

-I didn't run yesterday or today because I am trying to listen to my body and it's still sore from Saturday's run. Tomorrow morning though it's Game On...if I don't wake up every hour to check on the bun again.

-I did eat cake yesterday but only about 2 inches worth. I also ate a baked potato and almost died on the spot because it was so good.

-I'm off carbs and sugar again today. Carbs until Thursday, sugar indefinitely. And by indefinitely I mean until I am in Portland, Maine in 2 weeks and get to go to Whole Foods and eat my weight in lemon bars (have you had their lemon bars?? Amazing considering I don't even like lemon and even better frozen).

-I have been on the hunt for off the shoulder shirts and couldn't find any anywhere. I finally caved to Victoria's Secret ridiculous shipping costs and ordered on only to find out it was cropped when it arrived. Womp womp. So if you see any somewhere help a girl out, I need some! NEEEED!

-Despite the bun's issues some pretty awesome things happened today: I got a card with a bunny on it from one of my college roommates from Hobart, I got a stuffed Hello Kitty holding a cupcake in the mail from my head trainer at work and my landlord finally mowed the grass at my house so it no longer looks like it's in foreclosure. Solid day for sure.

-I am obsessed with the show Shahs of Sunset. I can't help myself, I just can't. And now you know.

-I got a basket for Archie's Easter picture and although it will be delayed by a few days it will be super cute when it's done. My goal is to a take a theme picture of her every month until I can make a whole calender for next year and force them onto people who don't want them.

-I cleaned my car out yesterday after a long fall and winter of not touching it. There is nothing I love more than a clean car...nothing. Ok, that's a lie, I love frozen yogurt more. But that's it.

So fresh and so clean...and so free of sunflower seeds and shale bits.
-My favorite snack is currently this Combination of Awesome (which I took to my mom's yesterday and it never made the 45 minute car ride):
I'm eating 2lb of grapes every 2-3 days right now and the discovery of that cheese is my reason for living. Also, someday I will discuss my love of Nalgene bottles but you're not ready for that yet.


How carbs affect my running...and Raegan is 1!

The randoms:
Last week my trainer for work was riding with me for a few days when I saw something that caught my eye: a place called "Clip Shoppe" which I naturally started freaking out over being the most brilliant name of all time. Imagine my disappointment when he pointed out that the business was actually a grooming place and not the low cost spay and neuter clinic that I had initially thought. Wouldn't it have been the most awesome name EVER if it had been though? Sometimes I think I have been in veterinary medicine for far too long when things like this happen and sometimes I think that I am just getting started. It's a peek into how my brain works though and if I were you I wouldn't try digging any deeper.

Speaking of which is there anything better than stumbling across a Deadliest Catch marathon? I think not.

Also, did you read my post about my crafting extravaganza? Well Shannon, the matermind behind it, is hosting a giveaway. Check it out!

The real reason we're here:
Despite my long drawn out post the other day about why I decided not to cut complex carbs out of my diet after all...I kind of did. Other than apples I barely had any carbs last week and none at all on Thursday or Friday. Thursday, if you recall, is the day that I went to Zumba and I was exhausted while doing it. I attributed this to spending most of the day with a migraine but I am now thinking it may have something to do with my lack of bread products because of the disaster that was today.

Today was my third training run for the Mountain Goat run and I got to the run ok. I was a little stiff and sore still from Zumba but nothing major, I slept pretty well last night and I even met a nice lady who was looking for her friends while I was waiting for mine. However as soon as I took my first few steps running I was miserable. Not only did I have lead feet I had lead everything. I literally felt like someone had poured concrete into every appendage and then told me to run. I tried my hardest but it was a difficult run, I fought for every one of those 6.5 miles. I was pretty disappointed considering how much better I felt last week vs the previous week but not every run is a good one and I know that.

I would be willing to bet that my issues were a combination of Zumba kicking my butt and not having enough glycogen in my reserves. I can't eat at all before a race because I have an awful stomach that hates me and has since birth so I have to rely on what I ate the day and night before to get me through a run. Seeing as I mostly ate eggs, yogurt, chicken and green beans on Thursday and Friday that isn't much for my body to work with. I had some pretty awesome results on the scale this week (5lb whaaaat??) but I just don't think I can sustain a low carb/high running diet.

I think that what I am going to do is try to stay low carb during the week and then add them in on Thursdays and Fridays before my long run on Saturday. Hopefully that will do the trick. On one hand it is a little frustrating but to be honest, the whole science behind figuring out exactly what my body needs to perform the way I ask it to PLUS lose weight is pretty interesting to me. I like beating myself into submission and seeing what I can force my body to do.

I also wanted to add that until today I had been 6 days sugar free however it was my niece's birthday so I ate the frosting off a cupcake (and almost died from the sugar, holy hell!). But if she was eating one then I was eating one! Back on the wagon tomorrow though and I'm ok with it.

Because I can't throw that in there without talking about one of my favorite people on the planet, her name is Raegan and she was born a year ago yesterday on one of the best days of my life. Her parents are two of my very best friends (I am an only child so she's not my biological niece) and have been since college. Her mom and I are polar opposites and sometimes I wonder how we came to be such good friends because she is perfection in human form and I am....a work in progress ;). We even lived in the same house for several years with me upstairs and Katee and Eric downstairs while Eric finished his architecture degree (and he's brilliant...just ask me, I'll tell you all about it). They are only a year older than me but have been married for 13 years, 8 of which I spent begging them to have kids so that I could have someone to buy lots of things for and teach how to hike and build rock castles and teach how to identify fossils and (since she is a girl) buy every princess/glitter/rainbow item I could find.

Of course they waited until they moved away two years ago to have a baby but she was worth the wait! Enter baby Raegan a year ago...she's the cutest thing I've ever seen because she looks just like her daddy with her mommy's amazing eyes and at this point looks similar enough to me that people think we are related when I carry her around (win!). It's been a great year even though I didn't get to see her nearly as much as I would like but I still can't wait for the next year! Because soon I will be able to buy her princess dresses, muahahaha!!!

At the baby shower and one of my favorite pictures of all time, Eric is laughing and I'm crying like a loon.
Proud Auntie on the day after she was born!
Katee's dad is a professional photographer, I've gotten used to having my picture taken when I didn't know it was happening.
A few weeks after she was born, so snuggly!

At her birthday party today! Definitely not my best picture (what's up with my wonky eye??) but she looks so pensive, I love it!

Happy birthday to one of the most amazing little people on the planet! 



My cousin Kristy just mentioned on Facebook that she was watching Dirty Dancing and now I'm going to have to put it on. The mention of that movie to me has the same effect as if someone were to yawn around me. I curse her...but in the best way possible because she's the cutest.

I went to Wegman's today to reload on food because I've been eating grapes and green beans like it's my job and was extremely disappointed to find out that they did not have BBQ flavored Soy Nuts. I got the sea salt ones but they just don't taste the same, so sad :( HOWEVER! They were able to redeem themselves when I found this little gem on the way to the yogurt:

Yes kids, that there is butter shaped like a sheep. Amazing.

I never eat real butter because I don't like it (breaks my mother's heart, I swear) but this is sheep shaped! Come on! That is hands down one of the most awesome things I have ever seen even though sheep kind of freak me out (they have horizontal pupils and it's just too much for me). So of course I bought it and it's hanging out in my fridge until I take it to my mom's as her Easter gift. She'd better appreciate it too, that's all I'm gonna say because seriously, sheep butter? Brilliant.

As a side note, most people don't know this but I call my mother Helga and I have since I was 13. Why I do didn't start out for nice reasons but now it's a term of endearment. So in the future if I slip and talk about Helgs then you know that's mi madre.

I took today off from running in order to go to Zumba. And by "in order to go to Zumba" I mean "sleep past 6am". If I run too late in the morning it doesn't go well and I wanted to get some extra sleep to try and fend off the migraine that's been threatening for 3 days. It didn't work because the migraine still hit with a vengeance but I still went to Zumba tonight. I hadn't been in a few weeks and I already hurt which is good, it will force me to not run tomorrow and I need not to because I need to rest before my long run Saturday.

I started going to Zumba a couple of months ago on a whim after I saw a deal on Living Social for 10 classes for $25 at a local place that's just for Zumba. It's in a mall, actually, which is interesting when I walk out a sweaty mess and panting heavily but I don't care. Tonight a family of five just opened the curtains that close the front of the studio off to the rest of the mall and just stood there watching us so now I know what it would feel like to be in an aquarium. Anyway, at the beginning I wasn't sure how I'd feel about it but I really like it. It's kind of the same thing as I do in my bedroom listening to music but more organized and with more people and not free. So there's that.

If you're a woman who is shy about working out in front of others than Zumba is for you. I have seen a guy or two there on occasion but it's usually all women of all shapes, sizes and skill levels. You honestly don't have to worry about getting the moves down because the point is to just keep moving at all times no matter what you do.  I was worried about it at first but after the first few times it gets a lot easier. There were two older ladies next to me tonight that were just dancing and having a grand time and doing their own things while singing along to the songs and whooping it up. It was pretty great and that's what it's all about.

I'm going to break some people hearts here but: on average you burn 100 calories a mile running. Yes, that's "it". I actually burn less because I am conditioned to it and some people burn more but it averages out to 100. That's not to say that you have to do 9 miles a day to lose weight because I sure didn't to begin with but if you are looking for a real calorie burner then running isn't it until you're into high mileage. However Zumba can have you burning 600-800 calories in one hour which is about what I would burn running in an hour. I'll tell you this though, an hour of Zumba is a lot easier than running for an hour which is not to say it's easy. It's just different. I am not a person who sweats a lot when I run but I sweat buckets with Zumba. Aren't you glad you know that? I know you are.

My point is: give it a shot. Try it out. Don't be shy, there's no reason be. If you're a cardio junkie like me then it's enough to keep you happy. And if you're not you'll be burning calories without even realizing it's happening.

Also, it gives you a reason to get cute Zumba shoes which are WAY fancier than running shoes.

Always Crafty by Shannanigans: A recap

I am a planner. A calulator, a scheduler, a be-prepared-for-anything kind of girl. But sometimes I do things on a complete whim and it turns out better than I could have planned even if I wanted to.

Last summer when I was (more or less) planning my wedding I came across THIS post by a wonderful girl named Bethany. I became completely enamored with her blog with all its light, beautiful pictures and her creativity that oozed girly yet perfect. While hitting refresh on her blog several times a day hoping for an update I came across a friend of hers named Shannon who has the cutest chubby little muffin of a toddler and is pretty darn funny. I became pretty loyal readers of their blogs because, well, I read a lot of blogs anyway and theirs are particularly fun. Fast forward to a month or two ago when Shannon posted THIS about a crafting workshop at her house in Philly whose sole purpose was to make crafts and laugh with a bunch of other girls/bloggers. Despite never having talked to her other than stalking her blog I asked if I could come to meet her and Bethany and craft my face off whith a bunch of other random gals who had no idea that a loud red headed New Yorker was about to infiltrate their day. She said yes, I signed up and Sunday after a 4 hours drive I arrived at her house to the most welcoming bunch of ladies I've ever come across.

Here's the thing about me: I have almost zero friends within an hour radius of me. But if you look at the country as a whole I've got it on lock down with the amazing people that I know all over the place. It seems that making friends with people who live hours (and sometimes hours and hours) away from me is just destined to be my thing and Sunday didn't let me down. Shannon was more hilarious than I thought possible, Bethany was just as sweet and cute as could be (but with a definite sassy side) and I also met a handful of other ladies who were equally as awesome including Kate who may be the first person I have ever met who could match me in sarcasm. In a nutshell, it was an awesome day that was well worth the 8 hours round trip drive.

But enough about the awesome ladies in attendance, let's get on to the crafts! I love me a glue gun and same random bits of glitter and fluff to glue on to some random salvaged things and Shannon didn't dissapoint for the crafts she came up with for us. She and Bethany also didn't dissapoint in decor because Shannon is a party planner and Bethany is just a crafty diva so everything was divine.

There were stripey straws with my name on them complete with yellow cake pops and an amazing catered box lunch and the cutest decorations (that I took NO pictures of) that I've ever seen:

You don't even know how much I love stuff with my name on it. Don't. Even. KNOW. I cry a little that I didn't take that little heart with me :(
So first up on the crafting agenda was this chicken wire frame to clip pictures to.

It's hanging out in my kitchen, more commonly known as the Land of Anthropologie.
After that I made this little sewing kit filled with vintage notions. I actually anticipate using this because I seem to lose a lot of buttons.

My picture doesn't do it justice, it's full of the cutest vintage notions I have ever seen.

Next up was stamping napkins. I did two of each word and even though I never use napkins (or even eat in my kitchen) I might be tempted to now that I'm fancy and have them.

Yes, that's my breakfast almost every day. Ketchup on eggs FTW!
Normal lunch or dinner. I need to buy green beans by the palette.
After that I ventured into making this baby. It was pretty easy once every single one of my fingers blistered from the hot glue.

It's currently hanging on my front door for all the world (aka me) to see but I might give it to my mom. MIGHT.
Last but not least was what was supposed to be a flower banner but I was winding down so Bethany convinced me to just make flags. I'm definitely going to make the flower one soon though.

It's dark's dark. And I took it with my phone. But it's cute!

So there you have it in a nutshell. Head over to Shannon's blog for a tutorial on making all of these things and feel free to stalk her like I do...and make sure you head out to the next Always Crafty...I promise it's worth it!

*This post is approved by the bun who ate half of the burlap swag bag I was sent home with.


Carbs: In, Sugar: Out

I frequently recieve emails from both Living Social and Groupon. Before today I had only bought working-out related deals but sometimes they have a gem that's just too good to pass up.

A gem that allows me to get this shirt:

And this shirt:

So what if I don't wear tshirts in public? These two are a solid win.

I went carb/sugar free for a full 36 hours and cracked yesterday afternoon to the tune of a piece of baguette at Panera. It was an intentional crack though because I wasn't sure that it was something I really wanted to do anyway. I have always maintained that I eat healthy because it is good for me, not because it's a diet. I also don't believe in fad diets. I bought some books on the Paleo Diet and some books on going low carb and have spent the last few weeks reading them but at this point I don't think either will work for me. Unless I eat a ton of nuts every days there is no way I will be able to get enough calories in to sustain the amount of running mileage I'm working towards and I need carbs for running too. It's crazy of me to think I don't especially since my long run will be up to 7 miles this week and up to 10 miles by the beginning of May. Truth be told, I don't believe that carbohydrates are the devil and I really don't eat that many complex carbs anyway. Therefore I took a vote between myself and my whole wheat English muffins and it was unanimous that they stay.

Sugar is gone though (other than Greek yogurt or organic jam in the morning). It's been 3 days already. Farewell, my friend.

Back to carbs. I was thinking about getting rid of them because I can't seem to lose much weight. I gave up my scale for March and once I weighed myself last week I saw that I only lost 2lb. Losing 2lb is better than gaining 2lb but it's still frustrating. Once I put some thought to it though I realized two glaringly obvious things: I'm not working out often enough and when I am it's just running which my body is used to by now.

My first plan of attack in this is to start running more which I have, I have logged 14 miles since Saturday with Sunday as a rest day. It's not a ton but like I've said before I'm building it slowly. I'm hoping to get in another 11 miles by Sunday which will bring my week to 25 miles. Good start in my opinion, not only in the getting my mileage back but also in regards to getting used to getting up at 5:30am to run. It's painful but it's going o....zzzzzzz.....k.

My second goal is to start adding in some strength training. I loathe strength training to the core of my being but I know that I need to do it to lose weight and become a better runner. My whole reason for anything right now is to get back to my normal mileage and pace and I can't do that when I'm an untoned chubby muffin. My mileage isn't far and my pace isn't fast but it's what I want, damnit!

To recap: Carbs yes, cardio yes, strength training yes, :'(


Bring it.

I know you're just reading this because you're dying to know how many miles I drove during the end of the quarter. I know that the anticipation has been killing you since last week. I bet you even lost a little sleep about it, didn't you? Well anticipate no more, my friends! The number was....

3303 miles.

Swear on the bun.

Which means that the winner is a new reader to my blog, a gal who writes over at Domestically Seasoned. Her guess was 3271 miles so she was REALLY close! Makes sense since she is from upstate NY too (just email me your address and I will send your prize along soon!). Great job from everyone else who guessed but I am sure glad I didn't drive 5000+ miles, Kristy ;)

I just wiped chocolate out from between the H and the J keys of my Macbook. Ridiculous. I AM the reason I can't have nice things.

Yesterday I made a quick little trip to Philly (more about that later in the week) so I couldn't go running because I left too early in the morning. I did get to go this morning and even though my goal was 6 miles I only managed 4 (I had an hour long conference call right before so it sucked any will I had to run). I was happy with that though, it was better than NOT running four miles. Later in the day I got the dreaded question: Are you training for a marathon? And while I know that it's an innocent question and not one I mind answering it still rubs me the wrong way a little bit. I feel like the marathon is "THE" distance for running. That to some people if you want to call yourself a runner you need to have completed that monster 26.2 sometime in your life. But do you know what I say to that?


I have no desire to run a marathon. Marathon training is a job, a full time one even. Before you know it your fun Sunday long runs become four hours long, you wonder how you're going to fit your training runs in during the week, you're dealing with injuries that take you out of the normal running season and as soon as you run the race you lose your love for running, at least for a little bit. And I realize that not everyone is like this but I would be like that and I know it. I'm pretty happy to keep my base at a solid 10-15 miles. It's something I can easily keep up with a 2 hour long run on Sundays and 4-6 miles runs during the week and with the amount of travel I do this is something I can maintain and be happy. So for now and for quite some time I have no desire to run one. But check for me at pretty much any race with a distance between 6-13 miles within 6 hours of me this summer...chances are good that I will be there.

Also if you're running a race let me know...I might need to do it too. I'm pretty proud of all the people I've seen on Facebook lately posting about running, it makes my heart happy and I'd love to run with any of you. Even my delusional ex boyfriend from a few years past has decided that he will be able to run a 5k faster than me by October. For the record, THIS IS THE MOST RIDICULOUS STATEMENT I HAVE EVER HEARD COME OUT OF HIS MOUTH! And I have heard some ridiculous things from him. I am really not a competitive person when it comes to sports but I am NOT a fan of people I know passing me especially when there is a snowball's chance in hell it will happen. Therefore I say game on, buddy. Game on ;)