Ghost Town

Today was an absolutely gorgeous day. It was the taste of spring that I had so been craving. Bring on the sixty-degree days, I am MORE than ready.

Unfortunately, I was stuck inside for a good part of the day, so I didn’t get to swallow up the sunshine as much as I had hoped! Sad!

After some fumbling around for transportation, I made my way to the gym this evening and walked right into The Most Beautiful Scene in All of the Land. The instant I pulled into the parking lot, I knew it was going to be a good gym night– there were about seven cars. That’s right guys, seven, not seventy. I couldn’t believe it! The gym was a GHOST TOWN! I had free reign of the whole place. I even managed to make my way to the weights! (Which are usually overrun by lots and lots of very, very large men.) Strangely, I think I was a little taken aback by the situation so my workout wasn’t quite as well-planned as it otherwise would have been! I spent a little bit of time on the treadmill, a little while on the elliptical and hit a few different weight machines. I closed off the night with a (semi-spastic) ab workout on the mats with far fewer reps than I had actually intended to complete. Don’t you worry, I’ve got tomorrow’s workout alllll planned out. The freedom of hopping around from machine to machine and not worrying about the line forming behind me, nor the general, anxiety-producing vibe of having an overcrowded facility gave me a second lease on (gym) life! I am really hoping that this little reminder of what an accessible, uncrowded gym can do for the soul will be the push that I need to force myself to hop over to the gym first thing in the morning. It’s time to get serious about this!

(Actually, it’s time to hop-to some big changes all the way around. The lunches, the snacks, the self-control, the gym, the running. Today is tomorrow!)

And speaking of healthy snacks, let’s talk about my newest obsession:

cookie dough


Raw cookie dough. Only not.

Back in college, one of my favorite healthier snacks was a peanut butter-Greek yogurt dip that I used to make by combining plain Greek yogurt, peanut butter, and honey. In that dip, there was significantly more peanut butter than yogurt (the yogurt really just served to “dilute” the peanut butter a bit in order to make it slightly lower in calories and also to change the consistency a tad).

And then, I tried this. Oh my dear goodness.

Take one 6 oz. cup of PLAIN Greek yogurt and stir in about a tablespoon of creamy peanut butter. Swirl in about a teaspoon of honey, and add a spoon or two of mini chocolate chips and bam, it’s cookie dough-flavored Greek yogurt. It is so, so tasty I can’t hardly believe it! On top of that, just one serving proved to be extremely filling. Plus, I totally felt like I was getting away with something so calorically sinful, when in reality, it was just a fun way to get some healthy fat (from the peanut butter) and mega-doses of protein (from the yogurt).

And now it’s time to play a rousing game of “Let’s See if Brittany Can Get to Bed at a Reasonable Time Tonight!”

Happy Daylight Saving Time day! I hope you have all started to recover from your lost hour!


When You Think of Things, Do Them

Hello my friendlings. ( <– I probably lost some street cred. with that one.)

I hope you had a nice Tuesday. I had a bit of a chaotic day at work today, I seemed to be bumping into strange little snafus around every corner! Fortunately, it was definitely not just me who was feeling the strange vibes. It’s always a bonus to not feel like the ONLY nutty one around.

Mini Rant/ Word-to-the-wise: About a week and a half ago, I received an e-mail at work that was offering a company step challenge. It’s one of those extended programs that companies can join in on as a team in order to make healthy changes. Every participant is given a pedometer to monitor their steps and there are fun little prizes along the way. I saw the e-mail right away and immediately wanted in. STUPIDLY, I waited, and waited, and waited and didn’t respond so that I wasn’t the FIRST one on board and let the opportunity slip right past my face! I came to this revelation today and flew down to the coordinator’s office to see if I could still sneak my way onto the team. HOPEFULLY they will still let me participate as the actual challenge has yet to begin. It is so “right-up-my-alley” I don’t know how I missed it! And by only a day. 😦 So what’s my word to the wise? DO THINGS WHEN YOU’RE THINKING OF THEM. There have been SO many times that I put things off, or promise myself that I’ll “do it later” and I end up forgetting entirely. It’s THE most frustrating feeling in the world, so spare yourself the agony and just do things when they first pop into your mind! If there’s no particular reason to put them off, then don’t!

Ehem. Sorry about that.

In other news, the weather here in WNY is absolutely ridiculous! It was GORGEOUS and sunny this afternoon (and by “gorgeous,” I mean 45 degrees), but by about 8:00 it was freezing cold and sleeting/ raining/ snowing. The roads are a mess already! Let’s hope things clear up by commute time in the morning!

After work, I made my way over to the gym and raced through an arm/ab circuit and followed it up with about 25 minutes on the elliptical. I really wanted to run again tonight, but for some reason, last night’s treadmill trek left my calves in some serious pain today! I figured I’d go for the zero-impact elliptical today. I  can never really get into elliptical-ing like I do with the treadmill or an outside run. It’s a great exercise and always leaves me sweating and feeling the burn, but I just don’t enjoy it! Not even a little. My arm/ ab circuit was quite a hodgepodge of exercises, but it was a pretty good one and flew by pretty quickly which is always a bonus.

And because I know you were wondering, here’s the song that has been fueling my workouts this week:

Are you embarrassed to know me? Don’t be. Embrace it.

(I may or may not also “sing” along to this song in the car. Loudly. Badly. Happily.)

I hope you have a great night and a wonderful Wednesday!

Caterpillar Convictions

Hello, my friends. I hope your Tuesday was terrific!

My morning was off to a little bit of a bumpy start. About five yards before my exit from the Thruway was up, I realized that I left a couple of semi-important things at home sitting by the front door. As luck would have it, this flustering revelation came in JUST enough time to rattle my cage and I promptly zipped right past my exit! (Yes, again.) Fortunately for me, I was able to turn around pretty quickly and get right back on track. Oy vey.

So now let’s talk about food.


This morning, I had breakfast waiting for me in the refrigerator. Overnight/ Refrigerator oats have been a BIG deal in the blog world in recent times. I tried it on a couple of different occasions over the summer, but could never really get into it. The texture is a little bizarre and the flavor is… well, complex, but recently, I gave it one more shot and I am hooked. While I’m still not exactly crazy about the oats, I cannot BELIEVE how filling this breakfast is. And on the plus side, you make it ahead (the night before) and leave it in the refrigerator to set up. By the time you’re ready for breakfast in the morning, the consistency is just right and you have yourself the World’s Most Filling Breakfast. Additionally, it’s kind of fun to play with the yogurt flavor/ fruit combinations. Best of all, there are only three ingredients: Greek yogurt, chia seeds (<— remember my obsession with these over the summer? It has returned with a vengeance!), and oats. Easy as pie. You can top ’em off with any of your favorite fruits which will really help the texture factor and also adds some sweetness!


On a slightly related note, I cannot tell you how wonderful these little split plates are. I found them 2 for $1.50 at the grocery store and they have  revolutionized my life. In this instance, I prepared the DELICIOUS-LOOKING (not.) oats on the larger side and sectioned out some frozen strawberries to thaw in the smaller portion. It works terrifically.

For lunch, I had pretty much the same deal as yesterday: shredded chicken on a sandwich thin:

photo (56)

It doesn’t look like much, but it packs a flavor punch and once again, is so, so filling. I discovered this chicken “recipe” on a blog a while back and will occasionally return to it. My favorite part is that it’s a make-ahead meal. You can get a few days out of a couple of chicken cutlets and have it ready to go for lunches. We all know that satisfying, simple lunches are my new schtick and this one certainly fits the bill. The next time I make the chicken, I will be sure to post the whole process. It is so, so simple which makes it twenty times better!

I also temporarily reverted to my old habits and finished lunch with dessert:

photo (52)

I will always and forever love my greek yogurt + banana combo deal.

Dinner tonight came in the form of a sweet potato that I cooked in the microwave. I know you’re jealous.

Also, in the 5ks & Coffee Beans spirit of COFFEE ADDICTION, allow me to introduce you to the bag ‘o beans that has been making my world go ’round for the past couple of weeks each and every morning:



Of course, I didn’t discover this coffee until it was on sale at Target, but I was hooked at my first sip. It is a wonderfully bold, spicy coffee that I could drink by the gallon. My travel mug full of this stuff is the only reason I am able to maintain my sanity on the drive to work. This weekend, I returned to Target to stock up and there was only ONE BAG LEFT. And as you may see, it is a LIMITED TIME ONLY flavor. So. Sad. Good old Dunkin’ is already on to their Mixed Berry, Coconut and Strawberry Shortcake flavors! Nonsense.

Let’s skip right along to my workout before we get on to the caterpillar business and namesake for this post!


For sanity’s sake, I decided to come home after work for a bit before heading to the gym. I figured that by pushing it back by a little while, maybe, just maybe, I’d be able to actually procure a treadmill. Or an elliptical. Or a bike. Or a locker. I did! It was, however, incredibly hot. So hot, in fact, that the windows were steamed. Who knows what is going on with that place.

I was feeling pretty tired by the time I finally made my way out tonight, but I committed to two miles on the treadmill and my beloved leg press machine. I zipped through an incredibly mixed up two-mile run/ incline power-walk and then made my way to the leg press. (The man on the treadmill next to me was shooting me mad weird looks as I constantly switched up my incline and speed on the second mile of that run. I think he thought I just didn’t have any idea what I was doing. We won’t tell him that he may have been right! 😛 ) Anyway, I was in and out within half an hour and boy, did I work up a sweat! Despite the fact that, once again, there wasn’t a single woman in the WHOLE facility (25:1), it felt great to get in and out of there without waiting in an awkward treadmill line or being in the midst of 2,000 other people.

And now for some desk drawer wisdom.

When I realized that I was going to have my very own desk and office at this new job, I decided that I wanted to make those spaces as motivating and positive as possible. It may sound silly, but a couple of encouraging words in the midst of a stressful day can actually work wonders on the old psyche.

One of my very favorite proverbs of all time is this guy right here:

photo (53)

Naturally, I couldn’t pass it by when I found it printed on a magnet a while ago. Over the years, it’s sat in many different places (perhaps most prominently, it was proudly displayed on a couple of my dorm room fridges). And now, it sits on my desk drawer and reminds me that just when things are looking bleaker than bleak, there is something beautiful waiting. I know, I know, it’s a little cheesy, but it is a phrase that has given me hope and insight through some choppy waters and it makes me smile every time I see it.

It’s my very own little Pinterest “inspiration” board right on my desk drawer!

So here’s my question for YOU. What is your favorite proverb/ motivational quote or quip? I have a zillion and one, but I think the caterpillar one will always be one of my very favorites!

Have a fantastic Wednesday and I will talk to you again tomorrow night!

It Must Be Monday

Oh, the humanity.

photo (48)That, right there, is my whole entire day in a heap on the floor. I was laying next to it for a while, but I managed to pry my limp soul off of the ground and find my computer just to write this little post for you. I hope you appreciate it.

The day started off promisingly enough, as you know, I prepared my whole day last night. From breakfast to lunch to my gym bag for after work, I was rearin’ and ready to go. It didn’t take too long for things to take an…interesting(?) turn. The whole vibe of my day is really pretty clearly illustrated with one short anecdote: today, the bathrooms at work were out of order for hours due to water pressure. Fun, right? Wrong. Sure, running water (or lack thereof…) can’t define a day, but it can certainly throw a monkey wrench in the whole thing!

Lunch time looked a little like this:

photo (49)

Although you can’t see it, the sandwich thin is filled with shredded BBQ chicken. It was quite tasty and SUPER easy to prepare. I even managed to incorporate a whole serving of fruit into this one in the form of an orange! How far we have come from the protein bars of last week!

And now, let’s talk about workouts.

So this is nothing new, but I have had (nearly) enough. Tonight, after a looooong day at work followed by an interview (this time I was the interviewER instead of the interviewEE which was a nice little switcheroo!) and some random work-related shopping tasks, I made my way to the gym to meet up with Katie. When I arrived, guess what was waiting for me….

Well, I will tell you what WASN’T waiting for me: a treadmill. Or any of the other machines that I was hoping to use. As I mentioned yesterday, I have actually really been itching for a run. It is something that clears my mind and drives me and makes me feel powerful and I love that feeling (even though that powerful bit is usually wiped away pretty quickly by feeling like the Grim Reaper is knocking on my forehead…) Anyway, I have been feeling like I’ve been a little tangled up in my own thoughts quite a bit recently and nothing does quite as good of a job at clearing that up as a nice little run does for me.

(WARNING: Gym rant ahead.)

So what did I do? I stood around for a bit, waiting around and attempting to predict when/ where a spot would free up. In the meanwhile, I did jump on an elliptical and “ran” like my life was depending on it. Eventually, a treadmill was finally available and I scooped it up right away. By that point, I was even more frustrated than I was when I got there, but I think my frustration and fury fueled a SUPER run. I didn’t go far, but it was fast and furious. I was actually pretty proud of myself by the end, but despite the fact that it was a great run, it didn’t really produce that feeling of clarity that I was so looking for. I’m pretty sure that was because of the initial stall when I first got there accompanied by the fact that the whole day was just plain infuriating. I don’t think that I actually ran long enough for it to have that de-escalating effect, but it still felt great to be being ACTIVE again. Enough was quite enough.

Now, with all of that being said, I am seriously considering switching up gyms again. It is so insanely frustrating to me to not have the equipment available to me when I finally make my way to the gym. Granted, if I were still able to go at 9:00 in the morning, I am sure that I would have the whole floor to myself again, but that just isn’t possible anymore! I counted today, there are 12 treadmills available and at the peak hours, that isn’t even 1/4 of how many should be there. When I was at college, this was the name of the game. It was a total crapshoot whether or not you’d get ANY air time with the machines you wanted. Skulking around behind the treadmills until one was available was a sport in and of itself. This was especially the case in the weeks right after New Year’s, but hey, that’s what you get when you throw thousands of students plus faculty and staff members into the same facility. That was kind of expected. But when you’re actually paying for a membership, that really doesn’t fly with me. I am not sure what the answer is, but if I can find a cheaper alternative that is still semi-convenient, it is MINE.

Anyway, better luck to me tomorrow, huh? You can’t win ’em all! Time to read and make my way to dreamland very soon! (Waking up at 5:30 takes some getting used to!!)

I hope you had a fantastic day and I will see you all tomorrow!

The Help

Hello all! I hope that you had a wonderful weekend. I was very glad to have the weekend off from work (although having weekdays off can be quite a treat too!). Yesterday, I was able to watch one of my babysitting charges in his middle school play. It was so fun to see him perform, I have known him since he was about six years old. It is crazy how fast time flies!

After that, I spent the remainder of my night babysitting. By the time I left that house, I was pretty pooped and ready to hit the hay!

And now, my friends. For the ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE DECADE.

(only not really…)

I finished The Help!! Finally.


As you may recall, I started reading this book back around New Year’s. After all of the great things that I had heard about this book in the past couple of years, I had very high hopes. Overall, I did enjoy the book and I thought the story was definitely original, but for some reason, it was just a struggle for me to finish it!

Brief Synopsis:

I will keep this part short, since I am sure 99% of you have either a) already read this book or b) at least know exactly what it is about.

The Help takes place in 1962 Mississippi. The lives of affluent white women are faithfully bolstered by the assistance of their family maids, all of whom are black women who have raised dozens of white children and kept households running smoothly for decades. But as illustrated throughout this whole story, the climate of the ’60s south was one of racism, hatred and entitlement. The author, Kathryn Stockett, tells the story of Aibileen, the wise black maid who, despite her own heartbreak and tumultuous life, gives nothing but love and affection to the children she cares for. There’s Minny, the sassy, smart-mouthed maid who gets herself into trouble around every corner. And importantly, Miss Skeeter. A twenty-two year old, recently graduated young woman who is trying to navigate the life of a lady as encouraged by her prim and proper mother.

After deciding to pursue her true love of writing, Skeeter takes on a major project. She decides to collect the untold stories of the black maids in town. Writing them all down for all to read and hoping that a NYC editor, Mrs. Stein, will agree to publish her work. Despite the fact that they are all putting themselves directly in harm’s way by meeting with Skeeter, the maids unleash all kinds of stories for her to write. Some are funny, some heartbreaking, some are entirely sickening.

As Skeeter works on The Project, the novel follows the progression of Skeeter’s post-grad. life back at home, everything from love to family to career choices. Chapters switch between the unique narrative voices of Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny.

My Opinion:

Overall, I think that the idea behind this novel is a great one. It’s unique and captivating and equal parts touching and gut-wrenching. But for some reason ( as you may have noticed) I had a RIDICULOUSLY hard time getting through it. I thought that the story was a little on the redundant side and I think overall, the whole thing could have been cut by about one hundred pages without losing too much value. I really enjoyed the parts with Skeeter and I loved the camaraderie and friendship that eventually developed between her and the maids, but I think there needed to be a little more intrigue throughout.

I would definitely give this story major points as a very rich character study, but I am not sure that I am quite as enamored with the whole thing as the rest of America seemed to be in its prime!

I also must say that for a first-time novelist, Kathryn Stockett’s work and success is massively impressive. As an aspiring writer myself, I find that whole story to be wildly motivating and inspiring. 

So what’s next on the Reading Radar??

photo (47)I am really not sure what to expect from this one, but it just feels like something that I have to read. It’s been around forever and in its own right is kind of a “classic.” Stay tuned for a review! (Hopefully it will take me less than a month and a half. 😛 )

And I think that’s about all for today!

Tomorrow it is back-to- Bedrock time! I am quite excited, however, because I have finally put a little bit of prep work into getting a few days’ worth of healthy, filling, tasty lunches set up for myself. Protein bars begone! (Which is not to say that my beloved PB&J won’t make the occasional appearance, I love those just a little too much to let them go forever. No matter HOW sophisticated my lunchbag becomes. 😉 )

ALSO, speaking of prep work, guess what I did tonight…

photo (46)That’s right, kids. Brittany packed a GYM BAG. There is absolutely NO stopping this lady from hittin’ up the gym tomorrow after work. I’ve got the whole thing planned out.

My shift into this new position ended up involving quite a bit of juggling and schedule re-arranging, but I absolutely MUST find a way to work my physical activity back into the mix! It starts to wear on my mind– I get crankier and slower and I even start to feel stupider! Nobody wants any of that. I know that I have what may be the World’s Most Quintessential love-hate relationship with running, but I really, really do miss it. Recently, I have been in that thinking zone where 2,000 different things run through your mind every minute of every day and one of my favorite releases for that feeling is running. I am SO ready to start my half marathon training, but since that won’t come into play for a few months yet, I’ll take whatever I can get! Right now, my plan is to work on timing for my spring 5k and to strengthen up those legs and abs so that I’ll be able to train without injury and without hesitation for the half when the time comes!

I hope you have a great night and I will talk to you tomorrow!


Z is for Zumba

This evening quickly became a whirlwind of activity.

Chloe and I had made plans to crash our parents’ Zumba class tonight! Zumba is actually one of the few group fitness classes that I had never attended until tonight.

Prior to the class, Chloe and I made a mad dash to my gym for a quick cardio workout. It was about 500% more crowded than it was the last time I said that it was over-crowded. I love my gym so, so much, but I seriously can’t handle these crowds. First of all, it is ridiculously LOUD. On top of that, it’s impossible to find space for my favorite circuits/ mat workouts. It is nearly impossible to get machine time. The parking lot is ALWAYS full and finding a locker is like finding a truffle without a pig.

I am seriously hoping that the madness dies down once people settle back into their normal schedules and once the novelty of New Year’s resolutions dies down a bit. I so loved my gym time up until the past week or two and I would really hate for it to become a nuisance. We shall see!

Next, it was time to Zumbaaaaaaaaa!



The class that we dropped in on is one that was friendly for all ages so it was very low-impact and relatively low-key, but that didn’t mean that it was easy!

I couldn’t believe how much trouble I was having keeping up with some of the moves! There was quite the combination of merengue, African dance and even some Gangnam Style!

I must confess, my coordination level is next to zero. Apparently, I left even the faintest ability to follow any beat whatsoever behind me at those college senior nights.

What I really loved about this class was the fact that the instructor didn’t push too much. She wasn’t one of those ridiculously loud, up-in-your-face sort of instructors and I really enjoyed that. The class was simply about having fun and moving which I think is such a great message to send to a class with such a wide range of abilities experience! Time and time again she said “It’s all about staying active and having a good time while you’re doing it.”

photo (9)

Time to Zumba! (Why are my pictures always so dark? I should really work on that…)

I have been in ten zillion different fitness classes and the ones that I have enjoyed the most have had that same air of fun and positive motivation. Also, despite the fact that it was a toned-down version of the class, my arms were feeling the burn from the five-pound dumbbells that I was holding throughout most of the class!

It was also a lot of fun to be there with a bunch of people I knew. It really was like a party! (Ya know, the motto is “Zumba: Join the party!” Ha!)

Since my earlier post covered my CPR class and not any of my edible endeavors, I have to quickly share my mid-afternoon snack with you. It was oh-so good.

Now we all know how much I love my oatmeal toppers, right?

Well today I thought I’d jazz things up a bit and try something new:

photo (7)I got this jar of Mocha Espresso Sauce for Christmas and let me tell you, this stuff is the greatest. It can be used in coffee, on ice cream, and apparently it even makes a fantastic oatmeal topper. The sauce is actually intended to be heated, but instead I took a small spoonful and set it in a bowl of oatmeal along with my usual scoop of peanut butter. I typically add a little too much brown sugar to my oatmeal and this provided just the right amount of sweetness with an extra kick from the mocha flavor!

oatmealI could eat this stuff for three meals a day. Sure, it looks a little like garbage, but it was delicious. Find yourself a jar of this Stonewall Kitchen sauce and go to town.

I hope you have a great night and I’ll see y’all tomorrow!




Beasts of the Southern Wild

Hello everyone! Thanks for swinging by!

It has been a gorgeous weekend around these parts. Temperatures today reached nearly seventy degrees and it was sunny just about all morning and afternoon. As much as I love this kind of weather, it is a little sad when I realize that it will soon be gone again. Winter warmups later in the season don’t frustrate me quite as much since there seems to be so much less time until long-term relief from the frigid air is in sight! Oh well, I will take what I can get!

NOT to sound like a broken record, but I want my gym floor back. 😦

Granted, it’s great that so many people are discovering this gym and enjoying it’s facilities, but it’s just not big enough for the traffic! Yesterday morning, I knew there would be trouble when I couldn’t find a parking spot. When I finally did, I walked in to the loudest scene imaginable. It was lunacy. There were group exercise classes happening on the main floor! The mats were occupied by one class, half of the weight floor was accounted for by another! All of the treadmills were taken and there were no bikes remaining! All the while, there were two different Les Mills classes running (which are intense and fantastic, but louder than anything you’ve ever heard!). I was losing my mind

Eventually, I settled in on an elliptical machine and worked very hard to distract myself from the mayhem that surrounded me. Once again, I forgot my earbuds so I was left to my own devices as far as entertainment was concerned. I picked up a Shape magazine and pored through those pages.

I (stupidly) hunted around after the cardio for a place to complete a circuit workout, but since all of the previously mentioned places were still occupied, I grabbed my coat and home I went.

The rest of the day yesterday was spent with my mom and it was a lot of fun! After some random shopping errands, we went out to one of my very favorite restaurants for dinner! (SHOCK OF THE CENTURY: I HAVE NO PICTURES OF MY MEAL. What is this madness?!  Clearly, I must have not had my wits about me.) I ate a very non-diet-friendly meal consisting of one of my favorite appetizers of all time, mozzarella fritta, along with a penne vodka dish for the main event. The mozzarella is essentially breaded fresh mozzarella that’s served with the most delicious pesto and marinara sauces in all of the land. I could eat 100 pounds of it, but then this blog would take a very different turn.

We also rented a Redbox movie from the grocery store last night: Beasts of the Southern Wild.




I originally heard about this movie when it was featured on a news show that my mom watches a week or two ago. It didn’t sound like anything I had ever seen before and I immediately wanted to rent it.

Incidentally, the film is up for several Oscar nominations including Best Picture and Best Actress in a Leading Role. The actress is Quvenzhané Wallis who was just five years old at the time of filming. She is the youngest actress to ever be nominated!

The trailer for this movie is spectacular. The music, the voiceover, the scenes that are shown (like the one in the poster above).

A Brief Synopsis: This movie is about a little girl named Hush Puppy and her father who are living in a ramshackle bayou community that will soon be entirely underwater due to the floods. As the father’s health declines rapidly, he works to teach his little girl how to survive and fend for herself. He teaches her to be strong, independent and fearless. At times, his grating manner gets to be a bit much to handle, but the intention of the film is clear– it is the father’s love for his daughter that drives his behavior. He wants her to overcome the looming hardships so he teaches her in the only way that he knows how.

I really wanted to love this movie, but I couldn’t really get into it. There were some moments that were absolutely stunning and some that were heartbreaking. Some lines from the film will stick in my head for a zillion years. The filming was gorgeous and the ideas were fantastic, but by the end of the film, I felt like there wasn’t too much that was actually accomplished. While events were happening and there was certainly some drama, it was actually rather unremarkable. What I will say for the film is that it did serve as a very powerful character study. It left me thinking about the fact that there are people who live the way these characters live. There are people who write down their stories because they are living under the radar and as Hush Puppy said, it’s the only way the scientists will know who they were. Sure, that sounds like a stupid revelation, but how often do you think about people sailing through the bayous in half of an old pickup truck that they’ve converted into a boat and spend their time searching desperately for a way to survive coming disasters? Not too often, I’ll bet. It’s a big, big world out there.

Anyway, I can’t even figure out whether or not I would recommend this movie to you. Perhaps it’s one of those films that you “get” the second time around. It was definitely thoguht-provoking and moving, but as far as a “Best Picture,” I’m just not sure.

If any of you have seen this movie, I’d love to hear what you thought!

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend! I will talk to you tomorrow. 🙂

Pizza Muffins and MIA Earbuds

Today was a strange little day indeed. First off, I had to wake up at the crack ‘a dawn for an appointment. Much to my dismay, it wasn’t at the typical location which meant that I had to drive all over and PAY FOR PARKING. Very uncool.

I had been planning to take Chloe to my gym with me while she was home for break and we decided to do that today, but for some reason, when I got back home this morning, I was so tired that I could barely think about standing up straight, let alone dragging myself through a workout. I bummed around the house, took a nap and then met Chloe for a workout around noon.

Of course, as soon as we swiped our cards, I realized that I didn’t have my earbuds and because I have the motivation of a SLUG when I don’t have my jams blasting in my ear, I actually raced home to grab them. The fact that I can only make it about .1 miles without tunes is the perfect illustration of what I have always known: running road blocks are ALL in your mind. Granted, there comes a point where you really are burnt out and simply can’t go on, but that doesn’t happen quickly for most people.

When I returned, the floor was packed. It really does something to my mojo when there are people lurking around EVERY corner. I also hate being that person who leaps onto the elliptical/treadmill that is parked between two other people just because it’s the only one free! Despite that, I managed to get a good workout completed that included 20 minutes at a pretty quick clip on the elliptical followed by a cardio/ ab circuit routine and I thoroughly enjoyed both!

I intended to complete the Best Body Boot Camp workout today, but once I got to the gym, I realized that there were actually several moves that I had no idea how to do and I failed to look at the demo videos before heading out this morning! I shall try again tomorrow!

Next, we decided to try for a walk along the canal path nearby, but unfortunately despite the fact that it was a perfectly beautiful day (perfect for walking outside!), the trail was very, very icy and almost impassible so we turned around pretty quickly. Disappointing!

winter walk


Sure, it might not look THAT bad, but trust me. It was quite treacherous!

When I returned home, it was time for some food! I was pretty proud of myself because I managed to incorporate a VEGETABLE! (You probably all know that my dislike of vegetables is my deep, dark secret. It’s the Kryptonite to my otherwise very healthy lifestyle.)

Lunch Time

In addition to some broccoli that I “steamed” in the microwave (seriously, those steamer bags are the greatest!), I also threw a 100-calorie multigrain english muffin into the toaster oven and topped it off with some sauce and cheese. Talk about elementary school throw-back! English muffin pizzas, anyone? Delish!

That’s about it for tonight! See y’all tomorrow! = )

Uphill Runs and Pro/Con Lists

Late last night, I had the brilliant idea to book my gym buddy for “10:30” this morning. What I did instead was book her for “10:00” this morning. I woke up at about 10:15 to a text message from 10:05 saying, “I’m here!”

Oops, I did it AGAIN. (Thanks, Britney.)

So even though I am The Worst Ever, we still managed to have a good workout and in order to sufficiently punish myself (once again), I ran uphill! (Aka on a steep incline!)

Holy workout! (For the record, I didn’t actually do it as punishment, but it’s fun to pretend. 😛 ) As strange as it’s going to sound, I actually REALLY liked running on an incline and felt that I might actually be able to do it for even longer than I did. For some reason, the incline took some of the drudgery out of treadmill running. It was like I was on a mission! (A mission to climb a never-ending mountain…) I would really, really love to be training for a race right now, but I haven’t found one that I was excited enough about to actually register for (races are QUITE pricey!). Beyond that, the ones that I have found, are a little too soon to realistically train for in a safe and healthy way, which we are ALL about here at 5ks and Coffee Beans! There will be ZERO running-related injuries on my watch!

Next, we went to the floor to complete an “ab workout” that was somewhat half-assed and morphed into sitting on our mats and planning our futures and also detangling the present.

I have mentioned it before, but there are a few things that never fail to make me feel like a real adult. Those things include:

  1. Driving after dark 
  2. Driving on the expressway (part of this is probably because I hated expressway driving and avoided it for the longest time after I got my license)
  3. Drinking coffee from a coffee pot to “wake up”
  4. Running errands in the middle of the day
  5. My gym time with Katie. I am really not sure why this is, perhaps because we typically go in the mid-morning which is not a time that anyone in school would ever be able to go. Or because oftentimes, we follow up with a coffee run (see point number 3!) where we sometimes make pro/con lists (perhaps I should add a number to this list that incorporates “having serious enough decisions to make that they actually warrant well-developed pro/con lists.”)

After a couple of random outings and meetings strewn throughout the day, I made my way to the bookstore to get lost for a few minutes. (I love going to bookstores during the day when there aren’t tons of people milling about. I love books and something about wandering through aisles and aisles of them is very relaxing for me!)

I will talk to you all tomorrow! Double check your plans for the morning… a half an hour can make quite a difference! 😉


Dude, Where’s My Dumbbell???

Greetings, friends!

Today I made a major workout buddy faux pas. I overslept for a gym date with Katie! I WOKE UP ten minutes after I was supposed to meet her there! Fortunately, the gym is right around the corner and very little preparation goes into a gym outing. I felt so, SO guilty, but fortunately I think she mostly thought it was funny. I was quite a mess when I arrived!

Anyway, I stumbled through a very awkward (nearly) 2 miles on the treadmill (one mile I actually ran, the rest I jog/power-walked/flailed around for). Next up was my favorite “Ballet Abs” workout that I posted last week from a Tumblr.

Apparently, not only was I a complete fail at waking up this morning, but I also seemed to have left my brain in bed. At the end of our workout when I went to go return my dumbbells to the shelf, I realized that I “only had one!” Just as I was about to walk back over to our little mat corner, Katie called to me to inform me that the weight was in my HAND. I was HOLDING it. Oy vey. I scare myself sometimes!

Today’s trip did feature a new workout outfit!

Ok fine, it was just a new shirt, but this is definitely one of my favorite combos I’ve had in a while!

Shirt: Avia “Moisture Wicking” shirt from Marshalls. It was $12.99, but it is SO light and comfortable and I love the bright color!

I love the back of this shirt too! Stylish. 😉

Capris: GapFit “gFlex capris.” These are THE best workout pants that I have ever owned. They are so cool and I LOVE the fit. I generally do not like tight-fitting pants, but these are wonderful. They are fitted through the leg, but flare out ever so slightly at the calf. They are flattering (even on my more “athletic” (read: chunky) thighs.

Sneakers: ASICS “Gel-1170″s. I purchased these at Kohls a while back for work and I love them. They are extremely comfortable and even 12-hour days spent on my feet don’t result in backache (as I’ve experienced with many other sneakers). I also frequently wear them to the gym (yes, I know you’re not supposed to do that!) and they have served me very well from BodyPump to the treadmill! I highly suggest trying out a few different styles of ASICS however, because the lovely little numbers featured on my title bar (the bright ones) I purchased to train for the famous 5k in, but ended up wearing old, beat-up sneakers on the day of instead because they actually hurt my feet quite a bit. Even after being broken in!

I have to say, in addition to some other great finds I’ve purchased lately at Marshall’s, their “activewear” department is fantastic! I have found some of my favorite shirts and sports bras there and never spend more than $13 per item! I highly recommend making a trip.

I spent the rest of the day at work and ended the day with a trip to the grocery store that left me with two exciting purchases. (Have you ever met a 22-year-old who loves going to the grocery store quite as much as I do? Doubtful.)

1. A (new) flavored coffee.

You guys are all well aware of my ridiculous weakness for coffee. Throw me a holiday-flavored coffee and I’m in heaven. This one sounded absolutely amazing: Cinnamon Gingerbread Truffle by Godiva. It’s a limited edition and features gingerbread men on the bag. Say no more, I’m there.

2. A Pomegranate!

I have been wanting to try pomegranates for the longest time. I have had them (at work, samples at the grocery store, etc.), but I’ve wanted to try them on oatmeal and yogurt and in salad, so when I discovered a $1.00 off coupon, it seemed like the appropriate time. After researching how to properly bust into it, I went to work!




I ended up with a whole bowlful of these tasty little seeds. I was taste-testing as I cut it open and they are delicious! I can’t wait to throw them in absolutely everything I eat.

Have a great night!