This Is Your Brain Without Gym Time…

Hello friends!

Today was yet another day full of fun and holiday cheer. Despite the fact that my furry friend had to visit her arch nemesis the vet briefly this morning, I had a lovely day off that was filled with cookie-baking and tree-trimming.

My mom had the day off as well and it was fun to spend the day at home decorating, baking, and cleaning. Yes, that’s right I actually said it was fun to clean. 

While we are on the topic of Christmas, (a topic that has made an appearance in every post since the month began! 🙂 ) Let’s hit up the 25 Days of Blogging Christmas Challenge question of the day: When/ How did you learn that you-know-who wasn’t you-know-what? One year, I asked for a puppy. I was SO insistent on adding a furry addition to our family that I actually refused to ask for anything else. That Christmas, Santa left me a letter explaining that it wasn’t a good time for a dog, but that someday when the time was just right that I would get one. That letter was written in awfully sisterly handwriting and that is what initially tipped me off. I think I actually ended up forgetting about that and convinced myself to believe for another two decades. (What is that you say, I’m just barely two decades old?! Why yes, that’s true! NEVER STOP BELIEVING.)

Ehem. Now, on to the topic of this post!

And so, we have tiptoed to day number Way Too Many To Bother Counting of not going to the gym. Granted, I’ve thrown in a couple of random workouts here or there, but it’s been a while since I’ve really put the pedal to the metal. As I mentioned the other day, I’ve been planning to get my butt back in action on Tuesday (which is tomorrow), but in the meanwhile, here are some discoveries that I have made during this unintentional hiatus from the gym:

  1. Slower to wakeupI typically workout in the morning. That is not to say that I always head out at the crack of dawn, but gym time is generally the first thing in my day. When I have had my workout, I am in total game mode by the time I return home, but if I skip the gym, it takes me hours to fully wake the brain up. Getting ready happens in slow-mo.
  2. I eat like a pig: So there’s that whole thing where you burn calories when you exercise and can end up feeling quite hungry afterwards. Sure, that happens to me, but I don’t refuel with good, muscle-repairing nutrients. Instead, I eat Christmas cookies by the truckload.
  3. Fitness pinning/ researching increases exponentially: Apparently, if I’m not doing it myself, I have to find evidence that at the very least, others are working out. I spend a lot more time reading fitness blogs, pinning new workouts to Pinterest and flipping through old health and fitness magazines. Strange, no?
  4. Overall fitness mentality does a backflip: Fortunately for me, this “break” has been much too short to notice any real change in my appearance (or even in topics 1-3 of this list), but if I stayed at it (or stayed not being “at it” for much longer, I know exactly what would happen because it has happened before (i.e.: end of senior year!). Any weight gain between two and twelve pounds leads me to change my whole outlook on appearance and weight maintenance. In no time flat, I can convince myself that I look better with a couple of extra pounds. That I don’t want to fit into the “skinny mold” and that I’d rather be happy and pudgy that thin and sad. I also suddenly decide that anyone who can’t love me regardless of my weight doesn’t deserve me at all. (Enter Helen Reddy, I am Woman here.) Now of course, this is not at all the way I actually feel at all! I feel awful about myself when I don’t exercise and when I eat horribly and it has absolutely nothing to do with my weight in particular, nor does it have anything to do with what anyone else believes. Also, I definitely think that choices should be made for you and only you. Do what makes you feel best, what will have the best outcomes for you and what will make you happiest. But regardless of all of that, a few days of “bad behavior” and suddenly, I am redefining everything I believe!

So either which way, it is high time for me to hightail it back to the gym and get my gears in motion again!

I hope you had a great Monday!


Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree!

Today we actually bought our Christmas tree. I do sort of wish that we had gone to cut it down ourselves just for the heck of it. I just decided that the reason for my (particularly rampant) Christmas obsession this year is the fact that I have never had the time to ENJOY the holiday season in previous years. When I was in school, it seemed like I was always taking finals and writing papers until just two or three days before Christmas eve. It was tiring and depressing and I hated not being able to really revel in the holiday that I love so much. Choosing a Christmas tree was something that happened in between highlighting and flashcard-making. Christmas cookies didn’t really happen the only thing I thought about after work was whether or not I’d be able to procure a spot in my favorite library.

While I do occasionally miss the challenge of college, and I always miss having my friends so close, I definitely am growing to love the freedom of being a “real person.” Especially at the hap-happiest time of the year!

I didn’t do a whole awful lot for the rest of the day, but I am so excited to have the day off tomorrow!

So let’s talk about my unintentional half-week off from the gym. I am not really sure how this happened, but it did! Fortunately, I managed to keep my eating habits in check for the whole time, otherwise, I’d be in deep trouble! Things probably won’t be much better tomorrow, but Tuesday morning it will be BACK TO BUSINESS. (I actually have found a couple of fun workouts that I am dying to try too!) Additionally, I am considering signing up for Tina’s Best Body Boot Camp. Several bloggers that I follow have participated in her previous rounds of the Boot Camp and seem to enjoy it, at least from what I’ve read! I like the idea of mixing up cardio and strength and flexibility in workouts and I definitely appreciate having something organized to follow along with, so I think this would be right up my alley. I will keep you posted if I decide to join! We all know how my last encounter with a bootcamp went, but something tells me that this one would be much more beneficial. Plus it is $25, not $75. Win.

25 Days of Blogging Christmas Challenge

I mentioned the other day that I will be participating in Peanut Butter Jenny‘s 25 Days of Blogging Christmas Challenge and today is day two! Today’s question is: What’s on Your 2012 Christmas Wish List?

Every single year, I come up with things throughout the year between my birthday (which is in May) and Christmas that I think of for Christmas. Naturally, however, I very rarely write them down and almost ALWAYS forget what they are by the time the true season rolls around. But here are five things that are on mine this year!

  • New watch (I have a sports watch that I love, but I’m looking for a professional-ish, stylish one!)
  • A travel mug that KEEPS THINGS WARM and DOESN’T LEAK (<– don’t those seem like two pretty reasonable requirements? Well they are practically impossible to come by)
  • Clothes (I love, love, love clothes and accessories, but I need some SERIOUS help in the organization department. OhhHhHHh Pinterest, where ARE you?)
  • New caps for my CamelBak water bottle
  • A pair of snazzy earrings that I found at Anthropologie just before Thanksgiving

So what’s on YOUR Christmas wish list this year?

Have a great night and I’ll talk to you tomorrow!!

Vegetable Parmesan

Well, I was a complete “Cyber Monday” failure today. I even checked out a couple of my favorite sites, but other than free shipping from nearly EVERY source, I was less-than impressed.

I did manage to get (some) of the Christmas decorations up, but some of the lights that we used last year are MIA! I can’t find them anywhere and the ones that I did locate are older and a bunch of them are busted! I was becoming quite frustrated with all of the wiry knots this morning. The whole situation was starting to remind me of that (God awful) “The 12 Pains of Christmas” song they love to play on the radio. The second one is hanging up the lights. They got THAT one right.


The rest of the morning/ afternoon I spent with my mom. We mostly did some random shopping outings (including Marshall’s and Barnes & Noble) in the shock of the century, I didn’t buy any books at Barnes & Noble!

And now, for the main feature! For dinner tonight, I made vegetable parmesan! It is an adapted version of Giada De Laurentiis’ recipe (I pretty much just changed the preparation of it a tad). It includes peppers, eggplant and the typical “parmesan” fixings. Here we go!


The recipe calls three peppers: red, yellow and orange. First, I sliced those and sautéed them in a frying pan with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Meanwhile, I had one medium eggplant salting on the table.


After the peppers were partially cooked, it was time to layer everything up:


Here’s what the final product looked like…


The whole thing took probably about 15 minutes to prepare and was in the oven for 30 minutes! (I bake it at 375 for 30 minutes). Check out the original recipe here!

Have a goodnight and I will talk to you tomorrow! With GYM STORIES. Sheesh.


Thanksgiving 2013

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving! I hope you enjoyed the day yesterday with the people who are most important to you.

Now for a recap of the First Ever 5ksandCoffeeBeans Thanksgiving!

The day started off nice and early as mom and I made our way to my sister’s house which is about 5 hours away. For the first time ever, I was the driver! We listened to the Pandora “Rockin’ Holidays” station for almost the entire trip so I was in my element! After I refused to stop at the first rest stop for a break (which was about fifteen short minutes into the drive), my mother decided that I wasn’t a very nice driver. For some reason, her reaction (refusing to talk to me and instead playing a game that was particularly noisy) cracked me up and I laughed until I cried.

Thanksgiving drive Fortunately, the silent treatment didn’t last for very long. 😉

Someone else also got to come along for the ride!

It’s the holiday pup!! Despite her ridiculously energetic personality, Rudy is actually a very good passenger. The only time she makes a peep is at the toll booths when she feels the need to talk to the cashiers. Maybe she’s asking for directions! (I did make one wrong “turn”/ veer at the very beginning…) Once we arrived at our destination, Rudy was definitely loving the company and attention and engaged just about every member of the family into a rousing round of fetch.

My jobs involved toasting the rolls that I brought and also helping to set the table. After all, who needs a turkey when you have napkin rings!??!

I’m a keeper, no? 😉

My aunt and uncle from Washington DC were also in for the day and it was great to see them! Then it was time for appetizers. My brother-in-law made a spinach-artichoke dip in the style of TGI Fridays and it was delicious. While the plate pictured above looks reasonable enough, in all reality, I actually had about 400 times what you see. Including about 2 cups of that dip!

And what would a 5KCB Thanksgiving be without coffee beans!?!

Not a Thanksgiving at all. I was fading fast throughout the afternoon so a little pick-me-up was definitely in order. Although even after that I still managed to conk out on the couch for a 20 minute nap. It reminded me of the days I’d fall asleep with a cup of coffee in-hand at school!

Now. For the piece de resistance. Are you ready for this?

I don’t think you are…


This plate did NOT require a return for seconds. As you’ll notice, it’s about 2% turkey and 98% side dishes. In preparation for the big show, I didn’t eat a ton throughout the day which meant that I was STARVING when dinnertime rolled around. I INHALED all of what you see there PLUS about 40 pounds of pie.

There were three pies featured, a Tollhouse cookie pie, the perennial pumpkin pie (and after all, I was headed to Pennsylvania! 😉 ) and a candy bar pie. Ohmygoodness the candy bar pie. This was my mom’s new addition this year and it was amazing. It was a combination of candy, brownies, and cheesecake in a pretzel crust topped with chocolate ganache. Best part of all, it was zero calories and low-fat! (<— Oh my God the jokes.)

Solely for the intrigue of it, I decided to enter incredibly rough estimates of what I had eaten throughout the day (just the calorie estimations) and when all was said and done, here’s what myfitness”pal” told me:

Now, I make it a point to never mention my actual weight on this blog. But what I will tell you is that this is a solid ten pounds PLUS from where I am right now. Needless to say, every day will NOT be “like today.” 😛

It was a fantastic night full of family, food and fun. I am so grateful to have taken these two days off from work in order to enjoy some time with family and to kick off the holiday season right! And now it’s time for some board games, leftovers and maybe even some shopping. ….Maybe.

Thanks for reading and again, Happy Thanksgiving!!

Good morning from a crazy, makeup-less girl with crazy hair and a crazy dog. I’ll catch y’all tomorrow!