Cardio > Strength Training ?

It’s a strange phenomenon, but now that I haven’t been doing ridiculous amounts of strength training as I was back in November, I have started to notice more definition in my muscle tone. The kind of definition that I want! It seems to be that even without mondo strength training sessions, the muscle seems to be changing and I actually started to drop a couple of ounces here and there again which is nice since the weight-loss definitely seemed to come to a standstill! (Please note: my goal is NOT to lose weight, but to improve my physical capabilities while also improving the way I felt about my appearance, I did not have a goal weight in mind and I think that’s actually been working out much, much better for me.)

I’m actually quite excited to not be starting from negative square root one come January first. Usually (along with 99% of Americans!) my resolutions center around something based in fitness or weight-loss, but this year, I am certainly happy enough with my life changes and improvements that I think my resolutions will be focused on bigger and more abstract things!

And now, for everyone’s favorite part: The 25 Days of Blogging Christmas Challenge!

Day 6: What is your favorite tree ornament? I absolutely love decorating the Christmas tree and ours is definitely not one of those trees that matches 100%. Instead, it is a mix-up of a zillion unique ornaments, some that are decades old, others that have marked milestones, and others yet that we found randomly and picked up along the way.  My favorite one changes every year, but right now, I happen to be obsessed with a box of ornaments that my mother actually got last year from a second-hand craft shop!

photo-129They are so pretty and flowery! There are also about a dozen other ornaments that are very special to me that I really love. Some of which I made with my family when I was a little kid and others that just came about over the years.


Day 7: What was your most memorable Christmas? Now this one is going to sound absolutely ridiculous, but one of the most memorable Christmases is from when I was about 4 years old and I remember feeling like the most special kid in the world when I got just about everything I asked for. (Yes, now I am well aware that presents are not at all what it’s all about, but when you’re four, who knows better!?). Additionally, there was a play pie bakery set involved that smelled so wonderful and so exactly like vanilla and pie crust that the smell still sticks out in my memory at Christmas time. Told ya it was random!

Now, for some exciting developments in the life of 5ksandcoffeebeans (only not really…). I am learning how to knit hats! Last night, I had a “knitting date” with one of my co-workers and she was (re-)teaching me the basics (casting-on, knitting stitches, purling…the usual), but we also started my first ever hat!



I haven’t gotten too far, but check it out! The brim is curling juuuuuust like it’s supposed to! I even (get ready for this…) CHANGED COLORS. Woohoo! 

…let’s be honest here, I had quite a bit of help with the color-changing bit.



I know, I know. Those are some hot colors with a capital H-O-T. Hey, what do you want for a first try?

Well it has suddenly gotten quite late and it is time for some reading, knitting, and sleeping!

I will talk to you tomorrow!!



25 Days of Christmas!

It’s December 1st! That means the wait is OVER!


I don’t watch much TV at all, but I love, love, love my Christmas specials. It’s like Christmas every night of the month! (Last week, I was babysitting and insistent on watching the Charlie Brown special. Their mother told me to put it on “for the girls,” but I’m pretty positive that she actually suggested that for my benefit.–though the kids loved it too!) 😉

I also recently discovered that there is a soundtrack for the abc family 25 Days of Christmas. I also have some money remaining on an iTunes gift card. Hmmmmmmm.

In addition to abc family beginning their holiday fun (which actually started a week ago in the “Countdown to the 25 Days of Christmas), today was also an extra special day because I got my advent calendar from my mom! (Hey, you’re never too old to enjoy some holiday fun!!)


My mom has been making me an advent calendar on the first day of December since I was a little girl and I still look forward to it every year! It’s extra fun since she picks out my favorite treats and I get to pick one each day to enjoy in a tasty little countdown to Christmas day! (I always save the larger, more decadent ones for the days closest to Christmas. 😉 Otherwise, it’s also great for rationing. No binge-eating this candy, that just won’t work!

Today did not involve a trip to the gym, nor a workout of any variety, for that matter. In penance, I will (try to) force myself to wake up in time to hit up the dreadmill before my early shift at work tomorrow. We will see how that goes for me.

I am currently trying to figure out which race I want to aim for in 2013. Katie and I had discussed running the Boilermaker 15k which is in July, and I think that would be a lot of fun. It would also be a great prequel to my first half marathon, since it is a tad shorter (9.3 miles). I had also planned to do another 5k this month, but I am back to (nearly) square root one with running. 😦 I love the idea of having something intensely cardio to focus my workout plans around. I have never felt as good about myself or the way I looked as I did when I was “training” for my 5k this summer! I know I had originally said that I was planning to focus on mostly strength training for the rest of this year, BUT once I decided to ax BodyPump, I figured I should pick a new goal! I think for now, I will work on building up a good running base which I DEFINITELY do not have right now. (I TOLD MYSELF I WOULDN’T LOSE IT AFTER THE 5k, but so much for that!)

In other news, today’s meals were relatively uneventful. Breakfast consisted of my new “jag” (oatmeal with a spoonful ‘o peanut butter) while brunch (/ an earlyish pre-work lunch) was a few potato pancakes, made by my mother. At work, I had one of my very favorite protein products:


I LOVE these bars. Typically, I am not a fan of protein bars. I usually find them to taste a little like sawdust. Or chemicals that I’d rather not eat, but these are delicious! 20 grams of protein PLUS a tasty, mint-chocoaltey flavor = good in my book.

More Christmas Fun Stuff!

Now, one more note of Christmas fun! I have also decided to participate in a 25 Days of Blogging Christmas challenge that I discovered on the Peanut Butter Jenny blog! (Check it out, it’s lots of fun!) I have added the cute little button on the righthand side, but here’s the scoop. Each day from now until Christmas, she has one Christmas-related “thing” to mention in blog posts! You all know how much I LOVE Christmas and this was just too cute to not participate in. PLUS, I discovered it today which is perfect because I’m usually about two weeks behind when I find fun stuff like this! 🙂

Today’s prompt is: Your Favorite Christmas Movie.

Mine is definitely the Polar Express.


This movie is gorgeous to watch, the music is beautiful and the premise is so, so cute. Ironically, the book totally bummed me out when I was a kid, but I love the movie! (Along with essentially every other Christmas movie ever made, EVER.)

I think that’s all she wrote for today, folks. So much CHRISTMAS in so little time!!!!!! Thanks for reading and I’ll see you tomorrow!