Flowers, Breakfast and Other Things I Did This Weekend

I took a week off last week from basically everything other than work so I could catch up on all my schoolwork. I’m nearing the end of the semester which means projects, projects and more projects, and oh yeah those things called finals.

I made a lot of progress though, and this weekend was finally able to enjoy the beautiful weather we finally have in Maryland!

Friday morning started with a catered awards breakfast at my lunch. Absolutely delicious! I had vegetarian eggs benedict with asparagus instead of ham, tater tot casserole, nuttella crepes and a brown rice and quinoa oatmeal type of thing that I’ve never had before, but was delicious.

I was too excited to eat that I forgot to take a picture of my food before I started eating it!
I was too excited to eat that I forgot to take a picture of my food before I started eating it!

And I ate it all:

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After work on Friday I had just enough time to go shopping for flowers and design this spring flower basket for my boyfriend’s parents for Easter. Then I posted it on Facebook and I’m pretty sure everyone thought it was from my boyfriend and no one thought I designed it. Clearly I am not good at Facebook.

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Saturday morning I had class and then so much walking! My boyfriend and I went to downtown Annapolis where I got a crepe for lunch, from Sofi’s Crepes and then when we got bored of Annapolis we drove up to Baltimore to walk around Federal Hill park to enjoy the view.

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Then I decided to quit my day job and become a captain. Not really….but I think I’d look good doing it!

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Sunday I went to church for Palm Sunday, Greek Easter is next week, and then celebrated not Greek Easter with my boyfriend’s family that evening. Now I’m sad that it’s Monday.

What did you do this weekend? Is anyone else loving this weather as much as I am?

Friday Five: Five Races I’m Looking Forward To in 2015

It’s Friday! And I am still without a working computer. Now I know what’s wrong with it, the parts are ordered, and now I’m just waiting for them to be delivered so I can have a working laptop again and be able to start updating this blog more regularly than once a week.

My ankle started acting up badly last weekend, so my plans to get on stationary bike were delayed another week which actually turned out for the best. This week was crazy with work, and trying to squeeze in time to get my work for grad school done. Let’s just say I’m counting down the days until summer break. 89 days left in case anyone was wondering.

That anticipation I have for summer meant that when I saw the topic for the Friday Five this week I knew it was perfect! I’m linking up with Mar, Courtney and Cynthia for the Friday Five and this week it’s Five Races to run in 2015.

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I’m going to be 100% honest here. I am excited for the 2015 racing season, but does that mean I’ve actually worked out my racing schedule? That would be a definitive no. I’ve barely had time to think about anything past this semester. Plus the fact that I have a Saturday morning class means that I can’t really run any races until the end of the semester.

Still that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few races I’m not looking forward to.

1. The Color Run This is really the only race I’ve decided on officially, although I still need to sign up. I’ve gotten a friend of mine to run this with me, and I am so excited. I’ve never done a color run before but I’ve heard lots of good things.

2. Zooma half marathon or 10k I did the 10k last year and had a blast, I’ll definitely be participating again this year but I’m not sure in which distance. I originally wanted this to be my first half marathon but my ankle is making me nervous. I’ll have to see when I can start training for it. Also did I mention this race has wine? Because it has wine.

Zooma 2014 before it started.

3. Baltimore Women’s Classic I love this race, it’s so supportive, and you get a rose at the finish line! I missed it last year because I sprained my ankle the day before (have we noticed a pattern with my injuries at all?) but I’ll definitely be running it this year.

This was my first race ever. I can't get over how exhausted I look.
This was my first race ever. I can’t get over how exhausted I look.

4. Baltimore Running Festival I did the relay last year, and I am definitely doing the half this year. This will either be my first or second half marathon depending on what happens with Zooma.

Ready to run my leg of the relay!
Ready to run my leg of the relay!

5. Best Buddies 5k This race holds a special place in my heart. Best Buddies is a non profit I worked for for four years and volunteered with for much longer. They had their first 5k last year and it was such an amazing event, so well organized and the volunteers and Best Buddies employees did a great job making sure it was successful. If anyone is looking for another fun 5k to add to their list while helping a great cause this is one to consider.

What races are you looking forward to in 2015?

Friday Five: Things I Love!

I am so so happy that it is Friday. Earlier this week I realized that I hadn’t managed to post anything on here for a little over a week and that it could easily turn into two or three if I wasn’t careful.

It’s not that I have nothing to write about, in fact I have lots of posts that will be coming, hopefully soon. However, my computer decided to die a little over two weeks ago and once that happened it made writing for this blog much more difficult. I usually write at night after work and then post the next day. However, without a working computer that hasn’t been as feasible. I did contemplate writing them on my phone for about 10 seconds, before I reasoned that I hate typing on my phone and seeing as I’m a pretty slow texter it would probably take me 2 hours to write one paragraph on my phone. Not happening.

Anyways, despite all this I knew I had to at least link up for the Friday Five with Mar, Courtney and Cynthia. These are so much fun to write up and I hate to miss them.

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This weeks theme is Love, appropriate seeing as tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. I’m still not able to run/work out because of my ankle (Soon though!!) and it’s starting to affect my mood. So I thought I would write about 5 things that I am loving right now to help me think positively

1. The fact that I don’t need to buy a new computer: It’s taking a while to fix it, but my boyfriend says he can fix my computer and if it costs me anything it won’t be more than $100. I am so grateful, since a new computer is definitely not in the budget. The only reason it’s taking so long is that we’re both so busy we’ve barely had time.

2. Podcasts: So I was one of those people that binge listened to Serial over the summer and then after it was over I started looking for podcasts to listen to. Right now I’m hooked on Gilmore Guys, which I’ve talked about a couple times on here, and Don’t Get Me Started.

3. Boots, Apparently: I recently ordered my first pair of real cowgirl boots and when they arrived I squealed! I haven’t gotten a chance to wear them since my ankle is sprained and the brace I’m wearing won’t fit in them. I also went to Target this past week and they had boots on +clearance for $11 so naturally I bought two pair, one brown and one black. If I’m not careful, my already large boot/shoe collection is going to get a little insane (maybe it is already insane, I’ve decided to stop counting so I can live in perpetual denial), but how can you say no to $11 boots?

My new boots!
My new boots!

4. Upcoming Vacation/Spring Break: This isn’t quite here yet but I am loving the anticipation. My mom and I will be road tripping it to Chicago to see my grandparents in March over my spring break. She just sent me an itinerary for the trip and I got so excited. It won’t be a work free vacation as I’ll have some studying and a take home midterm I’ll have to take with me, but the break will still be amazing!

5. My Valentine’s Day plans: Okay at least one of these had to be about Valentine’s Day. My boyfriend and I will be staying in and keeping it low key. We’re going to make a seafood dinner together and I’m very excited.

One thing I don’t love? The cold!! It was 11 degrees this morning when I stepped outside, I am so ready for the spring!

What are you loving right now?

My Five Favorite Indoor Workouts!

I’m teaming up yet again with Courtney, Cynthia and Mar for the Friday Five! I’ve had so much fun the past couple weeks.

When I saw this week’s Friday Five, I had to laugh. Favorite indoor workouts, for one I generally don’t enjoy working out indoors, and I can’t do anything right now as my ankle is still hurting me if I stand on it for any extended period time, much less do any sort of activity.

I considered picking a new topic but decided to stick with the theme so I can think positively about indoor workouts, something necessitated by the cold winter weather.

1. Body Pump: I did Body Pump quite regularly about three or four years ago. I can’t say I’m a Body Pump regular right now as I only managed to make it to two classes before my sprained ankle. But I loved both of those classes and I’m 100% confident I’ll be making it a part of my weekly routine once I’m back to working out.

2. Treadmill: I have a love hate relationship with the treadmill. I try to avoid it so much, but I hate the cold weather much more than I hate the treadmill. So, invariably, despite my best intentions, and hard earned money spent on cold weather gear so I can run outside in the winter I always find my way inside on the treadmill once I can start seeing my breath. I’m pretty boring with my treadmill workouts, I just run and speed up and slow down as I feel I can take it or as I get tired. I usually put a towel or sweatshirt on the display to prevent me from looking at the screen every 5 minutes, and I’ve started listening to podcasts while I run.

3. Jillian Michaels Thirty Day shred or No More Trouble Zones: I bought these DVDs a few years ago and at the time, combined with body pump, they were my fitness routine. I don’t do them often anymore, but I love that the Thirty Day Shred is only about 30 minutes and if I’m running low on time it’s something I can pop in and do if I’m pressed for time. I’ll confess I hate her cheesy commentary during the DVD but they definitely get my heart rate up and I remedy that by muting the DVD and playing music in the background.

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4. Cycling: I took a few spin classes years ago and while definitely not my favorite form of exercise they were a nice change of pace. They’re a great way to get your heart racing and they’ll always kick your butt.

5. Yoga: If you’ll recall I took a couple free yoga classes this past year. I really enjoyed them and think it’s something I need to incorporate into my fitness routine this year. My gym offers a few yoga classes that I’m interested in trying out soon.

Have you ever tried a work out DVD? Do you hate Jillian Michaels’ cheesy commentary as much as I do?

My Weekend Update!

I have been having technical difficulties this week. On Saturday my computer decided that it was going to stop working. According to my boyfriend the hard disk is malfunctioning so I have to figure out what to do to fix that, so I’ve been dealing with no computer except when I’m at work.

This means writing blog posts has been a bit of a challenge for now. I haven’t been able to find time to stay late at work to knock a couple out and I had a moment where I considered writing them on my phone, but I gave that up really quickly.

Despite my computer being on the fritz I still had a great weekend! I spent the weekend in Pittsburgh visiting my sister. There was some question about whether I’d be able to make it seeing as the ankle I sprained is attached to the foot I drive with. But by Friday I decided that with cruise control I could handle the four hour drive.

Unfortunately, many of the plans my sister had for us involved walking, lots of it. So we had to cancel all of that, which meant we had a relaxing weekend.

Saturday morning we got brunch at a place called Dor-Stop. They were featured on Diners, Drive ins, and Dives and was claimed to have the best pancakes. Now, I love pancakes but to me a pancake is a pancake is a pancake, still I was curious. But I was more curious about the raspberry french toast that everyone raved about.

In the end my sister and I decided to try a little bit of everything, we ordered the french toast, apple cinnamon pancakes and an omelet (because something needed to be healthy) and just shared it all.

Everything was amazing! And the reviews weren’t lying when they said it was the best pancakes ever. My sister and I took one bite and both decided that we had never had better pancakes. We ate them without syrup, they didn’t need it. The french toast was great as well, it was coated in cornflakes which gave it a crunchy texture, and the omelet was the perfect amount of savory we needed.

Of course, my horrible picture taking continues, I was so hungry I forgot to snap a picture of our food until we were done! But you can go to their website and see pictures of their delicious pancakes!

After brunch we did a little bit of shopping along the Strip in Pittsburgh and then spent some quiet time allowing for my ankle to rest back at her apartment.

That night we went to the Incline to see the Pittsburgh skyline, which was absolutely beautiful! We hadn’t been able to fit this in the last time we were there so I was excited to see it.

Excuse the poor picture quality it's hard to get a good picture in the night on your smartphone....Still beautiful
Excuse the poor picture quality it’s hard to get a good picture in the night on your smartphone….Still beautiful
Cool statue called Point of View showing George Washington and Seneca Leader Guyasuta. I learned this from wikipedia!
Cool statue on the incline called Point of View showing George Washington and Seneca Leader Guyasuta. I learned this from wikipedia!

The day ended with a great dinner at Shiloh’s grill and hanging out at the bar, and then Sunday I made the return drive home to Maryland.

Have you ever been to Pittsburgh? Don’t you want to try those pancakes now?

Happy 2015

I had a week and a half off work during the holidays, which I ended up taking full advantage of to sleep, rest and just relax. It was definitely needed, I didn’t realize how overdue I was for a vacation. Still it was far too short and the last thing I wanted to do this morning was go to work!

I had a great break and a lot of fun over the holidays. Now that it’s the new year I was being cliché and reflecting on the past year and thinking about what 2015 would bring. I’m not usually one for making new year’s resolutions, so I won’t. Let’s call them my 2015 goals:

  1. Become a morning runner – I’m already well on my way to achieving this goal. The move to Rockville, gives me an extra hour in the morning, meaning waking up earlier before work isn’t such a burden.
  2. Run a half marathon this spring – I have yet to decide which marathon to choose, but I want to run a half by the spring, in addition to the Baltimore Running Festival Half Marathon. I think this is totally possible, it’s just going to require some dedication on my part.
  3. Continue my healthy eating – I have done so well with making my own meals and indulging only on special occasions. That isn’t to say that I didn’t throw caution to the wind and eat whatever the hell I wanted over my time off during the holidays (because cookies! So many cookies were consumed in a week and a half!). It does, however, mean that I have more confidence I can get back on track and continue with my healthy habits that I started last year.
  4. Make strength training funI said earlier that I want to introduce strength training into my fitness routine, and I did, but to be honest I didn’t do a great job of keeping up with it. I find strength training so boring, so I’ll always find an excuse to do something else. Therefore, instead of making a goal of doing more strength training, I’m going to try to make it fun, so that I’ll be motivated to do it more often.
  5. Read – I know this isn’t fitness related, but it’s something I think I need to do more of. I used to read voraciously, but I stopped a while ago. For Christmas my boyfriend got me the Kindle Voyage, which in my opinion is the perfect excuse to read more books this year! My ambitious goal is 20 books in 2015, but honestly, I’d be happy with 15.

Well, that’s it for my resolutions. Comment below and tell me what your resolutions for 2015 are!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

It’s Christmas! If you celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a fun and relaxing day with your friends and family! This post will be short and sweet and just a few of my favorite Christmas things (to the tune of Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music of course!).

Christmas trees and lights

I haven’t driven around to see Christmas lights yet, something I try to do every year, so for now the lights on the Christmas tree will have to do! There’s something about Christmas lights that just instantly make me happy.

Holiday Accessories

So pretty!
So pretty!

I have a collection of Christmas socks and jewelry that I make sure to break out at least once during the season. (Which isn’t to say that I don’t wear the socks all year round) And being as obsessed as I am with all things nail polish I can’t forget about my nails!

Cookies!

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My mom makes two kinds of Greek cookies every Christmas, Kourambiethes and Finikia, they’re full of too much butter, and sugar. Lack any sort of nutritional value, and are insanely delicious. I look forward to them every year!

Most importantly though is getting to spend the day with my family and friends. Hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Mr. Snowman!
Merry Christmas from Mr. Snowman!

What’s your favorite thing about the holiday season?

Best Buddies 5k Race Recap

I am happy to report that after all my reservations in my last blog post about the cold temperatures on Saturday morning I made it to the race and survived the Best Buddies 5k despite the below freezing temps.

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I knew that the race was going to go well when I managed to get a really great night’s rest the night before. I don’t know about anyone else but I never seem to sleep well before a race. I don’t know what was different, but Saturday morning I woke up completely well rested. I had set out my clothes the night before and so after I put on all the different layers that I had planned I was ready to go!

When I stepped outside I was so grateful for all those layers. It was just as cold as I had thought it would be! I got a text that morning from my friend who was also running the race declaring that “It’s freezing!!!!!!!” My sentiments exactly.

Once I got to the park where the race was held I picked up my packet and then caught up with some old coworkers that were there either working or supporting the event. It was so great to catch up with everyone, and I even ran into my old coworker Jen who I didn’t realize would also be running the event. Turns out we run at the same pace so we decided to run together!

All bundled up before the race!
All bundled up before the race!

Before the race an instructor from Brick Bodies led a warm up for all the runners. I am so glad they did! I think it would have been a lot harder to run after just standing around being cold for a half an hour. Right after the warm up ended all the runners lined up at the start and the race started.

I was so glad that I had a friend running with me! Having never run in the cold I wasn’t prepared for how different it feels. However, being able to chat with with Jen distracted me and even though I ran slower than I normally do I felt like the miles were flying by.

The course was great, a little hilly but not bad. It was a straight 1.5 miles one way and then you turned around and back tracked. at the 1.5 mile marker they had a water stop set up, which I took advantage of and promptly choked on the water and had to stop for a little to catch my breath. That’s what I get for trying to drink water while I run! Despite that minor hiccup the rest of the race went great!

It wasn’t timed but they did have a clock at the finish and someone at each mile marker telling you your split time as you ran past. Jen and I finished at around 36 minutes. Definitely slower than my normal pace, but we weren’t focused on time and factoring in the cold I am so happy with how I did.

After the race I spent more time catching up with my former coworkers and enjoying the post-race bagels. I was so glad I thought ahead and packed a blanket in my car and a thermos of hot water with lemon and honey for after because it helped warm me up so much.

Overall, I thought the race was so well planned especially for their first year. Best Buddies Maryland had over 300 runners which I felt was the perfect number. My only complaint was the weather, but I’m a baby when it comes to the cold. I’ll definitely be planning to do this 5k again next year!

 

I Was Not Made For Cold Weather

Tomorrow I’ll be participating in the Best Buddies Maryland 5K. I’m excited to participate. I worked for Best Buddies Maryland for 4 years before my current job and I had volunteered with them in high school. They’re a great organization that provides one to one friendships for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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This is their first year doing the 5K and when I heard about it I had to sign up, and I’ve been counting down the days. However, when I signed up I don’t think I registered that it was happening in the middle of November, which means it’s going to be freezing. Correction, below freezing. Saturday morning it’s supposed to be 29 degrees, and saying that I’m not looking forward to it is an understatement.

Now I approached the cold weather optimistically. I bought some cold weather gear, I was fully prepared to go running outside in the weeks beforehand, so I would get used to running in the cold.

Yeah, that didn’t happen. I am a wuss. I have not run outside at all recently. The second the temperatures dipped below 50 I was running inside on a treadmill, using the fact that it gets dark earlier and I don’t feel safe as an excuse. Let’s be honest though, I am not Elsa from Frozen, the cold has always bothered me, and I don’t think there will ever be a time that it doesn’t bother me I could be completely bundled up a la a Christmas story and there is still a very high likelihood that I will not be running outside.

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At least it’s warm!

Needless to say when I stepped out last night after work and it was 34 degrees and I realized Saturday morning would only be colder I entertained thoughts of not showing up. However I do think I’m amply prepared for the race, even if I don’t want to be. I’m just going to think of all the volunteers on Saturday that don’t get to run to keep themselves warm and how cold they must be. So THANK YOU volunteers!

You can find me after the race, I’ll be the one wrapped up in the blanket I kept in my car for after the race.

Yeah...okay
Yeah…okay

Whole30 is Over!

Yesterday was day 30 of my Whole 30 which means it’s over! I am excited it’s to be over, but to be honest I don’t know that there is going to be a huge change in the way I eat. I did this for the second time to reset my eating habits. I had started giving into my sugar cravings, and while my habits weren’t the worst they’d ever been I wasn’t always making the smartest of choices. With the holidays, and all the delicious food that comes with them, fast approaching I wanted to make sure I was ready.

My takeaways from my second Whole30:

  1. This is a whole lot easier the second time around! This was the case for a number of reasons. To start with this time was a lot shorter because I decided to do it for Lent the last time so my Whole30 was actually a Whole48 the first time. Plus the second time around you know what to expect, and since I still largely follow a Whole30 way of eating in my day to day life with some exceptions it makes it much easier.
  2. I have never wanted sweets more than I did on Halloween. While my sweet tooth is still alive and strong, I don’t eat candy nearly as much as I used to even before I did this Whole 30. If I’m going to eat something sweet I will almost always choose a baked good than a piece of candy, it needs to be worth it. However, when Halloween rolled around and there was candy everywhere all I wanted was a Reese’s peanut butter cup. I’m happy to report, that I did not give into that urge!
  3. I am bored of chicken! I had so much chicken this past month because it’s cheap and it’s easy to make. However, by the end I had had enough. I mixed things up with some chicken salad made with homemade mayonnaise that definitely helped, but I think I’m going to have to start experimenting with new recipes, that still involve chicken, because I still have so much of it left haha.
  4. Quiche is my current favorite way to have eggs! In looking for a quick breakfast that I could also take to work, because heaven knows I’m never waking up early enough to make anything morning of, I started making quiche with a potato crust. This is my go to breakfast for now, and I don’t think that’s going to stop when the Whole30 does, although I may make it with a traditional crust a few times.
  5. I miss bread. I don’t normally eat a lot of wheat and I have never been a huge fan of pasta (shocking I know) but I have been craving pasta. Give me some goat cheese ravioli in a creamy sauce with no redeeming nutritional values and I’ll be in heaven, until I start to regret my choices with a stomachache that is.

 

All in all I enjoyed my experience these past 30 days and chances are high that I probably have a third one in my future, but I’m not thinking about that quite yet. Right now all I really want to do is go out to a restaurant and order whatever I want on the menu without having to quiz the waitress on whether the dish has added sugar!