Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year

"The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." 

Lamentations 3:22 


Monday, December 30, 2013

Saying Goodbye to 2013

Hope everyone had time to rest and relax this holiday season. This is a perfect time to recoup from the craziness of the holiday parties reflect on the past year. We have been busy this year and a lot has changed. All of these changes make me even more excited for 2014! I want to share a small recap of 2013 in pictures.

Spring 2013 
Traveled to Seattle with Anna and June to attend NASP.

Went on many long runs at Wrightsville Beach

Brought home the most adorable member of our family Charleston James

Summer 2013

Enjoyed many days at the beach with friends

Helped out with Delta Zeta recruitment as advisor along with these amazing ladies. 

Fall 2013
Enjoyed a ECU tailgate

NC State Fair

Winter 2013 
Moved to Cary!!

Spent weekends exploring our new home

Spent Christmas celebrating with my family 


Saturday, December 28, 2013

New Year= New Goals

A new year is a chance to turn a new leaf and start afresh. I enjoy the the new year as a chance to take a breath from the holiday indulgences and start on a clean slate. 2013 was a great year and I have no doubt that 2014 will be even greater! I wanted to share these before New Year's Eve to help give ideas to anyone who may be struggling with their New Year's resolution.
  • Find a new home church and start a daily devotional. Since we moved we have not found a church that feels like home. I want to make connections with couples our age and continue to grow in the faith. I am hoping to start a book on tape or podcast as my daily devotional and make it part of my drive to work every morning. 

  • Lose these pesky 20lbs for good! In keeping myself accountable, I am going to start posting weekly on my fitness progress.  I will also continue to share my weekly workout plan. I use My Fitness Pal to track my food and workouts to make sure I am on track. I have an entire post later this week on how these pounds creeped on and my plan to get them off! 


  • Try to eliminate one vice each month. I got this idea from Lauren Conrad's Shape Up plan. I am going to switch things up and start with gluten for the month of January. I will probably switch out something for fried food and soda since I rarely have them. Joe is gluten sensitive and I have been begging him to try to eliminate it from his diet for the past year. He is on board with trying it as a New Year Resolution and I am excited to see how it changes both of our bodies. I love the idea of trying this plan as part of my New Years Resolution.  lt is a great way to flex your willpower and break bad habits. It’s been said time and time again that that it takes 21 days to break or create a habit. Through giving up one vice each month will help work toward getting rid of the negative habit. I have a well known sweet tooth that I would love to break during this plan. Here is the best part behind the plan that ties in easily to my New Year Resolution by the time summer rolls around, I will have lost those pesky 20 lbs and be amazing shape.

  • Create inspiring posts on the blog 3-4 times a week. I want the blog to being to reflect what is going on in my life at the same time I also want it to inspire others through sharing my struggles. My hope is that this year I will become more real in my posts. 

What are your New Years Resolutions for 2014? 


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Workout Wenesday: Runner's Wishlist

It’s that time of year when blogger gift guides pop up all day every day! I thought a nice spin on workout Wednesday would be to share my favorite fitness finds this year. 
Running Christmas List

Yurbuds-  I have never had good luck with earphones…until I bought these.  I have the worst luck with buying earbuds that will stay in my ears. I typically resort to the headband type ear-buds which were the only ones that stayed in my ears for more than 3 minutes. After my last pair bit the dust I headed to Target and saw that these babies got rave reviews. The clips make them stay perfectly in my ear.

Garmin Forerunner 220- I got my first Garmin 4 years ago when I started training for my first half marathon. The watch is the perfect jump for individuals looking to start monitoring their pace and improve their time. My watch has seen a lot of love and it is time to finally find a replacement. This model is the same style number but has tons of upgrades. I love that is vibrates to alert you of notifications since I never heard the beeping on my watch due to me blasting my music. 

Handheld Water bottle - I am awful at staying hydrated during long runs. I never want to stop back by the car to refuel and never seem to pass any water fountains.  To help combat my intentional oversight I have started carrying a handheld water bottle with me. Now I have no excuse not to stay well hydrated. 

Base Runner 1/2 Zip - Battling the wind and cold on my long runs is starting to leave me wind-burnt and chapped on Saturdays. I love this pullover because it is super comfortable and could also be worn running to the store.

Lululemon Speed Tight - Can you tell I have a love for all things Luluemon? These pants are great for log runs. They are sweat wicking and never show sweat stains which is amazing after 10 miles. They also have tons of pockets which is great for storing keys, gu gels, phone and chap stick with room to spare. 

Monday: Interval Cardio & Core
Tuesday: 3 miles & Total Body Strengthening & Stretch
Wednesday: 4 miles & Lower Body Strength
Thursday: Interval Cardio & Upper body Strength
Friday: Spin Class
Saturday: 9 Mile Run
Sunday: Hot Yoga 


Monday, December 9, 2013

Weekend Review

         Hope everyone is staying safe and dry this Monday morning. Schools here were on a 2-hour delay due to icy roads. This is our second delay in the past two weeks. I am all about snow days but, ice delays are not my thing. I am too much of a clutz to survive the apartment stairs without a tumble. Here’s to hoping I this is not common around here. However, I am excited to have a bit of free time before the kiddos come bounding down the halls.
       This past weekend we did a lot of catching up! We have let work and the cold weather get in the way of going out and getting things done. We definitely made up for it this weekend. 
        Friday night we hit the streets of Southpoint for a little Christmas shopping combined with our date night. Southpoint at Christmas is bustling to say the least! There is very limited parking and crowds are vicious. But it did not keep us away! We had a great time getting what we needed for gifts combined with some people watching. We went to dinner at Firebirds and finally watched Catching Fire. We both loved Catching Fire even more than Hunger Games but man that was a long movie!
         Saturday I got up early and headed to a spin class. Since I am not training for a race yet, did not want to risk getting sick or hurt by trying to brave the rain and ice for a long run. The spin class was a great change of pace compared to the hills I have been battling lately. If you have never tried a spin class I highly recommend it! 

           After the gym, we headed out to get some more Christmas shopping. Thankfully, I can say with the help of Target and Amazon Prime that we are 95% finished with our shopping! I just need to wrap them all up and get them under the tree. For lunch, we stumbled upon Bad Daddy’s. Joe and I were both excited as it is one of our favorite Charlotte restaurants and they just opened a location nearby in Morrisville.

         Check out the size of that burger! They have the most unique burger combinations as well as delicious sides. Another favorite here is their spiked milkshakes. Yum! We spent the rest of the afternoon watching football games and doing the piles of laundry that had piled up through this past week.

        Sunday we spent the day trying to stay dry and watching football. We did venture out to Costco in the afternoon. The closest Costco is 20 minutes away so we are not making weekly trips like we did in Wilmington. It is probably a good thing for our wallets and waistlines as I tend to go a bit overboard with the delicious snacks and prepared meals. They are great in moderation however a five pound bag of chocolate popcorn is not good for my willpower. I was able to break away for a little bit of gym time that afternoon. Then I headed out to dinner at Los Tres Magueyeswith a friend from high school. It was great to catch up now that we live close by!

      Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend. I am excited to start this week because that means only 2 weeks until Christmas break! Can you tell I am counting down the days until I get to go back to Wilmington?
Weekend Shenanigans


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Recent Musings

I have been feeling  reflective lately. The holidays are the perfect time to slow down a bit and take a little time to better yourself. We have made it a goal in our home to try and spend an hour each night on something to improve ourselves or the apartment. This has kept us from spending entire nights catching up on How I Met Your Mother or playing Candy Crush.

I typically split the time between reading an article or two for work and doing a little housework. I have also been enjoying several for fun reads that have been popping up on the internet. I thought I would share my favorite finds with you.

15 Ted Talks that will change your life - I love Ted talks. These are a great round up which includes my favorite Why 30 is not the new 20.

10 things I want my daughter to know about working out- Trying to find a balance between working out for vanity and being healthy has always been a struggle for me. I have always wondered how I would pass along my knowledge to future kiddos. This sums it up perfectly.

An apology to things I used to hate- On a lighter note Dark Chocolate, your amazing.

Signs you are obsessed with your dog- Also a funny one especially if you have a dog or get annoyed by dog owners. Please don't mind that most of my photos now are of Charlie or we have a monthly budget line just for his toys and food that equals what we spend on entertainment. In Joe's words, "You can't put a price on Charlie's happiness." Oh boy are future kids are in trouble....

Hope everyone has an amazing Tuesday!!


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Workout Wednesday: Running

I am focusing on adding more miles to my cardio in preparation for hopefully running a few long races this spring. This week my goal is to reach 26 miles. I will gradually work up to 30-35 miles a week. The rule I follow is not to increase your mileage more than 10% per week. I also make sure my weekend long run  accounts for around 30% of my mileage for the week. 

The biggest struggle for me right now is getting in a workout routine in the mornings. The thought of getting out of my warm bed and driving 20 minutes to the gym does not have me jumping for joy. Once I get there I am good to go. I am also going to try and add this core routine to my morning workouts.

Monday: HIIT and Upper Body Strength
Tuesday: 5 mile run & Abs
Wednesday:  4 mile run & Legs
Thursday: 5 mile run 
Friday: Rest day 
Saturday: 9 mile run
Sunday:  Rest Day


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

These are a Few of my Favorite Things : Stocking Stuffers

Favorite Things- Stocking Stuffers

1.  Stainless Steel Hammered Tumbler Rose Gold - This cup is adorable and it keeps the coffee warm through my long commute  to work. I love making my own Starbucks copycat drinks at home.
2. C. Wonder knot earrings- The C.Wonder store just opened up in Southpoint and I am obsessed. These beauties would look great with all the holiday outfits.

3. Fresh lip treatment - I have started hoarding lipbalm lately. The cold weather has really taken a toll on my lips and skin. This lip balm has gotten amazing reviews by lots of bloggers lately. 
4. Emi-Jay Hair-ties- I love these hair ties. I have them stored in my purse, gym bag and desk. They are great for when I just want to throw my hair up quick. You don't have to worry about your hair snagging or having creases.
5. Philosophy gift sets kit- This is my favorite scent of the Philosophy brand. The body wash smells amazing and will not dry your skin out.
6. Brush Kit- These brushes are great quality and for a great price! I love that it comes with it's own carrying case.
7. J.Crew socks- I am always cold especially at work. So I have been collecting cute socks to keep me warm. You can never go wrong with JCrew. 


Monday, November 25, 2013

Weekly Wishes

There are so many things that are going to make this week great. I am thankful to be headed home to see my family after a 3 day workweek. Visiting my family will also mean decorating for Christmas on Friday which always feels like the start of the Christmas season. Also, we have a much needed date night scheduled for tonight. We are going to see Gravity. I have heard so many great reviews about this movie. I truly hopes it lives up to all the hype. For this week, I created several mini goals for myself that I hope to accomplish. I am linking up with Melyssa at the Nectar Collective for my Weekly Wishes.

1.  Morning workouts four days this week. - I am increasing my mileage running to have a "solid base" mileage. I have not been off the running train for awhile and not running consistently. These past three weeks I have been trying to focus on mileage per week. This week my goal is 26 miles total. Getting in my runs early in the morning would really help with freeing up my evenings.
2. Clean the apartment and put up Christmas decorations. At least apartment vs house there will be a lot less to clean, right? Let's hope so!
3. Make an delicious a side and dessert to bring to our (multiple) Thanksgiving dinners. I am thinking I will bring some fresh vegetables like this salad balanced out with these easy pretzel kisses.
4. Style my hair down four days this week. I have become the queen of  side buns and simple updos. When pressed for time, my hairstyle is the first thing to be overlooked. This week is only a two days with students so I have no excuse.  I spent some time Sunday on my favorite beauty blog watching tutorials.
5. Nightly walks with Charlie before dinner. With the light lingering at night and the temperature dropping Charlie's walks have gotten shorter and shorter. He loves welcoming the neighbors home for work and it is way to get in a little (more) exercise.

The Nectar Collective


Friday, November 15, 2013

Five on Friday

Oh Happy Friday! Hope everyone has enjoyed this short week. As always I am so excited it is Friday!

The temperature has dropped dramatically this week in NC many places even saw a dusting of snow! The cold weather has made it more difficult for me to get up in the morning. Also, defrosting the cars is not something I enjoy and miss our warm garage more than ever right now! Anyway, one thing that I have been enjoying with the cooler weather is the chance to break out the sweaters and scarves! For today's five on Friday I wanted to share my favorite pieces.

This season more than ever, I have been loving neutral sweaters, scarves and boots. I promise I don't wear them all at once but I am loving the neutral backdrop for statement jewelry and accessories.  I am also trying to invest in neutral, classic pieces that will last more than one season. 

Cozy Neutrals

What is your go to cold weather outfit? Mine is a chunky sweater, skinny jeans and riding boots.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fitness: November 11- 17

I have finally gotten back into a {somewhat} normal workout routine since our move. I did not realize how much moving would affect our daily routines.  Exhaustion set in easily  after tackling mountains of boxes and climbing three flights of stairs during our move. I gave myself a bit of slack and decided that unpacking and climbing these stairs counted as a workout!   After settling a bit, I was itching to get back to the gym. 
I am also truly enjoying running again. I think the change of scenery has also been a huge motivator. Interval runs are my favorite ways to get in a quick workout when I am pressed for time. Below is one of my go to intervals.

One thing I notice with running is that I always slack with stretching afterwards. This has always been a weakness for me. Stretching is important after any workout to help with the tightening of muscles that occur due tearing when you work out.  I struggled with ITBS last year and stretching will help keep me from developing it again. I am trying to slowly improve by stretching each night while for 10-15 minutes. My go to routine is this Yoga poses for runners. I would also love to practice yoga but have not found a studio nearby yet. 
Monday: Arms 
Tuesday: 4 mile run
Wednesday:  Back & Bicep & 4 mile run
Thursday: Legs 
Friday: Shoulders & Abs & 3 mile interval run 
Saturday: Rest day 
Sunday: 7 mile run 

Today my post is a link up with Skinny Meg as a part of Workout Wednesday! Hope y'all have a great Wednesday!


Monday, November 11, 2013

Getting to Know You

A huge thanks to Ashley from A & O On The Go for nominating me for the Leibister Award. She is a girl after my own heart. She is a newlywed too with a great style and a eye for decorating. If you have not already, please check out her blog!!

The purpose of this award is to get to know more about the girl behind the blog. This award came at a great time since life around here is a bit hectic! Here's to hoping there is an end to all these boxes and everything is (somewhat) normal this week!

1. Where do you love to vacation?  Charleston is my favorite city to visit for a long weekend.  It was one of our first vacations together as a couple and we try and visit every year. I love staying downtown and being able to walk the cobblestones to all the shops , exploring the battery and the delicious restaurant and bar experiences.  

2. What is your go-to online shopping site(s)? Amazon would have to be number one. We have an Amazon Prime account which has free 2 day shipping for most products and  they have a great return policy.  Many times I will order name brand products through Amazon thanks to their free shipping and guarantees. I also frequent J Crew,  Piperlime and Ann Taylor Loft.  

3. Cat or Dog? Our precious pup Charlie  has stolen my heart over the past 6 months. He is hyperactive, needy and stubborn but, one look with his little puppy eyes and I forget all that!

4. What is one thing that few people know about you?  I was never involved in sports in school.  My hand/eye coordination leaves much to be desired.  It has also left me falling down stairs, breaking and spilling things more often than I would like to admit.  I started running my senior year of college with a couch to 5k program. 

5. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Christmas Eve with my dad’s family. On top of delicious food and desserts, there are always fun inside jokes and gag gifts. 

6. What is your dream job?  I love my job as a School Psychologist. It combines working with kiddos, collecting data, graphing.. insert nerd status and jazz hands. To make it my ultimate dream job, I would love to work more with pre-k or Autism students or work more with health education.  

7. Sweet or Salty?  I am a complete sweet girl. I have tried to rein it in over the years but there is no denying my weakness. Especially if the combination involves peanut butter and chocolate! 

8. What is your favorite room in your house? In our current home (apartment) it’s the living room. There are tons of windows that let in natural light in the afternoons.

9. Favorite team to follow {college or pro!} Any NC team! I have never had a connection to collegiate sports and just enjoy watching NC teams. For pro, I cheer with the hubs for the Carolina Panthers. 

10. What blogs do you enjoy reading?  I  read a wide variety  from healthy living to lifestyle to fashion so here is a snippet of my favorites. Hungry Meets Healthy, The Southen Wife, Style Me Swanky, Carolina Charm, Hello! Happiness and Keep Calm & Carry On. 

11. Why did you start blogging? I started blogging in graduate school. I was living by myself and needed something to keep my time occupied outside my studies. It was  an outlet away from 24-7 School Psychology. It has become a diary for our little life and a way to explore my fitness and fashion whims. 


Friday, November 1, 2013

Five on Friday

I'm keeping it short and sweet for today's five on Friday. 

1.Today is my last day at my current job. A 30 days notice was required with my current employer and these past 30 days have been the hardest, longest month with the job. It will be a mix of emotions come end of school today. However, I think that the main emotion will be relief.

2. Moving day is tomorrow!! I am feeling slightly crazy for planning all this in a short amount of time but know it will all be worth it when we get there!

3. Candy Crush. Okay, I know I am bit late to this party. Most likely as everyone is leaving, but I am okay with it! This little game has been a great break time for me when the stress of moving gets too high.

4. There is no hiding it, I am wine girl. When we went out last weekend I had one of my favorite glasses of white wine, Evolution Wine. If you like sweet, white blends I highly recommend it!

5. Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween! Charlie donned his bumble bee costume and we went on a walk around the neighborhood last night. I wanted to share this little Halloween funny on the normal curve. Nerd Alert.